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The Word For Today

Hard work and integrity



'A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies has no sense.' Proverbs 12:11 NLT

In The Finishing Touch, author Chuck Swindoll tells about a man he met who made a great impression on him: 'With a grin and a twinkle, he whipped out his hand. It was a hand you could strike a match on, toughened by decades of rugged toil. "You look like a man who enjoys life. What do you do for a living?" I asked. "Me? Well, I'm a farmer from back in the Midwest." I asked him, "What did you do last week?" He said, "Last week I finished harvesting ninety thousand bushels of corn." I then blurted out, "Ninety thousand! How old are you, my friend?" He didn't seem at all hesitant or embarrassed by my question. "I'm just a couple of months shy of 90." He laughed again as I shook my head. He had lived through four wars, the Great Depression, sixteen presidents, ninety Midwest winters, who knows how many personal hardships, and he was still taking life by the throat. I had to ask him the secret of his long and productive life. "Hard work and integrity" was his quick reply. As we parted company he looked back over his shoulder and added, "Don't take it easy, young feller. Stay at it!" Hard work and integrity! Those two qualities go together, and are the essence of a life well-lived. And when you practise them faithfully, you experience the highest level of joy and fulfilment in life.'

The Bible puts it this way: 'A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies has no sense' (Proverbs 12:11 NLT).

Soulfood: Acts 20-21 Matt 10:21-31 Ps 14 Pro 16:6-7,

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How 'hungry' are you



'He satisfies the...hungry with good things.' Psalm 107:9 NIV

Successful people are often just people who were a little hungrier and thirstier for success than the rest of us. What we desired, they pursued. Napoleon was born in poverty. His classmates made fun of him in school. But he devoted himself to his books, excelled in his studies and became the brightest student in class. Before his life was over, he conquered much of the world! If a seedling tree has to fight its way up through rocks to get to sunlight and air, then wrestle with storms and frost to survive, you can be sure of one thing: its root system will be strong and its timber resilient. Nature itself teaches us that it's impossible to succeed without going through adversity.

If you're successful and haven't experienced hardship, you can be sure someone else has experienced it for you. And if you're experiencing adversity without succeeding, there's a good chance somebody else will succeed because of the price you paid. Either way, there's no achievement without adversity. The acid test of character is determined by what it takes to discourage you and make you quit. Dr G. Campbell Morgan tells of a man whose shop burned to the ground in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Next morning he arrived at work carrying a table which he set up amid the charred ruins. On it he placed a sign that read, 'Everything lost except wife, children and hope. Business as usual tomorrow morning.'

Solomon said, 'Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings' (Proverbs 22:29 NKJV). You say you want to succeed? The question is - how 'hungry' are you?

Soulfood: Acts 18-19 Matt 10:11-20 Ps 146 Pro 16:4-5,

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Choose your battles wisely



'If you follow this advice...then you will be able to endure the pressures.' Exodus 18:23 NLT

A good general knows it's a mistake to try and fight on too many fronts at once; that when you're 'spread out too thin' you're vulnerable! And the same is true in life. To avoid undue stress, you must refuse to let every little thing upset you. In other words, choose your battles wisely. Don't make mountains out of molehills. Before you devote time, energy and emotion to an issue, ask yourself how important it is, and how much of your time, effort and energy is appropriate. Try to discern what really matters and focus on those things. Learn the difference between major matters and minor matters.

Moses was becoming exhausted because he personally handled every problem, dispute and crisis that arose among the Israelites. Perhaps he thought he had to do so, since he was the leader of the nation. But his father-in-law said to him, in essence, 'You take care of the big things and leave the small stuff to someone else.' He went on to say, '"If you follow this advice...you will be able to endure the pressures"...Moses listened to his father-in-law's advice and followed his suggestions' (Exodus 18:23-24 NLT).

Stop and think about it: your life already has plenty of stress and strain, so why add more if you can avoid it? When you're tempted to take on a 'battle', step back and decide if it's worth it and what it will require from you. Don't go to war when there are no spoils.

Soulfood: Acts 16-17 Matt 10:1-10 Ps 140 Pro 16:3,

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