Stay Strong


Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.


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Spend each day to become a little bit wiser than you were when you woke up.

Discharge your duties faithfully and well, step by step you’ll get ahead.

Slug it out one inch at a time, and by the end of the day, when you live long enough, most people get what they deserve.

-Anonymous

Love, Grace, Truth – Inner Drive


innerdrive_logoLove is universal language. Without love, there is no point in life.

Grace is God’s initiative to form the circle of our salvation. Without grace, there won’t be a life.

Truth is the One that will set us free. Without the Truth, there won’t be a freedom in life.

As Christians, we need to ask ourselves this question: have we truly been freed yet? I think that this one simple question is very important for us all.

In my experience, I’ve seen a lot of Christians who are subconsciously struggling to break free from their bondage of sin and bad behavior. Notice the word ‘subconsciously’, which means that the chains that are binding us are sometimes invisible to the naked eyes. The chains will continue to bind us without us noticing and strangling us from within, like a cancer would do to our body.

This kind of problem has occurred since thousands of years ago.

Isaiah 1:1 = in this verse it is said that Isaiah served the Lord as a prophet during the reign of King Uzziah. Now, Uzziah was a good king, and he reigned in the Kingdom of Judah for around 52 years, which was one of the longest in the history. During his reign, Judah (South Israel Kingdom) grew to be such a wealthy nation, with one of the strongest military force in the entire vast land. Other nations feared and respected Uzziah and his strong kingdom.

The people of Judah were also rich. Almost no poor people could be found during Uzziah’s reign. And more importantly, the people were even more diligent in their prayers. They went to the temple everyday and bring fine cattle and lambs as sacrifices to the Lord. And since they were all richer than before, their sacrifices have been doubled than the previous amount. People were so happy and wealthy. All of them felt good because of the wealth as well as their sacrifices in the temple of the Lord. They thought that the Lord must have been so very happy with what they did, and thus, the Lord blessed them all as a nation. But, during this very moment, the Lord Almighty sent Isaiah the Prophet to rebuke the nation.

All of us need to know that our God does not see the natural world (appearance from the outside). He sees straight to our spiritual world. How are our hearts and minds react, our integrity when no one else sees, and et cetera. And as for the Israelites, it grew to a point where the Lord said through Isaiah that He grew tired of all the fat lambs as the offering. God demanded that obedience is more important than sacrifices. And obedience here refers to our hearts and minds. Whenever we want to give sacrifices and pray to God, He demand a pure and sincere hearts! There are many people who give sacrifices to church or other people with a heavy heart, complaining all the way when no one else sees. But this is not what the Lord wants!

What should drive us from within then? God sees the inside of our hearts and not the outside appearance. One thing I realize here is that we must stop living a lack-driven life, and start a fullness-driven life. We need to realize that whatever things that we have right now is not because of what we did, but because God has more grace and mercy than we could ever imagine. And no matter how small our treasure is, we must receive it and believe that the small amount of treasure is the one thing that the Lord has entrusted to us, and we must make it count with a grateful heart. It’s easier to be grateful when our treasure is a lot, I know. But, it’s not always like that. Lots of rich people are also having such a hard time to feel grateful. When they don’t have that much of treasure, they could still learn to be grateful. But when God entrusted a lot more treasure to them, greed took control of them, even without them noticing.

These kind of things may have happened in our lives without us even noticing! So, how do we deal with it? Love, Grace, and Truth is the very essence of God’s Word, and these things will be the filter of our lives if we understand them correctly.

1). Start to acknowledge your fear and problems. Don’t run away from it, because you never could. It lives within you. And you need to counter it with strong faith in Christ. Say it out loud to yourselves and God. When you embrace your weakness, you’re ready to embrace the grace of God. And from that point on, you won’t ever take God’s grace for granted. Grace is not a free ticket to do sin, but it is God’s initiative to form a circle of salvation for us. As long as we are within grace, we are saved, not because of our work, but because of God’s initiative. He made the impossible to be possible. And how do we see our fear and problems? It is by reading the Word of God in the bible. God’s Word in the bible will be able to make you see a lot better. The bible said that God’s Word is like a lamp for our feet. The Word lights our ways in this world. And if we don’t read our bible, we would easily be lost in our journey.

2). The Holy Spirit lives within you. The moment you receive Jesus Christ as your personal savior, the Holy Spirit lives within you. He is the One that God sent to help us get through our rough days on this earth. And we can consult the Spirit within us. Sometimes, we might feel or sense something. Sometimes, we might hear our hearts talk to us. We thought that they were just thoughts. It maybe true, but in most cases, those are the voices of the Holy Spirit within you. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, use your body wisely. So, in order for us to avoid the same mistake that the Israelites as well as Christians made thousands of years ago until now, we need to always consult the Holy Spirit within us by communicating with Him in our prayers and daily lives.

3). The third way to deal with such “invisible” problem in our christian lives is to have a good, empowering community. Good community would be able to remind you when you started to set off course. Good community will not judge one another, but will talk and remind each other with love.

So, our inner drive must be derived from the fullness of Christ in our lives. Whatever things that God has entrusted to us, no matter how small the number is, be grateful and do the best that you can for God. And the way to detect and avoid the “invisible” problem is by implementing the three ways above and by understanding the real meaning of love, grace, truth, as I have mentioned above too.

Redefining Grace


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Have you ever tried to hug someone that had never been hugged before? It was like trying to hug a stiff tree or a cold steel pole. You tried to hug him, and he just didn’t know how to hug back. And you know, most people these days treated Grace the same way.

The word “Grace” has been abused by most people these days. Some didn’t really understand about it, some taking his own advantage from it, and some just didn’t care. Churches these days are divided into two major groups: one that cheers for Grace (Hyper Grace), and one that doesn’t really want to talk about it, fearing that they might mislead the congregation to take the Hyper Grace path.

I can explain all about it in a Theological way with complicated Biblical words. But I won’t do that just to look smart in front of you guys. My purpose here is so that you will fully understand about this, and the way to do that is by telling story, just like Jesus did.

Luke 15:1-32

Do you remember the parable of a lost sheep? It’s not really about the lost sheep, but it’s about the Good Shepherd who found the lost sheep. Do you know about the parable of a lost coin? It’s not really about the lost coin, but it’s about the One who found the lost coin and rejoiced. Are you aware of the parable of a prodigal son? It’s not really about the lost son who returned to his Father, but it’s about the Father who willingly accepted His son back into His home.

Everything that Jesus told in the New Testament is about the Kingdom of God, and who would know better about it than Him? And in every single story that Jesus told, there is Grace in it. Grace is Jesus.

Do you remember what did the prodigal son wanted to say to his Father when he decided to return to his Father’s house? He wanted to say that he was no longer worthy to called son, and that he would be more than glad if Father would accept him as one of His hired servants. But, I have a question from this. When were we truly worthy?

Just imagine if my five year old son came to me in a morning, and all so suddenly said to me, “Father, I think I’m now worthy to be called your son,” I would reply to him and said, “Go back to your room that I’ve bought, brush your teeth with toothbrush and water that I’ve bought, and go to school that I’ve paid for you. You see? We were never been worthy at all. We are not sons and daughters by worth, but by birth!

And when I decided to embrace Grace, it doesn’t mean that I have acquired a free ticket to be sinful and lustful all I want. Grace is free, but it ain’t cheap. The core point of Jesus’ messages throughout His days on earth is about love, grace, and truth. It is love that brought Jesus to the cross. It is grace that enabled us who believe in Christ to be together with Him until now. And it is the truth that sets us free from bondage of sin. And the truth is that our God is holy, and we need to be holy to be with Him. So, are we made holy by our doings? No, for no men will reach the state of holiness with their acts and manners. We are made holy by love, grace, and truth, and they are all in Jesus Christ. And our definition of grace must never contradict with the truth.

We can choose to still stay within the boundary of grace or not. It’s our choice. The grace of God is everlasting, and it is the very thing that enabled us to be within the circle of salvation. Grace is coming from God, and do not waste it by going back to our old sinful behaviors. And this is our choice. A person who believes in Christ will be saved, but that person, who already entered the domain of grace, must maintain his/her belief by love and truth.

It’s not as hard or as complicated as it may sounds. When you have such a good spouse, who understands you very much and always speak with your love language, would you cheat on her? Would the very thought of cheating on her appear in your mind? Of course not! I have never ever thought of doing that evil thing and make her suffer. Now, if we can be like that to our wives or husbands, shouldn’t we be even better for the Lord?

Our God loves us so very much! The cross is one most significant evident that shows God’s tremendous love. Another proof is when Jesus said that the Father of the lost son was running towards the son, even when the son was still a long way off! Middle-eastern men are forbidden to run! And when Jesus told the disciples this story, all of the audience must have thought, “I’ve never seen my dad run.” And the fact that Jesus told them about the Father who ran told us the breathtaking truth about God’s powerful and insane love towards us! Our God understands us. He speaks with our love language. And for a God like that, if you truly know the extent of His love, you will never even think about cheating on God by going back to the old way anymore.

So, as a conclusion, Grace is Jesus, and it is the very thing that enables us to stay within the circle of salvation and be with God forever. It is our choice, however, to stay within that domain of Grace, or not. Embracing Grace doesn’t mean you can do whatever sin you want in this life. But don’t worry, because when you embrace Grace, you are embracing a much better life than sin. And most of all, remember this: you can fall during your life journey, but you need to get back up every time you fell down. Just remember that falling is still okay if you decided to get back up. But it is not okay if you gave up and decided to lie down there in the mud for the rest of your life! Falling in sin is still understandable, but remember to repent and don’t fall in the same hole again. What’s not okay is living in sin, which is when your conscience is already numb and you don’t feel a thing when you did wrong.

Let us redefine Grace. Grace is Jesus. Grace is free but ain’t cheap. Grace is God’s salvation circle. Love, Grace, and Truth must never be separated. “For by Grace you have been saved through Faith, not that of yourselves, but it is a gift from God, so no one should boast.”

Not Seeing is Believing


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From: http://lifetreecounseling.com/counseling/living-by-faith/

John 1:49-51

Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very Truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”

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People usually say “seeing is believing”. This goes way back to the people of Israel. They were the people that needed prove before they could believe in something. Quite contrast with Abraham, but his offsprings turned out to be like Thomas and Nathanael. No wonder Jesus called Nathanael to be the “true Israelite”.

When Nathanael first came to Jesus, he was full of hope as well as reluctance; whether this Man is truly the Messiah or not. And after Nathanael got the prove he needed, he believed. Of course this is natural for most of the people on this earth. But the Lord will be happy if we transcend the laws and customs of men, and start believing without seeing.

This is called Faith. It is something that we cannot see it now, and yet, we can hold on to it and believe in it; hoping that one day, it will be realized. It contains our believe that even though something has not been done yet, and we cannot see the result yet, we believe that it will be so, putting all of our hope in Jesus Christ the Lord.

Faith is when everything falls apart in our world, when our mothers or fathers are taken away, when our businesses and accomplishments vanish into thin air, and when all seems lost like a diamond seeping into tar, and yet we keep on believing that there is still good left in this world that is in store for us, that the Lord will never abandon His children and that help will come at the right moment, that is Faith.

Faith is also when everything is safe and all seems to be good, but we do not forget about God and the greater things that run in this world and beyond.

Faith is when we, in all circumstances of our lives, keep on believing and hoping in Christ Jesus the Lord for each and every aspect of our lives even though we haven’t seen Him or the end result yet.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.                                       -Martin Luther King Jr.

Let us learn to start believing that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior, even though we haven’t seen Him in person. Start believing that our future is bright with Jesus Christ, in this life and the life after, even though we haven’t seen it yet. Start believing that everything that happen is for the better good of our lives, even if we are in a desperate condition right now. Start to believe without seeing, that, even when we do not feel it ourselves, we are precious in God’s sight; no matter what our pasts were like, no matter how evil we were back in the old days, no matter how struggling we are to forgive ourselves, Jesus will eventually reach out to us over and over again. And when He does that, open up your heart and let condemnation out of yourselves.

Remember what Jesus said, you will see even greater things to occur. When Jesus comes again, we will see even greater things. Let us also focus on the greater and eternal things. Amen.

Be refreshed 🙂

Precious Handiwork of God


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From: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/8e/3f/48/8e3f487c4ce03bd083e3062a5b9d2378.jpg

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

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When we want to buy something handmade and branded, it will surely be very expensive and precious.

We are the handiwork of Christ, and we are branded by His Name. We are precious in His sight, for we are His precious handiwork. You are precious, more than you ever know it. And you are precious for the world, more than the world will ever know.

You are specifically made for God’s good work. Embrace that calling that comes from within your heart; your dreams, your good desire, and the urge from within to do the right thing and help other people.

Embrace the call of Grace from God, to keep on believing in God every day for the rest of our lives; even though we may not see Him now. When something is invisible, it does not mean that there is nothing. Air is invisible, but we cannot live without the oxygen in the air. The same principle is applied here.

We cannot see God right now, and that is the reason for most people to stop believing in God and consider it as a fairytale that our parents told before we went to bed. But, even though we cannot see God now, it does not mean that He does not exist. God is real. Heaven is real. Miracle is real. There are a thousand ways that human can die every day, but the fact that many people lived until 70 years old is a miracle. Remember, every day is a miracle. Every day is a gift, no matter how harsh your condition or situation is. Your life is a gift. And it will get better as time passes by.

When God created you, He has a purpose in His mind, and I believe that He has put that very purpose inside your heart. So think about it, pray to God, and accept the calling of God that you have in your heart. Remember, God has prepared in advance the things that He wants us to do in this life.

Be refreshed 🙂

The Greatest Parent We can ever have


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From: https://smileshinelove.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/god-the-perfect-father.jpg

Isaiah 49:15-16

15). Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!

16). See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before Me.

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Even though the whole world could not be bothered to look at you and just ignored every hard work that you ever done, there is One that never looks away from you.

Even though your boss or friends or partners underestimated you, with no respect or appreciation, do not be sad or feel that you are rejected.

Rely on Christ. Depend on Him. And He will give you the strength and joy that you need.

We probably think that we won’t prevail when the hardship comes or when the betrayal occurs. But when you are willing to open up your heart and mind, and let Christ have His way, you will find the joy and strength to surge out from within you, enough for you to stand and walk again to finish your day.

And even though your own mother or father or both have abandoned you since you were a child, there is One that will never forsaken you. His name is Jesus Christ. He is the Lord, and He is very real. He wants to reach out to you, and as long as you are willing to open up your heart and mind to believe in Christ, you will not regret it. Besides, you got nothing to lose.

Be refreshed 🙂

 

Dauntless Faith


Daniel 3:1-30

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Sometimes we think this is irrelevant. But it is relevant.
Ex: Titus charred to death by fire for keeping his faith in the era of communist.

The Resources of Faith (v. 17-18)

– Faith in the ability of God to deliver them.
Our faith need some exercise to be this strong. Just like muscle. Most of the times we know that God is able. But when we truly experience the problems ourselves, are we willing to surrender all and believe in Him?

– Confidence in the Willingness of God.
Many believe that God is able. But not so many believe of His willingness to deliver and help. However, this does not stop here. Because if it does, we can blame God if things does not go according to what we have prayed. The key here is in the third resource,

– Acceptance of the Sovereignty of God.
The thirs resource is the key in achieving spiritual maturity. Even if God had not delivered them, they would not blame God, because He is a sovereign God and He has every rights. Just like Job who really understood this that he said that the Lord gives and the Lord takes praise be the Lord. This shows that we know our position and identity. Just mere dust and ash who receive the grace of God. That our lives are His and that we surrender our lives completely into His will and hands.

The Implications of Faith

– Faith is always confronted with a choice.
There will be no easy choice. God does not promise for our roads to be filled with bed of roses. He promise us that He will be there for us and never forsake us.

– Faith always involves a Risk.
If there is no risk involved, no faith is necessary. Jadi kuncinya adalah utk rela mengorbankan hidup kita dgn sgala risiko yg ada untuk Tuhan. Sama seperti Abraham yg mengikuti panggilan Tuhan dgn tidak tahu arah mana dia harus melangkah.

– Faith always encounters opposition.
The pathway of faith is full of blood and sacrifice. The hardships that we encounter in our faith journey will exercise out faith to be stronger.

The Deliverance of Faith

– Deliverance from trial is not necessarily our highest form of spiritual blessing.
God allow them to feel the fiery furnace first. God allow many of His people to endure tribulation and persecution. Paul, peter, and many more. We must not adraid of tribulation and persecution because Jesus had warned us the moment we decided to follow Jesus. The process of it is what matters the most.

– The ways of the Lord for His people are not equal.

The process of each people may be different. All according to the Lord’s sovereignty. He know what’s best for us and what acts will we do in the future. We have to accept the Lord’s sovereignty.

For some He delivers from trial. For others He delivers in trial.

If wars should arise and our sons daughters husbands sweethearts are taken from ourside, how r we going to react?
If business should fail or financial crisis happens, how r we going to react?

If illness take place, how r we going to react?
When a desire for life partner is nit granted, how r we going to react?

Try to put yourselves in these conditions, and tell us, are you going to blame God? Or are you going to be like Sadrach Mesach and Abednego as well as Job who accepted the will of the Lord and stay faithful? To the world this may seem crazy. But we are not of the world.

The Lord is seeking true worshippers who worship in spirit n truth, and the truth abides in the righteous people, and the righteous shall walk by faith!

The Compensation of Faith: Rewarded

– Companionship with the Son of God. Verse 25. God Himself walks with you in your tribulation.

– Have control of the flames. Verse 27. The only thing that was broken is the chain so that they are free. God can use tribulation and persecution to free you from your bondage.

– Vindication of their faith will defeat the idol worshippers and win souls.
Our faithfullness in itself has enough power to evangelize people. There are details such as no smell of fite and not singed even if it just little but because the furnace and fire is talking about the god of fire Izbar.

So this is actually the spiritual warfare between The LORD and Izbar, and between the LORD’s childre against Izbar worshipper. If they still hv the smell of fire or singed a little bit, the people there would still reckonize Izbar as a god to be reckoned with, even though he did not win. But by the total and full victory of the LORD, the people can say no more and submit to the victorious God.

So, have the resources of faith, and be undaunted in your faith. Just like the three men, Job, Abraham when he must sacrifice Isaac (Hebrew 11:19), and just like Jesus when He was in Gethsemane talking about the cup and Father’s will.

Be refreshed and Christ bless you all 🙂