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God Will Fulfil His Promise - Tue September 27

‘...”God has made me laugh...”’Genesis 21:6 NKJV

Sarah laughed twice. The first time it was in unbelief because God had promised her a child in her old age. The second time it was with joy because God had fulfilled His promise. But between these two events she went through the most wrenching experience of her life. Her husband, Abraham, betrayed her to save himself. A heathen king took her to his harem and would have violated her had God not intervened. Only a woman who truly loves her husband can understand what Sarah went through that night.

There’s a lesson here. Between praying for a miracle and getting one, you’ll be tested, you’ll grow, and you’ll learn to trust God more than you ever thought possible. Plus, here’s something else that’s important to remember: when you share your experiences with others don’t just tell how you started or where you are today; instead, tell them what God brought you through, for those are the very things they’re struggling with too. Tell them how your faith was tried in the furnace of affliction before you came forth as gold. Don’t leave them feeling frustrated because they claimed God’s promise and haven’t received it yet.

King Abimelech’s tent where Sarah spent that terrifying night was in a place called Gerar, which means ‘the halting place’. Yes, there’ll be times when you’ll feel like your life has come to a screeching halt and you’re getting nowhere. Maybe that’s where you are today. If it is, please know this: God will be faithful to you. Not only will He bring you through, but like Sarah, your joy will return as you watch Him fulfil His promise to you. 

Your Way or God’s Way? - Mon September 26

‘He guides the humble in what is right...’Psalm 25:9 NIV

Did you hear about the old lady who earned a living by peddling her wares? Each day when she came to a certain intersection she would toss a stick up into the air. Whichever way the stick pointed when it landed was the way she went. One day a man saw her tossing the stick into the air: once, twice, then three times. He asked, ‘What are you doing?’ She said, ‘I’m letting God show me which way to go by using this stick.’ Looking at her curiously, he said, ‘But why did you throw it up three times?’ She replied, ‘Because the first two times He was pointing me in the wrong direction!’

Hello! When you don’t like the direction God gives you, do you pray, hoping He will change His mind and tell you what you want to hear? If so, you have never exchanged your will for His! Jesus said, ‘I am the vine, you are the branches...’ (John 15:5 NKJV). Only as you stay ‘connected’ to Christ will you bear fruit. Just as the life flows from the vine into the branches, so His power flows to you, then through you and begins to affect other areas of your life.

The Psalmist said, ‘He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.’ God will show you what is ‘right’ for you if you seek Him. Essentially, there are only two ways – His and yours! If you’re tired of doing things your way, get down on your knees and ask Him to show you how to do them His way.

Finishing Strong - Sun September 25

‘...I have finished my course...’2 Timothy 4:7

To finish strong, you must understand three things. First, that people will leave you. It may be because you’ve outgrown them, or to fulfil their own vision, or because they don’t want to go where God’s taking you. People left Jesus: ‘...many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more’ (John 6:66 NKJV).

Second, that challenges will come. Everybody God uses moves from one challenge to the next. Paul writes, ‘...People are watching us as we stay at our post … when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honoured; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognised by God; terrifically alive, though rumoured to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all!’ (2 Corinthians 6:4-10 TM).

Finally, that satan will attack you. When he does, remember, attack is a sign of respect. It lets you know you’re valuable to God. It also indicates the level of blessing that awaits you beyond the attack. Satan will attack when God is about to bring something to birth in your life. It may be the birth of a relationship, a career, a ministry, or even a child God will use. Your ‘difficult child’ may be a child of destiny; that’s why they encounter more difficulties than your other children. They have an assignment the enemy has discerned. When the attack comes, stand on God’s Word and say, ‘Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 15:57 NKJV).

In Need of God’s Help - Sat September 24

‘My help comes from the Lord...’Psalm 121:2 NKJV

Did you hear about the guy who prayed, ‘Lord, so far today I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped, lost my temper, been nasty, greedy or grumpy. But in a few minutes I’m gonna have to get out of bed, then I’m gonna need all the help I can get.’ We smile, but the truth is, it’s hard to acknowledge our need of help, especially in a world that prizes self-sufficiency. The most dangerous time in your life is when you think you don’t need God! Complacency will set in. Smugness will grow. You’ll say, ‘I need you, Lord,’ then act like it all depends on you.

As a result your faith will be unused, and when you’re not using your faith you can’t please God (Hebrews 11:6). If your vision doesn’t require God, it’s not of God! When He gets involved in your vision, He becomes the only means of achieving it. Without His help, what can any of us say or do that truly makes a difference? We can’t even begin to make progress until we humbly acknowledge that we are powerless over most things in life. We are, but God’s not!

Whatever you’re facing today, read these words and rest in them: ‘He will never let me stumble, slip or fall. For he is always watching, never sleeping. Jehovah himself is caring for you! He is your defender. He protects you day and night. He keeps you from all evil, and preserves your life. He keeps his eye upon you as you come and go, and always guards you’ (Psalm 121:3-8 TLB).

Finding the Right Person for the Job - Fri September 23

‘...To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow labourer.’ Philemon 1:1 NKJV

Paul called Philemon ‘Our beloved friend and fellow labourer’. Obviously Paul had found the right person for the job. How do you do that?Perhaps by enjoying their uniqueness. Fred Smith says, ‘One young woman worked for me matching colours of ink. She could get tears in her eyes over certain shades of blue. “‘Isn’t this a beautiful match?”’ she’d ask. I could never figure out what went on in her head to make matching blue such a remarkable occurrence.

But all I needed to do to keep her motivated was to share her excitement and appreciate her work.’ We can find the right person by knowing their capabilities. If a musician has limited talent, it’s a mistake and a disservice to talk to them about the joys of being a Mozart. In motivation, desire must be matched with ability. Then, by knowing how much responsibility they can handle.

Some people can take on full-sized responsibility but not sole responsibility. Something in their psyche says, ‘I don’t want the whole load. I want somebody to lean on, to report to.’ We can find the right person by  giving them a reputation to uphold. One leader writes, ‘One of my bosses had a way of saying nice things about his workers that got back to them… and we couldn’t keep from trying to do more things he could tell. People will work hard to uphold a good reputation.’ Finally, by knowing what they thirst for. People have different thirsts. One of the secrets of identifying a person’s thirst is seeing what motivated them in the past. People rarely outlive their basic thirst. When we quench that, we motivate them.