Sun am 19 August 2018 – Johan Esterhuizen
John 13:13; (Is. 55:8-9); (Matt. 20:26); (Matt. 26:14-16, 47-49); (Job 1:8-2:10); John 16:33; Rev. 12:11; (1 Cor. 15:1-4); (Rom. 3:23); (Rom. 6:23); Phil. 4:4-5; 1 Thess. 5:18; Matt. 24:35; Is. 40:8; Deut. 8:3; Ps. 119:89; (Rom. 12:19)
When life goes wrong, when things happen, do not give up! Life is sometimes cruel. Bad things happen to good people, but I have discovered one thing: never give up! God has got something good in store.
Jesus said, “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am”(John 13:13). The question today is: Is Jesus our Teacher and our Lord? In those days: they had sandals and it was dusty and, because they took their shoes off when they came into the home, it was a great honour to wash and clean somebody’s feet. Jesus is setting an example of how we should imitate Him as our Teacher and our Lord by being a servant (John 13:12-17). I believe there is a deeper issue than just going around washing one another’s feet. To be great in God’s kingdom you have to be a servant (Matt. 20:26). I always believe the greater the ministry, the greater the servant, but today we are seeing massive churches with men that are removed from the people. We have to be a servant, we have to be touchable. Notice our Lord as He walked amongst the crowd and He taught them, He stopped and spoke to the individual. He is the God of the masses and the God of the individual. The setting here is so important. Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. He is in fellowship with them. He is about to be betrayed. At the meal, He reveals His betrayer, Judas Iscariot. John chapter 6 is very interesting because
In Psalm 55 David shares his heartache from betrayal. He shares how he was betrayed and he cries out to God, and he says, “Father you have forgotten me. You have blessed my betrayers. They are carrying on and I have been betrayed” (Ps. 55:14). There is one thing to be betrayed by people or colleagues, but to be betrayed by family and your best friend is hard. It was a deep betrayal that David experienced. Have you been betrayed by a brother, a sister, by a family member? Betrayal is a deep thing and David cries out to God to heal him.
God is not finished with you. God is not finished with me. What do you do when life hands you a bad experience? Jesus said, I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world
I have four things that are going to help you to face your life’s challenges. The first is: Know that Christ has overcome the enemy and you can celebrate the finished work of Christ! My wife and I got together and acknowledged that God is our judge. So we started to do research about the courts of heaven, about God’s judgement. The Lord says, “Vengeance is mine. Do not take vengeance” (Rom. 12:19). We said, “Father we present to you our situation in Jesus’ Name. You judge.” The book of Romans is presented in a judicial setting. God is the judge. Paul is the accusing attorney. God’s word is the article that he brings. He says all of these people have sinned and have come short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23), the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23) and “Father, because you are a just and right God, you have to judge them”. But then our advocate Jesus comes in on the scene. My wife and I experienced a tremendous release as our Advocate interceded for us. Out of that courtroom
Secondly: Know that Christ can and that He will. Our heavenly Father wants to, and He can! You have to know that! You have to know that He has defeated the enemy and that He wants to and He can help you! I got up early one morning to dialogue with God and the Matthew 6 passage came to mind: Consider the birds of the air, consider the lilies of the field. I very arrogantly said to the Lord, “I know that Scripture. I know it.” The Holy Spirit said to my heart, “You do not know it. You do not know the scripture. You have not experienced it. I am going to show you.” A few weeks later I went to Namaqualand. I saw fields of flowers, such beauty. As I stood there, the Lord said to me, “My son, here is the meaning of Matthew 6. No multinational company, no billionaire, not even Donald Trump, no corporation can bloom the desert. I alone can do it, and I do it for three weeks of the year. And do you think I cannot take care of you? Do you think your pain and your heartache is so big that I cannot take care of it?” Then I went to my friend’s house. He lives in Port Owen where the Berg River goes into the Atlantic. He said he wanted to show me something. My wife and I stood there and we saw the cormorants fly about a meter off the ground in rows and rows and rows. I looked at my wife and said, “I think they are doing a circle, there is so many.” They tell me there
The third thing is: We have to be thankful! There is a difference between joy and happiness. Joy is an inner quality – it is a fruit of the Spirit. Happiness depends upon circumstances. Neither joy nor thankfulness is depended upon circumstances. Consider how we would render Philippians 4:4-5 based on our everyday life:
Then the final point: Believe and know that the Word of God works. A professor that taught us theology shared four cornerstone Scriptures upon which he based his life. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away(Matt. 24:35). The grass withers, the flower fades (Is. 40:8a). At the end of October, there will be no more flowers in the Namaqualand, they would have faded and be gone.
Through the darkest moment of our lives, we have applied these four principles, and they have worked for us. So, when tomorrow you get up and feel sorry, get up and say that somewhere in the future, I will look much better than I look right now.