Category Archives: A Fresh Word For Today

July 9 Point of View

 

Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh … “because God has made me forget all my trouble.” The second son he named Ephraim … “because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
(Genesis 41:51–52, NIV)

You can’t change the events of the past, but you can change your perception of them. It’s all in how you choose to look at it. If you can see God at work in it, you’ll come out a better person. Even if you can’t see Him clearly, at least trust Him until you can; He knows what He’s doing. Begin to praise Him that He’s working everything out for your good. (See Romans 8:28.) Before it’s over, you’ll be able to say, “If I hadn’t experienced that, I wouldn’t have received this.” It all begins with a decision to let it go. Paul said, “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind” (Philippians 3:13). If he could do it then, by God’s grace, you can too.

Joseph’s family betrayed him and broke his heart. But when he got through it, he realized they’d only positioned him for blessing and prepared him for his destiny. That’s what’s happening with you right now! Every day as he watched his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, grow up, their names constantly reminded him that God can help you to forget everything you’ve been through and make you stronger and wiser because of it.[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 190). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

July 8 The Best Days

 

With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.
(Psalms 91:16)

Build your life around your person, not your role, otherwise when things change, you’ll feel worthless. Being a good mother is a self-sacrificing job, but when those demands are over it’s easy to feel like Naomi. Her name meant “my joy.” But, after she lost her children and her husband, she changed it to “Mara,” which means “bitterness.” Don’t allow changing times to change who you are. God still had a lot for Naomi to do. She would one day care for a little boy who was destined to become part of the lineage of Jesus himself. What an honor! When your circumstances change, remember your life isn’t over. Redefine your purpose, gather up your assets, and keep on living and giving.

Look out for “The Mara Mentality.” She allowed herself to become cynical; don’t let that happen to you. Discouragement comes when we feel like we’ve seen and heard it all, and most of it is bad. That’s not true! No matter how old you are, you can never say you’ve seen it all. You don’t know what God will do with your life before it’s over, but He does tend to save the best for last. He promised, through David, that we would bring forth “fruit in old age” (Psalms 92:14).

 

If you’ll give God half a chance, He’ll make these the best days of your life.[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 189). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

July 7 Use Your Heart

 

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy, but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
(1 Corinthians 13:1, TM)

People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. If you love your opinions more than you love your friends, you’ll defend your opinions and destroy your friends. Step back and look at what’s really important. Paul says, “Love … always looks for the best” (1 Corinthians 13:7, TM). Give others the benefit of the doubt. When working with yourself, use your head; when working with others, use your heart! And learn to be flexible. Jefferson wrote, “In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current.” Don’t major on minors, and stop fighting over things that will ultimately make no difference.

Be gracious with others in the same way God is with you. Mature love allows someone who has been defeated to ease out of the situation with their dignity and self-worth intact. Once the point has been made, back off! You’re always going to have conflicts. They’ll give you either ulcers or understanding; the choice is yours. Don’t overreact; don’t drop a bomb when a sling shot will do. When conflict arises, make it a time to learn, not to lose. Listen carefully: “Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self” (1 Corinthians 13:4, TM).

 

Ask God to give you this kind of love today.[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 188). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

July 6 Bring Down Goliath

 

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
(Psalms 125:1, NIV)

Are you facing a giant problem today? If so, read 1 Samuel 17 and notice two things. First, David spent enough time with God to know Him intimately. Until you know someone, how can you trust them? Prayer is how you get to know God and how His power is released into any situation. In prayer, you take hold of God’s eagerness, not try to overcome His reluctance. Listen: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3, NASB). God will show you what to do, if you’ll just call on Him.

Second, when David went out to meet Goliath—he went alone while the others stayed back in their tents. Before anything great is ever achieved in reality, it’s first believed in somebody’s heart. The applause may come later, but whoever steps out first will usually step out alone!

A missionary society wrote to David Livingstone in Africa saying, “Some people would like to join you. What’s the easiest road to get to where you are?” Livingstone replied, “If they’re looking for the easiest road, tell them to stay in England. I want people who will come, even if there is no road at all!

Child of God, step out and follow the Lord.

 

The One who brought down Goliath will bring down the giant you’re facing today. Just trust Him to do it![1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 187). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

July 5 Don’t Quit!

 

I’ve got my eye on my goal … I’m not turning back.
(Philippians 3:13, TM)

Get your eyes out of the rear-view mirror and start looking ahead. Celebrate the fact that you’ve survived! The devil tried to destroy you, but the good news is that he failed! In spite of all you’ve been through, you’re a walking, talking, breathing “miracle of grace.” Right? God must have kept you around for some reason, so try to find it! Look at David after his encounter with Bathsheba and Peter after he denied Jesus. They’re the same men, just recycled and restored by grace! That’s what God can do! Your last chapter has not been written yet. Refuse to accept the verdict of those who say you’ll never amount to anything. Get up! Stand on God’s promises, take off your grave clothes, and dare to live again!

Paul says, “Let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us” (Philippians 3:14, TM). You may say, “But it’s so hard.” Sure it is—for all of us. But you’ll never discover your potential for victory until you get into a battle. It’s in your struggles that you discover your strengths and learn to deal with your weaknesses. The biggest sin of all is not failing—it’s quitting!

 

When you quit, there’s nothing more God can do for you. So, ask Him to give you the strength to get back on track today.[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 186). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

July 4 Made Whole

 

Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
(Luke 13:12)

Listen: “And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years and was bowed together and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, He said unto her, ‘Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity’ … and immediately she was made straight and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation … ‘There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, not on the Sabbath Day.’ The Lord then answered him and said, ‘Thou hypocrite … and ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed?’ … and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him” (Luke 13:10–17).

Are you like this woman? Do you know someone who is? No matter how much you try, you just can’t lift yourself up or straighten yourself out. Don’t despair; come to Jesus. When He’s through with you, your adversaries will be ashamed, your accusers will be silenced, and those who contributed to your low self-esteem will be confounded at what God has done for you. Come just as you are! Your past doesn’t matter. Her potential, bound for eighteen years, was released the moment she came face to face with Jesus.

 

And what He did for her, He’s just waiting to do for you, too. Will you give Him a chance?[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 185). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

July 3 Hollow Inside

 

Devote yourselves to prayer.
(Colossians 4:2, NASB)

In his book, The Power and the Blessing, Jack Hayford says, “I had gone on vacation, and I needed it! It was delightful to get to the beach. But about the fourth day … I found I was feeling empty inside. Then it occurred to me that for four days, I hadn’t read a word of Scripture, prayed a prayer, or sung a song of praise. It was just kind of ‘let’s get away from it all.’ We were so involved with church that we didn’t want to do anything ‘godly’ for a while. But suddenly I was called back by the inner hollowness that I felt. Through that experience, I learned that you can’t recover at a physical or emotional level if you neglect the spiritual level.” What insight!

Paul says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2, NASB). Until you’ve been in God’s presence and drawn strength from His Word, you’re not equal to the challenges you’ll face today. You may take a day off from reading and praying, but your enemy won’t take time off! Jesus said, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). Listen to this line from one of John Wesley’s daily prayers: “O fill up all that is wanting and reform whatever is amiss in me. Perfect the things that concern me.”

 

Are you sensing an inner hollowness today? If so, make this your prayer, too.[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 184). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

July 2 Measurements

 

For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
(Luke 6:38, NIV)

Has God blessed you financially? Have you increased your giving back to Him? When you started, you probably gave in teaspoons, for that was the level of your faith. But when God gave you more, did you change your measuring instrument? I’m talking about moving from a teaspoon to a cup, then to a bucket, then to a wheelbarrow, and, who knows, before you’re through, you might even need a pick-up truck. The point is that the tithe (10%) is the least you should give to God. (See Malachi 3:10.) Only your faith can determine the limit.

Do you need a raise? How about giving God one? How about giving Him 10%—not of what you already have, but of what you need to fulfill your vision? This is not some get-rich-quick scheme. Before God will trust you with more, He’ll examine your motives and your attitude. And if your giving doesn’t require faith, it won’t please Him anyway. (See Hebrews 11:6.) Furthermore, God will watch how you act in times of difficulty, to see whether you stretch or shrink. Isaac literally “sowed” his way out of a famine. Listen: “Then Isaac sowed in that land and received in the same year an hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him” (Genesis 26:12). Jesus said that whatever you give to spread the Gospel, you will receive back one hundred times, now, in this time. (See Mark 10:29–30, NIV.)

 

God loves to find people who’ll believe Him and put these principles into practice. Will you be one of them?[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 183). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

July 1 Words Breathe Life

 

He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.
(Proverbs 21:23, NIV)

If you want others to forget something—don’t talk about it! If you don’t want to hear about it for the rest of your life, don’t sow the seeds of it into the minds of others. Words breathe life into everything. Arguments would cease, and memory would have no record, if only we had the wisdom to know when to be quiet.

Your words will either wound or heal. Listen carefully: “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts” (Proverbs 18:8). Listen again: “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life” (Proverbs 15:4). The choice is yours.

Be careful about confessing your mistakes. You may be sincere, but the issues you raise can live longer than the explanations you give. You can’t stop people from shooting at you, but you don’t have to give them ammunition. Certainly there are times when public disclosure is right and wise, but not often. If you have sinned, ask God to forgive you, and He will. (See 1 John 1:9.) Then focus on the future and put everything else in God’s hands. If He can deliver you, then He can defend you; if He doesn’t do either right away, He’ll develop you.

 

The important thing to remember today is that He’s committed to you—He’ll never, never let you go! What assurance![1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 182). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

June 30 A Sense of Peace

 

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.
(John 14:27)

Look at what Jesus left you in His will. Peace. He called it “My peace.” It’s a sense of well-being that transcends anything you’ve ever experienced before. The wonderful thing is that He didn’t just die and leave it to you, He rose again to make sure you got it. This peace kept Paul through the worst storm of his life. Listen: “There stood by me this night the Angel of God, whose I am and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul” (Acts 27:23,24). With Him on board, nothing—absolutely nothing—can happen to you.

And you can never overuse His peace or run out of it. It’s like the loaves and fishes that Jesus multiplied—the more you use it, the more it increases. Isaiah said, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3). He will become your peace only when He becomes your constant focus.

Jewish people greet one another with the word “shalom.” It means peace, well-being, and wholeness. And your Heavenly Father is actually called Jehovah-Shalom—“The Lord is [my] Peace” (Judges 6:24, NIV). What a promise—and it’s yours today! Isaiah says, “If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river” (Isaiah 48:18, NIV).

 

If you’ve lost your sense of peace today, get back into God’s presence immediately and ask Him what you need to do to put things right.[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 181). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.