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The Word For Today

Responsibility and risks 2

'Well done, good and faithful servant!' Matthew 25:23 NIV

In 1975 a low-level Hewlett Packard engineer called Steve Wozniak, whom nobody had ever heard of, shared a dream with his pal, Steve Jobs. It was about building and selling an easy-to-use personal computer to the masses around the world. The pair worked round the clock to create their compact PC. But when they offered it to Hewlett Packard, one of the world's great companies, the powers-that-be failed to see its incredible potential and gave it the thumbs down. So Wozniak and Jobs went off on their own and founded a little company called Apple Computers - and revolutionised the computer industry!

There's no shortage of people who will tell you, 'It can't be done' or 'It won't work.' There's a name for those people: 'dream killers' - and if you listen to them you'll give up before you even begin. Behind every major accomplishment you'll find ordinary people with dreams, who are willing to take responsibility and risks. They are the people who enjoy the rewards! Jesus wrapped up one of his parables with these words: 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness' (Matthew 25:23 NIV).

In spite of your failures, your struggles and your limitations, if you're willing to disregard the naysayers, step out in faith and use the gifts God has given you, he will see to it that you succeed.

Soulfood: Josh 11-13, John 15:5-17, Ps 14, Pro 28:13-16


Responsibility and risks 1

'The vision is yet for an appointed time...wait for it; because it will surely come.' Habakkuk 2:3 NKJV

One missionary evangelist writes: 'There are times and seasons in God's will. And we can easily become frustrated if we don't understand that just as there are times and seasons in nature, there are also times and seasons in the process of fulfilling God's will for our lives. Years ago a group of senior missionaries came together to discuss life principles they'd discovered...their purpose was to share this wealth of experience with succeeding generations...They'd all encountered common stages of transition in their ministries, and collectively they identified a five-step cyclical process God had taken them through.'

Bottom line: timing is all-important! When executives at Decca Records told the Beatles, 'Groups with guitars are on the way out,' they signed up with EMI - and the rest is history! Don't miss the lesson here. Each of us has been placed on earth as a caretaker of God's business. And that's true whether you are a judge or a cleaner. You've been given an allotment of life and charged with the responsibility of taking care of it, investing it, increasing it and presenting it back to God. Simply saying, 'I was afraid of failing,' or 'I was worried about being criticised,' or 'I didn't think I was good enough,' won't work. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 'Excuses always replace progress.' God will accept your trials and errors, but he won't accept your excuses for not having tried.

So pray, accept responsibility and step out in faith. You may fail many times on your way to success, but if you keep trying and trusting God, you'll eventually succeed.

Soulfood: Josh 8:30-35, Josh 9, Josh 10:1-43, John 14:26 - 15:4, Ps 146, Pro 28:9-12


Struggle necessary in the process

'I will instruct you.' Psalm 32:8 NKJV

Why are you still here? When Jesus saved you, why didn't he simply take you to Heaven to be with him? Because he's not only interested in your final destination; he wants to do a work in you and through you on the way to it. We get impatient when it comes to God's will for our lives. We just want to get there! But a great deal of time usually elapses between when God calls us and when we've fulfilled his will for our lives. And until we accept that, we're not ready to go anywhere! We need to understand that the journey is an important process.

It matters to God what you become on the way to where you're going. And following him in obedience through unknowns, trials and difficulties is an integral and indispensable part of your preparation. God uses the journey to teach you faith, refine your character and equip you for greater challenges that lie ahead. In fact, if you're in the process of seeking God's will right now, you're already fulfilling part of it in your life. God said, 'I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go' (Psalm 32:8 NKJV). Don't make the mistake of thinking that because you don't know all you'd like to, you're not making progress. Something is happening right now. Your faith is being stretched, your patience is being developed, your doubts are being confronted and conquered, and your relationship with God is growing deeper.

He always prepares us in advance for what he has planned ahead for us. Yes, the struggle is uncomfortable - but it's a necessary part of the process.

Soulfood: Josh 5, Josh 6, Josh 7, Josh 8:1-29, John 14:15-25, Ps 118:19-29, Pro 28:5-8

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