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Daily Devotion

  • Sacrificial Love

    Posted on October 23, 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer

    Samanatha Evilsizer

    "You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." (Mark 10:21 ESV)

    I had some misplaced priorities. I suppose at some level I'd known it for some time. But I didn't fully recognize how misplaced they were until I took a trip to El Salvador with a Christian humanitarian organization.

    I met two children on a home visit. They lifted their tarp door and invited me into mud puddles and dirt walls with just one bed where their family of five rested at night. One bed for dreaming dreams of being a doctor and police officer.

    I'd come to offer gifts of detergent and food. But the children's gifts exceeded anything I had to give. A tiny beaded bracelet smudged with dirt, drenched in love. They wanted it to be mine. They filled my hands with selfless love. Love shared in smiles and what few tangible gifts they owned.

    Feeling too shy to hand me the bracelet herself, the girl nudged her brother. He presented it to me as if it were a royal crown and slid it gently on my wrist. I declare, diamonds couldn't match the worth of their hearts, their gift in that moment.

    The next morning as I was getting dressed, I felt a nudge. Give your bracelet away like those children gave theirs to you.

    You see, I had another precious bracelet with me. It was one my dad had given me over twenty years ago. Just a simple wooden bracelet from South Africa, but it meant the world to me.

    How could I part with it? I wrestled with indecision. My heart soared, anticipating the moment I'd spot a mama to whom I would give my bracelet. Then my heart sank, anxious at the thought of giving up one of my treasures.

    And there lay the problem. My misplaced treasure.

    I'm embarrassed ... heartbroken. I'm sad to say I couldn't give it away. Couldn't? No; more like I wouldn't. Both bracelets journeyed back home with me. One bearing selflessness; the other, selfishness.

    I thought I was really something, bringing gifts to those kids in the form of beans and rice. Little did I know, I was the one in need. I needed God's mercy. I needed a new perspective. I don't want possessions if I'm not willing to use them to love others.

    I needed the one thing I lacked ... more love for the Lord than for my possessions. My heart held tighter to my bracelet than it did to what God had asked me to do. He beckoned, "Give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven." A simple request, yet so difficult to follow.

    I don't want to be lacking in love for the Lord or those He cares for. Next time I'm giving it all. I'm starting by opening my hands and heart and looking for opportunities today. Are you with me?

    Dear Lord, You are the perfect example of giving. Thank You for new mercies, second chances, and a heart capable of responding to Your prompting. Help me to respond to Your prompting this day. In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Remember
    You need more love for the Lord than for your possessions.

    Reflect
    You can choose each day to bear selflessness or selfishness. Why is it sometimes easier to hold more tightly to earthy possessions?

    Respond
    Set up a time to volunteer with those who have less than you to help gain perspective on what's important.

    Power Verses
    Matthew 6:20; 1 Timothy 6:18-19

    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 Mark

  • God’s Total Care

    Posted on October 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. Psalm 23:1

    No one lacks anything when they are cared for by the Lord who provides everything. He may not give His children all they want, but His extravagant goodness provides all they need. God’s stature as the Great Shepherd over His sheep is without comparison. No bank account can account for the One who owns all the wealth of the world. No insurance policy can cover the assurance of Him who gives eternal life to all who believe. God’s total care is comprehensive.

    We lack nothing, when we hand everything over to God. We are free when we are unshackled from our stuff. Yes, some will say we are silly, even irresponsible to see the Lord as our provider. But God’s wisdom is foolishness and far out to those who view Him as distant and impersonal. Matters of the spirit are only discerned by the Spirit, so those who have yet to taste of the Spirit’s goodness cannot see and understand His ways. The Lord’s sheep lack nothing of consequence!

    The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
    Psalm 34:10

    You are totally loved, led, protected and provided for by the Lord. He makes you feel secure and safe in His presence. As you walk through trials He is with you to comfort and encourage. Even in the face of death, His peace and rest are ever present for you to access and enjoy. When you unwisely stray toward sin, His rod and His staff gently bring you back into His faithful flock. Oh, what a good and loving Shepherd who shepherds your heart, mind and soul for His name’s sake.

    So, we seek the Lord while He may be found. We rest beside His secure shores of salvation before He has to make us to lie down. God is our personal protector and guide. The green grass of His word and the calm waters of His Spirit are ever available for our mind to be fed and for our soul and body to rest. He gives us the courage and emotional energy to face our enemies so we fear no evil. We are privileged and grateful to be with Jesus now and forever. He cares for us!

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

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for personally shepherding my life by Your goodness, mercy and love.

    Related Readings: Psalm 34:9, 84:11, 107:9; Matthew 14:17-21; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 3:20

    Post/Tweet today: We lack nothing when we hand everything over to God. #God’stotalcare

    © 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 Psalm

  • Turn the Light On

    Posted on October 22, 2013 by Ann Spangler

    Ann Spangler

    "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn." Isaiah 60:1-3 (NIV)

    If you are a news junkie like me, you're aware of all the bad news in the world. Or maybe hard things have come your way. Either way, most of us can resonate with how the prophet Isaiah colors the earth in Isaiah 60:1-3.

    Rather than using stunning blues and greens to describe our world, Isaiah speaks of Earth's spiritual atmosphere in other terms. He says, "See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples . . ." (vs. 2a)

    Not long ago, I received a touching email. "The death of children overseas and the senseless murder of people at their place of work, have been pockmarking and spray painting over what I knew to be true of God." The young woman who wrote me went on to explain that these things and more had been "defacing the image of Christ I have in my heart."

    I was struck by the imagery she used. It made me wonder what had been marring my own view of God. In the midst of difficulties both near and far, how can I hold onto an image of God that highlights His power and goodness? So many questions come in the midst of darkness. "Why doesn't God do something?" "Why is there so much evil in the world?" And more personally, "Why doesn't God help me?"

    Isaiah didn't offer answers to these questions. Instead, he listened for God's voice and then spoke the word God gave him. He painted a picture of an earth covered in thick darkness, yet he also spoke of a light so strong it would pierce the darkness. "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you." (vs. 1).

    He spoke not so much of a happy present, but of a blessed future. Though he didn't know Jesus' name, the prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of Jesus approximately 700 years before His birth. Jesus is our answer when we wonder where God is. He's the light that dispels the darkness and shows us God's great love.

    Like Isaiah and the people he spoke to, we sometimes feel mired in gloom. There is so much darkness in the world. Fortunately, we are not left alone to stumble in the darkness. We have been given Jesus, the light by which we filter life's hardships.

    Today, let's take a few moments to move our focus from the world's problems to God. As we do, let's ask Jesus, to give us a deeper vision of who He is, praying that His character will shine like a light through us. Let's also ask for His help in seeing tragedies and bad news through His eyes, trusting that He will work all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

    As you pray, remember that darkness is nothing but the absence of light. It's a negative—a nothing. As soon as you flip the switch, the darkness vanishes. Today, ask God to turn the light on in you, so that others will see His power and come to know His goodness.

    Lord, I need a deeper vision of who You are. As I seek You, please draw me close and fill me with Your presence. Then turn the light on in me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Think about the media you expose yourself to each day. How do you feel after you listen, read, watch?

    What is one thing you could do today that would add more light to your life? Consider adding something positive to your life like more time for prayer, Scripture reading, or service.

    Power Verse:
    John 1:4-5, "In him [Christ] was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (NIV)

    Daniel 12:3, "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Ann Spangler. All rights reserved.

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

    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

  • Be With Jesus

    Posted on October 21, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach. Mark 3:14

    First and foremost, Jesus calls His children to be with Him. A disciple’s devotion to God precedes his or her duty for God. Otherwise, the primary goal becomes executing the mission of the Lord, instead of His first ministering to the heart of the mission-minded disciple. Obedience is critical, but not before receiving the love of Jesus. Intimacy defines compliance to His commands with grace. Solitude with the Savior prepares a disciple to serve for the Savior.

    Yes, our primary call is to be with God on earth, before we go to be with Him in heaven. Sweet communion with Christ sustains our public zeal for His great commission of disciple making. We go into the world to make disciples after the Holy Spirit molds us into spirit-filled followers through intimate prayer. Yes, as we experience the Lord’s greatest command to love and be loved by Him, we are ready for His great commission to make disciples. Be with Jesus to share Jesus!

    You do not want to leave too, do you? Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God. John 6:67-69

    We are tempted to turn our backs on Jesus when it is too hard or too easy. It may feel too hard because nothing seems to work: our prayers remain unanswered, our relationships teeter on the rocks and our finances are a wreck. We want to give up on God, because He does not give us what we need. Or, life may be really good for now, so we feel the freedom to be free from real faithfulness to God. Our prayers can become perfunctory and our obedience an obligation.

    However, whether times are hard or easy, we still need our time with Jesus. We need to be with Jesus because our souls remains needy regardless of our external failures or successes. The Lord loves to walk with us through our valleys and to our mountain tops. And most times the good and the bad things in life happen simultaneously. Thus, we go to be with Jesus for no one else has words of eternal life. We want to be with Him in love, so we can go out and love others for Him!

    Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, my heart longs to be with You so I can best love for You.

    Related Readings: Hosea 3:1; Matthew 11:28; Mark 6:31; Romans 1:7; Galatians 2:20

    Post/Tweet today:,. As we experience the Lord’s greatest command to love, we are ready for His great commission to make disciples.

    © 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

  • Battle in the Night

    Posted on October 21, 2013 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn Cowell

    "By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life." (Psalm 42:8 NIV)

    How could this have happened? What could I have done to stop it?

    One of my kids had made a decision that sent my emotions into a tailspin and another sleepless night was upon me; my mind wouldn't shut off. During the day I had managed to focus on God's promise to make all things work together for good. But as day faded into night, the struggle to trust became more than I could take.

    Many nights as I lie in bed, my mind pulls me into a downward spiral of focusing on my troubles. It's then and there that the battle is most intense. A war wages between my faith and fears.

    What if my loved one never knows Jesus?
    Will my kids make the right choices with their peers?
    What can I do for my friend who struggles with cancer?

    Even though my body is still, my thoughts are at war.

    Do you struggle in the quiet of the night? Maybe you have thoughts like these ... Nobody else has troubles. Other people are just enjoying their lives. Why is mine so hard? The battles we face are real, and rob us of joy as well as sleep.

    This is why I love King David's encouraging words in Psalm 42. During the day he allowed the Lord's love to direct him. Knowing he was loved gave him the strength to make the hard choices that were the best choices. At night he put away all the words and hard thinking and devoted himself to praising God.

    I want to do the same. When the lights are turned out, I want to choose a song of praise, arming myself with truth and worship for the only One who can carry and fix my troubles. When my mind tries to take a turn and go around that problem one more time, I want to make the choice to stop and sing (even if only in my head).

    I gave this a try the other night while stewing over my worries. It reminded me of a sign my mom has in her home: "Give me all your troubles before you go to bed. I'm going to be up anyway."—God

    Pick a song you can sing at night when trouble comes knocking and worry wants to run rampant in your heart and mind. Make your prayer a song to God and choose a song of praise to sing to Him all day long—from sunrise to late in the evening. Watch your heart go from fear to faith as you trust in the Lord.

    Dear Lord, I feel stronger in the day than in the night. Bring to mind a song of praise I can sing that will lift my thoughts and strengthen my faith in you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Remember
    When you are tired and quiet at night, you can be more susceptible to runaway emotions. You can guard your heart from fear by singing praises to your King as your mind and body find their rest.

    Reflect
    Think about what song you would choose as your song of praise.

    Respond
    Write Psalm 42:8 down, and put it next to your bed to remind you to look to the Lord as you go to sleep.

    Power Verses
    Psalm 94:18–19; Exodus 15:2

    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 Psalm

  • Profitable Patience

    Posted on October 20, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
    Psalm 27:14

    Life is normally lived waiting. We wait in lines; a teenager waits for his or her next birthday; we wait for job promotions; we wait for news from the doctor; we wait for the next meal; we wait for our future spouse; we wait for a lawsuit to be settled; we wait for a meeting to conclude; we wait for those who have yet to keep their commitment. Every time we turn around we have an opportunity to wait. Why wait? Because most of the time, it’s what’s best and most beneficial. A vegetable gardener is a prisoner to waiting, but this an asset, not a liability. A tomato is much tastier when it is red, large, and juicy, rather than green, small, and hard. The smart gardener will wait for the vegetables to ripen, while nurturing the soil along the way and keeping the weeds out.
    There is a waiting cycle that must be completed before there is worthwhile fruit. If you didn’t have to wait, you may have been satisfied with how things had always been done. Now you have the opportunity to think differently. Maybe there are other people or resources that can contribute to your project or plan. So, when things do not go as planned, see it as an opportunity to improve the plan. Or the very thing may be to provide help to another, as waiting is a lesson in loving others in spite of themselves; even providing valued assistance during this parenthesis in your own life.
    Most importantly, learn how to wait for the Lord. What a valuable asset to wait upon. The Lord God Almighty is worth the wait. It is worth waiting for His joy because it comes to uplift you and bring a smile to your face; it is worth waiting for His peace that calms your soul and allows you to sleep at night; it is worth waiting for His wisdom that provides discernment in the middle of conflicting options; it is worth waiting for His strength that propels you through adversity and gives you confidence and perseverance for life’s journey; it is worth waiting for His hope that lifts you up and out of your despair and depression.

    People camp out to see a rock star or pay big bucks to wait and meet the President; so waiting on God should be a cinch. Waiting is being fundamentally patient with God. He is running the universe, He knows what is going on, and He knows what is best for you. He knows. He knows. He knows. You can trust Him in your waiting. Use this sabbatical-like time to get to know your heavenly Father more intimately. Use this time to love your family and others, like no other time in your life. Allow Him to mold your character so that others will comment to themselves that you are somehow different. You are different because you have been with Jesus. Waiting is not just a passage to God’s blessing, it is God’s blessing. Wait for the Lord, because He is worth the wait.
    The Bible says, “I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God” (Psalm 38:15).

    Post/Tweet: Waiting is not just a passage to God’s blessing, it is God’s blessing. #profitablepatience

    © 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 Psalm, Patience

  • Too-Familiar Leaders

    Posted on October 19, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you” (Hebrews 13:17).

    Leaders can become so familiar with their team that they dilute their effectiveness to lead. They are not one of the boys or one of the girls—they are the leader. Parents have to learn this. They are not the child or teenager’s friend—they are first the dad or mom. Friendship can come later with adult children; in the meantime, they need leadership.

    So how familiar are you with those you lead? Are you respectful of others so you invite their respect? Do you lift them up with commendation or tear them down with coarse kidding? Joking around on the job is not a pattern great leaders model. This may have been your behavior in the past, but in the present your role requires more maturity.

    Does this mean leaders are not transparent about their weaknesses? No, because humble leaders are the first to confess their struggles and blind spots. But it does mean that wise leaders approach their God-given role with solemn responsibility and serious resolve. People need leaders they can trust and look up to as the Lord’s leaders for this season.

    We do not want those we lead to pray as David did: “May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership” (Psalm 109:8). Followers want to be led by a wise leader.

    Moreover, when we become too close to a team member, it creates jealousy, rivalry, and resentment. This happens with children. If we play favorites with a child, other siblings will notice and spew out their frustrations on the parent’s pet. We can reward good behavior and praise obedience, but we should not overdo it by crossing the line of becoming too familiar.

    Leadership can be lonely, but we are not alone as followers of Jesus. Wise leaders keep their emotions under the Spirit’s control in the presence of their team, but in the presence of the Lord they bare their soul. You cannot become too familiar with your heavenly Father. He already knows more about you than you do. Pour out your frustrations and fears to Him, and He will listen, forgive, and lead you in the way you should go.

    “My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:3–5).

    Prayer: Do I look to the Lord to lead me? How can I lovingly lead with honesty and respect?

    Related Readings: Exodus 18:13–16; Zechariah 12:5–6; John 12:42; Hebrews 13:7

    Post/Tweet: Leaders can become so familiar with their team that they dilute their effectiveness to lead. #toofamiliarlearders

    © 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

  • Approachable Jesus

    Posted on October 18, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Another time Jesus was praying, and when He finished, one of His disciples approached Him. Teacher, would You teach us Your way of prayer? John taught his disciples his way of prayer, and we’re hoping You’ll do the same. Luke 11:1, The Voice

    Jesus is approachable to all who desire His company. God did not create the earth like a watch, winding it up and then stepping back to let it run without His intervention. No, the Lord is personal and approachable. He invites His children to ask honest questions on how to pray, how to love, how to forgive and how to give. Yes, He loves to engage and instruct in His ways. Jesus moves the mind with clear teaching and He captures the heart with riveting and relevant stories.

    A disciple who walked with Jesus on earth struggled with his prayers to heaven. He watched Jesus pray, but the student still needed some direction in how to pray. So, even today as we grow in our faith, we still need the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the ways of God. We are disciples who sincerely want to know how to live for the Lord. He is not shy in showing us what to say and how to serve. Just as we love giving to our children, God loves to give His Spirit to all who ask.

    At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” 1 Kings 3:5

    Are you approachable? Do others feel the freedom to seek your counsel and ideas? When people see the fruit of your character they want to ask you about how you live life. As you lovingly lead others, learners will want to know why you lead so unselfishly. Questions are your opportunity to point people back to the Lord’s love for you and your reciprocal approach to leading others. Tell stories of your struggles to lead in love and how you grew in grace over time. Invite questions.

    Approachability is the outcome of acceptance. When your children, grandchildren, friends and co-workers know you accept them for who they are, they will want to know who you are. Your unconditional acceptance of someone is an invitation to love them for Jesus' sake. Lastly, approach the Lord often with your fears, dreams and desires. He delights in your prayers and He unleashes His Spirit to all who call on His name. Humbly approach Him and expect to be loved!

    Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for receiving me just as I am and answering my questions around my struggles.

    Related Readings: Exodus 20:21; Ephesians 2:18, 3:12; Hebrews 7:19; 1 John 4:17, 5:14

    Post/Tweet today: Jesus moves the mind with clear teaching. He captures the heart with relevant stories. #approachableJesus

    © 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 Luke

  • Give What You Need

    Posted on October 18, 2013 by Nicki Koziarz

    Nicki Koziarz

    "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38 (NIV 1984)

    Last week we were out of milk, so I headed to the store with my party of five.

    Even though we were in a time crunch, I wanted to make the most of our trip and pick up a few other things. Our family divided up—my husband went to the row of toilet paper, our oldest daughter walked off to get bread, our middle daughter headed out for fruit, and the youngest one, Kennedy Grace, trekked to the milk fridge with me.

    Everyone quickly got what they needed and met back at the register—except my husband. At the self-checkout with my three girls, I scanned our items thinking Kris would be there any second. But he wasn't. As the line behind me quickly grew long and impatient, I wondered if I should cancel my order and step out of line.

    But time was short and we were already running late. So in this unnerving moment, I instructed my youngest daughter to run and get the toilet paper from her daddy. She took off, found my husband, and secured the rolls under her arm. But, on her way back to the self-checkout, a sparkly cereal display distracted her.

    In a calm, yet firm voice, I made sure my daughter heard me. "Kennedy Grace, come here right now please."

    Now, she figured the fastest way to get that toilet paper to me was to slide it down the aisle. Without hesitation, she whooshed the package right to me.

    The people standing behind me thought my daughter's idea was quite amusing. Everyone except one woman.

    As Kennedy Grace giggled, jumped and bounced her way to the register, I knew this wasn't the time or place to have a teachable moment, so I just muttered quietly for her to calm down.

    That one woman, feeling it was a good time to teach my daughter a lesson, said to me, "Well, isn't she something?"

    I didn't want to get into a hot confrontational mess, so I ignored her and bagged my items.

    But then she asked Kennedy Grace, "Why are you acting up so much?"

    Kennedy replied, "I'm just tired."

    And then the woman responded with a statement no stressed-out-momma needs to hear, "Well maybe your mom should put you to bed earlier."

    What did she just say? Unh-huh. I gulped and took a deep breath, ready to blurt out something sassy.

    But in the midst of this chaos, in the midst of this tension, I felt the presence of God hold me back with this thought, give her what you need most.

    Say what, God? I need to give this woman a piece of my mind, is what my soul screamed.

    But it was true. I need a lot of grace these days. Grace. Grace. Grace.

    So, I said nothing. I extended grace. I smiled, grabbed Kennedy's hand and walked out of the grocery store, challenged by the thought of Luke 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

    I make a lot of mistakes. I forget about important things. And I too have judged stressed-out mommas in the grocery store with misbehaving children. But Scripture tells us that when we give to others what we need, something very freeing happens: We receive what we need too.

    When we offer emotional generosity to others, we create the atmosphere for God to do something powerful in us and through us. I don't always want to give others what I need. My initial reaction is often to give others what I think they deserve.

    A quick comeback.
    A nasty look.
    An unforgiving heart.

    But none of these things have ever brought me anything I needed.

    As I continue to live this verse in Luke out, I'm focusing on other's needs and reacting based on them, not myself.

    But next time we need milk, I'm going to the grocery store, alone.

    Jesus, help me give to others the things I need. Make me emotionally generous and able to bless in the midst of a conflicting mess. Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write down three things your soul needs. Is it joy? Hope? Love? Friendship?

    Ask God for the opportunity to give it away and see what happens.

    Power Verse:
    Philippians 1:27, "Whatever happens conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel." (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Nicki Koziarz. 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 Luke

  • Aligned With God

    Posted on October 17, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Don’t you know that He who pursues and explores the human heart intimately knows the Spirit’s mind because He pleads to God for His saints to align their lives with the will of God?... He [Jesus] was raised to sit at the right hand of God where He pleads on our behalf. Romans 8:27, 34 The Voice

    Almighty God desires alignment of purpose from His children. He knows that alignment of the human will with His will brings peace of mind and clarity of purpose. Like a rough riding car in need of a front wheel alignment, so a Christian’s life needs regular correction around the priorities of Christ. The world’s highways wear down the tire tread of our trust in the Lord and causes us to veer off onto the gravel of unrighteousness. A regular ralignment with God is needed.

    Praise God, He has not left us alone, but is near and dear to our hearts in intercession. Because He cares, He invites us into the community of the Trinity. God the Father foreknew us, predestined us and called us unto Himself  while God the Spirit and God the Son intercede on our behalf of our lives to align with the will of God. So, when we feel spiritually weak and distant from the Lord, His Spirit is still near pleading prayers to God for us. We are not alone!

    My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God. Job 16:10

    Furthermore, you feel cared for when you know Christ cries out to God for you to know and do His will. What a dynamic duo of intercession for you: the Holy Spirit and Jesus. So, don’t sweat it when you don’t know what to say in prayer to God. You can sit in silence secure knowing your Savior speaks for you to your Heavenly Father. When you are speechless to petition God, you can rest in calm reassuranc since the Holy Spirit has your back with wordless prayer.

    You are extremely taken care of by being in community with Jesus, the Holy Spirit and your Heavenly Father. You can feel secure knowing God is in control. Your role is to love the Lord well by allowing Him to love you well. Be constantly grateful for the Spirit and the Son’s care for you in prayer and the nearness of your Heavenly Father’s presence. When you feel distant from God, know by faith He is near. Be humbled to know your life aligns with God’s will, as a result of your communion with the Trinity and the intercession of the Spirit and the Son for you.

    Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for aligning my life with Your will through the prayers for me from Your Son and from the Spirit.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 53:12; Ephesians 6:18; Hebrews 7:25, 9:24; 1 John 2:1

    Post/Tweet today: Our life aligns with God’s will, as a result of our communion with the Trinity and the Spirit and Son’s intercession.

    © 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 Romans

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