Augustus

Dag 1

DIE GEESTELIKE BELANGSTELLING VAN DIE NUWE MENS IN CHRISTUS – Albert Theron

Dit is baie duidelik in die blaaie van die Nuwe Testament dat “die mens in Christus” se geestelike sintuie met die wedergeboorte aangeskakel is. Dit is ook dan die primêre rede waarom hierdie nuwe mens in Christus se belangstelling so radikaal verskil van die ou mens in Adam.  Jesus het dit baie duidelik gemaak in Johannes 3 dat slegs mense wat wedergebore is die koninkryk kan “sien”.  Hierdie “sien” het vanselfsprekend niks te doen met fisiese sig nie.

Jesus antwoord en sê vir hom: Voorwaar, voorwaar Ek sê vir jou, as iemand nie weer gebore word nie, kan hy die koninkryk van God nie sien nie.” Johannes 3:3 

Verder kan slegs hierdie dissipels wat weer gebore is Jesus se stem hoor in die Skrif en Hom dan in alles leer gehoorsaam.

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 

 

Die nuwe mens in Christus stel belang in die wese en persoon van God, die koninkryk, die hemelse en ewige werklikhede, geregtigheid, heiligheid, ensovoorts.  Vir die ou mens in Adam is al hierdie geestelike dinge vaag en dit interesseer hom nie werklik nie. Hy stel baie meer belang in dit wat sy lewe op aarde kan verbeter en vir daardie doel is hy dikwels bereid om sekere opofferings te maak, binne perke natuurlik.  Veral as daar nog ‘n assuransie vir die ewigheid ook belowe word.

Die “ou mens” kan baie godsdienstig wees en selfs ‘n intellektuele of antikwariese belangstelling in die Bybel hê, maar die soeke na verhouding met God en die begeerte om geestelik te groei laat hom in werklikheid koud.  Soms wonder mens oor die soort “geestelike” lektuur en media boodskappe wat ons generasie fassineer.  In so ‘n klimaat raak dit juis soveel belangriker om seker te maak dat ons werklik die nuwe lewe in Christus ontvang het wat net in die wedergeboorte aan ons geskenk word.

Dag 2

A NEW SET OF SPIRITUAL SENSES – Austin Sparks

When we are truly born of the Spirit, we receive a new set of spiritual senses. They correspond in purpose to the old senses. But they are spiritual and not physical.

We, by the Holy Spirit, receive a new faculty of sight. You know how much there is in the New Testament about having our eyes opened. Jesus pointed to this principle by opening the eyes of the blind. He was illustrating the great spiritual truth that in the new creation, we get a new faculty of sight. And every truly born again child of God ought to be able to say, “Whereas I was blind, now I see.” The truth about a child of God is that their first thing is, “Now I see.” They have received the faculty of spiritual sight. It goes by different names in the New Testament. Sometimes it is called spiritual discernment. Sometimes it is spiritual understanding. Sometimes it is spiritual perception. But whatever the name is, it means the same thing. I now see what I was never able to see before as to the true meaning of Divine things. I was born blind, but the Holy Spirit has performed the great miracle of giving me new eyes.

This spiritual faculty of sight has introduced us to a new world altogether, not the material world, but the spiritual world. Listen to what the Apostle Paul says about this, he says, ‘Things which eye did not see, things which ear did not hear, things which entered not into the heart of man, these things God has revealed to us by His Spirit.’

The first faculty of new birth is spiritual sight. Can you see the difference between the old dispensation and the new? You see, Israel had all these things which they could see with their natural eyes. They could see the tabernacle or the temple. They could see the priests and the sacrifices. They could see the feasts. But they were totally blind to the meaning of those things. And because they were blind to the meaning, they crucified the One Who fulfilled them all. With all their power of natural sight, they were spiritually blind. So the first work of the Holy Spirit in new birth is to give us new spiritual eyes.

Not only is this true of seeing, it is also true of hearing. In the old dispensation, they heard everything with their natural ears; but they were quite deaf to the Voice of God. It did not go any further than the drums of their ears. Now in the new order of the Spirit, we are given a new faculty of hearing. We Christians have a way of saying, ‘The Lord has spoken to me.’ We do not mean that we have heard something with our natural ears. We know what we mean, ‘The Lord has spoken to me. I have heard the Lord speaking in my heart;’ that means we have received a new faculty. And this new dispensation is built upon this principle. When Jesus spoke His parables, He finished by saying this, “He that has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15). And you know that was His Own Word to the seven churches in Asia. After He had spoken to those seven churches, He repeated seven times, “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says” (Rev. 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22).

Dag 3

PRAY FOR A REVELATION OF WHAT IS ALREADY YOURS IN CHRIST – Watchman Nee

Whether we are strong or weak depends on how much we see. Those who see are strong, and those who do not see are weak. The strong ones are not those who have received, and the weak ones are not those who have not received; we have all received. The question today is whether or not we have seen. God works within us not because we ask Him for this or for that. He has given us everything that can be given; everything is within us. Today we need to ask God to give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that we can see. Those who see have the experience. In the past, many saints experienced a spiritual breakthrough not by receiving a puff of power from God, but by waking up in themselves and exclaiming, “Thank the Lord, all these things are mine.” They did not beg again and again for what they did not have. Rather, they saw that they had everything, and they uttered thanksgiving and praise. Those who have never seen this do not know the surpassing greatness of His power.

How great is this power? Paul said that it is “according to the operation of the might of His strength.” We should take note of the words “according to.” We have to realize that the power which is toward those who believe is according to the operation of the might of His strength. In other words, the power that operates in the church is as great as the might of strength that operated in Christ. The might of strength which God operates in us is as great as the might of strength which He operated in Christ. There is no difference between the two. I do not know if you have seen this. If you have not seen this, you need to pray. You should not think that you are all right, just because you have read the book of Ephesians a few times and can memorize 1:19 and 20. Whether or not you can memorize them does not count; what counts is the revelation and the seeing. Paul prayed that we might see the surpassing greatness of God’s power given to us. If we have not seen that the power in us is the same as the power that is in Christ, we still need to pray for the seeing. If the power that is manifested in us does not match the power that is manifested in Christ, we have to confess that there are still things we have not seen. We have to admit humbly that there are still many things we have not seen, and that God has to show them to us. But whether or not we have seen them, the fact remains: the power that is in those who believe in Christ is as great as the power that is in Christ. Thank the Lord that this is a fact. May the Lord open our eyes so that we would truly see. We do not ask God to transmit more power to us from the outside. We only need to ask God to help us discover and see more of what we have within us. If God opens our eyes and we see, we will praise Him for what we already have.

Dag 4

NET GOD KAN ONS GEESTELIKE OË OPEN – Albert Theron

 Die volgende teksgedeeltes maak dit baie duidelik dat geestelike sig ‘n bonatuurlike werklikheid is.  Net God kan mense se oë oopmaak om die heerlikheid van die evangelie te sien.  Aan die ander kant doen satan alles in sy vermoë om mense blind te hou vir die waarheid van die evangelie.

 “Naamlik die ongelowiges in wie die god van hierdie wêreld die sinne verblind het, sodat die verligting van die evangelie van die heerlikheid van Christus, wat die beeld van God is, op hulle nie sou skyn nie.” 2 Kor. 4:4

 Hieruit kan mens sekerlik aflei dat God wil hê dat mense se geestelike oë moet oopgaan sodat hulle die vreugdes van verlossing en gevolglik Sy teenwoordigheid kan beleef.  Daarom maak Paulus dit dan ook duidelik dat dit God is wat as’t ware die lig in ons binneste aangeskakel het sodat ons die geestelike inhoud van die boodskap aangaande Jesus kan “sien”.  Dit is dus baie meer (maar ook nooit minder nie let wel) as net ‘n oortuiging en gevolgtrekking wat ons met ons verstand by uitgekom het. 

 Want God wat gesê het dat daar uit duisternis lig moet skyn—dit is Hy wat in ons harte geskyn het om die verligting te bring van die kennis van die heerlikheid van God in die aangesig van Jesus Christus.” 2 Kor. 4:6

 Wat egter ook glashelder duidelik is as ‘n mens ander teksgedeeltes oor dieselfde onderwerp ondersoek, is dat God nooit mense se geestelike oë oopmaak langs die weg van ongehoorsaamheid nie.  Daarom is dit ongelukkig ook tragies waar dat ‘n mens baie godsdienstig kan wees (soos die Jode van ouds) en gedurig besig met die Bybel, maar as jy nie bereid is om die evangelie te gehoorsaam met ‘n totale oorgawe aan Jesus Christus nie bly jy geestelik blind en gevolglik ook verlore.

 En toe hulle onder mekaar onenig was, het hulle uiteengegaan nadat Paulus hierdie woord gesê het, naamlik: Tereg het die Heilige Gees deur Jesaja, die profeet, tot ons vaders gespreek en gesê: Gaan na hierdie volk en sê: Met die gehoor sal julle hoor en glad nie verstaan nie, en julle sal kyk en kyk, en glad nie sien nie.” Handelinge 28:25-26

Dag 5

NO TRUE UNDERSTANDING WITHOUT INWARD ILLUMINATION  – Andrew Murray

In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul had dealt with man’s trust in his own righteousness, and its insufficiency. To the Corinthians, especially in the first three chapters, he exposes the insufficiency of man’s wisdom. And that not merely when it was a question of discovering God’s truth and will, as with the Greeks; but even where God had revealed it, as with the Jews, man was incapable of seeing it without a Divine illumination, the light of the Holy Spirit.

The rulers of this world, Jew and Gentile, had crucified the Lord of glory because they knew not the wisdom of God. In writing to believers at Corinth, and warning them against the wisdom of the world, Paul is not dealing with any heresy, Jewish or heathen. He is speaking to believers, who had fully accepted his gospel of a crucified Christ, but who were in danger, in preaching or hearing the truth, to deal with it in the power of human wisdom. He reminds them that the truth of God, as a hidden spirit mystery, can only be apprehended by a spiritual revelation. The rejection of Christ by the Jews had been the great proof of the utter incapacity of human wisdom to grasp a Divine revelation, without the spiritual internal illumination of the Holy Spirit. The Jews prided themselves on their attachment to God’s word, their study of it, their conformity to it in life and conduct. The issue proved that, without their being conscious of it, they utterly misunderstood it, and rejected the very Messiah whom they thought they were waiting for and trusting in.

Divine revelation, as Paul expounds it in this chapter, means three things. God must make known in His word what He thinks and does. Every preacher who is to communicate the message, must not only be in possession of the truth, but continually be taught by the Spirit how to speak it. And every hearer needs the inward illumination: it is only as he is a spiritual man, with his life under the rule of the Spirit, that his mind can take in spiritual truth.

Dag 6

LIG IS NIE SIG NIE – Albert Theron

Die Bybel is lig.  Die evangelie is lig. God se woorde is lig. Jesus is lig.  Maar sonder die innerlike opening van jou oë deur die Heilige Gees beteken die lig absoluut niks vir jou nie, selfs al is jy dag en nag besig met die lig.  ‘n Blinde mens kan heeldag in briljante sonlig staan en hy sien net mooi niks. Hy is steeds in duisternis al is hy omring deur lig. Hoe weet jy dat jy sig het en nie net lig nie? Sig gee jou krag om heilig te leef.  Sig breek die mag van sonde.  Verder bring sig altyd die gemanifesteerde teenwoordigheid en heerlikheid van God in ‘n lewe of in ‘n gemeente.

As jy dus baie Bybelkennis (lig) het, maar sonder geestelike sig is jy eintlik op ‘n gevaarlike plek. Die grootste openbaring en gesondste teologie denkbaar kan geen verskil in jou lewe maak as jy nie sig het nie.  Interessant genoeg gaan dit dus in die finale analise nie eers net oor kopkennis versus wat ons noem openbaringskennis nie, want die vraag bly altyd of jy geestelike sig het wat daardie kennis of openbaring kan omsit in krag en heerlikheid en die kennelike teenwoordigheid van God.

Volgens Mattheüs 6:19-34 is ons afhanklikheid van “Mammon” (die geldstelsel van die wêreld) een van die grootste redes hoekom Bybelkennis dikwels geen werklike verskil in ons lewens maak nie.  M.a.w. jou  vertroue het nog nie geskuif van die natuurlike na die geestelike nie.  Besitreg kelder jou.  Jy hou nog vas aan dinge op hierdie aarde en daarom gee God jou nie hemelse sig nie.

Satan kom as ‘n “engel van die lig” en solank as wat ons nie sig het nie kan hy ons op allerhande dwaalspore laat beland terwyl ons steeds dink ons is besig met waarheid, met die Bybel, met Jesus.  Daarom is dit krities belangrik dat elkeen van ons na God gaan en Hom pertinent vra of ons onsself flous met al die waarheid en kennis waarmee ons besig is.  Het ek werklik geestelike sig of mislei ek myself omdat ek so seker is dat my greep op die lig gelyk is aan sig?

Dag 7

THE GOSPEL IS LIGHT BUT ONLY THE SPIRIT CAN GIVE SIGHT  – A.W. Tozer

The assumption that light and sight are synonymous has brought spiritual tragedy to millions. A blind man may face a beautiful landscape with eyes wide open and see nothing; and a blind heart may hear saving truth and understand nothing. The Pharisees looked straight at the Light of the World for three years, but not one ray of light reached their inner beings. Light is not enough. The disciples of Jesus were instructed in the Scriptures. Christ Himself had taught them out of the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms; yet it took a specific act of inward “opening” before they could grasp the truth. “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45). When Paul preached at Philippi a certain woman named Lydia heard, believed, was baptized and immediately put her house at Paul’s disposal. But one highly significant little phrase explains the whole thing: “whose heart the Lord opened” (Acts 16:14). Lydia received sight as well as light.

The apostle discovered very early in his ministry that, as he put it, “not all men have faith.” And he knew why. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Cor. 4:3, 4).

Satan has no fear of the light as long as he can keep his victims sightless. The uncomprehending mind is unaffected by truth. The intellect of the hearer may grasp saving knowledge while yet the heart makes no moral response to it. A classic example of this is seen in the story of Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield. In his autobiography Franklin recounts in some detail how he listened to the mighty preaching of the great evangelist. He even walked around the square where Whitefield stood to learn for himself how far that golden voice carried. Whitefield talked with Franklin personally about his need of Christ and promised to pray for him. Years later Franklin wrote rather sadly that the evangelist’s prayers must not have done any good, for he was still unconverted.

No one could doubt the intellectual brilliance of Franklin and certainly Whitefield preached the whole truth; yet nothing came of it. Why? The only answer is that Franklin had light without sight. He never saw the Light of the World. To do this requires an act of inward enlightenment wrought by the Spirit, something which Franklin apparently never received. The inward operation of the Holy Spirit is necessary to saving faith. The gospel is light but only the Spirit can give sight. When seeking to bring the lost to Christ we must pray continually that they may receive the gift of seeing. And we must pit our prayer against that dark spirit who blinds the hearts of men.

Dag 8

‘N GENERASIE MET BAIE LIG, MAAR MIN SIG – Albert Theron

In die evangelie van Johannes is Jesus se opening van die oë van ‘n man wat blind gebore is (Johannes 9) een van sewe wonderwerke (tekens) wat bewys dat Hy die Seun van God is.  Hierdie opening van die oë van ‘n blinde man het plaasgevind te midde van mense wat geroem het daarop dat hulle die Tanakh (die letterlike woorde van God) in hulle besit het en dat hulle daarom anders as alle ander mense was.  Jesus gebruik egter die teken van die opening van ‘n blinde man se oë om vir hulle in effek te sê “lig is nie gelyk aan sig nie”!  Net die wat na Jesus kom en die knie buig voor Hom ontvang sig om dan dinamies om te gaan met lig.  En terloops, net die wie se knieë gebuig bly, behou hulle sig!

Baie jare na Jesus die man se oë tydens Sy bediening op aarde oopgemaak het, sien Johannes op die eiland Patmos ‘n gesig van die verheerlikte Jesus wat tussen sewe van Sy gemeentes deurloop met “oë soos ‘n vuurvlam”.  Vir een van hierdie gemeentes sê Jesus dan “Want jy sê: Ek is ryk en het verryk geword en het aan niks gebrek nie; en jy weet nie dat dit jy is wat ellendig en beklaenswaardig en arm en blind en naak is nie. Ek raai jou aan om van My te koop goud wat deur vuur gelouter is, sodat jy kan ryk word; en wit klere, dat jy jou kan aantrek en die skande van jou naaktheid nie openbaar word nie; en salf om jou oë te salf, sodat jy kan sien” (Openbaring 3:17-18).

Let op dat Jesus hier met een van Sy gemeentes praat. Maar die boodskap is presies dieselfde as wat Hy deur die opening van die oë van die blinde man vir die Jode probeer gee het toe Hy op aarde was, naamlik “lig is nie gelyk aan sig nie”!  Net die “salf” wat Jesus gee, kan geestelike blindheid genees.  Ons generasie het meer toegang (deur die internet en moderne media) tot Bybelkennis (lig) as enige generasie voor ons in die geskiedenis, maar het ons geestelike sig of is ons soos blindes wat met kragtige flitse in ons hande rondloop en roem in die superieure tegnologie van ons flitse?  As ons nie geestelike krag het nie is daar net een werklike oorsaak en dit is dat ons met al ons lig, nie sig het nie.  Kan iets meer tragies wees?  Is dit nie tyd vir ons om uit te roep na God om ons generasie van gelowiges geestelike sig te gee nie?

Dag 9

HEARING WITH THE INWARD EAR – Austin Sparks

Reading: Rom. 12:1; Ex. 21:5-6; Deut. 15:12-18; Lev. 8:22-24,30; 14:28; Isa. 1:2-10; Rev. 3:20-22.

You will have noticed that, in all these passages, reference is made to the ear. There is the bored ear of the servant, the consecrated ear of the priest, the anointed ear of the leper, the opened ear for instruction in Isa. 1, and the attentive ear of Rev. 3. It is impressive to realise what a large place the Lord gives to the ear, and how much Scripture is occupied with hearing; and, as we put the various Scriptures together, we come to find that the matter of hearing, or of the ear, goes right to the root of the spiritual life. It was by capturing the ear of Eve that all sin was introduced into the human race. She consented to listen, she lent her ear when the adversary, Satan, said, “Has God said…?”. That was the beginning of all spiritual evil among men, and since then Satan has ever sought to propagate his kingdom by getting the ear, by securing a consent to listen. It was in exactly the same way that he went to the Lord Jesus in the days of His fast in the wilderness, saying, “If you are the Son of God…” There is something in that very much akin to “Has God said…?”, because it was only a short time previously that God had said, “This is my beloved Son”. But the last Adam refused to listen; He closed His ear. He would not consent to entertain the suggestion or the insinuation, and, by His persistent refusal to give ear to the adversary, redemption was accomplished. All the mischief of the first failure in that very respect was overcome.

When we come to the book of the Revelation, we find that it is to the ear that the appeal is made. It is the time of consummations. The first chapters have to do with things that must be listened to as from the Lord; the last chapters see the result of that work of the Spirit-life in fulness; the same principles as in Genesis. It is the question of life in fulness, lost by lending an ear to Satan, gained by listening to what the Spirit saith.

So we are right in saying that there is a sense in which the whole spiritual life and spiritual history hang upon spiritual hearing. Between the two extremes of death and life, between listening to Satan and having an ear only for the Lord, there are many aspects of spiritual hearing, as we have seen in the above passages. We will not touch upon them now in detail, but be content for the moment to emphasize the necessity of having an ear to hear what the Spirit saith, and of using it – “He that has an ear, let him hear”. We must be sure that we are not only hearing outwardly, but that the thing is going deep inside, that it is making a difference. You can say things again and again to some people, and they know what you say, and will retort, ‘I have heard you say that before’. But it makes no difference – they have not heard with the inward ear. Life depends upon that kind of hearing inside – using the ear that we have for what the Spirit says. So it is all summed up in “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service (worship, R.V.M)” (Rom. 12:1).

Dag 10

‘N GEESTELIKE LEWE BEGIN MET TOEGEWYDE ORE – Albert Theron 

In sy uitstekende artikel oor geestelike gehoor (Spiritual Hearing) maak Austin Sparks hierdie aangrypende stelling aangaande die priesters in die Ou Testament wat eers bloed en dan olie op die oor ontvang het om hulle geestelike take te kon verrig: “There is the the ear sealed against one world, and there is the ear open to the other world. There is one world closed by the Blood, another world opened by the Spirit; and it all centres in the inner ear, the ear of the heart. It is a very important thing.”

Hierdie ietwat vreemde instelling m.b.t. priesterskap kommunikeer nietemin vir ons ‘n krities belangrike waarheid, naamlik dat priesters afgesonderde en toegewyde ore nodig gehad het om God waardiglik te kon dien. Aangesien die Nuwe Testament dit baie duidelik maak dat die priesterskap oorgegaan het op al God se mense word hierdie saak van geestelike gehoor iets waaraan ons almal besonderse aandag moet gee. Oorweeg as voorbeeld net die volgende stellings van Jesus oor geestelike gehoor:

My skape luister na my stem, en Ek ken hulle, en hulle volg My.” Johannes 10:27

“En Hy het vir hulle gesê: Pas op wat julle hoor; met die maat waarmee julle meet, sal vir julle gemeet word, en daar sal bygevoeg word vir julle wat hoor.” Markus 4:24

“Pas dan op hoe julle hoor; want elkeen wat het, aan hom sal gegee word; en elkeen wat nie het nie, van hom sal weggeneem word ook wat hy dink dat hy het.” Lukas 8:18

Jesus sê in Johannes sy skape luister na sy stem. In Markus en Lukas sê Hy ons moet baie versigtig wees met wat ons hoor én hoe ons hoor.  As ons sê ons is in Jesus se kudde beteken dit dus prakties ons kan nie ons ore uitleen vir sommer enigiets nie. Ons moet baie versigtig en selektief luister en leer om sekere dinge te ignoreer en ander heeltemal te vermy waar moontlik. Aan die ander kant moet ons seker maak dat ons ore akuut ingestel is op die geestelike werklikhede van die koninkryk en dat ons altyd luister met die uitsluitlike doel om te gehoorsaam.

Hoe gaan dit met jou geestelike gehoor? Is jy doof vir die wêreld en super-sensitief vir die stem van jou Herder of is dit dalk presies die teenoorgestelde; halfpad doof vir Jesus en aandagtig ingestel op die honderde stemme in die wêreld? Antwoord eerlik. “Laat hom wat ore het hoor”.

Dag 11

AN INNER KNOWING – Bill Freeman

“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” John 10:4

From John 10 we see that the Lord’s voice in our experience is like an inner knowing. Verses 4-5 say, “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Also, in verse 14 the Lord says, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.” This inner knowing of the Lord’s voice is similar to experiencing an inner drawing. We are moved and touched from within. There is a deep inner consciousness and conviction. This means that the Lord’s voice is written into our very consciousness. For example, when we received Christ into us, it was because we were convinced by this inner knowing that we should receive Him. Outwardly, we may have heard a preacher sharing the gospel, or we may have read a tract explaining to our mind the way of salvation. But inwardly we knew that receiving Christ was the right thing to do. This inner knowing to follow the Lord as our Shepherd is simply His voice speaking in our consciousness.

Another example of this inner knowing is given in Romans 8:16: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” The Spirit witnessing with our spirit is an inner knowing and consciousness. This is His way of speaking to us in the most intimate and personal manner. Instead of hearing an outward voice, something apart from us, we have an inner consciousness of His abiding presence. This is how we know and understand the Lord’s voice.

Dag 12

NEVER DOUBT HIS LOVE – Albert Theron

Romans 8:38-39   For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,  39  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 1 John 4:9  In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

 These verses from two different books in the New Testament were written for our encouragement so that we would not doubt the love that God has for us.  Moreover, God does not just make these statements concerning His love, but He gives us reasons to believe, or rather a reason.  Even though many evidences of God’s love could be cited throughout biblical history the New Testament emphasizes one sure evidence that could never fail.  In verse 39 of Romans 8 we see that this love of God that we cannot be separated from is ‘in Christ Jesus our Lord’.  In 1 John 4 verse 9 it is placed beyond dispute by the simple and direct statement that God’s love has already been manifested toward us when He sent His only begotten Son into the world.

Now I’m sure that as a believer you could probably mention many instances where God’s love was marvelously manifested in your personal history if you were to try and recall for a moment.  In fact, there are so many things that you could be thankful for that happened even in the past week.  The problem is that we so easily forget the blessings and on the other hand things sometimes happen that make us doubt God’s love.  When things don’t go so well the enemy is quick to raise doubts concerning God’s love in our minds.  How should we then respond to these doubts?  The best way is to remember that the love of God has already been manifested once for all in the sacrifice of His Son.  As a believer you are a living testimony that God is love.  Your path of life has wound via the cross and the cross remains the greatest fixture and anchor to remind you of this love.  Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ you now possess life more abundantly and therefore you should never doubt God’s love.

Quote of the Day:  “The cross of Jesus Christ stands firm in history and in eternity as an everlasting testimony of God’s love for us and no amount of contradiction can erase this testimony.”

Dag 13

‘n DANKBARE EN VREUGDEVOLLE LEWE – Albert Theron

Hoe lyk ‘n lewe wat God se goedkeuring wegdra? Nie net die lewe tussen nege en tien op ‘n Sondagoggend “in die kerk” nie.  Baie mense dink ongelukkig heimlik dat dit stukkie van ons week is wat redelik eksklusief vir God belangrik is en die res verdra Hy maar net.  Ons praat van oggende, aande, rusdae, vakansiedae, eet, drink, werk, beplan,  ontspan, kuier, gesels, ensovoorts.  Is daar werklik ‘n soort lewe wat dag in en dag uit vir God laat glimlag en Sy Vaderhart verbly?

Die Bybel is baie duidelik daaroor dat ‘n dankbare en vreugdevolle lewe God behaag.  Ja, dis waar.  God wil regtig hê ons moet net dankbaar wees en met blydskap leef.  So ‘n lewe is natuurlik onmoontlik sonder Jesus.  Maar as ons in geloof deur hierdie gebroke en gevalle wêreld stap saam met Jesus sal die tekens van so ‘n saamstap lewe dankbaarheid en blydskap wees.  As dinge soos vormgodsdiens, ongehoorsaamheid of dalk ‘n oorgekompliseerde en te besige lewe jou beroof het van die eenvoud van dankbaarheid en blydskap in en saam met Jesus, stop dan.  Kry jou oë weer op Jesus en gehoorsaam Hom soos ‘n kind met dankbaarheid en blydskap en die resultaat sal verrassend genoeg meer dankbaarheid en blydskap wees.  Dit is ongetwyfeld God se wil vir almal van ons.

 “Wees altyddeur bly. Bid sonder ophou. Wees in alles dankbaar, want dit is die wil van God in Christus Jesus oor julle.” 1 Thes. 5:16-18

Dag 14

CHRIST’S TEACHINGS ARE CERTAINTIES – J.R. Miller

“I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen.” John 3:11

The things that Christ teaches are certainties. Very much human science is only guessing; we cannot be sure of it. Every now and then some new discovery is made, which sweeps away whole volumes of boasted theories. We have to be all the time buying new books—just to keep up with the times; and we are afraid to quote from any but the newest editions, lest there has been some recent discovery which contradicts the older.

 But Christ’s teachings are certainties. He came down from heaven, where from all eternity he had dwelt, and he knew the things he taught. We may accept his words without the slightest doubt, and may build our soul’s hopes upon them. What he said about God, about God’s love, about heaven, about the judgment, about the future life, about the way of salvation, is all certainty! As we go on into the future, we shall find everything just as he has described it. This fact should give us deep and strong confidence—if we are reposing upon Christ’s promises for salvation and life. It should drive us speedily to his cross for refuge—if we are still unsheltered, for he has told us of condemnation abiding upon all who do not believe on him. We may not disregard a single word that Christ spoke, for all his words are all true and eternal. Not one of them can ever fail him who leans upon it.

Dag 15

DIE MITE VAN SPESIALE EN EKSKLUSIEWE KENNIS – Albert Theron

Gestel Paulus het met sy enorme openbaring van al die implikasies wat die vleeswording en die werk van Jesus vir mense inhou, besluit dat hy sy eie denominasie gaan begin. Iets soos “Die Gemeentes van Paulus Internasionaal”. As daar een persoon was wat op grond van die openbaring wat hy ontvang het kon voel dat hy die reg gehad het om sy invloed en kennis af te kamp en dit eksklusief te maak, soos ontwerpers klere, dan was dit sekerlik Paulus. Maar was dit wat hy gedoen het? Kom ons laat hom toe om self te antwoord.

“Maar soos geskrywe is: Wat die oog nie gesien en die oor nie gehoor en in die hart van ‘n mens nie opgekom het nie, wat God berei het vir die wat Hom liefhet. Maar God het dit aan ons deur sy Gees geopenbaar, want die Gees ondersoek alle dinge, ook die dieptes van God.” 1 Kor. 2:9-10

Hy sê eerstens dat God self vir die apostels openbaring gegee het van die verborgenhede van die evangelie. Hierdie stelling kan ons dalk nog laat wonder of Paulus nie miskien tog sy kennis afgekamp en gebottel het nie. Maar kom ons lees verder.

“Dat Hy aan my deur ‘n openbaring bekend gemaak het die verborgenheid, soos ek tevore kortliks geskryf het; waardeur julle, as julle dit lees, my insig in die verborgenheid van Christus kan verstaan,” Efesiërs 3:3-4

“As julle dit lees…kan verstaan”. Het Paulus “spesiale kennis” ontvang van God? Ja sekerlik. Het hy dit egter vir homself gehou of ‘n eksklusiewe Pauliniese denominasie begin op grond daarvan. Nee. Dit is vir ons neergepen en ons kan dit nou lees in ons eie taal. Vandat ons die volledige Bybel het, kan niemand meer aanspraak maak op “spesiale en eksklusiewe kennis” nie. Ons het nie nodig om rang te trek op mekaar of mekaar te probeer beïndruk met ons spesiale openbarings nie. Wat ons wel kan doen is om mekaar gedurig te inspireer om dieper te delf in die “onnaspeurlike rykdom van Christus” wat vryelik beskikbaar is in die Bybel vir almal wat ‘n honger het om Jesus werklik te ken.

“En die salwing wat julle van Hom ontvang het, bly in julle, en julle het nie nodig dat iemand julle leer nie; maar soos dieselfde salwing julle aangaande alles leer, so is dit ook waar en geen leuen nie; en soos dié julle geleer het, so moet julle in Hom bly.” 1 Joh. 2:27

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