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Word For You Today

Eternal Life is Yours



'... Do you believe this?' John 11:26 NIV

When Jesus stood at the graveside of Lazarus he told the grieving family one thing we must never forget: '... whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this' (John 11:26 NKJ)? That's the basic question of life: '...Do you believe this?' What's going to take you past death and onto your heavenly home? Jesus and only Jesus! Only he can guarantee you eternal life. He beat death and the grave for you.

You may be reading these words, fighting tears of pain, anger or grief. Perhaps you have lost someone close, or have seen too many horrific images of starving children, or are just plain scared of dying. Like no one else, Jesus understands what you are going through.

The best offer we will receive while we are on this earth is: '... whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.' The important question is: 'Do you believe this' (John 11:26 NKJ)?

So what now? If you know Jesus there's no reason to fear death or the unknown; he's already got it sorted and made a place for you. Unexplainable, unending joy is yours forever because of Jesus.

If you have not given your life to Jesus, don't wait for another time. Give your life to him today and you will be saved, which means when you breathe your last breath - tomorrow or in 80 years - you will pass from death to eternal life. Speak to a Christian friend about it or go to page 55 of this booklet to help you.

Soulfood: Gen 44-46, John 16:19-24, Ps 105:1-7, Ecc 5:13-16

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How Much Do You Have



'How many loaves do you have?' he asked. 'Go and see...' Mark 6:38 NIV

Being a Christian is often about finding the extraordinary within the ordinary. Opportunities for growth and blessing are constantly coming your way. How many do you let pass by unnoticed? How often do you stop and pray: 'Father, show me what I'm not seeing. Have you not fully revealed something because you want me to press into you more before you reveal something even better to me?'

Before Jesus fed the 5,000 he told his disciples, '...You give them something to eat' (Luke 9:13 NIV). They replied, '...That would take eight months of a man's wages!...' (Mark 6:37 NIV). That's when Jesus asked, 'How many loaves do you have?...Go and see...' (Mark 6:38 NIV). They wanted to send the people home for lunch - to take the easy way out. He challenged them to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. When we do that we see that God is present and active in the world by his Holy Spirit, moving and motivating people, to reveal the extraordinary.

The key to this miracle was that God didn't only use Jesus, he was moving the heart of a young boy, stirring him to donate the little he had for lunch. When you've finished crying out to God in heaven, look around you. You'll probably find he's already prepared his answer.

So what now? How much do you have to give to God? Even if it's only five loaves and two fish, give it to him. He will reveal the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Soulfood: Gen 42-43, John 16:12-18, Ps 95, Ecc 5:10-12

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You Life's Impact



'...I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly...' John 10:10 NAS

Most of us spend our lives focusing on what we have... until we realise that we're running out of time, then we begin to focus on what we've done. Understand this: when you leave this world your material possessions will be forgotten. The only thing that remains - is your life's impact! During your lifetime you will directly or indirectly impact the lives of approximately 10,000 other people. The question is, how will you impact them? Money, or the lack of it, does not necessarily determine your life's impact. People with fat fortunes have lived, died and made little or no difference. Other people, totally skint but full of vision, have done what Jesus said when he prayed 'your will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven.'

At the end of a life well lived the Apostle Paul wrote, '...I have finished my course...' (2 Timothy 4:7 NIV). Having said that he handed the ministry over to Timothy, walked to the executioner's chopping block and was relieved of his duties. Yet his impact is greater now than ever. He writes: '... for as part of God's sovereign plan we were chosen from the beginning to be his...' (Ephesians 1:11 TLB). For what? Living with impact! Not just making a living but making a difference!

So what now? You know what? You have within you huge potential for achieving incredible thing. God's given you a gift. Believe it. Discover it. Develop it. Cherish it. Use it. Give it. That's impactful living!

Soulfood: Gen 40-41, John 16:1-11, Ps 148:7-14, Ecc 5:4-6

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Rise Above Rejection



'For even his own brothers did not believe him.' John 7:5 NIV

'Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do..." for even his own brothers did not believe him' (John 7:3-5 NIV). At first glance Jesus' brothers seem pretty encouraging, until you realise they were being sarcastic.

Have you ever experienced the pain of being rejected because of your faith? If so, you're not on your own. Jesus' own brothers completely misjudged him. Jesus was full of all the wisdom of God so he understood that they just didn't get him. But because he was also human through and through it still hurt. The amazing thing about Jesus is that he chose to keep on loving and respecting them anyway. And then, beyond continuing to love his family, he continued to pursue the heavenly mission he had here on earth.

Taking up your cross and following Jesus often involves misunderstanding and rejection by friends and family, and not always just by non-Christians! Be encouraged, Jesus understands. And he moved on past rejection.

So what now? If you're feeling rejected at all lately, pray this: 'Father, bring me to the place where I can live like Jesus lived, facing head on those who misunderstand me, hearing their comments and feeling the pain of their words, yet learning to rise above it. Help me to understand, forgive and love people no matter what. Bring me to the place of peace, so that no matter who doesn't get me, I can rise above it, like Jesus did. Amen.'

Soulfood: Gen 37-39, John 15:18-27, Ps 148:1-6, Ecc 5:1-3

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Seek the Praise of God



'They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.' John 12:43 NIV

Religious leaders were starting to believe in Jesus because his message made sense, yet they wouldn't follow him. Why? 'They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.' How sad! Now, we all know how sweet the 'praise drug' tastes; and how we feel when it's not there! Like Sally Field at the Academy Awards, we find ourselves wanting to say as she did after winning her second Oscar: 'You like me! You really like me!'

The trouble is, it's not someone's approval that makes us feel good, it's our belief that they are right. How we feel about something can all hang on the reaction of others, not on what's right in Gods eyes. Do you know there are loads of stories of missionaries who have died a 'failure', believing that nothing had changed, but upon their death revival broke out because of their work. Whether we are around to see success or not, the approval of God is all that matters.

It's nice to be appreciated, but when we're not, our self-worth must be based on two things alone: (1) God's conditional love and acceptance of us, which was proven once and for all at the cross. (2) The joy of knowing that one day we will hear 'Well done good and faithful servant...' (Matthew 25:21 NIV).

So what now? Today God is saying to you, 'I made you unique and I am so pleased with what I have made. You are enough because of me.'

Soulfood: Gen 35-36, John 15:5-17, Ps 147:12-20, Ecc 4:9-12

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Back to Your Bethel



'God said to Jacob, "now move on to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to worship me..."' Genesis 35:1 NLT

What do you do when you have lost your way; when you've blown it and it seems your life is messed up? These questions haunted Jacob while he was hanging out in Shechem. He'd been a con from a young age and played it well. Although the con man was getting old and mending his ways, his sons had learned a lot from his old behaviour, plus they were violent. Thanks to Jacob's sons, Shechem became like a war zone. Jacob was terrified. It looked like it was payback time - the local tribes were looking for revenge.

In despair, Jacob turned back to God who whispered, 'Go back to Bethel.' So Jacob turned around and went back to the place where he'd once met God; where he'd received a heavenly vision; where he'd first known the joy and security of living in a loving relationship with God. Jacob returned to Bethel and made an altar there.

When you stumble and fall, when you've made a mess of your life... do what Jacob did; go back to where you met God. Get down on your knees and pray! Listen: 'Give up your crooked ways and your evil thoughts. Return to the Lord our God. He will be merciful and forgive your sins' (Isaiah 55:7 CEV). Don't dance on the edge of disaster; keep safe!

So what now? Did you know that Bethel means 'house of God?' Go back to your Bethel (even if you haven't messed up :)). God will meet you there. He's always there.

Soulfood: Gen 32-34, John 14:26-15:4, Ps 147:1-11, Ecc 3:5-8

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Give Off the Top



'...God loves a cheerful giver.' 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

There are two kinds of givers: those who give what's left over, and those who give off the top. The first group isn't necessarily greedy, they just live a different way. They see themselves as being responsible for meeting their own needs, so whatever's left over goes to God's work. The problem with giving leftovers is that you will never give what you think you can't afford. As soon as you feel a bit skint, you decide not to give. The other problem is that you buy the new Nike trainers which you've convinced yourself you absolutely need and have no money left over anyway! God says he wants you to be a 'cheerful giver'. But if your heart is more desperate for those new shoes, how can you ever be generous the way God wants?

On the other hand, those who give 'off the top' understand that God owns and controls all the blessings in their life anyway, so they feel free to give to him first and themselves second. Leftover givers always struggle in this area. They know all the stuff about God providing, but they hold back, afraid they can't provide for themselves and give to God.

Fear has the power to make you act the opposite to what you believe. Doesn't it make more sense to trust God with your money since it's all his anyway?

So what now? Start thinking like a 'give off the top' person. You'll be amazed how God provides for you in so many ways, apart from financially!

Soulfood: 1 Kings 17:17-24, Mark 5:21-43, John 11:1-45

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