Break with the past

2018-08-31
Mark 14:3 NIV

Remember the woman who anointed Jesus? ‘While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.’ She gave her most precious possession to Jesus. Not only was it extremely valuable, it was also part of her appeal as a prostitute. Breaking it open was her way of breaking with her past. She was giving up her former life by giving that jar to Jesus. God wants to transform us. The Bible says: ‘And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit’ (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV). But we can often want God to transform us while we keep doing the same old thing. We want Him to change our circumstances without having to change us at all. We can’t expect growth and change when we refuse to hand our past over to God, to hand over the things that have taken His place as priority in our lives, and to hand over who we are in favour of who we could be. Most of us get stuck spiritually because we keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. Spiritual routines are a crucial part of spiritual growth, but when the routine becomes routine, we need to change it. What got us to where we are, may not get us to where God wants us to go next.

3 John; Jude; Luke 18:31-43; Ps 119:169-176; Prov 22:20-23

Jy moet met die verlede breek


Markus 14:3 NLV

Onthou jy die prostituut wat vir Jesus gesalf het? ‘…Tydens die ete kom daar ‘n vrou in met ‘n albaste fles vol egte, baie duur aromatiese olie. Sy breek toe die seël van die fles en gooi die olie oor Jesus se kop uit.’ Sy het haar kosbaarste besitting vir Jesus gegee. Nie net was dit baie waardevol nie, dis was ook deel van haar aantrekkingskrag. Deur dit oop te breek was haar manier om met haar verlede te breek. Onthou jy die herlewing wat in Efese uitgebreek het? Diegene wat towery beoefen het, het hulle boekrolle in die openbaar verbrand. Die waarde van daardie boekrolle word op 50,000 dragmas geskat. ‘n Dragma was ‘n silwer muntstuk wat ‘n dag se loon werd was. Dis 138 jaar se lone! Hulle kon daardie boekrolle verkoop het en die geld in hulle sak gesteek het, maar dan sou hulle hul siele verkoop het. In plaas daarvan het hulle ‘n stelling van R43,825,783.15 gemaak. Ons probleem is dat ons wil hê dat God iets nuuts vir ons moet doen, terwyl ons dieselfde ou ding aanhou doen. Ons wil hê dat Hy ons omstandighede moet verander, sonder om ons enigsins te verander. As ons egter God vir nuwe wyn vra, het ons ook ‘n nuwe wynsak nodig. Verandering is ‘n twee-sydige muntstuk wat lees: Uit met die oue en in met die nuwe! Meeste van ons brand geestelik vas omdat ons aanhou om dieselfde ding te doen, maar ander resultate verwag. Geestelike roetine is ‘n noodsaaklike deel van geestelike groei maar wanneer die roetine roetine word, moet jy dit verander. Wat jou gekry het tot waar jy jou tans bevind, mag jou dalk nie kry tot waar God wil hê jy volgende moet gaan nie.

Sielskos: 3 Joh; Judas; Luk 18:31-43; Ps 119:169-176; Spr 22:20-23

You must break with the past


Mark 14:3 NKJV

Do you remember the prostitute who anointed Jesus? “A woman…having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard…broke the flask and poured it on His head.” She gave her most precious possession to Jesus. Not only was it extremely valuable, it was also part of her sex appeal. Breaking it open was her way of breaking with her past. She was giving up her former life by giving that jar to Jesus. Remember the revival that broke out in Ephesus? Those who practiced sorcery burned their scrolls publicly. The value of those scrolls was estimated at 50,000 drachmas. A drachma was a silver coin worth a day’s wages. That’s 138 years of wages! They could have sold those scrolls and pocketed the money, but they would have been selling their souls. Instead they made a $3,739,972.50 statement of faith. Our problem is that we want God to do something new for us, while we keep doing the same old thing. We want Him to change our circumstances without having to change us at all. But if we’re asking God for new wine, we will need a new wineskin. Change is a two-sided coin that reads: Out with the old, and in with the new! Most of us get stuck spiritually because we keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. Spiritual routines are a crucial part of spiritual growth, but when the routine becomes routine, you need to change it. What got you to where you are, may not get you to where God wants you to go next.

Soul food: 3 John; Jude; Luke 18:31-43; Ps 119:169-176; Prov 22:20-23

Keep running

2018-08-30
Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

Experienced runners know if they can just keep going, eventually they will get their ‘second wind.’ It’s a release of adrenalin that makes you feel like you could run all day. And we can apply this to our spiritual lives too. We need to keep running, even when it feels hard, until we get our second wind. Paul says: ‘Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart’ (vv.1-3 NIV). Jesus endured the cross, and we need to endure the troubles we are facing on our journey. What we are going through right now is temporary – so let’s keep running and look ahead for our breakthrough. In the Old Testament, God told Isaiah, ‘Comfort my people…tell them that their time of service is finished, that they have paid for their sins’ (Isaiah 40:1-2 NCV). Then He went on to make the people this amazing promise: ‘The rough ground should be made level, and the rugged ground should be made smooth. Then the glory of the LORD will be shown, and all people together will see it. The LORD himself said these things’ (vv. 4-5 NCV). God was promising them that their hard times would end, and that things would get better for them. So until God promises that in our lives, let’s keep running with perseverance.

2 Chr 35-36; 2 John; Luke 18:18-30; Ps 119:161-168; Prov 22:17-19

Keep running


Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV

Experienced runners know if they can just keep going, eventually they’ll get their “second wind.” Some refer to it as “runner’s high,” a release of adrenalin that makes you feel like you could run all day. So the word for you today is: Keep running until you get your second wind! Paul says: “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and…run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of…God…consider Him who endured such hostility…lest you become weary and discouraged” (vv. 1-3 NKJV). Note the word “endured.” Don’t let what’s going on around you sabotage what God’s doing within you. Generally speaking, your outlook is affected by what’s happening now. A drowning man isn’t too impressed with something good that’s going to happen tomorrow; he needs help today. Keep in mind that what you’re going through right now is temporary – so look for a turnaround. In the Old Testament God told Isaiah, “Comfort my people…Tell them they have suffered long enough and their sins are now forgiven” (Isaiah 40:1-2 GNT). Then He went on to make them this wonderful promise: “The hills will become a plain, and the rough country will be made smooth. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it. The Lord himself has promised this” (vv. 4-5 GNT). Claim that promise for yourself today – and keep running!

Soul food: 2 Chr 35-36; 2 John; Luke 18:18-30; Ps 119:161-168; Prov 22:17-19