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Lizzie 10:00-3:00pm

The Word For Today

Leader here's God's way

'If you do this...you will be able to stand the strain.' Exodus 18:23 NIV

Why do we insist on doing everything ourselves?Three reasons: (1) We're afraid others won't do the job as well as we do. But how else are they going to learn? (2) We're afraid they will outshine us. The Bible says, 'In honour giving preference to one another' (Romans 12:10 NKJV). (3) We think God expects us personally to do it all. Moses' father-in-law told him: 'Listen now to me and I will give you some advice...You must be the people's representative before God and bring their disputes to him...But select capable men from all the people...and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Let them serve as judges for the people at all times, but let them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied' (Exodus 18:19-23 NIV).So evaluate what only you can do, and delegate what others can do. If the job's too big for you, take it as a sign that God is telling you, 'Don't try it alone!' That doesn't mean dump the work on just anybody. If you pair the wrong person with a job that makes no sense to them, disaster will ensue. You must: (1) find the right person; (2) give them the right job; (3) trust them to do the right thing. Do those three things and you'll live long enough to enjoy the fruits of your success.

Soulfood: Ecc 5-8 Jn 11:38-57 Ps 81 Pro 30:11-14,


Giantkillers 4

'The Lord who rescued me...will rescue me.' 1 Samuel 17:37 NLT

David prevailed because he understood the power of past successes. He told King Saul, 'The Lord who rescued me from the...lion and the bear will rescue me from [the giant]' (1 Samuel 17:37 NLT).Observe: (1) Giant-killers build on past successes. A series of successes builds your momentum and allows you to find the mix of 'God-confidence' and 'self-confidence' necessary to make you unstoppable. 2 Samuel 3:1 says, 'Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker' (NKJV). David understood that every time you put a win on the board, or an enemy under your feet, your confidence in God and yourself grows. So replay your past victories and trust the God who did it before to do it again. (2) Giant-killers create their own style. David couldn't wear Saul's armour - and you can't operate in someone else's gift. You have your own weapon, your own armour and your own style. You are uniquely equipped to conquer your giant. David conquered Goliath with a slingshot. Moses parted the Red Sea with a shepherd's staff. Paul conquered disease and demonic oppression with a handkerchief. For Simon Peter, power over sickness was released through his shadow, and many times, Jesus simply 'spoke the word'. Resist the urge to 'wear Saul's armour' and quietly wear the wardrobe that God has given you. Stay in your gifting. Stay in your anointing. Stay in your assignment.This winning combination of building on past successes and creating your own style leaves you exuding confidence and creativity, two of a giant-killer's secret weapons.

Soulfood: Ecc 1-4 Jn 11:28-37 Ps 50 Pro 30:7-10,


Giantkillers 3

'He picked up five smooth stones.' 1 Samuel 17:40 NLT

In David's day they fought 'by representation'. One man would fight for the nation as a whole, and the country of the losing warrior became subservient to the country of the conquering warrior. The upside is obvious, isn't it? Everybody didn't have to die! So David versus Goliath was really Israel against the Philistines. It was a one-on-one contest: winner takes all. We're familiar with David's victory over the giant with faith, one stone and a slingshot. Yet Scripture tells us he picked up not one, but 'five smooth stones'. Why? It wasn't a lack of faith - he knew that Goliath had four brothers.Observe: (1) Giant-killers realise that their giant represents greater issues. A giant never stands alone; behind him lie his causes. Overeating, addiction, abuse and anger are all driven and supported by other issues. Somewhere behind the obvious giant are his supportive brothers - pain, guilt, loss and shame. David was prepared with five stones - one for Goliath and one for each of his four brothers. What lies behind your giant? With God's help you can conquer both the giant and his support team.(2) Giant-killers are not overwhelmed by the challenges. Never allow your fears to overwhelm your faith. The Bible says that 'God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind' (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV). Fear will feed on the failures of the past, but you can't allow yesterday's failure to overwhelm today's faith. So take your failings; list them on a piece of paper and boldly print at the top of the page: 'Things I don't need to try again! Lesson learned.'

Soulfood: Dan 1:3-21 Dan 3:7-30 Dan 5:10-12 Dan 9:1-19,


Giantkillers 2

'If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.' Luke 16:10 NLT

Observe: (1) Giant-killers don't start out as giant-killers! David was a meek musician, humble shepherd and overlooked son. Faithfulness was his advantage - faithfulness in his talent, faithfulness with his father's sheep, faithfulness to God. By becoming master over the small things, he became master over the large things. Faithfulness is a common characteristic of uncommon spiritual achievers. Matthew started as a tax collector; Peter as a fisherman; Elisha as a farmer; Jesus as a carpenter. Have you ever considered that Jesus spent more years as a carpenter than he did as a preacher? He was faithful in little things. God never called an inactive or non-productive person. Every candidate had started something before they became a giant-killer. Giant-killers don't start out as giant-killers...but giant-killers start!(2) Giant-killers know that the reward is always greater than the risk! Life rewards risk and action, but Satan will whisper words of fear and anxiety in your ears to minimise the reward and magnify the risk. Yet the truth remains, that 'God is a rewarder' of diligent seekers (see Hebrews 11:6). You must believe the promise is greater than the problem, the objective is greater than the objections, and God is greater than your giant. The belief that 'God is greater' is the essence of a faith that persists in the face of fear.Fear is Satan's weapon to paralyse you; faith is God's weapon to mobilise you. So depend on God, challenge the giant, and join the ranks of God's giant-killers.

Soulfood: Rom 15-16 Jn 11:17-27 Ps 8 Pro 30:5-6,


Giantkillers 1

'So David conquered the Philistine giant.' 1 Samuel 17:50 TLB

First Samuel chapter 17 is the backdrop for the story of David and Goliath. The shepherd slays the warrior. The boy conquers the giant. God gives David victory over his giant, to inspire us to confront our own giants.Giants can be tangible or intangible: the things we can't overcome because, seduced by fear, we think we can't. They can also be unattainable goals, unfinished projects or unfulfilled dreams - the 'loose ends' of life that keep us mired in mediocrity. A giant is anything or anybody keeping you from being or doing what God wants you to be or do. Giants can be internal or external, real or imagined, physical or emotional. A giant could be an attitude, a habit, a belief, a philosophy or a memory. It could be a person who stands between you and God; between who you are and who God wants you to be; between where you are and where God wants you to go; between what you believe and what God wants you to believe. Giants have one goal - to stop your progress and prevent you from reaching your destiny.But giant-killers see victory in the shadow of defeat! They perceive every fight as a test where the challenge is to turn a negative into a positive. Conflict is accepted and resistance is expected. To them, conflict is growth, and overcoming an enemy is the prerequisite to promotion. Giants can expose our hidden strengths, be a measuring stick for our growth, and feed our confidence in God. Giant-killers see opportunity in opposition, potential in problems, and victory in the shadow of defeat. And with God's help you can become a giant-killer.

Soulfood: Rom 12-14 Jn 11:1-16 Ps 105:1-15 Pro 30:1-4,


The winning attitude

'You armed me with strength for battle.' Psalm 18:39 NIV

Each of us is fighting a battle of some kind. Our battles come in many different varieties but we can overcome them - with faith in God that refuses to quit! One person with many struggles in life was David, and he understood the importance of maintaining the right perspective. He said, 'You armed me with strength for battle' (Psalm 18:39 NIV).The grace you receive from God will always be equal to the challenges you face. Always! Did you know that Lord Nelson, England's famous hero of the sea, suffered from seasickness all his life? Yet this man who sank Napoleon's fleet refused to let his personal struggles rob him of his destiny. He not only learned to live with his weakness, but to conquer it every day. All of us have our battlegrounds. And while nobody pins a medal on us for winning, nothing can diminish the satisfaction of knowing we didn't quit, or the joy of knowing we overcame by God's strength. Whose strength? God's! 'You armed me with strength for battle.'The story's told of a little boy who lost his right hand in an accident. When the doctor questioned him about his handicap, he replied, 'I don't have a handicap; I just don't have a right hand!' Later the doctor discovered the boy had gone on to become one of the leading scorers on his high school basketball team. His philosophy in life was: it's not what you've lost but what you have left that counts! That's the winning attitude, and with God's help you can develop it.

Soulfood: Rom 9:17-11:36 Jn 10:22-42 Ps 83:9-18 Pro 29:23-27,


Understanding your child

'You saw my bones being formed.' Psalm 139:15 NCV

The psalmist wrote: 'You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother's body. When I was put together there, you saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was one day old' (Psalm 139:15-16 NCV).God has already determined your child's potential; now it's up to you to help him or her discover and develop it. You'll see it in their temperament, their gifts and their interests. Resist the temptation to treat all your children the same way; they're different! Cain was a farmer and his brother Abel was a shepherd. Jacob and Esau were twins, yet they couldn't have been more different. And how about the Prodigal Son who restless, left home and became a 'party animal', while his older brother stayed home to tend the estate? You must love each of your children unconditionally, but develop them individually. Who are they? What do they like? What do they succeed at? How do they handle change? How do they behave when they're alone? Start listening to what your children value, what they fear, and what they need. Make sure they're anchored spiritually in God's Word. Don't force them to go the way you wish you'd gone. Help them discover their own identity, and become their biggest backer. If that means putting your own dreams on hold for a while, do it. You'll never regret it.Your children are your future; your very essence will live on in them. And one more thing: the trees we grow today produce the fruit we eat tomorrow. So pray and ask God to help you understand your child.

Soulfood: Rom 7:1-9:16 Jn 10:11-21 Ps 83:1-8 Pro 29:19-22,


Get real with God

'Let us examine our ways...and...return to the Lord.' Lamentations 3:40 NIV

When you pray, 'Lord, make me a better person,' in what specific areas do you want to change, grow and mature?In order to get real with God, answer these twelve questions carefully and prayerfully: (1) Am I honest and above reproach in all my financial dealings? That includes giving God a tithe of your income. (2) Do I put myself in sexually inappropriate situations, or expose myself to harmful material? (3) Do I spend enough time with my family, and would they say that I do? (4) Do I tell the truth even when it brings me hurt or criticism? (5) Do I find it easy to say, 'I was wrong. I'm genuinely sorry,' or do I hold grudges? (6) Am I knowingly compromising any area of my life, or refusing to face the consequences of my actions? (7) Have I formed habits that are detrimental to my health, my job, my family, or my walk with Christ? (8) Am I proud, selfish or arrogant? (9) Have I taken credit for things that others did and should have been rewarded for? (10) Have I failed to confess something to someone who should know of my wrongdoing? (11) Have I been insensitive or abusive to my loved ones? And if I have, what am I willing to do about it? (12) Am I spending enough time in prayer and in the Scriptures? 'Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord' (Lamentations 3:40 NIV).The word for you today is: get real with God! It's the kindest thing to do for yourself.

Soulfood: Rom 3:21-6:23 Jn 10:1-10 Ps 133 Pro 29:15-18,


When things go wrong

'I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon.' Genesis 40:15 NKJV

Joseph had lived an exemplary life. He had made a fortune for his employer and had resisted the sexual advances of his boss's wife and stayed true to God. But what was his reward? A prison sentence with no hope of parole?Since when does the 'high road' sometimes lead over a cliff? Ever since the entry of evil into the world. And as long as Satan 'prowls around like a roaring lion' (1 Peter 5:8 NIV), he will try to wreak havoc among God's people. He will lock preachers like Paul in prisons. He will exile pastors like John on remote islands. He will afflict the friends of Jesus, like Lazarus, with diseases. But his strategies always backfire. The imprisoned Paul wrote the Epistles. The banished John saw Heaven. The cemetery of Lazarus became a stage upon which Christ performed one of his greatest miracles. The prison in which they placed Joseph became his stepping-stone to the palace for which God had destined him. Looking back, he could say, 'But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive' (Genesis 50:20 NKJV).So look for God's purposes in the reversals of your life, and you'll begin to see them as stepping-stones to blessing. 'The Lord shall not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the thoughts and intents of his mind' (Jeremiah 30:24 AMP). God will use the circumstances you are in today to strengthen you, draw you closer to himself, and accomplish his will for your life.

Soulfood: Rom 1:1-3:20 Jn 9:24-41 Ps 99 Pro 29:11-14,


Be totally committed

'I have lost everything, that I may gain Christ.' Philippians 3:8 AMP

Ever hear of 'one-way missionaries'? They purchased a one-way ticket to the mission field and, instead of packing a suitcase, they packed their belongings into a coffin, knowing they would never return home. A.W. Milne was one of them. He went to the New Hebrides in the South Pacific, knowing that head-hunters had martyred every missionary before him. But he didn't fear for his life because he had already died to himself. For thirty-five years he lived among them and ministered to them. When he died, the tribe buried him in the middle of their village and inscribed these words on his tombstone: When he came there was no light. Faced with the cross, Jesus prayed the ultimate prayer of commitment: 'Not my will, but yours, be done' (Luke 22:42 NKJV). And today he's asking you to be totally committed to him. Paul wrote: 'What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ...that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings' (Philippians 3:7-10 NKJV). It's when you're willing to fellowship with Christ in his sufferings that you get to experience the power of his resurrection.Usually God puts us in places to stretch and grow us. So, wherever you are, be totally committed.

Soulfood: Job 1 Job 2:7-10 Job 40:1-5 Job 42:7-17,

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