Month: May 2019

Satisfaction verses Want

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Proverbs 13

25    The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul,

But the stomach of the wicked shall be in want.

Let us talk for a moment today on the difference between satisfaction and want. One of the lies of the enemy of our souls is that we can be satisfied by possessions, foods, drinks, pleasures, and more. The ad agencies of the world use our desire for satisfaction to draw us into their products. Vacations are sold to give us a moment of satisfaction in our busy lives. I remember a liquor ad stating that when you drank their brand of liquor you would be satisfied. First of all, nothing of this world can satisfy for everything of this world comes to nothing. If you put it in fire and it burns or melts, it can’t satisfy. So then there is a difference between satisfaction and pleasure.

In this proverb we are taught that the righteous men and women are able to eat, to satisfy their normal desires, all the way down to their soul, that is, the very core of their being. We all love to eat and we enjoy times when there is abundance of food to eat. At those times we eat and eat until we are so full that nothing looks appetizing. However, a few hours later, we are back at the food table putting bites into our mouths again. Good and abundant food doesn’t satisfy so we know that this proverb is not about eating food. God, the Creator of life, knows how to righteously satisfy the desires He created. Whether the desire for food, sleep, relationship, sex, recreation, creativity, and more, God gave us our desires. Any attempt to find satisfaction outside of Him causes the stomach of the wicked to be in want.

Where then is the greatest satisfaction found? John Piper puts it well when he says that we are most satisfied when God is most glorified. The righteous, those who are living to glorify God, find satisfaction in doing the daily will of God. The wicked, though they eat and eat of this world are never satisfied. The eye always wants more, the lust always crave more, the selfish spirit always wants to take more, and on and on it goes. Only in the righteousness of Christ, the fulness of the Father in the Son, can we eat to the satisfying of our very souls.

 

So far, today is a calm day here. Last night was not. I have a friend who is Muslim and he said that he and his fellow Muslims are angry at the anarchy done in the name of Islam. Pray with us for all in this country to come to know the God of heaven as the only Prince of peace and love. Pray for confusion amongst the rioters and peace among those who know Christ. Pray for a harvest of souls here.

Pray for a man and woman who have run from Christ for a long time but are trying to come back to Him. The way of the transgressor is hard and their way back is filled with difficulties that they, in their sin, brought upon themselves. I am 10,000 miles away and they are asking me for help. Pray that God will increase their faith in Him.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

 

How can discipline be loving?

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Proverbs 13

24    He who spares his rod hates his son,

But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.

Hebrews 12

And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”

There is an idea being promoted that discipline and love are opposites. Parents who truly love their children would never “hit” them or intentionally “hurt” them in any way. This idea makes correction painless and therefore ineffective. In my view, it was always easier to ignore my children’s disobedience than it was to correct it. If the opposite of love is hate then when I love myself I hate my children. In love of myself I would not be inconvenienced by their disobedient/angry/selfish disruptions so I would then, “spare the rod,” or hold back any painful correction. Only when I loved my children more than myself would I stop was I was doing to bring to them the correction they needed.

In Hebrews we are taught that God chastens those He loves. (In that case He must love me a lot.) This idea is polar opposite of the current culture of tolerance and non-correction. Why don’t parents let their children stay up late, watch movies all night and day, eat chocolate, ice cream, pizza, and drink pop as much as they want? Do parents restrict children because they want to ruin their young lives? Of course not. Out of maturity and love, parents seek to lead children, who don’t know any better, to a better place, a place of greater maturity and understanding. We call those who nurture and guide their children, good parents.

When God corrects those He loves, He is being a good heavenly Father. We don’t know what we need nor do we know what is good for us. Only as God leads us can we know the bad from the good, the right from the wrong. God, in love, chastens us, sometimes painfully, to correct us. This is a demonstration of God’s love to us. Fathers and mothers, when you love your children you will correct them too in hopes of bringing them to greater maturity and understanding for their temporal and their eternal good.

 

Last night, Stefani and I met with a man who lives in our building. His wife and three daughters are in school in Japan and he enjoyed getting to know Stef. After that we took Jared for a party (any time we eat at a table in a restaurant it is a “party” for Jared) and then to a small bowling alley. (By small I mean the lanes were shorter, the balls were lighter and the games were five frames.) Jared loves “knocking them over” so he wanted to call grandma last night to tell her that he “knocked them over.” It was a nice ending to a busy day.

The election results are out and the incumbent clearly won the presidential election here. There are protests today but they don’t seem to be violent. We are praying for a peaceful continuation of Indonesia’s democracy.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Walk with the wise and enjoy the consequences of wisdom

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Proverbs 13

19    A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul,

But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.

20    He who walks with wise men will be wise,

But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

21    Evil pursues sinners,

But to the righteous, good shall be repaid.

22    A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,

But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

Let us once again separate these four verses into the benefits of those who walk in wisdom against the consequences of those who walk in foolishness.

  • it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil
  • the companion of fools will be destroyed.
  • Evil pursues sinners
  • the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous

We must never forget that the enemy of our souls only desires our destruction. People who end up in the category of the fool do not do so with their eyes open but with their sight blinded. Nonetheless, they act in foolishness and do not depart from evil, their company is destroyed, evil pursues them, and their wealth is not enjoyed. We must never envy those who live in foolishness and seem to prosper for all their apparent prosperity is a castle in the sand and will sadly come to nothing.

However:

  • A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul
  • He who walks with wise men will be wise
  • to the righteous, good shall be repaid
  • A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children

These are the people of this world whose eyes have been opened to the evil around them and they, with God’s help and wisdom, avoid the foolishness as they live in God’s righteousness. They enjoy the results of their work, they walk with other people of wisdom, good is repaid them and they leave a benefit for their grandchildren. When we see it laid out like this, we wonder how anyone follows Satan lies. Thank God for His desire to open our eyes to His truth and to Satan’s deceptions. May we not be drawn away of our own lusts and enticed, lured away from truth to embrace the lustful desires of this life. But may we ever see and know the wisdom of God and follow His blessed wisdom.

Yesterday, we had thirty children from the Mama Sayang Orphanage south of Jakarta in Cileungsi. The children sang beautifully and showed how secure they are in the orphanage they live in. The director, Mike, and his wife were here and told how God has led them into this work and enabled them now to have cared for over a thousand children. We, JIBC, looks forward to how we might become a partner in the support of this orphanage and become volunteers to genuinely help what they are doing.

Over thirty of our membership met after the service to discuss the starting of an afternoon service reaching out to the national Indonesians around us. This service would be in Bahasa Indonesian. Pray with us for us to know God’s leading in the starting of this service in the months to come.

We do thank God for our service here yesterday. Many people gathered to rejoice in the Lord, fellowship together, and gather around God’s word. Let us meditate this week on what it means to abide in God and for God to abide in us. God’s abiding in us is so much different from the Old Testament visitations by God to His people. When God abides in us and we abide in God everything about our life changes.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

The Hard Life

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Proverbs 13

15    Good understanding gains favor,

But the way of the unfaithful is hard.

16    Every prudent man acts with knowledge,

But a fool lays open his folly.

Let us take these two verses and put the negatives together and the positives together:

“Good understanding gains favor and every prudent man acts with knowledge. The way of the unfaithful is hard and a fool lays open his folly.”

The contrast here is very important. On the side of the righteous is good understanding and a prudent man who acts with knowledge. So when we need to make decisions we look to righteousness and to prudent or well thought out answers. We don’t act quickly or rashly but carefully, making sure that righteousness is the result. People are positively affected by our decisions because they are carefully considered in the process.

On the other hand, the way, the life of the unfaithful person, is hard. I have known people who did not make life decisions carefully, they did not seek God’s righteousness nor the lives of others in their decisions. Their lives became difficult, things did not work out, those around them did not enjoy them, and life just got hard. As they lay open their foolishness to all, their lives are just hard. I have had people who rejected God’s wisdom because they wanted their way and very soon regretted what they had done, their lives got hard.

I am reading and studying the book of Deuteronomy. God told Israel that before long they would reject Him and serve other gods who were not gods and would be worshipping evil spirits (Deuteronomy 32:17). God went on to say that when they rejected Him, He would make their lives hard as He sought to bring them back to Himself. My friends, the way of foolishness and sinfulness is hard. Do not listen to the lies of the culture, no one can live apart from God, rejecting all of His wisdom, and have a blessed life. Their lives will be hard. Walk with the Lord, love His righteousness, consider others, and enjoy the favor of God.

 

Doug and Ruth Bachorick have served the Lord for nearly 20 years in Manilla, the Philippines. Two days ago a young student finished her seminar, got on a bike and was killed by a truck. Pray for the family of this sweet girl. Her picture is on my Facebook page. The family is grieving deeply, just as I would if it were my daughter who was lost. The girl’s name was Kezi.

 We have small group at our home tonight. Pray with us for a woman in our group who has an oppressive family situation. Pray for her husband’s salvation.

 Pray for all of us for Sunday that God will meet among us as we gather with His people in His house.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

The hope of salvation vs the snares of the enemy

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Proverbs 13

12    Hope deferred makes the heart sick,

But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

13    He who despises the word will be destroyed,

But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded.

14    The law of the wise is a fountain of life,

To turn one away from the snares of death.

 

In order to understand the emphasis here, let’s reorganize these sentences a bit.

When the desire comes, it is a tree of life, he who fears the Lord will be rewarded and he law of the wise is a fountain of life turning us from the snares of death.

But, hope deferred makes the heart sick, he who despises the word will be destroyed, and there are snares of death.

All of us have had something we desired that did not come to fruition. When our expectations failed our hearts felt different levels of sickness, depending on the amount of effort put forth. When our hope is deferred by someone who despised the Word of God the sickness of heart is greater as we realize the one rejecting the Word of God is caught up in the snares of death. The snares, or the traps of Satan are for our souls; if he cannot get our souls, Satan will do all that he can to bring our hearts to spiritual sickness. This is why Paul wrote to us in Ephesians 6 that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, rules of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places. In light of this enemy we are to put on the whole armor of God so that we might stand against the attacks of the Devil.

However, when the Lord rewards those of us who fear Him, we will enjoy the fulness of His tree of life both now and forever. The fulfillment of the righteous desires of this life, in the fear of the Lord, bring greater and greater rewards. And when we live in fear of the Lord, we find the law of the wise which is a fountain of life turning us away from the snares, the traps of death. Satan and his hosts can be defeated for Christ already did defeat them. When we walk with the Lord here and now, we will see Satan’s traps for what they are, avoid them, and know the enjoyment of God’s tree of life.

The enemy of our souls wants our hearts to miss the hope of God’s plan for our lives, Satan wants our hearts to be sick with our sin. God desires that we know Him through the forgiveness of sin; He wants us to enjoy His tree of life, His fountain of life which turns us from the snares of death.

“Thank you Lord for your eternal care for us, those created in Your image, whom you love and long to deliver us from sin’s snares into your fruitfulness.”

 

We picked up Stefani at 4:30 this morning. Jared was thrilled to see her; it was a wonderful moment. We went home, ate breakfast, and then went back to sleep. We are so glad to have her here to see our “new home” as well as our church family. Thank you all who prayed for her during her travels.

It has been awhile since I have asked prayer for Victory Academy for Boys. Yes, they are still open and reaching out to troubled teen boys and their families with the wonderful grace of our Lord. Pray for Victory, the staff and the boys to know God’s power and grace. Satan hates God’s work at every level and we are praying against the enemy who always seeks the destruction of God’s work. God has wonderfully demonstrated His will for Victory to continue for years to come. Pray for them all as they seek to do God’s will reaching young lives for Christ.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

Wisdom from others brings light and avoids strife

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Proverbs 13:9–10

9     The light of the righteous rejoices,

But the lamp of the wicked will be put out.

10    By pride comes nothing but strife,

But with the well-advised is wisdom.

In the Proverbs it is usual to have two to four verses in a series. The series will address similar issues of wisdom and foolishness by stating them a little bit differently. When you understand this, you will read the Proverbs less like a bunch if individual statements and more like a teaching on various themes.

In this section we see the theme of righteousness and wisdom verses the wicked and the prideful. The righteous have a light to guide them and the wicked, walking in their darkness, have no light. The prideful, in their self-inflicted darkness, come to strife, while the light of the advice of others gives the clear guidance of wisdom.

When we take the time to seek the advice of others, we will find a better way than if we only seek our own guidance. The end of this wisdom is rejoicing. I can attest to the times that I would look for a YouTube video to help me fix a problem on my car. The advice of others saved me time and money and I would rejoice at how quickly and mistake-free the project went. The times I really thought I knew what I was doing and dove in without researching other’s advice usually ended badly with not having the right tools, not taking off the right part first, and so on.

Life is more important than fixing a car. Seeking the careful advice of others can truly save us from great, great pain. We have known those who demanded we leave them alone as they dove into the darkness of their lives. In that darkness, devoid of wisdom, there is no rejoicing that lasts. The darkness comes quickly as does the regret and the pain. Yes, we think we know what is best for us and we pridefully dive into the water of our own wisdom. Not long thereafter the waters become dark and strife begins. Oh, my friends, please seek the wisdom of those who love you before you decide to dive into your own conclusions. You will find rejoicing light and wisdom to keep you from the strife-filled darkness.

 

Sunday here was another wonderful day with the family of God. The Nathanial Choir joined with us and powerfully exalted the Lord’s name. Our own church musicians led us in Christ-centered worship and then we gathered around 1 John 4:7-11 seeking to better understand the free, uncaused, unsolicited, and un-repayable love of God to us. God calls us to love others with His love which is impossible unless we possess His love within us. I pray that our church will see God loving others through them even more this week.

Our ministry last Thursday and Friday at Binus School, Serpong, was an important time of ministering the Word of God’s salvation to young people who needed to hear it. Pray for the young people of Indonesia who are born to Christian parents. From birth they are told by society that they are Christians. They know the Bible because they go to Christian churches, but they often do not know the Lord by “new birth.” (I do not want to overgeneralize this; we know Christian parents who do know their children need to be saved and pray toward that end.) Word of Life is beginning to minister here and we have some of their missionaries in our church. They too have come to understand this phenomenon and long to reach the “Christian” teens of the culture. Pray with us as we long to see the children of Christians come to Christ.

Happy Mother’s Day to you who have borne children and sought to raise them with God’s wisdom. We enjoyed time with my mom on Friday. I am so thankful for a mom who loves Jesus, loves her husband, and loves us.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

True riches and true poverty

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Proverbs 13

7     There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing;

And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.

Here is a truism that goes against human logic. At the beginning of the show “Shark Tank” the “sharks” of financial success are introduced. As they are introduced the camera shows cars, houses, yachts, and other great possessions of these super wealthy people who are supposed to help the people who come on to their show. According to this proverb, these great financial investors who have made themselves rich really have nothing. Like I said, this goes against human logic.

In my years doing services at Sunrise Assisted Living, I remember two people who were super rich. The man was successful in oil in Texas. His net worth at his death was $15 million. He was bitter at life and his family wanted nothing to do with him. His wealth was taken out of his hands. Thankfully, we, my father-in-law and I, were able to lead this poor rich man to Christ before he died. Another was a woman who was the heiress of the Scot’s lawn fertilizer family. She had an opulent corner room, everything money could buy, but was lonely and bitter at life.

On the other hand, I was blessed to know some godly men and ladies who had very little of this world’s money but had Christian families who loved them and led them to Christ. One lady was bent over with Polio from very young. She was a blessing to everyone she met. When she went home to be with the Lord many people missed her love and care. She was rich beyond riches.

All to often our emphasis of life is on how much we can make and how much we can save. Solomon makes it clear that we need to turn around our definition of wealth. He who has nothing but has given what he has for the care of others and the furthering of God’s kingdom has great wealth both here and hereafter. But he who makes himself rich while ignoring the needs of others will end up in relational poverty here and eternal poverty hereafter.

Let us be sure we are following the right wisdom with our money and our goals for it.

 

Ramadan in Indonesia has begun. It is the month of time when Muslims to cleanse their souls, fast from 6AM to 6PM every day. During these hours they cannot either eat nor drink anything. Pray for us to find opportunities to care for these dear people in this time of their spiritual sensitivities.

Tomorrow I will be preaching at a Word of Life day camp. A private school in Jakarta, non-Christian, is working with the Word of Life missionaries here to set up this time of biblical instruction in the school. Pray with us for young hearts to turn to Christ and to surrender to Him. It was in a school chapel that the Lord broke my heart and I gave my life to follow Him. May some this week hear that wonderful voice calling them.

 Have a great day in the Lord,

PS