Hope for Eternal Glory - 30 January 2015

Neville Turley

 

I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him.”  Psalm 62:5 (GNT)

If, says Paul, our hope in Christ is in vain, we are more to be pitied than anyone else in this world.  Paul was speaking to the Corinthians about the resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15)  Some of the Corinthians were saying that the dead would not be raised to life.

If this was true, Christians are indeed in a sad state.  Committing one’s life to Christ is taking a decision to lead a life that will glorify God.  If there is nothing after death, no home to go to, no God to welcome one, then the Christian is indeed in a pitiable state.  But such is not the case.

In Old Testament times until the fall of the temple in Jerusalem, the High Priest would carry out a special ritual during Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. 

He would take two goats and present them at the door of the tabernacle.  By lot, one would be chosen as the Lord’s goat and sacrificed.  Its blood would be sprinkled on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.

The other goat would be the “Azazel” - the scapegoat - on who the High Priest, after confessing the sins of the Israelites to God, would figuratively place the sins on its head.  This goat would then be driven into the wilderness to perish.

The blood of the Lord’s goat atoned for the sins of the Israelites and the “Azazel” goat took the sins away.

Jesus Christ, our High Priest, is the Lamb of God who through his sacrificial death on the cross atoned with his blood for our sins and put us right with God.

Paul did not leave the Corinthians in any doubt about the resurrection; “But the truth is that Christ has been raised from death, as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised.” 1 Corinthians 15:20

That guarantee is valid for all who die in Christ.  We will pass from death to glory.  Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Prayer: Oh God of our salvation, strengthen us by your Holy Spirit that we may glorify you.  This we pray in Jesus name.Amen

Hope when you stressed - 29 January 2015

Neville Turley

“Get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort.”  Ephesians 4:31(GNT)

Nothing makes our stress levels soar higher, than the realisation that we are being disrespected and put down. 

People react differently under such pressure. Some strike back venomously like an angry snake, often to their disadvantage. Others fearful of possible consequences allow themselves to be downtrodden. Whatever their initial reaction may be, victims of such abuse, can carry the scars and emotional trauma of their experience throughout their life. 

In the novel, “A Study in Scarlet” by Arthur Conan Doyle, he has Sherlock Holmes saying:  “I consider that a man’s brain originally, is like an attic.  You have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.” Medical opinion would disagree, but the analogy is quite apt.

What we think influences our actions.  So we need to constantly examine our own conduct and empty our mind of all the negative influences that hinder us as Christians. 

We need to listen to what Paul says in his letter to the Colossians:  “You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3: 12-14

John records a stressful time in Jesus life. He is facing death. Judas is about to betray him.  The humiliation and suffering on the cross lies ahead. What does Jesus say to his disciples?  “Do not be worried and upset,” Jesus told them. “Believe in God and believe also in me”John 14:1

Only when Christ’s message in all its fullness lives in our hearts and mind, will our stress levels subside and we will have the peace and contentment that all people crave. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the love and hope we have in you.  Grant us the opportunity to come nearer to you and closer to each other. In Jesus name.Amen

Op Hom vestig ek my hoop vir ewig - 30 Januarie 2015

Neville Turley

Net by God vind ek rus, want op Hom vertrou ek. Psalm 62:6

"As," se Paulus "ons net vir hierdie lewe ons hoop op Christus vestig, is ons die bejammerenswaardigste van alle mense." Paulus praat hier met die Korintiërs oor die opstanding. (1 Korintiërs 15) Sommige van hulle het beweer dat die dooies nie uit die dood opgewek sou word nie.

Indien dit waar is, word ons as Christene werklik mislei. Wanneer jy jou lewe aan Christus oorgee, neem jy 'n besluit om 'n lewe tot eer van God te ly. Indien daar niks na die dood is nie, geen huis om na toe te gaan nie, geen God wat ons verwelkom nie, dan is Christene werklik verlore en bejammerenswaardig. Maar dit is nie die geval nie.

In die tyd van die Ou Testament tot en met die vernietiging van die tempel in Jerusalem, het die hoëpriester tydens Jom Kippoer, die Groot Versoendag, 'n spesiale ritueel uitgevoer.  Ons lees daarvan in Levitikus 16.

Hy het twee bokke geneem na die plek van die verbondsark. Deur 'n lot te werp is die een bok gekies om as offerhande vir die Here te offer. Die bloed van hierdie bok is dan op die verbondsark agter die voorhangsel gesprinkel.

Die ander bok– die sondebok – is vir Asasel.  Nadat die hoëpriester die sondes van Israel voor God bely het, plaas hy die sondes figuurlik op die kop van hierdie bok. Die bok word dan die wildernis ingejaag om daar om te kom.

Die bloed van die bok wat vir die Here geoffer is, bring versoening vir die sondes van die Israeliete en die bok vir Asasel neem die sondes weg.

Jesus Christus, ons Hoëpriester, die Lam van God, het deur sy dood aan die kruis en deur sy bloed vir ons sondes betaal en ons met God versoen.

Paulus laat geen twyfel oor die opstanding by die Korintiërs nie. "Maar nou, Christus is opgewek uit die dood, as eersteling uit dié wat gesterf het. Net soos almal deur hulle verbondenheid met Adam sterf, so sal almal in Christus lewend gemaak word." 1 Korintiërs 15:20,22

Die waarborg is geldig vir almal wat in Christus sterf. Deur die dood sal ons die heerlikheid betree.  Halleluja! Wat 'n wonderlike Verlosser!

Gebed: Hemelse Vader, dankie dat u Seun ons verlos het. Gee aan ons, deur u Heilige Gees, die krag om U te verheerlik. Dit bid ons in die Naam van Jesus Christus.  Amen

Hoop, selfs wanneer jy stres - 29 Januarie 2015

Neville Turley

Moet nooit verbitter of opvlieënd wees of woedend word nie; moenie vloek of skel nie; moet niks doen wat sleg is nie.  Efesiers 4:31

Niks jaag 'n mens se stresvlakke hoër as wanneer jy besef jy word nie met respek behandel nie en 'n persoon of persone probeer voortdurend om jou te verkleineer.

Mense reageer egter verskillend in so 'n geval. Sommige reageer onmiddellik woedend, dikwels tot hulle eie nadeel. Ander weer, omdat hulle bang is vir die gevolge, laat toe dat daar op hulle getrap word. Wat ook al die aanvanklike reaksie, slagoffers van sulke emosionele trauma kan vir die res van hulle lewens daardeur benadeel word.

In die speurverhaal, “A Study in Scarlet” deur Arthur Conan Doyle, sê Sherlock Holmes: “I consider that a man’s brain originally, is like an attic. You have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.” Die mediese wetenskap mag hiervan verskil, maar ek dink die vergelyking is nogal goed.

Wat ons dink beïnvloed ons aksies. Dit is dus noodsaaklik dat ons gereeld ons eie gedrag ondersoek en ontslae raak van alle negatiewe gedagtes wat ons as Christene kan verhinder om reg op te tree.

Luister wat sê Paulus in sy brief aan die Kolossense: "Julle is die uitverkore volk van God wat Hy baie lief het. Daarom moet julle meelewend, goedgesind, nederig, sagmoedig en verdraagsaam wees. Wees geduldig met mekaar en vergewe mekaar as die een iets teen die ander het. Soos die Here julle vergewe het, moet julle mekaar ook vergewe. Bo dit alles moet julle mekaar liefhê. Dit is die band wat julle tot volmaakte eenheid saambind." Kolossense 3:12-14

Johannes skryf oor 'n baie stresvolle tyd in Jesus se lewe.  Hy staar die dood in die gesig. Judas is op die punt om Hom te verraai. Die vernedering en die lyding aan die kruis wag op Hom. Wat sê Jesus vir sy dissipels? "Julle moet nie ontsteld wees nie. Glo in God; glo ook in My." Johannes 14:1

Dit is net wanneer die volle boodskap van Christus in ons harte en gedagtes leef, dat die stres sal verdwyn en ons ware vrede sal ken.

Gebed: Hemelse Vader, dankie vir u liefde en vir die hoop in U. Gee dat ons elke dag nader aan U en ook an mekaar sal kom. In Jesus se Naam. Amen

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