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Daily Devotion

  • Unlearn Untruths

    Posted on June 21, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “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—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

    God calls His children to think anew,not like they did in the past with old prejudices and skewed perspectives,but with renewed thoughts captured by Christ. Like medical science that discovers new remedies for old illnesses, the Christian mind grows under God’s influence. We love the Lord with our mind when we humbly unlearn untruths.

    The mature follower of Christ learns to unlearn beliefs that are untrue. For example, the Bible does not teach: “God helps those who help themselves.” Yet, because we hear it repeated multiple times without rebuttal, it begins to blend into our belief system. God helps those who die to themselves, and who come alive by faith in Jesus Christ. Yes, the Lord wants us to work hard, but not as a substitute for our utter dependence on Him.

    “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3).

    Another untruth that needs to be unlearned says, “If you have enough faith you will be physically healed or you will prosper materially.” Jesus can of course do either of these, but your faith does not guarantee that He will heal you (though the ultimate healing is heaven) and He will bless you financially. Some with great faith, die of disease and some filthy rich in faith live a life of poverty on earth. True faith trusts God to do His will.

    Often repeated but  wrong is: “bad people go to hell and good people go to heaven.” Saved people  go to heaven and lost people  go to hell—only belief in the blood of Jesus Christ as the payment for our sin can  gain us eternal life with God. No amount of moral acts  can justify a life before Him—it requires grace not goodness.

    “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away” (Isaiah 64:6). “But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b).

    Therefore, rid your mind of old thinking that assumes something that is not true, and replace it with Scripture’s timeless truth.  A mentor or teacher may have meant well but a sincere heart that delivers half-truths can confuse your mind and emotions. Read the Bible to validate what you believe,and have the courage and faith to unlearn untruths.

    “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

    Prayer: What belief do I currently embrace as true that does not align with Scriptural principles?

    Related Readings: Job 6:24; Psalm 119:15; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 2 Timothy 2:25-26

    Post/Tweet today: Rid your mind of thinking that assumes something untrue, and replace it with Scripture’s timeless truth. #truth

    © 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 Romans

  • Is There Really "The One?"

    Posted on June 21, 2013 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn Cowell

    "On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.'" John 7:37-38 (NIV)

    As soon as we were old enough to understand fairy tales, we were told to start looking for the one.

    Someday my prince will come.
    Someday I'll find my love.

    As we got older, Prince Charming looked a bit different. Our teenage hearts thrilled when the latest vocal sensation sang about finding us and how our love would last forever.

    Wherever we turned, we were told our soul mate was waiting. And we were led to believe we were "less than" if we didn't find the one who would complete us!

    Even now, whether we're 15, 45 or 75, the equation hasn't changed: "Guy + Me = Valuable."

    So, if the movies, books and songs are so right, how come when we find the one, we can still feel like we're missing something? Why are there married people who are lonely with an emptiness that marriage can't fill? Our hearts can get confused if our reality doesn't match fantasy and we wonder:

    Maybe my one isn't really the one? Or, whether we're married or single, we might wonder, is the one for me still out there?

    In this place of uncertainty our hearts can grow perplexed. If we find ourselves in this vulnerable place of questioning, and all of a sudden a guy who seems to be the one enters the picture, it can stir up confusion.

    If we are married, we might wonder if we should walk away from a husband, who we thought was perfect for us, in order to have a new one, who seems more perfect. Singles might wonder if this guy is really a gift from God ... the one we've waited for?

    In my personal search to have my love gap filled, I have discovered there is The One for each and every one of us.

    It is Jesus Himself! He's The One our hearts are looking for. He's The One who is the filler of my lonely places and misunderstood parts.

    No matter what is going on in my roller coaster heart, Jesus' love for me is secure and stable. On the days when the relationship with my husband is everything I'm looking for, Jesus is The One. On the days when the cart of marriage is wobbly and off-kilter, He's still The One.

    Oh the relief Jesus brings to the rest of my relationships! When I turn to Him to fill the love gap in my heart, it takes the pressure off others! While my needy heart could wear my family out, Jesus is a continual source of unconditional love pouring into me. Not the type of filling that is once and done, but an endless supply ... each and every day.

    Listen to His promise in John 7:37-38, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them."

    Ahhh ... the refreshing that comes when we discover He is The One we are looking for.

    What a relief my heart experiences as I stop looking to others to fill me and find Jesus as my constant, day after day, contentment. Take time today to go to Him and ask Him to fill up the empty places and refresh the areas of your heart that are dry. Jesus is The One and only who can fill and complete us.

    Lord, help me to recognize You are The One my heart is looking for. Each and every day, teach me to look to You to fill the love gap in my heart. Amen

    Related Resources:
    Help a teen girl in your life learn to fill her love gap with Jesus through Lynn Cowell's book His Revolutionary Love and Devotions for a Revolutionary Year.

    Confessions of an Adulterous Christian Woman: Lies that Got Me There; Truths that Brought Me Back by Lyndell Hetrick Holtz

    Reflect and Respond:
    Who or what do you find yourself turning to in order to have your heart's need for affirmation met?

    In what ways does continually turning to a person to meet your heart's need for love put pressure on that relationship?

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 8:17, "I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me." (NIV)

    Isaiah 55:1, "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost." (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 John

  • Unholy Accolades

    Posted on June 20, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.” Luke 6:26

    Authentic teachers and preachers of the Bible will have some who disagree with, even dismiss their proclamations of truth. If a spokesperson for the Lord is not criticized by some, there is a need to worry that they are watering down God’s word. Churches are not created to make everyone feel good, but to lead them to faith in Christ and holy living.

    Furthermore, it is important how the messenger delivers the message, not with a holier thanthou disposition, but in a spirit of compassion and humble boldness. Followers of Jesus are not out to intentionally offend and attack those who embrace untruth or a worldly way of living. Instead, we are to speak the truth in love and trust God with how people will respond. Do not be shy about your convictions, but do so with godly grace.

    Has a vocal minority unfairly criticized your stand on marriage? Do some of your family members think you are strange because of the way you raise your children in Christ? Have some labeled you at work as a narrow minded Christian? If so, do not be ashamed that some do not speak well of you, sometimes we are best known by our enemies.

    “So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God” (2 Timothy 1:8).

    Enemies of the cross are enemies of those who daily bear their cross for Christ’s sake. But we engage the enemy in prayer and through spiritual warfare. The war is not won in the headline of a newspaper or in a debate on national television—the war is won as followers of Jesus flood heaven with faithful petitions and engage people with loving truth. The goal is not to win an agreement, but to live a life worthy of the gospel.

    “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ” (Philippians 3:18).

    Have you compromised the Lord’s standards because of pressure from someone you want to please? If so, dismiss the praise and applause of people and seek accolades from Almighty God. It is easy to stand on principle when everyone is happy, but the true test of your convictions in Christ come when people are not happy with your righteous acts.

    Do not go looking for trouble—but when it arrives—look it firmly in the face by faith and speak the truth. Some will sneer, some will seethe in anger, some will slander, but Jesus will smile. Followers of Jesus who are different make the most difference. An attractive life full of Christ’s character is counter-cultural, but points people to Him.

    “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God” (2 Corinthians 2:14-17).

    Prayer: Am I timid to tell the truth? How can I turn my shyness about Jesus into a bold display?

    Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 6:34-35; Jeremiah 14:14; Matthew 7:15; 1 Peter 4:2-4

    Post/Tweet today: Do not be shy about your convictions, but do so with godly grace. #boldness

    © 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

  • I Under-Stand

    Posted on June 20, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "... Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word." Ephesians 5:25-26 (NIV)

    "I just feel mean so much of the time," my friend whispers through the leak of tears. Downward, the salty droplets slip and so does her heart, her resolve, and her assurance of being a good mom.

    "I understand," I whisper back.

    And sometimes that's all that needs to be said.

    I don't remind her of gentleness verses. I don't try to fix anything. I don't offer solutions or articles or statistical data.

    I simply under-stand.

    Under ... to dip low and find that same place that lies beneath my outside veneer.

    We all have an under.

    And I admit to her, "I've felt mean so many times too. I've set out to have a super day with my kids only to be red-faced and aggravated minutes later. Buckling under the weight of my imperfections, I've wondered if I'll ever get it right. It sometimes feels like all the other moms are doing it better. But that's not true. All moms struggle."

    Stand ... to come alongside in a position of strength, closeness, and unwavering support.

    We all need those friends we know will stand with us.

    And I reassure, "Somehow, God shows us what to do and fills in the gaps if we ask Him. The fact that you're crying shows a heart tender enough for God's molding and shaping to occur. Don't listen to the world's answers. And don't fall into the trap of trying to be like other moms. Just saturate yourself in God's Truth and trust the gut instincts He gives you."

    Thankfully we don't have to be perfect. God has made a way to free us from the mistakes we make so we can keep going forward without the chains of regret. Ephesians 5:25-26 tells us, "... Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word."

    I love that picture of Christ washing us through the Word. Some versions of Ephesians 5:25-26 actually call this washing sanctifying.

    The Greek meaning of this sanctifying is hagiazo. When we unwrap the package of this word, we find three simple treasures. Hagiazo means:
    1. To cleanse externally.
    2. To free from the guilt of sin.
    3. To purify internally by the renewing of the soul.

    Externally, I wash my tears away with the truth of Lamentations 3:22-23 that God's mercies make all things new. Past minutes are gone. But this minute brings with it a fresh start.

    Relationally, Colossians 1:14 frees me from the guilt. God's Word reminds that I can live in the freedom of repentance and forgiveness.

    Internally, I see my depravity but refuse to wallow in it. I recall the words of Micah 6:8 as a call to action. Another place to receive the Truth as a cleansing agent from fear, doubt, hopelessness.

    Yes, I understand. My need to be sanctified is great. Just like your need is. We're all in that place. We all sometimes feel mean.

    Unable.
    Incapable.
    Insecure.
    Broken down.

    So, let the Word of Christ wash afresh over you, in you, and all about you. And let the whispers of a friend assure you, I under-stand.

    Dear Lord, I praise You today for being such an understanding, loving God. Thank You for carrying me through every storm that I face, and for placing special people in my life to encourage me along the way. Help me to be that voice of encouragement for someone else today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Lysa TerKeurst's New York Times bestselling book, Unglued, gives a fresh perspective on how to be obedient to the Lord with your emotions, reactions, and decisions.

    The accompanying Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress will provide you with daily encouragement as you learn what the Bible says about better ways to react. To order your copy, click here.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Reflect on the three meanings of hagiazo as they apply to your personal struggles and emotions right now.

    Power Verses:
    Lamentations 3:22-23, "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (NIV)

    Colossians 1:13-14, "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (NAS)

    Micah 6:8, "Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me." (ESV)

    © 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 Ephesians

  • Available Grandparents

    Posted on June 19, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so Job died, an old man and full of years.” Job 42:16-17

    God gives grandparents the opportunity to be available for their grandchildren. It can be the most fulfilling season of life, because of the joy that comes from seeing the third generation follow the Lord with wholehearted commitment. Grandchildren need their grandparents for fun, support, encouragement, wisdom, security and a loving legacy.

    Do you have a plan to be intentional in your grandchildren’s lives? Grandparents who take the time to be with their grandchildren invest in the next godly generation. Do you want to be remembered for being available to those who desire you the most, or for being busy doing good things for people who probably won’t attend your funeral? Bless your grandchildren with your faithfulness to them and the Lord—pray for His will in their life.

    “When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?” “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 48:8-9). Grandchildren need their grandparents blessing.

    What’s a grandparent to do if they are available, but the grandchild is unavailable? It may be a geographical challenge or a generational gap; whatever the relational chasm, pray for them to love Christ. Don’t allow distance to dissolve your relationship with your grandchild. Look for creative ways to go to them—relieve mom and dad for a needed time away. Invite them to join you on an educational trip to an interesting historical site.

    Moments with grandmother and granddaddy are memories that are not soon forgotten. Fishing, hunting, eating, reading, learning to drive, walking together and laughing are all healthy interactions that build a sense of belonging for grandchildren. In a transitional society it’s imperative that families find close community—perhaps you pray for a local  “adopted” grandparent that can fill in the gaps of absent grandparents.

    “But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:6). Commitment to family bears fruit that transcends generations.

    Lastly, if you are a grandchild then reach out to your grandparents. They will not be with you forever and they cherish every word of communication with you. Visit them often at their home, call them regularly and write them nice notes thanking them for their love for you and others. The elderly need the respect and care of those blessed by their wisdom and generosity. Grandparents deserve honor expressed with our time, talent and treasures.

    “‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:32).

    Prayer: How can I be available for my grandchildren? How can I honor my grandparents?

    Related Readings: Proverbs 16:31; Isaiah 46:4; Titus 2:1-5

    Post/Tweet today: Don’t allow distance to dissolve your relationship with your grandchild. #grandparents

    © 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 Job, Grandparents

  • Resurrection Life

    Posted on June 19, 2013 by Wendy Blight

    Wendy Blight

    "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

    I grew up in a family that lacked patience. It was a running joke in my maternal family: "The Capkas have no patience." I accepted it as normal and continued the tradition in my own family.

    The problem is, it made for a very unhappy home. I had a short fuse with my husband and our kids. I often spoke words I regretted the moment they left my lips. Tempers flared between my daughter and me, and I saw her following in my footsteps, believing the lie I believed: we have no patience.

    But as I studied my Bible, I began to understand the truth about my impatience. I didn't have to accept the fact that it ran in my family. You see, Galatians 2:20 tells us when we surrender our lives to Christ, the way we were dies and is replaced by the way He calls us to be. God changes us from the inside out! His Word tells us our old (dead) ways are gone and the new (alive) ways can take over!

    Transformation comes. Because Christ lives in me, I do have patience. I don't have to be that impatient mom who spews out unkind words when things don't go my way. Even though I was raised in a family where I learned an impatient attitude, I have within me God's power to hold my tongue, to think before I speak, to speak truth in love. It's the very same power that raised Lazarus from the dead and parted the Red Sea. That's the power that lives in you and me!

    I call it "Resurrection Life."

    The reality of Christ living in me—Resurrection Life—first changed my heart and then my home.

    If you have believed similar lies about who you are, hear these words and never forget them:

    Resurrection Life means...

    You are unconditionally loved.

    You are completely forgiven.

    You are fully redeemed.

    You are a new creation.

    You are totally transformed from the inside out.

    This Holy Spirit transformation is real. God's Word tells us that we are "more than conquerors" through Christ who loves us (Romans 8:37). Our new "living" self conquers our old "dead" self.

    So where we used to join in the gossip, now we turn the conversation around. Where we used to lie to get out of a commitment, now we just say, "No." Where we used to lose our temper and speak unkind words, now we stop, listen and then speak truth in love. Where we, though married, used to harmlessly flirt with other men, we now set boundaries with other men that are honoring to our husbands.

    Psalm 139 tells us we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." Sin corrupted that creation, but the good news is that Jesus' work on the cross returns to us the power to live in the fullness of how we were originally made. Free from sin.

    Walk confidently in the newness of Resurrection Life!

    Father, thank You that Christ lives in me! May I know deep in my heart that I am a new creation, transformed from the inside out. Help me to live in the fullness of the incredible gift of the indwelling power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in Jesus' Name. Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner by Wendy Blight

    Reflect and Respond:
    How would things change if you truly believed you are a new creation and live in the power of God's Holy Spirit living in you?

    Read the following verses: Ephesians 1:4, Psalm 103:3, Galatians 3:13, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10. What do they speak to your heart?

    Power Verse:
    2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (NIV)

    © 2013 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Stay in Process

    Posted on June 18, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-7

    Are you struggling to stay in the process? It may be the engagement process—he or she cannot make up their mind on a date, time and location for the wedding. Perhaps you feel trapped in the process of a job search—a promising door opens and then just as quickly closes. The process at work is a challenge, because the project never seems to be completed on time and not up to your standards.

    Or, for years you have prayed for the salvation of a loved one and they seem further away from the Lord than when you first started petitioning for their soul.  It’s in the process that God purifies our heart and gets our attention to go deeper with Him. The process may not seem perfect, but it is necessary to draw us near to Jesus in utter dependence.

    “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9-10). We all are a work in process that requires a prayerful process.

    It’s through a prayerful process that relationships are strengthened, lessons are learned and patience is produced. We may not like the process, but later on we will appreciate the wisdom we gained from God. Indeed, treat process as a friend, not a foe—see it as Jesus molding your mind and heart into His image of integrity.

    “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).

    Be careful not to bypass the process because you may miss God’s best. The flesh faints along the way of His will, but the spirit is energized by faithfulness to Christ’s course. Success comes as you see the destination with eyes of faith and stay focused in prayer. Your patient endurance is momentary and  makes a difference in those who watch you.

    “If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer” (2 Corinthians 1:6).

    Prayer: What process do I need to persevere in and trust that the Lord is in control?

    Related Readings: Jeremiah 29:4-6; Proverbs 25:4-5; Matthew 13:23; James 1:2-4

    Post/Tweet today: The process may not seem perfect, but it is necessary to draw us near to Jesus in utter dependence. #stayinprocess

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 1 Corinthians

  • Looking for God

    Posted on June 18, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!" 1 Chronicles 16:11 (ESV)

    My granddaughter Elle is almost three. Recently we had a family event and Elle and her parents arrived before we did. It had been a few weeks since we had seen her, which is unusual. When we walked in the door, a wide smile filled her face and she ran into my arms.

    For the next several minutes Elle circled around the crowded room. Each time she made her way purposely back to me, placed both hands on my knees, looked me in the eye and said, "There you are!"

    It was as if Elle wanted me to know that, in the midst of a crowd, she delighted that I was in the room.

    I wonder if I show my Savior this same joy? I wonder if I seek Him like 1 Chronicles 16:11 teaches me to.

    In a crowded schedule, do I carve out time to find Him?

    The reality is that sometimes, if I am not intentional, my time with Him can get pushed to second or third place behind deadlines, bills to pay, errands to run, events to attend. And yet when I seek Him out and sit in His presence, I realize all over again how beautiful it is to worship Him, to feel the pleasure and love of a Heavenly Father.

    In my crowded thoughts, do I pause and say, "There You are!"

    Or do I let anxiety, anger, frustration, or worry take center stage, forgetting His promises of comfort, of strength, of peace in the midst of storms. Yes, He's there for He assures us that He is (Joshua 1:9; Romans 8:38-38; Hebrews 3:15). But do I ask Him to shine His Light on my troubled thoughts?

    In my crowded life, do I invite Him in to every area?

    Time with God is not confined to a prayer time or a few moments reading Scripture. Instead, we are invited to live and move and breathe in Him (Acts 17:28). That means that He is with us as we parent, as we go to work, as we reflect on a beautiful sunset, or as we comfort a friend. As believers, we don't just have to live. We live in Him, and He lives in us.

    Elle had many options that day. Aunts and uncles held out open arms. Toys and books were offered at every turn. Cousins gave her kisses.

    But she delighted in me instead. She didn't have to, for I love that little girl with every fiber of my being. But the fact that she loves me back with abandon is sheer joy for this grandma.

    How long has it been since you delighted in God? Or experienced His pleasure in your presence? He loves you; that we know for certain. But what if today you pushed aside crowded thoughts, a crowded schedule, and a crowded life to proclaim with delight, "There You are!"

    Dear Heavenly Father, I delight in You. Not for what I might receive, but simply because of Who You are to me. I love You with my heart, my soul, my mind. No matter the crowd I find myself in, with You is where I long to be. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    NIV Real Life Devotional Bible with devos from the Proverbs 31 Ministries team, including Suzie Eller.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Find a "There You are" moment in your thoughts or schedule today. Speak a word of praise or breathe a prayer of gratitude.

    How would things change if, instead of responding to situations with stress, doubt or worry, you looked for God in the moment? Instead of choosing these other things, decide to find the Lord and delight in Him in the middle of your moments today.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 92:4, "You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with 1 Chronicles

  • God is Good

    Posted on June 17, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him…” Nahum 1:7

    God is good. He is good when times are bad. He is good all the time. Do not relegate God to the bad side of the ledger just because you are experiencing bad. Focus on the goodness of God, for He is good. His goodness is a refuge for you in times of trouble. Your security is in the safe environment His goodness provides.

    God’s goodness is the standard by which people act "good". No person’s goodness exceeds God’s goodness. Your goodness is but a reflection of His, because apart from the Lord there resides in us no good thing. “I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing” (Psalm 16:2). His goodness is foundational for all goodness.

    Thus, Christ dwelling in you by faith, allows the goodness of God to flourish. It is one of the wonders of grace. Indeed, faith in Jesus unleashes the goodness of God in your life. Good works without the goodness of God are just good works for the temporal. But, good works, motivated by the goodness of God, reap eternal benefits. The Lord is good.

    People receive food, shelter, clothing, a job and forgiveness. This is the beauty of God’s goodness. He cares for those who trust in Him. Earthly goodness is fleeting. It is here today and gone tomorrow, but heavenly goodness is eternal. You can always depend on the goodness of God. Your trust in Him guarantees His care—His godly goodness.

    However, God’s goodness does not preclude His judgment. Rather it demands it—because God is good—He must judge bad. In Christ—it's all good—but when sin enters the equation, bad inflicts its evil influence. Evil inebriates people with bad behavior. Corrupt men and women are not conscious of the goodness of God. An insomnia of righteousness drives them to sin, as demons sear the conscience of the ungodly.

    “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:1-2).

    Furthermore, do not be stunned or disillusioned when bad things happen to good people. God rains on the just and the unjust. His judgment does not always discriminate between the good and the bad. He wants our attention. He wants a loving and growing relationship with His creation for His glory and goodness sake. His people are good because He is good. Rejoice for He can be trusted and the goodness of God cares for His children!

    “May your priests, LORD God, be clothed with salvation, may your faithful people rejoice in your goodness” (2 Chronicles 6:41b).

    Prayer: Do I exhibit joy, trust and gratitude for the goodness of God?

    Related Readings: Luke 16:25; Hebrews 6:4-6; 2 Thessalonians 1:11; Titus 1:15

    Post/Tweet today: Our goodness is but a reflection of His, because apart from the Lord there resides in us no good thing. #goodness

    © 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 Nahum

  • Clashing with Others

    Posted on June 17, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found..." Proverbs 10:12-13a (ESV)

    My husband and I often joke about what would have happened in our college-courting days if we had sent our profiles to an online match-making website. We are pretty sure that instead of pairing us, the computer screen would have blinked DO NOT DATE!! TOTALLY NOT COMPATIBLE!

    We're a lot like the two candlestick holders on the dresser in our bedroom. While both are crafted from solid brass with similar round bases, the rest of each holder couldn't be more different.

    One is straight and streamlined, more functional than fancy. That candlestick holder has tall, strong lines. The second is designed with a touch of flair. It has two strands of brass that whirl and swirl from top to bottom in a "look at me" manner.

    I found the candlesticks at different yard sales. While their styles aren't the same, somehow this eclectic pair is an interesting match. And more importantly, they're a visual reminder to my husband and me of our marriage.

    My husband is the first candlestick. No frills. Straight-forward. Only about function. I am the second one. Crazy. All over the map. All about fun. While we both are "forged from brass" in that we are followers of Christ with the same spiritual foundation, pair our opposite-ends-of-the-spectrum personalities together and disaster could ensue.

    Beyond the normal male/female differences, we have a lot in our personalities that cause friction and sometimes (mostly from me) snapping and harsh words.

    Mismatched personalities in marriage, parenting or in work or friendship situations, can cause frustration, anger and at times, wounded feelings.

    Someone who is not wired as we are, does not think like we do and who makes decisions and carries out actions we would never dream of, can rub us the wrong way. It causes our feathers to ruffle and not-so-nice thoughts enter our brains.

    Usually, if dealing with a non-family member, we manage to keep our composure and tame our tongues to avoid saying anything we might regret. With our children or spouses however, sometimes we open the floodgates and spew cutting comments, nasty words, criticisms and awful accusations. My husband and I call it "throwing flesh balls." At that point, we no longer "walk by the Spirit" but "gratify the desires of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16 NIV).

    If I allow it, my flesh likes to be satisfied and nothing satisfies it more than a good ol' verbal assault on my thinks-and-acts-so-differently-from-me husband.

    There's a different way God calls me to respond though. Proverbs 10:12-13a provides direction for how we should handle conflicts that arise from trying to mesh two differing personality types. "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found ..." (ESV).

    Love is key to wise responses in a relationship. Because we love God, and others, we should seek to understand when we clash. And ask God for wisdom when we don't understand. We should love intentionally. Not necessarily in an "ushy-gushy, touchy-feely" way, but in an "I am going to choose to react gently and behave kindly because that is what God is asking me to do" sort of way.

    Cementing this thinking in our minds will help us to respond with God's love and biblical truth. Especially when faced with someone who thinks and acts differently than us.

    Will you join me in purposing to stop stirring up strife when it comes to someone in your life? And to choose to love and understand them? Especially when they are oil while you are water. Yes, even your spouse.

    Dear Lord, grant me the ability to speak kindly, respond gently and at times, to hold my tongue. I want my actions and reactions to please and reflect You and Your love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    The NIV Real Life Devotional Bible for Women with devotions by the Proverbs 31 team.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What is the driving force behind your words when you spew anger? Wanting to be right or to be heard? Anger, selfishness, or pride? Take time to formulate a loving, understanding, and godly reaction for the next time you clash with someone.

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 15:1, "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (ESV)

    John 13:34-35, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (NIV)

    © 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 Proverbs

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