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Daily Devotion

  • Date Weekly

    Posted on February 14, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. Song of Songs 2:3

    Couples who calendar weekly dates subscribe to not taking themselves and life too serious. A night of romance and fun is a sure fire way to keep the flames of marriage burning brightly. Work and children are put on pause during this window of intimacy, so emotions can lovingly engage. A date is meant to be free from distractions (no electronics) and mental clutter. Indeed, weekly dates recalibrate a husband and wife’s relationship around love and laughter.

    When you sit in the shade of your spouse’s tree of trust, you find acceptance and affirmation. No one can give you more meaningful approval than your best friend. If he or she seeks approval elsewhere, you are in danger of emotional estrangement. Yes, dating gives you an excuse to pursue your precious marriage partner with romantic anticipation. You clean up and dress up just for them. Perhaps you take turns planning the date experience, so it stays fresh and exciting.

    Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women. Song of Songs 2:2

    Date night can require a financial commitment, so budget accordingly. There is a cost, but you can’t afford not to invest in your most important relationship. It’s less expensivethan a counselor or divorce. Be creative: a coffee shop, bookstore, walk in the park or park the car and quietly watch a sunset. Use date night as an excuse to buy new shoes or get a haircut. Do something special just for your special friend. Conversation and connection can lead to physical intimacy.

     

    Lastly use your weekly time together to reminisce about fun times from the past. Ask questions like: What was your favorite trip we had together? What getaway would you like to do together going forward? What past answered prayers are you grateful to God for answering? Your weekly date night is a remedy for getting stuck in the crazy cycle of no conversation and growing apart. Focused time with your sweetheart honors them and honors the Lord. Plan to date weekly.

     

    Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me. Song of Songs 2:13

    Prayer: Heavenly Father give us conviction and creativity to calendar a weekly date night.

     

    Related Readings: Song of Songs 1:4; 1 Samuel 1:19; 1 Corinthians 7:3; 1 Peter 3:7

     

    Post/Tweet today: Couples who calendar weekly dates subscribe to not taking themselves and life too serious. #datenight

     

    © 2012 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 Dating, Song of Solomon

  • "Just Because"

    Posted on February 14, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions." 1 John 3:18 (NLT)

     

    Grace looked up from the old, worn photo album to see Richard the postman making his way through the cold to her door. What a sweet young man, she thought.

    Grace loved her walks to the mailbox in late spring and through the summer, but the cold winter air seemed to whip through her thin skin. Though in her heart she still felt like a young, energetic girl, her age was evident to her. Aches and pains made her careful and slow. As the air turned cooler, Richard made it a habit to deliver Grace's mail to her door.

    Today was an especially lonely day for Grace. It was the seventeenth. No one but her Jim would have known what a special day this was. It wasn't her birthday or their anniversary. For forty-two years the seventeenth of every month was their unique day, as Jim would say, just because.

    Though they never were rich with money, they were determined to be rich with love. For this reason, on the seventeenth Jim always found some special way to say it and live out 1 John 3:18, "Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions."

    Over the years the gifts had been as simple as a scribbled note or as elaborate as a bouquet of store-bought flowers. But the message was always the same: "Just because." Once he'd secretly taken Grace's wedding band from her jewelry box and had it engraved with their special saying.

    She found such comfort, confidence, and connection in those two simple words. To Grace it was more than a gesture of love, it was an outward symbol of much more.

    When she'd gotten sick and couldn't keep up with the house, it meant I love you for who you are not what you do. When they had an argument, it meant even when we don't see eye-to-eye I love you still. When she started aging, it meant yours is a timeless beauty. Though Jim had never been a man of many words, his just because was perfect and poetic to Grace.

    Jim had passed away three weeks ago. It wasn't a sudden death; they both had known his end was near. They'd had a sweet time of reminiscing, hugging, crying, and then as quickly as he came into her life all those years ago, he was gone. She missed him terribly but had peace.

    They'd had a wonderful life and left nothing unsaid. Now Grace loved flipping through their old photo albums savoring pictures, but even more so she loved touching all the mementos from over the years written in his masculine handwriting.

    Though she'd seen the postman coming, the doorbell startled Grace. Carefully, she made her way to the door. She graciously took the few letters he handed her and apologized for not having cookies. Maybe tomorrow. She then walked slowly to the kitchen to open her mail. A bill, another sympathy card, and something that made her heart jump and melt all at the same time.

    Her eyes filled with tears and her hand trembled as she slid her finger underneath the envelope's back flap. It was a simple letter as they always were, delivered on the seventeenth as they always had been. Before his death, Jim had arranged for Richard to make one last special delivery. "Not even death shall stop my heart. Just because, Jim."

    Sometimes a short story illustrates a point better than pages of instruction on how to have the perfect marriage. This kind of love — not flashy but forever; not commercial but committed — is truly honoring to the Lord and to your spouse.

    I pray this story settles into your heart. That it reveals something to you about the heart of your loved one. Because even the smallest things can bring the greatest joys.

    Dear Lord, I am so thankful for who You are – the Great Lover of our souls. Cultivate in me a heart of generosity and intentionality so Your love can shine through me into my relationships. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    For ideas and wisdom on how to have "Just Because" days, pick up a copy of Lysa TerKeurst's Capture His Heart and Capture Her Heart for you and your husband.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What relationship is the Lord calling you to be intentional with?

    Think of how you could make that person feel truly special. Then, write five things that you could do to help foster this relationship.

    Power Verse:
    1 John 4:7, "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. 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 1 John

  • Dialogue Daily

    Posted on February 13, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

    Busyness is the uncaring culprit of inconsistent communication in marriage. Couples exhausted from a calendar of frantic activity have no emotional energy at the end of the day to engage in meaningful conversation. Like two sleepy ships they pass through the night unaware of the other’s tattered soul. However, hearts that dialogue daily are intentional with intimacy. It may be only 30 minutes of focused conversation after dinner, but wise couples stay verbally connected.

    Often woman starve for words and men lack language. So husbands, make sure you unselfishly express yourself to your sweetheart. Ask the Lord to give your conversation clarity, compassion and depth. And wives, be patient with your man who wants to share his heart, but his speech needs a safe environment for expression. Your respect and approval frees him up to speak freely. Daily dialogue gives couples emotional connection that facilitates trust, security and love.

    Set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

    Make sure your children know your priority of communication as a married couple. Tell your little ones that mom and dad need to grow their friendship with each other, so they can become better parents. Teach your children to respect the space you need as husband and wife to grow a healthy home. Next to salvation in Jesus, the best gift you can give your son and daughter is a maturing marriage. Hence, growing relationships require regular doses of meaningful discussion.

     

    Have heart-to-hearts and your heart will grow fonder and your faith will grow fresher. When you talk with each other make sure you talk together to your h

    Heavenly Father. Communication with Christ as a couple draws you closer to Him and to each other. Words birthed out of prayer build up and bring great joy. Love is the language you employ to engage each other’s heart, mind and soul. Indeed, dialogue daily and like dollar cost averaging, your relational equity will compound.

     

    How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father I pray for an open, loving heart that shares daily with my spouse.

     

    Related Readings: Proverbs 22:11; Malachi 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13:1; Ephesians 4:15

     

    Post/Tweet today: Daily dialogue gives couples emotional connection that facilitates trust, security and love. #marriage

     

    © 2012 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 Proverbs

  • The Day I Almost Quit

    Posted on February 13, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great." Psalm 18:35 (NIV 1984)

    I love my kids, but I haven't always liked being a mom.

    Once my boys became toddlers who wouldn't listen to me or obey consistently, I kind of panicked. Other moms appeared to know what they were doing, and I wondered why I couldn't get it right with my kids.

    Their children seemed to listen when told no. Why wouldn't my child stay in the cart at the grocery store or stop begging me when I told him we could not buy everything his little hand could touch? How come no one told me being a mom would be so hard?

    I felt like such a failure. Almost every day I compared how I felt on the inside to how other moms looked on the outside.

    I held up my feelings of inadequacy and thoughts of insecurity in contrast to moms who dressed their children in matching outfits and adorned themselves with attitudes of grace and wisdom. How in the world did they pull it off with a smile? I could barely get a shower, get my kids dressed and get us out the door before lunch.

    I just wanted to quit. One day I came home from running too many errands with two very tired, fussy kids. When I put them down for an early nap, I started looking for pink construction paper to write "I QUIT" on it so I could turn in my "pink slip" to my husband when he came home from work.

    It was just too hard, and I was tired of thinking I would never be "good enough" as a mom.

    I needed a new place to start. I started becoming the mom God created me to be, the day I was ready to quit. That afternoon I fell on my knees before God and choked out the words, "I can't do this."

    In that place of surrender, His peace came over me. His gentleness calmed my nerves. It was as if God bent down and spoke to my heart: You are right, Renee. In your strength and through your perspective, you can't do this. But with My promises, My presence and My power — all things are possible. I will help you become a great mom.

    Looking back on that day, I'm reminded of our key verse in Psalm 19:35, "You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great."

    When we acknowledge that on our own we are a mess, God rushes to our side to help us. He bends down to show us that with His grace, wisdom and guidance, we can become the mom He is calling us to be, the mom our kids need us to be, and the mom we want to be!

    Dear Lord, I need Your shield of victory to protect me from discouragement. Please extend Your right hand to sustain me; Your grace to strengthen me; and Your wisdom to lead me. Today, I want to find a new starting place with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write a letter, telling God how you feel. Be honest and open. Sharing your heart and thoughts with Him is the first step toward freedom and hope.

    As you read today's devotion, what struggles are similar to yours as a mom? Have you ever wanted to quit? What got you to that hard place and what do you need to do to rely on God's perspective instead of your own?

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 113:5-7, "Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap." (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. 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 Psalm

  • Love Shuns Pride

    Posted on February 12, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Love is not proud. 1 Corinthians 13:4

    Love and pride cannot coexist, they are mutually exclusive in their motives. Pride is concerned first about getting its own way, while love looks out first for the needs of another. Love is not proud and loves the proud, but pride perceives those who live by love as weak and easily overcome. Love walks in humble dependence on the Lord, while pride walks in arrogant dependence on self. The flesh makes fools out of pride, but the wise rise out of humble love.

    Does love incubate in your humble heart? Do you listen for the cries of those starving for love? You are the only one who can be your wife’s husband or your husband’s wife. You are the one Almighty God has appointed for you to place boundaries around temptations, so your spouse feels valued, secure and loved. Your marriage is the Lord’s laboratory to learn how to love well.

    Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3

    Moreover, make yourself available to be loved. Your pride wants to protect your image and not be vulnerable to receiving love. Any admission of need (even the need to be loved) is a sign of weakness to your pride. However, your humility is quick to confess a heart in need of comforting words and a warm hug. Let your loved ones in on who you are, so they can really know you and love the real you. Give the gift of authenticity to trusting friends and many will love you back.

    Lastly, make it your goal for the grace of God to push out pride and replace it with a humble heart. You won’t think any less of yourself, but you will think of yourself less. Humility is like a deep and wide canal of watery grace, it is a channel for ships of love to travel. It bridges your heart with another hungry heart in need of love. Most of all humility connects your heart with your Heavenly Father’s heart. His love for you shuns pride and floods into your humble heart.

    Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

    Prayer: Heavenly Father create in me a humble heart to receive and give love, on Your behalf.

     

    Related Readings: 1 Corinthians 8:1; Philippians 2:1-3; Colossians 3:12; 1 Peter 3:8

     

    Post/Tweet today: Humility is like a deep and wide canal of watery grace, it is a channel for ships of love to travel. #humblelove

     

    © 2012 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, Love

  • When You Miss God

    Posted on February 12, 2013 by Nicki Koziarz

    Nicki Loziarz

    "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." James 4:8 (ESV)

    It's 3:38 a.m. I stare at the clock and something inside me whispers, "You should get up." I toss, turn, and wrestle with my sleep-deprived thoughts for a few minutes before I finally climb out of bed.

    Downstairs, I turn on the coffee pot and sit down in the white chair. Opening my journal, these words pour out of my parched soul: "God, I miss You."

    Life has been moving at a warp speed lately. Work has been busy for both my husband and me, our three girls' lives are full, and someone always needs something.

    Truth is, I would pay a lot of money for 28 hours in a day.

    But mostly, in this stretched season of life, I'm experiencing how "it" happens ... how people move far from God.

    It's not always intentional:

    The kids are sick ... so church is missed.
    Carpool has to start earlier the next morning ... leaving no time for quiet prayer.
    Bodies need exercise ... reading the Bible gets pushed aside.
    Meals must be prepared ... so worship becomes secondary.
    Reports and projects have to be finished ... you get the idea.

    The list goes on and on of what can keep us from the closeness of God.

    I understand these struggles all too well. And I'm finding there is a great danger in these stretched times of life.

    We can miss being with God, but we also can miss the movement God is doing in our lives. Missing God {either way} is tragic and threatening to our souls that long to thrive with God.

    Recognizing how much I've missed God, I'm taking some time for reflection of this struggle. I'm burdened but also hopeful in the words He is breathing during these soul-stretching moments.

    Maybe you too feel that tug in your heart, pulling you back to Him? I share these three things we can do to move closer to the heart of God, because maybe, like me, you're just as fearful of unintentionally moving too far from God ... of missing Him as much as I am.

    1. Find our God-space.

    Even if it means it's 3:38 a.m. When life feels busy, stretched and chaotic I can stay open to the Spirit's prompting on my heart to create God-space.

    Obviously 3:38 a.m. won't always work for me, so I do need to be intentional about scheduling time with God. Finding the moments of white space where we can fully be with Him is important.

    May we find our God-space ... everywhere, knowing He is always near.

    "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." (James 4:8 ESV)

    2. Experience the awe of God.

    The colors of the sky on the drive into the office ... experience it. The sun warming our skin on a chilly day ... experience it. Giggles from children, the way someone we love smiles, the praise of God's people ... experience it.

    May these moments remind us what it's like to be fully alive and connected to Something much bigger than ourselves.

    "... stand in awe of God." (Ecclesiastes 5:7b NIV 1984)

    3. Have ears that listen {always}.

    The prompting in your heart to slow down, to breathe in the moment ... listen to it. A nudge on your soul to say no when you really want to say yes ... listen to it [or vice-versa].

    May we not want to just dream about the promises God has for our life, but want to live them by listening to His voice, always.

    "And after the fire came a gentle whisper." (1 Kings 19:12 NIV 1984)

    There is always an opportunity in the midst of our busy lives to be aware of God. As we find Him, experience Him, and listen for Him, our intentional steps will always lead us closer to His presence.

    Lord, please help me to be intentional with my steps towards You. I can't always control the things around me, but I know with Your guidance I can still draw close to You when life feels so stretched. Amen.

    Related Resources:
    A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

    For more encouragement to make space for God, "Like" our Facebook page.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Which do you struggle with the most: Finding your God-space? Experiencing the awe of God? Or having ears that listen?

    What would you have to change to spend more time with God?

    Power Verses:
    James 4:8, "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." (ESV)

    Ecclesiastes 5:7b, "... stand in awe of God." (NIV 1984)

    1 Kings 19:12, "And after the fire came a gentle whisper." (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Nicki Koziarz. 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 James

  • Love Avoids Boasting

    Posted on February 11, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Love does not boast. 1 Corinthians 13:4

    Lovely people boast about the greatness, the goodness and the glory of God. Yes, love looks up to the Lord in gratitude and does not look down on others. There is no bragging about self, only exalting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Love looks for ways to lift up those struck down by suffering or lost in sin without drawing attention to its heroics. People who love understand that wisdom, success and wealth come from God. Bragging has no place in the presence of love.

    Love does not force its agenda, rather  works to collaborate and seek what’s best for all parties. For example in marriage, don’t demand your own way, rather in love take time to value each another’s ideas and desires. If organization is important to your spouse, perhaps you schedule a day once a quarter to clear out the clutter in an area of your house. Furthermore, money management may be a fear of your mate’s, if so calendar time weekly to plan your finances.

    This is what the Lord says:Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches. Jeremiah 9:23

    Love does not have to feel superior to be valued. On the contrary your modest assessment of yourself is what leads to mutual respect that validates love. Keep your ego in check by recalling how far God has brought you,  not forgetting how far you have to go. You are not God’s gift to the world--that role is reserved for Jesus. Love does not have to brag, because it is secure in Christ’s love. Your part is to lay low, loving others and God’s part is to promote you in His time.

    Beware of becoming a legend in your own mind, only the Lord deserves a legendary legacy. The more you grow in your capacity to love, the lower you go in needing to feel important. The ability to love is reward enough without having to be recognized. Your love will unify those you serve, because you are not worried about getting credit for the cool outcomes. Boast only about God’s faithfulness to answer prayer and extend His grace and favor. Great gain is to love in Jesus’ name.

    If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:3

    Prayer: Heavenly Father give me the security and courage to boast in Christ and not in myself.

     

    Related Readings: Hosea 12:8; Obediah 1:12; 2 Corinthians 12:5-9; 2 Timothy 3:2

     

    Post/Tweet today: Love looks up to the Lord in gratitude and doesn’t look down on others. #love

     

    © 2012 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, Love

  • Dare to Hope

    Posted on February 11, 2013 by Wendy Pope

    Wendy Pope

    "Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this ..." Lamentations 3:21 (NLT)

    Have you ever cried until tears no longer fell and your heart was broken in tiny pieces? Have you uttered, "Everything I hope for from the Lord is lost?" Yes? Then you, me, and Jeremiah make three.

    I won't forget those long nights of crying myself to sleep. Some nights, only silent tears trickled; other nights, loud wails accompanied questions and prayers. "Why Lord? What am I doing wrong? Why won't You fix this?" My prayers ended with, "If it is Your will," hoping His will was different than it appeared to be.

    Many nights I curled up in a ball under my covers hoping for a break-through. Yet, the situation seemed hopeless; I believed everything I had hoped for was lost.

    Jeremiah, also known as the weeping prophet in the Old Testament, found himself in a hopeless situation too. He watched the Temple of the Lord being burned to the ground by the Babylonians. Jeremiah's heart broke as the elements of the Temple, such as the water basin and lamp snuffers, were stolen, and taken to Babylon to be used to worship false gods.

    In the midst of the devastation, Jeremiah prophesied God's words to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Unfortunately, it wasn't good news. The Lord's immediate future for His people was one of discipline and the utter destruction of Jerusalem as well as His holy Temple. Jeremiah was chosen by God to deliver these words to His people. Jeremiah did his job and did it well, but not without punishment, ridicule, insults, and imprisonment by the recipients of the news.

    Jeremiah shed tears until he said, "I have cried until the tears no longer come; my heart is broken." (Lamentations 2:11 NLT) His heart was broken for Jerusalem and for God's people, his people. In anguish Jeremiah lamented, "Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost." (Lamentations 3:18 NLT)

    Then, in the midst of his despair, he dared. He dared to hope in what he remembered.

    Many of us need hope. To find it like Jeremiah did, let's look at what he remembered that gave him the courage to dare to hope again. What Jeremiah remembered was the key to elevating him from the pit of despair to a place of expectancy. It is our key as well. Jeremiah remembered this about the Lord:

    • His unfailing love
    • His new mercies
    • His never-ending faithfulness
    • His inheritance

    God's Word is just as alive and active today as it was in Jeremiah's day. It is designed to transform us from the inside out. Reading and applying its truths will redirect our perspective.

    During my desperate nights I longed for my circumstances to be different. I cried until the tears would no longer come. Many times I tarried in the pit of despair much longer than necessary. But when I remembered God's faithfulness and mercies to me, my hope was renewed.

    Did the circumstances surrounding my sorrows change because I remembered God's promises? No. What changed was hope slipped in to my outlook. Hope means to wait with expectation, and this is what I chose to do during those hard nights.

    Are you in need of hope today? Will you choose to remember God's faithfulness, love, and mercy, despite the despair and destruction around you? Today, dare to hope.

    Dear Lord, I want to dare to hope, but life around me seems uncertain and tentative. Will You help me remember Your faithfulness, love and mercy? Thank You in advance for what You are going to do. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    Read Lamentations 3:21-24 aloud. Remember and write down God's expressions of faithfulness, mercy, and love to you. Dare to hope.

    Forward today's devotion to someone who needs hope.

    What stumbling block keeps you from daring to hope? Remember...
    His unfailing love
    His new mercies
    His never ending faithfulness
    His inheritance

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 33:18, "But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Wendy Pope. 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 Lamentations

  • Faith Versus Fear

    Posted on February 10, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4

     

    Fear is a formidable foe of faith. It lurks about, looking for ways to lead us into distrust of our Lord. Fear is subtle with its sneak attacks on our attitudes and bold in its frontal barrage on our beliefs. Fear always fights back, even when we extinguish it for a time with our total trust in God.  And it doesn’t let up until  we get to heaven. Fear is like fire ants.  You can eliminate their unholy mound with a baby powder-like deterrent, but they regroup and rebuild nearby.

     

    Trust in the Lord is the terminator of fear, but fear seems to recreate itself with whatever appendage of doubt is left. It grows within the next uncertain circumstance that comes our way. Fear thinks it has us in check on the chessboard of our life, but the truth is Jesus checkmated fear on the cross. Now it is up to us to appropriate His triumph by trusting in God.

     

    There are many times when we are in transition from fear to faith. It’s in the transition of trust in God that our cares co-mingle with Christ’s care. There is a holy tension that transpires in our transition into trust. It is in this dawn of trust that light gradually overcomes darkness. Faith dissolves doubts as the sun drives away the mist. Your mind may be a little murky, but you renew your thinking (Romans 12:2) with the truth that God is ever present. Your confidence may be crumbling, but you keep your eyes on your Savior. Your prayers may be clumsy, but you still cling to Christ. Your relationships may be reluctant, but you rely on the Lord. Use this transition from fear to faith to grow your mercy and compassion. Indeed, doubting can drive us to God, and it grows us into more patient and humble human beings. It strengthens our trust and makes us hold faster to heaven. Hope trusts in this transition from fear to faith.

     

    Moreover, mortal man has not made a permanent impression on the saints of God. Immortal and Almighty God is your new insignia. Embedded on the coins of your character is the faith-filled inscription, “In God I Trust.” Followers of Jesus have the eternal seal of their Savior as their newfound identity (Ephesians 4:30). Do not allow the patterns of your old life to feed any fading fears in your new one (Romans 6:6). The fears of your proud past have been replaced with faith, love, and hope in your humble here and now. Faith has banished fear.

     

    Therefore, you can continually celebrate. Praise points you to Providence. After all, it’s all about Him. This is why faith brings forth praise. When you trust, you can’t help but sing from your soul. Indeed, faith in the Lord facilitates praise and is a product of praise. It is in our praise of God that our fears fade and our faith flourishes. So praise Him, trust Him, and fear no one. No one can take from you what you have already given to Him. Faith is a fear-killer; it overcomes.

     

    Post/Tweet: Fear thinks it has us in check on the chessboard of our life, but the truth is, Jesus checkmated fear on the cross. #fear

     

    © 2012 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 Psalm, Fear, Faith

  • Faithful Guide

    Posted on February 9, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity” (Proverbs 11:3).

     

    Integrity is an instrument of almighty God. He uses it to guide His children in the direction He desires for them. Have you ever wondered what God would have you do? Integrity is His directive to do the next right thing, trusting Him with the results. It is out of honesty we begin to comprehend Christ’s desires. He delights in our uprightness.

     

    For example, are you totally honest on your tax return? Is your tax preparer a person of unquestionable integrity? We can trust professionals to represent us well, but we are ultimately responsible for an honest outcome. Furthermore, is there anything you are doing, if printed as a newspaper headline, that would embarrass you and your family? Indeed, integrity brings joy to heaven and security on earth. It is your guide for godly living.

     

    Moreover, the iniquity of the unfaithful destroys. The blessing of God is removed as it cannot be bought with bad behavior. Relationships are scarred and some even severed over dishonest dealings. Overnight, poor judgment can soil and potentially destroy a hard-earned reputation. Pride acts like integrity is only for others. It deceives itself and becomes a disgrace for its dishonest and duplicitous ways. Iniquity is an unfaithful guide.

     

    “I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do” (Nehemiah 7:2).

     

    So we ask ourselves, “How can I be a man or woman of integrity over the balance of my life?” There is a simplicity about those who base their behavior on the principles of God’s Word; nothing fancy, only faithful living in their daily routine. The grace of God governs their soul, the truth of God renews their mind, and accountability is an anchor for their actions. Honestly ask yourself, “Is integrity my faithful guide?”

     

    The Bible says, “May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you” (Psalm 25:21).

     

    Prayer: How can I better integrate integrity as a guide for my business dealings and behavior at home?

     

    Related Readings: Genesis 20:4–7; Hosea 13:9; Matthew 7:13; Romans 7:9–12

    Post/Tweet: Set your affections above, and you will be more effective below. #heaven

     

    © 2012 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 Proverbs

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