Afternoons with Dan
2-7pm

Word For You Today

CRAFTY AS

It's a war out there. And the enemy will, and does, use your own moves against you. In yesterday's story (if you read further in the Bible passage) Satan started mouthing off Scripture against Jesus. God's own Word used against God. It might seem a bit of a weird strategy, but it's something that can trip us all up and be used against us.

The enemy twisting God's powerful Word against God Himself was ingenious. Of course, because Jesus was on to it, He was able to identify the lies. But the attack strategy is still crafty as. How so? The enemy goes after our weak points, but he also attacks our strengths and the things we lean on for support - places where we feel comfortable.

Whether it's your own knowledge of the Bible, or some good thing that you think you have complete control over (great self discipline, conversations with others, a hobby you love), there's a real danger to watch out for there. The enemy took Scripture out of context and attacked Jesus with it. Don't let the enemy take good (even Godly) things out of their right context and use them to attack you.

So what now? Don't fret. Do what Jesus did. The enemy used Scripture and what did Jesus do? The same. 'Jesus responded, "The Scriptures also say, 'You must not test the Lord your God'"' (Matthew 4:7). Whatever you're being tested with, even Scripture, getting to know your Bible better will give you the context to spot the enemy's craftiness.

Soulfood : Num 16-18, Luke 7:24-35, Ps 107:33-43, Prov 3:27-28

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TRUST OR GET IT YOURSELF?

It's the start of His work on earth, and Jesus has walked into the desert in order to put Himself square in harm's way. No food. No shelter. No friends. Why? He's deliberately removed Himself in order to grow closer to His Father. But there's a sly presence in the desert, out to do Him real harm.

The devil tempts Jesus to miraculously create His own food, throw Himself off a building and ask for unlimited power. The common factor in these temptations is this: 'Stop trusting that your Father cares for You. If God can't provide food, protection, and purpose, then what's He good for? Just get it for yourself.' Jesus' outward weakness and tiredness is an open door for the enemy to launch an attack on the core of His love for His Father.

Jesus (not just fully God, but also fully human, remember...) really could have chosen against His Father. But the immense trust that Jesus chose to invest in Father God here would be with Him on His lonely journey to the cross. He was leaving no space for a dangerous half-doubt that His Father might have His back.

So what now? The trust Jesus had for His Father was earned through 40 tough desert days. Amazingly, we get given this faith as a gift (yes, faith is a gift of God's Spirit). Where are you tempted to stop trusting that your Father cares for you and get things for yourself? Realise that these are opportunities to get closer to the Father, and that you can trust Him.

Soulfood : Exod 16:1-35, Jn 6:30-40

Read more...

TRUST OR GET IT YOURSELF?

It's the start of His work on earth, and Jesus has walked into the desert in order to put Himself square in harm's way. No food. No shelter. No friends. Why? He's deliberately removed Himself in order to grow closer to His Father. But there's a sly presence in the desert, out to do Him real harm.

The devil tempts Jesus to miraculously create His own food, throw Himself off a building and ask for unlimited power. The common factor in these temptations is this: 'Stop trusting that your Father cares for You. If God can't provide food, protection, and purpose, then what's He good for? Just get it for yourself.' Jesus' outward weakness and tiredness is an open door for the enemy to launch an attack on the core of His love for His Father.

Jesus (not just fully God, but also fully human, remember...) really could have chosen against His Father. But the immense trust that Jesus chose to invest in Father God here would be with Him on His lonely journey to the cross. He was leaving no space for a dangerous half-doubt that His Father might have His back.

So what now? The trust Jesus had for His Father was earned through 40 tough desert days. Amazingly, we get given this faith as a gift (yes, faith is a gift of God's Spirit). Where are you tempted to stop trusting that your Father cares for you and get things for yourself? Realise that these are opportunities to get closer to the Father, and that you can trust Him.

Soulfood : Exod 16:1-35, Jn 6:30-40

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USE YOUR WORDS

The Bible talks a lot about the power of words. And it would know. It's made of them. Let's have a look: (1) Proverbs 29:20 NKJ says: 'Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.' Ever been 'hasty in words' (or on the receiving end of some) - spoken before you've realised what's coming out of your mouth? We all have. And it hurts. (2) How about Psalm 5:9 NKJ? 'There is no faithfulness in their mouth...they flatter with their tongue.' Ever told someone what they wanted to hear, despite it being a complete lie? Being unfaithful in your words can come back to bite. (3) Finally, Matthew 7:1 NKJ says: 'Judge not, that you be not judged.' Judgment starts small. It often starts behind people's backs. Yes, we've all been there.



Alright, so we already know that we shouldn't lie and speak badly of people. But how seriously do we take that? Words are really, really powerful things. They can change people's opinions in an instant. And the words that we hear said about us stick with us, sometimes forever. We could all be more careful with what we say. Maybe we don't go around making a verbal burn book, but we can still hurt people by launching into some sharp sarcasm without thinking or through our quick convenience lies.



So what now? When you're about to let negativity slip from your mouth, catch it, and find something positive to say instead. If negative words do escape before you can catch them, look for three positive things to say straight away.

Soulfood : Num 14-15, Luke 7:11-23, Ps 107:23-32, Prov 3:25-26

Read more...

USE YOUR WORDS

The Bible talks a lot about the power of words. And it would know. It's made of them. Let's have a look: (1) Proverbs 29:20 NKJ says: 'Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.' Ever been 'hasty in words' (or on the receiving end of some) - spoken before you've realised what's coming out of your mouth? We all have. And it hurts. (2) How about Psalm 5:9 NKJ? 'There is no faithfulness in their mouth...they flatter with their tongue.' Ever told someone what they wanted to hear, despite it being a complete lie? Being unfaithful in your words can come back to bite. (3) Finally, Matthew 7:1 NKJ says: 'Judge not, that you be not judged.' Judgment starts small. It often starts behind people's backs. Yes, we've all been there.



Alright, so we already know that we shouldn't lie and speak badly of people. But how seriously do we take that? Words are really, really powerful things. They can change people's opinions in an instant. And the words that we hear said about us stick with us, sometimes forever. We could all be more careful with what we say. Maybe we don't go around making a verbal burn book, but we can still hurt people by launching into some sharp sarcasm without thinking or through our quick convenience lies.



So what now? When you're about to let negativity slip from your mouth, catch it, and find something positive to say instead. If negative words do escape before you can catch them, look for three positive things to say straight away.

Soulfood : Num 14-15, Luke 7:11-23, Ps 107:23-32, Prov 3:25-26

Read more...

USE YOUR WORDS

The Bible talks a lot about the power of words. And it would know. It's made of them. Let's have a look: (1) Proverbs 29:20 NKJ says: 'Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.' Ever been 'hasty in words' (or on the receiving end of some) - spoken before you've realised what's coming out of your mouth? We all have. And it hurts. (2) How about Psalm 5:9 NKJ? 'There is no faithfulness in their mouth...they flatter with their tongue.' Ever told someone what they wanted to hear, despite it being a complete lie? Being unfaithful in your words can come back to bite. (3) Finally, Matthew 7:1 NKJ says: 'Judge not, that you be not judged.' Judgment starts small. It often starts behind people's backs. Yes, we've all been there.



Alright, so we already know that we shouldn't lie and speak badly of people. But how seriously do we take that? Words are really, really powerful things. They can change people's opinions in an instant. And the words that we hear said about us stick with us, sometimes forever. We could all be more careful with what we say. Maybe we don't go around making a verbal burn book, but we can still hurt people by launching into some sharp sarcasm without thinking or through our quick convenience lies.



So what now? When you're about to let negativity slip from your mouth, catch it, and find something positive to say instead. If negative words do escape before you can catch them, look for three positive things to say straight away.

Soulfood : Num 14-15, Luke 7:11-23, Ps 107:23-32, Prov 3:25-26

Read more...

UNBUILDING BLOCKS (2)

Some people's hurts block them from knowing Jesus. There's another big reason people can be put off Christianity: they have a certain idea of how it'll play out. People see the church in a million different ways, and some of the ways they see it can be less than inviting. And, by extension, they think the same of Christianity in general: centuries out of date with the real world, full of restrictive rules and weird lingo, obsessed with emptying your wallet. They are real barriers between some people and God.



So what do we do? We think the best thing to do is be honest. Opening up to the fact that the church is a huge body of believers - big enough for plenty of room for error - is a good start. Sometimes the preaching is boring. Sometimes the conversation and after-service tea are equally weak. But there's a flipside: that isn't what Jesus' church is about. Church is about welcoming everyone. Maybe to change someone's idea of church, you'll not only have to be honest about its shortcomings, but confident in the fact that God does move through Christians.



So what now? Sometimes the best way to show someone the love of Christ is to share how He has worked in your life. Why not have a good think about your personal testimony and how it could help to break down blocks in the way people see Jesus.

Soulfood : Num 11-13, Luke 7:1-10, Ps 107:17-22, Prov 3:21-24

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