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Spiritual Emphasis Week Begins

Spiritual Emphasis Week Begins

On Monday, African Bible University's Spiritual Emphasis Week began. This, after all, is the main reason that I came to Uganda. Spiritual Emphasis Week is sort of like the "spring break" for ABU. But instead of completely escaping campus, the students gather together for the preaching of God's Word by special speakers, singing and prayer, and fellowship. I had prepared a series of messages from 1 &2 Kings, but during my time with the missionaries and others during the past weekend, the Lord impressed upon me the need to slightly change my messages to suit the needs of the audience. Now, those of you who know me, know that I am a planner (after all, I have a sermon preaching schedule that goes out to 2017!) and that I like to be organized. So I did not make any radical changes, but I decided not to use the sermons on Solomon that I had prepared, and I expanded what I had ready about Elijah and Elisha. My thought was to preach about the "man of God" - a very common term in Africa - but from the perspective of how the man of God has no power in himself, but only as the bringing of the Word of God.

My friend, Tim Hoke, had set my schedule to be "front loaded." I was to speak three times on Monday, and then once on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. It would make for a very busy Monday, preaching at 10am, 12pm, and 7:30pm, but it would also give me more rest later in the week as I prepared to travel back home. At 10am, I preached on 1 Kings 16:29-17:9, "Rain, Rain, Go Away," about Elijah's confrontation of the wicked king, Ahab. The passage shows how God confronts evil in the world and rebellion against him through the power of His Word. Thankfully, despite my sermon, we experienced some wonderful refreshing rain later that day! Before lunch at 12pm, I preached on 1 Kings 17, "The Lord Provides," in which the Lord provides not only food for a poor widow, but He provides faith for both the widow and Elijah. In the evening, I preached on perhaps my favorite narrative passage in the BIble, 1 Kings 18, "The Battle is the Lord's." God mocks the "no-god," Baal, showing that all who put their trust in things other than the Lord are foolish.

The students responded well to the Word, listening intently, and especially enjoying the humorous parts of the passage (and it really is funny to read how God mocks false no-gods). I even taught them some "New York" language, after telling them that even though I was a special speaker, I could not offer them any Scottish or Welsh accent, only some "Italian New York!"

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