The Word for Today is just for you

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Samoa is just one of over 30 nations around the world where The Word for Today is printed.

It is written by Bob and Debby Gass in the USA, prepared by the team at UCB Asia Pacific in Australia and we are delighted to be able to make it available to you.

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Find out more about Bob Gass

Author of The Word for Today. Click here

The Word for Today is available in Samoa, thanks to your support and our partnership with UCB Asia Pacific…and THAT’s good news!

 

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Don’t even THINK about giving up!

‘We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;’ 2 Corinthians 4:8 NASB

We give up because: 1) We fear failure. Past hurts and mistakes haunt us, and we think it’s better not to try again than risk failing. Don’t spend your life digging up bones! We all have things in our past that we would rather forget. Put them behind you. Paul writes, ‘Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead’ (Philippians 3:13 CSB). 2) We worry about what people will say. ‘The fear of man brings a snare’ (Proverbs 29:25 NKJV). How you respond to criticism is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. There will always be people who won’t like or understand you. 3) We listen to the wrong voices. Satan is the Father of Lies and will do everything he can to discourage you. Paul says, ‘Demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God … take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’ (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV). When a thought comes, examine it. If it’s from God, receive it; if it’s from Satan, demolish it. 4) We lose focus. As believers, we’re to walk by faith, not by sight (see 2 Corinthians 5:7). That means making every decision based on what God says and not what you see with your natural eyes. 5) We lose touch with other believers. When the apostles got out of jail, they went back to ‘their own company’ (Acts 4:23 KJV). To stay strong, you need fellowship with other Christians. Too many people give up on the verge of success; don’t be one of them. There is only one degree of difference between hot water and steam – so keep going, and don’t even think of giving up!

SoulFood: 1 Kings 18:16 – 20:43, Matt 19:15-30, Ps 66:1-12, Pro 6:20-22

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©

Start fresh every day!

‘A quick-tempered person does foolish things.’ Proverbs 14:17 NIV

You overslept, the car wouldn’t start, you were late for work, and your computer crashed! These things can make you angry, but only if you let them. Solomon said, ‘A quick-tempered person does foolish things’ so if you fly into a rage, expect a rough landing! The Bible says, ‘He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.’ (Proverbs 16:32 NKJV). Anger always comes back to bite you and ends up doing more damage than the thing that triggered it. David said, ‘My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.’ (Psalm 5:3 NKJV). Start by offering your day to God; then you will be less likely to react in anger when things go wrong. Our time here is short. What a shame to let something that happened twenty years or twenty minutes ago ruin your day. Make up your mind to enjoy every single day. You might make mistakes; things may not go your way. You may be disappointed, but choose to live a happy life rather than let what does or doesn’t happen to steal your joy. Every morning say, ‘Father, this is going to be a great day. I thank you that I have discipline and self-control and that I make good decisions. I may not have done what I could have yesterday, but that day is gone. I’m going to do better today.’ Ever wonder why a car’s windscreen is big and its rear-view mirror small? Because what’s behind isn’t nearly as important as what’s ahead. So keep looking ahead, and no matter what happens today, don’t lose your peace.

SoulFood: 1 Kings 16:1 – 18:15, Matt 19:1-14, Ps 61, Pro 6:16-19

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©

Your Anger Is Doing Damage

‘Do not be quickly provoked.’ Ecclesiastes 7:9 NIV

Angry outbursts are destructive in all relationships, especially in your home. Children are the most vulnerable to a parents' anger, and they mirror their behaviour.

We shape our children’s destiny by what we say, what we do and the attitude we demonstrate. If there is a lot of high volume arguing within the walls of your home, that is the home your grandchildren will experience too. Are your actions training your children to be hysterical and violent? Do you overreact, fly into fits of rage, and attack your spouse verbally?

When you exhibit tantrum-like behaviour you’re acting out of a selfish need to get what you want, when you want it, in the way you think you ought to have it. Please – for your family’s sake – start acting like an adult; exhibit self-control. ‘Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises’ (Hebrews 6:12 NKJV). Notice, you must have faith and patience. You may not be able to control what happens in life, but you can certainly control your reaction. Whether it’s the anger a father brings home from the workplace, or a wife’s anger towards her husband, it can bring a curse.

Simeon and Levi harboured anger in their hearts and became vicious and vindictive murderers. Because of this, a curse came upon them, and the anger was passed down from generation to generation (see Genesis 49). You must break the curse by resisting the temptation to let anger dictate your behaviour. In the words of James: ‘My dear brothers, take note … Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires’ (James 1:19–20 NIV).

SoulFood: 1 Kings 15, Matt 18:15-35, Ps 96, Pro 6:12-15

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©

Delivered from People-Pleasing

‘'I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you.’ Acts 26:17 NKJV

Paul’s ministry began when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. In that humbling encounter, the Lord said to him: ‘Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as My servant and witness. You are to tell the world what you have seen and what I will show you in the future. And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light …' (Acts 26:16–18 NLT)

Before Paul could be successful in his calling and minister effectively, he had to be delivered from the fear of people. That included those who knew him well and those he had yet to meet who didn’t know him at all. He had to be detoxed from the need for approval. In essence, God was saying to Paul, ‘You’re just the postman. Some days people will like what you deliver, and other days, they won’t. You have to deliver the post anyway. So I’m setting you free from the fear of their rejection and the need for their acceptance.’

Has God called you to do a particular job? Are you afraid you’ll make mistakes? Count on it—you will! Are you worried you’ll be criticised? It comes with the turf! People will disappoint you in 101 different ways, but if you’re determined to do the will of God, pray, ‘Lord, deliver me from people pleasing, so I can share with them what You’ve given to me.’

Then get on with the job!

SoulFood: 1 Kings 14, Matt 18:1-14, Ps 58, Pro 6:10-11

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©

What an insurance policy!

‘All the days of my life.’ Psalm 23:6 NKJV

Most insurance companies are trustworthy. They will cover you through most of the seasons and adversities of life. But not all insurance companies are that way. In some cases, the moment you make a claim against them, they either hike your premiums through the roof or cancel your policy. But the insurance policy you have with God is awesome. The premiums were paid in the crimson cash of Jesus’ blood when He spoke these words: ‘It is finished,’ which means paid in full. There are different kinds of insurance policies that cover things like fire, property, theft, health, vehicles, and death. But the only insurance policy that can cover you beyond death is the one God offers. And you don’t have to worry about reading the fine print because He will not cancel it. Paul lays it out for us: ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:35, 37–39 NKJV). Have you repented of your sins? Have you placed your trust in Christ to be your Saviour? Then you’re covered for time and eternity. ‘Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come; ’tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.’

SoulFood: 1 Kings 12-13, Matt 17:14-27, Ps 53, Pro 6:9

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©

Navigating life’s losses (4)

‘A time to gain, and a time to lose.’ Ecclesiastes 3:6 NKJV

What else do our children need from us when they’re grieving? 1) Our honesty. They need to know we’re hurting too. When they see you crying, but you tell them, ‘I’m all right,’ they’re confused. They think either you’re not hurting, and tears don’t mean anything, or you’re not being real with them. They need to know the genuine you, so they can be real with you and trust you with their hurts. 2) Our awareness of their feelings without overprotecting them. For them, as for you, ‘There is a time to weep…mourn…lose’ (Ecclesiastes 3: 4, 6 NKJV). God has made all these experiences ‘appropriate in its time’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NASB). Don’t inhibit or invalidate their sadness, anger, and depression. It’s part of their God-given humanness and will help them become balanced, compassionate adults. 3) Sensitive listening. Kids learn and grow through loss when they have an open and understanding listener. Listen, then reflect on their feelings. ‘Sounds like you’re angry. Want to talk about it?’ Don’t analyse; ask! Listen with your eyes and ears. ‘Your words say you’re all right, but your eyes suggest you’re sad.’ 4) Permission to express negative emotions. Anger and resentment aimed at doctors, the system, family members, you, and even God is normal! Don’t say, ‘You shouldn’t say such things.’ Instead, say, ‘Sounds like a real, honest expression of pain and disappointment. Want to talk more about it?’ Expression detoxifies negative emotion. 5) Inclusion in our grief rituals. Include them in family gatherings, funeral planning, and services and they will find comfort in the validation, closure, and healing these bring!

SoulFood: 1 Kings 10-11, Matt 17:1-13, Ps 40:9-17, Pro 6:6-8

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©

Navigating life’s losses (3)

‘A time to gain, and a time to lose.’ Ecclesiastes 3:6 NKJV

How can we help children navigate life’s losses? 1) Don’t underestimate their capacity for grief. Children are often the forgotten grievers. Their pain is real and intense; recognise and validate it. 2) Don’t avoid talking about the loss when they’re present. Excluding them from adults in mourning denies them the opportunity for support and increased understanding of their loss. Include them in the family’s collective grief experience. 3) Encourage them to share their feelings about the loss. Teach them that being real is more important than being strong, and confirm that their feelings matter. Very young children have a limited understanding of the meaning, permanence, and irreversibility of death. They can only talk about it briefly and concretely. Older children understand its meaning and should be encouraged to talk about it. 4) Make allowance for each child’s personality. Our personality determines our grieving style. Introverted children may need their own space; extroverted ones may need to be verbal and sociable. Dependent children need strong adults around them; independent ones can handle a lot on their own. 5) Communicate realistically with them. Adults often use language that confuses children. ‘Your dad has gone home…fallen asleep…passed away…gone to his rest,’ etc. Speaking of death as the end of this physical life is Biblical, clarifies the significance of the loss, and allows children to ask questions that matter to them. Your children can handle loss, and they can understand that everlasting life is God’s great solution, and one day we will join our loved ones in heaven (see John 14:2–3).

SoulFood: Exo 20:15, Josh 7:1-26, Tit 2:6-10, Eph 4:28

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©

Navigating life’s losses (2)

‘A time to be born, and a time to die.’ Ecclesiastes 3:2 KJV

Researchers at the Colorado Institute of Grief offer us this helpful 4-stage path to recovery. Stage 1) Shock. Our initial response is one of denial and disbelief. ‘I can’t believe this is happening! There is a numbing of our senses, a God-designed natural anaesthesia that buffers the early blow and allows us time to gather our coping mechanisms. Stage 2) Protest. We feel anger and resentment against God, yet we feel guilty for blaming Him. We may blame ourselves, the doctors, or the patient and question God’s love and faithfulness, and even bargain with Him. ‘If You will just do a miracle and bring them back, I will …’. Stage 3) Disorganisation. Everything comes apart at the seams. The lifestyle we knew and loved unravels. The dreams we cherished evaporate. We feel hopeless, powerless, and lost in a strange, empty universe. Secondary losses may loom: financial insecurity, social dislocation, depression, loss of concentration, etc. We’re convinced that life will never be normal again. We survive moment to moment, afraid to anticipate the road ahead. Stage 4) Reorganisation. Unrelenting grief gives way to waves of sadness varying in frequency and intensity. We begin to accept and accommodate our loss. The energy we expended on grief work becomes available again, enabling us to adjust to the demands and opportunities of our new lifestyle. Slowly we re-emerge and take hold of the reins again. The process will take many months, and full recovery may take years. But God promises it will come! There will be ‘a time to heal…build up…laugh…dance…gain!’ (Ecclesiastes 3:3–4, 6 NKJV).

SoulFood: 1 Kings 8-9, Matt 16:13-28, Ps 40:1-8, Pro 6:1-5

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©

Navigating life’s losses (1)

‘A time to gain, and a time to lose.’ Ecclesiastes 3:6 NKJV

God’s Word neither ignores nor minimises the painful realities of life. Inevitably, we, and our loved ones, will experience life’s losses: illness, ageing, death, divorce, disability, loss of independence, unemployment, financial reversals, etc. Today’s culture prepares us for gain, but not for loss; to dance, but not to mourn (see Ecclesiastes 3:4). Major losses throw us into uncharted territory. So, we need to understand the dynamics of our loss in order to help us through it and back to living again. Life-changing loss begins with bereavement – the agony of feeling that something or someone indispensable to us has been ripped away, leaving us feeling robbed. Then comes grief – searing emotions of overwhelming sorrow that are often accompanied by anger, distress, confusion, and helplessness. Next, we move into the mourning stage and begin to express our grief and loss. This is the hard work stage of tears, memories, and heartrending spasms of weeping that shake us to our very core. We feel guilt and remorse over what we have said or done or not said or done. Our heartache gives those around us the opportunity to respond, offering the comfort and reassurance we need to begin healing. This is God’s protocol for healing broken hearts. At the age of 120, Moses, the Israelites’ beloved leader died leaving behind him a grief-stricken nation (see Deuteronomy 34). God allowed them thirty days to mourn their loss and to comfort one another before resuming the business of life. So take the time you need to do the work of mourning your losses because Jesus said, ‘Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted’ (Matthew 5:4 KJV).

SoulFood: 1 Kings 6-7, Matt 16:1-12, Ps 36, Pro 5:21-23

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©

Are you being sifted?

‘Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’ Luke 22:31-32 NIV

When Jesus told Peter, “Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat,” it raises the question in our minds, Lord, did you have to say yes? A good sifting brings glory to God, such as when Job continued to praise his Maker when things seemed lost and even his wife was telling him to give up on God. It probes your weaknesses. Where you’re still thinking, ‘I can,’ a good, swift sift will push you to say, ‘I can’t, but God can.’ It allows God to scrape away the distractions that could hinder you from fulfilling His purpose in your life. Peter’s sifting would scrape away all his stomp-and-snort bluster, revealing a heart that’s teachable and willing to welcome Cornelius and his Gentile clan into the family of God. Notice, Jesus didn’t say, ‘Get ready for a whirlwind of hurt, Peter. I know you’re going to let Me down!’ Instead, He pointed to the future. Peter would survive the sifting; he would return humbled but stronger and with a purpose to strengthen his brothers and sisters. The Lord said yes to the sifting to transform Peter from a leader who serves to a servant who leads. And that’s a significant shift from the thinking of men to the thinking of God. You may have days when you wonder if God is letting Satan sift you. You can take a God-view of it, knowing He is always in control. Remember, ‘“greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world’ (1 John 4:4 KJV).

SoulFood: 1 Kings 3-5, Matt 15:15-39, Ps 33:13-22, Pro 5:15-20

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©