Jon E 7:00-12:00am

The Word For Today


Hope brings happiness, but scepticism never can. You may be alive when Christ returns, or you may be resurrected to meet Him in the air. Either way, Jesus is coming again! Don't let doubters or false date-setters dull your sense of hope.

Ray Bakke shares this story: 'I knew an old Glasgow professor named McDonald, who, along with a Scottish chaplain, was put in a prisoner-of-war camp. A high wire fence separated the Americans from the British, and McDonald was put in the American barracks. The Americans had a little homemade radio and were able to get news from the outside. Every day McDonald would take a headline or two to the fence and share it with the chaplain in the ancient Gaelic language, indecipherable to the Germans. One day news came that the German High Command had surrendered. McDonald took the news to his friend, then watched him disappear into the barracks. A moment later a roar of celebration came from inside. Life in that camp was transformed. Men walked around singing and shouting, waving at the guards, even laughing at the dogs. When the German guards finally heard the news three nights later, they fled into the dark, leaving the gates unlocked. The next morning, Brits and Americans walked out as free men. Yet they had truly been set free three days earlier by the news that the war was over.'

The certainty of Christ's soon return sets you free to hope, to rejoice in the worst of circumstances, and to live with purpose. For God's redeemed people, the best is yet to come!

Soulfood : Ex 10-12, Jn 1:29-42, Ps 29, Prov 26:4-6



Helping others brings happiness, but selfishness never can. A ragged urchin stood looking into a sweet shop window. A man came along and observed the scene, took him inside and said to the saleslady, 'Fill a bag with every kind of sweet he wants.' The boy couldn't believe his luck. As he filled his mouth with sugary delights, his benefactor asked, 'Is that good, son?' He nodded in the affirmative: 'Uh huh.' Then the man asked, 'Could I have some?' Immediately the boy's look of joy turned to fear, and clutching the bag he ran away shouting, 'Mine, mine!'

Happiness doesn't come by getting; it comes by forgetting yourself and living for others. Job, one of the richest men in his day, lost his health, his wealth, and his family. It's hard to imagine, right? Then an amazing thing happened: 'The Lord restored Job's losses, when he prayed for his friends' (Job 42:10 NKJV). Job actually got back twice what he lost. How? By reaching out to others instead of dwelling on his own problems. And that principle still works today. Jesus warned, 'Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses' (Luke 12:15 NKJV). God blesses you for one reason: to make you a blessing to others. You're not supposed to be a warehouse - but a clearing house. For every verse in Scripture that promises material success, there's another that speaks of the dangers of hoarding.

So the word for you today is: helping others brings happiness, but selfishness never can.

Soulfood : Ex 7-9, Jn 1:14-28, Ps 92, Prov 26:1-3



Holiness brings happiness, but sin never can. Sometimes we find this hard to believe. The story's told of a mother saying to her son, 'Be good, and have fun.' He replies, 'Please make up your mind!' How revealing!

Today the word 'holiness' has got a bad reputation. Some see it as a list of all the things the church says you can't do. Others recall those who claimed to practise holiness, but came across as rigid, joyless, narrow and judgmental. So let's define it: 'Holiness is the whole of Christ in the whole of life.' Furthermore, holiness vanishes when you talk about it; it only becomes attractive when you live it. 'The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it' (Proverbs 10:22 NKJV). The only thing that adds no sorrow is the blessing of the Lord. James writes, 'When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death' (James 1:15 NKJV). When we're immature we think we can sin and get away with it, but as we grow wiser and more mature we know better. You'll never meet a smoker who recommends his or her habit. And you'll meet very few who shipwrecked a marriage, recommending an affair.

The law of the harvest is: 'Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap' (Galatians 6:7 NKJV). Sin destroys your capacity for happiness. A loving parent doesn't want to see their children get hurt - and God is a loving parent. David, who tasted the bitter fruits of sin first-hand, wrote, 'Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness' (Psalms 29:2 NKJV). Holiness is a beautiful thing when you fully understand and practise it.

Soulfood : Ex 4-6, Jn 1:1-13, Ps 63, Prov 25:26-28

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