Tag Archives: FRIENDS

WAITING UPON THE LORD

30 May

Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Mark Patterson, USA, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 28 May 2017.

WAITING UPON THE LORD

Pastor Mark travelled to the city of Banji, when he was a child accompanying his parents who were missionaries. In 1991, Dr Neal Patterson (Pastor Mark’s father) was a principal of Tung Lin Bible School in Singapore. While he was studying in Singapore, he decided to do a study on Kazakhstan as part of his thesis. In 1993, he and his family moved to Kazakhstan. They met a man from Sweden and they served God together in Kazakhstan for 11 years. Pastor Mark also helped to setup a Christian television channel in Taiwan to spread the Gospel in Taiwan.

We may never be rich in man’s eyes but we can be rich in culture. What we do is what makes us what we are. Everything we do is part of the preparation to do God’s work.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

The kiwi is a flightless bird although it has wings. The kiwi doesn’t need to fly as there are no natural predators until man brought in the predators. The kiwi’s wing muscles are not developed as it does not need to use it. As Christians when we don’t go through circumstances or challenges, our spiritual muscles would not grow. Growing through challenges in life helps our spiritual muscles grow, as we learn to trust and grow with God spiritually.

We live in an instant world. We want it now. We don’t want to save but we want something that is in trend now. We can Google it up for anything that we need to find out. Everything is within our reach. We don’t have time to contemplate. We need to avoid instant gratification. Many of us as believers want instant answers from God. God can respond in three ways:-
a. yes
b. no
c. wait

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Pastor Mark Patterson loves collecting stamps. He found something online recently for some mounts. As it fits to his plans of stamp collection, he purchased it. However, he needed to wait for two days. After two days, he went to check at his mailbox but there was nothing. After several days, he checked with his wife if she had received any parcel. His wife reminded him to check the front door and upon checking it was there! In fact the parcel had arrived but he failed to check near the front door as it was used mainly for guests. We are sometimes like that when we pray – we only expect God to response in a certain way and we fail to realise that God may respond in another way. God says yes, but we don’t claim it. We just leave it outside the front door. Our prayers go unfulfilled because we don’t ask.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelations 3:20)

God says yes but sometimes we need to wait. Sometimes our prayer is like online shopping. In Genesis 5 we read about Esau and Jacob. Esau had a nickname called Edom which means “red”. Jacob prepared lentils stew and as Esau saw it. Esau wanted it so badly that he was even willing to trade-in his blessings as the eldest son. Esau wanted quick gratification. What we want now seems more important than what we would get later. We should not live for the moment, but ask God what to do with the blessings that He has given us.

Waiting on the Lord is important so that we will mature as we do the will of God. Sometimes God will not give us what we want just yet as we may not be matured enough to handle it. Waiting for God’s timing is a process that builds our character to trust God.

Those who were with Jesus didn’t understand the purpose of Jesus. They want things to be answered now. The blessings are in our possession but we need to wait for it. We need to wait upon the promises of God. God has given us peace and joy and we need to act. Just like the parcel that had arrived, yet we failed to check it.

We need to be constantly reminded of our answered prayers. Have a prayer dairy so that you can check how God has answered your prayers. Don’t forget about what God has spoken to you about your prayers and let us learn to wait upon the Lord.

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HOLY SPIRIT

28 May

Summary of the Sermon by Senior Pastor Djohan Handojo, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 21 May 2017.

HOLY SPIRIT

We are entering into the week of Pentecost. When Jesus was on earth He was led by the Holy Spirit. Today we will learn about the ministry of Jesus in the various historical places in Israel, and its significance relating to the Holy Spirit.

1. Jordan River – Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
The Jordan River is a very fertile river. Naaman, a captain in the army of king of Aram was cured at the Jordan River. Many people, including Jesus, were baptised at that river. Jordan River talks about being filled with the Holy Spirit. In Romans 6:23, the Bible tells us that, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus obeyed God the Father and was baptised at the Jordan River. When He was baptised, the Heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit descended as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)

We become the legal sons and daughters of God as we are sealed with Jesus.

There are many symbols of the Holy Spirit. For example –
a. water – symbolizes cleansing and is needed by every living thing
b. fire – symbolizes light which is needed for life, purification
c. oil – symbolizes healing and anointing
d. wind – symbolizes God is omnipresent

2. Judean Desert – Led by the Holy Spirit
The world is a place of temptation. In today’s modern world, we are tempted in many ways, including entertainment, games and self-indulgences that turn us away from God. Don’t let the devil tempt us. We are sealed by Jesus and let us draw near to God and resist the devil. We need to control our minds so that we don’t live like the world. Jesus was tempted by the devil three times, but each time Jesus replied with the Word of God. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we go through our daily lives.

3. Nazareth – Empowered by the Holy Spirit
Jesus grew up in Nazareth and He was trained there. We need to raise our spiritual Nazarites (our children or spiritual children) and train them in the ways of God. Everyone who serves the Lord needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We need to learn to be led and empowered by the Holy Spirit and not depend on our own strength. We need to build an altar at our home to worship the Lord.

4. Capernaum – The Power of the Holy Spirit and Sharing the Good News
Capernaum was Jesus’ town and the centre of His activities in Galilee. It was the place where the Gospel was spread to many. Although many of the people were fishermen and farmers, yet the Gospel was received openly. The Holy Spirit will empower us to share the good news with people, even if we have difficulty sharing the Gospel. Trust and lean on the Holy Spirit as we share the good news to others.

5. Sea of Galilee – The Power of the Holy Spirit Brings Healing & Miracles
And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

We need to have radical obedience to the Holy Spirit in order to be equipped and anointed to do the will of God. When we obey the Holy Spirit, God can use us to bring healing and miracles to those who need it. The apostles of Jesus brought healing and miracles wherever they went as they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Just like a fan which needs electricity to operate, healing and miracles need power from the Holy Spirit.

6. Upper Room Jerusalem – Wait Upon the Holy Spirit to Receive Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Some of us may not be baptised by the Holy Spirit and we need to be obedient to follow the Lord. The early disciples of Jesus obeyed Jesus to wait for the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem.

The Holy Spirit is a Person. Let us learn how to trust and lean upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives that we may shine for God and bring an impact to our families, communities, cities and the nation.

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FEAR NOT, DO NOT REBEL AGAINST GOD

7 May

Excerpt from the Sermon by Pastor Erwin Widjaja, Bethany Church Batam

Ministering at Bethany International Service,

@1:30pm Sunday, May 1, 2016

FEAR NOT, DO NOT REBEL AGAINST GOD

Lately we have been seeing a less favorable climate for business in the first half of 2016, uncertain economic condition, weakening and slowing down of economic sectors. Declining oil prices, increasing terrorism acts, God wants us His children to live by faith. He does not want to be afraid of our situation but God wants us keep trusting Him even in bleak situation.

In this passage from the Bible the nation of Israel rebelled against God because of their fear.  We should learn from the Bible so that we will not be subdued by our fear.  The Israelites were fearful and they lost their trust in God, which led to their rebellion.

And Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes and said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. (Numbers 14:6)

God knows what is happening all over the world and all these problems in the world are allowed to orchestrate His purposes.  There are nations that will go against Israel, against His beloved.  We need to make sure that we follow the right crowd.

“”Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah.” (Zechariah 12:2)

The Prime Minister of Palestine has declared to take East Jerusalem as their capital (Sept 30th, 2015).

Who are actually the Philistines? They were from far away from Europe who worshipped Dagon god (fish-shaped god- Romans god, see Genesis 21:32) They wanted to take over Israel which actually belonged to the Jewish.  Since the time of King David, Jerusalem belongs to the Jews. (1 Kings 2:11)

Cindy Jacobs prophesied for Indonesia that God has heard her prayers and God is going to heal Indonesia.  Look to the fishing Indonesia, God is going to open abundance for Indonesia. The tuna fish has increased by 80% (statistics from April to May 2015)! God will give increasing harvests from the soil, the sea and even from the mines. Pastor Cindy Jacob prophesied thirteen years ago in May 2003 and we see the prophecies being fulfilled.

Pastor Rick Riding has a 24 hour prayer received a vision from the Lord in February 2012.  God revealed to Pastor Rick Riding that God is moving in Korea, China, Indonesia and South East countries (Malaysia, Singapore, India).  God has risen up key people in the Indonesian government to heal this nation.

Indonesia will become the Joseph for the nations.  God has purposely blessed Indonesia to be a channel of blessings for the rest of the world.  Get ourselves ready.  God wants to rise up many Josephs in the end times. (Genesis 41:45-57)

How to become the Josephs that can be trusted with godly wealth?

  1. A life-style that is pleasing to the Lord. Choose the ways of the Lord; holiness. (Genesis 37:2)
  2. A God-fearing lifestyle will attract God’s attention and He lifted him up. (Genesis 37:5,9)
  3. Joseph passed all the tests of life; integrity, adultery, richest and fame. (Genesis 37:20,23,28)
  4. Joseph kept no bitterness. (Genesis 50:20)

‘Secretariat’ was name of a super horse with an amazing speed.  It won many horse races throughout its life.  When the super horse died in 1989, an autopsy of the horse’s heart was conducted and it was found that its heart size was bigger than any normal horse.

The same goes with us, we should allow God to process our heart and we need to have a big heart like Joseph who forgave his siblings despite losing many years of his youth. Our heart must be set right before the Lord in order to be trusted with His blessings. Look at the life of Joseph and learn from it. May our lives be pleasing before God and may we serve His purpose to glorify His Name.

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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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FOUR LIES OF THE ENEMY

14 Mar

Excerpt from the Sermon by Senior Pastor Djohan Handojo, at Bethany International Service on Sunday, 13 March 2016.

FOUR LIES OF THE ENEMY

The year 2016 is the year of Total Deliverance, as declared by our Senior Mentor Pastor Niko Njotorahardjo.

Joseph had a turbulent life – he was sold, imprisoned, and he was used by the Lord to save the Egyptians and His people from a severe famine. Joseph rose to power after interpreting the Pharaoh’s dreams.  He became a ruler of the Egyptians and through his leadership the Israelites were saved from the great famine.

After the great famine, the Israelites increased greatly in number and the new Pharaoh, who did not know Joseph, oppressed the Israelites. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God saw the people of Israel and He sent Moses to set them free from the oppression of the Pharaoh.

Pharaoh depicts the picture of the ruler of this world and how he tried to prevent the Israelites from worshipping the one true God. Today we will learn to discern the lies of the Devil.

Lie No. 1 – Worldly lifestyle is acceptable as a Christian living.

Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land” (Exodus 8:25).

The ruler of the world is the anti-Christ and we should not follow the ways of this world. This world is our temporary home and we should lead our life according to the heavenly lifestyle as we prepare for our eternity. We need to be different in order to be used by the Lord.

And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666 (Revelations 13: 15-18).

Be careful of the lure of materialism where we love things more than God.

Lie No. 2 – Be a believer but it is not necessary to be too serious with the Lord.

So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you must not go very far away. Plead for me” (Exodus 8:28).

Are you a true Christian or a lukewarm Christian?  If we are a shallow Christian, we can be easily tossed and turned by false teaching.  Beware of hyper grace teaching which teaches that once we are saved, we are forever saved.  This is a misleading concept because we will not develop a life of living in holiness and sanctification, being conformed to the image of Christ. Be a committed and a serious Christian; do not believe the lies of the devil.

Lie No. 3 – Only some members of the family need to worship God.

No! Go, the men among you, and serve the Lord, for that is what you are asking.” And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s presence (Exodus 10:11).

The Devil does not want our whole family to worship God.

The Devil always tries to destroy the family and steal the next generation from worshipping God. The Barna Institute research statistics showed that if mothers are devoted Christians, 30% of the children became committed Christians.  However, if the fathers are the devoted Christians, 70% of their children become committed Christians. There are blessings for those who fear the Lord and who walk in His ways. (Psalms 128)

Lie No. 4 – Be a believer but it is not necessary to worship God with our wealth.

Then Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, “Go, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be detained. Even your little ones may go with you” (Exodus 10:24).

One thing we need to remember is that God does not need our money but the works of His Kingdom needs our finance.

The wealth that we have is not for us to hoard, but to be used for the glory of God. The Bible tells us to honor God with our first fruits and our tithes. As we extend to help others, we are actually lending to God. (Proverbs 19:17)

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine (Proverbs 3:9).

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows (Malachi 3:10).

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed (Proverbs 19:17).

He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him (Psalms 126:5).

Sow generously, for we will reap what we sow.  Those who sow sparingly will also reap sparingly.

Do not be trapped by the lies of the devil if we wish to enter the Promised Land.  Focus on the Lord Jesus in order to be totally free from the lies of the devil.

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CROSSING OUR RED SEA

12 Mar

Excerpt from the Sermon by Pastor K Steven – Bethany International Service, Sun, 6 March 2016.

CROSSING OUR RED SEA

Exodus 14:1-8

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal- zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him, and took six hundred chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the people of Israel while the people of Israel were going out defiantly.

In life we come across many problems which we cannot solve.  If you have challenges, you are in the right place – the Church. God can speak to you through the sermon. When the Word of God is being shared and if it applies in your situation, say “Amen” because God is giving word that is meant for you. Unless God intervenes, we will be in a helpless situation.  Sometime we may feel like we are like the Israelites at the Red Sea – unable to go forward or backward. Today we will learn how to apply three principles – the 3 “R”s.

1.RECOGNIZE God’s Purpose for Our Problem

a.Make Known His Glory to Others

God cares for us – He intercedes for us. He knows the number of hairs on your head. Whatever we are going through, God is in control. We can learn from the Israelites who were stuck between the Red Sea and the Egyptians. When the Israelites were in this situation, God revealed His purpose so that even the Pharaoh would know that only God could save the Israelites (Exodus 14:4).

b.Trust in God More

Sometimes we are in the situation that only God can save us. God’s hand is upon us. God wants us to grow deeper in our relationship with Him. The deeper we grow, the stronger we will become. If you are in a situation, God has a purpose for what you are going through. Despite all, as you walk with God, He will guide you and help you to be more than an overcomer.

We often sing the song, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back”. Christian life has no turning back. We walk forward, following God. We can trust God, as He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

2.RETAIN God’s Perspective of the Situation

Do not Panic

To panic is to have a sudden unreasonable fear. When you are in difficult situations, you must not be panic. You need to look back and see how God has helped you. “Ebenezer” means – God who has seen me through till now, will see me through in future.  If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth, God will see you through all situations. Do not doubt what God can do for you.

God’s reason for the Israelites’ situation was for them to experience a miracle.  The Israelites thought that they would die. Nowhere in Exodus is it mentioned that God or Pharaoh wanted to destroy the Israelites. Many times we have negative thoughts like the Israelites. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us that we must not lean upon our own understanding but trust in the Lord.

We must learn to see the situation from God’s perspective by spending time in His presence. Isaiah 40:31 – but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

  1. RELY on God’s Promise (Exodus 14: 13)

Never neglect in coming together for fellowship. We are not created to be alone. We need to rely on the promises of God.  In 2 Corinthians 1:20, we are reminded that God’s promises are “yes” and “amen”. God tells us not to fear and we need to do the following:-

a.Fear not

Do not fear. God is in control and He is bigger than our problem.

b.Stand firm

Do not give up and not run. Be firm and believe in the promises of God.

c.Be still

We need to be still to receive His peace (Psalms 46:10).  God’s Word is alive and we can apply it in our life. Our God is reliable. When we have the Word of God in us (as we meditate on it), the Word will help and encourage us.  If we want God’s provision, we need to walk faithfully in Him. We must press on.  Read the Bible every day and take it seriously. Your inner man will be strengthened as you stand on the promises of God. Leave the fear aside.

As we face challenges, let us remember Philippines 4:6-8. As we trust in God, God will give us a breakthrough just like He did for the Israelites.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things (Philippians 4:6-8).

Trust in God wooden sign on a beautiful day

REFLECTION ON TIME

1 Mar

Excerpt from the Sermon by Pastor Niko Prajogo.  Bethany International Service, Sunday, 28 February 2016.

REFLECTION ON TIME

Pastor Niko reflected on his mother’s recent passing and how she had served the Lord during her lifetime. Today we will learn on how to make most of our time.

1.Redeeming Our Time

So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom (Psalms 90:12).

We do not know how long our life will be but one thing we can do is to consider how we use our life. We all have 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and 12 months in a year. Are we able to account for it?

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16).

The word “redeem” is making most of our time or trying to make it better.  God wants us to use our time to seek Him, worship Him and to serve Him.

Sometimes we spent our time in small squabbles. The Bible tells us that “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).  If you have anger within you, redeem the time by releasing forgiveness. When someone is in love, he or she would make time for this special person. Likewise, we should redeem our time to seek God because we love Him.

The days are evil, but we as children of God should redeem our time. Let the Holy Spirit speak to us, revealing which part of our life and time we should redeem. Let us walk like a wise man. We need a heart of wisdom to be fruitful for the Kingdom of God. Rick Warren said, “The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.”

As parents, let us redeem time to teach our children in the fear of God – Proverbs 22:6.   We need to teach our children to follow God closely.

As you serve the Lord, you are redeeming the time.  When we pass on from this life we cannot bring anything.  The only thing we can bring along is our works for God.  There are people who are afraid to leave the earth now, as they have not redeemed the time well for God. We need to be freed from complacency.

2.Going through Difficult Times

When we go through difficult times we need to remember that God is always with us and He is in control. There are three attributes that we need to remember:-

i.God is Sovereign

When we follow God, we need to go through difficult times. In Psalms 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me;”

ii.God is Love

Our God is a loving God because He is love. Whatever He does, is because He loves us. He proves it this way that while we are still sinners, Christ died for us – Romans 5:8. His love is beyond description.

iii.God is Perfect

When we do not understand where we are going, we can trust God’s heart. In Daniel 3:17-18, Shadrach replied to Nebuchadnezzar, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”  The Devil wants us to be disappointed in God through troubles but as believers, we need to know that God will not leave us nor forsake us – Hebrews 13:5.

There are three things we need to know when we go through difficult times.

a.He Gives Us Grace to Go Through

In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul prayed for God to remove the thorn in his flesh. God replied, that, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

b.He Gives Us Endurance

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2).

c.He Knows Your Limit

Each time we pass the test, we move to the next level.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Your life is stronger than what you think as you are a new creation in Christ. God knows your limit and He will not let things happen beyond what we could go through.

3.When We Cross the Finishing Line

The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit (Ecclesiastes 7:8).

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

If we believe in Heaven and Hell, it will change the way we lead our life. Apostle Paul knew his time would be up soon, and he wrote this to encourage his spiritual son, Timothy.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; (Ephesians 2:8)

It does not matter how we start; what matters is how we finish.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

For this reason, I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day (2 Timothy 1:12).

Pastor Niko’s mother started serving the Lord through the Youth Ministry. She was diagnosed with cancer last year and even as she went through treatment, she still continued to organize meetings and serve the Lord. She poured her life as a living sacrifice before God. She fought a good fight till the end and she finished the race well for God.

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