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Family Christian

  • Racial Healing


    “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew or Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26–28).


    Christianity is colorblind. The foot of the Cross is level and acceptable for all who embrace faith in Jesus Christ. Man erects barriers, but belief in Christ tears them down. Man makes himself superior and treats others as inferior. However, our superior Savior Jesus makes humble followers of the Lord significant.


    Your devotion to Christ is meant to dissolve distrust toward those different from you. In fact, it is out of the beauty of diversity that your beliefs are made real. Faith untested by inclusiveness is indeed inferior. Belief in God equalizes egos and checks pride. Our Christian brand promise is love for one another, because He first loved us.


    No race can escape the love of God and His children. Racial healing is a result of radical inclusiveness; so invite others inside. Oneness is the outcome of devotion to Christ. The free set others free, and all become bond-servants of Christ. Those in bondage are set free to live life for the Lord and others.


    Men and women become one in marriage and one in their love for the Lord. Races have no reason to boast over their lineage other than it is a gift from God. He determined when and where you where born. Your life was planned ahead by Providence. Therefore, thank God for giving you the family and the life He has given you.


    Take responsibility for your actions, living life with gratitude and grace. Forgive freely, as Christ has forgiven you, and remove any race resentment with grace insistence. Heaven heals hearts on earth when they  are unified by faith in Christ Jesus.


    His passionate prayer is, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:20–21 NASB).


    Prayer: How can I be a facilitator of race healing by the grace of God in Christ Jesus?


    Related Readings: Exodus 12:48–49; Ezekiel 17:23; Matthew 23:8; Acts 10:28–47

    Post/Tweet: Christianity is colorblind and the foot of the Cross is level for all who love the Lord. #racialhealing

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • Overcoming Criticism


    “When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” 1 Samuel 17:28

    Criticism will come to committed followers of Christ. Anyone who does anything for Jesus is vulnerable to correction, even criticism. Criticism can be caustic and unjust, flowing from another’s jealous or angry heart. Or criticism can be constructive and just, coming from another’s genuine desire for clarity and understanding. In either case, there is at least a nugget of truth that is an opportunity for character development. The humble learn wise lessons from vocalized concerns.

    In David’s case his brother did not have a category for David’s military involvement, so Eliab  angrily rebuked him as being irresponsible, naive and wicked. Some relatives will only remember us as a rebellious and/or immature teenager, instead of as adults seeking to be a man or woman of God. We are wise to not wrestle with other’s expectations that are stuck in the past. It’s not our responsibility to change a mind that is made up. Let God redeem resentment.

    “Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him.” Genesis 27:41

    Are you crushed by the critical spirit of your spouse? Has criticism at work worn you down? If so, go to your heavenly Father for help. Ask Him to examine your heart for  any unseemly motives and to enlighten your mind on  how your thinking needs to change. By God’s grace, balance being overly sensitive and shutting down any inkling of inquiry into your ideas and actions. Forgive harsh critics as having their own issues with God--He can handle their heart.

    Furthermore, protect yourself from a critical spirit. Don’t justify your negative attitude toward another because of their hurtful words. After attempting to communicate with a critic, be respectful,  then move on with how the Lord is leading you. By faith, outlast the loudest objectors and over time they will quiet down. Wisdom is proven right by its actions, so the fruit of your character becomes a commercial for Christ. Overcome criticism by faithfulness to God.

    “Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed.” Psalm 17:3


    Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me learn from critics and protect me from being critical.

    Related Readings: Psalm 131:1; Proverbs 15:1, 18:19; Acts 5:17-18; 1 Timothy 5:1

    Post/Tweet today: Forgive harsh critics as having their own issues with God--He can handle their heart. #criticism

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Believing Is Seeing


    "O, LORD, open his eyes so he may see." 2 Kings 6:17a (NIV 1984)

    When I became a single mom after the death of my first husband, I found my world turned upside down. My life was a balancing act of finances, home and being a stabilizing factor in my son's life.

    Decisions that needed to be made closed in on me, but there was no one to consider them with. Which bills had to be paid first? Should I work outside the home? What's the best school for my son?

    The more I tried to figure it out, the more afraid I became. Most of the time I avoided the pressing worry and doubt by curling up and sleeping. The burden was huge and the enemy of fear surrounded me.

    I felt backed into a corner, tired, worn out and alone.

    The truth is, I may have felt alone, but I wasn't. God was there. I knew I had to turn my attention on Him instead of my circumstances. I knew God wouldn't let me fall. I knew He was aware and cared about my worries. So I called on Him for help and asked Him to open my eyes so I might see His provision. I prayed:

    "Lord, I trust You are with me. I know You will never leave me nor forsake me. I am not alone. You care for me. You are my provider and You have a perfect plan for me. I do not have to be afraid, for You are faithful."

    My prayer ended by asking God to open my eyes so I could see what I had prayed for and professed with my mouth.

    He did that for Elisha and his friend in 2 Kings 6:17. King Aram was at war with Israel. During this time, the prophet Elisha and another man of God continuously spied on King Aram and reported his strategy to the king of Israel. When King Aram found out Elisha was the one blowing his cover to Israel, he sent horsemen and chariots by night to surround Elisha's camp and capture him.

    When Elisha and the man of God woke up and saw they were encircled by the enemy, the man of God cried out in terror, "What shall we do?" (2 Kings 6:15 NIV 1984) Elisha responded, "Do not be afraid. For those who are with us are more than them." (2 Kings 6:16 NIV 1984)

    Then Elisha called to the Lord, "Open his eyes so he may see" (2 Kings 6:17a). Suddenly, the man of God saw chariots of fire from God all around. What do you think that did to his fear to know that God was fighting the battle for them?

    Do doubt, fear, worry and discouragement surround you? Do you fear they will conquer you? Are you crying out like Elisha's friend, "What am I going to do?" Day-by-day I committed to face my fears by focusing on God and His power. He guided me with each decision I had to make.

    Perhaps it's time to ask God to open your eyes to see His power and love working together to fight your battle. Seeing the truth will help you take a step toward freedom and away from fear. He is in the midst of your circumstances.

    Dear Lord, it's hard to trust when I'm afraid. But I choose to look to You and believe You are working on my behalf. Help me to see You in the midst of my cares. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond: Begin to face your fears and take action. Set aside time to pray, asking the Lord to show you His power in the challenges you're facing.

    As you watch Him work on your behalf, mark each challenge off one at a time. You'll discover that with God's help you're more courageous than you imagined.

    Power Verses: 2 Chronicles 20:17, "You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you." (NIV)

    1 Peter 2:9, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

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

  • Multi-gifted For God


    "One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.” 1 Samuel 16:18


    God blesses some of His children with multiple gifts. David is a good example of God’s gifting:  musical talent, military valor, communication and writing skills, good looks and most importantly, the Lord's favor. Indeed, the gifts of God need the favor of God. Yes, there is a stewardship the Spirit expects of the gifts He gives, since much given requires much. The Spirit yearns for a prayerful administration of abilities for God’s Kingdom. Gifts are given for Him.


    You may be laboring faithfully on the outskirts of influence, under the radar of where most are focused. Thank the Lord that in your smaller responsibilities you can prepare for larger opportunities. Your gifts take time and intentionality to develop. Therefore, go to great lengths by God’s grace to understand your sweet spot of service for Him. Validate your skills with trusted mentors and peers who can peer into how God has made you. Be comfortable with your gifts.


    “To accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 5:19

    Is the Lord’s hand of favor on your life? Has your character kept up with your success? In the flesh your gifts will flounder, but under the Spirit’s influence they will flourish. Indeed, it takes God’s work of grace in your inner being for the outward effectiveness of your gifts to enjoy the touch of Jesus. If the lion of anger lurks in your heart it needs to be tamed by grace, patience and forgiveness. If fear has erased your confidence, replace it with disciplined faith in Christ’s calling.

    Multiple gifts need to be managed prayerfully and productively. So, daily offer your gifts on the altar of the Lord as a sacrifice of praise and worship. When you surrender your abilities to your Savior Jesus, He will multiply them in a timely manner that gives Him the glory. The maturity of your faith will birth additional opportunities to use your gifts. So, wait on the Lord’s work of grace in your heart and His favor will facilitate your multi-giftedness for Him. He will bring opportunities to you, without you having to force matters. Seasoned gifts wait to see God work!

    “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.” 1 Corinthians 12:4

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to steward well Your gifts in my life.

    Related Readings: Romans 12:4-8; Ephesians 4:11; Hebrews 2:4; 1 Peter 4:10


    Post/Tweet today: In our smaller responsibilities we can prepare for larger opportunities. #prepare

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • 5 Things to Help You Stop Thinking and Start Doing


    "Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

    My husband Art asked if I would do a 21-day cleanse with him. I wasn't excited.

    I thought, I already eat pretty healthy. And 21 days is a really long time to eat like a rabbit. Plus, I don't want to make a commitment I won't keep.

    So, I gave him a safe answer: "I'll think about it."

    And honestly, that's all I would have done had he not asked me 217 more times.

    Have you ever said "I'll think about it" and still found yourself "thinking about it" months later? Me too. But I didn't want this to be another challenge where I just thought about it, I wanted it to be able to say, "I did it! I finally did it!" I knew I needed to place my trust in the Lord to help me accomplish this - and He was faithful.

    As we start a new year, I wonder if you are tired of just thinking, and are ready to accomplish some things you've been putting off. If so, I'd love to share what I learned.

    Here are 5 crucial things you can do to stop thinking and start doing:

    1. Success breeds success.

    Get around others who are doing that thing you need to do. Hearing Art talk about and prepare for the cleanse made it more front and center in my life. Being around people who are doing what you need to do makes the first move less scary. And they can help you push through the not-so-fun times.

    Remember to pray and connect with God daily. This is key to developing a healthy attitude. Taking challenges head-on won't always be pretty, but going to the Lord for comfort and motivation is what kept me going.

    2. Stock up for success.

    Art and I went to grocery stores that carry healthy foods to stock our refrigerator with everything we'd need to be successful. Now, I wish I could say this trip was without conflict. It was not. He wanted to spend what seemed like hours making out a list. I'm emotionally allergic to spending hours making out a list. Just take the list provided in the instruction book and get what you need for heaven's sake.


    Anyhow, no matter what your new thing is, chances are you'll need supplies to invest in your success.

    3. Schedule for your success.

    Before we started this cleanse, we found a 21-day time period several of our kids were away during a school break (which meant I didn't have to prepare food for others!) You better believe I did a happy dance over that.

    It's important to schedule whatever you're tackling and keep this appointment. Be diligent about not letting life crowd out this important commitment.

    Set a start date. Track your progress with mini-goals. Set a completion date with a reward built in to keep you motivated.

    4. Share your success.

    As you have successes, share them with your friends. They may get excited and join in too! During the 21-day process, I told a friend that I drank both my cleanse smoothies with only one dramatic gag. This was a big accomplishment! At the end of our conversation, she said she'd like to join me.

    How cool! I went from being a moper to a motivator. And that propelled me to keep going that much more.

    5. Build on your success.

    Once you've accomplished your one thing, you'll have GREAT momentum. Use this to help you tackle something else you've been putting off.

    While it might feel like you can't face this big challenge, I want to encourage you. Ephesians 3:20 teaches that God's mighty power is at work within us. Many times we try to do things alone and work solely within our limitations as humans.

    The Lord wants us to lean on Him. To ask for help to do the impossible. I know it might be hard, but we need to bravely claim God's promise to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

    And with God's Spirit in us, I think 2013 just might be the year we say, "I did it! I finally did it!"

    Dear Lord, I'm grateful for another year and another chance to lean on You. Equip me with Your strength as I face my biggest challenges. All things are possible with Your Spirit in me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: If you're committing to a healthier lifestyle in 2013, let Lysa TerKeurst show you how to crave God more than unhealthy food in her New York Times bestselling book, Made to Crave.

    The Made to Crave Devotional has amazing daily encouragement as you tackle your greatest challenges. Click here to order.

    Reflect and Respond: Is God calling you to face a challenge in your life?

    1) Write down one challenge you'd like to tackle. 2) Make an action plan. Use the 5 tips above to formulate the steps you'll take to create motivation.

    Power Verse: Matthew 19:26, "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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

  • Qualified for God


    “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

    The Lord knows an outward appearance may or may not be an indicator of what’s in the heart. A smile on the outside can still mask a frown on the inside. An outwardly positive attitude may still wrestle with negative feelings from past hurt. A handsome man may maintain an ugly heart, while a beautiful woman can project an unattractive spirit. Good looks do not guarantee a grace filled life. God goes straight to the heart of what matters most: humility, fear of God and love.


    Is your heart in the hand of your heavenly Father? Like a heat seeking missile, is your heart’s desire hot for the things of God? The praise of people may lead you to think more highly of your contributions than Christ’s. So, invite the Holy Spirit to translate man’s praise into a tool to purify your heart. He will burn away impure motives and replace them with righteous ones. After all, your life is all of grace or none at all. You stay qualified for God by keeping a heart for God.


    “His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147:10-11


    The eyes of men are attracted to attractive Kings of strong stature, but the eyes of the Lord look for humble shepherds with a heart for service. Indeed, we are wise to keep our aspirations in line with Almighty God’s. We don’t obsess with our outward appearance for it fades away, but we do adorn our spirit with the grace of God for its beauty is eternal. Our heavenly Father specializes in making His children cute and adorable. The inner work of the Spirit shapes our soul for God.


    Therefore, select and follow leaders who are qualified by God. Avoid smooth talkers with a hard heart. Take your time at work to hire not only those who can get the job done, but who get it done with a humble hurt. Wait on marriage for the one whose heart seeks the Lord and who seeks to serve others. Ask the Lord to give you a mental and emotional diagnostic to discern a person’s spirit. Better to invest in those with ordinary abilities and looks, but with an extraordinary heart.


    “He [Christ] will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears.” Isaiah 11:3


    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray my inner self will be beautiful in Your sight.

    Related Readings: Psalm 44:21, 139:23; Luke 16:15; 1 Peter 3:4; Revelation 2:23


    Post/Tweet today: We stay qualified for God by keeping a heart for God. #heart for God

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Daddy's Girl


    "He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." Zephaniah 3:17b (NLT)

    When my son-in-law walks through his front door, he throws his arms wide open and calls out, "Elle!"

    Two-year-old Elle races toward him in her awkward toddler run and throws herself into his embrace. He tosses her high in the air, then pulls her close, saying, "Elle, do you know how much Daddy loves you?"

    When I have the privilege of watching this scene, I always think the same thing: My beautiful granddaughter will always know she's her daddy's girl.

    A daddy's girl is loved even when she throws a tantrum and has to go to time out.

    A daddy's girl feels beautiful even when she's in need of a tissue and has spaghetti stains on her shirt.

    A daddy's girl doesn't need to search for love anywhere else, because her daddy has provided a safe and loving place in his heart.

    Maybe as you read this, you think of your own dad. Perhaps he was absent, destructive, or failed to provide a safe shelter for his girl.

    I understand that feeling.

    I met my biological dad briefly at the age of 13, again at 17, and at 40 years of age I stood beside his casket to say goodbye to a man I really didn't know.

    I will never be a daddy's girl in the sense that my granddaughter has experienced, but it doesn't mean I am exempt from a Father's love.

    In the New Testament, Abba is mentioned only three times—and is closest to our word "daddy." When Jesus used it to describe His—and our—intimate relationship with God, it offended those within earshot. They questioned how He could use a term so familiar to describe God.

    But I understand it perfectly. You see, regardless of an earthly father's love or absence, I'm still a Daddy's girl.

    And so are you.

    Our Abba Father delights and sings over us (Zephaniah 3:17). He adopts us as His own and offers a rich inheritance (Galatians 4:6-7). We walk into His waiting arms daily, and when we need correction, His love does not ebb. When we stand in front of Him with our sin-stained heart, or hold up tears for Him to dry, He remains our Abba Father.

    Maybe you've been longing to fill that empty place left by an earthly father. As a Daddy's girl, you don't have to search for love anymore, because your Abba Father has provided a safe and loving place in his heart.

    In fact, He's waiting with open arms.

    Dear Abba, I hold up the gaps left by an earthly parent, and thank You for pouring into those places until I overflow with confidence in Whose I am. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

    Reflect and Respond: How we identify ourselves is key to moving past a gap caused by an earthly father's lack.

    Are you willing to redefine yourself as a Daddy's girl—completely, totally, thoroughly? He's already called you His own. Today, run into your Abba's waiting arms.

    Power Verses: Romans 8:16, "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God." (ESV)

    Galatians 4:6-7, "You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, 'Papa! Father!' Doesn't that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you're also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance." (MSG)

    © 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

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

  • Friends Warn Friends


    “Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there.” 1 Samuel 19:1-2

    Friends warn friends. They warn them of danger to their physical safety. It could be harm from someone who wants to inflict pain or it may be a circumstance that carries economic risk. It may be the discovery of disloyalty from a mutual friend who threatens a coworker's employment. Loyalty does not withhold information from a friend that can help them make the wisest decision. A loyal friend warns a friend while there is still time to make a safe transition.

    Do you have a friend who is gullible about someone else’s good will? Is evil crouching at their door waiting to pounce on their uninformed ego? If so, you may be God’s instrument to instruct them in the way to go. Your friend may be so close to the situation that they have allowed their emotions to cloud their good judgment. Because they trust you, you can help them verify their assumptions. Use your relational equity and assist them in taking a step back to wait and pray.

    “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Proverbs 17:17

    Furthermore, your warning to your friend may be to cut their relational losses and move on to the Lord’s next assignment. You can lovingly explain the unhealthy organizational culture that is dragging them down. Jealousy, jockeying for position and unscrupulous motives from acquaintances all create anxiety, distrust and fear at home, work, school or church. Your friendship can be a reality check to educate a friend in how to navigate irreverent forces.

    Most importantly, friends warn friends to not forsake their faith in Jesus Christ. A friend who loves at all times is able to tell the truth in love. Love does not silently sit still while a friend succumbs to Satan’s lies. We fight for our friends on our knees in prayer and with our words in warnings. A friend may need to move into our home as a sanctuary for their souls’ healing, their heart’s refreshment and their mind’s rest. Friends warn friends and help them find the way.

    “Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD.” 1 Samuel 20:42

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the love and courage to warn my friend of unhealthy influences.

    Related Readings: Numbers 16:26; 1 Samuel 19:11; Acts 20:31; Hebrews 11:7


    Post/Tweet today: Loyalty does not withhold information from a friend that can help them make the wisest decision. #friend


    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • When I Stray


    "I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them." Hosea 11:4 (NIV)

    How could I have messed up, falling for that same old trap? I didn't mean to. It wasn't like I purposefully tried to make her look bad. Yet, once again, I didn't think before I spoke about a mutual friend during lunch. My careless words cast my friend in a negative light.

    I felt awful and questioned if I'd ever be who I wanted to be: a woman who guards her words wisely. Though I purpose each day to live in a way that brings honor to God, some times I stray from His ways. And that was one of those times.

    Later that day I threw myself into busyness to push down the shame of my conversation. But no matter how much I vacuumed, carpooled or read, the only relief I could find came through prayer.

    Prayer should have been the first place I turned. It's in conversation with Jesus that He leads me away from my unwise choices and whispers, "I forgive you." He invites me to accept His forgiveness. When I mess up, Jesus' tenderness and love draws me back to Him and His ways. As Hosea 11:4 says, love is the "cord" He uses to bring us again into fellowship with Him.

    God has a lot of experience when it comes to drawing back runaways. In fact, God's people, the Israelites, strayed from Him by choosing sin and walking apart from His commands. Time after time they left their Lord and time after time He pursued them ... with love, as seen in Hosea 11:4. "I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them" (NIV).

    God contrasts His gentle guidance with that of a farmer bringing back a runaway animal. The farmer, frustrated with the heifer's action, might drag the animal back to the pen with a heavy rope. Unlike the firm hand the farmer may have to use to lead the cattle, the Lord tells us that when we run from His best, His hand leading us home is tender and kind.

    After asking for forgiveness of the friend I'd spoken with, I was glad when I discovered my words hadn't altered our relationship. The grace I received from my friend, and God, has caused me to be more careful. God's kindness makes me want to be like Him, extending that same gentleness in my words and relationships.

    Some days, our sin weighs us down and leads us far from the Lord. Yet, God is there, waiting to lead us back, with love, to Him. Today, instead of being stubborn or unresponsive, let's follow God's gentle pull back to His heart and His ways.

    Dear Lord, thank You that YOU don't throw me in the pit of my own mistakes. I love You for the way You love me ... so perfectly! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: Help a teen girl in your life learn Jesus' perfect love and forgiveness every day of the year! Lynn's new book Devotions for a Revolutionary Year - 365 Days of Jesus' Radical Love for You is a great resource!

    Reflect and Respond: Write Hosea 11:4 and have it in a handy place to remind you of the care and tenderness of your Father.

    Do you resist following the Lord's lead of love? Sit in prayer today, asking Him to give you a heart of obedience.

    Power Verses: Leviticus 26:13, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high." (NIV 1984)

    Jeremiah 31:3 "The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: 'I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.'" (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

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

  • A Friend's Rejection


    “If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.” Psalm 55:12-14


    The worst kind of rejection may be the rejection of a friend. You expect it from an enemy, but not from a friend. It doesn’t make sense that someone you communed with around Christ would come back and crush you with rejection. Rejection integrated with religious pretense is rough. It challenges our trust in people in general, and our faith in God in particular. With a recognized foe you can see it coming, however, with a pretend friend it takes you by surprise. You feel ambushed by unauthentic living. One day you are laughing together around life’s little peculiarities and the next day you are dazed by the anger of an unstable man. It is haunting and humbling at the same time. You don’t know whether to lash back or languish in disillusionment. Friendly betrayal is frightening.

    Reproaches from those we have been intimate with cut to the quick. They know our strengths and our weaknesses. They know where we are vulnerable. They know how to exploit our struggles, taking advantage of our good will. It is like you have been emotionally naked with someone, and now you feel embarrassed because of his or her indiscretions. What happened to the person you once knew? How could you have been so deceived? It may have been a decade of deceit embedded in your marriage vows. It may have been financial fraud and embezzlement over a long period of time. It may be a hidden addiction that has all the while hijacked your relationship for their creditability.

    Our Lord Jesus of course had one for whom he trusted to the point of managing the money. He was close to Christ in proximity, but far away in faith. For Judas it was all about the cash. It was money that motivated him in the beginning, and money that was his downfall in the end. Money motivated men may be pleasant on the outside, but they are full of themselves on the inside. They set you up for their own selfish plan. We see it after the fact. It is so clear. But in the beginning we can be easily deceived. Therefore, really get to know someone before you heavily invest. In time they can be trusted.

    Lastly, avoid the temptation to reject those who have rejected you. This is our natural response. However under the influence of the Holy Spirit our right response is to forgive their failings, regardless of how radical their behavior. We are all candidates for sin, even gross sin. Without God’s grace and the accountability of a committed community of believers, we are deceivers with the best of them. The worst deceivers have been the most deceived. Paul stated well our role toward those trapped in sin, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Yes rejection by a trusted friend is fiendish and false hearted. However we are called to be forgiving and pure hearted. Do not stoop to their standards that are sub par with your Savior’s. By God’s grace rise above rejection!

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the grace to accept those from whom I feel rejected. Related Readings: Isaiah 33:1; Jeremiah 12:6; Matthew 27:3-4; 1 Corinthains 11:23-24

    Post/Tweet today: Rejection integrated with religious pretense is rough on relationships. #rejection

    © 2012 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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