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Daily Devotion

  • God Keeps His Promises

    Posted on November 19, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you. Mark 16:6-7

    Sorrow skews our sense of security in God causing us to doubt God. Even though Jesus promised His disciples He would come back to life after three days, they forgot. In the heat of the emotional fall out from Christ’s gruesome death on the cross, His followers were filled with fear and sadness. He told them the truth of His resurrection, but the disciples’ heart belief had not caught up with their mental assent. Convincingly, their immediate unbelief gave creditability to their final faith.

    Like the disciples, I struggle with spiritual amnesia. I forget my Heavenly Father has promised to heal my broken heart. I stew in sadness instead of receiving God’s gladness. I let my emotions get the better of me when I feel alone and afraid, forgetful of His precious words that He will never leave me or forsake me. I grow weary wondering if my physical needs will be met and my financial obligations covered. Yet I can rest, for my Savior does what He says He will do. He brings back to life what was dead for His good purposes.

    Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. John 2:19-21

    Has sorrow over a loss led you to lose faith? Has worry captured your emotions to wallow around in ‘what ifs’? You can take Christ at His word for He is 100% trustworthy in what He says and what He does. Life may not make sense in the moment, but give God time and cloudy circumstances will give way to blue skies of hope. His promise of grace and mercy is 24/7 in heaven. Your Heavenly Father longs to love you through trials, so your trust grows even sweeter.

    Furthermore, as you experience the resurrected Christ in your life not everyone will believe you. Some will scoff at you, some will ignore you and a few will rejoice with you. Regardless of someone’s disbelief that Jesus rose from the grave, by God’s grace you can still rise above your circumstances as a testament to His wonder working power in your life. Jesus rose from the grave, so all who believe can rise from their grave of sin, sorrow and death. Yes, God says so!

    We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4

    Prayer: Heavenly Father I rest in Your promises and trust You to carry out Your purposes.

    Related Readings: Acts 13:32-34; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; 2 Corinthians 1:20; James 2:5

    Post/Tweet today: Sorrow skews our sense of security in God causing us to doubt God, but He is still trustworthy. GodkeepsHispromises

    © 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

  • Slippery Friendships

    Posted on November 19, 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer

    Samantha Evilsizer

    "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)

    The white snow clouds shadowed the faces peering down on me as I lay flat on the freezing ground. Squinting up at the group, my thoughts whirled: How did this happen? Are my bones broken? Did I take anyone down with me?

    Four winters in the mountains, coupled with countless sightings of others falling down, had taught me to watch where I stepped. I had gingerly led my Freshman Orientation group across campus as we picked our way through snowy sidewalks. But the brick steps outside the English building got the better of me.

    After carefully standing up, and gathering my book bag and pride, I spotted the culprit. A small patch of ice—that I thought was melted snow—winked up at me.

    Losing our footing happens, even when using caution. Stepping lightly isn't always a sufficient safeguard when walking into a potentially slick situation, especially one that involves our heart. Jeremiah 17:9 warns, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (NIV) My friend Mia learned this truth at her first job.

    In her new position, Mia often collaborated with people in other departments. She enjoyed getting out of her office and breaking up the day-to-day routine. There was one thing she most looked forward to though: meetings with her co-worker, Paul.

    Though their jobs were serious in nature, meetings with him were light-hearted. An hour of shuffling paperwork disappeared in laughter and conversation.

    Weekly meetings soon seemed like an eternity apart. To fill in the gaps, Paul and Mia emailed each other funny anecdotes. They'd catch a few minutes on the phone to tell about a snippet in their day. Eventually Mia and Paul shared lunches, inside jokes, and personal stories. When in a crowd, they'd gravitate to each other and sit together at staff meetings.

    I'd heard so much about Paul I wasn't surprised when Mia brought him up one morning over coffee.

    "I think I have a problem," she said. "I have a crush on Paul."

    Honestly, I wasn't surprised after all she'd told me about him—everything but one incredibly important fact: "He's married."

    In that moment, we both saw how little conversations and small confidences shared led her to fall for Paul. She'd stopped looking carefully where she was stepping and convinced herself they were "just friends."

    But Jeremiah 17:9 tells us our hearts are deceitful and sly. The word "deceitful" in the original Hebrew language is 'aqob, meaning slippery and insidious. In other words, our own hearts can cause us to lose our footing before we're even aware it's happening.

    When we fail to keep our guard up, we're at risk to fall down. And after the realization that we've gone too far, we may find ourselves asking: How did this happen? Are any marriages broken? Did I take anyone down with me?

    Looking back, if I had re-routed my tour around campus, I could have avoided the fall. And that's just what Mia did. She asked God for forgiveness and wisdom. Then she determined to change her pattern at work. Mia stopped spending time alone with Paul and limited their non-work interactions. It took time for her feelings for him to go away, and she admitted it was a bit awkward at first. But after a while they settled in to a professional relationship—nothing more, nothing less.

    Sometimes we don't recognize slippery spots on our own. But God does and if we ask, He will reveal these to us. Let's pause before taking another step in our friendships to ask the Lord for guidance. We might just spare our heart and avoid a damaging fall!

    Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of friendship … Yours and others. I want to point others—and myself—to You by my actions, words, and deeds. Help me do this by testing my heart and removing anything that could put me at risk of slipping. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    If you have a friendship with someone of the opposite sex, does their spouse—and your spouse if you're married—know about the depth of your friendship? If not, why?

    Ask the Lord—and a trusted, Christian friend—if you are on a slippery slope. What safety measures can you put in place if you have to work with this person regularly?

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 4:23, "Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life." (HCSB)

    Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer. 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 Jeremiah

  • Compassion and Courage

    Posted on November 18, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there. Mark 15:37-41

    Christ’s compassionate and courageous death on the Cross gave immediate access to God for all who seek Him in faith. No more does a person need to go through a priest for God’s forgiveness, Jesus is now the High Priest with instant access to the Lord’s forgiveness. Christ’s death tore down the curtain to the most holy place, so all can be holy as He is holy. Jesus felt abandoned by God so sincere faith followers could abandon themselves to God. He became sin to forgive sin.

    How do you express your gratitude to God for the compassion and courage of Christ for you? How do you by faith, access God through your High Priest Jesus in confession and repentance of sin? Sin is so serious that your Heavenly Father sacrificed His only Son as payment for a debt you couldn’t pay. Thus, a true confession is not conditional, nor does it make excuses. Instead, contrition courageously asks forgiveness and by God’s grace repents and makes restitution.

    God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

    Furthermore, a solitary soldier and many women who had supported Jesus’ ministry remained with Him to the end, or in three days soon to be the beginning! Yes, it is the compassion and courage of the earliest Christ followers that fuels our faith to compassionately and courageously follow Jesus. Society will ebb and flow in its interest in a Savior, but our passion intensifies as we receive His love. We stay engaged to support Christ’s work, especially when others fall away.

    Compassion and courage are steady staples for servants of Jesus. We seek out the spiritually lost, the emotionally bankrupt and the physically displaced to invest our time and money in them for Christ’s sake. Compassion is love in action and courage carries it on its broad shoulders of bold belief. Obstacles are only stepping stones for God to show Himself real and resourceful. Hence, continuous courage is fueled by faith in Christ. While others hide out in fear, we remain faithful.

    This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus. Revelation 14:12

    Prayer: Heavenly Father fill me with the compassion and courage of Christ, so I remain faithful to You.

    Related Readings:Exodus 34:6; Joshua 1:7-9; 1 Corinthians 16:13-14; Colossians 3:12

    Post/Tweet today: Compassion is love in action and courage carries it on its broad shoulders of bold belief. #compassion&courage

    © 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 Sacrifice of Thanks-sharing

    Posted on November 18, 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." Hebrews 13:15-16 (NASB)

    Enough. That's what I have. Really, more than enough.

    More than enough clothes in my closet. Food in my fridge. Shoes spread on the floor. Cans in the cupboard.

    My children have books, warm jackets, tennis shoes, pencils, and opportunities for more. I have clean sheets, soft pillows, a kitchen table, and indoor plumbing.

    My husband and I have never taken our provisions for granted. Every day we are thankful for the blessings of our home and family. Yet eight years ago we were increasingly aware of what Luke 12:48b tells us, "When someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required." (NLT) We felt an obligation to do something more with our blessings.

    So in 2005 our family of five put a plan in place to share what we had. We had enough home, enough time, and enough love. Our gratitude to God for His blessings couldn't be kept to ourselves any more. We started with some rearranging. Two of our three sons moved furniture around so they could share a room, Then we bought two little white beds, pink curtains, and some dolls. I bought matching calico comforters and guessed at sizes of dresses.

    After months of planning to share what we had, two little orphaned sisters stepped off a plane gripping the hands of their new daddy and walked into our hearts and homes.

    They wore "African suits" bought from the place of their birth, brightly colored dresses that hung on tiny bodies. So proud they were to own their first new pieces of clothing, wanting to greet their new family in their best. As we wrapped our arms around these little girls, our family of five became seven.

    As weeks turned into months, and typical family issues mingled with trauma from our daughters' pasts, we learned God's call to share isn't always easy. Oh, at first it was great, before the first blush of excitement wore off. But the magnitude of sharing our lives with two wounded little girls was harder than we ever imagined.

    When worry about the future threatened to overwhelm me, God quietly reminded me that He didn't ask me to have the answers. That's His job. My job is just to share what He has given me–my love, my home, my life–with two not-so-little girls now who call me Mama. With a heart of thankfulness, and an open hand of generosity. That's all He's asking me. That's what blesses Him.

    God's Word confirms what pleases Him. Hebrews 13:15-16 teaches us that we must link thanksgiving with sharing. But it also says it will be a sacrifice: "Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." (NASB)

    As we walk together as a family, we continue to learn that showing thanks to God involves sharing, and sharing involves sacrifice. God still calls us to share out of our abundance, and it still involves sacrifice. But when we share our lives, our homes, our money, our hearts, our skills, and our time as an outpouring of thanksgiving, God is pleased.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for Your generosity with me. I don't deserve Your favor, and my heart overflows with thanksgiving. Help me to show my gratitude through words and actions that are pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    At this season of Thanksgiving, what can you share with someone else?

    Do you struggle with sharing what you have? Consider if God is calling you to a deeper trust in Him as your provider.

    Power Verse:
    1 Timothy 6:18, "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer. 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 Hebrews, Thanksgiving

  • Flawed Leaders

    Posted on November 17, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.      Hebrews 5:2b, 3

    Even the best of leaders are flawed. Jesus Christ was the only flawless leader to ever live. The rest of us operate in the flawed category. The wise leader will acknowledge this, as his flaws loom over his life like a canopy of accountability. The smart leader uses his flaws to facilitate a closer walk with Christ. As the adversary accuses you of your flaws, agree with him. Use your flaws as an asset rather than a liability. The leader who fails to flush out his flaws into the open is pretentious and positioned for a fall. Flaws can only hurt you if they remain concealed. Exposed flaws wither in their influence under the heat of confession and repentance. This is when you go to your flawless heavenly Father and ask for His forgiveness and grace. Ask Him to use your flaws to further His Kingdom.
    Many times, God works through us in spite of ourselves; so, lay bare before Him your fears, insecurities, weaknesses, and flaws. Watch Him do a beautiful work of transformation. Your weaknesses become His strengths that carry out His purpose. Where you feel out of control, He is in control. He is the pilot and you are the co-pilot. Trust Him to guide you through the complex instrument panel of life. Your flaws do not surprise Him, because He knows they can keep you close to Christ. Your honest feedback to others about your flaws frees others to do the same. Pretension crumbles and honesty flourishes in a culture of self-awareness of—and openness to—one another’s flaws.

    Therefore, be patient with the flaws in others. We recognize the flaws in others because they are flawed copies of ourselves. Normally, what ticks you off the most are your flaws exhibited in the life of another. Cut them some slack and learn how to use their flaws to facilitate God’s will. Allow flaws to promote relational intimacy rather than relational hostility. Flaws are friends who can lead us closer to God and closer to each other. Flaws remind us all that we are a work in progress. Flaws begin as concealed imperfections. Just as flaws lead to the shattering of an imperfect crystal under pressure, they can lead to our brokenness. Flaws make us better, if they lead to our brokenness.
    The world is made up of flawed people. Those who recognize and accept this use it to their advantage. Leaders have a unique opportunity to set the example in this area. Your ability to be honest about your own flaws sets the course for those you lead. Season your language with, “I am sorry that is a weakness of mine.” Or, “Please be patient with me; I am a work in progress. Details are not my strength.” Or, “Help me not to overcommit. I can say yes to too many things, and fail to do any of them well.” Or lastly, “I was wrong. Please forgive me.” This honesty and transparency creates a safe environment for the authenticity of everyone. Flaws revealed lead to freedom, but flaws concealed lead to bondage. Do not project a flawless image, but one of learning, growing, and many times, struggling. Make confession and repentance a normal part of your vocabulary and behavior. Focus on the flawless leader, Jesus. He will never let you down.

    Post/Tweet today: Smart leaders use their flaws to facilitate a closer walk with Christ. #flawedleaders

    © 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 Hebrews

  • Audience of One

    Posted on November 16, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me” (John 14:31).

    I struggle playing to an audience other than almighty God. I create an unnecessary tension by asking myself, “What will they think? How will they respond?” Yet the heart of Jesus asks, “What does my heavenly Father want? How can I obey Him with my whole heart?” It is an audience of one with my heavenly Father that requires my focus.

    So I ask myself, “Whom do I love more? Do I love my Savior more, or do I love the praise of people more?” If I truly love the commendation of Christ more than the approval of people, then I will obey His commands, even when I am misunderstood and mistreated. A life that loves God longs to grow in a relationship that faithfully follows His ways.

    Caution is required not to become proud in our obedience. In a distorted way, a disciplined life can play into impressing people instead of pleasing God. It is false humility to be proud of our humility and wish others could attain our level of maturity. False humility on the stage of life acts out its spirituality for the world’s accolades.

    “These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence” (Colossians 2:22–23). True humility seeks only to deflect glory back to God’s glory.

    However, when all is said and done, living for an audience of one insists on intense intimacy with Jesus Christ, so that we naturally follow His lead. It is like an eloquent dance rendition, where He leads and we follow. Some steps are new and awkward, while other moves are comfortable and unconscious. If we dance with Jesus before others, He will amuse them most, as He leads us into His will. True humility follows Christ’s lead.

    Lastly, learning to live for an audience of one means giving away recognition and resisting taking credit. For example, at work give the team credit for success, and take responsibility for failure. At home quietly serve behind the scenes without a worry about who gets the recognition for the household chores. Most of all, minister for Christ’s kingdom, so your kingdom fades away and His becomes full center. An audience of one pleases the One.

    Joseph revealed his devotion to an audience of one with the Lord when he declared, “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9).

    Prayer: Do I live unashamedly for an audience of one? What competing audience can I dismiss?

    Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 32:12; Isaiah 65:16; John 17:1–5; Colossians 2:18

    Post/Tweet today: Living for an audience of one insists on intense intimacy with Jesus Christ. #audienceofone

    © 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 John

  • Diligently Obey

    Posted on November 15, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “… This will happen if you diligently obey the Lord your God.” Zechariah 6:15 b

    Diligent obedience to the Lord is a command for the follower of Jesus Christ. We have the responsibility, the opportunity and the obligation to obey. What a joy to receive marching orders from Jesus. He is the Commander in Chief. What He says and expects matters dearly, as obedience can be a matter of joy or despair and life or death.

    Our obedience facilitates God’s will for our life and the lives of those around us. We cannot handle the blessings of God if we are not obedient to the commands of God. He blesses our hard work when we apply our skills and gifts well. However, what keeps us successful and creditable is our character. When we sow obedience, we reap character. When we sow disobedience, we become a character. Thus, diligently obey the Lord.

    Obedience matters to your family. Your example of obedience propels them to do the same. It may mean a job change or a change of churches, but explain to your family the Lord’s leading. Share your fears with your family. Then pray together and ask God to empower you to obey. Diligent obedience also matters to your work associates. They follow what you do, not what you say. Obedience pays dividends now and for eternity.

    “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:6-8).

    How do you know if you are obeying God? His word is your first indicator. Ask Him to reveal His truth and ways to you. He is looking for a hungry heart of obedience. It delights God to instruct His teachable child in His will. Let the word of God seep into your soul through prayer and meditation. Memorize it, learn it, and, most importantly, apply it. Be volitional in your obedience. Obey even when you don’t feel like it.

    Your emotions may betray you and tell you it's ok to not obey if you feel a certain way. Flee from this faulty thinking. God’s word is living and active. He will speak into the deepest recesses of your heart. Listen intently, then diligently do what He says. Do not hold back or be distracted. He may be saying to meet with the ones you have offended. You need to take the first step in reconciliation. There is a purpose much greater than your hurt feelings. By God’s grace, forgive and let Him heal your hurting heart.

    Do not jeopardize the bigger vision for your own selfish needs. It may take a wise mediator to listen to both sides and make a recommendation. Do whatever the mediator suggests. This is a way of diligently obeying God. Yes, it is humbling. Yes, it is a little humiliating, but this is God’s plan. Do not allow the severed relationship with family or friends to fester. You may win the short-term battle of wills, but there is a good chance you will lose the long-term relational war. Diligent obedience requires a humble faith.

    “I call with all my heart; answer me, LORD, and I will obey your decrees. I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes” (Psalm 119-145-146).

    Prayer: Where is the Lord calling me to diligently obey with humble faith?

    Related Readings: 2 Kings 22:13; Jeremiah 11:4-7; Matthew 8:27; Hebrews 4:2

    Post/Tweet today: When we sow obedience we reap character. When we sow disobedience we become a character. #diligentlyobey

    © 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 Zechariah

  • Giving Away Pieces of Ourselves

    Posted on November 15, 2013 by Lisa Wingate

    Lisa Wingate

    "My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret." Psalm 139:15a (ESV)

    It's a mystery the way God sends lessons ... sometimes softly, sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly. I experienced one of these lessons while leading a youth weekend at church recently.

    At an evening session, I found a middle-school girl alone in the sanctuary foyer. I sat down and asked her why she wasn't inside.

    Her answer had attitude, "Oh, it's all just fake. This whole weekend is about how to be real, how not to be 'posers,' and everybody's all friendly. But when we get back to school, those girls won't even talk to me. That's why I quit coming here."

    Her purse contents were spilled on the seat between us, a God-given thing. I reached for her cell phone and asked, "If I picked up your phone and walked off with it, what would you do?"

    She looked at me like I was daft. "I'd make you give it back. My life is in that phone!"

    Next, I took her tube of lip gloss and asked how much it cost. It was $1.50.

    "What would you do if one of those girls you're worried about walked by and took this lip gloss?"

    She quickly informed me that she would "Jump 'em."

    "Why would you bother getting in a fight over a $1.50 lip gloss?"

    Her answer was both obvious and profound, "Because it's mine. It's not theirs."

    I looked at her, this little girl-becoming-a-woman. "You're right," I told her. "This lip gloss does not belong to them. It belongs to you. And so does your faith in God. And you have to defend that with at least as much determination as you would this $1.50 lip gloss. Or better yet, your cell phone. You cannot go through life letting other people walk off with what belongs to you and God."

    As soon as those words left my mouth, I knew this wasn't a lesson just for this young woman. I too needed to hear my words. In a world where people sometimes disappoint us, it's easy to give away pieces of our faith and of ourselves. We give away pieces to people who don't even ask for them. It can be a natural reaction in a society focused on outward perfection. We do it each time we look at others and feel inferior, not as pretty, not as thin, not as ... whatever.

    It's so simple, yet so difficult to grasp the truth found in Psalm 139 that tells us God created us and knew us from the very beginning. The Bible says, "My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret" (vs. 15 ESV). We were only visible to Him as He intricately knit all the parts of our bodies together.

    Only a master artist has this ability. Much like someone who weaves together delicate fibers in a tapestry, God took the care to fashion us beautifully. Not only are we perfectly made, but we belong.

    God loves the child He created. I like to think of it this way: God Loves Our Secret Selves (G.L.O.S.S.). He has poured beauty into us, into the very parts we often feel are less-than, compared to others.

    I've been working on accepting this truth myself since then ... retaining and practicing this lesson.

    I am loved. I am okay. I am treasured.

    I am His.

    Father, I pray I will hold on to the truth that You are a wonderful Creator and made no mistakes when You formed me. Help me value Your thoughts about me more than what others say about me. Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Reflect and Respond:
    Have you given away pieces of yourself or your confidence in God to people you wouldn't allow to walk off with your lip gloss? Why?

    Take time to memorize a few Bible verses about God's ability to create marvelous and beautiful things, and how you belong to Him.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 139:14b, "Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." (ESV)

    1 John 4:4b, "... for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (RSV)

    © 2013 by Lisa Wingate. All rights reserved.

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

    Click here to view our policy on 3rd party links.

    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

  • Persistence Pays Off

    Posted on November 14, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” Luke 18:1-5

    Has rejection caused you to give up on an opportunity or a person? Are you tired of trying to do the right thing, without experiencing positive results? It is precisely at this point of frustration and fear that God calls us to persevere in prayer and continue to graciously engage individuals and circumstances. Those who give up—give up on God.

    Like an oscillating fan your faith may waver back and forth between confidence and uncertainty, so hit the button of belief and stay focused on the Lord. Go forward by faith to love an estranged relationship—call the company who went with a competitor and see how you might still serve them—reach out until your requests are not ignored anymore.

    A faithful man or woman in the hands of God has the attention of heaven and earth. When you are on His assignment, rejection has to first go through Almighty God’s agenda. It's not the individual full of energy at the outset who outlasts others, it’s the wise ones who conserve their vigor over the long haul—strengthened by their Savior’s stamina.

    The fortitude of faith is what forges great relationships and gets long-term results. Anyone can start a race with excitement and anticipation, but few are the runners who climb the hills, overcome the adversity of the elements and finish the course. You may not be the fastest—you may not finish first—but by God’s grace you will finish well.

    Most of all stay persistent in prayer. Respond to God as the violin responds to the bow of the master. The Lord makes beautiful music on the strings of a life surrendered to Him. Persist through the pain of rejection and to the pressures of responsibility—all the while remaining in an attitude of prayer. Persistent prayer to Jesus produces His best outcome. Persistence pays off when you are prepared to move forward on behalf of your Master.

    “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

    Prayer: What relationship or opportunity calls for my focused attention and persistence?

    Related Readings: Numbers 14:38; Daniel 6:10; Acts 20:22-25; Romans 2:7

    Post/Tweet today: Fortitude of faith is what forges great relationships and gets long-term results. #persistencepaysoff

    © 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 Luke

  • When You Don't Know What to Say

    Posted on November 14, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him." Nahum 1:7 (NIV 1984)

    Recently a moving truck pulled up to my friend's house. Sometimes moving signifies something exciting and new. Sometimes it doesn't.

    This move signified an end. A few hours into the process of emptying her home, the movers carried out her wedding portrait and asked, "Are you taking the photographs separately?"

    "Yes," she said, the irony not escaping her. Separately. That was how she'd be living now. Separate from their neighborhood. Separate from her husband. Separate from the way she thought life would be.

    She took the wedding portrait and through her tears she called me and said, "I don't know what to do with this portrait. What do you do with things that have no place anymore? We built a life together and now there's no more together."

    I knew better than to throw out something just to fill the uncomfortable silence. Trite sayings weren't going to curl up in bed with her and hold her unglued heart.

    Maybe you've been there. You were the one sitting in the midst of confusion or the one trying desperately to know what to say. In these difficult moments, we have to place our feet on the only solid ground there is—God's truth.

    His truth won't shift with feelings.

    His truth won't drown in a sea of tears.

    His truth won't leave you even when your gut honest cries don't sound so Christian.

    I finally said, "I don't have answers, but I do have prayers. And I'm going to write out conversations I have with God so you'll know He's not being silent right now. He sees you. He hears you. And through His truth He will comfort you."

    I pulled out my Bible and poured out the hurt and sadness. "God, please show me the right truths. Use my hand to write out some comfort from Your Word for my friend."

    Me: Lord, it's hard to watch my friend hurt so much. She begged You to help save her marriage and honestly we're confused why it still fell apart.

    The Lord: Does Job 17:11 express the way you're feeling? "My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart." (NIV 1984)

    Me: Lord, don't You see her tears? If seeing her sadness breaks my heart, it must break Yours too.

    The Lord: Recall the beauty of trusting the only One who can see what is and what is to come. Nahum 1:7... "The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him." (NIV 1984)

    Me: I do trust You. But for everything to end like this is so hard. It just seems pointless.

    The Lord: Nothing I allow is pointless. Even in the midst of hurt I will work good. Proverbs 19:20-21... "Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." (NIV 1984)

    Me: Why does she have to go through this?

    The Lord: You don't have to have answers. You just need to trust. Isaiah 55:9b... "My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (NIV 1984)

    Me: What about the desires of her heart Lord?

    The Lord: I am the only one who knows the full scope of those desires. Just encourage her to trust Me and make wise choices. Psalm 37:3-4... "Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." (NIV 1984)

    I sent this written out conversation with God to my friend. My note didn't fix her hurt or answer her questions. It didn't give her a place to put those things that seemed to have no place right now. But it did get her to open up God's Word and start having conversations with Him for herself. And as she moves on, this is a good first step to take.

    Dear Lord, I lift my hurting friend to You. For You are the only One who can ultimately lift her up. Through all the ups and downs in life, may she trust You in a very personal way. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Reflect and Respond:
    What is a disappointment you've walked through? Write the verses above on index cards to carry with you and write the words "I believe" after each one.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 37:3-4, "Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." (NIV 1984)

    © 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 Nahum

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