This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
[HAPPY NEW YEAR]
'AS I WAS WITH MOSES, SO I WILL BE WITH YOU' JOSHUA 1:5
01 Jan 2004
Can you imagine trying to fill the sandals Moses wore? God had used him to turn the Nile River into blood, part the Red Sea, destroy the Egyptian army, receive His law on Mount Sinai, and feed over 2 million Israelites each day in the wilderness. How would you like to follow somebody with a CV like that? But God told Joshua, ?No-one will be able to stand up against you?As I was with Moses, so I will be with you?? and Joshua took the confidence he needed to pick up where Moses left off. If you?ve read the old stories of those God used to do massive things and wondered ?Does He still move like that today?? wonder no more! Times change ? God doesn?t. We follow the same God who worked through Moses and Paul, Deborah and Esther. God still rocks! He?s not got bored or distracted; he can give you victory in the face of defeat, and turn last year?s disaster into this year?s celebration. The heroes of the Bible all had one thing in common ? they were just ordinary bods who took some risks in obedience to faith, trusting their extraordinary God to give them results! And He did! Paul writes, ?We live by faith, not by sight? (2 Corinthians 5:7). The enemy fears your words of faith, but goes into panic mode when followed by acts of faith. When God says something to you, it?s always for a good reason; He won?t command you to do what He won?t empower you to do. Passing on the baton at the end of His own life Joshua could say, ?Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed? (Joshua 23:14). Take a deep breath and think about that as you look to the year ahead. I SURRENDER 02 Jan 2004
'WAKE UP, GET A LIFE; THEN OFFER THAT NEW LEASE OF LIFE TO GOD' ROMANS 6:13
Surrender is not often used in a positive way. We see battered and bruised soldiers on the news surrendering and it doesn?t look like fun! In today?s world where winning is everything, surrendering is not an option. But it?s the heart of Christian living. Why? 1) Our self gets in the way. We?ve all got a bit of the ?control-freak? in us. It?s a security thing. But it never works our desire for ?control? ends up being the cause of so much stress in out lives. We try to be strong and decisive but then hit our own limitations and so react with anger and resentment. ?What?s the answer?? you ask. Jesus said, ??if people want to follow Me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing to give up their lives daily to follow Me? (Luke 9:23 NCV). Surrendering to God is something you do each day ? and sometimes each hour or even each minute. 2) Our trust in God is wobbly. You won?t surrender to God unless you totally trust Him, and you won?t totally trust Him unless you?re convinced that He loves you. Remember, if you want to know how God feels about you, look at Christ with His arms outstretched on the cross saying, ?I love you this much?. That single image of eternal, universal victory achieved by complete personal surrender is for the entire world a statement never to be equalled. It has become our heartbeat and fingerprint, our wakeup call and our life?s rhythm. BRAIN TRANSPLANT 03 Jan 2004
'BETWEEN THE EARS OF THE WICKED LURKS NOTHING BUT DEATH. BUT THE MIND RUN BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD IS LIFE TO THE MAX' ROMANS 8:6
It makes sense to have a backup plan right? Just in case God doesn?t come through the way you think He should? Watch-out, you may find that the more you try to fix things, the more anxiety you experience! Fixing doesn?t go well with trusting; it?s like gravy on ice-cream, they just don?t go well together! So what if you happen to be one of those people who has the gift of ?sorting it out?? are you on the scrap heap? No, just remember that ??the foolishness of God is wiser than man?s wisdom?? (1 Corinthians 1:25). The Holy Spirit will teach you! One of the pitfalls of too much logic is that it causes you to become double-minded, stuck ? between the options. Listen, ??a man of two minds [is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything?? (James 1:8 Amp). Does that describe you? Instead of always trying to figure things out ? make a decision today that every time you are about to make a head-judgment, you?ll stop and pray: ?Lord, I?m not going to try and figure this out purely by myself, I? m bringing it to you for the answer.? When you allow the Holy Spirit to show you the when?s, why?s and how?s, you?ll begin to experience God?s peace in a way you never have before. So make a decision today ? to let God into the grey stuff between your ears! NO INSTANT DOWNLOAD 04 Jan 2004
'YOU HAVE BEGUN?.BECOMING LIKE THE ONE WHO MADE YOU' COLOSSIANS 3:10
In the film ?The Matrix? Neo gets advanced Kung Fu skills downloaded directly into his brain. Couldn?t God do something like that for us??? Well, good learning involves doing. Often we have to learn to do something 50 times over in order to get it. We think, ?Not again. I thought I?d already learned that!? but God knows better. The Old Testament stories tell how quickly we forget and revert to our old patterns. We need repetition, repetition, repetition? Good learning removes bad learning. Your problems didn?t develop overnight and they won?t and they won?t disappear overnight. There?s no
but you find it only intensifies your focus on the wrong thing and strengthens its appeal.pill. ?Trust Me in your times of trouble. angry. If you didn?t have desires. No. it keeps you focused on what you don?t want. he?ll try to distort a positive desire e. ? But people are tempted when they are drawn away and trapped by our own evil desires?Do not be deceived?? (James 1:14-16 TEV). A diversionary strategy is far more effective. You overcome evil with good (see Romans 12:21).. 3) Deception! Satan?s ?the father of lies? (see John 8:44).? (Philippians 4:8) TEMPTATION (2) 06 Jan 2004 'WE ARE VERY FAMILIAR WITH HIS EVIL SCHEMES' 2 CORINTHIANS 2:11 Satan is very predictable! All his temptations follow this familiar pattern: 1) Desire! First he targets a desire within you. James warns. every affair with one flirty comment. So watch out for these 4 Ds and don?t get caught by them. TEMPTATION (3) 07 Jan 2004 'GOD?S PEOPLE?PROTECT THEMSELVES BY WATCHING WHERE THEY GO' PROVERBS 16:17 No matter how super spiritual you think you are becoming. with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. ?It?s just the way I am./ to be loved and feel pleasure. our teacher the Holy Spirit wants to revolutionize our old thought patterns with radical new Kingdom learning ? Are you up for it! TEMPTATION (1) 05 Jan 2004 'KEEP ME FROM PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT IS WORTHLESS' PSALM 119:37 Temptations come at us everyday. where?we will receive?grace to help us just when we need . ?Let us?approach God?s throne. worried or even after a big spiritual high. Satan fears your prayers and he?ll do anything to hinder them. Every coke addict starts with one snort and every alcoholic with one drink. bored. Whatever has got your attention has got you. We fear letting go of our old ideas about life because.? Our deeper worry is. the quickest way to neutralise temptation is divert your attention to something else! The battle is won or lost in your mind. We naturally gravitate toward what we focus on. ?I must stop eating so much ice cream? or ?I must not watch Channel 5 after 10. It?s only a little sin?. You defeat bad thoughts by replacing them with good ones. We say. Only when we allow the truth to shine into our hearts.. hurt or hang-up. I will rescue you? (Psalm 50:15 GWT). and you will give Me glory? (Psalm 50:15 NLT). We can?t learn without a humble. ?Nobody will ever know.if anything is excellent or praiseworthy ? think about such things. Good learning causes revolutions. don?t expect to outgrow temptation! Satan is scared of your potential so the closer you get to God the more he?ll attack you. like an old pair of shoes they?re comfortable and familiar. ?take the shield of faith. So why don?t we go to God more often? Maybe at that temptation moment we just want to do what we want to do! Right? Or we?re embarrassed because we keep giving in to the same stuff. sometimes crafty and in disguise. suddenly feel hungry? That?s the power of suggestion.? (Ephesians 6:16) HERE?S 2 MORE TEMPTATION TOPPLING TIPS 4 2DAY. This is the principle of replacement. Satan can?t get your attention when your mind is preoccupied with something else. you?ll change behaviour. Listen: God doesn?t get impatient with us. Your mind is your most vulnerable organ so you must keep it safe from harm. 4) Disobedience! If you carry a thought long enough. The Bible says there?s: ??a whole army of evil desires within you? (James 4:1 TLB). ?When am I tempted?? Are you most vulnerable when you?re tired. He whispers. ?Is it really wrong?? ?How come others do it?? ?Doesn?t God want me to be happy?? The Book of Hebrews warns: ??watch out! Don?t let evil thoughts or doubts make any of you turn away from the living God? (Hebrews 3:12 CEV). Nothing he tells you could possibly do you any good. temptation wouldn?t attract you. But a little sin is like a little crack in a window ? it?s only going to get worse ? not better. Good learning requires good attitude. 2) Doubt! Satan tries to get you to doubt what God has said about sin. 1) Know your patterns! Ask yourself. Ever watch a food advertisement on TV like those mouth-watering stuffed crust pizzas?. sometimes blatant and upfront. Identify your patterns! ?God?s people?protect themselves by watching where they go? (Proverbs 16:17 CEV). when you?ve been hurt. Instead of beating yourself up. can we begin to really learn about God?s eternal plans. Once your mind is on something else the temptation loses its power. That?s why the Bible says: ?. like the desire for revenge and exploits it to damage your relationship with God. And it doesn?t have to be a negative desire. While you?re praying he?ll throw an evil thought at you to distract and shame you.30? is a self-defeating strategy. 2) Get God?s help! ? Call on Me in times of trouble. who will I be?? That thought is ultimately doomed. ?If I let go of my habit. Don?t be alarmed. It requires the hard work of removal and replacement. So what do you do? You start by resisting the thought. depressed or under stress. He?ll tempt you to fulfill that positive desire in a negative way. alone. teachable attitude. The more you fight the feeling the more it consumes you it seems to get energy from the attention you give it. or programme that?ll instantly undo years of habits. For many of us our identity is rooted in our mind-set. Repeating. Bad attitude keeps us living in denial.g. and I will rescue you. It?ll feel good.
CULTIVATE GOD. For instance. you must have the truth stored in your heart and ready for recall in an instant. Willpower and resolutions aren?t enough when sinful habits are engrained. find a Christian friend you can trust. He develops peace within us. But when He saw Goliath. God teaches us to be happy in the midst of sadness by causing us to turn to Him for comfort and strength when all our usual supports are gone. You can do the same! Memorised Scripture is absolutely essential to winning. like Jesus did when he was tempted in the wilderness. Every time Satan shot a seductive word at him. You can shout for God?s help 100 times a day. Peace comes when we choose to trust God in situations where we?re tempted to worry or be afraid. He teaches us to love by bringing troubled people into our lives. Listen: ?Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed??(James 5:16).it? (Hebrews 4:16 TEV). Satan wants you to think you are the only one to have your temptations. The Bible . patience is developed through circumstances in which we?re forced to wait and are tempted to be angry or have a short fuse. You?re only as sick as the secrets you keep. giving way to failure and guilt. Jesus was tempted in every way but never sinned (Hebrews 4:15) So he understands. they won?t flip out and get angry. you won?t get better on your own! Certain temptations are only overcome with the help of a committed Christian friend who prays for you and will give some tough love. as the wrong thing. IT?S USELESS. And the Bible teaches you to be ready to fight for your holy destiny. he will also provide a way out?? (1 Corinthians 10:13) The truth is. really get serious about memorising verses and start getting used to the feeling of winning! YOU GOT IT 11 Jan 2004 'DAVID?RAN TO THE BATTLE LINES AND GREETED HIS BROTHERS' 1 SAMUEL 17:22 David didn?t show up that day with the intention of becoming a hero. if you need help today. both the visible and the invisible worlds. TEMPTATION (6) 10 Jan 2004 'FORGET ABOUT SELF-CONFIDENCE. Today. If you don?t. and he will flee from you? (James 4:7). It?s true. YOU ARE REALLY IN TROUBLE' ECCLESIASTES 4:10 If you?re stuck in a cycle of good intention. to think that you can never share them. ?Weapons made to attack you won't be successful?? (Isaiah 54:17 CEV) The earth. he saw an opportunity that the other so-called warriors missed. He started flexing some Gospel. but by allowing times of chaos and confusion. TEMPTATION (5) 09 Jan 2004 'IF YOU FALL WITHOUT HAVING A FRIEND NEARBY. but if they care about you. Problems only grow in the dark. then. ?Put on salvation as your helmet and take the sword of the spirit. Yes. Start by committing your life to Christ. WRONG! You?ll be amazed how many people fight the same temptations! But we?re feel ashamed and embarrassed and we want others to think everything?s under control. so please take off your mask. But the opposite is true. and ask for it. Did Jesus do any deals or make fancy excuses? No. ??when you are tempted. Beating the secrecy is part of the answer to your lonely struggle. Have you realised that you already have more amazing qualities than you give yourself credit for. That?s the family of God in action. stop pretending everything?s okay and come out into the light.it?s just as much an opportunity to do the right thing. opportunities will catch your eye ? if you?re not alert and ready. When you?re in the place of full submission to God . you?ve got no rounds in your Uzi! So. each time you defeat a temptation. Likewise. Jesus Christ shattered it with a powerful slice of Scripture. And God is for you. don?t miss them! The courage David displayed that day against Goliath had actually been there all along. the devil?s power is neutralised and dissolved. You must be permanently loaded with it. Next. but when you bring them out into the light they shrink. You won?t be able to say ?no? to the devil until you?ve first said ?yes? to Jesus. and He?ll be there for you! Just as the roots of a tree grow stronger when the wind blows against it. have become a combat zone. not by making things go the way we planned. TEMPTATION (4) 08 Jan 2004 'HAPPY IS THE MAN WHO DOESN?T GIVE IN AND DO WRONG WHEN HE IS TEMPTED FOR AFTERWARDS HE WILL GET HIS REWARD' JAMES 1:12 Have you ever thought about temptation like this . it?s scary and embarrassing to admit your weaknesses. Temptation just gives you the choice! God can and will turn anything around for His max glory and our max benefit. Resist the devil. to God. he was just delivering a bit of a lunch to his big brothers. Like Jesus. all of us are capable of sin! That?s why James writes: ?Submit yourselves.CONFIDENCE' 1 CORINTHIANS 10:12 In the heat of the moment. starting today. whatever you can?t talk about already has control of you! If you could handle it on you own you?d have done it by now. Paul answers. they?ll do all they can to help. which is the Word of God? (Ephesians 6:17 NLT). Only with ?the helmet of salvation?. learn to handle the word of God as a weapon. is your mind protected. each time you stand up to temptation you become a more like Jesus. you become more like Jesus. So.
? They had to leave the familiar in order to fulfil their density. Put a zero on the left end and your age on the right. Neither can you! The Bible says. When God miraculously opened the Jordan River for the Israelites to pass over. come to Him today and let him make you feel whole again! GUTS NOT RUTS 14 Jan 2004 'IMMEDIATELY?. and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out?? No matter how far gone you may feel. IF YOU THINK YOU ARE STANDING FIRM. doing what came naturally ? repairing their fishing nets. David decided to keep it simple. What?s closer to extinction that a smouldering wick? When the oil in primitive lamps was gone and the wick burned low. But they couldn?t do that and still follow him. nourished and rooted in the riverbed. Age isn?t an issue. .. Are you? SPIRITUAL LANDMARKS 15 Jan 2004 'WHAT DO THESE STONES MEAN?' JOSHUA 4:6 Take a sheet of paper ? draw a long line on it. ?Immediately He called them. lighting the path for others until the icy winds of criticism and unforgiveness left you one flicker away from darkness? The world thinks it knows what to do with bruised reeds or smouldering wicks . READY 4 THE TEST 12 Jan 2004 'SO. The trouble is. ?So what can I do?? Begin preparing ? now! You can wait until the night before your exams to prepare. Did you once glow with faith. but there?s no crash revision for a test of character. now mark all the important events in between?. When Jesus called James and John they were on familiar turf. so when we?re no longer being stretched we just go baggy and saggy. skinny and very fragile. our shine and bouncyness has gone and that?s no fun at all. So. JESUS STYLE 13 Jan 2004 'A BRUISED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK. Then on those occasions when you do go off the tracks a bit they will notice and steer you back in line. but ignoring your spiritual condition as good as guarantees it. So. it may be time to let God breathe into you and expand you again. Let them ask you the tough questions to check any behaviour that might take you off the rails. Use what God has already given you and be the answer to someone?s prayer.. new relationships and new opportunities. become complacent. You don?t know what is gonna come and test you this week but you can be alert and ready when it comes. Kids playing beside the river Jordan made music pipes out of them causing all sorts of chaos as they messed around finding the longest and straightest. They are all ? bruised reeds? and ?smouldering wicks? that God refused to give up on! Have you ever seen a reed? It?s tall. PARTNERSHIP. don?t over-complicate things. First off. He knew something they didn?t ? that soon they?d come up against Jericho.break you off and snuff you out! But not Jesus. Secondly. And just in case you think you?re to young for what he?s suggesting remember many of the prophets were called as kids and most of the disciples were hardly out of their teens. The King tried to give David his own armour but it was too clumsy and too fussy. to shrink into the comfort zone. BE CAREFUL THAT YOU DON?T FALL!' 1 CORINTHIANS 10:12 Unless you are part of the Jackass crew you probably don?t trip up deliberately. They come at you without warning and you?re either ready or you?re not. Nobody plans to fall. they left?and went after Him. if today you feel like there?s more than you?ve been settling for. then thrown away as worthless. Be brave and ask ?what small issue in my life right now has the potential to become a big deal in the future?? It?s better to discuss and pray about your struggles now with a handful of people who really care about you rather than run the risk of messing up big time somewhere down the line. So maybe you?ve seen your opportunity but you?re thinking ?ok ? I know what God wants me to do ? I just don?t know how to do it?.THEY LEFT?AND WENT AFTER HIM' MARK 1:21 Even the most out-going people have times when they just want to cling to the familiar. it was just left to fizzle out. bruised by hurtful words or constant let-downs. David utilised his existing skills in a new area ? he?d never used his slingshot on a human before! Can you see any opportunities today? The equipment may already be in your hand. Let him nudge you into some new experiences. Let others in on what you want to be and ask them to help you get there.says God ??has given us everything we need for life and godliness?? (2 Peter 1:3). AND A SMOULDERING WICK HE WILL NOT SNUFF OUT' MATTHEW 12:20 What do these people have in common ?: 1) A woman sobbing in front of an angry mob that wants to kill her 2) A paralysed man on a stretcher begging his friends not to give up as they wonder how to get through an impossibly large crowd 3) A blind man calling out in the street for help. availability is! It takes guts to leave ruts but if you want to experience God in a deeper dimension ? one that?ll stretch you ? you must be ready to leave your comfort zone and follow Him. But now you?ve been twisted and knocked. you?re not beyond the reach of God?s amazing grace. Perhaps once you stood tall and strong. just like when a balloon slowly deflates. ?A bruised reed he will not break.
Keep a safe record of these events! They?re important. never allowing anyone too close. they?ll remind you of how God?s cared for you. No sooner is our dream conceived than our minds are filled with the reasons why it won?t work. not back at the office waiting for a report. Dreamers allow their minds to wander outside the boundaries of ?what is?. Career-wise it was a gift! But when he asked some trusted friends to help him check out if it was God?s will.? The prophet Samuel did the same after Israel defeated the Philistines. or scrapes He brought you through. even when you weren?t aware of it. They?re not always the most talented or the best educated . The older I get the more valuable he becomes. Why not ask God if He has a new dream to give you today? COACHING (1) 18 Jan 2004 'LET THE WISE LISTEN AND ADD TO THEIR LEARNING' PROVERBS 1:5 Anybody who really wants to reach their highest potential needs a good coach. They?ll invest themselves in your success. WHO GETS THE CREDIT? 16 Jan 2004 'I WILL SING TO THE LORD. and you don?t have to be defensive to yourself! When educator. but the evaluation of others is better. then in your life. And that requires courage ? lots of it! With the arrival of every new dream suddenly a crowd of doubts appear. otherwise the best we can hope for is fulfilling the dreams of others. You may be gifted. Look back at your paper and add the spiritual landmarks in your life so far. you should never feel guilty about being good at something. A good coach will always measure your performance against your inner potential. He took a stone and named it Ebenezer. so they live in defensive mode. Yet many of us operate under the misguided assumption that because we?re not in a ?competition?. Listen: True success is an inside job. ?I guess what I?d like most is getting my picture in the paper with the word president under it. AND YOU WILL STAY ON SOLID GROUND' PROVERBS 4:26 The UK national lottery is run by a company called Camelot and their motto is ?serving the nations dreams?. Like the first day you really realised Jesus loved you. COACHING (2) 19 Jan 2004 . was offered a college presidency it meant more money. God was saying. However. or specific times when He answered your prayer. is the best at making them. one asked. Parker Palmer.? There was a long silence and then my friend asked something that cracked us all up ? and cracked me wide open.? Parker writes: ?I felt compelled to give an honest answer. FOR HE HAS BEEN GOOD TO ME' PSALM 13:6 Ever hear of the ?Imposter Syndrome?? It describes those who feel totally unworthy of their success. ?When you can?t cope with the future.just the ones who refuse to put the breaks on their thinking or to limit themselves by what others have done. not somebody else?s record. It?s your verdict on your life. This would act as a reminder of His past faithfulness. and my coach. That?s when they?d need reminders and a reference point. Because a coach knows what you?re capable of they can push you to your limit. My goodness is guaranteed. DARE TO DREAM 17 Jan 2004 'KNOW WHERE YOU ARE HEADED. Now come on. status and influence. or giving up studying and teaching. but what would you enjoy.? His friend pushed him a bit. we still go ahead and measure ourselves against others anyway. Remembering yesterday?s blessings can give you the confidence to face whatever tomorrow brings.their biggest battle. ?Well. A spiritual coach is someone who is ambitious to see you become everything God made you to be. we all need a dream.? he said. So He told them to collect 12 stones from the Jordan and build a landmark. ?Parker. As it is in the natural. They? ll help you to see His past goodness. In the world of athletics nobody performs her way out of needing a coach. Gil. I wouldn?t like the politics and fund-raising. And there?ll be plenty of people around to confirm those fears! In spite of that we should get on and dream. especially one who?s not as good on the court as he is? Agassi says: ?Tennis requires subtle adjustments crucial to winning. or failed to do. often they just deepen the rut you?re in. but without help you?ll never reach your peak. check with the past. if all Britain dreams about is a few numbered balls popping out of a machine twice a week we?re stuffed! One thing is true though. creating a mental picture of ?what could be?. ?What would you like about being president?? Parker replied. or doors He opened that you thought were permanently shut.? Why? Because age and experience don?t necessarily make you better. Your self-evaluation may be good. so it is in the spiritual. one that appalled even me. By the way. ?Can?t you think of an easier way to get your picture in the paper??? Watch the Olympics and you?ll realise that the British are the world?s best losers! Don?t be fooled. Every great accomplishment began as a dream. which is Hebrew for ?Stone of Help? (see 1 Samuel 7:12). ?Yes. good coaches are involved on the scene giving tips and encouragement. All things are created twice: first in your mind. Why would a world class tennis player like Andre Agassi need a coach. we don?t need to be ?coached?. If God has decided to bless you and you find yourself in the limelight just remember to give him the credit for it. So ask God to bring you into contact with a coach. a win for you is a win for them. because whenever you?re struggling.
Learn how to tell the difference by asking: a) In what spirit is it given? If your critic?s attitude is kind. Now if God promises to be with you (and He does). find a coach and be blessed. you?re looking through the wrong end of the telescope! You?re looking at yourself instead of God! When God called Joshua to take the place of Moses. ?Does that mean I won?t make mistakes?? No. which is maybe not something you?re 100% comfortable with. but a man of understanding draws them out? (Proverbs 20:5). When your strength is lacking in the natural realm. It?s not what your coach knows. but with many advisers they succeed? (Proverbs 15:22) 3) ?Listen to advice and accept instruction. the less likely you are to place yourself under the influence of those who really know and can help you. you?re a bit of a big-head (what ? moi?). only a fool believes she has none. Your critic might be hurting about something.g. draw your strength from Him?? (Ephesians 6:10 Amp). ?But nobody?s going to take me seriously.? Hey.? Get a grip! You?re not responsible for knowing everything. look for an environment where you?ll be coached ? not just paid. it?s what he or she sees that is valuable to you. The following is a list of areas in which you might consider inviting a coach (or mentor) to evaluate you: a) spiritual development b) personal discipline c) relationships d) decision making e) finances f) conflict resolution g) goal setting h) planning ahead. But think about how much good it is going to do you. they?re probably just projecting their frustration on to you. usually their intentions aren?t the best. say more. Here are a few of Solomon?s thoughts on coaching: 1)? The way of a fool seems right to him. it can keep you from your potential. Listen: ??be strong in the Lord be empowered through your union with Him. but a wise man listens to advice? (Proverbs 12:15) 2) ?Plans fail for lack of counsel. Face it. As you pour into them what has been poured into you. Are they constantly critical? If so don?t place too much value on what they say. c) Why is the criticism given? Solomon says. b) When is the criticism given? When somebody criticizes you publicly. Where do you draw strength from? The ultimate source ? God! The Holy Spirit will fuel you as you worship Jesus. part-time or full-time. pass it on to your mates. lash out at others. At first. Is it someone you respect? You should probably listen. they?ll go farther. the thought of letting someone get involved in these ways may be a bit intimidating. Some folks only talk when they?re ticked off. So. stop trying to do it all in your own strength ? plug into God! HANDLING CRITICISM (1) 22 Jan 2004 'MY INMOST BEING WILL REJOICE WHEN YOUR LIPS SPEAK WHAT IS RIGHT' PROVERBS 23:16 Are you being criticized? If so. Only the naive or arrogant operate under the assumption that they can make all the right choices all the time without input from others. AND IN THE END YOU WILL BE WISE' PROVERBS 19:20 So what exactly does a spiritual coach do? It splits into 3 areas really: 1) observation 2) instruction 3) inspiration. it means you probably will. ?? freely you have received. we all do stupid things now and then. Why? So that we?ll learn to lean more on Him. This is especially true when you view yourself as more capable. that?s all you need! Your weakness is an opportunity for God?s power to be seen. 3) Look beyond the criticism and see the critic. you can plug into power in the spiritual realm. The more you think you know. freely give? (Matthew 10:8).'A WISE MAN LISTENS TO ADVICE' PROVERBS 12:15 You?ll never become a great leader until you become a great learner! Learning requires accepting that we don?t know it all. ?There?s no way I can do this. Don?t let the process stop with you. Listen: what you don?t know can hurt you. If you?re ever going to benefit from a coach you?ll need to be able to submit key areas of your life. If you?ve found out something that is really cool. As you get out into the workplace. ?The purposes of a man?s heart are deep waters. So today. In your early years what you learn is more important than what you earn. Jesus said. so ask . You?re just responsible for sharing what you know with others. Become a coach and start blessing others! PLUG IN 21 Jan 2004 'BE STRONG IN THE LORD' EPHESIANS 6:10 Often God calls us to step out and do things we don?t feel ready for. He promised him: ??as I was with Moses. But instead of being discouraged you?ll accept them as part of the learning curve and go on to greater things! Often we look at a task and think. as you sing and dance you can literally feel your battery charging up! With His strength you can do more. Sadly hurting people often from their pain. be more than you thought possible. Wisdom always seeks advice! A wise woman knows her limitations. faster too. rest assured it?s meant to be constructive. A secure person can laugh at themselves and learn from their blunders. 2) Don?t take yourself too seriously. e. try doing these 3 things: 1) Understand the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. A coach is an extra pair of eyes ? so why be short-sighted without them? COACHING (3) 20 Jan 2004 'ACCEPT INSTRUCTION. It?s really easy to confine learning to the classroom but actually our most important lessons happen in the life outside. and in the end you will be wise (Proverbs 19:20). passionate or talented than your peers. (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). so I will be with you? (see Joshua 1:5).
1) Watch your reaction! You know what they say: ?A chip on your shoulder usually indicates wood higher up. She only repeats what she hears everybody else say. You?ve heard of Abraham Lincoln right? The great American President. instead it soars higher and higher in ever widening circles until the pests leave it alone. or just the overflow of a hurting person?? The important question is. If you run every time you make a mistake you?ll never accomplish anything ? hang in there! The only real mistakes are the ones from which we learn nothing. she said.? Weigh up honestly to see if your critic is on their own or if others share their opinion. try to stay cool. It?ll also keep you from becoming critical yourself. things that are fake are recognised. You can be that somebody! All of us are provided with pioneering possibilities but here?s the difference: eventually a pioneer?s need for . When it was over everyone came over to praise his performance except one lady. Satan will take advantage of your tiredness. People who have that spirit are called ?Pioneers?.? Don?t let your mistakes become roadblocks. 3) Stay physically and spiritually in shape! Exhaustion has a profound effect on the way we act and react. the hawk doesn?t counter-attack. ?Come and see?. when criticism comes we forget our mission and focus on our mistakes. Smith invited a well-known pianist to entertain at her dinner party. ?Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?? Philip answered. R U A PIONEER? 26 Jan 2004 'I AM WITH YOU. So. than remain silent and fade away on the sidelines. It cost him 11 painful wipe-outs before he pulled it off. So instead of dwelling on your mistakes. Often as events unfold. not tear you down. He?d just had enough of running away from the evil queen Jezebel. She doesn?t know what she?s talking about. here?s some more! 1) Surround yourself with the right people! Take every chance you get to spend time with those who build you up. Lord?Take my life? (1 Kings 19:4). a friend of shady characters (see Matthew 11:19). turn them into building blocks. it?s all too easy to explode on them. ?I thought he was lousy?. When Nathaniel asked concerning Jesus. but every fool is quick to quarrel? (Proverbs 20:3) HANDLING CRITICISM (4) 25 Jan 2004 'NAZARETH! CAN ANY GOOD THING COME FROM THERE? NATHANIEL ASKED' JOHN 1:46 Let?s take one final look at handling criticism. Immediately the hostess interrupted: ?Pay no attention to her. Don?t let the pressure build up like that.yourself ?Is this criticism for my benefit. The great prophet Elijah slipped in to depression because of weariness. They?d rather risk criticism and experience failure on the way to success.? Your negative reaction can be more destructive than somebody else?s initial criticism. People whose minds are polluted and whose vision isn?t clear. Tony Hawk became the first to pull a 900 in a live contest. but nobody remembers the journalist who wrote those words. the cause of the criticism will be eliminated and you?ll be looking good. a boozer (see Luke 7:34). They have the courage to go first and that?s what gives others courage to follow them! Most folks have a dream they long to fulfill ? they just need somebody to take the first step to show them the way. Good strategy! Circle above your adversaries rather than stooping to their level: Listen: ?It is to a man?s honour to avoid strife. When someone puts their finger on an issue in your life that you?re already sensitive about. 1) What does everyone else think? Mrs. The day after he delivered his most famous speech. ?If you stop every time a dog barks your road will never end. flat. they want to be the first to master the most complicated moves. The Chicago Times called it. When you? re nerves and emotions are on edge it?s easy to miss the opportunity for growth that comes with the criticism. 2) Concentrate on your mission! Most of us do the opposite. At the X-games in 1999. 2) Only time will tell. How?s that for a ?downer?? Watch out. In time. Time is on your side. 3) Go Higher! When crows attack a hawk. if they do. does your critic sincerely want to help you? HANDLING CRITICISM (2) 23 Jan 2004 'LISTEN TO ADVICE?AND IN THE END YOU WILL BE WISE. get on with growing wiser and moving on to finish the job. Quality time with the right people will relieve you from the effects of the worst criticism.' PROVERBS 19:20 Let?s take another look at handling criticism. There?s an old Arabian proverb that says. HANDLING CRITICISM (3) 24 Jan 2004 'A MAN?S WISDOM GIVES HIM PATIENCE' PROVERBS 19:11 As we?re on a roll with this. when your ideas and values conflict with theirs. ?Silly. deception comes to the surface and the truth will be known. won?t understand behaviour based on obedience to God. Today millions visit The Lincoln Memorial. dish-watery utterances?. Listen to him. THAT IS ALL YOU NEED' 2 CORINTHIANS 12:9 Pro-skateboaders are always pushing themselves to pull more and more extreme tricks. you may need to take their comments more seriously and even make some changes. give it to God. ?I have had enough. 2) Realize that good people get criticized! Jesus was called an over-eater (see Matthew 11:19).
so ask for it! You can?t fight today?s battles on the strength of yesterday?s bread. God. it rotted. And because God?s mercies begin afresh each day. When God says. The events that followed were some of the most dramatic and important transformations of the 20th Century. that is all you need?? (2 Corinthians 12:9 TLB). The truth is. than not having tried at all. you don?t have to compromise your convictions. STAR OF THE SHOW 28 Jan 2004 'I KNOW YOU BY NAME AND YOU HAVE FOUND FAVOUR WITH ME' EXODUS 33:12 When actors and actresses audition for a part. Listen: Even ?If we are unfaithful. God doesn?t need to do auditions and call-backs. or Halo for the X-Box. That?s how it works: when His light shines on your efforts. There is a special part on the great stage of life and that part is yours because you were born for it! That also means you need never be jealous of or intimidated by anybody else. means you?re confident that God?s got what you need. You?re an ?A-Lister? with an Oscar in being yourself! Even if others were to study you endlessly. Why? Because as a black citizen. little becomes much. This prayer is an expression of faith. The very fact that you ask. ?Wow. You?re it! You?re the only one who can fill the slot. It also . ?I know you by name and you have found favour with me?. Recognise God?s hand of grace on your life and let it be known that God is true to His promises. If they collected more. while the average person fears stepping out into a new opportunity. In the wilderness old Moses and the gang were only permitted to collect enough manna for each day. one thing you can be sure of is that God stays fresh! The Bible says. ?The unfailing love of the Lord never ends?Great is His faithfulness. this is now. if dream up a new possibility today. There was more at stake here than just a ride home from work. At that point the performer either gets the part or it goes to somebody else. play games. and Rosa refused to surrender her seat and move to the back of the bus. You really are a star! INTO THE SPOTLIGHT 29 Jan 2004 'I AM WATCHING TO SEE THAT MY WORD IS FULFILLED' JEREMIAH 1:12 December 1st 1955.? you say. Rosa Parks suddenly moved to centre stage becoming a symbol of the injustices of American racial segregation. It?s fine to talk about what God did yesterday or what He?s going to do tomorrow. play it too much or listen to it too many times and before you know it. Moments will come for you to stride confidently into the spotlight and fulfil your God-given role. But then you drink too much of it. And for that. ?Give us today?. He remains faithful?? (2 Timothy 2:13 NLT). So be careful about responding to any other call except the one that comes from Him. Did you get that? Even when you take Him for granted He still remains faithful to you. the pioneer fears missing out on it. If only the things in life would keep their ? newness?. the buzz has kind of evaporated so you have to go and look for the next big thing. the source of unfailing love. She can even stay cool having tried and failed. it means He?s already chosen you for a particular role. you will be able to stand up to the challenges you?re facing. and cares enough to provide for you.progress overwhelms her reluctance to take a risk. great faithfulness. That?s because He?s already written a script just for you. CITIZENS 30 Jan 2004 'EXCEPT THE LORD BUILD THE HOUSE. His mercies begin afresh each day? (Lamentations 3:22. Have you noticed that failure looks and feels completely different in the rearview mirror. than it does when it is staring at you through the windshield. Well. your side of the deal is to keep your thanks to him fresh too. but all you?ve got is today. As you digest what God has provided for you today. Well. HIS MERCIES BEGIN AFRESH EACH DAY' LAMENTATIONS 3:23 Every once in a while you come across something new and it?s like. and endless mercy delivered fresh when your eyes open each morning! ?But it?s all started to feel a bit too familiar. Nobody else could possibly fill it or meet the requirements. or The Tribe?s new album. THEY LABOUR IN VAIN THAT BUILD IT' PSALM 127:1 God has provision for whatever you?re facing today. go for it: ??I am with you. In God?s eyes there are no other contenders. So. It was a moment in time and change was in the air. they still couldn?t be you. You can keep up continual gratitude by looking beyond your blessings to their source. this is amazing!? Like Starbucks Ice Frappuchino.23 NLT). That was then. She was the real thing and God shone a light on her soul that day which made history. you should always find a fresh supply of thanks. A BIT TOO FAMILIAR 27 Jan 2004 'GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS. because He created it with you in mind. drop names or do special favours. A woman called Rosa Parks suddenly became one of the most talked about people on the face of the planet. because good ideas aren?t necessarily God ideas! Since God designed you with all the built-in potential you?ll ever need. no matter how talented or popular they are. so try to remember that there?s no room for self-importance and pretence. the law stated that the front seats of the bus should be reserved for white people only. the director conducts what are known as ?call-backs?. She wasn?t playing games.
new insights and new plan for your life. Chew on that! No short cuts 03 Feb 2004 . I trust You to heal my emotions. so when God says it?s time to move. ?Grateful for what?? That your faith and your testimony are so threatening to the enemy. In order to reach your destiny. imprisoned. It was good for then. pray for those who are cruel to you? (Luke 6:28 NCV). or you start having all sorts of mood swings. NOW THEN?GET READY?' JOSHUA 1:2 Joshua had tasted the fruit of the Promised Land. get down on your knees before your Heavenly Father and pray. And every voice of doubt that?s holding you back has got to die and be buried too. what are the chances that you?ll actually live for Him? Into your promised land 02 Feb 2004 'MOSES MY SERVANT IS DEAD. No. flick off the TV. next time you trap your finger in the door and your whole body aches. 3) More faithful. Have you completed the process? Once you?ve made a decision to forgive. burying it. In Jesus name. Help me. the more crafty the devil?s distractions must be. and He will. but they didn?t see him die. being jailed or being burned at the stake? we must put our selfish ways to death and march to a different beat. God knows what you need ? more than you do! As you chew on what He provides for you each day. Try measuring yourself by that standard! ?Are you trying to make me feel bad?? you say. and you?ve done the right thing and forgiven them. ?Ashes to ashes and dust to dust!? Only when you?ve taken those 2 steps are you ready to enter your Promised Land. Only God has the power to change your feelings toward the one who hurt you. if you?re not willing to die for Him. which is heal your emotions and make you feel whole again. your unanswered questions. is your job finished? No. I?m letting go and I ask You to bless them. You?ve done your part. actually means ?to speak well of?. that you?re on his hit-list. listen: ?bless those who curse you. The more focused the disciple. when people start getting on your nerves for no apparent reason.? The issue is. It?s interesting that the Israelites mourned Moses? death. They had to let go of him in their hearts before they could move forward. fill me and give me strength. shut the door. 2) Every doubter had to be buried. By the way. by faith. and those who are ill-treated as if you yourselves were suffering? (Hebrews 13:3 ). Amen. your childhood fears. but he had to wait for years before it became his home. His body was never found. and he had to wait until everyone of them died in the wilderness. ?Holy Spirit. There were lots and lots of people around Joshua telling him it couldn?t be done. instead of what is. FORGIVE HIM AND LET IT DROP' MARK 11:25 What do you do when someone has hurt you. whose testimony held on in the fiercest trials. and killed just for loving Jesus. it?s probably because you?re not eating right and I?m not talking about Big Macs! If that rings any bells. you?re not ready yet. including the voice of your low self-esteem. Lord. you have to try to untie the knot first. now you?re waiting on God to do His part.? Now. because loads of your brothers and sisters are being persecuted. listen for God?s new instructions. ?I don?t need to go to anybody else except You?. leave it all in your Father?s hands! 2 die 4 for Jesus? MAINTAINED. you cannot truly forgive without the Holy Spirit?s help. just: 1) More grateful. Then the world will see Jesus. Ouch! You?re extending mercy to those who don?t deserve it! But isn?t that what God does for you? The truth is. Bless them? Yeah! And that word bless. None of us can. think about it and you?ll get the answer ? and it will remind you to pray for the great big world-wide body of believers. I turn the situation over to You.' REVELATION 6:9 01 Feb 2004 'I SAW?THOSE WHO HAD BEEN SLAIN BECAUSE OF THE WORD OF GOD AND THE TESTIMONY THEY HAD Who is being talked about in today?s headline verse? People who?ve given their lives for Jesus. Listen: ?Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners. go back to God and pray. So switch the mobile to silent. Why? Because certain things had to happen first: 1) Moses had to die! Moses represented the old system. I forgive ___________ [name] for what they did. How 2 4give 31 Jan 2004 'IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING AGAINST ANYONE.says. Michael Tait from DC Talk wrote in the book ?Jesus Freaks?: ?Our mission may not involve hanging on a cross. standing on top of it and saying. The past gets tangled up with systems and traditions. you?ll start getting stronger and stronger. So today why don?t you pray. but not for now! When you align yourself with what was. tortured. ?Give me today my daily bread?. but you still feel pants? Sound familiar? Did you know you can make the right decision and still have the wrong feelings? This is when you need faith to carry you through. ?Give me what I need for this day?. Well. even your need to look cool! Imagine yourself putting them in a box. ?But what does that verse mean to me?? you ask. 2) More prayerful.
A few minutes rattling off the regular lines transforms into hours of reaching for the Saviour. your struggles will begin to make sense. and let his smile give you hope for the future. John Maxwell who writes lots of books on leadership says. ?What would it ? not be right? for me to do?? Either give it away or scrap it entirely. ?You are most valuable where you add the most value. His parents didn?t get the first look at him. Okay? Do U know what?s in U? 05 Feb 2004 'HIS POWER?IS AT WORK WITHIN US' EPHESIANS 3:20 There are words in your Bible full of life and power. This is pretty tough on super-achievers like Paul. Same goes for you. God can show you words that go back into your past and heal your yesterday. To think about where you are most valuable consider this question. God could have kept Joseph out of jail. Cutting corners won?t do you any favours. If you find yourself continually giving in to your moods and impulses don?t just keep crashing on. That?s when you learn to pray heart-felt. honest-to-God prayers.U. Albert Grey says. first team. There are no short cuts. you feel abandoned. Listen: ?We? saw how powerless we were to help ourselves. Solve one problem and another?s waiting to take its place. your mates have vanished and you turn to God.'THESE LITTLE TROUBLES ARE GETTING US READY' 2 CORINTHIANS 4:17 Jesus said we?d have problems (John 16:33). And what about Jennifer Lopez? She had to make do with bit-parts in other people?s videos before she made her own name. did things start to go right. life-changing potential that was deposited within you from before the foundations of the world! Listen to how the Street Bible puts it: ?God?s always?blowing our tiny little minds by setting off his supernatural power inside us? (Ephesians 3:20). Jeremiah out of the slimy pit and Paul from being shipwrecked. That?s why its so important not to clutter your life with so much junk that you don?t have time for God?s Word. David wrote: ?The Lord is close to the broken-hearted?? (Psalm 34:18 NLT). you?re out of options. Can . place all your needs into His loving arms. there?s no overnight success. stop.? Take a moment. thirstquenching. but He didn?t. Because of this rapid growth the Apostles found themselves in the food service business! And they weren?t very good at it either! Strife and division threatened the church because Jewish widows were being given special treatment over Greek ones. Only when the Apostles gave the job away and got back to what they were called to do. The way to any breakthrough is to keep believing and keep going. And what was the result of that decision: a) the problem was solved and the needy were cared for b) the Word of God spread and the number of disciples increased rapidly c) key leaders in the city of Jerusalem were won to Christ. instead of ourselves. Daniel out of the lions? den. The main thing! 04 Feb 2004 'IT WOULD NOT BE RIGHT FOR US' ACTS 6:2 As the New Testament church grew it became impossible for the Apostles to juggle all the balls. We will turn this responsibility over to them? (Acts 6:3). until God?s all you?ve got! So today. b) ??before you were born I set you apart?? (Jeremiah 1:5). start making the main thing ? the main thing. Nothing about you surprises Him. secure your today. It was time to get some help. He hasn?t changed His mind about who you are or what you?re destined to become. It?s vital to your success that you discover that narrow area of responsibility where you add the most value ? and stay there. Listen: ??choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. Whatever you?ve been through. That?s why the enemy has tried so hard to take you out. Your most life-changing experiences might well come during your darkest days ? when your heart?s broken. God did. and anchor your tomorrow. Before Jeremiah became a major prophet God told him: a) ?Before I formed you in the womb I knew you?? (Jeremiah 1:5). Alex Ferguson sent him off to Preston North End to grow up before giving him a permanent place in the M. but with many advisers they succeed? (Proverbs 15:22). Now check this out: ?Plans fail for lack of counsel. for then we put everything into the hands of God. And the result? Everyone of them was drawn closer to God ? and impacted their world! Our problems force us to look to God and depend on Him. but that was good. but they?re all necessary to your spiritual growth! How do you measure the strength of anything? By testing it! Listen: ??don?t be?shocked that you are going through testing?It will prepare you?? (1 Peter 4:12-13 CEV). Stop looking for acceptance in places where you don?t belong! You?re on a mission from God. They?re not all big. ? Successful people are successful because they do things that failures don?t like to do?. Once you understand that. Take David Beckham. So get into God?s Word today and begin to sense the awesome. who alone could save us? (2 Corinthians 1:9 TLB). but whatever you do. You?ll never know that God?s all you need. Keep on keeping on 06 Feb 2004 'WE MUST NOT BECOME TIRED OF DOING GOOD?' GALATIANS 6:9 Most of us underestimate the time it takes to achieve anything of lasting value. Without the light of the Word how will you see the ?God? potential that?s hidden within you. mind-renewing.
? Lord. You fill in the amount?. It takes more than one colour to make a rainbow. So why aren?t we more understanding? 1) Self-centeredness. we can slip up and start thinking about ourselves and how wonderful we are. Switched on people have financial goals for their life and use their resources to serve God?s greatest goal for mankind: ??this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world?then the end will come? (Matthew 24:14).' PROVERBS 2:3 Lots of conflicts are caused not by huge differences of opinion. and sending out missionaries. Christian broadcasting. ?until I come back?? (Luke 19:13). A lot of what we do is just bling-bling. Ready. ? Never despise what you don?t understand?. 3) Fear. He kept going. in all its diverse and creative expressions: books. Two common problems are ?gift-envy? and ?gift-projection?. every penny You entrusted to me to fulfil Your purposes in the earth?. they let God use them for His. Some of what we do is manipulation. aim. Chew on that! Either you open your mind to a new idea and grow. We serve to be seen. distractions. ?When we understand the other fellow?s viewpoint and what he?s trying to do.you see anyone around who could help you with a bit of accountability? A smart friend will keep you on track like nothing else. Your kingdom is my first concern. Harry Truman said. US President. not ministry. ?Put this money to work. One day you?ll see King Jesus face to face and you can say. Have you checked the price of a round-trip airfare to Asia or Africa lately? Your prayer. not themselves! Real humility is not thinking less of yourself ? but thinking of yourself less. When you learn to appreciate the differences in people. local churches. serve? (3) 10 Feb 2004 . That?s what separates those who achieve. Ask God today if there?s anybody He wants to bless through you. Ready. Someone has remarked: ?There are two sides to every question ? as long as it doesn?t concern us personally?. our toys just cost more! 2) Failure to appreciate differences. meet all my needs. stockbroker. Top Quaker William Penn said. For the next few days we?ll check out how and why. Life is a team sport that?s often enjoyable but sometimes pretty hard too.' MATTHEW 5:41 Service begins in your mind! Listen: ?Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who? made himself nothing. or are you serving others? You can?t do both. ?He did what was right in the sight of the Lord. ?I invested every ounce of energy. use the occasion to practice the servant life? (Matthew 5:41 TM). One happens when we compare our gifts with others and feel ?less than?.? True servants don?t use God for their purposes. from those who merely dream! Be kind! 07 Feb 2004 'CALL OUT FOR INSIGHT AND CRY ALOUD FOR UNDERSTANDING. gold-miner. it also includes what you do with your money. Ready. bossed around or patronised? Jesus said. ?Lord. Through the church. someone?s got to step out in faith and say. True servants are sorted in the attitude department. yet not with a true heart? (2 Chronicles 25:2 NRS). serve?(1) 08 Feb 2004 'PRACTICE THE SERVANT LIFE. retailer. move forward again ? staying in regular contact. aim. ? God. We need each other more than we know. or to earn points in people?s books. much easier to join the crowd ? who told Columbus the earth was flat and that he?d fall off the end! 50 years ago. Listen: ??he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas [gold coins].? won?t get the job done! Somebody?s going to have to believe God for more than just their own needs. prison ministry. aim. We grow up learning to put ourselves first. or you reject it and stay the same size. Then we read: ??he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money?to find out what they had gained with it? (Luke 19:15). And while we?re being honest. True servants focus on others. have you ever used serving as a bargaining tool. ? How will that happen?? you ask. if You?ll do that for me. serve (2) 09 Feb 2004 'THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN GIVEN A TRUST MUST PROVE FAITHFUL. but by simple lack of understanding.? he said. and put them behind you? R H Macy. every talent. taking the very nature of a servant?? (Philippians 2:5-7). estate agent ? before he finally succeeded. It?s a bit scary when you don?t understand. King Amaziah lost God?s favour because. The other happens when we expect everybody else to feel equally passionate about what we?re called to do. Once your new network is in place. 9 times out of 10 he?s just trying to do right?. When we grow up. youth ministry. you?ll discover we all share the same hopes and fears. Ever play with a 2-year-old? They choose the best toys for themselves and always insist on having their own way. Are you willing to confront discomfort. God is always more interested in your attitude than your achievements. fear. founder of the flashy Macy?s Department Store in New York. I?ll sign the cheque. I?ll do this for You. Let?s pause for today on this final thought: You can measure your servant?s heart by how you respond to how others treat you! How do you react when you feel taken for granted. failed at 5 different professions ? whaler. Are you living a selfservice life.' 1 CORINTHIANS 4:2 Serving isn?t just about what you do with your time. famine relief. ??if someone takes unfair advantage of you.
His old grave clothes which were a major hindrance to him. One of the most beautiful acts of love shown to Jesus was criticised by His own disciples. growing up with JC! Yet he just called himself ?a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ? (see James 1:1). It wasn?t his big income. didn?t just fall off the minute Jesus called him. Can you imagine what would happen if even 10 percent of Christians got serious about their role as true servants? WOW! Show me the money! 12 Feb 2004 'WHAT MUST I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?' LUKE 18:18 The young guy who asked this question had a lot going for him. Remember Jesus washing the feet of His disciples? Could you see yourself doing that? Insecure people always worry about how they look. nothing you can do will qualify you for heaven.' GALATIANS 5:26 True servants concentrate on their God-given assignment ? not what somebody else is doing! Competition on God?s team is a no-brainer! Our goal is to make God look good. so do the educated. or you wouldn?t display your crayon sketches before Picasso. your reputation worthless. To receive salvation you must first declare that you?re spiritually bankrupt. how could any of us. What a story. a holy dude. don?t have pity-parties and don?t resent those not serving in the same way. They just trust God and keep at it. for he was extremely rich? (Luke 18:22-23 NAS). the strong. Paul writes. It doesn?t happen overnight. So: ?Serve the Lord with gladness! ? (Psalm 100:2 Amp). they called it ?a waste?. the brother of Jesus. the good-looking. come out? (see v43). ??sell all that you possess? he became very sad. that?s the point. God determines who?s successful. Let God handle it! Nehemiah?s response to his critics is a classic: ?? ?My work is too important to stop now and?visit with you?? (Nehemiah 6:3 CEV). We have far more interesting things to do?Each of us is an original? (Galatians 5:26 TM). But Jesus called it. selfsufficiency was. ?Lazarus. Henri Nouwen. ?a beautiful thing? (Matthew 26:10). Eternal life costs more than you can afford. but the only approval that counts is the Lord?s approval?. expensive perfume. It?s not your job to defend yourself against criticism. Since when did you become the expert? Listen: ?Who are you to judge someone else?s servant?? (Romans 14:4). The Holy Spirit does the initial work and then undertakes the transformation process. or you might get totally blanked. God would have to be really mean to sell salvation just to those who can afford it! Even then. The apostle Paul says. so they hide their weaknesses beneath layers of protection.'WE WILL NOT COMPARE OURSELVES WITH EACH OTHER. Your service to Christ isn?t an obligation or a job. Ready. You won?t find true servants covering their walls with plaques or certificates either. he was wrong. you?ll just get wound up. It doesn?t matter. and your options gone. the popular. it was his big ego! And it?s not just the wealthy who have difficulty grasping this. even the religious. Knowing God. Listen: ??we will not compare ourselves ?as if one of us were better and another worse. There?s no need. Certain experiences in your past can slow you down and keep you bound. So there?s no need to ?name-drop?. still bound from head to toe like a mummy. not ourselves. possibly pay the price? Just as you wouldn?t impress the space-shuttle crew with your paper aeroplane. When Jesus stood at His friend?s grave and shouted. He was flash. Think about James. They might be really grateful and make a big fuss. So come to Him today! It?s a process 13 Feb 2004 'UNWRAP HIM AND LET HIM GO' JOHN 11:44 Whenever you accept Christ. True servants accept jobs that insecure people consider ?beneath them?. you?re gonna struggle to serve with the right motives. You kinda get the feeling that he thought he could get eternal life the way he?d got everything else in life ? by self-effort. that your cupboard is bare. That?s why the only CV you need is Christ?s Victory! Money wasn?t this man?s problem. not you! And it goes one step further too. True servants don?t complain of unfairness. his friend who?d been dead for 4 days shuffled out. Getting involved in simple acts of kindness will enable the real you to shine through. There?s only one opinion that matters ? His! Remember that today. You can?t approach God demanding justice ? you can only come pleading mercy. God sees it all. Jesus told his friends ?Unwrap . and poured it over Jesus.. When Mary took the most valuable thing she owned. serve? (4) 11 Feb 2004 'THE ONLY APPROVAL THAT COUNTS IS THE LORD?S' 2 CORINTHIANS 10:18 If your sense of self worth is based on anything other than God?s approval. it takes time. ?You may brag about yourself. No. So when Jesus replied. If he was expecting to buy his way into heaven. aim. He begins changing you from the inside out. said: ?we have to give up measuring our meaning and value by the yardstick of others?? Your service should not be based on the response of those you?re serving. ??what the law was powerless to do?God did by sending his own Son?? (Romans 8:3). probably wore a Calvin Klein loin cloth and drove a fuel injected camel! ??what must I do to inherit eternal life?? He enquired. So stick to what God?s given you and resist the urge to stick your nose in other people?s business. even Bill Gates. it?s a joy.
2) Before you get the lasting fruit. but she pushed through and got what her blessing. in relationship to Christ! He tells them: ?Apart from me you can do nothing?. Notice: 1) You only understand who you are. Jesus refused to answer her. (Lucy). The right people will help you to develop an intimate relationship with God through prayer and Bible reading.? she said. You can be a good branch connected to a good vine bearing good fruit.' JOHN 15:5 Jesus took His disciples aside to try to get them thinking about life without him around. and 3) do something for someone that may mean putting in extra time or effort you don't feel you have.him and let him go?. just because I love him. The Bible says. Be ready to welcome those God sends to love you. you have great faith! Your request is granted??(Matthew 15:22-28 ). ?Let it go.? Let?s think about that for a minute. you?ll find it hard to believe that you ever wore grave clothes at all. I. and with their help Lazarus was free to enjoy an extended life. But talk about hard work! First. Today be challenged to do these 3 things. If you love God. ?but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master?s table. put off. Wotz all that about? This woman wasn?t a Jew.' 1 JOHN 4:8 .. don?t even show up for the bread ? but desperate people pick up . complain about the bread. You?re not blessed in anything you do because of who you are. (it can be liberating!!) 2) tell someone close to you how much you appreciate them. the old has gone. make someone's day extra special!! Stay connected 15 Feb 2004 'I AM THE VINE. ?Woman. you?ll waste your time. ?? anyone?in Christ?is a new creation.' MATTHEW 15:28 As you read your Bible you?ll see that Jesus came out with some pretty far-out stuff! Check out how He deals with this desperate woman: ??Lord?My daughter is suffering terribly? . It takes faith to believe that God would let you to lose what you?re proud of. So the word for you today is. It?s easy to neglect the bread of life. it?s useless. Through His Word you get an accurate picture of how He sees you. am married to a gorgeous guy I believe is perfect for me. you have to lose the fruit that?s temporary! Listen: ??every branch that does bear fruit he prunes?? (John 15:2). in order to give you something better ? fruit that remains. It's about realising that it is better to give than receive. God is love [VALENTINE?S DAY SPECIAL by BLUSH uk] 14 Feb 2004 'WHOEVER DOES NOT LOVE DOES NOT KNOW GOD BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE. Don?t you think we could all learn to be a bit more like that? ?Let the children have the bread. She?s not asking for what she deserves. Love is about putting others before yourself not just because God encourages you to. then He starts going on about bread and dogs! But she was sharp and refused to be shut down. It is to show kindness and encouragement even to those people we may not like. or discouraged. YOU HAVE GREAT FAITH! YOUR REQUEST IS GRANTED. His love is in you.Well what does that mean? Is He the one who sends us valentine cards (or forgets to some years!).I chose you?to go and bear fruit ? fruit that will last? (John 15: 5&16).? ?Yes. YOU ARE THE BRANCHES. It?s important that you recognise these special people and build your life alongside them. or getting your own way through shifty strategies. you end up trying to do things without the God-factor. you?re blessed because of who you?re connected to. That means a) negative influences and thought patterns b) low self-esteem c) old addictions and habits d) destructive relationships. but that doesn't mean he IS perfect!! Can you imagine if I stopped loving him every time he did something annoying or hurtful? I wouldn't love him very much! I can actually get up from a lovely cosy settee with my favourite TV programme on. therefore He should inspire us to do things we don't always want to do. We must understand that to truly love someone. Lord. waste the bread. but because you love them enough to believe they need it. 1) pray for someone who's been annoying or upsetting you. Through prayer you get to know His heart and start seeing yourself through His eyes. Oh crumbs! 16 Feb 2004 'WOMAN. and suddenly God starts trimming back certain things in your life. Things you thought were really great are taken away. or does it mean more than that? Is He the one who picks up your smelly socks you need to wear tomorrow and wash them for you? God IS love. enduring success.? Then Jesus answered. you are the branches?apart from me you can do nothing..He answered. she crying out for what she needs. Your life is in the vine! And if you don?t understand plants very well think about your TV instead ? unless it?s plugged in.. she was an outsider. all I need are the crumbs.. As a result Jesus took time out from His tightly-focused mission and answered her prayer. God has much better in store for you?. When you forget that. Unless you understand that. unwrap you and encourage you into your potential... so go ahead. Listen: ?I am the vine. is to love them faults and all.. Now it feels like you?re going backwards. the first job is to get rid of grave clothes of your past. Nice one. ?I was sent only to?Israel?It is not right to take the children?s bread and toss it to their dogs. Listen to her: ?Have mercy on me?. trying to save people with clever words. the new has come!? (2 Corinthians 5:17). When that happens.. and go into a cold kitchen to get him a drink. When Jesus saves you.
?Give us today?.the crumbs and find life! They know that if there?s power in the loaf there?s power in the crumb. as it is in heaven?. 4) ?Your will be done on earth. None of us can. he?s stuffed. attitudes or fears . it will have no place in my life here on earth?. In the wilderness old Moses and the gang were only permitted to collect enough manna for each day. mean that when the devil fires something at your mind that?s anti-God. We don?t just pray to some vague higher power. just: 1) More grateful. Be Lord of my relationships. shut the door. Ouch! You?re extending mercy to those who don?t deserve it! But isn?t that what God does for you? The truth is.? Now. pray for those who are cruel to you? (Luke 6:28 NCV). And praise is the pathway into God?s presence. The very fact that you ask. we approach God on the basis of who He is to us ? ?Our Father!? 2) ?Hallowed be your name?. So today why don?t you pray. I forgive ___________ [name] for what they did. No. I?m letting go and I ask You to bless them. whose testimony held on in the fiercest trials. but you still feel pants? Sound familiar? Did you know you can make the right decision and still have the wrong feelings? This is when you need faith to carry you through. FORGIVE HIM AND LET IT DROP' MARK 11:25 What do you do when someone has hurt you. ?Give me today my daily bread?. so ask for it! You can?t fight today?s battles on the strength of yesterday?s bread. It also says. what do you need from Jesus today? How badly do you want it? The Lord?s Prayer (1) 17 Feb 2004 'TEACH US TO PRAY?' LUKE 11:1 Jesus gives us the lowdown for approaching God. and when a crumb from God is all you can get. my pastimes. Let?s take a scan at it: 1) ?Our Father in heaven?. like words. is that you have the God-given authority to restrict his movements around your life. it?s probably because you?re not eating right and I?m not talking about Big Macs! If that rings any bells. Bless them? Yeah! And that word bless. Too late. You?ve done your part.' MATTHEW 6:11 18 Feb 2004 God has provision for whatever you?re facing today. and cares enough to provide for you. ?I want to make you the number one priority in every area of my life. If they collected more. and He will. I trust You to heal my emotions. the secret?s out. Have you completed the process? Once you?ve made a decision to forgive. Lord. by faith. It?s fine to talk about what God did yesterday or what He?s going to do tomorrow. The one thing the devil hopes you never discover. ?I don?t need to go to anybody else except You?. or you start having all sorts of mood swings. This prayer is an expression of faith. means you?re confident that God?s got what you need. The Lord?s Prayer (2) 'GIVE US TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD. is your job finished? No. ?Holy Spirit. That statement is a decalaration of His holiness or. Try measuring yourself by that standard! ?Are you trying to make me feel bad?? you say. when people start getting on your nerves for no apparent reason. fill me and give me strength. As you digest what God has provided for you today. Those words mean. as it is in heaven?. flick off the TV. ?Give me what I need for this day?. Help me. By the way. you will be able to stand up to the challenges you?re facing. So switch the mobile to silent. get down on your knees before your Heavenly Father and pray. Is anyone in heaven fearful or doubting? Stubborn or disobedient? Critical or negative? The words. In Jesus name. You must never let anything or anyone stop you from praising God. which is heal your emotions and make you feel whole again. How 2 4give 19 Feb 2004 'IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING AGAINST ANYONE. ?Your will be done on earth. listen: ?bless those who curse you. put simple: PRAISE. you?ll start getting stronger and stronger. leave it all in your Father?s hands! 2 die 4 for Jesus? 20 Feb 2004 'I SAW?THOSE WHO HAD BEEN SLAIN BECAUSE OF THE WORD OF GOD AND THE TESTIMONY THEY HAD MAINTAINED. go back to God and pray. my speech. actually means ?to speak well of?. Listen: ?Enter into his gates with thanksgiving. and you?ve done the right thing and forgiven them. You?ve got to put the correct address on the envelope if you want it to reach the right letter box. but all you?ve got is today. Only God has the power to change your feelings toward the one who hurt you. my thought life and my dreams?. God knows what you need ? more than you do! As you chew on what He provides for you each day. this is now. Amen. I turn the situation over to You. ?If it?s not approved in heaven.' REVELATION 6:9 Who is being talked about in today?s headline verse? People who?ve given their lives for Jesus. ?Grateful for what?? That your faith and . a crumb is all you need. it rotted. now you?re waiting on God to do His part. So. you cannot truly forgive without the Holy Spirit?s help. That was then. and into his courts with praise? (Psalm 100:4). 3) ?Your kingdom come?.rise up in Christ?s name and announce.
therefore. had settled on us as the focus of his love? (Ephesians 1:4 TM). there is someone . Through prayer Christians can limit Satan?s movements and defeat his best-laid strategies. Ask the Lord of the harvest. it?s not just for super-advanced Christians. Next time you suffer from rejection or an attack of low self-esteem. unstoppable force known as ?intercessors?. Listen: ?? you must warn them so they may live. Don?t mix so much with church folks that you forget how to communicate with non-church folks. So put this magazine down. that you?re on his hit-list. tortured. He never does anything accidentally. 3) More faithful. think about it and you?ll get the answer ? and it will remind you to pray for the great big world-wide body of believers. anywhere. The more focused the disciple. if you?re not willing to die for Him. anytime. when you make Jesus the centre of your life.? you say. Michael Tait from DC Talk wrote in the book ?Jesus Freaks?: ?Our mission may not involve hanging on a cross. but no illegitimate children. It works like this: your prayers reach God. because loads of your brothers and sisters are being persecuted. close your eyes and visualise the final moment when everything that ever bothered you will make sense ? when Jesus welcomes you into the throne room and gives you a perfectly fitted crown that?s been waiting for you for eternity! Your mission (1) 23 Feb 2004 'GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES' MATTHEW 28:19 We each have different gifts.? The issue is. Listen: ??The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us?? (Romans 12:3 TM). and those who are ill-treated as if you yourselves were suffering? (Hebrews 13:3 ). there?s an unseen. and killed just for loving Jesus. all the people on earth will be yours? (Psalm 2:8 NCV). do they know how to pray!!! Behind every great spiritual awakening. Listen: ?Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners. God will authorise in heaven. ?But what does that verse mean to me?? you ask. to send out workers into his harvest field?? (Matthew 9:37-38 ). If you don?t?they will die in their sin?? (Ezekiel 3:18 NCV). Listen: ?Long before he laid down earth?s foundations. People move nations. No matter how much of a good time your non-Christian mates appear to be having. Nations are changed. So what? Why not just start with your own story? What was life like before you met Jesus? What convinced you that He?s real? How have you changed? What?s He done for you lately? So many people just don?t even know that a relationship with God is possible.? God made you for a reason. b) ???The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. ?I?m the object of God?s love and the most important of all the things He made. were first won in the secret place of prayer by these intercessors! It?s their specialised ministry. Now here?s a tip before you trip: don?t forget how hopeless it felt to be without Christ. being jailed or being burned at the stake? we must put our selfish ways to death and march to a different beat. what are the chances that you?ll actually live for Him? Profile: Intercessor 21 Feb 2004 'HE SAID HE WOULD DESTROY THEM ? HAD NOT MOSES? STOOD IN THE BREACH BEFORE HIM' PSALM 106:23 Today we?re gonna put the spotlight on a special bunch of people. but God has given us all the same mission: ??go and make disciples?? That?s the great commission. you?re why He made it. and begin to touch nations! What you prayerfully declare on earth. he had us in mind. By calling the forces of heaven into any situation. remind yourself.your testimony are so threatening to the enemy. And God could be calling you to be one of them! You see prayer isn?t just about you. the more crafty the devil?s distractions must be. for anybody. God touches people. Well. (as long as it lines up with His word). it?s about the world out there. next time you trap your finger in the door and your whole body aches. What?s special about them? Man. This job is urgent! ?But I?m not good with words. without Christ they?re empty and lost ? eternally lost! You are the only Christian somebody knows. U R no accident! 22 Feb 2004 'YOU WERE IN MY CARE EVEN BEFORE YOU WERE BORN' ISAIAH 44:2 You?re breathing at this very moment because God planned it! There are illegitimate parents. I will give you the nations. not the great suggestion! And it?s not just for pastors and missionaries. He designed the exact environment you could thrive in. Check out these 2 verses: a) ?If you ask me. 2) More prayerful. God made you so that He could love you! That?s a truth you can build your life on! God was thinking of you before He made the world. ?How?? you ask. it?s for you! Yes you! It?s not an optional extra. You?re the focus of His love and the most valuable of all His creation. God?s purposes override human error. Many of the victories we celebrate in the open. Your life has deep meaning! But you only discover that meaning. The whole thing begins with one praying person ? an intercessor ? today let that praying person be you. In fact. Listen: ?God decided to give us life through the word of truth so we might be the most important of all the things he made? (James 1:18 NCV). the kind that radically changes people and shakes up communities. Then the world will see Jesus. It?s time to move beyond your ?bless me? prayers. imprisoned.
God can be bringing all sorts of opportunities to you. Keep on the ball? (Mark 13:32-33 Street). forgive him so that your father in heaven will also forgive your sins? (Mark 11:25 NCV). Remember the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus? It was only after Jesus had walked with them for 7 miles. that needs to know about Jesus?? Your mission (2) 24 Feb 2004 'YOU WILL RECEIVE POWER?AND YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES ?TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH. setting him free to become the man God called him to be. Without a vision for your life you?ll stumble around blind to: a) who God is. 30 years ago Bill Gates saw a computer in every office and home even while experts were announcing. clearing his vision totally. So take a moment today and pray. Forgiving others isn?t an option ? it?s an order! When the mention of somebody?s name makes all your nerves go on edge. On another occasion He told them. ?I?m better than I was. But still I didn?t see what this ?fast from criticism? was accomplishing ? until mid-afternoon. but I can?t quite discern what it is. In other words. almost as if I?d been wiped out as a person. It?s really easy to get confused! But you know.. Be careful what you let escape out of that hole today! Vision 26 Feb 2004 'OPEN MY EYES THAT I MAY SEE' PSALM 119:18 The most frequent miracle Jesus performed was opening blind eyes. before He ascended.. and we begin to see Him at work in a way we never have before.. For the first half of the day I was completely void. But mostly He opens His word and our understanding. O.. Jesus? disciples asked Him about it. I was going to go on a ?fast? from criticism. In one case He touched a blind man who exclaimed. My critical nature had not solved one of the multitudinous things I had found fault with.? Listen. If just that one person is in heaven because of you. I can see something. Today we?re not so bothered about what goes in that hole ? but what comes out. watch your step. you don?t want to end up face down in the gravel. Now if Jesus didn?t know the day of His return. removing his limitations. 1) An unforgiven offence. and what you can accomplish in His strength. above your chin and below your nose you have a hole! You decide when to open it and when to keep it closed. . When the disciples wanted to talk about the finish line. God will do all He can to help those committed to bringing others into His family! Out of the hole 25 Feb 2004 'TAKE CONTROL OF WHAT I SAY. ?The exact timing?s kept absolute top secret. ?Words kill. who have You put in my life today. we?re talking about words! Did you know that Jesus said. yet you don?t see them because your spiritual eyes are still cloudy.. explaining the Scriptures to them. Now it was apparent what God wanted me to see. Watch you don?t trip 27 Feb 2004 'TAKE THE STUMBLING BLOCK OUT OF THE WAY' ISAIAH 57:14 Here are 3 things to look for as you run this race of faith. more often for some people than others ? and things come out of it. you choose? (Proverbs 18:21TM). The angels have no idea. So if you want Jesus to come back sooner. ?God I want You to bless what I do. start looking around at your personal mission field and begin to pray. won?t that still be amazing! So. why are you trying to figure it out? What we do know for sure is: Jesus will not return until everyone God wants to hear the good news. get busy and start reaching people for him.that only you can reach because of how God has made you. All sorts of books and videos have come out with all kinds of wacky ideas. ?God. I was not going to criticise anybody or anything. How does God reveal Himself to us? In cathedrals or conferences? Sometimes. What do you see? Over 100 years ago Thomas Edison saw electrical light before the first bulb ever glowed. His response? ??It is not for you to know the times or dates?But you will receive power?and you will be my witnesses?? (Acts 1:7-8). LORD' PSALM 141:3 On the front of your face. Things go in it.' ACTS 1:8 In the last few years there?s been a lot of interest in the Second Coming of Christ. There?s a lesson here for you. that we read: ? Their eyes were opened and they recognised him? (Luke 24:31). ?Open my eyes that I may see?. ??if you are angry with someone. and no. ?God help me to do what You? re blessing?.? So Jesus touched him again. Jesus said. So don?t drift off. ?I see men like trees. Jesus focused the conversation on the race itself. ?One morning I asked God to give me an assignment for one day. Ideas began to come to me in a way I hadn?t experienced for years. words give life. Evangelism isn?t something you do. Dad?s the only one who knows when. No. it should be your way of life! Instead of praying. What it had done was to stifle my own creativity. Even I?ve not been told. walking? (Mark 8:24 NKJ). ? Not in our lifetime?. and what He can do b) who you are. we?re not talking about puke. has heard it. again more often for some people than others. ??I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken?? (Matthew 12:36) What?s coming out of your mouth these days ? judgement and criticism or encouragement and positivity? In her book ?A Closer Walk? Catherine Marshall writes.? it?s time to start praying..
Many times he had known the protection of the mountains. God shows that He is not limited to geographical space.' HEBREWS 10:23 Do you ever ?people watch?? So many people hassled and stressed. Hope isn?t a million to one. Think about great big craggy mountains like the Himalayas. Whatever I ask for myself in blessing. You?ve received mercy . ?Let us hold firmly to?hope?? (Hebrews 10:23 NCV). The right mates will push you higher. A committed heart is the result of a made-up mind! That explains why certain people stand out from the crowd. Listen: ??I call as my heart grows faint. saying???Where is your God??? (Psalm 42:10). permanent and invincible. . ?I?m not saying that I have this all together ?but I?ve got my eye on the goal? (Philippians 3:13-14 TM paraphrased). So when you think of God as your rock. You choose the level you want to live at when you when you choose your mates. There?s the garden of Eden. I ask for them too?. I forgive them as You?ve forgiven me. You can do it! Please don?t retaliate or deny God the right to deal with the situation His way. David still said. ??I hope in Your word? (Psalm 119:147 NKJ). Paul said. He had to run for his life and hide in caves. Start becoming more selective! 3) An uncommitted heart. Paul said. don?t be thinking about some little hump by the seaside that the waves comes crashing over.pass it on! 2) An unwise relationship. but not at the cost of your own destiny. many times in his Psalms he says ?He is my Rock?. lead me to the rock that is higher than I? a strong tower against the foe? (Psalm 61:2-3). the shoreline of Galilee and the mountain wilderness of Sinai. The Apostle Paul understood this too ? he told the Colossian Christians ?Your life is hidden with Christ in God?. ?Bad friends will ruin good habits? (see 1 Corinthians 15:33 NCV). You can?t lose with an attitude like that! David became Israel?s greatest king because he never lost his hope in God: it kept him focused. He saw in their permanence and invincibility something of the character of God. the great kingdom of Egypt. God will do what He?s promised! Listen: ?Let?s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. Listen: ?My foes taunt me. it?s sure every time ??an anchor for the soul?? (Hebrews 6:19). Why? Because God will keep every promise He?s made to you! The Rock 29 Feb 2004 'I WILL PUT YOU IN A CLEFT IN THE ROCK' EXODUS 33:22 The stories of the Bible take place in lots of different landscapes. No way.pray for them. Say. He saw the devastation of war. They?re like mannequins. Make that commitment today ? ?I?m going all the way!? Hope 28 Feb 2004 'WE CAN TRUST GOD TO DO WHAT HE PROMISED. God?s presence was so awesome that God needed to tuck Moses into a crack in the rock so that he didn?t get blessed to death! David used to love the rocky mountains too. no music in their voice. he?d had lots of reasons to lose hope. it kept him on top. What keeps us going? God?s promises!? Nobody knew this better than David. where you?re exposed and vulnerable. like winning the lottery. all dressed up but what for? That?s life without hope. anywhere. He will make Himself known anytime. Moses had an amazing encounter with God up on the rocky peaks of Mount Sinai. it sounds tough and you?re right somebody does need to reach them. ?Father. He always keeps his word? (Hebrews 10:23 TM). their heart?s not in it. forests and deserts. Yeah. he waited 7 more years while a paranoid leader occupied the throne. After God anointed him to be King. He doesn?t have ?favourite hang-outs?. it kept him going! So. weary and lonely. Some people don?t trip. The wrong mates will drag you lower. No. Faced with problems that would wipe most of us out. the markets and streets of Jerusalem. they just get bored and quit before the end. there were so many clever hiding places that his enemies could never track him down. No life in their eyes. ??You are my hope?? (Psalm 71:5 NKJ). friends killed and his family taken captive.