Who Are You Lord?


“Who Are You Lord?”

“I Am”

“Who Is I Am?”

“I Am Love,
I Am Peace,
I Am Grace,
I Am Joy,
I Am The Way,
The Truth,
The Life,
The Light.
I Am The Comforter,
I Am Strength
I Am Safety,
I Am Shelter,
I Am Power,
I Am The Creator,
I Am The Beginning And The End,
I Am The Most High.”

“Then, Who Am I?”

“You Are Mine!”

© Thomas Dreyer

Mercy and the Seven Cow Woman


This understanding of mercy by Stephen T Berg can open your eyes to a deeper truth of the “power” and need for mercy…

Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; (Psalm 119)

Mercy is the stuff of life. You can live for eleven days without the regenerative endowments of sleep, but you can’t live one moment without mercy.

We are all given life, sustained in life, held together, glued to this cosmic spinning rock, by the merciful gaze of God.

Our souls flourish through the mercy of others. We grow only in so far as we show mercy to others. Without mercy we perish, long before any life-giving properties offered by any vision. Without showing mercy, others die to us, and to themselves.

Why do we suppose Jesus enjoined us to forgive others so that we may be forgiven? (Why do we think that these words refer to a spiritual balance sheet? We compulsively spiritualize blocks of scripture and then trip over the deeper truth they hold. The truth often being anthropological rather than theological.) Do we suppose that the forgiveness command is given so that it will please God when it is obeyed? Or do we suppose reciprocal mercy is asked for so that we humans can live, and grow and experience full life? Which truly pleases God.

Our world runs down because we fail to give and receive mercy. Without mercy, in the daily rough and tumble, how are we to value or honour each other the way we all want to be valued and honoured?

Years ago, my friend Mary told this story–a story from a different time. I recall it as follows:

A handsome young man of great wealth decided to marry. He left his home and traveled to a neighbouring island to seek a bride. When he found his bride and made his choice known, the bride accepted. Tradition held that the young man must now make the bridge’s family a gift of cows. The gift was an assessment of the esteem with which he held his bride, the value of her character and passion, her intelligence and beauty, her charm and caring, her wisdom and spirit and inner joy. Bride’s from the island were often one or two or even three-cow women.

The young man in his search had met a shy woman who lacked confidence, and was thought by many to not have the qualities that such a fine visitor would seek in a prospective bride. But to the astonishment of all, the young man proposed to the shy girl, she accepted, and he offered seven cows for her hand. Seven cows! Such a gift was unheard of! He then left the island to tell his family and community he had found his bride. Both communities and families began to plan the wedding.

When he returned some months later, to the island home of his fiancé, she was different. Subtle changes had taken place. The bride’s father had changed his attitude about her and begun to treat her with respect. The community saw her in a new light. She was now honoured as a “seven cow” woman.

She responded to the gift by growing within. Touched by the young man’s expression of how he say her, honoured by his esteem for her, she felt fulfilled by the chance to honour his gifts and to give to him her heart and love. She would match his gifts with her own, and show her devotion for him. She grew in beauty and character, becoming gracious and caring to all who sought her who had once shunned her. She offered the gift of mercy to all she received, holding nothing against them, and encouraging them to grow beyond their old thoughts and limits and to relate in new ways toward one another, encouraging and supporting each other as they discovered the gifts and the presence of their paths in life.

Then the wedding day came and she married.

And she, in burgeoning response to this change in reception, straightened her back, lifted her eyes, and having regained her own latent beauty, became truly beautiful.

By Stephen T Berg

Portret


Skilder maar die doodgewone
teen die
agterkant van jou handpalm
ek besing die Weke van Altyd
in Korinte vind ek jou gesig
asof ek jou virewig kan skilder in ons
gedeelde blou lug
sag, my engel, sag
as Gods wil sal my lief ontwaak
toemaar
ek onthou nog die teerheid van jou hart
ek herken jou nog in die
skadu’s van my bestaan
vir so lank sluimer ek in ‘n plek waar ek nie in pas nie
wie sou kon raai dat die skawing van
drie jaar my net in jou arms sou toelaat?
ek weet, dit gaan alles volgens Plan
Sy Groot Plan
en in die hemel sal daar ‘n biblioteek wees
waar ons als kan lees
verstaan en weet
wat liefde is
hoe lief ek jou het
en hoe lief
Lief
jy my het
jou oë kon nog nooit ‘n enkele leuen
praat
daarom
vir daardie rede
hou ek vas aan Genade en Vrede
toemaar
ek weet
ek het dit toe al geweet
en vandag
En
Altyd
skilder ek my woorde
met die blou van jou oë
met die wit van jou glimlag
want ‘n Steady Hand verf ons drome
in Waarheid
Amen.

© Paula van der Merwe

Sag


Net dit,sag.
fluister my woorde meer as net lettergrepe
meer as net polemiek
hierrie is my afrikaans,
my taal
en dit is die taal waarin ek bid
daarom is elke gebed ‘n gedig
elke gedig ‘n gebed.

In liefde sluk ek my woorde in
in liefde ontsap die gorrels van my keel hemel toe
en skryf ek oor vandag…
Amen

© Paula van der Merwe

Believing in You, to Trust You


I want to Believe in You
For all things were created in You,
all things were created through You
and all things were created for You.

I want to live for You, and You alone!
Living in Your Love daily,
through the power of Your Word,
to the Glory of Your Name.

I’m looking over the ways of the world.
Where are the old paths, the Good way?
I need to find it. I need to walk in it.
I need to find rest for my soul.

“Don’t let your heart be troubled.
Believe in God. Believe also in Me.
Peace I leave with you,
My peace I give to you.”

Thank You Lord, I receive…
Your Love and Your Peace.
Trusting in Your Love,
Resting in Your Peace

© Thomas Dreyer

How do we reveal the Glory of God


The Former Glory

‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. (Haggai 2:9a)

Let’s look briefly at God’s glory revealed in the Old Testament, specifically, at the former glory of God revealed through His Temple.

There are six Hebrew words for glory.
Hader
could be translated, "beauty" or "excellence."
Tohar
means "purity" and "brightness."
Sebhi
has to do with respect for a prominent person.
Adderith
means "broad, big, unbounded."
Hodh
has to do with the grandeur of God. And finally,
Kabod
, which is used most often in the Old Testament, means "heavy, weighty, authoritative, rich, courageous, taking charge."

This is what Haggai is referring to – God coming and taking charge. When kabod comes, God is present with us. God is taking charge. When kabod is absent, God is absent. You are probably familiar with the term ichabod, which means, "the glory has departed." When the glory has departed, God has departed. But when the glory descends, God takes charge. So, the glory of God is simply the presence of God in our midst.

In the Old Testament, when the Tabernacle was built, the glory of the Lord God descended upon it and He communed there with His people. When Solomon built his great Temple, God’s glory descended upon it. In the Bible we read,

When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled it (2 Chronicles 7:1-2).

God had been meeting with Israel through the Tabernacle from Moses’ day until Solomon’s, and continued to do so in the Temple Solomon built.

But Solomon’s Temple was destroyed and the people of Israel were carried into captivity. Now Zerubbabel had come back to Jerusalem and was endeavouring to rebuild the former house. Thus we have the prophecy in Haggai. God promises, in verse 7, to

…fill this house with glory…

But He also promises, in verse 9, that

…the glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former…

Again the people were desiring to come into relationship with God, and He would reward them with His presence by manifesting His glory in their midst.

Following the Lord is relational in nature. God is a Person, and as such He desires to commune with His people. He always has. In the Garden of Eden He walked in the cool of the day with Adam as they enjoyed fellowship with one another. When He called Israel, He set up the Tabernacle to commune with them. Now, Solomon had built his Temple. When that Temple was dedicated, God’s glory came, kabod came. God’s glory was manifested to serve as an encouragement to the people, as a reminder of His strength and provision for them and as a motivation for their worship of Him as the Lord God.

The ultimate fulfilment of Haggai’s prophecy would not come in the rebuilding of the Temple, however. Although there was great glory which God manifested in the Temple, the ultimate fulfilment would not come under the Old Covenant, but in the New. The ultimate fulfilment of Haggai’s prophecy would come in the person of Jesus Christ and through His work of grace in our lives. It is the glory of the New Covenant of grace.

The Present Glory

Let’s turn now to see God’s glory revealed in the New Testament. Let’s look at the latter glory.

The Greek word, doksan, carries the same idea as kabod. We find this word used in John 1:14, where it says,

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

In Christ we see the glory and authority of God. The glory of God is revealed and manifested in Christ Jesus. In the Old Testament, we saw God revealed in a place. In the New Testament, we see God revealed in a person. God is revealed in Jesus Christ.

This is a glorious and precious truth indeed. Through the incarnation of Jesus Christ, we can behold God. Do you want to know what God is like? Simply look at Jesus. Do you want to see the Father? Behold the Son. God, as a great cosmic spirit, is difficult to comprehend. So God sent us Jesus Christ. In Christ, God was made a man so that we could see how God lives as a man. In this man, Jesus, we see the glory of God manifested in human flesh.

Here’s the incredible thing: God not only manifested His glory in Jesus, He also desires to manifest His glory in us. In John 17:10, Jesus says that

…glory has come to me through them… (John 17:10).

Christ desires to be glorified in us. What an amazing thought! But it’s true.

In 1 Corinthians 3:16, it says,

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you (1 Corinthians 3:16)?

In other words, we are a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit of God. Just as God dwelt with His people, Israel, in the Old Testament Temple, so He dwells with His people in a New Temple. The Spirit of God dwells in each of us. We are a temple of God. We are a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. We are a place where God manifests His glory. We are people through whom God manifests His glory.

The Bible teaches that we are to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. That is God’s purpose for us. God is changing us daily into the image of His Son. Now, this image is an inward image, not an outward one. So God gives us His moral attributes: love, peace, purity, justice, fairness, and the like. They are imparted to us as we allow the Holy Spirit to live in and through our lives. This is God’s plan for us. It is His plan for the Church.

At Pentecost, the glory of God fell, even as it fell on the Temple that Solomon built. The Holy Spirit descended into the midst of those early Christians and filled them to overflowing with His power. That power is still present for us today. As we allow God to fill us with His Holy Spirit and to control us by His sovereign power, then we become vessels, filled with His glory. We have no higher calling as believers in Jesus Christ than to be filled with the glory of God and to manifest that glory to this watching world. Just as the heavens above declare the glory of God, so should we declare the glory of God. Just as Jesus Christ manifested the glory of God, so should we manifest the glory of God. But how does it occur?

Let me point you to an important Scripture. It is 2 Corinthians 3:18.

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).

We are invited here to behold Jesus in order to be changed into His image. This is the key to practically manifesting the glory of God in our lives. We must behold Jesus. He must be the centre of our lives. He must be the driving force behind all we do. He must be the passion of our heart. If we would be those who manifest His glory, we must behold Him. We must keep Him ever before our eyes. We must look to Him, surrender to Him, spend time with Him, allow His glory to fill us and His power to possess us.

In Jesus we see the reflected glory of God. It is as if we are beholding in a mirror the glory of the Lord. We could not stand in the presence of His full glory. Jesus allows us to see the glory of God only in such a degree as we can stand. But even beholding the reflected glory of God, the Scripture teaches that we "are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory." It is like sitting before a tanning lamp, receiving its rays. As we do, our bodies begin to change. They become tan and brown as we bask in its warmth. So, we all need to bask in the glory of God in Jesus Christ. We need to sit in His presence and behold Him. We need to cry to Him, "Lord Jesus, change me. Lord Jesus, transform my life. Lord Jesus, make me like you. Lord Jesus, fill me with Your Holy Spirit and help me to live daily for You." And then we need to worship Him, who is our life, with all our hearts. As we do so, we will be changed, from glory to glory, by beholding Him. Have you ever thought of yourself as being the depository of the glory of God? Have you ever considered that God can use you to reveal His glory? That is His desire, and it should be our delight. God has called each of us to be a vessel in whom He can dwell.

Who Are You, Lord?


False images, the vanity of Your name
That which rule and reign,
My thoughts…
My knowledge…

Who are You, LORD?

Show me where I can find the truth,
Teach me to look, listen and respond,
That I may behold Your beauty.
Show me Your ways and guide me,
That I may find You
‘cause I want to know You.

It’s not easy, sometimes I don’t understand…
Here I am Lord, waiting for You.
Show me Your love,
The beating of Your heart,
The warmth of Your embrace,
‘cause I want to know You.

Who are You, LORD?
I want to know You.

© Thomas Dreyer

The Life-Giver

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