Days
Eloise 10:00-2:00pm

Word For You Today

WAR OF WORDS

 



We say around ten thousand words every single day (... each of us individually!). Words that can cheer up and bless, or divide and put down. They can start wars, or heal hearts. Just look at soap operas, where most of the plots are based around this particular part of broken humanity. Chances are, of those ten thousand words you speak, at least one or two may not be very well thought through. The Bible says, 'If you claim to be religious but don't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless' (James 1:26 NLT). Wow!



So, how can you gain a bit more control over your mouth? (1) Encourage: Encouragers are God's frontline against lies of the enemy that rob people of hope and joy. Use your words to lift the mood. (2) Ask for wisdom: 'Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips' (Psalms 141:3 NLT). Be quick to listen and slow to speak, asking God to guide you when choosing your words - including those you speak about yourself. (3) Speak truth and life: Jesus is '...the way, the truth and the life' (John 14:6 NLT). As His family and followers, our speech should reflect this. Talk truthfully and you'll speak words which, like a '...life-giving fountain' (Proverbs 13:14 NLT), point others to God.



 



So what now? Psalm 141:3 (CEV) says: 'Help me to guard my words whenever I say something'. Write these words out and stick them somewhere to remind you to use your words wisely.

Soulfood : Acts 13:21-22, 1 Sam 16, 1 Sam 17:32-51, 1 Sam 24:1-17

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MAKE SOMETHING WONDERFUL OF IT ALL

 



The Bible tells us that there is a 'time for everything' (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NCV). What are you going to do with the time given to you?



In the third stage of its life, a caterpillar forms a chrysalis and, inside, mushes all its body parts into gross bug goo (yeah, don't google 'inside a chrysalis'...). When it's strong enough, the 'goo' pushes its way out of the shell as a butterfly. Rush this process, try to help the butterfly out by opening the chrysalis early, and you'll be releasing an underdeveloped bug hybrid with teeny wings. Also you'll be killing it!



We must be wise with our time. It's tempting to take shortcuts even when you sense a chance to grow, but rather than trying to rush through everything, play the long game. Put the slow work into character-forming and you'll make something great out of your life. When life gives you lemons, give them to God and make a delicious lemon cake. Some learning experiences we choose, and others, both good and bad, are thrust upon us. The story of who you are is written in your scars as well as your good experiences. They're not coincidences. God is using them to craft you - Almighty God! . So don't shrink back; make something wonderful out of it all.



 



So what now? God has '...made everything beautiful in its time' (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT). Think: have you even considered that this might be you?

Soulfood : Ex 33-35, Jn 4:27-38, Ps 32, Prov 27:1-3

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MAKE SOMETHING WONDERFUL OF IT ALL

 



The Bible tells us that there is a 'time for everything' (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NCV). What are you going to do with the time given to you?



In the third stage of its life, a caterpillar forms a chrysalis and, inside, mushes all its body parts into gross bug goo (yeah, don't google 'inside a chrysalis'...). When it's strong enough, the 'goo' pushes its way out of the shell as a butterfly. Rush this process, try to help the butterfly out by opening the chrysalis early, and you'll be releasing an underdeveloped bug hybrid with teeny wings. Also you'll be killing it!



We must be wise with our time. It's tempting to take shortcuts even when you sense a chance to grow, but rather than trying to rush through everything, play the long game. Put the slow work into character-forming and you'll make something great out of your life. When life gives you lemons, give them to God and make a delicious lemon cake. Some learning experiences we choose, and others, both good and bad, are thrust upon us. The story of who you are is written in your scars as well as your good experiences. They're not coincidences. God is using them to craft you - Almighty God! . So don't shrink back; make something wonderful out of it all.



 



So what now? God has '...made everything beautiful in its time' (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT). Think: have you even considered that this might be you?

Soulfood : Ex 33-35, Jn 4:27-38, Ps 32, Prov 27:1-3

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ONE-OFF

We all need a creed to live by. Here's a great one:

-- Above and behind all Creation, behind all its ingenious design and mind-blowing beauty, is the God of my Bible. -- My God has the sort of character that cares about every sparrow, every hair on a head, and every single person, personally. -- My God planned me, loved me before He'd even made me, and delighted in hand-crafting me, every single bit of me (see Psalms 139:13-15). -- I was created with such generous joy for a specific purpose, that He knew would be only for me, in my time and place. -- He created me knowing I'd mess up. And knowing my sin in advance, He still chose me, and chose to love me, to create me, and to save me (see Revelation 13:8). -- God is the only one who has the right information and the power to judge me, my abilities, my value, and my appearance. -- He judges me worthy of His love (1 John 4:19-21), worthy of dying for me so that I could know His love, here and in Heaven. -- God loves me. Actually. God loves me.

These are true facts... facts about God, not opinion about me, and because of this, their truth is more real than any words or feelings that come against me. And if God is for me, who can be against me (Romans 8:31)?

So what now? Go spend some time alone in front of a mirror, and look yourself in the eyes, declaring this creed to yourself. You may find it more of a challenge than you expect.

Soulfood : Ex 30-32, Jn 4:13-26, Ps 100, Prov 26:27-28

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MIRROR, MIRROR

Time to fess up... we don't always like what we see in the mirror. Despite anything we might be taught in church about self-acceptance, it's not easy to appreciate all our God-given features. Whatever we look like, here are some sobering spiritual truths to consider: (1) Truly resenting your looks puts you at odds with God, the Creator. The Bible says, 'You have no right to argue with your Creator. You are...a clay pot shaped by a potter. The clay doesn't ask, "Why did you make me this way?''' (Isaiah 45:9 CEV). God intends us to carry His presence, as clay containers. We're not designed to just be a fancy ornament on display.

(2) Comparing your outtakes to someone's highlight reel will never give you a true perspective on humankind. Just look to the famous people who are desperately unhappy; we all need God to truly live. And, although it can be hard, let's make sure that our conception of 'good' appearance isn't decided by what we see on our screens and billboards. An airbrushed model isn't a role model. Be careful.

So, if we aren't to compare ourselves to others, what option is left? Only one - God. 'Look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect...' (Hebrews 12:2 NCV). When we focus on Him, the rat-race for popularity and good image will grow 'strangely dim'.

So what now? Search the web for a song called 'Turn your eyes upon Jesus'. You might well be familiar with it, but the lyrics apply well to this very personal subject.

Soulfood : Ex 28-29, Jn 4:1-12, Ps 89:38-52, Prov 26:23-26

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BEING WISE WITH MONEY

How rich do you want to be? You might have ambitions to be a millionaire or even just to be 'comfortable', but have you considered what the Bible says about you and money?

For a start, nothing we possess actually belongs to us: it's all God's (Psalms 24:1). So no matter how hard you struggle to acquire more, you're still only ever the caretaker of it. That truth is actually really freeing: it means that the pressure is off. You're not defined by the size of your bank account and you can trust God to bless you like He says He will: 'The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it' (Proverbs 10:22 NIV).

But God's pretty hot on stewardship - that is, the way that you manage the stuff He gives you. Are you stingy? Are you reckless? Are you self-centred when it comes to money? Don't expect Him to bless you with very much of it then. The Bible is clear about generosity (check out Luke 6:38 for a cracking promise). It's also clear about taking responsibility: in Luke 16:11, Jesus says that if you can't be trusted with worldly wealth, you won't be trusted with 'true riches'.

So what now? What have you been given? You might have a job, a part-time job or an allowance; whatever it is, you've been entrusted with it. So start thinking about ways you can be generous with it.

Soulfood : Ex 25-27, Jn 3:22-36, Ps 89:15-37, Prov 26:20-22

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DOES GOD REALLY HEAL?

Let's cut to the chase: if God calls Himself a healer, and we know that Jesus spent a lot of miracle-hours healing people, and we believe that the Holy Spirit is powerful, then we can safely say that yes - God can and does heal people today.

But that's really easy to say before someone we love gets diagnosed with cancer, or the doctor says we're injured beyond repair. Believing God for healing is a whole other ball-game once it actually becomes necessary.

And then there are the healings that don't ever come: the times when our faith gets shaken out from the edges because we just don't understand why. So we wrestle with the idea that God is still good and powerful when it feels like He's nowhere. And we wonder if we prayed the 'wrong way', or not enough. And all the while the pain of disappointment sits on our chest like a double-decker bus...

There is a choice to be made. Either God is a liar, or He's telling the truth. If He's the truth, then perhaps our perception of healing is incomplete. Perhaps it's possible to face sickness, and still know total peace - and even joy. Perhaps, when it feels like God's ignoring you, He's actually healing the stuff that's unseen.

So what now? Have a think about this famous C.S Lewis quote: 'God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.' And thank God that He will 'speak' to you, and help you to hear Him, whatever the circumstances.

Soulfood : Ex 22-24, Jn 3:1-21, Ps 89:1-14, Prov 26:17-19

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