Tag Archives: devotion

The Work of The Holy Spirit in the Life of Believers

3 May

Excerpt from the Sermon by Pastor Niko Prajogo, Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 24 April 2016.

The Work of The Holy Spirit in the Life of Believers

We have three parts within us – spirit, soul and body. Our true self is our spirit man. We need to strengthen our spirit man. Blessed are those who are doing the works of God and when the Lord comes, He would be pleased to see His servants working faithfully. We cannot do the works of God without the Holy Spirit.

Today we will explore the topic of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers.

The Holy Spirit gives New Birth

The Holy Spirit wants to help, guide and lead us.

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him (Romans 8:15-17).

The Holy Spirit tells us that we are a child of God.

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)

The Holy Spirit gives new birth to us and our spirit man is new. A farmer found an eagle’s egg.  He decided to let the egg hatch, and the chick be raised by the hen in his farm. Soon the egg hatched and the eaglet looked different from the rest of the chicks. The eaglet grew among the chicks but it soon found very difficult to adapt, as it cannot peck the worm nor scratch the ground. However, one day the young eagle noticed that another eagle flying and it looked like it. Soon he decided to flap his wing and soar high as the older eagle. We are like the eagle, created to soar high and we should decide to fly like the eagle and not scratch on the ground.

If you are a child of God, what does it mean to you? Do you believe in it? The Holy Spirit will fill us and guide us. We have all the benefits from God. We need to live for God by doing the works of God and reaching out to the world. The Holy Spirit regenerates our spirit man. We need to make room for the Holy Spirit.

We have a continuous battle of the Spirit and the flesh.  (Faith vs fear, patience vs anger.) The character of Jesus will be formed in our life because we are born with the seed of God. The Holy Spirit will help us and gives us spiritual growth.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5).

The Holy Spirit Gives Spiritual Growth

God wants us to obey in order for us to experience His blessings. Obedience is not easy.

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27).

We need to discipline ourselves. The Holy Spirit helps us to have self-control. Victorious Christians are obedient Christians. Don’t harbour any un-forgiveness. What is happening inside us is more important than what’s happening on the outside. The storm is outside but don’t let the storm go inside you. This year is the year total freedom and when the Lord sets us free, we are free indeed! (John 8:36)

The Holy Spirit gives spiritual growth and the gifts of the spirit are wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing spirits, speaking in tongues and the interpretation of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

Use the spiritual gifts for ministry.  The Holy Spirit bestows these spiritual gifts in our lives accordingly that we may use it to glorify God. We should allow the Holy Spirit to work in us to bear fruit in Christ.

The Holy Spirit gives us Assurance for Eternal Life

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:13-14).

He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee (2 Corinthians 5:5).

And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

God gave us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that we are the children of God. He even put a seal on us that we belong to Him.

Let us continue to be hungry and thirsty for God and let the Holy Spirit continue to work in us.

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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).

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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

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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How can we stay peaceful in this troubled world?

12 Jan

How can we stay peaceful in this troubled world?

By Ps Daniel Prajogo and summarised by BIS Team

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled you believe in God, believe also in Me

Troubled –  comes from the word ‘stirred’ like when our heart is stirred no calmness

Troubled hearts have been known as the causes of physical sicknesses.

John 16:33 I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace in the world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

We are not free from problems and troubles

Numbers 13 the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan

The 10 spies said they were like grasshoppers

However Joshua and Caleb believed that the Lord has promised yes there were big enemies. Our God is bigger than our troubles.

We must know our Father in Heaven personally

The invisible God invite us to trust Him in the midst of visible troubles.

How can we believe that Jesus loves us?  The cross of Jesus CHRIST.

There is no greater love than this. You are deeply loved by God.

John called himself the disciple that Jesus loves. John rejoices in this identity.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear

God doesn’t require us to understand His thoughts the mind of God is too deep and too great to be understood Romans 11:33

Faith doesn’t deny reality.

Believe in God, Believe in Me

Psalms 56:3 whenever i am afraid I will trust in You

Fear is also actually a form of our beliefs.

John 14:27 peace I leave with you not as the world gives let not your hearts be troubled

The keys to having troubled hearts:

1.Trust in HIS Love

  1. GOD gives us HIS peace

The peace that Jesus has in Himself

What kind of Peace that Jesus our Lord want to give us?

Comes from one source alone that is His Father

John 16:32 indeed the hour is coming that you will be scattered each to his oen and will leave Me alone. This is the Peace of Jesus When everything else is gone and yet I am not alone because the Father is with Me.

John Wesley a great preacher and he felt something was missing from his relationship with God

In one sailing journey Wesley met a group of Christians Moravian German Puritans. The ship suddenly tossed and turned the Moravians stayed calm and Wesley asked the secrets of their calmness it was because they knew their God personally. Life is like a roller coaster but we can be sure that the presence of the Father is with us.

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WALKING WITH GOD

31 Dec

WALKING WITH GOD

TODAY’S INSPIRATION

Entering a new year let us have the understanding that the New Year is not a petition of previous years, because in Christ the old has gone and the new ones will come.

But let us start the New Year with the understanding that every year God will reveal even greater glory. Therefore, every New Year should begin with a heart that has a renewed commitment to be righteous even more to love, serve and rely on God. The Word of God in Joel 2:32 says: “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved: for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance.” The Word of God in 1 Peter 3:12, that God’s eyes fixed on the righteous and His ears to hear shouted prayers of the righteous and rely on the help of God.

God does not promise a smooth journey of life, but He promised that He will always be with us in all circumstances and at all times He will never leave us alone even in accordance with God’s promise after the Lord Jesus ascended, God the Father send the other Personal of God, the Helper and Comforter, the Holy Spirit to be with us and be with us forever.

TODAY’S WORD: 1 Peter 3:12, NKJV

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

TODAY’S VERSE TO REMEMBER:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

TODAY’S ACTION:

Start the New Year by walking with the Lord.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

Facing the New Year word of God says: Do not be afraid and trembling heart but believe it, because you will see and experience even greater glory.

[Taken from Today’s Word by Ps Djohan Handojo and Team]

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Morning: Revelation 22

Night: Malachi

THE COVENANT OF LOVE

30 Dec

THE COVENANT OF LOVE

TODAY’S INSPIRATION

The meaning of the word agreement in English language is: An arrangement between parties regarding a course of action. This word has the meaning of an agreement made between two parties who bind themselves on each other and have a cause-effect correlation, which in any case must be respected by both parties who enter into an agreement. If any party fails to honor the agreement then it will give rise to legal effects as a result.

Similarly, an agreement made by God and bound to a man is a conditional and binding agreement of love, if we who accept the agreement undertake the stipulated terms then the Lord’s blessings will follow us wherever we go.  God promises with an agreement of love that those who perform God’s provision then the lists of the blessings in Deuteronomy 28:1-14 will follow us.

TODAY’S WORD: Matthew 14:22-33, NKJV

Blessings on Obedience

28 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:

3 “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.

4 “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.

5 “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

6 “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

7 “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.

8 “The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

9 “The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. 10 Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. 14 So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

TODAY’S VERSE TO REMEMBER:

“My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, any my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants – from this time on and forever.” says the Lord.” (Isaiah 59:21)

TODAY’S ACTION:

Read again the book of Deuteronomy 28:1-14, have faith in what you read, you will receive.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

Make sure we are the ones who receive the Lord’s blessings.

[Taken from Today’s Word by Ps Djohan Handojo and Team]

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Morning: Revelation 21

Night: Zachariah 13-14