Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Monday, April 22, 2013
By Odon Bulamba
Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost”.
Today is the 21st April 2013 and this day reminds me of the day my father past away, at 10am. Yesterday I started to think, if someone like my father could die, what about me? My father was tall, not short like me and very strong and intelligent. He was among the people that the world at that time used to consult about banking business; he was proud of himself and capable of doing/trying to do anything at anytime and never had fear, he could confront any situation and no matter what; he could face it.
What was my dad seeking in all of this? When he said he was a consultant, what was he after? Was it a way of sharing his knowledge or was it pride or was he showing off when he told people that they could go to him for knowledge?
Today we are talking about seeking something and find it. How often do you search for something? If you seek something, you must know what you are looking for. I remember one time I was just a child and used to do scouts and the master said, bring a bayonet and the words he used in French could also mean something else. I went and brought something else and his answer was to smack me for bringing the wrong thing saying, “If your ears don’t work, use your brain. How can I use this to cut meat?”
My father one time told me to get cotton but it sounded like august in French and I took the august month from the calendar. He asked me, “who gave birth to you?” Sometimes you bring things expecting people to be happy but they look at you like you are stupid.
In the theatre at the hospital, it is up to Ange (the nurse) to know what materials the surgeon will need. He will call out the name, and Ange will know which one to bring and when she brings the wrong instrument, she feels embarrassed while the Dr is trying to help someone. You feel shame to tell Dr you don’t know what he wants.
Jesus came down to seek the lost, nothing else, he didn’t come down to look around, He had a target, a mission; to seek for something. Your purpose for being alive must have also have a mission, a call, ask yourself, why do I exist, why am I alive, why did God send me in this world, do I also need to seek something? Rev 2:25says to hold onto what you have until Christ comes back.
When a child is born, he/she is given a new name. When Zoe was born, her parents decided to call her Zoe. Could Zoe say no to that name when she was born? She accepted that name, no matter what, that is your name, your identification. When your mum calls you and you say no, she gets angry and if she insists and you don’t come, she will come after you.
When you were born again in Christ, Jesus gave you a new name and that new name will identify you as a child of His and it is written in the book of life. Once God has found you, He says, this is my child, my descendent and when He needs you and calls you back and you say no, how will He feel? He will feel like the mum when her child refuses to respond. Very often when God calls us, we don’t respond not even in a negative way, we just keep silent.
One time there was fireworks in Hamilton and we had a dog called Tammy who was so afraid of the noise, she ran inside and hid under bed. We couldn’t get her out from under the bed, she sought her refuge there and wasn’t going to move. When things go wrong, where do you hide yourself? Jesus decided to come down, to come close to us, to deal with the situation on the earth, although He was inspiring the prophets to talk, people wouldn’t listen so He decided to come down Himself.
Where do you seek your solution? Many people find counselors, their family members and ask for a solution and your uncle who is not God and can’t resolve your issue, will ask more and you tell all your stories while God is looking at you and knows your stories and understands you from a-z; “why don’t you just come to Me for a solution?” After leaving, your uncle immediately tells someone and its gets passed on and then it is spread everywhere and may as well have been written in the newspaper. You put your effort in searching after a solution in uncle who was unable to help you.
Some mothers go everywhere to look for a child and once the child is born, they find their child is naughty, and does not respect anyone. The parent wonders why God gave such a burden. You sought a child, and were given it but were unable to educate the child and later you blame God who gave you that child.
How often do students fail? Zoe used to play piano and I was really impressed by her little fingers that could play in such a way that made me feel joy. Her little fingers made me feel joy! She is talented but decided to leave the piano behind and now she doesn’t play anymore. Zoe is good at net ball, dancing, tennis - all those talents on Zoe. Many people will try and only have a tenth of what she has and it’s up to Zoe to take what she has and use it, because if she doesn’t use it she will lose it. God our Father gave us gifts and talents and everything we need, some of us are short, some are beautiful, some are ugly and we have to know how to manage what God has given to us.
When we find a tough situation, we have to seek a solution. We have two ways: (1) look for something that I had which has now been misplaced and I need it, or (2) I have nothing and I have to find it. The second is the most challenging: When I have nothing, and I need it, I have to plan where I will find it and if there is no planning, I will get lost.
God gave you the Word of God which has been living for eternity, it’s very old so people believe they should seek for is something new and fresh. 90% of Christians put their faith in books and put their Bible aside, they read books written by people and put aside God’s inspiration. For example, “When day and night cease”, the author said, because God knows who will go to heaven and who will not, why work for my salvation because no matter what I do, I’ll go or not go. These people are trying to refrain Christians from progressing and to stop people from worrying about the time that is coming and want to stop people from working on their salvation. Christians want the easy way.
In my day, when someone needed to change the tv, we had to stand up and change the channel because there was no such things as remote controls but today we have an easy way with the remote. If you press the remote and the channel doesn’t change, you keep pressing the buttons because too much effort to stand up and change the channel. This is the same with Christians; they want the easy way with their Christian life while it was a big effort for Jesus to come down to seek the lost.
A few years ago there were prisoners in Mexico who decided to dig underground in order to escape. When it reached the stage to come out from their tunnel, they found themselves in front of a judge in a courthouse. While all 75 prisoners were seeking a way to leave the prison, they were sent back to jail because they were seeking the wrong thing.
God gave you birth, gifts, eyes, intelligence, and a body which is the temple of Holy Spirit; now you have that body, how do you use it? What have you lost that God has given you so far? Maybe you used to love singing Christian music but now you listen to the edge on the radio in your car instead and you feel that Christian music is now boring.
Whatever God gave you, you have to use it or you will lose your crown. Rev 3:11, “I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown”.
When you lose money, you look for it; when you lose your clothes you try to locate it. To seek for something means to put effort and time in order to find it. When you don’t make an effort, that’s when you will have spirit of giving up. Giving up today is a big sickness in church and all because someone says something. There is a big contradiction between our nature and the nature that God wants us to live. Many people don’t want Word of God any more, they prefer something else but the day of judgment is coming and God will ask, “you where is what I gave you?” On this day the Lord comes and He says, “I sought you and found you and called you but you don’t listen to me, now I have to take you to the judgment and I will judge you”. In the same way a parent can tell a child, this is what you did and growl them, God is going to growl us.
In Revelations is tells us about the last days; the sun is going to come down 7x and the power of the sun will multiply by 7. If the sun is power of 20V, it will now be 140V in that day. The pain on our bodies will be 7x higher than today and God will say all mountains, trees, houses will vanish and everything will become flat and then the sunbeam will become so hot. If you take your pan with water onto the stove on high, the water will boil and overflow onto the stove. The earth is surrounded by water and with the heat of the sun, the water will start to boil and the soil will mix with it and become a porridge. As you know, hot porridge burns. With that porridge and nothing around you to protect you since everything is flat, humans will panic, start to shout and run to find a place to hide but imagine running in boiling porridge; your legs will sink into it and running will be almost impossible but God will remove death and allow people to suffer because they wouldn’t listen. People will cry for help but it will be too late
This is the time (today) to seek for God’s help. We always pray for our family and friends but do we really mean it? Do you really care? When you are seeking for something, how much effort do you put on it? When you are looking for a job, you use lots of time and effort and when you are preparing for exams you spend lots of time and effort because when exams come you know it’s only you who can sit the exam. Now the world is going through a test, are we really ready to find what God wants us to find? He completed His mission and found us, the only reason we continue to exist is to glorify God.
People think they will find joy in alcohol; there is no joy in alcohol, you only lose your money, time, joy and then feel sick. When someone is going to steal, they believe they will have something good to show others (e.g. they decide to steal a blouse so they can look good in front of others) but once caught, they will be ashamed and gain nothing and even if they get away with it, no one will care that they have a new blouse.
What is important is what will please God. Very soon we are going to die, we can prepare our funeral but we won’t be there, our soul will stand in front of God and He will ask, “what did you find when I sent you to earth? What will we give to Him? You can’t give your excuses. We have to remember that death is not only for old people, young people die too, you can fall asleep and not wake up. Are you ready because you don’t know the time when Jesus will come for you? When you die, your body will go to the mortuary and then they will send you under the ground and they give you as a barbeque to the worms and they will celebrate. How do you feel about worms eating you? Although we appear look so good and we embellish ourselves, but when we are 95 years old we will no longer be pretty and will be walking with difficulty. Our bodies deceive us, should we invest in our bodies that deceive. Invest in the soul, seek first the Kingdom of God and the rest will follow but if you seek the world first (cars, houses etc) we will lose because God occupies the last chapter and you won’t take those things to God.
Ask God what He wants you to seek and make sure to bring people with you to heaven.
One friend told me that he should drink alcohol because he won’t be able to drink when he dies. Alcohol, lying, cheating etc, is not worth it. My pastor will not take me to heaven, my mum, the author of books cannot bring you to heaven; you have to prepare yourself for heaven.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
By Trish and Hayley Boud
Proverbs 31:26, “She opens her mouth with Wisdom, and her Tongue is the law of Kindness”
JAMES 3:13, show your wisdom through deeds done in humility. So the woman in proverbs 31 not only shows wisdom in her actions but also through her words. When she opens her mouth it speaks of wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness. Many women are kind in their actions but their mouths ruin it. Mothers are kind to their children by making their lunches, picking them up from school, helping them with their homework but then they ruin it by speaking harshly, or by yelling at their children. For example, a friend of mine genuinely wanted to show kindness by helping foster children and she opened her home to them. She spent the day cleaning her house in order to provide a nice clean home for her foster children but when the first one arrived home, the young girl walked inside with her shoes on and made two footprints on the wooden floor. My friend became angry and growled at her. The kindness of cleaning the house and taking care of the girl was replaced with anger. The lady should have first said, “hello, how are you, how was your day? Can you please remove your shoes, thank you” and the girl would have seen wisdom from heaven and she might have given her life to Christ. We have to open our mouths with wisdom which means it will be full of kindness.
I’ve seen wives do the same for their husbands. They spend the day cleaning the house and cooking to show their good deeds done in humility proving they are wise but the moment the husband walks in the door their mouths ruin it. They complain, they argue, they annoy and nag. They destroy all the kindness they did, the whole day’s worth of good deeds is destroyed by their mouths and they don’t even understand it. They will even say, “he doesn’t appreciate all that I do” and it’s simply because the woman has made it impossible for the man to appreciate it.
For example, once when I was extremely sick and I desperately needed a doctor urgently, I rang a friend and asked if she could help take me to the dr. She came immediately and she waited in the waiting room with me and then drove me home. Her actions were incredibly kind and wise because if I hadn’t gone to the dr, it might have ended seriously so she had wisdom and kindness in her actions. But then as I was about to get out of her car she complained, “now I don’t have time to do my housework”. Her few words destroyed everything.
So, let’s be careful that our words match our actions. If we are working for the Lord, don’t ruin it with our mouths.
The Dictionary meaning of kindness means: being gentle, and caring, as with a child or with family. Warm hearted, and considerate.
HEBREW MEANING OF KINDNESS: love and forgiveness - if we have love and forgive we will talk with kindness and wisdom. Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
E.g. husband comes home late, instead of saying, “where have you been, I’ve been waiting over an hour, why couldn’t you call, I’ve been slaving over a hot stove for you all day and now the dinner is ruined, you couldn’t spend two seconds to let me know you’d be late”, the wife could say, “hello darling, how are you? how was your day? What happened, how come you are so late, is everything all right” and show the husband you love him and forgive his lateness and forgive him for not calling or texting he will be late. This will gently instruct him in the right way. He will feel pleasure in coming home and not want to be late and he will miss his wife while he is not there and remember to call her to say he will be late.
What does law of kindness mean?
LAW/TEACHING = instruction, doctrine, regulation, direction, statute, law, teaching(torah), gently instructing or teaching someone, God patiently teaching us, e.g. if we react to a situation with kindness we will teach others how to be kind. Our kind words will show others how to be kind.
Even with children, we don’t have to talk angrily with a rough tone to children. We can still talk with kindness, gently instructing them in the right way. If we talk rudely to our children, they will learn how to be rude also. If we talk to them with respect, they will learn how to be respectful.
Even Jesus draws us with kindness not by pointing the finger
Give examples of women in the bible who are wise, who are kind: Abigail, Esther, Mary mother of Jesus...
Esther is a very good example of a woman who was wise and showed humility and kindness with her words and actions. It’s a very easy book to read and I totally recommend everybody read it because it’s so easy to follow and it’s entertaining and a good enjoyable read. We can learn a lot from Esther...
She had to go before the king in order to save her people and knew if she wasn’t careful, she could be killed. She asked her people pray and fast for three days. This is a good starting point. Many women under stress/pressure will react immediately and end up saying something they shouldn’t. Esther showed her wisdom by praying first and taking time to find a good strategy to talk to the king. Most women are too quick to talk when they are feel fear/anxiety or anger. E.g. the wife is rung by telecom to tell her that the account is $500 overdue. She freaks out and goes into panic and immediately attacks the husband, “When did you make all these phone calls, why didn’t you tell me, how are we going to pay the bill, our phone will be cut off, we will have to use the grocery money and now we are going to be hungry....” Esther could have rushed into the king with the fear of her people being destroyed but she took time to pray and find a good strategy first. That is what we as Christians should always do. Find the time to pray first and take time to find a good strategy once we have calmed down.
Esther found a good strategy by organising a banquet for her husband. Her kind actions and humble nature with her nice words encouraged her husband to say, “tell me Esther what you need.” He was prepared to do anything for her because she was so gentle and humble. When we find the right strategy, people will come to us and not run away from us.
Once asked, Esther spoke so graciously and so kindly and humbly; full of wisdom. This is how Esther spoke in chapter 7: “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me as my petition, and my people as my request; for we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed and to be annihilated. Now if we had only been sold as slaves, men and women, I would have remained silent, for the trouble would not be commensurate with the annoyance to the king.”
Let’s learn from Esther and find the right way of talking to people with kindness, humility, gentleness. Let’s remember to pray, take time to find a good strategy, calm ourselves down first and only speak when we feel the person will be ready to hear it.
Monday, April 15, 2013
By Odon Bulamba 10th April 2013
Nahum 2:4, “The chariots race madly through the streets; they rush to and fro through the squares; they gleam like torches; they dart like lightning”.
The Bible is talking about chariots moving around fast here and there and gives us the picture of cars which have lights to shine in the dark. So the message tonight is titled:
God put down that verse for a purpose. Why is a car important in your life? Why is it important in society? Because without one, everything goes slow; a car enables you get to from one place to another faster. If your car is sick, how do you feel? If you wake up in the morning and your car won’t start, how do you feel? Automatically your entire program is destroyed because your car is not ready to go. If you had an appointment, you have to find another solution.
Nahum saw in coming days, things will be like chariots moving around really fast going to and fro all the time. God is like the man who manufactures vehicles and the vehicles represent our bodies. In the car yard you will see different types of car, some beautiful, some not but that was up to the manufacturer. You don’t get to decide how cars will be made. When God creates you, He doesn’t ask your point of view on how you will look. He doesn’t ask your parents what your body should look like. Accept or not, you will find God creates you how he likes.
God has a purpose for your body, which means you have to look after it. When you want to buy a car you go to the car yard and you can look at all of them but before to be given one, they will see how much you can afford to pay. If you say yes you can afford a $400,000 car, you have to prove it. This is the same with the Kingdom of God; people want to be a pastor, they want to be fervent in prayer but God looks at you and asks, “will you be able to afford the price for this? Will you have the time to pray, will you have the time to spend doing this?” God will not give it to you if He knows you can’t do it. God will give you a gift believing you are capable of taking care of that gift.
Once you buy a car, men call them baby and women can also be proud of the car. For the first few months they will be very careful, driving with attention. This is similar to when you get saved, you try to walk like a saint and you avoid sin and you don’t want to offend anyone and you feel attached to God. After six months your car starts to become something else and the novelty has worn off and this is the beginning now. That is the same with our Christian walk.
Before you are allowed to drive your vehicle you have to go through a driving test. Although you are responsible for that car and it’s registered in your name, you have to be tested and you must read the rules, you must know the rules and you must obey them. If you don’t read them you can have a big problem with land transport. When you are saved, you are encouraged to read the Bible so you will know where to go and how to behave according to God’s rules. The road code gives you signs to know where to go and you have to respect those codes without the police man behind you pushing you to obey them. You see traffic a traffic changing; you will stop even if no one is there, your conscience will stop you. If you see someone going through a red light, you will be shocked because we know this is the way it should be. Once God gives us the Word and we know the rules, we have to know this is the time to stop and I can’t go that way.
There are roads where the vehicle will pass and the car must drive only on the road, it can’t come inside the building because there is no place for a car in the house which means our bodies also have some restrictions where they cannot go. There are places where God says no, don’t do this.
You as the controller of the car have to learn your new vehicle; after purchasing you have to know where is the first gear, where is reverse, where are the indicators, the window wipers, lights etc because each car is different. We must also control our own lives and know how to stop ourselves from sinning.
If you crash your car, the police will work out who was wrong. Whenever there is sin in our lives, the Son of God is there to tell us you were wrong there and even if someone was wrong and offended you (Mark 11:25) we have to forgive them. When we are wrong – what do we do? Imagine you have a car crash and then you take off, the police will find you. God is stronger than the police, He knows you and He knows where to find you.
Owning a car can be expensive and expenses build up. When you didn’t have a car you didn’t think about Warrant of Fitness, Car Registration, or fueling the tank but because the car is there, you have another expense and you have to take care of it. If warrant expires, or there is no petrol, you know you can’t use it. God wants you to take care of your body; how often do you take care of your body? Not just about washing your body physically – God wants us to remember our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. How do we take care of it? Need to wash it not only to appear good on the outside but also to wash it inside.
If your car takes petrol and by mistake you put diesel, your car won’t function well. What you put in your body will have consequences that can take us in a wrong direction spiritually. Our actions of our bodies will be what God will look at on judgment day. What did you do? If I want to lie, my body will do it. Whatever, I want to do as sin, this vehicle (my body) will do it. That is why the mechanic has to fix the car after every six months after a warrant. How fit are you in your body? Are you worthy to drive on the road?
Once you have a body, God gives you a community and family once you are born. Your car has seats and can hold many passengers. This means our bodies too hold people and we have responsibilities, people rely who on you, your kids, your mum, your sisters, needing advice, prayer and you have to take care of them. If you have a car crash, you may kill people on the road: those in your car and others. If your body is not looked after properly by you the driver and it crashes, you might mislead people next to you, those God put next to you might be destroyed spiritually if you are not careful.
When I (Odon) was young, he became a scout and it was compulsory in his country to be a scout order to train children for becoming a soldier in the future and they train you to be tough and to have a spirit of knowing how to deal with all situations. By the age of 10 years old, I could do 100 sit ups and climb walls etc and it made my mother fear. The training was for a purpose, and we had to learn lying, stealing etc which was part of the training. Sometimes satan will come with tricks; people will come with ideas, “it’s ok, it doesn’t harm” but maybe you are harming that Spirit of God that is inside of you and that will make your life completely out of control once you squash the Spirit.
We have to clean our car daily which some people find the biggest challenge. You can see nicely dressed people on street but their car is a mess. Very often we don’t make an effort to make our bodies pure and clean in front of God. We do in front of people but not in front of God which means we have to repent every time we sin and then make an effort not to sin. Jesus used to tell people, “go sin no more”. It’s your responsibility because you are the one controlling the body, it’s not up to God to control you.
Daniel 12:4, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
God told Daniel at that time to seal the message until the end of the time and this is the end of the time now where many people are going to and fro to increase their knowledge. Old people are going back to school, old people are fighting to use computers, we are all trying to increase our knowledge. The best knowledge to increase is to first know is who yourself is and that God gave me a big responsibility to look after myself, my family and the knowledge of Word of God but most people want to increase knowledge in the world in order to make money. What knowledge are you increasing? For God or for selfishness? What are you focusing on at the moment? If you are not focusing on anything then take the time to stop and think. Ange’s poppa passed away and if he hadn’t increased his knowledge of God, he might have perished: God says my people perish through lack of knowledge. God has given to us intelligence and today we have this big brain so use the opportunity to learn Word of God because Jesus is coming back soon.
Is your car ready to go? If not, take it back to the mechanic so He can fix it. Day after day, repent, ask God for more strength. If your passengers are not really following Jesus and are making noise while you drive, stop your car and ask God to help you in same way you would in a physical car, if kids were making noise. Discussions exist in families – physical and spiritual. To have a family is a blessing so use your body to bless that family and through your actions you will save many people.
Pray God will make your body a good vehicle for your family.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Summary of message: Peter Thomas at LBC on March 17th 2013.
Easter has many different meanings for people. The real meaning is often not perceived by people. One young boy who had had no Christian influence was amazed to see the big plus sign at the front of the first church he had ever entered!
The Meaning of the cross
A cross is symbolised by an X. At school if a child gives the wrong answer, eg 2+3=7, the teacher will mark it as wrong with an X.
Most children are captivated by the idea of a treasure map. On the map there may be an island with a sandy beach, a harbour for boats to anchor, a big tree, footprints leading away from the tree and a big X to mark where the treasure is buried.
When young people reach the age of about thirteen, they become attracted to the opposite sex. If notes or letters are exchanged they might conclude with an X, meaning a kiss or feelings of love.
As adults we can vote for our government representatives. We go into a booth and in complete secrecy mark a sheet of paper with an X, next to the name of the person we vote for. Meaning we choose this one, this one will have authority over me.
The cross in these examples means first that we live in a broken world full of mistakes, but there is a great treasure to be found. This treasure is the amazing love of God, but we are required to make a choice.
Four Responses to the Cross – Luke 23:26-43
1. Legalism (vs26)
This man Simon of Cyrene was made to carry the cross, he had no choice, it was forced upon him. Many will resent Easter because they also were forced into religion. We should be careful not to force religion onto our children. We can also force Christ onto one another through legalism – enforcing rules.
There is truth to die for eg the unconditional love of God and there is personal convictions about many issue. The questions were asked about whether the Gentiles should be circumcised (Romans 14, Acts 15). Learn to live graciously, rather than with man-made laws which lead to a false sense of security.
2. Emotionalism (vs 27)
Some people can get caught up in the sufferings of the cross and over identify with sympathy and love for Jesus. But Jesus said, ‘Don’t do this’, meaning it’s not a tragedy. The greatest tragedy is the lost people. Yes the cross was excruciatingly painful but don’t be emotional and sentimental about it about this aspect- this is sacrifice at it’s greatest expression.
3. Cynicism (vs35)
The people in the crowd stood and watched. They were manipulated by their leaders to be their and to cast the vote that condemned Jesus. They were uninvolved. Some mocked Him and hurled insults. People today are like this. They have an agenda which is to mock and deny who Jesus is eg Richard Dawkins, many TV shows, everyday life...
4. Faith Response (vs 40)
The reponse from one of the crucified men is by faith. He knew he was guilty and admitted it. The cross was reserved for the most extreme dissenters in society, so he was being justly punished. He had heard Jesus pray to the Father, forgive them and he wanted this forgiveness and his request was granted.
And God removed His Spirit from the world while Jesus hung on the cross. For three hours darkness came over the land and Jesus cried out, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me’
The story is told of the Olympic diver who in the middle of the night decided to go to the high diving board to practise for the next day’s competitions. As he stood on the board and lifted his arms in the shape of a cross, he looked down. At that moment the moon shone through a window and he saw his silhouette on the bottom of the empty swimming pool. This saved him from plunging to his death. The cross saved him!