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The Word For Today

'THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET'

'Give me life through Your word.' Psalms 119:37 NLT

Jane Johnson Struck set out on a frigid winter evening to deliver dinner to the family of a friend who had died. Snarled in traffic and juggling an already overloaded schedule, she was feeling sorry for herself - and irritated when she arrived and found nobody home. Using her mobile phone to let them know she'd been there, she was dumbfounded when the answering machine kicked in and a familiar voice started singing: 'Grab your coat, collect your hat, Leave your worries on the doorstep; Life can be so sweet on the sunny side of the street.' It was her friend Annie, the one who died after a prolonged battle with breast cancer, leaving three kids and a grieving husband.
Struck writes: 'People who'd been touched by Annie's larger-than-life personality, perseverance, and testimony in the face of gruelling and unfair circumstances, hadn't expected to hear her voice on the machine. Her indomitable spirit amazed me...she'd talked openly about her prognosis, yet never hesitated to give God glory for the grace and peace she experienced. She knew that life with Jesus, come what may, was a walk on the sunny side of the street.'
The Psalmist prayed, 'Give me life through Your Word'. Struck continues: 'As I listened to Annie's voice on the machine...even in death God used her life to challenge me. I drove home pondering how He illuminates the darkest journey...how pity parties keep me from savouring life's sweetness...then asking forgiveness for my selfish attitudes. It was a powerful reminder that one day life will be complete on the sunny side of the street...in Heaven, where there's no darkness, disease or death.'

SoulFood: 2 Chron 35-36; 2 John; Luke 18:18-30; Ps 119:161-168; Pro 22:17-19

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YOU'RE PROTECTED FROM EVIL (3)

'I give...you power...over...the enemy.' Luke 10:19 KJV

Have you dabbled in the occult and now you're wondering what to do? Repent and renounce it. 'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us...and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness' (1 John 1:9 NKJV). Note the words 'all unrighteousness'. It doesn't matter what you've done; there are no big sins and no little sins. God forgives them all! Learn from your past, leave it, and don't look back. 'No one who has become part of God's family makes a practice of sinning, for Christ...holds him securely and the devil cannot get his hands on him' (1 John 5:18 TLB).
Is Satan powerful? Yes, but Jesus is all-powerful! He said, 'All power in Heaven and on earth is given unto Me,' then He delegated that power to you. 'Behold, I give you the authority...over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you' (Luke 10:19 NKJV).
God has given you three powerful weapons of protection: (1) The sword. 'Take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God' (Ephesians 6:17 NKJV). Satan has the advantage when you don't know what God says, but he flees when you stand on the Scriptures. (2) The shield. 'Taking the shield of faith...you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one' (Ephesians 6:16 NKJV). Your faith is a protective shield against the arrows of doubt and fear Satan directs at you. 3) The Spirit. 'You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you' (Acts 1:8 NKJV). Positioned 'in Christ' and filled with the Holy Spirit, you're more than a match for the forces of evil that surround you.

SoulFood: 2 Chron 32-34; Luke 18:1-17; Ps 119:145-160; Pro 22:14-16

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YOU'RE PROTECTED FROM EVIL (2)

'Hide me in the shadow of Your wings.' Psalms 17:8 NIV

Here are three ways you can open yourself up to the power of evil: (1) By choice. The author of The Satanic Bible said, 'A successful witch or wizard must first surrender totally to Satan.' You're probably wondering what kind of person would say or do such a thing. But the fact is, God gives each of us a free will capable of surrendering to Christ or to Satan. Paul writes, 'Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves...so...present your [bodies] as slaves of righteousness' (Romans 6:16, 19 NKJV).
(2) By unrestrained indulgence. When any natural desire is indulged to excess, it can become an addiction and a force of destruction. Now, let's be clear here: addiction doesn't necessarily equate to someone being demon possessed. Many Christians battle stubborn habits, and Christ has promised to set them free (John 8:32). When you were saved, Christ moved in and Satan moved out, because Christ won't live in a building with the devil.
(3) By dabbling in the occult. God told Israel that those who put their trust in mediums were to be cut off from the community (Leviticus 20:6). Ever wonder why spiritual mediums can't pick the right lottery number, win a fortune and feed the starving masses? Because they're fake, that's why! Speaking of Satan, Jesus said, 'There is no truth in him...he is a liar and the father of [lies]' (John 8:44 NKJV). Don't mess with the powers of darkness through horoscopes or anything else. The only true guidance that comes from a star, comes from Jesus, 'the Bright and Morning Star' (Revelation 22:16 NKJV).

SoulFood: 2 Chron 29-31; Luke 17:20-37; Ps 119:137-144; Pro 22:11-13

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