April

Dag 1

DIE “ONVERNIETIGBARE LEWE” VAN GOD IN ONS – Albert Theron

Die plan van God is nie net dat ons gered word en hemel toe gaan nie, maar dat Sy heerlikheid in en deur ons gesien moet kan word in die hier en nou van ons lewens! Dit kan net gebeur as die lewe van God self bínne-in ons (Gal. 2:20) groei soos wat ‘n saad wortel skiet en dan ‘n boom word wat vrug dra. Ons vertroue moet radikaal wegskuif van ons eie pogings om soos Christus te wees en dan enkelvoudig fokus op die Váder se verwagting, naamlik Christus ín ons geopenbaar en gerealiseer deur die “goddelike groei” (Kol. 2:19) van dit wat alreeds teenwoordig is binne-in ons.

“En Ek sal vyandskap stel tussen jou en die vrou, en tussen jou saad en haar saad. Hy sal jou die kop vermorsel, en jy sal hom in die hakskeen byt.” Gen. 3:15

“Nou is aan Abraham die beloftes toegesê en aan sy saad. Hy sê nie: En aan die sade, asof dit op baie sien nie, maar op een: En aan jou saad, dit is Christus.” Gal. 3:16

“God het besluit om aan hulle bekend te maak hoe seënryk en heerlik hierdie geheimenis vir die nasies is. Die inhoud daarvan is: Christus is in julle, Hy is julle hoop op die heerlikheid.” Kol. 1:27 (NAV)

Jesus het deur Sy kruisdood en opstanding die satan oorwin en sy “kop vermorsel”, maar die Vader se meesterplan was nog altyd dat die lewe van Sy Seun ín ons gestalte moet kry sodat Sy heerlikheid die aarde kan vul. Daarom skryf Paulus in Romeine 5 vers 10 “want as ons, terwyl ons nog vyande was, met God versoen is deur die dood van sy Seun, veel meer sal ons deur sy lewe gered word nou dat ons versoen is.” Die “onvernietigbare lewe” van God (Heb. 7:16) is in ons deur die wedergeboorte, maar ons moet groei in daardie lewe sodat daar ‘n realisering van die karakter van God kan wees in ons daaglikse handel en wandel (Gal. 5:22). Paulus sê vir die Christene in Galate hy is “in barensnood totdat Christus in” hulle “‘n gestalte verkry” (Gal. 4:19).

Dag 2

HE WHO HAS AN EAR LET HIM HEAR – William Newell

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” Rev. 2:7

One of the most solemn studies in the whole Bible is that concerning the hearing ear. At the end of the forty years in the wilderness Moses tells Israel that although they had seen all the mighty miracles, Jehovah had not given them, as a nation, eyes to see and ears to hear! (Deut. 29:4.) Neither did they hearken in the land to God’s messengers, the prophets; and Isaiah was commanded judicially to “make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see … hear … understand … turn … and be healed” (6:10). Jeremiah cries, “O foolish people, and without understanding; that have eyes, and see not: that have ears, and hear not.” The Lord Jesus preached openly at first, (Mat. 4:17, with Mat. 13:3): then He turned to parables, “because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand … for this people’s heart is waxed gross (literally, ‘grown fat’, from prosperity), and their ears are dull of hearing (literally, ‘hearing heavily,’ that is, sluggishly and imperfectly), and their eyes they have closed” (Hebrew, “smeared over”). “This citation (from Isaiah) gives no countenance to the fatalist view of the passage, but rests the whole blame on the hard-heartedness and unreadiness of the hearers, which is of itself the cause why the very preaching of the word is a means of further darkening and condemning them” (Alford). Jehovah said to Ezekiel (12:2), “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of the rebellious house, that have eyes to see, and see not, that have ears to hear, and hear not.” There is nothing more awful than to be hearkening to God’s words with an unopened or uncircumcised ear! Hearing without response brings the fatal delusion-the ability to forget, of Jam. 1:22; Jam. 1:24. “They would not give ear” is God’s continual complaint through the prophets. Our Lord even says to the disciples in the boat (Mark 8:17-18), “Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?” Divine truth enters by the ear: and that act of the will which receives it, is called hearkening, which sometimes involves inclining the ear (from all else). Now, seven times in the gospels, and eight times in the Revelation-seven times to these churches!-comes this eternally vital, open, yet private call to any opened ear: “He that has an ear let him hear.” Know you not that the most of the readers and hearers of the book of the Revelation will not really HEAR, in the sense in which the Lord means-a personal, separating word to “sink down into their ears”?

Dag 3

DIE VRUG VOLG VANSELF – Albert Theron

“Bly in My, soos Ek in julle. Net soos die loot geen vrug kan dra van homself as dit nie in die wynstok bly nie, so julle ook nie as julle in My nie bly nie.” Joh. 15:4

“Maar julle moet toeneem in die genade en kennis van onse Here en Saligmaker, Jesus Christus…” 2 Pet. 3:18

Ons hemelse Vader is die landbouer (Joh. 15:1) en soos enige goeie boer verwag Hy ‘n oes. Sy doel in alles is om vrug te sien in ons lewens wat Hom as landbouer verheerlik. Daar is ‘n vreugde in die oes wat niks anders kan bring nie. Ons probleem is egter dat ons so dikwels probeer om uit onsself vrug te dra. Jesus maak dit baie duidelik dat ons net vrug kan dra as ons in Hom bly. D.w.s. as ons toeneem en groei in ons afhanklikheid van Hom in elke aspek van ons lewens soos wat ons harte al hoe meer gevul word met die kennis van Sy heerlikheid. Ons verantwoordelikheid is om ons rykdom in Christus in die Bybel te ontgin en geniet. Die Vader sal sorg vir die groei. Ek hoef nie te probeer om groei te bewerkstellig nie. Soos wat ek op Jesus fokus en in verhouding met Hom leef vind die groei vanself plaas en die vrug volg vir seker! O wat ‘n salige rus bring dit wanneer ons hierdie waarheid begin ontdek.

Dag 4

A DEEP AND SERIOUS MALADY OF THE SOUL – A.W. Tozer

A generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines, is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals. We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God. We read our chapter, have our short devotions, and rush away, hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy by attending another gospel meeting, or listening to another thrilling story told by a religious adventurer lately returned from afar.

The tragic results of this spirit are all about us . . .
shallow lives,
hollow religious philosophies,
the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings,
the glorification of men,
trust in religious externals,
quasi-religious fellowships,
salesmanship methods,
the mistaking of dynamic personality, for the power of the Spirit.

These and such as these are the symptoms of an evil disease, a deep and serious malady of the soul.

Dag 5

GEBED OP HEILIGE GROND – Albert Theron

“Só moet julle dan bid: Onse Vader wat in die hemele is, laat u Naam geheilig word; laat u koninkryk kom; laat u wil geskied, soos in die hemel net so ook op die aarde; gee ons vandag ons daaglikse brood…” Matt. 6:9-11

Die mees basiese betekenis van die woord “heilig” in die Bybel is om volkome afgesonder te wees vir God en Sý doelwitte. Wanneer Jesus vir Sy dissipels leer om te bid in Mattheüs 6 maak Hy dit baie duidelik dat alle gebed moet plaasvind op heilige grond. Hy doen dit deur die gebed daar te begín met die Vader se naam, koninkryk en wil. Eers dan kom die petisie “gee ons vandag ons daaglikse brood”. Al ons gebedsversoeke moet dus op afgesonderde grond voor God gebring word, oorgegee en uitgegiet voor Sy aangesig. Hoe dikwels storm ons net in die troonkamer in met ons lysie van petisies? Veel beter om eers stil te raak en te fokus op die Vader met nederige belydenis dat ons in alles wil hê dat Sy naam, koninkryk en wil die voorrang moet geniet. Hierdie beginsel word weereens duidelik deur Jesus onderstreep ‘n bietjie verder aan in Mattheüs 6, “maar soek eers die koninkryk van God en sy geregtigheid, en al hierdie dinge sal vir julle bygevoeg word” (vers 33). Daar kan daarom geen verwarring wees op hierdie punt nie; God verwag van ons om in ons gedagtes en woorde op hemelse grond te kom voor ons aardse versoeke begin uitspreek.

Dag 6

THE DELIGHT OF DESPAIR – Oswald Chambers

“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” Revelation 1:17

It may be that like the apostle John you know Jesus Christ intimately, when suddenly He appears with no familiar characteristic at all, and the only thing you can do is to fall at His feet as dead. There are times when God cannot reveal Himself in any other way than in His majesty, and it is the awfulness of the vision which brings you to the delight of despair; if you are ever to be raised up, it must be by the hand of God. “He laid His right hand upon me.” In the midst of the awfulness, a touch comes, and you know it is the right hand of Jesus Christ. The right hand not of restraint nor of correction nor of chastisement, but the right hand of the Everlasting Father. Whenever His hand is laid upon you, it is ineffable peace and comfort, the sense that “underneath are the everlasting arms,” full of sustaining and comfort and strength. When once His touch comes, nothing at all can cast you into fear again. In the midst of al His ascended glory the Lord Jesus comes to speak to an insignificant disciple, and to say – “Fear not.” His tenderness is ineffably sweet. Do I know Him like that? Watch some of the things that strike despair. There is despair in which there is no delight, no horizon, no hope of anything brighter; but the delight of despair comes when I know that “in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing.” I delight to know that there is that in me which must fall prostrate before God when He manifests Himself, and if I am ever to be raised up it must be by the hand of God. God can do nothing for me until I get to the limit of the possible.

Dag 7

DIE REALITEIT WAT AL DIE SKADUBEELDE VERVUL EN VERVANG – Albert Theron

“Nadat God baiekeer en op baie maniere in die ou tyd gespreek het tot die vaders deur die profete, het Hy in hierdie laaste dae tot ons gespreek deur die Seun wat Hy as erfgenaam van alles aangestel het, deur wie Hy ook die wêreld gemaak het.” Hebreërs 1:1-2

Die karakter van die Ou Testamentiese openbaring word duidelik verklaar in ons teks. Dit was ‘n openbaring wat tot God se mense gekom het in verskillende fragmente en stukke, soos ‘n legkaart wat stadig vorm aanneem soos jy stuk vir stuk ontvang. Op hierdie wyse het God verkies om verwagtinge in die mens wakker te maak vir die volheid van Sy openbaring aan ons. Al die profete en manne van God in die Ou Testament het vooruitgesien na die volledige manifestasie waarvan hulle tot op daardie tydstip slegs ‘n skadubeeld gesien het. En toe, in die volheid van die tyd, “het God sy Seun uitgestuur” (Gal. 4:4). Die Vleeswording van Christus het ‘n nuwe era ingelui. Die ontwaking van ‘n nuwe dag in God se kalender het aangebreek en die engele het van vreugde gejubel: “Eer aan God in die hoogste hemele en vrede op aarde, in die mense ‘n welbehae!’ (Luk. 2:14). Híerdie openbaring van God was nie net nog ‘n diepsinnige waarheid nie. Dit was nie net ‘n beginsel om ywerig toegepas te word nie. Dit was meer as ‘n diep profetiese insig. Dit was eintlik nie iets nie, maar Iemand, naamlik die Seun van God Self! “Want dit het die Vader behaag dat in Hom die ganse volheid sou woon” (Kol. 1:19). Die Ou Testament was ‘n skadubeeld – hierdie was die realiteit. God het Homself aan ons openbaar in die Persoon van sy Seun. “En uit sy volheid het ons almal ontvang, ja, genade op genade.” (Joh. 1:16).

Dag 8

THE WELL OF WATER IN THE HEART OF THE CHRISTIAN – J. R. Miller

“Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a well of water welling up to eternal life!” John 4:14 If you are a true believer in Christ, your new life will become a spring of water in you. Wherever you go, into the driest desert, into the hottest plain, far away from the means of grace and from spiritual privileges, into the dark paths of sorrow—your life shall not waste nor fail, for its fountain is within you. It is not fed from without, nor is it dependent upon ordinances and ‘means of grace’ as sources of nourishment along the way. The fountain of your life, your comfort, your joy, your strength—is fed from the mountains of heaven, from the fullness of Christ; hence it can never waste. Thus from this well of water in the heart of the Christian, flows out a perpetual stream of life, with blessing for the world. If you can be only a little spring, with but water enough to fill a pilgrim’s cup, do not be discouraged; be the sweet blessing that you can be, and thank God for the privilege. Yet Jesus says that “rivers of living water” shall flow from this well in him who believes—not a mere trickling rill—but large rivers, to bless a whole community. We should not be satisfied with any small measure of usefulness. We should seek to bear much fruit. We should always abound in the work of the Lord. We should seek to be the largest blessing we can be.

Dag 9

WE NEED TO SEE WHAT GOD HAS ALREADY DONE – Watchman Nee

The one thing Ephesians 1 speaks of is that all of God’s works are finished. We do not need God to do more works, but we need to have the revelation concerning the works that He has completed. God has planned and purposed. Today God’s children need to know His plan and His purpose. “He who comes forward to God must believe that He is” (Heb. 11:6). God is He who is; He never changes. Today we need revelation to see God. The apostle prayed that God would grant us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him who already “is,” that we would have a full knowledge of His predetermined plan and have a knowledge of His accomplished works. Many people hope that God will make some new arrangements and do some new works in His plan. But the apostle showed us that God does not need to do this. He wanted us to see clearly that God already “is.” It is not a matter of wishing God’s plan to be this or that; God has arranged everything already, and we only need to see what He has arranged. We do not need Him to do one thing more; we only need to see what He has already done. Once we see, we will have a fresh experience. We need a spirit of wisdom to understand His work, and we need a spirit of revelation to know what He has done. Then we will become useful persons in God’s eyes.

Dag 10

IS DIT GOEIE NUUS VIR GOEIE MENSE? – Albert Theron

Die evangelie is ‘n boodskap wat ons vertel hoe verlore mense gered word, nie hoe goeie mense beter mense word nie.

“Maar God bewys sy liefde tot ons daarin dat Christus vir ons gesterf het toe ons nog sondaars was.” Rom. 5:8

Die goeie nuus van God se verstommende genade vir verlore mense is bedoel om ons innerlik so te reinig en vry te maak van ons knaende self-gerigtheid dat ons spontaan sal begin om met ander te praat van hierdie onverklaarbare liefde in die hart van ‘n Vader wat uitdrukking gevind het in die onbaatsugtige self-opoffering van ‘n Seun. Die krag van die evangelie is ‘n bonatuurlike kommunikasie tussen die hoogste heerlikheid denkbaar en die diepste verlorenheid wat ‘n mensehart ooit kan beleef. God se liefde is bewys in die nederige kruis en wil ons keer op keer weer oorweldig en die hoogmoed uit ons harte verjaag.

Dag 11

THE SONGS OF PATIENCE – J.R. Miller

“We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces patience.” Romans 5:3

Patience is a great lesson to learn. Any school in which we can learn it, is a good school, and the lesson can scarcely be too costly. Few things mean more in life, than patience. Many people wreck the best hopes of their life, for lack of patience. To be impatient in certain conditions, is to lose all; and to be patient, to be able to keep quiet and still in the presence of things that try us, is to gain all. Thus patience becomes the very key to success in living. It is surely worth while to learn the lesson!

Patience is ofttimes learned in the school of suffering. We are there trained to endure; not to cry out in the hour of anguish—but to sing instead. Richter tells of the little bird that is shut away in the darkness, to learn new strains, which afterward it sings in the light. Many Christians are taken into the darkness, and kept there for a time, while they are taught the songs of patience. We look at patient people with admiration, not knowing what it has cost them to get this pearl of the graces.

Dag 12

RIGLYNE OM KONFLIK IN JOU HUIS TE VOORKOM DEEL I – Richard Baxter

Mans en vroue het ‘n onvermydelike plig om in vrede en rustigheid te leef en om alle geleenthede vir woede en tweedrag te vermy. Omdat dit so belangrik is, sal ek eerstens die groot BEHOEFTE daarvoor uitwys en dan die spesifieke RIGLYNE gee om dit na te kom.

· Julle konflik sal julle pyn veroorsaak en die ergernis in julle lewe. Soos ‘n siekte of ‘n wond of ‘n fraktuur in julle liggame, wat sal pyn totdat dit genees is; sal julle bykans onmoontlik vrede in jul eie denke kan handhaaf wanneer die vrede verbreek word so naby aan julself in julle eie familie. Soos wat jy sorg dat jy self nie seerkry nie en soos wat jy so gou moontlik jou eie wond versorg, so behoort jy sorg te dra vir enige breuk in die vrede en vinnig soek na ‘n oplossing wanneer dit verbreek is.

· Tweespalt verkoel julle liefde en gereelde onderonsies los ‘n wrang smaak en ‘n weersin in die denke. Wonde verdeel en om gebind te wees met uiterlike bande wanneer julle harte nie in eenheid is nie, is ‘n pyniging. Dis net soos om vyande in die innerlike te wees terwyl mens tog uiterlik gebind is met die intieme bande van die huwelik. Net soos die verskil tussen my ‘huis’ en my ‘tronk’, so is die verskil om gewillig en met blydskap in die een te woon, maar onwillig vasgevang te wees in die ander. Dit verander jou woonplek en vreugde in ‘n tronk, waar jy vasgeketting is aan die gedurige ongelukkigheid waarvan jy in ‘n vrye kondisie sou gevlug het.

· Tweedrag tussen die man en die vrou krap die hele gesin deurmekaar. Hulle is soos osse wat ongelyk ingespan is – daar kan geen werk verrig word nie, want hulle stry alewig met mekaar.

· Konflik in die huis neutraliseer jou aanbidding van God; jy kan nie saambid of oor die hemelse dinge gesels of mekaar se sielehelpers wees nie. Ek het nie nodig om dit vir julle te vertel nie – julle ervaar dit self. Woede en bitterheid verhoed die liefde en ‘n heilige self-beheersing.

· Tweespalt veroorsaak dat ‘n egpaar nie ‘n familie behoorlik kan bestuur nie. Julle kinders sal julle voorbeeld volg, of dink dat hulle kan doen wat hulle wil, wanneer hulle sien dat daar soveel vyandskap is tussen julle. Hulle sal dink dat julle hulle nie kan teregwys vir hulle eie foute nie, wanneer hulle sien dat julle self so skuldig staan. Nog erger – julle kinders sal julle in die geheim verag.

· Julle tweedrag sal julle oopstel vir die satan se aanvalle en hom geleentheid gee vir talle versoekings. ‘n Huis wat verdeeld is kan nie staan nie en ‘n weermag wat verdeel is word maklik oorwin. Daar is ‘n menigte sataniese gevare waaraan julle julself blootstel deur julle huis ‘n oorlogsone te maak.

Dag 13

WHEN THE ORGANIZATION BECOMES THE CENTRAL FOCUS – Bob Mumford

History shows us the departure of the church from its created purpose and the drastic measures God used to return her to the New Testament charter (see Revelation 2,3). When this departure occurs, the organization—secular or religious no longer hears the voice of God or that of the original founders. The participants are then forced to increase effort, works, programs, or procedures to keep it alive. Under the pressure of the emergence of the system, moral convictions and religious intent are stripped off as loose veneer. Existential pressure is so intense as to cause the philosophy to emerge that the end justifies the means. So desirous are we of self-preservation, so fearful of not being included or being rejected and suffering personal loss that even as Christians with kingdom values and convictions, we are swept up in the tide created by the ruling force. C.S. Lewis, in his small treatise entitled, The Inner Ring, reveals how subtle and how intense the desire to be included is. It can override and even reshape our deeply held kingdom principles. This is a pivotal point in the life of an organization. If it was created for beneficial purposes and deviates from its created intention, it becomes a bad system. Because it has taken on a life of its own, the entity ignores, refuses, or rejects the created purpose. Invariably, its agenda begins to change, reflecting the dynamic of acquire, possess, and control. People are used and the organization, rather than its mission, becomes the central focus. The group begins to succumb to the life force the organization has taken upon itself, revealing an increased propensity toward the neglect of the hurting individual. The motive now is self-preservation of the persona, abusing and using the ones for whom it was designed and intended to give care. Because of the presumed protection of the system, individuals have an assumed anonymity and a loss of personal responsibility creating room for behavior and cruelty that would not be present if one were free from the influence of the system. Within the thing, we act differently than when we are apart from or on the outside of it. Every one of us have experienced this. Once the corpus or the thing departs from its created intent, it becomes a ruling force. This force takes on, assumes, or is given power and authority that was not originally intended. The persona, i.e., the corporation or corpus, begins to exhibit coercion and tyranny. With some discernment, it can now be seen as a spiritual force, injuring and using people. Our attempts to avoid responsibility and employ self-justification when we see the system injure and control are enhanced by excusing negative behavior with such statements as, “Well, you can’t fight city hall” or “This is just the way it is done here.” The system not only condones wrong actions, in some cases it encourages them for the strengthening of the authority and influence of the entity. This happens not only in secular organizations but also in churches and ministries around the world.

Dag 14

RIGLYNE OM KONFLIK IN JOU HUIS TE VOORKOM DEEL 2 – Richard Baxter

· Hou die liefde in julle huwelik lewenskragtig. Liefde sal woede onderdruk. Moenie bitter word as gevolg van klein versoekings nie. Moet veral nie voortgaan tot afwysende woorde, vermyding van mekaar of vervreemding of enige mishandeling van mekaar nie. As ‘n breuk of wond veroorsaak is, sal die liefde dit genees. Maar wanneer die liefde verkoel, veroorsaak daaglikse irritasies of die geringste verskille ergernis en dit laat vyandigheid broei.

· Beide die man en die vrou moet hul trots en heethoofdigheid laat sterf. Dit is die oorsake vir ongeduld. Bid en werk na ‘n nederige, gebroke en stille gees. ‘n Trotse hart word deur elke woord of aksie uitgelok as dit voel dat dit nie waardeer word nie. ‘n Kleinlike, trotse ingesteldheid is soos ‘n maagseer – raak net daaraan en dit pyn. Die een wat naby so ‘n seer, siek, ongeduldige en trotse ingesteldheid leef, moet leef soos ‘n versorger met ‘n kind. Die kind moet gedurig gesus word, daar moet voor gesing word wanneer hy huil en om kwaad te wees vir hom sal niks baat nie. As mens getroud is met iemand met so ‘n onvolwasse humeur, moet jy jouself voorneem om dit te verdra. Maar geen Christen behoort so ‘n onvolwassenheid in homself te verdra, of vrede te maak met sulke ongeduldigheid, trots of hoogmoed in homself nie. Wanneer jy die oorwinning kry oor jouself en jou ongeduld, sal jy maklik vrede hou met jou huweliksmaat.

· Kom vroegtydig ooreen dat wanneer een van julle in ‘n woedebui is, die ander dit in stilte en sagmoedigheid sal dra – totdat die een wat oorkom is deur woede weer tot sy of haar sinne kom. Moenie albei gelyk kwaad word nie. Wanneer die vuur gestook is, gooi die water van kalm woorde en ‘n sagmoedige ingesteldheid daaroor. Moenie méér petrol opgooi deur skerp en uitdagend te antwoord of deur nog woorde by te voeg en woede met woede te antwoord nie.

· As jy nie vinnig die woede in jou eie hart kan blus nie – weerhou die woorde! Bly eerder stil as om uitdagende of teregwysende woorde te uiter. Om hittig en kwaad te reageer, blaas net die vuur aan. Bly eerder stil en die vrede en kalmte sal gou weer terugkeer. Lelike en kwetsende woorde veroorsaak net meer ongelukkigheid. Soos Socrates gesê het toe sy vrou eers op hom geskree het en toe ‘n bak vuil water op hom gegooi het: “Ek het gedink toe ek die donderweer hoor, dat daar reën sou volg”, net so kan jy voorsien dat erger dinge sal volg wanneer die bytende woorde begin. As jy nie dadelik kan kalmeer nie, kan jy tog wel stilbly, as jy regtig gewillig is.

· Laat die sober party kalm en sagmoedig met die ander ene praat. Sê vir jou kwaai man of vrou: “Jy weet hierdie dinge moenie tussen ons kom nie; liefde moet wen. Ons moet hierdie dinge bely voor God, want Hy keur dit nie goed nie en ons sal spyt wees wanneer dit verby is. Hierdie manier van dink weerhou ons van gebede en hierdie taal is nie gebedstaal nie; ons moet binnekort saambid; ons moet niks doen wat ons weerhou van gebed nie; soet en bitter water kom nie uit een fontein nie”, ens. Kalm en nederige woorde kan dalk die vloed stop en die sober verstand wat oorrompel is deur emosie, herwin.

· Bely julle foute teenoor mekaar. Wanneer woede julle oorwin het, vra mekaar om vergifnis en bid saam dat die Here julle vergewe. Dit sal ‘n groter onus op julle plaas om dit nie weer te doen volgende keer nie. Dit sal sekerlik grootliks verhoed dat julle weer doen wat julle nou teenoor mekaar en teenoor God bely het.

Dag 15

FIX YOUR THOUGHTS ON JESUS – George Mylne

Christian reader, whatever you have lost — put Jesus in its place. Fill every blank with Jesus — and it shall be a blank no more! Have you lost a friend? Does memory cling to the spot before occupied? You look, and look again — and he is not there! No opening door brings back his well known form. Once you could number him among your treasures, but now you number him no more.

Hasten to fill the blank with that which cannot fail you! Do not strain your sight to gaze on emptiness, nor fill your mind with shadows of the past. Oh, fix your thoughts on Jesus! Think of Him, as your best, your dearest Friend. Think of His grace, His dying love for you.

No living friend — no friend that is departed — could love you, think of you, or watch you, as Jesus has done. Though other friends are gone, yet you can “number” HIM. Though earthly goods are lost, yet Jesus still is there. No blank can be a blank, when Jesus fills the void. Your losses are but gains, when they bring Jesus to your soul. See every blank through Jesus. All that you should forget — His form shall hide. All that you may remember — you still shall see in Him. Memory shall thus be chastened, and God Himself shall soften every woe.

But reader, say — is Jesus such to you, that the void places in your heart can thus be filled? Oh, if you know Him not — if He is not your best, your bosom Friend — then it is vain to speak to you as I have done. But I would ask you to think this matter over. Before other friends are taken away, or other treasures gone; before life itself is ebbing, and you are no more numbered here, oh seek and find that treasure which never can be lost!

Dag 16

JY IS NOU OOK ‘N PRIESTER! – Albert Theron

“Maar julle is ‘n uitverkore geslag, ‘n koninklike priesterdom, ‘n heilige volk, ‘n volk as eiendom verkry, om te verkondig die deugde van Hom wat julle uit die duisternis geroep het tot sy wonderbare lig.” 1 Petrus 2:9

In die Ou Testament het net die stam van Levi priesterdiens verrig en met die heilige dinge van die tempel gewerk. Die res van Israel het hulle dag tot dag lewens as’t ware “op ‘n afstand” van die tempel gelei. In die Nuwe Testament is álle dissipels van Jesus egter priesters en werk daagliks met die heilige dinge van die tempel, want ons is “in Christus” en Hy in ons. Ons sit saam met Hom in hemelse plekke en ons lewe is saam met Hom verborge in God. Nie net ons diens nie, maar onsself is afgesonder vir God! Daarom word ons “heiliges” genoem in die Nuwe Testament en het ons ook die onuitspreeklike voorreg om God se tempel te wees waarin Hy woon (1 Kor. 6:19; Gal. 2:20). Vir wedergebore mense bestaan daar dus nie meer so iets soos ‘n sekulêre lewe van Maandag tot Saterdag en ‘n geestelike lewe op ‘n Sondag nie. Elke dag, ja selfs elke oomblik, is ons in die teenwoordigheid van God en verwag Hy van ons om priesterdiens te verrig in alles wat ons sê en doen. Al het ons verslkillende funksies in die gemeente, bestaan daar ook nie vir ons so iets soos predikante, dominees, pastore en ouderlinge wat op ‘n spesiale manier priesterdiens verrig nie. Nee, ons is in werklikheid almal priesters. Die funksies verskil, maar die werklikheid van ons afsondering vir God in Sy heilige teenwoordigheid is vir ons almal presies dieselfde onder ‘n Nuwe Verbond. Dit is tyd dat ons as gemeente van die Here wakker word en begin leef in ons roeping. Waar jy ookal beweeg is jy ‘n priester-ingenieur, ‘n priester-besigheidsman, ‘n priester-huisvrou, ‘n priester-trokbestuurder, ‘n priester-argitek, ensovoorts. Op Sondae vergader ons as ‘n gemeente van priesters om saam die heerlikheid van God te beleef, nie om terug te sit en te kyk hoe een “priester” (pastoor/dominee) funksioneer nie. Ons bring almal wanneer ons vergader heilige offers (Rom. 12:1; Fil. 4:18; Heb. 13:15), hef heilige hande op, en spreek heilige gebede en woorde in God se teenwoordigheid; indien nie almal hoorbaar nie, dan wel in ons harte.

Dag 17

CHRISTIAN SERVICE FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE – Austin Sparks

What is the work of the Lord? What is Christian service from God’s standpoint? It is contributing to the fulness of Christ. It is in the measure of each several part ministering to that end, that all things shall be summed up in Christ, and that He shall be the fulness of all things. That great Divine goal has many ways and many means of attainment, and it is not a matter of whether you or I are serving the Lord in the same way as someone else. That is not the point at all. We standardise and departmentalise Christian work, and we think of the activities of ministers and missionaries and suchlike functions, and we call that the work of the Lord, we think of that when we speak of going into Christian service; but while I do not say that that is not the work of the Lord, it is a very narrow and a very artificial way of viewing things. The work of the Lord is, and can be, no more than contributing to the fulness of Christ and ministering of that fulness to Him and from Him. How you do it is a matter of Divine appointment, but that is the work of the Lord. So it is not necessarily a matter of whether I am in what is called the ministry, a missionary or a Christian worker, in this particular category or that, or whether I am serving the Lord in the way in which certain others are serving Him. That is quite a secondary matter.

Dag 18

HEILIGE GEWELD – Albert Theron

“Maar van die dae van Johannes die Doper af tot nou toe word die koninkryk van die hemele bestorm, en bestormers gryp dit met geweld.” Mattheüs 11:12

Die Nuwe Testament praat van ‘n heilige geweld wat vir ons baie vreemd klink as ons nie die stryd verstaan om ons harte onder die invloed van die evangelie te hou nie. In die lig van die nuwe era wat in Christus aangebreek het, kan nie een van ons die nodigheid vir heilige geweld ontvlug nie. Ons moet radikaal werk met ons eie harte en die dinge wat die geestelike oes in ons lewens bedreig (Luk. 8:14) met geweld weerstaan en verwyder. Jesus sê byvoorbeeld ons moet vader, moeder, kinders, en selfs ons eie eie lewe haat ter wille van die koninkryk (Luk. 14v26). Hy sê ons moet ons “oog uitruk” en ons “hand afkap” (Matt. 5:29-30) as ons lewe in die koninkryk daardeur bedreig word. Paulus brei uit op hierdie lering van Jesus en sê ons moet ons lede wat op die aarde is “doodmaak” (Kol. 3:5). Hierdie terme spreek almal van ‘n heilige geweld. Dit is hoe radikaal ons moet werk met ons eie harte in die era van die Nuwe Verbond (Heb. 1v:1-2). Satan kom elke dag met al sy magte en kragte teen ons om te steel, te slag en te verwoes. Dit is net deur ‘n vasberade en heilige geweld wat ons, ons harte kan beskerm en sodoende die Heilige Gees toe kan laat om die koninkryk in en deur ons te laat kom d.m.v. die groei van die saad wat met wedergeboorte in ons geplant is (Gal. 3:16; 1 Joh. 3:9). “Bewaak jou hart meer as alles wat bewaar moet word, want daaruit is die oorspronge van die lewe” (Spreuke 4:23).

Dag 19

THE SPIRIT GLORIFIES CHRIST – Andrew Murray

“He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me.” John16:14

To understand and experience the work of the Holy Spirit, you must try to grasp the relationship of the Holy Spirit to the Lord Jesus. Our Lord said that the Spirit would come as a Comforter to the disciples. The Spirit would reveal Him in their hearts. The disciples held onto that promise—they would not miss their Lord but have Him with them always. This made them pray earnestly for the Holy Spirit, for they longed to have Jesus with them always. This is the meaning of our text—“He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me.” Where there is an earnest desire for the glory of Jesus in the heart of the believer, the Holy Spirit will preserve the presence of Jesus in our hearts. We must not weary ourselves with striving after God’s presence. We must quietly endeavor to abide in fellowship with Christ, to love Him and keep His commandments, and to do everything in the name of Jesus. Then we will be able to count upon the secret but powerful working of the Spirit within us. If our thoughts are always occupied with the Lord Jesus —His love, His joy, His peace—then the Holy Spirit will graciously bring the fruit of the Spirit to ripeness within us.

Dag 20

EARLY OBEDIENCE – J.C. Ryle

Early obedience has all Scripture on its side. It is in Abraham’s praise, not merely he will train his family, but “he will command his children, and his household after him” (Gen. 18:19). It is said of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, that when “He was young He was subject to Mary and Joseph” (Luke 2:51). Observe how implicitly Joseph obeyed the order of his father Jacob (Gen. 37:13). See how Isaiah speaks of it as an evil thing, when “the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient” (Isa. 3:5). Mark how the Apostle Paul names disobedience to parents as one of the bad signs of the latter days (2 Tim. 3:2). Mark how he singles out this grace of requiring obedience as one that should adorn a Christian minister: “an elder must be one that rules well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.” And again, “Let the deacons rule their children and their own houses well ” (1 Tim. 3:4, 12). And again, an elder must be one “having faithful children, children not accused of riot, or unruly” (Titus 1:6). Parents, do you wish to see your children happy? Take care, then, that you train them to obey when they are spoken to,—to do as they are bid….

Teach them to obey while young, or else they will be fretting against God all their lives long, and wear themselves out with the vain idea of being independent of His control. Reader, this hint is only too much needed. You will see many in this day who allow their children to choose and think for themselves long before they are able, and even make excuses for their disobedience, as if it were a thing not to be blamed. To my eyes, a parent always yielding, and a child always having its own way, are a most painful sight ; — painful, because I see God’s appointed order of things inverted and turned upside down;—painful, because I feel sure the consequence to that child’s character in the end will be self-will, pride, and self-conceit. You must not wonder that men refuse to obey their Father which is in heaven, if you allow them, when children, to disobey their father who is upon earth. Parents, if you love your children, let obedience be a motto and a watchword continually before their eyes.

Dag 21

THE PATTERN FOR ALL CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLIES – A.W. Tozer

Whether it be a communion service, morning worship, evangelistic meeting, prayer meeting or any other kind of true Christian gathering, the center of attention will always be Christ. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). These words of our Lord set the pattern for all Christian assemblies. Throughout the New Testament after Pentecost one marked characteristic of all Christian meetings was the believers’ preoccupation with their risen Lord. Even the first church council (which might be called a “business” meeting if such a thing really existed in Bible times) was conducted in an atmosphere of great dignity and deep reverence. They talked of God and Christ and the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures and consecrated men who had hazarded their lives for the name of Jesus. They conferred for a while, then drew up a letter of instruction and sent it to the Gentile churches by the hand of Judas and Silas. It is, of course, unthinkable that such a meeting could have been held without some kind of agenda. Someone had to know what they had gathered to discuss. The important point to be noticed, however, is that proceedings were carried on in an atmosphere of Christian worship. They lost sight of the program in the greater glory of a Presence. Again, evangelistic and revival services in New Testament times were never divorced from worship. The book of Acts is a record of evangelism and missionary activity, but the Presence is always there, and never for a moment do those early Christians forget it. Never do the disciples use gimmicks to attract crowds. They count on the power of the Spirit to see them through all the way. They gear their activities to Christ and are content to win or lose along with Him. The notion that they should set up a “programmed” affair and use Jesus as a kind of sponsor never so much as entered their heads. To them Christ was everything. To them He was the object around which all revolved; He was as He still is, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending. Christ was everything in the minds of those first believers, and that mighty fact dictated not only their conduct but their inner attitudes as well. Their mood, their demeanor, their expectations sprang out of their childlike conviction that Jesus was in the midst of them as Lord of creation, Head of the Church and High Priest of their profession.

Dag 22

DIE VOORDEEL VAN DIE KRUIS SONDER DIE OORDEEL VAN DIE KRUIS – Albert Theron

Hoe strook die verkondiging van vergifnis van sondes in die Nuwe Testament met die eis dat ons elke dag ons kruis moet opneem? Eersgenoemde is sulke verstommende goeie nuus, maar laasgenoemde klink waarlik soos ‘n ander boodskap. Eersgenoemde spreek my vry, maar laasgenoemde klink soos ‘n swaar las wat my weer van voor af moedeloos maak. Ek kan die oplossing net vind deur alles wat Jesus gesê het oor die kruis onvoorwaardelik te aanvaar en op te let na die konteks van Sy stellings. Ons is almal geneig om te gou opinies te vorm voordat ons die “hele raad van God” (Hand. 20:27) in die Skrif toegelaat het om ons diepliggend aan te spreek.

“In Hom het ons die verlossing deur sy bloed, die vergifnis van die misdade na die rykdom van sy genade.” Efes. 1:7

“EN Hy sê vir almal: As iemand agter My aan wil kom, moet hy homself verloën en sy kruis elke dag opneem en My volg. Want elkeen wat sy lewe wil red, sal dit verloor; maar elkeen wat sy lewe om My ontwil verloor, hy sal dit red. Lukas 9:23-24

Dit is krities belangrik vir jou en my verstaan van die Bybel en ons geestelike groei dat ons die oënskynlike teenstrydighede daarin moet kan balanseer in die konteks van die hele Skrif. Anders gaan ons nie vaste grond onder ons voete hê nie, maar ‘n onderliggende verwarring wat geestelike groei amper onmoontlik maak. Dit lei dan ook dikwels tot dwaling weens ‘n verdraaiing van die Skrifte.

Aan die een kant bring die kruis vir my ‘n kosbare boodskap van genade en vergifnis, maar aan die ander kant vereis die kruis ‘n wegdraai van my ou lewe. Ek moet beide die voordeel en die oordeel (wat ook na die omhelsing ‘n voordeel is!) van die kruis omhels om ‘n ware dissipel van Jesus te kan wees. Bekering beteken dan juis dat ek gedraai het teen my eie sondige onafhanklikheid en die kruis nou toelaat om te skei en te oordeel. In ‘n huwelik kry ek al die voordele van ‘n kosbare verbintenis met my bruid of bruidegom, maar ek moet bereid wees om te verklaar “ek versaak alle ander en neem jou as my enigste”. Jesus vra niks minder nie. As ons hierdie “oordeel” dus reg verstaan is dit ook verstommende goeie nuus. Vergifnis van die skuld van my sondes én verlossing van die mag van die sonde. Twee kante van dieselfde muntstuk. Baie goeie nuus as jy bereid is om die ou lewe vaarwel toe te roep, maar minder goeie nuus as jy net die voordeel soek sonder die “oordeel”. Pasop vir boodskappe wat die kruis eensydig verkondig. Dit is een van die duidelikste tekens van afvalligheid in die moderne kerk .

Dag 23

TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN TO A HABIT OF IMPLICIT FAITH – J.C. Ryle

Reader, you train your children to little purpose if you do not train them to a habit of implicit faith,—faith in their parents’ word, confidence that what their parents say must be right. I have heard it said by some, that you should require nothing of children which they cannot understand that you should explain and give a reason for everything you desire them to do. I warn you solemnly against such a notion. I tell you plainly, I think it an unsound and rotten principle. No doubt it is absurd to make a mystery of everything you do, and there are many things which it is well to explain to children, in order that they may see that they are reasonable and wise. But to bring them up with the idea that they must take nothing on trust, that they, with their weak and imperfect understandings, must have the ” why ” and the “wherefore” made clear to them at every step they take,—this is indeed a fearful mistake, and likely to have the worst effect on their minds. Reason with your child if you are so disposed, at certain times, but never forget to keep him in mind (if you really love him) that he is but a child after all,—that he thinks as a child, he understands as a child, and therefore must not expect to know the reason of everything at once. Set before him the example of Isaac, in the day when Abraham took him to offer him on Mount Moriah (Gen. 22). He asked his father that single question, “Where is the lamb for a burned-offering?” and he got no answer but this, “God will provide Himself a lamb.” How, or where, or when, or in what manner, or by what means,—all this Isaac was not told; but the answer was enough. He believed that it would be well, because his father said so, and he was content.

Dag 24

DAILY LIVING IN CHRIST – J.R. Miller

The Master says his people are branches on the great Vine. The vine lives in the branches — Christ lives in his people. John, the beloved disciple, received his beautiful life by close abiding in Christ. His friendship with Christ became so deep, so absorbing, that Christ’s life flowed into his very heart and then flowed out in all the expressions of his life! There is no other way of becoming an ideal Christian! Christ must live in us, or we cannot live the Christ life.

The difficulty with most people, is to keep Christ in their lives amid the secularities of everyday living! However devout and reverent we may be when engaged in worship, however conscious of the presence of Christ, and however willing to yield ourselves to the influence of that presence — the danger is that when we go out into the world, we lose the sacred power which has held such sway over us in our devotions. One of Paul’s exhortations is helpful. He said, “Pray without ceasing.” This does not mean that we are to be always on our knees, engaged in formal prayer. We have duties to perform. God would never approve of our neglecting our proper responsibilities, in order to spend the time in formal prayer. The meaning of the exhortation is that we are always to be in the spirit of prayer. We should never get away from our Master’s side. There never should be a moment when we cannot look up into his face and talk to him with simple confidence, and receive his encouragement and help. The secret of the noble life of Moses is given in one sentence: “He endured as seeing him who is invisible!” His faith made the presence of God as real to him, as if God had actually been present to his natural eyes continually. If we would practice the presence of God as Moses did — we would always be able to live reverently, obediently, patiently and acceptably.

Another thought is that we should take everything to God in prayer. This does not mean that we shall be continually falling upon our knees and asking God’s help. We can pray as we walk, and as we work. If we are so close to Christ as to be always conscious of his presence — it is easy for us to speak to him our wishes and our desires, to turn to him in time of danger, to plead his help when the pressure of duty is upon us. We are often told that we should begin every day with prayer. But besides this, we may perform each different duty of the day with prayer. That was part of what Paul meant when he said, “Whatever you do, in word or in deed — do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Dag 25

DAAR IS ÓÓK GESKRYWE 1: INLEIDING – Albert Theron

“Toe neem die duiwel Hom saam na die heilige stad en laat Hom op die dak van die tempel staan en sê vir Hom: As U die Seun van God is, werp Uself af; want daar is geskrywe: Hy sal sy engele bevel gee aangaande U, en hulle sal U op die hande dra, sodat U nie miskien u voet teen ’n klip stamp nie. Jesus sê vir hom: Daar is óók geskrywe: Jy mag die Here jou God nie versoek nie.” Matt. 4:5-7

Die duiwel weet ook hoe om die Skrif aan te haal. Hy het al begin om God se woorde te verdraai in die tuin van Eden; “MAAR die slang was listiger as al die diere van die veld wat die Here God gemaak het. En hy sê vir die vrou: Is dit ook so dat God gesê het: Julle mag nie eet van al die bome van die tuin nie?” (Gen. 3:1). Daar het hy Eva probeer uitlok deur God se woorde verkeerd aan te haal. In Mattheüs 4 haal hy die Skrif reg aan (Ps. 91:11-12), maar probeer Jesus kry om ‘n verkeerde toepassing daarvan te maak. Jesus antwoord hom deur ‘n ander teks aan te haal wat balans bring en begrip gee van God se bedoeling met die eerste aanhaling. Paulus sê in Handelinge 20 vers 27 vir die ouderlinge van die gemeente in Éfese dat hy aan hulle die “hele raad van God” verkondig het. Die Skrif is self die beste verklaarder van die Skrif. Wanneer ons die Bybel in konteks lees en dit wat die Bybel op een plek sê oor ‘n saak vergelyk met dit wat op ander plekke gesê word, kry ons die volle prentjie en gaan ons oë oop vir die “hele raad van God”. Dit vrywaar ons van menige oorhaastige interpretasie en onwyse optredes, wat gebore word uit ‘n oppervlakkige omgang met die Woord van God. Mag die Vader vir ons almal leergierige harte gee wat bereid is om met nederigheid die Skrifte deeglik te ondersoek om Sý wysheid daar uit te haal tot seën van baie.

Dag 26

DAAR IS ÓÓK GESKRYWE 2: VREDE – Albert Theron

In Lukas 2 word daar op grond van Jesus se geboorte “vrede” vir die mensdom aangekondig: “Eer aan God in die hoogste hemele en vrede op aarde, in die mense ‘n welbehae!” Lukas 2:14. Net ‘n ent verder aan in dieselde boek (Lukas 12) klink dit egter of Jesus presies die teenoorgestelde sê en nie eers weet van die uitspraak van die engele by Sy geboorte nie! “Dink julle dat Ek gekom het om vrede op die aarde te gee? Nee, sê Ek vir julle, maar eerder verdeeldheid. Want van nou af sal daar vyf in een huis verdeeld wees, drie teen twee en twee teen drie.” Lukas 12:51-52

Hoe moet ons dit verstaan? Ons moet dit lees in terme van die konflik tussen die koninkryk van duisternis en die koninkryk van lig. Dit is die breër agtergrond van die hele Bybel en verklaar baie oënskynlike teenstrydighede. Hierdie konflik stel ons almal voor ‘n keuse. Omhels die Prins van Vrede en jy sal die vrede van die koninkryk van lig beleef, weerstaan dit en jy bly sit met die vlietende en onvoorspelbare “vrede” van die wêreld. Terselfdertyd is daar dan ook konflik tussen die twee koninkryke in huise waar die vrede deur sommige omhels en deur ander verwerp word (Lukas 12 bo). In Johannes 14 bemoedig Jesus Sy dissipels deur die belofte van Sy eie vrede wat vir ons as ‘n geskenk gegee word. Hy maak dit egter baie duidelik dat dit nie die wêreld se soort vrede is nie. In Johannes 16 sê Jesus dat Hy graag vir ons in Homself vrede wil gee, maar beklemtoon weereens dat dit in kontras is met die “verdrukking” wat ons in die wêreld sal beleef. “Dit het Ek vir julle gesê, dat julle in My vrede kan hê.” (Joh. 16:33a). In Romeine 12 kry ons ‘n opdrag om van óns kant af in vrede te leef met alle mense. “As dit moontlik is, sover as dit van julle afhang, leef in vrede met alle mense.” (Rom. 12:18). Dit leer ons weer om sover dit vir ons moontlik is konflik te vermy, selfs al weet ons dat dit onvermydelik is dat die twee koninkryke moet bots. Elkeen van hierdie stellings word in ‘n spesifieke konteks gegee. Saam gee dit vir ons ‘n pragtige balans en word God se wysheid vir ons deurgegee op ‘n manier wat ons voorberei om in elke lewenssituasie die vrede van die koninkryk van lig (Rom. 14:17) te behou.

Dag 27

FINDING THE DEEP THINGS – John Henry Jowett

The Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:7-12.

The deep things of God cannot be discovered by unaided reason. “Eye has not seen:” they are not to be apprehended by the artistic vision. “Ear has not heard:” they are not unveiled amid the discussion of the philosophic schools. “Neither has entered into the heart of man:” even poetic insight cannot discern them. All the common lights fail in this realm. We need another illumination, even that provided by the Holy Spirit. And the Spirit is offered unto us “that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” And here we have the reason why so many uncultured people are spiritually wiser than many who are learned. They lack talent, but they have grace. They lack accomplishments, but they have the Holy Spirit. They lack the telescope, but they have the sunlight. They are not scholars, but they are saints. They may not be theologians, but they have true religion. And so they have “the open vision.” They “walk with God,” and “the deep things of God” are made known to their souls. We must put first things first. We may be busy polishing our lenses when our primary and fundamental need is light. It is not a gift that we require, but a Friend.

Dag 28

THE GRACE TO CLAIM OUR FULL HERITAGE – F.J. Huegel

Shall we not then give place to a pure Christianity? Christ cannot possess us, and cause the rivers of Living Water which He has promised, to flow forth from our hearts with healing, renovating, transforming, abounding force, unless we are willing to be dispossessed of our own life. Christ will not rear His edifices upon the old foundations of selfishness. It is not a case of simply denying ourselves certain things; but of a complete renunciation of ourselves. Christ took us with Himself to the Cross. The so-called Adamic life was potentially terminated at Calvary. Shall we not, drawn by that love which so moved the Saviour that He was willing to be spat upon, willing to hang between two criminals while the mob jeered, willing to be trampled under foot as though He were a despicable thing, that we might have Life – shall we not respond, with glad surrender to the unfathomable yearnings of the Crucified?

He would have us share His Cross – He would have us divorced from the carnal mind, which is enmity with God, by a participation in His own death. Into His death we have been baptized (Rom. 6:3). If we are followers of Christ, then His death to sin is our death to sin – His resurrection, our resurrection – His victory, our victory, His ascension, our ascension. God grant to us the grace to claim our full heritage that thus we may be more than conquerors.

Dag 29

THE PROCEEDING WORD – Bill Freeman

“But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

What does it mean to feed upon the Word? To the Lord it meant having a living and fresh relationship with the written Scriptures. For example, in Matthew 4:4 when the Lord said, “It is written,” He used the perfect tense in Greek (gegraptai), which can be literally translated “It stands written.” He did not say, “It was written,” as though the Word was something merely recorded in the past without any present reality. The force of the perfect tense, “It stands written,” indicates that the Lord’s attitude toward the Word was that it was God’s present speaking—living and fresh, not dead and old.

In fact, the written Scriptures were identified by Him as being the very word that “proceeds out through the mouth of God.” In saying “proceeds,” the Lord again used a tense that reveals His attitude toward the written Scriptures. “Proceeds” is a present participle (ekporeuomai), which denotes that “every word” was presently proceeding out through the mouth of God. He did not use the past tense “proceeded,” as though He was articulating a theory on the inspiration of Scripture. He used the present tense “proceeds” to reveal that the written Scriptures are living and fresh, even proceeding “out through the mouth of God.” This proceeding word, according to the Lord’s view, is good for man not only to study and read, but to feed upon as bread and to live by. This was the Lord’s realization concerning the Scriptures. Consequently, our relationship to the Scriptures should be characterized by feeding upon words that are presently proceeding out of God’s mouth.

Dag 30

GOD IS NABY AL VOEL DIT NIE ALTYD SO NIE – Albert Theron

“Vir die musiekleier. ‘n Psalm van Dawid. HERE, U deurgrond en ken my. U ken my sit en my opstaan; U verstaan van ver my gedagte. U deurvors my gaan en my lê, en U is met al my weë goed bekend. Want daar is nog geen woord op my tong nie—of U, HERE, U ken dit geheel en al. U sluit my in van agter en van voor, en U lê u hand op my. Om dit te begryp, is te wonderbaar vir my, te hoog: ek kan daar nie by nie.” Psalm 139:1-6

God se aktiewe betrokkenheid by ons is verstommend! Dit is so oorweldigend dat Dawid, maar net kan sê dit is “te wonderbaar…ek kan daar nie by nie”. Ons is soms so oorweldig deur lewensomstandighede of bloot net ons onstuimige en onvoorspelbare emosies dat alles in ons vra, “waar is God se teenwoordigheid en aktiwiteit in my lewe”? Die werklikheid is dat God naby is en aan die werk in en om jou, al voel dit nie so nie. Let op na die werkwoorde in hierdie paar verse. God “deurgrond”, Hy “ken”, Hy “verstaan”, Hy deurvors”, Hy “is goed bekend” met, Hy “ken geheel en al”, Hy “sluit in van agter en van voor” en Hy “lê” Sy hand “op” jou. Moenie toelaat dat emosies, omstandighede en sintuiglike waarneming jou blind en doof maak vir ‘n ander en baie groter werklikheid nie. God leef, Hy is teenwoordig, en Hy is nie passief nie. Lees die res van die Psalm en kyk hoe Hy verder werk in en om ons en wat die regte respons is (verse 14, 17, 23 en 24) op Sy betrokkenheid en aktiwiteit in ons lewens.