How to be Confident in God’s Love

Psalm 27:4 NIV says: ‘This only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.’ Maddie Rey has devoted all her talents to encouraging young people to do just that. Her ministry is all about making ‘dwellers’ of a generation who are turning away from the church.

Born in Waukegan, Illinois, Maddie grew up in the Church of Joy, which her parents founded more than two decades ago. As a young girl she starred in a kids TV show where she developed some of her gifts. As a teenager, she was part of an all-girl rap group, but at age 16, she decided to start writing her own music.

It was around that time that God gave her the message she’s been delivering ever since. ‘So many young people today are falling away from the Church. They’re falling away from the things of God. And I think now is the time, more than ever, to call a generation back to the things of God, to call them back to the purpose, the plan, and everything that God has in store for them.’

But her message isn’t just for those of us who are disillusioned. It’s also for church kids, like herself, who are tempted to explore other options. She wants to empower them to remain in the Church, to remind them of all the reasons their choice to walk with Christ was the right one. ‘They don’t have to go out into the world and experience all the things that it might offer. They can stay, and they can dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of their life, because that’s what God intended for us to do.’

we don’t need to be ashamed of what we look like, of how we act, of the things that God has put in us

One of the biggest questions many young people ask today is: ‘What is my purpose?’ The only way to find a satisfying answer to that question is to find out God’s plan for us. Of course we’re all called to spread the Gospel message, and Maddie uses her music as a tool to open hearts.

But the beautiful thing is God has given each and every one of us a different gift, and a different talent, for us to be able to walk that out. And if we want to know what we were created for, we must always get to know our Creator, and spend time with Him in order to really know what the purpose is that He has planned for us.’

That’s the message at the heart of her song Confident, which she’s also adapting into a book, due out this year. She believes confidence is an identity that comes from knowing who God wants us to be. ‘There’s so much insecurity today, so much anxiety, so much depression, so much lack of identity today. We need to know we can be confident because God created us.’

‘We don’t need to be ashamed of who we are. We don’t need to be ashamed of what we look like, of how we act, of the things that God has put in us. We don’t need to be ashamed of that. We need to be confident in that, and empowered to that.’

If you want to know more about Maddie’s life and message, you should definitely check out her book, Dwell, which talks more about how we can stick with the Church, even when we’re feeling lost.

Muzzle Your Mouth

‘I will put a muzzle on my mouth.’ Psalm 39:1 NIV

Scripture has a lot to say about the dangers of a flapping tongue. Apparently David had to guard himself in that particular area. ‘Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.’ (Psalm 141:3 NIV) ‘May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, Lord.’ (Psalm 19:14 NIV)

Just because a thought comes up doesn’t mean it should come out! ‘A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.’ (Proverbs 29:11 NKJV)

You might think, ‘Hold on! I didn’t really mean it. I was just sounding off!’ You may not think you meant it, but the Bible says, ‘Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.’ (Matthew 12:34 NKJV)

Yep, what’s really on the inside is what shows up on the outside. Put yourself in the other person’s place, listen to what you’re saying, and ask yourself how you’d respond.

When you’re talking to someone, you won’t get them to accept more easily by shouting. Your ability to listen, understand, care, empathise, and respond with wisdom will make the difference. And if none of those things work, do what Jesus did when He stood before Pilate: ‘He did not open His mouth.’ (Acts 8:32 NLT) Think about it: He had the power and authority to call twelve legions of angels (72,000 plus) to His defence, but He didn’t. That’s strength, not weakness!

Another wise idea: don’t resort to swearing. ‘Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.’ (Ephesians 4:29 NLT)

SoulFood: Num 34–36, Mark 9:30–37, Ps 18:30–50, Pro 11:22

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

Numbers 34–36 ()

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34:1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the people of Israel, and say to them, When you enter the land of Canaan (this is the land that shall fall to you for an inheritance, the land of Canaan as defined by its borders), your south side shall be from the wilderness of Zin alongside Edom, and your southern border shall run from the end of the Salt Sea on the east. And your border shall turn south of the ascent of Akrabbim, and cross to Zin, and its limit shall be south of Kadesh-barnea. Then it shall go on to Hazar-addar, and pass along to Azmon. And the border shall turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, and its limit shall be at the sea.

“For the western border, you shall have the Great Sea and its coast. This shall be your western border.

“This shall be your northern border: from the Great Sea you shall draw a line to Mount Hor. From Mount Hor you shall draw a line to Lebo-hamath, and the limit of the border shall be at Zedad. Then the border shall extend to Ziphron, and its limit shall be at Hazar-enan. This shall be your northern border.

10 “You shall draw a line for your eastern border from Hazar-enan to Shepham. 11 And the border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain. And the border shall go down and reach to the shoulder of the Sea of Chinnereth on the east. 12 And the border shall go down to the Jordan, and its limit shall be at the Salt Sea. This shall be your land as defined by its borders all around.”

13 Moses commanded the people of Israel, saying, “This is the land that you shall inherit by lot, which the LORD has commanded to give to the nine tribes and to the half-tribe. 14 For the tribe of the people of Reuben by fathers' houses and the tribe of the people of Gad by their fathers' houses have received their inheritance, and also the half-tribe of Manasseh. 15 The two tribes and the half-tribe have received their inheritance beyond the Jordan east of Jericho, toward the sunrise.”

16 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “These are the names of the men who shall divide the land to you for inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun. 18 You shall take one chief from every tribe to divide the land for inheritance. 19 These are the names of the men: Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 20 Of the tribe of the people of Simeon, Shemuel the son of Ammihud. 21 Of the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad the son of Chislon. 22 Of the tribe of the people of Dan a chief, Bukki the son of Jogli. 23 Of the people of Joseph: of the tribe of the people of Manasseh a chief, Hanniel the son of Ephod. 24 And of the tribe of the people of Ephraim a chief, Kemuel the son of Shiphtan. 25 Of the tribe of the people of Zebulun a chief, Elizaphan the son of Parnach. 26 Of the tribe of the people of Issachar a chief, Paltiel the son of Azzan. 27 And of the tribe of the people of Asher a chief, Ahihud the son of Shelomi. 28 Of the tribe of the people of Naphtali a chief, Pedahel the son of Ammihud.” 29 These are the men whom the LORD commanded to divide the inheritance for the people of Israel in the land of Canaan.

35:1 The LORD spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, “Command the people of Israel to give to the Levites some of the inheritance of their possession as cities for them to dwell in. And you shall give to the Levites pasturelands around the cities. The cities shall be theirs to dwell in, and their pasturelands shall be for their cattle and for their livestock and for all their beasts. The pasturelands of the cities, which you shall give to the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city outward a thousand cubits all around. And you shall measure, outside the city, on the east side two thousand cubits, and on the south side two thousand cubits, and on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits, the city being in the middle. This shall belong to them as pastureland for their cities.

“The cities that you give to the Levites shall be the six cities of refuge, where you shall permit the manslayer to flee, and in addition to them you shall give forty-two cities. All the cities that you give to the Levites shall be forty-eight, with their pasturelands. And as for the cities that you shall give from the possession of the people of Israel, from the larger tribes you shall take many, and from the smaller tribes you shall take few; each, in proportion to the inheritance that it inherits, shall give of its cities to the Levites.”

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 then you shall select cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person without intent may flee there. 12 The cities shall be for you a refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer may not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment. 13 And the cities that you give shall be your six cities of refuge. 14 You shall give three cities beyond the Jordan, and three cities in the land of Canaan, to be cities of refuge. 15 These six cities shall be for refuge for the people of Israel, and for the stranger and for the sojourner among them, that anyone who kills any person without intent may flee there.

16 “But if he struck him down with an iron object, so that he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. 17 And if he struck him down with a stone tool that could cause death, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. 18 Or if he struck him down with a wooden tool that could cause death, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. 19 The avenger of blood shall himself put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death. 20 And if he pushed him out of hatred or hurled something at him, lying in wait, so that he died, 21 or in enmity struck him down with his hand, so that he died, then he who struck the blow shall be put to death. He is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.

22 “But if he pushed him suddenly without enmity, or hurled anything on him without lying in wait 23 or used a stone that could cause death, and without seeing him dropped it on him, so that he died, though he was not his enemy and did not seek his harm, 24 then the congregation shall judge between the manslayer and the avenger of blood, in accordance with these rules. 25 And the congregation shall rescue the manslayer from the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge to which he had fled, and he shall live in it until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil. 26 But if the manslayer shall at any time go beyond the boundaries of his city of refuge to which he fled, 27 and the avenger of blood finds him outside the boundaries of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the manslayer, he shall not be guilty of blood. 28 For he must remain in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest, but after the death of the high priest the manslayer may return to the land of his possession. 29 And these things shall be for a statute and rule for you throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.

30 “If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the evidence of witnesses. But no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness. 31 Moreover, you shall accept no ransom for the life of a murderer, who is guilty of death, but he shall be put to death. 32 And you shall accept no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may return to dwell in the land before the death of the high priest. 33 You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. 34 You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the LORD dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.”

36:1 The heads of the fathers' houses of the clan of the people of Gilead the son of Machir, son of Manasseh, from the clans of the people of Joseph, came near and spoke before Moses and before the chiefs, the heads of the fathers' houses of the people of Israel. They said, “The LORD commanded my lord to give the land for inheritance by lot to the people of Israel, and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters. But if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the people of Israel, then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of our fathers and added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry. So it will be taken away from the lot of our inheritance. And when the jubilee of the people of Israel comes, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry, and their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.”

And Moses commanded the people of Israel according to the word of the LORD, saying, “The tribe of the people of Joseph is right. This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad: ‘Let them marry whom they think best, only they shall marry within the clan of the tribe of their father. The inheritance of the people of Israel shall not be transferred from one tribe to another, for every one of the people of Israel shall hold on to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers. And every daughter who possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the people of Israel shall be wife to one of the clan of the tribe of her father, so that every one of the people of Israel may possess the inheritance of his fathers. So no inheritance shall be transferred from one tribe to another, for each of the tribes of the people of Israel shall hold on to its own inheritance.’”

10 The daughters of Zelophehad did as the LORD commanded Moses, 11 for Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married to sons of their father's brothers. 12 They were married into the clans of the people of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of their father's clan.

13 These are the commandments and the rules that the LORD commanded through Moses to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.

Mark 9:30–37 ()

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30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

Psalm 18:30–50 ()

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30   This God—his way is perfect;
    the word of the LORD proves true;
    he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
31   For who is God, but the LORD?
    And who is a rock, except our God?—
32   the God who equipped me with strength
    and made my way blameless.
33   He made my feet like the feet of a deer
    and set me secure on the heights.
34   He trains my hands for war,
    so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35   You have given me the shield of your salvation,
    and your right hand supported me,
    and your gentleness made me great.
36   You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
    and my feet did not slip.
37   I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
    and did not turn back till they were consumed.
38   I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
    they fell under my feet.
39   For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
    you made those who rise against me sink under me.
40   You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
    and those who hated me I destroyed.
41   They cried for help, but there was none to save;
    they cried to the LORD, but he did not answer them.
42   I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
    I cast them out like the mire of the streets.
43   You delivered me from strife with the people;
    you made me the head of the nations;
    people whom I had not known served me.
44   As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
    foreigners came cringing to me.
45   Foreigners lost heart
    and came trembling out of their fortresses.
46   The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock,
    and exalted be the God of my salvation—
47   the God who gave me vengeance
    and subdued peoples under me,
48   who rescued me from my enemies;
    yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
    you delivered me from the man of violence.
49   For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations,
    and sing to your name.
50   Great salvation he brings to his king,
    and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
    to David and his offspring forever.

Proverbs 11:22 ()

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22   Like a gold ring in a pig's snout
    is a beautiful woman without discretion.

Sat 16 May, 2020


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