Day 15: God makes us NEW - 21 February 2020

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Have you ever been at a point where you wanted to give up on someone in your life? Maybe it's your spouse with his or her sharp tongue? Maybe it's your manager at work that makes life unbearable? Maybe it is a parent who tries to control you or a loved one trapped in an addiction? These situations cause hurt.

Earlier this week, I spoke with Ilse Maartens, a former Captain in the Police force, who now works as manager at MES in Cape Town, an organization that reaches out to homeless people on the streets of Cape Town. Here is one of her testimonies:

Ilse: “For quite some time, we worked in a certain area where we often encountered Johnny, or Rasta as everyone called him, an elderly man who smuggled marijuana and who drank way too much. At times he would look at us and mockingly ask, ‘So what do Jesus’ people do on the streets so late at night?’ Although we did not notice any change in his life (and in fact had little hope for it), we continued to show unconditional love and offer help.

One Easter, Rasta radically got saved. It was a Saul-Paul conversion during which he was freed from his addiction to alcohol and drugs in an instant. His story was that Jesus appeared to him and asked him, ‘How many times do I still have to send my people to you before you listen?’

It took some time to get Rasta off the streets and into a workable housing option. However, we saw God at work in his life. About six months after his conversion, he came into our office one day. His transformation was so drastic, that I hardly recognized him. Completely surprised, I said: 'Wow, Rasta, is it you?’ He answered, ‘No sister Ilse. I am Johnny Blankenberg in Christ and Christ in Johnny Blankenberg.’ Before my eyes, I saw the transformation power of Jesus Christ at work in this man. Johnny later died of asthma, but in my heart I have no doubt that he is with his Creator today.”

In Revelation 21: 5, God says, “I am making everything new!” It is also written in Isaiah 1:18: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” And in 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

God makes us NEW. No person is ever too lost or too far away to be saved. Instead of condemning the lost, it is necessary for us to take a step back. Let's talk to God about the matter. Let us give Him a chance to work through His Holy Spirit in the person’s heart. Let’s even go a step further and ask Him to also show us what we need to change in our own hearts and lives amid this situation.

God works differently than what we think. He met Johnny Blankenberg and it changed his life. God is still able to reach those difficult people in our lives in the way He knows will work. Let's keep praying and trust Him. God bless.

Father God, thank you for making me a NEW creation in Christ. I bring (mention the name) to You and I ask that You touch him / her. I also ask that You show me what I need to change in my own life to become more holy. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

  • Reader’s feedback on characteristics of God with the letter “N”: Never-ending love, Name above all Names, Never leaves us.
  • LETTER O: What qualities of God do you think of under the letter "O"? You can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or comment on:

Dag 15: God maak ons NUUT - 21 Februarie 2020

Deur Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Was jy al op ’n punt waar jy moed wou opgee dat iemand in jou lewe sal verander? Dalk is dit jou huweliksmaat met sy of haar skerp tong? Dalk is dit jou bestuurder wat die werkplek onuithoudbaar vir jou maak? Dalk is dit ’n ouer wat jou oordonder of ’n geliefde wat in ’n verslawing vasgevang is? Hierdie goed maak seer.

Vroeër die week gesels ek met Ilse Maartens, ’n voormalige Kaptein in die polisiediens, wat nou die bestuurder by MES-aksie in Kaapstad is, ’n organisasie wat na haweloses in die strate van Kaapstad uitreik. Hier is een van haar getuienisse:

Ilse: “Ons het vir ’n geruime tyd gereeld in ’n sekere area gewerk waar ons baie gereeld die bejaarde oom Johnny, oftewel Rasta soos almal hom genoem het, op ’n spesifieke parkeerarea gekry het. Hy het met dagga gesmokkel en heeltemal te veel gedrink. Soms sou hy spottenderwys na ons kyk en vra: ‘So wat doen Jesus se mense so laat op straat?’ Alhoewel ons geen verandering in sy lewe kon opmerk nie (en eintlik min hoop daarvoor gehad het), het ons aangehou om onvoorwaardelike liefde te betoon en hulp aan te bied.

Een Paasfees het Rasta radikaal tot bekering gekom. Dit was ’n Paulus-bekering waartydens hy in ’n oomblik van sy verslawing aan alkohol en dwelms bevry is. Sy storie was dat Jesus aan hom verskyn het en hom gevra het: ‘Hoeveel keer moet ek my mense nog na jou toe stuur?’

Dit het nog ’n tyd geneem om Rasta van die strate te kry en in ’n werkbare behuisingsopsie te plaas. Ons het egter geglo dat God aan die werk in sy lewe was. Sowat ses maande na sy bekering kom hy een dag by ons kantoor in. Sy transformasie was só groot, dat ek hom skaars herken het. Uit verbasing was my eerste woorde: ‘Sjoe Rasta, is dit jy?’ Sy antwoord was egter: ‘Nee suster Ilse. Ek is Johnny Blankenberg in Christus en Christus in Johnny Blankenberg.’ Voor my oë kon ek sien dat God hierdie man aangeraak het. Hy het hom omgekeer en sy siel gered. Johnny is later oorlede aan asma, maar in my hart het ek geen twyfel dat Johnny by sy Skepper is nie.”

In Openbaring 21:5 sê God: “Kyk, Ek maak alles nuut.” Ook in Jesaja 1:18 staan geskryf: “Al was julle skarlakenrooi van sonde, julle sal wit word soos sneeu. Al was julle purperrooi, julle sal wit word soos wol.” En in 2 Korintiërs 5:17 lees ons: “Iemand wat aan Christus behoort, is 'n nuwe mens. Die oue is verby, die nuwe het gekom.”

God maak ons NUUT. Geen persoon is ooit te verlore of te vêr weg om omgekeer te word nie. In stede daarvan om “die verlorene” te bepreek en te veroordeel, is dit soms nodig vir ons om ’n tree terug te gee. Kom ons praat met God oor die saak. Kom ons gee Hom ’n kans om te werk deur sy Heilige Gees. Kom ons gee selfs ’n stap verder en vra Hom om ook aan ons te kom wys wat ons in ons eie harte en lewens moet verander te midde dié situasie.  

God werk anders as wat ons dink. Hy het Johnny Blankenberg ontmoet. Dít het sy lewe verander. God is steeds in staat om ook daardie moeilike mense in ons lewens te bereik op die manier wat Hy weet sal werk. Kom ons hou aan bid en vertrou Hom daarvoor. Sterkte.

Vader God, baie dankie dat U my NUUT maak. Ek bring (noem die naam) na U toe en ek vra dat U hom/haar sal aanraak. Ook vra ek dat U my sal wys wat daar in my eie hart is wat ek moet verander. Ek vra dit in die Naam van Jesus Christus. Amen.

  • Lesers se karaktereienskappe van God rondom die letter “N”: Nuut, Neutraliseerder, Naby, Nimmereindigende liefde, Naam bo alle Name.
  • LETTER M: Aan watter eienskappe van God dink jy onder die “O”? Jy kan ’n epos stuur na This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. om lewer kommentaar hier:

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Day 14: God fills us with courage - 20 February 2020

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Come with me back in time. It’s Pentecost in Jerusalem. Jesus had just ascended to Heaven. His command to the disciples was to come to Jerusalem and wait there for the “gift” that God wants to give them. They were obedient. Yet, they have fear and uncertainty in their hearts. Will they also be persecuted now that Jesus is gone? 

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. In that moment all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. Gone was the fear and uncertainty of earlier, because suddenly they began to proclaim the truth with unprecedented confidence.

Stop here for a second.

Do we really realize what happened in that moment? The Almighty, Sovereign God poured out His Holy Spirit to dwell within us. It is the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

In the Old Testament, we read of moments when people did extraordinary things or where they had courage because the Holy Spirit came upon them. For example, Elijah ran faster than a horse (1 Kings 18:46), Samson was exceptionally strong (Judges 13:25; 14: 6), Gideon and Joshua, once afraid, suddenly had courage (Numbers 27:18 and Judges 6:34) and Bezalel were able to design special, creative things for the temple (Exodus 31). The Holy Spirit however did not yet dwell in them. Only here in Jerusalem did we as humans experience the turning point with regards to our relationship with God.

Jesus prepared his disciples for what would follow. In John 14:12 we read: “Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” He knew that the Holy Spirit would enable us to do these things. Also in John 14:18, 26 we read: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you . . . But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Then in Romans 8: 26-27 we read: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God, we are filled with courage like the disciples. We realize who this MIGHTY God is. We are also then able to preach the gospel without fear.

Let us thank God once again for this gift of His Holy Spirit, the One who guides, teaches, and comforts us. God bless.

Father God, thank you for not leaving us as orphans, but for sending us your Holy Spirit. Fill me anew with Your Spirit today and help me to know and understand You better. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

  • Reader’s feedback on characteristics of God with the letter “M”: Mighty to save, Majesty, Maker, More than enough, Miracle working God.
  • LETTER H: What qualities of God do you think under the letter "N"? You can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or comment on:

Dag 14: God vul ons met MOED - 20 Februarie 2020

Deur Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Kom vir ’n oomblik saam met my terug na daardie vertrek in Jerusalem. Dit is die Pinksterfees. Jesus het pas na die Hemel opgevaar. Sy opdrag aan die dissipels was om hier bymekaar te wag vir die “geskenk” wat God aan hulle wil gee. Hulle was gehoorsaam. Tog het hulle vrees en onsekerheid in hul harte. Sal hulle ook vervolg word noudat Jesus weg is?

Meteens klink ’n geluid op soos ’n stormwind. Dan verskyn vuur in tonge bokant elkeen se kop. In daardie oomblik is almal in die vertrek met die Heilige Gees vervul. Weg was die vrees en onsekerheid van vroeër, want meteens het hulle met ’n ongekende selfvertroue die waarheid begin verkondig.

Stop vir ’n oomblik hier.

Besef ons werklik wat in daardie oomblik in die kamer gebeur het? Die Almagtige, Soewereine God het sy Heilige Gees uitgestort wat binne ons kom woon het. Dit is hierdie Heilige Gees wat Jesus Christus uit die dood opgewek het.

In die Ou Testament lees ons van oomblikke waar mense buitengewone dinge kon doen of waagmoed beleef het omdat die Heilige Gees oor hulle gekom het. Elia het byvoorbeeld vinniger as ’n perd gehardloop (1 Konings 18:46), Simson was uitsonderlik sterk (Rigters 13:25;14:6), Gideon en Joshua wat eens bang was, het skielik waagmoed gehad (Numeri 27:18 en Rigters 6:34) en Besaleël kon besonderse, kreatiewe dinge vir die tempel ontwerp (Eksodus 31). Die Heilige Gees het egter nog nie in hul gewoon nie. Eers hier in Jerusalem het ’n totale draaipunt gekom rondom ons as mens se verhouding met God.

Jesus het sy dissipels op wat sou volg voorberei. In Johannes 14:12 lees ons: Wie in My glo, sal ook die dinge doen wat Ek doen; en hy sal nog groter dinge as dit doen, omdat Ek na die Vader toe gaan.” Hy het geweet dat die Heilige Gees, wat op pad was, ons in staat sou stel om hierdie dinge te doen. Ook in Johannes 14:18,26 lees ons: “Ek sal julle nie as weeskinders agterlaat nie; Ek kom weer na julle toe. . . wanneer die Vader in my Naam die Voorspraak, die Heilige Gees, stuur, sal Hy julle alles leer en julle herinner aan alles wat Ek vir julle gesê het.” Dan in Romeine 8:26-27 lees ons: Die Gees staan ons ook in ons swakheid by: ons weet nie wat en hoe ons behoort te bid nie, maar die Gees self pleit vir ons met versugtinge wat nie met woorde gesê word nie. En God, wat die harte deurgrond, weet wat die bedoeling van die Gees is, want Hy pleit, volgens die wil van God, vir die gelowiges.”

Wanneer ons met die Heilige Gees van God vervul word, word ons soos die dissipels met MOED gevul.Ons besef wie hierdie God van ons is en juis daarom kan ons onverskrokke voortgaan om die boodskap te verkondig.

Kom ons dank God opnuut vir hierdie geskenk van sy Heilige Gees, die Een wat ons lei, onderrig en vertroos. Sterkte.

Vader God, baie dankie dat U ons nie as weeskinders agtergelaat het nie, maar dat u Heilige Gees vandag in ons woon. Vul my opnuut met u Gees en help my om U daagliks beter te leer ken en verstaan. Ek vra dit in die Naam van Jesus Christus. Amen.

  • Lesers se karaktereienskappe van God rondom die letter “M”: Magtige God, Meegevoel, Met ons, Meer as genoeg, Merkwaardig.
  • LETTER M: Aan watter eienskappe van God dink jy onder die “M”? Jy kan ’n epos stuur na This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. om lewer kommentaar hier:
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