Word For You Today


Sin is a filthy, stinking, rotten liar. That stuff that promises to feel gooood at the expense of being able to feel God, is bad stuff. If you're reading this, you've probably already got an inkling of that. So why mention it? Because we all have to be continually careful not to fall for the lies.

Today's verse is about the sort of encouragement that stands alongside your Christian brothers and sisters and says 'Come on family! We know Who we stand for! I'm with you, don't give in to that distraction!' And frankly, from time to time, we all need someone to say it to us.

The full verse even includes the phrase '...encourage one another daily, as long as it is called "Today"...' (Hebrews 3:13 NIV). The writer's got a sense of urgency - like the message of solidarity, of support for each other, is really needed, and needed now. We suspect you've noticed this already, but your Christ-siblings are surrounded by tasty temptations, right now, that would trap their hearts and turn them to stone, if they give in. God's prevention plan for this disaster? You, fellow-Christian. Your encouragement could be the lifebuoy that drags someone back from sin.


So what now? Get on to it now! Who do you know who loves Jesus, and needs to know the arm of a fellow-follower around them 'whilst it is still called "Today'''? Fire off a message to remind them why they're a Christian, and that they're not alone. Quick!


Soulfood : Rev 10-14, Luke 14:1-14, Ps 136:13-26, Prov 6:32-35



It's always good to have someone introduce you to new people. In a nutshell, that is what Jesus asks us to do: introduce people to Him. Our primary call isn't to 'bring people to church', or to turn evangelism into a massive project with no personality or heart. We are, most simply, called to introduce people to this Jesus we know. We just need to be honest and brave, and Jesus will do the hard bit (the 'heart bit'?...).

We hear stories of people going into the deepest parts of the world for God, but there are heaps who don't know Jesus right here in New Zealand; they're in our lecture halls, our offices, our coffee shops, our football teams. You don't have to know everything about Christianity or the Bible; you just have to be in love with Jesus. When you have real love for someone, you can't help mention them naturally in conversation.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, Jesus said, 'If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people toward Me (John 12:32 NCV). The 'drawing people toward Him' work is Jesus'. He's best at it anyway. He just wants us to make Him visible initially.

So what now? Write down the name of one person who you want to concentrate on introducing to Jesus. Now, pray, and imagine yourself introducing them to Him in a real life chat, in person ("Friend, meet Jesus. Jesus, meet Friend."). After that, it's Jesus who develops the relationship.

Soulfood : Rev 5-9, Luke 13:18-35, Ps 136:1-12, Prov 6:30-31



Have you heard of a Bucket List? That list of all the things a person wants to do before they die. You know, like in the film with Morgan Freeman? (Yes, one of his many movies!)

Say a whole group of people, with the ability to carry out world-changing actions, knew their time was nearly up - how would that change what they usually did? Say that group was... drum roll... the Church? The same Jesus who spoke God's truth to people in Israel 2,000 years ago speaks the same God's-truth-promise to those of us living as His followers, today and in any age: 'I am coming soon' (Revelation 3:11 NIV). The first Christians really took this seriously. They spread God's goodness with a ferocious energy, as if they'd had it revealed to them specifically.

The truth is, we don't know when Jesus will return and when this life as we know it will be over. We're not supposed to (we're told that the timeframe for His return is something only God knows, and not public knowledge). Which makes every day count. Christians in 2AD, 500AD and 2015AD are all supposed to be asking themselves: Are we ready? Are we living with our eyes open to the fact that Jesus is coming back?

So what now? What differences would you make to your life and those around you? Write your own Bucket List, one inspired by Jesus' return. Pray into it and see how God helps you tick it off. He has made us to be world-changers.

Soulfood : Rev 1-4, Luke 13:1-17, Ps 77, Prov 6: 29



'When you didn't think much of yourself, God made you king of Israel' 1 Samuel 15:17 TLB

When Samuel anointed Saul as king, Saul couldn't believe it. He couldn't understand why God would choose someone as seemingly unimportant as him to be king. Things were looking really bright - Samuel said 'the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man' (1 Samuel 10:6). Awesome! Yet over time Saul got a bit too comfortable. Gradually, he stopped listening to God, went increasingly his own way and starting making some catastrophic mistakes.

Remember that time when you first heard that God chose you to be in His family and Jesus chose to die for you? How amazing was that? How in awe of His Word and His ways were you? Over time though, it can be easy to start to take that relationship with Jesus for granted and to not listen to God so much anymore. The ability to forget is staggering.

The most dangerous moment in our life is when we think we can succeed without God. The key is in truly knowing our worth, and why. We need to know how important we truly are - enough to die for, enough for God to tell us to make a difference in this world. But sometimes we can forget that the valuation of us was God's, and that ability to make a difference was His gift. The key: humility - knowing our worth because we know who the one who values us is.

So what now? Go for a short walk with God - without your phone!. Ask Him to show you what you mean to Him.



'Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?' Judges 6:14 NIV

You'll find that as you go on with God, you go through different kinds of 'seasons'. Often, those seasons follow on logically, and the one prepares you for the next. Sometimes, though, God prompts us to go somewhere/do something that we don't feel ready for. First reaction? If you're anything like us, you'll have been tempted to (a) hide, or (b) talk God out of it.

Gideon (in the book of Judges) was the smallest guy in his family and his family was the weakest in his tribe. Yet God used him to lead an army. The thing is, it was an army of 300 that went to war against another army of over 100,000 men. Yikes! It seemed an impossible task, but God declared 'I will be with you' (Judges 6:16).

That's all that counts really, isn't it? One 'Yes' from God like that is enough to cancel out all our 'but what ifs' and 'maybes'. If God brings you to the edge of something, even if it's somewhere unknown and looks like a sharp drop, He'll bring you through, and show you how it fits your journey with Him. If it looks like God is prodding you in a scary direction, it'll be for the best. So, don't let it frighten you into inertia.

So what now? Do you need to do something that is really scary? Visualise yourself in that position, walking over to the stuation. Pray for God to take care of your next step, then visualise taking it. Don't stay static. Gideon up!

SoulFood: 1 Kings 18:16 - 20:43; Luke 12:35-48; Ps 66:13-20; Pro 6:23-25



You could apply today's verse to your time on the internet, at school/uni/work, shopping... (you get the idea). Anything that involves coming across information and/or images. So what's the benchmark of 'worth'? Philippians 4:8 NLT says this: 'Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable'. If you find you're taking in a lot of stuff that's at odds with what God wants, your impure-filter is under attack.

It's been the same since Adam and Eve, and the fact that the psalmist writes about his battle to keep his mind God-honouring is pretty telling. Put it like this: the world we live in has always gravitated toward selfishness. Even if you disconnect yourself completely from the world of technology, or never look at a billboard again, there'll always be reason to guard your mind. The answer's always been the same too: replace the world's influence with God's. 'How I long for Your precepts! In Your righteousness preserve my life' (Psalm 119:40, NIV). What does that look like, then? Actively inviting God to build a guard for your mind through Bible/ prayer time/ teaching podcasts, rather than passively hoping that the world won't pollute your mind.

Is it worth it? Yes. The freedom that comes with looking for what God wants above earthly desires will clear the mind-smog and take you much closer to the fullness God has for you.

So what now? Go to a park, a field or somewhere else that's a big, clear, outside space. Spend time walking there, praying for clarity of mind and purity.

Soulfood : Ruth 1:3-18, John 6:41-69



Paul said, 'Whatever we do, it's not for our gain, but because Christ's love controls us.' Paul regularly introduces himself as 'a servant' for Christ. We've often heard it said that 'God isn't looking for slaves.' Well. Maybe He sort of is, but it's not in the way we think. God isn't looking for forced labour from vulnerable oppressed workers.

The New Testament word 'doulos' is actually the same that we also translate as 'slave'. It means 'bondservant': someone who is bound, tied, to serve someone. Quite a physical description actually. Imagine being tied to your work... or worse, your teacher or your boss.

Being 'bound' to something doesn't match our ideals of wanting to be free. It also doesn't match up with our idea that Jesus has won us freedom, and taken our burdens away. But how about this: What if our response to Jesus doing that amazing work for us was to look Him in the face and say 'Thank You Lord! However I can honour You, please let me!' What if our love for Him, our love for seeing Him given the glory He deserves, would be enough to make us all passionately want to be 'slaves' of His Kingdom of freedom? Again, it's not about forced labour... but our love compelling us? That's a different matter altogether.

So what now? First, spend time talking to Jesus about what He's done for you. Now, if you want to, get a piece of string, ribbon, or something similar, and tie it around your wrist for the day, to remember Who you're 'bound' to, and why.

Soulfood : 1 Ki 10-11, Luke 11:45-54, Ps 53, Prov 6:9-11

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