Right with God

2018-09-30
James 1:14 NCV

James writes: ‘People are tempted when their own evil desire leads them away and traps them. This desire leads to sin, and then the sin grows and brings death. My dear brothers and sisters, do not be fooled about this’ (vv.14-16 NCV). As humans, we’re all prone to following our own desires and wanting to go our own way, which often results in sin. And when we don’t confess our sin, it just grows and gets worse. When we keep sinning and going against our values, we can end up reaching a place where it’s hard to live comfortably in our own skin. What we thought we wanted yesterday, we find ourselves needing today. Then before we know it, we give ourselves over to the thing that’s controlling our lives. That’s the power sin can have in our lives. But there’s a greater power than sin. And that’s Jesus. His death meant that we don’t have to be a slave to sin anymore, we can find freedom. We can confess our sins to God and He forgives us. In fact, He no longer even remembers that sin. God says: ‘But I, yes I, am the one who takes care of your sins – that’s what I do. I don’t keep a list of your sins’ (Isaiah 43:25 MSG). But when we don’t confess them, we don’t experience the peace and forgiveness that God promises. After all, the only way to find real peace is to get right with God. Here’s His offer: ‘The wicked should stop doing wrong, and they should stop their evil thoughts. They should return to the LORD so he may have mercy on them. They should come to our God, because he will freely forgive them’ (Isaiah 55:7 NCV). So let’s get ourselves right with God today.

Heb 11:7; Gen 6:9-22; Gen 8:18-22; Matt 24:36-41

Hoekom sonde nie werk nie


Jakobus 1:14 NLV

Jakobus skryf: ‘Wanneer iemand iets verkeerds wil doen, moet hy nie sê: ‘God verlei my’ nie. Ons weet mos God kan nie verlei word om verkeerd te doen nie, en Hý verlei ook niemand nie. Ons eie sondige begeertes beproef ons, sleep ons saam en verlei ons. As ons sondige begeertes eers bevrug geraak het… gee dit geboorte aan die dood. Moet dus nie mislei word nie, my geliefde broers en susters’ (verse 13-16 NLV). Wanneer jy aanhou sondig en jou waardes skend, kan jy ‘n plek bereik waar dit moeilik is om gemaklik in jou eie vel te wees. Enige aptyt wat te veel gevoed word, kan vinnig ‘n verslawing word. Jy vind dat dit wat jy gister wou gehad het, jy vandag nodig het. Voor jy jou oë uitvee, gee jy jouself oor aan die dinge wat jou lewe beheer omdat dit die enigste manier is wat jy tydelike ontvlugting kan kry. Stop en vra jouself af: 1) ‘Wat is my lewe se doel?’ Wat van die persoon wie God jou geroep het om te wees? Om die vreugde van ander mense te sien, is ‘n konstante herinnering aan die vreugde wat jy misloop. 2) ‘Wat gebeur as moeilikheid my lewe of my familie tref?’ In sulke oomblikke wonder jy, ‘Is ek die oorsaak hiervan?’ ‘n Duisend stemme kan vir jou sê dat dit nie jou skuld is nie, maar diep binne-in is jy nooit heeltemal seker nie. Die enigste manier om ware vrede te vind is om dinge met God reg te maak. Hier is sy aanbod: ‘Vra na die Here terwyl jy Hom nog kan vind. Roep Hom nou aan terwyl Hy nog naby is. Die goddelose mens moet sy verkeerde dinge los… Hy moet terugdraai na die Here en Hy sal hom genadig wees…’ (Jesaja 55:6-7 NLV).

Sielskos: Heb 11:7; Gen 6:9-22; Gen 8:18-22; Matt 24:36

Why sin doesn’t work


James 1:14 CEV

James writes: “Don’t blame God when you are tempted! God cannot be tempted by evil, and he doesn’t use evil to tempt others. We are tempted by our own desires that drag us off and trap us. Our desires make us sin, and when sin is finished with us, it leaves us dead. Don’t be fooled, my dear friends” (vv. 13-16 CEV). When you keep sinning and violating your values, you can reach a place where it’s hard to live comfortably in your own skin. Any appetite that’s overindulged can quickly become an addiction. What you wanted yesterday, you find yourself needing today. Then before you know it, you give yourself over to the thing that’s controlling your life because it’s the only way you can find temporary escape. Stop and ask: (1) “What about my life’s purpose?” What about the person God called you to be? Seeing the joy others have is a constant reminder of the joy you’ve lost, and what you’re missing out on. (2) “What happens when trouble hits my life or my family?” In such moments you wonder, “Is this happening because of me?” A thousand voices may tell you it’s not your fault, but deep down you are never sure. The only way to find real peace is to get right with God. And you can. Here’s His offer: “Turn to the Lord! He can still be found. Call out to God! He is near. Give up your crooked ways and your evil thoughts. Return to the Lord our God. He will be merciful and forgive your sins” (Isaiah 55:6-7 CEV).

Soul food: Heb 11:7; Gen 6:9-22; Gen 8:18-22

Moses and you

2018-09-29
Exodus 3:4 NKJV

Moses had all the potential in the world at forty, but felt like a lost cause at eighty. Instead of doing God’s will God’s way, he tried to speed up God’s will and ended up delaying it. At some point in our lives most of us will probably feel like life has passed us by. Our dream seems like a lost cause. At that point we can give up, or we can get ourselves back in the game. Many of us give up on our dreams because we feel like God has given up on us. But we serve a God of restoration. In the book of Joel, God says: ‘I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm – my great army that I sent among you’ (2:25 NIV). The life of Moses proves that no matter how many wrong turns we’ve taken, it’s God’s grace that gets us back on track. Moses thought his past had disqualified him, but God used it to prepare him for his future. No one knew the protocol of the palace like Moses did. After all, he grew up in it. And after tending sheep for forty years he knew the ways of the wilderness. Moses got it wrong before he got it right, and we may too. But God can use our past failures to grow our character and equip us with the strength and wisdom we need, to do what He put us on this earth to do. There’s a popular saying: ‘It’s wonderful what God can do with a broken life when you give Him all the pieces.’ And it’s true. He’ll restore us when we let Him in to our brokenness.

1 Cor 1-3; Luke 23:35-43; Ps 54; Prov 25:1-3

Moses en jy


Eksodus 3:4 NLV

Moses het al die potensiaal in die wêreld op veertig gehad, maar soos ‘n verlore saak op tagtig gevoel. In plaas daarvan om God se wil op God se manier te doen, het hy probeer om God se wil te bespoedig en dit vir vier dekades vertraag! Op ‘n punt in ons lewe voel die meeste van ons dat die lewe ons verbygegaan het. Ons droom lyk soos ‘n verlore saak. Hierdie krisis bied ons ‘n keuse: Gooi handoek in, of gooi ons hoed terug in die ring in. Baie van ons gee op ons drome op omdat ons voel dat God op ons opgegee het. Ons dien egter ‘n God van restorasie (sien Joël 2:25). Moses se lewe is ‘n bewys dat dit nie saak maak hoeveel verkeerde draaie ons maak nie, dit is God se genade wat ons terug op die paraderoete kry. Moses het gedink dat sy verlede hom gediskwalifiseer het, maar God het dit gebruik om hom vir sy doelwit voor te berei. Niemand het die paleis se protokol so goed soos die prins van Egipte geken nie. Hy het immers daar grootgeword. Nadat hy vir veertig jaar skape opgepas het, het hy die wildernis geken – die wildslewe, die watergate, die weerpatrone. Moses het verkeerd opgetree voor hy begin reg optree het en dit mag dalk die geval met jou ook wees. Hier is egter die goeie nuus: God kan jou mislukkings in die verlede gebruik om jou karakter te bou en jou met die krag en wysheid toe te rus wat jy nodig het om jou doel hier op aarde te vervul. Dis wonderlik wat God met ‘n gebroke lewe kan doen wanneer jy vir Hom al die stukke gee.

Sielskos: 1 Kor 1-3; Luk 23:35-43; Ps 54; Spr 25:1-3