×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 482

Overnights
12:00-6:00am

The Word For Today

YOU'RE PROTECTED FROM EVIL (1)

'No evil shall befall you.' Psalms 91:10 NKJV

Here's a promise you can stand on in times of trouble: 'Because you have made the Lord...the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways' (Psalms 91:9-11 NKJV). There's a spiritual realm around you that's as real as the physical one you live in. One is the world of darkness; the other is the world of light. One is governed by Satan, the other is governed by God. How else can you account for the brutal, senseless killing of men, women and children at the hands of evil people? Paul explains it like this: 'We are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies - the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world' (Ephesians 6:12 TLB).
Does that mean you're supposed to live in fear? No, and here's why: (1) You are shielded by the blood of Jesus. Just as the angel of death on the night of the Passover couldn't enter a home with blood on its doorposts, the blood of Jesus is a protective shield around you that the devil cannot penetrate. (2) The odds are on your side. When Satan fell from Heaven he took one-third of the angels with him. That means we still have two angels for every one of his! 'Angels [are] ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation' (Hebrews1:14 NIV).
Rejoice: as a redeemed child of God you are protected from evil!

SoulFood: 2 Chron 25-28; Luke 17:11-19; Ps 119:129-136; Pro 22:8-10

Read more...

VOLUNTEERS, NOT CONSCRIPTS

'Whatever we do, it is...because Christ's love controls us now.' 2 Corinthians 5:14 TLB

Paul writes, 'Whatever we do, it is certainly not for our own profit, but because Christ's love controls us now.' God is looking for volunteers, not conscripts. Conscripts are motivated by law; volunteers are motivated by love. After the attack on Pearl Harbour, enlistment centres all over America were jammed with boys too young to fight, men who had retired, and even the blind. One elderly man said to a recruitment officer, 'I'd consider it my greatest privilege to die defending this country.' Why do men and women do this? Duty? Yes, but something even greater - devotion! Their hearts have been captured by a cause. Facing the loss of his freedom, his ministry, and possibly his life, Martin Luther told the ecclesiastical powers of his day, 'I will not recant. My conscience is captive to the Word of God!'
No one should ever have to beg and pressure you to teach a Sunday school class, work with young people, give to the cause of Christ, visit the sick, lonely and needy, or serve others. You should be begging for the privilege! Paul said, 'What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ...for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ' (Philippians 3:7-8 NKJV).
Commitment to Christ is like signing your name on a blank cheque and saying, 'Lord, You fill in the amount.' You're not doing God a favour by serving Him; He's honouring you by allowing you to serve Him. Today, measure what you would do for the Lord - by what you actually do.

SoulFood: 2 Chron 22-24; Luke 17:1-10; Ps 119:121-128; Pro 22:4-7

Read more...

CARE ENOUGH TO CONFRONT

'Warn...those who are out of line...encourage the timid...help...the weak.' Sadly, we'd rather stay quiet and be popular than speak difficult truth into the lives of others. One member of the Blackaby family writes: 'A church isn't a group of individuals who happen to meet in the same place every week; it's a spiritual body...a loving family. It's far easier to comfort and encourage than to warn or exhort, but both are necessary. Ephesians 4:15 tells us to speak the truth in love so that the whole body may "grow up in all things". If we don't take the time to exhort, encourage, warn, comfort, uphold and be patient...we [all] suffer in the end. Your body doesn't function properly when one part is hurting or performing poorly. And the church suffers when one of its members is unruly, fainthearted, weak, or falls into bad doctrine. Letting a body part fester, or not supporting a part that's hurt, can lead to irrecoverable damage...letting serious issues go unaddressed does a grave disservice to the member in question.'

As parents we love our children too much to let bad behaviour go unchecked. Down the road we know it will negatively affect their attitude toward authority, relationships, accountability and personal discipline. We care enough to correct and guide them. Paul says, '...if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted' (Galatians 6:1 NIV).

The truth is the only safe ground to stand upon, and your goal should be to speak it in love.

Soulfood : 2 Chr 16-18, Lk 16:1-18, Ps 119:105-112, Prov 21:28-31

Read more...

PASTOR, PREPARE YOUR HEART

'I lay prostrate before the Lord...forty days.' Deuteronomy 9:25 NIV

A preacher got into the habit of writing his sermons word for word. It worked well - until one Sunday he found himself in the pulpit without his notes. Addressing the congregation, he said, 'I've forgotten my notes this morning, so I'll have to pray and rely on the Lord. But at tonight's service I'll come better prepared.' Cute story, but it's not so cute when it's a reality! Pastor, your people may be impressed with your speaking abilities short-term, but they'll only be impacted long-term when your words are inspired by the Holy Spirit. The ability to change hearts is above your pay grade, so don't fall into that ego trap or you'll fizzle like a wet firecracker!
Study the life of Christ. Before He chose His disciples, or walked on the water, or fed the multitude, He spent hours in prayer. So in order to choose the right people, feed your flock on Sunday morning, or 'walk on water' and accomplish great things for God, you must focus on preparing your heart and not just your message. You say, 'But I'm a people person.' That's good, but you'll have nothing to say to people that'll make any real difference unless you get it from God. You say, 'But I'm a project person.' Unless you spend time with God you'll get into things you shouldn't - things you may not be able to get out of. Moses said, 'I lay prostrate before the Lord...forty days and forty nights because the Lord had said He would destroy you.' And the end result? God not only saved the nation, He blessed it.
So pastor, prepare your heart.

SoulFood: 2 Chron 12-15; Luke 15:11-32; Ps 119:97-104; Pro 21:24-27

Read more...

FORGIVE THEM, AND LET IT GO!

An unforgiving attitude can keep you from moving forward in life. So isn't it time you got serious about forgiving the one who hurt you? You say, 'But then they'll have got away with it.' They're not getting away with anything! God is qualified to judge; you're not. Remember, your critics are making decisions about you based on limited information, but God knows the truth and He will deal with your detractors in His own time. By trying to defend yourself and prove them wrong, you're stepping into territory that belongs exclusively to God.

The Bible says: 'Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone...never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, "I will take revenge; I will pay them back," says the Lord. Instead, "If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads." Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good' (Romans 12:17-21 NLT). Satan's goal is to get you all tied up in knots and steal your peace. Don't play into his hands!

Christ, your example, prayed for those who drove the nails into His hands: 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do' (Luke 23:34 KJV). Your enemies may think they're smart, but often they're acting in ignorance. Don't come down to their level by retaliating. Forgive them, and let it go.

Soulfood : 2 Chr 8-11, Lk 15:1-10, Ps 119:89-96, Prov 21:20-23

Read more...

FORGIVE THEM, AND LET IT GO!

'Pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.' Matthew 5:44 NKJV

An unforgiving attitude can keep you from moving forward in life. So isn't it time you got serious about forgiving the one who hurt you? You say, 'But then they'll have got away with it.' They're not getting away with anything! God is qualified to judge; you're not. Remember, your critics are making decisions about you based on limited information, but God knows the truth and He will deal with your detractors in His own time. By trying to defend yourself and prove them wrong, you're stepping into territory that belongs exclusively to God.
The Bible says: 'Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone...never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, "I will take revenge; I will pay them back," says the Lord. Instead, "If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads." Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good' (Romans 12:17-21 NLT). Satan's goal is to get you all tied up in knots and steal your peace. Don't play into his hands!
Christ, your example, prayed for those who drove the nails into His hands: 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do' (Luke 23:34 KJV). Your enemies may think they're smart, but often they're acting in ignorance. Don't come down to their level by retaliating. Forgive them, and let it go.

SoulFood: 2 Chron 8-11; Luke 15:1-10; Ps 119:89-96; Pro 21:20-23

Read more...

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE

'He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.' John 6:15 NKJV

The Bible says: 'When Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him King, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone. Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum...Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going' (John 6:15-21 NKJV).
Notice three things in this story: (1) The control Jesus exercised. People wanted to plan His life for Him. Sound familiar? When that happened, 'He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.' Note the word 'again'. Spending time with God was something He did regularly. Do you? (2) The criticism Jesus evoked. When the crowd wants to make you 'King', it's hard for your ego to walk away. But Jesus did. Others couldn't impose their will or agenda on Him. Why? Because He was committed to doing the will of God and nothing else. (3) The communion Jesus enjoyed. He emerged from a night of prayer empowered to walk on the water and subdue the storm.
If you want to succeed in life, there's only one source you can go to for strength and guidance: God. Do you want to take control of your life? That's how you do it!

SoulFood: 2 Chron 5-7; Luke 14:25-35; Ps 119:81-88; Pro 21:17-19

Read more...

LOVE YOUR CHURCH - JESUS DOES! (8)

'...after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.' 1 Peter 5:10 NKJV

It took seven years to build Solomon's temple. In Scripture the number seven represents completion. So when it comes to your 'position' in Christ, you're as saved right now as you'll be when you stand in Heaven. When Jesus cried, 'It is finished', everything required to reconcile you to God was completed. The word 'complete' means 'lacking nothing'. And when you put your trust in Jesus, that's how God sees you. When He positions you in Christ, 'You are complete in Him' (Colossians 2:10 NKJV).
You say, 'But I still sin.' The Bible says, 'We all...beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image...by the Spirit of the Lord' (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV). Did you get that? The Holy Spirit is at work in your life every day, in every way, moulding you into the image of Jesus. God's ultimate plan for you is greater than you can comprehend. Jude writes, 'Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy...be glory and majesty' (Jude 1:24-25 NKJV). Note the words 'Him that is able'. This is something Christ does for you, not something you do for yourself!
And one of the tools He uses to bring about your perfection (maturity) is trouble. Peter writes, 'May the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.' It may take a while, but you'll get there!

SoulFood: 2 Chron 1-4; Luke 14:15-24; Ps 119:73-80; Pro 21:14-16

Read more...

LOVE YOUR CHURCH - JESUS DOES! (6)

'The Lord will lift up a standard [shield of defence].' Isaiah 59:19 NKJV

Notice what Solomon prayed for at the dedication of the temple. 'If there is famine in the land...if Your people's enemies are in the land...whatever disaster or disease there is...hear from Heaven...Then they will fear You and walk in Your ways as long as they live' (2 Chronicles 6:28-31 NLT).
When you're functioning in your rightful place in church you can: (1) Pray with confidence in times of economic difficulty. One of the names by which Israel knew God was 'Jehovah Jireh', which means 'the Lord will provide'. Your security isn't in the Beehive, the stock exchange or any other physical place! It's in God's unfailing goodness (Psalms 23:6). (2) Pray with confidence in times of sickness. God's promise to you is this: 'Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up' (James 5:14-15 NKJV). (3) Pray with confidence when you're facing disaster. 'He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust"' (Psalms 91:1-2 NKJV). (4) Pray with confidence when the devil is attacking you. 'When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard [shield of defence] against him' (Isaiah 59:19 NKJV).
As a redeemed member of Christ's church, these are your 'rights', so exercise them!

SoulFood: 1 Chron 26:20 - 29:30; Luke 14:1-14; Ps 119:65-72; Pro 21:10-13

Read more...

LOVE YOUR CHURCH - JESUS DOES! (5)

'If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves.' 2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV

Can you imagine God's presence being so real in a Sunday morning service that the pastor doesn't get to preach, the choir and special singers don't get to perform and the deacons can't attend to their duties? It happened in Solomon's temple.
Observe the elements at work in church that day: (1) They confessed their sins. John Owen said, 'He that hath slight thoughts of sin, never had great thoughts of God.' Things that trouble you nowhere else will trouble you profoundly in the presence of God. What kinds of things? Politics without principle, pleasure without conscience, reputation without character, and knowledge without conviction. (2) They humbled themselves. The Bible says, 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble' (James 4:6 NKJV). Humility means saying, 'Lord, I don't have a thing You didn't give me. And everything I'll ever need comes from You.' (3) They prayed; not formal, poetic prayers, but heartfelt prayers of repentance. Here's how God responded: 'If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place' (2 Chronicles 7:14-15 NKJV). (4) They gave sacrificially. The people brought 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep, the largest sacrifice recorded in the Bible. When you open your hand to lift the name of God up, He opens His hand to lift you up. But here's the thing: God has a bigger hand!

SoulFood: 1 Chron 23:21 - 26:19; Luke 13:18-35; Ps 119:57-64; Pro 21:7-9

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed