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  • Believe Randy Frazee

Family Christian

  • Answer Envy

    Posted on May 17, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Related Resources:

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

    Follow us on Facebook.

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

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

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

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

    © 2013 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

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


  • Unacceptable Prayers

    Posted on May 16, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

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

     

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

     

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

     

    All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Hillsong Set to Release New LIVE album Glorious Ruin

    Posted on May 16, 2013 by Family Christian


    Hillsong LIVE will release their 22nd live-recorded album, Glorious Ruins, on July 2. Recorded for the first time live in two locations - London, England and Sydney, Australia - Glorious Ruins is consistent with Hillsong’s passion to resource the church around the globe. The live album offers the church a new era of worship anthems that will cross multiple denominational and cultural boundaries.

    “Ruins can speak of crushing defeat or perhaps of something abandoned, but the good news today is that the ruins come to life,” explains Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church Brian Houston. “Through Jesus Christ what we look at is ruins that become glorious.”

    Let the ruins come to life, in the beauty of your name, rising up from the ashes, God forever you reign. And my heart will find refuge, in the shadow of your wings, I will love you forever, and forever I'll sing" – lyrics from "Glorious Ruins"

    “This declaration of the saving power of Christ reminds us that we can look to the cross throughout life, in times of success or failure He is there with us,” shares worship leader Reuben Morgan. “We’ve never been diverted from viewing worship as both personal and corporate, intimate and celebratory. We don’t seek to make each project ‘better’ as such, because how can one form of worship be better than another? Instead each project is a continuation of the journey, and we are thankful to God that so many people take the journey with us.”

    Glorious Ruins is an acknowledgment of humanity and a bridge to redemption. It includes 12 fresh new songs (14 songs on the Deluxe Edition) written by Hillsong team members including Joel Houston, Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding and Matt Crocker. The album features the title track, “Man of Sorrows,” which is already being sung in churches internationally, and “Glorify Your Name,” a collaboration between Reuben Morgan and Chris Tomlin.

    Glorious Ruins follows the highly successful LIVE 2012 release Cornerstone, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Christian and Praise and Worship charts. The single “Cornerstone” recently had the highest debut on the CCLI chart and was sung in over 11,000 churches on Easter Sunday.

    Glorious Ruins Track List:
    1. Always Will
    2. You Never Fail
    3. Christ Is Enough
    4. Where The Spirit of the Lord Is
    5. Glorious Ruins
    6. Closer
    7. God Who Saves
    8. To Be Like You
    9. Man of Sorrows
    10. We Glorify Your Name
    11. You Crown The Year (Psalm 65:11)
    12. Anchor

  • Space to Exhale

    Posted on May 16, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa

    "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord." Isaiah 58:13-14a (NIV)

    Rest.

    That sounds so good, but it's really difficult for a girl like me. Even when my physical body is at rest, my mind rarely is.

    I feel like I'm always juggling balls in my brain. Kids' needs. Home demands. Work projects. The to-do lists never stop.

    Yet the Bible makes it very clear that we are to honor the Sabbath day and pursue rest. Literally we are to hit the pause button on life once a week and guard our need to rest. Guard it fiercely. Guard it intentionally. Guard it even if our schedules beg us to do otherwise.

    But why?

    There are honest, personal reasons we need to observe the Sabbath that will be unique for each person. There are private conversations we need to have with God. We all need to pause, to sit with God, and ask Him to reveal some things to us.

    And when I consider our key verse Isaiah 58:13-14a, something occurs to me—it's not just a day for me to give to God. It's a day God established for me. He wants to give me something if only I'll slow down enough to receive it.

    "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD."

    The Sabbath isn't merely a time to be observed; it's a time to be preserved. It's a time to rediscover our joy in the Lord.

    I need this. I want to be a preserver of this day—one who is determined to protect this day of personal preservation and rediscover the delight of God.

    The observer remembers to rest.

    The preserver rests to remember—to remember that it's all about God.

    The observer remembers to rest and pause on the Sabbath day in order to follow a rule.

    The preserver does more than follow a rule. She follows God's desire and embraces His purpose in the rest. She spends one day a week letting the fresh wind of God's rest blow through her, cleaning out all she's been taking in during the week with a purifying soul exhale.

    It's all about pausing and connecting with God without the distracting chaos of our everyday routines. For one day a week, we step out of the fray and let God direct our day according to His rhythm, not ours.

    God's rhythm preserves a space in us to hear His voice, reveals the places we're off track, and prevents us from being filled with unnecessary clutter. Quiet rest allows us to see the places where we're going our own way, the areas where we're more self-pleasing than God-pleasing, the idle words that need to be reined in. During the down time, we can deal with the mental clutter and focus on the ways of God.

    The Sabbath makes this possible.

    Taking one day for rest gives my soul the freedom it so desperately needs. Freedom to breathe. Space to breathe. Inhaling and exhaling in a gentle rhythm set by God.

    Dear Lord, space to breathe, this is what I need today. Thank You for showing me how important it is to create a place for freedom and rest. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

    Related Resources:
    For more encouragement and practical advice on creating a place to exhale in the midst of raw emotions check out Lysa TerKeurst's book Unglued.

    The accompanying Unglued Bible study will help you understand what the Bible says about better ways to react. To order your copy, click here.

    Follow us on Facebook.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Take a moment to think about your own practices for rest and reflection on the Sabbath.

    What can you do to hit "pause" and spend some time with the Lord this week? It could be taking a break from your to-do list, committing to spend some time journaling, etc.

    Power Verses:
    Hebrews 4:9-10, "There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his." (NIV)

    Psalm 62:1, "Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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


  • Unanswered Prayers

    Posted on May 15, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1

     

    Sometimes God is silent, even when His children cry out for answers. The unfair becomes a test of faith that grows the prayer life of those who stay persistent with the Lord. No, He is not too busy answering the billion other prayers bombarding heaven, but He does want an unfeigned faith in His followers. God is not a cosmic “google” waiting to give unlimited information to all requests. Too much data can break a spirit, puff up a mind or confuse a heart.

     

    Our Heavenly Father knows what’s best in how we process unanswered prayers. We may not be ready to receive what we want or think we need. We seem stuck in a stage of suffering because we are learning the depths of dependency on God. We feel like we are dog paddling in a phase of waiting because our patience needs to progress to perseverance. Our aloneness can suffocate us, but we breathe better spiritually in a close walk with Christ. Unanswered prayers produce prayer.

     

    Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

    Jesus says that even an unjust judge can be convinced of the right thing to do, but our Heavenly Father does not have to be convinced of good actions. He is all good and He knows what’s best for His children. He wants us to be convinced of the next right thing. So, a prolonged prayer process creates new convictions we cherish and cling to for comfort. For example, in prayer the Spirit may reveal anger in a pocket of our heart that He replaces with forgiveness. Unanswered prayer pushes us to unknown places that need soul care. Humble prayers are always productive.

    Lastly, we remain in prayer to remain in Him. Our perspective grows in Christlike clairvoyance as we focus on our Heavenly Father in His liberal love and holiness. Trust wins, not suspicion, when we grow familiar with the dynamics of faithful living. Prayer becomes like oxygen for our soul, lest we smother ourselves in worry. Like a needy widow we need assurance from our righteous judge, Jesus! Yes, our Lord never sleeps, He listens intently and loves us passionately.

    While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep. Daniel 8:18

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, while I wait on You, I will pray to You and remain in You.

     

    Related Readings: Isaiah 40:31; Luke 11:5-8; Romans 1:10; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2

     

    Post/Tweet today: Unanswered prayer pushes us to unknown places that need soul care. Humble prayers are always productive. #prayer

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • FOR KING & COUNTRY PERFORM BEFORE A SOLD-OUT CROWD

    Posted on May 15, 2013 by Family Christian


    Saturday night was a momentous occasion as critically-acclaimed duo for KING & COUNTRY played before a sold-out crowd for KSBJ’s 30th Anniversary Concert. The celebration, which also featured performances by Chris August, Francesca Battistelli, Steven Curtis Chapman, Family Force 5, Amy Grant, MercyMe and Switchfoot, took place at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Spring, TX.

    “for King and Country were C-R-A-Z-Y onstage and set the bar high opening up the show,” said KSBJ’s Assistant Programming Director and “The Morning Show” co-host, Pam Kelly. “They really gave it their all and the crowd loved it.  And such nice guys!  Joel stood out in the plaza for hours, in the Houston heat, to take pictures with everyone who wanted one.  These guys are going to be around for a long time!”

    “Middle of Your Heart” is for KING & COUNTRY’s third single from their debut album, Crave. On January 10, they made their late night debut performing “The Proof of Your Love,” on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” In 2012, for KING & COUNTRY were named as one of Billboard’s 17 acts to watch and were CCM’s best-selling new artist. New Release Tuesday noted that Crave was “One of the Best Debut Projects in Years!” ET’s “The Insider” said the duo, “make music that speaks directly to your heart” and have been “gaining popularity in the alt-rock genre.” American Songwriter commented that “for KING & COUNTRY may just be Australia’s answer to Coldplay.”

  • Amy Grant's Latest - One of the Best Albums of the Year

    Posted on May 15, 2013 by Family Christian


    The foundation behind Amy Grant’s first full-length studio album in 10 years came from some advice given to her by her late mother – “sing something that matters.” The six-time GRAMMY® Award winner, who releases her 18th studio album today, May 14 is dedicating How Mercy Looks From Here to her mother and drawing from some of her favorite singers and songwriters in what critics are calling her most impactful release to date. The impressive array of talent includes Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Will Hoge, Carole King, Eric Paslay and James Taylor.

    To launch her first album in over a decade, Grant dives in to street week with appearances on CBS This Morning (5/17 and 5/18) and the nationally syndicated lifestyle program, The Better Show (5/17) as well as Morning Joe on MSNBC (5/14), NPR’s “Weekend Edition” (5/12), WOR Radio with Rita Cosby (5/14), ABC Radio, Keep the Faith radio and more. Grant also recently conducted an in depth interview for Lifetime TV’s “The Balancing Act,” (5/28) as well as their “Hollywood Watch” program (5/31). Additionally, Grant is also scheduled to appear on the highly acclaimed shows The View and The Chew early this summer.

    Other media highlights for How Mercy Looks From Here include a special two-part Artist to Artist interview with FUSE NEWS between Grant and Sheryl Crow, an exclusive online video interview for Entertainment Tonight online as well as their featured artist for New Music Tuesday today, exclusive song premieres with Billboard.com and GoodHousekeeping.com, and cover stories with CCM Magazine, Called Magazine, Guideposts, FIRST for Women Magazine, SOCIAL and WHOA magazines. Additional feature coverage includes Billboard, Country Weekly, People.com, SiriusXM, and more.

    The album’s lead track, "Don't Try So Hard," features legendary songwriter James Taylor and continues its rise up the AC monitored chart, jumping 4 spots to #25 this week, and up 6 spots on the National Audience chart to #27.

    Along with special mother’s day promotions with several stations across the country, additional radio promos for the record are happening with key market stations throughout the country. Grant is making personal appearances at record listening parties with WAWZ, WGTS, WCIE, and WHPZ, as well as participating in a special promotion with KSBJ, while KXOJ and K-LOVE are both promoting a flyaway to The Greek Theater in Los Angeles to meet Amy and see her live.

    Welcoming back the iconic singer-songwriter with open arms, here are just a few of the multitudes of praises on How Mercy Looks From Here:

    “[Amy’s] time away from music seems to have given [her] a renewed fervor for the job – a feeling that she doesn’t plan to extinguish any time soon.”
    - Entertainment Tonight

    "The older I get the more I appreciate the experiences of others and what they teach me. This album is about just that, experience or the journey that we are all on. It is very powerful yet simple and humbling. Great record for where you are or where you will go!"
    - Mike Bowles, AVP Ministry Initiatives, Family Christian

    “...her singing has an easy grace that's well served by these songs of love, loss, faith and resilience, which benefit from Marshall Altman's spare, glowing production.”
    - USA Today

    It is so good to once again hear from Amy Grant. Her artistry, love, and matter of fact communication style have produced an incredible new release.
    Amy is always so good at encouraging me to get my head right, and she has done it again.
    - Hank Butler, Sr. Merchandiser Manager, Family Christian

    “Grant’s most emotionally compelling release since 1988’s “Lead Me On"... proves that sincerity is not overrated and that open-hearted storytelling will outlast any musical fad.”

    - Atlanta Journal Constitution

    “The revered veteran is at another creative peak punctuated by authentic vocal delivery, understated but sophisticated production and a slew of all-star guests.”
    - CCM Magazine

    "I’ve been waiting years for new Amy Grant music…this record was worth the wait. From the first single 'Don’t Try So Hard' which delivers instant rest for this world that has gotten itself into a great big hurry, to my personal favorite 'Our Time is Now' (co-written by Jon Foreman). I love 'How Mercy Looks From Here.'"
    - Dan Hubka, Family Christian

    "...a start-to-finish true album experience... Every song on this album is heart and soul music, and Grant hits a home run in her quest to “sing something that matters.”
    - Nashville Parent

    “A collection of songs that mine the depths of both heart and soul as only Amy can. This is easily one of the best albums of the year.”
    - NewReleaseTuesday.com

    “Ultimately a profoundly encouraging record, How Mercy Looks From Here is a vibrant collection of thoughtful, reflective ruminations on life and the passage of time, from the lens of one who realizes the purpose for which she was created.”
    - Christian Musician

  • Praying With Confidence

    Posted on May 15, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee

    "This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." 1 John 5:14 (NAS)

    I used to be hesitant to pray and found myself stumbling over my words when talking to God. I especially didn't know how to pray when struggling with uncertainty and doubts.

    Desperately wanting to say the right things, I believed if I prayed the right way God would listen and answer my prayers the way I wanted Him to.

    It took me a while, but I eventually got up the courage to talk with a friend about my fears and struggles. She shared how she had struggled with the same things. She also explained how, over time, she had discovered that prayer isn't about saying or asking the right things; it's about building a relationship with God by talking to Him.

    She also showed me how to take verses from the Bible and turn them into powerful prayers. Using God's Word as a guide gave me a new sense of confidence and direction when I didn't know what to say.

    One day I was reading 1 John 5:14, and noticed it says we can pray with certainty when we ask God for what is already part of His will: "This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."

    Praying Scriptures increased my confidence over time, knowing that I was praying God's will when I prayed God's Word.

    Wanting my prayers to be filled with power and my heart to be infused with faith, I now look for Scriptures about God's will and God's ways. One is Hebrews 4:12 where God teaches us His Word is "alive and active." Praying that truth, I ask God to make His Word come alive in a situation and become active in the person's life I am praying for, including my own.

    Oftentimes when I pray now, I'll remember verses in the Bible that apply. For instance, when it feels like my plans are spinning out of control, Jeremiah 29:11 will come to mind. On those days, I'll pray:

    Lord, You know the plans You have for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a future and a hope. You say that if I come to You and pray, You will listen and will lead me. So, today I surrender my plans for Your plans. Please guide my decisions and thoughts to match Yours so I can experience hope and not harm. Even though things aren't going so great today, I trust the plans You have for me."

    God isn't looking for the perfect combination of words, and there's no formula to get it right. Now that the pressure to say the right things is gone, praying has become one of my favorite things to do—whether alone or with a friend.

    Sometimes I just sit still and let God whisper His promises into my thoughts and then I ask for their fulfillment in my prayers.

    Lord, I'm so glad I don't have to say that right thing to get Your attention. Thank You for Your Spirit that lives in me and leads me—in my daily activities and even in my prayers. Please show me verses You want me to pray so I can see Your Word come alive in my circumstances and become active in my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    In her life-changing book, A Confident Heart, Renee Swope ends each chapter with a prayer weaving together powerful scriptures to help you overcome doubt and insecurity based on the topic and teaching in that chapter. Buy a copy for yourself or a friend!

    Follow us on Facebook.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Use God's Word as a guide to pray when you don't know what to say.

    Pick a verse today to begin praying.

    Power Verse:
    Matthew 6:9-13, "Pray then like this: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'" (ESV)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

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


  • Christian Duty

    Posted on May 14, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty. Luke 17:10

     

    Christian duty is illustrated by a master and servant relationship. The Master (Jesus Christ) is caring and clear in His expectations for His servants (Christians). The Master expects diligence and thoroughness in the tasks at hand. He does not patronize the sincere servant with flowery compliments, but allows the servant to enjoy fulfilling work for the Master’s sake. Honorable service done for our Master Jesus Christ is the duty of all His followers. This is fundamental.

     

    Our Heavenly Father does not owe us anything for our routine or radical efforts for His Kingdom. Indeed, our life in total is all His grace. Our relationships, our ability to work, our mental reasoning, our feelings of love and hope all spring from the heart of our Savior Jesus. It is our duty to do what Christ commands without complaint or expecting anything in return. Like a good soldier does his duty for God and country, so servants of Jesus are faithful to their charge.

     

    Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12

    Those of us who long for approval struggle when our service is absent commendations. Yet, this is a test to see if our motivation is for what we get out of obeying God, or for what we can give, by doing our duty in pure gratitude to Him. We become miserable, even angry, if we expect   special treatment by the Lord or His people because of our sacrificial service. Yes, unexpected blessings will come back to those who bless, but this is not why we give. Our duty has no claims.

     

    Therefore, your Christian duty needs no more than to diligently follow Christ’s calling. He is your Master and you serve at His bidding. He may have you engaged in the mundane tasks of motherhood or the boring basics of an entry level job. Wherever your Lord has you on assignment, do it with joy. Total submission to Christ is your best option, yes, repent of negotiating your own recognition and rewards. Christian duty done by grace glorifies God!

     

    Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. Ecclesiastes 12:13

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I submit to your service and trust you to lead me in Your calling.

     

    Related Readings: Psalm 16:2; Job 22:2; John 15:20; 1 Timothy 5:21

     

    Post/Tweet today: Wherever your Lord has you on assignment do it with joy. Total submission to Christ is your best option. #submission

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • JAVEN TO RELEASE LIVE WORSHIP ALBUM

    Posted on May 14, 2013 by Family Christian


    Tyscot Music + Entertainment is pleased to announce the signing of award-winning Gospel artist JAVEN. His upcoming live album, “Worship in the Now,” will be released on May 21st, features guest appearances by Damita, Marvin Winans, Jr., The Campbell Family, Jonathan Nelson and LaRue Howard.

    "Praise and Worship music is one of the cornerstones of adoring and honoring our God, a joyful celebration of congregational singing,” said Bryant S. Scott, President of Tyscot. “We signed JAVEN as we truly believe it's his time to help the nation & the world, Worship In The Now!"

    Over the past decade, JAVEN has not only gained international recognition as a recording artist, but as an actor as well. His extensive acting credits include the Off-Broadway musical “The Rock and the Rabbi” and feature films like “The Sixth,” “Abandoned” (starring Brittany Murphy), “One Night with the King” (opposite Omar Sharif and Peter O’Toole) and “Preacher’s Kid” (with Clifton Powell and former Destiny's Child member LaToya Luckett). JAVEN also served as a co-host on BET’s “Paula White Show” from 2001-2002.

    “I'm excited about ‘Worship in the Now’ and what it means to those who are experiencing it,” said JAVEN. “I know as people begin to include worship more and more in their everyday lives, everything from depression to poverty, even sickness will begin to be removed from their lives. It's my belief that this new [album] will be a hit across the country with this Now Generation of Worshipers, who are people that want to get closer to God's presence.”

    JAVEN continues to tour worldwide, traveling internationally to perform and speak throughout North America and around the world.

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