• Store Locator

Monthly Archives: March 2012

  • Wise Guides

    “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.” Proverbs 4:11


    God places wise guides in our lives to lead us in the way of wisdom. These are men and women with a touch of gray, or a head full of fine silver and discernment. Out of all the advice we receive, their counsel is the cream that rises to the top. We value their opinion as a righteous road map from our Heavenly Father. Perhaps you routinely meet an hour or two weekly with these sages from your Savior, so you can better see the wise way to walk.

    Life is full of circumstances that make crooked your path, but you can stay focused on the way of wisdom through wise guides and aggressive prayer. Ask prayer from fellow wisdom hunters for your heart to traffic on the path of purity. The righteous prayers of wise guides reveal the way with heaven’s headlights, so request prayer often.

    “This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Jeremiah 6:16

    Solicit the prayers of wise saints who seek the Lord daily in determined intercession. Ask them to pray for your heart, mind, and body to be kept clean in Christ Jesus. Entrust wise prayer warriors with specific financial and family issues that need a touch from heaven. It is not only ok, but necessary, for a prayer team to surround you as ambassadors to Almighty God on your behalf.

    They convoy with you and Christ to make the crooked ways straight. Wise guides pray that your trust is in Christ, the conductor of your life and work. So, sooner rather than later, prayerfully invite wise guides, passionate about prayer, who will go to God on your behalf. Then as you debrief together on what He is doing, your intimacy with the Lord and each other will grow, and your understanding of the wisest way to go will be marked more clearly.

    “Make me know Thy ways, O LORD; Teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth and teach me, For Thou art the God of my salvation; For Thee I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:4-5, NASB

    Who can I ask to prayerfully be a wise guide in my life, who will pray for my walk in wisdom and on the path of Christ?

    Related Readings: I Samuel 12:23-24; Isaiah 2:3; Acts 13:9-10; Hebrews 12:11-13

    Post/Tweet today: Request prayer for your heart to traffic on the path of purity with heaven’s headlights. #pure #heart

  • Quiet Compassionate Caregiver

    “Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him.” Ruth 4:16


    There are heroes of the faith who care for the downtrodden, the dejected, and the diseased. In Jesus’ name these saints quietly serve foster children, inner city kids, and orphans who need a household of faith. Others unselfishly and nobly love the handicapped and mentally challenged. Compassion cures the ills of isolation with its consistent love and acceptance.

    How often do you pray for and support these Christ-like caregivers? It may be your mother or father caring for their mother or father in the twilight of their years. It could be a church acquaintance at the side of her husband caught in the grip of cancer or a neighbor’s wife withering away from Alzheimer’s. Indeed, support those, who support those who suffer.

    “In Galilee these women had followed Him [Jesus] and cared for His needs. Many other women who had come up with Him to Jerusalem were also there.” Mark 15:41

    Are you the recipient of a compassionate person’s love? The world scratches its head in wonder at the wonderful deeds that flow from someone who loves the Lord. Your empathy, energized by the eternal, engages hearts in need of a Savior. So, if you pay for a stranger’s meal and the restaurant owner asks “Why?” with a grateful heart you are able to declare, as a Christian, that Jesus has paid it all for you—so you are honored to pay for others.

    Most of all—rest in the compassionate and caring arms of your heavenly Father. It brings Him great joy to hold you close and whisper in your ear how He’s eclipsed your afflictions by His glory and how He sustains you with His grace and love. The Lord longs to love you through your trials. Especially, if you are a quiet, compassionate caregiver invite Christ to care for you. His comfort sustains you through the most stressful of circumstances.

    “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4

    Who is a caregiver I can support and care for in Jesus’ name?

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 32:10; Hosea 12:13; Acts 7:20; 1 Thessalonians 2:8

    Post/Tweet today: Compassion cures the ills of isolation with its consistent love and acceptance. #compassion

  • Heart Tenderizer

    “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Cor. 1:3-4


    Great trials produce big hearts. But to those who have never been knocked down, or who have not felt the woes of adversity, the heart is small and insensitive. Indeed, it is on the bed of affliction that human beings find themselves horizontal—looking up to the Lord in heaven.  A plague of bad news will pass—leaving behind a righteous residue on all hearts softened by the Spirit.

    Where does the core of comfort come from for a Christian? Our consolation comes from Christ, where there resides an eternal security that transcends all fiery trials. He wraps us up with His love, and with a fire resistant blanket of belief. Jesus replaces anxiety with peace, and fear with courage. He is a friend who flocks to a friend facing great loss, giving His loyal support. A heart grows tender and true under the loving influence of the Lord.

    “Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD.” 2 Chronicles 34:27

    Ironically, the comforts of the world can crowd out the comfort of Christ. Our hearts can be so full of self-medication that there is no room for our Savior's intimacy. However, a humble heart is always on the hunt with spiritual weapons forged by faith. We go out of our way to be a blessing by serving behind the scenes. A tenderized heart stays moldable for its Master Jesus.

    Above all, the green grass of grace grows best in a moist heart of humility. And it is grace upon grace that God gives you—to give to others. Grace extended to friends and foes alike helps them become like Christ. So, out of your softened heart, you comfort others for Jesus' sake. You are ready to birth comfort for others to enjoy, when your heart has been impregnated by Christ's consultation. Your tenderized heart is trustworthy to Jesus.

    Lord, how can I apply Your tender touch to my heart, so I can be a conduit of comfort to others?

    Related Readings: Joshua 22:5; 1 Samuel 10:9; Luke 1:78; Acts 15:8; Hebrews 4:12

    Post/Tweet today: The green grass of grace grows best in a moist heart of humility. #grace #humility

  • Call for Wisdom

    “This calls for wisdom.” Revelation 13:18a


    Wisdom is required more often than we realize. It is wisdom that cuts through emotion and gets to the reality of the situation. “What is the wise thing to do?” is an effective question in decision-making. “What is best for the enterprise?” is a wise question to ask as it relates to business and ministry. And, many times, God speaks through money—or the lack thereof. So, if money is tight, then we need to be extremely wise with expenditures. Wisdom says to cut back on expenses and do not add additional costs. At this point it is not about lack of faith, it is about being a wise steward with what you have so that you can be trusted with more. Wise stewardship attracts generous givers.

    Another characteristic of wisdom is that it is neither impatient nor desperate. Wisdom takes a step back and thoroughly evaluates a situation before charging ahead. For instance, your child has been accepted simultaneously into a state college, and an out-of-state college. By attending the in-state school the first year, you have the option to save and pay cash for the out-of-state tuition the following year. You are wise when you take opportunities like this to avoid debt. Harmless debt today frequently becomes unwise debt tomorrow.

    So, are you soliciting wisdom on a consistent basis? Knowledge and experience mixed with common sense and discernment is a great recipe for wisdom. Wisdom is seeking to understand God’s perspective on matters. This is why the wisdom found in God’s Word is so relevant for living. The Bible is a treasure trove of wisdom waiting to be discovered by the wise wisdom hunter. Seek out wisdom, and you will find something more valuable than money or possessions. Any fool can stumble into money, but only the wise can retain riches. Wisdom sits under our nose waiting to be tapped.

    Therefore, don’t not merely pray, read and meditate on the Bible, but also seek out the wise. Look for people with gray in their hair and who exhibit wise behavior. The wise will help you validate the inkling of wisdom you are beginning to grasp from your study of Scripture. Read books and listen to messages from men and women who are wise. Try to expose your mind and heart daily to sources of wisdom. Hang out long enough with wisdom, and it will rub off on you. So, take every opportunity to call on wisdom. Be wise in your relationships. Be wise with your money. Be wise with your time. Before you realize it, your wisdom will attract others who are hungry for the same.

    Moreover, the crown jewel of wisdom accumulation may be the fear of the Lord. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline”(Proverbs 1:7). The fear of God positions you to receive wisdom. No fear of God means no wisdom. No wonder our world is flush with fools! We have lost our fear of God, and thus wisdom has alluded us. The fear of the Lord is an incubator for wisdom. God dispenses wisdom to those who fear Him.

    Therefore, love God, but fear Him. Worship God, but fear Him. Learn of God, but fear Him. Serve God, but fear Him. Your fear of God qualifies you for wisdom. Do not become so familiar with God that you lose your fear of God. This is unwise and leads to foolishness. Wisdom awaits your harvest call. Pluck it and enjoy it, like plump, luscious, and juicy fruit on a hot summer day. Taste and see that wisdom is good. No one has ever complained of attaining too much wisdom. Call on wisdom often. Seek out the wise, and ask them and God for wisdom. This is the wise thing to do!

    Taken from Dose 89 in the 90-day devotional book, “Infusion”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE

    Post/Tweet this today: The fear of the Lord is an incubator for wisdom. #wisdom #Lord

  • Right Motives

    “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?” Zechariah 7:5-6


    Right motives can be illusive. One minute you can be as pure as the driven snow in why you do what you do yet in the next you can subtly slip into suspect behavior. Therefore, you need to be relentless and honest in reviewing your motives. No, you can never shake self-preservation and some level of pride, but you can ask the Lord to cleanse your motives and mark them with His purposes. You can make faith in Jesus a filter for right motives. “Why would Jesus do this?” is a wise question that helps you get to the heart of the matter. The “why” question reveals intent and encourages honesty.
    Regularly asking “why?” addresses your motives. You may want to give to someone, but why? I may want to serve someone, but why? You may want to sacrifice an opportunity, but why? You may want to perform a religious duty, but why? Where does your devotion reside? What drives you to do good things? If your reasons are self-serving, then you have missed managing your motives for eternal purposes. Your motive may be to use religion and the church to promote your profession. God does not like to be used for anything other than His glory.

    If you serve because it makes you feel better or to feed your ego, your motives are dysfunctional.  If you are trying to make up for your shady past or you are driven by guilt, then you are operating out of bounds. As a consequence, your misguided motives will cause others to feel or act strangely. Wrong motives have a ripple effect on relationships and organizational dynamics. Unhealthy motivation that seeks attention and credit will compromise principles and values in an effort to reach its desired results. Misguided motives are driven by whatever means it takes to justify worthy results, but lasting fruit results from the seeds of pure motives.
    Moreover, dishonest motives are a recipe for rejection. Neither people nor God accept those with sinful motives. Spiritual people can discern inauthentic living a mile away. Therefore, do an audit of your authenticity, and stop performing acts of righteousness that draw people to yourself instead of to your Savior. Fast and pray with discretion and give anonymously (Matthew 6:5-6). Serve when no one else is watching and you are guaranteed to not get the credit. Ask about others instead of talking about yourself. Help make other people successful, instead of using them for your success. Focus on the Almighty’s accomplishments and not your own.

    Furthermore, do not default to fear as the driving force of your life. Fear may be the worst motive of all, for it causes you to believe lies and to act on them. Fear leads you into out-of-balance living as it races to be right. So substitute faith for fear.  Faith keeps you focused on your heavenly Father, and He replaces your fears with peace and contentment. He can be trusted; so do not force things to happen in your own strength. Instead, do everything for the glory of God. Let your love of the Lord and people lift your motives to a more noble level. Continually allow the Holy Spirit to scrub your motivations. Ask often, “Why would Jesus do this?”  Then mirror your Master’s motives, for right motives reap God’s rewards.

    Taken from March 17th reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE

    Post/Tweet this today: Right motives reap God’s rewards. #motives #rewards

  • Long Life

    “Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.” Proverbs 4:10


    Long life is not guaranteed for anyone. We have no promise of tomorrow and each day is a gift from God. However, as a whole, pure living can prolong life. There are accidents, and unfortunate illnesses that can strike suddenly and snatch life from a vibrant soul, but wise living is still a road to long life. A fool eats, drinks and is merry as if there is no tomorrow, while wisdom plans and prepares for the return of Christ at any moment.

    Wisdom focuses on godly living, while godless living is the focus of fools. It may seem like the disobedient are getting away with something, as some frolic into their frail years, but judgment is coming, not to mention the harmful consequences in this life. Therefore, listen to wisdom and obey its precepts, positioning yourself to live a long and full life.

    “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3

    Furthermore, romance wisdom with your emotions and affections. True lovers of wisdom embrace and exalt the beauty she brings to a life. You are attractive when you chose to live wisely under the authority of Almighty God. Your family, friends and work associates are drawn to your wise decisions saturated in prayer, collaborated with experts, and based on the principles of God’s Word.

    Concur with Christ on the truth of His Word and He will bless you. Wisdom is the primary principle, because it puts you on the path of life. Therefore, follow the Lord, and in His infinite wisdom, He will direct your steps and determine your length of days on earth, with eternal life to come. Obedience to Christ’s commands leads you into wise living that is truly life.

    “And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17, NASB

    Where can I find wisdom and gain it for the glory of God?

    Related Readings: Psalm 119:9; Luke 12:18-20; I Thessalonians 2:13; James 4:14

    Post/Tweet this today: Concur with Christ on the truth of His Word and be blessed. #obedience #blessing

  • Sound Judgment

    “My son preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, and an ornament to grace your neck”. Proverbs 3:21-22


    Sound judgment leads to the best decisions, which leads to wise living. It is sound judgment that keeps you from being sucked into the schemes of fools. It is sound judgment that resists spending all now, so you can save for the future. It is sound judgment that does not run ahead of God, but trusts His timing at work and home.

    Sound judgment plans a wise sequence of steps before it invests time and money. What gets us into trouble is when we forget to do what we set out to do in the first place. I often ask myself, ‘Have my motives drifted from their original intent to glorify God?’ If not be careful, instead of preserving sound judgment, I allow it to expire for lack of attention.

    “These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts.” Zechariah 8:16

    Therefore, stay focused with both eyes fixed on your Heavenly Father’s eternal wisdom. Do not allow one lazy eye to drift toward the expedient way of the world. It is the Holy Spirit’s discernment within you that keeps you riveted on the truth. So, regularly romance God’s Word, and your affections will remain keenly aware of the Almighty’s agenda. Life for your soul is the fruit of wise focus.

    The Holy Spirit gives you the inner energy to execute His plan with discernment. For example, as you prepare, listen intently to the voices clamoring for your attention and weed out the ones void of humility. Lastly, His grace adorns the actions of those who walk in wisdom and sound judgment. Graciousness governs wise behavior. So, seek the Lord for discernment and insight. Wait on God, for sound judgment rests in a wise and discerning heart.

    “I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes” (Psalm 119:125).

    Where do I need to patiently wait on the Holy Spirit’s discernment, so I can wisely apply sound judgment?

    Related Readings: Job 28:12-28; Joshua 1:8; John 15:6-7; Hebrews 2:1-3

    Post/Tweet this today: By faith, stay focused on the eternal and not the expedient way of the world. #faith #focus

  • Preemptive Physical Care

    “Daniel then said to the guard… “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink… At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. Daniel 1:11a-12, 15


    There is a physical stewardship for every soul saved by Jesus Christ. In the same sensitive way, the spirit of a person is cared for, and their body given proper attention. As age increases with time, it is from a platform of physical care that spiritual opportunities continue. Yes, some are called to physically suffer for Christ’s sake, but the Lord does not want His children to ignorantly neglect their health. Bodies need intentional care.

    Our body is a finely tuned complexity of cells, tissues and organs with Almighty God as the architect. Divine DNA determines the genes, but individuals write their medical history. This is why prayer and modern medicine are a responsible combination. We educate ourselves in what our bodies need to function best in a fallen world. We look to medical experts—learn from them—and ask the Lord for the wisest treatment for us.

    “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14

    Furthermore, prayerfully find a doctor you can trust and confide your fears in. See an internist as your friend and partner in healthy living. Do not be afraid of physical facts that require you to begin healthy habits. It’s better to accept the truth of current health issues than to later discover an ounce of prevention could have saved a pound of cure.

    Like Daniel, be different from the crowd and surround yourself with friends who have the conviction to eat right and exercise. Food and drink, to the extreme, limit your influence for the Lord. But a disciplined lifestyle leans into a routine of allowing past your lips only groceries untainted from man’s toxic preservatives. Your body stays fresh when it is nourished by fresh foods. Slow down, plan healthy meals and see how much better you feel.

    You are wise not to wait for disease to attack before you change. It is easier to take wise measures now, before it’s much too late later. So, schedule your annual physical, write out your menu for the week, increase your grocery budget, eat out less and learn to see your health as a stewardship. Jesus expects you to love Him with your body and soul!

    “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30, KJV

    Lord how would you have me take care of the body you have given me for Your glory?

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 8:16; Leviticus 25:7; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:29

    Post/Tweet this today: Your body stays fresh when it is nourished by fresh foods. #food #healthy #body

  • Depend on God

    “I am the vine you are the branches. If a man remains in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5


    What does it mean to depend on God, and do I practice dependency daily? It is faith and confidence in Christ, but sometimes it is a struggle to see, because dependence is deployed from our soul and spirit. It seems easier to depend on the Lord when disease deteriorates the body, than when anger allies with my attitude. Dependence on God means we need Him, and we understand that without Him we are unable to accomplish anything of Kingdom significance.

    Reliance on Jesus is the door to faithful and fruitful living. It means we are transformed by what the Lord says and thinks; therefore we can depend on Him for wisdom and insight. Perhaps, He will guide you over the next year to pay down debt, decrease spending, and increase saving and giving. Indeed, we can depend on Him for the fruit of frugality and generosity. Dependence on the Lord deepens your determination.

    “This is what the LORD says: “Cursed are those who trust in mortals, who depend on flesh for their strength and whose hearts turn away from the LORD.” Jeremiah 17:5

    Moreover, another reason you depend on the Lord is because you feel the pressure of others depending on you. You can crumble under the expectations of people, unless you have the inner strength of your Savior to sustain you. Like a branch draws sap from the vine for sustenance, so He energizes you for sustainability. Dependence is a continual connection to Christ that results in a harvest of holiness.

    Pride is purged away, and humility grows in its place. Fear is purged away, and faith grows in its place. Anger is purged away, and forgiveness grows in its place. Lust is purged away, and love grows in its place. We depend on God because we are desperate and detached without Him. Jesus is our source of strength and our hope in hard times.

    Dependence starts by acknowledging Almighty God as the owner of everything, and the controller of every circumstance. Nothing is impossible with God, and everything is within His reach. Your part is to trust and obey, and His part is to do the rest. Dependency depends on Him working in and through you.

    “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10, NKJV).

    What area of my life do I need to surrender in complete dependence on Christ?

    Related Readings: 2 Kings 18:22; Psalm 62:7 Romans 9:16; Galatians 3:18

    Post/Tweet this today: Reliance on Jesus is the door to faithful and fruitful living. #reliance #trust

  • Public Affirmation-Private Correction

    “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18


    Men and women alike feel encouraged by public affirmation and respected by private correction. Men especially have needs facilitated by their egos that are sensitive to these two scenarios. In fact, a husband who is publically corrected by his spouse can feel angry and ashamed. Thus, wise is the woman who builds him up and trusts God to keep him humble. Her words of affirmation are an assurance of love, affection and respect.

    We all respond much better to words delivered with respect in a relational way. It’s when our hearts hurt that we lose perspective and sometimes unknowingly tear down someone dear to us. Healing comes from being known and loved, not from dishonor and shame. So, we are wise to offer love and forgiveness in the form of public affirmation and private correction with those we deeply care about. Love seeks to understand a beloved’s needs.

    “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

    What is your process for processing your emotional needs? Are you able to verbalize what you are feeling, so that your spouse can better support you? One way to grow in your communication skills is to become a student of your spouse’s needs. What do they value? Their top three God-given needs may be security, attention and comfort—or they may thrive on affection, encouragement and respect. Love listens to and speaks another’s love language.

    “Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!” 2 Samuel 12:7a

    Above all, look to the Lord for eternal encouragement that is able to triumph over earthly disappointments. Like Nathan privately illustrated to David in caring correction, the Lord, with divinely inspired compassion, lovingly rebukes your unrighteous attitudes and actions. The Spirit quietly seeks to set you straight, so that your public steps are on the straight and narrow path of humble obedience. What God builds up no man can tear down.

    “I will set my eyes upon them for good. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up.” Jeremiah 24:6

    Who do I need to privately confront in love and publicly affirm them with respect?

    Related Readings: Isaiah 57:14; Jeremiah 22:13; Acts 20:32; Ephesians 4:16

    Post/Tweet this today: Love listens to and speaks another’s love language. #love #relationships

Items 11 to 20 of 31 total

…to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27
Loading... Loading...