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The Word For Today

You can win in the second half



'I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely.' Hosea 14:4 NKJV

Half-time in the game is for rest and assessment. It's a time to regroup - to evaluate how things have been going and decide what adjustments need to be made for the rest of the game. Sometimes a team may look like they're losing at half-time, but by the time the game ends they've turned things around and won. Until the final whistle sounds, the game is still up for grabs.

And the same is true in life. If you're still here, the game of life isn't over for you. Your clock is still ticking. You have a life yet to live. Not only that, but the first half doesn't have to determine the outcome of the game. Maybe you've made mistakes or experienced disappointments and failures. Maybe life has dealt you a harsh blow here or there. But you are still here - and as long as you are, the whistle hasn't blown and it's not too late for God to take you straight to the plan he has for you.

You see, God looks at your future while the enemy tries to keep you focused on your past. God says, 'You can, in spite of what's been done!' But the enemy says, 'You can't, because of what you've done.' God will never define you by your past, whereas the enemy will try to control and confine you by using it against you. Whether the good, the bad or the ugly dominated your first half, Satan's goal is to keep you chained there. God, on the other hand, wants you to learn from your past - not live in it.

Soulfood: Jer 25-27, Luke 5:1-11, Ps 102:18-28, Pro 15:4-7

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Aspire to greatness



'Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all.' 1 Timothy 4:12 NLT

By the time he was 18, Timothy was an apostle. And it seems some people in church thought his promotion to leadership at such an early age wasn't a good thing. But Paul did. He told Timothy: 'Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity...focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them. Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received...Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress' (1 Timothy 4:11-15 NLT).

Who says anyone is too young to make an impact? Not God. And not history. Victor Hugo wrote his first tragedy at age 15. Raphael painted his masterpieces before he died at age 37. Tennyson wrote his first volume of poetry at 18. Paschal wrote his great works between the ages of 16 and 37. Joan of Arc did all her work and was burned at the stake at 19. Romulus founded Rome at 20. Calvin joined the Reformation at age 21 and wrote his famous Institutes at age 27. Alexander the Great had conquered the known world by the time he was 23. Isaac Newton was 24 when he introduced the law of gravity.

Believe in yourself, whatever your age, because God does. Develop your gifts, and ask God to bless them. Maximise every opportunity to the fullest, and you will make the world a better place.

Soulfood: Jer 22-24, Luke 4:31-44, Ps 102:12-17, Pro 15:3

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Conviction brings honour



'I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.' Judges 11:35 NIV

For months Eric Liddell trained with his heart set on winning the 100-metre race in the 1924 Olympics. Most sportswriters predicted he would win. At the games, however, Liddell learned that the 100-metre race was scheduled to be run on a Sunday. This posed a major problem for him, because he didn't believe he could honour God by running on the Lord's Day. He bowed out of the race, and his fans were stunned. Some who had praised him in the past now called him a fool. He came under intense pressure to change his mind, but he stood firm. Then a runner dropped out of the 400-metre race, which was scheduled on a weekday, and Liddell was offered the opportunity to fill the slot. This was not really 'his race'. The distance was four times as long as the one he'd diligently trained for. Even so, he crossed the finish line as victor and set a new record of 47.6 seconds in the process. He earned an Olympic gold medal and made an uncompromising stand for his faith, and his story was told in the Academy Award-winning movie Chariots of Fire. But Eric Liddell has an even greater claim to fame. He went on to become a missionary in China, where he died in a prisoner of war camp in 1945. He's like Jephthah, who said, 'I have given my word to the Lord, and I cannot go back on it' (Judges 11:35 NKJV).

The lesson that comes through loud and clear from this man's life is - stand by your convictions and God will honour you.

Soulfood: Jer 18-21, Luke 4:14-30, Ps 102:1-11, Pro 14:35 - 15:2

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