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Daily Devotion

  • The Micromanaging Mama

    Posted on May 6, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "Don't let your spirit rush to be angry, for anger abides in the heart of fools." Ecclesiastes 7:9 (HCSB)

    I couldn't think of anything more exciting than going to Sylvia's house for the afternoon. She had fancy clothes and the neighborhood's only built-in swimming pool. But best of all?

    Sylvia had one amazing dollhouse.

    There were bedroom sets with dressers, cloth curtains in the windows, and colorful spreads on the beds. There was a living room set with a tiny television and a kitchen with real-looking appliances in the trendy shade of turquoise.

    To top it all off, it came with a family - pliable, lifelike miniature human beings who smiled no matter how I posed them. There was even a trusty canine I named Scrappy.

    I could arrange the furniture any way I desired. The petite pots and pans were just the way I liked on the stove to simmer. The baby woke up from her nap just when I wanted. The family members entered and exited on my cue. No object missed a single prompt in the scenarios that played out at the ends of my chubby little fingertips.

    However, my perfect little world was easily shattered. Sometimes, when I had to go home to eat dinner, Sylvia wanted to play with her own toys. Later I'd return to find the house rearranged by someone who was not going along with my program.

    I never liked when someone messed with my plan. In fact, it made me angry.

    Today my days still revolve around a house. The furniture is bigger. The dishes and rugs are real. The people are too. And I still don't like anyone messing with my plan.

    Messing with my plan often looks like this: abandoned dirty dishes, shoes scattered haphazardly, newly washed windows dotted with sticky fingerprints, mud tracked floors, crumbs trailed, trash not taken out as asked, homework undone, pokey kids making the family late for church. Again.

    And sadly, messing with my plan can also find me behaving like this: sharp words strategically hurled, a caustic demeanor meant to snap my family to attention, or a "martyr mom" pose I suddenly strike to convey my "I-do-so-much-for-all-of-you-people-and-what-thanks-do-I-get?" message.

    At times like this, as today's key verse from Ecclesiastes 7:9 states, my spirit rushes to anger. When anger takes the lead, I can go from mild-mannered mother to micromanaging mama in three seconds flat to try and make my family "get with the program—and PRONTO!"

    Rushing to anger in an attempt to micromanage can lead to hurt feelings, crumpled spirits and fractured relationships in need of repair. Of course we should expect our children to do as they are asked, to perform their chores or remember their school responsibilities.

    But, when they don't—because they are kids and like us, not perfect—how will we chose to behave? Do we choose to be like Jesus who would respond appropriately and with self-control or like a wild woman who somehow thinks yelling is effective although it has never, ever worked in the past.

    Will you join me in a challenge to pause before pouncing? To not rush to anger and instead rush to Jesus' side? It is there we can allow Jesus to temper our tempers and filter our words so we can behave in a way that honors Him—and our family members too.

    Dear Lord, teach me to rush to You instead of rushing to anger. I want others to clearly see You reflected in my actions and reactions. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    For a more in-depth study of the topic of this devotion, check out Karen's new book and DVD curriculum LET. IT. GO. How to Stop Running the Show & Start Walking in Faith.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    Think back to a time when you rushed to anger over the condition of your home or the behavior of a family member. What happened?

    How could the situation have been different if you'd rushed to Jesus' side instead, seeking His wisdom and self-restraint?

    Power Verses:
    James 1:19-20, "Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires." (NLT)

    © 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 Ecclesiastes

  • Less is More

    Posted on May 5, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    But the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many men.  Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there.  If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”  Judges 7:4

     

    Less of some things can mean opportunity to trust in God with more things. This is why the sifting by your Savior need not be discouraging. His goal is not to harm you, but to strip you from any dependence on yourself or others and to rely solely on Him. Your financial limitations are an occasion to watch Him provide in ways that give Him the glory for your life. Less money means you have the occasion to trust Him with His creative provision.

     

    When some of your friends fall away it stings; but your best friend, Jesus, still remains. You can become involved with numerous relationships and miss engaging in intimacy with your Heavenly Father. Fewer true friends will lead to richer relationships and more time with God. If your life is driven by one new relationship after another you will drown in shallow living. Having fewer earthly relationships means you have more time for your Heavenly One. Less is more.

     

    Take the time to shed the weight of worry and watch God work. A surrendered life can be efficiently leveraged. However, a life independent of God is severely limited in its influence. He is positioning you for unprecedented leadership and influence. Now is the time to quit mourning your losses and move on. You have a new lease on life with the Lord, so follow His lead. Watch Him take your “five loaves of bread and two fish” (Matthew 14:17-19) and multiply them way beyond your efforts and enthusiasm. What God breaks He rebuilds to be dependent on Him, and more influential. This rebuilding process has simplified your life; so don’t revert to complicated living. Less is truly more.

     

    If “more is more” is your motto, you can easily become mean-spirited and hard to live with. A “more is more” mantra eventually becomes meaningless. You achieve and receive more, but to what end? There is no fulfillment outside of Kingdom-minded motives. If it is all about you, you will become miserable. If, on the other hand, it is less of you and more of Him, everyone is happy. This is how God works. “‘He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble’” (Luke 1:52).

     

    Therefore, lower the volume of activity and wait in quietness. It may be time to talk less and listen more. The calming presence of Christ is priceless, so tap into His reservoir of renewal. Less worldly thinking and more heavenly thinking leads to discerning the will of God. Don’t just stand in awe of His robust accomplishments through your meager efforts. Now is the time to use this momentum generated by your Master. God is on a roll and you have the privilege of joining Him. By faith, stop doing two things before you add one. Slow down so God can speed up. Focus on quality and watch Him multiply the quantity. God wants to do more with less so He gets the glory. Decrease, so He can increase (John 3:30, KJV). Less is more—less of you and more of Him.

     

     

    Post/Tweet: Shed the weight of worry and watch God work out His will. #Godworks

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Doubt Paralyzes

    Posted on May 4, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Moses answered, ‘What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, “The Lord did not appear to you”?’” (Exodus 4:1).

    Moses experienced the “what if” trap. “What if they do not believe me or listen to me?” And several thousand years later we struggle with the same doubts. What if they reject me? What if they say no? What if they say yes? What if I fail? What if I am hurt? What if they do not understand? If God has led us thus far and if His track record is one of faithfulness, are we not really saying, “What if God does not do what He said He will do?” Doubt detaches us from trust in the character of Christ.

    If we are not careful, our beliefs and behavior can reflect this kind of irrational thinking about God. We really struggle at times (right before we take that step of faith) and wonder if God is really true to His Word and if He will come through for us. Yet we know that God has never failed us. His timing may have been different than we expected, but He has not failed usand He will not fail us. Knowing this, we still struggle with doubt. Why is this?

    “Then he [Jesus] said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe’” (John 20:27).

    Doubt is a normal part of the trust process. We go through doubt on the way to trust in the Lord. Even the most faithful followers of Jesus deal with doubt (see Matthew 11:2). However, the danger of doubt is remaining in doubt. Extended striving over doubt can paralyze you. It can paralyze your relationships, your finances, your career advancement, and, worst of all, your obedience to God. He is either trustworthy or He is not.

    Lastly, the greatest difficulty is when we are in the middle of tremendous adversity or uncertainty. God’s posture is one of continual compassion and sincere love. He is there to walk with you. He is leading you, and He will provide the needed skills, finances, health, and relationships for you to accomplish His will. Let Him use this time of trial to, once again, show that He is God.

    “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory”(Ephesians 3:20–21).

    Lord, how do You want to empower me to face my doubts and fears by faith in You?

     

    Related Readings: Jeremiah 1:6; Mark 11:23; James 1:6; Jude 1:22

     

    Post/Tweet: The danger of doubt is  remaining in doubt, so we move through doubt by faith. #doubt

    © 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, Doubt

  • Work Struggles

    Posted on May 3, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. Genesis 3:17

    Work, many times, is work. Painful toil is a consequence of what happened in the beginning—God cursed the ground because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Labor became laborious; instead of paradise in the sinless Garden of Eden there was blood, sweat and tears mingled with sin. Work is not meant to be ease, but intense effort.

    “So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken” (Genesis 3:23).

    Is your work a struggle? Are you in one of the most stressful seasons of your career? If so, God doesn’t waste pain. It’s in your discomfort that He comforts and in your unease that He gives courage. If the Lord has your attention in an environment out of your control, stay true to what you can do and leave the results with God. In stress seek Jesus. “So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:20).

    Furthermore, see work as worship to Almighty God; a sacrifice of service you lay before Himfor the Holy Spirit to ignite with power and effectiveness. Lift your heart and head in humility; present your hands and feet by faith—all for God’s glory. Silently sing in sincere worship while you work. Worshipful music does for the ears what the Sistine Chapel does for the eyes—it's lovely to listen to for the glory of our Savior Jesus Christ.

    Lastly, look at your work as a testament to excellence on behalf of Jesus. Your ministry is your work and your work is your ministry. Monday through Saturday are not secular days of service, but a Christian’s sacred obligation to model their faith with first rate work. Perhaps you facilitate a Bible study at lunch, or before or after hours. Your outstanding effort in the enterprise earns you the right to prayerfully and graciously share your faith.

    So—when job security is jittery and insecure—exhibit  God's peace  in the form of calm contentment and patient perseverance. Work struggles are the scenario where others can see you act out what you say you believe. Perhaps your bold belief during adverse work conditions activates believers and leads unbelievers to begin their belief in Christ.

    “Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you” (1 Thessalonians 2:9).

     

    Prayer: Do struggles at work lead me to worship my Savior Jesus and model excellent work?

     

    Related Readings: Ecclesiastes 8:15; 2 Corinthians 11:26-31; Revelation 9:19-20

     

    Post/Tweet today: Our ministry is our work and our work is our ministry. #work

    © 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 Genesis

  • Serious Matters Need a Serious God

    Posted on May 3, 2013 by Tracie Miles

    Tracie Miles

    "Keep in mind that the LORD your God is the only God. He is a faithful God, who keeps his promise and is merciful to thousands of generations of those who love him and obey his commands." Deuteronomy 7:9 (GWT)

    As I watched The Bible mini-series on TV, I was reminded in living color that God is a serious God. And when He says something, He means it.

    When He told the people of Noah's time to turn from their wicked ways, He meant it. When they didn't listen, everyone except Noah and his family perished in the flood. When God told Abraham he would have a son despite his wife's barrenness, He meant it, and she gave birth. When He promised the Israelites freedom, He meant it, and they were granted freedom from Pharaoh.

    When we face difficult circumstances, it's easy to doubt Him. But God means what He says—He is always faithful, forever righteous, never failing. He is a God serious about keeping His word.

    Last year when my husband's employment was affected by the economy, I wasn't sure if we could make it financially. But because God is serious about keeping His promises as He says in Deuteronomy 7:9, I had to seriously trust Him to provide. Despite my doubts and questions (How would we survive? How could God make money appear in our bank account?) I witnessed God keeping His promise of provision.

    Help came from unexpected places and in miraculous ways, financially and spiritually. God gave us peace and hope when my husband and I needed it most.

    In today's broken world where it's hard to know who to trust or what to believe, it's easy to succumb to an attitude of distrust in God as well, causing our faith in His promises to waver.

    If it seems God isn't answering our prayers, we may wonder if He is serious about listening to them. We can doubt if His Word really applies to our situations. We might question if His promises are meant for us.

    During these times, we are faced with two choices. We can either assume God's promises are not trustworthy. Or we can believe that when He makes a promise, He is serious about keeping it, just as today's key verse states: "Keep in mind that the LORD your God is the only God. He is a faithful God, who keeps his promise and is merciful to thousands of generations of those who love him and obey his commands" (Deuteronomy 7:9).

    You see, God made thousands of promises in the Bible and every one He kept. He has an infallible track record of perfect promise-keeping which certainly proves that when He says something, He means it.

    So when He promises in Lamentations 3:22-23 to be faithful, He means it.

    When He promises to heal in Psalm 30:2, He means it.

    When He promises in 1 John 1:9 to forgive, He means it.

    When He promises in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has a plan and purpose for everything, He means it.

    When He promises true rest in Matthew 11:28, He means it.

    When He promises that He hears prayers in Jeremiah 29:12, He means it.

    God's Word reassures us that He is serious about us and what goes on in our lives. And He means what He says. If you have some serious matters going on in your life, remember that God is a serious God …. serious about keeping His promises.

    Dear Lord, forgive me for doubting You and Your ways. Help me focus on Your fulfilled promises in my life, and let them fuel my faith during trying times. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles

    NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women featuring devotions from all our Proverbs 31 Ministries writers.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    What is one circumstance in which you can begin leaning on the promises of God today?

    Write down three promises God has fulfilled in your life. How does remembering His fulfilled promises help remind you that God is serious about keeping His promises?

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding ..." (NIV)

    Matthew 6:26, "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (NIV)

    © 2013 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Count the Costs

    Posted on May 2, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything cannot be my disciples. Luke 14:33

    Abandonment is the attitude of disciples of Jesus Christ. Utter abandonment to fame, fortune, friends and family to carry out Christ’s calling. I don’t like these hard words of Jesus, but they are a test of my true love for Him. Am I a casual Christian or am I a committed Christian?Motivations of convenience and comfort bear the fruit of shallow spirituality while the desire of death to self bears the fruit of unencumbered obedience. Count the costs before commitment.

    Zealous fools begin, but do not proceed down the path of the Lord’s purposes for their life. However, as a sober minded disciple who counted the costs, you answered Christ’s call to follow Him. Your commitment was based on the courage and resolution to do the next right thing, regardless. The gates of hell do not prevail, because you are executing God’s game plan. There is a visceral sense of destiny because you are following the most trusted One, Jesus. He is worth it!

    Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 2 John 1:8

    Furthermore, tribulation and persecution will come when we persistently love and serve in Jesus' name. The outside forces of radical resistance are not meant to be met with our radical activism. A combative and harsh religion loses its attractiveness to the spiritually unattractive. Thus, when we feel pressure to conform to the culture, we invite the Holy Spirit to conform us into the likeness of Jesus. He raises the stakes with our radical love, forgiveness, acceptance and service.

    Have you given up everything for God, only to experience His generous return policy? All we have is His anyway, but our gracious Heavenly Father allows us to steward His assets. What we desperately hold on to, He often  takes and gives away. What we freely let go of, He may give back, since we can trusted with His blessings. Therefore, count the costs as a Christ follower by being a radical doer of the Word. Be known by how well you love. Give up everything for Him!

    I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, my heart is to die to self and to live for You.

     

    Related Readings: Jeremiah 9:23-24; Psalm 73:25; Romans 8:36; 1 Corinthians 15:31

     

    Post/Tweet today: When we feel pressure to conform to the culture, we invite the Holy Spirit to conform us into the likeness of Jesus. #conformed

    © 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

  • SELFishness

    Posted on May 2, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4 (ESV)

    I am a magnet for strange.

    Seriously.

    A few years ago I was outside with my three dogs soaking up the sunshine. We had gotten a new puppy named "Willow" for Christmas. Well, our other dogs, Champ and Chelsea, weren't sure what to think of precious, little three-pound, Willow.

    She annoyed them. In every way.

    I thought it would be a good investment for the dog relations in our home if I spent time with them outside, to help them all feel the love. So, I sat on the ground and loved on each dog.

    They enveloped me in a flurry of wet kisses, fur, and stinky dog breath. I was having a ball. And they were all getting along. Bliss.

    Until ... Willow came and sat on my lap. Claiming the prized location of closeness with me, I don't think she realized the signal she was sending. Champ suddenly backed up and growled. His tail stopped wagging. And he was not happy.

    "Oh Champ," I reassured him, "Willow is a baby. Be nice."

    More growling.

    "No sir! Champ, be nice. Come here. I can love on you while Willow sits in my lap," I reassured him once more, while rubbing behind his ears.

    He seemed to be happy again, and licked my cheek.

    More bliss.

    But then, out of the blue, he walked beside me, looked straight at Willow, lifted his leg, and drenched me in tee-tee!

    What in the world!? I couldn't believe what was happening.

    After recovering from my shock and changing my clothes, I Googled it.

    Some articles I read said Champ was marking his territory. "That's MY mama!"

    His strong expression of "MINE" was a vivid reminder of just how disgusting a heart bent on self can be. Champ couldn't enjoy all he was experiencing in the moment, because he was so laser-focused on the one way he felt slighted.

    SELFishness! ME! MINE! MINE! MINE!

    Sadly, I recognize this behavior because I've demonstrated this behavior.

    Several years ago, God challenged me to recognize my selfishness by seeing—really seeing—all that I've been given. And never looking at a blessing as something just for me. Now, I make myself think two things ...

    1. Thank You God for entrusting this blessing to me. I know it is a gift from You.

    2. How can I use this as an opportunity to bless someone else? The blessing will be more rewarding if it's not all about me.

    Do these things come naturally? Not at first. Not in a "Me First, Mine!, Mine!, Tee-Tee on Others" kind of world.

    But we aren't called to live according to the norm, just doing what comes naturally.

    We are called to rise above. Be set apart. Be different. Be pure in every way. "All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure" (1 John 3:3 NIV).

    What blessing do you have that might need to be shared today? What blessing do I have that might need to be shared today?

    Right in the midst of what we're doing, how can we graciously and purely represent Christ as we RE-present Him everywhere we go?

    Good stuff to ponder as I washed my smelly outfit that day.

    Dear Lord, thank You for every good and perfect gift You have given me. Help me to put others before me and to have a heart to see them as You do. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    If this devotion resonated with you, you'll enjoy Lysa's book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. For more information, click here.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    What opportunity has been given to you recently that you can pass on to others?

    Will you take the initiative to do that today?

    Power Verses:
    Philippians 2:3, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves." (NIV)

    Romans 12:3, "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." (NIV)

    Psalm 133:1, "How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!" (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 Philippians

  • Hidden Treasure

    Posted on May 1, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Matthew 13:44

    Followers of Jesus have the joy and privilege of treasuring the treasure of God. Like an archeologist for the Almighty, they dig in the dirt of His love and are surprised by His generosity with the precious metals of grace and truth. Jesus is the preeminent jewel. When excavated from this field of faith, he invites us to a lifetime of discovery and renewal. Indeed, search for spiritual treasure requires trust and persistence. So, enjoy the process that produces character in sincere seekers.

    Are you motivated to make Kingdom priorities  your number one goal? Are you intentional in seeking intimacy with Jesus? To be sure, it feels laborious at times, but your labor is not in vain. Once you are converted to Christ, resolve to hide the truth of God in your heart and in the process position your life to be leveraged for the Lord. Your sold out life reflects a beautiful orchard for all to admire its Creator...Christ. Work in fields of faith that yield massive, good fruit.

    In whom [Jesus Christ] are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:3

    We have the unique opportunity and stewardship to seek out the wisdom and knowledge of God in Christ. A good process is to process our findings in prayer and meditation. Like a California gold miner we pan for God’s gold nuggets with our wire filter of Scripture that separates fool’s gold from wisdom’s gold. In what can be a monotonous discipline we will find a variety of gold treasures: dusts of discernment, slivers of hope, nuggets of wisdom and rocks of faith.

    When you decide to sell out for Jesus, He may very well require you to sell off some or all of your stuff for Kingdom investments. Complexity is the enemy retaining an eternal perspective, while simplicity is a friend who facilitates Kingdom outcomes. Thus, pray about how to use your worldly assets to send ahead for your heavenly reward. Surround yourself with seasoned mentors who model investing in spiritual treasures. Yes, create Kingdom wealth, lasting now and forever!

    If you look for it [wisdom] as for silver and search for it as hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:4-5

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I commit to seek  intimacy with my Savior Jesus to hideYour truth in my heart.

     

    Related Readings: Isaiah 12:3; Psalm 105:3; Luke 12:34; John 5:39; 1 Timothy 6:19

     

    Post/Tweet today: When we decide to sell out for Jesus, He may very well require us to sell off some or all of our stuff for Kingdom investments. #soldout

     

    © 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

  • Parenting Can be Exhausting

    Posted on May 1, 2013 by Sharon Glasgow

    Sharon Glasgow

    "No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way." Hebrews 12:11 (NLT)

    We were already late for church when the fight began. One daughter was upset the other had told a lie. I sighed. Not right before it's time to leave, please!

    It'd been a long week and I was tired. But lies are not allowed in the Glasgow home and this was something I had to take care of now. I called both girls to The Pink Couch, the place set aside to talk to our children.

    They both sat down and gave their side of the story. It was clear who was telling the truth and who wasn't. I dismissed the one that wasn't lying and asked the one who did to admit she had and to say sorry. She wouldn't. After 15 minutes she still hadn't confessed. She was only four, but don't let a four year old fool you, she knew I needed to get out the door. I was her Sunday School teacher.

    It would have been so easy to put her lie on the back burner, but I made an executive decision. "Dale would you teach my class today? I can't leave until this is resolved." As the rest of our family headed out the door, I told my daughter that until she told the truth she would sit on The Pink Couch. An hour passed, then two, then three. How could my child who normally couldn't sit still for thirty minutes bide her time without any entertainment for hours? Though we were sitting quietly, waiting it out drained me.

    Finally, she admitted her lie with a sincere heart and said, "I'm sorry." We hugged and to this day I've never heard her say another lie.

    I've got five almost-grown daughters now. Whew! The discipline part was a lot of work and one thing remained constant whether they were four or 14—discipline always took time, wisdom, discernment and love.

    It would have been easier and saved energy to just let the lie slide. But, the Bible tells us "No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way" (Hebrews 12:11).

    Discipline is not fun for those receiving it OR for those administering it. Let's be honest, parenting can be exhausting! But consistency comes with a great reward. Investing time and ensuring the same consequences yields good fruit in our children's lives.

    My husband and I have pear trees on our land. Some can take years to bear fruit, but with regular watering, pruning and fertilizing, our trees eventually show the results of our labor.

    Most parents would say they desire for their kids to grow up and live in peace with the Lord. That's exactly the outcome Hebrews 12:11 promises us if we don't give up when our children are young. Rather than making a quick decision that only modifies their behavior for the moment, we have to aim at changing our children's hearts for the long term.

    As my then four-year-old daughter and I sat for hours that Sunday morning, I knew I had to nip this in the bud or the consequences would negatively impact her future. She's an adult now and will gladly tell you what a strong impact the discipline of sitting on The Pink Couch had on her.

    Unimaginable energy goes into raising godly children. You may want to do what I did: stay on your knees in prayer and mediate on the Word day and night so that you can be encouraged and have wisdom on rearing your kids. It can be exhausting, but the work is worth the great reward!

    Dear Lord, give me the wisdom, discernment, time and love I need to discipline my children to be the godly people You desire. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    I Used to be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer will help you manage your time, so you can have more to invest in your children.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Do you follow through in disciplining your children in consistent ways? If you told them not to do something one day and they do it the next, what are the consequences?

    In order to discipline in love we need a relationship with Jesus, who is love. Spend some time today focusing on His Word, praying or worshipping Him.

    Power Verses:
    Ephesians 6:4, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." (NIV)

    Proverbs 29:17, "Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Sharon Glasgow. All rights reserved.

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



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

  • Quality of Mercy

    Posted on April 30, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5

    The quality of God’s mercy is not obstructed. Like the gentle and ceaseless flow of a bubbling brook, it refreshes all who come to drink. Those refreshed can fill their spiritual buckets and bless others who in their parched suffering have yet to taste heaven’s liquid love. Yes, the mineral rights of Almighty God’s mercy are inexhaustible and its riches are more than can ever be spent. His mercy shows compassion, nullifies judgment, covers pain and withholds what is deserved.

    Do you lift up prayers of gratitude for the rich mercy of your Heavenly Father? Is mercy your manner of speech and conduct? Mercy exists like the foyer of your home to welcome  the undeserving and those who feel shame, but not hope. Like a critical care unit in a hospital, make your home a ward of mercy for those who need healing, love and acceptance. Adult children show up where they will be accepted, not judged...cared for, not condemned. Mercy is tender.

    To give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God. Luke 1:77-78

     

    Our pride is unmoved by mercy; neither extending or receiving. With a granite like face, grace is absent. Our pride’s philosophy is an “eye for an eye,” with no eye on God’s eternal perspective of   mercy. We desperately need to daily approach His throne of grace and mercy with our needy hearts. Humility looks in the mirror first ata candidate for Christ’s mercy.

    Moreover, mercy is a perquisite step toward forgiveness. As we cry out, “God be merciful to me a sinner,” we are positioned to be forgiven and to forgive. Thus, cling to the mercy of Christ who graciously gives to you in abundance. Be a man or woman of mercy, as you experience from others their: insecurities, fears, struggles, rejection, arrogance and accusations. Lean into mercy, take responsibility where another won’t. Often, give and take this rich quality of mercy unobstructed!

    Prayer: Heavenly Father thank You for Your rich mercy; make me a person of rich mercy.

     

    Related Readings: Psalm 4:1, 6:2; Proverbs 28:13; Luke 1:50-58; Romans 9:23; 2 Corinthians 4:1; 1 Timothy 1:13

     

    Post/Tweet today: Like a critical care unit in a hospital make your home a ward of mercy for those who need healing. #mercy

     

    © 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 Ephesians, Mercy

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