Days
Andrew 10:00-3:00pm

The Word For Today

PASTOR, PREPARE YOUR HEART

A preacher got into the habit of writing his sermons word for word. It worked well - until one Sunday he found himself in the pulpit without his notes. Addressing the congregation, he said, 'I've forgotten my notes this morning, so I'll have to pray and rely on the Lord. But at tonight's service I'll come better prepared.' Cute story, but it's not so cute when it's a reality! Pastor, your people may be impressed with your speaking abilities short-term, but they'll only be impacted long-term when your words are inspired by the Holy Spirit. The ability to change hearts is above your pay grade, so don't fall into that ego trap or you'll fizzle like a wet firecracker!

Study the life of Christ. Before He chose His disciples, or walked on the water, or fed the multitude, He spent hours in prayer. So in order to choose the right people, feed your flock on Sunday morning, or 'walk on water' and accomplish great things for God, you must focus on preparing your heart and not just your message. You say, 'But I'm a people person.' That's good, but you'll have nothing to say to people that'll make any real difference unless you get it from God. You say, 'But I'm a project person.' Unless you spend time with God you'll get into things you shouldn't - things you may not be able to get out of. Moses said, 'I lay prostrate before the Lord...forty days and forty nights because the Lord had said He would destroy you.' And the end result? God not only saved the nation, He blessed it.

So pastor, prepare your heart.

Soulfood : 2 Chr 12-15, Lk 15:11-32, Ps 119:97-104, Prov 21:24-27

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FORGIVE THEM, AND LET IT GO!

'Pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.' Matthew 5:44 NKJV

An unforgiving attitude can keep you from moving forward in life. So isn't it time you got serious about forgiving the one who hurt you? You say, 'But then they'll have got away with it.' They're not getting away with anything! God is qualified to judge; you're not. Remember, your critics are making decisions about you based on limited information, but God knows the truth and He will deal with your detractors in His own time. By trying to defend yourself and prove them wrong, you're stepping into territory that belongs exclusively to God.
The Bible says: 'Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone...never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, "I will take revenge; I will pay them back," says the Lord. Instead, "If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads." Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good' (Romans 12:17-21 NLT). Satan's goal is to get you all tied up in knots and steal your peace. Don't play into his hands!
Christ, your example, prayed for those who drove the nails into His hands: 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do' (Luke 23:34 KJV). Your enemies may think they're smart, but often they're acting in ignorance. Don't come down to their level by retaliating. Forgive them, and let it go.

SoulFood: 2 Chron 8-11; Luke 15:1-10; Ps 119:89-96; Pro 21:20-23

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TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE

'He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.' John 6:15 NKJV

The Bible says: 'When Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him King, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone. Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum...Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going' (John 6:15-21 NKJV).
Notice three things in this story: (1) The control Jesus exercised. People wanted to plan His life for Him. Sound familiar? When that happened, 'He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.' Note the word 'again'. Spending time with God was something He did regularly. Do you? (2) The criticism Jesus evoked. When the crowd wants to make you 'King', it's hard for your ego to walk away. But Jesus did. Others couldn't impose their will or agenda on Him. Why? Because He was committed to doing the will of God and nothing else. (3) The communion Jesus enjoyed. He emerged from a night of prayer empowered to walk on the water and subdue the storm.
If you want to succeed in life, there's only one source you can go to for strength and guidance: God. Do you want to take control of your life? That's how you do it!

SoulFood: 2 Chron 5-7; Luke 14:25-35; Ps 119:81-88; Pro 21:17-19

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