Morning Wake-up
Leanna and Bjorn 6:00-10:00am

The Word For Today

Go back and submit

'Go back...and submit.' Genesis 16:9 NIV

The Bible says: 'Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. The angel of the Lord found the desert...And he said, "Hagar...where have you come from, and where are you going?" "I'm running away from my mistress Sarai," she answered. Then the angel...told her, "Go back to your mistress and submit to her." The angel added, "I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count"' (Genesis 16:6-10 NIV). Hagar obeyed, and when her son Ishmael was born, God said, 'I have heard you: I will surely bless him...make him fruitful and...greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation' (Genesis 17:20 NIV).

Most of us don't relish the idea of submitting [acquiescing, deferring to, surrendering], and God sent Hagar back to a hard place that day. But when she obeyed, he blessed her. Note the question the angel asked her, because it may be one God's asking you as well: 'Where have you come from, and where are you going?' If he is, stop and consider your answer. God, who knows the end from the beginning and who brings good things out of bad, has your best interests at heart. Even though it's hard to do, if you'll obey him, he will bless you. He'll give you grace to endure and strength for the struggle, and do things in your life that can't be accomplished any other way. By trying to escape your present situation, you may be running from the lesson God wants to teach you and the rewards that lie beyond it.

So the word for you today is: 'Go back, and submit.'

Soulfood: Isa 8-11, Matt 10:11-20, Ps 104:1-23, Pro 3:9-10


Stand on God's Word 6

'To depart and be with better by far.' Philippians 1:23 NIV

When death takes someone you love. Satan will try to torment you with remorseful thoughts of what you did and didn't do for your loved one while they were still here. Don't listen to him! The Bible calls him 'the accuser' (see Revelation 12:10). Instead, rejoice that your loved one was in right standing with you and with the Lord, and that you'll be reunited in Heaven for all eternity.

Give yourself permission to grieve, and when the grieving period ends, stand on God's Word: 'Brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died' (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NLT). 'Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength' (1 Corinthians 15:42-43 NLT). 'Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also' (John 14:1-3 NKJV).

Paul writes, 'To depart with better by far' (Philippians 1:23 NIV). Lean on these words of Scripture today and find comfort.

Soulfood: Luke 10:25-37, Eph 4:31-32, Gen 50:15-21


Stand on God's Word 5

'The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.' Psalm 34:18 NLT

When someone has broken your heart. When somebody you love breaks your heart and betrays your trust, you're in a vulnerable place.

And the enemy will use the experience to get you to do four things that will hurt you even more, derail you spiritually and rob you of God's blessing: (1) Isolate yourself, alienate and avoid others. (2) Lose your sense of trust, and suspect the motives of everyone you meet. (3) Cause a root of bitterness to spring up that will impact your relationship with your family and those in your circle of influence (see Hebrews 12:15). (4) Make you strike back and get even, rendering evil for evil (see 1 Thessalonians 5:15). Don't do it! Instead, stand on God's Word: 'The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed' (Psalm 34:18 NLT). 'I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing' (Jeremiah 31:13 NLT). 'The Spirit of the Lord...has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor...heal the brokenhearted...proclaim liberty to the captives...recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed' (Luke 4:18 NKJV). 'Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you' (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT).

Has someone done you wrong? Forgive them - and keep on forgiving them until you're free in your mind. It's a daily walk that sometimes feels like three steps forward and two back. But if you keep your eyes on Jesus - you'll get there.

Soulfood: Isa 4-7, Matt 10:1-10, Ps 100, Pro 3:7-8

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