Wednesday, March 31, 2010

“Men will be without self-control”

By Hayley Boud

(II Timothy 3)

Name some areas that require self-control:
anger, temptations such as over-eating, drinking, smoking, drugs, thinking before speaking, praying before doing anything, asking your husband first if you are married before doing anything, jumping to conclusions, judging, watching too much television or wrong things on tv, neglecting to read the Bible or to pray, being bossy or expecting things your own way, being patient with others

So we can all think of areas that require self-control so we know very well this word. Just remember that it is “self” control and that means I can only control myself and even if I see someone in a big temptation, I can give a warning but there is nothing I can do to push them to control themselves and I can’t control them at all. For example, there are fat camps where people can go to be pushed to have self-control over food but some people sneak in chocolate bars and eat them in secret when no one is watching and so we can’t control other’s actions. Therefore we should not bother ourselves by looking at others but just concentrate on ourselves and make sure we control ourselves.

Also, we have to be careful with self-control that we are truly controlling ourselves rather than just covering up the reality. For example, if I get angry because someone has offended me but I pretend that I am not and prove to the person I am fine, this is good because I haven’t shouted at the person or done anything to offend them back but it’s not true self-control because I haven’t actually controlled the anger because I am still angry; I’ve just simply controlled the reaction to anger. Therefore if I am angry it is better to admit it and talk nicely to the person, ‘please forgive me but I feel offended by what you said’. Or if it is inappropriate to tell the person then at least tell God because if you don’t and you just cover it up, later on it will come out, one way or another ,and you prove that you didn’t have self-control after all.

Many of us wonder if we have been baptized in the Holy Spirit and I believe that according to Galations 2:23, we can know if we have the Holy Spirit in us or not if we are increasing daily in self-control.

Interestingly when Paul was in prison he got to speak to a man named Felix (Acts24:25) and he preached to him about self-control so keep that in mind when you are preaching the gospel, it’s obviously an important part of the message.

II Peter 1:3-8

(vs3) we already have everything by God’s divine power that we need to enable us to live godly lives.
(vs5) So for this reason we should apply what He’s given us = self-control. So we already have the power to be self-controlled and we don’t have any excuse if we are not. God has already given us the power; we just have to make a decision to do it.
(vs8) So if we don’t have self-control we will be useless and unfruitful and if we self-control is important if we want to be useful (used by God) and fruitful.

II Timothy 3, in the end days difficult times will come because we will not be self-controlled. I believe that this is talking about the Church also and as we are preparing for a church we need to be sure we are self-controlled or our church will not bear fruit, it will be useless and not used by God and it will be difficult place to be.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Justification Of Faith (Part II)

By Odon Bulamba (31 January 2003)

Do not destroy your faith because when you die you die alone. We walk on this earth, jump on this earth and dance on this earth, yet the earth does not complain, but the day when the earth will walk on us everybody starts crying. At funerals you bury dead people and when this happens people start crying. Once the body is in the earth everybody sprinkles dust over the coffin, so why can’t this dead body dance anymore?

When we are alive we sometimes forget what comes next, so according to the definition of faith we must hope in what our eyes have not seen yet. Do you believe that one day you’ll be buried? Have you prepared your life for this? Can you cheat death? Never! Even medicine can’t stop death. One day I asked God if He could give me one thing so I could become famous, and it was to give life back to the dead. How many clients do you think I’ll have? How much money do you think I’ll make? All the rich people will be my friends, why? Many people are afraid of dying but as Christians who are justified by faith, we must prepare for what is coming.

James 1:6-7
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

What is the consequence of doubting when you pray? You don’t get what you asked for. Many Christians don’t receive today because of doubt. “Lord I need $5000 by tomorrow”, but when he sees that it is 5 minutes until tomorrow he doubts and tells God, “I’ll give you 48 hours”. If you don’t believe in small things do you think you’ll believe in big things? If you don’t think something is possible in 1 second do you think it will be possible in 2 weeks?

Sometimes it is a shock for people to hear that the person they had just spent the last 2 hours with is now dead especially if they were healthy. Many people don’t believe it until they see the coffin and once they see the coffin doubt doesn’t exist. Doubt is the first enemy to fight with our faith, so if you want to fight, fight your doubt and you’ll see what God will do for you.

When I was young I raised a chick that I liked a lot. One day I and another boy had an argument over this chick so I beat him up. Parents came along to break us up but to prove a point to me, this boy took my chick. In front of me he plucked its feathers and this hurt my heart a lot because the bird was suffering, he had no mercy. Then he took a blade and started cutting the chicks joints little by little, and then to top it off he took the chick and smashed its head. Because I was so angry I gave him a serious beating.

It is the same thing with doubt. When we doubt it eats up our faith, it doesn’t eat it all straight away but it will pluck at your feathers and when this happens you’ll suffer later. Where are you going to find a solution for the problem you have if you don’t have faith? Will you go to Colleen? Or Peter? All they’ll say is that we will pray for you.

Doubt can destroy your faith. To keep a strong faith tell your doubt to stop and go back to where you came from, it’s that easy. Can you forget that God created everything? If you didn’t get what you wanted yesterday maybe you’ll get it today, or maybe you need to remember Habakkuk 2:4? If you are righteous you must live by faith. The Bible says that you cannot change anything in your life, even when people colour their hair they are just covering it.

Our faith must be a living faith, a faith that never panics nor looks around. Look to God and you’ll find the answer.

1 Corinthians 8:1
we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

Because we received faith by hearing the Word of God our faith needs to grow, and the only thing that can make faith grow is love, without love you will never be edified.

There was a man who had a son that was epileptic, so he took him to Jesus’ disciples but they couldn’t heal him. Jesus said to His disciples, “You of little faith, why doesn’t your faith heal him?” How many years have you been a Christian? Why aren’t we performing miracles? Why aren’t we using our gifts? Our faith doesn’t grow because we don’t practice love; love today and you’ll see what will happen with your gifts.

How many words constitute love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8? In order to practice love we must first know how many elements there are. We read these verses all the time, but if you were to define each word I think you might have a problem. We must know these words not only in our heads but also in practice. Do you have these 17 words in you? If not why? What do you lack? Maybe this is why your faith is weak; maybe this is why your faith doesn’t grow.

Everybody knows that without love you cannot see God yet we still think that one day we will see Him, but how? We won’t go to heaven by plane or rocket. Jonah was a courageous man but one day he disappointed me. God told Jonah to preach to the people and eventually he did, but after preaching he told God to punish them for sinning against Him. Do you think Jonah had love? How many times do we pray for others? How many times do we preach to people yet kill them with our actions? How many times do we preach to others yet make them sick by our actions? How many times do we say that we are Christians yet our actions disappoint others?

We must be careful, the life we have on earth is short and if you are not justified by faith yet, it is now time to ask God for help because we need to grow. If our faith doesn’t grow the devil will punish us and we might end up losing the faith. Why don’t we grow? What stops you from growing? Do you think that you can stop your body from growing? Can you stop yourself from aging? No! Then let your faith grow as well. We must not stop our faith from growing and keep on saying that I am spiritually young. How much money did God’s servants pay Him to work miracles? Nothing; just obedience.

Pray that God will help you have a perfect faith and that He will help you to be spiritually strong so your faith can grow. Tell God you don’t want Jesus to say that you have a little faith like He said to His disciples because faith doesn’t cost you anything only your decision. If you have a big faith ask God to give you a bigger faith so you can be justified by faith because the just live by faith.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Justification Of Faith

By Odon Bulamba (31 January 2003)

Each country on this earth has a department of Justice, why? To keep the law and protect the people. Once the law is written it must be applied, but law that is written but not applied is a dead law. For God it is the same thing. We are going to look at Justification of faith.

Romans 5:1 says,
since we have been justified through faith we have peace with God through Jesus Christ.

If you are saved then you are justified by faith and not by works or knowledge. Many people on this earth think that to have faith is to have something material, like going to a shop and buying things. Then you get people who ask themselves, how can I have faith and how will I know if my faith is big or small? Sometimes people doubt their faith, so before being justified by faith you have to know what is faith? What is faith?

Hebrews 11:1 says that
faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

A student will not waste his time studying knowing that he will fail his exam. Students don’t know what questions are in their exams, this is why they study because by studying they are assured of knowing the answers, but a student who doesn’t study will start eating his pen. A student must prepare for his exams, but the one who doesn’t prepare will start to doubt, will I pass or fail? These students lack assurance in what they do.

Faith is the same; it is to be sure of what we hope, it means to prepare for something that will soon be here, it is something personal. One day at primary school I fell sick and was unable to sit my tests, so I told my mum to sit it for me. My mum said that I was sick and that she could never sit my tests, but when the time came for me to be healed only then was I to sit my tests.

It is the same thing with faith, nobody will find faith for you or nobody will get you ready to meet Jesus Christ, whether you are white or black, rich or poor nobody will get you ready. Each Christian is called to know what faith is, so are you sure of what you hope for? Are you sure of what is coming soon? Are you sure that one day the Bible will come true? If you are ready you will sit the exam without doubt.

Faith grows with trials; if your faith is not tested it will not grow. Temptations or trials are what we call our exams.

Every exam has a time limit whether you are blind or lame. With justification of faith it is the same thing. If you can’t speak or hear this is your problem because God also has a limited time, this is why He asks us to prepare ourselves so our faith can grow.

Habakkuk 2:2-3-4 says
and the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. 4Behold, his soul, which is lifted up, is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

The time for God to fulfill everything is not here yet, this is why He asks us to wait and trust in Him even if it seems a long time, wait patiently and it will be fulfilled.

In my country I had many houses and good things, but one day I left it all and had to go to the desert. I have never felt heat so intense before. You would swallow 100 flies while talking and the dust was unbelievable, this was a very hard life. I started asking God why He sent me here because this life was too hard, and sometimes I cried. We lived like this for 9 or 10 years. Do you know what God said? “Be patient.

Then I started asking God, when? Tomorrow? Next week? Next year? No! After this we then had to live as our ancestors did, chopping wood etc but later I understood that this was like justification by faith. God has a time and He will tell you to be patient until the end, it’s not just about suffering but being patient with everything around you. One day I went to the hospital to visit people with Aids, and you know that human beings view Aids as an impure sickness but for God Aids is nothing only sin is impure.

When I looked at a man with Aids he became furious and angry, so because he suffered from Aids he lost control and said things he shouldn’t have. Because of suffering some Christians complain to God and abuse those around them, some Christians even lose the faith. The righteous will live by faith but if you are not justified you will not live by faith. Many people say they are righteous when they have enemies, if you don’t live by faith ask yourself, am I righteous or not?

After Jesus’ resurrection He appeared to His disciples who had been fishing all night but caught nothing. So Jesus told them to cast their nets on the right not the left, and they caught a big catch. Peter was an experienced fisherman but his experience was nothing for Jesus, so Peter obeyed the Lord by casting His net on the right side. This is something that Christians lack today; we will not get anything without obedience. How many fish did Peter catch? 153. In Hebrew these numbers mean, “I am the Lord”. Jesus wanted to prove that He was the Lord.

How many times does the Bible speak about goats on the left and sheep on the right? Goats and sheep have nearly the same features, so what is the difference? There are many differences. These two animals represent two categories of Christians. When Jesus says go right the sheep obey and go right, but when Jesus tells the goats to go right they go left and disobey.

There are also the 5 foolish virgins who weren’t justified by faith because they didn’t know what they believed in, and they didn’t know the exact time, and this cost them dearly.

In Romans 10:17 it says that faith comes by hearing the word of God. The origin of faith is the Word of God and if you have the source of faith with you it must grow. What are you going to say if your child doesn’t grow? Is my child eating? I know a mum who was pregnant for 2 years and when she walked it was like carrying a car, this is not normal. The mother went to see a sorcerer for help and the sorcerer asked the pregnant mother who was her husband? The sorcerer then put her baby inside her husband’s stomach as a pay back for what he had done. This is happening on earth today and people believe it, but when you tell someone about Jesus Christ it becomes impossible to believe because they don’t want their faith to grow in Jesus Christ.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Justification of Life (part II)

By Odon Bulamba (14 February 2003)

There was a man in the Bible named Job. Job was married but one day he became sick. What kind of advice did Job’s wife give him? She told him to curse God and die. Did she love Job? I think she had had enough with her husband because of Job’s sickness. Job’s wife was afraid of catching Job’s sickness; she thought that it would be better for God to kill Job so she could have a better life, ‘Justification of life’. The actions of Job’s wife justified her faith, and what she did justified how much she loved Job. Do our actions justify how much we love our husband or wife? Job’s actions were rewarded because he was faithful and his deeds were good in front of God. Job didn’t accept the influence of his wife, which was from Satan.

So what did Job get from God? He received double the portion, but what about Job’s wife, was her attitude different towards Job because of the blessing? When Job was sick she fled from his presence but now that he is rich, where is she now? Imagine, do you think she still wants God to kill him? I think not. If Job’s wife was Job, what do you think would have happened? We must control our actions because one day they will testify to God.

Everything that we do on this earth is written. Like the hairs on our heads are counted, so are our deeds by God, He doesn’t miss anything. The justification of life for Christians must start on earth so we can start preparing our deeds. Where we are weak we need to ask God to be strong to find a right balance because in the last days the church will judge the world. Do you know why? Because the church will be pure and the church is you and me.

When the trumpet sounds two people will be in a field, one will go and one will stay. Those who go are called the church of the living God; those who justify their lives today by their actions are the church of the living God.

If you make a mistake today don’t hesitate to ask for forgiveness. By doing this you are justifying your life before God. If you don’t do anything about your mistake you risk to forget about it and once this happens it will be hard for you to find life again. This is why we are called to justify our lives. It is not about justifying our lives like the world does. It is not the time to protect our name and personalities, instead, if you are wrong then confess.

There was a woman in the Bible who did a good deed. When Lazarus died everybody cried etc, but this woman didn’t accept this death and found Jesus. In difficult circumstances or when everything is buried, we must know that Jesus is near. We must call Jesus to give others another chance and after this life will be seen again.

As Christians we must justify our actions with good deeds. Justification of life is important especially when we seek God’s presence in others through prayer. Let’s help others to be comforted. Nothing is worth more than life, if you have life you have everything, but once your life is gone everything you had will go with it. If you had great knowledge about computer programming this will go down with you.

We must remember that life is very dear. As we look after our bodies with creams and perfumes, so too must we look after our spiritual life. Life isn’t the body but life is inside the heart and this is what God wants us to make beautiful. Is God attracted to your soul? If he isn’t attracted to your soul, why? If yes, then praise the Lord.

Many people have material riches but their souls are poor, they are alive but dead. Is your life a living life or a dead life? The justification we are talking about is not for the dead but for those who are still breathing. So if your soul is still alive then praise the Lord, keep on feeding it so you can meet Jesus. If your soul is dead, grace is still with us. Help your soul receive life again. It won’t cost you 5 minutes or $1.

Tell God that you want Him to give life to your soul so that your actions will be good for Him. Tell God that you want to feel the anointing and the power of the Holy Spirit in your life; this is what you need from Jesus. When God speaks through His servants ask God to help you know your mistakes so that you can repent. Amen.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Justification of Life

By Odon Bulamba (14 February 2003)

Romans 5:18
Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. {by the offence...: or, by one offence} {by the righteousness...: or, by one righteousness}

We are going to talk about Justification of life. When we talk about Justification it means “we accept to pay a price”. One day our faith will come before God to pay or justify before Him who we were on this earth. Our lives will tell God that Angela was this and Peter was like that. The life we live on this earth doesn’t belong to us and everything we do will one day come before God. You might think that you did something in secret and nobody saw you, but one day these actions will be seen by everyone, and everybody will know that Sylvie did this and Peter done that.

There was a man, who lived on beans, imagine eating beans everyday for a couple of years. If someone invited you to eat with them and they cooked beans for you, do you think you’ll eat with a good attitude? In Justification of life we have two things, first it is the body and secondly it is our soul. The body we have is our second accuser after the devil, because it is only the body that can push you to sin. If you want to steal, your body will help you to think about it, if you want to abuse someone your body will help you carry it out, so when your body makes mistakes your soul suffers, and when your soul suffers the body will do nothing to comfort it. Sometimes you may regret it but you cannot do anything about it.

God created us in His image and He wanted us to be called human beings. In the book of Luke 15 there is a boy called the prodigal son, and this boy chose to leave his family. Before leaving his family he asked his father to give him his share, but what share did he have because the boy had never bought anything, only his father? Children always say that they can inherit what there father has, if your father is rich then you’ll be rich and if he is poor then you’ll be poor. Anyway this boy spent all his inheritance and ended up working for money feeding pigs, imagine! Because God created us in His image we as human beings think it is our right to ask Him to give our share.

If you were created beautiful, do you think it belongs to you? Just because you were created beautiful doesn’t mean you can abuse those who are ugly, just because God gave you good health it doesn’t mean to distance yourself from the sick. All what God has given you is compared to what this dad gave his son in Luke 15. The son didn’t keep what his father gave him but sold all the goods for money.

God gives us many things but unfortunately we, as Christians want to sell it. When you were born you weren’t a liar but when you grew up you sold what kept you from being a liar into a liar. When you were born murder didn’t even enter your mind, but as you grew up you sold this attitude. This is how we sell the good God gives us to find success in this world. A good example of this is terrorist groups; they are proud to called terrorist, so they too sold the good in them for success.

In Christian life today Christians also sell what God gives them. The Bible says don’t lie, but they lie, the Bible says don’t slander, yet they slander. You will see that what God gives us as Christians is rejected, to the point where our actions become very sick. We leave the country where God wants us and this country is the Word of God, which is called “eternity everyday”.

When we leave God’s country, we leave eternity that is the fruits of the Holy Spirit and the good deeds that God wants us to do. If you slander someone and your friend encourages you then both of you together make a country. When you live with a sinner or a Christian who encourages you to do wrong, you will start losing the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.

When you first became a Christian, how many times did you pray a day? When you were saved, how many times did you want to read the Bible and go to church? Where are you up to now? We lose God’s power when we lose our good deeds and become dry spiritually. The place where the prodigal son lived was dry and going through a famine, so he asked himself, what shall I do? He went to find a job. When you put God’s name aside many Christians try to run away from Him and this is what the prodigal’s son did.

Brothers and sisters, when you talk to Christians about the truth they are not happy and they don’t like to be corrected. We must keep the good deeds God gives us. So this son got a job feeding pigs, however, his intentions were not to make money but to feed off the scraps the pigs ate. This boy’s actions worked before his conscience and eventually he thought, ‘what am I doing here?’ He knew that his actions were not right so he decided to go back to his father.

Do our actions wake up our conscience so that we can go back to God and fix things? Many Christians do negative actions because they have a sleepy conscience. They keep on doing wrong but it doesn’t bother them. Why is this? They forget about the justification of life.


When somebody dies everyone cries, but they forget that the soul cries as well. Woe to the soul that cries after death, it is better for your soul to cry while you are still alive. Once you are dead there is no grace and no forgiveness.

Many people on this earth find it hard to go back to the place where they came from and decide to leave altogether. This boy had the courage to go back to his dad because he knew that his father’s servants had a better life than he, so he accepted to be his father’s servant.

We have great value in God’s eyes. The Bible says that even angels will adore us and that we are above angels. Angels are our Dad’s (God) servants. Do angels have holy lives? Are their spiritual lives better then ours? Yes, because they are our Father’s servants. So we also must go back to our Dad and say, “Father, here I am and I don’t deserve to be called your child, but take me as your servant”. Because God is full of grace and kindness He will do something.

When this son was walking back his father saw him and ran up to him and welcomed him with open arms. It is the same with our God, when you say “from today on I give up drinking and want to go back to God”, God will run to you and open His arms with hugs. Unfortunately, sometimes we forget that God is our father.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Vine and Branches

By Hayley Boud

John 15:5
“I am the vine and you are the branches, if a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit but apart from me, you can do nothing”


The Vine:

God is the vine. The vine supplies the branches with all the food, water and nutrients it needs. Without the vine, the branches can’t survive. If the plant doesn't take the nutrients from the vine, the leaves slowly start dying, they start to dry up and go brown until the whole plant dies. It doesn’t die over night. If you stop watering a plant, you won’t notice a dramatic change on the first day, but after a few days you will see the difference.


We as Christians we need God to survive. We need His living water (Word of God) to survive spiritually. If we stop feeding from Him and we separate ourselves from Him, stop praying, stop reading the Word of God....we will slowly start to die. Our leaves will wither and dry up. But it won’t happen overnight. If I stop reading my Bible, I won’t feel anything straight away. I might feel like something is missing on the first day but I won’t feel like I’m dying but slowly, slowly we start to die spiritually and once our leaves are dead...there is not much chance of survival. Let’s be careful with our salvation...let’s not neglect it because there are Christians who decide not to follow God anymore and I don’t want that to be any of us.

We have to be careful to not let our spiritual lives become dry. When we do that things will change...we will go to church or to the prayer meeting and it will be boring – we won’t feel the power of God because the Word says to draw near to Him and then He will draw near to us. If we don’t draw near to God daily then we will feel God’s presence leaving us and we will feel it because we won’t have the same zeal to read the Bible anymore or to pray or to worship or to visit the sick or to go to church. Slowly, slowly our spirit will die.
The Branches:
We are the branches. The branches also supply food to other branches so if my role is to supply food to others but myself is not taking food....how will the other branches survive? Sometimes we are selfish and think, ‘if I don’t read the Bible’, or ‘if I don’t pray’, or ‘if I don’t go to church today’, that it only affects me but it doesn’t only affect me...it affects those who come after me. It affects the church, the unbelievers, our children, our family and friends. If we neglect our own salvation, then we will also neglect the salvation of others.

Branches can also get tumours which (if allowed to grow) can kill the entire branch and eventually the whole tree. When we sin we sometimes think that it’s just a small sin and we might think it’s ok because it’s too small to deal with but that small sin can start to grow in us just like a tumour. Tumours don’t start out big. Tumours start out so small that you can only see them under the microscope. They are so small that you actually can’t see them with your naked eye. This small tumour starts to grow and it grows slowly at first because each cell is doubling so a small cell that doubles is still going to be small but once the tumour is visible and it starts to double...the result is frighteningly fast. That’s why you see people with tumours that are bigger than them. I used to think, ‘why did they let the tumour get that big before doing anything about it’ but I learnt that the tumour grows so incredibly fast.

This is the same with our sin. It can start so small that no one sees it but it grows and grows until it eventually kills us. It might not only kill you, but it might kill those around you. A branch on a tree that gets a tumour will start to die and so will the branches around it until the whole tree is dead. We can destroy not only our own souls but those around us and even the whole church. E.g. there is a worship leader who sinned secretly by looking at pornography and he thought it was hidden and no one could see. But his conscience was telling him otherwise. He kept ignoring his conscience until eventually he started to become physically sick. He knew he was sick because of his sin but he couldn’t admit it, so he told people he had cancer to hide his sin. Eventually, he couldn’t continue to lie to his wife and family and church about having cancer and eventually, he admitted his sin. But by then, the tumour was so huge that damage was done...who will trust him? Who will trust the church?

Soooo....when we sin we must automatically repent so the sin doesn’t keep growing. We must also stop sinning. We must not let the tumour grow or it will eventually not only kill our own life but those around us and eventually even the church.
The Fruit:
The fruit is our gifts. Only the branches hold the fruit. Some branches have big fruit and it makes the branch to bend down and struggle but they continue to hold the fruit and they continue to feed it and supply it with water. Other branches have only small fruit but they don’t feed them or water them and the fruit dries up and drops off.

This is the same with our gifts. If we don’t hold on to them and make them grow, if we don’t practise them and use them, they will shrivel up and die and eventually disappear. I know someone who was so extremely talented and gifted at singing but he was too lazy to practise and too lazy to get up early to sing for the church....now he can’t sing at all. Because of laziness...he lost his gift (and the whole church lost something because through his voice people were touched and people even gave their lives because of his singing).

Let’s be careful with our gifts to use them and practise them and let’s not think they are too heavy to hold because if our gifts feel heavy..... then they are big and blessed (like fruit).
Abide:
The dictionary says to abide means to stay or live somewhere which means according to this verse we must stay with God and live with Him at all times. We have to remember God all day and remember Him as our master. When we live with someone we have to respect them and be considerate and because God lives with us, we have to be careful where we will take Him. Don’t take Him to places He won’t enjoy, don’t remove Him from places He does enjoy (church, prayer meetings, Bible studies...) and take Him to places He doesn’t enjoy like the pub, or dance clubs, or horse races (unless you are going to preach the gospel). Don’t speak badly in front of Him or do actions that He won’t like.

The Greek meaning of abide means to remain, or dwell, or endure, or last, or persevere, or stand firm/steadfast, or remain steadfast, or remain alive, or to wait for.

If we remain in God then He will remain in us.
If we dwell with God then He will dwell with us.
If we persevere, God will persevere with us.
If we stand firm in our faith, God will stand with us firmly
If we keep our faith alive, God will be faithful to us.
If we wait for God, God will wait with us.

So we have to stay with God and live with Him every second of the day and then we will bear much fruit but without God we can do nothing and slowly, slowly our faith dies until our entire salvation is dead.

And let’s remember that this doesn’t only concern me but it concerns those around me who might die because of my actions.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let Others Carry You To Jesus (Part II)

By Odon Bulamba (10 May 2002)

Luke 5:25. Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.

What does it mean to be paralysed? Would you like to be paralysed? I don’t think so, if God said to you, “if you sacrificed one of your eyes your friend will be healed”, would you accept? Why do you need two eyes? That is why we must not be paralysed as Christians.

When God touched Jacob’s hip it meant that if something is broken in our spiritual lives many people will suffer, because some versions of the Bible say that you couldn’t eat the meat of an animal if its hip was broken. If we are broken or paralysed we can put people off. The very first thing that paralyses Christians is laziness, if you see that laziness is a problem in your Christian life don’t hesitate to ask others to pray for you because laziness prevents you from reading the Bible and praying.

When a turtle sees a long distance ahead of him they just stop and wait for the wind to speed them up, but the wind will never help them. Some Christians are like turtles, they decide to pray and read the Bible but when they get the opportunity they just sit there waiting for someone to help them along. The Bible says that the one who doesn’t work will not eat, so if you don’t use what you have in you God will not accept you to eat His food, and this is how people have ears but don’t listen and they have eyes but they don’t see.

Once Oscar told us that we take in a lot but one day we will explode, why? We must give back what we have received; if you eat too much you will become over weight and could explode.

When I was a child I ate a lot of rice, to the point I became sick. I realised that eating too much can make you sick and tired, and if you eat a lot without exercising you will feel uncomfortable. There are different types of food we can eat but when you mix certain foods your stomach can detect that something is wrong. You might have diarrhoea, you might vomit or you may have stink breath, but one thing is that you will feel uncomfortable. When we give our stomach food we must wait for it to digest before sending more food down.

So when you learn something from the Word of God you have to put this Word into practice before eating something else. Some Christians go home after church and check to see if the preaching was according to God’s Word, and this means they check the quality of food before digesting it. So how many times do you check your food? This makes Christians spiritually paralysed. Do you know what happens to a monkey’s hands when it is dead? They close their fist and it is hard to open it, so what is the meaning of a man with a closed fist? If you walk down town with closed fists, what do you think others would do? They will keep their distance because they will probably think you want a fight.

As Christians we must have this principle, when Satan sees that we are ready to fight he might keep his distance from us but if we don’t show that we are ready to fight, Satan will come closer to us.

When a monkey is dead it always has a smile, and when we have physical problems as Christians our joy must always be visible to other people. If you have a problem with someone, make sure that those around don’t see your problem because when you become angry and others will lose their peace.

So why can’t you control your anger? Can’t you see that your anger has paralysed you? Can’t you see that your lie has paralysed you? If you cannot find someone to carry you what will happen to you? How will you go to Jesus with your anger? The Bible says that our sins separate us from God.

In Congo farmers would kill all the monkeys because they destroyed their crops, but there was one big monkey who was clever and fled. The big monkey came to a river and knew that he couldn’t swim, so he thought about asking a crocodile for a ride. The crocodile said that the monkey wasn’t his friend so they argued about it for a while. The crocodile’s wife became sick and according to sorcerers his wife needed a monkey’s heart to heal her, so the crocodile had the perfect the plan.

The monkey climbed on his back and the crocodile started to swim. Then the crocodile asked the monkey if he knew where he was going and the monkey said, “yes, we are going to the other side”, but crocodile said, “no monkey you are mistaken, my wife is sick and your heart will heal her”. The monkey thought about death so he said to crocodile, “my friend why didn’t you tell me before we left because my heart is on top of the tree, and if you would have told me I could have brought it with me”.

The crocodile agreed to take him back and when the monkey reach the bank it jumped off and told the crocodile he was an idiot, “how can you believe crocodile that I could walk without my heart?” This is what we do as Christians today; some people are like monkeys and destroy what has been sown in other people’s lives, and when God finds a way to correct them they find a way to flee. When some people hear about God’s power or blessing they receive it with open arms, but when they hear about sin they think it is for others. When the monkeys paralysed the farmed crops they didn’t think about the consequences, so how many times do we paralyse God’s work in others?

How many times do we realise that what we are doing is death? Some Christians are like crocodiles; they can live in both water and on land. When a crocodile wants to kill its strength comes from his tail, and many Christians want to live this way. You can see their face when you talk to them but they use their tail to whip you. When you are speaking with Sylvie for example and then you tell Michelle everything you have discussed, you risk informing Michelle in a wrong way and that is why many Christians live like crocodiles.

Matthew 23:15. Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You travel over land and seas to will a single covert but when he becomes one you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are!

This is for us today, how many people have we disappointed in our lives? How many times have we shared the Word of God but disappointed others by our behaviour? Sometimes we are like crocodiles, we use people for the wrong reasons and one day someone might call us stupid. We must be careful not to paralyse others, and if we are paralysed we must humiliate ourselves and ask others to help us, and then we will praise the Lord as we walk towards heaven like the paralysed man did when he found healing. Let’s be ready to help others with all our strength, thoughts and mind.

Many people organise their lives to make money and many people see advisors for their problems, but they have no time to ask God for advice or make plans for their spiritual life. God said that we must have treasure in heaven, so what is your treasure? Your treasure is your soul and it has greater value then this world.

Pray now according to what you have learnt.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Let Others Carry You To Jesus

By Odon Bulamba (10 May 2002)

Luke 5:25. Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.

This text has great meaning for our Christian lives. A man was lying on his bed and in an instant he got up and praised God, and many Christians don’t do this today. They receive from God but they don’t have time to praise Him. One day I asked a friend how many times he praised God in his life and he said only when God does miracles for him, so I asked him what kind of miracles, and he said none. It means that since he was born he has never praised God, but I want to say to you that the greatest miracle of all is salvation.

People think a lot about physical miracles that attract the human eye, but God needs to see a transformation in you. I told my brother that the breath of life he has is a miracle but he said ‘no’ animals can breath also, and I said ‘yes’ that is a miracle because if they stop breathing they would have no life. Many wealthy people will do anything in their power to prevent death because they are afraid, and sometimes doctors use oxygen to resuscitate them but they die.

There was a man who was paralysed and his brothers tried really hard to find a cure. One day they heard that Jesus was coming to their area, so the paralysed man told his brothers to carry him to the house where Jesus was. This brother was paralysed so he had to find a bed to lie down on. The paralysed man confessed his weakness in front of his brothers, and he asked them to help him see Jesus.

As Christians today we don’t want to confess our weaknesses to each other. Someone who is paralysed is not dead, they are still alive. Just like many Christians today who are alive but are paralysed one way or another. You can be healthy but your hand can be useless, you may think Peter is strong but he might have a problem with his leg. So how will you know if he has problem if he doesn’t admit it? Peter must first humiliate himself and lie down on a bed, and when others are stronger than him, he has to ask them to carry him to Jesus.

First admit your weakness and second ask others to help you. Some Christians think they are powerful by saying they have no weaknesses, but they will always tell you about other people’s weaknesses. If you don’t admit your weaknesses it will be hard for you to lie down on a bed, and we all know the meaning of a bed.

Children use beds as a trampoline and sometimes adult’s use it when they are tired, but if you ask an adult to lie down on a carpet they will wonder why. It is because your body doesn’t like to sleep on the floor. When we admit our weaknesses we have to try and find comfort in the Lord because Jesus said, you will find rest in Me.

Jesus Christ Himself is the rest and the bed is the synonym to rest.

The man who was sick called his brothers and they helped him straight away to see Jesus. Unfortunately there was a big crowd so they decided to send him through the roof. Jesus saw this man coming down from the roof and said to him, your faith has healed you and your sins are forgiven. So what can we learn through this?

If someone who is spiritually sick or tired calls us, we must show good will to help him or her. So what is it to have a good will? It is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, if you were Oscar what would you do? If you are different from Oscar it doesn’t mean that you can’t help him, because if you can’t help him it will cost you one day. We are called to help those who are weak so we must comfort them by taking some of their load.

The Bible says help each other. If someone has a heavy load try to help them with a good attitude and do not complain. Open your spirit and God will bless you. A normal man weighs around 80kg; try to imagine carrying a man on a bed 5 kilometres or so. You will need to use your strength and accept that your hands will become tired, and this is what we lack today. When we carry other people’s loads we don’t use our strength, when you pray for Kelly you tell God, God you know Kelly and you know what she needs, amen! But when it comes to praying for yourself when you have a problem you can kneel down for 10 hours and pray with all your strength, but when it’s time for you to pray for someone else, distractions come.

This is a problem for Christians today. If the church doesn’t grow it is because we don’t use our strength for others. The brothers that help the paralysed man didn’t complain, but when someone comes back to us with the same prayer request three times we give up.

When a Pastor gives his prayer request to the church, people will pray with power, but when they pray for someone who is poor everybody will be quiet. When a wealthy person leaves the church after being prayed for everybody will go up to him and encourage him, but when a poor man leaves they just say, be courageous and God will help you, and nobody will want to listen to his problems. This is the wrong way to use your strength because you cause division.

The brothers carried the sick man to Jesus but a crowd was blocking the way, so they thought hard for a solution because God gave us a mind to think. The brothers did not become discouraged because of the crowd but wanted to find a solution for him, so they decided to go through the roof. Even though they didn’t own the house, the roof was the only way in so imagine the mess and noise. When they were up on the roof they needed rope to lower the sick man down, so how much effort do we put in to carrying someone onto a roof? How many times do we carry someone’s load onto a roof? How many times do we accept to destroy our homes so that someone can find life? What ropes would you use to lower someone to Jesus?

Rahab used a red rope and this shows us the salvation we have through Jesus Christ. The brothers needed at least four ropes to lower the sick man down to balance it.

Jesus said to the sick man, get up your sins are forgiven, and the paralysed man went off praising the Lord. So how many times do we have the victory like this brother? How many times have you done this in your life? How many times have you sacrificed your time for your family and the people around you? As Christians we must help each other, and a Christian that doesn’t want to carry someone’s load is a sick Christian.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What Do I Still Lack?

By Peter Bhandal

Mathew 19:20


video

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God is at Work in You (Part III - more on courage)

By Odon Bulamba (17th March 2010)

Once again, I praise God to see this beautiful, cool and blessed morning. We are Thursday today! How fast our days pass...!

I think that it was a bit of challenge for most, if not some, of Hamiltonians to come out of their blankets this morning as the temperature was a little bit lower compared to what they are familiar with for the past few days. Some of us wish if today was a Saturday so that they could stay longer under their duvets. How powerful is cold! Cold can easily influence our bodies and minds to make a wrong decision of not going to work, school or starting our day with motivation. I will say that coldness, on its turn, kills our courage and sometimes pushes us to postpone if not change our programme.

Does spiritual coldness exist? Have you thought about this other courage killer, the cold? I confirm to you that spiritual coldness exists. Imagine if your spirit or soul could feel the cold that you felt this morning... what type of jersey, sweater, jacket, pair of gloves would you use to protect your soul? Would you stop all your spiritual activities and wait for the warmth to come from somewhere? May be you turned on your heater or air pump on this morning to warm up your walls (house) so that your body can feel good and happy. What heater pump do you use for your soul? Is it a oil heater? Electrical heater? Um! God gives to us signs and things surrounding us to learn from and to remind us about where we are up to. May God warm up our souls and spirits for ever and ever, in Jesus name.

Have a joyful day full of courage.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

By Angela Bhandal

John 8:36

What does “to be free indeed” mean?

This will be our study tonight.

When I was driving away from the kindergarten I had just dropped Anna off at, a thought ran through my mind - “I am free”. It felt really good! And then something pricked my conscience and another thought ran through my mind - “what am I free of and is this really the freedom you should be seeking?”. God was visiting me! This question quietly persisted in my head and I tried to find an answer for it hoping it would go away. But the more I pondered it, the more I realised that there was something much deeper here that God wanted me to answer.


As a Christian, it’s been a long time since I thought about exactly what God has set me free from so I thought that this would be good to do a study on and this is what I’d like to share tonight.

How freedom in the world is understood and practised, is very different to the freedom God talks about in His word - the Bible.

So my dear friends, what does it mean to be free indeed?

Please feel free to share whatever comes into your head.

Compare the OT story in Exodus of when God rescued His people and set them free to the story of mankind today also needing a Saviour to set them free

Explain what it means to be set free from the law - as Paul observes “No one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscience of sin (Rom. 3:20)

To be free indeed means to be set free from the law of sin and death

There is only one person who can set you free and that is Jesus Christ

When we are free, God has a requirement of us and that’s to serve one another in love
Bible verses

So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
John 8:36
Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
John 8:32

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Romans 6:18
You my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather serve one another in love.
Galatians 5:15
Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:2

Old Testament

1. Mankind is oppressed and helpless.

2. God acts to redeem, winning his people’s release.

3. The freed people live righteous lives

4. God continues to act for his people to preserve their freedom from oppressing power.

New Testiment

1. Humanity is in bondage to sin and no one can free himself from it’s chains.

2. God has acted in Christ to redeem, setting us free from both sin and the law.

3. Freed from sin’s bondage, we can live truly righteous lives.

4. God, through his Holy Spirit, acts within us to enable us to remain free from the oppressing power of sin and the law.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fish (Part II)

By Odon Bulamba (19 October 2001)

The fish give us two lessons. One day Jesus was walking with His disciples and He told Peter to throw in his hook. Peter caught a fish; opened it and two coins were in it. Christians who live in the Lord must have a treasure in them; it means that when others need what we have inside of us we will be able to give them an answer.

So what is your treasure? How can you help others? Will you just pray for them? Some Christians don’t even know how do help others and don’t even know what their treasure is. They only know how to count their bank account and don’t know how to count their spiritual treasures.

So Jesus asked Peter to fish and the fish gave him coins. If Jesus tells Michael to fish from Oscar what treasure will come out from him? Try to imagine if Peter found nothing in the fish, what do you think he would have said? He would have been disappointed as they were disillusioned with the tree that didn’t bear fruit.

We also have the fish story about Jonah. A big fish swallowed Jonah and took him somewhere; it means we must be missionaries for Jesus Christ. We must keep them with us for a few days until the goal is reached and then take them to the place where they should be.

If you brother is sick and you start praying for him you must keep on praying until you see the results. If Michael doesn’t go to the prayer meetings anymore and you pray for him, pray until he turns up on your doorstep. The prayer you pray must be according the Word of God.

There is one danger for the fish, what is it? It is the food it eats. Without bait or nets it is not easy to catch a fish and large fish can tear the nets so they can flee. When the devil attacks us we must make him understand that we are stronger then his nets so that he will regret trying to catch us.

Sometimes when I (Odon) am tempted I tell Satan, do not waste your time Satan because I can see you coming. Try to remember that the devil can hear you, and when you speak he respects what you say.

We must live like fish in the water; they don’t like hot water or very cold water because they will die. We must know our level in the Word of God. It must not be very cold water (the word) or the very hot water so ask God to give you a temperature that our body, heart and spirit will be comfortable with to avoid confusion in our lives.

The Bible says in the book of James 1:14 that man is tempted by his own desires. It means that the devil doesn’t have the power to attract you into evil. The devil will not take you by the hand and say come here and sin, nor will he take your hand and tell you to kill a man. The problem comes from the desire of your heart and it cannot push you if you don’t want it. If you decide not to drink water then you won’t drink, if you feel like lying but say no I don’t want to lie then you will stop yourself, but if you respect your desires you might sin. We often tell young Christians that Satan tempts us and it is true, but we must understand that our own desires lead us to death also. What the devil does is that he puts something in our desires, and when we are attracted by it we lead ourselves to death.

Someone told me once that he regretted his life. So he went to a nightclub and gave some money to a prostitute, after two minutes it was all over. After he had finished he regretted his actions. He asked himself, what have I done? Where did my money go? What did I gain from it because the desire I had has also gone? When the desire makes you fall into sin everything else disappears. It is like someone who drinks 14 bottles of beers and vomits; you will not take that vomit and drink it again because it will be smelly and dirty. A few days later the drinker will ask himself, why did I drink? Many people say that they will stop drinking but because they don’t know how to control their desires they will drink the next day. The Bible says we must control our desires and leave our lives as little fish, and the only way to leave our desires is to live in deeper waters.

For example Shari can hate Donna for no reason, and if she respects or follows her desire she will sin. This is true with sisters, with something little they can hate or become furious and don’t feel like eating. This is a danger because when you are hungry the desire you have will not help you with your anger and you will carry on suffering.

James 1:22, we deceive ourselves when we just listen to the Word of God and do not practice it. Many Christians go to church on Sunday to listen to the Word but don’t put it into practice and still claim to be Christians but are mistaken! If you don’t practice what you have learnt you are mistaken. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go to church but we must go to learn and practice it, and as you listen your faith will grow.

I have never found anyone who doesn’t remember what their face looks like; can you find anyone who doesn’t recognize him or herself in the mirror? Who can forget their own face? Nobody. The Bible says that it is impossible to forget who you are, so we must know where we are up to and must remember our face all the time.

There was a solider who went to war, and as you know a solider misses his family. This solider went to war and found a mirror; he said that if he returns home alive he will give the mirror to his wife. When the war was over he returned home and gave his wife the mirror. His wife had been weeping all the time he was gone and didn’t have time to bath or brush her teeth.

So when the husband came back he showed his wife the mirror. His wife looked in the mirror and asked her husband, who is this? How could you have married a woman who doesn’t comb her hair and is very dirty? So the lady called her mother who was eighty years old, she looked in the mirror and said my son-in law, how can you marry a woman without teeth? He looked at the two woman and said, what you see is yourself. Some

Christians don’t recognize their own face and see how beautiful they are. When the Word of God touches them they turn it to Angela and say, this is for Angela’s life, not for mine or they say how can Angela be so spiritually ugly? But actually the Word is for you. The Bible says don’t be drunk with wine but at home you have two bottles in your fridge. You say that Peter is the drunkard of the group and put this verse on him because you only drink a little.

Remember this, if you throw a little stone and a big stone into the water both of them will sink. There are no big sins or little sins but Christians today show others their mistakes. For example I can ask Sylvie why she doesn’t pray, she will say she doesn’t pray because of what Oscar told her and will never say that she is lazy or weak. When you speak to Sylvie about laziness she will say that Shari is lazy that is why I call her a turtle because a turtle is lazy.

We must know our own situation; if we are weak we must accept our weaknesses together. If the devil catches us we must be careful and we must avoid putting sin on people’s heads to cover ourselves.

Two fish fed 5000 men, if we are 12 fish today our many men can we feed? If two fish can feed 5000 men our many will 12 fish feed? We will be able to feed 30 000 men so what are we waiting for? We must know our worth and walk on.

There was a man who brought some wine over to my place; I said that if you drink you will be confused. I told him that people drink red wine with meat and white wine with fish. A fish is something holy but you must be careful with the wine because if you put the two together you will have bad results. So the brother had one drink, and after drinking a bit of wine he was on the toilet for three hours. I told him to continue drinking because he hadn’t touched the bottle but he said that he didn’t like the wine because it was out of date, but it wasn’t out of date. Why do I say this? It is because we do things we shouldn’t and the result is always negative, but if we do what we know is right, we will have positive results.

The first person mentioned in the Bible to be drunk was Noah. Noah had a vineyard and one day became drunk and was naked before his children. If we don’t think about what we are planting, one day we will be found naked in front of everybody.

Pray that God may help you and give you strength to live like a fish in water, and that the devil will not be able to catch you in his nets. Also to be like a fish that accepts all kinds of humiliation and that knows evil doesn’t please God. Finally ask God to help you be a doer of the word and not a mere hearer of the word.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fish

By Odon Bulamba (19 October 2001)

There was a young boy in the Bible (John 6:8-9) who had five small barley loaves and two small fish. With this small amount of food he was able to feed five thousand men because the adults didn’t realize that they had to take food with them to eat when following Jesus.

We are going to look at the fish this young man had. Our Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all the bread of life. I don’t know if fish belong to the animals or reptiles, but those who know biology or zoology can help us. A fish has blood, a backbone and scales and are different to other animals. We all know what a fish is and that fish are a good source of food. People who study fish recognize it contains protein and vitamins. A fish lives in water and cannot live without it because that is how God created it.

The fish represents a good Christian because it must live in water all his life. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman He is living water and whoever drinks from Me will never thirst. When a fish lives in water it is never thirsty, we don’t know when it drinks or when it cries because nobody can see its tears. The water is the Word of God and as Christians we are called to live in this Word, and when we are thirsty nobody knows if we are drinking or not.

When we have hard times or problems we go into the Word of God without the world seeing us. When a fish is in the water it doesn’t float, if it did you would think it was dead. So how many Christians today want to float on the Word of God? We confess the Word of God but deep inside we are different to what we confess with our mouths. For example, someone might say, “do you know that I’ve been a Christian for two years and I know the Bible from Genesis to Revelation?” This is good to know but faith without works is dead, and the Bible says that as Christians we must not limit ourselves to the Word only.

Romans 2:13

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous

To hear the Word is not bad but this doesn’t please God, God asks us to put it into practice. We must not be like a fish floating on the water without life, but we must go deep into the water to know where life is. Who can tell me why a living fish doesn’t float? A fish cannot float because its nature doesn’t allow it and the way a fish swims makes it impossible to float. When a fish is above the water it knows danger lurks because they can’t see as well and become vulnerable to birds hunting them for food.

As for Christians today we don’t feel anything deep in the Word of God. If you ask someone when did they last read their Bible in depth you will see that two months have passed without meditating. But everywhere we go we still claim that we are good Christians.

With fish we have different categories, we have small fish, middle sized fish and big fish. A small fish will always live under the rocks and are victims to the fisherman’s hook. With a small hook and a bit of bait the small fish will always go for the bait because all it wants to do is fill its stomach. The little fish never think about traps or dangers and are always victims. Christians are also like this, they always want to live under the rocks and don’t want to live in deep water and when the devil throws in his hook they are the first ones to bite. These Christians fall into sin every time and it is their fault because they don’t want to deepen their spiritual life. They have no time to pray or meditate on God’s Word and because of this they don’t know if they have committed a sin.

We also have the middle-sized fish that live a bit deeper in the water. All they do is eat the small fish. They don’t take time to search for food but wait for the small fish to appear and eat them. Christians are also like this, instead of living their spiritual life they always look at Christians who are weaker and put them down. They are there just to criticize and despise others. A fisherman is wise. Instead of using a hook he uses a net to catch bigger fish and that is what the devil does. He destroys spiritually young Christians and attacks middle-sized Christians.

Now let’s look at the big fish called a shark. Most big fish don’t have scales and are never caught, if you try to catch them they slip away. It is the same thing with mature Christians; we must do everything to prevent the devil from catching us. If the devil grabs our tail we must flee. So if sin comes and you see it, don’t waste your time thinking about it; just flee. If sin comes and you fail, just kneel down and confess.

Do you know what big fish eat? Do they eat other fish? When a big fish eats it represents a good Christians because it receives everything from others. He will be criticized, abused and all kinds of negative things will enter his heart, but it will not make him sick. He must resist so he can carry on in life.

I (Odon) want to give you my personal testimony. I know the person who killed my dad. One day someone asked me if I had forgiven the person who killed my father? I said yes I must forgive him because if you forgive you will be forgiven, and if I don’t love the person beside me, how can I love God?

When Christians fall into a mistake today it is hard for them to confess what they have done, and when someone hurts them they keep bitterness in their hearts until death. Some Christians think about revenge hoping a car will hit the person who offended them, or they wish their house would crush them to death. When someone does wrong against us we curse him or her. We forget about all the good things and focus on all their wrong doings.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

God is at Work in You (Part II - Take Courge)

Dear Sister and Brother,

I greet you in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Blessed those who read the Word of God and put it in practice.


I thank those who have sacrificed a few minutes of their invaluable time to read and meditate on the first 2 verses. May God bless you abundantly.

For those who haven't done it yet, I encourage you to pick up your Bible and learn from your Creator's word. Don't wait for tomorrow or later, as tomorrow or the future does not belong to you. Are you embarrassed to read your Bible in office? Search for an online Bible, read it secretly and meditate for a few minutes.

What can really stop you for not feeding your soul? Stand on your feet and get the courage to break that unnecessary wall/barrier that distracts you for not challenging your courage. Do you want to pass your studies? Then you have to study. Do you want a promotion at work? Then you need competencies. To achieve and win 5km running competition, you will start with 1 step and add a second one and another one and so on.

If you don't have the courage to make the first step, then don't expect to see yourself at your final destination. You may ignore hunger and tell your body to shut down; but some where along the way you will become weak and end up by collapsing and die.

Starvation kills. To express their disappointment, to claim for their right, or to be denied whatever they want, some people will abstain themselves from food and water and accept to die if they don't get what they want. Are you abstaining yourself from spiritual food and living water in order to get whatever your body wants? God will never be intimidated by human being's foolish decisions and actions.

HE IS GOD! Do you consider that? HE IS GOD! Blessed you are because you don't force your soul to starve. As any parent, God is happy to see you, His child, eating your daily meal with joy.

Num 23:19 God is not a man, that He should lie nor a son of man, that He should change His mind.

Jas 1:4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Rom 8:31 What then shall we say in response to this? If God be for us, who can be against us?

2Tim 2:1 You, then my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2Tim 1:13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words...in faith and love...

Be blessed for the rest of the week.

God is at Work in You!

By Odon Bulamba (14th March 2010)

I shout:"GOD IS AT WORK IN YOU"
Do you disagree with my sentence?
Do you agree with God that He is at work in you?
Isn't it amazing for God, I mean GOD, to chose you as His field worker?

How often do you stop and think about His great work in your life or in the lives of your whanau (family), or in your daily activities?

God's purpose to be at work in you is that you accomplish His desire in your life and in the lives of others. He has given to us all the necessary tools but we very often forget to take one of the most important tools with us; the courage.

We sometimes resemble electricians who are called to fix an electrical problem or to do the installation at someone’s property. They bring with them all the necessary tools except for the tester pen. How to do the work? Where to start without the "electrical tester pen"? Regardless of their expertise, they would never start confidently or finish their work without a tester pen as they will never know if the conductor is alive. We may say, “Um, they might touch the conductor and find out”... but the result would be disastrous.

You and I are God's tester pen. Our job is to make sure that the conductor is alive - praying for them, exhorting them, encouraging them, will make God's powerful work reach others.

Sometimes the tester pen can be faulty or its bulb breaks. If this is my case - His amazing grace is knocking on my door. I have to take a simplest step of all, repentance! and all the faults in me will be repaired, all broken parts will be immediately replaced with new spare parts. He is at work in us.

He (God) has built a 'Venetian Resort Hotel' in our lives. Our task is to freely invite people to come on and enjoy free water, free food, free bedrooms, free games, free everything that glorifies Him and, of course, free life.
Have you so far heard about Venetian Resort Hotel of Las Vegas? It’s the world largest hotel.

Do you have the courage to express to others God's work in you? Remember, you are a tester pen. You are not just a simple screw driver. You are special and unique. You are kindly called to play your role. Time is moving on and the game will soon end.

I will send to you some Bible verses on 'COURAGE'. Will you have the courage to read them? I will suggest that you read one a day and meditate on it. Then write some comments or lesson for yourself and others. This will only take 5 minutes of your precious time. Then if we want, we can circulate them around the world. Your work will soon reach the world and encourage thousands who have lost hope and courage.

As a tester pen of God, how many of them do you think are dead conductors? Many Christians have backpedalled or given up their faith in Christ? They came to Christ and they now backslide.
This message is yours because you are chosen of God

Colossians 3:12-17

Be blessed in Jesus Christ

Monday, March 15, 2010

First, Look After Your Soul

By Odon Bulamba (31st May 2002)

It is a joy to meet together in the last day of May; in my experience God always does something in the month of June. In the world the month of June has significance and if you observe you’ll see it. From the beginning to the end of the Bible you’ll see that God always did something, sometimes He blessed, sometimes He cursed, sometimes He destroyed and sometimes He would announce what was going to happen. From the 6th month to the 12th month we go into the second part of the year, and it’s time for God to call His children.

The same for your body, at 12 o’clock the body will feel like something to eat, and every living spirit must think about the 6th month, it is not just about the 6th month of June but the 6th day, 6th hour or the 6th minute and all of this is very important for us Christians, so think about all the sixth things in your life.

If you wake up in the morning and do many things, try to think of the sixth thing you did so that it will be easy for to assess yourself. Why does God always talk about the sixth? It is because He wants us to look after ourselves so that we won’t be destroyed in the end.


Acts 20:28,

Keep watch over all yourselves and the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, be shepherds for the church of God, which He brought with His own blood.

When people read this verse many think it is for the Pastors, and if there is something wrong in the church the Pastor is the one who is guilty and not the Christians. We know that our bodies are Jesus’ church, so who is the Pastor of your body? If your body is the church, then who is the pastor of this body? In Corinthians it is written that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and He tells us to look after this body, it doesn’t mean to exclude your Pastors or elders from the church, but you are called yourself to live as a good Christian.

How can Christians look after themselves? What does it mean to take care of yourself? To take care of yourself is to protect yourself from any danger that might come and destroy your spirit, and protect yourself from sin.

It is true that God has given us the power to resist the devil and after that he will flee, but us Christians we don’t want to use this power. From time to time we will say that we are weak and need God to help us, so where will our help come from? If we are not able ourselves to resist the devil and call on God to help us what is going to happen to us?

Many parents know how to look after their children and they watch over everything they do. In the church many people know how to watch over people’s lives, but are not able to watch over their own lives. This is why Jesus says that before taking the speck out of your brother’s eye; first take it out of your own eye. This will help you to grow. If you are sick it will be hard to visit someone who is sick, it will be hard for you to leave your hospital bed and see someone who is sick, you might decide in your mind to see your friend but the doctor won’t let you go, maybe the nurse will see you leave and report you because they are watching over your health and life. If someone is watching over your health and life it will be difficult for you to go and watch over someone else.

This is how many Christians give their lives to the devil and he watches over them, this is why the church is weak for we are unable to send someone to help this person. It will be hard for someone to go to a sinner and tell him you have to give up what you are doing and come to Jesus because the devil will tell you that what you are doing is the same thing. The devil will accurse you and say you want to see that person but you are sick yourself. If you watch over your own life and are completely healed and purified by Jesus’ blood you are completely free to visit others and share the message.
There was a lady in the Bible named Miriam. Miriam was given Moses’ life to watch over. At this time Moses was a baby and Pharaoh didn’t want the Hebrews to live, so Pharaoh made a decision to kill all the baby boys. Moses’ mum saw that he was handsome and she decided to keep him. The mother hid the child but didn’t go to where he lay but sent her oldest daughter to watch over the baby. This child could not breast feed the baby, this child couldn’t fight with a crocodile to protect it, and this child couldn’t fight to save her brother’s life if danger came, but she had to look over him.

Did Miriam watch over her own life? I don’t think so, she just went to look over her brother’s life and that’s it. Many Christians are like Miriam, they are there to watch over other people’s lives but don’t have any weapons to defend themselves, they have no ability to feed those who are hungry because if you watch over someone’s life you must be strong, you must have strategies, you must have some experience, but you and me watch over other’s lives but how much experience do we have.

One-day Pharaoh’s daughter took the baby, so what did Miriam do? The Bible says Miriam said, “I could go and get someone to look after the child”. Pharaoh’s daughter had a choice and by the grace of God she said, “yes, go and get one of the Hebrew woman to nurse the child”.

As Christians today we are not called to negotiate with each other, we say we want to follow the Word of God and we all say, amen, but that’s about it. If God has given Michael some abilities in his ministries for example then you must honour him, if it’s Oscar you must forget his age and honour him. As you do this you will watch over your own spiritual life. So what is our problem as Christians? Sometimes we forget who we are especially when we leave church, we just live like the world, we don’t take time to think and watch over our souls, we don’t take time to think that what I am doing now, does it please God or not?

The way that I judge Peter, does it please God or not? What is the benefit for my soul in everything I do? If there are no benefits why do we do it? The Bible says you must have your treasure in heaven where the robber cannot go. So what is the best treasure for man, your soul and my soul? Without the soul a man cannot see anything, you can have millions of dollars but if your soul is dead you have no value for God.

Jesus said what can you compare your soul with, why do you want to gain the whole world but lose your soul? This is to show us that a soul has great value in God’s eyes, but as human beings we would rather watch over valuables. If you go to a bank you’ll see cameras everywhere, do you think that if there were no money in the banks there would be any cameras? No, because the money is worth great value and man will watch over it. If you have $20 in your pocket, how many times do you check to see if it’s still there? $20 is just a piece of paper with drawings on it yet we give it so much value; if you put $20 and gold into the fire you’ll see which one is worth any value.

As human beings we don’t know what to look after, we compare the money to the body and the soul to the gold. The soul will never die but the body will die whether you like it not, but your soul will live eternally. When people are sick they try to find money so they can be healed, if you don’t want to go to hospital when you are sick those around you will help you go, but when it comes to the soul and when the soul is sick you don’t want to see your God.

When you preach the truth and people discover that they are sick they will become your enemies, but if you tell them they are physically sick and take them to the doctor they will be your friend. In Africa there was a man who wanted money so he went to a sorcerer and asked for a voodoo type doll so he could make people sick and then he could heal them. He asked for power so that when he stuck a needle into the doll the person would scream but see nothing. The person will go to the doctors and the doctor will say there is nothing wrong with you. The sorcerer then comes and tells the person, “I can heal you for $250 000 and after 3 minutes you’ll be healed”. This man did it with great authority in Africa, people who were sick were afraid because they knew death was coming so they would ask for this man, but when their souls are sick they don’t try and find a doctor.

This is the problem when we don’t watch over our souls but when we watch over our souls God also watches over us, but if we don’t the Bible says that our sins separate us from God. Once we have watched over our souls and walk as good Christians and we please our God it will be easy for us to watch over other people’s souls and the flock God has given us.

For example Joshua said me and my family will serve the Lord, in the book of Romans it says that if you are saved your family will be saved as well, but there is one condition, first watch over yourselves, if you don’t it will be difficult to watch over your family.

There was a lady who suffered for many years and prayed for years for her husband’s salvation. God said that your husband will be saved, I have seen your courage and I have seen how much you cried before me, but first watch over your soul because it is written seek first the kingdom of God and everything will be added unto you. God said that up until now you don’t know how to watch over your soul, and the day when you know this I will set your husband free. The lady experienced this for 2 days and on the 3rd day her husband was saved. I say this to remind you that everything is possible for God if you watch over your soul, and watching over your soul will make your faith grow because you’ll believe what the Word says and you’ll put it into practice.

We must take care of the church God has given us through the Holy Spirit. So do you look after your body? It is not about washing your body and combing your hair, but taking care of your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit; take care of it as part of the body of Christ. As we talk with friends do we respect Jesus’ body, or when we joke, where is Jesus in all of it, and when we do activities is Jesus there? Everything we do, does it please God? Miriam watched over Moses’ life but one day Moses watched over Miriam’s life and he watched over her life in a good way. Moses first met God and watched over his soul and after this he watched over his sister’s life. As Christians we must get close to Jesus so He can live in us and so He can watch over us.

We must watch over our own lives so we can watch over other people’s lives. To be a watcher you must be humble, if you are not you won’t be able to watch over your life or anybody’s life, so first humiliate yourselves. We must use our time to become good watchers, try to watch over your soul before watching over your belongings or your wife’s soul etc.

Ask God to help you know how to watch over your soul, your children’s souls and your families’ souls.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

TOILETS AND INTESTINES

By Hayley Boud

When the toilet is blocked it becomes a bad smell and it can cause diseases in others. When we don’t forgive and forget we are a bad smell to God because He doesn’t forgive our sins if we don’t forgive others. Bitterness blocks our passage to God and bitterness can bring sickness to others that we meet.

The toilet receives what you give it everyday, it never complains or expects to be thanked and it carries on day after day. But nobody appreciates the great work it does. When you see a child is about to vomit you try your best to get that child to the toilet because it’s so much easier to flush the vomit down the toilet than to clean the mess up from the floor.

We are to be like toilets and to also not neglect those that are like toilets around us.

For example, the intestine doesn’t look very good but if it is pinched or twisted you will really suffer. The intestine works quietly and no one sees what it does or appreciates it until the intestine doesn’t work anymore. E.g. at my old job we had a lady who was employed to clean the glass wear in the lab. She did that job very well but we neglected her thinking that it is such an easy job, any person can do it. But one day she left and we had to do the job for ourselves and we discovered that although it is an easy job, it’s a very important job. We discovered that although it’s a very simple job nobody wanted to do it. But it’s a very important job, one that requires patience and concentration. If the job isn’t done correctly it will affect the lab results.

So we have to appreciate those around us. If Steve leaves us today we will notice and maybe regret that we didn’t appreciate him while he was here. Maybe I’m ugly or smelly like the intestine but maybe my job is very important even if you don’t see me working (you can’t see the intestine working).

Some people in the group are more important than others. Odon is important because he gives the message on Friday night and Ange is important because she makes the supper and the kids serve the drink and food so they are important. But everyone else isn’t important. Especially Hayley, she doesn’t really do much, she never speaks up when we have discussions and she never serves drinks or bakes supper. If she leaves I won’t miss her. Even I’ll be happy because she’s not really attractive, she’s a bit like the intestine and she smells like the intestine so I don’t really feel I want to talk to her. No, if she leaves today, she won’t be missed.

But maybe quietly Hayley works at home; praying for all of us and on the day she stops praying; everybody will notice and say, ‘Oh, we didn’t know how important Hayley is.’ In the same way we would notice if our intestine stopped working. While it works fine, we can’t notice the great and important job it does until something happens and your intestine stops working properly.

We take our intestine for granted because it’s always been there. We shouldn’t. We should praise God for it and everything else that we have. E.g. Michael’s van, everybody can use it but the day it stops working, that will be the day that people will appreciate what we had.

Let’s remember to praise God for each other and let’s remember to encourage each other. E.g. I’m so glad that Michelle is in the group because she thinks of others. Usually we can only think of the negative points in others but the positives of the intestine far out way the negatives (although it is smelly and ugly, it’s very necessary).

We have to value each other and remember that God created each one and each one is unique. For example, white gold is more valuable than silver (although they look the same) because one is more rare. Nothing is more rare than a one-of. In collector’s items one-offs are so valuable that they can’t be priced, they are priceless. We are all priceless. We must view others with that in mind. I’m not attracted to every body, some people are not really easy to love but if I remember that they are so valuable that they are priceless, that will help me to be their friend.

I Corinthians 12:14-25,For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot should say, ‘because I am not the hand, I am not part of the body’, is it not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘because I am not an eye, I am not part of the body,’ is it not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of smell be? But God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body just as He desired. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’. On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body, which deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our unseemly members come to have more abundant seemliness, whereas our seemly members have no need of it. But God so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.”


SUMMARY

Be like a toilet- Don’t get blocked with unforgiveness or bitterness
- Receive what ever people give to you, even faeces
- Don’t complain about others or think negatively
- Don’t expect to be thanked or noticed

Be like the intestine
- Work quietly
- Don’t try to show your works

Appreciate the toilet and intestine
- We are all important
- We need each other (Prayer, love, help, encouragement, support, friendship)
- No one is more important than others
- Praise God for everything and don’t wait until it is gone
- Think of each other’s positive points rather than negative

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Justification (Part IV)

Man’s Heart – Between God and Satan

By Odon Bulamba

So what makes man sin?

Mk 7:21-23
For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.

The Bible says from the inside of man’s heart comes bad thoughts. Those bad thoughts push man to act immorally. In short it pushes man to live a wrong life; to be proud and insensitive and so on. Everything that’s bad comes from inside, this is what Jesus said. It’s not what we see around us that makes us impure but impurity comes from inside our hearts and we are responsible to control our heart. It’s up to us to decide weather we want to control our heart or not.

The devil doesn’t have the power to live in you if you don’t give him the opportunity and Jesus Christ doesn’t have the right to come and live in your life if you don’t want Him to. It’s up to you to allow whether or not you want Jesus Christ to come into your life.

We can see this bird the peacock; it’s a famous bird, because it’s beautiful and it’s very pretty. Everybody will agree it’s a pretty bird. This bird is slim and short, but when this bird understands that people are there and visit them, they want also to prove to man they can be fat and big. You’ll see that the male will open its tail to attract the female to show them, I am here. It’s a bird full of pride.

In a Christian’s life the very first thing that fights his life is pride. Pride started from the beginning. In the beginning everything was perfect. The devil came and fought with pride, Isaiah 40 or Ezekiel 28 you’ll see that, you’ll see pride was the very first sin that came. God put the devil aside because of this pride. Every Christian today is attacked by pride. Each Christian wants to be seen by everyone. When pride comes it never forgets its little brother arrogance, because they walk together.

As you know the peacock, some have golden colour and others are blue and green and so on. When they open their tail you can see how beautiful it is. People will look at the tail more than the animal itself. Why is that? Because all the attention is focused on the tail.

Many Christians today will attract people by the way they are dressed for instance. Maybe it’s from their culture, maybe it’s from their knowledge but the Christian actions and deeds are never seen. People might say Shari, she has a beautiful dress, but they’ll never say Shari has good deeds. Really, Paul has a nice voice to sing but they’ll never testify that Paul has this or that that represents Christian virtues. Because everything we show man is what he receives and they’ll judge us. How many people like your life? How many people are proud of your Christian life?

So remember 2 or 3 years ago we talked about those women in Isaiah 3. It’s written there how those women were dressed. They looked after their bodies; they would wear lots of makeup to the point they would forget Gods will.

Maybe we can read it again. Isaiah 3: 16-24. The Lord says, “The women of Zion are haughty walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles. Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the Lord will make their scalps bald. In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery, the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls. Instead of fragrance there will be a stench: instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding.

We’ll stop now and you’ll meditate on this verse and you’ll know what features has this bird. One more time, remember your heart doesn’t belong to you. Remember your life doesn’t belong to you. So look after your heart and your life because one day you’ll be accountable to God. The best thing that will help you is the Word of God. Don’t just read it but practice it. If you practice the Word of God you’ll practice justice. By practicing the word of God you’ll love your neighbour and you’ll be called a child of God. So justification will help us to know whether we are a child of God or not.

We’ll stop there and we’ll pray. Our prayer tonight will be for God to help us to have a pure heart. Also for God to help you to know that his eye is there and controls our life. Help me to remember every minute you are there so I will not fall into sin. Let’s Pray.