Monday, May 31, 2010

FORGIVENESS OF GOD

By Odon Bulamba (20th September 2002)

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

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

God asked Adam, “where are you?” First you have to know where you are. Adam said, ‘I’m in the garden but hiding’. And God asked, ‘why?’ ‘Because I have sinned’. God didn’t ask Adam what happened because it wasn’t the time to judge Adam but first of all God covered Adam’s nakedness. God asked Adam, “How do you know you have sinned?” Instead of answering the question Adam said, “the wife You gave me made me sin”. Adam forgot that God sees everything and that His presence is everywhere. God’s forgiveness is omnipresent.

After this God visited the people of Israel and saw that they sinned a lot. So in order for their sins to be forgiven blood had to flow. God thought, ‘I don’t want to come down all the time to kill sheep’, so God chose servants. “Aaron, you’ll do that to represent Me for the people. Take the blood of an animal and do this and do that and the person will be forgiven”. God gave Aaron power to lead His people to forgiveness. But many people died in their sins because sacrificing only happened once a year. God knows that forgiveness is necessary for everyone at all times because He knows we are weak.

God came (Jesus Christ), He left heaven where He lived and whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. God loved the world so much He gave Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for our sins. We cannot receive forgiveness without receiving Jesus Christ.

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

Love walks together with forgiveness. If you don’t have love you don’t have forgiveness but flattery. First we all must have love and when we have this forgiveness will come easily. Because God loved us He gave His only Son to die for us. To forgive people we have to ask ourselves, do I love this person or not and if not, am I worthy to be called a Christian? We must love and pray for our enemies and before we pray we must know if we love them or not, and if you don’t, you must find a way.

When you love you practise justice, truth and you have no prejudice. When you have love and you see that your brother or sister has done something wrong against you and you forgive them, God is happy.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friends Or Enemies? (Part II)

By Odon Bulamba (16 August 2002)

The book of Philemon


Onesimus met Paul in jail and Paul preached the gospel to him. Then Paul asked Philemon to regard Onesimus as a brother and no longer a slave. So Paul wanted Onesimus to stay with him and everything that Onesimus had done against Philemon, Paul wanted to pay for it. Unfortunately when Christians hate, sometimes it is forever because they don’t know how to practice forgiveness and if you offend any body in my country they say, “I have a scar”.

This is not from Jesus because Jesus paid for everything, if you want to heal your scar go to Jesus and He’ll fix it for you free of charge. Those who were your enemies must become your friends and this is a step to maturity. Whoever is your enemy put his or her name on a piece of paper and say to Jesus, “Jesus I want this person to be my friend because if he is my friend I can forgive him and have the courage to pray for him. You said Lord that if you forgive you’ll be forgiven and without forgiveness there is no love”.

Once you have accepted an enemy and regarded him as a brother in the Lord, you will see the light in him.

Paul wrote Philemon a letter telling him to regard Onesimus as a brother because Paul knew that Philemon needed to practice forgiveness. I would be ashamed to be Philemon, especially being a servant of God and having to be corrected by a friend who was Paul. If we reject anybody, Jesus will ask you to take this person back even though they have done wrong to you, and this is not easy.

There was a sorcerer who killed a lot of members in my family and when we came together to pray we would ask God to kill her. One of my cousins made a coffin while she was alive because we didn’t like her at all, but Jesus said, “You must love her and be her friend”. So who will love her? Oscar? No, because if you become a sorcerer’s friend you risk to be eaten. Jesus asked us to be her friend and I can tell you, it was difficult to communicate with her. Instead of talking about the love of Jesus we would talk about magic, instead of talking about God’s Word and warning her about life after death, we would talk about rubbish things.

One night someone came to me and told me to weigh myself on the scales, and it turned out that I was only 4kg. I was shocked because not even a child can weigh that little, but the person told me, “the reason why you weigh so little is because you love little, love is what makes a Christian because love forgives”. I was spiritually light because the trunk [the solid part – the foundation] of the church is love.

I thank God because after a time she accepted Jesus but if we hadn’t loved her or talked to her about Jesus Christ her blood would have been on our shoulders. When Jesus tells us to accept someone we have to take them in, sometimes it is difficult but with God all things are possible because He will open the way for you, but if you just give up woe to you. If you want to be mature in the Lord you have to try the first step then the second step and so on, like a baby learning to walk, and remember that Jesus said “you will not be tempted beyond what you are able to bear”.

We know what our weaknesses are, if you were a thief and are faced with temptation, all you have to do is look right and then look left, like someone crossing the road. We have to check whether it is a sin or not, if it is, we must flee from it, simple.

Meditate on Philemon’s and Onesimus’ life, God is not far and can act straight away, if you draw near to Him He will draw near to you and He will give you anything. If you want to be servant of God you will, if you want to be someone in the Lord you will because our Lord needs servants, the harvest is plenty but the workers are few. It is now time to work for the Lord because He will pay you, don’t be like a chick waiting for his mum to feed him all the time, woe to the man who is compared to a bird. A bird is beautiful with its feathers, but when you pluck its feathers it becomes ugly, so we must not cover ourselves with feathers just to show off. Beauty needs to come from within.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Friends Or Enemies? (Part 1)

By Odon Bulamba (16 August 2002)

We are going to share about something that is crucial for every believer, and it’s in the book of Philemon. Philemon was a Christian and he believed in the Law of Moses so he could inherit the kingdom of God. Philemon was a courageous believer and knew the Word of God and because he was courageous he became Paul’s friend whom Paul regarded as worthy of the gospel.

Philemon had a few servants and one of them was called Onesimus. Later on Onesimus left Philemon’s house because he done something against Philemon and Philemon wasn’t happy (according to some Bibles) so Philemon had Onesimus put into jail for what he had done against him. While in jail Onesimus met up with Paul (I want to insist that some versions don’t say anything about this).

Philemon was Paul’s friend and also a fellow worker and Christians would meet together in his house. So who is a friend and who is an enemy? Who are our friends as Christians? Who are our enemies as Christians? Do Christians have enemies? If we love our enemies are they still our enemies or do they become our friends?

Philemon was Paul’s friend but the hardest thing to know as Christians is, who are our enemies and who are our friends? On what ground do we say that they are our friend or enemy? How and why is Jesus your friend? What is a friend? You can be brothers in the same family but it doesn’t mean you’re friends, or does it? I know three children who were born on the same day but were not friends, and each one of them had different friends. A friendship without love is not a friendship, if it is, then it’s just hypocrisy.

Paul wanted us to learn something from Philemon because Philemon got to a stage where he betrayed Paul as a friend. Philemon rejected the faith in a way that he put another human being in jail. He put aside forgiveness and forgot that Onesimus was his servant.

As Christians we must help that person to understand what they have done is sin. If you put someone in jail for twenty years and carry on living a normal life, you are mistaken because when people go to jail they often come out worse. But if you take this person into the jail of Jesus Christ, which is called ‘The Gospel Jail’, this person will find life and thank God.

There were two men playing checkers, the winner laughed at his friend because he had lost, so the loser got a knife out and stabbed him in anger. Anger can lead you to kill and this is not good for a Christian to have.

Philemon was a servant of God but when he was wronged he turned from God’s law. We must choose good friends and a good friend to have is Jesus Christ. If you have Him as your friend you will never have enemies because everyday Jesus will remind you that what they are doing to you, He has already paid for it. If people are against you Jesus will help you to understand that they don’t know what they are doing because with our human nature it is not easy to overcome our feelings; anger may come, hatred may come, but we must run to Jesus and ask Him to help us.

A good Christian can control what they are doing, and when this happens it will be a good testimony but if your actions don’t show the difference then there won’t be any testimony.

Onesimus went to jail and suffered but by the grace of God he met Paul. Paul knew that Onesimus was a slave but after talking to him he became a brother. So who is a slave? A slave has been created in the image of God but his or her value in the eyes of man is less than an animal because in some countries animals are treated better than humans.

Onesimus was a slave in Philemon’s house and even though Philemon knew he had been created in God’s image, Philemon didn’t regard Onesimus as a human being but always as a slave. How do you think people treated slaves at that time? If you read the Bible you will see how slaves were treated. Christians today are experts in humiliating people especially if they are poor. When Jesus was on this earth He was a poor man but when He comes back He’ll say to these Christians, “I was thirsty but you gave Me no water, I was hungry but you didn’t feed Me”, and maybe these are the people whom we have humiliated today.

So who are our slaves today? Our bodies? Friends? Children? Are we slaves? Many people today don’t want to be slaves and if someone called you a slave you wouldn’t like it. Jesus has called us to be His slave, not to humiliate us but to lift us up. If you are a slave in man’s eyes you are nothing but if Jesus calls you a slave it is to lift you up. A slave must obey his master, so do you obey Jesus? Be honest, do you obey Jesus Christ? If we don’t obey, can Jesus act as Philemon did? Will Jesus have us arrested and put in jail to be punished? Because He is Jesus and full of kindness, He keeps on forgiving us, he doesn’t want to torture us, He doesn’t want to put us in jail, He wants us to carry on and He wants us to learn from our mistakes so we can find life but one day this grace will end.

Remember the Israelites who were enslaved for 400years then set free just like that? We represent these people today. We are a slave to Jesus today but one day it will end and among us there will be some Josephs, Daniels and Joshua’s. If we are slaves and can humiliate ourselves, the Bible says that we will be exalted but if you don’t humiliate yourself, sorry, you cannot walk with Jesus.

Jesus knew He was going to be arrested and crucified but He let them arrest Him. Peter took a knife and cut the officer’s ear, but Jesus said, “If I needed someone to help Me I would have called an army of angels to fight for Me but because I have to humiliate Myself, now is the time”. So Jesus healed the man who had his ear cut off, even after the officer’s ear was healed he still had Jesus arrested and had him tortured.

Imagine solving someone’s problem free of charge and as a repayment they have you arrested and tortured, who can accept this? Jesus can. With this humility Jesus saved the world and this is why we are lifted up today. Jesus accepted to be humiliated in order to save our souls. What will you do if someone stripped you naked and spat on you? Will you forgive them? If you are arrested for no reason at all, will you try and defend yourself or just accept what they say? If we want to walk with Jesus we must control our tongues and then Jesus will defend us. Let’s humiliate ourselves like slaves.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

GIFTS AND MINISTRIES (Part V)

By Odon Bulamba (Friday 29th September 2000)


12. THE GIFT OF WISDOM

1 Corinthians 12:8
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom;
to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit
;

Verse 8 tells us about the Spirit giving the word of wisdom. What is wisdom according to men?
- Just knowledge of things according to the dictionary
This is what men call wisdom ‘just knowledge of things’. But for God things are miles apart from that: God says that wisdom is the fear of the Lord. When you start to fear the Lord, wisdom starts to grow in you, but if you don’t fear the Lord, you are not wise, despite your huge knowledge.

Wisdom is a gift of the Spirit. Wisdom is a hugely valuable treasure. When someone is wise, nobody might say it, but it will be obvious in their behaviour and lifestyle.

I remember that priests would pretend to be wise after studying a few years at the seminary: and wisdom was for them to speak in a deep voice, with innocence on their face, great politeness when speaking to others, and being well groomed. But when we were scouts we would go camping somewhere in the country and steal fruit in the priest’s garden. If the priest saw you and caught you, woe to you: at that very moment the priesthood will be put aside and you will get a serious hiding. The child might cry for forgiveness but there will be no forgiveness. The same voice that was saying in a deep voice, ‘May the Lord be with you,’ will turn into a shout, ‘You, you must know who I am’. At church, their voice sounds soft but in real life, things are opposite. Go to night clubs and bars, and you will see priests drinking beer like everybody else. They prostitute their bodies and they pretend to be wise. This is human wisdom.

God’s wisdom is the fear of the Lord, whether you are handsome or ugly, God’s only command is to fear Him. The fear of the Lord is to do what is written in the Bible. If there are people among us with that gift, they must know how to control it: it is not to show off and pretend to be someone you are not but it is about accepting the leading of the Spirit of God and to humiliate yourselves in everything. This is God’s wisdom.

FIRST REQUIREMENT: GET VERY CLOSE TO GOD THROUGH THE BIBLE

When God gives you this gift, know that the first requirement is to read the Bible at every minute. Read the Bible to know that in order to fear the Lord you must have this and that, but without reading the Bible, you will never know where the fear of God is. The fear of the Lord is in your Bible. Those who have the gift of wisdom must make it grow by praying and sharing what they have with others since God gave this gift to serve others. It is not for the world to see how great we are.

HUMILITY AND SUBMISSION ARE ESSENTIAL


We know (for example) that Peter is wise, so when there is a problem, let’s call Peter. And Peter thinks in himself, ‘If they don’t come to see me, I will not go to see them. They need me, I don’t need them.’ When you lack submission, this gift will never work in you.

This is what Adam our father missed. If Adam had feared God the world would not be what it is today but because he didn’t have the fear of the Lord, he sinned with Eve and forgot his responsibility. God had created him in His image and Adam had wisdom in him because God is wise, but he totally forgot his work, gave up his responsibilities, and sinned.

If you or I have the gift of wisdom, never think that will stop you from sinning: sin will never fear you and will always be around you, it will attack you more to prove whether you are really wise or not, to confirm that what you have is really from God.

Is there a wise person who, after being abused, will turn around and have a fight with the other person? Is there a wise person who, after being told a problem, will turn around and broadcast it everywhere? Do you think that if someone talked to you today and you spread the news everywhere that person will come back tomorrow and tell you another problem if you can’t control your work/ your gift?

13. CONCLUSION

Let us stop today, that was the first step. Actually I’d rather say it was the first tenth of the first step to know how to walk in the Spirit and know our responsibilities. If you don’t respect your neighbour, never say you respect God, if you can’t live with people around you, you will never know how to live with God. So ask God to help you so that what is in you can produce good fruit on this earth, and this good fruit will produce something in people all around the world.

When I started talking about the ministries, I said, ‘No tree planted today can give fruit on the same day’, it takes time. Our works must be seen everywhere. If I plant a tree by this house today, in 3 years the tree will be taller than the person who planted it and its fruit will be seen from far. The tree will never walk around but people’s eyes will see the fruit and they will come to eat it. As people always say, ‘Children can’t help but throwing stones at the tree to get its fruit’. But why would people throw stones at a tree that doesn’t bear fruit? So, if you bear fruit, temptations will come in your life and if you are not tempted, ask yourselves, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ This is the normal Christian life. If you are not tempted, find out what’s wrong with you. Try to first know what your gifts of the Spirit are, this will tell you what is wrong so that you can fix it.

Let’s stop there. Thank you for your patience. I know it’s hard but we will talk more about it to understand better.

Monday, May 24, 2010

GIFTS AND MINISTRIES (Part IV)

By Odon Bulamba (Friday 29th September 2000)


9. GOD’S PURPOSE IN GIVING MINISTRIES

Why has God prepared the ministries?

To fulfill His spiritual plan. They are useful to show His works, useful in human being’s lives, and useful to build up the body of Christ so that all the children in Christ can grow into adulthood. There are no parents that will give birth to a child and wish their death, instead every parent who gives birth to a child wishes that child to live forever. So God who also gave us life needs to see us grow.

We should have talked about 1 Corinthians 12 before talking about the spiritual gifts, but we see that all these gifts are branches coming from the ministries of the Lord.

Ephesians 4: 10-13
He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
11 And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ:
till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a fullgrown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Amen! God’s goal is for us to be adults, to reach the fullness of Christ. This text gives us the 5 ministries and we realise that in man’s life the number 5 has a great meaning.

When God created the world, He made 5 continents, which has a meaning, as well as the different races on these continents. The race in Europe is not the race in America, the race in Africa is not the same as in Oceania and the Asian race is different from them all. What does that mean? God wanted to teach us spiritual lessons through the natural things, through what our eyes can see so that we might understand the great works of God. Every one of us has a head, and we all have a nose, a mouth, ears and a brain.


THE HEAD
a. The mouth
What is your mouth useful for? To speak. The mouth is to speak and this represents the ministry of evangelism: men must go and spread the good news everywhere in the world.

b. The eyes
What are the eyes useful for? To see. The church of God also needs to see and the eyes represent the ministry of prophecy. The prophet must see what is going on.

c. The nose
The nose is useful to breathe, no matter its shape, small or big, the nose allows us to breathe. We see that thanks to our nose we can have life, because if the nose doesn’t work, we can’t breathe and we might die. It is through the source of the Word of God that we have life, and it’s the biblical teaching that gives life to the spirit of man.

d. The ears
The ears are to listen. This is the ministry of pastor.

e. The brain
Above them all, there is the brain to control the whole thing. What is it?
Jesus said He is the head of the church. The rest of the body depends on the head. If you are mentally depressed, for example, the whole body will suffer, or if your eyes can’t see, the whole body suffers from being in darkness, or if your ears can’t hear, the whole body and your feet will never know the rhythm of the music, and if you are mute, you will never talk.


10. PRETENDING TO USE A GIFT

There was a mute singer who tried to tell people about his dream: people wanted to listen to his story but there was no sound to listen to. This is compared to you or me when we don’t have the gift of giving the Word and we stand in front of a crowd to preach: everybody will wander what you wanted to say. They will not understand. So if this is not your work, leave it.

What would you think of a blind telling you about colours?
When I was a child I would joke with blinds,
- What do you see here?
- I can see a hand. says the blind.

Was it true or not? It was wrong. He says, ‘I can see a hand’ but it was wrong. And many prophets are liars today. They don’t have spiritual eyes and after observing something,
- I didn’t like the way Peter left the house this morning. I think Peter did something wrong.
And when you meet someone,
- Oh you know… God revealed to me that Peter did this.

Be extremely careful with pretending to use a gift of God: you touch God’s heart and God is against us involving Him in dirty things. The Bible tells us never to take God’s name in vain, but Christians today do it. Some people don’t have spiritual ears and say, ‘I was with Hayley and she said this and that.’ But how could you hear Hayley since you have no ears?

So if we want to work for God, He will open our spiritual eyes, ears… everything so that we can really work for Him. Remember one thing: let us submit to His will. Jesus declared He is the tree of life and if you observe a tree, you see 5 parts: roots, leaves, fruit, branches, and trunk. This is to teach us something about the church: each part of the tree has a meaning, a specific role and this will never change but many try to hide under a denomination so that people will see you only on the surface when the Spirit of God doesn’t enlighten us.


11. WE HAVE A GREAT RESPONSIBILITY BEFORE GOD

So let us consider what our real work is and what our responsibilities before God are. Every one of us has a responsibility in everything they do and if we fail we will be punished more than other people on this earth would have. We are servants of God and we must remember that our abilities are greater than regular servants’. Regular Christians can’t find how to serve God, they just pray and do what they can but you have a gift and this gift must work and the celestial will demands from you to fulfill the mission you have been given. Woe to those who leave the battle field! Woe to those who will flee during the battle.

1 Corinthians 12: 2-7
Ye know that when ye were Gentiles ye were led away unto those dumb idols, howsoever ye might led.
3 Wherefore I make known unto you, that no man speaking in the Spirit of God saith, Jesus is anathema; and no man can say, Jesus is Lord, but in the Holy Spirit.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are diversities of ministrations, and the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of workings, but the same God, who worketh all things in all.
7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal.


God says that if we are prepared for His work we must understand that there are different gifts but one Spirit working in all of them. If you have the gift of singing and don’t use it but ask God to give you the gift of healing instead, God will tell you:
- What I have given you to produce fruit has not produced anything. So if you have another gift, what will you do with it? You should have sung for God’s work so that people could have heard you and be touched, but you didn’t make an effort to work on your gift.

It is like someone physically disabled and dreaming of being a soccer star with legs, when not all of those who have legs are soccer players. So let us acknowledge what we have and how we can use it, and do not envy what others have. Do you know that envy is a sin? If I envy what is in Oscar because I don’t have it, it makes me sin and if I don’t stop that I will be jealous of Oscar and I will add more sin.

Let’s understand there are different gifts of the Spirit, and we must exploit first what God has given us before asking for a second gift.

There are many ways to serve God: if God called you to be a minister in the X department, stay there, know the limits of your work and don’t wander around other ministries. Control what belongs to you. Unfortunately, most people control other people’s life better than theirs. Let us be careful with God’s work, and control what is in our spirits which is a precious treasure given by God.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

GIFTS AND MINISTRIES (Part III)

By Odon Bulamba (Friday 29th September 2000)

5. ABOUT OBEDIENCE

Hebrews 5:7-8
Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear,
though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered;

The Bible says that although Jesus was the Son of God, He would always beg God and shed tears when praying. The only reason for God to answer Jesus’ prayer was that He was submitted and obedient. This is essential for us; in order to be heard by God, we must first submit to Him. Jesus learnt obedience through all His sufferings, so if we don’t suffer today how can we learn obedience? Do you want God to treat you harshly so that you will obey Him by force? Let us stop and think and acknowledge what we should do.


OBEDIENCE THROUGH HIGH DISCRETION

God always communicates with His servants. When He gives us a message, we must know how to protect it. Unfortunately, most Christians today feel that God’s messages are heavy in their heart and they will feel urged to find someone to unload the charge.
- Brother Guillaume, you know what? Today God revealed to me that Hayley did that.
- Ange, you live with Hayley… you know that she is not doing well, because God revealed that to me.


And God will see that you are not submitted to Him: you were not given a message to broadcast it if God hasn’t given you permission. Your mission with this message is not to tell everyone but to sort something out. This is what we call ‘to control your mouth, keep your tongue and keep secrets’. Yet, many people think that these secrets are about our natural life and can be shared with everyone.

You must know that there is no secret under this sun for God and He reveals it to who He wants. When God saw His servant in the wrong somewhere, a king for example, He used to send a prophet to talk to them in order to correct the mistake.
When God uses us, we must know our mission’s boundaries, and not to be nosy in other people’s business. If you are the Minister of Education, control your own business and don’t try to control the Ministry of Justice (for example).

OBEDIENCE THROUGH HARDSHIP

In order to be prepared to serve God most servants go through serious hardship. God gave us (people here) this grace not to have known what serious hardship is.

1 Kings 19:1-4
And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.
2 Then Jezebel send a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to-morrow about this time.
3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.
4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper-tree: and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is enough; now, O Jehovah, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

Here the servant of God Elijah preferred death to life. But God has allowed suffering through persecution to confirm what was in him.
How many times were you persecuted for the glory of God?

Numbers 11:11-15
And Moses said unto Jehovah, Wherefore hast thou dealt ill with thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favor in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?
12 Have I conceived all this people? have I brought them forth, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing-father carrieth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?
13 Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.
14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.
15 And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favor in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.

We see the same thing with Moses: instead of carrying on, he wanted to die.

In 1 Kings, Jezebel was the prophet’s enemy and she wanted to exterminate Elijah.

6. OUR FIRST ENEMY IS TO SEEK SUCCESS

Today, we think that our enemies are people around us because we want success above all. But if you want to be successful, the gifts God has put in you will never work and you will never serve God. When someone finds healing after their prayer, for example, most people seek their own glory. They wait for a ‘thank you’, they wait for that testimony to be broadcast at church and to hear in front of the whole church: ‘Michael prayed for me, I was healed, so Michael is a servant of God.’ That would give him real joy.

This is exactly what kills the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Remember that when Jesus prayed for the sick, He would say, ‘Go and don’t say anything to anyone’. But the Christians today are unable to do this because we are not submitted to God’s work. If God tells you to speak, speak but if God doesn’t, keep quiet.

7. OUR SECOND ENEMY IS MONEY

We all know that that money contains things that make us impure. Let’s be careful with money.


8. THIRD ENEMY WHEN OUR BELOVED ONES COME BEFORE GOD

Third thing is our marriages, our partner
- Should I take care of my husband Michael or of God? thinks Sylvie.
- Should I take care of Sylvie first or of the work of God? thinks Michael.
Others will talk about their fiancée. The Bible gives us light about all of this and the teaching we have is a very useful to guide us in the work of God.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

GIFTS AND MINISTRIES (Part II)

By Odon Bulamba (Friday 29th September 2000)

2. BEING A MINISTER IS DEMANDING WORK

This is what God is teaching us. He gives us everything that’s necessary for us to learn. When we learn, we must practice these things to become someone in God’s work. People often think that serving God is funny and easy, but I tell you that being a minister in a country is a very, very demanding job. Every 5 minutes the phone rings and every 10 minutes a problem arises; and ministers need secretaries in their offices to help them with their work. And because their workload is so heavy the government takes charge of the cost of their houses, transport etc. The minister might have a driving licence, but he will never drive, he has a chauffeur so that all his thoughts can be focused on the country’s wellbeing. If they drove with such a busy mind, they might cause an accident.

The Christians’ head is the Spirit in us. This Spirit in us must work, must think of our future and prepare God’s plan in our lives; God has already provided for us a chauffeur, a house etc (spiritually).

When the applicant minister agrees with the President of the Republic to become minister, he must remember he is the boss of the department: a little mistake means destroying the reputation of a whole country. That is exactly what we are called to do now. God has helped us since the beginning to be equipped and get to that level.


3. FIRST THINGS FIRST: THE LIGHT

The very first thing God gives us is in Proverbs 20:27

Proverbs 20:27
The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah,
Searching all his innermost parts.

So, the Spirit of God is given to enlighten man, and the Spirit of God never enlightens the physical man but the spiritual man. Someone prophesying hasn’t been enlightened by God in their physical being but in their inner being. What is able to be enlightened in man, his spirit, must in turn enlighten the world.

The Bible recalls how some people served God and could dialogue with Him. God was very close to them. I was wandering how this could happen, how every 2 or 15 minutes, they say, ‘God said this and that’ until I discovered that God enlightens their spirit all the time. And there is only one way to be enlightened by God; it is to obey the Word of God, to be flexible before His Word and answer His call. Most people today don’t read the Word that’s why they don’t have the Spirit of God in them. Their spirit is darkened because they don’t obey it, and although they always cry out to God,
- God, we want to see, we want your light


God answers
- If a child refuses to study, nobody will force them.
Their parents might try everything to push them, if the child refuses, nothing else can be done.

4. GOD GAVE US A BODY BUT ASKS US TO REGARD IT AS DEAD

And the same thing is true between God and us. God always offers to enlighten our spirit, but we refuse it because we are disobedient and don’t want to be humiliated by the world or by the Word of God and we don’t want to be flexible in our decisions and our actions.

My Mum told me one day,
- Have you ever seen a corpse refusing to be put in a coffin?
- Never.

We must be corpses regarding the Will of God and may God treat us Christians how it pleases Him. If He decides that eagles will eat the corpse meat, let us accept it. If He decides that the corpse will be buried somewhere, let it be so. In that way, the Spirit of God will enlighten us. And Paul said, ‘I treated my body harshly’, so if you don’t treat your body harshly you can’t benefit from the gifts of the Spirit of God: you might have a minimum of them but you will never have what you actually want.

God sent Paul in the desert for 3 years, and he suffered greatly, but it was for God’s glory. What about you and me, have we ever suffered for the glory of God in our lives? Have we accepted to put what we have been taught into practice yet?

1 Corinthians 9:27
but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means,
after that I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.


Paul declares he must buffet his body in order not to be rejected in the end.
Why did he say that? He knew that among all what was in him, the Spirit had the greatest value. If we are not careful with our body, we might fail in the end.
This is the first problem with the Christians today:
we might know the Word of God but we refuse to buffet our bodies.
GOD GAVE US EYES, BUT ASKED US TO BE BLIND

When I see someone doing something I don’t like, I feel in my heart I hate them but if I didn’t have eyes I couldn’t hate that person but because my eyes belong to my body, they push me to hate. Therefore, I must buffet my body and tell my eyes, ‘My eyes, calm down. If you saw a mistake, it is not your problem; your only concern is the spirit in you’

You have learnt something from someone,
- You know… Ange drank beer yesterday
- I knew it. I knew she will do it one day.
- Why do you judge Ange that way? says the Spirit in you.
So, if you didn’t have ears to listen to that person, you couldn’t hate Ange. So, we must buffet our body, and close our ears. Everyone has two eyes, but we must treat them harshly so that we might be blind, let’s lock our mouth and become mute and the Word of God will teach us freely how the Spirit works in us.

When I was young, I had a little sister who one day went to a neighbour’s house. This person was disabled and would always hit my younger sister with his false leg. One day my sister found the false leg and she took the leg saying, ‘Follow me if you are a man’. The person couldn’t walk because something was missing.

Similarly, if we combine false and natural members and the false thing is stolen, we will become disabled. The false prosthetic members is our body, the one we have on earth and if we use it to do the spiritual work, we can be sure that one day, Satan will steal the prosthetic thing and everybody will see who we really are.

Friday, May 21, 2010

GIFTS AND MINISTRIES (Part I)

By Odon Bulamba (Friday 29th September 2000)

Let’s thank the Lord one more time because He is always good. He gave us everything that is necessary, so we must thank him. God still gives us His grace to know who He is, despite our little mistakes we still make. Many people on earth want to serve God one way or another, but God didn’t choose them. Some are wealthy and could give their fortune for God’s work, in order to help other servants. Those who do it don’t always realise they are supporting God’s work because according to human thoughts, a man knows he serves God when he preaches the Word of God. We must realise that God’s work is multidimensional.

You might wonder why I said that many people want to serve God when God hasn’t chosen them; this is to help you understand you must keep what you have been given. Several people need God’s Word in their lives today: they are spiritually dead and they might be looking for God’s Word with a torch and can’t find it while we have been given this Word and we often neglect it. It sometimes hurts God’s heart. So let’s watch out that God will not regret choosing us as He regretted creating man in Genesis 6:6.


1. WHAT IS A ‘MINISTER’?

Today we are going to talk about the ministries of God. I learnt today at school that New Zealand elects its ministers. In New Zealand ministers are very important people who are to be respected and they always have a good reputation and are highly educated. They must be members of the parliament before becoming ministers. The prime minister must also be a member of the parliament as well as the leader of their political party. These are stages.

We see a pattern for Christians in all of this. If today you want to become a member of the parliament (MP), will your behaviour make people vote for you or not? Is your level of education high enough so that people will vote for you or not? Is what you say good enough to become a MP? If people vote for you today, will they regret it tomorrow? To choose their ministers, the Prime Minister will interview some MPs. In countries that have a president, they will also call and interview those who have applied for the position of ministers. During the interview the applicants are given a job description, the standards and agreements are signed.

- Peter, if you want to be the minister of justice, do you know the law?
- No, I don’t.
- So, Peter, you can’t be a minister.
- Michelle, you want to be the health minister?
- Do you know anything about health or medicine?
- Yes, I know medicine.
- So you can work for me.
-
And this is how God sorts us out and gives to everyone according to His will. First, God looks at what is inside us, what He has given us and He sees how much we have worked with it before giving us greater things. It’s like a parent paying the school fees for his son to learn at school. The parents have planned something for the future of their child, thinking that after completing their studies they will be someone in this world.

One day I was here in this house and there was a discussion about Nathanael’s future. Sylvie wanted him to study music (the piano) and his Dad wanted him to study law, and Nathanael said he wanted to be a missionary. So as early as possible the child is prepared to be someone in the future and if Nathanael decides to stop his studies after 5 years, he will be the loser. If the child doesn’t do their homework and doesn’t revise their exams, they will fail and this will damage their future.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Love does not Boast

26 March 2003

I Corinthians 13:4

The term or the key to boasting is to “sound your own trumpet.” You always want to elevate yourself higher than others. Someone who wants to love must humiliate his or herself. The dictionary meaning of boasting is to “glorify yourself or to impress others especially about oneself.” Love does not boast.

Jesus said that if you humble yourself you will be exalted, and if you exalt yourself you will be humbled, Matthew 23:12. When does someone boast? From boasting comes hidden pride and you want the glory to belong to you.

By boasting you want to receive glory. Proverbs 12:9

When did boasting first start in the Bible? Genesis 4. Cain was jealous of Abel and because he was the oldest, God was obliged to accept his sacrifice. Jealousy was present but really Cain wanted to boast, to show his brother He was someone and because of this Cain killed Abel. When God asked Cain, “Where is your brother,” Cain said to God, “I am not someone who is supposed to look after him”. Can you see Cain’s intentions? He thought that it wasn’t his work to look after Abel; he thought he was someone else, “My level is not to look after Abel God, I’m someone else.” If you are the oldest brother then you are to look after your younger brother, it is normal. But Cain wanted to prove to God that it wasn’t his place.

Numbers 16. Korah told people “I know what Moses is doing and it is not correct, I am also a Levite like others.” Moses became angry so God told the people to leave the area and the earth opened. God wanted to humiliate them. Many people of Israel wanted to prove that they were better than Moses, but God confused them.

In the church today we have this spirit. When someone enters a church the first thing that comes to mind is, “Where shall I sit”? If Tongans are that side you will sit on another side because you are black or white. Automatically you think you don’t belong to that race or class. Boasting.

Also when you pray people can feel that this person has studied, and because you have studied you want people to know who you are. People who boast always use the word “I” and never “We” or “God can.” Every glory belongs to this person. When you boast you are taking the glory from God’s hand. Before Satan became proud he wanted “glory” and when we want glory we start to boast.

Example: If you expect everybody to come up to you and say “your preaching was good”, and when they do, you feel good, but when nobody says a word, something in your heart will boil. So if nobody comes to you after giving an exhortation you will feel something is wrong, and it is a lack of glory especially when you are use to people glorifying yourself. In every activity in the church boasting is present.

If we give a lot of testimonies concerning ourselves the glory will go to you. It is better to take a testimony from the Bible. If all the reference goes on you, everyone will think that this man is special and follow what you are doing, which is not bad but people will forget about God’s glory. However, when people don’t come back to you and ask you for prayer or testimonies, it will be hard for you. When you see that people use to come to you but now go to someone else, jealously will arise. Boasting means you need glory. If you are someone that is use to glory and you see it going to someone else you will start to feel bad. This is dangerous because you could end up like Cain and become so angry that you kill someone (spiritually). Let’s try to remember all the glory belongs to God and we don’t need to be acknowledged for the work we do because it is God’s work, not ours.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

God’s Justification

By Odon Bulamba (24 January 2003)

We are going to talk about a common point, JUSTIFICATION! When someone is arrested the very first thing they do is justify themselves, Michael you broke the glass, no it wasn’t me, justification. Even a child justifies themselves in front of their parents, but why justify yourself? Is justification a synonym to being correct? If I steal Michael’s radio and Zoe saw me, she will tell her mum straight away. Although Zoe is young and accuses me I will have to justify myself. Sometimes our justifications can intimidate others, “Zoe shut up, if you carry on you’ll be punished”. We do this just to hide our sins. We won’t talk about this kind of justification but God’s justification.

There are 5 types of justifications in the Bible. 1. God’s justification. 2. Justification by faith. 3. God’s justification of life. 4. Justification by blood. 5. Justification by acts. We are going to talk about God’s justification. Since God created man, man has always been a sinner. Man didn’t obey God’s law but God still wanted a relationship with man, so He thought that it would be better if man was justified. What is justification? Justification is when someone pays the price for the mistake we have done.

God saw that man kept on sinning and as you know, Satan kept on accusing. Satan talked to God about man sinning all the time, so God said, “Who is going to pay the price?” God found that the price had to be paid by blood. God created man in His image so He didn’t want His image to be destroyed, so He chose for them to be redeemed. When a man sinned they had to kill an animal but this was not enough for God, although the blood covered the sin, the sin would still be there. God thought that it would be better for something to clean it completely so that He could forget that sin existed. So God asked a question in heaven, who is going to die for these people? Maybe Abraham said, “not me Lord I’ve had enough of earth”, maybe Noah said that he built a big ark on earth and now he is tired, maybe Adam said, “not me Lord I’ve had too much sweat already”. Everybody said no in heaven.

So the Bible said, who is going to free mankind? Even the Cherubim’s and angels were afraid to go. The Bible says that Jesus took up the offer. As above I said that the animal’s blood would cover the sins of man, but God was not satisfied with this. We as man sin everyday, we lie, ask God to forgive, then 5 minutes later we lie again. God is not happy with this, so what can remove this bad habit of lying in our lives? What can take away all the roots of sin in our lives? What are you going to sacrifice so that you can change your life? What can pay the price for our sins?

It is true that Jesus blood is with us but do you accept it or not? Sometimes we say to God that He created us weak so we blame Him for how we are, others say that with their nature they can’t change, to the point where thieves say thank you Lord because I wasn’t arrested. After all this God thought that there had to be something of great value to redeem our sins, unfortunately there was no one in heaven willing. Who accepted to justify us in heaven? Who accepted to die for man when God asked this question to everybody? Only Jesus accepted and Jesus Christ is the living God. Jesus is the Lord our God, it means that nobody accepted to die for man except God Himself.

The Bible says that God left His throne in John chapter 1. Jesus left the throne and bore the physical body we have so that He could justify and pay the price that man couldn’t pay. Because man doubts and asks how can God dwell on earth, God said He would be called Emmanuel, “God with us”. When God lived on earth people had ears but didn’t listen, they called Him the son of the carpenter, or Jesus of Nazareth but nobody called Him God.

How many times do we redeem what was lost in our lives? When you sin can you pay the price for this sin? Do you think about God’s justification? God asks us as living people to make a decision, when you say that your weakness is reading the Bible, God asks us to leave the throne where we sit and make that step forward. As God left His throne in heaven to come to earth, we also have to leave our throne and humiliate ourselves by coming before God. Kneel down and say to God, God from now on I will really learn the Bible; I want you to give me the ability so I can understand Your Word.

Christians want to pray like Billy Graham and perform miracles like Benny Hinn, but when it comes to kneeling down they say that their knees are sore. Christians always justify themselves when it comes to reading the Bible or praying, laziness and sleepiness are a common justification. When people go to church they fall asleep during the preaching but when it’s over their eyes are wide open, and when you ask them why they were asleep they say, “it’s too boring and it took along time”.

Divine justification asks us to fight against all these stumbling blocks so that the presence of God can be justified in us. When Jesus came to earth He accepted to die but because Jesus is God, God doesn’t die. (Reference John 18). Where was Jesus arrested? Gethsemane. How many times did He go to Gethsemane? Jesus use to go there often with His disciples, that’s why Judas knew where Jesus was when he betrayed Him. Who was with Judas at Gethsemane? Soldiers, Chief Priests and Pharisees. What were they carrying? Torches, Lanterns and weapons. Were they going to war or not? How can we justify this to a pagan? If a pagan asks you, if all these people came to arrest Jesus why didn’t they send 10 soldiers instead of a whole army?

They were afraid of Jesus; everything they had on them was to justify themselves. If they were attacked then they could use their weapons. This is the human justification that covers itself by defence. What did Jesus ask them? Who are you looking for? How many times does God ask you, “who are you looking for?” What is your answer? Oh God I’m looking for money, oh God I’m looking for friends, oh God I’m looking for a better life on earth. It is often rare for God to hear someone say, “I’m looking for you God”, this is sad but true.

What happened when the people asked they were looking for Jesus of Nazareth? Jesus answer made them fall. What happenned to the soldiers in the army, they were more ready for war than Jesus was, yet Jesus said 3 words and they fell? Was Jesus a magician? How can you explain it? Jesus knew their intentions and knew what question to ask them.

If we saw a crowd with weapons knowing they were coming to get us, what would we do? Flee in haste I think. When we cross a situation don’t justify yourself by fleeing the problem or asking 1000 questions about what you’re going through, just open your mouth and call on the name of Jesus Christ because in front of this name every knee will bow.

This is our divine Justification. When Satan attacks you, use the name of Jesus and he will flee. When you fight Satan do you cut him off completely so he can’t come back, or do you just cut off his ear like Peter did? Whose ear did Peter cut off?

Even though this high priest served God he still wanted God arrested, imagine that. How many times do we attack God? How many times do we threaten God with our actions? How many times do we live in confusion like Judas’ people? Sometimes preaches cut our ears which represents the sword but we wait for Jesus to heal our ear and carry on like nothing had happen.

When the preacher says change this and that, we as Christians think he is attacking us. So instead of accepting divine justification we justify ourselves against the Pastor or preacher. Because Jesus is love He keeps putting our ears back in place, it means that we have to keep on listening to the gospel for grace is still here, but one day it will be gone!

Do you accept to die for others? Do you accept to carry other people’s burdens to help them? God’s justification was to leave His throne in heaven to come down and die for us. How do we practice this divine justification? Do we leave our own interests for the interests of others? Do we stop praying for our own problems and start praying for other people’s problems? Do we have time to think about other people’s lives in the Lord? Why did Jesus come? Jesus came for you, why? Think about these questions. Think about why Jesus didn’t come for the Lions or Elephants who are stronger than us and think about why He didn’t come for the Gorillas or the trees that can live for 2000 years. So why would Jesus come for someone who is weak like you and me? How can you justify this? How can you justify Jesus giving His life for you and me? What can we as Christians give in exchange?

Sometimes we think we have all the answers, but that’s not the way. Learn things slowly and don’t be in a hurry. 6 years ago I asked a servant of God who was making a film about Jesus, and in it Jesus had nail cutters when He was washing His disciples feet. I thought, what could this teach us? I thought that nail cutters didn’t exist in Jesus time but in Ecclesiastes it is written that everything existing has already existed.

The Bible says that Jesus washed His disciples feet but it is not written that He cut their toenails. I told God’s servant to remove this part of the movie but he became angry, he wasn’t angry because he was right but because he was wrong. As Christians we must fight against anger when we are wrong. When a brother or sister comes to you when you have made a mistake accept it, this is divine justification. Jesus didn’t discuss with Pilate about the wrongs He was accused for, instead He accepted to give an answer later when the time was right. If you have been told you have made a mistake, humiliate yourself and repent, don’t discuss for anger is not a gift from the Holy Spirit.

Friday, May 14, 2010

How To Pray (Part 2.1)

By Odon Bulamba

Prayer has different stages. First we lift up God’s name and speak of His Holiness, say that He is a powerful God, pray for what He has done for you, say to God, “You are so great because you’ve done this and that”. He is a God who loves praises and will reach out to us when He hears this. Remember when Paul was in jail, remember Peter when he was arrested, only praises helped them be delivered. Our God is a God of praising prayers.

Secondly thank Him for everything He has done for you. He provides for you, He gives you good health, food etc. Also don’t forget that when a Christian prays he/she prays for the good and bad things for God says to praise Him in all circumstances. If you are sick say thank you to God, if you have good health say thank you God because it’s His will for our lives. So praise God for everything He did for you and all He is.

We are gathered together to talk about prayer and look at the stages that will help us get closer to Him. Jesus always had His disciples with Him but they did not know who He was. The disciples didn’t know how to pray but Jesus said in Matthew 6:9 pray then in this way. We all know this prayer. Our Father who art in heaven.

The first thing Jesus gave us was to lift up God’s name and sanctify His name because our God loves glory, so we have to praise Him before anything else. If you are a sinner or are in a sinful state and feel something inside of you is not right but you make the step to praise Him do so, for He is merciful and He will listen to you.

The second step will be for you to ask Him to forgive you. “His kingdom come” means that when two or three are gathered together God is with you. How do we know if God is here? If you want to know that God is here you have to sanctify yourself and forgive each other.

Mark 11:25 “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that Your Father who is in heaven will also forgive your transgressions.”

Does it mean that you’ll go to God and ask for forgiveness? No, you have to forgive others. Jesus tells us to forgive each other. If Michael did something against me, I won’t wait for him to ask for forgiveness, but according to the Bible I have to forgive him before he comes to me. If I wait for him to come to me you can be sure your sins won’t be forgiven and all your prayers will be wasted.

Prayer from a sinner is like prayer from a rubbish bin. Jesus says that if someone strikes you on one cheek give him the other also, you have to be flexible to forgive and accept the situation the way it is. Amen.

In the same prayer Jesus said, “Your will be done on heaven as it is on earth”. It’s not my will or your will be done but God’s will. So what is God’s will? God’s will is the Word of God. If you want God’s will to be done in your life, you have to see it in God’s Word. Think that God is in front of you when you read the Bible. For example Nathaniel goes to his mum and says, “Mum, I have to go to camp now it is 6pm, you promised me mum so you have to do it”. Can the mother go back on her promises? I think not, if so she has to explain herself.

It’s the same with our God, when we pray we have to tell God, “God it is written, Your Word says this and that, now look at us because we are in a situation and we need your help”. That’s exactly what God wants us to do and this is how God can answer our prayers. If you do not use the Word of God the devil can twist our prayers.

Daniel spent 21 days in prayer and fasting. Because his prayers were not framed on God’s Word, his prayers were not answered, but when he remembered that God had answered his prayers before his prayers were answered. This is how we pray, according to John 17:17, sanctify them by the truth, Your Word is truth. God’s way is the truth, He never lies. Remind God of His Word.

Jesus said in John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus is the truth, this truth we pray is Jesus Himself and Jesus must confirm it because He promised that if we have faith we can do greater things than He, this is true but the condition is to have faith.

In the same prayer God keeps talking to us, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” What does this mean? In the spiritual world we have strength, we can change things in the physical world because we have this authority.

Matthew 18:18 “Truly I say to you, whatever you shall bound on earth you shall bound in heaven, and whatever you shall lose on earth shall be lose in heaven.”

What power have we got? The devil does not have this power for we have more strength than the devil, however we don’t want to acknowledge the authority God has given to us. Do you know why? It is because we don’t know God’s Word, it’s a lack of knowledge and this is how we perish. When we lack knowledge, we lack faith and the devil plays with us. When he looks into us he can see a spiritual emptiness and attacks us. So you have to read God’s Word, meditate on it and put it into practice. The angels in heaven will serve you as God says, “We are sons of God”.

When we eat something we have to look at the work in front of us and say I am God’s son. If I am God’s son and I pray to the King of Kings, it means that we are princes and we can only play with people in this kingdom. Everybody knows that one day a prince becomes a king, so Satan must fear us. He will fear us when we discover the treasure we have in us and when he sees that we have a deep fellowship and unity with our God. If we forget about God the devil will play with us.

With this Jesus says, “ Give us our daily bread”. What does daily bread mean? Do you pray for your daily bread or not? Of course we eat and drink but our spirit needs to be fed. Jesus said that, “He is the bread of life.”

How many times do you eat Jesus? Jesus said that He is the truth. We know that the truth is God’s Word. Jesus said, “I am the bread”. Ask God to give you your daily bread. Many people only see the physical side or material things like food in shops, but when it is spiritual food they are not serious. You’ll find people will say that I am saved and soon I will go to heaven, but who told you that you would go to heaven? Your spiritual health also needs to be considered.

I remember a mother who visited sick people in a hospital and children were suffering. The mum picked up a baby which was in good health, then three beds down she picked up a baby with malnutrition, the mum couldn’t even touch this child because she could only see bones and skin and was afraid to touch it. Sometimes we are like this spiritually, God doesn’t want to touch us because we look ugly. We have to ask God for our daily bread so that we can keep breathing spiritually.

When we prepare bread we mix it with yeast, what is yeast? Yeast is mixed with flour to help it rise. Sometimes the Word of God is mixed with hypocrisy. Some Christians are puffed up, they say that they know God’s Word and eat daily bread, but if you look in depth you will see there is yeast in it. Remember what Judas did do Jesus? Judas and Jesus were together all the time but just at the end Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. We all know a kiss is a sign of love except this kiss was poison.

Christians today ask God for bread that has yeast in it so everybody can praise them. You can lose your faith doing this. Because God forgives you, forgive those who have offended you. It doesn’t matter if your father was killed or money was stolen from you, sin has no size. If you throw a stone in the water it will sink no matter how big it is. For God all sin is heavy. If you were a stumbling block for someone you have to confess. If you are ashamed on this earth Jesus will be ashamed in front of you. The Bible says that before giving an offering go to the one you have offended and make peace.

Sometimes we sin without knowing it. You can do things that hurt others without knowing it so we have to think before we speak because it is better to produce something good.

After this we say to God, “don’t lead us into temptation but deliver us from all evil.” Ask God to help you overcome temptation. Satan cannot tempt the one who believes because he already knows that this one belongs to God. Whoever calls himself a Christian can expect a spiritual battle, a spiritual battle according to Ephesus 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. We must be ready every time and know where to be fed.


2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

The Bible says we have to be sober because these are the last days. Let nobody deceive you because this is a terrible time for God, even Satan will stand in the temple of God. The Bible says that in the last days Satan will come into the church and stand to preach to God’s people. If you don’t walk according to God’s will or if you haven’t asked God for His will in your life, for His glory, do you think you can make it? Do you think you can recognise that Satan is preaching? You’ll find that a few people will lose their souls because they don’t have discernment. We have to give ourselves to God and ask ourselves, “what I am doing, does it please God? If you have hurt Michelle go and ask Michelle to forgive you.

So first praise God and then ask for forgiveness, if you’ve done something against someone don’t ask God to forgive you. God will say, “You haven’t done anything wrong to Me but Michelle, so go and see her then come back to Me”. This is how God works.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to Pray (Part 1.3)

by Odon Bulamba


James 4:5, or do you think that the scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?

God is jealous because He created you in His image and when you go against His will or don’t talk to Him He cries. He gives you gifts but you refuse to accept and this is what makes Him jealous. Because God created you a Human Being and when you don’t do what He wants, it Hurts Him.

We have to put all our gifts into action. When you receive Jesus Christ the Spirit of God is with you. Amen. But what is your gift? What spirit do you have in you and how do you use it? You’ll find that many Christians don’t know what their gifts are; they want to pray for the sick but don’t have the gift of healing. Have you got the gift to pray for the sick? Jesus said go and pray for the sick. There are two different points, first pray for the sick and evangelise, second is to have the gift of healing, What is your gift? You can have the gift of teaching or being a Pastor, so have you discovered the power that is in you? You can have the gift of having people at home.

You have to know where you are up to. If I’m in a prayer group I have to know who each one is and I have know which gifts belong to each one. When I come with a sick person and I know for example Sue has the gift of prophecy, I will not go to Sue but to David, for he has the gift of healing. Amen. We need to know each other’s gifts because when we pray for others we cannot go without armour. Joshua prepared himself for war with shields and swords, so we have to prepare ourselves with spiritual armour.

We cannot pray without being prepared. When we fight we fight against the world of darkness. If you start praying without being prepared the devil has the strength to defeat us. There was a man who suffered from an impure spirit; this is not just a story. He went to one of God’s servants (a Pastor) and this Pastor did not humiliate himself. He took the man into his room and prayed over him, “I command you in the name of Jesus get out!” The spirit woke up; the spirit could see what was in the Pastor’s heart. The spirit knew that the Pastor had a problem with his wife and his friends so his prayers were blocked. The demon created a fire in the room and this Pastor was consumed by fire because he wasn’t prepared to pray. If you are not ready to pray then don’t start. You have to get ready spiritually and physically.

If I do something against Peter I must go to him and make peace with him. It’s impossible for God to hear a sinner’s prayer. We have to give ourselves to God with full humiliation. If you are not ready to pray for a sick person then tell them give me one or two days so I can talk with God to know what to do, because God has His plans and we cannot change that. We have to ask God first. If He says no, then it is no, don’t be ashamed in front of that person to say that God doesn’t allow me to pray for your sickness.

The church today has regressed spiritually because people only see money. If I pray for a minister to be healed he will give me money. If I have this gift and God says I don’t want to heal this person, you’ll find that this will be hard for you because a minister can do what he wants with you. The minister will say your God is a liar but because you want money you’ll say, wait a little longer and my God will heal you. Can you see how we would rather lose eternal life just for material things? Amen.

How to Pray (Part 1.2)

By Odon Bulamba

Romans 8:14-15, because those who are lead by the Spirit of God are Sons of God, for you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship and by Him we cry Abba! Father!

With the spirit we need to shout Abba! Father so He can come. How many times do you scream to God when you have a problem? How many times, when you suffer do you go and scream to God? Maybe you will go to your boss, but God says, “woe to man who trusts in man”. Believe in God and not in man, if you have a problem in your life you have to go to God straight away, don’t go to your dad or mum because one day they will leave you or die and after that who will you go to? You must know that you have to go to God first. Remember Moses in Exodus 17. He was in a difficult situation; he had the whole of Israel to bear.

One day Israel was attacked. Moses was very old at the time, maybe over 100 hundred years but Joshua was young. Joshua said to Moses I’m going to war with my troops. So Joshua prepared the sword and shield for war. Moses said to Joshua that what he was doing was just from his flesh because it is better to prepare spiritually. Moses climbed up the mountain with Aaron. Moses started interceding and raising his hands. Today many Christians are ashamed to raise their hands and ask God for help. They have their hands in their pockets and watch others pray because they think that they are intellectual.

Read in Romans 8, it is written, “Shout Abba! Father!” Why don’t you scream and shout and raise your hands to ask for help, this is a sign of non-humility [pride]when you don’t do it. Moses knew that God wanted him to raise his hands so Moses did. Remember Moses was on top of a mountain and the people saw him raise his hands. How many times have you had to raise your hands in front of everybody and not fear the people around you?

When Moses was on the mountain Joshua was fighting a physical war. When Moses hands dropped the fighting stopped. So who was fighting? It was Moses. When we pray we have more strength spiritually than we do physically, we can transform what the world thinks is impossible, just raise your hands and cry out to your Father. “Father! I want this and that in the name of Jesus Christ”.

When you believe in Jesus don’t fight just sit down, for the battle belongs to the Lord, He will repay. How many times do you get Him to rise up His arm? How many times do you give Him something to sit on? How many times do you ask Him to sit down with you? When someone goes through a tough time we have to support him or her with prayer.

Remember Moses didn’t pray for himself but for Israel and because he prayed for Israel they had victory, with the same faith we can help others to victory. When we intercede for others we have to have faith in Jesus Christ, this is the basis for prayer. How many times a week do you listen to God’s Word so your faith can be healthy? If you are thin your faith is not healthy because you don’t listen to God’s Word and this is the source of faith. You might see a three-month-old Christian who doesn’t read the Bible, doesn’t go to church and doesn’t listen to God’s Word. And yet when they pray they want their prayer’s answered.

Remember what Jesus said to His disciples, He sent them and said, “pray for the sick, tell them the good news and perform miracles”. But one day something went wrong, they came back to Jesus and said, “Jesus, we are confused for You sent us and we were ridiculed, we prayed for someone but nothing happen?”

The first answer He gave was, “Oh you of little faith, in these cases you have to pray and fast”. How many times do you fast a year? Many Christians don’t know how to fast or don’t have any idea what fasting is. In difficult cases we have to fast. Jesus is an example: After His baptism He fasted for forty days. Everybody knows that? How many servants of God in the Bible fasted to sort out problems?

In Daniel 9:3-4 you’ll find that Daniel fasted for his people even though he was high in the government ranks; even a prime minister can fast. You can eat everyday but you will never satisfy what’s in your stomach. You can eat every minute but your stomach will ask for something else. When I was in hospital God showed me something.... I brought a chicken one day and I consumed the lot. After three hours my stomach had become my adversary. My brothers knew that I liked eating meat so they prepared a nice dish for me to eat in hospital.

When I saw the meat I knew my stomach would avenge itself. I fed my body good food but it still betrayed me. I have to feed my spiritual body also. I have to fast, pray, read and listen to God so that my faith will grow, without this you will achieve nothing. Many people pray to God but God doesn’t answer their prayers, so they become tired with God because they aren’t benefiting anything from Him. So people go to a magician to take the easy way. A magician will give you what you want and you’ll see the results. But with God be careful, this is not how it works because God can stop the magic.

If a magician comes and I have Jesus Christ in my life, he cannot do anything but flee from me. If the magician is in front of you ask him, do you know about Jesus? Only the name of Jesus will make him bend or flee. So how much do we neglect the power God has given us? I know a king who had a son. The son was a prince and had to rule the country that his father had prepared for him. The father gave his son everything that he needed but his son wanted to leave his father. When he left, his father called out to him but there was no response. When the father died he left his family and kingdom behind which was then given to another family. The whole family suffered because of the son’s disobedience. It’s the same thing with us, God is our king and we are His princes but we don’t want to play our part, and if we don’t play our part what has been given to us will be taken away.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How to Pray (Part 1.1)

By Odon Bulamba

I would like to thank our Great God for this opportunity He has given us to meet together tonight. It is true that we haven’t paid anything to benefit from this gift of life we have. Many people have left this earth and many have departed as we speak. So what do you think about your God while you are still breathing? Are you better than those who are dead? It’s a question you must ask yourself.

It is really good to find a group that has a desire to pray. You have to know dear brothers and sisters that what you do is not in vain and God will pay you back. I don’t think any parent would be happy if their child was mute because each parent wants to communicate with their child. If you have a child who stutters and you see other children that don’t, you risk becoming jealous. It is the same with God. To pray is to talk with God.

Because we are God’s children He needs to hear our voice, but since we make out as if we are mute this is painful for God’s heart. God wants us to come back to Him even if it is to disturb Him. If we don’t talk with God it is like a mum who worries when her child runs out onto the road. If a child doesn’t talk for three or four hours she will become concerned. The mother will ask the child, “What’s wrong son, are you sick, have you got a headache, has someone abused you, what’s wrong with you?”

The same thing applies with God towards us. Do you talk with your God? If you take the opportunity to talk with your God this is really good. God Himself said He is our father and we are His children. On earth we have physical parents, and it is the same when you receive Jesus Christ into your life, you need parents for that life as well. This is eternal life. Everything in us is born again and this is what it means to be spiritually born again. Jesus told us in John 15 to abide in Him and He’ll abide in us, what ever you ask Him He will do it. When two or three are gathered together in Jesus name and you ask for anything whether it be a car, house or job be sure that you will receive it, Amen. Open your Bibles.

1 Timothy 2:1, “ I urge than first of all requests, prayers and intercession and thanks giving be made for everyone.”

God said that in everything we must pray, intercede and give thanks. This is very true. In this world we have many gods. In Africa you will find a god in each tribe. Each custom has a god, each area has a god but these gods are different from our God. You will find in Europe that some people practice magic and the god they pray to is different to our God. In Africa sorcery is practised more than anywhere else in the world. The government and sorcery attack God’s servants daily. If you find a sister praying and her neighbour is a sorcerer, the sorcerer will do anything to stop the power that is in this sister. This is a spiritual battle.

One day my brother and I were in Kinshasa and we were praying one night. We know that the devil works well in the night but one night there were sorcerers on a plane coming from the east and west (they are not the planes we know). Sometimes they used brooms to fly and had a power we did not understand, and while we were praying one of them fell. When I started playing the drum I saw somebody naked in front of me and I was really surprised. She had eyes like cats and was trying to threaten us with all kinds of tactics, but when we said the name of Jesus it was compelled to bow down and confess, Amen.

As children of God we have to intercede for others. Have you got a problem? Do you worry? The only solution is Jesus Christ. As Jesus said in 1 Peter 5:7, cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. So how do we know we are children of God? If you really want your prayers answered and you want to perform miracles, there is one condition.

1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
The first condition is that we have to pray according to His will. What is God’s will? What does God want from us? The will of God is in the Bible, you have to know the scriptures very well. You have to know what God wants and what God doesn’t want.

Example: some people pray against the will of God, it is written in the Bible that in the last days there will be war and troubled times, the Bible says it and it’s true. Today Christians pray that war won’t happen even though they know that this is a prophesy and has to be fulfilled, so how can you tell God to stop what is written? When some Christians read the Bible they make contradictions. God said that there will be wars but today we have Christians that pray against God’s will. So is God a liar? For this very reason God won’t answer your prayers because you ask Him to do something that is not His will. Another example:

I was born a boy and then I ask God I want to become a women. His will for me was to be the way I was born, so I cannot ask God to change me. In most churches you’ll find that Christians are confused, especially young people. “As long as I have teeth I can break bones, because I am young I have to smoke, because I am young, now is the time while there is pleasure and have opportunities”. But you forget that God created you and your body is the temple of God.

After doing all these worldly activities, people will kneel down and want to intercede for others. But this person is out of God’s will because God gives us conditions so that our prayers can be answered. You have to walk according to His will. You can pray for months and no answer and then you’ll start condemning God saying, “why haven’t you answered me? You’ve answered this prayer and this prayer, but why not my pray?” It is your fault if you are not living according to His will. His ear is not far from us and His Hand is not too short to save. Our God is a God of love.

Another example: let’s say Nathanael is screaming, “papa help,” what will Michael do? Will he rush to the problem or just walk? It is the same thing with God. When we pray God hurries to help us. If God doesn’t help you, then assess yourself. Examine yourself and ask yourself, “why hasn’t God doesn’t answered me?”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Prayer No: 10 (Abraham, Sarah & Hagar)

By Odon (summary only - 25 November 2005)

Gen 16 & 21

God had promised to Abraham that he would have many descendents but at 90 years old Abraham started to wonder if God had lied because himself and his wife were too old now and God had told him so many years ago so he wondered if God really sticks to His promises. Sometimes God takes a long time to fulfill His promises and He doesn’t do that to torture us but because He wants His right time to be there. None of God’s promises are a lie, He accomplishes everything that He promises but what we need is greater than patience because without it we can’t handle our situation and think we need an immediate solution.

God is unable to be pushed but when you keep insisting that you need it straight away, it will end in a bad way. God has a plan for you and me but that plan has to be fulfilled only when we are following God’s steps but if you are going beyond God, God will leave you somewhere. For example Sarah and Abraham were supposed to kneel down and pray to God and wait for His time but they decided to use Sarah’s servant to get a son and at first they had joy but later they were not happy with the result. When you find your own solution, you’ll see the result and you will appreciate it but later your solution will bring you problems.

Sarah and Abraham named that child Ishmael which means ‘God hears’ but Sarah forgot that God could hear all her complaints and hatred for that child. Most of the things that God hears from us put us into trouble, we have to pray carefully and our actions must be controlled and pure. Whatever we confess and God hears, we have to wait for the consequences but whenever we take our own solution, there will be a problem at the end.

Sarah wasn’t happy because Ishmael was not her child and when we are praying and God gives answers to other people and not us, we are against that and become jealous. When God blesses others and not me, I don’t thank God but ask, ‘why not me?’ It’s up to God to decide to whom and when He will respond and we who don’t get an answer straight away don’t have to find our own solution and give up on God.

Sarah wanted Ishmael to leave their house because she didn’t want a relationship with Ishmael and his father and how many times do we forget there is a relationship between God and our bothers and sisters? I don’t have to think, ‘o Shari doesn’t deserve that’. We have to remember that Jesus told the disciples to leave the children where they were because they are like the Kingdom of God but children are annoying, so people who are annoying are the same people who are loved by God.

Hagar faced a serious problem in the desert with no water and her son was dying but she didn’t blame Abraham. If Odon told you to take your son on vacation and something happened to your son you would blame Odon because we don’t accept the situation as it is and try to put reasons and problems onto other’s shoulders. Hagar was far away from others and God came to her and in the same way, those of us who are isolated from others are the ones that God will come to. Hagar was pushed away by Sarah and how many times do we push the souls of others to run away from us and even from God because we are jealous. The first way we push others to run away is lack of humility.

When we don’t wait for God’s answer we have conflict because we are not patient or because we are proud or lazy or we don’t care or we are selfish and sometimes because we hate each other.

If God is a pure God, why did He allow Hagar to get pregnant to her master? If God is righteous, why did He bless all the generations of Ishmael? Whenever God gives to us a gift but we don’t treat it properly, God will pass that gift on to someone else. For example if Ange has the gift of prayer but she tells Michelle to pray. God will look at her and say, ‘because you are not using that gift I will give it to someone else. (Numbers 11) God gave some of Moses’ power to the 70 elders and whenever you are not serious or committed to God’s work, you’ll stay behind. When we are there just to motivate others but we are not participating, we will lose (Mathew 25:14-30). An intercessor is someone who will accept God’s promises no matter when God will accomplish it and it’s not up to us to push God to do it quickly. Hagar (a servant) became the wife of Abraham and when you are a good servant of God but you don’t work with patience God can easily take what you have and give it to someone who is nothing and when that happens don’t complain to God. That is a big mistake today, when things go wrong we blame God while we are responsible for it.

Habukuk 3:10,18,19, mountains and seas are monsters in front of us (e.g. earthquakes and tidal waves) but in front of God they are afraid. Sarah lost her joy because she had forgotten that God was her friend, do you remember that God is your friend? When you are weak do you remember God? How do you find strength? At the gym, from your mother, your father, your husband? We have to remember that God is our strength and if He’s our strength then we can never be let down, we can’t lose any battle or lose to temptation or to satan and we’ll never feel ashamed or disappointed. But if your strength is money, when money flies you’ll cry and if your strength is your mental ability, when you can’t read anymore you’ll cry. Anything can happen but if we know that God is our strength, whatever happens we’ll overcome it.

Sometimes God tells us what to do but on the way because of lack of trust or hope we need a sign to make sure we are going in the right direction. Be careful though because sometimes we think something is a sign when it’s there as a deception so we have to ask God. God can send someone to you to talk on behalf of God or you can hear His voice directly or feel His presence or have a clear idea but it’s good to kneel down before you do anything and ask God if it’s really from Him so you can’t be mislead and signs are there.

SUMMARY

- God always fulfills His promises - Wait for God to answer
- Don’t try to find your own solution - It will end badly
- Remember God hears everything
- Praise God when He blesses others - Don’t be jealous
- Lack of Humility - Pushes people to run from you and God
- Use what God gives to you - Or He will give it to someone else
- Find your strength in God
- Ask God for signs - When you don’t know where to go