Month: April 2019

Nothing makes sense humanly; Everything makes sense spiritually

Posted on

easter-resurrection-and-empty-tomb-crosses_s5oagnlyl_thumbnail-full01

 

Luke 23

13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, 14 said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; 15 no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. 16 I will therefore chastise Him and release Him17 (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).

18 And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”—19 who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.

20 Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. 21 But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

22 Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.”

23 But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed. 24 So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. 25 And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

 

As we read this account of Christ before Pilate and Herod and the people, several thoughts come to mind. Jesus did not deserve any of this treatment, He had done nothing sinful. Neither Pilate, the magistrate nor Herod, the king could find any fault in Jesus and tried to dissuade the people from their blood thirst for Christ. When Pilate offered the release of Jesus as was customary on Passover, the people wanted a common criminal released, one who had stolen from them, and they wanted the sinless Jesus condemned.

 

Nothing is right about this picture! In any study of law everything done here was irregular at best and downright illegal at the worst. There was no reason for the government officials who were acting as the judges of this trial to give in to the crowd and kill an innocent man. Surely even this decision went against every part of their being. Even the wife of Pilate sent him a message to leave this man alone for she had suffered in a dream because of this situation.

 

Just five days earlier, many in this crowd laid palm branches and their own coats at the feet of the donkey that was carrying Jesus through Jerusalem. They proclaimed Him the blessed one who had come in the name of the Lord. They proclaimed, “Hosanna to the son of David, Hosanna in the highest.” And now they were following the religious leaders to cries of “crucify Him.” Nothing is right about this picture!

 

There is one important thing that is right here. Jesus, God in the flesh, was doing exactly what God the Father wanted done. Jesus was submitting to the altar of cross. The angry multitudes, thinking they were finally getting their way, were also accomplishing the express will of the Father. It was prophesied that they would mock the Messiah. Pilate and Herod, going against all that they knew was right, were also accomplishing the exact will of the Father who had prophesied that Jesus would be beaten for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. It had been prophesied that nails would pierce His hands and His feet. Jesus was called the Lamb of God and a lamb had to be slaughtered.

 

What was right about this event? God was doing His will through everything that men were doing wrong. They thought they were getting what they wanted, when in reality, they were doing exactly what God wanted. This Good Friday, thank God for His perfect plan for our salvation from our sin; thank Jesus for submitting to the perfect will of the Father so that His sacrifice would take our eternal penalty.

 

If you are in Jakarta, join us tonight as we focus on the seven sayings of Christ from the cross. It will be a somber evening as we look at the broken Savior. We will end our time together observing the Lord’s Table remembering Him in the broken bread and juice. This begins at 6:00 at JIBC.

 

Take time Sunday to enjoy the resurrection of Christ with your church family. Resurrection Sunday is greater than Christmas Day because it reminds us of the completed life of Christ. We rejoice in His birth but if Christ had not gone to the cross and the grave we would still be lost in our sins. Rejoice in the justifying resurrection this Lord’s Day.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

An intentional offering of praise and worship

Posted on

Matthew 26

And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.”

10 But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. 11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. 12 For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. 13 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

Jesus had announced his death to His disciples, but they did not grasp it yet. However, Jesus knew what was coming next and when He was anointed with the “very costly fragrant oil” He knew it was in preparation for His burial. The disciples were indignant for this waste convinced that the sale of this oil would have been better for everyone. Jesus continued His defense of this woman’s actions noting that her sacrifice for Him would be remembered long after the disciples were gone.

Let’s look at the sacrifice of this woman and the reason behind it. In Mark 14:3-9 we find that this woman is identified as Mary, the sister of Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead. Jesus had performed a miracle of life for this family and His work was not taken lightly. Mary, in utter abandon, came to Jesus with potentially her most valuable earthly possession to worship Him with the greatest worship she could bring. Jesus, knowing what the next days would bring, accepted Mary’s worship and silenced the critics saying that her gift was for His burial.

As we think about God giving us eternal life through the gift of His Son, are we as overwhelmed with a desire to worship as Mary was? As we are coming into Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday are we preparing ourselves to worship our Lord for the miracle of life that He has freely bestowed upon us? I fear that in the busyness of life that we will “bump” into Good Friday, say a prayer of thanks and then “bump” again into Resurrection Sunday with a few words of thanksgiving and then move on to Monday. Suppose we took the attitude of Mary this year and sought to deeply worship the Savior. What might be different from previous years?

 

Jesus said that Mary’s sacrifice for Him would be remembered. What are we doing for the Savior that would be memorable to Him? How great is our worship? How determined are our actions of praise as we come into the time of year when we focus on His death and resurrection so we could have eternal life?

We watched the election coverage last night thanking God for the voice of the people. The people of Indonesia voted to continue their commitment to a pluralistic society that offers freedom of religion in their country. We spent time thanking the Lord for this gift of this freedom at this time in our history. Today is a peaceful day in the city showing the commitment to democracy that most of the people have. We are thankful.

 Tomorrow night at 6:00 there will be a Good Friday service here. Different men in the church will be reading the seven sayings of Christ from the Cross. This will be a serious service focused on the death and suffering of the Savior who gave His life so we could live.

 Tomorrow at 11:45 we will again open the church for Christian prayer. If you are in the area please join with us as we spend time thanking God for His wonderful gift to us.

 Bobbi’s dad went into the hospital with kidney failure. He has had kidney disease for a while now and his blood count came back showing the kidneys were not working enough. We are praying for a treatment that has the potential of bringing his kidneys back to a decent function. Ed is in good spirits, as he usually always is. Thank you for your prayers.

 Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

There is only one everlasting Kingdom; God is over all kingdoms

Posted on

Psalm 145

10    All Your works shall praise You, O Lord,

And Your saints shall bless You.

11    They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom,

And talk of Your power,

12    To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts,

And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.

13    Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

14    The Lord upholds all who fall,

And raises up all who are bowed down.

15    The eyes of all look expectantly to You,

And You give them their food in due season.

16    You open Your hand

And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

17    The Lord is righteous in all His ways,

Gracious in all His works.

18    The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,

To all who call upon Him in truth.

19    He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;

He also will hear their cry and save them.

20    The Lord preserves all who love Him,

But all the wicked He will destroy.

21    My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord,

And all flesh shall bless His holy name

Forever and ever.

Today is Indonesia’s fifth Presidential election. Before 1998 the elections had no effect on the presidency here. Now, the people of Indonesia are operating in a democracy where free elections are a part of their lives. Election day is also a holiday from work. Businesses and factories are closed so everyone can have the opportunity to vote.

Look with me at Psalm 145 in light of the kingdoms of this earth. God declares that His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and that He is the one we expectantly look to. God wants us to know that when we cry out to Him that He opens His hands and satisfies us. When we cry out to God He is the one who hears our cry and saves us.

Ever since I was 18 years old, I have participated in local and federal elections. Some time the ones that I thought best got elected and some time the ones I thought best did not get elected. I learned early on that God in heaven was in control of the elections and that He puts up whom He will put and that He puts down whom He will put down. And while I have often grieved at the will of the people, that is the one that was voted into office, I have had to rest in the overarching will of God. Remember this: at each election, God is not being voted on and He never leaves His throne.

I am very thankful to be in Indonesia and to be a part of this great country. It is thrilling to see democracy at work and to know that a free people are participating in a free election to determine who will guide their country. As is true everywhere that people vote, there seems to be a candidate better for our future, and we who know the Lord, desire this candidate to be elected. Nonetheless, God’s kingdom will not be affected by the outcome of today’s election for His is an everlasting kingdom and His throne is securely His. Rest in this truth today.

As you vote today, cry out to God with greater passion and plead with Him to show His might in Indonesia today. Pray that the desires of the wicked, those who are against God, would be thwarted while the desire of the righteous will be granted. By the time today ends, God’s will is going to be known and His people will be thankful for the clarity of His way.

21    My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord,

And all flesh shall bless His holy name

Forever and ever.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

John 17:20-26

Posted on Updated on

2019/04/14 – Dr. Theon Hill

John 17:13-19

Posted on Updated on

2019/04/07 – Dr. Theon Hill

Walking the narrow path of providing and succeeding

Posted on

Proverbs 11

28     Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,

but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.

29     Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind,

and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.

When we trust in our money at one level or another, we will probably, at the same time, trouble our own household. For while we need enough money to live, we should never put money above our family. It seems that when a dad or a mom puts the accumulation of money above the nurture of their family they bring trouble to their family. This is a narrow path to walk, isn’t it. We need money to live; we need to nurture our families. We want to be good parents and provide for our children so they can have good opportunities so we need more money.

What happens when we trouble our own houses? The proverb says that we inherit the wind. In other words, we inherit nothing. My parents did not focus on money and retired with nothing, but each of their children were intact. We all deeply love our parents and are greatly appreciative that they made Christ and His kingdom the focus of their lives. We have committed to the care of our parents. We think they made a better investment leaving us with faith, hope and love than if they had left us a great financial inheritance.

The next promotion may be good for your career, but is it good for your family? If you earn great wealth but trouble your own household, you have not gained much. Let us walk the path of seeking God’s kingdom as our priority without straying to the right or the left while we spend time providing for our family’s needs.

 

My dad is in a rehab facility in Arlington Heights. After his last bought with pneumonia they have him drinking thick liquids to keep the liquids out of his lungs. He is doing well there; mom goes over nearly every day. We are not sure what is next for him. Pray with us for wisdom and guidance for dad’s care.

As Stefani wraps up her freshman year, she is having back pains from sitting in rehearsals as long as she does. Pray with her for healing and strength each day.

We are looking forward to special time on Good Friday. There will be a service at 6:00pm with different men reading the seven last words of Christ. Then Sunday morning will be another special time of focusing on the resurrection of Christ in music and in message.

Tomorrow Wednesday) is Indonesia’s presidential elections. Pray for God’s will to be made clear for this great country.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

We don’t give to get but God gives to us when we give to others.

Posted on

Proverbs 11

23     The desire of the righteous ends only in good,

the expectation of the wicked in wrath.

24     One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;

another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.

25     Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,

and one who waters will himself be watered.

The desire of the righteous includes care for others while the expectation of the wicked is only for himself. God is interested in the desires of those who labor for the care of others. I have known many wonderful people who have invested in care for others. Don Miller was a farmer who could not work well with people, he was gruff and could be hard to get along with. But Don loved our work with troubled boys and he would give us corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and more. Don’s desire was to care for others with the labor of his farm. Don then gave testimony that God met his needs.

Verse 24 goes against human logic for we would say that you don’t give and gain at the same time. Yet how often have we seen the blessing of God on those who give! We do not give to get rich but when we give, we are enriched by our giving. When we give, we gain the love of those we give to; we gain the respect of others when we care for them. God, who knows our hearts and actions, makes sure that those who give to others for His sake are taken care of. The contrast here is that those who withhold what they have and refuse to help others suffer greater wants themselves. Money and things never satisfy but those who give find great satisfaction as they watch their gift gain eternal rewards.

When we give, according to verse 25, we bring blessings to others. As a pastor, I often have the joy of taking the gift from the church to the brother or sister in need. When the church shows care we, the church, are enriched. It does not take a great deal of money or care to be enriched by giving. What a joy it is when we are enriched with love by those who we help. We also see here the illustration of watering; when we water others with our water God waters us. Bobbi has always had plants that needed watering. When watered they would flourish but if we forgot to water them, they looked sickly and close to death. When we share the water of life with others, we ourselves also benefit with the water of God Almighty.

Who are you desiring to care for today? To whom are you giving and growing richer through your gift? Are you enjoying the water of God while you are giving water to someone in need?

Palm Sunday was truly a blessed Sunday at JIBC. God met with us and gave us joy and fellowship as we gathered around Him. Thanks to all who labored together to serve the Lord here Sunday morning. As a body, we work well together to move as one to the glory and praise of God. The message, What is the significance of Palm Sunday, Jesus died 4-5 days later? Is on the church website. This message will draw people to the desire of Christ to ride as King into their hearts both for now and for eternity. Follow this link for the message: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1n9GPbCvILtd5084CS5MAw779-APOxVnS/view

Continuing our Sunday lunch for church people, we had 25 people over yesterday. It was a great time of food and fellowship. We got to know each other by hearing how the Lord brought us to himself for salvation. What an amazing time as we heard about God’s grace in each life. I wish all of you could hear the stories of God’s leading from people of all nationalities, all religions and all family backgrounds. God is still in the business of saving whom He will save.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS