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Family Christian

  • Steven Curtis Chapman Announces New Album - The Glorious Unfolding

    Posted on August 12, 2013 by Family Christian

    Highly acclaimed singer-songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman announces the release of his latest record, The Glorious Unfolding, available September 30, 2013. The project is the first full-length studio album with all original songs in seven years. Kicking off the launch, the new single, “Love Take Me Over,” recently released and garnered 42 radio adds its first week out. Chapman will also visit 35+ cities on the first leg of “The Glorious Unfolding” Tour alongside GRAMMY-winning worship leader Laura Story and greatly noted songsmith Jason Gray.

    Garnering 47 No. 1 singles and approaching 11 million career albums sold, Steven Curtis Chapman is now readying to release his 18th album. The Glorious Unfolding centers on the truth that God is at work telling a story through the wonderful and amazing as well as the painful and difficult chapters of our lives, something Chapman understands first hand.

    “As I’ve journeyed through this story, I’m more convinced than ever that God does know the plans that He has for us and He will finish what He started. God is telling an amazing, glorious, epic story. We have to decide if we will trust Him with it,” explains Chapman.

    The latest single, “Love Take Me Over,” recently released to radio and garnered 42 adds its first week out on rotation, making it one of Christian music’s highest radio add dates of 2013. Other notable songs from the record include the melodically adventuresome “Glorious Unfolding,” high-energy declaration “Something Beautiful,” full-orchestrated love song “Together” and many others.

    Chapman will embark on a fall 35-city, “The Glorious Unfolding” Tour. The national run's title presenting partner is Show Hope, a nonprofit organization that restores the hope of families to orphans in distress around the world and in the U.S. Chapman and the tour are also partnering with America World Adoption. Fans can anticipate music from the Steven's new album, including the debut single, “Love Take Me Over,” a mixture of his No. 1 singles and other fan favorites in an encouraging night filled with stories, worship and excitement.

    “I'm so excited and honored to have Laura Story and Jason Gray join me on the road,” Chapman adds. “I can't wait to share these songs live and we're already praying God will use each and every night powerfully. I hope all our friends can make it out.”

  • Newsboys Announce ReStart Tour - This Fall

    Posted on August 12, 2013 by Family Christian

    This fall, the multi-platinum selling band and steady touring act Newsboys will continue to share the message of how to 'change the world' with their highly anticipated Restart Tour. Hitting 20+ dates across the U.S., this four-time GRAMMY-nominated and chart-topping group will kick off their anticipated tour on September 20 and run through October 27. Newsboys will be promoting their brand new upcoming studio project, Restart, which is slated to release September 10.


    Over the course of their previous sellout tours, Newsboys have impacted thousands of lives, both locally and internationally, making a Newsboys show one of the most in-demand nights of worship, praise and celebration. As they ready for their fall tour, concertgoers can anticipate hearing brand new songs from Restart, such as their newest hit single that is climbing up the charts, “Live With Abandon,” as well as "Restart" and "That's How You Change The World," the first song found on their new album. Fans will also get to hear many of the band's biggest No. 1 hits, such as "Your Love Never Fails," “God’s Not Dead,” “Born Again,” and much, much more.


    Sponsoring Newsboys' touring once again is Compassion International, where on their previous sold out God’s Not Dead Tour, more than 10,750 children were sponsored throughout their partnership with the organization. Also adding to the tour will be opening support from popular artists such as For King & Country, Moriah Peters, and Rapture Ruckus.
    Tour dates are listed below.
    September
    20 – Barre, VT
    21 – Shippensburg, PA
    22 – New Brunswick, NJ
    27 – Savannah, GA
    October
    03 – Metairie, LA
    05 – Harlingen, TX
    06 – Austin, TX
    10 – Columbia, MO
    11 – Cincinnati, OH
    12 – Cullman, AL
    13 – Waukesha, WI
    18 – Marion, IN
    19 – Davenport, IA
    20 – St. Cloud, MN
    22 – Fargo, ND
    24 – Green Bay, WI
    25 – Mitchell, SD
    26 – St. Charles, MO
    27 – Springfield, OH

  • My New Normal

    Posted on August 12, 2013 by Leah Kimenhour

    Leah

    "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17 (NIV)

    Growing up, I never liked change. To be honest, I would try to avoid it if possible. But sometimes that wasn't easy to do.

    I still remember the fear as I made the transition from being homeschooled to attending public high school. My first day as a new student at a new school with new teachers and new classmates was a terrifying experience. The days that followed weren't much better. I'd lie in bed at night and spend hours crafting a plan that would take me back to my old life. My old normal.

    Although I've grown since then, the fear of change can creep back in during certain situations. The unknown taunts me to remain in my comfort zone.

    Recently, I felt it'd be wise to distance myself from a friendship that was a huge part of my life. Out of respect for my friend, I can't go in to the details, but I can say I'd been asked to do things that weren't in line with Scripture. There were too many dangers that threatened to take me away from God if my friend and I remained close. The Lord was tugging at my heart, asking me to step away from this relationship.

    I agonized over that decision. Fear rolled in. We hung out all the time. Talked every day. Ran in the same crowd. My friend was part of my 'normal.' Letting go of this one friend would mean letting go of the normal group of friends we were part of, and not going to the normal places we all hung out. I wanted to convince myself it was okay to stay in this friendship the way it was. After all, it was comfortable. And I really didn't like change.

    But for my own good ... for the good of my relationship with God ... it was time to redefine what 'normal' looked like. This required me to embrace everyday life without the familiarity of my friend. So I stepped out in obedience, despite the uncertainty.

    There were times after making that hard decision when I yearned for my old life, with old friends. I wanted to run from my new normal because there was comfort in what had once been familiar.

    But here's a truth I've learned since my days as the new kid on the block-although my circumstances can change, I have a God who never does. In times of change, I find strength in James 1:17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

    My new normal is a solid place with a foundation rooted in my unchanging God-not in the shifting shadows cast by the fear of change that used to loom over me. The way He's leading me is truly a gift: it is trustworthy and is full of His joy. God's transforming my circumstances and relationships to work for my good and His glory.

    God is faithful. He has blessed me with the gift of life-giving relationships and community that I never would have experienced had I not obeyed Him and stepped outside of my comfort zone.

    And I know that no matter what you're facing, no matter what changes may be coming your way, He can do the same for you. Listen to God's prompting and trust that He has a gift for you too: His faithfulness, hope and encouragement. Embrace your new normal.

    Dear Lord, change and uncertainty can be scary, but I'm choosing to trust You. Help me walk confidently in my new normal, knowing it has been perfectly arranged by You. I love You, Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst and Hope TerKeurst

    Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    Has God been speaking to you about a change that needs to happen in your life?

    Commit to spending time praying, fasting and listening closely for God's instruction. As you enter into a season of change, hold fast to His promises and truths about His unchanging character by memorizing the Power Verses below.

    Power Verses:
    Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (NIV)

    Deuteronomy 32:4, "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he." (NIV)

    Malachi 3:6a, "For I am the Lord, I change not." (KJV)

    © 2013 by Leah Kimenhour. All rights reserved.

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

  • Grandparent’s Blessing

    Posted on August 11, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father. Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”    Genesis 48:9

    God’s gift to grandchildren is their grandparents’ blessing. It is significant for grandsons and granddaughters to receive this grand blessing. Grandchildren are certainly a blessing; who can argue this? Their smiles bless. So does their laughter. Their creative and passionate conversations bless. Their infant coos and twinkling eyes, their honesty and love, their trust and imagination all bless. Grandchildren are a blessing without a whole lot of effort. The minute they showed up, they blessed.  Grandchildren are a grand gift from God, but there is more to the grand blessing of grandchildren. They are created by God to be blessed by their grandparents, so not only are they a blessing to their grandparents, they are to be blessed by their grandparents.

    That blessing is critical to the spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of children. There is a greater family purpose beyond their immediate relationship with mom and dad. This is more easily understood in an agrarian society where the family is close and connected. They are close in proximity and have aligned passions around work, play, home, and church. Grandparents are nearby to bless with kind words and understanding ears. They model good money management and teach their grandchildren everything from how to whittle rough sticks of wood into smooth works of art, to how to eat peanuts from a soft drink bottle. They bless you without your even knowing that you’re being blessed. Therefore, position your family to interact and engage with their grandparents. Visit them often. Invite them over at holidays and on the spur of the moment. Create environments for your children in which they can be blessed by their grandparents. They are not competition, but agents of Almighty God. Do not deny them the opportunity to be blessed and to bless.

    The blessings of confidence, courage, and candor come from being around grandparents who care. The few grandparents who couldn’t care less may eventually come around because God created them to care. Don’t give up on them, but keep praying for their care to awaken from its selfish slumber. Give them a chance, for Christ created grandkids to be objects of their grandparents’ affection and blessing. Encourage your children to visit the home of your parents, and trust God to unleash His blessing through your parents. Their unconditional love makes your child a better son or daughter and you, a better parent.

    Grandparents, bless your grandchildren with a legacy of love for God and people. Do not become the center of attention; instead lead them to fall in love with Jesus. God will live in your grandbabies beyond your life. Bless them with Bible reading and prayer. Bless them with worship at church. Bless them with stories and adventure. Bless them with generosity. Bless them with obedience to God. Bless them with a life worth emulating. Grandchildren are not complete without the blessing of their grandparents. You invest in eternity when you bless your grandchildren.

    The Bible says, “The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old” (Proverbs 20:29).

    Post/Tweet: Create environments for your children in which they can be blessed by their grandparents. #grandparentsblessing

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

  • Join God

    Posted on August 10, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “God is with us; he is our leader. His priests with their trumpets will sound the battle cry against you. Men of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, the God of your fathers, for you will not succeed” (2 Chronicles 13:12).

    I am either for God or against God. There is no in-between. If I ignore God, I am against Him. If my words honor God but my actions do not follow, I am against Him. If I am against those whom God is with, I am against God. Resisting God is not a smart place to be. It is much wiser to join God than to resist God. Joining Jesus brings joy!

    We prayerfully discover where God is working and join Him. We resign ourselves from resistance to God and instead align with His will. There is no better place than to be partnered with God and His people. He is the pilot, and we are the co-pilots. He is the owner, and we are the managers. He is the King, and we are His servants. He is our heavenly Father, and we are His children. He is with us as He sends us out on His behalf.

    “After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them” (Acts 16:10).

    Join Him at church and worship Him with his people. Saints and sinners alike will welcome you. We are all fellow strugglers on a joint mission with Jesus. Join Him in your marriage. No marriage has ever regretted placing Christ as the focal point. He is the stabilizer and perspective needed for a husband, wife, and child to flourish.

    Join Him while you are stretching your mind in college. As you love Him with your mind, His wisdom will impregnate your thinking with good, pure, and productive thoughts. You will be wise beyond your years for His purposes. Join Him in your business pursuits. You will be surprised how He can lead you to the right deal and help you craft and execute the perfect plan. Join Him in a vision much bigger than yourself. Pray for a vision that, unless God pulls it off, it certainly will not happen. Joint venture with Jesus.

    Stop meddling with mediocre projects that man can pull off without the Lord. Ask instead, “Where is He working?” Join Him. By faith you can ride the wave of His wonder. Wake up and do not waste His precious time. You may be fighting a battle He has already won. Or you may be laboring in a field He has already left. Boldly go where no man has gone but where God is gathering a critical mass of like-minded disciples.

    Our prayer is not for God to be on our side but for us to be on His. He is working in ways far beyond what we could envision, imagine, or figure out. Through intense prayer and with His faithful followers, let’s join together and watch Him work. Otherwise, we are sleeping with the enemy and messing around biding our time. Seek out divine endeavors, join Him and hang on for the ride. There is nothing like the Lord’s leverage—one hundred fold who can influence an entire world for Jesus Christ. So by faith join Him today!

    “Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you” (Zechariah 2:11).

    Prayer: Where is the Lord calling me to leave my comfort zone for Christ’s sake and join Him?

    Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 16:10–11; Matthew 8:22; Acts 12:8; 1 Timothy 1:3

    Post/Tweet: Go where God is gathering a critical mass of like-minded disciples. Join Jesus where He is working. #joinGod

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

  • Give God Guilt

    Posted on August 9, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. Psalm 38:4

    When we feel like we have come to nothing, our Lord Jesus is ready to make us into something. Guilt can cause our good deeds to grind to a halt or it can drive us to try to make up for lost time with frantic activity for God. Guilt motivated behavior is not sustainable, because like a scuba diver’s weight belt it weighs us down with sin and shame. We drift deeper into the murky waters of fear until we are unable to see the forgiveness and grace of God. Guilt overwhelms our heart.

    The blood of Jesus Christ is the only remedy for sin’s guilt. Other pseudo solutions like drugs, alcohol, sex, work and play only mess with our emotions and leave us longing for real relief. Guilt is a warning light on the dashboard of our life that flashes when we are close to losing our peace and joy. It is a protector of joy not a killer of joy. Guilt drives us to God for freedom from mental or emotional pain. Confess to Christ, release your guilt and accept His total forgiveness.

    For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. James 2:10

    Beware of those who intentionally or unintentionally attempt to put you on a guilt trip. It could be they are shifting blame to you from their irresponsible behavior. Their own shame feels the need to shame those in their path. Avoid chronic carriers of guilt, they hurt innocent bystanders who stand near their exposed emotional wounds. Guilt is like a grenade whose pin is pulled, its insensitive shrapnel injures everyone in its path. Yes, be a righteous resolver of unresolved guilt.

    Do you hold unrealistic expectations over the head of a loved one? Do you demand of others more than the Lord expects of them? If so, guilt can easily drive a wedge in between your relationships. A friend or family member bound up in their own shame and guilt need God’s grace and your gracious response. Your forgiveness frees the guilty. Once you have been freed from guilt by God’s grace, you can lead others to receive the Lord’s love. He frees the guilty!

    They will be forgiven for any of the things they did that made them guilty. Leviticus 6:7

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, free me from the guilt of my past, so I can free friends from guilt in the present.

    Related Readings: Numbers 11:14, 14:18; Ezra 9:6; Luke 11:46; Hebrews 10:22

    Post/Tweet today: Guilt is a warning light on life’s dashboard that flashes when we are close to losing our peace and joy. #guilt


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

  • Letting Go

    Posted on August 9, 2013 by Amy Carroll

    Amy

    "He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands." Psalm 78:5-7 (NIV)

    Each year I take out one memory-soaked treasure after another from the boxes containing our family's Christmas and winter decorations. There's one I anticipate unpacking more than all the others. It's a framed photograph of my two little boys in brightly colored jackets sitting on a sled surrounded by fresh snow. Their heads thrown back with delight and laughter give testament to the joy of speed and a rare North Carolina snowfall.

    It's amazing how that one picture captures the childhood of my sons. Thinking about it makes my heart ache for days gone by. I reminisce about hours of playing with blocks and little arms wrapped around my neck.

    I never wanted those toddler hugs to end, but today, my once-little-boys tower over me, their deep voices filling our home. Gone are childish giggles, Play-Doh and picture books. Those things are replaced with teenaged practical jokes, car keys and college texts. The boys have turned into young men, and they've let go of juvenile ways. Now, if only their mama could let go!

    My oldest, Anson, is getting ready to head back to college for his sophomore year, and God's Word comforts me in this challenging transition. To parents who are watching their children sprout wings of independence, God gives strong direction followed by a powerful promise.

    Strong Direction ... our job as parents is to teach.

    There are several different scriptures that command us to teach:

    "Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them" (Deut. 4:9 NIV).

    "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up" (Deut. 11:18-19 NIV).

    Followed by a promise ... as we let go, trust our children will hang on to God.

    "Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it" (Proverbs 22:6 NLT).

    Teach and then trust.

    Parenting is a divine partnership, with God as the controlling partner. Our acts of obedience to teach our kids merge powerfully with His promises to carry them through to the end.

    My husband and I have faithfully and lovingly taught God's Word to our sons. Now we are trusting God to finish the work He has begun in them. The work may not be evident immediately and there will be bumps in the road, but teaching and then trusting helps this mama's heart to let go.

    Dear Lord, help me to faithfully teach Your Word and Your ways to my children and then trust You to set their paths. I let go of control and trust Your work in them. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    Are there biblical lessons you feel you haven't yet taught your child? Make a plan to do that before they leave your home.

    Ask your older child today how you're doing in the letting go process. Discuss freedoms he would like to have and how those freedoms can be earned.

    Power Verses:
    Isaiah 44:3, "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

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

  • Live by Faith

    Posted on August 8, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. Hebrews 10:38-39

    Saving faith is a Christian’s starting point and sustaining faith is what carries them forward. Followers of Jesus are saved by grace through faith and they grow by grace through faith. Faith in Christ is the key that unlocks the human heart to God’s imagination. The Holy Spirit looks for a humble spirit to spread around His spiritual security. He draws those full of faith in the fullness of His Spirit. Faith emboldens believers to begin each day better, because they started with Jesus.

    Has fear or suffering caused you to shrink back? Are you frustrated by the feeling of two steps forward and one step back? Be encouraged since you are moving along the Lord’s path, though maybe not at the speedy pace you desire. Your Master Jesus takes pleasure in your perseverance when you press forward by faith in the face of frustration. Jesus is your biggest cheerleader. Your little bit of faith in Christ creates enough confidence for today. So, live by faith in God’s son!

    I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
    Furthermore it is the faith of Jesus that gives our faith spiritual fortitude. Similar to the fishes and loaves, when we surrendered to Jesus He multiplied our faith by His faith. Because Christ is our life, His faith grows our faith exponentially. Our capacity for belief is only limited by the Lord’s capacity for belief. So, by faith we are called to let Jesus loose with our lips and life. Daily we die to our small thinking and engage in God’s big thinking. Yes, we live by the faith of Jesus for Jesus!

    You may start the day on your knees in doubt, but once you leave your concerns at the feet of Christ in prayer, you will stand to your feet to live by faith. You know you live by faith when you’ve cast your cares on your caregiver Jesus Christ. You know you live by faith when your Heavenly Father gives you peace to proceed. You know you live by faith when the Holy Spirit reminds you to give God the glory for your successes. Live by faith in the One who died for you.

    "Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith. Galatians 3:11

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to love motivated by Your gracious and giving love.

    Related Readings: Habbakuk 2:3-4; Romans 1:17, 8:10; Hebrews 11:13-16; 1 Peter 4:2

    Post/Tweet today: Saving faith is a Christian’s starting point and sustaining faith is what carries them forward. #livebyfaith

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

  • What Did Daniel Pray?

    Posted on August 8, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before." Daniel 6:10b (NIV)

    Have you ever been in a pit? Recently, I was. And you know what pits make me feel besides frustrated and down? Hungry.

    Usually my pit comes when circumstances roll into my life that I can't control.

    Circumstances that affect me, but that are beyond my control, make me want to find comfort in things I can control. And eating sure does feel like an easy way to get comfort.

    But in these situations, what feels comforting going in my mouth doesn't settle well in my heart.

    Overindulging in junk food makes me feel guilty. And once guilty joins me in my pit, it only compounds my issues. So, if we can't eat our way out of a pit with junk food, what can we do?

    If I'm truly hungry, I can grab a healthy option. Then, I intentionally look for something for which to be thankful and get my mouth busy praising God.

    Even though I may not feel like praising God in the midst of my pit, something starts to shift in my heart and in my attitude when I see blessings in the midst of burdens. Each thing for which I verbalize my thankfulness is like a stepping stone out of the pit.

    And this isn't just my idea. It's biblical. Look what happened when Daniel took this approach to the pit he found himself in.

    In Daniel 6:10, Daniel had just learned that if anyone was caught praying to anyone else besides King Darius, they would be thrown into the lion's den. That's a serious pit! But Daniel's reaction is amazing.

    He went home, threw his windows open, and prayed anyway. I'm not thinking he did this because he felt good. I'm imagining he felt like anyone would feel in overwhelming circumstances. But he rose above his feelings to make a choice.

    And do you know what he chose to pray?

    "God, save me!"

    "God, it's not fair!"

    "God, this is too much!"

    "God, smite my enemies and wipe them out!"

    "God, You know I can't handle this without extreme doses of chocolate!"

    No. None of the above.

    What Daniel prayed is a powerful lesson for me.

    Daniel 6:10b tells us that Daniel spoke prayers of gratitude. "Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before."

    Since Daniel's response is so opposite of the way most of us would react, it makes me stop and ponder. Our initial responses are usually a by-product of the rituals we've established in our life. Daniel had made it his habit to be thankful.

    Since Daniel was a thankful man, God's nature and how He provides was front and center in Daniel's heart—even in the midst of uncontrollable circumstances.

    I am challenged and inspired by Daniel's response. It makes me ask questions like: where do I run when life presses in on me? Who or what am I really dependent on? Do I have a habit of inviting guilt to join me in my pit? What might happen if I stopped grabbing for comfort and instead embraced the perspective changer of thanksgiving?

    Life will be full of pits. But, that doesn't mean I have to be a pit dweller. Or a pit eater.

    Dear Lord, I know I will sometimes find myself in a pit. But I don't have to stay there and I don't have to try to eat my way out. Thank You for providing Your timeless Word to point to the way, the truth and the life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    Ask yourself these 3 questions:

    Where do I run when life presses in on me?
    Who or what am I really dependent on?
    Do I have a habit of inviting guilt to join me in my pit?

    Power Verses:
    Hebrews 12:28, "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." (NIV)

    Colossians 3:15, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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

  • Motivated By Love

    Posted on August 7, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

    Love is the highest and best motivation. Like beauty pageant contestants, faith and hope accompany love as the top three finalists, but love is crowned the winner. It reigns because it brings out the very best in the lover and the one being loved. Similar to an invisible force field, love protects us from ourselves and compels us to give ourselves to others. It generates goodwill and garners trust. Yes, love is the pinnacle of the Lord’s expectations because it points to Christ.

    Love is loyal when most are disloyal. Love steps up when some step away. Love believes the best and doesn’t think to assume the worse. Love looks out for the interests of loved ones above its own needs. Love loves when unloved, love loves when lonely and love loves when loved. Love loves the unlovely, the unconcerned and the underutilized. Love looks for potential where impatience sees disappointment. Love is the Lord’s lubricant causing relations to run smoothly.

    The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:6

    What is your primary reason for relating to people? Is it to be loved or to love? Fortunately, when we are free to love without expecting anything in return, we are fulfilled by love’s fruit. Indeed, the glorious grace of God does not stand still when you run to love one starved of compassion. Hallelujah, your gift of love invites the Holy Spirit to shed His love across the landscape of your heart and soul. Like kudzu the seeds of love grow in places we cannot fathom.

    Furthermore, make sure your motivation for love is inspired out of your intimacy with your Heavenly Father, as you commune with Christ. The more consistent your love relationship with Jesus, the more capacity you have to love. To the extent you are loved well by the Lord, you will love well. The world’s noise drowns out the gentle words of Jesus, “I love you,” but in your daily quiet time you hear and feel His presence. God’s love motivates you to love with intentionality!

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

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to love motivated by Your gracious and giving love.

    Related Readings: John 15:12; Romans 5:8, 10; 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 3:6; 1 John 4:7-21

    Post/Tweet today: The more consistent our love relationship with Jesus, the more capacity we have to love. #motivatedbylove

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

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