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Monthly Archives: March 2013

  • A Nation Exalted


    Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. Proverbs 14:34


    What makes a nation, any nation, great? Its goodness is what God blesses. Righteousness is the lever the Lord uses to lift up a nation as an example for other nations to follow. However, like people, a nation can fall from God’s grace. His blessing is removed when a haughty country shows no remorse for sin and even sanctions its use. A blessed nation will cease to be great when it forgets where it came from by jettisoning Jesus.


    It is when a nation is hurting that it needs healing most. The nation of Israel experienced this. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Have we drifted as a nation to not needing God? Has our sin found us out? Are we reaping what we have sown?


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


    The good news is that an exalted nation does not have people sneaking out but instead sneaking in. Peoples of the world clamor to a country Christ has blessed. The best and the brightest are drawn like a moth to a light to live somewhere they can chase their dreams. It is out of its goodness that a nation becomes a magnet for mankind. Righteousness reposes in the heart of a great nation, supporting virtue and suppressing vice.


    Lastly, a crippled country can come back, but not without consequences. It starts with individuals repenting and taking responsibility for their actions. “How can I come clean with Christ?” “Have I been financially irresponsible?” “Has greed governed my giving?” “Has fear frozen my faith?” “Have comfort and ease become my idol?” The Lord exalts a nation that stays on its knees in dependence and awe of almighty God.


    “He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised” (Deuteronomy 26:19).


    God, what do I need to do in order for You to again trust our nation with greatness?


    Related Readings: Proverbs 11:11; Jeremiah 22:2–25; Matthew 12:21; Romans 16:25–27


    Post/Tweet: Righteousness is the lever the Lord uses to lift up a nation as an example for other nations to follow. #righteousness

  • Willing to Accept


    “And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come” (Matthew 11:14).


    Hard words, hard people, and hard situations are hard to accept. Do you or someone you know feel like you are between a rock and a hard place? Do your options seem like they have dried up? Is your energy to press forward depleted? Perhaps it is time to accept the cold, hard facts of where you find yourself. Reality has a way of catching up with our denial.


    It is okay to be optimistic, but not to the peril of ignoring your predicament. Are emotional reactions driving your decisions, or do you prayerfully process the facts clearly and objectively with wise input from others you trust? Do you need to give up something—your house, your car, your career, your travel, or your expectations? What is the Lord asking you to give up so that you can gain Him and His peace? Acceptance requires action.


    Furthermore, some people  require additional patience and grace to accept. Have others wronged you to the point that your resentment is blocking your acceptance of them? You may justify your rejection of them because of their rejection of you. For example, children and parents can let us down, devastating us, but Christians do not have the option of not accepting them for who they are. Love accepts even unworthy recipients.


    Do you find yourself in a situation where you do not feel accepted—a new job, in-laws, a new school, a new city, a new relationship? You can stew in self-pity, or you can take the initiative to reach out to your rejectors. Kindness reaches out and rejects rejection. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly” (Proverbs 18:24 nkjv).


    Above all, are you willing to accept God’s call on your life? When His will is uncomfortable and uncertain, will you still follow in trust? Start by accepting Christ by faith as your Savior and Lord, and then continue to accept His commands as evidence that you are His disciple. Acceptance of the Lord allows you to love Him and other people. Acceptance cannot continue alone but is accelerated and accompanied by the Almighty’s grace and love.


    Prayer: Do I wholeheartedly accept God’s plan for my life? Whom do I need to accept in love?


    Related Readings: Genesis 4:7; Ecclesiastics 5:19; Romans 11:15; 1 Timothy 1:15


    Post/Tweet: Doubt starves to death when it is not fed. It dissolves in the presence of Jesus. #doubt


    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • Helmet of Salvation


    Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17

    The helmet of salvation saves from past sin, empowers to overcome present evil and provides a future hope of Jesus coming back for His bride, the church. Salvation is much more than a moment in time conversion when a person is delivered from darkness into light. It is an ongoing experience of the Lord saving us from ourselves, saving us from sin and saving us from the enemy’s influence. The Spirit convicts us, Jesus saves us and the Father keeps us secure in Him.

    Moreover, our mind is a battleground over what we believe. Unscrupulous spiritual forces seek to create confusion and vain speculation. We are wise to take every thought captive for Christ, so none of our ideas are locked up in a prison camp of lies. Like a magician presenting a false appearance of reality, so Satan seeks to play mind games that create fear or false hope. However,  we wisely renew our mind daily by His cleansing word. Jesus saves us from stinking thinking.

    We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5


    Does God’s good plan and future hope fill your head? Indeed, these hopeful thoughts breed healthy thinking that leads to wise living. You can be hopeful, because your provision is from the One who gave you the vision. You can be hopeful, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. You can be hopeful, because there is nothing that can separate you from the love of your Heavenly Father. You can be hopeful, because in Christ you have all you need!


    Therefore, put on heaven’s helmet of salvation. It may look unusual to a lost world, but your outward devotion reminds them of their inner need for a Savior. Be ever vigilant to protect your mind, since a blow to the head from trashy thoughts leads to bad behavior. Ask the Lord to deliver you from talking yourself into foolish decisions. Submit to Him and to trusted advisors who provide checks and balances in your decision-making. Fill your mind with Christ’s mind!


    Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

    1 Corinthians 2:16


    Prayer: Heavenly Father, save my thoughts from the influence of evil and fill me with righteous thinking.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 59:17; Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 4:8-9; 1 Thessalonians 5:8

    Post/Tweet today: The Spirit convicts us, Jesus saves us and the Father keeps us secure in Him. #salvation


    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Grace, Gold and Christ. Gabby Douglas

    Gabrielle Douglas is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she made history, becoming the first US gymnast to take home a team and an individual gold medal in the same Olympics. Gabrielle began her training at age six, and became the Virginia State Champion only two years later. When she was fourteen, she left her family in Virginia Beach to train with coach Liang Chow in Des Moines, Iowa. Under Chow’s guidance, and with tremendous faith in God’s plan for her, Gabrielle competed in the Olympic Trials and walked away with the only guaranteed spot on the team. Since her Olympic triumph, Gabrielle has used her platform to inspire millions with a powerful message: With hard work and persistence, any dream is possible.

    I sat down with Gabby to ask about her upbringing, life as an athlete and your ultimate goal.

    John: I'm wondering if I could ask you a few questions about your life and what God has been doing in and through you, and maybe if you could just give us a little precursor of what's going to take place in this next year for you as well.

    Gabby, how did you get interested in gymnastics? What started it all for you?

    Gabby: My oldest sister, she actually encouraged me. Before gymnastics she was doing a couple tricks and she taught me. She told my mom to put me in and after a while she put me in. I started my first rec class when I was six.

    John: You were only six years old?

    Gabby: Yes.

    John: Did everything just kind of started snowballing after that? You just became more or less addicted to it?

    Gabby: Yes I fell in love with the sport of gymnastics. I always loved to flip and tumble and compete. When I started my first rec class, I just loved gymnastics.

    John: Your sister was not jealous of you surpassing her at all, was she?

    Gabby: I don't think so. I think we were kind of doing our own thing.

    John: At what age, Gabby, were you when you started setting your eye on the Olympic stage?

    Gabby: I was about eight or nine years old, and I was watching the 2004 Olympics. Carly Patterson, she was the 2004 one of the gold medalists, and I saw her doing a skill called Uneven Bars. I saw what she was doing and I would kind of learn the same thing, and I decided I wanted to go to the Olympics at that time.

    John:  For someone who has not just gone to the Olympics, but has also taken gold in them, how do you keep your focus on Christ at the centerpiece of who you are?

    Gabby: It's always been a part of me. People tell me, how do you balance the two? It's not hard to balance since it has always been a part of me. I read on the plane, whenever I get it in. I read my bible. Every competition and every time I'm about to go out on the Olympic stage, I pray and say one Scripture verse before I go out just to get me confident and have a peace of mind before I go out there and compete.

    John: When you got there, did you find there were other believers that were like minded as you were?

    Gabby: No, not really. They were kind of focusing on themselves and so was I, and the other countries were too, so I kind of just kept to myself.

    John: You obviously had a support system, your mom was there with you.

    Gabby: Yes. My family went to London. They're my support system. I am so glad they could make it out to London and watch me compete. They were so excited just walking over to the arena. It was very thrilling having them watch me at the Olympics.

    John: What was it like when you found out that you got the gold? How did you feel in your heart?

    Gabby: Oh my goodness, I don't know if words can describe. It was just a wow moment. First thing I did was hug Chow and say thank you for everything, Chow. It was just an amazing feeling knowing that all the hard work and sacrifice, effort and money spent in the gym and mom spent, the sacrifices my siblings made. It was a lot of hard work and it took diligence to get me where I am today. It was a lot of emotion going everywhere.

    John: What is your goal now for the rest of this year, for 2013? What are you working on?

    Gabby: I am not quite back in the gym yet. I really hope to be back soon and I really want to attend 2016, another Olympics. That's my goal.

    John: What would you say to all the little "Gabbys" that are out there, that are four or six years old right now, that are thinking about gymnastics or thinking about your life, how would you encourage them?

    Gabby: I would just tell them take it one step at a time. There's no need to rush it, but still have your goals in line, but just have fun along the way. Competing is fun. After a competition you get goody bags and go to a banquet. I say just enjoy the ride and keep pushing yourself, give 100% at what you do.

    John: Gabby, how would you encourage somebody in their walk with Christ, especially another 17-year-old?

    Gabby: Walk with Christ, just pray, read your Bible, something just to get you motivated, whether it's your favorite scripture or whether it's your favorite quote, and something like that, I think.

    For more information on Gabby Douglas, click here.

  • Stressed-Less Living


    "Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave." Psalm 107:19-20 (NIV)

    As I sat in my abnormal psychology class, my face turned red and my heart raced. I remembered the small black box hiding under my blouse. A few days before, the cardiologist had given me a monitor and instructed me to hit a button on it every time my heart sped. It was happening again, and this time in a classroom.

    That day, my class was learning about people who have frequent physical complaints with no organic cause. What if that was me?? What if my heart issues were nothing more than stress and anxiety? I actually hoped the doctor would find something physically wrong with my heart so she wouldn't scrawl "crazy girl" on my medical chart.

    Over the next few months, with more testing, my doctor determined low thyroid levels were the organic basis for my heart problems. I began taking prescription medication, however my heart issues continued. Curious as to why, I began writing down what was happening during the times my heart raced.

    It occurred when I made a class presentation and when I walked alone in a dark parking lot. It happened when I faced confrontation and when certain people came around me. After a week of writing these triggers down, I realized my heart issues were in part related to anxiety.

    A Christian girl shouldn't struggle with anxiety, should she? Especially one majoring in counseling. I wanted desperately to hide the struggle attacking me physically and emotionally, but it was getting difficult to function. Christian counseling helped me process the cause of my anxiety. I also dug into God's Word. Psalm 107:19-20 spoke volumes to my situation.

    "Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave."

    I chose to believe and trust in the scripture map found in Psalm 107:19-20. Cry out... trust Him to save me... His Word would heal me... and I would be rescued from the grave.

    To begin, I got real with God about my pain. He already knew my heart, but crying out to Him helped me swallow my pride and acknowledge that He is capable of what I am not.

    Next, I chose to trust that He would save me. When I doubted the promises of His Word, I prayed that He would help me overcome my unbelief.

    Then I acknowledged the healing power of His Word. At first, I believed lies such as I am unlovable and will never be good enough. These lies were much louder than the scriptures I read. However, the more I repeated verses and altered my behavior to His commands, belief began to manifest.

    Last, I consented to a rescue from the grave. I hadn't been eager for freedom because anxiety was a method of control. As long as I worried, I felt in control. If Christ was going to rescue me from the grave of anxiety, I would have to give up control and trust Him. And that seemed scary! But even scarier was the idea of continued physical and emotional death. Choosing to trust Him involved a shift in my focus. I chose to see and accept the good in my life and to focus on what I could learn in this difficult season. Trusting Him meant choosing joy in the present over despair.

    It's been several years since that day in abnormal psychology class wearing my heart monitor. I've come to realize that although stress, anxiety, and worry will always try to attack us, they don't have permission to infiltrate our heart and mind. Only God has permission to do that. We can battle anxiety with Scripture truth that God is in control, has plans for us, and there is no need to be anxious over circumstances. He is our healer, rescuer, Savior. He is our freedom from the grave of anxiety, stress, and worry.

    Dear Lord, help me trust You, consent to Your healing, and spend time in Your Word and in prayer. Rescue me from my distress and from the grave. Thank You for caring about my life and that I can be free from stress. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles

    Reflect and Respond: Write out the scripture map from Psalm 107:19-20. Cry out... trust Him to save you... His Word would heal you... and you would be rescued from the grave.

    Over the next 24 hours, walk each step out.

    Power Verse: Psalm 94:19, "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Stephanie Clayton. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • Shield of Faith


    In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16

    The shield of faith is the first line of defense against the devil’s fiery arrows. It is forged on the Almighty’s anvil with the Holy Trinity’s alloy. Faith in the Father, Son and Spirit are three metals of faith that cannot be destroyed. The heat of adversity cannot melt them. The cold of relational conflict cannot break them. And the onslaught of suffering cannot bend them. Yes, the shield of faith is a heavenly refuge for the righteous to know and feel the assurance of God, three in one.

    Do you take up your shield of faith, or do you take itfor granted, while it lies on the ground, ineffective? A horizontal shield of faith is no help, but a vertical one marshals heaven’s forces. Your part is to hold onto and hold up your shield of faith; His part is to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. He extinguishes arrows of doubt with His reassuring words in Scripture and His calming presence in prayer. He extinguishes arrows of pride with your humble service.

    The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. Psalm 28:7


    Obedience is evidence of faith that is alive and engaged in God’s agenda. We know we are surrounded by spiritual support when we enlist in the Lord’s army. If we become AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave) to Christ’s commands, we are exposed to the enemy’s artillery. A solo saint is easy prey for the enemy’s ploys. Therefore, we stay accountable to a community of faith, who shield us from ignorance and foolish decisions. Faith needs support from friends.


    Lastly, wait on God to bring reinforcements to your challenging situation. Stay in your trench of trust and the Holy Spirit will renew your spirit and give you peace and hope in the middle of the your adversary’s attacks. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength in your struggles. Take up your shield of faith and take on Satan. His arrows of deceit and discouragement are extinguished by your bold belief in God. Your shield of faith is reliable. It is insured by the Father, Son and Spirit.


    This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power. 1 Peter 1:4-5

    Prayer: Heavenly Father,I place my faith and trust in You to extinquish the enemy’s flaming arrows of doubt and discouragement.

    Related Readings: Psalm 115:9-11; Isaiah 31:5; Matthew 5:37; 1 John 5:4; Revelation 12:11

    Post/Tweet today: A horizontal shield of faith is no help, but a vertical one marshals heaven’s forces. #faith


    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • The Cussing Thoughts


    "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)

    The sky was blue. The snow crisp white. The mountain slopes full of choices to be made. Which run will we take?

    We decided to tackle a "blue run" first.

    The ski officials label the slopes by color. The same officials whose job it is to inform skiers exactly what they're about to get into. Yes, those of us crazy enough to strap glorified popsicle sticks to our feet and careen down a mountain need to be informed.

    Green for beginners. Blue for intermediates. Black for advanced and those who think they're advanced until they get too far to turn back. Bummer.

    We decided we would be smart. We wouldn't overestimate our skiing abilities by tackling the black runs. But blue? Yes, please.

    The perfect skiing adventure.


    The moguls.

    We'd been on several lovely runs down the same slope when my husband Art suggested we try a different slope. Huh? I am emotionally allergic to different. I like to discover something that's good and stick with it. Why mess with what's working? With what feels good?

    "It will be great," he insisted and headed over to the new lift.

    Either I was going to follow him or be left behind. That's when I had my first not-so-nice thought. I call them cussing thoughts. It's not that I was actually saying cuss words. No, more like really negative thoughts that I wouldn't want to broadcast out loud.

    So, a new slope it would be.

    Things started out well. And then the slope got a little interesting. Have you ever heard, "Everything was going fine until we hit a bump in the road"? Yes, well, try a steep mountain full of nothing but bumps. Like the kind that could catapult you off the side of the mountain. Or snap your legs in half.

    As fear coursed through every fiber of my body, my mind filled with all things negative and derogatory. Things that were not going to make that trip down the slope an easy one.

    What I really needed was to resist the cussing thoughts so I could choose the corrected thoughts. Because dark thoughts are like a black run down the mountain. Once you get on the black slope of cussing thoughts they'll take you down to places you don't want to go.

    But in that moment, I didn't choose the corrected thoughts. I made that run so much more difficult by letting the cussing thoughts come in and bring me down.

    How like life.

    Every day we're going to hit bumpy spots.

    Someone will do something that rubs you wrong. Cussing thoughts or corrected thoughts?

    You don't get that opportunity you felt you deserved. Cussing thoughts or corrected thoughts?

    A cussing thought can become a corrected thought by asking three questions:

    * Is this thought in line with truth?

    * Is this thought in line with who I am?

    * Is this thought in line with who I want to be?

    God has taught me how to think using His truth but I have to make the choice to apply what I've learned.

    God has challenged me to live out Hebrews 10:23, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful."

    "Hold unswervingly. Hold. Unswervingly." What does this mean?

    God has challenged me to grow in my knowledge of Him but I have to choose whether or not to display this growth through my thoughts and actions.

    Think according to truth. Live according to truth. Then His hope will be displayed in my life.

    Just like mountain slopes have options for which run to take... so do I with the thoughts I think. Cussing thoughts or corrected thoughts. My choice.

    Dear Lord, I am so grateful for Your truth. Give me strength today as I hit some bumpy spots. Make my thoughts pure and in alignment with Your Word. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Feel like your thoughts are making you want to come unglued? In her New York Times best-selling book, Lysa teaches how to take control of your feelings in order to have godly reactions. Click here to purchase your copy of Unglued.

    Reflect and Respond: What cussing thoughts are you having today?

    Write down one you're struggling with. Then, write down a corrected, truth-based thought to replace it with.

    Power Verses: Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • Power in Peace


    And with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15

    The good news of the gospel is bad news for the devil and his demons. Because Jesus followers have peace with God they are able to stand in the power of God. His peace reigns over a surrendered life which gives His children confidence to conquer evil foes. This quiet conviction is rooted in the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. The One who overcame death is the One who overcomes Satan. The Prince of Peace gives peace and power for spiritual battle.

    Belief in the gospel keeps your feet of faith dry and warm in spiritual shoes fitted for you by Jesus. The enemy tries to create blisters of doubt on your heels, but when he irritates you, remind him that he has been crushed by Christ. Since Jesus gives you peace with God, you can be at peace with yourself, even with your enemies. Indeed, an adversary who sees you ready for spiritual battle looks for other unprepared victims. Faith footwear causes culprits to flee in fear.

    When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them. Proverbs 16:7


    Moreover, make sure to help other friends and family find peace with God, so they are equipped to expose and defeat the enemies schemes. A vague belief in God is insufficient to fight a savvy spiritual foe. It is the power of the gospel that gets the attention of the adversary. When you lead another to trust in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of their sins: peace replaces pride, faith unseats fear and gratitude graduates guilt. The gospel gives us inner stability to overcome external chaos.


    Yes, your feet of faith will be soiled by sin requiring washing by Christ’s cleansing grace. So, stay focused on spiritual foot care and footwear, because it is foundational in resisting unrighteousness. Invite the Holy Spirit to fit your feet in peace with His caressing comfort. You are ready to stand firm against an onslaught of lies and deception when the gospel is your reminder of why you lovingly follow Jesus. Confront bad news with the good news of God!


    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I rest in Your inner peace, so I can calmly confront outer chaos.

    Related Readings: Gensis 3:14-16; Isaiah 52:7; Romans 1:1-17, 10:15; 2 Timothy 1:8

    Post/Tweet today: A vague belief in God is insufficient to fight a savvy spiritual foe. It’s the gospel’s power that gets the adversary’s attention. #gospel


    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Pursued


    "Now he had to go through Samaria ... and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, 'Will you give me a drink?'" John 4:4, 6-7 (NIV)

    She didn't know who He was and couldn't help but wonder why He was talking to her, a Samaritan woman.

    When He spoke, she heard gentleness in His voice. Kindness and humility in His simple request for a drink. In His eyes she saw acceptance, not judgment; love, not hate.

    Many of us know her as the Samaritan woman, but I like to call her Sam. It makes her feel more like the real woman she was. A woman who struggled with hurt, rejection and loneliness.

    Today's key verse says Jesus "had to go through Samaria." Yet theologians would tell us Jews considered Samaritans to be the scum of the earth and would do everything to avoid them. In fact, usually they would travel around Samaria—but not Jesus.

    He had to go through Samaria. Could it be because He knew Sam would be there?

    Typically women traveled together to the well in the cool of the day, escaping the heat of the sun since they carried heavy jars filled with water back to their homes. But Sam walked by herself during the hottest part of the day.

    Instead of avoiding the scorching sun, many believe she went to the well at noon to avoid the scorching pain of others' rejection and judgment. Sam had been married five times and now she was living with a man who wasn't her husband.

    The weight of the water-filled jar in the heat must have been almost unbearable, but the weight of her neighbors' words, reminding her of her failed marriages, was more than she could take.

    When Jesus met her, Sam was running an errand and running from those who knew of her failures, shame and imperfections. Pursuing her with His perfect love, Jesus timed it so she would run into Him.

    He initiated conversation and asked her for the one thing she had to offer: water. It wasn't much but it was a start.

    Sam stopped and listened. She let Him speak words of assurance and acceptance into the broken, insecure, empty places of her heart.

    In the same way Jesus intentionally pursued Sam in one of the loneliest parts of her day, He is there in the midst of your sometimes lonely, imperfect life. He is there when your disappointments and failures leave you empty and make you doubt your worth and purpose.

    He is there when you're going through the motions, aware of what needs to be done but unaware of how you're going to do it all.

    He is there during endless days filled with projects, diapers or laundry when you're wondering if you'll ever find meaning in the monotony.

    He is there when you're criticizing yourself and questioning whether you have what it takes to be a Godly woman.

    He sees you. He notices all you do and He knows all that you long for. In fact, Jesus is the only One who can meet your deepest need to be known, accepted and pursued simply because of who you are.

    Today He is pursing you with His gift of perfect love—love that is patient and kind, love that keeps no record of your wrongs, love that won't give up on you. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, He is there. Will you take time to stop and talk to Him and then quiet your thoughts so you can listen to His?

    Dear Lord, thank You for pursuing me. I want to know and rely on the love You have for me, and live in the security of it! When I feel afraid, insignificant or alone, help me turn to You and remember You are there! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: Do you long to feel loved, accepted and pursued? If so, A Confident Heart by Renee Swope is just the book for you! Chapter by chapter, Renee will show you how to live in the power of God's promises and the security of God's heart and love for you!

    Reflect and Respond: How does it make you feel to know Jesus is pursuing you in every moment of every day? Take a minute to tell Him what assurance you need from Him today.

    Power Verse: Jeremiah 31:3b, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • Breastplate of Righteousness


    Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place. Ephesians 6:14

    The most strategic piece of spiritual armor may be the breastplate of righteousness. All other weapons are directly affected by this central defensive device for God. At salvation a new believer is made righteous in Christ, but going forward there  growth in grace that is practical righteousness lived out day by day. Indeed, the breastplate covers vital organs that give life. Likewise, holiness protects the heart of affection, the well  of emotion and the lungs of prayer.

    A holy heart of affection sets its sights on loving God. These warriors of the light are enamored with their Savior’s agenda, not their own. So, when you put on the breastplate of righteousness you invite the Holy Spirit to be your suitor. Nothing else and  no one else is a close competitor in your loyalty to the Lord Jesus. As a #2 pencil is unable to penetrate a steel door, so the fiery darts of the devil fall harmlessly to the ground when encountering Christ’s righteousness in you.

    This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. Romans 3:22


    Emotions exposed are fair game for the enemy. The devil loves drama, so he can sow seeds of confusion to create a crisis. However, when our emotions are under the influence of righteousness, we do not submit to sideways energy. We keep the bigger picture of what God is doing. Our central focus is Jesus, not our own interests. Under the Holy Spirit’s control we channel our emotions into productive prayers and selfless service. Righteousness avoids wounds.


    Satan aimlessly attempts to scratch through your steel plate of righteousness, but to no avail. His taunting and pawing tries to constrict your spiritual breath with fear, but he is rebuffed by your righteous prayers. Yes, you exhale any uncleanliness in humble confession and you inhale by faith the clean air of God’s grace. Your prayers are a result of righteousness and they result in righteousness. Therefore, you can trust the Lord. He has your front and He’s got your back!


    Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

    Prayer: Heavenly Father I am grateful for Your protection by the righteousness I have in Christ.

    Related Readings: Psalm 132:9; Isaiah 59:17; 1 Corinthains 1:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:8

    Post/Tweet today: Your prayers are a result of righteousness and they result in righteousness. #prayer


    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

Items 31 to 40 of 62 total

Proclaim the Good News | Mark 16:15
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