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The Word For Today

Become a good thinker



'For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.' Proverbs 23:7 NKJV

With practice, you can become a good thinker. Observe two things: (1) Good thinkers have foresight. 'The plans of the diligent lead to profit' (Proverbs 21:5 NIV). The word diligent means 'to work, study, and plan.' You don't stumble into success and figure it out afterward. Whether you're in business or ministry, your level of success will increase dramatically if you place a high value on good thinking.

Novelist Victor Hugo wrote, 'A small man is made up of small thoughts.' People who don't practice good thinking usually find themselves at the mercy of circumstances - or other people's thoughts. Unable to solve problems, they find themselves facing the same obstacles over and over. And because they don't think ahead they're habitually in reaction mode. An old German proverb says, 'Better an empty purse than an empty head.' Good thinkers overcome difficulties, including lack of resources, that often leave poor thinkers at the mercy of good thinkers.

In As a Man Thinketh, James Allen says, 'All that a man achieves, or fails to achieve, is a direct result of his thoughts.' Do you believe that? If you do, you'll place a high value on good thinking and make it a priority in your life. (2) Good thinkers look for the best, not the worst. They live by this scriptural principle: 'Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things' (Philippians 4:8 NIV).

Soulfood: Mic 5-7, Mark 13:12-23, Ps 19, Prov 24:19-22

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Redeemed by the blood



'The blood of Jesus Christ...cleanses us from all sin.' 1 John 1:7 NKJV

Going to church, doing your best, and subscribing to fuzzy notions about God won't get you into Heaven. Here's the testimony of those already in Heaven: 'To him who loves us...freed us from our sins by his blood, and...made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father...be glory and power for ever and ever' (Revelation 1:5-6 NIV)!

There's an interesting story behind a broken rope on display at the Matterhorn Museum in Zermatt, Switzerland. Some climbers who scaled the Matterhorn used it to rope themselves together for the return descent. But one climber slipped. The other team members braced for the shock on the rope linking them all together, expecting it to halt their companions' fall. But the tug came, and to everyone's horror the rope snapped, dragging the others with him into the abyss and plunging them to their deaths. Nobody knows why an inferior rope was used. But they do know it wasn't genuine Alpine rope, which is guaranteed and distinguished by a red strand running through it.

There's a lesson here. From Genesis to Revelation the Bible has a red strand running through it, and it represents the only thing that can save you - the blood of Jesus. Old Testament believers looked forward to the cross, and New Testament believers looked back to it. By trusting in Christ's finished work, you're accepted by God, and one day the door of Heaven will open and you'll live with him forever. And it's all based on this truth: 'The blood of Jesus Christ...cleanses us from all sin' (1 John 1:7 NKJV). No more is required, and nothing less will get you through the door!

Soulfood: Mic 1-4, Mark 13:1-11, Ps 24, Prov 24:15-18

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Husbands and wives 6



'Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house.' Psalm 128:3 NIV

The Psalmist writes: 'Blessed are all who fear [respect, honour and obey] the Lord, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit [rewards] of your labour; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord' (Psalm 128:1-4 NIV).

In a favourable climate, grapevines need no coaxing to grow. They'll produce grapes in abundance, from which comes wine. And wine in the Bible speaks of joy and celebration. It's the same in your home. As a husband, God holds you responsible for creating a climate in which your wife and family can experience 'blessings and prosperity.' That means you must spend enough time at home to create and maintain an ideal temperature. When you're seldom present you can't do that, because your absence just frustrates your wife and diminishes her sense of worth and self-confidence. When she has to take second place to your career, your sports activities, and your friends - not to mention your television watching - you'll never build a great relationship with her.

To know what your wife's needs are, you must spend quality time with her. If you want to discover her true potential and know just how wonderful a person she is, create the right climate in your home. One woman joked, 'I never knew what real happiness was until I married my husband - now it's too late!' That doesn't have to be your story. You can create a climate in which you both thrive and enjoy life.

Soulfood: Neh 11-13, Mark 12:28-44, Ps 78:65-72, Prov 24:10-14

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