Call to Prayer—October 13, 2020

The African Forum on Religion and Government (AFReG) calls on all Christians to increase our prayers as a faith community dialoguing on “African Identity, Dignity and Justice in the 21st Century.” This Tuesday, October 13, 2020, our theme is “Making Restitution.”

When Zacchaeus the Tax collector had an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, his life was changed.  One of his first actions as a changed person was to offer to right some of the wrongs that had characterized his life by offering restitution to those he had defrauded as a result of his profession as a tax collector, and to do so with interest:

Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”  (Luke 19: 8)

For Him, being accepted by the Lord Jesus Christ in spite of His past life and his reputation as a sinner, called for more than a joyfully spiritual expression of the change in his life. It called for restitution to those who were victims of his past actions.

As the children of Israel journeyed from Egypt to the promised land, the laws, rules and regulations they received included making restitution. A reading of Exodus 22, Leviticus 5, 6, 22 and 24, and Numbers 5 all point to the importance of restitution for the people of God in the Old Testament. Restitution was due when the property of another was violated. Restitution was even due if one took or failed to give what is set aside for God as holy.

In our days, there is a tendency to feel that once we have repented from our past life and we have turned to the Lord Jesus Christ, He has saved us and wiped the slate clean. This is true.  We cannot buy salvation. It is a free gift of God. The Lord Jesus gave His life already to redeem us. However, in gratitude to the free gift God has already given us, we yield our lives to Him, and place ourselves under His Lordship and under the direction of the Holy Spirit. A sign that we are grateful to God for what He has done for us is the desire to live right and to make things right. Often this includes responding to God’s love by restoring to people and communities what we have taken from them wrongly as a result of our past unredeemed lives. This is what Zacchaeus did, and this becomes a good example for us to follow today.

Restitution is a form of witness that the Lord Jesus has changed our lives. It is a witness to those who have been wronged, as well as people who are not committed to the Lord yet. When some Canadian Christian churches apologized to the First Nations of Canada more than ten years ago, they followed it up with some form of reparations or restitution.

After years of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery, there are millions of people who are still suffering from the legacies of slavery. Christians have denounced slavery and the slave trade. But very often some actions of the 21st Century in certain countries show that this denunciation is only in word and not in deed. The recent George Floyd killing also reminds us of the systemic racism that is often condoned by some who bear the name of Jesus Christ. In recent weeks AFREG had a series of webinars on African identity, dignity and justice. Talking about and working towards reparations could be fostering the movement towards making restitution.

A sign that we are grateful to God for the free gift of salvation could be to examine our lives and attitudes and in some cases right the wrongs that we have perpetuated or which generations that have gone before have perpetuated and we are benefitting from it. This is where the call for reparations in connection with slavery and its legacies makes sense. If embraced by Christians, it could be our way of witnessing that there is a break from a terrible past.

We also make restitution in personal ways in many circumstances. For some, it means going to those we have wronged and profusely apologizing because of the faith we now have. It could be a member of our family, a friend, a former employer or an employee. For others it may involve material compensation.

Prayer                                                                                                           

Thank you Lord for the free gift of salvation which we do not need to pay for.

Lord God show us ways in which we can show our gratitude to You through making restitution or righting the relationship or community wrongs that we have been part of.

Lord open our hearts to the leading of your Holy Spirit in our lives. Help us to willingly obey and walk in every way He leads, even toward a response in making restitution.

Lord we pray for people groups in the world including persons of African descent who have suffered injustice and continue to suffer injustice. We pray that Christians will be strong participants in Your actions in righting the wrongs.

 

Search

Recent Posts

AFReG Devotions—1 September 2022

The power and means to change: The Church I appeal to you, therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds,

Read More »

AFReG Devotions—16 August Devotions

What Manner of People Ought We to Be? Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15-16 Mark 1:15-16, “…Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” One of Christ’s central teachings during His earthly ministry focused upon “the

Read More »

AFReG Devotion—26 July 2022

THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE POWER TO CHANGE When it comes to the things of the spirit, the Father initiates, the Son implements and the Holy Spirit empowers or capacitates the process. That’s why blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the unpardonable sin, push Him away and you have no capacity to get back to God.

Read More »

AFReG Devotional—12 July 2022

THE POWER AND MEANS TO CHANGE: THE WORD OF GOD The Word of God is powerful because it is the declaration of Almighty God who created all that exists and continues to work out His purposes for the good of all of creation. God commanded creation into existence by His Word (Genesis 1). Spiritual re-creation

Read More »

AFReG Devotional—29 June 2022

2 Timothy 4:1-2; Luke 12:43 In the Apostle Paul’s 2nd letter to his “beloved son” Timothy, Paul solemnly charges him, in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who will judge those who are alive, and those who have died, to do the following: Be ready in season—when the “time is right;” and out

Read More »

Call to Prayer—December 29, 2020

The African Forum on Religion and Government (AFReG) calls on all Christians to increase our prayers as a faith community dialoguing on “African Identity, Dignity and Justice in the 21st Century.” This Tuesday, December 29th 2020, our theme is “Thanksgiving.” The will of God regarding “Thanksgiving” is very clear in Scripture. He desires it and

Read More »

Call to Prayer—December 22, 2020

The African Forum on Religion & Government (AFReG) calls on all Christians to increase our prayers as a faith community dialoguing on issues that contribute to Africans Arising Together in the 21st Century.” This week, Tuesday, December 22, 2020, our theme is “Joy and Peace.” Christmas is a time when we remember the birth of

Read More »

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.