Daily Devotional for 21 August 2018 – John 8:12

360x360-dailydevotion

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to encourage you with the words from John 8:12 (NIV):

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

When you are on earth, you are faced with both light and darkness. It is up to yourself to determine which side you want to follow. The only and best way is of course that of light. So, make sure that you choose to life you life for God and to reject all that darkness has to offer. Darkness might present itself as all that is beautiful, but know that it is all fake and will only result in you losing your life and losing your way to heaven!

Advertisements

Daily Devotional for 20 August 2018 – Revelation 3:21

360x360-dailydevotion

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to meditate with you on the words from Revelation 3:21 (NIV):

21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.

We know that the one that is victorious is and will always be God. So, for us to also become victorious, is to make sure that we life such a life that we are to go to heaven! Please put it in your meditation and prayers every day in what way you need to change and grow to reach the most important victory in your life: to go to God.

Alex’ view – Don’t let racism impact you

2786405_G

Don’t let racism impact you

Dear brothers and sisters,

Although I don’t consider it something specifically from this current time. It is unfortunately a fact that racism is a very actual problem. The way racism has become so actual has a lot to do with the current presidency of Donald Trump. The way how he is and acts, has brought a very ugly side of a part of white US citizens to our attention (but also outside the US borders if you ask me).

Yes, I believe Trump is a racist and that the current climate in which people are becoming more and more aggresively racist, is really to be blamed on him. But is it fair to put all the blame on Trump? No, defintely not. Racism is something that has already been part of human history long before Donald Trump. Donald Trump only brought racism to the foreground. What has shocked me very much is the number of Christians following Donald Trump and showing also to be racist. Let it be clear that in the Bible you will find not justification for being racist. Genesis 1:27 (NIV) states very clearly that mankind was created in Gods image. Not only are we ourselves created in His image, but also every other human is also created in His image. This already shows that God would never allow racism, because did God not create all of us in His image? Then why is there still racism? Very simple because in 1 Corinthians 12 we can read about the importance of unity in Gods body (Christians). And isn”t racism a good way to create exactly the opposite?

Realizing this, will help you to be more aware of your own world view. Because racism has been around so long, you should not downplay the impact racism can have on your life and your worldview. In the history of white people, we are always taught how we were a vital part in how the world changed  and how we discovered the rest of the world But how can you discover a country or continent that already has people living on it? See, how we are being programmed by our own history books to built some kind of arrogance on ourselves? Why don’t the history books give a more honest presentation of what happened when the white men “discovered” Africa. Did the white men really helped Africa or just created more ground for racism to flourish on? When I look back then I have to come to the conclusion that a lot of problems that the African continent is faced with even today, are also the caused by the colonial expansion of European countries, taking parts of Africa on which they had no claim. Stealing resources that they were not entitled to. Or the impact of slavery? I know that in white history (by lack of better word) it is hard to talk on this subject in full detail (although it has improved somewhat), but a fact is that slavery is a very wicked thing and that is caused a lot of misery.

I think that this actually an important thing we need to realize. Racism is not a new thing, but has been around for a long time. That our history books don’t always give a fair and complete view of how racism has developend. And most important that the devil is the driving force behind racism!

Knowing the above, we should also be aware how racism knowingly or unknowingly can impact our own life. First of all, I want to address all those that openly are racists, because they need a group to blame something on. For me racism is always a way to blame negative things in your own life on another group. Is it really the fault of your African or Asian neighbour that you lost your job? Or are there are there other factors that lead to you loosing your job?

I believe that through the years all of us have been impacted in our thinking to some extent. It depends on God, ourselves, our upbringing and our surrounding how we let it impact us. If you grow up hearing that the white man is the fault of everything, then how you will you not develop a certain resentment or hate for white people? Or if you are continously persecuted and treated less because of your black skin color? How will that not impact on how you view your own race and will it not develop some kind of hatred for white people (in this specific example). But please don’t think this racism discussion is limited to only black and white people, no it has its impact all over the world.

Change

If you hate racism, then you need to fight against it and not take it over. How much you feel justified to hate white people for all the racism, if you also react in the same way than you also allow racism to grow. I know that for some the reasoning is that only white people are racist. Wrong. Everyone can be a racist or have racist beliefs. And reacting racistly is just as wrong.

We need to stop seeing the difference in skin color and race as someting more than just a difference in just that. Another skin color doesn’t make you any more or less than another race. Everybody is created in God’s image! So we are all the same!

Stop being racist to others and blame the devil for things that don’t go right in your life. And also take your own responsibility. Was it really your neighbour with another skin color that made you lose your job, or was it due to the economy or because you didn’t perform well?

Be aware of your thoughts? Is every white person racist? No. I am white myself and I hate racism and for me everyone is the same. I don’t feel superior because of my skin color. For me I already dislike it when people treat a CEO better then the secretary. Why? Because of his/her position? Don’t think less of someone because they have a lower functon than you, or because there skin color differs.

But also be aware that you don’t rule out a person of another race to be friends with or even to marry. Even recently, my wife told of a friend that is from Surinam decent and also lifes in the Netherlands. And for some reason she really has something against white men, to the extent that she believes that all white men kill and rape children (and more of such things). This is probably something that has been taught to her while growing up, but see how it impacts her now. She believes that she can only be happy with a black and is not even open to the possibility that God might have a husband for her from another race. We should allow our own taughts and upbringing  to allow racist thoughts to determine our actions, because they can even limit your luck and joy in life. Also don’t let those thoughts limit your view on getting friends and a partner. Do you have to have a partner of the same skin color or race? No, nowhere in the Bible it says that we should. Are you betraying your own race if you do? No, you can embrace your culture just the same! If a white man fits better with you as a black woman, why then force to marry a black man? Or if you are a white man and you feel that a black woman (you can replace my examples with all diferent races of course) is what really the woman that really is the best for you. Is it not better to be with the woman or man that you love and desire or do you really want to be forced to be with someone of your own race, just because history and the current times still want to keep that lie alive?

Please be aware that racism can have more an impact on your life than you think? Do you feel contempt for another race? Or do you blame another race? Do you feel better than another race? Do you not feel free to mingle with people from another race? Do you somewhere belief the outrageous stories about another race? Then racism has more an impact on you than you think. Don’t allow it and ask God to change our way of thinking and allow Him to restore your thinking to be in line with God’s teaching!

God bless all of you!

Bible study on 1 Corinthians – Chapter 12

1corinthians

Bible study on 1 Corinthians – Chapter 12

Dear brothers and sisters,

In this bible study on the 12th chapter on the book of 1 Corinthians, we will discuss the following subjects:

  • Concerning spiritual gifts
  • Unity and diversity in the body

Concerning spiritual gifts

Paul starts this chapter be telling us that he does not want us to be uninformed about the gifts of the Spirit. This is a very significant statement by Paul, as it should show you that we have an obligation to ourself to continiously grow in our faith and as Christians. For this we need to know how to do this. And luckily God has given us a way by studying the Bible.

The first thing we need to be aware of that God has given us spiritual gifts via the Spirit. There is therefore NO gift where the Holy Spirit is not present. If you feel and/or know that you have a gift, but you don’t feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, than know that that “gift” is not from God! Paul continous to say that there are different kind of gifts, but that they are ALL distributed by the Holy Spirit. And that their are different kind of workings, but in all of them  and in everyone it is the same God at work!

It is important to realize which gifts are from God, because if you have a “gift” that doesn’t fall under them, then you need to be delivered directly.

The spiritual gifts are:

  • Gift of wisdom
  • Gift of knowledge
  • Gift of faith
  • Gift of healing
  • Gift of miraculous powers
  • Gift of prophecy
  • Gift of distinguishing between spirits
  • Gift of speaking in tongues
  • Gift of interpretation of tongues

Know that all of these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines. This last sentence is important, because it is God that determines which gift(s) are for you!

Unity and diversity in the body

We as followers of Christ are often compared with a body. Why? Because although we are one, we consist of many parts. We as Christians are one, but yet we are all different. When it comes to our faith and the body we are in faith, we need to realize that we are baptized by the same Spirit, to ensure that we form one body. And we were also given the same Spirit to drink.

When it comes to the body of Christ (we as His followers) know that God has put us together as part of this body and that He knows exactly in which part of the body you are and need to be. Don’t question God, but ask God to show you what part you serve in His body and ask Him to let the Holy Spirit guide you. Know that even the least important part of the body in our eyes is invaluable in God eyes. For this reason God needs there to be no division and only unity in the body. Because if one of us suffer, than all of us should feel that and work on it to take away that suffering. This is a call to us to never be passive, especially when you see that a fellow Christians needs help.

Furthermore, I believe that God also gives us certain gifts, taking into account that others around you will receive other gifts, so that together all of us can serve God as a unified body!

Daily Devotional for 19 August 2018 – Romans 1:17

360x360-dailydevotion

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to encourage you with the words from Romans 1:17 (NIV):

17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

The nnly you can life by faith is when you are righteous. So, the first thing you need to do, if you truly want to life by faith, is to be righteous.

Daily Devotional for 18 August 2018 – James 1:27

360x360-dailydevotion

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to encourage you with the words from James 1:27 (NIV):

27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

If you truly want to life according to Gods word, than you need to look out for others especially groups that really need your help, like orphans and widows. But I don’t believe that you should limit yourself to just these group, but I believe that God wants us to look out for and help anyone that is in need of help!

Also pray to God that you are protected from the wicked influences from this world. You might think that you are able to remain unaffected from this world and its all that it is teaching us. How much force is the devil using through the LBGT-community to not treat it as a sin? Or look the other way when a priest is abusing children and because of his position the world lets it slide. For God worldly positions have no value, why should we then give it power?

Daily Devotional for 17 August 2018 – 1 Corinthians 13:12

360x360-dailydevotion

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to encourage you with the words from 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV):

12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

This verse describes beautifully the difference of how can see God know and when we are in heaven. But know God is one and the same! The only thing is, that when we are still on earth, we need to show faith in Him first.

Daily Devotional for 16 August 2018 – James 1:2-4

360x360-dailydevotion

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to meditate with you on the words from James 1:2-4 (NIV):

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

When reading these verses it shows that we should never fear or try and avoid trials, because God already told you they would come. What we need is to not want to or think we have to go through them alone. No, God will be there every step of the way.

And what is the reason that God wants us to go through trials? Well, because by it our faith is tested and that will lead through perseverance. And if we let perserverance finish its work, than you will be mature and complete. So know that trials are also needed to built you and your faith!

Question

Looking back on your life, do you feel that the trials in your life have made you stronger or weaker?

Daily Devotional for 15 August 2018 – Psalm 147:3

360x360-dailydevotion

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to meditate with you on the words from Psalm 147:3 (NIV):

3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

If you need true healing, than you need God. Because it is God that is the real healer and that will not only heal physical problems, but also mental and spirtiual problems.

Question

Do you think that based on this verse that you are still allowed to go to the doctor/hospital or that this is forbidden by God through the Bible?

Daily Devotional for 14 August 2018 – 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

360x360-dailydevotion

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I want to meditate with you on the words from 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NIV):

16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

When we read these verses you will see how important it is realy on God, to trust God and to have full faith in God! Why? Because it is only by His grace that we received eternal ecnouragement and good hope, our hearts are strengthened and that we are stregnthened in all we do. Summarized, these verses show how important God is our lives! You need God to be there in every moment of your life. Don’t think that you can do without Him, because you cannot.

Question

When did you feel God’s encouragement the most? Let us share these stories to strengthen each othre!