Johannes 8:44 NLV
Jesus het van Satan gesê: ‘…Wanneer hy ook al leuens verkoop, praat hy volgens sy innerlike oortuiging omdat hy ‘n leuenaar en ook die vader daarvan is.’ Hy lieg op drie maniere vir ons: 1) Vertwyfelinge: Sy strategie is om jou te ontmoedig en jou te laat tou opgooi deur te sê: ‘Wat help dit? Niks het verander nie!’ Wanneer jy dit sê, teken jy die strokie en aanvaar die aflewering. Moenie dit doen nie! Die Bybel sê: ‘…Deur jou woorde en jou dade word jy gevang…’ (Spreuke 6:2 DB). Dit wat jy sê, vorm jou perspektief en skep die omgewing waarin jy lewe. Moet nooit iets sê wat Satan laat dink dat hy gewen het nie. 2) Skok. As jy nie Satan se aanval verwag nie, sal jy geskok wees en dink: ‘Ek maak seker nie vordering nie. Hoekom anders sal ek dan dieselfde gevegte oor en oor veg?’ Satan gee nie sommer tou op nie en sy aanval is bewys dat hy jou nog nie oorwin het nie. 3) Gevoelens. Satan sal jou probeer oortuig dat jy nie vergifnis verdien nie. Hy sal vir jou sê dat omdat jy nie voel dat jy vergewe is nie, is jy nie vergewe nie. Onthou egter, hy is ‘n leuenaar. Dis hier waar die oorwinning besluit word. Staan vas. Die werk is reeds in jou gedoen. God se Woord sê so; nou moet jy dit ook begin sê. Tyd sal jou posisie versterk. Sy strategie is om jou te laat voel dat niks verander het nie. Moenie dit glo nie! Jesus het gesê: ‘…As julle in ‘n noue verbintenis aan my boodskap leef, is julle my egte navolgers; en julle sal begryp wat die waarheid beteken, en die waarheid sal julle vrymaak’ (Johannes 8:31-32 NLV).
Sielskos: Joël 1-3; Luk 7:24-35; Ps 118:19-29; Spr 15:33
Isaiah 57:18 NLT
Ever felt broken? Or felt like you’d made too many mistakes and now could never be the person who God made you to be? In the Bible we read about God raising up broken people in amazing ways. For example, He used Moses, a murderer, to deliver the Hebrew slaves. And He used Jacob, a liar, to fulfil His promise to Abraham. If God redeemed them, He can redeem us too. Sometimes we can think that brokenness is a bad place to be. We don’t like how it feels, and we think we’ve failed. But when we’re broken, we’re in a great place. Brokenness creates humility in us because it’s at the point we reach rock bottom that we truly realise how much we need God. Jesus said, ‘apart from me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5 NLT). Brokenness can help us fully grasp what Jesus was saying in this verse. And when we learn to rely on God for everything we need, we’re in a powerful position. This surrender allows God’s will to be brought about in our lives. It allows God access to our hearts so He can heal and restore them. But if we constantly focus on the mistakes and hurts of our past, then we’re not allowing God to do new things in us. We need to look ahead to our future rather than be stuck looking at our past. When we turn to God He’ll forgive us, restore us, and use us for His purposes. He said, ‘I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them. I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips’ (Isaiah 57:18-19 NLT). God doesn’t give up on us, so let’s not give up on ourselves.
Jer 7-9; Luke 3:11-20; Ps 64; Prov 14:25-28
Matthew 25:45 NIV
Throughout the Bible, we see God’s heart for the poor and needy. The Bible says: ‘When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the LORD, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them’ (Isaiah 41:17 NLT). And God doesn’t want us to abandon them either. He calls us to provide for those who don’t have enough. It’s important for us to pray for those in need, but it’s also important for us to provide for them practically. James said: ‘Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?’ (James 2:15-16 NIV). By providing for people in a practical way, we can show God’s love to them. The Bible says: ‘If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?’ (1 John 3:17 NIV). It’s not always possible for us to provide for people, but if we can do something practical to help them then we should. Jesus teaches that when we help others, we’re actually helping Him. He said: ‘Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ So if we choose to ignore the needs of others and refuse to provide for them, then we’re refusing to provide for Jesus. Whenever we see someone in need, we should be asking God to show us what we can do to help them.
2 Kings 10-12; Luke 1:11-25; Ps 73:17-28; Prov 13:20
Galatians 5:13 NIV
Before He went to the cross, the Bible says that Jesus ‘took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him’ (John 13:4-5 NIV). In those days, feet would need to be washed regularly because of the dust and dirt they were walking through. This unpleasant task would have been the job of a servant, but Jesus humbled Himself and took that role in order to show His love to others. Then He said, ‘I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you…Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them’ (vv.15-17 NIV). Jesus wants us to do the same. We might not need to wash feet in order to serve others, but we can serve and show love in other ways, whether that’s at the office, school, a lecture theatre, or at home. We can serve others by helping them out practically, being available to listen when they’re going through a challenging time, or encouraging someone when they’ve done a great job. When we humble ourselves and serve others, we’re showing God’s love to them. The Bible says: ‘Serve one another humbly in love.’ Serving others isn’t always the easy thing to do. We might have other ways we want to spend our time. But we need to follow the example Jesus set if we want to become more like Him. We’re not called to serve others constantly and leave no time for anything else. Jesus often left the crowds and spent time alone with God. But when we see an opportunity to serve someone, let’s take it.
1 Kings 16:1-18:15; Mark 14:1-11; Ps 4; Prov 12:25
Philippians 2:10 NCV
If something or someone is worthy, it means that they deserve respect and praise. And Jesus is worthy of our respect and praise. It’s great when we talk to God like a friend, and share all our concerns; it’s what He wants us to do. But we also need to remember that He deserves our respect. We should be in awe of Jesus and what He has done for us. The Bible says, ‘every knee will bow to the name of Jesus – everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. And everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord’ (vv.10-11 NCV). Jesus is worthy of every single person on this earth bowing down to Him. The book of Revelation shows us how the heavenly creatures worship God. All day and all night they worship Him, and call Him holy. The elders fall down before God’s throne and say: ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being’ (Revelation 4:11 NIVUK). When we think about how worthy God is, are we giving Him enough of our time and praise? Do we struggle to fit a few minutes of prayer into our busy lives, and only give Him praise at church? Or are we constantly worshipping Him and declaring His holiness? The Bible says, ‘let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name’ (Hebrews 13:15 NIV). He is worthy of more than a few rushed moments of prayer and a quick read of a Bible verse. He is worthy of our constant praise, our devotion, and our love.
1 Kings 3-5; Mark 11:27-33; Ps 128; Prov 12:10-11