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Daily Devotion

  • A Grateful Nation

    Posted on May 27, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    In that day you will say: "Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.” Isaiah 12:4

    A nation born out of the womb of religious liberty has much to thank Almighty God for. We can thank Him that man's tyranny lives oceans away and we are free to worship, vote and treat our fellowman with civility and respect. “With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our fathers; you crushed the peoples and made our fathers flourish” (Psalm 44:2). He is the initiator and sustainer of our nation’s freedom; without the Lord we lose.

     

    A large lump fills our throats with the memory of men and women whose blood saturated the soil of foreign fields to preserve our freedoms. A nation like ours that encourages free enterprise, free speech, free press and free worship comes with a severe sacrifice. When was the last time you thanked the Lord for those on the front lines who risk their lives for your liberty? His blessing remains where gratitude is retained, so thank Him often.

     

    Indeed it is a country with character that positions itself for God’s blessing.  Therefore, don’t just ask God to bless America, but in addition thank Him for already blessing America. “With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD : "He is good; his love to Israel endures forever” (Ezra 3:11a). A grateful nation gives God the glory for His goodness. Out of our national appreciation the world wonders what God can do for them.

     

    So when the United States of America appreciates Almighty God we become a shining light from shore to shore, as men and women around the globe take notice of our humble dependence on Him. Jesus described the collective role of God-fearing people, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).

     

    If we extinguish our light by abandoning the faith from which we came, He will raise up other nations to take our place. However, He smiles when He sees a nation acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior; it sets a standard for those who admire our freedoms to see where they originate. Memorial Day is an opportunity to privately and publicly give God the glory and gratitude for His incredible favor and blessing on our nation.

     

    “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance” (Psalm 33:12).”

     

    Prayer: How can I lead our extended family in a sincere prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord? What are some specific freedoms I can thank God for in blessing my country?

     

    Related Readings: Psalm 102:15; Malachi 1:14; Acts 10:34-36; Revelation 15:4

    Post/Tweet today: God’s blessing remains where gratitude is retained, so thank Him often. #gratitude

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • Birth, Behavior or Bloodline

    Posted on May 27, 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called 'uncircumcised' by those who call themselves 'the circumcision' (which is done in the body by human hands)—remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ." Ephesians 2:11-13 (NIV)

    Some days I'm pleased with who I am. Some days I've really got it together. I start the day with some quiet time with just me and God. Normal morning hassles getting three kids ready don't bother me. Throughout the day I'm confident in my decisions and abilities.

    Other days I exhaust and frustrate myself, especially when I'm not quite so pleasant. Annoyance starts with the first step out of bed if I've overslept, or woken up too early thinking about all I have to do. Graciousness evaporates as I allow life's demands to dictate my mood. Insecurities prompt defensiveness. Doubt overshadows faith.

    One day I'm smiling and kind; the next day I'm scowling and grouchy. So which is the real me?

    We can all struggle with wondering who we really are, especially when we fall short of who we really want to be. And when the answer seems to be different day-by-day, it's easy to give up even trying to change ... to be a better person.

    To settle this question, I've had to dig deep. For I believe God wants me to know the answer. Knowing who I really am in God's eyes is a game changer. It changes my motivations, which changes my goals and inspires me to be consistent in who I am and how I act. God's truth about my identity serves as a filter for the world's lies and the judgment of others. It protects my heart from damage.

    So where do we find this definition?

    Are we defined by our birth? Are we who our parents are? Do their professional and personal successes or failures define us? Does it matter where we are born or to whom? Two of my children were born in an African war zone. Is that who they are?

    Or are we defined by our behavior? For years I defined myself by achieving success and accomplishing tasks. The more checks to the left of the items on my to-do list, the better I felt.

    There's a problem with both of these definitions. The first is out of my control. I have no say about where I was born or to whom. And it can give me a false sense of entitlement or discouragement. The second is undependable at best. Sometimes circumstances are out of control too. And even when my behavior is in my control, I can react from my human yuck-filled side.

    Thankfully, there is another way to define ourselves. It's found in our bloodline as a child of God. A lineage that was bought for us through the death of Jesus as Ephesians 2 tells us. "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ."

    His sacrifice defines who we really are: Loved. Chosen. Treasured. Ransomed. Forgiven. Worth it. When I accept and believe these definitions for myself, I'm inspired to change. I believe it's possible.

    Thankfully, we didn't have to be born in the "right" place, or behave "just so" to get this new identity. It's not based on our checkbook, scale or what our friends think of us. We receive it when we accept Christ as our Savior.

    Birth, behavior or bloodline? I know which one truly defines me. Do you?

    Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to die for me, so that our relationship could be reconciled. Help me to remember that it's in Your bloodline that I find my true identify. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Follow us on Pinterest for inspiring images. Click here.

    Reflect and Respond:
    How would you act differently if your identity were found in Jesus' bloodline? If you truly knew you are loved, chosen, accepted?

    Power Verses:
    1 Timothy 2:5-6a, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people." (NIV)

    Romans 3:23-25a, "... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith." (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 Ephesians

  • Remain True

    Posted on May 26, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    When he [Barnabas] arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.    Acts 11:23

     

    Remain true to the Lord, for He has remained true to you. Remain true because the grace of God compels you to. Remain true, for He knows what is best for you; remain true because you know it is the right thing to do; remain true while others encourage you; remain true because your obedience encourages others; remain true with all your heart so that the Kingdom of God advances aggressively for His glory. It is easy to sign up as a Jesus follower, but follow through requires faithfulness, so remain true to your commitment to Christ. It does matter that you follow through for Him. It matters to Him, to you, to your family, and to your credibility. It matters to those you have encouraged, those you are encouraging, and those you will encourage. It matters that you remain true.

     

    Satan will try to suppress your commitment by his limited power of disease, discouragement, and discontentment. He wants you to forget God’s faithfulness and fall into his trap of temptation. He wants you to walk away from your family and follow your own selfish desires. He wants you to think you are an exception to the rule of law and accountability. He will feed your pride until you starve humility into non-existence. Jesus said, “I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me…” (Revelation 2:13a). The hand of the Lord is on those who remain true with all their hearts. However, He moves on from those who drift into hypocritical behaviors of pretending one thing and doing another. Begin by exposing any unauthentic living, and seek to reconnect with Christ and others.

     

    The grace of God creates an environment of encouragement. You can encourage others to remain true because God’s grace has been extended to you. Grace encourages faithfulness. Grace realizes there is room for mistakes but still offers opportunities to remain true. Failure and faith can coexist. Encouragers engage others on a heartfelt level. You have the opportunity to come alongside husbands and wives, friends and relatives, new and mature Christians. You can encourage them to remain true to the Lord and to each other. Encouragement extends hope rooted in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Your eternally based encouragement is not sentimental or shallow. It is a heavenly hope evidenced by answered prayer.

     

    You encourage others exponentially when you petition Christ on their behalf. Cry out to your heavenly Father and ask that He keep your teenagers true to Him. Pray for your friend’s body to be healed by the hand of God; pray for married couples to learn how to love and respect each other under the influence of the Holy Spirit; pray for your Pastor to remain true to his calling and to the One who extended his call; pray for opportunities to pray with those you are encouraging. Prayer is without exhaustion in its encouragement. Above all else, receive encouragement from the Lord and others to remain true. Then simultaneously and spontaneously extend encouragement to others to remain true with all their hearts. Remain true because there is no limit to what the Lord can do. Giving up is not for you.

     

    Post/Tweet: The hand of the Lord is on those who remain true with all their hearts. #remaintrue

    © 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

  • Trust Enough

    Posted on May 25, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them’” (Numbers 20:12).

     

    A mature and robust trust in God can open the door of opportunity, while a flippant, immature, or irreverent trust can slam shut the door of opportunity. I have to ask myself an honest question: “Do I trust God with my whole heart or only when it is convenient?” There is such a thing as not trusting in God enough to honor Him as holy. How can I make sure I trust in God enough? I can say I trust God, but do I really mean it?

     

    Do I, deep in my heart of hearts, trust Him? Do I really trust Him with my job, my boyfriend or girlfriend, my future, my health, and my finances? If my trust is contingent on how I think things should go, then I really do not trust God. My trust has to be unconditional, good or bad, pretty or ugly. I will trust Him, even when I disagree or I am confused with my circumstances. Sometimes God tests you to authenticate your trust.

     

    “Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant” (2 Samuel 7:28).

     

    He wants you to know if He is sufficient or if you find Him lacking. The test is for your benefit because He already knows if you trust Him enough. You may be failing, just passing, average, or an honor student in God’s school of faith. Are you convinced that you trust in God enough? Or is yours still an infant faith wrapped in insecurity?

     

    Moving to the next level of trust is not always easy, but it is necessary for the maturing follower of Christ. The easy part is becoming a Christian; the hard part is being a Christian. This happens over time as God tests our trust to grow us up in Him. We can complain, or we can thank Him that He cares so much He does not want our trust to remain raw and disfigured. He is all about developing us into dedicated disciples of Jesus.

     

    Even enemies of Jesus recognized His total trust in His heavenly Father. “He trusts in God” (Matthew 27:43).

     

    Prayer: Is my trust wholly dependent on the Lord alone plus nothing else?

     

    Related Readings: Psalm 37:3–5; Isaiah 12:2; John 14:1; Titus 3:8

     

    Post/Tweet: The easy part is becoming a Christian; the hard part is being a Christian. #Christian

    © 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 Numbers, Trust

  • Wise Dating

    Posted on May 24, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV)

     

    What relational path honors the Lord and honors my dating? Ask objectively; is there agreement in faith, family and values? Dating relationships that honestly ask heart felt questions flush out communication and prepare a couple for success, as God defines success. Wise dating waits for God’s best and is not suddenly smitten by surface feelings.  If, for example, an older teenager, college student or single adult is “in love” with someone who does not practice faith in Jesus Christ, then the probabilities for a long-term successful relationship is very low. It’s hard enough to work through personality differences, diverse family backgrounds and character development without adding disagreement in the foundational issue of faith in God and obedience to Him.

     

    Start with belief in Jesus Christ and love for Him as your beginning point for being together in a dating relationship and you have a good base to build upon. Like a beautiful house with a cracked cement foundation are two pretty people without both being disciples of Jesus. Committed Christian relationships are not perfect, but they persevere.

     

    “Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (4:11-12).

    Be careful to not let the feeling of “being in love” trump the reality of the other person being a genuine follower and lover of the Lord. Emotions can accelerate bad decision-making, if not tempered by wisdom and accountability. This is why wise young people engage the wisdom and counsel of their dad and mom. Wise dating is accountable. You are accountable to the Lord and you are accountable to your parents. Choosing to date someone is not like spontaneously shopping for what’s on sale—it is a prayerful and prudent process. Much better to stop an unwise relationship in the beginning, than to later have to untangle a complex web of emotions and physical indiscretions. Be wise to date in groups—don’t be alone together in compromising situations. Wisdom is preemptive.

     

    Lastly, wise dating honors the Lord by honoring your body with purity. True love does not prove itself in sexual intimacy, because “love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:3). When you wait and save yourself for your wedding day—it’s honoring to your marriage and to the Lord. Focus your energy and emotion into spiritual growth—you will have no regrets. Wise dating prayerfully recognizes a greater objective that is purposed in Christ.

     

    “With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ” (Ephesians 1:8b-9).

     

    Prayer: Does my dating relationship honor the Lord? Am I accountable to Him and my parents?

     

    Related Readings: Genesis 24: 3-4; Psalm 24:3-5; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 6:1-3

     

    Post/Tweet today: Emotions can accelerate bad decision-making, if not tempered by wisdom and accountability. #emotions

    © 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 2 Corinthians, Dating

  • The Prescription Everyone Needs

    Posted on May 24, 2013 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn Cowell

    "My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye." Proverbs 7:1-2 (NIV)

    Constantly churning and aching, the pain in my daughter's stomach just wouldn't go away. From the time she was small she complained, but her doctor didn't seem to have a permanent solution.

    After years of discomfort and searching for answers, we finally found a doctor who was able to pinpoint the problem: my daughter's body was sensitive to the foods she was eating. Even though her friends could eat anything, she couldn't correctly process common, everyday items. Sadly, what she was taking in and storing in her system was working against her, instead of working for her.

    Based on the doctor's advice, my daughter completely changed the foods she eats. But that wasn't enough to maintain a pain-free body. She also was prescribed supplements to her diet daily. These build up a storehouse of helpful nutrients that keep my daughter's body healthy and whole. She's a new girl!

    Like the daily supplements my daughter takes to build her up on the inside, the Bible tells us to do the same with God's Word. Proverbs 7:1 instructs us to "... keep my words and store up my commands within you."

    One of the meanings for the word "commands" in the original Hebrew language is "prescription." My daughter needed a prescription of supplements; often we need one as well. Our hearts and minds have messages and thoughts coursing through them that have the potential to harm. These untrue messages are working against us, and we need God's Word as the healing prescription.

    Here are just a few of His prescriptions that bring healing to me:

    For low self-worth: Take Psalm 45:11, You are enthralling to Me!

    For rejection: You are Mine, two times a day (Song of Solomon 6:3).

    A messy life: You are perfect to Me, at breakfast, lunch and dinner (Song of Solomon 4:7).

    When we store up God's commands and truths within us, we can access them quickly to take and combat ailments. He encourages us to not simply apply them like a quick ointment to a wound, but to "keep" His words. Cling to them and be secured by them.

    Proverbs 7:2 contains the benefit to keeping God's words and storing up His commands within us. "Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye." God promises that as we cling to and are secured by His Word, we will live. He will make us alive - preserve, refresh and rebuild our soul. I love how one of my study Bibles puts it: "Man gains life from God's words. Life is completely related to the Word of God" (Old Testament Lexical Aid Hebrew-Greek Bible).

    Not only does God's Word heal today, it can prevent future ailments. His truth is our daily supplement, building us up so we can stand strong against those things that come to attack our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

    Whether you need healing or preventive measures, be intentional today to take God's Word as your prescription and store it deep within your heart.

    Dear Lord, I am making a choice today to take Your prescription; giving my heart and body exactly what I need for my well-being today. Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Help a teen girl in your life learn to keep and store up God's Word every day with Lynn Cowell's book Devotions for a Revolutionary Year - 365 Days of Jesus' Radical Love for You.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    What ailment is your heart struggling with today?

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 4:20-21, "My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight; keep them within your heart." (NIV)

    Proverbs 2:1, 5, "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you ... then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lynn Cowell. 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 Proverbs

  • Comfort in Loss

    Posted on May 23, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “And many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.” John 11:19

    Have you lost someone or something close to your heart—a baby, a spouse, a friend, a job or an opportunity? A great loss requires great grace or the pain is unbearable. Why do some expecting mothers have a stillborn child and others don’t? Can we truly understand these puzzling matters until we get to heaven and  are able to ask, “Why Lord, why?”

     

    Where is God when emotions run raw and a great hole of hurt embeds in the heart? We don’t always understand the ways of God, but we can always count on Christ’s comfort. The Lord lingers long close to those caught in the pain of great loss. What others cannot totally understand, your Heavenly Father fully comprehends. Grace soothes aching hearts. Christ’s comfort nurses like cool cough syrup flowing down a swollen, inflamed throat.

     

    “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:5). The Lord’s comfort is limitless in its capacity to cure.

     

    Furthermore, Christ comforts us, so we are able to extend His compelling comfort to others. Productive pain pays it forward in a faith-based solution to other sad souls. Giving is therapy in God’s economy, so those of us saved by grace are not stingy with its application. Who do you know that needs a listening ear, a silent prayer or a caring visit?

     

    If comfort is kept closed up in the closet of our busyness, then we miss out on one of life’s great joys. Shame on any servant of Jesus that only has time to hear the heart of the spiritually healthy. Be aware, as tears hover under the surface of a tender heart in your circle of influence. Look around; who is struggling with health, work or relational issues? Comfort them, as your influence ripples like a rock slicing through a still body of water.

     

    Noah was known as the comforter, “He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed” (Genesis 5:29).

     

    Say a prayer for someone in despair; send flowers to a young mom who just lost her little one after the first trimester of pregnancy, network for an acquaintance in career transition, pay the rent for a struggling relative, or introduce someone broken to the uplifting love and saving power of Jesus Christ. Comfort is your platform to proclaim God’s grace. You cannot over comfort others, so join the Body of Christ in loving  another hurting heart.

     

    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

     

    Prayer: Where do I need Christ’s comfort and who do I know that needs His comfort and joy?

     

    Related Readings: Job 42:11; Psalm 86:17, 119:76; John 14:1; 2 Corinthians 7:6-7

     

    Post/Tweet today: Christ’s comfort nurses like cool cough syrup flowing down a swollen, inflamed throat. #comfort

    © 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 John

  • Sweating in Church

    Posted on May 23, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Matthew 6:7-8 (NIV)

    Recently, I was studying what causes people to feel spiritually frustrated. The two top reasons? Bible study and prayer. I get it.

    I clearly remember being a young girl sitting in church sweating. People around me knew what they were doing! They instantly flipped to every verse in the Bible the preacher man referenced. But not me. I was more interested in counting the spit droplets that came flying out with his punctuated words.

    I respected that man. But boy, could he get fired up and entertain this lost girl.

    Others seemed all wrapped up and excited in what this preacher man and the Bible had to say. They'd shout loud, "Uh-huhs" and "Amens!" What was I missing?

    And then there was my prayer life. Or the lack thereof. It's not that I didn't want to pray, but the whole concept of talking to God felt strange. I tried to copy the prayers of those who seemed to know they were doing more than talking to the air.

    But then my quirky self would sneak in and leave me feeling foolish for what I'd just said to God. "Dear Lord, take this food to the nourishment of my body. (Good so far.) And if you could change the molecular structure of these cheesy fries to be like carrot sticks that sure would be the bomb-diggity." (Huh?)

    Yes, I've come a long way since those days, but trust me when I say I'm still a work in progress. You could still trip me up in finding certain passages in the Bible. And I'm pretty sure you might still hear me say "bomb-diggity" in my prayers. But according to what Jesus taught in our key verse, Matthew 6:7-8, I think He's okay with that.

    "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

    For me, there are two keys to unlocking spiritual frustration with both my Bible study and my prayers:

    Sincerity — coming to God without an agenda and honestly wanting Him to teach me.

    Simplicity — talking to God as the loving Father He is.

    Why do we make it all so complicated?

    I think honest moments spent with God reading His Word, sharing our hearts, and listening for His instruction are quite perfect. No "just right" words or having to know exactly where every book in the Bible is. Just a pure heart simply and sincerely longing to know her God. Jesus might even say that's the bomb-diggity.

    Dear Lord, thank You for hearing what is on my heart in the midst of both happiness and frustration. I don't want to make my relationship with You complicated, God, so please help me to come to You with honest thoughts and prayers. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Did this devotion speak to you right where you are? If so, check out Lysa TerKeurst's book Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl for more encouragement as you deepen your relationship with God.

    Click here to follow us on our Facebook page.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Have you been feeling spiritually frustrated lately?

    Take some time today to have an honest conversation with the Lord. It may even help you to first write down what you want to pray about, reflect on it, and then lift your prayers up to Him.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 4:1, "Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer." (NIV)

    Psalm 145:18, "The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." (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 Matthew

  • Rejection to Restoration

    Posted on May 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’. Mark 12:11

     

    What is rejected for God can be restored by God. People can reject a good person, even a godly person, only to see themselves discredited and their object of contempt reinstated. The majority may miss the right conclusion, because the facts were withheld by a jealous few. Thus, beware of someone or a group with persuasive powers, but shady motives. Make sure all the facts have been flushed out, before sides are chosen. Those whose power is threatened, threaten their foes.

     

    Jesus was rejected by the religious elite, only to be resurrected as Lord by His Heavenly Father. A few green with envy branded Jesus and His followers as power hungry political fanatics. However, heaven did not sit still in the face of these false accusations. The One whose character was assassinated and whose body was crucified became the payment for His critics' sin. We can reject Jesus as our Savior, but belief in Him is still required for a right relationship with God.

     

    So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic. Isaiah 28:16

    When we accept Christ, He brings us back to God. Our arrogant intellect rejected the existence of a personal God, but since He restored us to Himself we crave His company. Our self reliant spirit dismissed dependency on the Almighty, but now we are strengthened in Him. Our drive to accomplish ignored grace, but now having tasted God’s grace, we hunger for more. Our pride looked down on spiritual people, but now our humility compels us to look up to heaven for help!

    Therefore, be a restorer of relationships, not a rejector. Who needs your intentional investment of time so they can be brought back into your good graces? You are the Lord’s minister of reconciliation. Because Christ is the capstone of your character, you have the honor to lay His cornerstone of convictions in the life of your children and grandchildren. Invite those who have rejected Jesus to accept Him. Like a refurbished piece of furniture His restoration is beautiful!

    If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored. Job 22:3

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for receiving me into Your family of faith.

     

    Related Readings: Job 42:10; Psalm 51:12; Ephesians 2:20;  1 Peter 2:7

     

    Post/Tweet today: Make sure all the facts have been flushed out, before sides are chosen. #facts

    © 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 Mark

  • Dented and Damaged

    Posted on May 22, 2013 by Carol Davis

    Carol Davis

    "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

    I walked down the aisle of the discount grocery looking for a bargain. It's always hit and miss in this store ... and I had missed ... again.

    Before giving up and accepting defeat, I passed by a bin that caught my eye. The sign read: "Damaged Goods." It was filled with dented cans and missing labels ... no real rhyme or reason, just random items that were not shelf worthy. I knew just how that felt.

    Life sometimes delivers the unexpected. Lessons learned in the school of hard knocks bruise us, dent us and remove the label that we believe defines who we are. A miscarriage strips away the title of mother. A divorce takes away the role of wife. A pink slip eliminates our role of employee.

    We can feel as if we have been tossed into a bin, no longer worthy of a place on the shelf. With enough dents and damage, we can believe the lie that we are first-class failures and all hope is gone.

    Shaking myself from my theological musings, I leaned over and intentionally chose a dented can with no label from the bin. I got it home and placed it on the counter with anxious anticipation. The whirr of the can opener finally penetrated the metal lid to reveal ... peaches!!! I let out a schoolgirl squeal! I love peaches!! What a treat to open this can and be greeted by one of my favorite fruits. The can was damaged but the contents were still good ... and sweet.

    God continued the lesson He began in the grocery store.

    I have been damaged. We all have to some degree. I am not living the life that I dreamed about when I was a kid. However, the damage that I have suffered has made the contents of my heart so much sweeter, so much more compassionate, so much more in pursuit of Jesus. I have been looked down upon and judged by many who have seen my labels missing and slapped on their own.

    I've wanted to say, "Don't judge too quickly. My damage has not defined me. It is refining me." I may sometimes be at the bottom of life's bin, but Jesus paid as high a price for those of us at the bottom as He did for those that are proudly displayed on the top shelf. In fact, Psalm 34:18 reassures me that He is near to those who are crushed and broken. What a relief that is!

    Look around. Is there someone in your life, your family or your church that you consider "damaged goods"? Don't miss an opportunity to reach out to them, to love them. You just might find a friendship that is good and sweet. And while reaching out to them, take a good look around at how the Lord is near to you. Wrap yourself up in His presence. That is one label that can't be taken from us!

    Dear Lord, my life hasn't turned out exactly like I thought it would. But, I know You can still use me. Please forgive me for labeling others and judging them by their outside circumstances instead of the work that You are doing in their hearts. Help me realize that we all have dents but that's what keeps us desperate for You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write down all the life circumstances that have "dented" your heart. Ask God to use your dents and scratches for your good and His glory.

    Have you been judged unfairly? How did that make you feel?

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 145:18, "The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth." (NLT)

    Isaiah 61:1, "The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners ..." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Carol Davis. 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

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