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Daily Devotion

  • When Your Mess Becomes Your Message

    Posted on September 24, 2013 by Micca Campbell

    Micca Campbell

    "Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise." (Jeremiah 17:14 NIV)

    For twenty years, my brother was absent from our family because of drug addiction. Countless times, we thought he was dead; according to drug abuse statistics, he should have been. However, my brother is living proof that God is in the restoration business. It doesn't matter who you are, what you've done, or what has been done to you. God is willing and able to turn any tragedy into triumph.

    After entering many treatment programs with hopes of success and end results of failure, my brother finally found the answer: Jesus. It wasn't until he met the Lord that he experienced lasting healing and life change. Suddenly, all things became new.

    My brother didn't have the strength, willpower, or ability to free himself from bondage, but that changed when he surrendered his life to Christ. The same is true for us. No matter what the bondage is—drugs, lust, gluttony, pride, anger, or fear—until we renounce our sickness and surrender to Christ, we will never experience freedom. On the other hand, when we are willing to give King Jesus our mess, He turns it into our message. And that's exactly what happened to my brother. Not a day goes by that my brother doesn't look for opportunities to brag on God and share His message of hope.

    Such an opportunity arose one evening when my sister, brother, and I met together for dinner at a local restaurant. Our server was twenty-six-year-old Tiffany. Right away, we noticed two things about Tiffany. She had a natural gift for putting people at ease, and she was very pregnant. While we enjoyed her kind service, we had no idea that God would soon call us to serve her.

    It started when my sister refused to allow my brother to pay for her dinner. While my sister loves to give to others, she's not so good at receiving. I, on the other hand, understood that it gave my brother great pleasure to pick up the check. The Lord knows I didn't want to deny him his blessing!

    Poor Tiffany found herself caught in the middle. Eager to win her over to his side, my brother said to Tiffany, "You see, I was a drug addict for years. During that time, my sisters did a lot for me. Now, I just want to bless them."

    Tiffany's eyes widened. "You were a drug addict?" she inquired. "I would have never guessed."

    "Yes, I was," my brother replied. "But Jesus changed all that." Then he told Tiffany his life-changing story.

    "I went from being lost to being found; from being homeless to being a homeowner; from being an employee to owning my own business; from being bound by drugs to being set free in Christ."

    Tears filled Tiffany's eyes as we shared God's love with her. That's not all. Later that week, we confirmed God's love to her by presenting her with a gift for her baby.

    When you and I—like my brother—allow God to turn our mess into our message, He not only changes our lives, but He changes the lives of others too.

    Dear Lord, Your mercy astounds me. Give me opportunities to speak of Your hope so others may know Your goodness and salvation. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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    Remember
    No matter what your bondage, surrendering it to Christ is the pathway to freedom.

    Reflect
    What steps do you need to take today to move from bondage to freedom? Reflect with gratitude on how God has turned your mess into a message that can encourage or bring life change to others.

    Respond
    Go for it! Write out your story of surrender and ask God to provide opportunities for you to encourage others.

    Power Verses
    Luke 19:10; Ephesians 2:8-9

    Taken from Encouragement for Today: Devotions for Everyday Living by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst and Samantha Evilsizer. © 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 Jeremiah

  • Bond Servant

    Posted on September 23, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 2:24-25, NASB

    We are all a servant to something—either a servant to the light or a servant to the darkness. Satan is served or the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is served—there is no middle ground. The wise and humble servant serves the Lord with a grateful heart. It is much better to be bound by the grace of God than enslaved by the lies of the devil.

    “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:17b-18).

    What does it mean to be a bond-servant of Christ? It means owned by God. The lost stand on the slave block of sin waiting to be auctioned to the highest bidder. Halleluiah that heaven came down at the cross of Christ and purchased through His shed blood all who would believe. Purchase means possession—He is Master of all or not Master at all.

    Therefore, we no longer live in bondage to bad habits and bad beliefs. A bond-servant of Jesus is set free to humble service on behalf of his owner. We are not ashamed, because representing Almighty God in righteous living is the least we can do as an expression of our gratitude and joy. We empty ourselves and are filled with God’s grace. It’s His agenda, so we listen patiently waiting to hear instructions from Jesus on what to do next.

    “But emptied Himself [Jesus], taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8, NASB).

    True bond-servants invite being treated like a servant, as it models the way of Jesus. You volunteer for roles that require humble service, so you are not tempted to perch over others in pride. What responsibilities are you resisting that require being seen as a servant? Does it mean someone else will get the credit? Are you serving for an audience of One or to be seen by men? So, serve faithfully behind the scenes for your Savior’s sake. You are in good company—all respected saints saw themselves as bond-servants.

    “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John” (Revelation 1:1, NASB).

    Prayer: What role is the Lord calling me to serve that requires being treated like a servant?

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalm 116:16; Galatians 1:10; Revelation 15:3

    Post/Tweet today: Much better to be bound by the grace of God than enslaved by the lies of the devil. #bondservant

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 2 Timothy

  • A Word for the Weary

    Posted on September 23, 2013 by Wendy Pope

    Wendy Pope

    "The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed." Isaiah 50:4 (NIV)

    I was not a happy person.

    I was struggling in my faith and failing to be the woman God called me to be. My responses to life's hiccups were harsh. My words to loved ones were rude. My disposition toward others was judgmental.

    It was during this period in my life when I was introduced to Isaiah 50:4, "The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed" (NIV). My heart was gripped when I read the word weary. I remember thinking, I'm weary. I need sustaining.

    The sustaining part of the verse sounded soothing and comforting; however, the morning wakeup call felt obtrusive and demanding. Why couldn't I receive a sustaining word later in the day? Though I didn't want to wake up earlier, it was the only way I could spend time with God in my full schedule. And I did want my life to be different, so I thought, Why not? Things can't get any worse.

    I picked a time and a place to pray and read my Bible. The sun would rise and I would too, grumbling ... a lot! But day after day, I dragged myself out of bed, marched up the stairs, sat in the same place I called my "Jesus chair" and whined about getting out of my snuggly covers. Our morning meetings were rote and ridged, nothing like what I expected when my weary heart was first gripped by that verse in Isaiah.

    I couldn't help but wonder, Why aren't the issues in my life being resolved? When is the Lord going to fix all the people in my life? What good is this quiet time thing anyway?

    Even though I was frustrated, I was determined. So I continued to roll out of bed, put on my robe and sit in my Jesus chair with my Bible and devotion book. Little by little my heart softened. There was less complaining and more contentment. My ears began to listen like one being instructed, just like the verse in Isaiah says.

    Over time, God's Word took root in my heart, and I experienced its sustaining power. My weariness started to subside as I turned my focus from it to the presence of God. In the morning, I greeted my family with a smile and cheerful disposition. Moments of panic were now met with peaceful words. Unforeseen schedule changes were calmly resolved. If the day didn't go as planned, I could still praise.

    Are you looking for a word to sustain your weary soul? Are you desperate enough to dedicate time each day in God's Word? For me, it has to be in the morning, in my Jesus chair, before the rush of emails, carpool and work demands.

    Perhaps your Jesus chair is the front seat of your car with your Bible during your daughter's ballet class. Maybe your Jesus chair is at your desk with a devotional book as you eat lunch and pray.

    You see, it really doesn't matter where or when you meet with God, it only matters that you spend time together each day. His Word is our sustaining power. We can't live life without it!

    Pull up a Jesus chair. Grab your Bible and maybe a devotional book. Then listen like one being taught. He has much to say.

    Dear Lord, I am desperate and need a word to sustain my weary soul. I am willing to commit time in Your Word each day. Help me sit still and listen like one being taught. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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    Reflect and Respond:
    Pick a Jesus chair where you will spend time with Him each day.

    Write a prayer of commitment to God. Tuck the prayer in your Bible where you can pray it often.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 46:10a, "Be still I know that I am God." (NLT)

    Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (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 Isaiah

  • Fear of Death

    Posted on September 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
    Hebrews 2:15

    Jesus has conquered death; therefore, followers of Jesus need not fear death. You may have a fear of dying, but not of death. For the believer in Christ, death is a pass through, a transition from this life to the next. Death is not final for it is the doorway to eternity. Indeed, it is the beginning of an eternity in the physical presence of Jesus. Everything we have experienced with Christ on earth is an appetizer of what is to come. Our faith can only digest a mere morsel of what God has in store for those who love Him. Do not let the prospects of death get you down, as it is a commencement to be celebrated. You have remained faithful in this school of life, and now God has a glorious graduation in store for you. Yes, there is some fear of the unknown, but there is a lot we do know that keeps fear in check.
    We know that death, for the followers of Christ, places them in an environment of sinless bliss. You can live and breathe without the fear of AIDS, murder, adultery, homosexuality, lying, cheating, pain, hunger, abortion, or poverty. Life in heaven is not good; it is great. Death releases you from the pain of your current suffering. Your suffering has perfected your character and faith in Christ. Now you are ready to be received back home. Your suffering has drawn you into an incredible intimacy with your Savior. As a consequence, many others beyond your comprehension have been drawn close to your Lord. Nurses, doctors, friends, and relatives stand in awe and fall on their knees before your God.
    Your death will not only set you permanently free, but will do the same for others who believe. Death is freedom, it is not to be feared. So, in the meantime, make every effort to prepare yourself and others for death. The fear of death creeps in where there has been no preparation. You can ignore its reality but you will still die. You can deny death, but not its consequences. You may have a chance to repent on your deathbed, but why wait? Why take the chance of choosing hell over heaven? Death is not a lottery ticket; so don’t gamble with your soul. Go with God’s sure thing, faith in Jesus Christ. He has died and risen from the dead, so He can be trusted. He has been there, dealt with death, and reigns over all in heaven.
    Moreover, love the dying. Everyone is dying; but reach out to those closer to death’s door. The depth of wisdom that comes from the dying has the aroma of heaven. That which is important falls from their lips, as priorities are aligned and lived. Being with the dying prepares you for dying, as it is preparation for the one receiving care and for the caregiver. Death is an absolute. It may come suddenly or at the end of a long process, but either way God can be trusted. You have questions about the timing of death that may only be answered in heaven. Above all, God is good and God is great. Thank him for every breath you take. Enjoy and celebrate death’s release. Because Jesus died and rose again, you will do the same. Fear only God, and enjoy the benefit of death’s freedom. The Bible teaches, “‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54b-57). Walk with the dying for their edification and for your own.

    Taken from the September 22nd reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God” volume 1... http://bit.ly/Tv6y9a

    Post/Tweet: The depth of wisdom from the dying has the aroma of heaven. What’s important falls from their lips. #fearofdeath

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Hebrews, Death

  • Peace of Mind

    Posted on September 21, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

    Peace of mind begins with peace with God. Inner peace is only sustainable when the created has made peace with its Creator. This peace with Providence comes in surrender to the Lord. It is not a negotiation, compromise, or deal with Divinity. Tranquility comes from trust, a complete capitulation to Christ. Peace with God brings the peace of God.

    “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

    Peace of mind is a gift Jesus gives to all who will receive. He bequeathed His bountiful blessing of peace before He departed back to His heavenly home. Part of the legacy our Lord left was one of quiet confidence based on the belief of His sufficiency. When we have Jesus, we have all we need for genuine fulfillment. Peace accompanies His purposes.

    There is a pseudo peace of mind the world offers, but its slick packaged appeal quickly gives way to its destructive contents. It offers an alluring escape through artificial stimulants, busy schedules, material possessions, power, and control. However, these external facades of peace fade away; only the inner fortitude of the peace of Christ is lasting.“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

    It is this bond of peace that enables believers to come together with courage and conviction to accomplish Christ’s plan. The enemy shrinks back when followers of Jesus forgo fighting each other and unify in prayer, love, spiritual warfare, the proclamation of the gospel, and making disciples. Peace of mind propels us forward by faith to serve Him.

    “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).

    Above all, allow the peace of Christ to rule your heart. Trouble and fear will tremble in the face of peace because they lose their grip to God’s grace. No longer are you whipped around by the cares of this world because your compass is Christ. You have peace of mind because you have Jesus. Submission to His Spirit produces real peace.

    “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).

    Prayer: Is my peace based on external circumstances or my internal intimacy with Jesus?

    Related Readings: Numbers 6:25–26; 1 Thessalonians 5:13; 2 Thessalonians 3:16

    Post/Tweet: Inner peace is only sustainable when the created has made peace with its Creator. #peaceofmind

    Related Resources
    Billy Graham - The Reason for My Hope: Salvation

    In The Reason for My Hope, Graham presents the core message that has guided his life and calling for more than 70 years. Filled with new stories and timeless truth, he once again calls the world back to its spiritual priority as only he can.

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with John, Peace

  • Priority Living

    Posted on September 20, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways.’ Haggai 1:5

    Priority living is based on what God deems necessary and important. He deserves our very best. Followers of Christ are honored not to give the Lord leftovers, but the first fruits. First fruit giving and living means Jesus receives the best of everything about us. We give Him the best of our time and money. Priority living is defining priorities as God defines them and then planning our actions, goals and living around these priorities.

    Without intentionally living out God’s priorities, we default to reactionary living. Whatever comes our way then becomes our default for living. This may take less thinking and praying, but it is no way to honor the Lord. Priority living asks the question, “Am I defining priorities as God defines priorities and am I living these out for His glory?” Once His priorities are defined the goal is to execute His priorities for His glory.

    Priority living is prayerful living. It is aligning with God’s heart the best you know how and then trusting Him with your time and money. Priority living is giving God, first and foremost, what He deserves and expects from His children. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

    Kingdom living is priority living. The priorities of God’s Kingdom are clearly stated. The greatest commands are to love Him and to love people (Matthew 22:38-39). Loving God is priority. You spend time with whom you love. It is seeking God’s face daily to love and be loved. It is sending up quick prayers throughout the day as a reminder to ourselves that He is in control and we are not. Indeed, loving God is obeying God. He says, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15). Obedience is God’s love language.

    Loving God also requires listening to God. You listen to whom you love and respect. God has a lot to say. He is all knowing and all wise. Thus, it is of course very, very worthwhile to listen to your heavenly Father. What is He saying to you through a specific Scripture passage? A soiled Bible facilitates a clean heart, so harvest His priorities from His word. Priorities for you may vary from the priorities for someone else. Your age and stage of life demand a different focus. Be adaptable and nimble to reprioritize as needed.

    Priority living not only involves loving God, it involves loving people. Our motive is to love them to Jesus. Like Andrew with Peter (John 1:40-42), if we can get them to Jesus, He can handle their needs and wants. Therefore, love takes time. It is an investment. People do not change overnight. We are called to make disciples and disciple making is best implemented in an environment of loving patience. People are a priority. What a privilege and compelling calling to love God and to love people. This is priority living!

    Prayer: What are the Lord’s top priorities for my life?

    Related Readings: Psalm 86:12; Matthew 7:12: Philippians 4:8; 1 Peter 2:12

    Post/Tweet today: First fruit giving and living means Jesus receives the best of everything about us. #priorityliving

    Related Resources
    Billy Graham - The Reason for My Hope: Salvation

    In The Reason for My Hope, Graham presents the core message that has guided his life and calling for more than 70 years. Filled with new stories and timeless truth, he once again calls the world back to its spiritual priority as only he can.

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Haggai

  • No Place Like Home

    Posted on September 20, 2013 by Tracie Miles

    Tracie Miles

    "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?" John 14:1-2 (NLT)

    My daughter Morgan was moving into her first apartment. We had spent the summer shopping for everything she would need, but even after the necessities were purchased, her list of wants and perceived "needs" continued to grow.

    Pretty artwork and picture frames. Lamps and decorative rugs. Soft blankets for the couch. Not basic necessities for everyday living, but Morgan's way of trying to create a home: somewhere she felt loved and secure.

    Don't we all long for a place to call home? Jesus knew this same desire rested in the hearts of His followers. They had left everything to be with Him, and their longing for home was real. In John 14:1-2, Jesus told His disciples that He would soon be leaving the earth. Jesus knew they were concerned, and He wanted to ease their worries while giving them strength to carry on.

    As a comfort, Jesus reassured His disciples they would see Him again at "home." He said, "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?" (John 14:2)

    Jesus was referring to Heaven, an eternal home prepared for us after this life. In Heaven, there is room for everyone and all are invited to live there. But not everyone accepts this invitation or knows how to accept it. In fact, even the disciples were perplexed about what Jesus was telling them.

    To help them understand this promise of His Father's house and how they could join Him there, Jesus explained in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me" (NLT).

    Many try to work their way ... buy their way ... or rationalize their way into Heaven. But Jesus is the only way. We must willingly accept the invitation Jesus extends to make Him Lord of our lives so we may one day live in His Father's home.

    Countless people have accepted that invitation. Yet many others haven't. Whether we've done so or not, everyone has a longing for the safe haven of Heaven. This desire is talked about in Ecclesiastes 3:11b, "He has also set eternity in the human heart" (NIV).

    God created us with an innate yearning for our heavenly home. And while that longing will not be filled with anything on earth, it will be satisfied in Heaven. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we receive His invitation to spend eternity with Him and have our desire for home be complete in Him.

    This home in Heaven will be filled with the presence of God, overflowing with love, peace and rest. A place where sorrow and suffering doesn't exist. Joy will be experienced like never before.

    My daughter wanted her home to feel special; many of us do. But no matter how many cozy throw pillows and lovely curtains we add, our house here on earth will never really satisfy our desire for "home." Nor can it compare to the magnificence of our heavenly home.

    Perhaps that longing for something more ... for "home" ... resonates within your heart. A place where you are welcomed and loved. The wonderful news is your heavenly home has been prepared for you. By surrendering your heart to Jesus and obeying Scripture, you accept your invitation to a home where you'll be overjoyed to spend time forever.

    Jesus, my heart yearns to experience the comfort, peace and eternal joy in the heavenly home prepared for me. Ready my heart to accept Your invitation of eternal life. I want You to dwell in my heart now, and I long to live with You in Heaven. Amen.

    Related Resources:


    Reflect and Respond:
    If you haven't done so yet, what is holding you back from accepting Jesus' invitation to an eternal home in Heaven?

    Power Verse:
    Acts 4:12, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Tracie Miles. 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 John

  • Inspect What’s Expected

    Posted on September 19, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the LORD had commanded. So Moses blessed them.” Exodus 39:43

    Excellent work requires regular inspection. We all do better when others are watching, especially when it’s the Lord and those we respect. Work is an expression of the worker, so it's imperative the work is done intentionally and with integrity. If we resist someone looking over our shoulder to verify our efforts then we miss out on much needed accountability.

    Do you have clarity in what’s expected of you in your role at work? If not, seek out your supervisor and confirm his or her expectations making sure they align with your understanding. Like a team sport, you want to make sure you are both playing the same game and executing the same plays. Excellent execution requires alignment of expectations. Be grateful you have a boss who cares to look closely at what you do.

    “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds” (Proverbs 27:23).

    Do you serve in a position of authority at work or home? Perhaps you supervise a small team at work, maybe you are a sole proprietor with only an assistant or are responsible at home to oversee the domestic duties. If you are a supervisor—do you lovingly supervise? A responsible manager takes time to instruct the team members in expected outcomes, define the process and then oversee the systematic implementation.

    Organizations undisciplined in follow-up and follow through find themselves missing deadlines with inferior results. Wise are the men and women who understand up front and embrace the plan, and who regularly give a status report in their area of expertise. These are the conscientious ones who steward well their responsibilities at work.

    Is your home in disarray or is there well-defined structure around who is responsible for what chores? Maybe you start with the husband proactively caring for the outside needs and the house maintenance, while the wife manages the inside tasks. Engage the children to keep their rooms clean and organized, while helping dad and mom. Review regularly who is responsible for what and reward good results done with a good attitude.

    Above all ask, “What are the Lord’s expectations?” It’s an attractive attitude at work and home that flows from a faith that first seeks to follow Christ’s instructions. Make sure you lay your work before the Lord at His altar of excellence. Is He pleased with your productivity? Are you supervising His resources and relationships as His wise steward?

    “The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns” (Luke 12:42-43).

    Related Readings: Genesis 43:16; Luke 16: 1-14; Hebrews 2:1; 1 Peter 4:10

    Post/Tweet today: Excellent work requires regular inspection. We all do better when others are watching. #accountability

    Related Resources
    Billy Graham - The Reason for My Hope: Salvation

    In The Reason for My Hope, Graham presents the core message that has guided his life and calling for more than 70 years. Filled with new stories and timeless truth, he once again calls the world back to its spiritual priority as only he can.

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Exodus

  • I Had the Perfect Comeback

    Posted on September 19, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Only let us live up to what we have already attained." Philippians 3:16 (NIV)

    Last year, I was on a plane with two of my friends. We were talking in normal conversational tones about the release of my book, Unglued, when suddenly the couple in the next row up came unglued. On us. Joy.

    The man turned around and said, "Can you guys just QUIET DOWN already?"

    It wasn't a gentle suggestion. It was a harsh command.

    A little stunned, we simply replied, "Sure."

    And we did our best to finish our conversation in a volume slightly above a whisper. But that wasn't working for this man or his wife who kept turning around to give us "the look."

    Finally, in as kind a voice as I could muster up, I tried to explain the situation, "Sir, we are really trying to be as quiet as possible, but I've recently experienced trauma to my ear which caused hearing loss. While I want to respect your wishes, I'm having such a hard time hearing my friends ..."

    Before I could finish my sentence, his wife whipped her head around and snapped, "Well, we don't have hearing loss and your constant talking has given me a migraine. So just HUSH, okay?"

    My heart raced. My face turned red. And I thought of the perfect comeback to say.

    Have you ever wanted to put your Christianity on a shelf and be as mean to someone as they are being to you?

    Maybe not, because you are nice. And most of the time, I am too. But in this moment I didn't want to apply a single bit of my own advice I'd just written about in Unglued. I won't tell you what I wanted to say, but I can assure you it didn't involve being kind or gentle.

    This is the exact point where I had to make a choice.

    A choice of whom I wanted to partner with in this situation ... God or Satan.

    If I'd chosen the route of anger, a harsh comeback and retaliation, I would have basically stepped into Satan's camp and caused conflict escalation. If, however, I'd chosen the route of gentleness and grace, I would be partnering with God and would continue to make progress with my raw emotions. Like Philippians 3:16 reminds me, "Only let us live up to what we have already attained."

    On my journey of improving my reactions, I have already attained more gentleness, more grace, more peace. Why would I want to trade all that for a few minutes of retaliating words? Words that will only leave me with a big ol' pile of regret.

    Now I can't promise I've progressed to the point where my initial thoughts about this couple were nice. They weren't. But, I chose to consider the reality that people who are that on edge must have a lot of stored up misery. Their reaction probably had a lot less to do with me and a lot more to do with another situation in their lives.

    My job wasn't to fix them or set them straight or prove how wrong they were acting.

    My job in that moment was to keep everything in perspective. And simply give a gentle answer that could turn away their wrath.

    While it felt hugely offensive when it was happening, it wasn't huge. This wasn't some sort of major injustice in my life. This was just a minor inconvenience. Why would I want to trade the peace of partnering with God for a few cheap moments of putting someone else in their place?

    It's all about perspective.

    Because in all honesty, if this was the worst thing that happened to me that day, it was still a pretty good day!

    Dear Lord, You are so good and faithful. Thank You for helping me keep things in perspective so I can work on having better reactions that honor You. In Jesus' Name, amen.

    Related Resources:


    Reflect and Respond:
    Think about the last time you reacted out of anger, frustration, bitterness, etc.

    Assess how you felt in that moment and what mindset you need the next time a conflict arises.

    Remember to ask yourself — will I partner with Satan or God with the reaction I'm about to have?

    Power Verse:
    Proverbs 15:1, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (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 Philippians

  • Support Weary Servants

    Posted on September 18, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” Exodus 17:12

    When people grow tired they need the support of sensitive friends. Their fatigue may flow from trials and tribulations out of their control. They may be worn down over ongoing financial challenges. A rebellious child finds them spent emotionally or a newborn keeps them in a chronic state of physical exhaustion. Who do you know that is overwhelmingly tired? Who needs your hands on support? Indeed, fatigue weakens faith.

    When we extend a little bit of encouragement, it may prove to be a lifeline that leads someone to the Lord. Well-timed encouragement is eternal medicine for a suffering soul. Each day life extracts courage from a hurting heart, so we are present to give courage with a kind word, a little cash or a faith-filled prayer. Few complain of too much loving support.

    “He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:10-11).

    A fatigued faith especially needs spiritual encouragement. Maybe a friend or family member is fighting doubt in God, or has accumulated the world’s wealth but finds their soul bankrupt in unbelief. When life circumstances converge to crush worldly illusions, people become open to heavenly solutions. Your prayers strengthen a tired soul’s fragile faith. Your support gives hope for another to hold out for heaven’s help.

    How do we support someone who resists assistance? First, don’t give up on them. A stubborn heart does not easily accept help, but pain incubates a humble heart. Stay close by and the wounded one will eventually reach out for help. If you are the one in need of help, be honest with yourself and others—humbly and gratefully accept acceptance.

    Brilliant billboards of belief are saints who unselfishly support one another. A caring Christian community mutes a cynic’s sneer. A church that binds up the brokenhearted, cares for orphans and widows, and provides for the poor and needy compels others to Christ. When did you last call your Pastor and thank him for his labor of love for the Lord? A tired warrior of Jesus need not burn out for lack of grateful praying friends.

    Support one another as Christ’s disciples and lost sinners will long for salvation from Jesus. Generous support is evidence of God at work. So, discern where the Holy Spirit is at work and joyfully join Him. Be a support and receive support all for God’s glory. For some—life support will lead to eternal life in heaven. Support brings salvation.

    “These women were helping to support them out of their own means” (Luke 8:3b).

    Prayer: Who needs my support? How can I best support them with the goal of glorifying Jesus?

    Related Readings: Romans 11:18; 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:18; Hebrews 3:13

    Post/Tweet today: A caring Christian community mutes a cynic’s sneer as we bind up the brokenhearted. #supportservants

    Related Resources
    Billy Graham - The Reason for My Hope: Salvation

    In The Reason for My Hope, Graham presents the core message that has guided his life and calling for more than 70 years. Filled with new stories and timeless truth, he once again calls the world back to its spiritual priority as only he can.

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Exodus

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