Days
Andrew 12:00-7:00pm

The Word For Today

Looking Good, or Doing Good?

'...Jesus...went about doing good...' Acts 10:38 NKJV

The Bible says, 'God anointed Jesus...with the Holy Spirit and with power, Who went about doing good...' When you're led by God's Spirit, your focus won't be on looking good, but on doing good.
You say, 'But I'm so busy!' Nobody was busier than Jesus, yet He always responded to those in need. In Luke chapter 10 He tells of a Jewish traveller who was attacked by a gang and left to die by the road. First a Levite, then a priest passed by. But each had important appointments to keep, so they didn't stop. Then a Samaritan came along. Now, he had every reason to look the other way, because the Jews and the Samaritans were long-standing enemies. Instead, '...He...came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion' (Luke 10:33 NKJV). Compassion will make you stop and rearrange your priorities. This Samaritan realised that where he was at that moment was more important than his next appointment. What would you have done that day? Do you think you'd have acted like him? How about when God tries to interrupt your inflexible, tightly-organised, written-in-concrete schedule and asks you to make time for someone who's hurting? Are you willing to forgo your plans and do what He wants? If you're too busy to reach out to those who are hurting, you're too busy!
You say, 'But I'm shy around people.' Then start with the people you know in your local church. 'Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith' (Galatians 6:10 NKJV).

SoulFood: 2 Sam 17:14 - 19:43, Luke 7:11-23, Ps 123, Pro 18:13-16

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Are You a 'Stephen'? (4)

'...Stephen, a man full of faith...' Acts 6:5 NIV

Another quality that opened the door to leadership in the church for Stephen was: faith. Oswald Chambers said, 'Faith that is sure of God, is the only kind of faith there is.' When drought hit some farming communities, faith made a little girl take her umbrella to a prayer meeting called especially to pray for rain, while all the grown-ups wore sunglasses. Faith isn't just what you say, it's what you do. And it's not just about what you can do, but what you can trust God to do.
When it comes to faith you must: (1) Feed your faith. The Bible is faith food. '...Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God' (Romans 10:17 NKJV). Note the word 'hearing'. When you read God's Word out loud, it enters your spirit through both the eye-gate and ear-gate, doubling its impact. (2) Protect your faith. When terrorists attack, they have more in mind than just blowing up a few buildings and killing some people. Their goal is to strike fear into hearts and cause others to capitulate. Jesus warned Peter that his faith was about to come under attack (Luke 22:31-32). It's not just your finances or your health or your relationships that are under attack; it's your faith! (3) Use your faith. Faith is like money; it's the currency of God's Kingdom. You must have it in order to do business with God. When Christ encountered someone who demonstrated real faith, He was ecstatic. And He always responded to them. So you must 'exercise' your faith daily, until it becomes your 'reflex action' in any given situation.

SoulFood: 2 Sam 14:21 - 17:13, Luke 6:43 - 7:10, Ps 118:19-29, Pro 18:10-12

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Are You a 'Stephen'? (3)

'Choose...men...full of...wisdom.' Acts 6:3 NIV

Another leadership qualification Stephen possessed was: wisdom. 'Seek out...men ...full of...wisdom' (Acts 6:3 NKJV). Charles Spurgeon said, 'Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.' You can have a head full of knowledge, but if you don't have the wisdom to use it properly, you can't lead people.
Just as a stream rises no higher than its source, an organisation can rise no higher than its leadership. Dr John Maxwell refers to this as the 'Law of the Lid'. In his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, he writes: 'Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person's level of effectiveness. The lower an individual's ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potential. The higher their leadership, the greater their effectiveness. To give you an example, if your leadership scores an eight, then your effectiveness can never be greater than a seven. If your leadership is only a four, then your effectiveness will be no higher than a three. Your leadership ability - for better or for worse - always determines your effectiveness and the potential impact of your organisation.' Paul told Timothy, '...Give attendance to reading...' (1 Timothy 4:13 NKJV). Someone who won't read is more to be pitied than someone who can't read. The difference in what you are right now and what you'll be 25 years from now will always be in direct proportion to your reading habits, the relationships you cultivate and the time you spend with God.
Obviously Stephen was the right choice. 'Then the word of God spread and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith' (Acts 6:7 NKJV).

SoulFood: 2 Sam 12:1 - 14:20, Luke 6:27-42, Ps 118:10-18, Pro 18:7-9

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