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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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

Do Christians Have to Join a Church?

What Attracts People To The Church?

Isaiah 14:32 — What will one answer the messengers of the nation? “The Lord has founded Zion, and in her the afflicted of his people find refuge.”

It is clear that Zion attracts attention. The messengers of the nations inquire concerning her. Men can hardly remain indifferent when the true Church of God is near them: for some reason or another they will inquire.

The church excites attention by:

    • The peculiarity of her people.
    • The speciality of her teaching.
    • The singularity of her claims.
    • The greatness of her privileges.

It is so good a thing to have this attention excited, that one should be ever ready to give an answer, for this is the way by which the truth is spread in the earth.

Oh that all nations would send messengers to inquire concerning our King, and his reign! Perhaps they will when we are what we ought to be, and are ready to answer their enquiries.

 

-C.H. Spurgeon, Sermon Notes (from Resurgence)

Pretoria Kort Die Boodskap

In die wêreld is daar 400 stede wat se populasie hoër is as 1 miljoen mense (Pretoria se populasie in 2007 was 2.346mil). Meer as helfde van die mense op aarde bly huidiglik in stede. Stede is die kern, die sentrums van die ekonomie, gee pas aan met kultuur en beinvloed die rigting van ‘n land. Wat beter plek is daar as stede om God te deel met ander, dis ‘n enorme sending veld.

In die berig, Cities Need The Gospel: Why Renewing Your City Matters deur Jonathan Dodson, verduidelik hy hoekom hy voel dat dit van belang is om besorg te wees oor jou stad se welvaart.

Sosiale digtheid en diverse kulture skep ‘n ideale omgewing om die kerk te groei. Mense van verskillende herkoms bly naby/by mekaar en die brug wat die kulture en groepe kan verbind is die Evangelie. Die wêreld word spreekwoordelik kleiner en die invloed van die stede gee die pas aan met, onder andere, die integrasie van kulture.

Stede is gevul met ‘n siel(e) wat die stad maak wat dit is. Alle stede het n persoonlikheid, ‘n siel. Kaapstad is mooi en ruik soos die see en voel soos klein Europa. Kimberly het ‘n gat. Durban is warm en het lang strande met baie surfers. Pretoria hou van die bulle en het Hatfield square. Dit is nou miskien bietjie tong in die kies, maar die idee word oorgedra dat ‘n stad ‘n spesifieke identiteit het. Die punt is dat dit nie die infrastruktuur of die ligging is wat dit aan die stad gee nie, dis die mense. Moet ons nie dus die siel van die stad wees nie? Hoe sal dit lyk?

Wat gee jy vir die stad? Gee jy geld en tyd? Vat jy meer as wat jy gee? Byt jy die stad en sy mense uit, gebruik die eetplekke en winkelsentrums, maar bou nooit tuine vir die wat een kort? Om ‘n stad lief te hê is meer as net om van Tafelberg te hou of van die Unie Gebou, dit is om die mense lief te hê. Dit is om die ewige siele in die stad lief te hê.

Pad Vorentoe? Kyk Agtertoe

Gister, 31 Oktober 2010, is dit 493 jaar vandat Martin Luther die gesig van Christenskap verander het met ‘n hammer, spykers en ‘n klomp skrifte teen die deur van die Kattolieke Kerk. Genade is die enigste rede hoekom jy gered is – die kern van sy boodskap.

In die wêreld is daar ‘n neiging terug na die teologie van die kerkvaders, die John Calvin en die Jonathan Edwards ens. raamwerk. Hierdie beweging na meer gefokusde teologie dui op ‘n soeke na ‘n weier, meer geskiedkundige gevestigde kerk.

Die berig, Next Generation of Theologians Craves Historical Tradition, in die Houston Belief spreek die beweging van ‘n nuwe generasie aan soos dit groei op die oomblik in die diverse, jong geloofsgemeenskap in Houston, Texas. Ek is seker dit is van toepassing in Pretoria en Suid-Afrika.