The Tragedy of Good Men

The power of the Gospel is clearly revealed when a man who lived an evil life turns around to follow Jesus. This is why we love apostle Paul’s story. We love hearing those kinds of testimonies that say I was a completely different person before I met Jesus. I was a drunkard, a murderer, a corrupt police officer, a prostitute, and a womanizer. These are the people we call in open-air meetings to show what the Gospel can do.

But what about those who were generally considered to be good people? Those of us who were good boys and girls? Was the Gospel less effective? I meet many people who find it hard to share their stories of conversion because it doesn’t seem as eventful. People already thought they were born again. I bet there are unbelieving friends in our lives who we have not shared the Gospel with because we can’t see what difference it’ll make. They are already good people and better than most Christians. We probably think God will reconsider them and be moved by their “goodness”. But is that right?

The Bible says All Men are Wicked

The Bible has a different view of such people. It still calls them sinners desperately in need of the Gospel. And not only them even the little innocent children we call angels. It says all men, and that means all men, are wicked, see Romans 3:10-12. That the hearts of unregenerate men manufacture evil even from the best of us, see Mark 7:20-23. Can you believe that? What’s wrong with the Bible? Do you mean the Mother Teresas of this world have not done enough to earn salvation? What about that guy who never hurt anyone and always provided for his family? That man who rescued many homeless children. That woman who served his family wholeheartedly while living with an abusive husband? She too won’t be reconsidered? She too is evil?

The truth is at first many people seem good when looking from a human perspective. The reason we struggle to share the story of that good fellow who became a Christian is that we don’t see his heart. We cannot see how he too should be classified with other wretched sinners. But if we did a moral scan of his heart we would see his self-centeredness, his pride, anger, evil thoughts, and pure hypocrisy. The problem is we value people by what they’ve done outwardly and judge them as good. We use the litmus test of our society not what God sees and says in his word. Because of this many cannot accept that God will send good people to hell. They might be convinced the corrupt politician deserves it but not the philanthropist who rejected the Gospel. Surely God cannot judge them the same way.

What about Good Christians?

It is worse when Christians believe this lie. When we think that now that we have believed especially after we were already good people we no longer need the Gospel. When we convince ourselves to be okay and only think of the Gospel in light of the obviously wicked men out there. I’m always amazed at how lacking we can be in our self-awareness. Many people honestly don’t think they need the Gospel. But the man who cannot see how short they fall before the grace of God is a man who doesn’t know himself and doesn’t know God. It should be the case that as we read the word we see our own sin even more profoundly and the need for the Gospel more clearly. I think more Christians should come out of a Gospel sharing broken by their sin however small it seems to the public eye and overjoyed by the mercy of God who died to save sinners like us.

The tragedy of good men is that they are gods to themselves. They judge themselves and render themselves worthy in front of their own eyes. They are self-righteous men who don’t believe they need salvation. When the Gospel is preached they think about other men seeing that they don’t need such a desperate rescue. They prepare sermons for others, they do discipleship with others in mind and when the call to service comes they think you should speak to another as they are doing well already. If our Gospel sharing doesn’t have these people in mind in a country that is largely Christian then we’ll have missed the dark forest for the obvious bad tree. Good men need the Gospel like everyone else and we need to work even harder to show them this need.

Need for Self Introspection

In a world full of distractions and voices that tell us exactly what we need to hear it’s hard to do a regular self-evaluation of our lives, our motivations and the reality of the world within us. We can very easily come to believe in a better version of ourselves than we really are. The stories people tell us about ourselves especially if we are in positions of public ministry become the stories we believe about ourselves. Soon we start believing the lie that we have arrived, that God is lucky to have us on his side, and when we read the Bible we don’t hear the Spirit convicting us of our respectable sins. We become blind to who we are and what we need. We forget that we still have sin within us and the sanctifying Gospel is still our greatest need.

I pray that the day will never come when I outgrow my need for the Saviour and his Gospel message. I would rather I have too much Gospel, a constant reminder of my shortcomings than to fall on the pulpit of a good name. Can you imagine what a tragedy that would be? That my tomb reads here lies a good man only for my name to miss in the book of life? What a tragedy this will be? To build a profile with the world and yet miss the darkness of sin within. To stumble on respectable sins with the applause of public ministry. May the Lord help us because it’s very easy to miss this. May he quicken us to agree with John Newton that we are great sinners but Jesus is a great Saviour. Only then will we keep the word of God closer to our hearts and working in our lives not just being a tool for our ministry.

Finding Rest in a Restless World


There’s a restlessness in us that seems unquenchable
We call it the desire to do better and achieve more
We give our best in life to make it easier
We kill ourselves with work to be able to rest one day


We hope that at one point our lives will be better
Our achievements will be enviable and life enjoyable
All our lives we live a frantic life hoping for stillness one day
We are restlessly looking for rest before the grave steal us


Others have faced the ugly reality of life too early
They were promised hardwork pays but it failed them
Some gave up the restlessness and joined escapism
They are lost in the imaginary world unable to face reality


Like children lost on the way we yearn for home
We long for that day when peace and tranquility will abound
We hope at least once there will be calmness in our lives
Problem is when we get it we are too afraid to lose it


Will a day never come when we sleep like little children?
Will a day come when our hearts find rest and calmness?
Are we to go through this life restless for rest?
Who will deliver us from this frantic exercise we call life?


But there’s a day of rest that comes our way
For some it will be a great day of torture
But for those who believe a day of calm
A day to find eternal rest with our prince of peace


What a tragedy that some will live restless in this life
And yet face worse in the world to come
Friends, turn around, take a moment and look at him
Listen for the offer he makes, accept the rest only he gives


Don’t go through life restless to the end
In Jesus hands you’ll find rest and quietness
All you have to do is listen and trust in him
Come to him who longs to give you his eternal rest


Burn the old Bridge


If we keep looking over our past
Imagining what would have been
Wondering if we are missing out
Longing for what this body craves
Soon we’ll forget the chains of the old slave master
We’ve got to burn that bridge so we never look back


If we keep playing with the fire
Entertaining that old man of sin
Feeding him when he beckons us
Calling it a small slip into old habits
Soon those habits will become our lives
We’ve got to kill that old man and do it daily


How easily we forget the pains of slavery
It fades in our minds and says it wasn’t that bad
There were good things in Egypt we tell ourselves
Looking back on that bridge life doesn’t look so bad
But we should have burnt it when we closed over
We should never make peace with the old man of sin


We will never see what awaits us if we keep looking back
If our gaze is on the old life the new one will fade away
We will make sin into an idol of worship
We will trade off our priceless salvation
But soon we’ll realise how mistaken we are
Burn that bridge down and turn your gaze ahead


Look to the one who freed you from slavery
Look at the peace and joy he gives you in him
See what fellowship we enjoy with him
Walk this new bridge of life everlasting
Walk the path that brings you closer to him
Let you attention be on what he says in his word


Lord help us to kill the love of sinning
Give us your love for righteousness
Cause us to use our energy and time for you
To build bridges for the kingdom that lasts
To demolish ties with Satan and the world
And walk the narrow path that leads to life


Put your chains on me


Lord I have fought you since I came to this earth
Like a restless beast I’ve desired to go my own way
Lured by the world and the desires of the flesh
Driven by the whims of the enemy I fought
But now I know my freedom is in your chains


I pray Lord that you’d hold me tightly on your grip
I no longer trust my freedom and clamour for it
Before I thought I knew what I wanted
I thought independence would be my freedom
But I’m never safe and free like when I’m with you
Put your chain on me and never let go


How strange that even now I try to escape
That after your liberation I desire to be enslaved again
I truly don’t know what is good for me
Left on my own I would totally ruin myself
Lord though I fight you still I would desire your rule


Give me the liberty of obedience to your word
Teach my heart the joy of submission to your will
Cause my heart to rejoice in your lordship
Let your will be done become the song of my heart
Not in words and songs only but in all I do


Put your chain on me and make me your slave
For though many desire liberty I have found mine in you
True liberty from self, this world, the flesh and the devil
I know I can only truly serve one master
So let that be you my Lord and Saviour Jesus
Put your chain around me and seal me as yours forever


Be the Lord of my Heart


We should watch the things that put us to tears
The anticipation that gives us sleepless nights
The dreams that catch us in broad daylight
They are our greatest worries or treasures
These indeed are our truest convictions


The headlines that captivate us the most
The things we admire and get jealous over
That which makes our knees to weaken
They say a lot about what we value in life
And our faith must start by captivating such


These are the songs we sing to our hearts
The teachings that our minds attend
Our hands cling to such than anything else
But such treasures or idols must first bow
Bow to the one who must own our hearts


Whatever holds our hearts owns our convictions
In there belongs true love, beauty and treasure
But also the idols of money, sex and power
The things we want and what we fear most
If Jesus be Lord of all he must conquer here


Lord help me to bow down my joys and fears
To let you be my greatest love and treasure
Help me to cast down my precious idols
Own my fears and liberate me to serve you
Be the Lord of my heart and with it everything


This is our story


It was among the pigs where he found us
We were outcasts driven outside the city
Thinking we had it all but ours a kingdom of dirt
Garbage was our fortune and dung our treasure
Until he found us in this mess we called the good life


He didn’t wait for us to look for him
In truth we thought we had it all
He couldn’t send his highborn servants for us
No he walked down the dumping site
And embraced us despite our foulness


Why did he care about the rot of society?
Why would the son of God walk among thieves?
To love and die for a smelly people like us?
Surely it wasn’t for something special we could offer
We were helpless, blind and lost without knowing it


I would love to say mine was a better story
That among the street urchins I was the best
But what could a street boy offer the king of kings
If I was any better it was the zeal of my treachery
It was the multitude of my sins that begged his mercy


Ours is a story of rags to riches
Not that we’ve nailed the good life here and now
But the good Lord has bought us for himself
He’s clothed us with his robe of righteousness
And made us sons and heirs in his eternal house


The Gospel for a Hustler Nation


One of the fears we have as a people is to imagine that either our leaders don’t know our situation or they simply don’t care. It’s double tragedy to imagine they’d careless about our fate and instead only favour their peers. It’s painful, it makes us angry knowing we put them there but hopeless when we realize we can’t change things.

So when one finally walks down our path and says I know what you are facing that in itself is great news. It says they see our plight and all they need is to show they are genuine. To make us believe the era of the Messiah has come with them. That with them in office our pain will be a sad history. That finally something will change and however big or small a change we all want it.

To know we are known and someone cares is the greatest asset for a human heart. To know our leaders knows our plight and will do something about it sells us hope and what’s more precious than hope? But critics will ask, how many times have we had this narrative before? And what makes us think this time it will be any different? Was there a politician who didn’t seem to share our plight and promise change?

Now here is where things get tricky. You see a good portion of us will lean on hope no matter what history says. It’s the last coin in our pockets and we have to treasure it. If we lose it we’d have to kill ourselves. The instict of survival in us holds on to hope when everything else fails. And if the other side isn’t selling a better deal to us then we have no other choice.

Unfortunately if we looked back we’d know better and that more blown out promises have been made by many politicians before. That a man who wants an office and desperately so will say anything our ears want to hear. A man who wants a girl has no problem going down their knee. And our history is full of the promises of politicians both those in government and in opposition.

I’m not trying to use this post to discredit a certain party or favour another candidate. I don’t want to make us feel hopeless if anything I hold to hope like there’s nothing better. But I would always say be suspicious of politicians because in truth all of them actually do know our plight. Don’t be deceived they don’t know what’s happening perhaps they may not be as invested but they all know. They’ve got foot soldiers on the ground and honestly it doesn’t take a genius to know our suffering. You just need to turn on the news. The question is how genuine is their proposal?

Unfortunately I don’t trust the ruling class or even the opposition blindly because I wouldn’t trust any man blindly not even myself. I want to look back and see consistency of care and concern. I want to see there’s some shred of honesty in a manifesto not merely inflated promises. Sometimes I think going against the grain and playing the long game instead of blindly replacing the status quo might be the key to change.

But there’s always a risk in politics that any one leader however well measured will ultimately fail us. Power has a way to blind and change people and man is not that trustworthy either. In the end we need more than someone who seems to identify with us and appears genuine. We need someone without the disease of all men that in the end cares for their own welfare. Here’s where democracy fails us because we need more than one of us for a better leader.

It’s the one who came down to face our plight with us that can truly say they know us. But it’s the one who is unlike us in our selfishness who can actually help us. One who sees our plight, puts down his pride and washes our feet. We need one like us but better than us. One who sympathises with our weaknesses but can truly help us. One who’s proved genuine and trustworthy.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll find him in the next election but it means our future is guaranteed either way. It means we can still lean on hope though our choices down here are likely to fail us. We have true hope in him not in the lies from every election year. In him there’s no risk of corrupting power. We have hope in one who walked the earth and rose to rule in the heavens. One who truly saw and acted for the plight of the oppressed and is concerned with the least of us. We have Jesus who is God and man, a leader we can truly trust in. He says,

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

John 10 NIV.

The Heart of True Leaders

When you listen keenly to political analysts debate each other you can hear their master speaking behind them. They’ll use facts and quote the Constitution all while construing and obliquing it in ways that favour the hand that feeds them. Activists are no different though they’d like us to believe they are the neutral custodians of the rule of law and the good of the people. And you know what? We are no different either, as we listen we hear what we want to hear. We are all biased and none of us comes to these issues neutral.

Those who support the ruling class do so because they feed from that table. Those who oppose it because they are denied a share. And we are but the grass upon which the bulls fight. We receive what drops when the masters and their servants have had their share. We are bribed with tokens to shut up as they follow higher agendas. But we are no different. If anything we do the same with our jobs and resources. The natural man is driven by his stomach and when it’s full of food by his hunger for wealth and power.

We admire it though when we hear someone came to the table neutral. That he was driven by the interest of the common mwananchi though we get very suspicious of that. It’s beyond human to lay down ones interests for the benefit of others. It’s abnormal, suspicious and only love; true love, care and concern can lead a man to scale that mountain. It says greater good cannot be achieved unless one pours their heart for another and our leaders for the masses. It’s laying down ones interest, their lives, denying the religion of normal man for the sake of others. It’s godly, the thing you see with real friends and families. Only the man who loves truly serves fully.

We must then ask is that a quality our leaders possess? Do they love Wanjiku? It’s getting too emotional you say. That’s not a quality of leadership, it’s something you look for in a spouse not a governor. I think we would actually get very uncomfortable if the next MP sells a love manifesto. Choose me because I love you. Maybe it’s too much to ask? You’ll not find it in our politicians CVs. That this man has proved a love for the people and that’s his greatest achievement. But it’s the greatest quality for the best of leaders. It’s what we find in God through the Bible, it’s the CV of Jesus. Only he comes without a devious agenda, he comes with a love manifesto and that’s why he could stoop low to save us.

He came to serve and only he was driven by that agenda, see Mark 10:45. And in service he became the greatest leader that we should all emulate. But his service and humility is not the only attribute we should copy and seek in our leaders. He was first driven by love, love for the lost, compassion to a sheep without a shepherd. Only the one who truly loves can pursue our interests. If we want to emulate his strategy we need to be informed by his conviction.

Our hands must be strengthened by his heart. A heart to seek the good of the downtrodden not merely giving them the leftovers of our selfish pursuit. And unfortunately you’ll not find that regularly under the sun. You’ll only see droplets of it where the finger of God has touched the hearts of men. But that’s our eternal reality for those who believe in Jesus. May the Lord help us and anyone who pursues leadership at home and in our society to emulate him.

13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

John 15 NIV.

Madarakadayreflections #TVshows #Kenya’spoliticalscene

The Gospel strategy picked up by Coca-Cola


The greatest and most well known companies of the world still spend so much on advertising and they do that in the most prime hour. You won’t watch the news to the end before seeing an Ad from Coca-Cola even though when we say soft drink in any event that’s all anyone thinks. Why? Because even if the whole world knows they exist, even if you’ll find their bottles across the globe from Kalahari to Kazakhstan, they believe still more people would do with an extra soda. It’s not a question of how well known but how much more they can sell and remain relevant. They understand something that we don’t seem to get clearly within the church business. That what gets you in is what keeps you on and you don’t need to change the product only the marketing strategy. Believe in your product and speak of it like your believe it at every opportunity is the old skill in the book.

More than Coca-cola though Christianity has indeed gone out to the whole world with an even longer history. But our problem is we get easily comfortable whenever our small local community seems to believe in our product. For the most part we think all they need is some sense of association like going to church and we can take a back seat in the marketing business. So for the prime hour we let others have a say or get ourselves something new, something seemingly appealing, something we think the people need. But we all know if Coca-Cola did that they’d be dead within a generation.

But Coca-cola doesn’t let the change in the market deter them from their business and belief that more people should purchase their product. Instead they approach that culture, the new trends and preferences and show them why Coca-cola is the answer. They know something else we don’t seem to get, that though brands change and culture moves the needs are fundamentally the same. You’ve just got to reach the people where they are at and show them why they need your product. Same old Coca-cola, might take a new bottle and a more niche marketing strategy but the product remains the same.

Why is it that we let competitors convince us that our product is old news and irrelevant? Why would we give up our prime hour for something else other than the Gospel? We’ve got a product far better and more promising than Coca-Cola. For nothing changes people and offers what we truly crave than the Gospel. We’ve got a free audience every Sunday infront of our pulpits. A people hungry for the hope of the Gospel. If Coca-Cola ran a weekly church you can bet what their weekly message would be. Why do we deviate from ours?

I know there’s a lot more that fights the spread of the Gospel and things are not as easy as advertising. I know more forces visible and invisible are at play here. And there’s an offence the Gospel draws unlike Coca-cola. But still there are three things we can drawn from the world of advertising. One, we’ve got to believe in our product and say it like we believe it. Second, however relevant and widely accepted it is still we must keep sharing about our product to those who know and the many who don’t. Third, change in the market doesn’t mean we have to dump or change our product, we just need to reach the market where they are at. Coca-cola reaps as much as it gives to the marketing industry. Christianity would reap a great more if we invested everything we’ve got to the tested and proven product that is the Gospel. And especially if we valued the prime Sunday hour and reserved it for nothing else but the Gospel by teaching though the Bible story and pointing people to Jesus.

Now, in Gospel sharing there’s weakness with every illustration we pick and this is no exception. But I do honestly believe we do a great deservice to ourselves, our generation and our future when we hold loosely to the teaching and practice of the Gospel within our churches and Christian communities. If we believed half as much as Coca-Cola believes in their product and what they think of the market, we would never depart from the teaching of the Gospel even for a single Sunday. We would test and ascertain everything we preach and commit to by the Gospel litmus test.

You know what blows my mind away is that the Gospel product is not only what every man needs to hear. We are told it’s the very manifold wisdom of God that even the angels tap into to know our God. Imagine that! For you guys that love mysteries and big revelations the Gospel should be what you are all about.

12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. 1 Peter.

See also Ephesians 3:10.

In other words the Gospel of Jesus is so powerful, so relevant, so central that the universe revolves around it. If angels were on earth they’d be all about the Gospel. They would sit as many times to learn from the Gospel as told in the story of the Bible. Why do we substitute it for something else? The world of yesterday, today and tomorrow is united by this central message. That man is desperately sinful and hopelessly guilty and ripe for God’s wrath. But that by the Gospel of Jesus wretched man has a place in the holy kingdom of God. By faith in Jesus man who is born dead in sin is rescued to be a saint and a son in God’s kingdom. The enemy of God is brought home and made a son of the family of God by faith in Jesus. That’s the product the world needs. There’s the hope for humanity. And it never gets old or irrelevant.

That message is what we need here and now. It’s what gets us in through the door of faith and what we need for the journey. Yes we can’t teach through Gospel tracts every Sunday that would be boring. Yes we must think about what our congregation face everyday and rightly apply this Gospel, faithful preaching demands this. Yes we cannot ignore the needs and the culture around us, we are here for a reason. But like Coca-cola and better we’ve got one product that has proved to work, the Gospel, and it’s what people need more than anything.

We have one arrow in our quiver but the only one we need for all the wars of this life. For all arrays of our needs, wants and preferences only the Gospel has the cure. Everything else only calms the symptoms but the Gospel truly heals. We must believe this like Coca-cola believes in their product. We must say this like we believe it. We must share it regardless of how many associate with it. And even within our camps we must still teach and hold to it by teaching the Bible that teaches the Gospel as oftenly as is possible. Forget all those new trendy topics, if you want lasting relevance land with the Gospel. Give me the old Gospel message as taught in the Bible applied to life here and now.

There can never be enough talk of the Gospel within our churches and Christian communities. We may not call every sermon, every fellowship and mission trip a Gospel crusade but that’s what they should be. We should be known if ever for anything that we were a people drunk of the Gospel. We fail many times but we should rejoice whenever rebuked by the Gospel. Yes we enjoy all kinds of talks and humor goes a long way but without the Gospel we always leave empty. May the Lord help me never to tire, never to get familiar or presume I need anything more than the unadulterated preaching of the Gospel. The Gospel according to Coca-Cola is here’s more Coke for you. And our Gospel is that we need more Gospel teaching.

I want to See Him


When I miss the light of day
And the moon denies me her gaze
When the mountains sink behind
And there’s no waters to swim again
My one and only desire is to see Him


When my body gives in to pain
And I succumb to the way of life
I want to wake and see him
See him who made me his own
Him who conquered my rebellious heart


I want above everything to see his hands
Touch his head and his side
See the wounds that bought me life
Touch the scars that healed my sin-sickness
When I close my eyes, I want to see Him


I want to sit at his feet forever
To tap from his eternal wisdom
Of all the gold and riches
I will pay anything to be his audience
To hear from the true breath of life


I long and yearn for that eternal Day
To see in full what his Word teaches
I daydream and get lost in imagination
Longing and waiting to hear his trumpet
To wake up to be with my Saviour forever