Sunday, 22 January 2012

When Bad News is GOOD News

The ending week was somewhat disappointing, "somewhat" is quite an understatement because the week's events were if anything depressing.

But those bad pieces of news seems to be good news, that God has something better than that for me. ( This just reminds me of the story of Abraham and Abimelech, God prevented Abimelech from sinning by making sure he did not touch Sarah. God has various ways of keeping us from places we should not be or companies we should not keep).

Genesis 28 & 29, The story of Jacob and his wives, how Jacob had to run away from his home, spend the night in the open with a stone for a pillow and later been tricked by Laban. Bad news that some what resulted into blessings for him, the most significant (according to me) been the time had a dream and God affirmed His promises to him, and Jacob made a promise to that God will be his God if He will be with Him. It may have been a cold night, but it significance resounds to this day.

This reminds me of post election violence in Kenya, this deadly incident has served to make Kenyans more respectful, more tolerant and more patriotic (Kenyans for Kenyans project as an example of a more united Kenya, the new constitution and the evident determination not to go that route again). Bad events that will make us reap good rewards now and for generations to come.

Matthew 9:18-38, this particular passage records  several miracles that Jesus performed; Raising of the ruler's dead girl, healing of the woman with the issue of blood, healing of the two blind men and the casting out of the dumb demon from a man. The events that had happened to this particular persons were bad news to them and their family, death and disability are very paining and saddening experiences. But by allowing Jesus into their situations, the bad news was transformed to good news, to them and for the kingdom of God.

We desire a better Kenya, better life, we need to allow Jesus to take charge of our lives, and we shall rejoice in His deliverance.

Psalm 11, no matter what happens, or threatens to happen, we can always take refuge in our Lord. As elections comes this year, our country is safe in Him, our economy is safe, even if all went wrong, our lives are safe and secure in Him.

Proverbs 3:11-12, even when we pain because of God's discipline, it is still good news "because the LORD disciplines those He  loves, as  a father the son he delights in".

Today the focus is on praying for the country:

DAY 7 January 15, 2012
Genesis 28:1 - 29:35, Matthew 9:18-38, Psalm 11:1-7, Proverbs 3:11-12
•Pray for the people of Kenya,
•A change of culture of impunity from families to institutions
•Pray for the knowledge of God to be upon the people of Kenya
•Pray that Christians will be salt and light of the world
•Pray that God will turn people from wickedness
•Pray against the strongholds and altars of Satan and that God will build His altars.

On the go: Thoughts of devotion

Towards the end of last year (2011), one of my favorite TV station had what they called "movie marathon" which was an extended time of back to back movie shows, that started at 10.00 pm until dawn. Being a movie lover, it was quite a treat  and i planned to stay up for most part to watch the movies. Today i have some sort of a marathon, i need to try and recover time lost in my devotion time, the frequent power and internet interruptions have had quite a toll in my devotion time.

I am hoping to write on fragments of wisdom that i will get as i go through the bible, they could be perhaps, just a series of wandering thoughts...

Matthew 9: 8, 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man. What do people say about my life? Do they find cause to praise God? Do i bring praise or shame to our LORD?

Loving God vs duty, Matthew 9: 12-13, what is important to me, pleasing God or pleasing traditions?

Transformation for change Matthew 9: 16-17: i am transformed? in mind, in perception, in will ? or my christian life and experience is a patch over my human ideals? human thinking, or shd i say carnal thinking?

So many times like the pharisees we critic those who do things diffidently from us, or from tradition, thinking our way is better. This have lead to a lot of conflict in the church while we do not look at what we are sent to do but concentrate on the methods. Jesus ate with sinners in order to win them over but pharisees took issue with Him coz they treasured their ways at the expense of God's purpose, Jesus sought to correct this by quoting Hosea 6:6 "I desire mercy not sacrifice". May God enable us to understand when He uses people in different ways to achieve His purposes for this world.

I will stop this post at this point, but i will include an extract from the prayer bulletin meant for praying the church in Kenya.

DAY 6 January 14, 2012
Genesis 26:17 - 27:46, Matthew 9:1-17, Psalm 10:16-18, Proverbs 3:9-10
The church in Kenya
• Pray for the church in Kenya, and its leadership
• Pray for election that it will be peaceful
• Pray for healing and reconciliation in the church
• Repent on behalf of the church for the sins committed both of omission and commission
• Seek for the unity of the church despite the denominational boundaries
• Pray for boldness to condemn evil and stand for justice
• Pray for a godly leadership in our country
• Pray that justice and righteousness will be the foundation of this nation

On Stewardship: Lessons from feeding the 5000 men

Today is Sunday, yet again i was privileged to part of a fellowship, been in a community of believers at life-spring chapel at Embakasi. Today we continued with our series on LIFE Stewardship. This is 3 part of the church's life cycle that aims at equipping the believers to achieve full LIFE in Christ. The other parts of the Life Cycle are LIFE Foundations and LIFE Relationships. More on this can be found on the church's website.

The scripture readings : John 6:1-15, it is the story of the feeding of the 5,000 men by Jesus. It is  quite a well known portion of scripture , i have heard and thought about it in various interpretation, but never in the sense of stewardship. The Wikipedia defines stewardship as an ethic that embodies responsible planning and management of resources, it also refers to the responsibility to take care of something belonging to someone else. To be a steward, and or act in steward to something, is known as stewardship.

The Big Question
The sermon focused on the responses of Jesus' disciples to His question: "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?"

This question can be expanded to cover the various questions we ask in our life, "where will i get rent, food, clothing, ...?" The questions we ask about our well being, our country's, our families.

The Human Response
The responses of the disciples are typical of how most of us will and do respond to this and such questions: 

7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” ---Pessimism, it is impossible, we simply cannot manage, we see what cannot be done, not what can be done. Sort of half full / half empty scenario. 

8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” - Disregard of what we have, poor mentality of who we are, of what God has given us.

Jesus Response
 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
In faith took with gratitude what was available and solved the need, i shall be looking more at His response and how all this relates to stewardship in a later post.

Scripture taken from bible gateway, this blog is my personal understanding of the sermons and is not necessarily exact sermon preached,