Turn to God’s Word!

‘My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.’ Psalm 89:34 NKJV

When you were in kindy, did your teacher ever read you Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Yep, it’s the one where Alexander falls asleep with gum in his mouth, and finds it in his hair when he wakes up. His breakfast cereal box is missing a toy at the bottom, and he can’t impress his teacher despite his best efforts. He decides several times to move to Australia.

But we’re locals and know that won’t work to overcome the ‘black dog’ of depression. In fact, sea change cures don’t work. Period. You don’t solve the problem; you just shift it. So what can you do? Turn to the one source of strength, hope, and encouragement that never fails—God’s living Word. God says, ‘My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.’

The bad news is that medical experts say every one of us will experience depression in some form during our lifetime. Many people wake up each day in a cloud of gloom. If you’re feeling down today, here are some Scriptures you can stand on:

‘He sent out His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave.’ (Psalm 107:20 NIV)

‘I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ (Psalm 27:13 NKJV)

‘In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me.’ (Psalm 86:7 NKJV)

‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.’ (Isaiah 59:1 NKJV)

‘I will go in the strength of the Lord God.’ (Psalm 71:16 NKJV)

SoulFood: Jonah 1–4, Mark 5:31–43, Ps 62, Pro 11:15

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019

Today’s Readings

Jonah 1–2:7 ()

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1:1 Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD.

But the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”

And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.

11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” 13 Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they called out to the LORD, “O LORD, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O LORD, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.

17 And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

2:1 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the belly of the fish, saying,

  “I called out to the LORD, out of my distress,
    and he answered me;
  out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
    and you heard my voice.
  For you cast me into the deep,
    into the heart of the seas,
    and the flood surrounded me;
  all your waves and your billows
    passed over me.
  Then I said, ‘I am driven away
    from your sight;
  yet I shall again look
    upon your holy temple.’
  The waters closed in over me to take my life;
    the deep surrounded me;
  weeds were wrapped about my head
    at the roots of the mountains.
  I went down to the land
    whose bars closed upon me forever;
  yet you brought up my life from the pit,
    O LORD my God.
  When my life was fainting away,
    I remembered the LORD,
  and my prayer came to you,
    into your holy temple.

Mark 5:31–43 ()

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31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Psalm 62 ()

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To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

62:1   For God alone my soul waits in silence;
    from him comes my salvation.
  He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
  How long will all of you attack a man
    to batter him,
    like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
  They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
    They take pleasure in falsehood.
  They bless with their mouths,
    but inwardly they curse. Selah
  For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
  He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
  On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
  Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us. Selah
  Those of low estate are but a breath;
    those of high estate are a delusion;
  in the balances they go up;
    they are together lighter than a breath.
10   Put no trust in extortion;
    set no vain hopes on robbery;
    if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
11   Once God has spoken;
    twice have I heard this:
  that power belongs to God,
12     and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
  For you will render to a man
    according to his work.

Proverbs 11:15 ()

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15   Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm,
    but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure.

Thu 09 May, 2019


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