Saturday, February 13, 2016

My Soul is Tired of My Life

By Odon Bulamba

The following is a summary of Odon's message typed as he spoke (not the full version).

I would like first of all to welcome all of you in the powerful name of Jesus as a special guest of Jesus.  You are welcome as a friend, daughter and son of God and may God bless you.  We gather here this morning for one purpose because God is love, that is it.  Because God is love and because of his love, He brings us together to worship Him and spend some time with Him.  For those who are lucky, they have time to spend with their parents.  Imagine a child growing up without parents.  How does that affect them?  How does it affect their life?  We are blessed as children of God to grow up with our Father.

Job 10:1

Job was human being, a man and we don’t know his child hood but we know he was blessed and had everything he needed.  Suddenly, God decided to allow satan to play with his life.  Imagine as a son of God, your Father says, I will allow satan to step in your life and take control of a few things of your life.  We all know who satan is.  We all hate to hear that satan has stepped in our business. But we when God says, I will open the door for satan to visit you for five days to bring disaster, as a human being, you might say, “what, God do you really love me?  How can you give my life to satan to muck around with it?”  It’s hard but everything is possible for God.


Job said that his soul hates his life, “my soul is tired of my life”.  Have you reached a point where you feel you hate your life and you can’t take it anymore?  Have you reached a point in your life where everything is turning from where everything was good and suddenly it is bad.  Many people will stand up and say, “In Jesus’ name, satan go away”, but God says, “No I’m the one allowing it, because I love you”.


God was proud of Job so he allowed satan to do something to Job, “I love him and I trust him, he can’t give up”.  Satan says, “you know very well Robbie, he is only serving you because you protect him”.  When God says, “go ahead satan step in this person’s life”, satan will take it seriously and he will know where to start and where to touch.  When you win the battle, satan goes back to God and says, “it’s because you didn’t allow me to touch a certain part”.  Then you will see your life is a battle after a battle.  It’s no longer a test but a big battle with those around us making our life difficult and there are problems everywhere.  Day after day you start to pull your hair out because things are getting tougher and tougher.


For Job, the first event was ok.  He managed it.  Then two mins later, a bigger event, and then his children and then he found it was hard and asked, “where should I go to find a solution?”  The Bible says that he cried and tore his clothes and started to moan and didn’t know where to go.  When you are crossing a problem, where do you take your refuge?  “God help me”.  God says, “you have to handle the situation”.  Some may try to find a witch. 


You explain to a friend your situation and they say, “sorry, I will pray for you.” but in her heart she has her own problems.  You ask a friend to advise your husband.  The friend will say, “it will be alright, seek counselling”.  You go to counsellor and they ask you many questions and diagnose you as having a disorder while it is a spiritual problem.  Medicine will never fix a test from God.  You can go to any pharmacy and there will be no medicine (if the matter is spiritual rather than physical).


Job was proud of his God.  Job was a friend of God but God didn’t let the test go. God sent friends who were believers and said, “you must be a sinner that is why you are paying the price”.  When you are going through hardship, you need people to support you, to sit next to you and pray with you but we are the first ones to say, “now you are paying the price for what you did”.  Imagine if Ange’s mum tells her, “that is your fault you are crossing this situation”.  How will Ange feel?  “Because I trust you mum, you are the only one who can help but you disappoint me”.


Job was disappointed with his friends.  When those around you show you that you are wrong, they tell you that God is not with you and maybe you should divorce that God.  While I was in Congo recently, a young girl asked me, “why are you complaining?”  I was complaining because I went to a church and shared a message in Congo around the 12th January this year.  I spoke on Mathew 5, blessed are those with clean hearts.  That was God speaking to the church.  The pastor came to me and said we will have our communion now and I want you to lead the communion because the message was so touching. 


More than 70% in that church were on their knees crying to God and it was a big church with a few thousand people and I felt it was a privilege to lead communion.  I was presented with a glass of wine and I wanted to take it but I doubted whether I should.  I took it anyway.  The person took the glass away and brought a new one for the rest of the congregation.  A few minutes later, my mouth started to feel itchy.  My tongue started to swell.  I rushed to hospital and was told I was given poison and that I have less than 48hours to live.  There were not regular flights to the hospital for treatment.


When I complained to that young girl in Congo, she said, “that is nothing what you went through.  Think about me, when I was four years old, my parents fled the country”.  The young girl has been raped more than 250 times and if you talk about all the problems she has faced, we will cry.  She told me, “Your problem is like cutting fingernails.  When God pushed me to be treated like a slave, like an animal, I couldn’t smile for 20 years”.  She didn’t smile for the first time until she was 24.  The first time she got to meet with her dad, she was 27 years old.  What did she do wrong? Was she a sinner?  Some will say she is cursed, she is reaping what she sowed.


Maybe your problem is not a curse or a result of sin.  God allows you to be there because He loves you and He wants to prove to satan that this one is my child, go ahead and you will see that she will not sin against me.  Most of the time we complain when we cross hard times.  Job was always glorifying God.  When you go through hardship do you remember the presence of God or do you feel like God doesn’t exist?


There is nothing more precious than our lives.  When you start to feel your soul doesn’t like your life, should you kill yourself?  Should we quit everything and stay the way I am.  What step will you take? Drugs, alcohol, night clubbing?  Because of love, God has given me and you the chance to be given a crown one day and that crown will be according to the victory that you gained.  If you are someone who gives up the battle, who will fight for you?  God is in control, remember that.


Job told his wife, now I am healed and he was blessed more than before.  God starts to bless us now more than before.  Why didn’t Job just divorce his wife?  When he was going through hardship, she was not a good wife.  The friends were not good friends.  Some times our judgements can be wrong.  Job continued with his wife and friends and his life was blessed.


Do you want to be blessed?  We all want God to shine in our lives but when God wants us to shine the light for His Kingdom in this world, we don’t want to because we believe it is hard work.  Light doesn’t shine without heat or fire.  When you touch fire, it hurts.  God wants us to shine and in order to shine He will start a small fire, maybe in your feet and you can’t walk anymore due to the pain.  Then satan says, that is not enough, let me give her pain in the back.  You used to bend down but now you can’t and walking is impossible.  Doctors will give medicine but it doesn’t work.


Then you can’t sleep and in the morning you have to go to work with the boss on your shoulders and you feel like quitting.  Maybe under your breath you will abuse your boss.  You go outside for lunch and you drop it on the floor and you feel very angry.  God looks at you to see how you will handle the situation.


In English the word job means work which means you have to use your strength both physical and mental.  I have a job for you, doesn’t mean you will enjoy it, you will probably sweat.  When you were born, you had everything with parents and family and at some stage God started to change your life and you feel the responsibilities.  At the age of six, you didn’t know the cost of jeans.  At the age of 7, your mum tells you to practise piano and no matter how much you fight your mum will insist.  For example, today Ange can play the piano really well, all because her mum pushed her to practise.  What Ange learnt 20 years ago is a remedy for our souls and glorifies God.  If Lois didn’t push her, where would Ange be today?  The work had to be done before getting the result could be there.


For Job, after doing the work and going through all those horrible things, he says, “Praise be Your Name”.  Do you praise God when things go dark or when you miss the opportunity or when you are sick.  Maybe you will complain, “I hate my life, I hate what I have been living”.  We men can sometimes be bad to our wives.  We treat them like tennis balls throwing them away and women have to build the families.  How tough is your man?  You know the secret of your house.  Jesus is the man of the church and treats us toughly not to be mean but to teach us.  You go to God and He pushes you away. God sends you away to practise like Lois did to Ange.


You feel like you have been learning and committed but it doesn’t work.  I was happy at the beginning to learn piano but after some time, I felt like giving up.  When we are saved, we are happy but after a few months we feel it is a burden to belong to Jesus.  “For those that want to follow after Me, they have to carry their cross”.  How heavy is your cross?  Don’t compare your cross to someone else.  Yours can be plastic and someone else can be metal or wood but only Jesus can help you carry the cross.  Don’t feel like hating your life, put that aside and ask God to help you to live your life. 


The special gift that God has given us is life and after life, it is gain to die.  Is your life Christ?  If yes, praise God.  If not, tell Jesus, “I want my life to be You”.  How can life become Christ?  By forgetting everything and putting Jesus before everything. 


A man said, “I have been doing good,” and Jesus said, “Give your belongings to Jesus”.  Are you ready to give up something?  What have you given up?  Pride, talking to people badly, thinking negatively.  Most people think to enter the Kingdom of God is when you are not a sinner but many Muslims try very hard to live a life of morals but unless they have given their life to Jesus, they won’t enter the Kingdom of God.  You have to give up everything and give your whole life to Jesus.


Job said he was sorry and regretted the day he was born.  Have you regretted the day you were born?  What you are going through is hard but God, Your Lord, loves you and there is a season for that and it will finish.  Everything under the sun, there is a time for it.  A time to eat and then a time for vomiting, a time for laughing and then a time for crying, time for sickness and then a time for healing.  Most of us don’t want the negative things.  When hard things come we don’t accept it.  Love our enemies and pray for them.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

John 1-3

By Hayley Boud

I recently watched the movie, “Gospel of John” and was reminded of my salvation.  When the right time came, the Holy Spirit touched me and I followed Jesus.  I believe this is the same for all who are saved.


The movie of John started with John the Baptist who said in John 1:35, “Behold the Lamb of God”.  Two of John’s disciples heard John and followed Jesus.  These two men spent the whole day with Jesus.  One of the two men (Andrew) was obviously touched by the Holy Spirit because after spending the day with Jesus, he then went to find his brother and told him, “we have found the Messiah”.  Andrew then brought his brother to Jesus. 


This reminds me of my own salvation because I had been going to a Bible study for a number of years and had heard the message but it was only by the Holy Spirit did I understand that Jesus is the Messiah (the Anointed One = the way, the truth and the life).  I can’t take any credit for being saved, it is God’s gift revealed through His Holy Spirit. 


I think it’s also important to remember that John the Baptist spoke words that revealed to Andrew that Jesus is the Lamb of God.  Andrew then passed on the message to his brother.  Therefore, our salvation was the result of God’s servants passing on the message to us and if we want others to be saved, we have to be active in sharing the truth.  We don’t have to freak out and fear what we will say because we can keep it simple and just say one sentence at a time.  All John said was five words and it was enough for Andrew to follow Jesus.  Andrew only spoke five words too.


If we want those around us to follow Jesus, the important thing is to pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to speak through us.  We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help those around us to understand God’s Word and for the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth.  We can say a whole lot of words but without the Holy Spirit, those words will be useless.  We can say only five words and with the Holy Spirit, our friends, our family, our work colleagues, they can begin to follow Jesus.


When Jesus saw Simon, He called him Cephas which means Peter.  The next day Jesus found Philip and said, “Follow me”.  So he did.  When Jesus calls you, you somehow know it’s God and you follow.  It’s a miracle.  How could Philip know it was God?  Imagine you are doing your own thing and someone says, “follow me”.  For example, today my dog peed in my car.  If I didn’t clean up the mess, the pee would really smell after some time in that hot Hamilton sun.  After a few days, my car would stink so bad. 


Imagine if Bertila said, “Take me to the supermarket, now”.  First I would think how rude is this girl.  She speaks in the imperative, demanding me to do something without even asking me nicely or using the word please.  So rude!  Then I would think, I have better things to do such as cleaning my car.  I would even think that Bertila is selfish for expecting me to just drop what I’m doing to take her to the supermarket.  The only way I would do that, is if the Holy Spirit revealed to me.


I think the fact that Philip followed Jesus is a miracle.  I think the fact that we are all gathered here tonight as followers of Jesus is a miracle.  How did we know to follow Jesus?  How did we know it was God calling us?  Let’s remember tonight the miracle of salvation and let’s thank God for all He has done for us.  When Jesus was on earth, He didn’t tell every person He met to follow Him.  There were only 12 disciples.  We are privileged to be one of Christ’s disciples.  Let’s be grateful and let’s also find ways of sharing this with others.  It’s easy to tell someone a simple story of how God has help us. 


We can read in John 1:45 that Philip went and found Nathanael and said, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, Son of Joseph”.  Only the Holy Spirit could have revealed that truth to Philip but ALSO he would have had to have read the scriptures to know that he had found the one the scriptures talk about. 


Therefore, it is important to read ALL of the Bible.  We should not think that the Holy Spirit is all we need to teach us and lead us.  We need to make an effort to read the Word of God so that the Holy Spirit can teach us and lead us.  If we don’t read the Word of God, we will become confused and can easily be led astray.  We might follow after another god because we don’t know what is written in the scriptures. 


Mathew 24:4-5, “And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘See to it that no one misleads you.  For many will come in My name, saying ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many”.  We have to be careful because many will be misled.  Not just a few but many.  I have seen it already where Christians are too lazy to read the Word of God and prefer to listen to preachings without checking if it matches the Bible.  Let’s not be among those that are misled but be like Philip who knew the Law and knew what the Prophets had said. 


When Philip tells Nathanael the good news, Nathanael isn’t convinced and answers, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”  Philip tells him to come and see.  When Nathanael meets Jesus, Jesus says in John 1:47, “Behold an Israelite of whom is no guile”. Nathanael answers, “How do you know me?”  Jesus replies, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you”.  Nathanael suddenly believes but only the Holy Spirit can convince.  Nathanael could have thought it was some kind of trick or simply hardened his heart but the Holy Spirit convinced him.


When I became a true Christian, God used scripture to convince me and I tried to wrestle out of it but it was impossible.  I fought all night with God knowing that to be a true Christian meant giving up everything.  Eventually I gave in.  Just like Nicodemus in John 3, he came to Jesus at night time and I’m sure he had to wrestle with God’s words too.


Night time (spiritual night) is the best time to meet with Jesus because we are in darkness and that is the right time for needing light in order to see clearly.  It’s when we are in sin that we need a saviour, John 3:19-21.


John 3:5, “Unless you are born again”, we need the Holy Spirit for a spiritual birth.  John 3:8, “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  That is the way with the Holy Spirit, He goes to whom God wishes.  The Holy Spirit blew on us and gave us life spiritually in the same way God blew on Adam and Eve and gave them physical life.  Adam didn’t ask to be created or given life, that was God’s choice to blow on him.


Before the Holy Spirit touched my life, I was walking around in darkness but I didn’t know it.  Then the Holy Spirit blew on me and suddenly I can see what I didn’t before.  I saw that I was a sinner and that I needed Jesus.  I began to understand the Bible which didn’t make much sense before.  The Holy Spirit blew on me and gave me life.


As this verse says, you can’t see the wind but you can see the effect of it.  When a person is saved, we should see the effect of this salvation, we should see fruit of the Holy Spirit.  We should see joy, patience, love, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, self-control, faithfulness and peace.  Not only should we see these fruits but they should be growing and getting bigger and bigger.


More than once in my life I have been at a meeting in a Pentecostal church and the believers have asked to pray for me so I can be baptised in the Holy Spirit.  When I explain that I have been baptised, they don’t believe me because they think the sign is speaking in tongues.  This is one thing that really annoys me.  The sign to know if you are baptised in the Holy Spirit is NOT speaking in tongues.  The sign is whether the fruit of the Holy Spirit is growing in you. 


For example, if my lemon tree grew tall and provided shade for my dog and branches for the birds, this would be nice but it wouldn’t prove the tree was a lemon tree.  The lemons prove which tree it belongs.  If I have the fruit of joy, patience, love etc, then I prove I belong to God.  If I have the fruit of selfishness and bitterness, I prove I belong to satan. 


Speaking in tongues isn’t proof you belong to Jesus because even satan can provide you with that gift but what satan can’t do is transform you into the likeness of Christ.  As Jesus said to Nathanael, “you will see greater things than these” and what is greater than seeing people’s lives transformed?  There is nothing greater than seeing a person changed from an impatient, judgemental, rude, proud person to one who is kind, merciful and compassionate. 




Monday, February 8, 2016

It would be good

By Odon Bulamba
Luke 12: 37, “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them”.


This verse contains two parts (1) it would be good for those who will see the messiah coming… (2) the Lord is going to come take all of us around the table and we will go to the kitchen and He will serve us.


Some Bible versions say, “blessed are those that will be part of that group,” while other versions say, “it will be good” and today my message is, “it would be good”.  How often do we say that, it would be good if I were blessed or it would be good if I were rich or if I were taller or if I had a better job or if I were stronger or younger or I was a good singer.  Some might say, New Zealand is a good country but it would be good if John Key wasn’t the Prime-minister.  We say it would be good when we have a dream for a better life but we never want to say it would be good to fail my test or to break my leg.  When would it be good for you?


When you wake up in the morning, you feel hungry but lazy to get the food, you might say, “it would be good if I had servants to bring me breakfast in bed”.  When you feel too tired to drive, you might think it would be good if you had a chauffeur.  At 5am people woke up to watch the world cup rugby (like an early morning prayer) because the All Blacks (AB’s) were playing.  Even those who went to bed at 3am made sure they were awake at 5am.  Watching the game was good because people were happy to watch the Australians get smashed and many people said, “it would be good for AB’s to win”.  Many of us, our hearts were pumping fast and people could shout with joy.


To wear the black jersey is not an issue of 2 seconds.  Why do they give those players the chance to wear the black jersey and to be called AB’s?  You have to prove yourself to be an AB and the process starts at the age of 5 years.  The more the player works hard, the more his path starts to be seen by some people and then the selectors start to say, “it would be good if they were in my club”.  Then after working hard, the selectors start to say, “it would be good to see him as an AB”. 


Then us Kiwis see who was selected to represent New Zealand.  Why did they pick up Richie McCaw but left behind Tyrone.  It is not fair, we are all part of this nation and we all want to share?  Why don’t people complain about that?  Why don’t they go to court?  Why don’t we deserve it?  There are people who are even better than our AB’s but they didn’t get selected.  You can be shocked to see extremely talented people who are not part of the AB’s.  The selectors also look at your behaviour, how you act, how you grew up, your past games, how good/bad you were to other players and all of that will make them decide whether you deserve to be on the list.


After the pre-selection which they can choose maybe 50, only 15 will be on the field and they have to work hard and maybe even break their bones.  If you look at their ears, they have lost shape but those players don’t give up.  Even with the pain they keep training hard and fight.  The coach who doesn’t play the game will tell who will be playing on the day and who won’t be so there is another selection after being selected.  That small group of 15 will play the game and if you don’t perform well, the coach will call you off the field and call someone else in.


These are the rules of the game.  Do you think all those 50 who were selected love each other?  No, because although they are in the same team, they are rivals.  In our church today, in the Kingdom of God, we have people who are fighting because the roles we are playing, someone else can play it better if we are not careful.  That is how God works.  For example, the ten virgins: the five foolish virgins couldn’t come back inside because they moved outside.


God gives us everything that we need and it is up to you to choose what will be good for you.  It was good for the AB’s to win but after winning, what is next?  Some have been training since they were five years old and now they will retire after an 80 minute game.  For example, we prepare for a trip to Rotorua and start packing a week in advance and drive for two hours to get there.  The challenge God is giving us is, what is good for you?  Is it good to wear the jersey of the AB’s and be seen on tv?  When I take off the jersey, someone else will wear it.  Where are the famous rugby players of the past?  Today we are talking about someone new and tomorrow it will be someone else.


God says, those that endure, I will welcome them in and cook the meal for you.  Some versions say He will wear an apron to prepare a meal for you.  Your king/boss will cook for you.  How will you react?  I have been serving God for years but there is a time now that He will tell us to sit down so He can serve us with His menu and ask us what we want, “what is your order?”  While God is preparing the food for us, we sit around the table.  Can you imagine our conversation?  What will we talk about while Jesus is in the kitchen?  Will you talk about yourself?  Will you be shocked because you know you are servants and should be doing something for Him?


It would be good to let God to serve you. That is what you should choose in your life because He knows your taste and what will upset your stomach and knows your senses.  For example, God knows that if you give to Trish salt, she won’t like it because He knows her inside out.  When asked, what would be good for you, many people will choose material things like a Porsche or mansion or knowledge or capacities to do things. 


Solomon said in Ecclesiastes that is vanity so everything we think is good is vanity.  If everything is vanity and useless, what should I ask from God?  Although Solomon may have asked for something good when he said give me wisdom, he has passed away and left it behind so even wisdom is vanity.  Why didn’t he say, “Lord serve me what is good for me because you know what is good for me”?


If you are on the plane and you ask for something that is not in the plane, they won’t land the plane just for you.  God knows very well what is stored in the Kingdom of God.  You have to decide what is good for you.


“And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision”, Daniel 8:16.


In Daniel 8:16, a voice of a man asked Gabriel (an angel of God) to explain the vision.  What is your vision for your life apart from buying a house or travelling? We can have millions of visions but we need someone to explain those visions.  When Jesus says I will prepare a meal for you, do we understand the meaning of that?  What does it mean?  We need a clarification of it.  I’m sure God was not talking about a kitchen like ours and to start cooking but He was talking about something deeper: I’m preparing myself to welcome you to my Kingdom of God but we have to share a meal.  What type of meal is He talking about?  Are we really going to eat normal food in heaven?  No, because our bodies will change and we won’t even feel hungry anymore.


What lessons is He wanting us to learn?  What is that meal?  There are no more temptations in heaven so we don’t need to read the Word of God to read anymore but we have to eat.  What is brimstone?  In Daniel we see the angel Gabrielle (find out the meaning of Gabrielle).  This angel came down to earth.  Can you give another example when he came down?  He visited Mary and told her, “You are going to conceive and the child who will be born will be called Jesus”.


There were 100’s of girls in Israel were preparing themselves to become the mother of Jesus but this Mary who was no one, was the one that God chose.  Mary who saw an angel, did not know if she recognised an angel.  Will you recognise an angel?  Is it a creature with wings and white skin and a robe?  How do they look?  The angel will be the one who will explain the vision.


In Africa, people will say to you, from now on you will receive the gift of prophecy, in Jesus name, receive.  Is really God the one giving it to me or is this man just telling me to make me feel good.  In the end, you will see everyone is a prophet.  To become a prophet is the role of the HOLY SPIRIT, not a man.  Unless there is a revelation of the HOLY SPIRIT to inform the person.  Without the Holy Spirit, you will start to live in confusion. 


Day after day a tree will be there without fruit and when a tree grows big without fruit, it gets cut down.  People today only want to hear what they want to hear and if you talk about things they don’t like, they will keep their distance but Jesus is saying come together around the table and I’ll leave you there for a second while I serve you.  When the Baptist, the Brethren and the Pentecostal are there together at the table and the king leaves the room, the conversation starts, what church are you from?  You will start to promote who we are rather than what we should be.  It would be good to be a child of God rather than to belong to a church of this earth.


Yesterday I met two men at Noel Lemmings.  One said he belongs to Hamilton East church and another one said, Rototuna.  I asked, do you both believe? Yes.  In what? God.  Who is God? Our creator? Where does He live? Heaven.  I kept asking questions and they answered, “if you try to discover everything from the Bible, you will become crazy”. 


I told these men that my cell-phone is my best friend.  Our phone knows better who we are and what we intend to do, all our secrets are on our phones, all our conversations.  Whenever you leave your phone for two seconds, you rush back to your phone and unlock the phone using the code that restricts access to others from knowing what is going on between your phone and others.


Imagine if our phones can become our Jesus and wherever you go, you are in contact. Where is the wifi, where is the password for this phone? What is the password to understand the Word of God?  Then I come to the kingdom of the internet and I can choose from it what I want.  What do you do with the internet?  There are millions of website.  Where do you go? Facebook, youtube?  When you use the phone, everything you get on line, you get a smile and can communicate without opening your mouth to people miles away.  How many friends do you have on facebook?  About 100.  It’s normal, from there you can make 1000’s of friends.  People exchange ideas, photos, events and even send messages and videos in the middle of doing something. 


Jesus says, I will be your servant and I want to serve you because I want to teach you, I want you taste the true meal.  The bread is my body, the wine is my blood.  How does bread taste? You can’t explain it.  You can know it tastes like bread but you can’t explain how it tastes.  You can say wine is bitter but you can’t explain bitterness. 


I told those men that my phone is my friend but I should replace it with Jesus.  For example, if I use my phone to keep in contact with my friends then I should remember to keep in contact with Jesus.  How often do I interact with Jesus?  When He tells me to sit around the table, what do I do?  What will be the first meal in heaven when we go there?  Houses are there.  Do we really need houses, beds, lights? No, they mean something as metaphors.  When you go to Australia, you will know what motel you will stay in and you will look up on google to be prepared.  If you get to Australia and your hotel is different to what you saw on the internet, you will complain and declare, “I’m not spending $600 to stay in such a place”.


The Bible has grey hair.  Some parts are dark.  We have to stop and ask ourselves what does He want to teach us from this?  Zacchaeus at the age of an adult had to climb a tree. People will say that is not normal.  The Bible is clear, we have been selected and we are his children and He is approaching us to feed us.  In order to eat, you need a mouth and tongue to taste and a throat to swallow the food and the entire body system to operate.  If you don’t have a throat, how will He offer food to you if you can’t eat or even don’t sit down at the table or don’t wait for Him? It would be good for me to one day understand the Word of God because if you understand it, no one will lead you astray.


 The Word of God is not only about sin.


When we see the angel Gabrielle, we believe he is handsome and perfect and attractive but I have come across verses about cherubim with eyes all over their bodies.  Will you come close to such a creature?  Six wings.  Sometimes, people wear masks and children can scream while behind the mask is their mum/dad.  The scary mask creates fear.  Why did God create these scary looking creatures and talk about these images in Revelations and Daniel.  We don’t want to hear about it.  Was He happy to scare us?  What was His plan behind this creation?  When we start to think like that, we start to understand the Word of God. 


God, what did you want me to understand about the lamb with one horn here and another there.  These a monsters and we feel that monsters are evil.  These are the kinds of preachings we need because my people get lost because of lack of understanding.  We need discernment to understand and you can’t get discernment from a shop, it only comes when you understand and you only understand when you search and learn.  How can you tell someone is lying to you.  You know it’s not true.  No matter what the child says, you know that it is not true.  How do you know that? What is your secret?  Or someone takes something in the house, you will know who did it.  It is because we live with people and know who they are.  The spirit of discernment, the HOLY SPIRIT that lives in us, does not hide secrets from us.  People today think the HOLY SPIRIT gifts are like a mystery.


People today are getting confused.  Who is a prophet?  What is prophecy?  God can tell you this is coming and it will be fulfilled, then we know they are a true prophet.  You are the child of God, created in the image of God and it means something to us.  What reflects God in me?  How do I look like God?  You will only know that when we know God.  How can I compare myself to God, if I don’t know God?  The solid food is for those who are believers who go deeper and deeper to worship the person we know.  We can only worship the one we know.


What would be good for you and for your family and those around you?  Let’s pray.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

When God Delays

Mathew 25

By Odon Bulamba


Thank you for all your prayers and all for being present today.  Today I’m going to share with you a short and simple topic: when Jesus delays.  Most of the time we need to see God intervene as fast as possible but He doesn’t, He takes time.  What can we do?


Phil 4: 6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”


Somehow, don’t worry, don’t be shocked with the situation you are crossing, don’t be disappointed with what you see but in every situation, go in front of God and talk to Him.  Use your prayers as a tool, tell God about it and give supplications.  In French that means to beg, “please give this to me, I need it”.  It means to present to that person what you are thinking about.  It means to express yourself in a way that you will get what you need, to ask with all your heart and present your case in order to earn what you need.  God our Father, knows all our needs and understands who we are but He wants us to talk to Him.


What is a prayer?  Many people think that praying means kneeling, raising hands, closing eyes and looking at the sky.  Many people think that it means standing at the wall hitting their heads.  Some think, you have to be on your knees 40 days and 40 nights.  Prayer is simply your communication with God and when you talk to your friend you don’t only talk about your daily problems but you will talk about your day, the future, what if’s etc.  Talk to God like you talk to your father, “dad how are you today, when are we going to do this and that”.  Exchanging ideas.


In Mathew 25 there is a story of 10 beautiful girls who have prepared themselves for the bridegroom to come to marry them.  As they were waiting it was getting late because the groom delayed.  At around midnight there was a shout, “the lord has come”.  Five of them had brought oil before going to the place but others did not care because they believed they had enough. 


My point here is about those 10 virgin girls.  These girls were educated, they knew where to go and understood the meaning of life and kept themselves from other men and were virgins.  Those who were not virgins did not have right to be married unless they were a widow.  If it was discovered that you are not a virgin, you could be stoned to death.  These girls started to train themselves in how to take care of the house and family and their fiancĂ©e met with them. Saying I Love is not enough when you start a relationship but your actions and way you think will add to the “I love you”.


Many boys will start to love a girl for the appearance while their actions are ugly.  People will become engaged after taking time to know each other and observe each other.  Colleen will know Keith very well and she will know if something happened in the house was the caused by Keith because she understands the person.  Our relationship with God is the same.  When we tell Jesus we love him, He says I love you too but we have to become husband and wife.  Jesus knows our weaknesses and strengtHoly Spirit.  Sometimes we think God is weak when He delays.


As the 10 virgins prepared for their marriage, they would have told people that today is the day of our marriage.  Before Ange wedded Pete, she took time.  Ladies will choose what to eat and not eat and think in advance what they will wear.  Pete went to town to a men’s suit hire shop and they chose what to wear on that day.  Ange also had to find what to wear on that day because it was a special day.  A day that can’t be compared to other days.


The 10 virgin girls found all they needed for the wedding ceremony.  Some took oil and lamps while it was day time.  Others took only lamps believing that if it delays a bit, we will use our lamps but during the night we will sleep. 


When Jesus came, it was midnight, He also delayed.  Why didn’t the bridegroom of the 10 virgins come during the day when he could see the appearance of these beautiful ladies who had prepared themselves.  When he arrived, the five with oil said to the five without oil, “because you don’t have enough, go and buy some” and they thought it was a good idea.  When the five virgins came back, the door was closed.  Whose fault was that? Should we blame them for not taking enough oil, or the groom for being late or the other five girls who advised them to go out.  If I were among the 5 foolish, I would say, “no I’m not going out, it’s dark and my lamp is dead, it is too dangerous, who will save me?  I will stay inside and benefit from your light”.  The light could have been shared, it can’t be hidden from others.


That is where the church today is, we don’t want to make the right decision because we think it’s better to have our own way, not to follow others or listen to others.  E.g. some people will tell you that in our church, this is how we pray and this is how it must be done.  If you pray in a different way, then your prayers are not good. 


Ange can sing a song from Hillsong, “I give you my heart,” and maybe she sang it better than Darlene and maybe Darlene will say, “no Ange, you have to find your own song and not sing or publish my song”.  Christians today are telling each other not to use our songs without permission.  We get it for free so we should give for free.  We have to buy cd’s and books. They will tell you to go outside and find your own oil and your own anointment because my song blesses others.  “I’m so amazing and I’m happy when I see people singing my song but I want to be the only worship leader and when others use my song, they don’t lead properly”, and they tell others to compose their own songs.


Those foolish virgins believed it was a good idea to find oil and they wasted time by living a life of competition to get their own oil. The lord didn’t need 20 lamps in the room.  One light was enough.  Maybe all ten could agree to share the lamps.  They could have used one lamp at a time rather than 10.  There are strategies of working with others.  Moses was anointed and he shared with 70 people.  The little boy who had one fish shared it and it fed thousands.  When you have time to pray, pray for others.  When you read the Word of God, share it with others.


Sometimes Jesus drags His feet and walks slower than a snail and when He reaches you, you wonder where He was.  A good example of this is in John 11, the story of Lazarus who was a friend of Jesus.  The friends and family of Lazarus sent a message to Jesus that His friend is sick.  Jesus answered, “he won’t die but if so, all for the glory of God”.  Jesus was only 3km away from Lazarus.  It took two days to reach there.  We all have a best friend and when they tell you that your friend is seriously sick and you are only 3km away, you will go.  But Jesus decided to take days.  Then He came dragging his feet.  Hi Mary, hi Martha.  “Jesus, if You were here, this would not happen.  Where were you?”  Jesus asked, “what happened?” Jesus knew of course.


Imagine shouting to a friend for help and they turn up really late and tell you, “I was talking to people”.  You will feel angry.  Jesus told Lazarus to come out. The family said, “Four days have passed now, he will smell bad, better to stay there with the dead”.  Imagine if your family tells God, “don’t give it to her now because she is in a bad mood”.  You will be shocked because you expect your family to be on your side.  “Because you were not pure and not in a good relationship with God at that time, I told God to not bless you”.  Today churches are praying and trying to let God know that those who are weak and dying spiritually don’t deserve life because they don’t want others to progress spiritually.


Colleen for example may tell someone that I read the Bible and God is love and someone will tell her, no you don’t understand it, you are twisting the word and she will get a box full of attacks because of what she believes in.  You meet with someone, “oh you pray, where abouts?  Oh with LBC.  Oh that church is not really big, why do you go there?  I’m a member of a big church with a big reputation, and my pastor is a big well known pastor”.  You feel shame of your little church and you feel you should go to this big church with a big singer and band etc.


Jesus said He wanted to bring Lazarus to life for God’s glory.  People may show you that you don’t deserve to be close to God.  Many people ask when they will see Little Bethlehem Church as a big church.  Many prefer to be part of a big church so they can hide themselves. 


You have pay some “great men of God” $200 to shake their hand because it is full of anointing and people pay for that anointment.  The “man of God” will take the money and if he shakes 100 hands, he will receive $20,000 for one Sunday.  Anointment is not what you touch with your hand or see with your eyes.  Do you need anointment? Pray to God, present to God your needs through prayers and after praying, God will listen to you and do something.


Lazarus came out and people saw and were happy to see him alive.  When God raises you up, how many people are happy.  In 2011/12, colleen started to have an issue with her boss at work who was mean to her.  I asked God, “Why this? Why do people have to treat others harshly just because they are bosses and above us.  They forget that all authority comes from you God”.  One time, miraculously I fell asleep and I dreamed Colleen was getting a PhD and we were singing at the river and then Colleen’s old boss asked for a job from Colleen.  Colleen is now back in the same place, what will happen Colleen if she asks you for a job?  You will feel, this is my turn now.  When God raises us up, we become stronger than others.


We sometimes feel like nothing but God is able to raise us up.  When he takes longer, He gives us more chance to be prepared.  We should stay inside and be next to others to work with others hand in hand and not be like the 5 foolish virgins who went outside. 


Next time I will explain what anointment is.  What does it mean when we say, I need anointment?  Is it for God to throw oil over you or for you to shower in oil?  Many people in churches today will buy some oil and pray for it and put it on your head and now you are anointed.  You are now someone special.  Putting oil on the head is not the anointment but a symbol to show this is the way.  Was Jesus anointed? His disciples? Are we?  Yes, but what is anointment (talk about this next time) because we need to know we can be good and have all the gifts but we lose one piece of information and be separate.  We forget about anointment.  We pray for miracles, gifts etc but forget about anointment and many don’t even know what it is.  We often say, “The program today was so anointed today,” but we don’t know what it means. 


I went to doctor two days ago and he said he will take my temperature.  I thought, ok, take it, where is it?  I sweat at the gym but it’s a different sweat to fever.  To understand fever, I have to come close to a doctor or nurse so they can tell me that I’m sick and the temperature can tell us if we are sick.  The thermometer cannot work without you, the sick person.  The sick person can be there without the thermometer but they can’t know if they are sick without it. 


How to know we are anointed.  He needs to use the thermometer to know our temperature on the inside to know if things are boiling up or not.  I have a headache and someone can touch the head and feel the heat but they can’t feel the headache.  It’s difficult to explain our pain to others and very difficult for others to understand if they are not a medical person.


Jesus said he will send the Holy Spirit and it was a promise.  You need that oil of the Holy Spirit in our lives in order to see the light.  He said to us, you are the light of the world but all lights need oil.  Without oil, the light will die.  Where will I get the oil?  Who will supply it so I can continue to light the world?  Today, the oil doesn’t exist in the world, people don’t even talk about it or the Holy Spirit or how it should work.  In the day of the rapture, those that are not sealed by Holy Spirit, will not go to be with Jesus.  Not only to be sealed but the oil must be acting in you.  You can be a very good person, worshipping 5x a day but without the oil, you won’t go.