Tag Archives: kindness

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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We are Destined to be an Over Comer

4 May

Excerpt from the Sermon by Pastor Francis Ng, Tabernacle of Christ, ministering at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 17 April 2016.

We are Destined to be an Over comer

If we believe, all things are possible for us.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

Train our minds for breakthrough, because victory and defeat begin in our mind (read Romans 12:2).  Our soul has to surrender to God. Our thinking pattern must be conformed to the Word of God in order to be a new creation in Christ.   In order to break records, athletes have to win the battle in their minds.   Similarly, we need to tune our minds to the ways of God.

Five areas to train our mind on:

1.Focus on the Sovereignty of God

God is in charge, no matter what situation we are in.  Nothing catches God by surprise.  If He allows us to go through tough times, it is because God is training us to be more Christ-like.  He will give us the grace to overcome.  Even if we think we are in the wilderness, God is able to make a way where there seems to be no way. When God says something, He has the power to make it happen.  Expect God to do great things for us, He is in charge of our lives.  Rejoice in the Lord always, we are more than conquerors in Christ.

Believe in everything God says.

“Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him” (Mark 11:23).

Speak the Word of God and design our future.  Speak to our mountains.  Our words are containers of power.  At one of Reinhard Bonnke Revival Meetings, large insects started falling from the sky because of witchcraft.  Reverend Bonnke rebuked the demonic power and the insects cleared away instantly.  Declare God’s promises and meditate upon the Word of God to experience His miracles.

2.Train our mind to focus on our new identity in Christ

Look forward towards God’s thinking as given in the Bible.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).

Stop looking back at the past, our old life is over.  Look forward to our future with Christ.  We are no longer limited by our insecurity and failures of the past.  Paul was a murderer but God transformed him to be a new person.

3.Train our mind to focus on God’s Providence

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3).

God is our source of provision.  Give thanks in all circumstances.  God is watching over us but we need respond by putting our trust in Him.  Tap into God’s provision.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

Sometimes God purposely tests us to see our attitude and to purify our heart.  God longs to provide for us but we must be dependent on His resources.  Ask God for wisdom, for His ideas and His grace will be released to us in every area of our life.  Do not follow the counsel of the wicked.  When we have problems, ask someone who is spiritual enough to guide us.  Bad advice will lead to bad decisions, which will destroy our lives.

4.Train our mind to fulfill our destiny, God’s ultimate purpose

Don’t get angry and bitter with God.  Before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, they had to go through the wilderness.  The Israelites gave up their faith because of the crises they faced; they forgot their destiny which was the Promised Land.  Fix our eyes upon our ultimate destiny. Believe that all things work out for good.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).  It takes our faith, to walk by faith, not by sight.  Keep declaring what we believe and it will translate into our natural life. Dream big with God; make our dreams happen together with Him.  A great destiny is calling us. We are born for such a time as this.

5.Train our mind to focus on the supernatural

When we are in danger, the Holy Spirit will give us warning.  Likewise, the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.

For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words (Romans 8:26).

The spirit of God will help us in times of need, when we don’t know how to pray.   There is power in the blood of Jesus.  When we train our mind, we acknowledge the reality, but by faith, God can do a supernatural miracle.  Rise above our natural situation.  Keep believing, keep praising and worshipping God the greatness of God, trust God to intervene.  The Bible tells us that in Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” God’s miraculous hands are upon us – experience it!

No matter what challenges we face, in Christ we have the power to overcome.   Let our mind be renewed with the new thinking pattern.  Act upon God’s Word to experience the life that God has designed for us individually.  We will become a powerful testimony to the world as our mind is renewed in the Word of God.

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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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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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No Fear in Love

27 Feb

Excerpt from the Sermon by Pastor Tess Quek.  Bethany International Service,

Sunday, 21 February 2016.

No Fear in Love

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden (Genesis 3:8).

Satan caused Eve to eat the forbidden food and cast a doubt on what God had told Adam. The love of God was destroyed by sin. God has restored the loving relationship between God and man through Jesus Christ our Lord. The foundation of this relationship is always shaken and tested by the enemies.

There are many believers who are discouraged, worried, hurt and heavy laden. Satan still whispers and if we eat the fruit of those whispers, we will suffer. Satan aims to destroy the lives of believers and to turn them away from God. If we continue to eat the lies of the Satan, we will end up hiding away from God just like what happened to Adam and Eve. We will turn away from God and build walls around our hearts to protect ourselves from hurt.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night (Revelations 12:10).

The devil will use persons who are close to us to hurt you. He will use condemnations and gossips, and the most powerful tool is the offences of the people close to us.

We need to arise and deal with our wounds and offences. We have to be careful of our hearts. Otherwise the pain will cause us to build walls around our hearts and that will block God’s love in our hearts.

Our heart needs to overcome our fear and let us learn how to do it.

Be Transparent to God and to Men

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13).

  1. Transparency means that if you sin against God then you need to talk and deal with God personally.
    • If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
    • Nothing is hidden from God. God can see the content of our heart.
    • Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering (Matthew 5:23-24).
  2. Transparency means owning up to our sins and mistakes because in any relationship it is always healthy to own up to our mistakes.
    • Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (James 5:16).
    • We must obey God and ask Him what is going on in our heart. We need to learn to allow God to teach us. If God tells us to go and forgive them, we should do so. It may not be easy but it allows God to work in your life to remove walls around your heart.
    • You need to be truthful and not be like Pharisee.

How can we attain a transparent lifestyle: –

  1. Allow the Lord to remove our walls

Give our life to God and allow Him to remove the walls of our heart.  We need to obey Him.

  1. Allow the Lord to use your lives (2 Corinthians 4:1-6)
    1. Renounce secret and shameful ways
      1. We need to repent before we serve God
      2. We need to serve God with clean hands and pure conscience.
    2. Preach what is the truth – do not distort the Word of God
      1. We need to remember and not to dilute the truth
      2. We must not preach the Word of God to please man.
      3. Manny Pacquiao (Filipino boxer) spoke that he was against the actions of LGBT although he may lose votes and even sponsorships.
    3. Minister in the sight of God.
      1. For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God (2 Corinthians 2:17).
      2. In whatever we do, let us do with a sincere heart for God.
      3. Do not let your life be a clanging cymbal.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love (1 John 4:18).

Perfect Love

Financial Freedom

26 Feb

Excerpt from the Sermon by Senior Pastor Djohan Handojo, Bethany International Service, Sunday, 14 February 2016.

Financial Freedom

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).

The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains,

The world, and those who dwell in it (Psalms 24:1).

2016 is the year of the total freedom.

Many people live in financial bondage.  Prostitution, imprisonment, murder, drug dealers and other crimes have been committed in the name of money. A lot of people are enslaved by the lust of this world and one of the most common bondage is financial slavery.

Proper money management or stewardship is essential for our financial freedom. Galatians 5:1 – It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery – Christ Has Set Us Free. True financial freedom is being content with what God has given us. Hebrew 13:5 – Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Characteristics of financial bondages:

  1. Negative Habits in Handling Money.

Such negative habits include being stingy and hoarding. People with these habits only want to receive and are not willing to spend.

  1. Lifestyle of Debts (Proverbs 12:24)

Some use their money to manipulate others and to uphold social status. Borrowing money and leading lavish lifestyles lead to debt.

  1. Living a Selfish Life

Example of selfish life is neglecting the needs of the poor and the needy.

They have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy (Jeremiah 5:28).

  1. Bitterness and Discontentment

Comparing your blessings with others may lead to bitterness and discontentment.

  1. Over Commitment (Proverbs 10:22)

We tend to over commit ourselves by being a workaholic. It is the Lord’s blessings that make us rich. We need to have sufficient rest.  God blesses His beloved when they sleep.

  1. Dishonesty (Luke 16:10)

There are people who gamble away their savings because of their desire to be rich instantly. We must also not neglect our tithes and offerings.

  1. Greed

Greed can lead to financial bondages. It is the love of money that is evil.

For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God (Ephesians 5:5).

What is the solution that God has for us?

The answer is in Matthew 6:31-33 – Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat? ’ or ‘What shall we drink? ’ or ‘What shall we wear? ’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

One thing we need to know is that God can provide for our needs. We need not worry as we learn in Matthew 6:31-33.

How can God bless us?

  1. God can provide through fellow human beings.

We can see how God provided for Joseph and his family during the time of famine.

Then Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded (Gen 47:11).

  1. God can bless us through His own hands.

God provided for His people even in the wilderness.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day (Exodus 16:4).

  1. God can bless us though our own hands.

God gives us a special talent and gifts to support our life.

And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year (Joshua 5:12).

We can learn from the ants as they are hard-working. Proverbs 6:6 – Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! Proverbs 30:25 – Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.

The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor (Proverbs 12:24).

  1. God can provide for us even through the hands of the enemies

2 Kings 7:1 Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”

We will experience God’s financial freedom as we repent from our wrong ways of handling money. Declare Psalms 23 over your life to be set free financially.

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