• ABOUT
    Did you know?
    All of our earnings go to Christian charities.
    Click to learn more about us!
  • SHOP
    View the latest sales and promotions going on now!
    When you shop, you give.
  • GIVE
    See our latest Giving Challenge.
  • GROW
    Our blog shares devotionals, interviews, contests & more—all to help you grow in your faith.

  • Demdaco Willow Tree Nativities & Christmas Angels, Figurines & Ornaments

Tag Archives: 1 Peter

  • Not Defined by the Size of Our Jeans

    Posted on July 2, 2014 by Emily T Wieringa

    Emily T. Wierenga

    "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NASB)

    The moon was a slice of white in the night sky.

    It looked like the rim of a coffee mug, the mug with a picture of a teddy bear saying "I love you beary, beary much" ... the mug my brother gave me when I was 13 and hospitalized for anorexia.

    Here I was again, in a green hospital gown, only this time, I wasn't hypothermic and 60 pounds.

    This time I was holding a baby doctors had said I'd never be able to have. He was 8 pounds, 2 ounces, his name was Aiden Grey and I couldn't stop crying. Because he couldn't stop hiccupping.

    "Is he okay?" I touched the nurse's elbow as she straightened my sheets.

    She smiled. "Yes," she said. "There's nothing that can be done for hiccupping — it just has to take its course," and I tucked Aiden close to my heart, because I couldn't tuck him back into my womb.

    I have two sons now, and I've had two miscarriages too, and there's nothing harder than watching your body fail your baby. But God — He never fails.

    He is always there. Even in the miscarriage.

    He was there when I was a pastor's kid who began starving herself at age 9; when I was an 18-year-old hippie who ran away from home and traveled the world searching for faith. When I came home to a mother who was dying from brain cancer, who still sang Great is Thy Faithfulness from somewhere deep her in sleep.

    In the midst of our pain, He is there, hanging from a cross, only to rise again.

    When I was young I stopped eating to avoid feeling pain. Now, I'm learning to wait for the resurrection. I'm learning to trust God in the ache.

    This past spring, I looked out my office window, saw snow on the ground, and my 2-year-old jumping on our trampoline.

    Naked.

    His clothes strewn around him, and he was singing.

    I laughed even as I ran to cover him, but secretly, I was envious. I envied the freedom to sing naked, oblivious to the audience of a highway running perpendicular to our house.

    Perhaps this is a picture of what God's Word invites us to do in 1 Peter 5:7, where it says cast "all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you."

    It's not easy to truly cast our anxiety on Jesus in a world that tells us we are defined by the size of our jeans. It's a lot easier to hide, than trust Jesus with our pain, or our questions about who we are and if we matter.

    And I think it's somewhere in there, in that quiet place of being loved — in the mother's embrace of her baby — that we find ourselves.

    The other night in a rare moment of quiet in my house, I felt as if I had stepped straight into love. Like it had been waiting there for me the whole time.

    I saw the real me: a passionate, scatter-brained 33-year-old woman who loves the world deeply and laughs loudly and needs alone time. Who gets paint on the kitchen table when she's making art, who would rather write than do housework, who has tattoos, who cries when her sons refuse to listen to her.

    And suddenly I knew who I was. Right in the middle of that sacred moment surrounded by Legos and train tracks.

    I was loved.

    It's who we all are, friends.

    We're not defined by the size of our jeans. We're not the sum of our Twitter followers or the square feet of our house.

    We are God's daughters, tucked in His arms, where He aches over hiccups, where He longs to carry our worries, and where He would die for us.

    He did die for us. Yes, this, friends.

    We are loved.

    Dear God, help me know You love me. Help me feel Your caring arms around me today, even in the dark. Help me hear Your voice singing over me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Have you ever felt your Abba Father's presence in the midst of a difficult time in your life? If so, how?

    Are you clinging to fear, or do you know the kind of love that casts it far, the kind that evokes utter peace and joy?

    © 2014 by Emily T. Wierenga. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Baker Publishing Group for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

    Click here to view our policy on 3rd party links.

    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 1 Peter

  • Why I No Longer Cry Over Burnt Bread

    Posted on June 6, 2014 by Alicia Bruxvoort

    Alicia Bruxvoort

    "If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11 (NIV)

    I was squashed between kindergarteners in the school cafeteria when my 6-year-old son, Joshua, made an announcement that gave me the giggles. I hid my mouth behind a napkin to cover my smirk and realized that at one point in my life, my son's innocent words would have spawned tears instead of chuckles.

    It started when the little boy next to me lifted a sandwich out of his lunch box.

    "That's huge!" Joshua exclaimed as he poked at the lukewarm carrots on his cafeteria tray and gazed longingly at his classmate's lunch.

    The sandwich was big. Oversized slabs of cheese and slices of ham nestled between two thick slices of bread. I wondered how much cash it would take to talk a kindergartner into trading his mealtime masterpiece for my soggy sloppy joe.

    "Can you even get that in your mouth?" I teased as my lunch companion freed his sandwich from plastic wrap and lifted the culinary sensation to his mouth.

    "I'm used to big bread," he replied. "It's my mom's specialty."

    Joshua raised an eyebrow and studied the specimen in his classmate's hands. "You mean your mom makes the bread you eat?"

    The little fellow nodded happily.

    My son looked at me with wide-eyed wonder, then shrugged his shoulders and replied, "Oh, my mom's specialty is burnt bread."

    I nodded in agreement. "If the crust's not charred, the bread's not ours," I said with a laugh.

    The sandwich muncher beside me didn't even blink at my corny rhyme, but Joshua applauded me with a big smile.

    Soon a bell announced the lunch hour's end, and the kindergarteners hurried to line up for recess. My brown-haired boy waved and marched off to the playground, leaving me alone with my speckled pink cafeteria tray, a mound of lukewarm carrots and a smile.

    A decade ago my young son's honesty would have left me feeling second-rate. I would have raced to the library to check out a book on baking homemade bread.

    I've learned the hard way that I miss all sorts of sacred and significant moments when I live with the frantic insistence that I can do it all. When I'm striving to be good at all things, I miss the joy of small things.

    A good mom isn't good at everything. She's just really good at one thing. A good mom is good at being who God created her to be.

    The truth for bread-burning mamas like me sitting in school cafeterias and for gifted women like you sitting in mini-vans, corporate offices and rocking chairs is this: We weren't created to do it all.

    We were created to play one small role in a gigantic Kingdom tale. And if we spend our lives trying to mimic everyone else's script, we might miss the lines that are uniquely ours.

    On any given day, I can tell you a few things I do well. But, perhaps more importantly, I can tell you what I don't do.

    I learned a few years ago the importance of creating a list of what I don't do. If you're tired of feeling tired, make that list. If you're worn out from the comparison game, make that list. If you can't celebrate your talents and laugh at your limitations, make that list.

    Stick it to your bathroom mirror. Carry it in your purse. And refuse to apologize for being you.

    So, friend, if you've been created to bake homemade bread, by all means, bake away.

    If you've been fashioned to encourage others, speak life.

    If you've been gifted to sing, fill the earth with music, please.

    But whatever you do, don't try to do it all, or you just might miss the one thing that the world desperately needs you to do.

    Dear Lord, I am tired of trying to do it all. Help me identify my gifts and accept my limitations so I can play my part in Your mighty Kingdom tale. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Romans 12:5-6, "So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body, let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't." (The Message)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Try to go one whole day without measuring yourself against anyone else. When you are tempted to compare yourself to someone, pray for her instead.

    Make that list of what you don't do and post it where you will see it each day.

    This week, say "no" to one thing that you weren't created to do.

    © 2014 by Alicia Bruxvoort. 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 1 Peter

  • Suffer Grief

    Posted on May 6, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7

    Grief is a very real source of suffering. We grieve when we lose our loved one who has gone to be with the Lord. We may or may not totally get over their departure.  The memory of the little things we shared in life could linger with us until the day we go to be with them in glory. We also grieve when we lose a child to foolish flings. We watch with broken hearts, as we are unable to control the harmful decisions of an adult son or daughter. We can suffer grief from all kinds of trials that create troubles. Yes, troubles are a test to refine our faith and to lead us to praise God.

    Furthermore, suffering grief and/or trouble can be a tool for the Spirit to wean us from the world’s way of thinking. If anything other than Christ controls our peace of mind, it is a threat to our trust in God. The Lord’s plan is for us to suffer grief for a ‘little while'. Thus, we must resist the temptation to get sucked into the crazy cycle of being controlled by another person’s bad behavior. We temporarily grieve their immature actions, but then we leave them with God.

    “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

    Perpetual grieving is not the heart of God for His children. His desire is for praise and rejoicing to follow our faith refinement. However, during this interim of intense pain, He grieves with us as we process our hurting heart. His compassionate Spirit draws us into sweeter communion as we enter into a deeper and fuller understanding of our heavenly Father’s love and grace. We suffer grief to gain God and to lose ourselves. Grief makes real the precious promises of God.

    Most of all, lean into the Lord’s long suffering and unconditional love as you grieve. Get to know your special friend Jesus at a new level. Enjoy solitude for a season, but avoid a prolonged trap of isolation. Engage with individuals and a care group who can grieve with you. Grief is not meant to be experienced alone. Processed pain is productive, but unprocessed pain is destructive. Rejoice, though we suffer grief, we gain a greater grace and deeper love from our heavenly Father.

    “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless: (Psalm 10:14).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, in my grief I receive your greater grace and deeper love that brings healing to my heart.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 17:21; Nehemiah 8:10; Zechariah 12:10; John 11:35, 16:20

    Post/Tweet today: Properly processed pain is productive, but unprocessed pain is destructive. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 1 Peter

  • The Relentless Love Affair

    Posted on February 11, 2014 by John van der Veen

    John van der Veen

    Oh my. The relentless pursuit of Christ for His Bride. We can look at ourselves all we want. We can dress ourselves all we want. We can spend on ourselves all we want. We can work ourselves all we want. But nothing. Nothing will make us look any better than what we are.

    AND YET.

    And yet in the midst of all of our contradictions, Jesus, who knows everything about us, says that we are His.

    Last night we talked about how God's fierce love for His Bride is often found in discipline. We often will react to God's discipline in a negative way, but it's really His discipline that is also His grace. This is what Hosea was sharing with Gomer, or Israel rather. God was issuing a call of repentance. For He has loved her with an everlasting love. One that could not be shaken or disturbed. This was a promise He made first with Adam, then Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Isaiah, Hosea and culminated in Christ.

    In Hosea 2:19, God says to Israel that He will betroth her to Him. Forever. That in Him is found righteousness, justice, steadfast love, mercy and faithfulness. And these attributes are found in the robe of Christ. This very robe that He puts around us. In the midst of our sin, we washes us with His robe. So that now we can walk as Peter tell us in 1 Peter 2.

    You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received God's mercy, but now you have received mercy.

    Praise God for who He is and what He has done for us!


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion and was tagged with 1 Peter, Hosea

  • When the Dog Eats Your Company's Dinner

    Posted on January 8, 2014 by Sharon Glasgow

    Sharon Glasgow

    "If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11b (NIV)

    I prayed weeks for this dinner. The couple we invited needed Jesus. I wanted to roll out the red carpet and treat them like royalty; God knew they needed a big dose of His love.

    But time got away from me—cleaning the house, making the dessert and all. I still had to run to the store to get the filet mignons. I know they're expensive, but I wasn't going to spare any cost for my guests—it would be a feast!

    I sat the grocery bags inside the front door and headed back out to light the fire in the grill. Our company would be there in less than half an hour! I ran back inside and reached for the steaks, only to pull out an empty package. Puzzled, I pulled out the other packages, all empty. What in the world??

    About that time my dog walked around the corner with his head cowered. He wouldn't look at me but took off to hide behind the couch. I followed him and didn't find a trace of a steak—just one shamefaced dog. He had done this kind of thing before, eaten entire pizzas, cakes, and whole plates of fried chicken without a crumb left. Yep, "guilty" was written all over his face.

    As I stood there shaking my head, I heard knocking at my front door. Our guests were early! Thankfully I remembered a chicken and dumpling casserole in the freezer. I turned the oven on and popped it in, then excused myself to the restroom, closed the door and prayed, remembering the words of 1 Peter 4:11b, "If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen" (NIV).

    "Jesus, help me. Help me get over my own expectations of what tonight would look like. I've asked You for weeks to lavish this couple with Your love. You don't need steaks to do that. Come and fill this place with Your presence. Give me Your ability to love and serve. Help me love like You do. Give me words to speak and Your strength to do it. I give this night to You. May it glorify You. Thank You Jesus."

    As I walked back to join my visitors, I realized once again hospitality isn't about the perfect meal, beautiful decorations, a clean house, or our hostess skills—it's about loving people the way Jesus loves them—wholeheartedly. When people feel loved, they don't care what you feed them or what your house looks like.

    That night turned out to be absolutely wonderful. Not because the chicken and dumplings tasted good. Or because my living room was tidy. But because God's love is powerful.

    When we take our eyes off of ourselves and focus on loving our guests, it takes the stress out of entertaining. Even when we feel inadequate, Jesus gives us His ability to love others when we ask Him. It's not about our efforts; it's about Him.

    Dear Lord, help me to invite others to my house. Keep my heart focused on loving people and not on my home or my cooking skills. Use me for Your glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources


    Reflect and Respond:
    What hinders you from inviting guests to your home?

    How can you show love to someone this week through your home or homemaking talents?

    Power Verse:
    2 Corinthians 12:9a, "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness...'" (NIV)

    © 2014 by Sharon Glasgow. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with 1 Peter

  • God Cares

    Posted on December 15, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

    God cares about you. He cares about your job; He cares about your fears; He cares about your spouse; He cares about your children; He cares about your parents; He cares about your worries; He cares about your finances; He cares about your car and your house; He also cares about your character, and He cares about you caring about Him and caring for others. He is a caring God. You cannot out-care God. His capacity to care is infinite and his competence to care is matchless. You can care because He cares. There is no care of yours that God does not care about. If it is important to you, then God cares about it. Yes, you will experience misdirected cares, but God’s desire is to come alongside you and realign your cares with what He cares about the most. He cares enough to bear your anxieties and to replace them with His peace and assurance.
    When you give God your worries, you in turn, receive His calming presence. God’s system of care is countercultural. God transforms your cares into what He cares about; so cast your cares on Christ. Equally spiritual people may cast their cares on God in polar opposite ways. One may find release in a quiet written prayer, while another may feel cared for by God through raucous worship. Let another’s processing of anxiety be a guide, not a guilty comparison.
    You know God cares immensely. So how do you cast your cares on Him? By faith, you let Him care. He cares and can be trusted. Therefore, allow Him to do what He does best. You allow Him to care for you. This takes humility on your part. You are acknowledging a desperate need for God. Your declaration of dependence is two-fold. You admit you are anxious, and can’t handle your worry alone. Secondly, you submit to the fact that only God can handle this level of concern. Hence, your submission to God allows His care to consume your anxieties. Your care-giving to God is recurring. Over time, He helps bring your feeble faith and misguided mind into focus on Him. What started out as a burden, He transforms into a blessing. Your pain becomes productive.
    You become free to care for others, because He has freely cared for you. Your perspective takes on a heavenly flavor. Do not wait until matters get worse before you off load on the Lord. Go to God first, because He cares the most. Let bad news travel fast, because He already knows. An all-caring God cultivates a carefree attitude. The more you allow Him to care about your worries, the less you have to care. Then you can focus your care on people and eternal issues. Let God be consumed with your cares so you are not. Then you can lead others to your all-caring Christ. Care for them as Jesus does. Your care will lead to His care. This is the beauty of the circle of care. You do it right, and they will want your God. You care for others, and they will want the God that cares for you. Keep your caring Christ-centered. You care because He cares. You can care because you have let Him care for you. Keep the circle of care rotating.
    Do not grow weary of caring; He doesn’t. He cares for you. Therefore, give Him your cares and experience His care. Christ is your number one caregiver. Jesus said it well: “…do not worry about your life…”(Matthew 6:25).

    Post/Tweet today: You are free to care for others, as you let the Lord care for you. #Godcares

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 1 Peter

  • A Humble Husband

    Posted on October 26, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7).

    A humble husband has a hungry heart for the Lord and seeks to follow Christ’s commands. He submits to His Savior Jesus before he expects submission from his wife. A humble husband hears from God before He seeks to direct his family. It is from a position of humility that his prayers are not hindered; indeed, heaven hears and answers.

    Furthermore, a husband who walks in humility is considerate and caring of his wife. He makes her feel special daily, especially on her birthday, wedding anniversary, and special days in between. Humility is respectful and loving, always watching for ways to honor God’s gift—his wife. Love and respect are twin traits of humility that tower over pride.

    A humble husband is quick to admit he does not know everything; thus, he values his wife’s opinion and advice. Before a major decision, he leads his bride in prayer to their heavenly Father for His wisdom and direction. She is comforted knowing that he, as the spiritual leader of the home, is accountable to almighty God. Humility invites trust.

    A humble husband sees Jesus as his model of humility that leads to obedience. “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8). Humility follows Jesus wherever He leads.

    Powerful prayers flow from the heart of a humble husband. On his knees he engages the enemy on behalf of his family. He understands his responsibility to represent God well in the home. His attitude toward almighty God strongly influences his wife and children’s attitude toward the Lord. He totally trusts the Lord and leads his family to do the same.

    How is your heart? Is it haughty or humble under Christ’s authority? Have you accepted your role as the spiritual leader of your home? If so, engage with your wife as joint heirs of God’s gracious gift of life. Learn to love her like the Lord loves her. Admit your wrongs, ask her forgiveness, and serve her well—so your prayers will prosper for God’s glory.

    “The Lord said to me, ‘Go, show your love to your wife again…. Love her as the Lord loves’” (Hosea 3:1).

    Do I humble myself daily before the Lord and my wife? Does she normally feel love and respect from me?

    Post/Tweet: A humble husband submits to His Savior Jesus before he expects submission from his wife. #humblehusband

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 1 Peter, Husbands

  • In the Midst of Dirty Dishes

    Posted on October 14, 2013 by Sharon Glasgow

    Sharon Glasgow

    "Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: ... whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 4:9–11 ESV)

    She and her husband had been missionaries for over sixty years and led countless people to Christ. Now she was in her eighties and still serving. My friend Sheli and I were honored to stay with her for a week to minister alongside her.

    After traveling thirty hours to her home in Takamatsu, Japan, we arrived late in the evening. She ushered us into her kitchen for a hearty meal, then prayed for us before we all went to bed. When the sun was barely up the next morning, we feasted on an enormous breakfast in her tiny kitchen.

    The kitchen was crowded, her appliances old and worn, dishes piled high in the sink from her lavish food preparation—yet the atmosphere felt entirely like home. As she and her husband read Scripture and encouraged us, tears welled up in my eyes, the love of Christ enveloped us; it overwhelmed me.

    Immediately after breakfast, she began cooking again, this time for 100 women. She'd rented a banquet hall and invited friends, telling them an American would be speaking and there would be food. We cooked, set up tables for the luncheon, and then I was ushered to the front to speak. Her objective in hosting the event was to build a bridge in hopes that those who came for lunch would come back again for church on Sunday. Many did!

    While driving home after the lunch, she told me she'd invited a large group to the house for dinner that night. I couldn't imagine how we could clean up the mess we'd left behind and simultaneously prepare another meal. How would we get it all done? She didn't seem concerned. Instead, she was fueled by the energy of what the Lord had done at the luncheon.

    There have been times I've worried more about my kitchen than how I can serve others. I fret over the size and messiness. But I was inspired as I watched this woman who had no concerns about the dirty pots in her sink. She didn't let an unswept floor keep her from ministering. She set the table beautifully and welcomed her guests. She and her husband prayed and read Scripture. Hearts melted.

    Years have passed since that week in Japan and I think of her whenever I have company. Over the course of her life, she has ministered to thousands in her home, and many have come to know Jesus there. Her ministry has nothing to do with a spotless kitchen. In fact, her kitchen was a mess. But whenever God opens a window of opportunity, she seizes it.

    I want my service to be like that described by the apostle Peter, grounded "in the strength that God supplies." I want to long for people to know Jesus more than I long for the perfect kitchen.

    God cares more about what's happening among the people in our kitchen than He cares about the state of it. My missionary friend taught me that it is possible to share God's love, demonstrate His character, and offer hospitality, even in the midst of dirty dishes.

    Dear Lord, show me ways to serve through the resources You've given me. Help me care more about people than things like dirty dishes. In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Remember
    Your kitchen is a perfect place to show hospitality. Don't wait for it to be perfect to invite guests. God will supply the ability you need to minister in your kitchen, and He will be glorified.

    Reflect
    Would you be willing to invite people to stay for dinner if they dropped by unannounced—even if your kitchen were a mess? Why or why not?

    Respond
    Can you think of a one person, family, or neighbor who doesn't know Jesus that you could invite for dinner? Make a call and get it on the calendar.

    Power Verses
    Proverbs 31:15; Proverbs 31:25–27

    Taken from Encouragement for Today: Devotions for Everyday Living by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst and Samantha Evilsizer and the Proverbs 31 Ministries Team. © 2013 Proverbs 31 Ministries. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with 1 Peter

  • Encouragement for the Daily Grind

    Posted on July 23, 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer

    Samantha Evilsizer

    "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer." 1 Peter 3:12a (ESV)

    It's common, everyday stuff. She tells me it's nothing, but I know better.

    This solo parent single-handedly holds each strand of her small daughter's hair. It's getting late, but she must continue ridding the unwelcome "guests." Comb, wash and comb again, fingers exhausted as the clock strikes midnight.

    I send her this text message, You're doing great. She writes me back, telling of her doubt. What's so special about picking out lice? she wonders as she finally collapses in bed, daughter enfolded under her mama's wings. Will this little girl remember her mother's sacrifices? Most likely not. But she will remember the safety and care of her mother's nest.

    And my friend? What will she remember? Shins kicked big by tiny feet, sleepy breath in her face, and trudging through the daily grind. These are what she believes she'll remember, and no one else will ever see or know. These exhausting moments when she wishes she were doing something more noble or noteworthy.

    But I know better. I know I'm not the only one who sees her sacrifices of love. I know that these common moments, built one upon the other, create great lifetimes. These moments are mostly free, yet they cost quite a bit, don't they? Their currency? Time, energy, selflessness, dreams and yes, sleep. All these investments build a life of loving high and deep.

    I'm reminded of a story I read years ago of a woman who opened the front cover of a coffee table book about magnificent cathedrals. She paused to soak in the inscription of this book that had been gifted to her: With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.

    A story, hidden in the pages of her book, is recounted: A rich man came to visit the cathedral while it was being built ... he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."

    And the workman replied, "Because God sees."*

    Though my friend's efforts were unseen by the rest of the world, they were not unnoticed by the Lord. Her late-night labor of love was building something beautiful in the eyes of God. He saw her just as He promises in 1 Peter 3:12a, "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer."

    He watches over us as a mother bird keeps watch on her chicks. God's eyes of love, care and protection see each of our everyday efforts that can bring discouragement in the daily grind. Folding the 11th basket of clothes ... today. Cooking dinner with no "thank you" given. Stripping bed sheets in the middle of the night when kids get sick.

    Whether you are investing in your own children, or someone else's, keep up the greatness in the common moments. It may seem like nothing, but you matter. You're building. You're seen.

    Dear Lord, I can get so weary and tired of persisting in building greatness in the everyday moments of life. It often feels like no one notices or appreciates me. Thank You for confirming that YOU see me. That is more than enough. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Be affirmed of who you are, why you are here and how much you are loved in His Princess: Love Letters from Your King by Sherri Rose Shepherd.

    Our Facebook page offers daily encouragement for the daily grind. Join us by clicking here.

    Reflect and Respond:
    We need to replenish ourselves as we pour out love, energy, and prayer on others. Determine now to set aside time each day to spend with God and notice how He replenishes you.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 33:18, "Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love ... " (ESV)

    *The Invisible Woman by Nicole Johnson

    © 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer. 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 1 Peter

  • He Cares About You

    Posted on May 29, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

    When life gets overwhelming, do you ever wonder if God notices all you have going on? Does He see how hard you're working and trying to take care of everyone and everything? Staying up late to pay the bills, and feeling stretched between relationships at home and in church while caring for aging parents, commuting to work and carpooling kids?

    Several years ago, I came to a point where it felt like I was suffocating under the weight of my many responsibilities. Slowly, worry started to weave its way into my thoughts, making me wonder how I was going to do it all.

    I was exhausted and ready to resign from just about everything. I didn't have enough energy to handle it all. My faith was drained too, which led me to a place of self-doubt. I questioned my ability to manage my life and doubted my ability to hear God clearly or fulfill all the roles I assumed He wanted me to do.

    And all those worries made me weary, and they also made me wonder. I wondered if God noticed and cared about the burdens I carried. I also questioned why He wasn't doing something to make life easier. After all, my days were consumed with doing things for Him and others.

    One day I was reading my Bible and noticed how Martha's worries were making her wonder if Jesus cared about her. Martha's sister Mary had left her in the kitchen to do all the work while Mary sat in another room listening to Jesus. The Bible tells us, "She came to him and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!'" (Luke 10:40b NIV)

    Listen to how Jesus responded: "'Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her'" (v. 41-42 NIV).

    In that moment, Jesus showed Martha just how much He cared. Not just about how hard she was working, but about the rest He knew she needed. Instead of giving her what she demanded, Jesus showed Martha what she needed and the choice she could make to receive it.

    Jesus helped Martha see that Mary hadn't abandoned her to do the work by herself. Instead, Mary chose to walk away from distractions and preparations so she could take hold of something that couldn't be taken away from her.

    It was the one thing that would last even after Jesus was gone: time with Him resting in His presence, soaking in His perspective, and listening to His promises.

    1 Peter 5:7 says to "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."

    As I read this verse and Martha's story, I saw the difference between what God offers and what I had been doing. I was carrying the heavy weight of my concerns but Jesus had invited me to come to Him and cast my cares upon Him, so that He could care for me.

    When I do all the talking and instructing, God doesn't have a chance. Instead of telling Him what I needed, He showed me how to say, "Lord, this is what's on my mind. This is what I'm worried about." And then stop and ask, "But Lord, what is going on in my heart? What are Your thoughts about this situation? What do I need and what should I do?"

    As I'm learning to give my concerns to God, my heart is growing more confident in knowing just how much He cares about me. With this new approach, my burdens are lighter and my heart is too.

    Jesus, help me seek You as much as I serve You and others. I want to balance my life and my workload with You, knowing with confidence that You care about me and are good at taking care of me! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    When you purchase A Confident Heart through from Family Christian, the proceeds go to help rescue widows and orphans.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Some time today, even if it's as you are putting your head on your pillow, talk to the Lord. "Lord, this is what's on my mind. This is what I'm worried about."

    Then ask, "Lord, what is going on in my heart? What are Your thoughts about this situation? What do I need and what should I do?"

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 55:22, "Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. 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 1 Peter

Items 1 to 10 of 26 total

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
Helping you find, grow, share and celebrate your faith
Who doesn't love free shipping!? At Family Christian, you can qualify TWO ways:

1. To your door (just $50 minimum)*

No coupon required! Simply add $50 worth of merchandise to your cart and select the "Free Shipping" option under "Shipping Method." Easy as pie.

* Valid on merchandise totaling $50 or more before taxes. Please keep in mind this is valid on domestic ground shipping to addresses within the U.S. only, not valid toward international delivery. Additional charges apply for express shipping. Terms subject to change without notice.

2. To your store (no minimum order required!)*

At checkout, select "Ship to your local Family Christian store" and enter your zip code to find our closest location. Not sure if there is a Family Christian nearby? Find your local store now.

* Valid on select merchandise only
Loading... Loading...