Jesus and His Teachings

Jesus and His Teaching of Fasting

Gtpministries.org – Fasting is one of the rituals or religious worship that is always performed by all the followers of religion in the world since the previous peoples until now. Fasting is one of the forms of religious rites that can improve the spiritual quality of humans and as a means of self-purification in order to draw closer to God, which in its implementation refers to the respective scriptures.

Fasting in each religion has a different concept, as does fasting in Christianity. However, what needs to be understood is how religious communities are able to understand, realize and appreciate the fundamental meanings contained therein, rather than being trapped in the realm of formality.

Fasting in the Old Testament comes from the Hebrew  tsum, tsom  and  ‘inna nafsyô  which literally means to humble oneself by fasting. In the New Testament, fasting comes from the Greek  nêsteuô  (not eating),  nêsteia , and  nêstis . In the Bible, the letter of the Acts of the Apostles (27: 21, 33), the words asitia and asistos are used (Douglas (ed.), 2008: 280).

Fasting is a voluntary act of abstaining completely or partially from food and/or drink, either for religious purposes or for other purposes (Heuken, 1994: 52), for example as an expression of sorrow and suffering, sorrow or sin, as well as wanting to reflect on things that holy (Sismono, 2010: 76).

Fasting in the Bible generally means not eating or drinking for a certain time (eg Est 4: 16), not always abstaining from certain foods (Douglas (ed.), 2008: 280). Fasting is also not done seasonally (Agung, 2003: 3).

Legal Basis for Fasting
In the Bible there is a statement that fasting is one of the things that every Christian needs to do apart from giving/zakat and praying. As explained by Franklin (2009: 11) that during the years when Jesus lived on earth, Jesus took time to teach his disciples about the principles of God’s kingdom, principles that were in conflict with worldly principles.

In the Sermon on the Mount, namely Jesus’ most famous sermon which was spoken while sitting (Bleeker, 1995: 77), specifically in Matthew 6, Jesus provides a pattern for how humans live as children of God. According to Franklin (2009: 11), this pattern is three special obligations for a Christian, namely giving alms (Matthew 6:1-4), praying (Matthew 6: 5-6), and fasting (Matthew 6: 16-18).

In the matter of fasting, Mat 6:16-18 mentions, “And when you fast, do not be gloomy like the hypocrites. They change their facial expressions, so that people see that they are fasting. I say to you: Verily they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that no one sees that you are fasting, but only your Father who is in the secret place. Then your Father who sees what is hidden will reward you”

In carrying out the teachings above (giving, praying and fasting), it should not be used as an exhibition of piety, but should be made a purely internal matter. That is, let God alone know about our giving, our prayers, and our fasting. All of this is used to further deepen the command in the Bible that the implementation of a teaching is not enough as a mere rite, but must be interpreted and lived with a sincere heart.

Jesus himself fasted twice a week and paid zakat of one tenth of his income. As stated in the Bible (Luke 18: 12): “I fast twice a week and I give a tenth of all my income.”

Jesus explained that fasting, like giving and prayer, is a normal part of the Christian life. The attention given to fasting should be as great as the attention given to giving and praying (Franklin, 2009:11). As stated in the Bible, “And if one person can be defeated, two will survive. Three cords are not easily broken” (Eccl. 4: 12). What is meant by the three ropes here are giving, praying and fasting.

Discovery of Ancient Pearls That Are Very Valuable Today

Discovery of Ancient Pearls That Are Very Valuable Today

Our Savior continues to unfold the “secrets of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 13:11), but He switches gears a bit in today’s passage to emphasize a truth about the kingdom other than its slow, pervasive growth (vv. 31–33) and the apparent delay of its consummation (vv. 24–30, 36–43). With the parables of the hidden treasure (v. 44) and the pearl of great price (vv. 45–46), Jesus conveys powerfully the worth of the kingdom.

Whatever we might say about each parable individually, both tales indicate the kingdom is of such inestimable value that those who understand this truth will do whatever it takes to possess it. If we know God’s kingdom in Christ truly, we will not consider it too costly to sell all that we have if that is what it takes to appropriate the kingdom and its treasure. Commenting on the parable of the hidden treasure Situs Toto, Matthew Henry writes of the kingdom: “Those who discern this treasure in the field, and value it aright, will never be at ease until they have made it their own on any terms.”

Again, Jesus uses illustrations to which His contemporaries can easily relate. Given the potential for political instability and invasions, as well as the non-existence of safety deposit boxes, ancient Jews often buried their valuables. Sometimes these treasures were abandoned, and finding one that had been left behind was a once-in-a-lifetime event. That such a treasure is found indicates the kingdom’s rarity and therefore, its preciousness. Pearls were more highly valued in first-century Palestine than diamonds are in our culture. Other biblical passages use pearls to illustrate all-surpassing worth (Rev. 21:21), and so Jesus likens the kingdom to a precious pearl.

These parables teach us primarily how we must value Jesus’ kingdom. Yet they also tell us about the people our Redeemer saves. As with the man in the field, some “stumble upon” Christ when they are not looking for Him. Others travel various spiritual paths for years before “finding Jesus,” just as the merchant searches tirelessly for the costliest pearl. God’s grace calls the spiritually apathetic as well as those who believe themselves to be seeking Him.

Coram Deo

John Calvin says we need the teaching of today’s passage because ”we are so captivated by the allurements of the world, that eternal life fades from our view; and in consequence of our carnality, the spiritual graces of God are far from being held by us in the estimation which they deserve.” On what do you place highest value? Do friends, family, possessions, or anything else take the place of God’s kingdom in your heart NANA4D?

Tautan Terkait :

God’s Plan Never Fails

 God's Plan Never Fails

Job 42:2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

Shalom. Brothers and sisters in Christ’s love. Perhaps on this earth, there is no one who has experienced suffering as severe as Job’s. Why? Job experienced extraordinary suffering. Job lost all his sons and daughters. Not stopping there, Job also lost all his wealth at the same time. (Job 1:13-19)

And the suffering didn’t stop there; Job suffered from head to toe. (Job 2:7)

But Job’s suffering didn’t stop there either; Job’s wife cursed him (Job 2:9 Then his wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”). Job’s friends who came to him did not strengthen him, but they seemed to accuse Job of doing something unworthy or accuse Job of sinning against God.

We can imagine and feel if we were Job. We would experience extraordinary suffering. Losing all the beloved children, losing all wealth, getting sick all over the body, having our wives against us, and also friends accusing us.

There is one word that can summarize all of Job’s suffering, namely “LOSS”. Job lost his sons. Job lost his wealth. Job lost his health. Job lost his wife. Job lost his friends.

If we read why Job experienced this suffering? The answer is because Job loved God, because Job feared God. We all worship God so that we are kept away from all dangers and suffering. But Job experienced LOSS of everything because of his loyalty to God.

Then what if this happens to us? We are faithful to God with a genuine fear of God, but we experience tremendous suffering? When the devil tried Job, God didn’t speak to Job at all. God didn’t answer Job’s prayers.

If God had told Job, “Job, later the devil will try you with all great trials, but don’t be afraid I am with you”. Surely Job would be strong, Job would answer God: “Okay God, I’m ready”. But the reality is God didn’t tell anything to Job. Job wanted to bring this matter to God, but God remained SILENT. (Job 23:4 “I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments.”)

Instead, in God’s SILENCE, God is working. God proves that all the accusations of the devil against Job are wrong. Job loves God not because of all the gifts of God but Job loves God himself. Job loves the Giver, not his gifts (Job 1:21 he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”)

Perhaps you are currently experiencing a major problem and God is silent. You have prayed, you have cried out to God. But God remains SILENT. But through Job, we learn that when God is silent, God is working for His glory. When God tested Job, whether he loved God because of God’s gifts or God himself, God took away all His gifts to Job. And we will see what Job’s reaction is.

Likewise, with us. Currently understanding that Job lost all the gifts of God, but Job still loves the Giver. Because there is still something left for Job. Namely, when Job is tested by the devil, God says: just spare his life. (Job 2:6)

We must be grateful to God for whatever He still entrusts to us. (There is still something left for us) Because God will surely still give us something. And even if we have to lose our lives, we still have Jesus who cannot be taken from us. (Romans 8:39) We are grateful not because of the situation or condition, but we are grateful because we have JESUS.

If we are grateful for the gifts of God, while we live, we get older, we lose more and more. When we were babies, we were pampered and lived leisurely. But as we grow up, we have to learn to walk on our own. We lose the embrace of our parents and have to start school. We lose time to relax and play. Then we start graduating from school and have to earn money, starting to lose comfort and worry about the future. And continue to mature until finally aging and starting to lose our health. At its peak, we will lose our lives. Yes, that’s life, if we live gratefully for the situation and condition, then our lives will be full of loss. But if we live because we have Jesus, then peace, joy, and thanksgiving will never be lost in our lives.

So God proved the devil’s accusation wrong against Job, through God allowing the devil to take away everything Job had, including his health and what he loved. And God was silent. But in all this, God works in His own way (Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.)

God’s plan for Job happened, Job remained faithful and loved God. Job remained hopeful and relied on God. So Job said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2) And God restored Job, and Job received twice as much as what he had before. (Job 42:10)

We learn a lot from Job’s experience. Job had the lowest standard of living, namely he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised!” (Job 1:21)

If we die wearing clothes, and using a coffin, that is an advantage that we have. This is not easy for us to understand and feel. For that, we need the strength of the Holy Spirit who always accompanies us. We also learn that God’s silence is a time when God works to see our faith.

When we lose the gifts of God, what is our reaction? Do we complain, grumble, or get angry with God? Moreover, we are tested because of our obedience to God. Because of our loyalty to God, we experience trials. This feels unfair to us. But that’s where God works to overcome all the devil’s accusations against Job. God has a beautiful plan for all of us.

Let us walk in God’s plan. Although sometimes God does not reveal His plan to us. There is one thing we must hold onto, namely GOD is GOOD. He will not harm us. He has a beautiful plan. Although we may not see His face, not hear the voice of God, still believe in Him. (Matthew 5:36B “Do not be afraid, just believe!”). May the Lord Jesus bless you. Amen.

Never Get Tired of Reading God’s Word

Never Get Tired of Reading God's Word

Gtpministries.org – In our daily life, maybe we often read textbooks to add insight or knowledge. Even in spirituality, we also need to increase our insight and knowledge about God by reading God’s Word.

Maybe there is a question in our minds, what is the importance of reading God’s Word? As people who believe in the Lord Jesus, the word of God is something that is important for our lives. This is as written in Matthew 4:4, But Jesus answered: “It is written: Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

In this passage from God’s word, it is clearly said that every people created by God apart from physical food, we also need spiritual food. So as followers of Christ we need to consume spiritual food, namely the word of God by reading and meditating on it in our hearts. Because, by reading God’s word, we are sure that we will get benefits or uses that are very important in our spiritual life.
The first thing we gain from reading God’s word is training ourselves to worship. This is as it is written in 1 Timothy 4:8, Physical exercise is of limited benefit, but godliness is profitable for everything, because it holds promise, both for this life and for the life to come.

God’s Word clearly says that when we train ourselves in worshiping God, apart from being beneficial in our current life, it will also be beneficial or beneficial for our future life.

In fact, if we read in verse 10: That is why we labor and strive, because we put our hope in the living God, the Savior of all mankind, especially those who believe. It is not an easy thing for us to train ourselves in worship but it requires struggle and we must do it with all our heart and a longing heart because without a longing and thirsty heart it will be difficult for us to do it.

In fact, nowadays, with the sophistication of technology, humans tend to like worldly things more than spiritual things. So in today’s modern era, people spend more time with worldly things without thinking about how the heart of God, the creator and who is always good for us, feels.

Therefore, as children of God, we should be able to use sophisticated technology created by experts. They have created a very sophisticated tool to facilitate or make it easier for us to access spiritual things such as cellphones. Now we can make Bible applications on our cellphones. So we only need awareness or instill a love within ourselves to read the Bible, because wherever we are now, whether in the office or on a trip, we can access or open the Bible and read it.

Second, the benefit or utility of reading God’s word is to train ourselves to divide our time. We know that currently there are many people who cannot manage their time and only do work activities and do not think about their spiritual food. As followers of Christ, we must also divide our time in reading God’s word because we know that when we read God’s word we gain strength and peace of mind. Because, God’s word is a lamp for our feet and a stick in navigating the life that God still gives us.

In fact, we know that God’s word can be said to be our weapon against every power and deception of Satan. Therefore, let us as God’s people give our time to reading God’s word and never get bored of reading God’s word because when we read and hear God’s word we gain victory and strength. Lord Jesus bless us.

Sacrifice That Brings Change

Sacrifice That Brings Change

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and by grace have been justified freely, through the redemption in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3: 23-24)

Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church in Rome explaining the position or status of human existence before God. In Romans 3:23, Apostle Paul stated that all have sinned, and have fallen short of the glory of God. This means that everyone realizes that since humans fall into sin, they are declared as unrighteous or guilty and will receive punishment from God.

Next, the Apostle Paul explains how humans gain salvation. In Romans 3: 24, the Apostle Paul explains that salvation is obtained not by human effort but by grace, through faith in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sacrifice is a gift based on moral awareness, sincere, selfless and without any agreements. Sacrifice is the result of devotion. Sacrifice is based on “God’s Love for Man” (John 3: 16).

The Apostle Paul explained “Sacrifice as referred to is a suffering carried out by Jesus Christ until his death on the cross because he bore the sins of the world based on God’s love for humans.

Next in verse 24, the Apostle Paul explains the impact of a sacrifice. The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was not an act in vain, but had the effect of changing the status of human life. That is, humans who are unrighteous or guilty have been justified through faith in the atonement of the Lord Jesus on the cross.

The Apostle Paul concluded in his letter that salvation is only obtained through grace, namely through faith in the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Amen

Distressed Soul

Distressed Soul

Gtpministries.org – This week’s reflection raises the theme of the Depressed Soul. In Psalm 42:6 it is mentioned, “Why are you distressed, O my soul, and troubled within me? Hope in God! Because I will be grateful to Him, my helper and my God!”

Someone came to a psychologist for a consultation. This person complains that his life is very stressful, full of shocks. At night, he can’t sleep so he has to take sleeping pills, he doesn’t eat well, and there are many other things he complains about.

He wants to be free from this pressure, so he can be happy, free from worry, lingering anxiety, and free from various things that stress his soul.

So what was the famous psychologist’s answer? He answered, I suggest that you be happy in this life. Go see the famous comedy show that will be performing tonight. You will definitely laugh, your stomach will shake and be happy and you will shed tears of joy.

Then the person answered, “no need”. The psychologist asked in surprise, “Why?”. Because the famous comedian who will appear tonight is myself.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused many people to experience mental stress. There are people who are forced to be happy and happy, but in fact inside themselves they keep and hide the stress in their soul. His face was laughing but his heart was crying (sad).

During this pandemic, many are suffering from mental stress. As a result, people become unable to sleep, their appetite decreases, the food they enter their mouth tastes bland, their digestion is disturbed, they become weak and lethargic, they get headaches, they get cold.

Mental stress is not only present in today’s age, but many people have experienced it since ancient times. In the Bible, Jeremiah Chapter 20: 7-15 explains:

Verse 7: You have persuaded me, O LORD, and I have allowed myself to be persuaded; You are too strong for me and You put me down. I have been a laughingstock all day, they all make fun of me.

Verse 8: For every time I speak, I am forced to shout, forced to cry out: “Injustice! Persecution!” For the word of the LORD has been a reproach and a mockery to me, all day long.

Verse 9: But when I think: “I don’t want to remember Him and I don’t want to say a word anymore for His name”, then in my heart there is something like a burning fire, confined in my bones; I tried to hold it back, but I couldn’t.

Verse 10: I have heard the whispers of many people: “Terror comes from all directions! Complain about him! We want to complain about him!” All my close friends are watching to see if I stumble: “Perhaps he allows himself to be persuaded, so that we can defeat him and can do our revenge on him!”

Verse 11: But the LORD is with me like a valiant warrior, therefore those who pursue me will stumble and fall and they will not be able to do anything. They will be ashamed, because they did not succeed, a stain that will never be forgotten!

Verse 12: O LORD of the universe, who tests the righteous, who sees the heart and the heart, let me see Your vengeance against them, because I entrust my affairs to You.

Verse 13: Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD! Because he has freed the lives of the poor from the hands of those who do evil.

Verse 15: Cursed is the person who brings news to my father saying: “A son has been born to you!” which made him greatly rejoice.

Jeremiah complained: why do I, who serve faithfully, experience suffering? Why should my life be in danger? Depressed people generally consider themselves to be the people who suffer the most in life, consider themselves the most difficult, this is what happened to the Prophet Jeremiah.

If we can escape mental stress or depression, then we are truly happy. Our life is full of hope, laughter, sincere smiles, and everyone is happy at home.

So, in Psalm 42: 6 which has been written in the beginning it is mentioned, “Why are you distressed, O my soul, and restless within me? Hope in God! Because I will be grateful to Him, my helper and my God! give 4 things that we must do in order to get rid of depression or mental stress.”

There are a number of messages that we can take from Psalm 42: 6.
1. Hope in God
Hope in God means full trust in God. In Proverbs chapter 3: 5 and 6 it is mentioned, Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding (Verse 5). Acknowledge Him in all your actions, then He will make your path straight. Let us not run to soothsayers or paranormals (Verse 6).

In Psalm 37:5 it is also mentioned, Surrender your life to the Lord and trust in Him, and He will act. God never lies with what he promises, so God will keep his promise and help us when we really hope for it.

In Isaiah 41: 10 it is explained, Do not be afraid, because I am with you, do not worry, because I am your God; I will strengthen, even help you; I will hold you with My right hand that brings victory.

2. Be thankful to God
In 1 Thessalonians 5: 18 it is mentioned, Be thankful in everything, because that is what God wants in Christ Jesus for you.

If we want to be helped by Allah, we must first be grateful for what we have. If we are not grateful for what we have, we will experience depression or mental stress. As God’s children, it would be good if we always said that whatever I have now, I am still grateful to God.

The ability to be grateful to God, will help us look forward instead of continuously looking back in our lives. Always be grateful and that will make us think positively about everything.

Psalm 46:2, We must trust God to help us with every problem we face. God is for us a place of refuge and strength, as a helper in trouble is very evident.

1 Corinthians 10: 13: “The trials you experience are ordinary trials, which do not exceed human strength. For God is faithful and therefore He will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength. When you are tempted He will give you a way out, so that you can endure it.”

If you don’t believe that God is able to help, then that is a very big loss. We must believe that miracles still exist today.

Psalm 25:14, God is intimate with those who fear Him, and He tells them His covenant. Associate with God closely or very closely. David never said our God or their God, David always said God is my God.

God will definitely help us. He will not let us continue to struggle. Whatever happens in our lives, either before or during this pandemic, let us now free our lives from the heavy pressure that is pressing. Let us hope in Allah with all our hearts, thank Allah. We believe in Allah with all our hearts. Remember, apart from God, everything is in vain. Amen.

The power of pray

The power of pray

Gtpministries.org – The Christian pulpit of the Ministry of Religious Affairs today discusses the Word of God in 1 Timothy 2:1-4 which reads: “First of all I advise: Raise supplications, intercessory prayers and thanksgiving for all people, for kings and for all rulers, so that we can live calmly and peacefully in all piety and honor. That is what is good and pleasing to God, our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and gain the knowledge of the truth.”

It is important for us to truly understand God’s will. Understanding God’s will guides every step of our lives. So that we do not walk without direction, but walk in a definite direction. Because, we know what God wants in our lives, both personally and us as God’s people in this country.

There are many people asking, what is God’s will for their lives? Some people even ask, what does God really want from his church and its people? From God’s Word that we just read and heard together, we found one of the simplest instructions and guidance, which actually all believers can do in their lives, namely prayer.

We remember one extreme story in the Bible, namely the story of Balaam in the Old Testament. He asked God what God’s will was when he received the offer to curse the Israelites. He asked God what God wants me to do? Even though he knew that the Israelites were God’s chosen nation. When king Balak’s messengers came to him and asked to curse the Israelites, he said it was impossible for them to be a nation blessed by God.

That is, theoretically he already knows, but he still makes excuses and still tries to ask what God’s will is. And God has spoken to Him, you must not curse that nation. But he asked again, Lord, is that really so? Tell me what God wants. Even though God has said what God wants. Until the climax, the donkey he was riding spoke human language to Balaam. God tried to awaken Balaam. From this story, we learn that there are actually various easy clues around our lives to be able to know God’s will.

Jesus gave a parable about a rich man and poor Lazarus. When the rich man who lived a wicked life died and went into a place full of torment, this man said and prayed and begged that Lazarus would rise again to warn his family and brothers. But God said, there are living people who warn them, if only the living are not listened to, let alone the dead. The real meaning is that there are many clues in our lives that tell us what is God’s will. Right now we read one of the simplest wills of God that God gives to us believers is to pray.

From the verses we read, we find two things. First, the prayer is so important that Paul gave advice to Timothy who at that time he left to become a pastor and elder of the church in the city of Ephesus. Paul said: First of all I advise: Raise supplications, intercessory prayers and thanksgiving for all people, for kings and for all officials. Pray for the nations, pray for the government, pray for the state officials. Pray for all people, pray for all individuals, pray for all communities, pray for every religion, pray for every group. So that God’s grace, God’s love, descends on all. It is said that we can live calmly and peacefully in all piety and honor.

Second, we find in this reading the principle that Paul instructed, advised Timothy to offer intercession for everyone. Because prayer contains power. We remember James 5 says, The prayer of a righteous person has great power. The prayer of a righteous person, if prayed with confidence, has great power.

James gives the example of a prophet in the Old Testament, namely Elijah. Elijah was an ordinary man as explained in James 5:15-18. What differentiated Elijah from the others was that he really prayed. That is the differentiating factor between Elijah and most people. He was an ordinary man, but the distinguishing factor was that he prayed earnestly. So when he prayed earnestly, God closed the sky for three and a half years without rain, not even a drop of water fell in Israel at that time. After three and a half years it is said again that Elijah prayed earnestly then God opened the sky and the rain fell again.

The church prays for the government, the Ministry of Religion of the Republic of Indonesia, specifically the Directorate General of Christian Community Guidance, to be a protector, to bless the churches, we Christians are blessed, protected, served in all of our activities as believers in this country, various policies, various services are provided, the church needs to pray for the government, the church needs to pray for state officials, especially for brothers and sisters in the faith so that God will bless, God protect, God will guard. Once again prayer changed everything. Elijah he prayed, I invite us to read this nats James 5:17

Elijah was an ordinary man just like us, and he prayed fervently, so that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.

It is said that Elijah earnestly prayed that it would not rain. Brother, according to human logic, this is something impossible. How can we ask that it not rain, not just for a day or two, but for three and a half years? Even if we read directly in the book of Kings, there are those who say that Elijah prayed, Elijah asked, even in extreme language he ordered that the sky should not rain until I say so. Incredible, he dared to say that let the sky not rain until I say it. This means that the sky will not rain until Elijah says so. And it turns out that for three and a half years, Elijah locked the heavens with authority that came from God.

How extraordinary the power of prayer is. Once again, Elijah was a special person, who was different from other people and had a special anointing that ordinary people don’t have so that God heard his prayer. But James so beautifully reveals to us that Elijah was actually an ordinary human being, what made his prayer powerful was because he prayed earnestly.

Father, mother whom God loves. We are in a time where prayer is very much needed in our lives. This is a time when we need to increase our prayers. A good program is important, good planning is good, complete cooperation is also very good, but all of that becomes useless, has little effect, if there is no prayer. The power of prayer is the power that makes planning, implementation and all our cooperation useful. Once again it is said, Elijah earnestly prayed that it would not rain and that it would not rain on the earth. It turns out not only in Israel and I believe in this Bible text then in James 5:18 it says, Then he prayed and the sky sent rain and the earth brought forth its fruit.

Prayer makes the impossible become possible. Prayer makes the impossible possible. Prayer changes many people’s lives. Prayer changes the history of nations.

Father, mother, brothers, I invite you today, let’s increase our prayers, let’s be serious in our prayers. Because the Bible promises that the prayers of the righteous if prayed with confidence will be very powerful. Who is the righteous? We are righteous people. Not because we succeeded in justifying ourselves, but because God justified us in our mistakes. Because God qualifies us in our unworthiness. Because God sanctifies us in our humiliation and reproach. Because God washes us with His precious blood, cleanses our lives so that we become precious people before God, makes us new personalities, so that we become God’s saints.

The Bible says that prayers offered sincerely have great power. This is the time, this is the time. We are God’s children in this country, we Christians in Indonesia pray more earnestly, pray with confidence, for whom? For kings, for all dignitaries, for everyone. This is the time for the church to intercede. This is the time for the church and the government to join hands, we pray together for this vast country, for this great nation that stretches from East to West, North to South.

This is the time for us to fellowship together, not only fellowship in programs, fellowship in planning, fellowship in words and discussions, but we discuss in our prayers. Unite our prayers so that this nation will be anointed by God, and God wants everyone to be saved. We pray that God will save Indonesia, God wills it. This is not the ideal of a church, this is not the ideal of a pastor, but the Bible says that everyone should be saved. God wants Indonesia to be saved and gain knowledge of the truth. Amen

Achievement and Humility

Achievement and Humility

Gtpministries.org – Awards have become a kind of incentive for a person or group of people to achieve achievements and do good. On the one hand, getting awards is a driving force to achieve or do good. But on the other hand, winning awards has become a goal in a work or good deed.

For example: discipline, cleanliness, honesty, order, which are actually attitudes in life that should be followed, have shifted simply to achieve awards. For this reason, it is not surprising that a city that previously received the “Adipura Kencana” award, as the cleanest city, currently has a problem with what is called “trash”. There are regional officials who are known for being honest and disciplined, so they receive awards, instead of being caught in the KPK’s sting operation.

But is it true that appreciation has replaced the call and attitude of life to do good?

The story of Mary and Martha, in the Gospel of Luke 10:38-42, is often understood as a story that tells of Mary’s superiority over Martha, because of Mary’s loyalty and willingness to sit at Jesus’ feet and continue to listen to Jesus’ words. Meanwhile, Martha was so busy serving that she didn’t listen to Jesus’ words.

However, if you look closely at this story, Jesus accepts and appreciates the form of welcoming His presence in Martha and Mary’s house. Jesus did not mind Martha who was busy in the kitchen or Mary who sat listening to His words.

The problem actually occurred, when Martha approached Jesus and said: “Lord, don’t you care that my brother left me to serve alone?” It is strange that Martha’s attitude, she who chose to welcome Jesus by busying herself in the kitchen, now complains about her good deeds on the grounds that no one cares. After all, it wasn’t difficult if Martha directly asked Mary to help her, why did she have to go through Jesus?

Actually, there was something behind Martha’s request to Jesus, namely: the desire or hope to be praised, to be given credit by Jesus for what Martha had done. If Jesus confirmed this, how proud would Martha be, because Jesus confirmed her good deeds, so it would be clear that “being busy serving” was more important than “sitting and listening to Jesus’ words”.

But Jesus did not comply with Martha’s request, Jesus instead rebuked Martha, Jesus even showed her “the best part” (v. 42), which should accompany every good deed done, namely “humility”. Humility for what? To forget that you have done good, so that you are free from efforts to get awards. If then for our achievements and good deeds we receive awards, then that is an additional blessing.

Forgetting that we have done good may be very difficult, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do. Just keep achieving, keep doing good. Because, that is why we are called to be a blessing in the place where we were sent.

Enjoy and Be Grateful for God’s Gifts

 Enjoy and Be Grateful for God's Gifts

Gtpministries.org – There was an experiment on a monkey, which naturally turned out to like grapes. The monkey’s brain was fitted with a device to see the effect of its stimulation on wine.

When he sees grapes, his brain is highly stimulated. Especially when the grapes are brought close to him, then held, and ready to eat. The wave frequency is rising, continuing to rise and rise. But what’s interesting, it turns out that when you chew it, the effect decreases.

In short, it can be interpreted that monkeys feel more motivated and stimulated when “chasing” grapes, than when “eating” them.

“As a motivator, desire is more powerful than fulfillment. The pursuit of pleasure is often more exciting than the pleasure itself. It was not just the consumption, but also the anticipation is creating happiness.” The pursuit  of pleasure often feels more enjoyable than enjoying and being grateful for it.

Our imagination is stronger than reality, our dreams are more beautiful than the real thing, the colors are more beautiful than the real thing. Our desires feel stronger and more motivating than when we get them.

In this life, we often see that our pursuits feel bland when we get them, which feel “just like that.” Chasing will only result in endless subsequent pursuits.

Naturally, we must learn to be grateful and enjoy what we have now, whether it is family, work, business and so on. In this way, gratitude will change our mindset, that the purpose of everything we do is for God. What we have now is God’s gift for which we should be grateful and accountable.

And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God our Father,” (Colossians 3:17).

Have fun with your activities, Focus on God, take care of your health, stay enthusiastic and enthusiastic. May the Lord Jesus always bestow His grace on all of us.

Commitment to the Agreement

Commitment to the Agreement

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