• Believe Randy Frazee

Family Christian

  • Search Carefully


    "Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 'Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.'" Matthew 2:1-2 (NLT)

    Our family has a tradition we've kept running for over 20 years. Every December, we pick a night to enjoy barbecue chicken pizza and peppermint stick ice cream. Then we pile in our old tan Buick and venture off to look at the area's Christmas lights. A snow flurry is always a plus and makes the bright lights dance in the distance.

    When our kids were young, they'd each pick a story character to look for in the decorations. They'd keep a running tally of what they saw amongst the seasonal displays. Kenna might look for snowmen, Mitchell for reindeer. And Spencer loved to discover a green Grinch or two. Whoever picked the most frequently spied character won a small prize.

    Our family tradition evokes sweet memories for this mom. However, there was one troubling aspect of our yearly adventure. No matter how hard we searched, we rarely discovered a nativity display with the Christ child lying in a manger.

    Yes, secular characters brought giggles to our wide-eyed, pajama-footed children, but the main person of the holiday—the whole point of Christmas—was seldom to be found. We did locate a few homes that displayed a nativity, but we had to search diligently for them.

    As we go through December we, can easily be inundated with responsibilities. While trying our best to "get it all done," it is easy to miss the Christmas Child. We scurry and scamper to put on a big bash while practically ignoring the One whose birthday it really is.

    Let's purpose that this year we'll search for Jesus carefully and diligently just as the wise men did in Matthew 2:1-2:

    "Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 'Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.'" (NLT)

    These wise men left their daily duties, homes, and studies and went out of their way, traveling many, many miles on camelback through the dry desert, to find Jesus. Like these men, we need to break away from our routines and busyness to take time to look for the Christ Child.

    It might mean stopping in the midst of shopping to sit quietly in our car, praying that God will help us center our thoughts on Jesus more than holiday tasks. Or perhaps it will require us to put down our to-do list in order to pick up our Bible to read and absorb the account of Jesus' miraculous birth.

    However it looks, let's search carefully for the Christ Child. He's there in the middle of the hustle and bustle. When we find Him, let's not keep the wonder of His love to ourselves. We can share it. Serve others. Bless intentionally. And lift our eyes (and those of our children too) off of ourselves and on to the real reason for Christmas.

    Dear Lord, help me to intentionally seek and find You just like the wise men did. May I share the love You give with those I encounter this season. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What fond traditions do you have of Christmas as a child? How can you build new traditions today that center on Christ and teach others to do the same?

    Grab your kids or some friends and head off on an adventure of blessing. Call a homeless shelter or nursing home to ask what needs they have, whether it be coats, blankets, food, cheer, etc. Whatever you do, leave a handwritten note for the recipient that declares, "Jesus came to earth briefly to live with us so that we could go to heaven to live forever with Him. Merry Christmas!!"

    Power Verses:
    Jeremiah 29:13, "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." (ESV)

    Luke 2:11-12, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

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

  • God’s Messenger


    David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment...” I Samuel 25: 32-33a

    God dispatches His messengers daily. You can expect a regular word from the Lord through others. They may represent His envoy of much-needed encouragement, or they may engage you with a regiment of rebuke. Whether He sends His messengers with a positive or a negative word, it is critical that you concur with their instruction. Your emotions may be driving you in one direction because you have been treated unfairly, even inflicted with a gross indiscretion. But God’s messenger is imploring you to take the more reasonable road of understanding and forgiveness. Just because you have been wronged, does not mean you are to wrong. Anybody can do that; it takes strength of character to not retaliate.
    God is in control. So leave your transgressors in His hand. Let the Lord deal with them in His timing. God’s messenger may be telling you to wait. This opportunity staring you down does not deserve your acceptance. Your pride and ego have nominated you to the task, but you know in your heart it is not the wise thing to do. Listen to God’s messenger and avoid a year of regret. Money and status are not worth jeopardizing your marriage and your health. There will be other opportunities, much better ones that will fit in your next season of life. It is easy to ignore, reject, or argue with God’s messenger, but think twice before you debate with Deity’s representative. They are ambassadors of heaven, reaching out to you on earth. He has things under control and desires His very best for your life.
    Many times, God’s messenger comes in the form of a friend who knows you all too well and has seen some of your destructive patterns over the years. He has your best interest in mind. Their desire is for you to learn from your unwise decisions of the past and flourish in the future. They are taking a risk with their friendship because they care. If they were self-serving, they would shut up. So, listen to God speaking through your friend, especially when it is not what you want to hear. He also speaks, frequently, through your spouse. They love you, and yes they may be fearful and insecure, but it is because they don’t want you to miss God’s very best.
    Do not allow ego and pride to blind you to their warnings and concerns. They may not understand all of the ins and outs of business, but they do understand the Holy Spirit’s promptings. This is a level of discernment which God has wisely given to them as your gift. Make sure you receive it and use it well.
    Lastly, reward God’s messengers. This is behavior that deserves recognition and appreciation. You reward the behavior you want repeated, and you rebuke or ignore the behavior that you want to cease. Do more than say you agree. Instead, make a big deal over their determination to deliver the truth. Instead of blowing off the messenger of good will, invite them into your circle of influence. Promote those who persist in pitching the facts. God’s messengers can be trusted because they bear news from your heavenly Father. Therefore, take seriously their words, and act accordingly. Listen actively to God’s messengers, and in turn, become one.
    The Bible says, “He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise” (Proverbs 15:31).

    Post/Tweet today: Money and status are not worth jeopardizing your marriage and your health. #God’smessanger

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Little Is Much


    “‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on’” (Luke 21:3–4).

    Little becomes much when the Lord is factored into the equation. He takes a little money and multiplies ministries. He receives a little faith and moves mountains and heals sick bodies. He applies a little forgiveness and restores relationships. He blesses a little sacrifice from leadership and saves a business. Christ takes a little courage and fulfills a grand vision. Thus, do not despise your small contribution. It makes a huge difference.

    Jesus exhorted His disciples regarding the potential of a little faith: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).

    You may be the only person at work or in your extended family who stands up for Christian values. It is tempting to ease into the status quo and blend in with a complacent culture. However, with humility and love, stay the course of unselfish service, and you will see Christ work. Exceptions become exceptional with eternal favor and persistence.

    “One of them [a leper], when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan” (Luke 17:15–16).

    Do the right thing, even if the majority does not take seriously the Lord’s expectations. Your quiet service is not unnoticed by Jesus. Keep thanking God when others take Him for granted. Persevere in your prayer closet when it seems like prayerless people are progressing. Remain faithful in gift giving, especially when money is tight and uncertain.

    A little is much when you lay it at the altar of obedience and the Holy Spirit’s fire ignites it for God’s glory. So lay before the Lord your gifts, talents, and faith, and watch Him forge you into a faithful disciple of Jesus. Lay your plan before almighty God, and trust Him to lead you through a prayerful process of implementation and adjustment. A little faith and obedience go a long way in God’s game plan.

    Joshua brought his army to Jericho expecting a brutal battle, but the Lord simply had him march around the wall and worship! “When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city” (Joshua 6:20).

    Prayer: Have I laid before the Lord my little faith for Him to multiply and grow for His glory?

    Post/Tweet today: Little is much when laid on the altar of obedience and ignited by the Holy Spirit’s fire. #littleismuch

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Pure Motives


    “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me you fasted?” Zechariah 7:5b

    Pure motives are sometimes hard to distinguish. Especially difficult are motives related to religion. Why do we serve God? If gratitude and love are the reasons for our service then our motives are right, but it is not always that easy or clear. Sometimes as committed Christians the lines of pure hearted motivation are blurred. Service for Christ is not to make us feel better about ourselves, rather our service is to glorify our Savior Jesus.

    Indeed, service for God with wrong motives can easily lead to burnout, disappointment and disillusionment. An act of service—on behalf of Christ—is not conditional. You hold it with an open hand and with a pure heart you offer your time and money. Your expectations are at peace knowing you have followed the example of Jesus. Your motive is to please and obey Him—it is not for your fame, but for your heavenly Father’s name.

    Hence our contentment comes from Christ, not our achievements and the accolades of men. Men may see our righteous acts and want to give us more credit than is deserved. This is the time to publicly reflect the glory back to the Lord. Praise offers the opportunity to privately and humbly thank God for His unmerited favor, mercy and blessing.

    It is important to do a motive check of your life. It is a moment-by-moment, day-by-day, and year-by-year process. We are all experts at rationalizing and justifying good results that emerge from shady motives. The methods may even be acceptable, but the reasons are wrong. However, pure motives can be found, as they come from a pure heart. Seek to align your motives with love. Great works can be accomplished, but without the foundation of love we gain nothing in the eyes of God.

    “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing” (I Corinthians 13:3).

    Just being in God’s presence tends to purify our motives. So, do all things for Him and His glory. Moreover, let your reward be unseen rather than seen. Then the pure motives represented by gold, silver and precious stones will one day survive God’s revealing fire. It’s all for His needs and their needs. Stay motivated with pure motives for Jesus’ sake!

    “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work (I Corinthians 3:11-13).

    Prayer: Why do I do what I do in the name of the Lord? Has Christ cleansed my motives?

    Related Readings: Proverbs 30:12; 1 John 3:3; Revelation 19:8, 14

    Post/Tweet this today: Contentment comes from Christ, not from achievements and accolades. #puremotives

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Free Wallpaper for Your Mobile, Tablet or Computer - December

    December. It's the month that involves a story. Not just any ol' story, but THE Story. The Story that trumps all other stories.

    It's a time to gather the family and friends around the Story that involves a Baby. A Lamb. A Lion. All of it leading to a hill. A cross. An empty grave. Oh yes, December is the quite the month.

    Enjoy these wallpapers to dress up your space.  These are completely free to download. Just right click on the size that you need and you will be all set. To find out which size you need, click here.

    Both images are taking from our Coupon Calendars that we sell online and in our stores. Click here to find the Growth in Faith Calendar and the He Refreshes My Soul Calendar.

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  • Boldness


    "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14 (NIV)

    My daughter reclined in the hammock, face in a book. She chooses to read stories based in history, where the author's words transport her to another setting when life seemed grander.

    She often says, "Mom, I wish I was born in a different time and place."

    As a mom, it's easy for me to slip into similar thoughts too. To look around, observe the not-so-positive changes in our culture and wish for the seemingly tranquil world of generations past. To lament over how easy it must have been to raise kids, take care of your family, and share your faith back then.

    These thoughts have discouraged me and sometimes left me wondering, "Why keep trying? It's hopeless."

    Yet, when I read of Esther in the Bible, I am reminded that God has a purpose for placing me exactly where I am right now-in this time and place-just like He did for Esther.

    When Esther was a young woman, she was taken from her Jewish family and brought to Susa, the Persian King Xerxes' fortress, for twelve months of beauty treatments. This was done to her and other women in preparation to meet the king so he could choose a new queen.

    Esther found great favor with the king and he appointed her the new queen. Despite her good standing with King Xerxes, Esther hid the fact she was Jewish. But when a plot to destroy the Jewish people was revealed, Esther's family member, Mordecai, asked her to intervene and request help from the king to save them.

    By law, no one was to approach the king without being asked. Doing so would risk being put to death. Plus, the king hadn't summoned Esther in 30 days, an indication he was losing interest in her. But Mordecai reminded her, "... if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14 NIV)

    Esther understood the greater good and risked her life on behalf of the Jews. God appointed Esther to be in Susa at that specific time to rescue her people from the potential destruction. A bold girl in the right place at the right time saved an entire nation from annihilation.

    Like Esther, we can trust that God has placed us where we are "for such a time as this," for His purposes. Our assignment is important too. We are surrounded by people God loves and wants to rescue. Sharing Jesus with family, at our job, with our neighbors, and in our community could lead them to accepting God's love.

    Jesus willingly gave His life so we could approach our King for eternal life. He asks us to share this new life with those around us. Today, let's boldly step out and make ourselves available to God just as Esther did. God surely can use us to free someone from despair as we share the hope of eternal life!

    Although it's enjoyable to daydream about times past, the most important work we can do is today.

    Powerful and Wise God, You always know exactly what You are doing. Open my eyes today to see the rescue mission You want me to be a part of "for such a time as this." Empower me to be bold! Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Do you know someone who needs reassurance they've been created "for such a time as this"? Send them a card, text, or email today, pouring in hope that God has them exactly where they need to be.

    Do you shrink back from being bold and sharing about Jesus and eternal life? Pray for conviction and courage to do so.

    Power Verse:
    2 Timothy 1:7, "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

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

  • Thankful for Answered Prayer


    Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” John 11:41-42

    Jesus thanked His Father for answered prayer, before His prayer was answered. His heart was so in tune with the heart of the Father that He could boldly ask knowing it was the will of God. In the same way, our Savior calls us to align our hearts with our Heavenly Father’s heart. His plan is for our desires to be His desires, our wants to be His wants, our goals to be His goals, our will to be His will and our prayers to be His prayers. Hence, we can thank Him for answered prayers!

    What prayers are yet to be answered, but need to be prayed? What is Christ asking you to confidently pray in His name knowing He will answer in the future? Perhaps it's a yet to be determined job promotion you can thank God for now. You can praise the Lord today for your wayward child, who you have a peace in your heart will eventually come back to their Savior Jesus. Or, you pray with the Spirit’s certainty over an uncertain illness that threatens your joy. Whatever you face you can face down with faith in your Heavenly Father who hears your prayer.

    You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:14

    We ask in Jesus' name when we pray for Him to be glorified through answered prayer. When Jesus is lifted up all men and women are drawn to Him. We ask in Christ's name when our desire is for our answered prayers to be a benefit for believers to grow in their faith, and for unbelievers to come to faith. Oh the joy of seeing someone come to know Jesus in personal salvation, because they saw the love of God transform the life of a loved one. Gratitude glorifies God!

    Lastly, as we look to the Lord and thank Him for answered prayer, He may call us to be a part of His provision. Jesus told the disciples to pray to the Lord of the harvest for laborers and as they prayed He called them to labor for Him. So, what is your role in relation to the future prayers He wants to answer on your behalf? Perhaps you can resource the need or call on a relationship that can provide answers. Be grateful, God has you positioned to be a part of His answered prayers!

    Then He [Jesus] said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Luke 10:2, NKJV

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise You for the assurance of answered prayers in the future.

    Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 7:15; 2 Kings 20:5; Psalm 17:6; Matthew 7:7; 1 John 5:14-15

    Post/Tweet this today: Whatever you face, you can face down with faith in your Heavenly Father, who hears your prayer. #thankful

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Blog Summary for November 2013

    Here are some of the most popular blogs that have been read by our followers during the month of November.

    Liz Curtis Higgs - The Women of Christmas

    A sacred season is about to unfold for three women whose hearts belong to God. Elizabeth is barren, yet her trust in God remains fertile. Mary is betrothed in marriage, yet she is willing to bear God’s Son. Anna is a widow full of years, yet she waits patiently, prayerfully for the Messiah to appear in the temple courts.

    Following in their footsteps, you too can prepare for the Savior to enter your heart, your mind, and your life in a vibrant, new way this season. In The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, bestselling author Liz Curtis Higgs explores the biblical stories of these three women, unwrapping each verse with tender care and introducing you afresh to The Women of Christmas.

    Read the full interview here.

    Pulling No Punches - an interview with Lecrae

    From “latch-key kid” to key player in the Man Up movement, Lecrae’s life is an example of God’s transformative power – and he’s not quiet about it. In his signature straight-shoot approach, new album Gravity calls Christians to open their eyes to the weight of need in their world and share the love of Jesus as never before.

    Read the full interview here.

    Phil Robertson. Father. Teacher. Theologian. Commander.

    If you have never heard of Phil Robertson or the Robertson boys, well, you must be living under a rock.  The Robertson family has taken American TV by storm, along with it the hearts of almost every person. Along with Phil, his wife Kay and their boys, the reality TV show Duck Dynasty has been a gathering place for the whole family. In other words, it's been a breath of fresh air.

    Phil Robertson was born and raised in Vivian, Louisiana, a small town near Shreveport. With seven children in his family, money was scarce and very early on, hunting became an important part of his life.

    Read the full interview here.

    Question and Answers with Nick Vujici

    Being unstoppable is about believing and achieving. It’s about having faith in yourself, your talents and your purpose and, most of all, in God’s great love and His divine plan for your life.

    Millions around the world recognize the smiling face and inspirational message of Nick Vujicic. Despite being born without arms or legs, Nick’s challenges have not kept him from enjoying great adventures, a fulfilling and meaningful career, and loving relationships. Nick has overcome trials and hardships by focusing on the promises that he was created for a unique and specific purpose, that his life has value and is a gift to others, and that no matter the despair and hard times in life, God is always present. Nick credits his success in life to the power that is unleashed when faith takes action.

    Read the full interview here.

    A Q&A with Capital Kings

    There’s no denying much of today’s music has the power to move the masses
    physically. Inventive beats and hooky choruses are the currency of the day. Now
    enter Capital Kings, a talented duo that blends pop, electronic dance music, and
    rap into an intoxicating musical mix that makes audiences want to move, and yet
    there’s a thought-provoking, life-affirming undercurrent. Capital Kings combine
    style with substance and introduce flash with a foundation.

    Read the full Q&A here.

    Clinging to Christ in the Middle of the Hurricane - Natalie Grant

    In the opening lines of “In The End,” the spirited but poignant unplugged track that wraps her latest album Hurricane, Natalie Grant puts it as plainly as she ever has in dealing with the troubling storms we all face: “Can’t catch a break/You’ve had your fill of old clichés…”. Emerging from a dark, spiritually challenging time in her own life, the multi-talented singer/songwriter—a Grammy nominated, five time GMA (Gospel Music Association) Dove Award winner for Female Vocalist of the Year – breaks through the well worn and cheerful, but not completely truthful, phrases that often leave those who are struggling in need of more.

    Natalie and I sat down (with her daughter, Sadie, on her lap) and talked about what went into her new album. The ups and downs of life. Times of depression. Times of joy.

    Read the full interview here.

    Operation Christmas Child

    1993, more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child. Samaritan’s Purse works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver the gifts and share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ.

    Twenty years ago, Franklin Graham made a promise to collect a few gifts for boys and girls in war-torn Bosnia. Today, Operation Christmas Child has become a year-round, international project, delivering millions of shoeboxes to children in nearly 100 countries each year.

    Two decades after it started, Operation Christmas Child continues to deliver shoebox gifts and the Good News of Jesus Christ to boys and girls around the world.

    Read the full story here.

    Taylor's Gift - An interview with Todd & Tara Storch

    It was the last run of their first day on the slopes, the beginning of another great family vacation for Todd and Tara Storch and their three children. But when thirteen-year-old Taylor’s life was tragically cut short in a skiing accident, the Storches were overcome by the devastating loss of their daughter. Still in shock, they were asked a question no parents ever think they will hear: “Would you be willing to donate Taylor’s organs?”

    Their answer would change their family’s lives forever and provide comfort during their darkest moments. It would also save the lives of five desperate people anxiously waiting for a heart, a liver, a cornea, a pancreas, and a kidney.

    Read the full interview here.

    Everfound - God of the Impossible

    The four brothers of the Russian-born band Everfound, who immigrated to Denver, Colorado when they were young children, have been inspired by their ancestors’ commitment to their faith in the face of oppression in the Soviet Union. Although their ancestors were not legally allowed to profess their Christian faith, Everfound has sung freely and clearly about Jesus on four independent albums, and they will do so again on their major label debut with Word Records, the self-titled Everfound.

    For this album, they wrote 75 songs and narrowed it down to the best 12, including the lead-off hit single "Never Beyond Repair." While these songs are intensely personal, they were written with the a generation in mind. Everfound’s goal was to write songs that would serve as the soundtrack to people’s daily lives.

    See the full post here.

    Mandisa - Finding Freedom by Overcoming

    Coming off her most successful album ever, Mandisa returned to the studio to record her new album, Overcomer. Her previous album, What If We Were Real, has sold over 270,000 albums and featured the breakout radio hits “Good Morning,” “Waiting For Tomorrow,” and the #1 hit, “Stronger.” The American Idol alum and three-time Grammy nominee continues to be a voice of encouragement and truth to women facing life’s challenges. Mandisa also continues to have unprecedented media exposure for a Christian artist including two recent appearances on Good Morning America.

    I sat down with Mandisa at a local coffee shop to talk about new music, coffee vs. tea, family and what it means to be an over-comer. What follows is a real conversation. Mandisa, some would say is a true artist. She is that for sure, but she is so much more. She is a warrior in a huge battle. She is a fighter - fighting for the truth of the Gospel. That can be summed up with one statement from her, "There is joy unspeakable!"

    Read the full interview here.

  • A Morning Prayer


    "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." Psalm 86:11 (NIV 1984)

    It is very early in the morning. Though my body begs me to go back to sleep, my soul stirs to get up and talk with Jesus.

    Though I can't physically see Him, I know He is present.

    I open my Bible to the book of Psalms and pray the verses I read to start my day. The more I do this, the less I hear the nagging things of this world. A beautiful melody of God's truth rises up and my worries fade in their light.

    His perspective on what troubles me overshadows my anxiety. This time alone with God prepares me for what I will need throughout the day. He's equipping me to handle what is ahead with His gentle boldness, quiet strength, and loving grace.

    In Psalm 81:10, God instructs me, "Open wide your mouth and I will fill it." (NIV 1984) He will give me what to say. What to say in happy moments and in aggravating moments. What to say when I feel insecure and what to say when I am confident. He also reminds me that sometimes it is good to keep my mouth closed and say nothing at all.

    Psalm 84:1 reminds me that God's dwelling place is lovely. So I ask for Him to dwell in me richly. I want God to be what radiates about me. Not my hair. Not my outfit. Not my efforts. But simply Him—shifting a wrong attitude, guarding my words, and whispering constant truths into my heart.

    Psalm 86:11 prompts me to ask God to "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart ..." (NIV 1984)

    Each of these verses lead my morning prayer:

    Lord, may nothing separate me from You today. Teach me how to choose only Your way today so each step will lead me closer to You. Help me walk by the Word and not my feelings.

    Help me to keep my heart pure and undivided. Protect me from my own careless thoughts, words, and actions. And keep me from being distracted by MY wants, MY desires, MY thoughts on how things should be.

    Help me to embrace what comes my way as an opportunity . . . rather than a personal inconvenience.

    And finally, help me to rest in the truth of Psalm 86:13, "Great is your love toward me." (NIV 1984)

    You already see the ways I will fall short and mess up. But right now, I consciously tuck Your whisper of absolute love for me into the deepest part of my heart. I recognize Your love for me is not based on my performance. You love me warts and all.

    That's amazing.

    But what's most amazing is that the Savior of the world would desire a few minutes with me this morning. Lord, help me to forever remember what a gift it is to sit with You like this. Amen.

    I'm now ready to face today. Armed with truth. Surrounded by love. Filled with gratitude.

    Dear Lord, I love You. All that I've expressed above is the desire of my heart. I confess that sometimes my actions and reactions betray my love for You. Please forgive me. Thank You for Your grace that is able to recognize this new day as a new chance to walk closer with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Set aside time today to personally pray through the verses in Psalms listed in this devotion. Personalize them by inserting things particular to you. For example: Psalm 86:11 talks about having an undivided heart.

    List out those things that divide your heart and pull you away from the closeness you desire with Jesus. Spend some time confessing these and asking for wisdom to know how to better handle them.

    Power Verse:
    Mark 1:35, "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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

  • Thankful for the Extraordinary


    In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. Luke 10:21, NKJV

    Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and full of joy over God’s revelation of truth. His joy exploded in thanksgiving to His Heavenly Father. Knowledge of The Holy is hidden from the intellectually proud, but is revealed to the humble in heart. Self proclaimed sages could not see what babies in the faith came to understand: Jesus Christ was the son of God. Prophets and Kings longed to see and hear from the Messiah, but the meek disciples were the first to experience their Savior Jesus. It is an extraordinary gift to see with eternal eyes what the Lord has for those who love Him.

    We pinch ourselves knowing through the Holy Spirit we can know God. Our Heavenly Father is available to show us Himself and to reveal to us His will and His ways. What conceited scholars miss, we can receive through a humble and contrite heart. Our Lord chose us to champion His truth, because our human credentials are very modest compared to the surpassing glory of our Savior Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit reveals to us what we need to know for today’s decisions.
    Like a sovereign King has control over a country, the Spirit is sovereign over truth’s revelation.

    He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the Lord God Almighty is his name. Amos 4:13

    Joy wells up in our hearts and explodes into thanksgiving when we recall the revelation of God. His Spirit convicted us of our need to repent of our sin and receive Christ and His love as the payment of our sin. We rejoice knowing our name is written in heaven. It is an extraordinary blessing to have the assurance of eternal life with the Lord and with all those who love Him. Indeed, we thank our Father for the privilege and opportunity to learn how to walk with Jesus and invite others to know Him. We are Christ’s channel to reveal grace and truth to needy souls.

    How can you express gratitude to God for the forgiveness of your sins? What are some evidences of the joy of the Lord in your life? Praise and thanksgiving to the Almighty are fruits of your joyful heart. You thank Him when you see the smile on the face of a loved one stricken by a stroke, who unable to speak, can hum hymns and tear up at the reading of God’s word. Oh yes, the revelation of Jesus Christ is extraordinary to those with an eye on their eternal dwelling!

    For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Corinthians 5:1

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the extraordinary revelation of Your son Jesus Christ.

    Related Readings: Daniel 2:22, 28; John 1:18; 21 Corinthians 1:26-29; 1 Peter 1:10-12; Revelation 20:12

    Post/Tweet this today: Knowledge of The Holy is hidden from the intellectually proud, but is revealed to the humble in heart. #thankful

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

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