His children - 27 Maart 2015

Stephan Hoffman

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1

Read the entire chapter, 1 John 3:1-24

Children of God. Do you realise what these words mean? You are God's child. Maybe we can try to understand the love that God has for us if we consider our relationship with our own children? Have you held your baby in your arms and known that you would sacrifice everything to protect and care for that child and to give him or her the best you possibly can? This is how God thinks and feels about you!

Lovelessness and sin are no longer part of you. You now have a Heavenly Father who loves you through Jesus Christ and leads and comforts you through the Holy Spirit. You cannot continue to sin, because sin is built on selfishness and someone who has received as much love as you have, cannot continue to live selfishly. No, you and I should share the love with which God has embraced us with the world!

Of course it will not always be easy, and of course, the world does not always appreciate the love and sacrifices that you make. It was humanity, after all, who treated Jesus, who showed nothing but love, with hate and envy and killed him. Fortunately, he conquered death so that we might have new life. Yes, we have received a different type of life, an eternal life which makes us prepared to sacrifice everything of earthly existence for each other.

Love is not just an empty concept, love is done, talked, lived. Real love does not come from us, but God's Spirit enables us to love others even though they do not earn it and without expecting anything in return.

Let us ask the Lord to once again pour out his love into our hearts so that we can live as his children. Let's live in a way that people will know we have new life. We can fearlessly live with the knowledge that we can go to God in confidence through Jesus Christ our Saviour!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that you have adopted me as your own child through Jesus Christ. Thank you Lord, that I belong to you and that you love me endlessly even though I do not deserve it. Help me to live as a new person so that I would be prepared to sacrifice my life for others. Amen

What we say and what we do - 26 March 2015

Stephan Hoffman

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:1-2

Read the whole chapter, 1 John 2:1-29

The intimate bond between John and the first readers of the letter is clear from the way he addresses them as his children. John warns them in a friendly way not to sin, but also comforts them with the knowledge that Jesus Christ acts as our advocate if we stumble. Just as sacrifice provided atonement in the Old Testament, so Jesus perfectly reconciled us to the Father.

John emphasises once again that true faith cannot exist without obedience. What we do must be in line with what we say. If we say that we know God's grace through Jesus, we must also react with thankfulness by trying to live life with the same love that God has shown us.

How can we show our gratitude to God? By loving our brothers and sisters, each other and other people!

John uses the metaphor of light and darkness to emphasise something of the miracle that God saved us and helps us to look differently at life. We see more than the earthly world with its brokenness, suffering and affliction, we see the eternal life because we know the source of light and life and because our relationship with the eternal God was restored in Jesus Christ.

You can only discover this truth if God has revealed it to you. Jesus Christ came to show us something of God's love for us. We no longer live in the dark, we are not blind to the goodness of God. We are born again and we remain in Christ. You and I can see life with eyes of faith and testify to God's presence, love and care.

Today, do you not want to keep a lookout for someone who might still be blindly groping for hope, light, life and love? Go tell that person about the grace we have received and prove it by showing them the kind love that was shown to you!

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you have not left me to myself. Thank you that I can experience something of your love and light in my own life and in my own heart by the power of your Holy Spirit. Please help me to show your love to others with gratitude. Amen

Sy kinders - 27 Maart 2015

Stephan Hoffman

 

Kyk watter groot liefde die Vader aan ons bewys het: Hy noem ons kinders van God, en ons is dit ook. En die wêreld ken ons nie, omdat dit Hom nie ken nie.1 Johannes 3:1

Lees gerus die hele hoofstuk, 1 Johannes 3:1-24

Kinders van God. Besef jy wat hierdie woorde beteken? Dat jy God se kind is. Dalk kan ons iets van die liefde wat God vir ons het verstaan as ons aan ons verhouding met ons eie kinders dink? Het jy al daardie babatjie in jou arms gehou en gevoel dat jy alles sal opoffer om daardie kind te beskerm en te versorg en net die beste vir hom of haar te gee? Dit is hoe God oor jou dink en voel!

Liefdeloosheid en sonde pas nie meer by jou nie. Jy het nou ‘n Hemelse Vader wat jou liefhet deur Jesus Christus en jou lei en vertroos deur die Heilige Gees. Jy kan nie aanhou om sonde te doen nie, want sonde is gebou op selfsug en iemand wat soveel liefde soos jy ontvang het, kan nie meer aanhou om selfsugtig te lewe nie. Nee, ek en jy behoort die liefde waarmee God ons omarm en versorg uit te deel in die wêreld!

Natuurlik gaan dit nie altyd maklik wees nie en natuurlik gaan die wêreld nie altyd die liefde en opoffering wat jy maak waardeer nie. Die mensdom het immers vir Jesus wat net liefde betoon het, met haat en nyd behandel en Hom selfs doodgemaak. Gelukkig het Hy die dood oorwin sodat ons ook nou ‘n nuwe lewe kan hê. Ja, ons het ‘n ander tipe lewe ontvang, ‘n ewige lewe wat ons selfs bereid maak om alles in hierdie aardse bestaan op te offer vir mekaar.

Liefde is nie net ‘n leë begrip nie, liefde word gedoen, gepraat, gelewe. Ware liefde spruit nie uit ons self nie, maar God se Gees stel ons in staat om ander mense lief te hê sonder dat hulle dit verdien of ons iets terug ontvang.

Kom ons vra die Here om weer opnuut sy liefde in ons harte uit te stort, sodat ons as sy kinders kan lewe. Kom ons gaan leef so dat mense iets van die nuwe lewe in ons kan raaksien. Ons kan vreesloos lewe met hierdie wete dat ons met vrymoedigheid na God toe kan gaan deur Jesus Christus ons verlosser!

Gebed: Abba, Vader, dankie dat U my aangeneem het as u eie kindjie deur Jesus Christus. Dankie Heer dat ek aan U behoort en dat U my oneindig liefhet sonder dat ek dit verdien. Help my om as ‘n nuwe mens te lewe sodat ek ook bereid sal wees om my lewe op te offer vir ander.  Amen

Dit wat ons sê en dit wat ons doen - 26 Maart 2015

Stephan Hoffman

Dit skrywe ek aan julle, my liewe kinders, dat julle nie moet sondig nie. En as een van ons sondig – ons het Jesus Christus, die regverdige, as ons voorspraak by die Vader. Hy is die versoening vir ons sondes; en nie net vir óns sondes nie, maar ook vir dié van die hele wêreld.1 Johannes 2:1-2

Lees gerus die hele hoofstuk, 1 Johannes 2:1-29

Die intieme band tussen Johannes en die eerste lesers van die brief is duidelik uit die manier waarop hy hulle aanspreek as sy kinders, letterlik klein kindertjies of kleintjies. Johannes waarsku hulle op ‘n vriendelike manier om nie te sondig nie, maar troos ook dat Jesus Christus as ons advokaat of voorspraak optree indien ons sou struikel. Net soos die offer in die Ou Testament versoening bewerk het, so het Jesus volkome versoening met die Vader bewerk.

Johannes beklemtoon weereens dat die ware geloof nie sonder gehoorsaamheid kan bestaan nie. Dit wat ons sê en dit wat ons doen moet ooreenstem. As ons sê dat ons God se genade deur Jesus ken, moet ons ook dankbaar reageer, deur met dieselfde liefde te probeer lewe as wat God aan ons bewys het.

Hoe kan ons, ons dankbaarheid teenoor God betoon? Deur ons broers en susters, mekaar en ander mense lief te hê!

Johannes gebruik die metafoor van lig en donker om iets van die wonder te beklemtoon dat God ons gered het en ons help om anders na die lewe te kyk. Ons sien meer as die aardse wêreld met jy gebrokenheid, lyding en beproewing, ons sien die ewige lewe want ons ken die bron van lig en lewe en ons verhouding met die ewige God is herstel deur Jesus Christus.

Hierdie waarheid kan jy net ontdek as God dit aan jou geopenbaar het. Jesus Christus het iets van God se liefde vir ons kom wys. Ons leef nie meer in die duister nie, ons is nie meer blind vir die goedheid van God nie. Ons is nuut gebore en ons bly in Christus. Ek en jy kan met oë van geloof na die lewe kyk en getuig van God se teenwoordigheid, liefde en versorging.

Wil jy nie vandag kyk of jy iemand sien wat dalk nog blind rondtas na hoop, lig, liefde en lewe nie? Gaan vertel daardie persoon van die genade wat ons ontvang het en gaan bewys (doen) liefde aan hom of haar soos wat aan jou bewys is!

Gebed: Here, baie dankie dat U my nie oorgelaat het aan myself nie. Dankie dat ek iets van u liefde en lig kan beleef in my eie lewe en in my eie hart deur die werking van u Heilige Gees. Help my asseblief om ook met dankbaarheid u liefde ook aan ander te bewys.  Amen

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