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When God Longs for Us PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ir. David Kurniadi for Pastor Yusuf Rahman   
Saturday, 24 June 2017 07:41

God is Love (1 John 4:8). He loves the world He created. He proved His love by giving His only begotten Son to save the world (John 3:16). So God proves His love with an action not just saying it. God’s love is unquestionable.


Jesus, the Son of God, actualized God’s love by giving His life. There’s no greater love than the love He has shown.


“There’s no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends” (John 15:13-14a).


The implication of God’s great love is that He will not withhold anything that is good and needful for us but will give it all for us.


“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).


Furthermore, because the Lord Jesus so loves us, He always desires for us and wants to be among us and makes fellowship with us. For this He has made a promise for us: “for where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them” (Matthew 18:20).


This is not an empty promise because Jesus is the Son of God. If He has promised He will fulfill it.


“God is not human that he should lie, not a human being that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19).


Therefore, we don’t need to try to make Him present with our own strength and our own way, because He is already present among us according to His promise. It’s just that often we were not aware of His presence.


When we did not feel His presence then we said He was not there with us. We often did not believe His presence, because it was not according to our expectation. When His presence was not according to our thought and perception, and then we denied His presence. We wished Him to present according to our own thinking, sense and expectation.    


That was what happened with the two disciples who went to Emmaus after Jesus’ resurrection.


“As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him” (Luke 24:15-16).  


We often reason about Jesus and the word of God, but with our own perception. We have our own opinion about Jesus like those disciples, who said: “But we expected that he should … “ (verse 21). We also have our frame of thinking about Jesus and His presence, so that when He was present among us according to His promise but not according to our expectation we did not believe it, and thus we did not feel it nor experience it.


This was disappointed Jesus. That’s why Jesus hardly rebuked them: “How foolish you are and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke 24:25).


We actually should believe to whatever Jesus said just as it is. If it is not according to our thought, sense and expectation, we are the one that should follow and adjust ourselves to the word and not the contrary. We instead often adjust the word of God to our thought and expectation. What we feel or think is not important. The most important thing is God’s mind and will.


Does not He love us so much? Then, He surely desires and long for us, and always want to be with us. Thus, every time we commune in His name, He surely will present among us. If we believe then we would feel it and experience His presence. We must first believe, and then the experience will follow.


One thing that often hinders us to believe His presence was that we felt unworthy to meet Him. We feel unworthy, then we think that He surely would not present among us, though we knew that He has promised it.


In fact, it is not like that. When He desires for us because of His great love upon us, He will not question about our worthiness, because we, by ourselves, will never be worthy before Him. God is the One, Who has made us worthy when He redeemed us to become His own possession, and washed us with the blood of Jesus, that He might commune with us.


Just remember the story of the prodigal son. He was absolutely unworthy to meet his father because he had sinned and rebelled against his father. And now he is poor, wretched and shabby. But the prodigal son went back to his father with a contrite heart and repentance. This is the only capital we have to stand before God the Father, to humble ourselves before Him. Then, we read that when the prodigal son was still far away, the father had seen him because he loves him and has been expecting him for his return. Obviously, not only us that desire to commune with the Father, but also the Father Himself desires for us and longs for us out of His great love for us. He longs to make intimate fellowship with His beloved children.


When the prodigal son met the father and he confessed his sins, the father unexpectedly did not say a word to scold him. He did not think his son unworthy to meet him. Instead, his father hugged him and kissed him and ordered his servant to give him a robe, sandal and a ring. He recovered the dignity of his son.


“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, Father I have sinned against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet” (Luke 15:20 – 22).


We also read that the shepherd searched for one lost sheep and when he found it he put the sheep on his shoulder and went home with a great joy. That was all because of his love and his longing for the lost sheep. If the lost sheep was sought and the prodigal son was welcomed home, how much more the Lord desires us who love Him and faithful to Him? He will be happy to be with us and make fellowship with us.


So, don’t try to make us worthy by doing things that are usually done by the religion followers in order to make themselves acceptable by their god. That is self-legalism. The Lord Jesus alone, who has made us worthy before God the Father, by redeemed us, cleansed us with His blood and imparted His Holy Spirit within us.  


Of course, this doesn’t mean that we need not to repent from our sins, because the true repentance with contrition and to humble ourselves are the only things we can offer to the Lord when we come to Him.


What we mean here is that do not justify ourselves with good deeds and with our righteousness. We are justified because of our faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God the Father has considered us worthy because of that.


Remember the story about two men who went up into the Temple to pray (Luke 18:10-14). The one is the Pharisee who proud of himself because he fasted twice a week, gave his tithes and kept the Law. The other man is the tax collector who stood a distance, would not even looked up to heaven, but beaten his breast, and said, God have mercy on me, a sinner!


Then Jesus made his judgment: This man (the tax collector) went to his home justified rather than the other one (the Pharisee) who was proud of his piety: for all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.


We cannot purchase God’s presence. There is no adequate price for it that man affords to pay. His presence is too glorious to be compared with anything. In fact, God has purchased us with a very high price. He paid the price with the blood of his Son to be come his possession that he could always have intimate fellowship with us. He loves us so much and so desires for us that He never question about our worthiness because He has made us worthy before Him.


God doesn’t want us to attempt like the other religion followers, who do many rituals in their worship to make themselves worthy and if possible to make their god would present among them. Rituals will never give assurance for those who attempt it that their efforts are sufficient to make them worthy before their god and make their god would present among them, because they know that their god is so far away from them in the highest place in heaven and unreachable by human.


But our God is different. Our God is Immanuel, who desires to be with His children and is happy to commune with them. He himself is delight to come to us. God the Father prefers fellowship more than worship that full with rituals and ceremonies.


“For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and acknowledgment of God (knowing him in personal) rather than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6).


We give Him our praise and worship not in order to make Him present with us, but because He is already with us and presents among us. Our praise and worship is our sign of gratitude to Him and our celebration for His presence. It means that we believe of His presence according to His word. And when we believe His presence will be manifested that we may sense it and experience it. This will make our worship so lively and intense that makes worship become our lifestyle.


When we love the Lord and obey him, He will manifest His presence in our lives. And His presence becomes the sign of his approval upon us.


“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them… Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” (John 14:21,23).


When God is pleased with us, then obviously our problems are solved! Remember when the king Ahasuerus was pleased with Esther, and then the king solved her greatest problem by canceling the annihilation plan of the Jews, her tribes.


When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight: the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the scepter. Then said the king unto her, what is your will queen Esther? And what is your request? It shall be given you even the half of the kingdom” (Esther 5:2-3).


Esther didn’t care about the presence of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, who came with the king. Her face didn’t turn grim or angry. To see the king attended her invitation and was pleased with her made her rejoice.


Some times our problems were still exist even though God is with us. But we should ignore it because God’s presence and his favor are more than enough for us and our problems become nothing. In faith we could say that our problems are already solved in God’s presence. And when we set our heart and mind to praise and worship him, God solves the problem.


Remember what was happened with Judah during the reign of king Jehoshaphat. At that time the enemies of the surrounding countries of Judah came against her. It was a very critical moment for the people of Judah. But when they decided to go to the presence of the Lord, and they began to praise and worship him, the Lord made an ambush against their enemy and smote them (2 Chronicles 20:22). When we make fellowship with God, God will solve our problems.


This is all happened because the Lord Jesus loves us! And He is the One who first loved us. He loves us so much and he desires for us. He always longs to be present in the midst of us. In his presence we praise and worship him, and in his presence all our problems are solved. Praise the Lord! (The preaching of Pastor Yusuf Rahman inspires this writing). 

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Ketika Tuhan Berbicara Dengan Bahasa "Angin Sakal"

Markus 6 : 45, Sesudah itu Yesus segera memerintahkan murid-murid-Nya naik ke perahu dan berangkat lebih dulu ke seberang, ke Betsaida, sementara itu Ia menyuruh orang banyak pulang.

Inilah masalahnya, apakah tindakan yang kita lakukan itu atas dasar perintah atau kehendak Tuhan? Atau hanya didasarkan atas inisiatif sendiri, kehendak dan rencana sendiri. Apakah setiap hari kita memulai hari kita dengan bertanya: Tuhan, apakah yang Engkau kehendaki untuk hamba-Mu ini perbuat?

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