Archive | March, 2015

WORKING IS A MINISTRY

31 Mar

Luke 12: 22-40

Do Not Worry

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Watchfulness

35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Today’s Inspiration

Martin Luther had once said, “Even though I know that tomorrow the world will be ruined to pieces, I will still plant this little apple tree and paid my debts.” Fransiscus from Asisi also acted the same. He was pruning the plants in his garden when someone asked about what will he do if he know that later in the evening he will die. He answered, “I will keep on pruning my garden until I finish.”

Maybe to many people their answers are weird. Other people maybe will answer that if they know when they will die, they probably will pray all the time and praising the Lord non-stop or being in the church every day, and et cetera. If they know when the apocalypse will come, may they will try to do good deeds as much as possible until all of his treasures are used up.

But for Luther and Fransiscus, daily routines are divine tasks that they have. They did not separate the secular works with the spiritual ones. Whatever that they did every day was a service to God. Their attention was not towards the things that they do, but for whom did they do the works. The things that at first glance seem to be low like taking care of the plants worth an eternity that they were faithful in doing it till the end. Why? Because they saw themselves as the servant of God, that they were willing to do all things as if for God and not for men.

And our attitude must also be like that. Our daily works, probably sweeping the floor, mopping it, taking care of the children, teaching, serving customers, working at the office, activities at ministry, and et cetera. All of those things are a form of our service to God. And if we realise this, we will not take those for granted, right?

Today’s Reflection

  1. What will you do if the end of the world is coming soon or that you are almost at the end of your life?
  2. Do you consider that whatever things that you do are a service for God? What can or will happen when you consider it that way?

Today’s Action

Do whatever things you are doing with faithfulness! You need to realise for whom did you do the works!

Today’s Word

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

[Taken from Today’s Word: Recharge by Ps. Djohan Handojo]

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WANDERING

30 Mar

Numbers 32:1-15

The Transjordan Tribes

The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said,“Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon—the land the Lord subdued before the people of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock. If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.” Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here? Why do you discourage the Israelites from crossing over into the land the Lord has given them? This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land. After they went up to the Valley of Eshkol and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the Lord had given them. 10 The Lord’s anger was aroused that day and he swore this oath: 11 ‘Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob— 12 not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.’ 13 The Lord’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone.

14 “And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the Lord even more angry with Israel. 15 If you turn away from following him, he will again leave all this people in the wilderness, and you will be the cause of their destruction.”

Today’s Inspiration

Moses sent twelve spies to look at Canaan first hand. Ten of them said about the bad things of that land that made all of the people anxious. The two of them, Joshua and Caleb, chose to act differently. They did not deny the horrifying fact about Canaan, but they also believed in the Lord that had promised to them that He would give that land to Israel. They were so sure, that the Lord had promised and that He would make the nation to be able to take the land no matter how hard it was. But then the people did not believe them. The Lord then was angry with them that the nation should again receive punishment.

The unique things was, Joshua and Caleb also paid the same price and consequences due to the hardened hearts of the Israelites. They were not being put aside from the punishment and enter the land first. They must also wander around with the nation. It means that day by day they also needed to defend their faith in the middle of their brethren who did not believe. Surely they were a minority in the midst of majority of people. This happened for 40 years! It was not an easy thing to do right?

The second struggle was very heavy. The pressure from their own people in a long-term condition was not an easy thing to deal with. But then they finally managed to get pass it. They managed to pass the days of pressure by still believing in God’s promise. They finally entered the land of Canaan with the new generation of Israel. Yes, the old generation had all died at the desert along with those the spies. This wandering that they experience was not a punishment for them, but it was a process of purification of the group.

Our faith to the Lord is not always producing the instant and best result. Faith most of the times need to be tested through various conditions and environments that cannot support us in order for the faith to be proved about its purity. The experience of Joshua and Caleb show us that faith is being made stronger when we face the test of faith day by day. Yes, our faith is tested everyday through our wandering in this world.

Today’s Reflection

  1. How does your faith being tested? Share your experience!
  2. What are common things that usually happen in the test of your faith? Why do you pass through the test? If you failed, what is the reason?

Today’s Action

An untested faith is not a precious faith. Stay calm in the test of your faith!

Today’s Word

“not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.” [Numbers 32:12, NIV]

[Taken from Today’s Word: Recharge by Ps. Djohan Handojo]

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TEMPTING

29 Mar

Daniel 1:8-16

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

Today’s Inspiration

When Babylon attached Judah and took all of the people into exile, Daniel was still a teenager. He needed to take the important decision. He needed to follow a training for an important position and it was very promising one in Babylon. He became part of an elite team that serves the king. He must have had several facilities and special treatments back then.

The fact was that to get all of those things, Daniel must compromise his relationship with the Lord. He needed to break the law of God that was taught by him since he was a child. Would he follow the system there or took the risk in still following the Lord’s path no matter what happen? The verse above shows us his choice, the resolve of Daniel.

Daniel realise the important things in this life. He took the decision based on his conviction. He chosen to hold his desire from positions, seats, and honor, and he made sure that he still had the right relationship with the Lord. It looked like he realise it in the end when his life was ending that the most important thing was not what his friends say or think about him, or find what the king was thinking. Their judgements were nothing to him. He knew that the most important thing is what the Creator would think about him and that he wanted to always please the heart of the Creator. That was being done continuously by Daniel just like the writings in the Bible stated.

In this world, every one of us will always be faced to a choice: please mankind or please the Lord. We are being faced with many hard choices, whether it is in the middle of our families, schools, work places, in the middle of the society, or in church. Sometimes we often choose to please mankind more because of our ego or because for the sake of friendship or because we are forced to. Whatever the reasons may be, let us learn now from Daniel, and take our decisions not based on the mortal importance that will soon wither away, but based on the perspective of the eternal Father.

Today’s Reflection

  1. What kind of thoughts you usually have in order for you to take decisions every day? Have you ever have any conviction or resolve like Daniel?
  2. With determination and integrity like Daniel, is it possible for us to survive in the competition of this world these days? If yes and if not, why?

Today’s Action

Have a resolve and determination to live a holy life.

Today’s Word

“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.” [Daniel 1:8, NIV]

[Taken from Today’s Word: Recharge by Ps. Djohan Handojo]

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FAITH AND CONDUCT

28 Mar

James 2:14-26

Faith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Today’s Inspiration

We may be confused with this things. The Book of Romans says that we are being made righteous by faith and not conduct. On the contrary, James says that faith without action is dead. There are also those who use this as a proof that the Bible is not false-proof.

When we are facing the statements of the Bible that seem to be opposing each other, we should try to make peace between them. It means that we should not see it first hand as opposition, but we need to look at it as something that completes each other. Then, how does faith and conducts complete each other?

Let’s just say that there was a married woman, and she was pregnant. Would she just relax and did nothing, just waiting for the baby to be born? Of course not right? Pregnancy means the woman would change her diet, her way of life, and pattern of her sleep. All of those patterns will change since she knew her pregnancy. The mother will change and adapt herself with pregnancy in order to prepare the deliverance of the baby.

Faithful man is not so different as well compared to the pregnant woman. We are pregnant with the seeds of the Word of God, the seeds of God’s promise. Like a pregnant woman, it would be impossible for us to just idling around and relax in waiting passively the fulfilment of the promise; that as if the fulfilment would just come down from the heavens. Faith is like pregnancy that will change our patters of life. If we do not care and nurture it with the right pattern, that seed will fail, and we will not be able to see the fulfilment of God’s promise. On the contrary if the faiths enchanted us so bad to live like as if the promise is already at our hands, we will live our lives in a more serious manner. Faith is proved through actual acts. Our acts are the proof of our faith. Just acting without confession will makes the person to be a poor and helpless one.

And so, faith must be completed with conducts and that act is the proof of our faith.

Today’s Reflection

  1. Do you have faith in Lord Jesus Christ? What can you do as the proof of your faith?
  2. How can your conducts affect other people’s faith?

Today’s Action

Do you have faith? Do not just sit around – act now!

Today’s Word

“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” [James 2:26, NIV]

[Taken from Today’s Word: Recharge by Ps. Djohan Handojo]

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MAGNET

27 Mar

Philippians 2:1-11

Imitating Christ’s Humility

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father

Today’s Inspiration

Just imagine when you have many marbles in a plastic bag. Those marbles will stick together because they are in the same container. But then the plastic is ripped, and marbles after marbles are falling and are separated from each other. Now, imagine if you have a magnet. When you are near to the powder of steel, then the magnet will pick and pull them up. They become one again not because of the container, but because of the magnet.

Who are the people in Philippi? The people in the church there came from many different background. There was Lydia, a Jewish lady and a rich businesswoman [Acts 16:14]; there was also a woman slave, possibly Greek [Acts 16:16]; and there was also a warden, possibly Roman [Acts 16:25-36]. It seems hard to imagine that all of them gather together in the same container. Even if they can, there are great possibilities that there will be a lot of conflicts there.

In the letter of Paul they showed a real genuine unity: “in Christ.” In Christ is not just a container that brought them together. Container can trick us because people can be in the same room, same church, and also carry a time bomb that can explode anytime. On the contrary, the people in Philippi were tied by their bond with Christ, not because of who they were. Their unity was made stronger when they became selfless and to be more like Christ. Yes, if everyone can have a commitment to grow in Christ, there will be no more ego. That is what should happen in the Church these days.

Today’s Reflection

  1. In your mind, are you like the marbles or like the magnet? In terms of who you really are do you attract other people?
  2. How do you see the things and phenomenon that happen in church now? What role can you take so that church can be a magnet for Christ?

Today’s Action

All of us have the potential to be the magnet for Christ. Make it happen!

Today’s Word

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion..” [Philippians 2:1, NIV]

[Taken from Today’s Word: Recharge by Ps. Djohan Handojo]

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HARDSHIPS

26 Mar

1 Peter 4:4-6

They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

Today’s Inspiration

There many strange things that happen in this world now. Honesty and clean life is hard to get in this life. When we want to make Driver’s License, it becomes hard since the bureaucracy is very long, not for us to get the license easily, but for many holes so that they can cheat. They do not recommend to use the usual, honest steps. Taking care of permit also becomes hard because the system is corrupted already.

These days those who want to stay clean is hard. That is the irony of this age. We live in a contrast world. The right became wrong and the wrong became right. Sin is no longer considered as sin, but a tolerance. Wickedness to be considered as goodness. Representatives of the people do not represent the people, but persecute the people. We were frustrated will all of that. This indeed is a hard moment for us and the hardships keep on growing.

Whatever the condition of this age is, clearly the Lord called us to live a clean life and to guard it to stay clean. Our lives are testimonies and in the midst of this dark world, the light of life is needed. In the midst of the rot of this world, the salt of the world is needed. The Lord call us to live a righteous life and not for this world to become a better place to live in, but because that is the very reason why the child of the light should live in light. That is our essence as the children of the Lord.

We will face many trials because our values are different from this world. Our lives become not easy to live. But then that does not mean we give up right? Life is hard indeed, but that does not mean we just stand still and receive this situations and move along with the current. Yes, this life is a fight and to keep on fighting is what the Lord wants and that is our highest calling.

Today’s Reflection

  1. Do you realise your highest calling and to live according to that call?
  2. How do we guard our lives to stay clean?

Today’s Action

Live clean and holy wherever and whenever!

Today’s Word

“They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.” [1 Peter 4:4]

[Taken from Today’s Word: Recharge by Ps. Djohan Handojo]

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GROW AND BE FRUITFUL

25 Mar

2 Peter 3:18

18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Today’s Inspiration

In our friendships in the midst of those who say that they believe, we can see that there are Christians who look mature and there are also those who seem not growing at all. Those who grow so well hold responsibility in the congregation, supporting the Christian community, and helping other people to grow; whilst several other people keeps on struggling with that same personal problem all the time. Why are there people who grow and be the servants in the church, whilst the others are still like children?

Those Christians do not grow because they do not want to or do not know how to grow.  It is weird is not it? People want to be Christians but they do not want to grow, even though growing is logical consequences of the decision that has been made. Believers are disciples that need to be taught. If there are no problems, then Christians should want to grow in their relationship with God. The problem is, do those people really believe Jesus as the Lord and Savior? People these days really make their personal health to be an important thing to be concerned about. And likewise, those who live spiritually need to pay attention on the health of the spiritual self. Only those who have died that do not care about his health.

The Father called us so that we can ‘be fruitful’ [John 15:8]. In other words, God does not save us just so that we are saved; but He saved us so that we can produce fruits in our service in this world. We are called not just to be saved, but with a mission: to represent the Lord and produce fruit for His glory.

But then, the fruit will be real as the time pass by with our spiritual growth. We will not produce many things that are eternal if we are not mature in spirit. We will lose the chance to be the light of the world. If we are too busy in struggling over the same problem over and over again. We will not go to a higher rank because we never pass the test of faith that mature us.

Today’s Reflection

  1. Are you growing? Can you say that you are growing indeed in spirit?
  2. How do you make sure of your growth?

Today’s Action

Keep on growing! Fruits that we will have in eternity will be the same with the growth that we have.

Today’s Word

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” [2 Peter 3:18, NIV]

[Taken from Today’s Word: Recharge by Ps. Djohan Handojo]

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