• ABOUT
    Did you know?
    All of our earnings go to Christian charities.
    Click to learn more about us!
  • SHOP
    View the latest sales and promotions going on now!
    When you shop, you give.
  • GIVE
    See our latest Giving Challenge.
  • GROW
    Our blog shares devotionals, interviews, contests & more—all to help you grow in your faith.

  • Valentine's Day Gifts

Daily Devotion

  • Willing to Accept

    Posted on March 15, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. Matthew 11:14

    Hard words, hard people, and hard situations are hard to accept. Do you or someone you know feel like you are between a rock and a hard place? Do your options seem like they have dried up? Is your energy to press forward depleted? Perhaps it is time to accept the cold, hard facts of where you find yourself. Reality has a way of catching up with our denial.

    It is okay to be optimistic, but not to the peril of ignoring your predicament. Are emotional reactions driving your decisions, or do you prayerfully process the facts clearly and objectively with wise input from others you trust? Do you need to give up something—your house, your car, your career, your travel, or your expectations? What is the Lord asking you to give up so that you can gain Him and His peace? Acceptance requires action.

    Furthermore, there are people who require additional patience and grace to accept. Have others wronged you to the point that your resentment is blocking your acceptance of them? You may justify your rejection of them because of their rejection of you. For example, children and parents can let us down and even devastate us, but Christians do not have the option of not accepting them for who they are. Love accepts even unworthy recipients.

    Do you find yourself in a situation where you do not feel accepted—a new job, in-laws, a new school, a new city, a new relationship? You can stew in self-pity, or you can take the initiative to reach out to your rejecters. Kindness reaches out and rejects rejection. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly” (Proverbs 18:24 nkjv).

    Above all, are you willing to accept God’s call on your life? When His will is uncomfortable and uncertain, will you still go there in trust? Start by accepting Christ by faith as your Savior and Lord, and then continue to accept His commands as evidence that you are His disciple. Acceptance of the Lord allows you to love Him and other people. Acceptance cannot continue alone but is accelerated and accompanied by the Almighty’s grace and love.

    Prayer: Do I wholeheartedly accept God’s plan for my life? Whom do I need to accept in love?

    Related Readings: Genesis 4:7; Ecclesiastics 5:19; Romans 11:15; 1 Timothy 1:15

    Taken from the March 15th reading in Boyd’s 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God vol. 2”

    Post/Tweet today: Kindness reaches out and rejects rejection. #willingtoaccept

    © 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

  • Honor Mom

    Posted on March 14, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” John 2:3

    Jesus honored His mom though He had the power and prerogative to delay her request. She saw His newly recruited disciples and realized her little boy was now a man of God. She reflected on her Holy Spirit conception and the joy of bringing her son and Savior into the world. So, she asked her Lord for a miracle for the sake of someone else. He honored her by allowing the wedding celebration to continue without the disruption of running out of refreshments. Love is honorable.

    Our moms are needy and they need us. They cared for our needs for many years. As an infant they fed us, comforted us, and woke up in the middle of the night to calm our cries. As a child they taught us, disciplined us and laughed at and with us. As a teenager, if they prayed, they prayed even more for our protection from ourselves. As an adult they want us to pray for them, keep up with them and honor them. Mothers filled with God remind us of His unselfish love.

    “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you” (Isaiah 66:13).

    Has your mother made a direct or indirect request of you? Has she implied a need, but not come right out and verbalized it? Perhaps the Lord is calling you to honor her by helping her, or by helping someone she is concerned about. Some moms have the admirable quality of always looking out for others, even if it requires giving up something themselves. When your mom senses your undivided attention and authentic concern, she’ll open up about her cares. Honor listens.

    If your wife is a mom, how can you support her dreams and desires? How can you better partner with her in parenting? It honors your wife when you pray with her for your children. It honors her when you listen to her fears and support her in her stress. Being a mom is oh so fulfilling, but it is hard. You honor her by being with her to laugh and cry over the children. You honor her when you offer emotional support. Yes, you honor your mom most, when you live honorably before God.

    “May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful” (Proverbs 23:25)!

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, show me how to better honor my mom and the mother of our children.

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 5:16; Psalm 35:14; Mathew 12:46; John 19:26-27

    Post/Tweet today: We honor our mom most, when we live honorably before God. #honormom

    © 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

  • Why Shopping Will Never Satisfy

    Posted on March 14, 2014 by Leah DiPascal

    Leah DiPascal

    "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)

    We only had ten days to get everything packed and ready for the movers. Shipping boxes, wrapping paper and rolls of tape were everywhere. Every room called for attention, and I didn't know which direction to go first.

    With a squeezing economy and company cutbacks, our family made the hard decision to sell our home and do some major downsizing. Deep inside I knew it was the right choice, but the process was hard. Although I tried to put on a happy face, my heart was aching.

    Dragging myself from room to room, the amount of accumulated stuff overwhelmed me. Clothes, furniture, linens, accessories and enough kitchen appliances to open a diner filled every room.

    As I viewed all the things left to pack, I thought about my past shopping sprees where I'd picked up so many of the items. The early-bird door busters and all those neon yellow clearance stickers lured me in. The endless rows of shiny metal racks, boasting 50-percent-off treasures sealed the deal.

    I had prided myself thinking of all the money I saved buying everything on sale. Who was I kidding?

    The truth was our checking account balance was shrinking, yet I kept wanting new things and buying more. All the while, insisting these were purchases we "needed."

    But now, all of these bargains had to be boxed up, moved and put into storage. My "treasures" had become burdens. As I looked around at all the clutter, I wondered if it was my heart, not my home, needing to be de-cluttered.

    It was time to make some major adjustments in my thought life and begin living out today's verse in Hebrews 13:5, "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"

    God spoke to me that day with gentle conviction that it was time to stop making excuses for buying so much and be content with less.

    Kneeling in my storage room, I prayed and asked God to forgive me. I told Him I wanted to change but I needed His help. The process wasn't easy, but it was necessary.

    Ten days later when the movers arrived, everything was boxed and ready to go. Instead of heading to a storage facility, we delivered many of those boxes to a local children's home in desperate need of household items and clothing.

    It felt freeing to give away more and keep less. To experience the Giver instead holding onto the material gifts. To trust the Provider and stop worrying about having enough. To simply be content.

    Maybe you struggle sometimes with contentment too. Do you ever find yourself buying something you really don't need? I know, it was probably on sale.

    Perhaps God is asking you to keep less and give away more. To be content with what He's given you and not feel like you have to buy more to be more.

    Friend, don't fall for the lies I did. Trust that God will provide what you need when you need it. If you have extra items, consider giving them away to someone in need and experience the freedom of being content with less.

    Dear Lord, You know me better than I know myself. Help me to be content with what You've given me. Take away my cravings for always wanting more. Teach me to desire You above all else. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    In what areas are you least content? Write them down in your journal along with the two Scripture verses below. Pray and ask God to help you become content with what you have as you trust Him to provide all you need.

    Get a box or kitchen trash bag and go through your closets. Place at least one item from each closet into the box or bag and take to a local charity.

    Power Verses:
    1 Timothy 6:6-8, "But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content." (ESV)

    Matthew 6:33, "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." (NLT)

    © 2014 by Leah DiPascal. 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

  • Believing Is Seeing

    Posted on March 13, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    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

    Believing sees with eyes of faith. Faith looks into the face of God to face the unknown. What may not be apparent to logic and reason is revealed by looking beyond the material to the spiritual. Belief in God opens up a vista of breathtaking spiritual formations. We see the mountains of His majesty and the fertile valley of His faithfulness. Belief in Jesus allows us to behold the sun of His salvation and the heavens of His hope. Believing sees what God sees.

    Furthermore, our initial belief in Christ as our Savior cracked open the door into His house of wisdom and understanding. By faith through grace, we will spend a lifetime exploring the eternal truths decorated throughout the Lord’s spiritual residence. Our continued faith opens doors to God’s will. We walk down a hallway of hope and discover a prayer closet with Christ’s comfort. Up the stairs takes more effort, but we walk with Jesus in trust and He reveals His life changing truths. Our adventurous journey with Jesus is fostered by faith. Believing sees the ways of God.

    “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you” (Ephesians 1:18).

    Moreover, believing may allow us to see God do greater things. We believe God for our child’s heart to turn back to Him, so in His time they grow tired of their ways and return to God’s ways. We believe God to heal our friend’s body with greater stamina. We believe God to open a financial door with His great provision. We believe God to get the gospel to thousands with His great power, resulting in new churches. We believe God for a great revival, so He changes us, our family, church, city, state, nation, and the world. Faith can facilitate God’s greater works.

    Older faith can become stale faith if not revitalized by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, avoid spiritual coasting, just getting by on past blessings. We can anticipate the better days to come and not be complacent with the good old days of the past. What greater work does God want to do in your life? Double, triple, quadruple your giving? Plant a church? Sell your business? Write a book? Have a child? Attempt great things only your great God can accomplish. Believe Him and watch Him work!

    “Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these” (John 14:12).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the eyes of faith to believe You for greater works to come.

    Related Readings: Job 42:5; Matthew 21:212; Luke 10:17; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Hebrews 11:1

    Post/Tweet today: Believing sees with eyes of faith. Faith looks into the face of God to face the unknown. #believingisseeing

    © 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

  • Three Questions You Must Ask Before Reacting

    Posted on March 13, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)

    My heart raced when I saw the number pop up on my phone. Nothing in me wanted to have this conversation. I was beyond aggravated. Hurt. Angry. And tired of being misunderstood.

    I answered the call with two goals in mind — to prove how right I was and how wrong the other person was.

    How do you think that conversation went?

    Not well.

    This conflict happened over five years ago so the rush of emotion has dissipated, and I can see more clearly how wrong my approach was.

    I learned from that conflict. Hopefully, I learn something from every conflict — especially how to have better reactions. I'm so far from being in a place where I can shine my halo.

    But I'm getting better.

    While my initial thoughts when a conflict arises are usually those same old "I'll show you" thoughts, I've progressed by not letting those leak into my reactions.

    How?

    By asking myself three questions:

    1. What part of this issue can I own and apologize for?

    There are always two sides to every issue. And no side is perfectly right or all the way wrong.

    If I make peace with the part I need to own and apologize for before the conversation, there's a greater chance I'll stay calm in the conversation. Our key verse, Proverbs 15:1, is a verse I've memorized and recall often, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

    2. How can I soften my heart toward this person so I honor them despite how they react?

    This one is hard. Really hard. But I know hurt people hurt people.

    Usually the person with whom I'm having a conflict has some kind of past or current hurt in their life feeding this issue. Chances are that hurt doesn't have anything to do with me but is adding to their emotional response in this conflict.

    Softening my heart is easier if I can sympathize with the hurt I can't see. If I can duck below my pride, honor will be my reward. Proverbs 29:23 reminds us, "Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor" (NIV).

    3. If I knew this conversation was being recorded and then shared with people I greatly respect, how would this change my reaction?

    What if I showed up to church this week and my pastor directed everyone to watch the screen for an example of a bad reaction? And then my face appeared. Have. Mercy. I. Would. Surely. Faint.

    While it is highly unlikely that our conversation would be recorded and viewed, it is very likely others are watching our reaction. Children. Co-workers. Friends. But here's the one that really grabs my heart – my Jesus is very much present. Philippians 4:5 reminds us, "Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near" (NIV).

    Every conflict has variables that must be considered. Some conflicts have escalated to the point where professionals must be asked to help. Be mindful and prayerful about this.

    But for the everyday conflicts we all have, these questions are good to consider. If we control our reactions in the short-term, we don't have to live with "reaction regret" in the long-term!

    Dear Lord, I'm inviting You into my reactions today as I realign my perspective. Help me to use words and choose actions that honor You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Which of Lysa's three questions resonates with you the most?

    Write down the accompanying Bible verse Lysa provided. Then, write three action steps you can take the next time you are faced with conflict that will implement the teaching in this verse.

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 18:21, "Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit — you choose." (MSG)

    James 1:19-20, "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires." (NIV)

    © 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 Proverbs

  • Doubter to Disciple

    Posted on March 12, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip... Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel. John 1:46, 49

    Nathanael was without deceit, he spoke his mind. Not taking Jesus at face value, he questioned His origin. Nathanael doubted a person of importance could hail from a small, insignificant village. He hesitated. He judged Jesus as unfit, since He did not fit into Nathanael’s profile of a prophet, much less Messiah. In similar fashion, some people today don’t take Jesus seriously. Christ’s credentials don’t meet the standards of their cultural bias. They doubt His credibility.

    However, Jesus did not defend the quality of His origin. His hometown was not the focus of their discussion. Instead, He complimented His critic as being a good man, one without guile. Because Jesus knew his heart, Nathanael’s heart was drawn to Jesus. Thus, when someone seeks first to know Jesus, they quickly realize, they are known by Jesus. Sometimes a serendipitous spiritual moment happens when we are honest with God. Yes, a guileless heart easily reaches God in faith.

    “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit” (Psalm 32:1-2, NKJV).

    Furthermore, our role as disciples of Jesus is simply to present Jesus. “Come and see Christ for yourself,” should often be our first step in apologetics. Seekers of God can weary over arguments for God. It’s not our flawless logic that finally converts them to Christ, but the Spirit’s wooing. God’s love is what’s irresistible. Perhaps instead, we challenge them to rest in the Lord’s presence and quietly read His words in the Bible. The Holy Spirit will draw them to Himself.

    Therefore, we move from doubter to disciple when we take Jesus at His word. Wherever He leads, we follow. Whatever He says, we do. We obey His commands, because we love Him. Anyone can find reasons to doubt, but few choose to unconditionally follow Christ. Since we believe in the resurrection of Jesus, we can trust in Jesus. Where do you struggle to trust Him? Your future career? Your present problem with a child? Your past divorce or addiction? Trust. Stay in a prayerful process, as you process pain. Be a trusting Nathanael, not a doubting Thomas.

    “Jesus said, ‘You [Nathanael] believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that’” (John 1:50).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, calm my fears. Replace my doubts with trust. I place my faith in You.

    Related Readings: Genesis 28:12; Psalm 17:1, 26:4; Matthew 4:3; John 12:13, 14:12

    Post/Tweet today: Stay in a prayerful process, as you process pain. #doubtertodisciple

    © 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

  • Hope for When You Feel Hard Pressed

    Posted on March 12, 2014 by Sharon Glasgow

    Sharon Glasgow

    "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV)

    We watched as our only working vehicle was hoisted onto the back of a tow truck. How would we manage without it?

    In an attempt to be wise with our money, we had chosen the cheapest place around to fix the car. But week after week passed and the car wasn't finished.

    Finally the repair shop called. Hope and relief faded instantly when the mechanic said, "No, your car isn't ready." He told me we needed to come and pay more because there was a leak. I was perplexed, as there hadn't been a leak prior to us taking it there.

    As we pulled into the parking lot, I was shocked to see the car! The leak was the least of the new problems. Three of the four windows were gone or broken! Our car had been vandalized, and the shop didn't have insurance to cover it. How? What? Why? No!

    Our trouble doubled when we learned our insurance deductible was higher than the cost of the new windows. Needing a working vehicle desperately, we ordered and paid for the windows out of pocket. Obviously, with the delays and windows, that repair shop was no longer cheap!

    To top it off, the guys from the glass shop called. They'd never had this happen, but each window they ordered for us arrived broken!

    These costly frustrations and time delays aggravated me to say the least. Everything in me felt like falling apart. Instead, I pressed pause before that could happen and tried to find perspective.

    The only way I know to find any perspective when facing hardships is to view them in light of God's Word. When trials come, and they will, it helps me to confront them with truth from Scripture. Without this perspective, it's hard to triumph over feelings of despair, anger and worry.

    God's Word reminds us that nothing surprises God, and nothing can overcome Him. A good place to turn for truth is our key verse today, 2 Corinthians 4:7-9:

    "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

    The "treasure in jars of clay" referred to is the Word of God stored within us. The truth we find and believe in the pages of our Bibles gives us the perspective, hope and encouragement we need when we feel pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down.

    I definitely could have felt pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down with all that happened. Not having a vehicle to get my family around was hard. Health issues and mounting medical bills compounded the situation. But using God's Word as my perspective reminded me that God is my provider (Matthew 6:26), and I shouldn't worry (Philippians 4:6-7). Trusting in His truths gave me freedom from despair.

    We eventually got our car back — working and with all the windows — along with a pretty big bill. But we didn't have the stress and frustration, thanks to trusting in God and His Word.

    Life will always have seasons where we are hard pressed on every side. Yet in the crushing moments, God's all-surpassing power will prevail. What a comfort to know that truth in the middle of trying times. In the midst of despair, let's combat trials with Scripture. When we do, we are triumphant!

    Lord, open my eyes that I may see the wondrous things in Your Word while I'm in the middle of my trials. Help me to see Your glory and power. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write down the things that are making you feel hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted and struck down.

    Now, find a Bible verse that speaks truth to those specific situations. Write the verses next to your situation and leave space to record how God provides.

    Power Verse:
    James 1:12, "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Sharon Glasgow. 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 2 Corinthians

  • Freedom In Christ

    Posted on March 11, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 1 Corinthians 7:22

    The desire for freedom is a longing of the human heart. It is the heartbeat of God. Liberty for all is foundational to free nations. Let freedom ring is the battle cry of republics who have sacrificed lives, so future generations can live free. It opens door of opportunities, like freedom to worship and work. We are free to be sad or glad, free to pursue God or money, and free to experience good or evil. Freedom in Christ is fundamental to the faith. By faith in Jesus, we are free indeed.

    However, we have an enemy to freedom: slavery. Slavery to sin, self, and Satan. A soul’s bondage brings despair and dread. We are not free to make wise choices, until our minds have been freed from the confusing claims of lies. But, truth clarifies. Moreover, there is a hideous slavery to sinister human beings. Human slavery treats people like property, not as precious people created by almighty God. Those imprisoned by evil need the righteous to rise up. Yes, freedom in Christ bears the responsibility to rescue those trafficked by greedy perverts. We must help the captives!

    “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life” (Romans 6:22).

    Furthermore, freedom in Christ comes from being a slave to Christ. Before Christ, our master was evil, after Christ our master was good. Before Christ our master was selfish, after Christ our master was generous. Before Christ our master was mean, after Christ our master was merciful. In Christ, we cannot serve two masters, only one: God Almighty. Thus, our glad servitude to the Lord frees us to serve for the Lord. Grace binds us to God’s love, so we are free to love for God.

    Human slavery is against the will. Spiritual slavery is free to choose. Human slavery is bondage. Spiritual slavery is freedom. Human slavery is hurtful. Spiritual slavery is healing. Human slavery is exploitation of helpless humans. Spiritual slavery is glorification of holy God. Thus, we ask ourselves, “Does anything other than Jesus Christ master any part of my life?” “Who in my life needs to be set free by faith in Jesus?” “How can I bring awareness to the atrocities of human trafficking?” Freedom in Christ comes from being a slave to Christ. So, live free for Him!

    “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, break my heart for what breaks Yours, especially the hideous sin of human trafficking.

    Related Readings: Genesis 2:16; Galatians 5:1; Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 2:16

    Post/Tweet today: Human slavery treats people like property, not as precious people created by Almighty God. #freedominChrist

    © 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 1 Corinthians

  • The Right Order of Love

    Posted on March 11, 2014 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn Cowell

    "Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)

    "I just want a boy to like me," she said with a sigh.

    My heart understands her desire. As I sat around my kitchen table with my small group of high school girls, I realized again how some things never change.

    We all want to be wanted. Whether you're a girl wanting a date with the guy in math class or a woman hoping for an invitation to lunch with a friend, each one of us wants to be wanted. To know we matter. To be chosen.

    Wanting to be wanted is a good thing. It doesn't mean we're incredibly needy. It means we're normal. In fact, God created us with this desire. Here are two reasons:

    1) So we would want a relationship with Him.

    God created us for the sake of love. He has so much love to share and He wants a relationship with us. He chose us; now we choose Him.

    2) So we would want relationships with others.

    God also created us with the desire to share our lives with others, for friendships and family too.

    Things get tricky and difficult when we reverse the order of these desires, which we easily do.

    Whether we want to be loved by a boyfriend, a friend or a husband, when we go looking to "the one" to meet our needs before we fall in love with The One, we can get ourselves in a world of trouble.

    Today's key verse from Matthew confirms the importance of this order. In this passage, an expert in the law asked Jesus the most important commandment. Jesus answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself'" (Matthew 22:37-39).

    Jesus is clear on the order. The first command is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind. Then we are to love others.

    God didn't intend for people to fill our hearts with love. In fact, they couldn't even if they tried! We aren't equipped to do a job that big, as God never wants another to take His proper place.

    When we love God with all we have first, our love expands, multiplies even, and we have more love to give to others. And that love is healthy because our hearts' needs are met by Him first.

    However, when we reverse God's order and seek the love of others before God, our love source and its purity diminishes. Then love can become self-focused and unhealthy because our own God-designed needs aren't met.

    God created a love gap in us only He can fill. When we try to love others out of our human love, we can run out of love. We begin looking to others instead of overflowing on others.

    God's order is best. Get filled by Him first. Spill over to others after that.

    Lord, it can be so much easier to look for love from those around me, those I can touch and see. Help me to keep love in order by first loving You with everything in me, and then allowing Your love to spill over on those around me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What negative effects can occur in our lives when our need to be wanted drives our actions?

    What positive effects occur when we love God first and others second?

    Power Verse:
    Deuteronomy 10:12, "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, ..." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Lynn Cowell. 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 Matthew

  • Active With God

    Posted on March 10, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” John 1:43

    Jesus sought out Philip and found him. This is the heart of our Lord: to seek us out and to find us. He seeks us out in our sin to find us. He seeks us out in our success and failures to find us. He seeks us out at school and work to find us. He seeks us out in our singleness or in our marriage to find us. He seeks us out in new seasons of life to find us. He seeks us--even if, we haven’t sought Him. He came to seek and to save us, because He loves us. He seeks us, so we will seek Him.

    Like a loving shepherd looks for one lost sheep, our Lord comes after us with compassion. Like a focused woman searches her home for a misplaced piece of silver, God does what’s required to reach out and find us--His valuable possession. Like a loving father runs toward his repentant son, so our Savior meets us in our pain to minister His healing grace. Jesus finds us, so we will follow Him. He discovers us, so we will do something with Him. Disciples are active with God.

    “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

    What a privilege to follow the One who formed us in our mother’s womb and who formed the heavens and the earth. What a joy to join the One who rescued us from fighting for the devil, instead enlisting us to fight against the devil. Christ is our Commander-In-Chief from whom we take orders with an attitude of instant obedience. He is our Savior; we follow by faith. Christ is our model of character whom we seek to imitate with our actions. He’s our intimate friend with whom we commune.

    Time is short--so, be an active follower of Jesus. Your love for the Lord and people can’t sit still. Heavenly intentionality defines engaged disciples. Be occupied with Christ’s agenda upon His return. There are a variety of opportunities to partner with the Spirit’s work. Perhaps you serve at Celebrate Recovery. Volunteer at a woman’s shelter or girl’s home. Lead at a men’s retreat or boy’s club. Facilitate a new believer’s class at church or park cars. Yes, just as exercise benefits bodily function, so active faith flushes out your soul’s spiritual toxins. Stay active with God!

    “The same is true with faith. Without actions, faith is useless. By itself, it’s as good as dead” (James 2:17, The Voice).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, Your loving grace activates my faith to lovingly engage others on Your behalf.

    Related Readings: Ezekiel 35:12, 16; Matthew 7:21; Luke 15:3-31; Galatians 5:6; James 1:22

    Post/Tweet today: Jesus rescued us from fighting for the devil, instead enlisting us to fight against the devil. #activewithGod

    © 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

Items 291 to 300 of 1529 total

Helping you find, grow, share and celebrate your faith
Who doesn't love free shipping!? At Family Christian, you can qualify TWO ways:

1. To your door (just $50 minimum)*

No coupon required! Simply add $50 worth of merchandise to your cart and select the "Free Shipping" option under "Shipping Method." Easy as pie.

* Valid on merchandise totaling $50 or more before taxes. Please keep in mind this is valid on domestic ground shipping to addresses within the U.S. only, not valid toward international delivery. Additional charges apply for express shipping. Terms subject to change without notice.

2. To your store (no minimum order required!)*

At checkout, select "Ship to your local Family Christian store" and enter your zip code to find our closest location. Not sure if there is a Family Christian nearby? Find your local store now.

* Valid on select merchandise only
Loading... Loading...