Tag Archives: true happiness

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.

HAPPINESS OF THE WICKED IS DECEITFUL

1 Dec

HAPPINESS OF THE WICKED IS DECEITFUL

TODAY’S INSPIRATION

Lately a lot of statement or question why people whose lives haphazardly and do not know the Lord looks as though without problems and more prosperous by the day? The Bible records that the end times are getting bad, people who do not know God will increasingly pursue wealth and prosperity with all manner of evil. As a result, his life will be haphazardly without any rules and they will have a behavioural / temperament of evil behind their attitude that looks sweet to each other down so that they can become richer and richer, and their hearts there is greed and it’s never enough.

Word of God confirms that all of the above is evil in God’s eyes and God would never design ways above, and without the favour of God everything will be in vain. Psalm 127:1 noted that unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. If without God our toil working day and night looking for something to eat will be in vain. Because with God, He will give a rest to anyone that He loves.

So even though we see people who do not know God to be more prosperous and richer, the Word of God says that they would be assigned to a mass wealth but they are not given the right to enjoy, for the right to be given to the people who love and are loved God.

So do not envy the people who do not know God becomes richer. Do what is our part as well as possible because God’s eyes are watching the righteous and His ears are listening to their prayers, and ready to take up those who hope in Him.

TODAY’S WORD: Psalm 37:1-11, NKJV

The Heritage of the Righteous and the Calamity of the Wicked

A Psalm of David.

37 Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. 6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. 7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

TODAY’S VERSE TO REMEMBER:

“Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.” (Psalm 37:1)

TODAY’S ACTION:

Work on what our parts are, and God will do His part.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

God’s eyes are always looking for people who hope only to God.

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

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Morning: 2 Peter 3

Night: Ezekiel 40-41

ENJOYING GOD’S BLESSING

6 Jul

ENJOYING GOD’S BLESSING

TODAY’S INSPIRATION

In the 1980s in Indonesia there appeared a lot of new rich people who suddenly become rich. There were many statements we heard: “My wealth is greatly so that I will never run out of money for seven generations.”

End of 1990s, many of suddenly rich wealthy entrepreneurs, slammed by the Asian crisis and the devaluation of the currency, so that we started to hear: “The debt that will not finish to be paid for seven generations.”

In the 2000s, many wealthy people (the officials) started to crash because of the government and the authorities were holding in investigation of the origin of wealth and strict sanctions.

God’s word today says that only the grace of God, we will prosper without a problem, which means we can enjoy it up to our descendants and forever. Even the Word of God in Ecclesiastes 2:26: “To the person who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinners He gives the tasks of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” To those who lives are holy and pleasing to God, He give thoughtful wisdom and joy to enjoy what has been gathered. But to those who grieve God and do not holy, God will employ them to gather a wealth which will be given to those who love God.

Therefore, hear the word of God, and let us be careful to do God’s word so that whatever we do will be success and prosper.

TODAY’S WORD: Psalm 127:1-2

A Song of degrees for Solomon. Unless Jehovah builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless Jehovah keeps the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.

TODAY’S VERSE TO REMEMBER:

“The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.”  (Proverbs 10:22)

TODAY’S ACTION:

Let be favour to God so that we can enjoy God’s blessings.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

If we do the will of God in our lives, then we will be like a trees planted along the riverbank of clean water, their leaves stay green and never stop producing fruits so that everything we do the Lord’s will make it success and prosper.

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

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Morning: Acts 14

Night: Job 32-33

THE TRUE HAPPINESS

20 Apr

Acts 2:26-42

26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, 27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
35until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’ 36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

The Fellowship of the Believers

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Today’s Inspiration

Everyone wants to be happy and after that happiness. Once again, our desire to be happy is not a wrong thing. But the fact is that even though we are craving for happiness, we often do not reach that happiness. How is that so?

Actually we often do not reach that happiness is because we are wrong in understanding the meaning of the word ‘happiness’. We often judge that we will be happy when we have everything that we want, or if we can enjoy all of the easy access and worldly pleasure, or if we can taste the goodness of the desires of flesh, or if we have the abundance of material. Those are the basis and the sources of our happiness. If we do not have all of our desires, then we will face many problems; or if we do not have a lot of material possessions, then we have reasons not to be happy.

It is clear that our wants and desires are limitless. We will never be satisfied with anything. Achieving the happiness that we have mentioned earlier is like swallowing the sea water. After we swallow them, we will keep on thirst. And even, our thirst will grow a lot more than before.

The early disciples taught us an important lesson about the meaning of happiness. They needed to come to the Court of Religion in order for them to be held responsible for their faith. Surely they were proved guilty even though there was no evidence. They were ordered to no longer proclaim the Gospel. But then, in heavy pressure, that at the end made them die, they were still happy. Yes, they were happy in following the suffering of the Christ. What made them happy? Not positions or material possessions, but the sufferings because of the Christ. That is the true happiness!

Today’s Reflection

  1. What can you do to be happy? Will it work? Give the reason!
  2. Is it suffering because of the Christ is one of the reason?

Today’s Action

Chase the true happiness! Be willing to suffer because of Christ!

Today’s Word

“The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” [Acts 5:41, NIV]

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

happiness