• 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.

  • $5 Deals

Daily Devotion

  • 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

  • Instant Obedience

    Posted on May 21, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. Matthew 21:28-30

     

    Instant obedience is an indicator of a heart that loves God. Someone who first says no to the Lord, but later repents and obeys, enjoys His mercy. However, someone who immediately says yes, but never follows through is a liar who misses God’s mercy. Yes, an oath of obedience to Jesus Christ is a promise requiring swift action. An honest answer of no to the Almighty can be converted to obedience, but a dishonest yes that passively disobeys is absent moral authority.

     

    Do you sometimes catch yourself agreeing just to appease an authority with no intention of follow through? Or do you measure your words and commitments with a genuine goal to get it done? Appeasement to gain harmony in the short term will only compound disappointment in the long term. It is better to be up front and experience some disapproval than to mask your true intentions until they are revealed in a dramatic disclosure. Obedience begins with transparency.

     

    For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20, NKJV

     

    Those who hide behind religious activity with no intention of authentic obedience to God will miss His blessings, even salvation. The Kingdom of Heaven is not made with hands, but is birthed in hearts that repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. We who brand ourselves Christians have to honestly ask which Kingdom we are building, His or ours? When we turn over control to Christ, we can rest in Him. We trust and obey for this is the gate to God’s will.

     

    Where is your Heavenly Father calling you to obey Him? Perhaps there is a relationship that needs to cease, a job that needs to change or a friend you need to forgive. Christ may be calling you overseas for a season or to a city closer to your family. Whatever and wherever the Holy Spirit is prompting your heart, don’t delay, rather instantly obey the Spirit’s leading. You may have said no, only to realize your mistake. Change your mind, swallow your pride and obey!

     

    Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. Psalm 119:67

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the wisdom to know what to do and the courage to do it.

     

    Related Readings: Jonah 3:3; John 8:52; Romans 6:17; Philippians 2:12; 1 Peter 1:22

     

    Post/Tweet today: We trust and obey for this is the gate to God’s will. #God’swill

    © 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 Matthew

  • What Tempts You?

    Posted on May 21, 2013 by Van Walton

    Van Walton

    "... But if you refuse to do what is right, watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master." Genesis 4:7b (NLT)

    My friend Wendy brought her children and their friends to my house for several hours of play in the backyard pool. Wendy and I chatted while the children entertained themselves.

    Young Griffin played for a while, but then his curious mind led him away from the pool. He wasn't interested in the games the other children wanted to play. Following his heart, he crept out of the pool and found purpose strolling around the yard.

    For a few minutes he handed branches to my husband who was doing yard work. Then he picked up a rake. In no time he began to change the landscape to create a little "home" for my dog. First he cleared a path, then he piled leaves creating a soft bed. Finally, he set stones in place creating a protected space for the food dish and water bowl.

    What an industrious boy! He amazed me with his vision, strength, and positive attitude. I wanted him to come live with me - surely his presence would keep the atmosphere in my home lively. I remember thinking, "What a good boy!"

    When he completed his project he asked, "Would you like to see what I did?" In single-file we followed him, listening attentively as he pointed out each accomplished task.

    Then I spotted it. I never expected to find what I stumbled upon while admiring my newly landscaped yard. My delighted heart turned to dread, for there surrounding all of Griffin's hard work ... was poison ivy! My stomach flip-flopped.

    Without suspecting, Griffin had walked through a bed of nasty plants. Never mind that he was involved in good works or that he had done nothing wrong. He hadn't purposefully stepped into a dangerous place. It just so happened that the vine had crawled along the ground, hid under dead leaves and climbed tree trunks, all the while camouflaged by other clingy vegetation.

    I grabbed Wendy and told her to get Griffin into the tub. Mixing a concoction we hoped would bring relief from days of dreadful itching, we doused that innocent boy. We rid him of any residue that might leave its painful mark.

    The encounter with the poison ivy reminded me that we step out each day with a plan to accomplish goals. We may set out to do good things, to change the world, and to serve others. But Scripture warns us we must be on our guard.

    Genesis 4:7b tells us sin crouches outside our door, waiting to trip us up, grab hold of us and spread its poison all over our best-laid plans.

    We need to recognize what potential sin lurks around us. You could bring dinner to a friend who just had a baby and see how her husband dotes on her. Envy pounces on you and takes hold of your heart. Or maybe you invite a co-worker who has been down to lunch. Your innocent conversation turns to gossip about other office members.

    Even a minor brush with sin can leave its poisonous mark. That's why we have to be on guard and control sin before it controls us.

    To get rid of the poison ivy in my yard I took the best approach. I tore it out of the ground by its roots. The same is true for sin. Even with the best intentions, sin hurts us. The good news is, whether we brush up against it accidentally or intentionally step into it, God offers an effective means of healing. We can bring our injured hearts to Him, confess our part in the sin, and ask Him to rid us of the toxins.

    Thankfully, God is the best "gardener" when it comes to keeping our hearts safe. No matter what "poison ivy" lurks, He's ready with a remedy of His wisdom when we ask for it. And His forgiveness for when temptation turns to sin.

    Dear Lord, You have taught me many lessons about sin. I know its seriousness, and how it prowls around seeking to destroy me. I know first-hand how easily we can fall prey to its creepy deception. Please forgive my sins and give me the wisdom to recognize sin ahead of time and flee. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Reading and memorizing Scripture is a great deterrent from sin. The Proverbs 31 Ministries' team has unpacked verses through devotions interspersed throughout the new NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Soldiers prepare for the enemy by learning their foe's tactics. Take time to recognize the schemes of the enemy.

    In what areas does Satan tempt you and into what sins do you easily fall?

    Power Verses:
    2 Corinthians 7:1b, "... let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (NASB)

    Titus 2:14, "He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • God is Able

    Posted on May 20, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

     

    God is able. He is able to abundantly bless in all things at all times.  God is able to provide what is needed for every good work. He is able when I am unable. He is able to soften my heart when I am unable to listen.  He is able to illumine my thoughts when I am unable to understand the truth. He is able to love me when I am unable to love myself. God is able. Yes! His Spirit is able to intercede on my behalf when I am unable to pray. My Lord Jesus is ready, willing and able.

     

    God is able to supply the needs of His people through His people. He is able to make us rich in every way so we can be generous on all occasions. Thus, we have emotional, physical, spiritual and financial capacity to give to others. Yes, margin (extra) gives us space in our brain to be creative, room in our heart to be compassionate, and surplus money with which to be generous. Indeed, we have more to give to others when we steward our resources for the sake of service.

     

    Spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. Isaiah 58:10

     

    So, what are we to do when God is able, but unwilling? What if His help seems delayed or unresponsive? First, we are reassured knowing the character of our Heavenly Father is 100% trustworthy. He is good and He desires what’s best for His children. Furthermore, our will does not always align with the Lord’s will. Free will is free to chose badly. Thus, we require the Spirit’s ‘will alignment’ by renewing our mind and purifying our heart. Clarity comes from cleansing and repentance. God is able, but we may not be ready, so we remain steady in prayer.

     

    Whatever you are facing, your Heavenly Father is able to face down. In your fear He will give you faith and courage to meet your challenge with grace and commitment. In your new opportunity He will teach you the skill of listening, so you can learn to go further, faster. In your conflict He will model for you the art of peacemaking, so you can bring harmony to a hurting home. In your success, He will keep you grateful and humble through your generous giving. God is able to bless you beyond measure, so you can be a trusted pass through for His ample supply!

     

    Therefore he [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:25

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You are able to bless me to be a blessing to others.

     

    Related Readings: Daniel 3:17; Psalm 18:48; Jeremiah 1:8; Mark 1:40;  1 Corinthians 4:19

     

    Post/Tweet today: Whatever you are facing, your Heavenly Father is able to face down. In your fear He will give you faith. #faith

    © 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

  • Why Did You ...?

    Posted on May 20, 2013 by ShauntiFeldhahn

    Shaunti Feldhahn

    "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

    Shelly pulled up in her wet driveway after a beach getaway with girlfriends. She smiled, thinking, it's a shame the rain chased us away early, but at least I know the house is still standing.

    She opened the door and tripped over a pile of schoolbooks. What on earth? Speechless, she stared at clutter everywhere. Cans of food and spaghetti sauce were stacked high on the island in the kitchen. Empty packets of Ramen noodles decorated the counter. The tool drawer had been emptied onto the kitchen table.

    An angry cry escaped her lips and a muffled exclamation came from the laundry room. Her husband stuck his head out the door, looking chagrined. "You're home early!"

    "Yes I'm home early!" Shelly waved around at the chaos. "I can't believe this! Why did you let it get this bad? And why were you feeding the kids instant noodles instead of something healthier?"

    Without a word, Marcus pushed the door to the laundry room wide open and stepped aside so she could enter.

    Furious, she stalked past him-and rocked to a stop. The back corner of the laundry room had been turned into a pantry. Fresh-cut wood shelves stacked up to the ceiling. Deep drawers were waiting to be slotted into a rolling rack. Dust sheets covered the washer and dryer, which were piled with food cans and packets, ready to be placed on the shelves of the pantry.

    The pantry she had longed for.

    Shelly closed her eyes. Mortified, all she could say was "I'm so sorry."

    Shelly told me this story a week after it happened. I was speaking at her church's women's conference, sharing my research on the inner thoughts, needs and fears of men. I shared that men want above all to please those who matter most to them-especially a wife or girlfriend-but privately doubt themselves and are deeply sensitive as to whether they are doing a good job. So when women start a sentence with "Why did you. . .?," men hear, "Why did you do that, you dodo?"

    Shelly's story is a perfect example of how easy it is to think, "You dodo." Not think, "There must be a good reason for this-even if I don't see it at this moment." Instead, like many of us, she was quick to assume there wasn't a good reason, that he didn't do a good job. And she verbalized those damaging thoughts.

    Ephesians 4:29 tells us to be careful to only say things that are useful for building others up. While this applies to everyone in our lives, if we are married, it's especially vital to practice with our husbands.

    Most situations with the men in our lives aren't as extreme as Shelly's experience. But versions of this scenario happen often. "Why did you give the kids juice instead of milk?" "Why did you take that road instead of this one?" "Why did you choose that strategy for the business deal?" We may protest that it is a harmless question, but all too often, it is code for "What were you thinking!?" Which itself is code for "You obviously weren't thinking."

    The reality is, the reverse is usually true. Eighty-two percent of men surveyed say they always think things through ... and purposefully consider the reaction of their wife or girlfriend before making a decision.

    The next time you are confounded by your husband, instead of a rash reaction, slow down and remind yourself: his heart is probably in the right place and his choices are likely made with that in mind. And if you need help ... just remember the pantry.

    Dear Jesus, forgive me for being quick to judge and assume the worst about the man in my life. Please teach me to slow down and listen to him, and [if married] to trust in his love. In Your Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Revised and updated For Women Only book and DVD study by Shaunti Feldhahn.

    Family Christian's Facebook page offers encouragement and truth each day. Join our community by clicking here.

    Reflect and Respond:
    If you are married, take time to think through, pray and reflect on the fundamental assumptions and expectations you have in regards to your husband. Choose to honor and respect your husband in your thoughts and words.

    Whenever you think, "Why did you ...?" say instead, "Honey, I'm confused, could you help me understand what your reason was?" You might be surprised at how often he was thinking things through-including honoring you.

    Power Verses:
    Ephesians 5:33, "Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband." (NASB)

    © 2013 by Shaunti Feldhahn. 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

  • Wedding Celebration

    Posted on May 19, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. John 2:1-2

     

    A wedding is a celebration of two people committed to Christ and committed to each other. This is cause for raucous laughter and tearful gratitude. The solemn vows of the bride and groom are accented by their smiles and kisses. The parents celebrate God’s goodness in all of its facets. It’s good to see your child embrace a spouse who will cherish and respect your “baby.” It’s good to see your child happy and content. And it’s good to see your child make wise choices and dance with joy. It is good to see your child obedient to his or her heavenly Father. Weddings where Jesus is invited are the best!

    A wedding is a preamble to the constitution of marriage. It is a declaration of independence from self-interests. It is interdependence on each other and dependence on God. A wedding is costly, but not nearly as expensive as the marriage. A wedding mirrors a marriage’s need for mentors, prayer support, and planning. A wedding done well is a template for marriage. You keep the fires of romance burning brightly. You plan together and communicate constantly. You spend budgeted money. You involve your family in ways that are appropriate and honoring. You keep God as the centerpiece of your life. A wedding is not a fleeting moment, but rather a memory to be relived over and over again. A wedding is a reminder of God’s beautiful work of grace in a world full of hurt. It reinvigorates stale marriages. It staves off the pending demise of others. It affirms those who, by God’s grace, have grown deeper and deeper in love since their own special day.

    Invite Jesus to your wedding. He is the ultimate wedding planner. He is interested in every detail of your public expression of faith in Him. Indeed, your public display of faith begins with your private devotion. Once you have developed a personal love relationship with Jesus, you can humbly exalt Him before friends, family, and the world. Private dedication precedes public declaration. An engaged couple who lacks their individual engagement of faith, is not ready for a wedding. A wedding requires much more than starry-eyed looks of love. Its prerequisite is a deep and abiding faith in God. Otherwise, the wedding becomes a big, expensive party lacking the teeth of commitment and follow through.

     

    A wedding without Jesus is like an orchestra without a conductor. There is a ton of potential represented by a lot of well-meaning individuals, but there is no defined direction. There is no overall harmony of the musical instruments of husband, wife, family, friends, and faith. Jesus integrates the lives of all these well-meaning players into a beautiful concert called marriage. The wedding is but a prelude of the marriage concert, but what a beautiful beginning it births. Jesus is a gracious guest always looking for ways to intercede on your behalf—as the new couple—and on the behalf of your guests. His role model of servant-hood will mark your marriage for a lifetime. Your faith in Christ is a marriage analogy, for He is the groom and you are the bride. Your wedding is a picture of the joy of your salvation. Your marriage is a lifelong consecration of that commitment.  Keep inviting Jesus, the initiator of your wedding and the sustainer of your marriage.

     

    Post/Tweet: A wedding is a preamble to the constitution of marriage. It is interdependence on each other and dependence on God. #wedding

    © 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, Wedding

  • Thorough Work

    Posted on May 18, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “The Israelites had done all the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses. Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them” (Exodus 39:42–43).

     

    We live in an instant society. We want relationships, money, and our dining experiences in an instant. In the process of making everything instantaneous, we have lost something. We have lost an appreciation for thoroughness in our work and in our relationships. We take shortcuts to finish on time, sacrificing quality, just to end up with an inferior outcome. Or even worse, we misrepresent the facts or lie outright to reach a goal because of the pressure we feel to produce. Thoroughness requires attention, trust, and tenacity.

     

    Whatever happened to thoroughness—the discipline to plan ahead, provide accountability, cover the details, create a beautiful result, and celebrate the success? Instead, we plow ahead without proper understanding and procedures. Everyone does what is right in his own eyes, and we miss the opportunity to learn and benefit from one another. Indeed, thoroughness begins with a good example from the leader. Like Moses, Nehemiah stayed focused on the work at hand.

     

    “So I sent messengers to them, saying, ‘I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?’ They sent messages to me four times in this manner, and I answered them in the same way” (Nehemiah 6:3–4 nasb).

     

    Moses was a thorough leader. He listened patiently to God and then delivered in detail to the team what was expected and required to accomplish the project. He understood and applied wise management of people. He understood each of their individual gifts and skills. People who take pride in their work are the most thorough when they are competent in their area of responsibility and clear on expectations. They understand what is needed and when it is to be complete. Details and deadlines are friends of thoroughness.

     

    Lastly, thoroughness is dependent on the resources and relationships needed to carry out the project. Do not be afraid to be resourceful. Seek out the people and information needed to carry out your job. Your thoroughness will speak volumes to your boss and to your peers. Your thorough and excellent work is the best testament to your trust in Christ. In the end you are blessed because of the quality product or service you created. God is glorified through thoroughness and the enduring influence of your work experiences.

     

    “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began” (John 17:4–5).

     

    Prayer: What current project requires my thorough attention to detailed implementation?

     

    Related Readings: Genesis 7:5; Exodus 23:21–22; Matthew 28:20; 2 Timothy 2:15

     

    Post/Tweet: Details and deadlines are friends of thoroughness. #bethorough

    © 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 Exodus

  • Work in Retirement

    Posted on May 17, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    At five o’clock he went back and found still others standing around. He said, ‘Why are you standing around all day doing nothing?’ “They said, ‘Because no one hired us.’ “He told them to go to work in his vineyard. Matthew 20:5-7, The Message

     

    The spiritual age of retirement is not the same as the secular age of retirement. Retirement from God’s work comes after death, not in this life. Followers of Jesus are not idle, caught up in their own issues, rather they look for ways to work for the Lord. Maybe they greet people with a smile at church, sing in the choir, serve on the board, teach preschoolers or manage the ministry’s finances. Freedom from the shackles of secular work is to serve others, not to pamper self.

     

    Culture claims that those over age 65 live for themselves in travel, ease and pleasure. It's all about indulging the flesh and starving the spirit, or maybe tipping a charity or two. But our Lord Jesus calls us to remain engaged in His eternal agenda: evangelism, discipleship, mentoring and giving our time, talents and treasures. The gospel of Jesus Christ allows an old soul to remain young at heart. You truly learn to live when you lean into the Lord in your golden years!

     

    They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock. Psalm 92:14-15

     

    Are you in the empty nest season with an available schedule? Perhaps you host young couples in your home for a meal and Bible study. Are you doing life with those you can invest in and with those who can invest in you? If your soul idles long enough in isolation it will dry up and die. However, as you engage your energy in others, you will come alive to live another day. Perhaps you foster children, adopt, or invite your parents, who selflessly cared for you, to live with you..

     

    Lastly, keep the vineyard of your heart and mind free from the kudzu of lazy living and empty thinking. Aggressively pray for your children and grandchildren to fall deeper in love with Jesus and with each other. Daily move your body outside into the Lord’s creation. Push through deadly inertia with a lively walk. Fresh air clears your mind and lifts your gaze upward to God. Let the warm caresses of the sun facilitate onto your face the warm caresses of your Father’s son. Work for the Lord until the day comes when you go to be with the Lord. He rewards work for Him!

     

    That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:3

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, may my work for You not cease and may it be pleasing to You.

     

    Related Readings: Proverbs 11:30; Ecclesiastes 7:10; Romans 9:12; 1 Timothy 5:1-2; Titus 2:2

     

    Post/Tweet today: The spiritual age of retirement is not the same as the secular age of retirement. #God’swork

    © 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 Matthew, Retirement

  • Answer Envy

    Posted on May 17, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)

    Do you ever envy God's answers to someone else's prayers?

    I recall the twinges of pain that shot through my heart each time I would open my mailbox discovering yet another baby shower invitation. As a young bride longing to become a mother, the joy of my positive pregnancy test was shattered a few months later when I suffered a miscarriage. And, although I was genuinely thrilled for my friends who were pregnant, I was also heartbroken that it wasn't my name on those pale pink or baby blue invites.

    I call this answer envy. It is that "poor me" mentality that creeps into my heart when God answers someone else's prayers more quickly than mine. Or when His answer seems to be a "no," or at least a "not right now."

    I've had my fair share of answer envy outbreaks over the years, at all stages of life.

    As a child, I was envious of the kids who came from two-parent homes while I resided in a family torn apart by divorce. No matter how hard I folded my little hands and prayed to God, my daddy didn't come back to us.

    In high school, it was other girls' good looks, cute clothes or even cuter boyfriends that I longed for. Instead, I was granted average looks and wore hand-me-down fashions. And, as sports editor of our school paper, although I was every guy's pal, I was usually nobody's gal.

    In college, I envied those whose prayers for a knight in shining armor (complete with a diamond ring) were answered while I remained single.

    My heart was filled with questions. God, why did my daddy leave? Where's my knight? Why don't I have a baby to hold? When will it be my turn?

    Over the years I've discovered the cure for answer envy isn't always easy. Rather than stay stuck in disappointment, I must play an active role in my healing.

    What I need is a shift in perspective. When I call out to God with my questions as encouraged in Jeremiah 33:3, I must trust He will keep His word. He will tell me "great and unsearchable things" that I do not know. Sometimes those things He provides are the answers to my request. However, do you know what those great and unsearchable things more often are? They are the reasons He seems not to be answering my original request!

    While God is generous to answer my requests, I also need to ask myself some questions. Questions like, "What is my Creator trying to teach me that I might never learn if He were to suddenly pluck me out of this situation?" Or, "What character qualities is He trying to grow in me? Patience, trust, compassion, contentment?"

    Not available in quick microwave form, the cure for answer envy has to be cultivated moment by moment.

    We must believe that God will answer. He will clearly say "yes," "no," or "not right now." He is able, ready and willing to answer our prayers—here is the catch—as He sees fit and to grow us to be more like His Son in the process.

    Sometimes we'll have a long stay in God's waiting room. Having been there myself, I now know this to be true: I must not merely seek the answer to my prayer. Instead, I must seek a deeper relationship with the answer Giver.

    Dear Lord, thank You for Your perfect plans ... Your perfect timing ... and the perfect way Your development happens in my times of waiting. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    If you have trouble trusting God's timing and try to "fix things" yourself instead, check out Karen's latest book LET. IT. GO. How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith.

    Follow us on Facebook.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Think back on a prayer request or two from your past where God seemed not to be answering. What else did you learn about Him as you waited for His reply?

    List out personal prayer requests you currently have. As you continue walking through life in the next few months, next to your requests, chronicle all of the peripheral blessings that come from the waiting.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 38:15, " But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer." (ESV)

    Romans 8:25, "But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." (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 Jeremiah

  • Unacceptable Prayers

    Posted on May 16, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable... The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people— Luke 18:9,11

     

    Unacceptable prayers come from a proud heart. The self-righteous look down on others different from themselves and find pleasure in publicly praying about their moral inferiority. Yes, those who use their prayers to “preach” at others are conceited in their own high mindedness. Prayer is not meant to flaunt a person’s faith, but to model the need for mercy from the Almighty! Proud prayers focus on mankind, not on Mankind’s Maker. However, humility qualifies quality prayers.

     

    We first prepare our hearts with humble submission to Almighty God. Our Heavenly Father looks for humility as an indicator of good and acceptable prayers. Time constraints push us to transactional prayers, while our Lord and Savior Jesus longs for relational prayers. Humble prayers engage in conversation with Christ, which listens most of the time if not the entire time. Our patient prayers enable us to remain in the presence of Jesus until we get to know Jesus.

     

    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

     

    The Righteous One reminds us that our righteous acts outside of Christ are like filthy rags. Only to the Cross do we cling, as we bring ourselves into the presence of Holy God. He is the object of our worship. He is who we bow to in awe and adoration. He is who we cry out to for mercy, grace and forgiveness. He is who we petition in our pain. He is who we sit with silently in sweet surrender and trust. He is who loves and comforts us, so we can love and comfort others.

     

    You may feel distant from God in your sorrow, but He invites you to come closer and feel His comforting presence. Moreover, sin doesn’t disqualify you for prayer, it qualifies you. It’s out of your weakness that He makes you strong. It is out of your despair that He repairs your mind, will and emotions. Bring your successes and failures to the feet of Jesus as an offering of praise. He takes what is dedicated to Him and multiplies it for His glory. Humility prays acceptable prayers!

     

    You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:5

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, may my prayers be humble and acceptable to you.

     

    Related Readings: Isaiah 66:2; Jermiah 31:19; Psalm 18:27; Luke 1:52; 1 Timothy 1:15

     

    Post/Tweet today: Sin does not disqualify us for prayer, it qualifies us. It is out of our weakness that He makes us strong. #prayer

    © 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, Prayer

Items 751 to 760 of 1476 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...