Sherryn 2:00-7:00pm

Word For You Today

Keep going watching Jesus

'Let us run...keeping our eyes on Jesus.' Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT

In the Bible we are encouraged to: 'Run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honour beside God's throne. Think of all...he endured...then you won't become weary and give up' (Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT).

Jesus kept going, even when things got tough, even when God's plan for him involved suffering and pain. We can see his moment of anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night he was betrayed by Judas. He cried out to God: 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will' (Matthew 26:39 NIV). Even in his moment of wanting to give up, he still believed that God's will for his life was the best thing.

And when we're struggling to keep on running, we need to believe that God has everything under control, and that he's working everything for our good (see Romans 8:28). Jesus' faith, endurance and perseverance are a great example to us, and an encouragement to us to keep going when we feel we can't.

So what now? Over the next few weeks, do a Jesus study in one of the gospel books: Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. How did he respond to life, how did he keep going? Keep going, watching Jesus, your champion.

Soulfood: Jer 41-44, Luke 6:27-36, Ps 109:1-15, Pro 15:22


It's worth it

'Take up [your] cross and follow me.' Mark 8:34 NIV

Jesus never promised that when we follow him everything will go super smoothly or that we'll get everything we think we want and need. In fact, he said: 'Take up [your] cross and follow me' (Mark 8:34 NIV) - this suggests surrender and a willingness to put to death the parts of our character, behaviour and lifestyle that don't line up with following him. He asks us to give him our hopes and dreams, relationships, time and gifts - because he knows how to best work them out.

This 'following Jesus' can get challenging, and when hard times come we may even wonder if it's really worth it. But, there is an amazing reward waiting for us - we have the promise of eternal life with Jesus because he took up his cross and followed his Father's plan. But there aren't just eternal benefits to wholeheartedly following Jesus; we're promised a deep and close relationship with him right now. He promises to walk alongside us through everything we face, to listen to us when we call, to give us strength when we feel weak.

Jesus told a story of people who said they would follow him but then had things they felt they had to sort first (see Luke 9:57-62). Are we prepared to leave our old things behind, and surrender and follow him for the rest of our lives?

So what now? When life gets tough and following Jesus seems very hard, ask him to remind you of the goodness of life with him, now and for eternity. A relationship with Jesus is worth it.

Soulfood: Jer 36:27 - 40:16, Luke 6:17-26, Ps 79, Pro 15:18-21


God is good to all

'Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.' Psalm 34:8 NKJV

When bad things happen in our lives, we could be tempted to doubt God's goodness. We ask: 'If God's good, how can he allow this to happen to me?' But the truth is that God is good, and nothing we experience, think or feel, changes that fact. The psalmist declared: 'You are good, and what you do is good' (Psalm 119:68 NIV). We're also told that 'in all things God works for the good of those who love him' (Romans 8:28 NIV). He's always working for our good, even when we can't see it.

Sometimes it can feel like God's good to everyone except us. Other people seem to be getting what we've been praying for. But we're told in Psalm 145:9 (NIV) that 'The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made'. Jesus was heading to Jairus' house to heal his daughter, but he stopped to find out who in the crowd had touched his robe, and then ministered into her life (see Luke 8:40-56). Jairus could have wondered why God was more interested in this woman than in healing his daughter. He could see Jesus' goodness in healing this woman, but wasn't experiencing it himself. He may have doubted Jesus' goodness, but Jesus raised his daughter back to life.

God doesn't forget any of us. His goodness is unchanging for us all.

So what now? God never forgets about you. Listen to 'Goodness of God' by Jenn Johnson. As you're listening, thank God for the times in your life you have experienced his goodness.

Soulfood: Jer 33:1 - 36:26, Luke 6:1-16, Ps 137, Pro 15:15-17


Serve gladly

'Serve the Lord with gladness.' Psalm 100:2 NKJV

The Bible says, 'Serve the Lord with gladness' (Psalm 100:2 NKJV); this means to be ready and willing to serve God and to do it with a cheerful heart. Some translations of the Bible use the word 'worship' instead of 'serve' in this verse. Whatever we do - our job, studying for a degree, or even cleaning the house - we're serving God and worshipping him at the same time.

In 1 Samuel 12, Samuel gives the Israelites advice on how to live well: 'Do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you' (1 Samuel 12:20;24 NIV). This is great advice for us too.

In Colossians 3:23 (CEV) we're told: 'Do your work willingly, as though you were serving the Lord himself, and not just your earthly master'. The more we think we're serving God rather than people, the more we'll learn to serve willingly. We need to be wholehearted and faithful in our serving. Our desire should be to serve and worship God because of what he's done for us, and for who he is. So we might be feeling tired, disappointed, or like we'd rather be doing something else, but when we remember who we're serving, we can serve and worship with gladness.

So what now? Before each task you have to do today, ask God to remind you that you're actually doing it for him. Then serve gladly.

Soulfood: Jer 31-32, Luke 5:27-39, Ps 122, Pro 15:10-14


God's desires our desires

'He shall give you the desires of your heart.' Psalm 37:4 NKJV

In Genesis 29:20 (NIV) we read about Jacob, whose desire was to marry Rachel. The Bible says: 'Jacob served seven years to get Rachel'. But after those seven years, he was tricked and given Rachel's older sister Leah as his wife. But Jacob didn't give up. In return for another seven years of work, Jacob was finally given Rachel as his wife. The Bible says, '[the seven years] seemed to him but a few days, he was so much in love' (Genesis 29:20 TLB). Jacob knew what he wanted, and worked to achieve it.

Our capacity to desire things is a gift from God; it's a powerful motivator. It keeps us going when we feel like giving up. It makes us persistent pray-ers. But we must make sure that: (1) We desire a relationship with God above all else. 'Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart' (Psalm 37:4 ESV). (2) Our desires line up with his will. 'I delight to do your will, O my God, And your law is within my heart' (Psalm 40:8 NKJV).

The more time we spend seeking God and obeying his Word, the more certain we'll be that our heart's desires match his will. In fact, when we follow him, he puts those desires in our hearts.

So what now? What are the desires of your heart? Before you begin pursuing them, be sure they line up with what God wants for you. Ask him to show you because he delights in giving you the best things.

Soulfood: Jer 28-30, Luke 5:12-26, Ps 110, Pro 15:8-9


Move forward

'Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead.' Philippians 3:13 NIV

While we're holding on to the past, we are not able to take hold of the future. The enemy knows how destructive it is for us to keep focused on the past, so he'll keep reminding us of it. It can be hard to just stop thinking about things that have hurt us or keep us guilt-ridden. But, when negative thoughts of the past spring up, we have a choice to make. Are we going to dwell on them and let the emotions they bring up control us? Or are we going to hand them over to God, and ask him to help us forgive others, and ourselves?

Before he met Jesus, Paul destroyed churches and put Christians to death. In his new life, he had to go back into some of those same towns and face the people whose lives he'd devastated. Had Paul not been able to move beyond his past, he'd never have fulfilled his God-given assignment. But knowing God had forgiven him, and that he'd forgiven himself, he declared: 'But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead' (Philippians 3:13 NIV).

If we're struggling with condemnation, guilt, shame, blame or regret about our past, let's decide to forget it. God will enable us and give us the grace and peace to focus on, and move into, our future.

So what now? Every time your past dominates your thoughts, ask God to help you choose to let it go. It's time for you to move forward!

Soulfood: Jam 5:16-18, 1 Kings 18, 2 Kings 2:1-12


Honour others

'Honour one another above yourselves.' Romans 12:10 NIV

Ever been telling someone about what you've achieved, and all they can do is talk about the amazing things they've done? It doesn't feel good, does it. We have to be careful that we're not doing that ourselves. Paul writes, 'Honour one another above yourselves' (Romans 12:10 NIV). Honouring others looks like respecting, listening to, considering and encouraging them. So next time somebody shares their successes, let's hold back on jumping in and sharing something about ourselves, because when we do that, we minimise their joy and create distance between us.

Luke 6:31 (NLT) says: 'Do to others as you would like them to do to you'. We need to treat others as we would like to be treated - with respect and care. When we treat people this way two things happen: (1) The other person enjoys our company because they sense we're really interested in them, not just sitting on the edge of our seat waiting for our turn to speak. (2) They feel that instead of competing with them, we care about their success. Then our relationships grow stronger because we no longer need to grab all the attention and glory.

Honouring others above ourselves can be challenging because our natural human instinct is to put ourselves first. But with God's help we can be people who are willing and ready to respect and help others.

So what now? Write down five things you like people to do to you that make you feel respected and honoured. Choose one of those things to do for someone else today.

Soulfood: Jer 25-27, Luke 5:1-11, Ps 102:18-28, Pro 15:4-7

Subscribe to this RSS feed