Get a make-over this Christmas - 12 December 2018

Hennie Symington

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. John. 12:24 (KJV)

For many of us our natural mode of existence is to be stuck in a rut. We do not like change, we don’t want to change and what’s more, we don’t see why we should change. We believe that a leopard can’t change its spots and neither can you teach an old dog new tricks.

Well, I wonder what God would make of these words. Believing that’s the way it is and that a rough diamond cannot be cut, utterly denies the power of faith to bring radical change in your life.

From a Christian point of view, it’s not about who you are or what you are – it’s about whom or what you can become. So sure was God that a change of heart is possible, that He moved heaven and earth to offer us the possibility to change. He allowed heaven to touch the earth for one brief moment when He sent his Son to be born in a stable from an earthly mother so that our true humanity could be restored.

Christmas rings in the changes. Christmas is the season for change. If you are known for upsetting everyone with your impatient behaviour, now is the time to learn tolerance. If your quick temper knows no bounds, now’s the time for a gentler touch. If you have no time for the poor, now is the time to reach out to them under a new dispensation where even the least among us is important. Now’s the time to lay down your pride at the Saviour's crib. You can be reborn. You can be what God intended you to be: a brilliant diamond cut by the Master cutter, reflecting your best qualities.

This Christmas, may the Child you get excited about the possibility of slipping out of your grumpy groove and making Christmas day the day of the new “me”.

Prayer:  Lord, sometimes I'm so proud of who I am, warts and all. Please open my heart to the possibility of change for heaven’s sake. Remind me of your Son who came from heaven to earth to give us heaven on earth. Amen

God's time is not our time - 11 December 2018

Hennie Symington

"You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." John 14:14

Modern man with his passion for quick-fixes and speed does not like waiting. Our motto is: The sooner the better. We want things done now. We even get impatient with computers sending message at lightning speed for not doing it fast enough. Fast food is our daily bread and heaven help you if you keep someone waiting at the traffic light.

When we want something, we want it now. So when God sometimes says "not yet" it sounds to our ears like "never". In our minds God’s promises will only come to pass at the end of time. For us that means “never” while we forget about the many promises of God that have already been fulfilled in our time.

Promises that have already come to pass: Many thousands of years ago, when King Solomon dedicated the temple he had built to God he boldly declared:" there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant." (1 Kings 8:56)

In our own lives here and now the following promises are fulfilled daily:

God forgives our sins. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

God's nature and character remain steadfast. "For I am the LORD, I change not" (Malachi.3:9a)

God will never forsake us. "… and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:20 (KJV))

God sends his Holy Spirit to dwell within us. "The Spirit is the guarantee that we shall receive what God has promised his people, and this assures us that God will give complete freedom to those who are his." (Ephesians 1:14)

We are God’s family. "Because of his love God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his sons and daughters." (Ephesians 1:5)

He answers our prayers and takes care of our needs. "If God clothes the grass of the field, which today and tomorrow is burned, so decorated, how shall He not for you, O ye of little faith?" (Matthew 6: 30)

He assures us of salvation. "…and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." John. 10:28

However, the greatest promise that God has fulfilled in living memory is that He sent his Son to reconcile mankind with God. "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son,    And they shall call his name Emmanuel… (Matthew 1:23)

Enjoy Christmas with and attitude of gratitude and for all God’s promises which have been fulfilled in our lives.

Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me when I’m quick to point out promises that have not yet come to pass, but slow to acknowledge the many promises that are fulfilled in my life every day. Amen

 

 

Wees bereid om hierdie Kersfees ‘n bietjie te sterf aan jouself - 12 Desember 2018

Hennie Symington

Dít verseker Ek julle, As ‘n koringkorrel nie in die grond val en sterwe nie, bly hy net een; maar as hy sterwe, bring hy ‘n groot oes in. Johannes 12:24

Vir die meeste van ons is om in ‘n groef te wees, ons natuurlike bestaanswyse. Ons hou nie van verandering nie, en wat meer is, ons kan nie insien waarom ons hoef te verander nie. Ons glo dat 'n luiperd nie van kolle verander nie, en dat ‘n mens nie ‘n ou hond iets nuuts kan leer nie.

Nou wonder ‘n mens net wat God dink van hierdie soort denkwyse. Deur te glo dat ‘n mens “so gemaak en so gelaatstaan is” ontken geheel en al die moontlikheid dat geloof ‘n radikale verandering in jou lewe te weeg kan bring. Vanuit 'n Christelike oogpunt, gaan dit nie oor wie of wat jy is nie, maar oor wat of wie jy kan word. So seker was God dat verandering kan geskied, dat Hy hemel en aarde beweeg het om ons die moontlikheid op verandering te bied. Vir ‘n oomblik het hemel en aarde ontmoet toe Hy sy Seun gestuur het om in nederige omstandighede, uit ‘n nederige aardse moeder gebore te word, sodat ons ware natuur herstel kon word.

Kersfees lui die omwenteling in. Kersfees is inderdaad die seisoen vir verandering. As jy daarvoor berug is dat jy almal verkeerd opvryf met jou ongeduld, nou is die tyd om verdraagsaamheid te leer. As jou vinnige humeur geen perke ken nie, nou is die tyd vir ‘n sagter benadering. As jy nie tyd het vir die armes nie, nou is dit tyd om die “laastes” eerste te stel, en die “eerstes” laaste. Nou is dit tyd om jou trots by die Redder se wieg neer te lê en te glo jy kan weer gebore word. Jy kan wees wat God gedroom het jy kan wees: ‘n skitterende diamant deur die Meester geslyp om te wees wat jy bestem was om te wees.

Mag die Kind in die krip jou inspireer om uit jou grimmige groef te ontsnap en hierdie Kersfees te vier as die “nuwe jy”.

Gebed: Here, ons is tog so lief om te roem op wie en wat ons is: “Dis hoe ek is, vat my of los my.” Maar U het na ons toe gekom om ons ‘n ander moontlikheid te bied. Open my hart op die moontlikheid van verandering sodat ons hierdie Kersfees “hemel op aarde” in die ware sin van die woord kan beleef. Amen

God se tyd is nie ons tyd nie - 11 Desember 2018

Hennie Symington

As julle My iets in my Naam vra, sal Ek dit doen.”  Johannes 14:14

Die hedendaagse mens met sy liefde vir kitsoplossings en spoed, hou nie daarvan om te wag nie. Vir ons is dit ‘n geval van: Hoe gouer, hoe beter. Ons hou daarvan dat dinge teen die spoed van lig moet gebeur. Soms is die modern tegnologie vir ons te stadig. Kitskos is ons daaglikse brood en die hemel help jou as jy iemand laat wag by die verkeerslig.

Wanneer God dan soms vir ons laat verstaan, “nie nou” nie, klink dit vir ons soos “nooit nie”. In ons gedagtes glo ons dat God se beloftes slegs aan die einde van tyd waar sal word, terwyl ons vergeet van die talle beloftes wat reeds in ons dae vervul is. Moeilik vir ons skeptiese geslag om te glo?

Beloftes wat reeds waar geword het: Baie eeue gelede, toe koning Salomo die tempel wat hy vir die Here gebou het ingewy het, verklaar hy: “Geloof sy die Here wat aan sy volk Israel ‘n vaste woonplek gegee het soos Hy beloof het." (1 Konings 8:56)

In ons eie lewens hier en nou word die volgende beloftes daagliks vervul:

God vergewe ons sonde: "Maar as ons ons sondes bely – Hy is getrou en regverdig, Hy vergewe ons sondes en reinig ons van alle ongeregtighede." (1 Johannes 1:9)

God se aard is standvastig en trou: "Ek die Here, het nie verander nie, daarom het julle nie te gronde gegaan nie, nageslag van Jakob." (Maleagi 3:6)

God sal ons nooit verlaat nie: " … En onthou, ek is by julle al die dae tot die voleinding van die wêreld. (Matteus 28:20)

God stuur sy Heilige Gees om binne in ons te woon: "Die Heilige Gees is die waarborg dat ons ook verder sal ontvang wat God belowe het …" (Efesiërs 1:14a)

Ons is God se familie: "In sy liefde het Hy ons, volgens sy genadige beskikking, toe ons ook al daarvoor bestem is om deur Jesus Christus sy kinders te wees." (Efesiërs 1:5 )

Die grootste belofte egter, wat God in menseheugenis tot vervulling gebring het, is dat Hy sy seun gestuur het om die mensdom met God te versoen. “die Maagd sal swanger word en ‘n Seun in die wêreld bring en hulle sal Hom Immanuel noem." (Matteus 1:23)

Gebed: Here, help ons om Kersfees te geniet met ‘n houding van onthouding, en in die sekerheid dat God se talle beloftes daagliks in ons lewe vervul word. Amen

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