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Daily Devotion

  • Afraid to Turn the Next Corner

    Posted on July 4, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8 (ESV)

    You know how some people love the thrill of being surprised? They love surprise parties. They would love to show up at work one day and be told they are actually going on a surprise vacation and be whisked from their desk to paradise in just a few hours.

    They would love to have one of those makeover shows pop up at their house with a film crew and be told they're getting a whole new wardrobe.

    Surprises feel thrilling to them. Like the thrill some people get when a roller coaster ride they thought was over suddenly takes off again and starts doing upside down loops. They throw their hands in the air and embrace the thrill of the unknown.

    They call that fun.

    I don't.

    I love a good birthday party. But I don't want it to be surprised.

    I love a good vacation. But I don't want it to be planned for me.

    I love winning stuff and would freely accept a gift certificate for a new wardrobe. But I don't want anyone to pick out the clothes for me.

    I like (not love) a roller coaster. I don't mind when it finally crests the lift hill and then careens downward like the bottom just fell out of the world. But I don't want it to take unexpected twists and turns.

    This dislike of surprises can usually be managed with all the things I mentioned.

    My friends know not to throw me a surprise party. No one is looking to give me a surprise vacation or new wardrobe. And before getting on a roller coaster, I thoroughly check it out and know its patterned route.

    But life is different.

    Life twists and turns and throws loops into those places we think will be flat and smooth. Because that's what life does. Sometimes it all just catches us off guard.

    And at the end of the day, I guess that's why I don't like to be surprised. I can't stand to get caught off guard. It makes me feel exposed and afraid.

    But slowly, I'm learning God can bring good out of feeling exposed and afraid.

    That vulnerable place reminds us we have needs beyond what we can manage by ourselves. It reminds us we need God. Desperately. Completely.

    And into that gap between what we can manage on our own and what we can't, that's right where faith steps in and has the opportunity to find deep roots. Roots that dig down and break up previously unearthed places within us.

    Our faith doesn't just need to grow big, it needs to grow deep. Yes, we need deep faith roots.

    I want to have faith like the believer that Jeremiah describes as, "... a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit" (Jeremiah 17:8).

    Deep roots anchor us when surprises blow like strong, unruly winds.

    Deep roots hold us steady during the storm that didn't show up on the radar.

    Deep roots find nourishment when the surface gets awfully dry.

    Deep roots allow for growth not previously possible.

    Deep roots yield rich fruit.

    So, I'm learning to not be so afraid of what might be around the next corner. Even if it does catch me off guard. I close my eyes and whisper ... "deeper still."

    Dear Lord, deep roots of faith–that's what I need to grow today. Help me to trust in You above all else. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Do you want to grow your faith? Lysa TerKeurst's book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, will help you do just that as you learn to walk in radical obedience to the Lord each day. Click here to purchase your copy!

    Reflect and Respond:
    Is there something dividing your heart and distracting you from knowing God more?

    Pray a courageous prayer. Ask God to show you one distraction you could distance yourself from to more fully embrace growing your faith.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 52:8, "But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever." (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 Jeremiah

  • Christ and Country

    Posted on July 3, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind. Psalm 33:12-13

    God blesses a country that honors Him, but He brings down a country that dishonors Him. It honors Him for His people to pray in earnest for righteousness to reign in religion, the work place, seats of government and the home. It dishonors the Lord when we behave like His commands are suggestions and we marginalize His mandates. Countries founded on Christ are blessed if they continue with Christ.

    Where is our Christ conscientiousness? Do our actions reflect accountability to Almighty God and His ultimate judgment? Faith without the fear of God is weak and anemic in the face of moral relativism, academic attacks and the indulgences of affluence. A nation who fears the Lord fears sin and its deadly consequences. Thus, Christians are called by Christ to engage in their communities with compassion and a standard of right and wrong.

    The law of the Lord is the basis of the law of the land in a country that honors Christ. The Bible is clear, “All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous” (Romans 2:12-13). God blesses a nation who obeys His laws.

    Therefore, for our children’s sake, let's raise our standards of acceptable actions for preachers, politicians and parents. Let’s return to public prayers of dependence on the Lord and private prayers of repentance from sin. Without God’s blessing a country creeps into moral chaos, an economic meltdown and institutional irrelevance. But, with God’s blessing a country thrives on trust in Him. We desperately need to stay bless-able before the Lord.

    If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

    Prayer: Am I a citizen who unashamedly represents Christ in my community? Do I pray with persistence and humility for repentance among God’s people?

    Related Readings: Exodus 19:5-6; Psalm 144:15; Romans 12:14-15; 1 Peter 2:9

    Post/Tweet today: Countries founded on Christ are blessed if they continue with Christ. #foundingfaith

    © 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

  • I Didn't Sign up for This

    Posted on July 3, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good ..." Genesis 50:20a (NLT)

    "I didn't sign up for this!" my friend moaned as we reviewed the printed class schedules we'd just picked up in the school office.

    While I had gotten all my desired classes, she had been assigned one she had absolutely no interest in taking. She couldn't imagine spending four months stuck in a classroom studying something she disliked.

    I tried to empathize, but truthfully I felt she was whining about a very minor issue. Her life, in my estimation, was absolutely fantastic. She came from a well-to-do family. Her parents had been happily married for over 25 years. She had a big extended family and fun get-togethers. She had straight teeth and a nearly-new car.

    I, on the other hand, came from a family rocked by divorce and financial struggles. I had only one brother with whom I didn't get along. My car was old and ugly. My teeth needed braces, but the funds had never been available.

    Hearing her complain about her schedule started my descent into self-pity as I compared my circumstances to hers.

    The more I thought about the unfairness of my life, I reached the same conclusion she had when she spied that unwanted class: "I didn't sign up for this!"

    My friend and I both felt stuck. However, our situations weren't life-threatening. They were issues we could work to change. We could learn the lessons God had for us by not always having a perfect life. And if truly unable to change parts of our circumstances, we could still change our attitudes.

    A young man in Scripture, Joseph, also found himself smack dab in a heap of hassles and difficult situations he never signed up for. His jealous brothers sold him into slavery. He was whisked away to live in a foreign land. To top it off, he was falsely accused of raping his master's wife even though he tried his best to stay away from her. He even wound up in prison.

    These unjust circumstances could have had him complaining, "I didn't sign up for this!" He could have retaliated against those who had caused his turmoil. But he didn't.

    Joseph maintained a God-fearing, God-honoring attitude throughout his ordeals, even as a slave with no freedom in sight.

    At the end of his life we get a glimpse into his continual Christ-like behavior. He'd risen from slave to governor of Egypt through his discernment and wisdom. When his brothers came to buy grain during a famine from the Egyptian authorities, they were shocked to see their younger brother—long thought dead—sitting in a position of power. They feared he would retaliate for the cruel things they did to him, but Joseph's response? "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good ..." (Genesis 50:20a).

    Joseph refused to let life's hard knocks knock him off course, preventing him from living a life that pleased God. He believed in a God Who works all things together for good. By recognizing God's redemption of horrific circumstances, he found true spiritual freedom from self-pity, anger and retaliation. Instead he characterized what God wants of us in Micah 6:8b, "And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?" (NAS).

    Today when I am tempted to whine as I compare my life with someone I perceive has an easier one, I remember Joseph, the slave-by-force. I want to emulate his attitude, be spiritually free, and walk in the ways of God.

    It also prompts me to remember that today forced slavery still exists; women and children are forced into the sex-trafficking trade every day. These precious ones sit in atrocious circumstances due to no fault or choice of their own.

    We enjoy simple freedoms they never get to experience. Unless ... we band together, purposing to do something about this awful practice. Could we dare to get our eyes off of our sometimes minor problems and spend time doing justice, acting kindly and humbly walking with God to help free these slaves?

    No matter our circumstances, it's never too late to be free. Our God-honoring attitude that comes from a shift in perspective can help us find spiritual freedom. And our intentional actions can help others imprisoned in slavery find freedom, physically, spiritually and emotionally.

    Dear Lord, help me take my eyes off of my circumstances and fix them solely upon You and Your plan so I can find true spiritual freedom and offer freedom to others. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Priceless: A Novel on the Edge of the World by Tom Davis

     

     

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    When you can't change the circumstances, how might you change your attitude, bringing it in line with Scripture?

    Power Verse:
    Romans 8:28, "We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose." (HCSB)

    © 2013 by Karen Ehman. 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 Genesis

  • Cultural Christianity

    Posted on July 2, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    She [Lydia] was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. Acts 16:14-15

    Cultural Christianity has a form of godliness but no faith in Christ. There is a resemblance to righteousness, but not an authentic heart change. Because the culture may understand the tenets of Christianity, a citizen may think their birthright into that society makes them a Christian. However, understanding without conversion is just head knowledge. Familiarity does breed contempt where cultural Christianity replaces personal faith with a general "feel good" faith.

    Yes, there are those like Lydia who may even worship God but are worshiping as an unsaved sinner, not as a saint. As Paul taught, she came under conviction from the Holy Spirit to believe in and accept the resurrected Christ into her life. Her baptism was an outward confession of her inward conversion to Jesus Christ. Conversion Christianity is a person who came to the end of themselves and confessed their need for Jesus as Savior. Transformation is from the inside out.

    Assuredly, I [Jesus] say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3, NKJV

    Have you been genuinely converted to Christ? Have you humbled your heart like a little child and embraced Jesus Christ as the resurrected Lord and Savior of your life? Your individual conversion to Christ is a significant source of strength for your church, community and family. You become “salt and light” for a society in search of its soul. Preachers, lawyers, judges, students, mechanics, coaches, teachers, homemakers, executives, artists and athletes who love Jesus begin to influence friends for Jesus. Converted Christians change the culture for Christ.

    Cultural Christians blend into the culture. Converted Christians influence the culture. The apron strings of your parents' faith can not make you right with Almighty God. Your beliefs cannot be a barnacle on the cruise ship of someone else’s conversion. Personal conversion is your only qualifier for heaven after death and abundant life on earth. Cultural Christians are only an imitation of real intimacy and salvation in Jesus. Repent therefore and be converted to Christ.

    Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19, NKJV

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me out of the comfort of cultural Christianity to the transforming power of being an authentic convert of Christ.

    Related Readings: Psalm 51:13; Romans 16:6; Acts 9:1-6, 15:3; 1 Timothy 3:6

    Post/Tweet today: Your beliefs cannot be a barnacle on the cruise ship of someone else’s conversion. #personalsalvation

    © 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

  • A Gentle Touch

    Posted on July 2, 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, 'I am willing; be cleansed'" Mark 1:41 (NASB)

    The labor and delivery of my second child was fast. In fact, within two hours after the first inkling of pain, I was in the hospital being prepped for delivery. The intense pain surprised and overwhelmed me. Because of the rapid progression, I had no pain relief.

    With my husband's hand squeezed in my left one, I looked into the face of the young nurse standing at my right, coaching me through the delivery. After an excruciating contraction, I asked, "Will you hold my hand?" She smiled and grabbed hold of my right hand while another wave of pain radiated through my body.

    It sounded pitiful and needy to ask someone to hold my hand, but at that moment I needed her strength.

    There have been other times I've needed to hold someone's hand. The first time I went snorkeling, I thought I was going to pass out I was hyperventilating so badly. I held my husband's hand on my left and my son's hand on my right until I could control my breathing and enjoy the incredible sights.

    Hiking up Angel's Landing in Zion National Park, I held someone's hand when I wasn't grasping on to rocks.

    I've held my mother's hand and my sisters' hands as we've walked through the pain of losing loved ones.

    There's something about physical touch that brings comfort and stability in an uncertain world. The New Testament is filled with stories of Jesus touching those around Him. He laid His hands on women who had been scorned, children who were dancing at His feet and lepers ashamed of their faces.

    In this world of virtual relationships, conversations managed via electronic devices and fear of inappropriate touch, I wonder if we are losing our physical connections to each other. And yet God designed us to need touch. In fact, it is critical to our health-both emotional and physical. Babies need touch for their brains to develop and children need touch for their emotions to develop. Experts say appropriate touch has a profound effect on the brain's programming and re-programming.

    Perhaps it's time to become more intentional about offering loving and appropriate touch to others. We all need it, but often find it's awkward to accept and offer. My immediate family is very comfortable with touch, as my children have grown up with lots of physical affection. But I have to be intentional about reaching out to others in gentle and creative ways.

    I have discovered reading the New Testament that the first believers were very affectionate with each other. In fact, at the end of Acts 20, we read that all the believers embraced and kissed Paul as he was leaving for a journey. They were also encouraged to greet each other with a holy kiss.

    While I realize not everyone is ready to be touched with such intimacy, I am challenged to bring healthy touch into my relationships in greater measure. Whether it's a hug, pat on the head, stroke on the arm, or a holy kiss, touch is needed in our society. Maybe if we brought more healthy touch into our relationships, people wouldn't be driven to seek it in inappropriate ways.

    For whatever reason, God designed us to need the physical touch of others. The next time you are at church, a family get-together or out with friends, challenge yourself to offer healthy touch to two or three people, especially those seniors in your midst. Become the person who offers a hug, rather than waiting for one.

    Dear Lord, I know You designed us to need the touch of other people. It's not always easy to admit we need someone to hold our hand, or give us a hug. Help me to be more aware of the needs of those around me and to offer gentle touch in natural ways. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Study different Scriptures where Jesus reached out and touched someone in the NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women. We've sprinkled 366 devotions, written by our team, throughout this Bible to help encourage you.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What are some reasons you refrain from offering a gentle touch to others?

    How can you emulate Jesus' care for others, as seen in Scripture?

    Power Verses:
    Matthew 19:14-15, "But Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.' And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left." (NLT)

    1 Peter 5:14, "Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ." (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 Mark

  • Consumer Christianity

    Posted on July 1, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Then he [Jesus] said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23

    Consumer Christianity is about me: what I receive from my experience with God, what I gain in the worship service, what I learn from the Pastor’s sermon, how I will be blessed because I attended church. Consumer Christianity is a receive, not a give mentality. If I am not intentional, I can drift into a totally selfish scenario regarding my expectations in my spiritual life. I place my needs above the needs of everyone else and I leverage my relationship with the Lord for myself.

    However, Jesus describes His followers as cross carriers, not consumers. He said the role of His disciple is death to self and life for Him. Christ meets the needs of cross bearers. For example, in the process of pointing others to Jesus our need for significance is met. We worship Him in the glory of His grandeur and experience peace. Cross carrying Christianity means what we learn in Bible study, the Holy Spirit applies to our hearts. His truth transforms us into His likeness.

    Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is. Romans 12:1-2

    Our churches need to guard against creating a consumer Christianity culture. Relationship with Christ is a covenant. Salvation is free, but discipleship is costly. Our trust in Jesus requires our letting go of our trust in anything else. Our confession and contrition over sin longs to grow in the grace and holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our repentance turns from old selfish thinking and replaces it with new selfless thinking. Cross carrying churches create cross carrying Christians.

    Furthermore, our ability to follow Christ is sustained by grace through faith. Grace governs our heart in humility. Faith feeds our mind in hope. We follow hard after Jesus when we have been with Jesus. It is in our intimate moments of prayer that the Holy Spirit gives us the spiritual energy to engage the world with truth and grace. Therefore, be a cross carrying Christian who challenges consumer Christians to engage in discipleship. Self denial frees us to follow Jesus!

    Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.
    1 Peter 2:16

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, create in me a cross carrying heart and not a consumer Christian heart.

    Related Readings: Leviticus 16:31; Philippians 1:21; Galatians 5:13; Hebrews 9:15

    Post/Tweet today: Self denial frees us to follow Jesus. #freedominJesus

    © 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

  • How to Survive the Stress of Summer

    Posted on July 1, 2013 by Tracie Miles

    Tracie Miles

    The threat of summer craziness was becoming a reality. I settled in a chair at my kitchen table, surrounded by the clutter of information sheets regarding work obligations, sports practices, mission trips and church activities. Pulling out my family calendar, I mapped out the summer months.

    After writing down all our commitments, I stared at the endless scribbles etched across practically every date. We had only one free week during the entire summer. With a heavy sigh and swirling thoughts, I felt a twinge of stress and anxiety slowly rising up in my chest.

    I couldn't help but wonder, isn't summer supposed to be footloose and fancy-free? What happened to sleeping in and time to rest and unwind? Are relaxing summer days merely a thing of the past?

    Now, it seems like the summer can instead be filled with days when the kids are bored and whiny, camps get cancelled, work interferes with vacation plans, the AC goes out, and traffic is horrendous. Days when we lose our patience, harbor a bad attitude, and have had quite enough of family time. Days when we feel powerless against the exhaustion of our busy schedule and stress rules the roost.

    It may seem that easy summers are long gone. However, we can make it through the hectic days and stay at peace despite the chaos. In Psalm 29:7 God promises He will help with whatever we face: "The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace."

    There are several keys to God's peace overriding the mayhem. When we remember to focus on God's sweet goodness, instead of all the scribbles on our calendar, we can be proactive in managing summertime. We can receive God's calm, even in a busy and sometimes stressful time of the year. Here are some specific ways to do so:

    Focusing on all the good things God has done for us, instead of the challenges of summer.

    Remaining calm and praying for God's peace when the demands of family and life seem overwhelming.

    Asking God to give us rest and strength when we begin to feel stretched thin and worn out.

    We can also take some additional steps to keep summer stress at bay. Such as:

    Take daily mini-vacations. Try to set aside at least five minutes per hour to stretch and take a break.

    When you take days off from your work or daily routine, unplug completely—meaning no phone or emails.

    Keep a checklist or a detailed calendar of all scheduled activities.

    Do something for yourself once a week: take a bubble bath, read a good book, spend time outdoors or take a nap.

    Busyness and stress can heat up quicker than the summer sun. But it is possible to stay cool on the inside. Whether we are low in spirit or low in energy, depending on God and seeking a daily infusion of His strength and peace can ensure a less stressful summer.

    Dear Jesus, sometimes I allow the chaos of summer to distract me from spending time with You. I neglect to claim Your peace and allow myself to get bogged down with the stressors of the season. I get frustrated with my children, rather than treasuring this time with them. Help me to focus on You when I begin to feel overcommitted and to seek Your peace with each rising sun. In Your Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace in Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles

    I Used to Be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer

    Reflect and Respond:
    Do the stressors of summer zap your strength and rob you of your joy and peace in Christ?

    What can you do differently this summer than you have done in the past to prevent summer stress?

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 13:6, "I've thrown myself headlong into your arms—I'm celebrating your rescue. I'm singing at the top of my lungs, I'm so full of answered prayers." (MSG)

    Proverbs 8:30, "Then I was constantly at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Live in the Moment

    Posted on June 30, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    For the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.”    Luke 1:49

     

    Master living in the moment. By God’s grace, it can be done. Mary did it. She could have missed the Mighty One working in her presence in the present, but she didn’t. She took the time to trust God with an impossible outcome. Birthing a baby conceived by the Holy Spirit challenged her categories. It forced her to ponder in the present. She chose to be with her heavenly Father in the here and now. Nothing would keep her from living with  and for the Lord in this defining moment.

     

    She could have lived in the past, worried over the rampant rumors of her perceived unfaithfulness. She was pregnant out of wedlock. People did not understand a pregnancy created by God, without a man. She could have lived in the future, paralyzed by fear over what the human father of her child might do. He might have deserted her. He might have divorced her. He might have denied her. But when all was said and done, she refrained from living in the past or the present. She chose to live in the moment.

     

    Mary lived in the moment because she trusted her Lord with issues out of her control. She could not control what other people thought or what other people might do. Therefore, she drank in the present like a tall glass of homemade lemonade on a hot summer day. Living in the moment fed her faith and satisfied her soul. Her son, Jesus, would save the people from their sins, and He would also save her. She captured His significance, and Christ captured her. He is with you in the moment too, so you can live in the moment.

     

    Living in the moment is what the Lord longs for you to do. It’s where He does His best work. He knows that living in the moment engages you with His will, as it is lived out in the present. So if you are with your children, be with them. Laugh with them, cry with them, listen to them, play with them, and pray for them. Lock eyes with your little ones and be with them. Turn off your mind and heart and keep them from running ahead to other issues, problems, and people. These distractions will still be standing in line for your attention when you get back to work. Value living in the moment, and you will live in the moment; for you do what you think is important.

     

    Technology was made for man, not man for technology. So turn off your phone, shut down the computer, and most important, discipline your mind to be present. Bend your mind to listen well and honor others with your purposeful presence. Your undivided attention in the moment says you love and care. Trust God with all the impossible outcomes that await you. You have this one moment and then it is gone forever. So be engaged today and be with the ones you love. Live in the moment, and other things will take care of themselves. Do this one thing, and you will live the life God intended for you. Master living in the moment with the discipline and love of your Master. Seize the moment for your Savior, for other people, and for yourself.

     

    Post/Tweet: Bend your mind to listen well and honor others with your engaged presence. #inthemoment

    © 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

  • God’s Departure

    Posted on June 29, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    But he did not know that the Lord had left him” (Judges 16:20).

     

    God will never leave the follower of Jesus Christ, but His blessing, favor, and power can. In fact, His favor can leave you, while you are totally unaware of your loss. This is scary. To think that I can go through life believing I am okay with God when, in reality, I totally miss Him is a precarious position in which to live. It is lonely and dangerous to live outside the favor of God, and sometimes it leads to destruction.

     

    Relationships, reputations, and finances can be obliterated when we choose to go our way and not God’s way. Do not think you can ignore your spouse and children and think things are still okay with God. Exposure to online pornographic sites does not enhance God’s power in your life. Seething anger and unresolved resentment do not cultivate a spirit of understanding God’s wisdom and perspective; rather, they hinder your prayers. So how can you know if you are living with God’s blessing, favor, and power or without it?

     

    First of all, be honest with yourself. Are you running from God or toward God? Are you who He wants you to be, or are you masquerading, trying to be someone else? Is your anger out of bounds and out of control, or are you under the influence and forgiveness of the Holy Spirit? These are important questions for us to continually ask ourselves.

     

    Then, it is important to be honest with others. We all have blind spots that stunt our spiritual growth. Look to others who truly love you, who can help you identify these sinful tendencies, and who will hold you accountable not to go there. Sin exposed to the light will dry up like a red worm on a hot July sidewalk, while sin concealed in the dark will flourish like rank mildew and mold in a cold, moist, infected cellar.

     

    We do better when others are watching. It is better to be humbled before a small group that knows and loves us than to be humiliated before the masses who do not know us well or care as deeply. Lastly, remember your commitments to Christ, and fulfill them by His grace. Do not stray from your basic discipline of learning and applying God’s Word and prayer. Wake up. Do not miss Him. His favor may have already left.

     

    Prayer: How do I best stay accountable to God and man? Am I experiencing the favor and blessing of the Lord? If not, what is hindering me?

     

    Related Readings: Matthew 25:1–13; Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 3:7

     

    Post/Tweet: Sin exposed to the Lord’s light will dry up like a red worm on a hot July sidewalk. #ligthoftheLord

    © 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 Judges

  • Friend of God

    Posted on June 28, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    "And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.” James 2:23

     

    What does it mean to be a friend of God's? It’s like a child who becomes an adult and begins to relate to their dad or mom like a friend, but they still treat them with honor and respect. So it is with your heavenly Father—in the infant stages of faith you cannot fathom friendship until you mature through the elementary applications of: submission to God, trust in God, obedience to God, fear of God, and love of God and people.

     

    Once we relate to our heavenly Father in holy surrender, dependence, and belief we are in a position to appreciate engaging Him as a friend. But this friend relationship cannot bypass His Lordship in our lives. Candidates for friendship with God have to first travel down the path of perseverance, brokenness and character development. Friendship comes with a history of faithful service to Jesus;  not with a flippant attitude but one of awe.

     

    “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). Jesus extends friendship to His faithful disciples.

     

    Do you enjoy this level of intimacy with Jesus? Is your friendship with Him a healthy mixture of laughter and joy, weeping and grief, encouragement and accountability and confession and forgiveness? Friendship with Jesus means access to grace and truth that’s revealed in His word. Your qualification for friendship has the benefit of His blessing.

     

    When you are known as a friend of God you can be assured you will be labeled as an enemy of evil. FOG’s cannot be friends with both the world and heaven. There is a fidelity to faith and following the Lord that comes with friendship. It is an honor and privilege not to be taken lightly—indeed; it gives us credibility in our Christian life.

     

    “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

     

    Happy and content are those who can genuinely say they are a friend of God. Has your faith grown to this level of intimacy and friendship? Your heavenly friendship is best nurtured by humble submission to God. It grows as you relax in His presence and really learn to enjoy being with Him, listening to His heart and learning what it means to be a loving friend. Friends of God look forward to being with and blessed by their best friend.

     

    “Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house…” (Job 29:4).

     

    Prayer: Am I intentional in pursing a friendship with my heavenly Father?

     

    Related Readings: Exodus 33:11; 2 Chronicles 20:7; Luke 5:20, 34; 12:4-5

     

    Post/Tweet today: When you are known as a friend of God, you’ll be labeled an enemy of evil. #friendofGod

    © 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 James

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