18 March, Friday — The common reward for Truth and Kindness is Grace

Friday of the 2nd Week of Lent

Gen 37:3-4,12-13,17-28
Mt 21:33-43,45-46

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: It was the stone rejected by the builders that become the keystone. This was the Lord’s doing and it is wonderful to see?”

What determines and attracts God’s favour is a decision that rests on God because His ways are different from those of men. But there is a guide that could bring one to benefit from that decision. The guide amounts to doing things pleasing to God, and in it, we have the account of His grace and satisfying endorsement. Pleasing God flows from nature and living spirit; it is not discriminatory but relies on inner reflections and commitments. This is the reason the least among men could the greatest in the eyes of God. And there are so many ways God can raise a leader among the least.

In life, no condition is permanent; this played out in the life of Mr. Adekunle, a wealthy man from a town in one of the Southwest states of Nigeria. He lived a successful life in the early 1990s and enjoyed the patronage of the government of the time. He employed a gardener, Mr. Obi, who lived in his compound with his wife and four children, the youngest being James, an intelligent boy. Mr. Adekunle cherished Mr. Obi’s services and took responsibility for his children’s education in appreciation. In 2000, Mr. Adekunle was implicated in the death of one of his senior business associates; the trial lasted for two years, and he was erroneously convicted and jailed for life. Following the imprisonment, his family could no longer retain the services of Mr. Obi and he was sent away with his family. Years later, James went to university and read law and served in the law firm that represented Mr. Adekunle’s slain senior associate during his trial. Given this opportunity, James took his time to go through the legal documents of Mr. Adekunle’s trial and, in the process, realised there were flaws in the prosecution and conviction of Mr. Adekunle. When he left the law firm to establish his own firm, he reopened Mr. Adekunle’s legal issues, filed documents for a retrial, and after extensive legal battles, he succeeded in reopening the case and won a landslide judgment that proved that Mr. Adekunle’s conviction was defective. In the end, Mr. Adekunle was acquitted and granted freedom. James became the cornerstone that was repositioned to be the head because truth and kindness have a common reward — it is Grace.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Julius Otusorochukwu Dike, KSJI, KSG, JP)

Prayer: Lord, we know that truth and kindness have a common reward called grace. We rely on you to sustain us through this path in life. Please help us to continue to walk on this track, provide us the guidance and faith to hope in you in this reality. We pray that you grant us this desire. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Our Father and Lord, we thank you for providing us the common grace that comes with truth and kindness. Dear Lord and Almighty Father in Heaven, we thank you for giving us this reward. Thank you, Lord, Amen.

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