It is well

Preacher: Ev. Anne Mugure Kamura
Message: It is well
Readings: Mark 4:35-40

 We have prayed and waited on God as a country during this election period. Am here to tell you that it shall be well.
Isaiah 3:10 says “Go tell the righteous that it shall be well with them.”
 Therefore it is well with us when we are righteous.
 From the reading, we have read of how Jesus and his disciples were sailing in a boat and Jesus fell asleep.
 They then came across turbulence and the disciples were afraid they would drown.
 The disciples thus cried out to Jesus asking him whether he did not care that they were drowning.
 Jesus woke up and commanded the water to be quiet and the water became calm.
 The disciples were amazed at what Jesus had done.
 They realized the power of God.
 Whenever we are faced with storms its good to know that God will always be with us showing us his power.
 We are in the election period and we have prayed and should now believe that it will be well.

There are things that we learn about storms, which are:-

1. Storms in life such as disease come to destroy us. The primary purpose of a storm in our life is always negative.
2. Storms are unavoidable and so they will come whether you like out it not. Nobody is perfect and we will have to encounter storms at one point or another.
3. Storms have positive purposes in life. The storm in the reading came to remind the disciples that God is able. At times we don’t appreciate when storms come, the moment they come but we appreciate their positive purpose later.
4. Storms in our lives influence others in one way or another.
5. Storms don’t last forever.

In Isaiah 54:7 God told the Israelites that he had abandoned them for a brief moment.

The things we should do when storms come to us are:-

1. Examine yourself and know yourself and your relationship with God.
2. Learn to trust in God. The disciples called upon Jesus when they encountered the storm.
3. Make the right decision to walk with God. If Jesus was not in the boat the disciples would have have died. When we walk with God he will quiet the storms in our lives.
4. Know that God will either calm the storm or calm your heart.

Remember the story of Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-9) when he prayed to God to remove a thorn in his flesh but God did not remove the thorn but instead God told him that his grace would be sufficient for him.

 Storms in our lives do not mean that we are not walking right with God. They may come to being glory to God.
 Let us then trust God knowing it will be well with us if we walk righteously before God.

Mark 4:35-40

Jesus Calms the Storm

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 

36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 

37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.

 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

Leadership in God’s Perspective

Preacher: Elder Kenneth Kibathi
Message: Leadership in God’s Perspective
Readings: 1 Samuel 16:1-7, 2 Timothy 2 :14-19
 

The background to our first reading is that this was at a time when God had led the Israelites from Egypt into the promised land.
 After the death of Joshua, the Israelites were led by prophets.
 Later the Israelites demanded for a king and Saul was appointed the king.
 However, Saul did what did not please God and God decided to appoint another king.
 Therefore, Samuel was send by God to the house of Jesse to anoint a king.
 The first reading tells us how Samuel went to the house of Jesse to anoint a king.
 After the sons of Jesse came forward, there was none whom God selected.
Samuel asked Jesse if he had another son and Jesse said he had a young boy who was heading in the field.
 The boy was David and when he came God told Samuel to anoint him King.
 There are several things we can learn about leaders as follows
 Psalm 22:8 All nations are ruled by God
 God brought the Israelites from Egypt was to settle them in Canaan to worship him.
 The agenda of God in any governance is to worship him.
Proverbs 28:2 when nations become rebellious to God there are many leaders.
 Many leaders may be a sign of sin and may bring confusion as there could be misunderstanding.
 Proverbs 18:18 casting of votes separates disputes.
In the second reading, Paul tells Timothy the characteristics of a leader, which are:-
 
1. To guide people not to quarrel as quarreling does not glorify God.
2. One approved by God through doing his will.
3.Not ashamed of the word of God.
4. To avoid godless chatter.
 
 Proverbs 29:2 when the righteous rule the people rejoice but when the wicked rule the people groan.
 Proverbs 28:12 When the righteous rise to power the people are happy but when the wicked rise to power men go into hiding.
 Proverbs 29:2 When the wicked are in power, sin thrives.
 It is good to vote with the insight of God.
Proverbs 28:3 A wicked ruler is like rain that leaves no crop.
Proverbs 29:12 When a leader listens to lies his officials become wicked.
 We need to elect leaders who are visionary and fear God .
 Proverbs 29:4 A greedy leader tears a county down.
 Proverbs 29:12 A good leader stands for justice for the poor.
 Proverbs 29:14 for a leader to secure his throne he must stand up for the poor.
 To have a good leader seek audience with God first.
 A good leader must turn away from wickedness.
 After the government is in place, we need to submit to the authority as no authority exists other than that approved by God.
 As we choose our leader, let us choose the one approved by our God as our saviour Jesus Christ
 Lets make Jesus our saviour.

1 Samuel 16:1-7

Samuel Anoints David

16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”

Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”

Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lordlooks at the heart.”

2 Timothy 2:14-19

Dealing With False Teachers

14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

The Power and Greatness of God

Preacher: Rev James Muriithi Kaniaru
Message: The Power and Greatness of God
Readings: Exodus 8:16-19, 1 Peter 5:6-12
 
God demonstrated his power to Pharaoh at a time when Pharaoh had enslaved the Israelites.
 God used Moses to deliver his people.
 In Exodus chapters 7 to 8 we see the plagues that God used to demonstrate his power.
 Let’s also remember there are other powers besides the power of God but God is all powerful.
Witchcraft also has power to do things.
 This is demonstrated in that the Egyptian magicians were able to do what Moses was doing implying witchcraft has power.
 When Moses laid his staff down and it become a snake, the Egyptian magicians did the same but the snake from Moses’s staff swallowed the other snakes implying God is more powerful.
 When Moses made water turn into blood, the Egyptian magicians did the same.
 When Moses brought frogs, the  Egyptian magicians did the same.
 There comes a time when God wants to demonstrate he is more powerful than the other powers.
God therefore told Moses to tell Aaron to stretch his staff and strike the ground and the dust turned turned into gnats.
 When the Egyptian magicians tried to do so, they were unable to do so. They reported to Pharaoh that that was the finger of God.
 When God uses his power even those who think they have power acknowledge it is God.
 For the gnats to go, it took the hand of God through Moses and Aaron to make them go.
 There is no time when anyone will be more stronger than God.
 When the finger of God works against you there is no where to hide.
 Paul challenges us in the second reading to humble ourselves before God.
 There is a God who cares for us and will take care of us.
 Let us not forget that the devil roams like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
 As such, we have seen the lives of many being destroyed by the devil.
 The devil uses many schemes to destroy us. He uses our families, our businesses, politics etc.
Like now we are in a political season and many people are hurling insults to others in social media and at times one wonders why some are not in jail. May God help us to pass through this electioneering period which has faced many challenges.
 The Bibles challenges us to stand firm in faith and once we do so, God will fight for us.

The Plague of Gnats

16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,’ and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats.”’

 17 They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, gnats came on people and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats. 

18 But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not.

Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere, 

19 the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said.

1 Peter 5:6-12

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

Credits to: Elder Wamagata Kairu (Writer) and James  Kamoche ( Publisher)

Giving

Preacher: Elder Joseph Kamau Githiri
Message: Giving
Readings: 1 Chronicles 29: 3-5, 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
 The Bible teaches us that we are to give willingly and cheerfully.
 At times we give as if we are compelled to give.
 We should give from a spirit of worship and generosity.
 God told Moses to tell the Israelite in Exodus 25:2 that he should only accept offerings from those whose hearts were moved to offer them meaning those that were willing to give.
 When you bring your sacrifice and offering before the Lord without a spirit of generosity you do not receive his blessings.
 Each one should give what he has decided to give in his heart for God loves a cheerful giver 2 Corinthians 9:6-7.
 At times we give without being decided in our hearts.
There are times when we get late for church service as we look for change to get coins to give as offering .
We should not give out of compulsion but should do so freely.
God was not pleased with what Cain gave to him because Cain was not decided on what to give to the Lord.
 Cain took what was left from his harvest to God as his sacrifice and his sacrifice was not accepted.
 A young rich man in Biblical times asked Jesus what he should do to inherit the kingdom of God. When Jesus told him the requirements of the law, the man said he had been observing them.
 Jesus told him to go and sell his possessions and give to the poor the proceeds and follow Jesus. The young rich man changed when he heard that because he was not decided in his heart.
 From the first reading, king David wanted to build the house of God. He donated 112 tonnes of gold, 262 tonnes of silver in addition to the materials he had given to build the house of God. He did so because he had decided, was willing and had the spirit of generosity in giving .

 Mary, a friend of….

Mary, a friend of Jesus in the Bible; anointed Jesus with a very expensive perfume whose cost was equivalent to the salary of a labourer of one year. She was a simple lady and what she gave would be equivalent to more than Kshs. 200,000/= today.
 When we fuel our cars, we give instructions to the attendants based on the amount of fuel we have decided we require for our cars.
 I have observed in most offerings, the 50 shilling notes are more as compared to other types of higher notes.
 On the contrary when we give our friends a treat we do it very generously.
 God measures what you give by what is left not by what you give.
 The story of the woman in the Bible who gave two coins which was all that she had thus demonstrating her generosity.
 Generous giving is a mark of our spiritual maturity, 2 Corinthians 8:24.
Our verbal testimony is not enough, our giving is the greatest testimony of our faith.
 Giving perfects our faith and when we give we plant seeds.
 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, you will reap what you sow. If you plant 100 acres and another person plants quarter of an acre, your harvests will be different as it depends on quantity planted.
 Poverty follows those who do not know or understand how to give.
Giving is like a master key which can open any and every door.
 The secret is knowing and understanding whether you have the master key, which can open more doors and enable you to supply to others .
 Don’t eat the seed.

When I was growing up……

When I was growing up I would see my mum separate seed potatoes from other potatoes and would keep them separate from other potatoes in a rotten state to ensure that even in worst case scenario we would not eat the seeds.
If you eat your seed, you cannot be able to plant and thus you have nothing to harvest and thus you would be followed by poverty.
Lets therefore plant the seeds based on our decision of what to give with a spirit of willingness and generosity .
 In the first reading, King David asked whether there were people moved by God to give and they responded and gave generously .
 Let our sacrifices and offerings to God be those that have value. Today if you gave a child a shilling, the child may laugh at you because a single shilling does not have much value.
Let us give to God what has value.

1 Chronicles 29:3-5

Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: three thousand talents[a] of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents[b] of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today?”

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Generosity Encouraged

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”[a]

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Giving

Preacher:  Winnie Muchiri
Message: Giving 
Readings: Genesis 4:3-6, 1 Corinthians 8:1-5

Story of a man…..

Story of a man on a journey and very thirsty.  He came across a tap which was set facing upwards. Besides the tap there was a can with little water with instructions that if anyone wanted water, he should put the water in the tin into the tap. He debated within himself and eventually obeyed the instructions. He poured the water in the tin into the tap and heard gushing sound of water, which came from the tap. There was a further instruction that before one leaves, he should ensure they fill the tin with water for the next user. He did so and also added one more instruction that read “believe me it works”.
 Equally, I challenge you, believe me giving to God works wonders .
Whenever there is a counterfeit know there is also a real or genuine product. For instance no one can make a fake note of 300 bob coz an original one does not exist but we have counterfeit notes of 200 or 500 bob etc.
 There can also be counterfeit “blessings” and real blessings from giving.

The Prison…..

 I came across an article describing a word prison, which has so many prisoners who are oppressed and serving a life sentence. The prison is called WANT. The prisoners are always in want. They just want one. One new job, one new spouse, one new car etc. But when they get that one, it weathers out and they want more and are back to prison. Are you in the prison of want?.
 The Bible talks about being contented and thus we can say “the Lord is my shephard  I shall not want”
 From the first reading, Abel and Cain gave sacrifices to God. God accept the sacrifice of Abel but rejected the one of Cain.
 I have been wondering why God rejected the sacrifice of Cain.
Hebrews 11:4 says Abel gave out of faith but Cain gave from a proud way.
 Cain giving was wrong because of the attitude in the way he gave his sacrifice, the casualness of his giving.
Cain behaved like a spoilt teenage brat.
Its not what he gave but how he gave it that mattered.
In the second reading, we see the way the Macedonian church gave.
 They were in severe trial and in extreme poverty and thus had reasons not to give but they asked for the privilege to give.
 They first of all gave themselves to God and then to the apostles.
When it comes to giving it is really about our attitude to giving.
 Bill Winston has written about four types of giving as follows:-
1. Tithe prompted by obedience to God
2. First fruits prompted by generosity
3. Alms prompted compassion
4. Seed offering prompted by faith
Let us learn to do the right thing and then God will help us be free from our limitations.
 Lets remember God is trying to get something to us and not from us but we need to give God the room to do so by our giving.

Story of a King…..

Story of a King who one day while going through his palace and came across an ordinary man without much but who looked very happy. The king wanted to know the source of his happiness. The man responded that he was happy because he had a family, they had a place to stay and something to eat and thus he was contented. The response buffled the King who sought an explanation from his advisors. They advised the King that the man was happy because he had not joined the 99 club. The king wanted to understand the 99 club and his advisors advised him to take 99 gold coins and place them at the man’s door and observe what happens to the man. The king did so at night. The next morning, the man saw the 99 gold coins at his doorstep, took them and started counting them. He realised they 99 and thought they should have been 100. He thus started looking for the missing coin within and around wherever his was. He became preoccupied with looking for the “missing” coin and with time his happiness and contentment was replaced with his new preoccupation. The King the realised what the 99 club meant – looking for a presumed missing one coin instead of being contented with the 99 one has.
 Could we be in such a prison? We need to evaluate ourselves and do the right thing – get contented in God and receive the blessings from having the right attitude of giving.

Genesis 4:3-6

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?

1 Corinthians 8:1-5

Concerning Food Sacrificed to Idols

Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.[a]

So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”),

Redeeming Time and Being Set Free

Preacher: Sarah Karanja
Message: Redeeming Time and Being Set Free
Readings: Ephesians 5, Matthew 21:1-10
 
When the year started we had many expectations in life. We are now mid year and I don’t know whether if you reflect back you have fulfilled what you set out to do especially in the spiritual realm.
 Time seems to be moving very fast nowadays as opposed to olden day.
 However, God has given us all the same time.
 We are a product of how we spend our time and time is of great essence.
 There are things I want us to learn as follows.
 
1. As chosen people we need to rise up.
 Paul tells the Ephesians to rise up.
 God wants us to rise up and do the things we used to do.
 
2. We need to be careful on how we live because we are Christians.
Story of a church minister who accidentally hit a lady’s vehicle. The lady came out hurling insults at the church minister without knowing who the man was. The church minister did not say a word but remained calm in his car. Later when he came out, the lady recognized him and was quite embarrassed of her behavior. After they resolved the accident issue, unfortunately the lady’s car stalled and caused a traffic jam.The touts started hurling insults her for causing the jam. She harvested what she sowed there and then. It was the same church minister who came to her rescue and assisted her re-start her car.
 We need to be careful how we live as Christians.
 
3. We need to be wise people
 Psalm 111:10 fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
When invited to pray, its good to pray for what we see.

Story of a lady….

Story of a lady who prayed for food at a party and was asked to prat for the food. Later the hosts brought out alcohol and someone made a comment that the alcohol was part of the food prayed for by the lady.
 
4. Understand the will of God.
 
5. Redeeming time. Redeeming means getting back what you have lost.
 Jesus knew we would waste time and thus we are called upon to redeem time.
 We ought to thank God for seeing this day as there are many who would have desired to see today but have not been able to do so.
Previously I thought it is the youth who had a challenge with social media but I have realized that even the mature people are the ones affected more by social media by being in so many social media group. I have realized some of these groups are time wasters and have even robbed us of time to have family alters.
 Its good to evaluate ourselves to see where we are wasting time and thus know where to redeem time.
 We are in the season of giving towards the work of God and we should count it as a blessing because David desired to build the temple of God but God did not allow him to do so
 
6. Being redeemed.
 The second reading talks about  being redeemed.
 Jesus sent his disciples to get a donkey and her colt.
 These animals had been tied for a long time and were set free at the command of Jesus
 Jesus want to set us free and whoever Jesus sets free is free indeed
 When the donkey was set free it was recognized and respected by the people.
 When Jesus sets us free we become recognized.
 God also gives us favour when he sets us free.
 The favour of God surpass everything.
 It is good to acknowledge God here on earth so that we may see God and receive reward for giving ourselves to God.
 Here on earth some people talk of knowing tall relatives but in terms of the heavenly kingdom, you must know Jesus to enter the kingdom of God.
Let us therefore know and acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and saviour to be redeemed and enter the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 5

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness,righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Instructions for Christian Households

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washingwith water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wivesas their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Matthew 21:1-10

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

God, Our Hope

Preacher: Rev James Muriithi Kaniaru
Message: God, Our Hope
Readings: Psalms 42:1-11, Romans 5:1-5

There are psalms which are sang when one is happy and others when one is unhappy.
 Psalms 42 is one Psalm which was sung when the singer was unhappy.
There are things that the singer makes known to us. One is that you can be happy even when you are alone. While you cannot be happy in loneliness.
God desires us to have moments when we will be alone meditating on him and thus create a better relationship with God.
It is therefore important to set aside time to go to solitary places such as the mountains to have a quiet time with God.
Being alone and loneliness are two different things.
You can be lonely even when you are in the midst of people.
The singer in Psalm 42 finds himself in such a situation.
There are times especially in the old age when people became lonely as their children are grown up and may be living in different places away from home.
People are also experiencing loneliness following divorce while others experience loneliness because or retirement or because of being in leadership.
Leaders go through a lot of loneliness even church ministers suffer from the same.
The writer of Psalm 42 was a leader going through loneliness and was even ridiculed.
We also find ourselves in such circumstances as believers where we are ridiculed and asked where our God is.
In Psalm 37 the Israelite were ridiculed and asked to sing unto their God the songs they used to sing.
The singer then asks his soul why it was down cast and disturbed. We also need to ask ourselves the same question.
The singer then tells himself to have his hope in God. Let us also encourage ourselves in the Lord.
 Paul says he is delighted because of the hope in God which comes from suffering for a cause.
I had a talk with drunkards in a church and it occurred to my mind that I was able to talk to them because I was once a drunkard and suffered from its consequences.
Perseverance produces character which leads to hope, which does not disappoint us because it is filled with God’s love.
God is our hope even during this electioneering period when we support different political parties
Let us have hope in God even when we serve him as he is a good God.
Challenges are part of life but God comes to us and we are not defeated.
God will see you through whatever is causing loneliness in your life. Have hope in God.

Psalm 42

1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One[d]
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
6 My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.
8 By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Romans 5:1-5

Peace and Hope
5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Credits to: Elder Wamagata (Writer) and Kamoche (Publisher)

Am I not with you?

Preacher: Rev James Muriithi Kaniaru
Message: Am I not with you?
Readings: Judges 6:1-16, James 1:2-8

At times we get used to facing problems and tend to think that is the way life should be.
From the first reading, the Israelites had sinned against God and He gave them over to the Midianites who tormented them for seven years.
The Isrealites even run away from their homes and hide in caves and clefts.
The good thing about the people of God is that even when they are very far away from God, they get to a point where they remember God and turn to him.
Therefore in the midst of the torment, the Isrealites cried unto God.
God appeared to Gideon in his ordinary works and told him that he was the one to deliver the Israelites.
Gideon however had many questions to ask God. He asked God why all that had happened to the Israelites.
 Gideon also wondered how he could save Israelites because he saw himself as being unable to do so.
 Gideon also told God that he came from the weakest family of the weakest clan in Israel.
 God commanded him to go with the strength he had and save the Israelites.
 God uses what you have to bless you.
Even us today, we find ourselves asking questions and wondering whether we can make it in whatever we want to achieve.
In Judges 7, we see how God selected a small team of men to save Israelites.
God told Gideon to allow those who had fear to go home amd those who drank water like dogs and used the remaining small number of fighters to save Israelites.
In the second reading, James tells us not to doubt about what we pray or ask from God.
God has power and therefore lets not doubt and lets not be double minded bit have faith in God.

James 1:2-8

Trials and Temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Judges 6:1-16

Gideon
6 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites.

2 Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds.

3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. 4 They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys.

5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count them or their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it.

6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.

7 When the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian,

8 he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

9 I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land.

10 I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”

11 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

Credits to: Elder Wamagata (Writer) and Kamoche (Publisher)

Rejoice, God has given us His Best

Preacher : Elder Edward Kariuki Ikegu
Message : Rejoice, God has given us His Best
Readings : 1 Peter 3-9, Malachi 1:6-8

As we rejoice because Christ has risen, let us ask ourselves, is God happy with us

 An illustration of a boy and his sister who were playing Noah and the ark using a bathtub as the flood. After the “rains” stop, the boy suggested that they give God a sacrifice. He proposed that his sister gives one of her toys as the sacrifice but she refused and instead asked the brother to give one of his toys. When both couldn’t agree on the sacrifice, the sister suggested that they get an old broken toy and give it as a sacrifice and that’s what they did. They gave God their worst.
 Let us reflect on that story and what God did. Unlike the siblings, God gave us his best, his only begotten son – Jesus Christ as we read in John 3:16.
Jesus has risen and we have hope and the place he is preparing for us is so beautiful.
John in the book of Revelation describes how beautiful heaven is yet Jesus left all that and came and suffered so that we may be saved.
There is no other argument it is true and we know it that Jesus is alive for our sake.
As Jesus left the world, he left his disciples with the great commission to preach the word of God. The disciples are not here. We are the ones called to preach the word of God.
God gave us his best and we ought to give him our best.
There are four ways in which we may serve God and give him our best.
1. Time.  Let us give God our time when we are very fresh in the morning. If you purpose to read the Bible or pray in the evening, you will be too tired to be effective but when you do not in the mornings, you will be effective
2. Intellect. Giving your knowledge, experience and expertise in serving God in the various committees and areas that exist in the ministry of God
3. Our lives. By getting fully committed to God and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us and transform us to be like Christ. Remember this journey will end when we meet with God as Paul teaches us. Let us surrender our hearts fully to God and stop sinning. Let’s love God fully
4. Our resources. Giving back to God what he has given unto us. We are challanged to give cheerfully to God not to be seen by men but by God. Just like Jesus sat in the temple observing how people were giving, the same way he observes us today to see our attitude of giving. It is good to be obedient to the voice of God in giving just like the lady in the old testament who gave her last portion of flour and oil to Elijah and God blessed her with more and more.
 
There are enough examples of people who gave and were blessed.
The case of Abraham who had accepted to sacrifice his only son Isaac and God gave him back his son
 Let us give to God what is his including out tithes.
Abel gave the best sacrifice as compared to Cain. Let us give the best to God.
 It’s not how much you give but the attitude you have towards giving.
 God’s balance sheet will not change whether we give or not because all riches belong to God. It is us who will be blessed by our giving to God.
 In the second reading, Malachi 1, God tells the Israelite that he loves them. Even us we have seen the love of God in our lives.
God was complaining in Malachi that though he had loved them and given them the best, yet they were not giving him their best.
 God challenged the Isrealites whether they would give the Governor an unworthy gift like sick and lame animals and whether he would accept them. The answer was no. Even us today if we were to give our dignitaries gifts, would we give the sick and lame gifts.
Our second best does not honour God.
 As we know God is our father and that he gave his son Jesus Christ to die for us, we should not therefore withhold our best from God.
Florence Nightingale was born………
Florence Nightingale was born in 1820 in a very rich family. She is the mother of modern day nursing.  Her father hoped she would get married and live a good life. But Florence choose not to get married and opted to do nursing which was considered a lowly job
 Florence wrote in her diary at the age of 30 years that she was now a mature person and at the age when Jesus started his ministry and thus it was time to change.
 Florence changed the way people viewed nursing from a lowly job to a dignified profession.
At one point when Britain was at war and the death rate was high due to sickness in the military camp, Florence was able to come up with procedures for cleanliness and diet that reduced the death rate by two thirds. She was at the military camp at that time.
 When Florence came back from the war, the British Government gave her 250,000 Sterling pounds which even in today’s terms is still a very large amount of money.  Her contribution was quite great and influenced the way nursing was viewed.
When she died, the state of England wanted to give her a state burial but she had said she wanted a simple burial.  Even on her deathbed, countries like Germany and France would still consult her due to her immense contribution. She was bedridden for a long time as she had suffered sickness at an early age. When asked what was her secret, Florence responded that it was due to the fact of giving her best in her service.
 Florence did not withhold her abilities and gave God all to her best.
 Let us give God our best since as a Christian you will not have served God until you give him your best.

1 Peter 3:9

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

Malachi 1:6-8

Breaking Covenant Through Blemished Sacrifices

“A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.

“It is you priests who show contempt for my name.

“But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’

“By offering defiled food on my altar.

“But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’

“By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.

Credits to: Elder Wamagata (Writer) and Kamoche (Publisher)

Fruit of the Holy Spirit

Preacher : Elder Sospeter Mburu Mungai
Message : Fruit of the Holy Spirit
Readings : Galatians 5:22-23, Colossians 3 : 12-18

Galatians 5:22-23 talks about the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
The first fruit we will look into is the self control.
The Holy Spirit helps us to have self control against what the flesh pushes us to do.
The flesh has power but when we have the Holy Spirit, we will have self control and are able to control all the influences on our flesh.
When we are able to control the influences of the flesh, then we are able to do all that God has commanded us to do.
Colossians 3:1 onwards, talks about how we need to relate with one another.
Colossians 3 : 17 challenges us to do everything in the name of the Lord God.
We need to evaluate what we do out there when other Christians are not watching.
The things that we say, do we say because we have Christ in us?
The second fruit is gentleness.
Being gentle does not mean that you are weak. It shows who you are to other people.
When you are gentle it does not mean you are powerless or without authority. It shows you know who you are and who called you.
When we meet with others, how do you come across?  Are the things we do stopping others from getting to know God and be close with him?
Are the things you do stopping other people from receiving the grace of God.
There are times when God’s people walk the blessings of God and become blessings to others.
We ought to ask ourselves whether we are becoming a blessing to others.
We need to have faithfulness beginning from being faithful to ourselves, the call we received, the people we relate to, in the businesses we do etc.
We need to have faith and integrity with the blessings God has given us.
What kinds of fruits do we produce and what do other people see in us?
Can our spouses and families call us born again? Are we good examples to our families and societies?
Are you able to know why God created us?
You need to know why you are alive and why God called you.
You need to ask God what he wants you to do because you have been called and called with a purpose.
Goodness reflect the character of God.
Have you been good to other people?  Have you been helpful to others? Your neighbours and at your workplace? Who do people see in you?
We need to know we have been called and called with a purpose.
 We ought to know there is nothing that we have done to God to have the blessings we have today. We therefore ought to be good to other people.
God choose to fulfill his purpose and thus we need to know why we were called.
The other fruit is kindness, which can be said to be the absence of malice.
When we give to other people are we going to do out of kindness or show off?
We need to give because we are kind and do it without malice even in this festive season.
God has given us what we have to become a blessing to others
When we eventually die, we will leave all we have in our lives.
We need therefore to give out to other people the excess blessings that God has given to us.
At times people give those things they don’t need as opposed to giving the best in their lives.
We are also called upon to have the gift of patience especially when we go through challenges.
We ought not to easily give up when we go through challenges
At times people when faced with challenges tend to leave the way of the Lord to meet their needs and face their challenges.
We need to remain focused knowing who God is and what he called us for.
There are times, we hurt others as Christians, but when we are hurt, let us pray for those who hurt us to change so that we can show the difference .
Peace is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit .
Peace is not the absence of turmoil. When we have been left by those whom we look upon, we need to have the peace of God and not give up.
We need peace in the country and even in our homes.
We need to be good ambassador so that the significant others will have peace.
If we have peace, we will radiate peace .
Joy is also another fruit.
We need to have the joy of the Lord to attract others to us
Joy also brings peace which attracts people to us with attendant blessings.
Are we able to attract more or send away more from us because of whom we are.
Love is also another fruit.
Out of love, God sent his son Jesus Christ to die for us.
We are not talking about the love which is sensual feelings.
Love is the deliberate attitude of goodwill to others so that they can see acceptance.
We need to love ourselves first so that we can be able to love other people.
When we give love, we need not to expect something in return.
When we give love, let us do it becasue we have been given love by God.
When we know Christ, then we are born again and if you have been called by God, then you are chosen. Stay like a chosen person.
We need to be tolerant to other people, don’t be quick to judging others, we need to walk together with others so that we can go far.
Walk with others so that they can hold you when you are weak.
We need to stop the infighting in the country and the church
The big word here is love as it covers everything as where there is love we have the other qualities .
Let us therefore have love in all that we do and wherever we are.

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Colossians 3:12-18

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Credits to: Elder Wamagata Kairu (Writer) and James  Kamoche (Publisher)