Our hope for a better future- 17 Julie 2019

Ewald Schmidt

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.”  Romans 8:18-19

Life is not always easy for God’s children. We are not exempt from the hurt and suffering of this world. Jesus has prepared his disciples for a life of self-sacrifice: they will have to pick up their own crosses to follow him (Matthew 16:24-25). Because we love and follow Jesus, we should expect trials and tribulations along the way. Jesus said the world would hate his followers as they have hated him, and a slave is not above his master (John 15: 20). Every child of God experiences suffering in his or her life. The struggle we are going through is to remain faithful, and to endure hardship while being loyal followers of Christ. The first readers of Paul’s letter to Rome had difficult lives in those days. The emperor of the Roman Empire has already begun to persecute the Christians, who would not bow their knees and worship him as a god. Roman citizens were forbidden to trade with Christians, they even had a hard time buying a loaf of bread. Some were martyred through crucifixion or being fed to the lions in the circus. They could not see any difference between their experience of life as a believer, and the experience of the non-believer. Their experience of life felt much worse than the typical Roman citizen of their day.

Paul gives us this promise, that the present sufferings are much less than the glory that will be revealed in us. God is busy preparing the future for his children, an eternity of glory with him. Paul has described it thus in 2 Corinthians 4: 17, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” Today may be hard, but today is not the end of the road. The future is in God’s hands. And our future will be good for evermore when God reveals to all who his children are.  He is preparing us for eternal glory.

Prayer: Lord, it is so hard to walk the way of faith in this world. We are not being spared the suffering and brokenness that all people experience. But thank you that we are never alone on this difficult path. Thank you for the promise that the future will be filled with glory, while suffering and brokenness shall pass away. Help us to endure, keeping the faith when our journey gets challenging to us. Help us to abide in you, trusting you, following where you lead us. Amen.

 

A new status through the Spirit: Children and Heirs - 16 July 2019

Ewald Schmidt

“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:14-17

The concept of fatherhood is extremely damaged in today’s society. There are a lot of hurting people walking around with the scars they received in their relationships with their earthly fathers. Some have the hurt of totally absent fathers, who played no role in their lives at all. Others had fathers operating outside of God’s parameters of love, who left their kids in fear. A dad’s hurtful words can leave a child wondering if he or she will ever be good enough.

I understand the role of a father as someone who is there for their kids, to love them, protect them and guide them on the journey of life. But so many people never had this experience of a loving, caring father. There are a lot of men walking around without ever hearing their dad say that he loves them, or is proud of them.

A credible theory states that people unconsciously see God in the same way they have experienced their own earthly father. For some, it means someone totally absent from their lives, someone hurtful, or unreliable. Someone y ou have to be afraid of, you tread lightly in dad’s presence. You will never please him, some have experienced. The Holy Spirit wants to heal our concept of fatherhood. He wants us to know that we have a heavenly Father who loves us dearly. He has lovingly created us. We don’t ever need to fear being around him. I am always welcome in his presence, and he hears me when I call out to him. I am a child in my Father’s house, I am an heir – he shares his blessings with me.

When we think about the new life in the Spirit, this is one of the best discoveries – the Spirit leads us to know that we have a loving Father, we belong. We are not slaves but treasured children. Our lives on earth may be difficult when we follow in Jesus’ footsteps, but our destiny is the glory of our Father’s house.

Prayer: Lord, we live in a broken world, full of hurting people. Thank you for fathers who showed and taught their children the love of God. But Lord, not everybody had a dad like that. So many people have a deep hurt when they think about their earthly father. Will you please bring healing to those hurting hearts, and replace it with a true Father’s love? Holy Spirit, lead us to know our Father for who he really is – loving, kind, full of compassion and mercy. Help us to trust you, and love you, Abba Father! Amen.

Hoop op ‘n beter toekoms - 17 Julie 2019

Ewald Schmidt

Ek is daarvan oortuig dat die lyding wat ons nou moet verduur, nie opweeg teen die heerlikheid wat God vir ons in die toekoms sal laat aanbreek nie. Die skepping sien met gespanne verwagting daarna uit dat God bekend sal maak wie sy kinders is.”  Romeine 8:18-19

Die lewe is nie altyd net maklik vir God se kinders nie. Ons word nie van al die seerkry van hierdie wêreld gespaar nie. Jesus het ons hierop voorberei, toe Hy gesê het ons gaan bereid moet wees om onsself te verloën, ons kruise op te tel om Hom te volg. (Matteus 16:24-25).  Omdat ons Jesus liefhet en volg, kan ons vervolging te wagte wees: ‘n slaaf is nie belangriker as sy eienaar nie (Johannes 15:20). Elke kind van God ken lyding in ons lewens. Dit is die stryd wat ons hier op aarde voer, om te bly volhard en afhanklik van die Here te wees. Paulus se eerste lesers het dit baie moeilik in Rome gehad. Die keiser het al klaar begin om Christene te vervolg, hulle is doodgemaak of verban wanneer hulle nie die keiser as ‘n god wou vereer nie. Romeinse burgers is verbied om met hulle handel te dryf, wat dit selfs moeilik gemaak het om ‘n brood te koop. Die eerste eeu se Christene kon nie altyd sien dat daar enigsens ‘n verskil tussen hulle en nie-gelowige mense was nie, inteendeel, hulle lewens het baie erger gevoel as ongelowiges s’n.

Paulus gee hierdie belofte dat dit wat ons in hierdie lewe beleef, baie kleiner is as die heerlikheid wat God in die toekoms vir sy kinders voorberei. Hy het dit ook in 2 Korintiërs 4:17 so gestel: “Ons swaarkry in hierdie lewe is maar gering en gaan gou verby, maar dit loop vir ons uit op ‘n heerlikheid wat alles verreweg oortref en wat ewig bly.” Vandag mag baie moeilik wees, maar vandag is nie die einde van die pad nie. Hierdie moeilike tye is tydelik. Dit gaan verby gaan. Die ewigheid saam met God lê voor, waar daar nooit weer pyn en lyding gaan wees nie. Eendag gaan God in die openbaar bekend maak wie sy kinders is. Daardie dag sal ons verstaan.

Gebed: Here, dit is soms baie moeilik om in hierdie wêreld u kind te wees. Ons word nie gespaar van die seer en gebrokenheid nie. Maar dankie dat U altyd by ons is. Dankie vir u belofte dat die toekoms soveel beter gaan wees, wanneer U bekend maak wie u kinders is. Gee ons die krag om te volhard wanneer ons lewenspad moeilik raak. Help ons om die oog op U gerig te hou. Om uit te hou, en aan te hou tot u eer. Amen.

Ons nuwe status deur die Heilige Gees: Kinders en erfgename 16 Julie 2019

Ewald Schmidt

“Almal wat hulle deur die Gees van God laat lei, is kinders van God. Die Gees wat aan julle gegee is, maak julle nie tot slawe nie en laat julle nie weer in vrees lewe nie; nee, julle het die Gees ontvang wat julle tot kinders van God maak en wat ons tot God laat roep: “Abba!” Dit beteken Vader. Hierdie Gees getuig saam met ons gees dat ons kinders van God is. En omdat ons kinders is, is ons ook erfgename. Ons is erfgename van God, erfgename saam met Christus. Aangesien ons deel het aan sy lyding, sal ons ook deel hê aan sy heerlikheid.” Romeine 8:14-17

Vaderskap is een van die begrippe wat baie seergekry het in ons wêreld. Baie mense loop rond met die seer van die verhouding wat hulle met ‘n aardse pa gehad het. Die seer van ‘n aardse pa wat afwesig was en geen rol in hulle lewe gespeel het nie. Of ‘n pa wat buite God se grense opgetree het en hulle in vrees laat lewe het. ‘n Pa se afbrekende woorde laat ‘n kind so maklik lewenslank wonder of hy/sy goed genoeg is.

 Ek verstaan ‘n pa se rol om daar te wees vir hulle kinders, om hulle lief te hê, te beskerm, en veilig te laat voel in hulle ouerhuis. So baie mense het dit nie ervaar nie. Daar loop baie volwasse mans vandag rond wie se pa nooit gesê het hy is lief vir sy seun, of hom vasgedruk het nie.

‘n Teorie wat ek nogal geloofwaardig vind, is dat mense onbewustelik God sien soos wat hulle hul menslike pa ervaar het. Vir sommige beteken dit afwesig, of iemand om versigtig voor te wees, iemand wat jy nooit tevrede sal stel nie. Die Heilige Gees wil ons egter begelei om God die Vader te leer ken vir wie Hy werklik is. ‘n Vader wat ons gemaak het. ‘n Vader vir Wie ons nooit bang hoef te wees nie. ‘n Vader wat hoor as ons roep. ‘n Vader by Wie ek altyd welkom is. Ek is ‘n erfgenaam in sy huis. Wat aan Hom behoort, deel Hy graag met my.

Wanneer ons dink aan die nuwe lewe wat die Heilige Gees gee in Romeine 8, is dit een van die wonderlike ontdekkings: Die Gees lei ons na die Vader toe. Ons is nie slawe nie, maar kinders. Hoe meer tyd ons in ons binnekamer spandeer, en in ons daaglikse wandel met die Here, hoe meer ervaar ons: God is ‘n wonderlike Vader. Ek kan Hom vertrou. Vandag mag dalk moeilik wees, ons deel in hierdie wêreld in die lyding van Jesus. Maar die Heilige Gees help ons deur hierdie tye heen, totdat ons eendag in die heerlikheid van ons Vader se huis sal wees.

Gebed:  Here, ons lewe in so ‘n stukkende wêreld, waarin baie mense so seer gekry het. Dankie vir aardse pa’s wat hulle kinders die liefde van God laat verstaan. Maar Here, nie almal het sulke pa’s nie. So baie mense het seer as hulle net dink aan hulle pa. Wil U asseblief die seer kom wegvat, en genesing bring? Heilige Gees, dankie dat U mense wil lei om God ons Vader te leer ken vir wie Hy werklik is. Dankie dat ons welkom by ons Hemelse Vader is. Dankie dat U ons onbeskryflik liefhet. Leer ons om U al beter te ken, en te vertrou met ons lewens. Amen

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