The Morning Wake Up with Bjorn & Tiff

Word For You Today


Ok, today's task is to locate a whole bunch of uranium, and make a lovely glowy pie. Then, when you've eaten the pie, to go and shine before others.

As fun as that sounds, it might not be what Jesus has in mind (let out your sigh of relief now). While He tells us to shine 'our light', Jesus also says this: 'I am the light of the world' (John 8:12 NIV). Hold up. If He's light and we're light, there's a 'Jesus living through us' dynamic going on that we should be living in. It's also a big clue to where the Source of our shining comes from - Him. God considers us His representatives on earth, and so the light that Jesus gives to others, and the hope and freedom that He brings, needs to be something that we take a part in, too. We need to live out His light.

What parts of Jesus do you look at and really want to copy? (Of course, we want to be completely like Him as much as possible, but that builds from each small thing) Maybe His kindness, or how He loved others, or even His patience. That's the light. God wants us to go out and shine it so others can glimpse what Jesus means to their lives.

So what now? Wait until it's dark (or close the curtains) and turn the light on your phone on, then off again. See the difference it makes in the room around you. Think about this question: 'How can I make that sort of difference in someone else's life?'

Soulfood : Ex 7-9, John 2:1-11, Ps 29, Prov 26:4-6


Dodge The Dead End

Caleb was part of a team on a mission to check out the Promised Land, which didn't go turn out too well. Most of the spies were terrified and returned with stories of a land 'that devours its inhabitants' (Numbers 13:32 NKJ), with people who made them look 'like grasshoppers' (Numbers 13:33 NKJ). Not a great starting point for Israel, who'd been waiting to get to the land promised to them.

In the face of bad news, Caleb had a different approach. He trusted God and remembered His faithfulness, and said 'We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.' It takes courage to look beyond what looks like a dead end. Perhaps you're trying to break a habit, or trying out some gifts you think God's given you for the first time. You're on new ground, and when you feel under threat from others (or yourself), it can be enough to make you want to stop trying.

But when you take hold of Caleb's strategy, you're on to a winner: 'do not rebel against the Lord. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us' (Numbers 14:9 ESV). The very things that hold you back can be used as 'bread' to feed you and keep you going to where God is leading you. If you've started a good thing with God, don't give up now.

So what now? Think about something that's been a seemingly 'dead end' in living fully for God. Pray for the courage to take the next step. You know God is always with you.

Soulfood : Ex 4-6, John 1:43-51, Ps 92, Prov 26:1-3


Digging Deep

Sometimes life requires us to dig in and put in extra effort - to live for God in ways that we've never done before, and trust in Him for things we never thought would happen. The 'bigger' parts of faith seem more relevant to things like mission trips or taking on a new role at church. But, some of the things that take 'all your might' might look different at second glance. Take a look at Galatians 5:22-23 - the Fruits of the Spirit verses. They're a big part of faith by anyone's measure: becoming more like Jesus. And if you're like us, you'll know they don't come easy. Putting His will first can take as much attention, energy, and prayer as the biggest mission trips, but it's life-changing and so thoroughly worth it.

What do we mean? It takes a lot of effort to be gentle in that situation where you'd rather let anger boil over. Wrestling our human tendencies is tiring like that. It can take a lot of effort to exercise self-control.

To bring any action before God when we're feeling weak can take all of our might. But it's so important. When we act out of love (which is the best motive we can have, according to Corinthians 13:2), and ask God to bless our efforts, we're not pointlessly exhausting ourselves in order to 'be good'. We're being changed by Him in a permanent, enriching way.

So what now? Sing a worship song out loud to God. Voicing your faith to yourself helps to build you up on the inside.

Soulfood : Ex 1-3, John 1:29-42, Ps 63, Prov 25:26-28


The Path To The Throne (4)

It's true that some of God's promises become reality quickly. It's great when that happens. Get in! But others, like the one God gave to David telling him he'd be king, have to be fought for. A tribal family called the Jebusites controlled Jerusalem; they taunted David saying, 'You will not get in here...' (2 Samuel 5:6 NIV). David and his men were pretty confident even though they knew Jerusalem was built on a virtually impregnable hill. The only way up into the city was through a secret water passage where they had to wade and climb through pitch-black darkness. 'Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion...' (2 Samuel 5:7 NIV). Understand this: if He has to, God will bring you up through the gutter to get you to the throne!

Are you in a dark place today, hidden, out of view? Well, that doesn't mean you're not on your way to the top. You can be steadily making progress towards your goal ready to burst onto the scene at any moment. Those Jebusites got a shock when David's men burst out as if from nowhere!

So, when you're up to your neck in problems and the enemy is saying, 'You won't make it,' stand on God's Word and remember David's victory in Jerusalem. God can show you how to use the situation you are facing for your good and His glory.

So what now? Today, having prayed for God's direction, go forward as He sends you, knowing He is with you!

Soulfood : Jos 1:7-8, 2 Tim 3:14-17, Ps 119:1-16, Ps 119:1-16


The Path To The Throne (3)

Every one of David's brothers was lined up to meet Samuel, the famous man of God, when he came to Bethlehem looking for the next king of Israel. But not David. That must have hurt. No! It's clear from David's words and songs that he was confident that nobody could keep God's blessing from him. After a while it dawned on Samuel that somebody was missing and he called for that person: ' David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of oil he had brought and anointed David...' (1 Samuel 16:13 NLT).

If you remain faithful, God will lift you up in the midst of those who put you down. But be prepared for trouble! Like Joseph's brothers, they'll lay traps thinking, '...we'll see what comes of his dreams' (Genesis 37:20 NIV). Why would those who are supposed to love you say such a thing? Usually because of jealousy or self-preservation. Be ready for a dose of rejection, especially when there's no evidence to prove your God-given dream. Check this out: even when David was ready to take on Goliath, his oldest brother called him arrogant and dissed him to his face (1 Samuel 17:28).

Why did God put these stories in the Bible? 'These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us...' (1 Corinthians 10:11 NIV).

So what now? As you walk your journey with God, keep His promises and principles close to you - they will be the things that keep you going when you hit opposition.

Soulfood : 1 Cor 15-16, John 1:14-28, Ps 51, Prov 25:23-25


The Path To The Throne (2)

David was chosen to be king in his teens, but he only made it to the throne at age 30. There are lessons here:

(1) God calls the person. In spite of being unappreciated by his family and overlooked by the prophet Samuel, God picked David. He also picked Deborah to lead the nation in a male-dominated society. Stop trying to figure God out, and stop comparing yourself to others! 'Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use' (Romans 9:21 NIV)? (2) God decides the plan. '...He who has begun a good work in you will complete it...' (Philippians 1:6 NKJ). Who began it? So who should your confidence be in? God! God's plan for David involved years of ducking Saul's spears and living in caves with misfits who redefine the word 'dysfunctional'. God trains you in a small sphere so you can handle a bigger one. (3) God knows the span of time required. Endurance means standing firm under pressure. The Bible says we inherit the promises through faith, endurance and patience (Colossians 1:11-12). That means being like Joseph who refused to let go of his dream; it's what helped him through all sorts of agro, including years of unjust imprisonment. But the day came when a whole kingdom was handed to Joseph.

So what now? Keep your eyes on the 'throne' and don't give up! God is with you and He wants you to succeed.

Soulfood : 1 Cor 12-14, John 1:1-13, Ps 60, Prov 25:21-22


The Path To The Throne (1)

There is only one person in the Bible that God describes as 'a man after My own heart' - David! Over the next few days we'll take a look at his life. We'll see that David had a humble start but it didn't stop him reaching dizzy heights. He was a shepherd who ended up as a king! The chances of that happening were next to none in those days - shepherds were so low on the ladder they couldn't even witness in a court of law as their word wasn't considered reliable; yet by age 30 he was wearing the crown.

But the story's not all success. During his 40 years in leadership he experienced devastating failure. There are two lessons here:

(1) Don't rush to judgment. It is not over until God says it's over. David's story is a warning to the self-righteous, a testimony to the justice of God that won't allow us to escape our sin's consequences, and to His love that will never let go of us. (2) God can bring good out of it. He can take every experience you've been through, both positive and negative, and make it work for good, either your good or the good of others. When you chase God's purposes in spite of your flaws, He makes '...all things work together for good...' (Romans 8:28 NKJ).

So what now? Have a read of David's life from 1 Samuel 16. It's a great story of a man's journey with God. How you can apply what David learned to your life, and also be a man (or woman) after God's own heart?

Soulfood : 1 Cor 10-11, Mark 16:9-20, Ps 68:19-35, Prov 25:17-20

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