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The Word For Today

TOO BIG FOR YOUR BOOTS

When King Saul disobeyed God, the prophet Samuel told him, 'When you were little in your own eyes...did not the Lord anoint you King over Israel?...Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord' (1 Samuel 15:17-19 NKJV)? There's a sobering lesson here. The most dangerous moment in your life is when you think you can succeed without God. When you get a few wins under your belt, it's easy to forget Who's responsible for your success. Where once you would have consulted God, you now launch out on your own and ask Him to add His blessing to your decisions.

You say, 'But things are going pretty well for me these days.' Then remember Who made your success possible, and live with gratitude and dependence on God! Looking back on how God blessed Israel, the Psalmist records, 'Then they believed His words; they sang His praise. [But] they soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel' (Psalms 106:12-13 NKJV). Our capacity for forgetfulness is staggering. The old-timers used to tie a string around their finger to remind them of something they might easily forget. Maybe you need to wear a string on your finger to remind you that God is the secret, the source of all your blessings. Frustrated by how long he had to wait in line to renew his driver's licence, the CEO of a big plumbing company asked his wife, 'Don't they know who I am?' She responded, 'Yes, you're a plumber's son who got lucky.'

The word for today is: stay humble, and don't get too big for your boots!

Soulfood : Phil 2:5-11, Rev 19:11-16, Acts 3:1-16, Mt 1:18-21

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GOD IS FIGHTING WITH YOU

Jesus said, 'A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten minas (about $100,000 today), and said unto them, "Occupy till I come"' (Luke 19:12-13). The word 'occupy' is a military term which means 'to take possession of'. We haven't been called to 'hold the fort', but to 'go up and possess the land'. Christ isn't coming back for a vanquished church, but a victorious church.

You say, 'But the odds against me don't look good.' Then you need to look at 'God's odds'. According to His mathematics one can defeat a thousand enemies, but two can defeat ten thousand (Deuteronomy 32:30). God loves to take something that looks small and insignificant, multiply it by Himself and bring victory out of it. When God told Gideon He would use him and three hundred soldiers to destroy an army of hundreds of thousands, Gideon reminded God that he came from the smallest tribe and the smallest family. But God said, 'Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man' (Judges 6:16 NKJV). One 'surely' from God does away with all our 'maybes' and 'what ifs'. Gideon told his three hundred men: 'When I blow the trumpet... you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon"' (Judges 7:18 NKJV)!

When you're swinging your sword on this side, look over your shoulder and you'll see the Lord swinging His sword on the other side. You're not alone. God is fighting alongside you, so you will win.

Soulfood : 3 Jn, Jude, Lk 18:31-43, Ps 119:169-176, Prov 22:20-23

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'THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET'

'Give me life through Your word.' Psalms 119:37 NLT

Jane Johnson Struck set out on a frigid winter evening to deliver dinner to the family of a friend who had died. Snarled in traffic and juggling an already overloaded schedule, she was feeling sorry for herself - and irritated when she arrived and found nobody home. Using her mobile phone to let them know she'd been there, she was dumbfounded when the answering machine kicked in and a familiar voice started singing: 'Grab your coat, collect your hat, Leave your worries on the doorstep; Life can be so sweet on the sunny side of the street.' It was her friend Annie, the one who died after a prolonged battle with breast cancer, leaving three kids and a grieving husband.
Struck writes: 'People who'd been touched by Annie's larger-than-life personality, perseverance, and testimony in the face of gruelling and unfair circumstances, hadn't expected to hear her voice on the machine. Her indomitable spirit amazed me...she'd talked openly about her prognosis, yet never hesitated to give God glory for the grace and peace she experienced. She knew that life with Jesus, come what may, was a walk on the sunny side of the street.'
The Psalmist prayed, 'Give me life through Your Word'. Struck continues: 'As I listened to Annie's voice on the machine...even in death God used her life to challenge me. I drove home pondering how He illuminates the darkest journey...how pity parties keep me from savouring life's sweetness...then asking forgiveness for my selfish attitudes. It was a powerful reminder that one day life will be complete on the sunny side of the street...in Heaven, where there's no darkness, disease or death.'

SoulFood: 2 Chron 35-36; 2 John; Luke 18:18-30; Ps 119:161-168; Pro 22:17-19

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