Tuesday, March 31, 2009

10 Branches of the Great Salvation - Redemption

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

This means to accept to pay the price for someone else’s life. Redemption goes together with love. In the Old Testament there are three types of redemption that give us information on how to find redemption. They are found in the books of:

1. Exodus
2. Ruth
3. Isaiah

Naomi (which means love) married Elimelech (God is my King) and they left Bethlehem (house of the bread of God = Jesus = Word of God) with their two sons; Mahlon (weakness) and Chilion (fallen).

When you leave the Word of God you will become weak and then you will fall. When you are weak in prayer you will fall into temptation. When you are weak in the Bible you will fall into confusion.

Ruth (a friend, drunk, satisfied) married Mahlon (weakness) who died before they had any children. A friend of weakness will never produce fruit. Be careful not to become a friend to your weakness.

Amram (God’s friend) married Jochabed (glory of God) and had three children; Miriam (rebellion), Aaron (enlightens) and Moses (who comes from water). If you are God’s friend you must marry God’s glory and the first thing you will produce is rebellion against sin. Secondly you will be a light in the world and thirdly you will be saved by water (Word of God) which must be your foundation.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

10 Branches of the Great Salvation - Justification

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Jesus is the only one who could pay the price for our sin. God left the throne (John 1) and bore a physical body to justify us, to pay the price that man couldn’t pay.

b. Justification by faith
Romans 5:1
Hebrews 11:1

Each Christian is called to know what faith is. Are you sure of what you hope for, are you sure of what is coming (Christ’s return)?

Faith grows with trials, if your faith is not tested, it will not grow.

c. Justification by our lives
Romans 5:18

To justify who you are before God on earth. We must justify ourselves with our good deeds. For example: When you go on trial, there is always an accuser. There are two accusers in this life; your deeds in the body and satan.

d. Justification by the Word of God
James 1:23-25

The Word of God must be a mirror to us so that we can know who we are before God.

e. Justification by acts (or man’s justification)
These are physical and spiritual actions that justify us before God.

The religious spirit (Romans 10:2-3) is very easy to obtain and the most important question to ask yourself,to know if you have this spirit or not is; “Does what I do come from myself or from the Spirit of God?”

The religious spirit gives work to many Christians for many years and they think they work for God but they work for another glory. This spirit stops the work of God in Christian’s lives.

For the full message please email: littlebethlehem@windowslive.com

Sunday, March 29, 2009

10 Branches of the Great Salvation - Forgiveness

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Before preaching to others, I must first preach to myself. I must repent of what I am guilty of and ask God and those around me to forgive me, and then I can share God’s Word.

The fruit of forgiveness is:
1. Reconciliation
2. It takes away bitterness

Forgiveness is not a process because Jesus said, ‘It is finished!’,and the blood of Jesus covers everything.

Acts 10:43
Romans 3:23-24
Mathew 6:15

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Great Salvation

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Hebrews 2:3,4

The GREAT salvation means how a Christian must know how he’s living as a Christian; how a Christian must discover that he is working with God; how a Christian must know and be really assured that he belongs to God. This is the great salvation that we will talk about.

That great salvation has different branches, meaning that it’s not just a piece of wood but it’s built with different parts and those parts together will make that great salvation. There are ten steps altogether:

1. Forgiveness
2. Jusitification
3. Redemption
4. Reconciliation
5. Revival
6. Respect
7. Sanctification
8. Second Birth
9. Gift of the Holy Spirit
10. New Creation

In Hebrews 2:3-4, it asks how we will escape if we neglect that great salvation. It’s a matter of becoming mature spiritually. To mean that we have crossed already those steps to know that yes, I’m a Christian, I belong to Jesus my Saviour and so on. Here it’s now a matter of great salvation; something which concerns you in front of God.

So first of all let’s think about salvation. When we are talking about salvation, it means to liberate someone or to set someone free, paying the debt of someone so that they can be completely free. But with the great salvation it doesn’t really stop there. It goes further – much further. So we will be able to understand what forgiveness, justification, and so on really means.

As Christians our spirit needs to be fed and to be fed it’s not a matter of your pastor speaking to you or whoever but it’s now a matter of personal conscience and responsibility. To feed our souls, it depends with how much we are conscience with what we are doing. It means that God gives us that serious responsibility in the same way that God has given Hayley the responsibility of feeding her body. Michelle has the responsibility of taking care of her body. God will never come down and tell her to brush her hair – never – He has given Michelle a brain and intelligence and knows that you will take care of that. And the way also that you were given souls God knows that we have to take care of them also.

It is our responsiblity to read the Word of God, to pray and to find time for God. It is our responsiblity to become mature Christians. It is our responsiblity to discover what are the ten steps of the great salvation (forgiveness, justification etc) and to know what each one means and how to put each one into practise in our every day lives.

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Friday, March 27, 2009


By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Genesis 22:1-14

Abraham was a man of God. He was a son of God, like you and me. Abraham wasn’t different from us. God asked him something to know where he was up to in his faith. God tested his faith. A faith without testing is not a faith. A faith without testing is a dead faith. A faith that wants to grow must go through a test.

Abraham was around one hundred years old and his wife was around ninety when they had their first child. Sarah couldn’t believe at her age she could give birth. The first thing in faith is to know what is impossible in man’s eyes is possible with God. Where you have doubts, or you know you will never find a solution, God wants to work here. First thing God wants you to know is all things are possible with God.

Sarah got pregnant. An older woman has a weak body. When we are weak, when we are in a situation where we can’t do things, we should know that God gives the ability for us to do what we know we should.

God promised Abraham he would receive a son, but when Ishmael was born, he couldn’t think of Isaac who wasn’t born yet. On one hand he believed, but on the other, he didn’t. Abraham had already decided to give his inheritance to Ishmael. A little bit of doubt can lead us to do something against God’s will. For example, God gives spiritual gifts. If someone is sick, and you know you should pray but you get Odon to pray instead.

When Abraham received his son and he loved him more than anything else. More than Ishmael, to the point that Isaac became like an only son. God said, “Abraham, do you really love me?” Abraham replied, “Yes”. “Give me your only child and sacrifice him for me". For the faith to grow, God always asks things that are very important. For the faith to grow, God asks for the most important things. “Give me your life.” This is not easy. For your faith to grow, you must give your faith to God.

Abraham knew he had Ishmael, but he was a servant’s child, so he didn’t love him as he should. So for him Isaac was his only child, so God asked for that. God gave him a son, and He has the power to take him back. Sometimes God asks for our life and we hesitate. Sometimes money, and we hesitate. He is the one who gave us everything – our life, our money, everything. Who are you to say no to the owner.

In order for our faith to grow we must make up our mind that, everything God will ask me to give up to make my faith grow, I will accept. We might say, “If God gave me this child, how can He ask for him back? When God gives, he never asks for it back.” But it can be a test. Abraham thought, “Yes, because it is the Lord, we must do it.” If we want our faith to be a good faith, we must obey. Obedience is better than sacrifice. When you don’t obey God, you will have a serious problem with your faith. Love is obedience, therefore love your neighbour. God saw Abraham obeyed.

God can’t ask you something that is above your faith or is impossible. If God asks you something that you think is impossible, you must remember that God will make it possible. God limits the test to our faith.

Lewis is a giant and Tua couldn’t reach him. Although Tua is strong, he forgot he was short. He had the courage, but he started wrongly. We must also have strategies when we want to get closer to God.

Abraham prepared the wood, the donkey, his servants and his son. He didn’t forget to take the knife and fire. Everything was ready. He knew he had to sacrifice his son. Eg. Zaccheus had a strategy to see Jesus by climbing a tree. We too must get a strategy. What can help me to accept what God asks of me?

When Abraham was ready to sacrifice Isaac, he left the servants, donkey etc behind. When we seek the faith, sometimes we must give up things. “Bad friends….. pride….. stay there, I want to carry on with my faith”. If you are not able to give up things, you will not have faith. You can’t be God’s minister if you don’t have faith, or a strategy to meet God. We must give up something that stops us from knowing what God wants to do.

Abraham walked three days. The son asked, “Where is the sacrifice?” Abraham, deep in his heart cried, “God will give a sacrifice.” To believe what you haven’t seen yet. When you pray, tell God and God will give the answer. “I know you will give an answer.” Believe, it’s enough. Abraham told his child that God will provide. He tied up his son and with courage lifted up his hand. When God tests us, when the situation is very hard, and we feel we are about to lose our lives, this is when God does something. When we feel forsaken, God intervenes.

He walked for three days. Abraham accepted God’s test. He thought, God will understand how hard it is to lose a child. He asked, but do I really have to. The first day he prayed and God didn’t answer. The second day he prayed, and God didn’t answer. He hoped God would say no. God didn’t answer, so maybe he thought God changed His mind. On the third day, after preparing the alter, God talked. The first and second day, he was in darkness.

Don’t give up praying if God doesn’t answer you. He leaves you to see where you will go, to see if you will change your mind. Jesus says, “Take up your cross.” If you take up your cross, you will go to the end.

The place where Abraham was to sacrifice was called Moriah, God will provide (Jehovah Jireh). In our faith, we must know that God will provide. Whatever the situation or circumstance, God will provide. God will never send you where there is no solution. God will never put you in an impossible situation. Be sure God will always be with you. It’s up to us to open our mouth and say, “Lord, we need you.”

You must make your faith grow. Our faith must grow. For the faith to grow we must go through the five steps:

1. All things are possible with God
2. When we are weak, God gives the ability
3. Make up our mind to give up everything God asks us to
4. Don’t give up praying if God doesn’t answer for one or two days
5. The Lord will Provide

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Giving and Receiving

By BenedicteBahjejian

Numbers 13:1-14:10

Introduction: contemporary version of the promised land

There was once somewhere in NZ a man who had a teenage son. This son just passed his full licence a week ago and he was talking about buying a new car. His dad, who wanted to please and surprise him, bought him for his 18th birthday, which was very soon, with most of his savings, one of the newest Holden car, a black Holden Astra Coupe with 3 doors, 5 seats, 6 speed, Manual, Front Wheel Drive, 9.4L of fuel/100km, driver and passenger airbags for his safety, 6 disc & 7 speaker stereo for his entertainment. He thought he would really surprise his son with this AMAZING gift.
On the birth day, he brought the car home and showed it to his son, who, at his great surprise, before even saying thank you, his son started to criticise the car he had bought saying: ‘I don’t like Holden! I didn’t want a Holden, I wanted to buy a BMW 1 Series Convertible, and I wanted it yellow! The same as my friend Andrew. Holden is just rubbish; I’m not even going to drive it. You can bring it back to your stupid seller.’ And off he run to his room and slammed the door behind him.
Þ If you were the teenager’s dad, what would you feel?

Read Numbers 13:1-3 & 13:17- 14:10

Plan of text + brief summary

13:1-16 Moses sends 12 men, 1 of each tribe to explore Canaan
13: 17- 20 Moses’ instructions
13:21-24 Story of the 40 days travel
13:25-29 Back to Kadesh and their report
13:30 Caleb quiets people who grumbled against Moses & encourages them to go & fight

13:31-33 10 men give bad report of land & report seeing giants
14:1-4 People of Israel complain against Moses & Aaron and cry during night & want to go back to Egypt

14:5-9 Moses, Aaron fall on their faces & Joshua & Caleb spoke to congregation to go and not rebel against God

14:10 Congregation speak of stoning them but the glory of God appeared
Where did the spies go? v. 21&26
{ Place of departure: Kadesh in wilderness of Paran
{ Route: from Kadesh, then from the Wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob, near the entrance of Hamath. And they went up through the South and came to Hebron. Then from Hebron to the Valley of Eshcol (Cluster)
{ Distance: from Kadesh to Hebron= 122 kms or 76 miles

What and who did they see? v. 23-29
{ In Hebron, they saw Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak (13:22)
{ In the valley of Eshcol, they saw huge clusters of grapes and brought back one of them, pomegranates and figs (13:23)
{ They saw milk and honey flowing in the land (13:27)
{ Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan. (13:29)
A good or a bad report of the land according to the 12 men?
{ Partially good because of the variety and abundance of food
{ Partially bad because of the people who live there

Background: Canaan before the Hebrews
Crime of Ham and curse on Canaan
Canaan was the son of Ham. Ham discovered Noah "undressed naked" while Noah was sleeping off some wine (Genesis 9:22) and Noah when he woke up cursed Cannaan, Ham’s son (Genesis 9:25).
As a result of their eponymous ancestor's crime the Bible indicates that Canaanites in Israel's eyes were seen as an increasingly sexually very depraved people (Leviticus 18:27). Thus the land of the Canaanites (specifically the Amorites, Hivites, Hethites, Girgashites and Jebusites) was deemed suitable for conquest by the Israelites on moral grounds.
Where did the giants come from?

The land of Canaan obviously has had visits by "the sons of God" some time after the days of the Flood, because now it was inhabited by giants, who were widely renown, as were their predecessors. God had been forced to exterminate the worldat Naoh’s time, because it had been made unclean by angel hybrids, and now also the nations of Canaan, with their hybrid races, were doomed to destruction.
The observation by the spies of Moses occurred about 1500 years before Christ.

The ungodliness in Canaan after the Flood consisted of all kinds of perverse and unnatural mingling, typical for the fallen angels. There were many different nations living in Canaan at the time, but the children of Anak are especially mentioned here, just ahead of the very conquest of the land, as well as their ungodliness.

Canaanite gods & goddesses (article from the American Bible Society website)
The Canaanites worshiped many gods and goddesses who, together, formed a council. El (“god”), the father of the other gods and humanity, was head of the council. He lived in a cosmic paradise where the other gods came to see him.
Baal (“master” or “lord”) also was known as Hadad. As the most popular god among the people, Baal gradually took over many of the roles and characteristics of El. He was worshiped by the Canaanites as the storm god who brought rain and made land and flocks fertile.
The Canaanite goddesses were primarily fertility goddesses who were believed to provide healthy crops and large harvests, as well as increases in the flocks. Asherah (also known as Astarte) was the mother of seventy of the gods, and the wife of El in the early myths. In later stories, however, she supported Baal when he asked El for power.

God’s promises about the land:
{ ‘Evil’ report from the 10 spies (14:27-29) but what is God’s description of the land in other passages of the Bible? Exodus 3:8

{ People wept during the night and murmured against Aaron & Moses. What do you think God felt at that moment?
Do you remember the story I told you at the beginning? Is there any common points?
God’s answer: You are a stiff-necked people. Ex 33: 5
The Lord God will not come up with them as He may consume them, but He will send his angel to go with them, and He will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Exodus 33:2-3

{ But Joshua & Caleb stood up against the croud to quiet them and spoke with faith to go up & fight these giants (Caleb: 13:30, Joshua & Caleb: 14:6-9).
Later on, it is Joshua who destroyed the Anakim. Joshua 11:21-22

There is a contradiction between what God says about the land he promised to GIVE his people and the report the 10 spies brought back to the people. What they saw both amazed and terrified them, and they gave up their faith in God because of what their eyes saw. Did they forget God’s word: I’m going to drive your enemies out of the land, do not be afraid, I HAVE GIVEN you this land? In their rebellion & anger, all they could think about was … to go back to Egypt! Is there anything more irritating for God than to hear his people wanting to back to a land of idols and slavery? Was it not obvious, looking at God’s instructions to the spies, that God knew the land and that He wanted them to discover it and see all its goodness?

Application: lessons for us for today
¯ Sometimes, things seem in our sight like mountains or giants, we make them so big and ourselves so little that we fear and they become more powerful than God himself. But God asks us to trust in Him.
¯ God knew the land he was giving his dearly loved people, the same as He knows the land He is leading us to. He asks us to trust in Him for the next step we are going to make.

¯ God gives us generously, but what kind of receivers are we?
Are you like Joshua and Caleb who wanted to fight in order to possess the land God had prepared for his people, or are you like the teenage son in the story and the people of Israel who slammed the door at their father because the gift was not what they expected?

{ In the story, the son did not look at the good sides of the car and the fact that his dad used up almost all his savings to buy him the car, he looked at all the wrong points about the car. His heart was hardened and he had his dad feel very stupid and ashamed.

¯ Let us NOT be like the people of Israel, who were ungrateful and rebellious toward God. Let us remember God’s promises for us, this will help us to go through whatever crisis we face in life. When are not sure about where we are and what we are doing here, let us ask ourselves first: where do I come from and where am I going? Why I am at this place at this time? And let us remember God’s promises and then we will understand why we are there at that place at that moment.

At any time, God knows what He is doing. He puts clues on our way so that we would know what He expects of us. Let us faithfully follow Him and if there is anything we do not understand, before getting upset or rebellious against Him, ask Him.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


By Odon Bulamba (summary only -20.09.2002.)

Before everything exists, there is a beginning and if there is no beginning, it means the thing is eternal. If there is a beginning, then there is an end. We were born, and one day we will die. Everyone has to think, if there is a beginning, then there has to be an end. Our Christian life also has a beginning on this earth and an end on this earth. We have to realise that one day, our life will finish.

John 3:16, God loves this world so much that He gave His only Son. Why? For our salvation, for our redemption. Jesus Christ came on earth, because since the beginning, God wanted man to be forgiven for his mistakes. Adam sinned and God came down and visited Adam (Adam didn’t go to God) and God made him clothes from animal skin to cover his nakedness because God didn’t want to see his nakedness. Forgiveness covers the nakedness of a Christian.

God asked Adam, where are you? First you have to know where you are. Adam said, ‘I’m in the garden, but hiding’. And God asked, ‘why?’, ‘Because I have sinned’. God didn’t ask him what happened, it wasn’t the time to judge Adam but first He had to cover Adam’s nakedness.

God asked Adam, “How do you know you have sinned?” Instead of answering the question, he said, “It’s the wife you gave me, because You gave me a wife, I sinned”. Adam forgot that God sees everything, His presence is everywhere. God’s forgiveness is also here all the time.

After this, God visited the people of Israel and saw they sinned a lot. To forgive these sins, there is a need for blood to flow. God thought, ‘I don’t have to come down all the time to kill sheep’, so God chose some servants. “Aaron, you’ll do that, to represent me for the people. Take the blood of an animal and do this and do that and the person will be forgiven”. God gave Aaron power from God to lead his people to forgiveness.

But many people died in their sins because the sacrificing only happened once a year. God thought forgiveness is necessary at every moment. God knows we are really weak. God came (Jesus Christ), He left heaven where He lived and whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. God loved the world so much, He gave Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for our sins. We cannot receive forgiveness without receiving Jesus Christ.

Jesus died for our sins. He did nothing but accept to be crucified, tortured and arrested for our sins. He sacrificed Himself for others, for our life. We too must sacrifice our life for the life of non-believers. Accept to waste our time, our lives for them.

Love walks together with forgiveness. If you don’t have love, you don’t have forgiveness. Just flattery. First we all must have love and then we have pity on that person and forgiveness comes easily. Because God loved us, He gave His only Son to die for us. To forgive people, we have to ask ourselves, do I love this person or not and if not, am I worthy to be called a Christian or not because we must love and pray for our enemies and before we pray we must know if we love or not and we don’t, find a way. Because when you love, you practise justice, truth and you have no prejudice. When you have love, you see your brother or sister did something wrong and you forgive them and God is happy.

God taught us, divine forgiveness has to forget. Someone who doesn’t want to forget is the person who wants a swollen heart. When a man’s heart is swelling, the pressure will one day make the heart explode and hatred comes, distance comes and there will be no contact with this person. But God said to forgive and forget. Because who ever doesn’t forgive, will not be forgiven, Mark 11:25.

God asks us to get close to the person who has done wrong against us. If you don’t warn the one who has done wrong, their blood will be on your head. If you say, I’ll wait until he comes, maybe they will die in sin. Maybe their conscience will die. We must go to people and ask them to confess their sins and find forgiveness. Nobody invited Jesus to earth. But for us, we just wait for them to come to us and ask for forgiveness. Some Christians are what I call a ‘Christian boss’, in their arm chairs waiting for reports coming from here and there. Jesus had the humility to leave heaven and come to work.

If you show Colleen more joy to see her than Andrew, how will Andrew feel? Is there love? There is prejudice in my actions.

Forgiveness is not only for others. I have to have pity on myself and forgive myself first. You have to weigh up your actions, is what you have done been forgiven? God have pity. Because you like your soul, you have to ask God to help you to keep your soul. That’s why Jesus didn’t sin because each time He would think of His soul. As long as a person can’t forgive themselves, they won’t make progress. You must evaluate yourself.

The first treasure is our soul and we have to protect our soul because we love them. If you love yourself, you tell yourself you want to one day enter the kingdom of heaven and you ask yourself lots of questions why you do that and condemn yourself. You will ask God, ‘Why do I do that?’ Do I have pity on my soul? I forgive myself for what I have done.

People, who were sick, were taken to Jesus and the first thing He says was, ‘your sins are forgiven’, even if they didn’t ask for it. Because it’s a free gift God gave us, give forgiveness without distinction of race and sex and with that you’ll see miracles.

When someone comes to ask you for forgiveness, it’s not up to you to judge. Jesus would say, ‘your sins are forgiven’. We have to learn to forgive without discussion. Don’t ask lots of questions, because the more we ask, the more they will feel uncomfortable. To forgive is not to get information but to forgive is to sort out problems and finish with it.

The Bible says, if someone makes a mistake, you will go and speak about God’s love. If he doesn’t know God’s love, teach him that God doesn’t like what has done but don’t ask him to explain what he has done. If you go deep with a child who has for example stolen $5, “why did you steal?” maybe he doesn’t know about the devil, maybe he will lie. Sometimes we go in depth but don’t achieve our objective, but create more problems.

If I ask forgiveness from you, but you still judge and want to know more about the details, you will make me feel uncomfortable and I will not ask again for forgiveness. I won’t come to you again and this will put a barrier between you and me.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Born Again

By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 13-27th April, 2001)

(John 3:1-10)

Nicodemus was a man, it is man that needs salvation, not an animal or a plant. He was someone highly respected, he had learnt the law and theology and everybody feared him and called him master. Nicodemus was one of the Sanhedrin who were Pharisees that wanted to stick to God’s law but forgot God’s presence in that law. They would know to get drunk was a sin but would get drunk. They could apply the law to the life of others but not to their own. Nicodemus was a very highly educated man because he would teach people God’s law and he was famous in God’s knowledge. But when he met Jesus, he was called master but he accepted to humble himself and become a student to learn.

Each one of us must submit ourselves to learn. You might have 100 years experience but you still need to learn. No body knows the Bible from the beginning to the end. Nicodemus was about to see water and accepted to humble himself and he learnt. He knew if he refused, he would waste time on earth and wouldn’t inherit the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus was one of the Pharisees but he put aside his doctrine and went to meet the Lord. He knew that people might talk but he put aside all of that. That can happen also to us as Christians, maybe people talk about us because we don’t drink or because we don’t laugh at dirty jokes or join in with gossip. It’s a shame to be called a Christian and some people want to hide their Christianity

Nicodemus humbled himself and put aside his authority and we must do the same. To be born again, we must humble ourselves to go to Jesus. Nicodemus studied the Bible a lot but said to Jesus, you are Rabbi.

Nicodemus went to meet Jesus at night. Night represents sin and so Nicodemus was still in sin, which is the best time for people to meet their saviour. When we are in darkness, we need light. Light can help us to see clearly.

Jesus talked to him of new Birth. What do we need to be born? We must be conceived. Jesus is the husband and the church is the wife (Eph 5). I Cor says our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We need to conceive and keep the pregnancy for a time and after that there will be a birth. Pregnancy makes you feel weak and tired but when the child is born there is joy for everyone. We can conceive sin and let it grow or we can conceive what is good for God and let that grow. It is a decision.

We can also bring birth to new Christians but before they can be born there must be a pregnancy and while you are pregnant everything you eat will feed the child. When we read the Bible we feed what is inside of us.

When a woman is pregnant, if she is not careful she can transmit diseases before the child is born. Spiritually it is the same, if your body is not mindful of the spirit inside, it might transmit sickness spiritually. If my body doesn’t want to read the Bible or to pray my spirit will be weak and all the lives of those children will be weak because the mother hasn’t fed them properly in the womb.

Jesus asked Nicodemus was he ready for birth, “are you ready to come to this point and be called a spiritual baby?” If a child is not born, he is not even called a baby. A child that is inside the womb will leave the mother at some stage and this is decided by God. When the child is born there is pain.

When we receive the Word of God we are touched and there is pain, we feel we are losing strength, control and even our faith. We feel condemned. It’s a time we regret the past and realise all that we did before had no meaning and some people cry; this is the new birth.

Nicodemus said, “What shall I do? Jesus answered in verse 5 & 6, to be born again requires the spirit and the water. What does it mean?

John 4:13-15, Isaiah 12. With joy we will find water and get salvation. To reach salvation must have faith
- to believe all that the word of God says
- to believe that eternal life exists
- to believe that we will be judged one day
- to believe Jesus Christ died for our sins
- to believe that we are not aloud to sin

No body teaches a baby to suckle, the mother gives the milk and the child moves its mouth without being taught. This is the same with spiritual food, we don’t wait for God to come down out of heaven to read us the Bible.

Ephesians 5: 26&27; water represents the word of God which can clean our hearts. When a mum has a child she bathes it because the child is really dirty. This water (that is the Word of God) comes from a source and runs. The water of God is pure. The Word of God has divine power and this makes the Word living water.

John 6:63, you’ll find life in the Word of God. If you need the Spirit of God, come to the Word of God, which is God Himself (John 1). “I am the life,” John 14:6. John 17:17, this word is truth. Jesus Himself who is the word, is the truth and is also the bread of life, John 6:5. If Jesus is the bread of life, do we eat or not. We need to read and understand the Bible and put it into practise. When you don’t understand, just ask Jesus as Nicodemus asked, “how can I be born again”.

I Kings 17:1-6, Elijah was a man just like you and me. The only difference between him and others was the Spirit of God. The Word is Spirit and life. Elijah was a great man in God’s eyes. Doesn’t mean that there weren’t other servants of God or others praying but they didn’t know God’s will.

Many Christians suffer from hunger and are going through the desert. They can read but not understand and they can pray but never hear the answer. Elijah drank from a brook. A brook is a small stream of water that runs continually. Jesus is the source of life and when He gives water it runs forever and you will never thirst again.

The ravens would bring him bread (Jesus is the bread of life). Jesus was with Elijah on the mountain at transfiguration. The ravens also brought meat, which is means to do the will of God, John 4:32,34. Elijah fed alone and we too must find a hidden place, as salvation is personal. You will be judged alone. Mathew 7:7, if you don’t seek but wait for people to bring it to you, you will never enter the kingdom of God.

If you aren’t born again you can’t enter the kingdom of God. You can sing, and praise but unless you are born again you can’t enter God’s Kingdom. Nicodemus knew the theology but he would not enter the Kingdom of God.

Nicodemus asked, “how can I go back into my mother’s womb?” Nicodemus could have thought, what will people think if I ask this question because I’m an adult. Many people lie to themselves thinking that they know everything because they want to impress everybody. People perish because of lack of knowledge. We must ask questions to discover more.


So those who are not born again, you must find new birth to enter the Kingdom of God and if you don’t know how to do this then please ask someone and especially ask God. Those who have the second birth already, you must now help others to be born again. You must work hard as a pregnant mother works hard to help those around you. You must carry them, you must feed them, and you will suffer (in prayer and fasting and sacrificing your time for them) until that day when they will be born and then there will be joy. Once they are born you must help them by washing them in the water of life and feeding them the milk (Word of God) and you will be an example for them just as a mother is an example for her baby.

For the full message please email: littlebethlehem@windowslive.com

Monday, March 23, 2009


By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

BAPTISE: to dip, to immerse, to wash

1. Baptism by the Word of God
2. Baptism by Anointing
3. Baptism by Water
4. Baptism by Fire (Holy Spirit)
5. Baptism in the Second Body (which is to come)

BAPTISM: To die with Christ and be raised with Him so that your flesh will not act anymore but you will give the chance for the Holy Spirit to guide you.

For the full message please email: littlebethlehem@windowslive.com

Sunday, March 22, 2009

God’s Spy

By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 30th Dec, 2005)

When God wanted to take the land of people who were the enemies of Israel, He would first send spies into that land to look around and come back with a report. God told them that they would receive the land but they first had to be clever and go and see what they will face before to fight. God gave us intelligence and a brain so we can use it and if we don’t put together intelligence with wisdom or with the Word of God, we’ll get lost. God has different ways of giving things and we sometimes don’t understand that.

God needs spies – people who can learn about foreign countries and foreign people, to learn about people in the kingdom of darkness and then bring a report back to God. In the Old Testament two spies were chosen to look around the city of Jericho and while there they met a lady called Rahab who welcomed them. These men first accepted to leave their country, their family and everything that they valued behind and accepted that they may or may not return because it is a dangerous mission. Their families would have been afraid to see their loved one leave and they would have prayed seriously for them while they were away because it is a job with serious risk.

I don’t know how these men were able to get into that city because it has a big wall and before to get into the city you have to explain why you are there and the people of Jericho would have heard their accent. I’m sure they prepared reasons for being there in order to gain access. Before to be a spy for God, you must have an objective and a specific reason for what you are doing.

These men didn’t go to a motel because the motel can take all your references and maybe tell the government. So they went to stay with a prostitute because a prostitute will take any person and they won’t tell, as Rahab proved later to by hiding them and saying to the officials that they weren’t there with her.

To be a spy for God is not hard like this story, it’s very simple but to be a spy of the world is very hard. God is asking us to be His spies, ‘I need people to work for me, I need people to intercede for others, to bring souls to Me, to work in the church, who is ready to do it?’ If you want to work for God you must accept to be a spy and to be a spy you must decide to, you must sit down and think why shall I work for God? Maybe because I need a crown in the Kingdom of God, or maybe because the city of Hamilton needs Jesus Christ or maybe because you know Odon’s family needs Christ. As Jesus said, there is a big field but few workers. God doesn’t need people to read the Bible all day long or to pray all day, but find something that you can do because there is much around us but who will accept to do it?

For example there was a man who would pray before the church service and whenever he prayed more than 600 people would come and whenever he didn’t pray only 20 would come and one day God told him that if he kept praying the church would grow to 6,000 and he was so encouraged that he did and the church today is that big because of his prayers. So don’t neglect your contribution, your small contribution can make change, can make a new world where you can get peace and Jesus reigns.

To be a spy you have to decide, ‘now I want to do this for you God’. E.g. I want to read a verse everyday and put it into letterboxes. After finding your objective you can decide who you are. When you apply for a job you are nothing but when you get the job you’ll be someone, for example if you have studied journalism you will not be called a journalist until you have a job in journalism. We who believe in Jesus Christ and have our identity of being a Christian, if we don’t have a function in His Kingdom, what crown will we receive? If you are not working, you will not receive one. We need to make an effort because God gives to those who give also. If you want 2009 to be a year of blessing, open your heart and mind and arms to give to God, not money but anything. E.g. ‘God I’ll visit those in hospital once a month’. Just find a specific work for yourself and once it’s there you’ll think where you can go. Like spies, when we face a situation, we can go back home and tell God what we saw. Remember God is with us so don’t let fear stop you from fulfilling the mission you have for God or what God gave to you.

God can create a situation where He’ll open the door for us and when we accept to take the first step, He’ll fulfill the rest for us. You don’t have to worry or fear; just tell God you want to be one of His spies because if you are a spy of God, you’ll know all the strategies, you’ll know how to fight satan, and how to bring people to God.

These men of Israel spent time with a prostitute but kept themselves pure which means that we can spend time with drunkards, liars, prostitutes but it doesn’t mean we have to join in with their rubbish stuff or that we have to stay away from them, no let them learn from you and you can only do that by praying for them and by being faithful to God. If for example we see Michael going into a prostitute’s house, we’ll have negative thoughts but maybe he is sent by God for the glory of God.

If you accept to be a spy for God it doesn’t mean that God will only use you once but He will use you the first time and see when you come back, what will be the result and you’ll tell God, ‘look I’ve been praying for Odon for so many years and nothing has changed’ and He will give you new strategies. If you go and things work, then God will give you a new work and slowly, slowly you’ll find yourself becoming someone very important in the Kingdom of God. But if you want to start from zero and become like God, it will be impossible.

These spies came in through the gate but left through a window in the wall, which means that sometimes God can open a way to start things and somewhere along the way things become tough but God will make a way out.

This year will be a good year for us but we need to think what we will do. If you have problems with people, tell God I want to forgive them and to forget about the past. After forgiving you’ll see God’s hand open to you. To be a good spy you must have a good objective so what is your plan for 2009? What will you do for God?

SUMMARY (to be a spy for God)

- We have to use our intelligence together with our wisdom and the Word of God
- Accept and decide to be a spy for God
- You must have an objective
- Ask yourself, why shall I work for God?
- Ask yourself, what shall I do for God in 2009?
- Go and see what people are doing in the kingdom of darkness
- Come back and give a report to God
- Stay pure

For the full message please email: littlebethlehem@windowslive.com

Saturday, March 21, 2009

God Is Unhappy With The Church

By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 28th April, 2006)

Haggai 1:3-11

God was complaining in this message about the behavior of the people of Israel, ‘I’ve been blessing them day after day, taking care of them, protecting them against danger, they don’t pay me back but I try to provide for them but they forget about me to the point where my house is now destroyed and I don’t know where to rest among them’. God is at the limit because all the signs of the end times have happened which means the time to finish this world is here but Jesus Christ stops Him. God is unhappy because the church has changed its shape; people go to church to make relationships with people and not with God or for materialistic reasons.

God gave everything they needed, He blessed their land with a huge harvest but the more God was giving the more they forgot about Him to the point that no one visited the temple anymore and they didn’t know the temple was destroyed because no one cared and everyone was too busy (better to make money than to go to the temple). God started to grumble.

In the New Testament God said He would not live in a temple built with human hands because we don’t respect it and we invite God there but He is by Himself because we don’t visit. Imagine if Michael invited you to come to His house and he didn’t turn up and you waited for 24 hours, how would you feel? Would you come back again? What if he did that five times, would you trust him? People forgot the temple of God and went away and needed to gain money and organize their business. God saw He had to punish them and the first thing was to show them they are guilty.

How much time do you take to look after your body? But when you look deep inside and find the temple is broken, do you care? When we do something wrong we think it’s fine if no one sees but God is there at every second and can look deep in our hearts and discover all our mistakes and see how ugly we are. ‘I’ve been blessing Hayley but you are unable to look after your temple (body, heart and soul).

No body is happy to work many hours without gaining money, it’s not easy and because the church has been destroying the walls and ceiling, God has been cutting down the salary to the point someone can read the Bible ten times without understanding and someone wants to worship but God won’t bless them with a good voice and someone wants to pray but are unable because we want the glory and not to glorify God so we can impress others. We are show offs and God is wondering where is His glory, ‘I gave you that gift of visiting, of singing, of praying but you don’t give it back to me’. God is jealous and needs glory.

‘You people, I need you to build up my temple, go to the mountain and find a stick and come back and build it up’. God will never come down from heaven to earth to fix your spiritual problems, He will tell you, ‘your heart has a problem, please fix it’.

No body likes someone who complains a lot because they make you lose your joy and peace and they annoy you to the point you lose your love for them but God doesn’t want you to lose your love for Him. In II Tim it says that in the end days men will be lovers of money and the love of God will decrease and they will just love God so that God will protect them and look after them. When we face a hard situation we want God to intervene but when we face joy we forget about God.

God was calling to all of Israel and not just to the Levites; everybody went to the mountain and started to build the temple of God because their contribution was important. (Vs 8) the temple was to be built for the glory of God, not for their glory. Jesus Christ will be happy to see you contributing and when you say, ‘Praise God for that’ instead of saying the glory belongs to you. Many people show they are people of God but when a test comes they are unable to pass (practice the Word of God).

For the glory of God, what do you do? To build the temple of God, what is your role? You can be afraid not sure of what your contribution will be but make a step and you will see that feeling will change and you will discover you have something to do. God is asking us to go up the hill and get some wood and if you are unable to carry big wood then get a small one and once you are up the hill you will have a good view and the things that you can’t see down at the bottom of the hill, you will be able to see. God will raise you up to see everything. People who need to be servants of God need to go up and once you are down you will know what needs there are of those that are down and you can build.

Whatever you are doing on earth it is a treasure in heaven and one day God will pay you back. When you die only your soul will go to heaven and your soul will take your actions which you did on earth and those actions will speak on your behalf, whether they be good or bad. God is calling us to build up His church physically and spiritually where God’s glory can be manifested.

Jesus Christ is the cornerstone and we are the stones trying to find a good shape. If we are together in unity and in the same agreement we can find a few hours to pray and ask the cornerstone where, how and when. We need to pray and know what is our objective, for whom we will do this, ourselves, other people? We need to define our objective and to pray for support from God. We need to fast because we are starting a battle against satan because he will not be happy. Are you prepared for the battle, are you well equipped?

For the full message please email: littlebethlehem@windowslive.com

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sometimes We Sin Because of Others

By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 27th Jan, 2005)

(Deuteronomy 3:23-26)

Many people will not inherit the Kingdom of God because of others. When God tells you that you won’t enter the Kingdom of God, you’ll say, ‘it’s not my fault it was Kelly’s because she pushed me to sin’.

Deut 3:23-26, Moses said that it was because of them that he would not enter the promised land. The person next to you is a human being just like you and created by God and you don’t have more value than others. If you know this you will try to support others, pray for them and help them. The church is going down hill today and losing God’s power because we want to please people around us. For example Moses thought more about the people than God and so listened to their grumbling and that caused him to sin. E.g. because Pete is not going to the prayer meeting, I won’t go either. Or because Michael’s preaching I won’t go.

Sometimes we complain about the rain and other times about the sun and automatically because of complaining we sin. Because of complaining people lose God’s blessing. Because of them I sin forgetting the commitment I have with God. When Moses complained against Israel, Israel was also complaining against Moses and when we use the reason, ‘because of you’, the answer will be, ‘because of you’ also.


- Don’t blame others when you sin
- Don’t complain
- Try to please God more than people

For the full message please email: littlebethlehem@windowslive.com

Thursday, March 19, 2009

God is on our side!

By Hayley Boud

(Luke 19:1-10)

This morning I was dreaming about Zaccheus. Who can tell me the story of Zaccheus?

He was a man (vs2) just like you and me. He was the chief tax collector and he was rich. So most people didn’t like him. It’s not easy to be the boss and it’s not easy to be rich. People will hate you just because of that. He was short and to be honest most short people are neglected in this world (there is even scientific proof on that).

He was trying to see Jesus and needed to climb a tree in order to see Him.

Then.... Jesus looked up and looked into the eyes of Zaccheus. How will you feel if that were you? Will you be afraid, happy? If Jesus looks directly into your eyes, will you look directly back?

Then...Jesus said, “hurry down for today I must stay at your house”. WOW! Imagine God telling you that. “Hurry, Hayley, today I must stay at your house”. How fast will you run home? How quickly will you make your house clean? What food will you prepare for Jesus? I think I will be afraid, maybe my house is not clean enough and maybe my food is not good enough.

Then all the people began to grumble (v7) saying Jesus has gone to be the guest of a sinner. Instead of rejoicing for Zaccheus, instead of encouraging Zacheus, instead of helping Zaccheus, they wanted to complain. And we know what happened, Zaccheus gave back four times what he took from others and Jesus said that today salvation has come to this house (v8).

But what does this story mean for us? I think we have to remember that we were once like Zaccheus, we were sinners and sometimes still make mistakes but Jesus has looked at us, called us to come quickly and He has eaten with us and come to our houses and chosen us to be among those who are saved. That is awesome and I believe we all know that and we are all grateful. I know that we have all been transformed because of it, in the same way that Zaccheus became a new person, so have we. No one here is the same person that they were 10 years ago. Everybody is a new creation and we all acknowledge that.

One thing that I want to encourage us all tonight is...if God looked at you, and chose you, then He must love you and care about you and if that is the case, then He will never leave you and He will always provide for you.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Give God Glory

By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 25th Feb, 2005)

We have to say thank you to God for everything, even in a hard situation. If you want to be successful in life, remember to tell God that glory is Yours and you will see how God will act; Jesus thanked God even in suffering.

The reason for tests is to see if you will glorify God and these tests allow our faith to grow. If God chose you to go through a test it’s a blessing because many people won’t get the chance for their faith to grow.

Mark 1:16&17, God gave us everything that we need so how will we repay Him for that? How do we glorify Him? You can’t pay God back except by glorifying Him and following His rules. It’s time to meet people and to start to fish them. You can put the hook in water and fish (people) will come to you, your job is to pull it and bring it into the boat. It’s easy to pull pagans because they are everywhere, just talk and don’t have shame.

The hook is our actions and words and if our actions are not good we will never call people and if our words are not nice people will fear and run away.

The fishing rod is our faith. Pull people slowly, slowly to God. Make your faith more powerful, pray for people.

You put fish into a box so they won’t return to the sea and you have to look after people so they will remain in the Kingdom of God. Satan has caught a lot of souls and now you have to separate satan from the souls; this is deliverance, a type of prayer to deliver someone from evil spirits.

Luke 5:5, because of God’s words they caught fish

Revelation 18:4, we have to live among the sinners but not partake in their sin.

You have to fish people for God’s glory.


- We must thank God for all He has done for us by;

1. glorifying Him
2. obeying Him

- To glorify God = saving souls by;

A. our actions
B. our words
C. our faith
D. our prayers

For the full message please email: littlebethlehem@windowslive.com

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Lord will Provide

By Odon Bulamba
(summary only - 18th Feb, 2005)

(Genesis 22)

Abraham was more than 100 years old and only had one son to Sarah and he loved his son very much and Abraham was not a butcher, yet God asked him to kill his own son. This is a real challenge! What could Abraham tell people? People would say, ‘what kind of God is this? Our God doesn’t require human sacrifice’. Not even his own wife would have believed him.

Abraham travelled three days to the mountain and then he had to climb the mountain (at 100 years old) and Isaac had to carry heavy wood. Abraham told Isaac, ‘God will provide’, but this has never happened before, usually you take a lamb with you. When we face problems we can ask God, ‘where is the lamb?’ as Isaac did. E.g. ‘where is money or where is my husband’s salvation?’ Isaac could only ask his father because there was no one else around and we have to ask God our questions and only God our Father can respond (because He’s our Father). Tell God your problems and He will say, ‘I am a provider so I will provide’ so let us carry on with our journey' (as Abraham and Isaac did).

Abraham had to kill his son as a test for God and everything that you are going through is just a test before God, He is pushing you up the mountain. It’s hard to climb a mountain especially when you carry a heavy load (Isaac carrying wood) and we are carrying many problems with us. When you are tired you need to put down your bag and rest (in God). God says, ‘it’s time to go to the Alter, I must tie up your hands and legs’, and we say, ‘what for father? Is that what you provide?’ Just accept, obey and you will see, obedience is better than sacrifice. When you cross a hard situation that is when God intervenes, when you need money God will tell you to give away your last $5, but you need that money and God will insist that you help others and He will provide. Then all your bills will arrive and you won’t sleep but God will say, ‘don’t worry, it’s only for a short time, look next to you is a lamb’. You are tied up today but after a time you will be released free (as Isaac was).

Abraham was given a ram instead of a lamb and so he was given something much bigger than was he was expecting. Tell God, ‘I am at Mount Moriah and I need the ram. I’ve been tied up for a long time, my legs are weak now; do something God.’

Whenever God does something for you, you have to give a thanksgiving offering and thank God for all He did.


- Obey God (no matter what He asks)
- Persevere (it’s just a test)
- Tell God your needs (He will provide)
- Thank God

For the full message please email: littlebethlehem@windowslive.com

Monday, March 16, 2009

God speaks. How can we hear Him?

By Michael Bahjejian

Idols can’t speak

Psalm 115: 3-8 reads,

But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.

Our God is a jealous God. He doesn’t want to be compared with men’s idols. We all know that other religions have gods who supposedly gave their followers writings and ordinances to obey to. However, God defines Himself as the only one who speaks. Therefore, hearing a voice like Mohamed did when the Koran was written or getting other teaching in a supernatural way or out of personal conviction is not considered by God as “speaking”. God defines Himself as the only one who speaks because His voice conveys more than words that can be heard. Indeed, His voice is the essence of His power. As our sister Colleen shared with us last Wednesday:
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Gen 1:3.
Who else can do that? To create light with words.

God can speak

We’ve seen that God’s speech is not only a voice that is spoken but also a voice that contains His creative power as it is written in the story of the creation. But there’s more. The Bible describes different ways of speaking:

Job 33:18 NIV
“For God does speak – now one way, now another-though man may not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride, to preserve his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.”

God speaks in dreams, and visions of the night.

God started to talk to Abram, and then called Abraham directly in Geneses many times, either directly or through Melchizedek, king of Salem, then through the three men who visited him in Gen 18:1-2a.

God talked to Jacob through a dream that turned to be a real fight in Gen 32.

Moses had a vision of the day when God talked to Him from within the Burning Bush in Exodus 3 then he could often talk to God face to face.

And throughout the whole Old Testament, God talked to people through His prophets:
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

Then He talked through Jesus, His Son:
Heb1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,

He then talked through His Apostles, prompting Paul to say in
1 Th 2:13
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3b when He resists Satan’s temptation with the help of the Scripture saying that Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God, (Mat 4:4b ) meaning at least that all the words of God written in the Bible come from the mouth of God, therefore are spoken.

And Paul goes further in 2Tim 3:16 declaring that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

God’s language is spiritual

God is spirit and his language is spiritual. I Cor 2:13 reads
This is what we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truth in spiritual words.

God’s voice goes beyond words and Ps 29:3-9 describes the voice of God in action as if it was a description of God Himself.

Ps 29:3-9; 3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
7 The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.
8 The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

And indeed, God’s word is God Himself as it is written in John 1:1:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

But the word of the Lord stands forever. I Pi:1:25

How can we hear God’s voice?

Maybe the real question is how we can understand God’s voice because we’ve seen that God speaks in various ways that enables everyone to hear from Him one day.

Psalm 63:11 reveals a secret to hear Him: we have to be good listeners and listen to Him twice when He speaks once:
11 God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.

We also have to have a good attitude and acknowledge that if we’ve heard God’s voice, we have to soften our hearts
Heb 3:7-8a:
So, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you hear my voice, do not harden your hearts…”

Indeed, God is humble and wants to talk to our hearts as well as our ears. He knocks at the door and waits for people to open. He won’t smash the door open to come in, even if some people would rather see God solve their problems with Him that way. He won’t.


God’s voice from Mt Sinai was terrorising those who could hear it because it was mixed with trumpets sounds and voices and all kind of sounds of thunder that could brake trees as we read in psalm 29. (Heb 13:19b-20a)

God’s voice through the prophets would always put people on the defensive since the Law couldn’t give the peace with God and was mostly a judgement against men’s behaviour.

Jesus’ voice was hard teaching according to his disciples and most of them left Him. Even Peter who had taken His words to the letter was rebuked by Him when he tried to defend Jesus with a sword.

With the coming of the Spirit, God’s voice softens and Paul is accused of being weak in his speech by comparison with his letters:
2Cor 10:10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.

The reason of Paul’s ‘weakness’ could be that God had chosen to speak through our conscience, the little voice that was foreseen when God talked to Elijah in Horeb:
I Kings 19:11-13

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Is the Word of God a Mirror in my Life

by Odon Bulamba (summary only - 13th Jan, 2006)

(Luke 14:16-24)

To be a soldier of Christ is easy but it requires work and commitment to decide if you’ll work for God or not.

Moses came from Mt Horeb with the 10 commandments that say don’t kill but when he saw the idol that the people were worshipping, he killed many people. The NZ government says the speed limit is 100km/hr but the police reach sometimes speeds of 160km/hr. This is because God gives you a law but then because He is (and you are) above that law, you can do something else, because you are special.

To become a soldier of God you have to first live your life according to the Word of God and ask your self, is the Word of God a mirror for my life. To live a good life in Christ you have to make the Bible your mirror. Does the Word of God reflect in my life?

Luke 14:16-24, a man invited people to supper and supper is a very important meal because it is the meal you eat before going to bed and everyone knows that if you go to bed hungry you will not sleep, some will have nightmares and children can cry. Sleep reflects death and supper represents the Word of God and we are living in the end of time and need to be fed (spiritually) before the coming of Jesus Christ.

People who were invited by that man didn’t come and Jesus invited many people but they didn’t come, ‘come, this is the food you need, the gospel, come and eat’, but they didn’t come, all of them had excuses. The biggest mistake of the world today is excuses that occupy the first place. The Word of God is there for you and I and we have to take it with great consideration.

The first category of people were the ones giving excuses, the second category (vs21) were the poor, crippled, blind and lame. The first category were in good health and had everything but they didn’t respond and today God has given us hands and feet and brains and eyes and although God has given us everything that we have, we are trying to avoid the gospel, to avoid the supper and now God will go to the poor and sick because they will never say no to food. God had put the first category of people away from danger so that they would not be forced to accept the invitation but could decide on their own conscience. How many times do you adore God when you are full of joy, or can you only think about God when you are sick or need help?

The third category accepted but there was still space and the man needed more people and told them to call the people on the street and he was angry because his invited guests has refused to come. Today God is angry with the church and with our way of living and our way of responding to His invitation. You were invited for many things, you read the Bible but what does it reflect in your life?

Galations 6:17, people don’t want to accept to destroy their physical appearance for God, e.g. if God tells you to not wear make up for some people that would be very difficult. An another example is Lot who could see all the evil things in Sodom and Gomorah but he didn’t want to sacrifice his life and his family’s life for the Word of God. He could pray in his room but couldn’t tell the people of Sodom and Gomorah what they were doing was wrong. How many times when you should speak out, you keep quiet because you don’t want to shock people or for people to judge you?

We have to find our category, where do you belong, to the poor, to the blind? When you are not able to put together things with the Word of God, you destroy your credibility. When God blesses you, if you are not using it properly He’ll take it from you. God taught us love so now we have to practice love. We have to read the Word of God and compare ourselves to it. If I’m poor it’s time to get rich and if I’m blind it’s time to get sight (spiritually).


- decide to commit your life to God
- God is above the law; therefore so are we
- the Word of God is a mirror for us; do we reflect it?

For the full message please email: littlebethlehem@windowslive.com

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Have Mercy on Me

By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 11th Feb, 2005)

(Mark 10:46-47)

Bartimaus shouted for help because he was in a real need. He first had mercy on himself and most of us today forget to have mercy on ourselves. Just like Bartimaus the church is growing up but can’t see. You can be blind spiritually which means you can be around Christians but won’t see what is going on around you. The church is blind because we don’t see where we are going or what we are doing. We don’t know our Father (Bartimaus also didn’t know his father).

When you don’t have sight you can easily get confused, you can be a Christian for 40 years but if God hasn’t given you sight you’ll just be in confusion. Bartimaus was physically strong but without sight he couldn’t get employed and many people in church are well prepared because God has given to them all the abilities required to work but they don’t accept their eyes to be uncovered and so they can’t see. For example they will say, that’s my character and I can’t change.

Many people today don’t know how to tell God, have mercy on me. They don’t recognise their weaknesses, they think they know the Bible and don’t need help. If you are humble God will raise you up but if you are proud and think you are leading everyone, God will take your sight and you will be confused and won’t recognise what’s around you.

Jacob also lost his sight when he was an old man and at the time to bless Mannessah and Ephraim he called on God’s help to know how to bless them. Even if you are an old Christian you still need God’s advice and support, without it you are nothing.

If we don’t get the opportunity to use what God has given to us, satan will take it and we won’t use if for God’s glory. If you ask for something useful (as Bartimaus did) God will answer and also give you the rest. What can you tell God that is important? (Bartimaus had only one chance to tell God something, if you were meeting the queen today and were given only one sentence to say, what would it be?)


- We need to have mercy on ourselves first

- The church is blind spiritually:
1. confused
2. unable to work
3. don’t know who God is
4. unable to recognise our weaknesses

- If you are humble God will raise you up

- Tell God what is important and the rest will follow

For the full message please email: littlebethlehem@windowslive.com

Friday, March 13, 2009


by Odon Bulamba (summary only - 7th July, 2007)

Most people don't understand why the cross exists, what is the significance of the cross and why God chose that. For different cultures the cross means something different. The cross of Jesus Christ can teach us something, it can bring life, it can empower us, and it can show us what we need to be as Christians.

Pilot was the toughest men at that time and that is why Jesus was sent to him. Pilot was a politician, he was not a good man which is why he said, “I wash my hands”. Not because he believed Jesus was a good person or undeserving of death. Because pilot was a politician he asked people what they thought he should do with Jesus but he only asked the small crowd that had gathered there in front of him he didn't ask every person because he knew people would say no.

From the cross we were saved and from the cross we came from darkness into light.

Crucifixion was the worst of all the death penalties. A person who is crucified will first be tortured in front of a crowd of many people where everybody will know who they are. They must carry the cross on their back and walk around the city to the place where they will be crucified. If for example if I was to be crucified in Ngaruawahia I will have to walk all the way from Hamilton. It can take four to six days on the cross before dying. Clothes must be completely removed to be humiliated. The friends of Jesus Christ ran away because it was a shame for them to look upon the nakedness of their friend or family member. Others ran away because of fear of being asked if they knew him. He was completely abandoned. The church abandoned him, the Roman authorities abandoned him, and he was alone with no where to go.

They nailed his wrists and feet to the cross. The normal way of crucifying someone at that time was to hammer the nails into the wrists and feet extremely slowly. They would hammer the nails in a small portion of the way into the wrists or feet and then be distracted by talking or as the Bible says, casting lots for Jesus’ Clothes. They would then hammer a little more and wait again and in a little more and wait again so that it was extremely painful. He was given a Crown of humiliation which no one else received, it was made of thorns and dug deeply into his head.

Why was Jesus crucified?
God said who will go down to die for my people? Jesus accepted to be crucified in order to save others. He grew among people, He performed miracles and he was crucified. God has sent us to spread the gospel. Have we accepted to die others? Have we accepted the pain? Many people refuse even to pray because they have all they need. If you don't care about the family of God or those who should be in the family of God you are useless. Even the dead need a family even the mentally ill.

Hell is worse than crucifixion. Hell is eternal but crucifixion is only for a few hours

We have to accept this grace to save people, to share the will of God and to spread the gospel. Why don't we just sacrifice ourselves, go through a little pain for our brother or sister? When we go back to heaven we will give a report to Jesus Christ of what we did for him. We need to carry our own cross and follow Jesus Christ. What type of cross are you carrying? Many people carry the cross of money and run after that. Is your cross the television? You can know all the TV programmes for the whole week. Is it a cross of jokes? Or lies? Are you supporting people to come back to Christ? Who do you carry your cross for? You have a mission on this earth; you are here for a reason. What's your purpose?

For the full message please email: littlebethlehem@windowslive.com

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Let There Be Light....

By Colleen Podmore

A few weeks ago, our brother Tyrone exhorted us to become like Jesus, and to perform the miracles He did and even do greater than these.
This is like an outward manifestation of God in our lives.

Last week, Pete exhorted us to fill up with more of God’s love and we were challenged to think about the 16 attributes of love as out-lined in 1Cor 13.
Kind of like an inner manifestation of God in our lives.

Gen 1:1-3, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the seas. And God said, ‘Let there be light...’
This week let us shine the light on pride and it’s twin sister arrogance and think of it as something that blocks God in our lives.

The world teaches us that pride is a good thing. We become proud of our achievements from an early age. We are proud of our families, our country etc and rightly so. These are all things to take pride in. But, the problem comes when we take the credit or glory for all these things – this is the kind of pride that God hates!

The dictionary defines pride as the state or quality of being proud. It is too high an opinion of oneself, worthy self-esteem, and to be proud is to be haughty and self-respecting.
Pride in this sense, puts itself above the need for God. Pride seeks to take the glory from God and place it on human ability. For example, I might succeed in gaining a university qualification and think how great I am, how intelligent, how clever and pride fills me up. But I have forgotten just how much God helped me to study, to find peace, to remember and understand. So that in the finish I can say, I am nothing, God is everything.

In Romans 1:21 it says, ‘For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened’ Pride puffs up, making us believe we don’t need God and then we will sink further and further into depravity. We know that pride was the undoing of Lucifer the archangel of God who was in the highest place but still wanted more – and to be worshipped as God was, as if he was the Creator.
God hates pride, it is detestable to Him!

Proverbs 6:17 says, ‘ There are 6 things the Lord hates, 7 that are detestable to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue....’ etc. Haughty eyes reflect a proud heart.

Both James 4:6 and and 1Peter5:5 quote Proverbs 3:34 when they say, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’

And I know that at times I have struggled against God because my basic motivation has been pride and in His love and desire to change me, He has humiliated me. Hallelujah. I know I have shared this before but I remember wanting to be a servant of God, but when people treated me like a servant, up jumped pride and I would become angry and annoyed.

Do things for God and don’t expect any rewards from people – in this way we are free from the need for praise and adoration which pride feeds on.
Take the lowliest jobs and do them with all joy and to the best of your ability and God, our Father in heaven will see our good works and reward us..AMEN!

To me, a good simple definition of pride is when I say, ‘I am important!’
Don’t get me wrong, in Christ we are very important people, children of God no less. To God we are important and we must learn this as well, the riches we have in Christ, ‘...every spiritual; blessing in Christ Jesus, our Lord!’

We will require healing and prayer to come to this point of blessed assurance.
We are important in Christ and to Christ, but I’m talking about being important in my own eyes, glorying in my own achievements and position in life, taking all the credit and not acknowledging God at all. This is the pride and arrogance that God hates and it is a broad road that leads to destruction. The best example of proud people in the Bible were the kings of Judah and Israel, who not only turned away from God, but turned the people of Israel away from God. Ahab, Jeroboam etc

Arrogance is similar to pride but it is directed more towards others. Arrogance is intolerable presumption, an over-bearing manner and haughtiness and pride according to the dictionary.
Pride says, ‘I am very important’, Arrogance says, ‘You are here to serve me’

The antidote to pride and arrogance is humiliation which can lead to humility.
Humiliation comes when we fail, when we suffer, when friends let us down, when our children go astray and embarrass us. In fact life very quickly humiliates us, but we can go to extraordinary lengths to protect ourselves from exposure to humiliation – we avoid certain situations and people, we deny our weaknesses, blame others when things go wrong. But God said, ‘Let there be light’ and at these times of humiliation we can bow before Almighty God and humble ourselves or we can shake our fist and stubbornly refuse to repent. This is a cross-road where we have a choice.

When people come to these cross-roads, we people of God must carefully point out the right way to go, the narrow road, by our words and by the example of the lives we lead.
One of the best ways to grow as a Christian is to humiliate ourselves and confess our sin to each other. This is such a powerful way to grow in Christ. A few weeks ago I confessed that I had not been reading the Bible much and I had not been spending quality time with God, I was on a bit of a holiday, but praise God for pushing me to confess and feel the humiliation because it was as if a stronghold had been broken and I felt freer than I had in a long time.

So, the goal is humility if we want to be near God. Our Lord Jesus describes Himself in Matt 11:29 ‘Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’ Amen
God uses various ways to transform us. I thought of at least five, there are probably more that you can think of.

Firstly, through the preaching & reading of His word, we receive teaching, correcting and training in righteousness. (2Tim 3:16)
Secondly, the Holy Spirit convicts us of ‘guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement.’ (John 16:8)

Thirdly, our friends can tell us where we are going wrong. (Prov 17:17)
Fourthly, we can learn from other’s example. If you know a particularly proud and arrogant person, are you drawn to that person? Do you want to be around them?...No, then don’t be proud either.

Fifthly, God can transform us through pain and suffering, because at that time when things are out of our control we realise how much we need Him. (Heb 12:6)
Someone once said that God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our joy, but shouts to us in our pain.

One question I asked myself was, ‘Should we pray therefore for pain and suffering to come into a person’s life so that they will be transformed?’

........ I pray for suffering for you and it’s for your own good! Would we do that? No, God forbid. There was only one instance in Scripture where Jesus cursed something and that was a fig tree. We are even commanded to bless our enemies and not to curse them.
Instead we must pray for people’s lives to be transformed but it is up to Almighty God as to how that happens. Some people are transformed by the grace and kindness of God alone.

Humility – being humble does not mean we sit in a corner and do nothing. Being meek does not mean being weak!

I think it’s fair to say there is probably a mix of pride and arrogance and humility in all of us to different degrees and at different times.
We can’t change the past, nor the damage we have done to people, but we can be responsible for the present. We can learn from the past, become aware of what makes us act this way, resist the temptation to be proud and arrogant.
We must confess our sins to each other and ask for prayer. But most importantly we must cry out to God to help us to change. He won’t miraculously change us, but He will empower us as we sincerely and earnestly seek His face and His will for our lives. AMEN!

To conclude, I have compared and contrasted pride and arrogance and humility:
Pride and arrogance says:................... Humility says:
I don’t need your help.......................................Please help me
My way is the only way.....................................What do you think?
I have done this, this and this...........................God helped me...
Follow me.............................................................Lead us Lord
I won’t forgive.....................................................I forgive
I am right, you are wrong..................................I am sorry
Let’s talk about me.............................................Let’s talk about you
I don’t care...........................................................I care
Children are annoying........................................Let the children come
Not so, Lord.........................................................Yes, Lord

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light! Genesis 1: 1-3

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Elisha & the Shunamite Woman

by Odon Bulamba (summary only - 7th Jan, 2005)

II Kings 4:8-37, 8:1-6

The more Elisha was close to Elijah, the stronger and more powerful he became and the more we decide to come close to God, the stronger and more powerful we get.

II Kings 4:8, as the Shunamite woman insisted Elisha to come and eat we must also insist God. Many Christians today cross hard situations because they lack consistency or insistence. When we need something from God we ask and when it doesn’t come straight away, we go to a person to get help but we have to insist God to make Him act.

The Shunamite woman didn’t invite Elisha to be seen by others and we must not tell people when we are helping others.

Elisha found the Shunamite woman wise and that he needed to live there. We need to become apart of other’s lives by praying for them, visiting them, supporting them and coming close to them. Because we don’t get involved in other’s lives the church is going down.

II Kings 4:10, Jesus went to the Kingdom of God to prepare a place for us and we also need to prepare that place for others. Whoever is in the Lord will have a comfortable place (in the same way the Shunamite prepared a comfortable place for Elisha).

What’s the importance of a table? For comfort, for eating, for writing. If you want to help someone; read the Bible for him and pray for him. The table has four legs; (1) God, (2) Holy Spirit, (3) Jesus (4) us and we work together to become one. The woman wanted to give him a chair, everybody needs seats, Jesus Christ has a throne and we are princes or princesses so what do we have? (we have to know our place in the Lord).

II Kings 4:20-37, when Gehazi asked the woman if all is well she said there is no problem. Would it be easy for you to do that? When we cross hard situations we must show everyone. (I Peter 5:9)

Gehazi had to not greet people on the way which is very hard (imagine if someone says hello to him but he has to not respond) but he obeyed for the life of others.

The woman reminded Elisha that he gave her son to her and sometimes we also blame and complain.

When Gehazi put the staff on the child it didn’t work and when we try to help and it doesn’t work we have to find strategies of patience and perseverance. Elisha went and prayed and it didn’t work, then he lay on the corpse (could you lay on a dead person, put you lips on the lips of a dead person?) Sometimes God asks us to do something and when we obey we will feel the power of God. E.g. God tells you to lay your hands on Pete’s head and pray for him. That’s how to experience God’s power but if you doubt it will result in nothing.

II Kings 8:1-6, the small things we are doing can have a huge impact later and whatever good we do, there is a reward later.


- We have to be consistent and insist with God and persevere
- Don’t tell people when you help others
- We need to become apart of other’s lives
- We need to prepare a place for others in the Kingdom of God
- We have to know our place in the Kingdom of God
- Don’t complain or blame or show others you are crossing a hard situation
- Do whatever God asks of you and you will see His power
- Whatever good we are doing, there will be a reward later

For the full message please email: littlebethlehem@windowslive.com

Monday, March 9, 2009

Warriors of God

by Odon Bulamba (summary only - 6th Jan, 2006)

Men in the Bible who were servants of God (soldiers) didn’t go to military camp to be trained but their life’s experiences made them to become good soldiers. There was one man called Gideon, ‘great warrior’ that God had chosen to recruit men to fight and this man had not gone to the university of warriors but because of the experience in his life, he became someone great. He also became someone great because God’s Hands were on him and rose him up and if God wants to raise us up, we have to become great warriors also. How will that happen? Are you ready to become a warrior of the Lord? Are you ready to be attacked and to lose your joy and your peace?

To train at a military camp to become a soldier you have to struggle a lot, it’s hard and difficult and you must forget pain. You are not free and the commander will say do this and that and your answer will be, ‘yes sir’ because the man who speaks has the power to make others do what he wants and one day God will give to us that authority to lead others but if your orders are not good (orders to impress others and not to glorify God), you will destroy the army of God.

Acts 19:14,15, these men wanted to have authority over evil spirits but the power of God was not on them and the evil spirits recognized that, but if Jesus gives you that power to become warriors, you will not fight people but against satan and to reach that level, God has to order you and you must answer, ‘yes sir’.

God prepares His warriors three ways:

Prayers; He’ll make you become a fervent prayer warrior and when you are praying the power of darkness will feel you are praying and in heaven and people around you will feel the anointment.

The Power of the Word; you can know the Word of God and speak about it and people will feel God speaking through it.

Your body; God will use your body as one of His instruments because your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit

In the army of the Lord, God can make you become someone for just one soul, e.g. Isabella can go to Africa and only one soul will become a Christian out of millions and she will feel disappointed but for God the number doesn’t count but the quality counts. If one soul is saved there is a party in heaven, imagine you can make God stand up from His throne and dance, how would you feel to know that you made God so happy?

Gideon was given many soldiers but God told him to have less numbers because God doesn’t need them all. All the soldiers were really good and they were all ready to fight but Gideon told those who were recently married to go back home. Gideon asked God to help him to choose the right soldiers and us as soldiers of God must ask for God’s help to know how we will work, with who and where. God didn’t choose the largest or best soldiers for Gideon but those who drank water from the river Jordan a certain way.
Things become hard sometimes because God wants to manifest Himself and to be a warrior of God, you have to go through hard situations where you’ll think can God really allow this, why is He taking me to the limit? One important thing you must not do to be a warrior of God is to worry. Once you are not worrying, you can past to the second stage of building your position in Christ and know that hard things will come but I’m ready to go through them. Thirdly, you’ll be ready to tell God, I’ve finished what you told me to do, what is next?

Some of the soldiers of Gideon drank with their hands and others lapped like a dog. When you drink with your hands you can see what is going on around you and we have to make sure after praying for a situation that we keep going because that is not the end of the story, at every stage we have to ask God for help because God has a good plan for us but satan tries to destroy it because he wants us to suffer and sometimes God allows satan to put us in trouble as part of our training. Jesus holds the victory on His shoulders because He accepted to go through the training with satan; Jesus was born in a stable and grew up with brothers and sisters who didn’t trust Him and He didn’t have a place to sleep.

When you go to military camp, don’t expect to sleep, you’ll go to bed late and get up early and you will have to run in the snow and when war arrives you will have to fight while others sit down. If we are accepting to be warriors, we have to accept to die for others. Jesus died for us and accepted to carry our sins and to be humiliated, can you accept to be humiliated for someone else?

Whenever a good warrior arrests his enemy, he’ll not kill him but put him in prison and when you get the opportunity to kill your enemy, do you give them the chance to live or just react? Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him but He still continued to eat with him until the last minute. Would we give that chance to someone we knew wanted to kill us? To be a warrior of God it’s above our knowledge and way of acting. The more Saul was building up hatred in his heart against him, the more he wanted to kill him and the more anger was building up until one day God revealed that to David. The more you are building things up in your heart, the more you are becoming slaves of that.

Gideon chose only 300 soldiers to fight; imagine if NZ went to fight against USA with only 300 soldiers. USA would laugh and think maybe NZ is crazy or joking. When God prepares His army, it’s a simple and tiny army, an army that satan neglects but on the field of battle, they will be victorious.

Tell God, ‘here I am, train me’, accept to be trained and don’t worry about what the world will think because after training you will become someone. We need to accept that training and it’s only through life’s experiences and if you don’t accept it, you will lose. The more things are hard in your life, the more you will discover solutions. Don’t think it’s because God is far away from you, or because God hates you, no, it’s because He is preparing something for you. Accept problems, hardship and situations and don’t give up praying, don’t give up on God and try to find your own solution because your life is not your own. God will also prepare you to train and recruit others. Think about Moses how he was told to go back to Egypt and tell Pharaoh to let God’s people go, nine times. God knows how to organize our way, He plans and knows that we will cross a problem but He will get us through it. We have to look after ourselves, and our friends and family and know how to fight for them.


- It’s our life’s experiences that train us to be warriors of God
- To be a good warrior we must
- obey God’s commands
- ask God to lead us
- go through difficult situations
- not worry
- accept to die for others

For the full message please email: littlebethlehem@windowslive.com