As the year inches to an end, it is time to reflect on the resolutions we made on 31st December, 2016 and 1st January, 2017. It is also time to reflect on how good the Lord has been to us. If you are like me, who keeps a journal, you will be able to track God’s goodness and you will realise that God has been, indeed, good.
For me, God promised to make me flourish in 2017, and He did. There were times that I did not think I was flourishing but God was there doing His thing and building my faith. There were times that I convinced myself that it was time to give up, and almost immediately, God showed up and reminded me that He is God. I’m a stronger person today because of all the struggles I went through in 2017. At the end of the year, I can say confidently that 2017 was a much better year for me than 2016, and there was no human effort involved, except for the people that God used to carry out His will for my life.
It is important that I add that I also made a covenant with God at the beginning of the year (on the first Sunday of 2017 – the Methodists call it Covenant Sunday) and sealed it with a sacrifice.
In addition to the reflections, it is also time to seek God’s guidance in setting new goals for 2018. My only advice is to set goals beyond your own capabilities, and trust God to deliver.
Your God is bigger than your goals.
Two weeks ago, I was at Hillsong NYC and during worship, the choir sang this song – “What A Beautiful Name“. Of course, I had heard it a few times at my church, Empowerment Worship Centre in Accra, and I liked it. But there was something different when Hillsong sang their own song during the church service. The entire theater was filled with the presence of God. I could feel the Spirit of God all around as the music blazed through the speakers. The presence of God was so strong that I had goosebumps all over.
The lyrics of the song are so important and should be listened to very attentively. The song has so many different messages. But the one that I want to focus on in this post lies in the second stanza of the song. It says, “My sin was great, Your love was greater. What could separate us now?” Often times, we think that because of how great our sins are, it is impossible for God to forgive us. But that is not the case.
Let me share with you, something I read in the Bible recently . In Zechariah 3:1-5, Satan accused a man named Jeshua but God rejected Satan’s accusation and rebuked him. That is not to say Satan was telling lies. No; Satan was telling the truth (ironic right, haha). The man had sinned terribly but God was more interested in the man’s redemption than the man’s condemnation. So instead of condemning the man, the angel of the Lord took away the filthy clothes on the man, which represented the sin that Satan was accusing him of, and replaced them with new clothes. The man was also given a new turban to cover his head. Thus, from the head to toe, the man was made new.
The above story is a clear example of the fact that even when our sin is great, the love of God is greater and He will show us mercy. God does not want us to be separated from Him that is why He gave up His only Son to come and die and reconcile us back to Him. We should always confess our sins to our Father, who is willing and ready to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.
Enjoy the song, and by the way, if you are in New York City and want to visit Hillsong NYC, they worship at the Hammerstein Ballroom on 34th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenue.
What a beautiful name it is … the name of Jesus!
There is this debate going on in the media about the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill and I find it quite interesting that the argument being made suggests that the Attorney-General should have laid a constitutional instrument before Parliament instead of the Bill, which will eventually become an Act of Parliament. There is also the question of whether or not the Attorney-General can delegate her responsibility to initiate and conduct prosecution of criminal offences. And in response to this question, some lawyers have suggested that the delegation of this responsibility can only be done by a constitutional amendment.
First of all, I think it is important to visit Article 88, which creates the Office of the Attorney-General, who is a Minister of State and the principal legal adviser to the Government. Article 88(3) gives the Attorney-General the responsibility to initiate and conduct prosecution of criminal offences. The article states specifically that “The Attorney-General shall be responsible for the initiation and conduct of all prosecutions of criminal offences.“
However, right after Article 88(3), the Constitution permits other persons to prosecute offences in the name of the Republic, provided that the Attorney-General authorises them to do so in accordance with law. The said Article 88(4) states as follows: “All offences prosecuted in the name of the Republic of Ghana shall be at the suit of the Attorney-General or any other person authorised by him in accordance with any law.” What this means is that any person who has been authorised by the Attorney-General in accordance with any law in Ghana can prosecute offences in the name of the Republic of Ghana. I think Article 88(4) answers the question of whether or not the Attorney-General can delegate the responsibility to initiate and prosecute criminal offences.
The laws of Ghana are set out in Article 11(1) of the Constitution, which provides as follows: “The laws of Ghana shall comprise (a) this Constitution; (b) enactments made by or under the authority of the Parliament established by this Constitution; (c) any Orders, Rules and Regulations made by any person or authority under a power conferred by this Constitution; (d) the existing law; and (e) the common law.” The current state of the Office of Special Prosecutor Bill will fall under Article 11(1)(b) of the Constitution when it receives Presidential Assent. The argument propounded by some lawyers is that, the Office of the Special Prosecutor should be created under Article 11(1)(c). In other words, the Office of Special Prosecutor should be created by a constitutional instrument.
I disagree with that argument; simply because, whenever the Constitution gives a power pursuant to which a constitutional instrument may be made, it says so explicitly. For instance, in the case of the Electoral Commission, the Constitution states specifically at Article 51 that “The Electoral Commission shall by constitutional instrument, make regulations for the effective performance of its functions under this Constitution or any other law, and in particular, for the registration of voters, the conduct of public elections and referenda, including provision for voting by proxy.”
Again, in the case of the Rules of Court Committee, Article 157(2) states specifically that “The Rules of Court Committee shall, by constitutional instrument, make rules and regulations for regulating the practice and procedure of all courts in Ghana.” And finally, in respect of the Auditor-General’s power to disallow and surcharge, Article 187(10) states that “The Rules of Court Committee may, by constitutional instrument, make Rules for Court for the purposes of clause (9) of this article.”
As far as Article 88 is concerned, the Attorney-General has not been given any power to make constitutional instruments. Instead, the Attorney-General may authorise another person to prosecute offences in the name of the Republic of Ghana in accordance with any law. The law pursuant to which the Attorney-General may authorise the Special Prosecutor to prosecute cases of corruption involving public officers and political office holders is the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, which when enacted will become an Act of Parliament. Indeed, the first paragraph of the Memorandum states as follows: “The purpose of the Bill is to establish the Office of the Special Prosecutor as a specialized agency to investigate specific cases of corruption involving public officers, and politically exposed person in the performance of their functions as well as individuals in the private sector implicated in the commission of corruption and prosecute these offences on the AUTHORITY of the Attorney-General.”
In my opinion, the Bill satisfies Article 88(4) of the Constitution and other provisions thereunder, and I do not see the constitutional quagmire that some lawyers and other social commentators are raising.
On another note, I think it is worth mentioning that the Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill is very clear in the appointment process of the Special Prosecutor. Firstly, the Bill is sponsored by the Attorney-General, who is authorising the Special Prosecutor to prosecute corruption cases in the name of the Republic of Ghana. Secondly, the Attorney-General nominates Special Prosecutor and then the President appoints the Special Prosecutor subject to a majority of all Members of Parliament (meaning at least 138 Members of Parliament) must approve the Attorney-General’s nomination before the President can appoint. I think that the involvement of Members of Parliament in the creating of the Office of the Special Prosecutor is so key to establishing its independence from the very beginning.
It is possible to be sinning and not even know that you are sinning. And the fact that you do not know that you are sinning does not mean that you will be exempted from the consequences of the sin. What we need is God’s grace to live and act with integrity, and innocence at all times so that God Himself will step into a situation when we are about to sin unknowingly.
In the case of Abraham and Abimelech, Abraham lied to Abimelech by telling him that Sarah was his sister. Abimelech took Sarah in with him but before he could do anything to Sarah, God appeared to him in a dream and warned him. In the dream, Abimelech told God that he had integrity in his heart and was acting innocently at all times. God responded by saying that he knew Abimelech had integrity in his heart that is why He stopped Him from sinning. Genesis 20:6 (NKJV) states:
And God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.
How many of us can God say something like that about the state of our hearts? We must work consciously to have integrity in our heart so that God can be merciful enough to save us from sinning without knowing that we are sinning. God then told Abimelech to restore Sarah so that Abraham could pray for him because Abraham was a prophet. Genesis 20:7 (NKJV) states:
Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.
Oh Lord, help me to maintain a heart of integrity, pleasing to you always. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
A valuable lesson as we end the Lenten season. We should not try to impress others. The only person we should be concerned about impressing is our Father in heaven. We should not be selfish, but generous especially to those who have nothing. We should give without expecting anything in return. We should be humble and not proud, and think of others as better than ourselves. We should live our lives by these principles – this is the resurrected life.