God's Promises

Trust is the foundation of all relationship. Without trust, promises mean nothing.

 

When God gave us His promises, He didn't ask for our approval. He gave them because it's good for us. What we need to do is to accept it and to trust Him completely. However, if you don't trust Him, His promises mean nothing to you. Before you can trust someone, you need to know him/her personally. Similarly, if you don't know God personally, you cannot trust Him.

 

One example, Malachi 3:10 said, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. “

 

Those who know God personally will see this promise as a promise of hope. We believe that God always provides and will never fail us; therefore, we wouldn't stop giving our offering and tithings to the church in times of financial hardships. However, those who don't know God personally may misunderstand this verse as an excuse to challenge God; giving offerings and tithings to the church with an expectation to receive abundant blessings in return. When we don't get what we believe we deserve, we become angry and blame God.

 

Our personal relationship with The Living God should be the focus. To trust in His promises means to trust Him. Knowing Him personally enables us to trust Him both when things are bad and when things are good. As Christians, we continue to live in hope because of His promises. Hebrew 6:18 reassures us that God can't break his promises or go back on His Words.

 

So, let's focus our attention on him. Let's start by accepting Jesus as the holder of all authority we need in our life. Let's build a relationship with Him and His people. Only then, His promises can become real and its power manifested in our life. Jesus is the Guarantor, trusting in His name is the key to unlock all the promises of God in our life.

Written by: Samuel Sutanto

The Three Options

In your early years of driving, have you ever been in an accident where you were at fault? When I was 18 I wasn’t paying attention when I made a turn because I was joking to my friend. Little that I know, I made the turn too sharp and hit a parked car. The owner of the car was still in the car when it happened and he was shocked. Luckily the accident didn’t cause any injury but the damage to the car was done. The owner of the car insisted that I paid for all the damages but I didn’t have the money of my own when I was 18, so I had to tell my parents about it. They were upset with me, but they had to deal with my blunder. They called the insurance and had to pay the deductible to get the car fixed. Eventually, the issue was resolved and the car owner was pleased.

When an accident like this happens, three things can happen. One, you pay for all the damages. Two, you and the other party share the cost to fix the car. Three, the other party (or a third party like your parents) pay all the damages. The damages have already been done and it will not disappear unless you fix it. Now, it’s the matter of who’s going to fix it.

This story is similar to our relationship with God. God gave mankind a free will, but instead of glorifying God, we use it for our pleasure. We chose to be lazy, greedy, lustful, envious, glutton, angry, and prideful. We cheat, manipulate, lie, and steal for our benefit. Anything that goes against God’s will is considered a sin. When we sin, no matter big or small, we have caused irreparable damage because God is holy and He cannot tolerate any sin. Mankind has been trying to fix it themselves by doing good work, giving alms, and dedicating our lives for the betterment of humanity, but no matter how much work that we’ve done, mankind cannot save themselves unless someone greater saves them. This is similar to option one where you try to pay for all the damages. The second option is to follow a religion where we do some of the work and expect God to do His part. We try to follow its teaching closely with utmost discipline, hoping at the end of our life, we will be good enough for God. Spoiler alert, we will still never be holy enough to approach God. Lastly, the third option is for God to take all the damages we’ve created upon Himself, through His one and only Son, Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God that took the form of a human and was born as a baby. He lived on earth just like you and me, so He understands what you’re going through. He experienced happiness and sadness, success and failure, love and betrayal. When He gave His life on the cross, He shouted, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” God the Father in His Holiness had to leave Him because Jesus took all humanity’s sin upon Himself.  It was a soul-crushing moment for Jesus because the one He loved left Him, but He did it so through Him we can have a relationship again with God. God paid all the damages for us and it cost Him dearly, but to Him, we are worth it.

Now, we are free to choose which options to go for. Option one and option two are noble options, and they will surely make this world a better place, but we don’t do these for the sake of our own salvation because nothing that we do will justify us before God. Option three is the clear option but it sounds too easy. I felt guilty for not working hard enough or following a strict religion but that’s a lie. If you dig deeper about Jesus and learn how much He loves mankind, how much He fights with the religious leaders so people can receive the message of grace, and how much He had to suffer for our salvation, you will surely follow His footsteps. By choosing option three, you will do option one and option two because Jesus’ gift at the cross compels you to continue His work. — For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV).

 

Written by: Samuel Sutanto

Money Problem vs Money Freedom

“Sharing is caring.” My mom taught the seven-year-old me, so I could finally let go of the tight grip on my favorite toy to let my little cousins play with it. As a seven-year-old, that was the only property that belonged to me, so it meant the world to share it with someone else. Our culture has put more weight and value on these “property”. As we grew older and earned more “property” in our saving account and investment, we might want to grab it tighter, and it becomes harder and harder to give someone else a share of it.

“I Do and I Will, Forever.”

That’s basically what God says to us through the Bible. In 2017, me and my husband got married. Before the wedding, one of the most tear-making moments were actually when we had to exchange vows. In fact, I spent weeks to think about my own vow because we agreed to not use “traditional vows”. I did much research on what to say, because I do not want to make promises I definitely can’t keep or even unsure about.

God’s Sovereignty

Lately, I’ve been reading a book called “The Reason for God” by Timothy Keller, a pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. While most of the Christian books that I read usually revolves around faith, vision, relationship, and discipleship, this is the first time I’m reading about Apologetics, the art of defending the Bible.