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The Word For Today

Getting out of your boat

'Peter then got out of the boat.' Matthew 14:29 CEV

Matthew records, 'Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward [Jesus]' (Matthew 14:29 CEV).

Today, ask yourself these three questions: (1) What's my boat? It's whatever gives you your greatest sense of security. It's what you're tempted to put your trust in when life gets stormy. To know what your boat is, ask yourself, 'What is it that produces the most fear in me, especially when I think of leaving it behind and stepping out in faith?' (2) What's keeping me from getting out of my boat? Fear: fear of people, fear of failure, fear of criticism, fear of lack. In order to grow, you must go into new territory, and each time you do, you'll experience fear. It never goes away. But each time you get out of your boat, you become a little more able to do it the next time, and you begin to realise that fear doesn't have the power to destroy you. So when Jesus says to you, 'Come,' start walking, he won't let you drown. (3) What will I forfeit by staying in my boat? Your destiny. To achieve what you have not yet achieved, you must attempt what you have not yet attempted. Will there be risks? Yes. Baseball's greatest hitters fail two times out of every three. But they know that if they don't step up to the plate, they'll never experience the joy of hitting a home run.

Understand this: if you stay in your boat, you'll eventually die there, and end up wondering what your life might have been if only you'd been willing to get out of your boat.

Soulfood: Jer 10-13, Luke 3:21-38, Ps 95, Pro 14:29-33


It's never too late for God

'I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway!' Isaiah 57:18 NLT

Are you asking, 'Is it too late for God to do something with me?' It's never too late for God! In Scripture we read about broken people God raised up in marvellous ways. He used Moses, a murderer, to deliver the Hebrew slaves. He used Jacob, a liar and a trickster, to fulfil his promise to Abraham. He even included Rahab, a harlot, in the messianic family line. And if God redeemed them, he can redeem you too.

Brokenness should never keep you bound. Rather, it should release you into a life of freedom. A truly broken person understands the reality of John 15:5 (NLT), where Jesus said, 'Apart from me you can do nothing'. A broken person who has learned to depend on God is a force to be reckoned with. When you're looking at a past strewn with failures, it's difficult to see a bright future, just as it's difficult to drive when you're looking in the rear-view mirror. You need to glance in your rear-view mirror occasionally, but if you keep focusing on it you'll end up hurting yourself and others. That's why the windscreen is so much bigger than the rear-view mirror - it shows you where you're heading instead of where you've been!

When you turn to God he will forgive you, restore you and use you for his purposes. He said, 'I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them. I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips' (Isaiah 57:18-19 NLT). The word for today is - it's never too late for God!

Soulfood: Jer 7-9, Luke 3:11-20, Ps 64, Pro 14:25-28


God is training you

'It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons.' Hebrews 12:7 NAS

The Hebrew verb for test comes from a word that means 'to take a keen look at, to look, to choose'. Dismiss the notion that God does not see your struggle. On the contrary, he is fully engaged. He sees the needs of tomorrow and, accordingly, uses your circumstances to allow the test of today. Does he not have the authority to do so? He is the potter; we are the clay. He is the shepherd; we are the sheep. He is the gardener; we are the branches. He is the teacher; we are the students. Trust his training. You'll get through this. And remember, all tests are temporary. They are limited in duration. The Bible says, 'In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials' (1 Peter 1:6 NAS).

And here's something else to keep in mind: you can't shorten your testing period, but you can definitely lengthen it by being proud and stubborn, resisting what God wants to teach you. God won't deny you that choice, but neither will he protect you from the consequences of that choice. You wouldn't be the first student who had to repeat a year in school, and you won't be the last. You can go to church on Sunday and pay lip service to God's Word; you can reject the principles of truth and seek the easy way out. But it doesn't work. 'Good understanding gains favour, but the way of the unfaithful is hard' (Proverbs 13:15 NKJV).

Do it God's way, for that's the best way. Always!

Soulfood: Heb 11:23-28, Exo 3:1-22, Exo 33:7-23, Exo 34:29-35

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