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Monthly Archives: February 2013

  • Persevering Love

    Posted on February 28, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Love always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:7

    Love does not give up on those it loves. When it is hurt, it forgives. When it is rejected, it accepts. When it is misunderstood, it is kind. When it is ignored, it serves. When it is unloved, it loves. Persevering love waits on the one it loves, especially when necessary to fulfill the parent’s expectations. This respectful love grows into a responsible and maturing man or woman. Those who endure in their love relationships come out the other side deeper in love with one another.

    The enemy attacks at points of exposure in our relationships. Busyness is his brainchild. If Satan can cause us to neglect the people who know us the best, so they like us the least, he is happy. The deceiver knows how to shift our affections to  love only work. However, your tireless love will not fall to the temptation of exchanging your spouse’s respect for status. Moreover, love your mate in tough times. Give to them, when they have nothing to give you. Love is loyal.

    So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. Genesis 29:20

    Is your husband or wife really struggling with a situation or person at their job? If so, patiently listen and understand their conflicted heart. Hold them without offering pep talks or quick fixes, just be there to love them when they need you. Has your teenager fallen to temptation? When a child lets you down make sure you do not come down on them too hard. Love breaks their will without breaking their heart. Be tough and tender. Be firm but fair. Love them back to God.

    Above all, your Heavenly Father has a hot heart for you, especially in the heat of your challenging circumstances. He pursues you with His relentless love and resolve. Like a groom who excitingly anticipates his wedding ceremony, celebration, consummation and growing old together, so Christ loves you passionately and can’t wait to do life with you. The love of the Lord is long suffering for you. Thus, give thanks to God. He is good, His love for you endures forever!

    Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father thanks for being good to me and for Your enduring love toward me.

    Related Readings: Ezra 3:11; Jeremiah 33:11; Ephesians 4:12; James 1:12

    Post/Tweet today: Your Heavenly Father has a hot heart for you, especially in the heat of your challenging circumstances. #love

     

    © 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, Love

  • Tearing Down the Impossible

    Posted on February 28, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "'You don't have enough faith,' Jesus told them. 'I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.'" Matthew 17:20 (NLV)

    I distinctly remember the day my dad brought home a typewriter. His office had gotten these new machines called "computers." Something within me stirred and went wild at the thought of possessing a typewriter.

    I loved the way it could strike and fill a page of nothing and make it something.

    Maybe, I could write a book one day? The thought delighted me until I placed my hands on the keyboard. And the only words that came to me were all the reasons I couldn't possibly write a book.

    The dream was silenced.

    The same thing happened when the high school choir director announced we'd be doing a musical. I got so excited. I could see myself playing the lead role. Until I heard my friend practicing with bold assurance and booming accuracy. Suddenly every note I sang felt painfully hollow.

    The dream was silenced.

    And then in my mid twenties I dared to tell a friend I might want to speak at the women's event we were planning. Originally, I was just helping plan the event. But the stirring to speak wouldn't leave me. So, I gave voice to my crazy thought.

    She just tilted her head and said, "No. I feel certain you aren't supposed to speak."

    The dream was silenced.

    Has this ever happened to you? Voices within remind us of all the reasons we're incapable. Voices around us all seem more confident. And the voices of the naysayers are just flat out rude.

    Oh how impossibility loves to scream into silenced dreams.

    And here's the thing about impossible: there is some part of what we're attempting that isn't impossible. All impossibilities have a weak spot. And that's the exact place where we must attack.

    A book might seem impossible. But writers have to start somewhere. There's an article that could be written. Or in today's world a tweet that could be crafted. Or a blog posted.

    Write there. In the weak spot of impossibility.

    Maybe it's your marriage that seems impossible. Go against the grain of your hurt feelings and silent brush-offs. Think on just one thing you love about that man of yours. Send him a text that says how much you appreciate that one thing. Praise him for that one thing. Tell someone else about that one thing you noticed today.

    Start there. In the weak spot of impossibility.

    I don't know what impossibility you might be facing.

    But remember - all impossibilities have a weak spot. It's there. Ask God to show you where it is. Ask God for just enough strength to attack there. Tear it down one good decision at a time.

    And soon it will be clear, inside every impossible is the word "possible"... if only we dare to see it.

    Dear Lord, I am so thankful that with You anything is possible. Help me to see this in my daily life. Help me to remember that without You I will surely fail, but with You, I can't fail. You are so good. In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What seems impossible to you right now?

    Think about the weak spot of your impossibility. Choose steps to attack that weak spot. Be sure to soak in the truths of our key verse, Matthew 17:20, and power verses below as you tear down the impossibilities in your life.

    Power Verses:
    Isaiah 40:31, "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (NIV)

    Psalm 59:17, "You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely." (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 Matthew

  • Hopeful Love

    Posted on February 27, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Love always hopes. 1 Corinthians 13:7

    Love is hopeful because it is fixed on Jesus for its assurance. It is a healthy optimism based on the promises of God. Love only loses hope if the Lord loses His way, but He is the Way. There is no way Christ would lead His children astray. He is a rock of refuge and truth for a Christian’s compass of faith. Indeed, love finds a hopeful path through listening prayer. It’s in moments of quiet solitude that the Holy Spirit quiets the soul with His reassuring presence. Love hopes in Him.

    Has your hope been shaken by circumstances that rocked your world? If so, retreat to a safe place with your Savior and invite Him to calm your spirit with His sensitive love. Your hope becomes unshackled from fear when your loving Lord Jesus comforts your heart. Human love has its limits, but His is limitless. Your heavenly Father’s love has never failed the test of providing hope that perseveres. His Spirit whispers, “It will be ok, I am with you, be hopeful.”

    Your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:3

     

    Furthermore, you are a pass through for heaven’s hope. Those around you hunger for hope in life after death. Their soul thirsts for salvation and eternal security in their Savior Jesus. In their quest for authentic assurance you love well when you share with seekers Christ’s commands. Hope humans provide is riddled with inconsistency, but God’s hope is rooted in consistency. You love when you share the hope of heaven. Hope fills a heart that hears you lovingly pray for them.

     

    Hope is alive and well, because Christ is alive and well. He rose from the grave to become a living hope for all who embrace His resurrection. His love did not end in giving His life, but it culminated by Him coming back to life. Hallelujah our hope is in our risen and living Lord Jesus. Hope and love can never die, because Jesus is alive for evermore. Our hope is based on the two greatest historical events (the Cross and Resurrection) that exhibited the greatest love ever. Therefore, we can love someone today by helping them find hope in God. Love hopes in Him!

     

    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

    Prayer: Heavenly Father thanks for providing a living hope in Jesus for life’s journey.

    Related Readings: Psalm 119:43, 147:11; Romans 8:24-25; Hebrews 11:1; 1 Peter 1:13

    Post/Tweet today: In moments of quiet solitude the Holy Spirit quiets the soul with His reassuring presence. #HolySpirit

     

    © 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, Hope, Love

  • Created for Connection

    Posted on February 27, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25 (NIV 1984)

    I checked my email as soon as I woke up. Then I made breakfast and checked it again. Had my devotional time and checked it again. Ran some errands and checked it on my phone. When I got home, I checked it once more.

    Now, I admit I have a thing about keeping white space in my inbox, but this was about more than managing emails. I sensed the Holy Spirit nudging me to pause and ask myself, "Why do you keep checking your email?"

    I wasn't sure if it was God or me answering, but my thoughts intertwined with His Spirit whispered: You keep coming back because your heart longs for connection with a friend.

    Yet no matter how many times I checked email, it was never enough to satisfy my craving.

    Somewhere in the busyness of life I had let many of my friendships reduce to quick connections via email. My schedule had gotten full with kids, school projects, investing time in my marriage, and work.

    I knew something had to give, so I asked God to help me find balance.

    God had recently led me to cut back on the amount of time I spent talking on the phone, socializing with neighbors and hanging out with friends. Although I hadn't completely cut out my friendships, our face-to-face connection time had been reduced to a minimum as I obeyed God's request.

    I realized I had not found a good balance, and let the pendulum swing too far. So I checked email repeatedly, trying to fill a God-created need for relationships with a white screen and black alphabet keys.

    My heart was craving more.

    That day as I sat in front of my screen for the fifth time, Jesus revealed the source of my incessant email checking and reminded me I am created for real-life connections. I need to fill that lonely place in my heart with friends I can share life with — in person.

    That day I called one of my best friends. She happened to be available so I turned off my computer and spontaneously met her at a coffee shop.

    It was just what I needed: in-person, heart-to-heart, eye-to-eye connection and conversation.

    I know friendships are not easy to build. They take time and most of us don't have enough of it. But in this age of technology, it's important to evaluate and balance connections that are screen-to-screen rather than face-to-face.

    We need to pull away from our computers, phones and televisions to intentionally carve out time for friends. Times where we can meet in person to share what's going on in our lives. Hebrews 10:25 instructs us not to give up meeting together to worship and encourage one another. As we see here and throughout the Bible, "meeting together" is important to God.

    Jesus needed face-to-face connections, too. He surrounded Himself with intimate friends — first His Father, then close friends like John, Peter and James, and then the other disciples.

    He also had friends like Mary, Martha and Lazarus. People He spent time with sharing meals and having conversations about spiritual truths that applied to their lives. Through His example we see how important it is to satisfy our craving for connections by spending face-to-face time with friends.

    Although social media is great in moderation, computer “connections” can't substitute real-life relationships. So, who will you connect with face-to-face this week?

    Dear Lord, You created me with a need for friends. Yet, I find myself rushing through my days with little time for heart-to-heart connections. Help me to seek You first as my ultimate Friend, and then reach out to others so I can have and be a close friend. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Learn how to overcome doubts that keep you from pursuing deeper friendships and discover all you have to offer as a friend in A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write down the amount of time you are on email, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and text messaging versus the amount of face-to-face time you have with friends. How do the two balance?

    Call one or two friends you enjoy being with to encourage them and set up a time to get together.

    If you're not sure who to call, ask God to show you someone you can begin a friendship with. Invite them to join you for lunch or to go for a walk together this week.

    Power Verses:
    Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" (NIV)

    John 15:15b, "I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. 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 Hebrews

  • Trusting Love

    Posted on February 26, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Love always trusts. 1 Corinthians 13:7

    Love trusts to the degree it trusts in God. There is an assurance that the Almighty is in control and He will carry out His plan in His timing. Loves sees the Lord as the instigator of all good things and thus, 100% trustworthy. Yes, humans fail, but love lifts up those who let them down and gives them a second chance. There is a perpetual prayer from a heart of love that trusts God to do a work of grace in a graceless heart. Love believes Christ can change anyone or anything.

    Do you believe the best about your husband or wife? Do you give them the benefit of the doubt? Your marriage grows more attractive as you make it a priority to totally trust one another. Fear from past disappointments  feed disapproval and disrespect in the present. Let go of unlovely lies that he or she cannot change and begin to treat them like the Lord wants them to become. Be respectful and trust they’ll act respectable. Be kind and trust they will grow in kindness.

    Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

    Love treats others like it would like to be treated. Furthermore, there will be those who are gullible or naive in their approach to trusting love, but God is still at work. A shady soul may take advantage of someone’s good nature, but in the process they will more than likely meet Jesus in the giver's trusting heart. So, be wise and discerning, but err on the side of extending grace. Love like you trust, with abandonment and without conditions. When in doubt, love.

    Above all, trust in the unfailing love of your Heavenly Father. He is always reliable for real time love. Be still before Him and hear His voice, listen to His whispers of encouragement, warning and wisdom. Daily tap into God’s great love for you and the measure of your faith will magnify beyond where you have been. The end game in God’s plan for you is to love you, so you can love others and yourself. Trust Him by receiving His grace and love. Belief brings out His love!

    But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father I trust You to love me well, so I in turn can love well.

     

    Related Readings: Psalm 21:7, 119:66, 143:8; John 16:27; Philippians 1:9-10

     

    Post/Tweet today: Love lifts up those who let us  down and gives them a second chance. #love

     

    © 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, Love, Trust

  • Are You Hearing?

    Posted on February 26, 2013 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn Cowell

    "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." Romans 10:17 (NIV)

    With a very busy day ahead of me, a dark cloud of stress was hanging overhead. I had written my "to-do" list, and asked the Holy Spirit to help me hear His timeline for when I should get everything done.

    Getting ready to tackle number one on my list, I felt an impression on my heart, "Start with worshipping Me." At first I thought, I don't really have time for that. But peace came as I acknowledged I didn't have time not to worship Him.

    Setting my list aside, I turned on worship music in my living room. As I listened to scriptures woven throughout the lyrics, I saw again how His Word was exactly what I needed to start my day.

    This year, I am purposing to listen. Dictionary.com defines listen as: to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing.

    To listen, I have to be focused on hearing, purposefully and selectively, because what I hear has the power to change to me.

    Romans 10:17 says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." (ESV)

    When I hear God's Word, whether it is spoken, set to music or taught, my faith will grow. I need, then, to put myself in a place where I can hear (not just read silently) God's Word. I've begun to look for new ways to hear Scripture.

    One of those ways is reading the Bible out loud. This has a few great benefits. I stay awake (a serious consideration when it's early in the morning or late at night!). Anyone who hears me also gets to hear God's Word! And my faith is built.

    When little children first learn how to read, what does their teacher make them do? Read out loud. Why? Hearing builds comprehension; it helps us understand the material better.

    The same is true when it comes to reading God's Word. "Faith comes by hearing." Reading out loud helps build our comprehension of what Scripture is telling us, as well as our faith. This is good for us and our children!

    We can read the Bible out loud to children or better yet, have them read to us! Even if just for a small pocket of time: on the way to school, after dinner, before bed, or coming home from sports practice.

    Keep a Bible in the car, by your kitchen table, or near the TV. I once heard a great author say he grew up in a home with books everywhere. In every room, on every table, there was a book. It became a natural thing to just pick them up and see what each page held! Let's do the same with God's Word and make it easily accessible.

    Hearing God's Word is important. Let's start listening today by turning on some praise music, reading Scripture out loud and listening to sermons. Our faith will begin building quickly!

    Lord, I need to build my faith for all that You have given me in this life. Holy Spirit, whisper to me, showing me pockets of time when I can hear Your Word for myself and for my children too. Amen

    Related Resources:
    Do you need a resource to help a teen girl in your life build her faith through hearing God's Word? Lynn Cowell's new book Devotions for a Revolutionary Year - 365 Days of Jesus' Radical Love for You can help you do just that! Short devotionals, only 2-3 minutes each, can go a long way in helping her learn God's truth.

    Reflect and Respond:
    When are you currently hearing God's Word? Church services, online sermons, radio broadcasts?

    Power Verses:
    Colossians 3:16, "Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts." (NIV)

    1 Thessalonians 2:13, "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe." (NIV)

    © 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 Romans, Listening

  • Protective Love

    Posted on February 25, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Love always protects. 1 Corinthians 13:7

    Love gives a sense of security to its objects of affection. There is a deep desire to protect from physical harm and to keep from emotional injury. Love looks out for the best interest of those it shares intimacy with. It is like a trusted big brother who will not allow a younger sibling to be taken advantage of by an unscrupulous individual. Love serves as a scout who goes ahead of a loved one and sizes up any snares that lie ahead. Yes, it keeps those it cares for from dangerous detours.

    A protective husband understands the power of covering his wife in prayer. He boldly petitions the pearly gates of heaven for power against the gates of hell on behalf of his bride and children. You love the love of your life in a way that truly understands her deep need for security: physical, financial, emotional and spiritual. Your wife trusts the protection of your presence. Your spiritual strength gives her a sense of security and peace. A secure wife is a happy wife.

    You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way. 1 Peter 3:7, NASB

    Love also protects the reputation of those it respects. It is discreet when told in confidence of the struggles of a fellow follower of Christ. Loyalty has no longing to let go of information that may harm the good standing of a friend who serves Jesus. You protect the good name of those you care for because your love covers a multitude of sins. Bear the burdens of your brothers and sisters in Christ, without baring their baggage. Discretion is the better part of protective love.

    Most importantly, lean into the Lord’s long shadow of love. Your Heavenly Father longs to love you in a way that makes you feel protected by His presence and great power. His love protects you from selfish pride with His generous grace and humility. His love protects you from Satan’s schemes with His Spirit’s enlightenment. His love protects you from  unfaithfulness with His stellar faithfulness. His love protects you from disturbing fears with His calming presence!

    For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. Psalm 117:2

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father thank you for your protective love and  security.

     

    Related Readings: Daniel 9:4; Zephaniah 3:17; Colossians 3:19; Philemon 1:7

     

    Post/Tweet today: A protective husband understands the power of covering his wife in prayer. #prayer

     

    © 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, Love

  • Fueled or Filled?

    Posted on February 25, 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:9-10 (NIV)

     

    As a mother of three little boys my life was full ... full with tiny people loving me, following me, needing me. I was never alone ... and yet on so many days I felt empty.

    My schedule was full of responsibilities as I tried to manage a part-time job, church leadership, and clutter and laundry at home that seemed insurmountable. Yet in spite of an overflowing to-do list, I felt empty.

    There was a hunger for significance that days filled with people and activity could never meet. Rather than turning to the One who could speak meaning and purpose into my heart, I desperately tried to reclaim the life I had before children ... the me I was before children ... but it was always outside my grasp.

    I know others feel this way too. Our lives can be filled with people, projects, jobs, and fancy planners or apps to manage them all, and we can still be empty on the inside. Our hearts cry in quiet despair ... is there more to life than this?

    But this was NEVER God's plan. God created us to be filled by Him. Without Him we can feel full but still be empty. Here's an example of what I mean.

    I drive a Suburban. It's a workhorse of a vehicle, bought when we needed to carry three growing and athletic boys with all their equipment. Although it's over 10 years old, it still works great when it's got fuel.

    But what would happen if one day I decided to fill my car up from the garden hose? It's right by my driveway. I could just unwind the hose, open my gas tank and turn her on. Can you imagine how much money I would save? And I would save so much time!

    If I filled my car with water, and just left it in the driveway, you'd think I was ready to go. Now what would happen if I tried to take a road trip?

    Sometimes, we try to do as women, don't we? We look really good on the outside. And we may even feel full. But what we are filled with will not sustain us. In fact, if we go very far, we will break down.

    Here's the problem we need to be aware of. We have an enemy who tries to convince us we are full. John 10:9-10 says, "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

    This enemy has been convincing us for thousands of years that God can't fully meet our heart cries. Rather than turning to God to access His unlimited storehouse of wisdom, direction, comfort, and provision, we turn to idols. We seek to fill our God-hunger with what's tangible. Sight replaces faith and it's easy to forget our personal God.

    Although I loved and served God during those hard years, I forgot He was personal enough to fuel my empty heart with meaning and purpose. When a move across country stripped my life from all responsibilities outside my home, I was desperate enough to cry out to God rather than fill my days again with more to do.

    When He finally had my attention, God stepped in to the gap to reveal Himself in a personal way. My heart was finally being fueled, and in a way that satisfied rather than left me hungry.

    I've lived life both ways - filled but empty, and fueled and content. Interestingly my life is still full with people who need me, clutter and laundry that still need to be managed and work and church responsibilities. But the emptiness is gone. God is the source of true fullness that never leaves me wanting.

    Related Resources:

    I Used to Be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer is a unique combination of biblical encouragement and practical advice to help avoid the busyness that fills but not fuels.

    If the clutter and laundry and everything else is overwhelming and pulling you away from God, Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst will encourage and spur you on.

    Reflect and Respond:
    In what specific ways are you fueling from the "garden hose" and not from the God? Ask Him to forgive you for turning to other things to satisfy you.

    Pause in this moment to connect with God. Pray for Him to fill you with His wisdom, direction, comfort, and provision.

    Power Verses:
    Isaiah 58:11, "The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." (NIV)

    Matthew 6:33, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer. 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 John

  • Risk and Reward

    Posted on February 24, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Acsah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Acsah to him in marriage. ​Judges 1:12-13

    Risk, many times, precedes reward, and reward may follow risk. War is risky because you endanger life and limb. The stakes are high. However, the rewards of war are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The victor enjoys the spoils of war, while those humiliated in defeat suffer loss. Marriage is risky because it entails the co-mingling of money, time, trust, and loyalty. What’s yours becomes hers and what’s hers becomes yours. You become one flesh, for it is a relationship of oneness (Genesis 2:24). But the rewards of marriage are love, joy, peace, companionship, sex, children, and spiritual/emotional maturity to name but a few. The many risks of marriage are overshadowed by the mammoth rewards it hands out to the husband and to the wife.

    ​Business and ministry are risky undertakings. You have prayed about an idea, and now you are on the precipice of launching your start-up enterprise. You have invested a tremendous amount of sweat equity and financial resources. Your spouse has been extremely patient, but now you are at the point of no return. The stakes are high; you may lose a ton, or you may gain a lot. There is a risk of failure, which means your confidence may crater and your reputation may reel from your inability to deliver. But the rewards are the sense of accomplishment and the ability to build an enterprise defined by a Christ-centered culture.

    Like David, your model of risk-taking may inspire others to greater vision (1 Chronicles 11:19). You have the reward of positioning yourself to invest in and influence Kingdom endeavors. Keep this your goal, regardless of whether you fail or succeed. Success will always be accompanied by mini failures. So stay focused on God and obedient to His calling. Risk and reward are kept in the right perspective through prayer. God will lead you by His Holy Spirit because these initiatives come from a divine directive. Therefore, there is no need to take unnecessary risks. Be patient, and God will lead you to just the right opportunities at just the right time.

    ​Over a lifetime, there are limited God-ordained opportunities that require risk. Therefore, allow the Almighty to guide you through the risky terrain of life. Avoid shortcuts and, instead, wait on Him.  Pay the price of patience and seize the moment only when your faith, His Word, and godly counsel validate your direction. Persevere in the process because God may ask you to do things that seem larger than life. He has prepared your way with people and resources, so follow hard after Him. And what may seem risky to others will be peaceful to you. When you draft off the wake of Holy Spirit directives, you are positioned for rewards. However, for some, the rewards remain dormant until death. Your risk may be living an obscure and obedient life to Christ, with the joy of remaining faithful as your only earthly reward. But the reward of knowing and obeying Him is eternal, and it is enough. The risk is rejection from people, but the reward is acceptance from Him.

    ​What a privilege to honor, serve, love, and worship Jesus. And then your greatest reward is when you see Him face to face and hear, “Well done” (Matthew 25:23).

    Post/Tweet: When we draft off the wake of Holy Spirit directives, we are positioned for rewards. #rewards

    © 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 Judges, Risk

  • Time to Go

    Posted on February 23, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).

    It is time to go when God says so, even though you are not sure where you are going. Abraham was a “friend of God” (James 2:23 nasb) who trusted the heart of God. He was secure in his faith, knowing his heavenly Father would not lead him astray. Are you okay with only the call of Christ as your next step? Is He calling you out of your comfort zone to a new level of faith and obedience? It is here that you hear Him quite clearly.

    Maybe He wants you to move with your company so your career can become the means of funding your passion for missions. Locals in foreign countries are keenly interested in teachers, housewives, doctors, bankers, and businessmen visiting their world. The marketplace is your ministry. It validates your value and confirms your character. The Lord will use your obedience to encourage the faith of others and especially the faith of your family.

    The faith of parents often procures the blessing of obedience on their posterity. When your teenage son sees you say yes to Christ’s challenge, he is more likely to say yes to wisdom when faced with issues of trust. Your daughter will not soon forget your family’s earnest prayers as you sought to see God’s best and to obey. Parents who obey God’s call create the same expectation for their children; so follow the Lord for them.

    Lastly, the call of Christ leads to His blessing on earth and in heaven. It may mean prosperity. It may mean poverty. Or it may mean something in between. The most important reward is that of your eternal inheritance. Leave a legacy of loving the Lord, and you will have loved your children. Follow Him faithfully; there is a much higher probability they will as well. Is it time to go? Then go with your best friend Jesus.

    The Bible says, “God’s intimate friendship blessed my house” (Job 29:4).

    Prayer: Where is Christ calling me to a higher level of faith and obedience?

    Related Readings: Nehemiah 9:7–8; Psalm 105:6–11; Acts 7:2–4; Galatians 3:6

    Post/Tweet: The Lord will use your obedience to encourage the faith of others and especially the faith of your family. #faith

    © 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 Hebrews, Faith

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