• iDisciple

Author Archives: Van Walton

  • A Remedy for Loneliness

    Posted on October 9, 2013 by Van Walton

    Van

    "... those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25 (NLT)

    I've spent much of my life as the new kid on the block. My daddy's job took him to numerous foreign countries, so I grew up living in far-away and strange places. When we returned "home" to put down permanent roots in the United States, I felt like a lonely outsider.

    This nomadic childhood followed me into my adult life as my husband's career moved us cross-country many times.

    As the newcomer in school, women's Bible studies, and jobs, I experienced not having friends, being excluded, and feeling different.

    Though these isolating seasons were tough, something wonderful grew out of them: my relationship with God. Spending time with Him, I gained a new perspective on loneliness while reading Scripture. One verse in particular stood out to me: "... those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed" (Proverbs 11:25).

    Reading this challenged me. Rather than cast responsibility on others to reach out to me, I could reach out to them. By doing so, I found I could bless them and revive myself! It took some time, but over the years I've discovered several key elements to living out this verse: learn to be a good friend, intentionally include others, and develop an interest in diversity.

    Last year during the annual family night at the school where I teach, I spotted a mother sitting alone in a large room. God nudged me, and I knew what to do. I wasn't surprised she was by herself, because as I drew closer, I recognized her as the mother of one of our international students.

    We definitely had our differences: a gap in our ages, language barriers that made us struggle to understand each other, and our different cultures. But we persevered and after a while we found common ground. She admitted to being lonely as a stranger in a foreign country. That I understood. Also, we were women, wives, mothers, friends. Most importantly we had a common faith.

    That night, I gained a new friend.

    We began to meet regularly. She told me about her recent conversion to Christianity and asked lots of questions. She had a few friends, like her, who had come to the United States to expose their children to an American education. These women also wondered about Christianity, the Bible, and Jesus. Could they join us?

    We began huddling once a week around God's Word, talking about the creation, King David, and grace.

    School ended. Summer started. They flew home. We promised to resume our studies this fall.

    As this new season begins, I'm anticipating our weekly meetings; I miss my new friends and the happiness and laughter they bring.

    Loneliness, if left unchecked, can lead to isolation, which may produce weariness, sadness and discouragement. This is not God's plan for our lives. He has called us to live in community, reaching out to others, serving, comforting, and fellowshipping.

    Let me encourage you to be aware of others–in your neighborhood, your children's school, your church. Ask God to lead you to other women who are lonely. We long to be included, to feel like we belong, to have caring friends. One of the best ways to do this is to refresh someone else! You'll never experience that woman's amazing friendship, or be revived by her, until you reach out and invite her into your life.

    Father God, You are a friend to the stranger, the wanderer, the lonely. Forgive me for sitting in my comfort zone and ignoring those around me who long for community. Remind me to practice hospitality, not just with my friends but with outsiders also. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    How has loneliness robbed you of life's joys?

    What are some ways you can practice hospitality? Perhaps become involved in welcoming newcomers to your church or neighborhood.

    Power Verses:
    Romans 12:10-13, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love...practicing hospitality." (NASB)

    Hebrews 13:2, "Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!" (NLT)

    © 2013 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.

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

  • Things God Planned for Us

    Posted on July 19, 2013 by Van Walton

    Van

    "Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare." Psalm 40:5 (NIV)

    Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Bradford were my favorite sixth grade teachers. They knew two things about me: I was bilingual and I lived close to the largest shantytown in Bogotá, Colombia. I'll always remember the day these two teachers asked for my help.

    In the early 60's, my family lived in Bogotá. Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Bradford taught in the American school I attended. Every day on their way to school, they passed the neighboring shantytown. Soon they developed a vision to educate the children living there, and their big dream included me!

    Would I be their interpreter to translate for the teachers who could only speak English? With approval from the school, they designed a free school for the children who had no access to education.

    Not only did they ask me to translate for them, but they included me in their after school program as a peer tutor!

    This idea awoke something that had been tucked in my heart, waiting for the right time to emerge. I grew up surrounded by unspeakable poverty, and even as a child experienced an ever-present burden. How was it possible that I had a home and the children of the street had nothing? I dreamed of helping but dismissed the idea because I was only a little girl.

    However, God didn't see it that way. He had a plan. My classes in education began long before I attended college. Working beside two committed teachers put me on a career course that laid a foundation for more than a job. It became a life calling.

    Years passed. My family returned to the United States. I graduated from college with a Spanish degree and began my career as a teacher. I married. Babies arrived.

    It seemed my calling to teach was put on hold. But as a stay-at-home mother, I had the opportunity to learn about another education, a spiritual one. I began attending Bible studies and my original passion for education multiplied. I wanted to share the Bible with others. And I did, first with children and then with women.

    From teaching Bible classes, God broadened my ministry. And once again, His wonders came to light. It was obvious He had carefully positioned me. A few years ago, I began to reach out to women whose native language is Spanish by translating devotions that reach around the world.

    I certainly never imagined I'd trace God's plan for my life to the Andean hillsides of South America and the vision of two dedicated teachers. That plan continues in the ministry work that fuels my passion today in North Carolina. Looking back, I see the many wonderful things God has had for me, which are truly too many to talk about, just as Psalm 40:5 says!

    I stand amazed that God would choose a young girl living in a jungle and weave her experiences, along with others' lives, into His present and future plans to prove His wondrous ways: "Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare" (Psalm 40:5).

    If God did this with me, He can do it for you.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for planting dreams in our hearts to serve You, even as little children. Open our eyes to Your work all around us, and how You weave people and circumstances together. You are a dream giver and a dream fulfiller. We worship You and give You all the glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Like us on Facebook for daily encouragement.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Take a few moments today to reflect on your life. Note how the highlights weave together and point to God's wondrous ways.

    Power Verse:
    Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (NIV)

    © 2013 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.

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

  • A Better Way Than My Own

    Posted on June 12, 2013 by Van Walton

    Van

    "The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for you made me." Psalm 138:8 (NLT)

    When I was five years old, my mother took me to kindergarten in the middle of the school year. She prepared me for my new adventure by promising fun and many new friends. Fighting tug-of-war emotions, anticipation pulling against apprehension, I entered the room full of children.

    While acclimating to my new environment, I decided to speed up the making-a-lot-of-friends process. Eager to be accepted, I couldn't wait to be noticed and included. I devised an interesting plan that would have every kindergartener eating out of my hand, literally.

    Each morning before recess, students lined up in front of the school store to buy mid-morning snacks. Noticing that donuts were the treat of choice, my mind whirred.

    That afternoon, alone in the back seat with my mother's purse, my plan began to hatch. My little hand slipped into her wallet and pulled out a dollar. Surely that was enough to buy everyone a donut.

    The next day, exploding with eagerness, I pushed my way to the front of the line. Handing my dollar up to an open hand I said, "A bag of donuts, please."

    "Are you sure little girl? A bag full? That's a lot. No one ever buys that many donuts!"

    I nodded my head. "Yes, one for everyone in my class and one for Teacher."

    Slowly the treasured bag of donuts slipped over the side of the counter.

    Yes!

    Stepping aside, I announced, "My treat!"

    Mouths dropped. Eyes flew open. Little hands extended. Classmates surrounded me, the instant celebrity.

    I felt good! Just as planned. Now, I had friends.

    After school, when my mom walked into class to pick me up, my teacher asked everyone to thank her. The look of surprise on my mother's face exposed me. My secret was out.

    I was a criminal. A thief. I had stolen money from my mother!

    How had a perfectly well-planned strategy gone so wrong?

    The Bible is full of stories of people who devised seemingly good plans. In too many circumstances strategies were flawed—like mine. In other situations people wisely relied on God.

    Psalm 138:8 says that God will work out His plans for my life. I don't have to manipulate, plot and devise.

    Regardless of my desperate circumstances, anxiety, or longing, there is a better way than my own. One popular Bible story encourages me to pray and then wait on the Lord.

    Moses' mother and his sister, Miriam, expected that God would protect baby Moses when they put him in a basket and sent it down the Nile River, hoping to hide him from a murderous ruler.

    Miriam watched the baby float away, all the while waiting for God to take control of the desperate situation. His sister's faith was rewarded by an amazing turn of events and his mother's trust in God paved the way for a Hebrew slave to become an Egyptian ruler (Exodus 2:1-10). This would not have happened without Moses' mother's and sister's patience and dependence on God.

    It's easy to rush to fix our own circumstances—contriving for the outcome we desire. But too often, in so doing, we tangle ourselves into ever-growing webs and create trouble or chaos. Let's learn from Moses' wise family by following their pattern:

    Expecting God to act.
    Waiting for God to deliver.
    Trusting that God's timing is best.

    I don't know what spurs you on to contrive, manipulate or plot. If you are like me, any circumstance where you find yourself out of control, desperate or confused will tempt you to scheme.

    Let's determine today to believe this truth, "The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for you made me" (Psalm 138:8). And rest in His promises, committing to trusting God whenever tempted to influence our uncomfortable conditions.

    Lord God, I know You will work out Your plans for my life, but I need help to believe in the midst of desperate circumstances. In Jesus' Name, I ask You to give me strength to accept Your timing and Your ways during this unsettling time in my life. Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Let.It.Go. - How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking by Faith by Karen Ehman

    Reflect and Respond:
    What circumstances have brought on emotions that drive you to devise your own plans? How did that work for you?

    Next time you are tempted to fix a problem, stop. Ask God for wisdom and seek counsel from a trusted friend.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 94:11, "The LORD knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile." (NIV)

    Proverbs 19:21, "Many plans are in a man's heart, but the counsel of the LORD will stand." (NASB)

    © 2013 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.

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

  • What Tempts You?

    Posted on May 21, 2013 by Van Walton

    Van

    "... But if you refuse to do what is right, watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master." Genesis 4:7b (NLT)

    My friend Wendy brought her children and their friends to my house for several hours of play in the backyard pool. Wendy and I chatted while the children entertained themselves.

    Young Griffin played for a while, but then his curious mind led him away from the pool. He wasn't interested in the games the other children wanted to play. Following his heart, he crept out of the pool and found purpose strolling around the yard.

    For a few minutes he handed branches to my husband who was doing yard work. Then he picked up a rake. In no time he began to change the landscape to create a little "home" for my dog. First he cleared a path, then he piled leaves creating a soft bed. Finally, he set stones in place creating a protected space for the food dish and water bowl.

    What an industrious boy! He amazed me with his vision, strength, and positive attitude. I wanted him to come live with me - surely his presence would keep the atmosphere in my home lively. I remember thinking, "What a good boy!"

    When he completed his project he asked, "Would you like to see what I did?" In single-file we followed him, listening attentively as he pointed out each accomplished task.

    Then I spotted it. I never expected to find what I stumbled upon while admiring my newly landscaped yard. My delighted heart turned to dread, for there surrounding all of Griffin's hard work ... was poison ivy! My stomach flip-flopped.

    Without suspecting, Griffin had walked through a bed of nasty plants. Never mind that he was involved in good works or that he had done nothing wrong. He hadn't purposefully stepped into a dangerous place. It just so happened that the vine had crawled along the ground, hid under dead leaves and climbed tree trunks, all the while camouflaged by other clingy vegetation.

    I grabbed Wendy and told her to get Griffin into the tub. Mixing a concoction we hoped would bring relief from days of dreadful itching, we doused that innocent boy. We rid him of any residue that might leave its painful mark.

    The encounter with the poison ivy reminded me that we step out each day with a plan to accomplish goals. We may set out to do good things, to change the world, and to serve others. But Scripture warns us we must be on our guard.

    Genesis 4:7b tells us sin crouches outside our door, waiting to trip us up, grab hold of us and spread its poison all over our best-laid plans.

    We need to recognize what potential sin lurks around us. You could bring dinner to a friend who just had a baby and see how her husband dotes on her. Envy pounces on you and takes hold of your heart. Or maybe you invite a co-worker who has been down to lunch. Your innocent conversation turns to gossip about other office members.

    Even a minor brush with sin can leave its poisonous mark. That's why we have to be on guard and control sin before it controls us.

    To get rid of the poison ivy in my yard I took the best approach. I tore it out of the ground by its roots. The same is true for sin. Even with the best intentions, sin hurts us. The good news is, whether we brush up against it accidentally or intentionally step into it, God offers an effective means of healing. We can bring our injured hearts to Him, confess our part in the sin, and ask Him to rid us of the toxins.

    Thankfully, God is the best "gardener" when it comes to keeping our hearts safe. No matter what "poison ivy" lurks, He's ready with a remedy of His wisdom when we ask for it. And His forgiveness for when temptation turns to sin.

    Dear Lord, You have taught me many lessons about sin. I know its seriousness, and how it prowls around seeking to destroy me. I know first-hand how easily we can fall prey to its creepy deception. Please forgive my sins and give me the wisdom to recognize sin ahead of time and flee. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Reading and memorizing Scripture is a great deterrent from sin. The Proverbs 31 Ministries' team has unpacked verses through devotions interspersed throughout the new NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Soldiers prepare for the enemy by learning their foe's tactics. Take time to recognize the schemes of the enemy.

    In what areas does Satan tempt you and into what sins do you easily fall?

    Power Verses:
    2 Corinthians 7:1b, "... let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (NASB)

    Titus 2:14, "He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.

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

  • The Best Marriage Advice

    Posted on April 26, 2013 by Van Walton

    Van

    "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path." Psalm 119:105 (NAS)

    A joyful wedding party celebrated the new couple on an evening wrapped in good cheer and candlelight.

    The bride and her father danced, followed by the groom and his mother. Adoring eyes framed the room.

    Finally, couples young and old hit the dance floor. After a few musical notes, the DJ announced, "All couples married a year or less, step off the dance floor." Then he asked those married five years or less to take their leave. And so the invitation, to make room for couples married 10, 20, 30 years, continued.

    While dancing with my husband, I noticed how few people remained.

    "40 years!" The DJ broadcast to us last three couples dancing.

    When the song ended, our friends, their children - now young adults - and our son, reached out with high-fives, pats on the back, and "Congratulations!"

    Many asked, "How romantic ... what's your secret to staying together?"

    The question came as no surprise and their idealic vision of marriage made me smile.

    Romantic? Not so much. I would describe our years together as lots of tears shed over misunderstandings. Selfishness. Loneliness. Hard and difficult times, pushing through emotions I didn't understand.

    Painful words. Challenging moments. Loads of opportunities to compromise. We were stubborn - both of us! As I look over my shoulder on the past 42 years, I know the real glue that has kept us together has been God and the power of His Word.

    When I wanted to criticize my husband for offenses real and imagined, I read that love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5).

    When I felt lonely, I read that God was with me (Zephaniah 3:17).

    When I thought I was right and my husband was wrong, I read that I shouldn't think too highly of myself (Romans 12:2-4).

    When the daily grind of work, chores, errands drained me and my wild heart longed for more, I read that when I leaned on the Lord, through Him, I could get through anything (Philippians 4:13)

    Marriage is like a triangle. Want to grow close to your man? Grow closer to God. As both of you reach upward you'll not only come close to God, you'll grow closer to each other. And if you are in a marriage where your husband doesn't want to draw near to the Lord, you keep on anyhow. In Him, you'll find the support, love and hope your heart desires.

    A long time ago I was a young bride, asking older married women for advice. I heard a lot of things like keep the fun and adventure in your marriage. "Life is a gift," my mother taught me. "Don't let the sun go down on your anger," Daddy shared with me. "Know your husband" a friend encouraged me. Understanding my man's personality and love language taught me about conflict and acceptance.

    I wouldn't hesitate to share any of these wise words to newlyweds. But the very BEST advice I learned along the way? The greatest marriage counselor and guide is God and His Word.

    Marriage can be hard, but it's easier when we spend more time focusing on God's encouraging truths and less time concentrating on our husband's faults. Today, let's start a practice of turning to the Bible for answers about our marriage, thanking God for our husband and the Lord for His wisdom.

    Father God, You alone are perfect. Help me to keep my eyes on You. I know that no one is an easy forever-partner. Remind me daily to curb my critical spirit. Teach me to see my husband through Your eyes. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Capture His Heart by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    Are you looking at your husband through Jesus' accepting and grace-filled eyes or do you see him through needs you expect him to meet?

    Before today is over, pick 2 verses to pray for your husband and 2 verses to recall that will give you wisdom for your marriage.

    Power Verses:
    Mark 10:6-9, "But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.

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

  • Either He Planned It or He Permitted It

    Posted on March 5, 2013 by Van Walton

    Van

    "He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross, ... refining them like gold and silver..." Malachi 3:3 (NLT)

    I wasn't happy with the turn of events in my life. In fact "not happy" didn't begin to describe my emotional free fall.

    Devastated. Petrified. Paralyzed. Lost. Angry. Disbelief. Even somewhat crazed. Now those adjectives described me.

    "Not me!" I continually repeated. Never in my wildest imagination would I have dreamed that my life could end up here.

    During this time of near inconsolable anguish, my cousin sent wise and comforting words: "Remember, either God sent it or He has allowed it."

    Her words helped me understand God was in control and there had to be a reason behind this circumstance.

    Either God sent it or He allowed it.

    I found myself contemplating this phrase. It made total sense. Slowly, peace replaced anguish. Acceptance replaced anger. Submission replaced unbelief. Could God be allowing these circumstances to change something in me? Was God granting permission for me to go through this fire for a specific reason?

    Malachi 3:3 is a picture of a silversmith purifying the precious metal. God shares this word picture to let us know that He is the silversmith refining us; He's who burns away the dross, which is something that is base, trivial, or inferior. In other words, not necessary or helpful.

    Most of us would agree that life's trials can feel like a punishment. Major disruptions seem like they're meant to make us miserable. The truth is, God transforms us with each trial we experience. He is removing the "dross" or imperfections from us. Each time we survive a major ordeal we grow stronger, wiser, more prepared for the next challenge. We are conquerors and overcomers with God's help.

    Ordeals, hardships, distresses are permitted by God for our perfection. Either He permits them or He plans them. If God has intentionally laid out a troublesome path for us, He has a purpose.

    But it's not always about us. God might place pain, suffering or distraction on our path to teach others about His love, steadfastness, and mercies. The way we react to stress reflects what we believe about God, and allows others to see His faithfulness.

    Few of us are immune to desperate circumstances. But sometimes they are the best way for God to perfect us. He wants to display us as His showpiece to give the world hope. We don't always feel good about God's higher ways. They hurt. They stretch. I know. I have felt the pain, the pull, the piercing agony.

    However, if God plans my circumstances, then I have to trust He has a purpose. I believe He sends "assignments" so we can show the world that He is worthy to trust and has good plans. If I model confidence in Him, I'm announcing to the world, with my actions and attitude, our great God knows exactly what He is doing with my life.

    Nothing compares to knowing and trusting the Lord is in control ... especially when everything around me feels unstable. He won't permit or plan something difficult for us to walk through without having a greater purpose behind it. One that will make us holier, more like Him, and shine His glory. Our experience is not in vain!

    Holy Father, the anguish I feel when life slams me seems to be more than I can handle. Give me strength to push on. Remind me of Your peace and keep me focused on the truth that You have a greater plan and purpose. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Our hope is found in the truth of Scripture. Connect with God in the NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible, featuring devotions from all our Proverbs 31 Ministries writers.

    An Untroubled Heart by Micca Campbell

    Reflect and Respond:
    Think back to a time you faced a difficult hurdle. What was it? How did it affect you? What did you learn from the experience? Can you say today that God brought you through it and you learned deep spiritual lessons as a result?

    Consider the lives of great men and women of God. Be reminded that the majority of them grew to greatness through trials and tribulations.

    Power Verses:
    Matthew 5:14,16, "You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. ...let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." (NLT)

    Romans 12:2b, "...let God transform you into a new person." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.

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

  • God's Rubric

    Posted on January 31, 2013 by Van Walton

    Van

    "Jesus called out to them, 'Come, follow me, and I will show you how...'" Mark 1:17 (NLT)

    The accusing words jumped from my computer screen, feeling like a slap in the face. A concerned mother was sharing her thoughts about her child's performance in my class, and she wasn't happy.

    I gathered my wits and reached for the rubric I had given my students. Had I mis-communicated something? No, my expectations for the project were carefully outlined.

    Rubrics are assessment guidelines used in many classrooms. They communicate the teacher's expectations for a task by listing the subject matter that should be included in the final assignment.

    That afternoon, mother, student and I met to discuss the assignment and desired outcome. With the rubric in the center of the table we agreed: it had been ignored. We decided the student would re-attempt the assignment, this time following the guidelines.

    It filled my heart with joy to watch a secure young lady walk out of my classroom with her rubric. I had no doubt she understood the expectations. Her next project would shine and her confidence would soar.

    Jesus, the greatest teacher who ever lived, also used rubrics. He never gave assignments without clearly laying out expectations. After all, any teacher's goal is the students' success. Success leads to confidence. And confident people become world changers, which is what Jesus called His followers to be.

    I'm intrigued by Jesus' teaching methods and style. His classroom moved with Him, as He used daily occurrences as lessons. Jesus challenged His students to soar by using His rubrics.

    Mark 1:17 invites us into Jesus' classroom. The Teacher's first words to His students clarify His expectations: "Come follow me." Then He says, "I will show you how ..."

    Jesus is the rubric. His life is the subject matter we study. His ways guide our daily performance leading us to spiritual success.

    In the midst of the teaching on the Beatitudes Jesus says, "Let your good deeds shine out for all to see ..." (Matthew 5:16 NLT) We know Jesus didn't simply tell what to do. He showed how to perform good deeds. He ate with sinners. He touched the sick. He spoke with outcasts.

    We hear Jesus speak for the first time in Luke 2, shortly after His parents took Him to Jerusalem. Along the route on a return trip to their hometown, Mary and Joseph realized Jesus was missing. A search found Him in the temple "sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking questions." (vs. 46b NIV) In response to His mother's scolding, Jesus explained in verse 49b, "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" (NIV)

    Here is our first rubric. As a student of Jesus, I clearly understand what is expected of me. He has shown me by His actions.

    1. Spend time in the Father's house. In other words, attend church.
    2. Sit with teachers, listening to them.
    3. Ask questions.

    God's rubric tells me exactly what to do. Jesus' life as chronicled in the Gospels is a perfect rubric for me, as I seek direction. Won't you join me this year as a student of the Teacher? Let's follow Him and let Him show us how to live.

    Dear Jesus, You offer to show me and teach me how to live. Because of Your life I can live confidently, secure that my life has worth. In Your Name, Jesus, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    What is one area in your life you need direction and clarity in?

    When we find ourselves at life's crossroads, we can be confident which direction to choose by looking to God's Word, His rubric.

    Power Verses:
    Luke 6:47, "I will show you what it's like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it." (NLT)

    John 14:26, "But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.

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

7 Item(s)

WHAT WE'RE ABOUT

“to look after orphans and widows in their distress...” James 1:27 NIV

Our heartbeat is to help orphans and widows in need, as our Father calls us to do.
And with every purchase you make, you’re making an amazing difference in their lives.

Loading... Loading...