Januarie

Dag 1

GEESTELIKE ONVERGENOEGDHEID – Albert Theron

In Christus het ons reeds alles ontvang wat ons ooit sal nodig hê. Ons is volkome in Hom. Hy is ons wysheid, geregtigheid, heiliging en verlossing. Ons is voor ons nog ‘n enkele ding gedoen het reeds “sy liggaam, die volheid van Hom wat alles in almal vervul”. Ons is klaar geseën met álle geestelike seëninge in die hemele in Christus. Ons het reeds die diepste moontlike eenheid met alle mense wat in Christus is deur die wedergeboorte. Ons moet net hierdie “eenheid van die Gees” bewaar “deur die band van die vrede” (Efes. 4:3).

Op grond van hierdie en honderde soortgelyke nuwe skeppingsrealiteite in Christus word ons opgeroep om ‘n geesvervulde lewe van oorwinning en diensbaarheid te lei ongeag ons omstandighede op hierdie aarde. Ons staan onder opdrag om die “dinge wat daarbo is te bedink”, omdat ons lewens reeds nou-al “saam met Christus verborge is in God”(Kolossense 3:2-3). Ons is dus reeds vervuld in Christus, maar ons moet aanhou om die volle manifestasie van hierdie volheid uit te leef op aarde.

In ons begeerte om hierdie lewe van oorwinning in Christus in geloof te realiseer gebeur dit egter soms dat ons geestelik onvergenoegd raak en as’t ware vergeet wat ons reeds in Christus ontvang het. Veral as ons nie in die rus van die Here ingaan en ons oë op Hom kry nie. Hierdie onvergenoegdheid bly ongelukkig nie net by onsself nie, maar dit spoel gewoonlik oor na ons gemeente en ons belewenis van ons gemeente. Dan is dit nie lank nie of ons begin ly aan wat ons kan noem die Elia Sindroom.

“Here, hulle het u profete gedood en u altare het hulle afgebreek, en ek het alleen oorgebly, en hulle soek my lewe! Maar wat sê die Godspraak aan hom? Ek het vir Myself sewe duisend manne laat oorbly wat die knie voor Baäl nie gebuig het nie.” Romeine 11:3-4

Elia het gedink almal in Israel het teruggeval en hy was die enigste een wat God nog werklik gesoek het. Vir seker het ons nodig om die ware situasie van ons lewens en ons gemeentes akkuraat te assesseer. Maar laat ons nie verval in geestelike onvergenoegdheid nie. Dit het die potensiaal om baie mense om ons negatief en krities te maak. Kom ons begin waar God begin; by die oorwinning van Sy Seun, m.a.w. by die evangelie. Vanuit daardie hemelse posisie kan ons die probleme hier op aarde aanspreek sonder om in ‘n slaggat van onvergenoegdheid te beland.

Dag 2

DRESSED IN THE UNIFORM OF JOY – C.H. Spurgeon

Serve the Lord with gladness. Psalm 100:2

Delight in divine service is a token of acceptance. Those who serve God with a sad countenance, because they do what is unpleasant to them, are not serving Him at all; they bring the form of loyalty, but the life is absent. Our God requires no slaves to grace His throne; He is the Lord of the empire of love, and would have His servants dressed in the uniform of joy. The angels of God serve Him with songs, not with groans; a murmur or a sigh would be a mutiny in their ranks. That obedience that is not voluntary is disobedience, for the Lord looks at the heart, and if He sees that we serve Him from force, and not because we love Him, He will reject our offering. Service coupled with cheerfulness is heart-service and therefore true. Take away joyful willingness from the Christian, and you have removed the test of his sincerity. If a man be driven to battle, he is no patriot; but he who marches into the fray with flashing eye and beaming face, singing, “It is sweet for one’s country to die,” proves himself to be sincere in his patriotism.

Cheerfulness is the support of our strength; in the joy of the Lord are we strong. It acts as the remover of difficulties. It is to our service what oil is to the wheels of a railway carriage. Without oil the axle soon grows hot, and accidents occur; and if there be not a holy cheerfulness to oil our wheels, our spirits will be clogged with weariness. The man who is cheerful in his service of God proves that obedience is his element; he can sing, Make me to walk in your commands, It’s a delightful road.

Reader, let us put this question—do you serve the Lord with gladness? Let us show to the people of the world, who think our religion to be slavery, that it is to us a delight and a joy! Let our gladness proclaim that we serve a good Master.

Dag 3

VERVANG JOU FRUSTRASIE MET JESUS SE PRESTASIE!- Albert Theron

Gehoorsaamheid is ‘n uiters belangrike deel van ons lewe as dissipels van Jesus, maar ‘n verkeerde verstaan van gehoorsaamheid bring nie ‘n seën nie, maar groot frustrasie. Paulus som vir ons gehoorsaamheid onder die Ou Verbond op in Romeine 10 vers 5 met die aanhaling: “Die mens wat hierdie dinge doen, sal daardeur lewe.” Vroeër in Romeine sê Paulus dit is Jesus se gehoorsaamheid wat regverdig maak (Rom. 5:19). Die klem lê in die Nuwe Testament op Jesus se gehoorsaamheid en ons geloof. Dit is juis ons geloof in Sý gehoorsaamheid wat die krag is van ons gehoorsaamheid. Daarom kry ons die term “geloofsgehoorsaamheid” in die Nuwe Testament (Rom. 1:5). Gehoorsaamheid in die Nuwe Verbond is ‘n reaksie op die Vader se evangelie-aksie in Christus.

Is jy gefrustreerd met jou onvermoë om ‘n gehoorsame lewe te lei? Gaan weer terug na die Nuwe Testament en begin lees dit met die klem op Jesus se prestasie en nie in die eerste plek jou verantwoordelikheid nie. Maak seker dat Jesus se prestasie (sy verlossingswerk) jou meer beïndruk as enigiets anders in die Bybel en jou hele uitkyk op gehoorsaamheid sal radikaal verander. Gewaarborg! Die hele Ou Testament bou op na Jesus se gehoorsaamheid en prestasie. Ons gehoorsaam nie om regverdiging en lewe van God te ontvang nie. Ons gehoorsaam ómdat ons regverdiging en lewe in Jesus ontvang het!

Dag 4

NOTHING PUTS LIFE INTO MEN LIKE A DYING SAVIOUR – C.H. Spurgeon

The best preaching is, ‘We preach Christ crucified.’ The best living is, ‘We are crucified with Christ.’ The best man is a crucified man. The best style is a crucified style: may we drop into it!

The more we live beholding our Lord’s unutterable griefs, and understanding how He has fully put away our sin, the more holiness shall we produce.

The more we dwell where the cries of Calvary can be heard, where we can view heaven, and earth, and Hell, all moved by His wondrous passion—the more noble will our lives become.

Nothing puts life into men like a dying Saviour. Get you close to Christ, and carry the remembrance of Him about you from day to day, and you will do right royal deeds.

Come, let us slay sin, for Christ was slain. Come, let us bury all our pride, for Christ was buried.
Come, let us rise to newness of life, for Christ has risen.

Let us be united with our crucified Lord in His one great object. Let us live and die with Him, and then every action of our lives will be very beautiful.”

Dag 5

NOTHING PUTS LIFE INTO MEN LIKE A DYING SAVIOUR – C.H. Spurgeon

“Do we want an unfailing friend? Such a friend is the Lord Jesus Christ. The saddest part of all the good things of earth is their instability. Riches make themselves wings and flee away; youth and beauty are but for a few years; strength of body soon decays; mind and intellect are soon exhausted. All is perishing. All is fading. All is passing away. But there is one splendid exception to this general rule, and that is the friendship of Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus is a friend who never changes. There is no fickleness about Him: those whom He loves, He loves unto the end. Husbands have been known to forsake their wives; parents have been known to cast off their children; human vows and promises of faithfulness have often been forgotten. Thousands have been neglected in their poverty and old age, who were honoured by all when they were rich and young. But Christ never changed His feelings towards one of His friends. He is ‘the same yesterday, today, and forever.’ (Heb. 13:8.)

The Lord Jesus never goes away from His friends. There is never a parting and good-bye between Him and His people. From the time that He makes His abode in the sinner’s heart, He abides in it for ever. The world is full of leave-takings and departures: death and the lapse of time break up the most united family; sons go forth to make their way in life; daughters are married, and leave their father’s house for ever. Scattering, scattering, scattering, is the yearly history of the happiest home. How many we have tearfully watched as they drove away from our doors, whose pleasant faces we have never seen again! How many we have sorrowfully followed to the grave, and then come back to a cold, silent, lonely, and blank fireside! But, thanks be to God, there is One who never leaves His friends! The Lord Jesus is He who has said, ‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.’ (Heb. 13:5.)

The Lord Jesus goes with His friends wherever they go. There is no possible separation between Him and those whom He loves. There is no place or position on earth, or under the earth, that can divide them from the great Friend of their souls. When the path of duty calls them far away from home, He is their companion; when they pass through the fire and water of fierce tribulation, He is with them; when they lie down on the bed of sickness, He stands by them and makes all their trouble work for good; when they go down the valley of the shadow of death, and friends and relatives stand still and can go no further, He goes down by their side. When they wake up in the unknown world of Paradise, they are still with Him; when they rise with a new body at the judgment day, they will not be alone. He will own them for His friends, and say, ‘They are mine: deliver them and let them go free.’ He will make good His own words: ‘I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:20.)

Look round the world, and see how failure is written on all men’s schemes. Count up the partings, and separations, and disappointments, and bereavements which have happened under your own knowledge. Think what a privilege it is that there is One at least who never fails, and in whom no one was ever disappointed! Never, never was there so unfailing a friend as Jesus Christ.”

Dag 6

NIEMAND ANDERS KAN DIE PAD VIR JOU STAP NIE – Albert Theron

“Daarom, my geliefdes, soos julle altyd gehoorsaam gewees het, nie in my teenwoordigheid alleen nie, maar baie meer nou in my afwesigheid, werk julle eie heil uit met vrees en bewing.” Filippense 2:12

Die doel van mentors, preke, leringe en boeke is om jou op jou voete te plaas sodat jy jou eie pad van geloof kan stap. Daar is duisende wat so afhanklik is van ander se geloof dat hulle nooit op hulle eie voete kom en die pad self begin stap nie.

Ongelukkig is daar ook honderde bedieninge vandag wat mense hou op ‘n plek van onvolwassenheid en gedurige afhanklikheid van ander. Daardie bedieninge sou nooit kon floreer as daar nie so baie was wat ander soek om die pad vir hulle te stap nie. Staan op in geloof en begin om jou eie pad te stap.

Dag 7

NEDERIGHEID, GEBROKENHEID EN SWAKHEID MET ‘N DOEL- Albert Theron

“Want al is Hy gekruisig uit swakheid, lewe Hy tog uit die krag van God. Want ons is ook swak in Hom, maar ons sal saam met Hom vir julle lewe deur die krag van God.” 2 Korinthiërs 13:4

Die kruisdood van Jesus Christus is die sentrale gebeurtenis van die Nuwe Testament en van die hele Bybel. Net aan daardie kruis demonstreer God vir alle mense in alle tye dat Sy krag radikaal anders werk as die bose magte van die duisternis en die modus operandi van die gevalle mensdom. Sy krag “word in swakheid volbring” (2 Kor. 12:9).

Die hele Nuwe Testament getuig deurlopend van die andersom manier wat God dinge gedoen kry op hierdie aarde. God werk deur nederigheid, gebrokenheid en swakheid. Hy stel nie belang in menslike mag en posisie nie. Hy keer die wêreld om deur eenvoudige vissermanne en wanneer hy ‘n hoog-geleerde man soos Paulus aanraak en uitstuur, stroop Hy hom eers geheel en al van sy eie wysheid en geregtigheid (sien 1 Korinthiërs 1 en 2).

God sal ons ook op geen ander manier gebruik in Sy diens nie. Wanneer ‘n mens dit begin verstaan val daar soveel menslike planne, organisasie en slimmigheid weg, maar daar is ‘n ander gevaar wat dan na vore tree. Ons kan so begin fokus op die nederigheid, gebrokenheid en swakheid dat ons vergeet die doel van God met hierdie gebroke voorwerpe/kruike is om Sý heerlikheid en krag bekend te maak. Laat ons die volle werking van die kruis in ons lewens omhels, sonder om egter te vergeet dat ons in geloof moet verwag dat die krag van die Heilige Gees ín hierdie proses na vore sal tree in ons lewens. Gaan bietjie terug na die Nuwe Testament en let op hoe swakheid en Goddelike krag altyd saam geloop het en ‘n wonderlike manifestasie van Jesus in allerlei omstandighede teweeg gebring het.

Dag 8

A PROGRESSIVE HISTORY AND UNVEILING OF CHRIST – Austin Sparks

Are we right in saying that the Bible is a progressive history and unveiling of this One, this “He” who is to fill all things? Notice: we have marked seven stages in this history, His history. In the eternal past, in creation, in the Old Testament age, in the earthly life, in His present session and intercession in heaven, in the great Day of the Lord and in the eternal future. That is really the Bible story. It is the story of a Person, the story of this mighty “He” of whom we are thinking, who is to fill all things.

In that seven-fold progressive revelation of Him in the Bible, the outstanding feature, the feature which comes to our hearts with such comfort, is His expanding grace. Note how grace is growing, is developing. What grace! His expanding power and His expanding glory. Trace that three-fold development — grace, power and glory — in Christ Jesus right through the Bible.

All this brings us back to our little clause — it is wrong to call it a little one! — “All things”. He has expanded to the full range of “All things”, and, having done so, He is to fill all things Himself. You know that it is a phrase scattered in the New Testament, particularly in the letters of Paul as we have noted, related to Christ. “All things”. In creation — and I would have you note that it is not only said that He created all things Himself, that is, that all things were created by Him, but they are created in Him. It opens a door to very much profitable reading of the Word. God has through Christ, His Son, by the Eternal Spirit, created all things in Christ. That is, He has made Christ the encompassing, encircling sphere of all things in creation itself. The creation is bounded by Christ in the thought and intention of God. Eventually there will be no created thing in this universe outside of Christ, because they were all created in Him. If they have gone out, they have been given the option in this dispensation to return into Christ. If not, they are for ever expelled from the whole domain of Christ, and all that does remain is found, as was intended, in Christ.

You and I, the church, are a new creation in Christ. Creation! And, as we read in Colossians 1:20 “through him to reconcile all things unto himself”. All things are reconciled in Christ. Again: “that in all things he might have the pre-eminence” (Col. 1:18) All things under His pre-eminence. Again: “In him all things hold together” (Col. 1:17 — R.V. margin). And finally “That he might fill all things”.

What is the concern in our hearts as we say all this to you? Would there not be a wonderful and glorious emancipation from nine-tenths — if not ten-tenths — of our troubles if we only had the apprehension of Christ that the apostle Paul had? Put it in another way. Most of our troubles are due not to our mental failure, but our heart failure really to grasp and apprehend the greatness of the Christ to whom we have been introduced, and to whose fellowship we have been brought by the grace of God.

Dag 9

COMMANDED TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER – A.W. Pink

“These things I command you, that you love one another” (Joh_15:17). There is something peculiarly searching and heart-rebuking in this. How humbling to find that Christ had to command us to love one another! How humbling to hear Him repeating this command, for He has already given this same commandment to His disciples in John 13:34! And how humbling to find Him here repeating it again, for He had only just said, “This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12)! Was it because He foreknew how little Christian love would be exercised among His people? Was it because He knew how much there is in each of us that is so unlovely? Was it because He foresaw that the Devil would stir up bitterness and strife among His followers, seeking to make them bite and devour one another? Whatever may or may not have been before Him, one thing cannot be denied-Christ has expressly commanded His people to love one another.

“These things I command you, that you love one another.” Not only does the insistent emphasis of our Lord upon this world indicate that here is something which every Christian needs to take seriously to heart, but the large place given to it in the Epistles adds strong confirmation. The following commandments of the Holy Spirit through the apostles are but repetitions and expansions of the precept now before us: “Be kindly affectioned one to another” (Rom_12:10). “Forbearing one another in love” (Eph. 4:2). “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). “Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another” (Eph. 4:32). “If any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Col. 3:13). “See that you love one another with a pure heart fervently” (1 Pet. 1:22). “Love the brotherhood” (1Pet. 2:17). “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves” (1Pet. 4:8). “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous” (1 Pet. 3:8). Envy, malice, ill-feeling, evil-speaking among brethren are a sure proof of the lack of this brotherly love!

Dag 10

GEBARSTE REËNBAKKE – Albert Theron

“Want my volk het twee verkeerde dinge gedoen: My, die fontein van lewende water, het hulle verlaat om vir hulle reënbakke uit te kap, gebarste reënbakke wat geen water hou nie.” Jeremia 2:13

God alleen is “die fontein van lewende water” en Sy kinders het die voorreg om in gebed van hart tot hart met die lewende God te kommunikeer om sodoende te drink en ontvang van hierdie onuitputlike fontein. Maar dan moet ons verstaan dat ware gebed in sy essensie te doen het met net één wil, God s’n. Gebed is dan in ‘n sin ons vereniging met die wil van God deur ons diepe afhanklikheid van die Heilige Gees in ons nadering tot God op grond van die bloed van Jesus.

“En net so kom ook die Gees ons swakhede te hulp, want ons weet nie reg wat ons moet bid nie, maar die Gees self tree vir ons in met onuitspreeklike sugtinge.” Romans 8:26

In Handelinge 4 (en baie ander plekke in Handelinge) sien ons dat die gemeente van die Here in absolute afhanklikheid van die Heilige Gees gebid het en dat dit nie net gelei het tot beantwoorde gebed nie, maar ook tot toenemende bekragtiging deur die Gees. Let ook op dat hulle gebede primêr gerig was op die verkondiging van die evangelie aan ‘n verlore mensdom.

“En nou, Here, let op hulle dreigemente en gee aan u diensknegte om met alle vrymoedigheid u woord te spreek, deurdat U u hand uitstrek tot genesing, en tekens en wonders deur die Naam van u heilige Kind Jesus plaasvind. En toe hulle gebid het, is die plek geskud waar hulle saam was, en hulle is almal vervul met die Heilige Gees en het die woord van God met vrymoedigheid gespreek.” Handelinge 4:29-31

So wat moet ons dan, in die lig van die Bybelse data, sê van die moderne tendens om via whatsapp en ander kanale standaard/templaat “gebede” uit te stuur wat mense oproep om allerhande “verklarings” te maak oor wat ons eis moet gebeur? Dit wil voorkom asof die mense wat hierdie “gebede” saamstel werklik glo dat as *duisende Christene almal saam hierdie “verklarings” maak dit ongetwyfeld ‘n werklikheid moet word. Verklaar ons dan nie “in geloof” al die positiewe dinge en maak dit sodoende deur ons korporatiewe positiewe belydenis ‘n realiteit nie? Die kort antwoord is, nee. Ongelukkig nie. Ware gebed is ‘n eenwording met God se wil in afhanklikheid van die Heilige Gees sodat ons in die oomblik kan bid wat op Gód se hart is.

Is dit verkeerd om via die moderne media dringende behoeftes bekend te maak en oproepe te maak vir dissipels van Jesus om eendragtig te bid? Nee, sekerlik nie. Maar die praktyk om templaat gebede uit te stuur wat primêr bestaan uit “verklarings” en bitter min afhanklikheid en ware petisie voor ‘n soewereine God is ‘n gebarste reënbak wat nie water kan hou, kan voorsien of kan bring nie. Miskien moet ons eerder ‘n slag die boek Handelinge indringend bestudeer en gaan kyk hoe die vroeë gemeentes gebid het en hoekom hulle so ‘n impak gehad het.

Dag 11

LOOK UNTO ME ALONE – James Smith

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:22

A new year’s morning opens upon us, and we are still exposed to sorrow, Satan, and disappointment ; sin lives in us; and a thousand things are ready to distress us; but our God says, ” Look unto me.”

Look unto me to-day. I have blessings to bestow. I am waiting to be gracious. I am your Father in Jesus. Believe that I am deeply interested in your present and eternal welfare: that all I have promised, I will perform: that I am with you, purposely to bless you. I cannot be unconcerned about anything that affects you; and I pledge myself to make all things work together for your good. You have looked to self, to others, in time past; but you have only met with trouble and disappointment : now look unto me ALONE, to me FOR ALL.

Our helper, God! We bless thy name,
Whose love forever is the same,
The tokens of thy gracious care
Open, and crown, and close the year.

Dag 12

GOD SE ONONDERBROKE EN ONONDERHANDELBARE AGENDA – Albert Theron

“Dit is my gebod, dat julle mekaar moet liefhê net soos Ek julle liefgehad het.” Johannes 15:12

Het ons nie begin om in ons generasie ‘n liefdelose kultuur te skep wat net genade wil ontvang van God sonder om dit aan ander te gee nie? Is dit nie hoekom daar so baie mense is vandag wat perfekte omstandighede eis van God sonder om Sy eis vir die gehoorsaamheid van die liefde ernstig op te neem en dit hulle belangrikste prioriteit te maak nie?

Ek wil vandag vir jou met groot oortuiging sê dat God se doel met jou en my lewe is om van ons liefdevolle mense te maak in en deur Christus. Dit is God se ononderbroke en ononderhandelbare agenda en voordat ons nie hierdie Goddelike agenda ons eie maak nie gaan ons gedurig gefrustreerd wees met God en met ons dissipelskap, want ons is nie op dieselfde bladsy as Hy nie! Raak ‘n ekspert in die liefde. Bestudeer die Nuwe Testament met die oog op die ontvang en uitdeel van Goddelike liefde in Christus en ek waarborg jou alles in jou lewe sal verander en jy sal die wêreld om jou in ‘n totaal nuwe lig begin sien.

“Maar die doel van die gebod is liefde uit ‘n rein hart en ‘n goeie gewete en ‘n ongeveinsde geloof.” 1 Timotheüs 1:5

Die een vraag wat ons geduriug moet vra is of ons werklik besig is om lief te hê soos wat Jesus ons liefgehad het. Die Nuwe Testament antwoord daardie vraag in verstommende detail en daarom het ons nodig om dit gedurig te lees en te lees met daardie doel voor oë!

Dag 13

BEWARE OF FAITH IN “FAITH” – A.W. Tozer

I have often warned men in the ministry of their great responsibility when they begin to preach and counsel about faith. It is quite possible to lead people into the mistake of placing their faith in “faith” itself. I do not think any of us believes that as Christians we can or should ever be satisfied by emphasizing our faith in “faith.” To do so would result in our bragging about the greatness of our faith and our trading mutual testimonies about the results of our faith. I remember an old story, used more than once as a sermon illustration. It concerned an anonymous Christian believer who testified of great faith and willing obedience with this rather amazing promise: “If the Lord ever asks me to jump right through that brick wall, I am ready to jump!” My point is that we should not be busy magnifying our own great faith. Rather, we should be busy demonstrating the fragrance of God’s love and grace in our daily walk.

It is not proper to magnify faith if in doing so we forget that our confidence as believers is not in the power of faith but in the Person and work of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I have heard ministers say that if the people in their congregations would memorize more Bible promises, they would immediately have more faith. Yes and no. Study the Scriptures and you will find that we are not going to have more faith by counting the promises of God. Faith does not rest upon promises. Faith rests upon character. Faith must rest in confidence upon the One who makes the promises. Faith says, “God is God! He is a holy God who cannot lie. He is the God who is infinitely honest—He has never cheated anyone. He is the God who is faithful and true!” Yes, we must be concerned with the Person and character of God and not just with His promises. Through promises we learn what God has willed to us, we learn what we may claim as our heritage, we learn how we should pray. But faith itself must rest upon the character of our God.

Dag 14

SEEK HOLINESS IN GOD AND HIS INDWELLING PRESENCE – Andrew Murray

We have seen what the various degrees of nearness to God’s Presence in Israel were. They are still to be found. You have Christians who dwell in the camp, but know little of drawing near to the Holy One. Then you have outer court Christians: they long for pardon and peace, they come ever again to the altar of atonement; but they know little of true nearness or holiness; of their privilege as priests to enter the holy place. Others there are who have learnt that this is their calling, and long to draw near, and yet hardly understand the boldness they have to enter into the Holiest of all, and to dwell there. Blessed they to whom this, the secret of the Lord, has been revealed. They know what the rent veil means, and the access into the immediate Presence. The veil has been taken away from their hearts: they have found the secret of true holiness in the Indwelling of the Holy One, the God who is holy and makes holy.

Believer! the God who calls you to holiness is the God of the Indwelling Life. The tabernacle typifies it, the Son reveals it, the Spirit communicates it, the eternal glory will fully manifest it. And you may experience it. It is your calling as a believer to be God’s Holy Temple. Oh, do but yield yourself to His full indwelling! Seek not holiness in the first place in what you are or do; seek it in God. Seek it not even as a gift from God, seek it in God Himself, in His indwelling Presence. Worship Him in the beauty of holiness, as He dwells in the high and holy place. And as you worship, listen to His voice: ‘Thus says the high and lofty One, that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit.’ It is as the Spirit strengthens us mightily in the inward man, so that Christ dwells in our heart by faith, and the Father comes and makes with Him His abode in us, that we are truly holy. Oh, let us but, in true-hearted consecration, yield ourselves to be, as distinctly as was the tabernacle or the temple, given up entirely to be the dwelling of the Most High, the habitation of His Holiness. A house filled with the glory of God, a heart filled with all the fulness of God, is God’s promise, is our portion.

Excerpted from his book “Holy in Christ”.

Dag 15

SY AKTIWITEIT, ONS BESKIKBAARHEID – Albert Theron

“Dit is die Gees wat lewend maak, die vlees is van geen nut nie…” Joh. 6:63

Dit is net die Gees van God wat lewe kan gee en slegs deur Sy aktiwiteit groei die koninkryk op aarde. Jesus alleen is die deur tot die volheid van die Gees. Ware geloof in Jesus is ‘n bevestiging van my oortuiging dat ek nie uit myself die hand van God in beweging kan bring nie. Die Vader stuur Jesus om die weg voor te berei vir die volle aktiwiteit van die Gees. Die Gees verheerlik Jesus en bring sodoende die koninkryk binne die bereik van geloof wat weer die deur oopmaak vir verdere aktiwiteit van die Gees. So groei die koninkryk en op geen ander manier nie. Mag alle ander planne, programme, menslike idees en misplaaste godsdiensywer geheel en al tot niet gaan, want dit staan net in die pad van God se Meersterplan.

Dag 16

GOD WORKING BY HIS SPIRIT – Austin Sparks

Whenever God has moved to realize any phase of His comprehensive purpose, He has done so by the agency of His Spirit. The Spirit of God has been the wisdom, the power, the energy, the initiator, the continuer and the consummator of that which God has at any time taken in hand to bring about. That is quite patent to all, I think, on the most superficial glance at the Scriptures.

Then we see it in creation, that is, the creation of this world. The Spirit of God is there as the Agent initiating, pervading, conducting and always in evidence in relation to the bringing of this cosmic order into being.

The same is seen to be true in the history and life of Israel. The whole of their life and the ordering of their life was a matter of the Spirit of God. He worked with their fathers, He led them out of Egypt as the pillar of fire and cloud, He sustained them in the wilderness; He endowed men amongst them for the framing, the making, the constituting of that great symbolism of Christ – the tabernacle. Bezalel and Aholiab were men peculiarly endowed by the Spirit of God unto all manner of work in connection with the tabernacle, and in many other ways and connections it is seen that the Spirit of the Lord was in charge of this whole matter of Israel’s life and history. God was fulfilling His purpose, or that phase of His great purpose, by the agency of His Spirit.

What was true in those connections is seen to be true in the case of the life and work of the Lord Jesus; begotten of the Holy Spirit, anointed of the Spirit, fulfilling His ministry, uttering His teaching, performing His works, all by that anointing of the Spirit, and eventually offering Himself to God without spot “through the eternal Spirit.” In all things, again, God carries out His work by means of His Spirit.

And then we pass on to the Church. It becomes abundantly clear that this great aspect of the purpose of God through the ages is again in the hands of the Holy Spirit. The Church is brought into being by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and from that time everything is committed to the Spirit to carry out. What is true as to the Church, its calling, its vocation, its purpose, is true, according to the Scriptures, of every member thereof, every individual.

The life of every child of God is begun by the Holy Spirit, born of the Spirit; and then to be, under the Spirit’s conducting, led into all the will and thoughts and ways of the Lord; perfected by the Spirit; saved, sanctified and glorified, all by the Spirit of God. That is a very elementary consideration, I know, but it is basic because the assumption is this, that man has in himself none of the requirements, moral, intellectual or spiritual, for realizing any part of God’s purpose. If it were possible for man to do so, then the Spirit of God need not have come; but the very coming of the Spirit is the great Divine declaration that God must do His own work or it will never be done – that man is totally incapable of realizing any part or fragment of the great purpose of God, and, without the Spirit, no part thereof will ever be realized. That is what it means that the Spirit of God is always in charge of the things of God, because man is not capable in that realm.

Dag 17

THE NEW MAN IN CHRIST JESUS – Oswald Chambers

We have used the term “invasion” because it gives the idea better than any other. The illustration our Lord uses of the vine and the branches in John 15 is the most satisfactory one, because it indicates that every bit of the life in the branch which bears fruit is the result of an invasion from the parent stem: “I am the vine, you are the branches.” Our life is drawn from the Lord Jesus, not only the spring and the motive of the life, but our actual thinking and living and doing. This is what Paul means when he talks about the new man in Christ Jesus. After sanctification that is where the life is drawn from. “All my springs are in Thee.”

Notice how God will wither up every other spring you have. He will wither up your natural virtues, He will break up confidence in your natural powers, He will wither up your confidence in brain and spirit and body, until you learn by practical experience that you have no right to draw your life from any source other than the tremendous reservoir of the resurrection life of Jesus Christ. Thank God if you are going through a drying-up experience! Our Lord never patches up our natural virtues, He replaces the whole man from within, until the new man is shown in the new manners. God does not give new manners; we make our own, but we have to make them out of the new life (Ephesians 4:22–32). Every detail of our physical life is to be absolutely under the control of the new disposition which God planted in us by means of identification with Jesus Christ, and we shall no longer be allowed to murmur “can’t.”

Dag 18

BEWAAR DIE EENHEID VAN DIE GEES…BEHALWE – Albert Theron

“Ek vermaan julle dan, ek, die gevangene in die Here, om te wandel waardig die roeping waarmee julle geroep is, met alle nederigheid en sagmoedigheid, met lankmoedigheid, terwyl julle mekaar in liefde verdra en ernstig strewe om die eenheid van die Gees te bewaar deur die band van die vrede.” Efesiërs 4:1-3

Paulus vermaan gelowiges om ernstig te strewe om die eenheid van die Gees te bewaar met alle ander mense wat waarlik wedergebore is en daarom “in Christus” is. Ek wonder of Paulus hierdie opdrag bietjie sou aanpas as hy vandag geleef het? Miskien sou dit ‘n aansienlike langer inleiding vir Efesiërs hoofstuk 4 gewees het. Iets soos; bewaar die eenheid van die Gees…behalwe met mense wat Gereformeerd is en nie glo aan vrye wil nie. Of bewaar die eenheid van die Gees…behalwe met “broers” wat nie Calviniste is nie. Bewaar die eenheid van die Gees, behalwe as jy glo aan “eenmaal gered, altyd gered” en jou “broer” nie.

Bewaar die eenheid van die Gees…behalwe as jy glo aan spreek in tale en jou “broer” glo nie daaraan nie. Bewaar die eenheid van die Gees…behalwe as jy ‘n amillenialis is en jou “broer” ‘n premillenialis. Bewaar die eenheid van die Gees…behalwe as jy nie na Angus Buchan byeenkomste gaan nie en jou “broer” wel. Bewaar die eenheid van die Gees…behalwe as jy net die King James vertaling lees en jou broer lees ander vertalings. Bewaar die eenheid van die Gees…behalwe as jy glo Jode gaan uiteindelik almal terug gebring word na hulle land en jou “broer” glo dit nie. Bewaar die eenheid van die Gees…behalwe as jy vernuwingsliedjies sing en jou “broer” net ou Psalms en Gesange. Bewaar die eenheid van die Gees…behalwe as jou “broer” in ‘n ander denominasie is wat nie so ingelig of andersins so histories gefundeerd is soos joune nie. Bewaar die eenheid van die Gees…behalwe as jou “broer” enigsins nog in ‘n denominasie is en jy dit lankal vaarwel toegeroep het.

Bewaar die eenheid van die Gees…behalwe, behalwe, behalwe. Hmm, miskien moet ons maar hierdie eenheid storie los. Wat dink jy?

Dag 19

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND OUR HOLINESS – Andrew Murray

From the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13

The name Holy Spirit teaches us that it is particularly the work of the Spirit to impart holiness to us and make it our own. The holiness of God in Christ becomes holiness in you because His Spirit dwells in you. The words Holy and Spirit and the divine realities they represent are now inseparably and eternally united. * You can only have as much of the Spirit as you are willing to have of holiness. And you can only have as much holiness as you have the indwelling Spirit.

Some pray for the Spirit because they long to have His light and joy and strength, but their prayers accomplish little increase of His blessing or power. It is because they do not truly know or desire Him as the Holy Spirit. They are not acquainted with His burning purity, His convicting light, His putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and His leading into the fellowship of Jesus, who gave up His will and His life to the Father. He reveals and imparts the holiness of Christ. Jesus speaks of “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, [who] will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). He is the Spirit of Christ. Our hope is awakened to believe that He will work mightily in us. “Whoever believes in me . . . streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:38). Be assured that the Spirit, who is already within us, will do His work in ever-increasing power.

* Murray is here referring to a willingness to be holy, not of our trying to reach some standard in our own power, for it is the Holy Spirit’s work to sanctify us.

Dag 20

EENHEID IS NIE EENVORMIGHEID NIE – Albert Theron

“Maar ek vermaan julle, broeders, in die Naam van onse Here Jesus Christus, om almal eenstemmig te wees, en dat daar geen skeuringe onder julle moet wees nie, maar dat julle verenig moet wees in dieselfde gesindheid en in dieselfde mening.” 1 Korinthiërs 1:10

Wat op aarde bedoel Paulus hier? Sou hy steeds daardie stelling gemaak het 2 000 jaar na Christus met die ontwikkeling van honderde fokusse en opinies in die geskiedenis van die kerk? Moet ons steeds “verenig wees in dieselfde gesindheid en dieselfde mening”? En hoe strook “dieselfde gesindheid en mening” met die letterlik honderde verskillende denominasionele aksente en klemme? Kan ek net “dieselfde gesindheid en mening” handhaaf met mense wat in my eie denominasie is? Ek lê aan jou voor dat dit in Bybelse terme absurd is om te dink dat hierdie teks ooit so geïnterpreteer kan word.

Dit is juis teen hierdie geneigdheid (a.g.v. die gevallenheid in ons) om net te wil assosieer met mense wat oor “alles” met my saamstem waarteen Paulus hier waarsku (sien verse 11 en 12). Ek plaas die “alles” in aanhalingstekens, want dit is in elk geval ‘n mite dat mense in dieselfde denominasie oor alles saamstem m.b.t. die Christelike geloof. Die meeste mense weet, in alle eerlikheid, nie eers wat hulle eie denominasies werklik glo of presies hoe die ander glo wat saam met hulle in een denominasie is nie.

Die eenheid wat Paulus van praat is eenheid in die evangelie. Die boodskap m.b.t. die dood en opstanding van Jesus Christus wat dit moontlik gemaak het vir verlore sondaars uit elke stam en taal en volk en nasie om gered te word deur geloof alleen en om sodoende ‘n hoop te hê op “nuwe hemele en ‘n nuwe aarde waarin geregtigheid woon” (1 Kor. 15:1-4 en 2 Pet. 3:13). Op grond van hierdie boodskap word ons verlos van ons hoogmoed en vooroordele teenoor ander en kan ons ‘n liefde teenoor mede-dissipels openbaar wat vir die wêreld wys dat Jesus werklik die Verlosser en Koning is. Veral in die maníer wat ons van mekaar verskil!

“Hieraan sal almal weet dat julle my dissipels is, as julle liefde onder mekaar het.” Johannes 13:35

“Dat almal een mag wees net soos U, Vader, in My en Ek in U; dat hulle ook in Ons een mag wees, sodat die wêreld kan glo dat U My gestuur het.” Johannes 17:21

Daar staan nie “hieraan sal almal weet dat julle denominasie my dissipels is, as julle liefde het vir almal wat in julle denominasie is” nie. Ook nie, “dat almal in dieselfde denominasie een mag wees…” nie. Of, “dat hulle ook in terme van hulle perfekte eenvormigheid in teologie en tradisie met almal in hulle denominasie een mag wees” nie, maar “dat hulle ook IN ONS (d.m.v. die evangelie hier geïmpliseer) een mag wees”!

Die uitdaging vir ons na 2 000 jaar se kerkgeskiedenis en honderde verskillende tradisies, opinies en fokusse is om vanuit die enkele fokus op die Persoon en Verlossingswerk van Jesus (die evangelie) die “eenheid van die Gees” te bewaar en om in liefde en geduld ons verskille (waarvan ek net ‘n paar genoem het verlede keer in “Bewaar die eenheid van die Gees…behalwe”) met mekaar m.b.t. ander aspekte van teologie aan te hoor. Solank ons net op ‘n volwasse manier en vanuit die Bybel (op grond van ons eie oortuiging en gewete, nie ‘n groep of gunsteling leraar s’n nie) met mekaar gesprek voer en nie met ‘n heethoofdige gesindheid of ‘n politiese en sektariese gees wat ten alle koste ons eie tradisies, fokusse en voorkeure wil verdedig nie. Die Nuwe Testament roep ons gedurig op om te dink, te leef en te redeneer vanuit één enkele fokus.

“Terwyl hy nog spreek, oordek ‘n helderligte wolk hulle meteens en daar sê ‘n stem uit die wolk: Dit is my geliefde Seun in wie Ek ‘n welbehae het. Luister na Hom!” Mattheüs 17:5

Dag 21

THE MESSAGE OF A NEW HUMANITY – Austin Sparks

What is the message of Luke? The Son of Man has come to secure a redeemed, new humanity. Paul calls Jesus ‘the second man, the last Adam’ (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47). Out of Jews and gentiles Jesus is redeeming a new humanity. Listen carefully! The message of this Gospel, and of the New Testament, is this: God is not now particularly interested in Jews, nor in gentiles, nor in Protestants, nor in Roman Catholics, nor in Baptists, nor in Methodists, nor in Dutch Reformed, etc. God is not interested in those things at all! He is interested in men. All God’s interest is in man, let the man be British, or Swiss, or German, or French, or any other nationality, white, black, yellow or brown. That does not matter to God, for His only concern is with man . Are you a man — and God called both woman and man ‘one man’ — and are you of the human race? God is interested in you as mankind, to take out of the nations, and out of the denominations, a people for His Name. Are you a “minister”? God is not particularly interested in you as a “minister”, but He is interested in you as a man, and that is true of every other category. You do not think, do you, that because a man is a “minister”, a servant of God, God lets him off when things are wrong? God does not say: ‘Well, he is my servant so I will overlook all his faults.’ Nor does He say: ‘Oh, he, or she, is My child, so I will not take any notice of what is wrong.’ No, God’s concern with us is as people. The Son of Man came to seek and to save a lost humanity, and to make Himself the Shepherd in that humanity, to make His Bride out of that humanity, and to make His sons out of that redeemed humanity. Where do we end? Where Luke ends, with the Son of Man, as the representative of the new mankind, glorified in heaven.

Dag 22

A UNITY OF LIFE WORKING ITSELF OUT IN LOVE – C.H. Spurgeon

Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3

This unity of the Spirit is caused by a similarity of nature. Find a drop of water glittering in the rainbow, leaping in the waterfall, rippling in the stream, lying silent in the stagnant pool, or dashing in spray against the vessel’s side—that water claims kinship with every drop of water the wide world over, because it is the same in its elements; and even so, there is a unity of the Spirit which we cannot imitate which consists in our being “begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” We bear in us the Holy Spirit as our daily quickener, and walk in the path of faith in the living God. Here is the unity of spirit, a unity of life working itself out in love; this is sustained daily by the Spirit of God; He who makes us one, keeps us one. Every member of my body must have a communion with every other member of my body; I say must. The question never arises, that I know of, between the members of my body whether they will do so or not; as long as there is life in my frame, every separate portion of my body must have communion with every other portion of it. Here is my finger—I may discolor it with some noxious drug; my head may not approve of the staining of my finger—it may suggest a thousand ways by which that finger ought to be put through a purgation, and this may be all right and proper—but my head never says, “I will cut off that finger from communion.” My tongue speaks loudly against the noxious fluid which has done my finger mischief, and has blistered it so as to cause pain to the whole body, yet the head cannot say, “I will have that finger cut off,” unless the body is willing to be forever mutilated and incomplete.

Now, it is not possible to mutilate the body of Christ. Christ does not lose His members or cast off parts of His mystical body, and therefore, it never ought to enter the head of any Christian whether or not he shall have communion in spirit with any other Christian, for he cannot do without it—as long as he lives, he must have it. This does not stop him in boldly denouncing the error into which his brother may have fallen, or in avoiding his intimate acquaintance while he continues to sin, but it does forbid the thought that we can ever really sever any true believer from Christ, or even from us, if we are in Christ Jesus. The unity of the Spirit is preserved, then, by the Holy Spirit infusing daily life-floods into the one mystical body. And in proportion as the life-floods become stronger, that union becomes more manifest. Let a spirit of prayer be poured out on all our churches and conventionalities will be dashed down— divisions will be forgotten and locked in each others arms—the people of God will show to the world that they are one in Christ Jesus!

Dag 23

DIE OPROEP TOT EENHEID IS NIE KINDERSPELETJIES NIE – Albert Theron

In die eerste hoofstukke van 1 Korinthiërs waarsku Paulus herhaaldelik die gemeente in Korinthe teen onenigheid in hulle geledere. Hierdie onenigheid was in die konteks duidelik die gevolg van intellektuele hoogmoed (sien bv. 1 Kor. 3:18-20) en die onvermoë om te dink vanuit die nuwe perspektief in Christus (1 Kor. 2) wat die evangelie veronderstel was om by hulle tuis te bring. In hoofstuk 3 sê Paulus reguit vir hulle dat hierdie onenigheid wys dat hulle nog “vleeslik” is en dink soos mense wat nie die Gees van Christus ontvang het nie (sien 1 Kor. 2:9-16).

“Omdat julle nog vleeslik is; want aangesien daar onder julle jaloersheid en twis en tweedrag is, is julle nie vleeslik nie en wandel julle nie na die mens nie? Want as die een sê: Ek is van Paulus; en die ander: Ek van Apollos — is julle nie vleeslik nie? “1 Kor. 3:3-4

Aan die einde van hoofstuk 3 eindig Paulus sy pleidoo vir eenheid met ‘n skrikwekkende waarskuwing wat ons almal eintlik regop moet laat sit om met gespitste ore die toepassing te maak in die era van grootskaalse onenigheid waarin ons onsself bevind.

“Weet julle nie dat julle ’n tempel van God is en die Gees van God in julle woon nie? As iemand die tempel van God skend, sal God hom skend; want die tempel van God is heilig, en dit is julle.” 1 Kor. 3:16-17

“As iemand die tempel van God beskadig, sal God hom straf, want die tempel van God is heilig, en die tempel is julle.” 1 Kor. 3:16-17 (NAV)

Sjoe, Paulus sê in effek hier dat as ‘n mens volhard in partydigheid, twis en tweedrag jy skade doen aan die heilige tempel van God wat organies saamgestel is deur alle wedergebore kinders van God. As jy dit willens en wetens doen, gaan God jou, volgens die apostel Paulus, straf of nog sterker in die OAV, “skend”. Ons Vader het baie genade en geduld met ons almal in ons persoonlike wandel, maar hier sien ons daar is een ding wat baie vinnig die hand van God vir dissipline in beweging kan bring as ons nie die heiligheid van hierdie geestelike tempel (die liggaam van Christus) eer deur “die eenheid van die Gees te bewaar deur die band van die vrede” nie. Heel waarskynlik sluit dit ook onenigheid, twis en tweedrag in tussen dissipels van Jesus in een huisgesin.

h1 style=”text-align: center;”>Dag 24

LIVING IN THE MEEKNESS AND GENTLENESS OF CHRIST – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

‘Meekness’ means an inner mildness and gentleness. Yet it is compatible with great strength. Moses was the meekest of all men, and yet he was a strong man. In his inner being he was a very mild man, a gentle man. And our Lord Himself was meek. ‘Meekness’ really means readiness to suffer wrong, if need be, the committing of everything to God. The Apostle Paul himself was a very meek man. At the same time he could say some very strong things; he could be firm and powerful; there is something magisterial about his statements. Yet as we read his epistles we find this element of humility and of meekness everywhere. He has already manifested this meekness in the third chapter where he writes, ‘Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints’—though he was the greatest of all—‘ is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ’. Humility and meekness are the first essentials in guarding the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace. These are the virtues found in our Lord himself. He says, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls’ (Matthew 11:28–30). Matthew, in the twelfth chapter of his Gospel, quoting from Isaiah, describes our Lord thus: ‘He shall not strive, nor cry aloud, neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory’ (vv. 19–20). Such was His character as we find it portrayed in the Gospel portraits of our blessed Lord. And we belong to Him, and are members of His body.

So the Apostle in writing to the Corinthians makes use of this argument: ‘Now I, Paul, myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ …’ (2 Cor 10:1). Writing in his Second Epistle to Timothy and giving him advice, Paul says, ‘But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth’ (2:23–24). That is how you are to behave, says the Apostle to Timothy in effect; there will be people who will not agree with you; do not be annoyed by them and become angry. You must not strive with them; but rather try to get them to see the truth; put it before them in a way which will appeal to them, try to win them to it, wean them from error and win them to the truth.

Dag 25

JESUS SELF IS DIE WAARHEID! – Albert Theron

Die gemeente van die Here word in 1 Timotheüs 3:15 “‘n pilaar en grondslag van die waarheid” genoem. In ‘n wêreld van leuens, verwarring, verdraaide boodskappe, en ‘n massiewe verskeidenheid van uiteenlopende leringe is dit van kardinale belang dat ons styf vashou aan die suiwer waarheid van die evangelie. Die belangrikste van alles is dat ons moet verstaan dat Jesus self ‘die Waarheid’ is (Jn. 14:6). Daarom moet ons alles oor Sy Persoon, Sy verlossingswerk, en Sy koninkryk verslind en koester. Maar ons moet ook seker maak dat Hy alleen die middelpunt bly van ons gemeentelewe, en al ons leringe, besluite en aktiwiteite. Kinderlike gehoorsaamheid aan Hom bo alles, selfs al is dit onpopulêr, is die sentrale vereiste van ons Vader. Sodoende sal ons nie net in ons leer nie, maar ook in ons lewe, gesindhede en verhoudings die kosbare vrug van Sy Heerskappy sien.

Dag 26

FREEDOM BY THE TRUTH – Austin Sparks

Jesus, you see, says, “I am the truth.” What is the truth? It is that which stands up to all arguments of Satan who is “a liar and the father of it”. It is that which delivers us from this false self which we are; and we are a false self. We are a bundle of contradictions. We can never be sure that we are going to be of the same mind for long together, that our convictions are not going to do a right-about-turn. Oh no, it is not ourselves at all; it is Christ. You see what a false position we could be in if we were on that other level of nature. What a game the Devil could play with us.

I am using these illustrations to try to get to the heart of this. What is the truth? What is true? It is not found in us. We are not true in any part of our being. Christ alone is truth, and you and I have to learn how to live on Christ, and until we have done that the Holy Spirit cannot do the other thing. Perhaps you are saying, Is not a true Christian less ill-tempered? Is there no difference at all? Is a Christian right to be irritable and all that? I am not saying that, I am not letting you off on that; I am saying that in the school, until you and I have learned to hold on to Christ by faith, the Holy Spirit has not the ground upon which to work to bring us into conformity to Christ. If we are going to live upon the false basis of ourselves, the Holy Spirit leaves us alone. When we come to live by faith on Christ, then the Holy Spirit can come in and make Christ good in us, and teach us victory and teach us mastery, and teach us by deliverance how not to become a prey to good or bad feelings in ourselves, but to live on another level altogether. I mean this, that you cut the ground from under a great deal when you really get on to the ground of Christ.

Take irritability, for example. Some of you, of course, may never suffer in that way at all, but others do know what that battle is. Well, let us take such a case. Today we feel like that, all nervy, strained and short. What are we going to do about it? Are we going to make that our Christian life or the negation of our Christian life? If we come on to that ground, then Satan is always swift to make the most of it and bring us into terrible bondage and really to kill all spiritual life. But if you will take the position, ‘Yes, that is how I feel today, that is my infirmity today, but Lord Jesus, You are other than I am, and I just rest on You, hold on to You, make You my life’, you see what you have done. You have cut the ground from under the feet of the Devil altogether, and you will find that there is peace along that line, and rest, and although you may still be feeling bad in the outer part of you, in the inner part you are at rest. The enemy is shut out from the inner part of you, he has no place there. The peace of God stands sentinel over heart and mind through Christ Jesus; the citadel is safe. What Satan is always trying to do is to get into the spirit through the body or soul and to capture the stronghold, the spirit, and bring it into bondage. But we can remain free inwardly when we are feeling very bad outwardly. That is freedom by the truth. That is the truth! Not a thing, not an affirmation, but a Person. It is what Christ is, and He is altogether different from what we are. Well, the Holy Spirit would teach us, as the Spirit of Truth, that it is abiding in Christ that means everything. The alternatives are to get into ourselves, or into other people, or into the world, in a mental way. Abide in Christ and there is rest, there is peace, there is deliverance.

Dag 27

GOD’S WORD FOR OUR GENERATION – Francis Schaeffer

What does God say to our generation? Exactly the same thing that He said to Israel 2,500 years ago when He said through Ezekiel: “I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols.” I believe that this is how God looks at much of the modern church, and on our Western culture. I believe that this is how He looks on much of our cinema, much of our drama, much within our art museums. And above everything else, this is the way He looks into the churches in which a gospel that is no gospel is being preached. God is saddened. Should we not be moved?

He is the same God; He is the living God, He is the unchanging God. He is the God who is there. And will He not do in the midst of this situation what He did in the midst of the Jewish situation in the time of Isaiah in the Northern Kingdom, and in the time of Jeremiah and Ezekiel and Daniel in the Southern Kingdom? Will He not judge our culture? Will He not call it adulterous? I tell you in the name of God He will judge our culture unless there is a return to a Christian base for the culture — and that begins with true repentance and renewal in the church.

Now what should be our response? Listen to Jeremiah 13:27 — “Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem!” Indeed, as redeemed people we should know the joy of Christ, but as we look around us in much of the church and in our culture, can we fail to cry tears? Must we not also have this message? “Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem!” For like Jerusalem, much of the church has turned apostate. Within two or three generations in our northern European countries, we have turned aside. In Germany over a longer period, but in most of our countries so quickly have we turned aside: “Woe unto you, O Jerusalem! Woe to you, O liberal church! Woe to you, O apostate Christendom!” We must say these words while we cry for the individual and while we never fail to treat him as a human being. We must not speak more lightly than Jeremiah. We must not be any less moved. Our response must not be merely a theoretical discussion of an intellectual nature. It must be the cry, “Woe, O liberal church! Woe, O apostate Christendom!”

It is not just a question of abstract theology that is involved, not just an academic difference. It is not that I should get my Ph.D. and go off and sit in some faculty and merely make polite academic conversation. It is the difference between loyalty to the living God and spiritual adultery — spiritual adultery against the Creator and the judge of the universe. Spiritual adultery, mind you, against the only adequate Bridegroom for man — individual man and mankind — the only adequate Bridegroom for all people in all the world. Spiritual adultery against the only One who can fulfill the the longing of the human heart. To turn away from the divine Bridegroom is to turn to unfulfillment. This is not only sin; it is destruction.

Dag 28

WARE BEDIENING EN BEDIENAARS – Albert Theron

Dissipels van Jesus is vandag blootgestel deur die multimedia aan soveel verskillende bedieninge en bedienaars. Hoe gemaak om te onderskei en die egte te identifiseer? Daar is verskeie faktore wat in ag geneem moet word, maar hier is ‘n eenvoudige reël wat die basiese fondasie van alle ware Nuwe Testamentiese bediening ondervang: “Ware bediening wys altyd weg van onsself en skuif die fokus op Jesus.” Natuurlik moet ons lewens en karakter Jesus openbaar, maar die fokus moet nooit ons en ons wonderlike gawes en wye invloed wees nie. Eerder Jesus en Sy kosbare Persoon en bediening. Johannes die Doper en die apostel Paulus is twee skitterende voorbeelde van hierdie benadering.

Johannes 1:29 Die volgende dag sien Johannes Jesus na hom toe kom, en hy sê: Dáár is die Lam van God wat die sonde van die wêreld wegneem!

Johannes 3:30 Hy moet meer word, maar ek minder.

2 Korinthiërs 4:5 Want ons verkondig nie onsself nie, maar Christus Jesus as Here, en onsself as julle diensknegte om Jesus wil.

Dag 29

READING THE SCRIPTURES WITH THE VEIL OFF – Isaac Penington

None can know Christ rightly but by the inward revelation that comes from the Father. The mystery must be opened within or there is no true knowing. The mystery of deceit is discovered within, and the mystery of life is discovered within also. And whoever witnesses Christ revealed within shall find him revealed for this very end, to destroy the works of the devil there.

He is a powerful Savior of the soul from sin, and a powerful destroyer of the works of the devil within. Now concerning reading the Scriptures, keep this in mind: it is said of the Jews that when they read the Old Testament the veil was upon their heart, which veil is done away in Christ. 2 Cor. 3:14-15. Oh consider seriously! Is the veil done away from you? Do you read the Scriptures with the unveiled eye? Do you read in the anointing, in Christ’s Spirit, in the pure heavenly wisdom of the divine birth? It was promised of old that God would take away the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil spread over all nations. Isa 25:7. Do you witness this promise fulfilled? Do you know the difference between reading the Scriptures with the veil on and with the veil off? Are the Scriptures opened and unlocked to you by the key of David, so that you read and understand them in the light and demonstration of God’s Holy Spirit? Or is your own understanding and will at work in searching into the Scriptures? If the wrong birth, the wrong wisdom, or the wrong understanding is at work, it can gather only that which will feed and strengthen itself. And if you are not in Christ, and do not read in Christ, then the veil is not taken away from you, for the veil is only done away in him. If you read and walk in the oldness of your apprehensions of the letter, and not in the newness of the Spirit, then you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God, whatever you may profess to men or dream concerning yourself. For your own knowledge, your own apprehensions, your own faith, hope, peace, and joy (being outside of the compass of the pure, living truth) are nothing more than dreams.

The Scriptures are words, whose chief end, significance, and service, is to bring men to the Word from which the Scriptures came. And when men are there, abiding in this Word, then they are in the life of the Scriptures, and witness the fulfilling of the Scriptures. Here they find the righteous judgments of God executed upon that spirit, mind, and nature in them which is contrary to his image. Here they know the fulfilling of the promises and the sure mercies which belong to Christ the seed, and to those who are gathered into, and abide in, Christ the seed. Here is the covenant, the new covenant.

Dag 30

JESUS SELF IS ONS SEKURITEIT – Albert Theron

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

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

Dag 31

FAITH AND OBEDIENCE ARE WHAT MATTER – A.W. Tozer

God has never in the past done anything good in response to faith that He is unwilling to do again. Let me turn that around and say it this way: Everything good that God has done in the past in response to faith, He is willing to do again. We need only believe and obey.

How subtle is unbelief! You read the biography of one of God’s great saints and suddenly you are overcome with discouragement. You find you are comparing yourself very unfavorably with the one you have been reading about. Let me pass on some advice. Do not stop reading about God’s great men and women. But keep in mind that faith and obedience, not their abilities or temperaments or dispositions, are what matter. God knows how best to use us for His glory and as His witnesses. Faith came like a dove to the heart of Abraham—but not only to Abraham. Faith came to the rascal Jacob as well. Faith came to Moses, it is true. But faith came also to Samson. Faith came to Sarah. Faith came as well to Rahab. I think of a simple little song we used to sing:

Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream,
All the fitness here required
Is to feel your need of Him.

I feel good about that advice! I am not to compare myself with Abraham or Luther or Billy Graham and wonder how I can qualify as a good and useful Christian. If I truly feel my need of God, I can approach Him and expect Him to work through my uniqueness.