Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Alarm Call

By Odon Bulamba

Luke 17:26-30

This verse is about the call.  God is trying to tell us, you don’t need to forget the past.  Many people when they live, they only think about the present and don’t have time to think about what might come tomorrow or what happened yesterday.  I’m not sure if you have already heard some say that the Word of God is like a mirror.  A mirror is just a glass but different to the glass that we use to drink water or coffee.  Yet, the only difference is the back.  The colour that you see on the back; that is the secret of the mirror.

When you look in the mirror, you see yourself but you can’t see others standing behind the mirror.  The role of the mirror is to see yourself and what is behind you but not what is in front of you.  This is the foundation of this verse in Luke.

The Word of God is like a mirror, what is happening in the future belongs to God and you don’t need to discover it but instead look at the present and what went before in the past.

This message is titled “Alarm Call”.  Alarm call means someone will ring you and speak to you in order to wake you up rather than setting up the alarm on your phone.  It’s when a human being talks to me to wake up.  When we are told to wake up, it’s not easy.  When you are sleeping and someone tells you to wake up, maybe you feel like sleeping and you feel tired and you don’t want to leave your bed but you need courage and self-decision to push yourself to stand up now and leave your bed, “my sleep I’m coming back to you later but for now I will move on”. If you are not someone who can make a decision, then you won’t get up.

The enemy of waking up is sleep.  When your mind doesn’t push you, then your body becomes weak and when your body becomes weak you can’t move.  Sometimes you can sleep with sheets on but you wake up without sheets and your body is in a completely different position.  Sometimes we snore and we can’t tell because we are in a deep sleep.  The person may wake you up and you become angry because they are disturbing your sleep.

Jesus is saying, “I know you are tired and you need to sleep longer but don’t sleep forever, wake up”.  It’s up to you to stand up and say enough is enough, I must leave my bed.  In my culture, when someone sleeps we put water on their head and they will wake up but you have to make an effort to stop the sleep.

What happened in the time of Noah is what will happen in the days of the son of man.  Look at yourself now but in the background see what happened in the past.  In the time of Noah, Genesis 6, the first thing that happened sounds strange but for God it was a concern.  People were eating, drinking and giving people to marry.  To eat is not a sin, to drink is not a sin, to marry is not a sin or to give people to marry is not a sin.

God created food for us and water to drink then He is the One who said marriage must be honoured so how can He say because people were eating, drinking and marrying, I am unhappy to the point that I sent the flood to destroy the world.  At the time of Noah, sin was there: hatred, lies etc but what concerns God the most is eating, drinking and marrying because they were prioritising their time with food.

First commandment = you have to love your God with all your heart, mind and life.  At the time of Noah people loved food with all their heart, mind and strength.  People were happier to drink than to think about their God.  When it was time to get married, people will prepare seriously for months.

Last night I was invited to have a meal to eat.  In my mind I was wondering if I should go but I went.  We were supposed to be there at 7:30pm but at 7:25pm we were on the road and it was raining and no carpark and because of no carpark, I started to say the person who organised this wasn’t clever.  Why did she choose to come to town on Saturday where many people will come and there will be no carpark.  I was going on but on the other hand,  if we had left earlier, we might not be late.

We drove around and around and then had to walk.  Hayley was pushing us to walk faster. She didn’t want to be late but to be there on time.  Was it because we didn’t want to be late or miss the opportunity to have nice food or for others to think that we respect time.  But when we got there some of the bosses were not there yet.

Food was served and we picked up all that we wanted.  A small discussion, we should make a big order and share while others wanted to have their own order.  When food was given to us, wow this is yummy.  What did you order, do you like it, can I try yours.  7:30-10:30pm, then finally time to go.  We were the first to leave and others left after.  Because of food people can sit for hours to eat and appreciate the food more than what they appreciate the Word of God or when they sing.

They can think about it and say, what flavour is this.  We had ice-cream and someone said, they put lime leaves in the ice-cream and they knew the elements even though we couldn’t see the leaves.  Many were saying, I have never tasted this before, it’s a good opportunity to taste it.

The day of Noah was the same.  Our children know food better than anything.  We adore food.  When we hear about food our hearts beat fast and we smell it and say, “I wish I could taste it”.  That spirit is controlling the world today.

For example Esau sacrificed his birth right for food.  Today we also sacrifice our faith, time and belief and effort for food.  We can’t pray for 2 minutes but can eat for hours.  When it’s time for spiritual food, we don’t have time because it’s not yummy.

Drinking was in the time of Noah, not only alcoholic but also non-alcoholic.  When a visitor comes you ask them, “What will you drink?”  All visitors will say yes.  How often do you offer a bible verse to your visitors?  That is not in our culture and we avoid to talk to our visitors about what we believe.  Although we talked about useless things at the dinner last night, one man said he was going to visit the Salvation Army and help serving people and God.  Although he was serving them food, he was bringing the gospel in the situation.

For many at the dinner jokes were the most important.  How often is it hard for us to bring up new stuff and the presence of God?  You can have a nice food in front of you, even if that food was cooked by the top chief of the world, for it to taste good and smell good you need God because He is the one who gives you taste buds and nose that smells, teeth to be able to chew.  Once in the mouth, you have to chew and swallow.  God gave you the hands to pick up the food, mouth to chew and throat to swallow but why do you put Him aside when you enjoy your food.

If God can give you thirst and provides the water, why don’t you have a second to be grateful for what God has done for you.  Today, we sang, “Jesus I believe in you, Jesus I belong to you”.  As I hold this microphone, God has to give me the strength to hold it. Ange is good at making cakes while I am not.  God gave that to her.  Ange is good in singing and God has given her that. 

Because of ignoring God in their eating and drinking God became angry because our God is jealous.  How do you promote yourselves? When you sing hallelujah and say, that was a nice song, what about God?  if everyone says, “nice message” but forget God gave it, He becomes jealous.

The day that Ange married Peter, I was there.  A few weeks before the marriage I observed Ange lost weight to the point, I thought, is Ange sick?  She was like a stick of this microphone.  Peter was also trying to look nice.  That day of marriage, the church was packed with people, everyone waiting for Ange and Peter.  They were coming for the marriage of Ange and Peter.  We waited and waited and then suddenly we were told they were coming and everyone stood up so you also stand up to honour the marriage and the two people God put together.  Ofa played the piano and sang, she didn’t only show her talent for God but also for the people and the occasion.  We took videos.

We now have the fruit of that marriage, we have the four girls.  We have the ups and downs of that family and we have to remember that the master of marriage is God. If we honour Ange and Peter why not also honour God. 

God was unhappy with Noah’s time and decided to destroy the world.  Because of His jealousy He destroyed the world.  Because of the sin of that time he decided to destroy humanity.  Genesis 6, girls who were born were extremely beautiful and were so beautiful, the sons of God (angels) came down and fell in love with women.

Today, these girls of Ange are extremely beautiful.  People like me can go to Brazil to get plastic surgery to make me look handsome.  Several years ago, Michael Jackson even changed his skin colour.  Look where we are going?  Beauty is a priority today.  Everybody wants to look beautiful and attractive and sometimes we hate ourselves, “I don’t know why God created me like this”. 

I want to appear good and be seen beautiful and be appreciated and when people don’t notice or comment or give praises, we feel bad.  For that reason, God is saying marriage is good and beauty is good but you are forgetting about Me.  The Jesus we belonged to has given us flight tickets and He says very soon the airplane will take off.  We have all travelled.  It is our own responsibility to get to airport on time and check in.

At the airport you see people reading books, playing on their phone, eating, pushing luggage and most are passengers don’t know each other.  You go in front of the checkout person and they scan your ticket and give a boarding pass and tell you your seat number.  “Can I have seat number one?”  “No, it’s assigned to someone else”.  This is like some that ask, “Jesus, can I have the gift of prophecy?” and God answers, “no that belongs to someone else”. 

I once travelled with an oversized man and half of his body was on my seat and I was squashed and I couldn’t do anything and then he fell asleep on me and my shoulder was his pillow and he was snoring and he was sweating.  The flight attendant would wake him up but he would fall asleep on me again.  All seats were occupied.  What should I do?  What would you do?  I was complaining but I couldn’t change anything.  I started to sing to district myself and then reading my Bible.

When we landed in Australia I was praising God but my shoulder was painful and that pain was from someone else.  We need to carry the pain of others.  We have to be patient with every person.  Without patience we can easily sin. 

When the flight is ready, everyone stands up to board.  Do you know the gate you are taking to enter the Kingdom of God?  In time of Noah there was only one gate, the ark but not everyone was ready to take it.  Jesus is the door, not the pastor or the church but Jesus.  As passengers, we can take Tyrone to the airport but we won’t enter with Tyrone because the ticket has his name and the passport is his.

When others enter the Kingdom of God and you stop at the gate because you don’t have a ticket or passport, you will return home.  Pray to God to enter the Kingdom of God.  Use the mirror to look at yourself and the past.

Saturday, January 20, 2018


By Odon Bulamba

Luke 17:26-30

The Bible continues to remind us that whenever 2 or 3 gather together, Christ is among them.

Today I’m going to talk to you about Lot.  Lot means “veil”: what you cover your face with.  You can see through it and see faces but people may not see your face.  Lot was the nephew of Abraham. 

Luke 17:28 will be the main verse for today.  In the days of Lot people were eating, drinking, buying and building.

Last Sunday, we talked about the time of Noah where people were eating, drinking, marrying and giving their sons and daughters to marry.  Jesus has been telling us that this is a reminder, “When you start to see these signs, remember I am coming back”.  When you observe these things, it is an alarm, wake up.  As I said last Sunday, to eat is not a sin and to drink is not a sin and to marry or give your daughter to marry is not a sin but God was angry to the point that He destroyed the people of Noah for those mistakes.

Why was God not angry with those who were killing, or those doing prostitution, or liars.  Why not all the sins that we know?  He continues to say that at the time of Lot people were eating, drinking, selling, buying, planting and building.  Many people will tell you that Jesus is coming back soon, we can look at all the signs.  Are you ready to go?  We believe that what the Bible calls sins and that is the only thing that can stop us from pleasing God.

However, in the beginning Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden.  God told them live here but the first warning to human beings was to not eat the fruit from this tree, “By eating you will shock Me Your God and I will become unhappy with you.  You can eat everything else but not this one”.  If to eat is not a problem, why did God tell Adam not to eat the fruit of that tree?  We only know that eating in excess is sin.  Whenever you envy food or desire it more than God, God becomes jealous and unhappy.

For example, I watched children one time when we bought fish and chips, around 2003.  All our kids were there.  It was time to pray for the food and Lebon prayed as quickly as possible in order to attack his food.  I was maybe the same when I was a child.  I knew food wouldn’t run away from table but I would rush.  When I cook it might take 2 or 3 hours to prepare the food and I do that job with strength and courage.  I want that food to taste good.  Onions and tomatoes make it smell good and when I taste it, I think oh yes, this is going to be good.

As I cook it’s not only for me but for those that will share with me.  Many will come and taste it and say, its yummy, we appreciate it.  They eat with appetite and enjoy.  Although you spent hours in the kitchen, it will only take a few minutes to eat.  Then sometimes people leave some food on the plate.  You wonder how you can spend so much time to cook when they don’t even eat it.  That is where our teaching is today.

What are we investing in today for our spiritual meals for our family, friends and colleagues?  We are distracted with restaurants.  They have big signs, cook food, have a menu and when we look at the menu and we don’t know what kind of food is there.  I accept to spend money in order to try this and you buy it.  How often do people visit you and they see something in you to attract them to try your food?  The Word of God is food.  When you talk about a verse from the Bible or experience what God has done for you it is like a menu for others to look at. 

If I start from January to now (December), God has done a lot for me.  Free oxygen, health, protection, I can walk, talk and God has responded to all my needs.  In the same way God gave all the fruit to Adam and Eve but one exception to not eat this fruit.  Today our exception is to remember what we shouldn’t eat.  Does food in the first rank or last rank in your life?  Do you love food more than your soul, God, yourself?

I might love sausages more than God, or I might love cookies more than Jesus.  When I see pizza, I see myself in heaven.  Your soul, what does it say?  When you eat food you enjoy, how much do you feed your soul and with what do you feed it?  Very often, we feed from the food that we shouldn’t just as Adam and Eve ate from the “food of knowledge of good and evil”.

To drink is ok and the Bible doesn’t say alcohol, it could be water, juice just remember that whenever your drink holds highest rank in your life, God becomes jealous.  God doesn’t hide it, He says, “I am jealous.  I love you so much that I feel jealous whenever I see your love is put in something else”.  E.g. a husband that loves his wife who loves someone/something else instead that husband won’t be happy, he will be jealous.  God is the one who gives us thirst and the One who created the drink to quench it but we adore the drink more than God and put it in the first rank.

The verse says that the people in the time of Lot were buying and selling.  Why am I wearing this suit while it is a hot day?  One day I was walking in china and I saw this suit.  They put it on a mannequin and I thought, wow it looked good with all the colours.  I must buy it because it looks beautiful.  My heart was pumping, “you have to have it because if you don’t, you have nothing” while I have many at home.  Why do I need it?  The desire of my body was pushing me to buy it.

When I wear what I am wearing now, I cannot look at myself but it is just to impress others = pride.  Then, I approached the owner of the shop, how much for this suit?  I love this brand Giorgio Armani, and I knew it would be thousands.  Owner said, $200 and I bargained down to $25.  Now I have this suit, what is next, I have to wear it.  Who gave me the health to wear it?  Today God could make me sick and I can never wear it. 

I can easily spend $25 to buy this jacket but it is impossible to give $25 offering in church.  I can spend money to buy shoes but hard to give to the poor.  Pastors, prophets, men and women of God are all putting our eyes on buying now.  On Sunday I have to wear this to look more beautiful than others.  A matter of competition in church now so we buy not for the glory of God.

We have to think about what we will wear to work in order to be appreciated.  If you don’t get told, “nice blouse”, how will you feel?  Many will feel bad.  We need glory and God who deserves glory is becoming more and more jealous.  Why do you want to take my glory because of what you wear?  If you do a small task in the church, you want people to notice and appreciate it.  Saying thank you is not bad but once received, do I also present the thanks to God and say because of You, I did this.

Sometimes I do the dishes and people thank me and I also thank God for giving me the hands to do it.  Those who serve and don’t do things for glory will be raised up by God.

Pastors write books and you have to buy it.  CD’s, you have to buy.  In order to join conferences, you have to pay.  We are selling business in church.  Business in church is greater than supermarket businesses around New Zealand.  If you buy this, this person will be able to do this.  We are doing fundraising.  People are supposed to give and give and give.

Today, we can see these signs inside the church.  We buy and sell.  We want to become rich and very rich quickly which to us is to earn a lot of money.  Recently, I watched tv about the bitcoin.  8 years ago, someone rung me about the bitcoins and I mocked the person over the phone.  Those who received them, are now millionaires.  This is like a dream, I was proposed to do this and I thought it was a scam but it has made others millionaires. 

Because I didn’t have the lust of money, I put it aside.  If I could give that money away and have millions today, maybe I wouldn’t be here today in church but instead I would be running after money.  I would put my Bible aside, God give me wisdom to know how to manage my money, to know how to get more interest.  After getting more money, I will kneel down and praise God.

Will I give 10% for tithing?  If I earned $30M, how will I give $3M?  It’s a lot.  I sacrificed my money, my time, and the time I had with my children, you don’t need $3M God.  God will take it away.  Take that jacket off, and it will be taken away.  Take your tie off and it will be given away.

My computer crashed, my interest is gone, my $30M has dropped to $2M.  You lose your password with Bitcoin and someone steals your money.  God will take your income.  God will tell you is that you are only building your finances.  Building money is priority number of 1.  I will accept to wear jacket of problems in the middle of summer to earn money instead of trying to earn God’s love.

God says I am here and we say, I don’t have time for you, God can you wait until next week.  I just want to live longer to be able to enjoy what I have earned.  Those who sell know how to attract you. Sellers don’t know you but they will put things in the store so your eyes will say, this is what I want.  They take money from you.  What do you buy from your God?

When you open your Bible, there are a lot of things that attract you from your Bible, what do you buy?  Those in Laodicea were told to come and buy what I can put in your eyes so you can see.  What do you buy?  What do you sell?  For those who want to buy from God, what attracts people to you?  What attracts you from the Word of God?  What did you go through in 2017? 

In the end at the time of Lot, the angels came and said, it’s time to leave.  Lot was living in Sodom and Gomorrah.  People couldn’t know who was lot because his faith was hidden behind the veil.  You have to leave now, no time to pack.  Whatever you have, the food that you used to love, your drink, what you sold and bought will stay behind and only those that will come with you will come.

We are living at the end of the time when the master will come and ask you to leave this world.  When he comes, he doesn’t have to ring the bell to let you know he is on his way.  What are you taking with you?  Your nice jacket, tie, shoes, your good/bad actions, your food you love?  What will you present to God?

Those signs are a wake up call for us.  If I am a veil, my role shouldn’t be to cover the faces of others so they can’t be seen but we should be a light of the world.  We shouldn’t cover the hs in me so he can’t act and hide the fruit in me.  our role is not to hide that we are saved.  One brother who did a mistake was moses.  He came down from mountain and he was shining so he thought the solution was to have a veil so people couldn’t see it.  He lost that light and it disappeared.

When God gives you something, let others see it, don’t hide it so you can be the light for those in darkness.  If you put a veil to hide what God has given you as gifts then you will make many to die and they will vanish.  You may be beautiful and it attracts people.  In 2005, I saw a very beautiful girl in Uni of Waikato and all people would look when she passed and make comment.  God knows how to create people and who to give the beauty.  The girl didn’t care about her beauty but it attracted men and women.  You have many things in your life that attract others, what do you do with them.

Your eyes, hands, voice can all attract others but how do you use them to attract them for the glory of God and not for your own glory.

A man was given $40, as your birthday is coming take your friends out and enjoy.  $40 is not enough, and the young man was only 11 years old.  Mum, please can I have more.  $100 all up was given.  He called a few boys and they went to BK.  Money wsa still there and boys ate and they were happy and they had icecream and enjoyed.  6 boys came back home.  BK was so good, we ate, drank, we played and everyone thanked the child but no one thanked the one who gave the money.  The child took all the glory.

Imagine God, when you take glory he will say, hang on, I am here too.  When pete finishes work in a good way.  God waits for the glory to be passed on to him.  We have to tell those people, thank you to you too and I thank God also.  When we forget, God becomes jelaous and because of that, God burned the entire city.  Children and animals, plants were innocent but all were consumed by God’s fire because of jealousy.

If I give you the entire world, what will you gain if you lose your soul.  I am jealous of your soul.  Nothing equals your soul.  God is jealous about your soul and he wants it.  You can feed yourself and wear what you want but you have to remember to feed your soul and clothe it.  Most of our souls walk around with shame and heads down, naked and malnourished – no one takes care of me while our physical bodies are enjoying.

We have to build, buy and sell but we need to do the same for our souls.  If you don’t invest in your soul, no one will do it for you.  You have to make an effort to prepare yourself.  We thank God for 2017, we will never see it again.  Where we made mistakes or didn’t please God, this is the time to ask God to forgive us, to get strength to do better.  We don’t know what we will face in 2018.  We may ask God for protection, help, support and pray for others because we don’t know the surprises of 2018.

I once bought a house for my mum of around $900K, I was rich at that time but the following day it rained and the house was at the top of the mountain and the beautiful house eroded down the mountain.  It was completely destroyed.  Our country didn’t have insurance.  That was my xmas surprise.  You don’t know what 2018 will bring you.  You might be breathing now but in 2 mins the ambulance may be called for you.

Pray God to protect you and your family and to settle all your problems in 2017 to start 2018 with joy

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

"Ewe" Focusing on Rachel

By Odon Bulamba

Once again we are facing a new year coming and 2017 is vanishing and coming to an end.  If days can end, if months can pass by, do you also think about our own lives ending one day?  Normally we don’t.  We go to bed tell people, “I’ll see you tomorrow”.  We tell people, “I’ll see you after work”.  We don’t know if we will see people tomorrow or make it to our appointments because our time is passing and the more we are alive the closer we come to death and the return of Jesus.

What does the morning remind you?  When you sit in church, what do you think about?  Preparing your soul for Jesus?  Or yourself because you are going to die soon.  You can’t bribe death or ask it to wait. 

Why am I saying this?  Because I have to share with you about the God of Rachael.  When we talk about the God of Jacob, we also see the God of Rachael.  Rachael was so beautiful and was the first woman in the Bible to be declared beautiful.  Her name means “Ewe”, a female sheep.  Rachael was the first person to be named after an animal.  Imagine being named dog or pig?  How will you feel? Embarrassed.  “Hey, Mrs Cow”.  You will want to change your name.  “People are mocking me, I need to change this name”.

My son’s middle name is Brown and at school people would mock him by touching his skin and saying, brown and running away.  It was a mockery because of his colour skin.  When we are given a name that doesn’t match who we are, we are very often offended.  Rachael did not have a choice in her name, her father decided what she would be named.  Poor baby growing up being called female sheep.  However, that name has a meaning and that meaning was not useless.

Genesis 29:6, you can see Rachael coming with sheep.  She was the first female to be a shepherd and to look after sheep.  A mother of the sheep because she knew how to take care of them.  Male sheep have been talked about in the Bible, male sheep will be sacrificed and Jesus was referred to as a male sheep.  Rachael is the only place where the Bible talks about the female sheep.

Characteristics of Rachael is seen in her role as a shepherd.  Imagine someone gives you a flock of sheep.  Will you be able to look after 50 sheep?  You need skills and you can’t just collect those skills from trees, you have to train yourself with patience, endurance, perseverance because sheep don’t listen to human beings so you have to train them.  Sheep are not easy to look after.  Rachael gave her whole life to look after the sheep.

Nowadays we are lucky because farms have fences and dogs to help guide the sheep but around the time of Rachael, they didn’t have that.  Rachael had to run left, turn around, stop there.  Sometimes you can talk to sheep and they don’t listen.  Sheep can go in the opposite direction.  Having 100 sheep as a female, you can imagine how hard it was.  She will climb mountains, find green grass and water for the animals and she was the midwife to assist them giving birth.

Rachael loved what she was doing.  Do you love what you are doing?  When you do a job that is not yours (females are not supposed to be shepherds in those days), how do you feel?  Rachael’s brothers and father were just watching her.

One day Rachael found Jacob at the well and took him home to meet her parents.  She was promised to marry Jacob after 7 years.  She was there waiting for seven years for Jacob and then her father (Laban) gave her sister instead.  Not the Rachael that you love Jacob or the one who is waiting for you.  On the day of marriage, Rachael was shocked to find her father giving her sister first.  “Hey daddy, I am the one who brought him home, I came with him here and you accepted and promised he would marry me.  I have waited seven years and didn’t take any other man and you take him and give him to my sister”.

The Bible doesn’t say that Rachael complained.  It sounds like she agreed with the decision of her father and understood that it was fair.  How many times in your life have you come across a situation when you know it is yours and you have worked hard to gain it and waited so long for it and someone else destroys it or gives it away or doesn’t hold onto the promise to you. We call it disappointment, embarrassment and deception.

Rachael decided to stay with her family.  When God brings pressure in your family and you have been working hard and expect results but God doesn’t give it to you yet or changes the whole program are you able to stay in that situation?  You see someone who is weak and doesn’t try hard and God blesses them with everything.  You who work hard don’t have a small piece of land while others don’t work at all get a house.  Some who are intelligent can’t find a job and those who are stupid can find work.  Those who are lazy get children while those that work hard, can’t find children.

I saw a man who was rich talk to people and people offered him more things while no one wants to help beggars on the street.  When we need something and someone else takes it from us or it is given to someone else, what should we do?  If I were Rachael, I will say, “I will not look after your sheep anymore and I will move out of your family because I don’t know if you really love me”.  Rachael understood she was growing old and time was moving on. 

e.g. Kiara keeps growing and Shari her mother can’t stop her from growing.  She will keep growing mentally and physically and after some years, she will say I’m getting married now, I’m going to live somewhere else.  Regardless of how much you hold her in your heart, she will go.  The child who listened to you yesterday and couldn’t say no, will today say, “No, what you want to do dad is not correct”.  They will engage in a discussion with you and resist your proposition because they believe they are mature now and defend themselves.

Rachael didn’t want to defend herself.  She was mature and strong physically and mentally but she decided to listen to the voice of her father.  Same as Jesus, when it was time to be crucified.  Peter intervened and cut off someone’s ear but Jesus put the ear back on and said, “I have to let this happen”.  Rachael did the same, “I agree with you dad and allow my sister to take the opportunity first”.  7 years later Rachael accepted to be married to Jacob. 

Racheal is a lady who is a shepherd with the name of female sheep.  What is a female sheep compared to a male sheep?  Female sheep produce babies and know what it is to carry a baby sheep in their womb and they will suffer but protect that baby and they are gentle, kind and don’t fight all the time.  They can make noise but less noisy than the male sheep.

Rachael had something unique which was her beauty.  When the Bible says you are beautiful, then you are really beautiful.  Regardless of her beauty, she accepted to take care of the sheep.  Many beautiful girls today prefer to be models but to look after sheep, they will not accept.  “Looking after myself is more important.  When I look at my beauty, I can’t see myself running after sheep.” These women cut some parts of their life off.

We very often talk about the natural gifts God gives to us.  Rachael had two: (1) beauty that attracted Jacob and (2) natural skills of being a shepherd.  What do you have in your life to attract your husband Jesus to you? Maybe you have it and don’t recognise it.  We are saved by grace, Jesus has chosen us first and we are not the one who chose Him.  He saw something attractive we have and came after it, “I want to be your Lord, I want to be your saviour, your husband, your Jesus”.  Privilege that many religious people do not have.

When we are chosen by someone to marry us, we normally don’t think twice but do we know how lucky and blessed we are to be chosen by God from the millions of people surrounding us.  Many men can’t find a women to marry.  In some countries, when a woman is pregnant a man will give money to the woman’s family so he can marry the child once she grows up.  The family will take the money and the man will keep checking on the progress of the baby and if the baby will be a girl, it will be a big party.  The baby has no choice and the man will be old waiting for the child to grow up.

When the child turns 12, the man will request the child now.  You can see those marriages have been there for years and Jesus who is our saviour, He wants us to be mature first.  He comes to find us.  Since we were born, He knew we would belong to Him but He waits for us to grow first.

Rachael with all her beauty and skills made Jacob to love her more.  What fruit do you hold?  The Bible tells us that we need spiritual fruit.  Gal 5 talks about the fruit of the flesh and then added the fruit of the spirit.  Those with the fruit of flesh may not see the kingdom of God but those with the fruit of spirit may inherit that kingdom. 

Can you see fruit without a tree?  Even if you go to Pak ‘n Save to get fruit, you have to think about the trees that produced that fruit.  Without a tree, you cannot get fruit.  The tree doesn’t grow in space but in soil.  The tree pushes its roots in the soil which has elements that feed the tree.  We cannot hold the fruit of the Holy Spirit without having the tree or soil or nutritional elements.

Rachael understood this formula.  Jesus wants us to find the tree of those fruits.  Jesus said, “I am the tree and you are the branches”.  Branches grow the fruit.  The small branches hold the fruit and they want to break as the fruit grows weak.  If you are weak in the Lord, you can produce better fruit.  You can see a fruit growing bigger and bigger from a small branch but the branch continues to hold on it because through Jesus, it will feed humanity.

Trees produce fruit to feed human beings and it won’t be there for one day or ten days but can be there for months waiting to mature.  How long does it take for a kiwifruit for the first day you see it until you can eat it to mature?  Oranges don’t grow orange straight away but they start green and are small.  If you eat it while green it will be sour and won’t taste good.  You need to allow the sun to hit the fruit for days and the colour of the fruit will change from green to yellow and then to orange and then it will be ready to eat.

If you don’t harvest the fruit, it will rot.  Birds can eat it or bats or it will fall on its own.  God gives to us the fruit of the Holy Spirit and we have to hold onto them seriously and feed them the same way that Rachael fed the sheep and look after them.  Wherever they go, we are there and where we go, they come with us.  If I offer to someone tamarillo that is green, you won’t eat it.  It is your work to make your gift of the Holy Spirit to become mature.  If you don’t feed your gift, don’t expect God to do that job for you.  It’s up to you to hold the fruit.

A branch that doesn’t produce fruit will be cut off and put into the fire.  If you don’t produce fruit, God will cut you off and you will end up in fire.  Rachael knew that after 7 years, maybe my master (my father) has seen that I am not ready yet for producing.  She accepted Leah to take her husband.  When she was married, she started to put everything into practice.  She gave birth to 2 boys, joseph and Benjamin. In the same way, it is time for us to work for our family and produce something important to the church.

We all remember Joseph and Benjamin from the Bible but we don’t remember some of the other tribes.  Racheal looked after her two boys well.  You can have only 2 gifts in your life but you need to train them because your neighbours, your work colleagues, your family will benefit from your fruit.  E.g. kindness, you should not limit that to only your family but to everybody.  Even love, you don’t have to only love your children but every one including your enemies. 

I must make my gift to mature so the rest of the world can consume it.  Rachael was so kind and patient.  She accepted Leah to take her husband and she continued to be kind and respect Leah and was gentle and accepted to share her husband with Leah.  Today, no one will accept it but Rachael knew there was a time for everything, “God allowed this and I accept this to happen”.

There is a time to be born and a time to die.  You were born and it was a good day with everyone was happy to welcome you in the family but now you are by your own.  God took my dad when I was 10 years old so he could also take me.  I have to get ready and what I will take to God will be the fruit of my work.

Jesus will ask you, “I gave you 6 gifts, what did you do with them?”  You may answer, “I only recognised 2 God” or “I didn’t have time to use them all”.  He will take them away from you, “you are a bad servant, get out”.  To be a good servant is to commit yourself to what you have.  At work you sign a contract with your employer.  You are bound by that contract and you must work and respect the rules of the contract.

The God of Rachael is teaching us that He can give to you any skill that may be different to others.  E.g. you can become a shepherd as a woman.  Don’t turn down God’s gift because you are different to others.  Try to be the way that God wanted you to be.  Use your skills without doubt.  The more you use them, the more you become familiar with them and let others benefit from what you produce. 

Our next meeting to talk about the judgment of God. How is God going to judge you? When the judge enters the court, everyone stands and bows and judge listens to both sides and his words can send you to jail or give you freedom to be successful or failure.  Judgement is coming and no one will stop it and the only medicine to win is to know the law and put it into practice.