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  • When the Pressure Crushes You

    Glynnis

    "We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself ... But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." 2 Corinthians 1:8b, 9b (NIV)

    It seemed pressure came from every direction. It was unrelenting. Financial pressures brought worry. Children issues brought frustration. And an overloaded schedule kept me up at night. It got so bad I wanted to have a bonfire with all my to-do lists and make s'mores.

    Being a naturally self-sufficient person, my instincts led me to work harder. How could I make more money? What new parenting technique would make this child behave? If I pulled an all-nighter could I knock my emails down to a manageable number?

    I picked up the pace. Buckled down. Slept less. Instituted logical consequences for my child. And re-wrote my to-do lists. I was determined to pull myself together. After all, that's who I am ... at least that's who I was.

    In the past, my Lone Ranger attempts at managing circumstances worked. But not this time.

    Debts mounted. My child's problems increased. And consequently, I fell further behind. The pressure just kept increasing instead of going away.

    Never in my life had circumstances been so overwhelmingly beyond my control. I was surrounded by things I couldn't whip into shape, including my own emotions. I felt like such a failure, and was so ashamed that I couldn't manage the assignments God had given me. Finally, with no solutions in sight, I broke down before God, crying out in desperation, certain He'd be as disappointed with me as I was.

    After all, I was the girl He was supposed to be able to count on. I was the dependable one. And here I was falling apart.

    With my emotions a tangled mess, I poured out all my fears, weakness, and insecurities to God. Even my prayers seemed jumbled and incoherent. And in the midst of my tears, I declared "I can't even pray right!" Never had I needed God more. Well, to be honest, never had I really needed God.

    In the aftermath of my breakdown, something started to change in me. It was subtle, kind of like the dawn, when pitch black moments start to take shape.

    My self-sufficiency was slipping, being replaced by God-dependency. Peace snuck in where I didn't expect it. Circumstances didn't change, but my understanding did. God never needed to depend on me ... rather I was to depend on Him.

    Although I'd been a Christian for many years, and loved and followed God with what I thought was all my heart, it seemed I'd held something back. In the midst of that pressure-cooker time, I realized believing in God isn't the same as trusting Him. God used pressure that felt crushing to lead me to dependence that felt freeing.

    Recently I read a passage in 1 Corinthians that perfectly summarized what God taught me during that time: "We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself ... But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us" (vv. 8b, 9b-10)

    Pressure in life is never easy. But God can use it to take our faith deeper if we let Him. It started for me by admitting my insufficiency, and realizing God wasn't disappointed by that confession. In fact, He invites me to need Him.

    Heavenly Father, please forgive me for all the times I've said "I don't need You" through my actions. I admit I can't manage my life alone, and need Your help. Thank You for being all-sufficient and all-powerful and loving me enough to never shame me for what I can't manage. I love You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

    Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try Hard Life by Emily Freeman

    For daily encouragement, join our Facebook community.

    Reflect and Respond: What is your typical reaction when facing a problem?

    If you knew without a doubt that God would help in your time of need, how would that change things for you?

    Power Verses: 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." (NIV)

    Romans 15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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

  • Result of Worry

    Boyd

    Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27

     

    The results of worry aren’t redeeming, productive, nor helpful. Worry doesn’t assist today and it only complicates tomorrow. Its ultimate sideways energy  sidetracks us from our Heavenly Father’s loving comfort. Worry is a dark alley in a loud, confused city. It's an untrodden trail off the beaten path of God’s will. Worry has a way of putting a wrench into the works of Christ. It's a subtle and not so subtle way to place our efforts ahead of God’s. Worry leads to a victim mindset.

     

    Worry can become a self fulfilling prophecy. Yes, we can work ourselves into a frantic state of self reliance, so much so that we begin to believe and live out lies. We predict the worst case scenario is imminent and then we act in ways that move us in that direction. We simmer in self pity, talking like a victim, then we become a victim. Worry whispers statements like, “What if you lose your job?”, “What if you have a disease?”, “What if he/she leaves you?” Worry’s results wreak havoc.

     

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

    Praise the Lord there are remedies to worry! Shifting our focus from self to our Savior is a foolproof way for faith to preempt false thinking. Self is like a jealous lover who wants to be the center of attention, but Christ alone deserves this highest status of affection. When our idols of security, money, control and comfort bow to Jesus, worry runs away rejected. Worship embraces hope as courage for the heart. Courage and hope are fraternal twins that birth in us a living faith.

    Furthermore, the Lord sustains you when you cast your cares on Him. Your humility in confessing your ongoing need for Christ leads to spiritual sustainability. Healthy soul care requires you to invite your Heavenly Father to care for your anxious heart and nervous emotions. Submission to Sovereign God precludes a position for your pride to perch. Yes, Jesus’ spoken word in Scripture soothes your soul and brings peace to your war of worry. The result of trust is peace and calm.

    Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I bow in humility to You, trusting You with my cares and concerns.

     

    Related Readings: Psalm 55:22; Proverbs 12:25; Philippians 4:6-7; Hebrews 13:5-6

     

    Post/Tweet today: Worry is sideways energy that sidetracks us from our Heavenly Father’s loving comfort. #worry

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • Skillet - Sick of It


    If you didn't know that Skillet has a new album dropping soon, you must be living under a rock.

    The new video from their new album, Rise, has arrived. What do you think of it?

    Interested in more Skillet? Check out our recent interview with them here.

  • But Then I Let Go

    Suzie

    "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles." Isaiah 40:31a (NIV)

    I used to have a fear of heights. I think it has something to do with the fact that my dad held my little brother over the Grand Canyon when he was three, and I was 10. I completely panicked, thinking my brother would tumble over the side and be gone forever.

    Regardless of how it arrived, the fear was real.

    My son bought a zip lining package for two on sale so I could put a checkmark on my bucket list next to "get over fear of heights." When we arrived, I noticed several towers, zigzagging zip lines and people harnessed in a series of straps and buckles. My heart immediately went into overdrive when we were asked to climb a moderately high tower.

    The higher I climbed, the more my brain informed me that I was afraid. Yet I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Up, up, up!

    My son flew from one tower to the next with ease. Then I stepped up. The platform was tiny. One inch in front of me there was nothing between me and the ground, hundreds of feet below.

    I put my gloved hands on the zip line. Everything in me was screaming to turn around and go back to solid ground. But then I let go ...

    .... and it was exhilarating.

    I soared through the air and slid in semi-smoothly to the tower where my son fist-pumped in the air with a "Way to go, Mom!"

    I wish my fear of heights was the only challenge I've ever faced, but sometimes God asks me to do something that seems just as impossible. That happens when He leads me into the harder parts of my faith.

    That looks different for all of us, but for me it was to forgive those who had hurt me in my past. God was nudging me to soar, but in order to do that I had to let go and trust that He knew what was ahead.

    Perhaps His request goes against how we feel, or it just doesn't feel possible in the natural. But when we choose zip line faith, we learn to release or overcome things that might otherwise keep us trapped.

    Is zip line faith (going down the harder paths of obedience) easy? No, it might challenge you. It might take you way outside your comfort zone. It might even cause you to fall down a few times as you practice. But you do grow through it, sometimes in surprising ways.

    A few weeks after my zip lining experience I was in a high-rise hotel. I stepped out on to the balcony because I heard music below. Peering over the edge, I watched a wedding in process.

    And then it hit me. I wasn't afraid!

    Before I zip lined, I couldn't have stood near the edge of the balcony, and I definitely wouldn't have peered over to the scene beneath. Stepping off that ledge and soaring to the next tower helped me to overcome a fear I thought was too big to conquer.

    Maybe I'm not ready to bungee jump ... yet. But my zip line experience showed me that my fears, though valid, didn't have the power to hold me back forever.

    Whatever God is speaking into your heart today, are you willing to climb up, up, up as you follow Him into the harder (and freeing!) parts of zip line faith?

    Dear Jesus, my heart longs to soar. Thank You in advance for walking with me through the tougher parts of my faith, and for dancing in celebration with me as I climb over that mountain to soar to the other side! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible with devos from the Proverbs 31 Ministries team, including Suzie Eller.

    Reflect and Respond: Write down the one thing you feel God is asking you to do.

    1. Does it line up with Scripture? 2. What is your greatest fear about this assignment? 3. What might you gain if you take a step of faith?

    Power Verses: Ephesians 3:16, "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

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

  • God Bless You

    Boyd

    “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24–26).

    We have the opportunity to regularly encourage others with an admonishment for the Lord to bless them. This is the power of the spoken word. You can build up another by conferring upon them the favor of God. What a simple way to sincerely wish upon another the Lord’s best with a kind “God bless you.” We are not to say it glibly or  out of habit, but with deep feeling and a genuine desire for God’s commendation.

    We can also pray God’s protection on others: their health, their travels, and their relationships. In any situation of uncertainty and/or danger, we can ask God to “keep them.” Or maybe there are those who are in dire need of experiencing the fullness of God’s grace. They are tired of “trying to live” the Christian life and need a fresh “baptism” of God’s graciousness. You can see it in the hardness of their countenance or in the fatigue of their droopy posture. They are lacking in energy and drive. They need an outpouring of grace.

    “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples” (Genesis 28:3).

    God’s grace is a safe environment to recover from rejection and hurt or to gain strength for the journey. Grace is inviting and invigorating. It is cool water for a thirsty soul. Life saps grace from our hearts while intimacy with Jesus infuses grace into our being. You can be a grace killer or a grace giver. People will flock to you because of your graciousness or avoid you like the plague because of your gracelessness.

    The secret to giving God’s grace is receiving God’s grace. Each day ask God to renew your grace quota, filling your grace tank so you can bestow grace on others. What a joy to extend grace to the ungracious and to receive grace from the greatest grace giver, Jesus. Furthermore, our benediction and admonishment to others can be for them to experience God’s peace. Once you discover peace with God, you have the peace of God.

    His peace can lie dormant in our hearts, or it can flourish like kudzu on a hot summer day. Be a peacemaker. Yes, you can win the argument, but you may lose the relationship. Why not bless with peace rather than curse with contention? When you bless others, you too enjoy the blessings of God.

    “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9).

    Prayer: How can I boldly bestow the Lord’s blessing? I want to receive His blessing so I can be a blessing.

    Post/Tweet: A soul’s hunger for God is an innate appetite that only He can satisfy. #satisfied

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

  • Intimacy through Brokenness

    Boyd

    The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

    Intimacy with God goes hand in hand with your brokenness. Your desire for intimacy with your heavenly Father will be accompanied by brokenness, as it escorts you into intimacy with eternal God. It is your date with destiny. A broken and contrite heart delivers intimacy with the Almighty. Do not despise your broken condition. Rather, delight in its opportunity for intimacy. You long to know Jesus in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering (Philippians 3:10). These prayers were not in vain. Your brokenness is answered prayer. The answer may not be exactly what you expected. You may have anticipated a smoother route, a paved road free of bumps or pot holes. But the path of personal and intimate relationship with Christ is not always easy.

    Most of the time, intimacy requires difficulty. It is at this point of pressure and discomfort that some people disembark the train of intimacy. It is much easier to talk about an intimate relationship with Christ than it is to arrive at this point through brokenness. However, this is an exercise in convenience. It is like placing a “Do not disturb” sign on the door of our life, in place of the “Clean up my room” invitation. Brokenness is inviting God to come in and cleanse your life. He stands at the door of our heart and knocks (Revelation 3:20). When you invite Christ into your broken lives, He comes in. Intimacy is then unleashed on His terms, not yours. It is only when you surrender in total desperation and total dependency on God that you experience authentic intimacy.

    Intimacy with God through brokenness is not unlike what you experience in relationships with people. Hardships and brokenness are meant to grow you closer to other people. A crisis will either drive you further away from someone or closer together. God’s best for you is to make you relationally stronger with one another during a season of brokenness. But brokenness is not a one-time phenomenon. It is an ongoing part of the committed Christian’s life. It’s not as if you swallow this hard pill one time and are then set for a lifetime of intimacy with God. Once God has marked you with brokenness, then you are positioned for Him to build on this firm foundation. He will still use mini brokenness throughout your life.

    These regular occurrences are bricks of brokenness connected together by the cement of his grace. Over time, a life of brokenness becomes a stalwart structure of sanctification designed by God. Your brokenness is meant for your betterment. Indeed, you are much the better when you experience a defining moment of brokenness. It deserves your embrace, rather than your rejection. If you fight brokenness, you delay God’s best. You circumvent intimacy with Christ if you bypass brokenness. Focus your energies on changing yourself, not your circumstances. Christ will handle the circumstances while you adjust your attitude. A life of brokenness is an invitation to intimacy. His closeness and salvation are worth this time of brokenness. Don’t buck brokenness. Instead, rely on Him and get to know Him at this deeper level of intimacy. You are much better broken because brokenness leads to intimacy with God.

    Post/Tweet: Bricks of brokenness are connected together by the cement of God’s grace. #brokenness

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

  • The Lord Provides

    Boyd

    “But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:17

    The Lord provides. He provides because this is His heart’s desire. By His very nature He is a provider. He cannot, not provide. It gives Him great pleasure to provide. Just as an earthly father delights in providing for his children so does your heavenly Father. “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:13).

    When you fear, He provides peace. When you feel lonely, He provides companionship. When you suffer loss, He provides comfort. When you become proud, He provides humility. When you lack the necessities of life, He provides your needs. When you struggle with confidence, He gives you little victories to gain back much needed confidence. Your confidence grows out of your trust in Him. He gives you strength.

    “If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11b).

    God’s provision may come in a manner that you are not expecting. It may be an unsolicited check in the mail. It could be the compassionate prayer of a complete stranger. It may be a material provision that comes out of left field, because someone at church felt led by the Lord to provide for your need. They are blessed. You are blessed.

    God gets the glory, so do not underestimate the creativity of God. Do not lock His provision capability into a conventional box. He may have bigger and better plans. Do not limit God with false humility or lack of faith. He loves being your provider. Do not forget Him. The grace He provided yesterday will not suffice for the grace He provides today.

    You can trust that He has just the right life mate for you. Do not settle for someone other than God’s very best. He may very well do much better than your current relationship. He is in the relational business. He knows exactly the husband or wife for you. Be patient. Believe the Lord for someone who will love Him more than he or she loves you.

    Many times prayer is His avenue of provision. Prayer facilitates His powerful promises. You prayed for it and now He has provided, but be careful what you pray for—He may answer. Sometimes He answers swiftly and other times His answer is delayed. Do not compromise your convictions or give up. A saint who experienced God’s provision on a regular basis said, “God’s work, done God’s way, will not lack God’s provision”.

    “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).

    Prayer:In what need do I need to be patient and pray for the Lord’s powerful provision?

    Related Readings: Job 36:26-31; Psalm 111:5; Matthew 6:25-34; Acts 14:16-17

    Post/Tweet today: The grace He provided yesterday will not suffice for the grace He provides today. #grace

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

  • What Were You Thinking?

    Samantha

    "Do you think David is honoring your father by sending envoys to you to express sympathy? Haven't his envoys come to you only to explore and spy out the country and overthrow it?" 1 Chronicles 19:3b (NIV)

    A sepia tint covers the photograph of her sunscreen-lathered face at the beach. This same coloring alters the picture he took of the dinner he made last night, and discolors their new puppy in the snapshot of him snoozing at the foot of the bed.

    Everywhere I look—Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr—photographs are edited with a yellowish-brown filter to create a vintage look. I appreciate the artistry of it, but what happened to the bright vivid colors? Why does faded yellow get to layer itself over the clear blue eyes of a sweet child, making her appear like someone she's not? Or discolor the true pinks and oranges of a fabulous sunset, giving it a different appearance than it truly has?

    I've used the sepia filter when editing photographs. But I'm ready to see things as they really are. Not just with photographs, but in real life.

    For far too long I've colored things based on my fancies, moods or ideas, just like the men in 1 Chronicles 19 did. You see, King David, being kind, sent out a group of his men to console another king whose father had just died. But when the king's men saw David's group approaching, they assumed the worst.

    In verse 3 we get a snapshot of their conversation with their king: "Do you think David is honoring your father by sending envoys to you to express sympathy? Haven't his envoys come to you only to explore and spy out the country and overthrow it?" (1 Chronicles 19:3b NIV).

    Their suspicion and assumptions about David's intentions led them to treat David's men poorly, which started a war between the two countries ... all because these soldiers colored David in an unfair and incorrect light.

    If I'm honest, I can do this quite easily myself.

    When my husband says he prefers broccoli to carrots, I've read between the lines and inferred he means I can't cook yummy carrots. I'm no Julia Child, so this perceived jab adds to my insecurity. My assumptions lead my emotions, and before I know it, I've cooked up an internal battle between fact and fiction. Rather than suspecting my husband's words contain a hidden meaning, I'm learning to take them at face value.

    It can happen beyond our home too. When we hear of a friend's party—that we aren't invited to—it can be easy to conclude they don't really like us. We pull away from our friend, causing a rift. It may be tempting to talk about the suspected snub with other friends who weren't invited either, causing more division. But the truth is, an intimate dinner party is just that, intimate: small and reserved for a few. Instead of coloring the lack of an invitation with malicious intent, it'd be best to step back and see the bigger picture of a smaller gathering.

    Layering life with thoughts that discolor other's true intentions is easy to do.

    But only God knows what a person is thinking. If we want to know, we have to ask for clarity and set aside the thoughts our imaginations conjure up (2 Corinthians 10:5). Instead of being easily offended, we can overlook another's actions and offer a way to create harmony (Proverbs 19:11).

    Negative assumptions almost always lead to war: either with others, or within ourselves. Let's commit to believing the best, before assuming the worst. And see through a different filter: the truth of God's Word. That's true blue (not yellow!).

    Dear Lord, please help me not infer more than what is said. And if I have questions, please give me the words to ask for clarity. So in all things, You will be lifted high. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: Maybe you've struggled with knowing God's true intentions toward you. All you need to know about His character and heart is written in His Word. The new NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women is full of God's truth and inspirational devotions written by the Proverbs 31 Ministries team.

    For more hope and encouragement, visit our Facebook page.

    Reflect and Respond: Do you readily jump to conclusions without substantiation?

    What will happen in your heart and relationships when you choose to believe the best and take others at their word? Is there anything you need to ask for clarification on from a friend or family member?

    Power Verses: 2 Corinthians 10:5, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (NIV)

    Proverbs 19:11, "Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer. All rights reserved.

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

  • Don't Kick the Anthill

    Lysa

    "The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception." Proverbs 14:8 (NIV)

    I stood at the dirt mound watching ants. They were busy. I was not.

    The afternoon had been slow for me. Several of my friends had been invited to the community pool. Another friend was at camp for the week. Even my last resort, the pigtailed aggravation that lived in the apartment below, was busy. "She's napping," her mom had informed me.

    I walked away thinking, She's six years old. Only two years younger than me and she still takes naps? That's the awfullest thing a mom could do to her child. And this is the awfullest afternoon ever.

    I sat on the swing of the little playground behind our apartment complex. I scuffed the toes of my red sneakers, making lines in the dirt as I moved slowly back and forth. If a child could have died from boredom, I felt quite terminal at that moment.

    Then I spotted the anthill.

    I walked over and stood there. Just about the time I was thinking about how lucky all those ants were to have so many friends, I heard a scratchy little voice call out to me.

    "I bet you won't stick your foot through that anthill." Pigtail girl had woken up from her afternoon slumber. And for heaven's sake I would not, could not, be shamed by a girl who still took naps.

    I knew in my mind I shouldn't kick the anthill. I knew in my heart I shouldn't kick the anthill. And I knew deep down in my soul I shouldn't kick the anthill. Every part of me knew I should walk away from the anthill.

    But some silly part of my mouth betrayed me.

    "Yes I will!" I declared as I kicked my foot into the middle of ant Hades.

    It didn't take long to feel as if someone had lit 1,000 needles on fire and stabbed me mercilessly.

    Since that day I haven't kicked an anthill. At least not in the literal sense.

    But I have gotten myself into situations where I invited trouble into my life that just didn't need to be there. Especially in the area of saying yes to something I absolutely should say no to.

    I will know in my mind I should say no. I will know in my heart I should say no. I will know deep down in my soul I should say no.

    But then my mouth will betray me, "Yes, of course I will do that."

    And then?

    The sting of the three D's comes ...

    Dread — As I write yet another thing on my schedule, I feel the weight of overload.

    Disappointment — In order to make this happen, I will disappoint someone.

    Drama — Dread and disappointment will ratchet my emotions to a tipping point. A tipping point that's not healthy for me or those with whom I do life.

    Here's what I'm trying to preach to myself: Just because I can do something doesn't mean I should do it.

    I kicked the anthill that day for three reasons ... I thought it proved I was something. I thought it would impress nap girl. And I didn't think through the cost beforehand.

    Proverbs 14:8 says, "The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways." As a little girl on the playground, I was neither wise nor prudent. Thankfully I know now that God's wisdom is readily available.

    I've learned that if I pause before making an impulsive choice, and ask God what to do, He will answer. In fact, He's given me some questions to ask myself that help me determine whether something is an assignment from Him or an anthill that will get me into trouble.

    Before saying yes to one more thing on my schedule, I ask myself:

    Am I trying to prove something?

    Am I trying to impress someone?

    Have I thought through the cost of saying yes?

    It's not bad to say yes to opportunities. But we really should give thought to our ways and consider whether this is an assignment or an anthill.

    Take the assignment if it's yours. But don't kick the anthills.

    Dear Lord, I'm asking for Your guidance as I discern assignments from anthills. Thank You for Your direction. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    For more daily encouragement, visit our Facebook page.

    Reflect and Respond: Write down the three questions above. Then, the next time you're tempted to add something to your calendar, process your decision through those questions.

    Power Verse: Isaiah 30:21, "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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

  • An Uncompromising Life

    Boyd

    But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Daniel 1:8

    Does every person really have a price? Their purity? Their integrity? Their lifestyle? Their identity? Daniel’s price was death. He was willing to die rather than defile himself with ungodly influences. Behind enemy lines he could have easily blended in with the culture. However, fear of the Lord is not conditional on the cultural mores of the day. An uncompromising life resolves not to be bought by any force outside of faith in Christ, Not bowing to money or status, only God.

    What is your price? Are you willing to be a little dishonest to gain a lot of authority? The enemy does not try to destroy your good name in one fell swoop. He  shrewdly  chips away at your character with questions like, “Did God really mean this for me?” “Haven’t I grown beyond the need to be accountable?” Indeed, a weakened character is set up to fall, but a character grounded in God withstands the Tempter’s trysts. The Bride of Christ is faithful to  One, Jesus alone!

    And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

    Yes, be shameless and humble to declare your focused allegiance to your Heavenly Father and no one else. Take your marching orders from your Master Jesus. Let the Lord define your lifestyle, not those whose style of life tip God and flirt with sin. Culture and less honorable friends and family will attempt to mold you into their definition of a meaningful life. But, you look to heaven for your standard of living on earth. Embrace by grace an uncompromising lifestyle.

    Above all, accept and enjoy your identity  in Christ alone. Yes, rest in the way your Creator has created you. Be who you were made to be. Be content with the lot in life the Lord has given you. If you strive to be someone you’re not, you will have an inner knot of anxiety that haunts you. However, you enjoy peace when you accept yourself for who you are in Christ. Indeed, you are loved and forgiven by your Heavenly Father. His Spirit strengthens your uncompromising life!

    He [Job] is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you [Satan] incited me against him to ruin him without any reason. Job 2:3

    Prayer: Heavenly Father give me the righteous resolve to stand uncompromising for Christ.

    Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 29:17; Psalm 25:21; Proverbs 11:3; Mark 12:14; 2 Corinthians 1:12

    Post/Tweet today: Fear of the Lord is not conditional on the cultural mores of the day. #fearofGod

    © 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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