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Daily Devotion

  • Modest Means

    Posted on December 23, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:7

    Jesus came into the world in a modest manger with parents who had modest means. Mary and Joseph were long on love but short on financial resources. But in God’s economy, a family first needs faith in their Provider and not in the provision. A family who prays together has a higher probability of staying together. A home rich in relational depth experiences true riches. Modest financial means can liberate one’s love for the Lord.

    You may receive a cool reception from those who feel superior because of their self proclaimed social status. Some look down on the work of your hands for their hands have not been soiled by sweat and physical labor. Pride breeds a smug countenance while humility births a kind and compassionate face. Indeed, modesty makes room for humility.

    “But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of.” 1 Corinthians 12:19, The Message

    Are you a little embarrassed that you don’t have the cutest clothes, the coolest car or the most decorated home? Don’t let the “comparison trap” trap you into not trusting God for His game plan and His good things. You may seem ordinary by the world’s standards, but your life surrendered to your Savior has extraordinary potential. Give Him all you have.

    Maybe you are newly married or you know a newlywed couple. This modest season is a prime time to learn contentment in Christ and how to serve Him and others unselfishly. Give over to the Lord your modest means and He will multiply it for His glory. Your limited time He redeems with creative opportunities, your humble finances He stretches beyond a strict budget and your rich relationships He makes richer. Dedicate your modest means to your Master Jesus, like a soft rain, He will refresh dry hearts.

    “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” Luke 16:10

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, take my modest means and multiply them for Your glory.

    Related Readings: Exodus 16:17; Proverbs 16:8; Luke 19:17; 1 Corinthians 12:23

    Post/Tweet today: A home rich in relational depth experiences true riches. #true riches

    © 2013 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, Christmas

  • The Pull to be Everywhere During the Holidays

    Posted on December 23, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4 (ESV)

    I loved holidays. Before marriage. Before the pull to be everywhere at the same time. Before most decisions left someone upset or angry or feeling left out.

    As a newlywed, I struggled with a desire to be in my own home on holidays, to start my own traditions with my husband. We were the first to be married in both families, and thus the first to break "how it's always been."

    Thanksgiving should have been a time to be thankful. All I felt was stretched thin. Christmas was meant to be joyous, but I was often frustrated from wanting to please everyone.

    As we had children, I tried to mask my frustration with enthusiasm. But inside I wrestled. If my husband and I chose to celebrate the holidays at our own home, someone was bound to be disappointed. When we went to every expected event, I would be exhausted from packing up three young kids, diaper bags, food, toys, presents, and the list went on.

    Fast-forward thirty years, and thankfully I once again treasure the holidays. But now that my kids are grown up and married with babies of their own, I understand the longing my extended family felt to be together on the holidays. An empty nest leaves gaps that traditions used to fill.

    Yet with three sets of in-laws, there are other families in the mix now. My husband and I know the pressure our kids might feel to come home for the holidays, and we don't want them to have the same frustrations we did.

    A few years ago we chose to put Philippians 2:4 in to action: "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others" (ESV).

    We told our children it's not the date on the calendar that makes holidays special. It's the heart behind them. It's spending time with people you love.

    So, sometimes we get together on Thanksgiving Day, or maybe the week after. Maybe it's Christmas only, while Thanksgiving is spent with other family members or by themselves. We remain flexible to our kids' needs and schedules. If they and our grandchildren aren't with us on a specific day, my husband and I fill that time with a new tradition with just the two of us. Last year Richard and I hiked. We had so much fun! Later, when we gathered to celebrate Christmas with our growing family, it was a blessed, unrushed time.

    There was an unexpected gift. What we discovered is that by looking out for their best interest—and not our personal desires—our kids love to come because there's no pressure. They let us in on their traditions. Regardless of the date, when we do get together we have fun! It's a gift we give our family and ourselves.

    Dear Lord, I'm grateful for so many things, and one of those is family who loves me enough to want to be with me. Help me share my needs with my loved ones, and to do it with grace and gentleness. Help me not to take it personally as they struggle with change. If I am the one that is inflexible, help me to bend and grow. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Have you shared your needs? Articulate them on paper. Share them at the right time, in the right attitude. Don't take responses personally. Change takes time.

    If you are the one struggling with change, are you willing to be flexible? Instead of focusing on a specific date, focus on the heart of the holiday.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 106:1-2, "Praise the LORD! Give thanks to the LORD, for his is good! His faithful love endures forever. Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD? Who can ever praise him enough?" (NLT)

    © 2013 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 Philippians, Christmas

  • Intimacy Trusts

    Posted on December 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.  Psalm 9:10

    Intimacy trusts. This is the outcome of knowing God. Knowledge is best when it exercises itself against the name of God. His name is above every name. It is at the name of Jesus that every knee will bow and confess Him as Lord. It is much better and much more desirable to know His name this side of eternity. No name is close to carrying the weight, reverence, respect, devotion, and influence than that of the Lord Jesus Christ. By knowing His name, we begin to understand the attributes of the Almighty. Patience, peace, holiness, love, discipline, mercy, and grace all emanate from the name of Jehovah, our one and only God of creation. Because we know Him, we trust Him. Because we trust Him, we want to know Him deeper and more fully.
    Faith is an intelligent grace. There can be knowledge without faith, but there can be no faith without knowledge. Knowledge carries the torch before faith and illuminates its path. Paul defined his faith experience when he proclaimed, “For I know whom I have believed” (2 Timothy 1:12). A blind faith is as bad as a dead faith. Our heavenly Father wants us to have an informed faith. Devout ignorance confuses and makes wrong assumptions. It misses intimacy because it is based on a caricature of Christ. Know Him, and you will trust Him. He is there for us to seek Him. By faith, you find Jehovah, Jireh, Elohim, Shaddai, Adonai and Yahweh. Intimacy trusts when it rests in Almighty God.
    Intimacy trusts because there is a bond of belief that cannot be broken. When we wrap our rope of faith around the mooring of our Master, we are secure. No storm of life will cause us to drift, because we are anchored in Him. We trust Him because He is utterly and thoroughly trustworthy. His name has never been soiled by sin. Jesus is not only a good name; it is a great name. His name is wonderful. His name is beautiful. His name is to be honored and cherished because He is our God. Feel free to drop His name often to those who need encouragement or rebuke. No need to hold back the name of Jesus. Yes, mention His name with grace, but not apologetically. His is the name of whom we trust. We point people beyond ourselves to One who is much, much more capable. We name the name of Christ.
    Lastly, intimacy between individuals is trusting. This is the nature of intimacy with God or man. You cannot get to know someone authentically and not be positioned to trust them. If their genuine self overwhelms you with hypocrisy, you will lose respect and trust. But when you get close to genuine followers of Jesus, you see beyond their quirks. You appreciate their uniqueness and embrace their differences. You honor them for being who they are, and you better understand each other’s worlds. You begin to honor and respect those you get to know. Not only do we love them, we respect them. You get beyond your biases toward them and you believe in them.
    Intimacy trusts. The Bible says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13)

    Post/Tweet today: Because we know God, we trust Him. Because we trust Him, we want to know Him more deeply. #intimacytrusts

    © 2013 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 Psalm

  • Expecting a Baby

    Posted on December 21, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “He [Joseph] went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:5–7).

    An expecting wife needs extra sensitivity and a strong, supportive husband. She is emotionally vulnerable and physically overwhelmed at times. As with Mary, there may be some uncertainty of the ultimate outcome, but she trusts the Lord to care for her and her baby. The circumstances are challenging when you are away from the comforts of home and its familiar feel. Pregnancy is a transition that requires trust in the Lord.

    Husbands, your expecting wife needs you to step up like Joseph and provide leadership. This is not the time to lose faith or become frightened. Perfect love casts out fear; so overcome any apprehension with the Christlike love that dwells in your mind and heart. See pregnancy as a prayerful process to accomplish the plan of almighty God, as expecting moms and dads can expect great things from Him. Hannah and her husband Elkanah gave God the glory for the blessing of their son Samuel.

    “Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, ‘Because I asked the Lord for him’” (1 Samuel 1:19–20).

    Furthermore, a husband’s leadership needs to provide protection for his wife. Accompany her, as Joseph did, to new places and people who might take advantage of your sweet-spirited spouse. It makes your woman feel safe and secure when you buffer her from bad people or strangers with unseemly motives. Stay with her, and see her through stressful situations, like family members who can be awkward and insensitive toward your bride.

    Intervene and defend your wife if your children, parents, or siblings show disrespect, however subtle it might be. God made you one flesh in marriage; so if she is offended, you are offended. Of course, prayerfully confront all parties in a spirit of grace and humility, but with clarity. An expecting wife is beautiful to behold as she brings forth an innocent infant woven in her womb by God. Be there for her labor of love for the Lord and for His gift of a precious little one to love. Mary gave God the glory for her baby Jesus!

    “The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23).

    Prayer: Whom can I support and pray for who is expecting a baby? How can I thank my heavenly Father for His gift of baby Jesus to me and to mankind?

    Related Readings: Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2; John 16:21; 1 John 4:18

    Post/Tweet today: An expecting wife is beautiful as she brings forth an innocent infant woven in her womb by God. #expectingababy

    © 2013 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, Christmas

  • Abundant Forgiveness

    Posted on December 20, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Then Peter came to Jesus and ask, ‘Lord how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seventy times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22

    Sin’s offense hurts. There is no doubt about it. Sin wounds indiscriminately. It is no respectr of persons. Sin builds walls. It ravishes relationships and it separates. Sin is a sorry excuse for wrong behavior. Just the sound of the word solicits negative emotion. Sin is deceptive, carnal and Christ-less. Sin is unfair, sad and sometimes sadistic.

    Sin follows a process of desire, conception, birth, maturity and death. James describes its diabolical development. “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:15). So sin is not to be taken lightly. Certainly its infliction of pain cannot be ignored for long. It can kill relationships.

    Nonetheless, when you are sinned against you are to forgive. When someone’s sin assaults your attitude, you are to forgive them. When someone’s sin berates your work, you are to forgive them. When someone’s sin violates your trust, you are to forgive them. When someone’s sin steals your joy, you are to forgive them.

    When someone’s sin crushes your dreams, you are to forgive them. When someone’s sin steals from you, you are to forgive them. This level of forgiveness is counter-intuitive and counter-cultural, but it is the way of Christ. Forgiveness is God’s game plan. You will lose if you don’t forgive. Unforgiveness is tortuous to the soul. It is unhealthy for the body and emotions. Unforgiveness fills prescriptions and leaves hollow lives in its wake.

    It doesn’t matter who is the most right or the most wrong. Forgiveness cuts through the varying degrees of guilt and erases the entire debt. True forgiveness comes from the heart of the one offended. It is not a flippant acknowledgement, but a sincere removal of anything that is owed. When the offended one forgives, he or she wipes out the expectation for an apology, a pay back or change. It is forgiveness clear and simple. Forgiveness is letting go of the hurt, anger and shame. When you forgive you are free. You are free from the shackles of sin. When you forgive you trust God to judge others in His time. His judgment is just. God can be trusted with the consequences of sin’s offense.

    Lastly, you continue to forgive others because your heavenly Father continues to forgive you. Without Christ’s forgiveness we are all men and women most miserable. Jesus does not deal in forgiveness quotas. The forgiveness of the Cross was swift, full, final and forever. Unlock your relational restraints with the key of forgiveness. Write a letter with tear soaked ink outlining your forgiveness. Call or e-mail someone today and let them know because you are forgiven, you forgive them. Set free others with forgiveness and you will be set free. There is freedom in Christ. Forgive fast—and forgive often.

    “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34a).

    Prayer: Whom by God’s grace do I need to forgive? Have I accepted Christ’s forgiveness?

    Related Readings: Genesis 50:17; Psalm 130:4; Luke 17:3; Ephesians 4:32

    Post/Tweet this today: Set others free with forgiveness and you will be set free. There is freedom in Christ. #abundantforgiveness

    © 2013 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 Forgiveness, Matthew

  • Combating Loneliness

    Posted on December 20, 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer

    Samantha Evilsizer

    "My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted." Psalm 25:15-16 (ESV)

    Don't look his way, her heart and mind insist.

    She doesn't want to look. Then again, she does. Though my friend did not check the "Plus One" box on her RSVP card, she wishes she had. Why had she come to this party alone? Maybe then she wouldn't gravitate to him.

    He's reckless and destructive. My friend knows better, but he's the only one who can relate to her. Even so, she avoids eye contact, hoping to make him believe she doesn't need him anymore.

    She succeeds until another round of laughter fills the Christmas party. Her resolve walks out as he walks up to her, extending a knowing hand. Fingers entwined, she falls in his snare. She can't stand him ... this companion called loneliness.

    In the midst of listening to marriage, baby, vacation, life-is-grand stories, she hears the voice of loneliness, high above the conversations: You'll never have this. You'll be lonely forever.

    She had promised herself she wouldn't turn her eyes to him this time. As she was getting ready for the party, she put this truth on: "My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted." (Psalm 25:15-16 ESV)

    But she forgot this hopeful promise as she fell into the trap of loneliness.

    By the time the clock chimed an acceptable hour to bid her goodbyes, she was eager to be gone. One step out the door and she lowered her guard too soon. Loneliness had saved his best for last. Powerfully, he pummeled lies until she believed: You will always be lonely.

    When he trotted off, leaving her alone, a different hand reached down. One that is gentle and healing. Let me help you up. Rough night, huh?

    She looked up to see His scarred hand extended.

    How'd You know I was here?

    He tells her He's been there the whole time, always near, at the ready to rescue any time she looked to Him for help. As she faced Him, He began to untangle the false claims of loneliness with truth: I am near (Psalm 145:18). I will never leave (Deuteronomy 31:6). I am your joy (Psalm 16:11).

    Hollow parts of her heart filled with the confidence of Jesus. She knew it was time to break-up with loneliness for good. Not just at parties, during holidays, or weekends with nothing planned.

    Maybe it's your time too? Truth is, loneliness can tag along whether you are alone or surrounded by family and friends, on special days and ordinary days.

    There's only one way to keep loneliness from being a constant companion in life. It is to make sure our "... eyes are ever toward the LORD ..." Psalm 25:15a (ESV).

    Let's keep our focus on God and call out to Him when we feel loneliness setting a trap for us: in the festive times, in the quiet times, at all times.

    Dear Lord, my eyes are ever toward You, for only You will release my feet from the trap of loneliness. Will You please turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted? Thank You for being near and being my joy. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Christmas can be a time when loneliness is overwhelming. If you struggle with this, what can you do to combat loneliness?

    Choose a Bible verse to memorize that you will use to fight loneliness. Write it on a piece of paper or make it your phone/computer screen saver as a constant reminder of the nearness of Jesus.

    Power Verses:
    Deuteronomy 31:8, "It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." (ESV)

    Lamentations 3:22-26, "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.' The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD." (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer. 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 Psalm, Loneliness

  • Recognize and Receive

    Posted on December 19, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. John 1:9-11

    God stationed a star over Bethlehem to celebrate the birth of His son Jesus, the true light of the world. Similar to now, Jesus was the authentic shining light of salvation who was unrecognized by the world. The bright light over Bethlehem became a beacon of hope for all who believed. But like a home builder today who erects and owns a spec home, but is ignored by most at the open house, so Christ is the creator and owner of the world, but is shunned by the majority of its inhabitants. Yes, Jesus was born to light up our sin darkened world with His illuminating love.

    How can so great a love go unrecognized in loveless lands around the globe or down the street? Why do some turn off the Lord’s light though it leads us down His perfect path? Simply becausesome love darkness more than the light. Deeds done in the darkness are somehow believed to be hidden from God’s sight. But He reveals what is done in the darkness and calls us to repent. This is why Christmas makes our culture uncomfortable. Jesus invites us to walk in the light as He is in the light. The decorative bright lights of the holiday remind us to follow the light of our Lord.

    When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12

    Furthermore, Jesus was rejected by His own. He came to heal the sick, but those with a sick soul failed to receive Him as their remedy for unrighteousness. He came to preach good tidings, but His fellow citizens assumed He was just another prophet. Jesus was rejected by those who should have know better. But, He was received by those who didn’t know any better but to believe God sent His son into the world to save them from their sins. So, receive Him now and be free indeed.

    What happens once we recognize that Jesus is the light of the world? What’s next after we grow tired of groping in the darkness of fear, guilt and shame? Almighty God expects us by faith to receive Christ into our lives as our Savior and Lord. We embrace the light of His love and we walk away from our shameful ways done in the darkness. When we receive Jesus, we are purified by His blood, we walk with Him in the light and we enjoy His forever fellowship with each other!

    But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to follow You, the true light of my life, and to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

    Related Readings:Isaiah 49:6, 53:3; Romans 13:12; Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5;
    1 John 2:8;

    Post/Tweet this today: Jesus was born to light up our sin darkened world with His illuminating love. #recognizeandreceive

    © 2013 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

  • The Most Searched for Answer

    Posted on December 19, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 (NIV)

    Growing up I had a plan for how I could make my life good.

    Get a good education. A good job. A good husband. A few good kids. A good house. A good flowerbed out front. And a good mini-van parked in the driveway.

    Then life would be ... good.

    Eventually, I had all that good stuff. I was thankful for it all. I loved my family to pieces. The mini-van wasn't all I thought it would be, but I felt like an official mom driving it. So even that wound up being good.

    But something inside me still felt hollow. A little off. A little lacking.

    So, I reasoned I needed something else to do. A place where I could use my gifts and talents. And while these things were fun and satisfying on one level, they too fell short when it came to that deep place ringing with the echoes of empty.

    Empty is a heavy load to bear. The mystery of wanting to be filled but not knowing how or what could fill the deep soul is a gnawing ache. A search that can seem both futile and shattering at times.

    When you try and try, always feeling like the answer is just around the corner, and then it isn't, it can split your heart wide open and leak dry all your reserves.

    It can make you feel unsatisfied and frustrated with everything. Even those you love. Maybe especially those you love.

    So you fake a smile and keep putting one foot in front of the other. But eventually you stop peeking around the next corner hoping the answer is there. History tells you it isn't. And wrapped in that perception is the noose that strangles out all hope.

    Sadly, this is where many women live.

    I know this place because I lived there. I struggled there.

    And I guess I'm wondering if you or someone you love might be there this Christmas season. It's tough when everything around you screams "merry" when you feel anything but.

    It quite honestly stinks.

    So, I'm not going to pretend you'll suddenly feel super merry after reading this.

    But what I can promise is a string of words that explains a lot. An answer that is sure and solid and true and full of the breathless wonder of a hope rediscovered.

    "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12 NIV)

    No good plan is the answer.

    Even a good husband — good children — a good friend make a very poor God.

    No education or job or house can save you.

    Salvation can't be found in anyone or anything else.

    There is no other.

    Only Jesus.

    And I'm not just talking about saying we're Christians. Following the rules and following Jesus are two totally different things.

    Going through the motions of religion won't ever satisfy. It's only when we bend down low, open our hearts in complete surrender, and say, "Jesus, it's You. Only You. There is no other. There is no other possession or person or position that can ever fill the deep soul-place shaped only for You."

    This is my Christmas prayer. Though I've been saved for a long time, I want to recapture the essence of this "no other" reality.

    And really live like this is true.

    Because it is. True.

    Jesus, only You can save and fill and give what my soul desires. Please remind me to draw close to You and rely on the promise that You will draw close to me when I do. Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Who do you rely on to fill the gaps? How would the dynamics of that relationship change if you released them from that duty and allowed Jesus to meet your needs?

    Do you use something (other than people) to fill your gaps, such as food, drugs/alcohol, busyness? What steps would you need to take to stop using them as a way to satisfy your soul?

    Power Verse:
    John 4:10, "Jesus answered her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, "Give me a drink," you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.'" (ESV)

    © 2013 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 Acts

  • Silver and Gold

    Posted on December 18, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11

    The Magi came with genuine gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the new born Messiah. However, this was the closest Christ would come to obtaining treasures for Himself. He arrived in the world with no economic mandate or political agenda. His goal was not to bring finances to bear as a solution to poverty or the nation’s war torn conditions. No, Jesus was born to bring the new birth of a prosperous soul, a peaceful mind and a forgiven heart. Gold was not His goal.

    We have to honestly ask ourselves, ‘Is our plan to fix the culture with financial solutions or is the Spirit’s transforming power our remedy?’ What is our role in bringing the life giving gospel of Jesus to those spiritually bankrupt? Jesus lost what was rightfully His, so He could reach the lost. He came to seek and to save the lost so they might be saved from sin, self and Satan. A global movement of God does not depend on money, but on our hearts being moved by God.

    A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1

    History describes a powerful church when it wasn’t prosperous and a powerless church when it was prosperous. Thus, we go back to the beginning of the Christian faith in the modest manager and we embrace the idea of reliance on God, not gold or government. We worship the One whose Kingdom is not of this world, who reigns over the hearts of humans. Yes, your good name is more valuable than great riches. Use your influence so seekers embrace the Christ of Christmas.

    Some think they need more stuff, but what they need is to be loved by their Lord. Your material means may be modest, but your spiritual resources are abundant. Therefore, during the season of your Savior’s birth be bold to invite others to celebrate your birthday party for Jesus. Pray for those who hijack His special day to commercialize Christ. Stay focused on a faith expression of the holiday and don’t get caught up in the influence of money and materialism. Like the early Christians, you may not have silver and gold, but you have God and He has you.

    Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. Acts 3:6

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to lean into Your power and not depend on the influence of money to solve spiritual issues.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 3:3-4; Ezekiel 34:16; Luke 19:10; John 8:58; Revelation 9:20

    Post/Tweet this today: A global movement of God does not depend on money, but on our hearts being moved by God. #silverandgold
    © 2013 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

  • Click to Change

    Posted on December 18, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12 (AMP)

    "Look, Miss Karen! When you click here you can change the color of her fingernail polish just like that!" I was watching my friend's pre-teen daughter for the weekend. She was parked on the couch playing around on a nail art website on my computer. Each time she clicked on a different color nail polish bottle the color instantly changed on the model's hands.

    Clicking a mouse to change things on our computer screen is so simple. If only real life were the same!

    Many times I look at my circumstances and wish I had a special mouse so I could click and change everything I don't like. But life's not like that. While there's much I can change, there's much more I can't.

    And when I focus on all I can't revise, my heart can feel defeated. There are people I can't change, finances I can't control, and circumstances that leave my heart feeling shattered. If only I could recolor bad attitudes or rewrite difficult experiences, then I'd feel better. Right?

    Wrong.

    I've discovered that changing other people or circumstances isn't really a fix for my often-troubling situations because it isn't something I can make happen. I can't control other's behavior, only mine. Here is where the solution lies.

    Even when circumstances and people stay the same, my attitude towards them and my perspective can change. What can bring about this transformation?

    God's Word.

    It can snap me back to attention, soften my heart and help me view my life through a different and God-honoring lens. It can align my heart and actions with God's so I don't do or say things today I will regret tomorrow. As Hebrews 4:12 states, it helps to expose, sift, analyze and judge the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

    In a very practical way, God's Word makes it all click and that clicking makes me change.

    Spending time daily in the Bible is imperative to bringing about this change, and we at Proverbs 31 Ministries have committed to help women around the world interact with God's Word daily through our many ministry avenues. Just this past year God impacted the lives of over 600,000 women daily through our free Encouragement for Today devotions. We celebrated with over 4,000 women who made first time decisions for Christ, and our team responded to over 10,000 prayer requests.

    It isn't just the volunteers and staff who get to be a part of helping bring God's transforming work. So does everyone who gives a financial gift — no matter the size — to Proverbs 31 Ministries.

    We value every gift and giver. The ones who give hundreds ... the ones who go without lattes each month and share their saved $25 ... the ones who donate $5.

    Yes, $5 makes a big impact.

    Together, we offer perspective-changing truth that can renew a woman's heart and mind no matter what age or stage of life she's in.

    Together, we point women to the Healer, made known on the pages of Scripture, who can make their spirits whole.

    Together we can teach women how to study the Bible, forgive and mend a friendship, strengthen a marriage, or effectively parent children.

    Do you want to change the world by offering hope, help, and even life from behind your computer screen? We'd love for you to join us. When we give our collective "littles," God transforms them into a big movement that can alter lives both now and for eternity.

    With a click of your mouse, you help change the world.

    We'd be honored if you would join us.

    Dear Lord, thank You for the life-altering and perspective-changing power of Your holy Word. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    When is a time that God's Word helped to change your bad attitude or wrong perspective?

    Will you forward this email to a friend who needs to receive encouragement from God's Word?

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 119:11 "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Karen Ehman. 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 Hebrews

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