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Word For You Today

BRETHREN, ASSEMBLE (1)

Grab a Bible and read Psalm 133. It's short. It'll probably take about half a second. Chances are you've heard that opening verse before. And yeah, it certainly is nice when we get along. But why? What is it about unity that's so special for us Christians? Is there something more to it than it just making us feel warm and fuzzy?

Well, verses two and three of that Psalm highlight oil and dew. Hmm. It might seem a bit poetic at first, but it's got real meaning. Oil being dropped on a person happened as a symbol of the Holy Spirit 'anointing' them, and the power that comes with that. More often than not, that 'anointing' was a sign of God giving someone the power to go and carry out one of His plans. And dew crops up in Isaiah 26:19. Interestingly (well, we think so), it's a symbol of that same power that gives new and after-death life to God's people. Oil = God's Spirit and power. Dew = God's Spirit and power.

So, what the Psalmist seems to be saying here is that, when we 'live together in unity' (Psalms 133:1 NIV), something mind-blowingly huge happens - as a community, we receive death-beating power that enables us to do what God wants. God comes to rest in a very real way over the collection of people who are brought together because of Him. Pretty good reason to do that 'fellowship-community' thing, huh?

So what now? Grab some friends. Worship together. Put some suitable music on shuffle, spend time praying for each other and just bask in God's presence.

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

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YOUR LIFE IS A TREE

 



Your life works in cycles and seasons. That means that some periods of our lives are all green grass, shiny newness and picnics. It also means that sometimes they'll be nothing but dead leaves, rain and sniffles. Whichever season you are in right now, God's on it. He's the one who decides when we get spring-like-growth seasons. And when we need a stretch of... being stretched... He brings us into (and through) it. As Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT) says 'For everything there is a season.'



That's not to play down how outright terrible those tough seasons can feel, but we've got to hold onto the fact that they're a necessary part of God's long-term plan. Think about a tree. The only reason it has space to grow strong, healthy, green leaves in spring is because it lost the leaves it'd finished with last autumn. And it only grew new ones after shivering, bare-branched, through winter. If everything looks barren and painfully cold around you right now, we 100% guarantee that it's only for a time. In that time, the best thing you can do is stick to God, and let the difficulty that He has allowed you to face do its work. When a new season comes around, you'll find yourself ready for it.



So what now? Seasons come and go. So it's important to have a stable centre to your life. Are there any places where you live that you can turn into 'prayer spaces'? It doesn't have to be a wooden bench to kneel at, it could even just be a beanbag.

Soulfood : Phil 2:5-11, Rev 19:11-16, Acts 3:1-16, Mt 1:18-21

Read more...

YOUR LIFE IS A TREE

 



Your life works in cycles and seasons. That means that some periods of our lives are all green grass, shiny newness and picnics. It also means that sometimes they'll be nothing but dead leaves, rain and sniffles. Whichever season you are in right now, God's on it. He's the one who decides when we get spring-like-growth seasons. And when we need a stretch of... being stretched... He brings us into (and through) it. As Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT) says 'For everything there is a season.'



That's not to play down how outright terrible those tough seasons can feel, but we've got to hold onto the fact that they're a necessary part of God's long-term plan. Think about a tree. The only reason it has space to grow strong, healthy, green leaves in spring is because it lost the leaves it'd finished with last autumn. And it only grew new ones after shivering, bare-branched, through winter. If everything looks barren and painfully cold around you right now, we 100% guarantee that it's only for a time. In that time, the best thing you can do is stick to God, and let the difficulty that He has allowed you to face do its work. When a new season comes around, you'll find yourself ready for it.



So what now? Seasons come and go. So it's important to have a stable centre to your life. Are there any places where you live that you can turn into 'prayer spaces'? It doesn't have to be a wooden bench to kneel at, it could even just be a beanbag.

Soulfood : Phil 2:5-11, Rev 19:11-16, Acts 3:1-16, Mt 1:18-21

Read more...

KEEP ON KEEPING ON

 



In Philippians 3, Paul talks about how he really, genuinely, very-very-earnestly wants to live a Jesus-centred life. But he's under no illusions. He knows that he's not quite there. Read Philippians 3:12-13. There, Paul explains something so important - that, no matter how human he is, he's adamant that he'll press on, look forward, and strive his socks off to live the best life he can. What an absolutely wonderful example.



We all need to recognise where our lives don't look like Jesus', and take those areas to God in prayer and apology. As soon as we give our mistakes up to God, He lays them to rest and moves on. But we can have a tendency to keep hold of the past. Sometimes that's through guilting ourselves, but sometimes in a very different way. It can be tempting to look weirdly-fondly on our past sins (No, really. Think about it... it happens more than you might realise). There's a part of us all that wants to be twistedly proud of those 'wasn't I a rebel' moments. Truth is, that point of view is just not healthy. If you're still tied to your past in any way, it'll be harder to move forwards, towards 'that perfection' that Paul calls for us to focus on.



So what now? Type up the stuff that you've done (or still do) that you feel stops you heading towards 'that perfection'. Pray your apology, and ask for help. Then hit delete. Let it go from your records just like it's gone from God's.

Soulfood : 3 Jn, Jude, Lk 18:31-43, Ps 119:169-176, Prov 22:20-23

Read more...

KEEP ON KEEPING ON

 



In Philippians 3, Paul talks about how he really, genuinely, very-very-earnestly wants to live a Jesus-centred life. But he's under no illusions. He knows that he's not quite there. Read Philippians 3:12-13. There, Paul explains something so important - that, no matter how human he is, he's adamant that he'll press on, look forward, and strive his socks off to live the best life he can. What an absolutely wonderful example.



We all need to recognise where our lives don't look like Jesus', and take those areas to God in prayer and apology. As soon as we give our mistakes up to God, He lays them to rest and moves on. But we can have a tendency to keep hold of the past. Sometimes that's through guilting ourselves, but sometimes in a very different way. It can be tempting to look weirdly-fondly on our past sins (No, really. Think about it... it happens more than you might realise). There's a part of us all that wants to be twistedly proud of those 'wasn't I a rebel' moments. Truth is, that point of view is just not healthy. If you're still tied to your past in any way, it'll be harder to move forwards, towards 'that perfection' that Paul calls for us to focus on.



So what now? Type up the stuff that you've done (or still do) that you feel stops you heading towards 'that perfection'. Pray your apology, and ask for help. Then hit delete. Let it go from your records just like it's gone from God's.

Soulfood : 3 Jn, Jude, Lk 18:31-43, Ps 119:169-176, Prov 22:20-23

Read more...

TOO BUSY TO LOVE?

Life can be busy. And it's great (really, really great) that you take time out with God in the middle of all that. So now, what about your on-earth relationships?

Jesus made it pretty clear that the second most important thing in life, right after loving God, is loving people (that's in Matthew 22:37-40). And to do that, we have to spend time around others - even those irritating, imperfect, demanding, frustrating people. It's awful for our relationships if we don't put time and effort into them. That's how friends 'drift apart' and how families can start to misunderstand each other. Plus, we need other people. That few minutes spent chatting to your mate, or that Sunday roast round the table - it all adds something to your life because God made us to live in community. The love of others is good for us. And, the love we give out is good for those others.

Ask God to fill you up with His love, to the point that you're positively overflowing with it. Then, if you take the time to really share a little of your day with another person, chances are you'll be able to share God in some way too. Even if that's just in the friendly hello that someone needed to hear that day.

So what now? Go to your phone. Scroll down to the 10th person you texted and start there. Pray for that person, and the next 5, that they'd have a really blessed day. You could even send them an encouraging message!

Soulfood : 2 Chr 35-36, 2 Jn, Lk 18:18-30, Ps 119:161-168, Prov 22:17-19

Read more...

TOO BUSY TO LOVE?

 



Life can be busy. And it's great (really, really great) that you take time out with God in the middle of all that. So now, what about your on-earth relationships?



Jesus made it pretty clear that the second most important thing in life, right after loving God, is loving people (that's in Matthew 22:37-40). And to do that, we have to spend time around others - even those irritating, imperfect, demanding, frustrating people. It's awful for our relationships if we don't put time and effort into them. That's how friends 'drift apart' and how families can start to misunderstand each other. Plus, we need other people. That few minutes spent chatting to your mate, or that Sunday roast round the table - it all adds something to your life because God made us to live in community. The love of others is good for us. And, the love we give out is good for those others.



Ask God to fill you up with His love, to the point that you're positively overflowing with it. Then, if you take the time to really share a little of your day with another person, chances are you'll be able to share God in some way too. Even if that's just in the friendly hello that someone needed to hear that day.



So what now? Go to your phone. Scroll down to the 10th person you texted and start there. Pray for that person, and the next 5, that they'd have a really blessed day. You could even send them an encouraging message!

Soulfood : 2 Chr 35-36, 2 Jn, Lk 18:18-30, Ps 119:161-168, Prov 22:17-19

Read more...
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