The Morning Wake Up with Bjorn & Tiff

Word For You Today


The Bible encourages us to do things like looking out for others, being patient, loving those who hurt us. Nowhere is it promised that it will always be easy. Sometimes, there's just hard work involved.

So why do it in the first place? Because as we do those things, we grow more and more into what God wants us to become - like Christ. And the more we become like Jesus, the more God can use us. God gives us amazing promises about what He has in store for us (Jeremiah 29:11, anyone?) and, working through us, the world can be completely transformed by His Kingdom. The best way He can do that for (and through) us is if we allow ourselves to become more like Jesus.

It might sound daunting, and we don't mean for you to become a clone robot; in fact, you'll find that the more you let Jesus mould you, the more you'll become 'you'. Jesus' picture of this is a grain of wheat. On its own, a grain isn't that impressive. But plant it, and it multiplies. Becoming like Christ isn't all your own work, but give God yourself as the grain, and you'll see amazing things come from that.

So what now? Find a small seed. Place it in your hand, and think about how small it currently is. How small is your life right now? Think about how big and useful the seed will become. How can your life be as large and productive for God as that seed becomes?

Soulfood : Ex 16-18, John 3:9-21, Ps 110, Prov 26:13-16


Court, In The Act

Little actions can tell a big story. Cutting in front of a driver who instantly honks and swears at us, tells us they weren't exactly a rose-garden of peace beforehand. (It may not say much for our driving, either...) Always being the first to be served food and never buying someone a coffee send signals to those around us about what the rest of our character is like. And worse, they're usually forming an opinion about God through our not-so-handsome character fails too. Not good.

Today's verse says: 'The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God' (Psalm 92:13). Our not-very-Godlike actions aren't exactly the 'flourishing' that the psalmist meant.

We've looked at palm trees, what about these courts then? A king's courts were the places important people gathered to talk business, and were nearby for the king to call in for a word when he wanted to. God wants us kept close. If we're in His 'courts', if our business is His business, and we're regularly popping in for a chat, then we'll find ourselves flourishing, big time. (And as a lovely little cherry on the flourish-cake, those around us will see something of our King in us too, which is only a good thing).

So what now? Look up Galatians 5:22-23. This verse gives a list of all the things we can expect to become more like as we draw closer 'in His courts'. Write them down and stick them up somewhere.

Soulfood : Ex 13-15, John 3:1-8, Ps 23, Prov 26:10-12


Palms Down

Palm trees are pretty awesome. As much as they might remind us of nice, sunny places, we can also learn a lot about ourselves and God from them. They're mentioned more than 30 times in the Bible, probably because there are a few of them around in that part of the world. They provide a pretty good example of the endurance God offers to us.

When there's a huge storm and wind is blowing everywhere, most trees are at risk of snapping or breaking. Not the palm trees. They're adapted to bend like the ultimate limbo competition and, afterwards, where that bend is becomes stronger than it was before. While God may not necessarily give us a supernatural ability to win a limbo competition, whenever we might face a 'storm' God will 'strengthen [us] by His glorious might with all the power [we] need to patiently endure everything with joy' (Colossians 1:11 GWT). He not only gives us the strength to get over whatever challenge is thrown our way, we're made stronger and 'bendier' by learning to be thankful and understanding that God is bigger than any 'storm'.

A final thing: A palm's roots can search hundreds of metres for water, making what it relies on for survival much deeper and bigger than what it actually is. Good analogy!

So what now? Find a big tree, and a little spade. See if you can dig all of its roots up in 30 seconds. Did you manage it? Roots are handy to have, and aren't easily destroyed. God offers you the chance to grow yours in Him.

Soulfood : Ex 10-12, John 2:12-25, Ps 131, Prov 26:7-9



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

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