Thursday, July 19, 2012


By Odon Bulamba (19th November 2005)

When you doubt it means you are not sure and you don’t accept completely. When you doubt it means you stay away and are afraid of coming closer in case you fall into a mistake. If the Church of God is being destroyed today it’s because of doubt. For example, if I don’t trust Hayley, I will keep my distance. Sometimes we keep our distance from God because we doubt God is really here and we doubt He is really in our heart and we start to doubt that we are really Christian.

Mark 11:23&24, “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

If you don’t doubt you’ll get anything that you ask for. Doubt is something the devil raised for the first time in the garden of Eden. He visited Eve and made her doubt what God had said and this is the way us Christians fall when we believe something and then satan puts in doubt. Adam and Eve found they were naked and this is the consequence of doubt. Adam and Eve believed God but they minimised His message.

Doubt is the best poison to destroy your faith and when you doubt your faith becomes sick and then your actions will be sick and God will not be pleased. If you other people, God will also doubt you.

Jude 22, “Be merciful to those who doubt”.

Do we help those who doubt and try to convince them and pray for them or do we just judge them?

Christians who doubt cut themselves from the tree of life. A Christian with doubt is like bitter water; when people try to drink it they will reject it and although we are thirsty, the taste makes it impossible to swallow.

1 Corinthians 13:7 “[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hate Evil

By Odon Bulamba (24th December 2005) Summary only

Although the moon gives light there is no life on the moon. When we look at the moon it is very beautiful and gives light and is very soft, not like the sun. Some Christians are apparently soft and nice but when God visits, there is no life in them.

Mathew 23:27,Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean”.

Everybody loved the Pharisees because on the outside they were soft and looked very good but on the inside there was something wrong.

Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”.

If you know the Holy One it will be easy to understand things but if you don’t know God, it’s easy to judge and make human decisions.

Proverbs 8:13, “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech”.

The fear of the Lord means you will hate evil and therefore in order to find wisdom you need to hate evil. When you hate evil you will see who God is for you.

Hate is something deep in your heart and you’ll feel something wrong, you will have no joy when you see it and you will want to stay away. Many Christians can’t make decisions, they are like the moon looking nice on the outside but on the inside they can’t make up their minds even if sin is ruining their lives. Sometimes we forget how to make decisions because we look left and right and not at God. When we are not serious, when we make decisions to sin…God will see the image that we reflect to the world is not good (the moon reflects light from the sun). When you make a decision to live for God, you must keep it and when you fail…you must repent otherwise you will just be like the Pharisees looking clean on the outside while there is something wrong on the inside.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

X-mas and Santa

By Odon Bulamba (31st January 2005) Summary only

Because Jesus was born we benefit today. Because Jesus came down to earth we have found a new direction that leads us to the Kingdom of God. However, the Bible doesn’t say to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ once per year. Jesus said to remember Him with bread and wine.

Santa is a human figure depicting St Nicolas who was a Catholic bishop but coca cola changed the green and blue robe that he had worn to red and white to represent their colours. In Rev 17 is the woman who rides the beast is dressed in red and red is often used in magic (especially human blood in sacrifices) and red signifies danger is nature. It’s impossible to know who the person dressed as santa is because he is masked by a hat and beard. We have to remember that it’s because of a lack of knowledge that many will perish.

In Rev 2:14&15, Jesus is condemning the church for holding onto the teachings of the Nicolatians and encouraging their children to do so also. Is it a coincidence that santa is derived from St Nicolas? Many parents today encourage their children to sit on the lap of santa to get a photo and encourage children to ask santa for gifts. Satan is preparing the minds of our children, he is preparing their memory so later they won’t accept Jesus in their life.

Jeremiah 16:19, “Lord, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good.”

Our traditional religion is nothing, it’s like a wind. In the past when people celebrated with a sacrifice to satan they would use lights and today we cover our rooms and x-mas trees with lights. In the Bible the meaning of a deer is something evil and yet we tell stories to our children about the raindeer bringing presents.

Jeremiah 38:4, This is what the LORD says, Then the officials said to the king, “This man should be put to death. He is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, as well as all the people, by the things he is saying to them. This man is not seeking the good of these people but their ruin.”

Christmas is not a biblical word…you cannot find this word anywhere in the Bible. 

Jeremiah 6:16, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

We are putting the Word of God aside in order to live according to our own tradition and culture. God is giving us signs of His return but nobody is thinking about that.

Numbers 2
When we don’t listen to God’s instructions, He looks away and we get discouraged. We need to practise the Word of God and understand the time we are living and then we can be winners.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Loosed Away

By Graham Print (15th July 2012)

2 Timothy 4:1-8, "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

This letter was written to Timothy, the second time Paul was in prison - just before his death. Notice that in these verses "his appearing" is written two times reminding us that Christ is coming back.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we are all students of the Bible (including preachers) and are we are called to be students, everyone of us. We are called to look for treasure buried in the Bible and search for those nuggets of gold.

After riding a horse, you must brush the horse down and when it is time to let the horse go to be free in their paddock, as you reach up to take off the bridal, the horse knows and starts to lean it’s head forward in preparation to run to where it belongs, to run to its home in the paddock. They are “loosed”.

We as Christians are also being loosed: to be freed to go where we belong and no one knows when our departure time is.

In the verses above it uses the term “departure” to refer to Paul's impending death as he was in prison under the Emperor Nero who was persecuting Christians at that time and killing them so Paul knew he would die.

The Greek word for departure means "loosed away" and is used as a military or as a shipping term. In the military it means a loosening of the tent pegs because the battle is over. The soldier may now head home to where he belongs. Paul had fought the good fight and he knew the battle was over and was ready to go home to Jesus where he belonged. In the shipping industry it meant to loose up the anchor off the mud from the bottom of the sea so the ship can go where it belongs on the sea.

“Loosed” in NT also used:
Philippians 1:21-26, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I want not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart [loosed] and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again."

This letter is written during the first time Paul is imprisoned and he knows that there is more work yet to be done for the Lord so isn’t ready yet to go home to Christ.

We are pilgrims in progress in this world. We are in the world but not of it.

Hebrews 11:11-15, "Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."

Hebrews 13:12-14, "Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come."

Where we are now is not an enduring city. This earth is not forever. We are meant to be in the state of mind looking for eternal city.

1 Peter 2:11-12, "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."

Our good deeds don't contribute to our salvation but it communicates to others about our salvation and our actions lead them to Jesus. Our love and kindness is what draws them in.

We have to walk the tight rope of being in the world but not of it. With the power of the Holy Spirit and seeking His will until He comes. Live in a manner that honors God and remember Jesus Christ is coming back and we must be getting ready to be loosed away. Am I looking forward to being with Christ? Am I ready for His return? Do I love the fact He is coming soon? Am I waiting like the horse with my neck in the right direction just waiting to be set free so I can go home (the Kingdom of God) to where I belong?

Saturday, July 14, 2012


By Angela Bhandal

1. What is self-control?

Dictionary meaning = power of controlling oneself
Self = me or distinct personality
Control = restraint, authority, a check or a means of operating

Biblical dictionary = power over one’s own actions, moderation, good sense

Self-control is mentioned 17 times in my concordance

Let’s take a look at what some of those verses say –

Proverbs 25:28 “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control”.

A city that has broken walls is a city that is defenceless and vulnerable to the enemy. This is such a good analogy of us when we lack control over our own actions and behaviour. If we just do and say whatever we want we are foolish and vulnerable to satan controlling us for his glory.

Galatians 5:23But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”.

As I mentioned last week, if you are able to practise the last fruit that all the other fruit should be evident in your life also.

2 Timothy 3:1-5But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them”.

We can see here that having self-control will be hard in the last days. As I believe we are living in these very days, being aware of this is very important. This can help us to know what our battle is, not just for others but for ourselves.

2 Peter 1:5-8For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness: and to goodness, knowledge: and to knowledge, self-control: and to self-control, perseverance: and to perseverance, godliness: and to godliness, brotherly kindness: and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

Wow – these attributes practised in our every day living will help us never to be ineffective as Christians and will help us be productive in serving our Lord.

2 Peter 1:3-4 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires”.

Need I say anymore? It’s very clear that his divine power is all we need.

2. Examples from the Bible of people who exerted self-control

Joseph son of Jacob
His story if found in Genesis 39 – lets read some of his story

4 things in this story stand out for me:

a. The Lord was with Joseph
b. He refused to sleep with this woman
c. He knew to sleep with her would be wicked and a sin against God
d. He fled from this situation leaving his cloak and the house he was master over

The outcome initially wasn’t good for Joseph because he was falsely accused of something he hadn’t done and was thrown into jail. But the Lord was with Joseph and even in jail Joseph found success in all he did.

So what can we learn from this story?

1. We need God’s presence in our lives because He is the source of morals and self-control

2. We need to know what sin is so we can refuse it

3. Even if evil persists when we refuse, God always makes a way out for us even it if means removing ourselves from the situation (1 Corinthians 10:13) It’s called FLEEING just as Joseph did.

Jesus himself!
Matthew 4:1-11 Let’s read this together.  Three times Jesus is tempted by the devil and three times Jesus answers him with scripture or more accurately from the book of Deuteronomy. (Deut 8:3/6:16/6:13)

When we are tempted by evil to sin, it would seem from Jesus’ example that remembering scripture is the key to overcoming or exerting ‘self-control’. Human will-power will fail you when it comes to spiritual matters because the flesh is weak and Satan knows that. So knowing God’s word is vital if you want to be successful in restraining your body.

The outcome in this story is that Jesus overcame Satan with the Word, Satan left him and angels came and ministered to him.

3. Examples from the Bible of people who lacked self-control

King David
2 Samuel 11:1-5: David looked upon her bathing (one assumes she is naked) and saw her beauty and his desire for her grew because of what his eyes had seen. He sent for her and rest is history. Bathsheba fell pregnant, her husband was murdered by David, he then married her, the baby was born, and God caused this baby to become ill and subsequently died all because of David’s sin.

Se we can see clearly from this story what a lack of restraint can do and how it can affect so many people. The sword never departed from David’s house because of his actions. And his wives would be given to others close to him. God brought calamity on the house of David the King. If he had only averted his eyes when he first saw her - instead, he inquired of her.

Genesis 4:2-16: Right from the beginning of time, God made it clear what we must do – master the evil desires of our heart. Cain was unable to control what he felt in his heart to the point where he killed his dear brother. If we are not able to control our feelings and emotions we are capable of committing terrible things. Think about times in your life when you were really angry – I know from personal experience how much easier it is to sin when you are angry. That’s why the Bible says, be careful that in your anger you do not sin. And without God’s presence in our lives any sin is possible.

So to sum up:
- Self-control is a fruit of the spirit
- It means to show restraint or to have power over one’s actions
- We need God’s presence in our lives to help us practise self-control so that we don’t sin
- We can use scripture that is hidden in our hearts to rebuke temptation or we can flee from whatever it is that causes us to sin against God
- God presents us with circumstances in our lives to help build up our ability of exerting self-control. It’s up to us as Christians whether we want to grow in our faith and produce more fruit in keeping with the Holy Spirit.
- If we think we lack self-control it’s just a matter of asking God to help us and He is faithful to do this.

Hebrews 13: 5-6,Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you…The Lord is my helper…”


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Way Out

By Colleen Podmore

1 Corinthians 10:13, ‘No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it’

It was a real blessing to be reminded of this verse in such a powerful way. The words and the thoughts stayed with me over the next few days and I reflected on the mystery of God. How He knows who we are and how we are made. He knows our struggles our failures. He’s interested in every part of our lives and He wants to share every part of our lives. Why, when we struggle do we think we’re on our own, toughing it out, fighting on our own? He’s given us every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. We have everything we need to live for Him not just when we are in control but especially when we are out of control!

I’m amazed when I read these verses to understand that God does not tempt us. ‘He will not let you be tempted’ infers that someone or something else is doing the tempting. Our common enemies: the world, the flesh and the devil. God will not always rescue or protect us from temptaions but allows us to be tempted so that we can understand who we are, what motivates us, where our priorities lie. He showed us it is possible to overcome temptations when satan came and tempted Him in the desert. It was really a no contest! Jesus, sinless, defeated his enemy and our enemy. Praise His Holy Name.

We talked about ‘the way out’ that God provides and I think I have always thought that that would mean the temptation would be taken away, become non-existent, and no longer register. We think of strategies like, don’t even go there and flee the temptation –if we’re tempted to watch TV late at night, to drink alcohol, to smoke, to indulge in gluttony, sexual immorality all these things are outside the body – we can take them out of our lives but you can be sure when you are exposed again it will be like an allergic response – they will come back in force! What if we are tempted to despair, to doubt, to give up, give in, these are not so easy to flee from, they follow us constantly and cloud our judgement and steal our joy and we can wear them like a garment. What about, lying, stealing, cheating – our conscience can become dead immune to the Spirit’s leading, unresponsive.

I was really amazed to see something in these verses that I had never seen before and which I would like to share with you. You may already have seen this but look at the last few words of verse 13. What does it say? ‘so that you can stand up under it’ The temptation remains, we live in the world, we are exposed to our flesh and the devil hardly needs to tempt us.

So what I did was I sat down with a pen and paper and wrote down all the things that I was being tempted by. I was tempted to go and eat some comfort food, to criticise someone’s behaviour to despair and give up, to grumble about a certain situation. There was quite a long list. As I was writing my list, my thinking began to change. The comfort food was really no comfort –it would never satisfy as well as finding comfort and peace in God. If I were to criticise someone, well what about myself first. The Bible says to take the plank out of our own eye before we take the speck out of another’s. And why am I grumbling, why not trust God, why not pray?

So the ‘way out’ that God provides is to change our thinking! Nothing else has changed just my thinking about a situation, the need to repent and you can be sure love joy and peace come flooding in! The ‘way out’ is not to deny the temptation and the sin that springs from it but to understand and change the thinking behind it -to stand up under it.

How about you? What tempts you? Take some time to be honest before God, to list the temptations that you struggle with. Maybe the ‘way out’ that God provides will be to give you another perspective, maybe ‘the way out’ is to confess pride or selfishness. Maybe ‘the way out’ is to trust God more. Maybe ‘the way out’ is to forgive. For me I have to keep remembering that God is in control, this is ‘the way out’ for me.

So, first we must acknowledge the temptation – don’t let it be an annoying peace stealer, don’t deny it and pretend it’s unimportant, embrace the temptation, acknowledge it before God and ask Him to show you the ‘way out’, - what needs to change in your thinking, what steps you need to take. Confess it to each other as this will dismantle the power of the temptation and we can pray for each other.

For example: today we’ve come together to pray and worship and we’ve decided to fast, to go without food and water. We will be tempted by our bodies, they will scream out in agony, beseeching us to eat to drink. What is the ‘way out’? First, we should pray and ask God to help us. Remember that we can survive quite well for the short time that we fast. Remember the importance of fasting, what we are doing to enhance our prayer. Remember that God will honour us for this action that we are doing to be near Him and to help others. Realise that we do not live by bread alone. Write down what tempts us confess it if you want to and let’s pray.

(In what ways do we give in to the temptation and how does this affect our spiritual life? Is it like an idol that replaces God in our lives -are our affections placed on the thing rather than on faith in God)