• ABOUT
    Did you know?
    All of our earnings go to Christian charities.
    Click to learn more about us!
  • SHOP
    View the latest sales and promotions going on now!
    When you shop, you give.
  • GIVE
    See our latest Giving Challenge.
  • GROW
    Our blog shares devotionals, interviews, contests & more—all to help you grow in your faith.

  • Read the Bible in One Year

Daily Devotion

  • Quiet My Soul

    Posted on August 16, 2013 by Wendy Pope

    Wendy

    "But I have stilled and quieted my soul." Psalm 131:2a (NIV 1984)

    I'm a talker ... I always have been. When report cards came home, my parents never expected anything better than a C beside the word "conduct." One of my elementary school teachers politely called me "very social." Most were more blunt: "Wendy talks too much. She could learn more if she would talk less."

    Unfortunately, old habits die hard. I brought this trait of talking too much into the time I set aside each day to spend alone with God. I often fill my "quiet time" with my words ... lots and lots of words. I wonder if sometimes the Father looks to the Son and says, "I can't get a word in edge-wise with this girl! She could learn more if she would talk less."

    No, silence wasn't easy for this girl who likes to gab. Rather than waiting for God to speak to me, I wanted to tell Him what I thought would be good solutions to my problems. To-do lists ran through my head, instead of peace and quiet. It was easy to go on and on about the dusty shelves and piles of toys. But sit and listen? That felt unnatural, so I resisted and kept talking.

    I shared this uneasiness with God, knowing silence and stillness were things I needed to practice. During these times I felt God's gentle encouragement: Shhh ... be still. It's okay to be silent. You don't have to say a word.

    God was clearly trying to teach me something. His direction to be quiet was about more than resting my mouth-it was about resting my heart. I understood this when I read Psalm 131:2, "But I have stilled and quieted my soul." God wanted me to understand true rest ... His rest.

    As with anything, practice makes perfect. With great intention, I slowed my 90-mile-an-hour thoughts and parked them during my alone time with the Lord. Sometimes this required me writing out my to-do list prior to our time together. Or re-adjusting my priorities. Vacuuming was not as important as listening to God. Many times my thoughts would rev up, and I'd be talking without even realizing it! But I'd rein them back in and start over.

    My spirit felt renewed and at peace. In silence and stillness, I sensed God's direction for my day, peace for my circumstances and the soul-rest I needed.

    As we fill the reservoirs of our souls with true refreshment from God, we learn to relax as we experience real peace and rest that only comes from the silence and stillness of being with Him. We carry this refreshment with us as we face the challenges of our day.

    Do you have the gift of gab like me? Do you find it challenging to sit quietly with God? Ask Him to help you practice and enjoy silence and stillness. Your soul will find refreshing peace. God's rest is exactly what our restless souls need.

    Dear Lord, my soul is having a hard time being still. I lay down my resistance to silence and ask for your help to spend time in silence with You every day. I praise You in advance for what You are going to say to me in the silence. I thank You for the rest only You can give. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst and Hope TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    What keeps you from silencing your soul during quiet times with God?

    For five days spend five minutes in silence with God. Open the time of silence by repeating today's key verse, "But I have stilled and quieted my soul" (Psalm 131:2a). Keep a journal of your time with Him.

    Power Verses:
    Matthew 11:28-30, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." (MSG)

    Ecclesiastes 3:7b, "... a time to be silent and a time to speak." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Honor Aging Parents

    Posted on August 15, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise. Ephesians 6:2

    Aging parents are a gift from Almighty God. How many children have the opportunity to grow old with their mom and dad? Some see disease or an accident snatch away their mother or father before they become elderly. It is a blessing to support those who may have supported us over the years. To serve and honor our parents is to serve and honor Jesus. Yes, caring for them is a picture to a lost world of how our Heavenly Father cares for us. Aging parents are God’s excuse to love.

    How can we help our aging parents in a way that honors them? What if they don’t want assistance, but find themselves in a very needy situation? Build up relational equity with your mother and father before their bodies begin to break down. Don’t wait until they really slow down, before you start your service to them. Dignify the aging process by honoring them along the way. They’ll feel more comfortable as you continue your care, as mentally they are less aware.

    Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:32

    Receive whatever level of engagement your loved ones allow. You may have total access to their finances, if so seek to co-manage their money with them. They may invite you into the inner sanctuary of their soul for spiritual support, do so with humble prayers, Bible reading and church attendance, if they are able. Perhaps you join your mom and dad in their conversations with their physician. Ask questions as their advocate. Or, maybe they move in with you for a season.

    Most of all pray aggressively for your aging parents. Pray for them to feel the caring comfort of Christ in their heart and His peace in their mind. Pray for them to come to know Jesus in a personal relationship of trust in His death and resurrection for their salvation. Pray for opportunities for you to love them to the Lord and to share the gospel. Pray for yourself to patiently model the grace of God. Aging parents are not about our convenience, but their honor.

    Love is patient. 1 Corinthians 13:4

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me favor with my parents to love and honor them as You do.

    Related Readings: Malachi 1:6;  Matthew 15:5-7; Romans 13:7; 1 Timothy 5:1-2; Titus 2:2-3

    Post/Tweet today: Aging parents are not about our convenience, but their honor. #honoragingparents

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • When My Happy Gets Bumped

    Posted on August 15, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:11-12 (NIV)

    Most days, I wake up fairly happy. It's not like I wake up in a mood for a party but generally I'm not grumpy when I arise. I wake up and things seem pretty good, level and fresh with possibilities. And then inevitably something will bump into my happy.

    An early morning meltdown by one of my people. It's amazing what a bad hair day can do to a teenager's attitude.

    Or a forgotten something for school. And one of my people wants their irresponsibility to suddenly become my emergency.

    Or an email from somebody who clearly gets pleasure from trying to bring others down.

    Or me misjudging the time and suddenly everything is rushed, hurried and stressful.

    Or my husband, Art, lowering the thermostat in the house to 68 degrees and I can't stop shivering until the temperature hovers closer to 72. It's amazing how much difference four degrees makes.

    Things happen. Things that bump into my happy. And suddenly I'm a little off-kilter and little less nice.

    Can you relate?

    Well, I'm learning something about a little mental perspective I need to have when things bump into my happy. In that moment, Satan is scheming to have me help him out. If he can just get me jostled to the point where I react out of anger, it's like lighting a spark near a puddle of gasoline.

    Even the smallest spark can ignite quite a fire. A fire that will spread and feel much bigger than what the situation ever should have been.

    Take the temperature discussion for example.

    It should be just a simple discussion about the thermostat. But, add a little anger and suddenly things in my brain escalate to the point where I've just about convinced myself Art is completely insensitive and couldn't care less about me.

    Is that true? Of course not. He just likes to sit in his house without sweating. Surely, we could find a compromise with the temperature or I could go put on some socks and a sweatshirt.

    Instead, when he bumps my happy, a "growth opportunity" ensues that leaves us both feeling a little burned.

    In other words, I play right into Satan's scheme and help him out. Remember, Satan's very name means one who casts something between two, causing a separation. Be it a temperature issue, tight finances, a misunderstood statement or one of the millions of little things that can bump our happy ... we have a choice.

    We can choose to play into Satan's schemes and enable his attempts to separate us from God's best.

    Or, we can choose to fight for our relationships and against Satan's divisive attempts.

    When I think about it in these terms, it helps me identify the real enemy.

    My real enemy isn't any of the people who bump my happy. My real enemy is the one who tries with all his might to get me to jump into a grumpy mood and help him tear down all that I love.

    Knowing I need a strategy against these attacks, I turn to the wisdom found in Ephesians 6:11, "Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."

    You better back up and back off Satan. I'm on to your schemes. You are my enemy, not people. And now I have a totally new game plan for when my happy gets bumped. Starting with finding just the right pair of socks and a sweatshirt to wear in the ice cave.

    Dear Lord, sometimes my happy gets bumped and my emotions get the best of me. Help me to react in a way that's honoring to You instead of reacting in a way that will fuel Satan's agenda. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst and Hope TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    What bumps into your happy and sends you off kilter?

    Could this realization that it's not just you feeling jostled, but a scheme of Satan's to separate, give you a different perspective?

    Power Verse:
    James 4:7, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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

  • When Helping Hurts

    Posted on August 14, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Jeremiah 18:4

    Those who follow Jesus are shaped by the hands of their Heavenly Father. He is a perfect potter who takes a cracked pot marred by sin and forms it into a precious pot of redemption. It becomes precious because the fingerprints of God mold the moist clay of surrender into a form that seems best to Him. His best is beautiful. The rough edges of rejection are smoothed over by the Lord’s sweet acceptance. The air of insecurity is worked out and replaced by the breath of God’s grace.

    Our loving Savior and Lord uses fiery trials to temper our trust in Him. The heat of heart break, breaks our will to mold it into His will. Weepy eyes look to the Lord for relief and refuge. We are shaped and made secure by Christ during fiery trials, and like the three Hebrew children we come forth from the purging flames stronger in the faith. Yes, we may momentarily lose our happy face when challenges occur, but we can count it pure joy for our lesson in perseverance.

    Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1:2-3

    Furthermore, it is important we not obstruct the work of the Holy Spirit in the unformed faith of those developing on the potter's wheel of trust. Helping hurts if we temporarily rescue another from a trial meant to make them more dependent on the Lord and not codependent on us. Our benevolent efforts may make us feel better, but backfire by prolonging a backslidden lifestyle. God’s growth process removes impurities and replaces them with His fired glaze of grace.

    Helping hurts when short sighted sympathy trumps eternal empathy. Short sighted sympathy wants to fix a person or problem before a prayerful problem solving process is employed while eternally motivated empathy takes into account that Almighty God is at work all around us to accomplish His purposes. Thus the best remedy may be not to  offer a remedy, but to wait on the Lord to work out His outcomes. We are called to help, only if it helps bring glory to God!

    If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it. Daniel 3:17

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to help others only when it furthers your purpose and plan.

    Related Readings: Psalm 22:11, 30:2, 54:4; Isaiah 30:1-3; Matthew 15:25; Philippians 2:29-30

    Post/Tweet today: Helping hurts if we rescue another from a trial meant to make them more dependent on the Lord. #whenhelpinghurts

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • I Don't Like Her

    Posted on August 14, 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer

    Samantha

    "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3 (NIV 1984)

    Guns were loaded. Places taken. The showdown had begun. Her at one end of the table; me at the other. My plate a smoking gun; lima beans my bullets.

    I wish I could say I was a two-year-old toddler, throwing a tantrum. Instead, I'm embarrassed to admit I was a 25-year-old adult, sticking it to my then-boyfriend's mom; a woman I couldn't stand. Neither of us was backing down. Meeting her stealthy gaze, I methodically slid one lima bean after another to the side of my plate. I would not take one bite of her potpie until it was clear of the offending veggies.

    Oh, it's not that I dislike lima beans. On the contrary. What I didn't like was her.

    Her, my boyfriend's mother. Clinging tightly to her matronly apron strings. Sitting at the head of his table. Wedging herself between us. Serving his favorite meal.

    Me, her son's girlfriend. Building bonds. Sitting by his side. Finding my place between mother and son. Resenting her home-cooked food.

    My own mother's voice grew loud in my head with each lima bean I pushed aside. I could just hear her reprimand: it doesn't matter what she's done, you eat the limas, Sam. I held my challenger's stare as I flicked another bean and ignored what I knew my mom would say: put down your disdain and put her above yourself, Samantha.

    With determined purpose, I jabbed the last lima. Without a word I said it all: I will not honor your meal ... your feelings ... you. My mom's voice shook my inner core. Humility, Samantha Elaine!!

    After dishes were washed and guns put away, another voice resonated. I sensed the Lord speak gently, yet firmly. Why did you feel the need to battle your pride, and her, in having to be number one in your boyfriend's life? This would have been the perfect opportunity to "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" (Phil. 2:3).

    I was ready with my rebuttal. She's controlling and invasive. She doesn't respect me or my relationship with her son. She's impossible to get along with, much less honor. I don't like her!

    As far as I was concerned, she was the enemy, and it was my duty to draw the battle lines. Yet I knew my actions should not be determined by hers. After all, she had worked hard on that dinner. She was my boyfriend's mom. And most importantly, she was my sister in Christ.

    I knew God called me to be humble toward her. Not only that, but to go above-by eating (all) of her meal, and beyond-by complimenting her dish (it actually was tasty). It would have been a small thing, but it would have been the right thing ... and the God thing.

    Though my relationship with my boyfriend has since ended, my relationship with humility continues to grow. It may be through watching a television show that bores me but my friend enjoys it. Or speaking kindly when I'm frustrated, praying for someone who has offended me or taking a back seat when I want to be first.

    When my finger is on the trigger of my pride, I keep in mind that by being humble, I'm obeying God, which ultimately honors Him. This truth gives me the grace I need to tuck my guns away and ask, "May I please have seconds?"

    Dear Lord, thanks for being the best example of humility and honor. Please give me the grace to honor others, especially those who I find hard to respect. Thanks for Your Word that reminds me to put others first. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst and Hope TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    Who do you struggle to be humble toward? Why?

    Pray about having an honest conversation with that person. If you're not able to, determine now how you will react in a honoring manner the next time you interact.

    Power Verses:
    Romans 12:10, "Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." (ESV)

    Colossians 3:12-13a, "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another ..." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer. All rights reserved.

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

  • Always Be Thankful

    Posted on August 13, 2013 by Family Christian

    Boyd

    Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

    Gratitude to God is the language of those who love the Lord. Because they love the Lord, they trust the Lord. Because they trust the Lord, they thank the Lord...always. Thankfulness to our Heavenly Father goes directly to His heart. Like a valuable package sent overnight express, gratitude reaches God immediately and unimpeded. The Lord longs to hear prayers of thanksgiving from His children who totally trust in Him. Yes, trust gives thanks for everything.

    Are you able, by the Holy Spirit’s power to offer thanks quickly and continually after you enter into an adverse situation? It’s much easier to thank the Lord for the good things that come our way, but its more difficult to be grateful when things seem unfair. Thus, we immediately shift our thinking to thankfulness when our flesh wants to flirt with grumbling. The quicker we close the gap from initial offense to forgiveness and thanks, the quicker we resume our walk in the Spirit.

    Settle matters quickly with your adversary. Matthew 5:25

    When your feelings are hurt, thank God for the hurt Christ went through to heal your heart. When you are passed over for a promotion, thank God for Christ’s Passover for your sin. When you see evil interrupt your world, thank God for sending His righteous son to redeem the world. When a child is disobedient, thank God for Christ Jesus who learned obedience through His suffering. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered. Hebrews 5:8

    Your capacity for thankfulness directly relates to your capacity for joy. A happy heart is a grateful heart. Ultimately find joy in Jesus and in thanksgiving to the Lord for your eternal home in heaven. Furthermore, thank God for your enemy who causes you to engage Christ in prayer for your adversary. Satan steams when he sees your praise to God in the middle of experiencing a serious problem. A mark of mature faith is an ever grateful heart. Yes, learn to thank the Lord for everything and you will grow to not need anything but Him. Trust in God always thanks God!

    I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 1 Timothy 1:12

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my trust to thank you for everything in Jesus name.

    Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 23:30 Daniel 2:23; 1Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:13

    Post/Tweet today: Learn to thank the Lord for everything and you will grow to not need anything but Him. #alwaysbethankful

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Why Bother?

    Posted on August 13, 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis

    "Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.'" John 6:68-69 (NIV)

    If the following two statements were true, which would cause you the most anxiety?

    1. You have no money.
    2. God is not real.

    When my pastor asked that question during a sermon on finances, my heart did a funny jump. God not real? Just the thought of it made me feel sick. Kind of like when you wake up from one of those eerily-real nightmares and have to convince yourself it was only a dream.

    The sermon continued, but the question haunted me. And I wondered what other people thought. Which statement made them queasy?

    A few days later, I posed the question to a young college student I know. He paused before answering, then said: "If the second were true, it would make my life a lot easier."

    His honesty touched me deeply. But my heart hurt over the reality of his world. My young friend was raised a Christian, and I knew it was hard for him to hold to his beliefs with so many temptations facing him. I wondered how many times he came close to giving up his faith. Did he ever think, Why bother?

    Oh, how I longed to tell him all the reasons why Jesus was worth everything he had to give up. But it wasn't the right time. In that honest moment, it was right to let him know I understood the hardship of following Jesus. I'd been where he was.

    Days later that conversation continued to challenge me. My young friend's faith was defined by rules he had to obey. And I wondered if I had represented Jesus to him in that way. Did people watching my life see Christianity as a list of don'ts, can'ts and won'ts? Did they not see the joy? The thought of it made me want to change. Immediately.

    My desire is to represent Jesus as compelling, intriguing and appealing. I want God's kindness to shine through me rather than my unkind judgment. After all, that's what drew people to Jesus.

    His compassion, generosity and love caused men and women in the New Testament to willingly walk away from careers, reputations, possessions and power. People gave up everything to gladly and joyfully follow Jesus. In the face of persecution. In spite of hardship. Disregarding their desires for things of this world.

    I came away that day with a commitment. I want to make my life as a Christian so appealing that when people look at me, they see the benefits of following Jesus more than the sacrifices. Oh, there are sacrifices; it would be wrong to portray following Jesus as easy. Following Jesus involves daily choices to set aside my natural self-focused inclinations (with my money, time and emotions) and put God's requests above my own. But this isn't a guilt-driven faith; it's a grace-filled one. That's how I want to represent my Jesus.

    It hit me that I don't want a why-bother faith. I want to live a what-better faith, which is what the Apostle Peter saw when he evaluated his faith.

    A time came when some people decided it was too hard to follow Jesus. Jesus asked His disciples if they wanted to leave too. Peter boldly answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God."

    In other words, what could be better than following Jesus?

    Many people are watching me, starting with my own family. Perhaps I've spent too many years thinking about the rules rather than the benefits. Perhaps I've portrayed faith that really doesn't require much faith ... and therefore little passion or life-change. Thankfully, it's never too late to change.

    Heavenly Father, please forgive me for portraying life following You as a burden. Help me to live in such a way that the joy of following You far outshines the cost. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:


    What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst and Hope TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    When people look at you, what might they think about a life following Jesus? Would it seem joy-filled? Or duty-laden?

    What one thing can you change about your attitude that will make your faith more appealing to others?

    Power Verse:
    Jeremiah 31:3, "The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: 'I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'" (NIV)

    © 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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

  • Heart Secrets

    Posted on August 12, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart? Psalm 44:20-21

    Most all followers of Jesus have harbored secrets in their hearts. Secrets of unseemly deeds done in ignorance or intentionally. Perhaps, like Peter, they walked away from a friend in their deepest hour of despair or like an illusive criminal they carried a secret crime to their grave. If these secrets are not confessed to Christ and renounced in repentant behavior they erode away peace, joy and security. A twisted countenance needs to share its secret with his Savior Jesus Christ.

    Secrets of the heart do not fly under the righteous radar of heaven. God is aware and cares about the conflicts that war within our soul. At our conversion to Christ we renounced our old way of living, but similar to the nuisance of a rebel pack of stray dogs, we are still influenced by rebellious habits that need the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. The flesh may suppress an unhealthy habit for a time, but the Lord knows real time what’s hidden. Holiness exposes secrets.

    This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. Romans 2:16

    Avoid keeping heart secrets from Almighty God (He already knows). Sacrifice on the Lord’s altar of forgiveness any past or present secret life. Rely on the Holy Spirit to align who your Heavenly Father says you are, with who you really are on the inside. Don’t keep heart secrets from those who love and respect you the most. The more transparent you are with your struggles, the more they admire you. Secrets of the heart dissolve  in the face of full disclosure.

    Moreover, heart secrets do not have to be shameful, they can be celebratory. Like Paul, some special friends of God are caught up into the third heaven of intimacy and afterward are unable to put into words their intimate moment. Their inexpressible encounter becomes a spiritual secret shared only with their Savior Jesus. As we seek to know our Lord in secret places, He sustains us in our public service for Him. Thank God for special heart secrets between just the two of you!

    I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Isaiah 45:3

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, expose my heart secrets by Your love and lead me to live in the light of Your righteousness.

    Related Readings: 1 Samuel 16:7; 2 Kings 17:9; Jeremiah 23:24; 2 Corinthians 12:1-12

    Post/Tweet today: The flesh may suppress an unhealthy habit for a time, but the Lord knows real time what’s hidden. #heartsecrets

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • My New Normal

    Posted on August 12, 2013 by Leah Kimenhour

    Leah

    "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17 (NIV)

    Growing up, I never liked change. To be honest, I would try to avoid it if possible. But sometimes that wasn't easy to do.

    I still remember the fear as I made the transition from being homeschooled to attending public high school. My first day as a new student at a new school with new teachers and new classmates was a terrifying experience. The days that followed weren't much better. I'd lie in bed at night and spend hours crafting a plan that would take me back to my old life. My old normal.

    Although I've grown since then, the fear of change can creep back in during certain situations. The unknown taunts me to remain in my comfort zone.

    Recently, I felt it'd be wise to distance myself from a friendship that was a huge part of my life. Out of respect for my friend, I can't go in to the details, but I can say I'd been asked to do things that weren't in line with Scripture. There were too many dangers that threatened to take me away from God if my friend and I remained close. The Lord was tugging at my heart, asking me to step away from this relationship.

    I agonized over that decision. Fear rolled in. We hung out all the time. Talked every day. Ran in the same crowd. My friend was part of my 'normal.' Letting go of this one friend would mean letting go of the normal group of friends we were part of, and not going to the normal places we all hung out. I wanted to convince myself it was okay to stay in this friendship the way it was. After all, it was comfortable. And I really didn't like change.

    But for my own good ... for the good of my relationship with God ... it was time to redefine what 'normal' looked like. This required me to embrace everyday life without the familiarity of my friend. So I stepped out in obedience, despite the uncertainty.

    There were times after making that hard decision when I yearned for my old life, with old friends. I wanted to run from my new normal because there was comfort in what had once been familiar.

    But here's a truth I've learned since my days as the new kid on the block-although my circumstances can change, I have a God who never does. In times of change, I find strength in James 1:17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

    My new normal is a solid place with a foundation rooted in my unchanging God-not in the shifting shadows cast by the fear of change that used to loom over me. The way He's leading me is truly a gift: it is trustworthy and is full of His joy. God's transforming my circumstances and relationships to work for my good and His glory.

    God is faithful. He has blessed me with the gift of life-giving relationships and community that I never would have experienced had I not obeyed Him and stepped outside of my comfort zone.

    And I know that no matter what you're facing, no matter what changes may be coming your way, He can do the same for you. Listen to God's prompting and trust that He has a gift for you too: His faithfulness, hope and encouragement. Embrace your new normal.

    Dear Lord, change and uncertainty can be scary, but I'm choosing to trust You. Help me walk confidently in my new normal, knowing it has been perfectly arranged by You. I love You, Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst and Hope TerKeurst

    Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    Has God been speaking to you about a change that needs to happen in your life?

    Commit to spending time praying, fasting and listening closely for God's instruction. As you enter into a season of change, hold fast to His promises and truths about His unchanging character by memorizing the Power Verses below.

    Power Verses:
    Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (NIV)

    Deuteronomy 32:4, "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he." (NIV)

    Malachi 3:6a, "For I am the Lord, I change not." (KJV)

    © 2013 by Leah Kimenhour. All rights reserved.

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

  • Grandparent’s Blessing

    Posted on August 11, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father. Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”    Genesis 48:9

    God’s gift to grandchildren is their grandparents’ blessing. It is significant for grandsons and granddaughters to receive this grand blessing. Grandchildren are certainly a blessing; who can argue this? Their smiles bless. So does their laughter. Their creative and passionate conversations bless. Their infant coos and twinkling eyes, their honesty and love, their trust and imagination all bless. Grandchildren are a blessing without a whole lot of effort. The minute they showed up, they blessed.  Grandchildren are a grand gift from God, but there is more to the grand blessing of grandchildren. They are created by God to be blessed by their grandparents, so not only are they a blessing to their grandparents, they are to be blessed by their grandparents.

    That blessing is critical to the spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of children. There is a greater family purpose beyond their immediate relationship with mom and dad. This is more easily understood in an agrarian society where the family is close and connected. They are close in proximity and have aligned passions around work, play, home, and church. Grandparents are nearby to bless with kind words and understanding ears. They model good money management and teach their grandchildren everything from how to whittle rough sticks of wood into smooth works of art, to how to eat peanuts from a soft drink bottle. They bless you without your even knowing that you’re being blessed. Therefore, position your family to interact and engage with their grandparents. Visit them often. Invite them over at holidays and on the spur of the moment. Create environments for your children in which they can be blessed by their grandparents. They are not competition, but agents of Almighty God. Do not deny them the opportunity to be blessed and to bless.

    The blessings of confidence, courage, and candor come from being around grandparents who care. The few grandparents who couldn’t care less may eventually come around because God created them to care. Don’t give up on them, but keep praying for their care to awaken from its selfish slumber. Give them a chance, for Christ created grandkids to be objects of their grandparents’ affection and blessing. Encourage your children to visit the home of your parents, and trust God to unleash His blessing through your parents. Their unconditional love makes your child a better son or daughter and you, a better parent.

    Grandparents, bless your grandchildren with a legacy of love for God and people. Do not become the center of attention; instead lead them to fall in love with Jesus. God will live in your grandbabies beyond your life. Bless them with Bible reading and prayer. Bless them with worship at church. Bless them with stories and adventure. Bless them with generosity. Bless them with obedience to God. Bless them with a life worth emulating. Grandchildren are not complete without the blessing of their grandparents. You invest in eternity when you bless your grandchildren.

    The Bible says, “The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old” (Proverbs 20:29).

    Post/Tweet: Create environments for your children in which they can be blessed by their grandparents. #grandparentsblessing

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

Items 681 to 690 of 1551 total

Helping you find, grow, share and celebrate your faith
Who doesn't love free shipping!? At Family Christian, you can qualify TWO ways:

1. To your door (just $50 minimum)*

No coupon required! Simply add $50 worth of merchandise to your cart and select the "Free Shipping" option under "Shipping Method." Easy as pie.

* Valid on merchandise totaling $50 or more before taxes. Please keep in mind this is valid on domestic ground shipping to addresses within the U.S. only, not valid toward international delivery. Additional charges apply for express shipping. Terms subject to change without notice.

2. To your store (no minimum order required!)*

At checkout, select "Ship to your local Family Christian store" and enter your zip code to find our closest location. Not sure if there is a Family Christian nearby? Find your local store now.

* Valid on select merchandise only
Loading... Loading...