Oduori

By On Thursday, 24th October 2013

He moved to the city from the sticks and came to live with us. I was just a child then and my memories of him are sketchy...he was really skinny and really tall with really long fingers. He was funny too and he made our home lively and warm but one day he just disappeared.

The hand that holds the hammer breaks my heart. It causes me to cry and weep. It shatters my world into tiny little pieces. My dreams it makes insignificant, my pursuits it discards.
Is there a conspiracy to throw me to the dogs?
It frustrates my plans; my ambition brings to naught.
The hammer is uncomfortable, heck the hammer is painful.
I cannot see beyond this pain. I cannot see what the hand that holds the hammer sees.
The hand that holds the hammer belongs to the one who holds the world - He holds my world. He is;
The alpha
The omega
The beginning
The end

Eliyah had been taught to always love Yahweh all his life, he didn’t know any other way to live. His father had told him it was written in the books that he was to become a great rabbi. He never fought it, he didn’t know how. He wasn’t very good at tending his fathers’ sheep anyways, never could go a day without losing one. His brother Caleb was much better at that. So it went without saying that even though they were both taught the Torah by Rabbi Moshe, he -Eliyah was going to be the one to carry on his grandfathers’ legacy. He didn’t particularly like the idea, but he didn’t mind it either, at least he had a path of life to follow. Not many could say that.

COMPREHENDING GRACE

By On Monday, 14th October 2013

COMPREHENDING GRACE

Pride is a natural resident in the human heart. Its manifesto is, “It’s all about me”. Whether in obvious or in sublime ways, pride draws attention to itself, takes credit and glory to itself. The subtlety of pride is its ability to convince men to think that they are always right, self-sufficient, better than others, and wiser than God. Pride seeks its own terms, and would rather reject truth and goodness if they do not come by its terms. But “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” James 4:6.

Humility, on the other hand, is a rare gem in the human heart. It is considered a weakness. But it is not. Humility is the understanding of who we are not, and who Christ is, and this understanding leads us to comprehending the sin that is in us and the grace that is in Jesus Christ.

There is only one way to fight pride in us, and that is to examine ourselves, our motives, and to realize that it is not about us. Realizing that will steer our souls to the way of peace with God and with people.

Grace requires you to realize it is not about you. For you to be saved, grace requires you to recognize the Author of salvation. Unto Christ you must incline your eyes, and not look to yourself. “Look unto me, and be you saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isa. 45:22). In Him you must put you confidence and trust, and not in yourself. In Him you must believe, and not believe in yourself.

It is about His terms. For you to be saved, you must cast aside your terms and take up His. Unto Him you must come the sinner you are, and not one who is righteous. Unto Him you must come in faith, and not in the power of your works. In His name you must believe, and not in any other name.

Grace leads us to understand that is not about us. It moves the focus from us to Jesus Christ. It makes us to see how undeserving we are, and how God is justified to condemn us for our sins, and that if we must be saved, it must be by His free, undeserved grace.

Jesus died on the cross and accomplished something we couldn’t. He stepped into the sinner’s stead, took on his sin, guilt, curse, condemnation and death. He did this because He was “full of grace and truth” Jn. 1:14.

We were unable to satisfy God’s requirements of the Law. In our depravity, divine perfection was beyond our apprehension. We were unable to come unto Jesus, except the Father drew us (John 6:44); and yes by His grace He drew us, and we most willingly ran after Him (Song of Solomon 1:4). Indeed, we are who we are because of His grace (1 Cor. 15:10).

God’s grace is extended to the penitent. God has mercy on sinners, and resists those who justify themselves before men, the self-righteous (Luke 18: 11-12). The prayer of a sinner, “God have mercy on me, a sinner” will never go answered. His grace compels Him never to cast out anyone who comes to Him with a repentant, broken heart and contrite spirit. He is gracious and very approachable, even by the chief of sinners. To Him there is no person too evil who is not worth saving, or beyond redemption. In His grace He calls out, “Come unto Me all that labor, and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Matt. 11:28-30. “Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” Isa. 1:18

Grace appeals to the justice of God on our account at the throne of judgment. In front of Him we stood dressed in filthy rags, ready for judgment; beside us stood Satan, with scores of accusation rightfully directed against us, yet the Judge and the Lord of grace came to our side, took away our filthy rags and dressed us in His majestic robes of His own righteousness (cf. Zech. 3:1-5).

Grace goes to seek the prodigals, who stray in pursuit of pleasure. He seeks them out from the pigs’ den of sins and brings them back to their senses, reminds them of their beloved Father to whom they owe their very existence, and guides them safely back as a shepherd guides his stray sheep back home.

Grace reaches out to the present sufferings of His people. In our fires the Lord came to us, like the fourth man in the fires of Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego. The Lord Jesus resides in the fires of His people. He is one with His people. Whatever condition we pass through, yea, even if we pass through the shadow of death, He is with us, to provide grace and strength, comfort and deliverance from our fiery circumstances. His grace is always sufficient to make go through any tough situation, to make us bear any thorns in the flesh which He sets in our bodies for the demonstration of His strength, excellence and glory.

Grace bestows the underserved love which moves the weak in faith to trust in Christ. “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you” (Jn. 15:6); “We love him, because he first loved us” (1Jn.4:19). “…as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on his name: Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” Jn. 1:12-13.

One of the barriers to those who wish to be saved is the feeling that they do not have strength to make the choice to be saved, and if they do, they cannot last long in it. They sense in themselves a lack of power to come to Christ and to be sustained in the new life. It is with this in mind that Jesus spoke to encourage such people, telling them that their choice of Him, weak as they may be, is not anchored on their will-power, but on His will-power and choice of them, that their love of Him proceeds out of His love for them. With this knowledge, they can stop looking to themselves, and look upon Jesus in whose power their salvation comes.

The purpose of the gospel preaching, therefore, is to let people know that God chose and loved them first, and proved that by sending His only begotten Son Jesus to die for their sins, and prepared a way to the Father, so that upon realization of that they may be inspired to choose and love Him too.

Unto the person who comes to Jesus with weakness of faith, with a shaky will-power, nothing can drive him to Christ faster, and to keep him there forever, than the realization that Christ chose him before the foundations of the world, and loved him first, yea, even before he was born. This is the message that was spoken to the timid Jeremiah to encourage him (Jer. 1:5), and the same message Christ speaks to us today in His Word.

Salvation and power is of the Lord; let us then be not afraid, for Jesus is able and willing to save us from our sins. His blood is powerful to cleanse us. Let us then dive in His crimson flow and come out of it as white as snow, and walk in His light, with pure hearts, pleasing to God, praising Him for His glorious grace.

It is grace that saved us, grace that sustains us, and that grace will lead us safely home. It is all of grace; our salvation from first to last, is all of His free grace.

With hearts changed, with joy pulsating within, let us praise Jesus our savior for His unending grace and with all humility of heart sing with the angels, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God” “Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen”

Bwana Asi-finywe!

By On Thursday, 10th October 2013

'Bwana Asifiwe!' (praise the Lord)

'Amen!'

'Praise the Lord!'

'Amen!'

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