Categories
Sermons

Whose RIGHT is it anyway?

Sondagaand Diens Clanwilliam
English Version: Whose Right is it anyway?

In the light of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial, my thoughts turn to the question, who is right? The jury will eventually decide who they believe was right, but after the outcome, some will certainly still disagree.  

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25) Whose right wins for all, not just the one?  Whose right decisions bear sustainable good fruit? This statement describes a culture where everyone does what is right in his or her own eyes and no one any longer regards moral absolutes.   

Moral righteousness is part of human survival because humans function in groups, and we have to adhere to a common law of rightness to maintain good order and balance. We naturally group ourselves according to vested common personal interest and advertently restrain ourselves from another perceived unrighteous group.

The problem is when we enact our wrong-doing against an innocent person, based on the wrong done to us. The original wrong-doing and perpetrator roams free, unpunished, now I become the perpetrator and the evil cycle continues.

ENTITLEMENT AS A COVER-UP FOR SIN 

The battle of whose right is truly right ensued since the beginning of time. Cain believed he had a right to murder his brother because his offering was accepted, instead of of his own.  He should have approached God, asking: “Why was my sacrifice rejected?” so, he can grow and improve, instead he took offence and murdered an innocent.  He never repented, and when punished was only thinking of himself.  “And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.” (Gen 4:13)  My father in law used to say: “Two wrongs do not make a right” This is a proverb used to rebuke or renounce wrongful conduct as a response to another’s transgression. 

Nonetheless, this is a common tendency: A husband loses his temper because the way his wives speak to him.  He angrily justifies his outrage, breaking furniture, hitting holes in the door, and smashing a cell phone: “You made me do this!!!” “Look what you’ve make me do!” 

A perceived loyal husband by his friends and family commits adultery and is unfaithful to his wife. His secret justification? He works hard, is mostly the least, feels trapped in an unfair situation in which he can do nothing, feels he is not valued, and feels used. He does not deal with his unhappiness in a healthy way and eventually cannot resist the temptation to feed his flesh.  

Someone who has been set free from drug addiction suddenly experiences tremendous temptation to use again.  His secret justification? He believes he works hard, has made huge sacrifices, poured himself out, always remains the least, and keeps quiet in an argument.  Instead of nourishing the flesh in a healthy way through exercise, and doing something meaningful he wastes time with superficial relaxation like binge TV series viewing. His flesh remains unfulfilled and hungry and begins to become a monster out of control.  

FREEDOM OF CHOICE – Consequences?

One can justify anything if you have to, but not all is profitable. All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being. (1 Cor 10:23-24) 

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (1 Cor 6:12) 

I remember watching a documentary of Moses Sithole and how he justified every murder, and his eyes did nothing wrong.  By the time Sithole’s trial began on October 21, 1996, mounting evidence saw the total charges against him increase to 38 counts of murder, 40 counts of rape and six counts of robbery. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. [1]

Most people know that the violent Capone was taken down by that least likely of weapons—a group of accountants focused on his tax returns. [2] He also never accepted any blame for what he has done.  

The greatest of problems with humanity is our smoke-screen of self-righteousness! We hide our sins. We cheat and lie! We are afraid of punishment and cover our nakedness with fig leaves! 

NOT ALL RIGHTS ARE GOOD FOR EVERYONE IN THE LONG TERM

Years ago, Mrs Judy Mouton former mayor of Cederberg Municipality brought a speech in our church about being a Christian Political Leader.  Her quest was; whose right in a diverse community of needs and wants, is a priority? How does God view these needs? Whose right does He attend to first? In the light of white people mostly complaining about the potholes and high taxes, the brown people about the shortage of houses, 600 hundred black people families were residing on a hill with only two toilets and one tap.  Whose right deserves God’s and our attention? She opted to relieve the plight of the black people, but lost the forth-coming election.  Sometimes doing what is right is going to cost you! 

Think of the many fights between brothers and sisters about who is right? Whose right? Fairness happens at first when all sides of the story have been heard. One always wants to tell the news about what the other has done wrong.  

Political movements begin, because of some perceived injustice, and begins to draw activists who would fight for the cause of a particular disenfranchised group.  Currently, an unknown community group of activists and protestors burn houses and farms in protest for higher wages. [3] What is the sustainable good of this uprising, and how is it improving relationships? How is it really improving lives in the long term? 

The judiciary exists because people cannot decide their own right action, so there must be an independent impartial fair system that delivers a righteous judgment.  

Without a biblical criterion, each defends his own right and comes nowhere.  One must have a constitution that defends both rich and poor’s rights and then look at each case’s merits and background on what is right or wrong.  The Bible consistently gives a balanced judgment.

THE ROLE OF UPBRINGING

We read of two narratives in the Bible where upbringing played a huge role in the rightness of the children.  Why was Abraham chosen to be the father of a new nation, at the time childness, and a heathen from the Chaldeans? What did God see in Him, to have chosen Him? 

since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him. Gen 18:18-19 

He was chosen because: I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice.  

Contrastingly, we read of another spiritual giant who failed to teach his children rightness! 

Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice. Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 1 Sam 8:1-4 

H6666. צְדָקָה ṣeḏāqāh: A feminine noun meaning righteousness, blameless conduct, and integrity. The noun describes justice, right actions, and right attitudes, as expected from both God and people when they judge. God came speaking justice and righteousness as the divine Judge (Isa. 63:1; Jer. 9:24[23]; Mic. 7:9); the Lord’s holiness was made known by His righteousness in judgments (Isa. 5:16; 10:22). Human judges were to imitate the divine Judge in righteousness and justice (Gen. 18:19; 2 Sam. 8:15; Ps. 72:3; Isa. 56:1). The word describes the attitude and actions God had and expected His people to maintain. He is unequivocally righteous; righteousness is entirely His prerogative. His people are to sow righteousness, and they will receive the same in return (Hos. 10:12). He dealt with His people according to their righteousness and blamelessness (2 Sam. 22:21; Ezek. 3:20). Faith in God was counted as righteousness to Abraham (Gen. 15:6); and obedience to the Lord’s Law was further evidence of faith that God considered as righteousness (Deut. 6:25). Returning a poor man’s cloak was an act of obedience that was considered righteous and just before the Lord (Deut. 24:13). Jacob declared that his integrity (honesty, righteousness) would speak for him in the future to Laban (Gen. 30:33). The lives of people are to reflect righteousness and integrity (Prov. 8:20; 15:9); even old age may be attained by living a life of righteousness (Prov. 16:31). The noun describes the justice of God or His will: persons are to act according to God’s righteousness toward other persons (Deut. 33:21; Isa. 48:1). The word is also synonymous with truth or integrity. God declares His words are based on His own truthfulness (Isa. 45:23). The word depicts God’s salvation or deliverance, such as when Isaiah spoke of the Lord bringing near His righteousness as equal to bringing near His salvation (Isa. 46:13; 51:6; 56:1). The word may indicate a just claim before the king (2 Sam. 19:28[29]); or the righteous claim for vindication God gives to His people (Neh. 2:20; Isa. 54:17). A person who was denied justice but was righteous was, in fact, innocent (Isa. 5:23). In the plural, the word referred to the righteous acts that God performed for His people (1 Sam. 12:7); or, in the plural used in an abstract sense, it depicted people living righteously (Isa. 33:15). The word was used to mean legitimate and blameless, referring to the Lord’s righteous Branch (Jer. 23:5; 33:15) who will act justly and righteously in the restored land.

H4941. מִשְׁפָּט mišpāṭ: A masculine noun meaning a judgment, a legal decision, a legal case, a claim, proper, rectitude. The word connotes several variations in meanings depending on the context. It is used to describe a legal decision or judgment rendered: it describes a legal decision given by God to be followed by the people (Isa. 58:2; Zeph. 2:3; Mal. 2:17). These decisions could come through the use of the Urim and Thummim (Num. 27:21). The high priest wore a pouch called the breastpiece of justice, containing the Urim and Thummim by which decisions were obtained from the Lord (Ex. 28:30). Doing what was right and just in the Lord’s eyes was far more important than presenting sacrifices to Him (Gen. 18:19; Prov. 21:3, 15). God was declared to be the Judge of the whole earth who rendered justice faithfully (Gen. 18:25; Isa. 30:18). In the plural form, the word describes legal judgments, cases, examples, laws, and specifications. The word describes the legal case or cause presented by someone. The Servant spoken of by Isaiah asked who brought his case of justice against him (Isa. 50:8); Job brought his case to vindicate himself (Job 13:18; 23:4). The legal claim or control in a situation is also described by the word. Samuel warned the people of the civil and legal demands a king would place on them (1 Sam. 8:9); Moses gave legislation to protect the rightful claim of daughters (Ex. 21:9). The Hebrew word also described the legal right to property (Jer. 32:8). Not surprisingly, the place where judgments were rendered was also described by this word; disputes were to be taken to the place of judgment (Deut. 25:1). Solomon built a hall of justice where he served as judge (1 Kgs. 7:7). The word also describes plans or instructions: it describes the building plans for the Tabernacle (Ex. 35); and the specifications for the Temple (1 Kgs. 6:38); the instructions the angelic messenger gave to Samson’s parents about how he was to be brought up (Judg. 13:12). In a more abstract sense, it depicts the manner of life a people followed, such as the Sidonians (Judg. 18:7; 1 Sam. 2:13). The word means simple justice in some contexts, often in parallel with synonymous words, such as ḥōq (H2706) or ṣeḏeq (H6664), meaning ordinance or righteousness. It describes justice as one thing Jerusalem was to be filled with along with righteousness (Isa. 1:21). Justice and righteousness characterize the Lord’s throne (Ps. 89:14[15]); and these were coupled with love and faithfulness (cf. Ps. 101:1; 111:7). Executing or doing justice was the central goal that Yahweh had for His people (Jer. 7:5; Ezek. 18:8), for that equalled righteousness (Ezek. 18:9).

A BIBLICAL STANDARD 

The Bible has tested moral absolutes as summarised in the 10 Commandments that serve as a protection for man and his family.  

Care/harm, 

Liberty/oppression

Fairness/cheating

Loyalty/betrayal,

Authority/subversion,

Sanctity/degradation

When these moral absolutes are adhered to and respected in the fear of the Lord, who sees and knows everything, it brings joy to the people.  Whereas the pleasure of sin is short-lived bringing eventual painful and destructive consequences. 

No one likes and enjoys the restrictions and boundaries of the law, but when the tables are turned and we become the victims of crime, we value the importance of the law.  

WE SHOULD RESIST EVIL CULTURE 

Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,” will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them. (Proverbs 24:24-25)

Enough, O princes of Israel! Remove violence and plundering, execute justice and righteousness, and stop dispossessing My people,” says the Lord GOD. “You shall have honest scales. (Eze 45:9-10)

You shall not follow a crowd to do evil;  (Exo 23:2)

In the end “So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.” Hosea 12:6 


[1] https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/moses-sithole

[2] https://www.themarshallproject.org/2018/05/28/defending-al-capone

[3] https://www.farmersweekly.co.za/agri-news/south-africa/talks-between-sundays-river-valley-workers-and-farmers-deadlocked/

Categories
Sermons

Fall in Love with Jesus all over again – the paradoxical beauty of our Saviour

Beauty is symmetry and balance.  Glamour magazines showcase the best face, or body because of the eyes just being the right size in comparison with the nose and lining up perfectly with the ears.  An artist who draws caricatures of people amplifies certain physical traits to make them both recognizable but out of proportion and funny! Interior designers are always attentive to symmetry, scale, and balance.  Architecture is all about finding the right mix of paradox, contrast, balance, symmetry, and rhythm.  Beauty is symmetric, balanced, involves contrast, and has order.  

There is cogent evidence to show that light consists of waves, and equally cogent evidence to show that it consists of particles. It is not apparent how light can be both waves and particles, but the evidence is there, and so neither view can be ruled out in favor of the other. Neither, however, can be reduced to the other or explained in terms of the other; the two seemingly incompatible positions must be
held together, and both must be treated as true. Such a necessity scandalizes our tidy minds, no doubt, but there is no help for it if we are to be loyal to the facts” ((Footnote (J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God [Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity, 1961] p. 19).14))

The greatest mystery of Jesus life was a paradox. He is earthly, human, unassuming, with a fine sense of humour and playfulness, yet He is God.  
Omnipresence: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”(Matt. 18:20).

Eternal: “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20).

Almighty: “All power in heaven and earth has been given to Me.” (Matt. 28:18).

Omniscient: “No one knows who the Son is but the Father, and who the Father is but the Son and everyone to whom the Son wants to make him known.” (Luke 10:22).
Forgive sins: “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic.” (Mark 2:10).

The paradoxical values of Jesus is: Broad and narrow; warns of immanent judgement yet loving and kind to emphasize with the weak, marginalized, oppressed and sick. Jesus’ ministry can be described as a non-reactionary creative, revolutionary pacifist, servant leader, supernaturally human, separated team-player.

Paradoxes are often a sign that things are going well, morally and personally. —Saul Smilansky [1]

A biblical aesthetic of beauty incorporates the ugly. The heart of reality is not a sentimental romance, a garden party, an easy Hollywood beauty. The heart of reality is a suffering romance, a bloody Calvary beauty. True beauty is paradoxical. 

We see the unseen. We subdue by submitting. We win by losing. We are made grand by making ourselves little. We come in first by becoming last. We are honoured by being humble. We fill up with God by emptying out ourselves. We become wise by being fools. We possess all things by having nothing. We wax strong by being weak. We find life by losing ourselves in others. We live by dying.[2]

Even creation is paradoxical in its essence.  The bombardier beetle’s lethal spray is produced from a reaction between two chemical compounds, hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide, which are stored in two reservoirs in the beetle’s abdomen.  Each of these substances can kill the beetle, yet mixed together becomes a weapon through which the beetle can defend itself. [3]

Although there are only 94 basic elements listed in the periodic table, [4] it is the paradoxical mixtures that drive new inventions. For example, engineers learned to combine steel and concrete to make steel-reinforced concrete. Steel is strong in tension, though weak in compression. Concrete is the opposite. Combine them and you get a material strong enough to hold up a skyscraper but flexible enough to sway without breaking. Steel and concrete compensate for each other’s weakness.[5]

Examples of theological paradoxes within mainstream Christianity include: the Trinity (the three persons of the Godhead are distinct, and each is fully God, yet there is only one God); the Incarnation (the transcendent, immutable God became a man in space and time); the hypostatic union (Christ is one person with both a divine nature and a human nature, and thus is omniscient and limited in knowledge, omnipresent and limited in location, impeccable yet susceptible to temptation, etc.); and the claim that God has infallible foreknowledge of human free choices. Some traditions within Christianity face their own distinctive paradoxes (e.g., the Reformed teaching that God foreordains all things, yet we are morally responsible for our actions). 

The Gospel and message of the kingdom is paradoxical beauty: 

The paradoxical life we live in Christ is one of healing and miracles and yet we get sick sometimes, we abide in supernatural provision yet our wallets are sometimes empty, wonderful victories in the midst of a tremendous struggle, eternal life in our hearts but we all have to walk over through earthly death. 

A friend of mine encapsulates the inner struggle with paradox perfectly in his greatest admission of his vulnerability. My name is Hennie Viljoen and I have experienced an all-time high and all-time low simultaneously. I am strong and weak at the same time. I have absolute clarity on some things, but at the same time, I desperately need wisdom for the next step. I am certain and confused, energetic and extremely tired all at the same time. I hope, but I don’t see. God speaks clearly to me in His word, yet it is difficult because God’s Way regularly does not make logical sense. I am helping others more than ever, but I also need help more than ever before. In Christ I am victorious, but the devil is doing whatever he can to undermine my faith.

The Upside-down Kingdom! 

For he who is least among you all will be great.” (Luk 9:48)

The last will be first, and the first last’ (Matt. 20:16) 

he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. (Luk 22:26)

‘when I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Cor. 12:10).

The weak are honoured. 

I will make the lame a remnant, And the outcast a strong nation (Miga 4:7); but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (Luke 7:28)

Maturity is to become like a child. 

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:1-35; 5:13; 10:40, 42; Mark 9:33-50; 10:15; Luk 9:46-50; 14:34-35; 15:4-7; 17:1-4; 18:17).

Dying to Live 

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  (Mat 16:24).

We gain more, by giving more

He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  (2 Cor 9:6-10; Gal 6:5-6).

The opposite Spirit 

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Rom 12:21).

Turn your cheek, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, pray for those who spitefully use you. (Matt 5:39-40).

A soft answer turns away wrath, (Spr 15:1).

Poor yet Rich

as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. 2 Corinthians 6:10

As you consider the paradoxical beauty of Christ, may you be enlightened and stirred in your faith to not loose sight of Him. Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2) 

As we continue to just love Him, follow Him, hear Him, obey Him we are continually changed and transformed into His likeness, Christ within us the hope of glory. 

Ultimately the greatest of all paradoxes is the cruelty, and ugliness of the crucifixion!! It is in His death that we gain life, in His shame we get our innocence renewed, by His stripe that we are healed!!


[1] Saul Smilansky, Ten Moral Paradoxes (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2007), pg 113. 

[2][2] Leonard Sweet. So Beautiful, Divine design for life and the church. Pg 30.

[3] https://answersingenesis.org/creepy-crawlies/insects/bombardier-beetle-arsenal-insect/

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table

[5] Lapin, Daniel. Business Secrets from the Bible (p. 24). Wiley. Kindle Edition.

Categories
Sermons Uncategorized

A Reformation of LOVE

https://youtu.be/FIwtiUhDxdw
HRCO Gesinskamp, Marcuskraal 4×4

The type of love Jesus taught was like nothing anyone ever experienced on earth. We all need to be reformed in our understanding and expectation of divine LOVE.

Most of our greatest hurts and offences is when we realize that our loved ones do not love us back ~ the way we love them. They do not reciprocate the sacrifices we have made, or worse, they openly betray us.
In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
The worst is most people do not know, value, recognize, or see you. They do not know your heart, or see your true value.

We all have a purpose, a mission and cause we dedicate our life to. Your purpose and vision in life is connected with what you most ultimately love. What you love most is where your heart is, that is where you will spend most of your time. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Mat 6:21)

Jesus’ own disciples struggled to really see, and understand what He was about.
What is the vision for your life?
Mat 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luk 9:18-20

What do people say about you? Who are you? Jesus asked His disciples: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Mat 16:13)

Peter had a revelation of who Jesus was: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Mat 16:16; Matt. 14:33; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20; John 6:69; 11:27; Acts 8:37; 9:20; Heb. 1:2, 5; 1 John 4:15)

Our love for God begins with a revelation of who He is. Awestruck and full of emotion we surrender our lives to Him. This personal revelation is the rock, foundation of the New Testament Church. He is not a religion, or a religious culture. The Samaritan Woman saw Jesus as the fountain of water that never runs dry – Joh 4:25-26. Paul saw that he was persecuting Jesus, on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:5). The man crucified next to Jesus, recognized that He was innocent (Lk 23:40–43).

The attack of the enemy is focused to tempt us to forget, deny, abandon what we saw. If he robs us of the invaluable divine revelation, we are without power and authority. People perish because of a lack of vision. Where there is no revelation (prophetic vision) the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. (Prov 29:18).

On the other hand, we will never love the way God loves, until our love is tested. Our broken, incomplete, selfish, love must first be disclosed before we humbly seek to discover and receive His kind of love.

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.” (Luk 22:31-34). Under pressure and persecution he exclaimed; “Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” (Mat 26:69-75) The devil is out to kill and destroy your revelation!!

When one loses spiritual vision, you default to the old ways of the flesh. “I am going fishing” (John 21:3)

Because Peter verbally denied Jesus tree times, Jesus had to verbally restore Peter’s vision, calling and purpose three times  – self confession.

Agapé kind of love:

  • Love your enemies (Mat 5:44).
  • Love without receiving anything back (Mat 5:46). Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul mind and strength. (Mat 22:37)
  • Single focus – love God and mammon (Mat 6:24)
  • Gave only begotten Son (John 3:16)
  • A new commandment love one another as I have loved you.
  • Loves me and obey me (John 15:21, 23)
  • Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
  • By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:35)

Love Restoration

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.” (John 21:15-19)

The English vocabulary is limited, for the word Love and Know, is actually different words in the Greek.

Jesus’ question would expose what was in his heart. “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” The verb “love” here is ἀγαπάω agapáō. The noun form of the word is agapé.

There is some debate about what the word, “these” in Jesus’ question refers to. The word could be either masculine or neuter. Many commentators argue that it is masculine and refers to the other disciples. The question would then be, “Simon, do you love me more than these other disciples?” Such a question would challenge his earlier boasting and force him to the humble position that he was no better than they were. However, this interpretation does not make sense in light of Peter’s answer which begins with, “Yes, Lord,” and the “yes” here is a strong affirmative, (i.e. “yes, indeed”). Considering the rest of Peter’s answer, and his earlier boasting, it is unlikely that he is still boasting to love Jesus more than the other disciples.

First Question – John 21:15

It is preferred that the word “these” in Jesus’ question to be neuter and to refer to all the fishing stuff that was there. The question would then be, “Simon, do you love this life of fishing more than me?” This interpretation fits the scene and explains Peter’s strong affirmation “Yes, Lord.” Peter did love Jesus more than those things.

Peter’s humility also comes out in his answer. The present scene and his remembrance of his earlier denial of Jesus proved that his love was not to the level of agape love. Peter had not been completely obedient to Jesus. He obviously was not ready to give his life, defending his not-knowing-Jesus stance with a vow, and later cursing and swearing!

Peter could not in good conscience claim to loved the way Jesus loved, so he uses a different word for love phileo. Peter claims to have strong affection for Jesus in the sense of friendship.

It should be noted that in even making this claim, Peter appealed to Jesus’ own knowledge to back up the claim. The word for “know” here is oida which speaks of the knowledge of information and facts.

Jesus’ answer to Peter is one of restoration. Jesus commands him, “Tend My lambs.” Jesus often used the metaphor of sheep to describe those who belong to Him and He does so again in these verses. The lambs are the young sheep which are the most vulnerable and need to be tenderly cared for. The word “tend” here means to “feed” as in “cause an animal to eat” and is translated that way in the NKJV & ESV. Jesus is commanding Peter to take care of the most vulnerable sheep of His sheep. Peter is to teach new believers about how to be a follower of Jesus.

Second Question – John 21:16

Jesus’ second question is direct without a comparison clause. “Simon, son of John do you love Me?” Jesus again uses agapo for love. Peter gives Jesus the same exact answer as the first time. “Yes, Lord: You know that I love You.” He again uses phileo – brotherly love.

Jesus responds by commanding Peter to fulfill additional responsibilities “Shepherd My sheep.” Shepherding takes into account the total care of the flock, not just the feeding. The sheep are more mature than the lambs. Jesus is entrusting to Peter the spiritual teaching and care of His followers including the mature ones. Peter could not do this unless he was also at least that mature. Jesus is affirming Peter that he is still useful to Jesus despite past failures.

Third Question – John 21:17

Jesus significantly changes His third question. “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” But this time Jesus also uses phileo for love as Peter had been doing. The text states that Peter was grieved over this. It was bad enough to be asked three similar questions, but this last time now even challenges the phileo love that Peter claims to have. This time Peter leaves off his affirmation of, “Yes,” and instead directly appeals to Jesus’ omniscience as the son of God. You know all things!! Only God is omniscient, and Jesus attributes this God-divine features to Jesus, the Son of man. Peter’s revelation gets restored!!

Moreover; Peter appeals to Jesus’ personal knowledge of him saying, “You know that I love you.” This time the word translated as “know’ is (γινώσκω ginṓskō) which refers to the personal knowledge that comes from relationship. Peter’s appeals to both Jesus’ omniscience and His personal relationship with Peter to know that what he is now claiming is true.

Jesus’ responds with a third command that affirms Peter’s responsibilities for Jesus’ flock. “Tend My Sheep.” Peter had failed, but Jesus has restored him and will use him to teach and lead His people. All of this would have taken place within the hearing of the other disciples.

Now Peter receives not only his calling restored back to him, but the power to love the way Jesus loved. “Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” Peter will one day give his life willingly and freely, being persecuted for His faith.

Oh Lord Jesus, show us the imperfections of our human selfish love, and produce in us the tested by fire love of God!

We seek to pray, love and bless those who hate us. We intercede for them; “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

Categories
Sermons

Rightwiseness: The power of God

Sometimes we preach to warn, or correct, at other times we comfort and exhort, sometimes we inform and teach, today I believe the Holy Spirit wants to release faith for the impossible! To challenge us and convince us to accept and walk in all that He has destined for us. 

In a conversation with a friend this week, he disclosed: “Most believers have faith for salvation, but do not know the power of salvation!” Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. (Matthew 22:29) 

People need power to survive.  Some draw power from chemical substances, others from nature. Others seek power obtained in possessions, material wealth, status and popularity.  Extremists establish their power through dominance and fear.  The question to be asked,  and evidenced to be weighed is: What is the sustainable good outcome of these powers? Power obtained by the sword needs to be maintained by the sword.  Muscles obtained through chemicals need to be maintained by chemicals, and increasingly so.  

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. (2 Tim 3:1-9) 

The gospel of the kingdom is not just in word – it is power! (1 Cor 4:20) 

Convenience is the anti-Christ of our time! The gospel of obedience is no longer convenient, nor profitable for man, who is seeking instant pleasure and satisfaction.  Missing out on the most wonderful POWER of the gospel! 

For us to survive and triumph through difficult times, we need supernatural power and grace!  

  1. Power to forgive – Mat 9:1-8
  2. Power towards godliness – 2 Pet 1:30 
  3. Power to live the Jesus life – Phil 4:13 
  4. Power to heal the sick – Luk 5:17, Acts 10:46. 
  5. Power over evil – Luk 10:19 
  6. Power of an endless life – Heb 7:16 
  7. Power over death – Rom 8:11 
  8. Power in weakness – 2 Cor 12:9 
  9. Power over lust of the flesh – Rom 8:3-5 
  10. Power of creative words – Prov 18:21 
  11. Power over the law of sin – Rom 8:2
  12. Power of right living – Rom 5:17; 2 Cor 5:21 
  1. Power to gain wealth – Exo 8:18 
  2. Power to save – Rom 1:16 
  3. Power of the cross – 1 Cor 1:18; Mat 16:24; Gal 5:24 

Rightwiseness is power.  Eventually by doing what is right, you are established by you righteousness.  There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.” (Exo 15:25-26)

Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. (Gen 6:9)

Prof Nick Binedell encouraged me this week to study the difference between northern and southern Italy. The northern part prospers, making the best and fastest cars known to man like Ferrari, Maserati, Pagani and Lamborghini versus the southern part who are poor, always fighting.  Prof Nick suggests I should study the social fibre of the North.  There is the hidden social fibre of integrity, your word is your honour. People still shake a hand on making a contract.  Dishonouring your word will certainly lead to becoming socially an outcast. The most prominent leaders know each other and trust each other.  This rightness in word and deed upholds a sustainable mutually flourishing social contract.  In South Africa the social fibre is non-existing! We have absolutely no trust in our leaders, government, parents, and even the church!  There is no trust!  For a society to flourish it has to be interlaced tightly into one another like a carpet.  This only happens through the majority’s right living!! 

Categories
Preke

Rightwiseness – Verkry die Regte Waardebepaling

Ons sukkel maar as mens om die regte, ewige, onverganklike waarde van ‘n mens te bepaal. Geen aardse objek is ewig nie! Net die mens is bestem om ewig te lewe. Hoekom waardeer mense nooit wat hulle het totdat dit eers weg is nie? Die koninkryk van God boodskap is ‘n “reset” van alles wat ons as waardevol beskou.

Ons as mens weet nie altyd om dit wat werklik van waarde is raak te sien nie. So verkoop Esau sy geboortereg vir ‘n pot lensiesop, omdat hy moeg en honger is. (Gen 25:29-34) 

“Met die koninkryk van die hemel gaan dit soos met ‘n skat wat in ‘n saailand onder die grond lê. Wanneer iemand dit kry, maak hy dit weer toe; en omdat hy baie in sy skik is, gaan verkoop hy alles wat hy het, en hy koop daardie land. “Met die koninkryk van die hemel gaan dit soos met ‘n handelaar wat op soek is na goeie pêrels. As hy ‘n baie waardevolle pêrel raakloop, gaan verkoop hy alles wat hy het, en koop die pêrel. Matthew 13:44-46 

Ek het dié lief wat my liefhet; dié wat my soek, vind my. Wie my het, het rykdom en eer, het duursame en blywende besittings. Wat ek vir jou lewer, is beter as goud, selfs fyn goud; wat ek inbring, is meer werd as die suiwerste silwer. Waar ek gaan, is daar geregtigheid, my pad is dié van die reg. Ek maak dié wat my liefhet, ryk, ek maak hulle skure vol. (Prov 8:17-21)

Die wêreld ekonomie staan en val by wat mense op ‘n bepaalde tydstip van hoë waarde ag.  So behaal die 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 kultus status na die film Gone in 60 Seconds.  Die wêreld markte is besig om geskud te word en mense soek die beste aandele om in te belê.  So het mense hulleself al baie lyding en verdriet besorg, omdat hulle tydelike, verganklike, dinge nagejaag het!  Roem, aansien, rykdom, weelde!!! 

Dit is interessant dat mense wat al vir baie lank finansieel ryk is, hulle rykdom nie vertoon of afwys nie! Hulle lewe bloot normale en eenvoudige lewens, ten spyte van hulle aardse rykdom.  

Jesus verstaan dat die mens se hart jaag dit wat jy as waardevol beskou.  want waar julle skat is, daar sal julle hart ook wees.  (Mat 6:21)  

Jesus rig die mens se hart na ewige skatte. Jesus antwoord hom: As jy volmaak wil wees, gaan verkoop jou goed en gee dit aan die armes, en jy sal ‘n skat in die hemel hê; en kom hier, volg My. ( Mat 19:21) 

Moenie vrees nie, klein kuddetjie, want julle Vader het ‘n welbehae daarin gehad om aan julle die koninkryk te gee. Verkoop julle besittings en gee aalmoese; maak vir julle beurse wat nie oud word nie, n skat in die hemel wat onuitputlik is, waar geen dief by kom of mot verteer nie.  Want waar julle skat is, daar sal julle hart ook wees. (Luk 12:32-34) 

Wat was vir Jesus waardevol? 

  1. Jesus heg om God lief te hê, en Hom te dien as die mees waardevolste en belangrikste ding wat jy kan doen. 

Nee, beywer julle allereers vir die koninkryk van God en vir die wil van God, dan sal Hy julle ook al hierdie dinge gee.  (Mat 6:33)

  • Jesus wys dat hoe jy die ewigheid gaan spandeer meer belangrik is, as die aardse lewe. 

En dit is die ewige lewe: dat hulle U ken, die enigste ware God, en Jesus Christus, wat deur U gestuur is.  (Joh 17:3; 17) 

  • Jesus heg waarde aan ‘n meer eenvoudige lewenstyl

Kyk na die wilde voëls: hulle saai nie en hulle oes nie en hulle maak nie in skure bymekaar nie; julle hemelse Vader sorg vir hulle. Is julle nie baie meer werd as hulle nie? Trouens, wie van julle kan deur hom te bekommer sy lewe met een enkele uur verleng?  (Mat 6:25-34) 

  • Jesus heg waarde aan gesondheid, HY maak siekes heeltemal gesond.  

(Luke 17:11-19).
ho⋅lis⋅tic /həlistik/emphasizing the organic or functional relation between parts and the whole 1926, coined, along with holism, by Gen. J.C. Smuts (1870-1950), from Greek holos “whole.” In reference to the theory that regards nature as consisting of wholes. Holistic medicine is first attested 1960. 

  • Jesus heg nie waarde aan ‘n sigbare plek nie, maar die koninkryk BINNE jou.

Die koninkryk van God kom nie met sigbare tekens nie. En hulle sal nie sê: Kyk hier! of: Kyk daar! nie; want die koninkryk van God is binne-in julle. (Luk 17:20-21) 

  • Jesus rig die mens se hart na ewige skatte en rykdom.

Jesus antwoord hom: As jy volmaak wil wees, gaan verkoop jou goed en gee dit aan die armes, en jy sal ‘n skat in die hemel hê; en kom hier, volg My. ( Mat 19:21) 

  • Jesus kyk anders na die mees belangrike mense. 

In daardie tyd het die dissipels by Jesus gekom met die vraag: “Wie is die belangrikste in die koninkryk van die hemel?” Hy het ‘n kindjie nader geroep en hom tussen hulle laat staan en gesê: “Dit verseker Ek julle: As julle nie verander en soos kindertjies word nie, sal julle beslis nie in die koninkryk van die hemel kom nie. Wie homself gering ag soos hierdie kindjie, hy is die belangrikste in die koninkryk van die hemel. En wie so ‘n kindjie in my Naam ontvang, ontvang My.” (Mat 18:1-5) 

Hoe meet ons, ons eie waarde? 

Ons meet ons waarde soms met verskillende veranderende nie betroubare maatstawwe soos: hoeveel likes op ons sosiale media blaaie, prestasies, volgelinge, suksesse, status posisies ens. ens.  Jesus leer ons om onsself van waarde te ag, bloot omdat Hy ons van waarde ag.  Omdat Hy ons liefhet! Omdat Hy vir ons gesterf het, en vir ons sonde betaal het! Omdat Hy ons raaksien en by ons stop! Omdat ons Hom ken! Ons skepper is inderdaad die beste onveranderlike bertroubare waardebepaling. Mens gaan mos na ‘n spesialis om die waarde van ‘n objek soos ‘n diamant, of oudheid te bepaal. Net so gaan ons na ons Vader, om ons waarde te bepaal!  

Wat doen ons met mense wat ons nie van waarde ag nie?

Mense het Jesus ook nie van waarde geag nie. Dit is ‘n gegewe, mense is meestal net op hulleself ingestel.  Jesus is God met ons. Telkens hoor ons Jesus sê: “As julle maar net besef wie dit is wat hier by julle staan.” Hoe het Jesus dit hanteer? Hy nudge mense liggies om te sien wie Hy werklik is.  Die samaritaanse vrou by die put. (Joh 4) Maar Jesus verklaar ook aan die ander kant: “As Ek van Myself getuig, is my getuienis nie waar nie.” (Joh 5:31) Selfpromosie was dus nie deel van Jesus se modus operandi nie. Hy het bloot aangehou om fisies te doen waarvoor Hy geroep was. Hy maak siekes gesond, dryf duiwels uit, en getuig van die waarheid. Hy neem nie aanstoot omdat mense Hom nie sien nie! “Vader, vergeef hulle, want hulle weet nie wat hulle doen nie!” (Luk 23:34) Van al Jesus se volgelinge het net Maria gesien wie Jesus regtig was, en wat Hy bereid was om te offer. Daarom kom salf sy Sy voete. (Joh 12:1-11) 

Verlaag jou verwagtinge van mense. 

During the time he was in Jerusalem, those days of the Passover Feast, many people noticed the signs he was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to him. But Jesus didn’t entrust his life to them. He knew them inside and out, knew how untrustworthy they were. He didn’t need any help in seeing right through them. (Jn 2:23–25). En toe Hy in Jerusalem was op die pasga gedurende die fees, het baie in sy Naam geglo, omdat hulle die tekens gesien het wat Hy doen. Maar Jesus self het Hom aan hulle nie toevertrou nie, omdat Hy almal geken het en omdat Hy nie nodig gehad het dat iemand van die mens sou getuig nie; want Hy self het geweet wat in die mens is.

Moenie jou verwagting op mense stel nie. 

Jer 17:9-10; Jer 10:23; Prov 14:12; Jud 21:25; Ps 118:7-9

Categories
Preke

Rightwiseness – Die Wysheid in die Liggaam.

Sekerlik een van die grootste voordele van kind van God wees is die toegang tot die kollektiewe “rightwiseness” opgesluit in die liggaam van Christus.  Paulus beskryf die Liggaam van Christus in 1 Cor 12.  Net soos die menslike liggaam ‘n lopende wonderwerk is van diverse funksies wat saamwerk tot gesonde menswees is die liggaam van Christus die mees wonderbaarlikste uitdrukking van God se genialiteit! Rom 12:5; Eph 4:11-16

Soos ons fisiese liggaam ‘n bepaalde gesonde lewenstyl nodig het om optimaal te bly funksioneer het die liggaam van Christus ook ‘n sekere lewensuitkyk nodig. 

  • Jy is wat jy eet.  Leerstellige akkuraatheid.  (Acts 2:42) 
  • Ons het die hele liggaam in al sy diversiteit nodig. (Rom 12:3-8)
  • Die hoeveelheid liefde wat jy insit bepaal die hoeveelheid liefde wat jy terugkry. 
  • Aanhou bly reformeer.  (Rom 8:29; 
  • Verantwoordbaarheid en jou eie ontwikkeling proses.  Ken Wilber som die totale ontwikkeling proses van die mens in 8 fases. Archaic, indigenous, tribal, traditional, modern, post modern, integral, post integral. [1]
  • Individuele groei tesame met kollektiewe groei.  
  • Niemand is toeskouers nie.  Jy groei in die deelneem, en jou bepaalde roeping uit te leef. Elkeen se gehoorsaamheid is belangrik, en baan die weg vir die selfversorging van elke lid.  (1 Cor 12:25; Eph 4:16)
  • Leer om die liggaam te onderskei.  (1 Cor 11:
  • Te wille van die liggaam. (Col 1:24-29) 
  • Kollektiewe gesag. (Eph 1:22) 

Die samekoms van gelowiges is die fontein. 

Hoe moet dit dan wees, broers? Elke keer as julle bymekaarkom, het elkeen gewoonlik ‘n bydrae om te lewer: ‘n psalm, ‘n onderwysing, ‘n openbaring, ‘n ongewone taal of klank, ‘n uitleg daarvan. Sorg dan dat alles tot opbou van die gemeente verloop. (1 Cor 14:26) Jy kry toegang en jy drink van die liggaam in die samekoms van gelowiges.  Een tot een konneksie is belangrik, maar die input word eksponensieel verdubbel in die samekoms.  

Die Kollektiewe sinne van Christus. 

“But we have the mind of Christ.” ( 1 Cor 2:16) 

Dit is betekenisvol dat Paulus nie hier sê, ek het die sinne van Christus nie. Die genialiteit van God is opgesluit in die liggaam.  Dit is die misterie wat vir eeue geheim gehou is, en in Christus eers geopenbaar is!! aan wie God wou bekend maak wat die rykdom van die heerlikheid van hierdie verborgenheid onder die heidene is, dit is Christus onder julle, die hoop van die heerlikheid. (Col 1:27) 

Multitude of Consellors – (Prov 11:14; 15:22; 24:6) 

Deel van die liggaam maar opereer op jou eie.  

Ons mag nie ‘n opinie gee rakende die bedanking van die Brian Houston skandaal nie. Ons is nie daar nie, ons ken nie die mense direk nie. Maar ons doen en late bring geweldige skade aan die liggaam!!! Maar in ‘n groot huis is daar nie alleen voorwerpe van goud en silwer nie, maar ook van hout en erdewerk; en sommige tot eer, maar ander tot oneer. As iemand hom dus hiervan deeglik reinig, sal hy ‘n voorwerp tot eer wees, geheilig en bruikbaar vir die Here, toeberei vir elke goeie werk. Maar vlug vir die begeerlikhede van die jonkheid en jaag ná geregtigheid, geloof, liefde, vrede, saam met die wat die Here uit ‘n rein hart aanroep. (2 Tim 2:20-22) Ons lewe is ALTYD ‘n preek, soms vertoon ons die glorie van die Here en inspireer ons mense! Ander kere is ons lewe ‘n boodskap van waarskuwing.  Daarom gooi ons nie diegene wat val weg nie. Sonder Dawid se openlike belydenis oor die Batseba skandaal nie, was die Woord van God onvolkome.  

Betekenisvolle verhoudinge van samewerking. 

Omring jou met ‘n verskeidenheid van mense van statuur wat al verder as jy gegroei het. Gaan met die wyse om, dan word jy wys; maar hy wat met dwase verkeer, versleg.  (Prov 13:20) wat jy van my gehoor het onder baie getuies, vertrou dit toe aan getroue manne wat bekwaam sal wees om ook ander te leer. (2 Tim 2:2) Ouer vroue leer die jonger vroue. (Tit 2:3-4) 

EEN Van Gees. 

God seën uitermatig waar Sy liggaam in verbondenheid met Hom en met mekaar lewe! 

 (Rom 7:4; Rom 9:1; 1 Cor 15:22; Eph 3:6, 12, 21; Col 2:6, 10, 11-1; Rev 1:9) IN ONE ACCORD (Acts 1:14; Acts 2:1; Acts 2:46; Acts 5:12; Acts 8:6; Acts 4:24, 32; Acts 15:25) 


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_theory_(Ken_Wilber)

Categories
Preke

Right-wiseness: Hoe om reg te dink in tye van krisis

https://youtu.be/0HbncUqNR-M

Mense vra: Is die oorlog in Oekraine die begin van die einde en moontlik die aanloop tot ‘n derde wêreld oorlog? As die antwoord ja is, wat gaan jy aanpas en doen in jou lewe? Die Bybelse, Jesus-manier van dink oor ‘n krisis is nou nodig.  

Daar is sekerlik nie ‘n mens wat al meer as 80-jaar oud is, wat nie al oorloë en wêreld tragedie beleef het nie.  Die mens staan inderdaad broos teen ‘n lewe vol van tragedie, pandemies, natuurrampe, en menslike degradeerde kulture en sosiale ekosisteme.  Siekte, verderf, agteruitgang wedywer meestal met die oorhand oor goeie nuus, liefde, en behaaglik genot.  

Persoonlike Verantwoordelikheid 

Jesus slaan heeltemal ‘n nuwe koers in deur ‘n appèl te maak op die individu om die hemel, en Utopia binne homself te soek en nie in ‘n utopiese staat of regering nie  (Luk 17:21). Enersyds moet ons natuurlik ook die kwaad, sonde en verkeerd ook eers in ons eie hart soek. Sien die balk in jou eie oog (Mat 7:3-5). Boosheid begin in jou eie hart (Mat 12:35). 

Oorwin dus eers die oorlog in jou eie hart, dan in jou huis, dan jou straat, woonbuurt, dorp en dan sal jy gesag ontvang om ‘n hoër vlak invloed uit te oefen.  Ons kan nie nou wat in die Oekraine verander nie, maar ons kan hier waar ons invloed het, begin om vrede te bewerk, versoening te bring, kos en klere te gee, iemand in jou huis in te neem.  

Gaan hierdie oorlog soos met die Covid-19 Pandemie op ons ‘n impak hê? Verseker! Ons wat hier lewe se lewens is onlosmaaklik met mekaar verbind op ekonomiese, emosionele, kognitiewe, sosiale, geestelike, nasionale omgewings vlak en nog baie meer.  Dit is daarom dat ons juis hier lokaal moet begin om so waardig moontlik elke krisis te trotseer. Ons kan dit nie ontvlug nie.  Ons kan daaruit leer, om toekomstige krisisse te voorkom of beter hanteer. Maar dit wat ons nie nou hanteer nie, eskaleer en groei, en gaan later uiteindelik hanteer moet word.  

Jesus se manier van dink is nie om te probeer om krisisse te ontkom nie.  Inteendeel Jesus voorspel allerhande onheil:  “En julle sal hoor van oorloë en gerugte van oorloë. Pas op, moenie verskrik word nie, want alles moet plaasvind, maar dit is nog nie die einde nie. Want die een nasie sal teen die ander opstaan en die een koninkryk teen die ander; en daar sal hongersnode wees en pessiektes en aardbewings op verskillende plekke. Maar al hierdie dinge is ’n begin van die smarte.” (Mat 24:6-8).  

Praktiese wysheid is: Wanneer tussen mense, fokus op mense. Wanneer alleen is, fokus op binnewêreld. Ons kry dit soms verkeerd. Ons is alleen en dink aan alles wat die mense sê. Wanneer ons tussen mense is ons selfbewus.  Wees dus algeheel teenwoordig in ‘n bepaalde situasie.  

Moenie fokus op wat jy nie kan verander nie, gaan wees die verandering waar jy ‘n verskil kan maak. 

Waar Staan God in Lyding? 

Die onwillekeurige vraag is: As God dan Liefdevol en almagtig is hoekom soveel boosheid toelaat? 

  • God is almagtig
  • God is liefdevol

God is egter ook: 

  • God is al-wys
  • God is Ewig

En moenie vergeet nie: Satan en boosheid bestaan.  

Dit beteken ons weet nie alles nie.  God se tydlyn verskil, Hy is gister, vandag tot in ewigheid dieselfde, maar Hy is ook die Alfa en die Omega nou in hierdie oomblik – die ewige-nou.  God is alyd Liefde, en God is altyd Genesing, maar Hy is ook altyd oordeel en waarheid.  

Behou Ewigheids Perspektief 

“Laat julle hart nie ontsteld word nie; glo in God, glo ook in My.  In die huis van my Vader is daar baie wonings; as dit nie so was nie, sou Ek dit vir julle gesê het. Ek gaan om vir julle plek te berei.”  (Joh 14:1-2). In hierdie vers rig Jesus sy dissipels se perspektief op die ewige, hiernamaals.  (Matt. 5:12, 46; 6:1, 2, 5, 16; Mark 9:41; Luke 6:23, 35; John 4:36; 1 Cor. 3:14; 9:17, 18; 2 John 1:8; Rev. 11:18; 22:12)

Ons het Pyn, lyding en tragedie nodig

Om nie pyn te kan ervaar nie is lewensgevaarlik.

Om nie emosionele pyn te voel nie is gewetenloos. 

Jesus verstaan lyding, en leer ons nie om dit te probeer ontwyk of vermy nie, maar eerder deur die lyding ons geloof te behou.  

“Daarom dan, terwyl ons so ’n groot wolk van getuies rondom ons het, laat ons ook elke las aflê en die sonde wat ons so maklik omring, en met volharding die wedloop loop wat voor ons lê, die oog gevestig op Jesus, die Leidsman en Voleinder van die geloof, wat vir die vreugde wat Hom voorgehou is, die kruis verdra het, die skande verag het en aan die regterkant van die troon van God gaan sit het. Want julle moet ag gee op Hom wat so ’n teëspraak van die sondaars teen Hom verdra het, sodat julle in jul siele nie vermoeid word en verslap nie. Julle het nog nie ten bloede toe weerstand gebied in julle stryd teen die sonde nie.”  Heb 12:2-3 (O.A.V.) 

Vir geloof om blywend te word in jou lewe, moet jou geloof getoets word. Geloof of liefde wat nog nooit getoets is nie, hou nie.  “Hulle laat dit egter nie in hulle wortel skiet nie en hou nie lank uit nie. As hulle daarna ter wille van die woord verdruk of vervolg word, word hulle gou afvallig.” Mar 5:17.

As ons afvallig word verloor ons die ewigheid, en die rykdom wat God vir my in Christus bestem het. Hierin is sy volkome liefde geopenbaar.  Ons het lyding nodig, dit is vir ons goed. “maar toe het U ons uitgelei na oorvloed toe.” Ps 66:12 

In Hebreërs 5:8 lees ons: “Hy, al was Hy die Seun, het gehoorsaamheid geleer uit wat Hy gely het.” Hy is ons leidsman op hierdie weg.  Beteken Hebreërs 5:8 dat Jesus vol sonde was? Sommige beleef lyding maar a.g.v. hulle eie sondige dade, en keuses. Christus het egter gelei alhoewel daar geen sonde in Hom was nie (Heb 4:14; Heb 7:26; Heb 9:14).  Maak ‘n duidelike onderskeid tussen sonde en tragedie. 

Lyding Is Wins 

Paulus hom selfs verbly in lyding (Vgl. Rom 5:3; 2 Cor 12:9; Col 1:24). 

 Meer nog, hy roep ook die gemeente daartoe op (Phil 4:4; 1 Thes 5:16). 

Paulus roem in hulle volharding in lyding (2 Thes 1:4) 

Wie veroorsaak Lyding? 

1. My sonde: 

2.Iemand anders se sonde: Jer 32:19 

3.Die sondigheid en gevolglike gebrokenheid van die mensdom en Aarde: 

4.Lyding wat God direk toelaat as tugtiging: Heb 12:5-11 

5.Lyding agv sataniese vervolging: Ons goeie dade is nie ons veilige net, dat ons nie vervolg word, al doen ons goed nie.  Phil 1:29; 1Pe 3:17 

Soms wil ons vir regerings, presidente ens. Kwaad word oor wat hulle doen of nie doen nie. Dit is algehele tydmors.  Fokus op die mense wat jy raak, en wat jou raak. 

Leer om te alle tye te probeer om nooit ‘n leuen te vertel nie. Wees eerlik. Staan op vir jouself.  

Ons almal beleef tirannie op een of ander tydstip in ons lewe.  Werk aan die nodige vaardighede om sonder reaksionêre tirannie, die situasie te ontlont, en wat verkeerd is reg te maak.  Wees te alle tye so eerlik as moontlik, sonder om aanstoot te gee.  Verkeerd word gehandhaaf omdat iemand of onkundig is of arrogant.  Beide kan deur die regte feite reggestel word.  Stilbly is nie ‘n oplossing nie, buiten as ‘n tussenpose om reg te praat.  

HOE MOET ONS LYDING HANTEER?

“Soms lyk dit vir my of God aan ons wat apostels is, die heel agterste plek in die prosessie toegeken het. Ons is soos terdoodveroordeeldes wat in die arena moet sterf, ’n skouspel waarmee die hele wêreld spot – engele sowel as mense.  Ons toewyding aan Christus laat ons dwaas lyk, maar julle is mos die Christene wat weet! Ons is broos, maar julle is die sterkes. Julle is die mense van aansien, maar ons is die veragtes. Tot nou toe ly ons honger en dors, ons is skamel aangetrek; ons word geslaan en het geen tuiste nie. Ons moet swoeg deur met ons eie hande te werk. Ons seën dié wat ons uitskel. Ons is geduldig met hulle wat ons vervolg. Ons bly vriendelik wanneer ons beskinder word. Ons het die uitvaagsels van die wêreld geword, almal se sondebokke. En so is dit nog steeds.”  1 Kor. 4:9–13. 

“Ons het hierdie skat egter maar net in breekbare kleipotte – die allesoortreffende krag kom van God en nie van ons nie.  Op elke manier word ons onder druk geplaas, maar ons is nie verpletter nie; ons is verward, maar nie wanhopig nie; ons word vervolg, maar nie in die steek gelaat nie; platgeslaan, maar nie vernietig nie. Ons dra altyd die sterwe van Jesus in ons liggaam saam sodat ook die lewe van Jesus sigbaar kan word in ons liggaam. Gedurig word ons wat nog lewe, ter wille van Jesus aan die dood uitgelewer sodat die lewe van Jesus ook in ons sterflike liggaam sigbaar kan word. Gevolglik is die dood in ons aan die werk, maar in julle die lewe.”  2 Cor. 4:7–12.    

“In elke opsig laat ons ons ken as diensknegte van God, ook in ons volharding en swaarkry, ontbering en nood. In die tronk, onder katshoue, onder swaarkry, in oproere, in hongersnood het ons met nougesetheid opgetree, met begrip, met verdraagsaamheid en vriendelikheid, deur betoning van die teenwoordigheid van die Heilige Gees, deur opregte liefde, deur die boodskap van die waarheid en in die krag van God. Ons tree op met die wapens van geregtigheid in ons regter- en linkerhand, in eer en oneer, in veragting en aanprysing; soos verleiers, en tog is ons opreg; soos onbekendes, soos mense wat sterwend is, en kyk, ons lewe; soos swaar gestrafdes, en tog is ons nie doodgemaak nie; soos hartseer mense, en tog is ons altyd blymoedig; soos bedelaars, maar ons verryk baie mense; soos mense wat niks besit nie, en tog besit ons alles.”  2 Kor. 6:4–10. 

“Wat harde werk betref, uitermate; wat tronke betref, uitermate; wat katshoue betref, in die oortreffende trap; in doodsgevare was ek dikwels. Vyf maal het ek van die Jode die gebruiklike straf van 39 houe gekry; drie maal is ek met stokke geslaan, en een keer is ek met klippe gegooi. Drie maal het ek skipbreuk gely en een van daardie kere het ek ’n dag en ’n nag op die oop see oorleef. Ek was dikwels op reis; in gevare van riviere; van rowers; van my volksgenote; van heidene; gevare in die stad en in verlate gebiede; gevare op see en gevare onder vals medegelowiges. Ek weet van harde werk en swaarkry, van baie nagte se wakkerbly, van honger en dors; van dikwels sonder kos te moet klaarkom, van koue en sonder klere wees. Behalwe al dié dinge, was daar nog elke dag die bekommernis oor al die gemeentes.” 2 Kor. 11:23–28.

LYDING AKTIVEER GROTER OUTORITEIT EN GEESTELIKE GESAG: 

Jesus word outeur, dus ‘n gesag om te kan praat of skryf agv dit wat Hy tydens Sy gehoorsaamheid geleer het  (Heb. 5:8-9). Ons sien dit ook in die lewe, dat mense wat Jesus bly volg het, en gedoen het wat Hy sê tydens lyding, geestelike gesag dra. Mens kan dit letterlik aanvoel as hulle praat.     

Lyding gee jou diepte. JY groei afwaards, en word gegrondves.  

Jesus se dood en opstanding het Hom die naam bo alle name gemaak  (Ef. 1:20-21). 

Sy lyding het hom sekere geestelike gesag gegee.  Die ding wat gee jou gesag in die lewe gee is die hoeveelheid lyding wat jy in sit het.  Ons luister na sprekers omdat hulle ‘n sekere gesag toon oor ‘n onderwerp. Hoe het hulle daardie gesag kry?  Hulle bestudeer lang ure en betaal die prys van tyd en moeite, en groot finansiële koste.  Niks kom sonder ‘n prys!  

Ons sukkel met goed, en ons soek antwoorde.  Ons probeer en probeer weer.  Ons volhard soms sonder om enige resultate sien.  Ons misluk, en probeer iets anders.  Ons leer, ontdek, ons analiseer, ons groei!  Dit is hoe God met ons werk.  Die pad op is die pad af.  Eers die fondamente, (die onsigbare, nie interessante, onder grond deel van die konstruksie) en dan die sigbaar en heerlike gebou.  As die fondasie nie solied en sterk is nie kan die gebou nie bly staan nie, veral nie tydens stormwinde nie.    

1.Lyding 

2.Wag 

3.Gehoorsaam

4.Vervolmaking 

5.Outeur 

“Want ons ligte verdrukking wat vir ’n oomblik is, bewerk vir ons ’n alles oortreffende ewige gewig van heerlikheid; omdat ons nie let op die sigbare dinge nie, maar op die onsigbare; want die sigbare dinge is tydelik, maar die onsigbare ewig.”  (2 Kor. 4:17-18) 

Josef se lyding het hom die kapasiteit gegee om in een dag koning te word.  

Paul se lyding het hom die diepte gegee om die meeste van die NT te skryf.

Behou Perspektief

Wees Dankbaar vir wat nie gebeur het nie!! 

Doen vergelykings.  Hoekom het hierdie onheil tragedie my getref? Hoekom nie, wil jy hê dit moes iemand anders tref.  Niemand kry ‘n gelyke pakkie in hierdie lewe nie.  Ons almal begin met verskillende talente, persoonlikheid, familie struktuur, welvaart, intelligensie ens.  Wat ons maak met die hand wat ons gedeel is, is belangrik.  Ons kan onsself jammer kry, die blaam skuif. Maar niemand gaan ons pakkie namens ons dra nie. Elkeen sukkel met sy eie pakkie.  

Ons almal beleef “resentment” van tyd tot tyd, maar iewers moet ons opgroei, en ons pakkie optel en met dit begin woeker, dit wat ons ontvang het vermenigvuldig! Maak resentment jou vriend deur, dit te gebruik om juis te fokus op wat jy nodig het om te konfronteer.  Wat jy nie konfronteer nie, word jy ‘n van ‘n slaaf.  Jy is nie ‘n slagoffer nie, jy is nie uitgelewer nie.  Wanneer jy die inherente positief in jou negatiewe belewenis ontdek, kan jy die negatief uitkanselleer.  

1 Thes 5:18 “In everything give thanks”

We do not thanks God for the hardship, but in the midst of it, in spite of.

Net dit wat Koninkryk van God is, kan nie geskud word nie. 

“Toe het sy stem die aarde geskud; maar nou het Hy belowe en gesê: Nog een maal laat Ek nie alleen die aarde nie, maar ook die hemel bewe. En hierdie woord: nog een maal, wys duidelik op die verandering van die wankelbare dinge as geskape dinge, sodat die onwankelbare kan bly. Daarom, omdat ons ’n onwankelbare koninkryk ontvang, laat ons dankbaar wees, en so God welbehaaglik dien met eerbied en vrees. Want onse God is ’n verterende vuur.”  Heb 12:26-29.  

Deur die eeue is dit bewys, dat in tye van oorlog, die Jesus lewe die beste manier is om te lewe.  In tye van krisis, veg en help die armes.  Leef eenvoudig met min geestelike, emosionele, en fisiese bagasie.  Leef lig.  Die koninkrykgerigte lewe en beginsels is standhoudend en volhoubaar. 

Siende ons oor “right-wiseness” gesels … van Chantal 

Since nuclear threats are rising again, I love the perspective offered here by C.S. Lewis in 1948 almost 75 years ago, but as relevant as ever.

“In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. ‘How are we to live in an atomic age?’ I am tempted to reply: ‘Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.’

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.”

Ek love dié deel : let’s be busy with sensible and human things! 👏👏

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things.

—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”

Honours to the origin!

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts You.” Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

Categories
Preke

‘Rightwiseness’ in ons verhoudingwêreld

As ons al ooit nodig gehad het om slim, oordeelkundig en verstandig te wees soos ‘n slang en onskuldig, selfloos soos ‘n duif is dit met betrekking tot ons diverse verhoudinge in die werksplek, met ongelowiges, met verskillende kulture, met sosiale klasse, en teenstrydige geloofsoortuigings.  Veral in die lig van die Jesus opdrag om ons vyande lief te hê, hulle te seën en vir hulle te bid. Wat as jy dit regtig toepas sal lei na empatie en begrip, onombeerlik tot gesonde kommunikasie.

Right-wiseness begin altyd eerstens in ons verhoudingwêreld.  

Jesus leer ons om onsself beter uit te druk en te verstaan wat ander sê.  In plaas van outomatiese reaksies, word ons woorde bewuste betekenisvolle uitdrukkings van waarheid  stewig gebaseer op ‘n bewustheid van wat ons waarneem.  Deur die Heilige Gees word ons gelei om onsself met eerlikheid en duidelikheid uit te druk, terwyl ons terselfdertyd ander respekvolle en empatiese aandag gee. 

Marshall Rosenberg se “Non-Violent Communication” Metodiek vereis eerstens, diep, nie-moraliserende, nie-veroordelende, luister en fyn waarneming voordat enige betekenisvolle versoenende empatiese dialoog kan vorder.  

Die NVC Tegniek: 

  1. Observasie van huidige konkrete realiteite wat ons bestaan bedreig. 
  2. Beskryf presies wat ek voel in verhouding met hierdie realiteit. 
  3. Wat presies voed en gee energie aan wat el voel.  
  4. Hoe kan jy my help om hierdie realiteit te oorkom.  [1]

Jesus se skerpsinnigheid met mense: 

Screwd: Daring to live the startling command of Jesus – Rick Lawrence [2]

  1. Jesus antwoord deur nog ‘n vraag te vra. 

Te midde van Jesus se gruwelike lydingsuur, word Hy deur Pilatus ondervra, maar eintlik word Pilatus deur Jesus ondervra, waarin Pilatus later geen skuld in Jesus kan vind nie, met Sy hart ontbloot tot die waarheid. (John 18:33-40)

  • Jesus is beter as Sherlock Holms om fyn waar te neem.  

Die storie van die Samaritaanse vrou, wat Jesus by die water put ontmoet het, gee vir ons insig oor Jesus se meesterlike benadering om die vrou te laat ontwaak tot haar geloof in Jesus, as die Here! (Joh 4:1-30) 

  • Jesus, druk deur totdat hy die hart skuif.  

Die manier hoe Jesus, Petrus restoureer nadat hy Jesus verloën het net voor Sy kruisiging, raak mens diep. Het ons nie al elkeen Jesus verloën nie?  (Joh 21:1-22) 

‘n Wonderlike inspirerende voorbeeld van liefde wat nooit opgee nie is die rolprent “The Horse Whisperer” waar Robert Redford “Buck Brannaman” se lewe met perde vertolk, en Harmony ‘n gewonde perd en haar ruiter Grace MacLeans terug lei na genesing.[4]


[1] Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships (Nonviolent Communication Guides) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014OISVU4/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_F1JGY9D06Z4STMYNPBQH

[2] Shrewd: Daring to Live the Startling Command of Jesus
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1434700739/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_N1PAC91JTM4ANGA3GH6R

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Horse_Whisperer_(film)

Categories
Preke

Geregtigheid – Uitgeslape om reg te doen

Om geregtigheid en reg te doen, is vir die HERE verkiesliker as offers. (Prov 21:3) AOV To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. (Prov 21:3) NKJV

Ons lewe in ‘n wêreld van onreg; dubbel standaarde, mense se woord beteken niks, elkeen doen wat reg is in sy eie oë. Kinders ly onder die onreg van hulle ouers, familie of skoolmaats. Egbreuk word geregverdig, en regte word verdedig in die werksplek. Mense word gebruik en misbruik sonder dat iemand verantwoordelikheid aanvaar en jammer sê, ons regverdig onsself, en ons troos onsself deur die goed wat ons doen. Mense is gebroke, stukkend, ontnugter, bitter, seergemaak, te na gekom, en verontreg omdat iemand nie REG gemaak het nie. ‘n Ander woord vir sonde is: onreg, verkeerd doen, wetteloosheid, en goddeloosheid. Ons is almal opsoek na reg! Die vraag is wie se reg?

Salomo het spesifiek vir wysheid gevra, om regspraak te kan lewer. (1 Kings 3:11) Hy wou doen wat reg was soos sy pa Dawid. (2 Sam 8:15) Van Christus word gepraat; DAAR is my Kneg wat Ek ondersteun, my Uitverkorene in wie my siel ’n welbehae het. Ek het my Gees op Hom gelê; Hy sal die reg na die nasies uitbring. 2 Hy sal nie skreeu of uitroep of sy stem op die straat laat hoor nie. 3 Die geknakte riet sal Hy nie verbreek en die dowwe lamppit nie uitblus nie; met getrouheid sal Hy die reg uitbring. (Isa 42:1-3) (Mat 12:18)

Jesus is die verpersoonliking van God se reg in menslike vorm. Ons kan niks byvoeg in wat Christus vir ons gedoen het nie. Hy het die volmaakte en volle prys betaal. Dit is gedoen, klaar! Deur Sy Gees het hy ons nuwe skepsels en mense gemaak in Hom (2 Cor 5:17) “want in Hom lewe ons, beweeg ons en is ons”, (Acts 17:28) Die vrug van die Gees wat nou deur ons werk, maak ons aangename, mooi mense wat reg doen en reg lewe! (Gal 5:22) Hy het die ordinansies en wil van God in ons harte kom skryf, om nou Sy wil te doen. (Jer 31:31-34) Ons weet in ons hart wat reg is, doen dit!

Die enigste persoon wat in ons pad staan is “self”! Die self/vlees mens staan in vyandskap met die geesmens. Ons regverdig onreg! Ons dink omdat ander ook verkeerd doen, dit ons die reg gee om ook verkeerd te doen. (Ons glo ons het geen ander keuse nie) Dis die oersonde van Kain, wat sy broer doodslaan, homself verontskuldig en 4 geslagte later verklaar sy agterkleinseun: Want Kain sal sewe maal gewreek word, maar Lameg sewen-en-sewentig maal. (Gen 4:24) Jesus kom en leer ons om sewentig maal sewe te vergewe! (Mat 18:22) Leef en wandel in die teenoorgestelde Gees! Dit is die regte pad. (Rom 8:3-5; Gal 5:16)

“All that is essential for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke

The English word righteousness comes from the Anglo Saxon word, rightwiseness, wise in that which is right. In the original Greek it is “Dikaiosune” meaning two parties finding likeness in one another, to join, to be set at one again. We become wise when we realize our oneness with God in Christ.

Studeer Mat 10:5-16

Jesus stuur Sy dissipels op amper ‘n onmoontlik missie:

Gaan na die verlore skape van Isreal toe – mense wat weggedwaal het, harde harte, kwaad vir die Here en die mensdom, nie-godsdienstiges.

Gaan verkondig: ‘Die koninkryk van die hemel het naby gekom.’ Maak siekes gesond, wek dooies op, reinig melaatses en dryf bose geeste uit. Julle het dit verniet ontvang, gee dit ook verniet. Alles bonatuurlike dade nie moontlik vir die mens nie!

Moenie enige voorsiening saamvat nie: “Moenie vir goud of silwer of koper in julle beursies sorg nie en moenie vir die pad ‘n reissak aanskaf of nog ‘n kledingstuk of skoene of ‘n stok nie” v9-10

Vind ‘n blyplek… sonder geld? As jy iemand kry wat jou goedgunstig is “‘n man van vrede” bly daar, maar is die mense jou verwerp skud die stof van jou voete af en gaan na die volgende plek!

“Onthou: Ek stuur julle soos skape tussen wolwe in. Waaaaat!!!? Wolwe verslind skape!! Dit is boonop gevaarlik! Vervolging! Howe! Arrestasies!

DAN DIE KLIMAKS: Twee Gereedskap Instrumente!

Wees dus versigtig soos slange en opreg soos duiwe.

  1. φρόνιμος phrónimos; fem. phrónimē, neut. phrónimon, adj. from phronéō (G5426), to think, have a mindset. Prudent, sensible, practically wise in relationships with others (Matt. 7:24; 10:16; 24:45; 25:2, 4, 8, 9; Verstandige Bestuurder Luke 12:42; 16:8; 1 Cor. 10:15; Sept.: 1 Kgs. 3:12; Prov. 3:7; 14:6; 18:15; Is. 44:25). In an evil sense, thinking oneself to be prudent or wise because of self-complacency (Rom. 11:25; 12:16; used ironically in 1 Cor. 4:10; 2 Cor. 11:19; Sept.: Prov. 3:7).
    Deriv.: phronímōs (G5430), prudently.
    Syn.: sunetós (G4908), sagacious, understanding, able to reason; sṓphrōn (G4998), of sound mind; sophós (G4680), wise.
    Ant.: mōrós (G3474), stupid, foolish, absurd; asúnetos (G0801), without understanding; anóētos (G0453), unintelligent, foolish; áphrōn (G0878), mindless, stupid, foolish.
  2. ἀκέραιος akéraios; gen. akeraíou, masc.-fem., neut. akéraion, adj. from the priv. a (G0001), without, and keránnumi (G2767), to mix. Without any mixture of deceit, without any defiling material (Matt. 10:16; Rom. 16:19; Phil. 2:15).
    Syn.: euschḗmōn (G2158), comely, honorable; téleios (G0185), perfect, one who has reached the goal; ártios (G0739), complete; holóklēros (G3648), entire, whole; plérēs (G4134), complete full; tímios (G5093), honest; éntimos (G1784), reputable, honorable; euthús (G2117), straight; chrēstós (G5543), of good and useful morals; áxios (G0514), worthy; ákakos (G0172), without being constitutionally bad; ádolos (G0097), without any guile; haploús (G0573), without wrinkles or duplicity, single or simple.
    Ant.: dólios (G1386), deceitful; átimos (G0820), without honor; plános (G4108), deceiver, seducer; phrenapátēs (G5423), a mind-deceiver; anáxios (G0370), unworthy.

Sommige vertalings vertaal hierdie woord met “shrewd” uitgeslape, slim, skerpsinnig, skrander, listig, skelm.

Sien die verhaal van die oneerlike bestuurder. “Die werkgewer het die oneerlike bestuurder geprys vir die slim ding wat hy gedoen het. Die mense van hierdie wêreld tree onder mekaar slimmer op as die mense van die lig.” (Luk 16:8)

Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.” (Message vertaling)

So listig, skrander, uitgeslape soos die slang! Die slang is die duiwel. Wees dus skelm en uitgeslape soos die Duiwel??? Ja, maar wees nog meer uitgeslape as hy vir regdoen!!! Daarom die teenpool: sonder enige persoonlike voordeel bymotief! Eerlik, opreg, skrander!

Hierdie WYSHEID! Hierdie REGDOEN is die sleutel tot ons suskses en oorwinning in die lewe!! Daar is soveel boosheid in die wêreld!! Die Vader wil ons in Christus Jesus bemagtig om verstandig, wys, skrander, uitgeslape, slim die boosheid te oorwin deur die goeie!!

Betaal jou mense wat reg is. (Col 4:1)
Oppas vir selfmisleiding (Luk 11:42)
Vind die waarheid uit voor jy oordeel op optree (Joh 8:32)
Wees onpartydig (Lev 19:15 & James 2:4)
Moenie wat verkeerd is probeer goed praat nie (Mal 2:17)
Onderwerp jou aan gesag (Rom 13:1-7; I Pet 2:13–17)
Doen reg aan die swakke en die wees; (Ps 82:3; Isa 1:17)
Doen reg in besigheid (Lev 19:36; Deut 25:15; Eze 18:8,9)
‘n regverdige sorg vir sy diere (Pro 12:10)
‘n regverdige haat leuens (Pro 13:5)
‘n regverdige laat ‘n eflating vir sy kinders (Pro 13:22)
A righteous man walks in His integrity (Pro 20:7)
‘n regverdige sal 7 keer val en weer opstaan (Pro 24:16)
Wanneer ‘n regverdige man ‘n posisie van outoriteit beklee, juig die mense (Pro 29:6)
Ps 34:12

((Footnote Shrewd: Daring to Live the Startling Command of Jesus Rick Lawrence https://www.amazon.com/dp/1434700739/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_W3T2T5QKZRRZC5GVJ0SP))

Categories
Preke

Die krag van jou getuienis

Toe Jesus in die skuit klim, het die man wat van die duiwel besete was, by Hom daarop aangedring om saam met Hom te gaan. Jesus het hom dit egter nie toegelaat nie maar vir hom gesê: “Gaan na jou huis, na jou mense toe, en gaan vertel vir hulle wat die Here alles vir jou gedoen het en dat Hy jou jammer gekry het.” Hy het toe gegaan en deur die hele Dekapolis begin bekend maak wat Jesus alles vir hom gedoen het. Almal was verbaas daaroor. Mark 5:18-20 

312. ἀναγγέλλω anaggéllō; to tell, declare, messenger. To announce, make known, declare, tell of things done, events, To bring word, inform 

Mens staan verbaas dat Jesus hierdie heidense nog-onlangs-besete man, nie eers dissipel en reg leer nie. Die man se soeke is opreg, om saam met Jesus te vertoef, en nou dat hy by sy regte verstand is, te leer van die Meester.  Jesus stuur die man terug na sy vriende met ‘n eenvoudige opdrag: “gaan getuig en vertel wat met jou gebeur het.” 

Toe Jesus ‘n tyd later weer in die gebied van die Dekapolis kom wag daar ‘n skare  (Mark 7:31-37). Die keer genees Hy die doofstom vrou in die geheim. Hierdie uitsonderlike wonderwerk, sou tog mense finaal oortuig? Hy kapitaliseer egter nie op die skare of die groot wonderwerk nie.  Jesus is hierin vir ons ‘n voorbeeld oor hoe Hy nugter is oor wat mense trek, maar ook wat mense betrokke hou.  

Jesus het nie hulp nodig gehad om Sy missie te voltooi nie, maar Hy het wel ooggetuies nodig gehad om dit wat Hy doen oor te vertel!! Hy kies dissipels vir hierdie rede, om ooggetuies te wees, en om in hulle eie woorde te vertel wat gebeur. Die evangelie skrywers het hierdie taak met erns opgeneem, sodat ons vandag vier ooggetuie verslae kan hê van wat Jesus gedoen het. Sonder hierdie getuienis sou Jesus se werk in vergetelheid verval het. 

Die Vuur Van Geloof

Dit is hierdie getuienisse wat die evangelie se vuur lewendig hou.  Getuienis bou ander se geloof, as die Here dit vir my kan doen, kan Hy dit ook vir jou doen! Ons moet kerk toe kom met ‘n getuienis, maar meer nog, ons moet elke geleentheid gebruik om ons vriende te nooi en te vertel van die wonderdade van die Here!! 

Die Kultuur Kwessie

Afrikaners is in wese volgens hulle opvoeding en kultuur godsdienstig.  Dis nie alles sleg nie, en mens is dankbaar vir die waardes waarmee ons ouers ons grootgemaak het. Waardes van harde werk, regverdigheid, en eerlikheid.  Verskuil in hierdie Calvinisitese wêreldbeskouing is die kwessie van nederigheid.  Mens bemark nie jouself, jou kerk, of jou politieke party nie!  Ons is krities op mekaar, en wys eerder foute uit as om iemand openlik direk te vereer.  Na mens se dood dan word sekere mense in oordaad verheerlik, amper vergoddelik.  Ons prys nie ons kinders nie, ook nie ons vrouens of mans nie.  Netnou kry hulle ’n grootkop! 

Gevolglik sal ons nooit van ons kerk praat nie.  Ons is te skaam om mense te nooi! Die kerk moet ook nie hulleself bemark nie, dit word gesien as self-promosie en ambisie!  

Soms is ons skaam om ons vriende te nooi, want ons is nie seker of hulle van die musiek, die mense, of die werking van die Gees sal hou nie! Tog is dit juis die bonatuurlike wat mense ‘n honger voor het. 

Volgens navorsing is daar onder andere 6 redes hoekom mense nie hulle vriende nooi nie: 

  1. Die lofprysing is nie goed genoeg nie. 
  2. Die pastoor is bekend om mense “op die spot” te sit, en moontlik te “offend”. 
  3. Die mense by die kerk maak my soms skaam, oor hulle getuienis in die gemeenskap.
  4. Die geboue en fasiliteite is nie netjies en aantreklik nie. 
  5. Die lede is net op hulleself en mekaar ingestel. 
  6. Daar gebeur nie iets opwindend en lewens veranderend nie. 

Die Getalle Kwessie

Die Handelinge Kerk het numeries dramatiese vinnig gegroei en dit is benadruk as ‘n getuienis en bewys van die Here se werking onder hulle: So is die gemeentes in die geloof versterk, en die getal gelowiges het by die dag groter geword (Hand. 16:5). 

Sien (Hand. 6:7; 9:31; 12:24; 16:5; 19:20)

Die voordele van ‘n groeiende kerk m.b.t. getalle is, dat getalle, getalle trek.  Daar is bloot meer hande wat kan help, om byvoorbeeld ‘n kinderkerk te begin. Hoe meer getalle hoe hoër die standaard.  Jy kan mense voltyds aanstel wat spesialiseer in ‘n gebied soos Jeugwerk, berading, en kinderbediening. Getalle ontsluit hulpbronne om meer te doen, en relevant te wees m.b.t. opleiding, hulp aan die armes ens.  

Die negatief van groot getalle is dat direkte een-tot-een dissipelskap afneem. Verantwoordbaarheid en intieme verhoudings kan verlore raak. Mens voel jy is net ‘n nommer.  Mens kan wegraak in die skare.  Geestelike diepte kan ook verlore raak, as die skare en nuwelinge nie dieselfde diepte het nie, en dit ook nie soek nie.  Die skare dikteer, en die kerk kan dan mensgerig raak om die getalle te probeer behou. Die fokus kan gevolglik ook meer op uiterlike aansien geplaas word om skares aan te hou aantrek. 

Die Kwessie van Die “Openlike” Teenoor “Bedekte” Benadering

Om ‘n getuie te wees is ‘n lewenstyl.  Ons beroep, ons besigheid , en ons huis moet resoneer met dit wat ons verkondig.  Hierdie is die bedekte (covert) benadering.  Ons wil nie opdringerig wees met ons geloof nie, ons wil ook nie dweep nie.  Daarom se ons dinge soos: “preek eerder deur jou lewe as deur jou mond”.  Iemand wat iets preek wat hy of sy nie leef nie, is ‘n leuenaar en ‘n bedrieër, ‘n valse getuie.  Maar hoe kan ‘n mens Hom aanroep as jy nie in Hom glo nie? En hoe kan jy in Hom glo as jy nie van Hom gehoor het nie? En hoe kan jy van Hom hoor sonder iemand wat preek? En hoe kan iemand preek as hy nie gestuur is nie? Daar staan ook geskrywe: “Hoe wonderlik klink die voetstappe van dié wat die goeie boodskap bring.” (Rom 10:14-16).

It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (1 Cor 1:21) 

Ons het in hierdie tyd nodig om weer meer vrymoedig te raak om mense openlik uit te daag oor hulle geloof.  

Die Kwessie van Vriende Nooi

Statistiek 

  • Church advertising 2% 
  • The preacher 6% 
  • Organized evangelism programs 6% 
  • Friends and relatives 86%[1]

Die waarheid egter van vriendskap getuies is dit moet eg wees. Om niemand se vriend te wees net om hulle in die kerk te kry, is om vriendskap te gebruik om iets te verkoop.  Vriendskappe is hoe ons dissipels maak.  

Die Kwessie van Tyd

Die grootste rede egter hoekom ons nie meer vandag lewendige getuies vir die Here is nie – ONS IS TE BESIG! Die lewe eis sy tol op ons tyd en aandag!  Ons is só besig net om te oorleef, ons het min tyd om iemand anders te probeer help, veral as hulle nie lyk asof hulle regtig ernstig of soekend is nie.  Mense se lewens is oorvol, oorweldig met soveel uitdagings, kinders se vol skoolprogramme, ekonomiese en sosiale verval – ons is VERLAM! 

Wanneer jy iemand nooi, het hulle altyd ‘n verskoning.  Dit is soos om aan die wêreld sushi te probeer verkoop wat dit nog nooit probeer het nie.  Dit is juis daarom dat ons ware getuies behoort te wees. Want ons is die “proof of the pudding” ons lewe is die bewys van die krag van die evangelie! 

Oproep Tot Aksie!! 

Die eenvoudige waarheid na al hierdie verskonings en kwessies is: Ons eerste roeping as kind van God is om Sy getuie te wees!! 

“Ek sê vir julle: Elkeen wat hom voor die mense openlik vir My uitspreek, vir hom sal die Seun van die mens Hom ook openlik uitspreek voor die engele van God. Maar hy wat My voor die mense verloën, sal voor die engele van God verloën word. (Lukas 12:8-9).

Maar julle sal krag ontvang wanneer die Heilige Gees oor julle kom, en julle sal my getuies wees in Jerusalem sowel as in die hele Judea en in Samaria en tot in die uithoeke van die wêreld.” (Hand. 1:8)

In julle harte moet daar net heilige eerbied wees vir Christus die Here. Wees altyd gereed om ‘n antwoord te gee aan elkeen wat van julle ‘n verduideliking eis oor die hoop wat in julle lewe. (1 Petrus 3:15).

Tog bly julle aan my Naam getrou en julle het nie julle geloof in My afgesweer nie, selfs nie in die tyd toe Antipas, my getroue getuie, doodgemaak is daar by julle waar die Satan bly nie. (Open. 2:13)

En hulle het hom oorwin deur die bloed van die Lam en deur die woord van hulle getuienis, en hulle het tot die dood toe hulle lewe nie liefgehad nie. (Open. 12:11) 

Die uiteindelike grootste voordeel vir hoekom ons Sy getuies moet wees, is die skeppende krag van ons woorde. Ons skep ons eie toekoms deur aan te hou te getuig van die goeie werke wat God elke dag om ons doen.  Sien die hand van die Here! Rig die lig en aandag van mense op die bewegings van die Here! Keep Him in the SPOTLIGHT! 

Ons stories is vir die Here belangrik!! 

Skryf vandag in en word Jesus se joernalis! Elkeen kan deur tegnologie, woorde, photos, videos oorvertel wat God besig is om in ons midde te doen!! As ons nie mense in ‘n rigting stuur nie, sal hulle nie weet waar om te gaan nie.  

Harvester kan jou nie red nie, maar Harvester is ‘n plek en ‘n toegangsdeur na die Here toe!! Ons aanbid mos nie die aanwysingsbord nie, maar sonder die bord sal mense nie by hulle bestemming uitkom nie!  Daarom sê ons vir mense: “Gaan soontoe, daar sal vir jou verder gesê word waarheen om te gaan!”  


[1] [Adapted from “Evangelism: The Why and How” by Elmer L. Towns, in Church Growth State of the Art, C. Peter Wagner, ed. (Wheaton: Tyndale, 1988), p. 53. ]