Monday, February 18, 2019

Now posted on website for listening - Onfire Agape Radio (originally broadcast 02.15.2019) interviewing some local leaders in Kenya about a water dam that broke last year and killed 47 people. Also featured, of course, is rich Kenyan gospel music.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Loved By His Father


     "Now Israel Loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age and he made a richly onamented robe for him" (Genesis 37:3).
       "As soon as jesus was baptized,he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased'" (Matthew 3: 16 - 17).

          One the above verses is taken from the story of Joseph in the Old Testament of  the Bible; the other is taken from the New Testament. We will find that the storyof Joseph is a story of hatred and deception. When chapter 37 begins, Jacob (Israel) has already settled in Canaan where Abraham and Isaac had lived. Joseph, one of his two sons from Rachel is seventeen years old. Joseph was Rachel's first born son and  we recall that Rachel was Jacob's most favored wife. We read that Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he had been born to him in his old age. Jacob showed his love for Joseph by giving him a richly ornamented robe. He openly showed his favouritism toward Joseph and so laid rich ground for envy. Infact, the other brothers hated Joseph so much that they could not speak a kind word to him.
         I grew up in a family where there was intensive sibling rivalry, but thankfully it did not get to the level of envy like Joseph's family. All my siblings always rallied behind one another when things became tough in the family, or when one us needed the support of the others. For example: When  I got the rare chance of pursuing my education abroad after completing my high school education, all my siblings rallied behind me and mobilized their friends in raisng funds for me. Many of my relatives, especially from my mother side of the family refused to particpate. These were the same relatives who had separated us from one another, removing us from Ndothua village, where we were going to school, while we were young children, after our mother died.
      In the New Tastament, we read in mark 15:10, that envy was the reason why the Chief Priests "handed" Jesus over to be killed. Envy is one of the worst kinds of sins and most difficult to cure. Joseph's brother hated to see him wearing his special garment. It seems that  the distinctive garment that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph, was a an indication of his office among his brothers. Jesus, likewise wore a distinctive gown at his crucifixition, which represented his standimg in the sight of hiis father. His garment was so special that the soldiers cast lots for it.
    Twice God the father declared his love for his son, Jesus Christ. When Christ was baptized by John the the Baptist, the heavens were opened and a voice came from heaven saying, "You are my beloved son; in you I am well pleased" ( Luke 3:22; mark 1:11; Matthew 3:17).
       When Christ took the three of his disciples to a high moutain, two Prophets, Moses and Elijah appeared to  them": While he was still speaking , behold a bright cloud overshadowed the, and suddenly a voice came outof the cloud saying, "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"' (Matthew 17:15).
     As Jacob loved Joseph, God loved Jesus; so it is written of you: "The father loved you" (John 16:27). In John 3:16 we read: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
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Monday, November 10, 2014

The Beloved King

"Jesus said to them, 'Why are you bothering this woman? she has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her'" (Matthew 26:10-13).

      When a woman called Marth brought a  bottle of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard, and poured it on Jesus's head and feet, some of the disciples, that included Judas Iscariot who was latter tobetray him, cmplained. Martha had taken this opportunity to demonstrate her love for Jesus. She must have observed Jesus' actions; what he did, how much he loved and cared for the people and  what he said, and concluded that Jesus was truely was he said he was; the son of God. She must felt that there was nothing for her worth witholding from him.
          The love that Martha felt for Jesus may be like the love Attai felt for David. Attai was a foreigner who had arrived in Israel just a day before Absolom forced David to leave his Kingdom. He wanted to make  Israel his home leadership, but he did not want to live there under Absolom's reign, and so followed David to exile.
           The conversation between David and Ittai is very beautiful. The King being aware that he did not belong  to the people of Israel said to him, "Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King  Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland. You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your countrymen. May kindness and faithfulness be with you."
           But Ittai replied to the King, "As surely as the Lord lives, and as my lord the King lives, wherever my lord the King may be, whether it means life or death, there will be your servant be."  David said to Ittai, "Go ahead, march on." So Ittai the Gittite marched on with all his men and the families that were with him.
           This story reminds me of the love my Causin.s wife, whom we now foldly call mum, showed to me when I needed it most after leaving my Uncle's family. I believe. she had read the my uncle had given to my brother to take to causin. My uncle had said that he had completed his responsibilities of taking care of me, and that he was now handing it over to my causin as they had agreed. What bothered me most at that time was that I did not know what was going on, and that I was being moved from one family to another, with no idea what was coming next..
             After a long day travel by bus from the Rift Valley, we arrived in Nairobi in the late afternoon and headed straight to Mum work place to wait for her to finish work, and take us home in her car. I was not sure how Mun would receive me after having a bad exprience with my uncle's family. But she made me relax as we were driving home. During the ride, we passed different residential places along Thika road, which had different names. and Mum started by explaining to me their names as she showed me famous campanies and schools along the same route..After that she started talking with my brother about several possible High school in Nairobi that I could attend. My spirit was quite revived by this conversation.
        We finaly arrived at my Causin's beautiful home in Kiambu.There were quite a number of people who lived there, and they all made me feel comfortable after my arrival..We all ate dinner together while socializing, mainly by telling jokes to each other. After Dinner Mum soon left to her room.
          I thought that Mum had gone to her room to relax after along day's at work, but this wa not the case. I was told that she needed me,and I went to he room to find out what she wanted. I was surprised to find that she taken my old wooden box that my uncle had given me the day before,so that I could put all my belongings which included a few badly tornout clothes. I was emberrassed to see mum trying her best to carefuly fold those clothes into the box for me. I would have preferred her not to see the clothes, but was glad to know that she cared about what I wore. She also had other good clothes which she  wanted me try to see how well they would fit me.I had never felt before such a genuine love from another person when I needed it most!
       Atti's Love towards David is a picture of every heart which has been taught by the Holy Spirit to "Say that Jesus is Lord." If they have enlisted "but yesterday," they will prefer to take their place with their King in exile, rather than join the ranks of the Usurper.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Rejected King, And The Mount Of Olives.

"Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple and each evening, he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple" (Luke 21:37-38).

            Our Lord Jesus Christ often trod the Mount of Olives. This mountains semed to be closely connected with many incidents in his life. It seems a specially hallowed, place because it was the last place on which his feet stood, when leading his disciple over it's brow. It was where he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of of their sight. Two men dressed in white stood beside his disciples and said, "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11).
David also led his little band of faithful folowers in the same place when his son, Absalom obliged him to leave the city of Jersalem, and go forth as a fugitive. It was a familar resort for each where they would pour their heart to God.
                We read in 2 Samuel 15:30, that David continued up the mount of Olives, weeping as he went, and all the people with him also wept. Here we we have a foreshadowing of our Lord, who wept  on the very same spot, over his rejection by Jerusalem:
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to yoou, how often I have longed together your children, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you are not willing! Look your house is left desolete. I tell you, you will not see me again untill you say, 'Blessd is he who comes in the name of the Lord'" (Luke 13:34-35).  Some Pharesees had said to him, "Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herold want to kill you" (Luke 13: 31).
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Friday, October 31, 2014

Out Of Lodebar

"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in heavenly reams in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness" {Ephesians 2:6-7).

         Our Lord Jesus is full of love and kindness. A great many people may be afraid of him merely because they do not know how full of love his heart is. They may be likened to a young man called Mephibosheth who we read about in the Old Testament. He was the son of Jonathan who grew up without knowing how kind hearted David was towards him.
          When David came to the throne, he did not forget his love for Jonathan, his friend. After reigning for sometime, he begun to look round and inquired if there were any of Jonathan's family left that he could be kind to for Jonathan's sake. He was told there was one, but he lived a long way off at Lodebar. This name, Lodebar, means the place of no pasture, and like so many of the names in the Bible, it had a meaning which is very appropriate.
            When the news of Saul's and  Jonathan's death came to their household, there was great alarm, and the nurse of Mephibosheth fled with him in her arms, for he was only five years old. Mephibosheth, in their  haste fell, and was badly hurt that he was cripled for life. Now he was a grown man, but he never dared to come back for fear of David. How little he knew of David's kindness, and love for his father!
          I felt like we were in Lodebar immediately after our mother died. We were a family of five children, and my oldest brother and I were merely teenagers. The rest of our family members were very young. Our parents had seperated many years ago, and we were being brought up by my mother alone, and now she had died.
          I was quite afraid because I did not know what the future held for us, and none of the relatives seemed ready to adopt us, apart from two causins. One was a teacher in Nakuru, and did not have much income at that time. The other lived comfortably with his family in Kiambu, the central provence, which was very far a way from Ndothua. They did not want our elementary education to be interrupted, so the asked the other relatives who lived close to Ndothua to take care of us so that we coulld complete elementary school, then we could move to our causin's family in the Central Provence, to continue with our schooling. The relatives agreed, but not long afterwards, we were seperated from one another with each one of us going to live with a different family. This traumatic experience, like Mephiboseth, had very serious effect in our lives.
        I went to live my uncle at Njoro,which is about seven miles from Ndothua. I spent  two years with his family, but it felt like ten years. After two years in Njoro, my uncle sent me to my causin's family in Kiambu, where I was received with great love and kindness.
           David was not satisfied to have Mephibosheth so far a way from him, and so he 'he sent to fetch him from Lodebar. Mephibosheth had no idea what David wanted. He probably was very much afraid at the summons.
          When he came to David, he bowed down to pay honor.  David said, "Mephibosheth! "your servant,"" he replied. "Don't be afraid." David said to him, "For I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table" (2 Samuel 9: 6 - 8).
       When Mephibosheth heard David speaking to him so kindly, he was greatly surprised. He thought of his lameness, and felt that he was not fit to sit down at the King's table. But David did not mind this, and would not take any refusal.
            This picture story is only a faint type of how the Lord Jesus treats those for whom he has done so much, and whom he has loved so dearly. He does not merely send to fetch them as David did. The Lord Jesus came himself to the place of no pasture, "to seek and to save that which was lost."  David told Mephibosheth that he might sit at the king's table  "as one of the King's sons,"  but those who come to the lord Jesus are not merely like King's sons, they actually become God's children. "How great is the love the father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!" *(1 John 3:1).
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The New Master

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us.. .For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his son, how much more, having been reconcilled, shall we be saved through his life!" (Romans 5: 8,10).

       The Lord  Jesus not only forgives us  for what we have done, but he also takes us into his service, and allows us to help him  in his work, when we accept him. David had done th same at one time. There is ia story in David's life that tells about his relationship with one of his enemies, that shows just what our Lord Jesus does when  he meets us, and we accept him as our Lord..
         David and his little band of followers, after escaping from  Saul many times, took refuge over the border of Israel in the land of the Philistines. The King of that land, gave him the city of Ziklag as his headquaters. Many of the Philistines did not approve of this, for they thought that the man who had slain their champion, Goliath, was not likely to be of much help to them.
           One day while David and his men  were absent from Ziklag, another enemy appeared on the scene. The Amale kite swept down the city, destroyed it with fire, and took a way  captive all the women and children. When David and his men returned to find the city in ruins, and all their wives, sons, and daughters gone, they were in great grief. David encouraged himself in the Lord. He knew where to go when in trouble. He asked God what to do. "Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will overtake them?"   "Pursue them," he answered. "You will certainly overtake them, and succeed in the rescue."
                  When David heard the answer from the Lord, he gathered his band, and started on their pursuit. They had not gone very far when they came upon a young man lying in the field almost dying. He had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and three nights.They gave him water to drink and food to eat; part of a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisin. He ate and was rivived. David asked him, "To whom do you belong, and where do you come from?'
            The young man had taken part in the burning of Ziklag, for he was a servant to one of the  Amalekites. He himself was an Egyptian, but he had been serving a very bad master who cared nothing for him, for when he fell ill his master left him by the wayside to die; Sin and Satan are hard masters! He had been doing all he could to injure David, but how kindly David treated him! David was also willing to take him into his service there and then.
              There was one thing the young man wanted to know before he took service with David -Whether David would not only spare his life, but also swear to him that his old master would never get hold of him again? He wanted to have been done with the Amalekite forever!
            The young Egyptian is a picture of every unsaved sinner before meeting our Lord Jesus. When we come to the Lord Jesus Christ, we too change masters. He sets free from the old master, Satan. Now being made free for ever from the old master, we have entered the service of God's chosen King, and his service will bring nothing but reward!
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