Nederlandse Bijbelkracht Blog – nu online

De Nederlandstalige Bijbelkracht Blog staat online!

Volg voor regelmatige praktische bijbelupdates!

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Staying awake – last blog post in English

This is our last official Blog post in English. Starting 1 October, our Bible blogs based on C3 Church Arnhem’s bible reading will be on a new website, in Dutch. Stay tuned!

Revelations 16:15 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

Want to be blessed? When you are blessed it means you are: happy, prosperous, to be envied. You have favour. You experience God’s goodness in your life.

Well… we need to stay awake to be blessed. That means that we do not fall asleep spiritually. We leave the television button off, and turn the prayer button on. The average Dutch person watches 20 hours of television a week. Compare that to listening to a sermon 40 minutes a week and you can quickly calculate that in order to outdo some garbage input of television you need to start changing your prayer input routines.

There is more time in a day than we love to think. The busiest people in God are those who maximize every minute of every day. They are the people who are “too busy not to pray”. They pray in the car, under the shower, while walking outside and while lying in bed. They pray when they get out of bed, when they go into their room and close the door. In order to be alone with God and awake in Christ.

Today, stay awake spiritually. And then you will be happy,  and blessed.

This was the last official post on this blog. Starting 1 October this blog will be archived, and a new blog in Dutch will be started: stay posted!

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You are responsible

Ezekiel 14:12-14 The word of the Lord came to me:13 “Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its people and their animals, 14 even if these three men—Noah, Daniel and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign Lord.

Noah, Daniel and Job belonged to the most righteous (i.e. God-fearing, holy) people of the Old Testament. They underwent massive trials, yet stayed faithful to God in the midst of it all. They saved themselves, and often others, through their obedience.

But this is not to be anymore. God is declaring a new time where everyone is responsible for their own deeds. We cannot hide behind other “good people” anymore. When you sin you bear the consequences. When you do the right thing you reap the benefit. The fact that your grand-pa, father or mother feared God does not mean you can now do whatever you like and still be cool. You are responsible for your own deeds, good or bad.

The good news is: Jesus paved a way for everyone, so that by taking the responsibility to accept what he has done, we can be saved and… we can live responsible lives.

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You will be cut

John 15:2 “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful”

There is no such thing as a painless Christianity. Those who think that being a Christian means having an easy life got to think twice. Christianity is not for the weaklings, or those who want to stay the same. The status quo never changed anything. A Christian is someone who is “strengthened in their faith” (Col. 2:7) every day. You become stronger as you exercise your muscles. Exercising your muscles hurts (at least, a good exercise does).

Therefore you will be cut. Either you will be cut off from Christ when you want to stay the same and not change, or you will be cut into Christ when you want to grow and become strong. There is no middle road. Either you allow God’s cuts to shape you into a new creation that is able to carry his life, or you give up and get cut off.

Remember Jesus who went before you. He was cut severely in body, soul and spirit, so that only a “pruning cut” remains for you. Painful nonetheless, but a pruning that results in much fruit. Success is coming your way!

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You can be sure of heaven

John 14:2 “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?”

Recently I spoke with a great man; he is a muslim who has a deep devotional attitude. When I asked him whether he was sure he would enter paradise, he said he was not: “That’s up to God. If I have done enough good works, hopefully…”

Another time I spoke with a Jehova’s witness. They believe that only 144.000 souls will enter heaven. If I do a better job in good works than them, I might even pass into heaven before them!

These things sadden me, as a Christian. Being in Christ means that we do not depend on our own good works any more to get us a “ticket to paradise”. We depend on the all sufficient work of Christ who has gone before us. He has done everything and suffered everything. All we need to do is rely on Him to get us into heaven. When you are in Christ, God will see you as if you are Christ himself: without blemish, without blame. The punishment that you deserved has already been given: to Christ, on the cross.

Jesus Christ is big enough to take billions of people with him into heaven. After all, through the Word of Christ the heavens and the earth were created. His life is allsurpassing, and people can easily fit inside of Him. Therefore we can be sure of heaven, if we accept that only Jesus can get us there: “I am going there to prepare a place for you”.

A place has been prepared for you. All you got to do today is step into Christ and remain in Christ. Accept his saving work and you can be SURE of heaven.

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Healing takes a choice

John 5:8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

Ever wondered about this verse? Here is a man who cannot walk and has been invalid for 38 years and yet Jesus says to him “get up and walk”! How rude. It seems…

Jesus did not say “be healed” or “may God bless you”. Or even “let me pray for you”.

He demanded action. Not his action but the invalid’s. The problem was… invalid people cannot walk.

Jesus spoke words of faith towards the man, that created action. But he needed to make a choice. “Shall I listen to this crazy command, or will I stay invalid for the rest of my life?” He could have chosen to declare Jesus as a fool, or the hardest man he’d ever come across. Yet what he chose was his healing.

Getting a hold of the promises of God has nothing to do with God, and everything with us. His promises are “Yes”. The question is, are we saying “Amen”? (That is, accepting the yes)

2 Corinthians 1:20 “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”

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Drinking Energy

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but 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.”

There are a lot of energy drinks out there that promise you lasting power. Coca Cola, AA-drink, V or Red-Bull all contain mysterious ingredients that promise to keep you going for another day without sleep.

Yet they never do and the kickback effect is awful. The “drugs” in the drinks open the pupils in your eyes to the size of a dog’s and the HIGH quickly ends in an all-time low.

Yet there is a power that lasts. A source of sustainable energy that gives you a high without ending in a low and without making you weird. This energy drink is called “Living Water” and is available at Jesus’ store.

I have drank this energy, and come to realize I need it every day. It helps me accomplish things I thought I could never do. It makes me fly like an eagle, it lifts me above my circumstances, it gives me hope beyond reason. It is the only drink that lasts.

I will keep drinking of this Energy.
And the beautiful thing is: all you got to do to get it… is ask for it.

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