Thank you for a truly Godly magazine. From the moment I read the first issue I realized the value of this magazine. Not just pages of people’s opinions over Godly matters, but rather Word-based articles with Godly truths stated.
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The article on schizophrenia has been a revelation to me helping to bring clarity to an unknown area. Not that I profess to be knowledgeable at all, but now I am enlightened!
God bless Grietjie Rossouw Durbanville
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Juliet Geertsma Tzaneen
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means to me. Beside my Bible it is the book that edifies me the most. I treasure it. Thank you Lindie, for obeying God’s instruction to you. Through your obedience He has been blessing many people,
Williana Symons Doxa Deo - Brooklyn Campus
and He will continue to do so. Many thanks and kind regards Ilana Brink Pietersburg
REAL LIFE A gift of new life
Organ and tissue donation
WORK AND PLAY Financial unity
Mirror, mirror Happy to clean
â€œTell My people to lay down their pagan wives, for I will not be unequally yokedâ€?
Unity in the home
Kim Gericke found Jesus
When Purity meets purity, there is Power
For the sake of the cause
Boxer Hawk Makepula testifies
FRUIT, FRUIT, FRUIT
IT WAS GOOD Sleep in heavenly peace The gemsbok Majestically marked antelope
The King and I
Welcome to Beryl - Our issue of forgiveness!
I had the privilege of speaking at a function in the Western Cape a couple of weeks ago. It was a Friday morning. Walking down the passage leading to the main hall, I saw a picture hanging on the wall. I did not give it much attention until the Holy Spirit prompted me to turn back and to take a closer look at it. It was actually a framed sculpture of a person standing and looking straight ahead. I stood looking at it for a briefk moment and heard this word in my spirit: Stand! At that moment I knew that God had spoken His word for this “From my heart” - Stand! Whenever I receive a word from God I always ask Him to confirm it and then I search His Word - Scripture - for the interpretation thereof. 6
That Sunday, back at home in Gauteng I attended church. During the service we sang two worship songs containing the word stand. In his sermon, our pastor also referred to the word stand on more than one occasion. There are many references to the word stand in the Bible. Therefore it is important to know exactly what God’s Heart is for this word. I found the answer in Ephesians 6:10-18. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with the truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all saints...” In this context, what is the meaning of the instruction from God: stand!? As God’s children we know that there is a battle raging. We are in warfare and it is going to intensify as we come closer to the return of Jesus. We will face this battle from both an individual and a corporate perspective. But Paul brings it into perspective in the Book of Ephesians. He shows us that we are not fighting against people, although sometimes it feels as if we are. This fight is a spiritual one and because we are mind, body and spirit, we are part of this war. Behind the attack is another force who is fighting for the soul of man. We need to know that when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we will be battling against this spiritual force of evil who is fighting for humanity’s souls. These forces try and enter our lives through our immediate circumstances and we have to be able to recognise them for what they are. We have to fight them with the armour that God has given us so that after we have battled, we will stand!
photography: liezl du preez
R E A L
L I F E
â€œCover me in Your loving grace, o Lord. For there I find refuge and peace for my soul. My spirit yearns to be with You and until I see You face to face, cover me with Your grace.â€?
photography: liezl du preez
words: ena du plessis; retha fick
o r g a
s u s i e t d d o n n a a n e d u o ss
g i a f t o n f o ti n
South Africa became a world leader in transplantation when the late Prof. Christiaan Barnard transplanted the ﬁrst heart in 1967. Ironically, today over 5000 South Africans are in need of organ transplants and approximately 35 000 are awaiting tissue transplants. Yet, many lives are saved and improved through the selﬂess gifts of organ and tissue donors. MY World spoke to three families whose lives were impacted by organ or tissue donation. THE FIRST RELIABLE report of a transplant operation dates back to 1823. German surgeon Carl Bunger grafted skin from a woman’s thigh when performing plastic surgery on her nose. It was not until the beginning of the 20th century, however, that transplants from donors were successfully carried out. 1906 saw the first corneal transplant and 1908 the first skin allograft. A whole series of major milestones were reached between 1962 and 1967: the first successful kidney transplant from a deceased donor, the first liver transplant, the first lung transplant, the first heart transplant, and the first successful pancreas transplant were all performed within this five-year period. Nowadays, organ transplantation is routinely considered for people with serious diseases. At least 21 different organs and tissues can now be successfully transplanted, and the recipients can expect to survive for years or even decades. The term organ in this context includes kidneys, hearts, livers, lungs and pancreases; whereas tissue mostly refers to heart valves, corneas, skin and bone. The impact of transplantation surgery was stressed when Dr Joseph Murray, who performed the first kidney transplant in 1954, and Dr E. Donnall Thomas, who pioneered bone marrow transplant as a cure for leukaemia, shared the Nobel Prize in 1990. Although the importance of the doctor’s role in transplantation stands undisputed, the majority of these operations would simply not be possible without another vital role-player – the donor. Ortogenous tissue transplants – removing some of a patient’s own tissue and transplanting it to the area where it is needed – are in some cases possible, but this is often not preferable. The secondary scar (where tissue has been taken from) is often even more traumatic than the primary one. As far as organ transplants are concerned, a donor is always a requirement. Both kidney and liver transplants are possible from living donors. Living kidney donors give one of their kidneys and retain the remaining one for their own use. Living liver donors have part of their liver removed and transplanted into the recipient. As God has created the liver with the capacity to regenerate, both the donor’s and the recipient’s livers will grow to full size after the surgery. Most kidney and liver transplants, and all heart, lung and pancreas transplants, however, take place from deceased donors. Tissue transplantation from one person to another, also normally take place after the donor’s death. To become a donor after death, certain conditions and diseases (for example cancer and diabetes) firstly need to be ruled out. Secondly, an organ donor needs to be brain dead, in other words all functions of the brain must have ceased completely, as the organs need to be kept functioning by a support system until removal. A tissue donor, however, could be either brain dead, or have suffered cardiac death, meaning that the heart has ceased. There are therefore many more potential tissue donors than there are organ donors.
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functioning of the liver is seriously affected) at the age of five months. Out of desperation we made a second call that culminated in the securing of an appointment. On arrival in Cape Town, the professor requested that an urgent biopsy be carried out. Soon after receiving the test results, we were informed that Callan required an urgent liver transplant, otherwise she would surely die.
we called upon God
“We had four months to find a suitable donor and the chances of finding one were slimmed by the fact that she falls in a rare blood group. A second option was for one of the parents, if found to be suitable, to donate a part of their liver to Callan – but this option carried immense risk as such an operation had at the time never been performed in South Africa and there were no guarantees. We found this very alarming. We realized that we had to pray like never before. God promised us that we should call upon Him in the day of trouble and He would deliver us. (Psalm 34.) Based on the Word, we called upon God for a miracle. Our congregation, family and friends of the ministry all around the world stood in agreement with us to see the Hand of God move in this situation. We entered into a three-day period of intense prayer and fasting. The morning of the third day, I had a dream of Callan playing with her father in the sea. Suddenly I heard my husband say, ‘Look, a liver is coming out of Callan’s mouth!’ I immediately responded that unless God had provided a new liver, the old one wouldn’t have come out.
“To me the most beautiful part of the whole story is the remarkable character and obedience of the mother of the baby whose liver was donated to Callan. This woman and her husband were with her parents on their way to Cape Town to show their three-month old baby to the in-laws. A motor car accident took the lives of both her parents and the baby was confirmed brain dead. In the midst of the shock and immense pain of loss, she still made the choice to donate her baby’s liver and kidneys. In this way not only Callan’s life was saved but also the life of the child who received the kidneys. In her brokenness she showed the courage to unselfishly offer a gift of life to somebody else. I salute this woman; what she did will always be an inspiration to us.
ion o nat nati
“Our beautiful baby girl named Callan was born on the 1st of June 2000. With the joy of her birth, suddenly a challenge faced us. Our daughter was not well, and after various tests had been performed, Callan was diagnosed with Billiard Atrecia (a condition of the liver where the bile ducts did not develop completely). At seven weeks of age, baby Callan was hospitalized and surgery was done immediately. Two days after surgery her doctor informed us that the operation had been unsuccessful. They could offer no further help, but to refer her to the Red Cross Hospital in Cape Town. In our devastation we pursued the restoration of our baby’s health by making an appointment with the Red Cross Hospital. Whilst waiting for their response, Callan’s condition was steadily deteriorating. She was re-admitted to hospital in an attempt to stabilize her condition pending the Red Cross appointment. She came home again for two to three weeks and then went back to hospital again. This process led to cirrhosis of the liver (a condition where the normal
Based on the Word,
do no r had been found. This happened while Callan occupied the seventh place on the waiting list! What a joyous and glorious moment it was for us on the 22nd of May 2001 when Callan had a successful liver transplant - two weeks before her first birthday.
sue d tis do e do
Pastor Freddy Edwards and his wife Sandy are the founders of Jesus Celebration Centre in Maraisburg, Roodepoort – a multi-cultural community of believers that started with as few as 18 people in 1995. Today it is one of the fastest growing churches in Gauteng with a membership of close to 4000 people. Ministering the love and healing power of Jesus Christ to thousands of people both nationally and internationally, this couple had their faith in God tested severely with the sickness of their daughter Callan. Suddenly they found themselves in a situation where they were faced with the challenge to put to practice what they so passionately preached about. God once again proved His faithfulness. This was a situation that drew them even closer to Him. The unity in their family as well as in the church was strengthened. Once again they realized that as full-time ministers they are but instruments in the Hands of a living God. This is their story, as told by Sandy.
“I woke up feeling the Spirit of God strongly upon me. At 12 o’clock that same day we received a phone call from the hospital informing us that a suitable
He had carried through aga
“The road after the transplant was very difficult, but God was ever present. Callan was in hospital for four more months. During this challenging time we learned to trust God one day at a time. Suffering children surrounded Callan: one girl died because her body rejected the donated organ. Another child died because he wasn’t healthy enough to live through a transplant. The risk to pick up a life-threatening virus was always there. At the end of each day, I just thanked God that He had saved Callan for another day and that He had carried us through again. During that time in particular, He taught us to place our trust in Him alone.
o r g
“Today through God’s grace, Callan is five years old, perfectly well and a living testimony of the greatness of God. She is a remarkable child; she attracts people and has the ability to encourage them by her mere presence. She is bright and sensitive and loves to pray and sing and dance. We believe that God has a wonderful plan for her life. We are so grateful towards Him for saving her life.
“Our message to parents in the same situation is: Never give up. There is hope, no matter how dark the situation might seem. We all go through challenges and face trials and tribulations, but God promised us that He would deliver us out of it all. We will not be tested beyond our ability. His timing is perfect, even if it sometimes seems that He is too late. He will not let His children stand ashamed. He will come through for them. This is what faith is all about, to trust even while you don’t see any results and to hang on to the promises of His Word.”
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treatment to restore the heart’s rhythm. His blood pressure fell and he was taken by ambulance to the heart unit of Christiaan Barnard Memorial. Being desperately ill during Easter weekend, Chris strongly identified with Jesus’ suffering during those hours before He died. Simultaneously an expectation started growing in his spirit of the realization of future spiritual joy. This was confirmed, because something wonderful happened on Easter Sunday.
Chris had to seriously adapt his lifestyle: jogging, mowing the lawn and even lifting heavy things were out of the question. From May 2000 to September 2004 he had to deal with the reality of growing tired very easily. Even a light cold was life threatening. To limit the tempo of the heart’s rapid decline, doctors recommended a pacemaker, which he received in the last week of September 2004. At the end of that week, though, Chris became very ill. He was admitted to hospital again and spent several days in ICU. His battle was against fluid build-up in his organs, affecting their normal functioning. Doctors were baffled. Whereas the pacemaker had to improve his condition or at least make no difference, in his case it seemed to have weakened the functioning of his heart.
One specialist recommended the reduction of fluid intake. This helped Chris and with his 44th birthday on the 2nd of February 2005 he felt better. Two more operations were necessary to make adjustments to the pacemaker - one seven-hour procedure in February and one five-hour procedure in March. After the 4th of March he did not go back to work. He was continuously in and out of hospital, and nothing really seemed to help. On the 18th of May he received shock
God gave Chris a vision of himself in a storm where the waves were high and he had no chance on survival. In the midst of this storm Jesus came as a lifeguard and rescued him. Jesus swam him out to the shore, laid him down on the beach and sat down with him. When he was rested enough to be able to sit up straight and later to stand up, the two of them walked some distance while Jesus supported him. Then they started running. Chris was reminded of the words in Habakkuk 3:19, “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.”
He obediently phoned his minister with the result that two ministers and two elders came to his house and anointed him with olive oil in absolute humility before God. Chris recalled the passion with which they pleaded for his healing that day. To him that was a very special occasion. At that stage he was already on a waiting list for a heart transplant, but at last the clear realization came that God wanted to heal him by giving him a new heart. He told his doctor that they could go ahead with arrangements. During this time Chris’s picture of Jesus on the beach was elaborated; he now also saw a multitude of believers surrounding him, supporting him in faith. Many people prayed for Chris’s healing – some of them as far as the Netherlands and the USA.
ion o nat nati
Chris contracted a viral infection in October 1999. Largely unbeknown to him, the effects of the virus caused his heart to weaken to such an extent that he had heart failure in May 2000. Compared to the 60% ejection fraction (a term linked to the effectiveness of the heart) of a healthy person, Chris’s declined to only 20%.
he was still expecting that God would touch and heal his own heart. He spent three weeks at home and at the end of the third week he was convinced that he should be anointed with oil according to James 5:14, 15. (“Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up…”)
sue d tis do e do
MY World interviewed Chris Wüst (44) from Wellington about his remarkable journey with God through his severe illness. God’s ways in his life inspired us greatly. God granted Chris a new heart and quality time with his family, but took him Home four months after the heart transplant. We place his testimony in memory of a man whose life on earth bore the fruits of his trust in his Heavenly Father.
God had given according
to his expectation
Chris left the hospital after two weeks and during this time the words of Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…” gradually acquired special significance. As Pentecost Sunday, the day on which the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit is celebrated, was approaching, Chris had the expectation that he would receive power from God on that day. At that stage he did not know how it would come to pass. S o meho w
At the end of April, Chris was admitted to
hospital again and on the Wednesday before Pentecost Sunday an emergency call was made to all hospitals for a heart for Chris. Chris confidently told the doctor that he would receive his heart on the Sunday – the day the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was celebrated. That Saturday a heart was donated! When the news reached Chris he burst into tears. God had given according to his expectation. The transplant was done that same day. The next day, the day of Pentecost, when he gained consciousness after the operation he had strength! Chris went home three weeks later and testified at various occasions about God’s love and faithfulness.
o r g
a gift of new life
Four months later, while finishing this article, we received the news of Chris’s sudden death on the 19 th of September. His body had rejected the new heart. We asked his wife Suzan to tell us about her feelings during this very difficult time. “After four months of absolute joy over Chris’s recovery, the shock of his death was extremely intense. The whole community was devastated. “I want to praise God for richly blessing us with four special months after his heart transplant. The time we shared had a Godly quality. We spent much time praying together. Loving relationships were of extreme importance to Chris. “He has left me and our three daughters with wonderful memories of a man with a passion for the God he served. Therein lies our comfort. Chris anticipated a ‘future spiritual joy’ and is this not exactly what he has in abundance now?
“We are going through a very trying time and miss him intensely. But in His Word, God continuously promises us that He will quench our thirst in the desert (Isaiah 43), that He will provide strength for each day and that He has planned a rich life of abundance for us all. As Chris always said, ‘It is exciting to serve a living God!’”
LIFE WITH A TRANSPLANT
For the body to accept a transplanted organ is no simple matter, as Chris’s story shows. This is because the 16
body’s immune system, which fights to protect the body against infections, distinguishes between foreign
matter, which should be attacked, and matter that is a normal part of the body and should not be attacked.
As the body knows no way to distinguish between harmful and beneficial foreign matter, the immune system attacks transplanted organs. Organ recipients therefore need to take medication to suppress the immune response, which, of course, has the side-effect of leaving them more vulnerable to infections.
It is primarily to help transplant recipients face these challenges, that the Change Transplant Support Group
exists. According to founder Caron Arenstein, Change is the only support group of its nature in South Africa. Having received a kidney in February 2000, Caron started the support group in July 2001.
Says Caron, “We educate organ recipients pre-transplant, and we have monthly meetings that they may attend post-transplant. The people who attend our meetings, have received their transplants from as
recently as one month ago to as far as 30 years back. We also do a lot of work at Baragwanath and Johannesburg General Hospital. We raise funds for transportation of the children in need of transplants to
Cape Town, as that is where they need to undergo the surgery. In August we held an organ donor tribute day – it was fantastic.”
(in loving memory)
A WORD FROM A DONOR’S MOTHER
“From a Christian perspective, I feel that God has given doctors the ability to transplant organs into other people, and that the body that is laid in the ground is just the tent that is no longer needed. Daren has his glorified body in Heaven and is free of this corrupt one here on earth.
“For us it was easy to decide to donate as much of Daren’s body as could be used. He had spoken to us often about donating his eyes and a couple of weeks before he died he said that ‘they’ should take as much as could be used, put the rest of him in a cardboard box and bury him, because he would never need his body again.
“My prayer is that the folk who received any part of Daren would live a life that is glorifying to God, and that perhaps through their experience of being a recipient would come to know Christ as Lord and Saviour.
v i e g l i o f t e s n l
“The only other time I thought about the donation was when we received a letter from the Organ Donation Foundation thanking us for the part we had played in the donation. They told us how many people had been given a second chance in life and once again were able to lead a better quality of life because of what they had received from Daren.
in all it
” . ss
“It was a bitter-sweet moment to read that letter, but it gave us a wonderful sense of gratification knowing that so many people – including children – had been helped because of Daren. I don’t think about someone walking around being able to see through Daren’s eyes, for example. I rather just think that in some way Daren was able to bring better quality of life to someone who might not otherwise have had it.
Let us remember that we all need the Lord to perform His transplant surgery on us: “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 11:19). This type of transplant leads to a gift of new life that surpasses all human understanding – the life Jesus came to give us. In John 10:10 He says, “I came to give life – life in all its fullness.”
ll in a
References: www.changetx.org.za; www.health24.com; www.news.harvard.edu; www.news24.com; www.odf.org.za; www.tissuebank.co.za.
i t s fu l l n e
We have seen the joy that both giving and receiving a gift of new life through organ and tissue donation can bring. Yet, whether or not to donate organs or tissue remains a personal matter. It is up to each individual to seek God’s will as to whether or not they should donate. To hear His voice and know His will in this and all other matters, is one reason why a close relationship with Him is of the utmost importance. Through the prophet Isaiah the Lord said, “Give ear and come to Me, that your soul may live” (Isaiah 55:3).
l i f e
“I came u f s l
e - life s.”
“The day Daren died, Leon van den Berg from the Centre for Tissue Engineering came to see us (he was our previous pastor and at the time we still looked on him as our pastor). As he was leaving, without even a second thought I immediately asked him if anything from Daren’s body could be used. I just felt that this was something that we could do – almost in repayment for the 19 years that Daren had lived. I will always appreciate the sensitive manner in which the whole donation was handled.
“If I had to do it again – I pray that I’m never put into that position again! – I would willingly give all that can be used.”
e li to giv fe
When Jane Henry from Edenvale, Gauteng lost her son Daren in a motor vehicle accident in August 2004, she made the unselfish decision to consent to tissue donation. We asked Jane to tell us what motivated her to make this decision, and what the implications were.
ready for action International World Boxing Council Champion Hawk Makepula does not hesitate to give God all the credit for his success. He is continually striving to let Godâ€™s 21
light shine through him into the boxing ring and the entire world. He considers himself blessed to be a servant and a tool in the Hand of the One who orders his steps all the way. words: joel sekgoela
photography: liezl du preez
“YES MASHA! OK Masha!” These shouts could be heard from the bottom of the staircase ascending to Durandt’s Boxercise gym in Norwood, north of Johannesburg. They were from Masibulele “Hawk” Makepula, South Africa’s International World Boxing Council Champion. He was instructing Tumisho Masha who was known as Dumisani in Isidingo fame and now Top Billing presenter. Hawk is Masha’s personal trainer and they attend the same church. Hawk says they play for Chiefs Celebrities, a team of celebrities who play for this soccer club.
The saying that “dynamite comes in small packages” seems to be true of South Africa’s World Boxing Council (WBC) International Champion, Hawk. He hails from Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape, and has risen from being a mosquito weight (a category for those weighing 30 kg) champion to WBC champion. How Hawk became involved with boxing, is a story no one would want to miss. It all started in November 1979. By then he was only seven years old and weighed 17 kg. “My cousin who is the same age as I, Zithulele Ngxatheleni, had his shorts and boxing gloves on. He showed my grandmother how to box. My grandmother got excited and made me put my shorts and boxing gloves on,” says Hawk as he recalls that very day. “My grandmother loved boxing.” He was raised by his grandmother since his mother was young and an alcoholic. His father was staying in another village in the Eastern Cape and he only came to know him in the late 1980s. Boxing is synonymous with Hawk’s family. His father and uncle were also boxers. Boxing has been part of Hawk’s life ever since, although he almost traded his boxing career for one of South Africa’s
favourite sports, soccer. “I captained the local soccer team from 1982 to 1987.” It was not before long that Hawk’s love for boxing was revived. He started boxing full-time and became South Africa’s mosquito weight champion in 1988. Hawk has gone on to win many other titles in the boxing fraternity. He has fought 210 amateur fights of which he won 198, 160 of these by knockout. Of the 30 professional fights he fought, he lost three and won 27 of which 20 were by knockout. As is often the case with successful people, Hawk’s road has at times been bumpy. His has not been a life void of challenges – he has known some brokenness. He never saw his father until in his teens. His mother has been suffering from alcoholism for some time now. Hawk says the devil is behind her condition. But like Paul he wishes that his parents “will come to know Christ and the power of His resurrection” (Philippians 3:10) before they pass on.
It was not a coincidence, but part of God’s plan that he came to Gauteng. His experiences did not affect his dreams of ever having a stable family. He is married to Siyolise and has three daughters. Two were born out of wedlock from his previous relationship before he became a Christian. They are Sinazo, Qapelani and Kanana. Kanana means the promised land.
Hawk came to Gauteng in 2003 after he had lost several fights while in the Eastern Cape. It was not a coincidence, but part of God’s plan that he came to Gauteng. He believes that, as the Bible says, God ordered his steps. (Psalm 119:133.) He says it was God who told him to come to Gauteng because, “there you will find your raven to feed you.” It was here where he met his motivator Dr David Molapo of the I Can Foundation and developed respect for him. He was then introduced to Rhema Christian Church pastored by Pastor Ray McCauley, who is himself a former bodybuilder. “I would say there is no one I am looking at more than at God. There is no greater example than God, but I have people of whom I can say that they mentored me spiritually. One of them is Pastor Jobe Nkosinathi Sithole of the Durban-hailing God’s Army Crusade. God sent him to me and he introduced me to Christ,” says Hawk. Although his relationship with God had grown, his passion for boxing did not die. “I joined Nick Durandt’s gym in 2003. God directed me to go there. I fought six fights under him and won all of them, four by knockout. I then became WBC International Champion,” says Hawk as he quickly attributes his success to God. Hawk’s closeness to God is demonstrated in the way he answers his cellphone. He makes mention of the Name of Jesus whenever he picks up a call. He does this because, “firstly, I have died to myself and Christ is living in me through His Spirit. I must not hide this. Secondly, the power in the mention of His Name protects me.” Whenever he is ushered into the boxing ring the song Angingedwa, meaning I am not alone, is sung. Hawk starts his day by
Hawk is not his real name, but it has become his ring name. “People saw that I boxed like Welcome “Hawk” Ncita and then they gave me his ring name. This has slowly become my name,” he says. Hawk’s life has continued to be a blessing to the country at large. He was a flag bearer for the South African Olympic team in 1996. Even as Hawk continues to rise in fame and stature, one thing seems constant – his love for God is forever growing.
hawk ready for action
Of the many fights Hawk has fought, one remains sharply and vividly in his mind. The fight was in 2000 against his role model and fellow church member, the legendary “Baby” Jake Matlala. “We were fighting for the World Boxing Organisation World title and I won. It was one of the toughest fights ever,” says Hawk. He has trained with other legends like Welcome Ncita, Vuyani and Dudu Bungu and Mbulelo Botile, at Eyethu boxing club in the Eastern Cape.
joel and hawk at the interview
prayer and supplication, making his requests known to God. Usually he prays for his family and for those who will be driving on the road for protection. He says, “More than the titles, God has allowed me to be His servant and to be His tool.” He continues to be a motivational speaker and preacher of the Word on a regular basis. He and his wife are presently attending a Bible school in Randburg. He says he wants to go into full-time ministry. “I am aspiring to three more world titles (International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Council and W o r l d B o x ing Organisation which is also called World Boxing Association), after which I would l ike to l eav e bo x ing f o r f ul l -time ministry,” says Hawk as his face radiates with enthusiasm.
ove o veer... r... words: retha fick
photography: liezl du preez
Ever since she can remember, she has had the awareness that her life has a special purpose. What that purpose is, she still has to discover. But Kim Gericke (33) of Witpoortjie, Roodepoort recently met the Author of her life, the One who designed her; and her life was changed. Not only did she receive salvation for her soul, but also release from hurt of the past. And the angels in Heaven celebrate the addition of one more name to the Book of Life.
KIM IS THE youngest of a family of seven children. Having had a very special relationship with her dad, she was devastated when he died six years ago. She was 27 at the time. “He died in my arms after I had tried to resuscitate him. Although I am the youngest, I felt that I had to be strong on behalf of everybody else in the family.” In a way Kim blamed God for her father’s death. The pain of losing him was just so deep. “At one stage I did not even want to have my child because I realized my dad would never know her. He spent his whole life helping others.”
At the age of 16 Kim’s life became marked with drug and alcohol abuse and deep feelings of depression. Today she knows that the main reason why she became involved with drugs is her own unfulfilled emotional needs. “I always felt that I needed to belong somewhere. In our large family I felt like the odd one out.” Being the only child from her parents’ marriage, (her other brothers and sisters were born from previous marriages), she often felt rejected. “My half-brothers and half-sisters had their own siblings, and I saw myself as not having a real brother or sister; so I always felt alone. I was always seeking attention. Although my parents gave me enough, I always felt I needed more.” Also conducive to her drug abuse was peer pressure. With her fun-loving personality, Kim was very popular amongst her peers. “Although you know what is right and what is wrong, you still make the wrong
choices. I learned that no person or programme can help you if you are not prepared to make the right decisions yourself. Many times before smoking dagga, I wrote myself a letter containing the reasons why I should not. Once on a trip, I would read the letter and then feel very guilty. “When I was 18 I moved to Hillbrow and gradually developed a strong desire to commit suicide. Looking back now, I know that this is yet another instance in my life where I realized that God surely had a bigger purpose for me. At the age of 24, within one week I simply decided to turn my back on drugs and alcohol. It was not easy, but I did it without any help. I asked myself the questions, ‘Have I forgotten that my life has purpose? Do I only want to live to 30? Have I not learnt from other people’s mistakes?’”
Kim was soon to discover her need for more of Him. Through all those years, Kim was aware of God’s existence. It is only as recently as one month ago, though, after a series of small but significant incidents, that she committed her whole life to Him. Kim is an events co-ordinator at a large company and testifies that her colleagues unknowingly played a significant role in her journey
towards her obtaining the gift of eternal life. One day, her colleague Rynu – a born-again Christian – with whom she started building a good relationship, casually asked her where she lived. She explained and they left the matter there. A few days later, he again raised the matter by commenting that he had recently been in that vicinity and that his dad was pastor of a church only three blocks away. Again the matter was left there, but from that day each time she passed the church she noticed the sign with the pastor’s name on. In her heart it started bothering her that she, her husband and their five-year-old daughter did not have a church they could call home. She started discussing it with her husband. During that same time her daughter’s questions about church made Kim feel very uncomfortable. The Spirit of God was convicting her about their responsibility towards their child. The next thing that drew her attention was when the CEO of their company passed her in the passage early one morning and greeted her with the words, “Good morning, you beautiful person”. “I was so surprised by his compliment; I asked myself, ‘Why would he tell me I am a beautiful person? He doesn’t even know me!’ But throughout that day I thought about his words. It made me feel so good. I felt so happy.” God was slowly softening her heart to receive His eternal love. Kim was soon to discover her need for more of Him. “That compliment made me consider the beautiful person he
was talking about. I started thinking about my life and where I was heading.
will find out in time.’ That is where my dream ended.”
“That was the Friday. That Sunday evening I had a dream. In my dream, I went to Rynu’s dad’s church. Upon entering the church, the pastor approached me and although I had never met him before, I knew that he was Rynu’s dad and pastor of the church. He greeted me and welcomed me as if he knew exactly who I was. He told me that he wanted me to come to his office after the service. The whole incident totally astounded me. After the service, the two of us went upstairs. It was a spiral staircase soaked with the foam of dishwashing liquid. I still don’t know the exact meaning of the dishwashing liquid, but it could refer to cleansing or maybe joy and happiness.
“Firstly I want to grow in my relationship with God”
“We sat down in his office that was not only filled with dishwashing bubbles, but also with elements of nature – beautiful green bushes. In the dream I told the pastor that I knew I had a purpose, but that I didn’t know what it was. I knew there was something specific that I needed to do for God, but I did not know what. “The pastor told me that even Jesus’ disciples had had specific tasks or purposes and in the same way I had to determine my purpose by studying the Bible. Not being too good at waiting, I told him I immediately wanted to know my purpose. He merely replied, ‘You
Kim had always wanted to commit her whole life to God, but she was afraid of the implications. She didn’t feel ready to give up everything she liked, as that is what she thought such a decision would imply. After telling Rynu about her dream the following day, he immediately made an appointment for her with his dad. Kim went and found the freedom to talk about her life, her family and her past. After she had finished talking, the pastor directly asked her whether she wanted to be a child of God. She told him about her fears and he prayed for her, leading her to Christ. “I cried the whole day! I cried about my dad and about my past.” Kim’s life changed radically after this. In spite of her fears to the contrary, her husband fully supports her decision. “I feel so happy. Even my relationship with my daughter is so much better. We read from the Bible together and I’m teaching her to pray. “At first I did not want to tell anybody that I gave my life to
Christ. Now it’s not so difficult anymore. The more I tell people, the easier it becomes to talk about God and the Bible. Since I’ve given my life to God, I am even more sensitive to the needs of other people. I want to help them with their problems. I want other people to be happy. If I won a lot of money I would still be poor because I would give everything away! I find myself speaking to God often throughout the day without even thinking about it. It just happens spontaneously. I think about Him regularly. “I know I have a significant purpose in life. What it is I don’t know yet. The only thing I know is that I want to do good things for others. I want to help. Whom exactly I need to help, I don’t know yet. I know there is something in me that can bring out the best in somebody else. But firstly I want to grow in my relationship with God.” Kim joyfully serves the God who promises that He brings to pass His purposes for us and surely completes them. (Psalm 57:2.) Kim’s story is a beautiful example of the fact that every individual life is so very precious and important to God that He, through His Spirit, goes to great extent to make us aware of His endless and personal love for us. God loves us so much that He provided a Way for us to not only spend eternity in His presence but also to have fullness of life here on earth. We receive this wonderful gift by believing that Jesus Christ’s death paid the penalty for our sin. By believing we obtain total forgiveness, free access to God and eternal life.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS It started at the end of August this year. One Saturday morning I decided to visit the nursery. I bought a variety of plants for my garden, among which were seven pure white arumlilies. All seven lilies were blooming. I planted themunder a large tree where I would be able to view them from my lounge window.
Then came the 20th of September. My Bible reading was from the Book of Ezra. I read Ezra 10:9, “And on the twentieth of the ninth month”... Although this verse referred to the Hebrew calendar, it was the 20th of our ninth month (September) and I gave heed to what I was reading. Here follows the reading: EZRA 10
During the first week of September, we were completing the production of our seventh issue, Chrysolite. To be precise, we completed the seventh issue on the seventh of September between seven and eight o’clock the evening. We were literally moving from seven to eight. As Liezl and I walked out of the office, a light shower of rain signified a blessing. I did not take any of this for granted, as our seventh issue was very special and was complete!
On the morning of the eighth, as I was about to leave my home, the Holy Spirit prompted me to look out of my lounge window into my garden. I was absolutely astonished when I saw that the eighth arum lily had appeared. Greater was my astonishment when I realized that this pure white lily was growing out of a pure white leaf, instead of a green leaf. I had never seen a phenomenon like this before. This too, I did not take for granted. It was so pure. That morning I was deeply touched and I knew that He was speaking to me. During the following weeks the Holy Spirit started speaking to me about certain things. These things might have appeared simple, yet they were significant. I always used to wear a gel coating on my nails. My hands were always neatly groomed and I thought that I could never go without the gel. All of a sudden the gel started lifting. There was nothing wrong with the product; it was just as if my nails were rejecting the covering. The third time this happened, I asked God why the gel had been lifting in this manner. In my spirit I felt the Holy Spirit saying to me that He wanted my hands completely pure. He also said that I should trust Him and that I should lay down that which I thought I could never go without and which I thought had made my hands beautiful. He would explain it later. So I went without the gel and started rubbing olive oil into my nails and hands. On the 18th of September we had Communion. As I took of the cup, the Holy Spirit prompted me to keep the grape juice in my mouth a while before I swallowed it. I allowed it to linger in my mouth. The Lord said to me that from that day every word I would speak will have to pass through the Blood of Jesus. His Blood would cleanse and give power!
“While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites - men, women, and children - gathered around him. They too wept bitterly. Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, said to Ezra. ‘We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women (some translations use the words pagan wives) from the people around us. But in spite of this there is still hope for Israel. Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law. Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.’ “So Ezra rose up and put the leading priests and Levites and all Israel under oath to do what had been suggested. And they took the oath. Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God and went to the room of Jehohanan son of Eliashib. While he was there, he ate no food and drank no water, because he continued to mourn over the unfaithfulness of the exiles. “A proclamation was then issued throughout Judah and Jerusalem for all the exiles to assemble in Jerusalem. Anyone who failed to appear within three days would forfeit all his property, in accordance with the decision of the officials and elders, and would himself be expelled from the assembly of the exiles. “Within three days, all the men of Judah and Benjamin had gathered in Jerusalem. And on the twentieth day of the ninth month, all the people were waiting in the square before the house of God, greatly distressed by the occasion and because of the rain. Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, ‘You have been unfaithful; you have married foreign women, adding to Israel’s guilt. Now make confession to the Lord, the God of your fathers, and do His will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives.’ The whole assembly responded with a loud voice: ‘You are right! We must do as you say. But there are many people here and it is the rainy season;
so we cannot stand outside. Besides, this matter cannot be taken care of in a day or two, because we have sinned greatly in this thing. Let our officials act for the whole assembly. Then let every one in our towns who has married a foreign woman come at a set time, along with the elders and judges of each town, until the fierce anger of our God in this matter is turned away from us.’ Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah, supported by Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite, opposed this. So the exiles did as was proposed...” One evening, soon after I had read this passage, God showed me the following analogy of purity by asking, “When you think of Jesus, what colour is His robe?” “When you think of the angels, what colour garments do they wear?” “When you think of the Holy Spirit, what colour do you think of?” My answer was, “Pure white.” Why white? Because purity is spotless and everything in God’s Kingdom is pure and holy. He then showed me the difference between light pink and white. By comparing a tin of white paint and a tin of light pink paint. The base of white is white. The base of light pink is white, yet the paint contains a drop of red. It is therefore not pure white any longer. Although it is only a drop of red, a spot, it has lost its purity.
Therefore, slowly but surely we start reflecting His purity The following words then came to me: “When Purity meets purity, there is Power.” I thought of it for a while and realised that the first Purity was the Holy Spirit. He is pure and dwells in the spirit. As we allow Him to minister to us, to reveal the areas in our lives where we have compromised, we by grace choose to become more like Him. Therefore, slowly but surely we start reflecting His purity, therefore the second purity. We ultimately move out of the flesh closer to Him in the spirit. He can then recognise us as His reflection and because He sees of Himself in us, almost like a mirror image, He will pour Himself out onto us and endow us with His power!
SO HOW DOES THE PASSAGE IN EZRA ABOUT THE LAYING DOWN OF PAGAN WIVES FIT IN WITH LIGHT PINK, WHITE AND PURITY? AND HOW DOES IT APPLY TO US? WHAT IS A “PAGAN WIFE”? Firstly we see in Ezra 10 that the people of Israel came to Ezra to confess their sin. They acknowledged that they had taken foreigners as wives, people not from among them. When you look at the word pagan wife, please understand it in the spiritual context, not the natural. The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines the word foreign as of or from or situated in or characteristic of a country or a language other than one’s own and the word pagan as irreligious. In the context of the Book of Ezra, the pagan character is a woman, in other words, she has the capacity to produce offspring. The people of Israel that came to Ezra, although they were returned exiles, had moved away from God by compromising and taking foreign wives. We, as the church of God and believers, do the same in this very day and age. We “covenant” with something “of the flesh” that produces more of its nature. We allow foreign gods, ideas, ideologies, remedies and entertainment into our lives. These are often things that look innocent, yet at the core of their being they are pagan, foreign and not from God. It is important to look at everything we allow into our lives - what we look at, read, eat, wear - anything that can influence us. Ask yourself who created it and for what reason (motivation)? Why are we using it or believing in it and is it in line with God’s will and purpose? It is possible for both men and women to, in the spiritual dimension, have “pagan wives”. One compromise often leads to another, and another, and another...producing offspring! It can be so subtle and innocent, yet it is of the flesh and pagan and not pleasing to God. WHY SHOULD WE LAY DOWN OUR PAGAN WIVES? The following is quoted from the Thematic Reference Bible’s commentary regarding the major themes in the Book of Ezra: “The importance of the temple continues to be underlined, with particular emphasis placed upon its rebuilding... The returning exiles are seen as a remnant of the people of God, who have the responsibility of maintaining their distinctive character, lifestyle and beliefs. These had been compromised during the period of exile; Ezra now introduces
measures designed to recover holiness of the people of God. “The temple is seen as the house of God, whose presence is essential to the well-being of a renewed people of God. The theme of national repentance dominates the latter chapters of the book, as the people of Israel acknowledge their failure to remain faithful to the covenant. It is important to acknowledge compromise. In Ezra 10:10-12 ‘Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have been unfaithful; you have married foreign women, adding to Israel’s guilt. Now make confession to the Lord, the God of your fathers, and do His will. Seperate yourselves from the people around you and from your foreign wives.” The whole assembly responded with a loud voice: “You are right. We must do as you say.”’ (This ends the commentary). God wants to restore His church to purity, in other words He wants a church without any pagan beliefs.
At the moment much paganism and compromise are present amongst His children and He will not allow that. He is giving us a period of time (grace) to lay our lives before Him and to allow Him through the Holy Spirit, to make us holy. “But there are many people here and it is the rainy season; so we cannot stand outside. Besides, this matter cannot be taken care of in a day or two, because we have sinned greatly in this thing” (Ezra 10:13). We have a certain time frame. How long we have I would not know, but I know that it has to take place. There is an urgency in the spirit to have this matter sorted out because Jesus is returning for His Bride. When Jesus comes to fetch His bride, He cannot go against His own nature and His Word of being holy. We read in Ephesians 5:26-27 “...to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain [spot] or wrinkle or any blemish, but holy and blameless.” In other words, the bride should not be adorned with a garment of light pink, but clothed in pure white, reflecting His purity and His glory and thereby be qually yoked. He cannot come for an unholy bride, for He is Holy. HOW ARE WE GOING TO LAY DOWN OUR PAGAN WIVES? We need to humble ourselves. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God says, “Then if My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” God is our God of love, mercy and grace. (Exodus 34:6: “...I am the Lord, the merciful and
gracious God. I am slow to anger and rich in unfailing love and faithfulness.”) He has given us His Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us into the fullness of who Christ Jesus is and should be in our lives. We should allow Him full access to our hearts and not withhold any areas from Him. We should be uncompromising in our walk by FAITH in Christ Jesus. We may not allow any foreign beliefs or traditions into our lives. The Word should be kept pure and not be manipulated to suit the “pagan wives”! Only obey the Word of God; only preach the Word of God; only teach the Word of God; only believe the Word of God! REVELATION 22:7 “Look I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the prophecy written in this scroll.” REVELATION 22:12-14 “‘See, I am coming soon, and My reward is with me, to reapy all according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.’ Blessed are those who wash their robes so they can enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life .” REVELATION 22:16-21 “‘I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the Bright Morning Star.’ The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let each one who hears them say, “Come.” Let the thirsty ones come - anyone who wants to. Let them come and rink the water of life without charge. And I solemly declare to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God wil add to that person the plagues described in this book. And if anyones removes of the words of this prophetic book God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book. He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all.”
THE SIFNIFICANCE OF MY NAILS This is a way in which God communicated with me and it is applicable to my individual situation. It was just an analogy He used to show me about laying down that which I thought I could not go without and is man-made. By rubbing olive oil into my hands and nails I was actually anointing my hands for His service. THE COMMUNION (THE GRAPE JUICE) When I took Communion and the Holy Spirit prompted me to keep the grape juice in my mouth a while before swallowing it, He was showing me His grace and how everything we say and do should be submitted to His Lordship. Everything has to pass through His Blood where it is forgiven (if wrong) and empowered (when in His will) for His service, in this way clothing us with robes of white. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EZRA The Book of Ezra is about the restoration of God’s people, the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem. We as the bride of Jesus Christ are being urged, restored and prepared to enter into the New Jerusalem. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE 8TH ARUM-LILY In the Book of Revelation John speaks to seven churches. There were seven other white arum-lilies in my garden. They all looked alike but they did not look like the one that came after them, the eighth one. I asked (our photographer) Liezl to go and take a photo of the eighth lily so that I could place it in this article. She asked me, “How will I know which one it is?” I replied, “You will see it.” Then I asked her to pick the lily and bring it to the office so that we could take another photo and display it on pure white. This made me think of the day when God might say to Jesus, “Go and fetch her, MY SON, fetch Your bride!” Maybe Jesus will ask, “How will I know her, FATHER?” And then God mightsay, “You will see her. She is covered in OUR Purity and OUR SPIRIT.” Then Jesus will snatch her away and take her home to her eternal destiny with Him.
This is a photo (taken in my garden) of the eighth white arum lily a couple of days after it first appeared.
photography: liezl du preez
FRUIT, FRUIT, FRUIT “ M a y t h e F r u i t o f Yo u r S p i r i t f i l l m y s o u l , c l e a n s e m e f u l l y a n d m a k e m e w h o l e . ”
FAITHFULNESS AND FRIENDLINESS
GOODNESS AND KINDNESS
FAITHFULNESS AND GENTLENESS
The other day a very friendly gentleman
Driving around on the Johannesburg roads
He had been working in my garden a few
called Darrin came to my office to buy
after having been overseas for almost seven
months when he came to me one morning
some copies of MY World. I did not realize
years is not an easy task. I took the wrong
and said he wanted to see my minister. My
it then, but I calculated the price
off-ramp one day and ended up in the wrong
heart jumped with joy and I gladly took
incorrectly – I failed to take VAT into
suburb. In panic I stopped at a garage and
him to my minister who spoke Zulu
consideration and in so doing, charged him
looked at their big map trying to figure out
fluently, as he evangelized in Kwa-Zulu
too little. Since the difference was only a
my way back.
Natal most of his life.
notice it. Great was my surprise, then,
The next moment I felt a tap on my shoulder
That morning Josias came to know the Lord
when Darrin phoned that same afternoon
and a young, friendly gentleman named
and he became like a burning fire on my
to ask when he could bring me the money
Eugene asked if I needed help. He had
premises! When we extended our house
stopped for petrol and could see that I was
and builders were just everywhere, he
lost. I told him I would like to get back onto
faithfully talked to everyone about the
I replied that he really should not be
the M1, but didn’t know how. He smiled and
One who now anchored his life.
concerned as it was such a small amount
without hesitation he said that he would
and we had already paid in the difference.
show me the way. As it was not a safe area,
I witnessed one morning how he patiently
He insisted, though, that he would stop by
he asked me to lock my car and follow him.
removed one of the workers when a fight
our offices the next time he happened to
He gave me his cellphone number, showed
broke out, simply by taking the man by his
be in the area. Still I assured him that the
me the way and told me that should I ever
elbow and gently walking him right to the
money was not an issue, and I thought that
get lost again, I should phone him and he
other side of the house, where he calmed
the matter was settled.
would try to explain the way to me. He even
him. I started handing out Bibles in the
checked on me an hour later to see if I had
various languages being spoken, and told
A week later Darrin showed up at our
arrived home safely. He repeated his offer
them that they could speak to Josias if
offices, ready to hand me the exact
and wished me a blessed, good day.
they had any questions. Some of them
words: zoe simani
words: celia van wyk
words: julie vlok
few Rands, I did not expect him to even
really could not even speak a word of
amount by which I had undercharged him. I was astounded...Such kindness warms one’s
Afrikaans or English. I also realized that, in
I was astonished at and inspired by such
heart and shows that it’s not who you are,
spite of the fact that they did not even
honesty and faithfulness. It reminds me of
but whether you have Jesus in your life. This
communicate with each other, Josias
Jesus’ words in Luke 16:10, “Whoever can
shows in our actions and behaviour. Let us
acted as the link between them all,
be trusted with very little, can also be
remember to treat one another with His love
because of the fact that he had the Light.
trusted with much…”
I fully believe this!
Hartbeespoort for the love of the cause words: retha fick
photography: liezl du preez
The charming, rapidly developing town of Hartbeespoort is famous for offering a friendly welcome to weary city dwellers, water sport lovers and motorcycle enthusiasts. Nestling snugly in the Magalies mountain range, Hartbeespoort is home to world-famous artists and various other prominent people in society. It is in this beautiful town that members of the body of Christ recently took hands to reach out to their needy neighbours. The fragrance of the love of Christ has turned many towards Him. This is an inspiring story of faith, love and Godâ€™s perfect timing.
ONE PART OF the Hartbeespoort story has its origin several months ago when a small group of young, working adults started asking God to show them what they could do to be more involved in the community. After some time in prayer they experienced God answering by placing on their hearts a commitment to supply blankets to the inhabitants of a relatively newly established informal settlement located in town. This seemed to be a brave thing to do, as the settlement had been the focal point of heated political debate over the previous months. The young people did their research and decided they wanted to give two blankets to each of the 500 houses before the beginning of winter, which gave them one month to collect R24 000. To them it seemed impossible, a much bigger enterprise than what they would have the ability to accomplish in own strength. Yet, nothing would stop them and they proceeded in faith, trusting in Jehovah Jireh – the God who provides. God’s Spirit guided them to the realization that the actual distribution of blankets was not to take the focus of the project, but the main focus had to be the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After some more prayer they further determined not to link this project to any church denomination. They approached The Christian Forum of Hartbeespoort - an interdenominational body in existence since 1997 with the purpose to further collaboration of different churches in Hartbeespoort, and they gave their full support. Simultaneously God showed one of the project leaders a picture of a fishing net being scooped through the water, but losing fish through big holes in the net. Zooming in to the detail of the picture, she
realized that the net was actually made up of individual persons taking hands. Where they did not hold hands, people “caught” for the Kingdom of God had been lost. They then realised that for this project, believers had to take hands and serve in unity.
preached under a tree, facing freezing temperatures in winter and mosquitoes in summer. In her heart, though, the living Word of God echoed continuously: “When you are weak, I am strong”, and “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” She started praying for a tent.
Another part of this remarkable story starts when Lorraine Maake (29) heard God’s voice in 2002: “If you want to follow Me, you need to leave everything behind.” Lorraine says God always speaks to her in Afrikaans – even while she is Pedi. In 2003 God spoke again, “I am going to use you” and “I want to cleanse you”. She gradually grew familiar with God’s voice and testifies of His giving her dreams and visions with messages from Him. He once showed her in a dream how she walks in front of people, sowing the seeds of the Word of God.
A third part of the story happened when Doxa Deo Hartbeespoort Campus in collaboration with the Hartbeespoort Christian Forum decided to apply for a tent from Judea Harvest as a strategy to plant a church. Judea Harvest is an evangelistic movement founded in April 1999, supplying tents and training material to plant churches in Southern Africa in order to reach people in informal settlements as well as rural areas.
Believers from different church denominations in Hartbeespoort served in unity When she lost her job in 2003, she heard His voice clearly again: “Go and preach”. She started preaching; and not yet really trusting the Lord completely, she was surprised when people started responding to the Word. Not having had transport early in 2004, she walked wherever she felt God sent her. The whole of 2004 she
Then the 22nd of May 2005 arrived – the culmination of many prayers and a day that could only be orchestrated by God Himself in His unfathomable wisdom. More than 1000 blankets, hundreds of Bibles, litres of soup and many loaves of bread were distributed to the inhabitants of Hartbeespoort Informal Settlement at their newly planted tent-church. The young people are still testifying how God in His wonderful love provided in everything they trusted in Him for. Believers from different church denominations in Hartbeespoort served in unity. That glorious Sunday and every night for two weeks after that, Lorraine preached the Word in the tent provided by her faithful Father. She testifies how God provided words every time she opened her mouth. Lorraine will be trained by Doxa Deo and Judea Harvest to shepherd the flock God has entrusted to her. The future of the informal settlement is still uncertain, but God is touching its inhabitants.
photography: liezl du preez
W OR K A N D PL AY “ B l e s s u s , o L o r d , i n o u r w o r k a n d o u r p l a y. Lead u s a n d h e l p u s t o d o i t Yo u r w a y. ”
Financial Unit y
Unit y in the home words: myles sinclair
photography: liezl du preez
“But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man.
“The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman”, for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:20b-24). IN THIS ISSUE we would like to consider the aspect of financial unity within the home or marriage. It is a well-known fact that finances are a major cause of marital conflict, arguments and divorce. So for unity to exist, the financial aspects must be addressed.
WHAT IS UNITY? The thesaurus uses these words as alternatives: agreement, harmony, accord, unison, union, unanimity. For husband and wife to be truly united, it is vital that there is agreement between the two of them in the area of finances. To the Christian husband and wife, mere agreement is not enough. It is also important that the consensus aligns with Biblical and Godly principles of handling money. Let us start off by saying that if you are married and are arguing about money, you are normal. The topic of money is a divisive one. If the arguments are frequent or vicious, something can and should be done. The majority of this article looks at how to reach a position of financial unity. Some couples may say that they don’t argue about money. While that may be the
truth, in many cases it is only half a truth. The reality may be that they really don’t argue about money or anything else because they never communicate. This is not a desirable position to be in. If this is true about your situation, we urge you to begin communicating – talking to each other and discussing your budget and finances.
WHY TALK ABOUT FINANCES AND MONEY? Open communication strengthens, deepens and protects our marriage relationship; and financial matters are no exception. Just ask any spouse who has intentionally been informed and consulted about the family finance, and who is made aware of the financial position. Compare their answer with that of any one of the many spouses who have no idea how much money is being earned or where it is being spent. Even when the finances are bad, talking about them makes the wife feel more secure. This stems from a woman’s need to know that despite a tough and challenging financial position, the relationship will be fine. So husbands, whether you have an action plan or not, talk to your wife, and assure her that the relationship will survive.
This discipline is actually one of the requirements for spiritual leadership. (1 Timothy 3:4: “He must manage his own family well”, or as another version puts it, “He must handle his own affairs well”.) Communicating with our spouse openly and freely about finances can also help avert financial disasters. For a long time I heard my wife say, “I’m not good at finances; that’s why I married an accountant”. For awhile I believed her. What I’ve come to realize is that God has gifted her with discernment regarding people, situations and opportunities. Failing to involve her in our finances and investments means that I am effectively proceeding with one eye (or maybe even both) closed. This could in fact be dangerous.
SOME GUIDELINES TO ACHIEVING FINANCIAL UNITY IN A MARRIAGE First and foremost you should be praying together. This may sound wishful or impossible to some of you. Many of our students tell me this was one of the most difficult things to do. I’m not surprised. The reason this seems so difficult, so opposite, so impossible is because we have not realized that God is interested in our
finances and wants to play an active role. Another reason is that we are often not being honest in our financial dealings and thus feel guilty about speaking to a Holy God about our crooked ways. Perhaps a less obvious reason why we feel awkward is that prayer is the first step toward financial unity and peace and that is precisely what Satan wants least. Joint prayer is a critical ingredient in achieving financial unity. Another aspect is agreeing on a budget. We have mentioned in previous issues that a balanced budget should allocate all income to the various categories of expenditure. There should be no surplus. Any surplus should be allocated to the category savings.
In most marriages one person is usually more creative, more spontaneous. For ease of reference we will call this partner the “spontaneous partner”. This person often views budgeting as a form of torture, a way of being controlled. The other partner often has a flair for administration or at least does not dislike it as much. We will refer to this partner as the “administrative partner”. Please note that we are not referring to the spender or saver. The “spontaneous partner” could be either spender or saver, either male or female. Often the “administrative partner” gets the budget done because they don’t trust anyone else enough to do it. Preparers of the budget, remember that the preparation process is only half of the job. The budget needs to be approved by the budget committee, which is the two of you. At the budget committee meeting it’s your time to sit and listen. The object is to get your spouse to agree to managing money through a process of budgeting. So
listen to their objections and requests, and make the adjustments accordingly. If you don’t take this soft, passive approach, you run the risk of your partner’s not attending any more budget committee meetings and not working with a budget at all. Even if you feel that your first draft was close to perfect, if you don’t allow your “spontaneous” partner permission to change it, they will go ahead and do their own thing anyway, which is not going to achieve the unity you need. Also remember to make the meeting short. “Spontaneous partners” really feel they have other much more important matters they could be attending to. For the spouse who did not prepare the budget (“spontaneous partner”), your duty is to pitch up at the committee meeting. This activity is crucial for your marriage and your children’s future. Sitting there and not constructively participating is also not allowed. You must be mature about it and realize that you cannot spend more than you earn and yet remain financially secure. You have to be realistic and agree on a budget that spends less than it earns. “But,” you ask, “What about those unexpected expenses that always arise and smash the budget on the rocks of life? How do we handle those if we did not budget for them?” The answer is in two parts. Firstly there are unexpected expenses which really should be expected. An example is car repair and major service. No mechanical device can continue indefinitely without maintenance. So why do we classify this as unexpected? We should put aside money every month to pay for services when they occur.
DISCLAIMER Neither the writer nor the publishers will be held liable for any consequences of acting upon the guidelines and recommendations given in this article, as these should not be construed as financial advice and are not intended to replace advice given by a professional financial adviser.
Secondly there are the true unexpected expenses. That’s life. The way we recommend dealing with this is to call a special budget committee meeting. (We are assuming that this expense is significant in amount, hence the need for a committee meeting.) At the meeting the following two questions must be answered and there should be agreement about the answer: 1.
MARRIAGE IS A UNION
“Should we be incurring this expense which was not budgeted for?” At times there is still a choice to be made (for example the TV breaks and the committee must decide whether a new one should be bought. This is an unbudgeted, yet discretional expense.)
We would like to make a point which although it seems obvious, is not being applied by many couples. The point is that when two people come together in marriage they become one couple. Too many couples continue to act like two singles living together. They have unbiblical thinking when they think of “my share of the household expenses”. Some years ago I worked with a woman who would lend her husband money. At the end of the month she would demand re-payment and if he was late she would calculate the interest he owed. They even calculated who would use the new hi-fi the most and that partner would pay the biggest portion of the cost. This tends to come across as a joint venture.
If the answer to the previous question was “yes”, to avoid getting further into debt is simple. Answer the question, “Which category or categories must the money come from?” You should never spend the money until you have decided where the money must come from. In this way your budget will never become unbalanced. So if a TV is considered crucial and must be replaced, you may decide to use your holiday expenses or clothing allowance or entertainment budget to pay for this. You might also decide to do some extra work to generate more income and then buy the TV. Don’t buy until the money has been earned. If you don’t answer this question first, you will usually get further and further into debt with every unexpected expense.
In some circumstances it is acceptable (and even advisable) to have separate bank accounts. For example it could happen that in the event of one spouse’s death the bank account for the couple might be frozen for a period of time, which can bring undue hardship on the surviving spouse in a time that is already difficult. This is not always the case; it depends on the marriage contract and when the couple was married. Thus we suggest you investigate these conditions, seek professional advice and determine what will happen to your accounts in the event of one spouse’s death. If there is a risk of a frozen account, it could be worth the extra bank charges to open a separate interest-bearing account in the name of the non-breadwinning spouse. (Some banks offer a package deal where the charges are capped and thus a second account attracts little extra costs, or even no costs, if a minimum balance is kept.) Deposit your emergency fund (three to six
months’ living expenses) into this account. This safety buffer will help the surviving spouse in the short term in the event of the breadwinner’s death. Many will say this is not efficient and not getting the best return. This may be so, but the peace and comfort it brings are worth it. If you have separate accounts it is important to remember that the thinking and conduct should be that you are a single household budget combining all resources (accounts, revenues, expenses, etc.) In summary, unity is first an attitude before it becomes a reality in a relationship. Having two accounts will not destroy unity if the heart is to combine the funds into a single budget. Neither will a single account prevent a couple from splitting expenses into "mine and yours". It remains important to find out what God is asking you to do. (Philippians 2:12 says, "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.") When you hear stories of couples who have huge financial problems, you could be thinking either, “That won’t happen to us,” or, “It’s too late for us.” Neither of these is true. God’s Word has both the prevention and cure.
References: Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace Revisited (New York: Viking Penguin, 2003). John Edredge, Wild at Heart (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2001).
JOHANNA XABA Johanna Xaba (44) entered the cleaning business in 1997 because of her desperate need for an income after her husband died, leaving her to care for her two children as a single parent. “I love my job so much. I thought I knew everything about cleaning before, but when I started working as a cleaner, I learned so much. I learned what it means to clean thoroughly. I learned about different chemicals.” She testifies of God’s goodness in her life – only nine months after being permanently employed, she was promoted to the position of supervisor. Even being a supervisor, she doesn’t stand back when she sees a need. “It sometimes happens that I am informed by radio of the urgent need for someone to come and clean somewhere in the mall while the cleaners have their lunch break.” According to Johanna cleaners often receive compliments from members of the public for their hard work. There are however those who mess on purpose with the excuse that there are cleaners to clean after them. Johanna enjoys her supervising role. “In the beginning it was difficult, but now I have learned how to handle my colleagues. Those older than me, I treat as I would treat my parents. Those younger than me, I approach as I would approach my children. I learned to listen carefully before I judge, should conflict occur. I discipline them according to the procedures set by the company we work for. When they worked hard and thoroughly, I compliment them. Should they approach me with personal problems, I enjoy giving advice.”
clean!”” Johanna leaves her home at 05:10 every morning to catch three taxis to get her to her work place. She usually reaches home at 19:30 every evening. Johanna confidently speaks about her relationship with God. “I accepted Jesus on the 6th of August 1998. I am here today because of my miracle-working God. He is my mighty God.” She gratefully testifies of trusting Him for a home for her and her two children. Not long ago she was offered an RDP house. “Everything I ask of God I receive in time. God has never disappointed me.” Johanna used to smoke and misuse alcohol. “One day I asked myself: ‘What am I gaining out of this?’” That day, by the help of God, she decided to quit both smoking and drinking. Today God is using this testimony, especially in the lives of her colleagues.
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“All of creation proclaims Your glory. From beginning to end, a complete story.” y
majestically marked antelope
photography: gary hughes
words: jeff gaisford
The majestic gemsbok (Oryx gazella gazella) is one of the most strikingly marked of the African antelope, with its grey / brown coat, black and white face markings and slender, rapier-like ridged horns that can grow to almost a metre in length. Interestingly, the name gemsbok comes from the word gemsbock, which is German and Dutch for a male chamois â€“ a type of agile goat antelope â€“ even though there is absolutely no connection between the two species! ÂŹ
THE GEMSBOK IS a large animal, the male standing about 1.2 metres at the shoulder and the female being only slightly shorter. The male weighs about 210 kg. It is a drycountry animal and is superbly adapted to living in desert conditions. One of South Africa’s desert parks, the Kalahari Gemsbok Park, took its name from this animal. It is a grazer, living mainly off grasses, but also feeding on tsama melons and root vegetables that it digs up. The tsama melons provide food and water. Although the gemsbok does drink when water is available, it can go for long periods without drinking. It has also been known to browse in certain conditions. Gemsbok have been created with the ability to conserve moisture. Research has shown that as the surrounding temperature rises, so does their body heat. As the surrounding temperature drops during the course of the day, they radiate heat into the atmosphere. This means that they get through the hottest part of the day without using moisture for evaporative cooling - one of the most important considerations for survival in an arid environment. Their breathing is also moderated to reduce loss of moisture through respiration. They do not sweat but begin to pant only when the temperature rises above 41 degrees Celsius. Their stomachs contain up to 86 per cent water. The gemsbok is a formidable fighter, recorded as fending off attacking predators such as lions, wild dogs or hyenas by holding the horns parallel to the ground and lunging at the intruders with deadly effect. Males and females are very similar in appearance, although generally the female is slightly smaller and lighter in build. The gemsbok is a steady breeder, the female coming into breeding condi-
tion again very shortly after giving birth. The gestation period is nine months and the very quick “recovery time” means that females are able to produce young almost every nine to ten months. The female will leave the herd to give birth and the calf immediately hides itself in scrub or grass, remaining concealed for three to six weeks in which time its horns grow quite rapidly to about 20 cm. During this time the calf only emerges to suckle when the female gives the “all clear” by walking around the hiding place and calling the calf out. During this “hidden” period, the female remains nearby but will not go directly to where the calf lies hidden. The calf will often spend the night out with its mother, but will conceal itself at daybreak, anything up to 3 km from the previous site. Only once this “hidden” period has passed and the calf is able to cope with the demands of life with the herd, is it brought to the herd.
A solitary animal standing on one of the typical red sand dunes of the Kalahari The gemsbok’s breeding, like that of many other animals, is amazingly synchronized with prevailing conditions. Calving stops almost completely during droughts but resumes with the onset of rain. Male gemsbok are territorial, holding a “turf” of about 8 square kilometres, and it is usually only the holder of a territory that
is able to mate. One of the classic pictures of a gemsbok shows a solitary animal standing on one of the typical red sand dunes of the Kalahari, with a seemingly endless vista of arid landscape stretching as far as the eye can see beyond it.
This typifies the gemsbok - an elegantly marked animal, created to adapt superbly to its environment and completely at home in the desert.
words: lindie gouws
Let the Holy Spirit be the hallmark of your heart. IT WAS EARLY one morning, as I was pottering around in my home that I heard these words in my spirit: “Let the Holy Spirit be the hallmark of your heart.” I immediately thought of the concept of branding, which means to assign a trademark or a label to something. 58
The following analogy came to my mind. An architect or interior designer works according to a specific style, standard and preference. This style often reflects the character of the designer and I refer to it as the heart of the design. Although the designer works on many projects and each one is uniquely created, the designer’s style will come through in each design. The distinctive features of the designer and the designs will eventually become easily recognizable. The designer will build up a reputation, good or bad. Many designers also attach their individual brand or logo to their completed work as a sign of authenticity and of compliance to their standards. Retail products are very similar. A good example is sport shoes. Through years of availability and testing, products become known for their standard of quality. According to their preferences, users become loyal to a specific brand. Unfortunately due to external factors such as peer pressure, the brand often becomes a sign of status. The external factor becomes an internal issue and people value the outward appearance of the product, specifically the seal or logo, without even testing the quality and durability of the product. How does this apply to our spiritual lives and the word “Let the Holy Spirit be the hallmark of your heart”?
THE CHARACTER OR HEART OF THE DESIGN As in the analogy of the sport shoe, we often place too much value on the outward appearance of people. God is not like that. In 1 Samuel 16:7 the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man look at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” God created us. He is the best Architect, Designer, Builder and Interior Decorator. We read in His Word how David says in Psalm 139:13-15, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.”
He will determine the character and design of our hearts As we have been created by God in our outward form, so too do we need to be shaped by Him in our inward being. In Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Each of you must turn from your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” We also read in 2 Corinthians 4:6, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine
out of darkness’, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the Face of Christ.” Therefore, once we have given our lives to Jesus and asked the Holy Spirit to live within us, He will determine the character and design of our hearts. We are now ready for the Designer – the Holy Spirit – to start designing according to His specific style and to implement His distinctive features in our hearts. DISTINCTIVE FEATURES It is important to know that God’s Nature is essentially holy. That is why we call Him the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 6:3 “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty.” We read in 1 Peter 1: 15-16, “But just as He who called you is Holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” There is nothing evil or impure that flows from Him. Romans 8:6 says, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” Therefore, if wrong, impure thoughts originate in our hearts, it is not from the Holy Spirit. One of His distinctive features is that He is HOLY! When He starts working on our hearts, we will become more like Him. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). REPUTATION A designer or architect will build a reputation in accordance with the quality of work delivered. If the work is consistently of poor quality, he or she will build a poor reputation. If the work is consistently good, the reputation will be that of someone whom people can trust and have confidence in. When the Holy Spirit controls our lives and designs our hearts, we will produce work of excellent quality, complying with His standards. Our lives will then be the work designed and delivered by God, building on His reputation. In the Book of Galatians 5:22, 23 Paul teaches us that “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” God’s standard is the fruit of the Spirit, which our lives will produce when we allow the Holy Spirit to build and design our hearts. There are times when we fall short of what is required to build a good reputation, in that we fail to consistently produce good fruit. Romans 8:26 says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.” We can be assured that the Holy Spirit will never leave nor forsake us and that He is working on transforming us to become more and more like Jesus. “‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.’ For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends” (2 Corinthians 10:17-18). We can only boast in Jesus! By our taking on His Character, He is the One that commends and thereby we build a reputation. SEAL OR HALLMARK Ephesians 1:13 says, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.” The word hallmark is defined in the Concise Oxford Dictionary as “any distinctive feature especially of excellence”. We have been created and designed by God and sealed off by the Blood of Jesus Christ. We must allow the Holy Spirit to place His trademark, His seal of excellence on our hearts! Let the Holy Spirit be the hallmark of your heart!
In the Bible, the book of Psalms is a collection of 150 poems written to celebrate the glory of God. We would like to encourage our readers to follow the example of David and the other Psalmists, and to send us your poetry. If your contribution is placed, you will receive a beautiful leather bound Bible (New International Version) published by Struik Christian Books.
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IFIED CRUC Y E H AY T THE D ill road the h g the n o l es on a s s g o n i r k c e wal e thre I was aw th my cheek s I n y. Whe down at da r ran ed th r e iour A tea b d Sav mem n e a r I d r And my Lo et nd fe cified u r c m i nds a y H a e h t h t a s i ay at into H ears. The d ore and sp nails in my h w c n s i n i a y p The e six s of ed th shout Slamm l hear the stil s I can e nail on th l l rong e f ing w mer h m m t i y a H n h t a e ur e As th on’t h ’t don d... D t. He hasn . e i r m i c I tH en ’t hur innoc n s i o d e H ase u!” or yo e, ple is is f Pleas h T “ y: im sa ns. ard H my si e om. h I y for a Freed d y Then t m a h , t n tio ross Salva that C s my i d on r e u i o d i He d Sav rd an . My Lo u too for yo d e i d o He And s nberg egele o K ) ntia mere t (Em e i r a M
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VIOUR ND SA A D R MY LO
Love is like a Whos e frag red rose r a And a nce a nd co s we watch lo It rev it bud ur God on eals G ly kno and f od’s a And a ws lo lmigh s we ty lov wer ponde We m e r a its fra ust re nd po wer alise granc To all God h e and ow H a f is lov s l o g wer Whos i v en us e to m e frag this p ake u rance To ble ower s like and ss a red To blo His people colour Go red ro d will om in se where know His lo To be ve, gl ver we go God’s o ry an glorio d pow us flo er wer Shery l Tayl or
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“Come now Holy Spirit, fill me through and through so I may reflect more and more of You!”
64 words: andrĂŠ cloete
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on the mount
THE WORD OF God is so amazing; it·s always fresh like manna. You can read a passage and the Holy Spirit will enlighten a specific word or verse. Then again, you can read another piece of Scripture over and over, and still not grasp the full meaning or revelation of that passage. How many times have you recited the Lord·s Prayer for its poetic quality, without really focusing on its true meaning? Matthew 5-7 is well known for the Lord·s Sermon on the Mount. The sermon kicks off with the eight beatitudes where He gives a fresh revelation on the attributes of a true and humble attitude of the heart towards God and man. The Lord Jesus came so that you can have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) John 1 also says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Verse 14 continues, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us...” This is a very profound verse! Did you catch it? Has the Word become flesh in your life? Matthew 7:24-27 and James 1:22-24 warns that if you are only hearers of the Word, and not doers also, your house will fall in the storm! And God will surely shake you and test you. The Sermon on the Mount derived its name from St Augustine·s great commentary on Matthew 5-7, “De Sermone Domini in Monte”, written between 392-396 A.D. After Jesus had been tempted in the desert for 40 days, He was baptized by John. His ministry started in Galilee, where many people were healed from disease. Great multitudes followed Him wherever He went. As He retreated on the mount, He actually purposed to teach His disciples. It did not bother Him that some of the multitudes followed them up this mount. How would you have reacted to this kind of interruption? Nevertheless, Jesus felt very comfortable among the general public and sinners. His passion was to bring dying and suffering people the truth of the Word.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MOUNT As Moses went up Mount Sinai, Jesus also went up a mount. Jesus had no convenient place to preach in. His pulpit was a mountain. This inspires us to pray and preach anywhere and everywhere. Some Christians still believe today that only Sundays are reserved for the Word of God. Christ preached His sermon, which was an explanation of the law, upon a mountain just as the law was given to Moses upon a mountain. But observe the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament: 1. Moses went up Mount Sinai; Jesus went up an unknown mount. 2. Moses went up to receive the law; Jesus went up to explain the law.
3. The Lord came down from Heaven upon the mount to give the law to Moses; in the New Testament the Lord, being on earth in human form, walked up the mount. 4. In the Old Testament the Lord spoke in thunder and lightning; in the New Testament the Lord spoke in a calm, gentle voice. 5. In the Old Testament the people were ordered to keep a distance; in the New Testament the multitudes were invited to draw near and listen. Moses delivered the law; Jesus delivered the Word. What Jesus delivered was not law, but a challenge for mankind to change in attitude. The sermon describes the ideal disciple and his rewards. This person has a new and different quality of character and lifestyle from those still “outside the Kingdom.” The attitude of a true follower contradicts the way that the world thinks things should be done. In Matthew 4:17, Jesus calls upon the people to “Repent, for
the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” He then calls on two local fishermen, Peter and Andrew, to follow Him and to become fishers of men. God will use people who have a servant spirit. The first four beatitudes entail the preparation of your character towards God; the last four beatitudes entail the presentation of our character towards others. Your new life also starts with repentance, as you follow Him onto the mount of your life. When you climb a mountain, you advance slowly and sometimes with much difficulty. Your walk with God is a long walk of endurance. As you continue your walk up your mount, God teaches you valuable lessons. These lessons equip you and build your character. The lessons are sometimes tough and it takes time to master them, but the end result of obedience always holds a blessing. This is when Romans 5:3-4 becomes alive for you: “ We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us – they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.” THE “HOW TO BE” – ATTITUDE OF THE BEATITUDES The beatitudes are the declaration of blessedness for an obedient disciple. If you act in a certain upright and moral way, you have a blessing attached. Notice that Jesus taught this to people who were already saved. The beatitudes will not bring salvation, but a life in victory with Christ. Jesus introduces a new “how to be” – attitude towards fellow neighbours and even opponents. How do you react towards people in general during your day? If you have a best friend, you automatically place a value on his or her family members, friends or acquaintances. God values every
soul so much, that He gave His only begotten Son, to lay down His life for them. If you then truly value God, should you not value every person on this earth? Your life should be a reflection of the Word. Whatever is distorted and not right, must be corrected and altered. In itself, it’s very difficult to live a life in accordance to these eight beatitudes. They actually show us how spiritually bankrupt we are - in need of His forgiveness and grace. If you have not yet experienced a new birth in Christ where you were born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5), these beatitudes can become obstacles that will frustrate you and make you feel inadequate in pleasing God. The Spirit of grace will however enable you… THE “B-WORDS” OF THE BEATITUDES (BLESSING, BEHAVIOUR AND BENEFITS) 1. BLESSING Jesus began each beatitude pronouncement of blessing.
How many times do we sit in a service, watch a sermon on television or just read a small daily devotional and find the word blessed in it? Many people execute rituals, keep “lucky” charms or even have ornaments in their houses – invoking blessings over their businesses, families, children, etc. Some consult mediums and spiritualists to obtain special “blessings” from false gods. What does the term blessed mean? The dictionary says: 1. “To make holy or sacred” e.g. “God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it”; 2. “To ask God’s favour for, to commend to God’s favour and protection” e.g. “Lord, please bless my parents”;
3. “To wish well for; to feel grateful to.” e.g. “May God bless you for helping me”; 4. “To make happy or fortunate.” e.g. “Today I feel so blessed”; 5. “To praise, to glorify, to call holy” e.g. “Blessed and worthy is our God”; 6. “To guard or to protect from evil” e.g. “Lord, bless our house, car, finances, etc.” Some Bible translations use the word happy instead of blessed. This is more of an understatement of the full meaning. Well-known commentators of the Word use happiness. The Amplified Bible says “blessed, happy, to be envied and spiritually prosperous” are those that are obedient. Happiness is a temporal emotion that may come and go, dependant on circumstances. Certain emotional pressures may influence your feelings. That is why Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says that there’s a time for everything, including a time to be happy and a time to be sad. Should, for example, somebody close to you die, nobody would expect you to be happy. Even Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus. We should rather use the word joy. While happiness is temporal, joy is lasting and a product of blessing. Joy is not dependent on your emotions. If you love and serve God, you will rejoice in Him for your salvation. No matter what we go through, there is no comparison to the promise of Heaven and eternal life. 2 Corinthians 4:17 says, “For our present trouble are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!” If you truly have a relationship with God, you will see your tests as testimonies! Joy is also a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23.) Therefore, no matter your state or circumstances, whether in the midst of
a trial, persecution, or even facing a life threatening disease, the joy of the Lord must be and will be your strength!
desires of our flesh and the Spirit of God in
Jesus also calls on behavioural changes. Reading the beatitudes probably reminds you of specific friends, family members or acquaintances already enjoying these blessings. Just remember that all these blessings are in fact available to all of us on condition of being obedient to the attached commands.
us. Paul confesses in Romans 7:15, “for
You and your children will
mind. Pray God to help you change your
Our battle in life is mostly between the
what I will to do, I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” And yet, he writes two thirds of the New Testament. Dear fellow Christian, resist the cravings of the flesh and the perceptions of the natural
attitude and He will give you this desire of your heart!
benefits of obedience A faithful Christian, living in obedience, will still suffer persecution. This does not mean that you are not blessed. He will never leave you nor forsake you! God shapes your character in these trials, to prepare you for something bigger! Remember that God says that He will spit “lukewarm” Christians from His mouth. (Revelation 3:16.) His tests are purposed to challenge you into a deeper relationship with Him. 3. BENEFITS The correct behaviour then releases certain benefits. These benefits are not just eternal, but are also attainable in this lifetime. You and your children will reap the benefits of obedience. Psalm 106:5 says, “That I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation, that I may glory with your inheritance.” As we walk through the beatitudes, these benefits will be discussed individually.
In the following issues, we will journey through
beatitudes, discovering the full meaning behind every word. References: NKJ Bible – Thomas Nelson Publishers 1990. Amplified Bible – Zondervan Bible Publishers 1965. New Living Translation – Biblegateway.com. Matthew Henry’s Commentary – By Matthew Henry, Zondervan Publishing House 1961 29th Printing. Nelson Illustrated Bible Dictionary – Herbert Lockyer, sr – Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986. New Bible Commentary – 3rd Edition, Inter-varsity press 1970 D Guthrie, J A Motyer, A M Stibbs, D J Weisman. www.sermoncentral.com
downloads, sermons by Medford Foskey, Dan Neary, Daniel Habben.
Pr ay e r wa r r iors
Jesus Christ achieved the final victory against Satan on the cross at Calvary and Satan knows that he can do nothing to change the finality of that victory; but now his enmity is directed at the church, the believers, in order to get at the Head through the body. Satan also knows that it is the church, the body of Christ, who has the task of enforcing the victory of Christ in the world. That is why Satan will do anything to destroy the effectiveness and unity of the church.
photography: liezl du preez
The war being waged in the spiritual realm, started when Lucifer was thrown out of heaven because he rebelled against God. Since that time Satan has been opposing God, God’s plan and God’s people. He will deceive, accuse and destroy in any way he can. Man entered this war in the Garden of Eden when Satan deceived the first man, Adam, whom God created for His purposes on earth. By doing this Satan jeopardized God’s plan with man, but fortunately God did not let go of His purposes and sent His Son to reconcile mankind with Himself and break the power of Satan and sin in the lives of man.
words: corrie huyser
SPIRITUAL WARFARE IS not unlike warfare in the natural realm. Some of the same principles apply. First of all you need to know that there is a war on. You have to decide which side you’re on and why. You have to know and recognize your enemy. You must know your weapons and be prepared and willing to use them. You must know the position you are fighting from. And you must realize that in this war there is no neutral ground.
painting: prophetic brush
Walking in Christ ’s victory
Every individual Christian is a target for Satan’s wrath. We have a choice. We can ignore the war and be helpless victims or we can acknowledge the war and take up our weapons and become victorious. Sometimes we feel ill equipped, but we need to realize that there are no mightier weapons than the weapons God provided for our spiritual warfare. This is the promise we have in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5: “For though walking about in flesh, we do not war according to flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, pulling down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ.” Satan has nothing that can match these weapons or withstand them. We don’t have to fight for victory, because Jesus already achieved the victory for us at Calvary. We only have to stand on the victory of Christ in our war against the evil one. We have to remember that we do not go into battle from the perspective of our circumstances here on earth, but from our position above in Christ. Ephesians 2:6 tells us, “God…raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ.” It is extremely important that we will always bear in mind that we fight the spiritual battle as body of Christ, His representatives, and in that capacity we are “seated” with Him, using the authority vested in His Name. (Matthew 28:18.) Spiritual warfare or warfare prayer focuses on defeating Satan so that Jesus’ will be done and His Kingdom advanced. Wesley Duewel’s definition sums it up: “The prayer warrior stands between the authority and power of Heaven and the darkness and power of hell, between the Lamb on the throne and Satan, the great dragon. Christ has delegated to the prayer warrior His authority, the right to use His
Name and plead His Blood. And He has armed the warrior for spiritual conquest. The prayer warrior is to enforce the victory of Calvary on the battlefield of the earth.”
vulnerable to our attack, and so certain of ultimate defeat, would be serious dereliction [neglect] of our spiritual responsibility and duty.”
Our enemy is real and he is a spirit; therefore, never under any circumstances dare we enter into warfare against the devil or any of his demons with weapons that are not spiritual. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for His confrontation with the devil. We also must be led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the strategist. Therefore, receiving the fullness of the Spirit and living in the fullness of the Spirit are absolutely essential in prayer warfare. Warfare prayer depends as much on listening as on asking. We have to wait on God until He confirms His will to us and when we understand His Heart and will, we can move into warfare prayer.
Victories come only as we will to use the weapons God has provided. We have to ask ourselves some probing questions as to why we allow Satan to win by default. Do we hate sin the way God hates it? Do we have the fighting heart of a David when he confronted Goliath because God’s Name was at stake? (1 Samuel 17:26.)
Do we have the fighting heart of a David?
Satan yields ground only when we compel him to. We must advance step by step, stronghold to stronghold, victory to victory. Satan does not give up lost territory readily. Even after the victory has been won he will still try to fight back. Victories won must be maintained by ongoing prayer. Prayer is one of the greatest means of spiritual power and spiritual victory available to us as Christians. There is nothing on earth that Satan so fears as a praying and believing Christian; and because he does not know how to cope with prayer, he tries to keep us from praying. Let us use one of the strongest weapons in our spiritual arsenal to defeat Satan, destroy his works and drive him out of places and lives that he claims as his own. We are soldiers of the Cross.
Satan and his powers are defeated, but they try to deceive humankind by bluffing as if they have not been defeated. We as the church have the responsibility to walk in the victory of Jesus Christ over the devil and we are often lacking in the will to do so. Wesley Duewel puts it quite bluntly: “Satan occupies many strategic positions by our default. Not to use the mighty weapons of prayer and faith when Satan is so illegitimately staking his claims, so
Reference: Duewel, Wesley L. Mighty Prevailing Prayer. Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House.
midst of your painful situation. Paul says in Romans 5:5
Jesus taught us to pray t h e “ Our F ather” (Matthew 6:9-13).
that this expectation will not disappoint you. Let this bring
In t h i s p r a y e r w e passionately request, “Forgive us our sins,
just as we have forgiven those who sinned against us.” The
Open communication, if possible, could not only facilitate
question is: “Have we forgiven?”
joy into your heart and with that, the wilful decision to
forgiveness, but also eliminate misunderstanding and unnecessary offence. In open communication it is imperative for all parties involved, to listen patiently with
OUR CAPACITY TO FORGIVE
understanding hearts and a willingness to put themselves in the other person’s shoes. Those involved in the dispute,
Many say, “I will forgive but not forget” and others say they cannot and
should have the freedom to voice their perception of the
will not forgive. Yet, God’s capacity to forgive is literally so deep that
truth, even if it may be distorted.
when He forgives our wickedness, it is removed from us and cast into the sea of forgetfulness – to be remembered no more. (Jeremiah
James 5:16 advises, “Confess your sins to each other and
31:34.) Then we say, “But we’re not God!” Still, Paul reminds us in
pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
Colossians 2:9 that when we are in Christ, the fullness of God lives in
Zechariah 8:16 confirms, “…this is what you must do: Tell
our human bodies and in light hereof, we need to realize that we
the truth to each other. Render verdicts in your courts
indeed have His capacity to forgive. Why then, do we willfully cling to
that are just and that lead to peace.” These “courts” also
the wrong that has been committed against us - through unforgiveness?
point to our own hearts, homes or even workplaces. True resolve can only come through applying His truth in the
HEALING THE WOUNDS
matter – and that should settle it. It should be seen that “the King has spoken!”
The fact is that sin causes hurt. When people knowingly or unknowingly allow Satan to use them instrumentally against you, you’re left with a
It is always easier to forgive our wrongdoers upon seeing
bleeding or festering wound in your soul, crying for “healing” through
and hearing their genuine, heartfelt remorse. What gets to
vengeance. It’s a cry for rightful punishment – seeing the execution of
us, is when there’s no “I’m sorry” coming our way. Yet,
that punishment as the only “ointment” able to heal your wound. You
Paul admonishes us in Ephesians 4:31-32, “Get rid of all
might even be the perpetrator, eaten up by guilt or even suppressing
bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well
it, rejecting yourself and unable to love or forgive yourself.
as all types of malicious behaviour. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as
But God provided another way in His infinite wisdom and
God through Christ has forgiven you.”
loving-kindness towards us. He gave His Son to bear this punishment on the cross and by His wounds, you are healed. (Isaiah 53:5.) The
THE CONSEQUENCES OF AN UNFORGIVING HEART
Amplified Bible says in Isaiah 53:11 that He bore the guilt with the consequences. That makes Him our Saviour in restoration also. Isaiah
Let’s see what awaits us at the opposite side of
61:7 promises that we shall rejoice and possess double what we had
forgiveness. In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus tells the parable
forfeited. It might not happen in the way our human minds imagine it,
of the unforgiving servant. In this parable we meet up with
for His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. So have faith and allow
the servant who owed the king 10 000 talents and couldn’t
yourself to be filled with this confident expectation of salvation in the
pay the debt. He begged the king for patience, whereupon
the king, filled with pity, forgave his debt and released him. After this servant had left the king, he grabbed a fellow servant by the throat and demanded instant payment of 100 denarii that this fellow servant owed him. This fellow servant pleaded for mercy, but his creditor wouldn’t wait and had him arrested and jailed until the debt could be paid in full. Upon hearing this, the king angrily turned the merciless servant over to the torturers until he had paid his debt in full. Likewise is the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus warned, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15). Torment and the absence of peace will take its toll on our bodies, minds and emotions in the case of unforgiveness.
Dr David Yonggi Cho once ministered to a man on the verge of committing murder and then suicide. As technician and bulldozer driver, this man worked away from home, risking his life in order to make more money, which he sent to his wife. Upon his return he discovered that his wife had left him for a young man – with all of his savings! In less than a week he became so consumed with hatred that he began to vomit blood. Tuberculosis was rapidly eating him away. Dr Cho counselled the man and persuaded him through the teaching of the Word not to follow through with these plans and end up in hell. He guided the man through a prayer of forgiveness and blessing towards his wife. Although it was difficult, the man started blessing her through grinding teeth. As he kept on blessing her, the power of God began flowing through him and showed in his face. He was completely healed from tuberculosis in less than a month! Without forgiveness there can be no healing. In the long run, an unforgiving heart can become hardened and full of hatred and murderous intent. 1 John 3:15 says clearly, “Anyone who hates another Christian is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.”
WHAT TRUE FORGIVENESS MEANS To forgive is to acquit all people who sinned against you from their guilt and the deeprooted feeling that they owe you. The fact of the matter is that your offenders will never be able to undo the wrong. Even in attempting this, they will become enslaved to every wimp or wish you may have – in a delusion that these efforts will bring forth the desired forgiveness and reconciliation. No, these offenses can only be forgiven. As the parable explained, they cannot be repaid. Hebrews 12:15 encourages us to look carefully “...lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled…”
The Holy Spirit will work forgiveness in your heart Acknowledging that our faith is like grain that ripens, our ability to forgive and to forget will also mature as we strain ourselves to follow His example, with the help of His Holy Spirit. A good starting point might be to forgive with the resolution to refuse to rip up old sores. Ask the Lord not only to cleanse your heart from ill feelings, but also to bind up your wounds. You will find that this healing process takes the sting out of the memory! Follow Jesus’ demonstration of grace on the cross and let go of your desire to repay your offenders with some or other form of punishment. He prayed, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). It is safe to assume that your offenders might also be deceived by the devil and therefore not fully aware of the destructive consequences of their words or deeds.
In Matthew 5:44 Jesus commands us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. You have been called to pray for their welfare, happiness and protection – truly pitying and loving them. “Do not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9). Go with boldness to His throne and as you pray, the Holy Spirit will work forgiveness in your heart. This will enable you to resolve matters in the appropriate time with self-control and a gentle spirit. Demeter’s true story is a powerful example of extreme forgiveness and the fruit of such prayer. Demeter suffered for many years as a Christian in Communist prisons. A certain prison warden amused himself by beating on Demeter’s spine with a hammer, which permanently paralyzed him. Twenty years after his release from prison, he heard a knock at the front door of his home. He was shocked to see the same prison warden standing before him. Upon hearing the warden’s words of apology, Demeter replied softly, “For twenty years I have prayed for you daily. I have waited for you. Twenty years ago, I forgave you already.” Forgiveness is letting go of the past in order to move forward into a hopeful future. Trust has to do with future behaviour and must be rebuilt and proved over time. Forgiveness is a path of seeking and advancing harmony and unity among individuals, families and even nations. Will you follow this path?
References: The Promise Bible, New Living Translation. Tyndale. Amplified Bible. Zondervan. New Spirit Filled Life Bible, NKJ version. The Voice of the Martyrs. Extreme Devotion. W Publishing Group, 2001. Warren, Rick. The Purpose Driven Life. Michigan: Zondervan, 2002. Cho, Dr David Yonggi. The Fourth Dimension. Florida: Bridge Logos, 2000.
the power of w o r d s : a n g e l a r wo og re dr s : ap nh go et ol ag r raopgheyr :s l i pe hz ol t do ug r pa rpeheyz : l i e z l d u p r e e z
HOW CAN I ILLUSTRATE THE IMPORTANCE OF FORGIVENESS? PERHAPS THE BEST WAY IS TO CONSIDER THE DIRECT CONVERSE – TO CONSIDER THE DESTRUCTIVENESS OF UNFORGIVENESS…
SEVERAL YEARS AGO, as a result of wearing tight-fitting shoes, I developed an ingrown toenail. At first it wasn’t too bad, so I left it. Slowly but surely the nail grew and penetrated deeper and deeper into my skin, until the slightest touch became an unbearable pain that shot right up my leg. I became so protective of my toe, but would not cut the nail out because the pain was so intense that I decided it would hurt less if I left it alone and protected it from getting bumped. My mother eventually got hold of me with nail clippers, and after much crying, screaming, pulling and clipping, she managed to remove the piece of nail. Almost instantly my toe was healed. The pressure was released and the pain was gone. I understood what a fool I had been for holding on to the agony for fear of dealing with it, and realized that if I had persisted, my toe could have become infected and, at the very worst, eventually removed. Emotional pain is very much the same thing. When we get hurt for whatever reason in our lives, it creates a pressure point in our hearts. As with physical pain, our reaction is to nurture and protect the aching spot. The problem is that we so often, whilst trying to protect the sore point, end up holding our hands over the piercing nail, inadvertently protecting it, rather than getting it removed. As the hurt remains in our hearts, it begins to produce bitterness, which slowly but surely defiles us as it grows and pierces deeper and deeper into our beings. The end result of this is infection, leading possibly to death of the infected part – the spirit and soul of a precious human being. The only way to be set free is to have the nail removed. It can only be removed by One who can see into the hearts and minds of man, by One who can see where the nail is lodged. God alone can see your pain, and God alone can remove it. The only problem is that you have to be prepared to let go of it and remove your hand so that He can work. It is painful to let go, because letting go means facing the hurt head on. For others, letting go means giving up on vengeance which they felt justified holding on to, because they had been unfairly hurt by someone. But the truth is that it is just another nail, and the longer you hold on to it, the more damage and pain it will cause you.
It is not for us to judge, and by refusing to forgive, we are holding judgment and condemnation over another life. God will deal with vindicating you if you have been abused and mistreated – leave that to Him. But it is vital that you let go and forgive all people their wrongs, so that our God and Father may work a healing and deliverance in your heart, and that He may come through for you in all righteousness. Forgiveness isn’t a feeling – it is a decision. And once you decide to forgive, God will work the sincerity in you, and with time, you will begin to feel the forgiveness. So take away your hand. Forgive people for the wrongs they have done against you, and allow the Father – the Master Healer – to remove the bitterness, that you may be healed and set free.
The following is an excerpt from the book The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, published with kind permission of Bridge-Logos Publishers, Florida, USA. “Puregoldclassics.com”. The work comprises four parts. These are the first two chapters of the first part, “Advice Useful For A Spiritual Life”.
1. IMITATING CHRIST AND DESPISING ALL THE WORTHLESS THINGS OF THE WORLD
1. “He who follows Me, walks not in darkness,” (John 8:12) says the Lord. These are the words of Christ by which we are told that we should imitate His life and manners (1 Corinthians 11:1) if we want to be truly enlightened and delivered from all blindness of heart. Let our chief endeavor, therefore, be to meditate upon the life of Jesus Christ. 2. The doctrine [teachings] of Christ exceeds all the doctrines of the saints, and the one that has His Spirit will find in it a hidden manna. (Colossians 1:27.) There are, however, many who often hear the gospel of Christ and are little affected by it because they lack the Spirit of Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:17.) But if you want to fully and feelingly understand the words of Christ, you must endeavor to conform your life wholly to the life of Christ.
3. What good will it do you to debate the Trinity [the doctrine of the union of three persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in one God] wisely if you lack humility and are thereby displeasing to the Trinity? It is not understanding that makes a person holy, it is a virtuous life that makes one dear to God. I had rather feel compunction [regret] than know its definition. If you knew the whole Bible by heart, and the sayings of all the philosophers, what would all that profit you without the love of God (1 Corinthians 13:2) and without grace? (Ephesians 2:8.)
futile, useless, frivolous, or worthless], except to love God and serve Him only. This is the highest wisdom – to disdain the world and hurry toward the kingdom of heaven. 4. It is vanity, therefore, to seek after perishing riches and to trust in them. It is also vanity to seek after honors and to desire to climb to high positions. It is vanity to follow the desires of the flesh, and to labor for those things for which you will later be severely judged. It is vanity to wish for a long life, and to be careless about living a good and useful life. It is vanity to be concerned with only this present life, and not to consider those things that are to come. It is vanity to love things that speedily pass away, and not to hurry in the direction where everlasting joy abides. 5. Think often about the proverb, “The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.” (Ecclesiastes 1:8.) Make an effort, therefore, to remove your heart from the love of visible things, and to turn yourself to those things that are invisible. (Hebrews 11:27.)
“Vanity of vanities...all is vanity” [Ecclesiastes 1:2 – the NIV translates this verse: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! For those who follow their evil passions Everything is meaningless.” The word stain their consciences and lose the favor of vanity also refers to something that is vain, God.
2. THINK HUMBLY OF YOURSELF 1. All naturally desire knowledge, (Ecclesiastes 1:13) but what good is knowledge without the fear of God? Surely humble peasants [In Kempisâ€™s day, a peasant was a member of a class of small farmers, farm tenants, sharecroppers, and laborers on the land â€“ and often considered to be an uncouth, crude, or ill-bred person] who serve God are better than proud philosophers who strive to understand the ways of the universe and neglect their own souls. If you know yourself well you will become lowly in your own sight and not delight in the praises of others. If I understood all things in the world and had not love, what help would that be to me in the sight of God who will judge the things that I do? (1 Corinthians 13:3.) 2. Stay away from any unreasonable desire for knowledge, for in it there is great distraction and deception. Scholarly people like to appear scholarly to others, and to be thought of as being wise. (1 Corinthians 8:1.) There are many things that you can know that are of little profit to your soul, and you are very unwise if you concentrate on anything other than those things that benefit your salvation. Many words do not satisfy the soul, but a good life comforts the mind, and a pure conscience inspires confidence in God. 75
3. The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely you will be judged, unless your life is also holy. Do not praise yourself, therefore, because of any knowledge or talent you may have, but rather let the knowledge and talent make you humble and careful. If you think you have great understanding and knowledge, understand also that there are many things that you know nothing about. Do not appear to be very wise, but rather admit your own ignorance. (Romans 12:16.) Why prefer yourself before others, since there are many who are more knowledgeable and skillful in the Scriptures than you are? If you want to know or learn anything profitably, then desire to be unknown and to be little esteemed by others. 4. The highest and most profitable learning is true knowledge and understanding of ourselves. It is great wisdom and perfection to esteem ourselves as nothing, and to always think well and highly of others. If you see another person sin openly, or commit a serious crime, you should not think yourself as better, for you do not know how long you will be able to remain in good circumstances. We are all frail, (Genesis 8:21) but you should think of no one as being frailer than yourself.
photography: liezl du preez
â€œHoly and pure, this life that surges in me. Lord I am grateful for the joy of walking at Your side.â€?
Write Message I am so scared Q: I feel as if I can do nothing. to make mistakes that I rather do nothing. Can you help me?
When Jesus died for our sins, He paid the full price to reconcile us with God. He paid for us with His life. He redeemed us, and the word redemption means to buy back. In other words, God bought your life back. The price that was paid for your life gives you an indication of your value for God. Martin Luther said, “God doesnt love us because we have value, but we have value because God loves us.”
Once you realize how valuable you are, you will discover that you will have confidence to live your life with boldness. God helps us to step out and to be pro-active. He gives us the ability to make good decisions on a daily basis and He promises to guide us every step of the way. Trust Him to help you! And remember, to make mistakes is part of life – that is how we learn and grow. Even if you make a mistake, He is there to pick you up again and strengthen you. Bread on the Water, Radio Pulpit Publication, P O Box 3436 Pretoria, 0001, Copyright Radio Pulpit by Pastor Marius Nel. Bible Answers For Almost All Your Questions, Elmer L. Towns, Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson Inc. Copyright 2003 by Elmer Towns.
THEY ARE TALENTED. NTED. They are real. And they t aree pa passionate abou about God. Theyy are South Afric Afr Africas new gosp gospel os group. Imagine magine comprises es of four off SSo South ost aaccomplished gospel artists: os tists: ts: Leon Ferreira, rreira, Mervis, rvis, RRaymond Cilliers illiers liers and Fredd Freddi Freddie Wessels. Th The result of this striking combi on iiss unique Africas most combination bt anointed by b God too touch people and draw draw many to t Him. Hi Keeping K the identities en of thee solo pperformers, Imagines ess mu and fresh – and without doubt music surp p ises you with exceptional eption vocal performin eptio ul harmon harmonies, harmoni s, music that hat nourish nourishe nourishes es bot oth soul and spirit. p surprises performing and beautiful both Imagine’s first CD Who am I was released on the 1st of August 2005. The CD features familiar songs such as Who am I, I can only imagine, We believe and Jerusalem. Producer Danny Antill writes on the inside cover of the CD, “Never before have I been so blessed working on a project of this magnitude.” Following was a live DVD and TV recording on the 13th of August at Mosaïek Church in Fairland, Johannesburg. MY World was privileged to attend this awesome event – the biggest live Gospel TV and DVD recording ever in South Africa – and shared in a wonderful worship experience with 2 900 other worshippers. The DVD Muzik! was released on the 12th of October 2005. Spending some time with these four gifted musicians off stage is both inspiring and life enriching. They seem to enjoy one another’s company and are not in any way threatened by their individual accomplishments or personalities. Their love for God and desire to worship Him certainly are of the reasons for the special unity amongst them, which has existed since the very first day they met for this project of Brettian Productions. “There was a spontaneous gel between us from the beginning,” says Raymond. Freddie, only 18 years old and finishing school this year passionately adds, “We sing because we want people to experience God’s presence. It is our heart to worship. Pride can take over and then you lose that which people look for – Jesus. We want people to see Jesus in us and to worship with us, to be on their knees before Jesus with us.” Leon further explains, “When people worship God, He promises to be present. We don’t have to convince people of God’s love; He will automatically draw people to Him when we worship Him. We can only witness about His love and what He did for us. The Holy Spirit does the rest.” The famous song Who am I is the title track of the CD. Leon comments, “I think Who am I was the best song to make the title track. Should you ask people who they are, they would tell you things such as that they are a director of a company, or their name, or maybe that they are the parent of four children. This song is about how much more we mean to God. Our identity lies in the fact that we are His.” Mervis agrees, “The problem is that we do not always see ourselves as words: retha fick
photography: liezl du preez
Jesus sees us. We have to realize that we are His bride and we are very special to Him!”
Most of the songs on the CD appear appe on the DVD, as welll as other oth hits such as Friend nd of God, You Raise Me Up U and There is a River. What about these gentlemen’s entl individual singing ging careers? c They assure us
Imagine the heights God has in store for Imagine! that although they perform regularly rly as Imagine, their own separate epar ministries
continue as well. Imagine e has performed outside of the he borders of South Africa: in Namibia, the US, UK, Cambodia, Bahamas, Ba Korea and China,, captivating cap audiences and spreading the love of God. d
Through the e yes of a child â€œGive me faith like a child, joy like a fountain, peace like a river a n d t h e a b i l i t y t o f o r g i v e l i k e Yo u , o S o v e r e i g n L o r d . â€?
p p hhoot ot gorga rp a h yp: hl yi e:z ll ideu zpl r edeuz p r e e z
â€œGentle Jesus, touch me with Your caring Hand. Let Your love flow through me into each and every land. Use my little flame to shine Your light on every nation, so all will come to know You and the joy of Your salvation.â€?
p p hhoot ot gorga rp a h yp: hl yi e:z ll ideu zpl r edeuz p r e e z
WORDS OF WEALTH Month 8 Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day Day
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
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Romans Romans Romans Romans Romans Romans Romans Romans Romans Romans Romans Romans Romans Romans Romans
4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8: 1-21 / 8: 22-39 / 9: 1-15 / 9: 16-33 / 10 / 11: 1-18 / 11: 19-36 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15: 1-13 /
Psalm 57, 58, 59 Psalm 60, 61, 62 Psalm 63, 64, 65 Psalm 66, 67 Psalm 68, 69 Psalm 70, 71 Psalm 72, 73 Psalm 74, 75, 76 Psalm 77, 78 Psalm 79, 80 Psalm 81, 82, 83 Psalm 84, 85, 86 Psalm 87, 88 Psalm 89, 90 Psalm 91, 92, 93
Day 16 Day 17 Day 18 Day 19 Day 20 Day 21 Day 22 Day 23 Day 24 Day 25 Day 26 Day 27 Day 28 Day 29 Day 30
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Romans 15: 14-33 / Romans 16 / 1 Corinthians 1 / 1 Corinthians 2 / 1 Corinthians 3 / 1 Corinthians 4 / 1 Corinthians 5 / 1 Corinthians 6 / 1 Corinthians 7: 1-19 / 1 Corinthians 7: 20-40 / 1 Corinthians 8 / 1 Corinthians 9 / 1 Corinthians 10: 1-18 / 1 Corinthians 10: 19-33/ 1 Corinthians 11: 1-16 /
Day 31: 1 Corinthians 11: 17-34 / Psalm 132, 133, 134
Psalm 94, 95, 96 Psalm 97, 98, 99 Psalm 100, 101, 102 Psalm 103, 104 Psalm 105, 106 Psalm 107, 108, 109 Psalm 110, 111, 112 Psalm 113, 114, 115 Psalm 116, 117, 118 Psalm 119: 1-88 Psalm 119: 89-187 Psalm 120, 121, 122 Psalm 123, 124, 125 Psalm 126, 127, 128 Psalm 129, 130, 131
compiled by myna gouws
D M W H U S Q N F Y E Q D W R I
H P E S O J
O H K A L D U L
V R H Q P U R I I
S N S T L
M E R D O C O U O A I
N K R A B H N A W I
N M W
V V Z U S
ARK DOVE JOSEPH REVELATION
U H L
Y R L
C A P Q E H S
K M O C T S T E S L
A M B N S
SPIRIT DELIVER HEART
U N P R P B R V F F A U O I T
X G T L
D C A E G U T
R M X R E R D E L
A D O J I
V E R
LAMB SAVIOUR SUNDAY DIVINE
H E A W H F
M B J
A Q Q E C W Y
Z U A G D Y R B N N
HEAVEN LORD SOUL
A D G A B U F H T J
S N D E S WORLD
V O X V R D
A W G F W L
Q D Q M P I
B K W H D
Complete this word search correctly and send it to MY World, Private Bag 2003, Krugersdorp, 1740. The first five correct entries will each receive a subscription for three months.
what’s in a
In Biblical times a person’s name had a lot to do with character and destiny. In some special cases, God changed peoples’ names... Abram became Abraham, Sarai became Sarah, Jacob became Israel and Saul became Paul. It is interesting to know the meaning, origin and spiritual significance of your name.
Every month we will publish a few names from The Name Book.
KERRY / KEARIE / KEREY
YARDAN / YARDEN
Language/Cultural Origin: Irish Inherent Meaning: Dark-Haired Spiritual Connotation: Diligent Scripture: Colossians 3:23 NKJV
Language/Cultural Origin: Latin Inherent Meaning: Improved Spiritual Connotation: Sanctified Scripture: Philippians 1:6 NRSV
Language/Cultural Origin: Middle Eastern Inherent Meaning: King Spiritual Connotation: Victorious Scripture: 2 Chronicles 20:15 NKJV
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.
I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus.
Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
RUNE / ROONE
PIRAN / PIERAN
Language/Cultural Origin: English Inherent Meaning: Rapid Stream Spiritual Connotation: Renewed Scripture: Isaiah 65:17 NKJV
Language/Cultural Origin: Swedish Inherent Meaning: Secret Spiritual Connotation: Guarded of God Scripture: Psalm 91:4 TLB
Language/Cultural Origin: Irish Inherent Meaning: Prayer Spiritual Connotation: Supplicant Scripture: Philippians 4:6 NRSV
For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
He will shield you with his wings! They will Do not worry about anything, but in shelter you. His faithful promises are your everything by prayer and supplication with armour. thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
NOVIA / NUVIA
LIANA / LEANNA
JUANITA / JUANA
Language/Cultural Origin: Spanish Inherent Meaning: Sweetheart Spiritual Connotation: Beloved Scripture: 1 John 3:1 NKJV
Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew Inherent Meaning: My God Has Answered Me Spiritual Connotation: Important Scripture: Genesis 21:17 NRSV
Language/Cultural Origin: Spanish Inherent Meaning: God is Gracious Spiritual Connotation: Famous Scripture: Ezekiel 16:14 NRSV
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!
Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is.
Your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of my splendour that I had bestowed on you.
TRENT / TRENTE
F r o m
T h e
N a m e
B o o k
D o r o t h y
A s t o r i a ,
B e t h a n y
H o u s e
P u b l i s h e r s
ppphhhoo tt oo gg rr aa pp hh yy :: ll ii ee zz ll dd uu pp rr eeeezz
I t ’ s a l l a b o u t Yo u , J e s u s It’s time to let go of the past, To stop guarding the pain with your tears, For you’ll never pass through this desert, While living in yesterday’s years. Tomorrow will never appear With you clutching to stay in the night, You can never return, make peace with the past, And welcome the morning’s new light. Look at yourself – a prisoner, Trapped in your thoughts on your bed, A shackle of memories burdens your heart While your life should be moving ahead. Tomorrow will be bright, But you’ll miss its cheerful glow, If you enter into the new day, Beneath the cloud of yesterday’s shadow. So cast off the burdens of what you know and where you’ve been And trust in God to lead you, In the realm of things unseen. For He has a plan, a promise, It’s up to you to receive, Just let go of the past Put one foot forward, and above all – believe! - by Angela Rogers -