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Author Archives: Family Christian

  • Letter from Holley Gerth

    Hello, friend!

    Since I first wrote my book You’re Already Amazing, almost one hundred thousand women have accepted my dare to embrace who they are and become all God created them to be. As I connected with many of them as an author, life coach, and speaker, I often heard women say they wanted more ways to apply the message in deeper ways or wanted to do the book as a study at church or with friends but weren’t sure how. You're Already Amazing That’s why I’m so thrilled to be bringing you the You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide and DVD. It builds on the foundation of You’re Already Amazing by giving you everything you need to do the book as a group study. It also offers brand-new concepts, bonus material and activities you won’t find anywhere else, and even more ways to apply the message so you feel like you have your own personal life coach every step of the way. This study won’t just give you more information—it will lead to true transformation.

    You really can know who God created you to be and what he’s called you to do, and you really can have a realistic plan for pursuing his purpose for you. I know that’s true because I’ve already seen thousands of women’s lives changed in powerful ways. Now it’s your turn.

    If you’d like to join me, check out a sample of the LifeGrowth Guide and videos online. Then perhaps gather a few friends (and your favorite coffee, tea, or other treats!) and get ready to embrace this life-changing truth—that you truly are already amazing!

    Cheering you on, Holley Gerth

  • How to Leave A Legacy of Love

    How to Leave A Legacy of Love by Perry Noble

    “Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NIV)

    Our world is confused about love — what true love is and how it makes a difference. Too many of us have equated love with a feeling and based it on emotion. The only problem with that is as soon as the feeling is gone, the love follows. We’ve made it flowery and feeble when it’s actually the greatest gift that God gave us! (1 Corinthians 13:13)

    If we step back and look at the bigger picture of what love is — what God created it to be — it changes everything.

    The thing I’m realizing about life is no matter where you are or what season you’re walking through, you’ll find yourself in spaces that require you to lead, which come hand‐in‐hand with challenges to love.

    Career changes, new life phases — whatever it may be, we all get thrown into situations where we have to make decisions and choose to grow in who we are and how we love.

    The key to leadership is love, so I want to make sure that as I go through life, I leave traces of love behind me. Like our key verse says, I want to “Do everything in love.” I’ve been thinking about what that looks like in everyday life, and here are three ways each of us can leave a legacy of love:

    1. Seize opportunities to lead. No matter who you are or what you do, you are a leader.

    It’s hard for a lot of people to wrap their minds around that. They think they are too quiet or too loud, too unique or too ordinary, too opinionated or too meek, and the list goes on. The fact is God uniquely designed each of us with gifts and abilities to lead and love others. That includes YOU!

    • If you’re a mom, you are a leader to your kids.
    • If you’re the boss at work, you are a leader of your organization.
    • If you’re a student, you are a leader at your school.

    If we want to leave legacies of love, we need to welcome these opportunities and love the people who come along with them.

    2. Understand the power of your words. How different could our relationships look if we just committed to saying positive things like “thank you” and “great job” more often? A LOT.

    Our words carry more weight than we know.

    As leaders, our words can speak life into the people around us if we’re willing to run them through a filter of love. This doesn’t mean that we have to sugarcoat everything or shy away from the truth. It simply means we should be slow to critique and quick to compliment.

    3. Commit to helping others succeed. If I am successful in life, then good for me. But if those around me are successful? THAT will define me as a leader. It will be the legacy I leave.

    Our friends, coworkers, spouses and kids won’t remember us for what we accomplish, but instead what we helped them to accomplish and how we cheered them on along the way.

    They’ll remember how we loved them.

    I SERIOUSLY want everyone around me to live a life that exceeds their dreams as they become who God created them to be. That’s why I’m committed to seeing the people around me reach their goals.

    When people in our lives know we have their best interest at heart, they can trust us. That trust allows them to experience what true, unconditional love feels like — that love leaves a legacy!

    So as you go about your day, do everything in love. When you’re shuttling your kids around, do everything in love. When you’re at your job, do everything in love. When you’re taking care of small details you’re convinced no one will ever notice, do everything in love.

    When you model what you consider important, those around you take notice. Celebrate love. Display it. The most lasting thing we can do with our lives and leadership is to love because love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8). That’s why leaders who love are leaders who leave a legacy.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for lovingly leading us. Help us to love and lead others in a way that honors You and leaves a legacy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (NIV)

    1 Corinthians 13:8a, “Love never fails.” (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: What opportunity could you seize right now to take a step toward leaving a legacy of love?

    © 2016 by Perry Noble. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Tyndale for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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

  • I Still Love You, Lord

    I Still Love You, Lord by Tracie Miles

    “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8 (NLT)

    The last few months have been one of the hardest seasons I’ve ever experienced. A situation in my personal life went haywire and left me with an aching heart.

    There have been days when I didn’t know if I could get through. Days when God’s strength and my faith were the only reasons I got out of bed. Days filled with “whys.” Days when I’ve questioned God about suffering, the unfairness of life at times and unanswered prayers. I’ve carried the weight of a myriad of overwhelming emotions, fear and heartache.

    If I’m honest, I can’t say I’ve felt thankful for my circumstances or focused on God’s promise of having a plan and a purpose for everything. I can say I have been upset with God at times, questioning His ways and feeling discouraged, fearful and down.

    Yet recently in the midst of an especially trying day, my heart was changed during a time of prayer. I heard myself say something that caught me off guard. It was just one simple statement consisting of five simple words that rolled effortlessly off of my lips:

    I still love You, Lord.

    Even though my mind was swirling with hurt and negative thoughts, my heart was swirling with love for God, even when I wasn’t really thinking about it. I realized I loved Him unconditionally, even though in that moment I had felt forgotten. I experienced a surge of peace and relief, prompting me to trust God’s ways, and then today’s key verse came to mind.

    Romans 5:8 reminds us of this beautiful, holy love which is not based on us meeting certain conditions, adhering to strict rules or proving our worthiness. A love we are blessed with simply because of who He is. It’s not because of who we are, but because of what He’s done for us, not because of anything we do for Him. It’s a love we don’t deserve, but enjoy nonetheless.

    When life is good, it’s easy and natural to love the Lord. But when life falls apart unexpectedly, it’s not quite so easy. In fact, it might even feel impossible. Those thoughts and doubts don’t make us a bad person or a failure at being a believer; they merely make us human.

    The upside is these thoughts can force us to ask ourselves a really hard question: Despite everything — will I still love Jesus with my whole heart, soul and mind?

    Our honest answer to this question serves as an indicator of whether we love the Lord all the time, or just in the good times — when He gives, and when He takes away, when He answers our deepest prayers, or when it seems He isn’t listening at all.

    Maybe you can relate to the emotions and feelings I’ve been experiencing. Maybe you are facing a difficult time, an undeserved hurt or a painful loss. Maybe you’ve been wondering if God hears your prayers, or if He has forgotten you. Maybe you’ve doubted if He loves you, and if you could still love Him, in the face of your hardships.

    Sweet friend, you are not alone.

    Even the most faithful followers of Jesus have times when they find themselves doubting not only His love during difficult times, but maybe even His existence. Times when they wonder if His love is meant for them, or just everyone else. The truth is, those thoughts are from the enemy who wants to cloud our minds, make us bitter and pull us away from God. But Scripture tells us God sent His Son to die for us, even though we were still sinners, because He loves us unconditionally.

    This brief encounter with God helped me refocus on how blessed I am to have His love, especially when life isn’t perfect.

    God’s love is unconditional, with no strings attached. I’m so thankful for His gentle whisper on that particular day which reminded me how important it is to love Him unconditionally in return.

    Dear Lord, forgive me for doubting Your ways or Your love for me. Fill me with peace and joy. Equip me to focus on Your everlasting love, push past my doubts and love You unconditionally despite my circumstances. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: Jeremiah 31:3b, “… I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (NIV)

    Job 1:21b, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (NIV)

    1 John 4:9‑10, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: What’s one thing causing you to doubt God’s love for you? How might focusing on how much He loves you unconditionally change your heart and attitude?

    Repeat these words daily as much as needed: I still love You, Lord.

    © 2016 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

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

  • Youth Revival!

    Back in 2013, Hillsong Young & Free debuted with a new wave of music defined by a young generation of believers. Their album, We Are Young & Free, quickly rose to the top of the charts, hitting #1 on the Billboard Christian/Gospel Chart.

    Through the worship and praise of God, Young & Free aims to bring truth to the youth and young adults of the world. In their own words, they “sing passionately of their belief grounded in the love, grace and freedom found in having a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

    Bringing more new energy to the worship scene, today marks the release of their second full-length live album, Youth Revival. Each song seamlessly blends electronic beats with lyrics that are the overflow of their hearts and a reflection of life in Jesus. The album is passionate and praise-filled, with songs that will make you sing, dance and be thankful.

    Hillsong Young & Free is about more than just making music. Their mission is to awaken their generation to Jesus and to empower youth to step into their calling.

    They believe that through their music, “hearts will awaken to the light of Christ, captives will be set free and the name of Jesus will be made known.”

    Check out the new album today >

  • Painting Memories With My Child

    Leah DiPascal February 26, 2016

    Painting Memories With My Child LEAH DIPASCAL

    “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed …” Proverbs 31:27-28a (NIV)

    When I was young the hardest years for me were in middle school.

    I can remember 7th grade being the absolute worst. Wearing glasses certainly wasn’t trendy back then and waking up to a new candy-apple-red blemish on my face had become a common occurrence.

    I dreamed of having beautiful soft curls like my best friend, Kerry, but the poker straight hair growing from my roots refused to bounce like hers. Instead, each strand hung limp and lifeless, while my bangs clumped together in an oily mess on my forehead.

    Let’s just say I wasn’t feeling like Miss Congeniality.

    To make matters worse, my sister was a few years older and I would constantly compare her accomplishments to my failures.

    She was a popular high school cheerleader … and I had nothing to cheer about. In my eyes, she did everything right. In my thoughts, I couldn’t do anything right.

    Although I figured no one noticed my frustration, my momma did and one day she said to me, “Why don’t we start a new hobby together.” I was reluctant at first, but with a little prompting Momma persuaded me to consider the idea.

    A couple weeks later we went to our very first painting class at a local artist’s home.

    The combined odor of acrylics, oil-based paint and turpentine would later become a scent I’d learn to love over the years as Momma and I kept our weekly date — every Tuesday night — to paint together.

    We’d sit side-by-side with paintbrushes in hand, as Momma would encourage me by pointing out what she loved about my paintings. Months passed and my confidence slowly grew as our relationship deepened to a whole new level.

    Looking back, I realize the tremendous investment Momma chose to make during that awkward middle school year when I was struggling.

    She could have simply signed me up to take the classes on my own or suggested I spend more time with friends, which would have been a lot cheaper. Instead, Momma set aside other priorities and rearranged her schedule to devote time with me.

    Just like the Proverbs 31 woman in today’s key verse: “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed … ” 

    My mother was keenly aware of what was going on in our home and took notice of her little girl who was hurting inside.

    Her attention to detail, and effort in making a difference, afforded me the wonderful privilege to “arise and call her blessed.”

    To this day, every time I look at one of Momma’s oil paintings, my eyes swell with tears as I’m reminded of her devotion and love for me. I’m also challenged in the best way to be keenly aware of what’s going on in my own home and take notice if one of my kids seems to be struggling.

    I aspire to be like my mother. To always be willing to set aside other priorities and rearrange my schedule to devote time with my children and relationally invest in them.

    As I make these small deposits of love, I trust and pray that God will dispense a beautiful return as my kids arise and one day call me blessed.

    Heavenly Father, help me every day to be the kind of momma who invests in her children by encouraging, loving and dedicating time to do special things with them. Knit our hearts together as we share simple moments that will create beautiful memories — not only for me, but also for my children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (ESV)

    Isaiah 66:13a, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you …” (NIV)

    RELATED RESOURCES: Could you or someone you know use some practical wisdom and a little less guilt in parenting? You might appreciate Lysa TerKeurst’s, Am I Messing Up My Kids? … and Other Questions Every Mom Asks.

    Stop by Leah DiPascal’s blog today for more encouragement on parenting and sign up for this week’s giveaway. 

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: Calling all moms! How about taking your child or teenager on a date this month? Keep it simple and don’t feel pressured into spending a lot of money. Time together is what matters the most.

    Consider making deposits of love toward your child today by spending more time alone with them. Be attentive, offer encouraging words or simply listen as they share a story or a dream they hope will one day come true. These special moments are worth the investment and will make a difference in your child’s life.

    © 2016 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.

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

  • What I Never Noticed About Jesus

    Lysa TerKeurst February 25, 2016

    What I Never Noticed About Jesus  LYSA TERKEURST

    “Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.” Mark 6:51-52 (NIV)

    I ran my hand over the large rock and closed my eyes. What an incredible moment it was for me to stand where Jesus once stood in the Holy Land. I opened my Bible and let the full reality of all He was facing fall fresh on me.

    I wanted to read the Scriptures leading up to this moment where He sat on Mt. Arbel and prayed and watched the disciples, just before walking on water.

    But I cautioned myself to read the uncommon sentences. Too many times I highlight verses telling of Jesus’ miracles but skim right past those telling of deeply human realities.

    In Mark chapter 5, we see Jesus interacting with a woman desperate to be healed from her bleeding disorder. He frees her from her suffering and gives her peace. And we find Him healing the young daughter of a synagogue ruler.

    Miracle!

    But we also find in verse 40a, “But they laughed at him.”

    In Mark chapter 6 we see Jesus sending out the 12 disciples and as they preached, “They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them,” (v. 13.)

    Miracle!

    But we also find earlier in verse 3b, “… And they took offense at him.”

    We find Him having great compassion on the people who followed Him in the feeding of the 5,000. They all ate and were satisfied by five loaves and two fish.

    Miracle!

    But we also see that Jesus and His disciples were physically depleted, “because so many were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat,” (v. 31a).

    Messy realities tucked in the midst of miracles.

    And isn’t it so like us to miss this about Jesus’ everyday life? We hyper-focus on the lines of Scripture containing the miracles so much that we miss the detail of the mess.

    Jesus had people laugh at Him and reject Him and misunderstand Him. We know this in theory, but as I sat on that rock that day I suddenly realized what an everyday reality this was for Him.

    Now, here’s what happens to me in my life: I get so focused on the mess, I miss the miracles.

    And that’s the very thing that happens to the disciples right after the feeding of the 5,000. They got in a boat and strong winds caused the water to get very rough. The disciples were straining at the oars as the realities of life beat against them.

    Jesus was on the mountainside praying. From Mt. Arbel, Jesus could see the middle of the lake where the disciples were. Mark 6:47-48a, “Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them” (NIV).

    Jesus saw them. He went down to them. And they missed the miracle in the midst of the mess.

    The same miracle worker that multiplied the fish and the loaves was now walking on the water near them and they thought He was a ghost. They were terrified and then were amazed, but they didn’t understand, for the Scriptures say, “their hearts were hardened,” (v. 52b).

    It seems to me Jesus has a pattern of performing miraculous acts in the setting of messes.

    This revelation led me to a gut-honest prayer, Oh Lord, let me see this. Please don’t let the messes of life harden my heart and blind me to Your presence. Instead of being so terrified in the midst of the mess, might I keep the picture of You, watching me, always watching me. And might I find courage in the assurance that You will come to me with Your miraculous presence. 

    Yes, I need to spend a whole lot less time trying to fix the messes in my life … and a whole lot more time keeping my heart soft in the process.

    Then I won’t miss the miraculous work of Jesus in the midst of my mess.

    Dear Lord, You are so good. Help me see Your hand working even in the midst of things that seem to be messes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV)

    John 14:21, “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (NIV)

    RELATED RESOURCES:  Point your family to the reality of Jesus this Easter season by reading about Him in the The Jesus Storybook Bible! We also have several other life-changing resources that we’d love to share with you. Click here to find out more.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: Are you in the middle of a difficult or frustrating season in your life right now? Ask God to open your eyes to see His miracles in the midst of your mess.

    © 2016 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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

  • Sandpaper Spouses

    Karen Ehman February 24, 2016

    Sandpaper Spouses  KAREN EHMAN

    “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

    “This is NOT what I signed up for!” I cried out to God as I sat cross-legged on the bedroom floor of our first apartment, my eyes stinging with hot tears. Out in the living room sat my husband — bewildered, completely exasperated, unable to handle his wife’s volatile emotions.

    I was a brand new bride of just six weeks. Our thank-you notes for the wedding gifts hadn’t even been sent! But already I had buyer’s remorse. Or I guess more accurately, “bridal remorse.” All I knew was that this “Happily Ever After” thing was not-so-happy after all.

    The first few years of my marriage were rocky and rough. I had envisioned a relationship of marital bliss. Flowers. Candlelight dinners. Holding hands at the movies. Long strolls on the beach.

    Then the wall of reality hit. Instead of the candlelight dinner, it was burnt roast. When he once again came home late from work, I wrongly interpreted that as him caring little about my culinary efforts. We didn’t get to the hand-holding at the theater much because we couldn’t make up our minds about which show to see. And I strolled on the beach, all right — all alone — just after I stormed away from my husband following yet another argument.

    Although we possessed a mutual love for each other (really we did) our personalities and approach to life could not have been more different! In fact, we joke today that if we went on one of those online dating sites, instead of matching us up as perfect soul mates, the computer screen would blink a bright red message “DO NOT DATE! TOTALLY INCOMPATIBLE!”

    Often, my husband and I just plain rub each other the wrong way. Yep. We’re different. We are what I call “sandpaper spouses” and our rough-around-the-edges relationship often finds us turning to God when we feel like turning away from each other.

    When we encounter conflict, I am verbal and process my thoughts quickly, backing him into a corner. He prefers to pause and ponder before sorting his thoughts or sharing his feelings. This difference makes him view me as critical and combative. And I label him an avoider, accusing him of caring little about resolving conflict.

    When making decisions, he is methodical and thorough, carefully weighing all options. I prefer to decide in a snap and forge ahead to the next thing. This difference causes me to label him as indecisive and tempts him to brand me knee-jerk and impulsive.

    Having a spouse who faces life differently can often tempt us to attack each other. But what if instead we were to flip the situation, and see things that rub us the wrong way as blessings instead … that enable our spiritual growth?

    Today’s key verse states, “Iron sharpens iron.” If your kitchen knife is dull, you sharpen it by grinding it against a rough stone, not by rubbing it on cushy cotton. In the same way, the rough patches in our personalities can help sharpen us in the areas of love, compassion and patience — mostly patience!

    And I know from experience that my less-than-perfect marriage has grown my prayer life immensely as I take my concerns to God during times of tumult.

    My husband’s slower-paced decision making causes me to pause and pray before I forge ahead and consider other options I might not have thought of initially. My verbal processing encourages my husband to talk through issues rather than stuff his feelings inside, where they might fester and explode later. And our different philosophies teach us patience and perspective.

    Will you join me today in thanking God for sandpaper spouses? Rather than our differences driving us crazy, instead may they drive us all straight to our knees.

    Father, I want to see the differences in my marriage as opportunities for growth as I take my concerns — and my attitudes and responses — to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: Colossians 3:12-13, “Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the LORD has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (ESV)

    Hebrews 13:4a, “Marriage should be honored by all …” (NIV)

    RELATED RESOURCES: For a free printable entitled “10 Ways to Love Your Sandpaper Spouse” and a chance to win Karen Ehman’s book LET. IT. GO.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith, visit Karen’s blog.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: In what ways does dealing with personality differences in marriage help to smooth out your rough edges? List what it has done for you. (For example: developed patience, driven you to prayer, etc.)

    © 2016 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

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

  • Curious Faith by Logan Wolfram

    We're all born driven to explore, marvel, and experience the adventure of life. But as responsibilities pile up, we slowly exchange that unbridled curiosity for a sense of control and routine. Wolfram shows you how to rescue your now by exploring what is possible with a God who is unlimited, unpredictable, and ever-loving!

    Family Christian is very excited about Logan's new book.  We had the opportunity to catch up with Logan and get this little video to share with you.



    "Logan Wolfram would give you full access to her pantry if you lived next door. She is a plate-juggling mom and interior decorator turned writer, speaker, and host of the Allume Conference. She is a passionate leader who desires to see women live fully in Christ."

    We first heard of Logan as a blogger.  She had a great blog Curious Faith by Logan Wolframwhich eventually led to her starting a Christian blogging conference called Allume.  It has been a joy to watch her journey from blogger to speaker to author.  She has an authentic voice and when you meet her, it is like having coffee with your best friend.

    We are proud to be selling Curious Faith and excited to give you chance to win a copy!  We are giving away 2 copies of her book Curious Faith and 2 t-shirts!  Each winner will win 1 book and 1 shirt (randomly selected size).

    Enter below for your chance to win.

  • God's Power In Me

    Micca Campbell February 23, 2016

    God's Power In Me MICCA CAMPBELL

    “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power.” Ephesians 1:19 (KJV)

    Each May we look forward to the annual Campbell family kickball game. Lines are drawn and bases placed before the teams are chosen. While I’m always the last one picked, I still give it my all.

    One time I kicked the ball to the third basemen, and took off for first base. In my mind’s eye, I was a blur. As the third baseman swept up the ball and hurled to first, someone called out, “Slide!” So I did.

    Stretching my arms toward the base, I slid through the dirt head-first, certain I had made it. But when the dust cleared, reality settled in. I was nowhere near the base.

    Looking up, I saw my niece standing on the base giggling as she tossed the ball up and down in her hand. There I lay halfway between home plate and first base. Everyone laughed. All in fun, of course, but it still hurt my feelings. I did the best I could.

    Back at the dugout, my sweet husband pulled me into his sweaty chest, wrapped his arms around me and squeezed me tight.

    “Hey. What if I kick the ball for you next time? Then you would be sure to make it to first base. Maybe second.” He proposed the idea with a big grin across his face. Knowing he was stronger, I accepted.

    Next time I was up, Pat got ready to kick while I positioned myself to run. As soon as I heard the plunk of the ball, I took off for first, then second, then third base! Just when I thought I couldn’t run anymore, the cheers of my team beckoned me on. “Don’t stop! Keep going!” As I crossed home plate, everyone applauded.

    Amazed and breathless, I questioned, “What happened?”

    “Dad kicked the ball over the tree line,” my daughter explained. “It was an automatic home run,” she added. Now it made sense.

    If it weren’t for Pat’s powerful kick that day, I would have never tasted the sweetness of victory.

    In a similar way, God provides the power we lack to succeed at life.

    We hear about God’s power and greatness to help us when we lose our job, when our health falters, when we go through a painful divorce or when our dreams are smashed. Yet, the main question we can ask ourselves is, “How do I rely on His power?” 

    The answer lies within today’s verse: “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” (Ephesians 1:19).

    According to Paul, we rely on God’s power to work in us by faith. As Christ-followers, our hope is greater than we know because Christ resides in us. That means you and I have Divine greatness in us. Those who believe in Him experience the wonder of His power.

    No matter how ill-equipped we are, we have the assurance that in our situation God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).

    God isn’t limited by what we ask. He can go beyond that. In fact, He does exceedingly greater than what we ask or dream. However, the key is in believing that He can.

    So, instead of doubting what I think God can’t or won’t do, I’ve started believing in what He can do! It’s made a great difference in my life.

    Through His might, I’m able to stop yelling at my kids. I can love that person who rubs me the wrong way. I can patiently wait in traffic if I choose to believe and rely on God’s mighty power in me. Otherwise, I fail miserably. Maybe you can relate.

    Relying on God to do great things through me isn’t any different than relying on my husband Pat’s kick. Because Pat was strong enough to send the ball soaring, I was able to do the impossible — score a home run.

    With God, we can do more than we could ever hope for.

    So, what is it that you need? Ask Him in faith and God will supply the power.

    Dear God, I believe in Your mighty power at work in me. Help my unbelief. In Jesus Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: 2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (NIV)

    Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

    RELATED RESOURCES: If you’re looking to find freedom from fears in your life and unleash God’s power, you’ll appreciate An Untroubled Heart by Micca Campbell.

    Stop by Micca’s blog today to connect with her for more encouragement.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: Identify an area in your life where you need the power of God. Share any doubts you have (God already knows them anyway). Believe He can do immeasurably more. Rely on His power.

    © 2016 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

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

  • Do I Pursue Goals More Than God?

    Glynnis Whitwer February 22, 2016

    Do I Pursue Goals More Than God? GLYNNIS WHITWER

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

    Today I have a confession, one that is hard to admit. Many times I want the satisfaction of completing a goal more than I want to experience God.

    This is a battle every morning, knowing my to-do list beckons, tasks await, people expect, emails ding.

    All the while my Bible sits on the table with a silent invitation. It’s not demanding, simply a peaceful promise. Sadly, it’s easy to pass by as I move on to things I “need” to do.

    I’m wired like Martha — maybe you know her from the Bible? She was concerned about her to-do list too.

    Luke chapter 10 records a day when Martha was the hostess and Jesus was the guest. It’s a short story, but we know Martha fussed at Jesus because her sister wasn’t working hard enough. Rather than helping Martha fix the food, Mary was sitting listening to Jesus.

    Jesus loved both Mary and Martha. But in that moment, as the story records, Jesus was more delighted with Mary’s heart to be with Him than in Martha’s heart to serve Him.

    I can be a fusser too. Too busy with the details, too worried about planning for what’s next, too preoccupied with my to-do list. Sometimes I even worry about other people’s to-do lists.

    Yet, I want a heart that pursues God more than goals. I want to long to spend time in Jesus’ presence more than I long to spend time on my computer or phone.

    It’s not that I don’t love Jesus. I do. I’ve devoted my life to serving Him. I’m aware of His presence and talk to Him throughout the day.

    But so did Martha. She loved Jesus. And I’m sure she loved having Him as a houseguest, where she could hear Him talk as she went about her daily tasks. Maybe she asked Him questions and served Him lunch. Touched His shoulder as she walked by and picked up His plate.

    But she didn’t stop to sit at His feet. She didn’t pause her preparations to give Him wholehearted attention.

    Jesus so gently and lovingly corrected Martha and gave her advice on the right way to go about her work:

    “Martha, Martha,’ the LORD answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed — or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’ ” (Luke 10:41-42, NIV)

    Jesus loved Martha’s heart of service, but He wanted her wholehearted devotion first.

    This was a message Jesus consistently taught in His ministry. Get your heart right first; that’s the most important place to start.

    In fact, our key verse is from Jesus’ teaching recorded in Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

    I wonder if Martha changed her habits. Did she check her heart and consider where Jesus fit? Did she review her priorities and put Jesus before cleaning up?

    We don’t know the answer. The only thing we can know is what we decide to do with this story.

    It’s so compelling to jump into our days — whether it’s carpooling children or leading a meeting at work — without ever pausing to sit at Jesus’ feet. It’s so much easier to whisper a prayer while driving or listen to the Christian radio station and consider that time with God.

    And we can be sure that God loves to hear our prayers and songs of worship. But Martha’s story challenges me to do a heart check. Why haven’t I carved out time every day to just enjoy the presence of the Lord?

    It’s a challenging question, and one I’m determined to answer. But more than that, I’m committed to putting God before my goals in a very practical way … to stop being worried about my “many things” and choose what is “better.”

    Heavenly Father, thank You for welcoming me into Your presence no matter how I approach You. You never shame me for my selfish choices, only love me. Help me re-order my heart and my schedule to put You before any task or goal. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: Psalm 27:4, “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” (NIV)

    Luke 10:41-42, “But the LORD said to her, ‘My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.’” (NLT)

    RELATED RESOURCES: If you feel overwhelmed and need help managing your schedule, Glynnis Whitwer’s book, Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day, offers spiritual truth and practical tips.

    Goals aren’t a bad thing; we just need to have our hearts right with the Lord before pursing them. So if you sense God has called you to write or speak, we’d love to help you gain a fresh vision and get the tools you need at our annual She Speaks Conference this summer, where we offer professional training grounded in having a right heart before God.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: Take a look at your calendar this week. When can you schedule 15 minutes to sit at Jesus' feet? Write it in and consider it an appointment you can't break.

    © 2016 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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

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