Sunday, March 1, 2020

Ruth 3 - Prepare Yourself

By Odon Bulamba

It’s a joy for me to be here this morning.  We are going to share Word of God from Ruth 3:1-5.  The last song we sang, “We fall down, holy, holy, holy is the Lamb”.  What does that mean to you?  Does it make sense for you?  Have you thought about falling down and you start to cry about it?  Maybe you can tell me the meaning of it to you next time we meet.

Naomi told Ruth, before you go somewhere, you need to be prepared and ready.  I am sharing this to you because we will talk about Mathew 24:29 next time and we need to be ready.  That message was given to us from Jesus to let us be prepared.  If the sun will change right now to be dark, what will you think?  Some might scream from fear and others go into panic mode.  Some won’t believe it and look for torches so they can see the light again.

Naomi told Ruth to prepare herself to meet with Boaz.  This step in the Bible is very important to know what you are going to do next.  You must first of all know what you need, where to find it and the person you need and to get what you need from that person.

Naomi was like the guider (HOLY SPIRIT) of Ruth.  She told Ruth, “My daughter I know you need food, you need someone who will be your provider, your redeemer, who will be there for you to assist you.  Naomi first chose the person for Ruth.  Do you know the choice of Holy Spirit for you?  Do you know what God has chosen for you to become or the path God has chosen for you?  Our thoughts are very often not God’s thoughts.

What we want to get is very often different to God’s plan.  We can only see what we need for our body but God looks at what we need spiritually because life on this earth is short and we are only here to prepare ourselves for eternity.  I’ll give you an example, one time I was supposed to sit an exam but I didn’t study.  Two days before the exam, I woke up and there was 300 pages of notes to read and my first idea was to write something on a piece of paper to cheat.

While we were walking into the exam room, this man took the sheet of paper from my pocket.  He took what I was supposed to use to cheat.  All my colleagues could finish the exam in 20 minutes but the only thing I wrote was my name.  Finally, the examiner told me time is over.  Instead of accepting my mistakes, I judged the teacher who didn’t know how to teach and gave a tough exam while the exam was easy for everyone else.

Salvation is the same, God has given us the Bible, learn and meditate on the Word of God and follow the instructions.  Follow it and you will please God but we prefer to believe that when Jesus comes back, we will hold someone else so they can take us with them.  Jesus is clear with us, we need to be prepared.

Naomi told Ruth, first of all, to wash herself.  Why do we wash ourselves?  Why do you have your shower two times per day?  You think it’s normal so you don’t smell.  Your body will not only smell because you did sport but because you didn’t shower.  You can be young or old, your body will smell so you need to wash it.

Many people wake up in the morning, they wash their face and you can see the difference.  By looking at you, you look refreshed.  Once you wash your face and you walk into your office, people will see life but if you don’t wash yourself, people will wonder what is wrong with you. 

Are you clean in front of God?  Don’t you smell in front of the Word of God?  You must wash yourself.  Wherever you go, your testimony will say, yes this person is refreshed, clean and the glory of God can be seen.

Yesterday I went to Pak n Save supermarket and the carpark was full.  I walked into the supermarket and there were hundreds of people.  This is not normal.  Then Sylvie was on the phone to me and explained corona virus.  What is the connection?  Everybody is preparing themselves to have enough food at home because the virus is in New Zealand now.

We can fear the virus and be prepared to protect ourselves from it but we are not prepared to run away from sin or protect ourselves from sin.  We fear to die but not eternal death.  We fear corona virus and don’t fear God.  At the supermarkets, the shelves were almost empty.  The area of toilet paper was zero, nothing there.  I asked a worker, “Can I get some?”  “Oh the stock will be there soon. Let me check”.  Luckily I got two packets.  Nadege went to buy hand sanitiser but there is none left all over New Zealand to buy.

Toilet paper keeps us clean, we need it.  What do you need to keep yourself clean?  Many use water.  In France where water is expensive, some will only have shower once per week and there is a que for 1 shower for the whole apartment block.  You have only 1 minute in the shower so the next person can have their turn.  They use perfume instead to block the smell.

All of Paris smells like perfume to cover their smell.  Do you do that, instead of repenting, do you prefer to cover the odour of your spirit and soul with perfume?  When you apply perfume to a dirty body you smell worse.  It’s better to have your shower.  The water we have is the Word of God.  How often do you read Word of God?  If you don’t read it, now do it, at least once per day.  Take a few minutes to read one verse.  Then you need to repent to the person, say sorry and refresh your relationship.

Ruth was told by Naomi to apply perfume after washing.  Do you smell good at work, to your friends, in your neighbourhood?  Here it is, the matter of your behaviour.  How do you behave in front of God, and those around you?  Are you angry, do you disturb the peace of others?  Even if someone pushes you to the limit, don’t become angry.  You can control it and tell yourself, “No, I’m not going to sin”.

Sometimes you feel something is in your chest and you want to bring it out, you can say, “No because it will destroy me, my soul, my God, and my testimony”.  Self-control is one of the ingredients in your perfume.  If you want to smell good, have self-control.  If not, you may become crazy and you will hurt others, yourself, God and you will judge others.  Whoever will see you must see God through you.  If someone looks at you, will that person see God through you?  We can see the sun outside.  All benefit from the sun, evil, good, short, tall.  Does every person in your presence, enjoy your presence?  Once you understand your behaviour, repair your behaviour.

Then Ruth was told to choose your best clothes.  Do you have the right clothes when you go to church?  Do you remember that you are meeting with God or do you think what you wear is fine?  Recently I was in Dubai and I went to the beach in jeans and t-shirt while others were wearing togs.  I looked strange to the point that I started to laugh because everyone was staring and talking.  What I was wearing was not the right clothes at the right place.  What you wear, does it reflect God’s presence in your life?

In the Bible it says how men must wear in front of God and what women can and cannot wear.  You may think this is fashion e.g. pants with holes, this is cool.  It is cool to you but not to God.  Are you here to please God or others?  Because I have my choice, I must choose the best of what I wear, I have to consider what I will wear will make me respected or disrespected.  By your appearance people will accept you or not.

One time in a church the pastor wore shorts and singlet.  The expressions on the church face was, “Is our pastor mad?”  I stood up and they didn’t know me, “Pastor, can I have word?”.  I took the microphone and I told the church today we must learn what we have to wear.  Our pastor, he is our leader in this church with jandles, short and t-shirt.  The place where you are going to meet your God.  He was ashamed but tried to justify himself.  The wife said, “I told him”.  She advised the husband but he didn’t want to listen.

Sometimes we think of God as our grandfather and we want him to fit in our lifestyle while it should be the opposite.  We must look at our clothes.  The first clothes was the skin of an animal.  You must cover your nakedness in front of God.  When you sin, you look naked to God and so you have to repent.  Your appearance at church is important.  I will never go to the supermarket without remembering that people may judge me by what I wear.  Make sure your actions and appearance are a testimony to others.

Ruth was told to go quietly to Boaz and lie next to him. It wasn’t a matter of showing off because now I am clean, I have perfume and nice clothes I have to show off.  Although you know the Bible, you are blessed by God and you have gifts, continue to be humble.  Be quiet most of the time.  Don’t make everybody to notice you.

In my country they say, if you want to be tall you must accept to sit on the floor.  Bring yourself down a little bit and let God raise you up.  I have seen people going through Bible discussions with each of them wanting to prove what they know.  We can fight instead of coming together and learning from each other in the right way.

By going next to Boaz, Ruth didn’t look at his face or judge him first but by faith and obedience she followed the instructions that Naomi gave to her.  Do you obey the instructions of the Holy Spirit?  Do you walk by those steps?  Or not?  Most of the time we know the steps but we don’t follow them.  We sometimes find the Bible and the church activities are boring and we think it is a waste of our time.  I wish we could cancel this meeting.  Sometimes people even lie so they don’t have to come and just stay home to watch tv.

Imagine someone like David who had everything would say, “Better to be in the house of the Lord than 1000 years somewhere else”.  But for us, today, we prefer to be somewhere else for 1000 years than to be with God for just one day.  I prefer to go to rugby game, gossiping with friends, night club, instead of being one day next to the Lord. 

If you tell your bones, “I don’t need you”, what could happen?.  Imagine if you had no bones, you will look a mess.  Your bones give you a shape and removing them is a disaster.  Your beautiful face will be gone.  That is exactly like someone who doesn’t want to be with God. 

You want to give God a holiday, “God rest, I have to do my own things here”.  Parents sometimes tell their kids to go and play so they can have spare time and they are happy but they always come back, “Daddy I need water”.  How often do you come back to your Lord?
In the middle of the night Boaz discovered someone was next to him.  How often when God moves around your house, He feels your presence?  We want to feel God’s presence in us but He also needs to feel our presence.

After obeying you must live next to God.  As the song said, we fall down and leave our crowns at the feet of Jesus.  You can’t lay your crown down next to Him if you are far away from Him.  Come near to Him and He will also come near to you.

The prodigal son, after being blessed with his father and getting all the money, he decided to go away.  Luke 15, the father didn’t say don’t go after him, he just watched him leave and he stayed there until the son decided to come back.  The son found his father waiting for him.  When you sin, Jesus doesn’t run after you, He waits for you to come back.

Many Christians lie to themselves hoping Jesus will come to find me.  If you don’t want to come back and turn to Him, God doesn’t come looking for you, He doesn’t work like that.  In the Bible you see examples such as Saul, God talked to him but he didn’t run after him.  How often you act worse than Saul and God is saying, “You are persecuting me”?  Saul became blind, darkness as in Mathew 24:29, the sun was dark.

When your conscience speaks to you, treat it with respect.  Very often we tell our conscience to be quiet but this was the time for Saul to lie down (he fell from the donkey) and to lay down his crown at the feet of God.  Work on your salvation.  If you have salvation, walk on it like carpet.  Don’t step on mud but follow your salvation like a carpet.
Ruth is a good example of the church but we need to be prepared because Jesus is coming back soon.  You may die before then.  I don’t have to say, I have time.  Get ready, wash yourself, put on nice clothes, perfume and prepare yourself.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Mathew 4 - After Baptism

By Odon Bulamba

It’s a joy to be here this morning.  Today we are going to read together Mathew 4 & Luke 4. I am going to share with you about the baptism and what Jesus went through.  First, I praise God for these girls (Leah, Rebekah, and Anna) being baptised on 02 02 2020.  If you read it backwards, it is also 02 02 2020.  This has only happened 01 01 1010.  It’s an amazing coincidence that means a lot that they were baptised on this day.

We don’t get baptised because we love water but because it is a command from the Lord.  To make the command strong in what we believe, Jesus Himself came down and accepted to be baptised by immersion.  When He got baptised, it was just in a river.  It was a normal day but it was a special day in heaven because a voice came down from heaven saying, “This is My beloved Son”.

When our girls got baptised, it wasn’t just because everyone does it.  When Jesus was baptised, something happened in heaven.  That was the beginning of the tough journey for Jesus.  When you get baptised, it is a day of joy but the journey of becoming a Christian and serving the Lord starts now.

In some churches, they give you a ring and put it on your finger so that from now on you are a true believer.  If I take off the ring and put it somewhere, does that mean I lose my alliance with God?  Your alliance with God should be more than a ring that you can take off.  Be a Christian forever. 

Don’t be a Christian because the situation is tough for you and you need God to help.  For example, some will pray to God, “If you change my situation, I will give my life to you”.  If you pray in this way, you are lying to yourself and making a wrong decision.  We must decide to give our lives to Jesus and let Him control our lives.

The day Jesus was baptised, Jesus didn’t stay there but moved to the wilderness.  The Spirit took Him to the wilderness.  When you give your life to Jesus, the first thing you must do is let the Spirit to take you somewhere, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you and accept the Holy Spirit to take you to the right direction.  If you accept Jesus but you give restrictions to the Holy Spirit, then you won’t be able to serve your Lord in the right way. 

Imagine coming from a river where there is plenty of water and now Jesus is heading to the desert where there is no water.  A few minutes ago, He was in a river and now He is somewhere dry.  He spent 40 days with no food.  When you leave somewhere and you have lost everything and don’t have access to all that you had previously, how are you going to decide to live? 

My ancestors 100 years ago didn’t know clothing, they walked naked.  Still today, in some places in Kenya they still walk naked and believe clothes are a curse.  One time I went to take the gospel to such a place and I was told that I had to walk naked like them before I could enter.  I prayed, “Lord, is this correct”.  Then a thought came in mind, when Jesus was crucified, He was left naked.  It was a tough decision to take off all my clothes and then read my Bible.

It feels morally incorrect and contradictory but because their souls need the gospel, I decided to do so.  Now these people wear clothes and have several churches.  This was God’s plan for them.  If I didn’t accept their rules and then teach them about God, clothing, and humanity, maybe they couldn’t accept Jesus at all.

Satan came to Jesus in the wilderness and gave three big temptations.  There are only three types of temptations in our lives and Jesus went through all 3.  The first one is “the lust of the flesh”.  It wasn’t Jesus fault to feel hungry and this is not a sin but because Jesus’ body needed food, that was the first temptation.  Satan came with that temptation. 

Some people feel like drinking alcohol or stealing.  This is the lust of the flesh.  Satan uses the path of what your body wants.  The lust of the flesh does not last long.  If you say no, the temptation will go. Someone can feel like a cigarette but then they can tell themselves no.  It is a matter of decision.  It is a simple decision that any person can make.  We all have the ability to say no to the lust of the flesh. 

We have the power to defeat satan.  He will run away from us by simply saying no and resisting him.  This morning, my aunty rang me and I was feeling sick myself.  I was in my bed and I wondered if I should go to church.  I told my body, “On the day they bury you what are you going to do?  I have no time to waste”.  I decided to come.  I felt dizzy driving here but now I am good.  It is up to me to decide where should God want me to be.  Where does the Holy Spirit take me?

You can have the intention of stealing.  You look left and right and take it because no one sees you but if you look up, someone is watching you from above so you can easily tell yourself no.

My mum is very old now.  Two days before Christmas, she went to the second hand shop and wanted to buy a small box.  The owner of the shop said, “Look, instead of buying this box, I have one that my grandmother used to keep.  You can buy that instead”.  She bought out a small box.  My mum’s intention was to keep money in the box.  Mum bought the box and it fell onto a stone on the way home and it smashed.  Inside the small box was a small bag of pure gold. 

Mum didn’t know if she should take it back to the family or keep it.  Her mind was divided.  In such a case, what will you do?  She decided to take the gold back to the owner of the shop.  The lady was surprised, “My grandmother never told me, what can I give you as a reward, here is a hug and a blessing”.  My mum thought, “Maybe I should have kept half”.  Mum’s children told her, “You are so dumb, you should have kept it”.

Recently, a person came to her and said, “Thank you for giving the gold back.  For the gesture you did, I have a surprise for you”.  Sometimes we do things according to our will and thoughts but God has a different plan where He will put you in a challenge and you have to decide.  This is where Jesus told satan, I am hungry that is true but I cannot change bread from stones because it is not written that way.  Check the Bible to know what you can and can’t do because your life doesn’t belong to you now.

The man said to mum, “I bought this mansion a few years ago, you can take it”.  My mum is 86 years old and didn’t think she could take care of such a big mansion at her age.  The man suggested it could be used as a house for those girls who are victims of rape, “They can stay here and we will provide food, water, and clothing to say thank you for bringing back the gold to us”. 

The man said, “All that gold we sold and we have purchased this house, land, and the remaining money will help those girls”.  Whatever we lose in the world, we gain.  When you say, I lose something, God will tell you, no you didn’t let me prepare it in another way, I will give it back to you.

The second temptation is “our eyes”.  Satan took Jesus on top of the mountain and showed Him, look all of this is mine, I can give it to you if you bow down.  Satan uses that part of our bodies frequently.  Looking at Colleen, that is a nice top.  Looking at Odon, ugly top.  We judge others by looking.  We envy by looking.  Because of what we see, we kill each other, we want to steal, become aggressive and sometimes insult people.

How often have your eyes led you to sin?  When you see something, anger can rise up in you.  When you see something, you may become judgemental or a tough situation may rise up or jealousy because you need the same thing and that leads to envy and hatred.
Don’t look around.  My father was among the most rich people in Africa in the early 30s but on the day he passed away, he had nothing.  We used to have a room in our house where bank notes stored.  We had servants and some were there just to count bank notes and put as bricks in that room.  When my dad became sick, money couldn’t give back his health.  Money couldn’t buy back his life.

When they buried my father, he took nothing with him.  He had plenty of nice clothes and shoes and jewellery but they selected one shirt and one pair of trousers and no jewellery or shoes when he was buried.  When we went to the cemetery, I jumped into the tomb because I didn’t want my dad to leave me.  Although I am his son and wanted to go with him, I was told you can’t go with him.

What are you planning to take that day?  We have investments, nice cars, house etc.  Who are you investing for? Yourself, the next generation, or God?  It is not a sin to invest in this world but we must also invest in the Kingdom of God because that is where our treasure is kept.  To give to God money or to help others, it is a challenge.  Where do you invest? 
The third temptation is “pride”.  Satan took Jesus to a third level, “If you jump from here, angels will hold you”.  When you believe you are a child of God and you can do what you want, then pride will kill you.  People in Africa are extremely proud and that is what has destroyed Africa.

One time I travelled from one city to another.  This authority picked out people and said follow me.  He gave order to soldiers to arrest people for no reason and they went to jail because he wanted to prove he is the boss.  Some can kill for no reason except to prove that they are strong. 

I have seen people smash a baby against a wall to prove they don’t fear.  Pride is one of the things that made satan to be kicked out of heaven.  Satan continues to use that path, bringing pride to people which can lead people in a wrong way.

When Jesus went to pray at the mountain of olives, he knelt and prayed.  He saw something coming.  He said, “Let this cup not come on me,” but the will of God was something else.  In your journey as Christians, sometimes your will does not fit in the will of Jesus.  Jesus will say, “This is My will and although you have your will, My will must be done”.

Sometimes you can cry just as Jesus did with tears of blood but Jesus has His own will.  Today, many Christians want God to bow down before their will.  If God doesn’t want it, then it will never happen.  Many want to kill or steal to get what they want.  In your Christian your life remember not everything will be given to you unless God has a purpose to give it to you.  Mathew 7:7, God will give to you when you ask but not everything will be given as you expect.

If you ask because you have a desire of your flesh, then God may say no.  If you pray because others have it and you don’t, then God may say no.  Will you quit because God doesn’t give you what you wanted?  Some quit for that reason.  I’ve seen human beings say, “You are not my child anymore,” but they will still be there child.  When you tell God, “You are not my father anymore”, you will continue to be God’s child but you need to repent and keep walking by His side.

Put your pride aside and follow Jesus.  Jesus told us, remember olives produce oil and to get the oil the olives need to be crushed.  When you are crushed, that is the time of anointment, blessing, and you will produce oil.  That is not the time to run away because your body is suffering or because you don’t get what you need or because you don’t have what others have.

If you want to follow Jesus, carry your own cross.  Every single day, people tell you about the cross of Jesus.  People wear a cross around their neck believing they carry Jesus with them.  Even those next to Jesus carried their own crosses.  We must carry our own cross.  What did the cross of Jesus do?  Jesus was nailed to it and hung for six hours in pain on it.  The cross that you are carrying where are you taking it?  Golgotha?  Christ?

When you are crucified on your cross, who do you blame?  Since I have become a Christian, I don’t enjoy life anymore or gain money anymore, who do you blame?  Jesus on the cross did not blame but forgave.  How often do you forgive those that treat you harshly?  How often do you step back and say, yes they have done wrong to me but I need to love them and teach them? 

="EN-NZ">The Bible says we must love our enemies and pray for them.  When was the last time you visited your enemy and said I love you?  What sign of love do you show your enemies?  What is love for you?  If I ask a child if they love their father, how do you show it?  They will express what is love for them.  You and I as Christians, how do we show love to those we consider as enemies?  When we pray for them, what do we tell God?  Do you pray that they will be blessed?

Jesus said to the one next to him, today I will see you in paradise.  Will you tell your enemies that they can come to heaven with you?

The life of following Jesus is not easy but only requires to make the right decision.  We are on the earth today but tomorrow we will die or Jesus will come back.  When Jesus comes back, no one can stop it.  We will go by ourselves.  Prepare your way to go to heaven.  Whatever the Bible restricts, then take it as a restriction.  Do not sin.  No one will blame you if you don’t sin but if you do, the entire community will be on your back.  When you say no to sin, everyone will see that you reflect child of Jesus.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

End Days - Matthew 24:28 Vultures & Eagles

By Odon Bulamba

We are going to open our Bibles to the book of Mathew 24 and today we are going to talk about verse 28.  Its good to see we are moving forward with Mathew 24 which covers the signs that Jesus left the church to remember His coming back.  The assignment he gave to us is that we must observe those signs and the more we see them, start to prepare ourselves so that we will not have any justification to say that we didn’t know Jesus is coming back soon.

Some to observe will just open their eyes and look at something and stop themselves at that level.  A better observation is to also stop and think about it and then pull out all that is positive and all that is negative and ask yourselves, what do I need from what I have observed and how is it going to help me and my people.  We need to observe because what we are facing soon is the return of Jesus.  It will be only once.  You will either make it or miss it and it will be for eternity, there will not be a second chance.  You can’t try again.  You will either take it or miss it.

One time I was thinning, our God is full of mercy and loves us so much so why did He decide on the last day that forgiveness will be removed from that day forward.  Jesus will take away love and forgiveness on that day.  You won’t have time to say, “Remember God how much you are full of mercy, please forgive me”, because He will tell you, forgiveness is gone.

Some versions of verse 28 say, “Wherever there is a carcass the vultures will gather,
 or “Wherever the corpse is, the vultures will gather”.  Other versions say, “Wherever the carcass is, the eagles will gather together”. 

Why do we have different versions?  One talks about vultures and the other about eagles.  One is talking about the body and the other the corpse.  This is one of the toughest verses in the Bible where many try to understand its meaning.  What does it mean?

First, when we talk about the vulture, it is a bird that is different from the eagle, but both are big birds.  Translations from the Greek word, the vulture and eagle are the same word.  That is why there are two different words used in different versions.

Luke 17:37, some versions say, “Where there is dead body, there the vultures will gather,” while other versions say, “Wherever the body is, the eagles will gather together”.

We see in some places it says vultures and in other places it says eagles. The differences are not the problem but the major problem is the spiritual warning that Jesus is telling us.  If we think about the vulture, this bird will only eat dead bodies.  That is their way.  It’s different from an eagle that hunts for live animals and eat it as a fresh animal after killing it.  You will not normally see an eagle eat a body that is already dead.

Spiritually you can see (1) dead bodies and (2) live bodies.

We know that in our spiritual lives we have things that are dead on one side and things that are alive.  Dead things in the Bible are everywhere, from the book of Genesis you can read about dead deeds and dead behaviour.  Our life is either full of life or death.  God created us as human being and when we talk about death, it means something that doesn’t have life.  It’s not easy to tell.

You might see your dog lying down and you think, “My animal is dead,” and you must come closer to check if they are alive.  You can be in the city and find someone lying on the ground and think they are dead and must come closer to touch or check their pulse to know if they are alive.  You can’t easily tell who is alive and who isn’t without coming closer and performing some kind of test to tell if they are alive or not.

The difference between death and sleeping is only one thing, it is the breath.  When someone is breathing then you know they are alive and when they are not breathing anymore, you may think they are just sleeping.

Jesus went to house of Jairus where the daughter was proclaimed dead and Jesus said, “Girl wake up”.  For those who have rest, they may somehow meet with Jesus and He can bring them back to life.  We shouldn’t rely on that.  When tribulation comes, those who remain will have to fight for their own soul.  Without grace to win that battle, they will not enter the Kingdom of God.

Jesus calls Himself life, “Whoever wants to live for eternity must come to me”.  Christ is life and the antichrist is death.  Love is life and hatred is death.  Praying is life, not praying is death.  There is a positive side that means life and the opposite side means death.

Death doesn’t only mean to leave this world and be separated from your family but also to be separated from God.  It is a shame when God chooses you and you are saved but at the last minute you decide not to follow him.  Spiritual death is our decision while the natural death is the decision of God.  Spiritual life is up to you and me to decide what path to walk through.  I need to live, then I must hold God’s hand and follow Him wherever He goes.  If I want to spiritually die, I don’t want to read Bible or pray anymore, or belong to God, this is my decision, then I will get lost.

A clear example is Luke 15, the prodigal son.  It was his decision and he decided to go from his father.  He was a child of the house but because of all the blessings given to him, he decided not to stay with his father anymore.  Maybe the father advised him not to go but he wanted to enjoy the world and discover what was outside of his glory because life in the Kingdom of God is boring, staying next to Jesus is boring, I want to go somewhere I can drink my beer, dance, and do whatever sin I want and we think that is the best life.

One time I was in a country and I asked an old lady, what do you enjoy in your life the most?  She answered, “I am a party girl, whenever there is a party, I am in heaven, music, dancing, drinking and I feel like I’m in heaven and everything is perfect”.  I was shocked because she was around my age group, “Really?”  “Yes, because I will not get this opportunity anymore so let me enjoy”.  But after enjoying, God will ask you, I gave you the chance to follow me and the strength to party.  There are many who entertained in this world and sacrificed their eternal life and where are they now?

Anna will you be happy to live for 500 years?  What if you live to 200?  You will be weak and maybe people will have to feed you.  Our lives are short on this earth.  Fight for something that is important, fight for eternal life where you will not lose your beauty or strength.  Do I need to fight for 20 years on earth and sacrifice for the whole of eternity or should I sacrifice now and invest in eternity.

Mathew 24:15-28, is talking about the antichrist (false prophets, false teachers).  Whatever the antichrist brings is death.  Even if it appears like life and enjoyable and entertaining, when you walk closer to it, death is here.

We are lucky to have Ange here (a registered nurse).  When life is taken away from a patient in hospital, how do you feel Ange?  Ange feels upset but it is normal, the life of this person reaches the end.  You remove the body and a new patient takes the bed.  You write down what you observed, that is it.  If someone is healed and discharged, again the nurse says, yes, they are ok now.

God is sad when you are dead, you must go somewhere else and you will live now in the cemetery with dead people.  For those who have the grace, they may have time to prepare their lives before to die and to pray but for those who are not, it will be too late to repent.

Satan is death (the corpse) who tries to bring vultures around him.  People are vultures, birds that have chosen dead bodies rather than the living bodies.  If you are not a vulture, you are an eagle.  There is nothing in the middle.  Vultures will see a dead body.  A dead body is lying down, easy life, you can touch them and do what you want.  Many people want the easy life.  I will find my joy in killing, stealing, lying, in prostitution because it is easy for the body to do.

Eagles will look from the distance and see a moving rabbit and the eagle must challenge itself to see if its capacity is good enough to catch the rabbit.  They will fly extremely fast to pick up the rabbit and of course the rabbit runs.  The eagle must fix its eyes and its legs have to know where to touch.  The eyes are not on its feet but the feet knows how to do its action.

What do you see in front of you? What are you fighting for?

I have a friend who will tell you every Thursday that Friday is coming!  They feel good because Friday is coming!  Is Jesus coming back on Friday?  No, I must get ready from Thursday what I will wear to go out on Friday.  In Ghana when I worked at the UN, Friday was a half day and my colleague would leave immediately to go to the night club.  

One day he invited me to the best one in Ghana.  We went to this night club with a big hall with lights everywhere but you can’t see because its dark and you can’t recognise faces of people.  The music was vibrating the floor and ceiling.  I asked him, “Paul, is this the type of life you enjoy?”  “Yes”.

You could see women walking around.  He took one with him.  In the morning I will repent.  We even start to plan our repentance.  I will do something wrong now and then I will repent later.  That is a wrong choice.  The next morning when the sun appeared, he looked at that lady who stayed with him, she was among the ugliest women on the planet, he was shocked. He became angry.  He said to me, I am stupid, I will never follow the colours of the world because the world will mislead you.

He rushed to the hospital because he wasn’t feeling well, he had the HIV test and it was positive.  I said, “Hallelujah”.  He asked, “Where is love?”  I said, “God gave you everything in your life but you didn’t look after it, so where is your love for God?”  He blamed others instead of blaming himself.

We as spiritual people, we must know what the Bible asks us to do and depend on God’s love and ask ourselves, will this please God or not?  God chose us first, “I want to live with you forever”.  Our answers matter.  When we tell God, I don’t want to live with you forever it is like any other husband who wants a divorce.  When someone tells you that they don’t want to live with you anymore, it is hard, it hurts.

God can wait for you like the prodigal son.  Lucky the boy decided to push himself out from where he was to come home.  The father did not leave his house to find him.  Meaning that you shouldn’t expect Jesus to look for you.  We don’t know for how long we will be alive.  We don’t know what will happen on our way.  Why leave the father’s house to start with?  We shouldn’t.  

For those that are eagles, whenever they see the dead body, they will not land there so that it is hard for satan to deceive you, “come here to enjoy sin,” while you know that sin is death.  We all know that the wages of sin is death but we go for it, we want to taste death and sin.

In my country, I see hundreds of pictures and videos of people being killed.  People are killed day are after for no reason.  All of that has made me think that life is cheap.  It only takes one second to kill someone and you can’t stop death even if you are a multimillionaire.  You can’t tell death, “I’m beautiful, wait,” death will tell you, “No”.

Many among us choose to go for death, to sin, because we believe that is where joy exists.  That is why we must go either for the corpse or what is alive.  Mathew 7:13, enter the straight gate because the broad way leads to destruction and many go that way.

There is a broad way and many are happy to go through that way rather than the narrow one that leads to life.  We follow the broad way because our friends are there, my boyfriend is there, so lets join them.  When pagans are organising parties, they never miss alcohol.  It must be there and then secondly music and then people come to enjoy.

After drinking a lot, someone becomes drunk.  We used to have a neighbour who would drink on Fridays and the more they drank the more the music increased and their voices grew louder and then they would end up arguing and then fighting each other.  When you reach that stage of becoming drunk, you lose your personability.  They will vomit, they will urinate, look messy and disgusting but for them, they enjoy it.  They may hurt themselves and then wonder in the morning where the pain comes from, they don’t remember the night before.

Some will find themselves in a police cell and don’t know how they got there.  Your reputation will go down and you will lose your place in the Kingdom of God but you prefer to do that and you believe you are enjoying life.

Romans 12:3, don’t think of yourself higher but just be normal.  Many Christian’s today think that they can’t miss out because without them it won’t be as entertaining because the family said or friend said, they can’t be absent.  They forget that they should think about others.  The first person to think about in your life is your God.  If I put myself here, where is God in this?  If I want to take all the glory, we should remember all glory should return to God.

We need to seek all that is alive.  Things that are alive are those that we don’t see.  Colossians 3:1-2, our mind must be set on things in heaven, not on things on this earth.  Whatever we do, we must remember not to seek things that are here.

2 Corinthians 4:18, what is unseen is eternal and that is what we should fix our minds and eyes on.  Sometimes we look at things and our mind tells us not to look twice and reject with your entire body.  Sometimes I see images from Congo and I will send those videos to people and some will say, don’t send anymore, there is a reaction in the entire body and mind and we feel that it is not good for us.  When you look at the scene around you, how do you feel?  Does your body, mind, spirit enjoy?

Jesus is telling us to look at the unseen things.  The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, kindness, joy, etc, focus on that. Once you start to focus on those things you are preparing your way to be a good eagle and a good eagle doesn’t fear the altitude.  A good eagle doesn’t fear to leave a great height and drop at a fast speed to reach life.  When God gives you life in a word, you must rush fast and leave everything for that verse and feed yourself.  The remaining part, take to your family and friends.

Eagles are selfish.  The first thing they do is to take the fish/rabbit away from where they caught it to eat.  When you get the Word of God, take it with you, go to your room and go through it again.  By taking a rabbit and going somewhere safe, the rabbit can’t escape and that is where the eagle will kill the rabbit and eat it one small portion after another.  When you get the Word of God, try to go in details and think about it.  Try if possible to make a great picture for your life: Bible study.  

It is not a matter of reading one verse and that will do, think about that verse.  That is your daily bread.  When you eat your favourite food, you want to eat it until you are satisfied.  When you read your Bible, you must make sure that satisfaction is reached and then make sure that others notice you have read the Word of God through your actions.  Today you see Christian’s using the Word of God to defend their sins, dead animals

Sunday, November 3, 2019

End Days - Matthew 24:27 - Lightning

By Odon Bulamba

Today we are going to go to our Bible in Mathew 24:27. This is a simple verse that anyone can understand.  It talks about the return of Jesus.  Here Jesus is not talking about signs anymore but insisting on the fact that He will come back and no one will realise that Jesus is here.  It will be extremely fast to the point that people will not have time to repent or to ask for forgiveness.

Sometimes when I read this verse, it pushes me to think about the lightning.  Lightning is something mysterious which appears in the sky.  It doesn’t appear every day and no one can predict it.  Sometimes meteorologist will tell you that there will be rain and lightning but we can’t predict it.  Some people are scared when they see the lightning and by the time we scream, it is gone.  You can’t say Jesus.  By the time you open your mouth, it is gone.

When Jesus comes, you will see the light wherever you are.  Why did Jesus take this example?  Because lightning is not a product of human being and is a mystery, you can’t control it, you can’t stop it, you can’t prevent it.  I’m not talking about the thunder with all the noise, I’m talking about lightning.  

My mother asked me to draw lightning.  I drew a root of a tree.  Sometimes it takes different shapes from the last one.  It can hit different places from yesterday.  You can’t predict how God will appear when He comes back, you can’t draw it and tell others how He will come down.  We only know that it will be extremely fast.

Lightning makes you feel something is coming.  Some think of the rain coming.  The rain may be heavy.  When the world is saying, let the spirit rain and come down, we want to see God controlling everything.  That time will be late, the Son of Man will already be there.  God is telling the church, “You won’t have enough time to repent.  Are you ready to go with Me, when I come back?

The Bible says that it will be so quick that the church will be gone at the same speed as blinking your eyes.  Will you be ready when Jesus comes back?  It’s not written in the calendar.  The date is not there.  

Very often when we see the sun raising up, we see the signs of the sun coming and then light will appear.  Whenever we see the morning star we can tell where it comes from and where it is going.  Jesus is the morning star, the Sun but when He comes back, be ready.  To be ready is not a matter of kneeling down and praying and crying but to tell God, “Make me ready”.

We are God’s children and He cares for us.  He knows the right time when He will come back.  For Christian’s who have the revelation will tell God, “Please prepare me for when you come back so I can be ready.  Please I don’t want to miss that opportunity”.  Like any parent who prepares their children to go somewhere, they know that at a certain time they will leave for the party, “Children, get ready, put on those shoes, it’s time to go now”.

Those who love Jesus, should tell Him, “Prepare me so that you can take me with you, I want to go with you, I don’t know how to prepare myself”.  Most of the time we sin without knowing.  Many times we sin by just thinking and we don’t even realise it.  Because God knows very well what is inside us and understands us better than anyone else, run to him and ask him to prepare you.  “I’m your slave, your child, your loved one, prepare me”.  If not, you won’t go with Jesus.

Jesus said, whenever a child asks for a bread, the parent won’t give a stone.  If you ask for a stone it will be given to you but if you know exactly what to ask your Lord, then that should be given to you.  God doesn’t give everything we want but all that we need.  What is your first need in life?

Many will say to buy a house, to have money, be joyful.  I have a sister who was extremely beautiful in our area.  Now that she is getting older, she looks at her old photos, I don’t believe this is me anymore.  Her body has been changing every day.  It is the same for our mind, soul and hearts, there is change.  

That is why, when someone is born again, he looks spiritually fresh with spiritually good skin colour spiritually.  They love Jesus and read Bible every second but as they grow up spiritually they feel tired, I don’t need to know more from the Bible, I’ve been going to church for years, I need a break.  Those weaknesses will grow in us but it is our responsibility to tell God, “I need your support.  Through my experience, many can learn”.  In Revelations, Jesus tells us to remember our first love.  

My mum says that when a child is born, no one will teach a child how to swallow the milk.  They know how to feed themselves.  Our spiritual life should be the same, we should find a way to live naturally in God, to be a part of His family.  You can feel something touching you and your arm will move and touch where you felt it and automatically you will look.  Any part of your body will intervene to remove it.

I’ve seen many people, especially women, touching their hair instinctively.  We need to be like this in the Lord.  If something strange touches us spiritually, we should notice.  We should feel the glory of God but today people don’t feel the power of God in their lives because the church is sleeping.  Only those who have eyes to see will see the light when Jesus comes.  All will see the light but only those with eyes will really see it.

When you look at the Word of God, do you see what God sees?  If a mother is walking with a child and sees a danger, they will intervene.  E.g. a snake was in our house and I wanted to touch it.  My mum screamed and rushed to pick me up.  Her first step was to take me away from the danger.  She called men to kill the snake.

In Africa, we kill the snake but in Australia, they release it but we don’t because it might attack again.  Sometimes we walk in God and don’t see danger and think it is fair and normal but if you walk near to God, He can quickly tell you, “Don’t walk there,” and take you from danger.  Imagine if that snake was there but my mum was too far away.  I could touch it and after being bitten, I would not be able to tell my mother what is wrong which would produce death.

It’s time to tell Jesus, “Walk by my side, let me not be far from you, wherever you go Jesus, let me know with you.  Don’t give me time to walk far from you”.  

Jesus gave a good example that we all know.  Whenever two things are put together, no man should separate (talking about marriage).  Jesus is our husband, are we faithful and committed to Jesus?  Have we decided to follow Jesus for the rest of our lives?  Does Jesus continue to hold your life in his hands or have you asked for your life back?  Maybe you regret because you married Jesus, this is not what you were expecting.  

Many Christians will tell God, “Since I became a Christian my life has changed in a bad way, I don’t have freedom, I used to steal but now I don’t have money, I used to drink beer but now I can’t, I am restricted”.  In any responsible family, rules exist.  Children will tell you, in our house, we can’t do that. 

I know what things that my father would not accept in his house but whenever God gives us rules, we believe that He is mean.  We sometimes think He is far from us so we do what we want to do.  As Jesus is coming back, we are the light of this world in the same way that Jesus is the lightning appears, we should also be like lightning and quickly appear when Jesus asks us to.

Paul said, imitate me like Jesus.  Why can’t we be quick to repent when we do something wrong.  Whenever we do something wrong, we say, “I was angry,” and then we decide not to talk to that person.  Whenever we do a mistake, instead of repenting immediately, we think that somehow, I am right.  If that person hadn’t done this, then I couldn’t do this.

When I did something wrong as a child, I learnt to tell my mum quickly before she found out.  That was good.  My mum would say, bring yourself to justice.  When you feel in your heart to share the gospel, just bring it out.

I went to a shop in Hamilton where an Arab man was there from Iran.  I told him to give his life to Jesus because He loves you, repent and give your life to Jesus.  I walked away.  People looked at me.  It sounded rude but I felt in me that I should say it.  The next time I went into the shop, he asked “Why did you say that?”  I said because there is no time, we need to repent.

I once went to an interview with 3 people.  I asked them before we start to read John 21:20, John said to Jesus, who will be the apostle who will betray you.  I told these 3 people, who will betray Jesus in our world today.  One said, we are here for this job interview.  I said yes, this is also part of my job because if I know it’s me, I should repent.  One said, I betrayed my wife two days ago.  Another said, I betrayed my parents.  I think I should repent.  I got the job.

Sometimes God will use you.  You appear like lightning, pass on the message, be the light, then go.  Don’t worry about what they will think or say about you, pass on the message and move away.

God loves you so much, that is why He has been giving us warnings.  That is why He is telling you, “I will come like lightning”.  If you want to be in His kingdom ask God so that you and your family and friends do not miss that day and minute.