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The Word For Today

What Will You Leave Behind?

Paul probably didn't leave any money or property when he died, but he did leave a legacy - a superior one! His legacy was a combination of his writings, those he won to Christ, those he mentored and his enduring influence. Every day your life touches other lives in unseen ways. You don't have to know someone personally in order to experience the blessing of their legacy. Like walking into an empty room and catching a whiff of someone's perfume, your impact can continue to be felt long after you're gone. Usually we associate legacies with dying and we don't particularly like the topic. Or we assume that since our legacy won't be revealed for years, we don't need to start investing in it now.

In some cases, we feel like we've little or no control over what we leave behind anyway. Not so: 'A good man leaves an inheritance.' What will yours be? More importantly, what's it going to cost you? Since the best gifts aren't always handed down in your will, why not try for something more meaningful - something that points to who you were. It's one thing to measure success by the money in your bank account, the size of your property holdings and the value of your stocks portfolio. It's entirely another to measure it by intangibles like being a faithful marriage partner, raising great kids, building God's Kingdom and leaving your light burning brightly when you go. All great legacies come with a price tag.

To move beyond mediocrity, you must invest every day in the accounts of those who follow you!

Soulfood : 1 Sam 4-7, Lk 1:67-80, Ps 59:9-17, Prov 16:23-26

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Three Obstacles

In Bible days marathons weren't run on smooth tracks, but over pathways filled with obstacles that could cause a runner to stumble and lose the race. Here are three obstacles you need to look out for as you run your life's race: (1) An unforgiving attitude. '...If you do not forgive, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive your trespasses' (Mark 11:26 NKJV). When the mention of someone's name triggers resentment, stop and pray, 'Father, I forgive them as You've forgiven me. Whatever I ask for myself in blessing, I ask for them in double measure.' When you retaliate, you deny God the right to show mercy and deal with the situation His way. Don't play God. You've received mercy - pass it on!

(2) An unhealthy relationship. Paul writes, '...Bad company corrupts good character' (1 Corinthians 15:33 NLT). On the journey of life, you get to choose your travelling companions. If you give your time to those who aren't worthy of it, you've no right to complain. Become more selective. Choose your friends from among those who share your values, understand your God-given purpose and strengthen you.

(3) An undecided heart. Paul writes, '...I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize...' (Philippians 3:13-14 TLB). A decided heart is the result of a made-up mind. It's what separates the winners from the losers. Pour your life into something more than self-interest; commit to a purpose that will outlive you!

Soulfood : Mt 5:6, Is 55:1-7, Ps 63:1-5, Jn 4:1-34

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Wait!

When you're praying for something, the last thing you want to hear God say is 'Wait!' But sometimes He does. And in order to walk with Him you must learn to be patient, because He works according to His schedule and not yours. All your praying and pleading won't accelerate the process, it'll just frustrate you. Furthermore, if life has indulged your every want and whim, learning to wait on God will be like going through spiritual rehab. When Abraham was 75, God promised to make him '...a father of many nations' (Genesis 17:4 NKJV). But he had to wait over 24 years before he 'received what was promised'.

Waiting isn't simply something you do in order to get what you want; waiting produces patience, maturity, understanding and character. What God accomplishes in you while you're waiting is often more important than the thing you're waiting for. 'You need to persevere, so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised' (Hebrews 10:36 NIV). Now, waiting isn't an excuse for dodging reality, shirking your responsibility, or not doing the right thing. For example, if you're up to your eyeballs in debt due to overspending, don't sit around waiting for God to send you a big cheque. Learn to discipline yourself and adopt sound financial principles like tithing, budgeting and doing without things until you can pay for them.

Above all, waiting means making a decision to trust and obey God when things aren't going the way you planned. It's saying, 'Lord, I'm counting on You and I don't have a backup plan.'

Soulfood : Song 5-8, Lk 1:39-56, Ps 21, Prov 16:16-19

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