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Tag Archives: 1 Thessalonians

  • You're Stronger Than You Think

    Posted on May 20, 2014 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone." 1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NIV)

    The first day of class, the exercise leader replaced the lighter weights I'd chosen with heavier ones. I tried to hide my skepticism as he said, "You're stronger than you think!"

    I shook my head in disbelief as he moved on to assess the next participant. No, I thought. I'm weaker than you think!

    It had been a few years since I'd been in an exercise class, and my confidence level was low. Never an athlete, I couldn't even do one push-up. And my legs felt like rubber bands after the first set of "warm-ups."

    I'd signed up for the early morning class out of determination to do things differently. It wasn't at all where I wanted to be at 5:30 a.m. two mornings a week, but earlier in the year, God challenged me to break out of my comfort zone.

    As I struggled to lift the heavier weights, I decided to glance at the women next to me. Normally when exercising I keep my head down and just try to survive. But that day I looked closer at my classmates. Some were older and spoke of grandchildren. Some looked like they were struggling too. I overheard one say she'd had a knee replacement.

    Hmmm ... if they can do this, certainly I can, too. Maybe I could try another class or two before quitting.

    The next class we all showed up, finding connection points over sore muscles. We laughed as we struggled to get off the mat. One said how hard it had been to walk up the stairs. I agreed.

    Maybe I wasn't the only one feeling weak. Somehow the idea encouraged me.

    Each morning, the thought of those other ladies showing up and rubbing sleep from their eyes motivated me to lace on my tennis shoes and head to the gym. Little by little, I felt more comfortable admitting my weakness, even laughing about it.

    In one particularly hard class, as I was the last one struggling to finish sit-ups, I heard a voice from my left, "You go, girl!" Something bold rose up in me at those words, and I thought, I can do this! Determination surged through me as I finished the last few sit-ups to the counts of my classmates.

    My positive attitude surprised me. Where did that come from? Although I was getting stronger physically, that wasn't the only area gaining strength. The encouragement from my classmates was making me stronger mentally, too.

    The first class, I wanted to keep to myself and hide my pain. But as the weeks progressed, the more I shared my struggles, the more others could speak into them. Their words encouraged me. Their presence reassured me I wasn't alone. Once again, God was teaching me how good it is to let others know I'm not perfect.

    This has been a problem for me all my life. I'd much rather be the one obeying our key verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:14: "And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone."

    I like being the one who warns, encourages and helps. I'm not so good at being patient, but otherwise I'm pretty good at obeying this verse. But for God's plan to be fully realized in the church at Thessalonica and in our lives today, at some point we need to be on the receiving end of this verse.

    This is the beauty of the body of Christ. God designed a loving check-and-balance system to deepen our faith and relationships. But in order for it to work, we have to accept being warned, encouraged and helped — allowing others to see our frailties.

    Unfortunately, there's a fierce and faulty independent streak in my thinking that fights being on the receiving end of help. My default approach is to hide my weaknesses, fears and insecurities, which opens a crack for unhealthy pride to sneak in.

    And yet what freedom there is in simply admitting: I can be a mess at times. When I acknowledge that, others can pray for me. They can encourage me. It's a double blessing of God's strength and that of others.

    God needs me to learn this truth. Admitting I need help breaks down my pride. It humbles me, which softens God's heart toward me. And it allows others to be obedient in caring for me.

    So, am I stronger than I think I am? Apparently so. But the best way to discover my strength is to admit my weakness.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing friends into my life who help me grow stronger. Forgive me for the sinful pride that has kept others from getting too close. Help me to understand it doesn't make me weaker to admit my weaknesses. In fact, it opens me to get stronger. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Acts 15:40-41, "... but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Is it hard for you to share your struggles with others? What holds you back from being more open?

    Commit to telling one friend about a worry, fear or weak area of your life. Ask her to pray for you.

    © 2014 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Allure of Lust

    Posted on May 14, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    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.


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

  • I'm a Meddler

    Posted on April 4, 2014 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn Cowell

    "... aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you." 1 Thessalonians 4:11 (ESV)

    I did it again. Stepped in to a situation that didn't concern me. I told myself I was helping, but it wasn't my place to speak up. As usual, it backfired.

    Contemplating all that had happened that evening, Jesus spoke to me. Of course, not literally spoke to me, but He nudged my heart: You're a meddler, Lynn, and you need to be done with it. When you meddle, you are not trusting. When you meddle, you are saying I can't handle it. You know I can. So be done with it. No more.

    I'm a meddler.

    I like to say I'm a "fixer." That's what I have called it in the past, but truth is, that's just a nicer way of putting it.

    Not a gossiper. No, that is someone who intentionally separates and that's not my heart. I want to help. Really I do.

    I'm a meddler. Dictionary.com defines the verb "meddle" this way: "To involve oneself in a matter without right or invitation; interfere officiously and unwantedly."

    Without right or invitation. That's what I do. Seeing an unhappy, unhealthy or unholy situation I listen to the whisper in my head. Since I see it, I think I'm instructed to do something about it.

    But most often, I am not. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says "... aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you."

    My place is to be quiet and pray. But I still prefer to fix, manipulate and get involved.

    In other words, I meddle.

    So, there you have it. Now that I see my actions for what they are, it's my responsibility to change. And in order to change, I will have to slow down before I take action or open my mouth. I'll have to ask myself: Are you meddling?

    Will I be tempted to meddle? Every day. Will I mess up? I hope not, but it's highly probable. I'm human. My desire, though, is to mind my own affairs and let Jesus get involved. I will ask Him for prayers to pray, not words to say.

    This change is going to be hard. But I know Jesus is serious about not meddling. Proverbs 26:17 says, "Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears" (ESV). In other words, meddling isn't smart! And that is not what I want to be; I want to be wise.

    Any other meddlers out there? Can you think of times when you got involved and you shouldn't have? Especially when the thing Jesus wanted you to do was to pray — and only pray? Let's pray for each other and ask Jesus to open our eyes to see and leave our troubles up to Him.

    Jesus, I'm a woman who wants to be a fixer. But that's not really my place; it's Yours. Open my eyes before I step in, and empower me to resist the temptation to get involved. Teach me to pray instead, Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What particular circumstances draw out the meddler in you? Trouble between friends? Arguments between family members? Right now, ask the Holy Spirit for prayers to pray for those you love instead of words to say.

    Often meddling is fueled by fear. Ask yourself: What do I fear?

    Power Verses:
    Matthew 7:3-5, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Lynn Cowell. 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 Thessalonians

  • God’s Will: Purity

    Posted on February 20, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4

    When we signed up to be a Christian, we signed away our old way of life. We became counter cultural in our character. We no longer tolerate sin in our actions, because we have a new life in Christ. Once saved, we were set apart for the will of Almighty God. We are separated from society's acceptance of deviant behavior. We are in the process of being purified by the Holy Spirit for our Savior’s purposes. Like a compliant child, we want to obey our heavenly Father.

    Yes, we have God given urges: to sleep, eat, drink, and have sex. However, these desires can be a blessing or a curse. It depends on our willingness to follow the Lord’s plan for these perfectly legitimate instinctive actions. Lazy behavior can be the fruit of too much sleep, gluttony feeds unbridled eating, shameful drunkenness comes from excessive drinking and immorality is the outcome of sexual behavior between a man and woman outside of marriage. God’s will is for our urges to be under the control of His Spirit. Sexual purity frees us from an obsessive appetite.

    "The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord,and the Lord for the body"(1 Corinthians 6:13).

    A flippant treatment of the body is unfaithfulness to the Lord. Sexual purity honors the Lord, sexual impurity dishonors the Lord. Sexual purity provides security, sexual impurity creates insecurity. Sexual purity protects from disease, sexual impurity invites illness. Sexual purity is free from regrets, sexual impurity wrestles with guilt. Sexual purity builds marriages, sexual impurity tears down marriages. God’s will is to live pure and free under the Spirit’s control.

    Therefore, present your body on the altar of God’s holiness. Be purified by His Spirit and set apart for obedience to His commands. Your relationship with your body reflects your relationship with God. Thus, love and nourish yourself physically, as you love and nourish yourself spiritually. Your Creator created your beautiful body for Himself. Your sanctified self makes God smile. Save yourself for physical intimacy in marriage and you will grow in intimacy with Jesus.

    "Therefore, I urge you,brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conformto the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:1-2).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I present my body to be purified on the altar of Your holiness.

    Related Readings: 1 Corinthians 5:9-11; Romans 6:19; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 3:17

    Post/Tweet today: Our relationship with our body reflects our relationship with God. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • God’s Will: Thankfulness

    Posted on February 19, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

    Thankfulness is abnormal for the unbeliever, but normal for the believer. A heart void of God’s grace is incapable of consistently initiating gratitude, but a heart governed by grace can’t hold back a thankful expression. It erupts in public worship and praise to God. It naturally flows from joyful lips in private prayers. Like a small child ecstatic over the gift of a new doll or toy truck, so those who have received the gift of salvation are exuberant over their abundant life in Christ.

    Indeed, grace is the gift of God that keeps on giving. Not only are we its recipient at conversion, but His grace continues to infuse our faith day by day, until that day we appear with Him. Yes, gratitude keeps our attitude focused on the Lord’s goodness. He is still good, when others are bad. He is still good, when we are sad. He is still good, when we are mad. He is still good, when we doubt. He is still good, when we struggle. So, we remain thankful regardless of our situation.

    "And we know that in all things God works for the goodof those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).

    There are obstacles to exercising God’s will of thanksgiving in all circumstances. A wounded heart can’t see beyond its own hurt and anger. There is no gratitude, only disappointment with God and people. Why would my Savior allow me to be hurt? The heart of Jesus hurts when we hurt. His Spirit enters into our pain with comfort and compassion. Our pain is not an excuse to pout, but to pour out our emotions to the Healer of our heart. Gratefulness is God’s antibiotic.

    What can you release to Jesus for Him to handle? A relationship? A health issue? A past pain? Let go and let God do His work of grace. Perhaps you daily journal the blessings of God. Thank Him for your joy in Jesus Christ. Thank Him for the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the food you eat. Thank Him for physical shelter from the elements and spiritual shelter from the enemy. God’s will for you is to be grateful. Your thanksgiving inspires others to be thankful!

    "Let the peace of Christrule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.And be thankful" (Colossians 3:15).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am thankful for Your grace and peace You provide in all situations.

    Related Readings: Romans 1:21; 2 Corinthians 4:15; Ephesians 5:20; Hebrews 12:28

    Post/Tweet today: Our pain is not an excuse to pout, but to pour out our emotions to the Healer of our heart. #God’swillthankfulness

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Sharing Our Lives

    Posted on December 3, 2013 by Amy Carroll

    Amy Carroll

    "We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us." 1 Thessalonians 2:8 (NIV 1984)

    A few years ago, one of my son's friends, Lindsey, began asking some big questions. He had the chance to talk with her about Jesus, and at a church youth retreat Lindsey gave her life to the Lord.

    It was a thrill to watch her fall in love with Jesus and begin a brand new life. She had lots of questions and thankfully many people lived out 1 Thessalonians 2:8 for her: "We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us." (NIV 1984)

    Friends put aside the time they'd normally spend watching TV to come alongside Lindsey. She was surrounded with support at school. Others got up early to pick her up for church and welcomed her in their youth group. Adult friends visited Lindsey's home and built relationships with her family. And I led a small group to help teach some of the basic foundations of the faith and practices that lead to spiritual growth.

    I haven't always walked alongside new believers though. Sometimes I've abandoned them, without sharing my life or what I've learned. Sadly, when I look around me, often newborn Christians are sent out into their fresh spiritual life with little more than a "God bless you" and pat on the back.

    These excited new followers of Jesus set off on an unfamiliar path brimming with zeal and hope. But they stumble quickly without mature Christians to answer their questions, clear up confusion, and encourage them through the inevitable rough spots. Although no one can snatch them from their Father's hand, many new Christians fall prey to discouragement and walk along paths that Scripture warns against.

    There are many reasons that new Christians are abandoned and left to walk alone without nourishment or protection. One key reason is the busyness of our culture. Our time is stretched between families, jobs, friendships, computer, TV, etc.

    Nurturing a baby Christian means sharing our lives, like 1 Thessalonians 2:8 says. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes commitment. But most of all it takes love. Robert Coleman, author of The Master Plan of Evangelism, says, "There is a lot of talk in the church about evangelism and Christian nurture, but little concern for personal association when it becomes evident that such work involves the sacrifice of personal indulgence."

    Ouch! I really wish he would move along and get out of my personal space! He continues, "Unless new Christians have parents or friends who will fill the gap in a real way, they are left entirely on their own to find the solutions to innumerable practical problems confronting their lives, any one of which could mean disaster to their new faith."

    Lindsey doesn't have a lot of pain in her background. But what about baby Christians who have baggage? Financial crisis, promiscuity, addiction, and bitterness are just a few of the very real issues with which new Christians grapple ... and mature Christians can help them walk through based on what the Bible says.

    Will we commit to feeding, nurturing, and loving these new followers of Jesus? It may seem easier to gently pat them on the back and walk away, but the toll is too high not to invite them into our lives. Trusting in the transforming power of Christ and asking Him to make us an instrument of His grace, let's care for these precious new believers.

    Dear Lord, You are a kind, loving, and nurturing Father. Help me to follow in Your footsteps as I nurture Your new children. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Feed—Ask a young Christian to attend a Bible study with you. Go out to coffee to discuss it afterward.

    Nurture—Call a new Christian to share something that helps you to grow. Ask for requests and pray with her.

    Protect—Do you see a new Christian struggling with a sin with which you've found victory? Be transparent and share your story!

    Power Verses:
    1 Peter 2:2-3, "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Amy Carroll. 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 Thessalonians

  • Reunited

    Posted on November 6, 2013 by Micca Campbell

    Micca Campbell

    "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (NIV)

    When my husband died, a part of me died too. Pain and fear surrounded me during those dark days. I ached inside and felt so lost, empty, and alone. I missed him terribly.

    At times, my need for his comforting touch was so strong it would play tricks on my mind. Once, I saw a man who resembled my husband driving a red truck just like Porter's. I followed that truck for miles. As my heart pounded with hope, nothing else mattered more in that moment than catching up to the truck. I was willing to drive to the ends of the earth if necessary.

    When I finally caught up with him at a red light and our eyes met, my fantasy ended with a devastating halt. It was as if a cruel joke had been played on me. Weakened by the truth, I pulled into a nearby parking lot, lay across the seat of my car, and wept. As the sun set, the temperature inside the car cooled. Sitting up, I wiped my face, zipped up my coat, and headed for home—without my husband.

    There was a great sense of loss, thinking I'd never see Porter again. Maybe you can relate and have experienced grief too? If so, you may be encouraged by this truth: for those who love and know the Lord, parting is only temporary. It's not really goodbye, but see-you-later.

    The apostle Paul assured the Thessalonians of this truth.

    "The dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever" (1 Thessalonians 4:16b-17 NIV).

    That assurance is for us too. There are three words in Paul's statement that provide hope, comfort, and assurance for the brokenhearted: we, together, and them.

    We (people on earth) who are still alive will be caught up together (two parties meeting) with them (those who are in heaven).

    These words of reunion indicate that God's children never have to experience permanent separation. That's good news! One day you and I will be reunited with our loved ones who believed in Jesus while on Earth. What a glorious day that will be.

    Once I really took hold of this truth, my heart settled. Though I still walked through days of missing my husband, the firm grip sadness had on me lost its strangling hold.

    Now, grief no longer burdens my heart. I have hope in God's promise that one day I'll be reunited with Porter, my two grandmothers, and my grandfathers. Holding on to that hope has eased death's sting and filled my heart with anticipation.

    Even in grief there is hope. For those who accept the Lord as their Savior, death is not goodbye. It's simply see-you-later.

    Dear Lord, thank You for communicating to us words of a glorious reunion one day. Thank You that death is not the end. When my grief runs deep, remind my heart to hope in Your truth. I will see my loved ones again. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:


    Reflect and Respond:

    Who can you share this good news with today who needs comfort?

    Power Verses:
    John 14:2-3, "There are many rooms in my Father's house. If this were not true, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. If I go and do that, I will come back. And I will take you to be with me. Then you will also be where I am." (NIRV)

    © 2013 by Micca Campbell. 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 Thessalonians

  • Affectionate Father

    Posted on June 16, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12

    Am I an affectionate father? Like the geyser “Old Faithful,” do I spontaneously spew out love and affection on my children? Am I faithful to fill my daughter or son’s emotional tank with a warm embrace or a kiss on the head? Or am I so caught up in my own career and needs that I have no emotional capacity to give affection? Affection must be displayed.

    A father with affection reflects his heavenly Father’s affection for him. It is out of an overflow of being comforted and loved by Christ that redeemed fathers show affection to their children. When the Holy Spirit gives us a warm and secure hug, we can’t help but hug our children and grandchildren. Eternal affection translates into earthly affection.

    “Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today” (Deuteronomy 10:15).

    Perhaps you have a routine of kissing and hugging your children each time you leave home and when you arrive home. There is no rushing out the door until you have made emotional deposits in your most valued relational account. Your child is your lockbox of love, waiting with a tender heart to be touched by their daddy. Initiate hugs and kisses.

    When a child’s heart hurts from fear, rejection, or physical harm, move closer with care and compassion. Listen with empathetic ears and outstretched arms. Affectionate fathers are up close and personal, distant fathers are unsympathetic and impersonal. Your seeds of affection reap a harvest of healthy adult children who want to come back home.

    "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20b).

    Since He sets His affections on you, you set your affections on Almighty God. A father who is first loved by his heavenly Father  has the capacity to love his children appropriately and fully. Adult children who have experienced their father’s affection more easily show affection. So seek affection above and then apply it below.

    “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:8).

    Prayer: Do I regularly receive affection from my heavenly Father? How can I intentionally be the most affectionate with my children?
    Related Readings: 2 Kings 17:41; Psalm 103:13; Malachi 4:6; Luke 11:13

    Post/Tweet today: When the Holy Spirit gives us a warm and secure hug, we can’t help but hug our children and grandchildren. #hugs

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


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

  • Big Challenges

    Posted on January 11, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:36-37

    Big challenges challenge those strongest in the faith. David faced the biggest challenge of his young life when his life and liberties (economic, political, religious) were at risk. However, the Lord is larger than any hard times looming on the horizon. Heaven’s resources are more than adequate to face down earth’s formidable giants of fear or hopelessness. Challenges are Christ’s opportunity to lead us into intimacy and innovation with Him. The Lord likes a challenge.

    What big obstacle are you facing that threatens your security? Look back on God’s track record of faithfulness and take heart at His effectiveness. You may face the giant of loneliness in your home. You can feel lonelier married than single, if the one you love does not love you back. Get alone with your heavenly Father for His comforting presence. He cares. Seek out the support of a safe community with whom you can be vulnerable. Giants flee in the face of praying friends.

    “We boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.” 1 Thessalonians 1:4

    Perhaps uncontrolled anger is consistently the big challenge you face. The stress of life has led you into unhealthy habits. Alcohol is like a fuse that detonates an explosion of anger in your mind. It numbs your heart. Allow the grace of God to heal your hurting heart or you will continue to hurt others. Take your pain to the cross and crucify it where Christ died for your sins. Healing comes as you are honest with yourself, God and others. Receive God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself.

    Above all else, look into the face of your heavenly Father as you face big challenges. He will give you the wisdom to get the work done. He will give you the relationships and resources that resonate with what needs to be accomplished. He will give you the faith to keep moving forward. There is no mountain of tribulation that you cannot traverse  with  trust in the Lord. Stay on the journey with Jesus and He will see you through. Big challenges reveal your big God!

    “None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” Romans 8:37-39, The Message

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for facing down my big challenges for Christ sake.

    Related Readings: Job 16:20; Isaiah 41:10; John 16:33; 2 Peter 2:9; Revelation 3:10

    Post/Tweet today: Look into the face of your heavenly Father as you face big challenges. #trust

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Romans, 1 Thessalonians, 1 Samuel

  • Never Give Up Hope

    Posted on December 19, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” Luke 2:25-26

     

    Sometimes the Lord gives His children a promise or assurance that is not fulfilled until later in life. It’s in this process of time that trust needs to stand firmly vigilant over a soul, like the ever present Queen’s Guard at the gates of Buckingham Palace. God’s promise sometimes requires a pregnancy of obedience before the vision is birthed. Hope in Jesus is a lifeline that leads Christians to trust in His promises. Hope holds on to God.

    The coming of Christ at Christmas is our hope incarnate. The promise of His first entrance to earth took generations to fulfill, just as His second coming has. So, as we wait on our ultimate hope of reigning with Jesus, we enjoy His presence in prayer and faithfulness. What has the Spirit revealed to you that you will one day experience? A loved one’s salvation, children who love God, a healed hurt, a volunteer ministry or a best friend? 

    “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:3

    Your hope in Christ gives you the capacity to grow old with grace. You anticipate being better because, with understanding, you come to know the Lord better. While the body gradually grows old, your faith grows more robust like an aged bottle of fine wine. The flavor of your words are tasty to other thirsty hearts and your luscious love gives hope.

    Furthermore, do not discount the hope you personally provide for other people. Your weekly visit to the nursing home gives life to those ebbing toward the end of life. Your coaching and mentoring of younger leaders gives them confidence and peace to persevere. Your financial gift to a ministry gives them hope to carry on for Christ. Never give up hope and you will always be able to give hope. Hope in Jesus brings great joy!

    “May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.” 2 Thessalonians 2:17  The Message

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I place my hope in You so I can extend other’s hope.

    Related Readings: Job 6:8; Micah 5:3; Hebrews 3:6; Titus 2:13

    Post/Tweet today: Hope in Christ gives us the capacity to grow old with grace. #hope

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    Order our new book: Seeking Daily the Heart of God, vol. II... http://bit.ly/Tv6y9a


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Luke, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, Hope

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