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




Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
The word for today- A daily devotional 9
#1
The Huddle


Heart


'I appeal to you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another...' 1 Corinthians 1:10 NIV



To lead your family effectively, you need to learn how to huddle regularly. The ‘huddle’ is where a team:

(1) sets its goals;
(2) discusses the division of responsibilities;
(3) tackles the issues that determine whether it wins or loses.

Parent, even though you call the plays from overhead, your family must be taught how to accomplish them on the field. That means working through things, talking through the disagreements, motivating and appreciating each member. Try to listen with an open heart. Don’t just hear what your children say, try to understand how they feel. Yes, you’re the boss, and yes, you can try to enforce your will if you want to. But sooner or later you’ll have trouble, for resentment grows when people feel left out.

Every member of your team has got to be part of the decision–making process. Involve them! Ask God to help you look beyond what you want to what’s best for all of you. And don’t fall under the spell of instant gratification. What looks good to you today could be taking you off the path to a better tomorrow. And don’t let ‘outsiders’ into your huddle. Tell them to stay in their own. Too often their opinions are based on hearsay, self–interest or jealousy. Respect the privacy of your team. Build loyalty. Huddle regularly in prayer. When you do that, everybody wins!


SoulFood: Esther 4:9-5:3, Heb 4:7-16



This is The Word For Today



Heart
#2
Failure and Success



Heart



'...The God of Heaven will give us success...' Nehemiah 2:20 NIV


To turn your failures into successes you need to do two things:

(1) Realise that God wants you to succeed because you’re His child. When you think about it, what good and loving parent wouldn’t? In the face of overwhelming obstacles and enemy threats, Nehemiah announced, ‘…The God of Heaven will give us success…’ and God did!

(2) Realise that failure is a teaching tool. The greater the failure, the greater the opportunity to learn from it.

But first you must acknowledge the teaching potential in your mistakes and commit to learning, growing and changing as a result. Thomas Edison said, ‘I’m not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.’ At 21 years old he set up his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, and became a full–time inventor. At any given time, he and his team were working on as many as 40 different projects and they applied for more than 400 patents a year. Edison’s feverish work schedule and productivity caused the local citizens to dub him ‘The Wizard of Menlo Park’. But he wasn’t always successful. The fact is, he struggled with many of his inventions but, despite embarrassing failure after embarrassing failure, he refused to give up. Often ridiculed for his perseverance, he engaged in some 10,000 experiments before finally inventing the incandescent light bulb in 1879. Concerning his chequered work history, he said, ‘I haven’t failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work.’ Stop labelling your failures as negative. There are very few real failures in life—only options. Some options work, others don’t. The truth is, with God on your side you’ll win if you persist!



SoulFood: 1 Sam 4-7, Matt 23:1-12, Ps 64, Prov 16:27-30


This is The Word For Today


Heart
#3
The Outcome Is Up To You



Heart


'...Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould...' Romans 12:2 PHPS


You determine the outcomes in your life, because God has given no one but you power over your options. When things aren’t working out for us, we often look elsewhere for the reason. Like Eve, we can say, ‘The devil made me do it.’ No, Jesus said, ‘…I give unto you power…over all the power of the enemy…’ (Luke 10:19 KJV) Like Adam, we say, ‘Eve made me do it.’ But the psalmist says, ‘…I trust God, so I am not afraid. What can human beings do to me?’ (Psalm 56:4 NCV) Sometimes we believe circumstances beyond our control are responsible, but with God ‘…all things [including people and circumstances] work together for [our] good…’ (Romans 8:28 NKJV)—not for our defeat!

Your mistaken beliefs victimise you and predispose you to a lifestyle of trying to change people and circumstances. That’s like attempting to unscramble an egg. You become a blame–fixer instead of a problem–solver. Accept the truth that no matter what Satan, others or circumstances do, God gives you the right to the last word in your life. ‘…greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4 KJV) The outcome is not determined by what goes on around you, but by what goes on within you. ‘…as he thinks in his heart, so is he…’ (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV) The devil can only determine the outcome with your permission and co–operation—and you don’t have to give them! So believe in God’s ability to bring you triumphantly through this difficulty.



SoulFood: 1 Sam 8-10, Matt 23:13-22, Ps 95, Prov 16:31-33


Heart

This is The Word For Today
#4
Your Blind Spot (1)


Heart


'...Cleanse me from these hidden faults.' Psalm 19:12 NLT



There are parts of yourself you’ll never see without God’s help. In one sense, you know yourself better than anyone else does. You alone have access to your inner thoughts, feelings and judgments. In another sense, you know yourself worse than anyone else does. Why? Because we rationalise, justify, minimise, forget, and embellish—and we don’t even know we’re doing it. We all fall for the self–serving bias. We claim too much credit and accept too little blame. We pay attention to experts who agree with our opinions, while ignoring or discounting all evidence to the contrary. Our memories are not simply faulty, they’re faulty in favour of our ego.

The book Egonomics cites a survey in which 83 per cent of people were confident in their ability to make good decisions, but only 27 per cent were confident in the ability of the people they worked closely with to make good decisions. We’re stunned when someone sees past our defences into our souls. It’s not that they’re geniuses, it’s just that we’re sitting in our own blind spot and without the work of the Holy Spirit within us, much of the time we can’t even see our sin. The psalmist wrote: ‘How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep Your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.’ (Psalm 19:12–14 NLT) That’s a prayer you should pray—every day.



Heart



SoulFood: 1 Sam 11-13, Matt 23:23-39, Ps 98, Prov 17:1-3


This is The Word For Today.
#5
Your Blind Spot (2)



Heart


'...Who can discern their own errors...?' Psalm 19:12 NIV


Sometimes trying to see the truth about yourself is like trying to see inside your own eyeballs. ‘…Who can discern their own errors…?’ the psalmist asked. Fortunately, you’re not left on your own. The Spirit is already at work in you. Your job is simply to listen and respond. Guilt isn’t your enemy, sin is. God’s Spirit will often bring a sense of conviction, and, when it does, the proper response isn’t to try and suppress the guilt but to deal with the issue. When you don’t, those issues can build up like cholesterol in your arteries. At a moment of great crisis, Samson arose to exert his strength, ‘…but he did not know that the Lord had left him.’ (Judges 16:20 NIV) He’d become callous and lost his sensitivity to God.

Our bodies have an amazing capacity to warn us about what ails them, if we learn to read the signs. Chest pains may indicate heart trouble and there are more subtle clues. Many of us will have seen the TV ads or read about detecting when someone is having a stroke: (FAST) Face, Arms, Speech, Time. God will enable you to find the truth about your soul if you’re open and willing. Left to yourself, you will usually rationalise or defend yourself. You’ll ‘…call evil good and good evil…’ (Isaiah 5:20 NIV) At the other extreme, you can become a neurotic over–analyser. Madame Guyon warned against ‘depending on the diligence of your own scrutiny rather than on God for the knowledge and discovery of our sin.’ What’s the answer? Allow your thoughts and responses to be guided by the Holy Spirit.



Heart


SoulFood: 1 Sam 14-15, Matt 24:1-14, Ps 102:1-11, Prov 17:4-6


This is The Word For Today
#6
Your Blind Spot (3)



Heart


'...Put off the old man...' Colossians 3:9 NKJV


The Bible speaks about ‘putting off’ certain sins. Then it speaks about ‘putting on’ certain Christ–like characteristics. Using this metaphor of clothing, let’s think about the acronym RAGS:

(1) Resentment. How’s your irritability level these days? Are you more, or less, easily irritated? How about bitter-ness and unforgiveness? When someone hurts you, do you attack or withdraw? Is your handling of resentment getting better, worse, or in neutral?

(2) Anxiety. On a scale of one to ten, what’s your discouragement level these days? Do you have more or fewer fears about money, your health, your job, or what other people think of you? Do you allow those fears to keep you from doing what God wants? Do you find your concerns motivate you to pray more frequently?

(3) Greed. Greed is just mis–managed desire. So is your self–control going up, down, or is it in neutral? Are you living with more openness and less hiddenness than you used to—living more of your life in the light? Do you find that what you desire and enjoy is increasingly in line with what God wants for you?

(4) Superiority. Are you becoming less preoccupied with self? Do you find yourself thinking more about other people and God, as well as the work He has for you to do? How often in conversation do you remark on the positive characteristics of others instead of their negative qualities? Do you come across as hard, jaded and cynical? Are you spending more or less time serving others? Today, ask God to help you look into your own heart and give you the grace to deal with what you find there.



Heart

SoulFood: 1 Sam 16-17, Matt 24:15-25, Ps 102:12-17, Prov 17:7-10


This is The Word For Today
#7
Your Blind Spot (4)



Heart


'May...the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You...' Psalm 19:14 NLT


Jesus said when the Holy Spirit came He would convict us of sin, but conviction is not the same as ‘getting caught’. When we get caught doing wrong we feel pain, but it’s not necessarily conviction over sin. Often it’s just embarrassment over how others are thinking about us. If we thought no one would ever know, we wouldn’t be in pain. And conviction isn’t the same thing as fear of punishment. Conviction is when you get a glimpse of what you’re capable of: ‘How did I become the kind of person who can lie, cheat on a test, have an affair, claim credit for what I didn’t do, act in a cowardly way instead of courageously, or use people for my own ends?’ These aren’t questions you’d normally ask yourself.

The Bible says, ‘This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light…’ (John 3:19 NIV) When God is at work in your life, the pain isn’t about other people knowing, or even about the consequences. That’s all external. The pain of conviction is internal—it’s over who you are. Unless your car windscreen is clean, you run the risk of ending up in a ditch and you can’t clean it yourself while you’re driving—that’s why you have windscreen wipers. Similarly, the Holy Spirit’s job is to reveal sin, let you repent of it, and cleanse you so that you can go where God wants to take you in life. Each day you need to pray, ‘Lord, send as much light as I can stand. Clean off my windscreen so I can see more clearly. Cleanse me.’



:)

SoulFood: 1 Sam 18:1-20:29, Matt 24:26-35, Ps 102:18-28, Prov 17:11-14


This is The Word For Today
#8
Focus on Service, Not Promotion



Heart


'...Don't try to seem important in the court of a ruler...' Proverbs 25:6 CEV


Aspiring to leadership is commendable. Paul said, ‘…If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honourable position.’ (1 Timothy 3:1 NLT) But there’s a difference between stepping forward to take on the responsibility of leadership, and stepping forward to project yourself into the limelight. Harry Truman said, ‘If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.’ The question isn’t whether you enjoy being the focus of attention, but whether you can take the heat that goes along with it. For every person who acknowledges your skills and appreciates your accomplishments, there’ll be ten who make demands on your time, talent and treasure.

Consider Barnabas. When the Gospel was first preached to the Gentiles, church leaders in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to check it out. ‘When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and…faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.’ (Acts 11:23–24 NKJV) Barnabas had three sterling qualities:

(1) He’d nothing to prove. He never sought the limelight. When he mentored Paul, he happily let the emerging apostle rise above him, supporting him every step of the way.

(2) He’d nothing to lose. He didn’t seek to guard his reputation or fear losing his popular-ity. He wanted to serve, not be served.

(3) He’d nothing to hide. He didn’t try to maintain a façade or image. He remained authentic, vulnerable and transparent and, best of all, he rejoiced in the success of others.



SoulFood: Exodus 20:1-17, Matt 5:1-12

Heart

This is The Word For Today
#9
The First Five Minutes



Heart


'...The right words bring satisfaction.' Proverbs 18:20 NLT



What you say in the first five minutes can set the tone for the hours that follow. Good speakers understand they must grab the audience’s attention in the first five minutes, otherwise the opportunity to have an impact on them or move them to action can be lost. The same principle applies to your family. The first five minutes of a morning can determine how a mother will interact with her children that day. A snarl or a complaint as the children gather for breakfast can sour their relationship for hours. When a man arrives home from work at the end of the day, the way he greets his wife can influence their interaction throughout the evening. If he mutters, ‘Not tuna casserole again!’ the relationship can be put on edge until bedtime.

But it doesn’t have to be that way in your house! When you’ve been apart from those you love, you can do an attitude check and reset your mood before you walk through the door. It’s ok to share your concerns but, generally speaking, you should leave work–related problems at work. Question: Does your family look forward to you coming home each night? If not, why not? A little sensitivity on your part can go a long way, and bring you wonderful benefits. The Bible says: ‘An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars. Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction. The tongue can bring death or life…’ (Proverbs 18: 19–21 NLT) Remember: it depends on the first five minutes.



SoulFood: 1 Sam 20:30-23:29, Matt 24:36-51, Ps 110, Prov 17:15-17

Heart


This is The Word For Today
#10
Walk by Faith (1)


Heart


'...We walk by faith, not by sight.' 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV


A blind man with a guide dog ‘walks by faith’ in his dog. He believes that what the dog sees will be translated into a signal that tells him when it’s time to go, stop, turn right or left. And he picks up on those signals by holding the harness that connects him with the dog. Why does he trust the dog? Because it has something he doesn’t have: sight. And it’s the same with you and God. Today it might be unclear where God is taking you. That’s why the blind man must hold the harness and stay con-nected to the dog. He may wonder, ‘Why am I stopping at this corner so long?’ Because there’s traffic coming and he’s being protected from unseen danger. God says, ‘I will bring the blind by a way they did not know…I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them.’ (Isaiah 42:16 NKJV).


God has your tomorrow already planned out, even though you haven’t been there yet. He works outside of time, so He’s not held back by the limitations we labour with. Paul writes, ‘I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future He has called you to share…I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great His power is to help those who believe Him. It is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honour at God’s right hand…’ (Ephesians 1:18–20 TLB)



SoulFood: 1 Sam 24-26, Matt 25:1-13, Ps 122, Prov 17:18-21


Heart

This is The Word For Today