Archive | February, 2016

No Fear in Love

27 Feb

Excerpt from the Sermon by Pastor Tess Quek.  Bethany International Service,

Sunday, 21 February 2016.

No Fear in Love

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden (Genesis 3:8).

Satan caused Eve to eat the forbidden food and cast a doubt on what God had told Adam. The love of God was destroyed by sin. God has restored the loving relationship between God and man through Jesus Christ our Lord. The foundation of this relationship is always shaken and tested by the enemies.

There are many believers who are discouraged, worried, hurt and heavy laden. Satan still whispers and if we eat the fruit of those whispers, we will suffer. Satan aims to destroy the lives of believers and to turn them away from God. If we continue to eat the lies of the Satan, we will end up hiding away from God just like what happened to Adam and Eve. We will turn away from God and build walls around our hearts to protect ourselves from hurt.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night (Revelations 12:10).

The devil will use persons who are close to us to hurt you. He will use condemnations and gossips, and the most powerful tool is the offences of the people close to us.

We need to arise and deal with our wounds and offences. We have to be careful of our hearts. Otherwise the pain will cause us to build walls around our hearts and that will block God’s love in our hearts.

Our heart needs to overcome our fear and let us learn how to do it.

Be Transparent to God and to Men

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13).

  1. Transparency means that if you sin against God then you need to talk and deal with God personally.
    • If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
    • Nothing is hidden from God. God can see the content of our heart.
    • Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering (Matthew 5:23-24).
  2. Transparency means owning up to our sins and mistakes because in any relationship it is always healthy to own up to our mistakes.
    • Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (James 5:16).
    • We must obey God and ask Him what is going on in our heart. We need to learn to allow God to teach us. If God tells us to go and forgive them, we should do so. It may not be easy but it allows God to work in your life to remove walls around your heart.
    • You need to be truthful and not be like Pharisee.

How can we attain a transparent lifestyle: –

  1. Allow the Lord to remove our walls

Give our life to God and allow Him to remove the walls of our heart.  We need to obey Him.

  1. Allow the Lord to use your lives (2 Corinthians 4:1-6)
    1. Renounce secret and shameful ways
      1. We need to repent before we serve God
      2. We need to serve God with clean hands and pure conscience.
    2. Preach what is the truth – do not distort the Word of God
      1. We need to remember and not to dilute the truth
      2. We must not preach the Word of God to please man.
      3. Manny Pacquiao (Filipino boxer) spoke that he was against the actions of LGBT although he may lose votes and even sponsorships.
    3. Minister in the sight of God.
      1. For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God (2 Corinthians 2:17).
      2. In whatever we do, let us do with a sincere heart for God.
      3. Do not let your life be a clanging cymbal.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love (1 John 4:18).

Perfect Love

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Financial Freedom

26 Feb

Excerpt from the Sermon by Senior Pastor Djohan Handojo, Bethany International Service, Sunday, 14 February 2016.

Financial Freedom

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).

The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains,

The world, and those who dwell in it (Psalms 24:1).

2016 is the year of the total freedom.

Many people live in financial bondage.  Prostitution, imprisonment, murder, drug dealers and other crimes have been committed in the name of money. A lot of people are enslaved by the lust of this world and one of the most common bondage is financial slavery.

Proper money management or stewardship is essential for our financial freedom. Galatians 5:1 – It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery – Christ Has Set Us Free. True financial freedom is being content with what God has given us. Hebrew 13:5 – Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Characteristics of financial bondages:

  1. Negative Habits in Handling Money.

Such negative habits include being stingy and hoarding. People with these habits only want to receive and are not willing to spend.

  1. Lifestyle of Debts (Proverbs 12:24)

Some use their money to manipulate others and to uphold social status. Borrowing money and leading lavish lifestyles lead to debt.

  1. Living a Selfish Life

Example of selfish life is neglecting the needs of the poor and the needy.

They have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy (Jeremiah 5:28).

  1. Bitterness and Discontentment

Comparing your blessings with others may lead to bitterness and discontentment.

  1. Over Commitment (Proverbs 10:22)

We tend to over commit ourselves by being a workaholic. It is the Lord’s blessings that make us rich. We need to have sufficient rest.  God blesses His beloved when they sleep.

  1. Dishonesty (Luke 16:10)

There are people who gamble away their savings because of their desire to be rich instantly. We must also not neglect our tithes and offerings.

  1. Greed

Greed can lead to financial bondages. It is the love of money that is evil.

For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God (Ephesians 5:5).

What is the solution that God has for us?

The answer is in Matthew 6:31-33 – Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat? ’ or ‘What shall we drink? ’ or ‘What shall we wear? ’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

One thing we need to know is that God can provide for our needs. We need not worry as we learn in Matthew 6:31-33.

How can God bless us?

  1. God can provide through fellow human beings.

We can see how God provided for Joseph and his family during the time of famine.

Then Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded (Gen 47:11).

  1. God can bless us through His own hands.

God provided for His people even in the wilderness.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day (Exodus 16:4).

  1. God can bless us though our own hands.

God gives us a special talent and gifts to support our life.

And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year (Joshua 5:12).

We can learn from the ants as they are hard-working. Proverbs 6:6 – Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! Proverbs 30:25 – Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.

The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor (Proverbs 12:24).

  1. God can provide for us even through the hands of the enemies

2 Kings 7:1 Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

We will experience God’s financial freedom as we repent from our wrong ways of handling money. Declare Psalms 23 over your life to be set free financially.

images financial freedom