The Lord’s Prayer: Understanding the Power and Deep Meaning of Prayer

Gtpministries.orgThe Lord’s Prayer, or in Latin known as the “Pater Noster,” is a very important prayer in the Christian tradition. Often said in worship and daily life, this prayer is one of the spiritual foundations for millions of people around the world. However, behind simple words, there is deep power and meaning.

History of the Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer originates from the teachings of Jesus Christ to His disciples, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them a model prayer that became known as the Lord’s Prayer.

Meaning of the Lord’s Prayer

  1. Acknowledgment of God’s Presence : The first word in this prayer, “Father,” reflects the close personal relationship between humans and God. God is seen as a loving and loving Father, always ready to listen and meet the needs of His children.
  2. Respect for God’s Holiness : The phrase “hallowed be your name” emphasizes our respect for God’s holiness and majesty. It reminds us that God is holy and worthy of praise.
  3. God’s Kingdom and His Will : In this prayer, we express our desire for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. This shows our commitment to live according to God’s will and be part of His kingdom in this world.
  4. Dependence on Allah : This prayer teaches us to depend completely on Allah to provide us with our daily needs, both physical and spiritual. It is a recognition of our inevitable need for God in every aspect of life.
  5. Forgiveness and Concern for Others : The Lord’s Prayer teaches us to ask for forgiveness for our sins as we forgive those who have wronged us. This underlines the importance of forgiveness and compassion for others as part of a life of faith.
  6. Protection and Tests : This prayer also reflects our awareness of the need for protection from temptations and tests. We ask Allah to keep us from evil and lead us to truth.

Spiritual Implications of the Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer is not just a series of spoken words, but also an expression from a sincere heart to God. In this prayer, the essence of the deep personal relationship between man and his creator is contained. This reminds us of the importance of a deep spiritual relationship in the life of faith.

Through the Lord’s Prayer, we are taught to respect, depend on, and worship God sincerely. This also teaches us to live according to His will and to be loving and forgiving towards fellow human beings. By reflecting on the meaning and spiritual implications of this prayer, we can deepen our relationship with God and live according to His teachings.

Building Firm Faith: Steps to Spiritual Peace and Strength

Gtpministries.org – Faith is a strong foundation for living life, giving direction and meaning to every step we take. Building a strong faith requires ongoing commitment, reflection and dedication. Here are steps that can help you strengthen and build your faith firmly:

1. Know God

The first step in building faith is to know God more deeply. Through prayer, meditation, or religious study, seek a deeper understanding of God’s nature, love, and wisdom. This helps strengthen our belief in His presence and power in our lives.

2. Deepen Spiritual Knowledge

Reading and study of religious teachings or spiritual philosophy can help deepen our understanding of the meaning of life and the purpose of our existence in this world. Discussing with spiritual leaders or joining a study group can provide new insights and inspiration in strengthening your faith.

3. Routine Religious Practices

Religious routines, such as prayer, meditation, or other religious services, help strengthen our connection with God and strengthen our faith. Always take time to pray or reflect on the teachings of your religion every day, even in your busy daily life.

4. Act in accordance with Religious Teachings

Consistency between what we believe and how we act is key to building firm faith. Apply your religious values ​​in every aspect of life, whether in social relationships, career, or in everyday decision making.

5. Make Peace with Challenges and Doubts

Challenges and doubts are a natural part of the journey of faith. Rather than denying or avoiding them, use these challenges as an opportunity to reflect on your beliefs, deepen your understanding, and strengthen your faith.

6. Building a Religious Community

Joining a religious community or prayer group can provide support, inspiration, and friendship on your faith journey. Sharing experiences and praying together with people who share your values ​​can strengthen and deepen your relationship with God.

7. Practice Kindness and Care

Building faith also involves concrete actions to embody the teachings of love, mercy and kindness in everyday life. Helping others, sharing with those in need, and contributing to the welfare of society are effective ways to express our spiritual beliefs.

Conclusion

Building a firm faith takes time, dedication, and continuous practice. This is a personal journey unique to each individual, but with the right commitment and encouragement from a religious and spiritual community, we can achieve inner peace and deep spiritual strength. Keep trying, and let faith be a strong pillar in living your life.

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.

Commitment to the Agreement

Commitment to the Agreement

Jesus and His Teaching of Fasting

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 repay 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.

Humble Attitude (John 1:6-8.19-28)

Humble Attitude (John 1:6-8.19-28)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. All the good news we hear gives us joy and adds energy to do various activities. The good news is beautiful and pleasing. We do not lose a bit when we bring good news. On the other hand, bad news drains energy.

We need to determine our attitude, whether we need to listen to bad news and get lost in it or ignore it and learn from it to develop ourselves further. We often find that quite a few people have the habit of telling bad news.

The prophet Isaiah did not only appear to give condemnation and prophesy about punishment for the nation of Israel. He appeared to announce the news of salvation and good news to be given to the nation of Israel.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. The Gospel of John 1:6-8.19-28 which we heard on this third Sunday of Advent, talks about John the Baptist, a great figure during this Advent season who was sent by God as a witness to testify to us that the Light we are waiting for- stay tuned for that to come soon.

In today’s Gospel, we are invited to witness how John’s action in carrying out his mission. John came out boldly preaching about the coming Light before many people. In carrying out his mission, Yohanes truly fulfilled his role, namely as a messenger.

Therefore, when people asked about his identity, John answered honestly that he was not the long-awaited Light. He is not the Messiah. He was just an ordinary person sent to proclaim an extraordinary Him.

John said that he was only a messenger to testify that the True Light would soon come. The True Light is Jesus. He is the one who has the power to save and forgive. It was Jesus who was preached by John the Baptist.

The character of John the Baptist in today’s Gospel gives us many important lessons for our lives. John has shown an attitude that is very worthy for us to emulate in this era. One of the attitudes he shows is humility. This humble attitude was shown by John when people listened to his preaching and many people asked about his identity, was he the Light?

To this question, John answered honestly that he was not the Light. He was not the Messiah, he was just an ordinary person sent to bear witness to the Light that was to come. This is one of the humility shown by John. Even though at that time, many people followed him and believed and thought that he was the Light. He is the Savior.

However, John did not want to deceive his believers and those who followed him. John still refers to the essence of his preaching that he is only a messenger. He is not the awaited Savior. This attitude shown by John wants to make us realize that we should not be greedy, cheat and deceive people with our fame. John teaches us to dare to be ourselves. Proud to be ourselves with what we have.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. The question for us is what should we do to welcome the coming of our Savior?

First, what we must do is prepare ourselves well, namely filling this Advent period with a deep spirit of repentance. Therefore we must cleanse our hearts and minds from all stains of sin. We must abandon our old way of life which is displeasing before God and before others and with great humility we come to the confessional to ask for forgiveness from God.

Second, we start a new life, namely a life that is pleasing to God. This deep repentance must lead us to a new life, namely a life that is open to God’s grace, especially open to being guided by God’s grace. We must become more open to living according to God’s will.

Third, live in love. Deep repentance and a new life that is pleasing to God, then move us to live out our love for others.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. This is the mission of the Light proclaimed by John the Baptist in the Gospel we hear today. The Light is He who came to spread love to mankind. And at the same time, the Light asks us to also spread love to others. Today we enter the third week of Advent.

The third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete Week or the Week of Joy. It is said to be a week of joy, joy because the Light, Jesus, whose arrival we have been waiting for, is getting closer. Therefore, we should rejoice and rejoice in welcoming His coming. He who will come will be so great, so noble and full of love and will bring peace to the world. So, we must prepare ourselves well so that when He comes we are ready to receive grace from Him.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s prepare ourselves as well as possible this Advent season. It’s never too late to prepare ourselves if we want to do it. We must cleanse ourselves from all stains of sin. Leaving our old way of life that is not pleasing to God with inner preparation and with a deep attitude of repentance. May the Holy Spirit always guide and guide us so that we are able to prepare ourselves well.

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Ready to be a tool for God’s plan

Ready to be a tool for God's plan

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. With hearts full of joy and hope, we will soon pass through Advent and welcome Christmas, a time full of hope and joy for the coming of the Savior.

Today’s Gospel, taken from Luke 1:26-38, brings us to a very special moment, when the Angel Gabriel came to Mary to tell the good and joyful news of God’s plan through Mary.

First, deep obedience to God’s will. Maria is a figure who obeys and obeys the will of God. When the Angel Gabriel brought the news that she would be pregnant with the Son of God, Mary’s humble response became an example for all of us. In Luke 1:38, Mary said, “Indeed I am the servant of God, let it be done to me according to your word.”

Mary’s deep obedience is a reflection of a heart that humbles itself before God’s will. The first message we can take from this story is the importance of our obedience to God’s will in our daily lives. Just as Mary gave a sincere and trusting answer, we are also invited to always be ready to accept and live in His will.

Second, strong belief in God’s promises. When Mary received this good news, she not only showed great obedience, but also had strong confidence in God’s promises. Even though the situation she faced seemed impossible according to human logic, Mary did not hesitate to believe that all things are possible with God.

From Mary’s life, we can learn to build strong faith in God, even in the midst of life’s uncertainties and challenges. God’s promises are a solid foundation for us, and a firm trust in Him will guide us through every darkness. Like Mary, let’s look at God’s promises as a guide for our lives.

Third, be ready to be a tool for God’s plan. Mary not only accepted this good news as her own personal joy, but she realized that the birth of this Child was part of God’s plan to save humanity. Humbly, he was ready to become an instrument in God’s hands to carry out His plan. The third message we can take from this story is the call to be ready to become instruments for God’s plan in our lives.

As Mary realized that her life had a purpose greater than herself, so we are invited to realize that we are part of God’s greater plan. Let us be willing to sacrifice our own will and desires in order to carry out His plan in this life.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. In Mary’s story we see an example of a servant of God who is obedient, trusting, and ready to be a tool for God’s plan. Let us take inspiration from his life and absorb the messages contained in the Gospel of Luke 1:26-38. Through the birth of Jesus Christ, salvation is offered to all who believe. This is the essence of the joy of Christmas – the coming of the Savior who brings salvation to mankind. Amen.

Love for the House of God (John 2:13-25)

Love for the House of God (John 2:13-25)

Gtpministries.org – Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. As humans we must have a solid and strong foundation in living this life. Likewise, when we behave, we must have a foundation, which makes us not easily shake in the midst of the storms and tempests of this life. The attitude of our hearts and bodies will definitely adapt to the place where we are. That is a brief description of people who have a strong foundation in life.

The evangelist John tells how Jesus cleansed the Temple of God from the custom of buying and selling practiced by the Jews at that time. It is told before the Jewish Passover, Jesus went to Jerusalem and entered the Temple of God, and He found people who were abusing the presence and sanctity of the Temple of God.

Jesus was angry and raged. He expelled the traders of sacrificial animals and money changers. Jesus’ anger happened because He loved the Temple of God very much. The Temple of God which should be the place of God’s presence and residence in the midst of His people has been defiled by the actions of merchants and money changers who work together with the Temple of God officers. They have defiled the Temple of God with acts of extortion, injustice, corruption, and structured oppression.

The Temple of God, which should be a place where people meet God, seek God’s will, is instead made a fertile ground for doing unlaudable acts that are against God’s will. What is even worse is that all these actions are wrapped in a spiritual frame in order to manipulate the actual fact that some seek profit at the expense of others; that is very contrary to His option or choice. Jesus’ mission in this world is to preach the good news about the Kingdom of God in the middle of the world.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. The narrative above provides a perfect understanding for us in understanding the existence of the Temple of God. However, there are differences that appear in the location of the cleansing of the Temple in Jesus’ story. For John, this event functions as action; First, Jesus in public. This narrative is found here because John believed it to be a paradigm or example of the entire life and ministry of Jesus.

Second, of importance to John is the conversation that accompanies the action that expels the merchants from the Temple. The conversation that took place (cf. John 2:18-25), clearly centered on the question, “who is Jesus, in His own eyes, that He considers Himself to have to improve the series of activities usually carried out by the officials of the Temple of God?” This was the right position and what John wanted so that the existence of Jesus would be better understood by everyone, including the religious leaders at that time.

The religious leaders asked Jesus to give a “sign”, that He had the authority to act to expel them from the Temple. They did not understand the signs that Jesus gave. “He said that He could rebuild the Temple within three days after it was destroyed. In reality He was talking about Himself.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. The core of the issue here is the view that lived in the Jewish community at that time that saw the Temple of God as a symbol of God’s presence in the midst of His people. The temple of God is the dwelling place of God. This view and teaching is what made Jesus’ disciples realize and understand Jesus’ actions.

John records: “Love for Your house consumes Me.” And the remembrance of this made His disciples know Him, and after His resurrection they believed in Him.

The house of God that Jesus refers to refers to His body (Himself). The house of God is a sign of God’s real presence in the world, therefore the love for God’s house that burns in Jesus’ heart, is real love and acceptance for fellow human beings, especially those who are small, simple, weak and marginalized.

We are the Temple of God (1Cor.3:16-17). The event of the purification of the Temple of God is an invitation for us to maintain our purity by staying away from sin. The event is also an invitation to dare to voice the truth and justice in the midst of our society which is still filled with injustice.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus offered himself. In Him there is eternal salvation, which will not be destroyed by age or circumstances. In the past, the Israelites thought that by taking control of the Temple of God, they would be safe. So many people abuse Bait Allah for material, position, and position.

Jesus reminded us that the Temple of God is not a guarantee of salvation, He himself is the basis and ultimate guarantee of salvation. Question for all of us; Which Jesus do we base our lives on? Jesus is present in others. Jesus who greets us through the situations of the people we meet. If we are friendly towards others, we will also be friendly towards God. If we suspect someone, we also suspect God.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. In this season of Lent; let us improve the basis of our lives by being sensitive and caring about social concerns. Being sensitive or caring is not only touched by God’s suffering, but also motivated to do something for others.

We live in society, we associate with society, we are touched by society’s concerns. Are our hearts moved to help? Are we moved to pay attention to them? This is what the Church reminds us of today. Do we want to base our lives on Jesus who is present in our neighbors?

Today there are many attitudes that are not right in the synagogue and require repentance. Are we still waiting for Jesus to overturn our attitudes and behavior? Let us improve our attitude in life, especially when we are in church, which is a place to meet God and others, a place to cultivate ourselves closer to Him.

Jesus, whom we use as a role model, does not stay confined in the church but is present in others. Let us ask for a sensitive heart so that we are able to listen and answer Jesus’ greeting with the blessing of God the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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