Sunday, January 3, 2016

God loves me

By Odon Bulamba

He loves more.  God loves all of us, sinners and righteous but He loves some more.  God is unfair but this means He loves us more

Isa 43:4

Isaiah was a simple man and physically weak.  Some say he was short and skinny and others say that he looked very old while he was young.  God wanted to use this weak man to pass on the message to the nations, including you and me because you are precious in the sight of the Lord. 


When we talk about something that is precious it means that it is something with great treasure and my heart is in it.  If something is not precious, we won’t care about it.  Something precious to us has to be kept safe and given more attention.  For something to be precious it doesn’t mean it is gold or diamond but it can be a simple shirt or glasses or shoes; anything you give more value.  For example when someone passes away we hold onto their photos and we try to look after it and save it to different places (on my phone, on my computer, hard copies) in case I lose a copy.


God is telling us this morning that you look precious in his eyes.  It doesn’t mean you should look precious in the eyes of the world or angels but for God, regardless of your appearance you look precious.


What is precious for you Tyrone?  His car.  If it is precious for you and you see children throwing stones on your car, will you let them play? You will stop them.  You will rather the stones to hit you than the car.  If they damage the car, you will tell the family that the kids damaged the car and they have to pay.


God looks at you like someone who is precious and when someone tries to attack you, God wants to protect you.  Your mind, satan, people in the world, will try to attack you.  In the Kingdom of God, those elected are considered precious by God.  He gave the example in the Bible that there is a narrow and wide path and only a few are elected to go through the narrow path.


Today there are churches where a gay couple wants their marriage to be blessed.  Some in the church will wonder if they should while others will say, no the Bible restricts us while others will say, it’s ok.  But for God, He has said this is not correct so those that know that will say, sorry I can’t.


Those who are precious will go through trouble because of their quality.  If you put stones there, thieves won’t care but put diamonds among them, the thieves will take the diamonds and leave the rest because they are precious.


Those who are targeted in their spiritual life are those that are precious ones.  Pastors today live how they want and don’t care and their lives flourish but those who are children of God, their lives struggle.  There is nothing compared to being precious in God’s eyes.  Whoever sees it, will see we are precious.  God looks at us as precious in his sight and then he honours us. 


Can God honour human being?  How?  One day I was conceived inside the tummy of my mum, God fed me and looked after me and He brought people around my mother to look after her.  The hospital looks after pregnant people and if you complain the nurses and doctors will ask, are you alright?  God will put people around you for a small matter.  Those people surround you start to give you more assistance.


In the past people conceived and struggled by themselves.  Mary was on a donkey while she was nine months pregnant.  Would you accept to go on a donkey at 9 months pregnancy?  It is insulting and abuse and maybe even torture – you can’t do that to a human.  Today, God gives you the privilege where things are easy for us.  You go to a nice hospital (not a barn with animals) and you go in a nice car (not a donkey) with lots of people surrounding you to help. For Mary, she only had joseph.


God has given us all the facilities in our lives because He loves us more.  Would you wear the robe of Solomon today?  You would look ridiculous.  Today we have choices of clothes and so many different clothing stores but at that time, you had no choice.  God told them He loved them and they were precious to Him but we are more loved because He tries to give us every single thing with less pain.


In old time, they wrote the Bible with a feather and ink.  Today, Hayley is typing as I speak, 40 words per minute and she can easily edit it but with ink you can’t edit it. 

Because God loves us so much, He brings people to us to serve us and interact with us so we can have a good relationship and we can continue to shine (like diamonds).  We couldn’t talk about diamonds while it is in the soil, we can only talk about it while it is seen. God says He loves you.  What does that mean to you?


God’s love means that He would send His child to die for us.  “Nothing can clean your sin except the blood of My Son so your sins can be forgiven.  Because you are forgiven, you are welcomed to My Kingdom.  If you don’t accept the gift of My Son, you will never be clean or enter the Kingdom of God.  Accept My Son, accept to repent and I will open the door of heaven for you to come here for eternity”.  He does this because He loves you.


When people come to visit us, we want them to leave after a certain time but some don’t want to leave.  One time some friends visited me at 6pm and at 1am, they were still there.  I tried to make hints but they kept saying, just give me 5 mins.  At 2am, they wouldn’t go. 

In the past when you visited those friends of mine, they wouldn’t want you to leave but now the wife is doing tertiary studies and now she is too busy for talking and visiting.  She now talks about assignments.  Yet in the past, she loved people and she loved them to visit her, why is she turning them down now?


When we are busy, we put love aside (sometimes). Regardless of how busy God is, love comes first.  When we pray, he listens to all of us together.  He takes care of all of us together.  If you had to listen to all the world at once, you would be tired, stressed and you would turn down the noise.  God loves us and never forgets us and never leave us.

When God tells you that He loves you, do you tell Him you love Him or do you also produce actions that speak louder than words?  God doesn’t just use words but He supplies you with all that you need; children, food, clothes, you need rest and he gives you sleep, you need to work and he gives you the strength to work.  Our physical aspects has millions of needs and He gives without you having to pay back and on top of that, He says, I love you.


When you grow up in Africa, it is rare to hear your parents say I love you.    You are born and you grow up and you will never hear the words I love you.  In New Zealand we hear it all the time and it is so sweet and it strengthens you when someone tells you that they love you and when they bring actions that show love, you feel amazing.


Yesterday my boss came and gave me an envelope.  I said thank you and put the envelope aside.  When he left, I heard in my head that someone is coming and you will give them $1,000 but I thought, how when I only have $5?  A lady came into work and she asked for $1,000 because she was in trouble.  She said that some people are here and she has to pay them back today or she will die.  I told her that I didn’t have the money and I was sorry.  She went upstairs of the Warehouse and went around the store for hours. 


I opened the envelope and found $1,000.  I found the lady again and asked her what was the problem.  She told me that she used to sell drugs for someone and that she had lost the money and I lied and said the money was here at the Warehouse.  She pointed out the man and he had tattoos all over him with the f-word and kill on his hands.  The lady said that she had told God that if He pays this debt off for me, I will become a believer.  I gave her the envelope with the money and she took it.


In Luke 5: Jesus was preaching and then He jumped into the boat and He told Simon to move the boat from the shore.  At the end of the preaching He asked how are you? Simon told him that day and night I have been here without catching any fish. He was a fisherman with many skills to know how to catch fish.


Jesus said, “Push your boat deeper there, and throw your net”.  Simon was thinking no, that is a waste of time but he did it anyway because God had told him to.  Many times in life we don’t want to do things but we do them because God told us to. Sometimes it’s hard to forgive or accept situations but we have to because of God.


Simon picked up net and threw them where Jesus had told him to.  You can have skills in life but if God doesn’t help you, your skills are nothing.  You can know the Bible, how to pray, how to look after your husband or neighbour but if God doesn’t show you the location where to practise it, you will get nothing.  Simon got a lot of fish to the point the net started to break.


Sometimes God will push you after you can’t go any further and this is the time that God tells you to follow his instruction.  “But God,” we complain “I’m tired with this situation, you know my problem, for weeks, years I have suffered”.  God replies, “Regardless of tiredness, it is time now to pick up your net and throw it here”.  God doesn’t pull for you but you have to pull yourself and if the net is full of fish and it breaks you will lose everything. Sometimes with the abundance of blessings you start to think you will keep it for yourself and you don’t know how to share.  When that happens the net will break and you will lose everything. 

When disciples saw the net was full, they called their partners to come and join.  Others got involved and the boats were full to point they started to sink.  Is it really important to share what we have; our time, our love, our blessings, and everything we have with others.  Do we share or do we say, “no this $5 is mine and I have a program for it”.  God will tell you your boat will break and you will lose the $5. 


Sharing is not only about money.  Your smile is enough to change peoples’ lives.  A smile encourages you to express yourself freely but if you see a person with a grumpy face, people will feel discouraged to come close.  Your facial expressions can help others.  God has put people around us to help us and work for us and after Peter calling the others to help, everyone was happy.  God said, Peter I will make you to fish men, follow me.

Peter had to leave everything and follow Jesus.  We have to leave everything behind and work for God.  If you do all the work for your boss and then God says, “Don’t ask your boss for the money, leave it here”, how will you feel? Maybe you will answer, “God I would offer you money from that money”.  God only needs you to follow his instructions.


If I were Peter, I might ask to take care of the fish first, to take some home for my family or to sell them etc.  When you jump into a business, it can be a business of money or learning, is it easy to accept God’s love to stop now (if that is what He asks) and leave that now?  Or is it easy to go back to school at aged 70 if that is what God asks of you?  Or to be pregnant at Sarah’s age.  How does it feel to come to God and ask to bury your child first and He says, “Let them bury themselves, come to church”.


Jesus was praying the night before He was crucified.  Jesus who was One with God felt He was alone and the situation was tough.  On the cross, He said, where are you?  When we feel like God is away from us, it doesn’t mean He is away from us, He loves us more because a victory will follow after that and then we will see His glory in our lives.


Sarah gave birth and it was a precious story of Isaac.  God loves you more at all levels. You can be who you are, rich or not, and you can feel how you feel but God loves you more and for that reason you have to put your trust in Him (just trust, that is all He needs). It can take 20 years before you get want you want, but He knows what you need.


God gives us people to love but we don’t come close to them.  They come close to us but we don’t have time.  The love of God is eternal.  Love is kind; is God kind with me? Of course.  Is God selfish with me? No.  Does God show all the attributes of love in my life?  If you don’t feel the kindness of God in your life, tell Him, “I don’t feel this of you in my life.  I want to see you caring for me, I want to feel your love in my life – in physical and spiritual life”. 

A few days ago something landed on my foot and I felt I lost my toes but I asked God, “if you love me help me not to feel pain or break my toes” and it was fine.  God is capable to do anything and to change situations.  He is even able to make day longer and turn the night into day.  What you believe is impossible in life, God is able to change it.


Many want to give up. A pastor of a big church would say to me, “Why don’t more people come to my church? We need more”.  I said, “Pastor, do you know the names of at least 100 people in your church?  How often do you visit them? If God gives you 5000 members and you are unable to visit 500, what will you do with them especially since you don’t want to share your power.  You want to be you alone but you can’t pull the net of the fish, it will break.” Many people come to this church and many people leave and the Pastor doesn’t know it is because there are too many in the net.


When you need to pull the net (you have problems or joy) ask others to join you and God will bless you.



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