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Monthly Archives: February 2013

  • Shattered Plans

    Posted on February 3, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart.”  Job 17:11

     

    Sometimes, our plans do not go as we had hoped. In fact they are shattered. They’re obliterated in front of our very eyes. You were almost breathless when  your dismissal finally sunk in. In your shock, you could have been pushed over with a feather. Certainly plans are made to be adjusted, but this one blew up in your face. You were devastated. You had positioned your career for this one opportunity, and it failed to materialize. Even now, your emotions vacillate between bewilderment and anger toward God, and your future feels gnarled and disjointed. You feel emasculated. It doesn’t make any sense. The money was there, along with the relationships and resources that were poised for deployment. It was as if the stars were aligned. Then suddenly, your plan became irrelevant and it vanished overnight.

     

    Now you are positioned to start over. It is hard to assemble the energy to withstand another assault on your vision. It is time to give up and give in to defeat because God is still in control. He controls your plans and their successful launch. He can still be trusted going forward. Just because things have not worked out according to your timetable is no reason to quit trusting Him. Trust the Lord with a re-engineered plan that will be better than the old one. His ways are much better than your ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

     

    There is no human comprehension to what God has in store if you remain faithful to Him. Indeed, His ways (Isaiah 2:3) can be hard to understand. The cycle of digesting His will into your mind and soul is like “chewing cud,” a repetitive process that requires time and patience. The desires of your heart need validation. This is part of His plan, and this is where prayer plays a vital role. Take the broken pieces of your plan and place them at the feet of Jesus. He will take your shattered plan and piece it back together with His enhancements. A crushed plan in the hand of Christ has much more potential than your perfect plan buried in your grasp. You limit the Lord by holding on in distrust or fear.

     

    Lastly, like the expressed genius of an artist, the newly formed plan has the depth and breadth of a masterpiece. It is an original crafted by the hand of God. Therefore, do not settle for anything less than your Master’s plan. His master plan is monumental and can move mountains. Your desires may be dead, but now is the time to submit to God in a fresh and humble way. Watch in delight as He resurrects your desires to align and connect with His. He has slowed you down so your plans partner with His. See your shattered plan as a blessing, not a curse. God loves to take what is broken, lift it up, and make it whole again. Place your plans and your heart in His hands.

     

    He is the author and the finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). He is the plan provider, and He makes shattered plans better.

     

    Post/Tweet: A crushed plan in the hand of Christ has much more potential than our perfect plan buried in our grasp. #plan

  • God or Money

    Posted on February 2, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money” (Matthew 6:24).

     

    How do you know if you love God or money more? Ask yourself if you worry more about missing your prayer time or missing your paycheck. Are you more anxious about what the Almighty thinks, or do you obsess over the opinion of others? Are you driven to seek God’s kingdom first or to blindly build your own kingdom? Devotion to the eternal or the temporal is a choice. It cannot be to both. One really captures your worship.

     

    Money makes promises it cannot keep, like security, peace, and prosperity. But the Lord makes promises He does keep, like grace, forgiveness, joy, and contentment.  When the commands of these two contradict, will you follow Christ or cash? Decide now, so when you are in the emotion of the moment you do not give in to glittering gold.

     

    What keeps you up at night? Is it how to make more money or how to make more of Jesus? Set your affections above, and you will be more effective below. The Lord is looking for His children with whom He can entrust more of His blessings. He longs for the faithful who use their finances to draw lost souls to salvation, hurting people to healing, and who boldly pray, “Your kingdom come…on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

     

    Perhaps you take your family on a mission trip to see how the masses live with little money but with a lot of the Lord. It is revolutionary for a soul that has been seduced by the mistress of money to see how believers without stuff affectionately embrace their Lord and Savior Jesus. Expose your faith to the poor, so you are liberated from wealth.

     

    This is a heart issue. Who captures your affections—your Savior or your stuff? Money makes a poor master but a useful servant. Indeed, Jesus is the trustworthy Master with whom you can place your faith and devotion. Money tries to maneuver itself into a place of priority, but by faith you can relegate it to serve righteous causes. Love Him, not it.

     

    “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

     

    Prayer: What masters my mind and holds my heart—God or money? Who needs my money?

     

    Related Readings: Malachi 3:8–10; Matthew 6:10; Colossians 3:1–10; 1Timothy 6:6–10

     

    Taken from the Febraury 1st reading in the new 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God” vol. 2... ... http://bit.ly/Tv6y9a

     

    Post/Tweet: Set your affections above, and you will be more effective below. #heaven

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • Self-Deception

    Posted on February 1, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12

     

    Self-deception is the worst kind of dishonesty because it is so convincing. Subtly it convenes our mind and emotions to ally around a lie. For example, self-deception whispers into the ear of our heart, “You are so smart and capable,” but it forgets to include Christ’s influence in its instruction. Then we wander down a prayerless path, forged in our own strength, only to discover we missed God’s best by a mile.

     

    In reality, we are only as prosperous as our Lord allows. He makes our path straight and successful as He defines success. “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths” (Proverbs 4:11). To which voice do you adhere—your own or your Savior’s? Perhaps His plan is for you to make less money and have more family time. Maybe you turn down this promotion and trust Him for a better one in a different season.

     

    “The pride of your heart has deceived you” (Obadiah 1:3).

     

    We can talk ourselves into anything, especially as it relates to money. I can easily justify a new house, car, kitchen, furniture, floors, or grill. But do I really need to upgrade or just repair what I have? How can the Lord trust me with something newer if I have not been a good steward of what He has already given me? Trustworthy people can be trusted with more, but the untrustworthy lose opportunities. Thus manage well your present possessions.

     

    Self-deceivers are self-destroyers; so avoid self-delusion by being accountable. Give others permission to ask you uncomfortable, even hard, questions. Better to be embarrassed sooner than humiliated later. Humility invites the inspection of loving friends into our lives. You do much better when others provide loving accountability.

     

    “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be” (Jeremiah 17:9 msg).

     

    Prayer: Am I transparent with my money and motives? What do God and godly advisors think?

     

    Related Readings: Psalm 1:6; Isaiah 59:8; Matthew 7:13–14; Galatians 6:3

     

    Post/Tweet today: Self deception convenes our mind and emotions to ally around a lie. #lie

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Follow Me - an intro to David Platt's new book Pt. 3

    Posted on February 1, 2013 by Family Christian

    David

    David Platt, author of the New York Times bestselling book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, wants to know: "What did Jesus really mean when He said, 'Follow me'?"

    For the next few days, we are going to be offering some video snippets from David regarding his new book.

    Customizable Jesus

  • How Do I Know If I'm Called

    Posted on February 1, 2013 by Wendy Blight

    Wendy

    "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

    I stood at the sink and gazed out the window. In that moment, the Lord impressed the strangest words on my heart: "Wendy, your house will become a house of prayer and teaching."

    The thought of opening my heart and home to share Jesus was not even a blip on my radar screen. I did not know a soul in this new town and had no idea what God meant by those words. Was He really calling me to teach and pray for women?

    As I sought God's will for that time in my life, He led me to Ephesians 2:10: "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." It was the start of God confirming His calling in my life at that time.

    Here are some steps the Lord showed me to know I was hearing Him correctly:

    Humble your heart before the Lord.
    Humility is necessary for a teachable heart. To discover our calling, we must set aside our agendas and surrender to God's. We cannot have a predetermined plan and then invite God to complete it. We need to ask, "What are You calling me to do right here and now?"

    Examine your life experiences and current circumstances.
    God uses life experiences (family, education, vocation, spiritual gifts, trials, etc.) to mold, train, and equip us. Sometimes what we want to hide - the horrible trials we want to forget - are the very things God wants to use the most.

    We all suffer trials. Sometimes we surrender and lean on God. When we do, we come out the other side victorious and God is glorified. Nothing is worthless. Everything has value. God uses it all to shape us for our calling.

    Apply your gifts, talents and abilities.
    Gifts and abilities will give you the strongest indication of what your calling is. God will match your calling with your capabilities. He equips those He calls.

    In determining your calling, look at your gifts:

    • What are your strengths?
    • What brings out your passion?
    • How do people respond when you act in your giftedness?

    Read, study and pray God's Word.
    As we seek God's calling, He will direct our steps and confirm what He says. The most common way He does this is through His Word. He can also use avenues like pastors, friends, and Bible studies to direct us, or even things in the culture around us.

    Trust in God's timing and in His answer.
    God will lead you to do things that require you to TRUST in Him. They will always be perfectly orchestrated and timed to display His honor and glory.

    The more you need God to do a task, the more you will rely on Him. If you feel rushed, unorganized, and lack inner peace, these are signs you are not in His will or it is not in His timing.

    As I opened my home for my first Bible study, joy and amazement filled my heart as the women came through the door one by one. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I remembered God's Word to me that first day in my kitchen. "Wendy, your house will become a house of prayer and teaching."

    What has He told you that you are called to do?

    Father in heaven, thank You that You have good plans for us. You know our every need, deepest desires, and hurting places. Lord, as we seek to know You and the calling You have on us more, would You open the eyes of our heart to see the wonderful things You have planned? In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Replace any lack of self-confidence with lasting God-confidence with A Confident Heart by Renee Swope!

    Reflect and Respond:
    Humble your heart before the Lord.
    Examine your life experiences and current circumstances.
    Apply your gifts, talents and abilities.
    Read, study and pray God's Word.
    Trust in God's timing and in His answer.

    Power Verse:
    Philippians 1:6, "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.

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

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