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Daily Devotion

  • There Is Purpose in The Wait

    Posted on March 4, 2013 by Wendy Pope

    Wendy

    "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:14 (NLT)

     

    Efficiency is my middle name. I like to get things done and get them done fast. Waiting for my computer to re-load a web page, or my kids to find their shoes, or even for God to come through on a prayer request isn't something I always do with patience.

    In our hurry up, need it, gotta-have-it-now culture, it's easy to think we shouldn't have to wait. Think about it: within seconds we can know the weather in southern Mongolia, order a cute blouse from a trendy store, or move dinner from the freezer to the table in five minutes thanks to microwaves. We can instant message our mom or send a tweet to thousands in the blink of an eye. No wonder waiting is hard!

    King David, the author of Psalm 27:14 was no stranger to waiting and knew full well of its difficulties. So when David wrote, "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD," it was with experience honed through years of waiting to fulfill God's destiny for him. That destiny started in the humble home of his father Jesse, and in the pasture herding sheep.

    It started when the prophet Samuel showed up at Jesse's home to anoint the next king of Israel who was to be chosen from his family. Only one of Jesse's sons would be anointed. That son was David.

    Scripture tells us the Spirit of God rushed over David and was with him the remainder of his days (1 Samuel 16:13 ESV). With such an anointing one would expect David to run to take his seat on the throne. But the only running David did was back to the pasture and his sheep.

    Thus his wait began.

    In the wait, God prepared David to be king. However, the only vocation David had known was shepherding. He did not know the ins and outs of kingly protocol or the rules of royal deity. David did not have the support of the people or armies to defend him as king. He was only a lowly shepherd boy. Instead of taking the position he was promised, David waited for God to move him from the pasture to the palace.

    In the wait, God readied David by teaching many lessons about waiting. By examining and applying these truths we can find hope in the difficulty of waiting, and see how waiting now can be beneficial to our future.

    Even though we are anointed and appointed we may still have to wait. David waited 15 years to be king of Judah and even longer to be king of all Israel.

    If we allow it, our waiting will bring us to an intimate knowledge of God that we would not otherwise have. Most of David's beautiful and poetic psalms were written while in caves, caverns, and the wilderness, waiting on God.

    God does not ignore the cries of His children. David cried and begged God for help, intervention, and defense. God never let David down.

    Our waiting has a purpose for someone other that ourselves. It's not all about us. Just think of how rich our lives are today because of the wait David endured. We have the comfort, compassion, hope, and healing of the Psalms.

    What awesome instructions David's life gives for waiting! Waiting is less difficult and the future is brighter when we let God do His work in our waiting season. When we let our guard and defenses down, we're open to seeing how faithful He is to bring His plans for our lives to fullness.

    Dear Lord, help me wait well. I want be patient as You bring Your plan in my life to its fullness. I can't do this without You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Read more about David's life starting in 1 Samuel 16.

    What is your first response to waiting?

    Do you grow closer to or further from God when waiting? Why?

    What has God taught you in today's devotion about waiting?

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 27:4, "One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple" (NIV 1984)

    Isaiah 40:31, "... but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (NIV 1984)

    Lamentations 3:24, "I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'" (NIV)

    © 2013 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

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

  • Seductive Shortcuts

    Posted on March 3, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle.   Exodus 13:17-18

     

    Shortcuts are seductive because they are appealing and inviting. Shortcuts caress our pride, stroke our ego, and garner immediate gratification. We sometimes seek shortcuts while driving, preparing for school exams, career advancement, marriage maturity, parenting skills, financial success, and spiritual development. Shortcuts are attractive to your clever side because you think that, with enough ingenuity and smarts, you can bypass the normal rite of passage. However, the downside of shortcuts is that their promise of a faster way may be short-circuiting God’s best. Just because it is easier does not qualify it as the will of God. In fact, ease of execution may be evidence against God’s will. Instead, a season of suffering may be His plan (1 Peter 4:19).

     

    So, do not depend on circumstances alone as the compass of where God is leading you. You may feel pressure from people, pride, politics, or finances to take the most expedient route. But be careful because expedience can be an excuse for the impatient and the distrusting. If you miss this opportunity there will be others, for God is much bigger than this one deal. Do not underestimate His wisdom in taking you through this laborious and sometimes painful process. It will be worth the wait because it is the process that is preparing you for His next steps. If you rush through the process you may miss God’s best.

    Many times, He is unconventional in His approach. This is the nature of God, for He will not be hemmed in or backed into a corner. Cut God some slack by giving Him the latitude to lead you however and wherever He desires. Just because a friend of yours went down a similar road does not mean you should follow. God’s will for you may be just the opposite. One thing is for sure: He will get the glory when you are patient to follow Him in trust and obedience. God’s glory is your goal (1 Corinthians 10:31).

    Since the glory of God is your objective, keep God’s glory as your litmus test, and your other initiatives will take care of themselves. The shortcut is tempting, but it may be more complicated than you can comprehend for now. Its complexity will certainly compound if you have to backtrack from the shortcut and start all over again. It is much better to wait and do this once and for all. There will certainly be adjustments along the way, but have faith in God that He is facilitating His will even if some of your questions remain unanswered. He’s got your back even though the enemy may be breathing down your neck and whispering words of doubt. God is in control. It is much better to take the longer route with God than the shorter one without Him.

    Travel instead, on the proven path of Providence. Faith in Christ rejects seductive shortcuts.

     

    Post/Tweet: Have faith in God that He is facilitating His will even if some of your questions remain unanswered. #faith

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • Unpretentious Living

    Posted on March 2, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food” (Proverbs 12:9).

     

    Unpretentious living is an invitation to down-to-earth interaction with others. Rest and relaxation attend to those who are true to themselves without acting like someone they are not. However, pretentious speech and behavior require extra energy to engage with their environment. Contentment is illusive and intimacy is an illusion. I become the most stressful when I feel I have to live up to something or be someone I am not.

     

    Moreover, when you are real, not fake, your friends feel the freedom to be the same. You give off energy instead of forever sucking it from others. In honesty I often ask myself, “Am I being myself, or am I trying to dress, talk, drive a certain car, or live in a high-status neighborhood that is motivated by a need to be somebody I am not?” Pretense is birthed out of pride, but humility is the fruit of unpretentious living.

     

    Jesus is clear, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11 nasb).  In Christ you are somebody. High or low net worth, small or large home, new or used car, prestigious university or common college, in Him you are somebody. You are somebody to your Savior Jesus.

     

    The Bible says, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Out of your simple faith and modesty, the Lord takes center stage of your life. Humility positions you to point people to heaven. Therefore, keep your life unencumbered so people can see your Savior shine forth. Ask yourself, “Whom am I trying to impress, people I really do not know or the Lover of my soul, Jesus?”

     

    The Bible says, “Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ” (Galatians 6:12).

     

    Prayer: How can I be more authentic and open with my spouse, children, and work associates?

     

    Related Readings: 1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 13:7; Romans 2:28; 1 Peter 3:3

     

    Post/Tweet: Pretense is birthed out of pride, but unpretentious living is the fruit of humility. #humility

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • Unfailing Love

    Posted on March 1, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:8

    Love’s failure rate is zero. It has never scored a grade of “F” on any life exam. There is a 100% guarantee when love is applied it will succeed. For example, love finds a person stuck in their sins and woos them back into a loving relationship with the Lord and their loved ones. It finds a way to work things out when a disagreement erupts over conflicting opinions. Yes, love by nature is set up for success, it is always reliable. Love is the default behavior for Jesus followers.

    We love ourselves when we die to ourselves. Indeed, we are set up for success as servants of Jesus when our love is other centered. So in marriage we seek to out serve each other, we value our spouse’s needs above our own. Our selfless love brings out the best in our mates. Yes, we migrate from a motivation of having our way to a satisfaction in seeing it their way. Successful marriages are built on selfless love. We are blessed, when we choose to first bless our best friend.

    Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. John 12:24-26, ESV

    Is your language laced with love? Are your actions accompanied by love? If so, you are a raving success in God’s eyes. Look for ways to love and you will never lack opportunities to love. Be a successful lover of the Lord and people you will be energized by obedience to God’s greatest commands. Everyday you love is everyday you succeed for your Savior. Today, in Jesus name, love every human being you meet at their point of need. Why? Because He first loved you!

    The Lord’s love doesn’t fail for one-second. You may feel like a failure, but His love lifts you up to live another day for Him. Your circumstances will not consume you, because Christ’s love is your protection. Like a fire retardant blanket the love of God shields you from the fiery flames of fear. If you run away, His love does not stay away. When you make mistakes, His mercies are new every morning. You succeed when you are loved by your Heavenly Father’s unfailing love!

    Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. Lamentations 3:22

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father thanks for loving me to be a lover on Your behalf.

    Related Readings:Numbers 11:23; Psalm 103:11; Romans 13:8; 2 Corinthians 8:8; 1 John 4:19

    Post/Tweet today: Love migrates from a motivation of having our way to a satisfaction in seeing it their way. #love

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • What Could Mean the World to Someone

    Posted on March 1, 2013 by Amy Carroll

    Amy

    "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

    "How are you doing?" she asked. "I heard about the death of your grandmother and have been thinking about you." My eyes widened in surprise and pleasure as I recognized my friend Melanie's voice on the phone. She's a friend I dearly love, but we live long-distance and don't stay in close touch.

    I told her about my sadness, but also my joy over the fullness of my grandmother's life. We chatted about old friends, kids and church with the ease that a long-time friendship brings. However, I started to wonder when we'd get to the reason for her call. Finally, there was a pause, and she explained that she needed to go back to her work.

    I was stunned. That was it?

    There was no other agenda or hidden need? No. Melanie had just carved out the time in her day to call and check on me.

    A phone call from a friend is always appreciated. But for Melanie to call meant even more, because she is a young widow whose husband died suddenly. She is dealing with raising children, running a business they used to manage as a couple and all the other curve-balls life inevitably throws her way. Yet she made time in her day just to check in with me. I told her how grateful I was she had been so intentional and kind.

    That’s when Melanie shared what happened after her husband's death. Worship time at church was when the floodgates of her grief opened. She would often stand and cry throughout the service, pouring out her heart to God and receiving comfort from Him. And there was one woman who often sat by Melanie and silently held her hand.

    One woman.

    In silence.

    Offering the ministry of presence.

    A profound gift.

    Melanie continued, describing the impact this gesture made on her. "I've learned how much sharing time means. If I can only run by and take a cake to someone who is hurting, I do it. All of life's busyness can be overwhelming, but I make time for people now. People are the most important thing."

    I thought of how my friend reflects Jesus—of how Jesus made people more important than His to-do list. There were so many He stopped for. Countless faces in the crowds who made Him pause, just because.

    The woman rejected by others for her many husbands.

    The despised tax collector.

    The woman who had despaired of ever being healed.

    The men who gave up everything to follow Him.

    The list could go on and on.

    I think about the day's to-do list. A long list. There are lines and lines of things to do that aren't checked off yet, calling for my attention and time. They're all important, but how do I process my list through today's key verse, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12)? How do I become more like Jesus, numbering my days aright so that I might gain a heart of wisdom?

    I think I'll start a fresh to-do list and take a lesson from Melanie. My new first line on my checklist: "Be more like Jesus. Make people important today."

    Dear Lord, I need Your help to plan my day with Your priorities. You know how task-driven I can be. Will You teach me to put people first? Sensitize my spirit to listen to Yours and to pause for people like You would. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Pray and ask God to reveal "just because" pauses that He's created as you go through your day.

    When has someone reached out to you with no other agenda than to care for you? How did God reveal Himself in that act of kindness?

    Have you ever reached out to someone when they were hurting with no other agenda than to care for them?

    Power Verses:
    1 John 4:19, 21, "We love because he first loved us ... And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." (NIV)

    John 15:12-13, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

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

  • Persevering Love

    Posted on February 28, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Love always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:7

    Love does not give up on those it loves. When it is hurt, it forgives. When it is rejected, it accepts. When it is misunderstood, it is kind. When it is ignored, it serves. When it is unloved, it loves. Persevering love waits on the one it loves, especially when necessary to fulfill the parent’s expectations. This respectful love grows into a responsible and maturing man or woman. Those who endure in their love relationships come out the other side deeper in love with one another.

    The enemy attacks at points of exposure in our relationships. Busyness is his brainchild. If Satan can cause us to neglect the people who know us the best, so they like us the least, he is happy. The deceiver knows how to shift our affections to  love only work. However, your tireless love will not fall to the temptation of exchanging your spouse’s respect for status. Moreover, love your mate in tough times. Give to them, when they have nothing to give you. Love is loyal.

    So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. Genesis 29:20

    Is your husband or wife really struggling with a situation or person at their job? If so, patiently listen and understand their conflicted heart. Hold them without offering pep talks or quick fixes, just be there to love them when they need you. Has your teenager fallen to temptation? When a child lets you down make sure you do not come down on them too hard. Love breaks their will without breaking their heart. Be tough and tender. Be firm but fair. Love them back to God.

    Above all, your Heavenly Father has a hot heart for you, especially in the heat of your challenging circumstances. He pursues you with His relentless love and resolve. Like a groom who excitingly anticipates his wedding ceremony, celebration, consummation and growing old together, so Christ loves you passionately and can’t wait to do life with you. The love of the Lord is long suffering for you. Thus, give thanks to God. He is good, His love for you endures forever!

    Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father thanks for being good to me and for Your enduring love toward me.

    Related Readings: Ezra 3:11; Jeremiah 33:11; Ephesians 4:12; James 1:12

    Post/Tweet today: Your Heavenly Father has a hot heart for you, especially in the heat of your challenging circumstances. #love

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Tearing Down the Impossible

    Posted on February 28, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "'You don't have enough faith,' Jesus told them. 'I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.'" Matthew 17:20 (NLV)

    I distinctly remember the day my dad brought home a typewriter. His office had gotten these new machines called "computers." Something within me stirred and went wild at the thought of possessing a typewriter.

    I loved the way it could strike and fill a page of nothing and make it something.

    Maybe, I could write a book one day? The thought delighted me until I placed my hands on the keyboard. And the only words that came to me were all the reasons I couldn't possibly write a book.

    The dream was silenced.

    The same thing happened when the high school choir director announced we'd be doing a musical. I got so excited. I could see myself playing the lead role. Until I heard my friend practicing with bold assurance and booming accuracy. Suddenly every note I sang felt painfully hollow.

    The dream was silenced.

    And then in my mid twenties I dared to tell a friend I might want to speak at the women's event we were planning. Originally, I was just helping plan the event. But the stirring to speak wouldn't leave me. So, I gave voice to my crazy thought.

    She just tilted her head and said, "No. I feel certain you aren't supposed to speak."

    The dream was silenced.

    Has this ever happened to you? Voices within remind us of all the reasons we're incapable. Voices around us all seem more confident. And the voices of the naysayers are just flat out rude.

    Oh how impossibility loves to scream into silenced dreams.

    And here's the thing about impossible: there is some part of what we're attempting that isn't impossible. All impossibilities have a weak spot. And that's the exact place where we must attack.

    A book might seem impossible. But writers have to start somewhere. There's an article that could be written. Or in today's world a tweet that could be crafted. Or a blog posted.

    Write there. In the weak spot of impossibility.

    Maybe it's your marriage that seems impossible. Go against the grain of your hurt feelings and silent brush-offs. Think on just one thing you love about that man of yours. Send him a text that says how much you appreciate that one thing. Praise him for that one thing. Tell someone else about that one thing you noticed today.

    Start there. In the weak spot of impossibility.

    I don't know what impossibility you might be facing.

    But remember - all impossibilities have a weak spot. It's there. Ask God to show you where it is. Ask God for just enough strength to attack there. Tear it down one good decision at a time.

    And soon it will be clear, inside every impossible is the word "possible"... if only we dare to see it.

    Dear Lord, I am so thankful that with You anything is possible. Help me to see this in my daily life. Help me to remember that without You I will surely fail, but with You, I can't fail. You are so good. In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What seems impossible to you right now?

    Think about the weak spot of your impossibility. Choose steps to attack that weak spot. Be sure to soak in the truths of our key verse, Matthew 17:20, and power verses below as you tear down the impossibilities in your life.

    Power Verses:
    Isaiah 40:31, "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (NIV)

    Psalm 59:17, "You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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

  • Hopeful Love

    Posted on February 27, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Love always hopes. 1 Corinthians 13:7

    Love is hopeful because it is fixed on Jesus for its assurance. It is a healthy optimism based on the promises of God. Love only loses hope if the Lord loses His way, but He is the Way. There is no way Christ would lead His children astray. He is a rock of refuge and truth for a Christian’s compass of faith. Indeed, love finds a hopeful path through listening prayer. It’s in moments of quiet solitude that the Holy Spirit quiets the soul with His reassuring presence. Love hopes in Him.

    Has your hope been shaken by circumstances that rocked your world? If so, retreat to a safe place with your Savior and invite Him to calm your spirit with His sensitive love. Your hope becomes unshackled from fear when your loving Lord Jesus comforts your heart. Human love has its limits, but His is limitless. Your heavenly Father’s love has never failed the test of providing hope that perseveres. His Spirit whispers, “It will be ok, I am with you, be hopeful.”

    Your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:3

     

    Furthermore, you are a pass through for heaven’s hope. Those around you hunger for hope in life after death. Their soul thirsts for salvation and eternal security in their Savior Jesus. In their quest for authentic assurance you love well when you share with seekers Christ’s commands. Hope humans provide is riddled with inconsistency, but God’s hope is rooted in consistency. You love when you share the hope of heaven. Hope fills a heart that hears you lovingly pray for them.

     

    Hope is alive and well, because Christ is alive and well. He rose from the grave to become a living hope for all who embrace His resurrection. His love did not end in giving His life, but it culminated by Him coming back to life. Hallelujah our hope is in our risen and living Lord Jesus. Hope and love can never die, because Jesus is alive for evermore. Our hope is based on the two greatest historical events (the Cross and Resurrection) that exhibited the greatest love ever. Therefore, we can love someone today by helping them find hope in God. Love hopes in Him!

     

    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

    Prayer: Heavenly Father thanks for providing a living hope in Jesus for life’s journey.

    Related Readings: Psalm 119:43, 147:11; Romans 8:24-25; Hebrews 11:1; 1 Peter 1:13

    Post/Tweet today: In moments of quiet solitude the Holy Spirit quiets the soul with His reassuring presence. #HolySpirit

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Created for Connection

    Posted on February 27, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee

    "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25 (NIV 1984)

    I checked my email as soon as I woke up. Then I made breakfast and checked it again. Had my devotional time and checked it again. Ran some errands and checked it on my phone. When I got home, I checked it once more.

    Now, I admit I have a thing about keeping white space in my inbox, but this was about more than managing emails. I sensed the Holy Spirit nudging me to pause and ask myself, "Why do you keep checking your email?"

    I wasn't sure if it was God or me answering, but my thoughts intertwined with His Spirit whispered: You keep coming back because your heart longs for connection with a friend.

    Yet no matter how many times I checked email, it was never enough to satisfy my craving.

    Somewhere in the busyness of life I had let many of my friendships reduce to quick connections via email. My schedule had gotten full with kids, school projects, investing time in my marriage, and work.

    I knew something had to give, so I asked God to help me find balance.

    God had recently led me to cut back on the amount of time I spent talking on the phone, socializing with neighbors and hanging out with friends. Although I hadn't completely cut out my friendships, our face-to-face connection time had been reduced to a minimum as I obeyed God's request.

    I realized I had not found a good balance, and let the pendulum swing too far. So I checked email repeatedly, trying to fill a God-created need for relationships with a white screen and black alphabet keys.

    My heart was craving more.

    That day as I sat in front of my screen for the fifth time, Jesus revealed the source of my incessant email checking and reminded me I am created for real-life connections. I need to fill that lonely place in my heart with friends I can share life with — in person.

    That day I called one of my best friends. She happened to be available so I turned off my computer and spontaneously met her at a coffee shop.

    It was just what I needed: in-person, heart-to-heart, eye-to-eye connection and conversation.

    I know friendships are not easy to build. They take time and most of us don't have enough of it. But in this age of technology, it's important to evaluate and balance connections that are screen-to-screen rather than face-to-face.

    We need to pull away from our computers, phones and televisions to intentionally carve out time for friends. Times where we can meet in person to share what's going on in our lives. Hebrews 10:25 instructs us not to give up meeting together to worship and encourage one another. As we see here and throughout the Bible, "meeting together" is important to God.

    Jesus needed face-to-face connections, too. He surrounded Himself with intimate friends — first His Father, then close friends like John, Peter and James, and then the other disciples.

    He also had friends like Mary, Martha and Lazarus. People He spent time with sharing meals and having conversations about spiritual truths that applied to their lives. Through His example we see how important it is to satisfy our craving for connections by spending face-to-face time with friends.

    Although social media is great in moderation, computer “connections” can't substitute real-life relationships. So, who will you connect with face-to-face this week?

    Dear Lord, You created me with a need for friends. Yet, I find myself rushing through my days with little time for heart-to-heart connections. Help me to seek You first as my ultimate Friend, and then reach out to others so I can have and be a close friend. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Learn how to overcome doubts that keep you from pursuing deeper friendships and discover all you have to offer as a friend in A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write down the amount of time you are on email, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and text messaging versus the amount of face-to-face time you have with friends. How do the two balance?

    Call one or two friends you enjoy being with to encourage them and set up a time to get together.

    If you're not sure who to call, ask God to show you someone you can begin a friendship with. Invite them to join you for lunch or to go for a walk together this week.

    Power Verses:
    Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" (NIV)

    John 15:15b, "I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

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

  • Trusting Love

    Posted on February 26, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Love always trusts. 1 Corinthians 13:7

    Love trusts to the degree it trusts in God. There is an assurance that the Almighty is in control and He will carry out His plan in His timing. Loves sees the Lord as the instigator of all good things and thus, 100% trustworthy. Yes, humans fail, but love lifts up those who let them down and gives them a second chance. There is a perpetual prayer from a heart of love that trusts God to do a work of grace in a graceless heart. Love believes Christ can change anyone or anything.

    Do you believe the best about your husband or wife? Do you give them the benefit of the doubt? Your marriage grows more attractive as you make it a priority to totally trust one another. Fear from past disappointments  feed disapproval and disrespect in the present. Let go of unlovely lies that he or she cannot change and begin to treat them like the Lord wants them to become. Be respectful and trust they’ll act respectable. Be kind and trust they will grow in kindness.

    Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

    Love treats others like it would like to be treated. Furthermore, there will be those who are gullible or naive in their approach to trusting love, but God is still at work. A shady soul may take advantage of someone’s good nature, but in the process they will more than likely meet Jesus in the giver's trusting heart. So, be wise and discerning, but err on the side of extending grace. Love like you trust, with abandonment and without conditions. When in doubt, love.

    Above all, trust in the unfailing love of your Heavenly Father. He is always reliable for real time love. Be still before Him and hear His voice, listen to His whispers of encouragement, warning and wisdom. Daily tap into God’s great love for you and the measure of your faith will magnify beyond where you have been. The end game in God’s plan for you is to love you, so you can love others and yourself. Trust Him by receiving His grace and love. Belief brings out His love!

    But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father I trust You to love me well, so I in turn can love well.

     

    Related Readings: Psalm 21:7, 119:66, 143:8; John 16:27; Philippians 1:9-10

     

    Post/Tweet today: Love lifts up those who let us  down and gives them a second chance. #love

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

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