Word For You Today

Can't Touch This (Significance) (3)

'...The Lord raises those who are bowed down...' Psalm 146:8 NKJ

Our significance in God can be shaken, especially when we do things that make us think we're unworthy again. But this only exists in our heads. Even when we've messed up, God looks past what we've done and into our future. In the Bible, in John 4, Jesus meets the woman at the well. While the rest of the town slandered her because of her shady past, Jesus offered her a new life.

God knows it's sometimes hard to see beyond what we've done, so He meets us right where we are. At the well, or the workplace, or school, or our worried mind, He's always there. Jesus told the woman this: 'Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst' (John 4:13-14).

Your significance? You might feel like it's taken a knock, but your self-worth is fulfilled in Jesus - you don't need to keep 'thirsting' after others' approval of you. In fact, God loves to show you that even in your lowest moments, He is there. Psalm 146:8 says 'the Lord raises those who are bowed down'. When you're humble to accept that His way (and He Himself) is the best way forward, He'll pick you up and show you your significance, whenever you've fallen down.

So what now? Let's turn Satan's self-doubt tactic on its head. Write on a piece of paper 'Did God actually say that?' and pocket it. When cruel words come at you, from people or from your own mind, grab that paper, and remember what God really says about you.

SoulFood: 1 Chr 1-2, Mark 3:7-19, Ps 78:65-72, Pro 20:11-14


Can't Touch This (Significance) (2)

'Thank You for making me...' Psalm 139:14 NLT

When you realise someone likes you as you are, it's pretty great. Even when someone sheepishly says 'I maybe sort of, kind of like you', it's a massive confidence boost, isn't it? And, it doesn't even have to be romantic. It can be as straightforward as that person, someone you really look up to, complimenting what you've done. It sticks with you when you know you're appreciated. And that's just with fellow humans.

But even more, the God of creation, the same God who named the stars (Psalm 147:4) thinks more highly of you than He does the stars. Jesus says 'the hairs on your very head are numbered' (Matthew 10:30 NKJ). Your adoring fan(s) might know your eye colour, how you like your cup of tea, or your favourite clothes designer. But the number of hairs on your head? It's true. God knows every detail about you, and loved you even before you knew Him (Ephesians 1:4).

What does all this mean? God appreciates you. A lot. He values you more than you can imagine. The things that make up your personality - even the hairs on your head - are given huge weight. The sharpest compliment, or the most alluring romance, can't touch the significance you've already been given.

So what now? 'Re-member' literally means 'to put back together again'. Like humpty-dumpty. So when you recollect and remember that God has made you, you're doing something really wonderful. Particularly if you're feeling fractured or broken today, retreat somewhere quiet and remember, and let Him put you back together again.

SoulFood: 1 John 3:11 - 5:21, Mark 2:23 - 3:6, Ps 78:56-64, Pro 20:7-10


Whatve You Got?

Its brilliant when you get a direct answer to prayer through another person. But, have you ever considered the fact that you could actually be the answer to someone elses prayers? Seriously, think about what you have to offer. God equips each one of us with gifts to bless other people. Find yourself on your knees in prayer fairly often? Great! Sometimes, when you get up and walk back into the world, youre a walking answer to prayer (see Isaiah 52:7 for further details). Maybe youre pretty good at just listening or perhaps youre great at cheering people up.

In Luke 6:38 KJV Jesus said: Give, and it shall be given unto you. Now, that doesnt mean that youll always get a good deal. There will be people who let you down and take more than they give. But, God promises that when you commit to serving others, He will honour you. John 12:26 NIV says: My Father will honour the one who serves Me. And as long as youre seeking Gods honour (rather than the selfgratification of being praised for being an amazing friend), youre on the right track.

So what now? Sit down with a Christian friend and chat about what you think they bring into peoples lives (even if its just that they can make you laugh till you cry wait, that shouldnt be just thats an awesome gift). Then ask them to tell you what you bring into peoples lives. You might be surprised by how much of a blessing you truly are.

Soulfood : Ezra 9-10, Mark 2:1-12, Ps 78:32-39, Prov 20:1-3


Give Up(wards)

Matthew 6:24 NIV says: You cannot serve both God and money. Buying a few new tshirts, when we already have a full wardrobe, isnt serving money, is it? Possibly not. Theres nothing wrong in buying stuff. But we would ask you this Did you ask God what He wanted you to do with that cash before splashing it? Now, this is not a guilt trip. Promise. Its a reality check. Some inspiration to move forwards with. And its inspiration that we all need. Weve all got to get our priorities straight. Everything we have is a gift from God anyway. Our very lives, and everything in them, are given by Him, so we have a definite duty to invite Him to shine through them.

That means offering everything back to Him, as soon as it lands in our hands. Whether its the $100 birthday money from granny, or the $2 you just found on the floor, God loves it when you give it back to Him. He wont necessarily tell you to give $102 to charity/church/the homeless guy in town. He may just ask you to give a regular amount to one of them, though. But, if you take it all to Him, you accept the risk that He may tell you to give away all that you dont need for bills. In fact, scratch that, you dont just accept that risk. Youll learn to delight in the Godgiven hazard of generosity.

So what now? Tithe. Easy peasy. Your disposable income (what youd spend on cappuccinos or chinos) prayerfully give 10% of it away, to something on your heart.

Soulfood : Ezra 6-8, Mark 1:35-45, Ps 78:17-31, Prov 19:27-29


Super Power

Ever watched a superhero film and been convinced you must have superpowers you havent discovered yet? No? Oh come on, you know you have. As much as we can close our eyes and convince ourselves we can teleport from our desk to New York, we usually can feel pretty weak. In fact, the latters the more common. Weve all had moments of sheer helplessness, where its almost impossible to get out of bed because were physically/emotionally exhausted.

As hard as life can be sometimes, you can trust Him. If youre willing to step out, His power goes with you. Isaiah 40:29 NIV says: He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Thats pretty incredible encouragement! We may not have teleportation powers but this verse from Isaiah tells us that, even in our weakest moments, we have power that God will build on. It means that we dont have to live in exhaustion and weakness. God has the amazing power to take everything that wears us down, and free us from it. Hes ready and willing to help you, if youll bring it all to Him. That also goes for when youre not allowing yourself to feel weak. When youre convincing yourself that you can do it alone, youre denying God the right to carry you and strengthen you. Allow Him in, He knows what Hes doing.

So what now? Every time you see a picture of a superhero, remember the super(natural) power that goes before you and the strength that God provides.

Soulfood : Ezra 3-5, Mark 1:21-34, Ps 78:9-16, Prov 19:24-26


Bogus Slogans

You only live once. Its easy to be cynical about this and other nice tshirt slogans like: Live for today, When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, Carpe Diem etcetera. But, hold up, maybe theres something a bit deeper in this whole seize the day message that we shouldnt so casually dismiss. Ecclesiastes 9:9 NIV says: Enjoy life with your wife. (Now that we can see on a tshirt, mainly because it rhymes). But it goes on to say: For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labour under the sun. Wow. Not so t-shirt friendly after all? In Luke 9:62 NIV, a man says, I will follow You, Lord, but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family. Jesus replies, No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God. Theres a seize the day message if ever there was one.

Maybe youve noticed: any Instagram filteredposterpic type slogans that we can grab from the Bible tend to be paired with some real kickers. Theyre not just nice platitudes or motivational quips. Yes, God is all for the seize the day mentality, but look again at the reason we cant put Gods Kingdom off until later. We have to be prepared to step up today. To make today (and the direction of our lives) more about God than ourselves, to serve in whatever immediate way we can. Lets not put it off.

So what now? Simple. Choose one little thing you can do today that will grow Gods Kingdom. Go for it.

Soulfood : Ezra 1-2, Mark 1:9-20, Ps 78:1-8, Prov 19:21-23


Servant Heart

We see so much of people serving in church (in welcome teams, in coffee rosters, handing out hymn books on the way in and so on) that we can sometimes lose touch with the word servant. We become desensitised to the whole idea and just end up assuming that its all about how often we stack the chairs. But being a servant in Gods eyes is less about the actual acts we do (though they are important), and more about the attitude we bring. You see, if we stack the chairs at church but get home and whinge about it, weve completely missed the point. Cut to a great verse in Pauls letter to the people of Philippi: Do everything without complaining or arguing (Philippians 2:14 GWT). Everything? Yes. Can you imagine Jesus saying I really dont feel like doing that today, God.? Jesus was willing to be a servant, willing to do as the Father asked Him, even if that meant a rough deal. Its tough, but its what God calls us to be too.

Galatians 5:13 NIV says: You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. God made you free so that you could serve. Use that freedom.

So what now? Grab someone who looks like they might be in charge at your church, and ask what jobs need doing. Even the smallest of oddjobs is an opportunity to exercise your Godgiven freedom.

Soulfood : Zeph 1-3, Mark 1:1-8, Ps 46, Prov 19:18-20

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