Friday, August 20, 2010

God needs our testimonies (part II)

By Odon bulamba (26th Decemember 2003)

Last week, we had three things to do; to glorify God for all that He has done, praise God for all that He has done and thank Him and when we put all these three things together, it is what we call a Christian testimony.

A testimony without praise is not a testimony, or a testimony without the glory of God is not a testimony and a testimony without thankfulness is not a testimony. That is why many people when they want to testify they will start by saying praise God or Hallelujah so that every body will answer Amen.

We must draw people’s attention first, Hallelujah brother, Hallelujah sister and when you answer Amen the glory is given because hallelujah means praise God. Here it is my brothers and sisters in the Lord, by Jesus Christ’s love I am alive, God did this and this for me and I praise Him for all that He has done may His name be glorified forever, may His power be manifested forever in our group. Really this God is different from all other gods I thank Him for this, this and that. This is a testimony.

For example when Ange got this child I was there and I thought Leah might talk today and say mummy talk, you got me freely you must be proud of me so praise God because of me. Or her father could do it. Or someone else could do it. But when we say we have to testify for God, what did God do for me, and our memories go blank and I can’t think of anything, what could I say? So I say, I praise God because I had something to eat yesterday but I can’t say that because people will think I am greedy. If I say praise God because I got the money, many people will ask me for money and I cannot give, so what will I say? I lack testimonies and I have nothing to say. I will start thinking oh let Michael finish it’s too long, let’s stop here and start to eat and you wait for the food.

This God who gives to you, when He will not give to you anymore, who will force Him to change His mind to give to you what He doesn’t want to give. I don’t think there is anybody.

I visited Michelle’s house a few days ago and I saw Teresa’s fish and when I looked at this fish it was different to all other fish, it is like a lizard with legs. Is your fish beautiful to look at Teresa? Yes. But if I ask Michelle? No. And maybe everybody will have his own point of view. This fish just lives where it is and that is it, it can’t go outside of the tank because its life is controlled in this fish tank and when this fish talks, if Teresa doesn’t want to answer, nobody will answer. It’s up to Teresa to think I have to feed this fish, if Teresa doesn’t give this fish any food, this fish doesn’t have any strength to force Teresa to give him food and it can even die of hunger, even if the food is beside it, because Teresa is the owner of this fish.

Teresa is there to decide about this fish and this is the same thing with our God. We are in a box and our life is very limited on four corners and with our own effort we cannot do anything. And God is there looking at us and if He wants He gives to us and if He doesn’t want, He won’t. But this will never push us to say that God is not good, or God does not give to us. If Ang has not testified for Leah, if Michelle has not testified for Zoe or if I have not testified for anyone, this does not change anything for God but this changes something in our lives because God will look and find out that we are not grateful.

When your child is not grateful what do you do as parents? The parents will force the child to say thank you and it is a teaching, willing or not the child has to do it and if you are not willing it will finish with a punishment and the love the mother or father has for the child will decrease because you lack thankfulness. We have to be really thankful to God.

For these ten minutes that are left we are going to testify for what God has done for us, we’ll testify for what God has done for us yesterday and today only and each one will talk for 3 minutes. And we’ll start with Michael and then Peter and so forth.

Michael, “God gives me strength and peace and joy and helps me to stay faithful. We talked to Benedict for four hours yesterday and one today and she has been a Christian for six years and she has many Christian friends.”

Doesn’t God deserve praise for that? So praise God for that.

Peter, “God gave me joy in the morning and protected us on the road and we could spend time with Ang’s family and praise God because of the three new baby’s in the family (Leah, Callum & Loren) and one of Ang’s cousin’s was suicidal last year and she has been transformed and praise God because I could share this year with Christians and today I could buy some material things and I could find time to pray and read the Word and He’s given us shelter, clothing, food etc. Inwardly we are being renewed each day and tonight we are here together to share the Word.”

Colleen, “God forgives all our sins and He is the God of second chances and I praise God for the efficiency of the cross, He has brought me to the cross and He has humbled me and He is teaching me and I praise God for my husband who lives with me in peace and that God is drawing him. Yesterday I was able to go freely to church to worship.”

Nathanael, “I read the Bible and went to church yesterday and had lunch with nice food and drink, and Chinese for dinner and today we ate and went to the pools and to the warehouse and dinner”

Sylvie, “I praise God for my husband and the way we really help each other. I praise God for what we are going through, him and me and how much we can love each other. Praise God for our meetings here also and for what we go through and He teaches us. We can read our Bible’s freely and speak freely. Praise God for our lives and our health and for everyone here and for all the people who came on Friday. God is rich and He gives freely. Praise God for all the answered prayers and healing for different people. Praise God for the hard times we have and the good times.”

Zoe, “ Today we had fish and chips and for christmas and for my presents and my scooter”

Michelle, “I praise God because we woke up safely and for our family and I got a present from Teresa and Zoe and because I could spend some time with Odon’s children with Zoe and I praise God because I was invited to spend Christmas with Odon’s family at Oscars and I praise God because yesterday I could sleep and for all the nice food and we found a good deal today on scooters at the warehouse for the kids and I saw Pete and Sylvie and Michael and Nathanael.”

Ang, “God is teaching me to obey his commands is not a burden, I praise God because I used to be afraid of doing exhortations but now I’m not and He helps me to prepare. I wasn’t able to have children and so I praise God for Leah and she is healthy with no defects and she is such a joy and I have lots of people who can help me look after her and I praise God for my husband. I asked God for Pete to put a love in him for me and I asked God for Pete to talk to me first and God answered and He is a good husband and father. My cousin was depressed last year and suicidal and I praise God because she has been transformed physically and spiritually and it’s by God’s grace and I praise God for his financial help and He is rich and provides. I praise God for living with Michelle and Hayley and Teresa. And for our house and the amount that we pay for rent. Odon being sent here and our group.”

Teresa, “for all my presents I got yesterday, for the food and I enjoyed my day”.

Odon, “I praise God because He is God and I praise Him because He keeps putting us together and nearly everything that He said has been fulfilled. Maybe materially we haven’t seen the result yet but the answer has already been given and for that I really praise God. I still praise God that He revealed to me this morning something good for our group and this was a joy for me. And I praise Him for this night’s message and our presence here and may glory be given to Him and we are going to walk together hand in hand to show the world that we really love one another and this will be our arm for next years victory. Try with all your strength to love your neighbour and your brother and sister and to cooperate and this will help you to go forward.

Thank you very much I have a lot to praise God and to testify but in all this I say God may your name be praised. Little by little I will thank you maybe. And finally I think of all those who will take a trip, may God be their guide and protector and I praise Him for the plan of travel ahead and for those who stay behind I praise God because we will keep meeting together even if we are two or three, God will be with us and we will keep holding those who will be away and I praise God infinitely for Benedict. God knows what He does, and nobody can contradict Him and I praise God for the Bhandal family too, God is at work and we just need to give Him a little bit of time and while we wait for God to realise we must be together and be one. Like Jesus promised, be one like Me and the Father who are one. Let’s try to be one and we will see God realise His promise.

Every morning and every evening testify something to God. Tell God, God you kept me through the night and it is a miracle I am alive. God is very happy with that, if you want God to keep holding on to you, glorify Him that is all.

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