Tag Archives: thanks

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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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.

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

GIVE THANKS

22 Oct

Give Thanks by Marvin Williams

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. —1 Thessalonians 5:18

In Lansing, Michigan, during the winter, we don’t get many sunny days. But last year God blessed us with one of those beautiful days, and it seemed that almost everyone was thanking God, except me. As I left my office, a man said, “What a wonderful day we’re having. This is a gift from God!” To which I replied, “Yes, but we’re getting snow later this week.” What ingratitude!

In his letters, the apostle Paul helped his readers to develop a theology of gratitude. He wrote about thanksgiving more often than any other New Testament author. From the 23 times he used the word, we learn a few lessons about thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving was always directed toward God and never toward people. People were gifts from God, and Paul thanked God for their growth, love, and faith (1 Cor. 1:4; 1 Thess. 1:2).

Thanksgiving is given through Jesus for everything (Col. 3:15,17). Paul believed followers of Jesus could be thankful for everything because God is sovereign, and He is working things out for the believers’ good (1 Thess. 5:18).

May we intentionally be aware of God’s gifts all around us, and respond with gratitude. In response to God’s gifts, it’s natural to say, “Thank You, Lord.”

Lord, for days that are sunny or gray we simply want to say, Thank You! And for the daily grace You give us in Your Son, may we always be faithful to say, Thank You! You are so good to us.

Gratitude is a natural response to God’s grace.

Taken from “Our Daily Bread” by RBC Ministries.