Wednesday, February 25, 2009


"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love as Christ also has love us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma."
-Ephesians 5:1-2

The cross of Christ was a sweet-smelling aroma to the Father in heaven. The most joyful man who ever lived (Hebrews 1:9) gave his life as a sacrifice for our sins on the altar in heaven (his cross). Christ said that he did only that which pleased the Father. Scripture records how on several occasions the Father spoke from heaven declaring his pleasure in his Son. But at the cross the heavens seemed to be silent as the great multitude beheld "the Lamb of God take away the sin of the world." When the Lamb died, the veil was torn from top to bottom, the earth shook, the rocks split, graves were opened, and the three-hour darkness was over. It was over. It was finished! The multitude had watched the mystery of the ages unfold. The way into the presence of the Father was open, simply awaiting the Ascension and Pentecost.

The Father did not need to speak at the cross because he had already declared his pleasure there in that great Messianic passage, Isaiah 53: "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him." How could the Father be pleased to bruise so horrifically his only Son--whom he loved from before the foundation of the world and in whom he was well pleased? How great must our sin be and how perfect must his holiness be. Our sin separated and alienated us from him and yet the Father in Christ said in John 17, "I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am that they may behold My glory." He desired to dwell with us, and he, our gracious Father, loved us while we hated him. His perfect righteousness and his exceedingly abundant love met at the cross to reconcile usunclean, disobedient, and abominable sinnersto himself. It is no wonder then that Christian communion is a "celebration" of the cross. Our souls ought to be overflowing with thankfulness and joy in every thought of the cross. Do we see it?

Let's not tolerate any complacency concerning the cross to grow or even linger in our hearts. Oh how he has loved us. And our sin is far more vile to him than it is to us. But he sees us through the cross. When you see your sin, do you see his cross? He always does. Let us thank him and seek to see more as he does.

"Dear Father, thank you for loving us while we hated you and for loving us just as you love your Son. Thank you for putting your love for your Son in our hearts. Please give us a fresh vision of how wide and long and high and deep your love is for us. Please begin today. In Christ name. Amen."

Monday, February 16, 2009

God's Love in Kenya: What One Christian Can Do

I would like to introduce you to some Kenyan brothers who minister the Word and care for orphans in Nakuru district of Kenya. Please pray for God's work in and through them.

Meeting a brother

"Oh how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity." -Psalm 133:1

About five years ago, Benson Nganga, a pastor in Kenya, called me. Someone there had given him a copy of my pamphlet, Thanksgiving and Confession: The Way to an Overflowing Heart. He wanted more copies to giveaway. I mailed to him a small box of encouraging materials in addition to his request. I sent him the pdf file of the pamphlet so he could print his own copies. He told me a little about God's call to him and his wife, Florence, to care for orphans. At that time, only a few orphans were in their care. Over the years we have prayed on the phone and corresponded.

What one Christian can do

In early 2008 God led him to travel to the U.S. to visit saints here who supported his work. He stayed with us for two days in June. We called some friends together to meet him, to hear his story and to hear a word from the Lord from him. His words were a great blessing.

Benson's parents died when he was a young boy. After a short stay with an aunt who had many children, Benson and his three older brothers were put out on the street. They slept under a granary and begged food from house to house. One day they they knocked at the house of a Christian man who told his wife to give the boys all their leftover food. He then told the boys to return the next day. Every day he gave them all the leftovers. He began to teach the boys the Bible and tell them of God's great love for sinners. He paid for the boys to attend school. The boys grew up to love God under this Christian man's care.

Benson sensed a great desire to care for the physical and spiritual needs of orphans as he had been cared for, and prayed for a wife who would want to give her life caring for orphans as well. God gave Florence a heart to join that vision as He brought them together. Benson and Florence began Fiwagoh Mission Orphanage Ministries. His brothers and others help care for the orphans. They also visit nearby villages to preach, give away Bibles and Christian literature, and give away food and clothing. They oversee several village churches. Currently they care for 85 orphans. Their new orphan home on 17 acres, which will house 400 orphans, is nearly completed.

Benson reminded us that we need to not underestimate what God can do through one Christian man--like that one who, with his wife, loved four orphan boys and taught them the love of God and instilled in them a love for God's Word.

May the great God of heaven raise up an army of Christian families in Kenya to love many of the 3 million orphans there. And may God give His saints across the world a spirit of prayer and generosity to support them in this ministry. May God receive much glory.