Obedience is better than sacrifice

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Jonah 2-3

When we were small and not knowing many things, we were taught many things by our parents, some of them came in form of instructions. We were told to do many things that are beneficial for us and not to do things that are harmful. The tricky part was that many things that are beneficial for us are not fun / pleasant to do but those that are harmful are fun / pleasant to do. Thus, sometimes it was hard for us to follow those instructions until we face the consequences of not obeying them.

For instance, we were told to brush our teeth and to eat less of sweet things such as candy in order to not damage our teeth. Being a toddler, brushing our teeth surely didn’t count as fun thing to do but eating candy and chocolate is obviosly a hobby. A toddler will continue his/her childish behavior until he/she experiences bad consequences, in this case tooth ache.

Sometimes God put us in unpleasant condition not because He is an evil God nor He meant bad for us but mainly He doesn’t want us to continue our harmful behaviour and preventing us to experience worse consequence in the future. This was what happened to Jonah when he was swallowed by a large fish (presumably whale). Jonah was not obedient towards his calling and God knowing his disobedience will cause the judgment on Niniveh to proceed, thus He took this extreme measure upon Jonah.

Jonah finally realised his mistake and repented before God in the belly of the whale. Then, the whale throw out Jonah out of its belly. Jonah then embraced his mission and proclaimed God’s message to the people of Niniveh. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them (Jonah 3:5). They escaped the apocalypse and Jonah’s mission succeeded.

Obedience is probably one of the hardest character to develop in our life. Sometimes we need to go through several roadblocks and obstacles in order for us to obey God’s command. However if we understand the heart of our Father God, it become easier for us to trust in Him and obey all His instructions for we know that all things work together for good to them that love God and called according to His purpose.

Let us learn daily to develop more of our trust in Him for to obey is better than to sacrifice.

Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!

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No Perfect People Allowed

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Jonah 1

This slogan is used by THE ROCKS, a church in Perth, Western Australia which pastored by Ps. Daniel Indradjaja, where I am priveleged to become its member during my stay in Perth. As written in their website:

Thus, it is clear that no one is perfect enough before God because we will always little cracks here and there, no matter how much spiritual or moral make-up we put upon ourselves. On the other hand, no one is too messed-up that they can’t be accepted before God and being used by Him.

We found many such example in the Bible where we see Moses, the reluctant leader who was told by God to free His people from the slavery in Egypt. Moses instead proposed Aaron his brother to God mainly due to his (assumed) inability to speak in the public. Moses end up to be one of the greatest leader Israel ever seen and managed to fulfil his duty as Israel’s deliverer from Egypt. Gideon also look down on himself whereby he questioned the decision of Angel of God who tasked him on the duty of freeing his people from the bondage of the Midianites. Gideon required few tests to be performed by God before he agreed to lead the army. Gideon and his 300 become the legend that people still speak of until now.

We can be really glad when we read the story of Jonah because he is the real example that God can use even the mostly unqualified leader to perform His mission. Jonah was asked to perform a simple mission, proclaim to the people of Niniveh that God’s judgment is coming upon them unless they repent. Jonah refused to comply and instead of arguing, he chose to run away from his calling. You know that you know that you can’t run away from God’s calling and the same thing happened to Jonah. God send a great wind into the sea and the ship that Jonah was in was almost destroyed. A great fish swallowed up Jonah and he was in the belly for 3 days and 3 nights. Jonah finally repent and agreed to do the task God given him and give the shortest and most effective sermon ever given and the people of Niniveh repented.

When we look at ourselves, we can make two mistakes, we saw ourselves as over-qualified or under-qualified. The truth is that we are qualified enough to do the mission that God requires us to do, He will enable us to complete his mission with enough skills/abilities, manpower and other resouces necessary for His goals to be accomplished. Always chose to be humble before God but at the same time never allow others or situations to make you feel incapable of performing God’s mission in your life. God never uses perfect people but He uses imperfect people like you and me that are willing to be perfected to do His will.

Blessed be the name of the Lord, Halelujah, Amin

Sources: https://www.therocks.church

Accountability

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Accountability
Obadiah 2-4

The Avengers team led by Captain America successfuly stop a terrorist group led by Brock Rumlow from stealing a biological weapon from a lab in Lagos, Nigeria. In the fight, a building is accidentally bombed, killing a number of Wakandan relief aid workers.

Back at their headquarters, the Avengers are paid a visit by Secretary of State Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, who informs them that the United Nations is in the process of passing the “Sokovia Accords”, which will establish an international governing body to monitor and regulate all superhumans, including the Avengers. The team is divided over the act. Should the superhumans be regulated or should they operate without supervision as they used to?

The book of Obadiah is the shortest book in the Bible which mainly talking about prophecies of God’s wrath towards Edom’s leaders. These leaders have become quite successful and go towards the tendency of self centeredness. They thought that they alone were responsible for their own success rather than giving honour to God. Thus God was angry towards their pride and thru Obadiah prophecied to Edom that they will be brought down and become small among nations.

When we are in a position of leadership and successful in many of our endeavors, it is easy for pride to come in. We tend to overestimate our capabilities and underestimate our challenges/problems. Thus the higher we go up, the more we need to be kept checked. The next question is to whom should we answer to?

From my perspective there are few characteristic required for a person or entity to be deem fit to be our supervisor:
1. Broader point of view
2. Independency
3. Interest for greater population
4. Interest for us

The most important is to always let the Greatest Leader of All, God, to always check on us. As it is written in the book of Isaiah: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Also in the 2nd letter of Corinthians: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

If we rely on our own strength, we can only do so much according to our own ability but if we have God on our side, the Unlimited and Omnipotent Father who will do magnificent things for our good, can you imagine the possibilities? Thus always be connected to Him, stay humble before Him and give all the glory and honour to Him.

Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pray Until Something Happen

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Amos 7:1-6

King David was at the peak of his career successfully uniting Northern Tribe of Israel with Judah and Benjamin. David has proven himself to be a great leader, conquering many surrounding nations and making other nations tributary to his kingdom. The king also managed to ease internal coup repeatedly which almost toppled him from his leadership position. Satan then saw a loophole and took this opportunity.

Satan arouse the desire in the mighty king to order a census of his people, something that is considered sin in the Torah. Despite objection from his general Joab, David continued with his order and so the census began. The Lord was angered by David action and David realised this as his heart condemned him after he numbered the people. The Lord then asked David to choose between three curses and David chose to fall in the hand of the Lord. While the judgment was passed, David continued to pray for his people, admitting his guilt and foolishness to God and the Lord finally offered David His solution; David was to built an altar to the Lord on the thresing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David did so, and the plague was stopped.

How many times do we underestimate the power of prayers, even those who minister in the house of the Lord. Prayer has become an event or program for us that we have truly lost the essence of prayer. Prayer is simply communicating with God, putting our trust in Him on things that are beyond our control. Great leaders are great prayer. They realise they are very limited thus they invest their times in to connect to the unlimited being, which is God and put on all their burden before Him.

Amos obviously realised the power of prayer and he practised it in Amos 7:1-6 when he knew that judgment will soon be passed on Israel people for their sin. Amos also understand that real action still need to be taken, God don’t just answer prayers with magic wand, most of the time God do it through people’s action. Amos prayer was finally answered by God in the last chapter of Amos with the hopeful vision of Israel future.

What about us? Do we realise the power of prayer? Do we still connect with God in our daily ‘quiet time’ or do we think of it as a boring routine? When the goings the tough do we still hope in His deliverance or do we only depend on our own strength? Nevertheless real action still need to be taken, but it sure feel different when action is combined with prayer!!

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you -St. Augustine-

Glory be unto the Lord Jesus Christ who deserve all the honour and worship!

KTP Gue Buat Ahok – My ID Is For Ahok

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Amos 4

Almost everyone know in Indonesia now know who is Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also widely known as Ahok. Ahok started out as Regent of East Belitung in 2005. He was very vocal against corruption and inefficient bureucracy but at the same time also very concerned about poor people and the welfare of his people in general. Ahok then campaigned for 2007 Bangka-Belitung gubernatorial election but was defeated by other candidates. That didn’t stop him to continue to pursue his calling in politics and in 2009 was elected to the House of Representatives (DPR) of Bangka Belitung constituency. Ahok continued his straight forward approach during this period and on 2012 decided to ran along Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in the 2012 Jakarta election. They succeeded in beating incumbent governor and won the election

When Jokowi decided to run for President, Ahok became the acting governor. Following Jokowi’s victory, Ahok succeeded him as governor and was sworn into office on 18 November 2014. During his terms, it is quite often for Ahok to be commented for his bluntness when he is not satisfied either with his subordinates, other government official, even to political parties, especially when he find that either they are inefficient, corrupt or put their own welfare ahead of people’s welfare. This has caused him to gather many enemies and also many sympathizers and followers at the same time. Those who are used to the old, corrupted ways are obviously not happy with Ahok but at the same time many people in Jakarta felt the positive changes that has been brought by the presence of Ahok.

Known as media darling, Ahok garner even wider attention in Indonesia as 2017 Jakarta election is coming soon. His electabilty will be put on test as more and more “attack” will be directed at him due to his decision for running as independent candidate ( not attached by particular political parties). Ahok is depending for ‘Teman Ahok’ a non-profit group with single aim which is to gather enough support of Jakarta people by their ID to pass the minimum threshold due to belief that he should serve the people and not political parties if he is to be re-electes. Whether Ahok will be continuing his term as governor of Jakarta is another question but one thing for certain is Ahok will continue to act according to his character not by testing the water or political conditions.

Do how we act changes according to the situation we are facing? Are we always try to be politically correct? Or do we act according to how God wants us to act? Are we a people pleaser or are we a God pleaser? Can we speak out to those (sometimes powerful and influential) people God wants us to speak to even if it means offending them?

We need to show love to everybody but at the same time also give out corrective measure when required to. Amos certainly didn’t hold back with his words. He laid it out like how God wanted him to tell the Israel people. Jesus turned the money changer table and ruined pigeon seller in the holy temple when he saw this ungodly practices taking place. Even God shows tough love to His children when He states in Hebrew that those that He love, He will rebuke.

Show both love and compassion to everyone but at the same time don’t hold back Godly wrath when it is necessary.

Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus, Halelujah, Amen!

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basuki_Tjahaja_Purnama

One way, Jesus

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Dan 3

Setiap pemimpin atau setiap era kepemimpinan mempunyai sebuah monumen atau ikon yg dibangun untuk menjadi kebanggaan bagi generasi berikutnya. Mesir mempunyai Piramida, China mempunyai Tembok Besar China, Kerajaan di Kamboja mempunyai Angkor Vat dan Angkor Tom, Kerajaan di Nusantara kita meninggalkan Candi Borobudur dan Prambanan bahkan Presiden Sukarno meninggalkan Monumen Nasional yg kita kenal dengan Monas. Namun Nebukadnezar, sang Raja Babel bukan hanya membangun ikon Patung Emas namun juga menghendaki setiap rakyat di bawah kepemimpinannya untuk menyembah Patung tersebut, yg notabene berlawanan dengan 1 dari 10 perintah Allah yg diberikan kepada Musa. Ini merupakan petaka buruk bagi seluruh keturunan Israel terutama bagi Sadrakh, Mesakh dan Abednego (trio Babel)

Ujian yg berat harus dihadapi oleh trio Babel ini. Apakah mereka memilih untuk mempertahankan iman mereka dengan segala konsekuensinya ataukah mereka kompromi dan tunduk kepada kehendak Raja Babel? Trio Babel bisa saja berkompromi memberi alasan kepada Tuhan bahwa apa yg mereka lakukan itu hanya seremonial, tindakan sementara yg dilakukan hanya untuk memberi muka kepada Raja Nebukadnezar. Atau mereka bisa berdalih bahwa mereka hanya menyembah di permukaan saja namun di dalam hati mereka tetap menyembah Allah Yahweh. Namun Trio Babel tetap konsekwen dengan iman mereka dan memiliha untuk tidak menyembah Allah lain selain Allah Israel, sebuah keputusan yg berani dimana bukan hanya posisi dan harta namun nyawa mereka yg jadi taruhannya!!!

Menjadi murkalah Raja Nebukadnezar dan langsung memerintahkan eksekusi mati bagi Trio Babel. Trio Babel pun masuk di dalam perapian yg menyala2. Mujizat pun terjadi, Trio Babel pun berubah menjadi Kuartet Kerajaan Sorga karena Anak Allah, Tuhan Yesus, turun tangan langsung dan melindungi mereka, membawa mereka keluar dari perapian disaksikan langsung oleh Raja Nebukadnezar!! Menjadi takjublah Raja dan berubah dari penyembah berhala menjadi penyembah Allah!! Trio Babel bukan hanya selamat namun juga menerima promosi!

Di dalam hidup kita, semakin kita dipromosikan oleh Tuhan semakin banyak dan berat tekanan yg akan datang. Tuhan akan membiarkan kita melewati ujian demi ujian untuk melihat kadar iman kita kepadaNya. Apakah kita akan kompromi dan tunduk kepada patung2 emas yg ada disekeliling kita? (Patung-patung emas berbicara cara2 dunia yg bertentangan dengan Firman Tuhan untuk mencapai tujuan atau kesuksesan kita). Ataukah kita akan tetap mempertahankan iman kita walaupun posisi, jabatan, harta bahkan nyawa kita yg jadi taruhannya? Marilah kita mengambil keputusan untuk tetap taat dan setia sampai akhir.

I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back, whatever the cost is!
Following Jesus is a one way street.
Salvation is given free but the cost of salvation, which is Jesus is priceless!
Jangan tukar keselamatan yg kekal dengan kesenangan sementara di dunia!

Terpujilah nama Tuhan kita Yesus Kristus, Haleluya, Amin!

Dipulihkan seutuhnya, mau ???

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Yeh 45-48

Tema dari GBI Jl. Gatot Subroto di tahun 2016 adalah tahun pemulihan seutuhnya – The Year of Total Deliverance. Ketika kita berbicara tentang pemulihan seutuhnya maka saya percaya bahwa hidup kita dipulihkan bukan hanya dari satu aspek saja, tapi seluruhnya yaitu kesehatan, keuangan, hubungan keluarga, jodoh (bagi yg jomblo), karir, rohani, dlsb.

Kenapa kita butuh pemulihan? Karena dunia yg kita tinggali saat ini adalah dunia yg tidak ideal, dunia yg sudah jatuh ke dalam kutuk dosa sehingga mengakibatkan permasalahan yg terjadi saat ini: kejahatan, pembunuhan, perceraian, sakit penyakit, aborsi, keguguran, kemiskinan dlsb. Sebab itu untuk mengalami pemulihan seutuhnya

Cara yg paling efektif adalah dengan mengembalikan ke kondisi yang semula, keadaan dimana manusia tanpa dosa, keadaan dimana manusia berada dalam kekudusan yg sepenuhnya, sinless environment (keadaan nir-dosa). Ini adalah apa yg di-ilustrasikan di dalam Yeh 47 bagian A dimana dikatakan bahwa air dari bait suci itu mengalir keluar ke seluruh kota dan menumbuhkan aliran air hidup kemanapun aliran itu mengalir.
Seberapa banyak seorang individu atau kota bahkan negara dapat dipulihkan seutuhnya tergantung dari seberapa banyak air itu mengalir dalam hidupnya. Air itu melambangkan Firman Tuhan dan manifestasi kuasa Roh Kudus yg menyertainya. Seberapa banyak Firman Tuhan dan Roh Kudus mengambil alih hidup kita menentukan seberapa banyak hidup kita dipulihkan kembali ke posisi kita yg selayaknya yaitu posisi kita seperti Adam dan Hawa sebelum mereka jatuh ke dalam dosa ketika di Taman Eden dulu.

Sebab itu baiklah kita melatih diri kita hari lepas hari menjadi manunggal dengan Kristus dan firmanNya dengan tuntunan daripada Roh Kudus sehingga kita akan melihat hidup kita hari lepas hari dipulihkan dalam berbagai aspek dan makin menyerupai Kristus.
Terpujilah nama Tuhan kita Yesus Kristus. Haleluya, Amin!!