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'You prepare a table before me.' Psalm 23:5 NKJV

When the psalmist said, 'The Lord is my shepherd' (Psalm 23:1 NKJV), he was affirming that he had a very personal relationship with God; one that was unique. God has given each of us a one-of-a-kind personality, gifting, purpose and calling. And he wants a relationship with you that is unlike the one he has with anybody else. Just like your fingerprints are unique, so also is God's interaction with you. Therefore you need to learn how to hear his voice and to know when he is speaking specifically to you.

The psalmist goes on to say, 'You prepare a table before me' (Psalm 23:5 NKJV). Think about it this way. When you're waiting for a table in a restaurant and your name is on the waiting list, sometimes the hostess will give you a pager to hold. Then when it's time to be seated, the pager will vibrate or light up. In the meantime, you have every confidence they are preparing a table for you, and that if you're patient, when it's ready the pager will vibrate and let you know. Are you getting the idea? As you read God's Word and spend time with him in prayer, something begins to vibrate and light up in your spirit. That's 'God's pager' leading and guiding you, and preparing the circumstances just for you.

Paul writes, 'And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus' (Philippians 4:19 NLT). How many of your personal needs will God provide? All of them! So stop worrying so much and instead put your trust in him!

Soulfood: Mt 5:5 Num 12:1-15 Ps 37:1-9 Phil 2:5-11,

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Treasure God's Word 5



'Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.' John 13:17 NIV

Reading, receiving, researching, remembering, and reflecting on God's Word are important, but we must respond to it and be 'doers of the word' (James 1:22 NKJV). This is the hardest step because Satan will fight you on it. You can be so busy going to the next church meeting, that you forget to put into practice what you learned at the last one. Jesus said, 'Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock' (Matthew 7:24 NIV).

God doesn't bless you because you know the truth but because you obey it. 'Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them' (John 13:17 NIV). We're inclined to avoid personal application because not only is it hard - in some cases it's downright painful! Jesus said, 'The truth will set you free' (John 8:32 NIV), but first it may make you uncomfortable. God's Word reveals our motives, exposes our flaws, rebukes our sin, and demands change. That's why it's good to discuss your personal insights with others. We learn truths from other people that we'd never learn on our own. They help us to see and apply what we miss. They hold us accountable.

One of the best ways to become 'a doer of the Word' is to write down an action plan. It should be personal (involving you); practical (something you can do); provable (with a benchmark or deadline). In the words of D.L. Moody: 'The Bible wasn't given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives.'

Soulfood: 2 Cor 5-8 Lk 2:1-7 Ps 144:1-8 Pro 16:1-3,

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Treasure God's Word 4



'How I love your teachings! I think about them all day long.' Psalm 119:97 NCV

You treasure God's Word in three ways:

(1) By researching it. This calls for writing down your thoughts about it. It also calls for asking the right questions, like: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? In other words, your Bible study should give you insight, not just information. (2) By remembering it. You may think your memory is poor, but you've already memorised millions of ideas and facts. The truth is, we remember what's truly important to us! And there are enormous benefits to memorising Scripture. It will help you resist temptation, make better decisions, reduce stress, build your confidence, stretch your thinking, and enable you to share your faith with others. Your memory is like a muscle; the more you use it the stronger it becomes. Start by writing down a verse that has helped you, then carry it with you on a small card. Review it aloud while you're working, exercising, waiting, and before going to sleep. The key to memorising Scripture is - review...review...review! (3) By reflecting on it. No other habit will do more to mature you spiritually than reflecting daily on God's Word. As you do, you're literally 'transformed into his image' (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV). God called David 'a man after my own heart' (Acts 13:22 NIV). And how did he earn that distinction? Because he loved to reflect on God's Word: 'How I love your teachings! I think about them all day long' (Psalm 119:97 NCV).

The key to successful Christian living is yours when you treasure God's Word.

Soulfood: 2 Cor 1-4 Lk 1:67-80 Ps 139:13-24 Pro 15:31-33,

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