Tuesday, November 20, 2018


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The Rev Andries Combrink is a Presbyterian Minister of the Gospel. He lives in Centurion, South Africa.  He is amongst others a blogger and lyrics writer. To teach the Word of God is his calling,  based on the Reformed tradition. 

 

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John 8:31-32 Jesus said, “If you continue in
My word, you really are My disciples.
You will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free."

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Sep 14

Written by: Andries
Friday, September 14, 2018 12:54:38 AM  RssIcon

Take courage, God has a plan for your life. For this purpose we are “brought back” from the captivity of fear, of uncertainty and of being without a vision and excitement for the future.
 
Jeremiah 29:10-13. This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
 
1. Babylon makes us think of a place without hope, a place of exile, oppression, fear, hopelessness, financial deprivation and spiritual despair. Yet the time being in this dark space comes to an end. God’s promise is that places of exile are never a permanent place for his people and his children. (verse 10)
 
2. God has a plan for our circumstances and our lives. It is not always clear and it is often a lot different from what we desire or expect. We may not know the details of what God has in mind for us, but we know his purpose: “My plans are to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future”. (verse 11)
 
3. Faith to a large extent means to trust God so much that we are willing to trade our plans for his purpose, and to trade our hopelessness for the future he has in stall for us. (verse 11)
 
4. With such a faith we know where to seek for the answers for our lives, where to go for divine council and who will listen to us when our many questions escape our dark and saddened hearts: It is the Lord. We will call on the Lord! We will pray to the Lord. We will accept in faith that he listens to our prayers, that he remembers us and that his plans are the best plans for us even when we are surrounded by our dilemmas and our confusion. (verse 12)
 
5. We too need to listen. We need to submit. We need to trust and we need to follow.
When Jesus forgives both our foolishness and our impurity, he always continues to say: Follow me!  We can do all of this, because we saw at the cross that the plans of the Lord are to prosper, and not harm us, and that his plans intend to give us hope and a future! (verse 13)
 
6. What must take place before we see the Lord’s plans for our new future begin?
It starts with a faith that accepts God’s promise that we will be able to find him again. He will make sure of that. It starts with a firm trust that even though we experience a sense of being lost within the challenges we have and the feeling we have of being stuck at a dangerous and scary place, our Lord will make it possible for us to find him, and his purpose for us, again. (verse 14)
 
7. Two key words explain to us what it means to be enabled to find God again: To be “gathered” and to be “brought back”. 
 
8. We will be gathered by the Lord. It means to be brought together to form a group, a family of believers, again. To joyfully and with excitement join the followers of God, once again. To see the gradual growth, the increasing mass, of God’s children gaining the influence and power to change their world and that I may be part of it, again!
 
9. For this purpose we are “brought back” from the captivity of fear, of uncertainty and of being without a vision and excitement for the future. To “come home” to Jesus and his followers and find rest in him.
 
10. Are you the one the Lord wants to bring back in order to accomplish his plan for your life? When Jesus makes it possible for you to find him – run back to him and his church family without hesitation!
    

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