Tag Archives: kingdom of God


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.



6 Jul

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


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

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

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

 1. Ideology 

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

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

3. Moral 

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

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

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

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

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

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


17 Nov

Excerpt from the Sermon by Pastor David Tjakra, GBI Sukawarna.  Ministering at Bethany International Service – Sun, 15 Nov 2015. Summarized by Brother Gilbert Khoo.



1 Corinthians

The journey of the Israelites is a good example for us, His church. In 1 John 2:6, we are encouraged to live as Christ as lived.  “Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34).

Our everyday life is an act of worship to the Lord (Colossians 3:23). We need to be constantly in God’s will, and not in our own will.  Is our life an act of worship to the Lord all the time, or just on Sundays?  Even our profession is part of our worship.  Do we understand that whatever our profession may be, we are to place Jesus as our Lord and we are His servants?  Deuteronomy 8:2 teaches us three guidelines for Kingdom lifestyle.  What does it mean to live in the unshakable kingdom?

  1. To humble ourselves

Becoming humble is a process.  It does not happen automatically.  Inferiority is not the same as humility. “He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way” (Psalms 25:9). What is the difference between the ways of the Lord and the will of the Lord?  In Psalms 103:7, He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.  Why did God introduce His ways to Moses (process) but His acts (miracles) to the children of Israel?  This tells us about the difference between what Moses asked of God and what the Israelites asked of God.

There are not many Christians who are willing to follow the ways of the Lord; the Lord’s discipline, and to be moulded into Christ-like image.  The ways of the Lord may not be pleasant. When God humbles us, we need to be ready.

Show me Your Ways O, LORD teach me Your paths. (Psalms 25:4)

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6: 8)

What kind of blessings we will be receiving if we walk humbly before the Lord?

The meek shall inherit the Earth and shall delight themselves in abundant peace. (Psalms 37:11)

Our lifestyle ought to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit.

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation. (Psalms 149:4)

If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

  1. Guard our hearts.

God wants to purify our hearts; He is looking at the attitude of our hearts.  He does not see our attire, but the Lord is interested in our heart, our inner man. The three tabernacles – Moses, David, and Solomon had all been destroyed.  In Amos 9 and Acts 15, the Scripture says that the Lord will restore the tabernacle of David.  Why is it the tabernacle of David?  Was it not the tabernacle of Moses or Solomon that became the pattern of the tent of the Lord? It is because David’s heart was transparent before the Lord, easily repentant and meek before the Lord. His heart always desired God. Satan (Lucifer) was the opposite.  His heart was on himself.

Lucifer was the leader of the heavenly angels; in his heart he had a desire to become like God (Isaiah 14:14).

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)

We need to guard our hearts so that we do not become puffed-up.

  1. Obey God

We need to obey God’s commandments in its entirety, not partially.  Are we holding on to God’s commandments?  The love of God and His commandments are inseparable. God is love.  When we love God, we will obey Him.  We cannot say we love the Lord and walk in disobedience.

And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. (2 John

We ought to walk according to His commandments, that as we have heard from the beginning. Loving God means obeying His statutes.

Live in the favor of God by walking in His ways. God’s works and miracles will be our portion as we live according to the unshakable Kingdom lifestyle.



26 Oct



Have you remembered in the old days how women winnowing rice to separate the rice from the chaff? Rice in the tampi be shaken, thrown up, twisted around to separate the chaff from the rice. Have you seen how the traditional goldsmiths to wiggle the hard sand and soil to separate the precious metals from the soil and sand? Similarly, roughly the Lord will separate the chosen people by putting them right in the unshakable kingdom. God separate us through the many events and unexpected surprise.

To the righteous, He gave His Holy Spirit as a gift so that what they do successful. While to the wicked He gives them duty to accumulate wealth for the righteous (Ecclesiastes 2:26).

God is shaking what is not true as it says in Hebrews 12:27, “The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken – that is, created things – so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” Until something is unshaken, which is the kingdom of God. In the kingdom of God, there will be no more tears and suffering.

Remain faithful to the word of God, do not stray to the right or left so that we receive the kingdom that is unshakeable.

TODAY’S WORD: Hebrews 12:25-29, NKJV

Hear the Heavenly Voice

25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.


Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.” (Hebrews 12:27)


The people, who favourite are the word of God and meditate on the Word day and night, are the ones who will survive when the shock occurs. Has the Word of God become our joy?


For all of us who believe are the chosen and winner people and the people who become the ambassador of kingdom of heaven on earth to be the messenger of God unshaken and victorious.

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



Morning: 1 Timothy 6

Night: Jeremiah 9-11


13 Apr

Matthew 7:21-29

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Today’s Inspiration

We live with certain values. People will live with the values he believed right. People of this world will live with the values of this world that they get from the parents or school or from their life experiences. The believers, the citizen of the Kingdom of God will live with the values of the Kingdom: living in justice, peace, righteousness, honesty, and et cetera. So, if we are still living with other values, that means we are still outside the Kingdom of God, even though we are already being Christians for decades already.

We may deny it now, but let us just think about this, “What are the values that we hold on to all this life?” do we try our best to appear good so that other people will be pleased with us? Do we always try to win without caring for anybody else? Do we like to seek benefit out of anyone who relates with us: like pressuring the people who works under us, licking the bosses, and et cetera? Or do we indeed brave, sincere, and honest even though people mock and persecute us because of that attitude?

Our lives are not games. We need to be serious with our salvation. Salvation indeed consists of the life consequences that connect with the salvation itself. If we are serious with our salvation, then we are serious with our Christianity that means we will serious with the values of our lives. Christianity will be reflected through our ways of doing the will of God and through our conducts towards the others in our daily lives.

Remember that the most important thing in the proclaiming of the gospel of Jesus is “the time has come; the Kingdom of God is nearing. Repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15). Maybe now you say that you have believed for 100%. But what about repenting? Have your lives changed? Have you live in the values of the Kingdom? Remember do not seek that Kingdom somewhere else. The Kingdom is in us. Check, do you have that Kingdom there?

Today’s Reflection

  1. What are the values that you apply in this life all this time? Do the values of the Kindom still applicable in this world?
  2. What is the difficulty in living with the values of the Kingdom in this world?

Today’s Action

Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, then everything shall be added to you.

Today’s Word

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 7:21, NIV]

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