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The Word For Today

Be Resilient

During their famous expedition, American explorers, Lewis and Clark, faced incredible hardships. On reaching the Missouri River, they thought the worst was over - then they saw the Rockies! Instead of the easy ride downstream that they'd expected, they faced their biggest challenge: retreat or start climbing! Looking back, they realised it was in conquering the Rockies that they gained the confidence they needed for what they'd face later.

John Maxwell writes, '...you will become a better, stronger, wiser and more resilient person through solving problems.' Sociologists who study resiliency - the ability to bounce back - tell us that people handle trauma in two ways. They either give up because they're afraid, or they grow up by developing the capacity to handle it. What makes the difference? Instead of acting like victims, resilient people: (1) take charge of their lives; (2) refuse to relinquish their values; (3) refocus on their goal. A challenge is a gift, a blessing in disguise. Quitting is always simpler than enduring. But it produces a pattern that's hard to break; one you live to regret.

So if you're thinking, 'This relationship is too hard, I want out,' or, 'This job isn't what I expected, I'm quitting,' remember, you develop resiliency by remaining faithful in situations you don't like and can't change. That's why the Bible says, 'We give great honour to those who endure.'

Soulfood : Lam 3:40-5:22, Mk 10:23-34, Ps 113, Prov 14:1-4

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The Finger of God (4)

The finger of God in cleansing. One day the Pharisees brought a woman to Christ. She'd been 'caught in the act' of adultery and they expected Him to condemn her. But instead, 'Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.' This is Jesus at His best! He stooped down to identify with the victim in her shame, refusing to listen to the words of her accusers. Then He scattered them with a single statement: '...He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first' (John 8:7 NKJV). Ouch! Then the One Who came not to tear us down but to build us up, said to her, '...Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more' (John 8:11 NKJV).

The question is, where would she find strength to live such a life? Through Christ! His commandments are His enablings. He said, '...I am the light of the world, He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life' (John 8:12 NKJV). Jesus sees every weed as a potential rose, every doubter as a potential believer and every sinner as a potential saint. Stop listening to the voices that condemn you. Stop beating yourself up over your failures.

Come to Jesus today; He will cleanse you, make you whole and give you the life you've always longed for. You don't have to live under Satan's control anymore. Jesus said, '...If I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come' (Luke 11:20 KJV).

Soulfood : Lam 1:1-3:39, Mk 10:13-22, Ps 108, Prov 13:24-25

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The Finger of God (3)

The finger of God in stone. Why do you think God wrote the Ten Commandments in stone? Because His principles are permanent and unchanging. You say, 'But what about all those people who have never heard God's Word? How will He judge them?' Paul answers: 'Even Gentiles, who do not have God's written law...show that they know His law when they instinctively obey it...They demonstrate that God's law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right' (Romans 2:14-15 NLT).

Your conscience acts like a compass. If you let it, it'll guide you right. But when you reject its warnings, its voice gets quieter and quieter until you can no longer hear it. That's a dangerous condition to be in. Paul writes, 'Having faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected, concerning the faith, have suffered shipwreck' (1 Timothy 1:19 NKJV).

Picture yourself standing on a bridge, dropping pebbles into a pond and watching the ripples go out to the edge. It's just a little pebble, but look at the effect it has! Yet in winter, when that same pond freezes over, you can drive a truck across it. Your conscience is like that. When you keep disobeying God, your heart becomes calloused and hardened and you no longer hear Him speaking to you. Paul writes, '...I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man' (Acts 24:16 NIV). That's a good rule of thumb for you to live by!

Soulfood : Lk 24:50-53, Acts 1:1-11, Eph 4:7-10

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