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Monthly Archives: March 2012

  • Distractions Divide

    “As Saul and his forces were closing in on David and his men to capture them, a messenger came to Saul, saying, ‘Come quickly! The Philistines are raiding the land.’ Then Saul broke off his pursuit of David and went to meet the Philistines. This is why they call this place Sela Hammahlekoth.” I Samuel 23:26b-28


    Distractions—good or bad—can get you off track. This is the nature of a distraction. It causes you to become double minded. You are unable to give full attention to the matter at hand, and thus you water down your effectiveness. It may be a personal or a professional distraction that currently has you preoccupied.

    Personally, it may be a relationship that is sucking an inordinate amount of time and energy. Is it really worth it? The hours of “high maintenance” relational care may mean that it’s not meant to be. The attention to this individual has become laborious and highly intense. Without any relief in sight, it may be time to walk away for a season. Let it rest until there can be more normalcy to the relationship.

    For example, a person’s drug, alcohol or sexual addiction needs professional attention. Your tolerance is only enabling their bad behavior. They are distracting you from being the parent or the spouse God intended you to be. Their destructive behavior requires tough love. Otherwise, you may lose everything in the process. Do not allow someone’s premeditated distraction to lead your family into destruction. It may be time for bold intervention.

    On the other hand, you may be experiencing a professional distraction. The mission of your organization may be compromised because of your well-meaning activities outside the scope of your job description. Do an audit of your time and energy. Be honest with yourself. Either cease feeding your distractions by aligning your personal and professional missions, or choose to jeopardize the integrity and success of both initiatives.

    Indeed, our worst outcome from distractions is the neglect of our time with our heavenly Father. He deserves our full attention and focus. If life has become too busy for God, then we are too busy. Nothing is important enough to distract us from having time with the Lord. It may even be that your service for God has become a distraction. Ironically, you cannot spend time with God, because you are serving God. This is a great deception.

    Service for God, which substitutes activity for your time with God, is a distraction of the worst kind. You drift into a performance-based relationship with your heavenly Father, which is full of pressure and missed expectations. You are distracted by doing and have no margin for being. You are unable to know Him because you are too busy working for Him. It may be time to modify your doing so that you can take time for being.

    Be loved by God. Be accepted by God. Be encouraged by God. Be led by God.
    A distracted life is susceptible to imbalance. Remove those “good” distractions, and replace them with intimacy with God. He will make up for any lost time and accomplish even more in your absence. Distractions can divide us from our Maker. Therefore, defuse distractions before they arrive. Then you are in a position to be united with your Lord. By His grace, push back on distraction’s pull!

    Taken from Dose 88 in the 90-day devotional book, “Infusion”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE

    Post/Tweet this today: Avoid your service for God, replacing your time with God. #service #prayer

  • Hopeful Waiting

    “But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for my Savior; my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7


    Hope allows you to wait patiently on the Lord. It is hope in Him that is heaven’s guarantee of grace. Because of the things that are out of your control, it is wise to practice hopeful waiting. Otherwise, you will live in frustration and fear over matters you cannot mandate or manipulate. This is where hopeful waiting pays great dividends. You choose to hope in Christ rather than place your trust in ever-changing circumstances.

    This is a wise bet. If, however, your hope is in an organization or institution, all bets are off. Both can and will fail to meet your expectations, but hopeful waiting trumps the company’s broken promises. It gets you to place your trust and hope in God’s provision rather than in the corporation’s ever-changing commitments.
    The same can be said of what we should expect from people They can be fickle and undependable. Indeed, some people hurry away when things get tough. They make excuses or excuse themselves from responsibilities. Difficult times raise up heroes and bring down imposters. Therefore, patient people learn hopeful waiting in their dealings with others. They wait on people, not in a naïve and irresponsible way, but in a way that honors them and Christ.

    They are hopeful while waiting for him or her to follow through with their original commitment. If there is no progress on their part, then there are consequences to their concessions. If there is a pattern of non-productive living and working, then hopeful waiting is trumped by wise stewardship. You always wait on the Lord, but as you wait, be an excellent steward of His resources. Waiting does not mean wasting. As did the faithful manager, you work wisely while you wait on your Master (Matthew 25:15-28).
    Wait on Him and hope in Him, for this is a wise sequence of activity and thinking. God is not going anywhere without you (Deuteronomy 31:6). Circumstances change and people leave, but He is still there for you to trust and obey. There is no need to run away and hide, for God has revealed Himself just for you. His wisdom is there for the asking. Your Savior gives you stability because a firm footing is found by faithfully waiting on Him in hope. Do not be shaken. Stay put until He tells you differently.

    All hell may break loose around you, but heaven is still in control within you. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you even while people swirl out of control. God is listening, so speak to Him often in prayer. It may be difficult to get an audience with your adversary, but you can always meet with your Savior. So go to Him quickly. This is what hope does. It depends on Christ. He will come through, as He has in the past.

    You can wait hopefully in Him because He fulfills His promises with pleasure. Be patient and hopeful as you wait on Him. He will do what He originally set out to accomplish. Trust Him with this and do not be overwhelmed by inactivity. His hope is certain and true. Therefore, remain faithful to the One who is most trustworthy. Wait on Him and hope in Him, for this prayerful sequence with your Savior is security indeed. Watch, wait, and hope, for He hears your heart and feels your pain.

    Taken from March 12th reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE

    Post/Tweet this today: Waiting does not mean wasting time. #waiting #patience

  • Gift of Wisdom


    Dear Fellow Wisdom Hunter,

    We are extremely grateful to God for your faithful readership of the daily devotional, your prayers, and your financial support. Wisdom Hunters is a non-profit Christ-centered ministry blessed with a prayerful Board of Directors, who steward well this—the Lord’s work. After much prayer and planning with our 19-member Advisory Board, we believe the Lord is leading us in the following ways:

    Connect people to Christ through God’s Word.

    Applying unchanging truth to a changing world.

    By the end of 2012 trust God for 200,000 readers (currently-73,335) globally and in the U.S. of the daily devotional.

    Testimony (click here for more: http://bit.ly/ggJzWk) Wow. What a well said and thought out message. And true, we are all put here to glorify God and spread the good news of the gospel. We are living testimonies, however, it is easy to lose sight of that when we or our loved ones are going through tragedies such as illness and death but God, Meachta… “Illness is Painful” devo: http://bit.ly/An5xRw

    Needs for 2012

    By God’s Grace Wisdom Hunters 2012 Objectives
    • Increase countries that read the daily email devotional from 73 to 125
    • Continue to reduce costs per reader to just over $1.00 per reader.
    • Chinese and Spanish translations of the daily email devotional posted on web site
    • Write and publish eBooks Wisdom for Life, Wisdom for Marriage, Wisdom for Work
    • Write and publish 90-day devotional book Seeking God in the Proverbs
    • Write and publish 365-day devotional book Seeking Daily the Heart of God, vol. 2
    • Begin “Wisdom Minute” radio spots and video blogs
    • Update the Wisdom Hunters web site for an ease of searching by topics and Scripture
    • Create and distribute Wisdom Hunters app for iPhone, iPad and Android
    • Increase eBook and book sales to 25,000 units

    Total financial costs for 2012- $225,000 / given year-to-date: $49,750

    If you have been a regular reader for six months or longer, please prayerfully join us in how the Lord might lead you to participate financially. If you are being blessed by the daily writings and could help us reach others for Jesus Christ then you can give online (monthly’s help most, start at $2) by clicking http://bit.ly/fPxiWr or mail your check to:

    Wisdom Hunters
    PO Box 800062
    Roswell, GA 30075

    Thanks so much for your prayerful consideration.

    In Christ,

    Boyd Bailey
    President, Wisdom Hunters

    “I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ” (Philemon 1:6).

  • Honorable Wealth

    “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10


    Why do we honor the Lord with our wealth? We honor Him because He is the giver of all good things, the author of our abundance. As our estate grows so should the honor of our Heavenly Father. Otherwise, we are tempted to take credit for our success, and honor ourselves. The Bible says, “You may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:17).

    In some seasons our net worth decreases, and we are reminded that Christ controls cash flow. Wealth is not an end in itself, but the means to a greater goal of honoring God. Peace and contentment flow from wealth that honors the Lord, while fear and insecurity consumes the heart that honors itself. The Bible says, “If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them” (Psalm 62:10b).

    So, how do you honor the Lord with your wealth? One way is to remain faithful and give Him the firstfruits of your fortune. Small or large as it may be, His primary concern is your faithfulness to give. You give out of obedience not abundance. People see Christ when you keep your cash commitments, especially when it costs you. This is honorable in heaven and on earth. Give to your church, the poor and needy, widows, orphans, family and ministries who align with your passions.

    The results of your generous giving in the middle of downward financial pressures will be an upward blessing to you and the recipients. Your honorable use of wealth for Jesus’ sake may mean food, clothing, shelter and medical supplies for a village, or Bibles translated into the foreign tongue of a remote people half way around the world. The best time to aggressively give is when the need is the greatest. You take care of honoring Christ with generous giving, and He will take care of you. What you give now, you still have in abundance later.

    “And you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 14:14, NASB).

    How can I be honorable, and remain faithful to my financial commitments to Christ?

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 26:2-15; Luke 12:18-24; I Corinthians 15:20; Philippians 4:17-18

    Post/Tweet this today: What you give now, you have in abundant blessings later. #money #honor

  • Comparisons Crazy Cycle

    “When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” John 21:21-22


    No one wins when comparison is the criteria for being valued. If people are the plumb line for a sense of success—then there are always those who are smarter, prettier and richer. An unrealistic appraisal of others feeds a feeling of failure. On the other hand, pride puffs up with a subtle notion of superiority when it looks to others as a standard for living. Jesus smiles and says, “What is that to you?” Comparison is not a win for anyone.

    Yes, we can be inspired and instructed by a life that seeks to emulate the Lord, but we are not to idolize any individual. Of course we are wise to learn from the mistakes of others, but not with a secret delight that believes we look better, when the unfortunate look bad. Our discontent is compounded under the demanding nature of comparison. We cannot enjoy what we have for the allure of what we don’t have. Comparison kills contentment.

    “And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 4:4

    However, a heart that is focused on following hard after Christ has no room for looking to others for affirmation of worth. Our heavenly Father does not have favorites among His children—He loves them all the same. What God expects is for us to be faithful with the gifts and opportunities He has given us. Jesus whispers, “You have all you need in Me.” The Lord is enough for a surrendered life. His grace is an extension of His blessings.

    Therefore, look to Christ alone for your sense of worth. He loves you for who you are: His precious child created in His image. He loves your looks, your smile, and He is attracted to your tender heart. He is proud of your ability to relate well to people and your desire to grow in grace. He affirms your vocation that brings Him glory by your excellent work. So, ask what Jesus thinks of you, and then rest in His caring confirmation.

    “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12

    Where do I need to stop comparing and start receiving Christ’s caring commendations?

    Related Readings: Proverbs 8:11; Ecclesiastes 4:5-6; Romans 12:15; James 3:14-16

    Post/Tweet this today: Comparison kills contentment. #comparison #contentment

  • Disciplined Disciple

    “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.”  I Corinthians 9:25


    Discipline is a prerequisite for a disciple of Jesus Christ. A wise disciplined person knows how to stay focused on the most important, and trusts other urgent matters will take care of themselves in the right time. Paul uses the illustration of athletic training to motivate us to discipline. A compelling motivation for the athlete is the reward at the end.

    The reward at the finish line makes worthwhile the sometimes painful workout process and regimented routine. This is why we memorize scripture now, for wisdom later. We exercise now, for energy later. We rise early now in prayer, for peace later. We give generously now, for rewards later. Discipline in the now creates benefits for the future.

    “Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.” Titus 1:7-8

    Discipline becomes a habit of life when there are clearly defined goals and steps to achieve them. Discipline provides laser beam focus through structure and accountability. However, it is not all altruistic, there is progress and fruit along the way to enjoy. You feed discipline when you are able to enjoy its fruit with like-minded friends.

    Disciplined people make discipline infectious. Surround yourself with people of discipline and you will become better disciplined. A parent, friend, mentor, teacher and other role models can coach and encourage you through a disciplined process. Disciples are disciplined and people who are disciplined can be effective disciples of Jesus Christ.

    “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

    What areas of my life can I apply discipline to better reflect being a disciple of Christ?

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 29:6; Proverbs 25:16; 2 Corinthians 5:14

    Post/Tweet this today: Maturing disciples create habits of spiritual disciplines. #disciple #discipline

  • Warned by God

    “By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household.” Hebrews 11:7


    Christ, because of His great compassion, warns His children of unseen events yet to come. His mercy allows those who seek Him by faith to be privy to places the natural man or woman can’t perceive. Those insensitive to His intimacy tend to slight the Spirit’s promptings, while those sensitive to secret warnings from God prayerfully prepare.

    Wise are the children of God who heed their heavenly Father’s warnings. Like an earthly father who describes a destructive path up ahead—smart and shrewd are the son or daughter who learn from the one who loves them the most. We give our heart to the Lord to be led by the Lord. Others may ridicule our preparedness, but by faith we persevere in our preparations. We adjust our plans based on a better understanding of God’s revelation.

    “The LORD warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.” 2 Kings 17:13

    Warnings are as specific as your Pastor teaching Christ’s commands from the Bible to flee from the motivation of materialism, or as broad as a friend praying for you to finish well. Warnings are a mixture of a healthy fear in letting down the Lord and those who respect you—to being responsible for protecting your family from financial irresponsibility. Maybe the Almighty’s ark for you is to construct a conservative plan to manage cash wisely. Or, it could be for you to build a household of faith where your family finds a haven of hope.

    Be on the look out for the Lord’s warnings in your life. Astute is the man or woman who responds to the flashing lights on the dashboard of their behavior—it may say slow down your decision-making process or speed up your attention to fiscal stewardship. Or, build boundaries around your dating, your marriage and your friends, so relationships don’t sink under the weight of unmet expectations. Where the Lord warns—wisdom prepares.

    “See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?” Hebrews 12:25

    What warning do I need to heed from the Lord and those who love me?

    Related Readings: Psalm 19:9-14; Proverbs 22:3; Mark 8:15; Acts 2:40; 1 Thessalonians 4:6

    Post/Tweet this today: We give our heart to the Lord to be led by the Lord. #heart #Lord

  • Heavenly Help

    I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2


    It’s OK to ask for help. In fact many times help is needed by you and expected by God. Your heavenly Father desires deeply to help His children. He can’t wait to be there for you. But, to benefit from the help of God, we have to look up. We look up from the mess and mire of our circumstances and see God extend His comfort and security. We look up from our financial debacle and hear God say, “Don’t worry, I will provide for you.” We look up from our relational quagmire, and God pours out His forgiveness and longs for a deeper and more intimate relationship with us.

    We can and should do the same for others. When we look up out of our prosperity and see that God is there, it helps us remain grateful for and generous with His blessings. Heavenly help starts by looking up and recognizing that almighty God is available, seated in glory, awaiting our engagement. He is the creator of the galaxies, yet He is ever ready to help you. Nothing is too small or insignificant for the compassion of God. He cares about His creation. As your Creator, He is responsible for your well-being.

    He wants to help. He wants to provide peace where there is turmoil. His presence is calming when there is chaos. His Holy Spirit is your helper. He will lead, convict and comfort you, all at the same time. There are no capacity issues with the Holy Spirit. He is 100% involved at all times for the followers of Jesus Christ. It is simply a matter of our tapping into His tremendous resources. Look up before it is too late. Look up while He can still be found. Heaven is waiting to help.

    God has divine insomnia. He never sleeps or slumbers. He is always there to listen and guide you. His “help desk” is open 24/7. Imagine calling on God in the middle of the night. The midnight call to God does not encounter a prolonged ring, a disgruntled customer service representative or voice mail. Your 911 call to God receives the calm and loving assurance of your heavenly Father immediately. He is available and yearns to help in any way He can. Just as every good parent wants to help his child, so does your heavenly Father—times ten. Moms and dads are the first to administer medicine to their sick children, defend their disenfranchised son or daughter, and celebrate their accomplishments. They are there to help.

    This is a reminder not to discount God’s earthly help agents. The Body of Christ is available to help you. You have helped others all these years, and now you are in a stage of great need. Do not allow your pride to keep you quiet. Your brothers and sisters of faith need to understand your fate. You are hypocritical to put on the guise of normalcy when all hell is breaking loose in your life.

    It actually is a great encouragement to your caregivers to understand that their helper has needs too. You are not immune to the help of people. In fact, your availability for help will bless others in ways that you cannot imagine. Let God help first and let His children help second. It is a divine process that rallies the troops in heaven and on earth. You are not alone. Allow help to minister to you, and one day you will do the same. Help is on the way!

    Taken from Dose 87 in the 90-day devotional book, “Infusion”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE

    Post/Tweet this today: Our Creator cares deeply about His creation. #creation #care

  • Seductive Shortcuts

    “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle.   Exodus 13:17-18


    Shortcuts are seductive because they are appealing and inviting. Shortcuts caress our pride, stroke our ego, and garner immediate gratification. We sometimes seek shortcuts while driving, preparing for school exams, career advancement, marriage maturity, parenting skills, financial success, and spiritual development. Shortcuts are attractive to your clever side because you think that with enough ingenuity and smarts you can bypass the normal rite of passage. However, the downside of shortcuts is that their promise of a faster way may be short-circuiting God’s best. Just because it is easier does not qualify it as the will of God. In fact, ease of execution may be evidence against God’s will.

    Instead, a season of suffering may be His plan (1 Peter 4:19). So, do not depend on circumstances alone as the compass of where God is leading you. You may feel pressure from people, pride, politics, or finances to take the most expedient route. But be careful because expedience can be an excuse for the impatient and the distrusting. If you miss this opportunity there will be others, for God is much bigger than this one deal. Do not underestimate His wisdom in taking you through this laborious and sometimes painful process. It will be worth the wait because it is the process that is preparing you for His next steps. If you rush through the process you may miss God’s best.
    Many times, He is unconventional in His approach. This is the nature of God, for He will not be hemmed in or backed into a corner. Cut God some slack by giving Him the latitude to lead you however and wherever He desires. Just because a friend of yours went down a similar road does not mean you should follow. God’s will for you may be just the opposite. One thing is for sure: He will get the glory when you are patient to follow Him in trust and obedience. God’s glory is your goal (1 Corinthians 10:31).
    Since the glory of God is your objective, keep God’s glory as your litmus test, and your other initiatives will take care of themselves. The shortcut is tempting, but it may be more complicated than you can comprehend for now. Its complexity will certainly compound if you have to backtrack from the shortcut and start all over again. It is much better to wait and do this once and for all.

    There will certainly be adjustments along the way, but have faith in God that He is facilitating His will even if some of your questions remain unanswered. He’s got your back even though the enemy may be breathing down your neck whispering words of doubt. God is in control. It is much better to take the longer route with God than the shorter one without Him. Travel instead on the proven path of Providence. Faith in Christ rejects seductive shortcuts.

    Taken from March 2nd reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE

    Post/Tweet this today: The downside of shortcuts is they may short-circuit God’s best.

  • Free to Forgive

    “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36


    Every follower of Jesus Christ is free to forgive, because they have been set free. Freedom to forgive is not an allusive opportunity in which only the super spiritual saints participate. In fact, it is more the natural disposition for the normal Christian life. People of faith who don’t extend forgiveness to all masquerade their own forgiveness.

    A lost world watches a disciple of Jesus forgive and wonders how they can experience that same freedom. Indeed, effective evangelism follows a forgiving lifestyle. It is unconventional and unnatural to not hold a grudge or remain bitter toward a person who has violated the moral rights of another—especially a victim of an unscrupulous authority. But a mature believer lets go of hurt and lets God heal and deal with the offender. 

    “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

    Who has hurt you? Has an ex-spouse, a callous coach, an irresponsible relative, or an arch enemy kept you defensive and distant, because of their harsh actions? Maybe you are stuck in a crazy cycle, in a career that seems to be a dead end road where you verge on rage, as desperate feelings fog your faith. However, forgiveness finds its way out of a heart that has been harnessed by faith. So—forgive—as God has forgiven you.

    Christ followers are fully capable of forgiveness or they would not be Christ followers. In fact, your experience of forgiveness with your heavenly Father is contingent on your forgiveness of others. Are you a believer in Jesus who is in bondage for refusing to forgive? His sweet freedom awaits you, as you appropriate mercy and pity toward another’s pride. Hardhearted arrogance melts in the face of humble love and service.

    Thus, seek out those who have not sought you and see to it that they feel forgiven and loved by you. Picture in prayer your Lord Jesus forgiving others whose language of forgiveness is foreign to their lips. Those who have not tasted the forgiveness of God do not know any better—they remain in bondage—but you who are freed by Him do. Christ’s love liberates—His forgiveness sets free, so you are free indeed to do the same.

    “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” Hebrews 9:15

    Who needs ongoing forgiveness from me, so they can see the love of Christ in action?

    Related Readings: Genesis 50:17; Matthew 18:35; Mark 11:25; Luke 23:34; Romans 8:2

    Post/Tweet this today: Effective evangelism follows a forgiving lifestyle. #forgiveness #evangelism

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