Proverbs 3:5 NIV
When we are setting goals, we also need to make sure we are trusting in God more than ourselves. It can be easy to think that because we are gifted and skilled, we can step out on our own and do things in our own strength. But equally, it doesn’t mean we should go through life doubting and second-guessing ourselves, or being afraid to do things in case we make a mistake. When God called Jeremiah to be a prophet, he protested, ‘I am too young’ (Jeremiah 1:6 NIV). But God told him: ‘Do not say, “I am too young”‘ (v.7 NIV). The Bible tells us that ‘the tongue can bring death or life’ (Proverbs 18:21 NLT). We need to learn to speak God’s Word over the vision He has given us. We have to know, believe, and declare the truth about who we are in Him. Before we can trust God more than ourselves, we need to be confident in His character. If we are doubting Him and His goodness, we will find it challenging to trust Him with our lives. Not everything in our lives will feel good, but He is inherently good. He sees the bigger picture when we just see things in part. The Bible says: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.’ And that’s exactly what we need to do when it comes to setting goals for our lives. When we know we are in the will of God, doing what He told us to do, we can stand confidently on verses such as: ‘The LORD your God fights for you, just as he promised’ (Joshua 23:10 NIV). Once we know that we can do things in His power, we can start believing for success, regardless of the obstacles that may stand in our way.
2 Tim 1-4; John 20:1-9; Ps 105:37-45; Prov 30:20-23
Proverbs 24:16 NIV
When we have messed up, been hurt, feel broken beyond repair, or walked away from God, He doesn’t write us off. However we are feeling, and whatever our situation is like, God still offers us a fresh start. God is a God of transformation. He takes the ashes and mess and turns them into something beautiful. He takes our broken pieces and puts us back together again. Being a Christian doesn’t mean we will never make mistakes, take the wrong path, be hurt by others, or struggle with things that make us feel beyond repair. But it does mean that we have the ability to start again. The Bible says, ‘For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.’ With God on our side we can begin again because the power to do it lives within us. It’s the same power that raised Christ from the dead. We are told that, ‘if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you’ (Romans 8:11 NIV). God is redeeming everything that we go through. Every mistake we make can be used to propel us into our purpose. Every hurt we go through can be turned into something good. We might feel that we are beyond God’s redemption, that we can’t start again because we have failed too many times. But the Bible tells us that He is ‘able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us’ (Ephesians 3:20 NIV). So let’s stop writing ourselves off, and trust that God can help us have a fresh start.
Lev 16; Lev 23:26-32; Heb 9:1-14; Heb 13:11-16
Romans 14:13 NLT
During the first century, cities like Rome attracted people from many different cultures, languages, religions, and customs. Consequently the early church’s mission to ‘make disciples of all the nations’ (take a look at Matthew 28:19) sometimes led to conflict and confusion. For example, they argued about which day of the week was the most holy, and what they could or couldn’t eat. It’s the reason Paul wrote, ‘Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue…about what they think is right or wrong.’ He didn’t tell us to just tolerate or put up with them, but to ‘accept’, welcome, receive, acknowledge, and make allowances for those who aren’t the same as us. Even though the issues we deal with today are different from those of the early church, it’s easy to become divisive and judgmental. But remember, ‘Each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other…instead…live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble’ (Romans 14:12-13 NLT). When genuine differences come up on fundamental issues and we can’t negotiate, we need to behave in a Christlike way without picking fights, criticising, or looking down on people. Satan’s goal is to sidetrack us into arguments and tension which means God’s kingdom suffers. Instead the Bible tells us to ‘Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves’ (Romans 12:10 NIVUK). We need to learn to respect other believers not because of who they are, but Whose they are. Paul writes, ‘May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify…God’ (Romans 15:5-6 NIV).
1 Kings 21-22; Mark 10:1-12; Ps 82; Prov 12:18-19
1 Korintiërs 2:16 NLV
Die Bybel sê: ‘…’Wat geen oog gesien het; wat geen oor gehoor het; wat in niemand se hart opgekom het nie – dit het God voorberei vir hulle wat Hom liefhet.’ Maar ons ken hierdie geheim omdat God dit deur sy Gees aan ons bekendgemaak het…’ (1 Korintiërs 2:9-10 NLV). Het jy God lief? As jy het, sal Hy sy gedagtes aan jou bekend maak. Wat ‘n voordeel! Paulus skryf: ‘As ons hierdie dinge aan julle vertel, gebruik ons nie woorde wat hulle oorsprong het in menslike slimmigheid nie, maar wat hulle oorsprong het in die Gees. Ons gebruik woorde wat van die Gees kom om geestelike waarhede te verduidelik’ (vers 13 NLV). Moenie dink dat hierdie ‘geestelike dinge’ net tot gebed, Bybelstudie en kerk aktiwiteite beperk word nie. Hierdie belofte is van toepassing op elke area van jou lewe, insluitend jou familie, finansies, jou loopbaan ens. Die Bybel sê: ‘…ons is ingestel om soos Christus te dink.’ Dit beteken dat wanneer jy voor ‘n probleem te staan kom, jy kan bid: ‘Here, help my om hierdie te sien soos U dit sien.’ Wanneer jy ‘n belangrike besluit moet neem, kan jy bid: ‘Here, openbaar dit wat ek nie weet nie aan my en leer my wat ek nodig het om te weet, sodat my besluit in lyn met u wil en die beste vir almal betrokke sal wees.’ In plaas daarvan om God tot die kerk en sogenaamde ‘geestelike aktiwiteite’ te beperk, vra sy hulp in elke area van jou lewe. Psalm 46:11 sê: ‘Wees stil en weet Ek is God!..’ (NLV). Dit beteken dat jy lank genoeg stil moet wees sodat Hy sy denke in jou gedagtes kan plaas. Wanneer dit gebeur – en dit sal – sal jy nooit enige ander manier wil dink nie.
Sielskos: Num 8-10; Mark 2:1-17; Ps 35; Spr 10:28-29
Proverbs 16:9 NIV
When we think about the future, we can come up with a lot of plans. We start to think we should have a job by a certain age. Get married at a certain age. Make sure we’ve had children by a certain age. And if those plans don’t seem to be coming to anything, we can become despondent, angry, or anxious. But it’s God who has the best plans for our lives. In Isaiah, God says, ‘My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’ (Isaiah 55:9 NIV). His plans for us are always going to be better than any we can come up with ourselves. So why do we end up trying to plan everything ourselves? We often like to have control; we don’t like to surrender and let someone else decide things. We want to know what’s going to happen, and when. The unknown is scary. But when we surrender our plans to God, He can help us walk in His plans. The Bible says: ‘In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.’ It’s God who is ultimately in control. He has the best plan for our lives, and He wants to help us walk in it. We need to take time out to think through all the plans we’re making for our lives, and to see whether they’re what God has for us. We can do that by asking Him to guide us, and to show us where we’re following our own desires rather than His. We should get stuck into reading our Bibles, so that we can line up our hearts with God’s and want the same things as Him. We need to surrender our life plans to Him, and let Him work in and through us instead.
Num 4:34-6:27; Mark 1:14-20; Ps 94:1-11; Prov 10:24-26