Sunday, 4 February 2018

John 14 (Twenty) Jesus’ Example of Obedience

Today we are concluding John chapter fourteen.

“30I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. Come now; let us leave,” (John 14: 30-31).

Jesus said the prince of this world, which is the devil, is coming. Although he has no hold on me, Jesus said, the world must learn how to be obedient. Jesus did not only talk. He set an example as well. What this passage actually says is that Jesus would not be with the disciples much longer, since the devil was about to arrange for Him to be taken away. He actually had no power over Jesus though, since Jesus had no sin and sin is the foothold Satan has over individuals. In other words, if we allow continuous sin in our lives, we give Satan the right to mess with us.

In Jesus’ case, however, because Jesus took all our sins upon Himself in obedience to His Father in order to set us free, He allowed Satan to take Him. Jesus basically said: ‘Through my obedience - the humiliation and death on the cross - the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what My Father has commanded me.’ Those following this teaching and example are expected to do the same. How many of us do exactly as we are told, or do we first consider whether it will suit us to obey? The Lord is compassionate and loving, just as a good earthly father is toward his children (just much more perfect), but He will not tolerate disobedience, just as a good earthly father will not. What a change will the world see if we, as God’s children, start doing exactly as our Father has commanded us?

Let me give an example. Some brother is not pleasing God and you see it. You know in your heart that he must be reprimanded for him to come in line with God’s will, so that God’s blessing can be his. This, however, would demand of you to sacrifice some of your busy schedule to take time to talk with him. It might also result in an argument, which will not be comfortable. You might become unpopular and known to be interfering in other people’s business.

So what do we do? Do we choose to do exactly as we are told? Do we maybe choose an easy way out such as ‘praying’ for the brother or do we simply ignore the Lord? Doing exactly as the Lord told us usually costs something, such as persecution (2 Timothy 3:12), but disobedience may lead to discipline (Hebrews 12:1-12). Do we choose our comfort or obedience to the Lord?

Lord, I want to be as obedient as Jesus was.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

John 14 (Nineteen) Great in the Lord

28“You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. Come now; let us leave (John 14: 28-31).

This must have been a very emotional time for this close company that have spent three years of their lives very intimately together. Jesus was greeting for some reason and at the time the disciples did not quite understand.


In verse 28 Jesus said something very significant. He said: “If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” For three years the disciples thought of Jesus as being just great. Their colourless, somewhat boring lives had turned about, exploding in vibrant colour and excitement.

For at least four hundred years there had been no prophets and accompanying miracles in Israel and then suddenly that. The best was that they were in the centre of it all. Yes, Jesus was just great. Because Jesus was greater than them, He was always on the giving end and, since He loved them, He gave everything He had. He taught them love, but time was approaching for Him to be on the receiving end - from His Father who is greater than Him. To love is to wish for and give the best to the person you love. You will be glad if something good comes their way. To be selfish is to be unhappy if someone, who meant much to you, has to leave you for their own benefit. This is what Jesus wanted the disciples to understand.

And us, how much do we give for the sake of others’ happiness? If it is going well with us it is easy to give and to care, but what if we ourselves are having a hard time? Can we then still be great enough to be glad for another who receives more than we do? Can we trust God enough to care for us so we can give our last for another’s happiness? Life gets tougher every day. This tends to encourage people to only think of themselves and of their survival, and therefore they miss God’s best for their lives through giving to others. If we obey the Lord, He makes His home in us with all His greatness and care (John 14:23), so we are then great and can be to others what Jesus was to the disciples. However, if we live for ourselves we will be overcome by worry and the need for survival and will be more concerned about self than about others. Where do you stand?

Verse 29 is a very important statement: “I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.” A number of times in our previous teachings we have spoken about the ‘rhema’ word that brings faith. These words of Jesus is a very accurate illustration of the principle of rhema bringing faith. If the Lord of lords has told us something and we have His word to hold on to, circumstances can be what they wish, the devil can lie as much as he want to - we have a word from God and are waiting in anticipation for it to happen. Imagine Jesus did not warn his disciples with these words and suddenly just greeted them and departed. They would have been devastated, wouldn’t they? But because they had a revelation (rhema) word from Him, they could believe and handle the situation when it came. In God’s Kingdom we need faith, and faith comes from a Word we have been given by the Lord himself (Romans 10:17).

Years ago a very significant prophecy has been spoken over Julia and me. I am a very sceptical person by nature and do not easily believe just anything, but this prophetess knew things about us that she only could have heard from the Lord. Through this prophecy the Lord mentioned a special task and some advantages along with it that He has in mind for us, but that He first had to sort things out in our lives before we would be ready for it. Through the years this ‘sorting out’ process had been tough and the persecution and attacks from the enemy severe, but we had something to hold on to that kept us from losing faith in the midst of circumstances – a Word from the Lord. These teachings resulted from that anointing and gift the Lord had mentioned then.

Lord, please help me to become great through you.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

John 14 (Eighteen) How About Peace (continued)

We continue from the previous message and in order to complete it, here is a lovely story.

An art school once presented a competition to promote peace in the world. Artists from all over were asked to create a picture or a painting illustrating peace. All kinds of pictures and paintings were entered. There were pictures of people at peace, peaceful nature scenes, but the one that perplexed the judges the most was a painting of a severe storm. It was an excellent piece of art, which actually came alive as you looked at it. One could see the wind howling, the trees and bushes bending and the waves of the sea rolling high. At first look they wondered what it had to do with peace, until they noticed it very clearly on a ledge in the cliff above the raging sea.

A bird sat on a nest completely at rest and relaxed. In the midst of this raging storm she was at peace, since her nest was built on the rock, out of the reach of the storm.

Jesus said that He leaves us peace. He said he does not give like the world does. How does the world give? It gives to receive back, but Jesus gives unconditionally. We need not be anxious or afraid because even though the storms of life attack in all its severity, with Jesus we have peace. That is why a father and mother can stand in a ditch with all their small children singing songs of praise to God while they are being buried alive because they refused to deny Jesus. That is why the church under persecution grows so fast. That is why Stephen could say “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing” while he was being stoned to death.

Doesn’t matter what happen to our bodies and to our external circumstances – in Jesus we have peace. That is why it is so important not to live for this present world, but to always have our eyes fixed on our eternal destination (Hebrews 12).

Lord, give us grace to live only for you and your peace.

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Give your children a sporting chance for a faith relationship with God. Teach them more than Bible stories. Teach them Biblical and life principles with the help of The Nutshell College Train-a-Child series. 

I sincerely encourage you to open the link below and learn what we have for you for FREE! It will certainly make a difference to the Bible knowledge and faith that the children, whom you’re responsible for, accumulate.

Read what others say about it:

I found the Nutshell College videos powerful and dynamic. God's Word is for everyone and the reader-friendly videos make it accessible to especially our younger children. It is never too early to start building a spiritual foundation in the children's lives. Nutshell College is definitely a solid spiritual path for our children and a light to guide them in the way of truth. It is there to teach people about the Lord and to motivate them toward Him.” Elizabeth Marzo, Kyrios Ministries.


I want to thank you for the training I’ve received to teach children and young people ‘The Nutshell Video Bible Training Series’. I hope that many people, who work with our future generation, will find the series just as exciting as I do. It’s short and dynamic, the questions that go with the videos are relevant, and they make everybody reflect on what they’ve learnt. The latter is also a way to get feedback. Everybody enjoys the declarations and memory verses. It definitely works, for I experience it myself!” Michelle Luffman, Tell the Children Ministries.


May you receive wisdom and insight while you consider what we have for you.

Regards


Henry Luyt

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

John 14 (Seventeen) How About Peace?

We continue from the previous message.

The ‘all things’ the Holy Spirit will teach and counsel us in consist of everything that is needed for life and godliness - 2 Peter 1:3: “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” If our life is not fulfilling, or is lacking, we will be discontented vessels and true to human nature will be preoccupied with our needs and wants. The Holy Spirit therefore desires to counsel us on a daily basis on practical aspects of our life, such as the examples in the previous message. The goal of the Lord is to get us to the point where we do not focus on this present life anymore, but keep ourselves occupied with Kingdom issues (Mathew 6:19-21, 33, and so on). Once we have learnt the basics of not worrying about this life anymore, but leave it in the hands of Jehovah Jirah our provider, the Holy Spirit can then counsel us in godliness, all aspects pertaining to an effective relationship with the Lord and the efficient functioning of the Kingdom of God.

Everything we need for these are in the Word, which is twofold namely Jesus (rhema or revelation knowledge) and the Bible (logos or the written word). Jesus’ life in us makes it possible for us to attain what we should have as revealed through the Bible. All we have to do is to read the Bible and as a result desire to have what it promises in terms of abilities, gifts and power. Through consulting with the Holy Spirit in prayer, which includes careful listening, we learn the right way to apply the truths that we have learnt and desire.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid,” (John 14:27).

Every day on the news we hear the world crying ‘peace”. The different Councils of Churches also cry ‘peace’. Yet Jesus made a significant statement in Matthew 10:34: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:3 Paul says: “While people are saying, ‘peace and safety’, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” How do we put all of these together? If you look up the word peace in the concordance you will find many occasions where Christians wish each other peace.
What Jesus is telling the disciples is that as long as we look unto Jesus as our protection and help we will have peace – even in the most severe circumstances. In the world there will never be peace simply because of two reasons. The heart of man does not want God. Man wants to be his own god and continually fights to attain it. Secondly, even though Satan has been defeated, he is not bound yet and outside of Christ he rules the world. In other words where Christians are concerned Satan has no power except for what we allow him, but in the world he is still the ruler, since the people of the world do not recognise Jesus and therefore give Satan full authority. Jesus said in John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy,” and since He is comparing Satan to a thief it is understandable that Satan is out to destroy the world. His ideal is to kill as many people as possible before they get to know their Saviour. That is why Jesus’ message is simple – until Satan is bound the world will never know peace, since Satan stirs things up because of Jesus. Yet within Christ and His protection we can have peace (to be continued).


Holy Spirit, please help us to follow your counsel so we can walk in peace.
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Give your children a sporting chance for a faith relationship with God. Teach them more than Bible stories. Teach them Biblical and life principles with the help of The Nutshell College Train-a-Child series. 

I sincerely encourage you to open the link below and learn what we have for you for FREE! It will certainly make a difference to the Bible knowledge and faith that the children, whom you’re responsible for, accumulate.

Read what others say about it:

I found the Nutshell College videos powerful and dynamic. God's Word is for everyone and the reader-friendly videos make it accessible to especially our younger children. It is never too early to start building a spiritual foundation in the children's lives. Nutshell College is definitely a solid spiritual path for our children and a light to guide them in the way of truth. It is there to teach people about the Lord and to motivate them toward Him.” Elizabeth Marzo, Kyrios Ministries.


I want to thank you for the training I’ve received to teach children and young people ‘The Nutshell Video Bible Training Series’. I hope that many people, who work with our future generation, will find the series just as exciting as I do. It’s short and dynamic, the questions that go with the videos are relevant, and they make everybody reflect on what they’ve learnt. The latter is also a way to get feedback. Everybody enjoys the declarations and memory verses. It definitely works, for I experience it myself!” Michelle Luffman, Tell the Children Ministries.


May you receive wisdom and insight while you consider what we have for you.

Regards


Henry Luyt



Sunday, 5 November 2017

John 14 (Sixteen) Acknowledge the Source

“These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me,” (John 14:24b).

Jesus, the creator of the universe through whom all things were made, without whom nothing was made that has been made, and to whom all authority in heaven and on earth had been given and before whom every knee will bow and every tongue will confess to God (John 1:1-3, Romans 14:11), were humble enough to acknowledge publicly that He was not using His own wisdom and words, but received everything from His Father. Who are we then to be proud in our hearts and pretend that what we share in wisdom comes from ourselves?

We have mentioned before the audacity of writers (and of anybody who receive something from the Lord to pass on) to take the credit and glory for something that was never theirs. Everything we have is from God and all we are is from Him. In an instant He can remove us from this earth. Why then do we allow people to exalt us and why do we exalt people in the Lord’s service? Why do we receive credit for anything we do without acknowledging the One actually behind it? As I write here I have no idea where these wonderful truths come from, except from the Lord. In no way have I created it or learned it in some book. It only comes from the Lord and I am never to take credit for it. So is it with talents, responsibilities, position of authority, or whatever we have received from the Lord. It is not ours – the glory belongs to Him. We also may never use it for self-satisfaction, to meet our own desires and needs for material goods, power and fame. Yes, we may live from the Gospel (1 Timothy 5:17-18, 1 Corinthians 9:4-14), but not abuse it for self-indulgence.

“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you,” (John 14:25-26).

In this passage we find a number of important statements. In the first sentence Jesus referred to all the teaching and commands that He personally had given the disciples, but He then said it was not yet everything. The Holy Spirit, our Counselor, will teach us all things. What ‘all things’ is He referring to? Was it maybe the letters written by Paul and the Apostles, which were taken up in the Bible? Jesus was speaking to all the disciples and that included Paul and us.

The Word of God is the basis, the measuring line against which all truth is measured, but generations change all the time. Every generation has different circumstances, more modern living conditions and problems. Evil also become more modern and accessible. Stress for example was probably not known 2000 years ago as we know it today. The fast lifestyle of today was unheard of then. Through all the centuries the Holy Spirit taught God’s people whatever they needed to know in their time and circumstances to keep going on with the Kingdom work.

How does the Holy Spirit teach the disciples of the Lord? Through reminding them of the teachings of Jesus and making it applicable to everyday life of their time (John 14:26). For example in the earlier centuries people in their teenage years were not like teenagers today. They started to work in their early teens and married early. Through the decades life became more sophisticated and more education became necessary. Life for the teenager was therefore, in a matter of speaking, postponed. Christian young men and women thus became frustrated teenagers because they are not able to start life yet, not being able to yield to their bodies’ demands yet. Suddenly parents needed more revelation on how to handle this new challenge. Who is the teacher? The Holy Spirit and the people He has chosen to work through. (To be continued)

Lord, thank you for being my guide. To you belong all the glory!
*********
Give your children a sporting chance for a faith relationship with God. Teach them more than Bible stories. Teach them Biblical and life principles with the help of The Nutshell College Train-a-Child series. 

I sincerely encourage you to open the link below and learn what we have for you for FREE! It will certainly make a difference to the Bible knowledge and faith that the children, whom you’re responsible for, accumulate.

Read what others say about it:

I found the Nutshell College videos powerful and dynamic. God's Word is for everyone and the reader-friendly videos make it accessible to especially our younger children. It is never too early to start building a spiritual foundation in the children's lives. Nutshell College is definitely a solid spiritual path for our children and a light to guide them in the way of truth. It is there to teach people about the Lord and to motivate them toward Him.” Elizabeth Marzo, Kyrios Ministries.


I want to thank you for the training I’ve received to teach children and young people ‘The Nutshell Video Bible Training Series’. I hope that many people, who work with our future generation, will find the series just as exciting as I do. It’s short and dynamic, the questions that go with the videos are relevant, and they make everybody reflect on what they’ve learnt. The latter is also a way to get feedback. Everybody enjoys the declarations and memory verses. It definitely works, for I experience it myself!” Michelle Luffman, Tell the Children Ministries.


May you receive wisdom and insight while you consider what we have for you.

Regards


Henry Luyt




Tuesday, 24 October 2017

John 14 (Fifteen) At Home (Continued)

Have you read part 1 of this message?
What the Lord said in Isaiah 59:1- 2 can be put in other words as follows: ‘I want to be close to you. I want to be a Dad to you, having fun with you as we take on the enemies of the Kingdom on a daily basis. I want to show you my power and have you enjoy My blessings and success for your life, but I have one serious problem. I can’t share a home with a sinful lifestyle because it brings dishonour to My name in both the physical and spiritual realm, and therefore build up a wall of resistance between us. Your feelings of guilt then prevent you to be relaxed in my presence and my hatred of sin prevents me to be in the presence of sin and therefore your presence.'


Please note that nobody is without sin (1 John 1:8). All our sins are forgiven in Jesus Christ though. We sin accidentally as well as wilfully sometimes, but “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9). The problem, however, is consistent disobedience to commands from the written Word and commands we know the Lord has spoken into our hearts. If we persist with this sin we are like displeasing children to an earthly dad – the relationship is hindered and discipline is unavoidable. “Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?” (Hebrews 12:6-7).


However, instead of this family-type intimacy towards God, what do many Christians do? Do we not keep a respectful distance between a “stern and strict Father God” and us, only communicating with Him as if He is far away? Why do we not allow Abba (Daddy) Father and big brother Jesus to show themselves to us, making home with us? Maybe because obedience and therefore intimate love would cost us too much in terms of our worldly comfort and desires. If such is the case, have we not chosen Mammon in our hearts?


In conclusion I would like to include a beautiful and relevant story I have once received.


Twinkies and Root Beer


A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of Root beer and started his journey. When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him a Twinkie. He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. His smile was so pleasant that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer. Again he smiled at him. The boy was delighted!


They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word. As it grew dark, the boy realised how tired he was and got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old man and gave him a hug. He gave him his biggest smile ever.


When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?”
“I had lunch with God,” he replied. Before his mother could respond he added, “You know what? He’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!” 

Meanwhile the old man returned to his home also radiant with joy. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked what made him so happy.


“I ate Twinkies in the park with God,” he replied. Before his son responded he added, “You know he is much younger than I expected.”
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Embrace all equally!

Lord, please come and live with me.
********

Give your children a sporting chance for a faith relationship with God. Teach them more than Bible stories. Teach them Biblical and life principles with the help of The Nutshell College Train-a-Child series. 

I sincerely encourage you to open the link below and learn what we have for you for FREE! It will certainly make a difference to the Bible knowledge and faith that the children, whom you’re responsible for, accumulate.

Read what others say about it:

I found the Nutshell College videos powerful and dynamic. God's Word is for everyone and the reader-friendly videos make it accessible to especially our younger children. It is never too early to start building a spiritual foundation in the children's lives. Nutshell College is definitely a solid spiritual path for our children and a light to guide them in the way of truth. It is there to teach people about the Lord and to motivate them toward Him.” Elizabeth Marzo, Kyrios Ministries.


I want to thank you for the training I’ve received to teach children and young people ‘The Nutshell Video Bible Training Series’. I hope that many people, who work with our future generation, will find the series just as exciting as I do. It’s short and dynamic, the questions that go with the videos are relevant, and they make everybody reflect on what they’ve learnt. The latter is also a way to get feedback. Everybody enjoys the declarations and memory verses. It definitely works, for I experience it myself!” Michelle Luffman, Tell the Children Ministries.


May you receive wisdom and insight while you consider what we have for you.

Regards


Henry Luyt




Saturday, 14 October 2017

John 14 (Fourteen) At Home

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him,” (John 14:21).

Who is Jesus talking about here? He is talking about individuals. He is not just talking to the Disciples, but is throwing it wide open. He is also not just talking to the church or to a particular nation. Every individual is responsible and must have the opportunity. He first says the individual must have His commands. Where do they get the commands from? First of all the commands (not only the Ten Commandments) are written in the Bible, so it is necessary to know the Bible because the commands must be in their heart to be able to obey them effectively. Secondly we constantly receive commands in our spirit and therefore the individual must be in touch with the Holy Spirit to be able to identify the opportunity presented by Him to obey the commands.

If the Lord sees a heart laden with knowledge of His commands and a readiness to obey wherever the opportunity presents itself, He knows that this person loves Him. They care enough about the Lord to do that which matters to Him. Jesus then promised that both He and the Father will love the individual (what an honour) and then the best follows – He will show himself to them.

In marriage spouses declare their love to each other and then show their bodies to one another. The more their love for each other grows, and in the process their trust towards one another, the more of their deepest secrets they will reveal.

How glorious it will be when Jesus will hold back none of His deepest secrets to the individual who has earned His love and trust through being obedient to His every command. Such individuals never cause Jesus to be ashamed of them and often cause Him to boast about them in the heavenlies - “Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?’” (Job 1:8).

“Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, ‘But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?’ Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching,” (John 14:22-23).

What Jesus implies in His answer to Judas’ question is that those who do not obey His teaching are those who do not love Him, and are therefore the ‘world’ Judas was talking about. Like we said earlier, why would Jesus reveal Himself to those whom He cannot trust? (See Matthew 7:6)

Who is the world Judas is talking about? Does it not maybe include the disobedient church? Is a disobedient church not like the world – without love towards the Lord?

If we, however, obey His teaching, doing what He tells us to do, whether in the Bible or in our spirit on a daily basis, we love Him and both Him and Abba Father (Daddy God) will make home with us. Take a few minutes to consider this statement. What is a home? Is it not a place of intimacy where fellowship is relaxed and transparent, a place where we feel comfortable? Is home not a place where we can kick off our shoes and be ourselves? If the Lord Jesus and Father make their home with us, would they not also want to ‘kick off their shoes’ and relax, being themselves? Maybe we can make a list of the qualities of a home and, as we make it, picture Abba Father and Jesus in it.

A home

·         Is a secure and safe place.

·         Has food and physical care.

·         Has fun, joking, fellowship and playing.

·         Has support of the members among one another.

·         Has open and transparent communication.

·         Has unity.

·         Is a fortress against enemies.

·         Has protective and caring parents.

·         Has obedient children.

·         Is a place where one can be yourself.

·         Is a place where conflict is a form of developing character and is handled lovingly.

Does our spiritual home enjoy these characteristics in both directions, in other words do we for example only expect protection from the Lord, or do we also protect His honour in both the physical and spiritual realm, or does our lifestyle maybe cause the world and evil spirits to ridicule God? Can God relax in our presence, or must He constantly withdraw due to our sin and attitude of pride?

Lord, teach me what to do to make you feel welcome in my heart.