Being Careless of The Salvation of Family Members (Noon)

RHEMA

Acts 16:31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Her home had not been a comfortable pace for Jenn anymore. Her parents had been quarrels continuously in last year. Bothered at home, Jenn and her older brother Ridwan spent more time outside. Jenn was occupied with a lot of activities such as courses and salvation services. On the other hand, Ridwan fell into an unhealthy companionship. Because of their different environment of activities, they became apart from each other.

Then one day, Jenn heard that Ridwan died over drugs. Jenn was shocked by her brother’s death. She was disappointed in herself for being too busy blaming her parents and neglected the feeling of her brother. She didn’t realize that she wasn’t the only one suffering, but her brother was too. In the end, her brother had to lose his life and salvation. Jenn cried and asked God for forgiveness because she was too busy reaching out and did not care for her own family.

There is nothing wrong with serving to save lost souls. Indeed it is a pleasing activity to God. We just need to keep in our mind that we need to save our family too. We must fight for our family members’ salvation, and it should be our priority. If we feel that we no longer care about our family’s salvation, check and correct our hearts. We might have lost our sense of belonging. Pray for a new blessing from God; let the love of agape fill our hearts to resurfaced our sense of belonging. Ask for wisdom from God to bring our family to Him. Don’t ever give up because nothing is more gracious than having our family with us in the kingdom of God.

REFLECTION

An eroding sense of belonging makes us IGNORANT OF OUR FAMILY MEMBERS’ SALVATION.

APPLICATIONS

1. Has all your family member receive salvation?
2. Have you ever felt careless for their salvation? Why?
3. What is your commitment to keeping fighting for their salvation?

PRAYER

“Lord, forgive us if we have been careless for our family’s salvation. We want to pray for every of our family members who has not known You. Touch and soften their heart. Use us as Your tools to bring them to You and receive Your grace of salvation. Thank You, Lord, in the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.”

Rejoice Together over Our Family’s Happiness (Morning)

TODAY’S RHEMA

Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

Dina was overjoyed when she heard her younger sister, Rere was accepted into her dream job at the Department of Public Works in Jakarta. She was overjoyed as if she was accepted herself. As the oldest child in her family, she is concerned about her younger siblings’ well-being. She always includes God in every situation. Each time one of her younger siblings has troubles, she always prays for them. God does indeed answer her prayers, one prayer at a time, including her family’s wellbeing.

Sometimes in our family, there are always hard times. Bickering, not talking, misunderstanding, and many others. But that’s how God would reshape our personalities, and by extension, our lives. There are many characters under one roof. Therefore, empathy is a must to prevent disintegration from inside. The easiest way to show our empathy is: rejoice if our family members are happy.

Apostle Paul also emphasized the importance of it: Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Discard those negative emotions inside, such as envy, and greed. If you cannot do it yourself, ask for His help. He will give us strength and enables us. If you could further develop your empathy, your family would become solid, a team to witness God’s glory without equality. It’s time to perpetually have this attitude, not just a burst of lukewarm emotion.

REFLECTION

ASK the Holy Spirit to bless us with a joyful heart and REJOICE together with our family.

APPLICATIONS

1. Have you already possessed a joyful heart that rejoices together with your family?
2. In your opinion, how important it is to have empathy for your family members?
3. What are your commitments to apply today’s rhema?

TODAY’S PRAYER

“Father, we are truly grateful for Your everlasting love. Teach us, LORD, so we may apply Your love into our lives. Give us Your kind, gentle and loving heart. A heart that full of empathy and altruism. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.”

YEARLY BIBLE READING

Isaiah 9-1
Ephesians 3

A Matter That Erodes the Sense of Belonging in a Family (Evening)

RHEMA

James 3:16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

In her thirties, it is fair to say that Aurel has a successful life. She has food, drinks, beauty, literation, and health equipment as her businesses. She is satisfied will all she has now. Until one day, her parents invested in her little brother’s small restaurant by a street. Surprisingly, the place becomes full of customers and in the short run has outlets in several areas.

Aurel was unpleased to see the success of her brother. She wants her business also to be crowded. She started to complain and no longer grateful for what she has. She became bitter and bothered when her brother tells her about his success. And out of nowhere, she felt that her parents love her brother more than her and would fulfill all his needs. In contrast, she needed to work on her own. This led to her being bothered gathering with her family.

Sometimes we can indeed be jealous of our family members. If we are not careful, such a thing will erode the sense of belonging in our family. Our unity will be jeopardized and torn apart. Therefore, draw yourself closer to God so we can be careful with our hearts. We need to learn to be grateful and fill our thoughts with positive things. With this, we will not be jealous. We may not be able to do this on our own, but with the help of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will have a sense of belonging among members of our family, and the blessing of unity will be manifested in us.

APPLICATIONS

JEALOUSY ERODES the sense of belonging in a family.

APPLICATIONS

1. Have you ever felt jealous of a member of our family? Why?
2. What did it cause?
3. How do you keep yourself from being jealous, and what do you do when the jealousy occurs?

PRAYER

“Lord Jesus, forgive us for the jealousy in our heart for our family or people around us. Grant us a pure and clean heart of Yours, so will share the goodness. We believe that when You are with our family, heaven will be manifested in our family. In the name of Lord Jesus, we pray. Amen.”

The Consequences of Faded Sense of Belonging (Morning)

TODAY’S RHEMA

Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

A parable of the prodigal son. A well-known biblical verse about a wealthy landowner who had two sons. When the time comes, the younger son asked for his share. After he received his share, he went to a faraway land and spent his wealth, his downfall started. Instead of being thankful, he envied other’s lifestyles. His greed and envy spelled doom. In the end, his perceived happiness is just a mirage.

Because of the nature of the parable, we can think of every possible background story that could fit neatly into the main idea. For example, the prodigal son may compare his own life with another, more liberal figure. It becomes a note for us, comparing our lives with another’s is not a wise choice. It’s important for us to always remember: God puts our lives in this particular family is not without meaning. It’s the best He can give. Comparing ourselves is one of the devil’s tricks to disintegrate your sense of belonging.

Therefore, go back, and listen. It’s not too late. He will fill us with first love, to restore our family, to love our family with the same intensity as before. Today’s rhema especially emphasizes the importance of not wanting others’ rights or achievements. Comparing is not a healthy and good way to pursue our happiness. But grateful, appreciation of what you have in hand, and happiness with your own family, would spark a sense of belonging, and in the end, happiness and successful life. Stop thinking that it’s always greener pastures. No matter how difficult it is, learn to say that your family is the best thing God could provide.

REFLECTION

The first sign of your sense of belonging FADING: you are starting to COMPARE your family with other families.

APPLICATIONS

1. In your opinion, what can make the sense of belonging in your family fade away?
2. Why is comparing one family with ours is? Have you ever done it?
3. What will you do to improve your sense of belonging in your family?

TODAY’S PRAYER

“O Holy Spirit, soften our hearts, fill it with Your love and lead it. Teach us how to love our family more than before, give us a thankful mouth, for everything You’ve done to us and our family. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.”

YEARLY BIBLE READING

Isaiah 7-8
Ephesians 2

Having the Sense of Belonging Does Not Mean to Always Interfere (Noon)

RHEMA

Phillippians 2:4 Let each of you look out not only for this own interest, but also for the interests of others.

Every time her sister-in-law comes to visit the house, Dina has to prepare her heart and mental. Adit, Dina’s husband, only has one sibling which his older sister. Their parents passed away due to the accident when Adit was still in school. Adit’s sister who is quite apart by age finally had to take care of Adit until he grew up. Adit’s sister has not been married up until today because of her sense of responsibility. Dina honors and respects her sister-in-law. However, as time passes by, Dina finally feels annoyed with her presence.

How could it not be, her sister always wanted to interfere and manage everything that relates to Adit on how things should be done as if how Adit was still living with her. The tempeh slices have to be rectangular in tiny pieces and it can be a problem when Dina was cooking for her husband. Adit can only entertain and encourage Dina when his sister is at their house. Praise the Lord, Dina finally is keen to understand and hold herself because she knows that her sister-in-law loves her brother so much.

Having a sense of belonging in the family does not mean that we can always interfere or manage things according to what our heart desires. There are some things that we should not try to interfere with other family member’s problems. There is one private border that we have to understand so that we do not get involved too far. On the other hand, there are also certain things that we should slightly know. For example, the health condition of our parents or siblings. We also do not close our eyes if there are family members who are facing difficulties. It takes wisdom and discretion for us to place ourselves on where we can interfere and when to help through prayers, attention, and support. By showing our care, sometimes it is already a great moral suppose and becoming a blessing to our family.

REFLECTION

Having the SENSE OF BELONGING in the family does not mean to always INTERFERE or MANAGE THINGS ACCORDING TO SELF DESIRE, but CARING one another.

APPLICATIONS

1. Have you had any experience interfering and manage things in your family?
2. What do you feel if it is another family member who is doing it? And if it is you who interfere, what will you do to have a self-correction to yourself?
3. How do you show your care without interfering with the family problem?

PRAYER

“Lord Jesus, You know that we love our family so much. Help us, Lord, give us wisdom and discretion so that we know where is our limitation of interfering with our family’s problem and what can we do to show that we care. Thank you, Lord. In the name of Yours, Lord Jesus, we pray. Amen.”

Don’t Let Your Sense of Belonging Fades Away (Morning)

TODAY’S RHEMA

Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

Two elderly couples, Mr. and Mrs. Chen were lived in Tianjin, China. They’ve been married for thirty years but they separated their belongings. Even though they lived under the same roof, they have their equipment, supplies, and wares. They separated everything: from the bedding set to soap. If Mrs. Chen was caught sleeping in her bed, Mr. Chen would then sleep on his mattress. The only thing that has no separation is a refrigerator. But it came with a strong suspicion if the other Chen were taking another Chen’s share of eggs for eating.

You may laugh at today’s dramatic true story. They didn’t have a healthy relationship, to begin with. Mr. and Mrs. Chen’s marriage is at boiling point. Selfishness is the key. It would lead you to nowhere. It would not make your marriage into a happy one let alone a successful marriage. No family could prevail if you let your ego lead the way.

No matter how great you are as parents or children, your family could not be a happy one if it’s not established on top of trust and a sense of belonging. If this sense of belonging is fading away, it’s all over. But if you put communal affairs on top of your own, you could create a household that another family could not do but envy and to be others’ source of blessing and grace.

REFLECTION

SELFISHNESS is a visible sign of FADING sense of belonging.

APPLICATIONS

1. Do you already prioritize household necessity over your own? Why?
2. In your opinion, why is it important to always look after one another in your family?
3. Do you have any commitments to improve or further develop a sense of belonging in your family? Please write it down

TODAY’S PRAYER

“Jesus Christ our LORD, teach us to be like You, selflessly and altruistically sacrificing ourselves. Help us to consistently follow You as our ideal, prioritizing others above our own needs. Because we know, that’s how Your blessing’s work. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.”

YEARLY BIBLE READING

Isaiah 5-6
Ephesians 1

How to Tell If Your Love Fades (Morning)

TODAY’S RHEMA

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.

Mr. and Mrs. Davis had been happily married for 30 years. They had children together and also some grandchildren. But everything changed after one fateful day. While doing her daily chores and washing Mr. Davis’ shirt, she found some bills. She became suspicious of her husband’s salary and income. When she confronted her husband about it, he didn’t emphasize its importance and just shrugged it off. His defense: he didn’t want his wife to be concerned and choose to bear his burden alone. But it backfired. His secrecy sparked a long-time quarrel between them.

Both he and his wife didn’t want to yield and asked for forgiveness. They thought they stood correctly in their stance. They always blame each other for the tiniest bit. There was no healthy communication. Their quarrel spread out. Their children were no longer neutral and mediated their parents but took aside. Thirty years of marriage, about to end because of miscommunication and misunderstanding.

It could affect your family as well. Husband blames wife, wife blame husband. Parents blame their children. Children blame their parents. No one wants to yield and admit their mistakes. Do not repeat this. This vicious cycle ends here and now. God gives us today’s rhema for a reason. Looking for “who’s fault is this?” Or “one that contributes” is a waste of energy. Instead, it could be used to find the solution and seek His wisdom. Blaming and framing only make things worse. It could disintegrate the very core of family itself: love and a sense of belonging. What happens inside the family must be solved within the family and it’s the responsibility of all family members to solve it.

REFLECTION

ONE WAY to tell if your LOVE FOR YOUR FAMILY IS FADING is: blaming each other.

APPLICATIONS

1. Did you ever blame each other for misfortunes that happened in your family?
2. What did you do after knowing that your family members did something that could fatally affect the whole family?
3. What should you do if you have the same problem?

TODAY’S PRAYER

“Jesus Christ our LORD, teach us to not blame each other for our family’s misfortunes. Give us Your divine wisdom to solve everything problem our families have and be able to solve it together as one. We want to preserve this sense of belonging, endure every hardship together, and enjoy Your kingdom as one family. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.”

YEARLY BIBLE READING

Isaiah 3-4
Galatians 6

Love One Another (Morning)

TODAY’S RHEMA

John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Your family possesses a colorful personality. Perhaps you have a “gentle giant” uncle, chatty aunt, a typical midwife from the other aunt, short-tempered siblings, jovial cousins, knows it younger siblings, or proud boastful cousin, or else. The family gathering turned into fierce shouting is common. Envy and irritated hearts frequently happen.

How many of us still have these lingering troubles? But today’s rhema gives us the answer: love one another as He has loved us. For a moment let’s contemplate how great His love is, even after what we’ve done to Him. But not a second He leaves us alone, let alone reminds us of our past wrongdoings.

Because of that, if you could feel His love in your life, reciprocate His love. Love one another, have a sense of belonging towards each other. This is particularly important in family relationships. When you could feel the sense of belonging, when you could feel that you belong to your family, you could love them unconditionally. Even if at some point in your life they let you down, disappoint you, because of God’s love you will no longer remember it. From now on, love your family so His love could be more manifested in your life.

REFLECTION

Having a SENSE OF BELONGING would help us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

APPLICATIONS

1. Do you have a sense of belonging to each other in your family?
2. In your opinion, why is it important for us to have a sense of belonging in our family?
3. What commitments do you have to make sure that your family is loving one another?

TODAY’S PRAYER

“Jesus Christ our LORD, we are grateful for the exemplary love You have. Teach us how to apply it in our family and make our family could testify and further glorify Your name even more. In the name of Jesus *Christ, we pray. Amen.”

YEARLY BIBLE READING

Isaiah 1-2
Galatians 5

Happy and Successful Family (Morning)

TODAY’S RHEMA

Acts 2:44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,

Jenny, the only daughter in her family as well as their sole bread-winner. One day, his diabetic father was diagnosed with valve regurgitation. His doctor said that her father must be operated on in a certain hospital in Semarang, Central Java, they live in Solo. And because of strict bureaucratic procedure, for a whole year, they must travel back and forth between Semarang and Solo. She prayed and asked God for a miracle. When God answered, her father’s operating day was prioritized ahead.

She was happy but at the same time, she must take her to leave to accompany her father. She also must provide her mother whom she left behind in Solo, to take care of the house. She must provide necessary supplies for her and her father when they were in Semarang. Not once she felt pity for herself, must endure so much in her younger days. But when she remembered her parent’s struggles to provide her with love, decent education, and the realization that her parents are the most precious thing she has, her self-pity turned into prayers and blessings. When God finally saw her resolution, He fulfilled her every need and cured her father’s ailments

Every family has ever seen problems. But if each one of them has a sense of belonging to each other it could ease the burden. One straw can be broken but a bundle of straw cannot. Above all else, we have Jesus as our LORD. With Him everything is possible. One thing we must put into consideration is: if this sense of belonging is lost, each family member would turn to each other, lost their respect towards their parents and elders. Distrustful and in the end, a broken family. We could prevent it from happening by intensity family meetings. You could do it by simply hold the family altar together, praying together, or just share your day’s experience. If could manage to do that, a successful and happy family is not far from your reach.

REFLECTION

Further, develop your SENSE OF BELONGING to improve your family’s HAPPINESS and SUCCESS.

APPLICATIONS

1. Do you have a sense of belonging to each other in your family?
2. In your opinion, what makes the sense of belonging in your family gradually disappear?
3. What can you do to develop a sense of belonging in your family?

TODAY’S PRAYER

“O LORD, we want to further develop our sense of belonging to each other in our family. We want to feel the warmth of Your Love, be happy and successful with it. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.”

YEARLY BIBLE READING

Song of Songs 6-8
Galatians 4

Use God’s Blessing to Expand His Kingdom (Morning)

TODAY’S RHEMA

1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Once upon a time, two elderly couples had encountered a crisis. They had no money to pay the bills or even to cook that day’s meal. It was Sunday and they decided to go to their church’s soup kitchen. Before the meal, the husband got a rhema: he must give everything that he earned. He said this to his wife and decided to follow this rhema.

A week passed, and the husband got good news. He won a crossword puzzle in the first place and got a huge sum of money. He told his wife and she calmly reminded her husband about his rhema. He put his prize money in an envelope and put it inside their church’s tithing box. Not long after that, their financial crisis was no more. There’s always money when needed, and in the end, they could pay their overdue bills.

There’s no free lunch, His blessing included. He doesn’t give us blessings just so we can pursue our hedonistic life. All He wants from us is: to be His channel of blessing, to give it back, and expand His kingdom of Heaven. That’s why it’s very important for us to not let His blessing stuck and stopped on us, give it back. When we could give our best He will give us an extra portion of blessing. After all, He doesn’t need our possessions, He needs our commitment and efforts.

REFLECTION

UNDERSTAND HIS MOTIVE giving us blessing and USE IT WELL TO EXPAND HIS KINGDOM even more.

APPLICATIONS

1. What is His motive for giving you a blessing?
2. Why must you understand His motive for giving you a blessing?
3. What do you do when He pours out His blessing?

TODAY’S PRAYER

“Jesus, we want to be blessed and become a blessing. To be the extension of Your arms with everything You’ve trusted. We want to put Your blessing to good use by using it to expand Your kingdom even more. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.”

YEARLY BIBLE READING

Song of Songs 4-5
Galatians 3

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