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from TODAY, The Family Altar
March and April 1987
edited by: Eddy Sriyanto , phone: (024) 70125869 / 08122.525268

Part One
(1) IN HIS STEPS ----(2)WELL PLEASED ----(3) AN OPPORTUNE TIME ----(4) A FURIOUS HOMETOWN ----(5) AUTHORITY ----(6)EACH ONE ----(7) GO AWAY ----(8) REPENTANCE ----(9) BETTER ----(10) ACCUSE ----(11) PRAYING ALL NIGHT ----(12) LEAP ----(13) MEASURE ----(14) HYPOCRITE ----(15) OVERFLOW ----(16) BUILDING ----(17) DONT' CRY ----(18) CANCELED ----(19) KINGDOM ----(20)CHOKED ---(21)-FAITH ----(22) TOUCH ----(23) MUST ----(24) DENY HIMSELF ----(25) CROSS ----(26) FOLLOW ----(27)LOSE ----(28)ASHAMED ----(29) HANDS ----(30) BUT FIRST ----(31) PLOW
Kosa Kata/Kamus
Part Two



"Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps." 1 Peter 2:21

Some of us have never learned good penmanship our handwriting is irregular and hard to decipher. Others have handwriting that makes the rest of us jealous. And when we who have trouble writing see the nearly perfectly formed letters and words that others put on paper, we try to follow their example.
We all need models- but not only for writing. We need models for all of life. This is one of many reasons why Jesus Christ is so important. Jesus is a model too. And when whe think of him this way, we think of how the apostle Peter reminded us that Jesus left footprints - steps - for us to follow. This month we will look at those footsteps. They lead to a hill called Calvary - and sometimes the way may be rough, but Jesus would not call us to follow those steps only to make things difficult for us. He knows that asa we walk in Jesus footsteps, we will walk with him, being obedient as he was obedient, accomplishing all that he said the Father wants us to do.
There are key ideas in the gospel that guide us on this journey of grace. Each day we'll consider one of them with a view to reflecting joyfully on following the example of Jesus of Nazareth. He is our saviour, and He shows us perfectly the desires of our heavenly Father's heart.

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" You are my Son, whom I love;with you I am well pleased." Luke 3:22

It is no surprise that Jesus received this affirmation from His Father in heaven.Would it possible for us to hear such words,too,if we followed in his steps? Yes, God can be pleased with us, too, if we walk in Jesus' steps. This is the important thing: it's only because you are walking in the footprints of the divine Son that God is pleased with you.
Do you recall, as a growing child,walking behind a parent or grandparent who was wandering along a sandy beach or through deep snow? Wasn't it a great feeling to put your foot right in the footprint of that beloved person leading you? Your strides were the same; they matched. You were growing up.
If we are going to walk in the steps of Jesus as we take up our crosses and follow him, we have to know whwt pleases God. And we can know this only if we follow the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sends us and who leads us into the truth of Scripture. While Jesus was here on earth, he heard the Father say three times that he was well pleased. If we depend on the spirit to lead us, the Father will be pleased with us as well.
Even if you are going through harsh experiences, remember that Jesus has gone ahead of you. Follow Him, and put your steps in his. For when you do God's will, you will receive the Father's praise

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When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left [Jesus] until an opportune time . Luke 4:13

If you try to follow Jesus, Satan will watch you very closely, waiting for a chance to tempt you. You see, Satan wants followers of his own, so he prowls along the path to the cross.
The record of Satan's temptation of Jesus in the desert provides us with an impressive footprint of the Saviour.Notice the way Satan tempted the saviour. He appealed to an interest in the practical ("Tell this stone to become bread"); he appealed to the desire to enjoy an axalted position (" I will give you all ... authority and splendor"); and he appealed to a sense of pride ("if you are the Son of God ..."). In each of these temptations we observe elements of life that trouble us all. We must examine ourselves closely and realize how open we are to satan's attacks.

Satan thought he had the advantage in that desert, but Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, counterattacked each temptation with an answer from Scripture. Then satan thought that Calvary would be the opportune place to finally tempt Jesus totally. But the cross was Jesus' opportunity to destroy satan completely. If you must enter a desert-like place today and be exposed to the devil's temptation, don't retreat ! Keep moving in the steps of the cross. Remember, Jesus was tempted too, and he will help you ( Hebrew 2:18)

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All the people in the synagogue were furious (Luke 4 : 28)

Today is the beginning of the season in which the church focuses on the suffering and death of Jesus.

One example of Jesus' suffering is the way people treated Him when he visited his hometown. The very people from whom he should have expected friendliness became furious with Him and wanted to kill Him.
Those who follow in Christ's footsteps of suffering may discover (as he did) that sometimes they experiences their deepest distress in "hometown" situations. When you tell "hometowners" about Christ and about what He has done to you, the people who know you best sometimes oppose you the most hatefully.

Those who follow Christ must life a repentant life, and when they are with close family and friends, they must call them to repentance as well. But repentance is neither easy nor comfortable. Most people like things to remain the same; they don't want to change, they can become murderously resentful. As we walk the familiar places of our lives, we should not be surprised if our message for Christ causes those who know us to become furious with us. And we must not be afraid -- Christ Himself passed right through His countrymen's murderous ranks, and he will take us through as well, if that becomes necessary.

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They were amazed at His teaching, because his message had authority . Luke 4:32

Think back to the first school you ever attended and to your first teacher. You remember your teacher, dont't you? Now try to remember the principal of your school at that time. Most likely you have forgotten him.
Both of these people had authority, but they expressed it in different ways. I will never forget the gentle,kind, patient teacher I had when I first went to school. What she taught I haven't forgotten. She had authority in my life. But I have forgotten the principal. His authority didn't come across like my teacher's.

When we walk in Jesus' steps, he enables us to express a quality of life that puzzles others but also impressed them; he allows us a measure of the same authority that he showed while he was on earth. This authority does not result from our pushing or shoving or climbing to the top to capture it for ourselves. It simply comes from surrendering to God and doing all we can to show in our lives the love that flows from God.
Just as those who heard Jesus recognized that he spoke with a special authority, people who watch Jesus' followers cannot help but notice that they have been touched by Christ. Jesus' followers are a confident people who cannot help but teach others. Their character is unforgettable. All who meet them intrigued by their gracious, servant-like attitude.

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The people brought to Jesus all who had . . . sickness, and laying his hands on each one, He healed them. Luke 4 : 40

Christ suffered for individual persons. He enjoyed knowing their names, and sometimes he even changed their names, and sometimes he even changed their names. When we think of Jesus helping others, we remember that His steps led to the homes, wells, and dinner tables of individuals.
Today you will see a variety of people. You may be tempted to lump them into some category and disregard them. Treating people this way seems more efficient, less demanding - doing so lets you to get on with other things. But wait. You are walking in the steps of the ruler of the kingdom of grace. Notice his desire to lay "his hands on each one." It may be more demanding for us, but we should determine to look at the people in our lives from Jesus' viewpoint.
A friend told me about his old grandfather. Every Christmas, as his large clan gathered to celebrate Christ's birth, the grandfather would stop at each family table and say something to each grandchild or great-grandchild. Today, decades after his grandfather's death, my friend can still recall the man's kind, concerned look of love for him.
Do you suppose there is someone in your path today who needs that kind of personal attention? What's his name? what's her name? Touch that person with Jesus' concern for his or her life.

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When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" Luke 5:8

Sometimes we are so uncomfortable with the goodness of Jesus that we reject him. Peter was overwhelmed by a miraculuos event that indicated that Jesus was special, even divine. In his mind, there was a mixture of hope and confusion. He didn't know how to react ,so he knelt and said, "Go away !"

Now we have to understand what was happening when Peter asked Jesus to leave. Notice that Jesus did not express hurt because he was rejected. Rather, he was able to see Peter's strange request as an expression of confussion and fear - actually it was a plea for help. Then Jesus assured Peter that he did not have to be afraid and that from then on his life would be different.
   As you walk in Jesus' steps today, you may frighten some people. There may be some who sense that you represent Christ, and they may feel they have no business being with you. In some way, they may ask you to leave them alone; they may say, "Go away!"
     Don't mistake this for rejection. Often "Go away!" is a person strange way of asking you to stay and help. When a person is confused and fearful and treats you this way, often you have an opportunity to assist him or her in moving from fear to faith. Finally you are able to embrace and celebrate God's grace together.

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"I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5 : 32

Charles Colson, writing about repentance, asks, "Why is repentance so important?" He answers the question this way: "Repentance is, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, 'ultimate honesty,' acknowledgment of what we are. A repentant heart produces tolerance and compassion for all other human, slaying the dragons of pride and sel-righteousness."Those who follow Jesus and try to walk in his steps learn the secret of repentance themselves as they earnestly seek to make his will their will.
As we walk with the Lord, we also find ourselves among those who are aware of their need to become honest about themselves. Christ's love anables them to confess with sincere sorrow what they realy are. There is no need to wear a mask in Jesus' presence.

In the paths we walk today, will we gently encourage people to look honestly at themselves? How can we help people experience what Scripture describes as "godly sorrow," which leads to salvation (2 Cor. 7:10)? Jesus came to us to help us repent. And repentance hurts, because it's our admission of previous self-gratification. But it opens up to us deepening trust and dependence on Jesus. When we repent, we say no to a destructive pattern and yes to a life open to God.
Let Christ's forgiveness change you today.

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"No one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says,"The old is better." Luke 5 :39

"Those were the good old days," says a friend as he describes an incident we both remember. He implies that things were better the. Maybe you've noticed that as you grow older, it can be painful to review all the changes around you. Sometimes it may distress you to hear yourself say what you thought you'd never say : "The old was better." Be careful; you may be wrong.
In Christ, we experience conflict between "The new" and "The old". In today's passage, when he talked about new wine, Jesus had in mind the new wine of the kingdom of God. This idea symbolizes the new way of life that Jesus brought into the world, and this new way is better.But often the people he met during his ministry resisted and claimed, "The old is better."

Part of Jesus' suffering was his awareness of the fact that though he was bringing the best his heavenly Father had to offer the world, the religious authorities resisted and claimed that the old way was better. But nothing is better than God's best. Therefore, Jesus kept pressing on for the best.
Remember, as you have contact with various people today, that you do not have to compromise the best. If you are living for Jesus, never concede that the old, wordly way is better. Surely there is some good in the old way, but in Jesus there is incomparable new life.

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The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely. Luke 6:7

Recently our newspaper reported that a man who had been in prison for several years had been released. Another person had confessed to the crime. I wonder how the released man feels. For all those years he had been declared guilty. Investigators had found evidence allowing them to accuse him in a court of law. Their accusations were considered to be well-supported, and the man's freedom was taken from him. I wonder how those who made the accusations feel today.
Christ's path was a path of suffering because religious investigators were interested in him only for the purpose os accusing. They knew they needed good reason for their accusatios, so they stayed on Jesus' trail. Their minds were set in a destructive bent - what a waste! These were the holiness experts and the scholars of the day. Think of how close they were to discovering the mind of Christ.
Those who, in faith, strive to follow in Jesus' footsteps have an entirely different attitude. As they watch Jesus closely, they gain insight into the kingdom of God that is already being established in this world. It's true, of course, that there are gifted people who examine Jesus and accuse him of trechery. But those who follow him in faith experience the excitement and joy of being transformed.

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one of those days Jesus went out into the hills to pray, and spent the night praying to God. Luke 6:12

When we think about following in Jesus' footsteps, we discover that these footsteps often lead to the place of praaayer aaand that they sometimes stop there for a long time. One time Jesus praaayed throughout the night.I did that once with some friends; none of us had ever done it before, and I was grateful that we could encourage eaaach other in prayer. I dont't think I would have made it through without them. Jesus, however, was all alone when we talked with his heavenly Father.

Who knows what went on during Jesus' hour-by-hour dialogue with his Father? Did they talk about each disciple whom Jesus was to choose individually? Did they talk about Judas? No one will ever know .

The important thing to notice is that Jesus emerged from this night of prayer able to choose the disciples who would change the course of world history. From then on, Jesus walked with his chosen followers, who often saw him pray and who prayed with him.

Some of us need to set aside more time to talk to God and to listen to him. There would be some better decisions, some more vital ideas, and some enduring resolve as we devoted ourselves in this way.

How do you spend your nights? What I remember about that night in prayer with my friends is that when morning came, I wasn't overtired- I had new vision.

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12. LEAP

"Rejoice in that day aaand leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven." Luke 6:23

In our city there is a five-foot, seven-inch professional basketball player who can leap so high, with the ball in his hand, that he can slam the ball through the hoop with his hands rising above the ten-foot rim. It's amazing! When he does this, people rise to their feet and cheer, and others, who have seats on the basketball floor, leap high themselves in celebration. The ball game becomes a gathering of "leapers".

The other day I thought I would try to picture different people I saw in meetings, restaurants, malls, and schools trying to stuff a basketball through a hoop. That brought a few smiles to my face.

But you know, if we believe in Christ and try to follow him in his path of suffering, we all should be leapers. Today's text makes it clear that we may encounter some difficult but appropriate occasions to leap for joy: sometimes we may despised for following Jesus. And our leaping is not for something temporary, like points at a basketball game. No, this is leaping for joy - joy in the living hope of heaven.

Leap for Jesus - even if you are hated, insulted, or rejected because of your walk in his steps. You are identified with Jesus! Leap for joy in those times, and there will soon be others leaping with you. The crowds who are searching for hope will be astonishing.

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"With the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38

The words of today's Scripture passage sound strange to us, for we are accustomed to judging people around us all the time. We do it without thinking.

When we examine Luke 6, however, we learn that when we judge, or evaluate, other people, we should always remember God's mercy. (see v.36). The measure we should use is the measure of mercy.

Those who use the measure of mercy learn how to rejoice with others, commending them whenever possible.Often we can draw unjustified conclusions when we observe someone else's behavior; instead, we should make our decisions on the basis of our hope of God's mercy for that person.

If we use mercy in our judging, we will also release the grace of forgiveness. It's not always easy to forgive, but if someones's behavior has upset us or even hurt us and has caused us to judge him or her, we must remember that forgiveness is the one way we can be restored in our relationship to that person and God.

Those who use mercy as their measure when they judge others realize God's grace in their own lives, and they use his love to reach out in love to a neighbor. When you judge others today, remember how God has forgiven you - and be merciful yourself.

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"You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye . . . " Luke 6:42

Everybody hates hypocrisy, and we can spot it at once in others because there's a little bit of it in every one of us. Those who strive to follow in Christ's footsteps, however, know that people can change remarkably on Christ's path. In contact with Jesus, pretenders become sincere and authentic. No wonder, for Jesus frequently dealt with hypocrites and told them how necessary it was for them to change,

There are those who say that Jesus himself was only "playing a role" when he walked among us. They do not believe he was actually a human being; they say his humanity was a disguise that he used for a time to cover his divinity. But how could this be? Jesus was the most honest and real human being who ever lived. If he had been "palying a role," he never would have gone to Calvary for his brothers aand sisters.

As you follow Jesus today, remember what he said to hypocrites, and examine your own life in terms of his remarks. Jesus calls us to evaluate ourselves honestly, and this will humble us.

Jesus also calls us to be more considerate and forgiving of the people we meet. In light of this, we can take an honest look at ourselves and remove our hypocritical tendency to criticize our close associates in order to stand above them in pride.

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"Out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks," Luke 6:45

In the town of my boyhood, there was a great old river, the Mullet, which had a small dam on it. Whenever the ice and snow melted or the summer rains were abundant, the water would flow over the big rocks that lay alongside the dam. The river below swelled and created exciting rapids downstream.
Later,though, when the dam waaas opened because the river above it had slowed, the townspeople downstream had an unpleasant experience: they could see the filth that had accumulated on the river bottom, and they could smell a putrid odor. No one like seeing what had been under the water.

Our hearts are being filled all the time, somewhat like the Mullet River. But are our hearts being filled with things that are wholesome or things that are unwholesome? Remember that our actions and our words are governed by what is in our hearts; we bring up what has been stored inside.
Some people allow themselves to say things that are unwholesome (Ephesians 4:29). But those of us whose hearts are filled with faith in Jesus Christ can confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10 : 9 ).
Walk today in the footsteps of your Master, Jesus Christ, and allow his Spirit to fill your heart with the treasures of his rich grace.

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"He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock." Luke 6 : 48

Walking through a developing city like Atlanta, Georgia, usually provides a look at a construction site. The contractors set up a tall wooden wall around the deep hole in which the foundation for the project will be laid. And holes are usually vut into the wooden wall so that onlookers can watch the building process.

Jesus knew about building too; our lives, he said, must be firmly built-with unshakable rock as our foundation. If we are going to follow the example of Jesus, he has to be our foundation and his words have to be the priciples that govern our daily practice.

Just as the curious gather at observation points when buildings are built in Atlanta, people will gather to observe you building your life on a rock. Some will glance and move on, and others will criticize, but still others will be intrigued by the foundation of your life, and they will admire the consistency with which it is built. They will be especially impressed by the way your "building" can withstand fierce stormy winds.

Like the great buildings of modern city, this life based on the consistent practise of Christ's Word takes a long time to build. There are pre-fab models that can be put up more quickly. But only tested materials meeting the Lord's specifications and built on the rock of Jesus will stand forever.

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When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don't cry . . . " Luke 7 : 13

As we follow in the steps of the suffering Christ, we learn important lessons about our own grief and sorrow. Jesus could see the deep sorrow of the widow of Nain: she had already gone through the grief of her husband's death; now her only son had also died.

We know that Jesus himself wept when he was at the tomb of his friend Lazarus (John 11:35), so we know that when he told the widow of Nain not to cry, he was not rebuking her. He wanted to convey new hope and great expectations to this grief-stricken woman. That he spoke in the presence of many people who accompanied the sorrowing widow shows that he wanted all of them to see how he had brought hope to everyone.

Perhaps you remember saying to a young child whose knee was scraped or whose ankle was spained or whose feelings were hurt,"Don't cry." When this simple statement comes from a heart of love aaand from someone who has help to offer and hope to give, it can be amazingly comforting.

Jesus' words to the widow of Nain have special meaning to those who have lost children. And just as Jesus wanted the widow to stop so that he could touch her life with his restoring power, he enters our lives today and invites us to wait with expectation for his gracious help.

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"I suppose [it would be] the who had the bigger debt canceled." Luke 7:43

Cancellations can be disappointing, but not if they involve debts that are owed.

The Bible often pictures our sin as a debt, and, as sinners, each of us has a large balance that we owe. But when we, through faith, experience new life in Christ, we learn that he has canceled our debt. By walking the path of suffering, Jesus has become the Redeemer of all who follow him obediently.

In today's reading the woman who had lived a "sinful life" experienced the beginning realization of forgiveness. And she expressed her gratitude in a startling way at the Pharisees' dinner party. Anyone who had debt of sin canceled by Christ can understand how she felt.

While walking in the steps of the Savior today, you may meet someone who feels the burden and stress of a great debt of sin. When you talk with that person, don't use only your own words; use also the Bible's record of the episode we have just read about. It centers around the idea of sin being canceled.

By nature, we often like to act as if we are debt collectors by reminding people of what they have done wrong. But those who have had their debt canceled by Christ are eager to represent him and to tell others about what he will do for them.

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Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Luke 8 : 1

Close to where our family once lived there was a little amusement park with a variety of carnival rides.For all of us it was a fun place. It was called "Kiddie Kingdom." I was quaite impressed with one of our children, who, in his mealtime prayer oneday,thanked God for the "Kingdom." Thinking I had a budding theologian in my family, I asked him where he had learned about the kingdom. He looked at me in surprise and said,"You know,Dad. The Kiddie Kingdom."

Maybe life in the kingdom of God needs to be proclaimed in such aa way that children realize what an enjoyable and fun-filled adventure it is. Although the steps of Jesus Christ are resolute steps, they are best followed in childlike faith. Children of faith run from one step to another with joy. And on the kingdom walk there is no better place to be than where the King is.

Where the King is, there is joy and a sure confidence that all is in control. He reigns over all of life, and he provides the comfort in which people can make refreshing decisions of obedience.

Are you walking today in the kingdom of God? Around you today are people who would like to hear some good news. And the news you have to give is of the kingdom of God, the eternal kingdom, in which we find the joy of life.

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"As they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature." Luke 8 : 14

One of the most terrifying experiences is not being able to breathe because you're choking. Because we are so afraid of this for ourselves, we are especially concerned when we see someone else choking.

The Bible passage we are looking at today tells us that it is possible to choke spriritually - in terms of our spiritual life. And part of the good news of the kingdom of God is that if we seek the kingdom (Matthew 6 : 33 ) ,we will become mature in Christ and we will not choke.

At times the path of Jesus seems rather difficult to follow. The pleasures of the worldbeckon us to "enjoy." But when we seek the kingdom, God teaches us that the "pleasures of sin" do not last.

If you are running at a fast pace and gasping for your life's breath, maybe you're being choked. Perhaps "worries, riches, and pleasures" are crowding out life. There is no joy anymore - only more stress,pressure, and hindrance to your maturing. These are thorns that are hurting you.

Today take a deep breath from the fresh air of God's Spirit. Then concentrate on the King's Word that has been sown in you. With God's help, you can begin to remove those choking thorns. Breathe deeply, and grow into a fruitful person today.

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"Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. Luke 8 : 25

Often we mistakenly assume that faith is a constant presence in a person's life - once a person has it, he has it, and nothing will change its intensity aand power. But people of faith will be the first to admit that faith is not really like that.

Faith sometimes falters. Sometimes it seems to get misplaced, or lost, for a while. Evidently, the disciples' faith became misplace when they were with Jesus in the storm that Luke 8 tells us about. Many of us know that storms will do this.

Have you experienced times when, like the disciples in today's reading, you cry out to the Lord Jesus in fear? Times of fear are times when your faith grows the most. Faith emerges at those times in life when we are weak, foolish, and afraid.

Jesus knows that you will need his gift of faith if you are to walk consistently through the various storms of your life today, and he is eager to have you rely on him. If you are going through a stormy time just now, trust in Christ totally, and he will bering calm into your life.

Sometimes believers think that their faith is a product of their own efforts, but when they are overwhelmed by the storms of life, they discover that their faith is totally a gift of God.

Where is your faith today?

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"Who touched me?" Jesus asked. Luke 8:45

In describing Jesus, the apostle John said, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched - this we proclaim concerning the Word of life ( 1 John 1 : 1 ).

    The woman described in today's passage wanted nothing more than to touch the Savior. If she were alive today, she would be part of that great group of people who know that Jesus is not distant but reachable and who tell others this good news.
If you are walking in the footsteps of Jesus, you will find that many unusual and deeply troubled people will reach out for your help. Remember, they are not really reaching out to you but are trying to touch the person who has touched you and changed your life. They want the help of Christ desperately.
   Don't avoid their touch. If someone senses that you have received the grace, truth, and power of Christ, the moments you spend with that person are extremely important. When Jesus knew that someonhe was reaching out to touch him for a special reason, he stopped everything for that person. We should do the same.
More than likely, someone will reach out to you today. What a privilege to acknowledge that person and to point him to Christ for his need.

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"The Son of Man must suffer many things . . . " Luke 9 : 22

Have you noticed that you struggle a bit when someone says the word must? It's a word that doesn't give us alternatives. To hear someone give us a command and say we have a duty to obey is not always appealing to us. We are tempted to cry as we did when we were children. "But,Mom, must I?"

When we follow in the steps of Jesus, we find that doing so requires a strong internal commitment: Jesus was totally commited to obeying the divine imperatives - the "musts" - of his life (Mark 9:12 ,13)

Strange as it seems, though, when we dedicate ourselves to Christ, we find that life becomes more simple and meaningful. You know that oftentimes people confront you with commands that seem important at the moment, but later you find out that obeying them involved a waste of time. Those who are not following Christ waste a lot of time obeying improper commands. It's frustrating and dissappointing to spend your energy on activities that are unnecessary. Arrange your life,then, according to Christ's commands. There may be some suffering to you, but you must keep on, as Jesus did. As you follow him, you can be assured that the things you do will not be a waste of time but will be of eternal significance.

What "must" you do for the Lord today?

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"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself . . . "

When we returned from our vacation, my wife asked me to go to a supermarket to pick up some milk, bread, and cereal for breakfast. She would do the major shopping the next day. One of our teenagers came in aaafter I returned, and said, "When are we going to get some food in the house?" His mother told him we had all that was necessary: milk, bread, aand cereal. He was unimpressed.

As it turned out, the next day my son aaand I went off to a "Youth Discipleship Study" group, where we learned that disciples must learn how to discipline themselves and limit their needs. Interesting,isn't it, how a disciple has to change his view of the "necessary" of life if he wants to follow after Jesus. It's difficult for most people in our society today to change their ideas of what is necessary because they have grown up in an environment where everyone has more than enough. The idea of denying oneself was foreign to everyone in that discipleship study group.
Following Jesus, we learn the discipline of self denial, which brings liberty and joy into believer's lives. Jesus wanted all who followed him to experience the release that accompanies walking an ancluttered path. How badly do you want to follow after Jesus? Come on along; he has everything necessary for you.

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"If anyone would come after me, he must . . . take up his cross daily . . . " Luke 9:23

There are a lot of things we pick up daily: a newspaper, a jacket, a hammer , a briefcase, a book for study - but a cross?
The cross was carried by the condemned criminal to the place of execution. When Jesus was sentenced, the crowd saw him begin the journey to Calvary carrying his own cross (cf. John 19:17); then they saw it laid on the shoulders of Simon from Cyrene. Jesus walked to the cross willingly for the sake of his people.
To walk in Jesus' steps daily requires our willingness to take up the struggles that come to us because of our heartfelt loyalty to him. Surrounded by God's grace, we are called to move out into the full view of others, acrrying our crosses.
I waited in line in a restaurant the other day behind a young woman who had large gold crosses attached to her ears. I wondered if she had put those on with purpose. But they seemed too shiny, too light, too easy.
A cross was a blood-stained piece of wood that reminded people of the crime committed by the bearer. The reminder for us, however, is the cleansing and forgiveness of Jesus. we walk in his steps knowing that we have been granted forgiveness.

When we think of what our crosses mean to us now, they're not quite so heavy. Jesus carries them for us.

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"If anyone would come after me, he must . . . follow me." Luke 9:23

Sometimes it's possible to follow too closely. For exaaample, on a busy street one day, watching the traffic light a head, I followed a blue van too closely, and there was a frifghtening crash. It was costly - and all because I had followed to closely.

When we follow Jesus, however, we can never follow too closely. In fact, when following Christ, it can be disastrous to stay too far behind. Luke 22 tells us about the apostle Peter following Jesus at a distance and then actually denying him. When we follow Jesus, we follow the person who knows the way through this life, and we are lost if we desert him.

This point seems obvious. But how easily those who claim to be following Christ can go off on some side trip by following something other than the Lord himself. Nowadays there is an information explosion, and many of us have varied interest; it's easy to follow all sorts of things that happen to intrique us.

Jesus knows that once the decision has been made to follow him, people need to keep close behind him. He knows that we need to focus on him if we are to persevere in our commitment to a life of serving him. He is the Lord. He is the shepherd.

How will you fix your eyes on Jesus today? Remember that it's impossible to follow him too closely.

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"Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." Luke 9:24

I once stood with the owners of a family business that had been destroyed by a fire. One of the phrases I heard them use was "We lost everything in that fire." It was a heartbreaking scene. I'll never forget it.

But neither will I forget what happened in the following days, as Christian friends proceeded to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ and to help this family know that God would continue to provide for them and help them. We all grew in our faith.

Jesus tells us today that if we are going to follow him, we must experience certain times during our pilgrimage when we lose something that we had thought was very important and necessary. We must do this because so many of the things in our lives stand in the way of our being used by God in his great work.

We must be willing to lose what is most important to us, even all of the precious things that are part of our lives, for Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul once said, "I consider everything a loss comp[ared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things" (Philippians 3:8).

Are you willing to give up anything that stands in the way of serving Jesus? If you are afraid to make such a sacrifice, remember that you are a following a Savior who died on a cross to win a glorious victory.

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"If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of man will be ashamed of him . . ... " Luke 9;26

God gave me a special friend when I was a child. His name was Charlie. We rode together to another town for school. But Charlie attented a different school than I did. It was a special-education center for retarded children. Some of my school friends laughed at Charlie, and those days I too was sometimes ashamed at Charlie.

But Charlie was really very special. He was happy. He was strong, and he was a loyal friend. I noticed that his mom and dad weren't ashamed of him. They loved him, and nothing he said or did could change that.

A few years ago I took our family to the county fair. There on the Ferris wheel I saw charlie, with his dad right at his side. They were having a great time; I could tell by their big smiles. Charlie's dad still love him.

I'm sorry there was a time when I was ashamed of Charlie. But, you know, sometimes people who follow Jesus are ashamed of him. There will be times when you meet intelligent people who make you feel uneasy about Christ; their high-powered, impressive arguments will shake you. Don't be surprised, for the Jesus we walk with walked to the same of the cross.

With Jesus, though, there is nothing to be ashamed of, because at the cross he conquered sin once and for all. Walk with him now, and someday he will introduce you proudly to his heavenly Father.

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"The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men." Luke 9:44

The hand of God was known as "mighty." By its power the people of Israel, for example, were brought out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15). The hand of god was also known for its blessing, providing different gifts to his people (2 Chronicles 30:12). It was also the bearer of chastisement (Psalm 32:4,5) and the protector of God's "sheep" (John 10:27,28).

The story of the walk to the cross is the story of the Son of Man submitting himself to the hands of men. And those were hands that were eager to grab him, take money from their own purses to track him down, beat him, and nail him to a cross. It's more than we can understand - that the one who sits at the right hand of God surrendered himself to the hands of betrayal.

Well, we have hands, too, and we use them to handle the affairs of our lives. Today the responsibility for something important may be put in our hands, or a person may be entrusted to us for our care. How will we use these hands of ours? If we follow Christ, we will want to act in a Christ-honoring manner.

The hands of other people may also touch our lives today, and possibly these will be hands of betrayal. If we express our nearness to Jesus effectively, some may wanht to destroy us. But let's keep our courage up. Remember, today we are also in the hands of God.

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"I will follow you,Lord; but first let me go back . . . " Luke 9:61

Following in the footsteps of Jesus involves many different experiences, some unpleasant. It's not hard to understand that those whom Christ invites to follow him hesitate. It's not surprising that they think about some of the things they have to attend to.When we walk in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus, however, all our priorities change, and we learn that nothing else comes first. Jesus expressed this when he said, "Seek first [God's] kingdom and his righteousness . . . " (Matthew 6:33)

What stops us too often from following is all those "but first." Once we leave our primary task of following Jesus aaand taaake care of some item that we feel has priority, we discover that there are more matters to be taken care of, and before long we forget entirely about following Christ at all. When it comes to following Christ, the key element is commitment now.

We are often like children who have to learn to put first things first. Many parents have told a child of theirs to do something, and the child has said,"I will, but first there's something else I have to do."

Part of growing and maturing is responding to the call of Christ and going as far as we can with him, even when we have some important things of our own to do.

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31. PLOW

"No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."      Luke 9:62

As we know, the plow has been used for centuries to turn the soil in preparation for seeding. Following Christ is here likened to plowing a field. In the Bible, agricultural terms are often used to describe Christ's work in this world, which is God's harvest field. We need to follow Christ in the field of the world; it's as if we are turning over the soil of many hearts and planting the seed that grows to eternal life. If we try to go forward as we plow a field but look backward, we do a very poor job. The eye needs to be unimpaired (Matthew 6:22) and focused ahead in order to mark out a straight, helpful furrow. A plowman who looks back while plowing leaves a crooked, embarrassing path behind him.

The wonder of Jesus Christ's walk is his perseverance in carrying out his task to seek and to save the lost. How could he do it ? Hebrew 12:2 gives an answer when it tells us to "fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
There's a lot of hard, sweaty work to be done behind that plow when we follow Christ. But as we trust in him, God gives us the grace to follow our Savior and to be joyful in our service to him in this world.

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Kosa Kata

  • decipher = menguraikan
  • jealous = iri,cemburu
  • example = contoh, suri tauladan
  • footsteps = jejak langkah
  • obedient = patuh, kepatuhan
  • affirmation = penegasan, penguatan, peneguhan
  • strides = langkah
  • attacks = serangan
  • tempt = cobaan
  • suffering = penderitaan
  • result = hasil
  • surrendering = penyerahan diri
  • attitude = sikap
  • disregard = acuh, mengacuhkan
  • frighten = menakutkan
  • earnestly = kesungguhan
  • encourage = menguatkan
  • bent = bakat
  • experts = ahli
  • leap = lompat, loncat, jingkrak
  • stuff = bahan
  • glance = sekilas, pandangan sekelebatan, sekilas pandang
  • dissapointing = mengecewakan
  • eager = sungguh-sungguh ingin,benar-benar menghendaki
  • grab = menangkap
  • chastisement = kesucian
  • manner = cara
  • maturing = dewasa
  • unimpaired = tidak merusak
  • crooked = lekuk

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Terang Dunia Group
Sabda Web
Cahaya Bagi Negeri
Gilbert Lumoindong
Gospel Overseas
YKB Refuno


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