Tag Archives: God’s word

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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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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GIVE THANKS ALWAYS

17 Nov

GIVE THANKS ALWAYS

TODAY’S INSPIRATION

On Father’s Day event at an elementary school, the children were asked to write a story about their father. It was interesting to know when children began to tell you about their father in writing, they revealed what it is with a straight to the point language. They talked about how they were thankful and grateful for his kindness. Maybe for a father to the things they were doing, were ordinary matter as a form of an obligation. But if we as a father, reading what was written by our children, our hearts would have touched, moved the way they express kindness to their parents that their father is the best dad in the world. As a good father, after reading the child’s gratitude, we will definitely have a commitment to provide what is best for the children.

Similarly, with the heart of God who is our good Father. For actually, what God has given is something impossible to repay, and therefore there is only one way to please God is by giving thanks and gratitude in all things. At the moment we do that, I’m sure God’s feeling which is love, will be moved because it is exactly what we will do, make God and heaven to rejoice. When the heaven rejoices, then all of our necessities, God will provide even before it is spoken.

Therefore, make God’s heart be proud by giving thanks in all things and thankfulness in all circumstances. And when God smiles happily, it will open the doors of heaven and pour out blessing to you.

TODAY’S WORD: Psalm 107:1-9, NKJV

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, 3 And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south. 4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in. 5 Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. 6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses. 7 And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city for a dwelling place. 8 Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! 9 For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.

TODAY’S VERSE TO REMEMBER:

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”  (Psalm 107:1)

TODAY’S ACTION:

Give thanks to God every day for He is good.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

There is power in saying thankfulness to God.

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

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Morning: Hebrews 12

Night: Ezekiel 5-7

CALL HIS NAME!

30 Oct

CALL HIS NAME!

TODAY’S INSPIRATION

When in trouble, when in his weakness, as there is no way, that’s most appropriate moment for us to experience the power of God working incredible, because human is no longer reliable. But at a time when there are two options that can be done:

  1. Running from reality. Humans are too selfish to raise their own strength and underestimated the power of God often do this when they are in trouble, when in weakness, when there are no roads. They will blame anything that can be blamed for self-justification. Because egoism they look for a shortcut to run away from reality.
  2. Humbling to come to Jesus and cry out to Him. It’s no easy to be able to come to God with a humble heart and sign of surrender to God on his knees. This step requires self-denial, self-discharge, which means we should be the dominant human spirit and our physical human beings should be increasingly lost. For only by the Holy Spirit, we will be able to kneel, bow down to worship and called out the name of Jesus.

Then the Lord to whom we called out His name will not stay silent, He will deliver us from the evil plans that come out from our mouths to glorify God’s name.

Will you call out His name called not only when distress? But also to continue to worship and praise God in all circumstances and He will deliver not only us but we defend like the apple of His eye alone will never let us be touched at all by the evil and influence.

TODAY’S WORD: Psalm 34:16-23, NKJV

16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. 20 He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken. 21 Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned. 22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.

TODAY’S VERSE TO REMEMBER:

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” (Psalm 50:15)

TODAY’S ACTION:

Cried out to God not to shout in a loud voice, for God’s ear is no less sharp to hear. Crying out can be done with the earnest prayer of faith in the Lord by directly surrender to Him then He will definitely give the best for us.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

God wants you to involve Him in every aspect of your life.

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

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Morning: 2 Timothy 4

Night: Jeremiah 20-21

THE BLESSINGS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR LIVES

29 Oct

Excerpt from the Sermon by Pastor Dr Vincent Leoh, Senior Pastor of Glad Tidings Assembly of God, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia – Ministering at Bethany International Service, Sun, 25 Oct 2015. Summarised by Sister Stella Ho and Sister Susy.

THE BLESSINGS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR LIVES

We are living in ever changing circumstances. This year, 2015, is a year of multiplied miracles.  In order for us to experience miracles in our life, we need the Holy Spirit.  The life and ministry of Jesus Christ was filled by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus started His ministry after the Holy Spirit anointed Him.

The greatest miracle is from within when we are born again through the Holy Spirit.  Christian life is meant to be a supernatural life in the Holy Spirit.  Many important aspects of the Holy Spirit are found in the book of John.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you (John 14:16-18).

John refered to the Holy Spirit as the “Paraclete” (A Greek word) – the blessings of the Holy Spirit.

“Parakletos” means somebody who is called alongside to be with the people of God.

A “paraclete” is one who comforts, cheers, encourages, strengthens and empowers.

What are the blessings of the Holy Spirit?

Blessings of the Holy Spirit

  1. The Blessing of His Person: Helper

Somebody who is exactly like Jesus, speaks of another of the same kind (allos).

“Parakletos” is not used anywhere else in the Bible, only in the book of John.  Therefore the Holy Spirit can be our Intercessor, Mediator, Counselor, Comforter Advocate and Friend.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever (John 14:16).

The Holy Spirit is God and He is a Person.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalms 46:1).

Talk to the Holy Spirit daily and proactively in order for Him to help us.  He is our helper and friend.  The Holy Spirit is your best friend.  Don’t Facebook your problems but “Face God” and let the Holy Spirit help us in our struggles and in every situation.

  1. The Blessing of His Presence: Indwelling

The Holy Spirit has come to dwell within us.  We will never be alone.  We can commune with the Holy Spirit within us.  Learn to connect with the Holy Spirit.

Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:17).

  1. The Blessing of His Purpose: Instruction

The Holy Spirit teaches us and guides us in God’s will.  A great deal of our ineffectiveness can be attributed to ignoring the Holy Spirit (Oswald Sander).  His guidance is so real and we will become effective Christians.  Ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for whatever decisions we make.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you (John 14:26).

  1. The Blessing of His Power: Impact

The Holy Spirit is our Source of Power. Life’s problems consume a lot of power.  It drains our energy, depletes our courage and we lose our patience.  The pressure of people around us gets us down and problems stir us up.  The power of the Holy Spirit will lift our spirit more than we can ever imagine.

“You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe. I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here” (John14:28-31).

There are 44 things that the Holy Spirit can do for us – written by Bruce Edwards.

How do we receive the blessings of the Holy Spirit?

❖ Love Jesus (John 14:15): “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

❖ Obey Him (John14:21): Yield to the Holy Spirit and He will surely come.

❖ Seek Him (John 15:27): Desire for Him, wait upon Him.

❖ Depend on Him (John 14:17): Make the Holy Spirit not only the resident in our heart but the president of our life. The Holy Spirit directs our lives.

We cannot do without the Holy Spirit in this world.  The work of the Holy Spirit is vital to our faith individually and corporately.  Who do we go to when we face problems?  Do not forget the Trinity of God.  Do not settle for 2/3 of God (Father and Jesus only).  They are called Bi-tarians rather than Trinitarians.  We should not only know God and Jesus; we must also engage the Holy Spirit in our life.  Do we know the Holy Spirit, how familiar are we with the Holy Spirit?

Pray in the Spirit, honor the Holy Spirit and He will grant you the rewards of faith.  A person controlled by the Holy Spirit is unconquerable (Pastor Reinhard Bonnke).  We shall have the victory. Be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows (Psalm 23:5).

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SECRETS TO LIVE IN ABUNDANCE

2 Jul

SECRETS TO LIVE IN ABUNDANCE

TODAY’S INSPIRATION

God’s promises that have been sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ must be fulfilled according to His word. Notice the word of God in Isaiah 42:16, there are 3 important things in the Word of God which are:

  1. In God’s promises, there will always be people who receive the promise. It is said that those who receive God’s promises are like the blind. Physically and condition of the blinds is they cannot see, and they will never know its destination. They will never dare to step or if nobody leads them. The blind people are talking about us as believers even though we physically can see. When we start something new, then obviously we never know what will happen and which way we should go. We need God to lead us, because only in God our future and hope can be found.
  2. The new road we have never known. The bible explains that the new road is not an easy road, this road looks narrow and we do not know so it does not appeal to the people who saw it, but it provides salvation and abundance. We need God’s guidance to be able to recognize this road and take steps according to God’s will.
  3. The Bible records that God values obedience and rewards those who are willing to step in God’s guidance in obedient and the God’s promise is God will transform the darkness into the light. All that is made by our hand, blessed by the Lord will succeed.

TODAY’S WORD: Psalm 25:8-10, NKJV

8 Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore, He teaches sinners in the way. 9 The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way. 10 All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.

TODAY’S VERSE TO REMEMBER:

“I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them.”  (Isaiah 42:16)

TODAY’S ACTION:

If today you are going to start something new, do not be fooled by the thinking that discourages you to go, ask and involve God, have a sensitive heart to capture God’s signs and when God gives confirmation immediate obey and do it, He will give light to drive out darkness and straighten the road to God’s abundant blessings.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

Obedience will bring you to salvation and abundance.

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

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Morning: Acts 11

Night: Job 22-24

WHY DO YOU WORRY?

29 Jun

WHY DO YOU WORRY?

TODAY’S INSPIRATION

Do you ever imagine when you are in a room of that the four of walls, ceiling and floor are moving towards you to squeeze? It is scary sight when you see and realize that the walls, ceiling and floor are moving forward slowly to squeeze you. That is the picture of a concern that spirals out of control and unable to be controlled.

Anxiety can destroy human life when anxiety was successfully snatched or robbed or take up the joy and happiness of mankind. Anxiety can make people become trapped within the walls of worries that make human continue to mourn, thinking about the fate which surely will paralyze the human life. In desperation, people are no longer able to think about the future let alone plan for the future, when God has said in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think about you, said the Lord, thought of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” But in a tight squeeze of wall concerns, people can doubt the word of God or even relapse or abandon the faith and possibility also because of fears a person can change from God’s worshippers into a blasphemer of God.

It is clear that the real concern which is unreasonable comes from within human itself, meaning it is man who builds the walls of worries and lets fears moving the walls to squeeze, so that we become paralyzed and are rejected by ourselves. In these days if you are aware that the walls of worries are moving to squeeze you, remember God has given the power of the word to all believers who believe in the Lord Jesus.

TODAY’S WORD: Mark 4:35-41, NKJV

Wind and Wave Obey Jesus

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

TODAY’S VERSE TO REMEMBER:

Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

TODAY’S ACTION:

When you experience worry of fear, say like Jesus rebuked the storm, then the peace of God will guard your hearts and your minds.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

Do not worry because worry will open a gap for the devil to slipping in and spreading lies.

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

Give all your worries to the Lord

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Morning: Acts 9:22-43

Night: Job 14-16