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Daily Devotion

  • Words

    Posted on October 17, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness." James 3:9 (NIV)

    One day, two of my kids were having a growth opportunity, which is our family's way of saying "fight."

    These two kids love each other, but didn't like each other very much in the heat of the moment. I pulled out my proverbial soap box, got my hand positioned just right on my hip, and told these two young teens to look outside the window of our home. I told them that outside our home a world of people exist who may or may not be nice to us. There are no guarantees.

    "But, inside this house," I continued as I turned them toward one another, "there are certain guarantees. Since the day I birthed you, I have preached one sermon about the words spoken in our home. It is a simple sermon. Before you part your lips to speak, you must ask yourself this question: Are my words kind, necessary, and true?"

    "If the answer to all three parts of that question is yes . . . proceed ahead."

    "If the answer to any part of that question is no . . . stop the words from coming out."

    Does that mean there is no room to address hard issues with one another? No. But in our home, it will always be done with a spirit of kindness using only words that are necessary and true.

    I then ushered these precious teens outside to a bench in the front yard and instructed them to figure out their issues. But they were not going to bring words into our house unless they were kind, necessary, and true. Thank you very much. Have a nice time on this warm little bench on this warm little day.

    There are some verses in the book of James I'm considering writing on the palm of my hand. Think of how handy it would be just to flash my palm up in the midst of my people's growth opportunities with this verse in bold ink: "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be" (James 3 9-10 NIV).

    That same chapter of James goes on to read, "For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice" (verse 16 NIV).

    Have mercy. I do not want disorder and every evil practice to be invited into my home. And if envy and selfish ambition (which are where ugly words come from) are the key that opens the door for all that evil mess, then I will do everything with the power of Jesus in me to tame tongues.

    And all my Jesus girlfriends said, Amen!

    Dear Lord, help me to know how to teach my children how to be more like You. Help me to model You in my actions, my reactions, and in every word I say. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Take a moment to think about the words spoken in your home. Are they laced with tones of harshness? Bitterness? Envy? What can you do today to begin to improve these words and tones?

    Power Verses:
    Philippians 2:5, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." (NIV 1984)

    Philippians 1:9-10, "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ." (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 James

  • Abide in Prayer

    Posted on October 16, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    He says, “Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

    Real prayer results are the result of abiding. The flesh squirms while still, but the spirit longs for stillness. It is in these protracted moments of silent prayer that saints of God see God. A rushed prayer time is like running to catch a subway, out of breath with only a blur in the background. But a person who abides in prayer breathes the clean air of Christ. They are not pushed to check their quiet time box for the day. They trust all will get done in God’s timing. Faith abides in prayer.

    Yes, the Lord fills with faith the spiritual lungs of those who sit still and breathe in His goodness.  His Holy Spirit energizes your being when you are quiet before your Heavenly Father. An eternal exchange of spiritual stamina takes place when you place yourself in the holy presence of Almighty God. You get to know Him and He affirms you as His child. His goodness and grace spills over into your heart when you are silent before Him. He blesses your soul for being still!

    Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3

    Moreover, Christ commands us to stop doing and start being. We fail to obey Jesus when we fail to stop and listen to His heart. Obedience to stop leads to faith to start. So, we enjoy our Savior in stillness and He reveals His sweet Spirit. His Spirit of love softens our heart. His Spirit of generosity opens our hands to give. His Spirit of grace gives us patience in our relationships. His Spirit of holiness keeps us pure in our motives. His Spirit of forgiveness frees us from retaliation.

    Most of all, as we abide in prayer, we know He is God. He is God our Creator who formed us in our mother’s womb, who gave us our unique looks, giftedness and personality. Because He knows us best, He knows what’s best. As we abide in prayer we know He owns us, because He bought us by the precious blood of His son Jesus. Christ is in us and we are in Christ. Since we are His servants, we want to follow our Master. We abide in prayer to know God’s heart for us.

    If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:15-17, NKJV

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, my heart yearns to abide with You in prayer. Give me the faith to be still with You.

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 4:35; 1 Kings 18:39; Isaiah 43:11; John 15:4-9; Mark 6:46

    Post/Tweet today: The Lord fills with faith the spiritual lungs of those who sit still and breathe in His goodness. #abideinprayer

    © 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, Prayer

  • "Harmless" Little Lies?

    Posted on October 16, 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." (Luke 16:10 NIV)

    My job was overwhelming, yet I was desperate to appear competent. As a young college graduate, I was grateful for the position. But over time, both the company and my work level grew to the point where I was drowning. And, as I fell further behind, I began to give misleading responses to my boss.

    My employer was very hands-on and often called me into her office for an update on my projects. I dreaded those meetings, knowing she'd be displeased with my lack of progress. And that is when the lies started: "Yes, that project is coming along nicely." "I'm almost finished." "Just waiting for a few more pieces of information."

    After our meetings, I'd rush back to my desk and frantically try to make my progress match the inaccurate response I'd just given. Over time, the lies and truth became jumbled. I'd crossed a line of personal integrity that nagged at the edges of my conscience, but not enough to make a change. Until one day my boss gave me another request: to lie for her.

    She hadn't gotten something done, and asked me to lie to someone else. This wasn't right. She hadn't even started the project. And now I was supposed to cover for her? It was as if God made me do a 180 and stare at the line of integrity I had already crossed.

    I'd compromised my character one half-truth, one excuse, one rationalization at a time. But no more. I had some decisions to make. Would integrity be a mask I put on at church and took off at work? Was my career more important than my character?

    Those were heavy questions for a young woman. But they were necessary. God used this situation to help shape the person He wanted me to be.

    Knowing I could lose my job, with humility and respect I told my boss I couldn't, no I wouldn't, lie for her. Amazingly, she didn't fire me. With a huff and a sigh, she accepted my decision.

    While I wasn't up to confessing all my lies to her, I did confess them to God. And I made a commitment that day to honesty, no matter how personally difficult it was.

    God cares about what may seem like harmless little lies: "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much" (Luke 16:10).

    God was watching me then, and He's watching me now. Which is why every word I speak is important. Choosing truth is hard, especially when it reveals a weakness. Yet with God's help, I'm making progress to become the woman of integrity He's called me to be.

    Dear Lord, You are the source of all truth. Forgive me for the times I've been deceptive in order to manipulate the opinions of others. I want to be a woman who is filled with Your truth. Help me to uncover whatever stands in the way of becoming that woman. In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Remember
    Choosing to live without a shadow of dishonesty will establish you as a trustworthy woman before God and others.

    Reflect
    Is there an area of your life where you are less than 100 percent honest? If so, confess that to God in prayer. What little decisions of integrity can you make to help strengthen your character?

    Respond
    Keep a pad of paper and pen with you today and make a tick-mark every time you are not 100 percent honest. Confess these instances to the Lord at the end of the day, and ask Him to use this exercise as a reminder to always strive to speak the truth (in love).

    Power Verses
    2 Corinthians 8:21; 1 Peter 2:12

    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 Luke, Lying

  • Extravagant Love Pursues

    Posted on October 15, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Luke 15:4-6

    God never gives up on going after His lost sheep. He pursues them with an extravagant and passionate love that exceeds human understanding. The secluded and insecure sheep trembles in fear and worry, but the Great Shepherd gently picks them up. He places them on the broad shoulders of His salvation. His eyes of compassion create comfort and His heart of forgiveness brings joy. Jesus the Shepherd of our soul never stops loving us or pursuing us in our sin.

    Do you feel lost and alone? Have you wandered from the care of Christ into the discomfort of some bad decisions? If so, you are not the first one to find yourself unsure of what to do next and embarrassed about your precarious predicament. You may have drifted from God’s best for now, but you do not have to remain in this scary state of mind. Your Heavenly Father is hot on your heels with His loving kindness and long suffering. Ask Him to hoist you onto His back.

    We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

    Who do you know who needs the pursuit of your extravagant love? Perhaps a child who is lost in the weeds of the world but longs for your unconditional acceptance. Or a colleague who has failed, but with the assurance of your trust and encouragement will try again. Maybe your spouse is experiencing life change or a mid life crisis. They desperately desire your grace and patience. Pursue those who are on the edge of despair. Love them back to the support of saints.

    Most of all enjoy the grace of God’s goodness. His extravagant love goes with you in your ups and downs. He leads you with the staff of His Holy Spirit. He teaches you with the wisdom of His word. He uplifts you with the joy of Jesus. He corrects you with His loving discipline. He carries you when you are exhausted and unsure what to do next. Yes, celebrate with Christ the joy of your salvation and the event of one sinner who repents. His extravagant love seeks you!

    For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 2:25

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for pursuing me with Your extravagant love and grace.

    Related Readings: Numbers 27:17; Ezekiel 34:5; Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34; John 10:11

    Post/Tweet today: God pursues those on the edge of despair. He loves them back to the support of saints. #extravagantlovepursues

    © 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

  • Where Can I Find JOY?

    Posted on October 15, 2013 by Wendy Blight

    Wendy Blight

    "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy." James 1:2 (NLT)

    My daughter's journey with scoliosis was a heart-breaking time for me as a mother. There were days I couldn't see past Lauren's extreme physical pain and my wondering heart questioned, why hasn't God healed her yet?

    Through those years, I struggled. I felt empty ... void of hope ... void of joy. I knew what God's Word said about joy: "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy" (James 1:2 NLT). But in the midst of Lauren's circumstances, her broken heart and wounded body, it was hard to follow that command.

    How could I obey this scripture and find joy when someone I loved was in such pain? God graciously answered the cry of my heart by revealing to me these three words ... Jesus Only You.

    I noticed the first letter of each of those words spelled J O Y. And it clicked with me. Jesus is our joy!

    When God says in James 1:2 to consider trials as opportunities for joy, He's not talking about the joy found in earthly things. Circumstances turning out how we desire, possessions and positions, and even good health only offer happiness. They are temporary. What God longs for us to have is deep, lasting joy found in Jesus.

    The King James Version says we are to "count it all joy" when we walk through trials. This word "count" means "evaluate."

    When trials come, we must evaluate them in light of God's truths and promises. It's not the trial itself we consider a joy. Rather, it's the results that will come from the trial that we consider pure joy.

    This involves trusting that God is actively working for our good even in the midst of painful circumstances. And as we trust Him, we will find an inner gladness rooted not in our circumstances, but in the reality of the living God who transcends our circumstances.

    After years of praying, asking God to heal my daughter, He did. It still hurts to remember the excruciating pain Lauren suffered. But God was and is faithful. God didn't heal my girl in the miraculous way I was expecting. Instead, she endured a seven-hour surgery to place two rods in her spine. She missed nearly six weeks of school and labored through months of relearning how to sit and walk and move. She had to quit competitive cheerleading. But in and through that time, God did a new thing.

    Looking back, I can see how He held us up, deepened Lauren's faith, and drew our family closer to each other. In real and personal ways, God showed us His tender, loving care. And He taught me the meaning of true J O Y.

    Jesus alone is the source of our joy.

    When discouragement comes and you feel you cannot take one more step, remember these three words, Jesus Only You!

    Jesus came so that I . . . so that you . . . can experience His joy fully and completely in us through any and all circumstances.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus. Thank You for the joy that is ours in Him. Every time our thoughts turn to our hurt, cause our pain to bring us back to J O Y . . . Jesus Only You. We ask this in the Name of Jesus, amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What does it mean to be filled with the joy of the Lord?

    What keeps you from receiving the fullness of His Joy? Memorize and personalize James 1:2 so that you can recall it the next time you walk through a difficult trial and feel the absence of joy.

    Power Verses:
    Galatians 5:22, "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness." (NLT)

    Nehemiah 8:10b, " Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Wendy Blight. 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 James

  • Intuit God’s Heart

    Posted on October 14, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
    declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

    There is a ‘God gap’ between a natural man’s thinking and a spiritual man’s thinking. The Lord’s thoughts do not traffic on the road of unrighteousness, but on heaven’s highway of righteousness. Thus, wise are the ones who lean into the Holy Spirit to intuit God’s heart. This is a spiritual understanding that only comes by the Spirit’s discernment. To comprehend the mind of Christ is counterintuitive and countercultural. Yes, the ‘God gap’ is bridged by the Spirit’s illumination.

    Quietly and confidently the Holy Spirit searches for a humble heart to reveal the heart of Jesus. Sometimes we are like Peter before Pentecost, impetuous and fleshly in our faith. But post Pentecost, Peter was transformed by the Holy Spirit’s power. So, in our flesh we flounder in the extremes of indifference or unloving activism, but in the Spirit we are led into the Lord’s heart of love for people. Love is the baseline of belief that understands and embraces the mind of Christ.

    The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:15-16

    How do you intuit the heart of God? How do you know if you walk by the Spirit or by sight? As you abide in prayer you hear God’s heart. Silence is the preferred communication method of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps as you sit in solitude you become like one of the characters in your gospel reading. You may imagine yourself like Peter, trusting but anxious, as you walk on the water toward Jesus. In prayer you enter into Scriptural experiences and you experience God.

    Above all, you can trust the heart of God. You may not understand today why you need to obey what He says, but tomorrow He will affirm His trustworthiness. You may struggle to see good in your situation, but the Holy Spirit will give you peace to persevere. By God’s grace intuit His heart and you will rest in knowing Him, period. Know God’s heart and your service will be inspired by the Holy Spirit. Intuit God’s heart and your relationships will blossom in intimacy. His thoughts become your thoughts. His ways become your ways. Know Him to know His will.

    I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, reveal Your heart by Your Spirit, so I can walk in Your ways.

    Related Readings: Numbers 23:19; Psalm 37:4; Micah 4:12; Romans 11:33-36; Philippians 2:5

    Post/Tweet today: Quietly and confidently the Holy Spirit searches for a humble heart to reveal the heart of Jesus. #intuitGod’sheart

    © 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 Isaiah

  • In the Midst of Dirty Dishes

    Posted on October 14, 2013 by Sharon Glasgow

    Sharon Glasgow

    "Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: ... whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 4:9–11 ESV)

    She and her husband had been missionaries for over sixty years and led countless people to Christ. Now she was in her eighties and still serving. My friend Sheli and I were honored to stay with her for a week to minister alongside her.

    After traveling thirty hours to her home in Takamatsu, Japan, we arrived late in the evening. She ushered us into her kitchen for a hearty meal, then prayed for us before we all went to bed. When the sun was barely up the next morning, we feasted on an enormous breakfast in her tiny kitchen.

    The kitchen was crowded, her appliances old and worn, dishes piled high in the sink from her lavish food preparation—yet the atmosphere felt entirely like home. As she and her husband read Scripture and encouraged us, tears welled up in my eyes, the love of Christ enveloped us; it overwhelmed me.

    Immediately after breakfast, she began cooking again, this time for 100 women. She'd rented a banquet hall and invited friends, telling them an American would be speaking and there would be food. We cooked, set up tables for the luncheon, and then I was ushered to the front to speak. Her objective in hosting the event was to build a bridge in hopes that those who came for lunch would come back again for church on Sunday. Many did!

    While driving home after the lunch, she told me she'd invited a large group to the house for dinner that night. I couldn't imagine how we could clean up the mess we'd left behind and simultaneously prepare another meal. How would we get it all done? She didn't seem concerned. Instead, she was fueled by the energy of what the Lord had done at the luncheon.

    There have been times I've worried more about my kitchen than how I can serve others. I fret over the size and messiness. But I was inspired as I watched this woman who had no concerns about the dirty pots in her sink. She didn't let an unswept floor keep her from ministering. She set the table beautifully and welcomed her guests. She and her husband prayed and read Scripture. Hearts melted.

    Years have passed since that week in Japan and I think of her whenever I have company. Over the course of her life, she has ministered to thousands in her home, and many have come to know Jesus there. Her ministry has nothing to do with a spotless kitchen. In fact, her kitchen was a mess. But whenever God opens a window of opportunity, she seizes it.

    I want my service to be like that described by the apostle Peter, grounded "in the strength that God supplies." I want to long for people to know Jesus more than I long for the perfect kitchen.

    God cares more about what's happening among the people in our kitchen than He cares about the state of it. My missionary friend taught me that it is possible to share God's love, demonstrate His character, and offer hospitality, even in the midst of dirty dishes.

    Dear Lord, show me ways to serve through the resources You've given me. Help me care more about people than things like dirty dishes. In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Remember
    Your kitchen is a perfect place to show hospitality. Don't wait for it to be perfect to invite guests. God will supply the ability you need to minister in your kitchen, and He will be glorified.

    Reflect
    Would you be willing to invite people to stay for dinner if they dropped by unannounced—even if your kitchen were a mess? Why or why not?

    Respond
    Can you think of a one person, family, or neighbor who doesn't know Jesus that you could invite for dinner? Make a call and get it on the calendar.

    Power Verses
    Proverbs 31:15; Proverbs 31:25–27

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with 1 Peter

  • Evil for Good

    Posted on October 13, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    David had just said, “It’s been useless—all my watching over this fellow’s property in the desert so that nothing of his was missing. He has paid me back evil for good.”
    1 Samuel 25:21

    Sometimes, we receive the opposite of what we expect, as our good deeds can encounter an evil response. Some of those we have served seem to have forgotten our faithfulness, and gratitude has faded from their memory. They forgot the fantastic fruit from our labors, and it has become all about what might inconvenience them. You were there for them at their point of need but now in your need, they reject your request. It seems like a cruel joke. How could they forget your loyalty and the investment of some of the best days of your life? Yet, this export of evil is just what you are experiencing. There is a relational trade imbalance, as you are the brunt of an evil inequity.

    So what do you do when you are repaid evil for good? What is your response? Our flesh screams foul and our anger wants to attack. How could someone show their appreciation for our good will with apathy and disassociation? We want to instantly repay their ingratitude by inflicting some type of loss or pain. How you respond in this moment of deep disappointment will reveal your true character. Anyone can act like a Christian as long as everything is going his way. It is easy to be nice when everyone else is nice. However, when supposedly mature leaders let us down, and even respond to our requests with hostility, what we do next defines our true self. This is a test of our dependence on God.
    When evil intent is injected into a relationship, we must resist firing back with equally evil actions. We cannot lower ourselves to this kind of schoolyard revenge. The question is not, “What is the right thing for them to do?” The question is, “What is the right thing for me to do?” You can reverse the force of the verbal jabs by returning good for evil. When you choose not to fight false accusations by accosting your accusers, you repay good for evil. You trust the truth will come out at the right time, in the right way. When you choose to forgive the malicious actions of insecure and mean men, you repay good for evil. When you pray for ungrateful souls to see God, you repay good for evil.

    Above all else, anchor your hope for justice to be done in Almighty God. The Lord can take care of the business of dealing with evil people and their actions. Wait on the Lord to settle matters as He sees fit, especially if you have the power to crush someone. Trust Christ to take them down in His timing. Your window of reprieve is their opportunity to repent, so be patient. You would want this same grace extended to you. Evildoers may never change, but they might. It is a heart issue between them and God. In the meantime, when you encounter evil, repay it with good and then trust God. The goodness of God trumps evil, for evil is no match for good.
    The Bible says, “If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house”
    (Proverbs 17:13).

    Post/Tweet: Your window of reprieve is their opportunity to repent, so be patient. #evilforgood

    © 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 1 Samuel

  • A Fruitful Family

    Posted on October 12, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord” (Psalm 128:1–4).

    The fruit from a family who fears the Lord is tasty and delicious. However, this type of fruit does not happen immediately but is cultivated over time. A fruitful wife sets the tone for the home. By God’s grace she weeds out criticism and replaces it with creativity. The home is her “pride and joy.” It is a reflection of her, as it is her nest.

    A home to the wife is like an office to the husband. Things need to be just right, or she feels violated. Indeed, be grateful for a conscientious wife who wants to express herself through the home. The fruit of a clean, decorated, and ordered home is calming. It provides an environment of stability and frees family members to focus on each other and people. A husband is free to do what he does best at work with a supportive wife at home.

    A mother’s influence spreads like a lovely vine throughout the house. No area is left untouched. The children are nurtured and encouraged by her sensitivity. When instilled from birth, the fruit from children becomes obedience to God and love for the Lord. Their heart for God grows when parents read Bible stories to them as they wait in the womb.

    The warm embrace of their little arms around your neck is the fruit of trust. The look of their kind and trusting eyes is the fruit of consistent love from mom and dad. Their bent toward love for God and people is fruit from their parents’ example of following Jesus.

    Furthermore, family fruit flourishes when the man of the house models faithfulness. A husband’s intentional effort to follow the Lord ignites faith at home. A fruitful wife has no problem submitting to a husband who submits to God. A God-fearing man is quick to confess sin to his heavenly Father and to his family. It is not uncommon for him to say, “I am sorry” or “I was wrong.” Authentic confession encourages confession in others.

    Confessed hearts are family fruit. It is probable the family will pray, read their Bible, and go to church if the leader of the home does the same. Family fruit has a direct correlation to the faithfulness of the family head. Family fruit flourishes when the man fears God. Regardless of the circumstances, he is committed to doing what God expects.

    Therefore, your home becomes a hothouse of character. The fruit threatens to burst through the glass panes for all to see. People are encouraged when they visit your hospitable home. Sinners need a safe environment, as acceptance comes from the fruit of Christ’s acceptance. Heaven’s dew and rainfall keep the fruit coming to a home submitted to Christ. Jesus says, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8). Fruit is proof of faithful families.

    Prayer: Does my character cultivate fruit that glorifies God in my family?

    Related Readings: Genesis 7:1; Proverbs 31:15; Mark 5:19; Acts 10:2

    Post/Tweet: A God-fearing man is quick to confess sin to his heavenly Father and to his family. #Godfearing

    © 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, Family

  • But God

    Posted on October 11, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. Acts 10:39-40

    Jesus died on a cross, but God raised Him from the dead. Hope seemed to be extinguished, but God kept hope alive in a blaze of resurrected glory. Christ’s disciples deserted Him at His most critical time of need, but God reconvened them at Pentecost in the power of the Holy Spirit. Peter was arrested and put into prison for preaching the gospel, but God answered the prayers of His people and Peter was set free. All can look dire, but God’s grace lifts us up out of our mire.

    What are you facing that needs God’s tender care and encouragement? Has your vision died and is a candidate for the Lord’s resurrection? Perhaps your patience is challenged over an investment opportunity, but God wants you to learn to wait on Him. Maybe a child continues to follow hard after the way of the world, but God is calling you to unconditional love and compassionate prayer. You may feel out of control, but God has all things under His control.

    In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:11-12

    Praise the Lord there is the conjunction ‘but,’ after your serious situation. You are single and feel alone, but Christ is there for you and He has just the right person to uniquely love you. His plan is perfect, so you wait on Him, discern His best and remain faithful in the inbetween time. You may feel the need to lower your standards, but God will bless you for holding high His expectations. Persevere through the pain of rejection. Christ’s acceptance will see you through.

    Our physical facilities fail us at times, but Almighty God’s strength is consistent and forever. Our faith can feel fragile in the face of unrelenting fear, but the faith of our Heavenly Father is a bridge of belief for us to trust. Man punctuates uncertainty with a ‘period’ of doubt, but Christ adds a ‘comma’ followed by encouragement. The Lord is writing your story, so let Him hold the pen. We all have a sentence of death, but God will raise us to be with Him. His power prevails.

    My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach me to trust in You and in Your unfinished work in my life.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 19:21; Isaiah 55:8-11; Jeremiah 29:11; Matthew 19:26; Romans 8:28

    Post/Tweet today: All can look dire, but God’s grace lifts us up out of our mire. #Godisincontrol

    © 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 Acts

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