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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The word for today- A daily devotional 10
#11
TODAY'S WORD FOR TODAY



SET BOUNDARIES (1)

‘All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’…’

MATTHEW 5:37


When does ‘a good thing’ become ‘too much’?  Can I help you, without hurting me? Can we share our lives, without me giving up mine? When do you truly need my help? When do I need to let go, and let you and God handle it? Finding the balance between ‘enough’ and ‘too much’ in relationships is a constant challenge and isn’t easy. Especially when your role tends to be, ‘all things, at all times, to all people’, and theirs is, ‘I’m helpless, you owe me, take care of me’; when you have no ‘no’ and they have no ‘yes’. Needing to be needed by needy people who always want someone to take care of them puts the needy person in the driver’s seat—and puts you over the edge. They are never happy, whatever you do. So you do more to make them feel happier and yourself feel less guilty, and you end up in a double bind. They resent you for not giving enough, and you resent them for not appreciating what you give. Yet neither of you knows how to break the cycle. So the relationship becomes what counsellors call a ‘more-of-the-same’ tangle where both parties resent and devalue the other, feeling stuck in a life-dominating trap you both fear to jettison. Marriages, families, friendships, workplaces, churches and social groups get trapped in this ‘victim-rescuer’ pattern where needy people and fixers become trapped  in a mutual dance they both ‘love to hate’, but won’t stop doing! Recognise yourself? If so, you’re moving toward a healthier, less toxic relationship.

ENCOURAGE SOMEONE TODAY
Leviticus 21:1 - 23:25 , Matthew 6:19-34, Psalm 71:17-24, Proverbs 2:3-5

THREE RULES FOR LIVING

‘…FAITH COMETH BY HEARING, AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD.’

'WE WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT.'

TODAY'S PRAYER - FROM PRAYER FOR TODAY MAGAZINE

PRAYER & ME

‘LET US NOT GROW WEARY WHILE DOING GOOD.’

1 COR 12:25

''I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU,' SAYS THE LORD. 'THEY ARE PLANS FOR GOOD...''

Have you withdrawn from people lately because of fear, hurt or disappointment?  Have you raised walls of defensiveness and distance to protect yourself?  Prayer isn’t sniper-fire – shooting prayers at people from a safe distance; it’s relationship – being close enough to people to bless them and share life with them while we pray for them.  Don’t just pray for people today, resolve to reach out to them as well, trusting God to ..
#12
TODAY'S WORD FOR TODAY

SET BOUNDARIES (2)

‘…Its parts should have equal concern for each other.’

1 CORINTHIANS 12:25


When you buy a house, you need clearly marked boundary lines to let you know what’s yours and what’s not. Good boundaries make good neighbours. The Bible says, ‘Seldom set foot in your neighbour’s house—too much of you, and they will hate you’ (Proverbs 25:17 NIV). So, how close is too close? Let’s look at three kinds of boundaries we establish between ourselves and others. Rigid boundaries. These are designed to keep others at arms’ length and protect your private, self-absorbed world. Without saying a word, your attitude says: ‘Keep out, trespassers will be prosecuted!’ Why do we create such boundaries? Fear! We fear being known, controlled, hurt, or feeling inadequate and inferior. And our rigidity prevents intimacy. Our unwillingness to be vulnerable or to compromise leaves us defensive, isolated and lonely. Closeness and intimacy are things we long for, yet fear and avoid. We think, ‘You can’t hurt me if I keep you at a safe distance.’ But it doesn’t work. God designed us to share life’s victories and defeats, not to live in isolation. We are to ‘…have equal concern for each other. If one part [person] suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it’ (1 Corinthians 12:25-26 NIV). Rigid boundaries rob you of life-enriching relationships. ‘So what’s the answer?’ you ask. Reach out! You were created to give to others, and to receive what they have to give back to you. In giving you are fulfilled, and in receiving you are made complete. Anything less is just existing.

Exodus 20:4-6 , Deuteronomy 7:17 - 8:2, Isaiah 40:18-31, Colossians 3:5-10

TODAY'S PRAYER - FROM PRAYER FOR TODAY MAGAZINE

PRAYER & ME

1 COR 12:25

Have you withdrawn from people lately because of fear, hurt or disappointment?  Have you raised walls of defensiveness and distance to protect yourself?  Prayer isn’t sniper-fire – shooting prayers at people from a safe distance; it’s relationship – being close enough to people to bless them and share life with them while we pray for them.  Don’t just pray for people today, resolve to reach out to them as well, trusting God to
#13
TODAY'S WORD FOR TODAY

SET BOUNDARIES (4)

‘I can make it through anything…’

PHILIPPIANS 4:12




Flexible boundaries: Rigid boundaries cause you to shut other people out and live unprepared and ill-equipped for the give-and-take that healthy relationships require. Permeable boundaries leave you defenseless against ‘users’ who feel entitled to manipulate you and who expect to be taken care of at your expense. But flexible boundary people are competent for living their own life, yet with a balanced and healthy interest in others. They can be generous in sharing their time, compassion and resources, without becoming overly responsible, or betraying their God-given duty to be the unique person He made them, just to please others. They say, ‘I can be in a relationship with you, without giving up being me!’ They don’t let you violate their boundaries, and they know how to keep from violating yours. Unlike rigid people, they bend and adjust as circumstances require, without becoming overwhelmed, defensive, resentful, blaming or reactive. In tough situations they roll with the punches, stay focused and draw on a well of inner strength which God provides. Paul was such a person: ‘I've learned…to be…content whatever my circumstances…I can make it through (adjust to) anything in the One who makes me who I am’ (vv. 12-13 TM). People and circumstances don’t control them; they flex, and let God take charge. They are helpful, but they don’t feel guilty because they can’t ‘fix’ everybody. Their boundaries enable them to adjust to circumstances. They practise the principle, ‘Bear one another’s burdens…’ (Galatians 6:2 NKJV), without over-functioning or being responsible for others.

Leviticus 26-27 , Matthew 7:15-29, Psalm 74:12-23, Proverbs 2:7-8

TODAY'S PRAYER - FROM PRAYER FOR TODAY MAGAZINE

NATURAL DISASTERS

MATT 6:11

Record-breaking droughts, floods and heat waves rarely make headlines, but recently they’ve occurred in every continent.  Essential crops have failed and many people have gone hungry.  Jesus taught us to pray for ‘daily bread’.  He also taught that we will be judged on whether we take care of people in need as if they were Him.  Pray that we recognise Jesus in the faces of hungry people, and pray ‘daily bread’ for all of us.
#14
TODAY'S WORD FOR TODAY

DON’T LIVE AN UNEXAMINED LIFE

‘Search me, O God, and know my heart...’

PSALM 139:23



When you live an unexamined life—it shows! Author Gordon MacDonald writes: ‘I was reading authors who were saying that if Christ’s followers don’t grow, it’s because they don’t make a habit of evaluating their lives. These authors were describing me. I was always on the go, never looking deeply inside. I never did the kind of reflection that leads to growth, and I was paying the price—committing the same silly sins over and over, living with the same heavy load of guilt. So I made a difficult decision: I decided that each day I would try to honestly assess my soul’s condition. I would look inside myself and write down what I saw. Feeling awkward and embarrassed, I started to write. “God, here are some areas of failure in my life. They aren’t going away, so I might as well take a look at them.” Or, “Here’s a relationship or habit I’m concerned about. It’s not good and I don’t know how to improve it.” After writing a paragraph or two I would reflect on what I had written.’ There are benefits to keeping a spiritual diary of your walk with God that you can’t get any other way: 1) It forces you to slow down and examine the effectiveness of what you’re doing. 2) It frees you to ask, ‘Why am I doing this? How do I really feel about it? What is God saying to me?’ 3) By writing even a page a day, in one year you will have a 365-day record of prayers answered and lessons learned!

Philippians 1-4 , Matthew 8:1-9, Psalm 79, Proverbs 2:9-10

TODAY'S PRAYER - FROM PRAYER FOR TODAY MAGAZINE

MAKING RIGHT CHOICES

JOHN 10:10

According to scientists, current climate changes are caused at least partly by how we all live. So we must all be part of the solution.  Pray that: businesses will act ethically and sustainably; scientists will pursue truth wherever it leads; Christian leaders will show love for God and neighbours; each of us will take every small step we can.
#15
TODAY'S WORD FOR TODAY

TURN YOUR WEAKNESS INTO A WEAPON

‘I just let Christ take over! ...’

2 CORINTHIANS 12:10



Speaking of his ‘thorn’, Paul writes: ‘…I was given the gift of a handicap…At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it…he told me, “My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift…Now I take my limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become’ (vv. 7-10 TM). Paul learned how to turn his weakness into a weapon by allowing it to drive him closer to God. And that’s a lesson you must learn too. Eugene Peterson paraphrases Christ’s first beatitude: ‘You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule’ (Matthew 5:3 TM). Now, you can’t just accept your character flaws and areas of defeat and say, ‘Well, I guess that’s just the way I am.’ No, you must confront each area of weakness, confess it, and ‘let Christ take over’. You will always struggle with one thing or another. Paul recognised this: ‘…We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us…’ (2 Corinthians 4:7 TM). Like common pottery, fragile, flawed and easily broken, God will use you as you surrender and allow Him to work through you.

 

Daniel 1-2 , Matthew 8:10-17, Psalm 81, Proverbs 2:11-15

TODAY'S PRAYER - FROM PRAYER FOR TODAY MAGAZINE

MAKING RIGHT CHOICES

JOHN 10:10

According to scientists, current climate changes are caused at least partly by how we all live. So we must all be part of the solution.  Pray that: businesses will act ethically and sustainably; scientists will pursue truth wherever it leads; Christian leaders will show love for God and neighbours; each of us will take every small step we can.
#16
TODAY'S WORD FOR TODAY

THOUGHTS ON THE TABERNACLE (1)

‘…Bring Me an offering…’

EXODUS 25:2




When it came time to build the Old Testament tabernacle, God said to Moses, ‘Do all things according to the pattern which I showed you’ (Exodus 25:40). Whether you’re building a relationship, a career, a business or a ministry, it will always require several elements: Sacrifice - the building of the tabernacle begins with these words: ‘Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering.’ Question: why would a God who is rich enough to pave His streets with gold, ask you for an offering? Because only when you have a personal investment in something, will you give it your full attention, treasure it, prioritise it and protect it. Pastor, ask the Lord for the plan, then ask the people for the money, not vice versa. Teach your people to live by this principle: ‘Give till it hurts, give till it stops hurting, give till it feels good.’ Paul wrote about the generosity of the Christians in Macedonia: ‘They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more and they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing…They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do’ (2 Corinthians 8:2-5 NLT). So, are you willing to sacrifice?

Daniel 3-4 , Matthew 8:18-27, Psalm 84, Proverbs 2:16-19

TODAY'S PRAYER - FROM PRAYER FOR TODAY MAGAZINE

NEIGHBOUR FRIDAY

MATT 25:35-36

Lord, please open my eyes to see those on my street who are hungry, thirsty, sick or imprisoned.  Show me how to bring comfort, hope and practical support where it is needed.  Lord, in all things, let me be Your hands, Your feet and Your Mouth, as I represent You in my street.  Can you donate food to a local food bank?  If there isn’t one in your area, could you help start one?
#17
TODAY'S WORD FOR TODAY

THOUGHTS ON THE TABERNACLE (2)

‘…Make everything according to the pattern I have shown you…’

EXODUS 25:40



The second element that marked the building of the Old Testament tabernacle was excellence. God condemns perfectionism because it stifles our creativity and robs us of all sense of progress. And Jesus condemned those who gave to impress others. ‘When you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward’ (Matthew 6:2 NKJV). But if you think this means you can just offer God anything you feel like, you’re sorely mistaken. When it comes to serving, God wants you to aspire to excellence. God said to Moses: ‘And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze…And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it’ (Exodus 25:3-9 NKJV). Why did God ask for gold? Because He won’t accept anything sloppy or second-rate. Guess where Jesus sat when He went to church? Beside the treasury, watching people give. Luke records: ‘Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus said, ‘this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has’’ (Luke 21:2-4 NLT). So, give God your best!

Daniel 5-7 , Matthew 8:28-34

TODAY'S PRAYER - FROM PRAYER FOR TODAY MAGAZINE

CHRISTIAN UNITY

MICAH 6:6-8

‘Thus, true faith in God is inseparable from personal holiness and the search for social justice.As we mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, let’s first ask God to examine our own lives in the light of this year’s theme passage (Micah 6:6-.  Lord, You call me to a holiness which looks outward rather than inward.  Forgive me where I have failed to love the people You love and to walk the way You walk.
#18
THOUGHTS ON THE TABERNACLE (3)

‘…Go into all the world and preach…’

MARK 16:15



The third element in the building of the tabernacle was equal access. The word ‘tabernacle’ means ‘tent of meeting’. It’s where God met and interacted with His people. So He positioned it in the middle of the camp, surrounded by each of the twelve tribes. Everybody had to be able to stand in the door of their tent and see God at work. Why? Because God dwelt and worked in the midst of all twelve tribes! There’s an important lesson here for us. God doesn’t see a white church or a black church or a yellow church or a brown church. Jesus said, ‘…I will build my church…’ (Matthew 16:18 NIV). We have been called to provide everybody, regardless of culture, colour or creed, with equal access to God through Christ. There’s a cute story about two children playing church when one says to the other, ‘What abomination does your family belong to?’ When God shows us a great truth or specific revelation we must share it, not put a fence around it. The last thing Jesus said to His disciples was, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’ And what did they do? ‘They went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs…’ (Mark 16:20 NKJV). Just because your church has a certain theology and worship style, doesn’t mean you get to ride first class while others travel in the guards van. No, when God makes someone a member of His redeemed family, you must treat them as your brother and sister. So try to remember that!

Exodus 20:7 , Isaiah 29:22-24, Matthew 6:9, Philippians 2:5-11

TODAY'S PRAYER - FROM PRAYER FOR TODAY MAGAZINE

CHRISTIAN UNITY

MICAH 6:6-8

‘Thus, true faith in God is inseparable from personal holiness and the search for social justice.As we mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, let’s first ask God to examine our own lives in the light of this year’s theme passage (Micah 6:6-.  Lord, You call me to a holiness which looks outward rather than inward.  Forgive me where I have failed to love the people You love and to walk the way You walk.
#19
TODAY'S WORD FOR TODAY

FINANCIAL FREEDOM

‘I will give you…right desires…’

EZEKIEL 36:26



‘The Millionaire Next Door’ is a bestselling book about two people living on the same street, in comparable homes, working at similar jobs. But by age fifty, one is financially secure while the other is drowning in debt. Their problem isn’t money; it’s unwillingness to defer gratification. We want what we want now! Many times we associate happiness with spending, so when we feel down we go shopping. Think about it: When you got your last bonus or tax refund, was your first thought— ‘What can I buy?’ Be honest! Paul says, ‘Do not conform to…this [world’s value system]…be transformed by…renewing your mind…’ (Romans 12:2 NIV). When it comes to money, you must ask God to give you ‘right desires’. Robert Orben said, ‘Every morning I read the Forbes magazine list of the richest people in America and if my name isn't on it, I get up and go to work!’ The Bible says, ‘Do not despise…small beginnings…’ (Zechariah 4:10 NLT). Big things are a culmination of small ones. So: Give God the first tenth of your income, save 10 percent, and live on the rest (Proverbs 3:9). As your earnings grow, invest 50 percent of the increase in a ‘financial freedom account’. Once you stop spending every penny you earn and start saving, an interesting dynamic comes into play. The act of disciplining yourself to save even modest amounts will empower you financially, spiritually and emotionally. One theologian said, ‘Self-respect is the root of discipline. Your sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to yourself.’ In addition to helping you achieve financial freedom, self-control enriches every area of your life.

Daniel 8-10 , Matthew 9:1-13, Psalm 89:15-37, Proverbs 2:21-22

TODAY'S PRAYER - FROM PRAYER FOR TODAY MAGAZINE

CHRISTIAN UNITY

MICAH 6:6-8

‘Thus, true faith in God is inseparable from personal holiness and the search for social justice.As we mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, let’s first ask God to examine our own lives in the light of this year’s theme passage (Micah 6:6-.  Lord, You call me to a holiness which looks outward rather than inward.  Forgive me where I have failed to love the people You love and to walk the way You walk
#20
TODAY'S WORD FOR TODAY

FOUR LESSONS LEARNED ON YOUR JOURNEY (1)

‘In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.’

PROVERBS 16:9



Remember needing a road atlas when you took a trip? Now you just programme your destination into the car’s GPS and it tells you where and when to turn, how far to the next petrol station, and when you’ll arrive. No guessing, confusion and wrong decisions; just choose the shortest or fastest route and it will get you there. As a follower of Christ you have a divine GPS, which is the Holy Spirit. He chooses the route and the timing, and guarantees that you’ll get to your destination. By listening to Him you learn four valuable lessons. Let’s look at them: First, you learn to depend on God rather than yourself. Assuming you know all the twists and turns of life makes you act without consulting God. Samson believed he’d ‘figured how the system worked’. When Delilah sold him out and the Philistines bound him with ropes, he thought he’d handle things the way he always did: ‘…“I will do as before and shake myself free.” But he didn’t realise the Lord had left him.’ (Judges 16:20 NLT). Living victoriously means living in total dependence on God, not yourself. Jesus said, ‘…Without Me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5 NKJV). Second, you change your perspective. You may not always look where you’re going, but you will always end up going where you’re looking! Your perspective determines your choices and direction in life. After paying dearly for following his lower impulses, David changed his perspective and prayed, ‘My eyes are fixed on you…Lord…’ (Psalm 141:8 NIV). You should pray that too.

Daniel 11-12 , Matthew 9:14-26, Psalm 89:38-52, Proverbs 3:1-2

TODAY'S PRAYER - FROM PRAYER FOR TODAY MAGAZINE

BEYOND BARRIERS

EPH 2:13-16

This year’s WPCU theme has been chosen by the Student Christian Movement of India, and focuses prayer on the plight of the Dalit community.  ‘Because of casteism the Dalits are socially marginalized, politically under-represented, economically exploited and culturally subjugated.  Almost 80% of Indian Christians have a Dalit background ... Christian disunity in India within churches and between them is further accentuated by the caste ...