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Monthly Archives: November 2012

  • God Reigns

    Posted on November 4, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne. Psalm 47:8

     

    God reigns over the entire earth. He is not just the God of the east or the God of the west. He is the God of the north, south, east and west. The long arm of the Lord reigns over everyone. The sun never sets on the omnipresent shadow of our Savior Jesus. Indeed, He is the greatest in power, high and lofty in dominion, extremely eminent in wisdom and elevated in excellence of glory. Our God reigns, our God reigns. He reigns in war. He reigns in peace. He reigns in crisis. He reigns in calm. He reigns in economic catastrophe. He reigns in economic prosperity. Our God reigns. He reigns over evil. He reigns over good. He reigns over nations. He reigns over individuals. Our God reigns. 

    Moreover, He reigns from His holy throne. His is not a throne soiled with corruption and self-serving scenarios. His throne is full of grace and truth. His throne is marked and defined by holiness. It is a throne that has never been stained with sin, corrupted by cover-up or defiled by injustice. God is seated on His holy throne. He never sits dismayed or in a dilemma. God does not wring His hands in worry. He sits in serenity, for He knows His own power and sees that His purposes will not miscarry. He sits on a throne from where He dispenses truth and wisdom. Therefore, approach His holy throne boldly but reverently.

    Furthermore, God reigns over the human heart. It is here that we can submit to or spurn the Almighty’s authority. We are wise to jettison the latter. It is in submission to our reigning King Jesus that we come to know His will for our lives. Obedience leads to opportunity. Because our God reigns, He can be trusted. His rules are for our good pleasure. Christ is not a cosmic killjoy. His rules are inviting when we are in right relationship with our reigning King. It is when we resist Him that we foolishly push back from His gracious guidelines. Therefore, love Him and you will love to follow His statutes. Indeed, our God reigns in love and holiness. It is easy to follow an unconditional lover. He reigns lovingly.

    Therefore, we have reason to celebrate Christ’s reign. His kingship brings praise to our lips. Our Lord reigns. Halleluiah! We have no real reason to worry or stress out because our God reigns. We can put the kibosh on our complaining and murmuring because our God reigns. We can rest in a peaceful sleep at night, not toss and turn in distrust, because our God reigns. We can let go of control and not be controlled because our God reigns. We can give Him our grief, sorrow, and sin because our God reigns.

    Our God reigns for the purpose of His glory and His glory alone. It is all about Him and His eternal aspirations. Our God reigns for righteousness’ sake. Our God reigns for the sake of the gospel. Live like He reigns. Live free and by faith. Tell all whom you have earned the right to tell. Your God reigns. Validate your words with your life of faith and faithfulness. Your God reigns. He reigns now and for evermore. Amen and amen!

    Taken from Reading #34 in the 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Psalms”…  http://bit.ly/InvUdR

    Post/Tweet this today: We can let go of control and not be controlled because our God reigns. #trust

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources
    A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Citizenship Stewardship

    Posted on November 3, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.”    Acts 16:37

     

    Citizenship in a free country is a gift from God, and not to be taken for granted. It is a stewardship with privileges and responsibilities. Millions of men and women gave their lives so that generations to come could live as citizens of a republic, united around principles founded in the Word of God. Citizenship gives you freedom for good or evil, so remind the culture of wise thinking and value-based living. This is the purpose of the regular election of government officials, for your vote is their performance review. Voting is a responsibility of citizens to provide feedback to the God-ordained institution of government. This authority is used by God to carry out His purposes. The Bible says, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. God has established the authorities that exist. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:1-2). Therefore, elect men and woman of principal who, as statesmen, will risk losing their House or Senate seat because they govern by unwavering values founded in the Scriptures. They value life, especially in those who are unable to defend themselves.

    The unborn and the elderly are on the top of their list of whom to protect. They value marriage, one man and one woman engaged in holy matrimony. They reject a redefinition of marriage from those driven by money and immorality. They value national security because freedom is not free. It requires sophisticated vigilance from terrorism and nuclear threat. Most importantly, they value God and His Word. There is a humble submission and respect to the authority of Almighty God. So your vote matters because your citizenship matters. Newly initiated citizens are fresh to freedom, so their determination, participation, and appreciation makes them grateful citizens. See yourself as one of the world’s privileged few. Stay abreast of the issues and the position of the politician who represents you. Do they reflect your values? Are they consistent? Do they follow through with their commitments? If not, be a good steward and remove them from office. Replace them with someone hungry to do what’s right, in the right way. 

    Public service is a public trust. Pray for trustworthy men and women motivated by principal. Daniel was a government official of integrity. “At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.” (Daniel 6:4). Hold accountable those cowards who hide behind compromise or enrich themselves with personal profit. God is in control, but He expects participation from people of the state. Look for leaders who will return prayer and the fear of God back into the public arena. Expect the language of the Lord to pepper their speeches.

    We are citizens of a greater kingdom who have a temporary assignment to engage in our earthly kingdom. Therefore, steward well your citizenship while you can. God expects engaged citizens.

    Taken from the May 28th reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God”… http://bit.ly/InvUdR

    Post/Tweet: Public service is a public trust. Pray for trustworthy men and women motivated by principal. #trustworthy

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources
    A registered 501 c3 ministry

    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Acts, Romans, Stewardship, Daniel

  • A Grateful Nation

    Posted on November 2, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “In that day you will say: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted” (Isaiah 12:4).

     

    A nation born out of the womb of religious liberty has much to thank Almighty God for. We can thank Him that man’s tyranny lives oceans away and that we are free to worship, vote, and treat our fellow man with civility and respect. “With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our fathers; you crushed the peoples and made our fathers flourish” (Psalm 44:2). He is the initiator and sustainer of our nation’s freedom; without the Lord, we lose.

    A large lump fills our throats with the memory of men and women whose blood saturated the soil of foreign fields to preserve our freedom. A nation like ours that encourages free enterprise, free speech, free press, and free worship comes with a severe sacrifice. When was the last time you thanked the Lord for those on the front lines who risk their lives for your liberty? His blessing remains where gratitude is retained; so thank Him often.

    Indeed, it is a country with character that positions itself for God’s blessing.  Therefore, do not just ask God to bless America, but in addition, thank Him for already blessing America. “With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: ‘He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever’” (Ezra 3:11). A grateful nation gives God the glory for His goodness. Out of our national appreciation, the world wonders what God can do for them.

    So when the United States of America appreciates almighty God, we become a shining light from shore to shore as men and women around the globe take notice of our humble dependence on Him. Jesus described the collective role of God-fearing people: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).

    If we extinguish our light by abandoning the faith we came from, He will raise up other nations to take our place. However, He smiles when He sees a nation acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior. It sets a standard for those who admire our freedoms to see where they originate. Thanksgiving Day is the Lord’s Day to privately and publicly give Him the glory and gratitude for His incredible favor and blessing on our nation.

    Prayer: How can I lead our extended family in a sincere prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord? What are some specific freedoms I can thank God for in blessing my country? How can I pray for our president to be an example of a Christian leader the world will follow?

    Related Readings: Psalm 102:15; Malachi 1:14; Acts 10:34–36; Revelation 15:4

    Post/Tweet: A country with character positions itself for God’s blessing. #character

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources
    A registered 501 c3 ministry

    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Psalm, Matthew, Ezra, Isaiah, Grateful

  • When You Face Trials

    Posted on November 2, 2012 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." James 1:2-3 (NIV)

    I planted them at the same time. In the same way. With the same tender love and care. Every time I watered one, I watered the other. Everything was the same ... almost.

    One red begonia flower was planted between a crepe myrtle tree and a hydrangea bush, tucked under the protection of the sloping roof. The other flower was planted next to the concrete sidewalk and had no shelter from the pounding rain or scorching sun.

    At the end of the summer I was surprised by what I saw.

    The little flower tucked under the tree and bush, with just the right amount of filtered sunlight and water, had not grown.

    Not one inch.

    It was still beautiful, but absolutely nothing had changed from the day I placed it in the ground.

    However, the begonia exposed to the elements was at least six times larger. Deep green leaves were cupped as if to receive nourishing drops of water. Red flowers clustered in every direction, and the broad plant was beautiful against the plain concrete sidewalk.

    As I stood looking at those two ruby red begonias, I saw us.

    In the past three months life has brought many trials our way. A family member in a health crisis. Aging parents with new and unfamiliar challenges. Each need piles on top of the other weighing heavy on our hearts because we can't fix them, or make them go away. We didn't see these things coming, and at times we aren't sure what to do.

    During this difficult season, we have learned to trust God in the flooding rain. And we have discovered that storms don't alarm Him. In these times when we don't know when things will be easier, He's been our anchor, holding fast until the skies clear.

    Maybe it would be nice to live a sheltered life with just the right amount of rain, and just the right amount of sun, protected by a gentle sloping roof. Sounds good, doesn't it?

    But James 1:2-3 encourages us to count it a joy when we face trials. Because we grow.

    As we come toward what we hope is the end of our hard season, we have discovered what it means to trust God and find Him faithful.

    We have learned what it means to hold our hands, cupped open, to receive nourishment from on high.

    Trials will come. But when they pass, if we have held tight to God, we'll find we have grown, deeply rooted in faith, stronger than before.

    And when things get really tough, let's remind each other that on the other side of this trial are beautiful buds of endurance that bloomed under His faithful care.

    Dear Lord, this trial is hard but today I see it as another opportunity to grow in You. Thank You that You never change. You are faithful even when life is uncertain. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    It's important to nurture yourself spiritually when you are in a trial. Unfortunately this is a time that we often isolate or retreat, even from God. This leaves you vulnerable to discouragement.

    Find a quiet, welcoming place. Shut out distractions (I put on my favorite worship music). Meditate on Scripture. Talk honestly with God about your trial.

    Power Verses:
    2 Corinthians 4:17-18, "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (NIV)

    1 Peter 1:7, "These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." (NIV)

    © 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 James, Suzie Eller

  • Audio Adrenaline - Kevin in the Studio #2

    Posted on November 1, 2012 by Family Christian

    Audio Adrenaline has a new album releasing in March of next year.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Kevin Max, Audio Adrenaline

  • False Religion

    Posted on November 1, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” Matthew 7:21-23

     

    There is a false religion that is absent of authentic faith in Jesus Christ. A person who lacks a real relationship with the Lord can know all the right words to say, but does not know the Word that became flesh. This fake follower of Jesus may mislead other church members, but they can’t deceive the ultimate judge—Almighty God. A desperate plea after death does not change an eternal conclusion determined in life. A false faith fails.

    Therefore, we are all wise to examine our hearts and ask the Holy Spirit to validate our conversation to Christ. It is the Spirit of our Heavenly Father that drew us to Himself and it is the same Spirit of God that affirms our faith. We do not pass from death to life by just living in a household of faith—we come to Christ by taking hold of faith in Him. Our transaction of trust in Jesus seals our soul’s fate to be with Jesus. He keeps us secure.

    “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:44 

    Are you a counterfeit follower of Christ or a true disciple? Are you sure of your salvation? If you are in doubt, seek out your Savior Jesus who can remove your concerns. Cry to Him in confession and repentance from your sin of unbelief and embrace your Lord in fidelity of faith. Just as marriage is a public commitment of a man and woman, so your conversation is a public commitment of your total trust in Jesus. Other sincere saints who humbly seek the Lord surround you in prayer and support, and God offers assurance.

    So seek the Lord with an honest heart and He will keep you pure. The Holy Spirit is able to flush out false religion and replace it with genuine faith in Jesus. He is able to remove unscrupulous motives and exchange them for a motivation of love and obedience. Yes, examine your heart, but more importantly allow the Lord to do a spiritual examination. God validates your salvation on this side of death, so there are no surprises on the other side. So, confess Jesus as Lord now and there will be no doubt about your confession later.

    “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I trust Jesus as Lord of my life and to save my soul.

    Related Readings: Hosea 8:12; Romans 8:16; Ephesians 1:17; 1 John 3:24

    Post/Tweet: Our transaction of trust in Jesus seals our soul’s fate to be with Jesus. He keeps us secure. #security

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources
    A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • I Want To Run Away

    Posted on November 1, 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa Terkeurst

    "If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him—then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you." Deuteronomy 11:22-23 (NIV)

    One of the worst feelings in the world to me is feeling stuck.

    Stuck in a situation where I can't see things getting better. I look at the next 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days, and all I see are the same hard patterns being repeated over and over.

    I try to give myself a pep talk and tap into that part of me that chooses to see the bright side. But it isn't there.

    Life suddenly feels like it will forever be this way.

    And a dark funk eclipses me.

    This happened to me when my two oldest daughters were babies. Hope was not quite 16 months old when Ashley was born. I was thankful for these two amazing gifts. I loved them very much.

    But there was this other side of motherhood no one talked to me about beforehand. It never came up at my baby shower or a doctor's appointment or in conversations with other mommies.

    In the midst of all the pink happiness, the dark funk came.

    This desperate feeling that life would forever be an endless string of sleepless nights. Leaky diapers. Needy cries.

    Forever.

    One night I went to the drug store. I pulled into a parking space right in front of the restaurant beside the store and stared inside. There were normal people in there. Laughing. Eating. Having fun conversations. They had on cute outfits and fixed hair-dos.

    I looked at my reflection in the rear view mirror and I cried, thinking, this is my life. Forever.

    Suddenly I had this crazy desire to run away. Far away.

    And then guilt slammed into my fragile heart and I convinced myself God was going to punish me for feeling this way and take one of my babies. Smite me for being so stinkin' selfish.

    I cried until I could hardly breathe.

    I thought about this recently when I started feeling stuck in a different situation that seemed so big and made me so sad. I felt myself on the edge of that dark funk thinking this is the way it's going to be forever.

    But then I remembered that night crying in my car. Those days of diapers and no sleep weren't forever. It was a season that came and went. And this would play out that way too.

    It's the rhythm of life. The ebb and flow of struggles and victories.

    I closed my eyes and whispered, "Are You here God? Hold me. Breathe courage into my weak will. Help me."

    And in that moment I realized all that God ever wants from me is to want Him. Love Him. Acknowledge Him.

    In the midst of struggles. In the midst of victories. "God, I don't love this situation. But I love You. Therefore, I have everything I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other until I get to the other side of this."

    "If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him—then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you." (Deut. 11:22-23 NIV)

    I love how this scripture says, "hold fast" to the Lord. The dark funk makes me want to hold slow. Make God the last thing when I'm stumbling and falling. But if I close my eyes and simply whisper, "God ...," at the utterance of His Name He "dispossess" things trying to possess me.

    Then I can see this is a season. This isn't how it's going to be forever. Though my circumstances may not change today, my outlook surely can. And if my mind can rise above, my heart gets unstuck.

    Dear Lord, thank You for being so loving and understanding even in my weakest moments. Help me see that no matter how big or small, You are in control of all situations. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    One of the best things we can do when we feel stuck is get together with others and study God's Word. Why not consider Lysa's new Small Group / Bible study curriculum, Unglued?

    For more information on the Unglued book, click here.

    For more information on the Unglued 6 week DVD and participant's workbook, click here.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write the key verse and power verse down in your journal or on a notecard.

    When you feel overwhelmed by circumstances, read these verses and remember to hold fast to God. He is waiting for You to call out to Him.

    Power Verse:
    Isaiah 41:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (NIV)

    © 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst. 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 Deuteronomy, Lysa TerKeurst

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