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Daily Devotion

  • Promise Land Spirit

    Posted on January 3, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” Numbers 14:24

     

    Naysayers suffer the spirit of defeat, while those who take God at His word enter into the promised land of spiritual victory. The giants in the land are made much larger with fear inflicted by Satan’s figments of the imagination. However, those led by the Spirit move forward by faith in search of God-size opportunities. There is no time for the devil’s drama, only determination to trust the Lord. The fulfillment of big ideas flow from a heart wholly committed to Christ. 

    The fearful majority become experts in eloquently explaining why you can’t accomplish extraordinary results with your ordinary faith. Their reasons resound from what man says, not what God has promised. If you listen to faithless voices you will lose faith, however, your confidence to continue overflows in obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leadership. Your eyes of faith are not flawed for God gives you 20/20 vision to see His possibilities. Yes, trust in His promises!

    “Do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” Numbers 14:9

    If we disbelieve in the promise of God we forfeit the benefit of God. Disbelief leads to disobedience which is rebellion against the Lord. However, when we hid God’s promises in our hearts we can’t help but boldly follow Christ into the unknown. He promises peace that overcomes fear, so we are peaceful. He promises favor with our enemies, so we are trustful. He promises grace in our weakness, so we are energized to work. God’s promises give courage!

    Is the Lord larger than your looming obstacles? Can Christ provide the relational and financial capital for your next big thing for Him? Yes and Yes! Your heavenly Father is waiting to give you advantages and open doors for His glory. Your character and willingness to serve and not sell yourself is a sword of sincerity in the Spirit’s hand. Once He gives you access into the promised land of opportunity, continue in humility. Fulfill His will and receive what He has promised.

    “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:36

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to go boldly to places You promised are good.

    Related Readings: Joshua 14:8; Psalm 37:11; Acts 2:39; Hebrews 11:17; James 2:5

    Post/Tweet today: Fulfill His will and receive what He has promised. #promises

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • The Best Worst Thing

    Posted on January 3, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "He replied, 'You of little faith, why are you so afraid?' Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm." Matthew 8:26 (NIV)

     

    I failed at being a wedding planner.

    No one wants a planner who gets so undone by the neurotic mother-of-the-bride that she throws up in the parking lot right beside the guest sidewalk.

    Really, nothing says, "Welcome to my wedding" quite like that.

    I failed at being a kitchen gadget saleswoman.

    No one wants to see the tip of a thumb sliced off into the veggie pizza at the exact moment I was promising how safe this gadget is.

    Awesome.

    I failed at being a cafeteria lady at a private school.

    My assistant decided her arms were so dry she needed to coat herself with our spray butter. When we took the trash out later that day, we both got attacked by bees and forgot about the pizza in the oven.

    Kids don't take kindly to burnt pizza.

    I failed at being a receptionist.

    It's never a good idea to just succumb to those sleepy afternoon feelings and lay your head down on the desk.

    Bosses don't like workers who snore. Even if they are pregnant.

    Yes, I failed at a lot during those years where I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. At the time each of these things felt like the worst that could have happened. Now, I think they were the best worst things.

    Had these things been successful, I would have never discovered the joy of being in the ministry I'm in now.

    I see this same theme woven throughout many stories in the Bible.

    In Matthew 8:23-24 we find Jesus getting into a boat with His disciples. "Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat." Worst thing.

    But in verse 26 Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and waves and things turned completely calm. The disciples were amazed. Best worst thing.

    In Acts 5:18 we find the apostles being arrested and thrown in jail. Worst thing.

    But in Acts 5:19 we find an angel of the Lord opening the doors of the jail and bringing them out. Later we find them with so much confidence they boldly proclaim, "We must obey God rather than men!" (v. 29b) Best worst thing.

    I don't understand why we have to go through cruddy stuff. And I certainly know there are many worse things to go through then what I've mentioned here.

    We live in a broken world full of broken people. But isn't it comforting to know God isn't ever broken? He isn't ever caught off guard, taken by surprise, or shocked by what happens next.

    He can take our worst and add His best. We just have to make the choice to stay with Him and keep following Him through it all.

    Dear Lord, I know You are capable of taking my worst and turning it into Your best. Show me this truth anew today. Refresh my spirit. I want to follow You through it all. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Check out Lysa's new book, Unglued.

    Reflect and Respond:
    We live in a broken world full of broken people. But isn't it comforting to know God isn't ever broken?

    Ponder the promises He has made in the Bible and how He has been faithful to you.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 37:23, "If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm." (NIV 1984)

    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 1984)

    © 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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

  • See Greater Things

    Posted on January 2, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    "Jesus said,  “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.”  John 1:50

     

    Jesus expects His followers to see greater things than they have already experienced. The life of Christ is full of greater graces that come with bolder faith and surrender to the Spirit’s control. Greater things could be children who surpass their parents by influencing the globe with the gospel. Access to the world may come in building orphanages, hospitals and schools---all in Jesus' name. Thus, technology harnessed for the Kingdom sees greater things for God. Think big! 

    Our salvation is just the beginning of beginning to see things from the Lord’s perspective. Not only has Christ saved us from something (sin, hell, self), He has saved us for something (righteousness, heaven, Himself). We’re not to stay stuck in the infancy of our conversion, but move forward fashioned by the Holy Spirit’s plan. Our faith experience may surpass those who influenced our spiritual journey. The student sometimes sees greater things than the teacher.

    “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12

    You may have served in the shadow of someone else, but the Lord is leading you to take a larger leadership role. He is moving you out of your comfort zone into His trust zone. Christ knows that for you to advance to the next level in your faith you need to position your life for His greater things. Perhaps He is calling you to a role in government to use your influence for Kingdom initiatives. Like Joseph, your political platform can be organized for the greater good of God’s greater things.

    God’s greater things are what stretch you toward sacrificial service for His ideals. Are you coasting toward Christ or is your life gaining spiritual momentum with each step of faith? Remember what Jesus told you in your time of intimacy with Him: “Your are special. You are mine. I have greater things for you.” Therefore, take Him at His word. Engraft His word into your heart and seek His greater things: prayer, family Bible study, marketplace ministry and missions.

    “What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, Sovereign Lord. For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.” 2 Samuel 7:20-21

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to wisely steward the greater things You have for me.

    Related Readings: 1 Samuel 16:7; Isaiah 45:4; Luke 10:17; 2 Timothy 2:19; Galatians 4:9

    Post/Tweet today: Not only has Christ saved us from something, He has saved us for something. #saved

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Someone to Lean On

    Posted on January 2, 2013 by Wendy Pope

    Wendy

    "When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset." Exodus 17:12 (NIV)

     

    Someone very dear to me is in the fight of her life ... she's wrestling with her belief in God and searching to know with certainty that Scripture is true. She's fighting for her faith. Watching from the sidelines is difficult to endure for me. But the battle is one that only she can combat.

    I love her so much and want to jump in the ring with my fighting gloves and slay the enemy. As one who came out victorious from the same struggle of my own, I long to bottle the knowledge I learned and give it to her. Handing my wisdom and faith to her would surely spare her the agony associated with a fight for faith in the Lord.

    Watching the conflict as a bystander is arduous. But while I watch, I pray. And through prayer I am reminded of two men in the Bible who stood by their friend Moses in battle.

    Moses sent Joshua into battle to fight an army of their enemies. While Joshua and the men waged war, Moses stood on top of the mountain holding his staff over the valley. Joshua and his men were victorious as long as Moses held the staff up. When Moses lowered the staff, their enemies gained on them.

    Moses' friends, Aaron and Hur, followed him up the mountain. They saw the pressure and agony Moses experienced as he held the staff. With compassion, these men pushed a large rock under Moses for him to rest upon. Then, in a selfless act of love and friendship, they each held up one of Moses' arms as he held the staff high.

    They could not hold the staff for Moses but they could stand with him through the long battle.

    They filled in the gap created by Moses' weakness with the strength of their faith.

    This story challenged me to change my position from a bystander to that of a gap-stander. A bystander is an onlooker who watches, but does not to get involved.

    A gap-stander has empathy and takes action, using the strength of her faith to help the fighter stand until victory comes. A gap-stander is someone the one in battle can lean on.

    Are you watching someone you care about fight for faith, whether in God, for healing, restoration of a marriage, or something else? Do you feel helpless?

    We cannot give our faith to our loved ones or fight for them, but we can stand with them and support them as they fight to have their own faith.

    The job of the gap-stander isn't easy, but it is a place of honor. Gap-standers are committed to encouragement, prayer, and spiritual and practical support. As we watch the battle rage, we also share in and observe God's great work and their victory. Who can you stand in the gap for today?

    Dear Lord, someone I love is fighting and is tired. Will You show me how I can help? I choose to change positions from a bystander to a gap-stander. Help me have patience and be compassionate as I stand in the gap. I praise You for the victory that awaits for my loved one. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Jesus Calling devotional from Sarah Young.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Read Moses' story in Exodus 17:8-13.

    Might this be a prayer for you to whisper today? Dear Lord, right now I need some gap-standers. I am weak, weary, and wounded from this fight. Fill me with courage to reach for help. I praise You for the victory that awaits me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Power Verses:
    1 Peter 5:6, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." (NIV)

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

    © 2012 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

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

  • Come And See

    Posted on January 1, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    "Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip." John 1:45-46

     

    Come and see. Come and see Jesus the Son of God. Come and see Jesus the Savior of the world. Come and see Jesus the forgiver of sins. Come and see Jesus, a best friend and servant. Come and see Jesus: teacher, student and healer. Come and see Jesus: Master, Lord and King of Kings. Come and see Jesus and be saved for evermore. Eyes of faith feast on a relationship with Jesus. 

    We have the privilege as Christ followers to invite people to come and see Jesus. When the lost encounter Christ they can see the way more clearly. By God's grace seekers can see His work of grace in our speech and in our unspoken words. They see our kindness in the face of unkindness. They see our respect when we are disrespected. They see our love when we are unloved. They see us forgive when we are rejected. Christ in us is a window into the wonders of God's grace.

    "You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts." 2 Corinthians 3:3

    Who do you know who needs to know God? Who can you invite to come and see Jesus? Indeed, you earn the right to invite by first investing in their life. You invest, then you invite. You invest in prayer and fasting for a friend to come to faith. You invest in caring for a child, so perhaps their parents might become children of God. You invest financially in a needy family, so they can receive the true riches of a relationship and fellowship with Christ.

    You appeal to a person’s intellect with Christ’s fulfillment of prophecy and then conversion to Him is sealed when they experience Jesus in their heart. Facts without faith creates knowledge unredeemed. But when you introduce others to Jesus in a loving relationship they are redeemed by Jesus. Keep your passionate fellowship with your Savior fresh and you will naturally want others to meet your best friend. You can say come and see Jesus, because you have seen Jesus!

    “You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.” Acts 22:15

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me courage to invite others to come and see Christ.

    Related Readings: Job 13:1; Isaiah 66:19; 1 Corinthians 2:9;  1 John 1:1

    Post/Tweet today: We earn the right to invite someone to Jesus by investing in their life. #invest

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • The Honeymoon Life

    Posted on January 1, 2013 by Sharon Glasgow

    Sharon

    "Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come." Proverbs 31:25 (KJV)

    My heart sank as she told me the tragic end to her love story. When she and her husband married, they couldn't afford a nice honeymoon. Kids came and the money to do something special together just never seemed to be there. Her husband worked all the time, so for years she dreamed and planned for the trip she longed for with him—the perfect honeymoon.

    When their last child was leaving for college, they finally set up their honeymoon trip. But something awful happened right before they were ready to leave. Her husband was tragically killed in a car accident. Her dreams were shattered.

    With a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, I stood by her feeling helpless to offer the right words. All I could say was, "I'm so sorry."

    Her story affected me deeply. Although my husband was still alive, I didn't have the honeymoon of my dreams either. On our wedding night we stayed at a state park. For years I too dreamed of the day I would have a "real" honeymoon. After hearing her story, I changed my thinking and made a new plan.

    I didn't want to pin my hopes on a fancy trip. On that day I decided to live every day as if it were my honeymoon.

    Rather than a honeymoon trip, I wanted a honeymoon life.

    Hearing her story made me worry. What if my husband died too? What if I didn't have the chance to show him how important he was to me every day?

    I went before the Lord and committed, "My husband is Yours. I don't know how long my days will be with him. But, I trust You to teach me how to spend our time wisely. I trust You that when our days are done, I will have no regrets. Teach me now how to be a lover of You first. And by loving You, I will know how to love my husband fully every day, especially when the days are hard, the storms rage, and the sun sets at the close of our life."

    On that day the Lord gave me a peace that flooded my entire being. A scripture from the Bible came to my mind after I prayed. It was Proverbs 31:25, "Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come."

    I knew God was telling me to not be afraid of what tomorrow might bring. He would give me the strength to live the honeymoon life successfully. That truth helped me rejoice at my future knowing that I would live married life to the fullest.

    Just a few weeks later my husband and I celebrated our anniversary. We couldn't afford a special trip, but that didn't discourage me. This was the start of a new way of looking at my marriage ... of celebrating a honeymoon life every day. I packed a simple picnic of his favorite foods and the two of us enjoyed it, and each other, in the middle of our field.

    No trip around the world, no lavish hotel, nor any gourmet dish could have competed with that field, the picnic dinner, and the way God changed my perspective.

    From that day on, I chose the honeymoon life. Not just dreaming of it but living it every day. I've set my heart to cherish the simple things, like making my husband's favorite foods and eating together by candlelight, going to bed at the same time, reading and praying together. Even mundane trips to the store together.

    We've been living the honeymoon life for 16 years now and have been married for 31. With God's help, I've been able to see every day as an opportunity to love my husband in a special way. We may never go on that honeymoon trip, but I'll take a picnic in a field with the one I love any day.

    Dear Lord, give me the ability to live the honeymoon life with my husband. Help me to stop focusing on the what if's of the future and to start focusing on loving to the fullest today. Help me not to have any regrets of how I've lived out my married life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Capture His Heart by Lysa TerKeurst

    What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

    Reflect and Respond:
    It isn't anniversary trips, diamonds or flowers that make our marriage. It's how we live married life every day that makes it romantic and priceless.

    What are some things you could do for your husband that would jumpstart the honeymoon life today?

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 31:10-11, "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain." (NKJV)

    Hebrews 10:24, "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works." (NKJV)

    © 2012 by Sharon Glasgow. All rights reserved.

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

  • Hot For God

    Posted on December 31, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16

     

    Institutions of God can lose their intimacy for God. Like the marble floor of a stoic cathedral, the culture of a once vibrant ministry can become cold and hard. Indeed, Christ calls out His church to make a clear commitment to His commands and not waffle like a reluctant bride or groom at the altar. A community of faith fossilizes for a lack of faithfulness to the tenets of the truth. Lukewarm disciples are repulsive to the Lord. 

    Is your faith on fire or is it simmering under the influence of sin? There is no room for neutrality toward religion rooted in Christ. Are you for Him or against Him? Apathy is a vote against Him. Passivity to prayer and public worship is lukewarm leadership for your home. Thus, use the beginning of the new year to attend church with your family. Join a friend in a year long Bible reading plan and/or sign up for a mission to serve the poor.

    “This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side [Jesus’], you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse.” Luke 11:23, The Message

    The world wants us to make everyone happy, but how can we at the expense of disappointing our heavenly Father. Companions who cool our commitment to Christ are not wise to be around. It is our red hot heart of righteousness that needs to rub off on those unsure of their salvation. Our humility and compassionate care are like kerosene to another’s flickering flame of faith. Our combustible love explodes another’s faith in God.

    Therefore, come out of the closet with your commitment to Christ. Do not be ashamed of the gospel, but instead proclaim it. Because you have been given so much--you can give much! Be bold in your faith without being obnoxious. The cross of Christ carries its own offense without any added judgments. Look to your heavenly Father to fuel your faith and to the Holy Spirit to ignite it. Burn hot and bright for God’s son Jesus Christ!

    “Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, create in me a hot heart for what is important to You.

    Related Readings: Joshua 24:15; Psalm 119:113; Matthew 6:24; Romans 12:11

    Post/Tweet today: There is no room for neutrality toward religion rooted in Christ. #bold

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Hurry is a Heart Condition

    Posted on December 31, 2012 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis

    "Let all that you do be done in love." 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NASB)

    Hurry had a tight hold on me.

    When my children were young, you would have found me rushing from one task to another, usually pushing or dragging a frustrated child. I was either in high gear, or crashing in the aftermath of the frenzy ... often holding back tears, and berating myself for not being able to get it together.

    It was an exhausting way to live. But an inner drive to achieve fueled the fury of my days. Refusing to admit I couldn't do it all, I tried to keep up the same pre-child schedule. Sadly, everyone in my family paid the price, especially my little boys who weren't genetically wired to sit quietly and color while Mommy attended a meeting.

    During that time, "hurry up or we'll be late" was commonly heard, yelled from the kitchen or hissed while we scurried into the back row at church. There was too much to do, in too little time. Life was blurry with hurry.

    Sadly, I thought everyone lived like this. That was until I read about hurry sickness in The Life You've Always Wanted by John Ortberg. My heart was skewered when I read one of the symptoms is a diminished capacity to love. My children could have told you I had a problem. Only it wasn't hurry sickness, it was hurry addiction.

    I didn't want to be that woman who rushed through life. I didn't want my children to look back and say, "Wow, Mom got a lot done!" I wanted them to be convinced, thoroughly and utterly, of my love for them. And not just my children, but my husband, parents, sisters, and so on.

    The Bible is clear that loving others is critical. And not just in public. First Corinthians 16:14 says, "Let all that you do be done in love" (NASB). Which means when I'm trying to get out the door in the morning, or finishing up a project before a deadline. God clearly was telling me to slow down, and prioritize the person in front of me rather than the task on my to-do list.

    Eliminating hurry from my life took years of hard work. I had to choose to walk and talk slower. I had to eliminate responsibilities from my life, and plan ahead. Most importantly, I had to deal with the hidden issues that motivated me to hurry.

    In the process, I learned hurry is not a required byproduct of one type of lifestyle. We can't point our fingers at anyone and say, "Look sister, here's your problem – you need to quit _______."

    The truth is, a homeschooling mom can be more hurried than an executive. And a retired person can be more hurried than a working mom of five. Hurry is a condition of our hearts. It's the result of following my to-do list, rather than God's. And loving those around me is always on God's to-do list.

    Hurry has different roots. For some it's procrastination. For others it's people-pleasing. For me it was a need to prove I still had it, even though my life had been slowed down by the blessings of children. Whatever the root, the result is the same: a rushed woman who doesn't make time to show love to those around her.

    You'll still find me hurrying at times. Especially when my husband or children spontaneously invite me away from my work to spend time with them. But now I'm hurrying to love, not to finish a task. And that makes all the difference.

    Dear Lord, thank You for patiently showing love to me. You always have time for me. Help me to give that same gift to those around me. Please show me the root of my own hurry issues. I want to be more like You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    For more practical help on managing your days, you might enjoy I Used to Be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer.

    A Confident Heart by Renee Swope can help you deal with some of the heart issues causing hurry sickness.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What times of the day, or situations, cause you to hurry?

    Besides a diminished capacity to love, what other negative side effects does hurry sickness cause?

    Power Verses:
    Galatians 5:13, "You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love." (NIV)

    John 13:34-35, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (NIV)

    © 2012 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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

  • Gods Purpose Accomplished

    Posted on December 30, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled.”  Revelation 17:17

     

    God will accomplish His purpose. It may be with or without us, but He will execute His will. God does not back down or hold back when it comes to the fulfillment of His wishes. He knows what is best and is bent toward carrying out His good will. Nothing can stop God from accomplishing His purpose. War cannot stop His purpose because He will draw people to Himself during the atrocities of war. Illness cannot stop His purpose because He will reveal His care, compassion, and sometimes, healing, during the eventual breakdown of the body. Death cannot stop His purpose. God will graduate believers in Christ to heaven and non-believers in Christ to hell.

    Sin cannot stop His purpose because Christ forgave sin by His death on the cross. Sinners cannot stop His purpose because there are consequences for wrong, and ultimately, judgment by God. Satan cannot stop God’s purpose because what the devil means for evil, God can use for good. God’s purpose is a freight train that travels down the tracks of obedience and disobedience, saints and sinners. Its momentum on behalf of mankind cannot be stopped. He will not be denied. Even the delay of His ultimate purpose gives more lost souls the opportunity to get on board by placing their faith in Jesus. He will ultimately reign on earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords! In the meantime, there is still time for others to voluntarily bow to His kingship, instead of ultimately being forced to bend their knee to God. His purpose will happen, so it makes sense to work with God, not against God, to accomplish His purpose.

    So what is God’s purpose? One purpose of God is to adopt everyone into His family who believes Jesus is His son. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved and this accomplishes one of God’s greater purposes.

    Another purpose of God is seeing you complete the work He has given you to do. Jesus said it best: “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4). Your individual obedience to God accomplishes His purpose for you. This is a significant thing. Your obedience matters. You are contributing to the greater heavenly mosaic of God’s glorification. Your fulfillment of God’s purpose helps others to do the same. So, do not apologize for this. Stay laser-focused on executing God’s purpose. Pray about it and seek the Scripture to better understand God’s purpose for you. Equity in eternity never depreciates, so buy a lot—and buy early. His purpose will be accomplished. Find out where He is working, and join Him to fulfill His mission.
     

    Post/Tweet: Equity in eternity never  depreciates, so buy a lot—and buy early. #eternity

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Agreed Expectations

    Posted on December 29, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?”
    (Amos 3:3).

     

    Sometimes it is difficult to agree upon expectations, and in reality, we deal daily with expectation management. We are expected to do certain things at work, at home, and in friendships. We also project expectations on others. We know God expects faithfulness from us, and we have our expectations of Him, but expectations can get us into trouble.

    We can expect the wrong things Our expectations can be unclear or unrealistic or unrighteous. The same can be said of what others expect of us. At work you thought one outcome was expected while your supervisor expected something different. Even after the goals were put into writing, there were still different interpretations of the facts.

    Indeed, it is easy to corral expectations of simple tasks. I can expect or even require my children to complete their homework. This is not unreasonable. I would be an unfit parent if I did not provide some framework of expectations for my children. However, I would be an equally ineffective parent if I had expectations of my children but did not communicate them with grace and understanding. Clarifying expectations takes time.

    “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

    Furthermore, the more your trust grows in a relationship, the fewer the expectations Trust precludes the need for expectations. Trust causes many expectations to expire. When you place your total trust in God, you default to character expectations. You expect His love to be unconditional. You expect His forgiveness to be infinite. You expect to avail yourself of  His wisdom. Your expectations are character driven rather than cynically driven.

    It becomes about God’s will, not our wants. Healthy expectations revolve around God and His desires. The focus is off me but on God and others. He orchestrates the concert of life; so the goal is to discover His role for me and follow His lead. Then the motive with people becomes one of serving them in order to carry out God’s plan for their lives.

    How can you facilitate understanding God’s will for your spouse, child, or work associate? This is not always easy to discern but character-driven expectations can get to the point of their true need, and you can help meet that need. Focus on building trust in the relationship, and communication will flow more clearly and compassionately.

    Focus on fewer expectations and more on trust. Allow your expectations to begin and end with the character of God. Expect less, you will receive more. You can expect His faithfulness. Agree to expect what God expects, and allow your expectant desires to birth God’s will. “And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us” (2 Corinthians 8:5).

    Prayer: What does the Lord expect of me in the life roles He has assigned to me?

    Related Readings: Job 29:21; Psalm 5:3; Matthew 20:1–16; Philippians 1:20 

    Post/Tweet: Focus on fewer expectations and more  trust. Expect less,  you will receive more. #expectations© 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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