Your heart - 22 August 2017

Danny Fourie

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

The centre of a human being is the heart. It is the seat of his or her will, mind and emotions. One’s heart rules one’s life. Many expressions come from this statement. Think of: to do something with your whole heart; to feel heartily welcome; to have a heart for someone or something; to take something to heart; to win someone’s heart and to pray for a new heart. In all these expressions the heart is the core of the person. The expression in our eyes normally reveals what is living in our heart.

God wants to change our hearts because from the heart the whole life is renewed. Once, in paradise our hearts belonged to God. But then we took it back and we turned our hearts from God. This is our heart’s disease. Our hearts are no longer directed to God, it is on our money, name, and honour. We rather fill our hearts with jealousy, indifference, and dissatisfaction.

God wants to renew our hearts. It is a wonder that He still wants to do it. One would expect that God would want nothing more to do with us. Let us say to the Lord: “If you still want my heart, take it. Take my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh, in order that my heart can be become your home.”

God gave his own heart. He did that when He sent his Son to earth. What an unfathomable love for sinners? Let his gift urge us to give our hearts to him as an act of love in return.

When a man gives part of his heart to his wife it is not true love. It is barely love. It will barely be love if we give part of our heart to God. He wants the whole heart, the core and control centre of our life.

Prayer: Lord, you give us so many things. What can we give you in return? Money? A song of praise? We know what the best thing that we can give you is – our whole heart. Take it. Amen.

Our time… filled with unrest - 21 August 2017

Danny Fourie

Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil. Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.  Proverbs 15:16-17

When one looks around, it surprises one how many families there are who have great wealth as Solomon describes it. They do not know poverty. They have everything to eat and drink, clothes, comfort, relaxation and many more other treasures in abundance. Young people can choose what they want to study. Such families have it good – recession or not – especially if you compare it to how it was before.

If you have to ask whether such families truly experience prosperity, then you have to say that Solomon typifies our time well. Many families do have great treasure but there is unrest in their midst. Unrest is one of the characteristics of our time. People seem to find it difficult to come to rest, they feel threatened and cannot rest.

You could easily blame the unrest on the fall of man and explain it that way. Then we say that since the fall of man, we have lost our true rest with thorns and thistles growing in our way. We have to earn our bread in the ‘sweat of our brow’. It is true, we all experience the results of the fall of the man.

But even so, we cannot merely do away with this unrest. In many families the unrest has grown – there is talk of an epidemic.

The idea was that the prosperity had to take away the unrest, but it only served to increase it. How many live as if everything depends on their achievements? How many live with the chronic anxiety that they may lose their possessions?

How does it happen that so many people have this feeling of unrest? It happens because the fear of the Lord is missing in their lives. The powers of unbelief separate many people from God. Without God life is some kind of slavery. This is the need of many people in our time. St Augustine said that our heart stays restless until it finds rest in God.

Prayer: Lord, we are in need of rest. Yet we allow ourselves to be driven by anxiety. Help us to trust in you and live on your grace and to give up our own efforts. Amen.

'n Mens se hart - 22 Augustus 2017

Danny Fourie

Wees veral versigtig met wat in jou hart omgaan, want dit bepaal jou hele lewe.  Spreuke 4: 23

Die hart van 'n mens is die sentrum van daardie persoon. Dit is die setel van sy of haar wil, denke en gevoel 'n Mens se lewe word vanuit jou hart regeer. Baie uitdrukkings word met hierdie betekenis bedoel. Dink maar aan: iets van harte doen; om hartlik met iets saam te gaan; 'n hart te hê vir iets; iets ter harte neem; iemand se hart te verower en bid vir 'n nuwe hart. In al hierdie uitdrukkings is die hart die kern van die persoon. Die uitdrukking in ons oë verraai gewoonlik wat daar in ons hart leef.

Die Here wil ons hart verander, want daaruit word die hele lewe vernuwe. Eens in die paradys het ons hart aan God behoort. Maar toe het ons dit teruggeneem en ons hart van God afgekeer. Dit is ons hartkwaal. Ons hart is nie meer op God gerig nie, ons hart is in ons geld, ons naam, ons eer. Ons vul eerder ons hart met jaloesie, onverskilligheid en ontevredenheid.

God wil ons hart vernuwe. Dit is 'n wonder dat Hy dit nog wil doen. 'n Mens sou verwag dat God niks meer met ons te doen wil hê nie. Laat ons dan vir die Here sê: As U nog my hart wil hê, neem dit. Neem my klip hart en gee my 'n hart van vlees, sodat my hart u woning kan wees.

God het sy eie hart gegee. Hy het sy hart vir my en jou gegee toe Hy sy Seun aarde toe gestuur het. Wat 'n onpeilbare liefde vir sondige mense? Laat sy geskenk ons daartoe aanspoor om uit wederliefde ons hart vir Hom te gee.

As 'n man sy halwe hart aan sy vrou gee, is dit nie opregte liefde nie. Dit is kwalik liefde. So is dit ook kwalik liefde as ons 'n gedeelte van ons hart vir God gee. Hy wil ons hele hart hê, die sentrum van ons lewe.

Gebed: Here, U gee so baie vir ons. Wat kan ons dan vir U gee? Geld? 'n Danklied? Ons weet wat die beste is wat ons U kan gee – ons hele hart. Neem dit. Amen.

Ons tyd … tyd van onrus - 21 Augustus 2017

Danny Fourie

Liewer min hê en die Here dien as groot rykdom en bekommernis daaroor. Liewer net ’n bietjie groente en liefde daarby as ’n vetgemaakte os en haat daarby. Spreuke 15:16-17

Wanneer 'n mens om jou kyk, val dit jou op hoeveel gesinne daar is wat 'n groot skat het. Soos wat Salomo dit beskryf. Hulle ken geen armoede nie. Hulle het volop te eet en te drink, klere, gerief, ontspanning, vrye tyd en baie ander skatte. Jongmense kan kies wat hulle wil studeer. Sulke gesinne het dit goed – resessie of nie – veral as 'n mens dink hoe dit voorheen gegaan het.

As jy nou vra of sulke gesinne werklik welvaart beleef, dan moet 'n mens sê dat Salomo ons tyd goed getipeer het. Talle gesinne besit wel 'n groot skat, maar daar is onrus daar by. Onrus is een van die kenmerke van ons tyd. Mense kom nie tot rus nie, hulle voel bedreig en kan nêrens rus vind nie.

'n Mens kan nou die onrus maklik verklaar deur op die sondeval te wys. Dan sê ons dat sedert die sondeval het ons die ware rus verloor en groei daar dorings en distels op ons lewenspad. Moet die mens in die “sweet van sy aangesig” sy brood verdien. Dit is waar. Ons kom almal in aanraking met die gevolge van die sondeval.

Daarmee kan ons egter nie met hierdie onrus wegdoen nie. In baie gesinne het die onrus so groot geword dat daar sprake van 'n epidemie is.

Die gedagte is dat die welvaart die onrus moes wegneem, maar dit het alleen maar die onrus aangehelp. Hoeveel leef nie asof alles van hul eie prestasie afhang nie? Hoeveel leef nie met die chroniese angs om hulle besittings te verloor nie?

Hoe gebeur dit dat baie mense so 'n onrus beleef? Dit gebeur omdat die vrees van die Here in hul lewe ontbreek. Die magte van ongeloof trek baie mense weg van God. Sonder God is die lewe 'n stuk slawerny. Dit is die nood van baie mense in ons tyd. Augustinus het gesê ons hart bly onrustig totdat dit by God rus vind.

Gebed: Here, ons grootste behoefte is na rus. Tog laat ons toe dat ons gedryf word deur 'n angs om onsself en alles om ons te verloor. Help ons om op U te vertrou en uit u genade te leef en af te sien van ons eie pogings. Amen.

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