Tag Archives: dicipline


10 Aug

Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Irwan Fransiskus, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 6 Aug 2017.

Prayer of Jabez

The prayer of Jabez teaches us how to depend on God and to call upon Him.

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 – Jabez was more honourable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.

Jabez’s mother gave birth to him in pain. She named her son “Jabez”, which means “pain.” Perhaps she led a painful life, so she decided to name her son “pain” literally. Jabez’s prayer is made up of four parts. First, Jabez asks God to bless him. Second, he asks God to enlarge his territory or increase his responsibility. Third, he prays that God will be with him and stay close. Lastly, Jabez asks that God keep him from harm so that he will be free from pain.

The Bible mentions that he was an honourable man because of his prayer.

1. Jabez asked God to bless him.
Jabez understood that the blessings of Abraham in Genesis 12:2 – ask the Lord to bless us to glorify Him. Jabez understood the purpose of God’s blessings. Jacob wrestled with an angel at the Jabbok river until he was blessed (Genesis 32:26).

Power, fame, wealth, beauty and health cannot satisfy us. We can learn from the life of famous people like Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Thierry Costa and Getulio Vargas. They did not find the meaning of life in their status, and these successful people ended up committing suicide.

2. Jabez prayed for God to enlarge his border so that God’s hands may be with Him.
Jabez understood the prayer of Moses in Exodus 33:15 “If Your presence do not go with us, do not bring us from here”.

If the Lord is with us, His favour is also with us. It is very important to stay close to God and rely on His continued support and guidance throughout our life.

3. Jabez asked God to keep Him from harm.
Jabez clearly knew and prayed specifically to the One who could protect him from evil and pain, 1 Chronicles 4:10 – Keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain. The Hebrew word for harm in this verse correlates with 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 – these are the examples of harm or “evil”.

How do we keep ourselves away from harm/evil? There are four examples of the word “harm/evil” in the Bible:

1. Idolatry – anything we love more than God is our idol.
It could be our hobby, our occupation or even the love of chasing money (Ecclesiastes 5:9-10, Ephesians 5:5).

2. Sexual immorality is a sin we must avoid.
We live in a world where society is experiencing moral degradation, where same sex marriage is legal in some countries. Genesis 49:2 records that Ruben slept with his stepmother (one of Jacob’s wives) and as a result Ruben was denied of his first-born birth right.

Lot and his daughters committed incest, and their two descendants from this relationship resulted in constant battles between the Israelites and the Moabites and Ammonites (Genesis 19:32).

3. Putting God to the test is to demand God to prove Himself to us in our own way.
Pastor Mark Wolford, from the US State of Virginia, was bitten by a rattle snake and was killed during a church service for putting God to test. He was well-known for handling dangerous snakes in a test of faith. We need to practise godly discernment by not doing dangerous acts to demonstrate God’s protection upon us. When we view God through our doubt and demand something of Him as a way of determining whether or not He can be trusted, we are in danger of testing God.

In the Bible, there are examples of both acceptable and unacceptable kinds of testing God. It is acceptable to “test” God concerning tithes and offerings (we give because we have faith in Him), for example, but unacceptable when the test is to demand something from God to prove Himself to us because we lack faith in Him.

4. Grumbling is a harmful attitude and it is evil in the sight of God. Proverbs 20:19 It is that faith-inspired action of obedience that God loves. As seen in the example of Israel’s journey out of Egypt, they developed a habit of grumbling.

How do we value the love of Christ in our life? God has given us everything, even His precious blood on the Cross (John 3:16). There is no greater love than the love of Christ. Jacqueline Kennedy’s love letter to the British Ambassador to the US, was sold in an auction for a price for USD$190,000. The Bible is God’s love letter to us, and is priceless. Our food is to do the will of God and to accomplish His work, John 4:34. Let us work out our salvation and work for food that endures to eternal life (John 6:27).

At the end of the prayer of Jabez, it is clear that God approved of this faithful prayer by granting it. It is also important to see that Jabez was passionate in his plea to God: "He cried out to the God of Israel." God wants to hear that we need Him through passionate prayer.



23 Feb


Today’s Word: Daniel 1: 1-21

Today’s Bible Reading:

Morning: Mark 4: 1-20

Night: Numbers 5-6

Today’s Inspiration

Daniel and his friends were determined to obey the law. They declined to eat the food served at the king’s table because the food might be not have been prepared in accordance with the law, or the food might have come also come from offering made to for the the gods of babel. They resolved not to defile themselves and would not sacrifice their stand even it meant their death. Note that they no longer had parents who could guide their decision-making, but their love for God and His law was deeply entrenched in them.

Daniel and his friends received a gift from God to be ten times more intelligent than all knowledgeable men, because they dared to obey the commandments of God. They were also given wisdom because they were brave enough to implement every word they had already known.

Without obedience to the Word of God, we will never experience a change in life. Man who merely knows but does not obey the Word of God is called by Jesus a “fool” (Matthew 7:26). The obedient man is called a wise man. None of us want to be called fool, but love to be called a wise person.

Knowing the Word of God in our lives is a gift. To put into practice obeying the Word of God will bring other gifts. We will become wise , and even have characters with different qualities from the people of the world. Moreover, we please God.


“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.” (Daniel 1:8)

TODAY’S ACTION:                  

When all around you are doing that which is not right, be determined and bold like Daniel to obey the Word of God whatever the risk.


Decisions will be easier if your desire to please God is greater than your desire to please the world (Anso Coetzer).



7 Feb


Today’s Word: Romans 8:1-17

Today’s Bible Reading:

Morning: Matthew 24: 1-28

Night: Leviticus 1-3

Today’s Inspiration

A covenant is an agreement between two or more parties. If we are going to sell or buy properties, land or houses and anything, for sure we will get a sale and purchase agreement. Once dealing is approved under the agreement then the agreement letter will be signed and it is valid under the law.

God promised to give favor to His people. If God had promised, then surely He will fulfill His promises, because He is the God who is never lying or breaking promises. But to keep his promise, so God will ask us a make covenant between us and God. What are God’s requirements for us to receive His promises? Walk in the Spirit, because if we live according to our flesh then we will not get God’s favor. If we concern about the flesh, we will tend to sin, and it will lead us to death. But if we live thinking about the things from the Spirit, it will lead us to live in peace.

The life that God is intended is an abundant life, an eternal life that is not temporary. Behind the life on earth bestowed, we also have another life, in the Father’s house of everlasting life, inherits heaven’s riches.

If you want a life leads by the Spirit, think more the matters of the above, the eternal matters that reach the heaven’s destination. The Word of God is the eternal source of energy for us to reach the eternal life (1 Peter 1:23-25). Then, the matters on earth will be controlled by God, and by His Spirit will enable each of us to live this life with a heart full of peace even if we pass through various obstacles and challenges. Be prepared to receive the promise of the Lord which is His favor upon us. (2 Corinthians 6:2).


“Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8)

TODAY’S ACTION:                  

Give your heart to walk with the Spirit and lead by the Spirit.


Be a pleasing one in the heart of the Lord, so that you are favor to God.



31 Jan


Today’s Word: Luke 18:1-8

Today’s Bible Reading:

Morning: Matthew 20:17-34

Night: Exodus 25-26

Today’s Inspiration

Rev. Yonggi Cho said prayer is to open your heart and invite Jesus to be Lord and King of your life. If you are praying at home or in your office, then it means you are opening the door of the home and office to Jesus Christ. Prayer makes Jesus Lord of our lives and whatever we do, we know that Jesus is there as our advocate. The story of a widow who persistently petitioned the unjust judge is an illustration regarding prayer that continues to be lifted up to God until something happens.

Prayer is not the last resort to get answers to our problems of life, but prayer is the only way for us to get the solution to the problems that we face. Prayer is the main way for us to see a bad situation changed for the better. pulled down the power of the Kingdom of God to earth. (Matthew 18:18).

The movement and the revival of the first church on earth was when the disciples of the Lord Jesus prayed with a devoted one heart in the upper room, and the power of heaven the Holy Spirit came upon them, and since then the revival and spiritual awakening happened to the whole world, signs and wonders always followed the ministry of the servants of God who prayed.

God’s power has never changed before, now and forevermore. Pray, for God is only a prayer distance. Through prayer you will discover Extraordinary things happen in your life, because your prayer can change everything.


“Pray continually.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)


What problem that you are facing today? Prayer is the key.


Prayer means you involve the Lord Almighty in you life. You will never be anxious because God is in your prayer.



10 Dec

The Suffering Is Coming from the Hostility of Sinners by John Piper
Part 2

Now the second thing to ask is what kind of suffering this is and where did it come from. The first answer is that the suffering is coming from hostile adversaries. This was true in chapter 10:32-34; and it was true of the Old Testament saints in 11:35-38; and you can see that it is true here in the connection between verses 3 and 4. “Consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin.” The link with Jesus and the hostility shown against him shows that this is what the Christians are dealing with. He endured hostility from sinners . . . you too have resisted, but have not yet had to shed your blood. So the suffering in view is mainly persecution in various forms, short of martyrdom.

But where did it come from? Who is doing this? Who’s in charge of this? The first answer to that is seen in verse 3: “Consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners.” This is what Jesus endured, and this is what you are enduring. The suffering comes from the hostility of sinners. The suffering is coming from the hostile will of sinful adversaries. That is the first answer.

It is not the main one, and it is not the decisive one. This whole passage is built on another

answer to the question: Where does this suffering come from? And who’s doing this? And who’s in charge? The main answer of the passage is that God is in charge here, and that he is in ultimate control of these afflictions and that they are in fact the loving discipline of a perfect heavenly father. That’s the burden of this passage.

The Suffering Is God’s Discipline

Verse 5-7 says that one of the reasons you are growing weary and losing heart is that “you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, ‘MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.’ It is for discipline that you endure” (see Proverbs 3:11-12). In other words, what adversaries do to you out of sinful hostility, God is doing out of fatherly discipline.

This is extremely important for knowing your God and for living by faith through the suffering that is coming sooner or later into your life. Notice very carefully: this text does not say that God looks on while hostile sinners hurt his people, or while Satan ravages the elect, and only then steps in to turn all this evil for good. That is not what the text says. It has a totally different conception of what is happening to us.

It says that God is disciplining us; he is teaching us and correcting us and transforming us. In other words, God has a purpose and a design in what is happening to us. God is the ultimate doer here. Verse 6b goes so far as to say, “[God] scourges every son whom he receives.” Who is scourging? Who is whipping? (See 11:36). God is. God is not a passive observer in our lives while sinners and Satan beat us up. He rules over sinners and Satan, and they unwittingly, and with no less fault or guilt, fulfil his wise and loving purposes of discipline in our lives.

This is what I said earlier some Christians simply will not believe. They say that God is not in charge of the evil that happens to us. That he has given the world over to Satan and the free will of man. But it will not work in this passage. The hostility of sinners is real and it is wrong and responsible and guilty. But it is also – and this is a great hope for us – it is also the loving, painful discipline of our Father in heaven. God is not coming to his children late after the attack, and saying, “I can make this turn for good.” That is not discipline. That is repair. It’s the difference between the surgeon who plans the incision for our good, and the emergency room doctor who sews us up after a freak accident. This text says, God is the doctor planning our surgery, not the doctor repairing our lacerations.

Are Natural Calamities also God’s Discipline?

Someone might ask, does this principle of discipline apply to things like natural calamities and sicknesses that are not caused by the hostility of sinners? Should we see these things as part of God’s overarching discipline of his children for their good?

I would answer with a question: Which is harder to attribute to God’s design: the hostility of sinners against God’s people or the destruction of a hurricane? I believe the hostility of sinners is more difficult to attribute to God’s design. The reason is that in both cases – hostility and hurricanes – you have to deal with the pain caused by the event. But in the case of hostility you have the added difficulty that people’s wills are involved, whereas in the case of a hurricane you don’t have that difficulty. No human agent is causing the hurricane, but a human is willing the hostility. So if we say that God is governing the hostility of sinners against the saints, we imply that he governs not just natural effects but human wills, and what harm they bring to the saints.

And that is what this passage teaches. What hostile sinners mean for harm, God means for good. What they will as hurtful, God wills as helpful. What they plan as destruction, God plans as salvation. What they design as a deterrent to faith, God designs as discipline for faith.

The upshot then is this: if it is more difficult for God to govern the hostility of sinners against his people, and yet this passage teaches that he does just that, then why would we even think of denying the less difficult act of God’s rule over natural things like hurricanes and sickness? Especially when God himself says in Exodus 4:11 “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?”

So I see in this passage the precious teaching that God reigns over the hazards of our circumstances and over the health of our bodies and over the hostility of our adversaries and he designs all of life ultimately as a loving father’s discipline.

God’s Design is Love

Which leaves one last question: what is the design of God in this sovereign governing of our adversaries and circumstances? The text is wonderfully clear on this. Verse 6: “Those whom the Lord loves he disciplines.” The design of God is love. Our pain is not the effect of God’s hate, but of God’s love. Will you believe this? That is the question.

Or verse 7: “It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons.” In other words, in your pain, you are not being treated as a slave or as an enemy. You are being treated as a loved child of God. The issue is: will you believe this? Will you let the Word of God settle the issue for you, so that when the suffering comes, you don’t turn on God and put him in the dock and prosecute him with accusations? He probably will not tell you why it is your turn, or why it is happening now, or why there is this much pain, or why it lasts this long. But he has told you what you need to know: it is the love of an all-wise Father to a child. Will you trust him?

Our Good, Our Holiness, Our Peace, Our Righteousness

But he is even willing to tell us more. Verses 10b-11, “He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” Four words: our good, our holiness, our peace, and our righteousness. This is the design of our loving Father that comes to us painfully and mysteriously through the hostility of sinful adversaries and the natural hazards of a fallen world.

Verse 9b poses our concluding question: Will we “be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?” Or will be rebel against the father of spirits, and die? Will we trust him? If we submit to this sovereign, loving, fatherly care, we will not “grow weary and lose heart,” but we will keep the faith, fight the good fight, and finish our course, and die well, and glorify our Father in heaven.

A few confirming texts:

Genesis 50:20

Amos 3:6 1

Peter 3:17; 4:19

Acts 4:27-28




5 Dec


Part 3

Seven steps to disciplining your child.


6. Sincere repentance.

When my kids were small, I’d let them sit in my lap after a spanking and cry for a while. That was a great time to model for them the love behind the discipline. Then after a few minutes, I’d ask, “Are you ready to talk about this with Daddy and with God?” When I received a nod and could tell repentance and genuine sorrow had occurred, I revisited the issue and asked them, “What did you do wrong?” I wanted to help them clearly relate the discipline to the behavior, not to them as a person.

Then I would ask, “With whom do you need to make things right?” Often they would realize they needed to make things right not just with me and with God, but also to apologize to a brother or sister. Then I’d take the opportunity to coach them in how to approach God, what to say, how to confess their sin, and how to receive forgiveness. When they said something like, “I’m sorry, God, for ________. Please forgive me,” I would tell them how special they were, both to me and to God, and that they’d been disciplined to correct mis­behavior, not because they were a bad person.

Those dialogues trained them for a life of relating to God humbly and honestly as no other experience could. And in later years my children told me that some of the times they’d felt closest to me were during those periods of forgiveness and reconciliation.

7. Unconditional love.

For my part, some of the most intimate, touching moments I ever had with my kids were right after exer­cising discipline. So after disciplining your child, let me encour­age you to take him in your arms and pray, “Thank you, Lord, for my precious boy, for the wonderful way You’ve made him, for the amazing guy he is, and for all the gifts You’ve given him. Please help him remember what’s right and give him the strength to do it. Thank You that he has taken responsibility for what he did. We know You’ve taken a big eraser and wiped it off the board. You’ve forgiven him and made him absolutely clean, and I forgive him too.” Then give him a big hug and go do something fun. He’ll know he’s still accepted and that there’s absolutely no barrier between the two of you.

The picture and the process I’ve just described don’t fit the portrayal of spanking that our culture tries to give us, do they? A parent who disciplines his child this way is not an angry, insensitive person with a big club and a vicious agenda. Instead, this is a picture of using the rod God’s way to bring about actions that will keep a child from destruction. That’s about as loving and compassionate as a parent can get.

Many people have bought into a bad, stereotypical model of spanking, where out-of-control parents and religious fanatics beat children instead of disciplining them. Not surprisingly, they have rejected it entirely, assuming that since they don’t know how to do it right, it shouldn’t be done at all. “Extreme spanking” has domi­nated the discussion at the expense of more moderate practices of physical discipline. As a result, a huge segment of the population believes spanking is barbaric, basing that opinion on the abuses rather than the biblical model. But many parents who believe this are having enormous problems at home — constant conflict, high tension, complete loss of control, and no tools to deal with any of it.

If you’re consistent with the actions of discipline for a few weeks, you’ll find that your children have clear boundaries, and they’re likely to have a clearer conscience and changed behavior. You’ll probably sense much less destructive stress in your home environ­ment as well. Your children will feel a lot more loved, and they’ll have the privilege and blessing of being in a home that’s at peace.

Taken from Effective Parenting in a Defective World published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Copyright © 2006 by Chip Ingram. All rights reserved




4 Dec


Part 2

Seven steps to disciplining your child.


3. Avoid embarrassment.

Never embarrass your children in front of their friends, siblings, or even strangers. Don’t yank them out of a booth at a restaurant, don’t yell where everyone around can hear you, or do anything else that will make your children feel as if all eyes are on them. All that accomplishes is shame. Instead, go to a private place. At home, that can be the bedroom. In public, it can be a trip to the restroom for a young child or a firm statement that “we need to talk later” to an older child. However you do it, don’t damage your kids’ esteem among their peers or even among strangers. Embarrassment can do a lot of damage that you’ll have a hard time undoing later on.

4. Communicate grief.

I want my children to know that more than being angry, I’m disappointed and heartbroken when they disobey. Early on in their lives, I let them know I trusted them. And when that trust has been violated, they need to know that the relationship is wounded. Many times I’ve had tears roll down my face when their actions hurt me and betrayed our relationship. When kids see the grief of their parents, they’ll better understand how their sin affects God. They’ll understand that God isn’t shaking His fist at us every time we make a mistake, but He grieves just as a loving parent does when witnessing the destructive nature of disobedience.

5. Flick your wrist.

This is an extremely practical method that will save you a lot of second-guessing. Remember the point of a spanking: It’s to sting, to provide a painful deterrent to misbehavior, not to injure.

The Bible never implies that the rod of discipline should be violent. It offers no specifics about how hard a spanking should be, and there’s no reason to assume that it’s talking about a brutal form of punishment. Just the opposite, in fact. A parent who reaches back and swings hard is acting out of anger and frustration, not out of love and desire for the child’s welfare. That’s unbiblical by anyone’s definition.

When you spank, use a wooden spoon or some other appropriately sized paddle and flick your wrist. That’s all the force you need. It ought to hurt — an especially difficult goal for mothers to accept — and it’s okay if it produces a few tears and sniffles. If it doesn’t hurt, it isn’t really discipline, and ultimately it isn’t very loving because it will not be effective in modifying the child’s behavior.

Have the child lean over his bed and make sure you apply the discipline with a quick flick of the wrist to the fatty tissue of the buttocks, where a sting can occur without doing any damage to the body. You want to be calm, in control, and focused as you firmly spank your child, being very careful to respect his body.

As your children get older and begin to think more abstractly, spanking becomes less effective and less necessary. A preteen is probably getting past the spanking stage and more into the lost-privilege approach. But if you’ve done your job earlier in their lives, spanking will have become less necessary at that point anyway. A firm, grace-controlled hand of discipline in early years, combined with a loving attitude, will usually prevent or soften the rebellion of later years.

To be continued.

Taken from Effective Parenting in a Defective World published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Copyright © 2006 by Chip Ingram. All rights reserved