Julie

Dag 1

THE REMNANT SEES GOD’S PURPOSE – Chip Brogden

The ability to see beyond the words and actually read the message is of the Spirit. Knowing the Bible (as a thing) does not necessarily mean we know the Word (as a Person). Daniel knows the Word of the Lord because he knows the Lord of the Word. “God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it… you are weighed in the balances, and found lacking… your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and the Persians…” (Dan. 5:25-28ff). My point is this: do we have a “word from God,” or do we have God Himself? Are we so into the next prophetic “thing” that we have missed the Lord? Everyone sees the handwriting on the wall. A handful of people can translate it – but that does not make them prophetic. Only a Remnant can give the meaning. The Remnant, because it clearly sees God’s Purpose, can accurately interpret all things through the filter of that Purpose. “It is the truth concerning Jesus that inspires all prophecy” (Rev. 19:10, Knox). To understand the Lord’s Will is to see that everything God has done, everything God is doing, and everything God will do; everything God has said, everything God is saying, and everything God will say; all of it relates to that eternal Purpose that He purposed in Christ Jesus. “Numbered Numbered Weighed Divided.” What does it mean? It is a mystery until we have seen this Rock that Daniel talks about, which fills the earth. And that Rock is Christ. Here the message is to King Belshazzar. But I could walk up to any number of people and make the same pronouncement over them. Why? Because Christ is increasing, and they are decreasing. What is judgment to a sinner is salvation to a saint. If I am in Christ, then the end of “Me,” the destruction of the Kingdom of Self, is cause for celebration! For then Christ will have the preeminence and I can say, “Not I, but Christ” (Gal. 2:20ff). May I say that the handwriting is on the wall everywhere you look. What does it say? “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30). That is just another way of saying, “Numbered Numbered Weighed Divided.” I see the handwriting on the walls of our governments, our religious systems, our education systems, our financial institutions, and the nations of the world. They are all being decreased. But how am I able to see it so clearly? Because the same thing is happening inside of me! The same thing is happening inside of you! As He increases, everything else decreases. Do you understand this? If you truly understand this then you are the minority. You are part of the Remnant.

Dag 2

HY VERWYDER ALLE BEDRIEGLIKE FONDASIES – Francois Kruger

Dink bietjie aan die Ou Testament. Ons het daar die hartseer geskiedenis van ’n volk wat keer op keer misluk het. Hulle kon eenvoudig nie aan die Here getrou bly nie. Dit stuur een groot boodskap uit: die mensdom kan nie regkom sonder Jesus Christus nie! Om Jesus as jou lewensfondament te hê beteken om jou hele lewe met alles wat dit behels op Hom te laat rus. Dan vind jy ’n vastigheid. Jou lewensbasis is solied en die skommelinge van ’n deurmekaar en onseker wêreld kan jou nie ontsenu nie. Om vierkantig op Jesus te bou het met fondament-sake te make. Dit gaan oor die heel eerste oorsprong – die algeheel bepalende faktor. ’n Lewe wat nie vierkantig op Jesus staan nie, kan nie maar so bly en dan iewers hoër op gekorrigeer word nie. So ’n bou-werk moet tot op die grond afgebreek word. Eers daarná kan die skuif na die nuwe en ware fondament gemaak word en kan daar van vooraf gebou word. Enige ander soort verandering is gewoon nie goed genoeg nie. Dis die manier waarop die Here Self werk. Voor Hy begin bou, breek Hy eers af. Hy verwyder alle bedrieglike fondasies. Die Here breek alles af waarop die mens valslik vertrou het. Hy maak ons los van onegte, selfs geliefde dinge waaraan ons verkleef geraak het.

Dag 3

WISDOM IS THE COMMITMENT OF YOUR HEART – Paul David Tripp

Think of Adam and Eve. They didn’t disobey God because they were intellectually ignorant of God’s commands. No, they knowingly stepped over God’s boundaries because they quested for God’s position. The spiritual war of Eden was fought on the turf of the desires of the hearts of Adam and Eve. The battle was being fought at a deeper level than mere knowledge. Consider David. He didn’t claim Bathsheba as his own and plot to get rid of her husband because he was ignorant of God’s prohibitions against adultery and murder. No, David did what he did because at some point he didn’t care what God wanted. He was going to have what his heart desired, no matter what. Or think what it means to be wise. There is a huge difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is an accurate understanding of truth. Wisdom is understanding and living in light of how that truth applies to the situations and relationships of your daily life. Knowledge is an exercise of your brain. Wisdom is the commitment of your heart that leads to transformation of your life.

Dag 4

“BROERS” EN “DIENAARS” PROBEER NIE BEÏNDRUK MET TITELS NIE – Albert Theron

“Een is julle leermeester…julle is almal broeders.” Sjoe! Eina! Jesus sny met die vlymskerp swaard van die Gees deur die godsdienstige hiërargie van Sy tyd en gee vir ons in ‘n paar kort stellings die radikale bloudruk vir leierskap in die koninkryk van God. Onthou dit is Jesus self aan die woord hier: “En hulle hou van die voorste plekke by die maaltye en die voorste banke in die sinagoges en die begroetinge op die markte en om deur die mense genoem te word: Rabbi, Rabbi! Maar julle, laat jul nie Rabbi noem nie, want een is julle leermeester: Christus, en julle is almal broeders. En julle moet niemand op die aarde julle vader noem nie, want een is julle Vader, Hy wat in die hemele is. Julle moet julle ook nie leermeesters laat noem nie, want een is julle leermeester: Christus. Maar die grootste van julle moet jul dienaar wees.” Mattheüs 23:6-11

Dit is die gesalfde Koning van God wat vir Sy dissipels met gesag instruksies gee oor hoe outoriteit en leierskap moet funksioneer in die nuwe era wat aangebreek het met Sy koms na die aarde. Dit is Sy duidelike instruksies aan al Sy dissipels vir alle tye. Dit is nie voorstelle wat ons maar net kan ignoreer of wegredeneer, omdat ons reeds ‘n ander kultuur in ons gemeentes gevestig het nie. Nee, ons moet ons kultuur dringend aanpas by wat ons Koning en Meester leer. Jesus verklaar onomwonde en sonder om woorde te mors dat Hy die een unieke Rabbi en leermeester is aan wie almal verslag moet doen en dat ons status, ongeag ons bediening of rol, altyd net die van ‘n “broer” en ‘n “dienaar” bly. Ons leef in ‘n tyd waar mense ander probeer beïndruk en poog om ‘n gesagsposisie te vestig deur hulleself “apostel”, “profeet”, “evangelis”, geestelike “vader” of iets dergeliks te noem. Vroeër jare was dit primêr “pastoor” of “dominee” wat die godsdienstige hiërargie in Protestantse gemeentes bepaal het. Maar of dit nou apostel, profeet, pastoor of leraar is, dit is in wese funksies in die koninkryk, nie titels nie. In die koninkryk van God is dit nie soos in die wêreld ‘n titel of ‘n formele posisie of aanstelling wat respek vestig en handhaaf nie, maar ons oortuiging dat Jesus ons álmal se Hoof is en dat ons daarom met nederigheid as broers aan mekaar onderdanig moet wees en mekaar se verskillende rolle in die koninkryk moet eer. Dit is eers wanneer ons oë oopgaan om te sien dat Jesus steeds teenwoordig is deur Sy Gees vandag en nie Sy gemeente in die hande van mense gelos het nie (al gebruik Hy mense as instrumente) dat ons skrifgedeeltes soos Mattheüs 23 werklik ernstig sal begin opneem.

Dag 5

CONQUERING UNSANCTIFIED DESIRE – A.W. Tozer

Unsanctified desire will stop the growth of any Christian life. Wrong desire perverts the moral judgment so that we are unable to appraise the desired object at its real value. However we try, still a thing looks morally better because we want it. For that reason our heart is often our worst counselor, for if it is filled with desire it may give us bad advice, pleading the purity of something that is in itself anything but pure. As Christians our only safety lies in complete honesty. We must surrender our hearts to God so that we have no unholy desires, then let the Scriptures pronounce their judgment on a contemplated course. If the Scriptures condemn an object, we must accept that judgment and conform to it, no matter how we may for the moment feel about it. To want a thing, or feel that we want it, and then to turn from it because we see that it is contrary to the will of God is to win a great battle on a field larger than Gettysburg or Bunker Hill. To bring our desires to the cross and allow them to be nailed there with Christ is a good and a beautiful thing. To be tempted and yet to glorify God in the midst of it is to honor Him where it counts. This is more pleasing to God than any amount of sheltered and untempted piety could ever be. To fight and to win in the name of Christ is always better than to have known no conflict. God is always glorified when He wins a moral victory over us, and we are always benefited, immeasurably and gloriously benefited. The glory of God and the everlasting welfare of His people are always bound up together. The blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse not only actual sins which have been committed, but the very inward desires so that we will not want to sin. Purified desires will tend toward righteousness by a kind of gentle moral gravitation. Then it can be said that we are “spiritually minded.” A blessed state indeed, and blessed are they that reach it.

Dag 6

NEVER DONE WITH THE CROSS – Horatius Bonar

We are never done with the cross, nor ever shall be. * Its wonders will be always new, and always fraught with joy. “The Lamb as it had been slain” will be the theme of our praise above. Why should such a name be given to Him in such a book as the Revelation, which in one sense carries us far past the cross, were it not that we shall always realize our connection with its one salvation; always be looking to it even in the midst of glory; and always learning from it some new lesson regarding the work of Him “in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”? What will they who here speak of themselves as being so advanced as to be done with the cross, say to being brought face to face with the Lamb that was slain, in the age of absolute perfection, the age of the heavenly glory?…It is the Lamb who stands in the midst of the elders (Rev 5:6), and before whom they fall down. “Worthy is the Lamb” is the theme of celestial song. It is the Lamb that opens the seals (6:1). It is before the Lamb that the great multitude stand clothed in white (7:9). It is the blood of the Lamb that washes the raiment white (7:14). It is by the blood of the Lamb that the victory is won (12:11). The book of life belongs to the Lamb slain (13:8). It was a Lamb that stood on the glorious Mount Zion (14:1). It is the Lamb that the redeemed multitude are seen following (14:4); and that multitude is the first-fruits unto God and unto the Lamb (14:4). It is the song of the Lamb that is sung in heaven (15:3). It is the Lamb that wars and over-comes (17:14). It is the marriage of the Lamb that is celebrated, and it is to the marriage-supper of the Lamb that we are called (19:7,9). The church is the Lamb’s wife (21:9). On the foundations of the heavenly city are written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (21:14). Of this city the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple (21:23). Of that city the Lamb is the light (21:23). The book of life of the Lamb, and the throne of the Lamb (21:27; 22:1,3), sum up this wondrous list of honors and dignities belonging to the Lord Jesus as the crucified Son of God.

* The Son’s sacrifice of Himself for our redemption will forever be celebrated in heaven, for it is an eternal token of His love. Rightly understood this does not in any way reduce our joy and victory in the resurrection of Jesus. A.T.

Dag 7

JESUS SELF IS ONS SEKURITEIT – Albert Theron

“Vrede laat Ek vir julle na, my vrede gee Ek aan julle; nie soos die wêreld gee, gee Ek aan julle nie. Laat julle hart nie ontsteld word en bang wees nie.” Joh. 14:27

Sonder die vrede van Jesus in ons binneste is ons soos ‘n klein bootjie sonder ‘n anker op ‘n baie groot en onstuimige see. Die wêreld waarin ons leef met al sy onsekerhede, woelinge en onvoorspelbare gebeurtenisse is soos die onstuimige see waarop ons lewensbootjie vaar. Daarom is dit uiters belangrik vir dissipels van Jesus om te verstaan dat die vrede van Jesus ‘n onveranderlike en vaste werklikheid is wat gewaarborg word deur ons posisie in Hom by die Vader. As Jesus beweeg kan word van Sy plek aan die regterhand van die Vader kan ons vrede in Hom versteur word, maar Hy kan nie en daarom is ons sekuriteit in ‘n deurmekaar wêreld onveranderlik! Solank as wat ons, ons oë op Jesus hou, is daar niks op hierdie aarde wat ooit ons ekwilibrium kan versteur nie. Ons sekuriteit is meer as net ‘n gawe, dit is Jesus self en daarom is dit vir ewig gewaarborg. Wat ‘n vreugde! Wat ‘n voorreg! Plaas jou hele geloof daar, nie op finansies, besittings, eiendom, politiese of godsdiens instansies of op enige mens nie. Jesus alleen is ons ewige sekuriteit by die Vader.

Dag 8

GOD DESIRES TRUTH IN THE INWARD PARTS – Andrew Murray

The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of Truth; that actual heavenly reality of Divine life and love in Christ, the Truth, has a Spirit, who comes to communicate and impart it. Let us beware of trying to study or understand or take possession of God’s word without that Spirit through whom the word was spoken of old; we shall find only the husk, the truth or thought and sentiment, very beautiful perhaps, but with no power to make us holy. We must have the Spirit of the Truth within us. He will lead us into the Truth; when we are in the Truth, God makes us holy in it and by it. The Truth must be in us, and we in it. God desires truth in the inward parts: we must be of the people of whom Christ says, ‘If you were of the truth,’ ‘he that is of the truth knows me.’ In the lower sphere of daily life and conduct, of thought and action, there must be an intense love of truth, and a willingness to sacrifice everything for it; in the spiritual life, a deep hungering to have all our religion every day, every moment, stand fully in the truth of God. It is to the simple, humble, childlike spirit that the truth of the word will be unsealed and revealed. In such the Spirit of truth comes to dwell. In such, as they daily wait before the Holy One in silence and emptiness, in reverence and holy fear, His Holy Spirit works and gives the truth within. In thus imparting Christ as revealed in the word, in His Divine life and love, as their own life, He makes them holy with the holiness of Christ.

Dag 9

DIE OUERHUIS IS DIE PRIMÊRE LEERSKOOL VIR KINDERS – Albert Theron

Die Ou en Nuwe Testament gee baie spesifieke instruksies vir ouers om hulle kinders op te voed met die Bybel:

“En hierdie woorde wat ek jou vandag beveel, moet in jou hart wees; en jy moet dit jou kinders inskerp en daaroor spreek as jy in jou huis sit en as jy op pad is en as jy gaan lê en as jy opstaan.” Deut. 6:6-7

“En vaders, moenie julle kinders vertoorn nie, maar voed hulle op in die tug en vermaning van die Here.” Efes. 6:4

Die “tug en vermaning van die Here” waarvan Efesiërs 6:4 praat, word in die Bybel gevind. Nêrens anders as in God se Woord vind ons suiwer Goddelike “lering, vermaning, teregwysing en onderwysing in die geregtigheid” nie (2 Tim. 3:16). Die Woord van God is ‘n lamp vir ons voet en ‘n lig vir ons pad (Ps. 119:105) en dit geld ook vir ons kinders! Sonder ywerige omgang met die Skrif leef ons en ons kinders in die duisternis van ‘n gevalle wêreld. Onderwysers en Sondagskoolonderwysers kan nooit opmaak vir ‘n ouerhuis waarin die Woord van God nie gespreek, geleer en geleef word nie. Die leringstruktuur vir God se mense in terme van gemeentelewe en leierskap het verander met die oorgang van die Ou na die Nuwe Testament, maar die basiese instruksie vir lering in die ouerhuis het nie verander nie. Dit is ‘n radikale waarheid en baie betekenisvol! ‘n Kind moet geestelike leiding primêr in sy eie huis kry. Hoe lyk die prentjie in ons land? As ons gemeentes nie ouers dringend begin bystaan om met erns hulle verantwoordelikheid op te neem nie, is dit baie onwaarskynlik dat ons kinders die morele verval in ons samelewing sal kan vryspring om sodoende ‘n rein getuienis van Christus te gee vir ‘n verlore wêreld.

Dag 10

THE GRAVE IS EMPTY – J.R. Miller

Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen. – Luke 24:5-6

The empty tomb teaches wonderful lessons. As we stand by it, we are assured, first, that Jesus died. He was certainly dead, for Pilate had official inquiry made, and received assurance of the fact before he would grant leave for the burial.

If any doubt had existed concerning His death, there could be none after the soldier had thrust the spear into His side. Here are the pieces of fine linen, which gentle hands had wound, round the limbs. Here is the napkin which covered His face, lying, neatly folded, by itself. Look closely at the place, for He was here – He was dead.

It is very important that we get this truth well fixed in our minds, for on Christ’s death our redemption depends. But He is not now in His grave. There is no dead form lying there where He lay yesterday. The grave is empty, and it whispers a blessed truth to the Christian.

Jesus rose; so shall all who sleep in Him rise from their graves when He comes again.

Dag 11

WANNEER MY PLANNE EN VERHOUDINGS PLATVAL – Albert Theron

Alles wat nie op Jesus gebou word nie is al klaar besig om dood te gaan, al lyk dit op die oog af hoe suksesvol en florerend. Ons het nodig om gedurig ons gedagtes te vernuwe en onsself, ons naaste en ons wêreld te sien in die lig van die nuwe skepping.

“En terwyl ons almal met onbedekte gesig soos in ‘n spieël die heerlikheid van die Here aanskou, word ons van gedaante verander na dieselfde beeld, van heerlikheid tot heerlikheid, as deur die Here wat die Gees is.” 2 Kor. 3:18

Die mens se identiteit, roeping en bestemming is in Christus. Buite die openbaring van Jesus in die Nuwe Verbond maak niks werklik sin nie.

“Ons ken dus van nou af niemand meer na die vlees nie; en al het ons ook Christus na die vlees geken, nou ken ons Hom tóg nie meer so nie. “ 2 Kor. 5:16

Ongeag hoe hard ons byvoorbeeld probeer om verhoudings te bou op ander fondasies as Jesus stel dit telkens maar net weer teleur. Alles val uitmekaar uit en is soos die boek Prediker oor en oor herhaal “tevergeefs”. Wanneer ons egter Jesus aanskou in die heerlikheid van die Verbond wat “regverdig maak” (2 Kor. 3:9) val dinge in plek en begin ons ook onsself en ander mense stelselmatig beter verstaan in die lig van God se bloudruk vir almal van ons. Van ons mooiste planne vir ons lewens val so maklik plat en dan wonder ons hoekom dit so is. Die enigste ding wat vas en seker is, is die heerskappy en heerlikheid van Jesus. Waar sien ons hierdie werklikheid nou reeds in ‘n volmaakte vorm? In die openbaring van Jesus, net Jesus. Hy alleen verander en vernuwe gedurig ons perspektief en lei ons aan na daardie dag wanneer ook hierdie gebroke wêreld heeltemal nuutgemaak sal word (Openb. 21:1).

Dag 12

LEADERSHIP: GOOD OR BAD? – Albert Theron

Leadership is a very, very good thing if it points people to Christ and consistently guides them into a deeper relationship with Jesus as their true Leader, Lord and Shepherd. On the other hand, leadership is a very, very bad thing if it replaces Christ and keeps people deadlocked in a juvenile dependency on human leaders. You may think you are an influential leader with all your leadership training and principles acquired and applied, but what are you leading people into? If you are not leading them to a unique relationship with Jesus it would be much better for you to be a leader with little influence over people. For example, what’s the point of gathering 5 000 people in a building on a Sunday or many thousands more in a denomination or multisite church if 99% of those people are not disciples of Jesus in any biblical sense (even though many of them may be truly regenerated)?

These pseudo-disciples almost invariably fall away into a meaningless, secular existence or just fizzle out when the man (or men) they follow falls away or if the denomination, church group or organisation implodes. In contrast those who are being led to be disciples of Jesus will stand even when human leadership is no longer there and in the absence of such leaders there will be many others who will in the interim rise to the occasion because of their maturity in Christ. Disciples of a personality, a system, a denomination or any church or church group can by definition never reach maturity, for maturity can only be found in a living and absolutely unique dependence on the One who is “the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.” (Col. 2:19). It is only by virtue of a direct dependence on Christ Himself that someone is enabled to make disciples of Jesus, all other dependencies can only equip people to make disciples of whatever or whomever else they are enamoured with. Could this possibly be one of the main reasons why we see so little spiritual maturity in the majority of churches today? Will pastors and church leaders face these crucial questions with honesty and courage or will they prefer to maintain the status quo, even if it means that those they “lead” never reach maturity in Christ?

Dag 13

HERLEWING VIR DIE NEDERIGES EN DIE VERBRYSELDES – Albert Theron

“Want so sê die Hoë en Verhewene wat in die ewigheid woon, Heilig is sy Naam: Ek woon in die hoogte en in die heilige plek en by die verbryselde en nederige van gees, om te laat herlewe die gees van die nederiges en te laat herlewe die hart van die verbryseldes.” Jesaja 57:15

“Maar Hy gee groter genade; daarom sê Hy: God weerstaan die hoogmoediges, maar aan die nederiges gee Hy genade.” Jakobus 4:6

Die Bybel is propvol kosbare beloftes, maar let bietjie op hoe dikwels word daardie beloftes verbind aan die gesindheid van ons harte. Dit is die nederiges, die verbryseldes, die swakkes, die gebrokenes, die wat “arm van gees” is, die wat weet hoe afhanklik hulle van God is; dit is hulle wat met groot oortuiging en ‘n vaste geloof die beloftes van God kan neem vir hulleself. Daarteenoor leer die Bybel baie duidelik dat God die hoogmoediges, die selfvoldanes, die selfgenoegsames, die onafhanklikes, die wat in hulleself sterk is; nie net verdra nie, maar aktief “weerstaan”. Ons groot voorbeeld bly maar Jesus self. Hy wat die volste reg gehad het om net in te stap en oor te neem hier op aarde het gekom om te dien en Sy lewe te gee vir ons. Hy het Sy hele lewe lank in die liggaam in ‘n absolute nederige afhanklikheid van die Vader geleef en onder mense was Hy ‘n dienskneg. Dit beteken nie dat Hy nie ook met gesag opgetree het nie, maar dit was die gesag van iemand wat geleef het in die krag van Sy Vader. Jesus is die enigste een wat die reg gehad het om uit Sy eie krag te leef en op te tree, maar Hy het in alles geleef as ‘n afhanklike sodat Hy vir ons ‘n perfekte voorbeeld kon stel. Daarom dring Sy woorde so diep in vir die wat ore het om te hoor: “leer van My, want Ek is sagmoedig en nederig van hart, en julle sal rus kry vir julle gemoed” (Matt. 11:29).

Dag 14

WE ARE IN THE HEAVENLIES – Austin Sparks

You and I may have a disagreement, but it makes no difference to our relationship in the Lord Jesus. The fact that you and I fall out or disagree does not tear us as limbs out of the Body of Christ. No, that is our loss, that is our shame, that is incidental in our Christian life, that is a breakdown somewhere in grace in us, but we shall recover ourselves from that if we yield to the movements of the Spirit in us, and come back to find that we have not to be rejoined in Christ in His Body, that fact remains.

You see the working principle is this: that there may be much amongst believers on this earth of division, but we have not to accept that as ultimate, we have not to take that as meaning that some are in Christ and some are out of Christ, that we are in Christ and others are not, and that the Body has altogether collapsed and disintegrated. The only hope of enjoying the fact is that we repudiate what looks like another fact, and we seek to get above that which, being earthly, brings these things about, and discover we are in the heavenlies, and fellowship abides. That is a working principle and we should recognize that is the meaning of the fact. We have got to accept the fact, and we have to seek to overcome or repudiate the other things which come in against the ultimate fact.

Dag 15

WANTING TO BE BOSS – Francis Schaeffer

Nowhere more than in America are Christians caught in the twentieth-century syndrome of size. Size will show success. If I am consecrated, there will necessarily be large quantities of people, dollars, etc. This is not so. Not only does God not say that size and spiritual power go together, but He even reverses this (especially in the teaching of Jesus) and tells us to be deliberately careful not to choose a place too big for us. We all tend to emphasize big works and big places, but all such emphasis is of the flesh. To think in such terms is simply to hearken back to the old, unconverted, egoist, self-centered Me. This attitude, taken from the world, is more dangerous to the Christian than fleshly amusement or practice. It is the flesh.

People in the world naturally want to boss others. Imagine a boy beginning work with a firm. He has a lowly place and is ordered around by everyone: Do this! Do that! Every dirty job is his. He is the last man on the totem pole, merely one of Rabbit’s friends-and-relations, in Christopher Robin’s terms. So one day when the boss is out, he enters the boss’s office, looks around carefully to see that no one is there, and then sits down in the boss’s big chair. “Someday,” he says, “I’ll say ‘run’ and they’ll run.” This is man. And let us say with tears that a person does not automatically abandon this mentality when he becomes a Christian. In every one of us there remains a seed of wanting to be boss, of wanting to be in control and have the word of power over our fellows. But the Word of God teaches us that we are to have a very different mentality: But Jesus called them [His disciples] to him, and said unto them, You know that they who are accounted to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you; but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister; and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came, not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:42-45).

Dag 16

“HULLE SAL NA MY STEM LUISTER” – Albert Theron

“Ek het nog ander skape wat nie aan hierdie stal behoort nie. Ek moet hulle ook lei, en hulle sal na my stem luister, en dit sal wees een kudde, een herder.” Johannes 10:16

Jesus is die goeie Herder wat begeer om mense in te bring in ‘n veilige kudde waar Hy hulle kan lei en vir hulle kan sorg. “Ons almal het gedwaal soos skape, ons het elkeen sy eie pad geloop” (Jes. 53:6). Jesus het gekom “om te soek en te red wat verlore was” (Luk. 19:10). Hy bring verlore mense in Sy kudde in en omdat hulle almal in Sý sorg is, word hulle deel van die een unieke kudde regoor die wêreld. Al is daar derduisende menslike herders wat ook onder Jesus pastorale sorg dra vir plaaslike kuddes, is daar oor almal maar net Een unieke Herder. Selfs die menslike herders staan onder Jesus se leiding en is in Sy sorg.

Jesus se universele kudde is nie moeilik om uit te ken nie. Hy verklaar duidelik en ondubbelsinnig dat die een uitstaande kenmerk wat Sy kudde eien is dat hulle “luister na Sy stem”. Of dit nou leiers of lidmate is, as mense wegdraai van die Woord van God gee hulle daarmee getuienis dat hulle nie deel van Jesus se kudde is nie. Jesus se stem sny in Woord en Gees soos ‘n skerp swaard deur al die verwarring in die kerkwêreld en lei steeds Sy skape na “groen weivelde” en “waters waar rus is” saam met ander wat na Sy stem luister. Ons sekuriteit is nie in wisselvallige denominasies en menslike leiers nie, maar in ons goeie Herder wat ons veilig sal bring na ons ewige tuiste. Ons moet net aanhou luister na Sy stem en Hom kinderlik gehoorsaam wanneer Hy ons wil lei na plekke van rus en voeding.

Dag 17

THE NEW COVENANT HAS GREATER GLORY THAN THE OLD – John Piper

In 2 Corinthians 3:7–11 Paul contrasts the Beauty of God that was manifested in the old covenant and the beauty manifested in the new covenant. Verse 7: “If the dispensation of death carved in letters on stone came with such splendor (glory or beauty) that the Israelites could not look at Moses’ face because of its brightness, fading as it was, will not the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with a greater splendor?” The old covenant brought death because the letter kills, as verse 6 says, and only the Spirit gives life. And thus death here in verses 7 and 8 is contrasted with Spirit rather than life because the Spirit gives life. And Paul infers that if the glorious Beauty of God was awesomely evident to those in the old covenant, how much more will it be evident to those who have the Spirit and not just the letter. This same argument from lesser glory to greater glory is repeated twice, once in verse 9 (the glory of the dispensation of righteousness will surely be greater than the glory of the dispensation of condemnation), and in verse 11 (the glory of what is permanent will surely be greater than the glory of what is fading away). Therefore, Paul is sure that those who become part of the new covenant relationship to God by trusting Christ and receiving the Spirit will behold a divine manifestation of beauty that vastly surpasses the glory of the old covenant.

Dag 18

LEI MEKAAR SE HARTE IN GENADE IN – Albert Theron

“Namate elkeen ‘n genadegawe ontvang het, moet julle mekaar daarmee dien soos goeie bedienaars van die veelvuldige genade van God.” 1 Pet. 4:10

Petrus praat in hierdie vers spesifiek van ons voorreg en verantwoordelikheid om mekaar te dien met die gawes wat ons elkeen van God ontvang het. Let wel, elkeen het ‘n genadegawe ontvang, nie net predikante of “voltydse bedienaars” nie! God se genade is so ryk en “veelvuldig” dat dit nooit ten volle ontplooi kan word in ‘n gemeente as daar net ‘n klein spannetjie is wat bedien terwyl die res maar net ontvang nie. Dit gaan egter ook hier oor baie meer as bediening in die konteks van gemeentebyeenkomste. Ons is geroep om mekaar gedurig te bedien met genade. Genade is God se krag en oorvloed in Christus wat gegee word aan diegene wat weet hoe swak hulle in hulleself is. Ons moet as’t ware mekaar se harte inlei in die genade van God. Ons het almal die heerlike voorreg om mekaar gedurig te herinner aan die groot genade wat ons in Jesus ontvang het. Nee, meer nog, die aard van hierdie gevalle wêreld en die magte en kragte van die bose maak dit absoluut essensieël dat ons sal leer om mekaar te bedien met genade. Ons het mekaar werklik nodig. Soos wat jy deur die bediening van die Heilige Gees en jou omgang met die Woord jou eie hart gedurig onder die invloed van genade hou, maak seker dat dit wat jy beleef van God se genade nie by jouself bly nie. Deel dit met die mense rondom jou. Genade moet gedeel word om ten volle geniet te word. Sodoende sal ons gedurig leef in die lieflike atmosfeer van ons Vader se genade, so ryklik uitgestort in Sy Seun. Mag die Heilige Gees ons immer dieper inlei in die skatkamers van genade.

Dag 19

THE GOSPEL OF SELF-IMPROVEMENT – Philip Mauro

The inducement which impelled the woman and the man to commit the forbidden act was the desire for self-improvement. The promise was that they should become God-like. As we look within and around us we cannot fail to perceive that this inducement is still held out as the great incentive to mankind. The Gospel of Self, and particularly of self-improvement, is vigorously promulgated, not only by the leaders of the world movements who make no religious professions, but even by “eminent divines.” Improve yourself, strive ever upward and onward, make something of yourself, rise to your highest possibilities, get knowledge, be as gods. Is not this the burden of the exhortations that are incessantly sounded in the ears of men?… The teaching of our Lord is to deny self (Matthew16:24; Luke 9:23), instead of exalting or improving self; not to be as gods, or even “to make a man of oneself,” but to “become as little children” (Matthew 18:3). He teaches, not self-reliance, but self-distrust, and reliance solely upon God. According to His instruction, we are not to develop our faculties to the utmost, but to mortify the members which are on the earth (Colossians 3:15). His witness is ever willing to say ‘I must decrease” (John 3:30), even to the very extinction of self, until he can joyfully exclaim, ‘Not I, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Just as was done in Eden, this gospel of self-improvement has been proclaimed throughout the ages, and is today proclaimed in the name of God Himself, and by those who profess to speak as His apostles. Of all this we have been duly warned; “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works”? (2 Corinthians 11:13–15). The world is peopled today by worshipers of the “progress” and “destiny” of humanity — a progress which is effected, and a destiny which is to be achieved, through the very means commended by Satan to our first parents.

Dag 20

THE DISPENSATION OF THE INNER LIFE – Andrew Murray

Our Father has given us a twofold revelation of Himself. In His Son He reveals His Holy Image, and setting him before men invites them to become like Him by receiving Him into their heart and life. In His Spirit He sends forth His Divine Power, to enter into us, and from within prepare us for receiving the Son and the Father. The dispensation of the Spirit is the dispensation of the inner life. In the dispensation of the Word, or the Son, beginning as it did with the creation of man in God’s image, continued as it was through all the preparatory stages down to Christ’s appearing, in the flesh, all was more external and preparatory. There were at times special and mighty workings of the Spirit; but the indwelling was unknown; man had not yet become an habitation of God in the Spirit. Now first, this was to be attained. The eternal life was to become the very life of man, hiding itself within his very being and consciousness, and clothing itself in the forms of a human will and life. Just as it is through the Spirit that God is what He is; just as in the Father and the Son, the Spirit is the principle in which their personality has its root and consciousness, so this Spirit of the Divine life is now to be in us, in the deepest sense of the word, the principle of our life, the root of our personality too, the very life of our being and consciousness. He is to be one with us in the absoluteness of a Divine immanence, dwelling in us, even as the Father in the Son, and the Son in the Father. Let us bow in holy reverence to worship and adore, and to receive the mighty blessing.

Dag 21

VREUGDELOSE VORMGODSDIENS LEI ALTYD TOT ‘N ONVERMYDELIKE HERDEFINISIE VAN SONDE
– Albert Theron

“Mense wat ’n gedaante van godsaligheid het, maar die krag daarvan verloën het. Keer jou ook van hierdie mense af.” 2 Tim. 3:5

“Want sekere mense het ingesluip wat lank tevore al opgeskryf is vir hierdie oordeel, goddelose mense wat die genade van onse God verander in ongebondenheid, en die enigste Heerser, God, en onse Here Jesus Christus verloën.” Judas 1:4

Die krag van godsaligheid word op geen ander plek gevind nie as in ‘n verhouding van vreugde met ons hemelse Vader, gewortel en gegrond in die rykdom van Sy vrymakende genade in Jesus. Waar dit afwesig is, word die Christelike geloof maar net nog ‘n godsdiens wat met stroewe pligpleging die rituele van die spesifieke kerktradisie op bepaalde tye en plekke nakom. Die probleem is natuurlik dat hierdie vreugdelose “vormgodsdiens” heeltemal kragteloos is teen die versoekinge van die sonde en of dit nou jare of dekades neem, een of ander tyd word die gaping tussen die godsdiensbelydenis en die daaglikse lewe so groot dat daar net een alternatief is en dit is om die sonde te herdefinieer. Wanneer ons dit wat die Bybel sonde noem herinterpreteer en dit afskryf as die oningeligte uitsprake van ‘n pre-wetenskaplike era kan ons weer asemhaal en saamleef met ons “nuwe bybel”. Nou is dit nie meer so ‘n las om voort te gaan met ons rituele en vormgodsdiens nie, want genade is nie meer God wat ons vergewe, verlos en ons voete plaas op die pad van vryheid nie. Genade is nou ons onbeperkte toleransie van morele verval terwyl ons vrolik voortgaan om te lees uit ons “nuwe bybel” en bid tot ons “nuwe” en meer tolerante moderne “god” en ons die doodsheid van vormgodsdiens moediglik oorwin met ons “nuwe, permissiewe blydskap”. Let op Paulus se opdrag aan Timotheus (in 2 Tim. 3 vers 5b) vir presies so ‘n situasie.

Dag 22

A UNITY WHICH IS NOT A UNITY – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

It is never a very difficult thing to get a coalition of people who believe nothing in particular. But that is not unity. Unity is something positive. It is not people coming together because nobody cares very much what is said or believed. Unity is a life, it is a power, an enthusiasm. It is people welded together by what they have in common. And, supremely, that is true in the Church of God. If you go back through the long history of the Church, you will find that it has often counted most, and has been most used by God, when there have been just a handful of people who were agreed in spirit and in doctrine. God took hold of them and used them and did mighty things through them. But when there was only one Church in the whole of western Europe, what did she lead to? The Dark Ages. And yet it seems to me that this great lesson of history is being entirely forgotten and ignored at this present time. I say these things not because I am animated by any controversial spirit, but because I have a zeal for the truth as I find it in the Scriptures, and regard it as tragic to note the way in which Scripture is being twisted and perverted in the interests of a unity which is not a unity.

Dag 23

“GESONDE MENSE” HET NIE ‘N DOKTER NODIG NIE – Albert Theron

“Jesus het by hom in sy huis gaan eet, en baie tollenaars en sondaars het saam met Jesus en sy dissipels kom eet. Toe die Fariseërs dit sien, vra hulle vir sy dissipels: “Waarom eet julle leermeester saam met tollenaars en sondaars?” Maar Jesus het dit gehoor en gesê: “Dié wat gesond is, het nie ‘n dokter nodig nie, maar dié wat siek is.” Mattheus 9:110-12 (NAV)

Jesus is die Redder van almal wat bereid is om te erken dat die sonde hulle sielsiek gemaak het. Mense wat weet hoe nodig hulle Hom het, sal altyd by Jesus ‘n oop deur en dan vergifnis en verlossing vind. Die Fariseërs het gedink hulle is gesond en dat hulle godsdienstigheid Jesus heeltemal oorbodig gemaak het. Hulle godsdiens was in werklikheid bankrot.

Die eerste verantwoordelikheid van die liggaam van Christus is altyd om sout en lig te wees wat mense bewus maak van hulle verlorenheid en behoefte aan ‘n Redder (Mt. 5:13-16). Die Vader gebruik sodoende sy gemeente om mense te trek na Jesus, die enigste ware Verlosser van die gevalle mensdom. Dít is ware liefde en niks anders nie. Dit is nié liefde om vir mense wat siek is in die duister te hou oor hulle ware kondisie of om hulle kondisie te misken nie. As ‘n gemeente of denominasie nie meer met God saamstem oor wat sonde is nie, het die “sout laf geword” (Mt. 5:13) en het dus nie meer ‘n doel nie. Daar is hoofsaaklik vier misleidings van die satan om die oortuigingswerk van die Heilige Gees m.b.t. sonde (Joh. 16:8) te neutraliseer. Die eerste leer dat ek op die meriete van my ouers en voorouers se geloof (“ons vader is Abraham…” Joh. 8:39) of deur my lidmaatskap by ‘n gemeente die hemel kan haal. Dit maak die wedergeboorte oorbodig of ‘n nagedagte. Die tweede is ‘n godsdienstige wettisisme wat die nakom van reëls en rituele sien as die weg tot saligheid. Die derde is ‘n oorgerealiseerde verlossingsleer wat wel sonde op sy naam noem, maar nie wil erken dat mense steeds sondig is na die kruis en daarom bekering nodig het nie. Die vierde is ‘n baie subtiele en waarskynlik die mees gevaarlike misleiding, naamlik om die sonde self te herdefinieer tot so ‘n mate dat dit nie meer sonde genoem kan word nie. Waarvan moet ons dan verlos word? Die logiese uiteinde van laasgenoemde is ‘n ontkenning dat ons enigsins ‘n Verlosser nodig het. Dit is die pad van die dood. “Daar is ‘n weg wat vir ‘n mens reg lyk, maar die einde daarvan is weë van die dood” (Spreuke 14:12).

Dag 24

THE ABSOLUTE STABILITY OF THE GOSPEL – Austin Sparks

Paul went everywhere in the strength of the truth of the gospel. It was his strength. The gospel which is truth, and what that gospel is in its truth. Gospel… the good tidings, the good news which is absolutely true, secured, safe, unalterable, the truth of the gospel, girded with the truth of the gospel. If the enemy can shake you there as to the truth of the gospel, he has robbed you of your strength and beaten you in the fight, but while you stand girded in the truth of the gospel, you are in a strong position of ascendency. Doubt for one moment the truth of the gospel, question the truth of the gospel, and allow the enemy for a moment to loosen that girdle, or allow that girdle to be loosened for one moment, and we experience defeat. The absolute stability and durability of the gospel, the unshakableness of the great fact of the gospel; stand girded in that and you have ascendency, a strong position.

Dag 25

THE THINGS THAT MADE HIM THE MAN OF SORROWS – Horatius Bonar

The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah is a prophetic vision of the cross. The book of Leviticus had given Israel in detail the standing symbols which were all to be transformed into spiritual substances or verities in Christ crucified. And this chapter of the prophet gives a summary of these truths, in Levitical language, connecting them all with the seed of the woman, and His bruising upon the tree.

For more than three thousand years the “bruised heel” had been held up before the eye of the world, and specially of Israel (in their sacrifices), as their deliverance and hope. But now the interpretation is given in more explicit language. Its meaning, as expressing (in the varied details of this chapter) the transference of the sinner’s guilt to the Surety; as setting forth also the mysterious person of the Man of sorrows, and, under all this, revealing the deep free love of God to man is here proclaimed with a clearness and fulness such as had not hitherto been vouchsafed either to the patriarchs or to Israel. Nowhere is the work of the Messiah the sin-bearer more explicitly revealed. The just One suffering for the unjust is the theme of this prophetic burden.

Abruptly the prophet breaks forth in his description of Messiah, seed of the woman, son of Adam, son of Abraham, son of David: “He shall grow up before Him a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground.” The soil and the air of earth are alike uncongenial to this shoot from the stem of Jesse. Its affinities are all with a purer climate than ours. He rises up in the midst of us, but not to be appreciated and honored; not to be admired, or loved. “He has no form or comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not. “He is [the] despised and rejected [one] of men”; i.e. of all men, the most despised and rejected: for He came to His own, and His own received Him not. Here is the beginning of His vicarious life, a life of reproach among the sons of men. “A Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Whence all this life-long sadness? When angels visit earth, are they thus sorrowful? Does the air of earth infect them with its troubles? Do they weep, and groan, and bleed? Are they assailed with the blasphemies of earth? If not, why is it thus? Why is the holy Son of God, from His childhood, subjected to this contempt, and bowed down beneath this burden? Why is the cup of gall and wormwood set beside His cradle? and why, day by day, in youth and manhood, has He to drink the bitter draught? Angels see the sights and hear the sounds of earth, as they attend us in their ministries, or execute the errands of their King: yet they are not saddened; nor, when they return to their dwellings of light, do they require the tears to be wiped from their eye, or the sweat from their brow. How can we account for the difference between Messiah and the angels, save the fact that His sin-bearing character made Him accessible to and penetrable by grief, in a way such as no angel could be? The difficulty of such a case was obvious; and accordingly the prophet meets it in the next verse. It is our griefs that He was bearing; it was our sorrows that He was carrying. These were the things that made Him the Man of sorrows.

Dag 26

DAAR IS ÓÓK GESKRYWE 3: MOENIE OORDEEL NIE – Albert Theron

“Moenie oordeel nie, sodat julle nie geoordeel word nie.” Matt. 7:1

“Per slot van rekening is dit nie vir my om oor mense buite die gemeente te oordeel nie. God sal oor hulle oordeel. Maar julle moet oor julle eie mense oordeel: “Verwyder die slegte mens onder julle uit!” 1 Kor. 5:12 (NAV)

“Maar as ons geoordeel word, word ons deur die Here getugtig, sodat ons nie saam met die wêreld veroordeel mag word nie.” 1 Kor. 11:32

“Laat twee of drie profete spreek en die ander dit beoordeel.” 1 Kor. 14:29

“Jy, waarom veroordeel jy dan jou broer? En jy, waarom verag jy jou broer? Ons sal tog almal voor die regterstoel van God moet verskyn.” Rom. 14:10 (NAV)

In ons tyd en generasie is Jesus se opdrag dat ons nie moet oordeel nie heeltemal skeefgetrek en buite alle proporsie verdraai. Die meeste mense vandag lees dit as ‘n geïsoleerde stelling wat ons inlei in ‘n leefwêreld van universele toleransie waar ons geen onderskeid durf maak tussen dit wat byvoorbeeld rein en onrein of heilig en onheilig is nie. Daarom het dit uiters belangrik geword vir ons om vas te stel wat Jesus bedoel het met daardie stelling én wat Hy nie bedoel het daarmee nie. Hy hét bedoel dat ons nie onsself moet opstel oor ander mense as regters asof ons God is nie. Hy het ook bedoel dat ons nie ander mense se motiewe moet oordeel asof ons in hulle harte kan insien nie. Hy het nié bedoel dat ons glad nie ‘n oordeel moet fel oor geestelike sake of dat ons nie mag sê wat die Bybel byvoorbeeld duidelik stel oor sonde, gesonde leerstelling en dergelike dinge nie. Let byvoorbeeld op dat vers 6 van dieselfde paragrafie in Mattheüs 7 (verse 1 tot 6) sekerlik ‘n beoordeling van verskillende mense en situasies verg om te kan doen wat Jesus daar sê ons moet doen. Wanneer ons dit doen moet ons egter seker maak dat ons eers onsself onder dieselfde Bybel se vergrootglas bring om te toets of ons eie harte rein is voor God (Matt. 7:5a).

Ons is bevoorreg om in Afrikaans ‘n verskeidenheid woorde te hê wat die woord “oordeel” as’t ware kwalifiseer. Wanneer ek “oordeel” maak ek ‘n uitspraak oor iets. Ek moet dit egter so doen dat ek nie “veroordeel” nie, maar ek moet wel ‘n situasie “beoordeel” sodat ek God se “oordeel” oor iets kan onderskei en toepas. Anders word die Bybel ‘n afgewaterde boek wat geen duidelikheid oor enigiets kan gee nie! Om op te som, ons moet “oordeel” oor situasies (sien 1 Kor. 5:12 hier bo), maar ons mag dit nie doen met ‘n “veroordelende” hart nie. Ons mag (moet!) sê wat die Bybel sê oor sake, maar sonder om onsself as regters op te stel oor ander of mense se motiewe te oordeel. Verder leer gedeeltes soos Romeine 14 pertinent dat ons ook ‘n duidelike onderskeid moet maak tussen randwaarhede soos wat ons mag eet of drink en kernwaarhede soos die evangelie, die wese en identifisering van sonde volgens die Bybel, ensovoorts. Mag God ons help om die dinge te “onderskei waarop dit werklik aankom” (Fil. 1:10) sodat ons nie aan die een kant in die slaggat van “veroordeling” val of aan die ander kant in die slaggat van ‘n sogenaamde “liefde” wat geen onderskeid tref tussen rein en onrein nie. Laasgenoemde is nié volgens die Bybel ware liefde nie, maar eerder ‘n sekulêr humanistiese idee van liefde wat geen gronde in die geopenbaarde Woord van God het nie.

Dag 27

HEAVEN ON EARTH – Jim Cymbala

The great Christian church in Antioch was begun, surprisingly, by some unknown and unnamed “men from Cyprus and Cyrene.” So what was the real secret of its wonderful birth? One simple phrase tells it all: “The Lord’s hand was with them.” With no New Testament yet written, surrounded by hostile Jews and Romans, with no benefit from a legalized religion or formal church buildings, with no apparent source of income, with no printed materials or sound systems or choirs or seminary training, anonymous believers started one of the most dynamic congregations of the Christian era.

The Bible offers no specifics concerning the methodology or doctrinal statement of its founders. We are told only that “the Lord’s hand was with them.” Because of God’s blessings, this church evidently led multitudes of people to the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance and faith! It didn’t matter what was against these believers because God’s blessings and grace were for them in a remarkable way. Soon the older church in Jerusalem heard about God’s blessing being poured upon this unique, Jewish/Gentile congregation in Antioch. The leaders sent a trusted man, Barnabas, to confirm the wonderful reports. Acts 11:23 records what happened next: “When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” Barnabas “saw the evidence” that God was blessing and at work in special ways. The church in Antioch had no publicity department or magazine to sing its praises, but it needed nothing of the sort. When unbelievers are repenting of sin and turning to the Lord, when mass water baptismal services have to be scheduled, when there are strong congregational prayer meetings, when there is a spirit of unity and love among believers—that, my friends, is a little of heaven right here on earth!

Dag 28

DIE GROOT GAPING IN ONS PREDIKING – Albert Theron

‘n Boodskap wat vir ons net vertel dat ons vergewe is in Jesus en dan eis dat ons heilig moet leef is ‘n halwe boodskap. Die krag van heiligmaking lê in die feit dat ons “saam met” Jesus gekruisig is en “saam met” Hom opgestaan het. As ons dit nie begin verstaan nie, lees ons die boek Romeine selektief en luister ons net met ‘n halwe oor na wat hoofstukke 5 tot 8, wat die sleutel tot oorwinning is, vir ons wil sê. Ja, sekerlik is dit van die moeiliker gedeeltes in die Nuwe Testament om onder die knie te kry, maar die oomblik wat jy in Romeine 5 die kontras sien tussen die eerste en die laaste Adam en besef jy is nou “in Christus” (die laaste Adam), vind jy die sleutel en die res van die boek vou lieflik oop en skenk jou sy skatte:

“So moet julle ook reken dat julle wel vir die sonde dood is, maar lewend is vir God in Christus Jesus, onse Here.” Rom. 6:11

”Aangesien ons dit weet dat ons oue mens saam gekruisig is, sodat die liggaam van die sonde tot niet gemaak sou word en ons nie meer die sonde sou dien nie.” Rom. 6:6

Die boek Romeine is nie net ‘n kosbare openbaring van ons regverdigmaking in Jesus nie, maar ook ‘n onverbeterlike handleiding tot ons heiligmaking in Christus. Hierdie wonderlike boek is vryelik beskikbaar in jou Bybel en in jou eie taal. Die probleem is dat die prediking wat ons dikwels hoor ‘n groot gaping los tussen vergifnis van sondes (meervoud) en verlossing van die inwonende sonde (enkelvoud). Ons kan nie spring van ABC na XYZ nie! Daar is ‘n hele verlossingsalfabet tussenin! Miskien kan ek hier ‘n aanbeveling maak van twee boeke wat jou baie sal help in hierdie verband: “The Normal Christian Life” van Watchman Nee en “Romans Verse-by-Verse” van William Newell. Maak net seker dat jy eers self diep induik in die koel verlossingswaters van die ‘meer’ Romeine.

Dag 29

TEACHING WITH THE HEARTS AND LIVES OF REAL PEOPLE IN VIEW – Paul David Tripp

If you would go back, let’s say, a hundred years, every professor in the classroom would be a churchman. He would have come to theological education by means of the pastorate. In these men there burned a love for the local church. They came to the classroom carrying the humility and wisdom gained only by their years in the trenches. They taught with the hearts and lives of real people in view—the people with whom they had wept, become angry, rejoiced, and contended. They came to the classroom knowing that the biggest battles of pastoral ministry were fought on the turf of their own hearts. They were pastors who were called not to quit pastoring but to bring pastoral love and zeal into the ecosystem of theological education. But over the years theological education began to change. It became more specialized and more departmentalized. Over the years more and more professors came to the seminary classroom with little or no local church experience. They got to the classroom not because they were successful pastors and therefore equipped to train and disciple the next generation. No, they got to the seminary classroom because they were experts in their field. So the energy in the classroom was not cloning a new generation of pastors but cloning experts in apologetics, ethics, systematics, church history, and biblical languages. It has been a subtle but seismic change in the culture of the seminary and the kind of results it produces. In some situations it all degenerates into a culture of little feudal kingdoms (the kingdom of systematics or ethics, etc.) with the professor as the feudal lord, guarding the kingdom he has built and protecting the turf he has acquired against the expansion of other kingdoms. The student matriculates from kingdom to kingdom, always being assured that the particular kingdom of his present focus is the most vital to the health of the federation of kingdoms that makes up the world of theological education. It is a politically charged culture, more given to gate keeping than to pastoring and more focused on vital information acquisition than on character development. I write these things as a pastor with a heavy heart who lived in this culture for twenty years. I know what I have written will make some angry, and I know that the system has a way of rising to defend itself, but it’s a price I am willing to pay. The stakes are that high. Seminary self-examination is that important. Honest talk is vital.

Dag 30

ROBED IN WHAT CHRIST IS FOR US – Austin Sparks

You can go into a gathering and you have a wonderful knowledge of the Bible and you may be there and be listening to the message and be detached and isolated in a gathering, whereas if your knowledge had come to you by revelation, if you were standing in a true spiritual apprehension, you would be a factor in that gathering to co-operate with that which is going on for the Lord’s end; coming in in spiritual power to work towards God’s end in that time and in that place. That should be so. “Anoint your eyes that you may see…” – spiritual perception.

“And fine white raiment”. We may have the most gorgeous, elaborate, ecclesiastical robes which all speak of formal religion, and the Lord may look at us and say, “Poor naked creatures; they have not got a rag to stand up in”. What the Lord looks for is not our ecclesiastical vestments or our religious garbs, He looks for that white linen – embodied and imparted righteousness – that we stand robed in what Christ is for us and we do not appear before God naked. And to appear before God in any other religious garb than what the Lord Jesus is for us, is to appear naked, and the Lord’s words are, “that the shame of your nakedness do not appear”. There is the shame of nakedness. Not any other dressing up, but the enrobing of the righteousness of Christ and we do not want to be ashamed at His coming.

Dag 31

INSTRUKTEURS VAN DIE DOOD – Albert Theron

“Waarmee sal die jongeling sy pad suiwer hou? Deur dit te hou na u woord.” Psalm 119:9

“Omdat hulle die kennis gehaat en die vrees van die HERE nie verkies het nie, van my raad nie wou weet nie, al my teregwysinge verag het, daarom sal hulle eet van die vrug van hulle wandel en versadig word van hulle planne.” Spreuke 1:29-31

Watter soort instrukteur sal jy vertrou om jou kind te leer bestuur en vir hom of haar die padreëls te leer? Wat van ‘n instrukteur wat al die belangrike padtekens heeltemal verkeerd interpreteer, omdat hy ‘n immigrant is van ‘n land met ‘n totaal verskillende verkeerstelsel? Sou dit nie krimineel onverantwoordelik wees om jou kind oor te gee in die hande van so ‘n instrukteur nie? As jy omgee vir jou kind se fisiese welsyn sal jy nooit so iets doen nie. En wat dan van jou kind se geestelike welsyn? Aan watter soort instrukteurs vertrou jy jou kinders toe om vir hulle die padtekens van die lewe te leer? “Die hele Skrif is deur God ingegee” (2 Tim. 3:16) en is bedoel om ‘n mens wys te maak om in gesonde verhoudings met die lewende God en Sy skepsels te leef. Die gemeente is bedoel om ‘n “pilaar en grondslag van die waarheid” (1 Tim. 3:15) te wees wat daardie Skrif suiwer leer. Wanneer ‘n gemeente of gemeentes egter wegdraai van die Skrif en op sand begin bou, het wedergebore dissipels van Jesus ‘n verantwoordelikheid om hulle rug te keer op sulke gemeentes en wedergebore ouers om hulle kinders te beskerm teen dodelike geestelike dwaling. Dit is nie eers ‘n persoonlike keuse nie, dit is ‘n opdrag van God.