Month: May 2019

A house in sin or a tent in righteousness?

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Proverbs 14

11    The house of the wicked will be overthrown,

But the tent of the upright will flourish.

12    There is a way that seems right to a man,

But its end is the way of death.

 

Notice in this section how Solomon compares the house of the wicked with the tent of the upright. A house indicates stability, financial ability, permanence and more. A tent indicates a level of poverty, the need to move regularly, insecurity, and a desire for a house. Solomon uses these two very different types of dwellings to teach an important lesson on wickedness of life verses uprightness of life. On any given day we would all desire the permanence and comforts of a house over the most plush of tents. But the point is not the dwelling place where we live but the attitude with which we live.

 

Those who live in wickedness, though they prosper greatly, are always at risk of losing everything they have. They have much of this world’s goods. Many of the music videos of the rap culture show the prosperity of wickedness and call the children of the next generation to want what they see in the videos. They see big houses, fancy cars, beautiful women, and lots and lots of money. Today, we also see those who use their money to buy favor and find themselves under the scrutiny of the law. Money is not the greatest success.

 

On the other hand, is the poor family who have next to nothing of this world’s goods but have the love of God, the righteousness of Christ, and the corresponding happiness of the faithful. I have been in big and beautiful houses that were cold and uninviting; I have been in the small and old homes of the godly poor and have known wonderful and inviting love. The way that seems right might not lead to life but to death. The way of the Lord, though it may not seem right, is right, and the end of His way is life for He is the way, the truth, and the life.

 

From a wonderful day on Sunday to an amazing trip on Wednesday to an Ascension service on Thursday, I have had continued opportunities to lift up Christ. On Wednesday we went with friends to visit some people of the Badui tribe. These talented and sweet people have had hundreds of years of spiritism and animism. It was a joy to meet some in a market, buy some of the cloth that they are weaving on their porch and some bracelets that they create. It was a continued joy to meet some in their home and to sing silly songs and show the wordless book. Stefani and Bobbi had their first fresh coconut milk right from the tree! We fed the chickens in the yard with some of the fresh coconut on the inside. Poor Bobbi got car sick both riding in and out; I think she will stay out of a car for a week or two.

 

Yesterday was Ascension Day in Indonesia. It is a national holiday. I was invited to preach the message at a combined service of several churches held at All Saints Anglican church in central Jakarta. The church was packed as Christians from all over the city gathered to celebrate and remember Christ’s ascension into heaven. I spoke from the words of the angels and the words of Peter, “This same Jesus…” I was thankful for the opportunity and pray that some of those in attendance will come to Christ as so many did on the day Peter preached in Jerusalem.

 

We are getting ready for Sunday now. In about an hour we will have our Friday noon prayer time praying for the Lord to work in our hearts and in the hearts of those we know and love. As Christians we are called by the Lord to pray. As Christians we never pray as much as we should. Turn off the TV and the phones and spend time in prayer for God to bring those who hear His word to faith in His eternal salvation. Pray for unique opportunities for each of us to bring Christ and His hope to those around us.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Fools make fun of sin and cannot find wisdom

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Proverbs 14

6     A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it,

But knowledge is easy to him who understands.

7     Go from the presence of a foolish man,

When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.

8     The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way,

But the folly of fools is deceit.

9     Fools mock at sin,

But among the upright there is favor.

Foolish people, those who have rejected God’s wisdom in their life, have some interesting characteristics. At times they know they need wisdom but because they have rejected it so often, are unable to find it. They have listened to human reason, human logic, and the desires of their own hearts so much that true wisdom runs away from their understanding. Our world today is filled with people, politicians and actors, for starters, who seem incapable of making wise choices. They have lived apart from God and His wisdom for so long that they seem totally unable to make any wise decisions.

Because those who cannot know wisdom live so often in their scorning of truth, they now make fun of foolishness and of sin. The Saturday Night Live culture makes fun of everything. They make fun of sin, they make fun of righteousness, they even make fun of truly good people. In the end, no one is really above the mockery of the fools. The folly of fools is deceit. Even when they laugh, lies are in their laughter. Be careful, my friends, of joining the fools in their mockery of sin and of righteousness. Their foolishness may be funny, but it is not righteous and they are mocking that which God calls sinful.

On the other hand, knowledge of life is easy to those who understand God’s ways and among them there is favor. I would rather have the favor of the righteous than the passing and empty laughter of the fools. Living in wisdom is so much better on so many levels. I know that the world around us is getting worse and worse in regards to their respect of others; so, we who do respect one another will stick out more and more. This is ok as we are seeking the wisdom of the God of the universe not the passing acceptance of the fools and the scorners of our God.

 

Sunday’s message was a very important message for every Christian to know. In 1 John 4:17-19 the apostle tells us that there is no fear of judgment in perfect or in mature love. When we who have been redeemed through the blood of Christ stand before God, we will not be afraid for Christ has already paid the price of our sin. There will be nothing between us and our Savior thus there is no need of any fear of seeing God nor of standing before Him in judgment. There is no nor will there ever be any condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. We praise God for His wonderful plan for our salvation and we, in mature love, should not be afraid to see the Lord God who is in us now and in whom we now live. You can find this message at our church website www.jibc.or.id

 

Thanks to all who worked together on Sunday to do the will of the Lord and to serve His church. We so enjoy one another as God’s church.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

A Wise Woman Builds

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Proverbs 14

1     The wise woman builds her house,

But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

2     He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord,

But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.

In Proverbs 31, the question is asked, “Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price, her value, is far above rubies.” Another proverb tells us that “he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor of the Lord.” Ladies, the men of this world need women of wisdom and virtue to stand with them in this life. A woman of virtue cares for her family in every way that they need her care while a woman of wisdom builds her house on a firm foundation and it survives all of the storms that life brings. Having grown up in a strong church and a strong home I have often seen the value of a wise wife and mother. They work hard for house building is strenuous work. They labor throughout the day making sure all is as it is supposed to be. A wise woman builds her house.

I learned early on in life that it takes far less time to destroy something than it does to build it. We would put firecrackers in our model cars and watch hours of work blow up in moments of time. In foolishness, a family that has taken years to develop, can be ripped to pieces. Foolish words, foolish reactions, foolish feelings, and foolish advice can cause a woman to quickly pull down her house. She may be just telling the truth, she may be spouting bitterness, however she does it, she can rip apart her husband, her children and destroy her influence all in short time thus tearing her house down with her hands.

Only as we walk in uprightness will we demonstrate our fear of the Lord. A perverse tongue cares nothing of God nor of His peaceful ways. Ladies, be builders not destroyers. Walk in wisdom and the fear of the Lord to continually build your house and all who live in it. Avoid perversion of thought and word knowing that God is not finished and that He will bring those around you to Himself. Walk in patience and the fear of the Lord that your house may be built well.

 

The weeks seem to fly by. Here it is Friday already. We are preparing for our Friday noon prayer time as well as for Sunday morning. It is a busy day here yet a day to see the hand of God at work in us and through us. Never underestimate the power of our enemy to bring destruction. He wants my life and yours and works unceasingly to bring us to ruin. According to Ephesians 6, pray for one another today and everyday.

 Remember the Massey family in your prayers today. Russel Massey graduates from Marine boot camp so the family is in California for his graduation. We have been a part of Russel’s life since his birth and rejoice in God’s current leading in his life.

 

Pray for Sunday,

 PS

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