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The Word For Today

The answer's on the way

'Shunem, where [there] was a great woman.' 2 Kings 4:8 KJV

The Bible refers to this woman as 'a great woman' (2 Kings 4:8 KJV). That's because she had a 'great' strategy for her life! She prepared a bedroom in her house for Elisha the prophet to use when he passed through town. As a result she got her heart's desire: a baby boy. And later when her son died suddenly, God used Elisha to raise him from the dead.

Notice three things in this woman's story: (1) She made room for God. (2) Her dream came to pass. (3) When her dream died, God brought it back to life (2 Kings 4:36-37). When her son died, the neighbours probably told her, 'It's over. Go ahead and bury him.' But she refused to accept the opinions of unbelieving people or discuss her situation with those who were unqualified to help. Be careful who you open up to in a crisis! Make sure they know God, and that their words line up with his. This woman believed that if God started it, he could finish it. If he made it, he could fix it. The Bible tells us Elisha stretched out his body on top of the dead boy, and he got warm. But this boy needed more than warmth - he needed life. So Elisha stretched out on top of him again, and he became fully alive.

There's a lesson here for you. No matter how bad things look, stay on top of the situation by believing God. Walk the floor and pray all night if you have to, but keep standing on his Word. Your dream may not yet be fully alive, but it's getting warm. Things are improving... God is moving... the answer's on the way!

Soulfood: Gen 24:1-25:18, John 12:20-36, Ps 14, Prov 31:22-24


Learn to live within your means

'The borrower is servant to the lender.' Proverbs 22:7 NKJV

Here's an idea for getting out of debt, and staying out. Instead of referring to it as your 'credit card', start seeing it as your 'debt card'. Next time you have an 'itch' to purchase something you don't need or can't pay for, that may just stop you from 'scratching' it. People generally fall into three categories: (1) the haves (2) the have-nots (3) the have-not-paid-for-what-they-haves.

The story is told of a handyman who'd been called out to a millionaire's mansion to refinish the floors. The rich man's wife said, 'Be especially careful with this dining room table. It goes back to Louis XVI.' The handyman said, 'That's nothing. If I don't make a payment by next Friday, my whole living room set goes back to the furniture store!' They say the average person today drives a bank-financed car, with petrol they bought on a credit card, to a department store to open another store account, so they can fill their house that's mortgaged for thirty years to the bank, with furniture that's been purchased on an instalment plan. Now, the Bible doesn't condemn credit, but it cautions us about the use of it. 'The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender' (Proverbs 22:7 NKJV).

It's ok to borrow for necessities, but you should always pay for luxuries. So if at all possible, pay cash or don't buy it. 'The wicked borrows and does not repay' (Psalm 37:21 NKJV). It's not wrong to borrow money, it's just wrong to borrow money and not repay it. So the word for you today is: learn to live within your means.

Soulfood: Gen 20-23, John 12:12-19, Ps 146, Prov 31:18-21


Spiritual growth 3

'The Word of God... effectively works in you.' 1 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV

Spiritually speaking, you may not be as far along as you'd like to be, but thank God you're still on the road. At one time you were a stranger to God's grace, but now you belong to 'the household of God' (Ephesians 2:19 NKJV). Paul writes, 'You received the Word...which...effectively works in you who believe' (1 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV). As long as you keep reading and believing God's Word, it will keep working in you. Plus, you mature a lot faster when you learn to relax and start living by what God's Word says about you, not how you feel. How you see yourself affects your spiritual progress profoundly. Until your self-concept lines up with what God says about you in Scripture, you'll keep seeing yourself as unqualified and unworthy - and that will hinder your spiritual growth.

When God told Jeremiah he'd called him as a prophet to the nations, Jeremiah informed God he was too young, wasn't a good speaker, and didn't have enough experience, etc. How did God respond? 'Before I formed you...I knew [and] approved of you' (Jeremiah 1:5 AMP). So stop worrying about being rejected when you don't perform perfectly. The world operates like that, but not God. Plus, if you were as perfect as you'd like to be, you wouldn't need his grace. Like Jacob's limp, sometimes God leaves things in us to remind us how much we need him each day.

So enjoy where you are right now and stop comparing yourself with other people. Don't worry if they are farther along than you. They went through exactly the same places to get to where they are today.

Soulfood: Gen 17-19, John 12:1-11, Ps 118:19-29, Prov 31:14-17

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