Thursday, January 12, 2017

Give me an S

In my Bible Alphabet Blog Series S stands for Silence.

In our loud and noisy world, where everything and everyone is crying out for attention, silence is more precious than silver or gold.

Havoc and destruction in a big bad world closes in on us, sometimes making us feel very small and insignificant and ever so often tired and anxious ... and then suddenly, in the midst of the storm, calmness is standing right there: Jesus Christ. The situation on the Sea of ​​Galilee two thousand years ago fits the scenario of our time:

And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matthew 8:24-27).

He is the man of the 'great calm' and we can call on Him any time to quiet our minds.

Strangely enough we may yearn for silence, but at the same time be afraid of it. That should not be necessary, because we can learn to enjoy silence. For example by keeping a notebook at hand and writing down the words God will speak. Then silence once again becomes precious time spent in His presence, where there is fullness of joy!. 

Unfortunately, silence no longer comes naturally in our world. We must consciously seek it, chase it and create a special place and time for it. The psalmist writes (Psalm 131: 2):

I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Seek silence this week and listen ...

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Give me an R

You might enjoy reading my book Sacred Sabbath.
In my Bible Alphabet Blog Series R stands for Rest.

Rest in the 21st century is probably the most valuable and most difficult thing to obtain. Well, it is not a thing really, it is a state of existence mankind is desperately searching for and the harder we seek, the more valuable it becomes.

We need the invitation of Jesus more than ever before, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:28-29).

The rest for our souls the Bible talks about cannot be bought with money, no matter how many vacations and retreats we book. It is a rest that brings about a refreshing that only comes from spending time with Jesus at the well. The time we are able to spend in intimate communication with Him will become so precious that we will die of thirst when we go too long without it.

...Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. (John 4:14)

It is my wish for you, dear reader, that you will make time this year to sit with Him. Just to sit with Him... and find rest.