Mid-Afternoons
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The Word For Today

BECOME A MOTIVATOR!

Leslie was born with physical and mental challenges so severe that doctors had to remove his eyes. When he was six months old, a nurse named May Lemke, who was raising five children of her own, adopted him and asked God to give him some kind of talent. When Leslie was thirteen, May bought a used piano and played some simple songs, hoping he'd respond. No expression...nothing. She continued trying to motivate her adopted son to engage in life. Then when he was sixteen, he pulled himself up to the piano, and without ever having touched a keyboard before, played a Tchaikovsky piano concerto. It was flawless, and May soon discovered that Leslie could play anything he heard. Then out of the blue one day, he started singing, and that led to his playing and singing at concerts all over the country. All this came about because a mother facing incredible odds became a tireless motivator!

In the movie 'Seabiscuit' one of the main characters, Tom Smith, was asked why he kept a lame, ageing horse. He replied, 'You don't throw away a whole life just because he's banged up a little!' That old horse ended up leading a younger horse to a spectacular racing career. Thank God for motivators who make the difference between a trip to the glue factory and winning a blue ribbon!

Paul says, 'Encourage [motivate] one another.' Somebody said, 'Dreams always come a size too big so we can grow into them'. Motivators help you to dream big, then help you grow in order to fulfil your dream. People can run a long way on just a little encouragement. So become a motivator.

Soulfood : Josh 8:30-10:43, Lk 19:28-40, Ps 103:13-22, Prov 23:1-3

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WHO HAVE YOU WON TO CHRIST?

One day a pastor told the manager of a big department store, 'I've talked about carpets and bedding and appliances with you many times, but I've never talked about my business. Will you give me a few minutes?' After being led to a private office, the pastor took out his New Testament and urged the manager to become a Christian. Finally, tears began to roll down the man's cheeks and he said, 'I'm seventy years old. I was born in this city, and more than a hundred ministers and five hundred officers of various churches have known me in a business capacity. But you're the only man who has ever talked to me about my soul.' That day he knelt down and gave his life to Christ.

We've got the cart before the horse! We keep thinking if we can just bring visitors to church they'll get saved. And thank God that happens. But when those in the New Testament church met together to celebrate, usually they'd already been won to Christ by someone before they got there! Christ's last act before He died was winning a soul. His last command was for us to win souls. And His last prayer on the cross was for the forgiveness of a soul.

You don't have to be theologically articulate; you just have to be in love with Jesus. When you're in love, it shows on your face and expresses itself in your words. Jesus said, 'I, if I am lifted up...will draw all peoples to Myself' (John 12:32 NKJV). Don't worry about drawing people to Christ; just introduce Him and He will do the drawing.

Soulfood : Josh 5:1-8:29, Lk 19:11-27, Ps 103:1-12, Prov 22:27-29

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THE TIME IS NEAR

Almost three thousand years ago, God said through the prophet Amos that just before the coming of the Lord, the Jews would return from the four corners of the earth and rebuild the nation of Israel. 'I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them, says the Lord your God' (Amos 9:14-15 NIV).

In 1948 the nation of Israel was born. In 1949 they elected their first president, hoisted their own flag, instituted their own constitution and started minting their own money. It's an amazing fulfilment of prophecy. Now read what Jesus said: 'Learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near - at the doors' (Matthew 24:32-33 NKJV)! In Scripture the fig tree represents the nation of Israel. Surrounded and threatened by hostile neighbours, she stands today as a testimony to the accuracy and reliability of God's prophetic Word.

And the same Christ who announced the rebirth of Israel made an even greater promise to those of us living in the end of the age. 'Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown' (Revelation 3:11 NKJV). Are you ready? Are you living your life in the light of His soon return?

Soulfood : Josh 1-4, Lk 19:1-10, Ps 84, Prov 22:24-26

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