Daily notes : From a murderer to a saint !

 

St Paul (he was formerly called Saul) lived as a persecutor and a murderer of Christians and a destroyer of the church of God. He then began to preach that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and the Son of God.   He writes in his epistle to the Galatian church (located in the highlands of central Anatolia (Ankara) in modern Turkey).

 “I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”( Galatians 1 : 11-12)

The question is why would Jesus have had chosen Paul to be His apostle in his first century world? Couldn’t Jesus find someone else who was better than Paul? It is evident that God may choose anyone regardless of his/her background/race to serve Him and to be His representative for His Kingdom.  Those who are willing to submit and obey His calling will be equipped to work and to accomplish His great plans on this earth.

 

Catatan harian : Dari seorang pembunuh menjadi rasul

Rasul Paulus ( awalnya bernama Saulus ) hidup sebagai penganiaya, pembunuh orang –orang Kristen serta perusak gereja-gereja mereka. Dia mulai mengabarkan berita injil Tuhan Yesus sebagai utusan dan anak tunggal Allah setelah mengalami “pertemuan” dengan Yesus dalam perjalanannya ke Damaskus dan dia menjadi buta sesaat. Dalam surat-suratnya pada jemaat-jemaat di Galatia dia menuliskan :

Sebab aku menegaskan kepadamu, saudara-saudaraku, bahwa Injil yang kuberitakan itu bukanlah injil manusia. Karena aku bukan menerimanya dari manusia, dan bukan manusia yang mengajarkannya kepadaku, tetapi aku menerimanya oleh penyataan Yesus Kristus. ( Galatia 1:11-12).

Pertanyaannya adalah kenapa Yesus menunjuk seseorang seperti Paulus untuk menjadi pengabar injil? Tidakkah Yesus dapat mencari orang lain yang hidup dan latar berlakangnya jauh lebih baik ? Ini adalah suatu bukti bahwa Tuhan memilih orang-orang untuk melayaniNya bukan berdasarkan latar belakang/kultur/pendididikan derajat dll.  Mereka yang ingin, patuh dan mengabdi pada Tuhan akan dilengkapi untuk menjalani pekerjaan dan rencana besar Allah di bumi ini.

 

Advertisements

The beauty of faith

“Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of God “ (Romans 10:17).

Often this scripture reminds me to keep my focus on the things that God has spoken concerning my life. There is faith that comes with self desires and thoughts. There is also faith that comes with other people’s influence and expectation over the person’s life and he takes them as something that he has to believe for. I must say both are equally dangerous as they are often inspired by fleshly ambition.

I have seen many believers end up frustrated and they felt that God did not answer their prayers. A person could have faith on something that contrary to the will of God. He disobeys God if he does his own things in order to please himself or other people. Satan could take this opportunity to lead him far away from the purpose of God in his life.

True faith is produced by the work of the Holy Spirit. It is inspired by God’s desire planted in the heart of His children to fulfil His Kingdom purpose on this earth. The faith in the gospel of Christ is the foundation of every faith to God’s word. Christ is the only access to God the Father and His promises written in the bible and what is spoken through His Holy Spirit to us. We are qualified to access the throne of grace in the hope and glory of God only by faith in Christ Jesus.

Our communion with God in the time of prayer and meditating His Word and in obedience to His instructions can change our hearts to be more receptive and train our spiritual ears to be more sensitive to hear HIS VOICE. By the power of His grace these will enable us to gain more understanding of His ways in directing our lives.

The woman who suffered with the issue of blood for 12 years received healing by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment. She perceived that Jesus was the Messiah, the Healer and the final hope she had. She understood and believed that it was the will of God for her to be cured. Her faith had led her to come to Jesus that set her free. Jesus said to her :” Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” (Mark 5 : 25-34)

When we are able to perceive and understand the will of God in Christ Jesus then faith comes to establish all things that have been predestined for our lives in Him before the foundation of this world. The beauty of this faith is pure, perfect, unshakeable, full of hope and joy and it has no end.

Keindahan Iman

“Jadi, iman timbul dari pendengaran, dan pendengaran oleh firman Kristus “ (Roma10:17).

Sering kali ayat ini mengingatkan saya untuk tetap fokus pada hal-hal yang Tuhan katakan tentang hidup saya. Ada iman yang lahir dari keinginan diri sendiri dan ada juga iman yang timbul karena pengaruh orang lain akan harapan dan keinginan terhadap hidup seseorang yang membuatnya percaya dan mengimani serta mengikuti jalan tersebut. Kedua hal ini sangatlah berbahaya karena seringkali diinspirasikan oleh kemauan dan ambisi duniawi.

Saya telah melihat beberapa orang percaya yang hampir putus harapan dan merasa bahwa Tuhan tidak mendengar doa-doa mereka. Seseorang bisa saja mengimani sesuatu hal yang bertentangan dengan kehendak Allah untuk hidupnya. Apabila dia melakukan hal-hal sesuai dengan kemauan sendiri untuk menyenangkan diri sendiri atau orang lain maka dia tidak mematuhi Allah. Pada saat seperti ini Iblis akan dapat menggunakan kesempatan ini untuk menyeret jauh hidup seseorang dari rencana Allah.

Iman yang sempurna tercipta dan tumbuh karena pekerjaan dan kuasa Roh Kudus, diinspirasikan dan ditanamkan oleh Allah sendiri di hati anak-anakNya dalam memenuhi rencana kerajaanNya di bumi ini.

Iman akan Kristus adalah dasar dari segala iman akan segala firman Allah. Kristus adalah jalan kepada Allah Bapa dengan segala janji-janjiNya yang tertulis di alkitab dan segala yang diajarkakan Roh Kudus di hati kita. Melalui Kristuslah kita mendapatkan jalan untuk datang kepada tahta Allah yang penuh kasih.

Persekutuan kita dengan Allah yang dilakukan dalam doa dan dengan mendalami firman serta patuh akan segala perintahNya dapat merubah hati untuk lebih menerima dan mengerti firman dan melatih telinga untuk lebih peka mendengar suaraNya yang kudus. Dengan kuasa kasihNya kita dapat lebih mengerti akan jalan dan bimbinganNya dalam hidup kita.

Seorang perempuan yang telah menderita pendarahan selama 12 tahun menerima kesembuhan seketika pada saat dia menjamah jubah Yesus. Perempuan tersebut memandang Yesus sebagai Utusan Allah dan sebagai harapan terakhir yang dia percayai untuk dapat menyembuhkan penyakitnya. Ia mengerti dan percaya bahwa kehendak Tuhan baginya untuk sembuh.Imannya yang begitu kuat terhadap Yesus telah membebaskannya dari penderitaan.
Yesus berkata pada perempuan itu :” Hai anak-Ku, imanmu telah menyelamatkan engkau. Pergilah dengan selamat dan sembuhlah dari penyakitmu.” ( Markus 5: 25-34)

Pada saat kita dapat memahami dan mengerti rencana Allah dalam Kristus maka iman akan tumbuh dan melengkapi segala hal yang Tuhan telah rencanakan untuk hidup kita dalam Dia sebelum dunia diciptakan. Keindahan akan iman ini adalah suci, sempurna, tak tergoyahkan, penuh damai suka cita dan tak akan pernah berakhir.

Lord, I trust You…

When we face a certain situation often we do not know what to pray, how to pray and when to pray. This is a normal thing in the life of believer. It is not a sign of weakness like the world sees it but it is the evidence that we need God’s direction. We don’t know the answer of everything but God knows. Jesus who is at the right hand of God the Father is interceding for us. God loves us and through Christ alone God sees us worthy.  For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, simply put Christ is everything to us.

The access to the throne of God to obtain what we need has been granted to us through Christ. God the Father has given Him all authority in heaven and on earth. In Christ God’s power manifests, the wisdom of heaven is revealed and the treasure of His heavenly throne is unfolded.

Christ commands us to abide in Him and to be in constant communion with His Spirit so we could face and overcome every challenging or difficult situation. He communicates with us by His Holy Spirit. We gain assurance and strength in His supremacy by abiding in His word in faith.

There was a time in my life where I couldn’t see where I was going. I felt that all doors seemed to be closed before me and there was no way out for me to come out from such a difficult and complicated situation. One thing I was sure Christ’s love would never depart from me, I was not alone He would never leave me nor forsake me, that is His promise !!

I surrendered myself to God and relied on Him completely. I only knew little about faith but I trusted Him. The Holy Spirit gently guided my way to come out from that situation and I thank Him for that.

When Jesus said to the disciples  : “ Do not let your heart be troubled believe in God, believe also in Me “ ( John 14:1). Here Jesus knew that they felt anxious if they had to face the world alone without Him. His word gave them assurance and comfort to their hearts that they would meet Him again and He would come back for them.

Trusting God is a decision to surrender and to submit to His authority and power.  We must put our dependence completely in Him and fix our eyes on the Cross. Set our mind only on His heavenly purposes. The bible says “ His judgements are unsearchable and His ways past finding out “ Our mind cannot comprehend them, our thought unable to measure the depth of His riches of wisdom and knowledge. Often the plan that Satan has created to deceive and destroy us (God’s children) God would use it as an opportunity to strengthen our faith if we endure the suffering. He could turn the situation around to benefit us.  

We must not let our emotion conquer our soul, we must not allow our feelings dominate our spirit.  We should learn diligently to enter Christ’s rest by trusting Him. Those who do this cannot be easily intimidated and troubled by any tough situation that they may experience.

 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever. (Psalm 125 :1)

Only by the power and the work of the Holy Spirit in our heart His grace shall lead us to His rest. It shall empower  us to trust Him and it shall bring us to the place of peace in the storms of doubt and perplexity.

 

The receiver of His grace

It was dusk when I drove through the country side. I saw a sheep standing on the corner of the junction, confused and scared of the headlights of cars passing by. He was separated from his group and his shepherd, he didn’t know where to go. A thought came to my mind, “the lost sheep” ! I was hoping his shepherd would soon find him and bring him back home.

This experience had taught me an important lesson of our dependence to our Shepherd, Lord Jesus Christ. He says “ My sheep hear my voice “. The voice that leads us to the truth, guides us to the fullness of His life and directs us to His love.
Jesus’ precious blood was shed on the cross to cleanse a sinful man and to redeem him from eternal condemnation. By His grace He made him alive who was once dead in trespasses and sins. In the body of His flesh through death He presents man holy and blameless in God’s sight. They become God’s children having a new heart through the working of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing man could do to qualify himself to obtain all of these by his own work.

Many reject His calling. They hardened their hearts and their mind are occupied with reasoning. Satan deceived them with a thought that if they would accept Jesus’ love they must prepare to qualify and to present themselves as a good person and to give up their enjoyment in this world by their own strength. It is a plan of man’s destroyer (satan) to prevent humanity from receiving the light of truth, the abundant and the eternal life in Christ Jesus.

Unless we open our heart to receive invitation of His grace we would never have a clear understanding of the precious work of God the plan of redemption for humanity that began in the heavenly court. The light of His Spirit would shine on the chamber of the soul of those who accept His calling and it enables them to see the truth, to receive the truth and to walk in truth. What a precious life is in Christ Jesus! The life that had been predestined before the foundation of the earth was laid.

It is impossible to live a Christian life victoriously without His grace. Those who attempt to do so will soon fall into the temptation of Satan. The Spirit of God ministered to Paul in his time of persecutions and distresses.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9).

This means we constantly need His grace in everything we do daily. We must not rely on our ability and strength but surrender to His will and by faith depend on His power. Christ makes grace abound toward all of us according to the measure of His gift that we may have all sufficiency to accomplish every good work.

True believers are those who hear the voice of God, receive His direction and act in obedience to His truth. God has called them to His eternal glory and He has established their hearts and strengthened them in faith to accomplish His plan.

It is God’s desire for His children to know His riches of His glory and authority. Christ empowers those who believe on him to live in His fullness by the power of His resurrection. Their spiritual eyes are open to see the manifestation of His supremacy. Their spiritual ears are attentive to His voice. Their minds are being renewed to accept the supernatural evidence of perfection and beauty of His word. Their hearts are receptive to His love and mercy.

We were once like the lost sheep and was found by his shepherd, brought back home, fed and gently looked after.The Shepherd of our soul Jesus Christ in whom grace abound shall never fail to lead those who hear his voice and follow him.

Mereka yang menerima kasih karunia-Nya

Di senja yang hampir gelap dalam perjalanan pulang sambil mengendarai mobil di daerah perbukitan saya melihat seekor domba yang tersesat di sudut persimpangan jalan. Domba tersebut terlihat bingung dan ketakutan akan sinar lampu mobil-mobil yang lewat. Terpisah dari kelompok dan gembalanya tak mengetahui kemana harus melangkah. Seketika terlintas dalam pikiran saya “ Domba yang hilang dan tersesat ” ! saya sangat berharap gembala domba itu akan segera menemukannya dan membawanya pulang.
Pengalaman ini mengajarkan saya lebih lagi akan begitu pentingnya bergantung pada Gembala jiwa dan Tuhan kita Yesus Kristus. Dia mengatakan “Domba-domba-Ku mendengarkan suara-Ku dan Aku mengenal mereka dan mereka mengikut Aku, “. Suara yang membimbing langkah kita untuk mencapai kebenaran, kehidupanNya yang penuh dalam Dia dan mengarahkan langkah kita pada kasihNya.
Darah Yesus yang telah dikorbankan di kayu salib telah membersihkan dosa kita dan juga sebagai tebusan atas segala hukuman yang harus dijalani di masa yang kekal tanpa akhir.
Dengan kasihNya kita hidup kembali yang pada suatu saat telah mati dalam dosa. Melalui kematianNya dan kebangkitNya Dia mempersembahkan manusia suci dan tak ternoda di hadapan Allah Bapa. Mereka menjadi anak-anak Tuhan yang memiliki hati yang baru melalui pekerjaan dan kuasa Roh Kudus. Tak sedikitpun hal yang dapat manusia lakukan dengan usahanya sendiri untuk mendapatkan atau menerima hal ini.
Banyak dari mereka yang menolak panggilan Yesus. Mereka berkeras hati dan pikiran mereka dipenuhi dengan hal –hal dan alasan-alasan untuk menolaknya. Mereka termakan oleh hasutan iblis bahwa mereka harus mempersiapkan diri dahulu untuk hidup suci dan melepaskan hal-hal yang tidak benar yang mereka lakukan di dunia ini untuk berhak menerima kasih Kristus dengan usaha dan kekuatan sendiri. Ini adalah rencana iblis yang menghalangi langkah manusia untuk menerima kebenaran, kehidupan yang berlimpah oleh kasihNya sekarang dan dimasa yang kekal. Sebaliknya haruslah kita datang pada Kristus apa adanya mengakui dan bertobat, maka Kristus akan memberikan kekuatan dan rohNya yang Kudus akan dapat merubah hidup kita.
Apabila kita tak membuka hati dan menerima panggilan kasih Kristus maka kita tidak akan mengerti akan pekerjaan yang dimulai di Sorga untuk menyelamatkan manusia. Sinar terang Roh Allah akan menyinari lubuk jiwa dan hati mereka yang menerimaNya sehingga mereka dapat mengenal kebenaran, menerima kebenaran dan melangkah dalam kebenaran. Begitu indahnya kehidupan dalam Kristus! kehidupan yang telah direncanakan sebelum langit dan bumi diciptakan.
Sangatlah tak mungkin hidup penuh dengan kemenangan tanpa kasih karunia Kristus. Mereka yang mencoba melakukan tanpanya akan gagal jatuh dalam masa percobaan atau gangguan/hasutan setan. Roh Kudus yang begitu setia menguatkan Paulus pada saat-saat yang begitu sulit.
“Cukuplah kasih karunia-Ku bagimu, sebab justru dalam kelemahanlah kuasa-Ku menjadi sempurna. ( 2 Korintus 12:9)
Ini berarti kita harus selalu hidup dan bergantung sepenuhnya pada kasih Kristus setiap saat/ setiap waktu dalam segala hal yang kita lakukan. Janganlah kita bergantung pada kemampuan dan kekuatan sendiri namun berserahlah dalam iman dan kuasaNya yang begitu besar. Kristus melimpahkan kasihNya yang besar bagi kita semua sesuai dengan anugrahNya agar kita dapat menyelesaikan segala pekerjaan yang Dia berikan.
Orang-orang percaya adalah mereka yang mendengar suara Allah, menerima segala petunjukNya dan melakukan segala perintahNya dengan iman dan kebenaran. Allah, sumber segala kasih karunia, yang telah memanggil mereka dalam Kristus kepada kemuliaan-Nya yang kekal, meneguhkan dan menguatkan dalam iman untuk melengkapi segala rencanaNya bagi hidup orang-orang percaya.
Suatu kerinduan hati Tuhan agar kita semua anak-anakNya mengenal kekayaan dan kemuliaan serta otoritasNya. Kristus memberikan kemampuan pada mereka yang percaya untuk dapat hidup dalam kesempurnaanNya dalam kuasa kebangkitanNya. Mata roh mereka akan terbuka untuk dapat melihat manifestasi kuasa yang begitu agung. Telinga roh mereka selalu siap mendengar suara Allah. Pola pikir mereka akan terus diperbaharui yang dapat menerima segala bukti akan kesempurnaan firmanNya.
Suatu saat kita bagaikan domba yang hilang dan tersesat yang telah ditemukan oleh gembalanya yang begitu setia, dibawa pulang dan dirawat dengan penuh perhatian. Gembala jiwa kita Yesus Kristus sumber kasih dan karunia tidak akan pernah gagal membimbing mereka yang mendengar suaraNya dan mengikutiNya.