Saturday, May 30, 2009

What is Prayer (part II)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Luke 3:17-23

When Jesus prayed and the sky opened. When we open the door we expect something to go in or come out, so the door of the sky was opened and Holy Spirit came down, then Jesus became very powerful. After this He went to the desert for forty days and forty nights because of the power He received.

After receiving the Holy Spirit a voice spoke which gave Jesus His identity, it confirmed His identity. As for us, when we pray and ask God for something, the very first thing to know is if we are in the baptism or not, but what does that mean?

To pray well here are the steps.

1. Before reading the Bible we must say a short prayer like this, “God help me to pray, I am going to read your word and after that I’m going to pray, so be with me, I want to feel your power.” This is the first prayer.

2. Confess your sins and ask God to help you to understand the meaning of His word. You then open your Bible and meditate on a passage. Meditation is not limited only to your personal life, it will also will help you think about your brothers and sisters life around you. You will meditate on the Christian life around you or church, you will meditate on the whole world, Christians or pagans. So with one passage you do not only meditate on yourself, but also other people’s lives. As you meditate you will find you have some verses or visions that can teach someone who is in the world, or this text can comfort a weak Christian because of this and that, or this text can help you. From one text you can draw many answers for yourself and others. It depends on how you meditate.

3. After your meditation you say, “God, now I am ready because this Word is for me and I feel in me that at all cost I must change,” or you can say, “I must put this Word into practice,” “I want this word to be fulfilled in my life, (or other people’s lives), so I’m now ready to be baptised.” The baptism that John practice was immersion. It means that the whole body would go into the water, so you can say in your prayer. “I want to be baptised in this Word I have read, and I want to be baptised so that I can go into depth in your Word. I don’t want to be baptised like the Pharisees or Sadducees the way they did it at the time when John baptised them, because they would confess their sins and that’s it, but I want to be baptised to discover the depth of meaning in Your Word for my life and the life others.” This is how you pray after meditating on the Bible.

4. You are now going to punch into prayer. What do we do when we pray? You just tell Jesus anything, or any problem you may have; just tell Him. For example, “Jesus, this is a problem for me, and according to the Word on which I am meditating on - it is written this and that, and my interpretation of this Word is this regarding myself (or others)". So you basically tell Jesus what you’ve understood and now say, “what shall I do, because I am unable to find a solution, I am not able to change myself with my own efforts, so what shall I do to receive what I want so that your work can move on in my life, this is why Jesus’ I ask you to open heaven’s door because I want to see this door open so I can receive something from You so that Your work can move on in my life.

If you want you can pray like this, “Jesus, when You were baptised the doors of heaven opened, and the power of the Holy Spirit came down.” So you remind Jesus of what happened when He got baptised and we remember that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to lead us, and then you can say, “I want now the Holy Spirit to lead me in all of this, Jesus help me for I have faith the doors of heaven will open, for they are there.” Then the Holy Spirit will come down with a solution and you can pray for a very long time, as Jesus did for forty days in the desert. The devil will not touch you during your prayer, he might come at the end of your prayer but not during it.

The devil knows at the end of your prayer you are tired and will bring all sorts of troubles, distractions etc, but tell Jesus what you want and the Spirit of God will be with you. God Himself will talk to you, because He is proud of you. You will feel a joy inside of you, a new strength in you and God will say, “this is my son or daughter who is praying, she/he belongs to me.” You then hear or feel a joy, a power comes in you and you know that God is in you.


- Pray before reading the Bible that God will help you to understand it
- Confess your sins before reading the Bible
- Meditate on the Word of God thinking of yourself and others
- Pray using the Word of God

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Friday, May 29, 2009

What is Prayer (part I)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 2002)

Prayer is talking with God, it is a dialogue with Him. However, sometimes prayer is neither a dialogue nor conversation. Prayer might be suggesting something to God that can be something simple without dialogue, you just want to talk freely and you don’t make it a conversation. God allows this type of prayer too. The Bible says that when Jesus was baptized in Luke 3:17-23, the very first thing Jesus did to start His ministry was to pray.

Luke 3:17-23, "His winnowing fork is in His hand to clear His threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into His barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And with many other word’s John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them. But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodius, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison. When all the people were being baptised, Jesus was baptised too. And as He was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “you are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.

When John the baptist preached it touched many people to come to God but for some (like Herod) it was the opposite.

When Jesus was baptised He prayed and the heavens were open. So prayer in everything can open heaven. If you practice this in any given situation the sky will be open.

But what do the heavens mean? It means there will be a solution to a problem and what may seem impossible for man, God will make possible. This is “the heavens to be open” means. So when Jesus was baptised the first thing He did was pray, then the heavens were then opened and the Holy Spirit then came down and last of all a voice was heard from heaven.

John the baptist started baptising people but the Bible doesn’t say these people prayed before being baptised, but when Jesus came He prayed. There is a difference. As He prayed there was a sign everybody could see. The message was given by John the baptist but the prayer was added by Jesus Christ. To grow spiritually we need two things: we need to pray and to read the Bible. These two things go together like two legs. If we tell one leg to walk and we don’t tell the other leg to make a step, the body will not move on and that is what Christians don’t do today. They read the Bible and lots of books, but they forget to pray. This is why there is no growth in churches. Prayer is very important. So why did Jesus prayer? Because Jesus is the Word.

John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

To make the church walk and to show people you are growing spiritually you need prayer. Jesus knows the Word, He is the Word, but prayer is needed to open things, that is why He prayed even though He is the Word. These two things were very important even for Jesus.

- Prayer is talking to God
- Prayer and the Word of God go together

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Falling off the Wagon (I sinned again)

By: Bill Keller, Evangelist

"So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!"(1 Corinthians 10:12)
Have you ever battled or are still battling with something in your life in which you promise the Lord you will stop; but you go back to it? You might have a battle with your weight and tell the Lord no more sweets; two nights later you are sitting at your kitchen table eating something sweet. You have a battle with smoking and finally tell the Lord you won't smoke again; twenty-four days later you are having a cigarette. You battle to pray and tell the Lord every morning and night I will pray, come the next day and what do you do? You are not praying but instead sleeping, perhaps. What do you do when you decide once and for all to take a stand over whatever bondage you may be battling in your life, to start living in victory over that bondage, but then fall off the wagon?

When you fall off the wagon, you feel like a failure. You are consumed with guilt and shame. You can't believe after you did so good you fell. You are disgusted with yourself for being so weak. You know in your heart you not only let the Lord down, but broke your promise to Him. On top of all of those feelings and emotions, here comes the devil to pour salt in the fresh wound. He reemphasizes what a failure you are, how you lied to Jesus and how He wants nothing to do with you, that whatever goes wrong in your life is God punishing you for falling, how the Bible is a lie otherwise you would have been delivered from this bondage, God really doesn't expect you to be perfect.

The fact is EVERYONE has bondages that we fight throughout the course of our life. Would you agree that lying is as much of a bondage as drugs? Gossiping is as much of a bondage as stealing. Anger is as much of bondage as alcohol. The fact is we all have bondages in our life. Some people may not be fighting the more visible and popular bondages, but anything that is keeping you from being like Jesus and living in obedience to God's Word is bondage!
Since we all fight different bondages during our life, it is critical to talk about what happens when we fall off the wagon or fail since that is part of the battle. Let me say right up front, when you fail it doesn't mean you don't love the Lord or aren't really saved. It simply means your flesh is weak. Paul summed up this classic battle between our flesh and the Spirit in Romans 7:15 when he stated that, "He did the things he didn't want to do and didn't do the things he wanted to do." We are men and women of flesh and blood. Our flesh is weak. Failure is part of the human experience.

Does that make it OK to sin? OF COURSE NOT! Is it an excuse to sin? OF COURSE NOT! Does it mean we are doomed to failure? OF COURSE NOT! It simply means that in the course of battling with whatever bondage you may be dealing with, you may have a moment of weakness and fail God. What I want to is share with you is how to respond to your failure. What do you do when you fall off the wagon?

The first thing you do is go to God and ask Him to forgive you. 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. After you go to God and confess your sins, asking Him to forgive you, the next step is to go back to living in victory over your bondage as you were before you fell. It is the old saying ‘when you fall off a horse get right back on’. Don't ever forget, you have an enemy that wants to see you fail, that takes delight when you fail. If you do fall off the wagon, ask the Lord's forgiveness and then get right back to living in victory and freedom over your bondage.

This is where your faith has to take over and becomes so important. You have to realize that even though your bondage is in the natural, what you are really fighting is a spiritual battle. While you need to have the practical day-to-day pieces in place to live in victory, things like being accountable to others, staying away from people, places, or things that could cause you to fall, working hard to keep from being in a position to be tempted, you also have to work on the spiritual aspects of walking in victory. The Bible tells us that our battles are NOT against flesh and blood, but they are spiritual. (Ephesians 6:10-18).

That is why we have to be praying every day, all throughout the day. We have to be in the Word of God every day, taking time to study and meditate on His Truth. We have to be part of a local church to be fed and grow spiritually, to have fellowship with other Believers, to serve the Lord.
These are the basics we have to be doing to stay connected to the Lord each day and stay strong spiritually. We already know our flesh is weak, so we can never lose sight that it is a constant daily battle to live in victory. We can never take for granted that we have won and are safe, since the second we stop doing the things necessary to keep our faith strong, that is when we will fall.
Today's verse from 1 Corinthians is the key. We can never stop doing the things we must do to stay strong spiritually or we will fail God. I know in my own life as I have worked to overcome different bondages in my life, to try to become more like Jesus each day, when I am not praying as hard as I should, or when I am not reading and studying the Word like I should, or when I am not doing all the things to stay strong spiritually that I should, that is when I fail God. When you stop doing all the things you need to do each day to stay strong spiritually, that is when you will fall off the wagon.

I’m sure we all know what it is like to fight some bondage in your life, get victory for a period of time, then fail. That is part of life. The Book of First John was written to Believers and tells us that if we say we don't sin then we are a liar. God doesn't stop loving you or caring about you. His promises didn't change, they are still true. My word for you is that when you are in the battle over some bondage in your life and fall off the wagon, go to God and tell Him you are sorry and then get back on that road to victory!
Don't waste precious time having a pity party and being discouraged. Don't sit there and listen to Satan lie to you. Get back to doing the practical and spiritual things you need to do in your life each day and start enjoying the great feeling it is to live your life in obedience to God and His Word and in victory over those weaknesses in your life. God has much work for you to do, so the quicker you get back to walking on the road of victory, the quicker you can get back to fulfilling your purpose in this life which is to serve and glorify Him!

God is a God of restoration and He wants to restore you today so that you can not only live in victory over your bondage, but know the peace and joy of your relationship with Him. We all wish we could go back and do things different in our life but that is not reality. The reality is if you have fallen off the wagon it is time to get up, dust yourself off, and get back into that close, intimate daily walk with the Lord so that you are operating in His strength and not your own. In your strength it is only a matter of time before you fail. In His strength, you will not fail but live in VICTORY!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When Christians Sulk (part II)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Psalm 86:11. Teach me your way O Lord, and I will walk in your truth.

This must be each Christian’s prayer. First ask God to show you His way because often we walk in different directions and this is when we tell God to leave us alone. If God shows us the way we will have peace of heart and peace of mind, which is much better then the peace of our bodies. We will also stay faithful to God because we will respect His Word and when we respect His Word we can be assured that we are saved. If you respect the Word you will win over trials and temptations, and if you respect the Word the anointing will be with you.

In our lives do we think about God’s authority? Is it an issue in our lives today? Many people think about their studies, family and material needs but they don’t take the time to think about their spiritual life. If you ask a Christian what does it mean to think about your God they won’t know what to say because they only think about God on Sundays and when they have problems. So what kind of Christians are we? We must ask God to teach us what faithfulness is and once we know it we can practice it.

So what is faithfulness? When a husband tells his wife that he is faithful to her, what does he mean? To be faithful is to keep your word. Shari are you faithful to your husband? Men are you faithful to your wives? If you ask people this question they say yes I am faithful, but do we keep all the commitments we make? A lady told me one day she wanted to live like a Christian woman and respect her husband. About eight minutes later her husband came home and she said to him, “how can you walk in without knocking”. So what happened to her commitment to live like a Christian? The tone of her voice showed that she did not respect her husband. So was she faithful?

She may be faithful by word but how she shows it is quite the opposite. God wants us to be faithful through our actions because words don’t build faithfulness. Judas went up to Jesus and kissed Him because kissing someone was a sign of love, however we know that Judas betrayed Jesus, so was this kiss faithfulness? Yes Judas was faithful to the Jews when he promised to hand over Jesus, but was Judas faithful to God? We must control our actions so that we will be serving God and not the devil.

We are talking about living in peace with God but sometimes the freedom we want can build a wall between God and us. We must listen to the input of other’s in our lives. If not we might become like satan while he was in heaven. One minute he was serving God and the next he was serving himself.

In the book of Hebrews it says that you cannot love God if you don’t love the one beside you, and you must love others as you love your own soul. If you want to serve others first think about how you serve yourself and from here you will know how to serve. Moses had the power to perform miracles. So he prayed and they always got what he prayed for whether it was meat or water, and Moses was always the last one to be served. When they crossed the red sea Moses was the last to cross. So to serve others you must become a slave to people and God will raise you up. Do the children serve adults or do the adults serve children? For example when a child comes over to your house will you as a parent give up your seat for the child? If you want to serve God in your life then first serve man and you will become God’s friend. Many people neglect poor people but 80% of all the prophets were from normal households and God used them, so don’t neglect anybody.

We must be careful with other people’s souls. Those who seek their own interests will lose it for this is God’s principle and no one will change it. If you want to win you must first lose what you have. To lose for God means to give others what you have as Jesus gave His life for us so we must give our lives to our brothers and sisters, because it is better to give then receive. Amen.


-We must serve God first, then people (before ourselves)
- We must be faithful to God in our actions (not only in words)
- We must listen to the advice of others

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

When Christians Sulk (part I)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 03 May, 02)

We all know that Job loved God and lived a humble life. Job gave 100% in order to do nothing wrong and would do it to please God and not man, so he really looked after his soul to prevent it from sinning.

Job 21:14-15-16. Yet they say to God, leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways. Who is the Almighty that we should serve Him? What would we gain by praying to Him? But their prosperity is not in their own hands, so I stand aloof from the counsel of the wicked

This text is not for pagans but for the believers. Sometimes we tell God to leave us alone. You may think you haven’t said this to God but according to my observation Christian life disturbs a lot of people because of God’s Word. When we organize our Christian programs or prayer times sometimes it leads us out of our will. When we hear a preaching from the Word of God it finds room in our hearts and this Word helps us not to sin. So when we do evil, the Word that was implanted in our hearts from a preaching reminds us if we are sinning.

However some people say to God’s Word, leave me alone, I will confess and say sorry later. In the book of Timothy it is written that the Word is there to correct and teach us, so how many times as Christians do we accept to be corrected? How many times does our conscience talk to us but we reject it? This is when we tell God to leave us alone, we know what His word says but we don’t care.

How many times do we reject advice from others when we have problems? It is true that God speaks through man but from time to time we reject their advice. If Shari corrects Sylvie and she loses her peace it can build a wall between them, and this happened because Sylvie refused to be corrected, which goes against God’s will. If someone asks you for a loan, how will you feel? If you ask Odon something and he tells you to leave him alone, what will you feel in your heart? Will you be happy? No, you will be shocked. It is the same thing with our God, when God sends someone to talk to you and you refuse his or her advice God is shocked, and He doesn’t like it.

The Bible says that those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit will not inherit the kingdom of God. 1 John 5 says the Holy Spirit is the Word and when we reject this Word we blaspheme without knowing it. This is what we do when we don’t want to listen.

To obey the Word is the beginning of wisdom and disobedience is the beginning of punishment. If you don’t want to obey God’s word then you are foolish so don’t call yourself a Christian because you have no respect for God’s word.

When people become Christians they become slaves of the church or slaves to their Pastors instead of becoming a slave to God and His Word. It is true that by reading the Word and praying helps us to grow. When we first experience salvation we are keen to read the Word and pray every night, however this may only last 1 month or 2 years and after that time laziness comes in. Every night the spirit constantly reminds us to pray or read the Bible before going to bed, but as Christians we are disturbed by this because we don’t want to be slaves. Do you remember that you made a commitment when you became a Christian? Nobody forced you to become a Christian but it was your agreement with God, and to be a Christian means to be God’s slave. Can you find a slave that doesn’t do as he is told? Do you know a soldier who doesn’t listen to a command and stays in bed? Sometimes we pray to God because we respect Him, but we don’t pray enough. We only think of His power when we are in trouble especially when we have material or physical needs. But when we have spiritual problems and God comes to us we sulk by saying that God is a pain and we end up going elsewhere for a solution, and this is when we forget God’s power.

Example: when someone comes to you and says death is knocking at your door, you will automatically pray to God so that He will protect you, but when the Spirit of God tells you not to sin you neglect the warning.


- Resist temptation to sin
- Make an effort to read the Word of God and to pray everyday
- Be a slave of God (not your pastor, your church or sin)

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Who Shall Separate Us From The Love Of God? (Part V - Danger & Death)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Romans 8:35, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Would danger separate us from God’s love? What is a danger for us Christians? For God danger is not about being electrocuted or gassed or any other physical danger. What is dangerous for God is someone who has died in sin.

When you live in sin woe to you! In Africa it is a shame to die from Aids or T.B, but for God it is more shameful to die in sin. God doesn’t look at Aids or T.B but He examines your soul, if your soul is clean then praise the Lord, if it isn’t then danger is with you.

Can danger separate us from God’s love? Why don’t we put danger aside and let God protect us? Call on God and He will protect you from danger. Those who are in the Lord are not exposed to danger because the Almighty protects them. God will protect you if you accept Him to. Will death separate you from the love of God? If it is a spiritual death yes it will separate you from God, but if it is a physical death I think not.

Everybody is happy when they have a baby and those around have a good time preparing for it, but when it is time to die people start changing their behaviors and become stressed. If the doctor tells you that your father will die in 2 days, do you think happiness will be there? It should be natural to think that there is birth today and tomorrow death, but when death comes we don’t like it because we prefer to suffer on earth.

As Christians we know that God is preparing a wonderful place for us where we will rest forever, but when our brothers and friends want to go to this place we refuse to let them know how to get there. Do we want them to keep on suffering here on earth, or do we want them to find rest? If Steve is called by God and starts his eternal life today, why would we ask God to keep Steve here on earth to suffer?

Everybody is born alone and life on earth is a personal story. The Bible talks a lot about orphans, so do you know what God does for orphans? God will be their father by protecting and feeding them. In many places in the Bible it tells us not to despise orphans or do any harm to them. Sometimes orphans are better looked after than children with parents because God really fights for them, so if your father dies you cannot say that his children will suffer. Instead tell God that these children are orphans and He will look after them for His word declares it.

In every situation we must thank God and when death is before us we must not lose His love. If God said this is your day to die you will never escape it. Before Jesus died He prayed and asked God to let this cup pass, but this cup didn’t pass because the day was there. Whenever death comes we must not abuse God, understand that death is normal. Death can be by accident, disease or whatever, but hope that you will see your loved ones in heaven. It is more difficult however to see that the person who has gone was not prepared spiritually.

Can material things separate us from the love of God? If you find a temptation in your life ask yourself this question, will this separate me from the love of God? May your answer always be NO so that God will help you to be a winner.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Who Shall Separate Us From The Love Of God? (Part IV - hunger)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Romans 8:35, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

When you are hungry do you praise God? Sometimes when you fast standing up is a problem and everything around you makes you angry. This should never separate you from God. Through this fast and suffering we would see God’s love, but when Christians today go hungry they start complaining. As Christians we must know what kind of hunger we have and to make sure that it doesn’t break our relationship with God. If you have a hunger for the Word of God then praise Him, if you are hungry for prayer then praise God, if you feel in yourself that you want to serve God then praise the Lord, but if you are hungry for material things - woe to you! You might steal; have envy or hatred and when this happens God’s love may be far from you.

There was a lady in the Bible who had nothing except a bit of oil. A servant of God came to her during this famine and asked her to give him what little she had. Even though she had children she gave what little she had and was blessed. It means that if we are going through material or spiritual hunger we must share it with others, and the more you give the more you receive, the more you sow the more you reap. Will poverty separate you from God’s love? Are we really poor? Are there poor people in New Zealand? I’ve never seen anybody who is poor. It is written in some books that there are no poor people in New Zealand because of income support. Everybody has a roof over their heads, food and transportation, but if you go further on to Asia you will find poor people.

There is however spiritual poverty because most New Zealanders know there is a God. They have learnt about Jesus and that there is an end to this life, but go elsewhere in the world and God’s existence is not known. Some people are poor materially and spiritually, they try to find riches but can’t find it, so why do we keep on complaining saying that God has forgotten about us? Some people can work 7 days a week 24 hours a day but don’t have 10 minutes to glorify God, and they still say we are poor.

It is true that as human beings we are never satisfied. The Bible says that one day we will be satisfied in heaven, but you will never find satisfaction on this earth, only in Jesus Christ. Blessed are those who live in the Lord on earth because their blessing in heaven is great. Woe to those people who say they are Christians but waste their time looking for material riches, to the point where they forget about God’s love. Would it be possible to live without your wife for 2 months Steve? There are many Christians who can allow 5 months to past without reading their Bible or praying to God, and it is normal for them. Because God loves us He finds it hard when He is forgotten. God is always there to give us a solution.

Don't let spiritual or physical hunger separate you from God

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Who Shall Separate Us From The Love Of God? (part III - anguish & persecution)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Romans 8:35 35, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Can anguish (or distress) separate us from the love of God? When people are anguished they completely forget about God. This is especially true after losing loved ones, they will even say that God is not good. They will ask, “Why did God take my mother when there are so many old ladies in the world?” This creates anguish and resentment, which can separate us from God’s love.

The verse also speaks about persecution; can persecution separate you from God’s love? Some people are persecuted physically and spiritually but never accept that this might separate you from God’s love.

Acts 7 speaks about Stephen. Stephen was a believer and because the spirit of God was working in him the Sadducees became jealous. They were against the miracles he performed and the wisdom he had, so they decided to give people money in order to give a false testimony against Stephen. Stephen was arrested and condemned. He saw heaven open and the Son of God, but the Jews closed their ears and thought Stephen was talking rubbish. Others thought he was mad and had lost his mind. Imagine speaking to someone and they close their ears on you, wouldn’t it be humiliating? While they were stoning Stephen his eyes always looked towards heaven, and he asked God to forgive them.

This is a man whose eyes stayed on the Lord even through this difficult time, and not to mention he was praying for his persecutors while being stoned. The Bible doesn’t say that Stephen took a stone and threw it at his persecutors, nor does it mention that he answered back, but with love Stephen asked God to forgive them. So persecution never separated Stephen from the love of God and one day we will see him. To die is to gain for Christians.

One day I went to a school and there were children outside a church. I asked them if they wanted to go to heaven and they all said, “Yes”. Then I asked them if they wanted to go today but they said no, maybe when I’m old. Everybody wants to go to heaven but at the moment people are quite happy to stay here on earth where there is suffering, anguish, persecution and no peace, but when we are invited to go to heaven we say we need more time, and this is because we fear death. If we didn’t fear death we would tell Jesus to come back tonight. Beyond anguish is fear. Fear makes us lose our peace and respect towards God.

Don't allow anguish (distress), persecution or fear separate you from God

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Who Shall Separate Us From The Love Of God? (Part II - Suffering)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Romans 8:35 35, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

What is love? You can walk in many different ways but you will not find the exact definition for love. Maybe everything comes together by saying that God is love. This means that God sacrificed His life for us so that we might gain. Love is not easy to define because it is the biggest thing in the Bible. Love is eternal and when something is eternal it is not easy to define because it goes on.

Is suffering able to separate us from God’s love? When you suffer do you keep on loving God? When you have serious problems do you still think about God? There are many people, who say that God doesn’t answer their prayers, they think that God is not with them. Sometimes if we don’t have money we think God doesn’t love us because He has given more money to others. Sometimes if we don’t have enough intelligence we think God doesn’t love us because some people are more clever than us. In the church of God there are Christians who say, “how come he knows the Bible and I don’t?” This attitude can create suffering in their hearts. It causes jealousy and makes them compare, and when this happens it makes them think that God doesn’t love them.

Jesus Christ was born into a poor family and suffered a lot. When Jesus was thirty years old He didn’t even have a house, He used to sleep like a bird, imagine what kind of suffering that is. Imagine sleeping one night at Steve’s place, the day after that at Shari’s place and after that at Angela’s place. Jesus lived like this, He didn’t live like this because He was poor, but He wanted to teach us that everything is possible in Christian life and that Christians can go through all kinds of suffering. However, today when we don’t have shoes we say that we suffer, and sometimes through these small sufferings people can reject the Gospel.

Jesus suffered on the cross but didn’t lament, all He said was God forgive them, but when we go through suffering we complain a lot and make sure that everybody knows about it. 1 Peter 5:7 says to cast all your anxieties onto God because He loves you, however when we suffer this verse doesn’t exist for us. Isn’t it true that God gives? God said ask and you shall receive, so why do we still keep on crying when we suffer? Why do you say that your faith is too small and that God will not listen to you?

We all know Job who lost many riches, but did Job suffer? Yes. So who has suffered like Job among us? To lose all your children and riches on the same day, then to suffer from leprosy is not easy, but in all of this did God forget about him? No, God’s eyes were always on him and Job knew that his suffering would have an end because everything has its time. What we live today won’t be there tomorrow, and it means that suffering will pass but God’s love never will. Whatever you go through God’s love is always there. Don’t become separated from God’s love brothers and sisters because of suffering, don’t tell yourself that God is not your friend because he hasn’t answered your prayers, never say this because you might get lost. After a long time of suffering God visited Job and blessed him, everything he lost Job received a double portion, this suffering turned into joy. Do we think that our sufferings will change? When you are sick for 2 days do you think that you will be healed? Can suffering separate you from God’s love?

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Who Shall Separate Us From The Love Of God? (part I)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 01 Nov, 02)

Jesus didn’t need 1000 disciples to help Him. When the word of God is in you, God doesn’t need you to have 50,000 gifts to work. Before worshipping God many people look around them to see who is there, and if there are few people they feel uncomfortable. Jesus sometimes took His 12 disciples up onto the mountain, but more so He would take 3 of them to another level. It means that Christian life is not about quantity but quality. Jesus says that when 2 or 3 are together He is among them, so never be disappointed if the numbers are few. Remember the young boy with 2 fish and 5 loaves who fed 5000 people? With the little Jesus had, He had enough to feed a lot of people. We can pray with 5 or 6 people and feed the whole world, only if we are serious.

Romans 8:35 35, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Ask yourself this question, who can separate you from God’s love? Or what can separate you from God’s love? To go forward in Christian life we have to ask ourselves this question so we can know our spiritual abilities. When a Christian can answer this question, they are able to define their spiritual level.

When God created us He thought it would be good if we as humans ruled the earth. God gave us the power to control everything and has put us above anything created on this earth. But as human beings we want to be below all these things. Example: Money must not reign over your life but you must reign over money, it is not up to the money to control your life, but it is up to you to control the money. Today many Christians are separated from the love of God because of money. When people don’t have money they steal, kill, lie and can commit any kind of sin.

Paul talks about this in Romans because God’s love is over all things. When you are separated from someone and they are far from you, and you are unable to contact them, the decree of love is slowly lost. Sometimes in Christian life material things can give love second place. When we do something that doesn’t please God we become separated from Him, and when we are separated from Him for a time, this love decreases. When this love decreases we only go to God when we have a problem. Even though you use to read and pray every day that zeal has been lost, and this happens when we are separated from God.

This Bible says that only our sins separate us from the love of God. Your sins make a barrier between you and God.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jesus Christ

By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 17th May, 09)

"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani" - which means, "my God, my God why have you abandoned me?" Mathew 27:46

While Jesus was on the cross He was completely alone. People forgot what He had done in the past for them. They forgot the way He had raised the dead and healed the sick. All the good He did was put aside.

Sometimes we believe God abandons us. Although He is looking at us and watching us but He doesn't accept to do exactly what I want. Sometimes I need money but there isn't any. Sometimes I need friends but there isn't any. Sometimes I try with all my power to find a solution but I can't. I can study hard at university but still won't find a job. Or I can find work but the salary I get doesn't pay the bills. I can be abandoned by money, abandoned by joy, and by peace. Everything can abandon me and this is the time that I will get attacked by sickness or other problems.

Everybody has struggled at one point or another in their lives. Sometimes we shout to God but He keeps silent. When we look around, we can see others receiving all the blessings and they aren't even Christians.

We have to understand that our lives don't depend on our own thoughts. I can have a plan but God might have a different plan. When things go wrong, just stand firm and know this is a step that will end oneday. Just keep your faith and don't try to find a solution from somewhere else. The best solution comes from God.

God offers us the Bible but we don't have time to read it but if we don't read it, how will we know the truth. The solution to our problems can be found in the Bible but how will we find it, unless we read. When we feel abandoned, we must read the Bible to find the solution but usually we just complain.

We must support each other during hard times. When people feel abandoned, we have to support that person. How much do you care for others when they are going through hardship? Will you be happy to be abandoned? God will ask you oneday, "what did you do on earth?" Will you be able to say you spent your life serving Him? How many times is God's glory in your life per day?


When you feel abandoned by God or people remember:
- It's just a step that will end one day
- God's plans are sometimes different to ours
- God's solution is the best
- Support each other

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Zacchaeus (Part III)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Jesus came to that place and he told Zacchaeus to come down. Nobody told Jesus Zaccheus’ name. Jesus had never met Zacchaeus before but he called him by name. This is to tell you that God knows our name and know us very well. If you are not known by God – woe to you. Jesus didn’t call people from the crowd but he called the one who made an effort to climb the tree. This means that we must make an effort. If you just cross your arms and wait, be sure that Jesus will never call you. You must also make that step so when Jesus will lift up His eyes He will find you.

Zacchaeus who was a short man is now tall. If you don’t know the word of God and don’t know how to pray be sure that you can climb a tree and be higher than a lot of people. Do not be surprised if you preach one day and be better than others. Do not be discouraged because of the way others preach.

Ephesians chapter 6 will help us to know whether or not we are wearing the right clothes, clothes that enable us stay on the tree and not fall. When Jesus went to Zacchaeus’ house to eat many people called Zacchaeus a sinner, but Jesus says that he is precious and has a great value. It means that Jesus needs people who are smaller. Jesus needs those who are thirsty to learn. Jesus needs those who can make up their minds.

I can tell you that Jesus will come into your family as he told Zacchaeus that salvation is not only for you but also for your whole household. Salvation was for the whole household. If your family is not saved it is now time for you to make a change. Pray for them to be delivered in the name of Jesus Christ.

Zacchaeus had riches but not good riches. He said whomever I stole money from I must give back four times as much and whomever I have offended I must confess four times more. If you do something wrong against Angela and you say that you want to follow Jesus, do not kneel down and ask God to forgive you because God will say, you don’t have a problem with Me but go and see Angela. He gave us an example in the book of Matthew. Someone wanted to give his offering and Jesus said, leave your offering and go first and make up with your brother, then come back and give your offering. If you want to give an offering you must confess first.

The offering that is most precious is our prayers. It means that before praying we must confess. If you have offended your brother go and say forgive me my brother. If you have done something against your sister go and say forgive me my sister. Although people were speaking against Zacchaeus and saying wrong things against him he wasn’t ashamed. He put shame aside and his goal was to see Jesus. As for us Christians we must put aside our shame to please our God and serve Him. You cannot serve God if you are ashamed.

For some Christians it is hard to say halleluiah to pagans and it is hard for some Christians to confess they are believers. When they confess they are Christian’s pagans are surprised because they didn’t expect it. Because of their behaviour they don’t show any light in this world. Someone talked to me about his classmate and in his conversation they realised that this classmate was a Christian. He couldn’t imagine it because his classmate lived like a worldly person. Maybe he hid his Christianity, maybe he thought if everybody knew he was a Christian they would laugh at him. As Christians we must put aside shame and show our identity. If the police ask you for your drivers licence you will not hesitate to give it, and when people see you they know you are a New Zealander because of your accent, so why doesn’t your accent show the world you are a Christian? Why doesn’t your identity show that you are a Christian? We must fix this up and God will be with us.

- Make an effort to come close to God and to work hard for him
- Pray for your family and friends to find salvation
- Confess your sins before to pray (to the person you offended first and then to God)
- Don't be ashamed to declare you are a Christian

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Zacchaeus (part II)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Zacchaeus understood and knew it was time to see Jesus. He didn’t ask his wife or his children if it was a good move but made up his own mind and understood his decision was personal. Zacchaeus had already organised everything and this was a spiritual secret to see God. We must know that God gave us intelligence to think; because of this we must know how to make decisions without asking others. Salvation is personal, you were born alone and you will die alone.

Deciding to be a good Christian also has its time and each person is responsible for his decisions. Woe to the one who wants to follow other man’s footsteps and woe to those who believe in man. Try not to imitate man’s way but try to find who Jesus is.

What did Zacchaeus do? We don’t know if it was raining the day he left his house and we don’t know what he was wearing, but to climb a tree with sandals and a robe on is not easy. According to Ephesians we must wear what is called spiritual armour. Christians today wear things that are not suitable. Jesus said in the last day everybody will be clothed, when we will go to the heavens we will have a new uniform and these clothes are special for the children of God.

Jesus has given us a parable about a man who didn’t wear the right clothes to a wedding feast so the king threw him out because his clothes were different. So what are you wearing? Are you a goat? Are you wearing leopard skin? Are you a sheep wearing lion skin? Zacchaeus acknowledge that what he was wearing wasn’t suitable so he took it off. As for us Christians today, we always live in hypocrisy. We want to show that we are good towards some people but we are mean to others. If you wear these clothes it is now time to take them off because you cannot climb a tree with these clothes.

Jesus said that He is the tree of life, if Jesus is the tree how can you be prepared to climb it?

The people were laughing at Zacchaeus and saying look at this man, why is he climbing a tree? He had a goal to see Jesus and this is exactly what he did. When Zacchaeus saw that he couldn’t see, people laughed at him, people criticised him but he closed his ears. As for us Christians the very first thing we must do is close our ears so that we won’t follow all the criticism about us. Secondly we must close our eyes so that we do not see the wrongs people do against us. This is the only way if we want to be able to forgive our enemies. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew chapter six – forgive our sins as we forgive others? That means that if you don’t forgive you will never be forgiven.

What is the secret to forgive? To forget all that you see. If you start meditating on what others have done to you, hatred will come into you. The Bible says in 1 John 3 that hatred is like a murder. So we must close our ears and our eyes.

Although people were laughing at Zacchaeus he still climbed the tree even though people might have compared him to a monkey or thought he was going crazy. When you are bound to Jesus people will think a lot about you. Our salvation must not be hidden in our house but we must leave the house and climb the tree.

- Our spiritual decisions have to be made alone
- We have to put on the full spiritual armor of God
- Take off hypocrisy
- We have to close our ears and eyes to the criticisms of others
- Follow God even if we look crazy

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Saturday, May 16, 2009


By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 1st June,02)

Luke 19:1-10.

Zacchaeus was a man greatly respected because he had studied a lot and was well educated. He had a goal. Many Christians today don’t have goals. Many people decide to become Christians and decide to become Jesus friend, but when there is a distraction they forget about their goal.

One day Jesus was walking through Jericho a city with a bad reputation. Although Jericho was dirty, Zacchaeus was clean. although Jericho was poor, Zacchaeus was rich. Try to imagine someone short, rich and has abilities while others don’t.

Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was coming and said because I have heard and learnt a lot about Jesus I want to see Him. Maybe Zacchaeus thought that because he was short but rich he could pay someone to sit on their shoulders to see Jesus, because his money could not make him any taller. This means that money will never enable us to see Jesus Christ and our riches will never enable us to see Jesus. As Christians today we want to be first, for example you can ask Steve if you can climb his shoulders so that you can see Jesus. Many servants of God rest on Christian’s shoulders. It means that in order to see Jesus Christ in their lives they climb other people’s shoulders and their eyes are on Christians but not themselves. For example if your brother drank beer yesterday you will look at his sin, and instead of confessing your sins you will just try to show him that you are above him.

Zacchaeus was rich but accepted to humiliate himself. The first thing we must do in our Christian lives is to see everybody equal as ourselves, whether they are our enemies or friends, we must regard everybody as equal and remember that God created man in His image.

Zacchaeus knew that he couldn’t see Jesus in his own house because there was no tree, so he had to leave his house and go somewhere to find one. It means that as Christians we must have an openness, if we want to see Jesus in our lives we must organise ourselves to meet Him. Where will Jesus go and where can I meet Him? Zacchaeus listened to people say that Jesus was coming and tried to find what street Jesus would walk on. In this world we have many directions, many streets and many religions, but we need to be directed to the street Jesus will take

Because Zacchaeus listened he knew where Jesus was going. The Bible says in Romans that faith comes by hearing the Word of God; it is not what we see but what we hear. Zacchaeus learnt and confirmed what street Jesus was heading and decided that he wanted to see Jesus. How many times do we decide in our lives? How many times do we think about something and remember it? Do we have faith to believe that what we are hearing today from the Word of God will benefit us for the future? Do you believe Jesus will walk through your life? Many Christians are saved but they don’t know it. Ask a Christian one-day if they are saved or not? They will probably say I don’t know, but if they say, “yes I am saved”. Ask them to explain what salvation is. They might say salvation is to change my life, learning to live with others and pleasing God. But if you ask them, how do you please God? They won’t give you an answer.

- We must have goals and accomplish them
- Money will never enable us to see Jesus
- Our eyes must be on Christ and not on people
- We have to listen to the Word of God
- We must make a decision and keep it

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Love is Patient

By Hayley Boud

I Corinthians 13:4
The dictionary definition of patience is:
1. Calm endurance under hardship, inconvenience, delay
2. Perseverance

“Calm endurance under hardship”
Being calm under pressure isn’t always easy. When we go through hard or difficult times we prefer to complain or even we can sometimes panic or freak out. for eg. When I got sick in 2002, it was right before my final exams. I was supposed to sit my genetics exam and I really wanted to because my course work mark wasn’t that great and I knew my exam mark would boost it up since I am better at exams than assignments. I was too sick to sit the exam so I applied for special circumstances but I was denied. Although I had been in hospital it wasn’t enough so I appealed and was denied again with a letter saying that was my last chance and there would be no more opportunity to appeal.

At that point I had two choices:
1. complain against God and grumble or
2. maintain calm endurance under hardship.

I actually wanted to freak out but I chose to remain calm and this proved to God that I loved Him because I was patient. So when we go through difficult times, just remember it’s only a test and God just wants to see how much we love Him and how much we remain calm and patient.

I chose not to give up and I went to a specialist who wrote a letter on my behalf and after six months I was given the grade. So I was patient for six months.

Sometimes we have to be patient for much longer. I heard of a Christian man who was in prison for 19 years before finally he was found not guilty. He had to be patient. He had to remain calm under hardship.

Sounds pretty minor. When I go to the supermarket and the checkout lady is talking too much to the person in front of me and I am “inconvenienced”, I have to show patience. It sounds so pathetic but actually, it’s these little things that can be the hardest to overcome. I get really annoyed when that happens and once I’m annoyed, I can easily sin. But if I love, it’s very difficult to be inconvenienced.

I’m inconvenienced when the kids come inside with dirty shoes after I’ve just vacuumed or they put their fingers all over the glass window after I’ve just washed it but because of love, I must keep calm and I must be patient.

The Greek word for patient is Makrothumia which means forbearance, long suffering. The person who has the power to avenge himself, yet refrains.

Makros = long
Thumos = passon
*A long holding of the mind before it gives room to action.
(E.g. hold your tongue for 10 seconds before replying.)

This week I’ve had a test and I wanted to become angry but I held my tongue. After that my thoughts took over and I had a choice to dwell on it or to resolve it. The person told me to stop talking so I decided to stop talking and never to talk to that person again. I wanted to punish them but I was the one being punished.

We have to praise God when we have the victory and we manage self-control and we control our tongues but we must also control our thoughts because if we don’t they can take us far away. Because love is patient, it means someone can hurt us but we will forgive them not only once but 7 x 77 which pretty much means we must never stop forgiving. This is patience, when you have to carry on loving the person even when they don’t change.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jonah (part V)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Jonah 3:4-4:4

Those people of Ninevah decided that not only they should fast but also the animals among them. This was my first time to discover that animals can also fast. Animals can fast? For the purpose of our sin? What we learn from this is that we have to give God everything that we have. We have to show God that if my body is fasting, my soul is fasting and everything around me also has to share that same sorrow or problem with me.

Most of the time when we are praying we don't involve people around us, we keep quiet. When for example I am is crossing a problem it's not easy for me ask others to pray for me or to ask others for their support. We don't have to make it a requirement to know all about the problem, you can ask for support from a brother or sister in Christ, ask them to pray for you so you can feel supported. Sometimes we think we can pray by ourselves but sometimes God will work through someone else, outside of your family to answer your prayer requests. We have to support each other in our way of praying and we have to make others participate, make our friends to participate and teach our children to pray for others and that will help the world to recognize who God is .

In Chapter 4:1, after God seeing that those people didn't continue in their sin and they recognized their fault, God decided to forgive them. Jonah interpreted that in a wrong way and he was angry. Many times whenever someone tries to help us or gives us a warning, we can just interpret it in our own way and become angry. When I become angry I will not please God because anger is not a gift of the Holy Spirit, instead I will please satan. So what shall we do? When ever you receive a message we have to think about it and if it’s not clear we have to ask so we can understand clearly.

After listening to what God said, Jonah became angry and he interpreted the result in his own way. He complained to God, “how come you're not going to punish them anymore, you promised. They will think that God can promise and then changed his mind after two minutes, you promised to punish them, do it now”. He became angry. Do you think Jonah was angry against the people of Ninevah or against God? He was angry against God because God changed his decision and sometimes we can easily become angry against God too. For example, some people are not happy with the way they look and they complain to God because others are better looking. And when those who are better looking than them look in their direction, they become angry and think the person is vain and proud. Our way of interpreting things can sometimes lead us to sin. We have to ask God questions to understand better and we must thank God for whatever He gave us.

In verse 4, Jonah was asked, “do you have really the right to be angry?” Do you also have the right to complain to God? Do you have the right to become angry or to do whatever you are doing against God? That is the question we are called to ask ourselves, all of us. We have to know the Lord our God is always right and He will never change, He will be right every day and He can kill, He can heal, He can give or He can take away whatever He has given but He will still be right. We have to remember that if we lose something it’s not because God is against me or God is not just. If for example you want something and you are not given the chance or the grace to receive it, don't blame God.

Jonah's message was a poor message because he didn't do it with a spirit which was animated by the power of God but that message transformed the life of all the nation. That message of Jonah helped the people of Ninevah to recognize God. The way that we are here, all of us can take the gospel to others and preach to others. Maybe we can just write some pamphlets or some notes on a sheet of paper and put them in mailboxes around us. Although we don't want to go to Nineveh but if we do it our actions can produce fruit the same way it was for Jonah. Jonah didn't want to preach in Ninevah but whatever he did by telling people about God, God made it to produce fruit in their lives and the lives of those people changed.

So what will it cost you today to sit in front of your computer and type maybe one sentence, “my friend Jesus loves you” and then print maybe 20 copies andput them in mailboxes around your neighbourhood? Maybe someone will read it and find that Jesus loves them and wonder who wrote this for them and that message can give life to that soul and maybe ten years later or maybe two weeks later you will hear someone say, “I received a note in my mailbox saying Jesus loves me and that was a message of joy for me. I was crossing a hard situation and I needed love and I found Jesus”.

It will not cost you anything but through small actions like that one God can heal all the population of a country. We have to find strategies and find what way we shall preach. If you are not able to stand on the street and speak then find another way. Some people can even use email. If we are ashamed to speak we can find another way but if we have the courage to speak, what are we waiting for? We have to speak, we have to inform others because soon Jesus is coming back.

If there was a fire on this street, I believe each person here would yell and warn their neighbors of the danger. We are people who are called to help others from that fire so we have to shout, we have to open our alarms and put them in action and tell others that the end of time is here, the end of the world will be burned soon so you have to come out from wherever you are, if not you will perish. We are living in a free society so we can talk to others and there is no consequence or danger if you are telling someone about Jesus, so don't worry.

This message was just about Jonah's gospel but today I will call it Hayley's gospel, or Marcia’s gospel and Sylvie's gospel. It’s my gospel and I must share it with others and help them to find salvation. Let's pray so we can get enough strength from God to work for God to call people to his kingdom. Let's pray.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jonah (part IV)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Jonah 3:5

After Jonah gave that message, the Bible says, the people of the town took the Word of God seriously. That message is really important and we must be serious because if we are not serious with this message we will perish. How many times do we take things seriously in our lives? Maybe when it's time for my studies or my exams I can study seriously, I can concentrate seriously on my work but when it's time to pray I will feel it's too late or I'm too tired. We are not motivated to do God’s work.

Those people were really wise because they were serious and the first step to winning our souls or winning the souls of other people is to be serious and to commit ourselves to God’s work. If we want our neighbors to be saved we must first of all be serious and make a decision and a plan. We have to pray for them and make a decision to visit them and then it will be accomplished. I must be serious. If I am not serious, God will never be serious with me.

Those people of Ninevah were serious and they decided to fast. Do we as Christians really make a decision and commit ourselves to it? We have to know if we are really working for God or not. Are we living for God? If so, we must be really serious with this life because this life needs to produce fruit . If our lives don't produce anything, God will make us pay the price for that. I can tell you sincerely that God is sometimes nasty. When He is angry nothing will stop Him from becoming angry. When He punishes nothing will stop him from punishing. When he is unhappy no one will stop Him and no one can push Him to become happy. So we have to remember that everything that we are doing today God will one day say, “this is the end of the story of your life, you must change your way of living, you must change your way of talking, you must change and if you don't want to change it by yourself I will change it by force”. When God changes things by force that is the time the person starts to pray to fast and God will try to be a little bit far and observe and you will go through problems to the point that you will start to regret and say why did I do whatever it was.

Look at the example of Job; that man was really quiet. He didn't have any problem with God but because God wanted to prove to the world that even his servant can be allowed to go through suffering, he allowed Job to go through that. Job suffered for many years, he lost everything that he had, everything except his life. If he was really handsome he lost that beauty, if he was really rich he became poor, if Job was healthy that time he became sick. This means that our lives are not ours, our time is not our time, your activities are not yours. Remember, there is a God who lives in you and He controls your life, He controls your steps, your activities. If you forget that he controls you, you will go far away from His will and during that time he will punish you.

So those people came to God by fasting and then God accepted them. In verse eight it says, every person was supposed to pray to God with all his strength. Everybody was pushed and was asked to change their actions to good actions, to become people who will really please God.

These people decided to pray. They were serious and knew this was the time for praying, this was the time for forgiveness, this was the time for action. And to take action we must first of all confess, to repent of our sins and then to fast. Then we have to make a decision so that with all our strength we can pray.

So what does praying with strength mean or with all your force, what does that mean? With concentration, that's all. In the Bible, it says that we have to forget about what's going on around us. You have to focus your eyes on God and say, “here I am and my problem is this, this and that”. And when you are telling God your problems you must feel in your heart there is something. But if you are not concentrating on what you are doing at the time, God will not really listen to your prayer. If you say, “God, I stick on this, I concentrate on my prayer and if you are not responding to me now, you will see me again tomorrow and the day after tomorrow until the day that you respond” and you will see God respond.

But the thing that we don't have is courage. I can make the decision to pray but when it's time to pray I will say that I will pray later after TV or a movie but after that maybe something else will come and I will do something else and then I will decide to pray tomorrow instead.

We have to concentrate and when we concentrate on our prayers we have to make sure God is not far. The Bible says that God is really close to us and he's not far from us so the concentration now will make us to say, “God I am here and I'm here not for myself but for You. I'm here because I want You to listen to my voice. I'm here because I am crossing a situation which is really, really hard for me and I'm going into trouble and I need your support and help. I need your participation in my life and I need God your presence in my prayer”. Then tell God your problem.

Cry to God when you are crossing problem. Cry to God because of the souls that appear in front of you. Cry to God for the salvation of those people in front of you. Pray to God for any personal problem in your family, pray to God because of the personal problems in this world and God will listen.

Churches are facing a load of problems but do we really pray to God for those problems? We don't have time or the opportunity to cry in front of God or the opportunity to think about God's love for others or the opportunity to think about how Jesus was crucified because of us. We don't even have time to think about redemption and we think that's normal. We have to be serious and think about our lives and commit our lives between God's hands.


- We must be serious with Word of God and with our lives
- We must make a decision for God and stick to it
- Our lives belong to God
- Pray with all your strength = concentratration

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jonah (part III)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Jonah 1:6-12

The people on board the boat woke Jonah up. Some versions of the Bible say that they told him to stand up, “you cannot continue to sleep while we are in trouble, people are suffering with fear, people are suffering with trouble and you, yourself are sleeping, wake up”. Jonah woke up and told them to shout for help from his God. Jonah knew that he had a problem with the same God that he had to go and ask help from. Most of the time when we are going through problems, the problems will push us because there is no solution anywhere else so we have to pray.

Sometimes we reach a point where we can do nothing ourselves, we try our best but nothing works and the only solution is to commit the problem between God's hands. When you are crossing a really hard situation you can pray and even cry and you can feel really bad and many people can even ask God why is the situation happening to me why am I crossing this, why and why and why?

Because they are pushed they come to God. This was the first thing that God did in Jonah's life, He told people to wake him up and push him to ask for help. Jonah felt shameful; “I cannot ask help from God, I'm a sinner, I did something wrong against Him, how shall I go and stand in front of God and ask Him to help us?" He found there was no way he could do it so he was now obliged to confess that it's because of his fault the situation is happening. Jonah recognized he was far away from his God and was forced to fix this problem with God. He was supposed first fix his problems with those who were around him.

Do I have the courage to see the person who is next to me and say, “ I am sorry it is now two years that I've been living here and I've never talk to you about Jesus please forgive me”. Is that really easy? I think, no. Is it really easy to go to your colleagues at work and say, “you know I have a new identity since maybe 1972, I have been a Christian since then.” Maybe they will answer, “You are a Christian? I didn't even know”. Will you have the courage to continue? “I am sorry because I didn't even tell you I was a Christian since a long time but now I call you to come and join us so all of us can be called a child of God”. This is really a hard task and is not easy.

Because of that situation people started now to play with Jonah and ask questions, “Jonah, which country are you from?” and he was, supposed to respond. “From which tribe are you? Tell us because we've never seen someone like you”. Jonah said, “I am Hebrew and my God is the God of the Hebrews, the God who created the heavens" and so on. Today we are living in a society where the best God, the god which is known by every person on earth is money. Children and adult people and old people know that the best thing in life is money. Money can be there and our faith will be sacrificed. Money can be there and everybody will be happy. But if there is no money we will find that life is hard. We can study and work just because of money. We can spend our time, many years at university because in the future we are expecting to get money, to find a nice job and to live properly on earth. But it is not too easy to spend many years learning about God so you can gain something in the Kingdom of God. Why that? Because for some people money is equal to God.

Jonah was really clear, “the God that I am praying is the Creator of heaven”. So who is your God? Is your God your house, is your God your children, is your God your studies, who is your God?

That day Jonah confessed and he told those people about all those secrets, I did such and such mistakes and that’s why we are here today so take me and throw me in the water.

In chapter 3 Jonah reached Ninevah and he started to preach that within 40 days God will destroy this town. Although Jonah was preaching he wasn’t preaching because he wanted to but because he was pushed by God. Sometimes we are also pushed, sometimes people push us or God pushes us to do this or do that and we have to know what to do.

If Jonah was arrogant, after coming out from the fish’s belly he could just end up on the beach and look around and say I am free here are not inside the vicious stomach any more, I am free, I can go where ever I want and God will not stop me. But he thought of those people who pray to other gods and he remembered how close he was to death in the fish’s belly and he didn’t want to forget what he had been through.

Today we have a problem with the church because we can easily forget what God has done for us. We can even forget after five minutes. We can easily forget, and we know that we are alive now and nothing bothers me now so I can carry on with my life the way that I want. I've heard people say, especially Christians, “this is my life, this is the way I want to live my life.” That's true, it is your life but you don't have to forget that you took it by credit, it's a life from God, He gave it to you for a time and He will take it back one day to Him.

If you are not clever you will be compared to those five foolish girls who were thinking that they were waiting for their groom to come and then they forgot that they needed oil in the lamp. So they were just spending their time. We are called to not be like those people, we have to think and remember that within 40 days maybe, within a short time this world will be destroyed and we know that one day Jesus will come. He will come to destroy this world, to punish the world, so why don't we tell people that Jesus is coming back soon? Within a few days, in a few months maybe the world will be destroyed and people who don't believe will perish. I will not be happy to see my brothers and sisters perished. You also will not be happy to see your people perish.


Share the gospel before it is too late

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Jonah (part II)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

Jonah 1:4-6

God gave the chance to Jonah to go on the boat. When the wind and waves appeared, Jonah thought he should go down to sleep. But who can sleep while they are in trouble? Who among us can sleep while he is fearing something will happen to his or her life? For example, if today you receive a letter from Bin laden saying that he is coming to visit your house tonight. Will you sleep? I think you will decide to sleep somewhere else, away from your house.

Many people in this world have this message from God to share with others but they don't have the courage to accomplish it. They think they just have keep it to themselves and to give the impression to others that they don't care or that they don't see what is going on around them. And when we close our eyes or our ears from what is going on around us we are like people who are asleep. And many times God will come back to us and we will tell God we didn't hear Him. Today God wants to tell us that we will be responsible later on because we neglected it or we didn't want to fulfill it.

While the waves pounded, those people on board the ship wondered where Jonah was. They went down and found him. The first question they asked was, “what are you doing here?” And the people of this world are asking us what are we doing here in this world, this world which is moving in the waves of the power of darkness and we're here quietly hiding ourselves and we don't want people to know who we are.

Our conscious is telling us, what are we doing here? If God asked you today, what are you doing in this world? What would you respond? Would you tell him that you are working for the government? Or will you tell God that you're working for maybe an engineer or a counselor? What answer would you give to your God if he asks you what are you doing here? Maybe it will be hard to tell God about things which don't have any spiritual meaning because God expects from us spiritual things more than physical things. We must have an answer every day, every time or at any moment because we don't know exactly the time when we will be asked about our mission on this earth.


- Spread the gospel

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Sunday, May 10, 2009


By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 10th Sept, 04)

Jonah 1:1-5

Jonah was a servant of God and his gospel was for all the nation of Nineveh. Jonah was selected by God to go to Nineveh but he didn't want to go. Because he didn't want to go, God tried to show to him that he had to go because he was the only person that God could send at that time. God pointed at Jonah and told him that he must go into the night, “I will share with you the gospel because that is very, very important for everyday practical life”.

When God tells me to go and share the gospel with others it’s not really easy.

When Jonah was sent by God to go the first thing that Jonah did was to make the decision, "should I accept to go where God is sending me or shall I say no to God's mission?" God didn't talk to Jonah twice or three times, He only told him and it was up to him now to say the last word, to make the final decision. His decision was negative.

Maybe Jonah didn't tell his friends or his family that God spoke to him because he didn't want to go to Nineveh, he decided that he wasn't going and that was all. Many times in our lives God has been talking to us telling us to stop sinning and to live for Him. He tells us, “I will give you the strength to work, I will give you the ability to speak on my behalf, I will give you the strength to pray for others, to intercede, or to preach or to share whatever you have”. But most of the time we say, “no I don't have time for that because I have to study or because I have to work or because I have to take care of my children”. We have a lot of reasons which stop us responding to God’s mission.

God left Jonah and Jonah continued his life. He took the boat and he wanted to go to Tarsus and on his way God did not speak to him, from his home up to the beach, to the boat, He didn’t speak to Jonah at all. He gave him the chance to think. This is the same for us also as Christians; most of the time when we say no to God's mission, God gives us enough time to change our decision. God is there watching to see what we will do. He will not let us continue until the end of our lives to do the same mistake though, somewhere along the way, God will say, “Stop! It’s enough, no!”

When Jonah was in the boat he found everything was fine but when the waves started to get frightening, he recognized that God's power was next to him and he feared because he knew God wanted to punish him. He decided he should leave that place or others will be hurt so he went down to sleep. For him the solution was to go to sleep because if he is asleep, he won’t know what is happening and he will be far away from people and if he dies in his sleep, it will be fine because he won’t know it.

Time after time God tells us, “I said this in my Word and those people who were living around you, your family members, your friends, they need to know about my Kingdom of God, tell them about Me, show them you belong to Me because you are the light of this world, you are the salt of this world so show people that you belong to Me your creator”. But we think how can I go and talk to my neighbor about Jesus? First of all my neighbor is not a Christian and secondly my neighbor has never thought or talked about God so I need courage to go. That courage is not enough, how shall I go and speak in front of him? Where will I start? It's a really big test and God is there observing and saying, “now you must do it”. Finally you will say, “because I don't find a good opportunity to talk to my colleagues it's better to stay at home and live with people who will not bother me, it's better to live among Christians and not have contact with non-christians and God will not judge me because of not preaching to them”.

When Jesus came down he came with a new strategy because the Israelites couldn't share a meal with people who were not Israelites. But when God came he could visit sinners. He visited for examples Zacheus and he ate with Zacheus and people asked, “how can someone like you who is pure share your dinner with someone like Zacheus who is a sinner?” Jesus answered, “no, I think that I came for people like this”.

And as Christians today and churches and congregations and pastors and evangelists and others teach us that we have to share everything among us Christians. But Jesus wants us to go out and contact sinners and to be with them and talk with them and then they will get that chance or that grace to be saved. Because they are sinners they are spiritually sick, they don't have a normal health spiritually and they need someone to treat them, they need someone to cure them.

You and me who have been given that authority to heal people (that healing is not only physical it is also what we call the spiritual healing) you can pray for someone and that someone will get salvation, you can pray for someone and that someone will get healed. We have that power and that power is between our hands and we just have to say to God, “I’m going to visit that person, I commit that person's life between your hands to save him or her, touch him or her and heal him”

Whenever I'm sick I will go to see my doctor and he will prescribe something for me, maybe Panadol or whatever he wants so that I can feel better. Our souls also need a prescription but one that is different to medicine. When I go to meet with my doctor I will tell him/her I have a headache for example. My doctor will listen to my problem and then write a prescription and I’ll go to the pharmacy and from the pharmacy I will get medicine. We are the doctors of this world. People will come to us or we will go to them and tell them about the life which is Jesus Christ. Then they will find what they need to be healed because spiritually they are sick. Then we will recommend them to read in the Bible verses that will heal their souls. If we don't do that, make sure that people who are around us will die and the death will be on our shoulders.


- Make a decision to work for God
- Share the gospel with your friends and family
- Pray for those around you to find salvation

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Saturday, May 9, 2009


By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 9th May, 03)

Revival starts by glorifying God in everything...

The Bible says that each Christian needs to have a testimony. Whoever has a testimony is a child of God because what God does in our lives is very great. When you wake up in the morning it’s a testimony because a few people lost their lives during the night. When we meet together at church it’s a testimony because in some countries you cannot meet. When you find something to eat it’s a testimony because you can see on TV that there is famine in the world. When you walk it’s a testimony because there are those in hospital who cannot walk. For everything we do we must have a testimony. I remind you that God our God is a God of glory, He’s a God who wants to be glorified. Many people say how can I glorify God?

The glory of God is a testimony we give for what God has done. I glorify God because my brother got married and found a wife. I glorify God because we live in a time of cold, where I used to live it was 50 degrees, if I find this cold it’s a treasure for me. I glorify God because I can eat whatever I want and I can go anywhere without any problem. There are many countries where you are not free to go out, some people have to stay in their houses for 10 years without moving, without seeing what’s outside, we who are free isn’t it a reason to glorify God. In your country here you speak freely, you can talk to anyone and express your needs and people listen to you, but ask elsewhere and you will be told of a different story. So in everything we have to glorify God, but as Christians we don’t want to give this glory to God, God spreads His arms to receive the glory but we don’t give it to Him, His arms and hands are tired of waiting. So, we are called to give glory to God.

There was a lady who got married, when she got married she loved her husband a lot, she would call him my lord like Sarah used to. She lived a Christian life, which pleased everyone, but the people around her did not like the way she lived with her husband. Why do you act like a beast, you accept your husband to walk on your head, she would say no, my husband is the head of the house, it’s written in the Bible that I have to respect my husband and that’s why my husband loves me so much. Others would say to her you are really crazy, think about feminism, remember human rights, husband and wife are equal so don’t accept that your husband walks all over you. She would say it’s not my husband who walks on me, it’s the Gospel that walks on me, because the Gospel humiliated me and now I’m ready to follow the voice of the Lord.

Blessed are those who humiliate themselves before the Word of God because they will see the glory of God in their lives. If you never humiliate yourself in front of the Word of God, make sure that God will do it by force one day. The day where every knee shall bow you will do it too.

Many counsellors on the earth want their own glory, they will say, if you want success in what you are doing then do this, although it is not true. The measure you use for others will be the same measure He will use for you. You will see people who give advice, they will give advice that will not please God, and in the evening they are there with their Bible saying let’s praise God, how will you glorify God if you don’t glorify Him in your way of acting?

Start to count how many times you glorify God each day; when I wake up in the morning I say thank you God, when I start to stretch my hands I realise that I came from somewhere where I was really tired and I can feel that my hands have found their strength, I open my eyes because I can see the light, I must glorify God for this light. When someone knocks at the door I praise the Lord because my ears can still work.

One day I fell asleep and my nose was blocked, my throat was sore and I said why that, I started thinking why am I sick, how can a little thing like my nose make me sick? God helped me to meditate deeply on that. Close your mouth and your nose for 2 mins. I did it for 30 secs which felt like a long time and my body started fighting. Just to close my mouth and block my nose but my whole body started moving and fighting. I thought that my two nostrils have great value for the rest of the body, the whole body felt sick. God taught me something; the most insignificant thing in your life has such a great value for your life.

How great is the soul of man? A soul is a very small thing and we respect our bodies more than the soul. I can do everything for my body and forget about my soul. I can comb my hair, brush my teeth etc, but I can forget for 3 months that I have a soul. Because I couldn’t breathe I said no I must learn that my life doesn’t depend on me, I must glorify God for the function of my nostrils.

I know many people in Africa who have a problem to go to the toilet, they might eat but to excrete what they ate is a problem, it’s a very serious problem, they cry and shout to the point that they don’t want to eat anymore because they don’t know what’s going to happen. But you and me who are free, why don’t we glorify God? God taught me a lot about glory. From time to time we complain, I need shoes my God, but the one who doesn’t have legs, what will he say? Oh God I need a diamond ring, and the one who doesn’t have fingers what will he say? Aren’t we better than these people, why don’t we glorify God for all what He offers us.

Usually when a Christian wants to praise God, he is dry with his words; “oh, God I praise you because you are good”, oh, what else can I say, they start to look for words, a 3 minute prayer is long for them. We should be able to testify. If you start thinking how you spend your night, how you woke up, you look at your nails and see how they have grown, you will praise God for that because you can put nail polish on them and it will be nice, if I had lost my nails maybe I would have to hide my fingers, it’s something to praise God for.

For myself, my hair never grows longer than 3 centre metres and when I look at Michael’s hair I can ask God why doesn’t Michael glorify God for that? Some one who is bald will spend money to have more hair, and me who has my 3-centre metre hair and is not bald, do I glorify God for that? I don’t wear glasses, I can see people who wear glasses, and do I glorify God for my eyes. And those who wear glasses, if you see a blind person do you glorify God because you can still see? In everything, each minute there are things to glorify God for. When we don’t, God finds us ungrateful, these people I gave everything but they don’t glorify me. “Oh God I glorify you because we are together”, it’s the same prayer every day. It’s been nearly three years we’ve been praying prayed together and when it’s time to give glory to God sometimes it’s like a tape played over and over.

You wear nice trousers; do you glorify God for that? You have light here; there are some people who have never seen that, do you glorify God for that? As we meet here, do you glorify God for the presence of each person here? And if not then what do you glorify God in?

In each thing we must glorify God, if you have children glorify God for them, if you have clothes glorify God. I testified to you one day that there are people who have never seen clothes. If you find food, glorify God for it, at work you can glorify God, if you are beside your children or your wife then glorify God. You will discover that there are lots of things to glorify God for. If you count well you will see that you will be able to glorify God for more than 300 things every day, every day! But how many topics do you glorify God for?

We have to glorify God, God said in his first commandment, which is in Ex 20, you shall have no other gods before me. What does God mean? It is something that you glorify or adore, so don’t adore or worship anything other than me because I am a supreme being. This is in the imperative form. God always waits to see how we will glorify Him. Doesn’t God give us everything? I think what we lack is very little compared to what God has given us, but we don’t even glorify Him

For example, it’s mother’s day coming up, those who are mums please forgive me but I would like to say something, we respect you very much and God created you as our mums and gave you all the responsibilities for your families, but when we open our Bibles we don’t see a mother’s day, excuse me again because I am not against it but I tell you the truth. In some churches today they will say next Sunday is mother’s day so the service will be taken by the ladies in order to celebrate mother’s day, this is how we will glorify this day. God watches, instead of meeting for one day to glorify me they glorify a day that was organised by man, why would we give this day more importance than the day of the Lord?

People keep glorifying human things rather than God’s things. We know the Gospel, we know what the Bible says so why are we confused? Give to Caesar what’s his, but don’t forget to give to God what is His, God’s share is the first, if you forget this one then woe to you.

We are going to pray and our prayer tonight is that we are all going to stand up and glorify God, just that, glorify God as you want, in whatever language. You can glorify Him because your child is small or big, glorify God because you are slim or fat, tall or short, black or white, glorify God for everything, just glorify Him for whoever you are, be proud of what you are because for God you are precious in His eyes, pray your prayer and don’t listen to others, and concentrate on your prayer. Let’s pray.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

The Samaritan Woman (part III)

John 4

The 2nd food of Jesus was to do the work that had been given to him. Are we doing the work that has been given to us? It will be hard when Christ comes back and asks you, “from five coins, what have you produced”? What will you tell God that day? Will you tell God, “I put it under my carpet so that I might not be condemned tomorrow?”

God will never accept that because he said whoever will be given some and doesn’t produce anything from it, God will take it away from you and you will not enter the Kingdom of God. Many people say that grace is sufficient and “my name is already in the book of life” but we have to work and work and work.

If we don't work, we don't feed Jesus because he said this is His food, to fulfil God's will. Many people today don't want to work and Paul said whoever doesn't work is not entitled to eat. This is the Word of God which a message for us that if we don’t work spiritually, we don’t have the right to eat spiritually. Those who eat the Word of God, and those who take the blessings from God without working are against the Word of God. One day God will ask you, “why did you take the blessings while you didn't work?” It’s the same with tithing; God gives you the money and he is in the corner waiting for you to give tithe and if you don't give it you become a thief and automatically you are condemned and judged as a thief and many people will pay the price for that dearly.

I don't know any business company that would keep you employed if you don't work. I don't know if there is such a boss who would keep employing you doing nothing in your office. I can assure you that without work you cannot please Jesus so let's make an effort to please Jesus. Let’s work. This work is a personal work.

What kind of work do I do? And to whom do I do it? And what is the kind of work that I do in the church? And if I don't do it, why don't I do it? You must have a reason to justify yourself.

One day in the church children were playing around the chair on the altar that was reserved for the pastor. While the children were playing, they accidently broke one of the feet of the chair. One of the children decided to take the broken foot and place it back under the chair and they believed it was perfect and nobody would know. They agreed to keep it a secret because they thought they will be in trouble if they say something.

The next Sunday a great bishop was coming to this church and the pastor said this chair (which is the chair of honor) is where the bishop will sit. Every Sunday, different peole in the church take turns to look after the things of the church. The next Sunday, before the bishop arrived, a brother and sister in the Lord came to check everything inside the church and everything looked fine so they turned around and walked out.

When the bishop was there with his big hat and his robe, he blessed the church and then he was given the chair. He looked around and sat down. When he sat down, the foot came out and the chair fell down. They came to pick it up it was too late, what a shame in front of all these Christians in front of thousands of Christians, a Bishop who falls down because of one negligent thing of a Christian. The pastor looked around and wondered what's going to happen and who was to blame. There was no chair to replace this one and the bishop lost his joy.

After the service the pastor said I must know who organised the chair. The brother and sister said, “we looked at it yesterday and it wasn't broken”. But the truth was, they didn’t look properly, they didn’t even touch it. This is the kind of mistakes that we make in churches; we destroy things and we replace them to give an appearance that looks like truth so that when Jesus comes in our lives and He wants to sit down; He sometimes falls down and we ridicule Him in front of the world.


- We must do the work that God gives to us
- We must give our tithes to God
- Ask yourself, what do I do for God? What do I do for church?
- Keep the truth

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