Speaker: Lawrence Kossi Akakpo
Title: “Hope in God”
Text: Job 13:15
Lawrence Kossi was our speaker today in this; our Men Ministry day. He started by laying out our Biblical history and said that we, as human beings, have always gone contrary to God’s clear instruction as to our we should. He said that many generations before us have perished because they had moved themselves out of God’s protective fold. He said that we faced the same destiny unless we heed God’s call. He said that we, really, didn’t have time and we needed to make our choice today; saying that events around the world have shown that Christ is about to return. He said that God won’t do anything without warning His people and asked all to observe and notice what is going on around the world.
As he progressed, he said that we needed not align ourselves with the crowd and majority, as according to the God, you just have to be right. Saying that in the things of the world majority always ruled, he explained that we never needed majority view/opinion and alignment so that we may be saved. Instead, he said, we needed to know that its only God’s grace that was sufficient. Let us not try to conform to what the world expects of us, lets, instead, conform to God’s expectations as this was right. He said that there was need for hope in God even when there didn’t seem to be any hope anywhere else (Job 13:15). We needed not wander as a people who didn’t have any sense of direction as we had God even in, what seems to be, the darkest time of our lives, saying that we were the problem since we didn’t let God be God in our lives.
We must never lose hope, he continued to preach. “When all things seem like nothing, hope in the Lord made it all well”. Referring to various acts of miracle happenings events around the world here, he said that God still intervened in situations of human needs only if we let Him be God of our lives. He urged the congregation to heed God’s call today and not continually do things the same old way proclaiming: Let us live the Adventist Message as opposed to mere talk and doing things as “has become our tradition”.
“Who will tell you there is no hope in light of what God has done for us?” Our sins have reached a crisis level, lets cry to God, he said, and may God have mercy on us in Jesus name I pray.
Sermon Blog: 08/27/2011
Speaker: Pr. Brian Mungandi
Text: Psalms 15:1-2
“Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle…,?” “…he who walks with Integrity…” Pastor Mungandi read from his main text as started his sermon today. He said that in his study of the book of Psalms, he was surprised to discover that all, including the Jews, found this to be the most favorite verse. He said that the Psalm that he was focusing on today was a description of Integrity – the bearing of and adhering to a set of certain guiding principles that should guide our Christian living.
It is painful to discover unfaithfulness in your children and realizing their lack of Integrity, the pastor said. They have been exposed to certain lifestyles and peer pressure, that they no longer understand what is right from wrong. There is the continued fear of rejection out of nonconformity to peer expectations. This, he said, happens to all even those who have always professed to Christian standards. In our case, we strive to conform to whatever expectations that our world offers, to the point that we lose our integrity. We, initially, do it as a by the way but grow into it incrementally without much realization. Thus, the pastor said, this was what the Psalmist is talking about. We should live consistently as Christians on every day of our lives not just on Sabbath. We need to live the lives worthy of our ‘born again’ Christian nature and walk with integrity and conduct ourselves uprightly. We must be reliable, have moral values as opposed to wearing our Christian values just on Sabbath morning. This, he said, was so that our lights might shine to those who have not known Christ, thereby bringing them to His fold. Let us move from the mentality that “it is what I like that I would do and don’t care what others think”. He said that what we did as Christians in the community mattered not just to us, but to God as well.
He said that on further study of this Psalm, he had realized that there was no need to manipulate the truth as people would know the truth of Christ based on how we live and carry ourselves on a daily basis. Of particular significance, “let us work carefully and with integrity”, he said. Speak the truth, stand up for it in all situations, he continued to preach. He said that Integrity proposes a triangular behavior: Works, Behavior and Speech which must be complimentary to each other. In other words, he said, Christianity is a total package of a live lived with Integrity. If there was peer pressure of any kind, come to Jesus and He will give you protection, he concluded.
Sermon Blog: 08/20/2011
Speaker: Doreen Nyamwaya
Title: “Two Ways to Live”
Text: Matthew 6:33
Today was children’s Sabbath here at Faith Church International and Doreen Nyamwaya, one of the department’s leaders spoke about ‘Two Ways to Live’ a theme which seemed to insinuate the importance and power of choice that God has given us – His children.
She said that she was going to teach from two perspective parables: The rich young man and that of the man with leprosy. She said that at the end of her service, the congregation will be able to understand if the two men’s understanding of God was the same. The rich man’s parable, she said, was a case of a fool who thought that he knew it all (though he never did) - 1 Cor. 16:24) and therefore never wanted to listen to what Jesus had to say. He thought, she explained, that he was on top of the world and laid his trust in self instead of God and never heed to what Jesus’ instructions were.
On the contrary, she said that the story of the man with Leprosy is a clear example of a man who put all his trust in God. He honestly asked Jesus, having really not known Him, he trusted Him enough to know that He could heal Him (Psalms 26:1). Trust in the Lord, she said; trust that must not waver; that when we encounter Christ, we are healed. This man did not know what was going to happen but trusted nonetheless. His trust paid off as Jesus, actually, healed and this message spread to all the people in the area and did more in spread the Good News of Salvation in ways that an individual could have not.
And so today, I tell you, she said, put all your trust in the Lord (Matt 6:33), instead of the things of this world. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you, she concluded her well theme and focused message today.
Sermon Blog: 08/13/2011
Speaker: Pr. David Folkerts
Title: “a Little Heaven”
Text: 2 Corinthians 5:12-21
Reading from his main text (above), Pr. Folkerts, the Pastor for Crystal Lutheran Church said that his focus today was how much we, who are sinners, needed to become like God thorough the Righteousness of Christ. He said that God made Christ (who knew no sin) know no sin so that we might be made the Righteous of Christ.
What is your view of Heaven, he posed, what do you think it would look like, he rhetorically asked. He then went on to say that without Christ, our view of Heaven is limited to our various experiences that we have encountered and is really narrow. He said that through Jesus, we become a brand new people who are free indeed and our view of Heaven is limitless and rich. Lets us open ourselves to Christ as His return is ‘Adventist idea’ he said explaining that he was a ‘Lutheran’.
He said that there was no limit to what God’s people can do once committed in doing things together the Godly way. He said that together we can come with new ways of doing things without being radical in the modern world. He said that God had created new souls in His people and that we can do things together as Lutherans and Adventists, to bring Heaven to hearth for those in need, saying that we just need to surprise each from time to time. This, he said, was our way of bringing heaven down here and now. He said that to somebody starving, Heaven can be a piece of Bread; in Jesus name!.
Sermon Blog: 07/30/2011
Speaker: Pr. Brian Mungandi
Title: “Limited Pt 2”
Text: Psalms 78:34-36
“…Nevertheless, they did flatter him with their mouths and lied to with their tongues…” the pastor read from the main text (above) as he started to preach. Pr. Mungandi then said that he, especially in the last month, as he read the book of psalms again, had realized that God is good and good all the time. He said that God had done great things to His people throughout Biblical history and wondered why it was that people could, so easily forget these wonderful acts of God: the crossing of the sea from Egypt, the cloud cover in the day, fire in the night, water in the desert, protection from enemy nations; just to name a few. All these so that all nations should know that this was God and ‘no other’ how then, he asked, could these people be mean to God? What kind of God did they think He was, he wondered out loudly saying that he was angry, that is, until he read Psalms 78:34-36 in light of 1 Corinthians 10:12. He said these things were written so that we can learn from them “…lest (we) fall…” vs. 12.
As he continued, he said that as he thought about his new additional ministry assignments, he has, amid hesitation, realized that God said that we seek the kingdom of God first and rest will be added on to us; that was a promise from God, he said. “Why was I then selfishly limiting God as I was about to do?” he asked. He said that he had learnt 2 lessons from this experience:
- The Israelites demanded what they thought would be good for them despites what God hath already provided. God gave them Manna and they demanded meat, “think about this” he remarked; aren’t we doing the same today? “Friends, God has called us so that we can become instruments of evangelism using whatever means He (God) deems necessary” he continued to preach.
- Israel provoked God in continuing to demand selfishly without trust in God. They, deliberately, forgot that God had the ability to provide for them and instead continually implied that God failed to meet their needs instead of realizing that God knew what was good for them – they distrusted God. “Do we distrust God today?” Do we tithe honestly, how about Christian fellowship; are we meeting the mark.
Sermon Blog: 07/23/2011
Speaker: Hezron Nyamori
Title: “Forebear One Another”
Text: Colossians 3:5-17
Hezron Nyamori, the Music Director here, was the speaker today as this was the music Sabbath at Faith Church International, this quarter and started by saying that he was raised in music and found majesty in good singing. He said that though he had had ups and downs in life, he has, nonetheless, found riches in God’s providence and that we really never needed to do great things so that we can, then, enter the kingdom of God; rather, we just needed to relate well with each other.
Referring to the Apostle Paul’s urging to the early church, the elder said that we must never do things in the same way that we did, when we were still in darkness now that we have known Christ. There has to be a distinctive difference and it has to be noticeable by those around us. He then read from Colossians 3:5-9 and itemized anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy filth communications as ways that used to be a part of us before we knew Christ. He urged that though we might encounter some of these things from time to time, we needed to turn from them now that we have known Christ. Most importantly, he said, “let us learn to tame our tongues as they can be a source of a lot of evil. He continued to say that we needed to renew ourselves and in that renewal, let us learn to put away the old man and his deeds”. This meant, he said, that we needed to forebear with each other, forgiving those who have wronged us as this was what worship was all about. He said that if we hadn’t changed and are still in the ways of old, we were indeed lying if we professed Christianity. He said that it was understandable that we can be angry of a thing or another but then we mustn’t live in anger, adding that we needed to forgive each other as soon after we have been wronged as possible and before the sun goes down as this was what was expected of us as Christians.
Saying that there were blessings in the way we related to those weak members of our society, the elder said that God did not expect us to accomplish great things; rather that we should forebear one to another and trust in His greatness as this was the true essence of Christianity. “Let us then and only then sing praises to God as we shall have known and fulfilled God’s will in the way we lead our lives in Jesus’ name” Elder Nyamori concluded his message today.
Sermon Blog: 07/16/2011
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Text: Psalms 78:40-42
Pastor Mungandi who had been away on conference and ministry assignments for about a month, stood to speak and said that it was good to be back home!
He then, after reading from the main text, as has been his tradition, started by saying that in the month of June he had been tempted to limit God in what He (God) wanted to do through him as though he (Mungandi) was an unbeliever. Then he said that he began to read Psalms 78:40-42 in light of 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 and thereafter realized that throughout Biblical history, God’s people have, in one way or the other, tried to limit Him. This, he said, wasn’t because God wasn’t powerful enough; rather it was because God’s people limited God, not just on what He could do for them, but even in what He could do through them. In his struggles with himself, the pastor said that he had realized that this was all because he had been overwhelmed with a sense of responsibility to the point of forgetting that it was God’s assignment after all and that it had, potentially, enormous blessing from God.
Pastor Mungandi said that many of us, sometimes, find ourselves in similar predicaments and so there were lessons that could be learnt from his experience. He continued to preach that we must never try to limit God in any way as God’s will was to bless us in ways that we might not, immediately, understand. He said that just like the children of Israel in the wilderness, we haven’t seemed to grasp the idea that Christ loves us and we shouldn’t limit Him in what He wants to do for and to us. He urged the congregation to press forward and count on God’s blessings without forgetting where we have been as a way of forging a clear way forward. He said that God had wonderful plans for us and we should limit God just in what He wants to do through and for us, but also in the plans He us for us; plans of blessings even in our daily preoccupations, throwing open the gates of heaven so we can have all these blessing. Quoting from the book of Deuteronomy 26:1, the pastor said that what happened to the children of Israel, had been a saving act of grace, with promises of great things from God, which same promise we claim even today.
Each time we encounter problems, he said, we must walk with our heads held up high, knowing that we serve a God who is good to us and good all the time. He said that the real reason why we don’t obey is because we just don’t want to obey the will of God. He said that we mustn’t allow sin, in all its forms, to taint the kind of life that Christ has made possible to us. Don’t we have anything that Christ has done for us about which we are grateful?, he posed as though to want to draw an application on his message of the day today. He said that there was something about believe and what it can make happen in our lives. He said that if we doubted the authenticity of the God we serve, we needed to examine the Biblical evidence and then, may be then; our lives can be open letters and lights that will be read and shine on the behalf of Christ. He has always wanted to do so much for and through us; let us let Him, the concluded.
Sermon Blog: 07/02/2011
Speaker: Pr. Caeser Wamalika
Title: “God’s Foolishness”
Text: 1 Cor. 1:25
Pastor Wamalika, the chief guest, of this year’s Twin Cities African Camp meeting, was the speaker today and spoke about God’s Foolishness. Reading from his main text, the pastor explained that that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world and that we needed to remember that we have been redeemed of His blood and his blood alone, and that were of Christ. Drawing from 1 Cor. 1:17-18, Pastor Wamalika, said that ours was to preach the gospel around the world for it was the power of God that brought salvation to all. He urged all to desist from looking themselves as weaker vessels but look at themselves through Christ and Him crucified so that they can draw on His strength.
“For the eye has not seen nor any hear heard the kinds of thing that God has prepared for you…” the pastor continued to preach and explained that this did not mean any material things but that this, actually, meant the gospel and it had, actually, been revealed to us already. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” the pastor read from John 14:1 as though to try and explain further. He said that this was a communication between Jesus and Peter and not as is popularly viewed that it was between Jesus and his disciples. It was, he said, referring to Peter singularly. This is why Christ tells Peter not be troubled for God had revealed to him that he was going to deny Christ 3 times after which he proclaimed the good news to Peter: God’s power to reclaim Peter was far greater than Peter’s current predicament. He said that Christ was actually explaining to Peter that if he (Peter) chose to believe in God whom he hadn’t seen, it should be easy to trust in Christ whom he had seen. He is urging Peter to believe on the account of Christ who has seen and indeed know that there is a ‘place’ prepared in Heaven, even for the likes of Peter.
As he continued, Pastor Wamalika explained that Christ was more concerned about the church and us and that is why He has promised to come to take us home and urged that our hearts should not be troubled because if it wasn’t so, Christ should have not told us so!. In God’s house were many mansions and we, even the likes of Peter, have room there as well. The pastor indicated that just as Peter later denied Christ thrice, we have turned away from Christ and we continually deny Him on a daily basis which, he said, was so worrying. He then read from Mark 16:17 where he explained that despite his denial of Him, Peter together with the rest of the disciples still followed Christ to Galilee. But just as they were despairing because Peter led them away from Christ even unto their former occupations, unbeknown to them, Jesus appeared to them and urged them to throw the nets into the waters.
Jesus asked Peter 3 questions that were meant to cancel every time he denied Christ and after His eyes were opened, Peter was transformed into the author/preacher that we have known him to be. God can transform anybody, even the hard ones just like Peter. God can transform us as well despite our past, in Jesus’ name.
Sermon Blog: 06/18/2011
Speaker: Pr. George Lupambo
Title: “The Foreigner or so”
Text: Genesis 21:17-19
As he stood to speak, Pr. Lupambo said that it was important that preaching be a way of letting the congregation see, how God works in human dynamics. This, he said, was what he intended to do as he preached today. He said that he was going to focus on the story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. The family situation was complicated, at times tense, because of Sarah, despite many attempts, could not bear a child for Abraham. Reading from Genesis 16:1, the pastor indicated that after a period of 10 years of waiting for God’s promise of a son, Sarah pointed out to Abraham that culturally, it was ideal for Abraham to have a child through Hagar as God’s promise wasn’t being fulfilled. This, the pastor preached, was hard for Abraham but after relentless pursuit of this matter by Sarah, Abraham gave in to her plea, saying that everybody was doing it anyway.
Abraham, then, went with Hagar and justified their decision by saying that even God knew about this and may be this was why He gave (Hager) to us. This, however, did not solve all problems as Hager, after bearing a child for Abraham; she started boasting even despising Sarah. The family scenarios worsened even to the point that Hagar had to run away. He pointed out that Sarah had become so judgmental to Sarah, it had become unbearable. As though to draw a parallel to our Christian life today, he said that we are doing the same to our fellow Christians. He said that we needed to be more caring of each other even when relating to those who are being unkind to us. But how she survived was the question that the pastor sought to answer by likening it to the slave experience here in the USA. He said that as with the slave situation, Hager survived only through divine providence. God asked for Hagar to return from where she had come and asked her to obey to whatever they say. If we persecute those whom we think do not know God, God will intervene on their behalf.
God has an interest on us and His promises are real and will come to be even if it might seem farfetched, the pastor preached. Abraham had a son, an heir promised by God after 25 years! This again created even more problems between Isaac and Ishmael and family rivalry which led to a lot of distrust. He said that God continued to protect Hagar and her son, as He had promised and despite her mistreatment in the Abraham family. He said that God had solutions to all our problems only if we could let Him show us where. We, sometimes, spend time crying and sobbing and fail to see God’s blessings around us! The pastor said that we needed not lose our sense of God and we can make a difference even in small ways. He said that he’s was about practical Christianity and not just doctrinal or institutional Christianity. He indicated that we were here for a purpose and that something tangible had to come from our Christianity. He said that it was through this that Hagar was able to open her eyes to get the water that revived her son. Let us then, he said, initiate connections to enable us reach others in the world thereby giving meaning to their lives.
My prayer is, he concluded, that our survival continued to be because God has not forsaken us and that through Him we can be a blessing to others around the world.
Sermon Blog: 06/11/2011
Speaker: Pr. Brian Mungandi
Title: “Expert Restoration”
Text: Titus 3:4-7
‘For when in kindness He appeared, He saved us, not because of what God works we did but for His grace that abounded and which still does’, Pastor Mungandi started his service today saying that we were a royal priesthood which had been dedicated to the “…go ye therefore..” message of the gospel. He said that as he studies the Bible, he had seen numerous stories of how people who had been written off by society were brought back to God’s fold by the mercies of God.
Just as in those cases, the pastor said, we, today, do not have the power to purify and cleanse ourselves of the pathetic state that we are in today. Aaron and his sons took the responsibility to stand between God and a sinful congregation and washed those men as they could not walk without God’s grace and His people. He said that spiritual cleansing only came from God Himself as He is the only who could sanctify saying:
- Now you are mine
- Now you can handle holy things
- Now you have the ability to walk in righteousness
Narrating the story of his life and what a messy past he has had, the pastor said that he only has God to thank for what he has become. Saying that ‘to God be Glory’, Pastor Mungandi said that God was in the business of restoring ‘hopelessly’ damaged lives. He is an ‘Expert Restorer’. Exhorting the congregation to try Jesus, the pastor said that there wasn’t a need to worry about what becomes of our lives as Jesus was ready and willing to work all out for us if we can only link our lives to Christ just as he did to all our pioneers of faith. Start running to your mark, he urged, as he narrated the story of what Christ had already done for us and urged all to begin to expect the impossible in Jesus’ name, he concluded.
Sermon Blog: 06/04/2011
Speaker: Pr. Brian Mungandi
Title: “Drum Major”
Text: 1Peter 4:1-2
“I will now kindly ask you to turn to our scriptures…” Pr. Mungandi said as he read and attempted to introduce his topic today, indicating that he wished everybody God’s blessings as we studied together.
Referencing one of his earlier sermons and saying that the SDA Church was the fastest growing church in the USA, the pastor said that the most challenging thing here and now was how we needed to live in a manner befitting our Christian expectations in relation to society and culture. He said that many of us had begun to question our faith, especially when viewed in relation with socio-cultural environment. He reminded that ours was a religion that was meant to go back to the basics and preach the Adventist message unadulterated. He said that this meant that we should share whatever little we have with our friends and indicated that we needed to allow Jesus to be our ‘Drum Major’, matching to He’s and His bits alone. Saying that the culture was corrupt and hopeless, Pastor Mungandi said that he hoped that we weren’t ‘at home’ here as our current environment will only begin to isolate us from the Christ we have always know. He reminded that all these lavishness will come to an end when Christ returns. If we have to live as Adventists, he continued to say, then we must live by the command of Christ as our ‘Drum Major’
The end of things is at hand; therefore be sober in spirit, he read from 1Peter 4:8 and said that we needed to take Peter’s counsel to have sane and sober minds and that we needed to develop an attitude of prayer. This meant, he said, that we needed to be aware of our environment and observe what is going on so that we can pray meaningfully, and indicated that these things were very important. Of particular significance, he said, was the fact that we needed to employ charity as charity covered all sins! Relating to a story of a wounded person that was killed, cold blood, in the hospital, Pastor Mungandi said that we have wounded and killed each other several times over by words of our own mouths. We have wounded our fellow Christians, he continued, and we have even, spiritually, killed our very own by the kind of gossip we have, often, engaged in.
In reading 1Peter 4:10, the Pastor said that he had learnt that hospitality was an important Christian virtue as this was a way to evangelizing. He said that a well prepared meal in a Christian happy home does better in evangelism than a well prepared and researched sermon. Are we hospitable? Do we live as an example worthy emulating?, he posed as he appeared to want to conclude. We needed to learn, he said, to open our homes to strangers and let people learn how we live our lives and let it rub on to them. He cautioned that we shouldn’t mummer as we did this as this is our Christian expectation. He said that we all had gifts and needed to employ them in the Lord’s vineyard and never wait to be asked to. Find your gift areas and use them generously to the benefit of all, he said. We are at the end of our redemptive history and we needed to be of service to all, in Jesus’ name, he concluded today.
Sermon Blog: 05/21/2011 (By Guest Blogger - Dickson Okindo)
Speaker: Pr. Brian Mungandi
Title: “Really? The End of the World?”
Text: Matthew 24:3
“…and as He was sitting upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him asking …”
Most recently, the prediction of the coming of the Messiah to be May 21, 2011, as posted in the New York Times. This is among others including but not limited to Nostradamus, Mayan prophecy. It is then a phenomenon that is in the fronts of media not to mention the web.
Scientists, in addition, have had mentions of happenings that are beyond imagination. These, ice age, global warming, catastrophic destructions are just part of the whole unsettling among nations and people. THE END OF THE WORLD!!! Is such an interesting idea that the disciples had to ask questions about the coming of the Lord. Is it just man’s nature that we all are opposed to and about the end of all events? Well, it is true and all signs do point to that end.
However, ‘….no man or angel has neither knowledge of the day nor the hour of the coming of the son of man….’ It therefore is unbecoming that some Christians should raise false alarms about the coming of the son of man. God wants us to sound the bells and pave way for the coming of the Messiah. Now it is not wrong to tell people about the coming of Jesus. We need not to cow away or even be fear mongers, but by all means we need to be realistic and factual about the happenings around us.
The devil will by all means try his level best to keep us occupied….. to think that we, educated and civilized are by all means polished, probably too polished to proclaim the message of salvation. The realization should down on us that God does rely on us to proclaim his second coming, to get both ourselves and those around for this great advent.
However gleam all this might seem God has a way out, an escape route for all that trust in Him, John 14:1-3. God in His loving kindness does point out, just like in Isaiah’s times, the destructive end of a sinful life. Nevertheless He has, and always did have an alternate way but only for those that trust in Him. For this reason we need to ready ourselves for Him. We need to align our interests with His. To accept his hand in salvation. So we will be saved from eternal condemnation
Sermon Blog: 05/14/2011
Speaker: Pr. Brian Mungandi
Title: “The Last Night”
Text: Daniel 5:25-28
Pr. Mungandi spoke about the ‘The Last Night’ as our service was recorded for our TV audience. He started by referencing the ultimatum given to former Iraq President, Sadaam Hussein by the then US president, George Bush on the onset of the Gulf war and said it was in all ways similar to another ultimatum given in the same geographical region to King Belshazar. He continued to narrate to greater detail why the king ignored the writing on the wall. He said that though he understood many life situations, he did not understand blasphemy. “If you have decided to lead a life of sin, why blasphemy the name of the Lord too?”, he posed. Reading from Daniel 5:6, he said that this was what happened King Belshazar’s banquet hall and said that what the king needed was God and that would have, easily, changed his situation. Instead, he said, the King was looking for help in all the wrong places.
For those that have not decided to follow Christ, there was something to learn from this story, he continued to preach. He said that Satan didn’t care how many times you have been going to church; rather, how strong your relationship with Christ has been, and continues to be. He said that he was glad that there, still, were men of God, who can still talk truth about God even to power. He said that in the end we will be judged by the things that we know how to do and yet we don’t follow through and not what we do not know yet. He then, reading from the book of Daniel 1:1and on, went on to narrate the following things that King Blesharzar knew but which he did not do:
- He ate and drunk and encouraged the eating and drinking uncleanly and defiled God’s temple.
- He tried to conquer and dominate the world contrary to God’s command – Dan. 2:44
- He built an image of idolatry and wanted to establish an eternal dynasty – Dan. 3:2; and said that he was glad of the likes of Daniel who stood up to power and chose to follow God’s will. He said that if we stood for God against worldly things, we shall indeed stand for God will be standing in our stead.
Sermon Blog: 04/09/2011
Sermon Blog: 04/02/2011
Title: “God did Not”
Text: John 3:17
“For God did not send the son into the world to judge the world but that the world should be saved through Him, he who believes in Him will not be judged but he who does not has been judged already…”. Referring to the earthquake in Japan, Pr. Mungandi sort to clear the question as to whether or not God was behind this, which is what is/has been the conclusion of many. He said that the Bible described sin as a Tsunami of evil and that this is, and has been, sweeping through the world since the times of Lucifer in heaven thereby starting the Great Controversy. This, he said, was behind all these natural calamities which have become all too common these days. Sin, he continued to explain, was real and was the failure to meet the defined mark of God. It leads to descipicable moral character and not a cultural taboo as “many would have you belief” It is breaking away from God and His family. It is an alien nation and an active act of rebellion. It has a blinding effect and not a mere sense of loose of sight; it is death itself and not just being ill.
Saying that he wasn’t a scientist, the pastor said that he knew something about ‘catalysts’. Going back to his main text, he indicated that Jesus was God’s catalyst and if we allowed Him into our loves, He will change all for the better even including our narrow mindedness all the way unto salvation. This, in turn, will have a positive effect to those around us, he explained. Jesus came to change things in, and around, us but ‘did not’ Himself change in the process. This is why Jesus said that He was the way and the truth and that those who followed Him, would have life and have fully indeed!
Exhorting the congregation to open their hearts to Christ, the pastor said that God ‘did not’ send His son to this world to condemn it; but that world, through Him, should be saved from all the Tsunami of evil and sin which prevail today. On Calvary, he said, Jesus’ cry signified that He had become our catalyst who took the wrath of our sins thereby taking our space, redeeming us from the captivity of sin and bringing us to God’s protective fold. He now wants to empower us and has given us the freedom to choose between all the depravities of this world and the peace and serenity of God which He freely offers. “Allow Jesus to lead your lives today”, he challenged as he concluded.
Sermon Blog: 03/12/2011 (By guest blogger – Dickson Okindo)
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Title: Beautiful Feet
Text: Isaiah 52:7
I will now kindly ask you to turn to our scriptures; pastor Mungandi started his sermon today as he read from his text. How beautiful on the mountain, he read, are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings who proclaim salvation...” He then now sought to trace his humble upbringing, even to say that he had taken time to examine his feet, feet that had undergone tough experiences as he grew up and wondered how they can be beautiful as ragged as they looked! He said that after careful study he had realized that beauty in this context actually meant ‘perfectly molded’. Human feet, he explained were made to carry the whole body and observing all the shock that is occasioned by running, jumping, accidental falls etc.
Saying that this verse was actually talking to us as a people, he urged that we had a Godly obligation to relate well to other people and it was our responsibility to go to the world and bring the message of good news and deserve to have our feet referred to as ‘beautiful feet’. We have been called to bring good news to people who are facing real struggles as people matter to God. We are better placed to bring the gospel to all even including those we work with everyday, indicating that we were the ambassadors of Christ, he said. There are people out there, he said, who need this good news and God has placed us where we are for a purpose and we had an obligation to, spontaneously, evangelize!. If we did this, he continued to narrate; we will have a sense of accomplishment, noting that good news was only good if it was relevant to the state of the person hearing it. Referencing John 3:16, he, however said that redemption was personal as much as it is social, saying that church wasn’t about condemnation rather it was about salvation. The message of Christ, he said, socialized us so that we can live in the community better. His model provided for not just spiritual but also the physical needs of the people, which model we needed to emulate. Urging the congregation to evangelize, he said that we needed to share Christ and the peace which comes from knowing Him with others. This, he elaborated, was what the world was looking for from us.
How beautiful, he read again, this time referencing the “…saith unto Zion, thy God reighneth” Part of the text. He said that this actually meant that we needed to tell the world that life was abundant and peaceful in Christ. Let us, then, go and share this message of the good news of Christ with the world so that it can make a difference in this world and said that is why we have been called. It isn’t enough to just receive and have the message, it is our duty and obligation; indeed our responsibility to share this message even unto the end of the world and Christ will return and may God bless you all, he concluded.
Sermon Blog: 02/26/2011
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Sermon Blog: 02/19/2011
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Title: Christian Metamorphosis
Text: Romans 12:1-2
Christian Metamorphosis, Pr. Mungandi started by saying, was a phrase that referred to changes that Christians had to go through in the ‘’…the renewing of their mind…” so as to be acceptable in service of the Lord, a thought, he said, that was the subject of his main text referenced above.
Reading from both the old and new testaments, and particularly 1 John 4:14, the pastor said that it was only through that metamorphosis that we could clearly impact our community. He said that we needed to transform ourselves, grow spiritually and desire to be of service to God so that we could experience God’s grace which will then stimulate our inaction to do God’s work. God is making a promise here: that if we are willing and ready to yield to His urgings, He will give us all that was necessary to cause change in others. The change that Paul is talking about is one that will allow us to be transformed by the power of God from inside out and not the other way round. God, he said, was looking for men and women whom He can use to bring the gospel to all kindred so that He can return and take us home. Though we live in tough times, we needed not struggle alone as we had a God of the universe as our father! He said we needed to tithe as this was an act of faith and we could not please God without faith. He said that we needed to “…seek ye first the kingdom of God…” and the rest will be added to us – a promise from God.
In a world full of cries for conformity where we are always yearning to be accepted at the expense of our principles, it often is challenging and perplexing and we can easily lose sight of our focus. We needed to focus on God’s promises. God has challenged us to prove Him on the idea of pouring out of His blessing to us; prove me on this one, God has promised. He challenged those who had not been doing so to begin tithing and prove God on His promise. Believe, he said, that in all things, God wants us to prosper and “I challenge you all to try God today”. He said that Christianity wasn’t a spectator sport, rather it was a participative endeavor, suggesting that if you were in the later, your focus is reduced to just gossip and innuendo instead of issues related to individual as well as communal growth. May we experience growth and may we grow spiritually, in Jesus’ name.
Sermon Blog: 02/05/2011
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Sermon Blog: 01/29/2011
Sermon Blog: 01/15/2011
Speaker: Pr. Jean Pierre Maiywa
Title: A friend that sticketh closer that brother
Text: Proverbs 18
Today we hosted United SDA Church as they concluded their evangelism crusade conducted by Pr. Maiywa from Kenya. It was a blessing to be ministered to by Pr. Maiywa who is a returning minister because he was the chief guest for our 2007 Camp Meeting.
And so when he stood to speak with his usual eloquence, he stated that it was great to worship in togetherness as one huge church with everybody on board which was how it was meant to be!
He said that he chose to talk about friendship because friendship was a good thing. He then read from his main text which insinuated that Christ was our true friend who was always close to us. He has always been, though we discover him at different points. Reading from Psalms 23:1, the pastor said that our Lord was indeed our shepherd in whose face we shall not want, and about whom David, after the rape of Bathseba, tenderly talks about in Chapter 51 referring to Him as a God of mercy and kindness who can forgive whatever transgression without a demand of sacrifice, after which God refers to David as a man after God’s own heart. He said that he hoped that after today’s service, all will renew and revive their relationship with Christ. When God refers to us as Sheep and him as a Shepherd, He is actually implying a 'friendship relationship', not necessarily that we are as stupid as sheep, but that we have a relationship with Christ in whose presence we shall never want. He will make sure that our supplies are unlimited and that He will always take care of our needs as He takes us through the valleys of problems even unto the hilltops of comfort. He said that though we might be in the deepest of pains from time to time, we can smile when others cry because God has a way of making us understand and makes it appear to make sense thereby giving us reassurances for His own sake. He maketh us lie down in green pastures amid tribulations. Referring to the book of Isaiah, he said that God had a way of calming the waters (challenges) of live for His name’s sake, saying that it didn’t have to make sense to us as God was doing it for His name’s sake. David knew all about this, he knew the kind of God he served and that is why he poured out to Him in his quest for forgiveness.
My friends, he said, David knew what he was talking about because with all his experiences with God, he concluded that “…He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake…” an humbling thought indeed. He acknowledged that we may have, at some point, done stupid things but that was no reason for us to remain down, exhorting that we needed to know that we served a living God. No matter our past, God is ready to restore our souls unto Him, and so we needed not fear anything though we walk in the valleys of death (vs. 4). Regardless of how much we have lost in our family/business investments, we can always be restored.
As if to challenge the congregation, he wondered out loudly as to why God led us unto the valley of death even as much as we were His followers.
He said that we needed to keep walking whatever the circumstances, and that we needed not play dump as a people who did not have a sense of direction. Let us instead keep moving and get out of the situations that befall us. He said that it was incumbent upon us to keep walking because David says in verse 5 that “…though we walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me…” - the word comfort here meaning fortification. He said that the message contained in vs. 6: “ thou prepared a table before me in the presence of thine enemies: thou annointeth me in the presence of my enemies…” and thus: surely goodness and mercies shall follow me all the days of my life, was a reassuring one and this, he said, was the message that we all needed to go home with today!
Sermon Blog: 01/08/2011
Speaker: Pr. Thomas Masagege
Title: God is still in Control
Text: 1st Cor. 10:13
Many a people will leave you but Jesus will never ever leave you. He first loved us, and henceforth will regardless of our situations. In his book, things fall apart; Chinua Achebe elaborates how various things can fall asunder. This is true in our various lives.
Our families which are the core of the society may be rocked by challenges. This may be between husband and wife, kids and parents, roommates, co-workers and etcetera. In Luke 8:22- 25, the disciples, themselves seasoned fishermen, are encountered by a threat of capsizing. They almost had given up hope when they remember that Jesus is asleep in the boat. In their fear they woke up Jesus saying,”don’t you care that we die?”
“Pease be still”, a strong three word sentence brought the roaring storm to a sudden halt. It did not matter how long they had struggled to bail the water out of the boat. It did not matter that they had almost given up hope or had put their faith in danger. Once they gave Jesus a call, they were liberated. The three words were strong enough to bring everything to a calming still. This is a precursor of the greater things He was yet to do in their lives.
In 1 Cor4inthians 10: 13, Paul encourages us to have hope and trust in Him. These things we suffer are not alien to mankind but they are such that we may be strengthened (James 1:3). Just like gold is purified in fire, as steel in a furnace, they, the hardships and temptations are meant to not only mould us but also strengthen us. Once we fall in these predecurements, we need to stand up, dust our selves off and keep our best foot forward. We are living now in this pain and suffering with not just a hope but an assurance of a better life in heaven. This blessed hope is now closer than we first believed. However though we go through these world’s challenges, and until we behold our coming savior, He says,” …… I am with thee always to the end of the age.” Mathew 28:20
Sermon Blog: 01/01/2011
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Title: The Aftershocks
Text: Acts 4:31-33
“…and when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken and they we all filled with the Holy Spirit…” “…and abundant grace was given to them all…” the pastor read from his main text and said that we at Faith Church International must go back and learn from the lessons of the early church if we needed to grow. He said that in his studies and experiences, he had concluded that it was on through prayer, and not just any prayer but powerful prayer; that any church can grow. Powerful is one that recognized God, our God our as the creator and God of the heavens, realizing He can deliver us from whatever situations that befall us as He had done numerous times over throughout Biblical history. He said that he had noticed that our church was a church of prayer through which one gets the ability to see God even amid desperate situations. It was the ability to access God’s power amid threats, he said!
Continuing to talk about the significance of prayer and frequently referring back to his main text, the pastor said that prayer gave Christians the ability to speak as God’s mouth pieces and proclaim the gospel with authority. Borrowing the earlier church orientation to service, pastor Mungandi said that we needed to be willing to be used by God have an impact in our service to our community. He said that we needed to find our orientation to God so that we can serve our community, saying that this was only possible through prayer. He said that though difficult people out there in terms of reception of the gospel, prayer makes a whole lot of difference. Admitting that we all struggle with prayer and prioritizing selfish and egocentric motives, he said that we needed to project the will of God and submission thereto, in our prayers.
Referring back to the early church, he said that there was a lot of unity, not in likeness or even thought, but in purpose; he said that we needed to be united in faith so that we can begin to witness to our brothers, in deeds and in actions and lives lived. He said that when you are filled with Holy Spirit, it will not be difficult for us to do good to each others, rather, it becomes our nature. When they had prayed, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and the place shock, they were began speak/preach the gospel boldly. God’s power, he said, can shake things up, shake sins off and can do amazing things, reverberating deep into the community as an aftershock, thereby bringing change.
Exhorting the church to lead a live of prayer, the pastor suggested the following as a way forward:
1.) Gather together and pray reflecting on our humble beginnings, thanking God for what He has done for us and request a new infusion of the Holy Spirit for revival and that this should be our purpose for the year 2011.
2.) God wants to give us grace if only we pray until His presence is upon us, thereby shaking us to revival. We must pray until God fill this church through us in 2011
In Jesus’ name I pray. He finished.
Sermon Blog: 12/25/2010
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Text: Luke 1:26-29
The announcement of the Christmas story had some details in it that bothered me so much, the minister of the Lord started to speak today. He, then read from the main text which talked about the virgin Mary’s encounter with the Angel of the Lord. He said that he was as equally trouble by this announcement to Mary as, perhaps, Mary herself!. He said that he thought God was impartial but could not understand why He was playing favor to Mary.
That is not the whole story though, he continued to introduce his topic. He said that he had trouble with this story because if people begin to realize that you have been favored, that would be a recipe for trouble. But then, things do not seem to add up, as you read the story which talks about the conditions of Jesus’ birth and even the hard and real story of His birth. You see church; the term ‘highly favored’ does not portray the true picture of things. Think about it, he said! The reason why we are here and a have lives to led, is because we have been highly favored as though to draw an interim application.
As he went back to the story, he said that there still problems associated with the birth of a child and then raising him up as Christ was. He said that when you look at the Christmas story, you can’t help but learn some lessons:
1. When we experience trouble in our lives, trouble that does not seem to be consistent with the kind of favor that we have received, just remember what the Angel said to Mary: nothing is impossible with God. Yes, our days may seem to be darker than anybody else’s, we may have gone through the deepest valleys in the world, just remember that nothing is impossible to God
2. Praise the Lord anyway as Mary did in verse 46. And even so, let us trust praise the lord anyway despite we might be going through at the moment and despite out being favored. Remember, he said, that God was still in control as He has always been. He is after all our Immanuel!
3. When you experience on account of the faith that you have accepted, remember what said to Mary in verse 49. God is poised to do greater things in your life as He has highly favored you.
Even in the secular environment, favors are returned. Wouldn’t be just as fair and ideal to return the favor to God by supporting His ministry? It is our challenge to us all, in Jesus’ name.
Sermon Blog: 12/18/2010
Speaker: Roger Bernard Jr
Text: Genesis 6:5-8
Pr. Roger, the executive Secretary of the CSC, spoke today in this special edition service of the day of our organization into the sisterhood of churches. He started by reading from his main text and posed: what could get a God of love to say that He was tired of all that was going on in the world at the time of Noah causing Him to say that all was only evil all the time and that He was going to destroy them?. Why would God say that He was sorry for state of all that He had made? In the midst of all that could be happening all around us though, there is always one that stands out and it is whom God uses as His witnesses. God always makes sure that there is always enough room for all those who would want to be saved even amidst chaos, anarchy and sinfulness. He said that though that even during the time of Noah, there were a lot of people who were initially with Noah in building the Ark but who then gave up. And so, he continued to say that the following were the reason why this happened then and which is the same situation today:
Distance – The idea of rain at Noah’s time seemed distant and people resorted to doing other things and planned coming back at a later time. We are in a similar situation today, we deem the return of Christ to be in the far distance future and have gone to the world as we wait. Remember, though, that Christ is really coming son!
Difficulty- We can’t make up our minds as to what we want to do – things are hard when we say they are hard. Remember when we connect to God, all things are easy, nothing is difficulty, it is not hard when you love God. To the people at Noah’s time
Delay – It took too long for rain to come for the people at Noah’s time; it is taking too long during our time for Christ to return. And so people back slid and we are have back slid as we ask ourselves: if He was going to come, why isn’t he coming already. We have heard the same message over and over again we have become immune to it.
When the Ark was finally finished, there were only two classes of people: Those in the INSIDE and those that were OUTSIDE and the intelligent people of the time would not believe still that it was going to rain in spite of all the signs of rains and even insulted Noah as he sat in the boat with family. As the rained mounted and multiplied, there was anguish outside and while there was singing and praises in the inside as the non believers were destroyed. Reading from 1 Peter 3:5, Pr. Roger said that that we were seeing situations similar to those prevalent during the time of Noah and this time, it is not going to be water, it is going to be fire and for sure, this world is going to be destroyed. He said that He had been preaching the gospel for 20 years and it has always been that ‘Jesus is coming soon’ but He is not coming soon enough for some. The danger, he said, was that we were mistakening God’s mercy for weakness. His waiting was just so that more could have time to be saved. At Noah’s time, he said, there were a lot of people od all kinds: gender, age, income and all. But at end, there were two classes of people – those in the inside and those in the outside. He reminded us that the heavenly gates were translucent and you could be able to see those that were in the inside of those gates! This could be a terrible time for those of you, he said that were once in the inside but gave too soon owing to distance, difficulty ad delay. He said that he has decided he doesn’t want to be outside and he knows that despite his weaknesses, he knew the kind of God he served and is not afraid of anything; proclaiming that ‘he wasn’t interested in being in the outside and urged all to search themselves: are you in the inside because God is coming soon.
Sermon Blog: 12/11/2010
Speaker: Nam AKakulu
Title: The Token
Text: Exodus 12:21-23
Today’s service was about the move of the children of Israel from slavery to redemption. Reading from Exodus 3:10, Elder Akakulu referred to Moses’ calling to lead the Israelites out of captivity. He said that though Moses tried to explain his way out of this divine assignment, God had a role for him to play which same role we have today without making excuses. As the story continued, the elder indicated that the Pharaoh hardened his heart despite numerous plagues. He just couldn’t let the children of God go. God, on the other hand, wanted His people to be free to worship Him and said that our role today was as Moses’ and we needed to be God’s instruments.
God then instructed Moses to ask the Israelites to prepare for their rescue – God, still had a way, God was still in control. Even when things seem beyond us, he said, God still is in control. As he read from the main text, the elder said that the Israelites were asked to mark their doors and door post with blood and be ready to be rescued. We live in similar times as those which prevailed then. Our charge is to be ready as Christ’s return is imminent, he said. Our God is merciful; before He does anything drastic, He warns His people to be ready. He cares for us and He is calling us to be ready as He did in the time of Moses. It was disappointing, he said, that some Israelites did not follow God’s instructions despite their clarity. The instructions were very specific and meticulously described and were centered on there being no blemish on the lamps used as a source of blood. God has given us similarly specific – Our minds and hearts must be smeared with the blood of the lamp, in this case, Jesus Christ – 1Cor. 5:7, so that we can be ready to receive Him when He returns.
Heads of households were responsible for their families; they were in charge of the slaughtering and smearing the blood on the door posts and those who live with them even though they might have been Egyptians. He said that we were as responsible, too, for those people whom God has entrusted under our jurisdiction. We needed to gather all those that God has given to us; whether in our families, our churches, friendship circles and all those to whom we have influence and, otherwise, relate. As he referred to Psalms 51:7, elder Akakulu said that we needed to realize how unclean were and call upon God to find purification. It was only through Christ, he said, that our sins caould be cleansed. Let us learn to lean on the word of God for continued spiritual nourishment – in words, he said, let us all be ready at all times. The Israelites were instructed to be ready even as they ate – a thing that we should do as well. He said that 1 Peter 1;13 reminded us to gird up the loins of our minds and be as obedient children not fashioning ourselves according to our former lusts in our ignorance so as to be ready for the return of Christ. Lets us remember that unless we eat the flesh of Christ and drink His blood, we have no life as it was the Spirit who gave life and the words which Christ speaks to us have live in them. Let us be His likeness, not just by mere proclamation of it, but by truly living His likeness, the elder continued to preach. He said that God wanted us to be closer to Him and away from the materialism of this world and leave the rest to God as He has promised to be with us all the way. We need to have a particular focus and an attitude of one mindedness and live a life of anticipation. “…Now therefore…”, he read from Joel 2:12, “…turn your heart…” to me and with mourning and fasting, come to me as my blood is sufficient to cleanse all of our sins and God wasn’t in any hurry to destroy anybody. And so we have a token: to Moses, it was the blood of the lamp, to Abraham, it was a sign of circumcision, to Noah it was the safety of the ark and to us today, it is the blood of the slain Christ on the cross. What token are you embracing today? he posed as though to conclude.
As the story concluded, all the first borns whose doors were not smeared were slain by the Angel of the Lord which caused the release of the Israelites by the pharaoh as God had commanded. God wanted there to be a token in each and every one of us, a sign that pointed to the salvation that God has accorded us on the cross, a sign of the kinds of people that we have become in Christ, a sign that was a true mark of Christ in our lives, a sign that will make us appreciate who Christ is in our lives, a sign of salvation. He said that Ephesians 1:9 had a powerful message for us today: that we had obtained an inheritance which had been predestined to us according to God’s purpose to all who worked all things according to His counsel. We were of Christ, he said, and we will rule the universe with Him only if we, today, made a choice to be there with Him. Decide today, to live in eternity with Christ when He returns, the challenge is yours, he said.
Sermon Blog: 12/04/2010
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Text: Deuteronomy 28:13
“…and the Lord shall make you the head and not the tail and you shall only be above and not beneath…” if you obey my obey my commandments and listen to my word, he read as he began to speak today. Pr. Mungandi said that he had come to a realization that businesses and other entities live by the polls, quality assurance surveys in a quest to achieve greatness. He said that while this was the case out there, this wasn’t happening in our church. Quoting from the scriptures, he said that God cared about the quality of the work of His hands: After His creation, God looked at what he had done and said that it was all good! In Mathew 25:1, God commends a faithful servant who was faithful in ‘few things’. Hellen White says that God desire is that man was designed to be and reach higher heights of Excellency. We should live so that our lives can be an abject lesson to others to learn from, she says in her book, Christian experiences, page 220. As if to draw an application, the pastor said that, in like terms, we needed to be epistles to our communities. We were, he said, on the verge of receiving God’s blessings if were motivated to go and serve our communities.
Reading from Mathew 16:18, the pastor indicated that we all had roles to play in the Lord’s vineyard; we have talents and all that we needed to do was to employ our talents and God will do the rest as he has already promised. Referring to our Strategic Planning function scheduled for later on today, he said that we had sufficient resources in time and skill to do God’s work. As a part of planning for next year, pr. Mungandi said that we needed to push for excellence in order to make our worship meaningful to others people and to God Himself. We must as, Hellen White says, in reviewing our history, be thankful to God and have nothing to fear for the future. Let us push forward in growth as we nurture all our membership.
We must, he continued to insist, look at the Scriptures as inspired writings and focus on the exciting possibilities that lie ahead of us rather than whatever problems that we might be having at the moment. Help the church in whatever way that you can, you have a talent, however small you think it may be, even if it was just a ‘smile’ he continued to preach. Do no wait to be requested to work, he said!
He urged the church to conduct a fearless inventory of our SWOT and analyze all the capabilities that God had given us so that we can use our strengths and opportunities to overcome our weaknesses and threats so that we can ‘go yea therefore’ as is our commission of Matthew 28:19-20 to go, teach, and make disciples for Christ.
Saying that he believed that Faith Church International would become the benchmark in all aspects of evangelism in the Twin Cities, pastor Mungandi said that he was convinced that, in God’s name, this was all possible by 2015, audacious though it might be. He then urged the church to sit and formulate a 2011 strategic plan be centered on the following areas:
1.) A 25% growth in baptized membership in 2011
2.) A 20% growth in church attendance in 2011 to 127
3.) A 40% growth in total budget to $77,000
Let us all ad may God add a blessing to us, he said as he concluded.
Sermon Blog: 11/27/2010
Speaker: Elias Mabiria
Title: Healing the Spirit of a Woman
Text: 1 Peter 3:7
Referencing Matthew 15:21, Elder Mabiria narrated the story of a woman who prayed for Jesus to intervene on behalf of her daughter’s demon possession state. He said that it was very interesting as to how this woman pours her heart out as though it was her that was demon possessed. He said that she had been going to the disciples of Jesus requesting the same but had failed miserably, posing: how do we deal with those who are suffering around us? Jesus, he proceeded, decided to use that exercise to teach them a lesson.
As he continued, Elder Mabiria, went through great pains to explain how he has come to develop great admiration of women, not just in the Bible, but even those in his life. He said that it was because women were much more likely to understand others’ situations and live them with them, strangers though they may be. Women in his life starting from his mother, he said had been very good role models to him, despite persistent put downs by the men in their lives. He said that our society was hurting as a result of how we have treated our women, across cultural lines. He said that when God created us, He, specifically, instructed that women be our helpers but lamented that we had changed all that in that women were, not just bread winners, were indeed our servants. We have hurt the spirit of the woman to our own detriment! We dishonored God’s direction in this regard and that is why our prayers are not answered as the Bible says in 1 Peter 3:7: “…giving honor unto the wife, as unto a weaker vessel…”
There are far too many things which we are doing which are just good to us and our cultures but are not Godly. We have neglected to do the kinds of things that we are supposed to do and are omitting our responsibilities albeit that we may not be committing sins legalistically. We must uplift and protect the spirit of those in our lives and those around us; it is our responsibility, in Jesus’ name I pray!
Sermon Blog: 11/20/2010
Speaker: Pr. Eric Mokua
Title: Renewal of our Mind
Text: Romans 12:1-2
Pr. Eric, a visiting Minister from Mount of Blessings SDA Church, stood to speak in this special inaugural edition of our Divine Service – a two year anniversary since the installation of Pr. Mungandi as pastor of Faith Church international. “… I beseech to you therefore”…. "do not conform to this world but be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind…” he read from the holy scriptures as he started. He indicated that most of us had ‘completely adjusted, molded ourselves to, squeezed into patterns and copied the behaviors of this world that we do not realize and are, thereby, comfortable – a comfort zone that is actually very dangerous! We have come to this country but we don’t know how it functions and are quickly conforming to the ways of the world, he said as he liked this phenomenon with our Christian faith, and how further away from it we have moved, even as much as we blame it on this ‘being America’
Paul, in Romans, is trying to warn us against this; he said that our world view is shaped by what we see:
1. Materialism – one with the most wins, a culture of more and more than we, actually, need. Christ talks about this in Luke 12:13 where he refers to this culture/mentality as foolish as life does not, solely, consist on how much property you posses. Be careful about this as it is counter with Christian expectations.
2. Selfishism – it is all about me, think of me first and to hell to all else. People divorce carelessly as long as it is self convenient.
3. Hedonism – the pursuit of pleasure, do what feels good regardless of what it is and its impact on you, your Christian values and your family. Do not conform to the ways of this world, Paul warns, but be transformed by the renewal of our mind.
4. Relativism – It is true for you but not for me, there are no absolutes! If it is true for you, it is not for me; it does not matter if it is right or wrong, all is right it just depends on who is the beholder. Remember, we have one God and He alone is the truth.
5. Atheism – God does not exist; a belief that everything in life is as a result of ‘just random’ chance. This is a belief that is based, purely, on evolution and according to it, Genesis and the creation story are nonstarters!
6. Humanism – You are your own god, you are divine, master of your own fate and you determine your own destiny. The observation of outdated cultural practices and the consideration of cultures that establish as many gods and you want.
7. Biblical Worldview – Moral truth exist, accuracy of the Bible, there are ‘rights and wrongs’ but that there Bible believing Christians who still think that abortion, pornography, premarital sex, unethical behavior, etc, are morally acceptable. This is what Paul wants to remind us today, he said as he prepared to finish his message today.
We needed to know that devil is around us and we have allowed him to push us away from what are the basic truths! God wants to change us and we just have to let Him to do that so that we can have a renewal of our minds’ which is where we need to begin. Just let God take control and His change will determine what our character becomes, in Jesus’ name, he concluded.
Sermon Blog: 11/13/2010
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Text: Acts 1:8
Today it was about ‘empowerment’ and after reading from the main text about the empowerment that came to the Disciples after receiving the Holy Spirit, Pastor Mungandi said that it was our calling and mission to bring the gospel message to all corners of the world, teaching them to observe all the things that He has commanded us. He indicated, quoting the scripture, that it was only until then that the end of the world will come. Going by the numbers of Christians that there are around the world, the pastor said that the magnitude of our challenge was great and posed: how can we carry on an international ministry that was meaningful? He, then, went to look at the early church to see if there was anything that we can borrow and learn from. He said that despite challenges, the early church did their ministry, did it so well until they caught the attention of the Roman government because they, actually, received the Holy Spirit that was promised in Acts 1:8 which enabled them to run a power packed ministry.
What about us; are we so empowered, he asked as though to provoke the congregation’s thoughts. He said that if we were empowered by God through the Holy Spirit and quoting E.G. White’s Ministry of Healing’, there was no limit to living a life devoted to the works of the Holy Spirit. We then as them must confess our sins and open our hearts to the urgings of the Holy Spirit so that we can be capable of accomplishing such great works. He said that we were wasting time complaining about the status quo not knowing that God was willing to pour down His Holy Spirit upon us so that we can begin to have the fruits of the rather rain. Saying that our church has really truly become international drawing membership from more than several countries, he said that we can, truly, participate in the mission of hope and good news around the world as we were God’s agents of salvation.
Let us then embark in commitment to prayer and confession before the end of the year so that the doors can be open to us to do great things that God has promised us and let us accept the challenge of our mission, yielding to God’s power so that we can be empowered by His grace. Let us a church take this opportunity and shine as a model of Jesus Christ, in Jesus’ name.
Sermon Blog: 11/06/2010
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Title: Secret for a Happy Life
Text: Matthew 6:33
Secrets to a ‘happy life’? in this world? really? Is there any such thing? the pastor wondered out loud as he opened his sermon today. Pr. Mungandi said that if you ever had all that you wanted to have in life, you must then be a very fortunate individual. Many people settle for just the basic necessities whereas they live in society where so few have so much yet so many possess so little!
Yet God says that we can still find freedom and enjoyment in life, even with that back drop. The guide is God’s word as contained in Matthew 6:33 – “…seek ye first the kingdom of God and the rest will be added to you…” The premise of this, he continued to preach, is in the word of God in Genesis. As long as man depended on God, there was no problem with God’s creation although there was no housing, at least not of the kind we see today. But no sooner did they listen to the devil’s message of independence, than the happiness in the kind of life they led dissipated. God had it all planned out, He gave Israel the law which was to express God’s standard of expectation – complete dependence on Him, God’s people would lead a happy life! As soon’, though, as they violated that standard, they were carried away by the Amorites into slavery. He said, as if to draw a lesson, that as long as we lived according to God’s expectations, we shall have happiness in our lives.
At another point, the pastor preached, people came to listen to Jesus with varying expectations. As Jesus preached about not worrying about their lives and what they were going to eat or drink or their bodies, and life being important that bodies or what goes with it… He exhorted to them to ‘…seek ye first…’ ‘…and these things will be added…’ Pr. Mungandi said that there were many of us who valued the good life what this life had to offer and were not as equally committed to God’s value system. What Jesus is saying is that all these things must be secondary to Godliness. Jesus is saying that the secret of a happy life is complete dependence on Christ’s righteousness. When we completely depend on Him, life would seem to be complete in our eyes and He is, though he might not have all, materially, that others possesse. As Faith Church, we should, indeed must, be a people completely depended upon God’s standard of expectations, refraining from all that are ungodly in the way of giving, what we consume, the company we keep and all else. Focusing on tithing and giving, the pastor promised God’s blessing, as contained in Malachi chapter 3, for all those who, faithfully give. Let us remember, as Paul says, that the love of money is the root all evil, he continued to say, indicating that things do not always add up to those who may have not been returning tithe faithfully – Haggai 1:8-9. We may be doing so much but not accomplishing anything as we are robbing God contrary to His command!
Yes, it does not sound practical, especially, in a bad economic climate, yes you may not be having a source of livelihood, yes we live in a culture of ‘me first’ but the secret of a happy life whatever the circumstances, wherever we live is ‘seeking Him first…’. Learn to depend upon Him, trust Him and this is compatible with success in all other aspects of daily living. You cannot loose with Christ Jesus, he concluded.
Sermon Blog: 10/30/2010
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Title: Called to Serve
Text: Exodus 10:8-11
The history of mankind is fully loaded with a commitment to service. This has lead to, not just great achievements in the world of trade and industry, but also in medicine, warfare and leadership. In the same vein is faith and based on Exodus 10:8-11, Pr Brian Mungandi endeavored to highlight the path we forge forth through, the hardships we endure and the trials we encounter. It is a mind bugling picture especially in light of God being our protector and strength.
Tracing back the history of the Israelites to Abraham, Pr Mungandi sited the peculiarity of the Hebrews - a genealogy going back through Jacob and Isaac who found attachment to Africa, the stronghold of industrialization back then. Relating to their troubles, the pastor insinuated to the hardships of being and living as a peculiar, chosen person, more so as a foreigner. This, in addition, was in the background of a leader who knew neither God nor the people chosen by God - the then Pharaoh.
Nevertheless God cares for His people regardless of where we live, what we own or what surrounds us. In spite of our Geographical position The Lord is ever present. He hears our cry of distress and sympathizes with our pain. He says that “…..I have heard their cry…..” On the other hand having the Lord on our side does not guarantee a smooth ride and a bed of roses. God calls us to ‘leave’. He asks us to depart from and cut out the attachments of the world we now indulge in. This does not come easy or on a silver platter. The devil, master of enticements, will offer liaisons. He will offer you a little bit of this and that, a compromise with this and that, and indulgence so long as perversity, profanity and shortfalls are not obvious. This is evident even on the regards of Luke 4:5-13. The devil will not let go of you that easy. In the light of Exodus 8:25, the devil will offer counters to our faith and will challenge the beliefs we hold dear, for instance; it is not too bad to listen to this secular music, to dress in a ‘sexy’ manner, to watch movies and programs that are a little ‘liberal’ in relation to faith. The call to ‘leave Babylon’ should impact what we eat, listen to, watch, wear and embrace. God wants to save us from our sins but not within them.
The devil, as we overcome the prior temptations, will bring along more compromises. He will allow us to go on but cause divide between us and our families. He will try to set asunder what we hold dear: our families, our talents and abilities, our wealth and even friends so we cannot fully serve God. Notice that when the Lord God wants us to depart from them, He means ‘all’ for He expects us and everything that surrounds us to take part in His service. He wants us and all that is ours ”for wherever is a man’s wealth, there also is his heart”, God wants us and ours to commit to His service .
Sermon Blog: 10/23/10
Speaker: Elijah Kamau
Title: What and where is your name?
Text: Proverbs 22:1
Elijah talked about a name posing: what is in a name and whether there were good or bad names and what makes it good or bad. Invoking the recent political experience in the US, Elijah sought to explain that people always wanted to be identified with Kenya because of the election of President Obama. At the same time he also gave other examples in the Kenyan community in Minnesota which had brought us shame thus we do not want to identify with Kenya – in the same name we treasured just a couple of year ago.
Reading from his main text, he said that a good name is rather to be chosen that great riches. This coming from the richest man that ever lived at the time was something that we should take seriously as he had experience. But what was in a name, he asked. Is it just the name? what was in a name that would make it good or bad? No matter what you have now, you can build to be good or bad to cause many to, either, want to identify or disassociate us with/from them. As if to answer these questions he read from Ecclesiastes 7:1, he said that a good name was better that precious ointment. He then said that it wasn’t just the name but the actions of the man who bears the name and that those names had to be better than precious ointment.
He then read from Acts 9:15 where God refers to Paul, the same Paul who used to be Saul the persecutor as “…a vessel chosen to carry my name to the nations…” This, he said, showed that we had the power to change our names if were we depended upon Christ who has already changed our destiny.
As we walk around, here and there, let us then, remember that we carry Christ’s name. His name is wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6) which same name we should all carry as our true identity! We should then take care of this name as it shall endure forever causing all to call him blessed (Psl. 72:17), the elder said.
This, he continued to say, was what made our names great and is what we must carry around. He said though, that we were bringing distain to this name. It is my prayer that we be careful as to how and to where we carried His name. Our names must reflect what God’s will is in our lives – he concluded.
Sermon Blog: 10/16/10
Speaker: Elder Buell Fogg
Title: an Army of One
Text: Psalms 127 :1- 3
Elder Fogg of Union College, a Seventh Day Institution, spoke about ‘an army of one’. An army of one, he said, was an international rescue and relief program at Union College which offered training programs in international relief of all kinds. He highlighted what the Adventist church, through Union College, was doing in Haiti and Nicaragua among other places, among other programs which the college offers!
As he started, Elder Fogg, said that there was a lot to learn from the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastics, albeit from the eyes of Solomon who, with all he possessed, could conclude that life was meaningless without the fear of the Lord. Learn, he said, that the more things we own end up owning us. Reading from the main text, he said that unless the Lord builds a house, guards etc, all else is in vain but children were a heritage of the Lord and like arrows in the hands of a warrior…. Arrow as you know, he said, were designed to make an impact. We are chosen by God as arrows to make an impact in other peoples’ lives hence causing a multiplication effect touching the lives others in ways that we will never imagine. Narrating the story of Rosa Parks who impacted Martin Luther King Jr who impacted Lech Walesa who impacted Boris Yeltsin who brought down communism in Russia, he said that our small actions can have enormous effects in more way that one and in ways that we might not be able to understand.
He, in conclusion, said that God’s promises are inexhaustible, urging all to go and claim them in Jesus’ name.
Sermon Blog: 10/09/10
Speaker: Pr. Donald Rolle
Title: Youth Protection
Text: Proverbs 7 : 6-21 (Please read in its entirety to more easily follow today’s blog)
Pr. Rolle stood to speak in this ‘Great Lakes Youth Federation’ day and spoke about the youth and youth issues as he is, after all, the Associate Youth Director – Central States Conference. Focusing on his main text, he said that he was going to talk about predator and preys as he read from Proverbs 7:6-21, about this lady seducing a young man with smooth and persuasive words and promises of pleasure. This, he said, was a parable about a lady and a young man who did not listen to what she was, actually, saying. As if to draw an interim application, he said that this story was about us as we have not listened, nor have we paid attention to what God said to us, forgetting that temptations were all around us and may lead us astray if we don’t heed the word of God. The story is told by King Solomon about a young person who has not been taking seriously the messages God has been sending to him thus taking them for granted so much as to lose a sense of direction.
If we do not pay attention to what we are supposed to do in good times, what makes us think that we can, in bad times, he posed as he hit the message home that God’s word in us is good for all of us and it has to be in us voluntarily not because anybody wants us to have it. What you have prepared yourself with before temptations come, is what will help you in times of temptations. We have gone out of the fold, as the young man narrated in this story, and we face all kinds of dangers out there and we are we risk being led out to be slaughtered without even knowing. For us the seductive woman might be a lying tongue, pornography, cheating, adultery; which come through all of five senses in all of which this young man fell:
1.) Sight - How good this woman looked
2.) Touched - Kissing
3.) Taste – I have cooked good meals
4.) Smell – I have prepared aroma and bed
5.) Hearing – He gave himself to listen
He said that we have surrendered ourselves to be used by the devil and we were not prepared to counter any temptations. We are what we consume and we have let all our senses consume of the world, and so we have become weak to the point that we can’t defend ourselves. When we give in to temptations, we find ourselves more messed up than before. As in the case of Adam and Eve, we are tempted through what we should already know, but which we don’t, yet, take seriously nor are we convinced of its truths! Satan, he said, knew how powerful the word of God was and therefore uses it to tempt us and we succumb to them when we are not well grounded. We should, instead, use the scripture to defend ourselves as Christ did when tempted by Satan. Note, though, that we can only do this if we are well grounded, he continued to say. The devil is wise and takes advantage of the little that we know to mislead us. Jesus took it all for Himself and died for us and when He rose on the third day, he rose with our individual victories so that no matter how many times you stumble and fall and stumble again, Jesus gives us the reason why we must not give up. If we confess our sins, He is faithful enough to forgive us, in Jesus’ name; he concluded today’s sermon.
Sermon Blog: 10/02/10
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Title: Our Daily Bread
Text: Mathew 6:11
Pastor Mungandi started his sermon today by saying that it was a blessing come to worship in the house of the Lord which, though a regular thing, must not be taken for granted. He then went on to read from the main text saying that today was all about ‘Our Daily Bread’
The Lord, he said, taught His disciples how to pray thereby teaching us similarly, the pastor stated as he talked about the dignity and simplicity contained in the Lord ’s Prayer. The prayer, he said, was organized into two parts which were plural and covered all tenses – the past, the present and the future:
1) God’s needs and wants
2) Our needs and wants
He then said that he was going to be focusing on the second part of the prayer which focuses on us!. He said that it was amazing how God quickly shifted from majestic things about Him in the first part of the prayer, to talk about us and the kinds of things we needed so as to survive. Jesus was, actually, teaching us how to pray, he said. Among the things which God is concerned about, is ‘our daily bread’ and this shows that God cares about our struggles, our needs, our daily needs and we must not think, for a moment, that we are bothering God when we pray, even for what we deem minor things. Yet, it was amazing still that in the previous chapters, God had talked about man not being able to live by bread alone, he wondered aloud, and that is “…when I realized God was talking about spiritual survival needs when He was talking about our ‘daily bread’…” If a person, he suggested, was deprived of these daily needs including spiritual needs, he is reduced to living as a beggar. Bread, he said, was something representing all that encompasses our live needs as a whole.
Jesus, the pastor said, was the bread of life and we should pray in that realization and how amazing it is to pray to the bread giver – bread being all our daily spiritual, as well as physical needs! “…he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth in me shall never thirst.” Jesus is our daily bread and so when we pray that ‘give us this day our daily bread’ we are, actually saying that Jesus’ life should be live in us. If this is what we desire we won’t be:
1) Self centered
2) Ego centric
4) Live in any manner contrary to Christian expectation
Our lives should then begin to emulate Christ in all ways, we must adopt a different attitude when we deal with our brothers, we should exemplify Christ and the life of Christ should be expressed in our hands when we give, in our feet when we visit our brothers and, indeed, in all that we do. We should then be able to, honestly, pray: ‘Give us today our Daily bread’
Sermon Blog: 09/25/2010
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Title: Broken Lives
Text: John 8:1-11
“…I’ll now, kindly, ask you to turn to our scripture reading…”, and he read as has been his tradition, this time about the accused adulterous and condemned woman who Jesus forgave and asked to “..go and sin no more…”
Think about it, he paused, how could these religious leaders have done this; following this woman, sending spies on her, matching her and accusing her even unto Jesus? You see, in doing this, they disregarded the law which stated that it should have been the woman’s husband who should have brought such accusations and even then, the man with who she sinned should have been judged too. That notwithstanding, she should have been taken to a court of law and accused procedurally. Their intention was to use this situation to tempt Jesus. I am, in no way condoning the actions of this woman, the pastor said, as he continued to narrate the story. But the question they pose to Jesus is vital here; they say according to the Law of Moses, this woman ought to be ‘stoned’ as though to want to pin Him down.
I like Jesus, Pr. Mungandi said, for He in His answer to these accusers, He traces their sinfulness causing them to tremble as they realize how guilty they are of the same sins, if not worse, as/than they accuse this woman of, thereby reaffirming the Law. He condemned sin and loved the sinner. This story, he said, is our story today. We, in one way or the other, have lived our lives in such way that we have dishonored the name of God. We have dishonored our family names by living in ways that are unimaginable and yet we still find ways to justify our ways without much shame even as we still find it necessary to judge others.We need to come back to our savior, repent our sins and reclaim our position as the children of God as many Biblical figures have done before us. None of us is perfect right now nor can we be if not for Christ who came and died for us. It is through Him that people like Abraham, Moses and others found favor with God even after living lives which were not so perfect after all! God is merciful, I tell you my brother, and if you come to Him today, He’ll make you a perfect creature and accompany you in this live journey until He returns to take us home, the pastor continued to preach. As God promises in Ezekiel 36:26, ‘ I’ll give you a new heart and a new spirit and I’ll take away the stony heart from you and I will give you a heart of flesh’, I challenge you, therefore, today, he exhorted; accept Jesus as He will always be there with you even when the world rejects you. Others will condemn you but Jesus will exonerate you; they will hate you but Jesus loves you even now! Friends, he pleaded, would you, today, accept the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that you can choose to have Christ in your life and accept His power of forgiveness? Today if you hear my voice, do not harden your hearts, he concluded!
Sermon Blog: 08/28/2010
Sermon Blog: 08/21/2010
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Sermon Blog: 08/14/2010
Sermon Blog: 08/07/2010
Sermon Blog: 07/30/2010
Sermon Blog: 07/24/2010
Sermon Blog: 06/26/2010
And so we have come together to worship a great God and I hope, the pastor said, that you have enjoyed being in the presence of God – something which we have to go and share with others out there spontaneously, trusting and obeying as contained in Hymn # 590, the pastor concluded his sermon today.
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Title: Where is Elijah’s God?
Sermon Blog: 05/28/2010
Sermon Blog: 05/08/10
Speaker: Dr. Nathan Mowa
Title: Remind me Dear Lord
Text: Psalms 20:7
Dr. Mowa whose message was geared to students as much as it was for their parents, is a science professor at the Appalachian University in North Carolina, focusing, primarily, on students of color.
We live in a culture, the professor started to say, that has become self centered, identity crisis as well as academics and their impact on a spiritual life of, especially, a young person. He said that this, among other things, was going to be the focus of his discussion today and requested the congregation to pray together with him. He, then, went on to explain that his topic today ‘Remind me Dear Lord’ was very important as we, because of one reason or another, we tend to forget easily and more so than ever before, indicating that this has very seriously spiritual implications. God, he said, does seem to know this as we seen the numerous (210 times) use of the word ‘remember’ in the Bible emphasizing on redemptive memories e.g. Psm 20:7, Exodus 20:8, Deut 16:12, 24:18, 24:22, Ex. 12:1-3, Lk 17:32-33, Psm 137:1, Ecc. 12:1, Isa. 65:17, Acts 20:35, Gal. 2:10, Heb. 10:17, Heb.13:7 among many more others.
1. If the world did not forget the Sabbath we would not have the problem of evolution
2. Rest is very paramount as God accorded time for it, science has now caught up with the idea of rest. Remembering is very important
3. Insufficient, especially in the night, rest causes certain types of cancers showing that God had a purpose in asking us to remember to rest
Certain points of focus come out and they relate to identity:
1. God’s creation was all good as in Gen. 1:27
2. Sin messes up man’s relationship with man Gen 3:7-7
3. Enmity between creatures as in Gen 3:12
4. God institutes punishment – you shall return to the dust from whence you came
- God says that we are fallen
- We are under restoration
- Things will get better; but not here; rather in the new earth that is coming!
God now says with all this, don’t forget your history: you were a messed up people, I saved you, you are now here. Remember then, the professor said, referring to this as a part of our Identity Chrisis amongst Christians today. Be that as it may, we are not yet home, we are still here. God has changed our environment after sinning to remind us that, though the plan of salvation had begun, we are, still in this dirty environment. Our expectations in this world shouldn’t be too high and this is why, as the professor kept reiterating, we are continuously being urged to REMEMBER that this is not home even as Abraham of old did as exemplified by his ‘tent’ life even as much God promised him land. REMEMBER, he said, we are sinners save by grace but who live in this fallen world. We should neither feel superior nor should we feel inferior; rather we should balance our identity with our current state of restoration. Avoid being, neither proud nor having a lack of self confidence so that we can be effective in the way that God uses us to accomplish His purpose in this world before He return to take us home, in Jesus’ name I pray – He ended his sermon here today.
Sermon Blog: 05/01/2010
Speaker: Victor Makori
Title: Christian Resume
Text: Mark 10:17-22
Elder Makori, to whom this is the second time to preach here, started by appreciating the opportunity to speak at Faith Church International, indicating that he felt at home being here.
Saying that he was going to tell his sermon in form of stories of how Jesus went about to bring his message home, Elder Makori indicated that we needed to have resumes about our Christian lives as in what happens secularly. A good Christian resume, he said, should contain the following:
1. Name: Struggling Christian
2. Address: Sinful World
3. Objective: To inherit Internal Life (Mark 17:17)
4. Requirements: Keep the Commandments (Mark 10:19), Living Sacrifices (Rom 12:1-2, Sincere love, hate evil etc (Rom 12:9-21)
5. Education & Skill: Word of God (Bible) – Deut 6:6-9
6. Education History: Our Lives since we were born, what we have done since then
Not all qualifications are necessarily good the elder said. The following, he said, are not good Christian qualification :
1. Pride, a lying tongue etc (Prov. 6:17-19
2. Temptation or tempting others (26:41)
3. Ignoring God’s Word (John 5:24)
4. Worries of Life (Life’s pets – Matt. 6:25)
5. Keeping up with culture/society/everyone else (Ephesians 4:1)
6. Even a hint of sexual immorality, any kind of impurity etc (Ephesians 5:3-5 & 5:19-21)
Entertainment, the elder said, has been allowed in church much to the detriment of our Christian growth. We are falling to cheap worldly substitutes to our Christian lives without realizing that these things are choking us and we are not growing. We have become too permissive to worldly, culture and other social environments. Be careful, he said, for we are living in the last days. Soon, Christ will be here and we risk being left behind. Live a life worth of the calling you have received, he seemed to conclude. Just because it is socially acceptable, does not mean that fashion is necessarily acceptable in Christian living. Remember that we have a culture of our own that we are supposed to uphold – that of Christ. This is, and should be, our qualities and mission in life.
Ask yourself today: How is your resume? Is it worth of consideration? How is it with your soul if Jesus were to come today? Avoid copying from the world and be an influence instead and bring all to salvation, the elder closed his sermon.
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Title: Elijah & God
Text: 1 Kings 17:1
Today I’ll preach on Elijah, part of the character series I am doing on this man of God for the next few weeks, Pastor Mungandi said as he read from his main text.
He said that many of us have always thought that we know who Elijah is but when we get down to asking basic background questions, we quickly realize that we really do not know this prophet. But this much we know, Pr. Mungandi said: He was a man of God who came from Gilhead whom God choose to pick and use but who was a complete nobody. We learn the following as we live our lives in today’s world:
1.) Elijah’s name was a powerful indicator of his character. Now we don’t know how he acquired his powerful name; may be as a product of his time during which time people forgot all about God, His commandments and living perverted lives that lacked, even the very basic of, values! Elijah means MY GOD IS JEHOVAH, pointing a powerful God’s character in a community that really needed that God. Our community today, much as during Elijah’s time needs a few good men just like Elijah. People who can and are willing to stand up and proclaim that ‘MY GOD IS JEHOHAH. I pray, the pastor said, that we can be that kind of men and women.
2.) The way we talk matters – It reveals a lot about whose that we are, “…but according to my word.” His attitude as he looked at the countryside indicates that God (Elijah’s God) meant/means what he said/says and will not stand for evil of any kind in any way. This God was/is a living reality, a God who is there all the time and even for us too! If we believe that God is present, it can change a lot of things in our lives as God reaches us at our deepest level to give us comfort. We needed to grow this reality deeper in our lives in earnest, understanding that the forces of evil aren’t asleep. If we acknowledge that God is this present reality in our lives, we will be able to surrender our past, present and future in exchange for the joyful comfort that He has already taken care of all for all. We shall then have time to share with others about Him who is great so that they can also share this wonderful experience that we known about Him, which is our calling. Tell everyone that God is good and that he is good all the time, the Pastor concluded his message today.
Speaker: Pr. John S. Goffa
Title: A Man after God’s own Heart
Text: Acts 13:22
Pr. Goffa started by pointing out to how exciting it was for us to be in the presence of God and that He alone was the sole reason for our continued existence.
“And when he had removed him…” the pastor read from his key text and continued to talk about the quality of man who seek and are after God’s heart. He said that such man were a rare breed in the world today. Challenging the congregation, the pastor wondered aloud if there was such man in the membership. Man of the caliber of David who was a man after God’s own heart who fulfilled the will of God. Pastor Goffa pointed out that man like Saul tried and failed to be men after God’s own Hearth.
David, on the other succeeded because he:
1.) Put trust in God as a shepherd amid problems and protected his father’s flock – took on Goliath despite Saul’s rebuke. He feared no men! Likewise, when we are faced with challenges; shouldn’t we learn from David and put our trust in the Lord or do we go at it alone and give in to the fear of the day. God has given us a promise of supply in Phil. 4:19
2.) Walked in Humility rather that pride. He was the last one to come forth from the field where he was taking care of his father’s business. He did not think that he was as important as his brothers who had paraded themselves in hopes of becoming kings. God took him and used him. He took him from nowhere, the pastor said, to somewhere. God can do the same to us if we can humble ourselves.
3.) Repented and confessed his sin rather than trying to cover it up. This is exemplified by the way David handled his situation with Bathsheba. David repented, confessed and accepted the punishment, asking God to have mercy on him. The Bible says that God heard David’s prayers. John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just enough to forgive us. Confession, though, isn’t just about proclaiming that we are have sinned and apologizing for them. Rather, it is a commitment not to continue indulging in sin. He who covers his sin will not prosper
Remember that sin is sin and no sin is greater or smaller in the sight of God. Let us not justify our wrong doings by rationalizing our specific situations. Psalm 119:9-11 gives us a way as to how we can be men after God’s Hearth:
By: Having God’s word within us
Speaker: Pr. Brian Mungandi
Title: Our Relationships
Text: 1st Corinthians 4:1-2
We are a family albeit in small groups that then form a bigger family, the pastor started, and it is through this, he continued, that we grow and evangelize to other people out there. We cannot succeed in our mission unless our evangelism was really spontaneous and how we live our lives. It our conviction at Faith Church International that we cannot please God without Faith, the pastor said as he reported that were are well in our way to adding more membership through baptism and/or transfer.
It is truly through how we relate to people that we can even begin to talk to them about our belief system. Most importantly, it is how we live our lives that the message about whom we belief can be adequately communicated to those who have not known Christ in His true character. We can also reach the unreached, the pastor continued to say, by the improving our returning our tithes and offerings as is our obligation to God and to the sisterhood of churches as a member of the world church, adding that we need to find a way to improving in this regard so that we can be indeed faithful.
God has a way to financing His work though. When you look at our memory text, the key word that is illuminated is steward (one employed to manage domestic concerns, keep record and keep account) implying that he has:
1.) a relation with the employer
2.) he has responsibilities
3.) supervise other servants
4.) collect funds and
5.) keep account
A Christian steward too has the same obligation to God having accepted the responsibilities of becoming a Christian. We have a relationship with God; we have responsibilities to Him as well as to our friends. We are our brothers’ keepers; we collect funds on God’s behalf and must, therefore, keep a good account of all that we do. God’s plan through Joseph to save the Israelites as they left Egypt was that he was to collect 1/5 or 20% so that people could be saved from famine. Lev 27:30 says that all the tithes of the land belong wholly to God. We, the pastor said, have a lighter burden because we return 10% instead of the 20% which they returned at Exodus in those days. Tithe then, pastor said:
1. is unique to God (1st 10%)
2. is unique to us (Deut 14:22) (2nd 10%) for the church budget operations
Hellen White says that “…God tests us by giving us temporal possessions…” to see if we “…can be trusted with eternal riches…” – very interesting!
Remember then the 4 Ts of stewardship, Pastor Mungandi went on to explain:
1. Temple (Body)
4. Time ,
which Ts are a test that God has given us and if we manage 1,3 &4 well, they will, always, equal to 2 (Treasure otherwise known as money in the modern world) I we truly value our relationship with God we should put our treasures in it. If we value the work of God, Hellen White says, we should invest our treasures to fund:
1.) The Gospel (tithe) - Levites
2.) Church Budget – Household
…and this is how God funds His work around the world in His church, as specified in Malachi 3:8-10, the pastor seemed to conclude, indicating that a curse looms on us because we have roped God of what He has bestowed upon us.
Whole, All & Full are words that Bible uses to explain what is expected of us when it comes to returning tithes and offering and should, indeed must, take them at what they mean, remembering that God really needs us and not the money. If God needed the money He would use gold and silver because all these are He’s, He says. He wants us first and all that we posses. Our God is good and has promised throwing open the floodgates of heaven for blessing so that we won’t have a place to store them all. It is a powerful promise; let us claim it!
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi
Title: “Babylon Rhythm Revelation”
Text: Rev 14:6-11
Pr. Mungandi started today by indicating that this was the end of the revelation series, and that it had been a wonderful experience…
The three angle message is proclaimed warning toward God’s people. “fear God and give him glory … fallen, fallen is Babylon… do not worship the Beast” a calling to keep the commandments and be faithful to God for we are living in the last days. Babylon rhythms is influencing many people and taking control of their minds. It is the belief that once saved, always saved! A believe that salvation will be always be ours once we have attained it and we don’t lose it even if we sin – contrary to the gospel message. A believe that is predicated on the idea that we are saved once!
The angel then calls us to worship God inn truth and spirit and in spirit. He is then followed by two Angels who point out to the impending punishment.
Pr Mungandi said that Babylon:
1. Fallen even when it displays power
2. Denies God’s presence and creatorship
a. Changing God’s commandments – Sabbath worship
b. Disregarding any form of Godly order
3. Does not go by reasoning rather by sensation and feeling
4. Uses physical violence to enforce its will
5. Rejects God’s love
John then uses harvest symbolism to make his point that harvest can a time of either sadness or rejoicing depending on the specific circumstances. So friends, Pr. Mungandi seemed to conclude, it is time to watch the signs; so that our harvest can be a joyful one. We have 14 weeks of preaching, we have had time to grow, calls have been made. Are you ready to be harvested, he posed?. It is well within our control to change the nature and manner of the harvest.
Sermon - 03/13/10
Speaker: Pr. Mungandi