The great promise to humankind - 4 May 2016

Neville Turley

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”  Genesis 12:2 (NIV)

God’s call contained the greatest of promises, Abram, you, me and all humankind would be blessed through him.

O to have the faith of Abram and accept God’s will for our life. Abram at the age of 75 was willing to leave his comfort zone, his country and his people to venture out into the unknown, in obedience to God’s call. When we respond to God’s call he rewards us beyond our deserving, however that reward may not be immediate. God has his own timetable. Abram was 99 before God confirmed his covenant and renamed him Abraham. (Genesis 12:5-7)

It would take God’s people many more generations to understand the implications of God’s promise to Abraham on their own lives. Matthew in his gospel confirmed the great news, Jesus was the long awaited, promised Messiah.

He did this by painstakingly setting out the genealogy of Jesus in the opening chapter.  Stating in the very first verse – “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

Paul made it very clear that God’s promise to Abraham applied to both Jews and Gentiles.  “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29)

Abraham’s life is a mirror of what our lives must be.  Through the Holy Spirit we too have received a call from God. – “Believe in the Lord Jesus”- and a promise – “and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31)

In response to that call we have to put God first in our life.  May God grant us the grace to do so.

Prayer: Sovereign Father, thank you that even before we were conceived you promised to call us out of this world of darkness into your kingdom of light through our Lord Jesus Christ.  May we faithfully serve you to our life’s end.  Amen

Precious promises from God - 3 May 2016

Neville Turley

… he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.  2 Peter 1:4 (NIV)

In 1681 Heraclitus Ridens, a poet and essayist wrote, “He makes no more of Acts of Parliament, than if they were like promises and pie crusts, made to be broken.” History is obscure about whom he was writing but his words are as relevant today as they were in his time.  His meaning is clear, promises should not be trusted.

It is a lesson we quickly learn in the University of Life. A promise is an assurance that one will do something or that something will take place and even promises that are sincerely made are not always honoured.

The Bible is packed with promises from God – promises to nations, to kings, to prophets, to leaders, to priests, to you and to me.  So many in fact that it is impossible to count the precise number.  Estimates vary from 3 600 upwards. Some of these promises have already been fulfilled, others are yet to be. One thing however, we can be absolutely certain, every promise that God has made will be met, for God can neither lie nor be false. We can stand on the promises of God.

In our verse for today, Peter stresses that we can escape the corrupt ways of the world with all its broken promises. For every Christian who responds to Jesus Christ and accepts him as Lord and Saviour has access to the power and promises of God. Through him we are promised that we have, at our disposal all the resources necessary to share in his goodness and glory and lead lives pleasing to Almighty God.

That is God’s precious promise to you and to me, and to all who believe.

Prayer: Almighty God, lead us through your Holy Spirit to live godly lives that are a guide and inspiration to those around us. Grant that through our lifestyle others may be drawn to honour you. This we ask in Jesus name.  Amen

Die groot belofte aan die mensdom - 4 Mei 2016

Neville Turley

Ek sal jou 'n groot nasie maak, Ek sal jou seën en jou 'n man van groot betekenis maak, en jy moet tot 'n seën wees.  Genesis 12:2

God se roeping bevat die grootste belofte, Abram, jy, ek en alle mense sal deur Hom geseën word.

O, om die geloof van 'n Abram te hê en God se wil vir ons lewens te aanvaar. Abram op die ouderdom van 75 was gewillig om uit sy gemaksone te tree, sy land en sy mense te verlaat en in gehoorsaamheid aan God se roeping die onbekende te betree. Wanneer ons op God se roeping antwoord, beloon Hy ons bo ons verdienste, alhoewel daardie beloning miskien nie onmiddellik sal plaasvind nie. God het sy eie tydtafel. Abram was 99 voordat God sy verbond met hom bevestig het en hom Abraham genoem het. (Genesis 17:5-7)

Dit het God se volk baie geslagte geneem om die implikasie van sy belofte aan Abraham vir hulle eie lewens te verstaan. Matteus, bevestig die goeie nuus in sy Evangelie. Jesus was die langverwagte, beloofde Messias.

Matteus doen dit deur 'n deeglike uiteensetting in die eerste hoofstuk van Jesus se geslagsregister. In die heel eerste vers lees ons: "Die geslagsregister van Jesus Christus, die Seun van Dawid, die seun van Abraham."

Paulus maak dit baie duidelik dat God se belofte aan Abraham vir beide Jode en nie-Jode geld. "En as julle aan Christus behoort, is julle ook nakomelinge van Abraham en erfgename kragtens die belofte van God." (Galasiërs 3:29)

Abraham se lewe is 'n spieëlbeeld van wat ons lewens behoort te wees. Deur die Heilige Gees is ons ook deur God geroep ‑ “Glo in die Here Jesus,"‑ en dan die belofte – "en jy sal gered word …" (Handelinge 16:31)

In antwoord op daardie roeping, moet ons God eerste stel in ons lewens. Mag die Here ons help om dit te kan doen.

Gebed: Almagtige Vader, dankie dat selfs voordat ek in die skoot van my moeder gevorm is, het U reeds beloof om deur ons Here Jesus Christus my uit die duisternis na u koninkryk van lig te roep. Help my om U tot die einde te dien. Amen

Waardevolle beloftes van God - 3 Mei 2016

Neville Turley

Deur dit te doen, het Hy ons die kosbaarste en allergrootste gawes geskenk wat Hy belowe het. Daardeur kan julle die verderf ontvlug wat deur begeerlikheid in die wêreld werksaam is, en deel kry aan die Goddelike natuur.  2 Petrus 1:4

In 1681 skryf Heraclitus Ridens, 'n digter en essayis: “He makes no more of Acts of Parliament, than if they were like promises and pie crusts, made to be broken.” Uit die geskiedenis weet ons nie oor wie hy geskryf het nie, maar sy woorde is wel vandag steeds relevant. Die betekenis is duidelik, ons moet nie op beloftes vertrou nie.

Dit is 'n les wat 'n mens ongelukkig baie gou in die universiteit van die lewe leer. 'n Belofte is wel 'n versekering dat iets gedoen sal word of sal plaasvind, maar selfs beloftes wat in alle opregtheid gemaak word, word nie altyd gehou nie.

Die Bybel is vol beloftes van God – beloftes aan nasies, konings, profete, leiers, priesters aan jou en aan my. So baie beloftes dat dit eintlik onmoontlik is om te tel. Bronne verskil maar daar is na raming 3 600 plus beloftes in die Bybel. Sommige van hierdie beloftes is reeds vervul terwyl ander nog moet gebeur. Een ding is egter seker, elke belofte wat God gemaak het, sal nagekom word, want God vertel nie leuens nie en Hy is nie vals nie. Ons kan die beloftes van God vertrou.

In ons teksvers beklemtoon Petrus dat ons van die korrupte wêreld en al die beloftes wat verbreek word, kan ontvlug. Elke Christen wat Jesus Christus as Saligmaker aanvaar, het toegang tot die krag en beloftes van God. Ons word belowe dat in Jesus beskik ons oor alle hulpmiddels wat ons nodig het om in sy goedheid en heerlikheid te kan deel en om tot eer en verheerliking van God te kan leef.

Dit is God se kosbare belofte aan jou en my en aan elkeen wat glo.

Gebed: Almagtige God, help ons om deur u Heilige Gees so te leef dat ons mense met wie ons in aanraking kom, sal lei en inspireer. Gee dat ons leefstyl ander mense nader na U sal trek en hulle sal bemoedig om U te eer. Ons bid dit in Jesus se Naam. Amen

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