How much do you love Jesus?

2018-01-31
Matthew 13:46 NKJV

In one of the most unique corporate take-overs ever, Stanley Tam legally transferred 51 percent of the shares of his company to God. He started United States Plastic Corporation with thirty-seven dollars in capital. When he gave his business back to God, annual revenues were less than two hundred thousand dollars. But Stanley believed God would bless his business, and he wanted to honor God from the get-go. At that point, most of us would have been patting ourselves on the back. Not Stanley. He felt convicted for keeping 49 percent to himself. After reading the parable of the merchant who sold everything to obtain the pearl of great price, he made a decision to divest himself of all his shares. He said, “A man can eat only one meal at a time, wear only one suit of clothes at a time, drive only one car at a time. All this I have. Isn’t that enough?” So on January 15, 1955, every share of stock was transferred to God, and Stanley became a salaried employee of the company he started. Before he was through, Stanley gave away more than 120 million dollars to the cause of Christ. If you want to measure the depth of your love for Christ, look at your calendar and your credit card statement. They don’t lie. How you spend your time and money are the two best barometers of your true priorities. Is Christ your pearl of great price? He wants to be. He deserves to be.

Soul food: Num 8-10; Matt 11:10-19; Ps 107:10-16; Prov 3:19-20

Jesus first


Matthew 13:46 NIV

There’s no question about how much God loves us. The Bible tells us that we need to ‘grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ’ (Ephesians 3:18 NIV). But how much do we love Him? If we want to measure the depth of our love for God, we can start by looking at our calendar and our bank account. Basically, the way we spend our time and our money can show us how much we love God. When we love someone, we want to spend time with them. Are we committing our time to developing a relationship with God? When we’d rather be doing our thing than spending time with God, we know He’s no longer our top priority. And our finances can show us whether we’ve made money our focus. Whether we’re held back by constantly saving because we’re worrying about the future or whether we’re spending frivolously and selfishly, we need to stop and ask ourselves whether we’re putting money above God. When Jesus was talking about the kingdom, He used an analogy about a merchant who was looking for pearls. ‘When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.’ He knew what he was looking for, and when he found it he was willing to sacrifice everything he had just so he could have it. Jesus is like that pearl of great value. When we truly seek Him and get to know Him, we’re prepared to sacrifice everything else just to have Him in our lives. The way we handle our money and our time become centred on Him. And we no longer desire anything but Him. We live with Jesus first.

Num 8-10; Matt 11:10-19; Ps 107:10-16; Prov 3:19-20

Hoe lief het jy vir Jesus?


Matteus 13:46 NLV

In een van die mees unieke korporatiewe oornames ooit, het Stanley Tam wetlik 51 persent van sy maatskappy se aandele aan God oorgedra. Hy het die United States Plastic Corporation met sewe-en-dertig dollars begin. Teen die tyd wat hy sy besigheid aan God terugeggee het, was die maatskappy se jaarlikse inkomste minder as tweehonderd duisend dollars. Stanley het egter geglo dat God sy besigheid sou seën en hy wou God uit die staanspoor eer. Op daardie punt sou die meeste van ons onsself op die skouer geklop het. Nie Stanley nie. Hy het skuldig gevoel omdat hy 49 persent van die maatskappy vir homself gehou het. Nadat hy die gelykenis van die pêrelhandelaar wat alles verkoop het om die kosbare pêrel aan te skaf, gelees het, het hy die besluit gemaak om van al sy aandele ontslae te raak. Hy het gesê, “‘n Man kan net een maaltyd op ‘n slag eet, net een pak klere op ‘n slag dra en net een kar op ‘n slag ry. Dit alles het ek. Is dit nie genoeg nie?” Dus, op 15 Januarie 1955, het hy alle aandele aan God oorgedra en het Stanley ‘n gewone salaristrekker van die maatskappy wat hy gestig het, geword. Voor hy klaar was, het Stanley meer as 120 miljoen dollars vir Christus se saak weggegee. As jy die diepte van jou liefde vir Christus wil meet, kyk na jou kalender en jou kredietkaart se staat. Hulle lieg nie. Hoe jy jou tyd en jou geld spandeer, is die twee beste maatstawwe van jou ware prioriteite. Is Christus jou kosbare pêrel? Hy wil dit wees. Hy verdien om dit te wees.

Sielskos: Num 8-10; Matt 11:10-19; Ps 107:10-16; Spr 3:19-20

Hou aan bid!

2018-01-30
Kolossense 4:2 NLV

In 1964 het kommunistiese Simba rebelle die dorp Bunia in Zaïre ingeneem. Hulle het baie inwoners gearresteer en tereggestel. ‘n Pastoor met die naam van Zebedayo Idu was een van hulle slagoffers. Hulle het hom ter dood veroordeel en hom vir die nag in die tronk gegooi. Die volgende oggend is hy en ‘n groot aantal gevangenes na ‘n publieke plek vir hulle teregstelling geneem. Sonder enige verduideliking, het een van die rebelle die gevangenes beveel om in ‘n lyn te staan en begin tel – ‘een, twee, een, twee, een, twee.’ Al die gevangenes wat ‘een’ genommer is is voor die vuurpeleton staangemaak terwyl diegene wat ‘twee’ genommer is na die tronk toe teruggevat is. Pastoor Idu was een van die wat gespaar is. Terug in die tronkselle, kon die gevangenes die klank van geweerskote hoor. Die pastoor het hierdie dramatiese oomblik gebruik om die verhaal van Jesus met die ander gevangenes te deel. Agt van die gevangenes het daardie dag hulle lewens vir Christus gegee. Net toe pastoor Idu klaar was om die Goeie Nuus met hulle te deel, het ‘n opgewonde boodskapper met ‘n vrylatingsbevel vir hom daar aangekom. Die pastoor is per ongeluk gearresteer en was vry om te gaan. Hy het vir die ander gevangenes totsiens gesê en hom na sy huis langs die kapel gehaas. Daar het hy ‘n groep gelowiges aangetref wat besig was om vir sy vrylating te bid. Toe hulle die antwoord op hul gebede deur die deur sien stap, het hulle gebedsdiens in ‘n lofprysingsdiens verander. Dieselfde God wat die gebede van die kerk in Jerusalem in die Nuwe Testament aangehoor het en Petrus van teregstelling gered het, het die gebede uit Zaïre gehoor en hulle pastoor gered (sien Handelinge 12:5). God luister steeds, hou dus aan bid!

Sielskos: Num 7; Matt 11:1-9; Ps 107:1-9; Spr 3:13-18

Persistent prayer


Colossians 4:2 NLT

Ever been praying for something or someone for a long time, and nothing seems to be happening? It’s tempting to give up. We become discouraged, fed up of praying for the same thing over and over again. We begin to doubt whether God’s going to answer us, and maybe if He’s listening to us at all. But the Bible says: ‘Devote yourselves to prayer.’ And devotion requires passion and persistence. We need to keep praying, keep asking and keep expecting an answer. Jesus told His disciples the story of the persistent widow to ‘show them that they should always pray and not give up’ (Luke 18:1 NIV). When this widow was asking the judge for justice against her enemy, she kept asking. She didn’t ask once and then give up. She ‘kept coming to him with the plea’ (Luke 18:3 NIV). The unjust judge eventually listened and gave her the justice she was looking for. And God is just. He doesn’t act unjustly, He doesn’t withhold things from us when we need them. He cares and He provides. We can keep coming to Him. It’s good to persistently and passionately pray for something. But if we’re not hearing anything, maybe we need to think about whether we’re praying for the right thing. What are our motives behind our prayer? Is it what God wants too? Sometimes we can get so caught up in requesting what we need and what will improve our lives, that we forget that there are so many people that need our prayers. And God tells us to ‘always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people’ (Ephesians 6:18 NIV). So let’s be persistent in our prayers, not only for ourselves but for others too.

Num 7; Matt 11:1-9; Ps 107:1-9; Prov 3:13-18