Archive | March, 2016

FOUR LIES OF THE ENEMY

14 Mar

Excerpt from the Sermon by Senior Pastor Djohan Handojo, at Bethany International Service on Sunday, 13 March 2016.

FOUR LIES OF THE ENEMY

The year 2016 is the year of Total Deliverance, as declared by our Senior Mentor Pastor Niko Njotorahardjo.

Joseph had a turbulent life – he was sold, imprisoned, and he was used by the Lord to save the Egyptians and His people from a severe famine. Joseph rose to power after interpreting the Pharaoh’s dreams.  He became a ruler of the Egyptians and through his leadership the Israelites were saved from the great famine.

After the great famine, the Israelites increased greatly in number and the new Pharaoh, who did not know Joseph, oppressed the Israelites. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God saw the people of Israel and He sent Moses to set them free from the oppression of the Pharaoh.

Pharaoh depicts the picture of the ruler of this world and how he tried to prevent the Israelites from worshipping the one true God. Today we will learn to discern the lies of the Devil.

Lie No. 1 – Worldly lifestyle is acceptable as a Christian living.

Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land” (Exodus 8:25).

The ruler of the world is the anti-Christ and we should not follow the ways of this world. This world is our temporary home and we should lead our life according to the heavenly lifestyle as we prepare for our eternity. We need to be different in order to be used by the Lord.

And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666 (Revelations 13: 15-18).

Be careful of the lure of materialism where we love things more than God.

Lie No. 2 – Be a believer but it is not necessary to be too serious with the Lord.

So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you must not go very far away. Plead for me” (Exodus 8:28).

Are you a true Christian or a lukewarm Christian?  If we are a shallow Christian, we can be easily tossed and turned by false teaching.  Beware of hyper grace teaching which teaches that once we are saved, we are forever saved.  This is a misleading concept because we will not develop a life of living in holiness and sanctification, being conformed to the image of Christ. Be a committed and a serious Christian; do not believe the lies of the devil.

Lie No. 3 – Only some members of the family need to worship God.

No! Go, the men among you, and serve the Lord, for that is what you are asking.” And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence (Exodus 10:11).

The Devil does not want our whole family to worship God.

The Devil always tries to destroy the family and steal the next generation from worshipping God. The Barna Institute research statistics showed that if mothers are devoted Christians, 30% of the children became committed Christians.  However, if the fathers are the devoted Christians, 70% of their children become committed Christians. There are blessings for those who fear the Lord and who walk in His ways. (Psalms 128)

Lie No. 4 – Be a believer but it is not necessary to worship God with our wealth.

Then Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, “Go, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be detained. Even your little ones may go with you” (Exodus 10:24).

One thing we need to remember is that God does not need our money but the works of His Kingdom needs our finance.

The wealth that we have is not for us to hoard, but to be used for the glory of God. The Bible tells us to honor God with our first fruits and our tithes. As we extend to help others, we are actually lending to God. (Proverbs 19:17)

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine (Proverbs 3:9).

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows (Malachi 3:10).

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed (Proverbs 19:17).

He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him (Psalms 126:5).

Sow generously, for we will reap what we sow.  Those who sow sparingly will also reap sparingly.

Do not be trapped by the lies of the devil if we wish to enter the Promised Land.  Focus on the Lord Jesus in order to be totally free from the lies of the devil.

TruthandLiesSigns

CROSSING OUR RED SEA

12 Mar

Excerpt from the Sermon by Pastor K Steven – Bethany International Service, Sun, 6 March 2016.

CROSSING OUR RED SEA

Exodus 14:1-8

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal- zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him, and took six hundred chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the people of Israel while the people of Israel were going out defiantly.

In life we come across many problems which we cannot solve.  If you have challenges, you are in the right place – the Church. God can speak to you through the sermon. When the Word of God is being shared and if it applies in your situation, say “Amen” because God is giving word that is meant for you. Unless God intervenes, we will be in a helpless situation.  Sometime we may feel like we are like the Israelites at the Red Sea – unable to go forward or backward. Today we will learn how to apply three principles – the 3 “R”s.

1.RECOGNIZE God’s Purpose for Our Problem

a.Make Known His Glory to Others

God cares for us – He intercedes for us. He knows the number of hairs on your head. Whatever we are going through, God is in control. We can learn from the Israelites who were stuck between the Red Sea and the Egyptians. When the Israelites were in this situation, God revealed His purpose so that even the Pharaoh would know that only God could save the Israelites (Exodus 14:4).

b.Trust in God More

Sometimes we are in the situation that only God can save us. God’s hand is upon us. God wants us to grow deeper in our relationship with Him. The deeper we grow, the stronger we will become. If you are in a situation, God has a purpose for what you are going through. Despite all, as you walk with God, He will guide you and help you to be more than an overcomer.

We often sing the song, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back”. Christian life has no turning back. We walk forward, following God. We can trust God, as He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

2.RETAIN God’s Perspective of the Situation

Do not Panic

To panic is to have a sudden unreasonable fear. When you are in difficult situations, you must not be panic. You need to look back and see how God has helped you. “Ebenezer” means – God who has seen me through till now, will see me through in future.  If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth, God will see you through all situations. Do not doubt what God can do for you.

God’s reason for the Israelites’ situation was for them to experience a miracle.  The Israelites thought that they would die. Nowhere in Exodus is it mentioned that God or Pharaoh wanted to destroy the Israelites. Many times we have negative thoughts like the Israelites. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us that we must not lean upon our own understanding but trust in the Lord.

We must learn to see the situation from God’s perspective by spending time in His presence. Isaiah 40:31 – but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

  1. RELY on God’s Promise (Exodus 14: 13)

Never neglect in coming together for fellowship. We are not created to be alone. We need to rely on the promises of God.  In 2 Corinthians 1:20, we are reminded that God’s promises are “yes” and “amen”. God tells us not to fear and we need to do the following:-

a.Fear not

Do not fear. God is in control and He is bigger than our problem.

b.Stand firm

Do not give up and not run. Be firm and believe in the promises of God.

c.Be still

We need to be still to receive His peace (Psalms 46:10).  God’s Word is alive and we can apply it in our life. Our God is reliable. When we have the Word of God in us (as we meditate on it), the Word will help and encourage us.  If we want God’s provision, we need to walk faithfully in Him. We must press on.  Read the Bible every day and take it seriously. Your inner man will be strengthened as you stand on the promises of God. Leave the fear aside.

As we face challenges, let us remember Philippines 4:6-8. As we trust in God, God will give us a breakthrough just like He did for the Israelites.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things (Philippians 4:6-8).

Trust in God wooden sign on a beautiful day

REFLECTION ON TIME

1 Mar

Excerpt from the Sermon by Pastor Niko Prajogo.  Bethany International Service, Sunday, 28 February 2016.

REFLECTION ON TIME

Pastor Niko reflected on his mother’s recent passing and how she had served the Lord during her lifetime. Today we will learn on how to make most of our time.

1.Redeeming Our Time

So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom (Psalms 90:12).

We do not know how long our life will be but one thing we can do is to consider how we use our life. We all have 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and 12 months in a year. Are we able to account for it?

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16).

The word “redeem” is making most of our time or trying to make it better.  God wants us to use our time to seek Him, worship Him and to serve Him.

Sometimes we spent our time in small squabbles. The Bible tells us that “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).  If you have anger within you, redeem the time by releasing forgiveness. When someone is in love, he or she would make time for this special person. Likewise, we should redeem our time to seek God because we love Him.

The days are evil, but we as children of God should redeem our time. Let the Holy Spirit speak to us, revealing which part of our life and time we should redeem. Let us walk like a wise man. We need a heart of wisdom to be fruitful for the Kingdom of God. Rick Warren said, “The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.”

As parents, let us redeem time to teach our children in the fear of God – Proverbs 22:6.   We need to teach our children to follow God closely.

As you serve the Lord, you are redeeming the time.  When we pass on from this life we cannot bring anything.  The only thing we can bring along is our works for God.  There are people who are afraid to leave the earth now, as they have not redeemed the time well for God. We need to be freed from complacency.

2.Going through Difficult Times

When we go through difficult times we need to remember that God is always with us and He is in control. There are three attributes that we need to remember:-

i.God is Sovereign

When we follow God, we need to go through difficult times. In Psalms 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me;”

ii.God is Love

Our God is a loving God because He is love. Whatever He does, is because He loves us. He proves it this way that while we are still sinners, Christ died for us – Romans 5:8. His love is beyond description.

iii.God is Perfect

When we do not understand where we are going, we can trust God’s heart. In Daniel 3:17-18, Shadrach replied to Nebuchadnezzar, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”  The Devil wants us to be disappointed in God through troubles but as believers, we need to know that God will not leave us nor forsake us – Hebrews 13:5.

There are three things we need to know when we go through difficult times.

a.He Gives Us Grace to Go Through

In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul prayed for God to remove the thorn in his flesh. God replied, that, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

b.He Gives Us Endurance

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2).

c.He Knows Your Limit

Each time we pass the test, we move to the next level.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Your life is stronger than what you think as you are a new creation in Christ. God knows your limit and He will not let things happen beyond what we could go through.

3.When We Cross the Finishing Line

The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit (Ecclesiastes 7:8).

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

If we believe in Heaven and Hell, it will change the way we lead our life. Apostle Paul knew his time would be up soon, and he wrote this to encourage his spiritual son, Timothy.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; (Ephesians 2:8)

It does not matter how we start; what matters is how we finish.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

For this reason, I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day (2 Timothy 1:12).

Pastor Niko’s mother started serving the Lord through the Youth Ministry. She was diagnosed with cancer last year and even as she went through treatment, she still continued to organize meetings and serve the Lord. She poured her life as a living sacrifice before God. She fought a good fight till the end and she finished the race well for God.

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