John 3:16 Arrow For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life ^DREAM interpretation ministry

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DAY 17
``Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters’ Hebrews 2:11 NIV

MOST FAMILIES like to keep their family secrets a secret. Yet amazingly, you’ve barely dipped a toe into Matthew’s gospel when you realise that Jesus hails from a less-than-perfect family. Rahab was a Jericho harlot. Grandpa Jacob was slippery enough to warrant an electric ankle bracelet. David had a personality as irregular as a Picasso painting – one day writing Psalms, another day seducing his captain’s wife. But did Jesus erase their names from the list? Not at all. Why did He hang His family’s dirty laundry on the neighbourhood clothesline? Because your family has secrets too. A cousin with a prison record. A dad who left and never came home. A grandparent who ran away with a co-worker. If your family tree has damaged fruit, Jesus wants you to know ‘I’ve been there.’ The phrase ‘I’ve been there’ is Christ’s theme song. To the lonely He whispers ‘I’ve been there.’ To the discouraged, He nods His head and sighs ‘I’ve been there.’ The absence of Joseph in the adult life of Jesus suggests that Mary may have raised Him and the rest of their children alone. Jesus was not reluctant to call His ancestors His family – and He’s not ashamed of you either! Jesus, Who makes people holy, and those who are made holy, are from the same family. ‘He is not ashamed to call them His brothers and sisters.’ That means He’s not ashamed of you; nor is He confused by you. Your actions don’t bewilder Him. Your family secrets don’t trouble Him. So go to Him. After all, you’re part of the family!

Prayer Point - Forgiveness – handing over
Lord, You know every heart, and You alone can put injustice right. I don’t yet feel able to completely forgive those who have hurt me, but I do choose to hand them over to You, knowing that You are the only true and trustworthy Judge. Today I place them in Your hands, and I give the responsibility of judging them over to You, so that I can walk towards freedom•
DAY 18
'Pour Out Your Heart To God'
I pour out my complaint before him’ Psalm 142:2 NKJ

LEARN TO PRAY THE PSALMS. They run the gamut of human emotion from thanksgiving, to anger, to fear, to loneliness, to grief. The Psalmist doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to life. Not life as we wish it was, but life as it is: ‘I pour out my complaint before Him; before Him I tell my trouble.’ He vents his pain to God, he allows himself to ‘feel it.’ That takes courage, especially when you just want to put on a brave face. John Ortberg wrote: ‘I regret the pain of failure so keenly that I backed away from owning it and learning from it. I could not heal and move on. I wanted to bury it so deeply that no one would ever guess it was there – not even me.’ Sound familiar? The Bible doesn’t discourage the grieving process; it just warns us not to get stuck in it. ‘Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning’ (Psalm 30:5 NIV). To reach your morning of rejoicing you must go through your night of weeping. FB Meyer writes: ‘There are some who chide tears as unmanly, un-submissive, un-Christian. They comfort us with a chill, bidding us to put on a rigid and tearless countenance. We may well ask if a man who cannot weep can really love. Sorrow is just love bereaved; its most natural expression is tears. Jesus wept. The Ephesian converts wept on the neck of the Apostle Paul whose face they were never to see again. So go ahead and pour out your heart to God. It’s a vital step to becoming whole!

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DAY 19
You Can Overcome Your Bitterness'
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander’ Ephesians 4:31 NLT

A MAN WHO HAD BEEN BITTEN by a rattlesnake was rushed to the hospital. When he asked the doctor, ‘Is it life-threatening?’ the doctor said, ‘The bite isn’t, but the poison is.’ The ‘bites’ you suffer at the hands of others are painful and upsetting, but they’re not lethal. What happens to you normally doesn’t destroy you, but what happens in you afterwards can. Like venom, bitterness first poisons your mind, then your relationships. It causes you to replay the hurt until it controls you, stealing the future God planned for you. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can overcome bitterness. God wants us to stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. And what God commands, He will give you the grace to do. When Peter asked Jesus, ‘Should I forgive my brother seven times?’ Jesus said, ‘No, you must forgive him seventy times seven’ (Matthew 18:21-22 paraphrased). In other words, ‘Forgive, and keep on forgiving until it no longer bothers you.’ What causes bitterness? Anger that’s allowed to take residence in your thought-life. God’s purpose for anger is to motivate you to tap into His power for solving problems; otherwise they become permanent. Solving the problem resolves and relieves your anger. But anger can become long-term bitterness when you fixate on ‘who did it to me’, making you hostile, critical, blaming and punitive. You say, ‘Can I really stop my anger?’ Yes, with God’s help you can control your reactions and behaviours, and starve your anger to death. ‘The fruit of the Spirit is... selfcontrol’ (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV!

Prayer Point-The Desire To Forgive ;

Heavenly Father, I thank You that You have never withheld forgiveness from me, no matter what I’ve done. I want to keep forgiving like You forgive, but I confess that I find it hard to do, especially when I think about those who have abused me. By Your Spirit, please show me when unforgiveness is clogging up my life, and help me to let go of bitterness and resentment quickly!

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DAY 20
Nurture Or Neuter?
A man... sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat’ Matthew 13:24-25 NIV

DURING TIMES OF UPHEAVAL, the enemy will try to slip into your field and sow weeds. It could be debt or divorce, abuse or abandonment; it’s not so much what you’ve been through, but what you’re left with – terrible self-doubt. Unless you want your future to be a second helping of your past, stop nurturing what needs to die. If you don’t, it’ll continue to live off your strength and suck up all your joy, like the hungry mouth of a nursing child. Neuter it! Anything that’s neutered loses its ability to a) threaten you or b) reproduce in your life. ‘But how?’ you ask. By forgiving, ‘just as in Christ God forgave you’ (Ephesians 4:32 NIV). That means forgive – and keep on forgiving – until it loses its power to infect your words or influence your thoughts. God says, ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing’ (Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV). God doesn’t just command this – He enables you to do it! He says you can start again. You can nurture your problem child through this crisis or your partner through this illness and your part-time job into an executive position. The reason you can do it is because ‘The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world’ (1 John 4:4 NIV).
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DAY 21
'I saw the holy city... like a bride... the One... on the throne said... “I am making everything new!’ Revelation 21:2-5 NCV'

THE BOOK OF REVELATION is like God’s Book of Homecoming. There John paints a detailed picture of what heaven will be like. He says, ‘I saw the Holy City... like a beautiful bride prepared for her husband... there will be no more death... sorrow... crying or pain... the old world and its evils are gone. The One on the throne said “I am making all things new!”‘ (Revelation 21:25 NLT). Ministers who perform weddings will tell you they rarely, if ever, see an ugly bride (though sometimes the bridegrooms could use a little help!). A bride represents the purest beauty the world has to offer; she embodies love, faithfulness, hope for a new beginning. The world we live in is a far cry from that! Daily we’re bombarded with news of corporate scams, tragedy, terrorism, abuse, and fear. That’s why some of the most hopeful `words in Scripture are found in God’s promise, ‘I am making all things new’. God doesn’t just camouflage the old, He remakes it. He doesn’t just reform, He renews. He pulls out the blueprints and rebuilds the house to the original specifications. What would you give up to have a home like that? Isn’t it worth sacrificing all the lesser things you prize and cling to? Today you can be assured of a home in heaven by accepting Christ as your Saviour, and having your name – ‘written in the Lamb’s Book of Life’ (Revelation 21:27 NLT). How about it? Are you ready for Homecoming? If not, you can be today!

Prayer Point-Transformation To Bless Others
Lord, You are the God of transformation. You take the most hopeless situation and turn it into a blessing. I thank You that Your transforming power is at work in me, and that You can turn my life around, so that the pain of my past becomes a story of redemption. I give You my life today and ask You to use it as a beacon of hope for others.
DAY 22
In The End,It's Worth It'
'God... separated the light from the darkness.’ Genesis 1:4 NIV'

WHAT HAPPENED TO JOSEPH wasn’t fair! When your own family sells you as a slave and your boss’ wife has you wrongly imprisoned, you tend to ask, ‘Lord, what’s going on?’ Before God promoted Joseph to the palace, he wanted to know how he’d hold up under pressure. And the same goes for you. Joseph was called to save his family and lead his nation. But big assignments call for big tests of character. You don’t always understand this when you’re going through the f ires of refinement. When Joseph’s brothers f inally stand before him as ruler of Egypt he tells them, ‘You didn’t do it to me, God orchestrated the whole thing.’ Talk about seeing things clearly! Someone else’s action against you is not the bottom line. And the reason is simple: God knows that somewhere down the line He’ll be able to use all that painful stuff to bring your life into focus and accomplish His purposes. With God it’s never too late! Have you ever been to a real pizzeria? Not the kind of place where everything is pre-packaged and a 13-year-old can do it. No, the kind of place where they take a ball of dough, slam it down, twirl it around, flatten it, then put it into a 500°C oven. That’s what’s required for the pizza to hold all that good stuff they plan to put on top. Think of yourself as pizza dough and God as the person working it. He’s got some good stuff He wants to lay on you, but before He can do it He’s got to knock you into shape.
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DAY 23
A Prayer For Inner Healing'
'Turn Thou me, and I shall be turned’ Jeremiah 31:18 KJV'

LORD, I don’t want to feel this way anymore. I thought if my pain touched their lives I’d feel better. I didn’t. I thought by holding it over their heads I’d feel better. I didn’t. I thought that by telling everyone what they’d done to me I’d feel better. I didn’t; it only cost me friends and kept the pain alive longer. I thought if only they’d acknowledge how wrong they’ve been (and how right I’ve been), I’d feel better. They didn’t, so I felt worse. I thought if only I could understand why I picked such people I’d feel better, so I read books and talked with counsellors. But that didn’t work, because then I discovered other things I didn’t have the emotional energy to deal with. I thought time would make me feel better. It helped, but it didn’t heal, because there were still too many things that triggered old memories. I thought by moving somewhere else I’d feel better. I didn’t, I only changed addresses, not what was going on inside me. Finally I did two things that worked; not overnight, but gradually, patiently, consistently as I kept doing them, they worked. First, I decided to forgive – and keep on forgiving – until the past lost its hold on me. Second, I cried out to God, ‘Turn Thou me, and I shall be turned’ (Jeremiah 31:18 KJV). He heard my cry! My perceptions began to clear and my emotions began to heal. Why? Because at last, getting well meant more – much more to me – than staying sick.

Prayer Point - Helping others
God, I thank You that in You nothing is wasted – that there is no bad experience which You can’t heal and use for Your glory. As the scars of abuse heal, I want to help others going through what I’ve been through. Please place me where I can bring comfort and hope. Lead me to those who need to hear my story, and show me how I can support them.
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DAY 24
'It Takes Time'
'There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity’ Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV'

MANY OF THE TOMATOES you eat are picked unripened so they won’t bruise during shipping. Then before they’re sold they’re sprayed with carbon dioxide gas to turn them red instantly. Now gas-ripened tomatoes are alright, but they’re no match for vine-ripened ones that are allowed to mature slowly. We worry about how fast we grow; God’s more concerned with how strong! The moment you open your life to Christ, He establishes a ‘beachhead’. You may think you’ve surrendered all, but there are areas you’re not even aware of yet. You can give God only as much of you as you understand at that moment! But that’s f ine. Once He’s given a beachhead, Christ begins a campaign to take over more and more territory until your life is completely His. Be sure there’ll be struggles and battles, but the outcome will never be in doubt. Listen: ‘He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion’ (Philippians 1:6 NIV). Today we’re obsessed with speed, but God’s more interested in stability. We want the quick fix, the shortcut, the on-the-spot solution. We want a sermon, a seminar or an experience that’ll instantly resolve our problems, remove our temptations and release us from growing pains. Get real! Maturity is never the result of a single experience, no matter how powerful or moving. Healthy growth is gradual growth. The Bible says, ‘Our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters... and we become like Him’ (2 Corinthians 3:18 TM.
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DAY 25
When You Can't Understand,Trust God!
'Trust in the Lord’ Proverbs 3:5 NIV'

THE BIBLE SAYS, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He shall make your paths straight’ (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV). But what if your path leads through pain, pressure and problems? John the Baptist’s did. He didn’t deserve imprisonment. After all, he was the forerunner of Christ and the voice of God in the community. Plus, he was Jesus’ cousin. So he sent Jesus a message asking, ‘Are you really the Messiah, or should we keep looking?’ Paraphrased: ‘Lord, if I’m in your will, why I’m in this situation?’ It’s a question motivated by unfulfilled expectations. We think, ‘Lord, I’ve obeyed you, why things aren’t working out for me?’ And it feels worse when you’ve faithfully served Him. Writing about her daughter’s death, Meg Woodson says, ‘I’ll never forget those shrill, piercing screams; that the God who could have helped, looked down on this young woman who was devoted to Him... and decided to sit on His hands and let her death top the horror charts.’ Talk about unmet expectations! Jesus could have saved John, but He didn’t. Instead He sent back word: ‘Don’t worry, everything’s on target, the kingdom is being built. You did your job well’ (Matthew 11:4-5 paraphrased). It probably wasn’t the answer John hoped for. He was looking for solutions to temporal problems, while Jesus was busy establishing an eternal kingdom. So next time God doesn’t seem to meet your expectations, it’s not that He doesn’t care; it’s that He sees the big picture and He’s handling issues you can’t even begin to comprehend. So trust Him!

Prayer Point-Patience For Healing :
Lord, You are patient and Your love endures forever. Forgive me when I try to rush ahead, wanting my healing to arrive instantaneously and resenting my own inability to heal faster. I ask You to renew patience in me. I want to walk in step with You, letting You work in me at Your speed. Give me the grace to wait, the faith to trust and the courage to hope.
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DAY 26
'Trusting God When There Are No Answers'
"The secret things belong to the Lord’ Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV"

LIFE’S LOSSES leave us hurting and wondering. Cancer takes a young mother or father. Divorce strikes your happy home. Financial ruin devastates your retirement plans. A child goes to jail, is killed or commits suicide. Such times raise questions which are difficult, if not impossible to answer. We examine the circumstances again and again. We speculate about the details, searching for clues that might make some sense and make it easier for us to bear. We turn the spotlight on ourselves, others, even God, wondering what could or should have been done differently that might have prevented this. We turn to friends, fellow believers and pastors only to hear what sounds like religious platitudes and inadequate attempts to minimise our pain. When answers don’t seem forthcoming and the heavens are silent, what should you do? Here are two Scriptures to help you in such times: 1) ‘The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us’ (Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV). When it comes to understanding things, we have our territory, God has His. And ours is limited to what He decides to reveal. At that point you must ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding’ (Proverbs 3:5 NIV). 2) ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God...’ (Romans 8:28). God may explain it to you, or He may not. But He’s ‘the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End’ (Revelation 22:13 NIV), which means, He has a plan and He’s working it out for our good and His glory. So trust Him!
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