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The Word For Today

TAKING COMMUNION

Taking communion can be a meaningless ritual, or an intimate time spent in the presence of Jesus. Read the story of Cleopas and his companion. They were travelling home to Emmaus when Jesus suddenly appeared and walked along with them. First He opened their eyes to see that the crucifixion wasn't the tragedy they thought, but a fulfilment of prophecy and God's way to redeem a lost world; something to celebrate and not be sad about. Later, as He sat in their home and ate supper with them, 'He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they [knew] Him' (Luke 24:30-31 NIV).

Are you battling fear and doubt today? Are you wondering if God will keep His promise to you? He will! Earlier that day, Cleopas and his companion met some women who had just been to the empty tomb and reported that Jesus was alive. But try as they might, they couldn't believe it. This story proves that Jesus loves doubters enough to walk with them, take away their fears, and strengthen their faith. And guess when He did it? As they broke bread.

So next time you're taking communion, stop and pray, 'Lord, speak to me. Show me Your will and Your way.' That's a prayer He will answer. Your mind may be confused and your anxiety great, but if you're spiritually hungry He will show up and meet you at the point of your need.

Soulfood : Lev 23:33-44, Jn 7:1-40, Zech 14:16-21

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HOW TO BE HAPPY (3)

Hope brings happiness, but scepticism never can. You may be alive when Christ returns, or you may be resurrected to meet Him in the air. Either way, Jesus is coming again! Don't let doubters or false date-setters dull your sense of hope.

Ray Bakke shares this story: 'I knew an old Glasgow professor named McDonald, who, along with a Scottish chaplain, was put in a prisoner-of-war camp. A high wire fence separated the Americans from the British, and McDonald was put in the American barracks. The Americans had a little homemade radio and were able to get news from the outside. Every day McDonald would take a headline or two to the fence and share it with the chaplain in the ancient Gaelic language, indecipherable to the Germans. One day news came that the German High Command had surrendered. McDonald took the news to his friend, then watched him disappear into the barracks. A moment later a roar of celebration came from inside. Life in that camp was transformed. Men walked around singing and shouting, waving at the guards, even laughing at the dogs. When the German guards finally heard the news three nights later, they fled into the dark, leaving the gates unlocked. The next morning, Brits and Americans walked out as free men. Yet they had truly been set free three days earlier by the news that the war was over.'

The certainty of Christ's soon return sets you free to hope, to rejoice in the worst of circumstances, and to live with purpose. For God's redeemed people, the best is yet to come!

Soulfood : Ex 10-12, Jn 1:29-42, Ps 29, Prov 26:4-6

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HOW TO BE HAPPY (2)

Helping others brings happiness, but selfishness never can. A ragged urchin stood looking into a sweet shop window. A man came along and observed the scene, took him inside and said to the saleslady, 'Fill a bag with every kind of sweet he wants.' The boy couldn't believe his luck. As he filled his mouth with sugary delights, his benefactor asked, 'Is that good, son?' He nodded in the affirmative: 'Uh huh.' Then the man asked, 'Could I have some?' Immediately the boy's look of joy turned to fear, and clutching the bag he ran away shouting, 'Mine, mine!'

Happiness doesn't come by getting; it comes by forgetting yourself and living for others. Job, one of the richest men in his day, lost his health, his wealth, and his family. It's hard to imagine, right? Then an amazing thing happened: 'The Lord restored Job's losses, when he prayed for his friends' (Job 42:10 NKJV). Job actually got back twice what he lost. How? By reaching out to others instead of dwelling on his own problems. And that principle still works today. Jesus warned, 'Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses' (Luke 12:15 NKJV). God blesses you for one reason: to make you a blessing to others. You're not supposed to be a warehouse - but a clearing house. For every verse in Scripture that promises material success, there's another that speaks of the dangers of hoarding.

So the word for you today is: helping others brings happiness, but selfishness never can.

Soulfood : Ex 7-9, Jn 1:14-28, Ps 92, Prov 26:1-3

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