Morning Wake-up
Leanna, Bjorn and Josh

The Word For Today

Let Jesus tell you who you are

'You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.' Matthew 16:17 NIV

Peter the apostle started out as Peter the fisherman. His father owned a fleet of fishing boats, and Peter probably thought that one day he'd end up running the family business when his dad was gone. But when the Lord has a plan for your life, he will come looking for you! Think about this fascinating interaction between Jesus and Peter: 'But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in Heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church"' (Matthew 16:15-18 NIV).

There's an important lesson here. When you discover who Jesus is and what he has done for you, you discover who you are and what he has called you to do for him. There's a lot more to life than working forty hours a week for forty years, retiring with a gold watch, drawing a pension, and playing with your grandchildren.

Just as surely as your DNA differs from every other person's on the planet, so does your individual destiny. But to understand and fulfil it, 'you must be born again' (John 3:7 NKJV). Jesus said at the grave of Lazarus, 'He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live' (John 11:25 NKJV). And the one who raised Lazarus from the dead can bring you to life spiritually, too. Seek him and he will also tell you who you really are.

Soulfood: Josh 2:1-24 Acts 9:20-30,


To this you were called

'To this you were called...that you should follow in his steps.' 1 Peter 2:21 NIV

In the midst of his problems, Job said, 'He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come forth as gold' (Job 23:10 NKJV). Gold is hidden deep in the earth, and it takes hours of back-breaking work removing tons of dirt scoop by scoop to bring it to the surface. Likewise, crucifying the flesh is excruciating and time-consuming, and when you follow Jesus, you give him 'digging rights'. Satan tries to bury your treasure under memories of past sin and failure, but God keeps on digging because he's going for the gold!

Joni Eareckson Tada became a quadriplegic after a diving accident. She writes: 'Often during a single day I'll have to make twenty-six different adjustments in my wheelchair...sometimes I think I'll drive me and my friends crazy. That's when I...remember, "To this you were called because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps" (1 Peter 2:21 NIV). Life's supposed to be difficult. Jesus said in this world we would have trouble (John 16:33). And that it has been granted - that is...gifted - on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but to suffer for him. Sometimes I don't want that gift, but if Jesus learned obedience through the things he suffered, then I can learn from twenty-six different adjustments in my sitting position. God desires intimacy with us - but on his terms - and those terms require us to suffer as his Son suffered. So next time you get hit broadside with a bruising disappointment, God's asking you to follow in Jesus' steps.'

Soulfood: Judg 4-6 Matt 16:1-12 Ps 119:57-64 Pro 17:22,


Keep plodding and you'll succeed

'Dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable.' 1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT

When William Carey first began considering the possibility of going to India as a pioneer missionary, his father pointed out that he possessed no academic qualifications for the job. Carey answered, 'I can plod.' And he did. When he went to India this was his typical day: he arose at 5:45 a.m. to read a chapter in the Hebrew Bible and have private devotions. At 7:00 a.m. he led family prayers in Bengali, read Persian with a tutor, and a portion of Scripture in Hindustani. After breakfast he translated Sanskrit into English. At 10:00 a.m. he went to college to teach until 2:00 p.m., then translated into Bengali until dinner time. After an early supper, he translated into Sanskrit and studied the Telugu language until he preached to an English congregation at 7:30 p.m. About 9:00 p.m. he returned to translating for two hours, wrote to a friend in England, read a chapter from his Greek New Testament, and then finally went to bed. Carey is credited with doing more than anyone else in taking the message of Christ to India and establishing the church there. And he did it because he was a plodder!

Here are two Scriptures plodders stand on: (1) 'Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart' (Galatians 6:9 NKJV). (2) 'My dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless' (1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT). These Scriptures could be reduced to five words: keep plodding and you'll succeed.

Soulfood: Judg 1-3 Matt 15:29-39 Ps 119:49-56 Pro 17:18-21,

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