Word from the kitchen — the apostle of love

When we think of the apostle John, the word love comes to mind. After all, he is known as the disciple whom Jesus loved. We can almost feel the love when we read his gospel and epistles, because he writes with so much sincerity. His writings are the heartfelt concerns of a pastor for his people. He uses the word “love” more than 45 times!

One commentary on Galatians said John was so frail in his final days at Ephesus, they had to carry him into church. One phrase that was constantly on his lips — “my little children, love one another.” Asked why he always said this, he replied — “It is the Lord’s command, and if this alone be done, it is enough.”

It wasn’t always that way for John. Love wasn’t something that came naturally to him, it was something he had to learn from the Lord.

The young John was bold for the truth, we can see the rigidity of John’s theology, because he writes in absolute terms. He presents the truths in clear black and white certainties. In fact John and his older brother James were known as the “sons of thunder.” He was very ambitious and somewhat demanding. Remember he and his brother convinced their mother to ask Jesus if they could sit on the right and left-hand of His throne. On another occasion when James wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume the Samaritans, John was in agreement.

Mark 9 is the only time when John spoke for himself. On the way they were arguing who was the greatest, so Jesus gave them a lesson on humility, John remembered how intolerant he was with a man who was casting out demons, just because he wasn’t part of their group and his conscience was bothering him.

Mark 9 vs 33[†]And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, What were you discussing on the way? 34[†]But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35[†]And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all. 36[†]And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37[†] Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me. Anyone Not Against Us Is for Us 38[†] John said to him, Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, [6] and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us. 39[†]But Jesus said, Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us.

Don’t get me wrong, it is good to be hard for the truth, people so desperately need the truth. We can’t just have tolerance for error in the name of love, but it is not good when love is missing, because then it is just cold harsh facts. We need the divine balance between love and truth! We need sound doctrine and graciousness! So did John, but when we compare the mature John with the young John we see a beautiful example of a man transformed into balance. Something changed in John’s heart after the rebuke by our Lord in Mark 9.

John was one of the three most intimate disciples of Jesus. For three years he was an eyewitness of Jesus’ ministry.  It is said that he liked to lean close to Jesus’ chest when He spoke, I have often wondered if it was because he loved the truths that came out of Jesus’ mouth so much? He was the last man standing, the sole survivor of the disciples. He saw it all! He watched when they crucified his Master.  He was there when they martyred the disciple one by one, of which his brother James was the first. One would expect bitterness from such a man, but not this man, at the end of his life his heart could do nothing but love, because Someone once first loved him and that love was crafted into the core of his being forever.

Isn’t it astonishing that the most clear-cut, absolute man goes down in history as the apostle of love?

The Lord’s strengths sure are made perfect in our weaknesses!

 

 

 

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Word from the kitchen — the Bible

Dr. Guthrie said, “The Bible is an armory of heavenly weapons. A laboratory of infallible medicines. A mine of exhaustless wealth. It is a guidebook for every road. A chart for every sea. A medicine for every malady and a balm for every wound. Rob us of our Bible and our sky has lost its sun.”

I am convinced that if we really understood the treasures and riches of the Bible, we would study its divine truths more diligently! We would love, honor, obey & guard it! We would preach it! We would fight for it!

True wisdom comes only from God through His Word. We, Christians so desperately need the absolute authority of Scripture, because in it is God’s mind and will for our lives!

Although it has been written over a period of 1500 to 1800 years by 40 different people, this is no human book! It is not man’s opinion, it is not human philosophy, it is not the thoughts of a brilliant man, it is God’s Word delivered by God’s Spirit! It is a supernatural Book containing everything we need to know about life, death, time and eternity. It has the power to look deep inside you, comfort your hurts, reveal secret motives, expose sin and offer counsel and help.

Look at what the Bible claims for itself:

The Bible claims that in total, it is infallible— Psalm 19:7 “The law of the Lord is perfect.”

In its parts it is inerrantProverbs 30:5,6 “Every word of God is pure. Add thou not to His words lest He reprove thee and thou be found a liar.”

It is complete —  Revelations 22:18,19  “If any man shall add unto these things God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book and if any man shall take away the words of this book God shall take away his part from the tree of life.”

The Bible is authoritativeIsaiah 1:2 “Hear oh heavens and give ear oh earth for the Lord hath spoken.”

It is sufficient — II Timothy 3 “It is sufficient to make you wise unto salvation, it is sufficient to make you perfect thoroughly furnished to all good works”.

The Bible is effectiveIsaiah 5 “So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth, it shall not return void but shall accomplish what I please.”   

It is divine II Peter 1:21“The scripture did not come from any private interpretation, it came not from the will of man but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

The Bible is also determinative John 8:44 “He that is of God hears God’s word, you are not of God therefore you hear them not”.

Now, we have a book available to us that is not only pure in every word, but perfect as a whole. It has the authority of God because God breathed every single word. It has the promise that it is sufficient for all the issues of life and that it is powerful enough to accomplish everything God has intended with it. There is nothing more to add, because God captured everything he wanted to say in this one amazing Book. What we do with this Book will determine if we really are His children. What a tremendous gift! The psalmist said it is more precious than gold and sweeter than honey. The author of Hebrews called it alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword.

We should open this gift, we should meditate on it day and night. We should explore it, because this gift has the potential to bring so many blessings, victory and growth!

 

Word from the kitchen — besem

This week I want to post a story that one of my friends shared with me.

 ‘n Ware storie daar vanuit Bethlehem , Vrystaat, se wêreld… 

Ek kom vanoggend so 07:15 by die werk, sluit my werkswinkel oop en dank my Hemelse Vader vir die werkswinkel, gesondheid en omdat ek SY vrede en vreugde ervaar.
Die eerste kliënt kom vinnig nader en klim uit sy motor met ‘n Wimpy koffie in sy hand en kla dis nie meer die koffie van ouds nie.. ‘n ander persoon wat ek ken kom van die slaghuis af opgestap met ‘n pakkie vleis en al kouende aan sy biltong grom-groet hy so asof dit ‘n stryd is om te lewe.
Ek besluit vandag wil ek luister en ek het goed geluister… Dit is nou 18:00, en ek wil jou vertel wat ek vandag gesien en ervaar het.

Ouens met baie geld kla oor pryse wat te hoog is.   Die biltong man sê daar is amper geen vleis op die rakke nie.   Die ander ou kla oor ou brood en ‘n ander oor ‘n koue hamburger wat hy wil vat en in Steers se manager se dinges wil opdruk.   My suster kla oor haar CD speler wat skoongemaak moet word en dit kos R 80-00 wat sy nie kan betaal nie, want sy het nie geld nie.

Ek vertel jou kortliks wat ek vanoggend gesien en ervaar het.   Die mense kla en kla en ek wens hierdie klakouse met wie ek net vandag te doen gehad het kon sien en ervaar wat ek vroegoggend gesien het – ek wonder waaroor hulle dan sou kla.   Terwyl die ou oor sy koue hamburger kla, vang my oog ‘n ou kleurling wat in die slaghuis se vullissakke krap. Hy krap iets uit, ruik daaraan,
hap en sluk sonder om te kou.
Ek stap nader na hom.   Môre, groet ek.   Wat is jou naam?
My naam is Abraham my lanie, antwoord hy.

Nou wat doen jy so vroeg hier tussen die ou vrot goed ou Abraham?
Ek is honger my lanie.
Maar ou Abraham, die goed is vrot.
Ek weet my lanie, maar die Jere het nog nie vandag vir my ‘n ietsie afgegooi nie, maskien Hy is kwaad vir my.

Ou Abraham, hoekom vra jy nie vir geld as jy iets wil koop om te eet nie? Ek het my lanie, maar daardie man, (en hy wys na die biltong eter,) hy het my amper netnou gaslaan, hy sê ek moet voetsek!

Hoe oud is jy Abraham?
78 my lanie.

Waar bly jy Abraham?
Daar bo teen die berg. (Dis 8 km).
En jou mense, ou Abraham?
Net my vrou bly by my, mar sy bene kan nie meer werk nie nou kan sy nie uit die huis kom nie.
Kry jy oumens pension, Abraham?
Nee my lanie, nog nie, maar Mandela sal nog plan maak, so ek wag maar!

Abraham se broek is nie meer ‘n broek nie – sy skoene het nie sole nie en daar is iets aan sy lyf wat dalk lank terug ‘n hemp kon gewees het.   Ek vra in my binneste ‘Here, wat nou?’ maar ek kry geen antwoord nie, ek hoor niks.
Ou Abraham, ek dink regtig nie die Here het van jou vergeet nie.
Ja my lanie.
Die ou oë is glasig en dof, sy kop hang al vooroor soos hy jare lank al probeer om naby hom te sien. Die vulliswa trek in om die vullis te verwyder, en die manne verskreeu ou Abraham.
Waarnatoe gaan jy nou, ou Abraham?
Ek gaan brood soek om huis toe te vat my lanie – ek het klaar ‘n kannetjie vir die water.

Ou Abraham het ‘n glimlag om sy geplooide mond.
As my lanie wil kan ek ‘n besem bestuur en die plek mooi skoon vee vir ‘n stukkie brood.

Ek dink by myself:    ‘Is dit nou U Here wat deur Abraham praat?’
Ou Abraham, is jy seker jy het ‘n liksens om die besem te bestuur?
Ja my lanie, my vrou het dit vir my gagee toe sy bene siek geword het.

Dis goed so Abraham, die mense jaag jou oral maar vandag het die HERE jou ‘n groot werk gegee – jy is van vandag af die ‘General Manager’ van die besems; jy is die Baas van die besems; hierdie besems gaan vir jou koffie gee in die plek van water. ‘n Manager moet ook mooi skoon aantrek en ‘n geldjie hê vir die ou vrou by die huis. Ek sien jy is ‘n man wat vir ons nog baie in die toekoms gaan leer oor die lewe, ou Abraham
Kan ek elke dag inkom my lanie?
Ja Abraham, want Vrydae kry die Besem Managers ‘n lekker Wimpy ontbyt en Besem Managers werk net van 8 – 11, want Besem Managers het tyd nodig vir hulle siek vrouens.

Is reg so my lanie, ek sien nou die Jere het ‘n ander plan gahad vadag en ampor dink ek Hy het my en die ou vrou gavageet. Jammer Jere omdat ou Abraham nie reg vastaan het nie.

Ek is die Here my God vandag so dankbaar vir iemand wat nie oor biltong kla nie, iemand wat nie oor leë rakke in die vleismark kla nie, iemand wat nie oor koue hamburgers en koffie kla nie. Ek is my Vader so dankbaar dat Hy ou Abraham nie vergeet het nie. Doen my, jouself en ander ‘n guns – en probeer net een dag niks kla nie, want ou Abraham was vandag vir my so ‘n groot inspirasie. ‘n 78 jarige half blinde man met toiings aan sy lyf wat nog steeds glimlag!!!!!!!!!!

En ek sê met trots – vandag het ek ‘n waardige, my beste ooit,  besembestuurder gekry!
Die Here is vir ons so goed en as ek voel dit druk, kyk ek na my besembestuurder en ek weet – ek het mos niks om oor te kla nie…

May God give you… For every storm, a rainbow, For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,   And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends, A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song, And an answer for each prayer.

Touch someone with your love.  Rather than focus upon the thorns of life, smell the roses and count your blessings!

Die Bybel leer ons dat God ons telkens nooi om na Hom toe te kom en elke dag met Hom te gesels en ook om al ons sorge vir Hom te gee. Het jy al probeer om al jou sorge vir Hom te gee of probeer jy om self oplossings vir jou probleme te vind?  Ons is God se verteenwoordigers op aarde en die lekker daarvan is dat ons net nodig het om Hom te vertrou met geduld en geloof en Hy gee altyd uitkoms op maniere wat ons nog nooit gedink het moontlik is nie.

Wees vadag ‘n advertensie vir God en weet dat Hy jou lief het.