The sin of halfheartedness

Posted May 9, 2018 by mungaimacharia
Categories: Blogroll, Uncategorized

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One poignant memory of growing up was scripture memorization. Sunday school was little more than learning a Bible story and a memory verse for the day. The following week you needed to remember the lesson and the memory verse or else the teacher may not be too pleased with you. Some were however randomly selected especially from wisdom literature. Recently this one came to mind;

“Uria ukuona wa gwika na guoko gwaku, wike na kio amu kuu tuguthii mbiriraini gutiri undu wikagwo kuo, na gutiri umenyo na gutiri wiciiria”  Kohelethu 9:10

10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going. Eccl 9:10

A number of lessons emerge from this words of Solomon.

  1. Whatever your hand finds to do: A lot of times we are choosy about what we devote our time and energy fully to and rightly so. The wisdom here is to do what is available and open to us in a particular way. It is not to attempt to do everything, but to do that which is ours to do rightly. There is lots for us to do at any given time from mundane routine tasks to demanding jobs – all of them are important tasks but whatever it is – polishing shoes, working on a business presentation, writing a funding proposal, planting trees, reading for children, cleaning the house or playing a game – we are to do it in a given way.

2. Do it with all your might: The temptation to be half-hearted about things is real hence the call to do whatever we are doing with all our might. I am persuaded that an all or nothing approach is probably the best way to approach life, work or relationships. Dabbling in this and the other not only leads to poor productivity but also misleads others as our intentions are never clear. Kenyans have this social pressure of not wanting to let down anybody and so we try to do everything. Eventually we spread ourselves too thin and our weight is never felt anywhere because we are everywhere. Might we need to heed Jesus’ words: Let your yes be yes and your no be no, anything else comes from the evil one. [Matt 5:37]. Is it any wonder then that Jesus calls us to love the Lord our God wholeheartedly (mind, body and spirit). Anything short of that is idolatry – we are either to have/behold/love all of him or none of him. We are not to be samplers of other ‘options’ out there. We are to be fully sold out to him or we are not His.

3. You will soon be dead: Solomon puts across death as the motivation for wholehearted commitment to work and it is a great reminder. Where you are going – It is clear here that human life tends towards the grave. I like the sharp contrast between life and death – nothing could be clearer or even closer to the human experience. It is a binary system – you are either alive or dead. Because you are alive, do things like you are full of life because you will soon be dead. Sadly we live in denial of the reality of death. But if you knew you will die (say tomorrow), what would you do differently? How might you spend the remaining time? Well, the Bible tells you plainly – you will die. (Think about that for a moment. I know you have promises in Christ and if he tarries, you will physically die). Life is short and therefore everything you can do is both urgent and important. You therefore have to be careful about what you say yes to. When you die you cannot think or blog or love your family. No you cannot share the gospel with that person, you won’t attend Bible studies or fellowships or go for missions. Nothing happens in the world of the dead. Do those things now – in the limited time you have.  It may be culturally inappropriate but we need that reminder before us all the time – that it is appointed for us to die and after that judgement/accounting. If you are struggling to love your spouse or children or being committed to your spiritual family – here’s something to jolt you out of your laxity and half-heartedness: you will soon be dead. Now wake up you sleeper!

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

 

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The Gospel in all of Life

Posted June 11, 2017 by mungaimacharia
Categories: Uncategorized

Sunday 21st May 2017. Sermon Series on Ephesians

Text: Ephesians 5:22 – 6: 9

Theme Sentence – Living out the gospel in all of life.

Intro –

Alex is in his mid-thirties – He met His wife Beatrice straight after high schools and they hit it off and got married soon after university. Their marriage was blessed with 3 children who are now going to a local primary school. They also live with his mother who is aging and in need of support. They are both committed members at Gospel Community Church in Ngong. Last year but one, Beatrice was diagnosed with a terminal illness and her employer, though very supportive had to pull Beatrice off the payroll. They have spent all their savings on her medication, especially on that trip to India last year but the cancer is still eating away at Beatrice. She can’t do much for herself and needs round the clock support.  Alex needs to wake up early to prepare the children for schools and also to run the morning chores for the home. He also has to get Betty all cleaned up and administers her daily medicine before hitting the traffic to work. Most friends at church and work have been supportive but lately he is not hearing from a lot of them. His extended family suggested in a recent meeting that he should consider marrying a second wife. He is exhausted and feels the need for help.

Claire is a teacher in a local secondary school and goes to St. Mathews. Her husband Dixon works for an international NGO and makes some good money. They are both in their early forties. They own two cars and they are building their family home in the village. Dixon is part of the men’s fellowship at church and goes along BSF every Tuesday evening. Claire fears however that his power and postion in the office may have gotten into his head. He is a man of ‘to do lists’ and details out what everybody should do at home and expects reports from time to time. He is a loving man, Claire says only that he is a little too demanding and she is struggling to obey him. She is finding herself admiring other women in her Chama whose husbands do not expect much of their wives.  Maybe it was his harsh upbringing or his having been a prefect in high school that makes him such a perfectionist- Claire wonders as she struggles with what her friends call the ‘ancient notion of submission’.

Ernest goes to First Baptist Church. He is in his late 20’s and has a thriving computer business in the city centre. He recently won a government tender to supply IT Equipment to 10 Counties though the Youth Access to Government Procurement Programme. Ernest was raised by a single mom, Felista.  Felista’s life was broken when Ernest’s father left her. She did odd jobs to pay rent for their single roomed house. She could not send him to a good school and she fell into alcohol addiction and was not really ‘there’ for him when he needed his mom most. However, his uncles paid for him through college. His girlfriend Gertude has recently suggested that they consider buying a plot and build a house for her after they get married later this year but he is not too sure.  He has too many dark memories of their earlier days.

Halima is an intern at a Nairobi law firm. She recently finished her studies at Moi University and is looking forward to join the Kenya School of law to enable her to be admitted to the bar as an advocate.. Through a relative, she got this opportunity at Grand Mullah & Associates. Her immediate boss Jabali is a hurried man who does not suffer fools gladly. He pushes all his tasks to her and she ends up putting in long hours drafting court cases for him while he is probably out having drinks with his friends. Sadly, he does not seem to appreciate her efforts and thinks of her as ‘just an intern’. At the very least she wants a thank you from him but nothing gives with Jabali. For him it is all about tasks, more tasks, deadlines and delivery.  She has contemplated leaving but she needs this pupilage before she can go to law school.

 

Context: In the previous section Paul addresses general moral expectations for all believers because of who they are in Christ and hence how they should live it out in the world. In this section, Paul addresses specific people on how the gospel should work out in three important stations in life – Marriage, Parenting and Career.

Main Teaching Points

  1. The Gospel in Marriage : A Picture 5:22 – 33
  2. Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord. {Unreservedly}
  3. Headship in the family. [Counter-Cultural then and now]
  4. Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church {Sacrificially}
  5. The mutually exclusive requirement[ love/submission/ Respect]/ Leaving and Cleaving V31

 

  1. The Gospel in Family life – 6:1-4
  2. Obeying parents
  3. Honoring parents – commandment with a promise
  4. Admonition to fathers ‘Do not Exasperate your children’

 

  1. The Gospel at Work – 6:5-9

Context of 1st Century Labor [Does the Bible Condone Slavery or Comment on a contemporary Issue] {Compare with modern capitalism}

  1. Obey your earthly masters with respect and fear and sincerity of heart – just as you would obey Christ. What a high bar at the workplace!
  2. A motive for obedience – Doing the will of God from your heart – serving wholeheartedly (loyalty) – because you know the ultimate boss.
  3. Masters – held to the same standard, subject to the same Lord [master]. Do not threaten since you know that He who is both their master and yours. [Favoritism]

Application

What does this mean to us in 21st century Kenya?

  1. The words apply to us as it did to Ephesian Christians nearly 2000 years ago. The expectation is the same. Whether you are Lydia in Ephesus in 58 AD or you are Claire in Nairobi in 2017.
  2. The situations may be different but the gospel standard is the same. We are to be loving of our wives, submitting to our husbands, obedient and honoring to our parents, responsible fathers, respectful and sincere workers and considerate bosses.
  3. Culture [and the flesh] militates against gospel and biblical values. It did then, it does so now.
  • Instead of Love and Submission culture pushes for Rights, Equality, Divorce, Pre-nuptials agreements, Open Marriages, swinging, separation etc.
  • Instead of obedience, honour and respect to parents – independence, individualism, separation, hatred. Instead of godly parenting – exasperation.
  • Instead of loyal service in our workplace, we seek our selfish interest. Instead of considerate terms, exploitation of staff.

Conclusion: Our hope in the gospel. [Sanctification] 5:25b – 27

Christ gave himself up for her, to make her holy cleansing her by the washing with water through the word to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain and wrinkle or any other blemish but holy and blameless.

Christ at work in us. May we be daily shaped by His word to be what he wants us to become whether we are Alex, Claire, Ernest or Halima!

Salvation Belongs to our God

Posted May 17, 2015 by mungaimacharia
Categories: Uncategorized

Sunday 9th November 2014.

ACK St. Mark’s Kidfarmco

Communion Service Sermon.

Mungai Macharia.

Readings: 1st  – Genesis 3: 1 – 24, 2nd – Luke 2: 25 – 40.

Theme: Salvation belongs to God

Introduction

Sermon from last Sunday. Reflections of the week gone by – imperfection. Groaning for a better place.

  1. Perfect Creation
  • God’s People [Adam & Eve]
  • Gods’ Place [Garden of Eden]
  • God’s Presence [Blessing]
  1. Disastrous Fall (Disobedeince)
  • Broken Relationships (with God, each other and nature v. 13)
  • The Curse! [Toil, Suffering and Death v. 17 – 19]
  • Eviction Notice [Grace & Mercy v. 22]
  1. Any Hope?
  • Where are you (v.9)
  • A Sacrifice (v.21)
  • A Promise (v. 15)
  1. The Serpent Crusher is Here
  • Christ the promised saviour. Luke 2,

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:  a light for revelation to the Gentiles,    and the glory of your people Israel.”

Acts 2. 36

Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

  • A new People, A new Place in God’s Presence. 1 Peter 2: 9- 10

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

  • Christ is coming again. Revelation 21: 1- 8, 22: 12 -15.
  1. The Big Question

Where are you?

  • In Adam? Or in the new Adam?

Titus…. A Focus on Grace

Posted April 21, 2015 by mungaimacharia
Categories: Uncategorized

Sunday 19th April 2015.

ACK St. Marks Church Kidfarmco

Harrison Mungai Macharia

A Call to Godly Living: Paul’s Letter to Titus.

The letter is addressed to Titus, one of Paul’s converts (1:4) and a considerable help to Paul in his ministry. When Paul left Antioch to discuss the gospel with the Jerusalem leaders, he took Titus with him (Gal 2:1-3); acceptance of Titus (a Gentile) as a Christian without circumcision vindicated Paul’s stand there (Gal 2:3-5). Presumably Titus, who is not referred to in Acts (but is mentioned 13 times in the rest of the NT), worked with Paul at Ephesus during his third missionary journey. Titus, accompanied by two Christian brothers, was the bearer of 2 Corinthians (2Co 8:23) and was given the responsibility for making final arrangements for the collection, begun a year earlier, in Corinth (2Co 8:6,16-17).

Following Paul’s release from his first Roman imprisonment (Ac 28), he and Titus worked briefly in Crete (1:5), after which he commissioned Titus to remain there as his representative and complete some needed work (1:5; 2:15; 3:12-13). Paul asked Titus to meet him at Nicopolis when a replacement arrived (3:12). Later, Titus went on a mission to Dalmatia (2Ti 4:10), the last word we hear about him in the NT. Considering the assignments given him, he obviously was a capable and resourceful leader.

Crete: The fourth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. In NT times life in Crete had sunk to a deplorable moral level. The dishonesty, gluttony and laziness of its inhabitants were proverbial (1:12).

Occasion and Purpose: Paul introduced Christianity in Crete when he and Titus visited the island, after which he left Titus there to organize the converts. Paul sent the letter with Zenas and Apollos, who were on a journey that took them through Crete (3:13), to give Titus personal authorization and guidance in meeting opposition (1:5; 2:1,7-8,15; 3:9), instructions about faith and conduct, and warnings about false teachers. Paul also informed Titus of his future plans for him (3:12).

Place and Date of Writing: Paul possibly wrote from Macedonia, for he had not yet reached Nicopolis (3:12). The letter was written after he was released from his first Roman imprisonment (Ac 28), probably between a.d. 63 and 65 — or possibly at a later date if he wrote after his assumed trip to Spain.

 

Distinctive Characteristics: Especially significant are the repeated emphases on loving, doing and teaching “what is good” (1:8,16; 2:3,7,14; 3:1,8,14) and the classic summaries of Christian doctrine (2:11-14; 3:4-7).

Key Verse: Titus 2: 11 – 14: 11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

The Teaching Ministry of Grace
I.    Grace Teaches us to Deny v. 12a
          1.   Denying Comforts  -for Prayer
2.   Denying Riches   – for Giving
3.   Denying Pleasures  – for Fellowship

  1. Grace Teaches us Certain Duties v. 12b
    1.   Duty to Self – Self Controlled
    2.   Duty to Others – Upright
    3.   Duty to the Saviour – Godliness.

III.  Grace Teaches Us to Delight v. 13
1.   The Blessed Hope
2.   The Beautiful Appearing
3.   The Beloved Saviour

  1. Grace Teaches Us to Be Devoted to the Saviour v14
    1.   The Payment  “…who gave himself for us…”
    2.   The Purifying  “…that he might purify unto himself…”
    3.   The Peculiarity   “…a peculiar people…”

These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.V15.

Reflection Questions

  1. What surprises emerge from this Lesson?
  2. How do we (as a Christian community) compare to Crete?
  3. How are we (as individuals) challenged by the message to Titus?
  4. How is our view of grace affected by this Study?
  5. How will you apply this message?

Would you like to Interact Further?

The Leadership of the church is keen to set up a mid-week Bible Study Fellowship – would you like to be part of that? The aim is simply to grow in the knowledge of God and of His Word. Please remain behind for some discussion on meeting times.

Other Options

www.stmarkskidfarmco.org/blog

www.mungaimacharia.wordpress.com

Twitter: @mungaimacharia

Sources

  1. NIV Study Bible, Zondervan Corporation. 1973, Page 1887.
  2. Cobb, Robert L. Studies in Titus.
  3. BibleStudyTools.com

Hello

Posted February 24, 2015 by mungaimacharia
Categories: Uncategorized

Welcome to my revised blog…lots of content coming

Posted February 6, 2007 by mungaimacharia
Categories: Uncategorized

Posted February 5, 2007 by mungaimacharia
Categories: Uncategorized

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