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The Word For Today

End the conflict now



'Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.' Proverbs 10:12 NKJV

When you hold on to resentment it feels like there's a war going on inside you. You're in a battle with yourself, as well as others. And the more you fight, the more ground you lose. Arguing just drains you of energy and leaves you more hurt and angry. You're in a no-win situation. You struggle with who's right and who's wrong. You spend so much time trying to out-do, out-shout and out-manoeuvre others that you lose your peace and joy.

End the conflict now! Refuse to live this way another day. Don't allow someone's actions to determine your reactions. 'Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour' (1 Peter 5:8 NIV). Don't become Satan's next meal. Let the love and peace of God fill your mind so much that it overflows to others - including those who have upset you. Stop and think: do you really want to be like the person who hurt you? What would Jesus do? You know! He'd turn the other cheek (see Matthew 5:39). 'But,' you ask, 'what about the wrong done to me?' What about it? It's not for you to impose judgment. There's only one qualified judge; let him handle it (see James 4:12).

Ask God to help you to release your anger, turn the other cheek and forgive the one who has done you wrong. Pray this simple prayer: 'Lord, I'm angry. Help me to let it go. I choose to be merciful. Thank you for giving me the grace to forgive the person who hurt me and to follow you. In Jesus' name. Amen.'

Soulfood: Exo 1-3 Luke 11:29-44 Ps 40:9-17 Pro 6:6-8,

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How to help people



'What I do have I give you.' Acts 3:6 NIV

The Bible says, 'Peter said, "Look at us...Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong' (Acts 3:4-7 NIV).

Peter did three things you must do if you want to help people: (1) Get their attention. Peter told this incapacitated man, 'Look at us' (Acts 3:4 NIV). Hurting people are often so distracted by their pain, their past experiences and their future fears that, in order to get through to them you must first get their attention. Why? Because faith must be focused if it's to be effective. (2) Introduce them to the name that's greater than their problem. That name is 'Jesus', and it's greater than every sickness and situation. Rehab centres confirm that a relatively small percentage of people stay free from their addiction. That's the bad news. Now here's the good news: the name of Jesus is stronger than every addiction! 'At the name of Jesus every knee should bow' (Philippians 2:10 NKJV). So introduce those who are hurting to Jesus! (3) Give them a hand up. As Peter pulled the man up, 'immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength' (Acts 3:7 NKJV). Because he'd been in the same condition for thirty-eight years, he needed help to get up. And there are people around you who need help to get up too. They need someone to pull them out of their despair and get them to Jesus, and God can use you to be that someone.

Soulfood: Gen 50 Hag 1-2 Luke 11:14-28 Ps 40:1-8 Pro 6:1-5,

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Seeing yourself as God sees you



'We...saw giants...we felt like grasshoppers.' Numbers 13:33 NLT

Ten of Israel's twelve spies returned from the Promised Land saying, 'We...saw giants...we felt like grasshoppers' (Numbers 13:33 NLT). The other two, Joshua and Caleb, saw the same giants but believed that with God's help they could be conquered: 'Let us go up at once and possess it...for we are well able' (Numbers 13:30 TLB). That's the language of a winner!

Understand this: God has a plan for your life, but you'll never fulfil it until you come into agreement with his Word. 'But I have so many problems. How could God use someone like me?' you ask. Paul said, 'I don't mean to say that I have already...reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me' (Philippians 3:12 NLT). When God uses imperfect people, it makes us realise that he alone is our source, our strength, our strategy and the secret to our success. The Bible says, 'The foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God's weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength' (1 Corinthians 1:25 NLT). You have a God-ordained destiny, and no excuse for not fulfilling it. You can't use weakness as a defence, for God says, 'My strength is made perfect in weakness' (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV). You can't use your past as an excuse, for God says, 'Old things have passed away...all things have become new' (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV).

How God sees you isn't the problem; it's how you see yourself that keeps you from succeeding! So ask God to give you a new understanding of how he sees you - loved, righteous, blessed and favoured!

Soulfood: Gen 47-49 Luke 11:1-13 Ps 36 Pro 5:21-23,

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