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Daily Devotion

  • Faith Finds Jesus

    Posted on November 1, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. Mark 2:4

    Faith finds Jesus, especially when He seems hard to access. Faith is persistent to get to God, because it knows He knows what’s best. Like a honey bee is drawn back to the honeycomb for community and nutrition, so the soul is drawn to God by the Holy Spirit. In the presence of Jesus is forgiveness, healing, peace and contentment. So, faith does not rest until it rests in Christ. The condition of forgiveness and healing is faith and obedience is the fruit of faith. Faith finds Jesus.

    Furthermore, faith finds creative ways to get friends and family to Jesus. Because we enjoy the love, healing and forgiveness of God, we want others to have access to His life changing blessings. Thus, we pray for opportunities to expose a person’s felt need to the power of Christ’s care. We may invite them to a Christian concert to enjoy an uplifting night of praise and worship. Or, we can take them for coffee, listen to their hurts, and pray for their heart to be healed by Jesus.

    And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. Luke 14:23, KJV

    Yes, our faith compels us to help friends find Jesus in personal salvation and forgiveness of sin. Perhaps, we pick them up in our automobile, promise them lunch after church, and take them to hear the Bible taught and the Gospel preached. Some religious people will criticize our zeal and even question the sincerity of someone’s salvation, but the fruit of faith is up to the Holy Spirit. Our part is to love people to the Lord, but it is God’s part to change their heart. Faith finds Jesus.

    Lastly, if our faith does not compel us to help others find faith, we may have a false faith, or at best an immature belief. Mature saints are moved to tears over the sin stained souls of the lost. As we enjoy our sweet salvation, how can we sit still and not engage in serving those who have yet to taste the satisfying grace of God. Thus, by God’s grace we pray for innovative opportunities to get people to Jesus. Perhaps we give a book, offer a prayer, share a video or sit and listen. Whatever pure means we employ, we can trust the Holy Spirit to bring joy. Faith finds Jesus!

    For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am so blessed to have found Jesus; give me the faith and courage to help others find Christ.

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 4:29; Mark 4:24; Luke 7:48; Acts 5:39; Colossians 3:3

    Post/Tweet today: The condition of forgiveness is faith and obedience is the fruit of faith. #faithfindsJesus

    © 2013 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 Mark, Faith

  • God is Not Worried

    Posted on November 1, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the LORD is your security." Proverbs 3:24-26a (NLT)

    As a little girl I loved being outdoors. I could often be found playing kickball with the neighborhood kids or riding my bike around the block. I liked to splash in puddles and jump in piles of leaves. There was one aspect, however, about being outside that I didn't particularly care for: the critters.

    Spiders were scary ... dogs terrifying. And I couldn't even bear the thought of snakes. My intense fear of these creatures often kept me from fully engaging in play.

    Unfortunately, even when I didn't encounter creepy-crawlies outdoors, they occasionally wound up in my dreams at night. I would have the same reoccurring nightmare of snakes slithering toward me while I stood frozen, unable to run away. When I would wake up, I would be in a panic, heart wildly beating, palms sweating. I never thought my fears would go away until the one summer when I had no other choice.

    The summer I turned 20, I took a job at a nature center teaching four-year-olds. It didn't cross my mind that keeping company with critters would be a part of my duties.

    I had to capture insects to examine and release, scoop tadpoles to study pond life, and even hold the snakes that were kept in glass tanks in the main building.

    Although everything in me wanted to run away, there were little eyes on me. So, I whispered a prayer for strength, pushed past my fears, and made those kids think I was a critter-lovin' instructor whose calm demeanor (and lack of screaming!) showed them there was nothing to fear. If their teacher wasn't freaking out, why should they?

    Even though I worked through my fear that summer, as an adult now, I'm still tempted to "freak out" with fear. My imagination concocts all sorts of scenarios peppered with dread and doom. Sometimes I can't shake fear as I try to fall asleep.

    But I have come to trust this perspective-shifting truth: God is not worried. He's not in heaven wringing His hands, wondering just how everything will eventually turn out. He is in control. He is loving.

    God longs to use the circumstances of our lives to mold our mind, craft our character, and chase away the fears that threaten to slither in, paralyzing us and rendering us ineffective. Ever the patient and wise teacher, if He isn't freaking out, why should we?

    Proverbs 3:24-26a is a sweet promise to us, "You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the LORD is your security" (NLT).

    Now that passage doesn't promise that we won't ever encounter sudden disasters in life. But it does reassure us that we have no need to fear them. Why? Because the Lord—our gracious and wise teacher—is our security. He will be there to comfort and to guide as He teaches us the lessons we need to learn.

    With God as our security, we can have calm in our present. With God as our security, we can face the future without fear. And we can share this confidence we gain to inspire others, helping to keep them from unnecessary fret and worry.

    Why it even helps me deal with little critters that get inside my house without squirming. Well . . . without squirming too much.

    Dear Lord, help me place my fears in Your hands, knowing You alone are my security, both now and in the future. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources


    Reflect and Respond:
    What is your greatest reoccurring fear?

    Turn it into a prayer by asking God to be your security in the midst of uncertainty.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 112:7, "They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD." (NIV)

    © 2013 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 Proverbs, Worry

  • Influence of Impure Spirits

    Posted on October 31, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. Mark 1:23-26

    There are impure spirits inside some people. Some even possess individuals in our places of worship. It is scary to see those who have Satan as their master and who are set on disrupting the work of God. They may say they believe in God, because ‘even the demons believe and tremble,’ but their heart is far from Him. Impure spirits try to blend in with true believers, but they are exposed as fakes to those with spiritual discernment. Christ’s presence drives them out.

    Jesus encountered evil in the synagogue and cast out the impure spirit from the man. Demons are not comfortable where Christ is taught and where the Spirit of God has a powerful presence. Unfortunately, some impotent churches have people who go through the motions with zombie like spiritual energy. The enemy’s influence has embedded their minds. Evil induces individuals to smile and be satisfied to live for themselves. Impure spirits lead people to live impure lives.

    You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. James 2:19

    Therefore, make sure not to make light of the influence of impure spirits. If you embrace activities and entertainment that espouse evil, you expose yourself and your family to the influence of impure spirits. Even events done in fun and jest can open the door to the unintentional consequences of accepting the abnormal as normal. Your children can dress up and have fun without imitating witches, warlocks, spiritists and the occult. Why dance with the enemy and risk defilement by his influence?

    Furthermore, pray against impure spirits in the pure name of Jesus Christ. They cannot stand it when we stand up to them in the mighty name of Jesus. Everyone will bow to our Lord Jesus, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11”  Impure spirits cannot remain in the presence of Purity, the Lord Jesus.

    Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:31

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me by Your Spirit to discern impure spirits and confront them in the pure name of Jesus Christ.

    Related Readings: 1 Samuel 28:3-9; Job 1:6-12; Mark 3:15; 1 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 9:20

    Post/Tweet today: Impure spirits lead people to live impure lives. #impurespirits

    © 2013 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 Mark, Halloween

  • I Know How to Manipulate

    Posted on October 31, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

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

    Just because something great happens doesn't mean it is from God. I know this is true because I know how to manipulate and make great things happen.

    Honestly, I hate that word—manipulate. It rubs something rough and grainy into the softer places of my heart.

    But there it is. And I know it. Because sometimes I do it. I manipulate.

    I know how to sell an idea.

    I know how to go the extra mile.

    I know how to strategize to make my plan seem like a wonderful strategy.

    And not that any of this is intrinsically bad. Some of these things are qualities God can certainly use in good ways.

    But what if I use these skills and talents outside God's will? To push past God's timing, God's direction, God's plan to teach me stuff in the process?

    Sometimes I think He lets us push past His better plan to experience the consequences of our headstrong attitude. Boy, do I know all about that. I've jumped headfirst into something I thought I wanted, only to find extreme stress, fear, anxiety, and an overwhelming sense of regret.

    It's great to know how to sell an idea. But it's not great to do it outside God's will.

    It's great to go the extra mile. But it's not great to do it out of a desire to secure what I want—rather than out of a desire to serve another.

    It's great to strategize and have a plan. But it's not great if that plan stretches me so I seek my desires more than God's desires.

    I am learning to not always push so hard. Or run so fast. Or allow my personal desires to overtake waiting on God.

    Recently I had the opportunity to be considered for something huge. And I knew how to secure it.

    I knew the words I could use to sell my idea. I knew I could go the extra mile with my pitch and look impressive. I knew a strategy that could be implemented and the plan to propose.

    But what I didn't know is if this was God's plan or my desire.

    If I knew for sure it was God's plan, all my efforts wouldn't be manipulation—they'd be smart. But I didn't know.

    Therefore, all my pushing and plotting were manipulation. So, I stopped, backed off, and stepped aside.

    I waited.

    And then I doubted. It was hard to watch the opportunity slip away. But I reminded myself that this was a place where my trust in God had to step in. This was one of those times a deeper faith could be found. And so I trusted in the truth of Isaiah 58:11, "The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."

    Now, I can rest in the assurance that if something is to be, it isn't up to me. It's up to God. It's not that I just sit back and don't pursue things. I do. But, I give what I can give without manipulation. And then wait for God to give what only He can give. So, if He makes it happen without all my chaotic self-effort, then I will know it is His best.

    And if it doesn't happen, I will thank Him for saving me from myself.

    Dear Lord, I am so grateful for Your everlasting love and vision for my life. Help me to embrace the fact that Your plans are greater than mine. Humble my heart in the moments when I try to maintain control so that I can fully serve You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:


    Reflect and Respond:
    Do you ever catch yourself manipulating past God's plans to secure your own desire?

    God wants you to give up your own agenda and trust in His plans for your life! Set aside some time every day to reflect on Bible verses dedicated to this particular issue. Having this daily reminder of God's sovereignty will help you to recognize when your own desires are taking precedence over His will.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 9:10, "Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." (NIV)

    Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." (NIV)

    © 2013 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 Isaiah

  • Life’s Interruptions

    Posted on October 30, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” Mark 1:35-37

    Life is full of interruptions. Car maintenance, a sick child, divorce, death, financial surprises, a friend’s crisis, government shutdowns, home repair, health questions, and job issues all interrupt our regular routine. If we have perfectionist tendencies we can stress out over control slipping away or we can learn to embrace Christ’s control. Ironically, expectations of a stress free life only create stress. As long as we live, life will interrupt, so how shall we respond?

    Jesus was interrupted in His prayers and He was interrupted by the leper, but He used them both for God’s glory. Is the Lord in on our life’s interruptions? Many times, yes! He takes distractions in our prayer time and uses them to lead us into His will. On occasion while praying, my mind races with a mental list that longs for immediate attention. So, I stop praying, write down the items and then offer the list in prayer as a sacrifice to Jesus. The Holy Spirit leads me in how to manage the needs I’ve written down. So, I seek to lean into the Lord when interrupted by life.

    Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15

    We are all needy to one degree or another. Needy people need to have their needs met. Therefore,  when someone interrupts your life with their need, look for the Lord in the interruption. Pray for a way to meet their need in Jesus’ name so they are attracted to His love. Furthermore, you are not called to meet everyone’s needs all the time. There are others God wants to engage as His benevolent blessing. Be available, do what you can, and trust the Lord to add more resources.

    There is no shame in being needy. This is the human condition. It is what draws us to God. So, we first seek Christ Jesus to meet all our needs in Him. His love, His patience, His mercy, His rest and His care are a treasure trove of spiritual invigoration, emotional healing, and mental stamina. The Lord is with us in the middle of life’s interruptions. We also seek those who love us when we need love. We ask for prayer in our pain. We need each other and we need our Savior Jesus when life interrupts our plans. Yes, life’s interruptions direct us to God’s better plan!

    And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, when life interrupts my goals and aspirations, thank you for meeting my needs in Christ Jesus.

    Related Readings: Psalm 23:1, 39:5; Matthew 8:24; Luke 12:18-20; 2 Corinthians 9:8

    Post/Tweet today: Ironically, expectations of a stress free life only create stress. #lifesinterruptions

    © 2013 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 Mark

  • Accepting Forgiveness

    Posted on October 30, 2013 by Wendy Pope

    Wendy Pope

    "Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit." Psalm 32:2 (NIV 1984)

    Many years were spent regretting sins from my past. These sins had hurt others and me. Day after day I would replay my decisions. Two decades later, the sting of past sin still had a hold on me.

    God had forgiven me; I'd told Him about my sin and asked Him to pardon me. So why couldn't I accept the freedom of His forgiveness?

    I wanted so badly to believe I was the person David mentions in Psalm 32:2, "Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit." Yet I struggled with accepting that God's grace could erase my sin, wiping it away as if it never happened.

    This can be a hard thing to accept for many of us. It sounds all well and good, but in reality, the weight of sin makes it difficult to believe a perfect God can forgive us.

    Yet, His Word assures us that God does not count our sin against us. So how can we live in this truth?

    The first step is to acknowledge our sin: to ourselves and to God. This opens up the door for honest conversations with the Lord and helps us stop hiding from the fear of being found out.

    The next step is to fill our hearts and minds with truth. Throughout the Bible, God teaches how an unaccepting heart can be changed and softened to accept His forgiveness. The following verses are truth from a loving God who longs to transform our lives through the grace of His forgiveness.

    My God doesn't condemn. "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1 (NIV)

    My master is grace, not sin. "For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace." Romans 6:14 (NIV 1984)

    My Savior Jesus has set me free, therefore I am free. "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36 (NIV)

    My old is gone; because of Jesus Christ I am new. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV 1984)

    Are you lugging a load of sin that God has already forgiven? Are you ready to stop living in shame, shackled by regret? Life is too short to exchange the freedom of grace for the bondage of unbelief.

    Today, allow God to wash the hurt and regret from past sins away with the transforming power of His truth. And let's pray for an accepting heart that lives in the freedom of God's grace and forgiveness.

    Dear Lord, by faith I accept Your forgiveness and refuse to be a slave to sin You've already forgiven. Today, I confess and move on! I commit to believe Your transforming truths to live fully and freely in Your grace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Reflect and Respond:
    "Do you struggle accepting God's forgiveness? Spend time talking with God and ask for help to accept His forgiveness.

    Use index cards to make several copies of the transforming truths above. Place a copy in your purse, car, Bible, desk, and other places you often go. Read them as long as it takes to experience the blessed life David speaks of in Psalm 32:2.

    Power Verses:
    Isaiah 1:18. "'Come now, let us reason together,' says the LORD. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'" (NIV 1984)

    Isaiah 43:25, "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." (NIV 1984)

    Matthew 19:26, "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" (NIV)

    © 2013 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Psalm, Forgiveness

  • Transformational Teaching

    Posted on October 29, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    When the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority. Mark 1:21-22

    Jesus taught as none other: clear, compelling and authoritative based on Himself, the living Word. He also explained the Scriptures with clarity and conviction in a way that caused demons to tremble and shriek, exiting the body of the one they possessed. The religious leaders were jealous of this new younger teacher whom they feared as competition. Yes, Jesus ministered the Word to crowds with His Holy Spirit inspired teaching and then loved them individually.

    Transformational teaching handles the Word of God with humility. There is a reverence of God that points to Christ as the author and finisher of our faith. It’s out of a loving relationship with the Living Word, Jesus, that we are able to compassionately communicate the written Word of God. As we love the Lord with our hearts and minds, our teaching engages the heart and minds of our hearers. Thus, we bow before God in prayerful preparation, before we stand for God to teach.

    The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true. Ecclesiastes 12:10

    Furthermore, we are challenged to walk fresh in our faith and to invite His words to transform our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. If you teach, teach what God has taught you, one broken person to another broken person. Speak openly where the Lord has brought you. Exhort and teach transparently out of your weakness, and Christ will show Himself strong. What you teach instructs and inspires, but how you live is a transformational model for others to follow.

    Lastly, we are wise to sit under the teaching of teachers who instruct from the authority of God’s Word. However, make sure to learn from those whose heart and head are engaged with Christ’s heart and mind. Learn from men and women whose hearts have been transformed by God on their knees in humble prayer, before they sit behind their desks to prepare their minds for teaching. Transformational teaching comes from the Spirit’s conviction and instruction. Learn from Him!

    Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. Deuteronomy 32:2

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, transform my heart by Your transformational teaching inspired by Your Spirit and modeled by Your servants.

    Related Readings: Psalm 78:1; Isaiah 2:3; John 14:24; Acts 18:11; Hebrews 5:12

    Post/Tweet today: What we teach instructs and inspires, but how we live is what others follow. #transformationalteaching

    © 2013 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 Mark

  • The Bitter Root

    Posted on October 29, 2013 by Wendy Blight

    Wendy Blight

    "See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." (Hebrews 12:15 NIV)

    How dare she ask this of me?

    I reread her email, which only fueled my fury. Rather than reply immediately, I decided to forward the note to my husband for his advice. Any words I would've written to her at that moment would not have been kind.

    Bitterness took root as I typed a note to my husband, spewing out my frustration. When I finished, I reviewed my message with great satisfaction. I'd expressed myself well to a safe person. Then I pressed send.

    In that moment, I glanced at the "to" box. I was horrified when I realized I'd hit "reply" instead of "forward." My heart sank. All my hurtful words and anger were now en route to her, not my husband.

    I felt sick. What should I do? I picked up the phone and called my husband at work. We both agreed I needed to email her, explain what happened, and ask forgiveness. It was the hardest email I've ever written.

    Her gracious response astounded me. She thanked me for my apology and closed her response with these words, "I forgive you, so let's just put this behind us." Her words of forgiveness melted the bitterness that had consumed my heart just an hour before. I'm sure she was hurt. My words were harsh. Yet she chose to overlook and pardon my offense.

    It's easy to forget that we have choices when we're offended. We can surrender our hurt or hold on to our hurt. We can extend grace or harbor bitterness.

    Bitterness is like poison that infects our lives. The author of Hebrews compares bitterness to a root that overtakes our hearts and causes trouble in many other areas of our lives (Hebrews 12:15). Although our feelings of bitterness, anger, and resentment may seem justified, they are not. Instead, they're hurtful and destructive—to ourselves as well as to the person who hurt us.

    God's Word teaches us to forgive and instructs us not to let the sun go down while we're angry. When we do, we give the devil a place to work in our hearts and relationships. Instead of allowing the enemy room to plant relational weeds between us, my friend chose forgiveness, extended grace, and prevented a bitter root from taking hold.

    She became a living example of the apostle Paul's words to the believers at Ephesus: "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32). Her wise example helped me move beyond my anger. My friend's gracious decision modeled humility. Her choice to forgive salvaged our friendship and changed how I react toward others who offend me. From that day forward, I've prayed that God's grace would flow through me, leaving no room for bitter roots.

    Dear Lord, search my heart. See if there is any bitterness in me. Lead me to forgiveness. Enable me through the power of Your Holy Spirit to let go of all bitterness and to extend Your amazing grace. In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Related Resources


    Remember
    Choosing forgiveness is the only way to prevent a bitter root from taking root in your heart and growing.

    Reflect
    Is there someone against whom you harbor unforgiveness? What is it that keeps you from being able to forgive this person?

    Respond
    Review the verses shared in this devotion. Prayerfully ask God what your next step is with this person. Ask Him to equip you to take that first step, and then take it.

    Power Verses
    Colossians 3:13; Romans 12:9

    Taken from Encouragement for Today: Devotions for Everyday Living by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst and Samantha Evilsizer and the Proverbs 31 Ministries Team. © 2013 Proverbs 31 Ministries. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Hebrews

  • Humble and Gentle

    Posted on October 28, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. Mark 1:7, 10

    Jesus was introduced by a humble man and a gentle dove. One came from earth as a reminder of the need for our confession of sins, and the other came from heaven as a reminder of God’s forgiveness of sins. City and country people came to be cleansed of their sin. Fiery spiritual revival spread across the villages into the towns, as John and Jesus were lightening rods for the Holy Spirit’s energy. Indeed, their humble and gentle attitude invited the Trinity’s trust and favor.

    We are drawn to preachers and teachers who proclaim and teach truth from a humble heart and a gentle spirit. Truth is convicting enough without the pride of man adding insult to injury. Yes, with humility we can say something hard with a smile and still solicit the trust of our friend. Our gentle words carry with them the blessing of God’s Spirit. Humble men and women point people to Jesus, not to themselves. Gentleness gets people to God. Here they feel His love and approval.

    Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I (Jesus) am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29

    Do you submit to God moment by moment so the fullness of His Spirit bears the fruit of humility and gentleness in your life? Union with your Lord brings out His best in You. Because He is gentle, you become gentle. Since He is humble, you become humble. You grow in support of your relationships by being available to satisfy their needs. Patience is your fuel for gentleness and prayer powers your humility. Your Heavenly Father is well pleased when you grow in these.

    God graced the globe with a gentle and peaceful dove. We felt His love as He pronounced His pleasure in His son Jesus.  Like Noah, who knew the storms were over when the dove’s beak clenched an olive branch, so Jesus was God’s olive branch to mankind’s mishaps. Grace is God’s rainbow of redemption to a world flooded with fear. Glory in the salvation of a forgiving Trinity. Rejoice, we are invited into the humble and gentle community of the Father, Son and Spirit!

    Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9

    Prayer: Lord Jesus, grow my spirit by the power of Your humble and gentle Spirit.

    Related Readings: Genesis 8:11; Joel 2:28; Acts 11:16; Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:2

    Post/Tweet today: Patience is our fuel for gentleness and prayer powers our humility. #humbleandgentle

    © 2013 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 Mark

  • When You're Not Sure You Belong

    Posted on October 28, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." Romans 8:16 (NIV)

    The moment we found out a beautiful gift might be coming to our family will forever be etched on my heart. My daughter and son-in-law were about to receive something they had desired for over three years.

    We'll never forget the day they heard they'd been chosen by a birth mother to receive the gift of her child. A whirlwind erupted as we all came together to create a nursery and buy the necessities. Five days later a perfect little baby boy was born, and Josh and Melissa brought their long awaited, beautiful miracle home.

    Walking with them through the adoption process made me treasure even more these words in Romans 8:15: "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba, Father" (NKJV).

    Initially, we didn't know the baby's name, what he might look like, or even his ethnicity. We didn't know how old he would be, or whether he would be a bubbly little boy or a sweet baby girl. All we knew is that long before my daughter and son-in-law held him in their arms, we loved him.

    Now that the gift of this precious baby being adopted into our family is a reality, his parents are changing diapers and slogging through sleep-deprived nights. It's not easy, but he is worth every bit of sacrifice they're making.

    No matter how exhausted they are, Luke is still wanted. Still treasured. Still loved. Still a miracle in every way.

    Sometimes we may look at God and wonder if we are a bother. After all, we're a work in progress. We get busy and forget to treasure our times with Him. We promise ourselves we'll grow spiritually and then lose our temper with a loved one. Why would God choose to love us, even when we mess things up?

    The answer appears in Romans 8:16, "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." Perhaps today you struggle with accepting God’s love. You don't have to fear rejection, because you are adopted. God loves you just like Josh and Melissa love their son Luke, but in a God-like measure.

    Romans 8:14-16 promises that God's love for you is irrevocable. You are signed, sealed, and officially His child. Today, as His adopted child, ask the Holy Spirit to gently remind you one more time of Whose you are and how very loved you are by Him!

    Dear Lord, You are my Abba Father! Today I place all fear aside and place my trust in You. I walk into Your arms where I am welcome. Thank you for adopting me. Help me to rest in the assurance of knowing I am Your child Amen.

    Related Resources:


    Reflect and Respond:
    Write down Romans 8:14-16 and place it where you can see it every day. Read it out loud until it becomes anchored in your spirit.

    If Abba Father says you are His, that's the final word. How does that change the way you view your relationship with God?

    Power Verses:
    2 Corinthians 6:18, "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (NIV)

    Galatians 3:26, "So in Jesus Christ you are all children of God through faith." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Romans

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