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Bible book:
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31 32 33 34 35
A last word  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
  (3 February 2015)
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Bible book: None selected 

Think of days long passed  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
This message in Deuteronomy 32 is also Gods message for us. The Lord has found us. When we were nomads in the thirstland; searching in the inhospitable where no salvation or life can be found. When we were surrounded by sin. Yes, when there was no joy or prospects, the Lord Jesus Christ came to save those who were lost. He found us. And through his death he saved us.
  (27 January 2015)
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Bible book: Deuteronomy 

Keep your eyes focused on God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
It is remarkable that we don’t read anything about Joseph’s reaction to all these event. Not when he is thrown into the cistern. Not when he was sold. Not when he had to work as a slave. Not when he ended up in prison. We read much later something about his views on the path that he had to take. Does this imply that he resignedly accepted everything? Was it a matter of allowing everything to drift along? Does this mean that the faithful need to only accept and acquiesce? We don’t read that Joseph ever rebelled or that he resisted when his brothers stripped him of his clothes and threw him in the cistern. There is no mention that he screamed or yelled. We don’t read that he tried to escape when he was taken to Egypt to be sold as slave. We are only informed that he was committed in his work as slave. He behaved so well and worked so hard that he was soon promoted and put in a position of trust. Even when he was thrown in jail, he did not protest. We need to remember that prisons in those days were only places where the awaiting-trial prisoners were kept. Prison sentences as we know them today were different then. Joseph was never put on trial. He just sat in prison for years waiting for the trial to happen. He wasn’t depressed and didn’t feel sorry for himself or swore at others or even blamed others. He only tried his best. And again it didn’t take long for him to be put in a position of trust.
  (21 January 2015)
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Bible book: Genesis 

Lord, we love you!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jesus says here that the message of the whole of the Bible and everything the Lord requires of us, can be summarised in these word: Love the Lord God with your whole being and love your neighbour like yourself. There is an actual danger that we also have heard these words often without them making any impression in our lives. Even more, the words do not affect or change our lives. We hear them over and over again and we know them by heart but they roll off our tongue like water off a duck’s back. We hear them, we know them, but what do we see of them in daily life?
  (10 December 2014)
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Bible book: Matthew 

Care  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In one of his letters John wrote that if we don’t show our brothers how much we love them, we can’t honestly say that we love God. I wonder sometimes if the reason why things are so woeful in our religion isn’t because it is so woeful in our relationships with our husband and wife or loved one. If we can’t tell our loved one that we love him or her, it would be as difficult to tell God. If we don’t show that we care for our loved ones, then we can’t show God. If our loved ones aren’t special and if we don’t sometimes spoil him or her, then our religion would equally go its listless, flat and cheerless way. We are miserly with compliments and abundant with criticism.
  (4 December 2014)
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Bible book: John 

Everyday reminders of the Lord’s presence  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
People often need reminders or memorials. Something to make them think. To make them stand still and remember. Something to make us look at ourselves and do self-inspection. Something to encourage us. Perhaps we should erect memorials in one way or the other in our homes and gardens, in our neighbourhood and at our churches. It needn’t be expensive or excessive. Maybe just a pile of rocks (while it is fashionable now). Or maybe just something small. Something to remind us of God’s power. Something to make us remember that we need to always serve the Lord. Something that will comfort and encourage us when everything is dark around us. We are poor when we don’t have piles of rocks or memorials!
  (25 November 2014)
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Bible book: Joshua 

The Kingdom of God is a caring Kingdom  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jesus establishes the kingdom of God: the caring kingdom where God is served and worshipped. Where it is not about own honour but everything is to the glory of God. Where own interests are not in the forefront but the interests of others and service to God is of primary importance.
  (18 November 2014)
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Bible book: Matthew 

Paul`s haircut  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Paul however‚ did not have a common hairstyle. Together with the hairstyle he made a promise.

Paul’s haircut and promise was a way of preparing himself for the difficult times ahead. He entered a contract with God. He put his life in God’s hand. When he looked in a mirror to see his shorn head‚ he told himself: his life was in the hands of God. And in the same way as the hair grew by itself‚ God would provide for everything he needed day by day.
  (6 November 2014)
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Bible book: Acts 

Love is a package deal  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Wouldn’t it be great if love were like a cafeteria line? It would be easier. It would be neater. It would be painless and peaceful. But you know what? It wouldn’t be love. Love doesn’t accept just a few things. Love is willing to accept all things.

“Love … bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4-7).
  (29 October 2014)
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Bible book: 1 Corinthians 

A opportunity for Christians to reach out  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Be part of the Christian outreach to distribute the Lord`s Word in Mandarin and Spanish.
  (27 October 2014)
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Bible book: None selected 

Everyone chases their own interests  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The Lord firstly requires that we act justly.
In the second place the Lord requires that we show love and mercy.
Thirdly, the Lord wants us to live in humility before our God.
  (14 October 2014)
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Bible book: Micah 

Act reasonably and humbly  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Don’t we all tend to proclaim things from the rooftops? We like it when other people have to take note of our importance. People want to brag and have other people bang their drums. Even though we don’t say it, it is great when others think we are clever or attractive or handy or something. We enjoy being complimented. And this is not necessarily a bad thing. Appreciation is important and good. It becomes a problem though if we want to lay claim to our own importance and if we want to do things only to be honoured.

Nehemiah 2:11-20 teaches us what the Lord is expecting from us and how we should act.
  (30 September 2014)
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Bible book: Nehemiah 

When bad news reaches us  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
What do we do when we hear that it doesn’t go well with other people. We often hear of such bad tidings: News of people who have been robbed and lost everything, reports on people who have lost their jobs or whose business has failed and who are now without an income. We hear of people who lost everything due to disease or accidents. We hear of people for whom things are not well due to circumstances beyond their control.
  (22 September 2014)
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Bible book: Nehemiah 

Be there for others!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In this rushed life of today people have increasingly less time for their fellow human beings. Everyone is so busy, they rush to and fro. They become so caught up in their own issues that an increasing number gets left behind calling out: Lord, I have no one!  (2 September 2014)
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Bible book: John 

Is God`s comfort a reality?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
My only comfort in life and death is that I don’t belong to myself but that I belong to my Saviour Jesus Christ. Comfort is one of the most central but also one of the most misunderstood words in religious vocabulary. “What is your only consolation in life and in death?” Comfort is the central part of the whole Christian gospel. Mischievous and skeptical people said: when the Christian gospel speaks about “comfort”, it is because they don’t want you to see what goes on around you. They want to feed you opium so that you don’t rebel against the injustices committed against you. They “console” you with a pie in the sky because they say: “Shame, don’t worry suffer the poverty and injustice. One day you will receive an everlasting crown.” And in this way the authorities rule you.
  (22 August 2014)
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Bible book: Luke 

Joy and peace in the Lord!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Barbara Priddy was an athletic, active teacher. She taught physical education and gymnastics. She radiated her Christian faith from her pleasant personality. And then suddenly, one day she got sick with a strange disease. The doctors searched long and hard for the correct diagnosis. After a whole series of tests, she was put in total isolation. There in her solitude the doctor brought her the news: she had polio! After the doctor left the room, she felt terribly lonely and she begged from the depths of her soul: “Lord, please give me a message which would pick me up from these depths!” The first thing she could come up with, were Paul’s words: “Always rejoice in the Lord! I will say it again: Rejoice!” She said that she felt dumbfounded. How could this be the answer to her distress call?

She decided to accept it and be obedient. She soon realized: the secret lies in the expression which Paul loved so much: “in the Lord”. In those times she could not rejoice from herself. “In Christ” it was possible. It became a reality in her life. She was an example of this truth.
  (7 August 2014)
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Bible book: Philippians 

God care for people  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Many people have the stupid idea in their heads that they have a very bad reputation with God. Some children have these thoughts and some grown-ups. Some women think like this and some men. They have the feeling that God has rejected them, pushed them aside. They are secretly of the view that God has had enough of them. Deep within them there is even a suspicion that God wants to take some kind of revenge.
  (29 July 2014)
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Bible book: John 

Christ’s attitude  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Luther viewed this letter to the Philippians as “a letter for Christians and no one else”! Precisely because he paid much attention to Christ’s attitude, he took time to emphasise that attitude is only real when it is turned into deeds. This can be seen in Christ and has to be visible in his followers, otherwise it means nothing. “The love isn’t found in words, but should break out in deeds…”
  (9 July 2014)
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Bible book: Philippians 

Threatened by the church  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
This must be one of the most shocking parts of the gospel of John. There is tragedy in the fact that it reveals one of the most negative characteristics of the church throughout the ages. It is upsetting that we see ourselves and our church in this situation. When we read this part, we realize that it could have been us. There is no actual difference between us and the church in the times of Jesus.
  (23 June 2014)
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Bible book: John 

Parrhesia!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Through the blood of Jesus we may enter the Most Holy Place with confidence. We have a High Priest, One who speaks for us with God, One who states our case and pleads for us, One who has been tempted in all aspects as we are and who therefore has sympathy with our weaknesses and who understands! (Heb. 4:15). To the author of the letter to the Hebrews, this is wonderful! He repeats this message several times. It means that Jesus understands us. He knows us. He has insight into our deepest questions, with our guilt, with our self-reproach. He doesn’t blame us, He doesn’t judge us. Our temptations, our suffering, our disbelief… He understands it. Once we have come to understand this, namely that we don’t have to hide anything from God that He knows and forgives our deepest darkness, that He is grace and love – then our whole lives change!
  (12 June 2014)
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Bible book: Hebrews 

Clay jars that break easily  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Today we are standing still for a moment at the heavenly Clay Jar that was broken for us.

Why was Jesus’ clay jar broken like that? So that we may become whole. Jesus’ broken and mutilated body was raised from the dead so that we may all live. Paul says, God gave us a treasure in clay jars, He let a light shine in our hearts, and He gave us knowledge of himself that shines through Jesus.
  (5 June 2014)
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Bible book: Ezra 

Faith and trust - irrespective of the circumstances  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
It must be easy to trust if you know how things will end – if you have irrefutable prior knowledge. The question however, is: Is your trust in God a trust irrespective of how things progress? Will you persist believing if things go wrong; if your boat runs aground or strikes rocks with brute force?
  (28 May 2014)
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Bible book: Zephaniah 

Nothing but manna?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
If the stars came out only once a year, everybody would stay up all night to behold them. We have seen the stars so often that we don’t bother to look at them anymore. We have grown accustomed to our blessings.
  (21 May 2014)
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Bible book: Numbers 

The Holy Spirit - our Helper!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In the gospel of John, the Holy Spirit is often referred to as the “Counsellor” (see John 15:26). In view of the context of the early Christians it was very important to them. They were continuously confronted by the Jews and other people about their faith in Jesus. They had to be accountable and put their faith into words. It was often difficult to answer the questions. As Counsellor the Holy Spirit would put the right words in their mouths. This would be particularly necessary if they were persecuted. It is necessary for us to realize that the Holy Spirit still wants to be our Counsellor today. He provides us with the insight in what we need to say. Currently there are many debates and questions about several matters and the faithful have many different views on them. Do we leave sufficient space for the leadership of the Holy Spirit as Counsellor or do we only persist with our own self-formulated opinions?

The Holy Spirit is also our Counsellor with the Father. He acts on our behalf. He pleads for us by the Father. Without the Holy Spirit’s assistance and help we have no hope.
  (13 May 2014)
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Bible book: John 

The Holy Spirit increases the glory we radiate  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
1 Corinthians 3:18 teaches us that the glory the Spirit gives to the faithful is even better that the glory Moses experienced and it lasts longer. Due to the glory of God that can be seen in us the faithful, after the Holy Spirit lifted the veil, we increasingly become like Christ. It is a gradual process (see Rom. 8:29). The more we see of his glory, the more we will become like him. This is the work of the Spirit.
  (5 May 2014)
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Bible book: 2 Corinthians 

The resurrection of Jesus brings victory over loss of hope  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
God knows how small of mind and power we are. We can’t fall so far down in sadness and mourning that God is unable to reach us, to pick us up and carry us on. God’s way can never be so dark that he doesn’t care for those who trust him. Also the dark and depressing days follow in the time and term of “he carries us day after day.”
  (29 April 2014)
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Bible book: Luke 

Reconciliation  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We need to live together reconciled. Because only then will we know that true joy and peace start with God. With nothing and no one else. The peace we receive from God is the only peace and joy which enable us to live in such a way that we also give peace and joy to others. This means only one thing: The world can’t be without God. Only God can change everything. The instruction to us therefore is to live the gospel in our words and deeds. This is even more required in our times. The expression: “the world needs Christ” is not only an emotional religious saying. If the world doesn’t see Christ in us and the way we live in reconciliation with each other, where would they see it?
  (23 April 2014)
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Bible book: Genesis 

Follow Christ`s example by living in full accord with each other  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Beloved in the Lord, since we will be commemorating the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ this week, I want to approach it from another angle – the angle of how Christ even in his deepest pain and misery still looked after human relationships and their importance to him. In John 14 he has a pastoral conversation with his disciples and he assures them that they will not be left behind on their own but that God would send his Holy Spirit to be with them forever. In John 17, which is also known as the High Priestly prayer, he prays for them. He prays that God would guard and protect them and he prays for them to be all in one mind but also that they would protect others and live with them – that they would bring this to fruition! While Christ was hanging on the cross, he still considered his earthly mother and he said to John, there is your mother and to Mary he said, there is your son. He prayed for the soldiers in the act of crucifying him and for the criminal hanging next to him on the cross. These are broad pen stripes to indicate how important unity and peace among children of the Lord are. This Midweek message during this Easter time, therefore wants to shine a light on the importance of harmony and peace among us. In these text verses initiated by the Holy Spirit, Paul also now writes that this unity has to come into its own in our gospel way of life.
  (16 April 2014)
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Bible book: Philippians 

Don`t colour in your or others` suffering  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We love to idealise the past. We remember the good things and forget about the bad times. We even see past suffering in a romantic light and don’t consider it to be so terribly bad. Everything is coloured in nicely.
  (9 April 2014)
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Bible book: Mark 

God is with us and therefore, and only therefore when it is necessary to look back, we need to do it with gratitude  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. There are so many broken-hearted people. They have had traumatic experiences. They went through deep waters. They are broken and crushed. All the years of suffering and battles have left their mark. The Psalmist sings the praises of the Lord because he heals broken people. The Lord is the great Curer who doesn’t only heal on physical level but also on emotional and spiritual levels. He heals the broken-hearted. He did it during those times and is still doing it today. Indeed, the Bible is full of evidence that the Lord has a soft spot for all the broken-hearted people. If we are broken today; if the trauma is too much; if the attacks have left their mark, we should know that the Lord wants to heal our wounds. Praise the Lord because he heals broken people!
  (1 April 2014)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Could it be true?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
It sometimes happens that we find ourselves in a very difficult situation. It feels like being in a dead end street. Just when you thought that things are going well, suddenly something happens that overthrows the applecart. What do we do then? The first reaction is to go sit on the rubbish heap and to become despondently depressed. The Bible however, clearly instructs that we should not sit and wait. We need to do something. In Joshua 6 we read about this situation. A model of faith is held up to the Israelites in exile and this model should also be seen as an example for us.
  (25 February 2014)
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Bible book: Joshua 

Bear one another`s burdens  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We should never think that we are totally independent and don’t need anybody’s help. We should also never think that we are not obligated to help others. We need each other and others need us. God uses them to help you and you to help and assist others. It is simply true that no one can go through life without the assistance and support of others. As human beings we are dependent on the assistance and support of others. This applies from our birth to death.
  (11 February 2014)
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Bible book: Galatians 

A meeting with Christ in those that have been wounded  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Our service to the Lord isn’t only about dogmas and words, but in an attitude, to live in a relationship that is practically obvious in our daily lives. Let us say it again: the Bible is concerned with the living relationship between the living Lord and the living people in concrete reality.
  (4 February 2014)
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Bible book: Matthew 

Christmas, the feast of God`s presence  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Christmas wants among other things, to emphasise that Jesus is Immanuel and that God is in us present today through his Holy Spirit. Let us put it differently. In Jesus God became human. He walked and worked here; he talked, laughed and cried. He was fully human here on earth. After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, God is here again: in and through us. He is again busy working and talking; crying and laughing. God is here. God is present in his children. Each one of us needs to radiate the presence of God. Because we are shadows of God. In us people need to see something of God. They need to experience something of God’s work.
  (3 December 2013)
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Bible book: Matthew 

A second chance?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jesus puts his own heavenly reputation on the line when He begs for mercy from God for sinners who steal space in the heavenly vineyard. He takes all the responsibility to ensure that they bear fruit. With this deed, grace became a full-time verb. And we are on the receiving end, full-time.
  (27 November 2013)
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Bible book: Luke 

Choose to trust God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
To trust God is based on the FACT that God is totally and fully reliable. We must make his wonderful promises our own. One of the promises that are worth it to store in your heart, can be found in Hebrews 13:5: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
  (19 November 2013)
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Bible book: Luke 

Be careful that you don`t become shipwrecked  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
According to Paul faith and conscience are two interlinking channels. Should we give up on a good conscience, faith would irretrievably become shipwrecked. It can’t be any different. We can’t saw through the branch with our lives and then still sit on the branch with our faith. We only need to look at what happened to David and Peter. We can’t pollute the fountain with our lives and still tastefully drink from the water with our faith.
  (12 November 2013)
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Bible book: 1 Timothy 

The prayer of a woman in need is heard  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
What do we do in times of distress? How do we react to disasters and misery? We are not talking here about adversity that suddenly strikes but also about situations that take a long time and develop to a point where we don’t know how to handle it. In 1 Samuel 1-2 we read about such a situation and the reaction of a particular woman. The author wanted to portray an example to the people of his time who were in a very difficult exiled situation. He wanted to show them how the faithful had to act in such circumstances.
  (5 November 2013)
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Bible book: 1 Samuel 

Live sincerely and truthfully before God and people  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We live in a world of compromises – in a society where moral standards and Christian principles are sacrificed for the sake of convenience and pragmatism. Therefore it is very important that we should listen to how the Word of God teaches us on integrity so that it will be our commitment to live accordingly.
  (29 October 2013)
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Bible book: 2 Corinthians 

Things are not as confused as they seem  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Even if you feel broken and mixed up because so many questions remain unanswered, particularly then trust on the God of all centuries. Even if you feel trapped in a web, don’t despair, things are not as confused as they seem. This is exactly the message God wanted to convey to Ezekiel with this image.
  (22 October 2013)
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Bible book: Ezekiel 

A fascinating conversation  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
“Woman,” Jesus told her, “you have great faith!” (see Matth. 15:28). What a wonderful remark. Especially when we consider that God said it. This same God who created the heavens and earth in six days. Something about this woman made God’s eye glint, humanly speaking and probably made him smile.
  (8 October 2013)
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Bible book: Matthew 

The thing in your eye  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jesus said a lot about human relationships. We need to remember a very important thing about Jesus’ style of relationships: for Him his fellow human beings never were an end justifying the means. He teaches us to act unselfishly. Unselfishness is eventually the difference between kingdom style and business style.
  (1 October 2013)
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Bible book: Matthew 

The day hope was born  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Christ came to redeem us from our guilt caused by sin. He carried our burden when he died on the cross. He now turns us into new people. He came to change people from God-hostile people to children of God, to redeem us from people who only care about themselves to people who live for their fellow human beings. Christ came to change us – this is the meaning of redemption – that we have gone from sin (death) to life. Christ came for each one of us personally and revealed true hope to us.
  (24 September 2013)
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Bible book: Genesis 

A grace bomb explodes  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
“From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another” (Joh.1:16).
  (17 September 2013)
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Bible book: Romans 

The fugitive prophet  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jonah however, made a calculation error with the living God. The Lord doesn’t let fugitives go. He sends a storm. Jonah needs to know: God is tracking him. We sometimes think the Lord is unpredictable but it is we who are stubborn. We strain away from him. And even if we do it, He still cares for us. He sends situations to remind us: He never lets go of us. In circumstances where we feel that we perish, He concerns himself with us.
  (10 September 2013)
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Bible book: Jonah 

Trials on the Crossroad  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Why do these things happen to the righteous? We could respond by saying: it serves to chasten us; it wants to pull us closer to God; it wants to break down the sin in us and lets our faith grow; it serves to sanctify us. Therefore everything works for the good for those who love God. This all sounds very nice but if we are in the midst of a crisis, it feels as if all these answers mean nothing. Naomi acutely experienced this after her return from Moab.
  (3 September 2013)
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Bible book: Ruth 

The voice of God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Psalm 29 wants to tell us that there is no God comparable to him. He alone is the Living. He is the Almighty. He is the Giver of life. He is King. Look at the approaching storm. It is one of the many symbols of the coming of the Lord. Do we see the signs? Do we experience the meaning of the signs every day in our lives? Look, the Lord is here in his power and love; in his grace. Look, he is coming!
  (21 August 2013)
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Bible book: Psalm 

God hears and sees and cares  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
It is bitterly ironic that it was Abram and Sarah who brought Hagar into this predicament. It was them who sent another human being into the desert in the knowledge that both she and her child would die. Abram and Sarah were God’s people – two people according to Genesis 12:3 who were called by God to be a blessing to all the peoples on the earth. It was their calling to be a blessing. And this does not refer to particular, selected people but to all people.
  (6 August 2013)
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Bible book: Genesis 

A Wheel in a Wheel  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
If you feel trapped in a web, don’t despair, things are not as confused as they seem. This is exactly the message God wanted to convey to Ezekiel with this image.
  (30 July 2013)
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Bible book: Ezekiel 

Outright for Christ!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
When I said “yes” to Jesus I also said “yes” to the cross. Our hands and feet should start moving. The challenge in particular is to make a difference in the world in the true sense as servants of the Lord. This in itself is a tremendous thought. To say “yes” means to walk the road of the Lord anew. To step onto a path of servitude on which we deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Jesus. It implies that we will sometimes be brought to a place we don’t want to be as Peter who according to legend, was crucified upside down in Rome. We must understand – if Jesus calls, he says: come here and die! (Bonhoeffer). To say “yes” to Jesus is dangerous! It requires self-denial.
  (23 July 2013)
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Bible book: Mark 

God loves sinners  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The book of Hosea is the first of the so-called twelve smaller prophets. Hosea had to portray the image of the broken relationship between God and his people by means of his marriage. The book particularly announces God’s judgment over the sins of the people on the social political and cultic field. Still Hosea is especially the ecclesiast who preaches God’s unchanging love for his people.
  (16 July 2013)
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Bible book: Hosea 

Positive thoughts  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Your thoughts determine your actions. Think of the following thought: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail.” Put on the glasses of Philippians 4:8 and live positively!
  (9 July 2013)
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Bible book: Philippians 

Water, thirst and a note  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
“Sometimes you got to give everything away to get something back.”
  (25 June 2013)
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Bible book: 1 Kings 

The resurrection of Christ makes hope, joy and love possible  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
A person who wants to hope, needs to long for heaven. People who understand this have another outlook on life, they have another look in their eyes. They have a glint on their faces which is ignited by the city of God that reflects on them from afar. What happened to Moses when he couldn’t see God? He saw only the back of God but his face was aglow when he came down the mountain. The people asked him: What did you see up there? And he answered: I saw God.
  (18 June 2013)
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Bible book: 1 Peter 

A melting ice cube  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Psalm 37 calls its readers to live in an intimate relationship with God. What is indicated here as a life with God? Do what is good. Live and work peacefully because remember the words of verse 18: “the Lord cares for those who trust in him.”
  (11 June 2013)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Death is life  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Suffering never becomes hellish for a child of God. On the contrary. Especially when it is so severe that it seems it is beyond our strength, heaven is close by. Then the Lord carries us; then he takes what feels to us as an unbearable load, onto his shoulders. He was forsaken by God so that we would never be forsaken.
  (6 June 2013)
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Bible book: 1 Corinthians 

God takes pity on us in every circumstance  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We can confirm this glorious truth in another way. David says: “God follows us”. He follows us and pursues us until we finally admit that he is our Father, even if it takes all the days of our lives. “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps. 23:6). These are beautiful words: “Your goodness and love will remain with me for the rest of my life and I will make my home in the house of the Lord until the end of days.”
  (28 May 2013)
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Bible book: 2 Corinthians 

What is your worth for the kingdom?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
This parable teaches us what to do with gifts given to us from the kingdom of heaven. Or to put it in another way, the gifts of God’s love and grace. It is an overwhelmingly comprehensive gift that Christ has entrusted to us and we should use it until the day of his coming in glory. By burying it we demonstrate that it leaves us cold, that we are not prepared to have our lives enriched by it or to run risks because of it. We play it safe and hide behind all kinds of excuses such as that we are only sinners; that our gift is “modesty”. And so we try to blackmail God with our self-pity. But his demand of love and compassion is unwavering (Matthew 25:24). It is uncompromising. God’s judgement will expose our true selves: You are a wicked and slothful servant (Matthew 25:26). You don’t love me. You love only yourself.
  (15 May 2013)
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Bible book: Matthew 

What should I pray?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
What should I pray if someone has lost a limb in an accident or if someone’s spine has been damaged to such an extent that he/she will be wheelchair bound for the rest of his life? Should I pray that a new limb will grow from that person’s body or that the paralysed person’s spine will recover to enable him/her to live without a wheelchair? What should I pray if someone’s brain got damaged due to a stroke and as a result the chances are very slim, humanly speaking, that the person will ever be able to use the affected part of his/her body again?
  (8 May 2013)
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Bible book: Mark 

God and time and God`s time  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Ecclesiastes probably gives us one of the best explanations of Christ’s cross. If we understand the suffering and prayers of the Ecclesiast, we would be driven to the cross every time. The Ecclesiast burdens and exhausts us with his tremendous wisdom. But only as exhausted and burdened people can we go to the One who carried our burdens and who freed us from the futility of life (see Matth. 11:28).
  (23 April 2013)
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Bible book: Ecclesiastes 

How do I handle loss?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In Isaiah 41 the Lord comes to stand next to His people (He never was anywhere else) and sends this message to them. The Lord says: “I am the Lord your God” (Isaiah 41:13). He introduces himself again as the Living! He lives and this shines clearly through because He talks and acts. The Living Lord says that He is in a personal relationship with them: I am your God.
  (9 April 2013)
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Bible book: Isaiah 

New people in Christ  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
From a script in the 16th century come the well-known words: “God has never worked differently with people and never works differently with the words of promise.” And God, God himself makes his promise come true. The congregation is assured, “the promised Holy Spirit is the deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession.” Paul makes it very clear. The miracle that you and I are sealed as God’s possession is contained in the words “in Christ”.
  (3 April 2013)
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Bible book: Ephesians 

Christ`s unchanging presence  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Today the Lord wants us to come to a standstill for a while and to listen carefully to what he wants to tell us. He needs to spend some time with us so that he could tell us how much he loves us, to touch our lives and to turn us into happy people. He asks us to come sit with him quietly so that he can also hear us tell him how much we love him and about all our joys, pain and suffering. Because this is how a love relationship works.
  (26 March 2013)
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Bible book: Hebrews 

Doubters  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We don’t know much about Thomas. The Bible doesn’t pay much attention to the Lord’s lesser disciples. Disbelieving Thomas. Doubter Thomas. Thomas who said: “What I haven’t seen, I will not believe.”

The story of Thomas is the story of two Sundays. That Sunday morning, so says John 20, His grave was open and empty. Some of Jesus’ disciples and some of the women who followed Him saw the open grave with their own eyes. Mary Magdalene even alleged that she saw the risen Lord in the early morning light and that she talked to Him.
  (18 March 2013)
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Bible book: John 

God and Job and Job and God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Job was ashamed of his impetuousness by putting God on the defense and accusing Him of incongruities.

That is why Job hurried to the dock and showed himself as the accused: “Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge? Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know” (Job 42:3).
  (13 March 2013)
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Bible book: Job 

Moments after your death  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
But what will happen to us in the moment of our death? After this life our souls go IMMEDIATELY to Christ. And at a time as determined by God, the body will be resurrected through the power of Christ and will unite again with the soul so that it will be equal to the glorified body of Christ. The one who dies almost seems to ask God, as Noah, to close the door behind them and to open the door to eternity. “Father, I surrender my soul into your hands.” This is how Christ prays in his high priestly prayer (here in John 17): “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am” (John 17:24).
  (5 March 2013)
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Bible book: John 

The value of words  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).
  (26 February 2013)
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Bible book: James 

Nothing is too hard for God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jeremiah wants us to not see only the visible things. There is another reality we need to see as well. Don’t look only at tomorrow and despair, see God! Remember: see not only God’s future but also God himself!

The hopeless situation doesn’t have the last word, but God who is our hope, does.

There is hope when we don’t look only at the current history. We should see the God who holds history in his hand. And this vision is truly empowering and erects signs of hope throughout our lives.
  (19 February 2013)
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Bible book: Jeremiah 

Jesus - Our Middle C  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In the last chapter of his epistle the writer of the Hebrews is bringing everything he has said to a close. Near the middle of the chapter he writes “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). You could say that he was saying, “Jesus is and always will be our middle C and our lives are in tune only when tuned according to Him.”
  (12 February 2013)
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Bible book: Hebrews 

The Lord is an encampment of protection  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Daniel 3, just like Daniel 6, declares that God’s power is great. His bond with the faithful is so strong that nothing can separate us from him, including death (also see Rom. 8:31-39). Because even in death, like in the burning furnace, he never leaves his faithful alone.
  (5 February 2013)
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Bible book: Daniel 

To be able to forgive  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The fact that God is prepared to forgive sin doesn’t make sin a cheap matter. God was so serious about sin that he later let his Son Jesus Christ become human. Jesus eventually paid the price for sin. What God did in Jesus is the final guarantee that our sins have been forgiven.
  (29 January 2013)
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Bible book: Micah 

Christ, the entrance to the sheepfold  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The close bond between the Shepherd and his flock is most prevalent in the fact that the Shepherd has given his life for us. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends”, the Lord says in John 15. This part therefore appeals to us: Like Jesus, we need to care for others. We need to protect others. We need to care for others. We need to love others as he loves us. What benefit is this if we testify that Jesus really cares and is reliable in all aspects if we don’t care and are not trustworthy?
  (22 January 2013)
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Bible book: John 

God is a refuge  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In Moses’ final blessing he gave his people, he said that God is our refuge, our only true security. Too often we build our lives upon other things, for example on money, a career, a good project or a dream of life. But the only true refuge we have is the eternal God who, TAKE NOTE, stretches out his arms and catches us when the doubtful things we rely on, give way under us and make us fall. No storm can destroy us if we find refuge with him. The godless should however, always be careful. A single mistake could completely destroy them. It sometimes seems audacious to live for God today but in reality the godless are the ones who are on thin ice. God is our refuge and therefore we can live and act with strength, confidence and certainty.
  (14 January 2013)
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Bible book: Deuteronomy 

God became man  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
These two Scripture readings call us to kneel before God and to bring Him all the honour. But above all they want to bring us to a point of wordless gratitude for Him who was prepared to walk this road and to reconcile us with Him. He was in danger during his whole life so that He could protect us against all dangers.
  (5 December 2012)
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Bible book: Matthew 

Don`t be afraid; just believe!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The road of faith is usually not a straight one. We often are deeply tested in our faith. The same with Jairus. Of course, he was grateful that Jesus went home with him almost immediately. And undoubtedly he expected that Jesus would encourage and console him in his pain. But Jesus doesn’t because He knew that Jairus required faith above all else. His faith was little and weak and needed to grow. The fact that Jesus was silent, deeply tested Jairus’ faith.
  (27 November 2012)
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Bible book: Mark 

Retained, but damaged  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Lot’s history appears in Scripture twice. The first time we find it in the Old Testament in Genesis. Here it is told in full. The second time only the main features are portrayed in the New Testament in 2 Peter 2. The Old Testament positions the life of Lot next to that of Abraham and according to the New Testament Lot’s life is seen as parallel to Noah.
  (13 November 2012)
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Bible book: Genesis 

Why did Sarah laugh?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Faith goes beyond what looks humanly possible. Faith walks past the borders of the possible and accompanies us to the land of the absurd, the impossible, the ridiculous.
  (6 November 2012)
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Bible book: Genesis 

Faith is the umbilical cord that binds us to God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
To truly believe as a Christian means to trust in the Lord like a child. To know that He not only sees other people, but that He also sees me; that He not only loves others but also wants to give me that love. It means that I give my whole life to Him and not only a small part. No, it is to surrender my life peacefully and joyfully to the Lord and to know that He will give me what my heart desires (Psalm 37:3-5). “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Heb. 11:1). With these words the author of the Hebrew letter means that even though faith cannot be analysed in a test-tube, it is not vague and abstract. Faith is like a proof of property – you haven’t seen the house or land that you bought yet, but you are certain that the property is yours because you hold the proof in your hands. Faith is like the foundation of a building that still needs to be erected. It will be built because the foundations are clearly visible.
  (30 October 2012)
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Bible book: Jude 

Hope teaches us to sing  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Psalm 147 says: “How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” To sing heartily is not only, like paying your TV license, the right thing to do, it is a pleasant thing to do. Verse 7 therefore repeats it: “Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.” And again in verse 12: “Extol the Lord, o Jerusalem, praise your God, O Zion!” The Psalm also ends with: “Praise the Lord”.
  (23 October 2012)
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Bible book: Psalm 

What does God do every day?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
A little boy once asked his Dad: “What does Jesus do all day?” His Dad wanted to know why he is asking. The boy answered that he was bullied at school that day. He then prayed to Jesus to help him but nothing happened. Now he was just wondering what kept Jesus so busy that He couldn’t help him.
  (17 October 2012)
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Bible book: Luke 

I regard you highly  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We are living in a snobbish era. Money, status, long titles, the importance of on which side of the railway you are living. Some funerals even determine your ‘class’. Some weddings become an opportunity to show off. Well, in Babel the people of Israel were stripped of all these trappings. They were dirt poor. Deeply inferior.
  (2 October 2012)
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Bible book: Isaiah 

Rejection  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
To be rejected is surely one of the worst things that can happen to a person. It is said that rejection elicits the most negative emotions in any human being. Fear of rejection lies very deep in all of us.
  (26 September 2012)
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Bible book: Matthew 

The young man who found grace  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
“Then everyone deserted him and fled. A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.”
  (19 September 2012)
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Bible book: Mark 

The proximity of angels  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Psalm 91 uses old-world terms to describe the dangers and hazards threatening us in this life: Traps have been set for you like for a bird and how often do we end up in one of them! There are deadly diseases and often it happens to a friend or loved one! There are dangers in the night. There is pestilence; there are threats and illnesses in broad daylight. There are wars and shooting arrows. There is disaster and pests. There are lions and serpents. These are old-world images that are used for modern things but they remain the same. As humanity’s knowledge becomes more “sophisticated”, the dangers have also become more “sophisticated”.
  (12 September 2012)
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Bible book: Psalm 

God is in control!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Perhaps there were moments in your life when you also wanted to ask the question of Psalm 10:1: “Why O Lord, do you stand far off …?” Today with all its insecurities we look for direction and for peace and rest and security. And we look for it with someone who is bigger than ourselves – we look for it with God.
  (4 September 2012)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Worship  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Worship is a voluntary act of gratitude that the saved offer to the Saviour, the healed to the Healer, the freed to the Rescuer. And if you and I can continue for days without the need to say “thank you” to the One who saved, healed and freed us, we should start remembering what He did for us.
  (28 August 2012)
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Bible book: Matthew 

To cry  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
How do I work through my crisis?>
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matth. 6:22-23). Your eye is therefore of utmost importance. If there is something wrong with your eye, your whole body is darker and you should be aware of these signs of danger.
  (21 August 2012)
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Bible book: Matthew 

From despair to hope  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We are seldom as conscious of our smallness as when there is no one to help us. In moments of total dependency we are deeply aware that we cannot rely on our own strength. When we are weak, we are ready to go to God for help. Our position before God should exactly be one of helpless and willing servant prepared to learn the spiritual lessons that God wants to teach us. Such an attitude opens the door to hope. Patience and prayer are our weapons of attack against despair. And we can call on the tenderness of God with our whole hearts.
  (16 August 2012)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Humility - Christ always first  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
I can’t help reading these words repeatedly, what is it what the Lord wants us to tell with this text? My first impression is that Appollos is terribly wilful. Paul asked him nicely. He didn’t give him an instruction and didn’t order him, but requested him friendly to go to Corinth. Apollos however, kept on refusing. It seems as if he says: “I’ll go when it suits me.” Is this the attitude to have when an older person, an apostle asks you to do something? Or is this again a story of an arrogant youth who knows much better than the older more experienced person?
  (26 July 2012)
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Bible book: 1 Corinthians 

Storm on the Sea of Galilee  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The disciples were afraid of the storm. What do we fear? Lord, you know. The blood in our streets, the fear of anarchy. Hate and violence. The future of our country. These are not only the little waves of material loss that take us off balance. It is the huge swells of licentiousness and lawlessness that make us fear for our lives. We fear everything that is outside our control. We are tired of ladling water, Lord. We aren’t capable of keeping this boat afloat on our own accord.
  (18 July 2012)
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Bible book: Matthew 

Jesus really care  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
When it regards Bethesda, it would be difficult to paint a darker picture. It was a primitive kind of bathhouse for the sick. Every terrible oriental disease could be found at Bethesda. It was the last station for the wretched. If nothing could be done for them anymore, it was said: “Send him to Bethesda” [Ironically, Bethesda means “house of compassion”].
  (22 May 2012)
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Bible book: John 

God`s vision for you  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
To be a Christian is a dynamic experience; it is an adventure. It is a journey to become like Christ! Every Christian is somewhere on this journey. We need to therefore grow every day to become more like Christ.
  (14 May 2012)
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Bible book: Ephesians 

Faith has vision!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
“Seeing is believing.” We have heard this saying since childhood and have become brainwashed that we shouldn’t summarily believe everything; that we shouldn’t take chances; that we must look before we leap. All these well-meaning sayings have made skeptics of us – it taught us to be cautious. Is this how the Lord wants us to be?
  (8 May 2012)
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Bible book: Hebrews 

God transforms the ordinary into something extraordinary  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
“God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” – (see Eph. 3:20-21).  (18 April 2012)
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Bible book: Genesis 

The signs of the time  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jesus’ own actions introduced the last days here on earth. The end time came with his coming. From them on we became part of the last days. History’s hour glass was emptying. The coming therefore is closer to us today than ever before. See Paul’s words in Romans 13: 11-14: “But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!” (The Message).
  (10 April 2012)
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Bible book: Matthew 

The face of a Lion  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Mark writes his gospel for the faithful who fear because the disciples also feared. This is his good news!? It seems that all Mark’s readers live in fear in their respective environments. They believe, but their hearts are full of unbelief, doubt and fear. They want to follow but their faith is precarious. Jesus’ absence makes them lonely and afraid. Mark wants to encourage them. His fearful readers need not be lonely or feel guilty. The first disciples, the Twelve were also like that, not different or better. There are no super-disciples. Only those who fear-while-they-follow.
  (3 April 2012)
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Bible book: Mark 

Christ`s resurrection makes real life possible!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Look what Christ’s resurrection did to the disciples. Something happened to them. It now also happens to you and me when we meet the resurrected Lord. We start living. Their fear of death immediately changed into joy of life. “The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” Their circumstances haven’t changed. At that moment they saw that they will be oppressed in this life but still they can experience an inner peace because Jesus conquered the world. Peace be with the disciples and with the afraid “Jesus disciples” of every century and era. Also with us here in South Africa in 2012: “Peace!”
  (26 March 2012)
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Bible book: John 

Lord you are almighty  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Why does the poet of Ps. 139 here testify that the Lord knows us? Does he do it to make people live in fear of the Lord? Does he portray our world as a kind of police state? Be careful, Big Brother is watching? Don’t ever put your foot down wrong because the Lord sees what you do and He is just waiting for the right moment to punish you. No, this is not the aim of the Psalmist. He says these things out of admiration of the Lord. He wants to praise the strength of God. How great is God!
  (20 March 2012)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Is Christ visible in your life?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Paul uses an old Christian song to write one of the deepest and most moving parts found in the Bible. He says the attitude (Greek: phroneo – meaning that your thoughts should not deviate to anything else; we need to be focused; Christ was absolutely focused on his mission) that was in Jesus Christ also has to be in us. Paul starts in verse 3 by stating a principle, namely that we must do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility we need to consider others better than ourselves. The interests of others must always be kept in mind (v. 4). Perhaps there were people who thought that this demand of Paul is really asking too much. Paul however, answers that it didn’t ask too much of God! He, who was in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. He humbled himself by taking the nature of a servant, being made in human likeness (v. 7). But it didn’t end there. He humbled himself by dying on a cross (v. 8). And He did this in obedience to God (v. 8).
  (13 March 2012)
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Bible book: Philippians 

Do you really want to live?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The man at the pool of Bethesda did not realize that he experienced a particularly lucky moment. Jesus chose him among all those sick people and Jesus spoke to him and helped him. The Great Healer was with him but he just kept on complaining. He was frustrated. “Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me” (John 5:7).
  (6 March 2012)
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Bible book: John 

God`s grace  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
No one should be satisfied to be only a Christian. Stand up in the resurrection of Christ. Be joyous in the Lord. Surrender to Him. Make your faith speak in your words and actions. Think of Him on your way to grateful obedience and lead your family and fellow human beings to him.
  (27 February 2012)
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Bible book: Genesis 

Support in our weaknesses  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In Romans 8 Paul does say that the Spirit supports and carries us during our earthly battles. He doesn’t throw us to the wolves. He stays with us in a unique way because in the midst of all our groans Paul says in verse 26, the Spirit groans with us. However, His groans differ significantly from ours because when He groans something dramatic happens in heaven. He picks up all our suffering onto his shoulders and carries them to God himself.
  (20 February 2012)
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Bible book: Romans 

Christ is now present with us  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Is the Lord a living God in your life and do you think of him as that? Let us be honest again: I think, there is a little bit of scepticism in every one of us. Why? We can blame a few things for this but we are actually to blame ourselves. That’s why I want us to discover today that Jesus is a living reality. Someone who stays the same yesterday, today and for eternity!
  (14 February 2012)
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Bible book: John 

Joy IN the Lord  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
To be directed only upon yourself, will not lead to joy of life. There is a direct relation between reaching out to others and to experience joy of life and to be obedient to Christ. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). A happy and healthy and successful life, is the result of the contributions you make.
  (7 February 2012)
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Bible book: Philippians 

Lord, protect us  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
REMEMBER: “When the Lord is with us, we have no reason to fear. His eyes are upon us, his arms are around us, his ears are open for our prayers – his promises are fixed and his grace is sufficient.” (John Newton)
  (25 January 2012)
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Bible book: 1 Peter 

Anchored for the New Year  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
This New Year (2012) doesn’t float around in the air. It is anchored between yesterday and tomorrow. We read about it in Ephesians 4:30. We are anchored in today – Paul calls it “sealed” – by the Holy Spirit. As property of God we are safeguarded, today, here and now in 2012; between yesterday and tomorrow and all the days that will follow, we are safe in the hand of God. There is someone – the Spirit – binding us to the history and to the future reminding us of what was and giving us the insight into what awaits us and this seals us.
  (16 January 2012)
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Bible book: Ephesians 

Christ is born  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Father‚ give us eyes of faith so that we will see the light through your Son‚ Jesus. Give us ears of faith‚ so that we sing the song of the angels‚ and let us experience joy over the coming of your Son. Give us a heart of faith so that our lives may be changed through your love.
  (6 December 2011)
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Bible book: Isaiah 

Favourite of God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In Deuteronomy 32:10 we read that God found his people in the proverbial desert and has given them a new living space. The Lord showers his people with love. The Lord surrounds them: enfolds them in his love. As Zechariah put it‚ the Lord is a wall of fire around those He loves (Zech. 2:5). The Lord shields his children. He cares for them. You are not only a number to the Lord; He calls you by name; He knows you. He protects his people against all dangers. Yes‚ the Lord guards his children like the apple of his eye.
  (29 November 2011)
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Bible book: Deuteronomy 

Meet God in the wilderness  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We can try to describe the theme of Exodus 16 by saying: The road to the Promised Land runs through the desert. From a human perspective‚ the desert is exactly opposite to what we all want. Genesis 1:1 starts by stating: “… the earth was formless and empty.” The Hebrew translation of “formless and empty” is tohu wabohu. In the rest of the Hebrew Bible‚ the phrase tohu wabohu is used as a kind of “shorthand” for “desert” – the long stretches of desert which symbolise the sinfulness of creation. In Exodus 16 the people think their rescue from Egypt is a nightmare. Their faith and confidence in Moses (and as a logical result also in God) has been blown away as the sand on the dunes surrounding them.
  (20 November 2011)
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Bible book: Exodus 

Could this be true?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jesus’ disciples denied the blind men who wanted to go to Christ with their defect. “As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho‚ a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside‚ and when they heard that Jesus was going by‚ they shouted‚ Lord‚ Son of David‚ have mercy on us!” (Matth. 20:29-30). The people rebuked them and told them to be quiet but they shouted even louder‚ “Lord‚ Son of David‚ have mercy on us!” Jesus stopped and said to them‚ “What do you want me to do for you?” They answered‚ “Lord‚ we want our sight. Jesus touched their eyes and they could see immediately and followed him” (Matth. 20:34).
  (14 November 2011)
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Bible book: Matthew 

Why me?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
God doesn’t tell Jeremiah: Don’t worry Jeremiah‚ things will be better soon. Also no words of “hang in there.” ON THE CONTRARY: God informs Jeremiah that it will be worse in future. The secret of suffering is to realize: If the suffering comes‚ God will be there‚ He will be present in the suffering and I can trust Him.
  (7 November 2011)
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Bible book: Jeremiah 

You are worth more than a sparrow  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Matthew 10:29-30 wants to tell us something of the style of God’s presence in everything that happens to us in order to give the faithful courage: nothing happens without the presence of the Father.
  (31 October 2011)
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Bible book: Matthew 

What baggage are you carrying?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The verses from Hebrews encourage us to remember what we are busy with. The author compares the lives of the faithful with athletes running a long distance race. There are several thousand spectators. And they are not mere spectators; they are all the believers who already finished the race. To us who still have to run the race‚ they are the examples and they urge us on.
  (24 October 2011)
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Bible book: Hebrews 

Is God asleep?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
During the storm at sea‚ Jesus slept. According to Mark’s edition of these events‚ He sleeps in the back of the fishing boat (Mark 4:38)‚ probably as human being‚ He was tired of the whole day’s efforts with people and their problems; He yet went to sleep with firm confidence and fixed trust that God (His and our Father)‚ WILL care.
  (18 October 2011)
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Bible book: Matthew 

God is with us - where are we?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Where is God? The Lord is with his children. Jesus is Immanuel‚ God with us. The Holy Spirit is God in us. Where are we?
  (10 October 2011)
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Bible book: John 

God`s handwriting  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In this Psalm the poet is amazed about the wonders of creation‚ yes‚ ecstatic about life. This is something that is lacking in many of us. Indeed‚ the feeling of amazement has disappeared to a large extent from the vision and understanding of the average person. In the practice of our lives we very seldom encounter it anymore …
  (3 October 2011)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Do not look around - look up  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Our hope in God is concerned with your engagement and your concealment in Christ. How will people see Jesus in me? When they see that you have hope in your life in the midst of difficult circumstances! There is a saying: Difficulties either break you or cause you to break records. We need to have hope‚ not for the best‚ but on a person‚ namely Jesus!
  (26 September 2011)
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Bible book: 1 Timothy 

Your anchor in life  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Security is important to all of us. We look for it in various places and ways. Without security (an anchor in our lives) we feel unsure‚ insecure and it is difficult to deal with. We therefore take out insurance on our property and our lives and we try to make provision for the unknown.
  (20 September 2011)
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Bible book: Job 

God`s people  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Someone once said to me: “You know‚ human beings are actually nothing! We are less than the dust of the earth.” I wondered: Is this true? Are we really nothing? Are human beings only worms crawling around on this earth? There are many people‚ even Christians who are of this view. There still are people today who support Plato’s view that our bodies are only a shell which frees the soul on the day that we die. Is this really how God feels about you and me? What does Scripture write about man?
  (12 September 2011)
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Bible book: Psalm 

God makes music  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
This is actually a part of Jesus’s answer to a question of John the Baptist from jail. John wanted to know whether Jesus was really the Messiah or should they wait for another. In his darkest hour‚ John’s faith leaves him. Wasn’t he the one who baptised the Messiah earlier? Wasn’t he the one who prepared the way for Jesus and announced his coming? We would think that John would cling to the Lord in great faith until the last moment of his life. But because he is only human‚ doubt besets him in this dark hour.
  (5 September 2011)
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Bible book: Matthew 

The meaning of faith  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
What is the actual meaning of the fact that you believe? Are you a better person because you believe?
  (22 August 2011)
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Bible book: Hebrews 

Be there for others  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jesus stood still next to this man and became someone for him. Jesus helped him. Because Jesus came to become someone for everyone who has no one – for the blind and the deaf; for the leper and the paralysed; for the tax collector and the sinner; for the Samaritan woman; for the mourning Martha and Mary; for the doubting Thomas; for the criminal on the cross.
  (15 August 2011)
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Bible book: John 

When God forsakes you ...  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
When we look at Psalm 22 we find what must surely be some of the most moving words in the whole of the Old Testament. The author of this Psalm calls out: “My God‚ my God‚ why have you forsaken me?” Listen carefully. He doesn’t deny the existence of God because he is actually talking to God. He is bitterly disappointed and therefore he just believes that the Lord has forsaken him. Nevertheless‚ he flees to God with his troubles. In a manner of speaking‚ God is his “last resort”. If you understand this‚ you will realize that the underlying tone of this prayer of complaint is one of hope and expectation.
  (8 August 2011)
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Bible book: Psalm 

A new start  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We easily live in the past and think of things gone by. Even wish sometimes for the good old days. Perhaps this is the reason why we don’t get done with so many things. The reason for our fear of the future. A reason why we hesitate and don’t seize the day.
  (1 August 2011)
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Bible book: Luke 

Reach out to each other  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In Jesus Christ we are offered real life. For example he offers the Samaritan woman water which would ensure that she would never be thirsty again because he is the Water of life; he gives bread which ensures that we will never be hungry again‚ because he is the Bread of life; He gives us sight which ensures that we will never be blind again‚ because he is the Light of the world‚ etcetera. He gives it‚ because he is it. In him is the fullness of life. And these aren’t promises that will only be fulfilled later‚ it is the truth now!
  (25 July 2011)
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Bible book: John 

Help, I am doubting  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We currently have to deal with a generation of tired people. Or in the words of Isaiah 35:3‚ people who have feeble hands and knees that give way. We have become tired and disheartened. It feels as if we have been caught in an endless and bleak cyclical existence where nothing really changes. We simply feel like running away from everything. The proverbial rat race has simply become too much. We feel that everything thing we do comes to nothing and we have lost the will to continue.
  (11 July 2011)
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Bible book: Matthew 

God and our everyday life  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
How often do we associate Jesus with our everyday lives? Don’t we think too often that Jesus is only interested in our spiritual lives? As if he is only concerned with our souls and whether we have been saved and will go to heaven after death?
  (4 July 2011)
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Bible book: 2 Kings 

Sincere with no hidden agenda  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
May it be a characteristic of our lives that we live sincerely and without ulterior motives before God and with fellow human beings.
  (27 June 2011)
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Bible book: Luke 

Self God?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Why is Abel’s offering accepted and Cain’s rejected? To answer this question‚ we need to understand the whole story in its context.
  (20 June 2011)
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Bible book: Genesis 

On whose side is God?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
This question (“on whose side is God?”) is a question that lives in the minds of many of us‚ especially in a time battle. It is such a part of our beings that we want to know‚ want to be sure‚ that we can rely on God’s blessing and support.
  (13 June 2011)
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Bible book: Matthew 

Indeed, the Lord is near  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Measure yourself against these four words (benevolence‚ joy‚ peace‚ light-heartedness). Would someone who’s looking at you‚ see something of these in you? Would he be able to observe something of the nearby Lord in your life? This is a tremendously important question! It exposes your hope or despair …
  (5 June 2011)
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Bible book: Philippians 

Acquitted!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
You would ask: How do I remain standing in the midst of the battles of life? Be sure: Our Father in heaven has his hands firmly on the steering wheel and his eye is on the furthest turn in the road. I have heard of a man who wrote on his wind vane: “God is love” because he said: “God is love irrespective of the direction of the wind.” Irrespective of the direction of the winds of change we meet in our circumstances‚ God’s love for us stays. To hope on God doesn’t mean to not see the negative powers but it means that we see how Jesus is Lord over all of it because he sits at God’s right hand. He governs!
  (30 May 2011)
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Bible book: Romans 

Together on the road to a new world  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Positive healing takes place when people reach out to each other and start helping each other as in accordance with the will of the Lord.
  (23 May 2011)
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Bible book: Deuteronomy 

Is God good?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Asaph dicovers in Ps. 73 that he belongs to the Lord! Not in what belongs to him‚ but to Whom he belongs. Therein is the comfort. And nowhere is it as clear as that God wants to hold us to his breast and wants to say: You are mine! as in his Son. Nowhere else but in Jesus Christ we see that the universe is cold and empty but it is filled with a heart‚ a warm heart‚ a Father’s heart. Don’t we find rest only after we have found it in God? (Augustine). The Father holding me against his heart as his property‚ who quietens me against his breast. Asaph testifies in this Psalm that in joy and in pain‚ in prosperity and adversity‚ it is true that our highest peace and joy is to be close to God. To always walk with God as Henoch. May you also experience this.
  (17 May 2011)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Your heavenly Father looks after you  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jacob’s experience is often the experience of so many of us today. In our modern century of technical achievements there are more people who are lonely than ever before. It is true that the world has become smaller. We can travel from one part of the world to another within a matter of hours. By pressing a knob‚ we can bring the outside world right into our family rooms by means of the TV screen. It brings a moment of relaxation but it doesn’t bring happiness. Facebook doesn’t take away the emptiness. People’s hearts ask for love – honest‚ sincere‚ committed and warm personal love. We live in a world full of technical achievements but empty of love.
  (9 May 2011)
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Bible book: Genesis 

Jesus has risen!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
When God gets involved and intervenes in the lives of ordinary people‚ it is sometimes difficult to understand what’s happening and to make sense of it. God’s deeds can not always be expected and don’t always happen as people would think or predict. God doesn’t work according to the rules of human logic or according to the way things normally go here on earth. People‚ even the faithful‚ can’t help but to think‚ live and respond according to our earthly way of doing and the way we have been put together. This is our frame of reference and it is difficult to loosen ourselves from it and to see another greater frame of reference and to live according to that.
  (26 April 2011)
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Bible book: Luke 

Safely in the hands of God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Trust is an issue that keeps us standing. Life doesn’t always treat us well and when things do go swimmingly we never know whether it will be the same tomorrow. Things may change in the blink of an eye. It is then that trust gives us strength – trust in the Lord. We then realize: we can’t really run away from the things that chase us. The only way out is to run to God‚ to ask him for spiritual asylum‚ so to speak.
  (18 April 2011)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Are you running out of prayers?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
What do we do when our faith gets “finished” (between quotation marks) and we start getting scared? Do we also like Elijah end up flat on our faces under the proverbial broom tree? How do we react when the messenger of Jezebel makes us stop in our tracks?
  (12 April 2011)
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Bible book: 1 Kings 

Trust God, even when circumstances change!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Faith is to trust God unconditionally – even in the fiercest circumstances. Trust is not necessarily certainty but complete surrender to God. When we surrender to God completely‚ irrespective of the circumstances‚ we will ultimately experience victory. We conquer ourselves! In this part of Scripture‚ the circumstances eventually turn positive. God ultimately rewards true trust. Even if we have to go through a furnace first!
  (4 April 2011)
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Bible book: Daniel 

The shield of faith  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We are in the middle of a war between life and death. Flaming arrows are shot on to every child of God by the Evil one. It is not a battle with people but with a much more dangerous enemy – an enemy who wants to break our relationship with God. That is why Paul gives this extremely important command in verse 10: “Be strong in the Lord and his mighty power.”
  (28 March 2011)
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Bible book: Ephesians 

The foolishness of the cross  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Can we say‚ together with Paul that we don’t live but that Christ lives in us? Because we have been bought by him on the cross. It is what it is about. On the cross Jesus paid for all our sins and guilt. He issued a receipt confirming that all our debts have been settled in full. This is the sense in the nonsense of the cross‚ this is the wisdom in all the ostensible foolishness. Only this cross can give meaning to our lives and truly make it worth our while.
  (22 March 2011)
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Bible book: 1 Corinthians 

Do we hear God`s voice?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
It seems almost unthinkable that someone could live his faith‚ in other words‚ walk a physical road with God in the world but never hear the Lord’s voice. But still this happens increasingly. People talk about God. They make pronouncements about him and criticise him without actually entering in a conversation with him. The world we live in‚ doesn’t really assist in this process either.
  (14 March 2011)
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Bible book: 1 Samuel 

God in the conventional - Genesis 5  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Genesis 5 is not one of the most interesting chapters in the Bible. The only thing we find in that chapter‚ is an exposition of Adam’s genealogical register. It starts with the moment God created Adam and progresses to Noah. In a boring succession of names (and unbelievable long life spans!)‚ it is a list of all those who lived between the two champions of faith. We know almost nothing of most people we find there. Perhaps they weren’t impressive people because all we have is their names.
  (7 March 2011)
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Bible book: Genesis 

Are the faithful allowed to doubt?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
There are people who believe easily. Childlike and earnestly they believe in the existence of God‚ that they are children of God‚ that God is good‚ that only good will happen to the children of God because everything works for the good. It seems that nothing on earth can shake their faith. But there are also other people‚ people who believe with difficulty.
  (28 February 2011)
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Bible book: Job 

Loneliness  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Do we realize how bitterly lonely Jesus was during the last hours of his life? For almost the whole time of his public appearances he was surrounded by people. Crowds of people gathered around him. They almost jostled him. He had no more privacy. He had so little time to be alone. There were almost always people around and with him. In large numbers they streamed to be at his side. They came to listen to him. His teachings were so radically different from what they were used to. He taught them in such a surprisingly new way and didn’t just repeat the old stuff over and over again. He didn’t give them new rules and regulations they had to comply with.
  (21 February 2011)
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Bible book: Matthew 

God is with you in your biggest crisis  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
This part calls us to keep on believing in times of crisis. To know: the crisis‚ yes the biggest of all crises‚ are not beyond the will and control of our Lord.
  (14 February 2011)
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Bible book: 2 Chronicles 

Be one another`s servant  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Service and importance – these two are difficult to reconcile. It has become abundantly clear when Jesus and his disciples one day prepared for a meal. The disciples dearly loved their Master. They would really climb any mountain and conquer any enemy for him. But then there was the washing of feet.
  (7 February 2011)
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Bible book: John 

There is ALWAYS hope  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Christ opened a new perspective: the view on heaven. It isn’t a dream world anymore – a world that is unreachable. It is a reality that we can enter in Jesus. And the most important is that it isn’t something for the far future‚ a pie in the sky when you die. It has already started. In Jesus we have eternal life. With him we are already living in the kingdom of God. We have already started experiencing something of heaven on earth; something of his love and abundance. It strengthens our hope on that which awaits after death for those who believe in Jesus.
  (31 January 2011)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Thank you for today!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Why concern yourself with tomorrow if today is still happening? Live one day at a time.
  (24 January 2011)
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Bible book: Matthew 

Does God answer all prayers?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In full expectation he is standing on his prayer tower‚ his body etched against the gray heavens. Will God answer? Will he suddenly step in to save his people? Will he change the bad people into good ones like magic? Stop the violence?
  (17 January 2011)
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Bible book: Habakkuk 

Sing!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
I believe that the correct lenses enabled Paul and Silas to sing while they were in prison despite their circumstances (Acts 16:25). From prison‚ Paul writes to the congregation in Philippi: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). He writes to people like us. He wants to remind people to make their attitude a joyous one. Christians have reason to be glad! Paul reminds us from a cold cell that the Lord is with us (Phil. 4:5)‚ so close that we can make our desires known to Him. Even more‚ Paul says: “And the peace of God‚ which transcends all understanding‚ will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).
  (11 January 2011)
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Bible book: Acts 

God speaks  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
During this festive season we are reminded again in particular that Jesus stands before us as God. The One who has existed forever‚ has become human. The Christmas message is therefore like a relay race. We need to hand over the baton. The story of the birth of Jesus should not end with us. We have to become excited again like children and babble about the “miracle of God in the town of Bethlehem”. We need to also make others excited and joyful about this miracle. The apostle John did this and not to make only others excited! He writes: “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard‚ so that you also may have fellowship with us … to make our joy complete.” (1 John 1:3-4).
  (13 December 2010)
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Bible book: John 

Life in abundance  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Between Christ (the vine) and his followers (the branches) there must be absolute unity in life‚ amalgamation in life and solidarity in life. This is the primary part of the message of Christ through this image of the vine and branches. You are ín me and I am ín you.
  (6 December 2010)
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Bible book: John 

From despair to joy  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
What do we do when we have lost all hope? How do we respond if that which we put our hope on‚ suddenly isn’t there anymore?
  (29 November 2010)
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Bible book: Luke 

New panoramas  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
What do you do if everything around you collapses? If everything you possessed suddenly one day isn’t there anymore? If your life building crashes in‚ your foundations give way and your anchors go loose? What do you do if in addition‚ your friends leave you in the lurch‚ insult and mock you and find joy in your pain?
  (22 November 2010)
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Bible book: Lamentations 

Where is God?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Sometimes there are days when we don’t know where to find God. And it is not because we have become atheists of doubt the existence of God. Sometimes even in deep faith‚ we can search for God and not know where to find him. Job once said to Eliphaz: “But if I go to the east‚ he is not there; if I go the west‚ I do not find him. When he is at work in the north‚ I do not see him; when he turns to the south‚ I catch no glimpse of him” (Job 23:8-9).
  (15 November 2010)
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Bible book: Job 

Being called by the Lord  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We have to be doers of the Word; thronging doers‚ enthusiastic doers. Therefore the words of James are so relevant today. He says: “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and‚ after looking at himself‚ goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” (James 1:23‚ 24). The guy James is writing of is in a hurry. He hears the Word‚ he sees himself in the light of the Word‚ he sees what he looks like and what God is expecting of him and then he goes away and forgets what he looked like‚ he forgets the Word and what the Word wanted to achieve in his life. His community with God is limited to only one item on the agenda‚ one item on his full daily programme‚ and he doesn’t really come to a standstill at the Word. And the result: he later on doesn’t return to listen to the Word of God. He has become completely numb.
  (8 November 2010)
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Bible book: Mark 

We have a High Priest  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
If God knows us and loves us‚ why is life sometimes so difficult? If we have access to the throne of grace‚ why do we feel that our prayers aren’t answered? If He really had sympathy with us why do we still feel the pressure of temptation and even sometimes of persecution?
  (2 November 2010)
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Bible book: Hebrews 

Walk in the joy of God`s word  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
God’s laws will only become songs to us when we don’t see them as duties that require our servile compliance but as invitations that we as children will accept with gratitude; when we don’t see them as limiting to our freedom but as directions assisting us from the dungeons of our alienage to the home of our Father.
  (25 October 2010)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Has the gospel reached its expiry date?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
How do we measure the success of the gospel in a town‚ in a country? Paul says we can measure it by two things: Success is when people accept the message as the Word of God and success is when the residents don’t change the message but when the message changes the residents.
  (18 October 2010)
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Bible book: 1 Thessalonians 

Dead bones come to life  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Believing is much more than an intellectual agreement with some beautiful truths. It involves a clinging-to-death to the Lord. Such a belief fosters hope. Our experience of God’s grace gives us courage and confidence for the road ahead. In the midst of suffering we can venture on the road to tomorrow with a guarantee of God’s everlasting love. And this is a living hope. Or as Paul says‚ a hope that doesn’t disappoint.
  (11 October 2010)
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Bible book: Ezekiel 

Disciples with scars  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jesus is the One who pleads your case as human being – as weak and damaged person – with God – not uninvolved from a distance but as One with empathy– One who suffers with us‚ dies with us and conquers.
  (4 October 2010)
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Bible book: John 

Look, Jesus is next to you  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
So many of us are people of Emmaus. On our way home but confused about everything we hear. Uncertain about what we must believe. Despondent because things don’t turn out as we thought they would or should. But Jesus wants to also make this day a day of certainty. The first day of the rest of our lives: a day of being assured; purposeful and powerful action.
  (27 September 2010)
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Bible book: Luke 

God is God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
God is not helpless or powerless in times of crisis. God does not depend on us to maintain his honour or reputation. He is the Living God whose honour cannot be taken by mere mortals. Also among the gods of our time‚ the Lord is powerful. Even if everything implodes upon itself‚ God is strong.
  (20 September 2010)
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Bible book: 1 Samuel 

How long, o Lord?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Psalm 13 sketches the feelings of a person who has become tired. And teache us that we may also call on God and plead with Him to intervene when we have come to the end of our strength. He is still there. Even if it seems that He doesn’t see us anymore. He hears our call. He is ready to help us. He sees and He hears!
  (13 September 2010)
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Bible book: Psalm 

The second coming of Jesus  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The question is: Do we realize every day that Jesus will come again? Do we live as faithful people with our eyes on his coming? Is his coming really on our agenda every day?
  (7 September 2010)
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Bible book: James 

God is love!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In this verse the Lord puts us before this reversed incomprehensible question: How can God love me? How is it possible that an almighty God who is holy and just‚ and who knows how sinful and bad we are‚ how hurtful we are towards each other‚ the hate and violence we cause – how is it possible that such a God loves the world so much; that He hasn’t destroyed the world long ago; that even though He knows my evil and rebellious heart‚ He still wants to be LOVE in his Son?
  (30 August 2010)
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Bible book: 1 John 

Security  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Someone once said that no one wants to be either first or last. The one who comes first has no one in front to protect him and the last person has no one behind him. No one wants to open a discussion. No one likes to arrive first at a function. No one wants to open the attack against the enemy. But still someone has to be first! To push someone forward with a: “You go first” is not always a polite modesty‚ it is often a sign of fear‚ a feeling of being unprotected. In the same way we don’t want to be the last to jump into the lifeboat or enter the church. We are always looking for protection against the unknown dangers of life and against the spying eyes of other people.
  (23 August 2010)
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Bible book: Revelation 

Why?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Psalm 22 “answers” the “why-question” in a consoling way. It says: Even if God is silent because of his sovereignty and our sin‚ his wrath or our guilt‚ or for whatever reason‚ it doesn’t change anything about his faith or his love towards us; it doesn’t take anything away. It makes Psalm 22 more than just a bitter letter about God. It is rather an intimate prayer to God: My God‚ my God‚ why did you forsake me? Perhaps the salvation starts in our misery already so that we can call out: My God! The poet knows: even if he sees or experiences nothing of the kind‚ God still is the Holy One who lives where Israel’s praises echo (verse 4).
  (16 August 2010)
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Bible book: Psalm 

In the melting pot  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The melting pot of affliction that befell Israel (and to which Isaiah is referring) was hard. God led them through exile. God led them through the deepest unrest and pain and suffering – for the sake of their restoration. God sometimes also leads us through the melting pot of suffering – as several authors of the Bible testify.
  (9 August 2010)
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Bible book: Isaiah 

Prayer can change your life  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Persistent faith‚ faith that makes you desperately fall to your knees and keeps you there‚ moves heart and hand. When life puts us in a corner and it feels as if the line to heaven is engaged‚ we must not give up easily. Faith means to persist in talking to God‚ to pray the lines open again. God is never deaf for sincere prayer. He is willing to listen to any case with merits. Jesus clearly illustrated this by his willingness to be “persuaded” by the woman who was so desperately looking for help that she didn’t want to take no for an answer. Shouldn’t we also start believing so courageously?
  (3 August 2010)
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Bible book: Mark 

Nothing is too hard for God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
It is as if the Lord wants to say: Israel‚ you who have known that nothing is too wonderful for God; you who proclaim that Abraham is your father; you who have experiential knowledge of God’s unlimited powers – you live as if God is powerless; as if He has forsaken his people and as if He is unable to deal with the heathen gangs on your doorstep …

Isn’t this a valid message to our address as well? Don’t we too‚ become overwhelmed by fear of the evil powers of Satan? So overwhelmed that in our struggle with the enemy we are even prepared to make use of resources that are not reconcilable with God’s Word. Do we unconditionally believe that nothing is impossible for God?
  (26 July 2010)
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Bible book: Jeremiah 

The Lord is in control  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Esther is a consoling book.

It tells us: No matter what happens‚ the Lord is there and his Word is the last word.
  (19 July 2010)
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Bible book: Esther 

We are not alone  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We are not alone. God is with us. The Holy Spirit is in us. He teaches and guides us. He supports and encourages us. He consoles us. He is always with and in us. Like the air is around us‚ so the Spirit is truly around and in us. Like we can live because we breathe so we can truly live through the living Spirit of God. He enables our lives. Without Him is only death.
  (12 July 2010)
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Bible book: John 

Angels around us  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
When circumstances become too much for us‚ we become so fixated that the element of faith is kept outside our reckoning. Our eyes become so intent on the problem that we don’t look up to see God. The result is that we become despondent and depressed. But the Lord doesn’t want us to become despairing‚ like Elisha didn’t want his slave to become depressed. And then Elisha prays on behalf of his slave: … O Lord‚ open his eyes so he may see … And the Lord makes him see.
  (5 July 2010)
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Bible book: 2 Kings 

God, the Lord rules  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
I think the biggest mistake we all make when we talk or think about hope‚ is to link it to circumstances and material things or people. The Bible teaches us that hope‚ the only guaranteed hope‚ should be linked to a Person. Jesus is our hope. And He lives in us. He is our guarantee here and now.
  (28 June 2010)
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Bible book: Isaiah 

Become quite before God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We must remember‚ if we are truly Christian‚ then the Lord lives in our hearts through his Holy Spirit. And He doesn’t only want to be served – He also wants to serve you through his Word! He doesn’t want to serve you only Sundays when you go to church. Oh no‚ He wants to serve you also in your regular quiet times‚ in your personal Bible study and by listening to your prayers. The question now is: do you allow yourself to be served by the Lord by listening quietly to Him‚ or are you so restlessly working that you don’t have time to listen to the Lord?
  (21 June 2010)
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Bible book: Luke 

Eat Me  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Here on the mountain next to the Sea of Galilee it is a bit chaotic. There are thousands of people. It is lunchtime. Custom dictates that Jesus has to feed the crowd. He asks (verse 5): “Where shall we buy food?”
  (15 June 2010)
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Bible book: John 

Focus on God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
There is no doubt that Habakkuk was a deeply religious man – a man in extremely difficult circumstances. It is clear that the situation shocked him. That he came out a stronger and deeper person after his struggles with God‚ is however unmistakably apparent!
  (7 June 2010)
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Bible book: Habakkuk 

Spiritual equipment  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Put on the full armour of God. The verb to “put on” reminds us of putting on clothing – of “dressing”. Paul here refers to a Christian who identifies with what will be mentioned here – and it relates to the full armour of God. The Greek word Paul uses for armour is a word indicating heavily armed soldiers. Paul wants to emphasise that this battle is of such a nature that if we are not wearing full armour‚ we will simply succumb – we would not be able to remain standing. The emphasis here is on the FULL armour which means that a heavily armed soldier should not forget ANYTHING because if he forgets ANYTHING‚ he would be vulnerable.
  (31 May 2010)
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Bible book: Ephesians 

Faith and tomorrow  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The only thing that sometimes keeps us going is hope: hope that tomorrow will be better than today; hope that my sweat and tears will change into rest and peace; hope that my sacrifices will end in victory.
  (24 May 2010)
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Bible book: John 

Why do we suffer?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
On the question why God allows suffering in the lives of his children‚ I have to say that I don’t know exactly‚ but this I do know: The God of the Bible is a suffering God himself. He is with us in our greatest need.
  (10 May 2010)
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Bible book: Deuteronomy 

Is it futile to serve God?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
There are moments in the life of the church and in the lives of Christians when they start wondering about the gospel – about its power‚ its meaning and its effectiveness … One hears sometimes about people who have been accused of some or other crime and then after a long and arduous court case‚ are acquitted – of course‚ to their delight and relief. But when they want to return to society‚ they encounter many problems due to the prejudices of others and totally contrary to their expectations …
  (4 May 2010)
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Bible book: Malachi 

No baggage please!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The verses from Hebrews encourage us to remember what we are busy with. The author compares the lives of the faithful with athletes running a long distance race. There are several thousand spectators. And they are not mere spectators; they are all the believers who already finished the race. To us who still have to run the race‚ they are the examples and they urge us on.
  (20 April 2010)
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Bible book: Hebrews 

The Lord is near!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Someone who knows that the Lord is near‚ also knows that he or she while carrying a bigger or smaller package of worries is carried every day by that same Lord. We could almost say: the power of the first coming of Jesus ‘pushes’ us forward‚ while the suction of his second coming ‘pulls’ us forward. Those who worry‚ should keep their eyes on the cross‚ the empty grave of Jesus‚ as well as on the clouds! To discover that he is being carried …
  (12 April 2010)
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Bible book: Philippians 

Contentment  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The answer for contentment lies in a quiet confidence in the Lord (Ps. 27:7; Ps. 62:2; Isaiah 30:15) even in the midst of this hurried way of life (Ps. 3:6-7).
  (30 March 2010)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Conquering fear  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
John says that love drives out fear (Greek: ballo – indicating strong action to get rid of something). It is remarkable that he doesn’t want us to have more courage to conquer fear because this would have been our own human answer. “If only I were more courageous‚ then I wouldn’t be so scared.” But if we say this‚ then everything again centers around the person and his own attempts. And God is then excluded. John wants to teach us that God’s love has to change our perspective on the realities of life. Not fear‚ but love needs to be the driver of our life.
  (23 March 2010)
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Bible book: 1 John 

Run to the end  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
God is the One we can trust and depend on. He is the One for whom time is not a problem and for whom our crises is not an issue‚ our problems are no problem! He doesn’t get tired. He never strains. Even when we don’t see it for long periods of time.
  (16 March 2010)
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Bible book: Hebrews 

God nurtures us with dew  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
According to Hosea 14 the life of the faithful is “fixed”. A person with faith is a certain person‚ not of himself but in God and his promises. The New Testament talks about such a life as a house built on a rock (Matt. 7:24) – and this rock is no one but Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:11).
  (8 March 2010)
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Bible book: Hosea 

Trust God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In Peter’s words we are invited: “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7). God cares for you! Not only will He never leave you – He will also care for you. He continuously cares for you – not only sometimes. His care encompasses everything – even the hair on your head has been counted. His care is sovereign – nothing will happen without Him allowing it to.
  (2 March 2010)
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Bible book: 2 Kings 

Doubting Thomas  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Do you see something of yourself in Thomas? Are you also a disappointed person because your life differs from your dreams? Does your soul bear the scars of battles you have lost? Do you also doubt your own abilities? Then there is for you to the consolation that a conquered life can be transformed into a life of victory.
  (22 February 2010)
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Bible book: John 

Christ is rejected  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jesus’ elucidation of Isaiah’s prophesy of salvation differed much from those given by the rabbi’s of his time. He gives it a totally new dimension – a dimension of grace!
  (15 February 2010)
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Bible book: Luke 

To be a Christian  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The part of Scripture we read to together today is about a very intense period in Paul’s life. He is a prisoner in Caesarea – one of the biggest harbour cities of the Mediterranean Sea in Palestine. The ruins of that impressive city are still visible today between Tel Aviv and Haifa. On their way to Rome‚ Paul’s court case is heart by Felix. Thereafter he is brought before Felix’s successor‚ Festus. But there is little progression with him as well. Paul’s case was then taken by Agrippa‚ the sovereign of Galilee. Agrippa and his wife Bernice were Festus’ guests.
  (2 February 2010)
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Bible book: Acts 

NOTHING is impossible for God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The author of Genesis doesn’t paint pretty pictures of faith because faith is not a smooth‚ easy way out. Faith doesn’t only consist of positive thoughts or a kind of youthful optimism that can face the world. Faith is often difficult. Faith is fragile‚ faith is vulnerable! In our lives of faith we often become tired. Victory sometimes looks ridiculous. The rain sometime stays away. Life often tastes bitter. The faithful sometimes also pray: “Father if it is your will‚ please let this suffering pass me by.”
  (27 January 2010)
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Bible book: Genesis 

God is our refuge  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Psalm 46 teaches us: change your perspective – look at God. Remember that the Lord is there. He is our refuge and our protection. This is why the poet can sing even in the midst of the most terrible things. We are not afraid. Even if the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea‚ though its waters foam and roar‚ and the mountains quake with their surging – we are not afraid. The images used here are very strong. They portray terrible things that happen. They paint a picture of a total collapse of the world. Even if all these things happen‚ the Psalmist says‚ we are not afraid. Nothing makes us fear. Not even the terrible tumultuous sea; the mountains that shake and the earth that gives way!
  (19 January 2010)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Live in faith in 2010  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The cross has become a fashion statement you hang around your neck but that makes very little difference to your life. We still “believe” but faith has so little practical content and makes so little difference to us that for all practical reasons it doesn’t exist. The life changing possibilities contained in the gospel is becoming less and less visible. It is therefore important that we hear the message here at the start of 2010 and that we practice it! Let us look how this takes shape in Abraham’s life.
  (13 January 2010)
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Bible book: Genesis 

Our Comforter  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We don’t belong to ourselves – those who realize this and make it their own‚ those who believe it and contemplate it‚ they know true‚ deep joy and real‚ complete freedom.
  (1 December 2009)
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Bible book: John 

Small steps  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Remember: life is about taking one step at a time. One day at a time. And Jesus says: Look‚ I am with you all the days. It is so important that He says all the days until the end of the world. Because all the days also mean the suffering days and the days-full-of-laughter – yes‚ all the days.
  (24 November 2009)
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Bible book: Matthew 

Clay jars that break easily  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
During the time the New Testament was written clay jars were very important utensils. People used them to store their food and drink‚ flour‚ dried beans and water. The clay jars were very carefully manufactured and on the outside they were decorated by painted patterns. The jars were also baked in ovens to prolong their life and to make them more attractive. The jars had only one disadvantage: they broke easily.
  (16 November 2009)
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Bible book: 2 Corinthians 

Sense in suffering?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
God is at work in a particular way in and behind our time. Yes‚ the living God is involved in our calendars‚ history and watches. In the natural rhythms of day and night‚ month and year‚ season after season‚ in the events of the times‚ the big moments of history‚ the highs and lows of living memory. But also in the seconds‚ minutes and hours of our small‚ personal lives. Whether it involves happy fulfilled days and weeks that fly be inadvertently or only a single bitter fearful moment that feels like eternity … God is there‚ in a particular way‚ in and behind everything.
  (9 November 2009)
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Bible book: 2 Corinthians 

Benjamin the wolf  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Genesis 49 describes the scene around Jacob’s death bed. Sometimes it is good to be at a death bed because there‚ on the brink of eternity‚ we hear words we would otherwise not have heard. And this death bed is definitely no exception. We hear how the dying Jacob calls the young men and gives them Genesis 49:27. What does it mean and what is God’s lesson for us from all this?
  (19 October 2009)
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Bible book: Genesis 

Are we still kind?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
How kind are you? Think of your school or place of work. Which person is most often avoided or overlooked? A student who is timid? A grumpy colleague? Perhaps he/she doesn’t speak the language of the group? Perhaps he/she doesn’t fit in. Are you kind towards that person?
  (13 October 2009)
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Bible book: 1 Corinthians 

Being humble  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In Proverbs 22:4 we read: “Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honour and life.” The poet of Proverbs here directly related humility to faith. To serve the Lord is to be humble. Those who live humbly display the fact that they serve the Lord. Humility is a norm we can use to test the lives of the faithful.
  (22 September 2009)
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Bible book: Proverbs 

Joy  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
A Christian without joy has not fully understood Jesus’ message yet. Because isn’t the gospel the best news the world has ever heard? We tend so much to be grim and formal. As if it is expected of us. As if being joyful and happy is sinful and wrong. When people are joyous they are often viewed with suspicion. Why is this? And I am not completely certain that the Bible requires this.
  (14 September 2009)
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Bible book: Proverbs 

The death of death  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jesus didn’t take anything from this life‚ not disease‚ not pain‚ not shame‚ not sadness and … not death. But He did come to radically change everything. This is the message of joy of his coming‚ his death and his resurrection. Everything has changed.
  (8 September 2009)
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Bible book: John 

On the way to tomorrow  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
What must I as believer do when I think of the future? I think we are given some perspective in the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-45. Let us have a look.
  (1 September 2009)
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Bible book: Genesis 

The Teacher is here!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jesus is on his way to Bethany where Lazarus has died. Martha and Mary are about to experience a joy that will be beyond all their expectations. Jesus comes to bring them real consolation. We need to realize that the rug was completely pulled from under their feet. We hear their reproachful attitude when they said to Jesus: “Lord‚ if you had been here‚ my brother would not have died.”
  (19 August 2009)
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Bible book: John 

On route  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
A human life is often compared to a road. We sometimes say to each other: “My road is steep” or “the way is full of thorns” or “the road I have to take is not easy.” Sometimes we refer to someone who lives a bad life as someone “who has gone astray” or as someone who is “on the wrong road”.
  (10 August 2009)
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Bible book: Exodus 

Loneliness  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
David knew loneliness – even as member of a family of eight boys. When the prophet Samuel came to look at Jesse’s sons to find a king for Israel‚ David wasn’t called. Only after Samuel asked whether there wasn’t another son somewhere‚ did Jesse remember: “There is still the youngest‚ but he is tending sheep” (1 Samuel 16:11).
  (4 August 2009)
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Bible book: 1 Samuel 

A smile for suffering  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Can it be true? Can we consider it pure joy when we are stricken by a whole series of problems and troubles? Can we really see it as events meant to improve our faith and therefore we welcome it‚ be happy about it? We usually fervently wish that this passes us by. James says it is possible. Let us have a look why he can say so with so much conviction.
  (28 July 2009)
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Bible book: James 

God`s child among the ashes  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
There was a stage in my life when I believed that only fairy tales have happy endings. Fortunately‚ this is not true. It can clearly be seen in Job 42:12: “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” And if this sounds like a fairy tale to you‚ just look at Job’s life.
  (21 July 2009)
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Bible book: Job 

The Jesus of yesterday  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In John 11 we read about a very interesting event. Jesus receives a message that his good friend Lazarus is seriously ill. His sisters ask Him to come as soon as possible but according to the Bible‚ Jesus stayed where he was for two days. When Jesus eventually arrived in Bethany‚ Lazarus has died and was already in the tomb for four days.
  (13 July 2009)
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Bible book: John 

The Giver or his gifts?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
When we look at this story in its full theological depth‚ the events that occur here are even more terrible than we initially think. Isaac was the couple’s only child‚ a child given to them when physiologically speaking‚ it was already too late to have children. To ask parents to sacrifice a child under normal circumstances is already appalling. But to wait until people are old and then give them a child just to ask it back a while later‚ is unusually cruel – or so it seems.
  (7 July 2009)
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Bible book: Genesis 

The best man who knew his place  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
This part is a kind of “photograph” of John the Baptist. It is a strange photograph. Imagine someone asks you for a photo of you and you said‚ sorry‚ I don’t have a photo of myself but I have photographs of people who are not me. You then present three or four photos: one of Nelson Mandela‚ one of Evita Bezuidenhout and one of Madonna. You tell that person to look at them and to get a good idea of who you are because you know who you are not. Ridiculous! We wouldn’t do such a thing. We would rather give a portfolio‚ a photo album of ourselves. This portfolio would contain pictures of us when we were baptised‚ and one in Grade 2 when we won in athletics and in Grade 12 when we were elected prefects and a wedding photograph and one of our children. This would be an ideal way to discover who we actually are.
  (23 June 2009)
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Bible book: John 

Sometimes God lingers  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
For a critical two days Jesus did nothing to improve or change Lazarus’ state. The Lord Jesus did not even stabilize Lazarus’ state of health. Lazarus physically deteriorated by the hour until he died two days later.
  (16 June 2009)
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Bible book: John 

Trust in the Lord  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Trust between people is something that is becoming increasingly intricate in our complex modern society. There was a time when trust between people was established based on honor and mutual respect but because these values have changed over time due to a variety of reasons‚ these characteristics lost their binding qualities. The negative aspect‚ namely mistrust‚ then starting gnawing away like a parasite at the roots of these noble‚ human qualities and changed that which was without doubt‚ into a risk. We are now living in an era when someone’s word of honor is not always supported or guaranteed by this honor. The result is that all valuable agreements need to be sealed by means of a written contract. Personal signatures of both parties involved and those of witnesses are now in the place of the word of honor.
  (9 June 2009)
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Bible book: Isaiah 

Only with God do I find rest  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We all have a need for rest. We all desire to sit back for a moment‚ to relax‚ to breathe deeply and to come to our senses in this flustered lifestyle of ours. Silence‚ oh‚ I would give my kingdom for a little silence!
  (2 June 2009)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Is my faith big enough?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
I can see the amazement in the disciples’ eyes: To not cause anyone to sin? No‚ not possible; if you want to do that‚ you need to have more faith. But Jesus doesn’t leave it there. If your brother sins against you‚ rebuke him and if he repents‚ forgive him – up to seven times on one day. I can see their amazement grow even more. To forgive someone only once per day is difficult enough‚ never mind seven times. They felt that humanly speaking‚ this is asking too much.
  (26 May 2009)
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Bible book: Luke 

Faith on a rocky road  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Life is a classroom. We are often confronted by unexpected questions and periodic examinations. We can’t have a classroom without tests – at least‚ I have never seen one. I have never seen anyone who has a legitimate matric certificate‚ college diploma or university degree without having written an examination. Throughout the educational process our knowledge is assessed by means of an examination. The curriculum of being a Christian (not becoming a Christian‚ because faith is a free gift!) is based on the same principle. Our Christian maturity is obtained by our capability of withstanding tests coming our way without having either our foundations shaken to the core or avoiding an emotional or spiritual freefall.
  (18 May 2009)
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Bible book: 1 Peter 

What if ...  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
God wants us to live in the world actively and positively. And if necessary‚ we need to learn to breathe under water without oxygen cylinders. The time is now to make a difference to the world as a Christian. And we have the most powerful partner‚ the Holy Spirit. He asks it from us as he asked Moses who was a stutterer‚ as he asked Elijah who had to work with difficult people‚ as he asked Jeremiah who complained that he was too young‚ as he asked Paul who testified: “The work of God was done in weakness.” The Holy Spirit wants to broaden and enlarge our vision. The Holy Spirit continuously wants to give us ENTHUSIASM and COURAGE to do our work; to open our eyes‚ and in the process open up little worlds for us to see the pain in others.
  (12 May 2009)
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Bible book: Acts 

Astonishment about God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Sometimes we want to enclose God in a mug. Perhaps especially when something unexpected happens in our lives. When we have been hurt so much that it feels that life will never be the same again. Everything has changed. We will never look at the world or ourselves or even at God with the same eyes. From now on‚ things will never be the same again.
  (4 May 2009)
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Bible book: Job 

Here am I! Here am I!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Here in Isaiah 65 the Lord says‚ even if Israel did not seek him‚ he called to them: here am i! here am i! Today he says the same to us. Yes‚ without us having to force him‚ even before we call to him‚ he stretches out his hands to us. We can therefore let go of this exhausting‚ all-consuming doubt and come to him. Because He is our asylum (Ps. 46:1). We can flee to him.
  (28 April 2009)
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Bible book: Isaiah 

Christ and the Samaritan woman  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Christ starts talking to this woman to get to HER needs. We read that Jesus had to go through Samaria (verse 4). Then his own needs disappeared. Even when he called out on the cross: “I am thirsty!” he did it with a purpose. He needed strength to at last call out with a loud voice: “It is done!”
  (21 April 2009)
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Bible book: John 

A song of praise to the glory of Godé the Creator King  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Not only Israel believed that heaven and earth were created. All the surrounding nations and religions those days believed the same. The interesting aspect of the Bible message is not that the world was created but Who created it and what the plan was for mankind.
  (15 April 2009)
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Bible book: Genesis 

The abundance God gives  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Not everyone was allowed to eat at the king’s table. You need to have been invited. And if you were so fortunate as to get an invitation‚ you never declined. And sometimes when we eat together we ask: “Are there any beans left?” At the table of the king‚ you never need to ask. Everything on the menu was available in abundance.
  (7 April 2009)
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Bible book: 2 Samuel 

God`s vision for us  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Peter starts this pericope with an urgent yet simple statement: “The end of all things is near.” This strategy not only puts emphasis on the urgency of the moment but also simplifies its planning. He leaves his readers with four direct instructions to comply with and one clear goal to strive for.
  (31 March 2009)
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Bible book: 1 Peter 

God is always in control  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Is it possible that God can forsake us? Does He sometimes leave us on our own to find our own way‚ to struggle alone through the morass we find ourselves in? A cynical person once wrote: “God isn’t dead; He just quietly left.” It is clear that many people have experienced it. It often FEELS that God has left us.
  (24 March 2009)
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Bible book: Jonah 

God helps in trouble  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
With reference to Psalm 46:2 I would like to ask the question: What do we expect from God? What would your answer be to this question? I believe that our answers will be diverse but in one instance they would be similar and that is that we expect God’s goodness.
  (17 March 2009)
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Bible book: Psalm 

God is your shield  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The Word of the Lord is asking us this today: Can you hold something of yourself as shield before the satanic forces? Can you extinguish the flaming arrows with your own shield? Can you? Let us be honest with each other: We can’t. It would be extremely arrogant to hold your own shield of carton and think you will survive‚ it would also belie the strength of God. Because by doing so we are actually telling the Lord: I think my shield is better than yours. And how often don’t we do this. How often don’t we try to do things ourselves and when it doesn’t work out‚ we always have the Lord with his great force available as a backing.
  (10 March 2009)
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Bible book: Ephesians 

The new you  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Let us look at ourselves for a moment through God’s eyes. What do we see? Firstly‚ a sinner. But added to this: a beloved sinner; a sinner who is a child of God; a prodigal child who has a wonderful relationship with his Father; a person who is reconciled with God. Yes‚ the picture of me through God’s eyes is fresh and new and different. I don’t need to find myself because God has already found me. It doesn’t matter how the world looks at me.
  (4 March 2009)
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Bible book: 2 Corinthians 

God is light  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
John wants to ask us today: “How would you summarise the gospel?” Johns does it by saying:

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
  (19 February 2009)
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Bible book: 1 John 

Isaac, the man of prayer  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Because the heavenly Father is so good‚ He will not only give the good things to those who ask for it‚ He will do much more. He will give the highest gift‚ the Holy Spirit‚ to those who ask for it. The good gift of our heavenly Father isn’t in the first place earthly possessions‚ not even good possessions‚ but the Holy Spirit. You can be sure: if you ask for the Holy Spirit from God‚ he WILL give you his Spirit – the Spirit who is the guarantee that we will share in the full heritage of God. It is interesting that the same word used for guarantee in classic (biblical) Greek‚ is used in modern Greek for an engagement ring. Now we can be even more amazed because the Bible teaches us that when we can’t pray or when we don’t know what to pray for‚ the Holy Spirit passionately intercedes for us (Rom 8:26-27). He doesn’t pray for our burdens to be taken from us but prays to assist us with them. As Christ did (Rom. 8:34; Hebrews 7:25) the Holy Spirit continuously intercedes on our behalf.
  (3 February 2009)
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Bible book: Genesis 

I am  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
God calls to Moses from a burning bush! It could have been expected that Moses would perish in the glow of the holy flames‚ that he would become dust within seconds. But what happened? He is appointed to lead the Israelites from the place of slavery! Because the devouring Fire is simultaneously the Redeemer of his people … what a strange God. Small wonder that Moses wants to know more of Him‚ wants to hear more: “Who are you‚ Lord? What is your Name?” (Ex. 3:13).
  (26 January 2009)
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Bible book: Exodus 

A small white stone  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
“I know your work and where you live – where Satan has his throne” (Rev. 2:13). Perhaps we should first see the consolation in this verse. The Lord intimately knows the difficult circumstances of the church. He knows that they are socially isolated. He takes their difficult situation into consideration not by lowering his standards for being a Christian but by saying to them: I understand your need.
  (19 January 2009)
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Bible book: Revelation 

Our good Shepherd  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We have a Shepherd. We are not without hope. But now there are still some things that need to be said‚ the gospel of Ezekiel 34 wants to add a few things. Our good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. The King doesn’t only become a Shepherd but also a Lamb that is slaughtered for our sakes. God bows down so low towards the weak that He himself becomes weak. He identifies so much with the little lamb that He becomes a little Lamb himself. This is how God is. He counts his sheep one by one. He searches for the one who is lost‚ He brings those back who strayed‚ cares for the wounds of those who are injured and helps the weak (see Ezek. 34:16) even if it costs him his life. In a storm He is hanging from a cross so that I may sit on the Shepherd’s lap.
  (13 January 2009)
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Bible book: Ezekiel 

Look back, look inside and look forward  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
How do we enter the New Year? Isn’t it important that the time between Christmas and New Year is so brief? The one almost flows into the other. As we become silent before the manger in Bethlehem and honour the Child‚ we also have to clean out the temple‚ our churches and our homes to make space for Him. We then have to choose again whom we will serve. We have to commit our lives to Him and only then can we enter the New Year to live as his children to the glory of the Lord.
  (6 January 2009)
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Bible book: Psalm 

The trustworthy gospel of Christmas  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
How we will spend this festive period? Will we eat and drink and be merry and think of Christ for an hour on Christmas Day? Then we would have missed the most important point of this feast. Of course we may be merry and celebrate but for us it goes hand in hand with the knowledge that God in Christ came to change my life. I think it is important that we will have clarity on this issue otherwise we might miss the true meaning of this day. Christ did not come to the world in general. He came for each one of us personally to save us from our sins!
  (8 December 2008)
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Bible book: 1 Timothy 

We are in God`s hand  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Ezra was a scribe. To be more correct: a priest scribe. And in the book that bears his name‚ the expression “the good hand of God” is used remarkably often. As eyes reflect inner happiness‚ hands portray what’s happening deep inside us. The hand of God over Ezra says something about the heart of God and Ezra would have been able to provide wonderful testimony to this fact. It actually dominates this book and is the most important part of Ezra’s life.
  (1 December 2008)
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Bible book: Ezra 

Jesus washes feet  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
ONE word dominates John’s summary of the message of the washing of feet: Jesus’ LOVE for us!
  (24 November 2008)
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Bible book: John 

You fool!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The Bible doesn’t often call us fools. There should be good reasons for it. If for example‚ you say in your heart that God doesn’t exist (Ps. 14:1)‚ or if you choose to build your house on sand (Matt. 7:26)‚ or if you sleep like the five stupid virgins while waiting for the bridegroom to arrive (Matt. 25:5)‚ the Bible calls you a fool!
  (17 November 2008)
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Bible book: 2 Kings 

Help me, Lord!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The fact that God saved the disobedient Jonah (who fled with a boat away from his duty and task) from the fish‚ from hell‚ from death‚ gives us hope. If there is hope for Jonah‚ there should be hope for us. There is no backstreet‚ no infectiousness‚ and no hysteria He cannot save us from. And therefore there is hope for the hopeless‚ grace for the defenceless‚ help for the helpless! The God of Jonah is a God of grace. He is God with us!
  (10 November 2008)
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Bible book: Jonah 

Perseverance  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In this instant century we live in‚ we want everything instantly on a tray. So many have no perseverance‚ so few persist.
  (4 November 2008)
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Bible book: Job 

God guarantees his involvement with me himself  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Many people have the stupid idea in their heads that they have a very bad reputation with God. Some children have these thoughts and some grown-ups. Some women think like this and some men. They have the feeling that God has rejected them‚ pushed them aside. They are secretly of the view that God has had enough of them. Deep within them there is even a suspicion that God wants to take some kind of revenge.
  (14 October 2008)
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Bible book: Genesis 

Guilty or not guilty?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
When we loosen our convictions from God and from God’s laws‚ it usually has a very detrimental effect on us. Our works and our deeds are then doomed to fail. We don’t become free from ourselves if we free ourselves from God’s laws. We also don’t become free if we are sympathetic towards sinful actions. Freedom is not equal to an immoral lifestyle. On the contrary. God’s laws free us from sin. God’s laws protect us from sin and destruction. God’s laws teach us about justice and holiness. And to be sympathetic towards sin doesn’t teach us to live in the protection of justice but deprives us and everyone else from living within the space of God’s protection.
  (22 September 2008)
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Bible book: 2 Timothy 

Jesus is our Saviour!-Share in his joy!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Today we focus on the owner praising/reprimanding his slaves: “You are a good and faithful servant!” or: “You are a poor and lazy slave!” and on his call: “Come and share in your master’s joy!”
  (15 September 2008)
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Bible book: Matthew 

Faith and reason  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Today I want to draw your attention to a very important thing: YOUR PERCEPTION IS YOUR REALITY. And to emphasise the point: trying to convince someone that his perception is incorrect‚ is like trying to write on water. Naaman’s perception was that the water of the Jordan is inferior. But the water of Syria was fine. His perception which was his reality almost cost him his life. Our perceptions are accepted as absolute truths (even if they are wrong!). They are engraved into our subconscious and everything we say or do is controlled by them. The average teenager has heard about 3‚000‚000 negative and only 300‚000 positive statements. Tell me: How do we mainly react – positively or negatively? Another example is from nature. Elephants are used in India to do hard labour. The elephants are put in chains from a very young age to prevent them from eloping. After about three years‚ the Indian masters can tie the elephants with a piece of wool; they would still not run away. The elephants still believe that the chain is preventing them from absconding. This is an indication of how deep our perceptions are ingrained in us.
  (8 September 2008)
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Bible book: 2 Kings 

Birds and flowers and the worries of life  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The Bible is a mirror. By looking at it seriously and by reading it carefully and in prayer‚ we will see ourselves as God sees us. We will see that we are sinful in his eyes‚ that He loves us and that He wants us to love him. By looking in the godly mirror‚ we also see how we will be one day. The apostle Paul says: Now I look in a faint mirror and see a riddled image but one day I will see how things really are. Now I know only parts but one day I will know God in full.
  (2 September 2008)
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Bible book: Luke 

Without pretence before God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
See‚ we can’t twist God’s arm to find favour from him through our good works. God didn’t value the fasting of the Pharisee and the tenths he gave. Why not? Well‚ next to a tax collector‚ a Pharisee might be looking good from a human perspective. But to God’s eyes that look into our hearts‚ the scale of our decay is much higher. The Pharisee’s problem was that his religion was something on the outside of him. He thought that he could benefit from his service to God. God owes us nothing. God only gives us grace!
  (25 August 2008)
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Bible book: Luke 

Life in the hand of the Lord  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Psalm 16 says: Live positively! Christians need to distinguish themselves from the rest of the world by the testimony they carry and the way they live. They are people with a future. People with God in their future. Despite their circumstances‚ despite unrest and decay and loss. We are preparing for a wedding feast. And we are dressing as the bride. Christians are people who live festively; they live with God!
  (18 August 2008)
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Bible book: Psalm 

When I can`t see God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We all sometimes have to face closed doors. These include the metaphorical Goliaths (giants) who threaten to overwhelm us. Situations that imprison us‚ limit us or make us despair. Situations that make us wonder: Will I ever be able to escape this? Is this really the end of the road‚ the final dead end?
  (4 August 2008)
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Bible book: Lamentations 

When will these things happen?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
When Christ shows a bit of the future in his prophetic sermons‚ He makes no attempt to make it look more attractive. He is honest and tells them: We are facing a difficult time with false prophets and deviant Messiahs. There will be self-appointed saviours who will try and convince us of their recipes for a heaven on earth. Wars. Rumours of wars. Wars close by and far away. Conflicts that will involve us and others that we will hear of. Power confrontations. Conflict among nations. Famines. Pests and epidemics.
  (28 July 2008)
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Bible book: Mark 

The neighbours who are most remote  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
I think you will agree that the Obadiah prophet – filed in the Old Testament between Amos and Jonah – has become a forgotten book for the average non-theology schooled reader of the Bible. The “courageous” Bible reader who has attempted to read this little book with only 21 verses would probably have given up in disappointment en would acknowledge that this is a “closed” book – meant only for theologians. But let us ask what Obadiah’s message is for me today‚ yes I‚ who am a struggler to be a meaningful person in the twenty first century.
  (21 July 2008)
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Bible book: Obadiah 

Don`t stay behind  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Paul realized how important it is for us to practice our faith. He therefore encourages Timothy to “live in devotion to God.” The word “gymnastics” is clearly recognisable in the Greek word gumnadze used here (1 Tim. 4:7). The faithful are expected to do spiritual gymnastics! It is something we have to practice daily.
  (14 July 2008)
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Bible book: Hebrews 

Just once more  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Samson’s history can surely be best summarised by the following word: despite. Despite the beautiful things said at his birth‚ the end of his life speaks of a sad failure. Despite the high expectations everyone had of him‚ he ended up in the hands of his enemy. Despite the oath of the Nazarite which consecrated him to God‚ he destroyed his own life. Despite the superhuman powers he had‚ he ended up as weakling in the control of a scheming woman.
  (23 June 2008)
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Bible book: Judges 

There is someone who can comfort us  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Do you know how easily people fall and then don’t get up nowadays? If we look at everything around us‚ when we see news flashes and newspaper articles‚ it can easily happen that people stumble and then are too tired to stand up again. People are in despair. And it is not only due to external circumstances. We can feel totally alone in the urban jungle we work in. Tonight you go alone to your one-bedroom flat‚ with your own thoughts. You could even feel alone among very friendly people – tumbling among a mass of people.
  (16 June 2008)
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Bible book: Romans 

How thick is your Bible?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Let us hear what Ecclesiastes says in one of the proverbs: “Whoever breaks through a wall‚ may be bitten by a snake.” The image is that there is a wall between us and the snake. As long as the wall is there‚ we are safe but if we should make a hole in the wall or start to break it down‚ there is a possibility that the snake might bite because the protection has been removed.
  (9 June 2008)
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Bible book: Ecclesiastes 

Why believe  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Are there any benefits in believing? Is it necessary to believe? Are we better people because we believe? Let us say this immediately: The fact that we believe will not protect us from disease or adversity. In this world the believer experiences the same pain and suffering as those who do not believe – sometimes even more. Just think of Paul and Job. Faith doesn’t guarantee riches‚ health‚ a good career or a beautiful house. On the contrary‚ faith doesn’t guarantee cheap prosperity.
  (2 June 2008)
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Bible book: Habakkuk 

The dishonest manager  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Jesus uses this parable to teach us that we are his treasurers. In Psalm 8:7 David says: “You make him (man) ruler over the works of your hands‚ you put everything under his feet.” Man has been given tremendous authority. The question is what we are going to do with it. Will we serve God or ourselves? We shouldn’t be hypocritical. We shouldn’t serve God only on Sundays and in church. We must also serve him on Mondays and all other days of the week. We shouldn’t metaphorically speaking‚ separate Sundays from Mondays. God isn’t God only on Sundays. He is God every day and every minute of the week.
  (26 May 2008)
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Bible book: Luke 

When your world collapses  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
In Psalm 11:3 David asks a universal question. “When the foundations are being destroyed‚ what can the righteous do?” What the exact cause of David’s crisis is‚ we don’t know. Perhaps his enemies were getting the better of him and were in the process of breaking down the established structures (11:3) while attempting to kill him (11:2). What is clear though‚ is that David experienced a deep existential crisis.
  (20 May 2008)
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Bible book: Psalm 

The ABC of the gospel  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
When the Bible concerns itself with man‚ it always firstly talks about God. We can never see ourselves or our human identity if we don’t see it in light of God’s self-revelation. Only when we see who and what God is‚ we see who and what we are. Therefore‚ Psalm 8 which says the most elevated things about humans‚ out of necessity starts with a song of praise to the Creator. The miracle that we are God’s name bearing representatives‚ can only be understood based on the realization of “how majestic is your Name in all the earth”. Our value is based on the fact that we are his creations. Our worth is from God‚ through God‚ before God.
  (13 May 2008)
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Bible book: Psalm 

God protects his children  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Psalm 121. At the top it says that it is a song of ascents. This pilgrim is probably on his way from God’s house to his own home. He testifies how the Lord protected him‚ not only against the physical dangers on the road but also on the road of life. He need not fear the natural or supernatural disasters. Even the so-called supernatural powers like the sun and moon can’t harm those who believe in God. The sun and moon aren’t gods or dark forces but merely subjects God has created. The pilgrim can leave the temple with the assurance that even outside the holy shrine‚ he is under the protection of the Lord. The Lord is the creator God and objects and powers are subject to Him. Any scary stories of dark forces threatening the faithful are therefore lies. Only One affects our lives. It is the Lord who is always our Protector.
  (6 May 2008)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Intercession  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We live in a time where real compassion is sorely lacking. Among those who are alienated from God‚ it is bad enough as it is but even the faithful experience it today. I personally find it extremely sad to realize that people are not empathetically concerned with each other anymore. Perhaps you differ from me and would like to draw my attention to all the various charity organisations and the wonderful work they do to improve the suffering of this world. There are organisations whose business it is to improve the situations of the blind‚ deaf‚ elderly and neglected children. Churches generally do much to help the poor. But could material things (money) really make everything well? We all know of people who may not be in a position that they will inherit eternal life if they should die today and who may one day‚ blame themselves eternally.
  (28 April 2008)
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Bible book: Genesis 

You teach me how to live  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Why do I live? And how should I live? These are questions we can’t ignore. However much our knowledge expands and how surprising the world has become in our time thanks to science and technology‚ life itself‚ the fact that we are here‚ still remains one of the deepest of all secrets.
  (23 April 2008)
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Bible book: Galatians 

Not this way or that - upward!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The vision the prophet sees in the firestorm is not a flying saucer‚ it is an enormous throne coach‚ the royal throne carriage of the Lord God that appears to the prophet in a vision (revelation) from the open heavens. Ezekiel lacked words to accurately portray what was revealed to him here. He could only more or less describe what he saw. (It is not a photograph). The description of the vision is full of expressions such as: “there was something that looked like …; it was like …” The only thing that was very clear is that God himself appeared to Ezekiel. This in itself is an overwhelming fact.
  (15 April 2008)
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Bible book: Ezekiel 

God blesses his children  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The picture drawn in Numbers 6 shows us that the Israelite also knew fragility in his life. He is standing in the temple door from where he has to return to his home‚ to his everyday life but he knows that many things may go wrong in the times ahead: crops fail‚ plagues‚ wild animals‚ attackers‚ disease‚ death … these things are possible even on his way home. God says the following to these people: Don’t be afraid. God is there. He knows about us; He looks after us. We can be assured that his blessing hand is stretched out over our lives.
  (8 April 2008)
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Bible book: Numbers 

The Spirit and the bride call  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Many faithful play owner-builder over their homes of life. They take the building plans from the Spirit’s hands and draw up new plans for their lives. They become the architects of their lives and expect the Lord to only keep approving these plans. These people also tend to do the “right” religious things‚ like going to church on Sundays and attending Christian gatherings‚ etc. But in their hearts there has already been a coup‚ a small palace revolution.
  (2 April 2008)
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Bible book: Revelation 

God always keeps his promises  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Even the faithful sometimes doubt. It comes like a thief and slips in through the backdoor. In Ephesians 1:13‚ 14 we read however‚ how God keeps you in faith and rids you of doubt. God always keeps his promises because He is the guarantee for his promise to save us. God guarantees his promises to the faithful. God speaks to us in promise words and He Himself makes them come true!
  (25 March 2008)
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Bible book: Ephesians 

Fly with the wings of an eagle  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Concentrate on what is happening in front of you. In life you shouldn’t continuously look behind you. Rearview mirrors put your existence in reverse. This is particularly applicable to hope. Hope doesn’t look back. Because then you would be doomed. Everything happens in front. The future gulps up the present and then spits it out as the past. The difference between India and the New Jerusalem of Revelations is this: For the latter you don’t need “good luck”. All you need is “good hope.” - (Daniël Louw)
  (18 March 2008)
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Bible book: Isaiah 

You can have life in abundance  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The sum total of John 15’s message is Christ’s urgent request to remain in community with Him. Our society is currently busy with an experiment to live without Christ. It seems that Christians have given up on Christ in their hearts‚ they have broken their relationship with Him‚ stopped thinking of Him‚ ceased taking Him along on their path of life and stopped being in conversation with Him. In John 15 Jesus tells us that those of us who want to be independent and who want to say farewell to Him and who want as little as possible to do with Him should “always remain in Me because without Me‚ you can do nothing.” During Christ’s last few hours here on earth where He could intimately be with his disciples‚ He isn’t trying to get a few dogmatic messages home. No‚ He talks to them about the meaning of life in his love.
  (10 March 2008)
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Bible book: John 

God listens intently  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
What is loneliness? I’m sure that if we should put our heads together to find a definition‚ it could turn into a comprehensive exercise. Psalm 102: 6‚ 7 & 9 provides one of the most accurate “definitions” of loneliness:

I am like a desert owl‚
like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake; I have become
like a bird alone on a housetop.
For I eat ashes as my food
and mingle my drink with tears.


  (3 March 2008)
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Bible book: Jeremiah 

Consider yourself anew  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
To be humble is to be empty of yourself and your own interests. This is illustrated in the humiliation of the Son of God. Of Christ‚ Paul says that He was in the image of God. A better glory than this‚ there surely isn’t. If selfishness and the search for honour were Christ’s motives‚ He would never have given up such a wonderful status. If He considered only his own interests‚ He would never have left heaven. He would have clung to his existence as an equal of God. But He took the image of a slave. And it didn’t end there. He also had to die for us. And definitely not a hero’s death. “He became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:8). This was the worst. Death of the cursed on the cross (Gal. 3:13).
  (25 February 2008)
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Bible book: 1 Peter 

Jesus brings life and joy  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The question I asked myself when I read this part‚ is why Luke‚ the author of Acts‚ paid so much attention to the healing of this man who was crippled from birth. There were other miracle healings during the same time (Acts 5:12‚ 15‚ 16) which weren’t given so much space. Did the healing of the crippled man impress Luke – a medical doctor – the most?
  (18 February 2008)
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Bible book: Acts 

Spiritual growth  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The fruit of the Spirit is stated as contrary to the practices of a sinful nature. The more the fruit grows in your life‚ the less space there is for sin. We then are able to let good overcome evil (Rom. 12:21)‚ and experience growth in character. Let us briefly look at the various characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit.
  (11 February 2008)
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Bible book: Galatians 

Splinters of glass on words  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Someone once said the word “love” is used so often that it has been licked round‚ all the sharp edges are licked smooth. Perhaps we should glue splinters of glass onto the word “love” so that it can’t roll off our tongues so easily and be such a smoothly licked word. John did that: he put splinters of glass on the words people used to describe their relationship with God so that it grated their tongues and forced them to talk with more thought of God.
  (4 February 2008)
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Bible book: 1 John 

God doesn`t change; He is ALWAYS the same  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
God’s plan and purpose with creation of man is given meaning in the successive generations. The blessing God gave the people isn’t only empty words but has an effective and active power. The genealogy wasn’t given in order to make a few interesting facts available to be recorded in our notebooks or archives. It brings us to the truth of our existence and before the reality of the living God.
  (28 January 2008)
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Bible book: Genesis 

God the almighty governs  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
MANY people think‚ often unconsciously‚ that the relationship between God and Evil is like two tug-of-war teams. Sometimes the one team wins (God) and sometimes the other (Evil) and sometimes the teams are of equal strength. If things go well with the world‚ if there are fewer wars‚ disasters and disease and especially when things go well with me‚ God is in the winning team. However‚ if things go bad and the future looks dark‚ God is on the losing side. We human beings are in-between; we are pulled from one extreme to the other in the varying triumphs or defeats of the parties. And sometimes in the battle we are kept in high tension – which may become unbearable. We may break.
  (21 January 2008)
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Bible book: Isaiah 

The attack on prayer  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
If there is one thing that doesn’t sufficiently saturate us‚ it is the powerful meaning of prayer. We allow that our hands of prayer are too easily unclenched. If we pray only once every day‚ then we would have prayed 366 times this year. And then there are domestic and other quarrels which hinder our prayers (see 1 Peter 3:7) and then we haven’t even considered the secret sins which either prevent us from praying or turn them into a curse. Then there are the selfish prayers which burst like a bubble of soap. How often do we then pray?
  (15 January 2008)
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Bible book: Daniel 

The genealogy of Jesus Christ  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
MATTHEW was a Jew who wrote his gospel in the first place for the Jews but especially for Christians from the Jewry. He wanted to convince his own people that Jesus was the expected Messiah who saved his nation‚ even though He did it in a totally different way than they expected. He aims his message on the Christians of the Jewry in a time when they were persecuted by both the Jews and the Roman government. Things weren’t well with them. There was a lot of mistrust and suspicion. The faithful were often cast out of the Jewish community. There was tension among them and their families and their previous fellow-believers. In addition‚ the Jews and the Roman government didn’t trust each other. Now Matthew tells them: Jesus is the Messiah who came to establish the kingdom of God even though He did it in ways completely different from what you expected. With his gospel‚ Matthew also aimed to encourage the faithful in their faith.
  (4 December 2007)
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Bible book: Matthew 

Listening and Doing  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
WORDS‚ words‚ words. There are plenty of those these days. Over the radio‚ the television‚ in the papers‚ magazines‚ books. A flood of words crash over us and often leaves us dumbfounded. If our attention is claimed by so many words‚ it can easily happen that we lose our ability to distinguish between chaff and corn and later don’t know what is valuable and what can be tossed out. We then become listeners to many things but we remain passive – no word makes a sufficient enough impression to get us going and move us into action.
  (27 November 2007)
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Bible book: James 

Do you starve yourself spiritually?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
HOW often do we think: I can never do this! This is asking too much! Even more when it concerns matters the Lord requires from us in his Word. We continually have this feeling that the Lord is asking too much of us‚ that He doesn’t consider the fact that we are mere human beings. It would be wonderful if we could do everything the Lord requires of us but how will we ever succeed? If we were other people‚ yes people of greater faith‚ then perhaps it would have been possible – but as it stands now‚ we might just as well forget about it.
  (21 November 2007)
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Bible book: Luke 

Hope: An escape for unacceptable situations?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
IT IS a fact of life that living isn’t always easy. It often goes wrong – also with people who believe in the almighty God. People often find themselves in situations that are highly unpleasant. Just think of diseases‚ pain and suffering; the death of a loved one; disasters that befall us; accidents; crises in our personal lives; economic crises.
  (13 November 2007)
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Bible book: Daniel 

When bad things happen to good people  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
THIS heading is an indication of one of the biggest problems of life: why a good person who doesn’t deserve it‚ has to suffer. Hezekiah was a good king. He was one of the best to sit on David’s throne and govern Judah. His father Ahaz was a heathen. He entered into an arrangement with the king of Assyria to help him against his neighbours. The Assyrians agreed on condition that Judah becomes part of the Assyrian kingdom and start worshipping idols. This was the beginning of one of the worst periods of idolatry and waywardness in Judah.
  (6 November 2007)
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Bible book: 2 Chronicles 

All things work for good  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
WE sometimes console each other with the words of Paul in Romans 8:28 that all things work for the good of those who love him. To someone who is already in trouble‚ it isn’t really a consolation. Because someone who is already in trouble can’t see how the difficult circumstances can result in anything good.
  (30 October 2007)
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Bible book: 1 Samuel 

What is eternal life?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
QUESTIONS are like magnifying glasses. They help to make things more clear. But to get a clear vision of something‚ we need to keep the magnifying glass in the right direction – in other words we need to ask the right questions to the right people. Questions are almost like fishing. Whether I will catch a fish depends on whether I throw out my hook in the right direction and in the right place. It means that I mustn’t ask questions only to hear my own voice. The core question of this text is: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (v. 17). Is the magnifying glass in the right direction? Has the hook been thrown in at the correct place? Is the question relevant? Yes‚ indeed. The question is spot on!
  (23 October 2007)
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Bible book: Mark 

He`s coming with the clouds  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
A MAJOR ISSUE OF LIFE since all ages but which especially today becomes almost unmanageable is man’s search for happiness. The more urbanisation takes place‚ the greater man’s desire to be happy. The more learned‚ the more prosperous‚ the more rushed‚ the more directionless‚ the more engaged and depressed we become. Tension and stress increase. Happiness declines.
  (2 October 2007)
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Bible book: Revelation 

In Jesus we have a friend  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
THE PART we read together today is about a miracle. But what is a miracle? A miracle is a fact. Something that actually happened. We could refer to a miracle as a parable in action. They are like parables that illustrate or reveal something; – the difference is that Jesus doesn’t tell them: HE DOES THEM. The miracles are like sermons – but sermons without words‚ only action.
  (25 September 2007)
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Bible book: Matthew 

Do the will of God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
IT IS tragic that degeneration occurs so easily and often. What makes it even more tragic is that decadence also occurs among people of the church and even in the church itself. And sometimes even when times aren’t that bad. I often wonder whether degeneration isn’t more prevalent in relatively good times than when there are threats from outside or when people suffer. Isn’t it so that decadence is found everywhere? We hear and read of moral degeneration. There is degeneration in family relationships: marriages and families break up. There is degeneration in society. Decay takes place in all spheres of life.
  (4 September 2007)
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Bible book: Ezra 

Thorns in the flesh  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
THERE are times when you want only one thing‚ the thing that is not granted you. You are not difficult or choosy; you only comply to God’s command: … present your requests to God (Phil. 4:6). The only thing you want is an open door or an extra day or an answered prayer for which you will be eternally grateful.
  (24 August 2007)
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Bible book: 2 Corinthians 

You are expected to do better  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
CHILDREN sometimes feel that their parents treat them unjustly. Little brother fights with his older sister about a toy. It is the sister’s toy. Parents intervene and tell sister to let go. Older sister feels very upset because she is correct: it is her toy. And then the parents answer her with words against which there is no defence:
  (14 August 2007)
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Bible book: Philemon 

Redeem time  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
NO EXCUSE is heard more often than that we didn’t have time. We are governed by our watches. Humanity is storming across the earth and through life and we pass each other by – slaves of time. If Paul found it necessary to warn the Ephesians to make the most of time‚ how much more applicable is it to us who are living in this jet century.
  (7 August 2007)
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Bible book: Ephesians 

Dont grieve the Holy Spirit  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
THERE is much confusion about who the Holy Spirit is and how He works. We need to remember that we can’t call ourselves Christians without it having been worked in us. For example it is the Holy Spirit who persuades us of sin. He ensures us that we stand in a correct relation to God. Furthermore‚ it is important to remember that the Holy Spirit is a person. We often think of the Holy Spirit as being only a power. The fact that the Holy Spirit can teach us‚ console us and that He can be aggrieved‚ tells us that it concerns a Person here. Our interaction with the Holy Spirit also entails responsibility. He is the powerful gift of Christ to his church. But this gift entails that we must be careful with the Spirit of God otherwise we will be excluded from the blessings He brings.
  (1 August 2007)
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Bible book: Ephesians 

Does Jesus still perform miracles today?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
LIFE is more than we think and what we make of‚ more than having enough to eat and drink‚ and being healthy‚ being able to see and hear. We can’t make our lives or insure it by gathering as much as we can for ourselves. Life has a deeper dimension of which this life is only the beginning.
  (24 July 2007)
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Bible book: John 

Steps against violence  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
THE text starts as many movies do lately: with a body lying in the field. It is clearly a case of manslaughter. The cause of death is assault with a knife or the victim has been hit over the head with a rock or was strangled or something similar. Murder is always an emotional matter. The family seeks revenge. The residents start wondering whether they will be next. The community demands that the perpetrator is caught. Someone has to pay for the murder so that the people can live in safety.
  (17 July 2007)
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Bible book: Deuteronomy 

A man doesnt cry with only one eye  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
DO unto others what you want to be done unto you. Or: that which you don’t want others to do to you‚ you shouldn’t do to them. This is the “golden rule” that most people – whether they are Christians or not – concur with. To live a Christian life however‚ takes more than only concurring with the golden rule. It requires to act accordingly. To live this rule‚ does not however‚ come by itself. It requires that people take on other characteristics. To be honest‚ it requires nothing less than being born again. The following truth is contained in a training manual of the Hospice association – an association that practices this rule at least towards terminal patients:
  (26 June 2007)
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Bible book: Luke 

The old things passed  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
YOU are at your best friend’s wedding. You have talked about this day since your childhood and now it has come. The church service was wonderful; everyone is looking their best. The preacher performed the ceremony faultlessly and everything went smoothly. What a beautiful day! “I will do the reception for you‚” you offered. You planned everything to the finest detail. You booked a venue‚ kept an eye on the catering‚ decorated the hall and asked your aunt Sarah to bake the wedding cake.
  (19 June 2007)
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Bible book: John 

When four times three is thirteen  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
A PSYCHOLOGIST once did a very interesting experiment. He let five children of about twelve years old‚ sit at a table. They had only one task: If he asked them “What are four times three?” they had to answer “thirteen.” Of course they knew that the correct answer was twelve but he wanted them to give the wrong answer. The psychologist then brought in a sixth child and made him sit at the table as well. This child didn’t know about the agreement with the other five.
  (12 June 2007)
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Bible book: Ezekiel 

Life in relationships  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
MARTIN Buber said that each person is in a duel relationship with the world around him/her: a me-that and a me-you relationship. With the things around me I am in a me-that relationship: the chair‚ the flower‚ the bicycle. These are things that I can take to hand as I wish‚ that I can use‚ admire‚ throw out or even destroy.
  (6 June 2007)
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Bible book: Genesis 

Be glad and rejoice with all your heart  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
PEOPLE can sometimes have strange perceptions of God. They think of God as though He isn’t really there. Sometimes they think He doesn’t actually have an influence on events here on earth. In short‚ people think small of God. They won’t say there isn’t a God‚ but they will say that He isn’t really involved. If we think of God like that‚ it is equal to giving a small step towards other gods. If God is not really there‚ if He is not in control of people and nations‚ another god or gods might do it. If God is not really involved‚ I can live in whatever way I please‚ it doesn’t really matter.
  (22 May 2007)
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Bible book: Zephaniah 

Faith as breast plate and hope as helmet  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
SOMEONE once said it is difficult to go through life; it is like a blind man searching in the dark for a black cat that doesn’t exist! It does feel like this some times. There are many dangers threatening us on our journey through life. If each one of us could express our deepest fears in life: fear of getting cancer‚ or of being declared bankrupt‚ or being hijacked‚ or divorce‚ or that someone close to you dies and that you are left alone. Even if we walk through life with caution‚ alert and carefully‚ chances are good that we might fall and get hurt. For this simple reason that we need something more than intuition‚ or the advice of another‚ or a sixth sense: we need to have faith to live.
  (15 May 2007)
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Bible book: 1 Thessalonians 

Rejoice in the Lord  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
PAUL starts his third chapter with: … Rejoice in the Lord! As parents find joy in instilling some things in their children by repetition‚ so Paul does the same‚ because it provides security. He immediately says it is no trouble for him to write these things to the Philippians again (see. Phil. 3:10). To what is the apostle referring? Probably the joy in the Lord and the fact that Christians have such mundane lives. The spiritual life of the faithful is compared to a race in this part of Scripture. If you look at your own spiritual life‚ how do you run your race? There are at least three possibilities:
  (1 May 2007)
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Bible book: Philippians 

Marred clay  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
HAVE you ever messed things up very badly? Are there some things here and there that you did and that you regret today? Sometimes you wish you had the opportunities your children have today. Other times again you want to pull out your hair because you didn’t use the opportunities you had. There were times that I opened my mouth when I should rather have kept it shut. Other times I should have talked but I kept quiet. Then there were times that I decided to do things and today I realize that I was stupid‚ nearsighted.
  (24 April 2007)
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Bible book: John 

With Jesus in paradise  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
THE darkest hour in history was when our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified. God took pity on a humanity who were getting lost. He sent his Son to earth to bring the message of God’s charity and to do only good. On this deed of God man answered by nailing Christ to the cross.
  (10 April 2007)
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Bible book: Luke 

How do you follow Jesus?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
DURING a press conference‚ a German theologian‚ D. Sölle was enthusiastically extolling to journalists how the gospel could change and renew a person. A journalist interrupted her by asking: “Doctor‚ do you really believe that people can change?” This is a very important question. Do we as Christians really believe it? The Bible naturally believes in change. But still many Christians would feel that change comes with difficulty and the reporter’s enquiry is a legitimate‚ honest and realistic question.
  (3 April 2007)
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Bible book: Mark 

We belong to the Lord  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
LET us look at a yuppie from the New Testament. He is in a negotiation situation. He is very well-off‚ thank you. Italian shoes. Taylored suit. His money is invested. His plastic is gold. He lives as he flies – business class. He is young. He works away his tiredness in the gym and cheats old age on the track. His “six pack” is obvious‚ his eyes are sharp. Energy is his trademark and death is a lifetime away.
  (27 February 2007)
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Bible book: Isaiah 

One Corinthians Thirteen  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
WE opened the Book today at one of possibly the greatest chapters ever written – even in this Book. Except that it is not totally accurate to call it a chapter because it is a song‚ a hymn; it wasn’t written with a pen but improvised‚ no‚ composed with a harpsichord. It has a spellbinding melody‚ a tune that sticks in your head – except that God wants it to be something that sticks to our lives.
  (20 February 2007)
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Bible book: 1 Corinthians 

Woman, why are you crying?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
THE Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on a Friday and on the same day his body was hastily put away in a grave in the garden of Joseph of Arimathea. He was put away without any ceremony because the Jewish Sabbath commenced that Friday night at six and the Jews were not allowed to touch a corpse. The disciples surely meant to return to the grave to arrange for a proper burial when the Sabbath was over. The Sabbath ended Saturday evening at six o’clock. The first opportunity to care for the corpse would have been that Sunday.
  (13 February 2007)
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Bible book: John 

Be strong and courageous  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
SO often we experience varying perceptions. On the one hand there is the positive: enthusiasm for the challenges ahead. We feel like racehorses in the stalls waiting only for the gate to open. On the other hand there is a feeling of fear for the future. We don’t know what will happen and the indications are not good: talk of global warming; price increases happen daily; retrenchments are a reality; many of us are in a financial vice-grip; interest rates are expected to rise again. Materialism and a lack of spiritual depth paralyse us.
  (6 February 2007)
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Bible book: Joshua 

How do I get through the jungle  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
HAVE you ever been in a jungle – or could you imagine yourself in one? A very dense jungle. It is dark in there. Your friends persuaded you and promised that it would be an experience of a lifetime and here you are. Paid your travelling fees. Crossed the ocean. Rented a guide. Part of an expedition. You are where you have never been before: in the dense‚ strange‚ dark world of the jungle.
  (30 January 2007)
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Bible book: 1 Peter 

Hope for the New Year  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
THERE is something magical‚ something almost mysterious in the changing of the years. Not that a mere date could change your life but it makes us think of time. Years that come and goes. Opportunities that come and go. Dreams that come and go.
  (16 January 2007)
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Bible book: Exodus 

Grace is an angel ahead of you  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The God of yesterday is a wonderful God. He cared for them. He performed miracles. They could sing a song of praise for Him. But tomorrow is another matter. The road is foreign and it is probable that there are many hardships ahead. A road through a desert is at best never a picnic. They are scared. It is all very well to talk about the God of yesterday but what about tomorrow? And God understands. He knows the fearful hearts of people. He wants to help them. Therefore He offers the people the promise of an angel. He will send his angel ahead …
  (7 November 2006)
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Bible book: Exodus 

True humility  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Luther said many interesting things about this letter from Paul to the Philippians. He saw this letter to the Philippians as “a letter for Christians and no one else!” Because he was concerned with the attitude of Christians‚ he went to great lengths to underline that an attitude can only be considered sincere after it has transformed into action. It was like this with Christ and it has to be the same with his followers otherwise it is meaningless. “Love isn’t found in words‚ it needs to break out …”
  (3 October 2006)
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Bible book: Philippians 

Practical love  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We’ve probably all experienced an unhappy quarrel with someone. A difference of opinion that degenerated into something ugly where we say things without thinking about the consequences. It usually ends in a feeling of unease – a remorse about the things we said and a feeling of heavy-heartedness.
  (26 September 2006)
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Bible book: Proverbs 

A portrait of hope  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Do you understand the full meaning of the fact that Christ lives in you? Or is your God in heaven‚ somewhere very far? It seems to me that people’s experience of God depends on their circumstances. To them God is close if they experience their faith. For example when they attend a huge gathering and are stirred by the singing and atmosphere. They then say: “We could ‘feel’ the presence of the Lord.” But when thing go wrong or they get caught up in the drudgery of everyday life‚ then God ‘feels’ far. On a Monday morning when the washing machine breaks down or the children forget their school books at home or on your way to the office you realize you left the report at home.
  (19 September 2006)
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Bible book: Genesis 

Free access  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
When we discover that God is love‚ that his throne consists of mercy‚ then it becomes wonderful to flee to Him‚ to take shelter with Him‚ because then we know: it is one place where there is no resistance‚ no blame‚ and no judgments. Even though there is so little grace on earth – this is the one thing that the Hebrews book wants to tell us: with God there is grace.
  (12 September 2006)
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Bible book: Hebrews 

Are you a spectator or an actor  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
We need a vision‚ an ideal‚ a goal to make our lives worthwhile. The psychologist Victor Frankl survived a German concentration camp in the Second World War. In his famous book Man’s Search for Meaning‚ he wrote that people‚ who lost this vision of the future‚ easily gave up on life. What kept him alive‚ his mechanisms activated for survival‚ was the desire to have the manuscript he worked on‚ published. It gave meaning and sense to his life. The spectators didn’t make it‚ the actors did.
  (5 September 2006)
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Bible book: Philippians 

Suffering is a training school  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Suffering is a way to practice our faith. But in the gymnasium of suffering God never tests us to breakpoint. Only to a point of growth.
  (18 July 2006)
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Bible book: 2 Corinthians 

Humility  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Each era has its own idea about what is great. Our time’s idea is based on the three idols of the Western world as according to Richard Forster: money‚ sex and power. Therefore the great people of our time are the rich people‚ the people with prestige‚ the guys who do things and who let things happen. And of course‚ also the people who radiate unashamed sexual powers: the beautiful people. On the one hand we also idealise the whole person‚ the good-looking person‚ the sensual ones. But somehow we are also attracted to the people who like Lord Byron describe as: Mad‚ bad and dangerous to know.
  (11 July 2006)
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Bible book: 2 Corinthians 

A letter for Christ  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
How wonderful it would have been if the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ would still be around here on earth! He would then deliver many sermons and so many more people would come to be sincere believers. The media would bring His message into every household. This is the wonder of television … world leaders, faces‚ facial expressions‚ attitudes and words are broadcast worldwide.
  (27 June 2006)
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Bible book: 2 Corinthians 

Our new school  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
To be God’s child is to be a saved person‚ a person able to do powerful things‚ a person – according to John 14:12 – able to do even more powerful deeds than Jesus. But to do this we‚ like all children preparing for life‚ need to go to school first. Peter would have said we need to learn how to step in Jesus’ footsteps.
  (6 June 2006)
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Bible book: 1 Peter 

Consolation - Fantasy or reality?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Sometimes things don’t go as we would like them to. Violence‚ suffering‚ poverty‚ and many more troubles sometimes throw their dark shadows over many of us. But still God invites us to continue believing in him irrespective of the circumstances. He is able to intervene and change matters when they look at their worst. He can see to it that the pistol’s trigger jams and that you survive. Because we as Christians are “immortal” until God gives the green light for us to go home!
  (9 May 2006)
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Bible book: Luke 

Choose life  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Why should we choose life? Because many people have lost the ability to give meaning to their lives – to practice living in community with Christ. They live their lives everyday in a rut of merely existing. They don’t have any exciting expectations of the future – the hope and joy of striving towards a spiritual existence has died.
  (25 April 2006)
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Bible book: Deuteronomy 

Loyalty is so important  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Those bound to Christ in faith‚ are loyal people. And are they are therefore loyal in all their relationships. Because look – the relationship with God flows through in the relationship with others. Loyalty towards God becomes apparent in our relationships with others.
  (19 April 2006)
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Bible book: Mark 

It is never too late  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Three hours prior to his death‚ it becomes very dark and it stays like that until Christ has his last breath. From middle of the day‚ it becomes middle of the night. “In that day”‚ declares the Sovereign Lord‚ “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.” (Amos 8:9). And the next verse‚ verse 10‚ is even more amazing: “I will make that time like mourning for an only son …”
  (28 March 2006)
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Bible book: Luke 

Formulas  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
If the desert traveler doesn’t find water‚ he will surely perish. He will die even if he is a scientist who knows that the chemical formula for water is H20 and despite the fact that he has often experimented with water in his laboratory. He is thirsty to death and the only thing he needs is real‚ living water. A formula or knowledge of a formula will not save him now.
  (28 February 2006)
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Bible book: Psalm 

Sola Gratia  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The gospel today is this: Christ has died for our sins‚ He was buried and resurrected on the third day. What is humanly impossible‚ has become possible – Christ lives. When we believe this‚ we can say together with Paul: God’s grace is sufficient. Then we can glory: by the grace of God‚ I am what I am. Then you and I can start doing grace.
  (7 February 2006)
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Bible book: 1 Corinthians 

Become a living urn that God can use  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The apostle Paul writes a letter to Jewish Christians who were spread all over the world. They were heavily persecuted because of their faith. Paul reminds his readers that God has given them the gift of re-birth. They must therefore not be surprised by their suffering – they should actually have expected it. They need to prepare themselves and to respond appropriately. He encourages them to follow Christ by showing a spirit of humility towards each other. If they persevere‚ the Lord will reward them with heavenly glory after their suffering here on earth.
  (31 January 2006)
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Bible book: 1 Peter 

Fireworks of Gods grace  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
There is a story about an Indian girl who was seriously ill in a hospital in Calcutta. One afternoon she lay very still. The nurse later worriedly came to make sure that she was still alive. When the nurse quietly touched her and asked her whether she was asleep‚ the little girl opened her eyes and answered: “No‚ I’m praying.”
  (17 January 2006)
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Bible book: None selected 

Only one gospel - why 4 Gospels?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Paul strongly emphasizes that there is only one gospel (Galatians 1:6-8). But still the gospel is brought to us by four evangelists. Why?
  (11 January 2006)
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Bible book: None selected 

What does Advent mean?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
“Where is the king of the Jews?” is frequently asked in Matthew. It starts with the question from the wise men: Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? (2:2). The answer comes after a long struggle: in Bethlehem‚ one of the “least” among the cities … (2:6). Apparently He is the King incognito‚ the King in hiding from birth to death.
  (16 November 2005)
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Bible book: Isaiah 

I wish we were ...  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
According to Martin Luther the gospel shows us how different God is and does‚ in comparison to what we are and do but also how different we are and do when compared to God! That which is precious and desirable to us may be completely different from what the wonderful God wants to give us!

And we shouldn’t bluff ourselves either‚ says Luther. There were many people in his congregation who secretly think to themselves when they for example‚ hear the Christmas story: I wish I was there! I would love to have helped the Baby! I would give anything to have cared for Him! I would have loved to be there with the shepherds to go and see Him! I would have grabbed the opportunity to serve Him!

  (18 October 2005)
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Bible book: Mark 

In the loving atmosphere of God  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
What does it mean that Christ is sitting on God’s right hand? “Right hand of God” is equal to the highest honour. Jesus is above all powers! Christ is at the wheel. At this moment. A leaf has just fallen from a tree in the Alps. A new baby has just taken its first breath in India. Jesus measured the breath. The migration of white dolphins through the oceans? Christ determines their route.
  (27 September 2005)
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Bible book: Romans 

Seven Principles of an Eagle  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Seven things that we can learn from an eagle
  (16 September 2005)
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Bible book: None selected 

God looks after us  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Listen to this “lullaby” of our Lord and live in peace.
  (3 August 2005)
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Bible book: Isaiah 

Use it or lose it  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
You see‚ outcomes based programmes are the way to go these days. All sectors of society base their goals on outcomes. One example is the outcomes based education syllabi currently used in schools. We should be able to measure results; we have to see where we are moving to‚ what is the aim‚ what will it look like when it’s done. And what will it be in ten years time? How can it be tested? By means of examinations.

Faith in God however‚ is not outcomes based in this sense. Not in tangible‚ measurable results. Why not? Because the outcomes based aspect of faith involves an intimate relationship with God. Someone once said that in the night of Jesus’ hearing when Peter stated: “I don’t know Him‚” he wasn’t lying. It was actually the truth. At that stage‚ he didn’t know Jesus – not for who He was and what He wanted to teach us about God. And we too‚ don’t know God’s strength because we don’t take the time to get to know God. We don’t know the Holy Spirit because we don’t apply ourselves to knowing the Spirit of God like we can learn to know Him in Scripture.

This naturally means that we must work on our relationship with God. It doesn’t happen by magic. Perhaps this is exactly one of the gaps in peoples’ lives today: that we don’t really know God.
  (26 July 2005)
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Bible book: Isaiah 

Make sure you see correctly  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
While I was busy with this text‚ I read the following and would like to share it with you.

William Rathje likes rubbish. This researcher from the University of Harvard‚ is convinced that we can learn a lot from the rubbish heaps of the world. Archeologists have always studied rubbish to learn more about society. Rathje does the same; he just doesn’t wait so long. The Garbage Project as he calls his organization‚ journeys through America‚ digs up rubbish dumps and records our eating habits‚ the style of our clothing and economic levels. Rathje succeeds in finding meaning in our rubble.
  (19 July 2005)
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Bible book: Matthew 

What is your worth for the kingdom?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
If you read Jesus’ story about the golden talents‚ you perhaps feel that this master is really harsh on his employees. But imagine going to your local bank manager. In your pocket you have an amount which constitutes about 100 years of labour. A huge amount of money. You cordially request the bank manager to carefully look after your money because you will need it again some time. You are not yet sure when you will be back but you will definitely come back to claim the money. A long time follows. About ten years. And now one day you are back at the bank‚ in the same manager’s office to claim your investment.
  (13 July 2005)
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Bible book: Matthew 

Sand and Stone  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Learn to write your hurts in the sand and to carve your blessings in stone.
  (30 June 2005)
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Bible book: None selected 

God = LIFE  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
When nothing makes sense‚ life still is worth it! With that I mean that if there is no meaning left in anything‚ if nothing fits logically into each other‚
if all hope has faded‚
if you want to join Ecclesiastes in saying: “It is all for nothing‚ all for nothing‚”
if you also want to complain like Elijah did: “It is enough now‚ Lord‚”
yes‚ if nothing makes sense –
then life is still worth it!
Do you believe it?
  (14 June 2005)
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Bible book: Revelation 

God appears to distribute work  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
There are surely many of us who would love to see the Lord appear to us. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could actually see Him? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could say to others: the Lord appeared to me? Sometimes I wonder whether the Lord does appear but we just don’t realize it.
  (7 June 2005)
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Bible book: Exodus 

How to remain passionate about his presence  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
If you love God and if you want to be with Him simply because He is‚ joy of the Lord will well up in you like a fountain of pure water. It happens every time you praise Him. It is felt immediately in his presence. This joy comes from a well that will never dry and it becomes your strength (John 4:14). It doesn’t matter what else happens‚ it is an underlying feeling that everything will be alright.
  (31 May 2005)
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Bible book: None selected 

Our heavenly Father knows!  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Our Father knows what his children need even before we have asked for it. He knows our needs. He sees our distress. He knows our suffering. He understands us. His knowledge of us pre-empts our needs and lists that we pray for.
  (24 May 2005)
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Bible book: 2 Chronicles 

Minus an Eye, a Hand, a Foot  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
People are prepared to sacrifice strange things for short-term material profité for honour and glory.
  (10 May 2005)
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Bible book: Mark 

The judge with the hugs.  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
Lee Shapiro is a retired judge. He also is one of the most loving people we know. At a certain stage in his career‚ Lee realized that love is the strongest of all powers. Based on this realization‚ he became a “hugger”. He offered everyone a hug. His colleagues started calling him the “hugging judge” (probably instead of the proverbial “hanging judge”). His bumper sticker read: “Don’t bug me! Hug me!”
  (18 April 2005)
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Bible book: None selected 

What happend to our friendliness?  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The opposite of the hunger for power in this world of ours is friendliness. Friendliness as fruit of the spirit. This means that we must learn never to write a person or persons off or see them as being hopeless.

Let us look for a moment at Romans 2:4.
God is rich in goodness‚ tolerance and patience! Doesn’t this tell you something? Don’t you realize that God wants to lead you to repentance through his goodness? Paul here writes to the pious and proud Jewish readers who thought they were better than other people and that they deserve God’s goodness. He tells them they are mistaken! Like all other people‚ they too are under God’s judgment. The only reason why God does not judge them in anger‚ says Paul‚ is that due to his goodness‚ his tolerance and his patient friendliness He wants to lead them to righteousness.
  (5 April 2005)
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Bible book: 1 Corinthians 

Sing in the dusk  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
The nightingale is not a well-known bird in South Africa because only one of its species (the thrush-nightingale) can be found in the most northern parts of the country.

The nightingale is a grayish and unimpressive-looking bird that is seldom seen because it likes hiding in intertwining branches of underwood. But the nightingale is famous worldwide for its beautiful song. Interestingly‚ they sing only in the evenings. In other words they sing only when the sun has set and it is dark. And now people catch them‚ put them in a cage and use the bird’s custom to sing only during the night. They put the cage in a darkened room and this confuses the bird so much that it sings any time because: It sings in the dark! Only at night.  (8 March 2005)
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Bible book: Matthew 

Lord, make me a `hosepipe`  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
A prayer.  (21 February 2005)
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Bible book: None selected 

Rather give it to Me  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
One of the most brilliant philosophers of the 18th Century was a German called Moses Mendelssohn. He was Jewish but his teachings have been highly acclaimed by both Jewish and Christian scientists.

Although Moses himself was Orthodox‚ some of his children became Christians. His grandson‚ the composer‚ Felix Mendelssohn for example‚ grew up in a Christian home.

We hear a wonderful story about his grandfather Moses Mendelssohn. He was blessed with a highly gifted brain‚ a sensitive heart and a wonderful ability to interest his listeners. Unfortunately‚ his exterior was not as attractive as his inner self. Moses Mendelssohn was short‚ unattractive and had a humpback.  (8 February 2005)
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Bible book: None selected 

He leads me  Click here to start Download[Text File]    [HTML]
A Sunday School teacher visited one of his boys who was terminally ill. What hope can I give him? the frustrated teacher wondered. He did not know what to say to the child because he did not know how to prepare a young child to die. At the end of the visit, the teacher just said: "Remember, the Lord is your saviour."

To help the boy remember, the teacher asked the boy to hold up his five fingers. He touched each of the little fingers and repeated the words: "The Lord is my Shepherd." He then asked the boy to repeat the sentence and to touch each finger while he says the words. When the little boy came to the fourth finger, he grabbed it with his other hand and repeated: "My ... my Shepherd. The Lord is my Shepherd".  (7 February 2005)
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Bible book: Psalm 


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