ROAD DEATHS AND UN VACCINES: SIN AND SPIRITUAL VACCINES 

I have been  involved in managing and promoting road safety programs. Locally and Internationally. For a long time!
Most of my time this week, has been taken up with preparing for a major event to be held in Kingston,  Jamaica,  next Wednesday. 
On that day, a special United Nations  Envoy on Road Safety,  Mr. Jean Todt will speak at a UN  #SlowDownEvent. 
He will be joined by one of my favourite international colleagues,  Zoleka Mandela. 

The granddaughter of the famous Nelson Mandela, a UN Ambassador on Child Health and Mobility,  an exciting speaker, a  lady of especial charm and grace, but one  who has suffered much; her daughter was killed by a drunk driver. 

The  Chairman of the local road safety management team, The National Road Safety Council, and Prime Minister of Jamaica, will speak at the beginning of the Event.

However, after the thousands of miles traveled, the many messages crafted, the long hours of meetings and the years of advocacy, the essence of our work is captured very succinctly by this phrase:

” We have the vaccines, use them“.

What are some of these ” vaccines”?

#helmetssavelives 

#seatbeltssavelives 

#slowdown 

#dontdrinkanddrive

#donttextanddrive

The central message then,  is that if we use the vaccines, change our behaviour, then many of the #3500 people who die every day ( and one is a Jamaican….at 379 deaths last year) across the world will not perish.
But road safety experts worldwide are now,  ‘ taking it to a different level’. As they, we…not an expert but involved…realize that people will make mistakes regardless of how many ‘ vaccines ‘ we produce.

And so the,  ‘ best practice’,  now  is to create #SafeSytems,  so that no one ought to die on our roads.

#SafeSytems

#SafeRoads

#SafeVehicles

#SafeRoadUsers

A philosophy that will be discussed during the Event and after. That when, not if, road users make mistakes,  they ought not to be ‘ punished’,  with death or injury.

A revolutionary approach to modern day  international scourge. Thus placing the burden on those who create transportation systems and not just on those who use them.
More importantly, I have been an Evangelist for a long time. Called by the Lord, as all Christians are, to spread abroad the Good News of Salvation offered by the grace of God,   in and through  the shed  Blood of Jesus for the Sins of humankind on The Cross of Calvary.
The parallel between the use of ‘vaccines’,  and the Safe Systems Approach and Christianity,  had occurred to me before. But this is the first time I’ve been inspired to write about it. And to post on Facebook #earlymorningdevotions messages which are closely aligned.

Follow me now! The Ten Commandments are the original ‘ vaccines’, which if  we use them, be obedient, we would please God ‘ and live ‘.

But ‘ all have sinned….prone to wander from the God we love, on the one hand, and from the God who created us, on the other hand,  regardless of whether we believe or not.
We will make mistakes! We will continue to Sin. We cannot keep God’s Holy and Righteous  Rules for Living with Him. That’s one of the many  take home messages in the Old Testament experience of the Jews. His ‘ Chosen People’! 
And so in the  fullness of time God sent a ” Safe System”, His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. With a better promise…..so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
So that everyone at risk, the whole world, including Jean Todt, Zoleka Mandela, our Prime Minister Andrew Holness and myself, not just #3500, might not perish; die without salvation and be eternally separated from God. But in Christ, receive the grace of God and live with Him, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, of South Africa and Jamaica, forever. Amen!

The key point is that although God in Christ offers us this ” Safe Systems “, through the precious Blood of The Lamb on Calvary,  so that no one ought to perish, we need His Grace, The Holy Spirit,  daily, to continue more and more to follow Him. A reality which the song writer captures well in this hymn in which I spent quality time this week.
O JESUS I HAVE PROMISED 

O Jesus, I have promised 

to serve thee to the end:

be thou ever near me, 

my Master and my friend;

I shall not fear the battle

if thou art by my side,

nor wander from the pathway

if thou wilt be my guide.
O let me feel thee near me! 

The world is ever near;

I see the sights that dazzle, 

the tempting sounds I hear;

my foes are ever near me, 

around me and within;

but Jesus, draw thou nearer, 

and shield my soul from sin.
O let me hear thee speaking 

in accents clear and still,

above the storms of passion, 

the murmurs of self-will;

O speak to reassure me, 

to hasten or control;

O speak, and make me listen, 

thou guardian of my soul.

O Jesus, thou hast promised 

to all who follow thee,

that where thou art in glory 

there shall thy servant be;

and, Jesus I have promised 

to serve thee to the end;

O give me grace to follow, 

my Master and my friend.
O let me see thy footmarks, 

and in them plant mine own;

My hope to follow duly 

is in thy strength alone.

O guide me, call me, draw me, 

uphold me to the end;

and then in heaven receive me, 

my Savior and my Friend.

O give me grace to follow ….Indeed. 

 
That’s the Gospel Truth. And this week I read a meditation by Chris Tiegreen, and at the end of it,  was a poignant and unwelcomed by some, but unassailable Truth.

Truth carries  with it confrontation ” …Francis Schaeffer

CLING TO HIM 
CHRIS TIEGREEN 

 Verse : If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. Deuteronomy 18:19
The world does not understand that Jesus is a dividing line, the apex of history over which everyone must fall either to one side or another.

There is no in-betweens  when it comes to the voice of God. Either it is heard or not. 
Yet we I’ve in a salad-bar, fashion-trend kind of world that picks it’s and chooses its truth, as though truth could change with the times.

But the Ancient of Days doesn’t tell us to anchor ourselves in seasonal truth. He grafts into us the eternal Son.
We live in a culture that embraces  multiple ‘ realities ‘. The underlying philosophy of our age says that what’s true for one may not be true for another. It lauds those who are open-minded abd disdain those who think they are right. It believes that absolutist thinking is incompatible with love and kindness. It treats the words of Jesus as nice and helpful, not the dividing line of history.
According to Moses ( and many others in Scripture), God will hold everyone accountable for the words of His Son  – including us. The world dresses itself in ‘ trendy truth’ out of ignorance; when we do that, it’s out of reckless neglect  ( the very thing we accuse some  drivers ). Though God guides us through seasons of our lives, His character never changes. Neither does the foundation He laid for us . His words speak of eternal realities in heavenly realms, where shadows don’t shift and the night never falls. In heaven, truth is truth. 

When thd King of heaven speaks, His words are truth. There are no other options.
Comment: Makes you wonder if our political and other leaders in our society consider that they love and value humanity more than the Creator God. If not, why don’t they just listen to the Prophet who God promised He would send. Christ The Crucified One. God will indeed hold people accountable for presuming to  erect ‘ protective ‘ barriers, between The Word of God, The Life of Jesus Christ and State.
For the reality is that mankind cannot manage on its  own. We absolutely need the  spiritual vaccines – The Ten Commandments…..do not murder….do not envy and lust….obey your parents…..love God. #syria #Rwanda  #TheKillingFieldsofCambodia #HIV/AIDS #Pornography #Scammersextradited 
And manifest in our disobedience of the spiritual vaccines is  the behaviour of some of our children….far too many. And which behavior  is driving our teachers to despair; and to desire early retirement. The wanton immorality which has hijacked our music in particular and culture in general. And  murder most foul which plays  itself out in ‘ broad daylight ‘, and under the cover of darkness in our communities. Day after day. Thus driving many Jamaicans to look to ‘ greener ‘ and safer pastures.

But God in His Grace and infinite mercy, knowing full well that we cannot obey The Ten Commandments, unable to use the vaccines, sent His Son.

Pray God that as a nation and a world we will daily avail ourselves of His Holy Spirit. Listen and obey Him.  And thus  help to ‘ turn this ship around’; a ship which has sadly gone adrift. 
FACEBOOK ONE 

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own brothers …..you must listen to him. Deuteronomy 18:15
Politicians all over the world beseech us to listen to them. One Donald Trump,  even says repeatedly, ” Believe me”, and then on public television ” I don’t stand by anything “. Almost a hashtag trending now on Twitter.  #BTH  #djmiller  And we in Jamaica know that ‘ virus”, very well.
Chris Tiegreen, in a meditation on the words of Moses, prophesying the coming of Jesus, thousands of years before,  which I read  #earlymorningdevotions  however,  has another take on this issue of listening and believing.
” Many Christians, however, believe in Jesus without really listening to him. We read his words and try to follow them – a futile attempt unless His own Spirit gives free rein within us by faith. We become religious followers of Jesus without spiritually fellowshiping with Him. We listen to God’s word and miss His Heart”.
No doubt this is why my devotions began with the words of this hymn ( opened my hymn book randomly and found it). 
Come, thou fount of every blessing,

tune my heart to sing thy praise!

Streams of mercy never ceasing,

calls for songs of loudest praise…….
Jesus sought me when a stranger

wandering from the fold of God;

he, to rescue me from danger,

interposed his precious blood.
Oh, to grace how great a debtor

daily I’m constrained to be!

Let thy goodness like a fetter,

bind my wandering heart to thee:

prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.

prone to leave the Lord I love;

here’s my heart, oh take and seal it,

seal it for thy courts above. 
That’s what causes all the bitterness and anger, #Livity in the world, immorality #Adi and #Destra #TwoJamaicas fake news and #alternatetivefact madness in #Paris and #syria and #NorthKorea and #ConstantSpringRoad and  #Scammersextradited because we are so #pronetowander. And fixing the economy and locking up the #duttycriminals  alone will not suffice #Listen to Jesus. #obey Him. All of us. Me first. It’s not my brother, not my sister, but me O Lord standing in the need of prayer. #NatKingCole. Pray for me as I pray for you. And my country. Desperately in need of prayer!

FACEBOOK TWO 

This is what you asked of the Lord  your God. Deut. 18:16
After God thundered from Mount Sinai as He gave Israel the Ten Commandments, the people of God….asked not to hear His voice or see His fire anymore (vs.16). The intimacy was too overwhelming, His Holiness too heavy. His presence  got to be too much for them, they thought they were going to die…… 
So God promised to send His presence in a different format. The Incarnation didn’t come for many centuries, but it put the voice and fire of God into the midst of God’s people. They couldn’t handle it in the wilderness, and many of them couldn’t handle it when Jesus came. But God in His mercy gave them an option that wouldn’t kill them immediately.  He sent His presence in the form of a Person – Chris Tiegreen 
Not the complete reason why Jesus came ( Sin) but a useful perspective to reflect on. 

Especially in the context of the well known Jamaican proverb Fae A. Ellington ‘ Fire dey a muss muss tail an him tink a cool breeze ‘.
For the existential challenge is that we have become so ‘ familiar’  with Jesus’ , who is the Almighty God of Israel, God Incarnate,  the God of Fire and Thunder and Awesome Power and Judgment, that people have grown contemptuous of Him.

And forgot that :
God sent His son, they called Him Jesus

He came to love, heal and forgive

He lived and died to buy my pardon

An empty grave is there to prove my savior lives
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow

Because He lives, all fear is gone

Because I know He holds the future

And life is worth the living, just because He lives.
For God knows we can’t even walk without Him holding our hands. #WildGilbert #Earthquakes #Tsunamis #Cancers #Alzheimers #Ageing #Strokes #MurderinJamaica #Roaddeaths   #9/11 all remind us of our mortality and to an extent, of the daily if not minutely, need for His Grace and Mercy. 

Found in its fullness and completeness only  in Christ Jesus!   The Crucified One. Thank God ” He is Risen”. #Easter  O for grace to love Him more. ” I believe. Lord help mine unbelief”. 

#earlymorningdevotions

FACEBOOK THREE 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. Ps. 23:4. KJV
Come to me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28 KJV
I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are very wise and very beautiful, but I have never read in either of them: ” Come unto me all ye that are labour and are heavy laden”. – Augustine 
” How do you teach a child who comes to school having spent the night watching pornography,  woke up with couple bad words in his ears and…….And when you send for the parents you spend more time discussing their problems than talking about the child .”. – A Principal in tears yesterday……about many things.  One of many. A lot.  #heavilyladen #Jamaicalandwelove

#earlymorningdevotions and reflecting on yesterday. And the day before……and the day before…One teacher calls herself ‘ birth control’; as she inserts herself, regularly,  into the male bathroom in an attempt to head off sexual encounters  between boys and girls. 

That’s the context in which we ought view George Davis’, disturbing article in the Gleaner yesterday Jovan Johnson Erica Virtue. A dance hall clash issue which ought not, in my view,  been elevated to #Headlines; but which unfortunately reflects that which ought to give us pause, and represents what is making many teachers ‘ heavily laden ‘. And in tears!

And only the Word of God, and not the wisdom of Socrates or Plato or guidance counsellors can help to rescue our children and our people from this ‘ valley of the shadow of death.

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