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Daily Devotion

  • Finding Your Sweet Spot

    Posted on February 12, 2014 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    “There are different kinds of gifts. But it is the same Holy Spirit Who gives them. There are different kinds of work to be done for Him. But the work is for the same Lord." 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NLV)

    This past year I fell into the Pinterest frenzy. My Christmas gifts were wrapped in burlap, tied with twine and adorned with decorative pinecones and silver snowflakes.

    I repurposed a hutch, painting it creamy white with grey edging.

    I happily pinned new recipes, remedies and decorating ideas to my boards in hopes of one day seeing them come to life.

    Well, that is, until my daughter surveyed my work on the hutch. She walked around it, one time, then again, shaking her head. And in her honest way she said, "Mom, sometimes you just have to know what your sweet spot is ... and what it isn't."

    The hutch was a Pinterest fail. The paint was streaky. There were brown spots shining through, and not in the cool, distressed way like in the picture. My burlap presents were a hit, but the amount of time it took ... did it really make me happy? I love cooking, but lettuce wraps with hoisin sauce? They were so bad I wondered if I'd picked up "poison" sauce instead.

    There's nothing wrong with learning something new, and if your sweet spot is repurposing furniture and making your home beautiful, I love that about you. But we often spend a lot of time trying to be something we aren't.

    In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul describes the church (you and me) as multi-faceted and uniquely gifted. We were designed differently on purpose so that we can come together to make a whole.

    What is your sweet spot? How has God gifted you for His purposes?

    Apparently I'm not the next decorating diva, but I am still gifted. Here are a few of my sweet spots:

    • Sitting in my living room and writing words to encourage others.
    • Teaching the Bible and seeing it come to life in the heart of a woman.
    • Making a hearty meal and having people around my table.
    • Dancing in the living room with my grandbabies.

    God can use these sweet spots for His purposes. In a devotion like this. Or opening my home to study the Bible with friends. God uses my unique design when I invite a neighbor or friend for dinner and board games after.

    And my dancing with my grandbabies? I love to think this sweet spot matters as I plant the joy of the Lord in their tender little hearts.

    How has God formed and fashioned you? If it's hospitality and making a home beautiful, then there are people who will be touched by that gift. If it's humor and laughter, then someone needs to find that joy, too. If it's teaching, teach. If it's dancing in the living room with your babies, then dance away.

    And then, together, let's use those sweet spots to draw people to a God who loves them and is waiting to reveal their gifting, too.

    Dear Lord, I've often compared myself to others, or underestimate what You can do through me. Today I offer up those things I love the best, and ask that You show me creative ways that I can use them to impact others for You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Brainstorm! Write down your sweet spots (those things you love or areas where you are naturally gifted), even if it seems insignificant.

    Then pray this prayer: God, I love You and I love {fill in the blank}. How can I use these two things to bring glory to You?

    Power Verses:
    Romans 12:6-8, "In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly." (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 1 Corinthians

  • Holy Desire

    Posted on February 11, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death. Philippians 3:10

    There are special people we would love to know better. Our spouse, our children, our parents, our siblings, our pastor and his wife, our friends and our co-workers, for a start. The deeper we know them and they know us, the richer our relationship. As our knowledge of one another grows, our trust and understanding grow. We appreciate and love noteworthy individuals with whom we have deep feelings and affection. A desire to go deep relationally pays rich rewards.

    What does this desire to dive below the surface of relationships look like? We know the names of those they love and care about. We pray with and for their wants and needs. We understand their heart: what motivates and frustrates, what causes fear and what brings joy. We love them in and through their weaknesses. We admire and celebrate their strengths. Robust relationships require a desire to develop intimacy during the good and bad times. It is a life long process of loving well.

    Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?'"(John 14:9)

    In the same way with holy desire, we pursue knowing Christ. Yet it takes more than time. It takes engagement and comprehension of our heavenly Father’s heart. The Holy Spirit draws our heart to His for us to listen and learn. The longing of every lover of the Lord is to know Him and to be known by Him. So, our passionate prayers rocket toward heaven like a space shuttle en route to orbit the earth. We crave Christ, because we are hungry and thirsty for His peaceful presence.

    Therefore, seek to know Jesus in resurrection power and in the pain and suffering of the cross. Your are in training for reigning in eternity. Any headwinds of adversity are an opportunity to go deeper with the One who calms the seas. You know you know Jesus when you live like He died: in deep fellowship with His heavenly Father. He forgave others for their ignorant indiscretions and He cared for those closest to Him. Holy desire for Christ, lives with Christ and like Christ.

    "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness" (2 Peter 1:13).

    Prayer: Dear Lord, my heart longs to know You as Christ knew You, in deep abiding faith.

    Related Readings: Psalm 20:6; 2 Corinthians 2:14, 4:6-14; Ephesians 1:9; 1 John 4:6-7

    Post/Tweet today: Headwinds of adversity are an opportunity to go deeper with the One who calms the seas. #holydesire

    © 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 Philippians

  • The Relentless Love Affair

    Posted on February 11, 2014 by John van der Veen

    John van der Veen

    Oh my. The relentless pursuit of Christ for His Bride. We can look at ourselves all we want. We can dress ourselves all we want. We can spend on ourselves all we want. We can work ourselves all we want. But nothing. Nothing will make us look any better than what we are.

    AND YET.

    And yet in the midst of all of our contradictions, Jesus, who knows everything about us, says that we are His.

    Last night we talked about how God's fierce love for His Bride is often found in discipline. We often will react to God's discipline in a negative way, but it's really His discipline that is also His grace. This is what Hosea was sharing with Gomer, or Israel rather. God was issuing a call of repentance. For He has loved her with an everlasting love. One that could not be shaken or disturbed. This was a promise He made first with Adam, then Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Isaiah, Hosea and culminated in Christ.

    In Hosea 2:19, God says to Israel that He will betroth her to Him. Forever. That in Him is found righteousness, justice, steadfast love, mercy and faithfulness. And these attributes are found in the robe of Christ. This very robe that He puts around us. In the midst of our sin, we washes us with His robe. So that now we can walk as Peter tell us in 1 Peter 2.

    You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received God's mercy, but now you have received mercy.

    Praise God for who He is and what He has done for us!


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion and was tagged with 1 Peter, Hosea

  • Creative Reminders to Pray

    Posted on February 11, 2014 by Wendy Pope

    Wendy Pope

    "I will pray morning, noon, and night, pleading aloud with God; and he will hear and answer." Psalm 55:17 (TLB)

    Why is it so easy to remember every word to my favorite 80's songs, but so hard to remember to pray for others?

    There have been many times when I've told a friend, "Yes, I will pray for you." Then time goes by and that promise slips my mind. Guilt fills my heart as days later I remember the forgotten prayer request.

    My heart's desire is to pray with purpose for each person and every need because I know God listens. The psalmist knew this too, and wrote these words in Psalm 55:17, "I will pray morning, noon, and night, pleading aloud with God; and he will hear and answer."

    That's my intention too. Unfortunately, life's busy schedule and my dwindling memory keep me from praying the way I want to.

    So I asked the Lord to help me in this area. And He answered that prayer in an unusual way.

    For some strange reason, I have the uncanny ability to remember the make and model of my friends' cars. God used this ability to help me generate prayer prompters. Seeing the make and model of a friend's car prompts me to pray for them.

    But God didn't stop there. He also showed me how to use other prayer prompters besides cars. Maybe my list will help you generate your own prayer prompts.

    • A red Honda minivan: Renee Swope and family (She used to drive one)
    • When my ears ring: Lysa TerKeurst (She had some damage to one ear)
    • Leopard print: Lisa Allen (She loves leopard print)
    • Purple, especially pens: Sharon Sloan (She loves purple)
    • Fog or low lying clouds: Kristi Butler (We call low lying clouds the glory of the Lord)
    Wonderful, Merciful Savior: My former pastor (It is one of his favorite songs)

    There are many ways we can remember to pray. Enter prayer requests as an appointment on your phone with an alarm to remind you. Write names and requests on a calendar to pray on specific days for specific people. Keep a notebook with you and record prayer requests.

    Prayer prompts make it easier to pray morning, noon and night as the psalmist did. We can use red minivans or reminders on the calendar. Whenever the Holy Spirit prompts us to pray, God will hear and answer. Our prayers don't have to be long, with big and lofty words. We just have to remember and pray with a sincere heart.

    Dear Lord, I know that You hear and answer prayers morning, noon and night. Help me to be faithful to pray. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Think of one person you want to pray for faithfully. Ask God for a prayer prompt for this person.

    Purchase a spiral notebook to keep as a prayer journal. Ask God to help you fill it.

    Power Verses:
    1 Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing." (ESV)

    James 5:16b, "The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with." (The Message)

    © 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 Psalm

  • Emotionally Healthy

    Posted on February 10, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

    The condition of our heart is an indicator of our emotional health. A wounded heart limps along vulnerable to fatigue and frustration, while a healed heart can resist the wiles of the world. Healthy emotions heal. A strong heart has access to an abundance of grace, so its capacity to offer forgiveness and exercise patience is vast. Yes, the grace of God gives health and wellness to all who engage its easy availability. When emotions are in good shape, we are in sync with the Spirit.

    Just as we care for our physical health, so must we manage our emotional well being. Check ups with a mature Jesus follower increase our understanding of where we stand. The expertise of a trusted spiritual advisor is necessary for us to be objective in our own emotional assessment. Like a trainer instructs in how to keep our body healthy with a balance of weights and cardio, so a spiritual trainer gives us insights in how to express our feelings and forgive personal offenses.

    "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of"(Luke 6:45).

    Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is the best manager of our emotions. Just as a successful coach leads a team to work together to win, so the Spirit leads our emotions to work together for God’s glory. When our emotions are under the influence of the Holy Spirit, we walk in wholeness and holiness. Emotional health happens when our feelings are filtered by the Spirit. He removes distasteful impurities. Indeed, a heart controlled by the Spirit is able to give life to other lives.

    How’s your heart? Are you keenly sensitive to the Spirit’s leading or are you overly sensitive to fleshly feelings? Have your emotional wounds healed? Are you blessed with a healthy heart? Take a risk and be vulnerable about your past hurts, so you can experience present healing. Surround yourself with caring Christ followers with whom you can process your feelings. Most of all share your heart with your Savior Jesus, who will cleanse, heal, and make your heart whole!

    "The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden,like a spring whose waters never fail" (Isaiah 58:11).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I submit to Your Spirit to be the manager and filter of my emotions.

    Related Readings: 2 Kings 10:31; Proverbs 10:11; John 20:22; Acts 2:33; Revelation 22:17

    Post/Tweet today: When our emotions are under the influence of the Spirit, we walk in wholeness and holiness. #emotionalhealth

    © 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 Proverbs

  • Build Unity Into Your Marriage

    Posted on February 10, 2014 by Lauren Dungy

    Lauren Dungy

    " ... Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless." 1 Corinthians 15:58b (NLT)

    For years my husband and I have looked for ways to build unity in our marriage. Amazingly, one of the best things we've ever done hasn't been fancy vacations or expensive dinners. It's been serving God together and allowing Him to use our life experiences to reach children.

    When my husband, Tony, served as a head coach in the NFL, we often visited classrooms in inner-city schools together. As a former sixth grade teacher, I loved encouraging students to develop a love for reading. Yet we soon noticed there were few motivational, values-driven books with characters and story lines these kids could relate to. That's when Tony and I began writing children's books.

    Every Tuesday for the past four years, we have read one of our books to third grade students in schools where there are a high percentage of children from impoverished and single parent homes.

    In our years serving together, my husband and I have seen God use our offering of time and storytelling ability to show His love to children. Even though it may seem like a small thing, 1 Corinthians tells us everything we do matters: "Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless" (1 Corinthians 15:58b).

    Often our best opportunities to share about God come from the questions we receive. Since many of our characters are based on our nine kids, students often ask, "Is this story true?" We explain that we turn real-life experiences into stories with a message — usually about problem solving with guidance from parents and from God.

    Another question students often ask is, "Are you two married? To each other?" We enjoy sharing that we've been married for over 31 years. "Wow, you're kidding me!" is a common response.

    Some of these children know very few married couples, and we are pleased to model for them — if only briefly — how a husband and wife interact with each other. We understand, even if these kids don't, that God designed marriage as a reflection of Christ's relationship with His church. In some small way, when we serve others, we are giving them a glimpse of God's lavish love.

    Once after we had discussed our story and talked about marriage, children and making wise decisions, a boy eagerly raised his hand. "Are you guys Christians?" he asked. I felt such joy that a third grader recognized our love for God and desire to follow His plan.

    When you and your husband use your gifts and resources to benefit others, you will experience that same delight. But in a world filled with desperate people, how do you know where to serve? The chaplain of the Minnesota Vikings once gave Tony some great advice: "Ask yourself: What can I do that no one else can do? What gifts, connections, and resources do I have to help those who might be overlooked by everyone else?"

    Volunteering has strengthened our marriage in interesting ways. Tony received many accolades as an NFL coach, but I believe his best moments have been interacting with young boys with no father figures at home. In addition, with six kids still living under our roof, we enjoy these few hours to ourselves every Tuesday.

    Our classroom visits often spark discussions as Tony and I explore better ways to answer students' questions and make God's ideas clearer to young people. How blessed we are to be able to impact our community while having fun together!

    What about you and your spouse? If you enjoy entertaining, why not invite those new neighbors over for dinner? If you like working together on your home, could you ask your church to refer you to an elderly couple whose home is in urgent need of repair? The opportunities are as rich as the gifts God has given you.

    As you and your husband seek God's direction, I don't know whether your prayer will lead you to a classroom like the ones Tony and I visit. But I do know this: the Lord is just waiting to show you something that only the two of you can do.

    Heavenly Father, sometimes I forget that marriage is not simply about me and my spouse, but was designed by You as a visible representation of Your endless love. Would You begin to show us how we might extend Your grace to others? In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    When it comes to helping others, where do you and your spouse's passions intersect?

    Set aside 15 minutes this week to talk with your spouse about the gifts and resources God has given you. Begin brainstorming a few ways you might reach out to someone in your community. If you already serve together, discuss your satisfaction level.

    Power Verses:
    Acts 20:35b, "... remember the words of the Lord Jesus: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" (NLT)

    Philippians 2:4, "Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." (NLT)

    © 2014 by Lauren Dungy. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Tyndale House Publishers for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

    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 1 Corinthians

  • Love Is Kind

    Posted on February 9, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 1 Corinthians 13:4

    Love is a “killer application” for Christians because we “kill them with kindness.” Kindness means you are pleasant to be around because your countenance is inviting and shows interest. It is as much an attitude as anything, and it is the ability to see beyond the immediate to the potential. Kindness means you go out of your way to love someone. People who are unlovable become prime candidates for your kindness.

    A family member who is far from God, deep down desires unconditional love and kindness. Kindness is a natural application of love because it makes one feel loved. It is the ability to be accepting when everything within you wants to be rejecting. It is a strategy for forgiveness when you are wronged or when someone takes advantage of you. When your trusting spirit has been violated, you still love by being kind; you stop fighting, and you start forgiving.

    Love keeps you kind, especially toward those who are closest to you. They do not deserve your dredging up hurtful, bitter, and unforgiving words from the past. Love is kind in its conversations. Harsh and abrasive speech is absent from kind conversation. Love produces words that are “kind and tenderhearted” (Ephesians 4:32). Love is able to extend kind words that cheer up heavy hearts (Proverbs 16:24). Pray to God for kindness to reign in your relationships with kids and teenagers. Children translate kindness into love, for it is their language of love.

    We all have blown up and lost our temper over disrespectful attitudes and actions from our offspring. The temptation is to disrespect when we have been disrespected, and the natural response is to become angry when someone else spews out his or her frustrations on us. But God has not called us to natural responses, but supernatural ones. Kindness in the face of frustration is a fruit of the Spirit, and only through submission to your Savior will kindness become front and center. The fullness of the Holy Spirit in your life is what causes kindness to come forth.

    Lastly, loving others with kindness does not preclude difficult decisions. Kindness is not patronizing, but authentic care and concern, and it is able to deliver hard truth that softens hard hearts. You can dismiss an employee with kindness. Likewise, you can disagree in a heated debate, with kindness. Harshness has no hold on those who are controlled by Christ.

    Therefore, kindly love people through difficult situations. Serve those who are experiencing financial difficulties, for example. Kindness is king for followers of King Jesus, so love with kindness and watch them come around and embrace Christ. Kindness kills sin and sadness, and it brings to life love, forgiveness, and hope. Allow Jesus’ loving kindness to flow through you, for kindness toward the needy honors God (Proverbs 14:31). Kindness resides where love is applied, because love is kind.

    Taken from the February 9th reading in Boyd’s 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God vol. 1”

    Post/Tweet today:Harshness has no hold on those who are controlled by Christ. #loveiskind

    © 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

  • Faithful Guide

    Posted on February 8, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. Proverbs 11:3

    Integrity is an instrument of almighty God. He uses it to guide His children in the direction He desires for them. Have you ever wondered what God would have you do? Integrity is His directive to do the next right thing, trusting Him with the results. It is out of honesty that we begin to comprehend Christ’s desires. He delights in our uprightness.

    For example, are you totally honest on your tax return? Is your tax preparer a person of unquestionable integrity? We can trust professionals to represent us well, but we are ultimately responsible for an honest outcome. Furthermore, is there anything you are doing, if printed as a newspaper headline, that would embarrass you and your family? Indeed, integrity brings joy to heaven and security on earth. It is your guide for godly living.

    Moreover, the iniquity of the unfaithful destroys. The blessing of God is removed as it cannot be bought with bad behavior. Relationships are scarred and some even severed over dishonest dealings. Overnight, poor judgment can soil and potentially destroy a hard-earned reputation. Pride acts like integrity is only for others. It deceives itself and becomes a disgrace for its dishonest and duplicitous ways. Iniquity is an unfaithful guide.

    "I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do” (Nehemiah 7:2).

    So we ask ourselves, “How can I be a man or woman of integrity over the balance of my life?” There is a simplicity about those who base their behavior on the principles of God’s Word; nothing fancy, only faithful living in their daily routine. The grace of God governs their soul, the truth of God renews their mind, and accountability is an anchor for their actions. Honestly ask yourself, “Is integrity my faithful guide?”

    The Bible says, “May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you” (Psalm 25:21).

    Prayer: How can I better integrate integrity as a guide for my business dealings and behavior at home?

    Related Readings: Genesis 20:4–7; Hosea 13:9; Matthew 7:13; Romans 7:9–12

    Taken from the February 9th reading in Boyd’s 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God vol. 2”

    Post/Tweet today:The grace of God governs the soul and the truth of God renews the mind. #faithfulguide

    © 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 Proverbs

  • Too Blunt

    Posted on February 7, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    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

    Just as a blunt object can bruise and bring injury to the body, so blunt words can hurt hearts and wreck relationships. Even some who pride themselves on being direct can drive people away. Sadly, like chronic bad breath, no one is willing to inform them of their offensiveness. Colleagues fear, lest they become the latest victim of the offender's verbal jabs. Direct speech is not a license for public sparing but private reproof. Words laced in grace accomplish more than caustic candor.

    How do we know if we are too blunt in our conversations? If we talk more than we listen, we have a higher probability of indiscreet speech. If we impatiently wait for another to stop talking so we can give our opinion, we may be guilty of tearing down instead of building up. If we are angry or dissatisfied we may communicate insensitive words. If we are really brave, we might ask a friend if the way we communicate is helpful or harmful. Direct people need direct feedback.

    "But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief" (Job 16:5).

    Comfort precedes confrontation in conversations that most effectively correct the hearer. Like ‘a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down,’ so words dripping with honey are ingested into the stomach of the soul. Truth administered like a sharp scalpel cuts with clean precision, while a jagged, dull saw only frustrates. So, place a caring arm around a friend’s shoulder before you shoulder them with specific concerns. Like Jesus, look for redemption in the conversation.

    Most of all, follow the Holy Spirit’s lead in leading others to understand their need to change. We can only model the way and not get in the way of the Spirit’s work in another’s heart. We can unselfishly serve and hope our actions will infect the ones we serve with a servant’s heart. The best conversations happen in the margins of our relationships. So, we prayerfully wait to bring up sensitive matters when their heart is most open to truth. Sharpened speech is Spirit led.

    "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones" (Proverbs 16:24).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use my words as an instrument in Your Spirit’s hands to help build up.

    Related Readings: Psalm 15:2, 40:10; John 7:18; Romans 9:1; Matthew 12:36; Ephesians 5:4

    Post/Tweet today: The best conversations happen in the margins of our relationships. #tooblunt

    © 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 Ephesians

  • The Day I Almost Gave Up

    Posted on February 7, 2014 by Leah DiPascal

    Leah DiPascal

    "The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry for help ... The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:15-18 (HCSB)

    I gripped the steering wheel of my car and stared at the hospital emergency doors. My heart pounded furiously, like a time bomb waiting to explode. The pressure in my head was almost unbearable. The invisible weight on my chest felt like someone dropped a sledgehammer on me.

    Thoughts raced through my mind. I wanted to scream but could barely breathe a whisper. I just sat there lonely, afraid, shattered and completely empty inside.

    Should I check myself into the hospital?

    What if they admit me in the psychiatric ward and won't let me go home?

    Who will take care of my children?

    Will my husband still love me?

    What if my friends find out?

    Reaching for my phone, panic rushed over me like a tidal wave. A pool of tears cascaded down my face, as I cried, Jesus, please help me!

    Sitting in my car, unable to move, I continued to pray and ask God questions like, How did I get here? I'm a Christian for heaven's sake! Things like this just don't happen to Christian women – or do they? I feel like such a failure.

    Looking back now, I can see how years of worry and stress had brought me to that day.

    Concerns about my family's finances kept me up most nights. Stress over a high-pressured job caused erratic panic attacks. Worry about my children's health created knots in my stomach. Struggling to help my aging parents resulted in midnight crying sessions.

    My concerns consumed me. Worrying became an addiction, demanding my ongoing attention. I was trying to "hold it all together" on the outside, but on the inside, a sea of doubt and fear haunted me.

    Maybe you're in a similar place. Have the stresses of life caught up with you too? Are you worried about your finances, health, marriage, job or kids? Do you wonder if anyone sees your pain or even cares? If you're brave enough to cry out for help, will anyone rescue you?

    In today's verse, we are reminded we do have a Rescuer:

    "The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry for help ... the righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:15-18).

    God sees you and hears your cries for help, even when no one else does. He knows your heartache. He sees your pain. If your heart is broken and you feel crushed from all sides, God promises to be close to you. Though you may not see Him with you physical eyes, He is there.

    God rescued me that day in the hospital parking lot. After several hours of prayer, God calmed my heart and I called my husband. I reached out to close friends for help, and the healing started. Although I wanted an instant miracle, it took time, but God never left my side. He gently mended my broken heart and renewed my mind through His Word. He guided me along a journey that led to true freedom, for which I am forever grateful.

    Has the stress of life taken its toll, causing you to feel afraid, lonely or ready to give up? Is your heart broken today? Let God rescue you, friend. He is ready. He is willing. He is able.

    Dear Lord, it feels like my life is falling part. I desperately need You to rescue me. Thank You for hearing my cries and for delivering me from my troubles. Even when I am hidden from others, You see me, Lord. Thank You saving me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Read Psalm 139 and highlight every verse that tells of God's presence and protection over you.

    Write out a prayer thanking God for all the things you are grateful for today.

    Power Verse:
    Zephaniah 3:17, "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." (NIV 1984)

    © 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 Psalm

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