Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Revelations 4:6 & 5:1 (summary)

By Odon Bulamba (summary only - 8 April 2005)

GOD'S PLAN FOR HUMAN BEING'S LIVES

God created us in His image so we look like Him spiritually and when Jesus came down to earth He put on our body and looked like us physically so we could feel that God cares for us. Spiritually people can look at us and see Jesus Christ.

Vs 6, there is something that separates us from God and that is the sea of glass. We look like God but we are not equal to God. Many people want to be made equal with God and many people adore servants of God (e.g. the pope) at the same level as God. John found himself different to God because God is omnipotent and able to do anything without help but we need help from others.

Vs 6b, these creatures are the same cheribum found in Ezekial and their purpose is to fulfil God’s will (or purposes) in our lives. Lucifer was among them (Ez 28:10) and that’s why it was easy for him to deceive Adam and Eve because he had a power of giving light to people. God placed cheribum to guard the garden of Eden to block the tree of life so whenever Adam came back he could pass through and get eternal life. The tree of life is the tree of repentance and Adam was supposed to leave the garden and come back after thinking but he didn’t (God had given him another chance).

Rev 5:1, first John saw a person and then he saw what blocked Him and then he saw something in His hand which was a scroll with seven seals. This scroll must be important because God is holding it and no one else and He doesn’t store it somewhere. If God holds your life, no one can remove it, if God protects you, you can’t be shaken or removed from your position. The secret of all revelations and all the Bible was in that scroll, a plan that God had for human beings in His life:

1. God planned to make human beings in His image
2. God planned to make human beings a safe life in His garden.
But humans didn’t trust in God and His plan hasn’t finished yet.

Vs 2, who is able to open the seal so people could know the secret behind that scroll? Why does God hide the secret of death? What goes on after I die? No one could open that scroll either on heaven or in earth and John started to cry. Why did he cry for something that will happen when he won’t even be there? He had pity on the world of tomorrow. John was told to stop crying because there are no tears in heaven and this is the time to discover God’s glory and not the time to cry. The answer to the question (who will open the scroll is the Lamb (Jesus). Gen 49:10, from the tribe of Judah, showing us the prophecy from the beginning of the Bible is being fulfilled at the end of the Bible.

Judah means praise, therefore the lion of praise. How do we praise God? By acknowledging the qualities of God and how great He is. How many times do you do this per day? Jesus was a descendent of David and David was thin and weak and if you are thin and weak in your faith, while you are tempted don’t be discouraged, you belong to God’s descendents and it’s good for those who know they are weak because God takes care of them. Tell God you are unable. But the more you are growing up the less chance for God to take care of you because you can be strong and responsible for yourself. II Samuel 9:12-13

John saw a slaughtered lamb say, “I’m able” (it was slaughtered but alive). The plan of God was for human beings only so Jesus had to come down as a human. On the cross Jesus said, ‘it is fulfilled’, and now is the time to remove the seals so God’s plan can be fulfilled in human being’s life. The blood of the lamb represents grace and forgiveness.

The lamb had seven horns:
7 = perfection
Horns = power
= the perfect Lord is powerful!

SUMMARY

- God created us in His image - but we are not equal to God
- Cheribum fulfil God’s purposes in us
- The tree of life = the tree of repentance
- If God hold’s your life - you can’t be removed/shaken
- Praise God - by acknowledging who He is
- The blood of the lamb = grace and forgiveness
- the seven horns on the lamb = The perfect LORD is powerful

Monday, November 29, 2010

Revelations Chapter 5 (Part I)

By Odon Bulamba (Friday 8th April 2005)

Revelation 5:1
Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.

John saw:
1. A human being sitting on the throne, he saw his appearance
2. What separated him from that human being
3. Something in that person’s hand, a little scroll

THE LITTLE SCROLL

The scroll was written on the inside and on the outside. What could this be? He saw also 7 seals. John could see what that man was holding despite the glory of God shining from the throne. Why didn’t God give that to the cherubim or to the 24 elders and tell them to keep it? By holding it he showed that no one could take it from his hand. If God holds your life, or protects your country … no one can take it from His hand.

And John was a bit curious. He wanted to know the content of the scroll.
Let’s think about it: if I roll a written sheet of paper, you can’t read it properly because it’s rolled. What you can read also depends how I hold it and whether the hand’s move.

The scroll holds the secret of the whole book of revelation, the secret of the writing of the Word of God. It was sealed because the purpose was destroyed. It was God’s plan for human beings lives.

God’s plan:
1. At first, I’ll create a human being that looks like me.
2. The human being must live a safe life and be placed where they will be completely happy; God put him in the Garden
3 In the Garden, something went wrong. Although man was given the ability to rule the world, to control everything under the sun, he didn’t trust in God
4. God hadn’t finished with His plan. But what will He do now? He will wait until human being comes back to him so that He could fulfil His plan.

Revelation 5:2
And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice,
“Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”

The little scroll (verse 2) was sealed, so nobody could open it.
“Who is able to break the seal so that we can know what is in it?”
And in heaven, everybody kept quiet, even the pure angels, no one was able to.

Many people on earth can easily judge God and say that He is unjust, not righteous, they wonder how can God let a Christian suffer for 20 years but God answers us every day: “If I have something in my hand, who will be able to take it from me? I’ve got peace, joy, and everything you need, but who is able to come and get it from me?”

No one in the heaven, on earth and even under the earth could take the scroll from God’s hand and John started to cry, a lot and loudly. Why did he cry for something that will happen in a remote future, in 2000 years, something that even didn’t involve him? John had already seen monsters and dragons worse than in nightmares and he didn’t cry but when he saw that small scroll and understood than nobody could unseal it, he cried, why? He cried because he had pity for what will happen to tomorrow’s world.

Someone asked him to stop crying, in the Kingdom of God there is no crying, our tears are (will) be wiped. He was told that this is not a time for crying but a time to discover God’s glory.

Revelation 4:5
Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See the lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.

Genesis 49: 10
This is what Jacob said about Judah: “the scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until it comes to who it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.”

That was a prophecy from the beginning and its fulfilment is at the end of the Bible.
The people of the tribe of Judah were waiting for that king to come: a king that will reign forever. They thought it was David, or someone else, but it wasn’t.
It is written that King will not be a regular king but will be: ‘the Lion of Judah”.
Remember that one of the cherubim looked like a lion and we will understand why.

Judah means praise. So he will come as the Lion of praise and the lion of praise will come with a scepter and that scepter will lead the world. Shame to the Christians who don’t give praise to God!


DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THANKING GOD AND PRAISING HIM

Praising: give His best qualities, tell how great He is.
Thanking God: thanks for this or that.

We can easily forget to praise God, what we normally do is thank Him.

Thank you, God because we are alive
Thank you God because you give us life
Thank you God because you feed us
Thank you God because you healed the people among us

We need to give glory to the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He needs it.
How many times a day do you glorify God?
Normally we only praise Him when we avoid a car accident: Thank you God because you protected me. But do you really praise him? When I eat: Thank you God because the dentist hasn’t removed any of my teeth. God you are so powerful, I can use my teeth.

This is why the Bible gives you all God’s powerful names so that you can glorify Him. If you don’t know how to praise Him, read your Bible, find all the great things God did and glorify Him.

JESUS IS A DESCENDANT OF THE KING DAVID

Although Jesus was God, he made himself a descendant of a human being, so that we can also find He looks like us. David was a human being like us, he was weak. So, if you are weak, if you are tempted, don’t be discouraged, remember the King of kings belongs to your lineage. Don’t feel ashamed for having been a Christian for 10 years and not praying well enough, otherwise you’ll give up. Better to make an effort and a step forward!

Blessed are the weak that recognise their weaknesses because God really takes care of them. If there is a danger, cry out to God, complain a little bit. He knows everything about you so he will transfer you to a safer place. The story of Jesus coming through the lineage of David is in 2 Samuel 9: 12-13


He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.

No creatures in the heaven could unseal the scroll because there were no human beings. The plan was for human beings only. That’s why Jesus came down, put on our body so that he could fulfil all the characteristics of a human being. Jesus went through our flesh and as a sign, John could see blood on his body. This lamb was slaughtered but John saw it alive.

He came to show us how much He cares for God’s plan to be fulfilled in human beings lives. Jesus’ last words were: “Everything is fulfilled”. “So whatever stopped these people not to come to your Kingdom, it is fulfilled”. Jesus paid the price. It’s finished. This is why the scroll can now be opened and God’s plan can be completed.
This is the secret of that passage.

Jesus says: “Here I am. I’m alive and whoever will believe in me, although he’ll be slaughtered, or killed, they can keep hope they will live again. John saw me crucified but he can see me alive.”

The blood on the lamb is the sign of grace and repentance, and God sees it and forgives the world and sets it free. That’s why we are completely free in Jesus-Christ. So he was given that scroll and the next step was to open it.


HE HAD SEVEN HORNS

Then John saw a lamb with 7 horns.
Horn means power. God, our God is powerful.
Number seven in the Bible means perfection.
So we can say that our perfect Lord is powerful.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Perseverance

By Hayley Boud

Romans 5:3-5
“And not only this but we also exult in our tribulations,
Knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
And perseverance, proven character;
And proven character, hope;
And hope does not disappoint”


“AND NOT ONLY THIS”
In the previous verse it says that we exult God because of the hope that we have in God’s glory but we don’t only exult God because of the good things but also the ‘bad’ things. We can praise God for everything. Praise God when we are healthy and praise God when we are sick because He has a reason for the sickness and He deserves to be praised (I praise God for the years of sickness because I am a better person because of it). We can praise God when the neighbours have a party and we need to sleep, I can praise God when my wallet gets stolen, I can praise god when someone crashes into my car. We have to praise God for every situation and not just say, “praise You because I wasn’t hurt in the car accident” (although that is good) but also say, “thank you my car was damaged”. Praise Him because He knows why it was damaged. Usually we don’t want to thank God for things that seem ‘bad’ to us but we have to thank Him for everything.

“EXULT”
To feel or show great pleasure and excitement, especially about something you have achieved.

“EXALT”
To praise someone very much, to lift the person up to an important status.

Other versions say, “rejoice” and others say, “glory”.

We show great pleasure and excitement when we suffer. We praise God and lift Him up when we go through difficult times. We rejoice when we have problems and we glorify God when things are tough. Do we? Usually it’s the opposite, usually we prove to everyone we are going through a hard time, we complain, we cry, we lose our joy and peace, sometimes to the point we can’t eat or sleep. Of course it’s normal to cry during hard times but we must also find a way to praise God and lift Him up. “Thank you God because my boss is mean to me”.

“TRIBULATIONS”
This means problems or difficulties. What would you consider a problem or difficulty to be? For each of us it would be something different and we all face problems daily. For me, I had a major problem with our dog Rikki. She’s perfect in every way except walking. She was sooooo hard to walk, she had no manners, she’d pull hard on the lead and I’m small compared to her so it was difficult to manage, she would chase cats, lunge out at bikes, cars, people and especially trucks (oneday she nearly killed us both), she’s whine at other dogs and was basically out of control. It wasn’t because she was naughty but because she was so excited to be walking but it made my life hell. She’s so strong and she was killing me (my shoulder, my back, my nerves, it was very stressful).

I got help from some experts (dog guru) and they gave me some techniques to put into practise; “easy Rikki”. For one hour every day I did “easy Rikki” and after four weeks the dog was supposed to be cured but there was no difference in Rikki. After six weeks, still no difference and I wanted to give up. I rang another dog school and a lady volunteer came to help me and she told me to use treats.

Months and months went by without change. It was so hard and I wanted to give up training and just forget about it but eventually after six months (that’s 240 hours of training), I started to see a change and slowly, slowly after 12 months (480 hours) of difficulty, I could finally see the result. She’s still not perfect but now she can walk past a cat without needing to chase it, and now we can walk past the river without her pulling me into it as she chases the ducks, now she can walk past dogs without having a mental break down and now she can walk past people and bikes without lunging at them. (I have to confess I didn’t praise God during this time for the difficulty, but I should have).

So this difficult time has now passed but only because of perseverance. There were times when I wanted to give up but I praise God that I didn’t because now I have the result and now I’m proud to walk with my ugly mutt instead of being embarrassed and frustrated. So the tribulation taught me how to persevere and then the perseverance taught me patience (proven character) and self-control and it taught me that hope doesn’t disappoint because I hoped so much she would change and she did and I’m not disappointed, I’m happy.

Other versions say “sufferings” and I think of how sick I was for so many years as an example of suffering and as I said earlier, I praise God for being sick because through that, I am a completely different person. So when we suffer we must praise God because through that suffering we will learn how to persevere and that perseverance will teach us how to become mature in Jesus Christ (proven character). Being sick has taught me humility, compassion, grace, patience and has made me less selfish, less rude, less hard (more soft and more sensitive to others) and helped me to become kinder and more gentle and shown me how to talk to others in a way that is acceptable (but I’m still learning, so I do make mistakes but a lot less than before I was sick) and therefore I praise God for being sick. Being sick and coming out the other side has given me hope that doesn’t disappoint and now I have hope when I go through other sufferings or other difficulties or problems.

“PERVEVERANCE”
Is an attitude of being determined to continue; to try to achieve something difficult; persistence.

It’s an attitude! We must have this attitude when we are going through problems, this attitude of being determined to continue, to push through until we succeed, e.g. prayer.

We must continue to pray, continue to trust God, continue to read the Word of God, continue to fellowship with others, continue to grow spiritually (forgiveness, grace, love, patience, joy, peace, self-control, faithfulness, gentleness, kindness, goodness), continue to spread the gospel, visit the sick, use your gifts etc…. no matter what we are going through. Usually when we are crossing a hard situation it becomes hard to pick up the Bible but when you feel like it’s hard to pick up the bible, that is exactly the time when you need it.


“PROVEN CHARACTER”
We have to provide proof/evidence that our character is one that represents Jesus and is being transformed. When the fruit of the Holy Spirit is growing in us, then we give evidence to others and ourselves that we are Christians. If the fruit of patience isn’t growing, or the fruit of self-control isn’t growing, then we have to be a little worried. We have to make them grow and the only way is to persevere in those things already discussed (reading the Bible, meeting with others, praying, and making an effort to change).

Be encouraged tonight. This message is to encourage us to persevere and to keep going and to keep hope. Our hope will not be disappointed so whatever you are hoping in tonight, just know that you won’t be disappointed. Whatever your dreams, your gifts, your desires, your needs, your prayers, you won’t be disappointed, just keep persevering and your character will show the proof of your perseverance and you will not be disappointed.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Revelations Chapter Four (Part IV)

By Odon Bulamba (8th April 2005)

Revelation 4:6a
Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.

We’ve already spoken about the 7 spirits of God in the book of Isaiah.

A SEA OF GLASS

John is in front of God. He sees there is a something that looks like a sea of glass, clear as crystal in front of him. Us, human beings, we look like God and when Jesus came down he also put this body on to look like us. He wanted to look like a human being so that we could feel that God cares about us.

Spiritually, people can look at us and see the picture of Jesus-Christ and physically also Jesus had the same body as us to prove that God looks like us. God could have found many ways to die for us and not put on this body but He wanted to live among us and be one of us.

How can I know my body looks like God’s?

John had discovered God’s throne and also a distance, something, between God and him. We can see Him, we can see we look like God but we are not equal to God, there is something that separates us from God, like a glass. Some people think they can lift themselves up to be equal to God but we can never be equal to God because He looks after us while we can never look after God. … I will always depend on Him but God will never depend on us. Nobody can say: “Today God looks after me and tomorrow I’ll look after him”. People can develop their knowledge to show that God is powerless but if He is powerless, why do you exist? If you think you are clever enough to respond to all your needs, why do some people become mad? If we were clever, death could not exist, or pain or suffering on earth. For instance, no scientists, even highly qualified could stop the Tsunami disaster.

So, we might have some knowledge but we will never be equal to God. What is the difference between God and me? Why do we call God omni-potent? I am not.
Human beings need to go to the shop to buy food, clothes … you see we depend on other people and above all we depend on God. For example, if death comes, even to the richest man on earth, nobody will never tell it: ‘Come back tomorrow”.
We don’t have that power.

John found out that although we believe in God, we must remember that we are not equal to God. Whenever God gives me an instruction, I must follow it, I can’t discuss it. If we don’t, we’ll perish later. God doesn’t forget or close His eyes to rest. One day He will make us accountable for what we did 20 years ago and we’ll be ashamed.


Revelation 4:6b
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.

FOUR LIVING CREATURES

They look a bit strange. They look like cherubim. These creatures are similar to the ones in the book of Ezekiel. They don’t really look like us. Human beings don’t have wings and we are not covered with eyes. Today many people say that cherubim are just women or others say they are children or little angels, or babies … and they make pictures of nice creatures but God shows us something different.

Their purpose is not only to look after God’s glory but also to fulfil God’s will into our lives: to get something from God and to bring it into our lives. Lucifer himself was in that category, Ezekiel 28:10. His purpose was to bring God’s need, fulfilment or plan to human beings. This is why in the Garden of Eden it was easy for him to go to a human being and suggest: “If you do like this, you’ll be like God.” He had that power of light, the power to give light to people so that people could see what God wanted to fulfil in their lives. That is why Lucifer tempted human beings in the garden.

There is another confusion about cherubim. When God told Adam and Eve to leave the Garden, “God placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” The role of the cherubim was to guard the way to the tree of life, not to guard it from Adam but to guard it safe so that whenever Adam will be able to come back he can pass through that way and go for repentance. The tree of life is the tree of repentance, and although Adam did something wrong God wanted to give him the chance to come back again. Adam could go, think and come back to repent but Adam left and didn’t ask God to forgive him, he left forever and forgot.

At that stage, in the Heaven people wondered: “What will God do?”
Cherubim are standing, waiting for God’s purpose to be fulfilled in human beings life, but Adam had gone forever. How to bring him back?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Revelations Chapter Four (Part III)

By Odon Bulamba (1 April 2005)

THE ARC OF THE TABERNACLE

Revelations 4:2-5

Chapters four to five of Revelations are the foundation of all of the book of Revelations and if you understand these chapters you will easily understand this book. Before you can understand them you need to know where to get the interpretation and this is from the Bible itself because the Bible is self-sufficient and able to interpret itself. If you know about the tabernacle (Exodus 25) you will understand these chapters.

Exodus 19, when Moses went up the mountain it was covered in smoke and he didn’t know where to go but God called him to come in and he went through the smoke. Today many people are facing this teaching, they are like people in front of smoke and God tells them, ‘come and I’ll talk to you, I want to reveal to you the secret of this book of Revelations’ and when they are in front of the Bible it’s smoke and they can’t see anything because everything is black. Exodus 19:18-20, Moses had to wait two days and many people before to understand this book can read it twenty times and participate in seminars and still don’t get it. God is saying, ‘now is the time to understand and I’ll explain it to you, open your ears and take notes as John did’.

Exodus 25:10, the arc of the tabernacle is where God will meet with His people and where He set up His throne. God will sit between the two cheribum, not inside but on top and when John went to heaven he saw the throne with the cheribum. When we give God our lives we have a secret inside of us (as the arc also holds secrets) with God in my heart and God’s Word in my heart and His commandments and all that God has given me (the arc of the covenant has these things too). All that is pure must be kept inside this arc (inside me) but the presence of God will be somewhere next to me. Where are my cheribum? Do I have something that covers me? After receiving His Word, grace, salvation, justification etc, what covers me now? If you don’t cover precious things, they might get stolen. We need cheribums in our lives as they have an important role (Exodus 1-10).

Rev 4:3, Jasper is a simple stone like a crystal that shines and has all the colours like the sun. It represents the holiness of God. Sardius is red which represents anger. God is Holy but can become angry when we sin and He must be to fulfil His role as God. John knew the meaning of the stones and he was afraid and thought, ‘there is holiness and anger, how can I go close to God?’ God showed the rainbow for that reason so John could remember Noah and the rainbow and remember God’s grace and that gave John the ability to go closer.

The 24 elders adoring reminds us that adoration is very, very important. The number 24 is a symbol that represents something also.

Today when we preach it’s a big judgement because when you talk about the gospel you can feel you are guilty because it concerns you and this is judgement and one day we’ll sit on the throne with God and judge. The judgment is already here and is not coming, we have our place in heaven and we have the right to be next to God, we are just waiting for our new body.

Rev 4:5, Moses also saw lightning (Ex 19:16). There is a danger coming and God is warning us but we neglect it saying that it will happen one day but later. We have to reveal the secret of Revelations to others also.

SUMMARY

- Rev 4&5 are the foundation to understanding Revelations
- God wants to reveal the secrets of Revelations to us (open our ears)
- To interpret Revelations use the Bible
- Keep what is pure inside of you and God will be next to you
- God is Holy and becomes angry when we sin
- God is gracious (come to Him)
- Adoration is very important
- The judgement is here already
- A danger is coming (tell others)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Revelations Chapter Four (Part II)

By Odon Bulamba (25 March 2005)

THE THRONE OF GOD


Revelations 4: 2

John’s spirit went to heaven and not his body and God wants us to know that when we go to heaven our body will not go, it will be transformed or it will stay down here. John’s eyes went straight to the throne because at the throne is something very important, the major thing that exists in heaven; GOD HIMSELF.

A throne is a seat where anyone could sit down on but you are not allowed to unless you have a title or permission. If God says come and sit, you will, but if you go without permission it will be a serious problem.

Hebrews 4:48, the heavens are the throne of God and the earth is His footstool, therefore God sees everything that we do and so we should try to live in a proper way knowing that.

God gave John this vision to give him hope while he was in Patmos because He knew that if John saw Him sitting on a throne controlling everything, and looking after him he would be encouraged and feel strong. John faced a difficult time in Patmos but instead of God helping him to be set free He showed him the problems of seven churches. It’s the same for us, we can face hard times but God will ask you to pray for others and He’ll help them first and you’ll be the last one because God wants to see if you will persevere. Don’t give up praying for problems, we are children of God and we have to stand up for our faith. If I continue to complain I won’t accomplish anything. Blessed is the one who is last to receive a blessing because the last shall be first and if you accept to offer your time and give to others first and yourself last, God will put you first.

Psalm 45:6, the first step of the throne is to bring about justice. Where there is no justice God intervenes and where there is no justice God is angry. If you want to discover God’s glory then practise righteousness. Ask God to help you to be righteous in all you do and then God will bring His throne in you because your body will be heaven because it is righteous. God won’t sit on your throne if you don’t practise what He asks you to.

Hebrews 1:8, JUSTICE ETERNAL. When we make a decision we have to keep it or God will find we are not acting as someone eternal. For example, I decide to pray every Wednesday but next Wednesday I go to the rugby game instead.

The elders around God’s throne glorify God non-stop and all God needs is our glory. If you want to be a friend of God just glorify Him and if you want to come into God’s Kingdom just bow before Him.

In the Bible there are more than 20 thrones but it is only one throne that plays different roles and one day we will sit on that throne with God to judge the world.


SUMMARY

- The most important thing in heaven is God Himself
- God is on the throne controlling everything
- To discover God’s glory – practise righteousness/justice
- To be God’s friend – glorify God
- In hard times - persevere and keep praying
- For God to put you first - put yourself last

Extra verses: Mathew 19:28, Rev 20:11, Psalm 11:4, 47:8, 89:14, 103:19

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Revelations Chapter Four (Part I)

Please see previous postings for Revelations (Introduction & Chapters 1-3)

By Odon Bulamba (18 March 2005)

Revelations 4:1-3

(vs1) the key to the whole Bible is found in this verse because everything in this book goes around this verse.

OPEN DOOR

The Word of God, Jesus Christ is calling us to come in and when we do we will have visions and miracles but if you stay outside you will never experience it. When we cross hard situations and feel isolated do we open our door to Jesus Christ so He can control us?

When we ask God for something impossible we just have to tell God, ‘You are a God of miracles, for my situation you can perform a miracle and it’ll be a vision for others’. Like John, before to receive a vision you must be somewhere quiet and ready to receive it. Many prophets tell God, ‘I want to get something from You’ and they’ll pray and pray and because they are isolated, God will speak to them. Retreat is very important for Christian life. When we put God’s Word into action and we pray we’ll receive a vision.

VISION

You can see it and nobody else can, like sleeping; you can see your dream but no one else can see what you are dreaming. This is the time to ask for God’s visions, it’s very important and everyone today is able to catch it if you ask God. To have a good vision you need the Spirit of God to convince you because our thoughts are not God’s thoughts.

There are two types of visions; (1) you see with your eyes and (2) you see with spiritual eyes. It’s important to ask God to see what’s going on around us. John 10:9, Jesus Christ is the door and if you come in, you can also go out to check on the world to rescue it.

If you want to discover the glory of heaven or earth be in Jesus and you’ll discover it. In heaven they have different food than the Bible, it’s the glory of God in our lives so we have to understand glory, accept it and eat it. Satan can also give a picture (satan also gives visions) that looks attractive but it is dead. Christ’s vision doesn’t have a result of death but of faith and action and it must give light and truth. To understand a vision you need to ask God for discernment, ‘what does it have in relation to me? The church? The world?’

DOOR

The door is Jesus Christ and how to come in is written in Rev 3:20. The Church is living today and there is still an open door (like Noah’s arc) but one day the door will be locked and you won’t get in. If you didn’t help people find salvation, the time will be over, I Thess 4:16&17. The first thing they will hear is silence; all around the world, the computers and everything will stop because it’s the end of all activity. Then all will hear the voice of the archangel and people will start panicking because they’ll know that the Son of God is back. Every soul will recognise the sound of the trumpet.

God is telling us that we have learnt a lot and now it’s time to pass it on to others (like John). The reason to learn Revelations is because we are called to know it and to share that knowledge with others.

Ask God, ‘help me to know who You are and to discover your realisations, your convictions and the Spirit to convince me and to know your visions and to know your voice and to transmit your message to others. Help me to see the door of heaven which is open to see through the heavens. Help me to understand Revelations to produce fruit in me.’

SUMMARY

- Rev 4:1 is the key to the whole Bible
- Jesus Christ is the door
- Jesus Christ is calling us to come in

- It’s time to receive visions:
1. ask God
2. be somewhere isolated and quiet
3. put the word of God into action
4. need the Holy Spirit to convince you
5. need discernment

- Two types of visions:

1. you see with physical eyes
2. you see with spiritual eyes

- The food of heaven is the glory of God in our lives
- The door of heaven will one day be closed
- Learn Revelations to pass it on to others

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Revelations Chapter Three (Philidelphia & Laodicia)

Please check out previous postings on Revelations (introduction and chapters 1-3)

By Odon Bulamba (4 March 05)

Revelations 3:7-13

Philidelphia means brotherly love. This town of Philidelphia had many earthquakes and was always being utterly destroyed and although they suffered a lot they continued to persevere in the Lord. Jews and Romans were attacking them because they believed in Jesus Christ but they kept persevering.

KEYS OF DAVID

Someone who keeps the keys of a kingdom is someone special and without him no one has the right to enter the kingdom or to see the king.

Isaiah 22:20&22, he was the bridge between the kingdom and visitor and Jesus also keeps the keys of the Kingdom of God and gives us keys also to be a bridge to lead people to the Kingdom of God. Mathew 16:19

When Jesus shuts the door no one will be able to open it and do we also shut the door? What is a door? It’s a simple entrance to help you to come inside and if we shut the door, what are the reasons? Do we shut the door to praying? God’s blessings? To the Holy Spirit? Or to sin or satan?

What do our churches do? Do they open the door to allow people into the Kingdom of God or do they close the door.

God is our security and has given us the key and He never sleeps so we never have to fear.

God knows your work; if you are praying, He knows and if you think about Colleen He knows (even if others don’t). God knows our works both good and evil and He counts them all. Don’t be disappointed that you don’t do much, don’t minimise yourself, you are not little in the Kingdom of God. Even if your faith is small, God needs it.

God has opened the door and it’s up to you to decide to come in or not. To get blessings and all that you want, you have to come inside the house of the Lord and you’ll have protection and no worries.

Remember what God has done for you and tell God about it so you’ll have strength again (e.g. David remembered about killing the lion before fighting against Goliath).

Revelations 3:10, “You kept My Word”. We have to keep the Word of God which is God Himself and is the source of everything that we need.

The first way to deny Jesus is to say face to face to someone that you are not a Christian. The second way is to disobey God and show Him that you don’t know Him. The third way is to put our rules or the churches rules ahead of the Word of God.

Many Christians are in the temple of satan and ¾ of them don’t know exactly where they are. We have to help them so they won’t perish. If we overcome we will be kept from the hour of trial.

SUMMARY

- Persevere (during hard times)
- Jesus has the keys to the Kingdom of God
- Jesus gives us the keys (open the door for people to come into God’s Kingdom)
- Do we open the door or shut it? (to prayer/blessings/Holy Spirit or to satan/sin?)
- God is our security (we never have to fear)
- God knows our works (good and evil) and counts them
- Don’t minimise what you do

- Three ways to deny Christ;

1. deny you are a Christian
2. disobey God
3. put our own rules above God’s

-If we overcome we will be kept from the hour of trial


LAODICIA

(11 March 2005)

Revelations 3:14-22

Isaiah 69:16, Jesus is the truth, Amen. Amen means it’s the truth and it will be like that.

An angel, Hebrews 1:14, is a ministering spirit and every person who will take the message to the church or helps and supports the church is therefore also an angel.

Revelations 3:16, when you live 50% for God and 50% for the world, God will put you aside and once you are vomited it’s not easy to pick you up again.

Rev 3:15, the deeds are our actions

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Revelations 3:14-22 (part I)

By Odon Bulamba (14th November 2010)


video



Jesus is warning us but it's not easy to accept a rebuke. Most of the time we compare ourselves to those who are baby Christians or even those who are not saved while we are not at that level.

(Rev 3:17) Wealth - Jesus told Nicodemus to seperate the spirit from the flesh but today we want to put the two together. For example, wealth and health prosperity teaching which is mixing the two but we should give God His place and wealth its place.

We are wealthy because we have our hands, and our eyes and our feet so we can use this wealth for God's glory but we don't want to use our wealth, and we forget that after this life we will go somewhere - either heven or hell. We might think we are saved and that is enough. God has given us everything we need physically to work for Him but what do we do? We invest mostly in the work of the flesh. Many people know the Word of God but they don't want to apply it in their lives. We have to decide to use our entire body for God.

We always delay when God wants to use us, we always want to think first instead of just taking action.

We have to know what is our level in the Kingdom of God. Ask God to help you to understand what is your position in the church and in the Kingdom of God.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Excellence: More Than Talent

By John C. Maxwell

"Excellence" may bring to mind unmatched performance, unusual expertise, or consistent high-quality performance. In our minds, we often associate excellence with talent. To be the best, surely you have to be gifted, right? Experience has taught me that talent, while important, in no way explains excellence. In fact, the primary pathway to excellence has three main steps, none of which depends on talent.

1) Find Your Passion

"You are nothing unless it comes from your heart. Passion, caring, really looking to create excellence. If you perform functions only and go to work only to do processes, then you are effectively retired. And it scares me-most people I see, by age 28, are retired. If you go to work only to fulfill the processes and functions, then you are a machine. You have to bring passion, commitment and caring-that's what makes you a human being." ~ Horst Schulze, Former President of Ritz-Carlton
People of excellence love what they do. They have learned how to fuel the fire that keeps them moving. How do you spot a passionate person?


1) They work with their whole heart.
2) They work with undistracted attention.
3) They work with maximum energy.

In life, the prize goes to the person, not who's the smartest or most talented, it goes to the person with passion.

Application: Reshuffle Tasks in the Direction of Your Passion

1) Take an inventory of the work activities that you enjoy, and in which you excel. What energizes you and makes you feel alive about them?
2) Take inventory of the work activities that drain away your energy. Ask yourself why these tasks feel so burdensome.
3) Have a conversation with your manager about shifting your workload in the direction of your passion. Don't expect your boss to allow you to reshuffle your responsibilities overnight. Be willing to take very small, gradual steps toward your passion. Even exchanging one de-energizing task for another that brings you energy is a victory.

2) Never Cease Practicing

"If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all." ~ Michelangelo

Passion won't take you anywhere unless you combine it with disciplined practice. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, studies success and discovers that innate talent has a lot less to do excellence than does practice. In fact, he found that the successful people he studied (the Beatles, Bill Gates) put in 10,000 hours of practice before making a big splash. Nobody cruises to the top on natural giftedness alone. As Gladwell writes, "Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good."

Application: Don't Just Learn...Do

In hospital emergency rooms nurses have a saying, "Watch one, do one, teach one." This refers to the fast pace of the profession and the need to learn quickly, then jump right in to practice what you learned on a real live patient, and then pass it on just as quickly to someone else. Notice that learning is only the first one-third of the job. The real key is putting that learning into practice. The principle applies to any profession or business. You can't just read about how to change a tire, write a contract, start a business, or perform open-heart surgery. You need to perform the skill to perfect the skill.

3) Honor Your Values

"I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me." ~ Abraham Lincoln

We all could give examples of talented, charismatic people who sabotaged their careers by abandoning their values. Passion and practice bring excellence, but character sustains excellence over time. Absence of strong character eventually topples talent. People cannot climb beyond the limitations of their character. Eventually the limelight of success brings to light the cracks in their integrity.
Application: Clarify Core Values

1) Consider the question: What does excellent character look like?
2) Brainstorm a list of qualities you feel are important to character (honesty, integrity, etc.). Keep thinking and writing until you have at least 10. Then choose three of them as "core values."
3) Set aside time on your calendar (30 minutes or so), twice a month for the next four months, to pause and evaluate how you're doing in honoring your core values.

Hayley Boud's comments: I can apply this to all areas of my life. My work, my service to God, my ministry/gift, my Bible reading, my praying, the way I share the gospel. If I start with a passion, it makes it easier, and if the passion isn't there, I can just ask God to give me a passion or to help me to find a strategy that brings out my passion (eg, I don't always feel passionate about reading the Bible but once I open the bible, I love it). Never stop practising is a good one too (in all areas of my life - especially the Word of God - if I practise what I read and then share it with others, I will probably be a transformed person) and writing down 10 core values is a great idea and then check on myself once a month to be sure I'm fulfilling my top three is very important to make sure I'm on track.


ABOUT
John C. Maxwell is an internationally respected leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold more than 19 million books. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP, a non-profit organization that has trained more than 5 million leaders in 126 countries worldwide. Each year he speaks to the leaders of diverse organizations, such as Fortune 500 companies, foreign governments, the National Football League, the United States Military Academy at West Point, and the United Nations. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell has written three books that have sold more than a million copies: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. His blog can be read at JohnMaxwellOnLeadership.com. He can be followed at Twitter.com/JohnCMaxwell.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A New Year (part IV)

By Odon Bulamba (02.01.04)

There was another lady in the Bible, she was lot’s wife. When it was time to leave Sodom, God told them, ‘because you need your lives don’t look behind, just keep going.’ That lady, her husband and her two daughters started their journey and on her way she was feeling in her heart that she had to look behind her to see what was going on there. Maybe she started to think about money that she left, maybe she started to think about saucepans that had been left behind, maybe she was thinking about sweet potato, her ideas were there in Sodom.

According to the Bible Sodom was really pretty, Sodom was really green like New Zealand and all farmers at that time wanted to be in Sodom. The lady’s thoughts were there, although her body was going forward but her head remained in Sodom and because of that attraction of the past, and of things that were behind her, she decided to turn around, she decided to accomplish her feelings, to satisfy her feelings above God. She turned around and as a result she was punished, she couldn’t move anymore, she remained there and when she remained there her daughters didn’t say, where is our mum. The husband didn’t say, where is my wife? They kept going, they carried on with their journey and she remained there.

Whenever we are working with God we have to respect his instructions, if God will say look forward, just look forward. If God says walk with me, walk with Him, don’t turn your eyes, don’t look on your side, don’t think about what happened. ‘oh I know last year this person did such and such to me, I will not accept that, I know that my friend told me such and such thing and so from now on I will make a decision, this year I will make a revenge.’ No we have to forget about plans like these ones because we are living a new life, we are living a new life.

As the Bible talks about alpha which means the beginning and when the beginning is there it means that nothing else exists because the beginning is the beginning. You cannot say there was something and then the beginning started, no, the beginning of something is the beginning, nothing precedes it. If we start this year as a new year, this is the beginning of this year and we don’t have to load our hearts or our souls with problems or with whatever happened last year, no, we don’t have to, we have to start the new year with new things, with new strategies, with a new gospel.

For you and me, what shall we do with this year that is coming? What shall we create? What shall we give breath to so that it can find life? Our families, our friends, who shall we bring to Jesus Christ? Who shall we help and say don’t look behind you, let’s carry on, let’s focus our eyes on Jesus.

Once God created man He said, this is all, I have to rest now. God was happy and I think this year must be a year of happiness for us. This must be a year of success, a year of fulfilling whatever we have to fulfil. It’s true that God created everything and He was happy to create them but on the sixth day God found that He really fulfilled all His tasks, I’m happy with all that I created and then He put Adam in the garden of Eden. So what shall we do during this year and we’ll give it a special place somewhere in the gospel? Shall I give my tithe? Shall I offer to God something, shall I sing to Him, shall I dance for Him, what shall I give to God that will represent something really special for Him, for which I know that there is a garden somewhere for which I will keep this treasure.

We have to think about that and know that this year is not a year of problems, it’s not a year of difficulties or misunderstandings. This year we are called to live the true happiness, the true joy and victory. If you don’t have a plan yet for 2011, this is the time to think about it and if you have planned something already, think now about your plan and your God. You can have your physical plan; I’ll buy a house, or a car, or I’ll go such place or I’ll do such for Odon or Colleen or Gustave or whoever, that’s your plan but what did you plan with God? Put God in tests and you will see how God is good to answer and to intervene. Let’s say we are sitting here and if you can hear Leah scream, what will Leah’s mother do? (I’ll go and check on her). That is the first thing, the mother will never say, ‘can I go?, never. She will just stand up and go there, although the baby will never the mother’s name, she will just scream but the mother will know that it is Leah and she must go, she feels she has to intervene.

And that is the same way with God, whenever we yell, ‘God we need your help, we are crossing a hard situation’, God doesn’t have to ask Moses or whoever is sitting next to Him can I go and help? Never, He will intervene. Only if we open our mouth and we call on Him and to scream doesn’t take ten minutes to be honest. If I scream now, one second is enough and everybody will ask what is going on there.

We have to call God. Many people when they want to call to God they think oh maybe I have to contact Kennedy to talk to him first and then he will advise me and after him I will get advise from Sylvie or Jessica and then Colleen and I can do it for five days. Whatever Jessica will tell me and Colleen will tell me will not match with whatever Pete will tell me and I will start to say, o what will I follow now, what can I do? So we are free and if we are free we have to speak to God freely, there is no formula which we are supposed to use to tell God, ok God before you listen to my prayer I must do this ceremony, no.

So we will stop there tonight, I will tell you: “be strong in the Lord, Jesus loves you and He loves all of us. He is our Lord, He is taking care of us, but He is calling us to be next to Him and He will be also next to us. If we trust in Him He will also trust in us. If we give to Him our time He will also give to us His time. If we call on Him He will answer. If we tell Jesus we need Him, He will be proud to tell us that He needs us too. If we tell Jesus we want you to intervene because we are unable, He will feel really that He is really glorified because we recognise His value. If we tell Jesus we want your presence among us He will feel the King or leader of our lives and He will intervene but if we keep quiet maybe He will not know what to do for us. He knows our needs, that is true but He is waiting for us to say something to Him”.

So we have to stop there, in the Lord I have to wish you all a happy new year, a year of joy, blessings, victory, light, and a year of power, success in all our activities, success in all our prayers, success in our meditation and everything that we will do for our lives and for God’s glory.

Lets pray, “Thank you Jesus because you are our leader, we are at the end of this meeting, let your power be with us. Meet us o Lord our God, we commit this year between Your hands. We need Your help and Your assistance. Guide us, bless us, show us the light, show us the way. In our conduct we need you, in our work we need you, in everything that will happen in our lives, Your presence will be really, really important. Jesus our God we have our family members, we have friends, our children, our wives and husbands, our brothers and sisters who need You in their lives, who want to see your power. God as you walked with Moses, we want Your power to be with us so that we can be the Moses of our families, we can become Moses of Your people, we can become Moses of our brothers and sisters and through us they can see You God performing miracles. Through us they can discover that You are really powerful. Oh Lord our God, we need our problems to runaway from us, we need o God to see Your light in our lives, we need to be protected by You, we need to walk with You, we need to cross the sea of difficulties and problems, we need to win and become victorious against all the powers of darkness, Jesus our Lord. We need anointment, o Lord Jesus, hold our hands and walk with us. We welcome You Jesus in our lives, control our lives, we give You the chance to reign in us, reign in our lives, reign in our family, reign in everything that we will do. Wherever we will go, we need You always, don’t leave us. Whenever we call on You, intervene straight away because our only solution is You, no one can help us, no one can intervene except you. Oh God, be our blessing and Be our Lord from now until the end of time. On the sixth day God You created something really special, something that you like, that you love and that was the day you created us God. We want also during this year that something can be created, something can come from us which will glorify Your Name, which will look like the creatures that you created on the 6th day. God we need to bring souls to You, accept those souls, convert their lives, make our people to be transformed. We know that satan is fighting against them, we know that sins are attacking them but God make us winners. Give them freedom from the power of darkness, so that they can see Your blood in their lives, so that they can see Your Hand touching them, so that they can feel comfortable through You o Jesus. We can’t transform their lives but everything is possible for You. Bless this house, bless everything present here, bless those people who are not with us tonight, be with them O God. We thank you because You are a God who takes care of us, in Jesus name we are praying, Amen,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A New Year (part III)

By Odon Bulamba (02.01.04)

Lets read in Exodus 14:19-25,

Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. 24 During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. 25 He jammed[a] the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.”



So this is the time of fight now. This is the time that Pharaoh and his army are attacking the people of Israel saying that the way that they are walking, the way that they don’t have horses or chariots, we are able to catch them, this is our right time to kill them. And the Lord our God because He is a Lord who takes care of His people, He is the Lord who watches His people, He opened His eyes and looked on His children and saw that Pharaoh was following them. God knows that if He gives Pharaoh the chance to be next to His people, he will kill them so He decided to put Pharaoh in confusion.

The first thing that God did was the block of smoke and then God came through that smoke and He tried to disorganise Pharaoh’s army. Imagine we have an army which is really well organised, an army which is prepared to go and fight and just on their way, there is a disorder among them. Everything was ok but after a few seconds nothing works, the chariot that Pharaoh used was also blocked by God, God prevented them from moving anymore.

Pharaoh can represent our temptation, Pharaoh can represent satan, Pharaoh can represent our adversary or our enemy. He comes behind us every time, He is following us, he wants to hit us, he wants to kill us and by our own force we can’t overcome, we can’t win but we have to remember that God sees, God is watching, God is looking on us, God is there for us, God has never slept, He watches His people. So that is the first thing that you have to remember for this year, God is watching over you, although I am going through difficulties, although satan is fighting my faith, although I’m losing my position, although I am going through a hard situation, God’s eyes are watching over me and I know that if God is watching over me nothing can touch me. My heart will never be broken because God’s eyes are watching over me.

Secondly you have to know that God is able to disorganise your enemies, if my enemy is anger, God is able to disorganise anger in me. If my enemy is stealing, God is able to disorganise that character in me. If my weakness is fighting other people or abusing others, God is able to disorganise that army of satan in me and whenever it will be disorganised, it will not follow me anymore.

Sometimes we can feel pressure of life on us and sometimes we can feel our lives are becoming heavy, we don’t know what to do, we are blocked somewhere but remember that God knows our situation and if you forget about God and you think that first I have to contact X or Y person, God will not be happy with that.

The people of Israel crossed the sea and when they reached the other side, God didn’t leave that sea like that but said, you will never see that Pharaoh and his army again. God said that through Moses. Moses said, you saw that Pharaoh, forget about him because today is the last day that you will see him. Your eyes will never see Pharaoh anymore, your ears will never hear about him anymore, that’s all. So your problems, your situations, whatever you had known this year, you must know that it has gone. You will never see it anymore, it will disappear. If you have any problem with you or in your life, commit it between God’s hands and tell God, ‘God I don’t want to see it anymore, the way that you made Pharaoh disappear I want you to make this problem disappear for ever. The way that you made the army of Pharaoh disappear I want this problem to disappear forever and in all of that, let me become a victorious person. I need to be the victorious man’. And God will do that.

So when these people reached the point now of crossing, Pharaoh saw, ‘oh we are in danger now, this is our time to run away because the Lord of Israel, the God of this people intervenes, we have to run away’. Have you ever thought in your life, that your problems can run away from you? I think not, most of the time we try to run away from our problems. Whenever I have got a problem I have to find a solution right away and then run away saying that I don’t want this problem because…...

But there is something new here, Pharaoh decided to run away. The same way our problems can also run away from us. God is able to make our problems flee. And wherever they will flee they will not find a destination, they will be destroyed. So what do we need so that problems can flee from us? We need only to ask God for His intervention, that is all, we have to tell Him, ‘God intervene now, I want my problems to flee, I want my problems to go away from me, I’m tired, I’m not able to fight against them, I’m not able to resist, make them flee.’ God will look at your problem and your problem will start to shake and then your problems will run away.

So if problems will run away from you, how can you say that you don’t have peace or joy or that you are not strong or that you don’t practise justice and other fruit of the Holy Spirit? I think that the only thing that makes us sin is our problems. If I don’t have something to eat I will start to think, o God what shall I eat today. Problems will raise up, if I don’t have money I will start to think, if my son or daughter will start to do something wrong I will start to think, if my parents or whoever will do something wrong against me, I will start to think, whenever there will be a mistake at work or wherever I am I will start to think, this is a new problem. If you have a car accident, it’s a problem, whatever you do is a problem but we are called to live in peace and we are called to be the light of this world. How will we become the light if we are fleeing our problems? So we have to ask God to make our problems flee from us.

I remember what Jesus used to do; when Jesus was walking, evil spirits were running away. Whenever evil spirits would see Jesus, they will start to cry, ‘Jesus, Jesus, Son of God forgive us, give us the chance to live somewhere else,’ they were running, they were really fearing Jesus. Jesus told us that we would do more than Him. Whoever will follow me will do greater things than me. You will be given miracles, you be given whatever you want but make sure that you have to do more than me.

For the evil spirits to runaway from us, for all our hard situations to runaway from us, we need only one thing and that is to knock on God’s door and say, ‘God here I am, I know that you are the same God yesterday, today and forever, the same God who led the people of Israel, the same God who lead Elijah so here I am before you, lead me to. I want my problems to flee from me, I want to be the victory of my family and my life, I want to be the light in my life and in my family, I want to become the force or the strength of my family, of my church, of my friends. So lead me’. You will see what God will do for you but if you keep quiet, God will not answer.

The Bible says that whoever will knock, the door will be opened for him and if you do not knock, no one will open the door, no one will know that you are in front of the door, so you have to knock first. Knocking will not take you 10 seconds, to knock on a door is only a matter of one second. Even a child like Kennedy can knock on the door. Knocking doesn’t really require power as people think, ‘o to get this from God I will need really power and I’ll need really enough time for this’, no, just tell God I need this. With your faith it will be done.

So this new year that we are starting, I know that it will be a year of victory but we have to be ready for that victory. We don’t have to complain like the people of Israel, whenever they faced a problem, whenever they faced a hard situation they started to complain against Moses. Let’s put complaining aside, lets put our cries aside, lets put our hard situation aside and let us look upon God. God will do something, God will help us, God will lead us. If you had some problems with some people last year, or in the past this is the time to forget because that block of smoke is now between us and last year’s problems. Don’t look back on those problems forget about them.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A New Year (part II)

By Odon Bulamba (02.01.04)

The people of Israel (after preparing their luggage) started their journey and they were just following Moses. At some stage they found that the situation was hard because they looked behind and they saw the army of Egypt was following them. So fear started, panic rose up, everybody turned to Moses, ‘Moses where are we going, why did you let us leave Egypt to go somewhere there is no life?’ Complaining started.

It is true that during 2003 we have been going through a lot of problems and a lot of situations that were not easy, maybe you reached the point that you started to complain and say, ‘God where am I going with this, why this in my life, why is my life so hard, God tell me why am I crossing what I am crossing now?’

Moses did not know what to say and God continued to tell Moses, keep going and they reached a point where the sea was in front of them and there was no way out at all. That was the point that the mind of human being stopped, where the level of thinking was at its limit and they thought; this is our death. Maybe they thought we cannot overcome, we cannot win over this army of Egypt because we will be killed soon. Moses looked around and although he was the leader he didn’t know where to take those people. He called upon God, ‘God intervene’ and all of us know what God did.

Through the Red Sea God made a way and God was showing his glory through smoke and fire. Some versions say smoke and light. During the day He was like smoke behind them and during the night He was light. And that smoke played a big role, it was like a barrier between the Israelites and Egyptians. Remember the Egyptians had horses and they were following the Israelites but God put smoke as a barrier between them. A horse can never cross smoke and a human being cannot open his eyes while going through smoke because smoke can damage eyes, you can’t see properly and whatever is behind a big smoke can’t be seen.

So what is behind us? I’ll call last year Egypt and I’ll compare last year to the army of Pharaoh because we had a lot of problems and many complicated situations were following us, we were attacked by satan, we were attacked by our friends, we were attacked by everything around us. This is the time that we are calling upon God and the Lord our God intervenes and He has put now that barrier, that wall of smoke between our last year’s problems and ourselves and we don’t have the right to turn and look back again. If the Israelite people had not turned behind, they could not have seen Pharaoh and his army coming but because of that, they had fear and they panicked. But for us because we have that block of smoke, if we look behind we can’t see what happened last year because last year is behind us.

The Bible said that God manifested Himself as light or fire in front of those people and whenever there is light or fire we can see everything clearly, even small things can be found if light is there. So this year, will be a year of light and fire, a year where we can be lead by God. It doesn’t mean we have to hold torches in our hands but it means that God Himself is taking care of us. First of all He makes a way through our difficulties, through our problems, through everything that is impossible for us.

I’ll give to you an example, let’s say that I need some money and I am not working or getting any benefit and I say, ‘God help me, I need some money because it is really urgent’. And God says, ‘ok, through this situation I will find a way for you.’ I remember before I came into this country I didn’t have money to pay for my ticket, I didn’t have anything to leave where I was to come to New Zealand and we were praying and praying asking God to help us. Although we were full of mistakes and full of sin and maybe people who did not please 100% God but because of His mercy, because He loves us, because of His patience with us, God opened the door.

I remember my brother used to pray for me too and I remember that he used to tell me that I’m praying for you every time and when now it came time for me to leave where I was, God opened the door, even though I didn’t have a passport or ticket and in this world you can’t travel without these but God made the way for me to travel. I didn’t have a passport or a ticket but I was allowed to come to New Zealand. Through that God made a way, He opened a way through the sea, whatever you think is impossible for you God can make it possible for you because everything is easy to be done by God. So don’t be discouraged, don’t think that God is far away from me, don’t think that God will not be able to solve your problem, know that God is able and is capable of everything.

So we started a new journey to NZ and when we reached NZ we didn’t know anyone and we didn’t know where to go but by God’s grace we started and we are whatever we are now. And the people of Israel were also thinking what will happen for us because we don’t know where we are going, we don’t have friends in Canaan, we know that Canaan is full of our enemies, we know that wherever we go people will fight against us. What shall we become?

The way that you are here with me, maybe you have a plan for this year, I’ll go to England, I’ll do such and such and such, that’s your plan. You think that other things I will not be able to fulfil them, you can sometimes think that you will not be able to do such and such thing so who will be able to do those tasks for you? From where will you get your help? Did you tell God about that, did you shout as Moses did calling upon Him saying God here I am I don’t know where to go? God our Lord is not a carpenter but that day He made a wall, a barrier which stopped the sea and a road was there, God is not a road maker but that day He was a road maker and everybody could cross the sea. Imagine how great the sea is, how great the diameter of the red sea is but those people walked through the sea and maybe they could see fish but they crossed and they didn’t care what was beside them. They didn’t care about hippopotamus or crocodile, they crossed the sea because their objective was to go across to the other side and their eyes were focused. So after crossing that they found that they were victorious people.

Now we have problems, maybe we are starting this new year with difficulties, with problems with our friends, families and others what shall we do. What did you tell God yesterday? What did you tell God on the 31st of December last year? Are we really able to cross the sea? Maybe we will fear and say if I go down maybe the water will come back and maybe I will lose my life. Maybe we will fear crocodiles around us or the sea because the sea has many mysterious things but put your fear aside don’t think about your fear, don’t think about your doubt, don’t think about your hesitations, think about God and look forward and think, ‘I know my objective is to cross my problems, my objective is to find solutions to my problems, solutions to my family’s problems, solution to the church, solution to everything which I thought was impossible’. Don’t be distracted, don’t look on the left side or right side while you are going in faith. Don’t look at things that are coming here and there, people may knock on your door and say, ok open the door, many people can tell you, ‘don’t do this, follow our advice, you know if you want to succeed in life do such and such and such’. It’s good to get some advice but you have to know that God is the better advisor, keep your faith in Him and then you will see.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A New Year

By Odon Bulamba (02.01.04)

We praise the Lord because He has given us this opportunity to meet again, lets pray.

“Thank you Jesus, we thank you because You are our Master, thank you so much for the gift of life that you give to us, thank you because you are among us, bless your Holy name because you take care of us, you have been working with us during all the day and if we gather together this evening it’s just because of your love and your grace. Bless this time be our light lead us in everything we will do and let the Holy Spirit take the direction and control of everything. Lord Jesus we commit ourselves between Your hands and we ask you O Lord to forgive us and to purify us with your blood. Thank you because you are a God who is full of blessing we praise your name once again in Jesus name, amen.”

Today is our first meeting for the year 2004 and yesterday has gone and we are living a new day which is today and the Bible says that when a day passes that is all and we cannot see it anymore, meaning that last year has gone, that is all, we will never live 2003 anymore. So we are starting now a new life with 2004 and tonight we will try to share something about the people of Israel, the time when they were supposed to leave Egypt and to go somewhere else.

So those people were well prepared by Moses and God was not far away from them. Moses tried his best to take care of the people of Israel but God was above them and controlling everything. Moses was responsible, Moses was like a leader but the true leader was God through Moses. We are also leaders of our lives, sometimes we are leaders of our families, we are leaders of our friends, we are leaders of our activities but what we are called to check is this; is God acting through us before we lead whatever we are leading. Do I have God in me when I am leading my activities, do I have the power of God when I am leading my children, do I work with God when I am doing my job or whatever I am doing? This is the question we have to ask ourselves this evening and we will try to think about it.

When it was the time for the people of Israel to leave Egypt, God prepared them, everybody knew that this is the time for us to leave Egypt. Everybody was prepared morally, spiritually, and physically because people collected stuff from neighbours, people collected their luggage, people were ready to leave Egypt to go somewhere else. Although they did not know their destination they accepted to leave Egypt because what they faced in Egypt was too much.

In our church today, in our century many people hope and prefer to hang on to what they are called to leave. Whenever you tell someone, leave this and start a new journey, the person will ask you first of all, where am I going? Why do you want me to leave what I am doing and take a new direction without a destination? But the people of Israel did not ask God where are you taking us, they knew that God promised them a land, a new land. But they didn’t really know what that land was, although they could hear about Canaan but most of them did not at that stage know Canaan. They knew that there was a country that has maybe milk and honey and is called Canaan but they had not seen that Canaan yet.

So whenever we are called by God to leave our activities, to leave our past life, to leave whatever we were doing, we don’t have to ask God, now what will be our destination because God promised us that we would get something that is really great. Jesus promised us and said that I will go to heaven to prepare a place for you, know that you are not alone I will be with you until the end of time but I am going to prepare something for you. Whoever will believe in me will never be ashamed, whoever will trust in me I will never let him down. Do I really believe in that or not?