A Promise to Praying Parents

‘They shall come back from the land of the enemy’ Jeremiah 31:16 NKJV

Are you living under a cloud of guilt, feeling like a failure because your child has gone astray? Don’t do it! The Bible teaches that sometimes children simply won’t listen to the counsel of their parents. Solomon was probably giving a word of personal testimony when he wrote, ‘A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke’ (Proverbs 13:1 NKJV). Jesus didn’t hold the father accountable for the fact that his prodigal son went astray (see Luke 15:11). And if you did your best, God doesn’t hold you accountable either. The truth is that bad parents sometimes turn out good children, and good parents sometimes have children who go bad. God’s first two children were placed in a perfect paradise, yet they rebelled. Ultimately, we’re all given the power to choose. There comes a time when every child is no longer a child, and has to take responsibility for his or her actions. So, if you’ve done your best as a parent, don’t let the devil put a guilt trip on you. And if you’ve failed as a parent, it’s not the unpardonable sin. Not only will God forgive you, but you can also claim this wonderful promise: ‘Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future… that your children shall come back to their own border’. (Jeremiah 31:16-17 NKJV). Don’t give up on your children, because God hasn’t. Keep praying and believing, and allow Him to work on them.

This is reproduced with kind permission from United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) Word for Today. Copies can be obtained from them at UCB Operations Centre, Westport Road, Stoke on Trent, ST6 4JF

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How to Overcome Fear

‘We shall reap if we do not lose heart’ Galations 6:9 NKJV

Don’t allow what you can’t do to interfere with what you can do. Boxing manager Cus D’Amato said, ‘The hero and the coward both feel the same fear, but the hero uses his fear and projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same fear; it’s what you do with it that matters’. Most negative emotions can be converted into something positive to help us get further in life. Are you afraid of poverty? Convert it into a work ethic. Are you afraid of greediness? Convert it into generosity. Are you afraid of rejections? Convert it to the ability to connect with people. Are you afraid of insignificance? Convert it to the service of others. As economist Roger Babson remarked, ‘if things go wrong, don’t go with them’. Instead, seek a new way to do it. You can turn your life around by taking the thing that once created fear, and using that energy to do something worthwhile. There are many things in life you can’t control, and there’s no good reason to worry about those things. Writer Harold Stephens said, ‘There’s a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem; a concerned person solves a problem.’ How can you become a problem-solver? By focusing on the things you can control. And the first one is your attitude. Remember, what happens to you isn’t nearly as important as what happens in you. The second is your calendar. You may not be able to control today’s circumstances, but you can do your best to plan the time you have. Most of us fear the future because we don’t prepare for it.

This is reproduced with kind permission from United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) Word for Today. Copies can be obtained from them at UCB Operations Centre, Westport Road, Stoke on Trent, ST6 4JF
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Keep on Praying

‘Never stop praying’ 1 Thessalonians 5:17 CEV

Have you become discouraged and stopped praying about the problem? If so, the word for you today is: ‘Keep on praying.’ God may not answer in the way you think He should, or within the time frame you think He should, but when you pray according to His Word, He has promised to answer: ‘No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly’ (Psalm 84:11 NKJV). When the children of Israel went to battle against a vastly superior army of Amalekites, Moses selected the Mountain of Prayer over the Valle of Battle and the Israelites won (see Exodus 17:8-13). When Abraham learned about the impending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, he ‘remained standing before the Lord’ (Genesis 18:22 NIV) rather than rushing out to warn the cities. When advisors informed Nehemiah that Jerusalem was in ruins, what did he do? Before he laid one stone in the foundation, he built a foundation of prayer under the whole project (see Nehemiah 1:4). Paul’s letters contain more requests for prayer than they do appeals for money or comfort. And what about Jesus? He rose up early to pray (see Luke 22:39-46). Every word He spoke and every work He performed was saturated n prayer. And if He needed to do that, you do too! Bottom line: you can accomplish great things after you’ve prayed. So the word for you today is: keep on praying.

This is reproduced with kind permission from United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) Word for Today. Copies can be obtained from them at UCB Operations Centre, Westport Road, Stoke on Trent, ST6 4JF

Set the Right Example

‘He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father…had done’ 2 Chronicles 26:4 NIV

The punch line in a cartoon reads, ‘No matter what we teach our children, they insist on behaving just like us!’ We smile, but it’s a very serious matter. One expert says, ‘We teach what we know, but we reproduce what we are.’ Your children may sometimes doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do. So;

1 If you want them to have a quiet time with God, you have one.
2 If you want your children to be in church, take them, don’t send them.
3 If you don’t want your children using foul language, watch what comes out of your mouth.
4 If you don’t want your children to smoke, drink, or do drugs, you leave them alone.

When you say one thing but do another your children may still love you, but eventually they’ll lose respect for you. And what’s worse, they’ll think, ‘If the principles you preach don’t work for you, why should I try them?’ Your example will have more impact than all your exhortations. Read these two scriptures carefully. The first is found in the Old Testament: ‘He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father…had done.’ The second is found in the New Testament: ‘I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.’ 2 Timothy 1:5 NIV. Thousands of years separate those two scriptures, but the truth they teach is timeless: set the right example.

This is reproduced with kind permission from United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) Word for Today. Copies can be obtained from them at UCB Operations Centre, Westport Road, Stoke on Trent, ST6 4JF
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Try to See People as God sees Them

‘You are a letter from Christ’. 2 Corinthians 3:3 NIV

When you consider some of the people Jesus called to be His disciples, the word ‘dysfunctional’ comes to mind. But Jesus wasn’t put off. Like finding treasure in the trash, He was able to see their potential, draw it out and develop it. And that’s your story too, isn’t it? Paul writes, ‘You are a letter from Christ…written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God.’ Other people don’t write your story. Even you don’t. ‘The Spirit of the living God’ is writing it. That means your best days are still ahead! An old Bible lay on a bargain table along with hundreds of tattered books. A lot of people had picked it up and thumbed through its pages. It wasn’t in very good shape – certainly not worth £2 – so it was cast aside. Then a man picked it up, stifled a shout, and rushing to the counter he paid the paltry asking price. Turns out it was an original Gutenberg estimated to be worth more than a million pounds! How many times did that old book change hands before it was redeemed? How many times did the world cast it aside, unaware of its value? The truth is, we were all passed over until Jesus saw value in us. But rather than paying bargain price, He paid the highest price possible. ‘While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8 NIV). So when you’re having a bad day, look in the mirror and remind yourself, ‘God loves me Calvary-worth!’ Then go out and try to see others as treasures God couldn’t live without; sinners Christ died to redeem.

This is reproduced with kind permission from United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) Word for Today. Copies can be obtained from them at UCB Operations Centre, Westport Road, Stoke on Trent, ST6 4JF
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Have You Prayed about it?

‘Pray and ask God for everything you need’ Philippians 4:6 NCV

Can you imagine walking into a restaurant and asking if your order is ready? ‘When did you call it in?’ the waiter asks. ‘Oh I didn’t, you reply, ‘I just thought perhaps you might have something with my name on it.’ That’s as ridiculous as expecting God to answer prayer requests you haven’t made – or haven’t made in faith. The Bible says, ‘The reason you don’t have what you want is… you don’t ask God’ (James 4:2 TLB). Will God give you everything you ask for? No. ‘Even when you do ask you don’t get because… you want only what will give you pleasure’ (v 3 TLB). Your request must be in harmony with God’s will. ‘If we ask anything according to His will… He hears’ (1 John 5:14 AMP). Jeremiah said, ‘The Lord is good to those who wait… expectantly for Him’ (Lamentations 3:25 AMP). Expectant prayer demonstrates confidence in God’s goodness. So instead of fretting, or talking about it to everybody but God, or taking matters into your own hands, say ‘Lord, I’m going to trust You with this regardless of the outcome,’ and He will honour your faith. Paul writes, ‘Pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks.’ Do you need a job? Help overcoming a problem? The salvation of a loved one? A deeper spiritual walk? Physical or emotional healing? Guidance? Jesus said, ‘it gives your Father great happiness to give you the (benefits of) (His) Kingdom’ (Luke 12:32 NLT). God wants to be good to you, so tell Him the ‘desires of your heart’ (Psalm 37:4 NKJV). Then thank Him and believe the answer will come – in His time!

This is reproduced with kind permission from United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) Word for Today. Copies can be obtained from them at UCB Operations Centre, Westport Road, Stoke on Trent, ST6 4JF
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Don’t Give up – Go Through

‘Pursue…overtake…and…recover all’ 1 Samuel 30:8 KJV

When king David and his men returned home from battle, they discovered that the Amalekites had burned their homes to the ground and taken their families prisoner. They were devastated. They wept until they’d no tears left. Then God spoke to them and said, ‘Pursue…overtake…and…recover all.’ And with His help they did! So no matter how bad your situation looks right now, don’t give up. Cry if you have to, then dry your tears and go out in God’s strength and take back what the enemy has stolen from you. If necessary, take it an inch at a time, drawing on His strength and not your own. Paul writes: ‘Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing what is right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint’ (Galatians 6:9 AMP Classic Edition). God won’t quit on you, so don’t quit on Him! He has promised in His word: ‘When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God’ (Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV). Don’t give up – go through! It’s easy to quit, but it takes faith to go through. When your faith honours God, He honours your faith! And with Him on your side you’ll come out stronger than you were when you went in. So the word for you today is: ‘Pursue…overtake…and…recover all.

This is reproduced with kind permission from United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) Word for Today. Copies can be obtained from them at UCB Operations Centre, Westport Road, Stoke on Trent, ST6 4JF
They can be reached on 0845 6040401 or at http://www.ucb.co.uk