Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Is God Just?

By Odon Bulamba (25 October 2002)

It’s a joy to meet together. We are going to talk about something small that has a big meaning, if we don’t despise it. When God created man in His image their size changed from day to day, and because of our sins we are becoming shorter and our life span is decreasing. In the past a man could measure 6 meters high but today you can see a man 1 meter tall, also a man lived for 900 years but today you will be lucky to reach 100 years of age.

So we are going to talk about the height of man. Some people are tall, short and really thin, and it is so obvious when we look with our eyes. When you see someone you can describe him or her easily, if you saw Odon today you would say I saw a black man who was short. Everything that God created in this world has a meaning so that justice can manifest itself. If you are tall and your friend is short it doesn’t mean that God is unjust, if you are fat and your friend is slim it doesn’t mean that God is unfair.

The world only sees what pleases the eyes. In all these things we forget to involve God to the point where people try to formulate drugs to make people taller. God created all this to teach us about justice and justice starts with little things, you cannot be fair in big things if you are not fair in little things.

If your child does something wrong while at your neighbours house and they tell you about the situation don’t defend your child but help them not to carry on doing wrong things.

Was God unjust by creating Zacchaeus short? God teaches us justice by this man. Even though he was a short man his eyes and ears worked very well to prepare himself for the coming of Jesus. Because God gave Zacchaeus intelligence to do what other men could do, he practiced justice, and the first type of justice he practised was making the decision to climb a tree. Even though this tree had less value than Zacchaeus, he acknowledged its worth because he understood that through this tree he could see Jesus Christ.

The source of justice in a Christian’s life is when you stop to think about where you are, to see if Jesus is there. If Jesus comes to your place, look at your spiritual height, are you in a good relationship with God? Have you sinned against someone? Have you offended your brother of sister? Ask for forgiveness if you have. We all know that Jesus Christ is the tree and therefore we have to climb up it to see Him. When we ask for forgiveness to those we have offended, only then can you bring your offering to the church. God accepts us when we fix our problems with others and by doing this we look for righteousness.

There was a famous preacher who visited Zaire so we went to see him. There was a big crowd with people praising God, however because I was short I couldn’t see anything and my desire was to see the preacher face to face. There were poles connected to loud speakers so I climbed them to see the preacher but everybody was telling me to climb down. The preacher saw me and told me to climb down so he could pray for me, and when everybody heard this they cleared the way. When we are over our actions and decide to be in the Lord, Jesus will say, “come” and then our problems will find solutions. When the preacher prayed for me I felt joy but my mother was a bit worried because I could have fallen, but as a child I didn’t care. To give justice room in our lives we must have the courage to climb and if you find that your height is too short in the Lord now it is the time to start growing.

Jesus said that anyone who wants to follow Him must carry his own cross, unfortunately as Christians today we wait for Jesus to do it all. We have to fight just to make that one step forward and this is the first height.

There was man named Goliath who was about 3.5 meters high. In Noah’s time people were like trees and if a lion saw him it would flee. Everybody feared Goliath because he was tall. The Bible doesn’t say his face sacred people away but his height, so was God just by creating Goliath tall? God made him this way so that His people would be frightened. What do you think the Israelites were thinking about their God who created an enemy that is a giant? Has God made a mistake? Should you be the giant? Goliath made the Israelites fear.

Sometimes God leads us to impossible situations, which have impossible solutions, so physically what can you do? God has given us a comfort and it is to believe in Jesus and you’ll see the solution. God will not lead you into something that is over your faith and no temptation will come into your life that is bigger than your faith. If you find that a sin in your life is a giant, know that your faith is also a giant. If you find that a sin in you is big, know that you are stronger in the Lord.

There was a man named David who didn’t have any physical strength. David may have not had physical attributes but he did have courage. He had no fear and he wasn’t impressed by all the armour but instead he used what he had. David didn’t use a machine gun because he didn’t want to use what he didn’t know, instead he used what he had. With very little faith we are able to make the impossible happen. Many Christians say they don’t know the Bible enough to cast out demons and pray, but what did David use? Did he use a shield or spare? He used a simple sling - shot with stones as his ammunition.

The battle is not ours but God’s, we aim the sling-shot and let the stone go but the stone, which is Jesus Christ, will penetrate the forehead where neither shield nor helmet can defend it. With a little stone Goliath fell forever. All the people behind Goliath fled and when we overcome the devil, all his demons that are behind him will also flee. When you pronounce the name of Jesus with a stone, the demons don’t look twice and that is why people used the name of Jesus in the Bible. If someone has been sick for 20 years and God’s servant comes along and says in the name of Jesus be healed, 50 or 500 evil spirits have to flee.

With courage David took Goliath’s sword and cut his head, why did he cut his head even though he was already dead? David cut his head to show the Israelites that he was really dead because David’s companions doubted. After David had done this, the Israelites shouted victory, but did they fight? To give justice room in our lives we have to see the value in other people’s lives, although they are spiritually less than you we have to acknowledge their value because God can use them, with their little talents they can do great things. Be confident with the faith you have and know that faith as big as a mustard seed can move mountains. Do we want Zacchaeus, Goliath or David’s height?

The last person we will look at is the prophet Eli. One day Eli the prophet thought that Hannah was drunk while she was praying in the temple. Eli was right because Hannah was drunk with the spirit of God, so what are we going to learn from Eli? Eli was old and his children went to war against the Philistines. Eli never use to fight he would just sit there and receive messages about the war. The Bible says he was fat and lazy because he use to sit on his chair all day, and only his ears and mouth worked.

When Eli found out that his sons, the ark and daughter in-law had been taken away from him he fell from his chair and died. Why did God create us with different heights? Why have we been created in different races? What race are you in the Lord? What is your height in the Lord? Are you compared to Eli? Are you compared to David? It is up to yourself to know where you are up to with God. God wants us to be flexible so that we can practice His justice. Eli lacked courage and flexibility and made a wrong decision by sending the ark of the Lord onto the battlefield without first consenting with the Lord, and by his lack of justice he didn’t pray for the enemy.

How many times do we come together to pray for our enemies? How much time do we take to practice justice in our lives? How many times do you make justice between you and God when your body sins? Sin is not powerful, sin comes before man but man has the power to say no. If you want to lie to Peter first of all the idea will enter you mind, but this idea will not open your mouth to speak, it is up to you to decide if you will tell this lie to Peter or not. Sometimes your eyes will see something that you like and the idea of stealing it will enter your mind, but your eyes won’t push your hands to steal, so as Christians we have to decide whether or not we want to commit a sin.

One day I visited the ATM machine and I had a bank balance of -$19.00. As I was walking back to my car I found that the lady who had drawn out money before me dropped her purse, and I thought that if I was a thief, now was a good opportunity to prove it. God knew I had nothing in my bank account so don’t you think it was a test? When I gave the purse back to the lady she asked me where I found it and after that she immediately looked into her purse to find the money. She had around $2000 in her purse and after counting it she said thank you very much. So I scratched my head and said God can’t I have just $10 because I gave it all back to her? I was a little disappointed and said to myself, this lady is not good, but the idea came to me to apply justice knowing that someday God will repay.

Later, I don’t know what happened but I went back to the same place. I saw the same lady who had lost her bag and when she saw me she gave me $100, and I said God is really great. God told me; it is because you got the money that you say I am great. After this I could feel deep in my heart I had sinned. We always acknowledge God when we receive material things but when He blesses us spiritually we never acknowledge His greatness. For example if we share the Word of God together it is difficult to say that God is great, but if someone sends you a cheque it becomes a great testimony. We as Christians have to know where to find justice in our lives and acknowledge our height.

Pray for anything you want, joy, love, and blessings. If it is for your height or for justice ask God to help you. Amen.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Is Your Life Worthy Of The Gospel?

By Odon Bulamba (26 April 2002)

Is your life worthy of the gospel? If your life is worthy of the gospel then praise the Lord, but if it isn’t then what are the reasons.

Luke 14:5-6. Then He asked them, if one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out? And they had nothing to say.

Would you leave your own son in a well to die just because it is a Saturday or Sunday? If your brother or sister is in a sin, will you tell them their fault? We remind our children of their sins everyday, but when it comes to our neighbour’s children we close our eyes.

There was a lady who loved her son more than her other children. One day God told her that her house was going to burn down with her children in it, so God ask her to do her best to free all the children. 5 hours later a fire broke out in the house, so the mother grabbed her son first and carried him to safety, but she left her other children to make their own way out. So did this mother love all her children? What was the difference between her son and the other children? Why do we like our children more than our neighbour’s children? Jesus wants to teach us something through this. We think that our children belong to us but they belong to God because when God decides to take back their life we can’t do anything to stop Him.

Now God is looking at you and asking Himself, is your life worthy of the gospel? Our life doesn’t belong to us but it belongs toGod; we are just here to manage it. You are responsible for your children but their lives don’t belong to you, so manage their life in a good way and God will be happy. Some people manage other people’s finances, and if there is ten cents missing they have to explain why it is missing. It means that one day we will have to give an account of our life with deep explanations. If God sees something blurry in your life He will ask you, what happened here? And if you cannot give an answer it proves that your life was not worthy of the gospel.

Only the gospel can give us a better life in God’s eyes. It is true that Muslims have good deeds but their lives are not worthy of the gospel, also Jewish people try to show the world that they are holy, but their lives are not worthy of the gospel. Read Luke 14:15-24 in your Bible. There was a feast organised and invitations were given. An invitation is usually written with the date, time, and venue on it and it isn’t given to just anybody. Have you ever seen a billionaire who has invited the whole world to a feast? It means that invitations are given to people who can be trusted, but above all this invitation is a sign of honour. When someone invites you to a feast they always count the number of chairs so that they will know how much it will cost.

Jesus gave us an invitation to His banquet, which is the Word of God. It is an invitation that gives us the exact time, exact place and where we are going to meet. The Bible speaks about man from the beginning to the end and gives exact details of about him. Those who cannot read an invitation can listen because an invitation can be oral, so what are you going to do when you receive an invitation? We have to organise ourselves so that we can make a decision. Jesus gave us the Word but we have to decide what we are going to do with it. If we don’t care about it, woe to us because if we are not there when Jesus calls His own (us), He will call others to replace us if we don’t come.

What happened to the brother mentioned in the parable? When invitations are given out you must reply with an answer, but when the time came to answer back these invitations (Luke 14:15-24) everybody was too busy and they gave all the excuses available. As the church of God we are losing our aim because we don’t want to answer the call of Jesus.

What is it to answer an invitation? It is a time to present our faith and spiritual actions before God. God will know if we have read the invitation because our deeds will answer for us, but when you refuse an invitation you will not be counted for. When Jesus gives us an invitation through His Word we have to reply before the cut off date, so we must know the exact time and date.

If you are invited to a feast you will not go with dirty clothes or smelly feet, because a feast is something that people honour. When we go to the feast of the Lord we have to wear clean clothes to show God that we honoured his invitation. Christians today know the Word of God but they don’t know how to practice it, they find excuse after excuse and that is why there is a disease among Christians today.

The people of Israel rejected Jesus and today they are going through a very difficult spiritual situation. Many people are given the grace to accept Jesus Christ and are given opportunities to know Him, but they don’t want to answer His invitation. I know a Pastor in America who would let his Sunday school class go 15 minutes early so he could have a smoke before the preaching.

Today as Christians we push people away so we can have our freedom and we forget that the eye of God is watching. As a result of our blindness we judge, fight and condemn each other. The Bible says that God called the poor, crippled, blind and the lame when no one accepted His invitation, and as Christians we are living this today, we live a life that doesn’t please God. We know the gospel says that we have to love, but instead of loving each other we hate each other, so are our lives worthy of the gospel? Remember when Cain killed Abel? Even though the blood of Abel was asking for revenge God didn’t revenge Cain, instead God said that if anybody killed Cain they would be cursed for up to seven generations, however many Christians today have a revengeful spirit. If God said this about Cain why don’t we react this way as well? Why do we always want revenge or threaten others? Sometimes our way of speaking or our negative thoughts lead us to murder others. Even the lack of respect or acknowledgement of authority for others can lead us to hang people.

The Bible says that you cannot love God if you don’t love your neighbour, so how can you respect God if you don’t respect Michael? If you don’t love Shari how will you love God? If you hate Hayley how will you love God? Is your life worthy of the gospel?

A man was given a $10,000 cheque and he looked after it more than his soul, and when time came to cash his cheque the bank said there was no money in the account where the cheque was from. How many times do we think that material things are more important than spiritual things? How many times do we take care of God’s Word in our lives? How many times do we practice what we have learnt from God’s Word? It will be a shame if Jesus were to come back and you stayed behind because everybody will look at you and say, are you the one who prayed and danced in the street to God? Even though Jesus invited many people to go to His feast, they rejected His invitation and will never be invited again. If someone keeps on sinning and is led by an evil spirit, that spirit will call on seven other spirits and they will wear you down.

People say they are Christians but their actions tell another story, even though they know about God’s grace they can’t see it. God knew who Pharaoh was and when Moses asked him to let God’s people go Pharaoh said, who is this God you worship whom we cannot see? What happen to Pharaoh in the end? He lost his life and family.

For example, many Christians will criticize Michael because he prays everyday with poor people and they see no miracles, however I can assure you that those who are humiliated by people God always elevates them, and those who think they are strong Christians, they become weak. If your actions do not walk together with the gospel God will not elevate you, so we always have to ask ourselves before doing something if it is worthy of the gospel? If it isn’t worthy of the gospel, just stop because God is watching you. Ask yourself if your way of talking worthy of the gospel. Ask yourself, is the way I prepare to read the gospel, is it worthy? What are you doing if your life is not worthy of the gospel? You can only serve God or the devil and we can never be in the middle because the Bible says we must be on the left or on the right.

We all know the story about the foolish virgins. They were ready to receive their husbands that night but they missed one thing and that was wisdom. If they were wise they could have used the light of others, but they decided to leave and search for more oil. The foolish virgins found more oil but when they came back the door was shut. This shows us how people don’t want the reproach and light of others. Instead of Odon taking advantage of the light when Shari tells him that his actions don’t please God, Odon turns to Shari and tells her he doesn’t need her advice. This is lack of wisdom and the Bible says that when we lack wisdom we don’t fear God, and if you don’t fear God in your life you are a fool. When you know that lying is a sin but you keep on lying it means that you are a fool, and if you don’t organise your life when you receive an invitation you are a fool, and when you act like a fool be sure that the Lord will lock the door on you. You can knock forever but the Lord will not open the door, and that is why God doesn’t answer our prayers. So we have to fear God and not man.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Joseph - Do not sleep

By Odon Bulamba (19 July 2002)

Genesis 39 - 40

The battle doesn’t belong to us but our God, and when you are in a different situation or at war don’t hesitate to call on Him and He will come, even if you are alone call upon His name. Amen.

Joseph was Jacob’s son sold by his own brothers. He became a servant in Potiphar’s house and Potiphar’s wife betrayed him and then he was arrested. We are going to look at when Joseph was a servant in Potiphar’s house. Potiphar’s wife had a lot of servants and wouldn’t work, she was there just to observe and control. Because she didn’t work the authority to check on the servants fell onto Joseph. The Bible says that the one who doesn’t work shall not be entitled to eat.

Christians that don’t work will not inherit what God has promised. Jesus gave a few cents to His servants. One of the servants said, my master is wicked so I won’t use the money He gave me but I will save it. While doing this the other servants made their money fruitful. When the master came back he was happy to see that his servants had worked and earned more money except one servant. So the master said ok, now give me back what I gave you so I can give it to someone else, and on top of this you will be punished. What was the punishment?

Matthew 25:30 throw that worthless servant outside into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

He had to be cast out into the darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, for this is what the Bible means when talking about hell. A person who won’t work or produce will be thrown out of the house. In the book of Revelation it says that the one who is thrown out will be neither hot nor cold. These are Christians who receive the Word of God and they receive advice but they don’t produce anything from it.

Example: A hen had eggs and had to sit on them for 21 days. A disease killed the hen while it had been sitting on them for 15 days and I found it was a good opportunity to take them, but my mother wanted to throw them away because she said they were rotten. So I ask my mum, how can I make these eggs produce? And she said they need heat. So every morning I would bring them near the fire, my motive wasn’t to bring them to hatch but eat them one by one. After a few days I broke an egg and the smell was rotten, I tried to clean it up but had no success. When my mother came back she asked me what the smell was, she already knew it was the eggs and told me, remember I told you not to keep them. So as a punishment she told me to eat them and then I started crying. This was a lesson.

We can learn that when we have something we are compared to hens laying on eggs, if we don’t stay on the eggs long enough they’ll be destroyed and give off a bad smell. We receive the Word of God that is precious in our hands, but if we don’t stay on this Word by the power (heat) of the Holy Spirit it will be destroyed and be a bad example for the world.

Potiphar’s wife didn’t work; she was there to observe, to judge, and tried to take control but didn’t know how, and that is why Joseph was given full control. How many women are not able to control their houses? How many women aren’t able to control their kitchen? Sometimes their kitchen is the state a man would leave it. When a woman visits a man’s house and sees the kitchen they always say, you need a woman. So why do women say this? Why do you say that his house needs a woman?

If a woman is not lazy she is able to make things better than what a lonesome man can do. As soon as a woman enters the house of a man she will find that things aren’t in order, although men try to make things good, a woman will say this must be here and this must be there and so on.

Joseph was in charge with Potiphar’s house while his wife just sat around, but what if Joseph didn’t have the gift of keeping the house tidy? In Africa you can have servants doing your cleaning, cooking, dusting etc, but often the wife will always do her husband’s washing and the preparation of his meal, so why is this? Because she wants to serve her husband and make things perfect for him. When her husband comes home and he asks who cooked the meal, the wife will say the servant cooked it, then he will say give it to the dogs, but if it was prepared by his wife he will eat it with joy.

In my country whenever the husband doesn’t eat his wife’s cooking there is a big fight and the wife demands him to eat. If he had eaten in a restaurant before coming home the wife would tell him to vomit up the food he ate and eat her food. It is the same thing with our Lord Jesus, He gives everything necessary for us to prepare a meal and He is ready to eat what we have prepared, it means our good deeds, our faith, our love, our joy and everything we know about the fruit of the Spirit. But if He finds out that we haven’t prepared anything or that other servants have prepared for us, He will say, I don’t live in houses made with human hands because the will of man is in this house.

When the husband comes home from work and finds his wife still sleeping what will he think? When we were babies we slept a lot, so aren’t we tired of sleeping? Why aren’t Christians allowed to rest? When Jesus wakes us up we turn on the other side and cover ourselves with the blankets and we go back to sleep. So what do we gain by sleeping a lot? When I (Odon) sleep too much I get headaches but some people can sleep for 14 hours without any problem, so what do you think about sleep? If you sleep a lot you won’t work and we risk becoming lazy.

Spiritual sleep for Christians is when you don’t read the Word or pray. If you don’t read or pray for 2 days it will be hard for you to get back into that mode and you will risk becoming like Potiphar’s wife. She had nothing to do except give opinions on matters, even if a fly was on the wall she would talk about it.

When we face difficult situations as Joseph did, God is always there for us. If our families are sick and God is close to us we have all authority to control the problem, because if God is for us who can be against us? When Joseph was in prison God was with him, even though Joseph was a prisoner himself he was in charge of other inmates and supervised them while they worked.

There were two servants who made a mistake in Potiphar’s house and were thrown into jail, the cupbearer and chief baker. There are two examples in the Bible that Jesus gave us: the bread represented His body and the wine represented His blood. These two servants were in jail with Joseph when they both had dreams, dreams that disturbed them a lot because they didn’t understand the meaning. What did they dream? Read Genesis 40.

Joseph asked the cupbearer not to forget about him and when God gives us a solution we completely forget about God when our problems are solved. We must be careful before making a vow to God, God if you do this for me I’ll praise you, but when it comes to pass we forget to praise him. God waits for His acknowledgement but we don’t do it. It is true that man does forget about his promises, but as brothers and sisters we must help each other. If you promised someone something ask him or her to remind you, and it will help you both spiritually and physically because for God, yes is yes.

We now find the cupbearer working again but the chief baker is hung, why? The wine is represented as Jesus blood, and the cup of Jesus that is grace helps people. Pharaoh always represents the devil and people who are controlled by him, this cup of grace was poured out for them as well. Jesus gives His hand to help them take this cup of grace, and for us Christians who are prisoners of Christ, we must help people drink from this cup.

As Jesus found resurrection after three days we also will find resurrection with the Lord, and our second resurrection will be with Jesus in the air when He comes back. The physical body that we have will be hung and eaten by the birds, and if we put our hope in this body be sure that one day it will be eaten up. When you become older difficult things start happening to your body, diseases are common, your immune system shuts down and your body becomes tired, but if your soul is well prepared you will live forever (spiritually) stronger than ever.

When Pharaoh invited his ministers to have a feast he gave life to the one who served the wine because it represented Jesus blood, but hung the chief baker that represents our flesh. The devil will hang your body and soul if you’re not careful because he doesn’t fear you when you are far from God. How many Christians have been destroyed spiritually? As Christians we must refer to people who lived before us, so how many Christians have lost their faith? Isn’t it a lesson for us? We must open our eyes to see where we are going.

When we give our lives to the devil it is like taking poison, we have more chances of dying then making our lives better because sometimes it is hard to find someone to treat us. However we can go to God and ask God to forgive us, but we destroy the confidence God had in us and to rebuild this trust we need lots of time and practice. So we must make all the effort to walk together with God and not to give the devil any room. Read Ephesians 4:27

Do not give the devil a foothold
Do not give the devil an opportunity. God will not protect the devil; God won’t tell the devil not to touch Oscar because God gave us the power not to give him any room, all we have to do is decide what we want. If Kelly wants to speak to Odon about the truth, it is her decision to tell lies or the truth because we don’t know what is in her heart, so the last decision belongs to her. That is what happens with the devil, he only presents ideas to us but it is up to us to decide what to do with these ideals. The body cannot do what the heart doesn’t allow it to do. When you fast and pray and food is around you, tell your body to be quiet because we must be masters of ourselves first and then we will be able to help others. We must not live as Potiphar’s wife, we must not be like the servant who received from Joseph but forgot to acknowledge him, and we must not live like the chief baker who had to be hung. We must behave like Joseph who lived with God all the time and God will lift us up. Pray for those who don’t come to the meetings anymore, pray that God will meet them as Joseph met the two prisoners that God might reveal to them their spiritual situation to see if they have life or death. Amen

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Joseph & Potiphar’s Wife

By Odon Bulamba (12 July 2002)

We are going to look at a woman’s life. A woman is a creature of God and God made her from man. Man was created first and God saw it wasn’t good that he shall be alone so He created a woman. The world didn’t see that man was alone, it wasn’t the animals or trees that knew Adam needed a helper, but God saw this need in His child Adam and it is the same with us today, God knows our needs. He knows the deep things of our hearts even what we think is a secret, and at the right time God answers.
The Bible doesn’t say that Adam went to the animals and complained about needing someone, it doesn’t say that Adam was patient and could control his thoughts.

Genesis 39:7-23. When Joseph lived in Potiphar’s house, Potiphar’s wife started becoming attracted to Joseph because the Bible says he was handsome. Because of her desire she wanted Joseph to lay with her. The Bible says that Joseph didn’t accept and day after day she would ask Joseph to sleep with her. Unfortunately one day all the servants were not in the house and Joseph was working inside. Again this woman came to him, she didn’t talk much to him but in the process grabbed his robe to draw him to her. Joseph had no way of escape, if he used his strength he could have hurt her so he left his robe and went.

The woman picked up the robe and started screaming for help, she didn’t ask God for help but man. The servants asked her what happen and she said, your master brought in a Hebrew into this house and he wanted to rape me. All the workers were shocked. The women kept the robe until Potiphar came home and said, this man you brought into my house is causing me trouble. Potiphar became angry and arrested Joseph. Joseph who brought blessings for the country of Egypt was taken away and thrown into prison.

Joseph worked a few years in Potiphar’s house without any problems then all of a sudden a woman finds him attractive and waits for her sin to brew up. So what does this mean? As Christians we meet together, work hand in hand together, but when sin comes something pushes us to misbehave and what was normal has become complicated. It is the same thing with the Word of God, when we read it we find things that are life and can help us to be transformed, but through this Word we find verses to attack others with. In the church today people stone each other with the Word of God, when someone sins they use verses to condemn it even further. Why don’t they use a verse to forgive?

In Africa people are happy when you kill a crocodile to eat, but when it eats a human nobody is happy. When we read the Word of God it is hard for us to accept, but we clap our hands when it is for others.

Potihpar’s wife saw that Joseph was handsome and she thought that she will push him to sleep with her. Does this mean that being handsome is similar to prostitution? Can beauty push a woman to despise her husband to sleep with her servants? How many times do Christians acknowledge the beauty of their God? If you want to know how beautiful the church is go to God, He will show you. The wife went to Joseph and told him he was handsome and Joseph couldn’t say that he wasn’t, but maybe she wanted to flatter Joseph to test him? Joseph knew he had to be careful otherwise he would sin against his master.

Potiphar made Joseph in charge of everything except Potiphar’s food, so why didn’t Joseph take charge of his wife? Joseph’s conscious worked because he already knew the Word of God and knew to obey God. Although Potiphar said this about the food and not his wife, Joseph had to remind her that God didn’t like what she was doing because actions can also speak. Some parents can be with their children but don’t talk to them; the child knows that if their father doesn’t talk something is wrong. A child knows that if you play the piano while visitors are present he won’t be happy. Actions can sometimes speak louder than words. Joseph observed how Potiphar loved his wife and he knew that if he touched her there would be consequences with Potiphar and God.

How many times does the devil flatter Christians with their spiritual beauty? This is what makes us proud and leads us to sin. The devil uses flattery when he knows you’re spiritually strong, and he even did it with Jesus Christ. Can you remember what Jesus first temptation was? Jesus was tempted three times, what was the first temptation?

“Man shall not live on bread alone but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God”.

The devil knew Jesus had the authority to transform the stones to bread, he also knew Jesus could perform miracles; “I know you are the Son of God, but if you are really the Son of God do a miracle”. This is how the devil comes; he flatters us and tells us we are capable of doing great things. Jesus didn’t answer; of course I’m the Son of God but said that man does not live by bread alone. It is the same with Joseph, he didn’t answer Potiphar’s wife, yes I’m handsome but instead made as if he was deaf as Jesus did to Satan when tempted.

We as Christians must not be flattered but rather pay attention to see what God is showing us in our lives. Joseph told Potiphar’s wife that she was not allowed to lay a hand on him, so do we as Christians tell the devil that we aren’t allowed to do what he says? When you are angry do you tell the devil that you are not allowed to become angry? When the devil invites you to steal, do you say I’m not allowed because I fear God? One day a Christian admitted that he was tempted, and the devil showed him what and how to steal. When he got caught he was beaten, then he complained and asked the devil, where are you now devil, you led me here so where are you now? The devil was far from this man and left him to suffer alone. This is how Satan puts us into trouble then flees.

Potiphar’s wife had a lot of spare time, so what did she do? What do you think she would do with her time? Put on makeup, go shopping, or lay in bed? Is this the way a Christian wife should behave, giving the responsibilities to servants? In Zaire you can have up to 3 servants in a family and the servants work while the wife does nothing. A woman can wake up late and demand her servants to do everything for her. She can have nails 15cm long, change the color seven times a day, then they work on their hair and the list goes on. While doing this they don’t think about their children or husbands. When the husband comes home to eat and says I don’t like this food, what will the wife do? She’ll get up and attack the servants, but what did she do? Is her role to attack the servants or control the household? When you get the wife of a businessman she can stay in her pajamas all day, because they have nothing to do they don’t think about the sin in their lives or read the Word, but they do have the motivation to find sin in other people.

As Christian women you must respect your husbands because you didn’t leave your parents to live with your servants. Christian women should never be lazy; do you know that laziness is a sin? The Bible says that the lazy will never inherit the kingdom of God, 2 Thessalonians 3:10.

Many people think laziness is normal. When you ask people what are you doing they say I’m not doing anything. If you have nothing to do, read your Bible or pray for three minutes, because you will have to give an account to God for this time. As we say life doesn’t have a draft and you cannot copy it again. If you are lazy today this day will never come back and God will ask you what did you do on this day?

Potiphar’s wife took Joseph by force; first she used only words but then used force by grabbing his robe. How many times do Christian women use their strength to destroy people’s souls? How many times do we destroy our husband’s strength and children’s behavior? There was a lady who used to blame everything on other children except her own, even though her children were worse, she never would punish them but punish other children. Some Christians live like this today, when it is time to change their lifestyle they show that they are lazy and are not tough with themselves, but if someone else does something wrong, they attack without delay. As Christians we must think of our own soul first. Some women have a sickness called slander. When a woman doesn’t have her makeup right they’ll say, look at her, she is not pretty and little by little they’ll start abusing her.

How many times do women influence their husbands in a decision? When the husband wants to do something good for a person how many times does the wife say I don’t like that person? How many times do us Christians as wife of Christ water down the gospel for others? We must be careful. Remember to be patient, bear in mind to say no to the devil, remember temptation can come at any time especially when you are alone, so be sober. Amen.

Potiphar’s House Blessed By Joseph’s Presence

By Odon Bulamba (5th July 2002)

Genesis 39: 1-6. We can see by reading these verses that Joseph was in another country, a country foreign to his mother tongue and away from his family. He had no friends, no parents and no belongings; it was just him and His God.

As Christians we are also pilgrims on this earth, and God is our witness to everything we do. We know that our physical parents are like close friends to us, but one day we might have to leave them.

By grace Potiphar had great joy with Joseph in his house. Why did Potiphar buy Joseph? When you buy someone to work in your house you have to feed them, clothe them and find them somewhere to sleep, so before buying a servant or slave you must consider all these things. Potiphar accepted to buy Joseph and support him all his life.

How many times as Christians have we decided to take someone’s life on our account? How many times have we helped with people’s needs? You might not be able to give them financial support but there is something you can do, that is pray for them, visit them and comfort them, and there are many other ways to share the load. Many people think that it is not their job or calling and they think it belongs to someone else.

One day I talked with a friend who said to me, “I have a friend that wants to live with Michael because where my friend lives is not good, and I wanted to ask you if we could send him to Michael’s place because Michael accepts everyone”. So why does this brother ask Michael and not others? Why don’t we have 5 minutes to pray for others?

The Bible says that Potiphar was a man Pharaoh trusted, so what does trust mean? Who can be trusted? Can you trust a thief? Can you trust a murderer? Can you trust a drug-addict? No, because you are not sure that this person can be responsible for his actions, so you trust someone when you know the person is able to look after himself.
Pharaoh trusted Potiphar. How many times do Christians doubt each other? How many times do you doubt when people tell you something? Do you trust what they are saying? As Christians we must know how to trust others, but above all we must trust God and for God to trust us.

Who did God trust in the Bible? Abraham and David? So what about you today does God trust you? Do you know if God trusts you in what you are doing on this earth? If not what are the obstacles from God trusting you? What are the responsibilities that God gave you? If God trusts you, He will give you something.

When I was a scout I had a friend who use to specialize in stealing chickens, and every time we felt like chicken we would send him to steal one. We could trust him to do the job but it was an evil trust. Sometimes as Christians we encourage our brothers or children to do evil. We must be careful and know how to trust each other. It is like a parent who suspects their child smokes. When the father comes home from work and smells cigarette, he instantly thinks it is his child. But what if it was his wife, or maybe it was a visitor. Because he trusts his thoughts he starts judging his child. We must be careful with our thoughts and really think before we speak.

The Bible says that everything Joseph did in Potiphar’s house was successful, so do you think Joseph succeeded when he was taken away from his family? As human beings we go through hard times, but God calls these hard times a success for us. We might find it hard physically but in God’s eyes He sees success. We might be tortured, judged, or condemned, but God sees it as an accomplishment. So when we go through a hard time we must not complain but we must glorify God for it because later you will see the fruit.

Many husbands complain about their wives and many wives complain about their husbands, often they say it is hard to live with her, but I tell you that this is success. Keep praying without complaining and turn your eyes towards God, for He is God and He will do something.

When Joseph was living in Potiphar’s house Potiphar saw something different, why? Because Joseph was with God and God was with Joseph. Everywhere we go, even if we are the guests, if God is with us we will make a difference, but if God is not with us we will not make a difference.

A few weeks ago I visited a nightclub for 10 minutes. What people were doing they wouldn’t dare to do it in front of their parents. The young people were proud of drinking and dancing with each other, but I found someone who was quietly observing others. She was about 16 years old and I went up to her and said “hello, why don’t you drink alcohol?” She said, “no I don’t do that, someone invited me here but he is over there doing stuff”. So I asked her if she smoked but she said she couldn’t stand the smell of it.

Many people are Christians but they do things like pagans, and today it is hard to discern between pagans and Christians. Joseph made a difference, so why don’t we make a difference in everything we do? Paul said it is no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me, so if Jesus lives in you, why can’t Jesus be seen? Christians today look like the devil to the point that people want to flee from them.

The only consequence Potiphar had when living with Joseph was happiness, so do we give joy to those we live with, or do we bring hatred and slander into their lives? The Bible says that joy is the fruit of the spirit, if you don’t show joy you show the opposite, so what is the opposite to joy? Sadness. One day I was really joyful so I decided to visit a family who I hadn’t seen for some time. I knocked on the door and the wife answered, we said hello to each other but she looked at me as if I had killed her husband. I looked at her and asked if she had a problem but she denied it. From here my joy disappeared. I asked myself what evil have I done to her? Is there a problem in this family? So I left.

As Christians we cross the same situation, when we have a problem we let others know. If you have a problem with your husband fix it up, if you have a problem with your children deal with it, but don’t show your visitors that there are problems. Try to sort out your problems with the people you live with and joy will be with you. If you bring joy into someone’s life you will be a great friend, and considered valuable in his heart, but if you steal a person’s joy you’ll lose room in their heart and it will be a sad situation. If you add to much chilli in your meal and your child eats it, be sure that he will cry, and because you cannot take out the flavor, you have to find a solution because a child needs to eat. It is the same thing when you break people’s hearts, and it is the same thing when you shock people with what you say. Adding too much spice will destroy the meal and it will be ruined. But praise God for grace because we can fix the problem by forgiving and forgetting the past and starting something new for the future.

Potiphar loved Joseph and he trusted Joseph with his goods, so what do you take care of in the kingdom of God? What do you control in your life? Do you control your tongue? Do you control your soul? Do you control your good and evil actions? Do you control your behavior? Do you control your money? Do you control the chairs in your house? What do you and don’t you control in your life? If you have never thought about it you better start. We all have cars and every 6 months we have to get a warrant of fitness, and if something is wrong with your car you will not get it, so why don’t we have a warrant of fitness for our souls or lives? It is better to have a warrant of fitness for our souls because we don’t have to pay any money; all you have to do is just sit alone at night and think about what you did during your day. If you were with Peter or Patrick ask yourself, what evil have I done and what good have I done with them? Then weigh things up, if it is against Kelly pick up the phone and explain to her that what you did was not good, and with Jesus’ love ask her to forgive you. Then you will start to a new relationship.

Because of Joseph the entire country was prosperous, so do you think prosperity is in your family because of you? Doing the little things in life Joseph with God’s presence was lifted up high in Egyptian society. At Hamilton’s immigration center there is an old lady who is a receptionist, when you go there be sure that you will waste 20 minutes because she is lower than a turtle. When your English is sick you achieve nothing, so you try the next day hoping she won’t be there. Because of her presence some people feel uncomfortable. Do people feel comfortable with us when we visit friends?

There was a lady from University who invited me over to her place. By looking at her garden you would think it was a zoo that had been neglected. So with courage I knocked on the door and she opened it, I looked inside and it was horrible. She was marking our work on the table that had smelly clothes on it and dirty dishes that looked like they had been sitting there for days. I felt sick and uncomfortable in her house. Because I was a student I had no right to tell her to do this and that, if I told her that her house was a mess, what do you think she would do? She would fail me. In these situations we must think before acting. If someone has a dirty bed, go and buy a new one for her because our actions will speak instead of our mouths. This is the problem with Christians today; we are ready to speak but not ready to act so we must learn good actions before speaking.

Because of Joseph’s actions the country benefited a lot. Joseph controlled everything in Potiphar’s house; from his children to his servants. Joseph could do and say anything for the glory of God. What about you, how many times do you talk about other people’s children except your own? We are always willing to control other people’s houses except our own. When you are able to control your own house, only then can you help or control other houses. When you give birth to a child in Zaire this child doesn’t belong to you but the nation, and if your child does something wrong your neighbor has the right to punish the child.

As Christians today we always want to protect our children from evil. If someone tells you that your child did this and that you say, I will deal with it when I get home. But when you get home you think about what this person has said and you say to yourself they should mind their own business. Once the child reaches 15 or 16 years of age the parents will not be able to control them anymore.

There was a mother driving in town one day and her daughter was in the back seat kissing a guy, the mother looked at the daughter but she ignored her. The mother took courage to speak to her but the daughter gave her the fingers. Do you think if this child were taught from childhood she would have done that to her mother? I don’t think so. Sometimes we protect our children like eggs, if there is a danger of sin or that egg breaks we will pay for it. When you smoke it is not only you at risk, but people around you are also at risk of becoming sick. If you don’t bring your children up well your neighbors will know, you may tell them your child is good but remember that they have eyes and a brain. So let us live like Joseph in Potiphar’s house so it can be a blessing to others and a good ground to bear fruit. Let us forget about everything around us and turn our eyes towards God and we will see what God will do.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Lord looks at the heart

By Hayley Boud

I Samuel 16:7b“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at the outward appearance
But the LORD looks at the heart”

Only God knows what is in our hearts. We can look like we are worshipping God but actually we are thinking about something else. Or we can look like we are not concentrating when we really are. For example, Bertila, she often looks distracted and I am sure she is not listening but when I ask her to repeat what I have said, she can repeat it word for word. So it proves that only God knows what is going on inside. On the outside, her appearance looks distracted but she is actually concentrating.

Any other examples?

I usually close my eyes at the meeting because of allergies my eyes are often sore and so someone might look at me and think I’m asleep but I can hear everything clearly and I remember more than others. Other people look like they are awake because their eyes are open but they are actually sleeping. Some people even nod and they look like they understand but when you ask them a question, they are completely lost. We might think we are fooling people but we can never fool God.

This makes me think of the verse (Gal 6:7), “God cannot be mocked” can’t mock God. You can’t pretend to be something in front of God. The verse continues, “you reap what you sow” meaning if you are asleep during the meeting, you will reap the consequences of that sleep. You will not benefit from the Word of God as others do because “faith grows by hearing the Word of God”(Rom 10:17) and so you will reaps the consequence of not listening.

We will also reap the consequences of our excuses. “I’m not able to come to the meeting because I’m so busy” but God knows if that is true or not. He also knows if your business is important. It’s not up to us to judge others but we should judge ourselves because one day we will stand in front of the highest judge and He will remind us, “on such a day, you said you couldn’t go to the meeting because you were tired but you stayed home and watched T.V.” God knows what is in our hearts.

Another example is giving the appearance you are working when you are not. I’ve seen lots of people do that. They can look like they are holding something and using it but they are just mucking around. God knows, so you can’t fool him into thinking you are working when you are not. This would be a big mistake to pretend you are praying or pretend you are using your gifts. God can see clearly if you are or not, so there is no need to pretend.

God doesn’t look at the things that man looks at. So what are the things that man looks at? We look at people’s hairstyles, clothes, your car, your position at work/church, if you are married or not, are you worshipping with your hands raised, do you carry a Bible with you.

God doesn’t look at these things. He doesn’t care about Hayley’s haircut that others might think is old fashioned. He doesn’t care and neither should we. We shouldn’t neglect our outward appearance but we shouldn’t judge others because of it and we shouldn’t make it our main focus.

“Keep up appearances” is when we pretend everything is alright when it isn’t. People do this in marriages when they pretend in front of others that everything is fine but at home it is a disaster. People do this with finances too. They are too embarrassed to admit they are struggling so they pretend they are ok, when they are not.

It is not a good idea to do this with our spiritual life. We can’t pretend to God that everything is alright spiritually when it isn’t. We must admit our weaknesses, we must confess our sins, we must tell God when we need help because if we try to pretend we don’t need God’s help, we will find ourselves in a serious problem. God is the only one who can help us, so don’t hide from Him (you can’t anyway). When we are weak, that is when God’s power can rest on us (II Cor 12: 9).

“Heart” is obviously on the inside because God doesn’t look at the outward appearance. So our heart must be the inner, hidden part of us. This makes me think of I Pet 3:3-4.

“Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;
but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”

“Adornment”: decorate
Making ourselves look beautiful or attractive
The things we do to attract people (and God) to us should not be only the physical things like make-up and hair.

“Be merely”: doesn’t mean we can’t wear make-up or dress nicely or wear jewellery or braid our hair. In fact we should look nice outwardly and we should look respectful.

“Hidden person of the heart”: it’s hidden, meaning it’s not seen outwardly like clothing or jewellery but it is inwardly.

It’s about our heart. The Bible says the heart is where our treasure is (Luke 12:34) and from the heart we sin.

Mark 7:15-21There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him."And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18And he said to them, "Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?" Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, "What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,

If our hearts love money, then that will be our focus but if our hearts love God, then we will live completely different lives. If our hearts are pure, then so will be all our actions and all our words. If I’m angry against someone, eventually I will spill my anger on that person but if I have forgiveness, then what is on the inside will show on the outside.

Therefore we need to work on our inner character and on our soul much more importantly than our physical bodies. If I spend 15 minutes per day showering with physical water then I should spend at least 15 minutes a day showering with spiritual water (reading the Word of God).

If I spend 15 minutes per day putting on make-up and doing my hair then I should spend at least 15 minutes per day praying. But it’s hidden, we don’t have to boast and tell others. We do it in secret as the bible says to not let the left hand know what your right hand is doing (Mathew 6:3).

“Imperishable quality”: means it will never disappear, be destroyed or forgotten, it is everlasting.

The quality of a gentle and quiet spirit lasts forever. It’s something that will go with us to eternity. It’s a quality that can’t be destroyed or forgotten. When things become difficult, the quality remains. When people talk rudely, the gentle and quiet spirit isn’t destroyed. When situations become tough, the gentle and quiet spirit isn’t forgotten – we continue to act gently and quietly.

“Imperishable quality”: how good or bad something is; is our character good or bad.
The feature of a person’s character
Of high standard

“Gentle”: according to the dictionary gentle means to be careful not to harm.

E.g. when we hold a baby, we hold the baby carefully. This is how we should think about other people’s souls. Our actions and our words can easily destroy someone’s chances of their soul making it safely into the Kingdom of God. If we are rough with others, they can lose their spiritual life in the same way that if we are rough with a baby, we can easily kill them.

According to the dictionary gentle means:

Kind and calm
Don’t use force
Not strong or unpleasant

When we speak, we need to be kind and calm (even if the situation is boiling up) and we don’t need to use force (even if we think we are right) or be strong or unpleasant. We have to gradually lead people in the right direction.

“Quiet”: making very little noise

As Christians it is important to not make a lot of noise, don’t complain, don’t argue, don’t discuss, don’t justify, just keep quiet. If someone annoys you, just keep quiet. If someone offends you, talk quietly and explain nicely. If someone tells you that you are wrong, keep quiet, let them talk and say thank you. If you do something good, don’t boast, just keep quiet.

We do this because the quality of a gentle and quiet spirit is “Precious in the sight of God”. When God sees us with a gentle and quiet spirit, He is proud and this is His treasure (precious means a treasure, something that is valuable and rare).

So let’s remember God sees everything and we can’t fool God. We also can’t fool people. We might think we can but we can’t, eventually it will be seen. If we don’t read the bible daily, it will be obvious to those around us because our actions will prove it or our lack of knowledge will show others. If we don’t forgive, it will be seen by others also in our way of talking. If we don’t change what is on the will be seen by God and by those around us, so let’s make an effort to look at our hearts and judge ourselves correctly and make the appropriate changes. Let’s make an effort to keep a gentle and quiet for eternity so God will be proud of us.

Monday, April 19, 2010


By Graham Robertson 18th April 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Joseph Sold By His Brothers

By Odon Bulamba (28 June 2002)

Genesis 37

We are going to talk about how Joseph was sold. Joseph’s brothers wanted to kill him. The Bible says that if you hate anyone you are a murderer. From the beginning Joseph’s brothers hated him and by hating him, it made them eligible to be murderers. According to his brothers Joseph had no value as a human being, he was compared to a thing. This is what many people do today; they neglect people to the point that their dog has more value. There was a person who would spend more than $2000 on their dog and loved it more then his workers. Many Christians today hate pagans and think they have little value, if a pagan goes through a hard time they say, ‘it is just his reward for doing what he did’.

So for making Joseph pay his price they dug a hole and threw him in. We know a well is a source of water but this well was transformed into a prison for Joseph. Many Christians today put people in holes as Joseph was; they humiliate and neglect them to the point where they are weak as Joseph was. Try to imagine a group of ten men throwing you into a well; I think it will be very difficult to escape especially when they are stronger then you. However if forgiveness existed it would have been better.

Joseph’s brothers didn’t think he had the right to live, they didn’t think about the consequences nor did they think about forgiveness. How many times do we neglect and furthermore humiliate people when we are comfortable and don’t think of forgiveness? How many times do we think about the value of their soul? When you do something against your brother do you consider the consequences later?

When Reuben arrived to his brothers he asked for Joseph. By this time they had sold Joseph as a slave. Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver, and Jesus was sold for 30 pieces. This is how we compare the value of people, maybe it is because of our knowledge, perhaps it is our race or possibly our religion, but how many times do we neglect other human beings? When God created you, nobody advised God to make you short or tall, so how much did you pay God to make you the way you are?

There were two clever students in a class who used to call others stupid because even though they didn’t study they always succeeded. The other students would work all night and achieve a C+ and because of this the two clever students would say, ‘you are really unintelligent because you don’t understand anything’. Do you suppose that these two students thought about God giving them this ability? We must not be proud with what we have and judge others; to say one is stupid is not acceptable for a Christian.

From here two groups are formed, the clever students and the not-so-clever students. When God gives you something His purpose for you is to help others, if you understand maths, help those who don’t. If you can pray, then help those who can’t and if you can read the Bible, then help those who cannot. If you don’t God will ask you, “what did you do with what I gave you? I gave you something but how did you use it?’

Joseph’s brothers forgot that God was watching them when they made their father believe soaking his clothes in Goat’s blood killed him. Many people organize their lives and forget that God is watching, they don’t realize that God also has a plan and is not blind. We forget that God is omnipresent and knows our thoughts even before they enter our minds.

Today many people make others miserable by putting them in trouble and making themselves look good. They are like mirrors, on one side you can see yourself but on the other side there is nothing, and this is Christian life today.

We call ourselves Christians and have a Bible, but when it comes to live a life in the Lord we are very different.

Reuben came and asked for Joseph, the brothers said an animal ate him. Reuben was shocked and ripped his robe, and then he started thinking about Joseph’s value, ‘what will my father say?’ Do we feel bitterness when we see people going towards spiritual death? Or are we happy that they are dying? Our brother Reuben didn’t have time to rejoice in Joseph’s death, but he started thinking about his life, ‘what will our father say when he asks me where is Joseph’?

As Christians we forget that we have to give an account to God for our lives. Jacob is seen here as an image of God and God will ask you the same question, ‘where were you when this person died in his sin?’ If your friend died in prostitution what did you do about it? We must be very careful with people’s lives, if you see that your brother is making mistakes don’t let him to carry on with it, if you see that your sister is sinning tell her because you will have to give an account one-day.

So the brothers took Joseph’s robe to their father to see what he’ll say and even though they knew they were deceiving their dad they still followed through. Jacob didn’t know the difference with the blood but said this is my sons robe, and Jacob mourned for him. From this the brothers changed their father’s joy to sorrow; they turned their father’s good thoughts into agony. How many times do we make people sick? How many times do we turn people’s joy into mourning?

The bothers didn’t think their dad would mourn for the rest of his life, nor did they think he would contemplate about Joseph’s life, and it is the same with us, we don’t think about the consequences. Some people are experts at disturbing others, to the point where they can’t stop. Try to imagine Joseph’s brothers dividing the 20 pieces of silver between them? With something little you can make life miserable, it is like a father who becomes angry and pushes his son against the wall and dies. After three minutes the anger will pass, but now you are left to think about what you’ve done, but it will be too late because you can’t change consequences. The time we live on this earth is very short, and if we do things that disappoint our God woe to us because we will reap the consequences for the rest of our lives.

There was a father who told his son not to respect adults. The father had a lot of anger inside of him and hung himself. Anger led him to death, like our sins which lead us to death. What you do to someone today be sure that you will reap the consequences later, and if you don’t think about the consequences you will never be a good believer.

When John Paul the second came to Africa he received about $4 million from people, even though he was already rich people gave him a lot, but what about feeding the hungry people with their money? If Helen Clark (ex prime minister of NZ) was to visit Michael’s place, Sylvie would prepare a luxurious meal, but she will not do it if Odon comes. When people receive great people they spend a lot, they don’t do the same for poor people. So who are we? We make disparity between the rich and the poor, we make disparity between the strong and the weak and we forget that God made them both, and this is why the church is confused today. If you want to see evil today go to a church and you will see many sins, because Christians do what pagan’s wouldn’t even do.

Oscar visited a person one day who asked him about his future life?’ Oscar said only God knows my future, but maybe I’ll have a family one-day. Oscar confessed he needed money to bring his wife from Zaire and the person answered, ‘if I had the money Oscar I’d give it to you’.

Then another man came over and was selling puppies at $300 each, so the first man brought one for his wife. The man handed over $300 for one puppy. Oscar was there watching, he saw him hand over $300 for the pup and said, ‘I thought you didn’t have any money?’ He said that this was not his money but someone else‘s. The puppy had more value than Oscar. This is how we act when it comes to money. With money we sacrifice people’s lives as Joseph’s brothers sacrificed him and Judas sacrificing Jesus.

Money is useless, it is only paper and can be ripped easily, but as adults we worship this bit of paper, so are we different from those who worshipped Baal? At least those who worshipped Baal were worshipping a wooden statue because the statues use to be a living tree, but today we worship paper. Lets’ be careful with what we are doing especially with the souls around us because one day we will have to give an account to God for them. Whether you like it not you will be accountable, rich or poor you will be accountable, and always remember that one day your life will end.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Joseph’s Life

By Odon Bulamba (14 June 2002)

Joseph was a man like you and me. God loved him and always wanted to be near him. So how was Joseph different from us? The only difference was that Joseph obeyed the Word of God. It means that when you obey God’s Word He will obey you, and if you want to become God’s friend just obey His word. Before talking about Joseph who was Joseph’s mum? In the Bible there are 6 Josephs but we are talking about the first Joseph in Genesis 30:24.

She named him Joseph, and said, “May the Lord add to me another son.”

We have the meaning of Joseph, ‘to give again, but who was Joseph’s mum? Rachel. Who was Rachel’s father? Laban, and who was Laban to Jacob? Laban was Jacob’s uncle and Jacob married Laban’s two daughters. Jacob was in love with Rachel and worked a lot for her favor. However when time came for Jacob to marry Rachel, Jacob woke up to find Leah next to him because women wear veils when being married. Imagine that you love someone who is beautiful but you are given someone who isn’t.

Why did Laban’s family decide to cheat Jacob when they were all a family of believers? It’s because they believed in Jewish law, the Jewish law didn’t allow the younger daughter to be married before the older daughter. According to theology Leah hadn’t met anyone that told her, “I love you”, and it was hard for her and the family. Imagine marrying someone you don’t know or love? What kind of wedding will it be? Would it be possible to marry without love? No!

For us Christians today we call Jesus our husband when we don’t even love Him. Jesus loved the world so much He gave His life, now He is waiting for us to express love back. We can tell others that we love Jesus but love is not about words.

1 John 3:16-18, this is how we know what love is, that Jesus Christ lay down His life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need and but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth

The acts we do must express our love for others. What are the good acts that we show Jesus? This proves that we don’t love Him, unless your conscious talks to you and says your acts are good. So Jacob married two women but his true love was towards Rachel and the artificial love was towards Leah. Sometimes we pretend to love. I remember a guy who was handsome, and because he was good-looking an old lady liked him. This old lady was very rich. So the young boy said because I’m poor and this lady is rich, I’ll just pretend to love her. Deep in his heart he would abuse her for the old lady was really ugly, but because she was rich the young man loved her, but his love was artificial and full of hypocrisy.

Everywhere they would go the lady declared this is my husband and the husband would smile and say, yes I’m her husband but deep in his heart he thought, why does she tell everyone I’m her husband. As the young man became comfortable he started looking for younger girls and found a girl that he loved.

When he was with her he would open his heart, but when he came back to the old lady it was just flattery. This is the way Christians love Jesus Christ today, on one side you have the world and on the other side Jesus.

Jacob begot 12 children and Joseph was the eleventh child of the family. Although Leah wasn’t pretty she still gave birth to many children, whereas Rachel who was beautiful hardly begot any children. How many children did Rachel have to Jacob? Joseph and Benjamin.

Jacob loved these two children more than Leah’s children. Joseph had to stay with his parents a lot while his other brothers went out to work. One day Jacob told Joseph to visit his brothers. Joseph was a child who obeyed his parents and never opposed what they would say. Like Christians today, we are children of God and we obey His Word, but if you don’t obey His Word we had better consider it. Since Joseph obeyed his father he would send him far away. Once he arrived his brothers were happy to see him.

What did Joseph bring with him? He took food for them. It wasn’t about belongings they liked but useful things for their lives. What kind of things do we bring to others? Is it constructive for their spiritual lives or not? When we have visitors we often ask them what they would like to drink, and some people ask for beer. In some Christian homes you’ll see beer in their fridge, and if someone asks them for one they will give them one and say, ‘the Bible doesn’t mention about drinking beer so here you are’. But there is a verse in Habakkuk 2:15, Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors. Woe to the one who offers alcoholic drink to anyone.

Secondly, Christians are ready to give you a photo album and show you, but it is hard for them to open their Bibles and show photos in it. The Bible has the best photos, it shows you what is inside of yourself, but with normal photos you see just the physical.

So Joseph went to see his brothers. His brothers forgot about the good food he brought and plotted to kill him. Do we acknowledge as Christians what God does with us? Do we realize that Jesus love was manifested on the cross for us? Do we realize how much our brothers and sisters look after our lives? What is the reward we give them? What kind of thankfulness do we express?

Joseph found himself nailed, he thought he was finished but one of his brothers said, ‘we will not kill him for he is our brother and we are all from the same descendants, so we have to be gracious and think of his life’. Before making decisions how many times do we stop and think if it will be valuable for our lives? How many times do we stop and think about what will happen later? How many times do we think about our brothers and sisters are descendants of God? If we don’t think of them as descendants of God then who are they?

Are we different from Joseph’s brothers who wanted to kill him at all cost? Or are we similar to Judah who said, ‘don’t kill him’. You find in everyday life that people don’t forgive, people say, ‘He deserves to reap what he has sown’.

Recently in New Zealand a woman didn’t take her child to the hospital to be treated for sickness because she believed that faith would heal the baby but the baby died. Judgment came and the lady and her husband were arrested. The newspaper asked people what they thought of it and a Christian said, ‘I’m a Christian like them but I cannot neglect my child for my belief, although I believe in God my child has more importance then what I believe’. Others would say, ‘they have to be punished so it can be a lesson for others’. A young girl who was 11 years old said, ‘from time to time we ask our parents to forgive us and they do, so why can’t we forgive this family, maybe it was God’s will for this child to die?’ While adults thought of punishment a young girl thinks of forgiveness. This is the mistake of the church today; it thinks of revenge and keeps old things in their hearts, although they say I forgive you with their lips, deep in their hearts it is still remembered.

It is like someone who has a scar from a cut, we must not keep the scars others have made, but to do as God does and that is to forgive and forget completely. Judah said to his brothers, ‘what shall we gain if we kill our brother and cover his blood? What interests do you have with your actions? When we punish others what is your interest in all of it?

Adolph Hitler was an evil man on this earth. He was a famous man who thought death was like scratching his head, but what did he gain in all of this? Maybe he killed to protect himself, maybe he killed to reign, maybe he killed to have a reputation in the world, but what did he win in all of this after his death? What he used to kill is kept in a museum, and all the evil he had done was passed down to his descendants. Why do I talk about Hitler? Because sometimes we can do things that will have consequences later, maybe in our children’s lives or grandchildren’s because for God if you do something today He might punish up to the fourth generation. What will you gain if you do something bad to the person next to you? What will happen if you die tomorrow and he/she is still alive? What if your child will see him and ask for his help? What will that person do? He’ll say, ‘ah, remember what your father did’. This child is innocent but is now the victim, so as human beings we have to be very careful with what we do, because other people will reap everything we sow later.

For example if Albert invested today $50,000,000 in his bank account, when he is 150 years old is son will inherit the money. Who will say to Albert’s son that he is not entitled to this money? Nobody. With God our actions are the same thing, when we do good God blesses our families, but if we do bad the devil destroys everything we have including our families.

Joseph humiliated himself and didn’t say a word. How many times do we humiliate ourselves in a situation? There was a young boy who knew everything, as soon as he spoke he would say, ‘it’s not that’ to the point where his mum said, ‘you are my son’, but he said, ‘no you are not’ and it became a long discussion. His mother regretted having such a son. When his parents spoke to him about respect he wanted to know why he had to be taught about respect. His parents told him they sacrificed time, money and resources for his well being. The son told them he would pay back everything they did for them. The father looked at his wife and started crying, the son said ‘crying or no crying make this list for me and show it tomorrow, because I know you have done absolutely nothing for my life’. So the father went into the boy’s room while he was at work, and did a bowel motion on his bed, and before doing it he made sure he had eaten ample.

The son came back from work in the evening and could smell something wasn’t normal, so he started becoming angry. He went to his room and found the mess on his bed. His father laughed and asked him, ‘what is wrong my son’? ‘I believe there are sorcerers among our servants because I’ve found faeces in my bed, and it hasn’t come from a child but an adult’. The father called his wife and said to him, ‘we are just showing you what we had to do for you while you lived with us’. So what did this young man gain by boasting about knowing everything? What was the parents’ interest in what they did?

Don’t act like this father did when someone does wrong against you, it was a silly act but he thought it was a lesson for his son. Many Christians act in revenge and become rebellious. Your actions can put a person in a difficult situation but God will look at you and say, ‘you are putting shame on yourself’. We have to be careful as Christians and ask ourselves, what will we gain from doing this? We must always remember Jacob’s marriage and meditate on it, we can also keep in mind how Jacob’s brothers were with him and against him, we have to consider Joseph’s obedience to Jacob, we have to think about the baggage we bring to others and we have to act like Judah who always asked himself, ‘what shall we gain in all of this’?

In everything you do ask yourself this question. We have to commit to memory Joseph’s humility, although we are attacked by our surroundings we have to control ourselves and shut our mouths. Pray in general for all the Christians who act like the 10 brothers of Joseph that don’t want to recognize the value of a soul.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Joseph, Husband of Mary (part III)

By Odon Bulamba (6 December 2002)

Luke 2:1-7 1

Joseph left Nazareth to go to Bethlehem because that’s where he belonged. Once he arrived the Bible says that all the hostels were full. Joseph didn’t worry but continued to look around knocking on doors. Mary was ready to give birth but Joseph didn’t know where to go. Joseph decided to forget about looking for a comfortable room so the Spirit of God helped him to know where the animals lived. By now Mary was exhausted and gave birth. Joseph on the other hand wasn’t ashamed that his wife gave birth around cows not to mention the smell, “that’s the place where God gave us, so let it be”. When you have a problem with your brother do you look for a room or advice elsewhere? Do you help that person by prayer or do you forget completely?

Today the church is living in luxury; they can’t even kneel down and ask for forgiveness to their God, they think that their expensive pants will become dirty. This is a time where God wants to do something in your life, when Joseph was looking around for a room was the time where the pain of childbirth would increase. We must be ready for any situation, and if God gives us a situation that doesn’t please us we must accept it. Don’t doubt because you cannot flee. When God blesses people they only want positive things that are good for the body.

One day God asked a servant if he wanted a blessing, so the man said yes Jesus I’m ready. Jesus said that your blessing is one you’ll cherish because those who are true to Me want it so much, so Jesus said that the man was going to die tonight, that’s the blessing. The man told God it wasn’t a blessing so God asked him if it was a curse. So what is it? God blessed this man by allowing him to enter the kingdom but as for the servant he was expecting something material like money etc. This was a time of decision; do you reject the blessing God offers?

God teaches us a lot of things while we are alive. Last night I thought about the birth of a child. When a child is born nobody pushes him or her out of the womb, instead they know when the time has come to leave the womb. If it’s cold or hot the child will leave, although painfully it will be born. A child decides to see the world. God needs people who can make up their minds so that they will go to His census. Of course the traveling is long and there are many problems or routes along the way, but we have to make up our minds to reach the goal that God loves.

There is a tribe in North Africa that says a man without a decision is a goat without a head because a goat without a head is not a goat but a dying goat. As for us Christians we have to make up our minds, do I belong to God or not? If yes then belong to God from now on. When we make mistakes let’s accept they are mistakes and make them to be transformed. If someone tells you your mistakes know that this person loves you.

So accept your weaknesses and when someone talks about your weaknesses be happy, and this will help you to be transformed. Do not become angry or say that it is finished between you and that person, but be ready to accept other people’s advice. Joseph accepted what God told him through a dream, even though he could have rejected the dream and said it was only a dream he humbled himself for God’s glory. To have people come to you and say that this is your problem is a grace because God sends people that we can actually see and not always in a dream. Don’t we find that we have a better grace than Joseph? Maybe Joseph was confused because it was dream but as for us we see people who talk to us. God loves us with grace. Look after your engagement because sometimes as you know it can be broken. Jesus is always faithful and to be faithful to Jesus is just to make up your mind, a decision.

Pray that everyone will know his or her country of origin and that God will help us to know where we come from, also to be faithful to your engagement and know that God is in other people’s lives.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Joseph, Husband of Mary (part II)

By Odon Bulamba (6 December 2002)

Luke 2:1-7 1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Jewish culture condemned any women conceiving before marriage and was to be stoned or cast out. If Mary had been cast out of her parent’s house she would have had to stay at Joseph’s place, so Joseph had to accept everyone’s mockery and during this time Joseph didn’t have the right to touch Mary.

As we know with census everybody fills out forms for something the government has organized. In the time of Augustus everybody had to be registered and during this period a lot of people traveled. A lot of people today forget their origin and where they are from. The Bible says clearly that we are not from this earth; we have a country of origin that is not the earth. Now God is ordering a census to count those who are His own, so do you know your country of origin? Do you remember where you came from? Did your parents talk to you about your origin?

All the black people in America try to find out where they are from, one day they think they are from Zimbabwe and the next day Nigeria, so why is this? When their ancestors left Africa they only knew the name of their country and village at that time, and when colonization happened the names of their areas changed. What their ancestors knew before had now become obsolete and because of this it has put a lot of people in a state of confusion. Today democracy and technology destroy the church, biblical verses are changed and what was written yesterday is not written today.

The demonic colonization is destroying the church of God today, if you were to ask a Christian if he or she is a Christian they won’t know. If you ask Christians today whether they are saved or not, they are not sure. People today don’t feel like going to church or reading the Bible, if nobody pushes them they won’t move, they think it’s better to play soccer or tennis. They do this instead of trying to find their place of origin. Blessed was Joseph because he knew that he came from David’s lineage.

One day I was asked what was the name of my grandfather?; I didn’t know that my own name was that of my grandfather. It was because of negligence that I didn’t know and as for us Christians today we neglect the Word of God. We know that Jesus was born and we think this is enough, but why was Jesus born? Why was it that a virgin gave birth to Jesus? Why was Jesus born in a stable? Why was Jesus poor? Why was Jesus chosen as a descendant of David because David wasn’t His father? Why is Jesus called the Messiah? Why are we calling Him Lord when He is not a king? Or where is this kingdom because we cannot see it on earth? Today these little questions are not even thought about when Christians read the Word, they only think of the Bible as a book that has stories in it. Instead of asking questions they keep silent.

Will God recognize that you are from His descendants? Or will He be confused? Do you want God to start questioning you? God gives us time to know Him and to understand the kingdom of heaven. He gives us time to worship Him by reading the Bible and getting to know His Son, so it’s up to us to know our responsibilities. We as Christians must always remember that God is our father and our origin. Joseph knew where he was from, so he took Mary to the census while she was 9 months pregnant.

Do you know the distance between Nazarene and Bethlehem? It is far, and because Joseph wasn’t rich he couldn’t hire a horse but a donkey, and you know the stubbornness of a donkey. A donkey doesn’t respect his master especially when they are tired. Although Joseph knew how donkeys are he still accepted to put up with it. So he put Mary on it. Joseph was patient and tolerant with the donkey. He knew that Mary was going to be heavy for the donkey so he understood what the donkey was going through. Joseph also knew that his donkey was proud but he found a way to walk with it. However, the three of them walked together.

As for us Christians we have to live this way. When others are going through a tough time and have burdens as Mary did (pregnant), we must help them and take them where there is a census of God. We must take them to God and tell Him that this person belongs to You Lord. This happens through our prayers and putting the Word of God into practice. Joseph remembered the Word of God. He could have let Mary walk but he knew that Mary was carrying the savior of the world; even though he was tired he didn’t let the savior of the world suffer for his own comfort. Joseph accepted to suffer. When the donkey was thirsty it was up to Joseph to get it a drink.

We must know how to walk with others. For us Christians we have a problem. If someone is a sinner we don’t want to become his or her friend, when someone doesn’t have the same spiritual level, we despise that person. Joseph was always there to help Mary; even though some pregnant women can be fussy Joseph was very patient for he knew the value that was in Mary. Do you know that the Lord is in the womb of others? When you see someone do you really feel that God is in that person? If God is in that person you must look after him or her, that’s why God says you must love your neighbor. Although that person may be weak and have limits, you must take him or her to a place where it will please God.

The donkey is the body we bear as we go on a trip around earth. Who can say that their body is not proud? Who can say that their body is not precious? Who can say that when you want to do something the body always accepts? Sometimes we have to understand the will of our body but we don’t have to respect it. Joseph and Mary would talk together but they wouldn’t talk to the donkey. We don’t have to tell our bodies to have a rest and be free, no! You must speak to the spirit within yourself. “Spirit of God help me that I may overcome this body, that I may go up to the place of census”.

If your body needs clothing give it clothing, if your body needs water then give it water, but your body will never be satisfied, it is there only for a limited time. Joseph didn’t use the donkey for the rest of his life; he just used it for the trip. For us Christians we only use the body for the trip on earth because at the end of our trip the body will stay behind and we will arrive at our destination. If you give too much importance to your body, you will risk to not be counted by God in the census. In the census they didn’t count donkeys or camels, only people. The man is not the physical body but the real man is inside; the soul. Our bodies only help us to do God’s will and that’s it, and once God’s will is done the body’s mission is finished.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Joseph, Husband of Mary

By Odon Bulamba (6 December 2002)

Matthew 1:18-21, 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. 20But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

It is a joy to read this passage because there is many things it can teach us. It’s not only about Jesus’ birth but it teaches us also about our spiritual lives as Christians. Through these verses we can find our spiritual birth, spiritual frame and the power of the Holy Spirit in Christian life. The life we live on earth doesn’t come in a draft copy because once it is finished you cannot go back to correct your mistakes. It is not a life with pencils and rubbers when you can write whatever you want. You cannot erase life, when you leave it, you leave it forever. You cannot say that tonight you’ll sleep in the same position as last night because what we do today never comes again.

Joseph feared God and tried to live according to God’s will, to the point where he put God first in everything. Joseph became engaged to Mary, which is a normal thing. When you first become engaged the world is centered between you and your partner. When you love your partner you can forget to eat, forget your parents and this is normal for people in love. After this you start planning you future life together.

As Christians today we are the fiancées of Jesus Christ, unfortunately we don’t have any plans for our future because we often forget our lover who is Jesus Christ. Often things we love on earth distract us, so we put Jesus aside. When we love someone as our husband or wife we usually stop to think about that person. You can have 1000 positive ideals about your partner because of the love you have.

Joseph loved Mary but his love was limited to a certain level, but Jesus who loves His church loves it with eternal love. So what kind of love does the church give back to Jesus? What kind of love do you give back to Jesus? How often do we think about Jesus? How many times do you dream about Jesus? If you have a fiancée but don’t think about him or her, then who are you? Will people say that you really love your fiancée? It means that you don’t love because when you love someone you think about that person, which is normal behavior. When Christians today get close to Jesus they don’t know what to say to Him, and when Jesus looks at us we don’t know what to tell Him.

Joseph was disappointed and confused when he knew that Mary was pregnant but what could he do? What kind of attitude do we have when we are disappointed with our brothers or sisters? Do we moan and cry before man? Do we become accusers? Do we lose control? Maybe what your brother did to you was a test that God did through him. For Joseph it was a test and he didn’t know what to do. Joseph wanted to decide something but God told him that it wasn’t up to himself to decide. Joseph wanted to stop everything but God told him it wasn’t the right solution, so God told him that it was through the power of the Holy Spirit that his wife, Mary became pregnant.

So God told him not to flee or leave her, but to carry on respecting her. Imagine living with your fiancée who has disappointed you but you have to keep on living with that person, it is not too easy. When we are tempted we are not called to tell everyone about it, when we are tested we are not called to become angry and frustrated by the situation. Do not complain, keep silent and control your tongue, and when you do these things it will help you to start thinking. We are not to flee the situation at hand, but we are to do what is written in the book of 1 Peter 5:7, cast all your burdens unto the Lord because He loves you. When we have a problem take it to Jesus, and if there is a situation beyond our understanding take it Jesus. Doing this will help us to know whether or not it was a test or a temptation.

Because Joseph accepted to stay with Mary he also accepted the consequences. For some men it is not easy to stay with their wives while they’re pregnant, and some even go away for 9 months. Women can be dangerous while pregnant and some treat their husbands harshly. I know a brother who said he was treated more harshly than the Israelites under Pharaoh. Joseph put up with everything and the Bible says he didn’t talk about Mary being pregnant. Maybe people asked him about his wife but Joseph always had a good answer. He never accused the Holy Spirit or mocked his wife’s pregnancy.

Joy After Birth Pains

By Odon Bulamba (4 January 2002)

The Bible says there is a time to eat, a time to walk, a time to look forward and a time to look back, and in the end we will be judged.

John 16:19-21.
Jesus saw that they wanted to ask Him about this, so He said to them, are you asking one another what I meant when I said, in a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see Me? I tell you the truth; you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come: but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.

We all ask ourselves when will Jesus come back, and when will our ministries come to pass? You may be waiting for the answer but Jesus replied to His disciples, “In a short time you will see Me again”, so do not ask yourself any questions because you risk to doubt. The more you doubt the more you lose your patience and you will grieve everyday. We will never see last year again, so now it may be a time to reap what you have sown. If you mourned last year now it is time to laugh because Jesus promised that your mourning would be turned into joy.

Are you still sad because of what happened to you last year? Are your problems still bothering you from last year? Does the hardship your family caused you last year still bother you? Does suffering still have room in your life? Does lack of money or lack of courage still have room in your heart? Do you collaborate with your brothers? It is now time to think about what happened last year. So are the problems you had last year still mixed in you this year? Jesus gave us an authority, what we bind of earth will be bound in heaven, so why can’t you bind your problems from last year and start a new year with joy? Why can’t you bind your problems from last year to start a new victorious year?

When a woman is in labour she has pain because her hour has come, but when she gives birth to a child she no longer remembers her anguish because her child has be born into the world.

You might be suffering now but after that comes joy. Before you can get a solution there is always a time of trouble before it. A few hours before mum gives birth she goes through hardship, and life is also like this. For us Christians we also have the pain of birth. When Jesus redeemed us He suffered on the cross. The Bible says that God rested after creation, so when we work hard to the point of exhaustion we have to renew our strength. If Steve needs $100,000 and we pray for him but he has no answer, where will his pain lead him? When will we receive the birth we have asked for?

The church of God is like a woman; when she gives birth to a child it is a joy. In the Bible there are examples of women who couldn’t have children and they would cry out to God. It’s very painful for a childless woman to see other women with children, so woe to women who ask God to be barren. As a church of God we have to conceive, but to conceive we need a husband. The Bible gives us two kinds of fathers, the devil and God. If you marry the devil (John 8) and you conceive with him be sure that your children will be like him, but if you accept God as your father you will have good children.

How can you as the church give birth? How many times have you lead people to Jesus Christ? If you bring up your children with a pure heart your children will be pure, but if you have bitterness deep in your heart when you give birth you will face many problems.

Before a woman gives birth she goes through certain stages. One night I was observing the women who were pregnant in our group. Marcia would sit next to Steve so he could comfort her, and every time she needed something Steve would get it. Once we have conceived we really need Jesus Christ beside us, and in order for us to preach the gospel He needs to assist us, so in everything you do Jesus must be there.

Try to imagine a pregnant woman without anybody to help them, what will happen to her? She can plan her life but because of isolation or loneliness she might commit suicide, so if we use our own strength as Christians to change someone’s spiritual life we will burn out. When a lady is pregnant she becomes tired and her taste buds change. We must control our actions, thoughts and the way we walk, and above all this, ask the Holy Spirit to control your life. If you don’t ask the Holy Spirit to help you, you might throw up what you have eaten and when this happens you risk hating those around you like a pregnant woman who is troubled by giving birth.

It is not easy to punish a child while it is still in the womb, and when the children of God find new birth it is not easy to punish them because they are like eggs. You must be very careful not to break them because an egg doesn’t know if it has life. Once a woman has conceived she must protect the well being of her child and herself, so they must collaborate with each other. So why didn’t you have any collaboration between your brothers last year? Maybe your spiritual level is different to theirs, maybe the way you speak and the way they speak is quite the opposite, but they need to receive something from you so they can find new life.

Some children are born disabled, premature, still born, and some are born through surgery. As Christians we must not think that we will always have a normal birth, because sometimes things don’t go to plan. So how many things have happened since last year? What did you give to God, thinking that it would bear fruit but didn’t? If you gave birth to a stillborn what would you do? The first thing you will say is, what is wrong? Why is my child a stillborn? The doctor must give an answer to your questions.

How many people have you conceived spiritually but then had an abortion? How many people or children have we conceived to Jesus Christ who were premature? How many people are stillborn? What are you going to tell God about the people you have aborted? We have to go back to God and ask Him what happened. Is it your way of talking that is wrong? Is it your way of dressing? Is it your way of praying? So why are they stillborn?

We are the church of God and the Bible says that when a woman gives birth to a child she is happy, so where is the joy towards our brothers and sisters who use to pray with us? Where is our joy from the things we did last year? Where is our joy from last year’s prayers? If there is no joy what have you sown? Try to think about all the material hardship and spiritual hardship in your life and take it to God to find a solution. What is still bothering your conscience, moral or faith? Maybe you are distracted when the Word of God is preached, maybe you don’t listen, and maybe you can’t find time to pray at home, so when will it end?

When we were conceived spiritually we had the Word in us, so what is the problem with you? Why don’t you receive what you ask for? Is it because you were conceived by the devil who is the father of all lies, or did you conceive from God? If you were conceived by the devil you deceive yourself, but if you are conceived by the God of truth you will succeed.

So ask God to help you. Where you are weak my God give you strength, when you suffered may God give you joy, and if something went wrong last year may it stay in last year. Why do we pray to God if we don’t receive? Why do we pray if things are not fulfilled? Our God is not a liar. When we ask for sometime He will give it unless we have bad intentions or He doesn’t agree. Think about your life and what was wrong last year, did you suffer morally or financially? Ask God to help you find a solution so that you can have your joy back.