Live a balanced life

2017-07-05
Mark 6:31 NIV

The Bible says, “The length of our days is seventy years – or eighty” (Psalm 90:10 NIV). If you’re blessed to live that long you’ll typically spend an average of twenty-four years sleeping, twenty years working, ten years in church and on vacation (mostly vacation), seven years eating, six years traveling, four years dealing with sickness, and two years getting dressed. Kierkegaard said: “The press of busyness is like a charm…seeking to lay hold of ever-younger victims so that [we] are scarcely allowed time for God to develop in us Christian character.” It’s a mistake to think that rushing through life buys you more time. It doesn’t. Apart from keeping your adrenaline pumping and perhaps making you feel and look important, busyness can be the enemy of your soul. It can rob you of spiritual growth by preventing you from reflecting and examining your heart. We’re not talking about the number of things you manage to get done every day, but the quality of your life’s product. You can be busy, yet not be balanced. One Bible scholar said, “Solitude is the furnace of transformation.” There are three kinds of solitude: (1) Brief intervals experienced daily. (2) Longer ones involving a few days or more away from it all. Despite His hectic schedule, Jesus made a habit of withdrawing from the demands of the crowd to spend time with His Father. (Did He know something we don’t?) And He told the disciples, “Come with me…to a quiet place and get some rest.” (3) Forced rest. “He maketh me to lie down” (Psalm 23:2). Don’t wait until God makes you lie down! Endeavour to live a balanced life.

Soul food: 1 Sam 20:30-23:29; Mat 23:23-39; Ps 110; Prov 17:15-17

Verootmoedig jouself

2017-05-09
Daniël 4:34 NLV

God reageer altyd op ‘n nederige hart en Hy verwerp altyd ‘n trotse hart. Een oomblik het koning Nebukadnesar nog gespog dat hy die wêreld se mees gevorderde samelewing gebou het. Die volgende oomblik het hy sy verstand verloor, handeviervoet rondgekruip en soos ‘n dier gras geëet. Toe hy egter berou gekry het, het God sy koningskap aan hom teruggegee. Hy het gesê, ‘Ná hierdie tyd verby was, het ek, Nebukadnesar, opgekyk boontoe. Ek het weer tot my sinne gekom… As gevolg hiervan loof en verheerlik ek, Nebukadnesar, die Koning van die hemel. Alles wat Hy doen, is waar. Wat Hy doen is reg. Almal wat hoogmoedig is kan Hy verneder’ (verse 34, 37 NLV). Om te val is al erg genoeg; maar om te val en nie vir hulp te vra nie, of om te weier om berou oor jou sondes te hê, is erger as die val self. Miskien kry jy skaam om enigiemand te laat weet dat jy geval het. Is jou openbare beeld egter so belangrik dat jy sal voortgaan om in jou ellendige toestand te lewe? Is jy so mislei dat jy weier om jou behoefte aan God te erken? Hou op om so trots te wees! Is dit nie wat jou val in die eerste plek veroorsaak het nie? Hoogmoed is gevaarlik, omdat dit jou dwing om hulpeloos vir dae – en selfs jare – te lê. Die waarheid is egter dat as jy vroeër vir hulp gevra het, kon jy lankal opgestaan en met jou lewe aangegaan het. Die goeie nuus is egter dat dit nooit te laat is om berou te hê en jou behoefte aan God te erken nie. Toe Nebukadnesar dit gedoen het, het sy rede en verstand teruggekeer en het hy sy koningskap teruggekry. Dieselfde kan met jou gebeur.

Humble yourself


Daniel 4:34 NKJV

God always responds in love to a humble heart, and He always rejects a proud one. One moment King Nebuchadnezzar was boasting about having built the world’s most advanced civilization. The next moment he’d lost his mind and was crawling on all fours, eating grass like an animal. But when he repented, God restored him to his throne. He said: “I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me… Now I…praise…the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (vv. 34, 37 NKJV). To fall is bad enough; but to fall and not cry out for help, or refuse to repent of your sin, is worse than the fall itself. Maybe you’re ashamed to let anyone know you’ve fallen. Is your public image so important that you’re willing to continue on in your pitiful state? Are you so deceived that you refuse to acknowledge you need God? Stop being so proud! Isn’t that what caused you to fall in the first place? Pride is dangerous because it forces you to languish needlessly in a helpless state for days – sometimes years. The truth is, if you’d asked for help sooner you could have gotten up and gone on with your life. But the good news is – it’s not too late to repent and acknowledge your need of God. When Nebuchadnezzar did that, his reason and understanding returned.

Where humility leaves you


Daniel 4:34 NKJV

When we’re at our lowest, when we’ve sinned, or when we feel utterly left out or overlooked, right then we can choose to run after humility, or run after pride. It’s up to us. But if we choose humility, God loves to step in. God always rejects a proud heart, but he responds in love to a humble one. Both happened to King Nebuchadnezzar: one moment he was boasting about having built the world’s most advanced civilisation, the next he’d lost his mind and was crawling on all fours, eating grass like donkey. But when he looked up to heaven humbly, God restored him. He said: ‘I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me…Now I…praise…the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down’ (vv. 34, 37 NKJV). When you feel like you’ve got absolutely nothing left, and you look up to God, He does miracles. Pride’s dangerous because it forces you to loiter helplessly. Eventually you feel stuck forever, even though if you’d asked for help sooner you could have got up and gone on with your life. But the good news is, it’s never too late to repent (in other words, radically change everything), and acknowledge you need God. When Nebuchadnezzar did that, his whole mind returned, and he found it easy to praise God.

Jesus veroordeel nie, Hy verontskuldig

2017-04-13
Johannes 8:11 NLV

Die Bybel sê: ‘Die skrifkenners en die Fariseërs bring toe ‘n vrou wat op die daad van owerspel betrap is…. Hulle sê vir [Jesus]: …’Moses het in die wet aan ons opdrag gegee om sulke vroue te stenig’… Jesus… het vir hulle gesê: ‘Laat die een onder julle wat sondeloos is, die eerste een wees wat ‘n klip na haar gooi’…Nadat hulle dit gehoor het, het hulle een vir een begin weggaan… Toe…het [Jesus] vir haar gesê: ‘Dame, waar is hulle heen? Het niemand jou veroordeel nie?’ Sy het geantwoord: ‘Niemand nie, Meneer.’ Jesus sê toe vir haar: ‘Ook Ek veroordeel jou nie. Gaan maar, en moet van nou af nie meer sonde doen nie’ (verse 3-11 NLV). Let twee dinge op: 1) Die mense wat die minste gekwalifiseerd is om jou te veroordeel, sal dit doen. Jesus het die harte van die Fariseërs geken. Hulle doel daardie dag was om Jesus uit te daag deur die vrou se sondes te openbaar, sodat hulle iets kon kry om Hom oor aan te kla. Vermy vandag se Fariseërs! Vind jou vriende tussen diegene wat deur genade verlos is en bewys genade teenoor ander mense. 2) Die Een wat gekwalifiseerd is om jou te veroordeel, sal dit nie doen nie. Bly naby aan Hom. Wanneer jy dit doen, sal jy ontdek dat jou littekens nie permanent is nie en sal jy baie vinniger herstel. Christus sal jou in jou donker plekke ontmoet en die wonde van jou verlede gesond maak, omdat Sy genade groter as jou skande is. As jy vandag onder die gewig van jou sondige verlede en gewoontes steier, kom na Jesus toe. Hy is gereed om jou te vergewe en jou vry te maak.