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The Word For Today

Stay in the chariot

'No one will be able to stand against you.' Joshua 1:5 NIV

Standing on the threshold of the Promised Land, Joshua realised there were seven nations and forty kings to be conquered before he could possess it. So God told him, 'No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life...I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you' (Joshua 1:5 NIV).

When you're in God's will the forces and resources of Heaven are behind you, and that means you'll ultimately win. It doesn't mean you won't have to fight, but it means you'll win! The movie Ben Hur won more Academy Awards than any other movie in history. Charlton Heston, who played the hero in this movie, had to drive a chariot for his role. He was supposed to win the climactic chariot race, but there was a problem: he was having trouble learning to drive the chariot. He walked over to his director, William Wyler, and said, 'Mr Wyler, I can barely stay on the chariot. I can't win this race.' Wyler looked at Heston and said, 'Son, your job is to stay on the chariot; my job is to make sure you win.'

Every time you head to the office, or walk into a pressure-packed meeting, or job interview, trust God. When you make that dreaded doctor's appointment, or confront a friend who has done you wrong, trust God. Stay on the chariot. Don't quit on God and don't stop trusting in him. Your job is to obey; his job is to make sure you win. And when you do your part, you can be sure that he will do his.

Soulfood: Job 35-37 Luke 19:20-27 Ps 38:1-12 Pro 8:22-23,


Focus on forgiveness

'Do not give the devil an opportunity.' Ephesians 4:27 NAS

The Bible says, 'Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity' (Ephesians 4:26-27 NAS). The word translated 'opportunity' is the Greek word topos, the same term from which we get the English noun topography. It means territory or ground. And anger gives ground to the devil. Bitterness invites him to occupy a space in your heart. And when you do, he will move in and stink up the place with things like gossip, slander, temper - any time you see these, you have given ground to Satan.

What should you do? Evict him. Don't give him the time of day. In the name of Jesus tell him to pack his bags and hit the road. Begin the process of forgiveness. Keep no list of wrongs. Pray for your antagonists rather than plot against them. Hate the wrong without hating the wrongdoers. Turn your attention away from what they did to you and begin to dwell on what Jesus did for you. Outrageous as it may seem, he died for them too. And if he thinks they are worth forgiving, then they are.

Does that make forgiveness easy? No. It comes in fits and starts, has good days and bad. Some days when you think your old wound has healed and you're over it, someone will knock the scab off it and the pain will return. This is okay. When it comes to forgiveness all of us are beginners. As long as you are trying to forgive, you are forgiving. It's only when you no longer try that you give ground to the devil.

Soulfood: Job 32-34 Luke 19:11-19 Ps 55:12-23 Pro 8:19-21,


We're all on the same team

'The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.' Luke 6:38 CEV

Jesus said, 'Don't criticise, and then you won't be criticised. For others will treat you as you treat them' (Matthew 7:1-2 TLB). Think about it. Do you really want to live your life judging and being judged?

One Christian author puts it this way: 'We were created to be in community...[Not] treat each other with a spirit of judgment...There's something in us that permits us to vie for a better impression of ourselves by belittling someone else. It rages through the teenage years, and should end when we "grow up", but instead it mutates...We judge each other's relationships when our own are crumbling ...or their parenting skills when our own are hanging by a thread...Someone who never exercises is "lazy"...Someone who hides their feelings is "cold"...we judge who has what job, who's busier, who has more stress, who has it "rougher". Someone tells us bad news and we secretly rejoice that it's not us...someone shares good news and we call them arrogant. But no one wins because we're all on the same team.'

Instead of judging and criticising, Paul says, 'When we have the opportunity to help...we should do it' (Galatians 6:10 NCV). So: (a) Look for a way to bless somebody who is not in a position to reciprocate. (b) Identify someone you can encourage today. (c) Go out of your way to make someone feel special. Jesus said: 'If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return...The way you treat others is the way you will be treated' (Luke 6:38 CEV).

Soulfood: Job 29-31 Luke 19:1-10 Ps 55:1-11 Pro 8:17-18,

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