Afternoons
Josh 2:00-7:00pm

Word For You Today

You're invited 5



'The Son is...sustaining all things by his powerful word.' Hebrews 1:3 NIV

We can get so focused on our troubles, worries and doubts that we forget that God's Word says: 'Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life' (Psalm 23:6 ESV). Are you having difficulty enjoying your blessings because you're afraid they won't last? Maybe you're so adapted to trouble that you're continually braced for it, not able to relax.

It's time to stop worrying and start believing God's promises to you. He hasn't brought you this far to abandon you. He has 'appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit' (John 15:16 NLT). Lasting joy and being effective at what you do - that's God's plan for you. The Bible says: 'The Son is...sustaining all things by his powerful word' (Hebrews 1:3 NIV). God doesn't speak something over your life, then let it fall apart. He said, 'My word...will...achieve the purpose for which I sent it' (Isaiah 55:11 NIV).

In Genesis 1:14, God said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night' (ESV). That same sun shines today because of the word that brought it into being, and it'll shine again tomorrow. If God does that for an inanimate object like the sun, he can take care of you. So, believe that you're invited and chosen by him.

So what now? As you're out and about today, keep an eye out for birds. Remember God's promise that he'll look after sparrows, and then remember how much more he values you. Respond to God's invitations to you daily.

Soulfood: Lev 26-27 Luke 22:1-13 Ps 56 Pro 10:8-9,

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You're invited 4



'I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit.' John 15:16 NLT

Take a look at Jesus' words to the disciples in John 15:16. It's a personal message of encouragement to us too. God personally chose each of us. He wanted us specifically for him. He has a plan for our lives. He helps us to keep going when we think we can't do what he asks. He encourages us when we've run out of steam. 'The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble...the Lord holds them by the hand' (Psalm 37:23-24 NLT). He wants us to be successful for him. 'No weapon turned against you will succeed...These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord' (Isaiah 54:17 NLT).

Just because we've been chosen by God doesn't mean we can go off and do our own thing. Paul said, 'Do you think we should continue sinning so that God will give us even more grace? No! We died to our old sinful lives, so how can we continue living with sin (Romans 6:1-2 NCV)? It's why God sometimes doesn't stop tests and temptations coming our way. He knows they'll help us understand that we're dependent on his love, and help us keep ourselves deeply rooted in him.

God has great assignments for each of us, and he wants to see us do our best in those assignments. When we realise that, nothing can stop us.

So what now? Begin each day this week by reminding yourself: 'God chose me'. Even when your condition isn't perfect, you are top of his invite list!

Soulfood: Lev 23:26-44 Lev 24 Lev 25:1-55 Luke 21:29-38 Ps 50:16-23 Pro 10:4-7,

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You're invited 3



'I will arise and go to my father.' Luke 15:18 ESV

Once you grasp the fact that God has 'chosen and appointed' you to get some things done - a mission handpicked for you - you'll see things differently from others, or feel a gut compulsion to move on while they're happy to stay where they are. Paul said, 'God chose us to be his own people... based on what he had decided from the very beginning' (Ephesians 1:11 GNT). God has certain things he wants to do through you. If you think God chose you because you're a great prayer warrior, or read your Bible three hours a day, or have super-holy character, then the minute you let up or fail, the enemy will pounce and tell you you're no longer accepted by God.

Knowing where you stand with God helps you to say, 'Even though I don't have it all together, I can go to God at any time, because he chose me, not the other way around.' That's information that the enemy doesn't want you to have, because it will change how you think, how you look at the world, and where your confidence level sits. Even though he failed, lost everything, and was destitute, the Prodigal Son could still say, 'I will get up and go to my father' (Luke 15:18 GNT).

Keep your confidence level high. God is still your Father even when you've messed up. You're always invited.

So what now? How is your personal level of confidence with God? No matter how high or low it is, be assured that he always wants you with him.

Soulfood: 2 Ki 5:1- 27 Matt 6:19-34 Acts 5:1-11,

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You're invited 2



'So that [God] could adopt us as his very own children.' Galatians 4:5 NLT

Nobody adopts a child by accident. Think about this: knowing in advance about all your past, your weaknesses, your insecurities... God chose you anyway, 'so that we would be adopted as his children...God has also made you heirs' (Galatians 4:5-7 GWT). You never have to wonder whether it's okay to approach your heavenly Father, because he's always ready to welcome you. And a relationship with him is far better than you could ever imagine.

Being 'chosen and appointed' is like flying first class: you get the best service. You're a priority. You get everything. You're in. But that doesn't give you license to live however you want: 'the Lord disciplines those he loves, and...accepts as a son' (Hebrews 12:6 NIV). God's correction isn't rejection, it's proof he loves you as a son or daughter. You're not chosen because of your strengths, best features, talents, by 'behaving well', intelligence or whatever. God chose you because he wanted you. He wants to help you be the best version of yourself and to be a blessing to others.

God has great things planned for your life. And the best part is, he's going to give you all the resources you need to get it done. 'He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion' (Philippians 1:6 NIV).

So what now? God is serious about wanting to be in relationship with you. He has adopted you into his family for good. Accept his invitation fully and enjoy life with him.

Soulfood: Lev 21:1-24 Lev 25 Lev 23:1-25 Luke 21:25-28 Ps 50:1-15 Pro 10:3,

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You're invited 1



'I chose you and appointed you.' John 15:16 NIV

When you're invited to a party, you don't have to wonder if you're welcome, or if there'll be enough food, or if there's a place at the table for you: you're secure knowing that you're among friends who want you there because they asked you there. And they probably told you what to expect. It's the same when you know you've been 'chosen and appointed' by God: it gives you confidence, he asked you to the party, and he's the one telling you what to expect.

He chose you for two reasons: to bless you, and to make you a blessing to others (see Genesis 12:2). At the start of the 'party' not all of his blessings will make sense. The Bible speaks of blessings that 'you won't have room enough to receive' (see Malachi 3:10). Sometimes God's blessings are so overwhelming that when he starts pouring them out, you think, 'Maybe I can't handle this.' And if you'd been the one who initiated the relationship, you'd be right. But God chose you. And whatever he has to offer is good.

You can feel secure in God's way of living, because he wanted you there, and gave you the terms and conditions. All you need to do is be open and responsive. 'Give yourselves completely to God...as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God' (Romans 6:13 NLT).

So what now? Be secure in knowing that God wanted you at his 'party' because he loves you and loves your company. It's the best invitation you will ever receive.

Soulfood: Lev 18-20 Luke 21:12-24 Ps 25:16-22 Pro 10:2,

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'Here am I Send me'



'I said, "Here am I. Send me!"' Isaiah 6:8 NIV

Isaiah writes, 'Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I, send me!" He said, "Go...!"' (Isaiah 6:8-9 NIV). Before God asked, 'Whom shall I send?', Isaiah was despairing that he wasn't good enough. 'I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips' (Isaiah 6:5 NIV).

In God's Kingdom, calling is the most important thing, not how good or how trained we are. If we're willing to go when God gives us the green light, he'll do more through us than we could ever imagine. We can end up spending so much time and energy trying to figure out how to get to where God wants us to go or decide what he wants us to do, when all we have to do is simply say, 'Here am I'.

We don't have to figure it all out ourselves, we just have to be available for God to use. It's God's job to get us to where he wants us to go; our job is to make ourselves available. Sometimes it's a simple prompting to go out of our way and love our next-door neighbour. Sometimes it's a calling to move halfway around the world. But it always starts with the little three-word prayer of availability: 'Here am I'.

So what now? Are you prepared to make yourself available to God? Today, decide to lay down your fears and say 'Here am I. Send me!'

Soulfood: Lev 15 -17 Luke 21:8-11 Ps 25:8-15 Pro 10:1,

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Make a difference with God



'He has created us anew...so we can do the good things he planned for us.' Ephesians 2:10 NLT

We've been designed to do good works, and to carry out God's plan here on earth. We see pictures on the news of starving children and people dying from preventable illnesses because they can't afford to get food or treatment. We read about modern slavery and exploitation. We hear about escalating domestic violence in our own country. It all seems overwhelming and we can start to ask 'What can I do? How can I make a difference?' The problems seem so massive, and we can feel that we have no power to do anything about them.

But with God's help, we can make a difference - 'with God all things are possible' (Matthew 19:26 NIV). The first thing we can do is pray for the situations that touch our hearts and for those who are suffering. 'If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us' (1 John 5:14 NIV). Our prayers are powerful, because when they're in line with God's will, he'll act. We could also volunteer at a local charity or help out with a mission or organisation that champions the cause that God's placed on our heart, and donate to it if we can.

We can't solve the massive problems in the world by ourselves. We just need to do whatever we can, and trust God to make the big difference.

So what now? Commit to regularly spending a few minutes praying for whatever world or local problems or situations have pulled at your heart. Ask God to show you how you can help. It's what you're created to do.

Soulfood: Lev 13:38-59 Lev 14:1-57 Luke 21:1-7 Ps 25:1-7 Pro 9:17-18,

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