• Clearance

Daily Devotion

  • Everyday, Ordinary Glory

    Posted on April 8, 2014 by Lisa-Jo Baker

    Lisa-Jo

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

    It's late. Only 9 p.m. But so late. The night shift will soon begin, and the day shift with bath times and teeth brushing battles is just winding down. With my husband Peter finally home, I slink away to steal some quiet and maybe a few moments of sleep between shifts.

    But they find me.

    They pad down the hallway, long shadows stretching around the corner and into my room before deep breaths whisper, "Mama, can we stay by you?" Then they sandwich beside me and we begin the losing battle against not speaking.

    One may as well try and hold back the tide. The day, their highs, lows and secret wishes come trickling out. First in whispers and then in bold declarations! When they grow up they will be trash truck drivers, builders, policemen, game rangers, fathers and heroes.

    Their profiles against the hall light are brave and delicate at the same time. I can feel the sand, gritty against my foot where it's escaped socks and sandboxes, now taking up residence at the foot of my bed. Someone farts, someone else burps and my retreat is now a mini-locker room experience with my growing up boys-will-be-boys boys.

    I relive snapshots of the day from their perspective and discover how someone's minuscule boo-boo looms large in their memory and how someone else likes to be the leader during walks around the block.

    Who would have thought boys giggled this much?

    And in the dark and the tired and the small, everydayness of these moments I can feel it. The weight of glory. The glorious ordinary that is God's gift to us.

    Colossians 1:15-17 speaks of the glory of God in everything: "The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

    And sandwiched between two talkative boys, I know there is no part of our everyday, wash-rinse-repeat routine of kids and laundry and life and fights and worries and play dates and kindergarten orientation and work and marriage and love and new life and bedtime snuggles, that Jesus doesn't look into it deeply and say, "That is Mine."

    In Him all things hold together. All things. This messy house and my fears and chaos and incomplete to-do lists.

    Turns out, I'm not defined by my mothering skills or my name on a business card. I'm not defined by what I accomplished today, or whether or not I lost my temper. I'm not defined by my jeans that I wish were a different size, or by my kids when they won't obey. I'm not defined by my wrinkles or tired eyes.

    I am, however, defined by the God who knows me by name ... by the God who promises that nothing I do or don't do can separate me from His love that is in Christ Jesus.

    Right where we are at the end of long days, long lists and long sleepless nights, Jesus meets us and in Him we are tenderly, patiently, lovingly held together. So we can be ready for tomorrow.

    Dear Jesus, thank You for not seeing anything boring or routine when You look at us. You don't see failure, insignificance or ordinary. But instead, You see one-of-a-kind daughters of the King. Thank You for entering into every part of our days, for delighting in all we cycle through, and for how You celebrate, grieve, counsel and comfort every step of the way. We love how You see wonder in even our most ordinary routines and how You hold us together even when we feel like we're falling apart. We love You, Jesus. Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Think about your routine today and identify something glorious that is buried in your everyday ordinary.

    What is one way you can start to remind yourself to be looking for wonder in your routine? For example, keeping a gratitude journal, setting an alarm throughout the day to stop and reflect, sharing something that each family member found special at dinnertime?

    Power Verses:
    Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (NIV)

    Acts 17:28a, "For in him we live and move and have our being." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Lisa-Jo Baker. 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

  • Instant Obedience

    Posted on April 7, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.  John 5:8-9

    Sometimes Jesus asks us to do something that seems impossible at the time. He wants our faith to intersect with His instructions, as far fetched as they may seem. We know from experience; as we exercise our faith--it grows. By faith, we first receive from our Savior forgiveness, grace, and eternal life. His unprecedented gifts are our opportunity to give Him our absolute allegiance. Once we surrender to our King and Lord Jesus, He empowers our will to obey His will.

    A 38 year-old man had waited for years, unable to beat his competition into the healing pool. But then the Healer showed up in person on the Sabbath and turned conventional wisdom upside down. Faith was still necessary, but not like the former process. Yes, Jesus gives us new methods to carry out His old mission. The majority may clamor to traditional places for His power, but the Spirit is available to us for creativity. He wants to use our fresh faith to facilitate His new ways.

    “See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).

    What innovative outcome is the Lord leading you to accomplish in His strength? What area of your life still needs Christ’s healing power? Don’t be afraid of failure, but embrace instead the liberty you have to launch a new idea. Some with a jealous eye will be critical, however you can rise up and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. Give God the glory and perhaps He will answer your naysayers by giving you success. It's hard to argue with the instant obedience of a humble life.

    Above all, receive Jesus Christ by faith into your life, as Savior and Lord. Furthermore, apply the healing power of His grace onto any hurt or guilt in your heart. Your instant obedience is an indicator of your love for Him. Obeying Christ’s command is not burdensome, but a blessing. Not a hinderance, but a help to knowing God. Not dreadful duty, but joyful service! Your instant obedience leads to intimate encounters with Jesus. Faith frees you to walk obediently with Him.

    “For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed” (Hebrews 4:2).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to obey You instantly, as an expression of my true love for You.

    Related Readings:Deuteronomy 11:13; Psalm 119:158; Matthew 9:5-6, 12:1-14; Hebrews 11:8

    Post/Tweet today: Jesus gives us new methods to carry out His old mission. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • I Just Unfriended My Friend

    Posted on April 7, 2014 by Nicki Koziarz

    Nicki

    "My child, don't lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them for they will refresh your soul." Proverbs 3:21-22a (NLT)

    "Women are ridiculous," I said to my husband as I crawled into bed, tears dripping. He gave me an agreeable stare, since he had no words to console my aching heart.

    I'd just learned a friend lied to me. It was about something senseless, which just made it worse. As the hours ticked by, I wrestled through troubling thoughts.

    Why would she lie about THAT?

    Were we ever really friends?

    The combination of hurt and middle-of-the-night thinking was toxic, forming a very self-centered attitude in me. I decided I no longer had room in my life to deal with someone who had lied to me. So in my heart, I just unfriended this friend.

    I have other people I can be friends with, I thought as I drifted off to sleep.

    The next morning I realized how my emotions had distorted my perceptions. It concerned me how quickly I was willing to write off this friend, since we had been through a lot together. And I really did value our relationship.

    So I pondered the emotions swirling in my heart.

    In our cyber culture today, it's easy to sit behind computer screens and smartphones while we reject the reality of many things, including friendships.

    My profile on Facebook says I have 900 "friends." Social media convinces me I have hundreds of people in my corner. But in reality, I don't have 900 friends I could call in the midst of a crisis or even go meet for a cup of coffee.

    And that "unfriend" button is mighty tempting when someone hurts me. But the truth is, ending a relationship is much more complex than the way social media convinces me it can happen — as easily as clicking an icon.

    Social media is a relational tool, but it's not a relational reality.

    More than ever, I need to see my friendships through the lens of reality, and this verse helps me do this: "My child, don't lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them for they will refresh your soul," (Proverbs 3:21-22a).

    God has given us two trustworthy filters to help us see things as what they really are: common sense and discernment.

    In this situation with my friend, common sense, reminded me: You don't really have 900 friends, but you do have one or two people you can really count on. And you need to cultivate those relationships through good times and bad.

    When I wanted to reject our relationship because I was hurt, discernment said: Your friend is human. At the core of her heart she cares about you and didn't mean to hurt you.

    We will always be susceptible to flawed perceptions in our friendships. But when we hang on to the realities God offers us through common sense and discernment I believe we will be much wiser with our perceptions.

    Using God's Word as my filter, rather than my emotions, allowed me to work through the hurtful issue with my friend. That experience made me a more compassionate friend and it strengthened our friendship, so that when I mess up (and I'm sure I will), hopefully she'll forgive me.

    God, we are so grateful for Your gifts of common sense and discernment. Give us the grace to use these filters when things get foggy. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Is there a friendship God might want to restore because one or both of you had a flawed perception about what was happening? Maybe today you could reach out to that person and begin the process of healing.

    Friendships thrive when we cultivate them. Invite a friend to meet you for some meaningful connecting time, this week or next.

    Power Verses:
    1 Corinthians 13:12, "We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!" (MSG)

    1 John 3:2, "But friends, that's exactly who we are: children of God. And that's only the beginning. Who knows how we'll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we'll see him — and in seeing him, become like him." (MSG)

    © 2014 by Nicki Koziarz. All rights reserved.

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

  • Attractive Evangelism

    Posted on April 6, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34–35

    Love is irresistible for those in search of a Savior. Everyone whose heart aches for authentic relationship will take notice when seeing Christians love one another. Parents who encourage and build up their sons and daughters are a magnet to their children’s friends who live lonely lives in discouraging and disruptive home environments.

    Have you thought of your home as a sanctuary for seeking souls? Every time a neighbor drops by, a friend stays overnight, or you host a party for your child’s team, you have an opportunity to model the love of Jesus toward those you know and to those whom you meet for the first time. Leverage love for the Lord, and He will draw people to Himself.

    “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13).

    Being a disciple of Jesus does have its benefits, and being loved is close to the top. When you placed your faith in Christ, you became a giver and receiver of Christian love. So do not resist the righteous care that Christ followers extend on your behalf. Be glad you model the love of God’s children that can melt the hearts of outside observers. “Why,” they ask, “do people give so much, expecting nothing in return?”

    How do you intentionally love your brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you share relationships, money, your vacation home, your primary residence, or your car? It may be showing up during a health issue, praying for a job interview, babysitting their little one, or mowing their grass. Unbelievers take notice when believers lavishly love each other.

    “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13).

    Our capacity to love is limited only by the Lord’s capacity to love us, to love in us, and to love through us. His love removes our insensitive heart and replaces it with sensitivity. The Almighty’s agape love arranges our priorities around the needs of others first and ours second. His love first comforts pain in people and then waits for the appropriate time to administer truth. This level of unconditional love is a conduit for the lost to know Christ.

    “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:11–12).

    Prayer: Am I receiving God’s love? Whom do I know who needs my unselfish love and attention?

    Related Readings: 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 3 John 1:7-8

    Taken from the April 6th reading in Boyd’s 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God vol. 2”

    Post/Tweet today: Unbelievers take notice when believers lavishly love each other. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • Fainting Faith

    Posted on April 5, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" Psalm 42:1-2

    A fainting faith is forever in search of its heavenly Father. There is a building intensity for intimacy with the Almighty. Sometimes your faith faints from sheer exhaustion. It passes out for lack of prayer or even during prayer. Do not allow divine duty to drive you for very long. This is not a sustainable pace or prayer-friendly posture. Rest instead in the continual call of Christ. Service to God without communion with Christ, leads to spiritual fatigue. Your soul’s life is sucked out because fainting faith leaves you in a state of spiritual fatigue. The scary thing is that you may be unaware that your faith is on the brink of fainting.

    So keep your life’s pace governed by grace, or you will outrun your soul. Time with your Master requires margin. In fact, any significant relational investments take place in the margin of your life. Margin is like the white space on a page of paper. It makes reading enjoyable, digestible, and inviting to the eye. In the same way, lives with margin are inviting. You are not an interruption to people with margin because they know how to make time for those who matter. That’s how you should look at your time with Jesus. Carve out space on your calendar to be with your Savior. You can do this by faith, trusting that the Lord will make up for any lost time. Christ can get things done without you. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

    A deer, by instinct, has no other thought than to slow down and drink as often as needed. Your soul cannot stand sustained times without hydration either, but we sometimes fail to take the time. Jeremiah reprimanded the people for ignoring their need for the Lord, “…they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water” (Jeremiah 17:13b). Just as water is necessary for your body to function, so drinking from divine resources is required for your soul to sustain itself. Otherwise, your faith faints for lack of the Lord. Your soul’s thirst is a perpetual appetite that can only be quenched by Christ. Drunkards try to replace their soul’s longing with liquor. It doesn’t work, for it makes matters worse by seeking a substitute for their Savior. Drink is a synthetic savior for a thirsty soul.

    You can meet with the Lord immediately. He is always accessible. Get on your knees and pour out your soul in prayer. Drink in the love of the Lord. Guzzle down the grace of God. Sip on the joy of Jesus. Go to church and lift up your soul in worship to your great and mighty God. Drink in the praise and adoration of God’s glory with other sincere believers in Jesus. Your soul is satisfied in environments that engage you with eternity. Worship, Bible study, prayer, and community with Christ-followers quench our thirsty souls.  The world parches your soul, but heaven hydrates your heart. Your faith will flourish and not faint as you take the time to quench your thirsty soul. Drink often with Jesus. “For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water” (Revelation 7:17). He refreshes.

    Taken from the April 5th reading in Boyd’s 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God vol. 1”

    Post/Tweet today: Service to God, without communion with Christ, leads to spiritual fatigue. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • A Father's Growing Faith

    Posted on April 4, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    The royal official said, “‘Sir, come down before my child dies.’Go,’ Jesus replied, ‘your son will live.’” John 4:49-50

    A father whose faith in Christ is imperfect, will grow the more he gets to know Christ. This nobleman had heard about Jesus, but did not realize the Lord could speak a word, and instantly yet virtually, heal his son. Geographic distance does not limit the healing power of God’s grace. We petition our heavenly Father on behalf of our distant child, and He hears us with a heart to heal their hearts. Job number one as a father is to stay faithful in bold prayers for our progeny.

    Included in the job description of fathers is to fix things. We fix leaky faucets or call a plumber! We fix toys trampled by little feet. We fix cars, lawn mowers and bicycles. Often we repair broken lamps, brittle chairs, wobbly tables and washing machines. As the servant leader of the family, financial shortfalls, relational conflict, and problem solving in general, fall under our responsibility. However, the real test of faith is when we face something out of our control.

    “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4).

    Faith can be an irritant for controlling fathers, because it sometimes means they have to wait. Results may depend on God and other people. Perhaps you are waiting for your adult son to become a better leader. You need him to take on more responsibility. He may, but there are some leadership lessons that come only with experience. Your son needs to hear you say it’s ok to fail and you will always be there to support him. Learning to wait on God grows your faith in God.

    Furthermore, what is our reaction as a dad when our child is stricken by a severe illness, injury, or insult? Will we seek the Lord’s mercy, or will we ignore the Lord, since we are mad? Our faith grows when we go to God for our suffering child. Our son or daughter may be made fun of for their faith in Jesus. If so, we need to pray with them for their offenders. Model for them forgiveness, not retaliation. If your child is sick, go boldly to God’s throne of grace--receive mercy, seek healing. God hears and often heals. Our needy children need to see our faith grow.

    “The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; parents tell their children about your faithfulness” (Isaiah 38:19).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessing of my needy children. By Your grace, I need You to grow my faith.

    Related Readings: Genesis 20:17; Daniel 4:3; Mark 5:34; Hebrews 2:13, 11:1; 1 John 5:1

    Post/Tweet today: Learning to wait on God grows our faith in God. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • I'm a Meddler

    Posted on April 4, 2014 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn

    "... aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you." 1 Thessalonians 4:11 (ESV)

    I did it again. Stepped in to a situation that didn't concern me. I told myself I was helping, but it wasn't my place to speak up. As usual, it backfired.

    Contemplating all that had happened that evening, Jesus spoke to me. Of course, not literally spoke to me, but He nudged my heart: You're a meddler, Lynn, and you need to be done with it. When you meddle, you are not trusting. When you meddle, you are saying I can't handle it. You know I can. So be done with it. No more.

    I'm a meddler.

    I like to say I'm a "fixer." That's what I have called it in the past, but truth is, that's just a nicer way of putting it.

    Not a gossiper. No, that is someone who intentionally separates and that's not my heart. I want to help. Really I do.

    I'm a meddler. Dictionary.com defines the verb "meddle" this way: "To involve oneself in a matter without right or invitation; interfere officiously and unwantedly."

    Without right or invitation. That's what I do. Seeing an unhappy, unhealthy or unholy situation I listen to the whisper in my head. Since I see it, I think I'm instructed to do something about it.

    But most often, I am not. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says "... aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you."

    My place is to be quiet and pray. But I still prefer to fix, manipulate and get involved.

    In other words, I meddle.

    So, there you have it. Now that I see my actions for what they are, it's my responsibility to change. And in order to change, I will have to slow down before I take action or open my mouth. I'll have to ask myself: Are you meddling?

    Will I be tempted to meddle? Every day. Will I mess up? I hope not, but it's highly probable. I'm human. My desire, though, is to mind my own affairs and let Jesus get involved. I will ask Him for prayers to pray, not words to say.

    This change is going to be hard. But I know Jesus is serious about not meddling. Proverbs 26:17 says, "Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears" (ESV). In other words, meddling isn't smart! And that is not what I want to be; I want to be wise.

    Any other meddlers out there? Can you think of times when you got involved and you shouldn't have? Especially when the thing Jesus wanted you to do was to pray — and only pray? Let's pray for each other and ask Jesus to open our eyes to see and leave our troubles up to Him.

    Jesus, I'm a woman who wants to be a fixer. But that's not really my place; it's Yours. Open my eyes before I step in, and empower me to resist the temptation to get involved. Teach me to pray instead, Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What particular circumstances draw out the meddler in you? Trouble between friends? Arguments between family members? Right now, ask the Holy Spirit for prayers to pray for those you love instead of words to say.

    Often meddling is fueled by fear. Ask yourself: What do I fear?

    Power Verses:
    Matthew 7:3-5, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

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

  • Refreshed to Refresh

    Posted on April 3, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:14

    Christ refreshes us, so we are equipped to refresh others. His internal energy is not contingent on external circumstances. Like an old fashioned water wheel creates power by the constant flow of a creek or river, so our hearts are energized by our faith in Christ’s fountain of living water. Our appetite for Almighty God grows in intensity through our intimacy with Him. Temporary escapes are like soft drinks, there is a short-term satisfaction, but they only prolong the thirst cycle. But spiritual hydration from drinking in Jesus through prayer and worship, truly refreshes our heart.

    Are you in need of the Lord’s refreshment? Who comes to mind that you can refresh? Single adults fearful of not getting married need refreshment. Senior adults fearful of dying need refreshment. Widows and widowers fearful of loneliness need refreshment. Divorcees need refreshment. Hard charging leaders need refreshment. Perhaps you ask a close confidant how you can be a refreshment to them. The Lord refreshes our hearts, so we can refresh other weary hearts.

    “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25).

    The benefit of being a refresher is its reciprocal nature. By God’s grace we unexpectedly receive refreshment, for this is the Lord’s cycle of refreshment. This principle of receiving back new energy is humbling and life giving. So, a man or woman who spends much of their waking hours investing in relationships, may one day find themselves on their backs. Illness or injury may strike them down, only to find their spirits lifted by friends. Emails fill their inbox, texts flood their phone, and calls flow in full of encouragement. If we refresh others we will be refreshed!

    Furthermore, learn to enjoy reciprocal refreshment. Be a generous receiver, as well as a generous giver. What does it mean to be a generous receiver? We say thank you to the ones who refresh us and in our spirit we whisper a thank you to our heavenly Father for sending us His agent of encouragement. Most of all, our Savior’s living water wells up to eternal life for our souls. It’s not our proud, stoic independence that’s life giving. Instead, it’s our humble dependence on Jesus, whose life giving water flows from us. So, drink often: sip, swig or guzzle, but drink of Him!

    “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the refreshment of Your living water in Christ.

    Related Readings: Psalm 23:3, 68:9; Jeremiah 31:25; 1 Corinthians 16:18; Philemon 1:7, 20

    Post/Tweet today: Christ refreshes us to refresh others. His internal energy is not contingent on external circumstances. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • If You're Feeling Overlooked and Unappreciated...

    Posted on April 3, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'" Acts 13:22 (NIV)

    Sometimes I wake up in the morning feeling a little grumpy. Time to do it all again. I'll buy food that gets eaten. I'll wash clothes that get dirty again. I'll sweep floors that will be littered with crumbs an hour later.

    Is there more to all this than just doing the tasks of everyday life?

    Before I jumped into the normal routine this morning, I sat with Jesus. And I found some big truths as I read my Bible and took a little glance into David's life. Despite how others saw him, his own tendency to sin, and lack of position in his own family, David had the sweet reassurance of God. And that was enough.

    Overlooked by everyone else. Handpicked by God.

    To his older brothers, David was a pest. To his father, Jesse, he was just the youngest son. To onlookers, he was just a shepherd boy. But to God, David was the one destined to be king. And not just any king. He was from the bloodline from which Jesus would come.

    Overlooked by everyone else. Handpicked by God.

    Even the way David was anointed to be the future king is a telling story. In 1 Samuel 16, God tells Samuel that He has rejected Saul as king and chosen one of Jesse's sons to be the replacement.

    Think of the list of qualifications that must have run through Samuel's mind for such a position: tall, smart, articulate, brave, groomed, well-mannered, a natural-born leader. Samuel saw some of these characteristics in Eliab, David's brother. "But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his outward appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7, NIV 1984).

    Overlooked by everyone else. Handpicked by God.

    Samuel had Jesse line up all of his sons before him. All of them were to be considered. Yet, Jesse didn't call David in from tending sheep. Was this an oversight? An assumption? A judgment call? A deliberate choice?

    Overlooked by everyone else. Handpicked by God.

    Samuel passes on each of Jesse's sons and then asks, "Are these all the sons you have?" I imagine Jesse with a quizzical expression replying, "There is still the youngest ... He is tending the sheep." (1 Samuel 16:11, NIV) Surely one who spends his time taking care of animals is not the one to take care of a nation.

    Overlooked by everyone else. Handpicked by God.

    As soon as Samuel saw David, he knew he was the one. David was anointed to become king. But he was not immediately ushered to the throne. It would be many years before David was recognized by the world. So, where did he go after being anointed as king? To a refining school? A government academy? Military training? Nope.

    He went back out to the fields and continued to shepherd his flock. A king doing lowly tasks. A king whose character was being refined in the fields of everyday life to prepare him for his calling.

    How like us. In the midst of smelly laundry, dirty dishes, snotty noses, misplaced keys, overdue library books, bills, and that birthday gift that still needs to be mailed to Grandma – there is training there. There is character building. There is attitude shaping. There is soul defining. All of which must take place for us to become what God intends.

    Do you ever feel overlooked by the world? Take heart – we are handpicked by God.

    I am not just doing tasks. I am building a legacy. I am shaping God's Kingdom. I am in the process of not only discovering my calling but that of my family as well. And I don't know about you, but it sure does make me look at my everyday tasks (yes, even the smelly laundry) in a whole different light.

    Dear Lord, I'm grateful that even when I feel overlooked, I can rest in the fact that I am handpicked by You. Help me to live my life for an audience of One. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What tasks have you viewed as mundane or pointless?

    Determine to change your perspective on those tasks today. When you're feeling discouraged speak these words out loud: "I am handpicked and called by God. This is my assignment today from Him and I'm choosing to see how important it is!"

    Power Verse:
    1 Corinthians 15:58b, "Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort." (MSG)

    © 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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

  • Source of Satisfaction

    Posted on April 2, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10

    Every soul longs for satisfaction--a feeling of fulfillment. A dissatisfied soul is discontent and distant from God, but once satisfied, it’s content and close to Christ. Dissatisfied emotions look for love in all the wrong places, but once satisfied, receive genuine love from Jesus and His followers. A dissatisfied state of mind is ever learning, but unsatisfied with simple truth. Dissatisfied, we drive ourselves to unhealthy extremes, but we find peace when satisfied with our Savior Jesus.

    This dear woman at the well--whom Jesus loved, lacked fulfilling love from her previous husbands. The yearning and thirst in her heart could only be quenched by the living water of her Lord. Has your heart been broken by a lost love? Are you thirsty for someone you can totally trust? Look to your heavenly Father who loves unconditionally and wholeheartedly. The purified water of God’s love--filtered in heaven, is your gift to be received by faith. Christ’s love satisfies.

    “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (Jeremiah 2:13).

    We can dig wells in our own strength, but they will eventually run dry. A well of wishful thinking cannot replace Christ’s well of living hope. A well of good works cannot take the place of God’s gift of grace. A well of financial security is no substitute for the eternal security we have by faith in Jesus Christ. The world’s wells are subject to becoming stale, but the well of our Savior Jesus flows with fresh and residual living water. Draw often a cup of joy from the wellspring of life.

    Furthermore, go deeply into the well of God’s grace. The deeper we go, the darker it may seem, but such is the process of Oneness with our heavenly Father. As we patiently draw out the depths of the Lord’s love, we have an abundance to share with others. Living water is meant to flow from heart to heart. It’s not stagnant like the landlocked Dead Sea, rather is it full of life like a cascading waterfall. Faith in Christ is the satisfying source for all souls in search of true life.

    “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are the source of my satisfaction. Lead me to draw from Your well the depths of Your living water.

    Related Readings: Psalm 78:15-16; Isaiah 41:18; Jeremiah 17:13; Revelation 7:17, 21:6

    Post/Tweet today: Dissatisfied we drive ourselves to unhealthy extremes, but we find peace when satisfied with our Savior Jesus. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

Items 381 to 390 of 1659 total

WHAT WE'RE ABOUT

“to look after orphans and widows in their distress...” James 1:27 NIV

Our heartbeat is to help orphans and widows in need, as our Father calls us to do.
And with every purchase you make, you’re making an amazing difference in their lives.

Loading... Loading...