Sunday, December 1, 2019
By Odon Bulamba
We are going to open our Bibles to the book of Mathew 24 and today we are going to talk about verse 28. Its good to see we are moving forward with Mathew 24 which covers the signs that Jesus left the church to remember His coming back. The assignment he gave to us is that we must observe those signs and the more we see them, start to prepare ourselves so that we will not have any justification to say that we didn’t know Jesus is coming back soon.
Some to observe will just open their eyes and look at something and stop themselves at that level. A better observation is to also stop and think about it and then pull out all that is positive and all that is negative and ask yourselves, what do I need from what I have observed and how is it going to help me and my people. We need to observe because what we are facing soon is the return of Jesus. It will be only once. You will either make it or miss it and it will be for eternity, there will not be a second chance. You can’t try again. You will either take it or miss it.
One time I was thinning, our God is full of mercy and loves us so much so why did He decide on the last day that forgiveness will be removed from that day forward. Jesus will take away love and forgiveness on that day. You won’t have time to say, “Remember God how much you are full of mercy, please forgive me”, because He will tell you, forgiveness is gone.
Some versions of verse 28 say, “Wherever there is a carcass the vultures will gather,
or “Wherever the corpse is, the vultures will gather”. Other versions say, “Wherever the carcass is, the eagles will gather together”.
Why do we have different versions? One talks about vultures and the other about eagles. One is talking about the body and the other the corpse. This is one of the toughest verses in the Bible where many try to understand its meaning. What does it mean?
First, when we talk about the vulture, it is a bird that is different from the eagle, but both are big birds. Translations from the Greek word, the vulture and eagle are the same word. That is why there are two different words used in different versions.
Luke 17:37, some versions say, “Where there is dead body, there the vultures will gather,” while other versions say, “Wherever the body is, the eagles will gather together”.
We see in some places it says vultures and in other places it says eagles. The differences are not the problem but the major problem is the spiritual warning that Jesus is telling us. If we think about the vulture, this bird will only eat dead bodies. That is their way. It’s different from an eagle that hunts for live animals and eat it as a fresh animal after killing it. You will not normally see an eagle eat a body that is already dead.
Spiritually you can see (1) dead bodies and (2) live bodies.
We know that in our spiritual lives we have things that are dead on one side and things that are alive. Dead things in the Bible are everywhere, from the book of Genesis you can read about dead deeds and dead behaviour. Our life is either full of life or death. God created us as human being and when we talk about death, it means something that doesn’t have life. It’s not easy to tell.
You might see your dog lying down and you think, “My animal is dead,” and you must come closer to check if they are alive. You can be in the city and find someone lying on the ground and think they are dead and must come closer to touch or check their pulse to know if they are alive. You can’t easily tell who is alive and who isn’t without coming closer and performing some kind of test to tell if they are alive or not.
The difference between death and sleeping is only one thing, it is the breath. When someone is breathing then you know they are alive and when they are not breathing anymore, you may think they are just sleeping.
Jesus went to house of Jairus where the daughter was proclaimed dead and Jesus said, “Girl wake up”. For those who have rest, they may somehow meet with Jesus and He can bring them back to life. We shouldn’t rely on that. When tribulation comes, those who remain will have to fight for their own soul. Without grace to win that battle, they will not enter the Kingdom of God.
Jesus calls Himself life, “Whoever wants to live for eternity must come to me”. Christ is life and the antichrist is death. Love is life and hatred is death. Praying is life, not praying is death. There is a positive side that means life and the opposite side means death.
Death doesn’t only mean to leave this world and be separated from your family but also to be separated from God. It is a shame when God chooses you and you are saved but at the last minute you decide not to follow him. Spiritual death is our decision while the natural death is the decision of God. Spiritual life is up to you and me to decide what path to walk through. I need to live, then I must hold God’s hand and follow Him wherever He goes. If I want to spiritually die, I don’t want to read Bible or pray anymore, or belong to God, this is my decision, then I will get lost.
A clear example is Luke 15, the prodigal son. It was his decision and he decided to go from his father. He was a child of the house but because of all the blessings given to him, he decided not to stay with his father anymore. Maybe the father advised him not to go but he wanted to enjoy the world and discover what was outside of his glory because life in the Kingdom of God is boring, staying next to Jesus is boring, I want to go somewhere I can drink my beer, dance, and do whatever sin I want and we think that is the best life.
One time I was in a country and I asked an old lady, what do you enjoy in your life the most? She answered, “I am a party girl, whenever there is a party, I am in heaven, music, dancing, drinking and I feel like I’m in heaven and everything is perfect”. I was shocked because she was around my age group, “Really?” “Yes, because I will not get this opportunity anymore so let me enjoy”. But after enjoying, God will ask you, I gave you the chance to follow me and the strength to party. There are many who entertained in this world and sacrificed their eternal life and where are they now?
Anna will you be happy to live for 500 years? What if you live to 200? You will be weak and maybe people will have to feed you. Our lives are short on this earth. Fight for something that is important, fight for eternal life where you will not lose your beauty or strength. Do I need to fight for 20 years on earth and sacrifice for the whole of eternity or should I sacrifice now and invest in eternity.
Mathew 24:15-28, is talking about the antichrist (false prophets, false teachers). Whatever the antichrist brings is death. Even if it appears like life and enjoyable and entertaining, when you walk closer to it, death is here.
We are lucky to have Ange here (a registered nurse). When life is taken away from a patient in hospital, how do you feel Ange? Ange feels upset but it is normal, the life of this person reaches the end. You remove the body and a new patient takes the bed. You write down what you observed, that is it. If someone is healed and discharged, again the nurse says, yes, they are ok now.
God is sad when you are dead, you must go somewhere else and you will live now in the cemetery with dead people. For those who have the grace, they may have time to prepare their lives before to die and to pray but for those who are not, it will be too late to repent.
Satan is death (the corpse) who tries to bring vultures around him. People are vultures, birds that have chosen dead bodies rather than the living bodies. If you are not a vulture, you are an eagle. There is nothing in the middle. Vultures will see a dead body. A dead body is lying down, easy life, you can touch them and do what you want. Many people want the easy life. I will find my joy in killing, stealing, lying, in prostitution because it is easy for the body to do.
Eagles will look from the distance and see a moving rabbit and the eagle must challenge itself to see if its capacity is good enough to catch the rabbit. They will fly extremely fast to pick up the rabbit and of course the rabbit runs. The eagle must fix its eyes and its legs have to know where to touch. The eyes are not on its feet but the feet knows how to do its action.
What do you see in front of you? What are you fighting for?
I have a friend who will tell you every Thursday that Friday is coming! They feel good because Friday is coming! Is Jesus coming back on Friday? No, I must get ready from Thursday what I will wear to go out on Friday. In Ghana when I worked at the UN, Friday was a half day and my colleague would leave immediately to go to the night club.
One day he invited me to the best one in Ghana. We went to this night club with a big hall with lights everywhere but you can’t see because its dark and you can’t recognise faces of people. The music was vibrating the floor and ceiling. I asked him, “Paul, is this the type of life you enjoy?” “Yes”.
You could see women walking around. He took one with him. In the morning I will repent. We even start to plan our repentance. I will do something wrong now and then I will repent later. That is a wrong choice. The next morning when the sun appeared, he looked at that lady who stayed with him, she was among the ugliest women on the planet, he was shocked. He became angry. He said to me, I am stupid, I will never follow the colours of the world because the world will mislead you.
He rushed to the hospital because he wasn’t feeling well, he had the HIV test and it was positive. I said, “Hallelujah”. He asked, “Where is love?” I said, “God gave you everything in your life but you didn’t look after it, so where is your love for God?” He blamed others instead of blaming himself.
We as spiritual people, we must know what the Bible asks us to do and depend on God’s love and ask ourselves, will this please God or not? God chose us first, “I want to live with you forever”. Our answers matter. When we tell God, I don’t want to live with you forever it is like any other husband who wants a divorce. When someone tells you that they don’t want to live with you anymore, it is hard, it hurts.
God can wait for you like the prodigal son. Lucky the boy decided to push himself out from where he was to come home. The father did not leave his house to find him. Meaning that you shouldn’t expect Jesus to look for you. We don’t know for how long we will be alive. We don’t know what will happen on our way. Why leave the father’s house to start with? We shouldn’t.
For those that are eagles, whenever they see the dead body, they will not land there so that it is hard for satan to deceive you, “come here to enjoy sin,” while you know that sin is death. We all know that the wages of sin is death but we go for it, we want to taste death and sin.
In my country, I see hundreds of pictures and videos of people being killed. People are killed day are after for no reason. All of that has made me think that life is cheap. It only takes one second to kill someone and you can’t stop death even if you are a multimillionaire. You can’t tell death, “I’m beautiful, wait,” death will tell you, “No”.
Many among us choose to go for death, to sin, because we believe that is where joy exists. That is why we must go either for the corpse or what is alive. Mathew 7:13, enter the straight gate because the broad way leads to destruction and many go that way.
There is a broad way and many are happy to go through that way rather than the narrow one that leads to life. We follow the broad way because our friends are there, my boyfriend is there, so lets join them. When pagans are organising parties, they never miss alcohol. It must be there and then secondly music and then people come to enjoy.
After drinking a lot, someone becomes drunk. We used to have a neighbour who would drink on Fridays and the more they drank the more the music increased and their voices grew louder and then they would end up arguing and then fighting each other. When you reach that stage of becoming drunk, you lose your personability. They will vomit, they will urinate, look messy and disgusting but for them, they enjoy it. They may hurt themselves and then wonder in the morning where the pain comes from, they don’t remember the night before.
Some will find themselves in a police cell and don’t know how they got there. Your reputation will go down and you will lose your place in the Kingdom of God but you prefer to do that and you believe you are enjoying life.
Romans 12:3, don’t think of yourself higher but just be normal. Many Christian’s today think that they can’t miss out because without them it won’t be as entertaining because the family said or friend said, they can’t be absent. They forget that they should think about others. The first person to think about in your life is your God. If I put myself here, where is God in this? If I want to take all the glory, we should remember all glory should return to God.
We need to seek all that is alive. Things that are alive are those that we don’t see. Colossians 3:1-2, our mind must be set on things in heaven, not on things on this earth. Whatever we do, we must remember not to seek things that are here.
2 Corinthians 4:18, what is unseen is eternal and that is what we should fix our minds and eyes on. Sometimes we look at things and our mind tells us not to look twice and reject with your entire body. Sometimes I see images from Congo and I will send those videos to people and some will say, don’t send anymore, there is a reaction in the entire body and mind and we feel that it is not good for us. When you look at the scene around you, how do you feel? Does your body, mind, spirit enjoy?
Jesus is telling us to look at the unseen things. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, kindness, joy, etc, focus on that. Once you start to focus on those things you are preparing your way to be a good eagle and a good eagle doesn’t fear the altitude. A good eagle doesn’t fear to leave a great height and drop at a fast speed to reach life. When God gives you life in a word, you must rush fast and leave everything for that verse and feed yourself. The remaining part, take to your family and friends.
Eagles are selfish. The first thing they do is to take the fish/rabbit away from where they caught it to eat. When you get the Word of God, take it with you, go to your room and go through it again. By taking a rabbit and going somewhere safe, the rabbit can’t escape and that is where the eagle will kill the rabbit and eat it one small portion after another. When you get the Word of God, try to go in details and think about it. Try if possible to make a great picture for your life: Bible study.
It is not a matter of reading one verse and that will do, think about that verse. That is your daily bread. When you eat your favourite food, you want to eat it until you are satisfied. When you read your Bible, you must make sure that satisfaction is reached and then make sure that others notice you have read the Word of God through your actions. Today you see Christian’s using the Word of God to defend their sins, dead animals
Sunday, November 3, 2019
By Odon Bulamba
Today we are going to go to our Bible in Mathew 24:27. This is a simple verse that anyone can understand. It talks about the return of Jesus. Here Jesus is not talking about signs anymore but insisting on the fact that He will come back and no one will realise that Jesus is here. It will be extremely fast to the point that people will not have time to repent or to ask for forgiveness.
Sometimes when I read this verse, it pushes me to think about the lightning. Lightning is something mysterious which appears in the sky. It doesn’t appear every day and no one can predict it. Sometimes meteorologist will tell you that there will be rain and lightning but we can’t predict it. Some people are scared when they see the lightning and by the time we scream, it is gone. You can’t say Jesus. By the time you open your mouth, it is gone.
When Jesus comes, you will see the light wherever you are. Why did Jesus take this example? Because lightning is not a product of human being and is a mystery, you can’t control it, you can’t stop it, you can’t prevent it. I’m not talking about the thunder with all the noise, I’m talking about lightning.
My mother asked me to draw lightning. I drew a root of a tree. Sometimes it takes different shapes from the last one. It can hit different places from yesterday. You can’t predict how God will appear when He comes back, you can’t draw it and tell others how He will come down. We only know that it will be extremely fast.
Lightning makes you feel something is coming. Some think of the rain coming. The rain may be heavy. When the world is saying, let the spirit rain and come down, we want to see God controlling everything. That time will be late, the Son of Man will already be there. God is telling the church, “You won’t have enough time to repent. Are you ready to go with Me, when I come back?
The Bible says that it will be so quick that the church will be gone at the same speed as blinking your eyes. Will you be ready when Jesus comes back? It’s not written in the calendar. The date is not there.
Very often when we see the sun raising up, we see the signs of the sun coming and then light will appear. Whenever we see the morning star we can tell where it comes from and where it is going. Jesus is the morning star, the Sun but when He comes back, be ready. To be ready is not a matter of kneeling down and praying and crying but to tell God, “Make me ready”.
We are God’s children and He cares for us. He knows the right time when He will come back. For Christian’s who have the revelation will tell God, “Please prepare me for when you come back so I can be ready. Please I don’t want to miss that opportunity”. Like any parent who prepares their children to go somewhere, they know that at a certain time they will leave for the party, “Children, get ready, put on those shoes, it’s time to go now”.
Those who love Jesus, should tell Him, “Prepare me so that you can take me with you, I want to go with you, I don’t know how to prepare myself”. Most of the time we sin without knowing. Many times we sin by just thinking and we don’t even realise it. Because God knows very well what is inside us and understands us better than anyone else, run to him and ask him to prepare you. “I’m your slave, your child, your loved one, prepare me”. If not, you won’t go with Jesus.
Jesus said, whenever a child asks for a bread, the parent won’t give a stone. If you ask for a stone it will be given to you but if you know exactly what to ask your Lord, then that should be given to you. God doesn’t give everything we want but all that we need. What is your first need in life?
Many will say to buy a house, to have money, be joyful. I have a sister who was extremely beautiful in our area. Now that she is getting older, she looks at her old photos, I don’t believe this is me anymore. Her body has been changing every day. It is the same for our mind, soul and hearts, there is change.
That is why, when someone is born again, he looks spiritually fresh with spiritually good skin colour spiritually. They love Jesus and read Bible every second but as they grow up spiritually they feel tired, I don’t need to know more from the Bible, I’ve been going to church for years, I need a break. Those weaknesses will grow in us but it is our responsibility to tell God, “I need your support. Through my experience, many can learn”. In Revelations, Jesus tells us to remember our first love.
My mum says that when a child is born, no one will teach a child how to swallow the milk. They know how to feed themselves. Our spiritual life should be the same, we should find a way to live naturally in God, to be a part of His family. You can feel something touching you and your arm will move and touch where you felt it and automatically you will look. Any part of your body will intervene to remove it.
I’ve seen many people, especially women, touching their hair instinctively. We need to be like this in the Lord. If something strange touches us spiritually, we should notice. We should feel the glory of God but today people don’t feel the power of God in their lives because the church is sleeping. Only those who have eyes to see will see the light when Jesus comes. All will see the light but only those with eyes will really see it.
When you look at the Word of God, do you see what God sees? If a mother is walking with a child and sees a danger, they will intervene. E.g. a snake was in our house and I wanted to touch it. My mum screamed and rushed to pick me up. Her first step was to take me away from the danger. She called men to kill the snake.
In Africa, we kill the snake but in Australia, they release it but we don’t because it might attack again. Sometimes we walk in God and don’t see danger and think it is fair and normal but if you walk near to God, He can quickly tell you, “Don’t walk there,” and take you from danger. Imagine if that snake was there but my mum was too far away. I could touch it and after being bitten, I would not be able to tell my mother what is wrong which would produce death.
It’s time to tell Jesus, “Walk by my side, let me not be far from you, wherever you go Jesus, let me know with you. Don’t give me time to walk far from you”.
Jesus gave a good example that we all know. Whenever two things are put together, no man should separate (talking about marriage). Jesus is our husband, are we faithful and committed to Jesus? Have we decided to follow Jesus for the rest of our lives? Does Jesus continue to hold your life in his hands or have you asked for your life back? Maybe you regret because you married Jesus, this is not what you were expecting.
Many Christians will tell God, “Since I became a Christian my life has changed in a bad way, I don’t have freedom, I used to steal but now I don’t have money, I used to drink beer but now I can’t, I am restricted”. In any responsible family, rules exist. Children will tell you, in our house, we can’t do that.
I know what things that my father would not accept in his house but whenever God gives us rules, we believe that He is mean. We sometimes think He is far from us so we do what we want to do. As Jesus is coming back, we are the light of this world in the same way that Jesus is the lightning appears, we should also be like lightning and quickly appear when Jesus asks us to.
Paul said, imitate me like Jesus. Why can’t we be quick to repent when we do something wrong. Whenever we do something wrong, we say, “I was angry,” and then we decide not to talk to that person. Whenever we do a mistake, instead of repenting immediately, we think that somehow, I am right. If that person hadn’t done this, then I couldn’t do this.
When I did something wrong as a child, I learnt to tell my mum quickly before she found out. That was good. My mum would say, bring yourself to justice. When you feel in your heart to share the gospel, just bring it out.
I went to a shop in Hamilton where an Arab man was there from Iran. I told him to give his life to Jesus because He loves you, repent and give your life to Jesus. I walked away. People looked at me. It sounded rude but I felt in me that I should say it. The next time I went into the shop, he asked “Why did you say that?” I said because there is no time, we need to repent.
I once went to an interview with 3 people. I asked them before we start to read John 21:20, John said to Jesus, who will be the apostle who will betray you. I told these 3 people, who will betray Jesus in our world today. One said, we are here for this job interview. I said yes, this is also part of my job because if I know it’s me, I should repent. One said, I betrayed my wife two days ago. Another said, I betrayed my parents. I think I should repent. I got the job.
Sometimes God will use you. You appear like lightning, pass on the message, be the light, then go. Don’t worry about what they will think or say about you, pass on the message and move away.
God loves you so much, that is why He has been giving us warnings. That is why He is telling you, “I will come like lightning”. If you want to be in His kingdom ask God so that you and your family and friends do not miss that day and minute.
Sunday, September 22, 2019
By Odon Bulamba
It’s a joy to be here this morning and a privilege. Early this morning, when I woke up, after praying I watched the All blacks and Irish team playing rugby. I can tell you that many people were happy to see the All Blacks winning that game. Those that lost, they didn’t enjoy the game and were sad. When you lose something in your life, how do you feel? Do you become angry, blaming someone else or do you accept that you failed?
Today the church is preparing itself for the return of Jesus. If you fail, who are you going to blame? Your coach, your team members, your neighbourhood, or yourself if you are not saved? On several occasions, as a student, I used to be happy to have 100% but if I got 80% I would become angry and instead of accepting, I will find a way to blame the marker, or the teacher, or someone else because I didn’t want to take the blame myself.
Mat 24:26, Jesus told us it will be a time when people will start to tell you that Jesus is in the desert or He is here, be careful, do not go. This is a lesson like a teacher in a class room, do not go there no matter what they say. But we all have that intention of going where we are told not to go.
As the All Blacks were playing but people who weren’t playing the game were trying to do the moves to help the players. Because we are a part of the game, although we are outside of the field, we put ourselves in the game and feel apart of the game. When one of the players made a mistake, someone shouted, “Oh why that?” Sometimes we are good at trying to make the Bible fit into our desires and feelings, “God it shouldn’t be this way, I want it this way”.
One of the biggest warning of our time is to not go where people are saying Jesus is. I travelled recently, in one of the churches, after the pastor finished praying, he took the bread and told people, “This is the body of Jesus therefore Jesus is here, if you want to touch Jesus, come here and touch this bread, if you want healing speak to Jesus”. Many people came and worshipped the bread. They believed the bread was Jesus while Jesus said this is just a symbol.
I stood up and ate the bread and said, “This is not Jesus, He said do this to remember me”. The pastor wasn’t happy and I was told that I was misleading his church. When we are misleading others, we always believe we are right and others are wrong. When we mislead people, we try to convince them that what we are saying is the right way and others are wrong. Therefore, you will see preachers in churches telling you all that they want and because democracy is in the church, the church is ruled by the democracy.
New Zealand law says that all are equal before the law so we try to make the Bible fit our law. In the Bible it says do not kill but around the countries, some allow death penalty to keep the country safe while only God is the one who can keep you safe.
Exodus 14: the Israelites had become slaves. I have seen how slaves are treated. In middle east, Africans have become slaves because they are tricked to go there for work and once there those that exploit them take the Africans’ passports. I have seen people being burnt by their masters and I asked, “Why are you doing this?” He said, “I am the master and he is a slave”.
The Israelites were in Egypt for 400 years of slavery, living in fear and trouble and then it was their time to leave. Moses told them, “We have to let you go”. They must have felt joy to leave Egypt to be free. How do you feel when someone tells you about freedom? Here in New Zealand, you don’t understand the importance of freedom but where I am from, to find a small hole of freedom, you feel the heaven coming down.
In Congo, when you wake up, you praise God because you didn’t know you would wake up and when you leave the house you say good by to your wife because you don’t know when you will see her again. When you live in a free country and the government tries to stop your freedom, you will complain but that’s not possible in some countries like Congo.
The Israelites went through slavery for some time and after leaving Egypt they were singing. Then God put them in front of the Red Sea and pharaoh behind. Imagine you are a slave, you used to work hard and everyone makes your life hard and after being freed, suddenly that king is coming to say he made a mistake and is coming to take you back.
After walking miles and now the king is coming to take you back. You will feel fear growing in your heart and when fear comes, it doesn’t care about your size, knowledge or who you are. Fear attacks you to the point you lose control. You may scream or shout for help but fear will continue to be there. You will lose your appetite and joy. You will see things that you normally wouldn’t see.
One time I was flying with Air New Zealand coming back to New Zealand and suddenly the plane dropped like a stone for a few meters and people screamed and we felt it was the end of our lives. fear doesn’t give you time to shout. You can start to run but you don’t know where to run or hide. The pilot apologised but people were not happy and people complained when we landed. Fear can make you hate someone.
I think Israelites froze with fear. They started to blame Moses while it was there own salvation. They accepted to leave Egypt but when things went wrong, they blamed Moses. Moses looked up and spoke to God and God told Moses, these Egyptians you see, you will not see them anymore. God told them to continue walking across the sea, believe me you will never see these people again.
Ask someone like me to cross the Waikato river while I can’t swim. I will tell you better that they take me rather than I cross the river. I know I will die in the river if I walk across. It arrives sometimes in our lives where there is a tough situation and we don’t know where to go and we feel that God is not capable of giving us solution to our problems.
These people of Egypt wanted to keep the Israelites as slaves. When you were saved, you left Egypt and Jesus told you, salvation is yours. You felt joy and freedom and you started your journey with Jesus. Now Jesus is telling you, “When someone tells you I am here, don’t go there”. The serious problem that we Christians are crossing is that whatever the pastor says, we believe. We don’t have time to read the Bible and understand that our church leaders can sometimes make mistakes because they are humans too.
We believe everything our pastor says must be the truth. In Kenya, this pastor was preaching and he said to people, “Jesus is in me and lives in me and I can feel his presence right now. Women who have been suffering and have problems giving birth and want to be married, its your time now to come and kiss my feet and by doing that you will get all that you need”. He stood up and put his leg forward and a que of women were coming and kneeling down and kissing his foot.
I wasn’t present but my friend was there and he became angry and kicked the pastor’s foot. The churches response was to stand up and say, “Devil in Jesus name, we cast you out”. Young men caught him and put him outside. We believe that Jesus is here. Some of those men are going astray and have left the Bible and are trying to mislead the church.
Salvation is a personal matter and the bridge is not your pastor or you friend, the only bridge is Jesus. Trust in Jesus. When he says be careful, don’t go, please don’t go. If they tell you Jesus is in Auckland, check with Jesus, “Are you in Auckland?”
When I was 11 years old I used to say, “I will never fail”. My cousin challenged me, “You never fail?” and I said, “Yes never no matter what”. She took 50-100 red chillis and told me to eat them in 10-15 minutes, “Then I will believe that you never fail”. In my brain I thought 10 mins was a lot, I can finish in 5 mins. I asked her, “What will you give me if I succeed?” “I will call you boss and give you glory”.
After only 2 chillis, I started to scream like a pig. When my mum discovered what I had done, she asked me if I was normal, “Why are you eating chilli? You must kill yourself to be called boss?” She smacked me and told me I am stupid because only a stupid person will do that.
Sometimes we do stupid things when we want glory. We want to prove we have a greater relationship with Jesus than others but we look stupid. Who crucified Jesus? People who knew the Word of God, who used to spend day and night reading the Word of God. Jesus was never their friend but he became the friend of someone next to Him on the cross. How many Pharisees came to Jesus to talk about the Kingdom of God? They had no time for that.
You are invited to remember that your life is short on this earth and soon we will give a feedback of all our actions. Know that Jesus lives in you and you in Him and if someone says, Jesus is in Ngaruawahia, tell that person that Jesus lives in me so I don’t need to go to Ngaruawahia to seek Jesus. His presence is in you so no need to climb a mountain to see Jesus.
The first commandant says to have no other God or to make something a God. If you believe you feel the power of God in this chair or in this corner of the house, you are creating an idol and you may not enter the Kingdom of God.
Once you realise you don’t respect God’s warning, please make two steps back and repent. Once you know that Jesus has said don’t and you have been doing it, you must repent to keep a good relationship with Jesus. If not, you won’t enter the Kingdom of God when He returns.
I must accept the responsibilities of my life, my soul and the souls of those around me.
Sunday, September 1, 2019
By Odon Bulamba
“Behold [or see] I have told you in advance”.
A very simple but powerful message.
When someone tells you, “See, I have told you,” what is your impression? E.g., “I told you so”. Meaning you were told but you didn’t care about what you were told and later you face the consequences. When that consequence happens, someone reminds you, see what happened.
We have the privilege to be called a child of God. It’s more than a grace to be redeemed, to be accepted and to be one of the children of God. In my life experience, I see many people going from one church to another running after preachers even moving cities because they are trying to be children of God but they can’t be children of God by simply doing that.
I’ve seen people telling God, “I will not leave this room until you save me”. Some will die from hunger and God let them die without salvation. You cannot force God to save you, you can’t purchase it from a shop or order on line, it is just a choice of God. Once you are chosen, you must understand that you are special. Being chosen from among millions is a privilege.
One time as a child, we went to a competition and as we were running those that were taller could make one step to my two steps. They were mocking me but in my mind I thought, “what should I do? Maybe I should run slowly so they will slow down too and after a long distance they will get tired”. After 20 minutes, they got tired and because my lungs were bigger, I increased my speed and I run faster and I won. Those big lungs that I had did not come from my feet, they were there to support me to move forward.
God has put things in your life to keep you moving forward. You shouldn’t minimise yourself and say, I’m not a pastor or prophet so God doesn’t care for me because He does care for you. Being a child of God means that God tells us in advance what is going to happen. All of us want to know what will happen next. When God tells us something in advance, we have that gift of knowing what will happen while others do not know.
From reading my Bible, I will know what will happen such as people will love money but for those without the revelation will find this normal and won’t see it as a sign of Jesus. In Mathew 24, Jesus gave us all the signs of His return. Knowing this is a privilege. What do you do with that information?
One time I sat an exam at the University of Waikato. I asked a simple question to my lecturer by email and he replied with all the answers of the exam. The email was very long and I took the courage to go through it all and the next day in the exam, I couldn’t believe it…it was a three hour exam, I was completed in 20 minutes because I knew the answers.
God has been telling us the answers to all the questions we will face on judgement, “Your actions will follow you so be prepared, don’t sin, repent because all of these will be the questions that I will ask you on that day”. We already know the questions and the answers but are we ready to stand up in front of God to give him the feedback.
Mathew 24:25, “I have told you in advance”. Meaning we won’t have any justification on that day to say, “Jesus, I didn’t know”. Imagine you have told your child, “Tomorrow this is what you are going to do”, and then your child is not ready the next day what you had planned to do. E.g. we want to go to Auckland, we are leaving at 11am and we have planned everything correctly and then at 12pm I am not there yet. You will ask yourself what has happened and then you will be disappointed because I didn’t take our plan seriously.
From this verse, Jesus is giving us a program, “My Kingdom is coming soon and I don’t want to be selfish, I want you My children to live with Me in this Kingdom. I have prepared everything for you. I want to show My love to you My children so get ready I am coming to pick you up. At 8am I will be ready and I will pick you up at such place so be ready. When you see the signs happening, remember that I am on my way so clean yourself and be ready so we can go.
Yet, instead of reading those signs and preparing ourselves, we say to God, “I am sick of this, this preaching, the Word, the name of Jesus”. Why aren’t you sick with your behaviour, character and things of this world? We live the same things every day, it’s a routine. Aren’t you sick of that? We should be sick of this physical life and think about a new life that is not boring and is eternal.
One time my mum told me, “My son, how long do you want to live on this earth?” I said, “Maybe 1000 years”. “Regardless of all the challenges surrounding you?” She told me, “I understand but Jesus said that it is better to live like children,” meaning that children will adapt themselves to any situation.
Ange is holding her daughter. Imagine if someone tells me to sit on Ange’s lap like that. I will say no. Children will let you know when things go wrong and don’t have shame or shyness to express what is inside them. How often are we shy to prove to the world that we belong to God. For children to sit on their mum’s lap, they are free without asking anyone and it feels good. When God wants to hold us because people are around us, we don’t want to be identified as children of God.
My mum told me that everyone on earth works hard to be happy. We go to work to find money to be happy. When we visit parts of the world we want to be happy and enjoy what we see. Even what we eat, we want good and tasty food to make us happy. My mum said happiness is not on this earth.
If you want happiness think about the next Kingdom to come. You lovbe money but money doesn’t love you. You love your house but your house does not love you. You love God, He straight away loves you without condition.
When I was around 20 years old, I understood that everything around me can kill me. We are surrounded by several enemies. For that reason, God said that in my Kingdom, death won’t be there anymore, suffering and crying won’t be there anymore, you will be there living in joy celebrating. See, I have told you in advance.
When someone tells you in advance, “You get prepared”. It is not only a matter of being informed but preparing yourself. Are you ready to meet with the Lord and to enter the Kingdom of God? Are you ready to sit in the room with Jesus? When you were told in advance, you don’t have to forget, you must make sure that you don’t forget.
Jesus said, “You will receive the Word of God but satan will snatch it”. You read the Word of God a few years ago or received a message but now you have forgotten it. If you have a box to store to jewellery or money, then you should also have a place in your heart to store the Word of God.
When I want to get credit on my phone, I am told to top up my phone. The topping up process is not for free, you must pay. Although I have been using Vodaphone for several years, they don’t have any mercy when my New Zealand dollars have finished. They don’t care that I have been using their service for 20 years. At the end of the month I must top up and they always take away from me.
If I think about the money that I have wasted topping up my phone you might be shocked. Although my phone cost me money, my phone is not enough, I must add credit every time before I use it. When I say that I am not topping up my phone, it becomes useless.
It is the same with the Word of God. When you are saved, when Jesus redeems you, He wants you to refresh yourself every time, to top up your knowledge, prayers, gifts and all that He gives to you because at the end of the day those that perish will be those that did not. If you don’t want to perish, top your knowledge. How much do you know, how much is your knowledge and how much are you prepared?
In the Bible, those with handicaps were taken to Jesus to touched to become normal. Jesus was touching them and healing them. My heart can be sick and my mind can be sick but I have to go to Jesus to ask for healing. How often do we ask Jesus to heal our spiritual life? Come close to Jesus to ask for healing. Pray to God, “I am your son or daughter, you have chosen me from among millions, please don’t forget me on the day that you come back, don’t forget my family and my people, I want to see them in heaven”.
Jesus said, “Go everywhere to preach the gospel and make them my disciples”. God wants you to bring people into his Kingdom. Do you do that?
I was reading the poems by Gloria. These poems are deep and touching. God lives in me day and night. Even when I sleep and I don’t know what is happening around me, God lives in me even when I am having night mares. As we were singing, Ange brought a few songs, the second one if you read from your sheet you will be amazed.
The love of God for you. He loves you. Do you love him? He cares for you, do you care for him? He wants you to be His child, do you want Him to be your Father? He is preparing a place for you, are you ready to come? He wants to come close to you, do you want to come close to him?
Sunday, August 18, 2019
Saturday, August 3, 2019
By Odon Bulamba
We are going to share the Word of God and continue with Mathew 24 and today we are going to talk about this message that Jesus left to us in verse 23. Whenever someone will tell you that Jesus is here or there, do not believe them. The secret behind this message is not about the presence of Jesus somewhere but that imperative form, “don’t believe”. It is a command. This is an instruction which is a MUST that Jesus is telling the church.
If you look carefully, the whole chapter 24 is about the love of God for His children, those chosen by Him. Because He has worked hard to redeem us, He doesn’t want us to get lost so He is giving us all the signs so we cannot go far from Him and perish.
The effort that Jesus has made to leave the Kingdom of God to come down here to rescue me and you mean a lot. Maybe for you as a human being, you might not think about it. I’ve seen during my time here when I go overseas, I leave my comfort and everything behind and I must go to rural areas where they might not know clothing or cooking as we know it. You must be with them and eat what they eat, wear what they wear. I remember one tribe ran away when they saw human beings in clothes, so we had to be naked to spend time with them.
It’s not easy to leave what you know to spend time with others. Jesus left the Kingdom of God only because He loves us. He left everything to seek you and me. After doing all the work He did on the cross and to preach the gospel to accept the path to heaven, to accept to be like us and to be the truth for you and me so that we will not get lost means a lot.
In my culture we have a truth that is opposite to Jesus, it is a wrong truth. Everyone has their own culture which is different from the culture of God. Once you practice another culture and its truth, you lose your visa to the Kingdom of God. Jesus came down to show us the truth. Jesus came down to show us that He is the only way to heaven. “The way” means that we walk on the way to get to the destination. Jesus made Himself like a path/road that you can use with your dirty feed to reach the Kingdom of God which is what we call forgiveness. Come as you are, and He will take you to the Father.
After doing all that work, Jesus wanted to preserve us, “Here are the signs so you will know when I come back, think of them and make the right decision”. Don’t believe if anyone tells you that Jesus is here, even yourself, your pastor, the king/queen. Jesus said this because satan knows very well that if you say Jesus is here, those who believe in Him will leave where they are and go there.
For example, recently in Kenya, this pastor met with two white men and one had long hair like Jesus in the movies and he told that man, “We can make money with your appearance, we can con people. Whenever I preach the gospel, I will open the curtain behind me and then you appear like Jesus and then you can tell people specific messages. I can assure you we will get money from this”.
He wore a robe of white and shawl over his shoulder. The pastor said, “Jesus is going to be here today”. Suddenly the lights went out in the church. The curtains pulled aside and here is the white man with his hands up. “Peace be with you”. Then he started to say names of people. “X person, you have such problem, today you will have solution”. By naming the people and their problems, people believed him.
Then this false Jesus said, “Now you have to offer”. People were coming from 60km to see Jesus appearing until the government discovered the truth and arrested the pastor and Jesus and the other friend. I can tell you that 90% of those misled were Christians. People of other religions didn’t come closer but those who believed in Jesus were victims of the scam.
We must be careful and the command He is giving is, “Do not believe”. How much do you love Jesus? To accept His word and instructions, you have to know if you really love Jesus or not? For love of us, He came down and advised us on the way to live and what will happen in the future and He doesn’t hide anything from us and tries hard to explain to us what pleases or not pleases Him through the Bible. If you want to offend God, just do what he doesn’t like as written in the Word of God.
Because Jesus loves us and wants us to have a good relationship, He gave us His Word. Put it in practice. Faith, love and hope are three things of importance to God and love is the greatest but we as human beings stick on faith, we want faith and we want things to happen because we have faith. When we pray, we can say, because of your love Jesus, please do this. We prefer to say, Lord give me enough faith to move the mountains. Sometimes we also pray and focus on hope. I hope this will happen soon. Love takes the third position very often.
In one of my dreams once, an unknown person came in my dream and said, “Are you saved?” I said, “Why do you ask this?” “Be honest, are you saved” “Yes I am”. “Do you love Jesus? “I do but not that much”. “Out of 10, how much do you love Jesus?” “I know your love your children, your life, your clothes, your food but how much do you love Jesus out of 10, be honest”. My answer was shocking and I felt ashamed with my answer.
Consider how much you give to yourself compared to that which you offer to Jesus. I found that I don’t love Jesus that much. As Colleen said here, when we are planning to go somewhere, you start to prepare. What will I eat, where will I stay, even clothes, what time am I leaving? You plan it ahead and it will take time, effort, money and maybe don’t sleep because you are planning your coming journey. Some will write notes. Some will read reviews on the internet and visit YouTube. It will take them hours and they will even ask others who have been there.
If you don’t take time to do your research and prepare yourself then you may regret it. Once in China I walked into a restaurant and they welcomed me nicely and they brought a small kettle with a cup. I had a cup of tea. Then a glass of water. I ate. After eating, I saw the bill. I was shocked. To sit in the chair cost me US$5. The cup of tea was US$4/6. Then the toothpick I used US$1. The servant who came, you must pay her US$10 on top of the food. You have consumed our food and effort and you must pay for it. It was a shock. Because I was lazy to research and find out the truth the hard way.
Another time, I went to the bank in China, a national bank, a respectable big bank. I had come with $US and went to ATM machine and all the bank notes were fake bank notes. The numbers were not straight. This is not normal. By observing I could see they all had the same number. I went to the counter, “This is your money that I just collected from them”. They said, “No, you didn’t get it from our machine”. They said, “No I didn’t see you”. After a long discussion, “Let’s have a look at our video”. After viewing the footage, they took the fake notes and gave proper bank notes. That was a lesson for me, I should learn from this: take your own money when going to China because they will rip you off.
When you step into a taxi, the driver will say, “You will pay 5RMB but then they say 25 at the destination and they will take you in the middle of nowhere. This is what Jesus is telling us. You have to be careful because many will appear to be good people and say Jesus is here but it is not Me.
It is time now to test your belief. What do you believe in? When you love someone, you will believe all that they tell you and accept to follow their instructions. You will try your best to respect their words and follow what they have told you because you love them but when love decreases, that is when you throw away everything they said, and you do whatever you want.
When Jesus gives instructions, “Don’t believe them”, Jesus is testing you love for him. “If really you love Me you will listen to my voice and listen to My command so don’t believe when people say that Jesus is here”. In the past, when Jesus would come down, people would rush to where Jesus was. Jesus now lives in us so we don’t need to go anywhere to look for Him because He is with you.
We have to make sure that we remember every time that we are together with Jesus no matter where we go. if I remember that Jesus is in me, I can easily become His friend, He is talking with me right now and is really close to me.
Today the church is sleeping because we only want to hear, “Someone is here,” and we must go there. That apostle is the one who walks with Jesus in his brief case. When people hear, oh, Benny Hinn is in Auckland, many people go there because they believe that they will see Jesus through Benny Hinn. If someone tells you to have your own personal time in your room to pray and read Word of God people will be bored.
We are the sheep of God and we are in His hands and He needs us but don’t harden your heart because this is what makes us away from God. Jesus lives in us and when He speaks to us, we shut our mind and heart and try to close our ears and not listen to Him and decide to do what we want to do it, when and how we want.
Although we have seen the work of God in our lives and the great things He has done, we harden our hearts. I was touched by Colleen’s prayer this morning, “Our Father who art in heave (Mathew 6), let Your will be done”. That is a powerful prayer. Do you let the will of God be done in your life or is your own will take the first place? Very often our own will takes the first position.
What is my will as I prepare my journey? I want to be in heaven. Am I preparing myself to go to heaven? Did I book my flight, prepare my clothes, prepare all that I need to go to heaven? Maybe not because I think I have time and I will do it later. I remember Guillaume used to tell me in 2025 I will be in this position, I will do this and fulfil this in my life but he didn’t see 2020. Now he is gone. No one could stop it.
No one can say I have $500,000, death leave me behind because I want to live longer. Someone who was walking and talking yesterday, is now in the grave and can no longer move anymore and can no longer pray for forgiveness. Did he believe in the Word of God or did he believe that Jesus was here or there? If he believed in Jesus and what he was saying, then praise the Lord.
We need to prepare ourselves. Look after your soul first and don’t follow what others are following just because that is where others are going. Every day ask yourself if your soul ready for the Lord Jesus.
There is an insult, all are following like penguins. If a penguin goes in one direction, they all follow and if one stops, they all stop. They don’t think and just follow the one in front. If danger comes, they all scatter. Follow Jesus as a penguin is good but not people or congregations. No one can tell you if you are entering the Kingdom of God, only the Word of God can tell you when you look at the Word of God and your position. Go to Jesus and ask for forgiveness because He is the path. I encourage you to prepare for the coming of Jesus.
As we have reached Mathew 24:23. Many false prophets will come, be careful, be cautious and wake up our minds before taking our own actions.
Sunday, July 21, 2019
By Odon Bulamba
Today is another new day so I praise God for that. I was looking at the song sheets and I was touched by the songs. “Mighty to Save”, “Here I am to Worship”, and “Remembrance”. “Everyone needs compassion, a love that never fails”. Who doesn’t need compassion in their life? We all need it.
Today we are going to talk about Mathew 24:22 and the very interesting thing about this verse is that it is just the warning that God found would be good for humanity to know so that one day we cannot say that God has surprised us. Mathew 24 was given in order for us to know in advance that something is coming, and we have to get ready.
Surprises happen in our lives. I don’t know the day I will die or the day that Jesus will come back to take us with Him but because our spiritual life is the most important, God wanted us to know the signs to prepare ourselves. The Bible says that unless those days were shortened, no lives would be saved so for the sake of the elect, the days will be shortened. All of us would perish without the days being shortened and we wouldn’t enter His Kingdom. A very interesting and challenging verse.
Some people will concentrate on what the days mean but that is not very important without also thinking about your soul. Will your soul be there in those days and if so, what will happen to your soul? Christians should ask themselves, am I among those elected? If not, where are you? If Rebekah says I am a child of Angela and Angela says, “No, some among you are not mine”, what will Rebekah do? Even if a child believes they belong to you, they may ask, “Am I yours?”
At the last supper Jesus said, “One of you will betray me”. All the 12 apostles knew Jesus and Jesus knew all of them but it was time to ask themselves is, “Is it me who will betray God?” Have you asked God, “Am I among those that are elected? Is it me God? Am I among those selected by you God?” If you don’t, then you don’t care enough to be among the elected.
If you open the Bible in Genesis 1:1, everything was dark. But although darkness was there, the Spirit of God was moving in the darkness. You may be going through darkness and don’t know where you stand in your faith in relation to God but God continues to move in the darkness of your life. Then God said, let the light be. Then the darkness took off. Things that were hidden could be seen. God who is at the beginning is showing us that God can change the darkness to light and all can be seen clearly.
It is possible that some that are not elected will knock and it will be opened. It is time for us to ask God to open the door because we want to be among those chosen. For the past 10-15 years, this movie Shrek has taught me a lot, especially Donkey. When the Donkey talks it sounds funny but you learn a lot from that animal.
When it was the time for Shrek to choose someone to travel with him, he asked, who wants to come with me? Everyone was quiet except Donkey who was jumping me, but Shrek was asking, “Anyone else”, and Donkey kept shouting, “Me, me”. Later Donkey didn’t wanted Shrek to die because he knew if Shrek died, he would perish. At some stage Donkey was kicked out of the house of Shrek. He was sad but didn’t go anywhere.
You can sometimes feel far from God and He can sometimes push you away from Him but don’t go far away, come back to God and tell Him you have no where else to go, “Where you go God, take me” like Donkey who wanted to be with Shrek at all times. It was evening when Donkey was kicked out. How often do you make your way to come back to God to be among those that are elected?
On the day of the feast, invitations were sent but many didn’t come then Jesus said call anyone to come. Meaning that among those that are elected, some will not come back to the table of the Lord and if you are not invited and the call is for you and me, please quickly come back. If it is a matter of having a uniform, ask for one, this is the time.
Before we were born, where were we? We were somewhere. God acts in darkness, He put me in my mum’s womb in darkness for several months and there He was making me to change and grow and become a baby. Then after finishing his job inside that darkness where His Spirit was moving, He then breathed in my nostrils and I had life. I was born and for the first time saw and felt the light.
Then my mother knew she had a son. Although I struggled to open my eyes for the first few days to see the light, the light was there until I could open my eyes. I was already elected to be in this world and since then, I am here. God has a plan for you. Although things don’t work and the situation you are crossing is tough and your spiritual life is weak tell God, “I know You work in darkness, please I want to see the light”.
Saul decided to work for the church to go and kill Christians. Imagine a priest, a believer, to persecute believers. In our days, those that kill the Spirit of God are Christians themselves. Those that persecute are Christians, especially leaders of the church. They will teach us how to hate other Christians that don’t belong to the same church. You can’t marry a Jehovah witness unless you are a Jehovah Witness. In some religions you can’t even eat with others.
When we were organising the funeral of Guillaume, we asked a pastor to pray for the family but he said no because his faith doesn’t allow him. I told him, Jesus went to the tomb of Lazarus who was dead. He a answered, “For me and my faith, I can’t talk about someone who is passed away”. That type of Christianity shocks the world. Mormons, Baptists will tell you something else and then many will be deceived and say that is better for me to not be a Christian.
Saul’s job was to kill and he would leave his house to persecute Christians. That was his ministry in his church. How much hatred or lack of respect or bad things do you teach yourself or others? For those that are elected, the Lord is always there for them.
That day Saul went to Damascus, someone stopped him and he said, “I am the Lord, why are you persecuting me?” He wasn’t persecuting Jesus, he was persecuting human beings but Jesus said, “You are persecuting Me”. Whoever will touch you as an elected, is touching God. Whoever makes your life tough, God will be present to say, you are making my life hard too. The battle belongs to the Lord.
Everything that happens in your life, God gets involved. God intervenes. When someone has a plan against you, God intervenes. God did not let Saul reach his destination and stopped him. Many things are coming to your life and God stops them before they reach you. Many plans are made to destroy your faith, belief, love, family (if you are one who loves God) and Jesus will stop them before they reach you.
Jesus walks by you. Your prayer every time is to tell God, elect me. What does election mean? It means to choose someone to play a role and do something somewhere. We don’t elect without tasks to be done. We elect someone who will do a role somewhere. When we elect someone, we look at criteria. We need someone who can do this or that. We choose a person and trust they will do the job for the whole community.
The election of God is similar. Before to be elected, many people become candidates. You must be ready to be elected. You must be ready to play the role. For God, He looks for those who have the desire, not only faith but also desire to do the job and once you have the desire, it is simple to take actions. Your faith without actions is a dead faith. If you want to be among those who are elected you must the desire to be elected and also to serve. Once elected, the days of tribulation will be shortened because of you and me because we will continue to work, to pray for others and God will have mercy on us and reduce the days of troubles.
If you don’t work, then it is useless. To become a God worker there are three things, love, hope and faith. Among the three, the biggest is love. Are you ready to work for God? What do you hope to get from that work? Do you have faith you will reach the destination with the people you work for? Do you love them?
How can I love this person, we are different races, different cultures? We decide whether to love a person or not. How can we tell God we love Him if we don’t love others? We must love others as we love ourselves. If I stretch it feels good but when others stretch, I will be annoyed. If someone blows their cup of tea, someone gets annoyed. Do you really love that person?
I was given puha and watercress by Maori but European’s reject it and prefer sandwiches. The food is different, so we lower them in our minds. E.g. if they eat with their hands instead of a knife and fork they must be lower than me. If you don’t live with others, how will you lead them to Jesus.
I went to a country where there was chilli rolled in naan bread with tomato sauce. They take the bread and put in your mouth to chew and eat. That is special for their visitors. Because of that chilli I spent 10 days in hospital. Will you say no? They will feel awkward. Some may lie and say, I am fasting or I am feeling sick today so they sin by lying.
You can have faith but your actions are more important. What type of actions do you have? Do you measure your actions? Were they good or bad to yourself, others, God? We have this sickness where we ask God for forgiveness at end of day quickly but we don’t count our actions and let God know at the end of the day how our day was. Yet, we can tell our bosses at work when we have done something and what we have achieved.
It’s time to fight and tell God, “Did you see what I achieved today?” You will feel God is happy with you. How happy is your father with your actions? Find your place among the elected. Don’t continue to fight for the gifts to become a prophet or evangelist? The joy in your heart is more important than your good singing. Make a joyful noise to the Lord.