Practice What Is Preached

Have you really made an impact, an impression? Does your life bear witness to your faith in Christ and show the grateful response to your undeserved salvation? No? We seem to suffer from Gospel-forgetfulness.

It might be that you are a Christian and that your desire is to apply that what you have learned. This desire is usually at its strongest after coming into contact with the Bible, be it in church, small groups or conversation with a fellow Christian; yet you find yourself a week later without a single example of a practice that is implied from what has been preached.

Think about the previous sermon at your church or application discussion during last week’s small group gathering. How much have you applied?

  • Do you approach work as if it is for God, not your employer? (Col 3:23)
  • Do you serve with the gifts which has been entrusted to you? (1 Pet 4:10)
  • Do you busy yourself with charitable deeds? (Matt 25:31-40)
  • Do you give to your church with a willing heart? (2 Cor 9:7)
  • Does your spouse become more like Jesus because of you or in spite of you?  (recipe being Eph 5:21-33)
  • etc

So how does it work? How do I apply what I heard in church, read in the Bible and discussed during my weekly small group? What is the switch that needs to be flicked? And so we turn to Thomas Manton:

“What is the reason there is so much preaching and so little practice? For want of meditation…. Constant thoughts are operative, and musing makes the fire burn. Green wood is not kindled by a flash or spark, but by constant blowing.” —Thomas Manton (1620–1677)

As we constantly ponder the things of God, of Jesus and what has been revealed to us in His word we in effect discipline our minds; we redirect our hearts and find our hands busy with the things we want them to do.

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John Stott (1921 – 2011)

“…He was known all over the world, but when you met him he was a most devout, humble Christian man. His private life was no different from his public life. It was the same person. That’s another way to say that he had integrity. There was no posing.”

One would like to say that such is the nature of plain, ordinary Christians. Not all live up to it. John Stott did.

– Lees meer oor hierdie ongelooflike man: Christianity Today, John Stott Has Died

Surprise! Prostitutes & Birthday Cake

Tony Campolo was in Honolulu vir ‘n praatjie. Die jetlag was so dat hy die een oggend homself drie uur bevind in ‘n kaffee besig om ‘n koffie te drink. Terwyl hy sit loop daar drie prostitute in en begin gesels. Hulle praatjies is luid en kru en Campolo kan nie help om om te merk toe die een vertel dat die volgende dag haar verjaarsdag is en dat sy dink die jaar verdien sy bietjie ‘n partytjie, natuurlik tong in die kies.

Campolo besluit dat hy dit gaan maak gebeur, die dames verlaat die kaffee en Campolo gaan gesels met die man agter die toonbank, Harry. Hy vind uit dat die prostitute elke aand kom na die kaffee wanneer hul aand verby is. Die verhaal draai so uit dat die volgende oggend na twee is die kaffee propvol prostitute wie van die partytjie gehoor het. Daar is ‘n koek wat Harry gebak het en versierings wat Campolo voor gesorg het. Toe Agnes aankom rondom drie uur die oggend word sy deur “surprise!” gegroet. In verstomming staan sy stom terwyl almal wil he sy moet die kerse uitblaas en die koek sny.

Haar reaksie: “Is it alright … would you mind … if I wait a little longer … if we didn’t eat it straight away?” waarop Harry antwoord dat sy glad nie die koek hoef te sny nie en dat sou sy wou kan sy dit huistoe neem. Agnes verskoon haarself vir vyftien minute en neem die koek huistoe. Die kaffee word stil toe Agnes by die deur uit is. Campolo vra om hul te lei in gebed. Na die gebed kom Harry na hom toe en vrae hoekom hy nooit gese het hy is ‘n prediker tipe persoon en wat die kerk is waaraan hy behoort – die antwoord wat hy kry:

 “I belong to a church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:30 in the morning.”

Harry se objeksie is dat daar bestaan nie so kerk nie want as daar so kerk sou bestaan sou hy lidmaat gewees het. Campolo se kommentaar is op die vraag is iets wat moet tuis gebring word, vir die wat nie in ‘n kerk is nie, maar veral vir die wat aan ‘n gemeente behoort:

“Wouldn’t we all? Wouldn’t we all love to join a church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:30 in the morning?… But anybody who reads the New Testament will discover a Jesus who loved to party with prostitutes and with all kinds of left-out people. The tax collectors and “sinners” loved him because he partied with them. The lepers of society found in him someone who would eat and drink with them. And while the solemnly pious people could not relate to what he was about, those lonely people who usually didn’t get invited to parties took to him with excitement.”

 – Vanaf Resurgence, ‘n Stuk uit Tim Chester se boek: A Meal With Jesus

Jy Verteenwoordig Hom

“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.” Luke 6:26

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account . . . for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12

Die Bybel waarsku ons teen “..an unhealthy craving for controversy..” (1 Timothy 6:4) en wys ons na “the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 6:3). So vermy ons kontroversie? Wel, ‘n Christus gesentreerde lewe sal jou daarheen vat.

In die stuk in Lukas 6:26 verwys die skrywer nie noodwendig daarna dat jy nie populêr moet wees nie, hy wys daarop dat jy nie jou rug op God se wil, die verwagtinge van die evangelie, moet draai na die verwagtinge van mense.

As jy jou lewe inrig om slegs na die evangelie te draai en daarvolgens elke dag aanpak sal mense na jou verwys as kontroversiëel. Jy is die uitsondering op die reël. Mense mag bekommerd raak oor jou en selfs wegdraai van jou af oor jou geloof, jou leefstyl. Dit is waarvan die skrywers hierbo praat. Jesus, God en ons verlossing is kontroversiëel. Jy verteenwoordig dit, jy is kontroversiëel.

As God jou lei in Lukas 6:26 omstandighede in, en ander dink minder van jou onthou dat God jou sien soos in Matteus 5:11:

“Blessed are you..”

 

Uit You are representing Him, Ray Ortlund

 

 

Know & Understand

Groei in Afhanklikheid

Om te groei in afhanklikheid van God is iets wat elke Christen moet nastreef. Dit is ons groei in die verhouding met God. Darrin Patrick, in die artikel Cultinvating Dependence on God, noem paar maniere om hierdie van dag tot dag te doen:

Raak afhanklik van God deur middel van vas: In Matt 6:16 sê God dat wanneer ons vas, nie as ons vas – dit is ‘n opdrag. Vas is ‘n manier om jouself bewus te maak van jou afhanklikheid van God. Gebruik die tye wat jy sou eet om na te dink oor God, of lees ‘n stukkie skrif of bid of spandeer sommer net tyd by God saam met ander.

Raak afhanklik van God deur middel van Meditasie: Darrin Patrick noem dat hy sy meditasie tyd gebruik om na te dink oor n stukkie skrif. Dink na en vrae jouself af wat dit beteken en implikasies – laat die Gees jou lei in meditasie tot die oopbreek van die Woord.

Raak afhanklik van God: Daai is menigte ander maniere om die afhanklikheid te kweek, memoriseer verse, rus op die Sabbat, dien ander, prys God.

Onthou net om nie te fokus op die “afhanklikheids-dade” wat jy doen nie; word bewus van die nabyheid van God. Hierdie is slegs riglyne, dis nie ‘n lysie wat jy moet tick nie. Almal het hul eie manier om te groei in afhanklikheid van God – laat dit dan jou fokus wees.

 

Kop VS Hart

Almal ervaar geloof anders, aan die een kant van die spektrum is daar mense wat God ervaar slegs uit n baie emosionele oogpunt en ander ekstreem ‘n alleenlik intellektuele ervaring. Almal val iewers tussen die twee. Ek, vir een, is afkomstig vanaf die dopper garde (die Gereformeerde span); baie konservatief en baie teologies. Dis nie ‘n slegte ding nie, maar maak dit nie soms dat mens nie God se liefde ervaar nie?

    John Piper se nuwe boek Think spreek die onderwerp aan – hoe ons miskien in verstand God dien, maar nie in ons harte nie en vice versa.

    Vir die wat die naweek gaan kyk het na John Piper by Rezulotion in Sandton sal weet die man het maar net ‘n manier om baie moeilike (om te verstaan en te sluk) konsepte oor te dra. Ek het baie respek vir die manier wat hy oor emosies kan praat sonder om daarmee te speel.

    ‘n Stuk uit die boek:

    “For many people the work of the head and the overflow of the heart are at odds. Thinking and feeling are like oil and water; they repulse each other.

    Whatever the reason for this tension that exists in so many people, my own experience, my awareness of the experience of others in history, and my understanding of the Bible teach me that it is neither a necessary tension nor a healthy one, at least not to the degree that most people experience it. My goal is to help us all become the kind of folk for whom sound thinking kindles deep feeling and for whom deep feeling motivates sound thinking. Most of the opposition we feel between the heart and the head is, I think, due to learned behavior patterns which do not necessarily result from the nature of our emotions or our thought. We have been warned so often about not becoming a cold intellectual that we have trouble imagining the possibility of intellect that lights fires instead of putting them out. Or on the other side we have been taught to be so wary of fanatic emotionalism that we can scarcely believe that a tear in someone’s eye might be coming from a holy syllogism instead of a pathological passion.

    God has given us minds and demanded that we use them in understanding and applying his Word. And God has given us emotions which are equally essential and which he has commanded to be vigorously engaged in his service.

    If we neglect the mind we will drift into all sorts of doctrinal error and dishonor God who wills to be known as he is. And if we neglect the heart we will be dead while we yet live no matter how right our creed is. “This people honors me with their lips but their heart is far from me.” So my goal for us is that we put together what so many keep apart to their own hurt. Let us be clear in our heads and warm in our hearts. Let us feel with all our might and think with all our might.”

    Sien die oorspronklike berig hier.

    Koop die boek hier.