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The Word For Today

Understanding your child

'You saw my bones being formed.' Psalm 139:15 NCV

The psalmist wrote: 'You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother's body. When I was put together there, you saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was one day old' (Psalm 139:15-16 NCV).God has already determined your child's potential; now it's up to you to help him or her discover and develop it. You'll see it in their temperament, their gifts and their interests. Resist the temptation to treat all your children the same way; they're different! Cain was a farmer and his brother Abel was a shepherd. Jacob and Esau were twins, yet they couldn't have been more different. And how about the Prodigal Son who restless, left home and became a 'party animal', while his older brother stayed home to tend the estate? You must love each of your children unconditionally, but develop them individually. Who are they? What do they like? What do they succeed at? How do they handle change? How do they behave when they're alone? Start listening to what your children value, what they fear, and what they need. Make sure they're anchored spiritually in God's Word. Don't force them to go the way you wish you'd gone. Help them discover their own identity, and become their biggest backer. If that means putting your own dreams on hold for a while, do it. You'll never regret it.Your children are your future; your very essence will live on in them. And one more thing: the trees we grow today produce the fruit we eat tomorrow. So pray and ask God to help you understand your child.

Soulfood: Rom 7:1-9:16 Jn 10:11-21 Ps 83:1-8 Pro 29:19-22,


Get real with God

'Let us examine our ways...and...return to the Lord.' Lamentations 3:40 NIV

When you pray, 'Lord, make me a better person,' in what specific areas do you want to change, grow and mature?In order to get real with God, answer these twelve questions carefully and prayerfully: (1) Am I honest and above reproach in all my financial dealings? That includes giving God a tithe of your income. (2) Do I put myself in sexually inappropriate situations, or expose myself to harmful material? (3) Do I spend enough time with my family, and would they say that I do? (4) Do I tell the truth even when it brings me hurt or criticism? (5) Do I find it easy to say, 'I was wrong. I'm genuinely sorry,' or do I hold grudges? (6) Am I knowingly compromising any area of my life, or refusing to face the consequences of my actions? (7) Have I formed habits that are detrimental to my health, my job, my family, or my walk with Christ? (8) Am I proud, selfish or arrogant? (9) Have I taken credit for things that others did and should have been rewarded for? (10) Have I failed to confess something to someone who should know of my wrongdoing? (11) Have I been insensitive or abusive to my loved ones? And if I have, what am I willing to do about it? (12) Am I spending enough time in prayer and in the Scriptures? 'Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord' (Lamentations 3:40 NIV).The word for you today is: get real with God! It's the kindest thing to do for yourself.

Soulfood: Rom 3:21-6:23 Jn 10:1-10 Ps 133 Pro 29:15-18,


When things go wrong

'I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon.' Genesis 40:15 NKJV

Joseph had lived an exemplary life. He had made a fortune for his employer and had resisted the sexual advances of his boss's wife and stayed true to God. But what was his reward? A prison sentence with no hope of parole?Since when does the 'high road' sometimes lead over a cliff? Ever since the entry of evil into the world. And as long as Satan 'prowls around like a roaring lion' (1 Peter 5:8 NIV), he will try to wreak havoc among God's people. He will lock preachers like Paul in prisons. He will exile pastors like John on remote islands. He will afflict the friends of Jesus, like Lazarus, with diseases. But his strategies always backfire. The imprisoned Paul wrote the Epistles. The banished John saw Heaven. The cemetery of Lazarus became a stage upon which Christ performed one of his greatest miracles. The prison in which they placed Joseph became his stepping-stone to the palace for which God had destined him. Looking back, he could say, 'But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive' (Genesis 50:20 NKJV).So look for God's purposes in the reversals of your life, and you'll begin to see them as stepping-stones to blessing. 'The Lord shall not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the thoughts and intents of his mind' (Jeremiah 30:24 AMP). God will use the circumstances you are in today to strengthen you, draw you closer to himself, and accomplish his will for your life.

Soulfood: Rom 1:1-3:20 Jn 9:24-41 Ps 99 Pro 29:11-14,

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