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 update

Stop Putting Yourself Down
‘Jesus asked him…What is thy name?’
Luke 8:30

The UCB Word for Today - 26 Dec 2015

Remember the man in Scripture who was possessed by demons? ‘Jesus asked him… “What is thy name?” And he said, “Legion”: because many devils were entered into him.’ (A legion in the Roman army comprised some six thousand troops.) ‘Legion’ wasn’t this man’s real name; it was merely a label.

But he’d battled his problem so long that he accepted the label, and defined himself by his experience. Perhaps you’ve labelled yourself ‘Fatso’ because you’ve battled weight for so long with no apparent victory in sight.

Or you define yourself as a ‘victim’ because you were abused or taken advantage of by others. Maybe you see yourself as a ‘failure’ because you’re divorced, or your kids have gone off the tracks.

If so, it’s time to lose the negative labels and start seeing yourself the way God sees you. Jesus set this tormented man free, gave him back his self-worth, and restored him to his family.

And He wants to do the same for you! Satan will take you from one extreme to the other. He’ll make you either boastful or bashful; make you think you’re ‘hot stuff’, or convince you that you’re worthless.

Don’t buy it! Self-deprecation is often disguised as humility, when in reality it’s a rejection of God’s Word, which assures you that you ‘can do all things through Christ who strengthens [you]’ (Philippians 4:13 NKJV).

What others call you doesn’t matter; what you call yourself does! The bottom line is: ‘God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work’ (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV 1984 Edition).

Zech 7-8, Rev 18

Merry Christmas to you all!

Seeing Your Work as God’s Will (1)
‘I must work the works of him that sent me.’

John 9:4
The UCB Word for Today - 27 Dec 2015

You’ll experience a new level of fulfilment when you begin to see what you do for a living as an important part of God’s will for your life.

Jesus preached and healed, but He saw it all as ‘work’ given to Him by His Father.

You must too. Instead of seeing church as a place where you meet with God on Sunday morning, see it as a place where you’re fed and strengthened so that you can carry the presence of God with you into the workplace. ‘Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him’ (Colossians 3:17 NIV 2011 Edition).

Notice two words here: 1) ‘Word.’ That covers skills of communication and information. 2) ‘Deed.’ That covers skills such as creativity and building. Whatever you do, you’re supposed to do it with a thankful heart, as though the Lord were your boss – because He is.

When you work with that attitude, you come alive. One person comes alive when they pick up a musical instrument, another when they lead a team, another when they counsel someone who’s hurting, and another when they’re looking at a financial spreadsheet.

When each of us is doing what God designed and called us to do, the world around us is enriched.

All skill is God-given, and we’re invited to live in conscious interaction with the Holy Spirit as we work, so that we can develop the skills He gives us. Work is a form of love.

We cannot be fully human without creating value.

Luke 24:36-53, Psalms 140-150

Seeing Your Work as God’s Will (2)
‘Do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.’

Colossians 3:17
The UCB Word for Today - 28 Dec 2015

Research shows that the best moments of our lives don’t come from leisure or pleasure.

They come when you’re immersed in a significant task that’s challenging, yet matches up well to your highest abilities.

In those moments, you’re so caught up in an activity that time somehow seems to be altered; your attention is fully focused without your having to work at it.

You’re deeply aware, without being self-conscious; you’re being stretched and challenged, but without a sense of stress or worry.

You have a sense of engagement or oneness with what you are doing. This condition is called ‘flow’, because people experiencing it often use the metaphor of feeling swept up by something outside themselves.

Studies have been done over the past thirty years with hundreds of thousands of subjects to explore this phenomenon of flow.

Ironically, you experience it more in your work than you do in your leisure time. In fact, your flow is at its lowest ebb when you’ve nothing to do. Sitting around doesn’t produce flow.

This picture of flow is actually a description of what the exercise of dominion was intended to look like.

God says in Genesis that we’re to ‘rule’ over the earth, or exercise ‘dominion’ (See Genesis 1:26, 28). We often think of these words in terms of ‘dominating’ or ‘bossing around’.

But the true idea behind them is that you’re to invest your abilities to create value on the earth, to plant and build and write and organise and heal and invent ways that bless people and cause God’s kingdom on earth to flourish.

Zech 11-12, Rev 20

Seeing Your Work as God’s Will (3)
‘Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain.’

Psalm 127:1
The UCB Word for Today - 29 Dec 2015

When your skill level is high but the challenge of the task is too low, you experience boredom.

When your skill level is low and the challenge of the task is too high, you experience frustration and anxiety.

But when the level of the challenge matches the level of your skills – then you’re ‘in the flow’. We don’t work mainly for money, recognition, promotion, applause, or fame.

We work for flow. We live for flow. We hunger for flow, and when it’s present, something happens in our spirit as we connect with a reality beyond ourselves and partner with God.

This is why the psalmist says, ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain.’ Flow is part of what we experience in that partnership and, in that, God in turn uses flow to shape us. Bezalel experienced flow when he carved wood, David when he played the harp, Samson when he used his strength, Paul when he wrote a brilliant letter, Daniel when he ran a government, and Adam when he gardened.

If other people report to you, one of the great spiritual acts of service you can perform is to ask whether they’re experiencing flow in their work, and help them experience it even more.

When you’re working in the flow of service to God, when you’re experiencing flow in activities that enhance and bless the lives of others – you’re working ‘in the Spirit’.

Paul was in the flow when he described himself as ‘poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything’ (2 Corinthians 6:10 NIV 2011 Edition).

Zech 11-12, Rev 20

Be Grateful for What You Have
‘In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God…for you.’

1 Thessalonians 5:18
The UCB Word for Today - 30 Dec 2015

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has a brilliant mind. He has been compared by some to Albert Einstein.

But he has a rare degenerative disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS syndrome or motor neurone disease). And it has left him virtually paralysed.

He learned to use a computer with the tips of his fingers and was able to communicate his calculations and thoughts.

Before he became ill, he described his life as a ‘pointless existence’. He drank too much and did very little work.

But after discovering that he perhaps had only a few years to live, life suddenly took on an urgency and a new meaning. And he was actually happier than he was before.

He explained the paradox this way: ‘When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything that one does have.’ When you’re told that you only have a limited time left to live, it transforms your whole perspective on living.

Things you overlook suddenly become meaningful: the laughter of children, a sunrise or sunset, the love of friends and family, or just a walk in the park.

The most miserable people in the world are those who believe that life ‘owes them’.

They’re never happy, because they never believe they get what they deserve. The apostle Paul was in prison with no hope of getting out when he wrote, ‘In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’ What was he saying?

Simply this: Instead of competing, comparing, and complaining, focus on the good things God has given you, enjoy them and develop an attitude of gratitude (Philippians 4:8).

Zech 13-14, Rev 21

Don’t Look Back
‘Remember Lot’s wife.'

Luke 17:32
The UCB Word for Today - 31 Dec 2015

Before God destroyed the city of Sodom, He sent two angels to rescue Lot and his family from it.

Their instructions were clear: ‘Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain.

Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed…But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt’ (Genesis 19:17, 26 NKJV).

Jesus recalled this story in three words: ‘Remember Lot’s wife.’ Here are two lessons you should learn and remember: 1) Don’t look back with longing to your old sinful pleasures and pursuits.

The promise sin made was false then, and it’s still false now. ‘Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren’ (James 1:14-16 NKJV). 2) Don’t look back with regret on the mistakes you’ve made. Lot’s two sons-in-law wouldn’t heed the message of the angels or the pleading of their father-in-law, so they stayed behind.

Perhaps that’s why his wife looked back. But it was fatal then, and it’s fatal now. Don’t wallow in the regrets of your past.

Stop dwelling on the injuries inflicted on you by others. Get your eyes off the rear-view mirror and onto the road ahead.

God has great things in store for you; that’s what the battle in your life is about. Jesus referred to Satan as a ‘thief’ (See John 10:10).

He has already stolen too much from you; don’t let him steal any more. Today commit your life to Christ, and watch His blessing begin.

Malachi 1-4, Rev 22

This Year Ask God for His Plan!
‘I know the plans I have for you.’

Jeremiah 29:11
The UCB Word for Today - 1 Jan 2016

God says, ‘I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you…plans to give you hope and a future…pray to me, and I will listen to you’ (vv. 11-12 NIV). This year ask God for His plan. It’s miserable playing a part for which you’re ill-suited. It’s like walking in shoes that don’t fit. So…what are you good at? What do you enjoy doing most? What accomplishments make you feel best? List five moments in your life when you were acutely aware of this feeling of fulfilment.

Does this reveal anything about your purpose? If money wasn’t a consideration, how would you fill your days?

How does this compare with where you are now? What one small step can you take right now - one phone call made, one letter written, one email sent - to move you towards your true calling?

What have you learned about your purpose through failure? Are some areas clearly not a part of your calling at all? Who do you admire for the way they’ve applied their talents?

Why are you like them? What can you learn from them? How would you describe your vision for your life this year? Or five years from now? Or ten? Who are the people in your life who really get who you are?

Have you asked them what they think your purpose might be? Have they given any indication of how they think you should use your talents?

If you could write your own obituary, what would you want it to say? What would you like to be remembered for? As you begin the New Year, ask
God for His plan.

Gen 1-3, Matt 1

What’s Your Vision for This Year?
‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’

Proverbs 29:18
The UCB Word for Today - 2 Jan 2016

What are you planning to do with this New Year? What you set your heart on will determine how you spend your time and energy.

And it takes as much effort to live an unfulfilled life as a richly rewarding one. Some scientists have recently estimated that the human brain has between 10 and 100 terabytes of capacity, which means we all have lots of room for growth.

One of the most rewarding things you can do this year is work to develop your mind. ‘Where there is no vision [sense of direction], the people perish.’ Dissatisfaction doesn’t come from the absence of things, but the absence of direction.

Too many of us merely exist because we’ve settled for less than God intended. The quality of your life will be determined by your vision and the effort you’re willing to put into fulfilling it.

So stop and make a written list of the areas where you’d like to grow this year, then tackle the three or four most important ones.

Don’t get discouraged if the one you’re working on doesn’t want to co-operate; nothing great is ever created suddenly.

Paul said of his faith, ‘I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 3:14 ESV). It’s a process; you have to keep plugging away.

Some days it’ll feel like two steps forward and three steps backward. But don’t give up. It’s better to die for something than to live for nothing!

And unless you try something beyond what you’ve already mastered, you won’t grow. So what are you waiting for? Life? It’s waiting for you - so get going!

Gen 4-6, Matt 2

Don’t Be Afraid, God Is with You
‘l am your shield, your very great reward.’

Genesis 15:1
The UCB Word for Today - 3 Jan 2016

When God sends you into a new situation, or asks you to do something you’ve never done before, you’ll experience uncertainty and fear, and have a lot of questions.

God knows that; that’s why the promise He gives you is always equal to the project He gives you. Imagine selling your house, packing up your belongings, putting your family in the car, and heading down the road without having a clue where you’re going. Sound crazy? That’s what God asked Abraham to do.

But He told him, ‘Do not be afraid…I am your shield, your very great reward.’ The word ‘shield’ means God will protect you, and the word ‘reward’ means He will provide everything you need.

Does that mean you won’t experience fear? No, it means you must trust Him in spite of your fears! Dr Bernard Vittone says: ‘As we age we lose the ability to distinguish between the negative anxiety associated with work, stress, and tension, and the positive type that’s a natural and exciting part of trying something new.

As a result we become more fearful and avoid anxiety-producing situations. When that happens, the desire for safety keeps us stuck in neutral. Trying to avoid risk is like trying to avoid living; without a goal to strive for you stop growing altogether.’

If Abraham had refused to obey God because he feared the unknown and the untried, he’d have missed his ‘very great reward’.

So press through your fear today and claim the blessing God has promised you on the other side of it. Don’t be afraid; God is with you!

Gen 7-9, Matt 3