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Andrew + Di 10:00-3:00pm

The Word For Today

Don't Lose Your Compassionate Edge (1)

'...When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them...' Matthew 9:36

Christ's concern for a hurting world revealed itself in two ways: condemnation towards those who took advantage of others and compassion towards those who couldn't help themselves. One time He took a whip and threw the money changers out of the temple; another time He healed the sick and fed the hungry.
There's a lesson here: you can become complacent and say, 'I know there's trouble in the world. It's regrettable. But as long as it doesn't touch me personally, I'd prefer not to think about it. Cheating goes on every day in business and politics. That's just the way things are.' Like the priest and the Levite in the story of the Good Samaritan, you 'pass by on the other side' (Luke 10:30-36). The sad fact is that even churches that faithfully preach the Word and win souls (two all-important missions) fail in this area. Why? Because they're afraid of being identified with those who promote a 'social gospel'. But the opposite should concern us! 'If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity...how can the love of God be in him?...Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth' (1 John 3:17-18 NIV).
What moves you? Success in business? Building a great family? Excelling in ministry? Those are worthy goals, but if you want to know what moved Christ, read this: 'When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion.' So don't lose your compassionate edge.

SoulFood: Nah 1-3, Luke 8:16-25, Ps 14, Pro 19:1-4

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Encouragement - It's a Powerful Thing

'If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging.' Romans 12:8 NLT

Many a man and woman who quit would have kept going if they had just received a word of encouragement from someone. Encouragement is so vital that the Scriptures rank it up there with gifts like teaching and leadership (Romans 12:6-8).
Here are two stories that illustrate the power of encouragement. Story one: Not long ago, the world watched as three grey whales, icebound off Point Barrow, Alaska, floated battered and bloody, gasping for breath at a hole in the ice. The whales' only hope was to be somehow transported eight kilometres past the ice pack to the open sea. Rescuers began cutting a string of breathing holes about 20 metres apart in the 15cm thick ice. For eight days they painstakingly coaxed the whales from one hole to the next, kilometre after kilometre. Along the way, one of the trio vanished and was presumed dead. But finally, with the help of Russian icebreakers, the other two whales, Putu and Siku, swam to freedom. Story two: Jackie Robinson was the first black player in the US to play major league baseball. While breaking baseball's colour barrier, he faced jeering crowds in every stadium. Playing one day in his home stadium in Brooklyn, he made an error and his own fans began to boo him. As he stood, humiliated, at second base, 'Pee Wee' Reese came over and stood next to him. He put his arm around Robinson and they faced the crowd together. The fans grew quiet; the game continued. Robinson later said that arm around his shoulder saved his career!
Encouragement - it's a powerful thing. So who can you encourage today?

SoulFood: 2 Pet 1-3, Luke 8:1-15, Ps 146, Pro 18:23-24

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Live Till You Die!

Don't listen to those who tell you you're 'too old'. God's promise is, 'They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh...' (Psalms 92:14 NIV). For 20 to 30 years the century plant spreads out but produces no flowers. Then in one year, without warning, a bud sprouts. The bud, which resembles a huge asparagus spear, shoots into the sky at a rate of nearly 20 cm per day, and reaches an eventual height of 8 to 10 metres. Then it crowns itself with several clumps of yellowish blossoms that last almost a month.

Some of God's oldest are among His finest! The older, mellower Abraham was wiser than the brash, younger one. Caleb was still defeating giants and climbing mountains at 85. Anna, an elderly widow, didn't just pray for the Messiah; her vision kept her alive until He came. In his nineties, imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos, John wrote the Book of Revelation. Jesus said, 'Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it' (Luke 17:33 NRS).

You can approach life in two ways: protect it or pursue it. When the voice of safety says, 'Build a fire in the hearth and stay in where it's warm,' the voice of faith says, 'Build a fire in your soul, then go out and pursue your vision with a passion.' Asked why he was still studying Greek in his nineties, Oliver Wendell Holmes is reported to have said, 'My good sir, it's now or never!' What matters is not the years in your life, but the life in your years. So, live till you die!

Soulfood : 2 Sam 22:31-24:25, Lk 7:36-50, Ps 140, Prov 18:21-22

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