The Word for Today is just for you

Your latest copy is now waiting for you at our Laufou O Le Talalelei office at Mulinu’u Road, Apia. It is also available through many churches around Samoa. If you need help phone, text or email us today.

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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You’re a reflector

‘But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord’ 2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV

As the old saying goes, ‘You become like the company you keep.’ Paul explains it this way: ‘But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV). Christians, like mirrors, reflect the glory of God. The more you spend time in God’s presence, the more you will reflect His likeness and carry His presence with you. What does beholding your face in a mirror mean? It’s more than just a quick glance; behold means to study, stare at, and contemplate. The Bible tells us after Moses spent 40 days on a mountain in God’s presence, the people of Israel couldn’t bear to look at his face because it was glowing with the glory of God. ‘And it came about, when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai … that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him.’ (Exodus 34:29 NASB). What Moses beheld was what Moses became! The Bible says that ‘whatever you do, do all to the glory of God’ (1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV). That means ‘whatever you do’, you’re a reflector! Jesus said, ‘Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven’ (Matthew 5:16 NIV). In other words, people should be able to look at you and see the God who lives within you. And that should be the case at home, at play, in the workplace, and anywhere else you happen to be.

SoulFood: Jer 51-52, Mark 2:23-28, Ps 50:16-23, Pro 10:11-13

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

Give God all the glory

‘For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword,’ Psalm 44:3 NKJV

A frog was running out of water, so he asked two birds to transport him to a nearby pond by having each bird carry one end of a stick in their beak while he bit down on the centre and held on. It was a sight to behold: two birds, one stick, and a frog in the middle. A cow looked up, saw the trio passing overhead, and asked, ‘Who thought of that?’ The frog couldn’t resist. Pride prevailed over prudence. ‘It was meeee…!’ he yelled as he plummeted to earth. Don’t make the same error. Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall’ (Proverbs 16:18 NLT). Why are you good at doing what you do? For your own comfort? To save for your retirement? To bolster your self-esteem? No, these are all bonuses, not the main reason. You’re good at what you do, for God’s sake. It’s about Him, not you! Read and ponder these words in your heart: ‘Wealth and honour come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion, people are made great and given strength’ (1 Chronicles 29:12 NLT). Recalling the victories, blessings, and successes Israel had experienced, David reminds us: ‘For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; but it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, because You favoured them.’ (Psalm 44:3 NKJV). Keep in mind that the blessings you enjoy every day are yours only because God favoured and smiled on you. That’s the truth!

SoulFood: Gal 5:22, Luke 2:8-20, Pro 3:13-18, Ps 119:161-168

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

Christ’s love for you

‘To know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge.’ Ephesians 3:19 CSB

Princess Alice was Queen Victoria’s daughter. When her son contracted an incurable disease called black diphtheria, the doctors quarantined the boy and warned his mother to stay away from him lest she gets infected. Yet she couldn’t. One day she overheard her son whisper to his nurse, ‘Why doesn’t my mother kiss me anymore?’ His words melted her heart, and she ran to him, smothering him with kisses. Within a few days, she died and was buried. What would compel a mother to risk her life for her child? Love! Now stand at the cross and ask what would lead Christ to do something even greater for us? Love! Writing to the believers in Ephesus, Paul says, ‘I want you to know, Christ’s love surpasses knowledge.’ You can trace the greatest action of Christ to his greatest attribute – love. Perhaps the people who should have loved you didn’t, and those who could have loved you, wouldn’t. Maybe you were left at the hospital, or left standing at the altar, or left with an empty bed and a broken heart. Regardless of the cause, you were left with the question, ‘Does anybody love me?’ And today, Christ answers unequivocally, ‘I do!’ The truth is, His love for you ‘is too wonderful to be measured’. Hymn writer Charles Gabriel wrote: ‘I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, And wonder how He could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean. How marvellous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be: How marvellous! How wonderful! Is my Saviour’s love for me!’ God couldn’t love you more than He does right now, and that will never change.

SoulFood: Jer 49-50, Mark 2:18-22, Ps 50:1-15, Pro 10:8-10

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

A heart filled with goodness

‘A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart.’ Luke 6:45 NIV

Where does goodness come from, and how can you cultivate more of it in your daily decisions and actions? Some people think goodness is a matter of the head and that right-thinking results in right living. Today every politician gives the impression that education is the panacea [answer] for practically every problem in society. Yet education of the head, without the same emphasis on the integrity of the heart, will only make wicked people clever. If education alone were the answer, white-collar crimes would likely drop. Others think goodness is a matter of the hands. They say goodness means treating people well. But doing good does not make a person good. Murderers on death row may be good to their mothers, but they are not good individuals. The truth is, goodness is not located in the head or the hands; it’s hidden in your heart. Jesus, the best man who ever lived, said, ‘A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart.’ Goodness is not merely a matter of what we know or what we do; it is a matter of what we are. As you consider the life ahead of you, what really matters is not how long you live but how well you live. Sir Francis Bacon once said: ‘Of all virtues and dignities of the mind, goodness is the greatest, being the character of Deity; and, without it, man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing.’ So in your desire to be good, draw closer to God. After all, you become like the company you keep.

SoulFood: Jer 45-48, Mark 2:13-17, Ps 25:16-22, Pro 10:4-7

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

Are you having a night-time experience?

‘Bless the Lord, all you…who by night stand in the house of the Lord!’ Psalm 134:1 NKJV

God divided time into days and nights. So, you will have daytime experiences and night-time experiences. For example, you can have a night-time experience in a divorce court, in bankruptcy proceedings, in an unemployment line, or at a graveside. And because you can’t see clearly at night, it’s easy to wonder if God is really there with you. Take heart – He is! With Pharaoh’s armies behind them and the Red Sea in front of them, the Israelites faced their greatest challenge. But the Bible says, ‘All that night the Lord drove the sea back’ (Exodus 14:21 NIV). Be encouraged; God is at work even when you can’t see Him. Hymn writer George Matheson wrote: ‘Will I remain in God’s house at night…love Him for who He is…desire not the gift but the giver? When I can remain…during the darkness of night and worship…I’ve accepted Him for Himself alone.’ Don’t just turn to God when you need a miracle; instead, focus on your relationship with Him, and you will get a miracle when you need one. Jesus said, ‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you’ (John 15:7 NKJV). After Job lost everything near and dear to him, his friend Elihu said to him, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, who teaches us…and makes us wiser?’ (Job 35:10–11 NKJV). Jesus said, ‘What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight’ (Matthew 10:27 NIV). Be encouraged; it’s in your night-time experiences that the Lord stabilises, supports, and strengthens you to go on to victory.

SoulFood: Jer 41-44, Mark 2:1-12, Ps 25:8-15, Pro 10:1-3

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

Showing grace towards those who differ from you

‘But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ 2 Peter 3:18 KJV

Think how much happier and more energised you would be if you weren’t trying to control people and straighten them out. Allow your loved ones the dignity of making, and learning from, their own mistakes. If you’re always getting into someone else’s business, you’re not only going to burn out; you’re hindering God from working in their lives. They belong to Him, not you! In the New Testament, when legalistic Jewish believers tried to impose kosher laws on Gentile believers, Paul wrote: ‘Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them’ (Romans 14:3 NLT). Sometimes in trying to be holy, we come across as harsh. Just because you don’t feel at liberty to do something doesn’t give you the right to condemn those who do, unless it’s something clearly prohibited in Scripture. Having strong opinions doesn’t give you the right to impose them on others. Remember, you can have the right theology and the wrong attitude. Author Gladys M. Hunt writes: ‘Acceptance means you’re valuable just as you are…you can talk about how you feel…and why – and someone really cares…you can try out new ideas without being shot down…you can even express heretical thoughts and discuss them with intelligent questioning. You feel safe. No one will pronounce judgment, even though they don’t agree with you. It doesn’t mean you’ll never be corrected; it simply means it’s safe to be you.’ When it comes to the truth, stand fast! But when it comes to nonessentials like personal preferences, customs, and traditions, ‘Let each be fully convinced in his own mind’ (Romans 14:5 NKJV).

SoulFood: Jer 36:27 – 40:16, Mark 1:40-45, Ps 25:1-7, Pro 9:17-18

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

Try a power nap

‘When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.’ Proverbs 3:24 NIV

God built specific triggers into our bodies to let us know when it’s time to escape consciousness. And wise people listen to these clues. History’s most notable power nappers include Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Winston Churchill. There is a reason why your eyelids start to droop around 2:00 p.m. The levator muscles, which constantly contract to keep your eyelids open, give out and beg for a break. And a chemical called adenosine, which collects in your brain when you’re awake, piles up and makes you feel drowsy. Consequently, your body yearns for sleep to allow the adenosine to disperse, resulting in instant relief. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine confirms that people who nap for at least 30 minutes daily, three times weekly, are one-third less likely to die from heart disease. And additional research suggests that taking a nap can improve creativity and memory. Cognitive neuroscientist William Fishbein says that often during a brief nap, our brains actually keep working to resolve problems and form new ideas. That helps explain why Mozart professed to have composed music in his dreams. Studies also show that a little extra sleep can assist with weight control – which means you can lose as you snooze! Ghrelin, a hormone produced in our intestines, tells us we’re hungry and triggers cravings for sweets, salty foods, and starches – all the bad stuff! However, when we sleep more, our colon stores less ghrelin and our craving for junk food diminish. In Scripture, Jesus not only took frequent rest breaks Himself; He encouraged His disciples to follow suit. So, try a power nap.

SoulFood: Jer 33:1 – 36:26, Mark 1:35-39, Ps 32, Pro 9:10-16

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

Seek God for direction

‘Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.’ Proverbs 16:3 NIV

As a follower of Jesus, your direction shouldn’t come from people and be confirmed by God, it should come from God and be confirmed by people. The Bible says: ‘The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits. Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established. The Lord has made all for Himself’ (Proverbs 16:1-4 NKJV). You may be able to do what someone else has done and do it even better. But has God called you to do that particular thing? Before you follow someone else’s guidance, do these: 1) Check the source of their wisdom.For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up success for the upright; He is a shield for those who live with integrity so that He may guard the paths of justice and protect the way of His faithful followers. Then you will understand righteousness, justice, and integrity, every good path.’ (Proverbs 2:6–9 CSB). 2) Check their motives. John writes, ‘I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened’ (Revelation 20:12 NKJV). Will one of those be the book of motives? And if it is, will your actions and accomplishments stand up under divine scrutiny? 3) Check the outcome they’re pursuing. If you seek success to have power and prestige or seek riches only to have comfort, you violate one of the core principles of God’s Word: you’re blessed to be a blessing to others.

SoulFood: Jer 31-32, Mark1:29-34, Ps 72:12-20, Pro 9:7-9

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

Learn to control your anger

‘Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.’ Proverbs 19:11 NLT

When it comes to anger, here is what you need to know: it isn’t a psychological disorder; everybody gets angry. And it’s not necessarily a sin. Like a fast-flowing river, it can generate constructive or destructive energy and be unleashed negatively or harnessed positively. Anger is commonly misunderstood as something that’s done to us by others or by circumstances. We say, ‘I couldn’t help it; they pushed my buttons!’ In the Garden of Eden, Adam said, ‘“It was the woman You gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ (Genesis 3:12NLT) Since the fall of man in Genesis, we have claimed to be victims of people, the devil, and circumstances beyond our control. This belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, causing us to feel helpless and at the mercy of external forces. What does God’s Word say about our anger? ‘Sensible people control their temper.’ That means when sensible people get angry, they control their emotions. No matter what the external trigger is, the answer is always an internal response. One of the fruits of the spirit is self-control. (see Galatians 5:22–23). Staying filled with God’s Spirit is the key to anger management. Instead of feeding your anger by telling yourself, ‘You can’t get away with treating me like that,’ try thinking, ‘No matter what you say or do, God’s Spirit lives in me and I have self-control!’ The Bible says, ‘The grace of God…teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age’ (Titus 2:11–12 NIV). So, learn to control your anger.

SoulFood: Gal 5:22, Isa 61, Heb 12:2, Isa 35:3-10

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

Onwards and upwards

‘I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God.’ Philippians 3:14 NKJV

To fulfil God’s will for your life, you must: 1) Move to a higher level of faith (see Romans 1:17). Before David killed Goliath, he first killed a lion and a bear. And today, we’re contending with issues that require us to trust God in a greater way. 2) Seek God’s guidance about each situation that arises (see Proverbs 3:6). His promise is: ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye’ (Psalm 32:8 NKJV). 3) Get into proper spiritual alignment. God is aligning His people and putting together those who will stand as one on the day of battle. It’s imperative to know who you can trust to go into battle with you, and you only discover such people in times of testing (see Joshua 8:1). 4) Know God’s will for your life. God doesn’t play hide-and-seek with His will. It’s only as you spend time with Him that you discover it (see Psalm 143:10). And when you do that, you thrive. 5) Fight, using God’s Word. The God-breathed words found in Scripture are your strength in times of difficulty and testing. Jesus used Scripture to put Satan to flight (see Matthew 4), and the weapon of God’s Word still works today. 6) Don’t be unduly introspective. Only the Holy Spirit has the ability to search and know our hearts and minds (see John 16:8–15). And when God is ready to reveal areas that need correction, He will. Until then, keep moving forward in faith. 7) Guard your mind. Make it a walled city that refuses entry to negative thoughts and harmful influences (see Proverbs 4:23).

SoulFood: Jer 28-30, Mark 1:16-28, Ps 72:1-11, Pro 9:1-6

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