Saturday, December 31, 2016

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

By Hayley Boud



Mathew 5:1-10, “When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you”.


Jesus saw the crowd and went up on the mountain where everyone would be able to see and hear Him.  He wanted all to hear His word.  Tonight, we are here to listen to God.  He wants us all to hear the Word of God.  Let’s open our ears.

Jesus sat down.  I wonder why?  Was He too tired to stand?  I doubt it.  In the culture that I was brought up in, sitting down is a sign of humility.  Bringing yourself to the level of others or even lower than others.  I’m not sure why Jesus sat down but it makes me think of our relationship with others.  When we want to share the Word of God with others, we need to be humble.  We need to be at their level, not lording over them or pointing our finger.  If we come with humility, people are more likely to hear what we are saying.  If we come with pride, no one will hear the words we are saying.  It will be a missed opportunity.

Jesus started by saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit.  That sounds the opposite of blessing.  We usually think of those who are rich as blessed. 

The word poor in Hebrew means poor, helpless, someone who is fallen down and needs lifting up.  Blessed are those that know they are helpless to save themselves.  Blessed are those that know that they have sinned and fallen down.  Blessed are those that know that only Christ can save us, only Christ can clean us of our sin and raise us up. 

Those who think they are rich spiritually are those that don’t know who they need Christ.  If we think we can save ourselves or we think we don’t even need saving, we will never be able to receive Jesus. 

The word spirit is the element of man that thinks, feels, reflects, desires, aims and moral qualities.  It is the element of faith in man.  We need to make our inner self to reflect on our words and actions.  Do they match God and His Word?  We need to feel shame when they don’t. 

Jesus went on to say that the poor in spirit are blessed because theirs is the Kingdom of God.  The Kingdom of God is where the king dwells.  If we accept Him, He will dwell in us and when Christ comes back, we will dwell with Him in His Kingdom forever. The blessing is Jesus Himself.  We are blessed because Christ dwells in us.  We are completely satisfied because that is all we need.   All we need is Christ in us.  He is the One who fills us with joy, hope, strength. 

The Kingdom of God belongs to the humble, those that know who they are in front of God.  Those that recognise that only God can save them.  The Kingdom of God doesn’t belong to the proud who stand in front of the crowd and proclaim how great they are.  It doesn’t belong to those who look down on others and think they are better than them. 

It also doesn’t belong to those who realise they have sinned and fallen but stay sinning and fallen.  The poor are only blessed when they realise they are poor and make a decision to change.  If our conscience tells us we are wrong somewhere, we need to repent and make a decision to never go back to that way of living.  If our conscience tells us we are wrong but we carry on in that way, then we will just like those who think they are rich in spirit because the rich don’t think they need Jesus. 

Only those that see their sin and repent will inherit the Kingdom of God.  If we don’t see our sin, we will never know to repent and we will never enter the Kingdom of God.  If we see our sin and don’t repent, we will never enter the Kingdom of God.  Therefore, only those that see their sin and repent are blessed.  Only those that recognise they have fallen and accept for Christ to lift them up out of their sin are blessed because only those that accept to leave their sin will enter the Kingdom of God.

Lessons from today, we need to remain humble, we need to see who we really are in front of God, we need to apologise to God when we have fallen and we need to accept Christ to lift us up from that place of sin and take us to another place where we will make a decision not to sin anymore.  When we do this, we are truly blessed because we inherit the Kingdom of God.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tomb




By Odon Bulamba



It is my joy to be here this morning and nothing is good in life like feeling joyful.  You can possess money and have all the wealth of the world but if you don’t feel joyful, it will be meaningless.  When some are joyful, they cry and others laugh and some lose their sleep due to the joy.  How do you express your joy?  When you feel very joyful, how do you express it?  Some smile and others try to control it and others try to turn around so no one can see them smiling.  It doesn’t matter who you are, joy comes to each person. 



It’s joyful to hear that Jesus died for us and came back to life: that is the news of joy.  Someone passes away, we lose hope of seeing them again and then suddenly, he is back to life: that is joy.  What a joy when you find something you lost.  Many people don’t care when they lose something because they think they will find another but if something is precious to you and you get it back, you love it more.  You will take care of it better than before so you can’t lose it again.



Jesus, how did we get Him back?  He came back to life and now He is with us and it is our responsibility to not lose Him anymore.



Deuteronomy 34:5-7, Moses was famous and everyone knew he was a powerful leader both physically and with his words but regardless of his achievements and power, God decided to take the life of Moses.  God said, you worked for me and you did what I asked, now it is time to take you back.  What a sad moment.  Look at those millions of people following Moses.  Now God is taking him away.  God said, don’t worry I will give you someone to replace him but they thought, Joshua is not Moses and maybe he won’t play the same role as Moses.



When Moses passed away people cried because their beloved was removed from them.  When Moses was taken by God his body where was there but Moses himself was outside of that body.  They could keep that body for 600 years but the body wasn’t Moses anymore, it was a dead body.



God said He created you from the dust and you will return to the dust.  We try to put that aside and don’t want to hear about that.  When someone is dying, we can fast and pray loudly and cry to God because my brother is dying and you lose your joy and lose your appetite, strength and peace of mind and heart. People will be able to read the sadness on your face.  Someone will maybe rub your shoulders to encourage you. 



Where is the joy of death?  When death hits your sister, brother or friend, do you keep your joy and say hallelujah because you have taken what belongs to me?  Sometimes we feel angry and tell God He is not fair.



A few days ago my sister lost her son who was very clever and among her five children, he was the only one who would pray every morning praising God and then pray for his dad.  He was only 12 years old and he was doing that since he was five.  He would bless the food every time.  He was an amazing boy.  He got sick and in five hours he passed away.  My sister told me, why does God do this to me?  Why only this child?  Would you give away the first born to keep him?  He is God and He knows what he is doing.  For the past three nights I go to bed at 4am to keep my sister company and talk with her. 



God took Moses and people wondered what they can do now.  In Deut 34:6, God came down and buried the body of Moses because He didn’t want [people to worship the tomb of Moses.



Whenever someone dies we know the tomb holds the body and a tomb is a place where many magicians (those that work for the power of darkness) will go to collect power to invoke the power of evil so they can perform magic.  Around that area you will find evil spirits and people will go there to worship. 



When we are alive we don’t think about the tomb and try to forget about death and try not to think about where we will be buried but those around us will be forced to take the responsibility when we pass away to bury us.  If someone dies today, that person will say, my mission is finished.  It is the responsibility of others to deal with the body.  They treat that body with more respect. 



Some people when they are alive are not respected at all.  Their family pushes you away but once you are dead, everyone will treat your body with respect and say, this person was amazing and talk nicely about you and make jokes and forget that yesterday, they didn’t respect you or tell people about you but when you die, they will speak about you to others, “I remember such day we did this and this together”.  Don’t we sometimes praise God when God is away from us?  Don’t we sometimes praise ourselves when life is away from us? 



People will pick up the body and think what is next.  Most funerals will have a program and a committee that will organise it.  Such person will do this and another will do this and they will share tasks in order to take care of this dead body but when you are alive no one shares tasks with you. 



“Sister, I need five dollars”, “no I don’t have it”.  “I need you to visit me”, “oh go and see the doctor” but when you die, they will sit next to you for hours and show remorse and there is no joy because the person was dear to them.



After planning, they will choose a place to be buried.  You came from dust and you have to go back there.  They choose a place and pay money, some places are $5000 and others up to $50,000.  Those alive will have to dig the place and then with respect, calmly take you down slowly into the grave, they won’t just throw you in.  Then you are covered, you are gone and finished.  That is the last time we will see that person until heaven, “I’ll meet you in heaven” but you didn’t make that appointment while they were alive.



God knew the people will worship where Moses body is laid and he is a jealous God.  In the church today you will see pastors, bishops, big prophets who will leave their countries to go to visit where Jesus was buried and they will worship that place and take some soil from that place and bring it back to New Zealand.  Brother you are sick, take some of this soil from the tomb of Jesus and you will get healing in Jesus’ name and you will take the soil and believe God has healed me.  This is a pastor, a prophet, a servant of God!



Another will walk where Jesus was baptised and say, “wow this is Jordan where Jesus was baptised.  Hey give me six bottles of water to take home” and they believe this water is pure and when they start to pray for people, they will give them a small cup of water to drink because it contains power to be healed.  Others will put a little on your face with the sign of the cross and you feel so blessed.  Are you sure you are blessed, or cursed?  It is clear from the Bible that He wants only to be worshiped and the dead is dead and He is not in the grave anymore, He is alive.



Servants of God will go to Israel to collect stuff, Jesus did miracles here, He passed here and those memories will become tools to pray, to heal and to preach.  When you ask someone to pray for you and the first thing they will do is cover your head with a small piece of material from Israel and you will be asked to take special water from Israel to drink it and then you are healed.  Satan has a power and he tricks people.  He will make you to go in front of an empty tomb where Jesus is not there and you worship and pray with tears, “This is where your body lies, I am here with you”.  Father in heaven says, “I am not here with you, I am alive”.



The tomb will make it like an ornament in order to keep the body there.  Jesus’ body was kept there for three days only and those three days were not with Jesus sitting there looking at the tomb, He went to fight to take the key from Satan.  He didn’t stay in the tomb.  Although, He told his disciples, I will come back to life, how many believed him?  First they believed He couldn’t die because He is God and then He died, so is He really going to come back to life?  How often do you say, oh it’s been a long time since Jesus said He will return.  He told his disciples He will come back for them.  Some might think that Jesus has forgotten His appointment with us. 



Once Jesus came back to life, the tomb was there but Jesus was walking around.  We should move with Jesus to cities and go wherever He walks around.  We should not stay in one spot stagnating.  When Jesus walks, do you walk with Him?  When He changes His direction, do you change your direction also?  Or do you prefer to stay with the dead body because you don’t have time to follow Jesus around everywhere, “I’m not a puppet or a dog to follow you around, I need to enjoy and relax” and we try to make this Jesus to be a dead Jesus forever.



When a person is dead, you can do what you want with the body and the person won’t react.  In Arab countries, they will beat the dead body as a punishment but the person is not there anymore.  When you want to make Jesus to be a dead God in order to fulfil your desire, God says, “my son, you should wake up, open your eyes and ears because I am not here anymore, what you are doing is not what I asked you to do”.  We promise to follow Jesus and worship him, Jesus guide me.  Do we allow him to guide us?  Do we really follow him?  Do we treat him as an alive God?



We want to focus on the tomb like those soldiers.  Are you one of those who stand there because you believe Jesus is dead?  One of Jesus’ disciple, Thomas didn’t believe Jesus was alive.  He went back to the grave, “I want to see Jesus, I’ll go back to the grave”.  Many workers of God today start to go the graves to find the power to serve God.  They will collect tools and power to perform miracles and impress human beings so that water can turn to wine, your black shirt will become green, I can pray and you will see me suspended in space.  I have seen that with my eyes.  When they do those things, everyone gives their offering and give money and even their houses so they can be prayed for and get blessings.



We want to see miracles but we don’t want to see where those miracles come from.  We put aside discernment.  Thomas went to tomb but he was good because he came back and informed others, “truly, He is gone.  Maybe someone stole his body”.  No one can steal Jesus from your body, He is alive.  Jesus saw Thomas and Thomas said, you appear to be Jesus but I am not sure, I am doubting.  Jesus said to him, come close to me, touch.  Jesus didn’t tell him to touch his stomach or head but to touch where he was wounded.



Imagine you have a wound and you ask someone to touch it, only a few will say that because it will hurt.  Do we have to hurt Jesus in order to believe?  When you open the Bible, why don’t you just believe but you want God to appear and you can hurt Him more before you believe it.  A tomb doesn’t move, Jesus left it a long time ago.  Those soldiers collapsed when Jesus came alive and rushed to their bosses and told them.  They were told to keep quiet with money.



Sometimes satan will tempt you by blessing you with friends or whatever you want so you can keep quiet about Jesus.  Have you decided to go to pak ’n save to talk about Jesus but you reach pak ’n save and you start to decide which one you can talk to.  You are afraid and you decide to run away and satan will bless you with that shyness and fear so you won’t share the gospel (it’s curse, not a blessing).



Jesus is outside of the tomb and is reminding you that the tomb belonged to Joseph.  Your body doesn’t belong to you. There are those who will take you (e.g. your friends, your family, your neighbours) to a tomb while you are not dead.  In my country, they can punish you by burying you alive.  You can see your neighbour is driving you nuts and taking you to bury you alive and that is where you and I make a decision not to talk to that person again because their behaviour is bad.  They have taken me like a dead body and so I hate my enemies instead of loving them and praying for them, I will curse them.



People can make your life hard and when that happens they want to kill your faith and trust in God and take you to a tomb that doesn’t belong to you.  If you are not careful your body can react quickly with anger, lust and envy because you body accepted death.



God didn’t come down to bury Adam or David but he decided to bury Moses.  Why?  If you don’t know the answer, start to search.  God will leave his throne in heaven for the love of glory and worship to separate the body of a dead person form the people.  How often does God leave the Kingdom of God to bury the dead things in you?  Who protects you and me?  God.  Our lives are in His hands. 



When we bury someone, what does it mean?  Its means to get rid of that person?  It’s a culture?  We were tired with that person?  Think about it.  If you are not buried, does it mean you didn’t die?  Some bodies are not buried.  Why do we have a cemetery that is embellished better than our hearts, minds and bodies.



In Huntly there is a beautiful cemetery.  Graves are in order, flowers and people walk with respect, slowly and read the names and talk sadly, “oh she was only 12” and they read the stories of those written on the gravestones and then they will stand where their fathers were buried, take off their hats, bend their heads, think, look and we see them in distress and then they go back home.  Some leave flowers, pots and treasures. 



You can see how often we are attached to those who left us.  Are you attached to the Christians who quit the gospel 20 years ago?  Do you visit them?  Do you think about them?  We go back because we have memories and we miss them, how often do you miss those that were in Christ.  Do you even remember their names or who they were?  Do you remember the role they played in your church?



Joshua said, “God, take my people and take them away”.  God told Moses you will lead my people to Canaan but on the way, God tells him you are not going to Canaan anymore because you hit the rock 2x and Moses says forgive me and God says no, I can only show you the city.  Have you seen the heaven open in your life?  Has God shown you the future which He is preparing for you and His people?  Has God said no in your life and you accepted it?  We very often don’t accept that word no and we think it must be satan.



I feel sick, oh must be satan.  I want a new Bible and when God says no, it must be satan.  What doesn’t work according to my desire, it must be satan.  We forget that if something doesn’t happen, it might be God.  What is the point to show Moses Canaan since he cannot enter but Moses continued to respect God.  That is the country where there is milk and honey.  Yuck, have you tried to mix this?  How does it taste? 



In Canaan there were no cows or bees so where will the milk and honey come from?  If they had a few cows, those who possessed them wanted to keep them.  There was plenty of camel milk but you can’t mix camel milk and honey.  God doesn’t give us the meat and good life we enjoyed in Egypt.  After seeing, God says, it’s enough now.  How many things have God shown you, projects etc but you are not there when they are fulfilled.  In 20 years’ time, this will happen, but you will not be alive in 20 years.  God gives to us the picture of the church and the direction of where they are going.



How many Israelites reached Canaan? A very small number because all the adults who left Egypt (except a very few) vanished before reaching it.  God who promised us the blessing but the blessing didn’t come because they didn’t obey God and preferred to live in the tomb sitting there waiting for God to do everything.  Follow Jesus wherever He is going. If you want God to act in your life, also act for God.  Prepare your mind and body and train yourself for what you want to do for God.



Maybe you rely on someone in your life but that person can die tomorrow.  If you rely on your job, maybe it will close down like DickSmith.  If you didn’t learn and prepare yourself while working at DickSmith you will regret now that it is closing down because now you have to think about job applications and where to send them.  Prepare yourself for Jesus.  Are you ready to receive Jesus who is coming back for you or do you want to be like Thomas and doubt and wonder if this is really Jesus coming back or someone else. 



Jesus will come back like a thief.  Thieves in Africa will send you a letter that they are coming for your things and you have to prepare it for them but if you leave one thing, they will kill your child.  In New Zealand, they won’t warn you.  Even the Prime-minister can be robbed.



When Jesus comes, He will come like a thief, it doesn’t matter who you are and what He will steal from you is grace.  The grace will come away from the earth and there will be no more grace.  Repentance will be gone and the Bible will be closed.  The work on the cross will be stopped.  The time for purification will be gone and it will now be the time for judgment. 



Imagine the thief becomes the judge.  He surprises you and then judges you.  If you are not ready, what will you say to Him?



Let’s pray for Zoe, for that beautiful girl.  She needs strength, guidance, blessings.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Communion - Jesus dying for us is more than what we could imagine


 
By Hayley Boud



“14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom [every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.  20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21



We are now about to take communion to remember all the Jesus has done for us.



(v14) “For this reason, I bow my knees”.  We are about to enter into the Holy of Holies, bow before the Father.  Let’s remember this morning, as we bow before Him, that we are only able to enter into that place and meet with God because Jesus died on the cross and tore the veil that separated us.



(v15) We will remember that we have been given God’s name.  We have been adopted into His family and we are God’s children.  All because of what Jesus did for us.



(v16-17) We have been given the inheritance of Christ and given all the strength and power and the Holy Spirit, we have Christ dwelling in our hearts, we have been given faith and we have been grounded in Christ’s love



(v18) so that we might have understanding with all the saints.  We can really praise God this morning because of this inheritance, because of the strength and power He has given us.  We will thank God this morning for His Holy Spirit dwelling in us, for Jesus Himself living in us and the faith and love He has provided us.  And we will praise Him because all of this enables us to have an understanding that others don’t have.  We are so blessed to know Jesus…



(v19) and to know His love.



(v20) “Now to Him who is able to do abundantly more than what we can ask or think or imagine”.  We could not have thought or imagined that God would leave heaven to come to earth as a man to die for us.  Only God can think of such a thing.  With our human minds, we could never have thought of that.  Even if we did think of it, we would never have asked God to die for us.



Imagine asking the Queen of England to die for me.  “Elizabeth, I’ve been sentenced to death.  Will you pay the price for me?  Will you please die instead of me?”  We wouldn’t ask the Queen of England such a favour.  A queen would never die for her people.  In fact, it is our duty to die for our queen.  Yet, God died for us.  It’s abundantly more than what we could ask for or think of. 



(v21) “to Him be the glory in the church”…in Little Bethlehem… “and in Christ Jesus to all generations”…in my generation, in mum’s generation, in Leah’s generation and in her children’s generation and in her grandchildren’s generation… “forever and ever, Amen”.



Let’s pray for the bread and juice.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Refiner's fire


By Hayley Boud



Zechariah 13:9, “I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested.  They will call on My name and I will answer them, I will say, ‘They are my people’, and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God’.”



Malachi 3:2-3, “But who can endure the day of His coming?  And who can stand when He appears?  For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.  And He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.”



To refine silver means you have to go through the fire, you have to accept to be beaten with the hammer, over and over again.  The tests we go through are there to help us.  They might feel like we are being beaten with a hammer, over and over but at the end, God is creating something special in us.



The silversmith knows what he is doing.  He won’t leave the silver in the heat too long because he knows it will get destroyed.  He brings it out of the heat when he can see himself in the reflection.  He can only see himself when all the impurities have gone and the silver is pure.



Who can endure the day when Christ comes back?  None of us are able to survive that day.  The only way to stand in His presence is if we allow Him to refine us.  Allow Him to remove the impurities.  What are we holding onto in our lives that we don’t want to let go of.



Name some: Relationships that God doesn’t approve of?  Bad language?  Offensive jokes?  Laziness?  Impatience?  Negative thoughts?  Impure thoughts? Gossiping?  Curiosity?  Not honouring my parents?  Being a stumbling block to others? Alcohol?  Food?  If we don’t let these impurities go, we will end up getting destroyed in the fire.  When Christ comes back, He won’t be able to see His reflection in us.  He will see a black, tarnished soul (like black tarnished silver).



Let’s aim to be shiny silver that reflects the image of Christ.  What are ways we can reflect Christ in our lives?: fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, self-control and faithfulness), forgiving, compassionate, merciful, praying for others, trying to put ourselves in the shoes of others, being sensitive to others, not giving up meeting together, serving each other, serving God, being committed to God’s work, not fearing what people think of us.



Gold and silver are very precious and valuable because of their qualities as metals and because they are rare.  We, as children of God, are valuable because of the qualities that God has given us which includes our character (we are a new creation) and the gifts He has given us.  We are very rare because only a few take the narrow road and only a few of those stay on it.



Gold and silver are medicinal and healing.  Whenever I get a sty in my eye, I rub a gold ring on it and the sty disappears.  The ions in the gold are healing.  There are bandages which contain colloidal silver to bring rapid healing of wounds.  Let’s be healing to others with our words and actions and encouragements.



Gold is pliable.  Let’s allow God to mould us and shape us and use us according to His will.



Gold and silver are beautiful.  When I see gold jewellery, I feel attracted to it.  Let’s be beautiful in God’s eyes and attract others to the Kingdom of God.  Let’s not be fake Christians, which like fake silver, doesn’t last, becomes unattractive, tarnished and unusable.



I was thinking during the week that I sometimes feel a bit like I’m silver-plated.  On the outside I look shiny but on the inside, I’m something else.  When I come here to the Wednesday meetings, I look like a good Christian.  I sing, pray and look perfect but at home, I love to complain, “oh, I just cleaned the bathroom, who made this mess?”  or, “oh, I just cleaned the windows, who did this mess all over them?”  or “oh, why is there food all over the floor that I just vacuumed?”  etc.



On the outside, I am silver but on the inside I’m another kind of metal because I complain and moan and whinge.  I’m silver-plated.  I need to be silver through-out and not just look good when I’m at church.  Silver-plated doesn’t last.  Eventually the silver wears off and you see what’s inside.  Let’s make sure to change our whole lives, completely so that we will be Christians that shine forever and reflect the image of Christ wherever we are.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Ensure Me

By Odon

 

This morning we are going to share the Word of God from Joshua 2:12-13, “"Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them--and that you will save us from death."

 

Joshua was a human being with two legs and two arms like you and me and this man was a simple person, he was a servant of Moses. People didn’t know who he was exactly, he was just working for Moses.  God decided to raise him up and made him a big leader.

 

This Bible is very small with a nice colour and maybe it also contains the word that can change my life.  I will say your Bible is like a servant for you.  The Bible serves you, it’s a pioneer that God has given you to serve you whenever you are tired, in a stressful situation, you are crying, you need help, your Bible can give you an answer and that is why we call it the Word of God, God passes through the Word of God to teach you and me.

 

Moses would sometimes tell Joshua, this is heavy and because Joshua was a young man, he would help Moses so they could reach their destination.  Have you stopped to think about how important your Bible is for you?  When things are tough, be amazed that the Bible can be the answer for your situation.  When you are tired, there are verses to refresh your mind, body.  When you are crossing a financial hardship there are verses that tell you not to worry.

 

When God created Adam, He said, you will not be alone but you will have someone to help you.  That was the beginning of that word “help” because Adam couldn’t do things alone.  Who helps you when you are going through the dramas of your life, when things are dry in your life, when things are wet and it’s raining in your life, where do you go to find an umbrella?  When ideas are coming up and you don’t know what to do, and you start to get a headache, where do you get help?

 

David said I look up to the mountains and my help comes from God. 

 

You have to open your Bible and read it.  This Bible looks beautiful with its beautiful cover but it is a Jehovah witness Bible and you may open another Bible which is a different version and messages are twisted.  You may find differences of words in each Bible but praise God we have the Holy Spirit who is a teacher to explain things clearly.

 

Joshua sent two spies to Jericho to enter into this city where they didn’t know anybody and they chose to visit Rahab who was a prostitute.  Rahab as a prostitute, she won’t ask those who knock on their door, who are you and why are you here but she will open her door because she needs the business.  She opened not only the door of the house but the door of her life.  Her job allowed her to not care about a person’s appearance, she didn’t care what the man looked like, or their salary.  She just needed the money for her service.

 

Look how our God has used this lady to welcome his missionaries of God into Jericho.  We don’t know what they talked about but it appears she had a clue that they were Israelites and she was fearing the presence of these men in her country because their God is so strong and performs miracles to open the red sea and no nation can stand before the nation of Israel and fight against them.  Rahab had a testimony of what God can do for His nation.

 

In the same way that I have a testimony for you of what God has done in your life and I can be afraid of your God.  If God can give Tyrone the oxygen into his nostril and he can breathe while doctors can’t do this because when God says it’s the time to finish for this person, the doctor won’t bring them back to life. 

 

Ange was here last Sunday service and she was dancing for God.  I thought to myself, what makes that person have such moves and it gave me the picture of David when he started to work for God and took off his clothes and danced for his God.  Would you continue to dance for your God and because of joy forget completely for yourself.  Many of us will say, “No, I respect myself and am respected by others”.  The Lord looks down on us and says, “who do you think you are?  If you are the servant of my servant (as Joshua was a servant of Moses) why can’t you do this for me?”

 

Verse 13, Rahab came close to them, “Ensure me when you come back you will protect the life of my family because I don’t want them to die.  I know the power of your God and how powerful He can act in your life and change things in one second so I want you to ensure me that everything will be good for my family”.  Rahab who is not a Christian is claiming the lives of her family members.  She is not claiming for material things such as her house. 

 

When we pray we often pray funny.  I printed out a paper here with the word “assure”.  We tell God, I need assurance, assure me God that you can do this for me and give this to me and God will assure you, “I’m going to prepare a place for you in heaven and come back for you”.  To assure means to say something that is true but not done immediately.  Jesus gave that promise to the disciples and left.  When you pray you tell God to assure me so I can get a job, for my children and my family.  God is so good, He will do so.

 

There is another dimension of praying, when you pray don’t stick on this word assure and claim that God has promised me this.  Yes He has told you but what time will it be fulfilled, it might be one day or ten thousand years.  Some prophets such as Isaiah prophesised that Jesus would be born but Isaiah died before Jesus came.

 

I have another word here, “insure”.  I hate this word the most.  Give to me insurance, protect my sister and my people, my items, my job, insure me and secure my finances.  That is where the church starts to take God and pray mostly about material things for God to protect them e.g. I want to see the harvest of my farm this year so I can earn a lot of money.  I want you to send customers to me because I want to see my business flourishing.  We start to push God and give conditions because we want insurance.

 

Insurance companies give a good example:  life insurance, is it life or death insurance?  You don’t give the insurance to me but to other people.  You invested in me and give it to other people.  Before they give it to your family members, you may have to see the judge.  When they asked for your money to pay the policy, they spoke kindly but when your family asks for the insurance pay out, the family has to sweat before the insurance company pays.

 

Many people ask for blessings but once they receive it, they are like the person that God told, if you want to see the Kingdom of God, give up your material things and give it all to the poor.  That is a challenge.  You won’t think about poor people first but your own family, my mum can have my house, my dad my car, this is how things will be shared if I die today.  I have read many wills (last will testament).  Those words are like a referee that will separate people at the end of my life.  Those words will give some to a group and less to another group.

 

Unfortunately, many Christians will not write about a person’s soul or leave a Bible or a verse in the Bible in their wills.  We can only leave material things.  God has given you a house, a car and now God asks you to leave something behind for your wife, your children.  Maybe you think about your clothes, house and in your will don’t be shocked if you don’t see anything that reflects the Kingdom of God.  I have searched about wills of Christians on line and 0% will leave behind peace, joy etc in their wills, only material things.  What about sharing our faith?

 

I have another word, “ensure”.  “Ensure me Lord, not only to protect my physical life but I want to be ensured that something will be done before it is too late”.  When you pray and you tell God about your situation, you expect the answer and you want to see God doing something but you are not straight forward.  You are like this rugby ball and if I want to throw it to my brother, it will bump left and right because it is not a round shape and cannot go smoothly to the person.  It is up to my brother to know how to catch this ball.

 

Our prayers are similar to balls.  A ball is something we use in sport and can bring together hundreds or thousands of people to watch and can make someone not come to work the next day if their team loses.  If New Zealand wins a rugby came, it is hallelujah and if we lose, people can become sick, angry and then we are mocked by Australians and this creates conflict. 

 

How powerful is a ball.  People will train for years in order to play this ball one day.  From the day of zero they will train to become rugby or soccer players and parents will spend money and time to take their children so that tomorrow they will become something to ensure that something will be done.  Before it is done, I’m your father and it’s up to you my son to practise and you have to practise every single day.  Do you want God to answer your prayers?  Then pray without ceasing. 

 

Now when some pray, they bump here and there like the rugby ball and others are like a soccer ball that is round and follows the direction you throw it.  Your prayers are falling on one side (like the rugby ball falls).  God is in your life like the spies in the house of Rahab.  Rahab thought of others, her family and asked to be ensured they will survive.  Who is your first person when you pray to God, ensure me that this will be fulfilled in my life.  I want to see them alive.

 

When you come with such a prayer with God, it looks like a soccer ball which is round and when you throw it, it goes straight.  The rugby ball can easily be lost because of the shape of the ball and it bounces in a wrong direction.  When we pray, we are not straight, you spend five minutes saying words that have no meaning.  Stop before you pray and ask yourself what you will tell God.  It’s a conversation between you and God.  When you prepare to talk to a king, you will prepare carefully what you will see.  But we pray the same words over and over, “You love me God, you are so good God” and then what?  Tell God what you want and give him time to respond.

 

The two spies said, we ensure you, we will protect you and your family.  How much effort have you put aside for your prayers in order for God to give eternal life for your people, for your nation and those that surround you?  You want to become a boss, expect pressure.  You want to become someone big in society, expect pressure and it is that pressure that makes the ball move forward.  Remove pressure from a ball and the ball becomes flat. 

 

No rugby player will accept to play rugby with a ball without pressure.  If the ball gets punctured, they will stop the game and get another one.  Do you have pressure in your prayers?  Are your words full of pressure, full of the Holy Spirit and clean to make the prayers go smoothly?  When you don’t prepare your words, you are just repeating your words, you sound like a flat ball.

 

Think about what you will tell God and tell him what you want assurance for and let God also speak in His turn.  It’s not a matter of using 6000 words, a few words are enough if they go straight to the point such as Rahab who only used a few words to save her family.

 

One time I went to the restaurant and the man that I was with prayed for more than six minutes, he prayed for his family, the city and I lost my concentration because the food was smelling good.  Have you come across someone praying too long in church and you think, stop now because we don’t understand what they are saying and it’s true because they choose the wrong ball – instead of round shape and then they remove the pressure from it.

 

God says to knock on the door and I’ll open it.  Knock means more than touching, it means to make a noise.  God has ears and listens to us but only when we make a noise.  When we just touch the door, hallelujah God you are so good.  What are you going to receive, when you say hallelujah?  God will be proud of your worship but He will only answer amen because you didn’t make any noise.

 

Where will I get pressure from?  Can I use my mouth?  My mouth will not do the job because the hole is very small and my lungs are not big enough.  You need a special needle and a pump.  Without the needle, the pump cannot work.  Rahab approached those people, “welcome to my house”.  Then she hid them in the roof with wheat trees.  Wheat makes us think of the bread and Jesus is the bread and the Word of God so they were taken to the place of God’s word.  What is the roof of your life?  Do you have one? 

 

Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and the temple has a roof, what is the roof of your heart?  In your head, what is going on?  Do you have any place to put the Holy Spirit in your thoughts and ideas so the Holy Spirit can feel secured and comfortable before to act.  We very often use our heads before acting.  We can plan something and then change our minds with our thoughts.

 

When things are functioning properly in our head, satan cannot catch them.  We touch our physical heart but the Word of God doesn’t stay there, it goes to the head.  The heart pumps in and out blood and feeds the body and your head feeds your body with knowledge and it is because of the lack of knowledge that we perish.  We write the Word of God in our heart of the spirit which is our head.

 

Rahab lied and told those who asked if she had seen the spies, “the men are not here but have left”.  She saved their lives.  What protects your soul when satan visits you.  Satan is like a lion roaring looking for someone to devour which is your soul.  Satan attacks the Word of God that you feed your soul with.  Many Christians say, “I will wait for God to do it, He is in control and He knows my weaknesses”.

 

One time, I went to a shop and ordered a beef burger and chips and their burgers were amazing and I was really enjoying the burger but then I found a long hair.  Yuck.  For me, it was ok because my burger was so yummy.  Regardless of the small mistake that showed up, I put it aside and carried on eating it.  Many others would not be able to eat it and go back to complain and say, “from now on I will never buy a burger from this shop because they are dirty” and we judge them.  Just eat the burger and forget about the hair.

 

You can enjoy your spiritual journey and the Word of God but satan can put a piece of hair in the way and make you lose your way.  What distracts you when you are praying?  Someone may knock on your door, the phone ring.  We always put God as the last position. 

 

I’m advising you today to ask God to ensure you that what you are praying for will be given to you and prepare yourself before to talk to him, He is God.  Tell God this is what I desire. For example, I want to be a singer, this is my desire to worship.  What is your desire?  Maybe it’s to enter the Kingdom of God, maybe it’s to play the drums or read the Word of God.  Don’t waste God’s time.  If you are not ready to pray, wait and prepare yourself. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Communion - The Lord fights for our salvation


By Hayley Boud

 

Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent”

 

Today I want us to remember as we take communion how much God fights for us.  He doesn’t only fight for us when we are sick, hurt, tempted or disappointed but He fights for our souls.

 

We were once sinners on the path to destruction and God the Father who loves us so much, He fought for our souls by sending His only son to die for our salvation.  Jesus loves us so much that chose to fight for our souls by leaving heaven and accepting to die on a cross for our salvation.  Jesus fought the battle and won.  Now we are free from death because Jesus fought for us, while we kept silent.

 

Jesus continues to save us, day after day.  He protects us from temptations and keeps us on the narrow path.  Jesus continues to fight for our soul and our salvation.

 

Exodus 14:13, “Fear not, stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today.”  Moses told this to the people of Israel when they were standing in front of the Red Sea with the Egyptians on their back.  The Israelites were sure they would die that day, but Moses told them they would see the salvation of the Lord. 

 

Then in Exodus 15:1, we see the song that Moses and Israel sang once they were saved, “I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted…the Lord is my strength and my song…my salvation, this is my God and I will praise Him”.

 

Let’s thank God and praise Him this morning for all that He has done.  We were like the Israelites standing in front of a Red Sea and we could not save ourselves.  Jesus rescued us from Satan in the same way He rescued the Israelites from the Egyptians, while they kept silent.  We did nothing for our salvation, Jesus did it all.  In the same way that God opened the Red Sea and lead the Israelites to salvation, He opened up the path for our salvation.

 

Let’s praise God this morning for He is our salvation.




Communion
September 2016
 
By Hayley Boud
 
Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent”
 
Today I want us to remember as we take communion how much God fights for us.  He doesn’t only fight for us when we are sick, hurt, tempted or disappointed but He fights for our souls.
 
We were once sinners on the path to destruction and God the Father who loves us so much, He fought for our souls by sending His only son to die for our salvation.  Jesus loves us so much that chose to fight for our souls by leaving heaven and accepting to die on a cross for our salvation.  Jesus fought the battle and won.  Now we are free from death because Jesus fought for us, while we kept silent.
 
Jesus continues to save us, day after day.  He protects us from temptations and keeps us on the narrow path.  Jesus continues to fight for our soul and our salvation.
 
Exodus 14:13, “Fear not, stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today.”  Moses told this to the people of Israel when they were standing in front of the Red Sea with the Egyptians on their back.  The Israelites were sure they would die that day, but Moses told them they would see the salvation of the Lord. 
 
Then in Exodus 15:1, we see the song that Moses and Israel sang once they were saved, “I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted…the Lord is my strength and my song…my salvation, this is my God and I will praise Him”.
 
Let’s thank God and praise Him this morning for all that He has done.  We were like the Israelites standing in front of a Red Sea and we could not save ourselves.  Jesus rescued us from Satan in the same way He rescued the Israelites from the Egyptians, while they kept silent.  We did nothing for our salvation, Jesus did it all.  In the same way that God opened the Red Sea and lead the Israelites to salvation, He opened up the path for our salvation.
 
Let’s praise God this morning for He is our salvation.
 




By Hayley Boud

 

Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent”

 

Today I want us to remember as we take communion how much God fights for us.  He doesn’t only fight for us when we are sick, hurt, tempted or disappointed but He fights for our souls.

 

We were once sinners on the path to destruction and God the Father who loves us so much, He fought for our souls by sending His only son to die for our salvation.  Jesus loves us so much that chose to fight for our souls by leaving heaven and accepting to die on a cross for our salvation.  Jesus fought the battle and won.  Now we are free from death because Jesus fought for us, while we kept silent.

 

Jesus continues to save us, day after day.  He protects us from temptations and keeps us on the narrow path.  Jesus continues to fight for our soul and our salvation.

 

Exodus 14:13, “Fear not, stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today.”  Moses told this to the people of Israel when they were standing in front of the Red Sea with the Egyptians on their back.  The Israelites were sure they would die that day, but Moses told them they would see the salvation of the Lord. 

 

Then in Exodus 15:1, we see the song that Moses and Israel sang once they were saved, “I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted…the Lord is my strength and my song…my salvation, this is my God and I will praise Him”.

 

Let’s thank God and praise Him this morning for all that He has done.  We were like the Israelites standing in front of a Red Sea and we could not save ourselves.  Jesus rescued us from Satan in the same way He rescued the Israelites from the Egyptians, while they kept silent.  We did nothing for our salvation, Jesus did it all.  In the same way that God opened the Red Sea and lead the Israelites to salvation, He opened up the path for our salvation.

 

Let’s praise God this morning for He is our salvation.