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Monthly Archives: October 2012

  • A Prescription For Peace

    Posted on October 2, 2012 by Tracie Miles

    Tracie Miles

    "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

    Despite attempts for more than a year to figure out what was wrong with me, doctors could not identify a serious medical condition. It's not that I wanted something to be wrong. I certainly didn't need anything else to stress about.

    I was desperately seeking a prescription for peace.

    Looking back I can see the main culprit for my stress was my job. Overwhelming expectations and the impossible perfectionism my supervisor demanded took their toll on me physically, emotionally and spiritually.

    His harsh criticisms and comments made me feel inadequate, and my self-esteem plunged to an all-time low. Chaos swirled around me, stress raged within me, and my health continued to decline. But I didn't recognize the cause.

    When a medical diagnosis continued to elude doctors, I believed the lie that excessive stress was normal and I needed to learn how to live with it.

    Eventually my stress reached a dangerously high level, and I began to wonder if this was the way God intended life to be. I wasn't even sure if the Bible talked about stress, but I was desperate, so I searched God's Word for answers. Something had to end, and I didn't want it to be my life.

    I came across Philippians 4:6-7. "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (NLT)

    Although I had read these verses before, it was as if a light bulb came on. I was tired of worrying. I was yearning for my heart and mind to be protected and healed. I was longing to control my stress, instead of it controlling me. And I was desperate for peace.

    As the words of these verses washed through my soul, I realized I'd been depending on people to diagnose my problems instead of seeking a remedy from God. Going from doctor to doctor, I had overlooked the only One who had a prescription that could heal — Jesus Christ.

    As I prayed for the ability to stop worrying and spent more time processing my stress with God, I thanked Him for His provision of my job. And I asked if it was time for me to leave. I needed to be rescued and admitted He was the only One with the power to do so. I committed to trusting His ways, even if I didn't understand them.

    Peace didn't come overnight, but it did come. Not because my circumstances changed, but because I tapped into His peace each day in the midst of less-than-peaceful circumstances. Gradually I felt God mend my heart and replace my stress with His truth and love. And when He made it clear after a few months that I was to resign, I was equipped to handle the new stressors that came with that decision.

    If you need a prescription for peace, I encourage you to let your thoughts dwell on God's promises and rest in His presence as you pray.

    Ask Him to help you release your worry. Praise Him for the good things He's done, and talk to Him about the problems you're struggling with. Seek God's will for every area of your life and commit to trust Him enough to make changes as He nudges you.

    True peace comes when we trust God and seek rest in Him, not when life is conflict-free. A daily dose of God's presence and promises is the best prescription for peace.

    Dear Lord, I am stressed. I know I need a change in my life, and I am ready for the prescription for peace that only You can offer. Fill me today with a dose of serenity that I cannot find anywhere else but in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Today's devotion is based on Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace in Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles which releases today!

    Reflect and Respond:
    How can you trust God in your circumstances and receive His prescription for peace instead of handling problems in your own strength?

    Ask God if you need to make changes in your life. If so, pray about the next steps.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 107:19, "'Lord, help!' they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress." (NLT)

    John 14:27, "I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid." (NLT)

    © 2012 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Philippians, Tracie Miles, Peace

  • Diligence Rules

    Posted on October 2, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor” (Proverbs 12:24).

     

    How hard do you work, or do you hardly work? God said to Adam, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food” (Genesis 3:17, 19). And He explained to Moses, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work” (Exodus 20:9–10).

    Has our culture become accustomed to receiving good things without great effort? Who is entitled to influence without being industrious? Perhaps there is a dearth of diligence that has depressed people and economies. Laziness leads to the control of others, while honest labor is given opportunities and advancement. Do not despair in your diligence for you are set for success. Mind your business meticulously, and you will enjoy the business.

    “Now the man Jeroboam was a valiant warrior, and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious, he appointed him over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph” (1 Kings 11:28 NASB).

    Indeed, intense industry leads to preferment. Your faithfulness to your work is not going unnoticed. Your diligence is a distinctive that separates you from the average or lazy laborer. Security comes with this level of service. Promotion follows performance that produces the right results the right way. Be an industrious example others seek to emulate.

    Lastly, the Lord blesses hands that are hard at work. He smiles when He sees your service exceeds expectations. You go the extra mile to make sure others are cared for as you would like to be treated. God knows, because of your thoroughness on the job and your integrity in its execution, you can be trusted with more.

    “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17).

    Prayer: Lord, what task do You desire that I diligently complete before beginning another?

    Related Readings: 1 Kings 12:20; Proverbs 10:4; Romans 12:8; 1 Timothy 4:15

    Post/Tweet: Promotion follows performance that produces the right results the right way. #diligence

    Get free eBook “Infusion” by inviting 5 friends to Wisdom Hunters http://bit.ly/PEbaBJ


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Proverbs, Genesis, 1 Timothy, Exodus, 1 Kings

  • A Place of Forgiveness

    Posted on October 1, 2012 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    " ... Keep your eyes open to this Temple night and day, this place of which you said, 'My name will be honored there,' and listen to the prayers that I pray at this place. Listen from your home in heaven and when you hear, forgive." 1 Kings 8:28-30 (MSG)

    Claire sat on the floor with a wad of tissues in her hand. Her husband had left her three days earlier for someone else.

    Sitting there crying, in her brokenness she sensed God whisper, "Pray for him."

    Fists clinched, she shook them at the ceiling. "It's too soon, God. If You love me, You won't ask this of me. You are focusing on the wrong person. He's the one who should be kneeling and asking for forgiveness."

    In 1 Kings 8, we find the story of God's temple being built, a temple where God's presence would dwell. It took seven years, a labor force of over 130,000 and King Solomon's leadership to complete the temple. It was built with cypress, olive wood and cedar, and inside the doors were overlaid in gold. When the temple was completed, Solomon stood in awe as God's presence filled it (verse 10), and he began to pray.

    He could have asked God for many things. That the temple be a place of power where his kingdom would shine. That his enemies, and those of his father, King David, would be slain. That the sinful man would walk through the doors and be condemned for his sins.

    Instead he asked that God's Name be honored in the temple, and the magnificent structure would be a place of forgiveness.

    Scripture declares that we are His temple. Three days after discovering her husband's secrets Claire hadn't eaten. She hadn't slept. Her temple was crumbling.

    By asking her to forgive so soon, God wasn't showing a lack of compassion over her pain or her husband's abandonment, but a sign that He knew her well. By asking her to forgive, God was asking for a place to move into the demolished areas of her life.

    Forgiving would allow Him to fill her with His presence, putting His Name there forever, no matter what her situation.

    Daily, Claire walked intentionally in her relationship with God, reading the Bible, talking honestly with Him, listening to worship music. This became her sanctuary as she went through the most challenging parts of an unwanted divorce. The more she nurtured her heart and His presence inside of her, the less room there was for sadness, grief, anger, and loss.

    And then the day came. She knelt on the carpet and she told God, "I forgive him," and she meant it.

    A deeper meaning to the word forgive is "to abide" or "to set free." Claire experienced both of these as she made room within her heart, mind and soul for God's presence and forgiveness to dwell.

    It's been nearly a year. She is still beginning each day with God and inviting Him to fill her up with Himself. Moments of joy now surprise her just as grief once did.

    Dear Lord, I knew instinctively that one day You would ask me to forgive, but today I understand why. You want to move in to the demolished areas of my life and let Your presence shine. Help me to begin to forgive with Your help. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    A Confident Heart by Renee Swope dives deep into the affects unforgiveness, heart-break and rejection that keep us from living fully in Christ. If you want to know how to let God's redeeming love heal your heart and usher you into a place of security and hope, click here.

    Reflect and Respond:
    How are you currently filling the empty places left by unfaithfulness or hurt?

    What do you feel God nudging you to do differently? List one way you can begin to intentionally walk into a deeper relationship with Christ, regardless of your situation.

    Power Verses:
    1 Corinthians 6:19-20a, "Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price." (NLT)

    © 2012 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Forgiveness, Suzie Eller, 1 Kings

  • God Reliant

    Posted on October 1, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    "Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does." John 5:19

     

    The ultimate expression of humility is reliance on Almighty God. He is the source of significance and He provides strength for life's journey. Jesus Himself confessed that He depended on His Heavenly Father as a model of what to do. Just as Jesus looked to His Father, so His followers look to their Heavenly Father. Obedience does not act alone. Activity for the Lord is best achieved when accompanied by a blueprint from God.

    Our self-reliance gets in the way of our God reliance. Anger, will power and intellect are the fruit of self-reliance, while patience, trust and humility are the fruit of God reliance. We honor our Heavenly Father when we first ask Him how to solve a problem or how to love the unlovely. Our imitation of Christ's actions are an indicator of humble reliance. Thus, we forgive ignorant offenders and we challenge religious hypocrisy, as He did.

    "For I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness." Psalm 26:3

    People let you down, but the Lord is 100% reliable. He is never late, but seldom early in His timely explanations. For example, you may want to transition now, but He wants you to go deeper in your understanding and application of wise stewardship. Learn to make finances a friend and not a foe. When you take matters into your own hands, He matters less. Rely on God's economy and trust He will provide in unconventional ways.

    You rely on God when you wait on His best, before you make a relational commitment. You rely on God when you take a stand for what's right and entrust your reputation with Him. You rely on God when you release a grudge and extend forgiveness. You rely on God when you share the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit and trust the results with Him. Pray as if everything depends on God, and work passionately as unto the Lord.

    "By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me." John 5:30

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that You are 100% reliable, keep relying on You!

    Related Readings: 1 Kings 2:4; Psalm 86:11; Proverbs 25:19; Matthew 26:39;

    Post/Tweet: When we take matters into our own hands, He matters less. Thus, rely on God's wisdom and wait on His timing.

    Get free eBook “Infusion” by inviting 5 friends to Wisdom Hunters http://bit.ly/PEbaBJ


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Psalm, John

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