Destructive criticism

2019-01-17
2 Timothy 2:3 NKJV

There are two kinds of criticism: the true kind, and the not-true kind. Constructive criticism, and destructive criticism. Constructive criticism, when founded in truth and delivered well, can be the key to moving forwards. Unfounded criticism can do the opposite. When those around you speak critically, or gossip about you, it can feel like it might get in the way of you following the path laid ahead. However, 19th Century evangelist and writer D.L. Moody said ‘If I take care of my character, God will take care of my reputation’. It’s the nature of living in community that people will always talk, and some will spread negativity, especially if we are involved in a worthy cause. But as D.L. Moody observed, when we try our best to follow God, He will ultimately protect our reputation. If we are striving to life a godly life, then the truth of that will provide its own proof. Unfounded negativity from others cannot stand up against a holy life. The Message paraphrases Isaiah 54:17 like this: ‘Any accuser who takes you to court will be dismissed as a liar’. This leaves us with the confidence to know that God will always restore truth and protect those who live for Him. Once we know that, we can live in the instruction of Luke 6:28 to ‘bless those who curse you’ and ‘pray for those who mistreat you’ (NIV). When we allow God to reassure us that other people’s words cannot hurt us, we can find the strength and compassion to not only stand up against our critics’ words, but to bless and pray for them until they see the truth.

Isa 53-57; Luke 3:21-38; Ps 84; Prov 2:16-19

Staan op en probeer weer

2018-11-28
Jesaja 41:10 NLV

Om sukses in die lewe te behaal, het jy twee dinge nodig: 1) Die regte mense. Soms is die eerste stap om uit moedeloosheid te kom, om iemand te vind wat jou daaruit kan lig. Moenie soos die ou wees wat op die punt was om by die brug af te spring toe ‘n polisieman hom genader het en gesê het, ‘Niks kan so erg wees nie. Vertel my daarvan.’ Toe die ou klaar gepraat het – het hulle altwee gespring! Jy mag dalk glimlag, maar die geselskap wat jy hou, kan jou of oplig of aftrek. Paulus het geskryf, ‘God, wat die vernederdes bystaan, het ons ook ondersteun deur die teenwoordigheid van Titus’ (2 Korintiërs 7:6 NLV). Jy het ‘n Titus in jou lewe nodig en jy moet ‘n Titus vir ander mense word. Die Bybel sê, ‘Help ander gelowiges wat swaarkry…’ (Galasiërs 6:2 NLV). 2) Die regte perspektief. Meer as die helfte van verkoopsmense misluk omdat hulle nie ‘n tweede of derde keer teruggaan nie. Omtrent 58 persent maak een oproep en stop dan. 25 persent maak twee oproepe en stop dan. Vyftien persent maak drie oproepe en stop dan. Die twaalf persent wat weer en weer teruggaan, maak 80 persent van alle verkope uit. Dis die groep waarin jy behoort. Moenie met mislukking tevrede wees nie; staan op en probeer weer! God sal saam met jou werk (sien Filippense 1:6). Weier om nederlae te aanvaar. Onthou, jy sal beloon word vir dit wat jy klaargemaak het, nie vir dit wat jy begin het nie. Soms is die laaste sleutel aan die ring die een wat die deur oopsluit, so vra dus vir God vir die krag om aan te hou totdat jy wen!

Sielskos: Gen 17-19; Joh 13:31-38; Ps 118:1-9; Spr 31:6-9

Toets God!

2018-11-25
Maleagi 3:10 NLV

God is ‘n noukeurige beplanner. Hy het byvoorbeeld ‘n banket genaamd ‘die bruilofsfees van die Lam’ tweeduisend jaar vooruit beplan (sien Openbaring 19:9). Hy het vir Noag opdrag gegee om die ark ‘…135 meter lank, 22.5 meter breed en 13.5 meter hoog…’ (Genesis 6:15 NLV), te bou. Hy het vir Moses die spesifieke kleure en materiaal wat Hy vir die tabernakel wou gehad het, gegee (sien Eksodus 26). Kyk ook hoe presies hy die seisoene beplan en die sterre posisioneer. Kan jy jouself indink dat so ‘n God nie ‘n plan vir jou finansies – die produk van jou werkslewe – sal hê nie? Verseker nie! In die Skrif sê Hy: ‘…Bring al die tiendes na die stoorkamers… Toets My hierin of Ek nie vir julle die vensters van die hemel sal oopmaak nie. Ek sal voorspoed op julle laat reën wat meer as genoeg vir julle sal wees!’ Let op: al die tiendes – dit beteken voor jou belasting en ander aftrekkings. Hoekom? Omdat Hy die eerste in jou lewe in alles wil wees – insluitend jou finansies. God het ook vir sy volk gesê, ‘…Julle het die tiendes en offerandes gesteel!’ (Maleagi 3:8 NLV). Stop en dink aan die woord ‘offerandes’ of anders gestel, ‘aanbod’. Wanneer jy jou huis verkoop, besluit jy om die ‘aanbod’ van die koper te aanvaar. In hierdie Skrifgedeelte sê God inderwaarheid, ‘Tot jy vir My dit gee waarop ek geregtig is (die tiende), hoekom moet Ek enige ander offerandes of aanbiedinge aanvaar?’ Om jou tiende te gee gaan nie net oor geld nie, dit gaan oor geloof en gehoorsaamheid. Wanneer jy jou tiende uit jou inkomste gee, kan jy verwag dat God sy seën op jou sal uitstort soos Hy beloof het. God sê, ‘…Toets My hierin…’ Toets God en kyk wat gebeur!

Sielskos: Luk 1:26-56; Luk 2; Luk 2:41-52; Luk 8:19-21

Put God to the test!


Malachi 3:10 NIV

God is a meticulous planner. For example, He scheduled a banquet called “the marriage supper of the Lamb” two thousand years in advance (See Revelation 19:9). He instructed Noah to build the ark “450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high” (Genesis 6:15 NLT). He gave Moses the specific colors and fabrics He wanted used in constructing the tabernacle (See Exodus 26). And look how precisely He orders the seasons and positions the stars. Can you imagine such a God having no plan for your finances – the product of your work life? Surely not! In Scripture He says: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse…Test me in this…see if I will not…open…heaven and pour out so much blessing…you will not have room enough for it.” The original word for “whole” is “unbroken”; that means before taxes and other deductions. Why? Because He wants to be first in your life in everything – including your finances. God also told His people, “You have robbed Me…In tithes and offerings” (Malachi 3:8 NKJV). Stop and think about the word “offer.” When you sell a house you decide whether or not to accept the “offer” the buyer is making. And in this Scripture God is saying, “Until you give Me what’s rightfully mine (the tithe), why should I accept any other ‘offering’?” Tithing isn’t just about money; it’s about faith and obedience. When you tithe your income, you can expect God to pour out His blessing on you as He promised. You can live under an open heaven; the choice is yours. God says, “Test me in this.” Put God to the test and see what happens!

Soul food: Luke 1:26-56; Luke 2; Luke 2:41-52; Luke 8:19-21

Avoid “foolish speculations”

2018-11-24
Luke 17:26 NKJV

If you had a doctor whose diagnosis was wrong as often as the predictions of some Bible prophecy experts, would you trust him or take the medication he prescribed? One “expert” sold millions of books in which he predicted the rapture of the church would take place by 1988. Then without apology or explanation, wrote a second book pointing us to the year 2007. Another television preacher offered “rapture deadlines” starting in 1975. He said that the Soviet flag would probably fly over Independence Hall in Philadelphia by 1976. Then he fixed the date of the rapture at 1992. Undaunted, his next book changed the year to 2012. (Interestingly, he also refers to Nostradamus, the 16th century occult seer, as “a great Bible student.”) The Bible tells us to avoid “foolish…speculations” (2 Timothy 2:23 NAS). Why? Because they make us look “foolish” in the eyes of the world! Who’s going to listen to a church that repeatedly sets wrong dates, when Jesus Himself told us not to set dates at all? “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate…drank…married…until the day…Noah entered the ark; and the flood came and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27 NKJV). God didn’t give Noah a date, He gave him a job. And the end didn’t come until the job was done. Jesus said, “But the exact day and hour? No one knows…Only the Father” (Matthew 24:36 TM). The whole world has yet to be reached with the gospel, so instead of “date setting,” let’s roll up our sleeves and get busy.

Soul food: Gen 7-9; John 12:37-50; Ps 102:18-28; Prov 30:24-28