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The Word For Today

Stand on God's Word 4



'When... tempted, he will show you a way out.' 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT

When you violate your marriage vows: you violate God's Word, break your spouse's heart, embarrass the cause of Christ, live with the fear of exposure, and trade short-term pleasure for long-term pain.

So before you get involved, seek God's help and stand on his Word. 'Give honour to marriage, and remain faithful to one another...God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery' (Hebrews 13:4 NLT). 'Put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust and evil desires' (Colossians 3:5 NLT). 'Don't participate in...promiscuity and immoral living...Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don't let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires' (Romans 13:13-14 NLT). 'Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does...Don't you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honour God with your body' (1 Corinthians 6:18-20 NLT). '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).

If you're toying with the idea of having an affair, or you're already in one, or you're trying to get out of one, stand on the Word of God today and believe him for victory.

Soulfood: Isa 1-3, Matt 9:27-38, Ps 96, Pro 3:5-6

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Stand on God's Word 3



'Exercises self-control in all things.' 1 Corinthians 9:25 ESV

When you are eating too much. Studies confirm that today over half the population of the western world is eating too much. If you are one of the many people battling a problem of overeating, here's the good news: God can help you win the battle! Often it's not about what you are eating, it's about what's eating you. We overeat to find comfort and relief from stress and anxiety, but it's a short-term fix and it doesn't work.

The psalmist went directly to the root of his problem: 'Search me...and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life' (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT). God can relieve the 'anxious thoughts' within you. The Holy Spirit is the greatest therapist in the world. When you surrender and ask him to take up residence within you, you discover that 'the fruit of the spirit is...self-control' (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV). He can give you the power to control your appetite, and start living by the Scripture: 'Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God' (1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT).

So make this your prayer today: 'O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone' (Jeremiah 17:14 NLT). The word for you today is - with God's help you can avoid eating too much.

Soulfood: Exo 39-40, Matt 9:14-26, Ps 91, Pro 3:3-4

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Stand on God's Word 2



'Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.' Psalm 119:50 NLT

When you are in pain. Sometimes God lifts you out of your situation. Other times, he carries you through and makes you stronger by proving his love and faithfulness to you. Sometimes he relieves you of the pain; other times he sustains you in the midst of it.

If you're in pain today, read these promises from God's Word and stand on them: 'Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles' (Psalm 119:50 NLT). 'Let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant. Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live' (Psalm 119:76-77 NLT). 'Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! Feel my pain and see my trouble' (Psalm 25:16-18 NLT). 'The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken!' (Psalm 34:17-20 NLT). 'Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise' (Jeremiah 17:14 NKJV).

Notice, God's promises revive and comfort us in all of our troubles. Your Bible is a prescription from the Great Physician himself, and the label on the bottle reads: 'Take as often as needed for pain.'

Soulfood: Exo 36-38, Matt 9:1-13, Ps 89:38-52, Pro 3:1-2

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Stand on God's Word 1



'I am ready to perform my word.' Jeremiah 1:12 NKJV

When you are facing danger. David said: 'This I declare about the Lord: he alone is my refuge, my place of safety...my God and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armour and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you...If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up...so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone...The Lord says, "I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honour them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation"' (Psalm 91:2-16 NLT).

Note the phrase, 'This I declare about the Lord.' When you speak God's Word over your life, you release the power contained in it. So stand firm today, and expect God to honour his Word!

Soulfood: Exo 33-35, Matt 8:28-34, Ps 89:15-37, Pro 2:21-22

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Make your relationships a winwin



'Look out...for the interests of others.' Philippians 2:4 NKJV

If your only motive for giving to someone is to see what you can get back, you will be disappointed. The Bible says, 'Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others' (Philippians 2:4 NKJV). When you give yourself to another person for that person's development and well-being, you are truly giving and God will bless you for it.

If you're married or a parent, you know this from personal experience. What does your husband or wife value most highly? Money in the bank, or your time freely given? What would your children rather have? A toy, or your undivided attention? The people who love you would rather have you than what you can give them. It's wise to invest in yourself and your career, but never at the expense of those who matter most. If you succeed in your career but fail with your loved ones, your success will be hollow and your regrets real.

Solomon was famous for his wealth and wisdom. Yet he wrote, 'As I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless - like chasing the wind' (Ecclesiastes 2:11 NLT). Learn from his mistakes. Don't invest in things, invest in relationships. Here is how most relationships often play out: 'I win, you lose - I win only once. You win, I lose - you win only once. We both win - we win many times.' When you seek the good of others, God promises that good things will come to you (see Ephesians 6:8).

Soulfood: Exo 30-32, Matt 8:18-27, Ps 89:1-14, Pro 2:20

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A humble offering



'The Lord respected Abel and his offering: but he did not respect Cain.' Genesis 4:4-5 NKJV

Cain cultivated the ground, planted the seed, gathered the harvest and offered God the fruits of his labours. He thought God would be impressed, and that he would feel obligated to bless him. But that's not how it works! Abel, on the other hand, told God something like, 'I did nothing. You created the lamb I'm offering. I'm just giving you back what's yours, and asking you to bless it.' And God did!

You can tell a lot about somebody by how they approach God. Some of us act like God owes us something. Others among us are so impressed with our spiritual status and accomplishments that we feel the need to approach him with lofty phraseology and high-sounding 'thees' and 'thous'. But God isn't impressed, so let's get real! 'The Lord respected Abel and his offering' (Genesis 4:4 NKJV). That's because unlike his brother, Abel wasn't seeking credit for anything. He wanted God to have all the glory. That's the kind of offering that moves God's heart and invites his richest blessing upon our lives.

So what are you offering God today? Your achievements? Your denominational credentials? Your self-reliance? Your shallow emotion? If you are, don't bother! The only thing he asks is that you humbly open your heart and let him recreate you in the likeness of Jesus. When you do that, something wonderful happens. By downplaying your own self-interests and giving God an acceptable offering, not only will he receive and respect it, he will bless you and equip you to bless others too. That's how it works!

Soulfood: Luke 2:8-20, Pro 3:13-18, Ps 119:161-168

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How to raise a secure adult



'The children of your people will live in security.' Psalm 102:28 NLT

When you ask parents about their future hopes for their children, you'll hear words like happy, secure and self-confident. Those are nice sentiments, but not guarantees. But what makes that kind of adult? A childhood filled with trophies and good grades? A life in the country, far away from the crime-ridden city? Enriching pastimes like travel and music? The truth is, not one of these things predicts later happiness. That doesn't mean you shouldn't encourage children to study and excel; having parents who value knowledge makes a difference.

The important qualities, however, aren't external, they're internal. Psychologist Dr Edward Hallowell says to feel secure, your children need to develop two crucial skills: (1) The ability to overcome adversity. (2) The capacity to sustain joy. He says, 'Life is full of disappointments. Only by failing the first time and learning to try, try and try again will a person get the most out of their abilities.'

But how do you teach your kids to be joyful in the face of adversity? There's only one way to do it: introduce them to the source of joy. Isaiah said, 'My soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with...salvation' (Isaiah 61:10 NKJV). David said, 'In your presence is fulness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore' (Psalm 16:11 NKJV). Jeremiah said, 'Your word was to me the joy...of my heart' (Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV). God never promised us a life without problems, but his Word says, 'The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives...joy' (Galatians 5:22 NLT).

Soulfood: Exo 28-29, Matt 8:10-17, Ps 84, Pro 2:16-19

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The right mindfuel



'Be changed within by a new way of thinking.' Romans 12:2 NCV

What we consume determines our performance. That's why you need to be careful what you feed your body, your children, your pets and even your car.

But what you feed your mind is equally important, especially when you consider these two laws that operate in life: (1) The law of cognition. Your thoughts influence your emotions and your behaviour. The Bible says, 'For as he thinks in his heart, so is he' (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV). Jesus said a good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit (see Matthew 7:18). In other words, good thinking can't produce bad results, just as bad thinking can't produce good results. (2) The law of exposure. The Bible says, 'Do not...be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking' (Romans 12:2 NCV). You'll always think about what you are exposed to the most. And given the violence, lust and greed portrayed by the media, it's not surprising that crime and immorality are on the rise. You can't just say, 'I'm going to read this magazine, watch this programme, listen to this music, but it won't affect me.' Social science now confirms what God said all along - it does affect you! Where you go, what you read (or don't read), what you watch and the dreams you entertain all shape your mind.

Paul writes, 'Remember what Christ taught, and let his words enrich your lives and make you wise' (Colossians 3:16 TLB). So when you need the right mind-fuel, remember: 'I entrust you to God and his care and to his wonderful words that are able to build your faith and give you all the inheritance' (Acts 20:32 TLB).

Soulfood: Exo 25-27, Matt 8:1-9, Ps 81, Pro 2:11-15

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Choosing a lifetime partner



'Don't be teamed with those who do not love the Lord.' 2 Corinthians 6:14 TLB

An ox and a donkey each have a tail, two eyes and four legs. But if you harness them together, they won't get along or work well together. Actually, they will pull in different directions. That's because God made them with very different natures and attributes! With that picture in your mind, here's some advice on dating you'd be wise to heed.

Looks soon fade, so choose someone who has other, less obvious attributes. For example: (1) Consider their manners and how they treat the waiter at the restaurant. (2) What type of interests do they have? (3) Do they share your spiritual values and beliefs? (4) Do they show genuine interest in what you have to say? (5) How do they treat people they're not trying to impress? Once the newness of the initial attraction wears off, there must be something more, or the relationship is doomed. And make sure you're the chooser, and not the chosen.

So, think about what you really want, and don't entrust your heart to someone without first ascertaining their suitability. The only way to do that is to ask questions and ask God for discernment so you can learn to read their motives through their mannerisms. If you're going to make an informed decision about sharing your life with this person, and share the most intimate, vulnerable parts of yourself literally and figuratively, you must open your eyes, along with all your senses, and really see the other person. Stop. Look. Listen. Pray. That's the Bible's formula for making a wise decision when it comes to choosing a mate for life.

Soulfood: Exo 22-24, Matt 7:15-29, Ps 79, Pro 2:9-10

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Try Less and Trust More



'He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.' Philippians 1:6 NIV

If you want God's will to be done in your life, don't rush things. Sarah, Abraham's wife, did: as a result Ishmael was born, and that brought all sorts of strife and family complications. Remember: 'Flesh gives birth to flesh but the Spirit gives birth to spirit' (John 3:6 NIV), so be sure your plans are conceived by God's Spirit. Don't try to salvage anything flesh-based. God said, 'My covenant I will establish with Isaac' (Genesis 17:21 NKJV). Isaac was born as a result of God's will, done God's way, in God's time.

Everything that's conceived in you comes from one of two sources: the flesh or the Spirit. So be careful. People will try to involve you in all kinds of schemes to promote yourself. God doesn't need anybody's help to bless you; he can do it all by himself! That's why whenever Satan attacks you, you need to be able to point him to your spiritual birthplace and remind him that you didn't begin this project and you don't have to finish it.

'He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion' (Philippians 1:6 NIV). And here's another thought. If God's dealing with you about carnality, pride or some other obstacle in your path, don't resist, don't run and don't get in his way. Like a drowning man frantically trying to save himself - until you stop flailing around God can't do anything for you. So the word for you today is: 'Try less and trust more!'

Soulfood: Exo 19-21, Matt 7:1-14, Ps 74:12-23, Pro 2:7-8

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