SAFE HEART

2016-10-31
‘Make a parapet around your roof to make it safe.’ Deuteronomy 22:8 MSG

In Israel, houses were built with flat roofs. People would walk around the roof if they didn’t want to go out, and on hot nights they would sleep up there. They treated the roof just like any other room in their house. But that could be quite a dangerous thing to do, so God said to the Israelites: ‘make a parapet around your roof to make it safe’. But this law is about building a house in Israel, so how can it apply to us, today?
Another way of looking at it today is: take whatever precautions are necessary to protect yourself and others. It’s all about setting yourself boundaries, and it’s especially relevant if you’re confronted with something that could tempt you away from Jesus. Proverbs 4:23 says ‘above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it’ (NIV). And as a follower of Jesus, you’ve got a responsibility to protect your own heart and keep it aligned with Him so that all your actions can also be aligned with Him. A really helpful visual image is to think of building a wall around your heart ‘to make it safe’. If you can stop a temptation before it gets in, there’s no way for it to take hold and pull you away from God. So set yourself some boundaries that keep the bad stuff out and let Jesus in.

Wees versigtig met dit waarna jy kyk


“As jy ‘n nuwe huis bou, moet daar ‘n reling om die rand van die plat dak wees...” Deuteronomium 22:8 NLV

Honderde pornografiese webbladsye word op die internet bekendgestel. Die idee is om jou per ongeluk deur slim bemarking aan hulle bloot te stel. Dit help verduidelik hoe kinders so jonk as agt jaar verslaaf raak aan pornografie en die webtuistes wat hulle verslawing in die nag voed wanneer hulle ouers slaap. Hierdie webtuistes word egter ook deur tieners en volwassenes besoek. Beskerming daarteen is dus nie net die verantwoordelikheid van ouers nie, maar van almal op die voorste linie in die stryd vir morele reinheid. In sy boek, Getting Through the Tough Stuff, skryf Chuck Swindoll: ‘Een in elke twee kerkgangers is aktief by Internet pornografie betrokke. (Is jy geskok?) Nege uit tien kinders is al daaraan blootgestel – die meeste van hulle per ongeluk terwyl hulle hul huiswerk aanlyn gedoen het. Sewe-en-dertig persent van pastore sê dat Internet pornografie ‘n daaglikse stryd in hulle lewens is. Die meeste van hulle word daaraan blootgestel deur ‘pop-ups’ op die skerm, ongevraagde eposse, en skakels na webtuistes met name wat onskuldig klink. Wanneer ‘n aanloklike beeld oor die skerm flits, is die versoeking groot. Die Internet het ‘n onlosmaakbare deel van ons lewens geword. Daar is baie goeie dinge daaraan verbonde, maar ook net soveel wat dodelik is. Dit is dus ons verantwoordelikheid as Christene om onsself teen die gevare wat deel is van die gebruik van die Internet te beskerm!’ God het die Israeliete beveel: ‘As jy ‘n nuwe huis bou, moet daar ‘n reling om die rand van die plat dak wees… [sodat niemand van die dak afval nie]…’ Selfs die apostel Paulus het erken dat hy in staat was om as leier in God se werk ‘gediskwalifiseer’ te word (sien 1 Korintiërs 9:27). Die woord vir jou vandag is: Wees versigtig met dit waarna jy kyk.

Be Careful What You Watch


‘Make a parapet around your roof to make it safe.’ Deuteronomy 22:8 MSG

Hundreds of pornography sites are being introduced to the Internet. The idea is to have you accidentally exposed to them through clever marketing. This helps explain how children as young as eight become addicted to pornography, and to the websites that feed it in the middle of the night when parents are sleeping. But these websites are also visited by teenagers and adults. So protection isn’t just called for on the part of parents, but by all those on the front line in the battle for moral purity. In his book Getting Through the Tough Stuff, Chuck Swindoll writes: ‘One in every two churchgoers is actively involved with Internet porn. (Are you shocked?) Nine out of ten children have been exposed to it – most of them accidentally while doing homework online. Thirty-seven percent of pastors say Internet porn is a current struggle in their lives. Most are exposed to it through…computer screen pop-ups, unsolicited email, and links to websites with innocent-sounding names. When an enticing image flashes, temptation is hard to overcome, especially for males. The Internet has become an integral part of our lives. There’s much that’s good, but there’s just as much that’s deadly. It is therefore our responsibility as Christians to protect ourselves from the dangers that are part of Internet usage!’ God commanded the Israelites: ‘Make a parapet around your roof to make it safe so…someone doesn’t fall off.’ Even the apostle Paul recognized that he was capable of being ‘disqualified’ as a leader in God’s work (See 1 Corinthians 9:27). So the word for you today is: Be careful what you watch.

THE BEST LAID PLANS…

2016-10-30
‘Time and chance happen to everyone.’ Ecclesiastes 9:11 NCV

We’ve probably all been here at some point: you plan something, practise for it, do everything you possibly can to prepare yourself for it. Contingency plans all lined up. And then along comes a problem you haven’t anticipated, that’s way out of your control, and all your prep comes to nothing. That’s what Ecclesiastes 9:11 is talking about: ‘The fastest runner does not always win the race, the strongest soldier does not always win the battle, the wisest does not always have food, the smartest does not always become wealthy, and the talented one does not always receive praise. Time and chance happen to everyone’ (NCV). Things can (and will) go wrong in unpredictable ways, and you won’t always understand why. So if you find yourself disappointed and confused by the way events have turned out, what can you do? Proverbs 3:5 reminds us to ‘trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ (NIV). You can be confident that God’s got everything under control. When things go wrong, you might not always know if it’s God trying to point you in another direction, or if the problem is outside of His purpose for you. But either way, He can turn a disappointment into something that works for His plan. Whatever happens, good or bad, whether you understand it or not, keep looking to God and trust that He’ll work everything out according to His purpose and timing. Because He will.

Die Bybel se formule vir geluk


“...Alles word bepaal deur tyd en gebeurtenisse.” Prediker 9:11 NLV

Is jy die tipe persoon wat duidelike antwoorde vir alles nodig het? Die waarheid is dat ons nie antwoorde het vir baie wat in die wêreld gebeur nie. God se antwoord op baie van die kwessies waarmee ons sukkel is: ‘Ek sal dit later verduidelik!’ Die moderne wetenskap probeer ons oortuig dat alles, met genoeg tyd, konkreet, presies, meetbaar en bewysbaar is. Ons het egter ontdek dat dit nie so is nie. Byvoorbeeld, hoekom tref ‘n tragedie een familie en nie ‘n ander nie? Hoekom gooi die mense wat kos het meer kos weg as wat nodig is om die honger mense te voed? Hoekom sterf onskuldige kinders? Jy kan jouself met hierdie vrae mal maak en steeds nie die antwoorde vind nie. Wat staan jou te doen? Die Bybel sê: ‘Daarom, eet jou brood met blydskap. Drink jou wyn met ’n hart vol vreugde. Want God het lankal reeds dit goedgekeur wat jy doen… Leef gelukkig saam met die vrou wat jy liefhet… Doen met toewyding alles wat jou hand vind om te doen… Die vinnigste wen nie die resies nie. Die sterkstes wen nie die geveg nie. Ook dié met wysheid is nie dié wat kos het nie. Dis nie verstandiges wat ryk word, of dié met kennis met wie dit goed gaan nie. Alles word bepaal deur tyd en gebeurtenisse. Niemand kan voorspel wanneer sy tyd aanbreek nie. Dis soos visse wat gevang word in ’n net, soos voëls gevang word in ’n wip, so word die mens gevang in tye van teëspoed as dit onverwags op hom toesak’ (verse 7-12 NLV). Leer om te lewe met hierdie onbeantwoorde vrae, vertrou op God met jou hele hart, en put die meeste uit elke dag. Dit is die Bybel se formule vir geluk.