scripture Ref: Genesis:  45: 4 – 5;  Luke: 15: 20,  Philemon: 1: 17 -18.

Genesis: 45: 4 – 5 ‘’So Joseph said to his brothers, ‘come near to me, please’. And they came near. And he said, ‘I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.  And now do not be destressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here…’’

Luke: 15: 20 ‘’And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him’’.

Philemon 1: 17 – 18 ‘’ So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 And if he has done you any wrong in any way or owes anything to you, charge that to my account’’

This morning I would love to share from a different aspect of investing in the Kingdom of God, but a vital aspect, that enlightens us to the fact that our decisions are pivotal to the expansion and growth of God’s Kingdom. When the Lord tests how far we have matured in our spiritual life as a result of our walk as children of God in His Kingdom.

In the life of Joseph, it starts off with a lot of promise being the love child of a long wait from his mother Rachel the love of Jacob’s life. At an early age the Lord spoke to him through dreams and the combination of his father’s love and God’s early identification of his role in the God’s divine promise to Abraham. As a result, his rebuked by his hero his father over his dream and hatred by his brothers. The end result is being sold to Egypt, and later raising to become the prime minister of the land. The famine sets in and his family need to survive and sojourner through Egypt to buy grains. The sight of his brother awakens a pain he hadn’t made peace with and now his at testing point in his life and God’s counting on him to fulfill his promise to his great grand father Abraham. Joseph has the power to destroy his brothers and at the same time he has the power to mend the painful past and be united as a family.

In the gospel of St. Luke Jesus uses the parable of the prodigal son to teach us various lessons but am touched by Father’s action when he sets his eyes on his son. The silence of the father as the story kicks off tells us about the battle that was going on in his mind. He had to accept and let go of what he had in mind about his son, cut with pain and hurt, he accepts the decision that the son had taken. The return of the son put him in a decision of cross roads should I reject him or embrace my own. Such that the family can be reunited again. Often as Christians, we have come to a conclusion that the Father represents God, but that’s not the case, we should be in position to extend similar grace the Lord has accorded us.

Paul’s letter to Philemon humbly requesting him to extend grace to Onesimus a run-away slave of his that ends up in the hands of Paul in Jail, and Paul disciples him to make him useful both to himself and Philemon also his child in the Lord. Opting not to order using the WORD but to request of him. In away testing him to find out his level of maturity since he left him. Philemon finds himself at cross roads as to make a decision to embrace Onesimus as he would embrace Paul his spiritual father and change his perspective of him, from just being a slave but a brother in the Lord. Beside he also had to forgive him of any wrong doing and seek payment for the damages from Paul and not the defaulter Onesimus.

As part of our investment in the kingdom of God, am calling on us to examine how far we can pass the test of extending grace, God’s divine favor to us and His mercy that unmerited forgiveness to extend it to our households and restore the family unity as beloved brothers and sisters. Handing over the debt for wrong that was done to us and giving it to the Lord to handle it so that His Kingdom can grow in our households and be united as beloved. It’s my humble and kind request that we accept this challenge.

Thanks. God bless you.

Israel Kigozi.