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Family Christian

  • The Best Approach with a Frenemy

    Posted on June 30, 2014 by Tracie Miles

    Tracie Miles

    "The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the LORD is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me." Psalm 118:6-7 (NLT)

    Day after day, month after month, the hurtful behavior continued. The longer it went on, the stronger my emotions grew.

    Someone who'd been a friend to my daughter had somehow become an enemy. Not an enemy with physical strength, but rather one armed with the power to injure through hurtful words, lies and gossip while manipulating others to do the same. Each day presented a new conflict, inducing heightened feelings of rejection, isolation and lowered self-esteem.

    We reported the issue to the appropriate people, but despite many attempts, nothing changed. We felt hopeless. When yet another situation sent my daughter home from school in tears, I felt my hostility and frustration bubbling to the surface, and knew I was faced with choices about my own behavior.

    I could fuel my daughter's anger by reminding her of all the reasons she had a right to be mad, causing both of us to grow more bitter.

    I could allow hostility to become a stronghold in my heart and refuse to forgive.

    I could talk to my friends and family about the situation, soliciting their support.

    I could cry buckets of tears, although that wouldn't dry the tears of my daughter.

    Unfortunately I did a little of all that, because nothing hurts a mom's heart more than when her child's heart is broken or her spirit is crushed. But eventually, I grew weary of my emotions holding me hostage and turned to prayer instead of pouting.

    I prayed daily for God to give us both the strength to continue trusting His purpose for my daughter's pain. I asked God to help me see those involved through His eyes, instead of my own — which were tainted with anger and concern for my own child. I prayed for Him to intervene and give us hope, peace and the comfort that only He could provide. I also prayed for God to help me forgive, when nothing in me wanted to.

    As I sat down and prayed with my daughter, we discussed these words from Psalm 118:6-7a, "The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Yes, the LORD is for me; he will help me."

    I reminded her (and myself) of the truth of the Psalmists words, that regardless of what anyone said or did, God still was on her side. I wanted her to know eventually this difficult season would pass, but in the meantime she could find strength and courage in Christ. A tear fell as she promised to try and remember God would be with her every step of the way.

    Even in the face of suffering and heartache, the Psalmist chose not to fear but instead focus on the favor of God, trusting He would protect and prevail over his difficult situation. He remained calm, confident and focused on God, intentionally choosing to fight his enemies with faith. As a mom, I knew our faith was the best choice for us as well.

    We knew we couldn't force anyone to alter the way they treat others. Only God can change a heart. But we could choose to trust God and approach this situation the best way possible — through the eyes of faith.

    Lord, I know You see our children and what they are going through. Help me to know how to speak truth into their lives, and help us have strength and courage to continue trusting You are bigger than our conflicts. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Editor's Note: If you or someone you love is facing a bullying situation, please report it immediately to someone in authority and make sure you or your loved ones are safe.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Proverbs 18:10, "The name of the LORD is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe." (NLT)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    If your child is hurting due to a similar situation, which have you been doing more: praying or pouting?

    If you struggle with negative emotions stemming from concern over your child's situation, write a prayer to God seeking His strength. Ask God for help to push past feelings, focus on faith and discern how best to handle the problem.

    © 2014 by Tracie Miles. 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 Psalm

  • Live in the Moment

    Posted on June 29, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    For the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.    Luke 1:49

    Master living in the moment. By God’s grace, it can be done. Mary did it. She could have missed the Mighty One working in her presence in the present, but she didn’t. She took the time to trust God with an impossible outcome. Birthing a baby conceived by the Holy Spirit challenged her categories. It forced her to ponder in the present. She chose to be with her heavenly Father in the here and now. Nothing would keep her from living with and for the Lord in this defining moment.

    She could have lived in the past, worried over the rampant rumors of her perceived unfaithfulness. She was pregnant out of wedlock. People did not understand a pregnancy created by God, without a man. She could have lived in the future, paralyzed by fear over what the human father of her child might do. He might have deserted her. He might have divorced her. He might have denied her. But when all was said and done, she refrained from living in the past or the present. She chose to live in the moment.

    Mary lived in the moment because she trusted her Lord with issues out of her control. She could not control what other people thought or what other people might do. Therefore, she drank in the present like a tall glass of homemade lemonade on a hot summer day. Living in the moment fed her faith and satisfied her soul. Her son, Jesus, would save the people from their sins, and He would also save her. She captured His significance, and Christ captured her. He is with you in the moment too, so you can live in the moment.

    Living in the moment is what the Lord longs for you to do. It’s where He does His best work. He knows that living in the moment engages you with His will, as it is lived out in the present. So if you are with your children, be with them. Laugh with them, cry with them, listen to them, play with them, and pray for them. Lock eyes with your little ones and be with them. Turn off your mind and heart and keep them from running ahead to other issues, problems, and people. These distractions will still be standing in line for your attention when you get back to work. Value living in the moment, and you will live in the moment; for you do what you think is important. Technology was made for man, not man for technology.

    So turn off your phone, shut down the computer, and most important, discipline your mind to be present. Bend your mind to listen well and honor others with your purposeful presence. Your undivided attention in the moment says you love and care. Trust God with all the impossible outcomes that await you. You have this one moment, then it is gone forever. So be engaged today, be with the ones you love. Live in the moment, and other things will take care of themselves. Do this one thing, and you will live the life God intended for you. Master living in the moment with the discipline and love of your Master. Seize the moment for your Savior, for other people, and for yourself.

    Post/Tweet today: We live in the moment and trust other things will take care of themselves. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • The Lord’s Defense

    Posted on June 28, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me. Let the Lord, the Judge, decide the dispute. Judges 11:27

    People may accuse you of wrong when, in fact, they are wrong. You want to admit your mistakes and become a better person. If, however, the motive of your accuser is not right, if he or she is appealing to your guilt and emotions, then reject the false accusations. When the facts are on your side, be patient and wait on the Lord to defend you.

    God would not have you caught up in a lot of sideways energy and activity, distracting you from the best use of your time. Some people are very persuasive and convincing with their words, but their character is lacking and their arguments do not add up. Do not lower yourself to their level reacting to their lambasting with an equal fury of words. They do not deserve that much time, attention, and worry. Prayer is your posture.

    It is like the bully on the playground trying to get your attention, getting others to cower at his intimidating ways. God is not intimidated by fear tactics, and neither are we. So how do we trust the Lord to defend us in difficult situations? How do we work with a caustic critic who is unreasonable? Seek to stay above the fray of angry arguments.

    As you trust the Lord to defend what is right, keep your heart pure. You will be tempted to lash back with infuriating words or, at the other extreme, acquiesce to your critic’s demands. Neither of these options is best. What is right is to stand your ground, involve other people as is appropriate to mediate, and remain friendly, firm, and fair. You may need to seek legal counsel to make sure you are following the due process of the law.

    However, your ability to do what is right under a firestorm of criticism from someone you thought was a friend, can be redemptive in the long run. Maybe your critic will wake up to the realities of what is right. Your short-term pain and patience will hopefully save another from long-term trials. God is the ultimate defender of you and His truth.

    You cannot keep your reputation stellar and polished, but your Savior can cleanse your soiled status in the community. Submit to Him and trust Him during this lowly time of litigation, because God is the final say in what is right or wrong. He will judge fairly now and in eternity. You can sleep at night because God is in control of this situation. Your appeal is to almighty God.

    “This is what your Sovereign Lord says, your God, who defends his people: ‘See, I have taken out of your hand the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath, you will never drink again’” (Isaiah 51:22).

    Prayer: Do I trust the Lord with my defense and my critics?

    Related Readings: Psalm 68:5; Isaiah 19:20; 2 Timothy 4:16; 1 John 2:1

    Post/Tweet today: As we trust the Lord to defend what is right, we keep our hearts right. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • Our Holy Father

    Posted on June 27, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name. Matthew 6:9, The Amplified Bible

    The holiness of our heavenly Father cannot be completely comprehended by the human mind. His purity burns so brightly, it lights up the eyes of our faith. The dross of our sinful deeds melts in the presence of His pure character. Just as Moses took cover in the cleft of the rock as God passed by, so we take shelter in the refuge of our Savior Jesus to be able to handle the glory of our great God. His name is above all names, not to be spoken in vain, but evoked in humble adoration.

    His Holiness--our Father in heaven, is to be feared. We surrender to our Sovereign Lord. We bow on hallowed ground in His presence. To a small degree, the respect we show those buried in a national cemetery is likened to our honor and approach of our heavenly Father in prayer. We are not rushed into rote prayers, but in reverent repentance, we first come clean in confession of our sins in the presence of perfection. We seek Him alone in worship, none other is worthy of our radical devotion.

    “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earthis full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3).

    Our heavenly Father’s holiness is not a standard, but the standard of sinless perfection. Though we will never achieve perfection in this life, His Holy Spirit continues to perfect our faith and character to become more like Christ’s. As children of the Holy One we are set apart to be holy as He is holy. However, be careful not to fall into the ‘holier than thou’ attitude trap. Sin is never comfortable in the presence of purity. We are only a channel for the Spirit to convict the hearts of those we love on behalf of Jesus. Thus, we pray for His holiness to shine through us.

    Therefore, we pray the prayer of Jesus when we keep holy the name of our heavenly Father. We are friends with Jesus and we partner with the Holy Spirit, but we are submissive children of our Father, the Most High--our great and glorious God. We bow now in individual preparation for the day after our death when we pray with all in glorious acclamation. Can you taste and see His holy aura in your reverent worship of your heavenly Father? In prayer, by faith, esteem His holy name!

    “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I bow down in the glory of Your holiness. Break my heart for what breaks Yours.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 52:13; Daniel 7:14; Acts 2:33; 1 Peter 1:15-16

    Post/Tweet today: Our heavenly Father’s holiness is not a standard, but the standard of sinless perfection. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • God is Not Mad at You

    Posted on June 27, 2014 by Julie Gilles

    Julie K. Gillies

    "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving-kindness." Psalm 145:8 (AMP)

     

    It never took us kids long to figure out that our dad was angry. He'd bite his bottom lip, then ball up both of his hands into fists. In nanoseconds, all five of us would escape out the back door, where we hung out in our 10-acre, wooded back yard until the eruption was over.

    Unfortunately, many times we didn't make it out the back door fast enough.

    So years later, after I became a believer, the concept of a kind, loving heavenly Father was hard for me to grasp. The words my pastor spoke sounded wonderful, but deep down I couldn't escape a vague sense of God's anger directed toward me.

    Even when I read my Bible, the words often sounded angry to my ears. And every time I failed, messed up or fell short, I felt myself the target of God's anger.

    And I failed, messed up and fell short all the time.

    Initially I didn't understand that my background skewed my perception. It was as if the atmosphere of anger in my childhood home had warped my brain cells, and my experience blocked the truth of who and how God really was.

    Truth began seeping in after a conversation with a friend. I shared, through hot tears, that I desperately wanted to please God, but it felt like He was always angry with me. My friend said, "God is not angry with you, Julie. He loves you, and He understands you."

    This truth was the beginning of a massive boulder of a lie dislodging from my heart.

    For the first time it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, it was possible God wasn't angry with me. But things didn't change overnight. For me, it was a gradual unfolding, a slow process as I grew to know and understand God's loving character more intimately.

    When I stumbled upon today's key verse, tears stung my eyes again, but this time in a good way: "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving-kindness" (AMP).

    The fact that God is slow to anger, that He offers forgiveness when I confess my failures and that He does not hold my shortcomings against me in fierce anger, revolutionized not only my brain, but my heart.

    As if that were not awesome enough, that same verse declares that God is abounding in mercy and loving-kindness toward us. The word abounding means "to be present in large numbers or in great quantity; to be fully supplied or filled." As I meditated on this verse and dared to believe God's truth, the massive boulder that had lodged in my heart as a child slowly began to move.

    In reality, God is nothing like my past experience had shaped Him to be.

    He is our gracious heavenly Father who loves and accepts us as we are, patiently bearing with us, teaching and guiding us as we grow and mature in Christ. He is not mad at me, and He is not mad at you. God is for us, not against us (Romans 8:31). He has good plans for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11), and He loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

    Sometimes our past experiences shape us in ways we don't fully understand. But through the power of the Holy Spirit, God reshapes us, transforming our hearts and minds as only He can. Though it often takes time, God's truth can work its way deeply into our hearts and completely dislodge boulders of lies. And oh, how He loves to roll away the stones!

    God, where boulders of inaccurate perceptions are lodged in my heart, please remove them and bring truth. I am thankful that instead of regarding me in fierce anger, You forgive and patiently lead and guide me. I'm so grateful that You are slow to anger. You are a loving, gracious heavenly Father, and I adore You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Jeremiah 31:3, "God told them, 'I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!'" (MSG)

    Romans 8:31, "What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" (NLT)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Do you seem to sense that God is angry with you? Ask Him to enable you to hear His gentle, loving, true voice. Ask Him to give you an accurate perception of who He truly is.

    Write down Jeremiah 31:3 and read it to yourself several times daily this week. Know that the same God who will never quit loving you is not angry at you!

    © 2014 by Julie K. Gillies. 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 Psalm

  • Our Heavenly Father

    Posted on June 26, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Your prayers, rather, should be simple, like this: Our Father in heaven, let Your name remain holy. Matthew 6:9, The Voice

    Our prayers are directed to our heavenly Father. It is out of a community of believers that we are able to confidently petition ‘our’ Father in heaven. The prayer of Jesus was inclusive of His disciples and all who would follow Him. Indeed, we do not pray only as individual followers of Christ, but as the Body of Christ. Our heavenly Father is able to commune with all who come to Him in relationship, repentance and renewal. God is an engaged Father to all who trust Him.

    Furthermore, we cry out in prayer to our loving heavenly Father. His love is what comforts our hearts and enlightens our minds. His love lingers long, as we long for His compassion and care. The love of our Lord is like the vast sea in its ability transport us like a ship from a shore of sin to a shore of salvation, from a port of pain to a port of peace, and from a harbor of hell to a harbor of heaven. Our heavenly Father loves us where we are and draws us where He is, for our good.

    “Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me” (Psalm 66:20).

    Our heavenly Father is also the giver of all wisdom. He is generous with His gifts from heaven above for what we need on earth below. Hallelujah, our Father does not leave us to flounder in confusion, but He has given us a course of action based on His character. His Spirit offers direction in a decision. He brings clarity to what’s best long term, not just what’s expedient in the short term. He discerns how to best relate in a challenging relationship. He gives forgiveness, understanding and patience to stay involved. Yes, our Father’s wisdom is counter to the culture.

    Just as any good and loving Father disciplines his children, so our heavenly Father reminds us of what’s right. When we feel the gentle correction of our Father, we are wise to change immediately and not require a more severe scenario. Yes, His discipline is meant to deter us from destructive behavior and protect us from painful outcomes. Distant dads do not care about correction, only those who are close, interested and involved. God disciplines us because He loves us. Our Father is in heaven, but He walks with us on earth. We pray to our ever faithful Father!

    “Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief” (Psalm 143:1).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, what a joy to seek Your loving kindness and faithful love in focused prayer.

    Related Readings: Psalm 32:6, 42:8; Isaiah 55:6; Luke 11:13; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 1:17

    Post/Tweet today: Our heavenly Father loves us where we are and draws us where He is, for our good. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • The Perfect Parenting Formula

    Posted on June 26, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa Terkeurst

    "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2a (NIV)

     

    When I was a young mom, I was desperate for a formula. I truly thought there must be a formula I could plug my family into that would yield great kids. And there were plenty of moms who tried to convince me they had the formula.

    "Bottle feed and never let them sleep in your bed."

    "Breastfeed until they are 3, and give them the security of sleeping between you and your husband every night."

    "Don't ever send them to pre-school. It will be detrimental to their social development."

    "Send them to pre-school right away — it's crucial for their social development."

    "TV is good."

    "TV is bad."

    "They must read by age 5."

    "Let them take their time learning to read. You'll ruin their love for books if you force them."

    "Step in and model healthy conflict resolution when they argue with their siblings."

    "Let them handle things on their own."

    "Be there 24/7 for your kids."

    "Don't be a helicopter mom. Give your kids room to discover who they are without you hovering over them."

    Seriously, it's a wonder we moms figure anything out with all the conflicting information and advice we get. I spent the first five years of motherhood convinced I was messing my kids up beyond repair. And it wasn't for lack of trying. Heavens no. I was serious about gathering every morsel of information I could and trying with all my might to decode "the formula."

    Well, here's the deal. I now have kids ranging in ages from 26 to 15, and this is my very best advice in regards to the formula: There isn't one.

    There is no perfect parenting formula. What works for one child may not work for another. The seemingly perfect algorithm one family follows could be disastrous for another.

    We weren't made to follow formulas. We were made to follow Jesus. Period.

    This is true with parenting, but it's also true with every other aspect of our lives as well. We were made to follow Jesus' lead in our marriages, our jobs, our ministries, our churches, our friendships, our everything.

    In Romans 12:2 Paul so powerfully reminds us, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will."

    We weren't made to be robotic followers of this world's formulas. We were made to be transformed into the unique person God appointed to fulfill the assignments set before us. So, on a practical level, what does this look like?

    It's a simple woman who humbly acknowledges how much she doesn't know about life and readily admits how much she needs Jesus. Not just in a spiritual sense ... this woman needs Jesus in every way. All throughout her day, she can be heard whispering heartfelt pleas to her Jesus saying, "Show me the way, show me the way, show me the way."

    And as she does this, she loosens her grip on all the formulas thrown at her and courageously embraces His gentle voice behind her saying, "This is the way, now walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21).

    Dear Lord, help me to follow You and You alone — not a pre-planned formula. Help me to see that I need You more than anything else today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Romans 8:5, "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." (NIV)

    John 10:27, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    What parenting formulas (if any) have you been following or holding onto?

    This week, take some time to pray over each of them to discern if they are in accordance with God's plan for you and your family.

    © 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 Romans

  • Join us for fun from around the world!

    Posted on June 25, 2014 by Family Christian

    Bring your child to our Summer Play Event!
    Saturday, June 28, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
    Bring your child or grandchild with you! See you on June 28!

    This post was posted in Uncategorized and was tagged with Featured, World Vision

  • Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today - June 25, 2014

    Posted on June 25, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The Prayer of Jesus One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord,teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdomcome.” Luke 11:1-2

     

    The prayer of Jesus, otherwise known as the Lord’s prayer, is our model for prayer. Jesus, in customary fashion, created consistent time to be with His heavenly Father. One day, upon conclusion of His private prayers, a perceptive disciple asked Jesus for prayer instruction for himself and the other disciples. Yes, this prayer of Jesus’ was birthed out of intimacy with His heavenly Father. He instructed on prayer with authority, because He prayed with authority.

     

    The prayer of Jesus is as much about the spirit of the prayer as it is the words of the prayer. Indeed, the Lord spoke about prayer having just prayed. Only minutes before He bowed in humble worship seeking the face of His heavenly Father. He gloried in the glory of the One from heaven who sent Him to earth to save the world. Oh, what a privilege to pray in the presence of our all wise God. Our spirits are expunged of all selfish pride and replenished with selfless humility. The reverent and submissive spirit of our Lord’s prayer is the navigator for our prayers.

     

    “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).

    Our flesh seeks to dismiss the power of prayer by questioning its effectiveness, “Does it really matter if I pray or not?”“Are things truly any different after I pray than before I pray?” In His prayer Jesus desires all men and women everywhere to pray with hands lifted high in praise and hearts bowed low in protracted submission. He’s heavenly minded with earthly aspirations. He prays for God’s Kingdom to be ushered onto earth with the splendor of heaven’s resources. Our globe governed by God, for God and with God. The prayer of Jesus pronounces God king!

    Furthermore, the prayer of Jesus is our model of how and what to pray. Begin and end with Him.  Satan shrinks back at the supplicants set forth by our Savior. Thus, we take to heart the heart of our Lord in His instructions to pray. The words are not a magical chant, rather a divine mandate to: seek the love of our heavenly Father, fear His holiness, align with His will, ask His provision, receive His forgiveness, trust His power and announce His glory. Pray His prayer as your prayer!

    “I will certainly pray to the Lord your God as you have requested” (Jeremiah 42:4).

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, my prayer is for the prayer of Jesus to be my pattern for prayer.

     

    Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 29:10; Daniel 9:3-4; Acts 4:24; 2 Thessalonians 1:12

     

    Post/Tweet today: The prayer of Jesus is our model of how and what to pray. We begin and end with Him. #wisdomhunters

    Free eBook when you sign up 5 friends for the free email devotional...http://www.wisdomhunters.com/invite-your-friends/

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. www.wisdomhunters.com

     


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

  • Sometimes God Doesn't Choose the "Perfect" Girl for the Job

    Posted on June 25, 2014 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. 'Go, look over the land,' he said, 'especially Jericho.' So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there." Joshua 2:1 (NIV)

     

    I used to believe if God needed something important done, He would ask someone who had it all together. You know those women. They never yell at their kids or have an emotional meltdown in the craft store over which tie-die kit to buy. They know what they're having for dinner each night and come to Bible study with their homework done.

    If God is going to assign an important job to someone, it's going to be a woman like that. A "good church girl." Right?

    That's what I thought until I read the story of Rahab in the book of Joshua. It gave me hope that sometimes the best woman for God's job doesn't have a perfect life or a perfect faith.

    In fact, Rahab's story tells me sometimes God chooses women with rough resumes, gritty pasts and dauntless attitudes to get a hard job done. Which is why God chose Rahab when He needed a brave and bold person to protect His warriors.

    Rahab was a prostitute who lived within the walls of the city of Jericho. Jericho was a great city, except for the fact that God told the Israelites to conquer it.

    The people who lived in Jericho weren't following God, but they had heard of Him and how He helped the Israelites win many battles. When the residents of Jericho learned the Israelites were camped outside their city, they were rightly concerned.

    As part of the reconnaissance, Joshua, the leader of the Israelites, sent two spies into the city. The Bible seems to indicate they made a beeline into an unusual place of refuge: Rahab's home.

    Now why would God direct them to the house of a woman? And one who didn't have the best reputation?

    There are many reasons why God might have chosen this particular woman to help the spies. But the one that strikes the deepest chord in my heart is that other people might have underestimated Rahab's potential based on her past and present circumstances. But not God.

    Rahab had guts and grit. When the spies arrived, instead of quivering in fear, Rahab thought fast and hid them on her roof. Then she redirected the king's men, making a way of escape for the spies.

    God could have chosen someone with a perfect pedigree to help. But on that day, inside the walls of the city, facing warrior spies in danger, none were available.

    Rahab, however, was in the perfect position, with the perfect disposition, to do the most good. And God must have seen something tender in the heart of this life-hardened woman and knew He could trust her.

    I love this about God. When God looked at Rahab, He didn't see her profession or her past. He saw her potential.

    And in spite of the challenges and choices of her life, He knew there was a part of Rahab's heart that was open to Him. And Rahab did not disappoint.

    The story ends with the spies escaping and God destroying the city of Jericho and everyone in it — except for Rahab and her family.

    I'm so glad Rahab didn't send the spies away, explaining that she didn't have the best track record with men. Instead, she used her smart, quick mind to devise a plan. She used her boldness to defy the king's men. She drew from her bravery to protect her family. She risked greatly, and it paid off.

    Rahab's story tells me that although I might list all the reasons why God wouldn't use me, God prefers I take my personality, my experiences, even the parts of me that seem less-than-pleasant and give them to Him ... every part of me.

    It doesn't mean He's going to leave me as I am; God is always refining me. But in His hands, my mess has meaning.

    Have you ever stamped "disqualified" on yourself due to your personality or something in your past or present? If so, I pray Rahab's story encourages you. God has a plan, and He wants you, in all your uniqueness, to make it happen.

    Sometimes God doesn't choose the "perfect" girl for the job ... and I'm so glad He doesn't.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for looking deeper than what others see, and for seeing my potential. Please help me trust that You want me just as I am and have a plan to use me in Your kingdom. Help me to trust You and Your plan for my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    I Samuel 16:7, "But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'" (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    What good characteristics did Rahab have, based on what we can tell from her story in Joshua 2?

    Many times we disqualify ourselves based on our wrong choices, or the flaws we see in our personalities. As God looks at you through His lens of love and potential, what does He see?

    © 2014 by Glynnis Whitwer. 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 Joshua

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