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Communication is more than words.

Communication certainly is more than words: we communicate through music, art, food, clothing, house decoration, and acting. 

There are more than 100 types of digital communication.[1] Blogs, infographics, vlogs, podcasts, cartoons, animations, apps etc. Advertisers contend for your attention, to communicate their message to you in countless of ways. One of the number one requests and challenges in marriage is communication. In the workplace most problems arise due to poor communication.  Many parents complain: “I do not know how to communicate with my child anymore.” Let’s all concur: Communication is difficult! 

Most often arguments arise because of conflicting signals and wrongly pre-conceived misconceptions about a person. It’s important to realise that while actual words mainly include dictionary type meanings but add inference, intention, context, tone, facial expression, gesture, humour, irony and metaphor and the meaning and understanding of what is said are changed or enhanced completely. We basically communicate who we are.  What you are always speaks louder than what you say. 

Communication is Connection. 

Without connection there can be no communication.  Like a power chord needs to be plugged into the power source for the current of electricity to flow from one source to another. So also, we need to be plugged in to another person or people, for true communication and transfer of information to occur.  Artists, speakers, comedians, performers strive to connect with the audience, and then deliver their content. One cannot really transfer any form of information without connecting with your hearer/s.  Surely language and words are essential to communication, but connection is more than words. Connection involves reciprocal flow, dialogue, listening and reacting, finding resonance. 

Poor communication and lack of connection leads to misunderstandings, division, slander, gossip, anarchy, offense, war and chaos. Connections lead to life. When a husband and a wife come together, babies are born. When the spirit of a person and the Spirit of God come together, new birth takes place. (John 3:5) When brothers and sisters come together in unity, God commands his blessing (Psalm 133). When the disciples came together on the day of Pentecost, there was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2)

God is the best communicator ever! He knows how to ensure that we get the message. From narratives retold from one generation to the other, written text, ritual, signs and wonders, visual stimulation in nature, but ultimately by incarnating the Word and becoming flesh! His Words remains for ever! We should accordingly get our communication ques from the Godhead, because we were made in His image. Examining the way He communicates reveals the best method and directive for our communication.  

We are more connected than we know 

Following the way trees communicate: There is now overwhelming evidence that trees of the same species are communal and will often form alliances with trees of other species. Forest trees have evolved to live in cooperative, interdependent relationships, maintained by communication and a collective intelligence similar to an insect colony.[2]

This is revealing concerning the intend of creation, beginning in Eden – community, meeting, fellowship, family, heaven on earth, unified, collective oneness, divine purpose. Sin was the disconnect from this harmony.  Pride, lies, disobedience, strive, envy, laziness, wrath is the means of disconnection. Our battle in life as believers is continuing to stay connected. Contractionary, all life in God is connected in Christ. Sin is a form of blindness and ignorance, and disregard of this connection. Like children are connected biologically to their parent’s DNA, their rebellion ignores and violates this connection.  

In a real sense, all life is interrelated. All people are involved in a inevitable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Martin Luther King 

What did Jesus teach about connection? 

What kind of spirit are you off

Your spirit is important above all; “you do not know of what kind of spirit are you off?” (Luk 9:56) Jesus rebukes His young ambitious disciples. Your spirit determines the quality of connection. The Father is the mind and intend, Jesus is the Word, the Spirit is the incarnation and execution of the Word. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created (Ps 104:30) This is what made Jesus so effective: His thoughts, words and actions lined up perfectly.  Freely you have received, freely give. What are you full off? You can only give what you have on the inside.  Jesus was full of the Spirit. (Luk 4:1, 11) But being full of the Holy Spirit was required of all leaders in the church. (Acts 6:3; 5; 7:55; 11:24) that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph 3:17-19) 

Connection begins in the Heart.

The creator is kindness, love, connection, and stability.  

Love will make a way. When people are convinced of your love and affection, communication flows like many rivers and streams in countless ways. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Mat 12:34) The heart determines the content of the flow.  Whatever has filled your heart whether heart, worries, fear, doubt, concern, frustration it will come out in words, actions, notions, habits, and actions. Having your heart filled with faith, the word of God, God’s will and love creates life! 

Compassion the source code of communication 

Robert SheltonI have found that until one has compassion for someone, communication, and consequent connection is difficult. Compassion acts as a tuner/adapter/catalyst to bring foreign objects together.  

Jesus was a man of compassion: (Mark 1:41; 6:34; Luk 7:13) 4697. σπλαγχνίζομαι splagchnízomai; fut., splagchnisthḗsomai, pass. deponent from splágchnon (G4698), bowel. To feel deeply or viscerally, to yearn, have compassion, pity. Used in an absolute sense (Matt. 20:34; Mark 1:41; Luke 10:33; 15:20). 

Pity, sympathy, empathy or compassion: Which is a godly virtue? 

When humans are suffering, they tend to make two demands that are impossible to fulfill simultaneously. On the one hand, they want people to notice the depth of their pain and sorrow — how deep they are in the pit, how unique and tragic their circumstances. At the same time, they don’t want to be made to feel that they really need the assistance of others. In one breath, they say, “Help me! Can’t you see I’m suffering?” and in the next they say, “How dare you act as though I needed you and your help?” The sufferer doesn’t want to be alone, and demands not to be pitied. This makes their emotional turmoil in suffering not only delicious to our taste, but also highly combustible and unpredictable. [3]

Currently some people are fighting on behalf of the poor, demanding an exchange of wealth. This may seem justified the great inequality between 10% – 3,5 million people in south Africa owning 85% of the wealth, and the 17.5 Million (50%) of the population that owns nothing. 

The economic fighters are usually very emotional, and violent in their pursuit. This is a great deception: Get involved with the poor, and becoming their friends is what is needed! More hand-outs are not helping! The poor became poor, because of a disconnectedness! I have found most materially poor people, are actually more connected with God, self, their neighbours and community than the rich! What is needed, is collaboration, connection and cohesion! It is impossible to get this harmony through threats, intimidation! Even getting something is short-lived and not sustainable. 

Jesus moved all the way from pity, sympathy, empathy towards an act of compassion!  

The most powerful virtue of believers in Christ Jesus is the love of God demonstrated through us in love, giving, generosity, kindness, goodness, mercy and compassion.  The enemy is defenceless against the power of God’s LOVE. Conversely, the enemy do what he always does, he perverts God’s provision.  One cannot help the broken, hurting, disenfranchised, poor without truth. Speaking the truth in love, and consequent change in actions and modus operandi, is the real deliverance.  Spiritually poor people have poor ways. Billions have been wasted feeling sorry, having pity, showing sympathy without coming alongside the victim or the vulnerable, building a discipling, mentorship-kind of reciprocal relationship that demands responsibility and a new upbringing. We need to adopt a humbler posture, a posture that says, “I am broken too on a journey to restoration, let we walk together so you can find healing too.”  

Jesus, did not immediately reacted to the urgent request of his close friends, Maria, Martha and Lazarus. (John 11) This family did not need His pity, sympathy, of empathy they need someone who could heal and later resurrect their brother.  And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sinby no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exo 34:6-7) A doctor that is too concerned with a patient’s feelings, is limited to administrate appropriate healing and rehabilitation.   Jesus loved the rich man: yet asked him to sell everything he had to follow him. Jesus wanted to free this good upright man, from the entanglement of riches without identity and purpose. 

Compassion is an act of LOVE: Forgiving someone’s debt. (Mat 18:27) Clothing, feeding, visiting in prison. (Mat 25:36) Taking a bruised man to hospital and paying for his recovery. (Luke 10:33-34) 

Know God through the scriptures 

Worldviews, beliefs and perceptions of truth governs our thinking and actions.  The spirit-filled believer must constantly be filled with the word, in order that our ways become in frequency with God’s heart.  By now, you will understand that all the wisdom revealed thus far is: SCRIPTURAL. We do not think our own thoughts, run after our own notions, inclinations and desires. We purpose our mind, to study the scriptures, meditate on it in order to begin to think and act like God. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:8) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16) For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Heb 4:12-13) 

Connect then speak and act.  

Solitude, contemplation, listening, silence is invaluable to ensure that one organise your thoughts coherently, originated in the heart of God.  

See my father do (Joh 5:19-20, 30)

only His Will (Joh 6:38)

father taught me (Joh 8:28)

father given commandment (Joh 12:49)

Father that dwells in me does the works (Joh 14:10, 24, 31)

whatever He hears He will speak (Joh 16:13)

not My will but thine (Mat 26:39)

May we all grow in depth of understanding of true deep meaningful communication that connects, build bridges and sustain long-standing relationships of trust, respect and reciprocal good-will.  

Grace and Peace! 


[1] https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/blog/digital-content-types/#gref

[2] https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-whispering-trees-180968084/

[3] https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-enticing-sin-of-empathy

Categories
Preke

Wat verwag God van ONS?

Soos bome in ‘n woud kompeteer vir die Son, en hulle takke en kroon uitreik na die son, so soek ons die Son, Jesus Christus met genesing in Sy strale! Ons hunkering is na Hom. Hy is die middelpunt van ons bestaan, en uit Hom, deur Hom en in Hom vind ons, ons bestaan! Die gemeenskap van gelowiges wie se bestaan gegrondves is in Christus Jesus ons Here, ondervind ‘n sekere geestelike simbiose: uit wie die hele liggaam — goed saamgevoeg en saamverbind deur die ondersteuning wat elke lid gee volgens die werking van elke afsonderlike deel in sy mate — die groei van die liggaam bevorder vir sy eie opbouing in liefde. (Eph 4:16) Sien ook (1 Cor 12:12-26) Paulus verstaan die werkinge van die kerk soos die werkinge van al die organe, en ledemate in ‘n mens se liggaam. En Hy het alle dinge onder sy voete onderwerp en Hom as Hoof bo alle dinge aan die gemeente gegee,

wat sy liggaam is, die volheid van Hom wat alles in almal vervul. (Eph 1:21-23) 

Die mens het kerk gereduseer tot ‘n organisasie, ‘n denominasie, ‘n kerkraad, ‘n gebou. Die kerk, bruid, tempel, volk, nasie, liggaam van Christus is baie meer kompleks, en funksioneer op soveel veelvoudige vlakke en werkinge die absolute genialiteit van God! Daarom moet Hy die kerk bou. (Mat 16:18) Dieselfde mistieke, misterieuse, bonatuurlike heerlikheid wat in die godheid bestaan, word in Sy liggaam gedemonstreer wanneer ons EEN is met Hom. (Joh 17:21) sien pastor J. John se snaakse refleksie oor die kerk. “Global Interprise” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6TGxKvSqH8

Maar wat is God se plan met Sy liggaam? Wat moet ons vir Hom doen? Hoekom is ons hier? 

GENESING!! 

Die Here wil ‘n kollektiewe genesing van skaal in die wêreld bewerk deur Sy liggaam! Ons sien hierdie beeld baie duidelik wanneer ons die skrifte oor die kinders van God as bome vergelyk.

3Hulle is soos bome

geplant langs ’n rivier,

wat vrugte dra

op die regte tyd.

Hulle blare verwelk nie;

in alles wat hulle doen,

is hulle voorspoedig.[1] Ps 1:2-5 

Maar gelukkig is dié mense

wat op die Here vertrou

en hulle verwagting

in Hom stel.

8Hulle is soos bome

wat langs ’n rivier staan,

hulle wortels reik diep

tot by die water.

Hitte bedreig hulle nie,

hulle blare bly groen.

Lang maande van droogte

pla hulle ook nie,

hulle hou nie op

om vrugte te dra nie.[2] Jer 17:5-8

12Allerhande soorte vrugtebome sal aan weerskante van die rivier groei. Die blare van hierdie bome sal nooit verlep nie en daar sal altyd vrugte aan die takke wees. Daar sal elke maand ’n vrugte-oes wees, want die bome kry hulle water van die rivier wat uit die tempel vloei. Die vrugte sal kos wees en die blare sal genesing bring.”[3] Eze 47:10-12

Hulle sal genoem word:

Bome van Redding,

’n plantasie van die Here

om sy roem te vermeerder.[4] Isaiah 61:1–3,

Herlewing is die belewenis waar mense ontwaak tot die eenheid en eenheid wat in God vir ons opgesluit lê: Sien die wonderlike dinge wat gebeur wanneer ‘n gemeente een is van hart, en sinne: Acts 1:14; Acts 2:1; Acts 2:46; Acts 4:24, 32; Acts 5:12; Acts 8:6; Acts 15:25. Hierdie eenheid kan ons nie bewerk nie, ons word wel dikwels vermaan om hierdie eenheid te handhaaf en te beskerm. (Eph 4:1-50; Phil.1:27; 2:2-3; 5:11,14; Eph.4:3; 1Thes.5:13; 1 Cor 1:10; Eph. 4:13; Col. 3:14) 

Ons is dus saam ‘n habitat, en ‘n ekosisteem van genesing! Dis verstom en verbaas my, hoe die Here elkeen in die liggaam se behoeftes versorg in die liggaam. Ek as die pastor, is nie die enigste oplossing en genesing instrument nie. Elkeen speel ‘n rol in die genesingssiklus. Net soos in ‘n hospitaal, waar daar verskillende mense werk wat direk met die pasiënte werk, maar ook talle in die agtergrond funksioneer; is ons in die liggaam van Christus met mekaar verweef. 

Hierdie eenheid is geestelik: 

dat almal een mag wees net soos U, Vader, in My en Ek in U; dat hulle ook in Ons een mag wees, sodat die wêreld kan glo dat U My gestuur het. (Joh 17:21) Ons eenheid is ons Bruto Binnelandse Produk! In hierdie wêreld van wanorde, verdeeltheid, selfsug, eie-geregtigheid is die ware eenheid van die kerk ‘n rariteit!  
Ons is interafhanklik van mekaar

En as een lid ly, ly al die lede saam; en as een lid geëer word, is al die lede saam bly. (1 Cor 12:26) 

Gelyke sorg

sodat daar geen verdeeldheid in die liggaam mag wees nie, maar dat die lede gelyke sorg vir mekaar mag dra. (1 Cor 12:25) 

ondersteuning wat elke lid gee

ondersteuning wat elke lid gee volgens die werking van elke afsonderlike deel in sy mate — die groei van die liggaam bevorder vir sy eie opbouing in liefde. (Eph 4:16) 

Nie gebonde tot ‘n fisiese plek

Want al is ek ook na die vlees afwesig, tog is ek by julle in die gees, en ek verbly my om julle goeie orde te sien en die vastigheid van julle geloof in Christus. (Col 2:5) 

Voorwerpe vir besonder gebruik en ander vir alledaagse

In ‘n groot huis is daar nie alleen voorwerpe van goud en silwer nie, maar ook van hout en klei. Sommige is vir besondere gebruik en ander vir die alledaagse. As iemand hom van die kwaad gereinig het, sal hy ‘n voorwerp vir besondere gebruik wees. Dan sal hy vir die eienaar afgesonder en bruikbaar wees, voorberei vir enige goeie diens. (2 Tim 2:20) 

Jou Lyding te wille van die liggaam. 

NOU verbly ek my in my lyding vir julle en vul in my vlees aan die oorblyfsels van die verdrukking van Christus vir sy liggaam, wat die gemeente is; (Col 1:24) 

HOU JOU TUIN SKOON

Elkeen het dus ‘n verantwoordelikheid om nie net te funksioneer in die roeping waaroor God jou aangestel het nie. Bo alles moet ons soos ‘n boom, onsself beskerm teen parasiete, swamme, en investering van die bose.  

Bewaak jou hart meer as alles wat bewaar moet word, want daaruit is die oorspronge van die lewe. Verwyder van jou die valsheid van mond, en hou ver van jou af die verkeerdheid van lippe. Laat jou oë reguit kyk en jou ooglede hulle reg voor jou uit hou. Maak die pad van jou voet gelyk, en laat al jou weë vas wees, wyk nie regs of links af nie, hou jou voet ver van boosheid.  (Prov 4:23-27) 

Leer om bevryding op jouself te doen.  Indien jy ‘n verkeerde gesindheid, verontregting, onvergenoegdheid in jouself gewaar; bely en laat die Heilige Gees jou was en lei in waarheid.  Moet nie mense bespreek nie, bid vir hulle. Moenie probleme bespreek nie, wees die oplossing! Moenie op ‘n distansie oordeel nie, konfronteer die valsheid direk met die persoon.  Moenie aanstoot neem nie, vermaan die oortreder in liefde. Moenie kritiseer nie, leef in verbondenheid met Christus! 


[1] Die Bybel, Nuwe Lewende Vertaling, (Vereeniging, Suid Afrika: Christelike Uitgewersmaatskappy, 2006), Ps 1:3.

[2] Die Bybel, Nuwe Lewende Vertaling, (Vereeniging, Suid Afrika: Christelike Uitgewersmaatskappy, 2006), Je 17:7–8.

[3] Die Bybel, Nuwe Lewende Vertaling, (Vereeniging, Suid Afrika: Christelike Uitgewersmaatskappy, 2006), Eze 47:12.

[4] Die Bybel, Nuwe Lewende Vertaling, (Vereeniging, Suid Afrika: Christelike Uitgewersmaatskappy, 2006), Is 61:3.

Categories
Preke

Wat verwag God van my

Sekerlik die belangrikste vraag wat mens God kan vra. Op sy knieë voor die aangesig van die Here roep fariseër Saulus die vervolger van die Jesus beweging: “Here, wat wil U hê moet ek doen?” (Acts 9:6) Voorheen terwyl jy gevangene van sonde was, vervreemd van jou maker, het reg-doen en reg-lewe jou nie veel gepla nie. Nou as kind van God, is jy nooit heeltemal seker of jy genoeg reg-doen en reg-lewe nie. Met elke preek hoor jy van nog ‘n stukkie heilige verwagting en nog wonderlike ideale buite jou bereik.  Jy wil graag al hierdie regte goed doen, maar kry dit nie heeltemal reg nie.  

Glo in Christus Jesus en leef in Sy geregtigheid

So wat verwag God regtig van ons: Toe vra hulle Hom: Wat moet ons doen om die werke van God te volbring? Jesus antwoord en sê vir hulle: Dít is die werk van God, dat julle in Hom glo wat Hy gestuur het. (John 6:29-30) Dit is die somtotaal van wat God van ons verwag! Geen geestelike doenlysies nie. Glo in Christus! Jesus gaan voort om in hoofstuk 6 verder te verduidelik presies wat “hierdie geloof in die Een wat Hy gestuur het beteken”.  Soos wat die Jode moes trek op ‘n woord wat die Here vir Moses gegee het, en sekerlik gewonder het: Gaan hierdie God ons red? Gaan Hy ons lewens beter maak? Waar is die beloofde land? En toe as gevolg van hulle eie ongehoorsaamheid alleen in ‘n woestyn, sonder kos en water. God voorsien bonatuurlik Manna en Water uit ‘rots’ wat hulle volg. Jesus is hierdie water en brood uit die hemel. So wat beteken dit vir jou en my? 

Jesus is God se bonatuurlike voorsiening om heilig en reg te kan lewe. Hy stel ons in staat om al die reg-doen, reg-lewe, spontaan en natuurlik te kan doen. “Voorwaar, voorwaar Ek sê vir julle, wie in My glo, het die ewige lewe. Ek is die brood van die lewe” (Joh 6:47-48) Jesus gee ons Sy vlees, Sy Goddelike vermoë en natuur (2 Pet 1:3-4), Sy geregtigheid (Mat 6:33; Rom 5:17; 2 Cor 5:21), Sy krag (Eph 4:13) , Sy oorwinning (Rom 8:37), Sy geloof (Gal 2:20). Ons moet leer om DEUR hom te lewe. Dit is die Gees wat lewend maak, die vlees is van geen nut nie; die woorde wat Ek tot julle spreek, is gees en is lewe. (Joh 6:63) Toe die woord vir baie van die dissipels te moeilik was om te verstaan, sommige het selfs aanstoot geneem, en baie Hom verlaat het vra Jesus Sy dissipels. “Wil julle nie ook weggaan nie?” Petrus antwoord: “Here, na wie toe sal ons gaan? U het die woorde van die ewige lewe.” (Joh 6:68) Die Woord van die Here is soos saad, wat elke keer as ons dit hoor en aanneem, bonatuurlik die godsvrug in ons ontketen. 

Hierdie WAARHEID is sentraal en wesenlik tot ons geestelike bestaan: Die Here wil groter dinge deur ons doen, as wat Hy gedoen het. Voorwaar, voorwaar Ek sê vir julle, wie in My glo — die werke wat Ek doen, sal hy ook doen; en hy sal groter werke doen as dit, omdat Ek na my Vader gaan. (Joh 14:12) Dit is ook hoekom Hy dikwels die dissipels aanpor: Gee julle vir hulle iets om te eet. (Mat 14:16) Hy stuur hulle uit om ook die koninkryk te gaan verkondig en demonstreer. (Mat 10) Maar hierdie demonstrasie is nie uit die vlees nie, dit is Jesus se opstandingskrag in ons, wat die bonatuurlike verrig. (Joh 12:24-25)

Van genesis tot openbaring sien ons hierdie 2 wêrelde: Die een bewerk deur die krag van die mens, en die ander deur die Gees. (Gal 4:23-31) Die Jesus beweging is kenmerkend swak in die oë van die mens: LEES 1 Cor 1 en 2. 

IN afhanklikheid van God, neem ons elke dag ons kruis van gehoorsaamheid op, om te doen wat Hy ons sê, want alleenlik in Sy Woorde is daar krag en lewe.  

Dra Vrugte van Geregtigheid 

Elke boom wat geen goeie vrugte dra nie, word uitgekap en in die vuur gegooi. (Mat 3:10) 

Aan hulle vrugte sal julle hulle ken. ’n Mens pluk tog nie druiwe van dorings of vye van distels nie! So dra elke goeie boom goeie vrugte; maar ’n slegte boom dra slegte vrugte. ’n Goeie boom kan geen slegte vrugte dra nie, en ’n slegte boom ook geen goeie vrugte nie. Elke boom wat nie goeie vrugte dra nie, word uitgekap en in die vuur gegooi. So sal julle hulle dan aan hul vrugte ken. (Mat 7:16-20) 

Aan die hand van Jesus se metafoor is dit duidelik dat God goeie vrugte van ons verwag, maar eers moet Hy die boom verander, transformeer, nuut-maak! Die vrug-dra proses is dus nie werke nie, maar bloot natuurlike vrugte wat by die boom se aard pas. Daarom word die 9 goddelike karaktertrekke wat by bekering pas “vrug” genoem. (Gal 5:21-22) Hierdie lys word juis teenoor die werke van die vlees gestel. 

Mat 25:1-13 die 5 dwase maagde

Mat 25:14-30 die talente 

Mat 25:31-46 die skeiding tussen die skape en die bokke

Hierdie 3 gedeeltes moet saam hanteer word en verstaan word, want die een verklaar die ander, en sluit aan by die ander. Al die drie gedeeltes eindig in finale oordeel. Mat 25:11-13; Mat 25:30; Mat 25:46 

Alhoewel daar al baie afleidings gemaak is deur kapstok predikers oor waarna die olie in die lampe verwys, gee die skrif geen duidelike inligting nie. Die fokus eerder vd gedeelte is; op die term dwaas. Om te dink dat jou lamp gaan brand sonder olie! Dis gekkigheid! Iemand het regtig nie gedink nie! Die volgende gedeelte oor die talente, gee vir ons meer lig oor wat gereedheid wel beteken. Die fokus in hierdie storie is, woeker, werk, vermenigvuldig, dit wat jy ontvang het. ’n gesonde boom dra vrug! 

Die laaste gedeelte oor die skape en bokke, praat die Here direk, en verwyder enige raaisels, die vrug wat Hy soek, is ’n regverdige lewe, wat mense besoek in die tronk, klere en kos gee aan die wat nie het nie. Dink aan die gelykenis vd barmhartige samaritaan.   

Die Here is ernstig wanneer dit by vrug kom. Hy vervloek die vyeboom wat nie vrug dra nie. (Mark 11:13-4; 20-23)

We often equate faithfulness with being steadfast, consistence, being dependable, reliable, dependable, loyal, true, trustworthy, devoted, truthful. Jesus equates faithfulness with something else – multiplication. Whatever God gives to us, He expects us to multiply and present it back to Him.

John Bevere 

Ons vergelyk dikwels getrouheid met standvastigheid, konsekwentheid, betroubaarheid, lojaliteit, toegewydheid en eerlikheid Jesus vergelyk getrouheid met iets anders – vermenigvuldiging. Wat God ook aan ons gee, word verwag dat ons dit sal vermenigvuldig en aan Hom terugbring.

Joh 15:1-10 Ek is die ware wingerdstok en my Vader is die boer. Elke loot aan My wat nie vrugte dra nie, sny Hy af; maar elkeen wat vrugte dra, snoei Hy reg, sodat dit nog meer vrugte kan dra. 

Sien die slegte slaaf se verskonings:

“Omdat ek bang was” v25

Jy is ’n slegte en ’n lui slaaf! (Mt 25:26). 

En gooi die nuttelose slaaf uit in die diepste duisternis  (Mt 25:30).  

Daar is ‘n duidelike OORDEEL teenoor die wat die vrug dra nie! Mense wat nuut gemaak is in Christus, wil goeie vrug dra! Dit is in ons DNS ingeskryf.  Die vrug van ons lewe is JESUS. Omdat ons nie leef uit ons eie krag of vermoëns nie, maar juis ons swakheid gereeld bely en erken, word Hy die meeste in ons verheerlik!! Die vrug wat ons dra is Christus se geregtigheid wat Hy ons werk, tot Sy eer.!

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Sermons

EDEN – CHURCH

We are not here on earth as museum keepers, but to cultivate a flourishing garden of life.

Pope John XXIII

As a church we are on a journey with Jesus. Along this journey we are slowly awaking to the presence and reality of the person of Jesus, learning His ways, what He values, How He thinks, how He acts, who He was and is, and is to come.  Along the journey, we began to notice metaphors and teaching aids to help us understand and remember, what is the best way to do life.  

Last year Pastor Morne Bailey and Nadia Smith opened our thinking to Eden – the walled, enclosed garden.  I believe there is much to learn from gardens, trees, and forests.  Let’s looks at a few examples.  

In the following video, you will learn the importance of the circle of life, and how all the diversity of species, plays an important role in the balance of sustainable life being preserved.  When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable “trophic cascade” occurred. What is a trophic cascade and how exactly do wolves change rivers? George Monbiot explains in this movie remix.[1]

Would we all not love to take a hike and experience the magic of old-growth Redwood forests, where giant Sequoias reach 115 meters into the sky for sunlight[2]

Now that I have your attention, let’s look at the Bible’s garden story! The brilliant guys at the Bible Project will get us on the same page first: Union of heaven and Earth under God’s rule is what the Bible is all about. [3] Mankind always seeks out a form of community: political parties, gangs, clubs, peer-pressure-groups, family trees, etc. According to Dr Henry Cloud we thrive on 3 basic things: Our brain/body (the physical), our relational connections, and our minds, which regulate the energy and information needed to live and perform. We are connected in such ways that the reality of how we function always involves these three elements: our physical make up, our relationships, and our minds.[4] But most importantly: A community that does not disciple and nurture you into becoming more like Christ fails your creation purpose.  Let’s, therefore, find our queues and direction from the Bible, and discover God’s true intention for community and life on earth. 

For the serious Bible students, here is the literal Hebrew meaning of the Garden of Eden

H1588. גַּן gan: A common noun meaning garden, enclosure. It is used to indicate the Garden of Eden (pleasure) where the first human pair was placed (Gen. 2:8-10, 15, 16; 3:1-3, 8, 10, 23, 24; Ezek. 36:35; Joel 2:3). Hence, it refers to a place of abundant trees, water, fruits, and vegetables—where conditions for life are maximized. It could be enclosed (Lam. 2:6). It is combined with Lord to designate the garden of the Lord (Gen. 13:10) and with God to refer to the garden of God (Ezek. 28:13). A garden, however, could feature many things: vegetables (Deut. 11:10; 1 Kgs. 21:2); spices, fruits, plants (Song 4:16; 5:1; 6:2). Assyria is referred to figuratively as a garden that surpassed even the garden of God (Ezek. 31:8, 9).

H5731. עֵדֶן ‘ēḏen: A proper noun designating Eden: The place where God placed Adam and Eve to live and where they rebelled against the Lord’s words. Satan was permitted in the garden and fostered the rebellion of the first human pair. They were subsequently driven from the garden by God (Gen. 3:21-24). Ezekiel takes the event seriously and notes the presence of an archetype of the King of Tyre in the Garden of Eden (Ezek. 28:11-15).

The precise location of the garden is not known, even though the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers were part of it. It became a symbol of beauty and fertility (Ezek. 31:9; Joel 2:3).

In the Genesis story we find a description of Eden as a lush garden with four rivers (Gen 2:10–14). Eden was also a mountain (Ezek 28:13–14), the administrative “seat of the gods” (Ezek 28:2), situated in “the heart of the seas” (Ezek 28:2), a description that reiterated the well-watered imagery of the divine council headquarters. [5]  What makes God’s earthly home/kingdom different from ancient comparative narratives, the biblical version of the divine council at the divine abode includes a human presence.[6] God wants humanity to share His rule and governance over the earth.  

Not all the world was Eden.[7] And Yahweh God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. (Gen 2:8) The garden was perfect in balance harmony and order, yet the rest of the earth was waiting to be subdued. 

The distinction helps us see that the original task of humanity was to make the entire Earth like Eden.[8] Eden is where the idea of the kingdom of God begins. And it’s no coincidence that the Bible ends with the vision of a new Edenic Earth (Rev 21–22).[9] The Bible begins in a garden, ends in a garden city, and the in-between is full of stories of God’s encounter with humans in vineyards, orchards, gardens, mountains, fields, and forests. Take out the gardens (Eden, Gethsemane) and the mountains (Sinai, Hermon, Ararat, Nebo, Carmel, Olives, Zion), and you’ve cut the heart out of the Scriptures.[10]

It is also clear that Eden was a temple, or that the temple design was based on Eden. 

  1. In the later OT the Temple was the place of God’s special presence where He made Himself known and felt to Israel. That is exactly how His walking with Adam and Eve in the Garden is depicted. (Gen. 3:8)
  2. Adam is placed in the garden to “cultivate (abad)” and “keep (samar)” it (Gen 2:15). The same two words are translated elsewhere as “serve” and “guard”, and when they appear together, they are either referring to Israelites serving or obeying God’s word, or more usually, to the job of the priest in guarding and keeping the Temple. (Num. 3:7-8; 8:25-26; 1 Chron. 23:32) Elsewhere Adam is portrayed dressed in the clothes of the high priest, functioning as a high priest. (Ezek 28:11-19) 
  3. The tree of life served as a model for the lampstand, which was clearly shaped as a tree, in the Temple.
  4. Israel’s later Temple was made with wood carvings of flowers, palm trees, etc. meant to recall Eden’s garden brilliance  (1 Kings 6:18, 29, 32, 35); pomegranates were also placed at the bottom of the two stone pillars in the Temple. (7:18-20)
  5. The entrance to the Temple was to the east, on a mountain facing Zion (Ex. 15:17), just as the end-time temple prophesied in Ezekiel is (40:2, 6; 43:12). Well, turns out the entrance to Eden was from the East (Gen. 3:24)
  6. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the ark of the covenant both were accessed or touched only on pain of death. Also, both were sources of wisdom.
  7. Just as a river flowed out of Eden (Gen 2:10), so a river is supposed to flow out of the end-time temple (Ezek 47:1-12; Rev. 21:1-2)
  8. Ezekiel 28:13-14 refers the Eden as “the holy mountain of God” whereas everywhere else in the OT, it is Temple and Tabernacle language.[11]

What is IMPERATIVE to see however is!!! Eden was a place of MEETING.  The first tabernacle, was called “the tabernacle of meeting” Exo 33:7 

This fellowship, meeting, communion, community, the family was disrupted and annihilated by sin, disobedience and rebellion!! Jesus is the mediator of the new better covenant to reinstall that unity, bond, the union we once had with God.  But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Heb 12:21-24) 

The spiritual nature of our “garden” is confirmed by Christ as the angel of the church in Ephesus: “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise (Eden) of God” (Revelation 2:7). 

A tree is not a forest. On its own, a tree cannot establish a consistent local climate. It is at the mercy of wind and weather. But together, many trees create an ecosystem that moderates extremes of heat and cold, stores a great deal of water, and generates a great deal of humidity. And in this protected environment, trees can live to be very old. Apparently, the trees synchronize their performance so that they are all equally successful. The rate of photosynthesis is the same for all the trees. The trees, it seems, are equalizing differences between the strong and the weak. Whether they are thick or thin, all members of the same species are using light to produce the same amount of sugar per leaf. This equalization is taking place underground through the roots. There’s obviously a lively exchange going on down there. Whoever has an abundance of sugar hands some over; whoever is running short gets help. This is because a tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it. [12]

So what do these beautiful imageries mean for you and I today? The place of meeting is the EDEN where God reconnects us to all the provision, gold, rivers, nutrition, safety, and protection one needs to not merely survive, but thrive in this life! For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. This glorious opulence is found when we as church meet together! 

Beware of restricting the concept of meeting: Jesus met people in the streets and said: “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand” This Kingdom is within us. (Luk 17:21) Thus the meeting is happening already in our hearts! Because of our glorious union with the Father though Christ being filled with the Holy Spirit, we are in unity in our hearts with the church! This heart-union is expressed in various kinds of meetings happening constantly! 

This is why we need to be so careful to not be eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and build an offence against the other because of some partial knowledge we think we have about one another! The tree of life inside makes you eat with tax collectors, and sinners, (Mat 11:19) and is constantly creating a feast in this life. It is multiplying food, healing people, delivering people and eating and feasting with people! Jesus embodied the living temple, EDEN, God’s delight here on Earth as it is in heaven, calling us to do the same!! 

Our lives, homes, business, towns and cities should be temples, Eden’s, sacred enclosed gardens of delight, where God’s order and world is restored.  This is God’s ecclesia! This is His church in movement! 

In order to stay healthy like trees, we have to withstand climate change, wind and storms, fallen trees damaging each other, disease, parasites and infestations. As humans and the church, we have to withstand the storms and difficulties of life.

There is so much sinning going on! Sin brings separation, destruction, and death. It is a severe battle! God has provided for us an Eden habitat in the church, a heaven-on-earth reality, to draw from one another and flourish! 

Next week we will learn about my responsibility as a tree of righteousness: “That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” (Isa 61:3)

Tree planted by living waters: (Ps 1:2-5; Jer 17:5-8, Eze 47:10-12)


[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWi2bn40ma4

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy2AQlK6C5k

[4]  “The Power of the Other: The startling effect other people have on you, from the boardroom to the bedroom and beyond-and what to do about it” by Henry Cloud.

[5] Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, First Edition., (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), 160.

[6] Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, First Edition., (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), 47.

[7] Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, First Edition., (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), 49.

[8] Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, First Edition., (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), 51.

[9] Michael S. Heiser, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible, First Edition., (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015), 51.

[10]  “So Beautiful: Divine Design for Life and the Church” by Leonard Sweet.

[11] Beale, G., 2011. A New Testament Biblical Theology. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, pp.pp. 617-621.

[12] Wohlleben, P., 2018. The Hidden Life Of Trees (Illustrated Edition). Melbourne: Black Inc., pg. 15, 25.