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Word For You Today

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'He is able to help us when we are being tested.' Hebrews 2:18 NLT

Read these Bible Scriptures out loud to give you a boost!

(1) 'The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure' (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT); (2) '[God] gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Corinthians 15:57 NLT); (3) 'The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you' (Romans 16:20 NLT); (4) 'Put on every piece of God's armour so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm' (Ephesians 6:13 NLT); (5) 'Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand' (Isaiah 41:10 NLT); (6) 'This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most' (Hebrews 4:15-16 NLT); (7) 'If God is for us, who can be against us' (Romans 8:31 NLT)?

So what now? God's Word is awesome! Put your trust in it today.

Soulfood: Heb 11:4-12:3, 1 Chron 17:1-20, Ps 18:20-29, 8


Five don'ts that make a difference

'... Get understanding.' Proverbs 4:7 NKJV

Here are five 'Don'ts' that, if done well, will make a huge difference in your life:

(1) Don't worry. When you're doing your best. God accepts no less, but he demands no more. 'Trust in the Lord, and do good...and he shall give you the desires of your heart' (Psalm 37:3-4 NKJV). (2) Don't rush it, do it right. 'Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty' (Proverbs 21:5 NLT). (3) Don't believe something is impossible without trying it. When you are in God's will, doing things God's way, sensitive to his timing and willing to stick at it, your problems are just a platform for him to work on your behalf. '...We must wait patiently and confidently' (Romans 8:25 NLT).

(4) Don't waste your time. Put first things first and ask yourself, 'What is it that only I can do, or do best?' Only when you've answered that question will you know what you should do. Despite what you're thinking right now, it's probably not got a whole lot to do with the latest game on your phone! (5) Don't just talk about it. Lots of people have good intentions but intentions must become actions to make a difference. Get specific about your relationship with God, your family and friends and your finances. 'If it's to be, it's up to me.'

So what now? Write down these five 'Don'ts' and make a point of making them part of your life. They will make a difference!

Soulfood: Deut 18:9-18, Dan 2, Is 47:5-15, Acts 16:16-34


Living unselfishly

' help... lend... without expecting to get anything back...' Luke 6:35 GWT

If you're serious about becoming like Jesus, pay careful attention to his words: '...Do for other people everything you want them to do for help... lend... without expecting to get anything back...' (Luke 6:31-35 GWT). Love, expecting nothing in return. Give, though they'll never say thanks. Forgive, even though they won't forgive you. Come early, stay late, invest everything you've got even though nobody notices. Paul calls this '...the high calling...' (Philippians 3:14 KJV).Now, none of us would be silly enough to set such a standard for ourselves! If you think some people are just naturally more loving than others, think again. Love is a choice; one that costs! You can't love others while you're staring into a mirror or give to others while you're clinging to what you've got. Love will cost you your time, your money and yourself.If you think you'll just go to church on Sunday mornings, read a book or attend a Bible-study and turn into this kind of person, think again! There are no pre-packaged saints; no 'add-and-stir' formula that makes God's love suddenly flow through you. To be loving you've got to look at Jesus and do what he asks you to do. Remember the woman caught in adultery? Jesus stooped down to reach her, stood by her under attack, then sent her home new and refocused. So what now? Do you want to be like Jesus? Find people who are hurting, hopeless, and even wrong. When you do, love them and help them, without expecting anything back. That's living unselfishly!

Soulfood: Is 34-37, John 6:52-59, Ps 9, Prov 28:13-16


'Sit on me' Holy Spirit

'...They were all filled with the Holy Spirit...' Acts 4:31 NIV

There are many depictions of the ways we can be filled with the Holy Spirit. There's the giant cup waiting to be filled, the rain on your head, the river through your veins, the fire in your heart and a hundred more.

When the disciples were first filled with the Holy Spirit we read that he '...sat upon each one' (Acts 2:3 NKJV). Wow, how descriptive! Can you imagine it... When we are about to have a fight, the Holy Spirit sits on us; when we are about to launch into gossip, he sits on us; when we are about to throw it all in, he sits on us.

The Holy Spirit's job is to keep us in balance, in peace and on track. Here are three things that the Holy Spirit does for us, if we make our ourselves available for him: (a) He gives us direction when we feel lost: '...all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God' (Romans 8:14 NLT); (b) He reminds us who we are. '...His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are really God's children' (Romans 8:16 TLB); (c) He steps in when we don't know how to pray: '...We don't even know what we should pray for...but the Holy Spirit prays for harmony with God's own will' (Romans 8:26-27 TLB).

So what now? Accept the Holy Spirit wholeheartedly! Invite him to 'sit on you'. You don't want anyone else with you to help you do life.

Soulfood: 2 Kings 6:8-23, Matt 5:43-48, Luke 6:27-36


Becoming more transparent

'...Confess your sins to each other...' James 5:16 NIV

Why are there so many perfect people around? You know, those where nothing goes wrong for them and they live peacefully chatting with God all day. All their problems are used to 'test them' and of course they never ever fail that test! Here's a little secret, they're actually not so perfect! In fact, they probably struggle with exactly the same things you do. But... maybe one of their biggest problems is that they can't admit their shortcomings!

The Bible says we are to 'confess your sins to each other' (James 5:16 NIV). For most of us this is a terrifying prospect and the total opposite of we want to do, which is smile sweetly and pray no one ever finds out what a failure we are! This verse doesn't actually mean that we blurt out to everyone about everything we've ever done wrong. After all, the Bible also says once we've confessed our sins to God and said sorry, they are totally forgotten! When we confess our sins, it's more about talking through our faults and weaknesses in order to make sense of them and work on them.

Choose carefully who you talk to. Maybe someone older and/or wiser, and someone not known for gossiping! We chat about the things we struggle with for reassurance that 'it's not just us'. We can pray together and figure out how to solve that particular problem.

So what now? Remember, transparency is a strength, not a weakness. Your sins are forgiven, so don't need to be ashamed of working on your shortcomings!

Soulfood: Is 30-33, John 6:35-51, Ps 104:24-35, 2


Meditating on God's Word

' his law he meditates day and night.' Psalm 1:2 NKJV

The word 'meditation' has become a 'dirty word' in the last few years, linked to sitting cross legged with your fingers in that weird position going 'Ohhhhmmm'. But, the Bible reminds us what it actually means. Answer this: do you know how to worry? Then you know how to meditate, because meditating is just: (1) Thinking deeply and continuously about something. (2) Memorising it. (3) Letting it sink deep inside you.Jesus once asked his followers, 'Why do you keep on saying that I am your Lord, when you refuse to do what I say' (Luke 6:46 CEV)? That's a question he asks all of us. Mentally his followers knew the truth, but they weren't ready to act on it. How many times have you wanted to pray something but in your heart thought 'not just yet'. For example, 'Lord, I want to get up at 5am every day to spend three hours with you (in a few years' time when I'm older and much more holy...)'.It isn't about how much Scripture you can meditate on or memorise, but what happens to you in the process. You can meditate on just a sentence or a single word. Meditating on God's Word builds you up, teaches, corrects, directs and challenges you by making you think different thoughts than if you were watching TV, talking on your mobile or shopping. So what now? Meditating on God's Word will help you to figure out what's important, help you understand God in a far deeper way and ultimately bring you much closer to him.

Soulfood: Is 26-29, John 6:25-34, Ps 104:1-23, Prov 28:5-8


Commit yourself to growth

'Let the wise listen and add to their learning...' Proverbs 1:5 NIV

Here are three reasons why growth should matter to you: (1) Gifting without growth produces nothing. Albert Schweitzer said, 'The secret of success is to go through life as a person who never gets used up.' How do you do that? The answer is in how you approach your talent. If you use your talent but never sharpen it, you're headed for trouble because nobody's that talented. But if you take time to sharpen it, God can call on you at a moment's notice.

(2) Growth stops you festering. Do you feel stuck in your life, like it's going nowhere? You won't get unstuck just by making changes, looking for a job, leaving home or changing churches. Nobody keeps you down but yourself. The lid on your life is you! In order to do more, you've got to grow more. So, if you're serious about getting unstuck, stop looking for quick fixes, take a good look at yourself, accept responsibility for what you see, pray, then commit yourself to doing something about it

(3) Continuous improvement guarantees success! The Tartar tribes of central Asia used to declare a certain curse over their enemies. They didn't shout for their enemy's swords to rust or their people to die of disease. No, they said, 'May you stay in one place forever.' If you don't work on improving yourself every day, you'll be stuck in the same place, doing the same things, hoping the same hopes, but never actually getting anywhere or developing spiritually.

So what now? Do yourself a favour... commit yourself to growth!

Soulfood: Is 22-25, John 6:16-24, Ps 114, Prov 28:1-4

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