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Word For You Today

'Nevertheless'



'Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion.' 2 Samuel 5:7 NKJV

In 1000 BC David had a look at Jerusalem. It was a monster of a fortress with incredible high, impenetrable walls The enemy was so self-assured they taunted them, saying 'You'll never get in here...Even the blind and lame could keep you out' (2 Samuel 5:6 NLT)! The situation looked hopeless. But did that stop David? Not in the slightest. The Bible says, 'Nevertheless David took the stronghold (that is, the City of David)' (2 Samuel 5:7 NKJV). David won because he trusted in God to help him. He didn't get in over the high walls, he found an alternative route through the water tunnels (see 2 Samuel 5:8)!

We all have areas in our lives where the fight looks hard or hopeless - the walls are too big and we seem so small! Satan tells us we can't do it and we believe him. It might be that habit we can't quit, the attitude we can't shake, the way we feel every single time we look in that mirror... we just don't feel good enough.

But, your battles (which in the Bible are called strongholds) do not frighten or knock back God. When the enemy says, 'You're stuck, you'll never get out,' the Bible says God's 'mighty weapons...knock down the devil's strongholds' (2 Corinthians 10:4 TLB).

So what now? To be like David and overcome the battle, you must do two things. Listen to the right voice - the one telling you that you can overcome; and look for alternative solutions - look for the tunnels. Nevertheless, you will be victorious!

Soulfood: Acts 10-11 Mk 4:1-9 Ps 103:1-12 Pro 10:27-29,

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Have you heard



''God has taken care of his people...' Luke 7:17 GWT

Jesus walks into a village and sees a woman wailing alongside the body of her son being carried for burial. Luke says: 'When the Lord saw her, he felt sorry for her. He said to her, "Don't cry." He went up to the open coffin... He said, "Young man, I'm telling you to come back to life!" The dead man sat up and began to talk... Everyone was struck with fear and praised God. They said, "A great prophet has appeared among us," and "God has taken care of his people"' (Luke 7:13-17 GWT).

Many Jews in that time believed that God had forgotten them. The Romans were in charge, and life was very hard for them. Then the stories start: 'Have you heard about the man preaching something new or about the healings or the people getting free food?' 'Have you heard he makes friends with losers and sinners or about that boy raised from the dead?'

For the religious leaders, these stories were totally heretic, but for the lost, sick, broken and abused, the stories were full of hope. If you are one of the 7.6 billion people in the world who hasn't got life sorted: Jesus came to earth way back then to help you, and that's why the Holy Spirit is here today.

So what now? Do you need something brought back to life or healed or provided? A dream, a relationship, hope for the future? Ask God for his help. Have you heard? God is taking care of you!

Soulfood: Acts 8-9 Mk 3:28-35 Ps 130 Pro 10:24-26,

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Keep preparing yourself



'I have seen a son of Jesse... who is skilful...' 1 Samuel 16:18 NKJV

David didn't suddenly become an expert marksman with a slingshot when Goliath rocked up, or learn how to play the harp when King Saul requested a private gig at the palace. He had already taken the long, slow, disciplined route of learning those skills. He had no idea what his future held; he simply got stuck in with discovering and developing his gifts.

At the risk of sounding like a 'life coach', which zone do you live in? The 'challenge zone': 'I attempt to do what I haven't done before'? The 'comfort zone': 'I only do what I already know I can do'? Or the 'coasting zone': 'I don't even do what I've done before'? If you think you have learnt all that you need to know you'll never grow.

David's brothers knew he had great skills, yet none of them told King Saul about him. When Saul needed a musician: 'One of [Saul's] officials said, "I know one of Jesse's sons from Bethlehem who can play well. He's a courageous man ... and the Lord is with him"' (1 Samuel 16:18 GWT). David didn't compete with his brothers or complain about his status as a shepherd. He just kept developing his relationship with God and sharpening his skills, and when the time was right, God promoted him.

So what now? If you live in the 'challenge zone', keep it up. If you live in the 'comfort zone' or the 'coasting zone', come on, get up and perfect those great skills that God has given you! Keep preparing yourself.

Soulfood: Acts 6-7 Mk 3:20-27 Ps 75 Pro 10:22-23,

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Sometimes it's wise to compromise



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

Compromise is agreeing to change your viewpoint or decision to meet someone else half way. It seems like a losing move, but it's not always bad. Obviously, there are some issues that you shouldn't compromise on (for example, it's never ok to steal or lie), but sometimes it's wise to compromise. Without compromise arguments can't be settled. If two people are both completely stubborn and refuse to budge on a subject, you just won't get anywhere! Compromising is not about being weak; in fact, sometimes it takes more strength to agree to a compromise! For example: if you're going out with new friends who your parents don't know, you may have to compromise with them to be picked up or come home with a friend.

Is compromising easy? Or free from risk? Or does it comes naturally? No. It's much easier (and safer) to stand your ground and believe that your way is the right way. But if you do that through life, you end up alone, bitter and angry; no one wants to hang around with people who aren't prepared to give a little.

Don't be so proud that you're not prepared to check that maybe you're wrong. And if it's not an issue of right and wrong but of opinion, is it worth alienating yourself over a different perspective? No.

So what now? Why not ask your parents or a wise person you trust to give you some tips on how and why to compromise so that others are honoured? Learn to understand that compromise can make your life richer.

Soulfood: Acts 3:11-5:42 Mk 3:13-19 Ps 127 Pro 10:19-21,

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Don't settle for a 'B'



'I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.' Philippians 4:13 NLT

A professor stood before his class of senior biology students. It was the final exam. He said, 'I have been privileged to be your instructor this semester, and I know how hard you have worked to prepare for this test. Because I am confident that you know this material, I am prepared to offer an automatic 'B' to anyone who opts to skip taking the final exam.' A number of students jumped up, thanked the professor for the lifeline he had thrown them, and left. The teacher then handed out the final exam. It was just two sentences. It read: 'Congratulations, you have just received an 'A' in this class. Keep believing in yourself.'

The apostle Paul experienced more trouble in a month than most of us will see in a lifetime because of his persistence in spreading Jesus' salvation message. Yet he wrote, 'I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength' (Philippians 4:13 NLT).

Too many people are willing to settle for average. They have enough money to be comfortable, a job they can put up with, an easy church where they can just enjoy the service, chat with other comfortable friends and go home. The apostle Paul also said, 'I can't consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I don't look back, I lengthen my stride, and I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God's heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus' (Philippians 3:13-14 GWT).

So what now? Refuse to settle for a 'B' - for God and for your life!

Soulfood: Acts 1:1-3:10 Mk 3:7-12 Ps 43 Pro 10:17-18,

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Get on that boat



'Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.' Matthew 8:23 NIV

One day Jesus invited two people to join his team, but they both had their reasons for putting it off. One had a funeral to attend, another wanted to go home to explain his decision. Matthew records, 'Then [Jesus] got into the boat and his disciples followed him' (Matthew 8:23 NIV). Those two people missed that boat - they could have part of Bible history!

In the 1870s two men worked really hard on the idea of transmitting sound down a wire. Amazingly, on exactly the same day both Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray planned to go to the patent office to file their idea. Unfortunately for Elisha Gray, even though he had the idea first, he was busy and sent someone in his place, who got there an hour after Alexander Graham Bell. Alexander got the credit for the invention of the telephone, and got very rich; and Elisha Gray missed out.

If you get a God-given opportunity to do something, it will most probably feel daunting. If you are indecisive or can't be bothered, the opportunity may pass you by. Think carefully about your decision. Think about how you feel when you say 'No' to something you know would have been good to say 'Yes' to. Trust God to help you take the steps and risks you need to.

So what now? God is a gracious God of second (and third and fourth...) chances. He is not mad at you if you miss an opportunity. If you have missed one boat, there will be others.

Soulfood: Joel 1-3 Mk 3:1-6 Ps 56 Pro 10:14-16,

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The spirit of Caleb



'My servant Caleb has a different spirit.' Numbers 14:24 NIV

Caleb wasn't into 'safe living.' As a young man, he came back from the Promised Land, stood with the minority and announced, 'Let's go and take the land. I know we can do it' (Numbers 13:30 NIV). At 85, he slayed giants and claimed mountains. He had 'a different spirit'. And God said of him, 'Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it' (Numbers 14:24 NIV). Wow!

Safe living is secure and straightforward but is it really living? Many 'safe-livers' will look back through the years and wish they'd taken more risks.

Life (including yourself) has a way of telling you that you 'can't' do a whole lot of things. You're not smart enough, talented enough, confident enough, etc. God asked Moses to free the Israelites from Egypt - talk about a massive mission! Moses told God that he was not the right man for the job. But, he stepped out anyway and God gave him Aaron to support him. If people (or you) say you probably won't be able to do something, check what God has to say. If God says 'Yes' he will help you achieve it in amazing ways.

So what now? Would you rather try and fail, or not try at all? The opposite of 'safe living' is not 'dangerous living'; it is called 'living'. Grab the spirit of Caleb and claim, 'God is on my side, so therefore I can [insert your mission here]!'

Soulfood: Gal 5:22 Lk 2:8-20 Pro 3:13-18 Ps 119:161-168,

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