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The Word For Today

'Thou O king art most worthy'

'Every knee will bow to the name of Jesus.' Philippians 2:10 NCV

During one of the crusades, Philippe Auguste, king of France, assembled all his noble knights and encouraged them to be strong in battle. On the table he placed his royal crown, bearing the inscription 'To the most worthy', and pledged it as a prize to be given to the bravest fighter. After the army went to battle and returned victorious, they encircled the table where the crown sat. Then one of the nobles stepped forward, lifted the crown, and placed it on the king's head, saying, 'Thou, O king, art the most worthy.'

The Bible says, 'Every knee will bow to the name of Jesus - everyone in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth. And everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord' (Philippians 2:10-11 NCV). Note the words 'every knee will bow'. In 2011, the population reference bureau estimated that 106 billion people had been born since the dawn of the human race. Guess what? Every single one of them will bow to the name of Jesus. Try to imagine all those people - over ten times the world's population - kneeling before Christ and saying, 'Thou, O king, art most worthy.'

In that moment Christ will assume his position 'far above all rule and authority and power and dominion...not only in this age but also in the one to come' (Ephesians 1:21 NAS). Then he, the author and finisher of it all, will close the book on this life and open the book on the next. That's the beginning of the unending story that we, the redeemed of the Lord, wait for and long for.

Soulfood: 1 Kings 3-5, Mark 11:27-33, Ps 128, Pro 12:10-11


God and your money 8

'The Word became flesh.' John 1:14 NKJV

Jesus came into the world for two reasons. First, to give you the greatest gift of all - eternal life. Second, to let you know he cares about every detail of your life. 'The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth' (John 1:14 NKJV). In The Message, Eugene Peterson paraphrases it: 'The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish.'

Roughly 20 per cent of everything Jesus taught had to do with our finances, our job and our earthly needs. He cares! And when you can't make ends meet, the Bible says, 'God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory' (Philippians 4:19 NKJV). When your business is going under, his promise is 'I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit' (Isaiah 48:17 NKJV).

God cares about the burden you're carrying today, so if your needs aren't being met, re-evaluate your understanding of your heavenly Father. Have you even discussed your finances with him? How about the purchase of your home? Did you feel the inner confirmation of the Holy Spirit that the timing was right? Have you been tithing, sowing into God's Kingdom and expecting a harvest in return? Seed sown in good ground always produces a harvest, and faith is the magnet that pulls the harvest into your life. The word for you today is - God loves you and wants to bless every area of your life.

Soulfood: 1 Kings 1-2, Mark 11:12-26, Ps 45, Pro 12:7-9


God and your money 7

'That you...might become rich.' 2 Corinthians 8:9 NKJV

The Bible assures us that God isn't poor. '"The silver is mine, and the gold is mine," says the Lord' (Haggai 2:8 NKJV). 'Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills' (Psalm 50:10 NKJV). Now ask yourself: if you were a billionaire, would you be happy seeing your children running around ragged and hungry? No? Well, neither is God! Paul writes, 'For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich' (2 Corinthians 8:9 NKJV).

Maybe you've read this Scripture and thought Paul was talking about being spiritually rich but not financially rich. Let's read the verse in that context and see if it makes sense: 'He who was spiritually rich, for our sakes became spiritually poor, that through his spiritual poverty, we might become spiritually rich.' That's not what it says! Question: when was Jesus ever spiritually poor? No, the verse says what it means and means what it says: 'That you...might become rich.'

Now, the word 'rich' means different things to different people. In some countries you're considered rich if you have a roof over your head, three square meals a day and a bicycle to ride to work. In fact, right now would be a good time to discuss the much-abused and widely-misunderstood Bible word 'prosperity'. Prosperity simply means 'having enough to do the will of God'. Does God have a will for your life? Yes. Does he want you to have enough money to fulfil his will for your life? Yes. That's God's plan for your life!

Soulfood: John 6:1-15, John 6:25-40, 1 Cor 11:23-24


God and your money 6

'He...gives you power to get wealth.' Deuteronomy 8:18 NKJV

When it comes to God and your money:

(1) When you do what pleases him, he will bless you. Why? Because your actions prove that doing his will is more important to you than doing your own thing. 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things' (Matthew 25:23 NKJV). But there's another side to the coin. When you knowingly don't do what pleases God, he will stop blessing you. 'Take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away' (Matthew 25:28-29 NKJV).

(2) God will show you how to make more money. He taught Joseph how to prosper in the midst of a worldwide famine, and bless the needy nations around him. And when the fish weren't biting, Jesus showed the disciples where to find a boatload of them. On one occasion, they actually caught a fish with enough money in its mouth to pay their taxes (see Matthew 17:27)! God works through unlikely channels, and he wants you to depend on him as the source for everything you need. The Bible says, 'Remember the Lord you God: for it is he who gives you power to get wealth' (Deuteronomy 8:18 NKJV). The word 'power' encompasses ideas, strategies, plans, relationships and investments. Yes, God can send you an unexpected cheque in the mail that will solve your problem temporarily, but you should believe him for a plan that'll solve your problem long term.

Soulfood: Heb 11:17 - 13:25, Mark 11:1-11, Ps 47, Pro 12:4-6


God and your money 5

'He will give you everything you need.' Matthew 6:33 NLT

When it comes to money, the Bible teaches that:

(1) God wants you to have enough to meet any size of need you may face. Think about it: employees are mainly concerned with one thing - getting their salary. Employers, on the other hand, have a bigger need. They must have enough money to cover everybody's salary. And here's the good news for both employer and employee: 'Your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him' (Matthew 6:8 NLT)! (2) Many times God will send you to a particular place or person in order to meet your need. During a time of severe famine when people in Israel were dying of starvation, God said to the prophet Elijah, 'Turn eastward, and hide thyself by the Brook Cherith...I have commanded the ravens to feed you there' (1 Kings 17:3-4 NKJV). And that worked well for a time - until 'the brook dried up, because there had been no rain' (1 Kings 17:7 NKJV). God arranged it that way because he will never permit you to depend on anybody or anything other than him. He will dry up your 'brook' in order to send you back to your true source - himself. Here's what God told Elijah next: 'Arise, go to Zarephath...and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to provide for you' (1 Kings 17:9 NKJV). God used unlikely things like ravens, a brook and a poor widow to meet Elijah's needs.

Stop trying to figure God out! Trust the one who 'hangs the earth on nothing' (Job 26:7 NLT) to use whomever, whatever, wherever and whenever to meet your needs.

Soulfood: Heb 9:1 - 11:16, Mark 10:35-52, Ps 97, Pro 12:1-3


God and your money 4

'Money answers everything.' Ecclesiastes 10:19 NKJV

The Bible teaches that God wants you to have enough money to:

(1) Provide for the needs of your family and help them to succeed. 'If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever' (1 Timothy 5:8 NKJV). (2) Tithe, and finance his work. '"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it"' (Malachi 3:10 NIV). (3) Pay your taxes and your obligations. In answer to the question 'Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?' Jesus replied, 'Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God' (Matthew 22:17-22 NLT). (4) Send his Word to the four corners of the world. 'How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent' (Romans 10:14-15 NKJV)? (5) Help the poor and needy. 'Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in his commandments...Wealth and riches will be in his house...he has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever' (Psalm 112:1, 3, 9 NKJV).

When your reason for wanting money is to fulfil God's will and bless others, God will honour you.

Soulfood: Heb 5-8, Mark 10:23-34, Ps 93, Pro 11:30-31


God and your money 3

'Help in time of need.' Hebrews 4:16 NKJV

When you have a spiritual, physical, relational or financial need, God says he will meet it. But some of us have a hard time believing this. After all, Jesus condemned the rich man for overlooking the poor man sitting on his doorstep. And God hasn't changed his position on that issue. Jesus told the story of a man so busy making money that he had no time for God. 'But God said to him, "You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?" Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God' (Luke 12:20-21 NLT). And he hasn't changed positions on that issue either. Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple because they were ripping people off. He went so far as to call them 'a den of thieves' (Mark 11:17 NKJV).

Does that mean God is interested in meeting our spiritual needs but not our material ones? Let's be clear; your spiritual needs should always be your highest priority, but let's allow the Scriptures to speak for themselves. When it comes to God and your money, Jesus said: 'Don't worry about these things, saying, "What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?" These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need' (Matthew 6:31-33 NLT). Note the word 'everything'.

When you're in right standing with God, you can pray with confidence and ask him to bless you in all things!

Soulfood: Heb 1-4, Mark 10:13-22, Ps 88:9b-18, Pro 11:27-29


God and your money 2

'In all things at all times, having all that you need.' 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV

Let's begin by saying it again: what you believe about God and your money will determine what you believe him for. If the reason you want more is to 'keep up with the Joneses', or brag about what you own, don't expect God to bless your plans. The Bible says, 'God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble' (James 4:6 NIV). Humility says, 'Lord, everything I have is a gift from you. And everything I'll ever need comes from you.'

Before you ask God for more money, you must know that your heart motive is right. And when you know it is, you can stand on this Scripture: 'Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: "They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever." Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion' (2 Corinthians 9:6-11 NIV).

Who does God give seed to? Sowers - not hoarders. When does God multiply your seed? When you sow it to fulfil his purposes.

Soulfood: Titus 1-3, Mark 10:1-12, Ps 88:1-9a, Pro 11:24-26


God and your money 1

'No good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.' Psalm 84:11 NKJV

What you believe about God and your money will determine how you pray and what you believe him for. You say, 'But money is the root of all evil.' No, the Bible says, 'The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil' (1 Timothy 6:10 NKJV). That means if you're a miser, God won't give you more. 'But haven't some preachers used the Bible to enrich themselves?' you ask. Absolutely - and you wouldn't want to stand in their shoes when they answer to God! But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. The best way to tell if a five-dollar note is counterfeit is to place it beside a genuine one.

So here's the question: are you looking for a reason to doubt God's promises, or a reason to believe them? The Bible says, 'No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless' (Psalm 84:11 NIV). We all agree that providing for your family, getting a promotion, educating your children and meeting other people's needs are all 'good' things. So when you 'do what is right' before God, you can expect him to bless you. John wrote, 'Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers' (3 John 2 NKJV).

Only when our children reach maturity and demonstrate responsibility do we entrust them with the keys to the family car, right? So maturity must precede prosperity. When you demonstrate maturity, you can go to God with confidence, knowing he'll meet your needs and bless you. Which raises the question: are you growing and maturing spiritually?

Soulfood: Jonah 1-4, Mark 9:38-50, Ps 75, Pro 11:23


Strength and strategy for living

'He gives power to the weak.' Isaiah 40:29 NKJV

When the battle continues to rage with no end in sight, you can grow weary. Is that where you are today? Are things that once ran smoothly no longer working? Have you done all you know to do but it hasn't helped?

What should you do? Spend more time with God in prayer, and listen to him as he speaks to you through his Word. As long as you don't give up within, victory is assured without. It's a matter of replenishing your strength by drawing on God's strength, refocusing your faith towards victory, and '[calling] to remembrance' God's promises (Psalm 77:6 NKJV). When you feel overwhelmed by trouble in your marriage, your business, your health, your job or your finances, stand on these two Bible promises: 'He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint' (Isaiah 40:29-31 NLT). 'We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God...And he did rescue us...We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us' (2 Corinthians 1:8-10 NLT).

Instead of trying to escape the situation, seek God and he will give you strength and a strategy to come out of it stronger.

Soulfood: Matt 4:12-16, Matt 5:14-16, Acts 9:1-19

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