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Daily Devotion

  • It's Just Girlfriends Talking

    Posted on March 24, 2014 by Wendy Pope

    Wendy Pope

    "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

    My mouth has always gotten me in trouble. You might say I am "quick to speak, slow to think." Apparently, the filter between my brain and my mouth doesn't always work well.

    I don't mean to hurt anyone. I mean, it's not really "gossip." That's wrong, I know. But this is only harmless sharing ... really. I'm concerned and share those concerns. It's just girlfriends talking. Right?

    The danger of "just girlfriends talking" hit hard after recalling a recent conversation with a friend after church. After speaking my mind, I realized the woman we were chatting about was very close to where the conversation took place. Panic and a sick feeling stirred in my stomach. Questions raced through my mind:

    Did she hear us?

    How should I act when I see her?

    What kind of excuse can I make up for why we were talking about her?

    Words from Ephesians 4:29 rushed into my mind as conviction filled my heart: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

    Nothing in that conversation had been helpful in building up the topic of our conversation. Not one word spoken brought benefit to anyone who listened. Our conversation was truly gossip — casual, unconstrained talk.

    That potentially-damaging conversation made me realize once again the power of my words. I can use them to hurt or to help.

    I'm committed to making a change with my words. Oh how different my conversations are when I use the acronym "T.H.I.N.K." before saying anything. This helps me determine if I should speak or keep silent. Are my words:

    T: True?
    H: Helpful?
    I: Inspiring?
    N: Necessary?
    K: Kind?

    I love to talk. But sometimes my careless chatter has hurt others, and my loose lips have left me full of regret. However, God's Word and the T.H.I.N.K. acronym help me to use my words wisely. They help me know when to press pause so I can walk away from a conversation without any regrets.

    Will you join me in becoming more than just a girlfriend talking? Will you challenge yourself to T.H.I.N.K. before you speak and to use your words to benefit as well as to build up others?

    Dear Lord, You gave us one mouth and two ears for a reason. Help me think before I speak. I want to be a wise woman and use my words to help, heal, honor, benefit and build up those who listen. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Put to memory T.H.I.N.K. How can this acronym benefit your relationships?

    Is there a recent conversation you regret? Consider if you need to apologize for any hurtful words.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 141:3, "Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips." (NIV)

    James 1:26, "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Why Me?

    Posted on March 23, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Luke 1:43

    Sometimes you wonder why God has blessed you so much. You pinch yourself because of the overwhelming blessing of God. It may be gratitude for life itself or for a new baby. It may be the blessing of God a good friend is experiencing. Your joy may be because your children married people who place God at the top of their priority list, or because your career has taken off to a level of success you never imagined, and your financial abundance exceeds your expectations many times over. You often question why you are the recipient of God’s magnificent grace. The magnitude of His blessing seems to be greater than normal because you are the object of Almighty God’s sovereign selection of unmerited favor.

    It is good that you have not gotten over your gratitude to God. Your faith would be suspect if you routinely expected God to go over the top on your behalf. This type of presumption regarding God’s favor is influenced by pride because it not only expects but demands the blessing of God. However, joyful obedience is God’s expectation of you; He expects your surrender and submission. Doing His will is the least you can do, for He has chosen you for this opportunity to exalt Him. Never get over the fact that faith in God and obedience to His commands position you to be blessed at His discretion (1 Chronicles 29:12).

    Furthermore, embrace those who have been graced with God’s blessing. Wish only His very best for them. Do not be jealous because you did not receive what they received. The Bible says that the Lord made us all unique. “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly” (Romans 12:6a NASB). Be grateful that you can hang out with those on whom God’s hand rests. He will choose to bless others differently than you, but blessing differentiations are meant to promote celebration, not division. This is how God expresses His sovereign control. He even blesses those outside the faith to promote His kingdom. He uses His indiscriminate blessings to draw good, but unredeemed people to Himself.

    Blessing is the Lord’s lightning rod for the remembrance of a righteous God. The next time a friend is blessed by God, turn your inner snarl into an authentic smile. Be extremely grateful that He allows you to live or work with someone who is blessed to have the hand of God on his or her life. “Rejoice with those who rejoice…” (Romans 12:15a). These special, chosen servants are rare indeed. They are energizing to be around because they encourage you to be better. You don’t feel patronized, but privileged to be in their presence.

    Trustworthy followers of Jesus are rare, so seek to learn from them and model their wise and humble ways. Watch how God works in their lives. Emulate their pure hearts for the Lord. God has you where you are for a season. Seize this time to learn from those who know how to lean on the Lord. Be thrilled that He has trusted you with this relational stewardship. God’s blessing is bountiful, so be aggressively appreciative that you and others are so blessed. Gratefully accept His blessing on your life and the lives of others. When you ask, “Why me?” remember it is because He wants you to be blessed on His behalf. Therefore ask, “Why not me?”

    Taken from the March 23rd reading in Boyd’s 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God vol. 1”

    Post/Tweet today: Our blessings are the Lord’s lightning rod for remembrance of our generous God. #whyme?

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Practical Provision

    Posted on March 22, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them” (Matthew 12:1).

    The Lord’s provision does not lack in practicality. What need do you have? Are you stressed out by striving or have you looked around for a simple solution? It may take some creativity and risk, but if Christ has what you need in close proximity, do not be shy. Forgo ego and appropriate faith. Access His provision and let Him manage your image.

    Is your struggle over lack of work? Are you willing to work with your hands outside of your interests to provide for your family? Labor is labor; it can be toilsome and tiring at times. So even if your job is temporarily tedious, look at it as a gift from God. Be proud of your work, even when it is more transactional than relational. Our perspective becomes more grateful and realistic when work becomes a necessity, not an option.

    Productive work keeps us focused on provision for those who depend on us, keeping us away from unproductive activities. Paul states it well, “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.’ We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies’” (2 Thessalonians 3:10–11). Provision follows preparation; so prepare your heart in humility, your head in integrity, and your hands in diligence. God helps those who prepare, work hard, and trust Him.

    It is bad theology to blame God, the church, and others for our needy situation. It is good theology to be resourceful and seek solutions that require humility and focus. Whom have you invested in over the years who would be honored to give back to you? When you are transparent about your needs, you give other souls an opportunity to be blessed by blessing you. Honesty is a pure platform to invite God’s provision through friends.

    Lastly, do not allow religious restraints to rob you of receiving mercy and being served on the Christian Sabbath. Is there a better time for the body of Christ to care for one another than on our day of corporate worship and biblical teaching?  Indeed, engage with believers when you are in need, each part of the body needs the other. If you remain silent you deny others a blessing; when you speak up God practically provides.

    “But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (1 Corinthians 12:24-26).

    Prayer: Have I recognized and received God’s provision? Who needs my provision?

    Related Readings: Joshua 9:14; Proverbs 6:8; Romans 5:17; 1 Timothy 6:17

    Taken from the March 22nd reading in Boyd’s 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God vol. 2”

    Post/Tweet today: Provision follows preparation; so we prepare our heart with humility and our head with integrity. #practicalprovision

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Natural Disaster

    Posted on March 21, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    "The priests are in mourning, those who minister before the Lord. The fields are ruined, the ground is dried up; the grain is destroyed, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails.” Joel 1:9 b – 10

    A natural disaster may or may not be judgment from God. One thing is for sure, it is evidence of God. It is a wake up call. The extreme devastation is from forces uncontrived by mankind. The wind, the water, and the floods are the result of heaven's fury. This arrest in activity is an opportunity to look up. It is a time to take the attention off ourselves and ask God what He is up to. He is in control. He does have a plan and He does have His way of doing things. He has a purpose in this wake up call we define as a natural disaster.

    Certainly it is a time to seek God, and secondly, it is an opportunity to serve people. Basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter are wanting. God’s people have the prime time chance to shine for Jesus. Natural disasters are gargantuan ministry opportunities. Life is passing by for some. They are naked, bleeding, and hungry. Their friends and family have perished before their very eyes. There is a hurt, hunger, and displacement that most cannot understand. The window is open to act. In the name of Jesus, we can and will rebuild.

    We can rebuild homes, schools, churches, businesses, and most importantly, lives. Cities are a shell of their former glory. Sin has been squeezed out of them like the ringing of a dirty dishrag. Saints know their hope is eternal, but they still struggle with their loss. A natural disaster is evidence of the destructive power of our Creator. He is not a passive spectator, rather an engaged and patient heavenly Father. He cannot and will not be ignored. This is the time to bow before Him in confession, repentance and worship.

    “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45b).

    We can certainly pray for those caught in catastrophic calamity. Pray for God’s comfort and provision. Pray for God’s healing and mercy. Pray for God’s presence to permeate callous hearts, and pray for His love to draw others to Himself. Pray for people to ask God for forgiveness. Pray that we all would walk in humility with God, instead of indifference toward God. Pray that this time of brokenness will bring us all closer to God.

    Indeed, we can pray and we can pay. We can give to our churches to help rebuild churches. We can give to ministries that provide food, clothing and shelter. We can house those who have relocated to our cities in need of friends and a roof over their heads. We can facilitate their dignity by helping with job opportunities, networking and training.

    Life cannot go on as usual. We need to ask ourselves what our role can be. Everyone doing a little accomplishes a whole lot. A natural disaster can lead to a supernatural revival. We can experience a revival of awareness and worship of God. We can witness Jesus in action through love and service to our fellow man. We can use this pause in life to reevaluate our own priorities and recalibrate them with more eternal significance.

    A natural disaster should lead us to a supernatural sense of God’s wonder. The Lord is large and in charge. Let’s not stay mad or sad. Let’s be glad we serve a risen Savior who’s in the world today. He is here to walk with us through the flood, famine and fire. God is with us. He is here. He cares and He is drawing mankind to Himself!

    “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:1b-3a).

    Prayer: During a natural disaster, how can I be a conduit for Christ’s supernatural resources?

    Related Readings: Psalm 82:5; Isaiah 24:19; Acts 16:26; Revelation 6:13

    Post/Tweet today: A natural disaster should lead us to a supernatural sense of God’s wonder. The Lord is large and in charge. #naturaldisaster

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • I Really Should Have More Fun

    Posted on March 21, 2014 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." John 15:11-12 (NIV)

    Why is it so hard for me to stop working and just have fun?

    Other people have no trouble doing this. They look for any reason to drop the dust rags, ditch the dirty laundry, turn off the computer, and head to the park! Or the movies. Or a hike. Laughing all the way.

    I wish I were more like that.

    Couldn't the personality tests I've taken throughout the years just once show a different result? But alas, they always confirm what my family knows too well: I'm the responsible, serious one. The one who picks up cups and plates at someone else's party. And watches the clock at events to ensure they're on schedule. I'm the one who wants to make sure we get all the work done first — before any fun begins.

    Only the work is never done. When I finish one task, another sits waiting for me. There's always something more to do. As a result, I experience false guilt. All the time.

    Every strength has a good and bad side. The good side of being responsible is, well, I'm responsible. If I say I'm going to do something, you can be fairly sure it will get done.

    The bad side of being responsible is feeling like the weight of the world rests on me. It makes a girl crazy worrying about assignments that are hers — and even those that aren't. It's hard to relax. My heart can get resentful when others aren't carrying the weight of the world with me. How do they have so much time to not work?!

    The reality? Not every assignment is mine to do. To assume responsibility for more than is mine speaks of a lack of trust ... in God to do His job ... or in others to do theirs.

    I'm pretty sure this all-work-no-play routine wasn't the life Jesus intended me to live as one of His disciples. Carrying the weight of burdens that aren't mine to carry. Choosing to interact with a computer screen rather than being with people.

    The Bible values hard work, but Jesus' message is clear: Love God. Love people.

    In John 15:11-12, Jesus said, "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."

    Jesus, with more to do in His three years of active ministry than I'll have in a lifetime, focused on His main assignment — to love people. Sometimes that meant teaching them. Or serving them. Yet other times it meant just hanging out. Enjoying dinner with friends. Celebrating at a wedding party. Welcoming children. These fun times weren't empty of significance. Rather they were filled with value as Jesus showed love in a different way.

    We love God and others when we work. And when we have fun.

    This is a truth I need to apply to my life more often. My idea of loving others is often shown by serving them. But some people feel loved when I simply spend time with them. And for some, that time needs to be a little less task-oriented and a lot more laughter-filled.

    That's my challenge. To be intentional about having fun. To initiate getting together with others. To say yes when invited. To stretch outside my comfort zone. And to relax about the details.

    Work will always be there — but the people might not be.

    God has a pretty good handle on managing the world. I can leave that job to Him while I grab a loved one and make a lasting memory instead of checking something off my to-do list.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for creating us to laugh. Thank You for putting in us the desire to enjoy life. Help me learn to relax and show love to others without worrying about the details. Forgive me for putting work before someone who needed my time and attention. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Is it hard for you to have fun? What holds you back?

    Think of one fun activity you can do with someone this week. Make a call, send a text or email, and extend the invitation.

    Power Verses:
    John 2:1-2, "On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. (NIV)

    Colossians 1:17, "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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

     


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

  • Created for Worship

    Posted on March 20, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market! John 2:16

    Christ was furious that His place of worship had been robbed of its original intent. The purpose of the Temple was prayer, worship and confession, but it had become commercialized for the sake of convenience and cash. Merchants muddled the grounds with their wares and currency exchanges, so the faithful could easily purchase their sacrifices to God. However, the holiness of the temple turned into the mayhem of a chaotic marketplace. Thus, Christ cleansed His temple.

    Have some of our churches gone to far by commercializing Christ in competition with worshipping Christ? Have we lost our central focus of prayer, worship, confession and Bible teaching for the sake of convenience and cash? Perhaps we invite Christ to cleanse our churches of any methods or programs that compete with His commission to make disciples. We make sure our mission is faith in Jesus. We worship God without the distraction of selling God’s resources.

    “For zeal for your house consumes me,and the insults of those who insult you fall on me” (Psalm 69:9).

    Furthermore, we have to ask ourselves, "Am I intentionally leveraging my time with the Lord’s people for my own personal gain?" "Am I using Sundays to serve, only so it benefits my work the other six days of the week?" A subtle solicitation of our services during the holy hour of worship can be as harmful as blatant selling. Men and women of integrity focus on who they need to be in God’s sight, rather than promoting what they do during the work week to fellow parishioners.

    Lastly, the Holy Spirit desires to regularly cleanse the temple of our heart. He knows motives become mixed; money seeks too much attention and pride is ever persistent to influence. So, we ask the Spirit to flush out selfish desires and any attachments that distract our personal worship of our heavenly Father. The temple of our heart needs noisy voices to be escorted out and peaceful prayers to be invited in to stay. Christ cleanses our hearts in readiness to worship Him.

    “And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers'” (Mark 11:17).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, cleanse the temple of my heart, so I can worship You wholeheartedly with Your people.

    Related Readings: Exodus 20:40; Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11; Luke 2:49, 18:10; Acts 3:1, 22:17

    Post/Tweet today: The temple of our heart needs noisy voices to be escorted out and peaceful prayers to be invited in. #createdforworship

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Jesus Mourns With You

    Posted on March 20, 2014 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "Jesus wept." John 11:35 (NIV)

    Colorful balloons and gerbera daisies filled the stage. Amber had asked everyone to wear something bright and cheerful — something that would have made her feisty, beautiful 8-year-old daughter happy had she been there.

    But Callie wasn't there. When this precious girl died, a piece of Amber's heart went with her. Some days, Amber went to bed amazed she had made it through another day.

    Well-meaning people told her to move on or to be grateful for the time she had with Callie. But the more she pushed her grief down, the more it came out in places she didn't want it to, and in ways that she didn't understand or expect.

    The Bible tells of others who grieved this deeply. In John 11, we are told Martha and Mary deeply mourned the loss of their brother, Lazarus. Four days had passed, and they learn that Jesus and the disciples approached the city gates.

    Martha rushed to meet Jesus. Mary did not.

    It's significant that Mary did not immediately come to Jesus. Mary is the one who had sat at Jesus' feet, capturing every word. Mary is the one who loved Jesus as a brother, but revered Him as Lord.

    Though Scripture doesn't share specifically why Mary initially remained behind, it does paint a picture of her state of mind. As Mary finally approached Jesus, she fell at His feet. There, she held up her questions, her doubt and her grief with open hands.

    And the Bible tells us, Jesus wept.

    One commentary describes this response to Mary as an "expression of the Divine in contrast to the human spirit." Jesus was so moved by the depths of sorrow from Mary and the others gathered, that the heart of God reached from heaven to weep with them.

    Not long after His encounter with Mary, Jesus experienced a sorrow greater than anyone has ever known. In Isaiah 53:4 it was foretold, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted" (KJV). Heartache was an intimate companion to Christ's suffering on the cross.

    As Jesus wept, He understood the weight of Mary's grief. He didn't tell her to move on. Or that she shouldn't feel this way. Instead, Jesus offered inner peace for inner anguish as He mourned alongside her.

    Perhaps today you understand Amber's pain. You desire to live whole, but you live with untended grief.

    May I share comforting news? In the presence of Jesus, you don't have to numb it, escape from it or push it down. Your heavenly Father requires none of these. Just as Jesus welcomed Mary, He beckons you to come to a safe place, where your Savior is not afraid of sorrow. This safe place is a haven where the mending of your heart begins, as you are invited to express your grief with the One who was wounded and broken, and who carried your heartache upon Himself on the cross.

    It's been two years since Callie left this earth. Amber said her healing began the day she felt free to mourn her sweet Callie with the Savior who loved her best. Does she still miss her? Certainly, for Callie is a part of Amber's heart that will live on. But on those days when Amber meets grief — and those days will happen — she knows there is a safe place as she throws open the door to her heart and invites Christ in.

    Loving Savior, who promises never to leave me or forsake me, who understands the weight I've carried, today I invite You to weep with me. I feel joy that I can come to You with open hands to receive renewed life in the midst of my grief. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Designate a specific time and place to express your grief with Jesus. Write your thoughts in a journal.

    Each week, go back and note the times you sensed God with you.

    Power Verses:
    Isaiah 40:29-31, "He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." (NLT)

    © 2014 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Unjust Treatment

    Posted on March 19, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? Luke 18:7

    What happens when we are treated unjustly? A written agreement is not honored. Our hard work goes unrecognized or even worse, someone else gets the credit. We are passed over for a promotion, because we did not play politics. A friend will not meet to work out our differences. We feel ignored, mistreated and misunderstood. Our reputation may be bruised, even battered. Unjust treatment can feel like torture. It tests our resolve to persevere in our trust in the Lord.

    What happens in our hearts when we are treated unfairly? They can harden under the pressure of pride, or soften under the influence of humility. An offended heart can lash back in anger, or it can respond in repentance and seek to restore the relationship. Deep disappointment from someone we really respect can challenge our confidence in their character and tempt us to dismiss them. Thus, it's critical that we forgive fast and ask Christ to lead our conversations.

    “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

    Furthermore, we are wise to invite the peace of God to protect our heart and mind. His peace is a buffer between fleshly feelings and Spirit-led emotions. His peace gives us the courage to be a peacemaker, instead of defending our desire to be right. In persistent prayer, God’s peace renews our minds with His thoughts of faith, hope and love. He keeps the devil’s lies away from our thought process, so we can prayerfully process God’s will. Christ’s peace stabilizes our soul.

    Therefore, our unjust treatment is an opportunity for us to ask our heavenly Father to purify our motives and accelerate our forgiveness. Love does not stew in self pity, rather by God’s grace, it wipes clean any dark offense on the white board of our heart. We seek to be reconciled--not to be declared right. We value the relationship far beyond any monetary loss or gain. We die to ourselves, so Christ can come alive in our lives. Unjust treatment will be justified in God’s timing.

    “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart” (Matthew 18:33).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I trust You to make injustices right, and use me in the meantime to model grace, love and forgiveness.

    Related Readings: Job 34:31; Psalm 88:1; 1 Kings 8:39; 2 Corinthians 2:5, 2:9; Revelation 6:10

    Post/Tweet today: God’s peace is a buffer between fleshly feelings and Spirit-led emotions. #unjusttreatment

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Five Prayers for Your Daughter

    Posted on March 19, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "'... so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.'" Isaiah 55:11 (ESV)

    There is something I've come to realize I need to guard against as a mom. I sometimes want to be God in my kids' lives.

    I want to write their stories.

    I want to set the course for their futures.

    I want to determine what's best for them.

    I want to prevent them from ever being hurt.

    I want to be their provider and protector.

    And I want to be the one to set anyone straight who messes with my kids.

    Can you relate on any level? I think most moms can. We love these people God has entrusted to us more than we ever knew possible. And despite all the infant-stage sleepless nights, toddler tantrums, tween eye rolling, and the teen decisions that break our hearts slap in two ... they are ours. To love. To lead. To launch.

    And we want to make it all good.

    But then things happen so beyond our control we eventually have to face the reality that we aren't God. And we can't operate as if we are.

    So what do we do with that gap where our mommy capabilities end and trusting God begins? Where my kids are concerned, I want to trust God with everything beyond my control. But it's so scary. It feels so risky.

    And scary and risky are two words we moms don't want as part of our kids' lives.

    So, how do we deepen our trust in God? How do we make peace with the limits of what we can and cannot protect our children from? What do we do with the risky and scary feelings that can make a mom lose sleep at best and feel crazed with fear at worst?

    We must fill that gap with the only thing that bridges the space between our limitations and our trust in God: prayer.

    I know, I know. That answer can sound like such a cliché Christian answer. Typical. Too hyper-spiritual. Not the answer we want sometimes.

    But prayer is the only possibility with real possibility.

    Yesterday, my friend Brooke McGlothlin wrote a devotion about scriptural prayers for boys (see related resources listed below). It inspired me to write some specific scriptural prayers for our girls.

    Here are five powerful prayers to help you fight for the heart of your daughter:

    1. Let her learn early in life that to obey You, God, is the best way to the life her heart truly desires (1 Samuel 15:22).

    2. May she find comfort in Your ability, God, to reach her, hold her and rescue her (2 Samuel 22:17-18).

    3. Let her find confidence in You, God, even when hard times come and she doesn't know what to do, by keeping her eyes fixed on You (2 Chronicles 20:12).

    4. May she keep herself under control and not give full vent to people and situations that anger her (Proverbs 29:11).

    5. Let her walk in the security of Your assigned worth to her. Give her a strong work ethic and health to accomplish all her tasks. Give her a heart that desires to extend her hand to those in need. Protect her for the right husband, a man of respect and godly honor. And let her be a woman of joy and laughter whose Christ-centered character is what makes her most beautiful (Proverbs 31).

    I've prayed these prayers, and I've seen amazingly powerful things happen in the lives of my daughters.

    I can still fret and worry and want to mess with anyone who messes with my girls.

    My girls still make mistakes, cross lines and give the principal reasons to call me.

    But where would we be if the power of the One who answers our prayers wasn't in the mix of our lives?

    And what might these prayers be working out for my daughters' futures that I won't see for years to come? Yes, prayer is the only possibility with real possibility. And that brings me to the place where I can finally say ... "Hello, my name is Mom. Not God."

    Dear Lord, I know that Your Word does not return void and I'm believing great things for my daughter today. May we both grow in our relationship with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Choose one of the Scriptures mentioned above and write it down on a notecard. Place that notecard where you will see it every day (your bathroom mirror, your desk at work, etc.) and pray the Scripture out loud for the next week. When you pray the Word of God, you pray the will of God!

    © 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Be Hopeful

    Posted on March 18, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." John 2:19

    There was a parenthesis of three days following Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave. It was hard to be hopeful when it seemed so dark. Had the Romans won? Were the religious accusers right? For many disciples of Jesus, their hope died when He died. They forgot or failed to believe His promise to bring Himself back to life after a short delay. Since the Holy Spirit had yet to be given by Jesus, their hope struggled to survive. Hope was threatened.

    Are you suffering in a parenthesis of pain? Is your hope vague or nonexistent? Be reassured, in your loss you can still gain peace from God. You can be hopeful for the Holy Spirit indwells you to comfort, instruct and inspire your faith. Hopeful expectation energizes faith and creates spiritual stamina. Dreams die, but Jesus can bring them back to life: even clearer and more compelling. Relationships die, but Jesus can bring them back to life: real and robust. Hope expects life in Christ.

    No one takes it [my life] from me, but I [Jesus] lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again(John 10:18).

    Furthermore, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the primary reason His church continues to come alive around the globe. Why else would it endure? The church was launched from Jesus coming to life. It's still alive, because He’s alive. The empty tomb emptied the first disciples of themselves, and by faith, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus still keeps His word. He rebuilds what man destroys. He gives hope to hearts empty of self and full of the Spirit. Faith in Him gives us hope.

    We can be hopeful because Jesus does what He says. He prepares for us a place after death. Our first breath in heaven will follow our last breath on earth. We will be in His presence forever. Our bodies will be destroyed, but He will give us a resurrected and glorified body. So, be hopeful in your hurt. Trust Jesus to heal your heart. Believe God to repair your broken marriage. Be hopeful you can become better. Your hopeful expectations just might inspire others to hope. Be hopeful!

    “Your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, hope in You helps me remain faithful to You and Your will.

    Related Readings: Psalm 71:5, 78:7; Luke 14:14; John 11:24-25; Acts 2:31; Philippians 3:20-21

    Post/Tweet today: Our first breath in heaven will follow our last breath on earth. #behopeful

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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


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

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