Umm Qais

blessed obey

Umm Qais:

TESTIMONY OF A DEMON-POSSESSED MAN

(Mark 5:1-20)

blessed obey

       How does it feel to have a restored life? How beautiful is it to have freedom in our life? I want to take you to the story of young man who used to live in Umm Qais (Gadara). This place is near from the border between Jordanian and Syria. Today, this place is dangerous because of ISIS terror and violence. 

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      The true Bible story began about a young man possessed by demons. It looks like he has freedom in his life. He lived by his own will and did whatever he wanted. Nobody could chain him or control him. He lived not far from Sea of Galilee.

       Many times people saw him walking around wildly in the tombs near a village called Gadara. When someone shouts loudly, there are often two possibilities: either they need help or it is a shout of happiness.

       This man lived alone and had long lonely nights among the tombs and in the hills. He tried several times to commit suicide because he was suffering so much. We can know that he was not really free, but was called ‘Legion’ because he was possessed by many, many impure spirits.

       No one could set him free. No one cared anymore about this poor man. But Jesus Christ wanted to set him free. He rebuked legion and cast out the demons from this young man. He was healed, saved and in peaceful condition after meeting Jesus! Yet, this is not the end of the story.

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        Jesus sent him back to his village with clear instructions: Go, Tell what God has done to your life! The world history records that even Jesus Christ was rejected in Gadara Village, but still the Good News spread across the ages.

       Do you know that one of the church fathers who attended the Nicaea Council (325 A.D) was from Gadara? At the Byzantine era, the majority of Gadara residents were Christian. Archeologists found more than 400 crusader coins in Gadara.

       It proof of what this young man had done — he followed Jesus’ instructions and told the Good News of Christ and this had a big impact on Gadara’s history.

       Today God’s calling resounds with the same echo of truth. If God has ever blessed your life, saved you, healed your sickness and helped your life, now is the time to continue bearing fruit of good deeds for God’s work.

People who let God be involved in their life, will not lack God’s providence.

People who obey God’s word already blessed in their life.

God involved

 

 

MEDALI EMAS

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MEDALI EMAS

(Baca: I Korintus 9:24-27)

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       Air mata saya mengalir penuh haru dan rasa syukur ketika menonton Indonesia mendapat medali emas dalam olah raga bulu tangkis di Rio De Janeiro, Brazil pada 17 Agustus 2016. Dialah Tantowi Ahmad dan liliyana Natsir yang mempersembahkan nama harum bagi Indonesia di hari kemerdekaan dalam pertandingan ganda campuran badminton kelas dunia.

       Di berbagai tempat banyak orang Indonesia nonton bareng alias menyaksikan bersama pertandingan bergensi internasional ini. Pada saat lagu Indonesia Raya dikumandangkan, maka rasa kebangsaan dan persatuan menyatu tanpa memandang suku, agama, rasa dan perbedaan lain kecuali bangga dengan satu Indonesia. Bahkan tidak sedikit saya melihat sejumlah orang yang menyanyikan lagu kebangsaan ini dengan mencucurkan air mata. Momentumnya sangat pas! Hari Kemerdekaan 17 Agustus!

        Dalam gelanggang pertandingan olimpiade internasional, hanya orang-orang utusan terbaik negaranya yang akan bertanding, dan dari orang-orang yang terbaik hanya akan diambil yang terbaik dari yang terbaik untuk medali emas. Inilah prestasi, kebanggaan dan tujuan akhir dari pertandingan yang diselenggarakan tersebut.

       Ketika melihat Ahmad dan Lilyani memenangkan medali emas bagi Indonesia, saya langsung teringat ucapan Paulus mengenai pertandingan hidup orang percaya. Paulus menggambarkan hidup ini seperti pertandingan. Gelanggangnya adalah dunia, pesertanya adalah semua orang, pelatihnya adalah kesulitan dan tantangan hidup, dan tujuannya adalah menang alias berhasil mencapai tujuan diciptakan Tuhan di dunia ini.

       Setiap olah ragawan yang bertanding tentunya mempersiapkan diri sebaik mungkin agar menang. Tidak jarang latihan itu menyakitkan dan luar biasa melelahkan. Kerap latihan tiada henti dan seolah tidak mengenal batas. Demikian pula hidup manusia adalah persiapan dan sekaligus pertandingan untuk kekekalan. Disebut berhasil apabila kita mengikut Tuhan dengan setia sampai akhir hayat. Disebut berhasil apabila kita menghasilkan buah dalam pelayanan bagi kemuliaan-Nya.

       Saya terharu, bangga dan gembira karena prestasi yang dicapai anak bangsa Indonesia memenangkan medali emas dalam pertandingan bulu tangkis di Rio 17 Agustus 2016. Suatu saat kita yang mengikut dan melayani Tuhan pun akan terharu, bangga dan gembira melampaui semua yang dapat dikatakan ketika Hari Tuhan datang memberikan mahkota kehidupan bagi hamba-Nya yang setia dan taat. Amin.

HIDUP BAK PERTANDINGAN OLAH RAGA, PELATIHNYA ADALAH KESULITAN DAN TANTANGAN, TUJUANNYA ADALAH BERHASIL MENGGENAPI TUJUAN KITA DICIPTAKAN DI DUNIA INI

Hidup bak

Zamzummites

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ZAMZUMMITES

(Read: Psalm 110:1)

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       Can you guess the name of this city? This is Amman the capital city of Jordan. From the Bible, we can know that Ammonites owned this land as God’s gift to Lot’s descendants. (read Deuteronomy 2:19). But, before Lot’s descendants lived in the land, the Bible tells of numerous, strong, giant people living there called Zamzummites. Can you imagine about four thousand years ago when Zamzummites were living here? Their attitude was very bad and they were cruel which is why God destroyed them and gave the land to Lot’s descendants.

       At that time,  the Ammonites were a small tribe meaning they were very weak and didn’t have many people. But, for the Lord nothing is impossible. Thanks to God’s help, the Ammonites could win the land from the Zamzummites. When God opens the door, no one can shut it. When God closes the door, no one can open it.

       The Zamzummites reminded me about the Israelites journey to the promise land, called Canaan. (read Exodus 6:8)   ‘I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the LORD.”  At that time giants called Anakim (who part of other giants called Nephilim) were living there.

       The Israelites felt very small like grasshopers before these very strong people (Joshua 14:12, Number 13:33). In this land, the grapes grew so large that it took two people to carry one cluster of grapes (Numbers 13:24). The Promised Land (Exodus 6:8) or as we call it Israel today, is a fertile region.

       In this context, Joshua and Caleb saw opportunity in the middle of giant problems while others were pessimistic, and frightened, having lost all hope. Joshua and Caleb choose to follow God’s way. Remember, what is impossible for people, is possible with God.

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       Do you remember when David fought Goliath? If you do, you will certainly recall how that Israelites, including their King Saul, trembled before this giant elite force of the Philistines. David belived God and choose to fight with Him. He was able to conquer the giant Goliath only because of God’s power.

       When trouble comes into your life, or when you face a situation that seems impossible, remember the God who help David, Joshua, Caleb, the Israelites and even the Ammonites they faced the giants. That same God is able to help you in the middle of any disastrous problem you face.

       What kind of giant problem are you facing today? God is able and willing to help you and me. My best advice to you is to follow God, pray to Jesus and seek His way. Amen.

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I LOVE MONDAY

Thanks God3

 

I LOVE MONDAY

(Baca: I Korintus 1:4-5)

Thanks God3

 

 

       Kapan saat yang tepat mengucap syukur? Apakah mengucap syukur itu hanya dilakukan pada saat lancar dan merayakan keberhasilan? Bagaimana apabila kita menghadapi kesulitan dan masalah besar? Masihkah orang percaya perlu mengucap syukur?

       Paulus dalam suratnya kepada jemaat Korintus tidak hentinya mengucap syukur kepada Tuhan. Padahal pada saat itu jemaat Korintus hidup ditengah-tengah kota sekuler yang makmur tetapi jauh dari kebiasaan takut akan Tuhan. Lebih mengejutkan bahwa dalam surat Korintus, Paulus lebih dahulu mengetahui jemaat yang tidak sempurna ini ada yang jatuh dalam dosa, hidup dalam dosa seksual, mengkompromikan penyembahan berhala dan terjadi keributan jemaat satu dengan yang lain. Mengapa Paulus mengucap syukur dalam kondisi seperti ini?

       Tentunya Paulus tidak mengucap syukur untuk dosa yang dilakukan beberapa jemaat. Paulus juga tidak bergembira atau syukur atas konflik antar jemaat yang menimbulkan perpecahan di rumah ibadah. Paulus mengucap syukur karena Tuhan, karena masih ada harapan bahwa tidak peduli seberapa buruk keadaan seseorang apabila di bawah anugerah Tuhan maka ada hari depan yang baik.

       Mengucap syukur adalah obat yang mujarab. Dalam rasa syukur kita dihindarkan dari nafsu rakus. Dengan mengucap syukur kita diingatkan anugerah Tuhan yang melimpah dalam hidup kita. Oleh rasa syukur kita diingatkan bahwa hanya oleh anugerah-Nya kita dapat menjadi kaya dalam segala hal.

       Mari belajar mengucap syukur pagi ini di hadapan Tuhan. Kalau kita sering dengar, “I don’t like monday.” Mari kita ganti dengan, “Thanks God. I love monday” Tidak ada hari yang lebih berarti kecuali menjalani hidup bersama Tuhan. Amin.

DUNIA BOLEH BERKATA, “I HATE MONDAY”, TETAPI ORANG YANG MAU HIDUP DALAM ANUGERAH TUHAN DAPAT BERKATA, “THANKS GOD! I LOVE MONDAY”