PENGHARAPAN

Ada tiga hal yang akan tetap tinggal bagi seorang pengikut Kristus sejati: iman, pengharapan dan kasih.

Ketika kita dihadapkan dengan kenyataan bahwa suatu saat kita pasti akan mati, mungkin itu tidak terlalu menggelisahkan kita, apalagi bagi kita yang percaya bahwa Tuhan Yesus sudah menjamin kehidupan kita setelah kematian. Yohanes 14:2. “Aku pergi ke situ untuk menyediakan tempat bagimu.” Bahkan jaminan itu untuk selama-lamanya. Yohanes 11:26. “…setiap orang yang hidup dan yang percaya kepada-Ku, tidak akan mati selama-lamanya.

Alasan lain kenapa kita tidak gelisah mungkin karena ketika mati kita tidak akan merasakan apa-apa. Namanya saja mati. Berarti semua sistem tubuh kita mati. Seperti sebuah komputer canggih yang dimatikan (istilahnya “shut-down”), maka komputer canggih itu tidak ubahnya “sampah plastik yang sangat mahal”. Tetapi lain halnya dengan jika kita dihadapkan kehilangan orang yang memiliki hubungan khusus dengan kita, atau orang-orang terdekat kita. Harapan kita adalah itu tidak pernah terjadi! Tetapi kenyataannya itu pasti terjadi! Tentu saja dengan pengecualian jika Yesus datang kedua kali dan kita tidak mengalami pengalaman kematian.

Kita kembali ke kisah yang tadi tertulis di Yohanes 11. Tokoh yang Yesus ajak bicara di ayat 26 adalah Marta, saudara perempuan dari Lazarus. Ketika dia dihadapkan dengan kenyataan bahwa ia harus kehilangan Lazarus karena penyakit, dia berduka. Menariknya dalam kisah ini Marta tahu ada yang sebenarnya bisa mencegah kematian saudaranya. Ketika “seseorang” yang harusnya bisa mencegah itu kemudian datang, maka Marta “melepaskan” kekesalannya dengan kalimat “Tuhan, sekiranya Engkau ada di sini, saudaraku pasti tidak mati.Yohanes 11:21. Mengapa Marta mengeluarkan komentar seperti ini? Karena harapannya tidak sama dengan rencana Allah. Ini sebenarnya kunci dari beberapa kekecewaan yang mungkin terjadi dalam hidup kita.

Saya menyampaikan ini bukan berusaha membuat kita semua merasa berasalah. Tetapi lebih sebuah potret kehidupan kita, manusia. Coba kita pikirkan, apa yang pernah membuat Anda kecewa di pekerjaan, di keluarga, di dalam hubungan dengan sahabat, dan lainnya. Tahukah kita bahwa segala sesuatu itu ada dalam rencana Allah? Matius 10:30 menuliskan bahkan rambut kepala kita terhitung di hadapan Tuhan. Ada satu lagu lama yang berkata: Yesus tidak pernah salah. Karena segala sesuatu yang diperbuatnya, segala sesuatu yang diciptakannya adalah baik. Kejadian 1:31. Ini berbeda dengan jauh dengan manusia. Meskipun beberapa lelaki di ruangan ini mungkin pernah mendengar ungkapan “wanita tidak pernah salah”. Saya pernah mendengar seorang suami berkata hanya ada 2 aturan dalam rumah tangga: Pertama, istri tidak pernah salah. Kedua, apabila Istri melakukan kesalahan, lihat kembali aturan pertama. Ini mungkin mengapa ketika Hawa ditanya Tuhan, dia langsung menunjuk ular.

Manusia bisa bersalah, namun Allah tidak pernah salah. Ini iman dan pengharapan kita di dalam DIA. Rasul Paulus menuliskan demikian di Roma 5:3-4. “…Kita malah bermegah juga dalam kesengsaraan kita, karena kita tahu, bahwa kesengsaraan itu menimbulkan ketekunan, dan ketekunan menimbulkan tahan uji dan tahan uji menimbulkan pengharapan.

GodblesS

JEFF

INTIMACY WITH GOD.

What a wonderful day in the House of God. I am glad to have a chance to be here among my fellow believers in Christ. As we all know, God wants to connect with you in a new way through Jesus Christ. That’s why we have to connect to Him, and build an intimacy with Him.

Intimacy with God is begin by connecting to Him. John 15:4-5.

Connecting with God – how can we connect with Him? And why sometimes we don’t feel close with God?

The reason we want to connect with God is because we are disconnected with God. The Fall of Man: we were connected, full of glory of God, but in Genesis 3, all changed. The reason of that fall was when we put our mind in the wrong choice (we have plenty of choices, but why we choose the few – tree of knowledge of good and evil, and forget other trees).

Again about human thinking, if we think about sin all the time we are feeding sin to our mind. God says that the ultimate gap between him and us is our sin. Isaiah 59:2. And that sin comes when you start questioning God in your mind and from that it will go further to disobedience. Genesis 3:1-6.

Let us read one more time our theme verse in John 15. Like a tree, in order to keep alive and be fruitful, a branch has to be connected with the trunk. This will explain my next sentence. Because we are disconnected we feel dry, empty, and try to fill that with 3L (luxury, lust, love) or 4G (gold, glory, guys/girls, getaway) that the world offers. It’s all useless. Let me bring you to Bible Story, where the longest conversation between Jesus and other person was recorded. It’s a story of Samaritan woman. John 4.

This Samaritan woman who met with Jesus near Jacob’s well, she was disconnected from society. Jesus warned her in John 4:13-14 You will thirsty again if you drink from this earth. Jesus continued, but if you ask living water (verse 10) you won’t be thirsty again. Living water here have two meanings, “springing water” and “eternal life, salvation.”

We need Salvation to reconnect, to be alive. We thought salvation prayer only for a non-believer, but we also have to recite it, understand it.

What are parts of salvation prayer?

  • Proclaim Jesus as God. Verse 29. Say it loud! Romans 10:10.
  • Admit our faults and wrong ways. Verse 39. We know we are imperfect, perfected in Christ, this is a sign of total surrender, don’t cover it with your self-righteousness. 1John 1:9.
  • Present (give up your life for God’s cause – Romans 12:1) & Repent (the word metanoia means we renew our mind deliberately, we are not helpless person occupied by external, but internally empowered by the Spirit – Romans 12:2). In Hebrews 4:12 the author of Hebrews said the Word of God could separate (discern) the will and heart of man – As we know the Word is the sword of Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). Later on 1Corinthians 12:10 one of the gifts of the Spirit is to discern different spirits.
  • Believe (leave your burden, do not carry that again). Matthew 11:28.

When you pray that prayer, that is when you are really connecting with God, you build your intimacy with God. It’s not how frequent you put yourself around Jesus (don’t follow the Pharisees, who’s around but didn’t have the intimacy). But how well you want to know Him, when you hear His voice, the good news.

GodblesS

JEFF

JESUS IS YOUR FRIEND

This notion sometimes missing from our understanding of Jesus. I mean yes, He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our King, and our Baptizer in the Holy Spirit.  But Jesus Himself said this to the disciples, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:14). By doing this we are not demeaning Him, because He declared that, “…I have called you friends…” (v.15). I encourage you to be grateful for this and make it our conviction.

We should be grateful for these reasons:

  • No other religion or faith could call God as a friend (this is distinctive for Christianity, the another one is grace).
  • Your status as a friend of someone as powerful as God is a privilege.

So why knowing Jesus as your friend important for every Christian? Because our thought has soiled with the concept of a friend from this world.

In this time of uncertainty, knowing that you have a friend, listening to you, care for you, and always there for you, is a gift. Jesus is our friend forever.

GodblesS

JEFF

COURAGE FROM GOD (Luke 1:37)

What do you afraid of?

What do you scare of?

We all have something that is holding us back.

We all have something that we feared.

But what if you cross to that one life-changing moment.

A moment of courage.

A moment where you can take your leap of faith.

A moment of strength.

A moment shared between you and God.

For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Nothing is impossible with God (Message Bible Translation).

Mary, like other human beings, also experienced fear in her life. And I believe every one of us who come to this place also has “fear” and have something that we are afraid of. For some, it could be a fear of talking to someone new or maybe another kind of fear. It could be of animals, plants, places, or even something that you couldn’t see it, yet, like our future.

Let us go to the definition of the word “courage”. In one simple sentence, courage is persistence, perseverance even though there is a reason to fear. So, you know exactly what you fear something, but you choose not to give up on your fear. Courage itself could be an act of physical courage, moral courage, or psychological courage.

If you read our theme verse, in the Gospel according to Luke. We can learn a courageous act from Mary’s life story.It was started when she had the visitation from an angel, more details in Luke 1:26-38 (we can find parallel story also in Gospel according to Matthew). When I compared verses in Matthew and Luke, one important biblical value that popped out was about marriage.

Being committed to someone means you must be courageous. It’s easy to grab (or even pay) someone who you find attractive. But it’s hard, it needs the courage to keep yourself from doing that and committed to one person. Moreover, if there is a fear of rejection or a “mark” that you are “weird” and “not cool”. Matthew 16:26. Spiritually we are committed to our life-partner, Jesus.

Mankind is a unique species. They are doing a lot of horrendous things for the sake of love or fame. This is the world where the devil and his crafty evil plans try to rip you apart! The devil will try that with your family, with your close friends, with your significant others. However, remember this, an act of love (forgiving, admonishing, correcting, staying) needs a courageous heart.

Talking about a courageous heart, I can’t stop imagine Joseph, Mary’s fiancé. He is a good and noble guy but he heard the news about his fiancée who got pregnant before they are getting married. WWJD? What Would Joseph Do? Posting a status: UNFAITHFUL! Or an insta-picture with the caption: “all women are cheater”? No, he tried to compose himself and still showing his love and respect to Mary by divorced her in a quiet. Even though he has the right to do it publicly. You know sometimes courage is shown in a closed-door, love is not only about affection, but also a courageous act. When you release forgiveness to someone and wishing them all the best, you show them that you are a courageous person.

In such a condition you feel that you are losing meaning, you feel insignificant. But listen to this, your value, your meaning in this life is lay within the love that you have, not in love others don’t have. 1Corinthians 13:2. If you still remember the story of Joseph, do you remember who encouraged Joseph to take Mary as his wife? An angel. Now let’s forward our time capsule 33 years after that Angel came to meet Joseph, an angel also appeared to Jesus in His final hour at Gethsemane. Luke 22:43. What I can say, that was the appearance of the person Holy Spirit, the helping Spirit of God, like what Jesus had said in John 14:16-17.

At the end of this sermon, I want you to know that there are 3 pairs of significant threats in psychology that could cause you to lose courage. They are:

  1. Fate & Death
  2. Meaningless & Despair
  3. Guilt & Sin

The first two have been covered in the story of the first Christmas that I just told you in the last few minutes. But now maybe you have this guilty feeling over your life because you know that you have sinned before God. BUT, listen to this, your sin was the very reason Jesus came to this earth nearly 2000 years ago.

Is it possible for Him to forgive my huge mistakes? His coming is for the “sick” not for the “righteous healthy one.” Matthew 9:12.

Everything is possible because He is the Maker, the Source…

…and now He is standing right in front of your heart.

He says, “Be strong, take courage, for I love you so, and you are not alone.” Invite Jesus into your heart, invite the Holy Spirit to guide you and to give you the courage that you need.