What this test is about

2018-11-30
1 Peter 1:7 NLT

The tests we face reveal both our weaknesses and our strengths. When the Bible speaks of “a refiner’s fire” (Malachi 3:2), we’re inclined to think of the negative things God wants to remove from our character. But we also have inner strengths and gifts that need to be refined but we’re not aware of them because a demand hasn’t been placed on them. In 1 Kings 17, when the widow and her son met Elijah there was a famine in the land, and he asked her to share their last meal with him. Maybe you’re thinking, “Typical preacher!” Don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions! One of the best days in this woman’s life was when God placed a demand on her faith. Her response changed her future and saved her family. So when you’re faced with a need, how do you respond? Do you withdraw? Withhold? Give from a sense of obligation? Or do you see it as an opportunity to obey God and change your future? You can actually give your way out of trouble! (See 2 Corinthians 9:6-11). When God sent Moses to Pharaoh, He said, “The king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him” (Exodus 3:19 NIV). And today God may be permitting the Enemy to test you in order to reveal: (1) how much He cares for you; (2) how you’ll act when your back’s against the wall; (3) who you’ll believe when God says, “I will bring you out with a mighty hand,” and the Enemy is saying, “I won’t let you go.” That’s what this test is about.

Soul food: Gen 24:1-25:18; John 14:15-25; Ps 118:19-29; Prov 31:14-17

Tested


1 Peter 1:7 NLT

The tests we face in life reveal both our weaknesses and our strengths. The Bible mentions that God will refine us in the fire. ‘I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold’ (Zechariah 13:9 NIV). When the Bible speaks of ‘a refiner’s fire’ we often just think of the negative things God wants to remove from our character. But we also have inner strengths and gifts that need to be refined. In 1 Kings 17, a widow and her son met Elijah. At that time there was a famine in the land, and he asked her to share their last meal with him. This probably seemed like quite a test to the widow. She only had one meal left for her and her son, and here was Elijah asking if he could have some of it too. But it turned out to be a great day for her. Her response changed her future, and saved her family. When we’re faced with a need, how do we respond? Do we withdraw? Withhold? Give from a sense of obligation? Or do we see it as an opportunity to obey God and change our future? The thing is, what may feel like a test, could actually be a gateway to blessing. It could be growing our gifts. This test grew the widow’s generosity and hospitality. It could be a way to show us gifts we never even knew we had. God may also be allowing a time of testing in order to reveal how much He cares for us, how we’ll act when we’re in a tough situation, and if we’ll believe His voice over the voice of the enemy.

Gen 24:1-25:18; John 14:15-25; Ps 118:19-29; Prov 31:14-17

Waaroor hierdie toets gaan


1 Petrus 1:7 NLV

Die toetse waar voor ons te staan kom, openbaar beide ons swakpunte en ons sterkpunte. Wanneer die Bybel van ‘n ‘…vuur wat metaal suiwer…’ (Maleagi 3:2 NLV) praat, is ons geneig om aan die negatiewe dinge wat God uit ons karakter wil verwyder, te dink. Ons het egter ook innerlike sterkpunte en gawes wat gesuiwer moet word waarvan ons nie bewus is nie, omdat daar nog nie ‘n vereiste op hulle geplaas is nie. In 1 Konings 17, toe die weduwee en haar seun Elia ontmoet het, was daar hongersnood in die land en hy het hulle gevra om hulle laaste maaltyd met hom te deel. Miskien dink jy, ‘Tipies prediker!’ Moenie te gou gevolgtrekkings maak nie! Een van die beste dae van hierdie vrou se lewe is toe God iets van haar geloof vereis het. Haar reaksie het haar toekoms verander en haar familie gered. Wanneer jy dus voor ‘n behoefte te staan kom, hoe reageer jy? Onttrek jy? Weerhou jy? Gee jy uit ‘n sin van verpligting? Of sien jy dit as ‘n geleentheid om God te gehoorsaam en jou toekoms te verander? Toe God vir Moses na Farao toe gestuur het, het Hy gesê, ‘Ek weet dat die koning van Egipte julle nie sal laat gaan nie. Hy sal eers gedwing moet word. Daarom sal Ek ingryp…’ (Eksodus 3:19-20 NLV). Vandag mag God dalk die vyand toelaat om jou te toets, om sodoende die volgende te openbaar: 1) hoe baie Hy vir jou omgee; 2) hoe jy sal optree wanneer jou rug teen die muur is; 3) wie jy sal glo wanneer God sê dat Hy sal ingryp en die Vyand sê dat hy jou nie sal laat gaan nie. Dis waaroor hierdie toets gaan.

Sielskos: Gen 24:1-25:18; Joh 14:15-25; Ps 118:19-29; Spr 31:14-17

Don’t lose your passion

2018-11-29
Hebrews 12:2 MSG

Jesus had vision. He kept going, even when it was challenging. The Bible says: ‘Because he never lost sight of where he was headed…he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever…When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again’ (vv.2-3 MSG). It’s our vision that fuels our passion. Ever noticed how God often transforms the worst of sinners into His greatest kingdom-builders? That’s because they’re passionate, and once that passion is harnessed and used for good they become effective in His kingdom. Knowing how vital passion is can help us understand why the enemy often wants to destroy ours. He knows once we line up our passion with God’s plan, there will be no stopping us. Passion is spiritual energy; without it we’re not going to get far in working for God’s kingdom. Jesus said to the church in Laodicea: ‘You are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!’ (Revelation 3:15 NLT). And those words can sometimes feel like they’re being said to us too. We can just end up going through the motions. We head to church, pray, and read the Bible, because that’s just what we do, not because we’ve got a real passion for growing a relationship with God or for growing His kingdom. So what do we do if we find ourselves lacking passion? We can ask God to increase our passion and spend time with people who are passionate about what God’s called them to do. Whatever God’s called us to do in His kingdom, let’s remember that it’s an incredible privilege and something to really get passionate about.

Gen 20-23; John 14:1-14; Ps 118:10-18; Prov 31:10-13

Moenie jou passie verloor nie


Hebreërs 12:2 DB

Betreffende Jesus, sê die Bybel: ‘… Hy het dit alles verdra omdat Hy geweet het dat daar soveel blydskap daarna vir Hom wag… Hou Hom gedurig in gedagte… As julle sy voorbeeld volg, sal julle nooit moedeloos word en tou opgooi nie’ (verse 2-3 DB). Dis jou visie wat jou passie voed. Het jy al ooit agtergekom hoe God dikwels die ergste sondaars in sy grootste dienaars transformeer? Dis omdat hulle passievol is en sodra daardie passie geharnas en herlei word, word hulle effektief in sy koninkryk. Nou verstaan jy hoekom die Vyand so hard probeer om jou te vernietig. Hy weet dat daar geen keer aan jou sal wees sodra jy jou passie met God se plan in lyn gebring het nie. Passie is geestelike energie. In plaas daarvan om te probeer om jou passie te onderdruk, laat God dit herlei. Jesus het vir die kerk in die eindtyd gesê, ‘…Ek weet dat jy nie koud of warm is nie. Ek sou wat wou gee as jy maar net koud of warm was’ (Openbaring 3:15 NLV). Met wie praat Hy? Belydende Christene wat lewe, trou, kinders kry, karre koop, beleggings maak en al die dinge van hulle moderne eweknieë doen, maar dit sonder passie doen. Hulle gaan net deur die bewegings. Die Bybel sê, ‘Beproef en sien…’ (Psalm 34:9 NLV). Met ander woorde, neem posisie in en swaai die kolf! Wat daarvan as jy mis? Jy sal verseker mis as jy nie die kolf swaai nie! Jou instink vir selfbehoud kan jou van die enigste kans wat jy dalk in die lewe kry, beroof. As jy dus vandag lê, staan weer op. As jy misluk, probeer weer. Vra God om die vure van passie weer binne jou aan die brand te blaas.

Sielskos: Gen 20-23; Joh 14:1-14; Ps 118:10-18; Spr 31:10-13