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Monthly Archives: December 2012

  • Pride Humbled


    “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble” (Daniel 4:37).


    Pride will eventually give way to humility. It may not happen overnight. It may have to follow a painful process, because pride can be very, very stubborn. Like an embedded splinter deep in the flesh of your foot, it is hard to remove. You cannot remove it alone, and there is constant throbbing and pain until it is extracted.

    This is the plight of pride. Pain and suffering are its cohorts. Pride provides a false sense of security. Spiritually minded people know it is only a matter of time until a fall, as pride will catch up with you. Humility was once a staple in your spiritual diet, but success has squelched your humility and subtly replaced it with pride. Authority without accountability generates pride.

    The more authority you possess, the more you are required to submit to accountability. Otherwise, you cannot handle this freewheeling power. Your behavior defaults to pride without the checkmate of humility. This is true in relationships, business, ministry, and churches. Beware of obsessing over control.

    Paranoia is an application of pride. You are fearful of losing control. It is better to hand over control than to lose control. Humility gives control, while pride grasps for it. So be open and humble about your insecurities. We are all insecure to some degree. Humility builds security, and pride tears it down. The humble have nothing to hide. So root out pride, replacing it with humility.

    The process of pride’s removal begins with submission to Christ. It is acknowledging His lordship and ownership over your life. He is in control. He is large and in charge. Nothing in your life has sneaked up on God. He can be trusted. He holds your life, family, health, and career in His hand. You start by humbly bowing to God with your head and heart. He is to be feared and loved.

    You have the awesome opportunity to worship and adore Him. When you walk with God, you walk in humility. Pride cannot coexist in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Pride is extinguished in the presence of Jesus. Pride is like a roach lurking in the dark recesses of your heart. The Holy Spirit’s light reveals pride and convicts you during times of prayer and Scripture meditation.

    The second offense to pride is praying people. Ask people to pray for humility to infiltrate and occupy your life. You want the occupation of humility on the soil of your heart and mind. Be transparent with others about your sins and shortcomings. Talk about them with the motive for change.

    Humble yourself, and trust God to humble others. It is easy to recognize pride in others while it is still looming in your spirit. Run from spiritual pride. It is the worst kind. It is insidious. It is self-righteousness in nature, and it chokes the Holy Spirit. Humility grows in an environment of honesty, openness, prayer, and change. Be a change agent on behalf of the humble. Humble pride!

    “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:5–6).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me walk in humility of heart and mind.

    Related Readings: Exodus 10:3; 2 Kings 22:19; Romans 12:3; Philippians 2:1–11

    Taken from the December 15th reading in the new 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God” vol. 2... … http://bit.ly/Tv6y9a

    Post/Tweet: Authority without accountability creates pride. #pride

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • A Gift for Him


    "Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God..." Psalm 50:14a (NLT)

    I love presents. It's not about what is in the package, but unwrapping the surprise and knowing a loved one thought of me when they chose it.

    I also love giving gifts. Recently I found a very old package of baseball cards at an estate sale. They were less than five dollars, and I know they will light up my son's face when he opens his stocking on Christmas day.

    As Christmas approaches, gift giving is on our minds. We draw names. We plan out the Christmas list. Some of us get up before the sun to find incredible sales.

    But as the actual day approaches, there is one gift we can give that is meaningful.

    We can thank God.

    Long before the cross, people labored to find the perfect gift to give Him. They brought sacrifices to honor God, but in Psalm 50:14a we hear a plea: "Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God..." It is a heart plea of a God who desires an intimate relationship with His people.

    What could happen if this Christmas we offered Him exactly what is on His list?

    I believe it would shift our heart away from our stressful to-do lists to thank Him for all the miracles around us.

    God, thank You for my child who is healthy.

    Thank You for my husband who loves us all so well.

    Thank You for this hot meal prepared by hands of love.

    God, have I told You how grateful I am for the warm home and covers to sleep under at night?

    As we begin to offer our gifts of thankfulness, like layers of sparkling tissue paper, more is revealed beneath. We dig deeper to see all that we've received.

    Thank You, God, that You saw me as a young teen and showed me love.

    Thank You for that time at my son's hospital bed that You helped me make it through one more night.

    Thank You for the time I needed mercy and found it in Your presence.

    Christmas is a celebration of the ultimate gift, but family, finances, or just plain ole stress can cause this special day to dim. Offering up a gift of thankfulness has the power to give those things their rightful place as gratitude rises to the top.

    Will you join me between now and December 25th to hold up a daily gift of thanks to Him?

    Dear Lord, Christmas often gets lost in all the busyness and details, but for today I will stop and offer you a gift. I am grateful for all the good things You have given. Help me to celebrate this season with a heart of gratitude. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: Stress-Lessed Living by Tracie Miles

    Reflect and Respond: "Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing - a grateful heart!" ~ George Herbert

    If gratitude doesn't come easily, begin to offer up a "sacrifice" of praise (Hebrews 13:15) daily. Let the words of your mouth convince your heart.

    Power Verse: Psalm 50:23, "But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God." (NLT)

    © 2012 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

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

  • Path of Peace


    “To shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” Luke 1:79 Jesus the Prince of Peace, was born on earth to provide for His people a path of peace. The path is wrought with rocks, steep hills, pelting rain, shades of night and distinct crossroads. However, regardless of the resistance encountered on the Lord’s path, there is an inner peace to the sometimes doubtful and weary traveler. Yes, the foundation of tranquility is trust in Christ. His light on life’s path brings steps of peace to faithful feet.


    Are you stumbling through life in need of a Savior or are your feet of faith planted on the solid ground of salvation? Your docile feet can find confidence with dependency on the Lord. Your soiled feet can be cleansed and refreshed by His forgiveness. Your tired feet can enjoy a comforting massage from your Master Jesus. Your fast feet may need to slow down and your slow feet may need to speed up. Ask God to guide your next wise step. 

    “Her ways [wisdom’s] are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.” Proverbs 3:17

    Beams of light from your belief in God will show you the way. The dark world is scary and sometimes confusing, but the Light of the world illumines peace and clarity on your prayerful path. Like a flashlight your faith burns bright. There is a shadow of death that eventually eclipses us all—but those in Christ wake up to the brightness of His presence!

    Therefore, choose the narrow, well-lit path of peace and avoid the wide, darkened path of turmoil. The route of the majority tends to major on the minors, but God’s righteous remnant walk in His light of love with illuminating intimacy. Stay the course of your convictions and your Savior Jesus will show you the way. He came to earth under a peaceful canopy of heaven’s candles and He will return in a blaze of blinding glory!

    “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I trust you to keep me on your path of peace in Christ.

    Related Readings: Psalm 56:13; Isaiah 59:8; Matt. 11:28-30; John 8:12; Romans 3:17 Post/Tweet today: The foundation of tranquility is trust in Christ. #peace

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • The Slop Bucket


    "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." Psalm 55:22 (NIV)

    Recently I met a friend for coffee.

    This is one of the great bonuses of having my son home from college. He needs money. I need time. My daughters need activity. So he took them to an indoor fun center that is the delight to many a child.

    Not that I was feeling like I needed a break from all the family togetherness.

    But my friend needed me.

    So, we met and chatted and processed a situation I wish we didn't have to process — mean people.

    I know I should say that people aren't mean. Sometimes people just do mean things.

    And I know there are always two sides to every story. Glory be do I ever realize there are two sides. But during the holidays when "nice" is usually served up in high fashion, even the slightest meanness can seem really huge.

    And knowing that in years past, my friend had spent way too many days crying during the holidays made me sad. For her. For the people who were mean to her during this time. For the reality that we Christians can be mean sometimes. We can be sharp and cutting and too tired to find the right words.

    Not long ago, I got an email from someone who was too tired to find the right words. I still don't understand what caused her to be in such a tiff. And though I made my fingers type words back to her that were gentle and graceful, I will admit that what I really wanted to do was get in her face and tell her a thing or two. Boy did I have the perfect comeback. Because I can be mean. Just like those people who hurt my friend.

    We are all more alike than we care to admit.

    And not that I want to wax philosophical today, but here I go anyhow.

    There's a bucket inside each heart where hurts are dumped. Little hurts, big hurts, past hurts—they all get dumped into this slop bucket. We think we're fine because the hurts are contained. We think we've dealt with the hurts because they aren't rising to the surface that often. But then someone comes along and kicks that slop bucket with a mean word or two and it spills over.

    Sloshing. Spilling. Leaking. Staining. And every word we speak in response carries some of what's in our slop bucket.

    So here's the thing.

    Slop can be good if it's been turned into compassion. Some people have let Jesus touch their slop, mixing in mercy, grace, forgiveness, and a love that reaches just beyond what we're capable of on our own.

    But too many of us have let our slop bucket sit and ferment in pride, resistance, our right to be right, and bitterness that cuts off our potential to grow into the woman we're designed to become. So, instead of compassion, the harshest judgment drips out with each of our words.

    Compassion. Judgment. The reality that every girl has a slop bucket.

    These are good things to think about over coffee when you've sent your kids away to play.

    Dear Lord, You are worthy to be praised! Help me lean on You to heal all of my hurts and frustrations. I know that only You can change my slop into compassion, and for that I am grateful. Soften my heart, Lord, and continue to transform me into the woman You designed me to become. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: Lysa TerKeurst's New York Times best selling book, Unglued, will help you learn how to control your emotions and reactions in any situation.

    Give the gift that keeps on giving! Your friends will thank you when you purchase an Unglued Bible Study bundle for all of you to enjoy together.

    Reflect and Respond: Have you been allowing God to mix love and compassion into your slop bucket?

    Write down a real life response you gave to someone while operating out of negative feelings. Underline hurtful words and replace them with helpful ones. Practice this technique several times until reacting in a positive way is more natural than reacting negatively.

    Power Verses: Ezekiel 36:26-27, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws." (NIV)

    © 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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

  • Introduction to Jesus


    “You will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.” Luke 1:76-77


    Followers of Jesus have the unique opportunity and calling—like John the Baptist—to introduce people to Jesus. The bondage of sin and sorrow can be lifted by belief in the Lord. Yes, outside of the Savior, the soul is secluded and exiled from intimacy with Almighty God. But there is a promised land of peace and forgiveness that Christians can announce to the spiritually needy. An introduction to Jesus opens beautiful vistas of faith. 

    However, our integrity is fundamental to our faith expression. Like Christ’s faithful forerunner John, it is from the Spirit’s fullness that we have moral authority and spiritual support to plant seeds of hope in hurting hearts. Moreover, it’s out of our humility and compassion that we confront injustice and remind offenders of God’s call to repentance. The Christmas season is an ideal time to talk of the ideals Christ came to live and die for.

    “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15

    Are you a follower of Jesus worth following? If not, perhaps now is the time to join a support group, install pornographic protection software, go to marriage counseling or break off a relationship. In a word, repent. Your ability to effectively introduce people to Jesus is only limited by your consistent life for Christ. Therefore, make sure the quality of your character keeps up with the quantity of your spiritual conversations.

    You have the cure for the terminal disease of sin. Hence, your knowledge of salvation is not to be kept to yourself, but prayerfully shared with others. The spirit of this Christmas season is an optimal time to give the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your part is to introduce seekers to Jesus—your heavenly Father’s part is to draw them to faith. Like a marriage matchmaker you receive great joy by introducing others to Christ!

    “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them.” John 6:44

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to introduce others to saving faith in Jesus.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 40:3; Jeremiah 31:3; Luke 1:17; Acts 8:30-39

    Post/Tweet today: The Christmas season is an ideal time to talk of the ideals Christ came to live and die for. #Christmas

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • A Sweet and Simple Christmas


    "While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them." Luke 2:6-7 (NIV)

    Growing up, Christmas celebrations were minimal in my home. My dad was a quiet biology teacher and my mother a hard-working homemaker. Which didn't translate into extravagant parties or gifts. And yet looking back, I don't think I missed a thing ... for it was the sweet and simple practices that meant the most to me.

    For example, each year we bundled up in the car and drove around looking at Christmas lights. We rolled sugar cookie dough and cut it into bells and stars, covered with green and red frosting and sprinkled with colored sugar. It was the days of true tinsel, so decorating was a slow process, as my thrifty mother made us place it strand by strand on the tree (and remove it the same way) to keep it smooth for the next year.

    Christmas Eve included attending the 11 p.m. service, holding little white candles with paper skirts, and singing Silent Night at midnight. And Christmas morning was quiet with stockings and simple gifts, like a felt doll made by an aunt.

    The days leading up to Christmas weren't filled to the brim. Instead there were tender moments sprinkled throughout ... little touches to remind us that something special had happened 2000 years ago. Rather than a time to focus on more, Christmas was a time to be thankful for what we had.

    How different today is — especially with the pull to celebrate Christmas bigger and better each year. Yet, reading Jesus' birth story in Luke, I realize God modeled a much quieter, more grateful way to celebrate Christmas. And I wonder if Jesus' real story, rather than what ads suggest, isn't the best way to honor His birth.

    Luke's story of Jesus' birth tells of a humble people in a modest setting. No comfortable room was available so they made due in a place meant for animals. No one gave Mary a layette for her baby, so she wrapped Him in cloths. And there was no padded crib, instead a food trough was used for Jesus to sleep.

    Yet the angels watched with awe, praising and giving thanks to God. And Mary treasured and pondered all that had happened.

    And I wonder, as we face increasing pressure to commercialize Christmas, if that approach isn't the best way to celebrate Christ's birth. Perhaps rather than shock-and-awe, we need simple and sweet. Might humble and lowly, rather than extravagant, lead us to a place of wonder?

    This Christmas, I'm taking a step back. I'm choosing to make less, more. I'm choosing more quiet, simple, humble, treasuring, pondering moments. Less hurry, more pausing. Less fuss and more focus on the true meaning of Christmas ... a baby born to be a King ... a servant who is Savior ... Emmanuel ... God with us. Amen.

    Dear Lord, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Christmas, help me to pause and focus on what really matters. Help me to experience the joy of Christmas in my heart. Thank You for sending Your son. In His Precious Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: For some simple and sweet reading, consider The Haven by Suzanne Woods Fisher.

    Reflect and Respond: What has God done for you this year that you can treasure in your heart and ponder?

    Are there any big Christmas traditions you can let go this year, and replace them with something simple?

    Power Verses: John 1:14, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (NIV)

    Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (NIV)

    © 2012 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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

  • Great to God


    "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord." Luke 1:15


    What does it mean to be great to God? Obtaining riches, possibly, but humility and a servant spirit? Absolutely! A CEO or a General in the military? These leaders could be great, but power does not guarantee greatness, in fact in many cases it tempts true greatness. God's estimation of greatness is the courage to do the right thing as He defines right. Like John the Baptist, a reed unshaken by the wind. Greatness stands under God. 

    Greatness to God means we give up our job if it means giving in to ethical compromise. Greatness assumes I am willing to offend a friend, if their expectation of me offends my heavenly Father. True greatness gladly becomes the servant of all and does not expect to be served at all. God measures greatness by what we give, not by what we accumulate. Indeed, generosity generates godly greatness. We are the greatest when we are rich toward God.

    "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant." Matthew 20:26

    Your great love for your great God will cause you to take a stand for His great ideas. Godly people pursue God and in the process capture greatness. Your influence expands exponentially when you are defined by eternity's agenda. Sharing the gospel, discipleship, feeding the working poor, caring for the mentally and physically handicapped, adopting orphans, serving widows, unconditional love and forgiveness are all great to God.

    However, hold these great truths with a sober mind and a humble heart. Few are won over and kept over by your laser like logic and passionate persuasiveness. The Spirit will draw people to Jesus by your grace and love. In a spirit of sensitivity and prayer, lay out your rational faith at the right time. The world's stage gives its great actors loud accolades, but in your greatest moment of truth, listen only for the Lord's quiet applause. Jesus is the greatest!

    "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, mold me into the image of Christ’s greatness.

    Related Readings: 2 Kings 5:1; Ezekiel 38:23; Acts 11:24; 1 Peter 3:4

    Post/Tweet today: Godly people pursue God and in the process capture greatness. #great

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Planted By Streams


    "He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." Psalm 1:3 (NIV 1984)

    After marrying the man of my dreams, I thought my happily-ever-after had begun. And it did ... for a while. We had a cute Cape Cod on Logan Street, I taught fourth grade, and we enjoyed sweet friends in our church. Life was not only good; it was great.

    But "great" quickly departed when changes came our way with a new job in a new city and a new house filled with a new baby. My husband's job meant he was gone ... a lot. Which meant I was alone ... a lot.

    The transition to so much time alone was difficult, but it helped me see something was missing. At first I had no idea what it was or where to find it; I just knew it wasn't something I could get in my home, child or husband.

    It took a while, but eventually I became keenly aware of what was missing: God wasn't part of my happily-ever-after. I had left Him out. At a young age I'd accepted Jesus as my Savior, but I had never surrendered to Him or spent much time with Him praying or reading the Bible.

    A soul that is saved but not in relationship with Christ is void of His fullness. I was living in the void.

    God heard the cries from my unfulfilled heart and led me to Scripture. On that day I opened my Bible to Psalm 1 and found this fulfilling truth:

    "... his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." (vs. 2-3 NIV 1984)

    God tenderly let me see my tree (life) was planted in places far from the streams of His living water. I had planted myself beside the streams of the world, seeking its temporary joy and fulfillment. Planting myself there, away from Him left me thirsty. The unfertile soil and lack of hydration caused me to wither.

    Meditating on His Word was the key to finding what I was missing. It never occurred to me God's instructions could be delightful, or that thinking of them day and night was even possible. "How does one meditate on Your Word day and night and still get things done Lord?" I asked.

    In a faint whisper I felt the Lord encourage me, "Start here."

    For the next 150 days I read a chapter a day in the book of Psalms. Actually, I spent more than one day reading Psalm 119. Have you seen Psalm 119? Its 176 verses were a bit intimidating for this newbie in the Word!

    Is your life planted close to God? Does your heart have fertile soil for His Word to prosper? If you feel like me on that day I opened my Bible—lonely, thirsty and withering away, today can the beginning of your refreshment!

    Dear Lord, I want to open my Bible and allow You to plant the seeds of change in my heart. Following the ways of the world have made me feel as if I am withering. Thank You that Your Word has the power to change me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond: How do you feel about reading God's Word every day?

    Make a commitment to read one Psalm a day, allowing three days to complete Psalm 119.

    Power Verses: Psalm 119:15-16, "I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word." (NIV 1984)

    Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (NIV 1984)

    2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV 1984)

    © 2012 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

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

  • Delayed Joy


    “Your prayer [Zack] has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” Luke 1:13-15


    God may delay His response to prayer, but He never forgets. A barren womb, a lost job, a prodigal child, or a spouse who has passed away are all needs He has not forgotten. Zachariah remained faithful in his prayers and worship, though his heart ached for God to provide the gift of a little life for he and his wife Elizabeth. However, the Lord’s timing is not without purpose. John’s birth—like his life, preceded Jesus’ birth as a joyous prelude. 

    Yes indeed, as we wait on the Lord’s provision, old prayers gain new meaning. What was once lost is found, what was once hurt is healed and what was once hopeless brings joy. We remain faithful in our prayers and worship, especially when our feelings scream that all spiritual efforts are in vain. God’s blessings follow a sequence that only later make sense. So, we can see our answered prayer as an introduction to God’s greater purpose.

    “When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.” Luke 1:57-58

    Do you feel barren in your soul, spirit or body? Has spiritual sterility snatched your joy? If so, take hope that your barrenness is an incubator of intimacy with your heavenly Father. It is at this precise point of inexpressible fear that He expresses His peace. Christ can birth out of barren finances, provision; from a barren womb, a baby; from a barren heart, joy. Or, God may say no, so your empty condition can only be filled by the Spirit’s fullness.

    Moreover, if you are enjoying joy, then be a joy giver to those needy souls around you. In prayerful sensitivity remind others of their spiritual resources. Your smile speaks acceptance, your servant leadership models humility, your encouragement gives hope and your generosity brings joy. Delayed joy is an opportunity to look to Jesus the joy giver. Delayed joy does not mean God has forgotten—no, past prayers prepare us for future joy.

    “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” Psalm 90:14

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that delayed joy is worth the wait.

    Related Readings: Job 38:7; Psalm 65:8; Isaiah 26:19; Hebrews 10:34 Post/Tweet today: God may delay His response to prayer but He does not forget. #prayer

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • An Unhurried Holiday


    "So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger." Luke 2:16 (NIV)

    "Hurry up! We're going to be late to the choir concert!"

    "Come on kids. Help me unload these groceries right now. I've got to get these cookies baked before bedtime."

    "Is it 6 a.m. already? I gotta get to that door buster sale as soon as it opens so I don't miss out on the deals!"

    With the holiday season upon us, the music at the mall announces that folks are dreaming of a white Christmas. That may be true. But in reality, many women are dreaming of something else white: a little more white space on our December calendars!

    Pageants. Parties. Shopping trips. Baking days. Wrapping nights. At every turn there are people to see, things to do, stuff to buy. The hustle and bustle of this supposed-to-be-happy season can knock the holly-jolly right out of our holidays and replace it with hurried-up headaches instead.

    As a result, our calendars become overloaded, crowding out the spiritual significance of the season.

    I wonder if the participants in the original Christmas story ever dreamed that the celebration of Christ's birth would become so hassled and hurried. The shepherds? The angels? The wise men? Mary and Joseph too?

    Was hurriedness present the night Jesus was born? We might think that it was not. But actually, there was hurry present that night. However, it wasn't to the mall or grocery store that people were rushing.

    The shepherds were working in the fields when suddenly an ensemble of angels told them the Christ Child had been born. Luke 2:16 says they hurried off to find Him lying in a manger.

    If I had been one of those shepherds, I would have been quiet and amazed once I got there. Being around a newborn baby makes me speak in a hushed tone and feel such awe as I see new life. In the presence of Jesus I wonder if those men too were settled and silent.

    Maybe we could do the same today. In the midst of our holiday hustle and tasks, we could stop; leave our work. We could slow down long enough to hurry in another direction. We could put our activities on hold so we might quietly meet with our Lord. We could be settled and silent in the presence of Jesus.

    As a result we just might discover an unhurried holiday: a season that will strengthen us spiritually instead of sapping our energy and joy.

    How about it? Will we pause and purpose to hurry into His presence instead of rushing from task to task? Dare we linger long enough to be refreshed by the company of the One whom the holiday is really about? The tasks will wait while we do.

    Here's to more "white space" this Christmas; space that creates more room in our days for meeting with Jesus!

    Dear Lord, remind me daily that it's You I should rush to during the holiday hustle. Not things. Not activities. I want to seek and find only You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: LET. IT. GO.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith by Karen Ehman

    Reflect and Respond: What activities and responsibilities threaten to make you rushed and stressed at the holidays?

    Pull away from the holiday hustle and spend time with Jesus.

    Power Verses: Luke 2:15, "When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.'" (NIV)

    Proverbs 8:17, "I love those who love me, and those who search for me find me." (HCSB)

    © 2012 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

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

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