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Daily Devotion

  • From Overpowered to Empowered

    Posted on January 10, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

    It was one of those days. I was driving to the airport in the pouring rain. The skies were grey. The day felt a bit gloomy. And honestly, so did I.

    There were just a lot of little things swarming my thoughts. Feelings of inadequacy stinging. "There are so many things I'm responsible for and never enough hours in the day. I do enough to keep things from sinking. But I just wonder if I'm doing anything well. I don't think I am ... doing anything well."

    The more I focused on these thoughts, the more overpowered I became. The more overpowered I became, the more withdrawn I felt.

    I pulled into the parking space and started the fight with my luggage. My suitcase has two wheels missing. And of course I keep intending to do something about this. But I don't have time. So I make do with a crazy suitcase and a crazy life and a crazy sense I should just pack my family up and move out west somewhere. Live on a ranch where we grow our own food and I cook beans in a black pot over an open flame.

    Surely that would fix everything.

    Except that I know it wouldn't.

    Because the chaos isn't from my circumstances. It's inside me.

    I boarded the plane. I stared out the window. I watched the grey clouds envelop us.

    And then the grey broke.

    Suddenly, we rose above the clouds and the sun was shining brightly. The sky was fabulously clear.

    The clouds were just a temporary covering. They didn't stop the sun from shining. They just prevented my eyes from seeing the sun. And it wasn't just the sky that appeared a little brighter. My mood did as well.

    I started to shift from feeling overpowered to empowered as I realized three things:

    Just because I feel it doesn't make it real.

    Just like I felt the sun was gone but it wasn't, I might feel like I'm not doing anything well, but it doesn't make it true. The fact that I have weaknesses doesn't make everything about me weak. I have plenty of strengths.

    All I have to do is ask a couple of my friends or my family members to help me see what I do well. I can celebrate those, and then get a plan for bettering things that need improvement. I can start by identifying one thing to improve on this month. And do a little toward making that one thing better.

    There are a lot of people who would trade their best day for my worst day.

    Yes, I have a lot to manage. And yes, sometimes things get a little foggy. But that doesn't mean I have to stay swallowed up in the grey. That means I need to get my head above the clouds and see all the many places where the sun is shining brightly in my life. So, I can start making a list of things for which I need to be thankful.

    My mind needs some space to think.

    If I always run at a breakneck pace, I'm eventually going to break. My mind is a powerful tool, capable of seeing things that can be done more efficiently and effectively if I give myself time to think. When is the last time I just sat quietly with a pen and paper and asked the Lord to help me think?

    As 2 Corinthians 12:9 teaches, God's power is made perfect in weakness. When I'm sinking in thoughts of inadequacy and plans to relocate out west, I remember that my ability is not based on what I can do. My ability and strength come from the One who can do all things. With the Lord working in me and through my weaknesses, I can feel the transformation from being overpowered to empowered taking place.

    If the clouds have been looming close lately, maybe it's time to stop. Pause. Lift your eyes to an altitude that can rearrange your attitude.

    Dear Lord, only You can provide all I need to stay the course. Please replenish me with a new attitude as I try to see above my grey clouds today. Help me to refocus my attention to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    The Unglued Bible Study will also help you understand what the Bible says about better ways to react. To order your copy click here.

    Reflect and Respond:
    1. Identify one thing to improve on this month.
    2. Make a list of five things you are thankful for.
    3. Commit 5-10 minutes today to sit quietly with a pen and paper and ask the Lord to help you think.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 34:17-18, "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with 2 Corinthians

  • Sought By God

    Posted on January 9, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after His own heart and appointed him ruler of His people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” 1 Samuel 13:14

     

    God seeks out men and women who are sensitive to His heart. Saul motivated by pride and fear did not keep the Lord's command, so God appointed David as the next King. A leader risks losing the Lord’s respect when he disrespects the Lord’s commands. An individual loses their positive influence on people when their influence with the Almighty wanes. God seeks sincere seekers, so He can entrust them with His favor. He recruits submissive star players for His team.

    Have you become too familiar with your heavenly Father’s commands? Has your familiarity with the Holy One bred unholy contempt? If so, you can return to God’s good graces with grace based obedience or you can risk being removed from your position of authority. Let your heart rest in the hand of your heavenly Father. You will endure under the mighty hand of God, but, out from under His authority, hope shrivels and His help fades away. So, submit to His authority.

    “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 NKJV

    Keep your heart tender towards God with constant cultivation in the commands of Christ. You remain useful to your heavenly Father by staying sensitive to the Spirit’s promptings. The Lord is not looking at your outward appearance, but at your inward beauty of integrity. Perhaps your mind needs cleansing from the seduction of the sensual and renewed with submission to the Spirit. Also, keep your pride in check with humble acts of service at home.

    Because the Holy Spirit seeks you out, you are wise to turn toward Him and move in His direction. Obedience to God always moves towards God, while disobedience to God always moves away from God. The Lord may be seeking you out to replace another unwilling servant of His. So, remain humble as opportunities to serve Him open up. Your added responsibilities make you more responsible to represent Christ well. So, surrender to God’s search for your heart.

    “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.” Job 22:21

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, as you seek me out, I surrender my heart to You in obedience.

    Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 30:8; Isaiah 26:12; John 4:23; Philippians 3:3

    Post/Tweet today: We risk losing the Lord’s respect when we disrespect the Lord’s commands. #obey

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Job, 1 Samuel, 2 Chronicles

  • When You Don't Have It In You

    Posted on January 9, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

    I was completely blindsided. I'd been called into a meeting at my church with another woman in leadership who had been upset with me for months. But I was just finding out about it.

    Someone told her I didn't agree with her leadership style. But that wasn't what I'd said - months before - in a meeting with several other leaders. I had been asked my opinion about a situation and shared my thoughts. It broke my heart that I was just being asked about it now, many months later.

    We both volunteered countless hours in ministry, pouring our hearts and lives into women in our church. All the while, we were on the same team and assumed we fully supported one another. But now the trust we'd built for years was unraveling.

    It was a mess. I was a mess.

    I decided I was done. I just didn't have it in me. I wasn't strong enough or resilient enough. And I was exhausted from the hurt I felt and the hurt I had caused.

    That afternoon I went home and cried. Told God I was ready to call it quits. Laying my head down on my desk, I said I couldn't do it anymore.

    But then a truth that had been buried deep in my heart surfaced: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

    And in that moment, I knew if I was willing to die to myself and completely rely on Christ in me I could experience His resurrection power in this place of depletion - where I had nothing left to give.

    There was no way around this crossroad: I could either walk away from God's calling on my life or I could allow Jesus to live HIS life through me.

    I could die to my desire to protect myself from getting hurt again and choose to tap into His power by relying on the strength of His Spirit.

    I wasn't enough ... wasn't strong enough, resilient enough, or humble enough, but Christ in me was more than enough.

    You see Jesus did not die on the cross just to get us out of hell and into heaven. He died on the cross to get Himself out of heaven and into us! That is resurrection life - and the very place where we get our enough!

    If you have been crucified with Christ, you no longer live, but Christ lives in you. The life you now live in your body, you can choose to live by faith in the Son of God, who loved you and gave Himself for you.

    I opted to rely on the Holy Spirit within me as my friend and I navigated this tough leadership situation. It wasn't easy, but it was good and it helped restore our friendship. The next time you and I find ourselves at tough relational crossroads—choosing to walk away from God's calling on our life or allowing Jesus to live HIS life through us—let's allow HIM to be our enough! For indeed He is.

    Dear Lord, You are mighty, and holy, and strong. And I thank You that Your sweet Holy Spirit is more than enough to help me die to myself and let YOU live through me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    How do we stop letting life's hurts and hardships knock us down? In her award-winning book, A Confident Heart, Renee walks with you through the process of gaining spiritual resilience and lasting God confidence! You'll discover how to live in Christ by allowing Him to live His life in you and through you!

    Reflect and Respond:
    Prepare your mind and heart for the next time relationship conflicts arise. Decide now that you will allow Christ in you - through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit - to be enough and let Him live through you in those tough situations.

    Bury this verse deep in your heart: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

    Power Verses:
    Philippians 1:21, "For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better." (NLT)

    1 Peter 5:5, "... And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." (NASB)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Galatians

  • Stay Engaged

    Posted on January 8, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    "In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem." 2 Samuel 11:1
    A leader’s success, if not stewarded wisely, can lead him or her into failure. Many times success gives a leader more options and increases their autonomy. It's precisely at this point of enlarged personal power that an ego needs the checks and balances of wise counsel and loving accountability. Responsible leaders stay engaged in the everyday activities of real life, so they don’t act unrealistically. Humility is the fruit of those who serve their fellow humans.
    Were you once engaged in activities that required relational messiness? Are you now cloistered from a community that invites your vulnerability? The lure of success is to see others as inferior to your intellect or to disrespect them as “just the help,” instead of honoring other team members as the reason for your success. Avoid using people to enable your bad habits or to cover up your secret sins. David forgot that God had brought him from his humble beginnings as a shepherd, and he became enamored with himself as King. But, humility’s grateful attitude engages others.
    “I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.” Romans 12:3 (Message)
    Therefore, when work responsibilities intensify, be even more intentional to engage with your spouse and children. Lack of engagement can lead to estrangement. Prayerfully place guardrails around your schedule, so you are not alone with a person of the opposite sex, being tempted by sex. Emotional intimacy with needy co-workers is a recipe for relational disaster. Stay emotionally engaged with your spouse and be discreet at work about your personal problems.
    Above all, as our discretionary time is on the rise, we are wise to lift the level of our time with Lord in His word. Satan plays mind games to make us think we are smarter than we are, or  strokes our ego with the lie that we are the exception to God’s expectations. So, we stay engaged in our prayer time and are quick to confess and repent of our sin. When our heart is engaged with Christ’s heart it is very, very difficult to drift into sin. So, seek God and stay engaged with Him!
    “The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.” Psalm 25:14
    Prayer: Heavenly Father, keep me engaged in Your worship and  serving others.
    Post/Tweet today: Lack of engagement with God can lead to estrangement from God. #engage
    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Romans, 2 Samuel

  • Focus Determines Direction

    Posted on January 8, 2013 by Rachel Olsen

    Rachel Olsen

    "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2 (NIV 1984)

    Focus is an interesting thing. A powerful thing. I believe it makes change possible.

    I live in in North Carolina - home to NASCAR. I even drove a stock car once in a qualifying race at the Franklin County Speedway. So I've talked to a few race car drivers in my time. Here's what I learned from them: You have to focus on where you want to go.

    Race cars move so fast that the slightest change in course - the slightest turn of the wheel - quickly produces big changes in your position on that track. Surprisingly, where you look can shift your body enough to turn the wheel just enough to send you in that direction. Even if that wasn't where you intended to go.

    In other words, your focus determines your direction.

    That's why race car drivers are taught never to look at the wall. Look at the wall and that is where you will end up - crashed.

    I think that's also why the Bible spends so much time teaching us to keep our eyes on Christ. Because our focus determines our direction.

    Do you recall the story of Peter when he saw Jesus walking on the water in Matthew 14:29? Peter climbed out of the boat and walked on the waves. As long as he focused on Jesus, he walked toward Him on the water. But as soon as Peter looked down at the wind-whipped waves beneath him, that's precisely where he ended up.

    I wonder if our typical New Year's Resolutions aren't us looking at the wall, or down at the sea instead of us focusing on Christ. We make promises like "I'm going to lose weight," or "I'm going to get more organized." (I've made both those resolutions before.) Or maybe, "I'm going to stop this affair." And then our focus is on our weight, the mess, or the forbidden fruit.

    Next thing we know, although it's not where we intended to go, we're sinking in calories or clutter once again. And we feel defeated. Crashed. Then we give up.

    Thankfully, I've found a new way to do New Year's Resolutions that keeps me properly focused. Instead of making my long list of ways I plan to improve, I prayerfully choose just one word to be my focus for the entire year. Just one word that represents what I most hope Christ will do in or through me that year. One word to give me direction.

    It's not a regret-based word but a vision-driven word centering on the kind of person I want to become. It keeps me looking forward and upward.

    I pray that word, meditate on it, memorize verses with it, and use it to remind me to keep my eyes on Christ, trusting Him for transformation in that area of my life. And I've seen transformation take place!

    Reading Hebrews 12:2 reminds us to take our eyes off ourselves and our circumstances - off the problem behaviors or the "walls" in our lives—and fix them squarely on Christ. Because our focus determines our direction.

    Ultimately Christ is the perfecter of us and our faith. We can trust Him to turn our resolution into reality as we stay focused with our one word and with our eyes on Him.

    Dear Lord, I want to fix my eyes squarely on You today. Help me see You at work in my life and in the forming of my heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    If you're looking for focus and direction this year, Rachel Olsen has written a new book with her pastor called My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word. Pick up a copy and learn how to walk through a year with Christ and your one word.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What "walls" in your life have you been looking at?

    What can you do to remind yourself to keep your eyes on Christ? What word would help you maintain focus?

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 105:4, "Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always." (NIV)

    Romans 8:5, "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Matthew, Hebrews, New Year Reolutions

  • Good Overcomes Evil

    Posted on January 7, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

     

    Free will is the culprit of sinful humans making evil choices. However, God is not absent in the face of a bad person and evil deeds. Almighty God works in and through atrocities to overcome bad with good. Good overcomes evil when courageous teachers shield innocent children from the bullets of an evil gunman. Good overcomes evil when first responders risk their lives to save lives in a collapsing building destroyed by evil terrorists. Good overcomes evil when hellish wars are fought in the name of freedom to protect the world from evil tyrants. Good overcomes! 

    Yes, we stand astounded when evil captures the headlines, and we ask, “Where is God?”. However, because we exist God exists. He is always with us, Jesus said, even to the ends of the earth, “I am with you.” We leave Him in our self-sufficient pride, but He never leaves or forsakes us. The good in evil calls us  to cry out to Christ. We need Him, oh how we need Him in the good days and in the bad days. Because we exist we encounter the evil of a sinner’s free will.

    “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:5:20-21

    Hallelujah, the grace of God through Jesus Christ has overcome sin, sorrow and death! In the face of evil men Jesus laid down His life, only to come back to life and offer forgiveness to the ones who killed Him. Jesus is our model of overcoming evil with good. We lay down our life and in the process we give life. Our enemies scratch their heads--puzzled by grace--when we serve instead of fight. Evil can experience God’s mercy now or His judgment later, but we are His ambassadors for good. Like water over fire or light over darkness we use good to extinguish bad!

    You are a good goer for God, so go often and go boldly. Detachment from society is a scheme of the devil. Instead, engage evil with good and you will overcome. Detached you lose. Yes, love does guarantee suffering, but better to love often than for your soul to shrivel for lack of service. Just as an athlete leaves it all on the court, leave all your good deeds on the field of life. Heaven is a celebration of a life well spent on earth. Thus while you’re still alive generously do good and you’ll overcome evil Like Jesus--overcome the evil one by God’s good word--holy Scripture.

    “Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” Matthew 4:10-11

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to be an ambassador of good for You.

    Related Readings: Jeremiah 1:19; John 16:33; Hebrews 12:14; 1 John 2:14, 5:4-5

    Post/Tweet today: Engage evil with good and you will overcome. #good

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Matthew, Romans

  • God, I Don't Understand

    Posted on January 7, 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

    God, I don't understand why my friend has cancer again. She's a young wife and mom. She loves You and her family. Why, Lord?

    Have you ever asked God a question like that? I sure have. In fact, there's lots I don't understand about what happens here on earth. Like why people fight wars for power, leaving innocent children like my two little adopted daughters with life-long scars, inside and out. Like why people cheat and betray each other. And why hard working, honest men and women can't find jobs.

    My list of questions is quite long. And when I focus on the "whys" of life, frustration and fear crowd out faith. It's not wrong to ask God hard questions. He doesn't seem to mind. However, when we don't resolve the seemingly unanswered ones, our faith can get shaken.

    The hard truth is, many times we won't get answers to our "why" questions. And yet we believe we deserve them. Maybe it's because we can answer most questions using Google in under 10 seconds. Do we think God should be just as fast and on demand? Perhaps we are obsessed with trying to understand what we don't need to.

    On a recent airline flight, God used a moment of fear to give me insight into this issue. It had been years since I'd been afraid of flying, so it surprised me. I'm not a pilot, nor do I understand physics or aeronautics. So when the plane took an odd bump, my stomach jumped as well.

    Immediately God brought Proverbs 3:5 to mind: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." With that Word of truth, something shifted inside my heart and mind. I didn't have to know the "why" to have peace. I just had to know "Who" ... and He is completely trustworthy.

    The whys of life can consume me, because I want to know answers. All the time. To big questions and little ones. Like why there is war. And why someone put an empty carton of milk back in the refrigerator. But that's just not always possible. The truth is, my understanding is human, frail, and woefully limited. It's hampered by emotion and colored by fear. It's also incomplete. On the other hand, God's wisdom and knowledge is perfect.

    God doesn't need to explain everything to me. It's hard to accept, but true. I'm learning that I have a choice when I don't get a satisfactory answer to why something happened. I can choose to allow frustration to grow into distrust, or to submit my need to know why.

    I still don't understand lots of what happens here on the earth. But I do know God can be trusted. And when I don't get an answer that makes sense to me, it's an opportunity to gracefully submit my limited understanding to God, and lean on Him.

    Dear Lord, I praise You for being all-knowing. There is nothing that escapes Your eyes. Right now I'm facing some things that don't make sense. And when I lean on my own understanding, I feel shaky. Help me to submit my questions to You, and trust that You have everything under control. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith by Karen Ehman

    I Used to Be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer

    Reflect and Respond:
    How do you tend to react when you don't get answers to your questions from people around you? From God?

    How has God proved Himself faithful in the past in your life? Remind yourself of these times when you feel your faith shaking.

    Power Verses:
    Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (NIV)

    Proverbs 28:26, "He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe." (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Proverbs

  • Teach Children Wisdom

    Posted on January 6, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him, but he is a child without wisdom; when the time arrives, he does not come to the opening of the womb.” Hosea 13:13

     

    Children need to be taught wisdom. Yes, sometimes it’s hard for them to grasp its meaning because of their age and stage in life. Wisdom comes through understanding and applying God’s Word to life's experiences. Many individuals are limited in their perspective of both, so wisdom guides them away from unwise decision-making. Wisdom is one of the most wonderful gifts you can give your child. Therefore, make its knowledge inviting and practical.

    Tell stories of individuals who made wise decisions and the positive effects that followed. Then contrast these uplifting illustrations with those who chose an unwise path and suffered harm as a result. Stories stir the heart and illuminate the mind. We owe it to our offspring to engage them in conversations about real live people. Otherwise they remain oblivious, in a bubble of unrealistic living. Indeed, wisdom comes by allowing them to spread their wings and begin decision-making while they still live under your roof.

    Start out while they're young by helping them make money decisions. Show them the pattern of “share, save, and spend” from your own financial management. Then lead them to do the same. Watch them smile as they experience the joy of generosity. Be proud as their discipline and patience grows. They will be able to save for something they want, purchasing their prize with cash. Be an example of smart spending, you may become a recipient of its fruit as your child learns how to be a savvy shopper.  Financial wisdom is a practical gift whose principals you can use to train your child (Ephesians 6:4).

    Good judgment in choosing friends is another facet of teaching your child the ways of wisdom. Make sure children understand the propensity to be like the people they “hang out with” (Proverbs 13:20). It’s wise to choose friends whose faith is growing and robust. Go with friends who lift up, instead of those who pull down. It is unwise to flirt with friendships that dilute growth with God. Discuss why they need to avoid friendships that become a wedge between child and parent. Wisdom does not settle for the shallow acceptance of just any friend. Wisdom has a high standard for friendship. Challenge your children to pray for friends who complement their faith, who move them closer to their heavenly Father. Wise friends rub off on your children in wise ways.

    Lastly, discuss with your child regularly the wisdom of God. He gives wisdom (Proverbs 2:6). Read with them from the Bible, and discuss the meanings of particular verses. Make the discussion of Scripture a part of your everyday life. Take your Bible to church. Underline the phrases that leap from the page into your heart and mind. Then discuss its application to your life over lunch. Ask your child to hold you accountable to the truth God is teaching you.

    You cannot improve on the wisdom of the Lord. God’s wisdom will follow them the rest of their lives. It will be with them when you are absent. You can be at peace when you have a child who is wise in the ways of God. You are wise when your goal is to grow a wise child. Wise children become wise adults. 

    Post/Tweet: It is unwise to flirt with friendships that dilute growth with God. #friends

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Proverbs, Ephesians, Hosea, Children

  • Mentor Young People

    Posted on January 5, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “At the window of my house I looked out through the lattice. I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment” (Proverbs 7:6–7).

     

    Most young people yearn for someone to invest time and wisdom into them. They know deep in their hearts they need help to handle heartaches. Their naïve knowledge has yet to graduate them from the school of hard knocks; so they need loving and wise instruction. Who in your circle of influence is a candidate for your caring attention? 

    It may be a son or daughter, a colleague at work, or a friend from church. God places people in our lives for a purpose. Perhaps you prayerfully pursue a mentor relationship with a teachable young person. He or she can learn from your mistakes as much or more than from your wise choices.

    Mentors are not perfect, just wiser from failure and humbled by success. Look around and ask the Lord to lead you to a young person who may be edging toward the wrong direction. Reach out to that young person. By doing so, you will have returned the favor to someone who loved you.

    Indeed, mentors take time for others because they are eternally grateful for those who took time for them. Gratitude to God is a great reason to go the extra mile with someone younger. Read books together, maybe a book a month for a year. Meet over coffee to discuss how the book challenged your thinking and changed your behavior for the better.

    A young leader can preclude problems when she is able to model the wise habits of her mentor. Always invite an older adult into your life who can educate you in the ways of God. Moreover, the mentor process is valuable to both parties. It provides accountability, encouragement, love, and obedience to Christ’s commands. Mentor young people so they follow the right path, and in turn help someone else do the same.

    The Bible says, “Encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children…. Likewise urge the young men to be sensible” (Titus 2:4, 6 nasb).

    Prayer: Who is the young person in my life to whom the Lord is leading me to invest time, wisdom, and resources?

    Related Readings: Job 32:6; Psalm 119:9; Matthew 28:20; Titus 2:1–8

    Post/Tweet: Mentors are not perfect, just wiser from failure and humbled by success. #mentor

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Proverbs, Titus

  • Single Focus

    Posted on January 4, 2013 by Family Christian

    Boyd Bailey

    “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” Philippians 3:13

     

    Almighty God is the focus of the faithful. He is the One Thing who needs the attention from those attentive to Christ’s agenda. This focus of faith writes a beautiful script for a surrendered life--like a sharpened pencil it etches clearly, compared to the illegible scribblings of a dull point. A mind focused on what’s ahead is not encumbered with what’s behind. Single focus creates mental stamina. Indeed, focused thinking on God is not distracted by the world’s allure. 

    Is Christ the central point of your plans? Do you anticipate what lies ahead? Your single focus on your heavenly Father’s heart will embolden your heart. Belief in Jesus is the bull’s eye on the target of trust. Always shoot your arrows of action toward the Almighty’s agenda and you will accomplish His purpose for your life. Take hold of Him and He will guide you by His good light. Take hold of integrity and you will walk securely. Take hold of prayer and you’ll hear His voice.

    “Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous.” Psalm 15:1-2

    We must beware of separating the sacred from the secular. Our life and work are not silos separated from the grain of God’s goodness. Our salvation is an acorn of faith that grows into an oak tree of mature discipleship. However, the pruning of adversity is necessary to keep us growing in grace. Everything we do is meant to move us toward the Lord’s one thing: progress toward perfection in Christ. Momentary affliction is meant to move us into His deeper affections.

    Therefore, do for one what you would like to do for many. Trust God that your single focus at home and work will create quality relationships that lead to a quantity of influence for good. Like a laser, your single focus to love can clear away the cloudy cataracts from another’s eyes of fear. Like courageous military personnel, your single focus on humble service can protect you and your family from pride. Your single focus puts fear in the enemy and faith in your heart.

    “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.” Psalm 27:4

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, make my focus forward on You and Your priorities.

    Related Readings: Psalm 105:4; Luke 9:62; 10:42; Acts 2:25; 2 Peter 1:10

    Post/Tweet today: A mind focused on what’s ahead is not encumbered with what’s behind. #focus

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Psalm, Philippians

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