Monday, July 27, 2015


By Hayley Boud

One of my roles at work is to be an advocate. That means I support or plead the cause of another – even when I don’t agree with what they have done.  For example, if someone comes into work and says, “I got caught stealing from pak ‘n save and now I’ve been charged with theft”, I will do everything I can to advocate for that person – even though I don’t agree with stealing.  This makes me think of what Jesus does for me and how He advocates on my behalf. 


1 John 2:1-2, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world”.


First He calls us dear children.  We are dear children of God.  He loves us dearly and thinks of us in the same way a father thinks of his child (but obviously greater – since He is God and not human).  When I think about the love my dad has for me, it makes me think about how much he tries to protect me, look after me, keep me safe, do things for me, support me materially and emotionally.  It reminds me of when I was a teenager and how dad was so strict because he loved me so much and didn’t want me to get into trouble. 


I was allowed to go out on a Friday night to bible study but I had to be home before 10pm because the study finished at 9pm and he expected we would have supper and come straight home.  On a Saturday I had to do my homework before I started work at 12:30pm and then I had to come straight home after work at 6pm.  If it was winter, he would pick me up from work because he didn’t want me to bike home in the dark.  I was allowed to go to youth group but I had be home as soon as it was over.  On a Sunday I was allowed to go to church and then to a friend’s place after church for lunch but I had to ring him as soon as I got to my friend’s house and I had to call him every hour on the hour until I got home which had to be before 6pm.  It sounds so drastic but dad loves me and didn’t want me to get hurt in any way.  Imagine how much more God loves us.


Because God loves us, like dear children, He has sin, “I write this to you so that you will not sin”.  That’s God’s love – He wants to keep us safe from sin.  He knows that sin is a danger for us.  When we sin, at the time it seems like fun but afterwards we reap what we sow and we wish we hadn’t done it (Gal 6:7).  For example, clients come in and they confess their crimes and they cry and regret what they did but it doesn’t stop them from reaping the consequence of their actions.  I’ve seen big men with tattoos crying because they have been charged with male assaults female.  They are sorry, they ask for forgiveness but they can’t avoid being convicted and facing prison time.


We can be really sorry for our sin, but we will still reap the consequence of it.  Even if we think that sin is small or no one will know, we will reap the consequence.  Sin is sin, it doesn’t matter how small it is, we will reap the consequence and God loves us like dear children and wants to keep us from the danger of sin.  But God isn’t strict like my dad was.  He gives us free-will to make our own decisions which means we should be strict on ourselves.  Now that I’m an adult, I take the lessons my dad gave me and I do everything I can to keep myself safe.  I lock all the doors and windows when I’m at home alone, I only walk along the river if I have my dog with me, I vary my routine, I don’t go into public toilets alone.  This keeps me physically safe.


What am I doing to keep myself spiritually safe?  How do I protect myself from sin?  Sometimes that means being really strict on myself and making a decision and sticking to it.  If I know that I’m tempted by a person or by places, then I don’t go there.  I surround myself with people who have my best interests in mind and I can trust not to tempt me.  I confess when I’m tempted to someone I trust so they can help me not to fall.  I pray and read the Bible.  We need strategies in place to protect ourselves like the kinds of strategies Dad used to keep me safe as a teenager.  God will never force us, so we have to force ourselves.


Remember satan is like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour so we have to alert in the same way that we would be if we were walking through a wild life park with lions on the prowl.  Our eyes and ears would be wide open and ready to react if we suspect the lion is advancing.  In fact, I would probably make a decision not to walk in the park to start with.  That’s how we have to think about sin.  Find strategies to keep ourselves from being attacked by satan and when we are attacked, find ways not to give in to the temptation.  God has promised there is always a way out – so make sure to take that way out.


“But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”


Our aim is to not sin.  However, there are times when we fail and we fall into the temptation.  When that happens, we can trust that we have an advocate in Jesus.  We can go straight to Jesus and admit our sin and repent. 


I looked up the Greek meaning of this word “advocate” and found: legal advisor, pleader, one who comes forward on behalf of and as the representative of another.  In court when a client pleads guilty, a lawyer’s role is to stand up and say, “Your Honour, counsel’s name is Ms Boud, I appear for the defendant”. The guilty person says nothing.  They stand there silent while the lawyer talks on their behalf.  It’s my role to advocate and defend the person, even when I think they deserve to go to prison.  It’s not always easy to defend someone you think deserves to be punished (we always deserve to be punished yet, Jesus always defends us).


The prosecution will stand up and state the reason why the defendant is there, e.g. “Your Honour, the defendant has been charged with…”and then they will give a statement detailing what the defendant did.


The Judge will ask the lawyer, how does the defendant plead and the lawyer will say, “guilty your Honour”. Then the defence lawyer makes a submission on behalf of the defendant around the sentencing.  Many of my clients have been charged with an offence where the charge carries a mandatory disqualification from driving period.  However, there are special circumstances where that disqualification can be substituted for community work.

When we sin, we are charged with an offence in front of God.  Jesus quickly stands up and speaks in our place.  If we admit our sin, He will say, “Hayley pleads guilty”.  The usual sentence for sin is death but Jesus says, “I already paid the price for her sin when I died on the cross - Father, I'm asking you substitute her sentence of death for my death on the cross”. We are forgiven and set free.  There are no bail conditions, no court costs to pay, no hail Marys or other religious purging of sin.  We are completely free of sin. 


Imagine that you are charged with an offence and the sentence is the death penalty but someone stands up and says, “I appear for the defendant and I will die in their place”. It is truly amazing the Jesus did that for us.  We didn’t deserve it, we deserved the death penalty but He loves us so much that He paid the price.  When we sin, we can be assured that Jesus advocates on our behalf and God the Father accepts Jesus’ death on the cross in place of our own.


But only if we accept to repent which means to admit the sin, say sorry and make a decision not to sin again.  Every time Jesus healed someone, He would say, “sin no more” which means we don’t have the right to say sorry and expect to be forgiven if we haven’t made a decision to stop sinning. 


The Judge in a court will give a lighter sentence if they believe the defendant shows genuine remorse and has made steps to not do it again.  For example, if someone is caught drink driving but on the day of sentencing they show genuine remorse, have been to alcohol counselling and haven’t driven while under the influence since, the Judge will take all of that into consideration when sentencing. 


For God the Father, His only consideration is whether we have repented.  Repentance means saying sorry and making a decision not to make the same mistake again.  The only way we can prove to others we are serious about not making that same mistake is to put into place strategies to ensure we don’t.  Like the drink driver who gets alcohol counselling and decides never to drink alcohol again.  We have to make a decision and let God know. 


E.g. “God, I’m sorry, I got really angry and I talked really rudely to that person.  I know that the wages of sin is death.  Please forgive me for anger, for my pride, for lack of love because Your Word says that love is not rude, for lack of self-control.  I’m sorry.  I promise to change.  When I feel anger rising up in me, I promise to walk away from the situation and take time to pray to You and ask for Your help.  I promise to wait until the anger has gone before talking to anyone so I won’t talk rudely again.  Please wash me in Your blood and take away my sin, please remember it no more, please remove it from me as far as the West is from the East.  Thank you for your forgiveness, Thank you Jesus for paying the price for my sin.  Thank you for the promise to make a way out for me when I am being tempted.  Help me to take that way out.  In Jesus’ name, Amen”.


When we ask for forgiveness and we are genuinely sorry and we make a decision not to go back to our sin…Jesus is our advocate and we are forgiven!


“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world”.


Now we have been forgiven, we have to remember others.  We need to help others to be free from sin and death also.  We need to pray for others, love, support, teach with gentleness and kindness, forgive etc.  Our actions are very important.  Jesus is our advocate because he is the righteous one.  We need to keep ourselves from sin (be righteous) so we can help others to find salvation and forgiveness of sin.  When we sin, we push people away from the Kingdom of God. 


In conclusion, Jesus is our advocate and through Him our sins are wiped clean but only if we are genuinely sorry and make a decision not to go back to that sin again.  God loves us dearly, like a Father, and wants to keep us safe from danger (sin).  God doesn’t force us to not sin, we have to find our own strategies to not sin.  When we sin there are consequences for ourselves and for those around us.  Our sin can prevent others from entering the Kingdom of God.  Therefore, let’s keep ourselves from sin, find those strategies that help us not to sin and let’s help those around us to be protected from temptation.



Sunday, July 26, 2015


By Odon Bulamba
It’s a pleasure to be here this morning.  The world is celebrating Easter.  Easter is one of the biggest parties for Christians and people travel from one corner to another to celebrate. Some churches organise a night to sit together and think about that day.  Easter is the highest party that Christians celebrate.  It’s higher than x-mas and other Christian celebrations because that is the day you were born again, the day that God decided to send His Son to die for you and me. 


No one likes to die.  We usually think it is better to suffer than to die.  Those that try to commit suicide often say they regret that they tried to kill themselves because of what they would have missed out.  We can be seriously sick but we prefer to live.  There is point when sickness is so bad that you can feel like it’s better to die than to have to go through so much pain but usually people will prefer to live than to die.  When you are going through challenges of life, you may feel it’s too much and may feel like dying but although the option is front of you, you think about your children and other family and friends who will miss you and you decided it is better to suffer and be there for them.


God decided to tell Jesus to go down and die for those people.  To come down to die.  They arrested Jesus and He was crucified.  When they caught Jesus that night, Peter wanted to intervene and Jesus told him to stop because “My Father in heaven can send angels to defend me, I don’t need your help for defence”.  Jesus was saying, in effect, “I will accept to be weak for you”.  He was arrested and beaten.  They started with his back by whipping him and the flesh would come from his back.


Isaiah 53:4-6, says that Jesus was beaten for our sins and wounded for us.  When Jesus’ back was beaten, it was so you could get healing for your back.  He paid the price for that.  The role of your back is important, it is the framework, it supports your body.  If you don’t have a back, how will you stand, walk etc?  Nothing will work.  You are supported by your back bone.  The back bone is not one piece like a stick but small discs and bones all together which allows your back to be straight and to bend.  Without that, you would be like a tree – stiff and straight.  Your back has a very important role to play in your life. I’ll come back to that.


After smashing Jesus’ back, they nailed Him to the cross.  Zoe loves injections, isn’t it?  No, I’d rather take a pill than get an injection.  Many people prefer that.  The needle of a syringe is tiny compared to the nails that went into the feet and hand of Jesus.  He was nailed with hammer.  Bang! Once your feet are put together and nailed, you can’t move anymore.  You are stuck there.  Jesus did that for you and for me.  You have pain in your feet?  That is what Jesus paid for on the cross.


The feet balance your body.  If you have trouble with your spiritual balance; that is what Jesus paid the price for.  You sometimes find you can’t move anymore, and you feel this is the end of my spirituality, I want to pray and read the Bible but I can’t move because someone nailed me here.  Jesus says, “I paid the price, you don’t need to stay there”.  He tells you to move but you ask how.  I know you did this but how can I move from this position to the other.  Paul said I have desire to do good but my flesh is weak.  We all go through those stages. 


A good example, one day Peter went to the temple and they found this man begging for money and they looked at him and said, we have nothing to give you.  You beg to God and he says I have nothing to give to you.  Someone like Peter who is really famous.  He told the poor man, I have nothing for your but I can give you one thing but we ready to take it.


When people talk about Bill Gates, we think of money.  When we talk about John Key (Prime Minister of NZ) we think about politics.  When we talk about the Queen of England we think about power.  Peter came with that name of Jesus.  In Jesus’ name, stand up and walk and go away. The man’s legs were nailed there and he couldn’t move.  When you are weak in a position, people are telling you to move now.  You can have a situation that is killing you and Jesus is telling you that He has paid the price for your feet, move.  Feet is not only walking but for standing up with balance.  Jesus paid the price for that.  All the challenges you have with your arms, Jesus has paid the price for that.


Jesus was given a crown of 72 thorns.  Imagine wearing that crown on your head.  Everyone wants a crown but not one of thorns because it will torture you and not honour you.  The crown was for His head which means that if we are sick in our head, God has paid the price for that.  Sometimes we wake up in the morning with sleep in our eyes even though we showered before going to bed.  Sometimes we feel saliva on our mouth.  Sometimes our nostrils are blocked.  Some things will happen in our life that we don’t expect but Jesus paid the price for that.


Today we sang a song about Jesus coming back to life.  This is a song that the whole world knows.  Our turn is coming.  Jesus did His resurrection, and our turn is coming.  Jesus has told us to be prepared, I’m coming for you and I will pick you up and take you with Me to My Kingdom.  This is resurrection.  In Rev 20:5&6, a group of people like you and me who served God who was persecuted and treated harshly, come back to life.  This is a good resurrection. 


We will have two resurrections.  First will be those people who believed in Jesus and trusted in Jesus, they will come to life first.  Those who did not trust, who don’t like him, they will continue to be in that dead world.  First and Second resurrection is a matter of choice because we have grace and God doesn’t hide to us what is going to happen.  This is the back bone of Christianity, to stand strong and be flexible in the Word of God which means you need to be ready for resurrection.  Jesus knew he would die but he also knew he would come back to life.


We all know we will die one day and at any time without discussion.  The hope we have is that one day we will come back to life and reign with Jesus. When we say someone is going to come back to life from the dead, what impression do we have?  Zombies?  A dead person is back to life. People run away.  Jesus said He will come first and whoever died in Me and sticks with my commandments will come back to life and we will reign together for 1000 years.  That time of 1000 years won’t be 1000 years of peace but of preparation for something which is coming.  God will put us next to Him and teach us how to rule, judge, and conduct a new political system of His Kingdom. 


What does John Key know about politics?  He is full of mistakes.  Obama too, they will try to make good decisions and fail.  They walk like blind people.  When I was a scout, we had a game where they will blind fold you and put a wood at the beach like a plank and the wood goes into water and the last step they fall into water.  Politics of the world can appear to be good and defend our rights but no one can defend your rights except Jesus, He is the only One who can understand your needs and provide it.  He says, when you are on this earth and working for me, think about My coming and get ready.


The day He comes back the world, there will be panic.  In panic, some will stand still and not know what do, some will scream, some will lose control. 


Resurrection means to come back to life which means you have to first die.  What is death?  How do you explain death?  Your body stops working, you can’t breathe, your heart stops beating, your body becomes cold.  A combination of all these things.  Death is a mystery which steals life from a body.  A power which takes away life.  The body can be intact but the life is taken away.  You can be strong physically, and attractive but once life is not in you, you are gone.


When you die, what do you want people to do?  Someone might say, I want Rihanna to perform.  I want my body to look attractive.  I want you people to not fight – let me go in peace.  People have wishes for the day they day.  Others don’t want to talk about it at all.  What are your wishes on the day that death will tell life, “I want to take this person”.  Some write a will for others to follow.  They give orders.  When you die, those who remain behind, they take your will seriously more than when you were alive.  What was his last word before he died. Some people whisper when they die and people come closer to hear.


People say don’t leave us, including those that said go away the day before.  They ask them to say more and those words remain in their heart and head forever.  You can see how the power of death is changing the lives of others.  We have to respect the will of the dead person and follow it.  When someone dies, you can see how much people will love the photo of the one who has passed away, they frame it and keep it somewhere special while when the person was alive, they didn’t care.  They look after the photos and videos and souvenirs because life has been taken away.


The day of resurrection is coming, we have to accept to die and leave memories in the lives of others.  When I do things according to the will of God, what do people remember?  What were my last words when I decided to follow Jesus?  What is my last wish in my will?


When Jesus comes back and we come back to life with new bodies, we will not come back as zombies.  Jesus came back to life with bodies that had scars but our bodies will be perfect.  We will be prepared now to govern the new world.  Rev 20, what role will you play in his Kingdom of God.  A judge, an engineer, secretary? We have to prepare ourselves for that role and we have been given gifts that we have to practice.


In 2000, I saw Michelle typing and she was fast and didn’t have to look at the keyboard.  How can fingers can perform such a fast work?  When she is doing it, she doesn’t have to think because she has practiced it for a number of years.  Now tell someone else to type who only knows how to use one finger and they have to look on the keyboard where they are going. 


For resurrection, God is telling us to prepare ourselves, not just to be clean but to practice our gifts to become better and sharper.  I have a typing software that teaches us how to touch type but people in my home still type with one finger.  They give up.  If you don’t push yourself, you might be surprised to not be part of the first resurrection.


An angel will come down with a chain and lock away satan.  We will come back to life and we will go through an advanced preparation, an induction to prepare us morally, physically, mentally and spiritually to rule the world.  What title would you like to occupy in the Kingdom of God, to rule the world.  What ministry will you choose?  The bigger your role, the bigger your responsibility.  When you come back to life, Jesus tells us, you don’t have to think about food.  Jesus didn’t have to eat when He came back to life.


Jesus came back to life with new clothes.  Where did He get that from?  The tomb was open and there was light – the angels.  When you are going through the problems of your life, God doesn’t forget you and He brings you back to life in hope and angels will be there to guide you.  We forget the role of angels; they play a role in our lives. 


Those who did not die in Jesus will come back to life and they will make a big army for satan with all the big weapons of today from Russia, Asia, US etc so they can attack Jesus.  A number of our enemies who stand against us will be like the sand at the beach.  You can’t count them, there will be millions of people with Generals etc that are well trained.  This is the time for us to fight against this army.  Don’t fear, the power of God is above all.  Fire comes from heaven to destroy all the people.  In your life, don’t fear, God is on your side every time, just accept God to play a role in your life and to guide you.


One night I told my mum that I didn’t want to sleep in the bedroom because I saw a mouse but she told me to go back to bed but I didn’t want to.  She told me that the mouse is there because you didn’t clean your room so you have to accept to sleep with the mouse.  I jumped under my blanket and my ears were awake and I would be ready to scream if I heard anything.  I spent the entire night shaking and I couldn’t sleep. 


I was very tired the next day at school.  They called my mum because I was sleeping in class.  I had to tell the teacher I didn’t sleep because of a mouse, because of fear.  My mum said, you will clean your room.  She kicked my mattress out of the room and the room was a big mess and I started to discover peanuts under the bed etc and as I was collecting my books, I found the nest of the mouse.  Sometimes we invite strangers to take control of our lives.  I was forced to pick up the nest.  No vacuum cleaners in those days so I had to do it all by hand.  When I was trying to push it away, I was screaming and mum put the babies on my head and I screamed but mum told me I have to look after myself and that was the last time I left my room messy. 


When Jesus comes back, your body will be decomposed but he will make you a perfect person. The Resurrection coming.  There will be two: (1) those in Jesus (2) those not in Jesus.  It is time now to prepare ourselves for the role we will play for the 1000 years in Jesus.  We are going to do 1000 years, what is your plan for that time?  When you go to school, or University, teachers expect you to do your own reading and research and that is the same for God.  You live with your Bible and God trusts you to work.


I had a lawyer who forgot about my case in front of the court and he started to talk about someone else’s case.  Imagine you are given a role to play in the Kingdom of God and you don’t know what you are doing. 


Let us prepare ourselves for the first resurrection.