Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Test


Glory to God to be here this morning, this is a blessing for all of us to see another day.  Every morning I look at myself and think, I was younger than this two years ago.  When I look at what I used to wear two years ago, I wonder how I wore it because now it is old fashioned.  Life goes on and everyday there is something new and what you saw yesterday as being flash and perfect, is now useless. 


I found a Bible here that belongs to Tyrone.  If someone tells you to pay $40 for the Bible, you will say no because it is old but the words inside the Bible are not old, they have the same power as a new Bible.  Why do we prefer something new?


Today’s message is titled the test.  When a test is in front of you, what do you do?  Do you quit, endure, surrender or say, I don’t know what to do?


1 Sam 17

This is a story we know very well, the story of Goliath and David.  David was born in a family of boys.  His brothers were stronger physically, they were taller, bigger and more handsome and more attractive.  Awkwardly, David is there as a tiny little boy and some theologians wonder if he was really the descendant of Jesse because he looked different to his other brothers.  Even David wrote that his father he did not know.


Everybody in the family looked down on David, he didn’t deserve to be there because he was different from the rest.  The father wondered what kind of boy is this, shame on me to have a son like you who can’t act like a man so he sent him to look after the sheep, a job normally given to slaves and workers and those not really strong for a battle.  A shepherd is looked down upon in that society and whenever a shepherd looked for a wife, they would be ashamed to tell the woman that they are a shepherd.


When it was time to anoint a new king of Israel, God sent Samuel to go to the house of this man Jesse and bless the one He has chosen to become a king.  Samuel asked the father, who among your children should become the king and he took the first born because for the past several years he had been serving the army and knew all the strategies of the war so Jesse believed that son will become a very good king but God said, “no, not him”.  Then Jesse chose the second son but God put him aside also, and then the next son until there were no sons left except David. 


Samuel must have looked at David, a skinny, sickly looking boy, “This is the one? God are you joking” but God said, “Yes that is the one, the weakest one, the one that you believe is not like others”.  Maybe the brothers started to say, “We are not even sure who his father is, he is not even one of us”.


Samuel put the oil on his head but he didn’t become king straight away.  Receiving anointing is like a ring when you get married and you say, “look this is my ring I give to you and from now on me and you are one, during hard times and joy, we will be together”.  If you take the ring off and put it on another finger, it will change the interpretation and whoever will see the ring is on a different finger will not believe you are married.  The same ring can go through different fingers.


This alliance God did with David, He said keep it there, the anointment is on you, now start to work.  Whenever God anoints you with oil on your head, how long will you keep that on your head?  Will you not take a shower?  Will you be afraid to if you shower, you will lose it? 


Samuel 17:17, David’s father requested that David take food to his brothers at the army camp and to check on how they are.  The next morning, David started the journey.  He took only the meal to his brothers and no one else and his only mission was to find out how they were doing.  He didn’t leave home without any other purpose or idea that he will face a big challenge in front of him.  He came with his food only.


When he arrived, the anointing started to play a role in David’s life and that is when God made the anointment to take up action and it started to shake David.  Goliath showed up and he was a giant.  The Bible tells us how tall he was, he was three times the height of me.  His arm circumference of his arm was almost the size of my chest and when he walked, the ground would shake because of his size and looking at him, you see death.  Imagine the army of Saul who were trained and were good soldiers and their role was to fight and kill the enemy but when Goliath turned up, the whole battalion feared.


Why couldn’t they put together their entire strength and defeat him.  He would abuse God and Israel.  Saul said, “If you fight I will give you everything you want, even my own daughter,” without asking permission from the daughter.  Who doesn’t want to become rich?  That day, people were running away from wealth and believed it is better to die poor.  The little weakest David, was there.  Whoever will fight Goliath would get power and wealth.


David, a shepherd found this mission in front of him.  David has zero training of how to fight or even put on the military clothes. He doesn’t know because he is not a soldier.  Goliath started to abuse God and David wasn’t happy.  Abuse someone else but not God.


The battle was not David’s battle, he is not a soldier or here to fight the enemy but God put him in that position to allow David to join in.  I remember when I was a child and my young sister on our way to school said, “See that person, he beats me up every day”.  I was around 9 and he was the same age.  I didn’t stop to think and I jumped on him and started to fight.  As a child, I had a terrible way of living and whenever I fought someone, I would never give up until I had won the battle.  If I lost the fight, I would come back the next day to fight and I would keep coming back until I finally won.


People separated us and I told them that he beats up my sister and my sister said, “No, not him the other one”.  I jumped into a situation and fought the wrong person.  What should I do?  Whenever we have strength from God and His alliance and we have life and talent, we sometimes misuse that talent.  Who chose you to be born how you are?  Did you choose your mother/father or choose to be clever/not or short/tall?  God has put you in a position where you face the realities of the world and you have no choice.


You might be born in a broken family or in a family where your father has no time for you or your mother is a witch and someone comes to you and says, “Odon what do you want to tell us, your mother is a prostitute,” and I get abused for what God had chosen.  Why this battle Lord that I don’t even know? Some people will hate themselves or others because God has put them in a terrible situation.


Now David is here, “I have to go and fight against the giant”.  “Hey David, what are you saying?”  Then his brothers became angry, “No, you didn’t come to fight but you came to bring food and now it’s time to go back to look after the sheep.  You don’t’ deserve to be here”.  How often do people come into your life and tell you that you don’t deserve this, “We know you are weak,” and they stress you and push you down and you start to doubt who you are.


“Your sheep are in the desert waiting for you, they will get lost and your place is there”.  How often do you feel you are not good in this area and others tell you, “You are not good at this, you are better at something else?”  E.g. “Odon you are not good in English, don’t preach here in New Zealand, just wait until you go back to your country so you can speak in your own language”. 


You may start to convince yourself that you are weak but we sing, “Let the weak be strong”.  David remembered he had the anointment, “I was anointed and chosen to become a king”.  Although it was impossible for someone who had not joined the army to become king but David held unto God’s promise.  The Bible clearly said, the first born became angry.


Imagine, if you Peter go to see your older brother Ken and he becomes angry at you because you won’t listen to him.  You know how brothers can fight.  David tried to reason with his brother which means he started to become afraid of him.  Someone told Saul that they had found someone who is ready to give up his life to save the kingdom.


Imagine being Saul and no one accepts your order to fight.  “Go forward,” and they move back.  If you are the king, you will maybe kill all them yourself because they are not good soldiers, they are running away.  When the Prime-minister is there, the rugby team of that country will play stronger and accept to break all their bones because their leader is present.  Here, the presence of Saul did not stop those people from running away.


Saul asked David, “What is your size?”  He gave David the clothes from the king, clothes that not every person can touch.  The brothers of David started the first war against David while he hasn’t even faced Goliath yet.  Instead of unifying themselves to attack the enemy, they attack their brother.  In the Christian community, those that are with you will be the first to let you down and tell you, “I know your weaknesses”.


The next battle David faced was to put on the king’s clothes that didn’t fit and try to use the king’s weapons.  David tried to wear it but he decided, “No, I won’t use what you have given to me because this doesn’t belong to me.  I have the oil on me.”  The anointing God has given you, is on you and the world can’t see it but God can always see His hand upon you.  How many stones did David have?  Five.  He picked up the first stone.  I’m sure his brothers thought he would die.


David didn’t remember he was a simple shepherd but remembered, “Whenever the enemy attacked my sheep, I would use my slingshot”.  The enemy here is abusing God.  What will you use?  Remember what you have is sufficient.  Your life is sufficient to defeat those who others used to run from.  If you have $2, it is enough.  If you have a message to preach, it is enough.


Goliath, “Are you joking, look at me, little man, are you joking?”  David, “In the name of the Lord, today, your day is finished”.  Goliath, “You are coming to me like someone who is attacking a dog,” and he became angry.  David wondered, should I go back?  If you see a tree 600 metres away from you, the tree looks small but coming closer, it gets bigger.  David coming closer realised Goliath was bigger.  David said, “I’ve given my life for the sheep, let me try”.  Others cheered him on, like parents at a rugby match.  When he scores, we take the glory of our son.


Goliath was killed and he couldn’t be killed without David’s effort.  God gave David the skills, the anointment and the right time to be at the battle field.  Although the purpose was to bring food, God changed the plan and he became a hero.  You can think your life is this but in one second, you can become someone else.


Maybe his brothers cheered and said, “Glory to our family”.  Now he is part of the family and maybe they start to think about money, “It’s because of us that you came here to bring food”.  What would be your reaction against your brothers, maybe you will take revenge.  


After killing Goliath, the Philistines ran away.  David knew how to use a sling shot but he had to use his physical effort to make the stone to move from one point to another.  Most of us Christians fail when it’s time to use our effort, “God help me,” “Oh, He knows my weaknesses”, “Please God, I can’t do it, forgive me God”.  Why not?  “Because I’m weak”.  Who told you are weak? What about My anointing I gave to you? 


There is no small or weak anointing but we try to bring ourselves down because we are weak but you are not weak, it’s just a matter of making a decision.  When you want to buy shoes, you will make a decision.  It’s up to you to know where to go from here.


David made that effort.  He had four stones left to kill.  What you have is more than sufficient.  God will tell you, “You still have four left if you use one”.  What excuse can I give to God?  If you are a sinner, yes, ask for forgiveness and move forward but we start to try to forget the number of stones we have.  We want to prove to God, I only have one stone, and I can’t talk because I stutter like Moses.


How many Goliaths do you have in your life, in your workplace, in your home?  Sometimes even your brain will challenge you.  I was born as the only boy in my family, I needed a brother so we could play.  Maybe Colleen is the only daughter and her brothers put her aside.  You feel it.  Whenever they are doing their own things, you can’t take part.  Those challenges will continue day after day but it is time now to defeat those challenges and remember we have the anointing and the role we used to play to look after the sheep is finished and our role now is a warrior and we have to fight. 


The warrior will not use a sword but a slingshot.  A sword means you have to come close but a slingshot can be from a distance.  Try to cut the stone with a sword.  No matter how weak you are, with your slingshot, you can defeat it in Jesus’ name.  Leave the problem, take distance and the problem will collapse.  Although Goliath was taller, it didn’t take long to fall down.  The strongest man was killed by the weakest person of the entire nation of Israel.  We are all stronger than David, physically, spiritually, mentally.  The anointment came once.


God gives you the anointing every single day in the Holy Spirit to teach you, guide you and He is living in you.  It is not like David who had two drops of oil on his head.  Who is that Goliath that will resist you?  Only if you refuse to take control or make a decision or effort. 


The son of David is Jesus.  David didn’t give birth to Jesus.  Jesus came down to save Israel and then He brought food for us (bread and wine which is His body and blood) and He told us to take it and eat but we are in a battle field, “I’m coming to see how you are doing down here, it’s not your battle, it belongs to me”.  Your sickness, worries, money problems, just say in Jesus’ name and it will be won.


We go to our friends and ask for help while God is looking at you and says, “You have enough, you don’t need a sword or to wear what Saul is wearing before you fight”.


Pray and tell God, “Make me a warrior, change my status, I don’t want to be a shepherd taking care of useless things, I should take care of Your nation and take care of Your work because you anointed me to be a part of your family and your work”.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Persecuted

Below is the message typed as Odon spoke.  Therefore, it will not be exactly what Odon said.

The message today is about the persecuted and when we talk about persecution we can only think about torture, misery and hard life. 


My message will be built from Acts 3: 1-2.  The man in this verse had only one job and that was to ask for support from others.  Last time we talked about the ninth hour and we know what happened in this story but now we have to think about this man who was begging, without thinking about Peter or John. 


This lame man was born from a mother, like your mum or my mum.  When the mother was pregnant, she didn’t know the boy was going to be lame, she was sure he would be born beautiful and she will love him and give all the care needed so he can grow up with happiness and joy.  “I’ll be a good mother who supplies all his needs”.  Maybe after a few months of pregnancy, she praised God that the baby is growing and maybe she praised Him for this new life she was producing that the world has never seen.  Every baby is unique, even twins can never be the same.  You can love them two at the same level but they will be two different persons. 


When you give birth, everybody wants to know how the baby is.  Babies attract everybody and all want to hold the baby carefully and cover it and protect it.  When the baby cries, mothers want the baby to stop crying but will never shout at the baby but will talk nicely and kindly and make the baby feel happy.  Some silly parents will try to smack them.  Others put them down and believe after a time they will stop crying when the baby gets tired.


At maternity, when someone is giving birth, they are waiting to receive this gift from God.  The nurse will be the first one to see the baby, to know whether it is a boy or girl and the nurse will be the first one to inform you if it is big or small and the nurse will pass the baby to you.  You will feel joy.  After going through the pain of giving birth.  The mother of this boy had pain, cramps and now her turn had arrived and knew she was receiving something precious but then he is born lame.  You are waiting with joy but he turns out to be lame.  How will you feel if you are the mother?  It’s hard. 


You might think, “oh, he will never play sport or drive a car.  This is another burden God you have given to me because for the rest of his life, he will be a dependent child”.  Have you thought about dependency and how you have to do everything for this person who is with you and you feel this is too much, I can’t take it anymore?  God is now giving you this precious gift that is going to suck all your strength, mind and money.  The mum had to accept her son as he is. 


How often do we reject what we believe doesn’t satisfy our needs?  How often do we say, “why this?” because we know it is tough and hard? 


The child grew older but couldn’t do what other children do.  He could only sit down.  I don’t know how he moved from one place to another but his job was just to sit down from morning to evening.  You feel tired when you sit all day.  You need to move around but this child couldn’t move.  When others were playing, he couldn’t play.  Maybe he tried to push himself with his arms but he couldn’t play and maybe other children told him to just stay there because you can’t play with us.  Others might have let him play for a few minutes before they left him behind. 


As days were passing, the parents realised they had to find a place for the boy so they decided to take him to the temple where there is mercy, “If God doesn’t remember mercy to our child, maybe human beings will”.  But I tell you that when things are tough, God doesn’t forget mercy or love, He continues to love and have mercy.


The parents believed the child will be fine at the temple.  Maybe they took a mat and said to the child, “this is your place in front of the temple, sit there”.  I don’t know what position he was sitting in but he was just sitting begging to people.  Let me pick up Ange, Ange pass here, it’s not easy to see me from up there.  I’m at the lowest level.  She may pass without seeing me because my level is too low.  I will call out and maybe even hold her trousers if she doesn’t pay attention.  Maybe she will even step on my hand by accident but she will carry on. 


Those that have headphones on may not see or hear the man begging.  The big job of the person was to ask, not only once but several times per day to each person. “Please help, look at me, I’m suffering, help, help”.  If they drop you at the temple at 7am and pick you up at 5pm every day, how many times will you say the word help?  That temple was visited by thousands of people per day but after saying help, help several times per day, maybe he only returned home with a few dollars or even nothing because many didn’t want to listen to him. 


Others were maybe were like an i-pod with a battery that is dying because they gave yesterday, the day before and the day before so, “today, I have nothing, I have done enough, you should also take care of yourself, your family should help you, it’s not my responsibility” and the compassion they had is dying like an i-pod battery going flat.  “The love and mercy that I have in my heart is disappearing, you should look somewhere else”. 


When we have two feet and the strength to take care of ourselves, we believe that those that can’t do it, are not good enough.  Those that cannot move for themselves, that’s their business.  This man called Cain, he gave an offering to God but it was rejected (without God explaining why) while his brother’s offering was accepted.  Cain became jealous and killed Abel.  The blood of the young brother went before the throne of God, “look my brother killed me”, the blood was crying to God. 


In Revelations, we see the same situation, those who have been persecuted are crying to God.  Why are thy crying?  Maybe because of the need they have or the suffering or because someone is making their lives harder.  Many people in the church are crying for the persecuted but in different ways.  Some pray, some offer money and some don’t care and those who are persecuted are Christians like you and I from the same family of God.  Imagine you have your brother or sister from the same father and mother and you live in the same house and because they are lame you don’t want to assist them.  What will happen if you don’t help them?  Who will do it? 


Maybe your mother will ask you to take your brother to the hospital and you reply, “No I’m tired, it’s not my turn”.  Everybody says the same thing and declares that someone else can do it and the job to help the brother is pushed from one person to another.  If you were a lame person and others don’t want to help you, how big will your heart be? How angry will you feel?  How happy will you be in your family where your brothers and sisters don’t have time to listen to you, help you or care for you. 


There is only a small proportion of the church that God decided to make them to be persecuted.  They didn’t want to be born and be called persecuted but God has allowed it to test the church, “because I told them to love one another”.  Before you love your father, love one another.  “You can’t love me, your God, if you don’t love your neighbour.  Be in unity”.


This is scary.  Before you see me, see your brother Graham first.  If you love him and give everything to him, then I will be happy.  How can I love someone lame?  We can’t sing or play together because her abilities are not like mine and so we put them aside and don’t care.  Jesus continues to say, “the day I come back, I will ask you a few questions, when I was in prison you didn’t visit me, when I was hungry, you didn’t feed me.  It’s clear.  When I was in hospital you didn’t visit me”.  We may become like those foolish ones and say, “I never saw you in prison, hungry, in hospital” and you will get the answer that we all have read and understand that Jesus is talking about those around us who are suffering and we didn’t help.


The lame man was collected in the evening and was most likely asked, “how much did you earn today?  What did people say?  Did anyone ask about your family?”  They would be curious to know about his day without offering support.  How often do we go somewhere to learn about the stories of persecuted?  We go to an event just to hear the stories of the persecuted man who is coming to church today because of curiosity and then we only talk about how lucky we are here in New Zealand. 


To be in New Zealand doesn’t mean you are safe.  In God’s eyes you are not safe because you are failing the test He has given you.  After hearing the stories, what did you do?  You were informed but you did nothing so you failed your test.  It will be harder to be free like New Zealand than to beg on the mat because the one suffering will never be asked, “why didn’t you help?” because he was the one suffering but those passing without seeing or those complaining, they will be asked, “what did you do?” 


Sometimes God is mean, He will give us someone like that for 40 years.  How can we handle that?  Sometimes I say moving the furniture in the church once per week becomes a pain and we complain, this person didn’t help, I do it every time because we believe the job is hard.  Imagine carrying the big man on your back, feeding him, taking him to toilet.  You might say better for him to die.


Like Job’s wife said, “just abuse God and you will be better off”.  We might lose our joy and our love for others because of the work we do for the church.  God is looking at you, you still have another 40 years before you get the crown.  Your crown is prepared but I want you to persevere until the end but when you start to complain, you start to discourage yourself and then your courage will start to die.  I’ve heard people being asked, “can you be the leader?” and they answer, “no not this time because I have another program”.  We can compare God’s program with our own programs.  This is God’s program! 


We would rather watch rugby and God’s program is not a priority.  What brought satan down?  By making himself like God by putting himself first.  The decision is mine so I make myself like God.  God I’m busy, I have my own business.  I don’t have time to care for these people.  Why did you create them?  Why can’t you just give them legs?  Why only me?  Others are there.  They can play this role.  Slowly, you start to find yourself detached from God because of arrogance and trying to compete against him.


The Wednesday night prayer and Bible Study program is only 1 hr and 15 mins, just once per week and each of us only lead once per month with that privilege as his daughter to come close to God and serve Him.  Instead of being proud to be associated with God’s business, we think, no God I don’t need you.  God is sad, I gave to you talent and ears and eyes and didn’t make you lame so you don’t have to depend on others and so that those around you can depend on you but you say, no I have my own program and you start to persecute God.


When you are together, praying, sharing, leading, you are supporting others and those souls that are begging start to get feed from you.  Give love, prayer and once you do, the name of God is glorified.  Those who are persecuted over the world are waiting for us, what do we do?  Physically they are suffering and spiritually.  Some don’t know how to pray.  Others don’t know how to read the bible.  You know how to read and pray and you don’t have time to help those people.  God has given me the capacity to understand and to read the Word of God but I can’t put it in practise by helping others.  We don’t help. 


Our only job is to complain that others don’t play their role.  Are we really helping them to play their role?  Maybe they are weak and our job (those who are strong) is to support the weak.  How much support do you give to the church of God, to pray for those who can’t read or understand Word of God, or those who sleep while the preacher is talking?  What is killing the church today is that everyone wants to come with a new theory of judgement, “I don’t like how you pray sister”.  We come with judgements that don’t unite us but divide by bringing different opinions.


Jesus used to go to the mountain to pray.  His disciples fell asleep.  “You can’t even pray with me for one hour” Should we really pray together?  Today we have churches that tell you, whenever Robbie is praying, be quiet and listen.  There is no verse that says that.  You can all pray at the same time (corporate prayer).  If colleen prays for fifteen minutes, I will have nothing to say and so I think about what I should say to people and not God while the prayer should be in secret between you and God.  When we pray as a group of people it is not easy to listen to what all are saying, easier to pray yourself.  When there is corporate prayer and one starts to finish and we all start to finish because we don’t want others to listen to our prayer to God.


But in church today we judge others’ prayers, others’ messages.  Did you start to intercede in your heart or just look at your watch so we can go home?  God is telling us to not be like those passing the lame without helping him.  Why didn’t they take him into the temple with them?  They could have invited the man inside, “Maybe it will rain?  Or it will be too hot?  Come inside”. 


When others are crossing a painful situation, do we bring them close to God or do we not care? Do we help?  God gave us the authority to pray for others to give them healing in His name and they will get it.  We have that power.  He has chosen us to go over the world and we can pray for someone in Sudan while we are in New Zealand.  Go everywhere in my name spiritually, there are no borders.  Why don’t we pray?  If we can’t come close to them with spiritual things, why can’t we offer physical ones?


Some people think that the Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton campaign is going to be funny.  Don’t you see the danger?  House prices now are making people cry in New Zealand. This is a serious problem that is coming.  Those who are poor are being persecuted and suffering because someone is torturing them.  We have the power.  Authority comes from God.  We can tell God, we need a key.  Why can’t we talk to God?  The beauty of New Zealand is going downhill, with the country and the church because we don’t listen to those who are persecuted.  We can see misery coming.


2 years ago, $1 could buy something but today we can’t buy anything with $1.  Prices are going up and up while salary is the same.  How are we going to afford living in New Zealand without God’s help?  How will we overcome the situation we are facing?  The church doesn’t talk about the persecuted anymore.  If you say, “Pastor, I’m going to visit Eastside”, he will say, “why what’s going on there,” because they don’t want you to go and there is no unity between churches.    There is no connection between churches and we break the chain while Jesus put us together like a chain. 


Why don’t we support each other?  There are very big churches in New Zealand but they may be born lame.  They have problems.  All of us have problems and handicaps and we need each individual to do something.  Talk to someone, tell God, look at my friend, do something, intervene.  He is there is listen to you and offer to you what you are asking for.  What are you asking from God?  When you see those on the street, children in poverty, those who are dying, those you are persecuted in other countries, terrorism.  You are not doing anything.  I’m not asking you to shoot the terrorist but to tell God.  God lock that door. 


Colleen when you were little and scared, what did you do?  You might scream and shout for help from your parents, “mummy, help”.  I will shout for help.  How often do you shout for help because of what is happening in front of you or do you say, all is alright, we are in New Zealand, we are safe?

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Ninth Hour

By Odon Bulamba

The purpose of the Word of God is to teach you and when you are taught by someone, you have to listen and also to learn and gain skills and knowledge and then you have to apply it.  Without learning and being taught, Robbie could not be an engineer or Ange could not have become a nurse.  The job of the teacher is to bring the message and it’s up to you now to read and re-read and memorise so that when the test comes, it is time to prove to the teacher you understood what the teacher taught.  If you didn’t learn or prepare yourself, you will fail the test. 


Sometimes we blame teachers for being harsh markers but we have to accept that if we fail that is because of our own failure which comes from us and not the teacher.  The teacher expects you to do your own research so you when you sit the test, you won’t only give what the teacher said but you will show the teacher you went deeper with research.


The HOLY SPIRIT is a teacher who teaches us the Word of God but after you have received it, what have you done with it.  A good student will read the notes throughout the year but a bad student will try to read all the notes at the end of the year and try to cram all the knowledge into one day.  A bad student will fail the test due to lack of preparation.


Don’t fail the test.  Your time on this planet is short and limited and every day God takes us through an exam, a competition of knowledge.  When I open Genesis, I have to ask myself what does it mean?  It means life.  What does living mean?  Exodus means exit, so I ask myself, to exit what?  What has to exit my life?


The book of Acts is talking about the acts of the disciples and we are also disciples and those acts are for us, not only for Peter, John or Nathanael but for you and me.  Act 3:1, here we find the story of Peter and John walking together going to the temple.  What for? To pray.  What time was it?  It was the ninth hour which is 3pm.  There they found this man who was lame, he couldn’t walk or move and he was sitting there begging.  What was he begging for? Money, so he could survive.


He wasn’t begging for the message of God to be preached but for cash, “offer to me something”.  He sat there until Peter and John arrived and he asked for their help.  They said our pockets are empty, we have nothing to give to you but we will give to you what we have, in the name of JESUS CHRIST stand up and walk.  He didn’t stand up immediately but Peter went close to him and helped him to stand up and then he could walk. 


The Bible has been telling us a lot about the ninth hour.  When Jesus Christ passed away, it was 3pm and when the curtain broke, it was 3pm. 


The temple was built by Solomon but a few years, the Babylonians came and destroyed it and then Nehemiah decided to rebuild and then it was destroyed again and this temple where the lame man is sitting is a new fresh temple built 20 years before Jesus Christ was born.  The lame man was 40 years old (in that time 40 was old) and for those family members they had a burden to take care of him. 


Those who had looked after him from the age of 0-20 years had most likely passed away so a second generation picked up and that burden of waking up every morning taking him to toilet, to the temple, to the store, feeding him etc.


Have you had to take care of someone 100%?  It’s not easy.  Even at the hospital, they have a rotation so they could have a break but in the old times, you had to take care of your own people.  If your son was sick, that was your responsibility.  Here, those people must have thought to find a way for the man to produce instead of sitting at home doing nothing.  “Being lame, people outside the temple will feel sorry for you and give you money”.  “We should take him to the temple because those that go to the temple will be nice people”. 


His family believee that if we take him where nice people are, he can make money.  Maybe they taught him how to beg and what position to sit in so people can feel more sorry for him and give a lot.  Begging became his job.  Every morning they carried him there and sat him down to work.  While others are entering into temple to worship, the man is outside waiting, for years, begging.


Those people who were carrying him had to pick up at evening time and maybe they asked, “How much did you earn today?  Show me because I’m the one who brought you here.  We have to share or I won’t bring you here anymore”.  Maybe someone claims their portion because it was their idea to take him there.  Believers of that time who were coming to the temple will give as they pass him and enter the temple.  I haven’t read that anyone spoke to him or shared the gospel with him.


When Jesus Christ visited the temple there, that lame man would have been there but Jesus passed without healing him.  Now it is the time of Peter and John.  How often do we initiate ideas in order to earn money, success, glory and use other people to represent us so we can earn something?  Very often people want to please their bosses and you want to hear how happy they are with what you have done.  We sometimes forget that God is the boss of bosses and we should be happy to hear that we have done a good job for God.


The lame man was expecting to get something from Peter and John.  “I don’t have gold or silver”.  Maybe I could say, “next time because I don’t have anything today”.  But Peter and John remembered that although they don’t have gold or silver, they have something else, something different, something the world doesn’t give freely to people.  When we walk around the city seeing beggars, what do we do?  Do we complain and say, “The police should pick them up, they make our city ugly,” or do we say, “they should join the Paralympics”.  Many people sometimes feel angry because disabled are begging.


If yourself was disabled, and you were in that position, how would your life be without the support of others?  If you were put outside the temple while others are inside and they tell you, you must do this, sit outside and beg. How will your life be?


This disabled person wasn’t born lame because he wanted to be, it was God’s decision. Sometimes you are in a position that is not your fault.  Peter said to the disabled man, look at me.  Most of the time beggars will look at you with sorry eyes but this one wasn’t looking at Peter and so they are now forcing him to look at them.  “We have nothing to give”.  Imagine, you are begging for something and someone says they don’t have anything.  Maybe he felt his heart broken, you have nothing to give to a poor person like me but maybe you have $5 for your offering in the temple.  Maybe he was disappointed but then they said, “In Jesus Christ’s name, stand up”.


When you see those outside begging and in trouble, do you use the name of Jesus Christ, this is the ninth hour, in Jesus Christ name receive this.  I once challenged myself and asked myself how many times do I pray for the beggars and disabled in my community.  I don’t.  We can pray for our government, things that are coming but not the disabled.  They are in need, physically and spiritually.


We might think, if I give him money, he will just use it for alcohol and we judge them but we don’t know.  If I say, I have nothing to give you but let me pray.  Pray for 2 minutes, may God bless you and walk away but if you leave the person there and complain about them, you will change nothing. 


We, as disciples of Jesus Christ, God is sending us to walk around our streets.  Those people have been waiting since the first hour and now it is the ninth hour and you have the power of Jesus Christ in you with the gifts, anointing and ministries, why don’t you share it with these people?  “I have nothing for you but let us pray”.  If you say, I want to pray for you, will they say no?  Maybe, maybe not.  Maybe they will say yes and these are my other prayer requests. 


Most will say I was here for money, I don’t need your prayer but you can say, yes but in Jesus Christ stand up and leave this place because this is not your place, come inside the temple and join the crowd of Jesus Christ, satan is trying to keep you here but come with us. 


Others want to stay lame because that is their source of income.  Some don’t want to leave where they are but to remain lame.  We go together to church to pray but they stay outside the temple, they only come to pray for their interests (material things for themselves) and when they receive what they want, they go back with happiness and say they are blessed but when they receive spiritual blessings they are not happy because it doesn’t help them physically.


I’ve heard a prayer request by one person who asked God for $40,000 to celebrate a birthday and they needed a miracle but when you are talking about spiritual life, they don’t accept that is a miracle.  They will glorify the birthday party and sing but no glory to God for being there or being alive.


Those who tell God, I am one of your people but I don’t want to stand up and be part of your temple.  You don’t want to come inside yourself and ask who you are for God.  Maybe God will stop listening to you because you are invited in but you don’t want to.  Most of the time we talk about things we have heard or seen but how often do we talk about God and his Word.  In 20 of my words or 20 of my actions, 0 involve God and all that I do is for myself and me alone.  In the same way this person was only begging for himself.  Sometimes we beg for ourselves and pretend that if you give it to me God, it will help my family.


At the ninth hour, John and Peter were going to pray.  Do you have a specific hour when you pray?  When you come closer to God?  You can have time for a television program.  Do you have an appointment for your God?  If you don’t have that time or appointment for God, start to think about it.  The Bible says that every morning, Jesus Christ came to the mountain to pray.  Daniel prayed five times a day at specific times.  Do we have a specific times to pray or do you just wait for Sunday and do you really come here to pray?  Maybe we come to church just to sing or to socialise with others or we don’t know where else to go. 


We need to find some time to pray and before coming to the church to pray to God and be with Him.  It doesn’t matter your topic but come and have a conversation with God.  On your way in, you might find circumstances with people begging for something different, give to them what God has given you, pray for them, in Jesus Christ’s name, this is what I give. 


I went to Frankton market with my girls and Levi yesterday.  In my mind I said, every fourth person I meet, I will stop them and talk about the gospel.  The fourth person was a disabled person playing the harmonica and begging.  He was large in size with people around him.  This is a test, I thought to myself.  I came to him and I said, “Hi”, and he pointed to the bag.  I stopped him and he said, “what?”  How to continue?  “I want to talk to you about Jesus Christ,” and he said the f-word and “If you have something to give to me, give it but if not, go away”.  I replied, “I want to give to you something bigger than what you are after” so I put my hand in my pocket and his eyes followed and I said, “you need Jesus Christ and your life needs to be changed but that can only be done if you and I pray now” and I started to pray and he started to play the harmonica and then he stopped and listened and then he hugged me.


The next fourth person was a lady eating a kebab.  I said, “Hi sister, can I talk to you, do you know Jesus Christ?”  She said, “Yes,” and I asked, “How do you know him, how long have you been Christian?”  She replied, “I’m not but my parents used to take me to church”.  I told her, “Jesus Christ loves you and He wants you to be your friend, can we pray”.  She said, “No, Christians are hypocrites”.  I answered, “I’m not talking about Christians but the love of Christ,” and I started praying but by the time I finished, she was gone.  Some will listen to you, others not but don’t let the opportunity pass without giving because the more you give, the more you will be given.  If you bless, you will be blessed. 


Give the Word pf God to others but we only want to give the Word of God to Christians.  When we meet non-christians, we lack courage.  At the ninth hours, what do you do?  When someone has been begging and shouting for help, what do you do?  3pm is when all activities in city are coming to an end.  The children leave school and those at work think in one or two hours our office will close. 


The church is around 3pm now when all work is about to close down where Jesus Christ will come back and judge all our communities.  Imagine if your neighbours tell you, “Robbie did you know that Christ is coming back, why didn’t you tell me?”  How will you feel? 


I’m sure that the lame man was full of joy to see himself on his feet, maybe he shouted with joy and rushed into the temple and forgot about the money he used to make and I’m sure he didn’t worry about the lack of skills to make a new job.  He was only concerned about walking.


Do you have a gift that you have given to someone that they have never forgotten?  He couldn’t walk and then he could walk.  If someone asks you now, what is the precious thing God has given you, we will all say salvation.  What is the best gift you have given someone?  Maybe money, a birthday party.  You have prayers, blessings, Word of God and plenty of things the HOLY SPIRIT has been giving to you to give to others. 


Although Jesus Christ is dead, the name of Jesus is still alive.  Just use the name of Jesus Christ and see what will happen, it’s not you but the power in that name.  Many Christians will only use that name when they are casting out demons and sickness but when we are blessing others, why don’t we use it or use it when we want to see other’s lives changed.  In our letters we say be blessed but not in Jesus Christ’s name be blessed.  Jesus Christ loves glory so use it.  If you use the name of Jesus Christ, that person will be blessed.


I want to paint a wall so I can pray, “In Jesus Christ’s name, let his wall be painted perfectly”.  I need to get home quickly, “In Jesus Christ’s name, I will go through the traffic and get home before 4pm,” and you will experience the power of the name of Jesus Christ.


One time I was traveling in an airplane with 60 passengers and only one pilot who was drunk and said, “you people have faith, we will be ok and get there”.  In the air we felt something was wrong.  There was no cabin crew.  The pilot again said, “Don’t worry, we will get there,” but then he started to fall asleep due to the alcohol and we started to fall and then he woke up and rose the plane up again.  We screamed but couldn’t do anything because we didn’t know how to fly a plane.  I said, “In JESUS CHRIST’S name, let us get there safely,” and I shouted it without knowing.  When the plane landed, I left the airplane without picking up my bag. 


The name of Jesus Christ is so powerful to even change our minds and even the mark that your lecturer gave to you.  I have had 100% without knowing how.  Pray for your children in Jesus Christ’s name to be successful in school.


To say God bless you isn’t bad but what God are you talking about.  The ninth hour is coming in our life. Nothing will change a situation in our life a part from the name of Jesus Christ and the Lord will never let you down. 


Money and all that you have comes from God.  All your possessions comes from God and giving it back to God will make him happy.  “You give me this tool which is Your Name, let me use it”.  Then others will discover the power of transforming lives and miracles.


Michelle used to drink a lot of coffee in the past but she wanted to stop so we prayed in Jesus Christ’s name to stop drinking coffee and the desire to drink coffee stopped.  It wasn’t her or me but it was God and whenever she tried to drink it, she couldn’t stand the taste of it.  That name can be used in any situation.  Use that name for all situations.