• Memorial Day Sale - 40% off with coupon

Family Christian

  • Satanic Schemes

    Boyd

    Take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:11

    Busyness is a compelling strategy of Satan’s. He knows if he can lead believers in Jesus to be perpetually busy for Jesus, prayer is postponed. A schedule with no time for solitude is not sustainable over time. So, the devil and his demons get in the head of sincere Christians and have them heading in 14 different directions. A chronically active servant of Christ is spiritually impotent compared to a focused, contemplative child of God. Too B U S Y is Being Under Satan’s Yoke!

    Pride is another preferred tactic of the devil. He wants us to think we can out smart the Lord. So he whispers in our mind, “What has God really said?” “Aren’t you an exception to Christ’s expectations?” Pride dismisses prayer as impractical and wills its way into getting its way. The enemy understands that God distances Himself from the proud, but He is drawn to the humble. Thus, we deflate our ego by deflecting praise of man back to God. We glory in the glory of God!

    Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Matthew 4:10-11

    Fear is a favorite scheme of Satan. He knows that fear and faith cannot coexist, so a fear-based believer is stuck in a scary cycle of infant belief. Just as a child fears the dark and is frantic, so an immature faith is paralyzed and threatened. Fear immobilizes your confidence, but intimacy with your Heavenly Father flushes out fear and replaces it with faith. The dark side of the devil’s domain has no dominion over you. Worship and praise the name of Jesus and Satan flees in fear!

    Lastly, call the devil’s bluff with your bold belief in God’s grace and protection. He cannot do anything that your Heavenly Father doesn’t first allow. However, don’t test the Lord by dabbling with temptation and giving Satan a foothold in your faith. What you tolerate in moderation the enemy will escalate to excess. So, fear God and fear of the enemy will evaporate. Be diligent to feast on God’s word and fast from the devil’s delicacies. Above all else, rest in the palm of your Heavenly Father’s hand;there you are safe from satanic schemes. In Christ, you overcome evil!

    The word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:14

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father I rest in the palm of Your hand and I trust in Your protection.

    Related Readings: Genesis 3:1; Job 1:12; John 10:28-30; Ephesians 4:27; 1 Timothy 4:1

    Post/Tweet today: Be diligent to feast on God’s word and fast from the devil’s delicacies. #scripture

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Is God Leading You to Africa?

    Help to change the life of a child this summer by serving on a 10-day mission trip to central Kenya with Good Goers.

    Kids Alive was founded in 1916 and is a Christian faith mission dedicated to rescuing orphans and vulnerable children – meeting their spiritual, physical, educational and emotional needs. They provide children with the love and care every child deserves, and raise them to be contributing members of their society and witnesses to their family and community. While serving in Kenya, you would work alongside the children in their residential program as well as community children in their school. For fun, you would visit an animal orphanage.

    Meredith Melby has been working in Kenya with Kids Alive since 2011. We ask her to share a bit about life on the mission field.

    Meredith

    Family Christian (FC): What brought you to Kids Alive?

    Meredith (M): My involvement with Kids Alive started before I was born! My great grandfather was the first president of KAI, and my grandfather and father have both served on the KAI board, so I’ve always been aware of the work that they do, but honestly, I never thought I’d end up working for them. I began sponsoring a little girl at the KAI home in the Dominican Republic when I was 12 years old, and had the opportunity to visit her when I was in the 8th grade. What an amazing experience! That trip, along with several other international experiences in high school and college, sparked my interest in cross-cultural ministry. During my Senior year at Wheaton College, I felt God’s call to work abroad. and as I researched different opportunities and organizations, I found that I strongly agreed with the thoughtfulness of the ministry philosophies espoused by Kids Alive – an organization that had been right under my nose for so long! I applied and was accepted as a Kids Alive Missionary, spent some time preparing and fundraising, and finally moved to Kenya in October, 2011. It’s exciting to be able to continue my family’s legacy with this ministry, and I absolutely LOVE my job here. I feel so blessed to work with such a dedicated Kenyan team, and I really enjoy being able to expose our US, Canadian and British teams to God’s work here in Kenya.

    FC: Can you share with us some examples of Gospel transformation that you have seen with others?

    A few months ago, one of our missionaries was walking through our local town with one of our older boys who is now studying international relations at a top university in Nairobi. He is a strong Christian young man, leads worship at his church and disciples his younger brothers in the home when he visits on school holidays. Our staff are all excited about his potential, and can’t wait to see what God has in store for him. As they walked, He pointed to a group of street boys, high on glue and suffering from brain damage due to years of drug abuse, and said “those are the guys I used to hang out with when I lived on the streets. If Kids Alive hadn’t rescued me 10 years ago, I’d be just like them now”. When I heard this story, my heart burst. It burst with love and praise for my God who rescued this young man from such desperation and has given him such purpose, and it broke for those young men still living on the streets – what could they have become, if we’d had the resources to rescue all of them?

    Just last week I was talking with some of our middle school girls for whom I lead a weekly Bible study. All of them come from desperate backgrounds, and each has her own story of trauma, struggle and redemption. I asked them what they had done over the weekend, and they told me that they had heard that our social worker was visiting one of the more needy families in our community and asked to go along. The girls receive about $5 every other month for personal spending, and often use it to get their hair done or buy some new shoes, but upon hearing about the visit the social worker was planning, they decided on their own to pool their small resources and buy enough cooking oil, rice, flour, sugar, tea and soap for this needy family of 4 for a whole month. When I asked them why they’d chosen to do this, they responded “God had given us so much – it’s only right that we give back to His people in need”. My heart swelled with pride and praise to God for these beautiful young women He has rescued and redeemed, and is using even now at their young ages for His glory and service.

    FC: Did you have to get used to some new types of food while living in Kenya?

    I really enjoy Kenyan food. The fruit here is incredible – makes American fruit taste like cardboard. We eat a lot of rice, beans, maize and potatoes on a daily basis, and on special occasions we cook a flat bread called chapatti. The strangest food I’ve eaten in Kenya is goat head. It’s a delicacy usually reserved for men and respected older women, but I was allowed to try the cheek once. I actually found it tasted pretty good! I wasn’t brave enough to try the ear though, which most people say is their favorite – it still had fur on it!

    FC: Is there anything that you miss on a daily basis from the US?

    Fast internet, vacuum cleaners and Dove chocolate.

    FC: How has God grown you through your experience with Kids Alive?

    These

    My experience with Kids Alive has taught me to trust God in a deeper way than I’ve ever had to before. From fundraising to working through culture shock, building relationships with the kids and my Kenyan coworkers to dealing with the CRAZY drivers here, God has proven to me again and again that He can and will take care of me no matter what circumstances I

    meet. I’ve also gained much more confidence in my God-given abilities and talents. There are so many things I do here that I initially think “I don’t know if I’m qualified for this”, but then I take a deep breath and jump in, trusting that He’ll pull me through, and God has always given me exactly what I need to perform well and succeed in the work He’s given me to do. It’s a crazy adventure He’s taking me on, and I absolutely love it.

    FC: What is your biggest burden in Kenya?

    I think there are two: knowing that there are so many more needy children in our community who we currently don’t have the capacity to help, and trying to find the best ways to nurture and guide the children who are in our care to produce responsible Kenyan young adults who are serious about their faith and want to give back to their home communities.

    FC: How can we pray for you?

    Personally, please pray for continued strength to do what God has called me to here in Kenya, and that He will continue to fold me closer into his loving arms and perfect will. Please also pray for the work of Kids Alive Kenya, that we as a staff will be able care for these children in a way that is glorifying to God, and that we will prudently use the resources He’s given us to thoughtfully and effectively further His important work here in Kenya.

    If you’d like to know how else you can pray for me or are interested in following my adventure with Kids Alive in Kenya, please visit my blog: Gracious Becomings

    For more information on how you or your family can be a part of short term trip to Kenya, visit the Good Goers web site.

     

  • Enter to Win Tickets to the Creation Museum

    Prepare to Believe

    Have you or your family experienced the Creation Museum yet?  This state-of-the-art 70,000 square foot museum brings the pages of the Bible to life, casting its characters and animals in dynamic form and placing them in familiar settings. Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden. Children play and dinosaurs roam near Eden’s Rivers. The serpent coils cunningly in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Majestic murals, great masterpieces brimming with pulsating colors and details, provide a backdrop for many of the settings.

    Enter to win tickets for you and __________ to the Creation Museum.

  • Building Up Your Marriage

    Tracie

    "However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

    When I married my husband over 23 years ago, I fully intended to unconditionally love, respect and admire him. I had great intentions of being the perfect wife, offering kind words, a romantic kiss and dinner on the table every evening.

    But then careers took off, bills increased, children were born, laundry piles grew, and life became chaotic. Along the way I subconsciously created a measuring stick of expectations for whether my husband actually deserved my love and respect.

    When marriage didn't meet the unrealistic expectations I had before the wedding, and real life kicked in, it became easy to fall into the habit of tearing down my husband and marriage.

    It seemed the longer we were together, the easier it was to see each other's flaws, and mercilessly criticize them. This eventually led to short tempers, less tolerance, and a lack of marital bliss. Not what I dreamed my marriage would be when I said "I do."

    Maybe you can relate? Have you noticed too that as a result of these frustrations, the gifts of unconditional love, respect and admiration that we fully intended to offer become gifts we withhold?

    A few years ago I picked up a book written for wives. I was hoping to rekindle some passion in my marriage. Little did I know God would use truths shared in that book to get my attention and help me make some inward changes.

    As I read, God convicted my heart about things I had said to my husband just days earlier. Critical comments that rolled off my tongue so easily, I now regretted deeply. Although I had fully intended to be my husband's biggest encourager, I had become one of his worst critics.

    God helped me see the powerful influence I have on my husband and marriage when choosing words that build up. Words that encourage instead of discourage. Words that heal, not wound.

    As women, we can build up or tear down our husbands every day, merely by the respect we give, the words we choose, and the amount of faith in him we convey.

    Respect and admiration are two of the most powerful tools a wife has to influence her husband. Realizing I had fallen short in giving those two precious gifts to my man, I asked God to help me control my tongue. I asked Him to fill my heart and mouth with words that would make my husband feel admired, respected and loved, regardless of whether I felt he deserved it.

    I knew I'd need God's help to follow through on my renewed intentions, so I asked for a gentle nudge from the Holy Spirit when critical thoughts crept into my mind. God helped me avoid the temptation to say them out loud.

    Within just a few weeks, I saw a change — in me, in my husband's demeanor, and in our relationship. A change that rekindled unconditional love, respect and admiration within my heart, thoughts and actions toward my husband. A change that reflected what I set out to give him all along.

    Through our words of respect, and admiration, we can help our husbands become the great men God created them to be, and in turn, have we can have the marriages we fully intended to build. It will take patience, humbleness and grace, but it'll produce love, happiness and togetherness.

    Dear Lord, help tame my tongue and focus on building up my man. Help me break free of the habit to criticize, even when warranted. Open my eyes to the positive, not the negative. Draw us closer, and help us both nurture a strong and loving marriage. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: Tracie Miles' new book Stressed Less Living: Finding God's Peace In Your Chaotic World can help you have a less stressed marriage.

    Capture His Heart and Capture Her Heart by Lysa TerKeurst are great wedding presents for the newlyweds in your life! Or purchase a set for you and your husband.

    Reflect and Respond: Think about how important your husband's love is to you and consider how much your respect means to him.

    If your marriage seems strained right now, think about conversations with your husband lately. Have your comments been encouraging and uplifting, or discouraging and destructive?

    Power Verses: Genesis 2:24, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." (NIV 1984)

    James 3:5b-6a, "Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body." (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • Spiritual Struggle

    Boyd

    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

    Spiritual struggle is a normal process in the life of a saint. There is pressure from unholy, unseen forces that force their agenda of doubt, lies and temptation onto God fearers. Unrighteous influences do not rest until they make believers in Jesus restless in their faith. Evil authorities of darkness look for ways to create fear in the face of uncertainty. Demons laugh when they can pit good people against one another. They try to confuse Christians stuck in their spiritual struggle.

    Our spiritual struggle is meant to move us closer to Christ. He sympathizes with our challenges, because He was tempted as we are, yet without sin. The Lord is our holy advocate who defeats unholy spiritual forces for His namesake. Yes, Jesus has broken the devil’s power over life and death. Like a roaring lion, Satan still tries to intimidate and manipulate us into a fearful panic, but Christ is King. He has tamed the toothless tyrant. Thus, our Savior is with us as we struggle.

    Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:31

    In your search for spiritual reality and stability avoid false teachers and spiritists who call up the dead, for they are dead wrong. The occult, astrology and horoscopes are a spiritual sham that only feed fanciful living. Your heart hungers for help, but you are wise to protect it from spiritual junk food. Satisfy your soul’s appetite with healthy routines. Engage in a Bible believing church, daily meditate on Scripture in prayer and meet regularly in a small caring community of Christians.

    If you struggle alone in your spiritual quest you will miss God’s best. However, when you have a safe environment to share with other struggling saints, you will see Jesus in them. The Holy Spirit works through other submitted followers of God to give you comfort when you are hurting and wisdom when you are unsure. Like an army’s squad of twelve, surround yourself with loyal comrades who watch your back. Prayers of righteous friends frustrate the devil and his demons. Your struggles subside as you feel peace from prayer support and when your hope is in Christ!

    I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Romans 15:30

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father I need You to stabilize my faith as I struggle with doubt and confusion.

    Related Readings: Leviticus 20:6; Isaiah 8:19; Luke 4:34; Mark 5:9; Romans 8:37-39

    Post/Tweet today: Unrighteous influences do not rest until they make believers in Jesus restless in their faith. #temptation

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

     

  • Secrets of Success Found in Small Places

    Lysa

    "Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work." Exodus 36:2 (NIV)

    The International Christian Retail Show is a big book convention where publishers, authors, agents, media, and bookstore owners all gather to talk shop. Books are pitched. Books are sold. Books are talked about a lot!

    I went to this conference years ago when I was a wanna-be writer with a book proposal and a dream. Last year, as I signed pre-release copies of my 16th book Unglued, two thoughts went through my mind.

    First ... thank You Jesus that people actually came to my book signing. Seriously, there's nothing quite like standing there with a big stack of free promotion books, a permanent marker, and not a soul interested.

    So when people actually came, I just wanted to hug every single one of them. Seriously. And if I had lots of money I would've bought them all a steak dinner. I'm not kidding.

    The second thought was ... look for those desperate for your encouragement. Many who came through my book signing line were interested in writing a book. I remember being there. I know what it feels like to walk around with a tote bag full of book proposals and a heart full of nervous hope.

    I felt the weight of responsibility to give them the encouragement I so desperately needed when I was in their shoes.

    Maybe you are there right now. Maybe you're looking to actively pursue your dreams in this New Year. Whether it's the hope of being an author or another dream you have bumping around in your heart, here's what I've learned:

    Always remember, rejection from man doesn't mean rejection from God. If God has gifted you to write, write! You don't need a book deal to have an impact with your writing. The same is true with other dreams ... sing, create, teach, paint, develop — use your gifts right where you are to bless others.

    Most overnight success stories are years in the making. Value the daily discipline of small steps, hard work, honing your craft, and putting in time learning and developing. Take classes. Be mentored. Push through those moments you want to slack off. And do it over and over, year after year.

    Be a blessing to others. Don't keep your work to yourself. Find people who could be blessed with your work. I love to write. But what I love more than writing is seeing my writing help other people. That's where I find the encouragement to push through the hard times.

    Expect opposition. The challenges and disappointments and set backs are all part of it. And honestly, these hard times serve a great purpose. I've learned much more from my failures in writing than my successes. Use these lessons ... don't waste them by giving up too soon. And remember to glorify Him whether it's a struggle or a success. God uses all things for good.

    Look for the small open doors right in front of you. I always scratch my head when I meet people who tell me they want to write and speak but aren't willing to teach a small Bible study first. If God is calling you to do something — He'll have a door open in front of you. But it might be a small door. Look for the small door and walk through it.

    Actually, dance through it with great joy because He will always do great things with people willing to be faithful in the small.

    Dear Lord, I praise You for giving me the opportunity to pursue my dreams. I am so humbled that You would call me to serve You. Please help me persevere as I come up against opposition and frustration in the process of saying "yes" to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond: What goal are you looking to reach?

    What small step toward that goal can you take today? Remember, we can't go directly from A-Z. There are many stepping stones along the way.

    Surround yourself with a positive support network. Having a strong group of friends/family who will stand with you and be honest with you on your journey is crucial.

    Power Verse: Philippians 2:13, "For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • Father of Lies

    Boyd

    Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:11

    Satan is the original liar. Jesus branded him the “father of lies.” Yes, he is ever planning and scheming  how he can bring down devoted followers of Christ. Apathetic believers do not concern hell, but those with a fiery faith become targets of the tempter. Like an illusionist the devil and his demons play mind games on their prey. They paint pictures with an allure of reality, but when played out become foolish ploys. Only fools chase the false promises of evil spirits.

    Moreover, the father of lies leads us to live in confusion and doubt. His goal is for us to reject  God’s existence. The pinnacle of pride is to think we are the center of the universe and we have no need to acknowledge a Creator. But, if we do believe in God, then “Lucifer the liar” wants us to think we become equal to God. If we believe this absurdity, we become an idol and fall into temptation in the process. Like a camouflaged snake he waits to subtly strike with a lie.

    You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

     

    Another weapon in Satan’s arsenal of lies is to educate fools into believing he is a myth. He is like a stealth bomber, sneaking up  and destroying unsuspecting victims. A modern culture that rejects the reality of evil personified by the devil and his demons is an unprotected target of hell’s fury. Yes, lying is the native tongue of your enemy, but truth is the language of your Lord Jesus. So, be teachable to the Father of Truth, and He will set you free from the deceptions of the devil.

    Lastly, be careful to not exchange the truth for a lie. The truth is, because you are loved and forgiven by your heavenly Father, you can love and forgive. The truth is you are beautifully and uniquely created in the image of God. The truth is Christ died and rose from the dead to forgive your sins and give you abundant life. The truth is humility qualifies you to grow in grace. The truth is greatness comes by becoming a servant. The truth is Jesus has defeated the devil...period!

    Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

    Prayer: Heavenly Father by Your Spirit give me a discerning heart that resists the devil with truth.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 14:12-15; Romans 1:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:23-25; 1 Peter 5:8-9

    Post/Tweet today: Lying is the native tongue of our enemy, but truth is the language of our Lord Jesus. #truth

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • How to Change a Life

    Suzie

    "Love is patient. Love is kind." 1 Corinthians 13:4a (NIV)

    I knew what it was like to sit on a curb and weep, wanting to run away. I knew how it felt to be locked in a closet by an older sibling. I knew what it meant to feel fear as a parent grabbed a gun and threatened suicide.

    But when I became a Christian at 15, I didn't know anything about what it meant to live a Christian life.

    I didn't understand Jesus or His love. Although far from mature in my faith, the Christian adults in my small church began to show me what His love looked like. Without knowing my story, they still reached out and touched my life.

    I was drawn in to my faith by the presence of God and His spirit, but grew in faith because of caring and well-meaning people. They taught Sunday school and youth group. They shushed us when we talked too loud during service. They herded teens onto the bus every Sunday afternoon so we could go to the nursing homes and sing, letting wrinkled hands rest on our smooth ones.

    Looking back, I know I was trying at times. Like the time I kissed the boy on the youth group hayride. Or when I shared my testimony for the first time and uttered a curse word in the middle. I ran out of the room in embarrassment, but a woman found me outside. "Maybe you could say it a different way next time," she said with a smile. Her hug made me feel safe and accepted.

    Maybe there's a behaviorally challenged teen in your world. They act on impulse. They say things that make you cringe. They run hard after God, but fall just as hard in the process.

    And yet you keep loving them, teaching them about God, and showing them their life matters to God. Maybe their home life is a secret, like mine was. Lots of teens need spiritual moms and dads because the only way they'll see Jesus is through you.

    A few years ago I visited my old church. When I thanked a couple, now in their golden years, for all that they had done, the response was, "We didn't do that much. We just loved you kids."

    What they didn't realize is their love helped that sometimes annoying teen with a very hard home life grow up to be a good mom, a loving wife, and a grandma whose life is wrapped in Jesus. I want them to know that every word I write, every message I speak, every time I kneel and pray with someone to know Christ, it is linked back to that group of faithful adults who loved me right where I was. Their patient example showed me Jesus. It inspired me to work with teens for years and to open our home to teens in crisis.

    One day in eternity I know they'll understand. But for now I want them to know they transformed my life.

    I'll always be grateful. Maybe you're grateful to someone too.

    Dear Lord, help me to be faithful to show Your love to a teen or a child who needs it. Help me to be patient and serve as an example. We don't know every story but You do. Thank You that small acts of faithfulness can be multiplied in Your hands. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

     

    Reflect and Respond: To impact a teen, you can:

    • Open your home to your children's friends for a fun night. • Pay a teen's way to youth camp or a mission trip (if parents aren't involved, they normally don't get to go) • Ask your youth pastor if there is an at-risk teen in the church. Commit to pray for them daily.

    Power Verses: 1 Timothy 2:1, "I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them." (NLT)

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

    © 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • God’s Full Armor

    Boyd

    Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Ephesians 6:11

    God’s armor is required for followers of Jesus to defeat the enemies of Jesus. Spiritual surprise attacks increase for those serious students of Scripture who decrease their status for the sake of the gospel. The devil is determined to deter disciples of Christ who wage spiritual warfare on their knees in prayer. However, the armor issued by heaven has never lost a battle. Like wooden arrows striking titanium, Satan’s schemes are no match for God’s defensive gear. He’s a loser.

    Have you, by faith, put on the full armor of God? Or are you exposed to suffering wounds by wearing half the world’s armor and half heaven’s protection? Indeed, the armor of the world: financial security, status and autonomy all seek placement in your spiritual protection. However, these are pseudo protectors of your mind, body, soul and spirit. Temporal trusts facilitate a false sense of security, but only trust in the Lord’s protection provides eternal security. You stand firm in Him.

    But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder. Luke 11:22

    Spiritual battles require spiritual resources. Furthermore there are evils forces behind our fractured relationships and the conflicting desires within our heart. Beyond the surface of our struggles are demonic spirits with evil intent. Therefore, we intentionally and prayerfully put on the full armor of God, so we are equipped to engage the enemy. We speak the name of Jesus and fluster Satan’s foray to get us to doubt. “In Jesus'name,” fuels our faith and frustrates the devil.

    Lastly, God’s defense for you is an armor of light. Yes, His protection exposes and expunges the devil’s deeds done in darkness. The light of the Lord’s armor shines on your path, so you are able to confidently take your next steps in His will. You are a child of the light, thus, walk in the light as He is in the light. Awaken to Almighty God’s ability to resource you with His weapons of righteousness. Disrobe any worldly armor and cover your whole being in the full armor of God.

    So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12

    Prayer: Heavenly Father by faith I put on Your full armor so I can stand firm in You.

    Related Readings: Psalm 35:1-3; Jeremiah 46:3-5; Ephesians 4:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:8

    Post/Tweet today: When we speak and act in Jesus' name, it fuels our faith and frustrates the devil. #jesusname

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Either He Planned It or He Permitted It

    Van

    "He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross, ... refining them like gold and silver..." Malachi 3:3 (NLT)

    I wasn't happy with the turn of events in my life. In fact "not happy" didn't begin to describe my emotional free fall.

    Devastated. Petrified. Paralyzed. Lost. Angry. Disbelief. Even somewhat crazed. Now those adjectives described me.

    "Not me!" I continually repeated. Never in my wildest imagination would I have dreamed that my life could end up here.

    During this time of near inconsolable anguish, my cousin sent wise and comforting words: "Remember, either God sent it or He has allowed it."

    Her words helped me understand God was in control and there had to be a reason behind this circumstance.

    Either God sent it or He allowed it.

    I found myself contemplating this phrase. It made total sense. Slowly, peace replaced anguish. Acceptance replaced anger. Submission replaced unbelief. Could God be allowing these circumstances to change something in me? Was God granting permission for me to go through this fire for a specific reason?

    Malachi 3:3 is a picture of a silversmith purifying the precious metal. God shares this word picture to let us know that He is the silversmith refining us; He's who burns away the dross, which is something that is base, trivial, or inferior. In other words, not necessary or helpful.

    Most of us would agree that life's trials can feel like a punishment. Major disruptions seem like they're meant to make us miserable. The truth is, God transforms us with each trial we experience. He is removing the "dross" or imperfections from us. Each time we survive a major ordeal we grow stronger, wiser, more prepared for the next challenge. We are conquerors and overcomers with God's help.

    Ordeals, hardships, distresses are permitted by God for our perfection. Either He permits them or He plans them. If God has intentionally laid out a troublesome path for us, He has a purpose.

    But it's not always about us. God might place pain, suffering or distraction on our path to teach others about His love, steadfastness, and mercies. The way we react to stress reflects what we believe about God, and allows others to see His faithfulness.

    Few of us are immune to desperate circumstances. But sometimes they are the best way for God to perfect us. He wants to display us as His showpiece to give the world hope. We don't always feel good about God's higher ways. They hurt. They stretch. I know. I have felt the pain, the pull, the piercing agony.

    However, if God plans my circumstances, then I have to trust He has a purpose. I believe He sends "assignments" so we can show the world that He is worthy to trust and has good plans. If I model confidence in Him, I'm announcing to the world, with my actions and attitude, our great God knows exactly what He is doing with my life.

    Nothing compares to knowing and trusting the Lord is in control ... especially when everything around me feels unstable. He won't permit or plan something difficult for us to walk through without having a greater purpose behind it. One that will make us holier, more like Him, and shine His glory. Our experience is not in vain!

    Holy Father, the anguish I feel when life slams me seems to be more than I can handle. Give me strength to push on. Remind me of Your peace and keep me focused on the truth that You have a greater plan and purpose. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Our hope is found in the truth of Scripture. Connect with God in the NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible, featuring devotions from all our Proverbs 31 Ministries writers.

    An Untroubled Heart by Micca Campbell

    Reflect and Respond: Think back to a time you faced a difficult hurdle. What was it? How did it affect you? What did you learn from the experience? Can you say today that God brought you through it and you learned deep spiritual lessons as a result?

    Consider the lives of great men and women of God. Be reminded that the majority of them grew to greatness through trials and tribulations.

    Power Verses: Matthew 5:14,16, "You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. ...let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." (NLT)

    Romans 12:2b, "...let God transform you into a new person." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

Items 1731 to 1740 of 2425 total

WHAT WE'RE ABOUT

“to look after orphans and widows in their distress...” James 1:27 NIV

Our heartbeat is to help orphans and widows in need, as our Father calls us to do.
And with every purchase you make, you’re making an amazing difference in their lives.

We are not for profit, and all for purpose
Loading... Loading...