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Family Christian

  • I Want To Run Away

    Posted on November 1, 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa Terkeurst

    "If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him—then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you." Deuteronomy 11:22-23 (NIV)

    One of the worst feelings in the world to me is feeling stuck.

    Stuck in a situation where I can't see things getting better. I look at the next 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days, and all I see are the same hard patterns being repeated over and over.

    I try to give myself a pep talk and tap into that part of me that chooses to see the bright side. But it isn't there.

    Life suddenly feels like it will forever be this way.

    And a dark funk eclipses me.

    This happened to me when my two oldest daughters were babies. Hope was not quite 16 months old when Ashley was born. I was thankful for these two amazing gifts. I loved them very much.

    But there was this other side of motherhood no one talked to me about beforehand. It never came up at my baby shower or a doctor's appointment or in conversations with other mommies.

    In the midst of all the pink happiness, the dark funk came.

    This desperate feeling that life would forever be an endless string of sleepless nights. Leaky diapers. Needy cries.

    Forever.

    One night I went to the drug store. I pulled into a parking space right in front of the restaurant beside the store and stared inside. There were normal people in there. Laughing. Eating. Having fun conversations. They had on cute outfits and fixed hair-dos.

    I looked at my reflection in the rear view mirror and I cried, thinking, this is my life. Forever.

    Suddenly I had this crazy desire to run away. Far away.

    And then guilt slammed into my fragile heart and I convinced myself God was going to punish me for feeling this way and take one of my babies. Smite me for being so stinkin' selfish.

    I cried until I could hardly breathe.

    I thought about this recently when I started feeling stuck in a different situation that seemed so big and made me so sad. I felt myself on the edge of that dark funk thinking this is the way it's going to be forever.

    But then I remembered that night crying in my car. Those days of diapers and no sleep weren't forever. It was a season that came and went. And this would play out that way too.

    It's the rhythm of life. The ebb and flow of struggles and victories.

    I closed my eyes and whispered, "Are You here God? Hold me. Breathe courage into my weak will. Help me."

    And in that moment I realized all that God ever wants from me is to want Him. Love Him. Acknowledge Him.

    In the midst of struggles. In the midst of victories. "God, I don't love this situation. But I love You. Therefore, I have everything I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other until I get to the other side of this."

    "If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him—then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you." (Deut. 11:22-23 NIV)

    I love how this scripture says, "hold fast" to the Lord. The dark funk makes me want to hold slow. Make God the last thing when I'm stumbling and falling. But if I close my eyes and simply whisper, "God ...," at the utterance of His Name He "dispossess" things trying to possess me.

    Then I can see this is a season. This isn't how it's going to be forever. Though my circumstances may not change today, my outlook surely can. And if my mind can rise above, my heart gets unstuck.

    Dear Lord, thank You for being so loving and understanding even in my weakest moments. Help me see that no matter how big or small, You are in control of all situations. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    One of the best things we can do when we feel stuck is get together with others and study God's Word. Why not consider Lysa's new Small Group / Bible study curriculum, Unglued?

    For more information on the Unglued book, click here.

    For more information on the Unglued 6 week DVD and participant's workbook, click here.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write the key verse and power verse down in your journal or on a notecard.

    When you feel overwhelmed by circumstances, read these verses and remember to hold fast to God. He is waiting for You to call out to Him.

    Power Verse:
    Isaiah 41:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (NIV)

    © 2012 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 Deuteronomy, Lysa TerKeurst

  • Prince of this World

    Posted on October 31, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “I will not speak to you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”  John 14:30-31

     

    The prince of this world is alive and well. His methods are fear, intimidation, and deception. He flaunts his pretentious power over a decaying world. He maneuvers around in a spiritual disguise. He wants you to have just enough of Jesus to disappoint you but not too much that you depend on Him. His desire is for partial obedience to the commands of Christ, so that your love for Him is sentimental and shallow. Then when pain and suffering grow in intensity, you will lose confidence in the Lord. He wants your love for the Lord to be conditional on everything being okay, not unconditional regardless of the outcome.

    Adversity is the adversary’s most intense weapon of distrust. Satan desires to sift your faith through the sands of suffering. He tries to extract your joy in Jesus with jealously over the good fortune of others and a jaded belief that God is distant and disinterested. He demands you to believe that death is the end and that no good can come out of your grief and loss. But, followers of Jesus do not have to believe his half-truths. You are free to instantly, willingly, and completely obey God’s commands.

    This is the evidence of your love for the Lord. Love is where joy gestates. Hate is where anger incubates. Obedience to God makes you an overcomer. There is nothing the devil can demand of you without first going through God. He tries to make you think you are eternally exposed, but you are safely strapped in by eternal security. Christ is in His Father, you are in Christ, and Christ is in you (John 14:20). The prince of this world is powerless to pry you from the Prince of Peace.

    The Prince of Peace is large and in charge. He has taken the temptations of the tempter and turned them into His purposes. Jesus uses allurement for power, and converts it into servant leadership. Christ stands greed on its head, transforming it into generosity. The Lord arrests lust, and rehabilitates it into unconditional love. The Holy Spirit harbors discernment and direction during the dregs of distractions and distrust. The temptation for resentment and bitterness is trumped by everlasting forgiveness. Jesus is all about calm in the middle of confusion; He is light in the middle of darkness; He is peace in the middle of war; He is joy in the middle of sadness; He is acceptance in the middle of rejection; He is love in the middle of hate.

    The Prince of Peace has formed an army of the faithful. Hear His voice, learn of Him, learn from Him, and obey His commands. The enemy is no match for the Master. The enemy tries in vain to recruit those gone AWOL or who have drifted behind enemy lines. Nevertheless, fight the good fight. Rescue the perishing and care for the dying. The battle is not yours, but the Lord’s. You cannot sustain yourself in your own strength; instead, rely on your Savior's. Do not fall for the tempter’s tactics, for his tricks are no treat. Faithful followers of Jesus trust wholeheartedly, love unconditionally, and obey instantly. Surrender is what we signed up for. The enemy shudders when you surrender to your Savior, and not to him. The unseen war was fought and finished at the cross. The Prince of Peace rules eternally. He is the winner for now and for evermore.

    The Bible says, “He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:2).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I trust the Prince of Peace to give me peace over the prince of this world.

    Related Readings: Genesis 6:1-4; Matthew 4:10; John 8:44; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; 2 Peter 2:4

    Post/Tweet: Do not fall for the tempter’s tactics, for his tricks are no treat. #Satan

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources
    A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • A Quiet Place To Rest

    Posted on October 31, 2012 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'" Mark 6:31 (NIV)

    "I want honey in my tea! And a lemon slice too! Oh, and can I use great-grandma's teacup, pretty please? I'll be careful," my then five-year-old daughter sweetly begged.

    We were enjoying our afternoon mother-daughter ritual while her two baby brothers napped. Each day we pulled out china teacups and saucers from my collection and slowly sipped herbal tea while I read a book out loud to her.

    This afternoon, however, she was asking permission to use an heirloom piece that had been passed down through four generations in my mother's family. While I knew my baby girl was grown up enough to be careful with the antique pink and white china cradled in her little hands, something else made me deny her request. I tried explaining it to her.

    "Sweetheart, I know you'll be careful, but we can't have hot tea in that cup. It has cracks. See?"

    I showed her a few tiny, hairline fractures on the side near the handle. It wasn't cracked all the way through and could actually still hold water without leaking. However, if hot liquid were to be poured into it, the crack would give way, causing the petite cup to shatter. (Been there. Broke that!)

    There was just no way for the fractured piece to withstand the stress of a steaming beverage.

    Our emotional lives are much the same. When we do not allow time to rest and regroup from the stresses of life, we allow cracks in our spirit that make us emotionally and spiritually fragile. We keep going at break-neck speeds, rarely slowing down long enough to be refreshed.

    Today's key verse highlights the fact that even Jesus Himself found it important to get away for a while; to slow down and cease activity. He urged His disciples to get to a quiet place. In doing so they would find rest. Being alone and quiet would help keep them whole.

    In our fast-paced society we rarely get to sit in a quiet place. Televisions blare. Computers sound out webcasts. iPods and MP3s crank out music at times when we could be seeking solace.

    As a result, stress chisels away, creating tiny cracks that although barely visible to the eye, could cause us to shatter under the heat and pressures of everyday life.

    Let's purpose to take time this week to slow down, get away, and rest. To find solitude in a hushed and holy place alone with our Savior, even if only for an hour or two.

    If we make time to answer Jesus' call to go away with Him to a quiet place, we can crack-proof our spirits, making them strong and rendering us ready to handle life. A few quiet moments spent with Him can help mend cracks, renewing and making us to be vessels strong enough to be used by Him.

    Dear Lord, help me to intentionally carve out time this week to reconnect with You in a quiet spot. I know You are waiting. I want to seek Your face and find true rest. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace in Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles

    Reflect and Respond:
    Remember a time when you got away for a time of rest and quiet. What did it do for you emotionally?

    Why don't we get alone or seek a quiet place more often? List some things, people, or activities that prevent us from doing so. Now, make plans to seek a quiet time soon. Write it on your calendar and keep your appointment with God.

    Power Verse:
    Matthew 7:25, "The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn't collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. (HCSB)

    © 2012 by Karen Ehman. 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 Mark, Karen Ehman, Rest

  • Busy for God

    Posted on October 30, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:40-42

     

    Busyness can breed a bad attitude. It creates an expectation that everyone should be involved in hyper activity for the Lord.
    Unfortunately, what started out as sincere service for Jesus becomes a demanding spirit cloaked in spiritual slogans. The graceless pace of a busy person is worried and upset at God that more people don’t have their same sense of urgency. Because busyness has no mental, emotional or spiritual margin it misses the Lord’s bigger priority of prayer. It’s tired. 

    It is not what we do for God that matters most—what matters most is what God does through us. If we lunge through life we hit and miss finding Jesus, but if we sit at His feet with patient expectations we can hear His voice. Desperation is required around our being not our doing. Christ doesn’t call us to neglect our health, our family and our friends in the name of good activities. Thus, we discover God’s best if we slow down and add excess margin to our schedule.

    “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:130

    Indeed, you will have seasons of stress, but not to the point of chronic anger. Adversity is your opportunity to engage in a deeper level of intimacy with the Lord and your loved ones. People are not the problem—problem solving begins by looking in the mirror. You may have to make the choice to modify your calendar. By faith postpone or cancel important, but unnecessary engagements. If you plan not to attend, the Spirit will direct someone else to stand in the gap. All are blessed!

    Therefore, abandon yourself first to Christ and He will lead you into His works of service. It is much better to go deeper with a few whom you really get to know and who really get to know you, than to spend your life not knowing anyone and being known by no one. Truly knowing God begins with being with Jesus. Once you sit at His feet, you are able to look up to His face. Be still and His Spirit will fill you with wisdom and peace. Yes, grace travels at a sustainable pace!

    “God looks down from heaven on all mankind?to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.” Psalm 53:2

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, protect me from busyness and lead me into a pace filled with grace.

    Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 15:2; Psalm 27:4, 100:3; Philippians 3:13-14; 2 Peter 3:8-9

    Post/Tweet: Busyness breeds bad expectations, but grace travels at a sustainable pace. #grace

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources
    A registered 501 c3 ministry


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

  • A Busy Year - a Q&A with Francesca Battistelli

    Posted on October 30, 2012 by Family Christian

    A new baby (Audrey Jane), a gold album (My Paper Heart), a Dove Award (Artist of the Year) and a Christmas album: it's been a busy year for Francesca Battistelli!

    She recently took a few minutes to chat with us about the memories and moments that make Christmas the most wonderful time of the year.

    Family Christian: Tell us about one of your favorite Christmas memories.

    Francesca Battistelli: My mom set up a nativity scene every year at Christmas. She would hide the baby Jesus in an old Grandfather clock, and it was always my job to place him in the crèche on Christmas Eve. Such a fun and memorable tradition!

    FC: Are there any other Christmas traditions you love?

    FRANCESCA: Being with family, talking about Jesus, eating delicious food and sleeping under the Christmas tree!  

    FC: Music is such an important part of the season. So what Christmas songs or carols hold special meaning for you?


    FRANCESCA: I've always loved "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and my favorite non-traditional Christmas song is "Breath of Heaven."

    FC: You have two little ones now. How have your children changed how you experience Christmas?

    FRANCESCA: I think this year will be the best yet, since our son is 2 now and really understands what a gift is. It's incredible to see this time of year through a child's eyes.

    FC: So what are you looking forward to celebrating this year with Eli and Audrey?
    FRANCESCA: We're going on tour with NewSong, and so there will be much Christmas cheer to be had with their "Poppa" (Billy from NewSong)!

    FC: 2013 isn't too far away. What does the new year hold for you?

    FRANCESCA: Watching my little ones grow, touring in the spring and starting to work on my third album!


    This post was posted in Music, Interviews and was tagged with Francesca Battistelli, Christmas, NewSong

  • When You Feel Like Your Not Enough

    Posted on October 30, 2012 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" (John 8:12 NIV)

    I had that awful yucky feeling of not being enough ... not smart enough or good enough. For weeks I felt inadequate and incompetent about everything–from the way I parented to the way I served God in ministry to the way I organized my time and my life.

    I had begged God to take away my feelings of insecurity. Though He didn't answer the way I hoped, He showed me what I needed to see in the most unexpected way.

    One afternoon, I was putting on make-up in my bathroom when I noticed a huge nine-foot shadow on the wall behind me. And as I stood there looking at the humongous shadow, it dawned on me: all of my insecurities were creating a huge shadow over my soul–a shadow of doubt.

    That day in my bathroom, I came to two important realizations. First, I could only see the shadow when I turned away from the light. And second, I was creating the shadow by blocking the light from the wall.

    Shadows are created all around us when something blocks light, and so it is with the shadow of doubt.

    When we focus our thoughts on ourselves and how inadequate we feel, or what others think about us and how we're performing, we cast a shadow of doubt in our minds by blocking the light of God's Truth in our hearts.

    But we were not designed to block the light. We were created to live in the Light by focusing on what God thinks about us instead of what we think about ourselves.

    Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12b NIV) When we follow Jesus closely and completely in our thoughts, turning away from doubts and lies, we can find lasting security and confidence in Him.

    That afternoon, I realized my self-doubt wasn't going to just go away. I had to purposefully shift my focus from my feelings of inadequacy to God's promises of His all-sufficiency and grace in my life.

    I had to choose to focus on truth {the Light} so I could exchange my feelings of low self-confidence with lasting "God-fidence."

    Feeling paralyzed and stuck in a place of insecurity is not where God intends for us to live. When Jesus spoke to the people in John 8:12, He called them out of darkness.

    Now He's calling you - to step of out of the shadows of doubt so that you can become the God-fident women He created you to be. A woman whose assurance and soul-security is found in what He says and thinks about her.

    And, the next time you feel your heart dwelling in the shadow of self-doubt, ask God to replace your lack of self-confidence with lasting soul-confidence as you turn towards the Light and focus your thoughts on His truths:

    When you feel inadequate, God says: You are CHOSEN. "'You are my witnesses,' declares the Lord, 'and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.'" (Isa. 43:10a NIV)

    When you feel unstable, God says: You are ABLE. "The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights." (Hab. 3:19 NIV)

    When you feel unworthy, God says: You are PRECIOUS and LOVED. "... you are precious and honored in my sight, and ... I love you." (Isa. 43:4a NIV)

    Dear Lord, You say I am a chosen woman, a royal priest, a holy daughter, a woman belonging to You. Help me believe that and live beyond the shadows of my doubts as I follow and focus on the Light of Your truth today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    In her book, A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises, Renee helps you see how self-doubt overshadows your heart and how it can hold you back from all God has for you! Then she equips you to overcome your doubts and live with lasting confidence in ways you never thought possible.

    Reflect and Respond:
    "I had to choose to focus on truth {the Light} so I could exchange my feelings of low self-confidence with lasting "God-fidence."

    Power Verse:
    Romans 8:6, "For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace ..." (NASB)

    © 2012 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 John, Renee Swope

  • Chosen to Wait

    Posted on October 29, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.” I Samuel 16:12-13

     

    Who God chooses He uses, but His initial lessons are learned in the incubator of waiting. David was anointed to be King, but would wait over 20 years before he became King. God’s game plan was to grow his leadership, humility and intimacy with Him before he experienced the honor of ruling over the entire Kingdom. Indeed, every follower of Jesus can be filled with the Spirit by faith, but the fullness of the Spirit may lead to obscurity not fame, submission not authority.

    We are called to be faithful where we are and not to be preoccupied with promotion and recognition. The favor of the Lord is what eventually wins out, not our winsomeness or our skills of persuasiveness. So we wait—not in self-pity, but in self-denial. We wait and learn not to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, but to cast our cares on Christ who has overcome the world. We work as unto the Lord while we wait and He does a work of grace to humble our heart.

    “But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.” Hosea 12:6 

    Is your waiting painfully growing your patience? Are you honoring those in authority, as you wait on God? It is a spiritual stewardship to be the best where you are with what you have. Perhaps this season of limitations is a time to tap into the Lord’s limitless resources. Be bold in prayer to seek out unconventional solutions from your Creator. His plan for you will probably look different from your friend’s faith walk. Perhaps Christ is calling you overseas to see His fullness.

    Above all, invite preparation as a vital part of the waiting process. Your character prepared in patient perseverance can withstand an arsenal of the enemy’s assaults. Your life that automatically leans into the Lord’s love is able to radically love others. Your modest finances marked by generosity now are prepared for liberal giving later, if you experience His abundance. Embrace waiting while God makes you into His image bearer. Wise waiting is His secret to success.

    “Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” Jude 1:21

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, as I wait on You, make me into Your image bearer of grace and love.

    Related Readings: Psalm 130:5; Micah 7:7; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Hebrews 9:28

    Post/Tweet: Whom God chooses He uses, but His initial lessons are learned in the incubator of waiting. #waiting

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources
    A registered 501 c3 ministry

    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Hosea, 1 Samuel, Jude

  • A Sparkling Confession

    Posted on October 29, 2012 by Rachel Olsen

    Rachel Olsen

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

     

    I slipped the ring with the garnet colored glass onto my young finger. My hands clasped behind my back as my mom and I exited the store and climbed in our station wagon.

    Once in the car with my mom's eyes on the road, I laid my hands in my lap and began admiring my new ring.

    On some level I knew it was wrong because I didn't ask Mom if I could have it. And I surely didn't pay for it — I was only five. But it was my parents' store I took it from. Didn't that also make it mine? And it was my birthstone — it practically had my name on it.

    Apparently age five is not too young to rationalize.

    It's also not too young an age to learn about integrity.

    I have often heard it said that integrity is what you do when no one is watching.

    When no one was watching, I stole a ring.

    My mom noticed the ring on my finger and asked me where I'd gotten it. I think I told her my friend had given it to me. She knew better. But she didn't say so yet.

    Instead, she told me that if I refused to tell the truth she, and others, wouldn't be able to trust me. And she told me that if I didn't confess and correct my mistakes when I realized them, I'd feel awful with guilt. She gently warned me that ignoring that guilt would eventually harden my heart.

    I asked my mom to turn the car around because I needed to go back to the store. When we arrived, she didn't let me quietly put the ring back on the display. She instructed me to tell the lady working the register what I'd done, and apologize.

    I was torn. Part of me wanted to come clean. But part of me didn't want this lady to think less of me for stealing. I loved visiting our store—all the employees treated me so well. They cooed over me, complimenting my dresses and dimples. They gave me mints or gum from their purses.

    I feared confessing would cost me their favor.

    Billy Graham once said:

    "Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, all is lost."

    Proverbs 11:3 says it this way, "The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity."

    I nervously set the ring on the counter and told the clerk I'd taken it earlier. She furrowed her brow and told me that was wrong, and never to do that again.

    Then she smiled, reached down, picked me up, and told me that stolen things lose their sparkle, but that an honest girl never would.

    My five-year-old heart wanted to be the kind of girl that sparkles. (And my grown-up heart hasn't changed much.)

    If yours does too, pre-decide today to do the right thing. To tell the truth. To flee from temptation. To be modest, or to be gracious, and to never steal.

    Although it may be hard—it may even seem to cost us something—integrity will guide us safely. Jesus said it will also allow us to see God (Matthew 5:8). And it will ultimately help us to shine.

    Dear Lord, I want to shine with integrity. I want a pure heart that readily sees You. And I want You to be pleased when You look at my heart. Forgive my sins and help me walk in a manner worthy of my status as Your daughter. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    For more on how confession and integrity restores our sparkle and vitality, see chapter 10 of It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know by Rachel Olsen. This resource with Bible study questions at chapters' ends makes a great book for a women's small group study.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What recent wrong do you need to confess, apologize for, or make amends for today?

    What do you need to pre-decide today?

    Journal your confession and decision.

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 20:7, 11, "The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him! Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright." (ESV)

    Proverbs 12:22, "The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy." (NIV)

    © 2012 by Rachel Olsen. 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 Proverbs, Rachel Olsen, Confession

  • Wait for Gods Answer

    Posted on October 28, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God. Psalm 38:15

     

    God’s answer is not always immediate. Our heavenly Father may not be forthcoming in His answer to prayer. We wait in our pain, and there seems to be no relief. We wait in our confusion, and our circumstances seem to become more complicated. We wait for wisdom on how to harness our child’s energy for God, and we find ourselves wanting. Their rebellion seems to compound as they distance themselves from Christ. We wait and wonder what we need to do at work. Indeed, answers from the Almighty may be absent for now, but the faithful wait. We wait for God’s answer because He is the source of our sanity and our security. His goal is to give us everything we need in His timing and in His way. He is not without compassion. He cares immensely by answering our prayers and giving creative solutions to our questions. Pray to Him. 

    We commit ourselves to Christ because we know He judges righteously. He can be trusted. He is not withholding His answer for His pleasure. In fact, He may have already answered and we have avoided hearing Him. Our activity can be a roadblock to hearing God. You may need to slow down and stop trying to fix the faults of others. Instead, slow down and be with your Savior. Seek His face and fear Him. Seek the Lord and love Him. It is in the quantity time of being with Jesus that we learn how to invest quality time in doing for Jesus. His answers may not come instantly, but they come over time. They come when we are ready to listen to His wisdom and apply it to our life. God doesn’t speak freely to those He can’t trust. But to the trustworthy He pours out His truth. Those who steward truth well are candidates to receive more insight into God’s ways.

    Our patience allows God to possess our soul. Hope in the Almighty’s intervention and the power of prayer are what bring peace to a soul plagued by pain. It is in our adversity that the voice of the Almighty is near and clear. We just need to listen, really listen. The earwax of anger may be blocking the hearing canals of our heart. The water of worry may stop up our soul’s capacity to hear Christ. The pain that racks our body may be distracting us from discerning the Lord’s instruction. Whatever may be blocking our communication with Christ we need to give over to Him. We can trust Him, so wait and listen to Him.

    Do not settle for anything less than the Almighty’s answer. Look for the Lord’s leading in His word and among godly counsel. You will find the richest solace in waiting for His wisdom. Why settle for the scraps of a quick solution when you can have the gold of God’s solid strategy? Take your team and/or family through a process of discovering God’s game plan. It takes more time and trust, but it bears the fruit of God’s best. Christ’s answer is often compelling and creative. Rest in the refuge of His omniscience. Do not allow your soul to be tossed back and forth while you anxiously await an answer. Use this time of waiting to grow in your understanding of God. His answer is really worth the wait. Don’t run ahead impatiently. He works while we wait. He expands our faith while we wait. Listen intently, discern, and obey. Obedience unleashes answers. Obedience leads to opportunities. Stay faithful and patient. The Almighty will answer.

    Taken from Reading #27 in the 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Psalms”…  http://bit.ly/InvUdR

    Post/Tweet this today: We wait for God’s answer for He is the source of sanity and security. #wait

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources
    A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Attention to Detail

    Posted on October 27, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”   Luke 12:6-7

     

    Attention to detail means you care. When you show intimate interest in something or someone, it means you value them. This is the nature of your heavenly Father. No concern misses His interest. God knows every bird. He cares for each cardinal, sparrow, blackbird, vulture, robin, eagle, condor, bluebird, hummingbird, wren, dove, and quail. 

    Yet, the cost of a bird, compared to the cost of you, is incomparable. It is like comparing the value of a glass sliver to a radiant diamond. It is analogous to comparing a bicycle to a Mercedes. It is like setting a nest and a mansion side by side. It is laughable to surmise any kind of similarity in value. Yet God values you as we would the jewelry, the automobile, and the home. Your worth outstrips all of His creation. You are the pinnacle of His portfolio.

    You are His most valued asset, as He knows and understands the details of your life. He, of course, is more intimately involved with you than you are with you. This is reassuring. You may be right in the middle of a maze of uncertainty. Life could not be more confusing. Your marriage is in chaos. Your career has hit a dead end. Your finances are at a new low. Your motivation to move forward is like walking through a marsh of molasses. Life is not fun right now, but the one with His eye on the sparrow has His heart on you. His care is beyond your comprehension. He is relentless and reassuring in His compassion. Let Him into the details of your life. He already knows, and He has your best interest in mind. Your heavenly Father does know what is best for you. No need to fear; God is as near as prayer. His attention to detail invites you to trust and lean on Him.

    If details are more important to God, then they should be important to us; but details are not always easy to manage. They can become cumbersome and cranky, an albatross of responsibility. This is why you surround yourself with people passionate about areas in which you are not. People’s passion points flush out important details. It may be time for you to trust others with these critical details that are screaming for your attention. They will probably do a better job than you in managing them anyway. Though you are still accountable for the details, delegate the responsibility.  This will free you up to give overall vision and leadership. You cannot cover all the details; only God has that capability. You will go to an early grave if you stay on this obsessive trajectory. A supportive assistant is invaluable, so start there. Be aware of the overall details, and give close attention to the ones only you can manage.

    Otherwise, you will be average at best in your execution. Most of all, trust God and others with the shepherding of those details. But as you trust others, provide friendly follow-up. You can do for others what God is doing for you, for He gives affectionate attention to the details surrounding your life; so replace fear with faith and hope in Him. The Bible says, “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name” (Psalm 33:20-21).

    Taken from October 30th reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God”… http://bit.ly/InvUdR

    Post/Tweet: Attention to detail means we care. When we show intimate interest in something or someone, it means we value them. #details

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources
    A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

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