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The Word For Today

Keep your spiritual glasses clean

'Be clean, you who bear the vessels of the Lord.' Isaiah 52:11 NKJV

One day a man was getting his windshield washed at a filling station. When the attendant finished, the man said, 'That's a terrible job. Redo my windshield - it's as dirty as when you started.' So the attendant wiped it again. The man looked it over and in frustration said, 'That window hasn't changed a bit.' The man's wife was sitting next to him in the car. She reached over, pulled off his glasses, wiped them, and gave them back to him. The attendant had been doing his job correctly. The man himself was the problem all along.Spiritually speaking, the glasses you're looking through determine what you see, and how you see it. When you look through the lens of jealousy and envy, you become resentful of the blessings of others. When you look through the lens of judgmentalism, you speak and act without mercy and grace. When you look through the lens of fear and unbelief, you limit God and forfeit what he can do for you. When you look through the lens of selfishness, you put yourself first and your loved ones suffer. When you look through the lens of negativity and cynicism, people begin to avoid you because you're not enjoyable to be around. 'Be clean, you who bear the vessels of the Lord' (Isaiah 52:11 NKJV).Just as your glasses need to be wiped clean from the contamination around you, so do your heart and mind. How does this happen? Jesus said, 'You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you' (John 15:3 NIV). Through prayer and daily Bible reading, your perspective on life is kept right.

Soulfood: Is 30-33, John 6:35-51, Ps 104:24-35, 2


Who's your Saul

'Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name.' Acts 9:15 NIV

Saul of Tarsus was the last person on earth you'd ever have expected to become a Christian, much less the author of half the New Testament. Describing his life before he met Christ, he wrote, 'I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it' (Galatians 1:13 NKJV).So when God called Ananias to go and pray for Saul, Ananias wasn't too keen on the idea: 'I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.' But the Lord said to Ananias, 'Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel' (Acts 9:13-15 NIV). Ananias knew what Saul had done to the church. What he was about to learn, however, is that God was at work in Saul's heart. Within a few short years God would use Paul to touch the world, but first he used Ananias to touch Paul.Has God given you a similar assignment? Has he given you a Saul? If so, don't give up on him or her. When other people write them off, give them another chance. Ananias didn't know about Paul's encounter with Christ on the Damascus Road. God can go where you can't, and get through to a person when you're unable to reach them. Always remember: God never sends you where he hasn't already been. So by the time you reach your Saul, who knows what you'll find?

Soulfood: Is 26-29, John 6:25-34, Ps 104:1-23, Prov 28:5-8


Forgiveness and inner healing

'Who forgives all your iniquities.' Psalm 103:3 NKJV

The Psalmist wrote, 'Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases' (Psalm 103:3 NKJV). Notice which comes first: The consciousness that all your sins are forgiven precedes the healing of all your diseases. Note also the words 'all your iniquities.' Some of us are comfortable with receiving partial forgiveness, but we refuse to allow God's forgiveness to touch some dark areas we can't let go of, and that we refuse to forgive ourselves for.

Whatever those mistakes may be, allow God to forgive all your sins, and receive healing for all your diseases. Let the past go. Let the mistakes go. Allow yourself to be free, and learn to forgive yourself by receiving with an open heart God's total and complete forgiveness. Stop hurting yourself, because Jesus was hurt for all your sins. Stop beating yourself up, because Jesus took all your beatings at the cross. Stop punishing yourself, because Jesus has received all the punishment due on your behalf. It's time to stop asking yourself if you've done enough to earn God's forgiveness and acceptance. They are undeserved - they cannot be achieved by struggle and self-effort; they can only be received by faith.

If you gave someone you loved a birthday gift and they insisted on paying for it, how would you feel? Hurt? Upset? That's how God feels when you try to 'earn' his forgiveness, healing and righteousness. The more you let the waterfall of God's grace and forgiveness wash over you every day, the more you'll receive his health for your body and his soundness for your mind.

Soulfood: Is 22-25, John 6:16-24, Ps 114, Prov 28:1-4

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