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Lizzie 10:00-3:00pm

The Word For Today

Dream killers 1

'He dreamed still another dream.' Genesis 37:9 NKJV

For the next few days let's look at some dream killers: discouragement. A story was told of a couple who loved mushrooms and bought several pounds of them from a roadside seller. They made mushroom omelettes, mushroom salad, mushroom soup, and even concocted a mushroom dessert. Even their cat gobbled up the leftover mushrooms. Later the lady went into her kitchen and found the cat lying on the floor, gasping for breath. She immediately phoned the vet who said they'd probably bought some poisoned toadstools and advised they go to the hospital immediately. When the couple came home from the hospital, they expected to see their cat lying lifeless on the floor. Instead the cat was in the corner with a brand new litter of kittens. What they thought were death pains were just birth pains!When it seems that your dream is gasping its last breath, keep believing God; you're closer to giving birth than you've ever been. Don't let discouragement kill your dream. Joseph dreamed a second dream, an even bigger one! 'This time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me' (Genesis 37:9 NKJV).If you've abandoned your dream because of discouragement, rise up and reclaim it. If you've already fulfilled it, ask God for a bigger one. You say, 'But the challenge looks too big for me.' It's not too big for God, you'll never out-dream him. In his Word he asks, 'Is anything too hard for the Lord?' (Genesis 18:14 NKJV). You may die with your dream on the drawing board or under construction or left to be completed by another, but you must seek God and dream again!

Soulfood: Isa 17-21 Luke 1:57-66 Ps 42:1-5 Pro 1:20-27,


God is taking you

'Do not be afraid...for the Lord your God goes with you.' Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

The story's told about a little boy who was afraid of the dark. One night his mother asked him to go out on the back porch and get the mop, but he didn't want to go because he was afraid. She said, 'Haven't I always told you there's nothing to be afraid of in the darkness?' He said, 'Yes, Mum, but please don't make me go out and get that mop.' She replied, 'Son, don't you know that Jesus is always with you? Don't you know that you are never alone? Don't you know that you have nothing to be afraid of?' He replied, 'Yes, Mum.' So she said, 'All right, go out and get the mop.' He opened the back door about two inches, stuck his hand out, and whimpered, 'Jesus, would you please hand me that mop?'When you attempt something you've never done before, it's normal to feel afraid. When you're asked to do a job for which you feel unqualified, it's normal to feel afraid. When you attempt something you've failed at previously, it's normal to feel afraid. But it's in doing the thing you fear to do that you grow, and your confidence in God grows.Today God is saying to you: 'Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you' (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV). God stays with you wherever you go. That should motivate you to go anywhere he tells you to go. The truth is that when God says go, he's not sending you somewhere, he's taking you somewhere.

Soulfood: 2 Chr 7:12-16 Matt 6:5-15 Luke 18:1-8,


Let God rekindle your desire

'Blessed are they who...seek him with all their heart.' Psalm 119:2 NIV

The Bible says: 'Love the Lord...with all your heart' (Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV); 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart' (Proverbs 3:5 NIV); 'You will...find me when you seek me with all your heart' (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV). Do you love the Lord with all your heart? Are you trusting him with all your heart? Are you seeking him with all your heart? Only the burning effect of a vision will keep you from losing your way, or getting swallowed up by temporal things that make no difference in the light of eternity.Consider the birthing table; it's designed to hold the mother in position in spite of pain and discomfort. The question is: can you maintain a position of faith even when it means being exposed to pain and pressure? That's what consistent prayer and Bible reading do; they hold you in place when you'd otherwise be tempted to give up, or step out of the will of God. Maybe you're thinking that if you don't risk again you can't be hurt again. But that also means you can't be fruitful again! God told Eve, 'In pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband' (Genesis 3:16 NKJV). Notice, at the end of the labour and pain God said he would renew the relationship between the woman and the man by restoring her desire.The point is this: there's no cure for past pain like present desire. So whether you're exhausted by your victories or discouraged by your defeats, allow God to draw you back to himself. Let him rekindle within you a desire to be all he wants you to be.

Soulfood: Isa 12-16 Luke 1:39-56 Ps 10:12-18 Pro 1:17-19,


Ask God for a dream 4

'I will provide for you.' Genesis 45:11 NKJV

The dream God gave Joseph was not about feeling good because he was now the number two guy in Egypt, but about positioning him to feed his family and the world in time of famine. Don't miss the point here. When God gives you a dream, it will bless you - and others.The Bible says, 'For God so loved the world' (John 3:16 NKJV). God's plan is not to make you an icon, but an instrument to fulfil his will. From Joseph's family would come the Redeemer of the world, but his family was being threatened with extinction. So God put a plan in place which involved Joseph interpreting Pharaoh's dream and being elevated to the throne so that his plan could be accomplished. And here's another thought. Joseph's story proves that a God-given dream will change your attitude towards others, including those who mistreat you. It will make you more gracious, loving and forgiving. Remembering how they betrayed him, Joseph's brothers trembled as they stood before him realising he held their fate in his hands. But he refused to retaliate, or even utter a word about what they'd done. Listen to what he told them: 'I will provide for you' (Genesis 45:11 NKJV). Instead of revenge, Joseph wanted the relationship restored. He looked beyond their actions and saw God at work in all he'd been through. 'You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day' (Genesis 50:20 NKJV).How you treat others, especially when you're in a position of strength, determines how God will treat you.

Soulfood: Isa 8-11 Luke 1:26-38 Ps 10:1-11 Pro 1:10-16,


'Joseph had a dream and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him' Genesis 375 NKJV

The story of Joseph teaches that success could cause others to mistreat you. Not everyone will celebrate your success, including some of those closest to you. When Jesus' fame began to spread, the first people to reject him were from the town he grew up in. It caused him to say, 'A prophet is not without honour except in his own country' (Matthew 13:57 NKJV). The Bible says of Joseph, 'His brothers envied him' (Genesis 37:11 NKJV).

There it is - envy! When God blesses you, those who feel left out may target you. Some may feel more worthy and deserving, and that your blessing came at their expense. That's how Cain felt when he murdered his brother Abel. That's how King Saul felt when David killed Goliath and the people sang, 'Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands' (1 Samuel 29:5 NIV). Shortly afterwards Saul started throwing spears at David. And the spear never left his hand until it plunged into his own heart. That's because envy is like a boomerang; it comes back to hurt the one who throws it.When their father threw a party to celebrate the homecoming of his prodigal son, the older brother said, 'These many years I have served you...yet you never gave me a...feast' (Luke 15:29 AMP). He made three mistakes we often make: (a) He compared himself to his brother. (b) He exposed his brother's sins and shortcomings. (c) He failed to appreciate the extent of his father's love for him and the blessings he had bestowed on him. So learn from his mistakes.

Soulfood: Isa 4-7 Luke 1:11-25 Ps 90:7-17 Pro 1:5-9,


Ask God for a dream 2

'Then he dreamed still another dream.' Genesis 37:9 NKJV

If you've already fulfilled the dream God gave you, ask him for another one. A bigger one. The Bible says, 'Joseph dreamed another dream' (Genesis 37:9 NKJV). And the second was bigger than the first. In the first dream he saw sheaves of wheat on the ground bowing down to him, but in the second dream he saw stars in the heavens bowing down to him.Ask God to lift your sights and cause you to aim higher. But a note of caution: before God will give you another dream, he will watch to see what you do with the one he gave you. 'Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin' (Zechariah 4:10 NLT).Great endings usually start with humble beginnings. 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time' (1 Peter 5:5-6 NKJV).If your dream is to prosper financially, for example, it's in harmony with God's promises (see Deuteronomy 8:18; Isaiah 48:17; 2 Corinthians 9:8; 3 John verse 2). But there are three scriptural conditions you must meet in order for your dream to be fulfilled: (1) You must be willing to honour God with your present income (see Malachi 3:8-10). (2) You must be willing to share what you have and meet the needs of others (see Proverbs 11:25). (3) You must practise fiscal discipline rather than squandering what God gives you on reckless spending and impulse buying (see Proverbs 21:20). When you meet his conditions, God promises to bless you and fulfil the dream he has given you for your life.

Soulfood: Isa 1-3 Luke 1:1-10 Ps 90:1-6 Pro 1:1-4,


Ask God for a dream 1

'Joseph remembered the dreams which he had dreamed.' Genesis 42:9 NKJV

The dream God gave Joseph sustained him through experiences that would crush many of us. He was resented by his family, repeatedly tempted by his boss's wife, then thrown into prison for thirteen years for a crime he didn't commit. Yet at Joseph's lowest points God was with him, arranging each step he took and positioning him to fulfil his calling as the deliverer of his people. The psalmist talks about the strange way in which God led Joseph: 'Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them - Joseph, who was sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar. Until the time came to fulfil his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph's character' (Psalm 105:17-19 NLT).Your gender does not limit God, and your age is no problem to him. Society may glamorise youth and marginalise old age, but your season of life doesn't limit God. But in order to have confidence that God will fulfil your dream, you must know that it was born of his Spirit: 'Those who are in the flesh cannot please God' (Romans 8:8 NKJV). Your dream cannot be born out of your unmet ego needs, or a selfish desire to have the same level of success as someone else, or your need to 'prove' something to someone like your ex, or your family, or your boss, or your peers, etc.Check the source of your dream, because when God is the source, he will provide all the resources necessary to fulfil it. Do you have a dream? No? Ask God to give you one!

Soulfood: Rom 13:12-14 Rom 14:1-19 John 1:1-14,


Time to clean house

'Sanctify the house of the Lord...carry out the rubbish.' 2 Chronicles 29:5 NKJV

In Scotland they have a New Year's tradition that involves cleaning out your house, dumping the old ashes from your fireplace and paying off your outstanding debts. It's about clearing out the old to make room for the new. And from time to time you must clean your spiritual house too. The Bible says, 'Carry out the rubbish' (2 Chronicles 29:5 NKJV). Why? Because over time wrong attitudes, shoddy workmanship and bad habits creep in and blind us to what's important.Sheila Coleman says: 'Ten years ago I cleaned house from top to bottom. I dusted every nook and cranny...scrubbed the bath and every sink until they shone. I even took a toothbrush to the grout in the kitchen. That house had never been so clean. And today - ten years later...it's still clean. I've never had to pick up another duster...vacuum...or wash the kitchen counter...and my house looks as clean as it did that day, right? Wrong! We continually need spiritual house cleaning because we live in a dirty world. Just as our homes...cars and clothes have to be maintained...our hearts - our spiritual homes - need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Not once a week or once a month, and certainly not once every ten years, or once in a lifetime. We need to let God have his way in us every day, to clean us up and renew us...Is there a room in your "house" you haven't allowed him to clean? If it's been a while since God did a thorough heart-cleaning, make this your prayer: Lord, clean my heart so you can live and shine through me.'

Soulfood: Job 40-42 Luke 3:21-38 Ps 119:97-104 Pr 9:10-12,


Say 'It ends with me'

'Pull down your father's altar.' Judges 6:25 NLT

When the angel of the Lord called Gideon, he was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress, trying to hide the grain from the Midianites (see Judges 6:11). That's interesting, because God was about to use him to destroy the forces of Midian and liberate Israel. But before he could do so, there were a few family dynamics to be dealt with - like the altar his father built to a false god called Baal. It had been in the family for years. So God said, 'Pull down your father's altar to Baal...Then build an altar to the Lord your God' (Judges 6:25-26 NLT).Understand this: things like anger, addiction, abuse and affairs may be part of your family history, but they don't have to be part of your future. Not only will God heal your heart and hurts, he will use you to heal the hearts and hurts of your children. The generational rubbish can stop here and now. You don't have to give your children what your ancestors gave you. Bring it out into the open and lay it before the Lord. Revealing leads to healing. And if having a mature Christian counsellor helps, get one!'Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think' (Romans 12:2 NLT). No, it won't happen overnight. Damage done to you in the formative years of your life will take time to heal, and God will work with you day by day until he has made you whole. But let the healing begin. Rise up in faith, take control of your life, and declare: 'It ends with me, and it ends here and now.'

Soulfood: Job 38-39 Luke 3:11-20 Ps 27 Ecc 12:13-14,


What's your net worth

'Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren.' Proverbs 13:22 GWT

The word 'inheritance' is used over 214 times in the Bible (NKJV version), so God must think it's important. Solomon writes, 'A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children' (Proverbs 13:22 NKJV). In man's kingdom your 'net worth' is the sum total of all you own. But in God's Kingdom your net worth equals the sum total of all you've given away. What you don't share is lost forever, but what you put into God's hands becomes an eternal keepsake.Moses Montefiore was the first Jew to hold high office in London. He was knighted Sir Moses by Queen Victoria in 1837 - the same year he was elected Sheriff of London. In later life he became famous for his philanthropy. He made seven trips to the Holy Land, the last at age 91. His love for the Holy Land was evidenced by his financing of a textile factory, a printing press, a windmill and several agricultural colonies in Palestine. On his 100th birthday the London Times newspaper devoted its editorials to his praise. He amassed a fortune through business ventures and real estate acquisitions. But when a reporter asked him about his net worth, he named a figure that was much less. 'Surely your net worth must be more than that!' the reporter said. Sir Moses replied, 'You didn't ask me how much I own, you asked me how much I'm worth. So I calculated how much I have given to charity. We are worth only what we are willing to share with others.'What's your net worth? In God's eyes, it's the sum total of all you have given away.

Soulfood: Job 35-37 Luke 3:1-10 Ps 116 Ecc 11:7-10,

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