Sunday, July 4, 2010

Evil times and livng by the Spirit

There were no text messages. No postings on Facebook. No short message from the Lord this week Nothing dramatic happened in my country this week. Yes, the murders continue. And so too the police killings, many of them believed to be extrajudicial. And there was a particularly egregious one in the Western part of the island that attracted international attention. These are ongoing and intractable problems that all of us as a nation and as members of the family of God, will have to find a way to overcome. Perhaps that why the Lord spoke to me in a very special meditation that I read this week. About living an authentic life and not a lie - and which thoughts I shared with select members of my congregation. As it is only the power which flows from a totally committed Christian life that can help to counteract the kind of evil which is abroad in this fair isle of ours. Can you imagine members of the security forces going around wearing masks to hide their faces as they carry out these alleged killings? Lord have mercy on this country!

If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and and do not live by the truth. 1 John 1:6
In Word
One of the most astounding truths realized by the early believers is that it was now possible for those who once lived in darkness to have a deep-down, internal fellowship with the Holy Spirit of God. This was no longer simply a Master-servant or Father-child relationship. It was both of those things and more -- an intimate union between the infinite and the finite between the holy and the corrupt. Behaviour could not earn the presence of God. The obstacles to this internal union had been removed, and the fellowship had began.
Such fellowship can lead to false assumptions, though, especially on the part of those who accept it as doctrinal truth without knowing it by experience. If the union is given freely and unconditionally, it must remain free and unconditional; otherwise, it isn't a gift at all. And though this understanding is true, it misses a crucial point: if the union is real, it will have profound implications for all of life. It isn't possible to have intimate fellowship with a Spirit who is pure and holy and live a life that isn't.
John recognized the inconsistency among many early Christians and called it what it was: a lie. Those who claim to have fellowship with God but live as though they don't, are lying. Unintentionally lying and very sadly mistaken, perhaps, but lying all nonetheless. He makes that abundantly clear, emphasizing that Jesus is " the Righteous One". (2.1) and declaring that " whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did". (2.6). There is no room for misunderstanding there. Those whose spirits have been born of God, who have become one substance with the Holy One, will be transformed. They will become like Him. If they don't, something is seriously wrong with the fellowship they claim to have.

In Deed
Your outward life will always eventually conform to your inner condition. When there seems to be a discrepancy between your walk and your inward fellowship with God, check the vitality of your fellowship. Let your walk reflect the Spirit he has put within you.
Following this reflection, which should bring us all to our knees in deep heartfelt repentance, I was led to read St Paul's writings on " Living through the Spirit" in Romans chap 8 in which the Lord speaks clearly about the constant struggle that a child of God must engage in in order to " walk in the light instead of walking in the darkness". As the problem in my country is that many " intellectually brilliant people and many powerful persons" are walking in the dark and yet believe that they are in the light. And therefore are of no help when the forces of evil attack our people and lead them astray like sheep without a Shepherd.

" Those who live according to the sinful nature ( in the dark) have their minds set on what that sinful nature desires.. The mind of the sinful man is death but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.You however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies through the his Spirit, who lives in you. Romans 8:5-11. NIV

Next up was the Ephesian passage on " Living as Children of Light"
.....You however, did not come to know Christ that way.....You were taught, with regard to your former way of life to put off the old self, which is being corrupted by it's deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry....Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs. that it may benefit those who listen, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and and slander, along with every form of malice. Be compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as Christ in God forgave you.Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave hilself as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God...........Be very careful then how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity as the times are evil.Ephesians 4;20-5:16 NIV

The last verse really sums up the entire reflection - the times are evil. And therefore the people of God need to fully understand what is required of them to live by the Spirit and therefore to do battle on behalf of a nation which does not fully appreciate how evil the times are. As in the very next chapter comes the the clarion call:
" Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in his mighty power. Put on the whole armor so that you can take your stand against the Devil's schemes".

People are dying in my country, because the times are evil. People are being held captive by immorality, injustice, poverty and ignorance because the times are evil. While men and women battle for power and influence and accolades. And even those who try to do good " in the flesh" cannot manage to counteract the evil effectively as the struggle is not against " flesh and blood". But as we live by the Spirit and do battle with the sinful nature and with evil, we are assured in the words of the hymnwriter that we sang in church this evening, that this is my Father's world.

This is my Father's world,let me ne'er forgetThat though the wrong may seem oft so strong,God is the ruler yet.This is my Father's World:Why should my heart be sad?The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!God reigns, let the earth be glad.

So we praise God for His many blessings this week and declare with confidence that, not only are we children of God and co-heirs with Christ, if we share in his sufferings, but that this is our Father's World and though murder and evil abound, God is still in charge through the power of His Holy Spirit who lives in a humble, repentant and faithful soul, and in the collective body of Christ that walks in the Spirit. Amen

Hurricane Tomas, God the " driva" and God's mercy in Christ Jesus

This week in my country God showed His mercy in a most dramatic way. And if after He, and only an Almighty God could have done this, performed this miracle, people still do not believe in Him, then Scripture is being fulfilled. Tomas, downgraded from a Hurricane to a tropical storm, after wreaking havoc in St. Lucia and Grenada, was headed for Jamaica. And the good Lord knew that we could not take anymore rain after Tropical storm Nicole had resulted in so many deaths, and did so much damage to our road infrastructure. But praying Jamaicans were equally cognizant that, if the storm turned away from Jamaica, it would head straight for Haiti, and they, with over a million people living in tents in Port-Au-Prince after the devastating earthquake earlier this year, were in a far worse position that we were. So we prayed for mercy for both Jamaica and Haiti. And God who is the real " driva", not our Prime Minister, who took on to himself that sobriquet during the run up to the last elections, steered this massive system, right through the passage between Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba. So that, we in Jamaica, hardly got any rain and even less wind, and the people in Port-Au-Prince were spared, even though others suffered somewhat. What a Mighty God we serve!

So if God is this merciful why does He not respond to prayers all the time. Why did He not save the life of a great Jamaican, Professor Barry Chevannes, who not only was an icon at the University of the West Indies, but did great work with fathers in many inner city communities, worked assiduously to reduce violence in these areas and was also a great cultural icon? Why did the Lord not respond to the prayers of the family of Norma Shirley, an internationally acclaimed chef who died suddenly this week, after a brief illness. Why didn't the Lord respond to the prayers of the people of St. Lucia or Grenada? Why did He not respond to the cries of the many families whose loved ones have been cut down by the bullet in my country. Or those who suffered loss in that Cuban airline disaster, or the folks in Indonesia who were killed by the Tsunami? Or my friend, the Baptist Minister who died because of injuries sustained during a crash on the road, and whom we buried just yesterday? Or the Prime Minister of Barbados who was buried this week as the storm threatened Jamaica? Why?

The Lord led me to read again this week, a very profound verse of Scripture, which although revealed in a particular context, provides much food for thought, if not a direct answer, for all these questions.

" And then what shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses:
I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,and will have compassion on whom I have compassion.

It does not therefore depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: " I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me; " Then why does God still blame us? For who can resist his will?" But who are you O man to talk back to God?Romans 9:14-20 NIV

A big part of the problem in Jamaica, and indeed across the world, is that mankind thinks it has every right to " talk back to God", instead of falling on its face, like John who wrote the book of the Revelations, in reverence before the Creator of heaven and earth, the Alpha and the Omega. So we draw cartoons happily suggesting that icons like the late Michael Manley of Jamaica, and the late Forbes Burham of Guyana, both socialists of International repute, gained entrance "through the pearly gates", and are busily reorganizing heaven. Or that another icon, the late Professor Rex Nettleford danced his way into heaven also or even " the cool ruler" Gregory Isaacs had the same " luck". In the same way Presidential hopefuls and those who make it to the White House, regardless of how obedient they are to God's Word, and even here in Jamaica, all of them invoke the blessings of God on the nation.

Later on in that book of Romans, the discourse on mercy - involving the Jews and the Gentiles and indeed all of mankind - ends with a most profound statement:

" God has bound over all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them.
O the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God.How unsearchable judgments,and his paths beyond tracing out!Who has known the mind of the Lord?Or who has been his counselor?Who has ever given to Godthat God should repay him?For from him and through him and to himare all things.To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Romans 11:32-36 NIV

The reality is that God's mercy reached its zenith in the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus on the cross of Calvary. And not matter how " well" one lives on this earth, no matter how much "good" you do, if you do not accept God's mercy as offered to all mankind by Christ, then it counts for nothing. This is what happened to the Jews, as " they stumbled over the rock which was Christ". Hence despite " their zeal for God", that zeal was not based on knowledge, as they did not submit to God's righteousness - Christ who is the end of the law. Romans 10:1-4 NIV.

This then is the challenge for my country and its leaders. Not just to come to a full understanding of who the real " driva" is, but to understand the full extent of God's mercy. A mercy that transcends the shifting of hurricanes, and the provision of material comforts in life and even the healing of the body from disease, even to the point of rescuing people from death. But rather, a mercy that brings peace with God, and rescue from sin and death unto everlasting life, by the shed blood of the Lamb. This is the reason why we should love Jesus, not just because He is a provider - as the popular refrain goes - but because like Job in Him we can say: " I know that my Redeemer lives". So its all about Jesus and His sacrifice for us on Calvary, and I read a meditation this week which really captures the full extent of what should be our attitude once we come to this full understanding of God's mercy:


Once it was the blessing, now it is the Lord;Once it was the feeling, now it is his word;Once it was the gift I wanted, now the Giver own;Once I sought for healing, now himself alone.

Once 'twas painful trying, now 'tis perfect trust;Once a half salvation, now the uttermost;Once 'twas ceaseless holding, now he holds me fast;Once 'twas constant drifting, now my anchor's cast.

Once 'twas bust planning, now 'tis trustful prayer;Once 'twas anxious caring, now he has the care;Once 'twas what I wanted, now what Jesus says;Once 'twas constant asking, now 'tis ceaseless praise.

Once I hoped in Jesus, now I know he's mine;One my lamps were dying, now they brightly shine;Once for death I waited, now his coming hail;And my hopes are anchored safe within the veil.

All forever,Only Christ I'll sing;Ev'rything is in Christ,And Christ is ev'rything.

Finally a Word from the Lord which kept my mind free of anxiety this week in particular, and which was given to me many months ago by a child of God, and which I posted on Facebook and sent to my Blackberry contacts as the storm approached. And which verse of scripture formed part of the text for the sermon shared by the Minister at my friends funeral yesterday.

" You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." Isaiah 26:3 NIV A Word to cure all anxieties, as Tomas and all other storms of life threaten our peace. But the key word is steadfast - a continuous and unwavering looking to god for guidance and being obedient to Him.

I pray God that we will all be steadfast in our desire for Christ and Christ alone.

Death in the midst of life

Death rocked my world this week. A lifelong friend - his family and mine were neighbours - of over fifty years died this week. He called me at minutes to 6 early that morning. We spoke briefly, with neither of us having an inkling that eternal things were taking place. By ten that morning he was dead. For those of us who still enjoy life on this side of eternity, this kind of event ought to give greater urgency to the need to persevere with those who resist the gospel which alone leads to eternal life. For as men and women plot and scheme, make it their ultimate ambition, and are even prepared to sell their souls in the process, to achieve power, wealth, pleasure and fame, eternal things are taking place, and they have no idea what is taking place.

This week, I was moved to send out a text message to those I felt had a need to contemplate such matters, two days before the, untimely, death of my friend.

" Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.Let him turn to the Lord and he will have mercy on him and to our Godfor he will freely pardon."Isaiah 55:6-7 NIV

The reality is that as the Bible warns us, " be very careful then how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil". And therefore all kinds of things are taking place in peoples lives, unknown to anyone except close family and friends. So the Spirit of God is constantly warning as " He is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.". 2 Peter 3:9 " But the day of the Lord will come like a thief".

A priest who was once very senior and influential in the business world, Rev. " Jim" Parkes, preached a sermon today at my church on Harvest. And he placed a particular focus on a passage of Scripture where Jesus saw a crowd of people who were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a Shepherd and had compassion on them. And then told his disciples to pray to the God, the Lord of the harvest to send more workers into the field. One of the challenges in today's hip and bling bling culture, is that those who are successful in this kind of environment hardly see themselves as " harassed and helpless" and as sheep without a Shepherd. In fact they would be the first to pity you the child of God, who is not having as much fun as they are, and not making as much money, or having as much influence on politicians and bankers and businessmen and advertisers as they are. But we, who have hopefully learned to humble ourselves before God, and are filled with his Spirit of discerning and insight, need to begin to have " compassion" on this so -called successful people. As without Christ, their life of bling and power and fame, is already coming to an end, and they have no idea or inkling that even now eternal things are taking place.

This week again, and it is amazing what lessons the Lord teaches in the midst of trials, I was led to read a passage which speaks about the final end of those who persist in resisting the gospel.

" Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of the heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, " Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them, they will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.He who was seated on the throne said , " I am making everything new. Then he said write this down, for these words are trustworthy and rue..He said to me, " It is done. I am the alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. he who overcomes will inherit all of this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death". Rev. 21:1-8 NIV

Again the reality of life is that what we experience here on earth is only but a small aspect of reality. There is so much more. And there is also so much much more joy to be revealed, as there is pain. That's why we need to have compassion of those who are ignorant of this reality, even when they resist the gospel of truth.

Finally children of God are also under a warning about death, as I was led to read and contemplate the following this week.
" So I find this law at work; When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of of the law of sin at work within the members of my body. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord.......
You however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who lives in you.Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation - but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature you will die; but if by the Spirit you to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live........Romans7:21-25 and 8:9-13

The point here is that baptism and salvation or being saved does not guarantee eternal life. We have to work at it in order to live by the Spirit, and not by the sinful nature which is always lurking in the background - warring with our soul. There is thus a constant need to " put to death" the misdeeds of the body". That's why one's prayer life is so critical to life and to eternal life. As this is where, if we live by the Spirit - allowing the Word of God to shape our actions and thoughts - the Lord in response to heartfelt prayer ;" Have mercy on me O Lord, according to your unfailing love", ( Ps 51:1) will gently and compassionately and at times with discipline lead us to repentance and then to holiness and righteousness. And the even more profound point is that, in order for us to have compassion on those who are in great need, even though they do not realize it, we must first " die to our old way of life".

No wonder the saint of old, a songwriter could pen these immortal words:

I delivered thee when bound,And when wounded healed thy wound.Sought thee wandering, set thee rightTurned thy darkness into light
I pray God that we will seek after someone who is wandering in spiritual darkness, who is bound and wounded, even though apparently well and healthy. I pray God that some will respond to the gospel and see the light of God in Christ Jesus and His Atonement on the Cross of Calvary.That this may take place in our homes, at the workplace, with clients and patients, with colleagues and associates and with neighbours, as eternal things are taking place and we have no idea or inkling.My friend who died? Is he gone to glory and now in the arms of Christ? He was a Baptist, a Minister of Religion and a child of God.

Judgment is mine says the Lord: What do you say ?

The first Bombshell that fell this week happened on public television when a former ("top cop") Commissioner Hardley Lewin implied that Dudus Christopher Coke, now safely behind bars in the USA, had been tipped off, within minutes of the information being shared with the Minister of National Security and the Prime Minister, about the extradition request by the USA officials, And then repeated his call for the Prime Minister to resign. The juxtapositioning of the two issues then leaving no doubt in the minds of the viewers whom he thought was to blame. Of course the reaction was swift and predictable with the goverment not only defending its position but casting doubt on the motive and integrity of the former top cop. But the debate rages on. Is this the ranting of a bitter and disgruntled man who was fired by the PM last year, because his tenure was attended by a spike rather than a decrease in the murder rate and whoo would go to any length to hurt the PM? Can he substantiate such a " wild " charge which, if true, would virtually amount to obstructing the course of justice? Who provided the intelligence that led him to make such a bold staement? And why now? Do we really know this Prime Minister? Is there a side of him which has not really turned its back, as previously trumpeted, on the link between criminals and politics? What are we to think, and to do? Will there be a public enquiry into the whole affair? Why don't we just move on and be happy that the murder rate has fallen significantly and not rake up all this " mud" again! Who really knows the answers to all these questions!

The second bombshell is one which fell last week and the effects are still being felt this week. The arrest and the charging of well known, highly respected and highly placed in government circles, Pastor Al Miller for harbouring a fugitive - Dudus was found - allegedly "bewigged" - in his car after the police had been trailing them for hours. His claim that he was transporting Dudus to the American Embassy has not impressed the police and he has been slapped with charges and is out on bail. What was he thinking? Why did he feel he could bypass the law of the land? Did the Americans agree to this handing over? Since he was instrumental in " handing over" Dudus'

bother and sister to the police, did he not prove that he was a man of good intent and anxious to assist in getting Dudus to give himself up rather that continue the tension and fear in the country? Should we not be showering praise on this pastor rather than attempting to vilify him?

Who knows!.

The third bombshell came in two parts. One on Friday, the other on Saturday. Both happened far from here in South Africa. And the defeat of two of the best teams in world football has sent shock waves around the world, with both of them going back home to the same continent. How could Brazil lose? Even to a talented team like Holland! And how could the mighty Messi- led- Argentina be humbled by such a young German team? Will they go on the win the World Cup or will Spain, inspired by Nadal's win at Winbledon, stop them in their tracks? Who knows?

And how could Ghana miss a gift, a penalty in the dying moments of the game, and so throw away so cruelly the chances of an African team progressing to the semi-finals for the first time?

Who knows.

What I do know however, and heard from the Lord, in the midst of these bombshells concerning human nature and human frailties and the uncertainties of life, is that God's Word is unchanging and unchangeable. The first word was from meditations by Chris Tiegen


Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel? Acts 5:1. 6

......What kingdom have you been expecting? Whatever it is, stop striving for it. Live instead for the agenda of Jesus' Kingdom. Be His witness, live in His Spirit, seek His will on earth as it is in heaven......

Before we can pray " Thy kingdom come," we must be wiling to pray, " My kingdom go".

Alan Redpath

I thought long and hard about this meditation and when I was led to read The following Isaiah passage early this morning it all came together.

" Build up, build up, prepare the road!
Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.
For this is what the high and lofty One says---
I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in sprit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the spirit of the contrite>"
Isaiah 57:14-15 NIV

The question therefore arises of what is former Commissioner of Police Lewin's agenda. It is the truth or is it self-vindication? Is it God's agenda of justice of is it a narrow personal grudge? Is he lowly of heart and contrite? Is the Prime Minister lowly of heart and contrite? Is Rev. Miller following his own agenda, despite the laudable intentions, or is he following his own? Is he lowly of heart and humble? Does he need to reflect carefully, especially since he is a man of God, on Redpath's assertion that:
" Before we can pray" Thy kingdom come", we must be willing to pray , " My kingdom go".

Is it a lesson for the PM also? So many of our current leaders, in the Western world, disciples of Christ or not, so easily pronounce blessings on their country. God bless America! God bless Jamaica! But are they willing to " let go of their own kingdom" and "let go of their own agenda", as Jesus told the early disciples as recorded in the book of Acts. Is it not a lesson for Maradonna in particular also? As although Argentina had quality players and a good team, I just did not want then to win as Maradonna was just too proud an individual. Can you imagine what the world would have to put up with if his team had won the World Cup.

But there is more. God not only lives in the humble heart but does so in order that we may :
" revive the spirit of the lowly and revive the spirit of the contrite."
In other words be like a John the Baptist which is what the opening verse suggests.
" build up and prepare...remove the obstacles.
Read again the message from John the Baptist as recorded in Luke:

A voice calling in the desert,
Prepare the way for the Lord..........
John said to the crowds coming out to be Baptized by him. You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance....
Luke 3: 4-8 NIV

So it is very clear that God lives in high and lofty places, but also in the hearts of the lowly and contrite, not for our salvation alone, but that we too may call people to repentance. And in so doing, to watch closely, as we ourselves are called to produce, for fruits of repentance. For acts that show that the inner man has changed, that a new creation is in place. Not the old man in new clothes.
Why the need for repentance? The answer is to be found in another passage that the Lord led me to reflect on this week. It's a bit of Scripture which is often used in the argument about God's pronouncement on the homosexual lifestyle, but if one reads pass that passage in the first chapter of Romans then we are confronted by this - which not only explains the uncertainties of human behaviour and our often quick and easy reaction - pronouncing judgment - but the also the remedy for the problems.

" ...Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil, they are disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very same things but also approve of those who practice them.
You therefore have no excuse, you who pass judgment on some one else, for a whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same thing. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same thing, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you towards repentance?
Romans 1:28-2:4. NIV

So who wants to be the first to pass judgment on the Prime Minister? Or Rev. Miller? or the former Commissioner? Did you see yourself in that list in Romans? Were you there? I am sure you saw Dudus there! Did you see the Jamaicans for Justice there? Did you see the PNP or JLP there? Did you see the PSOJ there? Did you see the Council of churches there? Did you see the journalists there? Perhaps! But did you see yourself? Did I see myself? Yes I did. And that why I love Jesus. Cause He saved a wretch like me. And now He lives in my heart and calls me to call others like me to repentance.
Finally a dear friend and a Christian woman, had surgery done last week and words from the following hymn touched her heart in a special way as she lay there in he hospital bed awaiting the operation. And as I read them again the message from the Lord was clear, as we are called again to let go of our own agendas and let His will reign in our hearts. As then and only then will our country find peace in this troubled and confusing world.

I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.


Draw me nearer, nearer blessèd Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessèd Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the power of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.


O the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!


There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.