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Word For You Today

HE SAID IT - IMPOSSIBLE?

So, if we're completely clear on what God's saying to us, are raring to follow it, and have a bunch of people supporting us in it, it's going to be like a walk in the park. Right?



Well... ummmm... maybe not always. The truth is, sometimes a part of the plan is difficulty. See, God can make anything happen, whichever way He wants to. Your Bible is full of examples. But because of the not-all-powerful human perspective that we have, some stuff looks downright impossible. In reality, we can be following God's plans as well as is humanly possible, but it may still feel like nothing's happening.



At times Abraham must have certainly felt like God had promised Him something impossible. He was heading towards 100 years of age and still the son God had promised hadn't been born. Kind of laughable to think it would happen at that point. But Abraham never (entirely) let those feelings come between him and God's plan. For us, that's often easier said than done. But it's all about turning back to God every time His plan seems uncertain. If that happens, re-visit His original promise and ask Him to keep your faith clear. Isaiah 55:11 NLT is where God says, 'It is the same with My word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.' Keep hold of that.



So what now? Whatever God has promised you will happen. No matter how unlikely it looks. It's coming. He said it!

Soulfood : Gen 35-36, Jn 16:19-33, Ps 2, Ecc 3:1-4

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HE SAID IT - OTHERS

So, the past two days have been a bit inwardly focussed, all about what God's saying over your life. That's not a bad thing, at all. But what about when we extend that out? What are we, as Christians, supposed to do about God's plans for other people?



Well, in true 2 Corinthians 9 spirit, we think it's a really good idea to get alongside anyone who is working towards fulfilling something that God's said about them. If we're generous with our prayers, our encouragement, and whatever else we can be generous with, the world around us will start to look a lot more like God wants it to. If we keep these things for us, we're wasting their potential to show off God in our lives. Paul goes on to say that we 'will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God' (2 Corinthians 9:11 NIV).



So what now? You definitely have something that can help someone else - God made you that way. You weren't given your gifts, skills or money for yourself, but to serve others. Be faithful in the small things and God will trust you with the larger ones.

Soulfood : Gen 32-34, Jn 16:1-18, Ps 130, Prov 31:28-31

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HE SAID IT - PLANS

God told Jeremiah that He was going to use him as a prophet. Jeremiah wasn't convinced he was cut out for the role and was pretty quick to tell God he wasn't up for it. He didn't think he had the skills. But God knew what He was doing (He tends to...). He gave Jeremiah the supernatural ability to do exactly what He had planned for him. And Jeremiah did it (not without difficulties along the way, but he did it).



And that's the power of God's words. When He speaks them over us, He's going to make sure that we're ready for whatever-it-is He's called us to do. And that's why it generally works pretty well when we live in the plans that God has for us. That's why it's so good to spend so much time going: 'Uhhhh, Lord... what do I do?' He knows what you're made for. He's the one who made you for it in the first place. His plans for you fit nobody but you. If the plan isn't His, there's not too much chance that you're going to be fully equipped for it.



So what now? If you're wondering what to do next, try as a starter: 'Help? Jesus, please!' Then go for what you think is right, and keep checking it. You will probably not get to see His original blueprints, so don't check anxiously over your shoulder for God's neon sign every step. However, if you're running your plans past the Planner, He'll steer you right.

Soulfood : Gen 30:25-31:55, Jn 15:18-27, Ps 65, Prov 31:25-27

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HE SAID IT - CONSEQUENCES

Whatever God says is absolutely true. And when He puts together a plan, He sees it through. Romans 3:4 quotes one of David's psalms (Psalm 51:4, to be exact), where he's crying out to God because he knows he has messed up - big time (Check out 2 Samuel 11 and 12 for the whole story when you have some time to sit down and read it through).



After being told what the consequences of his sin are going to be, David tells God, 'You will be proved right in what You say.' He knew that God always delivers on whatever He says. And he was right; all that the prophet explained to David came to pass. Now, because of the way that David had acted, the consequences turned out a lot less than great. Sometimes, we act in ways that leave us picking up the pieces of what we've done. But here's the thing: when David called on God, he wasn't let down. God got him through.



Now, there is a flip side. And a pretty great one at that. Imagine how God, the God who loves you immensely, rejoices in seeing through the good things that He promises. When He lays out His plans for your life, the minute that you say 'yes' to Him and to those plans, He starts to make them happen. And He absolutely loves doing so.



So what now? Whatever He has said about you and your life, pursue it. Because what God says, goes.

Soulfood : Gen 28:1-30:24, Jn 15:5-17, Ps 14, Prov 31:22-24

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ROCK. SOLID.

'We count them blessed who endure...' James 5:11 NKJ

Today, the whole idea of 'endurance' is a bit Bear Grylls. But we're pretty sure that, when James wrote 'we count them blessed who endure,' he probably wasn't saying that making an igloo out of your own frozen sweat gets you more blessings from God. In fact, to Him, endurance is much more of an everyday thing. Let's face it, it's more than likely you'll face something difficult at least once a day. Your ability to endure has everything to do with that. Whether they're big or small problems, endurance is in how we deal with those difficulties. If you ever studied French, you might remember that 'dur' is used to describe something that's rock-hard, something that stands firm. So, en-dur-ance then... we reckon we could call that 'standing firm in the face of difficulties'. And that's a pretty Biblical model for living life.

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes: 'Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave, be strong' (1 Corinthians 16:13 GNT). That is how we do what James is talking about. It's all too easy to start doubting God and His plans when things are difficult. It's all too easy to start finding not-quite-so-Godly ways to make ourselves feel better, but that's not endurance. The only really good way to pull through is to 'stand firm in the faith'.

So what now? Know someone who's going through a particularly difficult time? Help them to pull through it by standing with them and helping them to stand rock solid.

SoulFood: Gen 25:19 - 27:46, John 14:26 - 15:4, Ps 146, Pro 31:18-21

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THE FINGER OF GOD (3)

On stone? Why not on paper? Or parchment? Or on wood? Perhaps there was something symbolic about the Ten Commandments being written on stone. Stone is hard and uncompromising. Not easily shattered. Here were rules not to be broken or messed with.



As God's finger etched words of life into the cold stone, a moral code to build up a society was being written. Even today our laws agree with these principles: don't murder, don't steal stuff, don't lie. Most people today couldn't tell you all Ten Commandments and yet their conscience would still agree with what Moses brought down from Sinai all those years ago. It's as if the finger of God has written His laws and principles onto the hearts of men and women. Our conscience bears the trace of God's values. When we choose to ignore our conscience, sooner or later there will be consequences. A diver can break through the surface of a lake with ease during summer. And yet in the winter freeze it is possible to ride a truck across stony frozen water. It's like that with our conscience. When our hearts are soft to God, we obey. When we repeatedly disobey, our hearts become frozen hard.



So what now? It's best to practise obedience, otherwise God may need to turn up the heat to thaw out your heart.

Soulfood : Gen 24:1-25:18, Jn 14:15-25, Ps 118:19-29, Prov 31:14-17

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THE FINGER OF GOD (2)

The magicians of Egypt were able to duplicate the signs Moses gave Pharaoh from God with visual trickery and illusion. Pharaoh was probably entertained by Moses but not impressed. And so Moses would return to his court again and again, each sign greater than the previous. But before long, the signs couldn't be reproduced by Pharaoh's magic circle any more. By the time of the plague of gnats and mozzies, they were scratching their heads (as well as just about everywhere else). 'The finger of God!' they cried out in fear. But it didn't matter to Pharaoh. He insisted on saying 'no' to God. 'No' to a God who was trying to help him not reap the consequences of the child-killing spree his ancestors had undertaken eighty years previously. The last plague was imminent but still Pharaoh said 'no'. Every firstborn boy died as a result of his hard heart.



The Passover story teaches us that God's finger will not force us to obey but He will claim back what is rightfully His. He will allow the consequences of the past to catch up with us. Pharaoh was given many chances. He didn't take them. It's not a formula, but we can take on a lesson for us today: don't ignore the will of God. The psalmist wrote, 'Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary' (Psalm 77:13 NKJ). Then he added, 'Your way was in the sea... in the great waters...' (Psalm 77:19 NKJ).



So what now? The sanctuary - the safe place where we learn the easy way - or the storm - the rough place where we learn the hard way: what's your choice?

Soulfood : Gen 20-23, Jn 14:1-14, Ps 118:10-18, Prov 31:10-13

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