Strategy: 3

‘I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel.’ Psalm 16:7 NKJV

When we’re faced with an overwhelming problem, we can be tempted to just collapse in a heap. But break it down into smaller, manageable parts and it’s possible to tackle the whole issue effectively.

Don’t try to juggle the whole thing in your head; write it down so you can get a clearer picture. One small part may be the key that opens the door. And if you still can’t find a solution, take it to God in prayer. The psalmist said, ‘The Lord will perfect that which concerns me.’ (Psalm 138:8 NKJV) If something is of concern to you, it’s of concern to the God who loves you. Pray: ‘Lord, I’m giving this problem to You and I’m going to sleep.’

When you do that, it’s possible you may wake up in the morning with an amazingly simple solution to the crushing problem you had the night before. The psalmist said, ‘I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons.’ God knows what you don’t know, and prayer gives you access to His knowledge.

Five loaves and two fish in a boy’s hands won’t feed five thousand people. But when the boy put them into Christ’s hands, they multiplied and there were twelve full baskets left over. Strategic thinking works best when God is the foundation of your strategy, when you stand on His Word and claim His promise: ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV)

God will work it through with you, as long as you remember you can’t do it without Him.

SoulFood: 1 John 1:1–3:10, John 8:21–30, Ps 86, Pro 25:8–12

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

1 John 1–3:10 ()

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1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

12   I am writing to you, little children,
    because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
13   I am writing to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
  I am writing to you, young men,
    because you have overcome the evil one.
  I write to you, children,
    because you know the Father.
14   I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
  I write to you, young men,
    because you are strong,
    and the word of God abides in you,
    and you have overcome the evil one.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.

26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

John 8:21–30 ()

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21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

Psalm 86 ()

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A Prayer of David.

86:1   Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
  Preserve my life, for I am godly;
    save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
  Be gracious to me, O Lord,
    for to you do I cry all the day.
  Gladden the soul of your servant,
    for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
  For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
    abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
  Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer;
    listen to my plea for grace.
  In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
    for you answer me.
  There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
    nor are there any works like yours.
  All the nations you have made shall come
    and worship before you, O Lord,
    and shall glorify your name.
10   For you are great and do wondrous things;
    you alone are God.
11   Teach me your way, O LORD,
    that I may walk in your truth;
    unite my heart to fear your name.
12   I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever.
13   For great is your steadfast love toward me;
    you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
14   O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
    a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
    and they do not set you before them.
15   But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16   Turn to me and be gracious to me;
    give your strength to your servant,
    and save the son of your maidservant.
17   Show me a sign of your favor,
    that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
    because you, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

Proverbs 25:8–12 ()

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    do not hastily bring into court,
  for what will you do in the end,
    when your neighbor puts you to shame?
  Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
    and do not reveal another’s secret,
10   lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
    and your ill repute have no end.
11   A word fitly spoken
    is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
12   Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
    is a wise reprover to a listening ear.

Wed 04 November, 2020


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