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Word For You Today

What's in a name 4

'I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites.' Judges 6:16 NIV

The name Jehovah-Shalom: the Lord our peace, was discovered by Gideon when God told him to lead Israel against the Midianites - something Gideon felt was far beyond his capability. He said to God: 'How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest...and I am the least in my family' (Judges 6:15 NIV). God responded: 'I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites...Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die' (Judges 6:16, 23 NIV). Even though Gideon was frightened he believed God and before the battle was even fought or the victory won, he had peace. So he built an altar to God and called it 'The Lord Is Peace' (see Judges 6:24).

We tend to think we'll have peace when our situation improves. But, like Gideon, we can learn that inward peace doesn't depend on better circumstances, but on believing God is with us and claiming his inner peace. Jesus promises: 'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you...Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid' (John 14:27 NIV).

However inadequate or afraid we may feel, we can remember Jesus' words: 'I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace...take heart! I have overcome the world' (John 16:33 NIV). So let's 'take heart,' and trust Jehovah-Shalom to handle the rest.

So what now? Tell God all the problems you face, and ask for his 'shalom' peace to fill you. You'll experience more victory in your situations as you surrender to him.

Soulfood: Ezek 37:1-28 Ezek 38 Ezek 39 Ezek 40:1-9 Matt 24:1-14 Ps 78:9-16 Pro 20:11-14,


What's in a name 3

'Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you.' Exodus 14:13 NIV

We're often told that we should be proactive and try and sort our problems out for ourselves. It can be really hard to let go and let God take over. God wants to fight our battles. But this doesn't mean we're not involved; we are given the instruction to 'Stand firm' (Exodus 14:13 NIV). Fear makes us think that we need to do something, faith says, 'Stand in faith. Let God do it!'It may seem counter-intuitive to 'just stand' in the middle of a battle. But we don't have to stand there unprotected. We can put on God's armour so that we're defended. Paul says, 'Put on the full armour of God, can take your stand against the devil's schemes' (Ephesians 6:11 NIV). Even with the armour of God on, it may still be difficult to let the battle rage on around us while we wait for God to work. It requires trust that he will come through for us.We can trust him completely. In the Bible it says: 'But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one' (2 Thessalonians 3:3 NIV). So what do we need to do? We need to wear God's armour - not ours. We need to stand - not fight. Instead of living by effort, we need to live by trusting in, and relying on, Jehovah-Nissi: the Lord my banner. So what now? Do you have a story of how God has come through for you? We'd love to hear it: email your story to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Soulfood: Ezek 34-36 Matt 23:23-39 Ps 78:1-8 Pro 20:7-10,


What's in a name 2

'For the battle is not yours, but God's.' 2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV

When Israel was threatened by the mighty forces of Amalek at Rephidim, God gave them a supernatural victory. Realising that God was fighting the battle for them, Moses built an altar to Jehovah-Nissi: the Lord my banner. God said to them: 'The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still' (Exodus 14:14 NIV). And when Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was facing a great battle, he was told: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's' (2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV).

We can become discouraged and feel defeated in the battles we face, usually because we're trying to fight them in our own strength. The only conflict ever successfully won, is the one God fights for us. He longs for us to surrender to him and allow him to win it for us. We are called to 'fight the good fight of the faith' (1 Timothy 6:12 NIV), but God never expects us to fight alone.

So when we're worn out from battle, we are actually in the place God wants us to be. He wants us to realise that we can't do it all. He wants us to turn to him, let him be our strength and remember that the battle is not ours, it's his.

So what now? What have you been trying to fight in your own strength? Reflect on this verse: 'The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still' (Exodus 14:14 NIV). Then thank him for his supernatural victory in your situation.

Soulfood: Ezek 31-33 Matt 23:13-22 Ps 27 Pro 20:5-6,


What's in a name 1

'Seek first God's Kingdom... Then all your other needs will be met.' Matthew 6:31 NCV

The Israelites called God Jehovah, which means the 'self-existing One,' and the 'I AM.' He was the creator of all things; an awesome and unknowable supreme being. But God desired to be known in a personal way. So he added to the name Jehovah five revealing titles - to help us better understand and relate to his wonderful character. Let's look at each.

Jehovah-Jireh: the Lord will see, the Lord will provide. Abraham was about to sacrifice his son when God provided a lamb for the offering in Isaac's place. In response, Abraham called him Jehovah-Jireh: the Lord who sees and provides. But this doesn't just apply to Abraham. The New Testament says that God sees our needs and provides for them. Jesus said: 'Don't worry and say, "What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or "What will we wear?" The people who don't know God keep trying to get these things, and your Father in Heaven knows you need them. Seek first God's Kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well' (Matthew 6:31-33 NCV).

God loves us. He knows what we need better than we do, and he does hear the deep desires of our heart. So instead of worrying and striving, let's remember that God is Jehovah-Jireh - the one who provides for all our needs.

So what now? Grab a piece of paper and write Jehovah-Jireh in the middle. Around it, write down all the things God's provided you with. Then thank him for each one.

Soulfood: Ezek 27:25-36 Ezek 28 Ezek 29 Ezek 30:1-26 Matt 23:1-12 Ps 112 Pro 20:1-4,


No more labels

'If God is for us, who can be against us?' Romans 8:31 NIV

Many considered Timothy too young to be a leader. That's why Paul wrote and told him, 'Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young' (1 Timothy 4:12 NIV). Other people's opinions of us have the ability to stop us from moving forward and stepping into our God-given calling, if we choose to listen to them. If we believe what God says about us, instead of what people say, then we'll be empowered and ready to follow him into our calling.

But it's not just about what people say of us; it's also what we say about others. We can list off the problems, mistakes and faults of those around us, and decide they couldn't be used by God. And remember that as we label others for their problems or mistakes, we have just as many ourselves. The Bible says: 'Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye...first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye' (Matthew 7:3-5 NIV).

We are called to love others and see them through God's eyes. So, let's get rid of our labels and life-limiting perspectives, and start dreaming. 'If God is for us, who can be against us' (Romans 8:31 NIV)?

So what now? Who do you struggle to get along with? Start listing their good points and speaking out what God says about them. You'll be amazed how your perspective of them changes!

Soulfood: Ezek 24:1-27 Ezek 25 Ezek 26 Ezek 27:1-24 Matt 22:34-46 Ps 20 Pro 19:24-29,


No more running

'The socket of Jacob's hip was out of joint.' Genesis 32:25 NKJV

When we try to run from God, we can keep running into him at every turn. The further away we try to go, we still end up back with God. It happened to Jacob. He ran from his brother Esau's anger. When things got challenging in his father-in-law's house, he ran from there too. Finally, when he could run no more, he ran into God at a place called Peniel. The Bible says: 'Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when he saw that he did not prevail against him, he touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob's hip was out of joint as he wrestled with him. And he said, "Let me go, for the day breaks." But [Jacob] said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me!" So he said to him, "What is your name?" He said, "Jacob." And he said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob ['deliverer'], but Israel ['a prince with God']; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed"' (Genesis 32:24-28 NKJV).

When God dislocated Jacob's hip, he was saying, 'Your running days are over. Your limp is a constant reminder of your total dependence on me.' Jacob found everything he needed when he ran into God. And the same is true for us.

So what now? Go for a run (or jog...or even a walk...). While you're running, pray that you would find everything you need in the arms of God.

Soulfood: Jonah 1:10-17 Jonah 2:1-2:10 Matt 12:38-42,


Break with your past

'She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.' Mark 14:3 NIV

'While [Jesus] was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head' (Mark 14:3 NIV). She gave her most precious possession to Jesus. Not only was it extremely valuable, it was also part of her appeal as a prostitute. Breaking it open was her way of breaking with her past. She was giving up her former life by giving that jar to Jesus.

God wants to transform us. The Bible says: 'And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit' (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV). But sometimes we want God to transform us while we keep doing the same old thing. We want him to change our circumstances without having to change us. We can't expect growth and change when we refuse to hand our past over to God, or to hand over who we are in favour of who we could be. Most of us get stuck spiritually because we keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Spiritual routines are a crucial part of spiritual growth, but when the routine becomes routine, we need to change it. What got us to where we are now may not get us to where God wants us to go next.

So what now? Think of some new, creative ways you can connect with God today.

Soulfood: Ezek 22-23 Matt 22:23-33 Ps 142 Pro 19:21-23,

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