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Daily Devotion

  • 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

  • Words that Linger

    Posted on September 18, 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD ..." Psalm 102:18 (NIV)

    "Well, you get what you pay for!" I muttered under my breath, frustrated as I held the broken weed eater. Were these things supposed to be disposable? Or was my family particularly hard on garden equipment?

    Stomping to the garbage can, I shoved the rickety weed eater in with force. I brushed stray blades of grass from my hands and strode back to the house, thoroughly annoyed with my frugal habits that caused me to "save money" by buying the cheapest model. Again.

    Later that day, I stood in the lawn and garden store, shopping for a replacement. Normally I pick the least expensive one, but obviously that approach wasn't working. Could higher priced weed eaters really be that much better? Deciding to give it a shot, I selected a mid-range model that has now survived my lawn, and my teenagers, for over a year.

    Thankfully, someone, somewhere built a weed eater that lasts longer than a few months. There had to have been intentionality in the design, higher quality of parts and more attention to detail during the assembly for this to happen. The care put into the building of my new weed eater has made a difference.

    Isn't this true of many things in our lives? When a carpenter builds a cabinet to last, it is built with quality woods and hardware. When a seamstress makes a dress to pass down to her daughter, her stitches are tighter and straighter. The same is true with words.

    Words crafted to last are chosen with care.

    The Bible demonstrates this statement. Whether spoken to hearts, etched in a tablet or recorded on a scroll, God made sure His words were written to be passed from one generation to the next. His Words were penned to change lives—the lives of the people who walked through the water, those who tried to walk on it, and ours! Psalm 102:18 evidences this truth: "Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD ..."

    Words written for a future generation are chosen and assembled differently. They are selected intentionally, pondered over and placed in just the right order. This isn't the sticky note reminder you jot down quickly, ready to toss when the task is done. However, some life-changing words have been written on the backs of envelopes or scribbled on napkins. The medium doesn't matter—the care given does.

    This verse in Psalm 102 speaks directly to me. My written words matter. Whether it's a letter composed to a loved one, a note in a lunch box, an email to my co-workers or a book, I can write the first words that come to mind, or I can consider them carefully. My words can have lasting impact for those I love.

    A few weeks ago I opened my lingerie drawer (the perfect hiding place where children won't look) and withdrew a wrinkled envelope. Sitting on the edge of my bed, I lifted the flap and withdrew a folded letter. Smoothing it out, I saw my husband's teenage sprawl covering the page. I read the words, smiled and refolded the letter. Placing it in the envelope again, I tucked it back under silky things. For now, I keep this letter close to my heart. But one day I'll share it with our children as a record of their parents' bond.

    Because words written to last matter.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for making sure Your words were written carefully for me. They are a lifeline in hard times and help me know and love You more. Help me to give more care to my words, In Jesus' Name, amen.

    Related Resources:


    Reflect and Respond:
    What writing has impacted you most in your life?

    Write a note of encouragement to someone this week.

    Power Verses:
    Jeremiah 30:1-2, "This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: "Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you."'" (NIV)

    © 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • God’s Favor

    Posted on September 17, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.” Genesis 39:3-4

    The Lord’s favor rests on His followers who remain faithful to Him. It is humbling to know that God extends wisdom and grace to those who go hard after Him. Though someone is separated from loved ones by a long distance, the Lord is nearby to impart His calming presence. Rest assured Jesus brings success to souls who submit to His will.

    Moreover, favor with God leads to favor with man. A heart connection on earth takes place when there has been a heart connection in heaven. People of influence are on the look out for those whom they can trust. It is not a small thing to delegate management and leadership responsibilities—hence those with character are entrusted with more.

    “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).

    Therefore, stay faithful in your responsibilities as a servant leader at work and home. It’s a joyful attitude in the middle of junk that Jesus blesses. Your boss may be unreasonable, your spouse insensitive or your child disrespectful, but the Lord and discerning people see your humble heart and will reward you with respect, rest and responsibility.

    What are you to do when God prospers you and your family? What are His eternal expectations? Certainly the Lord looks for His glory to be revealed through a life that reflects praise and thanksgiving. When we smash the idols of materialism, sex and power replacing them with modest living, love and service—people want to know why. Questions about our “peculiar” lifestyle are meant to point people to Jesus.

    “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Peter 2:11-12).

    So, instead of seeking the world’s favor—submit to God’s authority—and His favor will follow. Blessings become bountiful in a life that longs to love the Lord and people. As the moon is a reflection of the sun’s light, be a reflection of the Son’s light—you will illuminate the Lord’s ways to worldly wisdom and to wayward souls. The Lord is on the look out to extend His blessings on those who fear Him, trust Jesus and love people.

    “The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord” (Acts 11:21).

    Prayer: Am I in a position of humble obedience and trust, so I can experience the favor of God?

    Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 28:19; Isaiah 62:3; Luke 1:66; 1 John 2:8-10

    Post/Tweet today: Instead of seeking the world’s favor, submit to God’s authority and His favor will follow. #God’sfavor

    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 Genesis

  • Trigger Points of Doubt

    Posted on September 17, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "'But Lord,' Gideon asked, 'how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.'" Judges 6:15 (NIV 1984)

    A few years ago I felt paralyzed with self-doubt about a big ministry commitment I'd made, but had never done before. After begging God to zap me with confidence, and realizing it wasn't happening, I asked Him to reveal what made me insecure.

    Immediately I remembered Gideon, a man whom God called to do big things, yet he was paralyzed by inadequacy. From reading his story in Judges 6, I knew Gideon overcame his doubts and fears by focusing on what God thought about him, instead of what he thought about himself.

    But first he honestly processed his doubts with God. Recent conflicts and defeats caused Gideon to doubt God's presence and promises. When an angel of the Lord told him to defeat the Midianites, Gideon asked, "'How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest ... and I am the least in my family'" (Judges 6:15).

    Gideon's perception of himself made him feel inadequate. We aren't so different when damaged emotions and insecurities from our past influence how we see ourselves today.

    It was time for me to get honest with God about my uncertainties too. I needed to figure out what triggered my self-doubts and led me to such a yucky place of uncertainty.

    I remembered how a conflict with a friend that week made me doubt if I should even be in ministry. After all, self-doubt whispered, if I can't maintain healthy relationships, how can I help others?

    Also, feedback on a project kept hounding me. One harsh criticism overshadowed several positive comments and consumed my focus. I'd also been comparing my abilities to other women. Self-doubt convinced me I wasn't as gifted as they were.

    Conflict, criticism, and comparison had sent me into the shadows of doubt.

    What about you? When conflict arises, do you assume it disqualifies you from ministries or callings? Does criticism paralyze you from believing you can do certain things? Or, has comparison convinced you that someone else can do it (whatever "it" is) better than you?

    Thankfully, we can allow God to change the way we think, which will change the way we feel, and eventually transform the way we live!

    It's not a quick fix. It's a powerful process of naming our doubts, identifying what triggers them, and learning to rely on God's power to lead us to live confidently in the security of His promises.

    The next time you feel insecure, ask God what triggered your doubts. Process that trigger point through God's perspective and promises in the Bible. Ask Him to show you lies you believe and truths to replace them. Then let Him change your thought process by focusing on His thoughts about you instead of your thoughts about yourself. For instance:

    When doubt tells you that you can't do something, remember God says you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).

    When doubt tells you you're not good enough, focus on the truth that God says you're fearfully and wonderfully made; all of His works are wonderful and you are one of them (Psalm 139:14).

    Jesus wants us to live with a confident heart so we can accomplish what He's calling us to do. And He wants to change us from the inside out so we can learn to completely depend on Him!

    Dear Lord, I'm tired of feeling paralyzed by insecurity. Show me what triggers my self-doubt. Help me focus on Your thoughts about me instead of my thoughts about myself. I want to learn how to rely on and live in the security of Your promises. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:


    Reflect and Respond:

    Power Verse:
    Judges 6:14, "The LORD turned to him and said, 'Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?'" (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. 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 Judges, Doubt

  • Famous Father

    Posted on September 16, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Lord I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2

    Most are not famous—but God is the most famous—as His fame is from everlasting to everlasting. He is famous now—He was famous in the past—and He will be famous in the future. No one person or no event is more famous than God. He is the famous One. God’s name is inscribed on the heavenly walk of His stars.

    His fame stretches from universe to universe. Its expanse is from galaxy to galaxy. No amount of light years can capture the fame of God. His fame is beyond time. The fame of the Lord God Almighty covers the earth. It races from sea to shining sea. God is famous. He is on center stage as Creator, Savior and Lord. God is our heavenly hero.

    He is famous and His fame is not to be hijacked by competing heroes. No one, no gods, and no religions can compete with the fame of God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is famous for a reason. He is famous so His followers can proclaim His fame to the nations. The fame of God is our entrée to love people. As ambassadors of Christ His reputation precedes us. We have the amazing opportunity to represent our famous Father!

    Missionaries take His fame to the darkest recesses of the world. Bible teachers proclaim His fame to eager students. Christians reflect the fame of God in their everyday lives. His fame is shown in classrooms, homes, businesses, hospitals, resorts and churches all over His globe. We serve, represent and lovingly share someone famous.

    Christ is a celebrity of righteousness and holiness. Indeed, the attention of believers and unbelievers cannot ultimately ignore His fame. Are you an excellent steward of this level of notoriety? You cannot shirk this responsibility. You are the son or daughter of a celestial celebrity. It is something to be proud of—God is your heavenly Father.

    The channels of intimacy are always open to the creator of the free world and to those still in bondage. What an awesome privilege. What a sobering responsibility. Use your famous relationship with Jesus to leverage the gospel. Take advantage of God’s notoriety to help people. Doors have and will swing wide open because you are a Christ follower. Time is short. His fame is infinite and glorious. We worship and proclaim the famous one, God. You are a son or daughter of the most famous One: the Lord Jesus Christ!

    “I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations—to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations” (Isaiah 66:19).

    Prayer: In what ways can I honor my heavenly Father by sharing His fame with friends and foes?

    Related Readings: Joshua 9:9; 1 Kings 10:1; Ruth 4:14

    Post/Tweet today: God’s fame is our entrée to love people. As ambassadors of Christ His reputation precedes us. #famousone

    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 Habakkuk

  • Fear in the Dark

    Posted on September 16, 2013 by Wendy Blight

    Wendy Blight

    "... all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land." Exodus 14:21b (NIV)

    God seemed distant and I felt completely alone after I was physically and sexually assaulted at knifepoint in my early 20s. For years after the attack, I lived cocooned in a prison of despair and hopelessness, fear hounding me. Finally, after years of searching for help and believing there was nowhere else to turn, I fell on my knees before God and poured out my tears, anger and questions to Him.

    During that very dark time, God lead me to the story of the Israelites' escape from slavery in Egypt. Initially, Pharaoh agreed to let God's people go, but soon after they left, Pharaoh changed his mind. He pursued them with 600 of his best chariots and terrified the Israelites. Can you imagine their fear?

    They cried out to their leader, Moses. Even though Moses reminded the people of God's promise that He would deliver them, the circumstances barreling toward them said otherwise. Their reality included Pharaoh's finest soldiers hot on their heels, and the colossal Red Sea blocking their escape. God's people had no idea the miracle awaiting them.

    When they reached the Red Sea, Moses stretched his hand over the water. Scripture says, "... all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land" (Exodus 14:21b). Because it was dark, the Israelites couldn't quite see the full picture of what God was doing.

    In the black of night, the Lord tirelessly worked on behalf of His children to deliver them, just as He had promised.

    It was as if the words of this story leapt off the pages of Scripture and into my desolate heart. Although the Israelites could not see or hear God, He was moving in the midst of their darkness. I too could not "see" or "feel" God, but He was at work around me in invisible ways—present and active on my behalf to carry me through.

    The dark is a very scary place to be. Whether it's the darkness of our fears or circumstances pressing in, we have two choices as to how to respond. We can take matters into our own hands, turning to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain, seeking advice or reading the latest self-help book, never knowing if any of them is the way to healing and wholeness. Or we can look to God. We can pray and open His Word, knowing He guarantees healing and wholeness.

    For years I tried the first approach to deal with my darkness. Yet each attempt to help myself failed. It was only when I turned to God, crying out for His help, that things started to change.

    Would you like to experience God's help for yourself? Ask. The Lord promises, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV). Like He was for the Israelites, God is there for us. And He is always working on our behalf, even when we can't see or feel Him.

    Today, if you are in the darkness ... if your circumstances are threatening to consume you ... if you feel utterly defeated ... seek the Lord. Ask Him to rescue you and remember this, He is there ... parting your "Red Sea."

    Dear Heavenly Father, it's so difficult to walk through darkness. You feel so far away. I feel so alone. Thank You for the promise that You will never leave me or forsake me, and that there is nothing in all creation that will ever separate me from the love I have in You and in Your Son. Walk ever so closely with me during this darkness, Lord. Speak to me. Give me hope. In Jesus' Name, amen.

    Related Resources:


    Reflect and Respond:
    Sometimes God allows difficult circumstances to do a mighty transformational work in our lives. How would viewing your difficult circumstances as part of His refining process help you trust Him and change your perspective?

    Power Verses:
    1 John 1:5b, "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." (NIV)

    Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (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 Exodus

  • Hurting Spouse

    Posted on September 15, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
    1 Corinthians 12:26-27

    Sometimes our spouses experience hurt. It may be for a moment, for months, or in some chronic situations they may hurt over years. Hurt can come from a variety of sources. Busy parents who lacked love can lead to childhood hurt, disappointments deposit hurt, lack of control contributes to hurt, shattered dreams hurt, and health issues exacerbated hurt. Hurt may linger on the surface of your spouse’s heart, or it may have inflicted deep wounds into the soul—a soul that desperately needs God’s healing hand. Sadly, the scars of hurt can disfigure his or her countenance. So be aware because your insensitivity can compound the hurt, or your sensitivity can cure the hurt. Hurt hurts.

    When your spouse hurts, you hurt. You may hurt because of the empathy you feel for her pain, or you may hurt because of the pain he has knowingly or unknowingly imposed on you. Hurt cannot be ignored as it will expose itself mildly in public and wildly in private. Hurt will not go away unless there is healing. Your tender touch brings healing. Your extra patience eases the pain. Your kind words are an ointment that soothes anxiety. Your gracious attitude is a legion of love ready to recapture your spouse’s heart. Don’t give up reaching out to your hurting husband or wife. Yes, it’s inconvenient, and your goals may be on hold for now. You are in survival mode. Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season you will reap God’s blessings (Galatians 6:9).
    If you are the one who is hurting, go to your heavenly Father for healing. Let Him love you through this. Lay down your burden before it crushes your spirit. You cannot bear this burden by yourself or fix this alone. Your loving Lord wants to lead you into forgiveness and freedom. Release your regrets and disappointments to Him, and let go of your need for control. Demands for control are the fruit of fear. Remember that Jesus can be trusted during this time of turmoil.
    Don’t buy into a false feeling of freedom that comes from pushing back. Instead, open up and let the Lord and your lover into your heart. Healing is the outcome from applying the outrageous love and forgiveness of God. Indeed, you may be in a mid-life reflection. You are tempted to walk away from your family, friends, and faith, but it is a long and lonely walk that only enflames the pain.
    Take your Savior’s advice, and experience His healing for you and your spouse. Jesus said to go to Him for rest in your weariness, and for wholeness for your heart. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

    Post/Tweet: Your gracious attitude is a legion of love ready to recapture your spouse’s heart. #hurtingspouse

    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 1 Corinthians, Marriage

  • Forgiveness of God

    Posted on September 14, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

    The forgiveness of God is far-reaching and without limitation to anyone who believes. He forgives the worst of sinners and the best of saints. Atheists, adulterers, murderers, liars, the hot-tempered, and the mild-mannered can all receive the free forgiveness of their heavenly Father. The good, the bad, and the ugly are all candidates for God’s grace.

    Jesus Christ’s death on the cross bought us back or redeemed us from the penalty of sin. By faith in Him we no longer have to be burdened by our own indiscretions against almighty God. All sins of omission, commission, and ignorance can be laid at the foot of the cross and left for our Lord’s pardon. Have you been freed by His forgiveness?

    Will God forgive years of religious neglect? Yes. Will God forgive a life that lives for itself alone? Yes. Will the Lord forgive divorce, irresponsible living, and laziness? Yes. Will he forgive my chronic complaining, my bad attitude, and my tendency to gossip? Are my pride in my good works and my self-sufficiency covered by Christ’s blood? Yes, God will forgive anything that is an enemy of His grace. His death gives peace.

    “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:19–20).

    Forgiveness is free to all who believe, but it came at a great cost in Christ’s death. God gave His Son for our salvation from sin. So have you personally appropriated faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? If so, since your salvation do you regularly bow to Him in confession for the cleansing of your heart? Unconfessed sin clouds clear thinking.

    Since you have believed, you are rich in God’s grace and have a robust remedy for sin. Do you take advantage of your Lord’s forgiveness? As a Christian, do you sit daily at the feet of your Savior and receive freedom through His forgiveness? At the cross you were set free from the eternal penalty of sin, and now His forgiveness frees you from the guilt of sin. Jesus said, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

    “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you” (Acts 13:38).

    Prayer: Have I trusted Jesus for the salvation of my sins? What hidden sins do I need to repent of and confess to Him?

    Related Readings: Matthew 26:28; Acts 26:17–19; Romans 6:18–22; Hebrews 9:15

    Post/Tweet: Forgiveness is free to all who believe, but it came at a great cost in Christ’s death. #Godforgives

    © 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 Forgiveness, Ephesians

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