Morning Wakeup
Leanna, Bjorn and Josh 6:00-10:00am

The Word For Today

Three Things We Owe Each Other

Paul talks about three things we owe each other.

Let's look at them: (1) 'Without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers' (Romans 1:9 NKJV). An unknown poet wrote, 'I was a poor soul in the depth of despair, who climbed to the heights in answer to prayer.' You can show no greater love and concern for someone than to say, 'I'm praying for you,' and do it! Prayer invites God into the situation and authorises the forces of Heaven to go to work and bring change. (2) 'I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established' (Romans 1:11 NKJV). What did Paul long for? The chance to strengthen his fellow believers, and he was willing to travel a long way at great personal risk to do it. When two people decide to recognise and nurture the God-given gifts in each other, not only are they blessed personally, everybody around them benefits too. (3) 'That I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.' Notice the words 'encouraged' and 'mutual faith'.

There are powerful dynamics at work here! First, we pray for one another. Second, we recognise and nurture God's gifts in one another. Third, we unite our faith and focus on a shared goal. Jesus said: 'If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them' (Matthew 18:19-20 NKJV).

Soulfood : Gen 1-3, Jn 12:12-19, Ps 102:1-11, Prov 30:18-20

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Stressed Out About Money? (2)

To overcome financial anxiety, you must: (1) Understand where your anxiety comes from. Unless your name is Bill Gates, the chances are that you'll experience some degree of financial anxiety. But when fear becomes your fixed state of mind, something's wrong; it's time to unwrap the package. Fear can be hereditary, passed from generation to generation. And it can trap you in a cycle that's hard to break. But you can break it! Gideon tore down the altar where his family had worshipped idols for generations - and they were angry with him when he did it (Judges 6:25-30). But Gideon knew that in order to win in life, he must trust in nobody but God.

(2) Rise above your past failures. Have you made bad investments and now you're afraid to take a risk? Are you hoarding as a hedge against future failure? Here's the problem: nothing ventured, nothing gained! In football, the players who score the most goals are often the ones who miss the most chances. But they keep trying because if they don't aim for the goal they can't win. A barn filled with seed doesn't produce a harvest. Furthermore, when the farmer plants his seed, drought and frost and pests can wipe him out. Yet if he doesn't plant, failure is guaranteed. Getting the idea?

(3) Anticipate God's goodness. As you get older you become more risk-averse, more inclined to look for a safe harbour. That's understandable, but you can't let fear control your life. David wrote, 'Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life' (Psalm 23:6 NKJV). When God's goodness is what you're believing for - God's goodness is what you'll 'surely' get!

Soulfood : Ecc 9-12, Jn 12:1-11, Ps 76, Prov 30:15-17

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Stressed Out About Money? (1)

The solution to financial worry isn't necessarily having more money. Indeed, the more money you have, the more you have to lose. And the thought of losing it can cause you to worry more, not less. It's a vicious circle. Trying to find security in money is like tying a boat to a dock; when a big enough storm comes along, the ropes will break and it'll be swept away. So since we all wonder when the next economic storm will hit, what's the answer? More rope? Stronger rope? Tighter knots? No - that just gives you knots in your stomach!

For the next few days let's look at some Bible answers to money worries: Tackle your fear head-on. The Psalmist said, 'Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.' Now, since David was a king, he probably didn't worry a lot about money. But he did worry about his enemies stalking him, catching him off guard and killing him. We each have different areas of worry, and the ones that control us are called 'core fears'. Sometimes you can keep them at bay; other times they control and consume you and make you act in ways you're not proud of.

Christian financial advisor Ron Blue says that for years he was trapped by the fear of not having enough money, or losing what he had. The people around him didn't know it, but that's what drove him. Today he's a best-selling author and financial counsellor to multitudes. But to get there he had to confront his core fear, and trust more in God than he did in himself. And so will you.

Soulfood : Ecc 5-8, Jn 11:38-57, Ps 81, Prov 30:11-14

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