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samwel the preacher

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samwel the preacher

freedom of worship

IN PURSUIT FOR FREEDOM

 

Galatians 5:13

 

 

Freedom a gift from GOD.

 

One of the greatest gifts that God gave to man is freedom. Before his fall into sin man lived in, and enjoyed perfect freedom in God. All things in the world existed in perfect harmony. Nothing harmed another. All relationships were based on selfless love. But when sin came in, it ruined the cordial and the mutual relationships that existed in nature. It introduced hostility, conflict and all other behavior that is detrimental to life. Freedom that God gave man became an immediate casualty. It vanished very fast. Fear took over, and man started the search for freedom he had lost.

 

No Rest for Humanity until Freedom is Regained

 

Freedom is of the fundamental rights of man. Without it life is miserable and incomplete. It is for this reason that man will not and cannot cease from struggle for complete freedom until he finds it in GOD alone.

 

Complete freedom brings with it joy, happiness, and peace in the life of its possessor. Freedom is therefore essential for one to enjoy quality life. Life can never be complete without freedom from that undermines it. Therefore, for us to enjoy life in abundance we must determine to find freedom from all forms of slavery and oppression.

 

Freedom to serve GOD.

 

The principal freedom leads to all other types of freedom is the freedom to serve God. When out of our own free choice we choose to serve God with pure heart, we walk in an atmosphere of abundant freedom.

 

From the very beginning God designed that all intelligent beings, human beings included, serve him out of free choice. Adam and Eve were free to obey or disobey God. Unfortunately they chose the path of disobedience which undermines all other forms of freedom and subjected us to all kinds of slavery and suffering.

In own wisdom and long suffering love, God still. Gives us freedom to decide whether to serve him or not. He neither enjoys nor accepts forced worship. He the freedom to Adam and Eve, He gave it to Abraham, He it to the children of Israel and He gives it to us today. When the people of Israel were drawn to worship idols Joshua challenged them to choose whom to worship. He them,

 

"Now fear then lord and serve Him. Throw away the idols your forefathers worshiped beyond the river and in Egypt, and serve the lord. But if serving the lord seems undesirable to you, then choose your shelves this day who you will serve, whether the gods of your forefathers served beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But for me and my household, we will serve the lord"(Joshua 24:14-15) 

 

Go never accepts divided worship or loyalty, He rejects divided worship as much as He rejects forced worship. It's for this reason Joshua challenged the people of Israel to choose who to worship and stop mixing the worship of God with the worship of idols. The same challenge applies to us today. We are engaged in the worship of traditional and modern gods of all sorts besides the living God. We are enslaved by some cultures and aspects of our social communities which are in conflict with the will of God. The world of materialism has made our worship of God to be lip-service as that of the children of Israel, which is an ambonation to God. (Mathew 15:7-9; Isaiah 29:13)

Let's make a wise decision as Joshua did by choosing together with his family to worship the lord only.

 

Freedom of worship was also echoed by Prophet Elijah, when on Mount Carmel, he challenged people of Israel to choose in either to worship the lord or Baal (1 kings 18:21). Freedom of worship is God-given and not government-given. The vital role of the government is only to recognize and to protect freedom jealousy and at all costs. We never at anytime allow anyone or any institution, government included, to meddle in our freedom of worship which is God-given birth right. We must humbly but firmly refuse all the forces of evil from taking away our freedom of worship from us. We must in love oppose such a move with a capital NO. 

 

Freedom of worship for all   

 

Freedom of worship is a right for everyone and not just for those of us who worship the true God in spirit and in truth. Every person has a right to worship according to the dictates of his/her conscience or even to choose not to worship anything at all.

 

We therefore have a moral duty and responsibility as Christians, who know that freedom of worship is God given, to advocate for freedom of worship for all, regardless of their religion, creed or belief.  

 

When the people of Israel decided to have their own king instead of having God to rule over them, God accepted it and he did not impose Himself over them (1 Samuel 8:6-8). The parable of the lost son teaches us that all are free to act according to the dictates of their conscience when it comes to serving God and worshiping Him. (Luke: 11-24). Nobody should be deprived of this inherent and inalienable right.

 

Religious liberty is the foundation of all other freedoms. When its endangered, when its allowed and jealousy protected all other freedoms are likewise respected and protected.

 

Our responsibility is to teach people the truth in love, about the worship of the true God and to plead with them to choose to worship Him wholeheartedly in the beauty of holiness and truth. Nevertheless, they retain their individual right to choose who to worship , how to worship and when to worship provided their individual or collective rights do not infringe upon the legitimate rights of others. It is only when in the name of worship the rights of others are endangered that such forms of worship should be disallowed by the government because this go beyond the God given mandate on freedom of worship.

 

Safe guard the freedom worship of our children

 

Our Seventh - day Adventist children are often denied their freedom of worship in some public institutions of learning. This violation of their fundamental right of worship according to the dictates of their conscience and faith by some notorious schools should be firmly resisted with great humility and much prayer.

 

Christian parents and the church must boldly come forward in defense and support of the oppressed children and insist that their right of worship and belief to be fully and unconditionally respected and allowed.

 

We should like Moses, tell all the oppressors of our children on account of their faith, that we are not ready to leave our children behind in a world in which the worship of God is not a priority (Exodus: 10:8-11). We must tell them in no uncertain terms that our children are entitled to enjoy the freedom of worship and conscience without any hindrance. Jesus defended the rights of the children to come to Him. (Mathew 19:13-14).We must emulate Him in defending the rights of the children to worship unhindered and to him freely to be blessed to drink the living water from the well of salvation (John7:37-38; Isaiah 12:3).

 

Propagate freedom from discrimination

 

Another important type of freedom that we should promote as Christians is freedom of discrimination. A true and perfect Christian community has a perfect blend of all people, cultures, and social classes. Every member of the community is loved and accepted regardless of his/her cultural background, social standing or gender.

 

Writing on the relationship that should exist in a Christian community, the apostle Paul says, You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed themselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, female nor male, for you are all one in Christ Jesus(Galatians :26-28) when Christ is in us He gives us a new nature the virtue of love that is extended to all people and sanctified outgoing attitude that affirms , honors, and accepts everybody.

 

The desire and prayer of Christ is that all members of his church be perfectly one and united without any trace of disunity, discord or discrimination of any form (John 17: 20-23). But evidence abounds to show that the church has yet to achieve this spiritual goal set before by Christ Himself.

 

We see evidence of discrimination in the Christian church right from its infancy (Acts 6:1-7). There were traces of discrimination of division in the church during the apostolic time (Corinthians 3:1-4, James 4:1-3) However, one thing we can be thankful for is that the apostles did  not brush aside the problem as being consequential but rather considered it to be a very serious matter and dangerous to the church and gave it all the attention needed to remove it from among them believers.

 

Unfortunately the problem of discrimination and division is still exists in the church. The barriers of tribalism, nationalism, racism, clansism, sectionalism, classism and many other walls of separation that we have created among ourselves continue to cause tension in the church of God. We should, like the apostles earnestly and prayerfully fight this device from the church. And the right place to start this war is in ourselves. We must fight in determination to get the rid of the yeast of racism, nationalism, tribalism, clansism, sectionalism, nepotism, classism, and all other isms from all our own and hearts. It is then, and only then, that we can influence others to live in harmony with each other and truly to said to be salt of the earth and the light of the world (Mathew 5:13-16).

 

We can only realize this by putting away the old self and putting in the new self by power of Christ who lives in us through the Holy Spirit. The new nature operates on the principal of love of God which binds bus together and ends any form of separation, prejudice, and self- centeredness. It makes us perfectly one in Christ (Colossians 3:10-11) Being in Christ is the end of our estrangement and drifting away from each other. Christ in us will keep us perfectly united as Christ is with the Father.

 

Freedom from corruption

 

Another aspect of freedom which should all endeavor to attain is freedom from corruption. True prosperity is dependant upon this freedom.

 

Corruption of any kind, whether of stealing, robbery, grabbing, bribery, child  abuse, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, drug abuse, violence, drunkenness, indolence, and the like, undermines and destroys individuals in particular and society in general. This country and its abundant resources have been destroyed by rampant corruption. By now Kenya could be a lending and not a begging nation if we had managed our recourses responsibly, wisely and faithfully. Dishonest management of our resources has made everything everywhere in this country to collapse.

 

The only by which we can once again become a healthy people, a healthy nation, a healthy society and a healthy church is to say NO to all forms of corruption.

As Christians we must determine to live a corrupt free life in a corrupt world (Philippians 2:15) This the only way we can like be beacons of lights shining in a dark and rotten world  that is full of corruption every where.

 

The only way for fight corruption is by fighting it first within our own hearts. we must first all get rid of it from our own  lives and then move on to help others to come out of it. This the  approach advocated by Christ  Jesus.(Mathew 7;3-5) and it is the only effective approach in fighting corruption. We have directed our  efforts to fight corruption in others but totally ignored corruption within us. With kind of approach. We must individually declare war against corruption in our own hearts and lives now.

 

We in we have miserably lost the against corruption because we selectively fight it in others while we ourselves we are drowning in deep waters of corruption. We must change the approach if we are going to win this life and death battle.

 

In order to exterminate corruption from our own lives at our individual level. Our leaders must be above and beyond corruption and thereby set an example for others to follow. It is only when we have corruption-free leaders, that our institution, our church, and our nation can be put on corruption-free tracks.

 

It is only when we are corruption-free that we can strong , healthy prosperous institutions, society and nation. These are only built by exercising justice and equity, righteousness, and love at all times and everywhere in the management of recourses (proverbs 21:21,29:4)

 

  As Christians we must determine to live above corruption and play a pivotal role in transforming our institutions, our church, our society and our nation into incorruptible entities.

 

 

Freedom from poverty

 

 

Corruption always leads to poverty. Our is such a miserable example, poverty in Kenya has increased proportionally with the increase of corruption. Millions of Kenyans are consequently suffering under the cruel hands of poverty.

 

Poverty erodes our dignity and dehumanizes us. It was never the intention of God that we be poor. God put Adam and Eve in a very rich environment within the garden of Eden where they had more than enough to eat and enjoy. He gave the children land of plenty flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:8). Gods plan is that everybody should have enough for hi/her needs (Deuteronomy 15;4-6). It is desire to set us free from impoverished life (John 10:10)

 

To liberate ourselves from we must get of it is causes which include grid, corruption, laziness, injustice, and disobedience to God.(Proverbs 1:19;6:9-10;James 5:4;Proverbs 28:26) our lives should therefore characterized by temperance in all things, hard. Just rewards and trust in God (1 Timothy6:6;Proverbs 14;23; Deuteronomy 24;14-15;proverbs 28:25;Psalms 33:9-10;37:3-4) if in our lives we are governed  by these four principles of prosperity, we will very soon overcome the war against poverty, and poverty will become a thing of the past in our personal lives and in the nation. We will become poverty free society, and this is quite possible.

 

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