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The Word For Today

Don't 'turn a blind eye'

'He will separate them one from another.' Matthew 25:32 NKJV

The Bible says: 'All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And he will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right hand, "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom"' (Matthew 25:32-34 NKJV). But here's what happens to those on the left hand: 'He will also say to those on the left hand, "Depart from me"' (Matthew 25:41 NKJV).

What determines the King's choice? How does he separate people? Is it based on the fact that one group was highly moral while the other was loose-living? Is it based on the fact that one group was doctrinally correct while the other went astray theologically? No. Jesus said the destiny of all present will be based on one thing: showing compassion to those in need. You object: 'We are saved by faith alone!' Yes. But as Martin Luther pointed out, 'The faith that saves us is never alone!' The Bible says that faith without works is dead (see James 2:26).

Jesus said that this was the standard by which we'll be evaluated and rewarded: 'I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me' (Matthew 25:36 NKJV). Then he personalised it in these words: 'Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me' (Matthew 25:40 NKJV). That means you must open your heart and respond to the needs around you.

Soulfood: Jer 45-48 Mk 2:13-17 Ps 25:16-22 Pro 10:4-7,


Pray for God's favour

'You bless the righteous...with your favour.' Psalm 5:12 NIV

When you ask someone for a favour, you're generally asking for something they don't owe you. The Bible says of God: 'You bless the righteous; you surround them with your favour' (Psalm 5:12 NIV). This word 'righteous' doesn't mean flawless, otherwise none of us would qualify! It means to be clothed in 'the righteousness of God', thereby making us acceptable before God and qualifying us for his favour (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). And that's a truth you need to grasp and hold on to! Why? Because when you have God's favour, people start favouring you too - often for reasons they themselves can't explain!

The favour of God made it possible for people in the Bible who otherwise wouldn't have amounted to much, to do great things. God called a teenager named Esther to save the Jewish people. So she stepped out in faith, approached the king uninvited, even though it violated protocol, and 'obtained favour in his sight' (Esther 5:2 AMPC). God made a way for her to do the job he'd given her. Without the favour of God, Ruth, a Gentile, wouldn't have been accepted by the Jews. But because God had a plan for her life and her heart was open to him, she ended up marrying Boaz, 'a man of great wealth' (Ruth 2:1 NKJV). And from that union descended King David and, ultimately, our blessed Lord Jesus. What favour!

The Bible says, 'A good man will obtain favour from the Lord' (Proverbs 12:2 NAS). And a single moment of God's favour will do more for you than a lifetime of striving. So pray for the favour of God today - and start looking for it!

Soulfood: Jer 41-44 Mk 2:1-12 Ps 25:8-15 Pro 10:1-3,


Position yourself to receive

'The wise listen to others.' Proverbs 12:15 NLT

Positioning yourself to receive - makes all the difference! For example, as you read this, if you position yourself to receive by saying to the Lord, 'I will take action on what you show me,' you'll benefit more than if you read it just to be motivated or inspired. To resist or to receive - that's a choice you make every day. Nothing dies quicker than a new idea in a closed mind. It's impossible to learn if you think you already know it all.

One of the reasons Jesus reacted so strongly to the Pharisees was because they refused to receive what he had to say. A wrongly positioned mind is like a microscope that magnifies trifling things but can't receive great ones. Every situation, properly viewed, is an opportunity. But opportunities can only 'drop into your lap' if you position your lap where opportunities drop. When you don't position yourself to receive, it's like asking for a bushel while you're holding a cup. Too often our minds are locked on one track. We're looking for red so we overlook blue; we're thinking 'tomorrow' and God is saying 'now'. We're looking everywhere, and the answer is right under our nose.

When a person is positioned correctly, he or she is ready to receive all God has for them. The Bible often uses the word simple. The original term means 'thick, dull, and sluggish', and it describes those who are insensitive and unreceptive to the thoughts of others. God will speak to you through people, but unless you listen you won't hear what he has to say. So today position yourself to receive.

Soulfood: Jer 36:27-40:16 Mk 1:40-45 Ps 25:1-7 Pro 9:17-18,

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