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The Word For Today

'Lord where are you' 1



'I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer.' Job 30:20 NIV

Do you feel like God isn't answering your prayers? Job the patriarch felt the same way: 'I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me... When I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness' (Job 30:20; 26 NIV). All of us go through times when it feels like God has moved and left no forwarding address. What's he up to? Why doesn't he respond? There are some lessons you only learn when God is silent:

(1) Silence isn't absence. An old proverb says, 'Speech is silver, silence is gold!' Sometimes God says to you, 'Be still, and know that I am God' (Psalm 46:10 NIV). You have to be really secure with somebody to just sit quietly with them. Silence takes the emphasis off words and builds a level of intimacy where they're no longer necessary. If you want to be comfortable with God, learn to enter into meditation and silence with him.

(2) Silence tests your faith. How much faith is actually involved when somebody's coaching your every step? It's like a parent running alongside a child who's learning to ride a bike. Right now, the child lacks confidence, but they're going to look strange at age twenty if that parent is still trotting along beside them! At some point God takes his hands off the wheel to see how far you've progressed. And for a while it can be a wobbly ride. That's when you demonstrate how far you've come, and where you're placing your trust.

Soulfood: 2 Chr 5-7, Mark 5:31-43, Ps 119:89-96, Prov 21:20-23

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Relationship and fellowship



'If we say that we have fellowship with him.' 1 John 1:6 NKJV

God is responsible for your relationship with him. The moment you put your trust in Jesus Christ his Son, you are a fully accepted family member. But you are responsible for your fellowship with God. The Bible says, 'If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth' (1 John 1:6 NKJV).Stop and think about the last time you experienced tension with one of your family members. You were still members of the same family, but your conversation became superficial and you found that you were more comfortable apart than together. When something happens between two people who are normally close, the first thing to vanish is the evidence of fellowship. And it's the same in our walk with God. Suddenly our prayers become surface and shallow: 'Lord, please bless this food.' And we begin to avoid spending time with that Person: 'I just don't have time for devotions.' The main prerequisite for experiencing fellowship with Jesus is following him each day and obeying his commands. When Peter and the disciples were fishing, the Lord told them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. When they obeyed him, they caught a boatload of fish. But something even greater happened that day. As Jesus drew closer, John said, 'It is the Lord' (John 21:7). What followed was an intimate meal and a sweet time of fellowship with Jesus.So if you are feeling out of fellowship with Jesus today, the chances are that you've either stopped fellowshipping with him or started disobeying him. If that's so, do something about it.

Soulfood: 2 Chr 1-4, Mark 5:21-30, Ps 119:81-88, Prov 21:17-19

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The three T's



'Do good to each other.' 1 Thessalonians 5:15 NLT

It's said that when the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.

Let's face it, because of our strong personalities some of us are inclined to use a hammer when a gentler approach would do the job better. If that's your problem, remember the three T's:

(1) Temper. When you're upset you're more likely to make a big deal out of a little one. So when it comes to your response and decibel level, use this rule of thumb: when the reaction is worse than the action, the problem generally increases. But when the reaction is less than the action, the problem usually decreases. (2) Timing. If you don't get an injured person to the hospital quickly enough, their life can be lost. And if you don't apologise when you've wronged someone, the relationship can be lost. Knowing when to act - and when not to - is every bit as important as taking the right action. Lady Dorothy Nevill said, 'The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.' (3) Total picture. A man walked into a restaurant and asked the waiter, 'Do you have anything to cure hiccups?' The waiter slapped him across the face. 'Hey! What's the big idea?' the man exclaimed. The waiter smiled: 'Well, you don't have hiccups anymore, do you?' The man said, 'I never did. I wanted something to cure my wife. She's out in the car!' Are you inclined to jump to conclusions? Slow yourself down and you'll be more likely to respond appropriately.

Soulfood: 1 Chr 26:20 - 29:30, Mark 5:11-20, Ps 119:73-80, Prov 21:14-16

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Start praying for God's favour



'I entreated your favour.' Psalm 119:58 NKJV

One moment of God's favour will do more for you than a lifetime of striving. Through the favour of God, Ruth went from being a penniless widow to becoming the wife of Boaz, a wealthy man. It's what made Esther a queen and positioned her to save the Jewish nation. As you begin to walk in God's favour, doors of opportunity open, the right people are drawn to you and you discover ideas, strategies and resources in the most unexpected places.

Does that mean you won't experience opposition? No; when you're doing anything worthwhile you must expect flak from those who aren't privy to God's plan for your life. It goes with the turf. But the Bible says even 'the king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases' (Proverbs 21:1 NLT). Like changing the direction of a moving stream, God can change people's hearts and give you favour with those who might otherwise reject or overlook you. Solomon writes, 'When we please the Lord, even our enemies make friends with us' (Proverbs 16:7 CEV). So when people oppose or disagree with you, just concentrate on pleasing God and let him deal with the fallout.

Remember, God takes up where you leave off. He can give you blessings that, humanly speaking, you don't deserve and qualify for. Just as the Holy Spirit enabled Jesus to fulfill his life's mission, he will equip and enable you to fulfill his plan for your life (see Luke 4:18-19). So stop trying so hard to make things happen on your own terms, and start praying for God's favour. He has promised it to you and he keeps his promises.

Soulfood: 1 Chr 23:21 - 26:19, Mark 5:1-10, Ps 119:65-72, Prov 21:10-13

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God still has a plan for you



'I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.' Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

The people of Israel ended up living as slaves in Babylon because they disobeyed God and decided to do their own thing. And they paid a high price for it. They lost their homes, their jobs, their freedom and their self-respect. Has that happened to you? Well, there's good news. God says: 'The plans I have for you...are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me...I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes' (Jeremiah 29:11-14 NLT).That means God still has a plan for your life and your family. And if you seek him 'wholeheartedly,' he will reveal it to you. You ask, 'How do you know God still has a plan for me?' Because you're still breathing! He has a plan for every single person he ever created, and it never goes out of date. Unlike the milk in your supermarket that has an expiry date after which it can't be used, God's plans don't have expiry dates.Even if you've gone astray and missed his plan for years, that plan can still swing into operation the moment you turn your life over to him and fall into line with his will. Now the plan may be somewhat modified from what it would have been twenty years ago if you'd paid attention, but that doesn't stop God. He can adapt to fit anything that comes up in any life that's ever lived, including yours.

Soulfood: Eccl 11:7 - 12:1, Ps 39:4-13, Jas 4:14, Jas 4:14

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Do you love God's Word



'Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.' Matthew 24:35 NIV

One of the first books to come off the printing press when it was invented was the Bible. And it's still the world's best-selling book. An anonymous author has written: 'It contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the fate of sinners and the happiness of believers. It is a light to direct you, food to nourish you and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveller's road map, the pilot's compass, the soldier's weapon and the player's game plan. It's a mine of incredible wealth and a river of genuine joy. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true and its decisions are immutable. Christ is its grand subject, your good its design and the glory of God its end. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practise it to be spiritually healthy. Read it slowly, frequently and prayerfully. Let it fill your memory, rule your heart and guide your steps. It is given to you in life, will be opened at the judgment and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour and judge those who trifle with its sacred contents.'

The Bible is 'the word of our God [which] endures forever' (Isaiah 40:8 NIV). Most of us respect the Bible; the trouble is we don't read it daily and put it into practice. After hearing a discussion on various translations of the Bible, one man said: 'I prefer my mother's translation, because she translated it into everyday life.'

Is your belief translated into action? 'You believe...? Good! Even the demons believe that -

and shudder' (James 2:19 NIV). Godly belief requires action, not just mental assent.

Soulfood: 1 Chr 19:1 - 23:20, Mark 4:26-41, Ps 119:57-64, Prov 21:7-9

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Science and the Bible 6



'Build a large boat...450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.' Genesis 6:14-15 NLT

The Bible detailed the original blueprint for shipbuilding. In Genesis, God told Noah to build a 42,000-cubic-metre ship and fill it with enough people and animals to repopulate the earth. And the specific dimensions God gave Noah turned out to be significant. In 1609 in Hoorn, Holland, a ship was built in the same proportions and it revolutionised shipbuilding. According to Lloyd's Register of Shipping (see The World Almanac), by 1900 every large ship on the high seas was inclined toward the proportions of Noah's Ark. And by the way, if you think it's not sophisticated or educated to believe that the world was once destroyed by a universal flood, think again. About 85 percent of the rock surfaces around the world are composed of sedimentary rock, indicating that at some time in the past the world was covered by water.Consider also the Bible and meteorology. Solomon wrote, 'The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course' (Ecclesiastes 1:6 NIV). The air around the earth turns in huge circles, counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. As a result, your local meteorologist can tell you with a high degree of accuracy what the weather will be like so you can dress accordingly.The Bible - there's simply no other book like it! When you believe its central message of salvation through Christ you have peace and joy now, plus you get to live in Heaven with God for eternity when you die. It doesn't get better than that!

Soulfood: 1 Chr 16-18, Mark 4:13-25, Ps 119:49-56, Prov 21:4-6

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Science and the Bible 5



'The earth will grow old like a garment.' Isaiah 51:6 NKJV

The Bible addresses the first law of thermodynamics (known as the Law of Conservation of Energy), which states that while energy can be changed from one form to another, it can't be created or destroyed. This law disproves Sir Fred Hoyle's 'steady state' or 'continuous creation' theory, which has been discarded by scientists. Hoyle theorised that at points in the universe called 'Irtrons,' matter (or energy) was constantly being created. But the first law of thermodynamics states the opposite: There is no 'creation' ongoing today. The Bible says, 'Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished' (Genesis 2:1 NKJV). The word finished in the original Hebrew indicates an action completed in the past, never to occur again.

The second law of thermodynamics says that in all physical processes, every ordered system over time tends to become more disordered. In other words, everything is running down and wearing out as energy is becoming less and less available for use. The Psalmist wrote: 'You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will endure...they will all grow old like a garment...But you are the same, and your years have no end' (Psalm 102:25-27 NKJV).

The more scientists learn about life on earth, the more they discover the truth of what the Bible has clearly taught for centuries. No matter how sincere you may be or how hard you try, in order to open a locked door you must use the right key. Your Bible is the key that unlocks the door to understanding all of life, and God's plan for you.

Soulfood: 1 Chr 12:23 - 15:29, Mark 4:1-12, Ps 119:41-48, Prov 21:1-3

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Science and the Bible 4



'To the place from which the rivers come, there they return again.' Ecclesiastes 1:7 NKJV

The Bible talks about the water cycle. 'All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place from which the rivers come, there they return again' (Ecclesiastes 1:7 NKJV). Every second the Mississippi River dumps approximately 18.5 million litres of water into the Gulf of Mexico. And when you think about the Thames, the Nile and the Amazon, every day the same thing is happening in rivers all around the world. So where does all that water go? The answer lies in the hydrologic cycle, which the Bible introduced almost three millennia ago. The wise King Solomon wrote, 'If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth' (Ecclesiastes 11:3 NKJV). Amos the prophet said, 'He...calls the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the face of the earth' (Amos 9:6 NKJV). And Job's friend Elihu said, 'Behold, God is great...He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man' (Job 36:26-28 NKJV).The idea of a complete water cycle was not fully understood by science until the seventeenth century. Yet more than two thousand years prior to the discoveries of brilliant minds like Pierre Perrault, Edme Mariotte, Edmond Halley and others, the Bible clearly explained the water cycle.The truth is, your Bible is inspired, inerrant, reliable and more up-to-date than tomorrow morning's newspaper. Every newspaper has a correction column acknowledging its printed errors. Not the Bible! You can trust it to guide you right in every area of your life.

Soulfood: 1 Chr 10:1 - 12:22, Mark 3:20-35, Ps 119:33-40, Prov 20:28-30

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Science and the Bible 3



'Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, "Here we are!"?' Job 38:35 NKJV

The Bible predicted modern telecommunications. Does that sound incredible to you? If so, consider this verse: 'Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, "Here we are!"' (Job 38:35 NKJV). Fifteen hundred years before Christ, in the book of Job, God said light could be sent and manifest itself in speech. Along those same lines, did you know that all electromagnetic radiation - from radio waves to X-rays - travels at the speed of light (about 300,000 km per second)? That's what gives us instant wireless communication with someone on the other side of the world. The fact that light can be sent and translated into speech wasn't discovered by science until 1864 - nearly 3,300 years later - when British scientist James Clerk Maxwell suggested that electricity and light waves were two forms of the same thing.

Samuel Morse, who invented the first telegraph and forever changed the world of communication, was a Bible-believing Christian. A few years before he died, he said, 'The nearer I approach the end of my pilgrimage, the clearer is the evidence of the divine origin of the Bible. The grandeur and sublimity of God's remedy for fallen man are more appreciated, and the future is illuminated with hope and joy.'

In life you'll meet 'doubting Thomases,' and God loves them. In fact, Jesus made a special appearance after his resurrection just to resolve Thomas' doubts. And he still does that today! So get acquainted with your Bible, then let every sincere, questioning heart know that true science never disproves the Bible.

Soulfood: 1 Chr 7:20 - 9:44, Mark 3:1-19, Ps 119:25-32, Prov 20:25-27

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