When To Yield

‘Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another.’ Romans 12:10 NKJV

In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died after being hurled into the icy water below. News of the disaster got worse when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident. It wasn’t a technical problem like radar malfunction, or even thick fog. The cause was human stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ship’s presence and both could have steered clear. But according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other, because each was too proud to yield. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late.

If you’re a tough-minded, strong-willed, make-it-happen kind of person, think about what you’ve just read. If by winning the argument you hurt or lose the relationship, what have you gained? If you save face but rip up the relationship, you end up with a loss anyway.

So here’s the word for you today: ‘Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another… Be of the same mind towards one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men… Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Romans 12:10–21 NKJV)

SoulFood: Nahum 1–3, John 6:1–24, Ps 85, Pro 24:11–14

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

Nahum 1–2:8 ()

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1:1 An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.

  The LORD is a jealous and avenging God;
    the LORD is avenging and wrathful;
  the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries
    and keeps wrath for his enemies.
  The LORD is slow to anger and great in power,
    and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty.
  His way is in whirlwind and storm,
    and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
  He rebukes the sea and makes it dry;
    he dries up all the rivers;
  Bashan and Carmel wither;
    the bloom of Lebanon withers.
  The mountains quake before him;
    the hills melt;
  the earth heaves before him,
    the world and all who dwell in it.
  Who can stand before his indignation?
    Who can endure the heat of his anger?
  His wrath is poured out like fire,
    and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
  The LORD is good,
    a stronghold in the day of trouble;
  he knows those who take refuge in him.
    But with an overflowing flood
  he will make a complete end of the adversaries,
    and will pursue his enemies into darkness.
  What do you plot against the LORD?
    He will make a complete end;
    trouble will not rise up a second time.
10   For they are like entangled thorns,
    like drunkards as they drink;
    they are consumed like stubble fully dried.
11   From you came one
    who plotted evil against the LORD,
    a worthless counselor.
12   Thus says the LORD,
  “Though they are at full strength and many,
    they will be cut down and pass away.
  Though I have afflicted you,
    I will afflict you no more.
13   And now I will break his yoke from off you
    and will burst your bonds apart.”
14   The LORD has given commandment about you:
    “No more shall your name be perpetuated;
  from the house of your gods I will cut off
    the carved image and the metal image.
  I will make your grave, for you are vile.”
15   Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him
    who brings good news,
    who publishes peace!
  Keep your feasts, O Judah;
    fulfill your vows,
  for never again shall the worthless pass through you;
    he is utterly cut off.

2:1   The scatterer has come up against you.
    Man the ramparts;
    watch the road;
  dress for battle;
    collect all your strength.
  For the LORD is restoring the majesty of Jacob
    as the majesty of Israel,
  for plunderers have plundered them
    and ruined their branches.
  The shield of his mighty men is red;
    his soldiers are clothed in scarlet.
  The chariots come with flashing metal
    on the day he musters them;
    the cypress spears are brandished.
  The chariots race madly through the streets;
    they rush to and fro through the squares;
  they gleam like torches;
    they dart like lightning.
  He remembers his officers;
    they stumble as they go,
  they hasten to the wall;
    the siege tower is set up.
  The river gates are opened;
    the palace melts away;
  its mistress is stripped; she is carried off,
    her slave girls lamenting,
  moaning like doves
    and beating their breasts.
  Nineveh is like a pool
    whose waters run away.
  “Halt! Halt!” they cry,
    but none turns back.

John 6:1–24 ()

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6:1 After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”

15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.

Psalm 85 ()

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To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

85:1   LORD, you were favorable to your land;
    you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
  You forgave the iniquity of your people;
    you covered all their sin. Selah
  You withdrew all your wrath;
    you turned from your hot anger.
  Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
    and put away your indignation toward us!
  Will you be angry with us forever?
    Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
  Will you not revive us again,
    that your people may rejoice in you?
  Show us your steadfast love, O LORD,
    and grant us your salvation.
  Let me hear what God the LORD will speak,
    for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
    but let them not turn back to folly.
  Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
    that glory may dwell in our land.
10   Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
    righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11   Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
    and righteousness looks down from the sky.
12   Yes, the LORD will give what is good,
    and our land will yield its increase.
13   Righteousness will go before him
    and make his footsteps a way.

Proverbs 24:11–14 ()

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11   Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
    hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
12   If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
    does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
  Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
    and will he not repay man according to his work?
13   My son, eat honey, for it is good,
    and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
14   Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
    if you find it, there will be a future,
    and your hope will not be cut off.

Fri 23 October, 2020


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