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What will you be remembered for? - SUNDAY 25 JUNE

‘Those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.’ Daniel 12:3 NLT

Dr James Kennedy wrote: ‘Consider the great pyramid of Giza, one of the world’s most massive structures. Someone built it as a memorial to himself…King Khufu, not exactly a household name! The Shah of India built the Taj Mahal as a tribute to his wife, yet he too built in vain; after all, who knows the name Arjumand? And how about the Great Wall of China? Astronauts can see it from space, yet no one remembers Qin Shihuang, who was initially responsible for the largest manmade structure in the world. While these people are all forgotten, you can make a permanent imprint on the world. How? By leading others to Christ!’

The Bible says, ‘Those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.’ Louis Pasteur, the pioneer of immunology, lived at a time when thousands of people died every year from rabies. He had worked for years on a vaccine, and just as he was about to experiment on himself, a nine-year-old boy named Joseph Meister was bitten by a rabid dog. The boy’s mother begged him to try the vaccine on her son. So Pasteur injected him for ten days – and he lived. Decades later, out of all the epitaphs Pasteur could have chosen, he asked for three words to be etched on his tombstone: JOSEPH MEISTER LIVED! Your greatest legacy can be those who live eternally because you shared Christ with them. Jesus said, ‘The words…I speak to you are spirit, and…life’ (John 6:63 NKJV). What moves hearts? What changes lives? The words of Jesus!

Complaining doesn’t help - SATURDAY 24 JUNE

‘In everything give thanks.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV

The Bible has basically one thing to say about complaining – don’t do it! You say, ‘If you’d my problems you’d complain too.’ If that’s how you feel, read on: ‘Do all things without complaining’ (Philippians 2:14 NKJV). Here’s why:

1) Complaining usually makes things worse. The cycle goes like this. You have a problem so you complain and stay stuck. You feel bad, so you complain even more and end up with stress, but not a solution.

2) Complaining won’t get you where you need to go. Instead of committing the situation to God, you’re doubting His wisdom and provision. Thousands of Israelites died in the wilderness for doing that. Paul writes, ‘Do not grumble, as some…did – and were killed…These things…were written down as warnings for us’ (1 Corinthians 10:10-11 NIV 2011 Edition). When you overlook your blessings and dwell on your problems, you lose your joy.

3) Complaining can lead to stress-related illness. ‘A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body’ (Proverbs 14:30 AMPC).

Be honest; how many ‘calm and undisturbed’ complainers do you know? Instead of complaining, start counting your blessings. Author Barbara Johnson gives us this tongue-in-cheek example. ‘A hand-lettered sign nailed to a telephone pole read: “LOST…three-legged dog, blind in left eye, missing top of right ear, recently castrated…answers to the name of Lucky.”’ As a redeemed child of God luck has nothing to do with it, you’re blessed! So the word for you today is: ‘In everything (not necessarily for everything, but in everything) give thanks; for this is the will of God…for you.’

Break out of the box! - FRIDAY 23 JUNE

‘He will bring us safely into that land and give it to us.’ Numbers 14:8 NLT

When others saw giants in the Promised Land and wanted to return to Egypt, Caleb said, ‘The LORD…will bring us safely into that land and give it to us.’ At that point two things happened. ‘The whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the LORD appeared to all the Israelites at the Tabernacle’ (v.10 NLT). When the people around Caleb said no, God said yes – and all you need is His approval! When you have that, you can disregard the nay-sayers and move forward. If you wait for everyone to approve, agree with you, and applaud you, you’ll get nowhere. There was a time when people thought the earth was flat, and that man would never walk on the moon.

In 1899 the U.S. Patent Office almost closed because the commissioner, Charles H. Duell, said, ‘Everything that can be invented has been invented.’ In retrospect this statement is ridiculous, but some of us have this same mindset. We stop learning because we think we’re too old. We’re afraid to change careers in case we jeopardise our pension. We don’t pursue our dreams in case we fail or get ridiculed. We’re so used to self-imposed limitations and telling ourselves, ‘I can’t do that,’ we think we can’t do anything. In essence, we’ve built a box, crawled inside, and now we’re looking for something or someone to blame for our lack of faith. God didn’t box you in – you did – and you need to take the initiative for breaking out. Today decide to do it – and God will bless your endeavours.

Rock your box - THURSDAY 22 JUNE

‘He…increases the power of the weak.’ Isaiah 40:29 NIV (2011 Edition)

A little boy was crippled and the doctors said there was nothing they could do to help him. So his mother took an orange crate, put him in it, tied a rope around it, tied the rope to her waist, and pulled him around with her. After a while the boy developed a habit his mother didn’t like: he began to rock his box. Sometimes he rocked it to the point that it tipped over and he fell out. No matter how many times she put him back in, he kept doing the same thing. Eventually he rocked his box until he was finally able to get out of it. Then to everyone’s amazement, he learned how to walk and ended up with a great life.

That little boy did something the doctors and not even his mother believed could happen. He refused to settle for life inside a box someone had put him in. Has someone put you in a box today? If so, keep rocking your box until you’re free! Other people are self-appointed ‘experts’ at telling us what we can and can’t do. They don’t always celebrate anything ‘out of the box’, which is something out of the ordinary.

One of the great promises in the Bible is: ‘He…increases the power of the weak.’ Start reading ‘rock your box’ Scriptures. Here’s one: ‘But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD’ (Micah 3:8 NIV 2011 Edition). Here’s another: ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26 NIV 2011 Edition). Today declare, ‘Lord, You promised it, I believe it, and that settles it!’

Know your calling (2) - WEDNESDAY 21 JUNE

‘He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also.’ John 14:12 NKJV

Your calling will always be connected to an unmet need or an opportunity to do good. It was in listening to the cries of an enslaved people that Moses discovered his calling. So did William Wilberforce. He devoted his life to seeing slavery eradicated in Britain. Nelson Mandela was a lawyer with the potential to make money. But he chose a different path – one that involved years of imprisonment. And when he was finally set free he didn’t seek vengeance, he sought justice and equality for his people, and changed his country. Ezekiel writes: ‘I came to the exiles…And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days – overwhelmed. At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me’ (Ezekiel 3:15-16 NIV 1984 Edition).

If you want to discover your calling, start praying about situations that trouble you deeply. Usually we try to avoid discomfort, but if you sense that your calling involves helping the poor, spend time around those in poverty. Allow your heart to be moved; carry within you the conviction that things must change, and keep praying, ‘Lord, make me a change agent.’ When Jesus called His disciples, He chose people from different backgrounds: a doctor, a government worker, a group of fishermen. In essence He told them, ‘I believe in you. What I know I’ll teach you,’ and promised them that ‘he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also.’ Bottom line: Jesus empowered His followers to go out and live like He did. And today that’s what He’s calling you to do.