Monthly Archives: May 2008

Giving

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Yesus berdiri di muka bait suci. Orang Farisi lalu lalang dan membawa pundi-pundi mereka ke guci tempat persembahan.  Uang emas dan perak mereka berdenting nyaring tidak putus-putusnya.  Semakin banyak persembahan mereka, semakin nyaring dan semakin lama bunyi terdengar.  Seorang janda, bergegas mendekati guci persembahan.  Memasukkan dua kepingnya yang terakhir.  Suara yang tidak nyaring dan gaungnya habis dalam sepersepuluh detik.

Tapi Yesus mengatakan, bahwa persembahan janda tersebut lebih indah di surga.  Ketulusan hati dan pengorbanan yang menyertainya menjadikan pemberian sederhana itu bernilai.

Jadi, siapa yang mengatakan bahwa memberi adalah berasal dari kelimpahan?  Apakah seseorang harus memiliki ‘lebih’ baru mampu memberi?  Jika saya mempunyai tiga sepatu dan memberikan satu kepada peminta-minta, pengorbanan apa yang saya lakukan.  Bukankah saya bisa hidup dengan dua pasang sepatu, bahkan dengan satu saja.

Jika lemari saya penuh baju-baju yang saya tidak sukai lagi, lalu baju-baju itu saya berikan ke panti asuhan, apakah saya berkorban?  Saya tidak memberi dengan pengorbanan, tetapi saya sedang ‘membuang’ barang bekas.  Saya tidak tulus, saya ingin mengosongkan lemari saya.

Dan jika saya mempunyai uang satu milyar, lalu memberikan 100ribu rupiah kepada pengemis.  Apakah saya beramal? Saya tidak berkorban, saya memang punya banyak uang.  Untuk apa saya membanggakan pemberian seharga 100ribu rupiah.

Memberi dengan sukacita adalah ketika dengan memberi saya berkorban.  Saya membuat prioritas apa yang harus saya lakukan atau tidak lakukan.  Jika saya mengurangi makanan saya demi memberi untuk seorang pengemis, padahal saya tidak punya makanan lain, maka barulah saya ‘memberi’.

Jika saya tahu bahwa menyumbang untuk kegiatan gereja akan membuat saya gagal membeli sebuah sepatu yang baru, atau membuat saya tidak mungkin lagi untuk pergi jalan-jalan ke mal, maka itulah pemberian yang sukacita.

Memberi bukan dari kelimpahan.

Memberi dari apa yang ada pada diri kita pada saat kita memiliki sedikit membangun karakter kristiani seperti yang diinginkan Allah.  Memberi adalah kebiasaan.  Sama seperti sikat gigi, cuci kaki dan mandi.  Jika tidak pernah dilakukan, tidak akan mungkin mau melakukannya, baik miskin atau kaya, baik sedikit atau berlimpah.

Jika tidak pernah memberi saat miskin, anda tidak akan memberi saat kaya.  Give now!

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Freedom

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There are many people in this world has to ‘buy’ and struggle to have their freedom.

Look at David in the bible,  he was an athletic young lad when challenged Goliath.  He spent his days taking care of the flocks.  Run from one side to another side of the prairie, throw stones to the wild animals, carry the lamb if it sick, and walked long distance to bring the flocks home.  Though everybody sang, “Little David…”  He must be strong and well-trained.

Saul the King envy him.  Makes David had to run to the mountains, run from Saul’s soldiers and run for a freedom.  He has to beg to the local king he passed by, and once he had to pretend that he is crazy.  He was a hero to Israelites, but he then deserted as a fugitive.  What a price for a freedom.

Another bible man, Abraham, told a white lie to the Pharaoh when he entered Egypt.  He was so afraid he might be killed if the egyptian find out that Sarai was his wife.  God himself has to take care of the situation.  When the truth revealed, Abraham set out from Egypt.  He got a freedom, but also lost a freedom.  

I visited an island called Galang, in north part of Indonesia.  The island was a home for the Vietnamese refugee.  They run from their country for freedom.  They don’t want to be a follower of communist, and not able to stand the communist government.  So, they run.  Hundred people, women and kids, crowded in a small boat, sailed in the ocean with a hope for a better future. The future was not always nice to them.  Many of them killed by pirates.  When the pirates not able to find any precious things to sell or to eat in the boat, they raped the women and the girls.  Many women and girls unable to cope the bitter feeling, the humiliation and the pain.  They died of starvation, pain, disease, or depression.  Mostly on depression.  If they survived, many years in the refugee camp haunted by the bad experience and they never fully recovered. A very high price for a freedom.  Pretend to be crazy, set out from a country is not as much as being raped.

God himself has let us free from the sin by pour His own blood in the cross.  We are free.  No need to protect ourselves from a Pharaoh, no need to run from Saul and no need to sailed in a crowded boat. It just granted to us.

Do we treasure it?

We are not a grateful believer if, we come to our church service late! God never late to give us such promise, assurance and forgiveness.

We are not a grateful believer if, we gossiping around in our church, using our tongue to say bad things about other people! God never reveal our sin to the world.  He covered it with His holy blood, so the world unable to see it.

We are not a grateful believer if, we hesitate to give.  Giving is a sign of a thankful person.  Not only for the spectacular blessing they received, but for being granted the salvation.

 And, if we continued on sleep when sermon, talk when sermon, sit outside the church when service ongoing, hold our tithe or criticise other member, we definitely not enjoy the freedom yet.

What is Better?

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1 Cor 13 — what it tells?

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing.

To my situation it will be:

If I happened to built a church and donate one month of my monthly salary for building, yet have not love, I would not more than a resounding gong that used to welcome the guest to the expensive hotel.  The guest come in to the party of the heavenly king but the cymbal stays out.

If I have the strong beliefs of God, yet have not love, I would had better not to sacrifice anything, of it wouldn’t count in the heart of God.

If I called myself a follower of Christ, yet have not able to control my own tongue to say only nice things and stop gossiping around, I would had better buried in the fire.  At least, I will be a hero in the eyes of human if not in the eyes of God.