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The Word For Today

OTHERS ARE WATCHING YOU

Smoke rose over a neighbourhood where 18 people died and 850 had been arrested in street riots. Jon Walker said: 'My dad, a special investigator for a government agency, sat with me watching the violence on TV. In a matter-of-fact manner he said, "That's exactly where I'm scheduled to be today"...I said, "Why go?...Tell them you can't come...reschedule"...He looked at me and said, "Why wouldn't I go? It's my job."' Walker continues, 'It was an "Aha" moment for me...of course he'd go. He'd made a commitment... to be where he was supposed to be regardless of circumstances. The same way he flew Cold War reconnaissance missions...the same way he took pictures showing Cuban missile sites being assembled...the same way he stood with me day in and day out throughout his life. In that moment I grasped the example. I understood the importance of remaining committed, regardless of the difficulty or how unreasonable it might seem...My dad spoke more by what he did than by what he said...his example became the story of God at work in a human life.'

Question: What would happen if people followed your example instead of your advice when it comes to your work ethic, your online computer use, your integrity in business, and how you treat your family? Be honest! Paul challenges each of us to 'be an example...in word...conduct...love...spirit...faith...purity' (1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV). He told Titus, 'In everything set them an example by doing what is good...show integrity.'

If you think that sounds like a tall order - you're right. But 'His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness' (2 Peter 1:3 NIV).

Soulfood : 2 Chr 19-21, Lk 16:19-31, Ps 119:113-120, Prov 22:1-3

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OTHERS ARE WATCHING YOU

Smoke rose over a neighbourhood where 18 people died and 850 had been arrested in street riots. Jon Walker said: 'My dad, a special investigator for a government agency, sat with me watching the violence on TV. In a matter-of-fact manner he said, "That's exactly where I'm scheduled to be today"...I said, "Why go?...Tell them you can't come...reschedule"...He looked at me and said, "Why wouldn't I go? It's my job."' Walker continues, 'It was an "Aha" moment for me...of course he'd go. He'd made a commitment... to be where he was supposed to be regardless of circumstances. The same way he flew Cold War reconnaissance missions...the same way he took pictures showing Cuban missile sites being assembled...the same way he stood with me day in and day out throughout his life. In that moment I grasped the example. I understood the importance of remaining committed, regardless of the difficulty or how unreasonable it might seem...My dad spoke more by what he did than by what he said...his example became the story of God at work in a human life.'

Question: What would happen if people followed your example instead of your advice when it comes to your work ethic, your online computer use, your integrity in business, and how you treat your family? Be honest! Paul challenges each of us to 'be an example...in word...conduct...love...spirit...faith...purity' (1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV). He told Titus, 'In everything set them an example by doing what is good...show integrity.'

If you think that sounds like a tall order - you're right. But 'His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness' (2 Peter 1:3 NIV).

Soulfood : 2 Chr 19-21, Lk 16:19-31, Ps 119:113-120, Prov 22:1-3

Read more...

OTHERS ARE WATCHING YOU

Smoke rose over a neighbourhood where 18 people died and 850 had been arrested in street riots. Jon Walker said: 'My dad, a special investigator for a government agency, sat with me watching the violence on TV. In a matter-of-fact manner he said, "That's exactly where I'm scheduled to be today"...I said, "Why go?...Tell them you can't come...reschedule"...He looked at me and said, "Why wouldn't I go? It's my job."' Walker continues, 'It was an "Aha" moment for me...of course he'd go. He'd made a commitment... to be where he was supposed to be regardless of circumstances. The same way he flew Cold War reconnaissance missions...the same way he took pictures showing Cuban missile sites being assembled...the same way he stood with me day in and day out throughout his life. In that moment I grasped the example. I understood the importance of remaining committed, regardless of the difficulty or how unreasonable it might seem...My dad spoke more by what he did than by what he said...his example became the story of God at work in a human life.'

Question: What would happen if people followed your example instead of your advice when it comes to your work ethic, your online computer use, your integrity in business, and how you treat your family? Be honest! Paul challenges each of us to 'be an example...in word...conduct...love...spirit...faith...purity' (1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV). He told Titus, 'In everything set them an example by doing what is good...show integrity.'

If you think that sounds like a tall order - you're right. But 'His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness' (2 Peter 1:3 NIV).

Soulfood : 2 Chr 19-21, Lk 16:19-31, Ps 119:113-120, Prov 22:1-3

Read more...

OTHERS ARE WATCHING YOU

Smoke rose over a neighbourhood where 18 people died and 850 had been arrested in street riots. Jon Walker said: 'My dad, a special investigator for a government agency, sat with me watching the violence on TV. In a matter-of-fact manner he said, "That's exactly where I'm scheduled to be today"...I said, "Why go?...Tell them you can't come...reschedule"...He looked at me and said, "Why wouldn't I go? It's my job."' Walker continues, 'It was an "Aha" moment for me...of course he'd go. He'd made a commitment... to be where he was supposed to be regardless of circumstances. The same way he flew Cold War reconnaissance missions...the same way he took pictures showing Cuban missile sites being assembled...the same way he stood with me day in and day out throughout his life. In that moment I grasped the example. I understood the importance of remaining committed, regardless of the difficulty or how unreasonable it might seem...My dad spoke more by what he did than by what he said...his example became the story of God at work in a human life.'

Question: What would happen if people followed your example instead of your advice when it comes to your work ethic, your online computer use, your integrity in business, and how you treat your family? Be honest! Paul challenges each of us to 'be an example...in word...conduct...love...spirit...faith...purity' (1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV). He told Titus, 'In everything set them an example by doing what is good...show integrity.'

If you think that sounds like a tall order - you're right. But 'His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness' (2 Peter 1:3 NIV).

Soulfood : 2 Chr 19-21, Lk 16:19-31, Ps 119:113-120, Prov 22:1-3

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CARE ENOUGH TO CONFRONT

'Warn...those who are out of line...encourage the timid...help...the weak.' Sadly, we'd rather stay quiet and be popular than speak difficult truth into the lives of others. One member of the Blackaby family writes: 'A church isn't a group of individuals who happen to meet in the same place every week; it's a spiritual body...a loving family. It's far easier to comfort and encourage than to warn or exhort, but both are necessary. Ephesians 4:15 tells us to speak the truth in love so that the whole body may "grow up in all things". If we don't take the time to exhort, encourage, warn, comfort, uphold and be patient...we [all] suffer in the end. Your body doesn't function properly when one part is hurting or performing poorly. And the church suffers when one of its members is unruly, fainthearted, weak, or falls into bad doctrine. Letting a body part fester, or not supporting a part that's hurt, can lead to irrecoverable damage...letting serious issues go unaddressed does a grave disservice to the member in question.'

As parents we love our children too much to let bad behaviour go unchecked. Down the road we know it will negatively affect their attitude toward authority, relationships, accountability and personal discipline. We care enough to correct and guide them. Paul says, '...if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted' (Galatians 6:1 NIV).

The truth is the only safe ground to stand upon, and your goal should be to speak it in love.

Soulfood : 2 Chr 16-18, Lk 16:1-18, Ps 119:105-112, Prov 21:28-31

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PASTOR, PREPARE YOUR HEART

A preacher got into the habit of writing his sermons word for word. It worked well - until one Sunday he found himself in the pulpit without his notes. Addressing the congregation, he said, 'I've forgotten my notes this morning, so I'll have to pray and rely on the Lord. But at tonight's service I'll come better prepared.' Cute story, but it's not so cute when it's a reality! Pastor, your people may be impressed with your speaking abilities short-term, but they'll only be impacted long-term when your words are inspired by the Holy Spirit. The ability to change hearts is above your pay grade, so don't fall into that ego trap or you'll fizzle like a wet firecracker!

Study the life of Christ. Before He chose His disciples, or walked on the water, or fed the multitude, He spent hours in prayer. So in order to choose the right people, feed your flock on Sunday morning, or 'walk on water' and accomplish great things for God, you must focus on preparing your heart and not just your message. You say, 'But I'm a people person.' That's good, but you'll have nothing to say to people that'll make any real difference unless you get it from God. You say, 'But I'm a project person.' Unless you spend time with God you'll get into things you shouldn't - things you may not be able to get out of. Moses said, 'I lay prostrate before the Lord...forty days and forty nights because the Lord had said He would destroy you.' And the end result? God not only saved the nation, He blessed it.

So pastor, prepare your heart.

Soulfood : 2 Chr 12-15, Lk 15:11-32, Ps 119:97-104, Prov 21:24-27

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FORGIVE THEM, AND LET IT GO!

'Pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.' Matthew 5:44 NKJV

An unforgiving attitude can keep you from moving forward in life. So isn't it time you got serious about forgiving the one who hurt you? You say, 'But then they'll have got away with it.' They're not getting away with anything! God is qualified to judge; you're not. Remember, your critics are making decisions about you based on limited information, but God knows the truth and He will deal with your detractors in His own time. By trying to defend yourself and prove them wrong, you're stepping into territory that belongs exclusively to God.
The Bible says: 'Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone...never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, "I will take revenge; I will pay them back," says the Lord. Instead, "If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads." Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good' (Romans 12:17-21 NLT). Satan's goal is to get you all tied up in knots and steal your peace. Don't play into his hands!
Christ, your example, prayed for those who drove the nails into His hands: 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do' (Luke 23:34 KJV). Your enemies may think they're smart, but often they're acting in ignorance. Don't come down to their level by retaliating. Forgive them, and let it go.

SoulFood: 2 Chron 8-11; Luke 15:1-10; Ps 119:89-96; Pro 21:20-23

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TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE

'He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.' John 6:15 NKJV

The Bible says: 'When Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him King, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone. Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum...Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going' (John 6:15-21 NKJV).
Notice three things in this story: (1) The control Jesus exercised. People wanted to plan His life for Him. Sound familiar? When that happened, 'He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.' Note the word 'again'. Spending time with God was something He did regularly. Do you? (2) The criticism Jesus evoked. When the crowd wants to make you 'King', it's hard for your ego to walk away. But Jesus did. Others couldn't impose their will or agenda on Him. Why? Because He was committed to doing the will of God and nothing else. (3) The communion Jesus enjoyed. He emerged from a night of prayer empowered to walk on the water and subdue the storm.
If you want to succeed in life, there's only one source you can go to for strength and guidance: God. Do you want to take control of your life? That's how you do it!

SoulFood: 2 Chron 5-7; Luke 14:25-35; Ps 119:81-88; Pro 21:17-19

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LOVE YOUR CHURCH - JESUS DOES! (8)

'...after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.' 1 Peter 5:10 NKJV

It took seven years to build Solomon's temple. In Scripture the number seven represents completion. So when it comes to your 'position' in Christ, you're as saved right now as you'll be when you stand in Heaven. When Jesus cried, 'It is finished', everything required to reconcile you to God was completed. The word 'complete' means 'lacking nothing'. And when you put your trust in Jesus, that's how God sees you. When He positions you in Christ, 'You are complete in Him' (Colossians 2:10 NKJV).
You say, 'But I still sin.' The Bible says, 'We all...beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image...by the Spirit of the Lord' (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV). Did you get that? The Holy Spirit is at work in your life every day, in every way, moulding you into the image of Jesus. God's ultimate plan for you is greater than you can comprehend. Jude writes, 'Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy...be glory and majesty' (Jude 1:24-25 NKJV). Note the words 'Him that is able'. This is something Christ does for you, not something you do for yourself!
And one of the tools He uses to bring about your perfection (maturity) is trouble. Peter writes, 'May the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.' It may take a while, but you'll get there!

SoulFood: 2 Chron 1-4; Luke 14:15-24; Ps 119:73-80; Pro 21:14-16

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LOVE YOUR CHURCH - JESUS DOES! (6)

'The Lord will lift up a standard [shield of defence].' Isaiah 59:19 NKJV
 
Notice what Solomon prayed for at the dedication of the temple. 'If there is famine in the land...if Your people's enemies are in the land...whatever disaster or disease there is...hear from Heaven...Then they will fear You and walk in Your ways as long as they live' (2 Chronicles 6:28-31 NLT).
When you're functioning in your rightful place in church you can: (1) Pray with confidence in times of economic difficulty. One of the names by which Israel knew God was 'Jehovah Jireh', which means 'the Lord will provide'. Your security isn't in the Beehive, the stock exchange or any other physical place! It's in God's unfailing goodness (Psalms 23:6). (2) Pray with confidence in times of sickness. God's promise to you is this: 'Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up' (James 5:14-15 NKJV). (3) Pray with confidence when you're facing disaster. 'He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust"' (Psalms 91:1-2 NKJV). (4) Pray with confidence when the devil is attacking you. 'When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard [shield of defence] against him' (Isaiah 59:19 NKJV).
As a redeemed member of Christ's church, these are your 'rights', so exercise them!
 
 
SoulFood: 1 Chron 26:20 - 29:30; Luke 14:1-14; Ps 119:65-72; Pro 21:10-13
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