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The Word For Today

What Are You Seeing?

Your eyes can deceive you! Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery, dipped his coat in goat's blood and told their father he'd been torn to pieces by a wild beast. As a result, the old man said, '...I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning' (Genesis 37:35 NKJV). In reality, not only was Joseph alive, he'd soon become prime minister of Egypt and save his family during the time of famine. But his father lived all those years grieving because of something he saw: a coat.

Sometimes there's a difference between facts and truth. The facts may confirm that the economy is bad, but the truth is, '...God shall supply all your needs according to His riches...' (Philippians 4:19 KJV). One day Elisha and his servant woke up in the town of Dothan to discover they were surrounded by an enemy army. When the servant saw this, he panicked. But Elisha said, '"Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed... "Lord...open his eyes that he may see." Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha' (2 Kings 6:16-17 NKJV).

God wants you to look to Him and know that in your darkest moment, you don't have to be afraid. What you have going for you is so much greater than anything that comes against you. So rise up in faith and say with the Psalmist, 'My help comes from the Lord' (Psalms 121:2 NKJV). Then act like you believe it!

Soulfood : Deut 25-27, Mk 5:31-43, Ps 44:9-16, Prov 12:10-11

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What God Has Invested in You

Paul prayed for the believers at Ephesus that they might know what God called them to do and understand the 'riches' He had invested in them.

Think about this: (1) God knows what He's invested in you. He doesn't redeem you one day and take you to Heaven the next. He calls and equips you to fulfil a certain purpose in this world. Christ taught that some of us are five-talent people, some are two-talent people and some are one-talent people (Matthew 25:15). That's why it's a mistake to draw comparisons. It's not what you have that determines your reward, but what you do with what you have. It's when you bury your talent because you're afraid to risk and fail, that you get into trouble with God. (2) God protects what He's invested in you. Do we sometimes disobey God? Yes. Does He discipline us? Yes. And your response to Him can either lengthen or shorten your season of discipline. But does God abandon us? Never! '...God's gifts and his call can never be withdrawn' (Romans 11:29 NLT). (3) God expects a return on what He's invested in you. When you get to the end of your life, what will you have to show for it? God gave you time, talent, and treasure. Are you using them selfishly or are you using them to serve Him and bless others? '...We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive...according to what he has done, whether good or bad' (2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV).

The songwriter put it this way: 'Only one life, 'twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last.'

Soulfood : Deut 22-24, Mk 5:21-30, Ps 44:1-8, Prov 12:7-9

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Gossip - Don't Indulge in It

'Keep your tongue from evil...' Psalms 34:13 NIV

Did you hear about the three women who decided to confess their weaknesses to each other? The first confessed to drinking too much. The second confessed to being jealous of a friend's good looks. The third said nothing, so the other two pressed her and asked, 'Ok, what's your weakness?' Finally she answered, 'It's gossip, and I can't wait to get out of here and talk about you two!'
Now let's get serious. The Bible has strong words when it comes to the subject of gossip: 'He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin' (Proverbs 13:3 NIV). 'If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless' (James 1:26 NIV). 'Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil' (1 Peter 3:10 NIV). Gossip is like mud thrown against a wall - it may not stick, but it leaves a dirty mark. And that mark can last a lifetime! So before you take aim, check your target. Ask yourself how much damage you'll inflict and how you'll feel about it afterwards. Solomon said, 'The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit' (Proverbs 18:21 NIV). Did you get that? You will 'eat your words'. You'll reap the harvest you sow, good or bad.
Bottom line: if you're looking for faults, look in the mirror. When you work on your own shortcomings, you'll have no time left to gossip about anybody else's.

SoulFood: Deut 18-21, Mark 5:11-20, Ps 37:32-40, Pro 12:4-6

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