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Monthly Archives: January 2013

  • 5 Things to Help You Stop Thinking and Start Doing

    Posted on January 17, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lisa TerKeurst

    "Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

    My husband Art asked if I would do a 21-day cleanse with him. I wasn't excited.

    I thought, I already eat pretty healthy. And 21 days is a really long time to eat like a rabbit. Plus, I don't want to make a commitment I won't keep.

    So, I gave him a safe answer: "I'll think about it."

    And honestly, that's all I would have done had he not asked me 217 more times.

    Have you ever said "I'll think about it" and still found yourself "thinking about it" months later? Me too. But I didn't want this to be another challenge where I just thought about it, I wanted it to be able to say, "I did it! I finally did it!" I knew I needed to place my trust in the Lord to help me accomplish this - and He was faithful.

    As we start a new year, I wonder if you are tired of just thinking, and are ready to accomplish some things you've been putting off. If so, I'd love to share what I learned.

    Here are 5 crucial things you can do to stop thinking and start doing:

    1. Success breeds success.

    Get around others who are doing that thing you need to do. Hearing Art talk about and prepare for the cleanse made it more front and center in my life. Being around people who are doing what you need to do makes the first move less scary. And they can help you push through the not-so-fun times.

    Remember to pray and connect with God daily. This is key to developing a healthy attitude. Taking challenges head-on won't always be pretty, but going to the Lord for comfort and motivation is what kept me going.

    2. Stock up for success.

    Art and I went to grocery stores that carry healthy foods to stock our refrigerator with everything we'd need to be successful. Now, I wish I could say this trip was without conflict. It was not. He wanted to spend what seemed like hours making out a list. I'm emotionally allergic to spending hours making out a list. Just take the list provided in the instruction book and get what you need for heaven's sake.

    Ahem.

    Anyhow, no matter what your new thing is, chances are you'll need supplies to invest in your success.

    3. Schedule for your success.

    Before we started this cleanse, we found a 21-day time period several of our kids were away during a school break (which meant I didn't have to prepare food for others!) You better believe I did a happy dance over that.

    It's important to schedule whatever you're tackling and keep this appointment. Be diligent about not letting life crowd out this important commitment.

    Set a start date. Track your progress with mini-goals. Set a completion date with a reward built in to keep you motivated.

    4. Share your success.

    As you have successes, share them with your friends. They may get excited and join in too! During the 21-day process, I told a friend that I drank both my cleanse smoothies with only one dramatic gag. This was a big accomplishment! At the end of our conversation, she said she'd like to join me.

    How cool! I went from being a moper to a motivator. And that propelled me to keep going that much more.

    5. Build on your success.

    Once you've accomplished your one thing, you'll have GREAT momentum. Use this to help you tackle something else you've been putting off.

    While it might feel like you can't face this big challenge, I want to encourage you. Ephesians 3:20 teaches that God's mighty power is at work within us. Many times we try to do things alone and work solely within our limitations as humans.

    The Lord wants us to lean on Him. To ask for help to do the impossible. I know it might be hard, but we need to bravely claim God's promise to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

    And with God's Spirit in us, I think 2013 just might be the year we say, "I did it! I finally did it!"

    Dear Lord, I'm grateful for another year and another chance to lean on You. Equip me with Your strength as I face my biggest challenges. All things are possible with Your Spirit in me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    If you're committing to a healthier lifestyle in 2013, let Lysa TerKeurst show you how to crave God more than unhealthy food in her New York Times bestselling book, Made to Crave.

    The Made to Crave Devotional has amazing daily encouragement as you tackle your greatest challenges. Click here to order.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Is God calling you to face a challenge in your life?

    1) Write down one challenge you'd like to tackle.
    2) Make an action plan. Use the 5 tips above to formulate the steps you'll take to create motivation.

    Power Verse:
    Matthew 19:26, "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" (NIV)

    © 2013 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 Ephesians

  • Qualified for God

    Posted on January 16, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

    The Lord knows an outward appearance may or may not be an indicator of what’s in the heart. A smile on the outside can still mask a frown on the inside. An outwardly positive attitude may still wrestle with negative feelings from past hurt. A handsome man may maintain an ugly heart, while a beautiful woman can project an unattractive spirit. Good looks do not guarantee a grace filled life. God goes straight to the heart of what matters most: humility, fear of God and love.

     

    Is your heart in the hand of your heavenly Father? Like a heat seeking missile, is your heart’s desire hot for the things of God? The praise of people may lead you to think more highly of your contributions than Christ’s. So, invite the Holy Spirit to translate man’s praise into a tool to purify your heart. He will burn away impure motives and replace them with righteous ones. After all, your life is all of grace or none at all. You stay qualified for God by keeping a heart for God.

     

    “His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147:10-11

     

    The eyes of men are attracted to attractive Kings of strong stature, but the eyes of the Lord look for humble shepherds with a heart for service. Indeed, we are wise to keep our aspirations in line with Almighty God’s. We don’t obsess with our outward appearance for it fades away, but we do adorn our spirit with the grace of God for its beauty is eternal. Our heavenly Father specializes in making His children cute and adorable. The inner work of the Spirit shapes our soul for God.

     

    Therefore, select and follow leaders who are qualified by God. Avoid smooth talkers with a hard heart. Take your time at work to hire not only those who can get the job done, but who get it done with a humble hurt. Wait on marriage for the one whose heart seeks the Lord and who seeks to serve others. Ask the Lord to give you a mental and emotional diagnostic to discern a person’s spirit. Better to invest in those with ordinary abilities and looks, but with an extraordinary heart.

     

    “He [Christ] will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears.” Isaiah 11:3

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray my inner self will be beautiful in Your sight.

    Related Readings: Psalm 44:21, 139:23; Luke 16:15; 1 Peter 3:4; Revelation 2:23

     

    Post/Tweet today: We stay qualified for God by keeping a heart for God. #heart for God

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Psalm, Isaiah, 1 Samuel

  • Daddy's Girl

    Posted on January 16, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." Zephaniah 3:17b (NLT)

    When my son-in-law walks through his front door, he throws his arms wide open and calls out, "Elle!"

    Two-year-old Elle races toward him in her awkward toddler run and throws herself into his embrace. He tosses her high in the air, then pulls her close, saying, "Elle, do you know how much Daddy loves you?"

    When I have the privilege of watching this scene, I always think the same thing: My beautiful granddaughter will always know she's her daddy's girl.

    A daddy's girl is loved even when she throws a tantrum and has to go to time out.

    A daddy's girl feels beautiful even when she's in need of a tissue and has spaghetti stains on her shirt.

    A daddy's girl doesn't need to search for love anywhere else, because her daddy has provided a safe and loving place in his heart.

    Maybe as you read this, you think of your own dad. Perhaps he was absent, destructive, or failed to provide a safe shelter for his girl.

    I understand that feeling.

    I met my biological dad briefly at the age of 13, again at 17, and at 40 years of age I stood beside his casket to say goodbye to a man I really didn't know.

    I will never be a daddy's girl in the sense that my granddaughter has experienced, but it doesn't mean I am exempt from a Father's love.

    In the New Testament, Abba is mentioned only three times—and is closest to our word "daddy." When Jesus used it to describe His—and our—intimate relationship with God, it offended those within earshot. They questioned how He could use a term so familiar to describe God.

    But I understand it perfectly. You see, regardless of an earthly father's love or absence, I'm still a Daddy's girl.

    And so are you.

    Our Abba Father delights and sings over us (Zephaniah 3:17). He adopts us as His own and offers a rich inheritance (Galatians 4:6-7). We walk into His waiting arms daily, and when we need correction, His love does not ebb. When we stand in front of Him with our sin-stained heart, or hold up tears for Him to dry, He remains our Abba Father.

    Maybe you've been longing to fill that empty place left by an earthly father. As a Daddy's girl, you don't have to search for love anymore, because your Abba Father has provided a safe and loving place in his heart.

    In fact, He's waiting with open arms.

    Dear Abba, I hold up the gaps left by an earthly parent, and thank You for pouring into those places until I overflow with confidence in Whose I am. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

    Reflect and Respond:
    How we identify ourselves is key to moving past a gap caused by an earthly father's lack.

    Are you willing to redefine yourself as a Daddy's girl—completely, totally, thoroughly? He's already called you His own. Today, run into your Abba's waiting arms.

    Power Verses:
    Romans 8:16, "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God." (ESV)

    Galatians 4:6-7, "You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, 'Papa! Father!' Doesn't that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you're also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance." (MSG)

    © 2013 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 Galatians, Zephaniah

  • Friends Warn Friends

    Posted on January 15, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there.” 1 Samuel 19:1-2

    Friends warn friends. They warn them of danger to their physical safety. It could be harm from someone who wants to inflict pain or it may be a circumstance that carries economic risk. It may be the discovery of disloyalty from a mutual friend who threatens a coworker's employment. Loyalty does not withhold information from a friend that can help them make the wisest decision. A loyal friend warns a friend while there is still time to make a safe transition.

    Do you have a friend who is gullible about someone else’s good will? Is evil crouching at their door waiting to pounce on their uninformed ego? If so, you may be God’s instrument to instruct them in the way to go. Your friend may be so close to the situation that they have allowed their emotions to cloud their good judgment. Because they trust you, you can help them verify their assumptions. Use your relational equity and assist them in taking a step back to wait and pray.

    “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17

    Furthermore, your warning to your friend may be to cut their relational losses and move on to the Lord’s next assignment. You can lovingly explain the unhealthy organizational culture that is dragging them down. Jealousy, jockeying for position and unscrupulous motives from acquaintances all create anxiety, distrust and fear at home, work, school or church. Your friendship can be a reality check to educate a friend in how to navigate irreverent forces.

    Most importantly, friends warn friends to not forsake their faith in Jesus Christ. A friend who loves at all times is able to tell the truth in love. Love does not silently sit still while a friend succumbs to Satan’s lies. We fight for our friends on our knees in prayer and with our words in warnings. A friend may need to move into our home as a sanctuary for their souls’ healing, their heart’s refreshment and their mind’s rest. Friends warn friends and help them find the way.

    “Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD.” 1 Samuel 20:42

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the love and courage to warn my friend of unhealthy influences.

    Related Readings: Numbers 16:26; 1 Samuel 19:11; Acts 20:31; Hebrews 11:7

     

    Post/Tweet today: Loyalty does not withhold information from a friend that can help them make the wisest decision. #friend

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Proverbs, 1 Samuel

  • When I Stray

    Posted on January 15, 2013 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn Cowell

    "I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them." Hosea 11:4 (NIV)

    How could I have messed up, falling for that same old trap? I didn't mean to. It wasn't like I purposefully tried to make her look bad. Yet, once again, I didn't think before I spoke about a mutual friend during lunch. My careless words cast my friend in a negative light.

    I felt awful and questioned if I'd ever be who I wanted to be: a woman who guards her words wisely. Though I purpose each day to live in a way that brings honor to God, some times I stray from His ways. And that was one of those times.

    Later that day I threw myself into busyness to push down the shame of my conversation. But no matter how much I vacuumed, carpooled or read, the only relief I could find came through prayer.

    Prayer should have been the first place I turned. It's in conversation with Jesus that He leads me away from my unwise choices and whispers, "I forgive you." He invites me to accept His forgiveness. When I mess up, Jesus' tenderness and love draws me back to Him and His ways. As Hosea 11:4 says, love is the "cord" He uses to bring us again into fellowship with Him.

    God has a lot of experience when it comes to drawing back runaways. In fact, God's people, the Israelites, strayed from Him by choosing sin and walking apart from His commands. Time after time they left their Lord and time after time He pursued them ... with love, as seen in Hosea 11:4. "I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them" (NIV).

    God contrasts His gentle guidance with that of a farmer bringing back a runaway animal. The farmer, frustrated with the heifer's action, might drag the animal back to the pen with a heavy rope. Unlike the firm hand the farmer may have to use to lead the cattle, the Lord tells us that when we run from His best, His hand leading us home is tender and kind.

    After asking for forgiveness of the friend I'd spoken with, I was glad when I discovered my words hadn't altered our relationship. The grace I received from my friend, and God, has caused me to be more careful. God's kindness makes me want to be like Him, extending that same gentleness in my words and relationships.

    Some days, our sin weighs us down and leads us far from the Lord. Yet, God is there, waiting to lead us back, with love, to Him. Today, instead of being stubborn or unresponsive, let's follow God's gentle pull back to His heart and His ways.

    Dear Lord, thank You that YOU don't throw me in the pit of my own mistakes. I love You for the way You love me ... so perfectly! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Help a teen girl in your life learn Jesus' perfect love and forgiveness every day of the year! Lynn's new book Devotions for a Revolutionary Year - 365 Days of Jesus' Radical Love for You is a great resource!

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write Hosea 11:4 and have it in a handy place to remind you of the care and tenderness of your Father.

    Do you resist following the Lord's lead of love? Sit in prayer today, asking Him to give you a heart of obedience.

    Power Verses:
    Leviticus 26:13, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high." (NIV 1984)

    Jeremiah 31:3 "The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: 'I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.'" (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Lynn Cowell. 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 Hosea

  • A Friend's Rejection

    Posted on January 14, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.” Psalm 55:12-14

     

    The worst kind of rejection may be the rejection of a friend. You expect it from an enemy, but not from a friend. It doesn’t make sense that someone you communed with around Christ would come back and crush you with rejection. Rejection integrated with religious pretense is rough. It challenges our trust in people in general, and our faith in God in particular. With a recognized foe you can see it coming, however, with a pretend friend it takes you by surprise. You feel ambushed by unauthentic living. One day you are laughing together around life’s little peculiarities and the next day you are dazed by the anger of an unstable man. It is haunting and humbling at the same time. You don’t know whether to lash back or languish in disillusionment. Friendly betrayal is frightening.

    Reproaches from those we have been intimate with cut to the quick. They know our strengths and our weaknesses. They know where we are vulnerable. They know how to exploit our struggles, taking advantage of our good will. It is like you have been emotionally naked with someone, and now you feel embarrassed because of his or her indiscretions. What happened to the person you once knew? How could you have been so deceived? It may have been a decade of deceit embedded in your marriage vows. It may have been financial fraud and embezzlement over a long period of time. It may be a hidden addiction that has all the while hijacked your relationship for their creditability.

    Our Lord Jesus of course had one for whom he trusted to the point of managing the money. He was close to Christ in proximity, but far away in faith. For Judas it was all about the cash. It was money that motivated him in the beginning, and money that was his downfall in the end. Money motivated men may be pleasant on the outside, but they are full of themselves on the inside. They set you up for their own selfish plan. We see it after the fact. It is so clear. But in the beginning we can be easily deceived. Therefore, really get to know someone before you heavily invest. In time they can be trusted.

    Lastly, avoid the temptation to reject those who have rejected you. This is our natural response. However under the influence of the Holy Spirit our right response is to forgive their failings, regardless of how radical their behavior. We are all candidates for sin, even gross sin. Without God’s grace and the accountability of a committed community of believers, we are deceivers with the best of them. The worst deceivers have been the most deceived. Paul stated well our role toward those trapped in sin, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Yes rejection by a trusted friend is fiendish and false hearted. However we are called to be forgiving and pure hearted. Do not stoop to their standards that are sub par with your Savior’s. By God’s grace rise above rejection!

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the grace to accept those from whom I feel rejected.
    Related Readings: Isaiah 33:1; Jeremiah 12:6; Matthew 27:3-4; 1 Corinthains 11:23-24

    Post/Tweet today: Rejection integrated with religious pretense is rough on relationships. #rejection

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry
    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • New Dreams for a New Year

    Posted on January 14, 2013 by Family Christian

    Amy Carroll

    "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

    Adulthood often seems like the place where dreams go to die. As a little girl my heart brimmed over with dreams. My parents' and teachers' encouragement convinced me anything was possible, so my prospects increased by the day.

    I pictured myself traveling the countryside curing animals like James Herriott in All Creatures Great and Small. I envisioned myself as nanny-extraordinaire like Mary Poppins or an exquisite singer like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music.

    The advent of middle school challenged my girlish dreams. Not-so-encouraging peers, realizations of my limitations, and a few failures and hard knocks made me more cautious about my future. Although some dreams remained, others died along the way.

    Sitting in a room of friends recently, I listened attentively as they shared a graveyard of dreams. Some dreams were killed by belittling from people who should have been supporters. Other dreams died a slow death when the realities of rent and grocery bills took precedence. Still others had been set on a shelf under a dusty dome of "some day." They wondered if God had forgotten the dreams in their hearts.

    They aren't alone. The Bible records story after story of dreamers who had to wait for the fulfillment of their dreams.

    Abraham dreamt of a promised nation.

    Isaac dreamt of a beautiful woman in a strange land.

    Hannah dreamt of a child.

    Samuel dreamt of a godly king.

    God is not only the weaver of dreams, but He answers them as well. God has limitless creativity, and His creation longs for the opportunity to create and build and produce things of value. He is the one who plants dreams in our heart to be held until the time is right to bring them to life.

    I encourage you today to take out your dreams, resuscitate them if necessary and examine them. There may be childhood dreams that need to be allowed to slip away, like balloons gently released into the sky. But what about the others?

    Are there any buried dreams that need to be dusted off, held in your hands and offered back to God? He's the one who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine with the ideas He's given. Offer those dreams a new start in this New Year.

    Dear Lord, I embrace the dreams You've given me. Help me resist discouragement and hold on to them until I see Your power bring them to reality. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Do you ever feel like you're not good enough, smart enough, or valuable enough? If you struggle with self-doubt, pick up a copy of A Confident Heart by Renee Swope for biblical truth and encouragement!

    Reflect and Respond:
    Is there a dream you've let die and need to bring back to life?

    Start a journal and write down your dreams. Read them aloud to God and ask Him to show you the ones that He's placed in your heart to hold.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 37:4-6, "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun." (NIV 1984)

    Psalm 20:4, "May he grant you your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans!" (ESV)

    © 2013 by Amy Carroll. 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 Ephesians, New Year Reolutions

  • New Dreams for a New Year

    Posted on January 14, 2013 by Amy Carroll

    Amy Carroll

    "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

    Adulthood often seems like the place where dreams go to die. As a little girl my heart brimmed over with dreams. My parents' and teachers' encouragement convinced me anything was possible, so my prospects increased by the day.

    I pictured myself traveling the countryside curing animals like James Herriott in All Creatures Great and Small. I envisioned myself as nanny-extraordinaire like Mary Poppins or an exquisite singer like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music.

    The advent of middle school challenged my girlish dreams. Not-so-encouraging peers, realizations of my limitations, and a few failures and hard knocks made me more cautious about my future. Although some dreams remained, others died along the way.

    Sitting in a room of friends recently, I listened attentively as they shared a graveyard of dreams. Some dreams were killed by belittling from people who should have been supporters. Other dreams died a slow death when the realities of rent and grocery bills took precedence. Still others had been set on a shelf under a dusty dome of "some day." They wondered if God had forgotten the dreams in their hearts.

    They aren't alone. The Bible records story after story of dreamers who had to wait for the fulfillment of their dreams.

    Abraham dreamt of a promised nation.

    Isaac dreamt of a beautiful woman in a strange land.

    Hannah dreamt of a child.

    Samuel dreamt of a godly king.

    God is not only the weaver of dreams, but He answers them as well. God has limitless creativity, and His creation longs for the opportunity to create and build and produce things of value. He is the one who plants dreams in our heart to be held until the time is right to bring them to life.

    I encourage you today to take out your dreams, resuscitate them if necessary and examine them. There may be childhood dreams that need to be allowed to slip away, like balloons gently released into the sky. But what about the others?

    Are there any buried dreams that need to be dusted off, held in your hands and offered back to God? He's the one who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine with the ideas He's given. Offer those dreams a new start in this New Year.

    Dear Lord, I embrace the dreams You've given me. Help me resist discouragement and hold on to them until I see Your power bring them to reality. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Do you ever feel like you're not good enough, smart enough, or valuable enough? If you struggle with self-doubt, pick up a copy of A Confident Heart by Renee Swope for biblical truth and encouragement!

    Reflect and Respond:
    Is there a dream you've let die and need to bring back to life?

    Start a journal and write down your dreams. Read them aloud to God and ask Him to show you the ones that He's placed in your heart to hold.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 37:4-6, "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun." (NIV 1984)

    Psalm 20:4, "May he grant you your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans!" (ESV)

    © 2013 by Amy Carroll. 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 Ephesians, New Year Reolutions

  • Wise Living

    Posted on January 13, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Who is wise?  He will realize these things.  Who is discerning?  He will understand them.  The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.” Hosea 14:9

     

    Wise living keeps the realization and understanding of God in the vortex of your thinking.  God awareness is a centerpiece. “What would Jesus do?” becomes a way of life.  His desires, His motivations, His thoughts, and His character become paramount in your thinking.  This leads to wise living because it is based on Christ-like living.  God’s ways are the path to wisdom.  The wisdom of God is unfathomable.  But He is willing to share it.  In fact, His preference is to shower His children with raindrops of wisdom.  He delights in imparting His game plan for living.

     

    However, it takes a regular realization on our part for the wisdom of God to penetrate our thinking.  We must become people of the book.  Joshua said it best: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8).

     

    Wise living includes the ability to discern right from wrong and good from best.  Use the Bible as your guide for wise recommendations.  Your ability to discern will grow as you mature in the faith.  You may be a pretty good judge of character, but God wants to grow you in this area.  Your discernment is a gift to your husband for protection against unwise decision-making (I Corinthians 2:14).  He may not appreciate this yet, but if he is wise, he will.  Therefore, present your insights with grace and humility. By faith, extract your overly aggressive emotion and replace it with a prayerful appeal.  Hold your suggestions with an open hand,trusting God to work on your husband in His timing.  He is accountable to God.  Sweet relief.  You don’t have to change him, but God can.

     

    What God changes stays changed.  What you change has a tendency to revert to its old way of doing things.  You see what needs to be done as clearly as the nose on your face.  Be patient.  Let your husband fail.  Plant seeds, pray, and watch the Holy Spirit turn the heart of your husband toward the right direction.  It is not about you convincing him. Rather, it is all about the Spirit of God convincing him.  If he is wise, he will seek your discernment (Proverbs 18:15).  He may have to fall on his face first.  Use your discernment as a steady-handed and skilled surgeon would a sharp scalpel.  Avoid bludgeoning him with your accurate insights.  The right timing, tone, and transparency are terrifically effective.

     

    Wise is the husband or wife who listens to their spouse.  Therefore, be humble and teachable.  Understanding and discernment will follow.  This is wise living.

     

    Post/Tweet: It is unwise to flirt with friendships that dilute growth with God. #friends

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 1 Corinthians, Hosea, Wisdom, Joshua

  • Hate Evil

    Posted on January 12, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech” (Proverbs 8:13).

     

    The word hate makes us uncomfortable. It has a harsh and uncaring ring and reputation. However, there is a holy hatred of evil that is allowed and even expected by almighty God. Authentic Christianity is not easy on evil because it breaks the heart of God and destroys the soul of man. Evil is an encroachment by the enemy on eternity’s agenda.

     

    It takes down leaders who let pride and arrogance seep into their thick skulls and stay there. Indeed, if the rules apply to everyone but the leader, then it is just a matter of time before the fear of the Lord becomes a foreign concept. Sin is out of bounds for any child of God who abounds in His love and grace.

     

    It is the wisdom of Christ that warms the heart, instructs the mind, and leads the way into behavior defined by truth. The Bible says, “God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2–3 NASB).

     

    Gossip, greed, jealousy, and lies are all evil intentions that corrupt a culture of transparency, generosity, contentment, and honesty. Stress can bring out the best and worst in others; so make sure, by the grace of God, you rise above the petty politics of blame.

     

    Wisdom and maturity take responsibility and seek to lead the team in excellent execution of a proven strategy. If you do nothing, the naysayers will negotiate in fear and division. Furthermore, fight evil without fanfare, but by faith and wise work deliver constant and creditable results, and your antagonists will grow quiet.

     

    It is the humility and wisdom of Christ that defeats evil initiatives. Therefore, give Him the glory, get the job done, and trust the Lord with the results. Hard times can produce hard hearts, unless you overcome evil with a humble heart of prayer and bold faith. Evil is extinguished through intense intercession of prayer from pure people.

     

    The Bible says, “Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with” (James 5:16–17 The Message).

     

    Prayer: What does a holy hatred of evil look like in my life?

     

    Related Readings: Amos 5:15; Zechariah 8:17; Romans 12:9; 2 Timothy 2:19

     

    Post/Tweet: Sin is out of bounds for any child of God who abounds in His love and grace. #sin

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

     


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

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