Tag Archives: family

PRAYER OF JABEZ

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.

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CHALLENGES FOR EVANGELISM

6 Jul

The Summary of Sermon by Ps. Djohan Handojo at Bethany International Sevice on Sunday, 2 July 2017.

CHALLENGES FOR EVANGELISM

Pastor Djohan recently attended a conference at Wittenburg in Germany where the Reformation started by Martin Luther. 

The conference discussed how to bring the Gospel for every person and challenges in sharing it. The gospel brings freedom and transforms life. 

In sharing the gospel today, we faced several challenges :-

 1. Ideology 

People do not believe in God. 40% of the people in the Western world become atheist. They do not find God important in their lives.
2. Secularism  

People look into the world and there is less emphasis of God in the society. In South East Asia, many people still have strong faith in God. We still find Christian schools, many Church services in the malls and hotels.

3. Moral 

Today sexual disorder is considered normal and acceptable especially in the western world. The government in America and other western countries legalized the same-sex marriage. Even the schools are teaching it and educate the right to develop love and feelings beyond the gender which is gender disorientation.

(
James 1: 2-3) The world is constantly under temptation by the devil. Only the kingdom of God is unshakeable. 

We are dealing with self centeredness. People have the tendency to become self centered. Some of us struggle with sin but Jesus is waiting for us to come back when we have gone astray in the world. 
(2 Corinthians 5: 17-18) We are the new creation in Christ. It is important for us to walk in Christ every day. God will see us in a different way, God will see Christ who has redeemed us and see us as a new man or new woman in Christ.

When we are still living in the old self, the devil can attack us. When we live as a new man in Christ, the
devil cannot attack us. However, we can live a victorious life because God is in us.

(1 Corinthians 6 : 2 – 3)  For us as believers, one day, we will reign and rule with Jesus. We will judge the world and the fallen angels. 

Now, the Holy Spirit is in the world but one day the Holy Spirit will be taken away from the world. The world will turn into chaos.
(John 6:54- 55) Whoever eat of my flesh and drink of my blood remains in me, have the salvation and eternal life.

CARRIER OR FAMILY

21 Mar

Joshua 24:15-28

15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” 16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods! 17 It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we travelled. 18 And the LORD drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites, who lived in the land. We too will serve the LORD, because he is our God.” 19 Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. 20 If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.” 21 But the people said to Joshua, “No! We will serve the LORD.” 22 Then Joshua said, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the LORD.” “Yes, we are witnesses,” they replied. 23 “Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.” 24 And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the LORD our God and obey him.” 25 On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he drew up for them decrees and laws. 26 And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD. 27 “See!” he said to all the people. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the LORD has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.”

Buried in the Promised Land

28 Then Joshua sent the people away, each to his own inheritance.

Today’s Inspiration

One time, John Grisham, a famous novel writer, was asked by a person, “If the schedule is the same, which one would you come to: the signing of your newest book or the baseball game of your child? John answered, “I will watch my kid.” He would arrange all work-related activities for a chance to still be with the children because the children helped him to be more down to earth. The attention towards wife and children is the fruit of family education. John was raised in a family of Southern Baptist that was so very conservative where parents were always be there for the family. That has been a lifestyle for him.

Family and carrier indeed is a hard struggle. Our endeavour in building balance between the two of them is a hard thing to do. It is even almost impossible for someone to be able to please two bosses continuously at the same time. In several chances, there will one side being ignored or lose. Unfortunately, there are many people that choose to choose carrier instead because they thought that they need to fulfil the needs of the family and that is why they are forced to leave the family for work, even though they did not mean it that way. That is how the argumentation being delivered.

It is hard indeed to bring balance to both of them because the root of the problem is not about balance, but priority. Balance is just a cause that we made as if we are trying to build justice between the two things. Priority connects with the question: what are the things that are most valuable to you lives. Relation or performance? Success or significance? The answer to those questions can be made as a guidance to determine your priority, that we can achieve success without really sacrificing the things that are important for us like a family.

Today’s Reflection

  1. Between carrier and family, which one is your priority in your life?
  2. How does the choice of which priority you will have can determine who you are in decision-making act?

Today’s Action

Pick the right priority based on the Scripture and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Today’s Word

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  [Joshua 24:15, NIV]

[Taken from Today’s Word: Recharge by Ps. Djohan Handojo]

Family at the Cross

Love – Horizontal Relationship

27 Mar

Pastor Niko, 23-Mar-14, Love – Horizontal Relationship

By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]. (John 13:35 AMP)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (John 13:34 NASB)

This I command you, that you love one another. (John 15:17 NASB)

We must encourage and stir each other

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NASB)

We need to sow a seed to bless others

We need to be in the love of God before we can love others

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. (John 15:9 NASB)

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, (Ephesians 3:17 NASB)

Let the love of God flow in your life before it flows to others.

Summarized by Ps. Gilbert Khoo.

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FIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF BIBLICAL DISCIPLINE

16 Nov

FIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF BIBLICAL DISCIPLINE by Chip Ingram

How can you know if you’re disciplining your kids God’s way? Take a look at a passage from Hebrews 12.

“Discipline” can be a really vague concept, and if you’re lost in the landscape of opinions surrounding it out there, you’re not alone. If you were to ask a hundred parents to describe their motives and methods of discipline, you might get a hundred different answers. But here’s the good news: God’s Word is pretty specific about this subject. Since the Bible is always more reliable than opinion surveys — a good principle for any issue in life, by the way — let’s take a look at what God says through the writer of Hebrews.

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

Endure hardship as discipline: God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:4-11)

In this passage, we can discern five distinct characteristics of God’s kind of discipline.

1. The necessity of discipline: to deter destruction (v. 4).

The writer of Hebrews ends chapter 10 with a strong warning coupled with strong encouragement: Those who shrink back from faith and God’s will are destroyed, but those who persevere receive all that He has promised. Chapter 11 is full of examples from the men and women in Scripture, and then chapter 12 continues with the encouragement to live a courageous, faithful life. The context of verse 4 is this idea that haphazard living leads to destruction. The message is clear: Disciplined lives reap rewards.

Discipline is about watching your child to see the direction in which he’s going. Remember the illustration of giving your child the keys and letting him drive on his own? Action needs to be taken when you see your child take the wrong route and you know he’s headed straight for a cliff. You yank the wheel or slam on the brakes, or even put up a barrier so your child won’t plunge a thousand feet. He’ll get mad for a moment, but ten years down the road he’ll thank you.

Many parents are afraid of making their children mad. I remember the first time one of mine stuck out his lip and said, “I don’t love you anymore.” My first thought was, “Boy, I don’t ever want to be that hard on him again.” That’s a lot of power to give a five-year-old, isn’t it? A better response is to grit your teeth and bear the anger of your child, because it’s better to make him frown than let him rush toward destruction. That frown won’t last forever. Destruction, however, just might.

Do you see how, from this perspective, discipline — even painful discipline — is actually an expression of love? It always seeks the child’s best interest. A mature parent can withstand the anger of their child and say, “That’s okay, you don’t need to love me right now. You’ll love me for it in a few years.” It hurts temporarily, but to compromise your child’s welfare from fear of losing his love will hurt a lot worse later on.

2. The means of discipline: actions and words (v. 5).

In the Proverbs 3:11 passage that is quoted in Hebrews, two different Hebrew words are used: yasar (discipline), which involves God’s actions; and yakach (rebuke), which refers to God’s words. Hebrews 12:5 tells us not to make light of God’s actions and not to lose heart at His words of rebuke. Yasar refers to disciplinary actions; yakach refers to corrective words.

As parents, that’s exactly how we are to discipline. We bring both words and actions, warnings and consequences, into our children’s situations in order to keep them on track.

3. The motive in discipline: to express love (vv. 6-9).

When juvenile delinquents, as part of a research study, were asked how they knew their parents’ feelings toward them, almost all of them said that lack of discipline in their home was a sign that their parents didn’t love them. We often think that we’re expressing love when we repeatedly say, “I’ll give you another chance.” What we’re really doing, though, is neglecting to set boundaries that let our chil­dren know they’re in a safety zone where they can feel secure. One of the most powerful ways to love your child is to be consis­tent in your discipline. And that’s really hard. We’re inclined to do whatever we can to maintain a friendship with our kids, when discipline is actually much more important.

I tend to do discipline well for a few weeks, and then find it more convenient to make compromises. Kids pick up on that in an instant. Try listening to them sometime when they aren’t aware that a parent can hear them. Their conversation often sounds something like this:

“I got grounded last night.”

“Oh no. How long?”

“They said two weeks, but it’ll probably just be three or four days.”

Where did they get that idea? Children are diligent students of parental behavior. They usually know when they can get away with things. Over time, they learn your breaking points and where you are prone to compromise. They aren’t consciously taking notes, of course. They’ve been taught very well by experience.

4. The goal of discipline: to teach obedience (v. 9).

When you teach your children godly submission, you’re teaching them to do the right thing for the right reason. You want them to get beyond the point where they say “I’ve got to” and get them to the point of obeying out of love and trust. Their discipline will be primarily external in the beginning, but eventually it should become internal — so integrated into their personality that it’s self-discipline rather than imposed discipline. The way you regulate how they speak and act toward other people needs to become a part of who they are so that when you remove the regulations, the behavior remains.

5. The result of discipline: short-term pain and long-term gain (vv. 10-­11).

The reason we don’t like to discipline our kids is because it involves short-term pain. We’re sympathetic to their feelings, and we never enjoy hurting them. Verse 11 acknowledges the pain, saying alldiscipline — not some or even most, but all — seems not to be pleasant, but painful. But there’s a process involved; those who have been trained by it yield the fruit of righteousness.

Someone advised me long ago not to ask myself whether my child liked the discipline I was imposing but to ask whether he would love me when he looked back on the situation years later. That helped me tremendously, especially when one of them would say, “What do you mean I’m grounded? I really can’t go? I hate you. You’re the worst parent in the world.” I even over­heard one of my kids, only mildly joking, telling his friends, “It’s like my dad chains me to the bedpost. I never get to go any­where.” I would have to remind myself that he was reaping the consequences we had decided on and spelled out up front, and his disobedience produced the expected results. I didn’t give in, and my kids came back to me later and said, “Thanks, Dad.”

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

Source:www.focusonthefamily.com