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Daily Devotion

  • 6 Scriptural Prayers for Husbands

    Posted on June 16, 2014 by Wendy Blight

    Wendy Blight

    "So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11(NASB)

    My husband Monty and I are different. So very different. Early in our marriage, I loved those differences. But as the years have passed, they've been known to cause frustration ... arguments, slammed doors, and words that can't be taken back.

    Sometimes toxic thoughts and words fill my heart and spew forth from my lips. Thoughts that linger and take root. Words that cut deep.

    I'm too quick to take offense.

    I asked him to do this. If he cared about me, he would. He knows it's important to me. I shouldn't even have to ask.

    I get annoyed.

    He's late for dinner ... again. Couldn't he call? He knows we eat at the same time every night.

    I replay the hurt in my mind, and at times it consumes me.

    Please know that I share these thoughts as a wife who loves her husband deeply. But I'm also a wife who struggles to live out that love in a God-honoring way.

    Maybe you can relate. I wrestle with thinking unkind thoughts about the man I love more than anyone else. And then I remember the truth of God's Word, and He makes it personal:

    Wendy ... "whatever is in your heart determines what you say," Matthew 12:34b (NLT).

    Wendy ... "give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life," Proverbs 4:20-23 (NASB).

    When I read that warning from Proverbs chapter 4, it signals me to change what fills my heart. It directs me to go to God's Word and find words of life for my marriage and my husband.

    So I've committed to pray God's Word over my husband. Today, I'm sharing what I pray and invite you to join me in praying for your husband:

    Father, give my husband a discerning heart to know Your great love for him and the great plans You have for him and our family. Plans to prosper and not to harm, to give us hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

    Father, give my husband the mind of Christ, saturate it with godly wisdom. Help him to take every thought captive that is not in obedience to Your Word, and in so doing protect him from pride and temptation. (1 Corinthians 2:16, 2 Corinthians 10:5)

    Father, open the eyes of my husband's heart to understand Your Word, so that he won't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of his mind so that he may know Your good, acceptable and perfect will for his life and our marriage. (Romans 12:2)

    Father, help my husband to trust in You with all his heart, not depending on his own understanding, but acknowledging You in all his ways, so he knows what direction our family should take. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

    Father, may the favor of the Lord rest on my husband. Bless and establish the work of his hands and his heart. (Psalm 90:17)

    Father, help us to live together in perfect unity by loving, honoring and respecting one another and serving each other for Your glory, honor and praise! (1 Thessalonians 5:13)

    Friend, when we replace our toxic thoughts with the precious Word of God and then pray those words, we pray the Word that is living and active, capable of changing hearts and minds. We are praying the mind and will of God, as revealed in His Word, into our marriages!

    So pray with hope, boldness and confidence! God will be faithful to honor His Word.

    Heavenly Father, replace my toxic thoughts with Your life-giving words and teach me to pray those words over my heart, my husband and my marriage. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Proverbs 4:23, "Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life." (NASB)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Do you feel like things will never change in your marriage? List what makes you feel this way.

    Over the next week, pray boldly and confidently one or two of the above verses we prayed together. Write how God works in your heart and in your marriage.

    © 2014 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 Isaiah

  • Faithful Heavenly Father

    Posted on June 15, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5

    Most people long for a faithful father who will feed them when they are hungry, love them when they are lonely, and care for them when they are crying. They long for a dad who will listen to them when they wonder, encourage them when they are discouraged, and discipline them when they do wrong. They are eager for a father who takes time for the trivial, extends wisdom in the middle of worry, and prays to understand God’s will. God placed within you a desire to be loved by your father. Some fathers do well at being a faithful father and others do not. Some are extremely successful, and others fail miserably. Fortunately, God is your model of a faithful father. Your heavenly Father fills the gaps left by your earthly father; He is your faithful Father.

    Your heavenly Father deserves your respect and commands your love. He says to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name...” (Matthew 6:9). He is a father who is totally trustworthy. You never have to doubt God’s word. What He says He means, and what He means He does. Your Father in heaven will not let you down on earth. Now, sometimes it doesn’t feel as if He’s faithful. There are times you don’t have answers for the questions that gnaw at your heart and confuse your mind. It may be that He is speaking but you are not listening. It may be that He is silent because He wants to grow your trust in Him. He will tell you what to do, in time, so while you wait, become better.

    Your faithful Father in heaven is the Father of Truth. Jesus is truth (John 14:6). Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). He acts as if he is interested in your life so he can destroy your life. He uses you for his interests. Therefore, reject the lies of the devil, and embrace the truth of the Lord. When you left the dark side of unbelief, you renounced your father, the devil, and embraced your heavenly Father through Christ. Be a lifetime learner of faithful fathering. Each season of fathering is different. What worked in the last stage of your child’s life needs to be adapted for the next stage.

    By faith, be flexible. As infants, they need your gentle touch. As children, they need your patient instruction. As teenagers, they need your example of love and forgiveness— someone has to be the mature one (1 Corinthians 13:11). As adults, they need your wisdom and friendship. In all seasons, they need your time and trust. Above all else, look to your heavenly Father as the baseline for your behavior. Being a faithful father does not mean perfection, but it does mean you depend on the Perfect One. You lean on the Lord for His loving care, so you can extend the same. Because of your faithful heavenly Father, you can be a faithful earthly father. Invite Him to love you and lead you into faithfulness.

    Prayer: How can I regularly receive the love and affirmation of my heavenly Father, so I can do the same for my children and grandchildren?

    Related Readings: Matthew 5:16; 7:11; 18:10-35; John 12:28; James 1:17

    Post/Tweet today: Our heavenly Father fills the gaps left by our earthly father; He is our faithful Father. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Man of Prayer

    Posted on June 14, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer.  Psalm 109:4

    A man of prayer prays. It is his first line of defense and his most effective offensive strategy. Prayer is not an afterthought for a man of prayer; it is not a last ditch engagement with the eternal, but is the first thing to come to mind. Prayer is not just a demonstration of discipline and determination, but a desperate dependence on God. It is conversing with Christ,  not just asking God for goodies and guarantees. The man of prayer enters into intimacy with the Almighty. He realizes that God is in control and  His wisdom is needed for life and work. Prayer precludes pain by providing patience. It forecasts disaster by giving warning. It discerns clumsy and destructive decisions by cultivating understanding and discernment.

    A man of prayer avoids self-inflicted problems because he prays first. Prayer is medicine for the sick and refreshment for the soul. Prayer may be the best gift you can give someone. You may not have silver and gold to give, but you can give prayer (Acts 3:6). A man of prayer does not talk about praying, with a simple, “I’ll pray for you.” On the contrary, with a seriousness of purpose and responsibility, he stops what he is doing and lifts to heaven the concerns of the one requesting prayer. As you hear him pray, a peace and calm overcome you. It is encouragement from on high. His is not a stale prayer but fresh, because the man of prayer has been in prayer. A man of prayer prays for his spouse and for the spouses of his children. He leads his wife in prayer. He keeps his logical mind in check by checking in with Christ.

    Start by getting on your knees for five minutes each morning. Prayerful posture is important to a man of prayer. His stature is humble and dependent. Therefore, humble yourself daily before your heavenly Father. Lay face down on the floor, if necessary. Then get up and consider making a prayer list. However, do not sell yourself short by feeling unqualified to be a man of prayer. This role is not reserved for the super righteous. It is for adulterers, liars, and murderers like David (Psalm 51). A man of prayer is still a man in recovery from sin. Sin does not cease to hound the man who prays, but it drives him to pray; then sin’s influence is stunted in the face of the man of prayer. It is hard to sin while you pray. There is accountability to God that bolsters the man of prayer in his everyday life.

    Indeed, there is a direct correlation between prayer and purposeful living. “Man of Prayer” is not a title that comes with a badge to flaunt. Instead, it is a discreet lifestyle of continual prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It becomes a habit of life, like eating and sleeping. Prayer, for a man of prayer, is not an elective. It is a required course. It is core curriculum. Moreover, the man of prayer cannot be pigeonholed as to his behavior and speech. He comes in all shapes and sizes, depending on his God-given temperament. He is humorous and humble; He is loud and he is quiet; He is spontaneous and he is methodical; He is creative and he is concrete; He is eloquent and he is simple. However, there is one thing he is not: He is neither proud nor arrogant. People are his pleasure and heaven is his home, where he checks in often. Jesus is his “go-to man.”

    Worship, thanksgiving, praise, and adoration permeate the prayers of a man of prayer. A man of prayer prays.

    Post/Tweet today: Prayer, for a man of prayer, is not an elective. It is a required course. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Faithful Fathers

    Posted on June 13, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness. Isaiah 38:19

    Where are the faithful fathers? Where can they be found? They can be found in church, on the little league ballfields, building sandcastles at the beach, and on their knees in prayer for their child’s future spouse. They camp in the woods, buy ice cream, go shopping, teach the Bible to middle school youth, and coach high school athletes. They can be found in stable societies and in cultures that love Christ. Faithful fathers matter.

    Faithful fathers are not a fantasy, but a reality rooted in the fear of the Lord and care for their own children. They are compelled by their heavenly Father to provide a home that nurtures, disciplines, accepts, and loves. Determined dads research and discover creative ways to win over their child’s heart for Christ.

    “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

    Faithful fathers are friends with Jesus. They see Him as a model of unselfish service, generous giving, radical responsibility, and the ability to put the needs of others before His own needs. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10). Dedicated dads find strength to carry on from Christ’s affirmation and accolades. They father for the audience of their heavenly Father.

    Lastly, faithful fathers lead their children to know, love, and obey their heavenly Father. This is your most vital role as a dad. Children learn from your life how to live, but they need to hear from your lips how to believe. Tell them the scriptural stories of salvation, sin, forgiveness, and faith. Joseph’s perseverance, Esther’s courage, Moses’ leadership, David’s repentance, and Ruth’s encouragement, are character qualities for them to emulate. Ask God for wisdom and grace to be a faithful father.

    “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).

    Prayer: How does my heavenly Father love me? How does He want me to love my children?

    Related Readings: Psalm 44:1–2; Malachi 4:6; Luke 1:7; 1 Corinthians 4:15

    Post/Tweet today: Determined dads research and discover creative ways to win over their child’s heart for Christ. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Thank You, Dad

    Posted on June 13, 2014 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." Psalm 68:5 (NIV)

    Moments after I stopped by my parents' house, my dad clutched his chest.

    Knowing the hospital was close, my mom and I helped him to the car. I pressed hard on the gas pedal, keeping an eye on the man who reclined in the passenger seat as I raced toward the nearby emergency room.

    The news was not good. Doctors said his heart was badly damaged, and open-heart surgery was the only option.

    Doctors scheduled the procedure for the next day. Since I lived in another city, I drove home to gather my things before returning the next morning for a long stay.

    The sun crept over the horizon as I drove westward to be with my parents during my dad's surgery. Visits were strictly limited, and my time with my dad was to be an hour before he would go in to the operating room.

    When I arrived, a nurse informed me that my dad wasn't in his room.

    I rushed up the stairs to the surgical floor waiting room. "They took him back a half hour ago, Suzie," my brother said. "It happened so quickly we just barely got to see him." I buried my head in my brother's chest and wept.

    My dad was in surgery with his chest split open ... and I didn't get to say thank you.

    Thank you for taking the place of our biological father who should have loved those tiny girls but for whatever reason didn't.

    Thank you for taking two little girls who didn't have a father and making them your own.

    Thank you for never seeing us in a different light than my brothers and sister who were born later.

    Thank you for rejoicing that you won the prize another failed to claim.

    When I was younger I didn't always appreciate this gift. I loved the man I called Dad, but often wondered about the other one. Did I look like him? Where was he? Did he think of me? What might it be like if I had my biological father in my life?

    As an adult, and as a parent, I saw it differently. Being a dad isn't always tied to DNA.

    One man was there at my conception, but another took the more difficult path. He went to work every day. He showed up at events. He disciplined and loved me, watched me graduate and marry. He took the name "Papaw" as he embraced my children.

    I know not every woman who grew up without a biological father's love has this type of experience. But all of us can know the love of God as our heavenly Father.

    Psalm 68:5 describes God as "a father to the fatherless." It's a theme woven throughout Scripture from beginning to end. Our God loves orphans and rescues the abandoned. This is a work close to His heart.

    Later that evening, after Dad's surgery, I sat in the shadows with the rhythmic swish of the respirator the only sound in the room. I silently offered up gratitude.

    First, because my dad had made it through the surgery.

    Second, because this man partnered with God's heartbeat when he stepped in to love two little girls without a daddy.

    I leaned over the bed and whispered the words I could no longer hold back: "Thank you, Dad."

    And thank You, God, for loving me with a perfect Father's love.

    Dear Lord, thank You for loving me as a Heavenly Father. Thank You for bringing people into my life who partnered with You in that love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Matthew 25:35-36, "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me." (ESV)

    James 2:15-17, "Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?" (The Message)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    We can get so busy, or even focused on what we don't have, that we neglect to love others as God loves us. How might you love someone today with God's love?

    This Sunday is Father's Day in America, and we know not everyone has a strong example of a father. However, many of us have experienced unconditional love from someone older and wiser. How can you show appreciation? One way is to say thank you. Write a note (don't wait!) to say thank you to one person who showed you the love of a father.

    © 2014 by Suzie Eller. 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

  • Heart Knowledge

    Posted on June 12, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10

    There is a very important distinction between heart knowledge and head knowledge. A person can know facts about God in her head, without applying it to her heart by faith. A man or woman can hear all the right things, say the right things, attend church, and still be 18 inches away from heaven—the distance between the head and the heart.

    We can play church, masquerade our true heart to others, and even fool ourselves, but God cannot be fooled. We can volunteer in ministry, give money and have accolades from genuine Christians, but has our heart truly been transformed by the grace of God? Evidence of conversion is a public declaration of Jesus as Lord, and an internal confession that God raised Him from the dead. A heart engaged with eternity is saved from sin.

    “The Lord says: 'These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught'” (Isaiah 29:13).

    Where are you on the continuum of your commitment to Christ? Are you still seeking? Have you crossed over the line of belief by bowing in humble submission to your Savior and Lord Jesus? Be honest with yourself and God if you have not given your heart to heaven. Pray for the Lord to help your unbelief, and be bold to request prayer from others.

    What life event will it take to lead you to authentic faith and repentance? Marriage? The birth of a child? The loss of a child? The loss of a parent? Health issues? Financial brokenness? When we are on our back, our heart looks to heaven for help. When we drop to our knees in humble prayer, we see the Lord lifted up, and we invite His warm embrace.

    Don’t fight the hang-ups in your head—instead surrender your heart to Jesus. The enemy will always find an excuse for your mind to excuse eternal life in heaven. Do not dismiss childlike faith in Jesus for this is the entrance into His Kingdom. We are first born again with infant faith then we mature by grace and the meat of God’s word. Have you made this initial move of heart-felt faith? Take this first step of trust and start your walk with Jesus.

    “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation” (Psalm 13:5).

    Prayer: What obstacle to faith do I need to lay at the feet of Jesus, and trust Him?

    Related Readings: Job 33:3; Psalm 21:2; Mark 7:6; John 3:3; 2 Timothy 1:9

    Post/Tweet today: When we are on our back, our heart looks up to heaven for help. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • The Difference

    Posted on June 12, 2014 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ ..." Colossians 2:2 (NIV)

    I noticed something was different as soon as he walked in the door. Andrew, my 16-year-old son, had come home from exercising at the gym and instead of looking exhausted, a bright smile stretched across his face like a crescent moon.

    Before I could ask what was up, Andrew said, "The custodian stopped me in the hallway and told me I 'looked like a champion' after working out."

    The comment made Andrew feel great. Just knowing someone actually noticed his hard work lifting weights made him want to give the guy a hug! But that felt awkward, so he just said "thanks" and kept walking.

    "But, when I got to the exit door," Andrew went on to say, "I decided to drop my bag and run back to thank the guy for encouraging me! And it made me feel so awesome!"

    The next morning, Andrew told me he couldn't stop thinking about what had happened at the gym. He said, "From now on, any time I feel like I'm supposed to encourage someone, I'm gonna do it! Not just because of how good it will make them feel, but because of how good it makes me feel to focus on other people and not be so focused on myself all the time."

    I did everything I could to hold back the tears. Yes, I was proud of Andrew's decision, but more than anything I was captivated by the difference I saw in my boy's eyes. And with his permission, I want to share why.

    For months, we watched our outgoing, happy, encouraging kid withdraw from us and from friends. We listened as he vented deep doubts and questions about God, compounded by frustration and uncertainties about his own purpose in life.

    Overwhelming concerns had occupied every square inch of my thoughts. My greatest concern came as I watched Andrew sink into a pit of discouragement as he insulated himself with negative anger towards God, his circumstances, and consuming self-focus.

    My husband and I prayed. We wrestled with God. We talked through Andrew's questions and doubts whenever he was willing. And we loved on him as much as we knew how.

    But now, many months later, I am still amazed by the difference a few words of encouragement made. Words offered by a stranger who noticed him, encouraged him and inspired him to give away what he had received.

    In today's key verse, the Apostle Paul shares how his life's goal was that others be "encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:2-3).

    Could it be that encouragement unites our hearts in love with God and each other? Then it unlocks spiritual riches of understanding to help us grasp all that is ours in Christ?

    Just today, Andrew told me again how his heart changed that night after coming home from the gym. He said for the first time, in a long time, he felt the power and presence of God's love, which he had been shutting out for months. And in the days that followed, he started to turn back toward hope and ultimately turn toward God.

    Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of Your encouragement. Help me slow down to hear You speak words of hope into my life, reminding my heart that You see me, value me and have a purpose for me! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Colossians 2:6-7, "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:

    Think of a time when someone's words of encouragement made a difference in your life or in your faith. Ask God to show you someone to encourage today. Then pray for the words of reassurance they need, and let your life make a difference in theirs!

    © 2014 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 Colossians

  • Quiet Rest

    Posted on June 11, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest". So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.  Mark 6:30-32

    Wise leaders lead others into rest—they find a quiet place and rest together. After extreme busyness, rest is required, as your spirit begins to rebel against the hustle and bustle of life. The joy of service for God starts to fade. People become a drain rather than a blessing. It is time to break away to a solitary place. Jesus took a break after a big event.

    If you continually push yourself, you will eventually lose all energy and perspective. A driven heart becomes a judgmental heart. You begin to look down on others because they are not pulling their weight. Your joy is replaced with jaded criticism. You feel you are the only one who is really committed. Your peers have become slackers in your mind.

    Furthermore, be careful as you may be serving out of your own strength and not the Spirit’s. It is the Holy Spirit that sustains you over the long haul. Wise leaders understand the danger of an unsustainable schedule. You begin to sacrifice relationships in reach of unrealistic goals. Indeed, God gives us goals as a guide and motivation, but do not be driven by the goal—rather be lead by the Holy Spirit.

    Otherwise, the goal can become your god. Unchecked goal setting can lead you down the path of disappointment and disillusionment. You may need to better pace yourself. Be patient. Develop the team around you and watch God work through them, way beyond your capacity. Indeed, some of your team development comes in the quiet places.

    Find a quiet spot and calendar a time today for yourself and your team. They desperately need this enrichment, both personally and professionally. Without a retreat, they may not be able to advance. Some may be on the verge of burnout or quitting, because of discouragement. Solitary places allow you and your team to recalibrate with the vision and mission of the organization. Quiet times together build camaraderie and trust.

    A retreat is an investment. By taking time to pause you are able to continue—and you continue with more effectiveness and efficiency. A quiet place is an opportunity to get on the same page with God. Your soul is refreshed and replenished. The words of the Bible leap from its pages,  lodging in the crevices of your heart and mind. A retreat is an exercise of trust that routine matters will be taken care of in your absence.

    Take a retreat for your sake and sanity—and for the morale of the team. We hear more clearly when it is quiet. Our comprehension expands. Our bodies rest. Our soul is renewed. A solitary place provides strength and stamina to finish well. Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is rest in a quiet place!

    “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15

    Prayer: When can I calendar a retreat time with my team for rest and reflection?

    Related Readings: Job 3:25-26; Psalm 37:7; John 6:37; 1 John 3:19

    Post/Tweet today: A driven heart can become a judgmental heart, if not renewed by rest. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Lord, I Don't Know What to Do

    Posted on June 11, 2014 by Leah DiPascal

    Leah Dipascal

    "Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow." Psalm 25:4 (NLT)

    Do you ever feel like you're going in circles and not making any progress? At least not the kind of progress you were expecting.

    Are the constant appeals of our world pulling you in a million different ways, causing you to question if you're headed in the right direction?

    If you're like me, you have plans and dreams you want to fulfill. But life is confusing at times. And most days it seems like you're just surviving instead of living out those dreams or accomplishing your goals.

    Numerous distractions.

    Too many choices.

    Endless interruptions.

    There have been days I've felt like one foot was fixed to the floor, while my other foot scurried in every direction. Expending a lot of energy and mental fatigue, but going nowhere. Can you relate?

    Wouldn't it be awesome to wake up every morning and be assured you're on the right path towards your goals? To know with certainty that you're headed in the right direction? To feel confident with each step, without constantly questioning yourself?

    Too many times I've second-guessed a decision I was confident about. I want so desperately to follow God's will that I'll pray, but then feel uncertain, not wanting to make a wrong move. I wonder: Maybe this isn't what I'm supposed to be doing. Maybe this isn't part of God's plan for my life.

    As I've wrestled with indecision and insecurity, I've sought God's Word for help. A few months ago, I found a priceless nugget of truth in the Bible. It addresses our desire for guidance and shows us what to do when we need clear direction.

    King David composed these words in a beautiful psalm, tucked within the pages of the Old Testament:

    "Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you" (Psalm 25:4-5).

    These verses reveal David's humble and teachable heart. He wanted to be guided by God and led by His truth. David knew God was his Savior and placed all his hope in the One who created the right path for him.

    We find the answers to David's request for guidance only a few short passages away. Promises we can claim for our own lives:

    "The LORD is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way. The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands" (Psalm 25:8-10, NLT).

    Based on these verses, when our hearts are humble and truly seeking God's will, we can be confident of this:

    1. God will always show us what is right for us.
    2. When we get sidetracked, God will direct us back to the right path.
    3. We are not alone. God leads and teaches us along the way.
    4. God leads those who obey Him with unfailing love and faithfulness.

    If you're unsure about some things in your life, don't wait another day to figure it out on your own. Ensure your heart is in the right place of humility, and then ask God to help you. Once you've asked, trust that God is directing you.

    If you know you've gotten on the wrong path, seek God for direction instead of looking to the world for answers. As you take steps to follow and obey God's voice, He will lovingly show you the way.

    Months ago I asked the Lord to etch these verses onto my heart and mind, so I'd always have them with me — especially on days when I feel like I'm going in circles and lacking direction.

    Today, I'm praying these verses over you.

    Dear Lord, help my friend come to You when she's in need of direction. Remind her that the world can't offer what she deeply longs for, nor does it hold her future, but You certainly do. Thank You for guiding her today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Psalm 32:8, "The LORD says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.'" (NLT)

    Psalm 90:17, "Let the favor of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!" (ESV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    What area in your life is lacking direction: marriage, parenting, career, health?

    Find three Scripture verses (relating to that particular area) and personalize them into a prayer as you go to God for guidance.

    © 2014 by Leah DiPascal. 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

  • Knowing God

    Posted on June 10, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:10-11

    Knowing God is not for the causal Christian, but for the committed ones. This intimate relationship is forged on the anvil of adversity and expressed through the power of Christ’s resurrected life. Knowing God requires dying to self and coming alive in Christ. Resurrected living is the fruit of a faith that is not satisfied with surface Christianity.

    To know God is to be loved by Him, to love Him and to love for Him. To know Him is to behold Him in the glory of His holiness, and to bow down in humble worship. To know Christ is to receive His comfort and to carry on a caring conversation with Him. It is going deep in knowledge and understanding of God, so we can carry His character and faith far and wide. Knowing God leads to making God known with our words and deeds.

    “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. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” Psalm 100:3-4

    Knowing God grows your character, as intimacy with Him influences you to be like Him. Christ's character begins to transform your character. His influence in your life broadens your influence in other lives. Indeed, your depth of character determines your breadth of influence. Grow in grace, so you can export grace throughout your circle of influence.

    But, be careful not to compare your character standard to others—even other Christians. Comparison games are the enemy’s game plan to get you off the track of trust in Jesus. Pride will puncture your ballooning influence, when you begin to take credit for what only the Lord can do. The more you know God—the less you see of yourself and the more you see of Him and others. You know Christ in His death, accompanied by a radical resurrection.

    How do you grow to know Him better? It happens in the margins of life, not in a packed schedule with no room for interruptions. A frantic pace lacks grace. A hurried life is tired—unable to trust and give back. Start by slowing down and calendaring time with Christ. Be with Him, so you can hear Him, get to know Him, and be changed by Him. Then the depth of your character will grow the breadth of your influence—for His glory!

    “For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name” (Psalm 86:10-11).

    Prayer: How am I growing in my knowledge of God? How is He transforming my character and broadening my influence for Him?

    Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 16:24; Isaiah 45:24; 54:11; Matthew 21:42; John 5:29

    Post/Tweet today: Resurrected living is the fruit of a faith that is not satisfied with surface Christianity. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

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