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

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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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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

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

HOW CAN WE WALK WITH GOD?

31 Jan

Excerpt from the Sermon by Pastor Djohan Handojo.  Bethany International Service, Sunday, 24 January 2016.
HOW CAN WE WALK WITH GOD?
Entering the year 2016, Pastor Djohan received God’s leading from Joshua 3:5 “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do great wonders among you.”
The people of Israel were excited to see Canaan, the Promised Land.  They were freed from slavery and looked forward to starting new things.  This year the Lord will do great wonders for us as we purify ourselves.
As children of God, we should not be afraid of our tomorrow because He promises to be with us, because His name is Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).  Our eternal Father is always with us and for us.   God cares for each one of us individually.  He knows how we feel, our thoughts and desires.
The year 2016 will not be an easy year, it will be a year of quaking and shaking (Joel 2:32). Violence upon violence and everything that can be shaken will be shaken until the only unshakable Kingdom of God remains.  The situation of the world is heading towards the new world order.   We are living in the last days and around the world we can see the nations are experiencing quaking. A prophecy for USA, if they do not return to the ways of the Lord, they will face destruction. USA is legalizing LGBT, people are living immorally without reverence for the Lord. 
Sometimes God allows us to experience a diverted route, an unexpected U-turn, like what Moses and the Israelites experienced.  Moses was not raised as a Hebrew, he was brought up as an Egyptian.  When he found out about his roots, he wanted to bring the Israelites out of slavery.  Moses had to deal with rebellious and stubborn people, who attacked his leadership. Even though the Israelites experienced the blessings of God, they kept on murmuring and grumbling. For 40 years, Moses led the Israelites on a lengthy journey, when it was supposed to be a short journey.    
God allowed the Israelites to re-route in order to purify their hearts.  God cares more about our character and our commitment to follow Him more than our competence.  Skills can be trained and equipped but character and commitment comes from the heart. 
Deuteronomy 32:1-4, is a song of praise delivered by Moses –
“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb. For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; Ascribe greatness to our God! “The Rock, His work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He.
Two-thirds of Moses’ life was spent in the wilderness, but he had kept his spirit strong and miracles upon miracles happened during his leadership.  Once we have been saved, we are made righteous by Jesus’ sacrifice.  Now we have a new life in Christ, to walk with God in sanctification.  How is our life journey with God?  God will do great and mighty wonders for us as we grow in maturity in Christ.  Involve God in all areas of our life like Moses did.  We should pray like Moses in Exodus 33:15, “And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth.”

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WHO MAY ABIDE IN HIS PRESENCE?

26 Jan

Excerpt from the Sermon by Pastor Hanna Handojo, Overseas Mission Fellowship, Ministering at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 17 January 2016

WHO MAY ABIDE IN HIS PRESENCE?

Pastor Hanna Handojo shared a testimony about her recent visit to Taiwan. She was assigned an 80-year old translator, who had been away from Indonesia for a long time.  During the preaching, the translator was unable to translate accurately. But at the end of the service, a few people approached Pastor Hanna and informed her that they understood her sermon although the people don’t speak Bahasa Indonesia! The Taiwanese pastor at the church where she preached showed her that many had posted in Facebook about it. It was the presence of God that enabled the people to understand the Word of God even though it was in another language!

O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?

Who may dwell on Your holy hill?

He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,

And speaks truth in his heart.

He does not slander with his tongue,

Nor does evil to his neighbour,

Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;

In whose eyes a reprobate is despised,

But who honors those who fear the Lord;

He swears to his own hurt and does not change;

He does not put out his money at interest,

Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things will never be shaken (Psalms 15:1-5).

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,

Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood

And has not sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive a blessing from the Lord (Psalms 24:4-5).

There are few things we can learn from the verses above if we want to abide in the presence of God. We need to respond correctly towards God, towards our self and towards others.

  1. Towards God

The core of our worship is our heart. When our relationship with God is good, the condition of our heart will also be good. We need to learn to speak the truth from our heart. The only way to do that is to be connected with God.

Let the Word of God be real in our lives. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our heart and He needs our permission. We need to love the truth. When we have a deeper relationship with God, the more truth we will speak from our life.

  1. Towards Our Self

There was a testimony of a doctor serving in Africa during the war. The doctor always asked two questions: –

  1. How are you?
  2. What is the condition of your tongue?

When the patient showed his tongue, the doctor was able to judge the condition of the patient.

Imagine if God asks you:

  1. How are you?
  2. What is the condition of your spiritual tongue?

The state of our tongue reflects our spiritual condition. From the tongue, we can understand the condition of the person as the person relates to us his or her condition.

We need to ask the Lord to change us so that we become more like Him each day.

  1. Towards Others

We should be content with the food and basic necessities which we are blessed with.

But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many grieves. (1 Timothy 6:8-10)

Is money the most important thing in our life? People may give many excuses but God knows our heart and motives. Some people have the habit of borrowing money but do not return the money even when they are able to. Do not borrow for the sake of borrowing and forget to return.  When we borrow something, we should have the habit of repay or returning it as soon as possible.

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” (Hebrews 13:5)

We need to remove pride in our life. God will change the way we look at money. That will help us to walk right with God. We need to repent. It is better to eat simple and have no debt, than to eat in luxury and have many debts.

Pray to God for wisdom on how to handle the money that God has entrusted to us so that God can be glorified.

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