Eloise 10:00-2:00pm

Word For You Today

Stay where you are

'Live under the protection of God Most High and stay in the shadow of God All-Powerful.' Psalm 91:1 CEV

Why would the prodigal son walk out on his dad when he had everything he needed (read Luke 15:11-32)?

Because: (1) He took for granted the good stuff his dad did. That's why God told his people, 'Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you...out of...slavery' (Deuteronomy 6:12 NIV). At one point God told his people to take 12 stones, one for each tribe, and build a memorial. There was a reason the memorial stood there year after year; to remind the people of who God was, who they were, and the promises that bound them together. What would help you remember? (2) He didn't know what was 'out there.' The path that takes us away from God leads to pain, not gain. Ask those who've walked it. They'll say, 'Don't go there'. (3) He wanted his father's blessings but not his rules. He didn't like his dad telling him what to do. Sound familiar? Jesus said: 'Why do you call me, "Lord"...and do not do what I say' (Luke 6:46 NIV)?

You can imagine the prodigal son, storming out of his dad's house saying - 'I'll show you, you just wait and see.' Then he messed up and had to find the guts to fess up. Sometimes we can be so sure of what we want that we ditch God, determined that we know best

So what now? One of the hardest places to be is knowing you were wrong. The Bible says the son 'came to his senses' and knew he should head home. Do you?

Soulfood: Ecc 10-12, John 10:34-42, Ps 102:12-17, Prov 30:21-23


When God puts you on hold

Be that everyone may see your progress.' 1 Timothy 4:15 NIV

A well-known Bible teacher tells of a pilot who received word from the control tower saying, 'You're cleared for 5,000 feet.' When he got to that height he had to hold for further instructions. Next came the words, 'You're cleared for 10,000 feet.' Gradually the controller took him level by level to 35,000 feet where he was cleared to fly to his destination. God spoke to this Bible teacher and said, 'I wish you'd trust me like that. Instead you want to go straight to 35,000 feet in one thrust!'

God has only good plans for you. He knows that if you rise too quickly there are dangers. You may be in the cockpit, but God's in the control tower. He says to you: 'Trust me and I'll get you safely to your destination.' God's plan for your life can't be rushed. When you try to move too quickly you lose valuable learnings and lessons, and you could crash!

Before God could trust King David to lead Israel he first had to see if young David could look after his dad's sheep. It was here David built a relationship with God and developed the qualities that would get him through the tough times ahead as king. God will let you practice in a place where your weaknesses can be worked on, your gifts developed, and where your mistakes won't affect too many others. That's because he cares for them too!

So what now? If God has put you on hold today, it's because he loves you and wants only what's best for you.

Soulfood: Ecc 7-9, John 10:22-33, Ps 102:1-11, Prov 30:18-20



'Envy can eat you up.' Proverbs 14:30 CEV

The most miserable people in life are those filled with envy. It eats away their soul and steals their joy. They think of nothing except the thing somebody else has that they want.

Does this describe you? How would you answer the following questions: 'Is it hard for me to compliment other people?' 'Am I generally defensive?' 'When somebody's name comes up in conversation do I find myself feeling good when something bad happens to them?' Come on, be honest! Do you criticise people who've achieved more than you? Do you privately compare yourself to them? Are you preoccupied with what other people are doing, buying or wearing, and who they hang out with? Do you trust the people you love, or are you always checking up on them?

King Solomon said: 'Envy can eat you up' (Proverbs 14:30 CEV). So, if you're envious and you want to change: (a) drop the mask and admit you have a problem, (b) apologise to God and ask for his help, (c) pray for the person you're jealous of. At first it'll feel awkward, but as you keep doing it God will change your heart and replace envy with love. Begin to celebrate other people's successes, and make a point of complimenting them.

So what now? Importantly, remember that nobody is as good at being you as you, so there's no need for competition. In God's eyes, you are a complete, unique individual. Appreciate your uniqueness and the role he's given you to fill in his kingdom.

Soulfood: Deut 9:13-29, Dan 1:3-21, Luke 4:1-13


'My precious'

'We are God's masterpiece...' Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Most girls love diamonds, and many would love to get a diamond from someone they love. If a girl gets given a diamond engagement ring, she admires it and each time she looks at it she is reminded of her fianc? and their precious love for one another.

Did you know that you're precious to God? Like the diamond is admired by the newly engaged girl, God admires you. He thinks you are magnificent. (Yes, if you're a guy, it includes you too!). It says in the Bible that 'we are God's masterpiece' (Ephesians 2:10 NLT). If you go to an art gallery and look at a Van Gogh or Rembrandt painting, whatever your opinion of the picture is, you won't be able to deny that the one who painted it was the master of his craft. You may look in the mirror and think your nose could do with shrinking, you could be taller, smaller, have thicker hair, etc, but... know this: you were created by the Ultimate Designer, the Master of his Craft, and he is captivated by you!

Next time you look at yourself, put your own opinion aside and remember: you're a masterpiece; an expression of your heavenly Father's heart. He has given you the ability to love, to create, to express and to be yourself. No one else contributes to this world in the way you do. There's no other like you.

So what now? Next time you go to criticise yourself, see beyond the flaws to the precious masterpiece.

Soulfood: Ecc 4-6, John 10:11-21, Ps 76, Prov 30:15-17



'Jesus is not ashamed to call them his family.' Hebrews 2:11 GNT

What is salvation? Well, if you're drowning and you can't keep your head above water for a second longer and, as you take your last breath someone reaches into the water and pulls you to safety, you'd say that person had saved your life. If you've accepted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you've not only been saved from an eternity without God but you've been given the inheritance of Jesus Christ himself.

Here are a few things you can expect if you let Jesus be your Saviour: (1) 'His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life' (2 Peter 1:3 NIV). You have all you need because you're God's child. Ask God for what you need, it's yours in Jesus. (2) 'Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ' (Ephesians 1:3 NIV). Everything that Jesus is you have access to! He is the healer so you can access healing; he is the champion so you can live in victory...the list goes on. (3) 'We are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago' (Ephesians 2:10 NLT). He didn't just save you so you can share Heaven with him. He saved you because he has purpose for you, to live your life to the max, loving God and sharing his life with others.

So what now? Don't waste a minute: thank Jesus for saving you!

Soulfood: Ecc 1-3, John 10:1-10, Ps 81, Prov 30:11-14


Not fear but faith

'After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.' Acts 4:31 NIV

Do you feel like you're having a hard time today? If so, notice four things that God told Jesus' followers to do when faced with a difficult situation:

(1) Get God involved. 'Lord, consider their threats' (Acts 4:29 NIV). Have you talked to God about your situation yet? If it's not big enough to be a prayer, it's too small to be a problem! God should be the first person you discuss your problems with. Praying is like opening the door of your life and giving God full access into your situation. (2) Pray for more faith. ' us to speak your word without fear' (Acts 4:29 NCV). Fear, worry and doubt will always try to poke their ugly noses into your business. If you want to beat fear, you must starve it and feed your faith instead (see Romans 10:17). (3) 'Stretch out your hand' (Acts 4:30 NIV). They expected God to step in and help. The disciples had been through a terrible storm with Jesus so they knew what he could do: 'About three o'clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water' (Matthew 14:25 NLT). And he still works the nightshift. He's available 24/7; all you need to do is talk to him! (4) Be filled with the Holy Spirit (see Acts 4:31). There's the key; they stayed energised and directed by the Spirit of God. It's ok to use your gifts, as long as you fully rely on God!

So what now? Fear not! Allow God to help you build your faith to get through the tough stuff.

Soulfood: Rom 15-16, John 9:24-41, Ps 50, Prov 30:7-10


Needed a new birth

'You must be born again.' John 3:7 NLT

The Bible says that 130 years after Adam first sinned, he had a son who was 'just like him' (Genesis 5:3 NIV). As Adam's descendants, we have all been born with a human nature that sins without even trying. Sometimes people say, 'He's just like his dad,' or we say, 'My dad had a nasty temper, now I've got his temper!' 'My dad couldn't stay with my Mum; I bet I end up divorced too.' 'My dad was an alcoholic, now look how much I drink!' 'My dad didn't show love to me, now I don't know how to show love to others.' History can repeat itself over and over through our sinning nature.

But, this is the good news: when you give your life to Jesus he breaks old and negative cycles! When you're 'born of the Spirit' you get a new heavenly Father and a new heavenly nature (see John 3:3-6). You don't have to give in to basic human cravings anymore and you can choose to create positive cycles, with Jesus' help. Instead you can walk like your heavenly Father and become more like him every day.

'Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun' (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)! How awesome is that! Believe it and break free from your past.

So what now? Wanting to break some old and negative cycles in your life? Because you chose Jesus you are able to do so. Look to Jesus for new birth in every area of your life.

Soulfood: Rom 12-14, John 9:13-23, Ps 8, Prov 30:5-6

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