Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Give me a W

In my Bible Alphabet Blog Series W stands for Words. Yes, the words we speak with our mouth, words that can hurt or heal, build up or break down, criticize or comfort.

The Bible says that the power of life and death is in our wordsThe tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21). Oops, that would make you want to think twice before you speak, right?!

Each new day we make a choice whether we will bless or curse with our words. Whatever is in our heart will come out of our mouth, and sometimes that is a weird mix. James 3:9 says it like this, With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.

Why do we do that? Why? If we truly believe our words have power, we should use them more carefully and certainly more purposely. May I encourage you this week, to savor your speech with grace?

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones (Proverbs 16:24)

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Give me a V

In my Bible Alphabet Blog Series V stands for Victory.

Photo: Wietse Visser
This picture was taken several days ago. Quite amazing isn't it? (You can see it even larger here.)

It might be hard to believe that all these people are Christians, but they are. It is maybe even harder to believe that they are from all different churches and denominations, but they are. The hardest thing to believe is that this picture was taken in The Netherlands.

Yes, The Netherlands, that liberal and secular country where God seems to have left the premises. But I want to tell you something, contrary to popular opinion, Christianity is thriving in The Netherlands. Jesus is alive and well. And 65.000 people came together last weekend to celebrate Pentecost, in larger numbers than last year and the year before and the one before that...

No, this happening does not make it to the front pages, maybe because it is too good to be true. And no, it was not always this big. It started 47 years ago with a small group of people who believed revival would come to The Netherlands. They did not give up praying and they refused to be overcome by all the negative news. Let me encourage you with this word: Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:4-5).

What we see in the daily news, all the violence, death and destruction, is in reality propaganda of the enemy; Satan showing off his trophies. I surely believe it is nothing more than his reaction to what is really going on... people all over the world are discovering that God loves them and that Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it.

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).