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Word For You Today

Who am I 1

'The sin that so easily trips us up.' Hebrews 12:1 NLT

Our personality character make us strong in certain areas, but also more vulnerable in those areas. For example, extroverts who have the ability to inspire and encourage others are sometimes prone to gossip. People who love to learn may be tempted to feel superior and talk down to others. People who are spontaneous with a great appetite for life often struggle with self-control. Optimists are often susceptible to denial.

Why is it helpful to know this? Because awareness and sensitivity to our tendencies are the first steps towards building a defence. When we know where we're vulnerable, we can strengthen ourselves in that area. And, with God's help, we can break free from unhealthy sin patterns in our lives. Sin is a topic we generally don't enjoy addressing, but the truth is, we all sin. The Bible says: 'All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God' (Romans 3:23 NIV). God knows we'll struggle with sin, in fact he knew it 'easily trips us up' (Hebrews 12:1 NLT) - that's why he gave his Son to save us.

Over the next ten days, we're going to look at different personality types. We'll be thinking about their strengths and weaknesses, and looking at how we can break free from our patterns of sin.

So what now? Before we get going on different personality types, have a think about what unhealthy sin habits you seem to keep repeating. Write them down, and pray over the next ten days that God would help you break free in that area.

Soulfood: Zeph 1-3 John 6:1-24 Ps 85 Pro 24:11-14,


Let God use what you have

'What is that in your hand?' Exodus 4:2 NIV

When God called Moses, Moses was afraid to step out of his comfort zone. He didn't think he had what it takes to make a difference for God. The Bible says: 'Moses answered: "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The Lord did not appear to you?'" Then the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?" "A staff," he replied. The Lord said, "Throw it on the ground." Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake' (Exodus 4:1-3 NIV).

God showed his power through something as ordinary as Moses' staff. For Moses, his staff represented his identity and security. It was how he made his living as a shepherd, and how he protected himself and his flock. So when God told him to throw it down, he was asking Moses to let go of who he was and what he had.

When we have to throw down the things we lean or have built our identity on, it can be a scary experience. But while we hold on to these things, God can't use them. If we don't throw it down, our staff will forever remain only a staff. But if we have the courage to surrender it to God, it can become the thing God uses to show people his miraculous power.

So what now? What's in your hand today? You can hang on to it and see what you can do, or hand it over and see what God can do. Today let God use what you have.

Soulfood: Exo 20:1-17 Matt 5:1-12,


Trust and move 2

'Do not look behind you.' Genesis 19:17 NKJV

Once we've stepped out of our comfort zone, it isn't necessarily going to be easy. We may move and get scared. We may want to turn around and run back to the familiar.

When God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, he sent angels to tell Lot and his family to escape. 'Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away' (Genesis 19:17 NIV)! But Lot's wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26). When we look back, we're focused on the wrong thing. We need to look forward into what God has for us. Lot was also uncertain. He said: 'I can't flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I'll die. Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it' (Genesis 19:18-20 NIV). Lot was afraid to fully step out of his comfort zone. Going straight to the mountains seemed too much at once. He did eventually get to the mountains, but couldn't face going further than a small town to start with.

God knows that we need to go step by step. It may be hard to move all the way at once, but it's important to take the next step and move again a bit later. We just need to keep moving.

So what now? Does God's calling seem overwhelming? Ask him for small steps to take in the right direction. Trust and move!

Soulfood: 1 Tim 4-6 John 5:31-47 Ps 126 Pro 24:10,


Trust and move 1

'I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit.' John 15:16 NIV

Stepping out of our comfort zone can feel risky and scary. But God wants us to step out and do great things for his Kingdom. We tend to prefer comfortable routines and traditions, but God has so much more for our lives. Jesus says: 'I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit - fruit that will last' (John 15:16 NIV). God has chosen us to do his work, fruitfully. That's an incredible thought. The God who knows all about us - every good and bad thought and action, every mistake, every second of our past and every detail of our future - chose us.

We each have individual gifts and skills, so God's calling is tailored for each person. We might feel like we can't do what God's calling us to do, but he equips us. We just need to trust that he'll provide and that he'll be with us at all time. The Bible says: 'So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you' (Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT). And that's a promise.

Once we realise that we can trust God to go ahead of us, it's easier to step out and do the things he's calling us to do.

So what now? Ask God to show you what his next step for you is, and for courage to take that step. Pray that prayer for the next few days. Go on, trust and move!

Soulfood: 1 Tim 1-3 John 5:16-30 Ps 5 Pro 24:8-9,



'For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith.' Ephesians 2:8 NIV

All we have to do to be saved by God and have eternal life is repent of our sin and put our trust in Jesus. When we do that, we choose membership in his family, and are guaranteed a place in Heaven. Isn't that amazing?! In the world, we have to rely on ourselves for everything. In God's Kingdom, we have to let go and trust God. We have an identity - we belong, without having to prove why we should.

The Bible says: 'For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God' (Ephesians 2:8 NIV). Maybe we accepted this gift of salvation years ago, or just recently, or maybe we're doing it right now (if you are, make sure you ask another believer for support in the decision to trust God with your life).

But, there are many people in our lives who don't know about God, let alone know what they need to do to be saved. Jesus calls us to be part of making 'disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you' (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV). We have a responsibility to show them how great God is and how they too can be saved.

So what now? Share your faith story in your own way - through conversation, on social media, or through serving. God will use your story to save others.

Soulfood: Hab 1-3 John 5:1-15 Ps 15 Pro 24:7,


You belong to God

'Who am I, that I should go?' Exodus 3:11 NIV

When God told Moses he was going to use him to rescue the Israelites from slavery, Moses replied: '"Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" And God said, "I will be with you"' (Exodus 3:11-12 NIV). Moses summarised his fears and insecurities in one question, 'Who am I?' But, it's not about who we are, but whose we are. It's important to know our identity in Christ, but it's even more important to know that we belong to him.

That day, God revealed his name to Moses as 'I AM' (Exodus 3:14). His name is the solution to every problem and the answer to every question. His name calms every fear, answers every prayer, and wins every battle. At his name, angels bow and the enemy has to leave. At his name, our sin is forgiven. God chooses to accomplish his purposes through ordinary people like us. But, like Moses, we can say to God 'Who am I that I should go?' We think we're not good enough, that we've done too many things wrong, and that we don't have the right skills.

When we know who God is, and trust that we belong to him, we can stand on his promise: 'I will be with you,' and step out into the things he's calling us to.

So what now? Next time you fear doing what God's calling you to do, list all the incredible things you know about God's character. Ask him to help you trust that you belong to him.

Soulfood: Nahum 1-3 John 4:39-54 Ps 41 Pro 24:5-6,


Our heavenly Father 2

'As a father is kind to his children, so the Lord is kind to those who honour him.' Psalm 103:13 GNT

Let's think about our earthly fathers. If we didn't experience love, affection, protection or provision from our fathers, it can be hard to trust that God, as our heavenly Father, will demonstrate all those things. If that's been our childhood, we need to remember that our 'father-image' is flawed and doesn't resemble God. Even the best earthly father can't measure up to him. He is a caring, sensitive, generous, dependable, loving Father. That's why Jesus taught us to call him 'Our Father,' not just 'Almighty God and Lord.' Like a good father, God understands our needs and provides for us (see Matthew 6:25-34).

He knows everything about us (see Psalm 103:13-14). He knows our strengths and our weaknesses. He knows our gifts and our fears. He knows our thoughts and our actions. He whole-heartedly loves us. He disciplines us like a parent, not because he is angry, but because he wants the best for us. 'God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness' (Hebrews 12:10 NIV). And like a loving father, he accepts and fulfils his responsibility to provide for us.

It's our role to act like the children of a trustworthy, generous, permanently-loving Father. Because that's who we are.

So what now? Write a letter to God your Father. Tell him all about your life at the moment, the good and the bad. Ask him for what you need right now and thank him for being the perfect Father.

Soulfood: 2 Pet 1-3 John 4:27-38 Ps 87 Pro 24:1-4,

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