• 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.

  • 1:27 Rewards

Daily Devotion

  • Organized Service Project

    Posted on January 29, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place. Nehemiah 3:1

    More than any time in the history of the church, contemporary Christians are blessed with time and money to resource other believers. Homes can be built or rebuilt after a natural disaster. Aggressive forms of agriculture can be taught, orphans can be educated and adopted. Christian schools can be funded and churches can be planted. Modern technology provides for creative ways to share Christ with non-believers and disciple believers. Organized service projects work!

    Where is Christ calling you to organize a service project? Perhaps like Nehemiah, the Lord may lead you back to the roots of your ancestry whose place of worship needs repair. Moreover, their faith may be almost extinguished from a generation apathetic toward Almighty God. When you show up with an organized team to serve at their point of need, you may be just what they need to get going for God. A simple service project can propel people toward faith in Jesus Christ.

    Because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 1 Thessalonians 1:5

    Start in prayer. Ask God who He wants you to bless and how He wants you to organize a mission work. Maybe you challenge an already existing small group or Sunday School class to come alongside you to serve for this brief season. Just ask the Lord to give you six or eight committed souls, even as many as ten or twelve to dedicate their skills and gifts to serve. Recruit a co-leader who supports you administratively. Schedule prayer times, trainings and an overnight retreat to bond with one another and to prepare for the mission work. Each one can do their unique part.

    Set a date for the needs are great. Procrastination will never produce a perfect time to organize a service project. Don’t be preoccupied by what others more qualified should do, instead ask the Holy Spirit to fill you for what you can do. Better to be available with less experience, than be over qualified and uninvolved. Look for groups like 410 Bridge, who can help you if your church is not engaged in mission projects. Yes, God blesses organized work!

    While Peter was still thinking about the vision,the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.” Acts 10:19-20

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to organize a service project that moves men and women toward You.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 49:6; Psalm 67:2; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 16:9

    Post/Tweet today: Set a date for the needs are great. Procrastination will never produce a perfect time. #organizedmissionwork

    © 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 Nehemiah

  • What if the Trouble Is in Me?

    Posted on January 29, 2014 by Sheila Walsh

    Sheila Walsh

    "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33b (NIV)

    When Barry and I were first married I came up with a nickname for him: "Velcro-Boy."

    He earned that title because every time I turned around, there he was. In the beginning, I thought I might suffocate from lack of oxygen!

    If I went out for an hour to buy groceries he would call me: "Hey honey, where are you?"

    "I'm at the grocery store ... remember, I told you right before I left."

    I might on a good day make it to the cereal aisle before the phone rang again: "I'm missing you. Are you almost done?"

    I'm sure some of you are thinking what a blessed woman I am. But while it's lovely to have someone enjoy your company, I subscribe to the old adage that, "absence makes the heart grow fonder." My heart was never going to have that opportunity!

    What I've learned over the years is Barry is an extrovert and I am an introvert. Being with people energizes him, but I need alone time to process life.

    We can joke about it now, but back then there was more to my need for personal space than I wanted to admit. God was at work in my life, and marriage was the perfect forum for the trouble brewing in my heart to surface.

    During the last significant conversation Christ had with His closest friends He spoke these words about trouble: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33b NIV).

    While some might find this verse comforting, it echoed differently inside of me the first time I heard it. The question stuck in my head: What if the trouble is inside of me?

    Have you ever felt that way? Do you believe that if others knew the whole truth about you they would, at best, be disappointed?

    Here's the tricky thing though. I wouldn't have been able to answer if you had asked me, "So, what's the big secret you're hiding from everyone, Sheila?"

    Something was wrong back in those early days of marriage, but I couldn't identify it. That's the sneaky thing about shame. Guilt says you've done something wrong, but shame says you are something wrong. Shame was like a squatter in my heart that refused to leave.

    So how does this unwelcome guest gain access to our souls? It often starts with some kind of abuse that changes how we see ourselves. To others, it may look as if everything is as still and peaceful as the surface of a lake. Only you know the storm raging inside, pounding your heart and soul onto the rocks of who you believe you are.

    Does the promise Christ made to his friends during the most brutal 24 hours of his life speak to us? Yes! Yes, a million times over!

    Christ, the innocent Lamb of God became shame so that we who are weighed down by it could have a place to take it. And that place is not our marriage relationships.

    In the early years of my marriage, I allowed that shame to intrude in my marriage, and it created a chasm between Barry and me. I pulled away and he wondered what he had done. Truth was, he'd done nothing. I was listening to the old siren song of shame.

    Shame tells us to hide but Christ calls us to walk in the light with each other. In his first letter, John wrote, "But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness" (1 John 1:7-9, NLT).

    So is shame sin? No, but refusing to acknowledge its presence and allowing it to damage my marriage is.

    When shame raises its ugly voice, let's bring it into the light of Christ. Let's write down every shameful feeling and condemning word that echoes inside our hearts and hear Christ say to us, "I overcame that!"

    Father God, You sent Your beloved Son to take my shame away. Today I choose to receive the love and freedom You offer and lay down the chaos of who I have seen myself to be. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Which of your relationship issues might be caused by shame?

    Put on paper every shameful feeling and condemning word that echoes inside your heart. Imagine Jesus saying specifically to you, "I overcame that!"

    Power Verse:
    2 Thessalonians 3:16, "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Sheila Walsh. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Thomas Nelson 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 John

  • Mocked and Ridiculed

    Posted on January 28, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    They mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?” I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding. Nehemiah 2:19-20

    Sometimes servants of God are mocked and ridiculed for their sincere service. Jealous are those who feel like they may lose control and their influence ignored. The cynic does not sit still when their assumptions are challenged. They attack people’s motives and attempt to label their enemies as rebels. Hate demonizes good people and tries to discredit anyone who disagrees with them. Mockers rage when the righteous work without listening to their critic’s complaints.

    How should we handle intimidation from jealous schoolmates, co-workers or neighbors? One approach is to see critics as heavenly sandpaper meant to refine our intent into integrity. Like a master wood craftsman meticulously smooths away any rough edges with their tool of the trade, so God’s Spirit uses coarse words to purify our motives. If only 1% of a skeptic’s scorn is accurate, it can scrub our soul, so it shines for our Savior Jesus. Ridicule is proof God’s work is at hand.

    Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you.  Proverbs 9:7-8

    It is futile to attempt to reason with a mocker. Their mind is made up, unable to change unless Christ does a mental miracle. Their view of the world is set, so we waste the Lord’s precious time if we try to change their mind. We just invite additional abuse and insults if we argue with our agitators. The harsh reality is some human beings are beyond being convinced for now. Pray for them and avoid harboring anger against them. Forgive and stay focused on Christ’s calling.

    Furthermore, remain faithful where the Lord has you. Persevere in prayer at your work. Rebuild, by loving unconditionally, a relationship that once was robust with joy. Rebuild your reputation, by doing what you say. Start over in faith your business or ministry that was ravished by an economic storm. Rebuild where God is working. He will bring you success. Ignore the noise of loud mockers and persuasive ridiculers.Listen only to the Lord’s quiet voice and obey by faith.

    If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. Proverbs 9:12

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me courage to ignore those who mean harm and the discernment to listen to those whose intentions are honorable.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 1:20-33, 10:23, 13:20; Psalm 123:4; Isaiah 30:15; Luke 23:11

    Post/Tweet today: See critics as heavenly sandpaper meant to refine your intent into integrity. #critics

    © 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 Nehemiah

  • Thankfulness Changes Lives

    Posted on January 28, 2014 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "I thank my God every time I remember you." Philippians 1:3 (NIV)

    A winter Saturday afternoon found me cleaning our basement storage room. There were boxes of papers to sort, bins of holiday decorations to shuffle and other assorted items to realign neatly on the shelves. I'd estimated it would take me an hour or so to tidy up the space. Except I hadn't factored in one thing.

    Memories.

    The items I straightened and stacked weren't spectacular; they were common articles found in many basements and garages. But the fragrance of precious memories clung to them. Memories of events that changed my life. Memories of people who touched my heart. My pace slowed significantly.

    I gently folded the ivory lace dress my daughter wore for her baby dedication at church over two decades ago. My mother bought it for her and continues to think of her grandchildren, picking up special trinkets and treats for them. She has a knack for making others feel loved.

    I thank my God every time I remember my mom.

    A hand-sewn stuffed bunny rabbit sat perched on a corner shelf. My college roommate Kelly lovingly crafted it for one of my children when they were young. For over 30 years, Kelly has been a thoughtful friend who never forgets my birthday and faithfully prays for my family.

    I thank my God every time I remember my friend Kelly.

    I found an old key on a greyed leather keychain. Turning the keychain over I saw a simple word scrawled across the back: pool. Our former neighbor, a widow and retired school teacher, had a built-in swimming pool and we did not. Without children or grandkids nearby, she gave us a key so our young family could take a dip any time we wished.

    I thank my God every time I remember Mrs. B.

    Memories surrounded me as I sorted through yearbooks and photo albums. Old friends. Precious relatives. Former church members and coworkers. Pieces of my past. So many of these dear folks played a part in my life. Remembering them brought a smile to my face and a few salty tears to my eyes.

    I whispered a prayer of sincere thankfulness for all of those people who helped shape my life. Their encouragement, advice and sometimes mere presence were blessings to me. God even used the relationship bumps to help mold my character and teach me life lessons.

    In today's key verse, Paul writes to the believers at the church in Philippi declaring, "I thank my God every time I remember you." Just calling to mind the image of these loved ones gave the apostle reason to be grateful to God. But Paul didn't only thank God, Paul also told his friends of his thankfulness.

    Could we do the same today? To not only thank God for those in our lives but also let them know how grateful we are for them? Dare we divert from our daily routine to take a moment or two to shoot off an email, make a phone call, or even send a hand-written note to someone we thank God for each time we remember them?

    Gratefulness brings contentment and contentment brings peace—peace in knowing all the pieces of our lives string together to make us who we are today.

    Grab a pen or pick up your phone. Someone is waiting to hear how thankful you are for them. It might just make their day. And yours.

    Dear Lord, help me to take time today to not only thank You for the many special people in my life but to joyfully tell them as well. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Who in your life are you grateful for? Make a list. Then, after each name, mention a few reasons why.

    Take time today to contact at least one of these people and let them know why you are thankful God placed them in your life.

    Power Verse:
    Colossians 2:6-7, "Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude." (HCSB)

    © 2014 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 Philippians

  • Resourced by God

    Posted on January 27, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven. Nehemiah 2:5

    God resources His children for whatever is needed in the moment. If grace, He pours out His grace. If mercy, He shows mercy. If hope, He serves up hope. If love, He loves us to the fullest. If comfort, He comforts and calms. If peace, beyond our understanding, He provides peace. If strength, He gives strength for the journey. If direction, His Spirit directs. If patience, the Lord’s long-suffering seeps its way deep into our soul. If wisdom, He generously gives His perspective. When resourced by God, we are ready for whatever comes our way. He takes care of His own.

    Nehemiah desired comfort and confidence. He needed the support of his boss to send him on his way with the resources he needed to rescue his people. God used the creditability of the King to carry out His will for Nehemiah. We may experience similar circumstances out of our control, but the Lord lays on the heart of an earthly authority to support heaven’s plan for our life. When we are honest with our godly intentions, God opens doors for their fulfillment. He resources us.

    I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. Philippians 1:19

    Our prayerful attitude is an agent of Almighty God’s activities. Like a private investigator seeks out the truth of a matter, so our prayers seek the heart of God on a matter. Before we tell a person what we want, we ask God what we need. Sometimes in the process of seeking the Lord’s provision, He shows us an idea bigger than our original request. What we thought a bold request, was modest compared to what Christ wants to accomplish. He resources us beyond our desires.

    What do you need right now? Financial relief? Physical healing? Spiritual nourishment? A child to follow God? A parent to love you? A spouse to support you? A reasonable boss? Opportunity? Humility? Forgiveness? Whatever you lack, seek the Source for your resources. The Lord longs to give you what you need, once you are ready to receive. Be honest about your motives, ask Christ for cleansing so you can be trusted with His favor. He resources a repentant and grateful heart.

    And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests. Nehemiah 2:8

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, purify my heart, so I am ready to receive Your resources for my life and work.

    Related Readings: Judges 6:39; 1 Chronicles 4:10; Psalm 20:5; Daniel 9:20; Philippians 4:6

    Post/Tweet today: Before we tell a person what we want, we ask God what we need. #resourcedbyGod

    © 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 Nehemiah

  • I Once Was a Shell of a Girl

    Posted on January 27, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)

    Have you ever believed the injustices of the world were too big for you to make a difference? I have felt that way. So instead of doing something, even something small, I did nothing.

    I thought big, world-sized problems required big, powerful people.

    But then a friend told me about spending time with rescued victims of sex trafficking. I knew that conversation was meant for more than just two friends connecting. I couldn't just say, "Wow, how awful," and go about my normal life. I had to do something. Even if it was something very small.

    My small act didn't solve the evils of the world, but it did help combat the evil being done against one. And that small gift tendered my heart to do more.

    A few years later, I spent almost a week living and serving in a shelter for girls rescued from sex trafficking. Coming face to face with those affected by evil was starkly different than just hearing about it. I listened to their stories, saw their tears, and held their hands.

    What I heard and saw horrified me on deep, deep levels. I kept thinking, How can this be going on in America? How was I so unaware?

    And yet the reality is I personally know the horrors of being taken advantage of and feeling powerless. As a young girl I was caught in a vicious cycle of sexual abuse by a family "friend" for years.

    His threats kept me silent. Over time that silence turned into overwhelming shame. Hatred cloaked my soul in darkness. And that bitterness seeped into the deepest crevices of my heart, changing how I saw myself. A girl can get completely lost inside the caverns of hate and lose every bit of what used to make her feel alive.

    I once was a shell of a girl ravaged by evils done to me.

    But now I'm a girl who has hope bigger than the hurt. Light brighter than the darkness. And a life full of truth as God set me free from those death chains of hatred.

    How did I find that pathway to healing? Someone told me about Jesus.

    Jesus promised me a new life by following Him. As I did, He saved me by His love, comforted me by His grace, and freed me by His truth. Christian counseling helped me understand how to forgive and challenged me to share the hope I'd found. Every time I shared my story, it miraculously deepened my own healing. Every time I comforted another hurting woman, my own soul found deeper comfort.

    The Bible reminds us that God has comforted us "so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:4b-5, NASB).

    Your story and circumstances may be different, but we all need healing and comfort of some kind. Seek that comfort from God today. But don't stop there.

    God doesn't comfort us to make us comfortable. He comforts us to make us comfort-ABLE ... able to help others.

    Seek out someone to help today. And if you need a small place to start, I want to introduce you to a friend named Becky who was rescued and gave her life to Jesus just a few weeks ago. (For more on Becky's story, read the related resources portion below.)

    If you want to be part of the miracles happening in Becky's life and the lives of other women being helped right now, here are three ways:

    * Be aware there are women needing help.

    * Pray for these women and the organizations seeking to rescue them.

    * Buy a bracelet made by Becky or one of the other women being helped by a ministry we've partnered with called Fashion & Compassion. When you buy a bracelet, you get the name of the "rescued" woman who made it. You can pray for her specifically as you wear this beautiful reminder that small gifts matched with your prayers make a big difference.

    And if you have a story of hope like me, share it. Love. Comfort. And believe small gifts aren't small at all.

    Dear Lord, thank You for being our Comforter. Wrap Your loving arms around each woman struggling with hurt and pain in the world right now, Father. Please show me how I can help them specifically. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What small thing could you do today to help those who are hurting in the community around you? Pray for them and then take action however you can.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 62:7, "My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge." (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 2 Corinthians

  • Put Into Practice

    Posted on January 26, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  Matthew 7:24

    The purpose of learning truth is so that it can be used. Unused truth expires and becomes stale. When you hear truth and put it into practice, you are wise. When you hear truth and ignore its application, you are foolish. Foolish is the man who acknowledges truth outwardly but never applies it inwardly. His foundation for faithfulness is fragile, so when the winds of adversity swirl and blow, his character collapses under the crushing power.

    Someone may show up for the Bible study or attend a soul-stirring retreat and hear truth but never change for the better. How can this be? This happens when people do not follow through with what they know to be right and true. There is a disconnect between their head and their heart. The discipline to stop bad habits and start new ones is rationalized away with convincing excuses. We deceive ourselves by saying, “I don’t have enough time,” “I am not spiritual enough,” “I will get around to this one day,” or “God will understand if I wait.”

    John described self-deception’s affect on truth: “We deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8b). Truth and deception can never coexist. So, jettison deception and apply truth now. If you wait, you will wander from its application. Right now is the wisest time to receive His gift of grace and to engraft it into your life. You are responsible for the truth you have received. Therefore, steward it wisely. Use it before you lose it, and become a practitioner of truth.

    Lastly, apply truth in doses that can be ingested into your character. Do not be overwhelmed by multiple things in your life that need to change. Choose one thing, such as loving your spouse with abandon and sensitivity. Paul said in Ephesians 5:25 that the husband should “give himself up” for his wife. Without saying a word, serve in secret so your spouse can experience your unselfish care and concern. Get into their world by loving them at their point of interest. It may relate to entertainment, cooking, or yard work.  Whatever it may be, serve them in ways that tell them you care.

    At work, you have the opportunity to put the radical teaching of Jesus into practice by treating others as you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12 NASB). Think of a colleague who let the team down and is in need of forgiveness. If you were in their shoes, you would appreciate this gift of mercy. You can put into practice the Golden Rule because you are golden now that God has graced your life. God has filled you with His grace so you can live a gracious life. Focus on building the foundation of your life and your character one brick of truth at a time. This architecture designed by the Almighty will endure. Leave a lasting legacy to your children by putting into practice what you know to be truth. The teachings of Jesus are truth. Therefore, believe and apply. Put His principles into practice, and persevere.
    Post/Tweet today: Put into practice the Golden Rule because you are golden now that God has graced your life. #putintopractice

    © 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

  • God’s Silence

    Posted on January 25, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him” (1 Samuel 28:5–6).

    Sometimes God is silent. He is silent in our prayers. He is silent in our circumstances. He is silent in our relationships, and He is silent in His Word. His silence can be deafening because it seems that His silence is ill timed. In most cases, His silence revolves around a real need you are experiencing. You may feel that God is disinterested or that He does not care. The silence of God can be an overwhelming place to occupy and still trust Him.

    Your predicament could be like a heavy bar bell on your chest with no spotter available to assist you. You feel all alone and unable to fix the problem or correct the issue. You do not even know where to start. You are in despair, at the tipping point of depression. Anger has clouded your reason, and heaven seems indifferent to your hurt.

    Or, on the other hand, you are “suffering” from success and prosperity; yet God feels distant and disconnected. You have honored Him in the process, but He has not seemed to honor you with His warm and affirming presence. What is going on?  What is God up to? What does He want you to do next for the good of His kingdom?

    Indeed, God’s silence is your opportunity to remain faithful, even when you are unsure of His intentions for your life. He is God and we are not; therefore, we do not have to pressure ourselves to figure out everything that is going on. Managing the big picture is in His job description, not yours; so rest in His silence. Refuse to become restless, resentful, or rebellious. But still you ask, “Why the silence?”

    There may be two possible reasons for God’s silence—sin or sanctification; or it may be a combination of both. When God withholds His blessing and direction for your life, it may be the direct consequence of the sin in your life. This is why regular confession and repentance of sin are critical for the follower of Christ. This is like breathing for your soul. Sin is like cotton in the ears of our heart; thus, God’s voice becomes muffled, unclear, and eventually silent. Your removal of sin clears the wax from the ears of your heart.

    God’s silence may be used for your sanctification. He is in the process of making you more and more like His Son Jesus Christ. This is not always fun, though it is needed to learn God’s ways and His purpose for your life. Even if He is silent, do what you know is right today, and trust Him with the next step for tomorrow. Do not let silence overwhelm you; rather, use it as a springboard to trust God’s faithfulness.

    “O God, whom I praise, do not remain silent” (Psalm 109:1).

    What do I need to learn during my silent times with the Lord? Will I still trust Him?
    Related Readings: Psalm 83:1; Isaiah 62:1; John 12:29; 2 Peter 1:18

    Post/Tweet today: God’s silence is our opportunity to remain faithful, even when we are unsure of His intentions. #God’ssilence

    © 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 Samuel

  • Transparent Behavior

    Posted on January 24, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    So the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”I was very much afraid. Nehemiah 2:2

    Transparent behavior is authentic action. What we do matches who we are in our heart. The opposite of transparency is hypocrisy. A hypocrite hides behind a mask to manipulate their image into something it’s not. A transparent person, on the other hand, gives a true representation of themselves, what you see is what you get. The good, the bad and the ugly. Authenticity does not conceal real feelings to keep up a false identity. Transparent behavior is comfortable being real.

    Nehemiah normally was full of joy, but on this day his countenance communicated distress. His family and friends were in trouble. We can chose to stuff our pain with a plastic smile or we can express our hurt with a saddened face. Trust is what facilitates our transparent behavior. If we trust God and others we take the risk to be real. There is freedom in letting go and letting the Spirit lead the conversation. Transparent behavior trusts God to work through honest interaction.

    Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7

    Do people feel comfortable around you? How can you make them feel safe to be themselves? One way is to be open about your own struggles and challenges. When someone hears of your temptations and need for accountability they feel you understand them. As individuals are understood they open up and feel the freedom to share their true feelings. Your love and confidentiality give people permission to be real. Acceptance encourages transparent behavior. A person’s vulnerability is an opportunity for us to help them, not hurt them. Reward being real.

    Furthermore, we are wise to not hide who we are with those who know us the best. When we are afraid, angry or hurt, ‘fine’ is not an acceptable answer to “How are you doing?” It blesses our spouse, family and friends when we let them in on our heart. Transparency deepens authentic relationships. A word of caution: being real does not mean to emotionally throw up on someone, but it does mean to prayerfully share struggles, dreams and joys. Let’s be honest with ourselves and God. He already knows, but it honors Him and helps us when we share our heart in prayer.

    I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. Psalm 142:1

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the courage to be real so others feel comfortable being themselves around me.

    Related Readings: Psalm 15:2; Proverbs 22:21; Matthew 6:16; Luke 22:42; Ephesians 4:15, 25

    Post/Tweet today: A person’s vulnerability is an opportunity for us to help them, not hurt them. #transparentbehavior

    © 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 Nehemiah

  • Looking for Hidden Beauty

    Posted on January 24, 2014 by Amy Carroll

    Amy Carroll

    "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NASB)

    As a child who grew up swimming in the ocean off the coast of North Carolina, I was used to wading into murky waters. The sun sparkled brilliantly on the surface, but most of the time I couldn't see anything past a few inches from the top of the brownish Atlantic Ocean. My young mind whirled as my toes met with all kinds of unknowns.

    "What's that sharp edge?!"

    "Oooo ... a slimy thing!"

    "What just brushed past me?!"

    A sting from a jellyfish and watching Jaws fueled my active imagination and latent fears. I couldn't see what was swimming in the vast expanse around me, so I worried, "What's in there?"

    One rare day, I waded into the ocean and much to my surprise, my toes were in full view! I don't know what caused the unusual clarity, but that day our waters were like the crystal-clear blue seas of the Caribbean.

    Suddenly, I could see all the delights around me. Brightly colored seaweed, flashing silver scales of a fish, and shells were pushed along the bottom by the tide. The sight that remains sharp in my memory, though, was a yellow piece of seaweed with several exquisite black and white striped angelfish swimming around it.

    Was THAT what I had been worrying about?

    The little vignette looked like something I'd pay to see in a public aquarium. The beauty was riveting, and I was shocked to know these gorgeous fish had been there all along, hidden by the cloudy water.

    Life is so often like the lesson I learned that day. Most of the time we are wading through life without seeing every situation clearly, and it's easy to become fearful of what we can't see.

    But just because the beauty is hidden, doesn't mean there's no beauty to be found. I've often gone through hard times when I couldn't see where my next footstep would land. That's just a season, though, not the whole picture. We truly only see in part, but thankfully we can befriend the One who knows fully.

    If we could only see our lives through God's eyes, the lens of eternity, we'd see that just below the surface there is something beautiful. He has created each day and each moment with purpose. Sometimes our vision will be cloudy and other seasons will bring enough clarity to see the loveliness of God's concealed work.

    I remember sitting beside my friend's bedside as death approached. Watching her still face, I prayed for God's will to be done quickly and peacefully. Walking through that experience with her, a young mother with precious little boys, was a very murky time for me. I just didn't understand why her life had to end so soon.

    But as I prayed, God reminded me that every minute of her life was beautiful and precious, even those she spent near death in a hospital bed. Rather than just seeing the heartache and pain, God opened my eyes to see His good work in and purpose for my friend's life. Years later I still remember the beauty of her life. Her example of proclaiming God's goodness in the midst of a tragic reality modeled deep faith in her Father's reign over her eternal story.

    In each season of our lives, even the ones moving through murky waters when we can only see in part, we can trust in the One who views it all. There is something beautiful happening just below the surface. May God give us eyes to see it clearly.

    Lord God, You are good. I trust You are doing beautiful things in my life even when I can't see them. Please help me trust when I don't see Your eternal picture clearly and hold on tightly to You until a new season of clarity. Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    How would things change if you truly believed that this season won't last forever—that it's only part of God's bigger, eternal picture?

    List some of the other seasons of your life. Looking back, can you see with clarity some of the beautiful work of God even in the hard ones?

    Power Verses:
    Ephesians 3: 20-21, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Amy Carroll. 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

Items 321 to 330 of 1477 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...