Friday, July 31, 2009


By Benedicte Bahjejian

There are many reasons why Christians don't evangelise. Here are some excuses used along with the Biblical answers to help us to overcome:

1. Too tired, too lazy, self-absorbed
Gal 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not lose heart.

Hebr 6:12
We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

+ Eph 2:10, Jn 9:4

2. Afraid of what to say & what to answer/ not convincing
John 14:26
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Isaiah 51:16
And I have put My words in your mouth;
I have covered you with the shadow of My hand,

+ Ex 4:12, Act 18:9-10

We are not the ones convincing people, but the Holy Spirit does. We are just instruments that God uses. We sow and He makes the seed grow.

3. I am confused (or ashamed?)
Mark 8:38
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.

If we listen to His voice, God will give us the vision and the confidence. And if we consider how many souls will end up in heaven because they have not heard the Gospel or have rejected it, we will forget our confusion, and we will focus on talking to others about Christ.

4. Too busy
1Tim 2:3-4
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

We have many things to do in life, but isn’t it a priority for us to go and talk to others about the God who saved us? If we think we are saved and that it is enough, we are being selfish, because millions of souls are dying every day and we do not do anything to tell them about Christ, or to explain them the true Gospel, if they heard a wrong one.

5. Waiting that God reveals his will to us
Luke 10:2-3
Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.

Mat 28:19-20
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you
James 5:20
Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins

6. Lost of passion/ desire
1Cor 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

It is our love for God and our love for lost souls which will give us the drive to evangelise and witness.

7. I will be mocked, despised, humiliated
Mat 16:24
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

8. Lack of confidence
Rom 8:31
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Ps 118:6-7
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is on my side and takes my part, He is among those who help me

God asks us to win souls:
Prov 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who wins souls is wise.
Are we available to do God’s work? Do we have time for Him?
God is waiting for us to do His work, here on earth, or else who will do it?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Daniel 9:24-36

By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 23 March 2004)

It is a bit difficult when you read this passage but it is very easy to understand because it was a prophecy and things are being fulfilled so we can see them. When Jeremiah wrote this, people didn’t know what would come on earth. When Jeremiah wrote about what is going to happen to the people of Israel, people didn’t know anything. At that time there was a man called Daniel and he said it would be better to read what the prophets wrote. Although he didn’t know the meaning of his message, I will try. Daniel started to read these prophecies and he saw that Jeremiah prophesized that the people will be in slavery for 70 years and he saw that this was something difficult for him and his people. Although the 70 years were finished they were still in slavery and Daniel asked, ‘why that? 70 years have gone but we carry on suffering, has God forgotten us or not?’

He prayed to ask for forgiveness but instead of God answering his prayer, God gave him another message different from his prayer. How many times have we read the books of the prophets and how long do we take to read these books? And how many churches on earth talk about prophecies? I know churches that teach only from the book of Mathew, Mark, Luke and maybe from the book of Genesis. I also know some servants of God who twist what are the prophecies and they avoid talking about it. But if we don’t talk about prophecies, how will the people of God know what is going to happen? We need to know so we can get ready for the future.

At that time the angel Gabriel talked to David and he talked about the 69 weeks. The first seven weeks and then 62 weeks that follow. The Bible talks about 69 weeks. Don’t forget that in the book of numbers, and also in first Peter that one day for God is a thousand years. And when we talk about a week we see 7 days and if we think 69 weeks we can multiply it by 7 and it gives 483 days. The Bible says that everything that God does is according to a plan and nothing is done without God knowing about it. And when God talked to Daniel about these 70 weeks, He said, “During that time sanctify your self and repent and try to get stronger because on the 70th week I will destroy this nation. Don’t build Jerusalem, I will destroy you and everything that happened from the beginning until the 69 week was all about Israel”.

This was about these people with the 12 tribes of Jacob (not the 12 tribes of Esau). And on the 69th week grace came because people sinned, people committed all sorts of sins and God was most unhappy about it so God stopped on the 69th week and He said, I’ll go and help other nations because they might understand the future and what is going to happen. At that time Jesus was on earth, He preached and was crucified. I’m not talking too much about these 69 weeks because to understand them we first must know what is in Rev 10, 11 and 12. But we will go back to that one day so that we can know better about Israel.

So God gave us a time of grace and Jesus came to set us free because the heaven, His own, protected Him and He turned His face towards other nations (us). God wanted this bracket between the 69 weeks and the 70th week so that we could all have a good opportunity because what we have is a grace and it is a grace because it was not included into the 70th week.

If us today as Christians we talk about grace, it’s because we were not included into God’s program with His people. If we didn’t have this time of grace, today the world would not exist anymore but God wanted to help us so that we could understand His message. Because we are now in the time of the church of Laodicea, soon there will be the rapture. Soon Jesus will be back, soon things will change on earth and soon we will start the last week, so that the 70 weeks will be fulfilled. So those who will be ready in the Lord they will be gone but those who are not ready, will stay to see all that will happen on the 70th week. And that will be the horrible week, during that week even the roots of the trees will shake. Because it is a week and the week is made of days, and a day is made of hours and we cannot have an hour without minutes and the same with minutes we also have seconds. So before this week finishes, we’ll see the little signs of these seconds and these signs are here.


- A thousand years is like one day for God
- We are living in the 69th week (the week of grace)
- Christ is coming back soon, the signs are there
- We have to make ourselves ready for His return

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Basics of Christianity (part IV)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

2 Corinthians 13:8, we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. Amen

We are called to act only according to the will of God. The will of God is the truth. It means that we as Christians are called to walk according to the scriptures. The scriptures are the Bible and the Bible is God Himself. God is the truth, the truth is Jesus Christ, the truth is the Holy Spirit and the truth is life. We are told to walk according to this truth.

Each country has a constitution, for Christians the Bible is our constitution. God will judge the world through the scriptures and woe to the man who has not mastered what God asks him to do. People know when they are guilty. For example, someone who drives 60km/h instead of 50km/h knows he is guilty and when you are pulled over you will make excuse after excuse to the policeman why you had to drive over 50km/h.

Everybody that breathes knows the truth exists and one day the world will be judged by this truth. Jesus Christ said, “I will not come back until every ear has heard my name”. To study law in some countries can be very expensive, but the law we have cost us nothing. Three quarters of the world have their constitutions based on the Bible. I know lawyers who defend their clients using the Bible and sometimes judges say, “according to this article it is written this and that” but the lawyer will answer, “according to the Bible it says this and that”. The judge will accept the Bible more than their constitution because God’s law is above all laws. This is why it is beneficial for us to learn this law and to know how to walk according to the will of God. We cannot do anything that opposes God’s law. This means we are to respect His law and live according to the Word by acting forth this Word.

God is the Word so we must live by this Word. Nobody can live without breathing and the Word of God is the oxygen we breathe. So if your spirit doesn’t find time to breathe this oxygen, you can be sure your spirit will die and something will go wrong in you. You cannot see oxygen. Oxygen is essential for our bodies like the Word of God is essential for our souls. Everything that God has promised is the truth and will be fulfilled whether you like it or not.

Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should repent, has He said, “will He not do it, or has He spoken and will He not make it good.”

Everything God says will be fulfilled. Jesus said, “I will be back to take you”. Many years may have passed but Jesus will be back. As Christians we must respect this Word because this Word gives us light and in this world there are many stumbling blocks, so we must know where we are going.

Psalm 119:11, your word I have hidden in my heart that I may not sin against you.

When we know the Word of God sin becomes a hard thing to do. When this Word is in our hearts God doesn’t allow us to sin. Amen. When this Word is not in us, it is easy to sin but the secret to over come sin is to know the Word.

Matthew 5:22, but I say to you that anyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court, and whoever shall say to his brother “Raca” shall be guilty before the supreme court, and whoever shall say “you fool,” shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

If you call someone stupid you have to go to the Supreme Court. How many times have you told someone they are stupid? When you’re driving and someone slows down before you, your instant reply will be, “you stupid fool”. Christians and pagans do it without realizing what the consequences are. When you go to a supreme court you have to face a jugde. How many times have you called someone a fool? Every time you say someone is a fool or Michael is a fool, you are fooling yourself. Will you be given the opportunity to ask Michael to forgive you when you are in hell? This is why Christians sin. The Bible says, my people perish because of lack of knowledge Hosea 4:6

If people go to hell the number one reason is that they do not know the truth and haven’t had the truth in them. A lack of knowledge is a danger for Christians. It is good for a Christian to have some knowledge of the Bible. If you had the choice whether to kill the mother bird or baby bird, who would you kill? What is the consequence if you kill the mother and leave the chick, or take the chick and leave the mother? What is your answer? If you kill the eggs and the chicks but leave the mother you will live a long life because the Bible says that if you respect your parents you will live a long life. If you do the opposite you sin and your life will be cut short. People don’t think it is a sin to take the mother bird. If you are not serious in the little things you cannot be serious in the big things. The Bible says you must be ready and worthy to manage little things and from here God will give you big things. If you don’t know the little scriptures like the mother and her chicks, how will you look after the big things? Peter can you tell me the fifth commandment? We have Ten Commandments so we must know them, if you don’t know them how will you know what a sin is? What is the second commandment? We must study harder.

The Ten Commandments are in Exodus 20. If we don’t know them by heart we must have some understanding and this will help us a lot. The fifth commandment is Do Not Murder. How many people have you killed? Have you killed anyone? In 1 John 3:15 the Bible says, When we hate someone we are murderers. There is no difference between a person who kills with a gun and someone who kills with hate. We must be careful. The Word of God is very useful for every believer as it is written in Isaiah 8:20.

To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them

The one who doesn’t respect the Word of God must go back to the Word. We always talk about the new birth and it says we must be born of water. The water is the Bible and this Word is God Himself, the truth is Jesus Christ, the truth is the Holy Spirit and this truth gives spirit and life to us. We must read the Word of God. How many chapters do we have in the book of Jude? How many verses are there? Old Bibles are very useful. The old versions have good translations and when we compare it to new Bibles we can discover words or verses that are misinterpreted, so we must do our research. Meditate on the words sanctification and beloved.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Basics of Christianity (part III)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

To be born again we must be born of water and spirit. To be born of water is to be born in God’s Word, this is what we are doing now. The Bible is the gathering of Holy books put together by God Himself through man. When God wrote the Ten Commandments in Moses’ time some people didn’t believe that God wrote it with His hand. They said, “How can we know Moses didn’t write on the stone? Even today people are inspired by the Holy Spirit and write on God’s behalf. Some people also say the Bible is an ordinary book and the author just thinks of things and writes them down, this is how the world thinks. We must know however, the Bible is the Word of God.

John 17:17, sanctify them by the truth, your word is the truth. Amen!

The Word of God is the truth; this means that the Word we read is the truth. New birth is to be born of water and we know that this water is the Word of God and this word is the truth. So what is the truth? Jesus Christ! Amen. The Bible says Jesus Christ is the truth,

John 14:6, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me.

Jesus Christ is the truth. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. God works in three parts. This is what we usually call the trinity. When I see Marcia here she has three parts to her body, the body, soul and spirit. Jesus’ cross had three parts as well. When a child is born there are three steps. When mum gives birth there is water, blood then life and the three always go together. So as for the Word, God has said, “I am the Word”. The Bible is not only scripture but also power and the bases of this is our faith. We are talking about the truth, which is Jesus Christ.

The Bible says there is another part to the divinity. 1 John 5:6 says the Holy Spirit is the truth. When Jesus left He said, “I will send you the Holy Spirit and He will teach you the truth”. So instead of the Holy Spirit teaching us the truth, we read that the Holy Spirit is the truth. John 6:63 it is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh profits nothing, and the words I give you are Spirit and life. Amen.

Jesus words are spirit and life because Jesus Himself is the truth and the life. So what Word is in our lives? The Word of God creates and in the beginning God made everything by His Word. Today man can create by his using words. For example, a parent can curse a child and this child will be cursed, so God gave us a power in our words. So God is Spirit, “the words that I give you are spirit and life”. This Word is not for the dead but for those who have life. Do we have the right to do something according to this Word or not? Does God allow us to be completely free? It is true that we have been set free by the will of God but this freedom doesn’t allow us to do what displeases God. This Word of God doesn’t allow us to make a new political party, and this freedom doesn’t allow us to oppose God. To be free in God means to be His slave, this is what freedom is for God. What we think is freedom, is slavery for God. You can say “I am free to smoke or drink” but Jesus will tell you that you are just a slave to darkness. When you take the word of God and start submitting to what God says, you’ll feel in you that you are becoming a slave, but when this happens, God will say you are free because you don’t sin anymore. Amen.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

How do we make people respect the gifts in us

By Hayley Boud

Today we are going to learn from each other. In every church around the world there are problems and mistakes but by listening to one another, these churches have found the way to make changes and to improve themselves as individuals and the church as a whole.

Today we are going to think a little bit about Jesus Christ and his ministry on earth. We are going to remember the way that He came to earth as God. He came to save the lost and had everything necessary in order to do that. He was God! And yet people didn’t recognise what was in Him. They didn’t recognise His ministry. He was despised and rejected as the Bible says. He was not respected. So...if Jesus Himself was not respected, how can we as Christians find the way to be respected? How can we make sure the ministry that we have is respected? How can we ensure the gifts we have are respected by ourselves and by others?

Samson was given a big ministry. He was supposed to save Israel but he didn’t stick to the principles that God gave him. He made the mistake of telling a secret. So he lost the opportunity to save Israel. We have to remember that. We have to remember to stick to God’s principles or the job that God has given to us will not be fulfilled. Can anyone think of real life examples where this has happened? E.g. Geoff Bullock

Jonah had the capacity to take the gospel to Ninevah but he refused. God pushed him to go but when he preached the gospel and the people repented, Jonah wasn’t happy. He wanted God to punish them and to destroy them. We understand his reasoning; they were after all sinners and deserved it. But God wasn’t happy with Jonah and removed the shade from him. When God removes His shade from us, we will really suffer. We have to remember that even though people around us sinners and don’t respect us or God, we have to always show them love. We must have a big heart for sinners and we must pray for them and love them always.

When we think of spiritual ministry we can sometimes use the physical minister of government to help us understand more clearly. The minister of parliament has been elected and chosen for that job. They were chosen because they had the talent, the ability, the education and people trusted them for that job. From the start people will respect them and the job they will do. That minister will also understand that the job requires them to serve the community and to work for the people who elected them. They have to remember they are not working for themselves but for the country. The same with us as Christians: we have to remember that we are using our gifts for God and we must serve others. We are not there to be served but we are here to serve. We are not supposed to tell the church what we want from the church but we are supposed to let God and His people direct us. The most successful pastor is the one who is the servant not the one telling the church what to do.

Also, the minister of parliament has to work hard in order to keep his/her respect. Once that respect is gone, the minister will lose their job. E.g. Richard Worth. Because of his behaviour, he has lost the respect of the entire country and of his boss (John Key). We have to remember that it is our own behaviour that makes people lose respect for us. We have to do our best to behave in such a way that ensures people continue to respect us otherwise we might lose the job God has given to us and God can easily find someone else to do that job. Just like John Key found a new minister and it wasn’t hard to replace Richard Worth, God can easily find someone else more respectable that will do His work.

We are not perfect. Our conscience can sometimes be a bit elastic which means it can take a while before we recognise when we are wrong. But that is ok, as long as we see it in the end. For God, it is never too late to come back to Him and improve our way of living. So if there has been anything that anybody has said today that has touched your conscience, please listen carefully and make sure to implement any changes. Let’s use the different messages we have heard today to pray for ourselves and for one another and let’s not forget how much we need one another. We are all important in front of God and each one is necessary for the building of the church of God. Even the intestines of the body that everybody neglects and hates, are extremely important!

1 Cor 12

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Basics of Christianity - Nicodemus (part III)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

When Samson was born God gave him something.

Judges 13:4-5 Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.

When Samson’s mother was pregnant she was told by God not to drink any wine. When we are saved and accept Jesus into our lives there are conditions we must follow. We are not allowed to drink any wine or alcohol, we are not allowed to lie, we not allowed to steal and we are not allowed to do anything that doesn’t please God.

This woman was to keep Samson. The reason for keeping this child is that he would deliver Israel from the Philistines. “If you drink wine or alcohol My glory will not be in this child, so keep this pregnancy pure”. Who knows why Kelly decided to be saved? Do you know why God called you Kelly? I don’t think so. If you keep this salvation you have to respect the restrictions God gave you and if you do you will help other people. As we are all saved we must know God has a mission for us. The only thing we must do is keep to the restrictions God gives us. God doesn’t ask for anything great only that we respect His conditions. We must do this in order to be spiritually strong. We must respect the pregnancy in us.

Luke 1:15-16 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.

When John the Baptist was born it says that many Israelites will be saved. When we are saved and can keep what is in us we can bring many people to God. To lead people to God will give us a great reward.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Overcome Temptations

By Hayley Boud

We all have temptations. Satan knows exactly what tempts us and uses it. He knows Hayley is impatient for example. He knows who loves to sleep, or who loves food, or who loves T.V. or who of us are selfish, or who worries, or who loves money. He knows how to get us to sin.

1 Cor 10:13
“Temptation” = a trial to prove if you are good or bad. A test to see if you follow satan or Jesus Christ.

If God puts a trial in front of us, it’s because He believes we will prove ourselves to be righteous. If satan tempts us, it’s to make us fall and prove that we belong to him and not to Jesus. So we have to remember that whenever there is a temptation, it is just a test and that we must pass it and prove ourselves to be followers of Jesus. Also remember that satan won’t attack you with the same temptation 1000 times if you don’t fall. If he attacks you once and you don’t fall, and he tries again and you still don’t fall, then he will learn that that strategy doesn’t work on you and he will try a new one. So don’t forget that when you are tempted. Remember that if you don’t give in, then satan will stop tempting you in that area.

“Common to man” = meaning every temptation that you have faced is actually common. It’s not a new sin. Thousands before you have made the same mistake and thousands do it every day. That also means that thousands before you have won that battle and so can you.

Also, because it is so common, it means there are common ways to overcome it. For example, if my sin is sleeping in too long; set the alarm. It’s a common and easy solution. Or if my sin is negative thoughts; then stand up and distract myself. Or if my sin is eating too much chocolate; then don’t start. It’s a common solution that many people use.

But it requires a decision and we have to stick to it.

“God is faithful” = when you are facing a temptation, remind God that He is faithful and pray for His support.

“He provides an escape” = we just have to take the escape and remember that He is providing it. Too many times I’ve seen the escape but haven’t taken it and I carried on until I sinned.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Lessons from the Life of Moses

By Colleen Podmore

Tonight I have prepared a short study on some lessons I have learned from Moses’ life. I hope that we will be able to reflect on Moses’ life together. Last week Bene gave an excellent exhortation about the relevance of the OT law to NT believers. I think the conclusion was that NT believers are not bound by the letter of the law, but by the spirit of the law. Jesus fulfilled the Law, which meant that He was perfect, sinless and we His people are redeemed by His atoning sacrifice on the cross and by His blood that was shed. This week I have another perspective of the OT relevance to NT believers.

1Cor 10:6,11 & Romans 15:1-4

Whom here wouldn’t like to be like Moses? He was a man who was counted as the greatest prophet of God. He was raised in a pagan household and lived there for 40yrs, then he lived in the desert for another 40 yrs, then God used him in a mighty way to free the Israelites from bondage. Amazingly, they believed Moses was from God and followed him; they put all their trust and hope in him for themselves, for their families and for the future. They believed he was God’s servant. And he led them in the desert; we all know the story and God gave them the Law and the Tabernacle, so that they might worship Him according to His way.

Let us read Exodus 3:10 – 16 & 4:1 -16
Let me ask you a question. If you were to put yourself in this story, what would your response be to God? God has a job for Moses to do, but Moses is quite naturally very fearful and afraid. Who wouldn’t be, in fact Jesus says to count the cost before you undertake to do anything. Carefully weigh up the consequences before you commit to anything. (Luke 14:28)

This story is really amazing, not only because Moses was humble enough to put it in the Scriptures but that God actually listened to him and responded to his excuses. We know that this was written to us as an example, as a warning. Moses voiced his fears, his concerns amazingly, when God revealed what He wanted Moses to do. God has revealed to Moses that he has seen the misery of His people and heard them crying out and furthermore He is concerned enough to do something! Amen. He came down from heaven and will rescue His people through this man Moses.

What is Moses response to this great commission? Great, let’s go. Yeah, way to go! Let’s do it! God says to us – Go and tell the people about me, and I will rescue them from the kingdom of darkness. I have done all the work, I have conquered sin and death, all you have to do is be my witnesses. What is our response?
What was Moses first excuse?

Excuses (1)
EX 3:11 Who am I?
God's Response (1)
I will be with you
Excuses (2)
Ex 3:14 Who are you?
God's Response (2)
Excuses (3)
Ex4:1 What if they don’t believe me
God's Response (3)
3 signs
• Staff
• Leprous hand
• Water turned to blood
Excuses (4)
Ex4: 10 I’m not eloquent
God's Response (4)
Aaron will speak to the people

Moses, in all humility records for us at least four of his excuses for refusing God and finally he out rightly refuses when he said ‘send someone else’ (Ex 4:13) Are my excuses the same as Moses’, are yours or do we have other reasons for refusing God.

Ex 3:11. Firstly, Moses asks the question , Who am I? In complete humility and honesty, he asks the question. He has come to that place in his life, where all his plans and ideas have failed. And praise God when we get to that place and realise we can do nothing apart from God. When we come to the end of ourselves and lift up our hands and say, ‘Who am I. I am nothing, help me God!’

Notice how God responds to Moses by saying simply, ‘I will be with you’, that’s all and this will be a sign for you – you will worship on this mountain. And Jesus says to us, ‘I will be with you always, even to the end of the age’ and ‘this will be a sign for you, I will die on a cross and I will send the Holy Spirit.’

Ex3:14 Secondly, Moses says, ‘Who are you?’ What if people ask me Your name and I can’t tell them. Do we know who God is; can we explain who He is? Are we always ready to be able to give a reason for the hope we have? (1Peter 3:14) His name is Yahweh and He is always with us. He is the Living God, the Alpha and the Omega. His name is Jesus, He saves His people. His name in Immanuel, He is God with us! Amen.

Ex4:1 Thirdly, Moses feared the people, that they would not listen to him and God graciously performed 3 miracles through Moses that would prove that he spoke the truth. How many times have I used this excuse, thinking it was up to me to convince and convert people to believe in Jesus? But, we are called to share the gospel, to be witnesses of Jesus resurrection from the dead. This is the greatest miracle.

Ex4:10 Fourthly, Moses said, I can’t speak and God is beginning to get annoyed, pointing out that He had given Moses the ability to speak. V11. Moses had a mouth, a tongue, everything that was necessary to speak, but because the work was so great, God gave Moses the help of Aaron his brother as a spokesman. And don’t we need each other. This is the same principle that the church today is built on. We are all part of the church, the body of Christ, each with different gifts and abilities to edify and build up the church and to preach the Good News to those who are lost.

Finally Moses out-rightly said, ‘No’, v13, send someone else but nevertheless he went anyway and we know that God worked through him in a mighty way. Amen!
Let us just take a few minutes to think about our lives and the things that block us from serving God. As you think of your own excuses, write them down on your piece of paper. This is very important to write down whatever the Holy Spirit reveals even if you are not ready to do anything about it. It is important to acknowledge it. What excuses do I have? Sometimes there are so many that it’s overwhelming so I find it helpful to think about different categories. The first is what I call the Basics, that is, Bible reading, prayer and fellowship. Are we struggling in any of these areas? Write down why you think that is? What are your excuses? Maybe you’re too tired, too busy, too ??

The second category is in the area of things we might do for God, or don’t do but would like to do… maybe helping others, encouraging others, serving others, preaching, teaching, evangelism. Do I have a ministry that I’m not fulfilling and if not what is my reason/excuse? Do I have spiritual gifts that I’m not using? Why is that?
The third category is around our characters. Is there something I need to change but haven’t. What do I need to do or stop doing?
Perhaps it is my situation. Do I say, ‘If only....this would change, or that were different?’

I would really encourage us to keep thinking about the excuses we have, even if it seems impossible to change the situation. What we could do is complilate all our excuses and we could look for Bible verses that answer them, so that we can all learn something for our lives.

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you know Him better” Ephesians 1:17

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 15:5

“For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” Ephesians 2:10

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Basics of Christianity - Nicodemus (part II)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only)

The Bible says Nicodemus went during the night and as we know it’s not easy to recognize someone’s face in the dark. Walking at night means you are still in sin, it means that when we are in darkness and we need the light. Light helps us to see and when we are in sin before God we are in great darkness, but when we make steps towards God He is always ready to welcome us. Nicodemus came to Jesus and said, “Master, I know that You have come from God as a teacher”. Rabbi or master is a title for God only, never ask people to call you master as it is written in Matthew 23:7-8.

7And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

Here in this verse we can see we are all brothers and have no right to be called masters, even if you teach others, humiliate yourself and call each other brother or sister. Many people want to be called masters so that they will show they are higher than others and know more. Nicodemus was a Rabbi but he found a greater master. He told the Lord, “God sent You to teach us”. This means that when you are taught something you must learn it. As for us Christians who are saved, we must learn and when we learn we will be able to teach. Nicodemus didn’t know everything even though he was a teacher because we can read that he went to Jesus to know more. It means that we all have the right to learn, whether you know the Word of God or not, we must learn everyday. Nobody can say, “I know the Word of God 100%”. No! We need to be taught so we can help others in the future.

In John 3:3 we read that Jesus told Nicodemus something new. Jesus taught Nicodemus about the new birth because Nicodemus was keen to learn. Jesus wanted him to know that he didn’t know everything so He talked to him about the new birth. Why do we read this? God wants us to be equal so we can help each other. If you have a question, ask your brother and this will help us all. The truth is the Word of God. Remember also, the Word of God is God Himself. It is Jesus Himself and Jesus talked to him about the new birth. He told Nicodemus, “you must be born again”.

What do we need in order to be born? In order to be born we first must conceive. If a woman wants a child she must conceive. It is the same with spiritual life. Spiritual life is similar to physical life; the difference is that one is carnal and the other spiritual. If we are married there is one wife and one husband and the two come together and are a couple. Spiritually Jesus is the husband and the church is the wife. This is in Ephesians chapter five.

Nicodemus asked Jesus, “How can I be born again”? Jesus said that “if you stick with what you know you will not enter the kingdom of God”. It means that each Christian who is not born again will not inherit the kingdom of God. You can sing and praise God with joy but unless you are born again you cannot see the kingdom of God.

Try to imagine a great man like Nicodemus. He knew the Law of Moses law by heart but Jesus said to him, “you will not enter the kingdom of God unless you are born again”. Jesus is the husband and the church is the wife. In 1 Corinthians it is written that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, it means we are the church and Jesus is our husband. The church is not the building where people meet together; the church is you and I.

So we need to conceive and after conceiving we must keep this pregnancy for a certain time then there will give birth. As you know when a woman is pregnant they sometimes feel weak, tired or sick. These are all steps in our practical life to the time of birth. When the child is born there is joy for everyone.

So how do we conceive spiritually? When we are taught the Word of God this Word comes into us and touches our hearts. Sometimes we can feel guilty or feel like condemning ourselves. So where will you be tomorrow after your death? Why don’t I believe? What am I doing with my life? What did I gain by stealing? What will I gain if I am a sorcerer? What benefit do I get when I treat others harshly? From your conscious people will start showing you that you are guilty, and then you must change. What you thought was good yesterday doesn’t make sense anymore so you will start conceiving and changing your life style. You start to despise your life because you realize it doesn’t please God.

From here, what you have conceived will start growing. As you know, when a woman is 3-4 months pregnant little things start to appear. If the woman is near the radio she will ask her husband, “darling can you pass me the radio”, if the husband doesn’t obey she becomes upset. They always excuses when they are pregnant.

When we decide to follow Jesus and we have conceived something inside of us, Satan comes and influences us. He’ll start by saying, “I don’t like this”. For example, if Michael doesn’t ring you to go to church you will just cross your arms and do nothing because you just want others to serve you. You have a Bible but you won’t read it unless Oscar is with you. It is exactly the same as the wife with the radio. We like what is easy as days go by but if we are not careful with this pregnancy we could run the risk of losing it. If you have an abortion you lose it completely.

Spiritual abortion can have many causes. In spiritual life it means a Christian can regress and come to nothing. Example: Your behaviour can help a person keep or lose what they have. Some people can say, “Ray is a Christian but because he did this to me I don’t want to pray with him for it is better to be a pagan then to be like Ray the hypocrite”. It means that when the signs of pregnancy are there we must open our eyes and look closely to see what we are doing in life.

How do we do that? We first must make a decision. If someone smokes, giving up is not easy but if someone decides not to smoke then they won’t smoke. When a smoker decides to give up, they don’t smoke around others but when they are alone you can see the smoke come from their bedrooms. Our body can tell us to drink, commit adultery, and hate others, but in the end we make the decision. Once you have decided nothing can draw you back. This is number one and this pregnancy will keep going until birth. When the Bible speaks about the second birth it is birth from above. It is the time when we decide to follow Jesus for the rest of our life on earth.

Nicodemus asked, “How can I go back into my mothers womb?” Jesus said, “You must be born again”. We must not compare spiritual things with physical things. Physically you can be 100 years old but spiritually you are only two months old. Do not think because of your age you are spiritually behind, don’t compare yourself to others. Some people pretend they know everything and will lie to impress others, but for what? People perish from a lack of knowledge. If you don’t know the Word you can be sure you will perish. Ask questions to understand the Word. That is where we can be healed

- When we are in sin we are in darkness and this is the right time to find Jesus
- We must learn from Jesus and the Bible
- We must ask questions from others when we don't understand
- We must make a decision to follow Christ and sin no more

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Basics of Christianity -Nicodemus (part I)


By Odon Bulamba (summary - 13th April, 01)

We are going to share about the beginnings of spiritual life. You cannot build a house if you don’t have a foundation and to have a good foundation you must dig up the ground. We know that physical life is the image of spiritual life and that both need good foundations. If the foundation is not good I don’t know how long your house will stand, that is why we are going to speak about the beginning of Christian life. We all know Jesus. One night a man named Nicodemus wanted to speak with Him.

John 3: 1-10
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: this man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher: for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not be amazed that I said to you, “You must be born again.’ “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going: so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?

Nicodemus was a human being like you and me. We all need salvation for our lives. Nicodemus means to conquer. Nicodemus was a highly respected man for he knew the law and theology. Because he knew the Jewish law everybody feared him and called him master. When Jesus met him he was a Pharisee who wanted to re-title Moses law and forget about God’s presence in that law. He knew the law with his mouth but would not practice it. The Pharisees knew drinking alcohol to get drunk was a sin, but sometimes they drank. They would apply the law only if others were making the mistakes but for them it was alright and Nicodemus was one of them.

Nicodemus decided to visit Jesus. The first thing he did in order to visit Jesus was to forget he was a Pharisee. You and me, we have our church that we go to but church does not save anyone and the church is not the way to heaven. Church is a place where Christians can be together to be spiritually fed; to share God’s word, pray together and have a good knowledge of the faith.

Nicodemus was one believer among the Pharisees who put aside his doctrine in order to see the Lord. If you want to see the Lord you have to make a decision. A lot of Christians are ashamed to speak about Jesus. “If people saw me talking with Jesus I might be excommunicated from my church”. Nicodemus made a personal decision and decided to put aside what people thought. It is like you and me when we are saved, people say, “aren’t you drinking anymore? Why don’t you sin anymore”? You’ll think it is dumb to be a Christian and some people hide their Christianity. Nicodemus was a leader of the Jews but he put aside his authority. As Christians we must humiliate ourselves before Christ.

- In order to see Jesus we have to put aside our pride, our church and what other people will say or think about us

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Christ and the law

By Bénédicte Bahjejian

Question: "Do Christians have to obey the Old Testament law?"

Answer: The key to understanding this issue is knowing that the Old Testament law was given to the nation of Israel, not to Christians. Some of the laws were to reveal to the Israelites how to obey and please God (the Ten Commandments, for example). Some of the laws were to show the Israelites how to worship God and atone for sin (the sacrificial system). Some of the laws were intended to make the Israelites distinct from other nations (the food and clothing rules). None of the Old Testament law is binding on us today. When Jesus died on the cross, He put an end to the Old Testament law (Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:23-25; Ephesians 2:15).

In place of the Old Testament law, we are under the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2), which is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and to love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). If we obey those two commands, we will be fulfilling all that Christ requires of us: “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:40). Now, this does not mean the Old Testament law is irrelevant today. Many of the commands in the Old Testament law fall into the categories of “loving God” and “loving your neighbor.” The Old Testament law can be a good guidepost for knowing how to love God and knowing what goes into loving your neighbor. At the same time, to say that the Old Testament law applies to Christians today is incorrect. The Old Testament law is a unit (James 2:10). Either all of it applies, or none of it applies. If Christ fulfilled some it, such as the sacrificial system, He fulfilled all of it.

“This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). The Ten Commandments were essentially a summary of the entire Old Testament law. Nine of the Ten Commandments are clearly repeated in the New Testament (all except the command to observe the Sabbath day). Obviously, if we are loving God, we will not be worshipping false gods or bowing down before idols. If we are loving our neighbors, we will not be murdering them, lying to them, committing adultery against them, or coveting what belongs to them. The purpose of the Old Testament law is to convict people of our inability to keep the law and point us to our need for Jesus Christ as Savior (Romans 7:7-9; Galatians 3:24). The Old Testament law was never intended by God to be the universal law for all people for all of time. We are to love God and love our neighbors. If we obey those two commands faithfully, we will be upholding all that God requires of us.

Question: "What does it mean that Jesus fulfilled the law, but did not abolish it?"

Jesus and the Law- Mt 5, 17-20.

Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfil it, that is, to complete and perfect it in his teachings and most of all to put it into practice in his own life. In fact, in his life and teaching, through his passion, death and resurrection Jesus has truly fulfilled the law and the prophets, that is, all the Old Testament. Jesus has fulfilled the prophets because in his own person he has fulfilled all the prophetic promises concerning the Messiah and the Kingdom of God; he is the Messiah and we are not to expect another; in him the Kingdom of God is made present and accessible to all. Jesus has fulfilled not only the Prophets but also the Law. Here we refer not only to the Ten Commandments but to the whole Law as it is contained in the first five books of the Bible, a huge amount of rules and prescriptions which governed every area of life of the Hebrews and which the rabbis had condensed into 613 precepts. Jesus was referring precisely to this huge amount of precepts when he said that he had come “not to abolish but to fulfil” the law. This he has done through his obedience.

However, the way Jesus obeyed the law was radically opposed to the way in which the Scribes and Pharisees obeyed the same law. The Scribes and the Pharisees obeyed the law to the letter while Jesus preferred to move from the letter to the spirit of the law, rejecting a legalistic obedience in favour of an obedience which took each concrete situation into account. Jesus’ attitude towards the law sometimes appears extremely liberal and other times extremely
radical according to the situation and the importance of the law in question. He reprimanded the Pharisees, for example, because they insisted on observing the minuscule commandments while ignoring the most important ones. The Pharisees, on the other hand, reprimanded Jesus for violating the Sabbath laws in order to heal the sick. While the Pharisees considered Jesus a transgressor of the law, Jesus considered the Pharisees hypocrites.
The conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees was rooted in the opposite views they held about the law and its observance. For Jesus observance of the law meant something completely different from what it meant for the Pharisees. The goal for both of them, however, was the same: obedience of the Mosaic law. In order to simplify things we can divide this mountain of precepts into two parts: laws concerning ritual and moral laws. On the whole we can say that Jesus was extremely liberal as far as the ritual laws were concerned and extremely radical
about the moral laws. In both cases Jesus aimed not to abolish the law but to fulfil it; not to violate the law but to keep it.

As far as the ritual laws (regarding religious ceremonies, sacrifices and (purification rituals) are concerned, Jesus continues to fulfil a prophetic tradition which had already begun to contest a purely formal observance of such laws. In the book of the prophet Amos, the Lord says to his people:
“I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and your cereal offerings, I will not accept them, and the peace offerings of your fatted beasts I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream”(Amos 5,21-24)

Again, in the book of Hosea the Lord says:
“For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6,6)

The same protest appears once more in Isaiah in no uncertain terms:
“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? Says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or of he-goats. When you come to appear before me, who requires you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of assemblies – I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me and I am weary of bearing them. When you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Was yourselves, make yourselves clean remove the evil of your doings before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for
the widow.” (Is 1,11-17).

Jesus’ preaching follows on from this long prophetic tradition and when the Pharisees criticize him because he does not obey the purity laws but eats with sinners and allows his disciples to gather leaves of corn on the Sabbath, Jesus replies by citing the prophets:
“Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice’ For I came not to call the righteous but sinners”(Mt 9,13;12,7).
Jesus raises the oppressed, does justice to the orphan, defends the cause of the widow, preaches the good news to the poor, gives sight to the blind and pardons sinners.
In his merciful behaviour towards the people, he thus fulfils all the ritual laws. The justice of the scribes and the Pharisees, on the other hand, gets stuck on the ritual laws and is unable to go beyond them. Jesus’ justice is far superior to the Pharisees’ as it is based on the mercy required by God and not on ceremonies and sacrifices which, in light of faith in Christ, represent the shadow of the true justice which Jesus has come to fulfil. Thus the apostle Paul writes to the Colossians:
“Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in question of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath. These are only a shadow of what
is to come but the substance belongs to Christ”(Col 2,16-17)

Jesus has fulfilled the law by showing that every precept was not an end in itself but a way to educate the people to become merciful. Being merciful towards one’s neighbour is the spirit behind the law. It is for this purpose that the Lord gave the law to his people: so that they would learn to be merciful to each other, just as the Lord had been merciful to them bringing them out of Egypt. In Jesus’ time the scribes and Pharisees had forgotten that the purpose of the law was to learn how to show mercy. What happens when we do something without remembering its true purpose? Our actions are useless and no longer have any meaning. This is the reason why the scribes and the Pharisees although they made a real effort to obey all the minute instructions of the law in the long run didn’t get anywhere and all their efforts were useless. Paradoxically, they observed each and every precept without having obeyed the law at all because their obedience did not spring from a merciful attitude towards their neighbour but from a desire to increase their importance and seem more just than others. Jesus, though, could disobey this or that law and, paradoxically observe the law precisely through his transgressing. For him the important thing was that whether he obeyed or transgressed the law he showed mercy towards his neighbour.
Nowadays more than ever we need to learn from Jesus how to obey God’s commandments and society’s laws. Among Christians there is a deep division about how laws should be obeyed. On the one hand, there are legalistic believers who use the Bible as a legal code to discriminate people with, dividing saints from sinners. On the other hand, other Christians react to such legalism assuming a relativistic attitude: anything goes as we are all sinners! If legalism is to be
condemned so is relativism. Jesus never opposed the legalism of the Pharisees by adopting a form of relativism as he did not come to abolish the law but to really fulfil it. Jesus always condemned sin calling it by name. Jesus always called sinners to repent but, at the same time, he showed mercy towards them offering everybody god’s forgiveness. Legalists of all ages condemn the sin and the sinner; relativists of all ages justify sin and the sinner. Jesus condemns sin but justifies the sinner.

Jesus fulfils the law by condemning sin and showing mercy towards the sinner. His justice is greater than the strict and discriminating justice of the legalists, on the one hand, and than the condescending and easy going justice of the relativists. Jesus said to his disciples:
“Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”(Mt 5,20)

Nowadays, God would say to us: “if your righteousness is not greater than the legalists and the relativists you are not part of the Kingdom of God but of the kingdom of this world divided between one extreme and another. Legalists condemn everything and see sin everywhere. They set themselves up as judges and are ready to cast stones at everything and everybody. They
believe that this world is abominable and deserves to be destroyed. Relativists forgive everything and do not see sin anywhere. In the end, for them everything is permissible because God forgives everything. Christ’s disciples, however, are called to overcome both the intolerant righteousness of the legalists which condemns everything and the indulgent righteousness of the relativists which excuses everything. We are able to overcome the righteousness of the legalists and of the relativists only through Christ’s righteousness, based on mercy which
condemns every sin but is immediately ready to justify every sinner who repents.
The Lord Jesus was never a relativist who abolished the law nor a legalist, using the law to condemn sinners. Rather, the Lord Jesus has brought the law to fulfilment, being merciful and thus showing us that the purpose of the law is to teach us to be merciful towards our neighbour.


• Christ is the end of the law od Moses and we do not have to obey it anymore, because if we obey one commandment, we should obey them all. We are not bound to the letter anymore.

• After Christ has come, we are under the law of Christ, which is “to love God with all our heart, all our mind and all our strength and our neighbour as ourself”.

• The old testament law was written to show us that we can’t keep it all and that we need a Saviour. And this law points us to Christ.

• The Pharisees in the New Testament wanted to keep every commandment, but forgot to practice the most important one: to be merciful. So there were not obeying the law of God.

• When Christ broke a commandment, it was to show mercy and it is what counts most in God’s eyes.

• We should not fall into the extremes:
- to be legalistic- trying to keep the law and condemning those who do not keep it
- to be relativist- ‘it doesn’t matter if I sin, God will forgive me’

• If we show mercy to others, we do what pleases God and thus we fulfil the law of Christ.