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When Jesus went to Jordan to be baptized, John was hestitant. But Jesus convinced him of the necessity and he complied.
Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is ﬁtting for us to fulﬁll all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him. (NASB) Matthew 3:13-15
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (NASB) Romans 6:3-4
It is our mandated obligation to make disciples all over the world through sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and baptizing them that believe.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit . . . Matthew 28:19 (NASB
In my few years of ministry, by the grace of God, I have not only led people to Christ but also had the opportunity to baptize them. I recently preached about Phillip and how He witnessed to the Ethiopian eunuch. When the Ethiopian saw a pool of water, He requested to be baptized. Phillip baptized him, and He was filled with great joy. Acts 8: 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more and went on his way rejoicing.
There is so much joy that comes from fulfilling all righteousness. I remember when I was baptized with nostalgia. I had faithfully attended discipleship classes for two years. Every time there was baptism, I was told I was too young to be baptized. In that span of two years, the church had conducted eight baptisms. These occurred after three months of vigorous discipleship classes. I attended each session with the hope that, eventually, I will be allowed to partake that essential practice in my new found faith. By the way, this happened when I was between the age of 9-10 years. By the time I turned 11years, the pastor in charge had made me a promise, ” If your parents consent to your baptism, we will not hold you off again, I promise.”
Ooh, the joy that filled my tender heart was unspeakable. I decided to fast and pray before asking my parents to consent. I wanted to be baptized so strongly with every fiber within. I skipped lunch for a whole week and attended lunch hour services to pray, precisely that God will soften my Mum and Dad’s hearts. I look back and am encouraged by how God answered those prayers. Every answered prayer increased my faith and passion for God. On Sunday after the discipleship classes, I made my request, and to my surprise, they agreed. My parents’ response was, ” if the pastors agree to baptize you this year, we have no objection.” I could not wait for Sunday to share my good news with the pastor, so the next day after school, I attended the evening service with the sole purpose of informing Him to write my name on the list.
Months went by, and eventually, the D day was here. My brother Patrick teased me a lot the previous night. The baptism was to happen in the Chania River in Thika. He talked of how if I harbored any sins, the hippos and crocodiles would feast on me. The fear and panic caused me to spend the night on my knees in prayers. I repented every known, and unknown sins sanctified myself by the blood of Jesus and surrendered fully to the will of God. In the morning, I was relaxed and calm as we headed to the river.
My turn came, and I confidently walked into the water, a big smile plastered my face, I was ready to partake in this essential practice in my faith. Something supernatural happened, I tend to attribute it to either the coldness of the water or the divine favor of God. I remember going into the water, and my eyes opened, and I witnessed a magnificent sighting. I saw angels dressed in white apparel and carrying silver, gold, and bronze packages. One by one they gave me the gifts, I counted nine gifts all wrapped, but I came to before I unwrapped any of them. When I came to, I was speaking in tongues, and my mum was helping me change in the changing tent. I tried speaking in ordinary language, but I could not stop myself. When she saw the concern written on my face, she held me and prayed with me in tongues, too, explaining to me that I have not only been baptized with water but with the holy spirit also.
Years later, As I serve the Lord it gives me so much joy to see new believers make that decision. Like that Ethiopian Eunuch as long as there is water nothing should hinder one from being baptized. We have held baptism in pools, streams, rivers and lakes.
As I write this my purpose is to ignite someone’s first love . The passion, the zeal, and the due dilligence we had when we first believed. The desire to follow and fulfill the precepts, the teachings and the statues of the kingdom. May that first love be reactivated in your life in Jesus name.
BLESS (AFFECTIONATELY, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name! Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits– Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy; Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]! [Isa. 40:31.]
Psalm 103:1-5 AMPC
As we were praying tonight, I realized that we tend to forget the benefits of the Lord when the going gets tough. The Lord reminded us to remember not only the miracle but also the process before the miracle happened. He is forever faithful and He never leaves us or forsake us at any given time or moment. To get the whole revelation listen to this prayer session.
Later on as I continued in prayers I started reflecting on my experiences and divine happenings. One thing came to me strongly and I feel inclined to share it.
More than a decade ago, times were really tough. Somethings were not at the top of my priority list. Having a meal for my family was a miracle each day. I was a pastor of a young growing church. The challenge was that most of us were struggling. But despite the struggles, the love for the Lord was so pure and gracious. We had a zeal of God and we served selflessly. It was during those years that a certain lady joined our company from another county. She had been appointed to revive the polytechnic in the area. Her expertise included hairdressing and beauty.
Maggie,an elegant God fearing lady brought great transformation to us. Passionately she styled our hair, trimmed our eyebrows and taught us etiquette and style.
Despite the fact that we were living in the interior upcountry, through her dedication and passion we learned how to be classy and elegant.
I remember when the schools closed, she would be gone for the holidays. But,all the ladies in church waited eagerly for her when school resumed. We could not afford to buy hair extensions,weaves or wigs. But our hairdresser Maggie always came back with weave or something for each of us. The first few weeks after school resumed,Maggie braided or styled our hair all for free,ensuring that we are all set for atleast two or three months.
Our confidence grew, our self esteem increased, and our faith continued to grow. Through that transformation we were able to trust God for more. We served with more dedication and zeal.
Tonight as I remember, I choose to remember my friend Maggie who heard and obeyed the Lord instructions in serving us. I know you still serve my dear but I remember your labor.
Like my friend Maggie, I know that there is someone who the Lord sent your way as an angel in your life.
How about remembering them and praying for them to receive a blessing today.
The list is endless but I choose to remember……
“Forgiveness Is a Choice”
There is not a person alive who has not been wronged at some point in their life. Whether the wrong is the result of a minor offense or a major trauma, we all have a choice to make. We can let go the wrong that was perpetrated against us. Secondly, it may cause us to sit down and wallow in pity. Thirdly, we can choose to get up, dust ourselves off, forgive, and keep going.
Forgiveness is a choice, and it’s never too late to make the right choice.
You cannot expect any significant growth in your life until you release yourself from the effects of the wrong that was committed against you.
Give it all to God: the anger, the resentment, the hurt, the shame, the guilt—and whatever else it is that has kept you an emotional prisoner of the past.
I realize it’s not easy to forgive when you’ve been treated badly or abused in some way, but forgiveness is the very key to your freedom.
It is a powerful tool that God has provided for us so that we can remain free from our past and in right standing with Him.
That’s why Jesus said, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins” (Mark 11:25 NKJV).
You do not have to suffer the rest of your life for your own past mistakes or the mistakes of others.
What happened in your past does not have to define your future. God is in the business of restoration, and He will restore all you have lost if you will seek Him and believe His Word. Choose today to forgive—not only others, but yourself as well.
Today I make the choice to forgive. I choose to let go of the situation or person whose actions have held me captive. I forgive by faith, by an act of my will. I refuse to be influenced by my feelings, and I release all the anger, resentment, shame, guilt, and pain that I have carried.
I declare that I am now free!
bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive.
COLOSSIANS 3:13 AMP
One of the greatest hurdles in the journey of forgiveness is the part that involves self forgiveness. Questions such as why did I not see it coming? or how could I let this happen? Just to mention a few, can cause one to be filled with guilt and condemnation.
But,looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith we gather strength to let go.
THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. [John 3:18.]
Romans 8:1 AMPC
Jesus set us free and so we are free indeed.
What is your spiritual location. As priest we are mandated to keep the altar fire burning. How do we do this? Listen, Like Share and Subscribe as Apostle T Mwangi shares on Priesthood Ordinances.
Today I am overwhelmingly sad. I have a deep pain that can only be lessened divinely. I have lost a dear friend. She was more of a baby sister, knew her for a few years but the connection was deep.
O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? [Hos. 13:14.] Now sin is the sting of death, and sin exercises its power [upon the soul] through [the abuse of] the Law. But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 AMPC
You will truly be missed my dear Grace. No words are enough to express how we feel now. But with God we shall be comforted. I dedicate these words to you as I share who you were to me and to the community.
O Grace dear,
It breaks me so to say this now
But I miss you, you know
There was no time to say goodbye
And now I watch as time goes by
The pictures… darling I miss you so
But I know
Even Heaven loves a shining star
And as you watch us from afar
Knowing you’ve done your race
And gone away to rest in Grace
Know you’re imprinted in our hearts
And for your heart
The biggest of hearts I’ve ever known
That made me know I’m never alone
I’m thankful and I’ll forever be grateful
That I’ve walked with you, and known you
The most beautiful of souls.
Your kind of love
For children, for adults and all
Your compassion, a perfect enthrall
Never did I see you turn your back
On a friend or not, in plenty or lack
You loved and you loved unreservedly
Fly on Grace dear
Go be with God and the angels
And as the heavenly host assembles
To receive you into the Glory Eternal
We celebrate a life lived faithfully vernal
Till we meet on that beautiful shore.
Many a times we focus on what we don’t have yet and we forget to appreciate what we already have.
The perspective of glass half full or half empty analogy has been used to determine the optimists and the pessimists.
But, I realized that in matters of faith and waiting upon the Lord some may feel like they are seesawing on both ends. (I feel like that sometimes😉).
What can give us peace and stability in such instances is our #FOCUS.
Focus on the Lord not on the Load of cares.
Focus on His Promises not on the Problems.
Focus on What He has done already not on what is yet to be done.
This builds your faith and your confessions become creating Power.
Several times in the bible the Lord has asked the question.
#WHAT #DO #YOU #SEE?
I am asking you too in that challenge, situation or issue, “What do you see?”
Pastor Lucy Paynter
Bloom and flourish
Isaac planted crops in that land and took in a huge harvest. God blessed him. The man got richer and richer by the day until he was very wealthy. He accumulated flocks and herds and many, many servants, so much so that the Philistines began to envy him. They got back at him by throwing dirt and debris into all the wells that his father’s servants had dug back in the days of his father Abraham, clogging up all the wells.
Genesis 26:12-15 MSG
Over the last few weeks I have been keen to listen and understand what is the will of God in this season. This pursuit has led me to intesify my closet time and pursuit of God’s presence. I cannot share everything I have experienced for now but by and by I will be sharing as the Lord enables me.
I can sum it all up by few words. Trust and Faith in Him. Six months before the Pandemic broke, I visited a family of my parishioners, as I left they gave me a cartoon of hand sanitizer and a dispenser. It was an odd gift at the time. I didn’t think much about it. When I got home I put the cartoon on the back porch and forgot about it.
As you know by the time reality of corona virus hit one of the rare commodity and essential at the moment was hand sanitizer. I came home from a meeting and my husband was frustrated that the stores were out of sanitizer and toilet paper. The Church had not closed down by then and we needed to have sanitizers available not only at home but also in church. Just then I remembered we have a whole cartoon at the back porch. I looked at that and ruled out coincidence.
My father in heaven knew that this would happen and in His loving kindness He equipped us. To many that may seem like nothing but to me it was great assurance that He is in control.
Isaiah 38:4-8, 21-22
Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city.
“This shall be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he has promised: Behold, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.” So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined.
Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover.” Hezekiah also had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?”
I am trusting God to not only provide the means but also that He is giving clear divine instructions on how we will overcome at this time.
Hezekiah asked for a sign after weeping and crying to God to add Him more time. God spoke to Isaiah and gave him the remedy for Hezekiah boil. As we pray let’s also listen to His divine leading.
I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
Psalm 32:8 AMPC
One thing that will keep us afloat is totally depending on God in this uncertain times.
And I will bring the blind by a way that they know not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known. I will make darkness into light before them and make uneven places into a plain. These things I have determined to do [for them]; and I will not leave them forsaken.
Isaiah 42:16 AMPC
Allow Him to lead you. For Iam completely assured that He is in control.