Following God’s Mercies Every Day

Arief From Indonesia:

 

There are approximately 25 to 30 million plus Christians in Indonesia. It has the second largest Christian population in Southeast Asia. And it has the 4th largest Christian population in Asia. Indonesia also has the largest Muslim population in the world. It is ranked #43 on the World Watch list of countries where Christians are being persecuted.

I am honored to interview Arief, my friend and our devoted brother in Christ, who was born and still lives in Indonesia.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Following-God's-Mercies-Every Day                                                                                                      

1 – Arief, hello and what an honor to interview you. First, can you tell us how you first came to know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?

Hello Lynn. The honor is mine. My parents sent me to Christian schools since Grade 1. There I have learned about Christianity. I have not accepted Jesus until one day I learned that God really answered prayer.

I was in Guangzhou, China when that happened. We have been praying to God for a clear weather for almost two months. This was for a BBQ party. A clear weather for a BBQ party! Small request and insignificant, right?

The rainy season during that time was very wet. You can expect the rain for a week nonstop. And this was the case.

Our BBQ party was in the middle of the week. The morning of BBQ day, it was still raining. I thought we might have to cancel the BBQ party. But suddenly, approaching the hour, the rain started to drizzle and then stopped. It stopped for the whole 3 hours we had our BBQ. Then it started to rain again for another 3 days until I see the sun again.

That was the moment I believed in God.

2 – Are all of your family members believers?

My parents, brothers, and sister are all Christians. Thank God.

3 – On an average day, do you see persecutions around you of individuals, or the church, and have you ever faced the possibility of persecution for being a Christian

Living in the big capital city, I don’t see direct persecutions. But I was in the city when some years ago some of the churches were bombed. Remote areas are more prone to these persecutions. I have read that churches now are being closed because of the pressure of some groups

4 – Why do you think that Christians around the world seem to have such a strong, unshakable faith while so many here in America seem to take their faith for granted?

I don’t know in America, though. I have the pleasure to witness how strong Christians are in China. They have it harder than me. The Chinese Government put a strong censorship on churches. Government agents are always present there.

So I think this is the true characteristic of Christianity. If being persecuted, they will grow stronger.

Have it easy, they will grow weaker.

5 – I know you love to read our Holy Bible, the infallible Word of God. Is there a scripture, or a person in the Old Testament or New Testament, who has particularly encouraged you while you were going through trials in your life?

There are too many to mention. David who sins, Moses who is tired, Ruth who follows her mother in law, Jesus who afraid, eats, tired, etc.

With verses too. But I will mention “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” here.  (Hebrews 13:5)

6 – How important is prayer and repentance in your daily walk with Christ?

I know that these are important for Christians. I am still struggling with sins every day. Lucky for me (or is it?) that Jesus is willing to accept me. I actually do not believe in luck. I was chosen because it is God’s privilege.  I was chosen even before the beginning of time.

7 – Do you still see that God’s mercies are new every single day of your life? Can you share a few with us?

Oh yes! I see mercies every day:

I still have food to eat.

I can go to church.

I have work.

I can share my resources with other.

My daughter is growing and healthy.

Our President is Joko Widodo.

Our Governor is Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.

Those are some mercies that I can share. There are plenty where they came from.

8 – If you could ask our holy, omnipotent, omnipresent God one question, right now, today, what would you ask Him?

Why me? Out of millions of His children, why me?

9 – How has your faith grown and become stronger in a world that is not always tolerant of Christians?

It is a roller coaster. Some days I ask where is God, while some other days I will give thanks for his preservations. I learn new things every day.

10 – What would you like to share with others regarding how Jesus Christ has changed your life? And how He can change their lives too.

Read the Bible. It is a love story. I couldn’t help to cry, to cheer, and to laugh at the story. It is because I can relate to the story.

Jesus has changed me because I’m willing to know more of Him (by reading the Bible).

You can find Arief at several of his websites. 2 in Bahasa Indonesia and 2 in English.

MeForChrist.blogspot.com is a blog where I share what I think. Usually through a Christianity perspective.

AffiliateIndonesia.org and TheOnlineBusinessNow.com are where I share my passion for online business.

BeShaved.com is talking about shaving, my newly acquired hobby. Yes, shaving can be a hobby.

Thank you for this opportunity to share my story.

Arief

Thank you so much Arief!

May our Lord God protect and bless you and your family, and may we grow stronger in our faith each new day. You and your family are in my prayers daily and I ask other Christians around the world to pray for you also. Please pray for us also.

In Christ, to Him be the glory forever,

Lynn Drew

Forgiven-By-Christ

Sola Scriptura

Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)    

  

 Sola Scritpura came out of the Protestant Reformation Movement. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, an Augustinian Monk, nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the church door at Wittenberg, Germany. This was the day that he shook up the Holy Roman Empire.

Papal Authority Challenged:

Martin Luther, John Calvin and other Reformers challenged papal authority. For centuries the Roman Catholic Church had made its traditions superior to the authority of the Bible. (some of the traditions are prayers to Mary and the Saints, the Immaculate conception, meaning for the Catholic Church that Mary was sinless, indulgences, papal authority and transubstantiation).

The Holy Bible Is Our Final Authority:     


The Holy BibleOut of the Reformation came Sola Scriptura! They believed that the Holy Bible, and not tradition, nor a church, was their final authority. They believed in the supremacy of Scripture. Scripture alone was sufficient. To put it another way – they believed that the Holy Bible is the only infallible authority, and they believed the pope could err!  The Reformers believed that Salvation is by grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ alone. The Protestant movement began with a roar.

 

All Are Welcome To Come To Jesus Christ:

We have to hit that point where we know our pride is meaningless, worthless. We acknowledge to our Holy God that we are incapable of saving ourselves. We can’t earn our salvation. We can’t buy our salvation. We can’t do enough good works to deserve salvation. Going to church will not save us.  And we certainly can’t be saved through a family member or a friend who is already a believer. No, we have to come face to face with our own sins and desperately cry out to our Lord, Jesus Christ. Pride has to be thrown to the wayside once and for all.

Today Could Be Your Day For Salvation:      Salvation Through Christ Alone

You can choose right now, this very moment to ask Christ to save you. To trust Him completely and acknowledge that He is the Son of God, and the only way to God. That He is who He says He is! To repent of your sins and ask for forgiveness with a sincere heart. He forgives! If others have told you that there are many ways and many roads to God, they have lied to you! It does not matter how much power, or money, or education, or influence they have, or how famous they are, they have lied to you. And it is the worst, most despicable lie possible because your eternal soul is at stake. And someone has probably lied to them or they simply believe they know more than Christ. However, one’s opinion in comparison to the truth of Jesus Christ is, as gently as I can put it…totally meaningless. Please don’t be fooled.  Choose this day to open your heart to Christ and you will be saved by God’s grace through Jesus Christ. You will be set free once and for all.

Jesus Alone Saves,

Lynn Drew

Forgiven

 

 

 

 

The Cost of Compromise from John MacArthur

A note from Lynn Drew:

Dr. John MacArthur is one of the most dedicated teachers of the Holy Bible and preachers of the Gospel in our world today.  He is unwavering in a world where many preachers are self indulging in antics, self promoting stories, and rituals as they call for unity regardless of the cost to truth. John MacArthur is not interested in the least about what others think about him as he continues his dedication to the truth of scripture.  He is consistent and steadfast and has no tricks up his sleeve. He does not tickle our ears, like so many, and his love for those who are lost is proven by his willingness and his ability to preach the truth. If you find fault with his preaching, I am worried for you. The following is poignant and relative to our spiritual health today.

 

The Cost of Compromise:

FROM John MacArthur Mar 06, 2015 Category: Articles

Martin Luther wasn’t prone to compromise. He famously said in his sermon “Knowledge of God’s Will and ItsFruit”: Dr. John MacArthur don't Compromise Truth

The world at the present time is sagaciously discussing how to quell the controversy and strife over doctrine and faith, and how to effect a compromise between the Church and the Papacy. Let the learned, the wise, it is said, bishops, emperor and princes, arbitrate. Each side can easily yield something, and it is better to concede some things which can be construed according to individual interpretation, than that so much persecution, bloodshed, war, and terrible, endless dissension and destruction be permitted.

Here is lack of understanding, for understanding proves by the Word that such patchwork is not according to God’s will, but that doctrine, faith and worship must be preserved pure and unadulterated; there must be no mingling with human nonsense, human opinions or wisdom.

The Scriptures give us this rule: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

It is interesting to speculate what the church would be like today if Luther had compromised. The pressure was heavy on him to tone down his teaching, soften his message, and stop poking his finger in the eye of the papacy. Even many of his friends and supporters urged Luther to come to terms with Rome for the sake of harmony in the church. Luther himself prayed earnestly that the effect of his teaching would not be divisive.

COMPROMISED TRUTH HAS NO HOPE OF RESCUING THE ETERNAL SOULS OF MEN AND WOMEN

When he nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door, the last thing he wanted to do was split the church.

Yet sometimes division is fitting, even healthy, for the church. Especially in times like Luther’s—and like ours—when the visible church seems full of counterfeit Christians, it is right for the true people of God to declare themselves and defend the truth. Compromise is sometimes a worse evil than division. Second Corinthians 6:14-17 isn’t speaking only of marriage when it says:

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Satan, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.

Sadly, this familiar command to separate is frequently both misunderstood and violated. But Paul is not giving believers license for legalism, sectarianism, or monasticism.

Instead, he’s drawing on an analogy from the Mosaic law. In Deuteronomy 22:10, the Lord commanded the Israelites, “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.” Those two animals do not have the same nature, gait, or strength. Therefore it would be impossible for such a mismatched pair to plow together effectively. They would be unequally yoked.

Paul’s meaning is clear: believers and unbelievers are two very different creatures and cannot work together in the spiritual realm. He called for separation in matters of the work of God, since such cooperation for spiritual benefit is impossible.

We sometimes tend to think of the early church as pristine, pure, and untroubled by serious error. The truth is, it wasn’t that way at all.

From the very beginning, the enemies of truth launched an effort to infiltrate and confuse the people of God by mangling the truth and by blending lies with Christian doctrine. Attacks against the truth regularly came not only from persecutors on the outside but also from false teachers and professing believers within the visible community of the church.

That was the case in the Corinthian church, where false teachers brought with them a quasi-Christian syncretism of gospel truth, Jewish legalism, and pagan mysticism. They were eager to blend the people of God with the pagan worshipers, and the truth of Scripture with the lies of Satan.

That kind of spiritual blending is exactly what Jude warns against in the third verse of his short epistle. “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” Through the pen of Jude, the Holy Spirit urges us to exercise caution, discernment, courage, and the will to contend for the truth.

Notice what we are supposed to be fighting for. It is not anything petty, personal, mundane, or ego related. It’s not mere wrangling between competing ideologies. It’s not a campaign to refine someone’s religious creed or win denominational bragging rights. It’s not a battle of wits, or a game of any kind.

What we are called to defend is no less than “the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” He’s talking about a serious struggle to safeguard the heart and soul of the truth itself and unleash that truth against the powers of darkness. Compromised truth has no hope of rescuing the eternal souls of men and women who have been unwittingly ensnared by the trap of devilish deception.

This is a battle we cannot wage effectively if we always try to come across to the world as merely nice, nonchalant, docile, agreeable, fun-loving people. We must not take our cues from others who are perfectly happy to compromise the truth whenever possible for “harmony’s” sake. Friendly dialog may sound affable and pleasant. But neither Christ nor the apostles ever confronted serious, soul-destroying error by building collegial relationships with false teachers. In fact, we are expressly forbidden to do that (Romans 16:17, 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 2 Timothy 3:5, 2 John 10-11).

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THE APPEARANCE OF UNITY, NO MATTER HOW ENTICING, IS NOT WORTH SACRIFICING THE CLARITY OF THE GOSPEL

Infiltrating churches under the guise of tolerance and cooperation is one of Satan’s most cunning ploys. He does not want to fight the church as much as join it. Undiscerning believers who partner in a common spiritual cause with unbiblical forms of Christianity or other false religions open the door wide to satanic corruption. The appearance of unity, no matter how enticing, is not worth sacrificing the clarity of the gospel.

Furthermore, embracing those heretical systems falsely reassures their followers that all is well between them and God, when actually they are headed for eternal damnation. Partnering in a spiritual enterprise with unbelievers helps Satan muddy the doctrinal waters, and it cripples our ability to preach the need for repentance.

Scripture is clear about how we are to respond when the very foundations of the Christian faith are under attack: our duty is to contend, not compromise. 

 

We are Wonderfully Made by God our Creator

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 For You formed my inward parts;

You covered me in my mother’s womb.

 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are Your works,

And that my soul knows very well.

 My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written,

The days fashioned for me,

When as yet there were none of them.  (Psalm 139:13-16)

The 7 Great “I AM” Statements Spoken by Jesus, God in the flesh – Saviour of the World

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”   And He said,  “Thus shall you say to the children of Israel,  “I AM has sent me to you.   (Exodus 3:14)  O.T.

Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”  Jesus said to them,  “Most assuredly  I say to you, before Abraham was, “I AM.”  Then they took up stones to throw at Him;  but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.  (John 8:57-59)  N.T.

 

“I am the bread of life.”    (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51)

“I am the light of the world.”   (John 8:12)

“I am the door of the sheep.”   (John 10:7,9)

“I am the good shepherd.”   (John 10:11,14)

“I am the resurrection and the life.”   (John 11:25)

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”   (John 14:6)

“I am the true vine. (John 15:1,5)

 

The Pharisees (Religious leaders) knew exactly who Jesus was claiming to be.  They knew exactly what He was saying.  And stones began to fly.  They are still flying today.  Each and every one of us must make the decision to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, or to reject Him.   And when we do not accept Him, we reject Him.  No middle ground available.

When we reject Him, we rely on our own good works, our own wisdom, our own opinions, our own kindness, our own strength, our own knowledge—and the list goes on and on.   How futile, how sad, and how proud we must be to rely on our own goodness etc.

 We are not good in ourselves, we are born with the sin nature.  We are rebellious.  We need a Saviour.  God’s word is very clear that we need His Son, Jesus Christ, who went to the cross to take our sins upon Himself, and to guarantee everyone who accepts Him, to know without doubt, that they will live in eternity with Him.  This is God’s plan of redemption for those He loves, and He loves us all.  But we must say yes to Christ.  Those are God’s terms.  We must humble ourselves and acknowledge that Christ is Lord of all.  The alternative is separation from the one true God for all eternity.  His love for us is the greatest love (agape love) that we cannot comprehend but the great love we all need.

If you do not know Him as your Lord and Saviour, please pray that the Holy Spirit will open your heart to accept the truth of the Gospel.

And if you do know Him, please tell others. Their eternal destiny is at stake.  When we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour, we do not become perfect – we become saved!  Thank you Jesus, Amen.

For there is not a just man on earth who does good

And does not sin.  (Ecclesiastes 7:20)

 

The heart is deceitful above all things,

And desperately wicked;

Who can know it?   (Jeremiah 17:9)

 

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)

 

If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:10)

Scripture – Jesus the True Shepherd

Jesus the True Shepherd

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.  Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”  Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.  (John 10:1-6)

In John chapter 10, Jesus makes 3 statements about Himself.

1 – “I Am the Door”   (John 10:9)

2- “I Am the Good Shepherd”    (John 10:11)

3   “I Am the Son of God”   (John  (10:36)

In the Old Testament – (Genesis 49:24;  Psalms 23:1;  80:1),  the Shepherd is used for God.  This supports the deity of Jesus Christ.  What an awesome God we serve!