Tom 6:00-12:00pm

The Word For Today

Be careful who you turn to 1

'Pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.' Ecclesiastes 4:10 NIV

God never meant for us to 'fly solo'. We all need help and encouragement from time to time, but be careful who you turn to. (1) Don't go to someone who can't handle your problem. By sharing your situation with them you may experience temporary relief, but what if they're not mature enough to handle it? Jesus said, 'Whoever causes one of these little ones... to sin ...better...a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea' (Matthew 18:6 NKJV).

(2) It's okay to turn to a proven friend as long as they're spiritually mature. The Bible says, 'A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity' (Proverbs 17:17 NKJV). But you must know they're a true friend. Peter writes, 'Love covers over a multitude of sins' (1 Peter 4:8 NIV). Someone who truly loves you will pray for you, and walk with you until you have the victory. And when you're on the wrong path, they won't cover up or make excuses for you - they will hold you accountable.

(3) When possible, turn to a spiritual father. Paul says, 'You might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers' (1 Corinthians 4:15 NKJV). Think of a good father's attributes. He corrects, but never condemns you. He won't give up on you. He evaluates you based on your best qualities rather than your worst. Instead of reacting negatively to your failures, he recognises your potential and keeps on working with you. So ask God today for a spiritual father, and stay in regular communication with him.

Soulfood: Gen 17-19, Matt 19:1-14, Ps 66:1-12, Pro 6:20-22


A promise for your unsaved loved one

'He is patient...not wanting anyone to perish.' 2 Peter 3:9 NIV

If you're praying for an unsaved loved one, here is a Bible promise you can stand on today: 'He is patient...not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance' (2 Peter 3:9 NIV). Remove the word 'everyone' and insert the name of your loved one. As long as there's life, there's hope! The last miracle Jesus worked was saving a thief who hung on a cross beside him: 'Today you will be with me in Paradise' (Luke 23:43 NKJV).

In the words of the hymnist, Annie Johnson Flint: 'His love has no limit, his grace has no measure, his power no boundary known unto men; For out of his infinite riches in Jesus - he giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.' No matter how far gone your loved one may be, God's grace and mercy can still reach them - so keep praying for them. Listen: 'The arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear' (Isaiah 59:1 NIV). Jesus said, 'No one can come to me unless the Father...draws them' (John 6:44 NIV).

So ask God to send someone across your loved one's path who will show them the way of salvation. Above all, don't get discouraged and give in to doubt. Remember, it's God's will to save them, and when you know you're praying in accordance with his will, you can approach him with confidence. 'This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him' (1 John 5:14-15 NIV).

Soulfood: Gen 13-16, Matt 18:21-35, Ps 61, Pro 6:16-19


Reading the Bible works

'The entrance of your words gives light.' Psalm 119:130 NKJV

In December 2005, Brian Hardin says God told him to podcast the Bible. Hardin writes: 'On New Year's Eve when I read my first podcast...I said, "I'm Brian...I have no broadcast experience. I really don't know what I'm doing, but I plan to read through the Bible this year. If you get this, here's my email address." I expected about five people to sign up. On New Year's Day 2006, I had 257 responses, and by June the daily audio Bible had been downloaded 200,000 times. Now, following our sixth anniversary, it's been downloaded more than 51 million times and is still one of the top podcasts on iTunes. With more than 1.5 million downloads monthly, the daily audio Bible is one of the most listened to podcasts in the world. We've become a vast online family that prays and hears the Bible together. When somebody calls or goes into the online prayer line with a request, thousands of people pray for that person...We receive an endless stream of emails from disenfranchised believers who have found the place appealing...Separated couples who had nothing left to do but sign divorce papers...started listening to the Bible and found their marriages restored. I can tell you many stories of people who were hopeless - I mean suicidally hopeless - who found comfort in God's Word and were restored. The Bible has a voice, and if given a chance to speak - in context - it will create amazing things in your heart. The Bible can transform even the most tangled life. I know. It radically changed mine.'

Soulfood: Gen 10-12, Matt 18:10-20, Ps 58, Pro 6:12-15

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