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Dan 6:00-10:00am

The Word For Today

HOW TO BE HAPPY (2)

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

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HOW TO BE HAPPY (1)

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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YOU CAN BEGIN AGAIN

When you haven't accomplished what you'd hoped for, regret can become a major pastime. The computer analyst wishes he'd become an accountant, the accountant wishes he'd become a doctor, etc. Maybe you planned to leave a legacy, but to date all you've left is a trail of unfilled aspirations.

It's not too late; you can begin again! You just have to be prepared to pursue your dream and pay the price. 'To win the contest you must deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best' (1 Corinthians 9:25 TLB). Don't listen to the critics and complainers who've settled for less. Your goal shouldn't just be to live long, but to make a difference in your world and glorify God. Aviator Charles Lindbergh said, 'I feel I lived on a higher plain than the sceptics on the ground...Who valued life more highly, the aviators who spent it on the art they loved, or these misers who doled it out like pennies through their antlike days?...If I could fly for ten years before I was killed in a crash, it would be a worthwhile trade for an ordinary lifetime.' Look at Moses. Look at Paul. They both began again. Look at Winston Churchill: instead of retiring after World War II, he went on to win the Nobel Prize in literature. When Heinrich Schliemann retired from business to look for Homer's legendary city of Troy - he found it.

Here's a Scripture you can stand on: 'Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion...therefore I hope in Him' (Lamentations 3:22-24 NKJV)! That means you can begin again.

Soulfood : Lev 16, Lev 23:26-32 , Heb 9:1-14, Heb 13:11-16

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