Mid-Afternoons
Nerida 1:00-3:00pm

The Word For Today

Are you on overload



'There is nothing better than to...find satisfaction in work.' Ecclesiastes 2:24 NLT

There will be times in life when it feels like there's too much to do, and not enough time to do it. However, when you're constantly on overload, it shows up in your attitude, your relationships, your job performance and even your walk with God.

If that's where you are today, here's what you need to do: (1) Pray. 'Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken' (Psalm 55:22 NIV). Before you fall apart, ask God for the wisdom to evaluate what you are doing, and then be honest with yourself about why you're in this predicament. The writer of Proverbs says, 'Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off...like an eagle' (Proverbs 23:4-5 NIV). Ask God to show you where you may be sacrificing your peace, health and relationships on the altar of materialism. (2) Delegate. Moses, one of the greatest leaders in the Old Testament, was falling apart under the weight of responsibilities he needed to share with others. He got so depressed that he asked God to take his life! There were capable people all around him who were willing to help, but he wouldn't let them. Sound familiar? As long as you insist on controlling and doing everything yourself, your productivity will stall and your peace of mind will evaporate.

Bottom line: if you're on overload today, start making some changes.

Soulfood: Neh 5-7, John 18:12-24, Ps 150, Pro 29:22-27

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Live with integrity



'Whoever walks in integrity walks securely.' Proverbs 10:9 NIV

There are those who live with integrity and those who don't, and interestingly they're both rewarded. The first group lives with an abiding sense of God's peace and security; the second group with the constant fear of being found out. 'The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity' (Proverbs 11:3 NIV). A person with integrity is 'complete and undivided'. They adhere to high moral principles in every area of life.

Does that mean you'll never fall? No. 'A righteous man may fall seven times and rise again' (Proverbs 24:16 NKJV). Everybody falls, but people of integrity always get back up. God is patient; he'll work with you until you get it. And if you suffer from a lack of integrity, he can still put your life back together again if you surrender to him. Before he wrestled with the Lord, Jacob was a cheat and a deceiver (see Genesis 27:35-36). And after he wrestled with the Lord, he walked with a limp. But God would rather have someone who walks with a limp because they've wrestled with their issues and won, than someone living under false pretences. Daniel, a Jew living in captivity, refused to eat non-kosher food because it violated God's law. Joseph was single, far from home and lonely, but he refused to sleep with his boss's wife.

Paul says, 'When you are tempted, he will...provide a way out so that you can endure it' (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV). God always has a way out, and when you're committed to walking in integrity, he'll reveal it to you.

Soulfood: Josh 1:7-8, 2 Tim 3:14-17, Ps 119:1-16

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Hold on to the word



'As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.' Mark 4:15 NIV

In the parable of the sower, Jesus said, 'Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them' (Mark 4:15 NIV). Ever notice how you can sit at home and watch a two-hour, advert-packed film without feeling restless or bored, yet when the church leader's sermon exceeds 30 or 40 minutes, you keep glancing at your watch and can't wait to get out of church? And if someone asked you the next day what he preached about, most times you couldn't tell them.

Jesus said, 'Satan comes and takes away the word'. So how can you retain it? (1) Write it down (see Exodus 17:14). When you make notes on what you read and hear, you'll retain more, be more impacted and get much more out of it. (2) Pray it through. Unless you pray over the Word you're hearing, you'll keep coming home from church moved but unchanged. Many of the great saints of old read through the Bible on their knees. You could try that too! (3) Discuss it with others. God's Word is like a seed that multiplies and grows when it's watered by conversation with others who share your faith. The Bible says, 'Those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard' (Malachi 3:16 NIV). (4) Practise it daily. John tells us, 'The Word became flesh' (John 1:14 NKJV). The best way to retain God's Word is to practise its principles, or 'flesh it out'!

Soulfood: Neh 1-4, John 18:1-11, Ps 148:7-14, Pro 29:16-21

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