The African Forum on Religion and Government (AFReG) calls on all Christians to increase our prayers in this era of COVID-19.
This week, Tuesday, 9 June 2020, our theme is “Personal and Public Integrity.”
Please read Genesis 6:9 and John 15.
“Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”
During these challenging times, there is much we can learn from the example and life of Noah. He was a singularly unique man despite the challenges around him; he maintained an enviable integrity in both his personal and public interactions. His walk and fidelity to his God garnered divine approval and protection. One can’t help but imagine that in this world in which we are living today, amidst a global pandemic, economic upheaval, and great social changes…we are in need of more “Noahs.” Men and women whose righteous, blameless, and faithful fidelity to their God mark them as souls in whom others can find encouragement during these difficult days in which we find ourselves.
A call for personal and public integrity to allow us to more successfully navigate our own tumultuous waters is more than simply another set of “means” that will get us to our desired “end”…whatever we might imagine those to be. No, our personal and public integrity are building blocks the Lord has given us all to better follow the example of all His heroes who have weathered the storms of their day and like Noah, or Daniel, or David, or our dear Christ…and been found righteous in God’s sight. CHARACTER is the goal, and one’s integrity becomes the brick and mortar that God uses to build godly, righteous character in His own. That character makes them more than equal to the days for which He has prepared them as His representatives. True godly, righteous character can be described as integrity over time! The poet Emerson put it this way, “All men have wandering impulses; fits and starts of generosity. But when you have chosen your part, abide by it, and do not weakly try and reconcile yourself to the world, the hero will always find a crisis to try his edge.” During these challenging times, we are each called to more than just “’fits and starts,” but to a constancy of faithfulness made possible by integrity over time…true righteous character!
It is no coincidence that Jesus begins His teaching on a “greater love” with an illustration of a vine and a branch that remains…stays faithful over time. “I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Remain in my love v9; keep my commands v.10; love one another v.12…the chapter is replete with a clarion call to demonstrate the “integrity over time” quality of faithfulness.
We can’t know all the impacts of the pandemic on our individual lives or the regions of the world that we love, like Africa. But we can be certain it will be, like Noah in his time, men and women of personal and public integrity that rise to the occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit to display the righteous character where others will look to find courage and refuge from the storms to come!
Psalm 34:1 – “I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.”
We lay our hearts before You, Lord, and ask that if we have in any way fallen short, You would forgive us (Psalm 15) … Help us remain faithful (abide and dwell).
Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
2 He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
3 He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he [b]take up a reproach against his friend;
4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 He who does not put out his money at usury, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
That you made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). In Christ, we have the wherewithal to remain true to Him.
For the examples gone before us and those all around us who remain faithful in righteous character. May we like them remain true to the end and inspire hope and courage in those around us.
Your blood that cleanses; Your Word that washes; the Church community that stirs us up and holds us to account to Your righteous standard; and for Your Holy Spirit that daily works in us to will and do Your good pleasure.
Lord let us, as your Body of Christ, seek to please You in every way and so shine the light brightly to scatter the darkness all around us (injustice, oppression, immorality, selfish ambition).
As we begin the AFReG Webinars this week on Wednesday, 10 June, we pray for God’s anointing on Dr. Tomlin Paul and Dr. Florence Muindi as they share insights on the health and medical dimensions of COVID-19 on this current time; for Prof. Delanyo Adadevoh as he shares spiritual insights on the topic; and for Dr. Setri Nyomi as he moderates the session. Pray for meaningful and life-impacting engagement that will make a difference in the lives of those who participate. Pray against any technology glitches, confusion of any kind and/or lethargy in follow-up.
The Lord’s intervention in these hard times on all fronts: comfort for the bereaved, healing for the sick, food and clothing for the hungry, hope for the despairing, wisdom and discernment for the leaders. Pray that the Church will play a significant role in bringing true hope to a dark world. May we be Christ’s representatives in word and deed wherever He has placed us.
We declare that Africa walks in God-empowered character….integrity over time and thus:
WE MAY EACH WALK BLAMELESS IN WITNESS TO THIS CURRENT GENERATION AND THE TIMES WE ALL FACE.
WE WALK IN FIDELITY AND FAITHFULNESS TO OUR LORD, PROCLAIMING HIM AS THE LORD WHO GIVES REFUGE IN THE STORM.
III. THAT OUR CONSTANCY OF RIGHTEOUS CHARACTER MIGHT PRODUCE THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT THIS HURTING WORLD SO DESPERATELY NEEDS TODAY.
WE EXPERIENCE THE FULLNESS OF GOD IN OUR LIVES, FAMILIES, COMMUNITIES, AND IN THE CONTINENT OF AFRICA.