Lord Jesus - with grateful hearts we thank You for all the things big and small that You have done for us. The beauty of south Sulawesi that have showed in this night, makes us realize how great You are. So please help us to live lives that show Your grace, mercy and love to a world living in darkness and despair. Please, give us the courage to share the light that You give. Amen.
Grace & Peace,
Searching in Darkness part 1
In order to memories our first meeting with Yvonne Febrianzi Bulo and admire the beauty of the night of a million charm of the south Sulawesi.
Balai Kartini - Jakarta
July 22nd 2011 - 10.29 PM
Possession vs. Ownership
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come.
In Roman Law there is a distinction between Proprium (What you own), and Possessio (What you possess). From the first we get the word property and from the second we get the word possession.
Now this relates very closely with salvation. Our Proprium is sin. This is what we own. Sin and only sin is what we bring to Christ. The Proprium of Christ, what Christ owns, is righteousness. When we come to Christ in faith He takes our sin and gives us His righteousness. So Christ who owns righteousness now possesses, Possessio, our sin. And we who own sin, now possess, Possessio, the righteousness of Christ. We do not own the righteousness of Christ rather we possess it by His gift to us.
This makes us both a sinner and righteous. The reformers called it, Simul iustus et peccator , at the same time righteous and a sinner. Luther, early in his ministry, looked at this process as a promise or the substance of things hoped for. We want to take this further and say it is not only that we hope for the righteousness of Christ, but we, in some way, manner, or form, possess the righteousness of Christ. The promise is eschatological in that we do not possess this righteousness as we will in heaven, but yet in some way we do. The cross of Christ is the future glory breaking into us.
So is there any practical implication here? There is in every way. When we came to Christ in faith we brought our sin and were given His righteousness. His righteousness imputed to us. Therefore we are new creatures and ought to live as such. The old things must have passed away and all things are now new.
Calvin commenting on Hebrews 7:1 says, "As the King of righteousness (he) communicates to us the righteousness of God, partly when he makes us to be counted righteous by a gratuitous reconciliation, and partly when he renews us by his Spirit, that we may lead a godly and holy life."
Searching in Darkness part 2
When I miss Yogyakarta, I thought I did not really miss it, but missed something around me.
Beji Kukusan, Depok - West Java
July 27th 2011 - 10.54 AM
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Spiritual gloom, or religious melancholy is not uncommon among professing Christians. Many have had contact with someone who is barely operating and living as if they are in the daze of a spiritual funk.
John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrims Progress struggled with the burden of guilt from past sins. Luther, in the dim light of his prison cell at Wartburg, thought he saw the devil and hurled his inkstand at his head.
We all have our moments of gloom. I like to call them the dark moments of the soul. For many these moments are momentary, for others they can be struggles that last for years.
Fears of unworthiness are often found in those who feel that they have sinned greatly and who wonder how God can, or more painfully why would God wish to, save them. The promises of the gospel for such are "Repent and believe" (Mark 1:15). Salvation in Christ is for anyone who will come to repentance and faith in the work of Jesus Christ.
Others struggle with having lived the life of faith for a time and then fallen away. Often these wonder if they have committed the unpardonable sin. Such struggles can be debilitating. But the gospel speaks loudly.
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:5)
If you wonder whether you have committed the unpardonable sin, it is great evidence that you have not. To show concern and care for the salvation of your soul is a sign you are on the right path, not the wrong.
If you have moments of spiritual gloom you are not alone. It is not an easy thing to do, but maintaining a mindset of "Rest in Christ, Rest in Christ", can be or become a great comfort to us. May God grant us grace that, resting in Christ, we might gain spiritual vitality and peace.
"In a really dark night of the soul it is always three in the morning, day after day." F. Scott Fitzgerald
"We do not usually learn that Christ is all we need until we reach that point where he is all we have!" Vance Havner
Searching in Darkness part 3
In the middle of my loneliness, wish something be here with me..
Coffee Toffee, Gandaria - South Jakarta.
July 28th 2011 - 10.30 AM
John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you - not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."
Do you have peace? We know that the child of God cannot have peace while sin remains on the conscience. Life is a tempest when we are in rebellion against the Living God. The Lord, however, promises peace to His children. We should seek it. As said, our sin gets in the way of peace. However, when we consider that Christ has died for sin and stands in our place as our substitute, we should know peace. Our sins have been discharged by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We can be at peace. We can have peace. We can know peace - by experience. It is (should be) the present possession of the child of God. We may all have peace. In fact, as the above verse tells us, Jesus gives us peace.
We often are undone by the cares that life brings us. Certainly, one way we canhave peace is by turning those cares over to the Lord. Jesus is greater than our present worries. He is able to overcome them. This assurance should grip our hearts in our times of struggle: Jesus cares for us and promises us peace. If you are resting in Christ, then salvation is present - it is present today in your life. You have the present consolations that the Lord, Creator of Heaven and Earth, loves you, cares for you, knows your afflictions, is able to meet all your needs, and He promises to do so. Leave your sorrows with Jesus. Tell Him all your anxieties. He gives perfect peace through His Holy Spirit.
What is the foundation of our peace? I think the foundation is twofold. First, Jesus is risen from the dead. He is risen for us. Romans 4:25 is a precious promise, which tells us that Jesus "was raised because of our justification." Justification? How does that relate to peace in my life right now? It relates because it means that in Christ, you are restored to a right relationship with God. Nothing can give us peace in the midst of trial, better than knowing that we are friends of God. The second foundation of our peace is that Jesus is reigning in Heaven. Acts 7:49 tells us, "Heaven is My throne." Hebrews 7:25 comforts us with, "He always lives to make intercession for them." The 'them' in this passage refers to His children those who have Him as their Savior. The peace for us is that Christ, our Lord, now reigns in Heaven. He lives to pray for His children, whom He dearly loves. Yes, believer, you can have peace, knowing these things.
I encourage you to enjoy this peace with your family and talk about it with others. Show it in the way you live. Peace is given to us by our Savior. It is a present gift from Him to us. When we have peace, we honor God.
Searching in Darkness [special] part 4
A happy birthday gift for my lovely 50 years old mother. Love you more.
Department of Immigration office - South Jakarta
July 29th 2011 - 14.10 PM
Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
I don't know if you practice family worship, but I hope you do. I was prompted into this topic by a paragraph in a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and I think I will reproduce part of that paragraph here.
"... in the daily gatherings for family prayer. It should be a happy occasion when we meet to read the Word of God, and pray together. It is well if we can also sing at such times. Matthew Henry says, concerning family prayer, "They that pray do well; they that pray and read the Scriptures do better; they that pray and read the Scriptures, and sing a hymn, do best of all.' Herein he was wise and gracious as usual; I wish that his words received more attention. If you cannot compass the least of the three good things, mix the praise with your prayer by making it fuller of joy and thankfulness than is usual. Never let the domestic devotion degenerate into a dull formality, but throw a hearty living delight into it, so that there shall be joy drawing near unto the Lord, and not a weariness in it. Where there is no family prayer, we cannot expect the children to grow up in the fear of the Lord, neither can the household look for happiness." Vol. 43, page 500
Such are the words of Spurgeon, admonishing his hearers and readers to have family worship. I would say the same, but not as well. We ought to worship the Lord together in families. It should be normal to commune with our Lord with those who are closest in communion with us. Family worship is a great blessing to the family. Gathering together to pray, read, and sing puts the rest of our day in perspective. We live and exist in Christ, who has redeemed us. It is good for the children to see their parents' faith. It is good for the parents to bring their children up in the Lord. Family worship has long been something that Christians have practiced without question. It is only of late that the practice has become uncommon. It is not "in vogue" these days to worship together in our homes. So I would simply ask you to look around. Look at the church. Look at the families that make up the church. Admit that many children do not follow the faith of their parents. Admit that family life is at a low ebb. Then ask yourself, Wouldn't gathering together around God's Word as families, daily or twice daily, be a positive influence upon families in general, your family, and the church at large - And do we not all need, desire, and long for this? I leave you with the question. It is rhetorical. The answer is obvious. Spurgeon went on to say in this sermon, "Let no day pass without family prayer; a house without it, is without a roof, a day without it is without a blessing."
Searching in Darkness [special] part 5
A happy birthday gift for my lovely 85 years old grandmother. Love you so..
Somewhere - privacy place of my Family
July 31st 2011 - 01.00 AM
Alone with Lord
Luke 10:42, “But one thing is necessary.”
All of us know, by experience, that the more spiritual the exercise, the more quick we are to tire of it. Many of us know it most in prayer. We set aside some time to pray. We get alone. We begin, maybe read a passage of Scripture to set our minds on Heavenly things, pray only for a short time, and we realize that we are thinking about something other than prayer. Our mind has wandered in some direction, and we are planning, reviewing, rehearsing – but not praying. Prayer is a spiritual exercise, and it is not easy to stay focused in spiritual exercises. If this is a common struggle for you in prayer, I suggest that you keep a list of things to pray for handy when you pray. Pray through the list. It seems unspiritual to need a list, but it is certainly more spiritual than thinking about taxes, or oil changes, or a conversation we have had – or might have, rather than praying.
We see, in the account of Martha serving and being busy, and Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet, that it is easy to think we are doing a spiritual exercise when we aren’t. One of the traps we fall into is that we become, often when we are seeking to serve Christ, concerned that anyone will notice. We wonder if anyone will have a clue that we were behind the matter. We wonder if someone might wrongly think that perhaps someone else did this or that. We cannot get beyond our selfishness, and be content to work quietly for the Lord, do our best, and let the results – and the glory – fall to Him. Here is a consideration for all of us who have struggled with lack of recognition: The Lord doesn’t really need us. The Lord’s cause went along very well for centuries without us, and it will continue to get along very well when we are gone. It isn’t about us. It is about Jesus Christ, and when we serve Christ, if we are really serving Him, then it isn’t about us. If it is about us, then we are serving ourselves and not the Lord.
We referenced Martha a moment ago, and in our service unto the Lord, we must remember to choose the good part first. I encourage you to serve Christ diligently – with all your heart. I encourage you to do it more now, than you do. But don’t be as Martha who, in her service, lost something she couldn’t recover. She lost precious time with her Lord. Mary chose the good part (Luke 10). We are prone to give up the good part. The good part is communion with Jesus Christ, and we are worse off when we sacrifice communion with Christ for Christian activity. We can’t be always doing, or we will never be refilled with fresh streams from the living waters of Jesus. We have to find time alone with the Lord, in order to be able to serve Him faithfully and joyfully. If one of the 12 Apostles were giving a sermon nearby, and you had to choose between that and your regular time of prayer with the Lord…you should pick the prayer – every time. I realize we don’t have to make those choices, but it shows how significant our communion times with the Lord really are, or really should, be in our lives. Let us make them a priority.
Searching in Darkness part 6
These solitary moments makes me wish You (you) were here.
Orange's House, Bausasran - Yogyakarta
August 3rd 2011 - 18.35 PM
Matt 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (KJV)
This is a little word with a huge depth of meaning. In the dictionary, I found three definitions for the word "forgive": (1) To excuse for a fault or an offense; pardon; (2) To renounce anger or resentment against; (3) To absolve from payment of (a debt, for example). The idea of a cancelled financial debt, or a pardon are powerful. Through no action of our own, and that is a critical thought here, the debt, be it financial, criminal, or spiritual, is gone.
In this fragment of the Lord's Prayer, we are asking God to forgive us of our sins. This is a good thing, since I know I probably sin before my feet hit the floor most mornings. The more I know about the grace of God, the more I realize how badly I need it. And we have the assurance that Christ has paid for our sins and stands ready to forgive us if we come to Him with a humble heart.
The next phrase is interesting too. Some have taken it to be, if I forgive my debtors, I'm forgiven too. That doesn't quite ring true. It also is a good thing to forgive those who have sinned against us. But, if we can do anything in our own strength to earn forgiveness, then grace is no longer needed. Rather, this is an agreement that we now release those who are in debt to us from that debt. Keep in mind that holding something against someone is sin, which inhibits our prayers. Being unforgiving means that we are not humble, and in need of repentance. (Mark 11:24-26)
One last thought. Forgiving someone, or being forgiven, does not mean that the whatever happened, was right. This in no way validates that event. It simply means that it is no longer an issue between the two parties involved. I will no longer be angry with Patty because she got mad and poured soda on my head. It also does not mean that I am a doormat. My fictitious Patty may not pour soda on my head again and expect me to simply smile about it. It doesn't mean that the offender should not change or that I act like nothing was ever wrong. Patty should give up her soda pouring ways, and will probably be encouraged by my willingness to forgive - just as Jesus forgave me and I am encouraged by His forgiveness. This is obviously an over-simplification. But I think it illustrates the meaning.
The Apostle John, in his later years, was always exhorting those around him to love each other. When you love someone, it is easy to forgive. It becomes imperative between you that you work out your differences quickly. This kind of relationship, and acceptance of others with all their weaknesses and faults, is a huge step toward living humbly and really knowing forgiveness. I don't think I'm there yet. I don't know many who are, and they might tell me I'm wrong about them. The point is that we will probably never really arrive at that destination in this lifetime. But the journey toward that destination is the important thing
Searching in Darkness part 7
Pray for the GPIB & to everyone who has been disappointed by them.
After talking with Boydo Rajiv Hutagalung.
Orange's House, Bausasran - Yogyakarta
August 6th 2011 - 01.02 AM