Maart

Dag 1

AN UTTER DEPENDENCE UPON THE LORD HIMSELF – Austin Sparks

Why not have it in yourself? Why not be as God, knowing?” That was the subtlety of the temptation. It always makes an appeal to the soul to possess the power, and the knowledge in itself, so that, using it, there may be a position gained of advantage.

Now that suggestion to, as it were, have it out of God, and have it in himself, is what Satan has been working on all the way through the ages, and he still works. In the captured soul-life of man he is working to make man independent of God by his own ability, his own knowledge, his own resource, to dispense with God. In effect it is to say that God is not indispensable, we can get on without Him, we have it in ourselves. In smaller and greater degrees that is the temptation and tendency in the whole of the fallen creation, and even in believers. There is a love to have knowledge, a love to have power, a love, therefore, to have positions of influence, to be able to govern other lives and situations.

Over against that the very Son stands in a voluntarily accepted position that the Son can do nothing out from Himself. He, the Last Adam, strikes a tremendous blow at the thing that the first Adam has done. He stands in distinct and mighty contradiction to, and reversal of, the course of the first Adam; a life of dependence, a life of having everything in God and nothing apart from God. That is Christ. So that all things for divine purposes, unto divine intentions, are held in God and no one ever gets them out of God and possesses them in themselves. Right to the end, if we are going to be governed by the Lord, we shall be kept on that law of an utter dependence upon the Lord Himself for every bit of resource. And the further we go with the Lord the more deeply will that be wrought into our being, the consciousness and knowledge that we have nothing in ourselves, it is all in Him, and that we must be utterly dependent upon the Lord for every fragment. It must come from the Lord.

Dag 2

QUIETLY LINGER WITH REVERING GAZE – George Morrison

The note of the nightingale is never heard outside the borders of a certain area. You never hear it north of York. You never hear it west of the river Exe. You may take the eggs and have them hatched in Scotland and carry the fledglings to our Scottish woods, but never will the birds come north again to give us that wonderful music of the night. Outside a certain limit they are silent, and outside a certain limit God is silent. There are frontiers for the voice of heaven as there are for the voice of every singing bird. *Only the frontiers are not geographical; they are moral and have to do with character. They are determined by what a man desires and by the deepest craving of his soul. The poorest peasant may know more of God than he who is a master of the sciences. The mystic cobbler may have such gleams of glory as put to shame the wisdom of the wise. For except we become as little children, we cannot even see the kingdom. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see Him. Put in another way that just means this, that we must wait on God if we would learn His secret. As the eyes of a servant wait upon her mistress, so, says the psalmist, must we wait on God. It is not by a hasty glance at an old masterpiece that you discern the wonder of the painting. When you confront a celebrated picture, the first feeling is often disappointment. It is only as you wait and watch and ponder, and quietly linger with revering gaze, that you detect its fullness and its depth and waken to the wonder of it all.

* We have free access to the presence of God by the blood of Jesus. This author would not deny that, but he is speaking here of the hunger for the presence of God; a hunger that purifies the heart by its intense desire to see the face of God in Christ. It is entirely possible to confess the efficacy of the blood and righteousness of Jesus with gladness, and yet never enter into the “depths of God” (1 Cor. 2:10) because we merely glance at God and ramble off our prayers. A.T.

Dag 3

THE SPIRIT MAINTAINS OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD – Andrew Murray

Jesus is the sanctifier, we are the sanctified. The object for which Christ became the Leader of our salvation, the great work He has to do for us, the bond of union between the Son and the sons of God, the proof of their bearing His image and likeness, and the mark of their real oneness, is Holiness. The word Holy is one of the deepest in Scripture. It means a great deal more than separated or consecrated to God. The Triune God is the Thrice-Holy One: Holiness is the deepest mystery of His Being, the wondrous union of His righteousness and His love. To be holy is to be in fellowship with God, possessed of Him. Therefore the Spirit specially bears the name of Holy, because He is the bearer to us of the love of God, and the maintenance of the divine fellowship is His special work. Jesus is the Holy One of God, who makes us holy in filling us with His Holy Spirit.

Dag 4

GO ON TO FULLNESS OF LIFE – Austin Sparks

You are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life. (Colossians 2:10 AMP) The Cross is a full and final principle, although it has many aspects. It is a full and final principle. We are going to see that the Cross in its fullness and finality was right there at the beginning of the Bible. As a principle, it was absolute then. It is just in so far as you and I bring our lives at this time of the day back to God‟s fullness in the Cross that we are going to know this progressive development and increase of Life – so far and no more. The Cross is a great divide. It divides people into three categories. Firstly, it makes a broad division between those who never get into Life, and those who do. Whether men and women get into Life at all depends entirely upon their acceptance of the Cross. But it divides further. It divides between those who do get into Life, and those who go right through to fullness of Life, and there is quite a real division there. Whether you like the theory or not, it is a fact. There are many Christians who are in the way of Life, that is, who have entered the way of Life, but are not going right on to fullness of Life. That is really what the New Testament is about – trying to get Christians who have entered into Life to go on to fullness of Life. The Cross divides between those, because, while we come into the way of Life by the Cross, we also only come into the fullness of Life by the Cross, and that is another thing– a fuller, deeper application of the Cross. So the Cross makes three categories, those not in Life, those in Life, and those in Life going on to fullness of Life.

Dag 5

KRY JOU FOPSPEEN BY DIE DEUR – Albert Theron

Wanneer ons ‘n baba sien met ‘n doek aan en ‘n bababottel in die mond is dit vir ons ‘n mooi gesig, maar wat sou jy sê as jy ‘n twintigjarige met ‘n doek en bottel sien? Wat van honderde sulke “baba’s” bymekaar? Die Nuwe Testament maak dit baie duidelik dat God ‘n diepe begeerte het dat ál Sy kinders tot volwassenheid moet kom. ‘Totdat ons almal kom tot…’n volwasse man” (Efes. 4:13).

Ongelukkig is ons gemeentekultuur dikwels vandag as’t ware gepreprogrammeer om mense geestelik in die babastadium te hou. Wanneer ‘n kultuur slegs op getalle gefokus is, gebeur dit maklik dat daar net meer en meer “baba’s” in ‘n gebou bymekaar gehou word en dat hulle afhanklik bly van die leierskap. Mens moet iets doen met die woelige baba’s en daarom bestaan die gevaar om te verval in programme, eerder as dissipelskap. Soms lyk so ‘n klomp babatjies bymekaar baie suksesvol, maar ons is geroep om ‘n groeiende “liggaam”, ‘n lewende tempel van God en ‘n weermag te wees – nie ‘n dagsorg nie.

Die doel van die evangelie en gemeentelewe volgens die Nuwe Testament is om ons by geestelike volwassenheid te bring sodat ons fokus weg kan skuif van onsself en ons dissipels kan maak “van al die nasies” (Matt. 28:19) en hulle weer by volwassenheid kan bring. As ons in dieselfde afhanklike verhouding bly staan met voorgangers en leraars vir dekades aaneen is daar groot fout! Daar moet ‘n plek kom waar ons as volwasse gelowiges gemeenskap kan hê, gefokus op Christus en met dieselfde doel voor oë. Ons rolle en verantwoordelikhede sal altyd verskil, maar ons verwantskap moet beweeg na volwassenheid. Die alternatief is verhoudinge wat stagneer in ‘n statiese en dooie struktuur. Iets wat beweeg, maar wat nie lewe het nie noem ons ‘n masjien. God soek ‘n lewende organisme wat groei, nie ‘n masjien nie.

Dag 6

THE QUIET OF GOD IN OUR NOISY LIVING – A.W. Tozer

The remedy for distractions is the same now as it was in earlier and simpler times, viz., prayer, meditation and the cultivation of the inner life. The psalmist said “Be still, and know,” and Christ told us to enter into our closet, shut the door and pray unto the Father. It still works. “Let us return to ourselves, brothers,” said the Greek saint Nicephorus, “ . . . for it is impossible for us to become reconciled and united with God if we do not first return to ourselves, as far as it lies in our power, or if we do not enter within ourselves, tearing ourselves–what a wonder it is!–from the whirl of the world with its multitudinous vain cares and striving constantly to keep attention on the kingdom of heaven which is within us.” Distractions must be conquered or they will conquer us. So let us cultivate simplicity; let us want fewer things; let us walk in the Spirit; let us fill our minds with the Word of God and our hearts with praise. In that way we can live in peace even in such a distraught world as this. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.”

Dag 7

A RADICALLY DIFFERENT PATTERN – Philip Mauro

In the world men shape their lives, and employ their abilities in such manner as to procure for themselves, individually, the greatest amount of worldly good, wealth, position, etc. And so far from such manner of life being censured, those who succeed in their aims are honored and flattered. Such is the pattern of life copied by the people of the world, and by all who are “conformed to this world.” They live “unto themselves.” But God has given to His people a radically different pattern for their earthly lives. He teaches them that each one is a member of one Body, whose Head is Christ; and that the chief rule for them is to seek, not the good of self, but that of the Body. They are to take up and conform themselves to an entirely new pattern of life, one that is not of earth but of Heaven. They are to live no longer “unto themselves, but unto Him Who died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15). Concisely stated, the principle of the life of men of this world is to seek the individual good at the expense of others. The Christian is to act on the reverse principle, and to seek the good of others at the expense of himself.

Dag 8

DIE VREUGDES VAN ‘N NEDERIGE GELOOF – Albert Theron

“sodat hulle die Here kon soek, of hulle Hom miskien kon aanraak en vind, al is Hy nie ver van elkeen van ons nie” Hand. 17:27

“Maar wat sê dit? Naby jou is die woord, in jou mond en in jou hart. Dit is die woord van die geloof wat ons verkondig.” Rom 10:8

“Die HERE is naby die wat gebroke is van hart…” Psa. 34:19

Aan die een kant leer die Bybel ons dat God Homself verberg vir die hoogmoedige. Hy versluier Sy aangesig in diepe duisternis vir die onafhanklike intellek wat met die rede alleen probeer om Sy wese te peil. Aan die ander kant leer die Bybel dat God altyd ‘n nederige geloof beloon met die heerlikheid van Sy teenwoordigheid. Dit is ook nie net die sekulêre filosowe wat hulleself vasloop in die onpenetreerbare sluier van God nie, maar selfs teoloë wat daagliks met die Bybel werk, vind gou uit dat die woorde van God gesluit bly vir daardie knie wat nie wil buig en hart wat nie wil juig nie. Dieselfde geld vir die dissipel wat probeer vorder in sy geloof. God is die Kenner van harte en selfs as ons net maar erken en bely dat ons harte iewers hoogmoed opgetel het (dit gebeur so maklik), kan en sal die Vader deur die bloed van Jesus wonderbaarlik ons harte weer reinig. Dieselfde Vader wat begeer dat Sy kinders Sy aangesig moet sien, versluier Homself vir ‘n hoogmoedige hart. Hy kan nie teen Sy eie aard optree nie…maar Hy is haastig om die sluier te lig vir ‘n nederige geloof.

Dag 9

DIE GOEIE NUUS AAN DIE ANDER KANT VAN MISLUKKING – Albert Theron

“Petrus sê vir Hom: Here, waarom kan ek U nie nou volg nie? Ek sal my lewe vir U gee. Jesus antwoord hom: Sal jy jou lewe vir My gee? Voorwaar, voorwaar Ek sê vir jou, die haan sal sekerlik nie kraai voordat jy My drie maal verloën het nie.” Joh. 13:37-38

Petrus is seker dat hy die passie en moed het om sy lewe vir Jesus neer te lê. Die probleem is net Petrus ken nog nie sy eie hart nie. Petrus vertrou nog op sy eie wilskrag en menslike oortuiging. Jesus ken egter elke mens se hart en Hy weet dat nie een van ons die bedrieglikheid van die hart kan baasraak nie. Inteendeel, daai hart aan homself oorgelaat, gaan Jesus keer op keer verloën. Maar daar’s goeie nuus! Verder aan, in hoofstukke 14 tot 17 van Johannes, gee Jesus vir Sy dissipels dosyne kosbare beloftes met betrekking tot die nuwe verbond en nuwe krag vir ‘n heilige lewe. Dit het alles te doen met Sý lewe ín ons (Joh. 15:5). Gaan lees bietjie Johannes 14 tot 17, merk die beloftes en maak dit jou eie.

Dag 10

ACKNOWLEDGE GOD’S GIFTS – William Gurnall

“We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3). If you are one of those who have claimed for years to be a Christian, but you see little fruit in your life, perhaps you should dig down to the root of your profession and find out whether the seed you planted was cultivated in the barren soil of legalism. If so, pull it up at once, and replant your soul in a fertile field—God’s mercy. David gave an account of how he came to prosper when some who were rich and famous suddenly withered and died: “Lo,” he said, “this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches … But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever” (Psalm 52:7–8). Not only do you crush your grace by making it carry the burden of your salvation, but you also deprive yourself of true comfort in Christ. Gospel-comfort springs from a Gospel-root, which is Christ. “We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3). The first step to receiving the Gospel comfort is to send away all comforters of our own. A physician asks his patient to stop going to every other doctor who has been tampering with his health, and trust him for a cure. As your spiritual physician, the Holy Spirit asks your soul to send away all the old practitioners—every duty, every other course of obedience—and lean only on Him. Does your soul cry out from its depths for inward peace? Then check to see what vessel you are drawing your comfort from. If it is the vessel of your own sufficiency, the supply is finite and will soon run dry. It is mixed, or diluted, and therefore not very nourishing. Above all, it is stolen if you claim it as your own and do not acknowledge it as God’s gift to you. Now how much comfort can you expect from stolen goods? And how foolish to play the thief when your Father has so much more and better to give you than you could pilfer in a lifetime!

Dag 11

THE UNCEASING OBEDIENCE OF FAITH – Andrew Murray

Where there is no true conviction of the sin of disobedience, and alas! no true sorrow for it; where there is no strong longing or purpose really in everything to obey God; where there is no deep interest in the message of Holy Scripture, that God wants to ‘perfect us to do His will,’ by Himself ‘working in us that which is pleasing in His sight,’ there is not the spiritual capacity to accept the blessing. The Christian is content to be a babe. He wants only to suck the milk of consolation. He is not able to bear the strong meat of which Jesus ate, ‘doing, the will of His Father.’ And yet we come to all with the entreaty, Accept it, the grace for this wondrous new life of obedience; accept it now. Without this your act of consecration will come to little. Without this your purpose to try and be more obedient must fail. Has not God shown you that there is an entirely new position for you to take – a possible position of simple childlike obedience, day by day, to every command His voice speaks to you through the Spirit: a possible position of simple childlike dependence on and experience of His all-sufficient grace, day by day, for every command He gives? I pray you, even now, take that position, make that surrender, take that grace. Accept and enter on the true life of faith, and the unceasing obedience of faith. As unlimited and as sure as God’s promise and power are, may your faith be. As unlimited as your faith is, will your simple childlike obedience be. Oh! ask God for His aid, and accept all He has offered you.

Dag 12

HOE MOET ONS DINK OOR DIE EINDTYE? – Albert Theron

Annekie Barnard vra:
“Albert, as ek die Woord reg verstaan kom Jesus sy kinders haal voor die verdrukking.Mense of ek het die kat aan die stert beet wat se ons is in begin van die 7jr verdrukking. Kan jy dalk daarop vir my antw. Baie dankie. Blessings.”

Hello Annekie, iemand het eendag gesê: “die vraag is nie net wanneer Jesus terugkom nie, maar wanneer wil jy HÊ Hy moet terugkom.” Ek dink daardie persoon maak ‘n belangrike punt. Die heel belangrikste, myns insiens, rondom eskatologie is dat ons in ons harte ‘n verwagting moet hê en ‘n verlange dat Jesus moet terugkom, terwyl ons terselfdertyd ons alles moet gee vir die redding van verlore mense. Ons moet ook natuurlik volgens die Nuwe Testament áltyd reg wees beide om verdrukking te ondergaan of om te sterf, want ons weet nie of vandag of môre dalk ons laaste dag is nie.

Daar is pre-tribbers (pre-tribulationists), mid-tribbers, post-tribbers, en dan ook pre-Millennialiste, a-Millennialiste, post-Millennialiste, ook “full rapture”, “partial rapture” en “no-rapture” aanhangers. In elkeen van hierdie kategorieë verskil mense dan gewoonlik ook nog oor die fynere detail van hoe die gebeure van die eindtyd gaan realiseer. So kan ‘n mens dalk dink “aah, hierdie gelowige praat my taal”, totdat jy bietjie dieper begin delf. Dan kom jy dalk agter hierdie mede pre-tribber glo nie heeltemal soos jy nie. Jou vraag verg dus ‘n baie lang antwoord en dalk is jy aan die einde van die antwoord meer verward as voorheen. Of anders weet jy dalk nie meer wát jy glo as jy al die moontlikhede sien nie. 🙂 Dalk hét jy al wyd gelees oor die onderwerp. Soms weer is mense so dogmaties oor wat hulle glo dat hulle glad nie belangstel in wat ander gelowiges glo oor die onderwerp nie. Ek weet nie presies waar jy staan nie.

Die Bybel gee vir ons baie detail oor die eindtye, maar nie altyd presiese dogmatiese antwoorde nie. Ek sou dus versigtig wees vir presiese skemas van die eindtye. ‘n Beter benadering vir my is om elke gedeelte in die Skrif wat handel oor die onderwerp op eie meriete toe te laat om met jou te praat. As daar ‘n waarskuwing is neem dit ter harte. Neem die opdragte ernstig op en vra die Here om jou te wys hoe jy dit in jou eie lewe moet gehoorsaam. Mediteer oor die beloftes wat gegee word, en maak dit jou eie. Die meeste gelowiges vandag het nie hulle siening van die eindtye direk in die Bybel gekry nie (al kan hulle waarskynlik verwysings gee na ‘n klompie tekste), maar liewer van predikers, leraars, hulle denominasie of boeke wat hulle gelees het wat ‘n spesifieke skema van eskatologie probeer verdedig. As daar mettertyd ‘n basiese oortuiging vorm by ‘n mens oor die moontlike verloop van die eindtye dink ek dit is belangrik dat jy in nederigheid die deur oop los vir die Heilige Gees om jou verdere lig te gee oor die saak en ook om nie te dogmaties te wees teenoor ander dissipels van Jesus nie. Ons gemeenskap met mekaar is gebaseer op ons eenheid met Christus en ons oortuiging dat Hy wel liggaamlik gaan terugkom na hierdie aarde en ons gereed moet wees daarvoor, nie op ons spesifieke siening van die detail rondom tye en historiese gebeure nie.

Bo alles, maak seker dat jy leef in ‘n “eerste liefde” verhouding met Jesus Christus sodat hy met jou eie hart uit die Skrif kan praat oor Sy wederkoms en hoe jy daarvoor voorbereid moet wees. Dít is, myns insiens, veel belangriker as om al die argumente reg te hê om ‘n skema te verdedig, terwyl ‘n mens se hart dalk nie werklik voorbereid is vir die wederkoms van Jesus nie. Openbaring hoofstukke 1 tot 3 is ‘n wonderlike gedeelte vir gemeentes en individuele gelowiges om te bestudeer met die oog op hartstoetsing in die lig van Christus se heerlikheid vandag en vir die toekoms. Laastens wil ek graag net ‘n gedeelte aanhaal wat ‘n oorkoepelende waarheid rondom die implikasies van die Vleeswording van Jesus uitlig. Ongeag wat ‘n mens se siening is van die eindtye, gee hierdie tekste bemoediging en ‘n vaste versekering dat Jesus op die Troon is en daar sal bly.

“Vir ons is ‘n Seun gebore, aan ons is ‘n Seun gegee; Hy sal heers, en Hy sal genoem word: Wonderbare Raadsman, Magtige God, Ewige Vader, Vredevors. Sy heerskappy sal uitbrei, en Hy sal vir altyd vrede en voorspoed bring. Hy sal op die troon van Dawid sit en oor sy koninkryk regeer. Hy sal dié koninkryk vestig en in stand hou deur reg en geregtigheid, van nou af en vir altyd. Daarvoor sal die onverdeelde trou van die Here die Almagtige sorg.” Jes. 9:5-6 (NAV)

Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end…now and forevermore.” Isa. 9:7a (ESV)

N.S. Ek probeer nie met hierdie plasing die idee skep dat dissipels van Jesus nie in liefde en nederigheid kan praat oor die detail van die eindtye vanuit spesifieke gedeeltes in die Skrif nie. Ek poog eerder om die fokus te plaas op die kondisie van ons hárte m.b.t. die onderwerp.

Dag 13

ONE UNFAILING MARK OF CHRISTIAN CHARACTER – J.R. Miller

“By this all people will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

There is one unfailing mark of Christian character, wherever it is found: Love is always in it. Whatever else may be or may not be in the new life of the Christian—the scarlet thread of love is always woven into the character. God is love, and the believer in Christ, is in a measure, like God. To be a Christian is to have Christ in the heart; and Christ is love. Not to have love—is not to be a Christian. The first effect of faith in Christ—is the springing up of love in the heart of him who believes. This love does not lie hidden—but is revealed in the life. It shows itself in love for God; but there is no love for God—which does not also make the heart warm toward man. He who loves not his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. Christian love is not a mere beautiful sentiment, glowing like a radiant vision in the soul—but fading the moment we meet our brothers in actual life; it is a love that becomes the very mainspring of all action, the burning heart of all ambition. It is a love that makes us pitiful toward all human sorrow, gentle toward human infirmity, helpful toward human need, patient under human unkindness and injury, and ready at every call to do and suffer and sacrifice.

Dag 14

“WEES NET POSITIEF!?” – Albert Theron

“Die bediening waardeur die mense veroordeel word, het met heerlikheid gekom, maar die bediening waardeur die mense vrygespreek word, oortref dit verreweg in heerlikheid.” 2 Kor. 3:9 (NAV)

“Maar ons het hierdie skat in erdekruike, sodat die voortreflikheid van die krag van God mag wees en nie uit ons nie.” 2 Kor. 4:7

Daar is baie verwarring by dissipels van Jesus vandag, want hulle hoor aan die een kant ‘n boodskap van heerlikheid en oorwinning wat so positief klink en aan die ander kant ‘n boodskap van gebrokenheid wat op die oog af so negatief klink en ‘n nasmaak van mislukking los as jy dit verkeerd interpreteer. Hoe moet ons hierdie dinge verstaan? Ons het die heerlikheid van Christus binne-in ‘n liggaam van swakheid (ook genoem “die liggaam van die sonde” en “liggaam van hierdie dood” – Rom. 6:6 en 7:24); dus heerlikheid binne-in en te midde van gebrokenheid. Dit is juis hoe God gekies het dat die heerlikheid van Sy genade in Christus soveel te meer moet skyn! Dit is die heel beste vertoonvenster van die Vader se barmhartigheid en genade! “Wees net positief” is níe die boodskap van die Nuwe Testament nie. Die boodskap is dat ek nie moet veg teen gebrokenheid nie, maar dat ek dit juis moet omhels met die vaste vertroue dat Christus in en deur my openbaar gaan word én met die wete dat daar “nuwe hemele en ‘n nuwe aarde” kom “waarin geregtigheid woon” (2 Pet. 3:13). Daar is niks meer “positief” as Bybelse geloof en hoop nie. “Want as ek swak is, dan is ek sterk.” (2 Kor. 12:10b). God se weg tot oorwinning is radikaal anders as die wêreld s’n!

Wat Beteken dit Prakties vir my?

‘n Boodskap van positiwiteit en oorwinning sonder gebrokenheid is ‘n gevaarlike en misleidende boodskap wat ons baie subtiel opgeblase maak, selfs al lyk en klink dit so wonderlik en oorwinnend. Gaan lees 1 Kor. 1:18-31 en 2 Kor. 12:1-10 biddend om God se weg tot oorwinning eens en vir altyd te vestig in jou hart en denke. Dit sal jou ook weerbaar maak teen die honderde misleidende boodskappe van “positiwiteit” (sonder gebrokenheid) wat ons weekliks mee gebombardeer word in die Christendom.

Dag 15

IT MUST BE GOD AND NOTHING ELSE – A.W. Tozer

God made only you in His image and you’re stuck with it, sinner and Christian both. You’re made in the image of God, and nothing short of God will satisfy you. And even if you happen to be one of those “nickle-in-the-slot, get saved, escape hell and take heaven” Christians (that poor little kindergarten view of heaven), remember one thing—even you will find over the years that you are not content with “things plus God.” You’ll have to have God minus all things. You may ask me, “Don’t you have things?” Sure I do. God knows that I don’t have much, only a lot of books. I have a wife and some children and grandchildren and friends—I have all that. But as soon as I set my hopes and comforts upon things and people I’ll lose something out of my heart. It dare not be things and God, it dare not be people and God: it must be God and nothing else. Then whatever else God gives us, we can hold at arm’s length and hold it dear for Jesus’ sake. And we can love it for His sake, but it is not necessary to our happiness. If there’s anything necessary to your eternal happiness but God, you’re not yet the kind of Christian that you ought to be. For only God is the true rest. God takes great pleasure in having a helpless soul come to Him simply and plainly and intimately. He takes pleasure in having us come to Him. This kind of Christianity doesn’t draw big crowds. It draws only those who have their hearts set on God, who want God more than they want anything else in the world. These people want the spiritual experience that comes from knowing God for Himself. They could have everything stripped away from them and still have God.

Dag 16

HEAVEN IS FILLING WITH EARTH’S BROKEN LIVES – J.R. Miller

Christ is building His kingdom with earth’s broken things. Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the unbroken, in building their kingdoms; but God is the God of the unsuccessful, of those who have failed. Heaven is filling with earth’s broken lives, and there is no bruised reed that Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty. He can take the life crushed by pain or sorrow and make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise. He can lift earth’s saddest failure up to heaven’s glory.

Dag 17

WAAR GOD IS, IS DIT HEMEL – Albert Theron

“En dit is die ewige lewe, dat hulle U ken, die enige waaragtige God, en Jesus Christus wat U gestuur het.” Joh 17:3

Die ewige lewe is meer as ‘n oneindige tydperk. Die hemel is meer as ‘n wonderlike plek. Ons is almal geneig om te dink oor die hemelse vanuit ons aardse perspektief. Ons prioriteite raak so maklik deurmekaar en voor ons, ons kom kry dink ons oor die hemel net as ‘n volmaakte plek waar ons vir ewig gaan bly. Jesus sny met Sy gebed in Johannes 17 as’t ware met ‘n vlymskerp mes deur al ons minderwaardige idees oor die ewige lewe en die hemel. Sy stelling gerig tot die Vader in vers 3 is verstommend in sy eenvoud. Die “ewige lewe” is eenvoudig om die Vader en die Seun werklik te ken. Het jy al ooit gewonder wat gaan aan in die hemel en hoe gaan dit daar wees? Lees die Bybel met die een enkele fokus om die Vader te ken in Sy Seun deur die verligting van die Gees. So kan jy nou-al begin om hemel op aarde te beleef, want waar God geken en geniet word, daar is dit hemel. Dit raak ook net beter, want daar is geen einde aan Sy wese en heerlikheid nie. Hy is die oneindige God.

Dag 18

CHRIST’S LOVE TO US – Andrew Murray

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.” John 15:9

In relationships between friends and relatives, everything depends on their love to each other. What value is wealth if love is lacking between husband and wife or parents and children? What value is knowledge and enthusiasm in God’s work without the knowledge and experience of Christ’s love? (See 1 Corinthians 13:1–3.) Christians need to know by experience how much Christ loves them and to learn how they may abide and continue in that love. Christ says: “As the Father has loved Me”—that is a divine, everlasting, wonderful love! “I also have loved you.” The same love with which He had loved the Father He now gives us. He really desires that this everlasting love should rest upon us. What a blessing! Christ wants us to live in the power of the love of God that He also experienced. In your fellowship with Christ in private or in public, you are surrounded by God’s love. Jesus longs to fill you with His love. Read from time to time what God’s Word says about the love of Christ. Meditate on the words and let them sink into your heart. Sooner or later, you will begin to realize: The greatest happiness of your life is that you are loved by the Lord Jesus and can live in fellowship with Him every day.

Dag 19

SOOS OLIE EN WATER – Albert Theron

Net soos olie en water nie met mekaar kan meng nie, kan self-vertroue en Christus-vertroue nie meng nie. Christus het vír ons geword “wysheid uit God en geregtigheid en heiligmaking en verlossing” (1 Kor. 1:30). Solank as wat jy jou eie wysheid, geregtigheid, heiligmaking en verlossing probeer meng met dit wat Christus vir jou gewórd het, is jy besig met ‘n eksperiment in die geestelike laboratorium wat nooit kan werk nie. Ons almal was al in daardie laboratorium besig om sorgvuldig die olie en water met mekaar te meng om te kyk of óns nie dalk ‘n deurbraak kan kry wat die teorie verkeerd sal bewys nie. Geloof beteken daarteenoor eenvoudig dat ek géén vertroue in my eie wysheid, krag en vermoëns plaas nie, maar dit alles net so in Jesus se hande sit sodat Hy kan doen en werk wat Hy wil in en deur my. Daarom het Jesus gesê “sonder My kan julle niks doen nie” (Joh. 15:5). Daarom ook is boodskappe wat vir ons die heerlikheid van Christus voorhou sonder om vir ons duidelik te laat verstaan dat ons deelname daaraan ‘n totale skipbreuk van ons eie-geregtigheid en self-vertroue impliseer, misleidend en gevaarlik.

Dag 20

LEARNING TO LIVE AND WALK BY CHRIST – Austin Sparks

We are learning how to come back to a fulness, He [Jesus] moved on toward a fulness. The Cross for Him was the end, for us it is the beginning. We have to learn how to come back to His fulness and we learn progressively, step by step, like little children, first of all learning to walk and to talk. Like them we are confronted with things which we have never done or even attempted before, things which are all new and strange; a new world, sometimes a very terrible world. The contemplation of taking his first step to a little child is a most terrifying proposition. You and I are brought into this realm of faith, wherein the simplest thing at the beginning, the taking of a first step, is sometimes fraught with horror for us. But there are arms stretched out, and those arms now represent for us the accomplishment of what is required of us, the thing is done. The strength is there, available for the matter in hand, a strength which has been proved. Recognising those arms and trusting, taking the step, we learn to walk by Christ, to live by Christ; and the next time we shall be able to go a bit further. Each time capacity is being enlarged and we are coming to a fuller measure of maturity. The fulness of Christ eventually will be that all that ever Christ accomplished will be made good in us.

Dag 21

THE PERFECTING OF LOVE – John Henry Jowett

“Herein is our love made perfect.” —1 John 4:17

How? By dwelling in God and God in us. Love is not a manufacture; it is a fruit. It is not born of certain works; it springs out of certain relations. It does not come from doing something; it comes from living with Somebody. “Abide in Me.” That is how love is born, for “love is of God, and God is love.” How many people are striving who are not abiding. They live in a manufactory, they do not live in a home. They are trying to make something instead of to know Somebody. “ This is life, to know Thee.” When I am related to the Lord Jesus, when I dwell with Him, love is as surely born as beauty and fragrance are born when my garden and the spring-time dwell together. If we would only wisely cultivate the fellowship of Jesus, everything else would follow in its train—all that gracious succession of beautiful things which are called “the fruits of the Spirit.” And “herein is our love made perfect.” It is always growing richer, because it is always drawing riches from the inexhaustible love of God. How could it be otherwise? Endless resource must mean endless growth. “Our life is hid with Christ in God,” and hence our love will “grow in all wisdom and discernment.”

Dag 22

BOSE AGTERDOG – Albert Theron

“…het ‘n sieklike sug na twisvrae en woordestryd waaruit ontstaan afguns, twis, lasteringe, bose agterdog.” 1 Tim. 6:4

Bose agterdog is die tweelingboetie van bose suspisie en die nefie van afguns (jaloesie). Dit maak deel uit van ‘n bose kringloop in ons denkwêreld, wat geaktiveer word deur te dink oor ons lewe saam met ander mense buite-om die heerlikheid van die evangelie. Dit is soos ‘n virus wat versprei en jou denke later tot so ‘n mate oorheers dat die hele atmosfeer van jou innerlike agterdog en suspisie word. Hierdie atmosfeer dra jy in hou huis in en dit versuur al jou verhoudinge. So oordeel jy van die môre tot die aand ander mense se motiewe asof jy God is wat presies kan sien en instinktief weet waarom mense dinge sê en doen. Mettertyd word jy ‘n baie moeilike mens om mee saam te leef, want ander weet nooit waarvan hulle volgende beskuldig gaan word nie. Die grappie word vertel van die man wat by ‘n rugbywedstryd baie suspisieus was toe die manne sak in die skrum, want hy het vermoed hulle soek net ‘n verskoning om oor hom te skinder. Ons kan lekker lag daaroor, maar die kringloop van afguns, agterdog en suspisie is ‘n wesenlike gevaar as ‘n mens nie jou hart bewaar nie. Dit is tipies van wêreldse verhoudinge, maar kan ook maklik deel word van ‘n ware dissipel se lewe as hy of sy nie waaksaam is nie. Paulus skryf in Titus 3 vers 3 dat ons vroeër (voor ons wedergeboorte) ons lewe deurgebring het in “kwaadwilligheid en jaloesie; ons was haatlik en het mekaar gehaat.” Maar nou in Christus moet, en kán, ons “vriendelik en geduldig” wees en “mekaar in liefde verdra” (Efes. 4:2). In Christus kan ons maar, sonder om naïef te wees, die beste glo van mekaar, bid vir mekaar en as daar dan werklik kwaadwilligheid is dit in liefde uitsorteer met rein harte wat altyd begeer om welwillend te wees en in die ander persoon se beste belang op te tree.

Dag 23

NO FULLNESS OF POWER IF THE BIBLE IS NEGLECTED – R.A. Torrey

There can be no fulness of power in life and service if the Bible is neglected. In much that is now written on power, also in much that is said in conventions, this fact is overlooked. The work of the Holy Spirit is magnified, but the instrument through which the Holy Spirit works is largely forgotten. The result is transient enthusiasm and activity, but no steady continuance and increase in power and usefulness. We cannot obtain power, and we cannot maintain power, in our own lives, and in our work for others, unless there is deep and frequent meditation upon the Word of God. If our leaf is not to wither and whatsoever we do is to prosper, our delight must be in the law of the Lord and we must meditate therein day and night (Ps. 1:2, 3.). Of course, it is much easier, and therefore much more agreeable to our spiritual laziness, to go to a convention or revival meeting, and claim a ” filling with the Holy Spirit,” than it is to peg along day after day, month after month, year after year digging into the Word of God. But a “filling with the Spirit” that is not maintained by persistent study of the Word will soon vanish. It is well to bear in mind that precisely the results which Paul in one place ascribes to being “filled with the Spirit ” (Eph. 5:18-22) he in another place ascribes to letting “the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” (Col. 3:16-18.) Evidently Paul knew of no filling with the Holy Spirit divorced from deep and constant meditation upon the Word. To sum all up, anyone who wishes to obtain and maintain fulness of Power in Christian life and service must feed constantly upon the Word of God.

Dag 24

DIE MOEILIKSTE DING IN VERHOUDINGE EN VERAL IN DIE HUWELIK – Albert Theron

Die heel moeilikste ding om baas te raak in verhoudinge is om te glo dat daar werklik “geen veroordeling” is “vir die wat in Christus Jesus is nie” (Rom. 8:1). Ons hemelse Vader het “die dokument met voorskrifte wat as klagstaat teen ons gedien het, uitgevee en dit vir goed weggevat deur dit aan die kruis vas te spyker” (Kol. 2:14). Nou verwag Hy van ons om die klagstate wat ons teen mekaar hou ook aan die kruis vasgespyker te sien en om dan sonder veroordeling ons verskille met mekaar in nederigheid en liefde uit te sorteer. Solank as wat daar egter ‘n klagstaat teen jou in my hart en mond is, is daar altyd veroordeling en in daardie atmosfeer word niks ooit uitgesorteer tussen mense nie! Inteendeel, dit lei net tot agterdog, twis, vyandigheid, verdeeldheid en weerwraak. Daarom moet ons aanhou hoor wat die evangelie vir ons wil oordra en bo alles gló dat ons sonder veroordeling sake kan uitsorteer deur die oortuiging wat die Heilige Gees bring in ‘n atmosfeer van nederige afhanklikheid van God.

Dag 25

MY PLANNE OF SY PLANNE? – Albert Theron

Spreuke 3 vers 6 lees “ken Hom in al jou weë, dan sal Hy jou paaie gelykmaak”. ‘n Pragtige belofte, solank ons onthou dat ons “paaie” alles te doen het met Jesus se paaie, Sý kruis en Sý koninkryk. Dit is so maklik om die beloftes van die Bybel te gebruik om ‘my lewe’ uit te sorteer en dan vergeet ek dat ek as dissipel van Jesus reeds ‘my lewe’ as ‘n aardse bestaan onafhanklik van die koninkryk vaarwel toegeroep het. Ons durf dus nie meer dink oor ons bestaan op hierdie aarde as iets wat los staan van die koninkryk van God nie. Die heel eerste tree wat jy agter Jesus aangegee het was alreeds ‘n tree op die pad van die kruis. Daar ís geen ander pad agter Hom aan nie. Die Vader het ‘n meesterplan in Sy Seun vir hierdie aarde en die mense op aarde. Hy het ons gered “met die doel om alle dinge wat in die hemele sowel as wat op die aarde is, onder een hoof in Christus te verenig” (Efes. 1:10). Daar bestaan nie so iets soos wedergeboorte sonder ‘n kruis wat opgeneem moet word nie. Daardie kruis beteken my lewe is nou een met God se plan in Jesus vir versoening en verhouding met Homself en verlossing van verlore mense. In alles moet ek dus, van my kant af, daardie doel voor oë hê. Dit beteken eenvoudig dat my beroep, my huwelik, my kinders, my toekoms en my daaglikse handel en wandel nooit los kan staan van die soewereine wil van die Koning wat in my leef nie (Gal. 2:20).

Dag 26

THE TEST OF OBEDIENCE – William MacDonald

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

There is a subtle deception that attending meetings, conferences and seminars is doing the work of God. We listen to messages and talk about what we know we should be doing, and the delusion creeps over us that we are accomplishing His will. What we are actually doing is increasing our responsibility and deceiving ourselves. We deceive ourselves that we are spiritual when actually we might be quite carnal. We deceive ourselves that we are growing when the truth is that we are stagnant. We deceive ourselves that we are wise when we are pathetically foolish.

Jesus said that the wise man is the one who hears His words and does them. The foolish man also hears His words but does nothing about them. It is not enough to listen to a sermon and walk away saying “What a marvelous message.” The true test is when we go away saying, “I will do something about what I heard.” Someone has said that a good sermon not only stretches the mind, warms the heart, and tans the hide but it also provokes the will to action. In the middle of his message, a preacher once asked his audience the name of the first hymn they had sung. No one knew. He asked the text of Scripture that had been read. No one knew. He asked what announcements had been made. No one could remember. The people were playing church. Before every meeting, we might well ask ourselves the following questions. Why did I come? Am I willing to have God speak to me personally? Will I obey Him if He does? The Dead Sea justly earned its name by constant input without corresponding outflow. In our lives, information without application leads to stagnation. The Savior’s persistent question comes home to us, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”

Dag 27

MÝ NAAM, MÝ KONINKRYK, MÝ WIL – Albert Theron

‘n Christenskap wat my naam, my koninkryk en my wil onaangeraak los terwyl ek Jesus se naam baie vroom en godsdienstig bely is ‘n vals en dodelik misleidende Christenskap. Jesus is nie die Verlosser vir sommige dissipels en die Here vir ander nie. Hy is altyd beide Verlosser én Here. Om Hom dus op ‘n Sondag te bely as Koning en op ‘n Maandag my eie naam en eer te bevorder, my eie koninkryk te probeer uitbrei en my eie wil na te jaag, is die hoogtepunt van huigelary. Of nog erger, om dit op ‘n Sondag te doen wanneer ons eiesinnig poog om ons eie bedieninge en gemeentes te bou met die doel om óns naam en koninkryk te bevorder! Die inhoud van ons gebede is gewoonlik ‘n onfeilbare toets van hoe ons dink oor God, die gemeente, die koninkryk en ons lewens op aarde. Hoe en waarvoor bid jy gewoonlik? Jesus leer Sy dissipels om te bid “onse Vader wat in die hemele is, laat U Naam geheilig word, laat U koninkryk kom, laat U wil geskied…” (Matt. 6:9-10). Daarmee stel Hy dit eens en vir altyd onomwonde en onaanvegbaar dat daar vir outentieke dissipels van Hom net een agenda op hierdie aarde kán wees en dit is om die Vader se naam, koninkryk en wil in alles te bevorder. Al kry ons dit nie altyd reg nie bly dit die groot begeerte in die hart van elke ware dissipel van Jesus.

Dag 28

HEAVENLY GROUND – Austin Sparks

It is essential that the believer have a clear understanding of his position before the Father – his place in the ascended Lord Jesus Christ. This alone will give true peace of mind, joy and comfort of heart, strength for conflict and power for service. We will not be able to properly understand or fill our place for God on earth if we do not realize our God-given standing before Him in heaven.

And never forget that our place before the Father is His gift, and a gift worthy of the Giver; not a gift according to the measure of our worth, but a gift intended to display the exceeding riches of the grace of the Giver. The greatness of the Giver, then, is the measure of the blessings that are mine in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, not what I am or what I deserve.

When you see and stand upon your heavenly ground, you come to rest, just as the Father rests. You need not worry – only keep on that ground by your attitude of faith and heart. If you are going to worry – if you must worry – worry lest you get down on earthly ground, for that is the ground of worry. Heavenly things are in safe keeping-in the keeping of One who is “far above all.”

Dag 29

LISTENING TO GOD BEFORE WE SPEAK FOR HIM – A.W. Tozer

Holy men of soberer and quieter times than ours knew well the power of silence. David said, I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me; while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue. There is a tip here for God’s modern prophets. The heart seldom gets hot while the mouth is open. A closed mouth before God and a silent heart are indispensable for the reception of certain kinds of truth. No man is qualified to speak who has not first listened. It might well be a wonderful revelation to some Christians if they were to get completely quiet for a short time, long enough, let us say, to get acquainted with their own souls, and to listen in the silence for the deep voice of the Eternal God. The experience, if repeated often enough, would do more to cure our ulcers than all the pills that ever rolled across a desk.

Dag 30

WAARAAN DINK JY AS DIT STIL RAAK? – Albert Theron

“As ek aan U dink op my bed, in die nagwake oor U peins.” Psalms 63:7

Op watter paaie loop jou gedagtes snags wanneer die dag se geluide stil geraak het? Loop hulle terug op die pad van die verlede na mislukkings en verwyte wat jou hede versuur en waaraan jy in elk geval niks kan verander nie? Loop hulle vooruit op die pad van die toekoms na skimbeelde en vrese van alles wat verkeerd kan loop? Waar gaan staan jou gedagtes stil in die oggend voordat die geraas van ‘n nuwe dag begin? Hardloop hulle sommer dadelik na al die probleme wat die nuwe dag kan bring en die bekommernisse wat so maklik in ‘n bondel vergader om jou vrede te verstoor? God nooi jou en my uit om soos Dawid van ouds in ons harte en denke by Hom te kom rus. Daar is ‘n onbeperkte, onsienlike wêreld van vrede en heerlikheid in die wese van God en ons het die onuitspreeklike voorreg om te mag dink oor Hom. In elk geval lê al die antwoorde van die verlede, hede en toekoms net in Hom, die tydlose, ewige God.

Dag 31

THE TEST OF EVERY GIFT – Austin Sparks

There is a most pressing need that we should face this matter of what the Cross sets aside, and what the Cross brings in; what may be put on God’s foundation, and what may not. It concerns every one of us quite seriously, as to what there will be at the end: not what there is now, however showy and popular, and however enjoying of man’s approval and applause it may be. God is moving to build up: He shows what He cannot and will not use in His building, and then He says: ‘This is what I will use; this is the material for the building of My Church. This is what really builds: “Love builds up”.’ May the Lord smite our hearts, if need be, to enlighten us as to what the real values are. Not even spiritual gifts are the real values, unless the effect of them is real spiritual increase amongst the believers. That is the test. It is not the things themselves, not their presence, not even the fact that the Lord gave them. The test of every gift is: Does it really build the Church? does it really build the House? is it really resulting in a larger measure of Christ? For these things may be an obstruction to Christ. This letter to the Corinthians makes it so clear that the possession of spiritual gifts is no guarantee of spiritual maturity. Here you have the most immature of the churches—Paul says: ‘I have fed you with milk; you are still babes’—and yet characterized by all these gifts. It is not that the gifts are wrong, but that they have been sidetracked; they have not served the purpose for which they were given—that is, bringing to the full measure of Christ. That is the object, and that object is only achieved by love. May the Lord give us that kind of love! This is not natural love; this love springs out of the Cross. It is the love which comes right out of the work of the Cross within us. We cannot get it by striving after it; but, as the Cross does its work in our hearts and in our natures, it will rise and grow. The Lord increase our love!