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The Word For Today

You can overcome your past



'Jephthah...a mighty man...was the son of a harlot.' Judges 11:1 NKJV

Sociologists tell us that human behaviour is largely determined by two things: our parents and our environment. Judging by that, they'd have written Jephthah off as a lost cause! But not God. His Word says, 'Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing' (Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV). When Jesus becomes Lord of your life, neither genes nor environment can prevent you from becoming everything he intends you to be. Before his life was over, Jephthah became famous as Israel's youngest governor, and is listed among the Bible heroes in Hebrews chapter 11. That's because God is a turnaround specialist!

Maybe you were born in less-than-ideal circumstances, and you're wondering if you can ever overcome them. The answer is yes! So the next time someone tries to use your past to put you down, remind them about Jephthah. The truth is, our God is awesome! He can lift the disadvantaged higher than those who have had every possible advantage. His strength is revealed and released in our weakness (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). He specialises in using those who have been rejected. He used Joseph, a man thrown into a pit by his brothers and written off by his father as dead. He used David, a shepherd boy alienated and ignored by his family. He used Jesus, 'the stone the builders rejected' (Psalm 118:22 NIV), who went on to become 'the chief cornerstone' (Luke 20:17 NKJV). And he can do the same for you.

So be encouraged; God has a plan for your life and as you spend time with him he will show you what it is.

Soulfood: Ezek 46-48 Matt 24:36-51 Ps 78:40-55 Pro 20:22-24,

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Enjoy your life



'To everything there is a season...a time to laugh...to dance...to love.' Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV

When did you last take time to laugh, to dance and to love? Can you even remember? In the words of an unknown poet: 'This is the age of the half-read page; the quick hash and the mad dash. The bright knight with the nerves tight; the plane hop and the brief stop. The lamp-tan in a brief span; the big shot in a good spot. The brain strain and the heart pain; the catnaps until the spring snaps...and the fun's done!' Sobering words, right?

But does it have to be that way? No, if it's that way in your life today, chances are it's because you made it that way. And you're the only one who can make it different! You say you're busy? We're all busy. Who says you can't enjoy life even when the pace picks up? Certainly not God! Chuck Swindoll writes: 'I refuse to force hilarity into the back seat every time responsibility takes the wheel. If the fun's gone, it's because we didn't want it around - not because it didn't fit...I don't care if your "to do" list is as long as the horizon, you need to get back in balance and take the time to laugh...to dance...and to love. Why? Because the Bible says so! Furthermore, your family and friends will enjoy you a lot more when you do.'

The psalmist said, 'You will show me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore' (Psalm 16:11 NKJV). So go ahead and enjoy your life the way God intended - it will be over before you know it.

Soulfood: Ezek 43-45 Matt 24:26-35 Ps 78:32-39 Pro 20:20-21,

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Stop putting it off



'Teach us to number our days.' Psalm 90:12 NKJV

In a 1985 newspaper essay, Anne Wells wrote: 'My brother-in-law opened my sister's bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped package. It was an exquisite silk handmade slip; the price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached. "Jan bought this the first time we went to New York...eight or nine years ago," [he said]. "She never wore it; she was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion." He put the slip on the bed with the other clothes we were taking - to the mortician. Then he turned to me, "Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion!"' Those words changed Anne Wells' life. She continued: 'I'm not saving anything anymore. Now we use our good china...for every special occasion - like losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom. "Someday" and "one of these days" are fighting a losing battle to stay in my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing, hearing or doing, I want to see, hear and do it now. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back or save anything that would add laughter and lustre to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes I tell myself this is a special occasion.'

Makes you think, doesn't it? Makes you want to drain the last ounce of joy out of every day and break free from the cement of procrastination that whispers, 'You can do it later.' Wise up! Forgive that offence, tell that person you love them, take that trip, go back to school. Decide today to do the thing you've been putting off.

Soulfood: Gen 2:7-25 1 Cor 15:39-55,

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