Eloise 10:00-2:00pm

Word For You Today

Love in its highest form

'Let everyone see that you are unselfish.' Philippians 4:5 TLB

A young American nurse tells of a patient called Eileen. Brain damage had left her with no control over her body. The doctors thought she was totally unconscious, unable to feel pain, unaware of anything going on around her. The hospital staff turned her every hour to prevent bedsores, and fed her twice a day through a stomach tube. 'When it's this bad,' an older nurse told her, 'you have to detach yourself emotionally.' As a result Eileen came to be treated as just a job. But one student nurse decided to treat her differently. She talked to Eileen, sang to her, and even brought her little gifts. One Thanksgiving Day she said to Eileen, 'It was supposed to be my day off, but I couldn't miss seeing you on Thanksgiving.' Just then the telephone rang. As the nurse turned to answer it she looked quickly back at the patient: 'Eileen was looking at me...crying. Big damp circles stained her pillow.' That was the only human emotion Eileen ever showed. But it was enough to change the attitude of the entire hospital staff toward her. Not long afterward Eileen died. The nurse closes her story by saying 'I keep thinking about her...I owe her an awful lot. Except for Eileen I might never have known what it's like to give myself to someone who can't give back.'

So what now? Love in its highest form means giving to those who seem to have little or nothing to give back. Is there someone you need to show that kind of love to?

Soulfood: Gen 4-6, John 11:17-27, Ps 150, Prov 30:29-33


Challenged to reach higher

'He who walks with wise men will be wise.' Proverbs 13:20 NKJV

Certain people stir you up to be all you can be. When you find them, feed off them! When you have little or no water in your own well, be willing to draw it from theirs. Elisha spent many years living in Elijah's shadow. But he saw it as a privilege, not a put-down. He was willing to set up tents, cook meals, wash clothes and run errands because it meant he would experience first-hand some of the greatest miracles in history. As a result, Elisha said to Elijah, 'I want a double portion of the Spirit that's at work in you' (see 2 Kings 2:9). And before his life was over, Elisha worked twice as many miracles as Elijah. You must have a foundation - and you can't build it without help!

Seeing God bless someone else should challenge you to reach higher. This is not envy - just a desire to receive more.

Look at Hannah, Elkanah's wife. She wanted a child. In order to stir her up, God used Peninnah, who was married to the same man but able to bear children. The more Hannah saw Peninnah have children, the more she wanted her own. Peninnah challenged her. She also made Hannah pray. That's the right response! It wasn't that Hannah was jealous and didn't want Peninnah to have children, it was just that she wanted her own.

So what now? Learn how to rejoice over the blessings of others, and realise that the same God who blessed them can bless you too. Let their blessings challenge you to reach higher!

Soulfood: Gen 1-3, John 11:1-16, Ps 102:18-28, Prov 30:24-28


Stay where you are

'Live under the protection of God Most High and stay in the shadow of God All-Powerful.' Psalm 91:1 CEV

Why would the prodigal son walk out on his dad when he had everything he needed (read Luke 15:11-32)?

Because: (1) He took for granted the good stuff his dad did. That's why God told his people, 'Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you...out of...slavery' (Deuteronomy 6:12 NIV). At one point God told his people to take 12 stones, one for each tribe, and build a memorial. There was a reason the memorial stood there year after year; to remind the people of who God was, who they were, and the promises that bound them together. What would help you remember? (2) He didn't know what was 'out there.' The path that takes us away from God leads to pain, not gain. Ask those who've walked it. They'll say, 'Don't go there'. (3) He wanted his father's blessings but not his rules. He didn't like his dad telling him what to do. Sound familiar? Jesus said: 'Why do you call me, "Lord"...and do not do what I say' (Luke 6:46 NIV)?

You can imagine the prodigal son, storming out of his dad's house saying - 'I'll show you, you just wait and see.' Then he messed up and had to find the guts to fess up. Sometimes we can be so sure of what we want that we ditch God, determined that we know best

So what now? One of the hardest places to be is knowing you were wrong. The Bible says the son 'came to his senses' and knew he should head home. Do you?

Soulfood: Ecc 10-12, John 10:34-42, Ps 102:12-17, Prov 30:21-23


When God puts you on hold

Be that everyone may see your progress.' 1 Timothy 4:15 NIV

A well-known Bible teacher tells of a pilot who received word from the control tower saying, 'You're cleared for 5,000 feet.' When he got to that height he had to hold for further instructions. Next came the words, 'You're cleared for 10,000 feet.' Gradually the controller took him level by level to 35,000 feet where he was cleared to fly to his destination. God spoke to this Bible teacher and said, 'I wish you'd trust me like that. Instead you want to go straight to 35,000 feet in one thrust!'

God has only good plans for you. He knows that if you rise too quickly there are dangers. You may be in the cockpit, but God's in the control tower. He says to you: 'Trust me and I'll get you safely to your destination.' God's plan for your life can't be rushed. When you try to move too quickly you lose valuable learnings and lessons, and you could crash!

Before God could trust King David to lead Israel he first had to see if young David could look after his dad's sheep. It was here David built a relationship with God and developed the qualities that would get him through the tough times ahead as king. God will let you practice in a place where your weaknesses can be worked on, your gifts developed, and where your mistakes won't affect too many others. That's because he cares for them too!

So what now? If God has put you on hold today, it's because he loves you and wants only what's best for you.

Soulfood: Ecc 7-9, John 10:22-33, Ps 102:1-11, Prov 30:18-20



'Envy can eat you up.' Proverbs 14:30 CEV

The most miserable people in life are those filled with envy. It eats away their soul and steals their joy. They think of nothing except the thing somebody else has that they want.

Does this describe you? How would you answer the following questions: 'Is it hard for me to compliment other people?' 'Am I generally defensive?' 'When somebody's name comes up in conversation do I find myself feeling good when something bad happens to them?' Come on, be honest! Do you criticise people who've achieved more than you? Do you privately compare yourself to them? Are you preoccupied with what other people are doing, buying or wearing, and who they hang out with? Do you trust the people you love, or are you always checking up on them?

King Solomon said: 'Envy can eat you up' (Proverbs 14:30 CEV). So, if you're envious and you want to change: (a) drop the mask and admit you have a problem, (b) apologise to God and ask for his help, (c) pray for the person you're jealous of. At first it'll feel awkward, but as you keep doing it God will change your heart and replace envy with love. Begin to celebrate other people's successes, and make a point of complimenting them.

So what now? Importantly, remember that nobody is as good at being you as you, so there's no need for competition. In God's eyes, you are a complete, unique individual. Appreciate your uniqueness and the role he's given you to fill in his kingdom.

Soulfood: Deut 9:13-29, Dan 1:3-21, Luke 4:1-13


'My precious'

'We are God's masterpiece...' Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Most girls love diamonds, and many would love to get a diamond from someone they love. If a girl gets given a diamond engagement ring, she admires it and each time she looks at it she is reminded of her fianc? and their precious love for one another.

Did you know that you're precious to God? Like the diamond is admired by the newly engaged girl, God admires you. He thinks you are magnificent. (Yes, if you're a guy, it includes you too!). It says in the Bible that 'we are God's masterpiece' (Ephesians 2:10 NLT). If you go to an art gallery and look at a Van Gogh or Rembrandt painting, whatever your opinion of the picture is, you won't be able to deny that the one who painted it was the master of his craft. You may look in the mirror and think your nose could do with shrinking, you could be taller, smaller, have thicker hair, etc, but... know this: you were created by the Ultimate Designer, the Master of his Craft, and he is captivated by you!

Next time you look at yourself, put your own opinion aside and remember: you're a masterpiece; an expression of your heavenly Father's heart. He has given you the ability to love, to create, to express and to be yourself. No one else contributes to this world in the way you do. There's no other like you.

So what now? Next time you go to criticise yourself, see beyond the flaws to the precious masterpiece.

Soulfood: Ecc 4-6, John 10:11-21, Ps 76, Prov 30:15-17



'Jesus is not ashamed to call them his family.' Hebrews 2:11 GNT

What is salvation? Well, if you're drowning and you can't keep your head above water for a second longer and, as you take your last breath someone reaches into the water and pulls you to safety, you'd say that person had saved your life. If you've accepted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you've not only been saved from an eternity without God but you've been given the inheritance of Jesus Christ himself.

Here are a few things you can expect if you let Jesus be your Saviour: (1) 'His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life' (2 Peter 1:3 NIV). You have all you need because you're God's child. Ask God for what you need, it's yours in Jesus. (2) 'Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ' (Ephesians 1:3 NIV). Everything that Jesus is you have access to! He is the healer so you can access healing; he is the champion so you can live in victory...the list goes on. (3) 'We are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago' (Ephesians 2:10 NLT). He didn't just save you so you can share Heaven with him. He saved you because he has purpose for you, to live your life to the max, loving God and sharing his life with others.

So what now? Don't waste a minute: thank Jesus for saving you!

Soulfood: Ecc 1-3, John 10:1-10, Ps 81, Prov 30:11-14

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