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The Word For Today

Choose your battles wisely



'If you follow this advice...then you will be able to endure the pressures.' Exodus 18:23 NLT

A good general knows it's a mistake to try and fight on too many fronts at once; that when you're 'spread out too thin' you're vulnerable! And the same is true in life. To avoid undue stress, you must refuse to let every little thing upset you. In other words, choose your battles wisely. Don't make mountains out of molehills. Before you devote time, energy and emotion to an issue, ask yourself how important it is, and how much of your time, effort and energy is appropriate. Try to discern what really matters and focus on those things. Learn the difference between major matters and minor matters.

Moses was becoming exhausted because he personally handled every problem, dispute and crisis that arose among the Israelites. Perhaps he thought he had to do so, since he was the leader of the nation. But his father-in-law said to him, in essence, 'You take care of the big things and leave the small stuff to someone else.' He went on to say, '"If you follow this advice...you will be able to endure the pressures"...Moses listened to his father-in-law's advice and followed his suggestions' (Exodus 18:23-24 NLT).

Stop and think about it: your life already has plenty of stress and strain, so why add more if you can avoid it? When you're tempted to take on a 'battle', step back and decide if it's worth it and what it will require from you. Don't go to war when there are no spoils.

Soulfood: Acts 16-17 Matt 10:1-10 Ps 140 Pro 16:3,

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Approach God as a child



'Unless you... become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.' Matthew 18:3 TLB

Matthew writes: 'The disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" Jesus called a little child to him...He said..."Unless you... become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven"' (Matthew 18:1-4 NLT). To do great things for God, you must approach him with a childlike attitude.

You can learn a lot from watching little children. Wherever they are, they find a way to enjoy whatever they're doing. They're quick to forgive an offence. One moment they're fighting over something, the next moment they're playing happily together. And trusting comes easily to them. Your children don't worry about mortgage payments, meals or making ends meet because they implicitly trust that you will provide what they need.

What was Jesus teaching us? (a) To have simple faith. (b) To pray simple prayers. (c) To be quick to repent. (d) To reach regularly for God's help. (e) To believe that your heavenly Father is good and that 'no good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly' (Psalm 84:11 NKJV). Plus, when you forgive children, they don't run around feeling guilty and condemned. With this kind of simplicity in your relationship with God, you'll find yourself growing spiritually and enjoying him more than ever. And that should be your goal.

Soulfood: Acts 14-15 Matt 9:27-38 Ps 133 Pro 16:2,

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Ask God for a strategic plan



'Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it."' Isaiah 30:21 NKJV

Jesus understood God's strategic plan for his life - the redemption of humankind - and lived each day of his life in the light of it. At the end of his life he could pray, 'I have glorified you on the earth. I have finished the work which you have given me to do' (John 17:4 NKJV).

Strategic planning is critical to success in any undertaking. And as a redeemed child of God, your strategy should come from God, otherwise pressures and people can take you in the wrong direction. Jesus could easily have been sidetracked by the demands of the crowd and the misguided thinking of his disciples. How did he avoid that? By nights spent in prayer, and predawn meetings with his Father seeking guidance. Jesus lived by this principle: 'The Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does...I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will' (John 5:19, 30 NLT).

When seeking a plan for your life, the first book you should read is the Bible. Don't adopt someone else's plan unless God told you to do the same thing, or you'll end up frustrated. You ask, 'You mean God has a strategy and a plan for my life and that he will reveal it to me?' Yes. 'Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it"' (Isaiah 30:21 NKJV).

Soulfood: 1 Sam 21:1-6 Hosea 6:4-6 Matt 12:1-14,

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