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Rosemary 3:00-7:00pm

The Word For Today

Bury memories of abuse

'You have...made...their memory to perish.' Isaiah 26:14 NKJV

Psychologists tell us that one out of three people has experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Most are ashamed to talk about it. They may suffer with resentment, thinking not only about the offender, but also the people who should have protected them and didn't. The truth is, if they don't get help, the memory of what was perpetrated against them can end up hurting them more than the event that actually happened.If you're a victim of abuse, here are some Scriptures you need to read, stand on and turn into prayer: 'I cried out to you, O Lord..."You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors [memories], for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison [the past], that I may praise your name"' (Psalm 142:5-7 NKJV). 'O Lord...masters besides you have had dominion over us; but by you only we make mention of your name. They are dead, they will not live; they are deceased, they will not rise...you have punished and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish' (Isaiah 26:13-14 NKJV).Ideally, you must choose to forgive your offender, then their power over you will be broken! Once you've done that, place them in God's hands and allow him to deal with them. Refuse to remain a victim. Instead of continuing to live in secret shame, you will discover that the power of God 'heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds' (Psalm 147:3 NKJV).

Soulfood: Exo 7-9, Matt 5:38-48, Ps 46, Pro 1:32-33


Understand your giftings 2

'Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.' Proverbs 29:18 NAS

Karen Williams continues: 'To function successfully as a team, each person needs to be trained in understanding how the others function. That's the only way they'll be able to communicate, as they all speak completely different languages. The visionary has to become the cheerleader, holding the vision out before the people over the entire lifetime of the implementation stage so they can remember why they're doing what they do. They have to understand that the process person and the task person have different measures for their own success, and they must acknowledge progress and milestones with praise and celebration. The process person has to be able to encourage the visionary that through the processes their vision will be accomplished. And they also have to encourage the task person that each and every task is imperative to the success of the completed vision, and that performing tasks according to the defined processes is critical for success. Likewise, the process person and the task person must realise that the visionary needs encouragement via responses that demonstrate their support for their vision. The visionary can't lead without this understanding. The process person can't serve or lead without this understanding. The task person can't serve without this understanding. There are different "measurables" for each person, allowing them to consider themselves a success in his or her particular role. And of course, the key is placing the right gift in the right role, communicating its value to the entire team, and constantly supporting it privately and publicly.'

This is why Paul wrote to his team: 'Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God' (Philippians 1:3 NLT).

Soulfood: Exo 4-6, Matt 5:27-37, Ps 42:6-11, Pro 1:28-31


Understand your giftings 1

'God has given us different gifts.' Romans 12:6 NLT

In Christian ministry, as in any other field, we need to understand the individual process that comes with each person's gifting.

Karen Williams, president of Strategic Media Solutions, writes: 'A ministry is composed of several gifted individuals...led by a common vision God has birthed in its leader. These individuals can typically be grouped into three categories: (1) visionary; (2) process-oriented; (3) task-oriented. There's an emotional response for each person in their area of giftedness as it relates to the birth and successful completion of a vision. A visionary gets an "emotional high" when the vision becomes clear to them. When they present it to those who'll be charged with "making it happen", they think those in attendance will be as "high" as they are upon hearing this perfectly clear, world-changing vision. For a visionary, when the vision is fully clear, it's effectively 100% complete. That's why they can go on to create and receive other visions long before the first one is truly manifested. But for the process-oriented person, the vision that has been presented is "on hold" until it can be translated into processes. The emotional "high" for them comes when the processes are clearly defined and documented and they feel they'll successfully support the completion of the vision. So their "high" doesn't come until well after the vision has been presented. For the task-oriented person, the vision that's been presented is also "on hold" as they haven't yet been given anything to do. Their emotional "high" comes with the completion of tasks, things they can mark off their to-do list. Thus their "high" doesn't occur until the end of the completed tasks mapped out within the processes.'

Soulfood: Exo 1-3, Matt 5:13-26, Ps 42:1-5, Pro 1:20-27


Don't give up on them

'Your sons are coming from distant lands.' Isaiah 60:4 NLT

One of the lessons Jesus taught in the parable of the Prodigal Son is this: don't give up on someone no matter how bad things may be in their lives.

We give up too soon because: (1) We see only their conduct. But we don't know the experiences they've gone through that may have made them what they are. Sometimes people 'act out' of the pain of unhealed wounds and unresolved issues they carry inside them. Sometimes their anger is masking deep fear. Other times, they act like the dysfunctional parents who raised them, because those are the tools they were given to work with. And until someone shows them a new and better way to handle life, they'll remain stuck. (2) We don't know what people are struggling with. Don't let their fa?ade of success fool you. Someone can live in a nice home, and drive a nice car to a nice job, yet their marriage is falling apart, their children are in rebellion, and their mind is going crazy. They need your compassion. Instead of writing them off as a lost cause, ask God for words of wisdom. Isaiah said, 'The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed' (Isaiah 50:4 NIV). If you'll keep praying for them and trying to help them, God will make you a paramedic of his mercy and grace.

So the word for you today is: don't give up on them - because God hasn't!

Soulfood: 1 Cor 15-16, Matt 5:1-12, Ps 10:12-18, Pro 1:17-19


Take your issue to Jesus

'A woman, having a flow of blood...touched the border of his garment.' Luke 8:43-44 NKJV

The Bible says: 'A woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of his garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped. And Jesus said, "Who touched me?" When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, "Master, the multitudes throng and press you, and you say, 'Who touched me?'" But Jesus said, "Somebody touched me, for I perceived power going out from me"...And he said to her, "Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well"' (Luke 8:43-48 NKJV).

This woman had a problem that was draining the life out of her, one no doctor could cure. So she did what you need to do - she took her problem to Jesus, touched him by faith, and was made whole. Think about what she had to overcome. Twelve years of suffering. A sense of hopelessness and despair because she'd 'spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any'. Then there was the crowd that thronged Jesus and stood in her way. Nevertheless, the moment her faith made contact with Jesus, she was made whole.

So what's your biggest problem today? Is it a long-term one? Is it at home or on the job? Is it a health issue or a stubborn habit? Don't stop until you get to Jesus, even if that means getting down on your knees in prayer and pushing through every obstacle that stands in your way. Touch Jesus by faith today, and you too can be made whole.

Soulfood: 1 Cor 12-14, Matt 4:18-25, Ps 10:1-11, Pro 1:10-16


Conquer your fear of lack

'The Lord is my Shepherd ... I lack nothing.' Psalm 23:1 NIV

Why does the Bible compare us to sheep? Because they're one of the most dependent creatures in the world; they must trust in the shepherd for everything they need. And that's how God wants you to live: in dependence on him.

When you constantly live in the fear of lack, you're not trusting God enough. This core fear drives many of our other fears, including the fear of becoming disabled, or the fear of ageing, or the fear of investing, or the fear of retiring poor. In its extreme form, fear of lack can lead to anxiety. It's also one of the root causes of greed. You can become so obsessed with insuring yourself against the possibility of not having enough, that you hoard more than you'll ever need. It can drive you to become a workaholic so that neither you nor your children will ever experience discomfort, inconvenience and helplessness. And like all fears, it's based on an erroneous belief about God - in particular, that he is unable and unwilling to take care of you.

'The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want' (Psalm 23:1 AMP). Stop living as though you don't believe what God has promised you! A good strategy is to learn the promises, understand the ones that are conditional, meet the conditions, and rest in his love and faithfulness. This doesn't mean you sit idly by and wait for God to do what he has given you the ability to do. You must do the natural things, and trust him for the supernatural ones.

Soulfood: 1 Cor 13, Eph 3:14-21, John 15:1-17


Enlarge your asking capacity

'You do not have because you do not ask God.' James 4:2 NIV

How large is your asking capacity when it comes to prayer? When Elijah asked Elisha, '"What may I do for you, before I am taken away?"...Elisha said, "Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me"' (2 Kings 2:9 NKJV). Some of us may have been shocked by his response, pegged him as arrogant, and said, 'You need to humble yourself and be grateful for the privilege of serving a great prophet like Elijah, and count yourself fortunate if God permits you to carry on his ministry.' But Elisha wasn't timid, and Elijah wasn't offended. So how did it all turn out? Elisha got his double portion and ended up performing twice as many miracles as Elijah.

When you pray, God doesn't say, 'Make your request reasonable and practical.' He wants you to ask 'largely and abundantly, not sparingly' (see James 1:5). How's this for a big promise: 'Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession' (Psalm 2:8 NLT)? Take the limits off God! Think about it: if he's willing to give you 'the nations as your inheritance', he will surely save your loved ones, heal your body, give you that job, that home, or that relationship you've been praying for. Jesus said, 'And I will do whatever you ask in my name' (John 14:13 NIV).

Only two times in Scripture has someone said something that caused Jesus to marvel. On both occasions it was a demonstration of audacious faith by a Gentile, and someone the religious crowd thought had no right to God's miraculous provision. So the word for you today is - enlarge your asking capacity.

Soulfood: 1 Cor 9-11, Matt 4:12-17, Ps 90:13-17, Pro 1:8-9


This year do what God says

'If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.' Isaiah 1:19 NKJV

In the eleventh century, King Henry III of Bavaria became tired of his responsibilities as king, the pressures of international politics and the mundane worldliness of court life. He made an application to Prior Richard at a local monastery to be accepted as a contemplative and spend the rest of his life in prayer and meditation. Prior Richard responded, 'Your Majesty, do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? That it will be hard, since you have been a king?' Henry said, 'I understand. The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.' Prior Richard said, 'Then I will tell you what to do. Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you.' After Henry died, this statement was written in his honour: 'The king learned to rule by being obedient.'

Today, and every day, you have these decisions to make: (1) Live by your own impulses, or live according to the instructions God has given you in his Word. (2) Go according to your own best thinking, or submit yourself to the rule and the leading of the Holy Spirit who lives within you. When you think about it, the answer is clear! Obeying God leads to peace, progress, protection and promotion. His Word says, 'If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land' (Isaiah 1:19 NKJV). Note the words 'willing and obedient'. Obedience is an act of your will, not a reflex of your emotions.

So this year - do what God says, for he has 'good' things in mind for you.

Soulfood: 1 Cor 5-8, Matt 4:1-11, Ps 90:7-12, Pro 1:5-7


This year 'the Lord is with you'

'The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valour!' Judges 6:12 NKJV

The story's told of a man who put an eagle's egg into the nest of a barnyard chicken, and the eaglet hatched and grew up with the brood of chickens. All his life he did what the chickens did: scratched in the dirt for seeds and insects, clucked and cackled, and never flew more than a few feet off the ground. Then one day he saw a magnificent bird soaring gracefully above him and asked, 'What a beautiful creature. What's it called?' The chicken next to him said, 'That's an eagle, the king of all birds. But don't give him any mind, because you could never be like him.' So the eagle returned to pecking in the dirt, and died thinking it was a barnyard chicken.

Who told you that you don't have potential? Who told you that you won't succeed in life or make an impact? Certainly not God! When the Angel of the Lord called Gideon to deliver Israel from the Midianites, he responded with a litany of excuses about why he wasn't qualified for the job. But the angel told him, 'The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valour!...Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel...Have I not sent you' (Judges 6:12-14 NKJV)? Notice two important things in this story. First, God spoke to the destiny within Gideon, not to his present circumstances. Second, God reminded him that it was not the power of the one being sent, but of the one sending him that would win the battle.

Today you are 'mighty' because God is with you.

Soulfood: 1 Cor 1-4, Matt 3:11-17, Ps 90:1-6, Pro 1:1-4


This year keep your joy

'The joy of the Lord is your strength.' Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV

When you listen to a great choir sing the Hallelujah Chorus, you realise that Handel was inspired by God. He wrote the entire Messiah in three weeks. He said the music literally 'came to him' in a flurry of notes and motifs. He wrote feverishly and as if driven by an unseen composer to put pen to paper. Yet he wrote it when his eyesight was failing, and he was facing the threat of dying in a debtors' prison because of a mountain of outstanding bills.

Many of us find it difficult to create under stress, especially when physical or financial problems are at the root of that stress. And yet Handel did. How? He credits the completion of his masterpiece to one thing: joy. He is quoted as saying that he felt as if he would 'burst with joy' at what he was hearing in his mind and heart. Instead of dying, as he thought he would, he lived to see his oratorio become a cherished tradition and a popular work. And he also saw it succeed in raising vast sums of money for the poor and destitute.

The Bible says, 'The joy of the Lord is your strength' (Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV). And one of the first things Satan will attack is your joy. He knows it's the spiritual and emotional fuel you run on. Jesus said, 'These things I have spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy may be full' (John 15:11 NKJV). Note the words 'remain in you'. So: no matter what happens this year, keep your joy!

Soulfood: ,

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