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  • Sense of Urgency

    Boyd

    As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. John 9:4

    Jesus had a sense of urgency. Not a frantic pace without purpose, but a focused diligence on doing God's work. He prayerfully sought to steward each day with an eye on eternity. He did not allow criticism to distract Him in defensiveness, or praise to fuel His pride in superior thinking. Rather, Jesus knew He was on a mission from His heavenly Father. Time was a precious gift from God that deserved doing His will. Yes, our Savior had a sense of urgency around God's priorities.

    Therefore, from the moment the light of day graces our face, we prayerfully face the day. The morning dawn is the Lord's invitation to engage in His activities. Since our sending agent is Almighty God, we don't take lightly our duty. He has us on assignment as heavenly ambassadors. Thus, this sense of a divine mandate begs a question, "How can we best serve our Master Jesus while we have the energy and opportunity?" By the Holy Spirit motivating our sense of urgency.

    "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light" (Romans 13:12).

    Furthermore, our work with God in this life is preparation for our work with Him in the next life. Similar to earth before sin (the Garden of Eden), heaven involves our activity and engagement on behalf of the Lord. Our work on earth is just a warm up for our work in eternity. Yes, our brief time of service is barely a book preface, compared to the volumes yet to be written throughout the ages to come with Christ. Our sense of urgency now, sets us up for our strategic service later.

    With this in mind, how do you discern God's plan for the day? Ask the Lord how it flows out of His overall purpose for your life. Prayerfully put off the deeds of darkness, so you are free to put on the activities of the day. Put off pride and put on humility. Put off fear and put on faith. Put off procrastination and put on doing. Mentor, volunteer at a church or ministry board, sponsor a missionary, provide counseling for a struggling couple, or have coffee with a friend just to listen to them. Each day engage in a Spirit-led sense of urgency that is intentional in the things of God.

    "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'" (Acts 20:35).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me a sense of urgency that is Spirit-led, with an eye on eternity.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 55:2; John 6:27-28; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Philippians 3:12-14

    Post/Tweet today: Our work with God in this life is preparation for our work with Him in the next life. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

  • Might We Dare to Be a Little More Uncommon

    Lysa

    "The Spirit told Philip, 'Go to that chariot and stay near it.'" Acts 8:29 (NIV)

    I have to admit ... when our guide pulled over to the side of the road at this unmarked, unremarkable looking place, I was underwhelmed. We filed out of the bus with a vague sense we were studying something in the book of Acts.

    There were no signs in this part of the Holy Land.

    No other tourists.

    Our teacher walked to a place covered with brush and pointed to a rocky path. We gingerly made our way behind him and soon came upon a road.

    With great enthusiasm the teacher said, "This road is where a man learned of Christ and received the Good News!" We walked a little farther and:

    "This place of water is where this man was baptized shortly afterward and went away rejoicing. We should rejoice! We should rejoice!"

    And then we opened the Scriptures to Acts 8:26-39, the story of the Ethiopian eunuch.

    Can I admit something to you I'm not very proud of? Even after reading the Scriptures, I wondered why our teacher picked this spot. We had so little time in Israel and wanted to see so much. I felt like there were bigger events that had taken place in much more well-known places. Shouldn't we focus on those?

    Why this place? Why this story?

    And then as quickly as we arrived, our teacher whisked us back on the bus with one final statement, "Individuals matter."

    Those two words have lingered in my thoughts and have honestly made this underwhelming stop one of my favorites to consider.

    Recently, I opened Acts 8 and reread it. Here are three things from this Scripture I want to let have their way with my heart and mind:

    1. Go near.

    Verse 29, "The Spirit told Philip, 'Go to that chariot and stay near it.'"

    This Ethiopian eunuch wasn't like Philip. He wasn't in his inner circle, comfort zone or part of his immediate sphere of influence. And yet, the Spirit instructed Philip to go close.

    God help us. We must break out of the boxes of our normality and dare to go close to those we don't understand. We must not use words like, "those people" with pointed fingers, hard hearts and spiritually superior attitudes.

    By going close, we see things we need to see. We hear things we need to hear. And our hearts become tender in the way we must be tender.

    By going close, we might actually dare to let love guide our approach.

    2. Gain understanding.

    Verse 30a, "Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet."

    He ran. This took effort, energy and intentionality. Next, instead of wielding God's Word like a weapon and haphazardly throwing Truth at this man, Phillip listened.

    Then based on what he heard, Phillip asked this eunuch if he understood what he was reading. Philip discerned a need and sought to meet that need. Philip let the man's agenda come before his own.

    God help us. Instead of running alongside people seeking to understand them, we sometimes have tendencies to run them over with our agendas and perceptions and points of view. We must seek to be discerning, not demanding.

    3. Earn the right to share.

    Verse 31b, "... So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him."

    Once Phillip dared to go near and gain understanding, then he earned the right to share. Verse 35 goes on to reveal that Philip began where this man was and "told him the good news about Jesus."

    God help us. We must go to people. Listen to people. Start where they are, not where we want them to be. And from their point of need, lovingly share the good news about Jesus.

    And might I share one more thing Philip did that I love?

    Philip continued to travel down the road with this man for a bit. Verses 36-39 reveal, "As they traveled along the road, they came to some water ... Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him." And the eunuch went on his way rejoicing.

    Looking back at that seemingly uneventful day in Israel, I'm so thankful our teacher took time to bring us to this place. Remember, there were no signs and there were no tourists.

    This was an uncommon stop in the Holy Land.

    Uncommon.

    Might we all dare to be a little more uncommon, more often.

    Dear Lord, I want to love others like You do. Help me to be a little more uncommon today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: Romans 15:7, "So reach out and welcome one another to God's glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!" (MSG)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: Which of the three thoughts Lysa shared today resonates with you the most?

    How might you tangibly show this to someone in your life today?

    © 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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

  • Allure of Lust

    Boyd

    Each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God. 1 Thessalonians 4:4-5

    Lust is misplaced affection that can lead to perverted passion. It is an unhealthy drive to satisfy selfish desires. If unbridled, it breaks up relationships and controls a person¹s conscience. Lust treats people as objects of self fulfillment, instead of precious creations from Almighty God. Sadly, there is a point when perversion is so embedded in an individual's behavior that the Lord gives them over to their shameful lusts. It's a fire that consumes its host and exploits its prey.

    We who know God, know better. Before Christ, lust may have loomed over our lives like a dark storm cloud. After Christ, the love of the Lord shone forth to satisfy the longings of our heart and soul. God's grace breaks the chains of a conscience controlled by illicit images or led away by lewdness. The Holy Spirit replaces unholy spirits, so we put to death dangerous obsessions. In Christ we walk in intimate fellowship with Him. Lust's allure is expunged by God's ardent love.

    "God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones" (Romans 1:26).

    Are you longing for authentic love? Has lust lured you into a dark corner of loneliness? Start by exposing it for what it is--a very, very cheap imitation of intimacy. In many ways lust is like a piece of art bought at an auction, but later discovered to be a fake. It presents itself as real for all who bid on its deception. Get rid if this forgery that steals away your authentic love relationship with your heavenly Father. Let go of lust, so you can love well those who desire to love you well.

    Replace sexual lust with the joy and security of being satisfied by your spouse. Replace material lust with the grace of generosity. Replace the lust for power with the freedom in sharing your seat of influence with trusted advisors. Confess your areas of struggle with those who can stand with you. Most of all, lean into the Lord's loving arms of affection!

    "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth" Colossians 3:1-2, KJV).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I long to be loved by You, so my security and identity rest in Your affection.

    Related Readings: Numbers 15:39; Matthew 5:28; Philippians 3:19-20; 1 John 2:16

    Post/Tweet today: Let go of lust, so you can love well those who desire to love you well. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

  • Redefining My Label

    Stephanie

    "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope ..." Romans 5:3-4 (ESV)

    Have you ever been given a label you didn't choose? The type of label you're sure will stick with you for the rest of your life?

    When I was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer, that's exactly how I felt: I was the victim of a poor label-maker.

    The doctors said there was nothing I could have done to avoid getting my particular type of cancer. So it felt as if an enemy chose me to attack, for no apparent reason.

    My heart ached. Some days it felt as if I were in a boxing ring, with each new cancer-related challenge hitting me smack in the gut.

    As if the cancer diagnosis weren't enough, the trials continued. The "cancer" label affected my eligibility for health insurance and prevented me from giving blood. I know it sounds odd to be sad about not getting poked with a needle, but I often donated blood and absolutely hated being "punished" for something completely out of my control.

    Life seemed so unfair. Couldn't God give me a new label altogether?

    It took several years, but God changed my perspective and enabled me to see my cancer as a gift, filled with multiple life lessons that produced endurance, character and hope.

    Today's key verse helped me understand how God was using this unfair label to change my character: "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope ..." (Romans 5:3-4).

    This passage taught me an important distinction. The goal isn't to rejoice because of our difficult circumstances. But rather, to rejoice in knowing God is doing something in the midst of our suffering. Of course, this is much easier said than done, but I'm grateful (okay, mostly grateful!) God has given me several opportunities to work on this.

    Each of these traits in Romans 5 (endurance, character and hope) builds on the next. Since that fateful diagnosis, I've grown to see God had a purpose in what I suffered. In His grace, God allowed me to hold a mirror up to my life and closely examine it. Cancer helped my husband and me re-evaluate our priorities. Among other things, my family changed churches to find older, godly mentors, and my husband ultimately began his own business.

    This month I celebrate eight years as a cancer survivor — no longer labeled a "victim," but a "victor." My past may not always be worth celebrating, but my future definitely is! I'm so grateful we serve a limitless God who can redefine our labels no matter what we've done, or what has been done to us.

    Father God, I ask for Your patience as You turn trials into triumphs. Lord, help me remove the negative labels others have placed on me, and instead, live by the labels You put on me. Thank You for producing character and hope in me and helping me daily move from victim to victor. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: Ephesians 1:11-12, "It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone." (MSG)

    Psalm 60:12, "With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: How have the labels from your past placed limits on your life? What would your life look like if you were to allow God to help remove the labels?

    Write down one negative label others have used to define you. Next, read Ephesians chapter one. Pray about how God wants to redefine your identity. Then tear up the old word, replacing it with a new word from the Ephesians passage.

    © 2014 by Stephanie Raquel. All rights reserved.

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

  • Genuine Faith

    Boyd

    Even as he spoke, many believed in him. To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples." John 8:30-31

    To believe in Jesus is much more than just to believe Jesus. Genuine faith flows from a heart transformed by the truth of God, not just inspired by an emotional desire or intellectual interest. Those whose faith is only a flash of feelings will fall away, but those who embrace Jesus as Savior and Lord are never the same. Belief in Jesus conforms us into the likeness of Jesus. Our language is kind. Our face softens. Our eyes brighten. Our attitude is hopeful. Our is spirit joyful.

    Beginning faith is like meeting an attractive person, admiring their life, maybe even dating for a while, but the relationship is far from a marriage commitment. On the other hand, authentic or saving faith is wed to Christ. It is a lifetime covenant of learning, growing and becoming one. We who believe in Jesus are the bride of Christ. It is unconditional belief and fidelity based on His divine nature. Faith in Him is foundational to our relationship of hope, love and forgiveness.

    "But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).

    In a manner similar to a man and woman who have been married for decades, so is our maturing faith in Jesus Christ. Their intimate knowledge of one another conditions them to anticipate the needs of the other. The familiarity of their individual thought processes creates space to patiently wait. The understanding of their unique communication styles causes them to frequently complete each other's sentences. As they grow older they act and look more like one another.

    Jesus is clear, "If we hold to His teachings we are really His disciples." Our faith is not perfect, but it is learning and growing. Is your life hidden in Christ? Has He captured your affections and ignited your imagination for Him? Yes, move beyond believing Him to  believing in Him! Make faith foundational by depending on Jesus for your every need. What's more, healthy Christians reproduce spiritual children, so pray your life is a channel for the Holy Spirit to convict lost souls to be born again. Our genuine faith goes to God daily to listen, learn, and be loved by Him.

    "Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son" (2 John 1:9).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my faith to be genuine and acceptable in Your sight.

    Related Readings: Psalm 17:15; Ezekiel 1:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 Peter 2:6

    Post/Tweet today: Our genuine faith goes to God daily to listen, learn, and be loved by Him. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

  • From Panic to Peace

    Nancy

    "So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

    Here I am, lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. No sleep. Body still, mind racing. Panic building.

    I forgot to contact Pat today. She's so sick and probably needed me.

    Did my daughter realize she hurt my feelings with that comment?

    What if I don't make my deadline?

    I should have exercised today.

    Why does life seem darker at night? Not just literally. It's as though Satan and his minions are just waiting for me to be alone so they can begin the battle for my mind.

    Recently I began to meditate on Philippians 4:6a: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything" (NLT). Did the Apostle Paul really mean not to worry about anything? Is that even possible? Isn't worry just part of human nature?

    Yes, worry is part of our human nature. Unfortunately when sin entered the world, emotions like worry did too. However, our fallen human nature always clarifies what being separated from God looks like. And it often looks like fear.

    As God's beloved children, we are called to faith, not fear. Faith says, "God is in charge of my life; I will trust Him, even when circumstances might suggest He's not there. I believe God loves me and knows what is best for me." Faith always crowds out fear.

    My heart longs to live in faith; however, at times this is difficult. But here's the key: "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).

    If I haven't made time to hear from God through His Word, I find my prayers being more of a monologue of fear-based worry.

    But when I make time to listen to God, I'm reminded of His promises and I become familiar with His voice. As a result, my prayers really do change from panic to praise. In bed at night, a dialogue evolves (no longer a monologue). When I turn to God with my concerns, I can hear His response. As John 10:27a tells us, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them ..." (ESV).

    God's Word reminds us to put the kingdom of God first and the things we need will be ours (Matthew 6:33, ESV). In other words, when I devote myself to God first, all the rest will sort itself out, and this brings peace.

    What is most pressing in your life right now? Whatever that is, put God's Word there instead. Replace worry with the truth of God's love and power. Then we can trust that God will do as He says: "keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed" on Him (Isaiah 26:3a, ESV).

    As I think about God's promises, panic turns to praise, praise turns to peace and peace turns to sleep. I begin to understand what Paul meant when he said, "Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand" (Philippians 4:7a, NLT).

    It is possible to experience God's peace. When we learn to cast our cares on God and trust Him to handle them, faith replaces fear. Worry sees problems, but faith sees the God who can handle the problems.

    God's Word changes how we cast our cares. When we choose to cast them onto Him instead of into the air, we'll find comfort in His promises. Then maybe we can finally get a good night's sleep.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for watching over me at night. Forgive me for the times I have worried. Help me to be devoted to You and Your love, not my circumstances. Instead of tossing and turning at night, I want to remember to turn the pages of Scripture in my mind. I want to rest in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: Psalm 4:8, "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe." (NLT)

    Isaiah 26:3, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." (ESV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: How can you make time in your day for more of God's Word? Write down your current worries and look for God's promises in response to each concern.

    Consider making a "to think" list each day, instead of a "to do" list. List the promises of God that apply to your life and meditate on them.

    © 2014 by Nancy McGuirk. All rights reserved.

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

  • Spiritual Guide

    Boyd

    When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

    Jesus Christ is our guide to walk in God's will. We can traverse with Him through life as a trustworthy friend. Additionally, the Holy Spirit illumines our mind to understand His next steps. Yes, the Spirit reveals the truth of Scripture, as an eternal energy source that teaches our mind to think on His things. In triune harmony, our heavenly Father comforts our sorrows, disciplines our darkened behaviors, and pours out generous portions of His humility, grace, and wisdom.

    What does it mean to wholeheartedly follow the Light of Life, the Lord Jesus? It means we submit our wills to His will, our inner most desires align with His inner most desires, His commands are joyful to obey, and what breaks His heart breaks our heart. We follow our spiritual guide Jesus by faith. Since we trusted Him to save us, we can trust Him to guide us. When we are unsure, he is sure. When we have questions, He has answers. Jesus is our spiritual sherpa who leads us through valleys, over mountains, and beside still waters. Hell's gloom cannot extinguish the glow of God's glory!

    "The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day" (Proverbs 4:18).

    Our capitulation to Christ in faith gives us insight into what others need. We don't hide our light in the inner sanctum of ourselves, rather we release it to be a blessing to those distressed or depressed by darkness. If we owned the local power company, would we be good citizens if we kept the use of electricity to ourselves? Neither are we good Christians if we engage Almighty God's energizing truth and grace only for our own mental, emotional, and spiritual illumination.

    What do you face in life that needs revelation from the Light of Life? Faith is not a leap into the darkness, but a step into the light. So, be patient and pray. If this is not the right choice, there will be another, better one. If this is not the right job, there will be another, better one. If this is not the right relationship, there will be another, better one. As you wait, your spirit catches up with your Spiritual Guide--Jesus. As you walk, you trust your guide to go where He's been before.

    "For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life" (Psalm 56:13).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, guide me by the glow of Your glory, so my life gives You glory.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 50:10; 2 Samuel 23:4; Daniel 12:3; Matthew 5:14; 1 John 1:7

    Post/Tweet today: Hell's gloom cannot extinguish the glow of God's glory! #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

  • Pause Before You Pounce

    Karen

    "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed ..." Proverbs 31:26-28a (ESV)

    On a sunny spring day, I sat in my backyard with my friend Suzy and our kids. While we relaxed in lawn chairs, sipping lemonade, a few of the children played on the swing set. The rest sat at our bright yellow children's picnic table, purchased just days earlier. They were happily creating masterpieces on the pages of several coloring books.

    When it came time to serve lunch, I helped the children clear their coloring supplies off the table. As I grabbed the crayons and coloring books, I spied a frightful sight. One of Suzy's daughters had gone into the house and grabbed permanent markers to color with instead of the crayons. And colored with them she did – all over the brand new picnic table! She'd even written her name in her very best 7-year-old penmanship.

    I was angry that our newly purchased picnic table was now laden with red and purple permanent graffiti. I wanted to raise my voice and shout and scream my displeasure. But I didn't. Instead, I leaned over and gently spoke to my friend's child.

    "Oh, Kelly. Miss Karen wants you to use crayons when you color, not markers. Would you please go put them back in the house? Thank you, honey."

    My eldest child's jaw dropped when she saw how I reacted to the situation with kindness and a calm voice.

    Loud enough for everyone to hear, she said, "Man! It's a good thing it was you, Kelly, and not one of us. Mom would've hollered at us something awful if we'd done that!"

    Ouch.

    My daughter simply vocalized a truth she noticed in my life: I tend to lose my cool with my family, but somehow manage to keep calm when I interact with others.

    Today's key verse, describing the actions of the woman from Proverbs 31:26, states, "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." Can that be said of us? Or would a reality TV reporter capture the way we talk to our families and announce, "She snaps with caustic words, and 'Why can't you this?' and 'You should have that!' rolls angrily off her tongue."

    When communicating with others, it appears this woman in the Scripture Hall of Fame was careful to speak in a way that honored and glorified God. In the Amplified Version of the Bible, which is rendered as close to the original language as possible, Proverbs 31:26 reads, "She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]."

    "Kindness."

    The tone of voice you'd use with a stranger.

    Friendly, not feisty.

    And the words, "giving counsel."

    Counsel is giving advice and guidance in a gentle but direct way that helps the person who's seeking the instruction. Counsel is not barking. Counsel is not belittling. Counsel is not filled with superlatives like "Why can't you ever _____?" and "See, you never _____!"

    I faced the music that day and owned up to the truth my child pointed out: I tend to extend grace to those outside my family — even complete strangers — while so easily snapping at the people within my home.

    Yes, there are times we must instruct and correct our families. Yet when we do, we should be conscientious and kind while giving counsel. It's not always easy, but God is always available to help me not to be controlling, complaining or critical.

    Perhaps we would all do better to learn to pause before we pounce when interacting with our loved ones, treating them with the respect we tend to give others. Or better yet, to pause, pray and then not pounce at all!

    Dear Lord, I want to run my home well, but as I seek to do so, help me to pause before I react, to ensure my words and actions are pleasing to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: Proverbs 15:1, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (NIV)

    Psalm 101:2, "I will be careful to lead a blameless life — when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: Was there ever a time when you barked at your family about how things were done around your home? What happened?

    In retrospect, how could the situation have been handled differently?

    © 2014 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

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

  • Honor Mom

    Boyd

    When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” John 2:3

    Jesus honored His mom though He had the power and prerogative to delay her request. She saw His newly recruited disciples and realized her little boy was now a man of God. She reflected on her Holy Spirit conception and the joy of bringing her son and Savior into the world. So, she asked her Lord for a miracle for the sake of someone else. He honored her by allowing the wedding celebration to continue without the disruption of running out of refreshments. Love is honorable.

    Our moms are needy and they need us. They cared for our needs for many years. As an infant they fed us, comforted us, and woke up in the middle of the night to calm our cries. As a child they taught us, disciplined us, and laughed at and with us. As a teenager, if they prayed, they prayed even more for our protection from ourselves. As an adult they want us to pray for them, keep up with them and honor them. Mothers filled with God remind us of His unselfish love.

    “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you” (Isaiah 66:13).

    Has your mother made a direct or indirect request of you? Has she implied a need, but not come right out and verbalized it? Perhaps the Lord is calling you to honor her by helping her, or by helping someone she is concerned about. Some moms have the admirable quality of always looking out for others, even if it requires giving up something themselves. When your mom senses your undivided attention and authentic concern, she’ll open up about her cares. Honor listens.

    If your wife is a mom, how can you support her dreams and desires? How can you better partner with her in parenting? It honors your wife when you pray with her for your children. It honors her when you listen to her fears and support her in her stress. Being a mom is oh so fulfilling, but it is hard. You honor her by being with her to laugh and cry over the children. You honor her when you offer emotional support. Yes, you honor your mom most, when you live honorably before God.

    “May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful” (Proverbs 23:25)!

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, show me how to better honor my mom and the mother of our children.

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 5:16; Psalm 35:14; Mathew 12:46; John 19:26-27

    Post/Tweet today: We honor our mom most when we live honorably before God. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

  • Honor Aging Parents

    Boyd

    Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise. Ephesians 6:2

    Aging parents are a gift from Almighty God. How many children have the opportunity to grow old with their mom and dad? Some see disease or an accident snatch away their mother or father before they become elderly. It is a blessing to support those who may have supported us over the years. To serve and honor our parents is to serve and honor Jesus. Yes, caring for them is a picture to a lost world of how our Heavenly Father cares for us. Aging parents are God’s excuse to love.

    How can we help our aging parents in a way that honors them? What if they don’t want assistance, but find themselves in a very needy situation? Build up relational equity with your mother and father before their bodies begin to break down. Don’t wait until they really slow down before you start your service to them. Dignify the aging process by honoring them along the way. They’ll feel more comfortable as you continue your care, as mentally they are less aware.

    "Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord" (Leviticus 19:32).

    Receive whatever level of engagement your loved ones allow. You may have total access to their finances; if so seek to co-manage their money with them. They may invite you into the inner sanctuary of their soul for spiritual support; do so with humble prayers, Bible reading, and church attendance, if they are able. Perhaps you join your mom and dad in their conversations with their physician. Ask questions as their advocate. Or, maybe they move in with you for a season.

    Most of all, pray aggressively for your aging parents. Pray for them to feel the caring comfort of Christ in their heart and His peace in their mind. Pray for them to come to know Jesus in a personal relationship of trust in His death and resurrection for their salvation. Pray for opportunities for you to love them to the Lord and to share the gospel. Pray for yourself to patiently model the grace of God. Aging parents are not about our convenience, but their honor.

    "Love is patient" (1 Corinthians 13:).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me favor with my parents to love and honor them as You do.

    Related Readings: Malachi 1:6;  Matthew 15:5-7; Romans 13:7; 1 Timothy 5:1-2; Titus 2:2-3

    Post/Tweet today: Aging parents are not about our convenience, but their honor. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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…to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27
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