Isaiah 55:12 KJV
God reveals His will in several ways. One is by giving us a sense of “peace” that we are doing the right thing. Paul writes, “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15 NKJV). That means you should follow “the peace rule.” Again he writes, “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds” (Philippians 4:7 NKJV).
You don’t need all the answers to have peace about it. General Eisenhower was faced with the responsibility of making one of the most far-reaching decisions ever posed to a single man: changing the date of V-Day at the last moment. If he got it wrong, thousands of Allied soldiers could die. Talk about pressure! But he was the supreme commander and the only man who could make the decision. Looking back on it, he wrote: “I knew I did not have the required wisdom, and turned to God. I asked Him to give me wisdom. I yielded myself to Him, and He gave me clear guidance. He gave me insight to see what was right, and He endowed me with the courage to make my decision. And finally He gave me peace of mind in the knowledge that, having been guided by God to a decision, I could leave the results to Him.”
Are you feeling anxious because you are being called upon today to make a decision; one that will not only affect you but others too? The word for you today is – pray, trust God for guidance, ask Him for peace, act, and trust Him for the right result.
Soul food: Rev 19-22; Mark 14:27-42; Ps 129; Prov 12:27-28
Matthew 3:8 NLT
When Israel’s leaders turned to Jephthah for help, they were in distress and wanted to ‘use’ him. So Jephthah said, in essence, ‘Let’s get an understanding of the type of relationship we’re going to have.’ At that point, he negotiated with them and ended up in a top leadership spot.
When our trust has been broken, we need to forgive. By doing that, we set ourselves free. But we need to use wisdom in how to move forward. Many of us will have experienced a similar situation to Jephthah’s at school, in the workplace, or even at church; perhaps someone has rejected, ignored, or laughed at us, but if they find they need our help, they want to build a relationship based only on the benefits they can get from it.
While it’s important for us to be forgiving, compassionate, and help people who are facing difficulties, God doesn’t expect us to put ourselves in a position to be hurt again. Forgiveness should be immediate, but trust must be earned. The person who has hurt us must show the fruit of repentance – consistent behaviour that shows he or she has had a change of heart.
Jesus said, ‘Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.’ We need two things: grace and wisdom. Grace means extending to others the same forgiveness that God has extended to us. Wisdom means understanding what kind of relationship we can have with that person in the future.
Phil 1-4; Mark 2:1-12; Ps 43; Prov 10:10
Matthew 3:8 NLT
When Israel’s leaders turned to Jephthah for help, they were in distress and wanted to “use” him. So Jephthah said, in essence, “Let’s get an understanding of the type of relationship we’re going to have.” At that point, he negotiated with them and ended up in a top leadership spot.
When your trust has been violated, you need to forgive. By doing so, you set yourself free. But you must exercise wisdom in how to move forward. God doesn’t expect you to put yourself in a position to be hurt again. Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the guy who went to the doctor with a severe burn on his right ear. He explained, “I was ironing and watching television when the phone rang, and I picked up the iron instead of the phone.” Puzzled, the doctor said, “But how did you get the burn on your left ear?” The man exclaimed, “Because he called back!”
Bottom line: when you’ve been “burned” by someone, be careful about putting yourself in a position to be burned over and over again. Forgiveness must be immediate, but trust must be earned. Your offender must show the fruit of repentance – consistent behavior that gives evidence that he or she has had a change of heart. Jesus said, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.”
You need two things: grace and wisdom. Grace means extending to others the same forgiveness that God has extended to you. Wisdom means knowing what kind of relationship you can have with that person in the future.
Soul food: Phil 1-4; Mark 2:1-12; Ps 43; Prov 10:10
Leviticus 7:23 NLT
There is wisdom and worth in every part of the Bible. With that in mind, it’s important to acknowledge that a lot of the Old Testament is complicated, and can be difficult to read at times. There are so many things that grew from very specific cultures and contexts that can be lost on us when we read them.
This rings true for a lot of Leviticus. For example, today’s verse from Leviticus 7:23 reads: ‘You must never eat fat, whether from cattle, sheep, or goats. The fat of an animal found dead or torn to pieces by wild animals must never be eaten, though it may be used for any other purpose’ (NLT).
At a glance it’s just another very specific food rule given to Israel, another law for them to have to remember and follow. But when we think about it more deeply, the God-given advice for the Jewish people to avoid excess dietary fat for their own good is millennia ahead of its time. Research now shows that eating large amounts of animal fat can have negative impacts on our health. There is solid reasoning behind what God is asking His people to do.
God gives us instructions for our own benefit, to keep us safe and healthy, not because He loves arbitrary rules. All of this is a great reminder that, even when the Bible feels difficult, God knows the purpose behind every word that He breathes. He also cares deeply about our physical health, and has wanted us to look after ourselves since the beginning of time.
Rom 12-14; Matt 13:47-58; Ps 141; Prov 4:18-19
2 Corinthians 9:8 NKJV
God doesn’t just love; He lavishes us with love (See 1 John 3:1 NIV). He doesn’t dole out wisdom; He “gives generously to all without finding fault” (James 1:5 NIV). The Prodigal Son got the fattest calf, the guests at the wedding in Cana got the best wine, and Peter caught so many fish that his boat started to sink.
Paul tells us God “supplies seed to the sower” (2 Corinthians 9:10 NKJV), and the Greek word for “supplies” comes from two roots. The first means “to dance,” and the second means “to lead.” It literally means “to lead a dance.” So when God gives to you, He dances for joy. He strikes up the band and leads the giving parade. He loves to give!
One day Peter said to Jesus, “We have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” (Matthew 19:27 NKJV). Seems like a good opportunity for Jesus to chastise Peter’s “what’s in it for me?” mentality. But He didn’t. Instead, He assured Peter that we shall receive a hundredfold in this life and inherit eternal life too (See Matthew 19:29). Jesus promises a gain of 10,000 percent! If someone gave you ten thousand dollars today for every hundred dollars you gave them yesterday, you might call that person “God-generous.”
God dispenses His goodness not with an eyedropper, but with a fire hydrant; not with a teacup, but with the Mediterranean Sea. You simply can’t contain it. So let it bubble over. Spill out. Pour forth. “Freely you have received; freely give” (Matthew 10:8 NIV).
Soul food: Isa 58-62; Matt 12:22-37; Ps 108; Prov 3:31-32