• 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.

  • Music Albums of the Month

Daily Devotion

  • Freely Give

    Posted on March 1, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8

    What is your motivation for giving? Is it to freely give or to give expecting something in return? This is an ongoing tension for the generous giver. We give our time, our expertise, our money, our friendship, our commitment; we give our very life, with what expectation in mind? Disappointment follows gifts with strings attached, but gifts given freely lead to fulfillment. Can we be hilariously generous and still trust Christ?

    You may ask, “What about my stewardship in giving gifts responsibly?” Wise givers give prayerfully and responsibly, but not to the exclusion of the Spirit’s leading. If the Lord is leading you to invest time and money in a person, ministry, or church, then obey and trust Him with the outcome. Everything we have is His; so He is ultimately responsible for the fruit of generosity. He blesses His work, done His way.

    Because Christ’s gifts are not conditional, our gifts are not conditional. For example, at your conversion God freely gave you His Spirit for comfort, conviction, and direction. The Bible says, “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us” (1 Corinthians 2:12).

    So, even when we grieve the Spirit with our disobedience, He still remains. The gift of the Holy Spirit does not come and go from our life; He is here to stay. His resolve to reside in our soul is reassurance that we are not alone. In the same way, when people you trust are in turmoil, stay with them through the rough ride until things smooth out. Anyone can give in the good times; so be there to give when they need you the most.

    Faithfulness freely gives, not to gain, but to do good deeds. The Lord’s freedom to extend goodness to you compels you to freely give back goodness. Grace is a gift to be received gratefully and given liberally. Give freely, and observe how much more is freely given to you. Your heavenly Father gave you His Son because He loves and forgives you freely.

    “He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:5–7).

    Prayer: What are the Lord’s expectations for His gifts to me? Am I freed up to give freely?

    Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 29:9; Proverbs 11:24; Romans 3:24; 1 Corinthians 2:12

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

    Post/Tweet today: Disappointment may follow gifts with strings attached, but gifts given freely lead to fulfillment. #freelygive

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • Full of Grace

    Posted on February 28, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. John 1:16

    The ups and downs of life tend to drain us. Physical challenges deplete our energy. Conflict can consume our emotions. Financial stress sucks the life out of our sense of security. The loss of a loved one leaves a hole in our heart. An empty nest is quiet; so quiet that it's loud with loneliness. Like a well-traveled car risks running out of gas, so we can run ourselves into spiritual, physical, and emotional emptiness. But God has provided the fullness of Christ to fill us up!

    Imagine our heart like the soil of a well-watered potted plant. A smart gardener regularly and precisely waters the dirt until it is moistened--but not flooded. In a similar way God applies His grace to our thirsty hearts, ones even bordering on dehydration. He gives us grace upon grace--not too much to drown us with spiritual pride, and not too little for us to labor in our own power. The grace of our Lord is a regular stream of strength for us to appropriate by faith.

    “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness” (Colossians 2:9-10).

    How do you receive the grace of God? You take hold of it by faith. You reach out to receive His ongoing gift of grace initially at salvation and continually as a maturing follower of Jesus. Imagine your faith as an unused rubber balloon with small capacity; once it expands by multiple breaths of air, its capacity grows. Similarly, the Holy Spirit desires to breathe in grace upon grace into your expanded faith. Your grace filled life protects you from the pain of burnout.

    The more your grace capacity enlarges, the more you are able to live graciously and serve others. A grace filled life does not want; since its needs are met it is able to meet the needs of others. It's a lifetime of continually taking hold of and receiving the Lord’s grace by faith. To bear fruit for Jesus is worth the test of perseverance. Why are some you know so free to give of themselves for God? Most likely they are fresh from experiencing the fullness of His grace in Jesus Christ. Your Lord is the fullness of grace, so you can be full by faith. Empty self and fill up with your Savior.

    “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6-7).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my capacity for Your grace by growing my faith in Christ.

    Related Readings: Romans 3:24; Colossians 1:19; Ephesians 1:23; 1 Timothy 6:19

    Post/Tweet today: A grace filled life does not want, since its needs are met it is able to meet the needs of others. #fullofgrace

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • Was It A Morning Like This?

    Posted on February 28, 2014 by John van der Veen

    John

    This past Sunday morning I woke up, and went to start the coffee pot. It's part of the ritual that either my wife or myself do. It's what the beginning of a typical Sunday morning is all about. It is (sort-of) the calm before the storm of getting everyone in our home ready for church.

    I sat down on the couch with my Bible in hand and decided to have a bit of a quiet time. I can honestly say that I love having my quiet time. Time in the Word is time with God. It's the unexplainable phenomenon of the God of this universe, speaking with me.

    I began to read from Matthew chapter 5:

    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    4 Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
    5 Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
    6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
    7 Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
    8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
    9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
    10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

    These verses are of course the famous "Sermon on the Mount." Jesus didn't name it that, He was just speaking. We named it that to help us identify better with what He was saying and when He said it.

    Regardless, I keep thinking about His words. I keep thinking about the moment that He said them the first time. How did people respond to them? Was He contemplating His future a few years from now? I thought that really, this sermon is about Him. For on the cross, He was the one poor, for He emptied himself of His glory of Heaven. He mourned. It grieved Him when He looked at the depravity of mankind. He was meek, for He had no home to call His own. He surely knew hunger and what it was like to be physically thirsty.

    He showed mercy. He was pure. He showed peace. AND He was persecuted. He was insulted and falsely accused. Jesus knows the words He is saying, because He came to a broken world.

    As my family went through the day, I felt like God's Word was the stool that kept me propped up. It was the Word of sanity that I needed to face the day. He knew me then and He knows me now. There is great comfort in that.

    What are you facing today? Whatever it is, hold it up side by side with Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. When we hold our lives up to the lens of Scripture we get a new perspective. For it helps us see better.

    What is your morning ritual? What Scriptures has God used to speak to you lately?

  • Scurrying or Seated?

    Posted on February 28, 2014 by Karen Ehman

    Karen

    "She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations." Luke 10:39-40 (NASB)

    I glanced at the clock on the wall. How was it 11:45 already? Where had the time gone? It was nearly noon and I wasn't even halfway through my to-do list for the morning.

    My day had started hours earlier when I had bounded out of bed with a goal of knocking off a bevy of tasks around the house, on the computer and in my little hometown. Scrawled out on a baby-blue legal pad, my plan included things to cook, calls to make and errands to run.

    I'd started whittling down my list as soon as my family left for school and work. Now at mid-day, I still had four or five items left undone and no way to accomplish them before my 1 p.m. dentist appointment to get a crown on my tooth.

    My spirit sank. What's my problem? I wondered. Did I underestimate how long each task would take? Or did I overestimate my ability to execute them quickly? Or, perhaps, it was a little bit of both.

    I also hadn't factored in the interruptions. A text from my daughter needing help on a tax form. An email from a friend wanting a recipe for company coming over later that day. A neighbor whose computer was on the blink and needed to borrow ours to make an order online. More distractions and delays.

    A little nervous about my dentist appointment, I called my friend Mary to ask for prayer. As we visited, I shared the details of my frustrating morning, and asked how her day was going. She replied that she hadn't completed what she'd hoped to either, concluding, "But I had a good long time alone with God this morning praying and reading my Bible which is what I needed most, so it's okay."

    My heart sank as I realized my problem: I hadn't taken time for the most important detail of the day. Spending time with God wasn't even on my radar. Maybe if I had spent time with the Lord I wouldn't have felt so much frustration at my lack of productivity.

    Our key verse today tells of another woman who put chores ahead of spending time with Jesus. The story in Luke 10 tells of two sisters and how they spent their time when Jesus came to visit. Martha was busy scurrying to get to the end of her "to-do list," but Mary chose a different path. She settled herself at Jesus' feet, soaking in His words and His presence.

    Later on we read that when Martha complained to the Lord that Mary wasn't helping her, He replied, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:41-42, NASB).

    There's no doubt Martha's sister Mary also had things to do. So did my friend Mary. But in the case of each Mary, they chose to do the best thing first: position themselves where they could clearly hear from the Lord.

    Perhaps today we can set aside our to-do lists until we've mimicked the Marys. Let's vow to meet with God before we attempt to meet the challenges of the day. Yes, maybe that's the key. Let's stop scurrying and be seated instead.

    There is always plenty of room at His feet.

    Dear Lord, help me to take time today to meet with You before I try to tackle the tasks of the day. Give me the perspective that You are more important than my never-ending list of tasks. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Can you remember a time when you didn't get to the end of your to-do list? Now, think back. Did you have a time alone with God that day? How, if so, how did it make a difference?

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 27:8, "You have said, 'Seek my face.' My heart says to you, 'Your face, LORD, do I seek.'" (ESV)

    © 2014 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

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

  • God With Us

    Posted on February 27, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth. John 1:14, Amplified Bible

    Just as the Lord dwelt with His people in the tabernacle of worship, so He also came to earth and tabernacled with us in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. He gave us the gift of His presence. It is soothing to our souls and brings security to our hearts when Jesus is present. In the same way the presence of a parent calms a fearful child, so Christ encouraged those around Him with the grace of His healing and truth of His teaching. God is with us for us to be with Him.

    Furthermore, the tabernacle was where the Lord revealed the fullness of His glory. Jesus was and is the totality of God’s glory. He came to earth as our Savior to show us the character of Almighty God. He displayed love to society’s outcasts. He extended mercy and hope to the downtrodden. He rebuked the greedy rich and praised the generous poor. He comforted the dying, healed the sick, and raised the dead back to life. God is with us to reveal Himself to us.

    “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him” (Colossians 2:9-10, NKJV).

    Moreover, the tabernacle was a place of sacrifice. Jesus came to earth as the final sacrifice for our sins. The perfect Lamb of God, without spot or blemish, wiped clean our blemished soul by His precious blood. What an unparalleled sacrifice from the One without sin on behalf of sinners. Thus, we follow our Lord’s example by offering ourselves as a living and spiritual sacrifice by praising and servicing Him. God is with us to convict our sin, and He is our strength not to sin.

    Lastly, the tabernacle was the place to meet with God. After the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we’ve become privileged to continually dwell with Christ, today in real-time. Indeed, His presence is not confined to buildings made by human hands, but His Spirit lives within us by faith. Do you meet with your Maker in prayer so you are better prepared to meet your Maker in death? Just a little talk with Jesus goes a long way towards walking in His will. God is with us to draw our hearts to Him in loving obedience.

    “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” (1 John 4:2).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thanks for living among us, so we can learn how to live for You.

    Related Readings: Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:7-8; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 1:1

    Post/Tweet today: We meet with our Maker in prayer, so we are better prepared to meet our Maker in death. #Godwithus

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • I'm Scared to Pray Boldly

    Posted on February 27, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16b (NIV)

    I have to admit I'm sometimes scared to pray boldly.

    It's not at all that I don't believe God can do anything. I absolutely do. I'm a wild-about-Jesus girl. Wild in my willingness. Wild in my obedience. Wild in my adventures with God.

    After all, I think Jesus would rather rein in a wild stallion than kick a dead mule any day of the week.

    So, my hesitation isn't rooted in any kind of doubt about God. It's more rooted in doubts about myself and my ability to absolutely discern the will of God. The reality is sometimes God chooses not to do things. And if His will is no, while I am boldly praying for a yes, it makes me feel out of step with God.

    Can you relate?

    I so desperately want to stay in the will of God that I find myself praying with clauses sometimes, like: God please heal my friend, but if it's Your will to take her, I will trust You.

    I wonder why I don't just boldly pray: God, please heal my friend. And then stand confidently knowing my prayers were not in vain no matter what the outcome.

    The reality is, my prayers don't change God. But I am convinced prayer changes me. Praying boldly boots me out of that stale place of religious habit into authentic connection with God Himself.

    Prayer opens my spiritual eyes to see things I can't see on my own. And I'm convinced prayer matters. Prayers are powerful and effective if prayed from the position of a righteous heart (James 5:16).

    So, prayer does make a difference — a life-changing, mind-blowing, earth-rattling difference. We don't need to know how. We don't need to know when. We just need to kneel confidently and know the tremors of a simple Jesus girl's prayers extend far wide and far high and far deep.

    Letting that absolute truth slosh over into my soul snuffs out the flickers of hesitation. It bends my stiff knees. And it ignites a fresh, bold and even more wild fire within. Not bold as in bossy and demanding. But bold as in I love my Jesus with all my heart, so why would I offer anything less than an ignited prayer life?

    Jesus speaks specifically about igniting our prayer lives in Matthew 6, verses 6-8, "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (NIV).

    So let's ask. And ask again. Not so that we can cause God to move, rather so that we can position our souls to be able to see our sweet Jesus move in any which way He pleases.

    Dear Lord, I'm so grateful for the opportunity to bring all of my worries and cares to You. Thank You for providing me with exactly what I need. I trust that You have my best interest in mind today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    How have you been praying lately? In boldness or in timidity? Why?

    Write down three bold prayers you would like to pray today. Pray them again tomorrow. And again the next day. Pray them for the next month even. And know with full assurance that the tremors of your prayers will extend far wide and far high and far deep. Pray and wait for God to respond.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 145:18, "The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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

  • Life Giving Light

    Posted on February 26, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    In Him [Jesus] was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness,and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5

    Light gives life. It makes things grow. Plants and flowers bend toward the sun to gain needed nourishment. Photosynthesis is the process of converting light energy into chemical energy that can be released later for the organism’s growth. A green house becomes a brown house if moved into the darkness of a cave. It needs light for its budding vegetation to thrive. Yes, darkness cannot extinguish light and Jesus is ever present by faith to shine into a soul’s dark night.

    In a manner similar to photosynthesis, the light of the Lord’s love shines on a lost soul and converts it by grace through faith, providing spiritual nourishment. Just as vitamin D is absorbed by the body when exposed to the sun of God, so the spiritual vitamin F (faith), is soaked up by the soul when exposed to the Son of God. We are wise when we pray in the Spirit for the eyes of our heart to be enlightened, as we meditate on Scripture. Biblical truths are an eternal flame of faith.

    “They grope in darkness with no light” (Job 12:25).

    Just as John the Baptist was not the light, but was sent to reveal the light, so we are like proud Olympic torch bearers for the Almighty. We who have the light of God living in our life, shine beacons of light to those groping in darkness. Even shining a single ray of light may give another courage needed to take the next step of faith. A smile, a kind word or a Bible verse can shed light. A gentle spirit, a humble heart or self control can all reveal Christ’s life.

    Does the light of your heart glow by grace, does it flicker with doubt or is it turned off by fear and unbelief? Regardless, stay engaged with the Lord as your source of power, so you burn brightly for Him. Your consistent time with Christ and His followers charges your soul and sets you ablaze for Him. Faith on fire burns away the dross of doubt, so you glow for God. Avoid those whose spiritual apathy quenches your flame, instead seek out the true light found in Christ.

    “For with You is the fountain of life;in Your light we see light” (Psalm 36:9).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, may the light of Your love burn brightly in my life.

    Related Readings: Job 29:3; Psalm 18:28; John 8:12, 12:46; Acts 3:15; Revelation 1:18

    Post/Tweet today: Faith on fire burns away the dross of doubt, so we glow for God. #lifegivinglight

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • When the Storms Rage and the Winds Blow

    Posted on February 26, 2014 by Sharon Glasgow

    Sharon

    "... we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul ..." Hebrews 6:18b-19a (ESV)

    The howling, frigid wind whipped and beat the house mercilessly. The old spruce tree bent and screeched against the siding so loudly I couldn't go back to sleep.

    The ferocious storm raging outdoors matched the fierceness of the ones that had been buffeting my family for months. Storm after storm had hit us with no breathing room in between. Our son-in-law's heart surgery. My father-in-law's cancer diagnosis. Our daughter totaled one of our cars. Our only other car broke down. My husband's lingering kidney stone. Bills piling higher and higher. And the list went on ...

    My heart was tossed back and forth. Would our son-in-law's heart condition improve? Could my father-in-law's strength hold up through treatment? Worry battered my weary soul against the rocks of reality. What if Dale needed surgery? How would we pay off this mounting debt

    I lay awake pleading with the Lord for safety, reprieve and encouragement. Not from the storm outside my window, but from the one in my heart.

    Perhaps my pleading was similar to what Jesus' disciples did when they were in a boat and a windstorm suddenly came on the lake. As the boat filled with water, they wondered why Jesus continued to sleep and didn't respond to the raging storm as quickly as they wanted.

    The disciples feared the potential outcome of the storm. They pleaded with Jesus to help them — and He did (Luke 8:24, ESV).

    He calmed the storm and then asked, "Where is your faith?" (Luke 8:25a, ESV).

    I felt that same desperation that night as I called for Jesus' help with a questioning heart: Why? Why does it have to be so hard Jesus? The storms have been unrelenting. Instead of an answer, I sensed a question in return: Where is your faith?

    The question prompted an honest assessment of where I'd been putting my trust. The depth of my worry revealed I'd misplaced it. When the storms rage and the winds blow, and they will, my faith needs to be in Jesus, not the outcome of my circumstances.

    Hebrews 6:18a-19b tells us "... we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul ..."

    If we compare ourselves to a ship and the hardships of life to storms, then hope is the anchor that keeps us from being shipwrecked. But an anchor is dependent on two things: the cable that tethers it to the ship, and the solid ground.

    The cable connecting us to hope is faith ... an assurance of Jesus' love, goodness and power. Our faith believes He still speaks to storms and with a word, can calm them. Faith is being confident that His promises will carry us through this life safely into an eternity spent with Him. Now that's hopeful!

    And the ground to which our anchors need to be fixed? That is Jesus. He is firm and unchanging. As the waves rise and the winds howl, sometimes it's tempting to pull away from Him, especially when we ask, Why? But storms are opportunities to dig deeper in to our relationship with Jesus through reading and memorizing Scripture, and praying to and worshipping Him.

    The storms will rage, and the winds will blow. But to believe in the middle of it all, to have faith that leads to hope in Jesus, that's the secret to riding out the storms in life.

    Today, if circumstances and worry are tossing you about, cast your anchor of hope into Jesus and pray for the faith to believe His promises are true. He is powerful enough to calm your storms and keep you safe.

    Lord, help keep my eyes on You in the middle of the strongest storms. Increase my faith in You, in eternal things and be my hope. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What causes you to lose hope in the storms of life? Ask a few friends or family members to share with you about a difficult time that Jesus brought them through.

    Find a Bible verse to memorize that encourages your faith in Jesus.

    Power Verse:
    Hebrews 11:1, "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." (NLT)

    © 2014 by Sharon Glasgow. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Community Divine

    Posted on February 25, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

    From the very beginning God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit have lived in community. There has never been a time they have not known each other and worked together. In fellowship all three collaborated and created the universe with human beings as the pinnacle of their creation. Their dynamic and divine relationship initiated the incarnation of Jesus Christ. God the Son left His divine community in heaven to grow a righteous community on earth.

    Indeed, the Trinity communes together in a love relationship as a model to all Jesus followers. We who know Christ are called into fellowship with one another. Together in awe, we submit to worship our loving and holy heavenly Father. Collectively we pray in the power of the Holy Spirit our counselor, comforter, and guide in life. And with great joy, we make known Jesus, the Savior of our soul to all who might believe and receive into their heart the Word made flesh!

    “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).

    Moreover, the community of Christ followers gathers the first day of the week to worship with His church. You may say, "Can’t I be a Christian and not attend church?" Yes, of course. However, anyone serious in their commitment to Jesus will invest time with His bride the church. Being in community with other believers is about unselfish service, teaching and learning God’s word, joyful praise and worship, and remembering Christ’s love for us in corporate holy communion.

    Furthermore, seek regularly to commune with the holy Trinity in love and adoration. Your sweet fellowship with the Father, Son and Spirit spills over into something special with your Christian friends. Community with the divine develops the divine within your intimate relationships. Perhaps you volunteer annually for a season of service at your church. Host a small group Bible study in your home or engage in a regular group prayer meeting. Gather together and you will become better. This is God’s will which He has modeled from the beginning with His Son and Spirit.

    “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to live the example of the Trinity in sweet fellowship with other followers of Jesus.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 48:16; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:4-6; Hebrews 9:14; 1 John 1:3

    Post/Tweet today: We become better when we gather together in community with other Christ followers. #communitydivine

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • The Very Best Kind of Correction

    Posted on February 25, 2014 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn

    "For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights." Proverbs 3:12 (NASB)

    "This is going to hurt a bit." Not exactly what you want to hear when someone has her hands in your mouth, even if she is a lovely person.

    Holding up the tiny loopy band, the orthodontist assistant tries to comfort me with the promise of results, "This power chain is going to pull your teeth together quicker. But over the next few days you are going to hurt. We need the power chain to correct your gap; to get your teeth where you want them to be."

    Wearing braces as an adult is bad enough, but some days I wonder if the pain is worth the benefits to my teeth.

    There are days when I open up God's Word and He delivers the same message as the orthodontist assistant: "This is going to hurt a bit, but the power of My Word working on your heart will help get you to a healthy place."

    Hurt a bit? What kind of pain are we talking about here?

    "The pain of correction," God answers.

    As an example, God points out my worrying heart. His Word says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6, NIV). Retraining my thoughts can be a painful progress. Prayer requires discipline instead of allowing my thoughts to naturally gravitate toward worry.

    God has more for me. He lovingly compares the rigid way I responded to my child in the rush of the school morning with His way, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1, NIV). I am challenged to ask my child for forgiveness and choose gentleness instead of anger.

    He carefully draws my attention to the thoughts I allowed to brew about a rude email. "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things" (Philippians 4:8, NIV). If my thoughts about her are not true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable, He says they must go.

    My heart squirms. Though I don't want to, my mind wonders: Is the discipline needed to change going to be worth it? Other times shame tries to find a corner in my heart: You know better; you should be past this point.

    Then I remember today's verse, "For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights" (Proverbs 3:12). My Father God corrects me because He knows I want to be a woman who honors Him. To become that woman there is going to be discomfort and sometimes pain involved.

    The phrases, "whom the Lord loves" and "in whom he delights" provide relief and encouragement when God's Word sets the power chain of correction into motion. My Father dearly loves me; He is crazy about me! As I dearly love and enjoy my children, the Father loves and enjoys me, only more so!

    This is the message I have to speak to my heart when it says God wants me to suffer because He is mad or disappointed in me. Not so. He wants what is best for me, including doing what it takes to grow more like Him.

    Lord, it can be hard to equate Your correction with Your love. Keep my heart soft and my mind open as I read Your Word. Discipline me because of Your devotion to me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Do you struggle to equate God's correction with God's love? Make this a point of prayer with your Father God today. Ask Him to open your heart and mind to receive His love.

    In what area of your life is God applying correction?

    Power Verses:
    Job 5:17, "Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty." (NIV)

    Hebrews 12:6, "because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

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

Items 401 to 410 of 1616 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...