Charlie 7:00-12:00am

Word For You Today

New thoughts new attitude

'Put off your old made new in the attitude of your minds.' Ephesians 4:22-23 NIV

Would the people around us describe us as a positive or negative person? Do they feel better, or worse, after spending time with us? If we're not sure we'd like the answers to these questions, it's time to do something.

Paul says, 'Put off your old made new in the attitude of your minds' (Ephesians 4:22-23 NIV). The Bible tells us to 'be transformed by the renewing of your mind' (Romans 12:2 NIV). This can seem impossible when we've thought the same way for a long time. But the Bible suggests we 'take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ' (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV) - determine whether it's a good thought or not (see Philippians 4:8). If a thought is neither uplifting nor helpful to us, we need to change it. That's where we need our Bibles - to find verses that show us the truth. If we're feeling insecure, we can speak out verses about our identity in Christ. If we're feeling down, we can speak out verses about God's love and his plans for us.

The more connected we are to God, and his Word, the more healthy our attitude will become. We'll still have bad days - we're human after all. But overall we'll be more positive and able to spread encouragement and positivity to those around us.

So what now? Next time you have a negative thought, write it down. Then identify the underlying problem (insecurity, jealousy, despondency, etc.). Finally, find a Bible verse to counteract that thought.

Soulfood: Jer 7-9, Luke 3:11-20, Ps 64, Pro 14:25-28


Gifted for God's glory 2

'Play skilfully on the harp.' Psalm 33:3 NLT

To 'play skilfully' means to do it well and strive for excellence when it comes to our God-given talents. It doesn't mean we have to be perfect, but it means we need to commit to nurturing the talents God's given us.

But firstly, we need to identify what our gifts are - usually the things we're good at and passionate about. Once we know, it's important to be deliberate about advancing them. But we also need to keep our attitude positive and humble. We need to be willing to serve using that gift, rather than using it to make ourselves look good. Romans 12:6-8 (CEV) sums it up well: 'If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have. If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach. If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully'.

In summary, we need to know how to use our gifts well, be ready and willing to use them, and be humble to use them with God's glory as our motive. Let's be committed to being responsible with what he's given us.

So what now? Make time to focus on your talent. Not yet sure what your gifts are? Ask God to give you insight; ask trusted family and friends; search for spiritual gift questionnaires online. Just do the best with your God-given gifts.

Soulfood: Heb 11:23-28, Exo 3:1-22, Exo 33:7-23, Exo 34:29-35


Gifted for God's glory 1

'Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves.' Romans 12:3 NLT

The Bible tells us: 'God has...given each of us different gifts to use' (Romans 12:6 CEV). These gifts are for us to use for his glory, not our own.

Sometimes we value our gifts too much, forgetting that they're not about us, but for God and his Kingdom. We want others to notice what we can do, rather than using the gifts to help others or fulfil God's purpose for our lives. Then sometimes God calls us to something out of our comfort zone and we're not sure that we can do it. Like Moses... God told him: 'I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people...out of Egypt' (Exodus 3:10 NIV). Moses replied, 'I am not a great man! How can I go to the king and lead the Israelites out of Egypt' (Exodus 3:11 NCV)? He questioned his ability to do what God was asking of him. But God reassured him by saying, 'I will be with you' (Exodus 3:12 NCV).

When doing something for God, let's be honest in our evaluation of ourselves (see Romans 12:3). Let's not discount God when it comes to our abilities, nor discount ourselves because we think we're not the right person. God promises to be with us and equip us for everything he calls us to.

So what now? What's God calling you to at the moment? If you feel ready to jump into it, ask God to help you remember you're doing it for his glory. If you're feeling afraid, ask God to give you his strength.

Soulfood: Jer 4-6, Luke 3:1-10, Ps 59:9-17, Pro 14:23-24


You have great value

'So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.' Matthew 10:31 NIV

Financial stability, a university degree, our relationship status, our job, the number of people who follow us on social media: these are the things that the world measures a person's worth by. But in God's Kingdom it's different. We are considered valuable simply because we exist. Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV) says: 'For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made'. And God's Word also says: 'Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows' (Matthew 10:29-31 NIV).

Some days we can forget that we're valuable. But God not only created us, he sent his Son to die for us, because he wanted to be with us after we pass away. 'For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life' (John 3:16 NIV). That's how much we're worth to him.

Even if we were the only person on earth, he still would have sent Jesus to save us. So let's remember that we're valuable to God, no matter how the world measures us.

So what now? Your worth is not based on the things you do or have, and it doesn't come from what people think of you. You have great value because of God.

Soulfood: Jer 1-3, Luke 2:41-52, Ps 59:1-8, Pro 14:21-22


Success through God's Word

'Then you will be prosperous and successful.' Joshua 1:8 NIV

God told Joshua: 'This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and...have good success' (Joshua 1:8 NKJV).

The instructions for a good and godly life are found in the Bible. Here are three great tips to help you navigate it: Firstly, look it up. We need to make the study of God's Word a constant in our lives. Our Bibles shouldn't sit unopened. Secondly, let it in. The word 'meditate' means 'to ponder, ruminate or examine attentively'. We shouldn't just read the Scriptures, we need to be trying to understand them. Sometimes we can read a Bible verse for the hundredth time and suddenly see something we've never seen before. That's because the Word is 'alive and active' (Hebrews 4:12 NIV) and can teach us, convict us and change us. Thirdly, we need to live it out. 'Be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful' (Joshua 1:8 NIV). By obeying the Bible's instruction, we can see the wisdom of God made evident in our lives.

No one can guarantee us success except God - and his heart and ways are found in reading, meditating on and obeying his Word.

So what now? Choose a book of the Bible you haven't read for a long time. Make the commitment to work your way through it, one chapter each day.

Soulfood: Hosea 11-14, Luke 2:34-40, Ps 21, Pro 14:17-20


A balanced life

'One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labour and striving after wind.' Ecclesiastes 4:6 NAS

It can be challenging to live a balanced life. We can end up working too hard, striving for more and becoming exhausted. Or we can rest too much, become lazy and rely on others too much. The author of Ecclesiastes highlights this problem, with some very wise advice: 'One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labour and striving after wind' (Ecclesiastes 4:6 NAS).

To have a balanced life we must live by these two verses: (1) 'Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you' (1 Peter 5:7 NIV). (2) 'Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour' (1 Peter 5:8 NIV). When we fail to do either of these, we open the door for imbalance, which the enemy loves to take advantage of. Too much of anything, even a good thing, is a problem. For example, work is good, but too much can cause sickness, resentment or relationship problems. Food is good, but too much can lead to health problems. It's good to be organised, but perfectionism leads to stress and arguments with others.

Any area of our lives that's out of balance robs us of the joy God wants us to have. A balanced life is something we all have to maintain, and God can help us do it.

So what now? Ask yourself, 'In what areas am I out of balance?' Then ask God to help you work in practical ways to restore balance, and joy.

Soulfood: Hosea 6-10, Luke 2:21-33, Ps 17, Pro 14:13-16


Obedience and blessing

'You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord.' Deuteronomy 28:2 NLT

The Israelites were yet to reach the Promised Land, and were in need of God's guidance. In Deuteronomy 28:2, God shares how he wants to bless the Israelites, but he also states a condition. Through Moses he tells them: 'You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God'. This echoed what they were told in Deuteronomy 11:13-15 (CEV): 'The Lord your God commands you to love him and to serve him with all your heart and soul. If you obey him, he will send rain at the right seasons, so you will have more than enough food, wine and olive oil, and there will be plenty of grass for your cattle'.

Today, God still loves to bless us but we still have to be obedient. Psalm 37:4 (NIV) says: 'Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart'. God's blessings come when we're devoting ourselves to him, and trying to live life his way. It doesn't mean that if we obey his ways we'll get everything we want. God sees our heart and knows what we need - but he also knows what's best for us. Although we might think of something as a blessing, God might know it wouldn't be good for us.

And this obedience is an act of love; it means hearing the word of God, aligning ourselves with his will and then acting on it.

So what now? God's ways are full of goodness, and have the power to transform our lives. So obey him and be blessed!

Soulfood: Hosea 1-5, Luke 2:8-20, Ps 8, Pro 14:9-12

Subscribe to this RSS feed