Tom & Joy 3:00-7:00pm

The Word For Today

'Your Father's got you'

'No one can steal them out of my hand.' John 10:28 NCV

On a hot Florida afternoon, a little boy swimming in the lake behind his house didn't see the alligator that was following him. His father, who was gardening, saw it and yelled to his son to turn back. Too late! Just as the boy reached his dad, the alligator reached the boy. In an incredible tug-of-war the father grabbed his son's arms while the alligator snatched his legs. The alligator was determined, but the father was too passionate to let go. A farmer driving by heard the screaming, leaped from his truck, and shot the reptile. Remarkably, the boy survived, and after weeks in the hospital he was interviewed by the local paper. He showed the reporter the terrible scars on his legs, then with obvious pride he added, 'I've got great scars on my arms too because my dad held me and wouldn't let go!'

Jesus said, 'No one can steal [you]...out of my hand' (John 10:28 NCV). It's not that the enemy won't try. He'll make you think you're so far from God that there's no way home. He'll send others to attack you with discouragement and guilt. He'll tempt you to walk away from God. You may even make poor choices that leave you spiritually and emotionally scarred, but when you belong to God no one can have you! No circumstances can take you away from his love (see Romans 8:38). No consequence can steal you from the hand of your Father.

'Your Father's got you!' Let those powerful words of assurance give you peace.

Soulfood: 2 Ki 18:17-37 2 Ki 19 2 Ki 20:1-21 Mark 13:24-37 Ps 80:12-19 Pro 13:13-16,


You'll get through this storm

'The storm was very bad, we all lost hope.' Acts 27:20 NCV

There are times in life when God seems distant. We pray but feel abandoned, at the mercy of our circumstances, afraid and hopeless.

Paul was no different. He'd longed for an opportunity to preach in Rome and was on his way there when a hurricane struck his ship, plunging everyone into despair. Paul had not only foreseen the loss of the vessel, its crew and cargo, but his 'own [life] also' (Acts 27:10 NIV). And his warning was disregarded by the captain, the pilot and the centurion in charge of him. Consequently, Paul and 276 fellow passengers were placed in a life-threatening crisis, and there was nothing he could do about it. Terrified, he and his companions declared, 'We finally gave up all hope of being saved' (Acts 27:20 NIV). After fourteen days at sea without sun or stars to guide them, and just when the hurricane was fiercest, God sent an angel to Paul. 'Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you' (Acts 27:24 NIV). They were cold, soaked and hungry when their ship finally ran aground on an island south of Italy. Every circumstance pointed to tragedy and the demise of Paul's dream of preaching in Rome. However, when the sun rose on the island of Malta next morning, it became clear that God had piloted them through the storm to the exact destination he had planned for them. And Paul ended up declaring God's Word before Caesar in Rome.

So take courage - you'll get through this storm!

Soulfood: 2 Ki 16:1-20 2 Ki 17 2 ki 18:1-16 Mark 13:12-23 Ps 80:1-11 Pro 13:11-12,


Pray that God will open their heart

'As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart.' Acts 16:14 NLT

Some of us think that successful people are difficult to win to Christ because they don't have the same needs as others. But they do. Everyone has an emptiness within them that only God can fill, and he wants to use you to fill it.

Consider the story of Lydia. 'One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth...As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. She and her household were baptised, and she asked us to be her guests. "If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my home." And she urged us until we agreed' (Acts 16:14-15 NLT). Not only did Lydia respond to the Gospel, she opened her home so that others could come and hear it too. In many cases it's easier to reach successful people with the Gospel. Why? Because they know that to be successful you must be open to new ideas and concepts. And they understand that in order to enjoy continued success, you must stay open to change.

Don't let the fact that someone is not your social peer keep you from telling them about Jesus. Note the words, 'As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart.' It's your job to tell them, and it's God's job to open their heart! So, sow the seed of his Word into their life when you have an opportunity, and believe that the 'Lord of the harvest' will do the rest.

Soulfood: Lev 23:15-22 Acts 2:1-18,

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