Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Secrets of the Cross

By Odon Bulamba

We are going to share the Word of God and I will try to go here and there to put all of this together.  Last time I talked about carrying your own cross and if you want to follow Jesus, you have to carry your own cross. Then I talked about Hannah who wanted a child and all she went through which is part of carrying your own cross: when you have a problem and people think differently.

Today I will talk about the cross of Easter and our cross we carry.

When Jesus was arrested, He was given a cross to carry and was forced to carry it and had no choice.  Although, He was tired, although He fell, they told him to stand up again and keep carrying your own cross. We don’t know how good the path was or if He had to go up hills but it was a long day and a big challenge for the Son of God. Carrying your soul is not a joke, it is quite hard and challenging.

Looking after your soul you will feel God’s pressure and God forcing you and you may fall down, feel tired, feel thirsty but God will push you and the Word of God will push you to encourage you to stand up and carry your cross (soul).

By Jesus carrying the cross we have salvation and when you say that you don’t want to carry your cross (soul), you may destroy that gift of salvation.  By carrying the cross, people were watching Him, stoning Him, some were mocking and others were against the whole story.  When you become a Christian, some will mock you for becoming a Christian and we start to hide our Christianity because we don’t fit in society.

For Jesus, He had to take it to the last point because he knew, “if I fail this mission, the whole humanity will fail.  I was sent to redeem humanity”.  You and I were also born for a purpose, we have a mission and the first mission is to look after your soul (carry your cross) and then save people.

Jesus went to Golgotha and now we are going to Golgotha.  We will reach a place where we are exposed in front of everybody.  Jesus was nailed to the cross that He carried.  When you accepted Jesus in your life and you started the journey to Golgotha and the whole world looked at you and knew you were a Christian, then temptation will arrive.  People will tell you, “if God is in you and on your side, why does this and that happen to your life?  Tell God to remove you from there,” and you will be nailed to your cross (soul) and you will not be able to be detached from your soul.

When you are doing things, think about your soul first.  If I steal $5 I will kill my soul.  My hands are nailed to my cross (soul) so they can’t move to steal.  If my feet want to take me somewhere wrong, I have to remind myself not to remove my feet from the cross or I will lose eternal salvation.

Jesus said, “Father forgive them”.  When you become a Christian, the first slogan must be forgiveness no matter what people do against you regardless of whether they have said sorry or not.  Pray for them and don’t wait for them to come back to you.  Forgive first, regardless of what they did because people can do things against us without knowing what they are doing.

Because of the love of your cross (soul), you have to pray to God for those you love for salvation so they can be next to you in the Kingdom of God.  How often do you pray for your neighbours, colleagues, your enemies to sit in the Kingdom of God?

Jesus said, “today I will see you in the Kingdom of God with me”.  Pray for all of Hamilton, New Zealand, the world to have salvation, to see them one day in the Kingdom of God.

Jesus said, “Women, this is your son and son this is your mother”.  Truly, the mother of Jesus was not the mother of that disciple but Jesus was meaning that we should treat each other as our parents and children.  The way you love your children, you should love others.  When your children make mistakes you don’t say that you will never talk again but you repair things and miss each other and pray for each other and try to live in unity as a family.  We should live in love and consider each other as family, like your own child.  You feel like you can’t change the love you have for your son and they will remain your son forever.  He can deny me or not but he is my son and it can’t be changed, it is a gift forever and those beside you, you should love as a son forever.  You should treat others in this way.

Jesus said, “My Lord why have you forsaken me”.  Sometimes we feel like God has forsaken or forgotten me.  Where are you God in my life? I am crossing this situation and I feel far from God.  When we feel this way, do we shout to God, “Lord wake up, and don’t forsake me Lord, be present every step of my life”.  God is like the air in our lungs, we breathe Him in and out.  If we can try to stop breathing, we can’t.  Breathing is effortless and costs nothing but your body needs it more than anything.

God wants you to have Him in your life every second of your day, breathe in and out God, when you talk, sleep, walk and when you are doing everything, think about God otherwise you will die.

Jesus said, I’m thirsty.  When you are taking care of your soul, you must be thirsty for the Word of God.  How often do you feel thirsty to pray, worship, or talk to God in a personal way?  When you are not thirsty, ask yourself, why don’t you drink enough these days.  One time I was sick and the first thing my doctor asked me was, “how often do you drink water?”  The doctor encouraged me to drink 10-15 glasses of water/day.  It sounded a lot but the doctor said it was what I need or I will kill myself and I will destroy all that God has given me.

The doctor was from South Africa and he said to me, “if your body is a temple of Jesus, why don’t you look after it.  He gives you clean water and clean cups.  Consume that water because at home, we fight for that water.  Sometimes we see frogs coming from our taps.  Here we play with water and misuse it”.  We have the Word of God in our hand in New Zealand but we don’t use it.  We avoid it while in other places to find a Bible is a problem and you can’t afford a preacher.

When you are thirsty, what do you do? When your soul is thirsty, what do you do? What are you thirsty of?

Jesus said, “It is finished”.  What was finished, the torture, the suffering, the time to be in front of the crowd.  Everything with a beginning has an end.  Your life has an end and very soon He will call you back and He will say, “your life on earth has finished”.  When it is finished, you commit your spirit into the hand of the Lord.  Jesus will say, “soul come back to My hand because your time over there is finished”.

How long do you have on this earth?  There will come a time when God will say, it is finished.  It doesn’t matter if you have assets or a degree or if you have good health or you are big or small,when it is finished, you have to commit your soul back to God.

The day of judgement is coming and your soul will stand before God and all your actions, attitude and all that you did will stand in front of God.  Although your body can remain here buried, your soul will take your actions.  What are your actions towards others, God and yourself?  How good are you to yourself?

I thought it was too hard to drink so much water, do I really care about my body.  When my soul needs to read the Word of God and I don’t, do I care about myself.  When Jesus says, change your way of living and I don’t, do I care about my soul.  If you die now, what will you present before God?  He doesn’t care about what you own, He only cares about your soul, the soul He gave to you.

Remember the story of the man who was given two coins and he buried them because he didn’t want problems with his master.  One day Jesus will say, “I gave you a body, soul and spirit, now present to me the result.  For 60 years you lived on the earth, what have you done on earth in that time?”  Do I have any feedback to give to God about my spirit? Do I have a final report to present to God about my soul?  For my body, yes, I used to sit in church but what about my soul.

Your body is only a third of your existence.  You can satisfy your body but you must also satisfy your spirit and soul.

Colossians 3:12

We who have been chosen by God, God loves us so much and sent His only child to die for us, He gives to us a clue to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  You can have compassion but it is naked.  You can have patience but it might be naked. 

Adam was living in the garden and the evening that he ate the fruit, God said, “where are you,” and Adam said, “I am hiding because I am naked”.  Adam's appearance didn’t change but he wasn’t covered properly.  When your patience isn’t covered properly, you have to clothe it.  What is the nakedness of compassion?

Jesus was on the cross crucified naked.  Adam was naked and God covered him.  After bringing Jesus down from the cross, they covered him.

Here are five things that we should be careful about.  We need them to wear proper clothes.  I had my shower this morning and chose my clothes.  I have a 4-5 briefcases full of clothes to choose from.  I lay my clothes out to choose which ones I will wear.  Sometimes I iron my clothes and then change my mind and iron new clothes.  Then I wear my clothes and I make sure that I look nice.  Even going to the supermarket, I must dress nicely because I don’t know who I will meet at the supermarket.

If I meet with my boss, I will be ashamed to look dirty.  We love so much to appear good and cover our bodies and prepare our clothes.  When we go to work, we prepare something to wear and for our souls it is the same. 

Look at your humility.  Sometimes I am humble but I can’t bear this anymore.  Don’t let your humility be exposed, don’t feel it is stretched and you can’t take anymore but cover it.  You have to do it daily, minute after minute. 

If food falls on you, you have to change your clothes.  Sometimes people hurt your compassion or kindness but don’t leave the stain there but put on new clothes.  This is the way children of God should work. 

Jesus said, “Lord forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing”.

These 7 sentences of Jesus, what do they teach us?

Colossians 4, devote yourselves to prayer and being thankful.  It’s not for God to devote Himself to you but for us to devote to Him.  People are extremely weak in prayer.  God who we call Lord my Father, He is waiting for us to talk to Him.  We try to make our prayers as short as possible because we have no time.

One time we were praying and in the middle of the prayer the phone rang and we were all wondering who was on the phone.  One time someone prayed for 7 minutes and we were all unhappy.  How long do we take to pray?  It is an appointment with you and God, you have invited Him to sit at the other side of the table.  You should ask God, what should I wear at the interview, what should I say, how should I work once I am there, show me how Your Name will be glorified through this job but we don’t, we just ask for the job.

Levi went to visit a little boy in Hamilton and when it was time to go home he said he wasn’t ready because of his friend but when I said KFC, he was ready to leave his friend.  Sometimes we only need God when we need something quick for our bodies.  I want you God because I want something from You and then we disappear.  Jesus is teaching us today that we have to remember God is God and not a human being and we have to treat God with respect.

By carrying our cross, we have to remember that we will stand in front of God one day and there is no one more important than Him.  Pray to God to ask him how to support your soul, how to clothe your patience, kindness, humility, compassion and forgiveness with nice clothes.