Julie

Dag 1

DIE KRAGTIGE GETUIENIS VAN DIE EVANGELIE IN ‘N MENS SE HART – Albert Theron

Die getuienis wat God self in jou hart gee wanneer jy wederbaar word deur die Gees is groter as enige mens se getuienis, selfs die van die oorspronklike apostels.

Paulus sê selfs al sou hy of een van sy medewerkers ‘n ander evangelie verkondig as die oorspronklike een wat wedergeboorte tot gevolg gehad het, durf die dissipels in Galasië nie die getuienis aanvaar nie. Nie eers ‘n bonatuurlike verskyning en verkondiging van ‘n engel moet ons laat twyfel aan die oorspronklike getuienis van die Gees in ons binneste nie.

“Maar al sou ons of ‘n engel uit die hemel julle ‘n evangelie verkondig in stryd met die wat ons julle verkondig het, laat hom ‘n vervloeking wees!” Galasiërs 1:8

Die historiese werklikheid van die dood en opstanding van Jesus wat ‘n appél maak op geloof alleen (1 Kor. 15:1-6) is die enigste evangelie wat ware wedergeboorte kan bewerkstellig. Hoe sterk staan ek en jy in ons oortuiging van die evangelie? Wat as groot name of jou plaaslike predikante en leraars begin om die evangelie aan te pas of af te water? Staan jy onwrikbaar op die Woord van God en die getuienis van die Heilige Gees in jou hart of kan mense jou kop swaai? Ek is bevrees in baie kringe vandag het die leierskap van die kerk die soort mag oor mense se gewetens wat eintlik net die Heilige Gees se prerogatief is. Dink weer oor die radikale implikasies van Paulus se stelling in Galasiërs 1 vers 8.

Dag 2

VISIONS AND REVELATIONS OF CHRIST – Austin Sparks

“In Christ” means that God has put everything of His thought and intention within Christ, it is all found there. All that God has designed is in Christ Jesus. It is a mighty fulness, inclusive and exclusive. You have none of it outside, but all of it in, and it is what is in Christ by the summing up of God the Father that is indicated by this – “the prize of the on-high calling in Christ Jesus” [Phil. 3:14]. That is why I just took that little fragment from 2 Cor. 12:1 – “visions and revelations” of Christ. That is what we want to see – what is in Christ, visions and revelations. Have you ever for a moment paused to ask the question – How did Paul get to know all that he talks about? I pick up the letter to the Romans and I read through near to the end of the 8th chapter, and I hear Paul talking about things that happened before ever this world had an existence, going back into the very presence of God and hearing the Godhead talking between themselves, so to speak, and arranging things and saying what They were going to do. How did Paul get to know all that? Is this imagination? Paul has got it from heaven. You notice what he says, in 2 Cor. 12 “I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not; or whether out of the body. I know not; God knows), such a one caught up even to the third heaven. And I know such a man (whether in the body, or apart from the body, I know not; God knows), how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter”. “I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord”. If they were not lawful for him to utter, they are not in the New Testament, but what is here is enough to get on with, and he intimates vast things, immense things, things altogether beyond our comprehension, things which will take eternity and the vast concourse of a countless host to understand, to enter into. “Visions and revelations of the Lord”.

Amongst these visions and revelations, he has seen the on-high calling of God in Christ Jesus, he is intimating that there is such a thing, and he is telling us about his own attitude toward that thing, he is seeking with all his heart to get all believers to take the same attitude and to be of the same spirit and mind as himself. “I labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily” to “present every man complete in Christ” (Col. 1:28-29). It is the same thing. He has seen what is in Christ as the on-high calling of believers, and that object is before him. It is an immense thing represented by Christ in the purpose of God from eternity to eternity, and he sees that that thing, that immense thing in Christ, is the inheritance of the sons of God.”…bringing many sons unto glory” (Heb. 2:10). It is the inheritance of sonship, and, as you so well know, sonship, according to the New Testament, is something more than spiritual childhood. It is the full-grown man spiritually, and this is the inheritance of the full-grown sons.

Dag 3

THE SON MAKING KNOWN THE FATHER’S NAME – Philip Mauro

In reading attentively the inspired records of the Lords service on earth as God’s Apostle, we will see that the revealing of the Father’s Name had a very prominent part therein. The first recorded utterance that fell from the lips of Jesus Christ pointedly declared this great fact: “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Accordingly, immediately after God had borne testimony to Him as His Son at His baptism, the Lord proceeded to make known the Father’s Name. This revelation we find in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7). From the teaching of that discourse we learn that what is becoming to children of God is to love even their enemies, to return blessing for cursing, to do good to those who hate them, and to pray for those who spitefully use and persecute them. This teaching for those of the Lord is given for the express purpose that those who receive it may be “Sons of your Father, Who is in heaven; for He make the His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” This is wholly a new revelation of God, giving His own character as known and shared by the Son, Who is One with the Father, and giving His standard for His own children. By this discourse the children of God learn also that they are God’s light-bearers in the darkness of this world, and that their responsibility is to let the light, which is God’s testimony, so shine before men that they may see their good works, and glorify their Father Who is in heaven. Thus the Son makes the Father known as Love and Light. There is nothing like this in the teaching of the Old Testament for God Himself is here speaking in His Son. Wherefore, we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things that we have heard.

In this discourse of the Lord on the mount we have also the children’s prayer, setting forth “the manner” after which they ought to pray. The leading petitions of that prayer are for the bringing in of that era in which the Father’s Name shall be hallowed, in which the Father’s kingdom shall be established in the person of His Son, and in which the Father’s will shall be done on earth as it is done in heaven. We cannot comment in detail upon this great utterance of the Lord Jesus; but the child of God who has spiritual discernment, and who wills to hear the voice of Him that speaks, will find it full of the revelation of the Father by that One Who alone knows and can reveal Him.

Dag 4

SONDER HOM IS ONS NIKS EN HET ONS NIKS – Albert Theron

“Wanneer Christus, wat ons lewe is, geopenbaar word, dan sal julle ook saam met Hom in heerlikheid geopenbaar word.” Kolossense 3:4

“Christus, wat ons lewe is…”. Wat ‘n verstommende en heerlike stelling! Christus gee nie net vir ons lewe nie. Hy ís ons lewe. Sonder Jesus kan ons nie lewe nie en sonder Jesus het ons nie lewe nie, maar Jesus is meer as net ons Bron van lewe. Jesus het nie net vir ons verlossing gebring nie, Hyself het vir ons verlossing geword (1 Kor. 1:30). Hy is “die weg, die waarheid en die lewe”. Daarom is al die voordele van ons redding onlosmaaklik aan Sy persoon verbind. Dit is nie net die verlossingswerk van Jesus wat ons red nie, dit is juis ons verhouding met Hom, die Redder, wat al die voordele en seëninge van verlossing binne ons bereik plaas. Daarom maak Jesus hierdie verstommende stelling tydens Sy aardse bediening:

“Voorwaar, voorwaar Ek sê vir julle, as julle nie die vlees van die Seun van die mens eet en sy bloed drink nie, het julle geen lewe in julleself nie.” Johannes 6:53

Ons geloofsverbintenis met Jesus is ‘n geestelike werklikheid wat ons so afhanklik maak van Hom soos die suurstof wat ons inasem om biologies te kan bly voortbestaan. Jesus is in Sy persoon en wese ons geestelike lewe en daarom moet ons baie versigtig wees dat ons nie so besig raak met die dinge van God of die leringe oor Hom dat ons in die proses ons persoonlike en daaglikse verhouding met Jesus verwaarloos nie.

Dag 5

WHAT IS HOPE? – John Piper

The first question we asked was, What is hope? And the main point (taken from Hebrews 6:11) was that biblical hope is full assurance not uncertain desire. It’s not the hope my sons speak of when they say, “I hope daddy gets home for supper on time.” I may very well not! That is what they mean by hope! But that is NOT what the Bible means! When Psalm 42:5 says, “Hope in God!” it does not mean, cross your fingers. It does not mean, God might work for his servant. It means, be confident that he will! Be strong in God! Be courageous in God! Preach to your soul a sermon about the full assurance of hope! Do what I did last Thursday. I preached my soul a sermon on Psalm 35:27. It says, “Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant.” So I said, “Soul, be glad today! Be strong! Look, do you see the greatness of the Lord God Almighty? Do you see the power of the Maker of heaven and earth? Do you see the wisdom and the knowledge of the one who designed the universe and the molecule? “Well, hear this and be astounded, little soul: that great God delights in your welfare! Did you hear that, little soul? I said, ‘Delights’! That’s D-E-L-I-G-H-T-S, DELIGHTS! Your welfare is not his duty; it’s his joy! ‘Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!’ So hope in God and don’t be downcast.'” Biblical hope is not an uncertain desire. It is a confident expectation.

Dag 6

ALBEI OË OP DIE WARE KONING – Albert Theron

Terwyl die “nasies woel en nietige dinge bedink” (Ps. 2:1) is God besig om Sy ewigheidsplan deur twee “onbelangrike” Joodse vrouens tot uitvoer te bring. Die magtiges van die land hou samesprekings en neem groot besluite. Intussen gaan God se plan onverpoosd voort en werk Hy deur die nederiges op maniere wat geen mens kan uitdink nie.

“Maria het haar sonder versuim gereed gemaak en haastig na ‘n dorp in die bergstreek van Judea gegaan. Daar het sy in Sagaria se huis ingegaan en vir Elisabet gegroet.” Lukas 1:39-40

In die gesprek (profesie) tussen Elisabet en Maria maak Maria die volgende stelling:

“Maghebbers het Hy van trone afgeruk en nederiges verhoog.” Lukas 1:52

God se weë is anders as mense s’n en Maria, wat die Messias (die volledige Plan van God) in haar dra, gee ‘n absoluut fantastiese uiteensetting van hierdie anderste weë van God in die lig van die komende geboorte van die Messias. Lees haar volledige uitspraak in Lukas 1 verse 46 tot 55 en ook Psalm 2 vir agtergrond. Alhoewel die politiese bestel van nasies steeds voortgaan op die beginsel van die magtiges en invloedrykes weet ons as dissipels van Jesus dat Hy reeds deur God gesalf is as Koning. Spoedig kom Hy terug na hierdie aarde en dan is dit die nederiges wat verhoog gaan word en die hoogmoediges wat verneder gaan word. Kom ons hou ons oë op die ware Koning.

“Alle dinge het U onder sy voete gestel. Want in die onderwerping van alle dinge aan hom het Hy niks uitgesonder wat aan hom nie onderworpe is nie. Maar nou sien ons nog nie dat alle dinge aan hom onderwerp is nie; maar ons sien Hom, naamlik Jesus…” Hebreërs 2:8-9a

Dag 7

WHEN MAN BRINGS THE THINGS OF GOD UNDER HIS CONTROL – Austin Sparks

The Philistines put their hands on the ark with disastrous results for themselves. Uzzah in the days of David put his hand on the ark; and the Lord smote Uzzah [so] that he died. And for the time being everything came into confusion in Israel. The ark of the testimony had to be turned aside. The whole progress toward God’s end had been brought to a standstill. And even David was angry with the Lord. All the results were man putting his hand in the things of God. It has always been like that. And it is like that in Christianity.

Christianity began in a simple beautiful living way. It was all in the life and the liberty of the Spirit. And while the Holy Spirit has His hand on things, everything is all right. Now men came in and they took hold of Christianity and the result is what we have today. There is no place where there is more confusion than in Christianity. The Lord’s testimony is under arrest. It is in limitation because man’s hands are upon it. Man has brought it under his control. That is always a dangerous and a disastrous thing. The Lord’s attitude is like this. ‘I will keep My hands off until you take yours off. While your hands are on My things I will leave it to you.’ And things go from bad to worse. Now I think we all recognize that. The more a man or any man puts their hands on the things of God, the more confusion there is. When man brings the things of God under his control and dominates them, that means trouble. That is why the Lord so often had to weaken man and make man know his own weakness. Paul, the apostle, was a strong man naturally. And as Saul of Tarsus, he put his hand on the things of God. And then the Lord met him and smote him. And in the end, the apostle said, “I will glory in my infirmity and in my weakness, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Dag 8

OORWINNING IN DANKBAARHEID – Albert Theron

Dit is baie moeilik vir sonde om wortel te skiet en te groei in ‘n hart wat dankbaar en jubelend is weens die invloed van God se genade in Christus. Vervulling in Christus maak al die versoekinge van satan kragteloos. Is dankbaarheid ‘n kenmerk van jou daaglikse lewe?

“Laat die woord van Christus ryklik in julle woon in alle wysheid. Leer en vermaan mekaar met psalms en lofsange en geestelike liedere, en sing in julle hart met dankbaarheid tot eer van die Here.” Kolossense 3:16

Dag 9

BE STRONG IN THE LORD – Mike Baer

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” Ephesians 6:10

Once, after a Monday evening Bible study on spiritual warfare, an exuberant believer ran to the door, threw it open and declared, “Look out Satan! Here I come!” Then he shut the door, leaned back against it and said quietly, “But not just now.” How foolish it would be for us to think for a moment that because we have learned some new truth or had some great spiritual experience that we were somehow ready to face the great enemy of our souls. The fact is, without giving undue recognition to the Evil One, that in ourselves we are not, as Martin Luther said, “his equal.” We are talking about Lucifer, the highest of all created beings, made to lead the worship of God in heaven. This angel fell through pride and became the twisted and evil Satan (Greek for “adversary”), the enemy of God, of all His works, and of all who align themselves with the Lord, i.e. us! His “craft and power are great” and, along with the third of heavens angels that fell with him in his futile rebellion, he makes war upon the kingdom of God and the saints with phenomenal power and cunning. He has been at his dark work of destruction for centuries. He is possessed of abilities and evil motivations beyond the imagination of human beings; he is, from a human perspective, undefeatable. He is not to be taken lightly.

However, we are not to be afraid. We are to be strong. We are to be courageous-in the power and might of our God. We have an enemy but we face him in the omnipotence of the Lord Jesus Christ who has fully and finally defeated Him in His death, burial, and resurrection (Colossians 2: 15). Remember who you are! The Christian is new, united to Christ, having within the very resurrection life of Jesus-thus, in Him, we stand victorious and have, in Him, all the power needed to walk in victory over sin, the world, and the devil.

Dag 10

HORENDE DOOF EN SIENDE BLIND – Albert Theron

“… 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 28:26

Dit is regtig skrikwekkend om te dink dat twee mense langs mekaar kan staan en dieselfde geestelike dinge kan hoor en sien, terwyl die boodskap in klank en beeld vir die een ‘n seën is en vir die ander ‘n oordeel. Twee mense kan dieselfde Bybel lees, maar die een sien net woorde op papier, terwyl die ander God se stem hoor. Twee mense kan dieselfde liefdesdade en opoffering van ‘n dissipel van Jesus aanskou, maar die een sien net ‘n mens wat vir een of ander rede doen wat hy doen, terwyl die ander Jesus geopenbaar sien. Wat is die verskil? Die een het net uiterlike sintuie, maar sy innerlike sintuie is nog nooit geaktiveer nie. Die ander het nie net fisiese ore en oë nie, maar sy geestelike ore en oë is deur God as’t ware aangeskakel. Dit is primêr die kondisie van ons hart wat die bepalende faktor is in hierdie verband.

Ongelukkig kan selfs dissipels van Jesus se harte tot so ‘n mate verhard dat hulle nie meer geestelike werklikhede duidelik kan hoor en sien nie. Alles wat vroeër kosbaar was het vervaag. Vir diesulkes is daar ‘n baie kosbare uitnodiging in Openbaring 3. Jesus sê ons kan na Hom gaan en Hom pertinent en direk vra om ons geestelike oë weer te open.

“Ek raai jou aan om van My te koop…salf om jou oë te salf, sodat jy kan sien.” Openbaring 3:18

Dag 11

THE REALITY AND NECESSITY OF SPIRITUAL SIGHT – John Fletcher

Paul prayed that the eyes of his converts might be enlightened; `that you might know what is the hope of His calling.’ He reminded them that Christ had been `evidently set forth crucified’ before their eyes. He assured them, that `the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not’ the gospel, and declared that his commission was to open the eyes of the Gentiles, `and to turn them from darkness to light.’ Abraham saw Christ’s day, and was glad. Moses persevered, as seeing Him who is invisible. David prayed `Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.’ Our Lord remarked that the heart of unbelievers `is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted.’ He counselled the Laodiceans to `anoint your eyes with eye-salve, that you may see’; He declared that `the world cannot receive’ the Spirit of truth `because it sees Him not’; that the things which belong to peace are hidden from the eyes of an unbeliever; and that the pure in heart `shall see God’.

John testified that the man who does evil `has not seen God’, and that `darkness has blinded the eyes’ of the man who does not love his brother. The eyes referred to are those with which believers see the salvation of God; they are so distinct from those of the body, that when our Lord opened them in Paul’s soul, He caused scales to grow over his bodily eyes. Also, no doubt, when Christ gave outward sight to the blind, it was chiefly to convince the world that He is the One who can say to blind sinners `Receive your sight; see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living; look unto Me, and be ye saved.’

Dag 12

THE LORD JESUS HIMSELF – Austin Sparks

The Lord Jesus had been glorified, and the Holy Spirit had come as the Spirit of the glorified Lord to glorify Him on the earth (John 16). Was it the matter of salvation? Well, it was not salvation as such. It was not just BEING SAVED, either from something or unto something, but it was the SAVIOUR. The message of salvation was all focused in who the Lord Jesus was. Look at the preaching. “They ceased not… to preach Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:42). Find a discourse anywhere in the Acts which ‘got through’ and you will see that it is – not a treatise on Evangelical Theology – but a presentation of the glorified Lord Jesus. If it was Christ crucified, it was Christ not dead but risen and glorified. Look at the address at Pentecost (Acts 2:32,33,36). See the words to the lame man and the subsequent address in the Temple (ch. 3). Listen to the words addressed to the Council in chapter 4. Whether it be to individuals or to companies, it is always the Lord Jesus who is in full view.

It is the same in the matter of service. In the Acts service is never something appended to salvation as a further consideration. One of the striking omissions in this record is that of exhortations and urgings to propagate the Gospel. Service here is never the result of organization or special pleading and appeals. It is free, spontaneous, eager, ‘natural’. It is not of constraint from without. It is not by an appeal to a sense of duty or obligation. It was not something which was special in its connection and time. It was at all times, in every place, under all circumstances: irrepressible testimony, proclamation, in direct, public manner and in ordinary conversation. “There arose… a great persecution… and they were all scattered abroad… They therefore that were scattered abroad went about preaching…” (Acts 8:1); “travelled… speaking the word… preaching the Lord Jesus” (11:19,20).

What was it that created and produced this? It was the Holy Spirit’s glorifying of the Lord Jesus in their hearts! He – the glorified One – was so real to them, and the wonder of who He – “Jesus of Nazareth”, the Crucified One – really was, as now revealed and manifested to them and in them, was so great, that even these “new bottles” were finding that unless they let it out this new wine would burst them.

Dag 13

NET VERVULLING IN CHRISTUS KAN MISLEIDING ONTMASKER EN ONTWAPEN – Albert Theron

Alles wat ons nodig het, is in Jesus. Ons is in Hom en Hy is in ons. In Hom het ons volle toegang tot al die bedieninge van die Heilige Gees. Deur Sy bloed en geregtigheid het ons vrye gemeenskap met die Vader. In Hom is ons ook een met alle ander mense wat deur die wedergeboorte in Hom is (1 Kor. 1:30).

Terwyl ons Sy heerlikheid aanskou groei ons geestelik en word ons meer en meer soos Hy, soos wat Hy in ons gevorm word (2 Kor. 3:18; Gal. 4:19). Christus is ons fokus en Sy karakter in ons gevorm is die doel. Ons lees ons Bybel en vertrou die Heilige Gees om Jesus daarin te openbaar. So volg ons Jesus in gehoorsaamheid aan Sy wonderlike werkinge in ons deur Woord en Gees. Dit is die eenvoud van die lewe van ‘n dissipel en ook die eenvoud van gemeentelewe. Tensy ons natuurlik ons fokus en doel uit die oog verloor en op sypaadjies begin stap. Dan raak gemeentelewe gekompliseerd en beland ons in die doolhof van die self-lewe, dogmatisme, kerkisme, dooie tradisie, ritualisme, wettisisme, ensovoorts.

Satan weet baie goed dat ons oorwinning slegs in ‘n radikale Christus-fokus is en daarom doen hy alles in sy vermoë om ons te beroof van die eenvoud van ‘n totale fokus op Hom en volle vergenoegdheid in Hom (2 Kor. 11:2-3). Hy pas sy misleidings aan vir maksimum effektiwiteit ooreenkomstig die spesifieke individu, groep of gemeente wat hy wil mislei. Sy doel bly egter altyd dieselfde en dit is om ons subtiel weg te lei van vervulling in Christus en dan vanuit ons onvergenoegdheid aan ons allerhande alternatiewe vervullings te verkoop.

“Totdat ons almal kom tot die eenheid van die geloof en van die kennis van die Seun van God, tot ‘n volwasse man, tot die mate van die volle grootte van Christus; sodat ons nie meer kinders sou wees nie wat soos golwe geslinger en heen en weer gedryf word deur elke wind van lering, deur die bedrieëry van die mense, deur sluheid om listiglik tot dwaling te bring; maar, terwyl ons in liefde die waarheid betrag, in alles sou opgroei in Hom wat die Hoof is, naamlik Christus.” Efesiërs 4:13-15

Dag 14

BOLDNESS IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Do you know the way into the holiest of all? There is only one way – Hebrews 4.14 puts it so perfectly – ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God.…’ Then the writer goes on to describe him as a high Priest who can be touched with a feeling of our infirmities, tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. Then, he comes to the prayer, ‘Let us therefore,’ he says, ‘come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ You notice his ‘therefore’? ‘Therefore, let us come boldly.’ What does it refer to? Oh, it refers to the truth about the great High Priest, Jesus, the Son of God, who has passed through the heavens, and to all the truth about him.

That is the only way to be bold in the presence of God. If I look at myself I cannot be bold, I become speechless. With Job, I put my hand upon my mouth: ‘I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes’ (Job 42. 5–6). I cannot speak. But I must speak if I am to intercede. How can I do so with confidence and assurance? There is only one answer – it is to know that my great High Priest is Jesus, the Son of God, and that by his blood I have a right of entry into the holiest of all, and can go there with boldness.

Dag 15

DIE DENKFOUT WAT DIKWELS DIE OORSAAK IS VAN DIE MEESTE PROBLEME IN GESINNE EN GEMEENTES – Albert Theron

Die gemeente in Korinthe het sekerlik meer praktiese probleme gehad as enige ander gemeente waarvan ons lees in die blaaie van die Nuwe Testament, maar wat absoluut fassinerend is, is die manier wat Paulus hierdie probleme aanspreek.

Hy identifiseer een enkele denkfout as die wortel van al die probleme in die gemeente in Korinthe, naamlik die idee dat mense kennis en wysheid onafhanklik van God kan verkry deur hulle eie intellek en intelligensie en dat hierdie gesogte kennis en wysheid selfs geestelike en morele probleme kan oplos.

Paulus self was ‘n baie intelligente en geleerde man in menslike terme, maar hy het nie die probleme in Korinthe probeer oplos deur “oorredende woorde van menslike wysheid” nie (1 Kor. 2:4). Hy het nie die situasie benader as ‘n sogenaamde “godsdiens ekspert” nie, maar het in absolute afhanklikheid van God en met vrees en bewing sy briewe aan hulle geskryf. Hy het baie goed verstaan dat net die kennis en wysheid wat van God self kom via gebrokenheid en geloof hierdie gewaande slimmigheid van die Korinthiërs kon ontmasker.

Dit is eers wanneer ons erken dat ons geen kennis en wysheid onafhanklik van God het nie dat die fontein van Goddelike kennis en wysheid oopgaan in ons binneste en ons skielik vind dat daar vir dosyne tameletjies in gemeentelewe (en ook in die gesin) kosbare oplossings is in Christus. Maar dan gaan dit beteken dat ons eers ons eie “kennis en wysheid” sal moet opgee.

“Laat niemand homself mislei nie: as iemand meen dat hy wys is onder julle in hierdie wêreld, laat hom dwaas word, sodat hy wys kan word.” 1 Kor. 3:18

“As iemand meen dat hy enige kennis het, weet hy nog niks soos ‘n mens behoort te weet nie.” 1 Kor. 8:2

Dag 16

CHRISTIAN MATURITY IS CHRIST FORMED IN US – Maxie Dunnam

Personal Christian maturity comes as Christ is formed in us. Paul’s address in verse Gal. 4:19 is one of the tenderest he ever spoke: “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.” With sharpness and clarity Paul states the passion of his life and his vision for a new humanity. This is not only a vibrant expression of concern for a people Paul anguished in love over, it is the epitome of his longing for all people. Phillips’ translation of this verse has an even more poignant feeling about it: “Oh, my dear children, I feel the pangs of childbirth all over again till Christ be formed with you.”

This is the same longing Paul had for the Christians of Ephesus: that they arrive at real maturity, “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). In Colossians the aim of the apostle’s preaching and teaching was to “present every man mature in Christ” (Col. 1:28). This was no shallow goal, nothing taken lightly, no hit or miss proposition of a casual sermon. “For this I toil, striving with all the energy which he mightily inspires within me” (Col. 1:29 RSV).

Paul’s great definition of a Christian was a person in Christ. He used that picture over and over again. “If any one is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 CoR. 5:17, RSV). “And the secret is simply this: Christ in you! Yes, Christ in you bringing with him the hope of all the glorious things to come” (Col. 1:27, Phillips). “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Php. 1:21, KJV). “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1, KJV).

Paul’s most vivid description of his Christian experience was expressed in Gal. 2:20 -“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”

Dag 17

VERLOSSING, BEVRYDING EN OORWINNING: DIE DRIE FASES VAN GOD SE MEESTERPLAN – Albert Theron

In ‘n breë sin kan ‘n mens sê God het ons verlos sodat Hy ons kan bevry om ons dan oorwinning te gee in verskillende situasies en omstandighede “tot lof van die heerlikheid van sy genade” (Efes. 1:6a).

Streng gesproke vind verlossing en bevryding terselfdertyd plaas, met ons wedergeboorte, maar ek wil graag die term bevryding spesifiek gebruik om ons aandag te fokus op ons bevryding van die wêreld (Egipte) en die vlees. As ons kyk na Israel se reis van Egipte tot in Kanaän as ‘n voorbeeld van God se verlossingsplan vir al sy mense (1 Kor. 10:1-13; Heb. 3:5-4:13) sien ons dat die eerste fase van God se plan was om Israel te verlos uit Egipte. Die tweede fase van Sy plan was om Egipte uit die Israeliete se harte te kry, m.a.w. bevryding ván Egipte. En die derde fase van Sy plan was om die Israeliete in te neem in Kanaän sodat hulle daar die ander nasies kon oorwin om sodoende hulle erfenis in besit te neem.

In die eerste fase, die trek uit Egipte, deur die Rooi See en tot in die woestyn, is ons veronderstel om ons identifikasie en eenheid met Christus te verstaan. Ons verlossing en geregtigheid is net in Hom. In die tweede fase, ín die woestyn, word ons getoets en as ons in geloof volhard word ons proefondervindelik bevry van die wêreld en die vlees. In hierdie fase word Christus in ons gevorm (Gal. 4:19). In die derde fase, oor die Jordaan en die inneem van Kanaän, wil Christus deur ons oorwinning op oorwinning vir ons skenk oor allerhande praktiese situasies in ons daaglikse lewens. Hierdie oorwinnings het primêr te doen met ons missie in die wêreld, dw.s. om dissipels te maak van die nasies (Matt. 28:18-20).

Van die hele generasie wat uitgetrek het uit Egipte het net Josua en Kaleb die beloofde land binnegegaan. Dit is veronderstel om ons aandag te gryp en te hou sodat ons wakker kan skrik en kan besef dat presies dieselfde met ons kan gebeur as ons nie volhardende geloof het soos Josua en Kaleb gehad het nie. Laat my asseblief toe om weer jou aandag te vestig op die twee gedeeltes in die Nuwe Testament (1 Kor. 10:1-13; Heb. 3:5-4:13) waar ons gewaarsku word om nie in ons geloof en volharding te faal soos daardie generasie gefaal het nie.

Waar staan ons met gemeentelewe vandag in ons generasie? Verstaan ons werklik ons identifikasie en eenheid met Christus? Word ons addisioneel deur predikante en leraars opgeroep om die toetse van heiligmaking in die woestyn in geloof deur te kom sodat ons voorberei kan wees vir oorwinning in Kanaän. En laastens, probeer ons net oorleef vir “ons vier en ons dier” in die woestyn van hierdie wêreld of het ons aandag al geskuif buite onsself na die verlore mensdom en die werk van die koninkryk van God in en vir ons generasie?

Oordeel self. Waar staan ek en jy en waar staan ons gemeentes? Hierdie is nie ligtelike sake nie, maar die dodelike erns van die Bybelse boodskap oor die verlossing of ondergang van hele generasies van mense op ons planeet.

Dag 18

JY-KAN-MY-NIKS-VERTEL-NIE – Albert Theron

Dissipels van Jesus, insluitend gemeenteleiers (wat ook maar net dissipels is),  het net een groot Leermeester en dit is Jesus self.  Menslike leraars verteenwoordig net die Leermeester Jesus en kan of mag Hom nooit vervang nie. As Jesus dan ons groot Leermeester is en ons is almal dissipels, waarvan nie een al volleerd is nie, waarom het ons dan so dikwels die “jy-kan-my-niks-vertel-nie” gesindheid teenoor dissipels van ander gemeentes as ons eie? Selfs in ons eie plaaslike gemeentes het ons soms hierdie houding teenoor mekaar.

Net hier vind ons die groot oorsaak van soveel verdeeldheid onder gemeentes en dissipels van Jesus.  Dit is so heerlik en geseënd om met ander dissipels (weereens insluitend gemeenteleiers) te gesels oor ons onderskeie roepings in die koninkryk wanneer ons werklik onder Jesus se oomblik-vir-oomblik lering deur Sy Woord en Gees staan.  Maar dit is soos tande trek om te probeer praat met mekaar wanneer daar ‘n “jy-kan-my-niks-vertel-nie” gesindheid is.  Sekerlik gaan ons nie in gesprek oor die essensiële leringe van ons geloof met mense wat hulleself dissipels van Jesus noem nie.  Ware dissipels is reeds een in die essensie van die evangelie.  Maar daar is baie ander sake waaroor ons met mekaar kan, en moet, praat m.b.t. ons bruikbaarheid in die koninkryk en ons praktiese eenheid.  Is ons regtig leerbaar?

Gaan dink weer ‘n slag oor die volgende vers in Jakobus wat so pragtig en diepsinnig ‘n leerbare gees en gesindheid verwoord.

“Maar die wysheid wat van Bo kom, is allereers sonder bybedoelings, en verder is dit vredeliewend, inskiklik, bedagsaam, vol medelye en goeie vrugte, onpartydig, opreg.” Jakobus 3:17  (NAV)

Dag 19

JESUS IS THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA – C.H. Spurgeon

Open the New Testament, and read the first verse of Matthew. How does it begin? “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David.” The book of the New Covenant begins with Jesus. Now look at the last verse, see how the New Testament ends: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” Jesus Christ appears in the first verse, and he appears in the last verse. Did he not say, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End”? The first line of the covenant of grace is Jesus Christ; the last line of the covenant of grace is Jesus Christ; and everything in between is the Lord Jesus Christ. Begin with him as A, go right through to B, C, D, E, F, and so on until you end with Z, and it is all Christ Jesus. He is all; yes, he is all in all.

Oh what blessings have come to us through Jesus Christ! Through his name we have received forgiveness of sins, in his name we are justified, in his name we are sanctified, in his name we will be glorified, even as in him we were chosen from before the creation of the world. My tongue can never tell you the beginning of his greatness. Who could declare his beginning? The fringe, the hem of his infinite glories, who can touch? He is unspeakable. As for his glory, I must say, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens” [Psalm 8:1]. All glory and honor be to him in whom are realized all the blessings whereby God has enriched his people in time and in eternity.

Dag 20

THE TYRANNY OF ABSTRACTIONS – Oswald Chambers

 It is necessary to give a note of warning against the tyranny of abstractions. An ideal has no power over us until it becomes incarnate. The idea of beauty lies unawakened until we see a thing we call beautiful. God may be a mere mental abstraction; He may be spoken of in terms of culture or poetry or philosophy, but He has not the slightest meaning for us until He becomes incarnate. When once we know that God has “trod this earth with naked feet, and woven with human hands the creed of creeds,” then we are arrested. When once we know that the Almighty Being Who reigns and rules over His creation does not do so in calm disdain, but puts His back to the wall of the world, so to speak, and receives all the downcast, the outcast, the sin-defiled, the wrong, the wicked and the sinful into His arms, then we are arrested. An intellectual conception of God may be found in a bad vicious character. The knowledge and vision of God is dependent entirely on a pure heart. Character determines the revelation of God to the individual. The pure in heart see God. Jesus Christ changes the worst into the best and gives the moral readjustment that enables a man to love and delight in the true God. Of a great almighty incomprehensible Being we know nothing, but of Our Lord Jesus Christ we do know, and the New Testament reveals that the Almighty God is nothing that Jesus was not.

Dag 21

DIE ONBEKENDE GOD – Albert Theron

 Paulus gaan toe in die middel van die Areópagus staan en sê: Atheners, ek sien dat julle in elke opsig baie godsdienstig is.    Want terwyl ek rondgegaan en julle heiligdomme aanskou het, het ek ook ‘n altaar gevind waarop geskrywe is: Aan ‘n onbekende God. Hom dan wat julle vereer sonder om Hom te ken, verkondig ek aan julle.” Handelinge 17:22-23 

 Ek wonder…as Paulus vandag deur ons dorpe en stede moes loop en ons “heiligdomme” sien; geboue gemaak deur mensehande wat ons ‘n “kerk” noem, wat sou hy vir ons sê?  Wat sou hy vir ons sê as hy moes praat met ons en agterkom dat baie van ons God net deur hoorsê via ‘n hedendaagse priester-orde en geykte godsdienstradisies ken?  Wat sou hy sê as hy sou vind dat daar soveel van ons is wat Jesus se naam formeel en godsdienstig bely, maar wat nie vir Jesus eerstehands en persoonlik ken nie?  As hy sou vind dat baie van ons geen konsep het van die liggaam van Christus wat ‘n geestelike entiteit is wat veronderstel is om in die “eenheid van die Gees” te funksioneer nie.  Sou hy nie dalk vir ons sê nie:

  Hom dan wat julle vereer sonder om Hom te ken, verkondig ek aan julle.

Dag 22

DOCTRINE AND LIFE – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

The New Testament is never tired of pointing out that to attempt to divorce conduct from belief is always fatal. The Apostle Paul put that in a memorable verse in writing to the church at Corinth when he said, ‘Evil communications corrupt good manners’ (1 Cor 15:33). He was dealing there with the doctrine of the resurrection, and he said in effect, ‘It is no use your saying, “We are not interested in doctrine; we are concerned about life“; if your doctrine is wrong, your life will be wrong.’ And that has surely been the tragedy of the last hundred years or so. That is the danger on the one hand, but there is also a danger at the other extreme which is equally important, and that is the danger which confronts those who have a very great interest in doctrine. So let me try to paint this type of person as clearly as I have painted the other. There are people who are very concerned about doctrine and theology, but their interest seems to be purely detached, purely theoretical and intellectual. There is nothing they delight in more than arguing about theology; yet they do so the whole time as if they were arguing about some abstract science, something far removed from life, something quite apart from practical living. Very often, of course, they do this in what we may describe as a ‘party spirit.’ In other words, as they read the New Testament they are not as concerned about arriving at a knowledge of truth as they are about discovering arguments to support their own particular theory or idea. Now it is at that point that we agree to an extent with the criticism of the modern man against many who lived in the past. Let me be perfectly frank and admit that there is a good deal to be said along that line. Far too often our fathers argued about theology and doctrine, and discussed it and preached it in that detached and theoretical way; indeed oftentimes they lost their tempers, forgetting that by so doing they were denying the very doctrine which they claimed to believe.

Dag 23

VEG OP DIE REGTE FRONT – Albert Theron

Na die sondeval het die satan begin heers in die gevalle harte van mense en die tekens daarvan is ooglopend regdeur die geskiedenis.  Die boosheid, moord en doodslag wat gevolg het op die sondeval is skrikwekkend.  Die hele menslike verhaal nadat Adam eet van die verbode vrug word primêr geskryf deur die heerskappy wat mense oor mekaar probeer kry.

Christus het na hierdie aarde gekom om die heerskappy van God te vestig en ons te verlos van die boosheid van ons eie harte.  In Christus het ons ‘n koningskap ontvang, maar nie ‘n koningskap oor ander mense nie. 

”En ons gemaak het konings en priesters vir sy God en Vader, aan Hom die heerlikheid en die krag tot in alle ewigheid! Amen.” Openbaring 1:6

Ons word geroep om te heers oor die gevallenheid in ons harte.  Ons word geroep om die kwaad te oorwin deur die goeie. 

“Laat jou nie deur die kwaad oorwin nie, maar oorwin die kwaad deur die goeie.” Rom. 12:21

Ons word geroep om ons eie “vlees” te oorwin.

Maar ek sê: Wandel deur die Gees, dan sal julle nooit die begeerlikheid van die vlees volbring nie;  want die vlees begeer teen die Gees, en die Gees teen die vlees; en hulle staan teenoor mekaar, sodat julle nie kan doen wat julle wil nie.” Gal. 5:16-17 

Wie ‘n oor het, laat hom hoor wat die Gees aan die gemeentes sê. Aan hom wat oorwin, sal Ek gee om te eet van die boom van die lewe wat binne in die paradys van God is.” Openbaring 2:7 

Ons moet dringend leer om te veg aan die regte front.  Ons geveg is nie in die wêreld met ander mense nie.  die groot geveg is binne in ons eie harte!  In Christus kan ons oorwin.

Dag 24

DIE AANTREKKINGSKRAG VAN GOD – Albert Theron

Niemand het ooit God gesien nie; die eniggebore Seun wat in die boesem van die Vader is, dié het Hom verklaar.” Johannes 1:18 

Jesus het die onsigbare God kom openbaar en daarom word elkeen wat in Jesus glo met ‘n reddende geloof as’t ware ingetrek in ‘n “geestelike draaikolk” met middelpuntsoekende krag.  Ons blootstelling aan Jesus plaas ons op die buiterand van die draaikolk, maar soos wat ons aanhou om “Christus te aanskou” (2 Kor. 3:18) word ons dieper en dieper ingetrek in die heerlikheid van God.  Die mens se hart is gemaak om onder beheer te wees van ‘n allesoorheersende passie en die enigste passie wat ooit ons rustelose harte kan bevredig is God self.  Enige ander passie wat ons beetkry en ons intrek is ‘n afgod/verslawing.  Verslawing is in ‘n sin niks anders as afgodery nie, want dit is iets wat besit van my hart gekry het en my toenemend aantrek.  Die evangelie is die enigste krag in die heelal wat die gevalle menslike hart kan bevry van afgodery/verslawing, want die evangelie stel  ons bloot aan die grootste aantrekkingskrag in die heelal, die Persoon van God.

Want hulle vertel self aangaande ons watter ingang ons by julle gehad het en hoe julle jul van die afgode bekeer het tot God, om die lewende en waaragtige God te dien.” 1 Thessalonicense 1:9 

Enigiets wat jou nie kan bevry van afgode/verslawings nie, is nie die evangelie van Jesus Christus nie.  Of dalk verstaan jy die evangelie, maar jou fokus is op soveel ander dinge wat onsuksesvol belowe om jou vry te maak. Wie of wat het beheer van jou hart?

Dag 25

A PERPETUAL STREAM OF LIFE WITHIN US – 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 26

THIS GOD IS OUR GOD FOR EVER AND EVER – Harry Foster

So the Apostle is able to say, as far as he is concerned, that he has come through — “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). The charge is handed on, not only to Timothy, but to us, to fight the same fight, to finish the course, to keep the faith. We need strength for that. There is strength for it. We need continual remembrance — shall we better say — vision for that. There is vision, and the word is the great instrument of bringing it to us. We need a deep love to Christ, for while we may be conscious that our love is not a deep one, it is our ambition to please Him. That is the way. Do you notice that the emphasis in that connection is that Paul did it, so Timothy could do it, and it was because God was faithful to Paul, and He would be faithful to Timothy. So with Joshua: it was not because Moses came through that he came through, but the word was: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” Not Moses, but Moses’ God; not Paul, but Paul’s Lord, and there is no reason why Timothy should not go through just as victoriously as Paul, because he has the same Lord. And there is no reason why the weakest of us should not be in the Lord’s hands for overthrowing His foes, and fighting His battles, and enjoying His crown, because this God is our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Dag 27

HIERDIE PLEK GAAN BRAND, BOET! – Albert Theron

Ons generasie is besig om die seilstoele op die Titanic mooi te rangskik terwyl hy besig is om te sink.  Ons huur vrolik binnenshuise versierders om ‘n brandende gebou fraaier en meer “cozy” te maak. Jesus het gesê Sy dissipels is “die lig van die wêreld”, maar ons moet dit binne konteks van die hele boodskap van die Nuwe Testament verstaan.  Ons optimisme oor hierdie wêreld en sy toekoms moet ‘n nekslag toegedien word sodat ons Bybels kan begin dink oor die koninkryk van God en  ons bestaan op aarde.

Waar dissipels van Jesus betrokke is, sal daar noodwendig opheffing plaasvind, maar wat is ons boodskap aan hierdie wêreld?  Dit is veronderstel om te wees: “Hierdie plek gaan brand, maar daar is ‘n uitweg, Sy naam is Jesus”.  Die Noag boodskap is steeds van toepassing.  Die einde kom, maar daar is ‘n ark deur God berei.  Die wat dit glo kan die komende oordeel ontvlug.  Die wêreld sal nie weer deur water vergaan nie, maar hy gaan beslis deur vuur vergaan.

Waar is jou hoop, my vriend, en wat is jou boodskap?  Lees asseblief die onderstaande tekste biddend en hoor wat die Heilige Gees vir jou sê.

“Waardeur die toenmalige wêreld met water oorstroom is en vergaan het.  Maar die teenswoordige hemele en die aarde is deur dieselfde woord as ‘n skat weggelê en word vir die vuur bewaar teen die dag van die oordeel en die verderf van die goddelose mense.” 2 Petrus 3:6-7 

“Julle wat die koms van die dag van God verwag en verhaas, waardeur die hemele deur vuur sal vergaan en die elemente sal brand en versmelt.” 2 Petrus 3:12 

En met baie ander woorde het hy hulle besweer en vermaan en gesê: Laat julle red uit hierdie verkeerde geslag.” Handelinge 2:40 

En aan julle wat verdruk word, verligting te gee saam met ons in die openbaring van die Here Jesus uit die hemel met sy magtige engel in vuur en vlam, wanneer Hy wraak uitoefen op die wat God nie ken nie en op die wat aan die evangelie van onse Here Jesus nie gehoorsaam is nie.” 2 Thessalonicense 1:7-8 

“En sy Seun uit die hemele te verwag, wat Hy uit die dode opgewek het, Jesus wat ons van die toekomstige toorn verlos.” 1 Thessalonicense 1:10 

En dan…

En ek het ‘n nuwe hemel en ‘n nuwe aarde gesien, want die eerste hemel en die eerste aarde het verbygegaan; en die see was daar nie meer nie.” Openbaring 21:1 

Dag 28

ONS IS VRY, MAAR DIE AARDE IS STEEDS ONDER OORDEEL – Albert Theron

Baie misverstande en verwarring ontstaan omdat ons nie hierdie belangrike Bybelse waarheid reg verstaan nie.  As jy opgewonde raak wanneer jy hoor van die wonderlike vryspraak en lewe in die evangelie, maar verward raak wanneer jy hoor dat die aarde onder oordeel is, beteken dit jy het nog nie lank genoeg stil gestaan by dit wat die Bybel leer oor hierdie saak nie.  Jesus en die apostels het albei waarhede met dieselfde onwrikbare  oortuiging verkondig.

“Want die skepping is aan die nietigheid onderworpe nie gewillig nie, maar ter wille van hom wat dit onderwerp het.” Romeine 8:20 

Ons liggame is ook nog in ‘n sin verbind met hierdie gevalle skepping.  Daarom sê Paulus dat dissipels van Jesus “verlang om met ons woning uit die hemel oorklee te word”.

“Want ons weet dat as ons aardse tentwoning afgebreek word, ons ‘n gebou het van God, ‘n huis nie met hande gemaak nie, ewig, in die hemele.  Want om hierdie rede sug ons ook en verlang om met ons woning uit die hemel oorklee te word.” 2 Korinthiërs 5:1-2 

Die verwarring ontstaan omdat ons begin dink dat ons vryheid in hierdie wêreld is, maar die Bybel leer konsekwent dat ons “vreemdelinge en bywoners” op aarde is en dat ons die wêreld moet verloën.  Jou vryheid gaan nie ingeperk word as jy dit glo nie, dit gaan eerder bevestig en vergroot word in jou binneste.

Dag 29

TWEE GESLAGTE SE INSPRAAK IN ‘N KIND SE LEWE – Albert Theron 

God het die Israeliete van ouds beveel om die Woord vir hulle kinders te leer (let op dat dit eers in hulle eie harte moes wees) en dit by hulle in te skerp van kleins af.

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

In Paulus se laaste brief skryf hy aan Timotheüs en roep hom op om getrou te bly aan die Woord soos wat hy van kindsbeen af geleer is deur sy ma en sy ouma. Twee geslagte het die Woord belê in hierdie jong man se hart en dit het later kosbare en blywende vrug gedra.

“En as ek my herinner die ongeveinsde geloof wat in jou is, wat eers gewoon het in jou grootmoeder Loïs en in jou moeder Euníce, en wat—daarvan is ek oortuig—ook in jou is.”  2 Tim. 1:5 

“En dat jy van kleins af die heilige Skrifte ken wat jou wys kan maak tot saligheid deur die geloof in Christus Jesus.” 2 Tim. 3:15 

Dit is nie Sondagskoolonderwysers se verantwoordelikheid om die Woord vir ons kinders te leer nie.  Dit is primêr ons verantwoordelikheid.  Dit moet in ons huise gebeur en van geslag tot geslag deurgegee word. Verder kan predikers en leraars die Bybel vir ons leer, maar hulle kan nie die Bybel vir ons lees, memoriseer en mediteer nie.  Dit is ons eie verantwoordelikheid.  Miskien is dit waar ons eerstens die fout moet gaan soek met die swak toestand van gemeentes vandag.  Ons fondamente is deur die vyand omgegooi en ons besef dit nie eers nie.

As die fondamente omgegooi word, wat kan die regverdige doen?” Psalm 11:3 

Die Woord word nie meer deur die ouers by die huis aan hulle kinders oorgedra met passie en doelgerigtheid nie.  As ons herstel soek in gemeentelewe moet ons miskien daar begin.  Kom ons kry net eers weer die fondamente in plek. Miskien moet die televisie, die internet en die “smartphones” bietjie eenkant toe staan dat die Woord vastrapplek kan kry in ons kinders se harte.  As dit nie gaan gebeur nie is die toekoms baie donker.  Moenie dat enigiemand vir jou iets anders vertel nie.

Dag 30

VERLOSSING: ‘N REIS OF ‘N STOPSTRAAT? – Albert Theron

Israel se uittog uit Egipte verteenwoordig die geregtigheid van God wat dissipels van Jesus in Hom ontvang het met ons wedergeboorte.  Hierdie wonderlike “gawe van geregtigheid” (Rom. 5:17) is bedoel om ons vrye toegang tot die troon van genade te gee sodat ons die volgende fase van ons redding (in die woestyn) met ‘n vaste fondasie onder ons voete tegemoet kan gaan. Dit is nie net ‘n kaartjie hemel toe nie!

Daar is min dinge wat meer skade gedoen het, en steeds doen, aan die getuienis van dissipels as hierdie halwe verlossingsboodskap wat van geregtigheid ‘n eindbestemming maak.  Satan wil mense ten alle koste weghou van die kennis van geregtigheid, maar as hy dit nie kan regkry nie maak hy van dit ‘n huis op ‘n bult met geen uitgang nie, in plaas van ‘n trein wat my neem na my bestemming en erfenis in Christus.

Dit is juis in die volgende fase (Israel in die woestyn) waar ons leer om nie net te staan op die geregtigheid van God in Christus nie, maar om te lééf daaruit!  Dit is hier in die woestyn waar ons siel sy plek leer ken as ondergeskik aan ons nuwe gees wat nou verenig is met Christus (1 Kor. 6:17; Gal. 2:20).  Dit is hier waar ons leer om in geloof te leef, totaal afhanklik van die wysheid, krag en lewe van Christus in ons.  Dit is hier waar ons leer om persoonlik (nie net van hoorsê) met die Woord van God om te gaan en te leef “van elke woord wat deur die mond van God uitgaan” (Matt. 4:4).  Dit is net hier waar Christus in ons gevorm word (Gal. 4:19) en ons voorberei word vir die volgende fase, naamlik om grond te begin inneem in Kanaän.

Oorwinning op oorwinning wag daar, maar net vir die wat geregtigheid verstaan, leef daaruit en dan sodoende die toets in die woestyn deurkom. Waar bevind jy jouself op hierdie geestelike reis, wat geen dissipel van Jesus durf ignoreer of op enige manier kan vryspring nie?

Dag 31

THE SHADOW OF RELIGION WITHOUT ITS SUBSTANCE – C.H. Spurgeon

True religion is a spiritual thing but it necessarily embodies itself in a form. Man is a spiritual creature but the human spirit needs a body in which to enshrine itself. And thus, by this need, we become allied to materialism. And if not “half dust, half Deity,” as one has said, we are certainly both matter and soul. In each of us there is the form or body and the soul or power. It is so with religion—it is essentially a spiritual thing but it requires a form in which to embody and manifest itself.

Christian people fall into a certain outward method of procedure, a peculiar outward mode of uttering their faith, which becomes to true godliness what the body is to the soul. The form is useful, the form is necessary, the form ought to be vitalized—just as the body is useful and is necessary and is vitalized by the soul. If you get both the form, as modeled in the Word of God and the power, as bestowed by the Spirit of God, you do well and are living Christians. If you get the power alone, without the ordained form, you somewhat maim yourself. But if you get the form without the power, then, you dwell in spiritual death.

The body without the spirit is dead. And what follows upon death with flesh? Why, corruption—corruption so horrible that even love itself has to cry, “Bury my dead out of my sight.” So that if there is in any the body of religion without the life of religion, it leads to decay and thus to corruption—and that has a tendency to decompose the character. The raw material of a devil is an angel bereft of holiness. You cannot make a Judas except out of an Apostle. The eminently good in outward form, when without inward life, decays into the foulest thing under Heaven. You cannot wonder that these are called “perilous times,” in which such characters abound.

One Judas is an awful weight for this poor globe to bear but a tribe of them must be a peril, indeed. Yet, if not of the very worst order, those are enough to be dreaded who have the shadow of religion without its substance. Of such I have to speak at this time—from such may God give you Divine Grace to turn away! May none of us ever be spots in our feasts of love, or clouds without water carried about of winds. But this we shall be if we have the form of godliness without the power thereof.