As God Sees You

‘We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers.’ Numbers 13:33 NLT

Ten of Israel’s twelve spies returned from the Promised Land saying, ‘We even saw giants… we felt like grasshoppers.’ The other two, Joshua and Caleb, saw the same giants but believed they could be overthrown with God’s help: ‘Let us go up at once and possess it… for we are well able to conquer it.’ (Numbers 13:30 TLB) That’s the thinking of a winner!

God has a plan for your life, but you’ll never fulfil it unless you’re in agreement with His Word. ‘But I have so many problems. How could God use someone like me?’ you ask.

Paul said, ‘I don’t mean to say that I have already… reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.’ (Philippians 3:12 NLT) When God uses imperfect people, it makes us realise that He alone is our source, our strength, our strategy, and the secret to our success.

The Bible says, ‘The foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men.’ (1 Corinthians 1:25 AMPC)

You have a God-ordained destiny, and no excuse for not fulfilling it.

You can’t use weakness as a defence, for God says, ‘My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ (2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV)

You can’t use your past as an excuse, for God says, ‘Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.’ (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV)

How God sees you isn’t the problem; it’s how you see yourself that keeps you from succeeding! So ask God to give you a new understanding of how He sees you—loved, righteous, blessed, and favoured!

SoulFood: Lam 1:1–3:39, Matt 19:15–30, Ps 119:121–128, Pro 18:13–20

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2020

Today’s Readings

Lamentations 1–3:33 ()

()

1:1   How lonely sits the city
    that was full of people!
  How like a widow has she become,
    she who was great among the nations!
  She who was a princess among the provinces
    has become a slave.
  She weeps bitterly in the night,
    with tears on her cheeks;
  among all her lovers
    she has none to comfort her;
  all her friends have dealt treacherously with her;
    they have become her enemies.
  Judah has gone into exile because of affliction
    and hard servitude;
  she dwells now among the nations,
    but finds no resting place;
  her pursuers have all overtaken her
    in the midst of her distress.
  The roads to Zion mourn,
    for none come to the festival;
  all her gates are desolate;
    her priests groan;
  her virgins have been afflicted,
    and she herself suffers bitterly.
  Her foes have become the head;
    her enemies prosper,
  because the LORD has afflicted her
    for the multitude of her transgressions;
  her children have gone away,
    captives before the foe.
  From the daughter of Zion
    all her majesty has departed.
  Her princes have become like deer
    that find no pasture;
  they fled without strength
    before the pursuer.
  Jerusalem remembers
    in the days of her affliction and wandering
  all the precious things
    that were hers from days of old.
  When her people fell into the hand of the foe,
    and there was none to help her,
  her foes gloated over her;
    they mocked at her downfall.
  Jerusalem sinned grievously;
    therefore she became filthy;
  all who honored her despise her,
    for they have seen her nakedness;
  she herself groans
    and turns her face away.
  Her uncleanness was in her skirts;
    she took no thought of her future;
  therefore her fall is terrible;
    she has no comforter.
  “O LORD, behold my affliction,
    for the enemy has triumphed!”
10   The enemy has stretched out his hands
    over all her precious things;
  for she has seen the nations
    enter her sanctuary,
  those whom you forbade
    to enter your congregation.
11   All her people groan
    as they search for bread;
  they trade their treasures for food
    to revive their strength.
  “Look, O LORD, and see,
    for I am despised.”
12   “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
    Look and see
  if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,
    which was brought upon me,
  which the LORD inflicted
    on the day of his fierce anger.
13   “From on high he sent fire;
    into my bones he made it descend;
  he spread a net for my feet;
    he turned me back;
  he has left me stunned,
    faint all the day long.
14   “My transgressions were bound into a yoke;
    by his hand they were fastened together;
  they were set upon my neck;
    he caused my strength to fail;
  the Lord gave me into the hands
    of those whom I cannot withstand.
15   “The Lord rejected
    all my mighty men in my midst;
  he summoned an assembly against me
    to crush my young men;
  the Lord has trodden as in a winepress
    the virgin daughter of Judah.
16   “For these things I weep;
    my eyes flow with tears;
  for a comforter is far from me,
    one to revive my spirit;
  my children are desolate,
    for the enemy has prevailed.”
17   Zion stretches out her hands,
    but there is none to comfort her;
  the LORD has commanded against Jacob
    that his neighbors should be his foes;
  Jerusalem has become
    a filthy thing among them.
18   “The LORD is in the right,
    for I have rebelled against his word;
  but hear, all you peoples,
    and see my suffering;
  my young women and my young men
    have gone into captivity.
19   “I called to my lovers,
    but they deceived me;
  my priests and elders
    perished in the city,
  while they sought food
    to revive their strength.
20   “Look, O LORD, for I am in distress;
    my stomach churns;
  my heart is wrung within me,
    because I have been very rebellious.
  In the street the sword bereaves;
    in the house it is like death.
21   “They heard my groaning,
    yet there is no one to comfort me.
  All my enemies have heard of my trouble;
    they are glad that you have done it.
  You have brought the day you announced;
    now let them be as I am.
22   “Let all their evildoing come before you,
    and deal with them
  as you have dealt with me
    because of all my transgressions;
  for my groans are many,
    and my heart is faint.”

2:1   How the Lord in his anger
    has set the daughter of Zion under a cloud!
  He has cast down from heaven to earth
    the splendor of Israel;
  he has not remembered his footstool
    in the day of his anger.
  The Lord has swallowed up without mercy
    all the habitations of Jacob;
  in his wrath he has broken down
    the strongholds of the daughter of Judah;
  he has brought down to the ground in dishonor
    the kingdom and its rulers.
  He has cut down in fierce anger
    all the might of Israel;
  he has withdrawn from them his right hand
    in the face of the enemy;
  he has burned like a flaming fire in Jacob,
    consuming all around.
  He has bent his bow like an enemy,
    with his right hand set like a foe;
  and he has killed all who were delightful in our eyes
    in the tent of the daughter of Zion;
  he has poured out his fury like fire.
  The Lord has become like an enemy;
    he has swallowed up Israel;
  he has swallowed up all its palaces;
    he has laid in ruins its strongholds,
  and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah
    mourning and lamentation.
  He has laid waste his booth like a garden,
    laid in ruins his meeting place;
  the LORD has made Zion forget
    festival and Sabbath,
  and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest.
  The Lord has scorned his altar,
    disowned his sanctuary;
  he has delivered into the hand of the enemy
    the walls of her palaces;
  they raised a clamor in the house of the LORD
    as on the day of festival.
  The LORD determined to lay in ruins
    the wall of the daughter of Zion;
  he stretched out the measuring line;
    he did not restrain his hand from destroying;
  he caused rampart and wall to lament;
    they languished together.
  Her gates have sunk into the ground;
    he has ruined and broken her bars;
  her king and princes are among the nations;
    the law is no more,
  and her prophets find
    no vision from the LORD.
10   The elders of the daughter of Zion
    sit on the ground in silence;
  they have thrown dust on their heads
    and put on sackcloth;
  the young women of Jerusalem
    have bowed their heads to the ground.
11   My eyes are spent with weeping;
    my stomach churns;
  my bile is poured out to the ground
    because of the destruction of the daughter of my people,
  because infants and babies faint
    in the streets of the city.
12   They cry to their mothers,
    “Where is bread and wine?”
  as they faint like a wounded man
    in the streets of the city,
  as their life is poured out
    on their mothers’ bosom.
13   What can I say for you, to what compare you,
    O daughter of Jerusalem?
  What can I liken to you, that I may comfort you,
    O virgin daughter of Zion?
  For your ruin is vast as the sea;
    who can heal you?
14   Your prophets have seen for you
    false and deceptive visions;
  they have not exposed your iniquity
    to restore your fortunes,
  but have seen for you oracles
    that are false and misleading.
15   All who pass along the way
    clap their hands at you;
  they hiss and wag their heads
    at the daughter of Jerusalem:
  “Is this the city that was called
    the perfection of beauty,
    the joy of all the earth?”
16   All your enemies
    rail against you;
  they hiss, they gnash their teeth,
    they cry: “We have swallowed her!
  Ah, this is the day we longed for;
    now we have it; we see it!”
17   The LORD has done what he purposed;
    he has carried out his word,
  which he commanded long ago;
    he has thrown down without pity;
  he has made the enemy rejoice over you
    and exalted the might of your foes.
18   Their heart cried to the Lord.
    O wall of the daughter of Zion,
  let tears stream down like a torrent
    day and night!
  Give yourself no rest,
    your eyes no respite!
19   “Arise, cry out in the night,
    at the beginning of the night watches!
  Pour out your heart like water
    before the presence of the Lord!
  Lift your hands to him
    for the lives of your children,
  who faint for hunger
    at the head of every street.”
20   Look, O LORD, and see!
    With whom have you dealt thus?
  Should women eat the fruit of their womb,
    the children of their tender care?
  Should priest and prophet be killed
    in the sanctuary of the Lord?
21   In the dust of the streets
    lie the young and the old;
  my young women and my young men
    have fallen by the sword;
  you have killed them in the day of your anger,
    slaughtering without pity.
22   You summoned as if to a festival day
    my terrors on every side,
  and on the day of the anger of the LORD
    no one escaped or survived;
  those whom I held and raised
    my enemy destroyed.

3:1   I am the man who has seen affliction
    under the rod of his wrath;
  he has driven and brought me
    into darkness without any light;
  surely against me he turns his hand
    again and again the whole day long.
  He has made my flesh and my skin waste away;
    he has broken my bones;
  he has besieged and enveloped me
    with bitterness and tribulation;
  he has made me dwell in darkness
    like the dead of long ago.
  He has walled me about so that I cannot escape;
    he has made my chains heavy;
  though I call and cry for help,
    he shuts out my prayer;
  he has blocked my ways with blocks of stones;
    he has made my paths crooked.
10   He is a bear lying in wait for me,
    a lion in hiding;
11   he turned aside my steps and tore me to pieces;
    he has made me desolate;
12   he bent his bow and set me
    as a target for his arrow.
13   He drove into my kidneys
    the arrows of his quiver;
14   I have become the laughingstock of all peoples,
    the object of their taunts all day long.
15   He has filled me with bitterness;
    he has sated me with wormwood.
16   He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
    and made me cower in ashes;
17   my soul is bereft of peace;
    I have forgotten what happiness is;
18   so I say, “My endurance has perished;
    so has my hope from the LORD.”
19   Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
    the wormwood and the gall!
20   My soul continually remembers it
    and is bowed down within me.
21   But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:
22   The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
23   they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24   “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”
25   The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
    to the soul who seeks him.
26   It is good that one should wait quietly
    for the salvation of the LORD.
27   It is good for a man that he bear
    the yoke in his youth.
28   Let him sit alone in silence
    when it is laid on him;
29   let him put his mouth in the dust—
    there may yet be hope;
30   let him give his cheek to the one who strikes,
    and let him be filled with insults.
31   For the Lord will not
    cast off forever,
32   but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
    according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
33   for he does not afflict from his heart
    or grieve the children of men.

Matthew 19:15–30 ()

()

15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.

16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Psalm 119:121–128 ()

()

Ayin

121   I have done what is just and right;
    do not leave me to my oppressors.
122   Give your servant a pledge of good;
    let not the insolent oppress me.
123   My eyes long for your salvation
    and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.
124   Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love,
    and teach me your statutes.
125   I am your servant; give me understanding,
    that I may know your testimonies!
126   It is time for the LORD to act,
    for your law has been broken.
127   Therefore I love your commandments
    above gold, above fine gold.
128   Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right;
    I hate every false way.

Proverbs 18:13–20 ()

()

13   If one gives an answer before he hears,
    it is his folly and shame.
14   A man’s spirit will endure sickness,
    but a crushed spirit who can bear?
15   An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
    and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16   A man’s gift makes room for him
    and brings him before the great.
17   The one who states his case first seems right,
    until the other comes and examines him.
18   The lot puts an end to quarrels
    and decides between powerful contenders.
19   A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city,
    and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
20   From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied;
    he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.

Tue 20 August, 2019


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