Days
Andrew 10:00-3:00pm

The Word For Today

Learn to meditate



'On his law he meditates day and night.' Psalm 1:2 NIV

Butterflies cover more ground, but bees gather more honey. That's because the butterfly just flies over the flowers, whereas the bee lands on each one and stays there long enough to extract the nectar. That's the difference between merely reading your Bible for a few hurried minutes, and taking time to meditate on what you're reading.

Meditation isn't something difficult and mysterious that only scholars and 'spiritual' people do. It's just thinking deeply and continuously about a passage of Scripture, memorising it, letting it take root, and 'owning it' until it becomes a life force operating within you each day. The point isn't how much Scripture you memorise, it's what happens to you in the process. Meditating on God's Word clarifies your understanding and corrects your conduct. It enriches your thinking and equips you by making you think different thoughts than if you were watching TV, for example, or texting, or talking on your mobile phone, or shopping.

The psalmist writes: 'The law of the Lord makes them happy, and they think about it day and night. They are like trees growing beside a stream, trees that produce fruit in season and always have leaves. Those people succeed in everything they do' (Psalm 1:2-3 CEV). Meditating on God's Word is the cure for moral and spiritual weakness; for a life with no focus; for a lack of intimacy with God; for chronically weak faith that causes you to fail and keep missing God's best. So open your Bible, read it, and pray, 'Lord, what are you saying to me?' Then meditate on his answer.

Soulfood: Is 53-57, John 7:33-44, Ps 15, Prov 29:4-6

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The rewards of generosity



'Be generous, and someday you will be rewarded.' Ecclesiastes 11:1 CEV

The Dead Sea has such high mineral concentrations that even non-swimmers can stay afloat in it. The only problem is the smell. Because it has no outlets, any fresh water that comes in quickly becomes contaminated. There's an important Biblical principle at work here: 'The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed' (Proverbs 11:25 NLT). God never intended you to be a reservoir that just takes in, but a river of blessing that flows out to others.

The Bible says: 'A farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. "For God loves a person who gives cheerfully." And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others' (2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NLT). So if you need a job, volunteer at a soup kitchen while you're looking for work. If you're praying for an increase in your business, pour your best into someone else's business and ask God to prosper them.

Solomon writes, 'Give generously, for your gifts will return to you later. Divide your gifts among many, for in the days ahead you yourself may need much help' (Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 TLB). Even if you don't have a specific need right now, sow a seed of kindness anyway. God knows what the future holds and, one day when you need it most, it will come back to you as a harvest.

Soulfood: Is 49-52, John 7:25-32, Ps 123, Prov 29:1-3

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A prayer for selfcontrol



'It is God's will that you should... avoid sexual immorality.' 1 Thessalonians 4:3 NIV

When God created Adam and Eve, he told them to 'multiply and replenish the earth' (Genesis 1:28 KJV). That helps explain why sex is one of our strongest drives. But it can also propel you into making decisions that mess up your life and destroy your relationships. The Bible says: 'It is God's will that you should... avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the pagans' (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 NIV).

Why did God say this? Because when there's physical intimacy without true commitment, somebody's going to get hurt. You need to heed what God says on this issue. And you need to do it now, before you get into situations where you're tempted to compromise your character, because by then it's too late. We all struggle with our sexuality, particularly in a culture where 'sex sells'.

Sex is such an integral part of us, and guilt about it has a way of making us feel separated from God like nothing else can. In order to determine your values and establish some ground rules, you need to pray: 'Lord, I'm not going to allow my impulses to dictate to me, or sin to separate me from you. I choose to keep your standards, to rely on your Spirit to give me strength day by day. And if I do sin, to seek your forgiveness, get back up, and move closer to you.' That's a prayer God will answer!

Soulfood: 2 Kings 6:1-7, Matt 14:22-33

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