Drive with Nerida

The Word For Today

Put your heart and soul into it

'Whatever work you do, do your best' Ecclesiastes 9:10 NCV

Solomon writes: 'Enjoy life... enjoy the work you do here on earth. Whatever work you do, do your best...' (Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 NCV). Professor Howard Hendricks writes: 'Recently I lost one of my best friends, a woman 86 years young. She was the most exciting lay-teacher I've ever been exposed to. The last time I saw her on planet earth was at one of those "Christian parties" where we all sit on eggshells and try to look pious. In she walked, looked at me and said, "Well, Hendricks, I haven't seen you for a long time. Tell me, what are the five best books you've read in the last year?" (That'll change the group dynamic in a hurry) Her philosophy was, "Let's not bore each other...let's get into a discussion. And if we can't find anything to discuss, then let's get into an argument." She was 83 years old on her last trip to the Holy Land. She went with a group of NFL football players. And one of my most vivid memories is seeing her out in front yelling back to them, "Come on, men, get with it!" Recently she died in her sleep at her daughter's home. Her daughter told me that just before she died she'd written out her goals for the next ten years!'

So whether you are 19 or 99, the word for you today is: 'Whatever work you do, do your best.' In other words: Put your heart and soul into it.

Soulfood: 2 Pet 1-3, Matt 26:57-75, Ps 14, Prov 19:1-4


Choose gratitude

'Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.' Psalm 103:2 NKJV

He sat on the park bench so depressed-looking that a policeman tried to console him. 'Something the matter?' 'Yes,' he replied. 'A few months ago my grandfather left me $500,000 and some oil wells.' The policeman responded, 'That doesn't sound like something to be upset over.' 'Yeah, but you haven't heard the whole story. Last month my uncle left me $1,000,000.' The policeman shook his head. 'I don't get it. Why are you so unhappy?' He replied, 'So far this month, nobody's left me anything.' Seriously, he's part of a group of people who are unhappy no matter what they have.

The Psalmist shows us how to overcome an ungrateful attitude by cultivating a spirit of thanksgiving. 'Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits' (Psalm 103:2 NKJV). Thinking and thanking go hand-in-hand. Memory is a catalyst for worship. An old hymn declares, 'Count your blessings, name them one by one...see what God has done.' The Psalmist encourages us to do three things: First, think about what God has given us - his forgiveness, healing, protection, redemption, love, and compassion (see Psalm 103:1-5). Second, think about what God has not given us - the punishment our sins deserve (see Psalm 103:8-12). Third, think about what God is yet going to give us. 'From everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him' (Psalm 103:17 NIV).

God accepts you when you trust in Christ's performance, not your own. So each morning look in the mirror and say, 'Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.'

Soulfood: 2 Sam 22:31 - 24:25, Matt 26:47-56, Ps 146, Prov 18:23-24


Look for the best in others

'We have this treasure in earthen vessels.' 2 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV

One of the worst arguments recorded in Scripture took place between one of the most successful ministry teams of all time - Paul and Barnabas. What was it about? John Mark. Barnabas wanted to take him on their next missionary journey and Paul didn't. Why? Because Paul was upset with John Mark for wanting to take time off to be with his family. (Sometimes passionate, purpose-driven people don't see things clearly!) But after consideration, Paul changed his mind and wrote: 'Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world...Get Mark, and bring him with you: for he is useful to me for ministry' (2 Timothy 4:10-11 NKJV).

There are three important lessons here: (1) Everyone deserves another chance. After all, that's what God repeatedly does for you. Now, in extending grace you can get hurt and disappointed, but if you're going to be Christlike it's a risk you must take. (2) Not everyone has the same calling. The person you're upset with may not be called to do what you're called to do, or they may have been called to do it in a different way. Never make your personal preferences a condition for loving, accepting and working with someone. (3) Look for the best in others, not the worst. The Bible says, 'We have this treasure in earthen vessels' (2 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV). That means everyone you deal with has 'treasure,' but it comes in a flawed 'earthen vessel.' It also means it's your responsibility to look for that treasure and value it.

Generally speaking, when people feel appreciated they try to rise and meet your expectations.

Soulfood: 2 Sam 20:1 - 22:30, Matt 26:36-46, Ps 140, Prov 18:21-22

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