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  • Chris Tomlin Love Ran Red

Family Christian

  • Limited Understanding

    Posted on June 11, 2012 by Family Christian

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.” John 16:12

     

    The Holy Spirit holds back understanding until a disciple’s maturity can handle its ramifications. Too much information can confuse. Thus, through a tender process of gradual illumination, the Spirit of God shows sincere Jesus followers what they need to know and when they need to know it. This is why infant faith does not have the capacity to comprehend like seasoned faith. The Lord gives discernment to those He can trust.

    For example, a 10 year old is not prepared to drive a car. Physically and emotionally they are not ready, nor have they practiced and applied their motor skills behind two tons of steel. It is deadly for them and others to give a pre-adolescent an automobile. Similarly, we are at the mercy of our Master Jesus, to give us what we need in His timing. We can sulk in impatience or we can serve in anticipation. But, preparation precedes illumination.

    “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.” 1 Corinthians 3:2

    What lesson is the Lord trying to teach you? Is it grace in a relationship? Is it patience in dealing with a problem? Or, is it trust in Him over a circumstance out of your control? It is futile to move forward without first trusting Him and facing the difficulty. If you attempt to avoid the adversity, He will have a similar lesson for you to learn later. Jesus wants you to grow, and to trust Him before He gives you insight into the next opportunity.

    Obedience and trust in Him today is the ticket to becoming more trustworthy to receive additional truth from the Holy Spirit tomorrow. Fear and impatience try to bypass faithfulness in the little things, but these are the bricks of belief that build a bold faith. Whatever you are facing, face it with faith in Jesus to give you just what you need now.

    Lastly, look to the Lord’s example of lovingly leading others through a process of discovery. Bear with them, so they can bear the truth when it is appropriate for you to tell. Be a patient teacher in your relationships, by not overwhelming them with so much information and responsibility that they give up. The wise wait to share wisdom until another is ready to receive wisdom. Understanding comes to those who remain faithful.

    “With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand.” Mark 4:33

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, what lesson do I need to learn before you show me the next step?

    Related Readings: Psalm 85:13; Romans 8:14; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; 1 John 2:27

    Post/Tweet this today: We can sulk in impatience or we can serve in anticipation. #serve #patience

    Wisdomhunters.com is dedicated to Applying Unchanging Truth to a Changing World.


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

  • Grateful for Good

    Posted on June 10, 2012 by Family Christian

    I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13:6

     

    God has been good to us. His goodness is liberal and long lasting. His goodness is far- reaching. It extends to the embarrassment of failure and to the pride of success. His goodness is good. If we could eat the goodness of God it would not only satisfy our hunger, but fill us with trusting delight. Because He is God, He is good. There is nothing that soils the character of our Savior. The salvation we have in Jesus is good. The comfort we have in Christ is good. The wisdom we gain by applying God’s principles is good. His answers to prayer are good. His forgiveness is good. His grace is good. Heaven is good. God is so good to us. We can’t help but exclaim His goodness in praise and adoration. We sing to the Lord because His goodness compels us. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).

    Gratitude gushes forth from a heart that has been tamed by the goodness of God. God has been good to us. The recognition of His goodness governs our gratitude. To the extent we remember how good God is to us, is the degree of appreciation we apply in our everyday life. His goodness to us draws out gratitude in spades. His goodness invites gratitude. Moreover, He extends His goodness to us personally. It is not just one gigantic, corporate application of goodness to a nation that allows freedom of religion and free enterprise. He applies His goodness to our individual situations, as a mother who prepares a delicious meal for her family. Perhaps He has given us a good job, good health, good sense, a good house, and a good family. It is the grace of God that allows us to experience His goodness. When we linger under the cross of Christ, we encounter the shade of His goodness. As the song says, “God is so good. God is so good. God is so good. He’s so good to me.”

    Therefore, when we are under the bright light of God’s goodness, any influence of bad is blinded. Gratitude and a bad attitude cannot coexist. Take the time to list the good things the Lord has done for you. Keep your list close by so when you are tempted to complain over trivial issues like traffic, another’s tardiness, waiting in line, or not getting what you want, you can apply gratitude. People worldwide who love Jesus and make one dollar a day do this all the time. They do not allow their circumstances or financial limitations determine their gratitude. They are grateful because of the goodness of God that governs their attitude and actions. Passion may possess an unbridled body, but patience controls a grateful soul. His goodness beckons us to be good.

    Goodness gives off goodness. It rubs off on others. God’s goodness infects us so that we can infect others. We are “carriers” for Christ. We are good to others because God has been good to us. Our goodness does not discriminate. We are good to others even when they are undeserving. This is the nature of God’s goodness. Be patient with the one who doesn’t deserve patience. Love the one who’s done nothing to deserve love. Forgive the one who doesn’t deserve forgiveness. This is good. This is what Jesus would do. Receive God’s goodness. Apply it gratefully. He has been so extremely good to us.

    Taken from Reading #9 in the 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Psalms”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE

    Post/Tweet this today: God’s goodness invites our gratitude. #goodness #gratitude

    Wisdomhunters.com is dedicated to Applying Unchanging Truth to a Changing World.


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

  • Intimacy through Brokenness

    Posted on June 9, 2012 by Family Christian

    “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 a 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. This however, is an exercise in convenience. It is like placing a “Do not disturb” sign on the door of my 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 hearts and knocks (Revelation 3:20). When you invite Christ into your broken life, 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. Hardship and brokenness are meant to allow you to grow 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 set for a lifetime of intimacy with God. Once God has marked you with brokenness, you are positioned for Him to build on this firm foundation. He will still use mini brokenness’s   throughout your life. These regular occurrences are bricks of brokenness’s connected together by the cement of his grace.

    Over time, a life of brokenness’s 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’s 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.

    Taken from June 8th reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE

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

    Wisdomhunters.com is dedicated to Applying Unchanging Truth to a Changing World.


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

  • Gift of Wisdom

    Posted on June 8, 2012 by Family Christian

     

    Dear Fellow Wisdom Hunter,

    We are extremely grateful to God for your faithful readership of the daily devotional, your prayers, and your financial support. Wisdom Hunters is a non-profit, Christ-centered, 501 c 3 ministry, blessed with a prayerful Board of Directors, who steward well this—the Lord’s work. After much prayer and planning with our 19-member Advisory Board, we believe the Lord is leading us in the following ways in 2012 and beyond:

    Vision
    Connect people to Christ through God’s Word.

    Mission
    Applying unchanging truth to a changing world.

    Goal
    By the end of 2012 trusting God for 200,000 daily devotional readers (currently-80,382) globally and in the U.S.

    Testimony (click here for more: http://bit.ly/K2ZZVT) I’m so thankful for the words of wisdom contain through the gift of wisdom articles. The quotes are so inspiring and helpful to continue persevering in the Word and trust God in the process. Anonymous

    Needs for 2012

    By God’s Grace Wisdom Hunters 2012 Objectives
    • Increase countries that read the daily email devotional from 73 to 125
    • Continue to reduce costs per reader to just over $1.00 per reader.
    • Chinese and Spanish translations of the daily email devotional posted on web site
    • Write and publish eBooks Wisdom for Life, Wisdom for Marriage, Wisdom for Work
    • Write and publish 90-day devotional book Seeking God in the Proverbs
    • Write and publish 365-day devotional book Seeking Daily the Heart of God, vol. 2
    • Begin “Wisdom Minute” radio spots and video blogs
    • Update the Wisdom Hunters web site for an ease of searching by topics and Scripture
    • Create and distribute Wisdom Hunters app for iPhone, iPad and Android
    • Increase eBook and book sales to 25,000 units

    Total financial costs for 2012- $225,000 / 95,816 (given year-to-date)

    Prayer
    If you have been a regular reader for six months or longer, please join us in prayer in how the Lord might lead you to participate financially. If you have been a regular reader for six months or longer, please prayerfully join us in how the Lord might lead you to participate financially. If you are being blessed by the daily writings and could help us reach others for Jesus Christ then you can give online (monthly helps most) by clicking http://bit.ly/KArLE5 or mail your check to:

    Wisdom Hunters
    PO Box 800062
    Roswell, GA 30075

    Thanks so much for your prayerful consideration.

    In Christ,

    Boyd Bailey
    President, Wisdom Hunters

    “I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ” (Philemon 1:6).


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

  • FREE Download from Jimmy Needham

    Posted on June 8, 2012 by Family Christian

    Here is a present for you. It's our way of saying "Happy Father's Day."

    If you are not yet familiar with Jimmy Needham, we strongly encourage you to check his music out. If you are a fan of singer/songwriting material, then Jimmy should fit great in your collection.

    Mr. Needham came on the music scene back in 2005 with his first independent release titled For Freedom. Then in 2006, he signed with inpop records. His songs that have appeared on radio charts are "Dearly Beloved," "Lost at Sea," and "Yours to Take."

    On Jimmy's latest album, Clear the Stage, he has a song that he wrote for his daughter titled "Daddy's Baby Girl." In honor of Father's Day coming, we would like to give it away for free.

    You may download the song by clicking here.

    Also, check out this video from Jimmy sharing about being a father.

    For a laugh, check out a recent video that Jimmy made when he stopped by our office.

    Jimmy Needham albums:
    Speak

    Not Without Love

    Nightlights


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Music, Fathers Day, Jimmy Needham

  • Simplified Living

    Posted on June 7, 2012 by Family Christian

    “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13

     

    Certainly life can be complicated: graduate school, work, relational conflict, wealth, economic downturns, job loss, health loss and the loss of a loved one. But life from the Lord’s perspective is not meant to be rushed and out of control. An individual, who is perpetually on the go, can go right past God’s best. A heart that traffics exclusively in the high occupancy lane of life will run itself ragged. Thus, the wise slow down and simplify.

    Do we really need all the activity that captures our calendar? Could it be that busyness is keeping us from relational integrity with Jesus, family and friends? Perhaps the Lord is leading us to prayerfully unclutter our lives for His kingdom’s purpose. How can we adjust our lifestyle, so that we are freed up to better love the lost to the Lord? Like a fisherman who slowly untangles a bird’s nest of line, Christ can help us unwind our complicated lifestyle.

    “Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” Proverbs 30:7-9

    Furthermore, it’s critical we don’t become proud of our new streamlined schedule or that we fill up our freshly created space with self-indulgence. Pride will cause us to be critical of others who are still struggling to simplify, and selfishness will lead us away from engagement in eternal matters. Indeed, we become unshackled from haste to help others.

    Above all, make sure your strength to simplify comes from your Savior Jesus. Ask the Lord what level of lifestyle you should maintain and give away everything above His standard. A capped spending plan with aggressive giving unleashes Christ’s blessings. Feed contentment with generosity and starve discontentment with disciplined decisions. Your simplified living will increase the quality of your life and possibly extend your life. Indeed, the Lord liberates your lifestyle to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness 

    “For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:32-33

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, what is one step I can take to simplify my life for Your sake?

    Related Readings: Job 27:10; Psalm 37:4; Matthew 19:29; Colossians 1:11

    Post/Tweet this today: We become unshackled from haste to help others. #content #serve

    Wisdomhunters.com is dedicated to Applying Unchanging Truth to a Changing World.


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

  • Political Wisdom

    Posted on June 6, 2012 by Family Christian

    “By me [wisdom] kings reign and rulers make laws that are just; by me princes govern, and all nobles who rule on earth.” Proverbs 8:15-16

     

    The wisdom of God overshadows the best and brightest man. This is why our ancestors accessed the Almighty for knowledge and understanding in crafting our constitution. Its remarkable effectiveness is contingent on faith: faith in God, faith in government, and faith in its citizens. Indeed, politicians who plead with Providence for wisdom will become wiser. Rulers who recognize that their authority is from God will rule for God.

    There is a humble ambition that escorts the most effective statesman into public service, as political pride is exchanged for humble wisdom. They rule wisely when religion rules in their conscience and character. Political wisdom is a perquisite for those public servants who govern on behalf of the people, in alignment with the principles of Providence. These wise rulers are able to rest in peace in the middle of a storm.

    “For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” Romans 13:4

    A culture thrown into economic chaos especially needs principled men and women to step up, sacrifice, and make hard decisions. Wisdom in the middle of extreme uncertainty requires painful prescriptions to prevent further panic. Wise politicians face disastrous consequences and must determine what’s best for the whole in light of the long term. Pray for political leaders to look beyond themselves and only short-term relief, and into the perspective and principles of God found in Holy Scripture.

    Indeed, political wisdom prays for intervention and understanding from the Almighty. Perhaps during desperate days a filibuster of faith is first needed, so our leaders start by looking and listening to the Lord. Just laws follow political wisdom, does what’s right, as Christ defines right. Wise politicians keep their hand of faithfulness on the Bible’s principles, and their hearts submitted under the Lord’s authority. Presidents honor Him by never forgetting their inaugural sacred vow of, “So help me God.”

    “Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel; because the LORD loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.” 1 Kings 10:9, NASB

    Prayer: How can I promote political wisdom with public servants within my influence?

    Related Readings: Psalm 148:11-13; Daniel 2:21-47; Romans 13:1; Revelation 19:11-16

    Post/Tweet this today: Those rule wisely when religion rules in their conscience and character. #politics #character
     
    Wisdomhunters.com is dedicated to Applying Unchanging Truth to a Changing World.


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

  • Mind Margin

    Posted on June 5, 2012 by Family Christian

    “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

     

    The human brain is not meant to operate at full capacity all of the time. The Lord never sleeps or slumbers, but the mind of mere mortals must. If thinking never turns off, like an idling car engine, it eventually runs out of gas. Creativity is crushed under the weight of worry or having to work out urgent issues. A mind requires rest, just like the body, soul and spirit. Thus, wise are those who take the time to rest their minds.

    We are creatures of habit who have become addicted to the screens of modern society. Phones aggressively capture the attention of our eyes and ears. They only let go of their grip when they are turned off. Computers save us time, only to consume our time with unnecessary and needless information. Like an addict who needs another hit or drink, so we become inebriated with access to endless digital knowledge. Space age conveniences, like music and movies on demand, can demand our affections above the heart of God.

    “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

    How do we guard the mind from being governed by outside forces? How can we give our minds a break, so God can give us a break-through in our thinking? A good first step is to regularly free ourselves from being a slave to screens. Set up blocks of time when the computer, phone and television are turned off and ignored. Mental margin grows in a pared down schedule. Your trust in Jesus gives you permission not to be accessible.

    Outdoor physical activity provides mental gymnastics that stimulate different areas of brain engagement. Hence, mental margin does not mean mindlessness. But it does require creating space where the Lord can be heard and people’s emotions can be felt. A full head has nothing to give, but one empty of self has capacity to know how to serve a loved one at their point of need. And above all else, allow the peace of God to guard your mind.

    “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach me how to rest in You, with my peace of mind from You.

    Related Readings: Daniel 10:12; Mark 8:33; 12:30; Romans 15:5-6

    Post/Tweet this today: Mental margin grows in a pared down schedule. #trust #calendar

    Wisdomhunters.com is dedicated to Applying Unchanging Truth to a Changing World.


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

  • New TobyMac Me Without You single

    Posted on June 4, 2012 by Family Christian

    Here is the lyric video for the new TobyMac "Me Without You" single.
    Let us know what you think of it.

    You may purchase his new single here.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, TobyMac, Music

  • Good Controversy

    Posted on June 4, 2012 by Family Christian

    “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.” John 8:3-6a

     

    Christ was controversial. The ultra conservative Pharisees were jealous of the large number of His disciples and His teachings on forgiveness. And the extreme liberal Sadducees were angry with Him for His belief in the resurrection. Today the same is true: some are endeared by the mention of Jesus’ name, while others are enraged. Ultra conservatives focus on truth and obedience—extreme liberals stress love and grace. 

    However, it is out of good controversy that we grow in grace and truth. When the categories of our belief system are challenged and stretched a bit, it causes us to go to God for wisdom. Yes, culture’s pull is toward compromising Christ’s principles, which is not an option for genuine believers. Likewise, the tension of being in the minority view is no reason to fight back with angry political maneuvering or with fear-based false accusations. Christ thrives in controversy, when truth and grace jointly win.

    “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” Titus 3:9

    Foolish controversies are unproductive and unprofitable. When we follow Jesus’ example and showing grace in the face of religious condemnation, we hold high truth in the face of polluted faith. Do some friends speak condescendingly toward your spiritual priorities? Are others indifferent to your commitment to Christ? Do some church acquaintances question your investment in the lives of those away from the Lord? These judgments will follow Jesus followers.

    The goal of good controversy is not for you to win the debate—but, it is for you to represent the heart of Christ. Your accusers may not agree with your theological emphasis, but they can and must respect your humble attitude that accompanies your bold beliefs. Brothers and sisters in the Lord discuss their differences in private, not in a public display of intellectual snobbery. Good controversy clarifies privately, but loves publically.

    “Everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, who can I encourage, who is in a controversial circumstance.

    Related Readings: John 13:1; Acts 15:1-41; 1 Timothy 6:4

    Post/Tweet this today: Christ thrives in controversy, when truth and grace jointly win.

    Wisdomhunters.com is dedicated to Applying Unchanging Truth to a Changing World.

     

     


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion

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