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Word For You Today

Who am I An Achiever 4

'Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.' Philippians 2:5 GWT

Achievers: Achievers love to overcome challenges. They're motivated to grow, stretch and learn. They always want to reach the next level and aim high. They inspire and move people to action.

This all sounds great. But without a chance to develop and shine they can often lose their motivation. When John the Baptist said about Jesus, 'He must increase, but I must decrease' (John 3:30 NKJV), he demonstrated the kind of surrender that can be difficult for Achievers. They have the ability and ambition to accomplish great things and improve other people's lives, but can become proud of their achievements and enjoy the admiration of others when they succeed. Sometimes they can turn what looks like serving God into serving themselves. For many of them, 'the sin that so easily trips us up' (Hebrews 12:1 NLT) is pride. Achievers shouldn't need to try to achieve recognition or earn God's approval - they already have it.

God's Kingdom isn't about who's best or who's done the most - it's about our hearts and our love for God and others. Paul says: 'Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves...not looking to your own interests but...the interests of the others... have the same mindset as Christ Jesus' (Philippians 2:3-5 NIV).

So what now? If you're an Achiever, memorise Philippians 2:3-5 and repeat it to yourself when you feel pride creeping into your life. If you're not, pray for Achievers to consider others as they aim for the top.

Soulfood: Ezra 6-8, John 6:52-71, Ps 114, Pro 24:23-25


Who am I A Server 3

'Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord.' Ephesians 6:7 NIV

Servers: Servers love to be needed. They're natural caregivers who'll try their best to meet people's needs. They want to be ahead of the game, and be able to meet people's needs as they arise - or even prevent them arising in the first place. Servers often work in social settings where they support other people. They're most comfortable when they have something to do.

Serving others follows the example Jesus set for us when he washed the disciples' feet. He said: 'Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet' (John 13:14 NIV). But Servers can take their serving too far. They can burn out trying to do everything for others, because they don't look after their own physical and spiritual health. And the reason for their serving can actually be quite selfish, even though they are outwardly doing a selfless thing. Underneath their servanthood is sometimes low self-esteem. They want people to recognise and appreciate the effort they're going to, and when that doesn't come they can become resentful of the people they're serving. And they often won't let people help them, even when they complain about how much they're doing.

If we're Servers, we need to make sure that our priority is to: 'Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men' (Ephesians 6:7 NIV).

So what now? If you're a Server, memorise Ephesians 6:7 and repeat it to yourself when you're feeling resentful about serving. If you're not, pray for Servers to just enjoy the serving!

Soulfood: Ezra 3-5, John 6:35-51, Ps 127, Pro 24:19-22


Who am I A Reformer 2

'Be kind...tenderhearted, forgiving one another.' Ephesians 4:32 NLT

The first 'personality type' we're going to focus on is Reformers. Reformers are drawn to perfection. They have a high standard of excellence and their greatest fear is being flawed. They want to do everything really well. They want to be seen in a good light - their reputation is important to them. But, their perfectionistic tendencies don't only apply to their own lives but to those around them and to society as a whole.

Reformers are great at being advocates, regulators and prophets. They want society to obtain higher standards, which is admirable, and useful for campaigning for justice and change. But because they wrestle with perfectionism and self-righteousness, they tend to judge those whose standards aren't as high. The prophet Amos is a good example. He writes about 'a plumb line' that shows how short people fall of God's standards (see Amos 7:7-8). It can be easy to judge others and point out their flaws.

Paul said, 'Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you' (Ephesians 4:32 NLT). If we're Reformers, our greatest challenge will be to demonstrate love, patience and grace. But with God's help we can do it.

So what now? If you're a Reformer, repeat Ephesians 4:32 to yourself when you're tempted to judge others according to your own, often too high, standards. If you're not, pray for Reformers to see the best in others.

Soulfood: Ezra 1-2 John 6:25-34 Ps 98 Pro 24:15-18,


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,

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