Monday, August 14, 2023

Seeking Great Things For Yourself? Seek Them Not.

 And sleekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, smith the Lord: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.( Jeremiah 45:5)

What a timely rebuke to our society! 

We live in a society which is self-seeking. Individualism has taken over and can be observed everywhere, even in prayers. Prayers begin and conclude with ourselves. One seeks, only, for one’s own blessing, but not for others. So selfish are we, that good or godly things like marriage are deemed to be a bother, something that hinders personal development. Children are fighting over their parents property and taking each other to court. No one is willing to consider others as better than themselves. 

I, once, asked a dear sister in Christ to give me some of the worldly reasons why some couples deliberately delay having children. This is what she had to say:

a) The woman wants to pursue her career and be as competitive as her male colleagues, for as long as is possibly achievable;
b) Children are a strain and therefore, their arrival should be delayed for as long as possible;  
c) Having children is an expensive venture; therefore there is a need to, first, be financially stable;
d) The woman wants to maintain a youthful body/ retain a radiant figure;
e) Children, upon their arrival, kill romance and interrupt the seemingly idealistic love between a husband and a wife;
f) It is ideal to delay in having children so as couple can get to know each other better; and 
g) It is fashionable as this is what everyone else is doing.

Dear reader, we, indeed, live in the times described in 2 Timothy 3:1 ff. These are the difficult, hard or perilous times, “for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.

In Jer 45:5, we see great Jehovah rebuking Baruch who was murmuring saying, “Woe is me now for the Lord hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing and find no rest.” (See Jer 45:3). The Lord who searches our hearts and sees our thoughts before they are formed (Ps 139:1), diagnosed Baruch’s problem. He was seeking great things for himself. 

Nevertheless, there is hope for Baruch because God’s word came to him. He was both reproved and encouraged to seek not great things for himself and God, thereafter, promised to spare his life wherever he would go.

What a great warning to this selfish society in which people are seeking big things for themselves!

Are you seeking fame? Seek it not! Are you, only, after riches, wealth, honor, personal peace, and prosperity in this passing world? Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, “For what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mk 8:36).

The apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote these words to the Philippian church, “For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ.” (Phil 2:21). This is such a sad statement because Christ is the only savior, the only mediator between God and man, the only way, truth and life, the only one who can clothe us with a righteousness that satisfies God’s justice. Christ who died and rose again for our justification. Christ who is exalted at God’s right hand and who is coming back again as King of kings and Lord of Lords. Yet we read these words, “all are seeking their own interest.” 

Dear friend, are you seeking your own interest? Are you seeking big things for yourself? I plead with you, by the mercies of God, to seek the things which are of Christ, just as Timothy sought Him. Jesus Christ has promised not to cast away anyone who comes to Him. Jn 6:37b says, “…and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” 

See how the scripture appeals to you to, primarily, seek the Lord, “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near.” ( Isa 55:6). “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” (Mt 6:33). Ask, and it shall be given to you, seek and ye shall find.” (Mt 7:7). Therefore, seek ye the Lord before it is too late as during the times of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah. 

As a result of Human depravity caused by sin, man is willing to seek all things except God. (See Rom 3:10-12). Men seek to be honored by people and acknowledged by those in power, be it in the government or in the opposition. This is how far sin has blinded us. Yet God’s word remains true that failing to seek God is a serious sin. (See the first four commandments in Ex 20 and Deut 5)

Here are some examples of people who did not seek the Lord and what happened to them, thereafter:

a) The parable of the rich fool (Lk 12: 16-20); that very night his life was demanded from him
b) The parable of tax collector and the pharisee (Lk 18:9-14); The pharisee went home not justified;
c) One malefactor on the cross who mocked the Lord (Lk 23:32) and did not have the Lord telling him that he would enter paradise; and
d) Adam and Eve immediately after the fall, who were ejected from God’s presence and favour.

Here are some examples of people who sought Christ and found Him: 

a) The parable of lost coin: a lady searches for a lost coin. She finds it and rejoices (Lk 15:8-10). 
b) Hannah, Samuel’s mother (1 Sam 2:15,17); Then Eli answered and said, go in peace and the God of Israel grant thee they petition that thou has asked.”
c) The blind Bartimaeus who cried unto the Lord Jesus (Mk 10:46-52) and received his sight.

Some of the great things that people seek for themselves as the primary thing in life are:

a) The lust of flesh.
b) The lust of the eye.
c) Pride of life (1 Jn 2:16).
d) Gold or the love of money.
e) Pleasures of this fallen world.
f) Power.
g) Self-indulgence.
h) Entertainment.

Dear friend, heed to God’s warning not to seek great things for yourself. Seek the Lord of glory, He who can present you faultless before His Father’s throne.

The Lord be with you.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023


Many in Kenya preach that Christ brings believers prosperity in this life. By this, they mean the prosperity of this world – money, success and comfort. It is easy to show that this is a false teaching. Jesus himself owned no house (Luke 9:58) and had to borrow a donkey when he wanted to ride one (Mark 11:2). When he died he had nothing to leave behind except his clothes and his mother (John 19:24-27), and he was buried in another man's grave (Matthew 27:57-60). The apostle Paul warns us against desiring riches in this world,  telling us that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and  commanding us to be content with food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:5-10).

When the Bible is so clear about this, we  have to ask “Why do so many preachers teach these false things?” The answer is easy. It is implied in 1 John 2:15 – men love this present world. Why do they love this present world? Because they do not love God: “Do not love the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

If we know about the true riches in Christ, then we cannot love this present world any more. We can use the Bible to see that the “prosperity teaching” is wrong. But we can also use the Bible to discover something much better. We can see the true spiritual prosperity that Jesus gives us. You will not see the President or Prime Minister riding to work on a matatu or boda-boda. They do not need matatus or boda-bodas, because they own much better cars. In the same way, no Christian needs to love earthly riches, because there is something so much better in Christ.

What are some of those riches which believers have in Christ? We will look at three of them.

Justification – Being right with God

The first great blessing we have in Christ is “justification”. This means that we are accepted and forgiven by God. Because Jesus died for us, God looks at us and sees no sin. Instead, he sees all the beauty and perfection of Jesus himself. God looks at the believer and sees the goodness and holiness of his own beloved Son. Jesus' perfect life is given to us instead of our sinful life. Jesus died under God's anger so that we would never see that anger. Justification means that in God's court-room, God has said “this person is not guilty – he is perfect in my eyes”.

This is a blessing worth more than all the money in the world. All people everywhere will one day come to God's judgment (Acts 17:31). On that day, our greatest need will be to be forgiven and accepted by God. That blessing comes only to believers – not because of being rich, or powerful, or famous. Nobody can buy it with money, or use their powers to force God to give it to them. Peace with God comes only through trusting in Jesus. Without Christ, unbelievers are facing an eternity of God's anger (Mark 9:43-48). But if we have justification through faith, then we have peace with God now and forever (Romans 5:1-2). The rich people of this world will have to die one day, and their money will be given to someone else. Those who have the blessing of knowing God will lose nothing at death, but will begin to know him more and more forever.

Sanctification – Becoming more like Jesus

The second great blessing which believers have is “sanctification”. Sanctification is a work which the Holy Spirit does in every believer. It is the work of making us holy – of teaching us to walk like Jesus walked, and to love the things which Jesus loves, and to hate sin as Jesus hates it.

“Sanctification” means that God makes us more and more like Jesus himself. In 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul says that we are being changed into the image of Jesus, going from one stage of glory to another. When we are born, we are like our first father Adam – choosing sin and disobedience. When we are born again, we begin to become like our Saviour, the “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45), the Lord Jesus.

It is a fact that Jesus not only had greater sorrow than any other man, but also that he was the happiest man who ever lived. He never knew sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), or guilt, or regret (John 8:29). He never wished that he could change himself. He never wished he could change his past or his decisions. Everything he did was perfectly pleasing to God the Father. The full delight and joy of God the Father always shone upon him. The only misery he knew was the misery that came to him when he took our sins. The only suffering he faced was the suffering that we deserved.

Jesus was happy because he was holy. There is no true happiness without true holiness. God made our souls, and our souls can never rest happy without God. The night is a time of darkness, but as the sun begins to come up, we can see more and more clearly. Sin is like darkness, and prevents us from seeing the truth. As we learn to sin less, and to obey God more, it is like the coming of the light. We can begin to truly live in the way that God desired for us.

Glorification – Being made perfect

The third blessing we will discuss here is to be glorified. Everything in this world is rotting and decaying and everything needs repairing or replacing after a time (Romans 8:20-21). But there is a better world which is coming. It is a world of glory, of eternal life and perfect joy in God. It is a world where “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). It is a world where everybody who is there sees Jesus Christ and is completely like him (1 John 3:2).

This coming glory is so great, that Paul wrote “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Paul really knew about sufferings. He had a lot of experience of them. He was a man who was often beaten, imprisoned, who was stoned and shipwrecked, who was continually in danger, hungry, thirsty, cold and without clothes and much more (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). We could ask him - “Paul, is it really worth it to suffer all this? Should we really be ready to suffer in following Christ like you do?” Paul's answer is clear. He says that these things are not even worth comparing with the glory that is to come. The glory is so great, that we could suffer them all one hundred times over and still it would be worth it.

We cannot describe the coming glory, because of its greatness. It is far beyond what we can even imagine. In another place, Paul said that it was like comparing seed with the final plant. A seed is so small, and looks useless. But when it goes into the ground and the plant grows, we see something very different – so much greater and wonderful that the two seem completely different. In the same way, even our bodies will be gloriously changed at the future resurrection, being “sown in corruption … raised in incorruption … sown in dishonour … raised in glory … sown in weakness … raised in power” (1 Corinthians 15:35-43).

This is the treasure which is waiting for the believer in heaven. Every treasure on earth can rot, or be taken away by thieves who break in to steal (Matthew 6:19-20). But our inheritance in heaven is “incorruptible, undefiled, and does not fade away” (1 Peter 1:4). We enter this world naked, and will leave it naked (Job 1:21). But in heaven we shall be clothed, and death shall be overcome with life (2 Corinthians 5:4). Therefore Jesus told us to make sure that our real treasure is not on earth, but in heaven, “for where your treasure is, there will your heart also be” (Matthew 6:21).

How shall we now live?

This is the teaching of Jesus. He tells us that if we follow him, then we shall have the true riches of justification (being right with God),  sanctification (growing more holy) and glorification (being made perfect at last). To be given these riches, though, we have to make a choice. In this life, we have to take up the cross to follow him. We have to deny ourselves and give up our own lives. Instead of seeking our own desires, we have to obey Jesus' commands. We must repent and trust in Jesus alone for salvation, and then follow him.

We cannot love both money and God. No man can have two masters (Matthew 6:24). Jesus warns us that if we try to keep our present life, then we will lose everything. “Because whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever will lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, that person will save it” (Mark 8:35).

The light of the sun is much better than the light of a candle. A king's feast is much better than a handful of old beans. And the true, spiritual riches of the gospel are much better than the empty, fading riches of this present world. Only a blind man would choose a candle to light the world instead of the sun. Only a man with no taste would choose some old beans instead of the king's feast. And only those who have never known Christ at all could prefer the riches of this present world to the glories which are in Jesus.

Monday, August 7, 2023

The Pharisees.


Literally the word means the separated ones. collectively they were influential and extra ordinary sect. the typical spirit and attitude of Pharisee-ism were present in the post exile Jewry long enough before it took its historical form under the name Pharisees. The remnant Jews on returning from exile wanted to build a Jew nation separated from all other nation separated  for Jehovah. (e.g by common consent all mixed marriages were dissolved. They were also called the Pious ones. They tried to strictly and literally live according to the law.

Many of them allowed themselves to be murdered rather than lift a hand in self-defense on the sabbath day. Their enemies labeled them separatists because of their pious but proud and often petty exclusiveness.

Three dominating features of the Pharisees
a) Separation
b) A fanatical adherence to the letter of the law (Mt 23: 23 - 28)
c)Paraded their virtues before God when they pray (Luke 18: 11- 12)

1)Their sanctimonious snobbery of the common people (Jn:30-34)
2) They were prone to hypocrisy. the mass of people gave up trying altogether and were resigned as unlucky sinners.

1) In the Pharisaic movement there were many sincere souls, however, misguided they may have been [ Nicodemus and Gamaliel Jn 3 , Acts 5:34-39].
2) They kept the Messianic hope a flame in inter testamental period

3) They preached the hope of the bodily resurrection for the faithful when the Messiah shall bring His Kingdom. They said he that says that there is no resurrection of the dead, has no share in the world to come. Acts 23:8
4) Jesus disagreed with their practice rather than basic teaching Mt 23:1-3

We must not put our confidence in the flesh or outside performance but on Christ alone (Phil 3:3).
Without regeneration there is no hope at all of even beginning of Holiness.

Many in Kenya today think that they are Christians because they did Christian Religion Education in school and passed their examination with flying colors. My friend this cannot save you look at the Pharisees they missed salvation yet they knew the law.

Some think that they are morally upright and that I is enough to take them to heaven. Others say that tthey come from Christian background, their parents are saved. But my friend let me tell you tthe Bible teaches that you must be born again.

For further reading let me recommend you to Dr Peter Mesters Tract on Seven Signs Of True Conversion.

Friday, August 4, 2023


 Yesterday I heard a soul warming and encouraging preaching that Christ is All in All. This morning then I got some encouraging thoughts by Don Fortuner on the same subject. Let me quote him.

Christ is ALL. These three simple words are full of instruction. Here is our creed , the foundation of our faith and the cause of our hope. These three words are the joyful expression of every true believer’s heart .

Christ is all in covenant of grace, Christ all in the creation. Christ is all in all the scriptures. Christ is all in salvation. Christ all in the Church. Christ is to be preached ,loved, trusted ,worshipped and hoped for. Christ is God’s all to men. Christ is our all before God. Christ is all in heaven……….

What is Christ to you?

I alway pray that my ministry may be summarized like that of the early Church.

“And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ”. Acts 5:42.

The hymn writer put it like this ‘ Give me Christ or else I die”,

News letter and prayer Request.

Bethesda Baptist Church Nairobi Congregation with Banjamin and Hilary at their wedding.

Written by Hilary Mwende Murithi
Bethesda Baptist Church (BBC) began in 2010 as a small Bible study that met in Valley of Truth Learning Center led by Pastor Michael Maura. As the numbers grew, the church had the necessity of finding another meeting place. God answered the prayers of his people when a door was opened to rent a shop from Brother Elisha who is now a member of the church himself. Since then, there have been a number of new developments that this newsletter will attempt to highlight.
In July of 2013, BBC was officially constituted as a church in Kenya. This was a big step for the church. When a church becomes constituted, that is when it can formalize membership, offices are officially formed (secretary, treasurer, etc.), and the church functions in a more official way under the direction of its constitution that has been written. The church was also pleased to be able to begin serving communion after making this step.
Despite being constituted, the church is in continued need for prayers on a number of issues. The search continues to fill one or two of the offices, including the office of deacon. Praise God that the church continues to grow, and the church is again in need to begin looking for a place to relocate to! Particularly since the New Year began, the church has seen a number of new visitors, several of which have returned subsequent Sundays. In January, three people officially joined the membership as well.
This need is not only based on lack of space in the building during the church service. At the current time, children meet between the church and the buildings behind the church for Sunday school. This poses a problem when the rains hit. In addition, the setup of the church can make it a bit more complicated when trying to host seminars or conferences.
A great desire of the church is to be able to purchase land within Tassia Estate on which to build a church building. It is important that the land be in Tassia since that is where the majority of the members and regular attendees are from. Most of these people do not have the means to travel to another location. Additionally, Bethesda’s presence in Tassia is vital because of the Truth that is proclaimed there. Within this community, there are countless churches. When walking down the main street through Tassia on a Sunday morning, it is not unusual for a person to hear five church services going on at any given point during his walk. It is disturbing to realize, though, that the vast majority of these churches do not teach the true gospel. Rather, it is a so-called gospel of “Come to Jesus, and you will receive health, wealth, and prosperity.” This is a common teaching worldwide, but it has truly taken over Kenya. The community of Tassia is no exception, which is a major part of why BBC and its members would like the church to remain within the community.
The problem with purchasing land in Tassia, however, is that it is incredibly expensive. The rough estimate received so far is 8 million ksh (about $96,000 USD) for a plot measuring 50 feet by 100 sfeet. Of course, there are even more expenses to be incurred following the purchase of land. BBC earnestly requests your prayers that God would provide for His growing church. Please also thoughtfully and prayerfully consider making a financial contribution for this need as well.
Despite various needs the church may have, that is not holding anyone back. Bible studies continue to be held weekly in an effort to build up Christians and evangelize to others in the communities in which they are held. Currently there are fellowships that meet in Tassia, Donholm (a neighboring estate), and Ngomongo slum across town. These meetings have proved to be beneficial due to the clear teachings provided and the prayer time that follows. The time of sharing afterward also provides an opportunity for the brethren to truly get to know one another as well.
The fellowship in Ngomongo takes on a little different look than the other two. The meeting is filled with children! It is such a beautiful thing! It is definitely true, though, that it is a bit different to teach children rather than adults, and it can be rather challenging to try to teach both populations simultaneously. The teachers are in need for prayer for wisdom on how to clearly communicate biblical truths. Another great desire would be for the parents of many of these children to attend with them as well. At the current time, many of the families of Ngomongo are being forced to move to other locations. Prayers that these people would continue to be able to be educated in rich, biblical doctrine would be much appreciated. It is of utmost importance for these people to know God’s Word regardless of who is teaching it.
Pastor Michael has continued to take part in a number of ministry opportunities outside of the church as well. He takes part in leading Bible studies at Openhand Children’s Home based in Kitengala (a town just south of Nairobi) and Valley of Truth Learning Center in Tassia on a regular basis. Pastor Michael has partnered with both organizations for a few years now and enjoys having the opportunity to minister to the children as he eagerly waits to see God’s transforming work in their lives.
The church rejoices that God has opened a way for Pastor Michael to preach to students at Egerton University in Nakuru and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Juja. As Christian books and materials become available, many are distributed to these students as well. When Pastor Michael is invited to go to JKUAT, he is frequently able to bring some fellow parishioners with him. It is such an encouragement to those who are able to join him to see so many young people with a passion for God’s glory and to observe such a gathering that is so doctrinally sound. Truly, it is a rare finding and such a beauty to behold!
Following the designated time for meeting, the people from BBC are served tea and are often surrounded by a handful of students who are loaded with practical questions on how to live out Christian beliefs and values in certain situations as well as deeper theological questions. All around the globe it is not common to run across people who think so deeply about such important matters. This is definitely an incredible ministry opportunity as Pastor Michael and those who regularly join him are able to see the spiritual growth in some of the students and the huge opportunity to preach the gospel to others on campus. Regardless of who may be in attendance during the preaching session itself, the passion evidenced in a number of the students goes to show that Pastor Michael’s sermons are encouraging and have great potential to be passed on to others long after Pastor Michael leaves the campus. We only pray that Truth does not get distorted in the process, but the Bible promises that His Word will not return void. His purposes will get accomplished.
This is just a short overview of Bethesda Baptist Church and its current happenings. Many other ministry opportunities remain that may not be as regular. Additionally, there are numerous dreams that Pastor Michael and the members of BBC possess. Such dreams include ways to disciple other believers and evangelize to the community. Please continue to unite with this young church as it seeks to glorify God above all else. Glory be to God for His continuing all sufficient grace!

Thursday, August 3, 2023


            Can Preachers ask their Church Members for Prayers? 
we see the Apostle Paul constantly beseeching his fellow brethren to pray for him over and over again. This is the Apostle Paul who met the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus; he is the man who went to the third heaven, the eminent preacher who had many successful missionary journeys, the Gospel herald who preached and taught the Word of God to the Gentiles; and wrote numerous letters to the local church under the inspiration of the spirit, requesting the saints for their prayers. 
 Consider the following passages
  Romans 15:30-33- Now I beseech you, brethren, for thee Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; that I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem maybe accepted of the saints; that I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen. 
  1 Corinthians 1:10-11- Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that their be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by the which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 
  Ephesians6:19-20- And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 
  Philippians 1:19-20- For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 
  Colossians 2:2-4- That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 
  1 Thessalonians 5:25- Brethren, pray for us 
  2 Thessalonians 3:1-2- Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith 
  Philemon 1:22- But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you 
 The work of a pastor is a daunting task. It is so demanding mentally, spiritually and socially. The challenges of the pastoral ministry are huge and pastors therefore need prayers from the saints all the time. 
The saints need to remember their pastors in prayers in respect to their sermons' preparation and delivery, trials leadership, their families and even those who are saved or not saved from the preaching etc.

 Dear pastors, do not shy away from asking your church members to pray for you. None of us is too strong to suceed in this ministry without the prayers of the saints.