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Family Christian

  • Unjust Treatment

    Posted on March 19, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? Luke 18:7

    What happens when we are treated unjustly? A written agreement is not honored. Our hard work goes unrecognized or even worse, someone else gets the credit. We are passed over for a promotion, because we did not play politics. A friend will not meet to work out our differences. We feel ignored, mistreated and misunderstood. Our reputation may be bruised, even battered. Unjust treatment can feel like torture. It tests our resolve to persevere in our trust in the Lord.

    What happens in our hearts when we are treated unfairly? They can harden under the pressure of pride, or soften under the influence of humility. An offended heart can lash back in anger, or it can respond in repentance and seek to restore the relationship. Deep disappointment from someone we really respect can challenge our confidence in their character and tempt us to dismiss them. Thus, it's critical that we forgive fast and ask Christ to lead our conversations.

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

    Furthermore, we are wise to invite the peace of God to protect our heart and mind. His peace is a buffer between fleshly feelings and Spirit-led emotions. His peace gives us the courage to be a peacemaker, instead of defending our desire to be right. In persistent prayer, God’s peace renews our minds with His thoughts of faith, hope and love. He keeps the devil’s lies away from our thought process, so we can prayerfully process God’s will. Christ’s peace stabilizes our soul.

    Therefore, our unjust treatment is an opportunity for us to ask our heavenly Father to purify our motives and accelerate our forgiveness. Love does not stew in self pity, rather by God’s grace, it wipes clean any dark offense on the white board of our heart. We seek to be reconciled--not to be declared right. We value the relationship far beyond any monetary loss or gain. We die to ourselves, so Christ can come alive in our lives. Unjust treatment will be justified in God’s timing.

    “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart” (Matthew 18:33).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I trust You to make injustices right, and use me in the meantime to model grace, love and forgiveness.

    Related Readings: Job 34:31; Psalm 88:1; 1 Kings 8:39; 2 Corinthians 2:5, 2:9; Revelation 6:10

    Post/Tweet today: God’s peace is a buffer between fleshly feelings and Spirit-led emotions. #unjusttreatment

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • In Theaters Friday - God's Not Dead

    Posted on March 19, 2014 by Family Christian

    God's Not Dead in theaters March 21
    Buy tickets now
    Watch the trailer
    GOdsNotDead.com

    This post was posted in Movies and was tagged with Featured, Newsboys, God's Not Dead, Shane Harper, Willie Robertson, Korie Robertson

  • For your eReader: Kyle Idleman’s newest!

    Posted on March 19, 2014 by Family Christian

    AHA by Kyle Idleman
    May we suggest...
    The Daniel Plan by  Daniel Amen, Mark Hyman and Rick Warren Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford Uncommon Marriage by Tony and Lauren Dungy
    Growing Up Duggar by Jill, Jinger, Jessa & Jana Duggar Four Blood Moons by John Hagee Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi
    Download the Kobo app

    This post was posted in Books and was tagged with Featured, Tony Dungy, Rick Warren, Rachel Macy Stafford, Lauren Dungy, Duggar, Kyle Idleman, John Hagee, Nabeel Qureshi

  • The Joy of Following Christ - from Gareth Gilkeson

    Posted on March 19, 2014 by Family Christian

    Gareth Gilkeson

    I remember a few years ago sitting, watching the sunrise. It was a typical misty Irish morning and there was a magical stillness in the air. Something happened that day that I didn't see coming. You see I grew up in church. I've been surrounded by the fact that Jesus loves me since I was born but that day, something new flooded my soul. My eyes were opened and I was totally overwhelmed by the reality of God, that I was not alone, lost in life, that I was not condemned but that I was free. I don't know what happened but this all uncontrollable urge took over me. I jump on my feet and started sprinting through the fields like a wild man, laughing and crying with pure joy. That was my first taste of the art of celebration.

    Since that day I've learned that life has a way of draining that childlike wonder from us, whether through our own failures or disappointments, whether it's suffering or betrayal, or even just familiarity. That's why we put up our defenses, isn't it? That's why we become numb. We pull back from life and become spectators because we're afraid of being hurt again. The good news is Jesus is always doing a new thing. He's not finished with us yet. We may doubt. We may feel like we are broken beyond repair but he is the peace in our troubled sea. He is the healer of the brokenhearted.

    Recently, we made a theological breakthrough as a community and it’s changed everything about our approach. We realized that seriousness is not a fruit of the spirit but joy is.

    You see there's an irrepressible laughter in the heart of God and whole universe cannot contain it. He is the one who invented celebrations and feasting and holidays. He is the one who sings and dances over us. When he suffered the cross, he did it for the joy set before him and that joy was knowing that you and I would be fully free, no longer captive to our sin. Yes, the whole human story is described in terms of a celebration. The marriage of Christ to his bride, the church. Our God is the ultimate artist of celebration. The inventor of the party and the healer of the broken.

    Happiness is not the same thing as joy. Happiness is an emotion, a superficial response to pleasant circumstances, but joy is deeper. It's a spiritual discipline. We, as people, are much more inclined towards negativity and cynicism. We don't find it easy or even natural to pursuit joy, and that's why God and his word actually command us to celebrate. We must wrestle for our blessing. We must fight for our joy. How do we then remind ourselves as a wounded church family that we still have a reason to sing? How do we move from the edges and fringes of the party into the center?

    The Bible says taste and see that the Lord is good, and to do that, we have to once again open up our hearts to wonder and beauty. I'm not saying to be fake or put on a false smile, but rather to always find a reason to rejoice even if we're in the darkest circumstances. We come with the gospel worth celebrating before our celebrating came. And we think our response as worshipers should be obvious. We need to get down to the serious business of joy because the joy of the Lord is our strength, and after all, heaven is going to be the greatest party of all time and we need to start practicing now.

    So don't get caught up on your guilt or failure. You are forgiven. You are free and you're worth more to God than you could ever imagine. Come on, with a childlike heart, wide-eyed with wonder, let's rediscover the art of celebration.

    For more from Gareth and his band, the Rend Collective, click here.

     


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Rend Collective, Gareth Gilkeson

  • Five Prayers for Your Daughter

    Posted on March 19, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "'... so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.'" Isaiah 55:11 (ESV)

    There is something I've come to realize I need to guard against as a mom. I sometimes want to be God in my kids' lives.

    I want to write their stories.

    I want to set the course for their futures.

    I want to determine what's best for them.

    I want to prevent them from ever being hurt.

    I want to be their provider and protector.

    And I want to be the one to set anyone straight who messes with my kids.

    Can you relate on any level? I think most moms can. We love these people God has entrusted to us more than we ever knew possible. And despite all the infant-stage sleepless nights, toddler tantrums, tween eye rolling, and the teen decisions that break our hearts slap in two ... they are ours. To love. To lead. To launch.

    And we want to make it all good.

    But then things happen so beyond our control we eventually have to face the reality that we aren't God. And we can't operate as if we are.

    So what do we do with that gap where our mommy capabilities end and trusting God begins? Where my kids are concerned, I want to trust God with everything beyond my control. But it's so scary. It feels so risky.

    And scary and risky are two words we moms don't want as part of our kids' lives.

    So, how do we deepen our trust in God? How do we make peace with the limits of what we can and cannot protect our children from? What do we do with the risky and scary feelings that can make a mom lose sleep at best and feel crazed with fear at worst?

    We must fill that gap with the only thing that bridges the space between our limitations and our trust in God: prayer.

    I know, I know. That answer can sound like such a cliché Christian answer. Typical. Too hyper-spiritual. Not the answer we want sometimes.

    But prayer is the only possibility with real possibility.

    Yesterday, my friend Brooke McGlothlin wrote a devotion about scriptural prayers for boys (see related resources listed below). It inspired me to write some specific scriptural prayers for our girls.

    Here are five powerful prayers to help you fight for the heart of your daughter:

    1. Let her learn early in life that to obey You, God, is the best way to the life her heart truly desires (1 Samuel 15:22).

    2. May she find comfort in Your ability, God, to reach her, hold her and rescue her (2 Samuel 22:17-18).

    3. Let her find confidence in You, God, even when hard times come and she doesn't know what to do, by keeping her eyes fixed on You (2 Chronicles 20:12).

    4. May she keep herself under control and not give full vent to people and situations that anger her (Proverbs 29:11).

    5. Let her walk in the security of Your assigned worth to her. Give her a strong work ethic and health to accomplish all her tasks. Give her a heart that desires to extend her hand to those in need. Protect her for the right husband, a man of respect and godly honor. And let her be a woman of joy and laughter whose Christ-centered character is what makes her most beautiful (Proverbs 31).

    I've prayed these prayers, and I've seen amazingly powerful things happen in the lives of my daughters.

    I can still fret and worry and want to mess with anyone who messes with my girls.

    My girls still make mistakes, cross lines and give the principal reasons to call me.

    But where would we be if the power of the One who answers our prayers wasn't in the mix of our lives?

    And what might these prayers be working out for my daughters' futures that I won't see for years to come? Yes, prayer is the only possibility with real possibility. And that brings me to the place where I can finally say ... "Hello, my name is Mom. Not God."

    Dear Lord, I know that Your Word does not return void and I'm believing great things for my daughter today. May we both grow in our relationship with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Choose one of the Scriptures mentioned above and write it down on a notecard. Place that notecard where you will see it every day (your bathroom mirror, your desk at work, etc.) and pray the Scripture out loud for the next week. When you pray the Word of God, you pray the will of God!

    © 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Isaiah

  • Be Hopeful

    Posted on March 18, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." John 2:19

    There was a parenthesis of three days following Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave. It was hard to be hopeful when it seemed so dark. Had the Romans won? Were the religious accusers right? For many disciples of Jesus, their hope died when He died. They forgot or failed to believe His promise to bring Himself back to life after a short delay. Since the Holy Spirit had yet to be given by Jesus, their hope struggled to survive. Hope was threatened.

    Are you suffering in a parenthesis of pain? Is your hope vague or nonexistent? Be reassured, in your loss you can still gain peace from God. You can be hopeful for the Holy Spirit indwells you to comfort, instruct and inspire your faith. Hopeful expectation energizes faith and creates spiritual stamina. Dreams die, but Jesus can bring them back to life: even clearer and more compelling. Relationships die, but Jesus can bring them back to life: real and robust. Hope expects life in Christ.

    No one takes it [my life] from me, but I [Jesus] lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again(John 10:18).

    Furthermore, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the primary reason His church continues to come alive around the globe. Why else would it endure? The church was launched from Jesus coming to life. It's still alive, because He’s alive. The empty tomb emptied the first disciples of themselves, and by faith, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus still keeps His word. He rebuilds what man destroys. He gives hope to hearts empty of self and full of the Spirit. Faith in Him gives us hope.

    We can be hopeful because Jesus does what He says. He prepares for us a place after death. Our first breath in heaven will follow our last breath on earth. We will be in His presence forever. Our bodies will be destroyed, but He will give us a resurrected and glorified body. So, be hopeful in your hurt. Trust Jesus to heal your heart. Believe God to repair your broken marriage. Be hopeful you can become better. Your hopeful expectations just might inspire others to hope. Be hopeful!

    “Your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, hope in You helps me remain faithful to You and Your will.

    Related Readings: Psalm 71:5, 78:7; Luke 14:14; John 11:24-25; Acts 2:31; Philippians 3:20-21

    Post/Tweet today: Our first breath in heaven will follow our last breath on earth. #behopeful

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • THE ART OF CELEBRATION STORY - REND COLLECTIVE

    Posted on March 18, 2014 by Family Christian

    Dove Award-nominated Irish worshipers and modern day psalmists Rend Collective made a theological breakthrough as a band that is changing everything about their approach to music and life: seriousness is not a fruit of the spirit, but joy is. This heightened understanding led to a sonically innovative message on the band's fourth album, The Art of Celebration.

    The lead single from the album, "My Lighthouse," carries forward the choice to celebrate God’s brightness in the midst of "troubled seas." Anyone who has experienced the controlled chaos and infectious wildness of a Rend Collective concert will know that celebration and joy have always been at the core for these worship artists.

    Take a few moments and watch the them explain what is behind their new album.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Rend Collective

  • Bestselling Jesus Calling Celebrates 10 Years

    Posted on March 18, 2014 by Family Christian

    The award-winning devotional that has inspired a generation recently reached a milestone: the Jesus Calling brand has sold over 10 million units. “Jesus Calling,” first released in 2004, is currently ranked No. 3 on the “Wall Street Journal” Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller list.  This is the tenth consecutive week the book has held a top five ranking on the list, at one point reaching the No. 1 spot. “USA Today” listed “Jesus Calling” in the top 100 books of 2013, selling more copies than “Lean In” and “50 Shades of Grey.”

    “Each year ‘Jesus Calling’ sells more than the year before,” said Laura Minchew, senior vice president and publisher of HarperCollins Christian Publishing Gift Books, Tommy Nelson Children’s Books and New Media. “People love this book and many have purchased five, fifty or even five hundred copies to give to others.”

    Bestselling author and missionary, Sarah Young, wrote “Jesus Calling” as a reflection of what she heard Jesus saying during her prayer time.  Young describes the book as Jesus’ words of hope, guidance and peace placed in her heart based on the Scriptures. Compiling these messages, Young created a devotional written from the perspective of Jesus speaking directly to the reader. The 365-day devotional, now available in 26 languages, has consistently appeared in the “Wall Street Journal,” “Publisher’s Weekly,” “USA Today,” and ECPA bestseller lists. Young’s bestselling title has also been featured in the “New York Times” and “Christianity Today.”

    “We often hear of how ‘Jesus Calling’ has touched someone in a deeply personal way, helping them experience a more loving and peaceful relationship with God,” Minchew added.  “It is an honor and privilege to work alongside Sarah on this life-changing book.”

    “It has been an honor to be a part of the ministry that is Jesus Calling.  Sarah Young’s

    Sarah Young & Michael Hoeksema

    words have been a blessing to millions and will continue to do so for years to come.  Congratulations Sarah Young and Harper Collins Christian publishing on 10 years and 10 million units sold of Jesus Calling!”  Michael Hoeksema, Family Christian Book Buyer

    TheJesus Calling 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition” will be released this September, commemorating and celebrating 10 years of “Jesus Calling” touching lives all over the world.   The 10th-anniversary special edition includes more than 100 additional Scriptures personally selected by Young, all wrapped in a beautifully redesigned package.

    The Jesus Calling line has expanded to other products for both adults and children:  devotionals “Jesus Lives” and “Dear Jesus”; a “Jesus Calling” devotional Bible; and for children, the 365-day devotional “Jesus Calling for Kids” and the “Jesus Calling Bible Storybook.” Another favorite devotional, “Jesus Today,” was named the 2013 ECPA Book of the Year. The multi-formatted product line also includes eBooks, apps, audio books, calendars, greeting cards and music.


    This post was posted in Books and was tagged with Featured, Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

  • Beards, a Veggie, Jams & more—all new!

    Posted on March 18, 2014 by Family Christian

    Everything’s Better with a Beard by The Robertsons
    Also new in kids
    My Great Big Veggie Storybook by VeggieTales Iesodo: Faith DVD 10,000 Reasons Kids Worship by Worship Together Kids
    See Heaven Is For Real in theaters 4/16!
    Fresh tunes from some music greats!
    A Night to Remember by Shonlock One Noise by Satellites & Sirens
    The Art of Celebration by Rend Collective Extremist by Demon Hunter
    The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg

    This post was posted in Music, Books, Movies, Kids and was tagged with Featured, VeggieTales, Worship, Joel Rosenberg, Duck Dynasty, Shonlock, Satellites & Sirens, Rend Collective, Demon Hunter

  • Five Scriptural Prayers for Your Son

    Posted on March 18, 2014 by Brooke McGlothlin

    Brooke McGlothlin

    "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

    He looks at me with a "heels dug in" kind of glare. I know if I said, "The sky is blue on a sunny day," he would try to prove me wrong.

    Sometimes, I don't feel like we're on the same team anymore, my son and I, and it breaks my heart.

    On days like today, when he's arguing with everything I say and trying his 8-year-old best to do things his way, it seems I'm fighting against him — like there's a war going on in my house between me and my son — a distance between us I want to bridge no matter the cost.

    I know from my education that this process of differentiation is pretty normal. Boys ache for independence from mama and feel ready to "boldly go where no man has gone before." They want to be strong, assert their opinions and explore their own ideas.

    Unfortunately, at my house, we're currently living in the in-between season, where ideas abound before my son is mature enough to handle the responsibilities that go along with them.

    And so we butt heads.

    Sometimes, I'm tempted to let our circumstances tell me my son is the enemy — he's the one I'm fighting. But then I remember Ephesians 6:12, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."

    When the days of mothering grow long and make a girl weary, and when what you really want to do is lock your son in his room and throw away the key, it's good to remember this:

    Your son is not your enemy. But there is an enemy.

    That's right. Our sons have a real enemy, one that wants to steal, kill and destroy them (John 10:10). Thankfully that enemy, according to the Word of God, has an opponent who's a force to be reckoned with.

    You.

    And me. And all moms who are willing to get on their knees and cry out for the hearts of their sons. James 5:16b says, "The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with" (The Message).

    The best way we can enter the battle for our sons is on our knees, so let's start fighting for them right now. Here are five powerful prayers you can use today to fight for the heart of your son:

    1. Create in my son a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within him (Psalm 51:10).
    2. May my son walk after You, God, and fear You and keep Your commandments and obey Your voice. May he serve You and hold fast to You (Deuteronomy 13:4).
    3. May my son be strong and courageous and not fear or be in dread, for it is You, Lord, our God, who goes with him. You will never leave him or forsake him (Deuteronomy 31:6).
    4. May my son walk before You, God, as King David walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that You have commanded him, and keeping Your statutes and rules (1 Kings 9:4).
    5. Like Timothy, may my son be an example to believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12).

    Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the tools of Your Word and prayer to fight the battle for our sons' hearts. Help me see who our real enemy is when we are in a conflict. May You be glorified in all I do. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    The next time you feel as if you and your son aren't fighting on the same team, stop and ask yourself these questions:

    Who is my real enemy, and how is he influencing our hearts in this moment?

    Given our current situation, what Bible verses can I pray right now over my son?

    Power Verses:
    Exodus 14:14, "The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent." (ESV)

    Galatians 6:9, "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." (ESV)

    © 2014 by Brooke McGlothlin. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Ephesians

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