Tag Archives: relationships

CHALLENGES FOR EVANGELISM

6 Jul

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

CHALLENGES FOR EVANGELISM

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

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

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

 1. Ideology 

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

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

3. Moral 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

Christian dove

V FORMATION

29 Apr

Ecclesiastes 4:7-12

Again I saw something meaningless under the sun: There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless—a miserable business! Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Today’s Inspiration

A wild goose [Olor Columbianus] has a uniqueness that can teach us something valuable. When the winter is over, they will migrate in a pack from the southern part of America to the part of Canada and North Alaska to lay their eggs. A pact of wild geese can consist of around 500 of them. The journey of these geese has two special things. Firstly, they can fly up to 1,800 meter above the ground. That height is more than most mountains so that they can avoid any storm. Secondly, they fly in a V formation and are able to reach the speed of 160 km/hour. According to calculation, 25 of those geese that fly together in that formation will reach their destination 70% faster than when they travel alone.

Why is that so? A goose will fly in front of the others and it will ‘make way’ for all of the other geese behind it. Every goose will follow the leader with their wings. This way will lessen the power that they need. The leading geese will then take turn to continue to lead in front of the others. With that strategy, they can save a lot of energy and able to travel a very great distance.

Even, if there is a sick goose, the pack will not leave the goose behind. There will be another goose that will stay with the sick one until the goose is healed and can continue the long, exhausting journey.

This principal should also apply in Christian family. Christian family is also called to live as a team and to fly in a pack. Our lives are full of movements. Changes after changes come by. Challenges after challenges happen continuously. Pressures of this life are so heavy to be faced alone. In that kind of condition we need to support and strengthen one another, not kicking each other out. Husbands love your wives; wives should submit to the husbands. Parents love and educate the children of the Lord; the children should obey and respect the parents. That is the first thing that we can do to be a harmonious family.

Today’s Reflection

  1. Does your family work as a team?
  2. How big do you care about your family? Does your family strong in the Lord?

Today’s Action

Working together as a team in the family will be a lot more fun if we are willing to be humble and prioritize each other more.

Today’s Word

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor” [Ecclesiastes 4:9, NIV]

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

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TO FORGIVE AND FORGET

24 Apr

Psalms 130:1-8

A song of ascents.

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

Today’s Inspiration

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

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

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

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

Today’s Reflection

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

Today’s Action

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

Today’s Word

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

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

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POWER OF PRAYER

5 Apr

Matthew 21:18-22

Jesus Curses a Fig Tree

18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.

20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Today’s Inspiration

Is it important for us to pray for the others? Or another question here is, can our prayers for the others bring a great impact?

We probably have known, or will know, or will have never known about it at all. But have you ever think that there are other people who constantly bring our names into their prayers; that right now we can stand where we are standing today all because of the constant prayers of those people who care about us? Those people can be your senior pastor for example, or one of the prayer teams in the church, or friends in a community, or parents, or cousins, or neighbours, and et cetera. One, or all, of them can be diligently praying for us every day.

Once upon a time, there was a servant of God named Epaphras who was imprisoned together with Paul. We probably do not hear his name as much as Paul or Peter or Barnabas or all other apostles for that matter. But what Epaphras did reflected his craving to keep on giving support to the congregation through prayer, and that was important enough to be written in the Bible. “Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured,” [Colossians 4:12, NIV]. We can see here through the letter of Paul that Epaphras was not just praying for the congregation for the sake of praying, but it was said that he was always wrestling in prayer for the congregation. He did that not just once or twice, but always; and he did that so that the believers in Colossae could stand firm like adults who have full conviction for all the things that are willed by God.

“if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer,” [Matthew 21:22, NIV]. The Bible clearly states that there is great power in prayer, and very much so when the righteous are the ones who pray. Probably God will not answer it immediately, but there will be time when we will be joyful to see the answer of our prayers. And do not forget that there is a principles of ‘each other’ in a harmonious relationship that can be applied in many circumstances in Christianity; such as loving each other, helping each other, blessing each other, reminding each other, and also praying for each other. The power of the prayer by the righteous and also the ‘each other’ principle were concluded together by James in this verse: ‘Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective,” [James 5:16, NIV]. Pray for each other, because prayer of the righteous availed much.

Today’s Reflection

  1. Have you prayed continuously for people that are close to you so that blessings, favour, and protection of God will always be upon them?
  2. If you are in a healthy and peaceful state, have you given thanks that it is indeed an answer of prayers from other people for you?

Today’s Action

Take a commitment to start praying continuously for other people beside yourself and your family; starting from your superiors, neighbours, and even those who did bad things to you.

Today’s Word

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. [James 5:16, NIV]

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

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CRISIS

22 Mar

Luke 6:20-26

20 Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. 22 Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. 23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets. 24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. 25 Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. 26 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.

Today’s Inspiration

Do you remember when our nation was hit by crisis several years ago? The conditions were really though: many companies and business went bankrupt. Rich people suddenly become poor. The stock market fall to the doom. The exchange rate of rupiah towards other foreign currency came up. Social and economy impacts were really heavy because of that crisis.

What kind of teachings that we can receive from that occasion? Yes, financial crisis leads us to an understanding that financial assets are very fragile. The financial conditions are very fragile towards changes. There are no certain things. The exchange rate will always change. The stock market fluctuates every hour. The price of essential needs are also changing following all of those changes earlier.

Lord Jesus emphasised on this when He warned the rich so that they will not be satisfied. They were trying to fins the satisfaction of their lives by gathering riches, but actually their riches will not stand long. Crisis, accidents, foolishness, fire, and theft can wipe away all of our riches unexpectedly. Tragically, there are a lot of people who sacrifice their eternal lives for chasing the mortal riches. How sad this is! People are willing to spend and waste their time and energy for something that is mortal.

The condition of our nation’s economy always fluctuates uncertainly. There will be nobody that can guarantee its stability. When we only rely on our material abundance, we will always be panicked and worried because we are afraid to lose things. To rely on material riches is a foolishness that will destroy us. On the contrary, in every circumstance, rely on the Lord. Relying on Him will make us to live a calm life and a life that is full of hope. Even when we need to face crisis, the Lord will give us the strength to gain something for our lives to move on. He knows that we need all of those things, and He will fulfil them all for us.

Today’s Reflection

  1. What are you relying on in this life? To answer this, think about the next question: which one worries you; there is not enough money for tomorrow or displeasing the Lord by violating your wife?
  2. How the real form of relying on the Lord is can be visible in your daily life?

Today’s Action

Rely on the Lord not just for the major events of your life, but also for all the little things.

Today’s Word

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.” [Luke 6:24, NIV]

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

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DOES YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TEEN NEED AN INTERVENTION?

24 Jan

DOES YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TEEN NEED AN INTERVENTION? by Susan J. Knowles

We have all heard stories about the difficulties of communicating with teens. Attempting to converse with teens today may involve asking them to stop texting long enough for you to finish a sentence. You’ve seen them, teens carrying around their cell phones as an extension of their bodies. As a parent, you may also have to compete with an iPod as you attempt to carry on a conversation with your teen through earplugs while the volume on his or her favorite song drowns out your voice. If you don’t have these problems in your home then consider yourself fortunate.

I regularly see these problems in my office as a psychotherapist providing therapy for children and teens, as well as adults. As I walk out to the lobby to greet my clients and their parents, I often observe teens sitting near their parents but with little interaction going on between them. The teens typically are texting on their cell phones or listening to music on one of many devices – complete with earplugs. When I have seen parents attempting to talk to their children, it usually entails the parent raising their voice to be heard over the music or a parent talking to their child while they are still texting.

At one point in my career, I was contracted to provide therapy to teens in middle and high schools. Teachers were constantly complaining to the administration that some of their students were texting during class. As a therapist, at times, I had to ask these same students to put away their cell phone or music device so that we could have a session. Some teens would even maintain that they could hear me through their earplugs and insist on keeping them on. Other teens were so adept at texting that they would attempt to text under their jackets without even looking at their phones. While they may have mastered the technique of typing blindly on a cell phone keyboard with only the use of their thumbs, they had not mastered the art of effective face-to-face communication.

Many of my sessions with parents of teens concentrate on what to do when their teen has exhibited an inappropriate behavior. We discuss the use of giving reasonable consequences for these behaviors. Consequences usually involve taking away something of value to the teen in order to ensure future compliance. Also, giving a consequence helps teens learn that parents set the rules that they must follow.

Parents instinctively recognize that cell phones and iPods are the “most valuable” assets that a teen possesses and suggest taking away these devices as a viable consequence. At the same time, parents will also report that taking away these objects can send their child into a tail spin resulting in depression and possible threats of suicide, temper tantrums, yelling or other destructive behaviors.

As a clinician, this has opened my eyes to the seriousness of the issue facing parents today. Almost all teens have a cell phone that allows them to “interact” while allowing them never to speak to that person face-to-face if they so choose. This includes interactions within their own family and beyond. Many teens’ “relationships” today are being formed through short sentences that can be easily texted without any physical or emotional attachment required. In other words, these so-called relationships are shallow at best. Lacking is the face-to-face interaction with its emotional and physical cues that enable a person to really get to know another person on a deep human level.

If teens have no time to develop a relationship on a deep personal level, then how will we ever teach our children how to communicate and experience the most important relationship: a relationship with God? If our teens never stop long enough to focus their attention and speak to the can’t text? It will be difficult at best.

Christian parents are entrusted with teaching their child about God by modeling good Christian values through their own behaviors as godly parents. If children don’t notice a parent’s behaviour because they are too occupied with texting or listening to music then they may not see God in their lives and may not discover the value of developing a relationship with God.

Limiting the use of cell phones and other devices may be met with resistane from your teen at first but in the long run it will help you to bring your family together and to speak to him or her about God. Start by spending time talking with your teen about his or her day. This will help you to become more involved in your teen’s life and in what concerns him or her. You will not only be showing them that you are always there for them but you can begin teaching them that God is always there to listen, as well. You will become a prominent and trusted figure in your teen’s life and not just another voice shouting to be heard over the music or an interference with texting.

Source:www.crosswalk.com

Family with new home