Tag Archives: forgiveness

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.

Advertisements

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.

TO FORGIVE AND FORGET

24 Apr

Psalms 130:1-8

A song of ascents.

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; 2 Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.

Today’s Inspiration

To forgive mistakes is hard enough, let alone to forget the works that other people had made towards us; it is not an easy thing to do; much less if we are in the guilty side. When we have regret and admit and ask for forgiveness with all our hearts, and the other side have already forgiven us, how would you feel when that mistake is being brought to the surface again and again? It is said that we have been forgiven, but whatever things we have done in the past could not possibly just gone from our minds.

There are also those who probably say that someone can be forgiving, and forget about the past, but that someone no longer want anything to do with us. He/she choose not to build relationship with us anymore because of the trauma and do not want the problem to repeat again.

From the two response of forgiveness that we can experience or done, just imagine how our God would have done it. What if God says, “I have forgiven you, but I will not forget.” or what if God says, “I will forgive you, but from now on let us not contact each other. I will never speak to you again and you do not need to contact Me again!” How would it feel? We will be the unluckiest person in the whole world! And who can stand separation from God?

Heartache is like an infected wound. That wound cannot be pressured or be kept. That wound cannot be hide and closed by band aid. The dirty blood in it must be pumped out. It means that we need to forgive and forget. Do that not just for the people who have made mistake, but also for you as well. Keep on revealing the love to every one because that way you will receive forgiveness from God.

Today’s Reflection

  1. From the three responses above which is the one that you usually do? How is that?
  2. How can you forgive and then forget?

Today’s Action

It is hard indeed to forgive and forget. But then, that is what we should do in the process of moulding so that we can be more like Jesus.

Today’s Word

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?” [Psalms 130:3, NIV]

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

f319915d007a46e7f315665a335cdeec

The Power of Forgiveness

6 Jan

Sermon Notes of Pastor Dr. Daniel Prajogo, 04-Jan-2015, summarized by Brother Gilbert Khoo

When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. 3 And they *came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. 4 Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. 5 And Jesus seeing their faith *said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sin but God alone?” 8 Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, *said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? 10 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He *said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” (Mark 2:1-11)

  1. Have Faith in God (verse 5)
  • Jesus is more interested in our faith.
  • Jesus wants us to focus our eyes on Him – not on other things
  • Jesus gave forgiveness to the paralytic although he was requiring healing
  • Daniel’s daughter suffered diarrhea during holidays and even though she was given medication she developed fever 2 days later. He brought his daughter to the pediatrician but the daughter was diagnosed with infection of the throat instead. He was surprised but indeed the diagnosis was correct and his daughter was healed in 2 days.
  • The doctor solved the root cause that lead to the infection.
  • Jesus came gave a greater gift – the forgiveness of sins so that our relationship with God is restored.
  • Only God can forgive sin. When we sin, we sinned against God.
  • Jesus came to redeem us and He paid with His life
  1. FOCUS on the GOAL – Receiving Forgiveness
  • Only God can forgive sins and heal people. For it is impossible for man to forgive or to heal.
  • Jesus can forgive sins because He is God. (But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins – verse 10)
  • GOAL is forgiveness, GIFT is healing. FOCUS on the GOAL, not the GIFT. Many of us today are so focus on the GIFT but forget the GOAL.
  • Keep your eyes on God. Focus on the Giver not the Gift.
  1. GOD’s Word Has Authority
  • God’s Word has authority. Everything that God said was accomplished. Example story of the centurion. There is an authority in the word of the centurion. What he says, the soldiers will follow. He believed Jesus had the authority. All he did was to ask Jesus to speak a Word for the healing of his servant.
  • Even if you have not experience the blessings or healing, just trust in His love.
  • There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:18)
  • Story of the Allied soldiers in the Japanese concentration camp. They have to ensure their tools are complete after the hard labor each day. One day, the Japanese captain called the allied prisoners out and informed them that one tool is missing and if the culprit does not confess it, the whole group will die. Finally, one man stood up and he confessed. He was immediately shot dead. His comrades were angry why they had to go through the betrayal of the comrade who almost caused them to lose their lives. Suddenly one of the Japanese soldiers came in and informed the captain that they miscalculated and the tools are in fact complete. On hearing this, the prisoners understood that their comrade had in fact step forward to prevent his other comrades from dying.
  • Jesus took our sins on the cross. Jesus had to die on the cross so that our sins can be forgiven. It was a heavy penalty but Jesus paid in full with His life.

forgiveness images

 

FORGIVENESS AND RESTORATION

18 Dec

FORGIVENESS AND RESTORATION by Dr. Bill Maier

Dr. Bill Maier addresses the issues of forgiveness and restoration

What if I Can’t Forgive?

Dear Dr. Bill: I’ve heard you talking about forgiveness on this program and I wonder if you can help me. I’m having trouble forgiving my husband for his adultery. I discovered the truth back in February and kicked him out of the house. Now he wants to reconcile but how can I stay married without losing my self-respect? Maybe I can forgive my husband, but I don’t think I can love him like before. And if I divorce him and lose my house, it would feel like I was being punished for something I didn’t do. What do you think?

Kendra, I’m very sorry to hear about your husband’s affair. I’m sure the past 10 months have been very difficult for you, and that you’ve experienced feelings of shock, anger, sadness, and betrayal.

If your husband is truly repentant, I believe you should give reconciliation a chance. You may find it hard to believe, but many couples whose marriages were devastated by adultery have been able to put the pieces back together and go on to have a fulfilling, loving relationship again.

Every one of those couples will tell you the process involved a lot of hard work, and that the feelings of love didn’t return overnight. But some would tell you that their marriage is healthier now than it was prior to the affair.

If you are willing to at least consider reconciliation, I’d encourage you to find a Christian therapist who is experienced in working with marriages impacted by adultery. Our Focus on the Family counseling department may be able to help you locate a therapist in your area.

Also, let me recommend an excellent book that I know you’ll find helpful. It’s titled Unfaithful: Rebuilding Trust After Infidelity. The authors are Gary and Mona Shriver, a couple whose own marriage survived an affair. We recently aired their story on the Focus on the Family daily broadcast.

How Do I Restore My Relationships?

Dear Dr. Bill: Several years ago, my marriage was struggling and as a result, I became involved with another woman. The affair cost me five years of my marriage, five years of watching my children grow, and about five years of my life. Thankfully, my wife has chosen to forgive me and we are back together. But what I’d like to know is this: How can I rebuild the relationship with my wife and with my children to what it was before?

I appreciate your vulnerability and willingness to share this very difficult issue. First of all, I need to commend your wife for the strength and courage she has demonstrated in forgiving you. Many spouses who have been cheated on are never able to forgive their husband or wife.

From your e-mail, it sounds like you are truly repentant and have renewed your commitment to your wife. So you’ve already taken the first step toward healing.

It’s also important for you to understand that when a violation like an affair has occurred, it often takes a long time for trust to be rebuilt, both for the spouse and for the children. You can take specific actions to help re-build trust, such as joining a men’s accountability group at your church. You’ll need to find a group of men with whom you can be completely open and transparent, and who will be willing to hold you accountable to your commitment to your wife and kids.

You also need to understand that your family may still harbor feelings of anger toward you for what you did. It’s important that you not get defensive when they are angry with you or bring up the past. The fact is that you messed up and now you need to be willing to accept the consequences.

Most importantly, you, your wife, and your kids need to commit to family counseling. First, you and your wife need to work through those things in your marriage that caused the conflict in the first place. Basically you need to perform an “autopsy” on what died in the relationship and led to the affair. If you don’t, unresolved issues in your relationship will surface again. After you’ve dealt with the marital issues, it’s critical that your kids join you in the counseling process. They’ve got a lot of emotional baggage to unpack, and that needs to be done with a Christian family therapist. I want to urge you to seek professional Christian counselling.

Source:focusonthefamily.com

forgiveness (1)