Archive | May, 2017

WAITING UPON THE LORD

30 May

Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Mark Patterson, USA, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 28 May 2017.

WAITING UPON THE LORD

Pastor Mark travelled to the city of Banji, when he was a child accompanying his parents who were missionaries. In 1991, Dr Neal Patterson (Pastor Mark’s father) was a principal of Tung Lin Bible School in Singapore. While he was studying in Singapore, he decided to do a study on Kazakhstan as part of his thesis. In 1993, he and his family moved to Kazakhstan. They met a man from Sweden and they served God together in Kazakhstan for 11 years. Pastor Mark also helped to setup a Christian television channel in Taiwan to spread the Gospel in Taiwan.

We may never be rich in man’s eyes but we can be rich in culture. What we do is what makes us what we are. Everything we do is part of the preparation to do God’s work.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

The kiwi is a flightless bird although it has wings. The kiwi doesn’t need to fly as there are no natural predators until man brought in the predators. The kiwi’s wing muscles are not developed as it does not need to use it. As Christians when we don’t go through circumstances or challenges, our spiritual muscles would not grow. Growing through challenges in life helps our spiritual muscles grow, as we learn to trust and grow with God spiritually.

We live in an instant world. We want it now. We don’t want to save but we want something that is in trend now. We can Google it up for anything that we need to find out. Everything is within our reach. We don’t have time to contemplate. We need to avoid instant gratification. Many of us as believers want instant answers from God. God can respond in three ways:-
a. yes
b. no
c. wait

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Pastor Mark Patterson loves collecting stamps. He found something online recently for some mounts. As it fits to his plans of stamp collection, he purchased it. However, he needed to wait for two days. After two days, he went to check at his mailbox but there was nothing. After several days, he checked with his wife if she had received any parcel. His wife reminded him to check the front door and upon checking it was there! In fact the parcel had arrived but he failed to check near the front door as it was used mainly for guests. We are sometimes like that when we pray – we only expect God to response in a certain way and we fail to realise that God may respond in another way. God says yes, but we don’t claim it. We just leave it outside the front door. Our prayers go unfulfilled because we don’t ask.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelations 3:20)

God says yes but sometimes we need to wait. Sometimes our prayer is like online shopping. In Genesis 5 we read about Esau and Jacob. Esau had a nickname called Edom which means “red”. Jacob prepared lentils stew and as Esau saw it. Esau wanted it so badly that he was even willing to trade-in his blessings as the eldest son. Esau wanted quick gratification. What we want now seems more important than what we would get later. We should not live for the moment, but ask God what to do with the blessings that He has given us.

Waiting on the Lord is important so that we will mature as we do the will of God. Sometimes God will not give us what we want just yet as we may not be matured enough to handle it. Waiting for God’s timing is a process that builds our character to trust God.

Those who were with Jesus didn’t understand the purpose of Jesus. They want things to be answered now. The blessings are in our possession but we need to wait for it. We need to wait upon the promises of God. God has given us peace and joy and we need to act. Just like the parcel that had arrived, yet we failed to check it.

We need to be constantly reminded of our answered prayers. Have a prayer dairy so that you can check how God has answered your prayers. Don’t forget about what God has spoken to you about your prayers and let us learn to wait upon the Lord.

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HOLY SPIRIT

28 May

Summary of the Sermon by Senior Pastor Djohan Handojo, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 21 May 2017.

HOLY SPIRIT

We are entering into the week of Pentecost. When Jesus was on earth He was led by the Holy Spirit. Today we will learn about the ministry of Jesus in the various historical places in Israel, and its significance relating to the Holy Spirit.

1. Jordan River – Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
The Jordan River is a very fertile river. Naaman, a captain in the army of king of Aram was cured at the Jordan River. Many people, including Jesus, were baptised at that river. Jordan River talks about being filled with the Holy Spirit. In Romans 6:23, the Bible tells us that, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus obeyed God the Father and was baptised at the Jordan River. When He was baptised, the Heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit descended as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)

We become the legal sons and daughters of God as we are sealed with Jesus.

There are many symbols of the Holy Spirit. For example –
a. water – symbolizes cleansing and is needed by every living thing
b. fire – symbolizes light which is needed for life, purification
c. oil – symbolizes healing and anointing
d. wind – symbolizes God is omnipresent

2. Judean Desert – Led by the Holy Spirit
The world is a place of temptation. In today’s modern world, we are tempted in many ways, including entertainment, games and self-indulgences that turn us away from God. Don’t let the devil tempt us. We are sealed by Jesus and let us draw near to God and resist the devil. We need to control our minds so that we don’t live like the world. Jesus was tempted by the devil three times, but each time Jesus replied with the Word of God. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we go through our daily lives.

3. Nazareth – Empowered by the Holy Spirit
Jesus grew up in Nazareth and He was trained there. We need to raise our spiritual Nazarites (our children or spiritual children) and train them in the ways of God. Everyone who serves the Lord needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We need to learn to be led and empowered by the Holy Spirit and not depend on our own strength. We need to build an altar at our home to worship the Lord.

4. Capernaum – The Power of the Holy Spirit and Sharing the Good News
Capernaum was Jesus’ town and the centre of His activities in Galilee. It was the place where the Gospel was spread to many. Although many of the people were fishermen and farmers, yet the Gospel was received openly. The Holy Spirit will empower us to share the good news with people, even if we have difficulty sharing the Gospel. Trust and lean on the Holy Spirit as we share the good news to others.

5. Sea of Galilee – The Power of the Holy Spirit Brings Healing & Miracles
And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

We need to have radical obedience to the Holy Spirit in order to be equipped and anointed to do the will of God. When we obey the Holy Spirit, God can use us to bring healing and miracles to those who need it. The apostles of Jesus brought healing and miracles wherever they went as they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Just like a fan which needs electricity to operate, healing and miracles need power from the Holy Spirit.

6. Upper Room Jerusalem – Wait Upon the Holy Spirit to Receive Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Some of us may not be baptised by the Holy Spirit and we need to be obedient to follow the Lord. The early disciples of Jesus obeyed Jesus to wait for the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem.

The Holy Spirit is a Person. Let us learn how to trust and lean upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives that we may shine for God and bring an impact to our families, communities, cities and the nation.

Christian dove