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The Word For Today

Put Your Heart into It! (1)

If you shout your lungs out at a ball game on Saturday, but sit silent and subdued when it's time to worship God on Sunday, maybe you're more excited about sports than spiritual matters. Ouch!

A great definition of worship is 'worth-ship'. What worth do you place on God and on your relationship with Him? You say, 'But sometimes I don't feel like praising God.' Feelings have little to do with it! A good relationship isn't based on emotion but on commitment. The Bible says, '...Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name' (Hebrews 13:15 NKJV). Note the words 'continually' and 'sacrifice'. With God, the praise that costs is the praise that counts! Imagine someone with a good job, a good family and good health praising the Lord in church. Now imagine somebody living alone, shut in by sickness, who raises his or her feeble arms and lifts their voice in praise. Which of them is making the sacrifice?

The Psalmist said, 'From the rising of the sun unto its going down, the Lord's name is to be praised' (Psalms 113:3 NKJV). This Psalmist scheduled praisebreaks throughout his day: 'Seven times a day I praise You' (Psalms 119:164 NKJV). We have tea and coffee breaks; he had praisebreaks! If you want to change your environment and your attitude, start praising God throughout the day. Not only will you bless the Lord, He will bless you in a hundred and one different ways. Don't take anybody else's word for it - try it and see!

Soulfood : Gal 5:22, Lk 6:27-36, Ex 23:1-9, Rom 12:14-21

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Hooked on Urgency

Urgency is stressful. It's also addictive and, if you find yourself habitually reacting to outside demands, you may be 'hooked'. Like any addiction, urgency temporarily meets your need to feel needed. It creates a sense of 'getting things done', falsely enhances your self-esteem, yet tends to make problems worse because mostly 'haste makes waste'.

If you're hooked on urgency, here are two things to consider: (1) In today's society, busyness equals status. People expect you to be in demand. But while constantly abandoning your goals to help others accomplish theirs may make you feel appreciated, it can sidetrack you from your real purpose and create in you a false sense of importance. The Bible says, 'God gives ability to all for their particular service' (1 Corinthians 12:6 GNT). The lion's share of your time should be spent doing what God called you to do, not fulfilling the demands and expectations of others. (2) Identifying your response pattern can help set you free. Sometimes it's hard to say 'no' because as a Christian you feel obligated. But not every 'need' is a directive from God to jump in and meet it! Try to be discerning. Your decision to get involved should come from God, so before you react, pray for wisdom and guidance. The Bible says, 'In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths' (Proverbs 3:6 NKJV). If you're a 'fixer' you probably enjoy solving problems, meeting needs, and influencing behaviour as well as outcomes. That's not necessarily a bad thing. You just need to recognise you're vulnerable to the urgent, and become more priority-minded.

Soulfood : Deut 5-7, Mk 4:1-12, Ps 37:1-7, Prov 11:24-26

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Principles for Living

Observe: (1) You can have more, as long as you don't want it all for yourself. In a generation whose motto is 'Look out for number one,' we need to be reminded that 'Christ did not please himself' (Romans 15:3 NIV). He didn't live to enrich Himself, but to enrich others. You won't find a speck of selfishness in Him. He's worthy to be called 'Master', because He first mastered Himself by denying Himself and living for others.

(2) You can get almost anything done, as long as you don't care who gets the credit. 'Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.' Pride brought Satan down and it will bring you down, too. Ivan O Miller quoted, 'Humility is such a frail and delicate thing that he who dares to think that he has it, proves by that single thought that he has it not.' When you succeed and the accolades start coming your way, enjoy them briefly. Then pass them on to the true source of all your accomplishments - God.

(3) You can hasten the answer, as long as you don't despise the source. Naaman the leper discovered that you can have what God offers, but on God's terms, not yours (2 Kings 5:1-14). And God's terms are 'faith' and 'obedience'. Faith is like electricity: you don't have to analyse or understand it to enjoy its benefits. All you have to do is plug in! What has God told you to do? Obey Him! Stop wavering, stop procrastinating, stop arguing with Him and do what He tells you. You'll love the results.

Soulfood : Deut 3-4, Mk 3:23-35, Ps 2, Prov 11:22-23

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