The Morning Wake Up with Bjorn & Tiff

Word For You Today

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


You can't save yourself!

'...Not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.' Ephesians 2:8 NKJ

Lifeguards know more than just how to stand next to the pool looking fit or how to glare at people doing dive bombs. They know how to save people from drowning! If a lifeguard is trying to save you, you need to stop kicking around trying to save yourself. When you're struggling in deep water you tire easily and sink faster. You also drag others down with you. That's why a lifeguard will tell you to stop struggling and trust him.

It's true with God too: He doesn't need your help to save you! The Bible says, '...God's mercy is great, and He loved us very much. Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, He gave us new life with Christ... And He raised us up with Christ and gave us a seat with Him in the heavens...I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it' (Ephesians 2:4-9 NCV).

When Nicodemus came to talk to Jesus about salvation he thought Jesus would give him a list of religious do's and don'ts. What this top religious leader failed to grasp is that God is not impressed with our good works; He loves us but in His eyes '...each of our good deeds is merely a filthy rag...' (Isaiah 64:6 CEV). Humbling!

So what now? Paul writes: '...His a free gift...' (Romans 3:24 NCV), and He's offering it to you today. Will you accept it?

SoulFood: 1 Cor 7-9, Mark 16:1-8, Ps 68:1-18, Pro 25:13-16


Brush Up

How's your attention span? (Hey, we're talking to you... Come away from that phone already...) We know, it's easy to be distracted. In fairness, given the amount of phone/internet related distractions we live with, it isn't a huge surprise.

That's why we're starting today on a practical note: cut out attention-grabbers during your devotional time. You may have heard the classic challenge: 'What if we spent as much time reading the Bible as we did on social media/watching TV?' That may seem such a cliché but it's a fair point. It may seem a bit much, but try to keep notifications and texts out of sight to honour Him. From there, you can invite Him into your other time. Your Bible and prayer time with Him set you up for the rest of your day, including what you read online and send other people.

Practical tip two: read the Bible daily is good for you. Doing it in the best time for you makes it better and easier. Are you a morning or evening person? When you're most likely to take in what you're reading is the best time to get stuck in to Scripture. The best hint we can give you, though, is that there'll always be something pressuring you or trying to distract you. But when you determine to focus on God, your relationship with Him will go better.

So what now? Start with reading a chunk of the Bible (like SoulFood below), then, open a social media newsfeed and spend time praying for each person who appears there.

Soulfood : 1 Cor 4-6, Mark 15:33-47, Ps 91, Prov 25:9-12

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