“Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and
your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me,
and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.
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It has been a busy season that has excited many people across the whole world. And as we count down to enter a new year 2015, aren’t you making some evaluation of the year gone and plans for the year ahead? It can sometimes be discouraging realizing that you did not achieve what you so seriously intended and determined at the beginning of the year – and for that reasons some people don’t even want to look back in evaluation! Yet the year ahead is a reality even if you close your eyes. How do you as a Christian face the year ahead?
To ensure Jesus at the center of your life and plans is the safest place to begin. Every book in the Bible has a Name for Jesus our Saviour and Lord, whose incarnation we just commemorated. Let us visit Prophet Isaiah and Apostle John to get some inspiration:
1. He Pacifies: Many of the things on which people lean leave them disappointed –
political power will wane some day, riches run dry, allies turn around and fight you,
and good health is not always guaranteed; there seems to be no sure rock solid
anchor to give confidence in life. Nations propagate more wars in search for peace!
Isaiah in his great Christmas prophecy portrays Jesus Christ as Wonderful Counselor and Prince of Peace (9:6). He will be the peace in your life, in your family, and he will even pacify the world around you if you trust in Him alone.
2. He Satisfies: The question in our key verse above is easy to understand for most precious resources with no satisfying results! The invitation in Isaiah 55 makes Jesus the only one who satisfies. It seems to be so easy and hustle-free to come to Him and not many would believe ‘rich food’ can come that easy; but figuratively or not, it is only Jesus who satisfies.
3. He Sustains: He not only satisfies but also sustains. In John 6:35, he declared
even more clearly, ‘I am the bread of life’; not just satisfying bread, but also life
giving – health of body and soul today and tomorrow – and this is life eternal. Pray
for grace to retain the Lord Jesus at the center of your life – to pacify, to satisfy and
to sustain you.
God bless you. Happy New Year 2015!
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him:
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On this last Sunday in Advent season, let us recall the meaning of this season: Waiting in expectation for the Coming of the Saviour. A miniature simile would be that of relatives in the village waiting for their Uncle from Kampala to come for Christmas; of course they know he will come with physical blessings and they can get relief from some of their year-old challenges. No wonder shopping is at its peak, roads are jammed up and bus fares have sky-rocketed because of such movements. Visitations are the norm of this season, and real blessings from such visitations are rightly expected.
The name Immanuel speaks of the divine visitation – God with us; not in the sense of his omnipresent nature by His Spirit, but physically dwelling among us in the way Jesus was born in Bethlehem, lived in Nazareth, walked all over Palestine preaching, and was crucified in Jerusalem. This reminds me of the times God seemingly visited Moses and they conversed; in His omnipresent nature He was with the Israelites and everywhere, but there were sit-down sessions with Moses for closer fellowship and instructions. One day Moses invited the elders to one such meeting; when they heard God’s footsteps, it was too much for them and they decided to tell Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die” (Exod 20:19). They did not like the visit! God descended in fire and His footsteps were heard as thunder and lightning and His voice was like the loudest trumpet and He was surrounded with thick smoke – even the mountain trembled violently!
Scandals of protocol are not uncommon; titles get mixed up (especially Bishops’ titles), and it can be embarrassing for the dignitary who messes up the protocol at an official function. When the Lord Jesus Christ came as Immanuel, thank God he did not tear apart mountains and ride on fiery chariots. He came as a humble child. While that did not make him less of ‘God with us’, some people could not comprehend a King with no fanfare, and they ended up messing up the protocol; they did not recognize and give him due worship. The Lord calls us to receive our King and enthrone Him in our hearts. Let us follow the obedience example of Joseph: he listened from God and ‘did as the angel of the Lord commanded him’.
God bless you.
“I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day
or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest … till He establishes
Jerusalem” (Isaiah 62:6-7)
It’s that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, and shouts of “Merry Christmas” to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?
For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow and suffering. They don’t have the
extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are
saddened at Christmas time when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. Turkey dinners may be only a wish and not a reality for some.
Yet, Christmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event.
Why did Jesus come down? Why did God send His son to this sometimes cruel and
hard world? Today, let’s be reminded his identity as a Servant King.
Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter 62 is one of God’s action posting people to watch over
Jerusalem – call them intercessors – people spending sleepless nights and days for
the sake of Jerusalem’s welfare and protection. Jesus is the embodiment of the greatest of these watchmen. But have you ever seen a King watching over his subjects? What a reversal – and Jesus turns out to be a different type of King – a Servant King who by so doing builds a strong bridge to connect those who were straying back to their heavenly destiny – to God their true Father.
We can truly be happy at Christmas! No matter what may be happening, we can
know that we are children reconciled with God our Maker. We then become sons and daughters of God. Heaven will be our home one day. Look at Christmas in a new way this year. This is the year to invite Jesus into your heart. You will then have a “Merry Christmas”. The joy and peace you will receive will last all year as you look to God for all your needs. Jesus Is The Reason For The Season! Rejoice!
God bless you.
You are warmly welcome to Kakumba Chapel!
As we celebrate Bible Sunday at Kakumba Chapel today, remember it is Good News, and that reminds me of what we shared the last Christmas:
Joy to the world, Christmas is here! After all the negative and miserable news that has flooded us in the recent past – international, regional, national, or even many other
challenges affecting us at individual and family level – after all this or even in the midst thereof we need some real good news to brighten the day. We rejoice to hear of new babies born to families in this Church, progressing offices and businesses, successful education achievements, and we celebrate many blessings that make our lives tick.
“Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress.” This was
Isaiah’s prophecy to a battered land. In the worst of times God’s people have a nevertheless to comfort themselves with, something to allay and balance their troubles; Naphtali and Zebulun (the region of Galilee – Is 9:1) lay remote and most exposed to the inroads of the neighbouring enemies especially Assyria; they were in the firing line: they were part of area that principally suffered in the first Assyrian invasion under Tiglath-pileser
(2Ki 15:29). Nevertheless, in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, they were the first that enjoyed the blessings of Christ’s preaching the Gospel, and exhibiting his miraculous works among them.
The Angel’s announcement to the Bethlehem shepherds had a much wider scope than they could comprehend at that time:
And the angel said…, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)
‘All the people’ includes the living then and later across the whole timeline of which we are part today. Choose to hear and receive this good news of great joy today. According to Johnny Enlow, “news is not a minor issue. The news we hear and the news we give are both powerful conditioners of the human spirit. Defiled news defiles people, and noble news invigorates people… God does not bring us hopeless, tragic news and just expect us to deal with it. He always seasons it with hope.” The hope today is the new born King, a Saviour, Christ the Lord. May the joy He brings dispel every gloom you could have experienced, and cause your today and the future to be brighter than ever before.
God bless you.
And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it,
saying, “… your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side… because you did not know the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44)
There are Bible verses more positive than the above that could have opened this Advent Message. Archbishop Wabukala of Kenya in his message to the GAFCON members chose to encourage us with 2Cor 4:18, “We look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. … the things that are unseen are eternal.” New life in Christ is a life of hope because eyes are opened not only to see by also to know what we must do. But today let’s be sternly reminded of the importance of recognizing and acting in the right season.
Timely Salvation. It’s time! The Messiah is coming – so John the Baptist announced and gave all the explanations of the signs that heralded the coming of the Messiah. But many Jews, even leaders did not see this. Jesus rebuked them when he wondered how they can predict rain and other weather patterns using signs, but they had failed to read
most important indications of the arrival of their Salvation (Matt 16:1-4). The suffering was there, but hope was on its way. God must have smiled at Zechariah when he exclaimed, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people” (Luke 1:68); and for you who “did not know the time of your visitation”, the Lord weeps and prophecies doom. Today we still have opportunity to receive our Salvation; the Lord will welcome all who come to Him.
Timely Stewardship. It’s time! Bring the offering – so the wise men from the East did not only follow the new star, but came to worship with gifts. It was not only time to receive
Salvation but also celebrate and worship with the very best and most costly of gifts. It was for them like a special Sabbath or Feast Day when the offering must be large and special. Our Advent response must touch the pocket as well.
Timely Settlements. It’s time! The Prince of Peace is coming – so you can ride this wave to restore some cracking relationship. Why wait? Don’t wait for the other to come to you, go to them and make peace. As soon as Paul says in Christ we are a new creation, he quickly mentions reconciliation as a ministry that we received. Moreover, before your good
offering is accepted, reconciliation is necessary; and if you are to escape the troubles of court and prison, timely reconciliation is necessary (Matt 5:23-26). For parents and
children, for the estranged youth who now realizes you need the elders, or for a couple that for months have talked not, it’s time for reconciliation. Then you also will be able to reconcile with God. May the Lord God smile on you as you take the right action – it’s time!
God bless you.