Februarie

Dag 1

GOD SOEK DAAI WIL – Albert Theron

Jesus het Sy lewe op aarde in totale oorgawe aan die Vader geleef en dit is vir altyd en vir almal ‘n onfeilbare spieël van wat God verlang van die mens.

“En Hy sê: Abba, Vader, alle dinge is vir U moontlik; neem hierdie beker van My weg; nogtans nie wat Ek wil nie, maar wat U wil.” Markus 14:36

Om in Jesus se voetspore te volg is meer as net om Sy naam in sekere kontekste te gebruik en om ‘n hoop godsdienstige dinge te doen. Vormgodsdiens het nog altyd deur al die eeue probeer om te onderhandel met God. Ons bied aan om sekere godsdienstige dinge te doen en om ‘n kortlys van verkeerde dinge op te gee, volgens ons eie oordeel, en dan soek ons al die voordele van verlossing. Jesus sny met ‘n vlymskerp mes deur hierdie illusie van die gevalle hart.

“Toe sê Jesus vir sy dissipels: As iemand agter My aan wil kom, moet hy homself verloën en sy kruis opneem en My volg. Want elkeen wat sy lewe wil red, sal dit verloor; maar elkeen wat sy lewe om My ontwil verloor, sal dit vind.” Matt. 16:24-25

Verlossing is per definisie die oorwinning van my wil sodat God die beheer kan hê wat Hom alleen toekom. Hoe kan ons vergifnis wil hê vir die verwoesting wat ons rebelse wil veroorsaak het sonder om daardie selfde wil oor te gee in die hande van die Vader sodat die verwoesting kan stop? ‘n Verloste lewe is nie die illusie van vormgodsdiens of om soos ‘n willose robot te probeer funksioneer nie. Dit is die gedurige, vreugdevolle oorgawe van my wil sodat God in elke area van my lewe Sý wil kan laat geld in en deur Christus.

Dag 2

A MORE EXCELLENT SACRIFICE – A.W. Pink

The nature of the offerings which Cain and Abel brought unto the Lord, and God’s rejection of the one and acceptance of the other, point us to the most important truth in the chapter. Attention should be fixed not so much on the two men themselves, as upon the difference between their offerings. So far as the record goes there is nothing to intimate that up to this time Cain was the worst man of the two, that is, considered from a natural and moral standpoint. Cain was no infidel or atheist. He was ready to acknowledge the existence of God, he was prepared to worship Him after his own fashion. He “brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.” But mark three things. First, his offering was a bloodless one, and “without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb. 9:22). Second, his offering consisted of the fruit of his own toil, it was the product of his own labors, in a word, it was the works of his own hands. Third, he brought of “the fruit of the ground,” thus ignoring the Divine sentence recorded in Genesis 3:17, “Cursed is the ground.” Abel “brought of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof,” and to secure this, sacrifice had to be made, life had to be taken, blood had to be shed. The comment of the Holy Spirit upon this incident is, that “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain” (Heb. 11:4). He does not state that Abel was more excellent, but that the offering which be presented was more pleasing and acceptable to his Maker.

Next we learn that “The Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering,” or, as Hebrews 11:4 expresses it, “God testifying of his gifts.” By comparing later Scriptures we may justly infer that the manner in which Jehovah showed His acceptance of the offering was by fire coming down from heaven and consuming the sacrifice (see Lev. 9:24; Judges 6:21; 1 Kings 18:38; 1 Chron. 21:26; 2 Chron. 7:1). “But unto Cain and his offering He had not respect.’’ No doubt Cain’s offering was a very beautiful one. No doubt he selected the very choicest fruits that could be found. No doubt his offering cost him considerable toil and labor, and probably it was with no little self-satisfaction that he came before the Lord. But Jehovah had no respect unto his gift; there was no visible token of the Divine approval; no fire came down from heaven to consume it in proof of God’s acceptance. And Cain’s countenance fell. He was furious that all his labors should stand for nothing. He was angry at the thought that he could not approach and worship God according to the dictates of his own mind. And, as we shall see later, he was filled with wrath as he contemplated the exaltation of Abel above him. So it is today. Unless the darkened understanding of man be illumined by the Holy Spirit and the enmity of the carnal mind be subdued, the human heart rebels against the idea of the impossibility of approaching God save through a bloody sacrifice. The natural man in his pride and self-righteousness hates the truths of substitution and expiation worse than he hates the Devil.

Dag 3

WAAR IS DIE LIG? – Albert Theron

Petrus die ingenieur-dissipel is die lig by sy werk. Martha die huisvrou-dissipel is die lig in haar huis en buurt. Jannie die skolier-dissipel is die lig by sy skool. Die lig is nie iets daar buite iewers of iets wat deur een of ander kerklike institusie aangeskakel kan word nie.

“Julle is die lig van die wêreld. ‘n Stad wat bo-op ‘n berg lê, kan nie weggesteek word nie.” Mattheüs 5:14

Die lig van God op hierdie aarde is die lewe van Christus in elke ware dissipel. Die dominee, pastoor of apostel ís nie die lig nie. Hulle hét ook net die lig as hulle werklik wedergebore is. Die kerkgebou is nie die lig nie. Die kerkraad is nie die lig nie. Die byeenkoms van gelowiges gee lig vir die wat dit bywoon, maar dit ís nie die enigste lig nie. Die Bybel bevat die lig, maar daardie lig moet in ons lewens neerslag vind.

Jesus was die lig op hierdie aarde tydens sy lewe hier twee duisend jaar gelede, maar nou is die lig in die gemeente omdat ons Jesus in ons het. Nou bring God lig op aarde deur miljoene lede van die liggaam van Jesus.

“En Hy het alle dinge onder sy voete onderwerp en Hom as Hoof bo alle dinge aan die gemeente gegee, wat sy liggaam is, die volheid van Hom wat alles in almal vervul.” Efes. 1:22

Die Lig het in jou kom woon die dag wat jy wederbaar is deur die Gees van God. Die Lig skyn deur jou soos wat jy in geloof oorgee aan die Lewe van Jesus in jou sodat Hy gevorm kan word in jou (Gal. 4:19).

Dag 4

ABSOLUTE DEPENDENCE UPON GOD – Austin Sparks

Have we ever tried to encapsulate the meaning of prayer in one word? It is ‘dependency’! Anyone who has recognized his dependency upon God will pray. Whoever does not pray, does not recognize how dependent he is upon God. Our effectiveness for God depends upon the amount of our dependence upon God, and our prayer life will be the measure of such dependence.

It can be said of Elijah: the whole foundation of his life and service lay in his dependence upon God. God kept him in this attitude. It gave him security and power. We can say much about Elijah. The Jews thought a lot of him. When they saw Jesus performing tremendous deeds, they thought Elijah had returned. Where was the secret of his greatness to be found, the secret of his powerful and victorious service? What lay behind his destruction of heathen worship, so that the people said again: “The Lord, He is the God!”? It is the absolute dependence upon God. It is that which we see at the brook Cherith, in the house of the widow, and everywhere he went.

Now, that is the starting point for all of God’s work in us: nothing from the world, all from God! Before God attempts to accomplish His great deeds through us, we must be brought to this point. In himself, Elijah was just as we are. But he was a powerful prophet, because in and of himself he was nothing. And he was nothing in and of himself because he was conscious of being completely dependent upon God. Many think too highly of themselves. That makes them unfruitful for God. It hinders their life of prayer. The Lord must bring us low.

Those whom God uses most are they who trust Him alone, who are poor in themselves, but consequently rich towards God; those who are in themselves weak, but consequently are strong in the Lord. May the Lord succeed in preparing instruments, willing for such dependence, so that He is able to restore through them the testimony of His life in a time when nothing is more needful than precisely that: the testimony of His life.

Dag 5

THE RESURRECTION CHANGES EVERYTHING – D.A. Carson

What was Paul’s perspective before he was converted (Acts 9)? Elsewhere (Acts 22:2; 23:6; Phil. 3:4-6) he tells us that he was a strict Pharisee, brought up (apparently) in Jerusalem, taught by one of the most renowned rabbis of the day. For him, the notion of a crucified Messiah was a contradiction in terms. Messiahs rule, they triumph, they win. The Law insists that those who hang on a tree are cursed by God. Surely, therefore, the insistence that Jesus is the Messiah is not only stupid, but verges on the blasphemous. It might lead to political insurrection: the fledgling church was growing, and might become a dangerous block. It had to be stopped; indeed, what was needed was a man of courage like Saul, a man like Phinehas who averted the wrath of God by his decisive action against the perverters of truth and probity (Num. 25; see meditation for May 16), someone who really understood the implications of these wretched delusions and who saw where they would lead. But now on the Damascus Road Saul meets the resurrected, glorified Jesus. Whether he had seen him before we cannot be sure; that he sees him now, Saul cannot doubt. And a great deal of his theology, worked out and displayed in his letters, stems from that brute fact.

If Jesus were alive and glorified, then somehow his death on the cross did not prove he was damned. Far from it: the claim of believers that God had raised him from the dead, and that they had seen him, must be true—and that could only mean that God had vindicated Jesus. Then what on earth did his death mean? From that vantage point, everything looked different. If Jesus was under the curse of God when he died, yet was vindicated by God himself, he must have died for others. Somehow his death absorbed the righteous curse of God that was due others and canceled it out. In that light, the entire history of the Hebrew Scriptures looked different. Was it not written that a Suffering Servant would be wounded for our transgressions and chastised for our iniquities? Does the death of countless lambs and bulls really take away human sin? Or do we need, as it were, a human “lamb of God,” a human “Passover Lamb”? If the tabernacle and temple rituals are read as pointing to the final solution, what does that say about the present status of the covenant enacted at Sinai? What about scriptural texts that promise a new covenant, a great outpouring of the Spirit in the last days (Acts 2:17-21; see Joel 2:28-32)? What place does the promise to Abraham have in the scheme of things, that in Abraham’s offspring all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 12:3)? Grant that Jesus is alive and vindicated, and everything changes.

Dag 6

OORVLOEDIGE LEWE VIR OORVLOEDIGE GEHOORSAAMHEID – Albert Theron

Ware dissipels van Jesus vra ander vrae in hierdie lewe as mense wat nie wedergebore is nie. Hulle vrae het primêr te doen met groter gehoorsaamheid aan God, nie meer voorspoed vir hulleself nie. Die manier wat jy reageer op daardie stelling gaan terloops vir jou iets vertel van wat werklik in jou hart aangaan.

“Verder dan, broeders, vra en vermaan ons julle in die Here Jesus dat julle, soos julle van ons geleer het hoe julle moet wandel en God behaag, nog oorvloediger mag wees.” 1Thessalonicense 4:1

Die apostels se hele bediening in Christus het daaroor gegaan om dissipels te leer hoe om ‘n gehoorsame lewe te leef op ‘n gevalle planeet en om dit so te leef dat dit God se goedkeuring sou wegdra. ‘n Pa kry baie plesier uit ‘n gehoorsame kind. Die evangelie het vir ons kindskap gebring. Dit het ons hier en nou in direkte verhouding gebring met ‘n hemelse Vader. ‘n Vader wat ook natuurlik die Heerser van die heelal is. Daarom volg dit logies dat ‘n lewe van gehoorsaamheid vir ons ‘n absolute prioriteit moet wees.

In Christus het ons oorvloedige lewe ontvang en daardie lewe is die lewe van God self. Dit is die lewe van die Seun en hierdie Seun het sy Vader in alles gehoorsaam. Wanneer ons leef in en deur die oorspronklike en unieke Seun se gehoorsaamheid (Rom. 5:19) gee dit vir ons Vader groot plesier, maar terselfdertyd seën en verryk dit ons lewens.

Wat is die vrae wat jy vra oor jou lewe op aarde? Geseënd is jy as jy kan sê my grootste vraag is, “hoe kan ek nog oorvloediger wees in gehoorsaamheid aan my regverdige en getroue hemelse Vader”?

Dag 7

HE CAN MEET ALL NEEDS IN ALL CASES – C.H. Spurgeon

Nothing short of all-sufficiency can ever meet the wants of a poor son of Adam fallen by sin. Christ Jesus has all fullness dwelling in himself. “More than all in Christ we find:” pardon in his blood; justification in his righteousness; wisdom in his teaching; sanctification in his Spirit. He is the God of all grace to us. Deep as our miseries and boundless as our sins may be, the mines of his unfathomable love, his grace, and his power, exceed them still.

Send a spirit throughout all nations to hunt up the most abject of all races; discover, at last, a tribe of men degenerated as low as the beasts; select out of these the vilest, one who has been a cannibal; bring before us one lost to all sense of morality, one who has put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter, light for darkness and darkness for light; let that man be red with murder, let him be black with lust; let villainies infest his heart as innumerable and detestable as the frogs of Egypt’s plague—yet Christ is able to meet that man’s case. It is impossible for us to produce an exaggeration of the work of sin and the devil, which Christ shall not be able to overtop by the plenitude of his power. “He is able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by him.” That divine word which made heaven and earth, is able to make a new creature in Christ Jesus; and that power which never can be exhausted, which after making ten thousand times ten thousand worlds could make as many more is all in Christ, and is linked with the virtue of his merit and the prevalence of his blood, and therefore he has all power in heaven and in earth to save souls. As he has this power to meet all needs, so he can meet all need in all cases.

Dag 8

ONGERED, ONGEHOORSAAM OF ONGESTELD – Albert Theron

Ware dissipels van Jesus het nie net vir Hom lief nie, maar ook sy Woord. Om die waarheid te sê die twee kan nie van mekaar geskei word nie. Hulle mag nie van mekaar geskei word nie! Jesus self word “die Woord” genoem (Joh. 1:1 en 14; Openb. 19:13) in die Bybel. As ek werk met die Bybel moet ek rekening hou met Jesus en as ek Jesus wil volg, kan ek net in die Bybel vind wat dit beteken om ‘n ware volgeling te wees.

“En Jesus sê vir die Jode wat in Hom geglo het: As julle in my woord bly, is julle waarlik my dissipels.” Joh. 8:31

Sê jy “ek het Jesus lief en is lojaal aan Hom”, dan moet jy ook terselfdertyd kan sê “ek het sy woord lief en is lojaal daaraan”. So wat dan gemaak met ‘n situasie vandag waar duisende sê hulle het ‘n verhouding met Jesus, maar hulle lees omtrent nooit die Bybel of neem dit enigsins ernstig op nie? Duisende sê hulle is wedergebore, maar het nog nooit eers een van die 66 Bybelboeke deurgelees of werklik moeite gedoen om self die Bybel te begin bestudeer en gehoorsaam nie.

Het alle ware dissipels van Jesus ‘n aptyt vir sy Woord of net party van hulle? Dit is nie eers ‘n moeilike vraag om te antwoord nie. Die Bybel is duidelik dat alle ware dissipels ‘n honger vir die Woord het. As jy dit nie het nie is een van drie dinge waar van jou lewe. Jy is of ongered, of ongehoorsaam, of ongesteld.

Ongeredde mense het ‘n aptyt vir baie dinge in die wêreld, maar jy kan hulle nooit werklik opgewonde kry oor die Bybel nie. Dit bly iets vaag en verwyder van hulle daaglikse lewe en prioriteite. Dit is die pastoor of dominee se domein, nie hulle s’n nie. Ongehoorsame dissipels word van binne gedring deur die Heilige Gees om erns te maak met die Bybel, maar daar is altyd ‘n honderd en tien ander dinge wat eers aandag moet kry. Dit is ‘n gevaarlike kondisie en as jy volhard daarin word jy uiteindelik ongesteld. Mense wat fisies siek is verloor hulle aptyt vir kos. As jy volhard in ongehoorsaamheid word jy geestelik siek, wat beteken dat jy jou aptyt vir die Woord verloor. Dan is dit krities belangrik dat jy dit sal bely en jou bekeer van jou ongehoorsaamheid met dade wat volg.

So waar staan jy met die Bybel? Is jy ongered, ongehoorsaam, ongesteld, of koester jy die woord van Jesus soos wat jy Hom koester en liefhet?

Dag 9

THE HOLINESS AND THE LOVE OF GOD – Francis Schaeffer

To be really Bible-believing Christians we need to practice, simultaneously, at each step of the way, two biblical principles. One principle is that of the purity of the visible church. Scripture commands that we must do more than just talk about the purity of the visible church; we must actually practice it, even when it is costly.

The second principle is that of an observable love among all true Christians. In the flesh we can stress purity without love, or we can stress love without purity; we cannot stress both simultaneously. To do so we must look moment by moment to the work of Christ and of the Holy Spirit. Without that, a stress on purity becomes hard, proud, and legalistic; likewise, without it a stress on love becomes sheer compromise. Spirituality begins to have real meaning in our lives as we begin to exhibit simultaneously the holiness of God and the love of God. We never do this perfectly, but we must look to the living Christ to help us do it truly. Without this simultaneous exhibition our marvelous God and Lord is not set forth. It is rather a caricature of him that is shown, and he is dishonored.

Dag 10

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHIC PLACE OF OUR LORD’S AGONY – Oswald Chambers

He “began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed” (Matthew 26:37). Our Lord said to these disciples what He never said to the others. In John 12:27, He said in soliloquy something similar. “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say?” Here He really said to these three, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death” (Matthew 26:38). Have we for one second watched Jesus pray? Have we ever understood why the Holy Spirit and our Lord Himself were so exceptionally careful about recording the agony of Gethsemane? This is not the agony of a man or a martyr. This is the agony of God as Man. It is God, as Man, going through the last lap of the supreme, supernatural redemption of the human race. We ought to give much more time than we do—a great deal more than we do—to brooding on the fundamental truths on which the Spirit of God works the simplicity of our Christian experience. The fundamental truths are redemption and the personal presence of the Holy Spirit, and these two are focused in one mighty personality, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank God for the emphasis laid on the efficacy of the Holy Spirit to make experientially real the redemption of Jesus Christ in individual lives. Remember, what makes prayer easy is not our wits or our understanding, but the tremendous agony of God in redemption. A thing is worth just what it costs. Prayer is not what it costs us, but what it cost God to enable us to pray. It cost God so much that a little child can pray. It cost God Almighty so much that anyone can pray. But it is time those of us who name His name knew the secret of the cost, and the secret is here: “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.” These words open the door to the autobiography of our Lord’s agony. We find the real key to Gethsemane in Matthew 4, which records the temptations of our Lord. Here they come again in a deeper and more appealing manner than ever before. We are not looking here (as we do when we deal with the temptations) at the type of temptation we have to go through. We are dealing here with the grappling of God as Man in the last reaches of historical redemption.

Dag 11

DIE GESAG VAN DIE GEES – Albert Theron

Jesus het nie ingepas in die gesagstruktuur van Israel se godsdiens-sisteem nie. Hy was nie in hulle teologiese skole nie en het nie die korporatiewe leer geklim om ‘n “vername leraar” te word wat offisiële erkenning het nie. Hy het opgetree in opdrag van die Vader deur die gesag en krag van die Heilige Gees.

“En op een van dié dae, terwyl Hy besig was om die volk in die tempel te leer en die evangelie te verkondig, kom die owerpriesters en die skrifgeleerdes saam met die ouderlinge by Hom staan, en hulle spreek met Hom en sê: Vertel ons deur watter gesag U hierdie dinge doen, of wie dit is wat U hierdie gesag gegee het?” Lukas 20:1-2

In lyn met Sy eie geestelike loopbaan en bediening gee Jesus Sy dissipels opdrag om te wag vir die toerusting van die Heilige Gees, die krag uit die hemel (Hand. 1:8), voordat hulle kon bedien met ware gesag. Weereens is die gesagstrukture van vormgodsdiens geïntimideer:

“Die volgende dag kom toe hulle owerstes en ouderlinge en skrifgeleerdes in Jerusalem bymekaar, ook Annas, die hoëpriester, en Kájafas en Johannes en Alexander en almal wat van die hoëpriesterlike familie was; en toe hulle hul voorgebring het, vra hulle: Deur watter mag en deur watter naam het julle dit gedoen? Daarop sê Petrus, vervul met die Heilige Gees, aan hulle…” Hand. 4:5-8a

En so loop die storie konsekwent regdeur die geskiedenis van die kerk en tot vandag toe nog. Wanneer gewone mense begin om in die krag van die Heilige Gees op te tree en te bedien, raak die masjinerie van godsdiens omgekrap en wil dit onder offisiële beheer bring. Vormgodsdiens van watter aard ookal sal altyd probeer om te sentraliseer en beheer om die mag in eie hande te hou. Maar ‘n mens kan nie die Heilige Gees sentraliseer en beheer nie. Die Heilige Gees hoef nie toestemming te kry by ons institusies om te werk en op te tree nie. Hy is God en kan maak net soos wat Hy goeddink. Ons is nie die “gatekeepers” vir die werking van die Gees nie. Dit is ontsettende arrogansie om te dink dat ons as mense sulke mag het.

Ware dissipels van Jesus is nie anti-gesag nie, maar hulle ore en oë is akuut ingestel om die gesag van die Heilige Gees in elke situasie te onderskei en gehoorsaam.

“Die wind waai waar hy wil, en jy hoor sy geluid, maar jy weet nie vanwaar hy kom en waarheen hy gaan nie. So is elkeen wat uit die Gees gebore is.” Johannes 3:8

Dag 12

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE CROSS – James Boice

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness.” Matthew 5:8

The last of the Beatitudes speaks of happiness in persecution. This is a blessedness Jesus elaborates upon, adding in verses 11 and 12, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

At no point in the entire list of beatitudes is it more necessary to know precisely what Jesus says than here, for it is not just any kind of suffering that Jesus blesses. It is not persecution for wrongdoing; that should be obvious. It is not persecution for being fanatical, as some who profess the name of Christ have been. It is not persecution for being a nuisance; some believers have plagued their neighbors in an effort to witness to them and have been scorned for that. It is not even persecution for a cause, however important the cause may be. There is only one kind of persecution this beatitude refers to, and that is persecution that comes to believers from being like the Lord Jesus Christ whom they are following. Verse 10 calls it persecution “because of righteousness.” Verse 11 calls it persecution “because of me [that is, because of Jesus].” It is by being like Him and suffering for it in a world that hates Christ that we find happiness.

How is this so? How can any persecution, even persecution of this nature, make one happy? It promotes our happiness because it shows that we are united to Christ, like that great host of “saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs” that have gone before us, and that we are growing in Christ’s likeness. Jesus said, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you” (John 15:19).

Where in this great world in which we live can there be found a place for those who imitate the Lord Jesus Christ and thus in their own persons live out the Beatitudes? This is not an easy world. It is a tough, hard, grasping, evil, covetous world. Where can there possibly be a place for those who are poor in spirit, who mourn for sin, who are meek, who hunger and thirst for righteousness (of all things), who are merciful, who are pure in heart, who are peacemakers, who are persecuted for Jesus’ sake? There is only one place. It is the place the great of this world assigned Christ. It is the cross. That is where the imitation of Christ is practiced, and it is why that imitation of Christ is the fellowship of the cross. The world cries to us, as it cried to Jesus, “Away with them; they are not fit to live.” But as we are driven away, we are driven to Him whose very glance is precious above rubies and the knowledge of whom is life eternal.

Dag 13

BLY AFHANKLIK VAN DIE HEILIGE GEES – Albert Theron

“Dit is die Gees wat lewend maak, die vlees is van geen nut nie; die woorde wat Ek tot julle spreek, is gees en is lewe.” Johannes 6:63

Regdeur die Bybel en die geskiedenis van die kerk sien ons dat die begin van ‘n werk van God in ‘n indiwidu of ‘n groep mense lewend en kragtig is, omdat die geroepenes nederig en leerbaar is en totaal afhanklik van God.

Wat egter keer op keer gebeur is dat dieselfde indiwidue of groep mense (of soms die volgende generasie) wat so kinderlik gehoorsaam was in die begin hulle vertroue begin plaas in ander dinge. Of dit nou is in ons oorwinnings van die verlede, ons superieure kennis van die Bybel, ons ervaring, ons gawes of die feit dat “God darem mos Sy seël op ons groep, gemeente of denominasie gesit het”; ons afhanklikheid het ongemerk geskuif en nou vertrou ons nie meer oomblik vir oomblik op die Heilige Gees om te werk en dinge te verander soos Hý wil nie.

Dalk was ons intiem betrokke by ‘n werk van restourasie, vernuwing en herstel en het ons eerstehands gesien hoe die Heilige Gees mense roep uit verouderde godsdiens-sisteme om hulle nuwe impetus, vreugde en hoop in Christus te gee. Maar nou het óns die status quo geword en inbeweeg onder die waan dat die Heilige Gees outomaties Sy goedkeuring gaan skenk aan alles wat ons doen. Ons het die “belangrike mense” geword wat die mag in óns hande het. Ons het begin glo dat as God iets gaan doen in die wêreld Hy dit altyd deur ons sal doen, nie deur ander mense of groepe nie.

“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

Tyd dan om nederig te raak en te bely dat ons die Gees begin ignoreer het en die pad van onafhanklikheid begin stap het. Dit is vir seker nie maklik om daar om te draai nie, maar die pad van herstel onder leiding van die Gees is ‘n wonderlike en geseënde pad. Mag God ons almal die nederigheid én die moed gee om te erken as ons nie meer in werklikheid wandel in die wysheid en krag van die Heilige Gees nie.

Dag 14

APPARENT FAILURE – F.B. Meyer

“But I said, I have laboured in vain; I have spent my strength for nought and vanity.” Isa. 49:4

This heart-break seems inevitable to God’s most gifted and useful servants. It is in part the result of nervous overstrain; as, after the great day of Carmel, Elijah threw himself down beneath the juniper-tree, and asked that he might die. But in part it results from the expanding compassion of the soul, becoming aware how little one man can do to mitigate the anguish of the world. We are so long in learning how to work, we have to unlearn so much, we have to return from so many paths that lead nowhere; it is already afternoon when we commence to use the experience we have gotten, and pursue the right tracks that we have at last discovered; then, after an hour or two of bright labour, our strength begins to wane, the sun of our brief day to near the western hills, and all is over. The night has come, in which no man can work. How often we thought our mothers hard when in childhood they said that we must come in and go to bed. And the most strenuous workers will feel like that when God calls them home; unless they are very tired and lonely because so many of their companions have left them–then they will perhaps be glad. The heart is capable of infinite yearnings and compassion, while the physical strength is limited and finite. Evil is so hydra-headed and Protean. The bias to evil in each generation is so strong and inveterate. The restless sea of which the prophet spoke is so constantly sweeping away the embankments and walls reared against its incursions. It seems so impossible to reach the root, the secret spring, the heart. The circle of light only makes the surrounding darkness more pitchblack. What can one weak man effect against such overwhelming odds!

There are three sources of consolation. First, that failure will not forfeit the bright smile of the Master’s welcome nor the reward of his Judgment-seat. He judges righteously; and rewards, not according to results, but to faithfulness. “Yet, surely, my judgment is with the Lord, and my recompense with my God.” Secondly, the soul leans more heavily upon God: “my God is become my strength.” Thirdly, we turn to prayer. How sweetly God refers to this, saying, “In an acceptable time have I answered thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee”. Thus God deals with us all. He is compelled to take us to the back side of the desert, where we sit face to face with the wreck of our fairest hopes. There He teaches us, as He only can, weaning us from creature-confidence, and taking pride from our hearts. Then from the stump of the tree, hewn almost to the ground, comes the scion of a new life, which fulfils the promise that seemed for ever annulled.

Dag 15

CHRISTIAN LIVING MEANS LIVING ON THE WORD OF GOD – John Piper

My main claim this morning is this: Christian living means living on the Word of God. We live on the Word of God. Day by day, the written Word of God in the Bible is the means of our relation to Christ. We fellowship with Christ by knowing him in the written Word. We talk to him on the basis of what we know of him from the written Word. We hear him speak to us through what he has shown us of his character and purpose in the written Word. Moment by moment, our vital union with Christ, experientially, is sustained and shaped and carried by the Word of God.

If you don’t read the Word and memorize the Word and meditate on the Word daily and delight in the Word and savor it and have your mind and emotions shaped by the Word, you will be a weak Christian at best. You will be fragile and easily deceived and easily paralyzed by trouble and stuck in many mediocre ruts. But if you read the Word and memorize important parts of it and meditate on it and savor it and steep your mind in it, then you will be like a strong tree planted by streams of water that brings forth fruit. Your leaf won’t wither in the drought and you will be productive in your life for Christ (see Psa. 1:1-6).

Christian living means living on the written Word of God, the Bible. In true Christian living, our relation to the Word is intentional, not haphazard. It’s active not passive. We pursue it and don’t just wait for it to happen. The Christian life is a joyful project that calls for energy and aim and resolve and determination. It is not coasting or drifting or something that just happens to you like the weather. The Word of God, soaked in prayer, is the substance (in the sense of “the material” or “the fuel”) of that joyful project. Our delight is in the Word of the Lord, and on this Word we meditate day and night (see Psa. 1:3).

Dag 16

DIE HOOFDOEL VAN DIE BYBEL – – Albert Theron

“Teenoor Grieke sowel as nie Grieke, teenoor wyse sowel as onverstandige mense is ek ‘n skuldenaar. Vandaar die verlange van my kant om ook aan julle wat in Rome is, die evangelie te verkondig.” Romeine 1:14-15

“Die liefde van Christus dring ons, omdat ons tot die insig gekom het dat een vir almal gesterwe het, en dit beteken dat almal gesterwe het.” 2 Korinthiërs 5:14

Die profete in die Ou Testament het nie openbaringe by God ontvang om dit net vir hulleself te hou nie. Dit was altyd openbaring wat bedoel was om by mense uit te kom. Dit is ook niks anders in die Nuwe Testament met ware dissipels van Jesus nie. In ons geval is dit natuurlik net die insig wat die Gees ons gee van dit wat reeds deur die profete en apostels neergepen is.

Die Heilige Gees ontsluit vir ons die Bybel en openbaar Christus om ons in die teenwoordigheid van die Vader te bring, maar dit is ‘n besonderse kenmerk van die bediening van die Gees dat Hy altyd saam met die ontsluiting van die Bybel ‘n dringendheid in ons plaas om dit te deel met mense. As jy jouself bevind op ‘n plek waar die Bybel vir jou ‘n boek geword het wat jou net intellektueel fassineer en besig hou of skietgoed gee om teologiese debatte te wen, het jy dringend nodig om te erken dat jy kontak verloor het met die hoofdoel van die Bybel. Die Heilige Gees sal ons altyd eers by self-ondersoek bring deur die openbaring van Christus, sodoende in die teenwoordigheid van die Vader bring, en dan vir ons ‘n dringendheid in ons binneste gee om ménse te bedien.

Vir seker is die Skrif ook bedoel om ons toe te rus om verkeerde leer te weerlê en verkeerde gedrag te identifiseer (2 Tim. 3:16), maar as ons nie meer in die Vader se teenwoordigheid gebring word en dan by mense uitkom deur die Woord nie het ons ver wegbeweeg van die hoofdoel van die Bybel. Dan is dit tyd om te erken en bely sodat die Heilige Gees weer vars in ons kan werk op hartsvlak, dieper as die verstand en intellek.

Dag 17

GOD JUSTIFIES THE UNGODLY – C. H. Spurgeon

To him that workS not, but believS on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 4:5

I call your attention to those words, “Him that justifies the ungodly.” They seem to me to be very wonderful words. Are you not surprised that there should be such an expression as that in the Bible, “That justifies the ungodly?” I have heard that men that hate the doctrines of the cross bring it as a charge against God, that He saves wicked men and receives to Himself the vilest of the vile. See how this Scripture accepts the charge, and plainly states it! By the mouth of His servant Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, He takes to Himself the title of “Him that justifies the ungodly.” He makes those just who are unjust, forgives those who deserve to be punished, and favors those who deserve no favor.

You thought, did you not, that salvation was for the good? that God’s grace was for the pure and holy, who are free from sin? It has fallen into your mind that, if you were excellent, then God would reward you; and you have thought that because you are not worthy, therefore there could be no way of your enjoying His favor. You must be somewhat surprised to read a text like this: “Him that justifies the ungodly. ” I do not wonder that you are surprised; for with all my familiarity with the great grace of God, I never cease to wonder at it. It does sound surprising, does it not, that it should be possible for a holy God to justify an unholy man? We, according to the natural legality of our hearts, are always talking about our own goodness and our own worthiness, and we stubbornly hold to it that there must be somewhat in us in order to win the notice of God. Now, God, who sees through all deceptions, knows that there is no goodness whatever in us. He says that “there is none righteous, no not one.” He knows that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags,” and, therefore the Lord Jesus did not come into the world to look after goodness and righteousness with him, and to bestow them upon persons who have none of them. He comes, not because we are just, but to make us so: he justifies the ungodly.

Dag 18

WIE SE HUIS BOU JY OP HIERDIE AARDE? – Albert Theron

“So spreek die HERE van die leërskare: Hierdie volk sê: Nog het die tyd nie gekom, die tyd dat die huis van die HERE gebou moet word nie. So het die woord van die HERE dan gekom deur die diens van die profeet Haggai en gesê: Is dit vir julle self wel tyd om in julle betimmerde huise te woon, terwyl hierdie huis in puin lê?” Haggai 1:2-4

In ‘n sin is hierdie woorde van Haggai verteenwoordigend van alles wat die profete in die Ou Testament en die apostels van die Nuwe Testament aan God se mense wou oordra. God se plan is om op hierdie aarde Sy heerlikheid bekend te maak deur Sy mense, wat Sy huis en tempel is. God bou vandag mense se lewens tot Sy heerlikheid.

“So is julle dan nie meer vreemdelinge en bywoners nie, maar medeburgers van die heiliges en huisgenote van God, gebou op die fondament van die apostels en profete, terwyl Jesus Christus self die hoeksteen is, in wie die hele gebou, goed saamgevoeg, verrys tot ‘n heilige tempel in die Here, in wie julle ook saam opgebou word tot ‘n woning van God in die Gees.” Efes. 2:19-22

God bou ons op as Sy huis en tempel deur ons bedieninge aan mekaar in eenheid en liefde (Efes. 4:1-16). Dit beteken egter dat ons eerstens ‘n diepe besorgdheid moet hê vir die opbou van God se huis en dat ons tweedens beskikbaar moet wees vir hierdie bouwerk met die gawes en bedieninge wat God ons gegee het. Is dit nie die boodskap van die Bybel nie?

Maar wat sien ons vandag? Die boodskap is totaal verdraai en vervorm. Nou gaan dit oor die Here wat bestaan om my huis te bou, in plaas van ek wat bestaan om Sy huis te bou! Nie net roep ons mense nie op om hulle tyd en gawes te gee vir die bou van God se huis nie, maar ons gaan verder en leer hulle dat God eintlik net besorg is daaroor om húlle huise te bou en te seën. Dit is verkeerde kant om. Hier is God se orde.

“Maar soek eers die koninkryk van God en sy geregtigheid, en al hierdie dinge sal vir julle bygevoeg word.” Matt. 6:33

God se oordeel rus op daardie verdraaide boodskap. Waar staan ek en jy? Oor wie se huis is ons besorgd?

Dag 19

SEEK TO BEAR MUCH FRUIT – J.R. Miller

“Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give
him will become in him a well of water welling up to eternal life!” John 4:14

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

Dag 20

THE FACT OF OVERCOMERS – Austin Sparks

Overcomers date from the very first spiritual declension. Abel marked that development and was the first Overcomer, and Overcomers are found at every point of spiritual climax; when things had proceeded and their whole tendency or actual course was a departure from the essential mind of God. When that course reached a climax, at that point you find Overcomers. Enoch marked such a climactic point, and he not only historically signified something which stood against the general spiritual course, but was in himself prophetic of this whole course and consummation; prophetic that throughout history God would have that which was quite different from things in general spiritually, and a positive counter thereto. The little reference to Enoch, as you know, comes right there in the midst of the monotonous recounting of men’s deaths and burials. The whole course is just broken into, suddenly, strikingly, with the simple statement before the old course is resumed – “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God took him” (Gen. 5:24). Then you revert to death and burial. Noah and his family were the embodiment of the principle of overcomers. Joseph again took up that principle, one of a whole patriarchal family. The spiritual level had become very low, a period of spiritual paralysis had been introduced and was about to run four hundred years. Right into that situation, Joseph stood as something different, distinguished. In himself and in his testimony and in his experience, he embodied very much of that which goes to make the Overcomer.

It is not our intention to stay with all those details. Every one of the Overcomer features in all these people would occupy an hour. That is not our business. Joshua and Caleb form a link in this chain when death is rampant, active, running its course to wipe out the whole generation of the Lord’s people because of spiritual failure. Joshua and Caleb maintained God’s original position and are maintained by God against the course of things, and are brought through into the full inheritance. Elijah undoubtedly occupied that position and fulfilled that capacity of the Overcomer in his day. Indeed, we may say of all or most of the prophets. Daniel stands out amongst them. The seven thousand who bowed not the knee to Baal were the Overcomers of their day, and the hundred prophets hidden by Obadiah in two companies of fifty. Ezra, Nehemiah and the Remnant – they stand in this succession, until we come to the end of the Old Testament to find what is almost like a Remnant of the remnant in Malachi when even the Remnant has declined. “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one with another” (Malachi 3:16 – Overcomers of the end.)

We move into the New Testament and are immediately in the presence of Overcomers – Anna and Simeon in themselves, and then they spoke to all those who looked for the Redemption of Jerusalem. But they were a distinguished people, they were waiting for the Lord. In the Gospels, this is exactly what is happening. The Lord Jesus made no national appeal, and certainly no political appeal. He gathered out a nucleus – if you like – as to things as they were then, a remnant, for those who came into living association with Him: the twelve, the one hundred and twenty were something different spiritually from the religious life, and the best religious life, of their day, and they proved to be Overcomers indeed.

Then we pass to the end of the New Testament, and we know that sevenfold repetition of the very phrase in the second and third chapters of the Revelation – “to him that overcometh”. And what is represented by the seven seems to be gathered up into one in Chapter 12 and has now become a corporate expression or representation of Overcomers in a Man-child concerning whom it is said – “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death”.

Dag 21

THE FACT OF OVERCOMERS – Austin Sparks

Overcomers date from the very first spiritual declension. Abel marked that development and was the first Overcomer, and Overcomers are found at every point of spiritual climax; when things had proceeded and their whole tendency or actual course was a departure from the essential mind of God. When that course reached a climax, at that point you find Overcomers. Enoch marked such a climactic point, and he not only historically signified something which stood against the general spiritual course, but was in himself prophetic of this whole course and consummation; prophetic that throughout history God would have that which was quite different from things in general spiritually, and a positive counter thereto. The little reference to Enoch, as you know, comes right there in the midst of the monotonous recounting of men’s deaths and burials. The whole course is just broken into, suddenly, strikingly, with the simple statement before the old course is resumed – “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God took him” (Gen. 5:24). Then you revert to death and burial. Noah and his family were the embodiment of the principle of overcomers. Joseph again took up that principle, one of a whole patriarchal family. The spiritual level had become very low, a period of spiritual paralysis had been introduced and was about to run four hundred years. Right into that situation, Joseph stood as something different, distinguished. In himself and in his testimony and in his experience, he embodied very much of that which goes to make the Overcomer.

It is not our intention to stay with all those details. Every one of the Overcomer features in all these people would occupy an hour. That is not our business. Joshua and Caleb form a link in this chain when death is rampant, active, running its course to wipe out the whole generation of the Lord’s people because of spiritual failure. Joshua and Caleb maintained God’s original position and are maintained by God against the course of things, and are brought through into the full inheritance. Elijah undoubtedly occupied that position and fulfilled that capacity of the Overcomer in his day. Indeed, we may say of all or most of the prophets. Daniel stands out amongst them. The seven thousand who bowed not the knee to Baal were the Overcomers of their day, and the hundred prophets hidden by Obadiah in two companies of fifty. Ezra, Nehemiah and the Remnant – they stand in this succession, until we come to the end of the Old Testament to find what is almost like a Remnant of the remnant in Malachi when even the Remnant has declined. “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one with another” (Malachi 3:16 – Overcomers of the end.)

We move into the New Testament and are immediately in the presence of Overcomers – Anna and Simeon in themselves, and then they spoke to all those who looked for the Redemption of Jerusalem. But they were a distinguished people, they were waiting for the Lord. In the Gospels, this is exactly what is happening. The Lord Jesus made no national appeal, and certainly no political appeal. He gathered out a nucleus – if you like – as to things as they were then, a remnant, for those who came into living association with Him: the twelve, the one hundred and twenty were something different spiritually from the religious life, and the best religious life, of their day, and they proved to be Overcomers indeed.

Then we pass to the end of the New Testament, and we know that sevenfold repetition of the very phrase in the second and third chapters of the Revelation – “to him that overcometh”. And what is represented by the seven seems to be gathered up into one in Chapter 12 and has now become a corporate expression or representation of Overcomers in a Man-child concerning whom it is said – “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death”.

Dag 22

CHARACTER IS THE BEAUTY OF THE SOUL – Alexander Whyte

‘The express image’ [Gr. ‘the character’].—Heb. 1. 3.

The word ‘character’ occurs only once in the New Testament, and that is in the passage in the prologue of the Epistle to the Hebrews, where the original word is translated ‘express image’ in our version. Our Lord is the Express Image of the Invisible Father. No man has seen God at any time. The only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. The Father has sealed His divine image upon His Son, so that he that has seen the Son has seen the Father. The Son is thus the Father’s character stamped upon and set forth in human nature. The Word was made flesh. This is the highest and best use to which our so expressive word ‘character’ has ever been put, and the use to which it is put when we speak of Bunyan’s Characters partakes of the same high sense and usage. For it is of the outstanding good or evil in a man that we think when we speak of his character. It is really either of his likeness or unlikeness to Jesus Christ we speak, and then, through Him, his likeness or unlikeness to God Himself. And thus it is that the adjective ‘moral’ usually accompanies our word ‘character’—moral or immoral.

A man’s character does not have its seat or source in his body; character is not a physical thing: not even in his mind; it is not an intellectual thing. Character comes up out of the will and out of the heart. There are more good minds, as we say, in the world than there are good hearts. There are more clever people than good people; character,—high, spotless, saintly character,—is a far rarer thing in this world than talent or even genius. Character is an infinitely better thing than either of these, and it is of corresponding rarity. And yet so true is it that the world loves its own, that all men worship talent, and even bodily strength and bodily beauty, while only one here and one there either understands or values or pursues moral character, though it is the strength and the beauty and the sweetness of the soul.

Dag 23

IS DIE GROOT DRIE IN JOU HART? – Albert Theron

“En nou bly geloof, hoop, liefde — hierdie drie….” 1 Korinthiiërs 13:13

Regdeur die Nuwe Testament praat Jesus en die apostels op verskillende maniere van geloof, hoop en liefde; dikwels van geloof en liefde wat saamwerk in die dissipel se lewe en soms van al drie saam. In Kolossense 1 leer Paulus ons dat die drie onlosmaaklik aan mekaar verbind is en dat al drie geanker is in Jesus.

“Omdat ons gehoor het van julle geloof in Christus Jesus en julle liefde tot al die heiliges, vanweë die hoop wat vir julle weggelê is in die hemele, waarvan julle vroeër gehoor het deur die woord van die waarheid van die evangelie.” Kolossense 1:4-5

Ons kan hierdie drieling van die Nuwe Testament die groot drie in die dissipel se lewe noem. As ‘n mens wil toets of jou belydenis van Jesus eg is, hoef jy nie veel verder te soek as hierdie drie kwaliteite nie. Is hulle teenwoordig in jou hart en lewe?

Ware dissipels van Jesus se geloof rus ten volle in wie Jesus is en wat Hy vir ons gedoen het aan die kruis. Hulle vertrou nie in die mens of in hulle eie krag en wysheid nie. Hulle geloof vind tweedens uitdrukking in liefde vir ander gelowiges. Jy hoef hulle nie te probeer oortuig dat liefde altyd saam met ware geloof stap nie. Laastens is hierdie geloof en liefde van die ware dissipel geanker in die sekere wete dat Jesus opgestaan het uit die dood en dat daar daarom ook vir ons ‘n heerlike opstanding beskore is. Hierdie drie geestelike kwaliteite ontvang ons as’t ware in saadvorm by die wedergeboorte en soos wat ons geestelik groei word hulle al hoe sterker in ons hart. Dit is belangrik dat ek sal groei in geloof, hoop en liefde, maar eers moet ek seker maak dat die groot drie wel, in watter mate ookal, in my hart teenwoordig is. Net so kan ek weet dat Christus werklik in my woon (2 Kor. 13:5).

Dag 24

THE WORD AND THE SPIRIT IN OUR MORNING DEVOTIONS – Andrew Murray

“And the fire upon the altar shall be kept burning thereon; it shall not go out; and the priest shall burn wood upon it every morning.” Leviticus 6:12

All acknowledge that the fire upon the altar is the type of the Holy Spirit. The sacrifice upon the altar of burnt offering, and the sweet-smelling spices upon the altar of incense, all were to be consumed by the fire and carried up to Heaven in smoke. So only may the sacrifice whereby I offer myself up to God every morning, and the incense of my prayers be well pleasing unto God, when they are borne by the Holy Spirit to Heaven. Then it is . an acceptable sacrifice,’ being sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

And therefore the fire upon the Altar must always be kept burning. And the appointed time is the morning; the priest shall burn wood upon it every morning. The Christian who neglects this duty in the morning will soon discover that he cannot find time for it in the course of the day. Let us learn to do this in the morning. The wood needful to keep the fire of the Spirit burning is God’s Word. Let us see to it that these two things are done every morning: first, we must gather and pile the wood; secondly, we must wait for the fire of the Spirit to set it alight. Through faith and a truthful waiting upon God, we must have the inward assurance that the Holy Spirit, the fire of God, is burning within us. Then our sacrifice of ourselves and our prayers will be a sweet savour, acceptable to God in Christ.

Dag 25

EVEN WHEN YOU WIN, YOU LOSE – C.H. Spurgeon

We know there have been great battles where nations have met in strife, and one has overcome the other; but who has read of a victory that overcame the world? Some will say that Alexander was its conqueror; but I answer, nay. He was himself the vanquished man, even when all things were in his possession. He fought for the world, and won it; and then mark how it mastered its master, conquered its conqueror, and lashed the monarch who had been its scourge. See the royal youth weeping, and stretching out his hands with idiotic cries, for another world which he might ravage. He seemed, in outward show, to have overcome Old Earth; but, in reality, within his inmost soul, the earth had conquered him, had overwhelmed him, had wrapped him in the dream of ambition, girdled him with the chains of covetousness, so that when he had all, he was still dissatisfied; and, like a poor slave, was dragged on at the chariot wheels of the world, crying, moaning, lamenting, because he could not win another.

Who is the man that ever overcame the world? Let him stand forward: he is a Triton among the minnows; he shall outshine Caesar; he shall outmatch even our Wellington, if he can say he has overcome the world. It is so rare a thing, a victory so prodigious, a conquest so tremendous, that he who can claim to have won it may walk among his fellows, like Saul, with head and shoulders far above them.

Dag 26

GEEN LANGAFSTAND DISSIPELS NIE – Albert Theron

”Ek is die goeie herder, en Ek ken my eie en word deur my eie geken.” Johannes 10:14

Dissipelskap is bo alles ‘n persoonlike verhouding met Jesus. Ons geloof is ongetwyfeld gebaseer op Bybelse feite en leerstellings, maar hierdie feite en leerstellings is almal geanker in die persoon van Jesus. Hy is die Een wat die Vader openbaar en Hy is ook die Een wat doop met die Heilige Gees (Matt. 3:11). Die Godheid word dus net in Hom ontsluit en dit gebeur net vir mense wat Hom persoonlik leer ken. Christenskap is ten diepste dissipelskap en dissipelskap is nie ‘n langafstand affêre nie. Lees maar net aandagtig deur die evangelies en jy sal gou raaksien hoe persoonlik Jesus werk met mense.

Daar is geen langafstand dissipels in die koninkryk nie. Ons kan Hom nie ken via die gemeente, die pastoor, die dominee, ons ouers se geloof, of net ‘n intellektuele erkenning van ‘n geloofsbelydenis nie. Hulle kan help om Jesus aan ons harte te openbaar, maar tensy ek persoonlik reageer op Jesus se roepstem is daar geen dissipelskap nie en dan ook geen verlossing vir my nie. Maak baie seker dat jou geloof nie tweedehands is nie en ook nie bloot intellektueel of verbaal nie.

Dag 27

THE PLEASURE OF DOING GOOD – Octavius Winslow

“Who went about doing good.” Acts 10:38

Earnestly would I endeavor to impress upon the reader what Henry Martyn beautifully terms “the pleasure of doing good.” Next to direct communion with God, the loftiest and purest source of enjoyment opened to us on earth is found in the expression of human sympathy, in the exercise of Christian benevolence. No selfish pleasure ever brought to the heart the peace, the joy, the happiness which one solitary act of kindness to another did. God is happy in the exercise of His boundless love. Angels are happy in the discharge of their beneficent mission, and man is happy as his affections and sympathies travel forth in quest of objects upon which they may repose. Oh! the luxury of effacing one sorrow from the heart, one shadow from the brow, one tear from the eye.

It is in this living for the good of others, especially in seeking their spiritual and eternal happiness, we have found a most powerful means of advancing vital godliness in our own souls. The religion of many of the Lord’s people is sickly and feeble, cold and gloomy, just because it is so selfish. Would they be more vigorous in their souls? Would they make greater progress in the divine life? Would they combat more successfully the many doubts and fears that assail them? Would they have a happier, sunnier religion, walking more fully in the light of the Lord’s countenance? Then let them be up and doing in their Lord’s vineyard. Let them seek the conversion of lost sinners, the comforting of poor saints, the betterment of human misery in some of its many forms, thus, like their Master, going about doing good, and then would be fulfilled in their souls’ happy experience the precious promise: “You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways.”

Dag 28

THE GOSPEL IS THE COMPLETE SOLUTION FOR ALL ETERNITY – Austin Sparks

Now here is something that we need to carefully notice. You see, we draw a distinction between what we call the Gospel, and fuller teaching for believers. By the Gospel, many mean that which is for the unsaved, and what we give to the saved, well, it is something else. Suppose you are going to have some gospel meetings at the end of the week and they are not for believers, they are for the unsaved. That is an altogether artificial distinction. Everything in the New Testament for the unsaved and for the saved is called the Gospel. It is not a religion. It is not a philosophy of life. It is not a system of truths and practices. It is just the Gospel. And that word means: “Good News.” It is given various connections, such as the Gospel of our salvation. But there is one overall and inclusive thing about this word, and that is, “The Gospel of God concerning His Son Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:1-3). So when we divide between the Gospel for the unsaved and something else for the saved, do you see what we are doing? We say, we have left the ground of God’s Son, and we have come on to some extra grounds for Christians. The Gospel is comprehensive of everything in Christ. You will never get to the place where you will cease to discover something new concerning God’s Son; and although we may be discovering more throughout all eternity, it would still be the Gospel. Do you think the Gospel ends when you are born again?

Do you think the Gospel ends when you leave this world and go to the Lord? If you see the great multitude, which no man can number around the throne, and you listen to their song, they are singing a gospel hymn, “Worthy is the Lamb.” But they have come into a very very full understanding of God’s Son. See, the Gospel is the Gospel of God concerning His Son for all time, and for all eternity. The Gospel is something infinitely bigger than salvation from sin; it is infinitely bigger than deliverance from judgment and death. The Gospel comprehends all that is in Christ.