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Tag Archives: 2 Corinthians

  • Wise Dating

    Posted on May 24, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV)

     

    What relational path honors the Lord and honors my dating? Ask objectively; is there agreement in faith, family and values? Dating relationships that honestly ask heart felt questions flush out communication and prepare a couple for success, as God defines success. Wise dating waits for God’s best and is not suddenly smitten by surface feelings.  If, for example, an older teenager, college student or single adult is “in love” with someone who does not practice faith in Jesus Christ, then the probabilities for a long-term successful relationship is very low. It’s hard enough to work through personality differences, diverse family backgrounds and character development without adding disagreement in the foundational issue of faith in God and obedience to Him.

     

    Start with belief in Jesus Christ and love for Him as your beginning point for being together in a dating relationship and you have a good base to build upon. Like a beautiful house with a cracked cement foundation are two pretty people without both being disciples of Jesus. Committed Christian relationships are not perfect, but they persevere.

     

    “Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (4:11-12).

    Be careful to not let the feeling of “being in love” trump the reality of the other person being a genuine follower and lover of the Lord. Emotions can accelerate bad decision-making, if not tempered by wisdom and accountability. This is why wise young people engage the wisdom and counsel of their dad and mom. Wise dating is accountable. You are accountable to the Lord and you are accountable to your parents. Choosing to date someone is not like spontaneously shopping for what’s on sale—it is a prayerful and prudent process. Much better to stop an unwise relationship in the beginning, than to later have to untangle a complex web of emotions and physical indiscretions. Be wise to date in groups—don’t be alone together in compromising situations. Wisdom is preemptive.

     

    Lastly, wise dating honors the Lord by honoring your body with purity. True love does not prove itself in sexual intimacy, because “love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:3). When you wait and save yourself for your wedding day—it’s honoring to your marriage and to the Lord. Focus your energy and emotion into spiritual growth—you will have no regrets. Wise dating prayerfully recognizes a greater objective that is purposed in Christ.

     

    “With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ” (Ephesians 1:8b-9).

     

    Prayer: Does my dating relationship honor the Lord? Am I accountable to Him and my parents?

     

    Related Readings: Genesis 24: 3-4; Psalm 24:3-5; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 6:1-3

     

    Post/Tweet today: Emotions can accelerate bad decision-making, if not tempered by wisdom and accountability. #emotions

    © 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 2 Corinthians, Dating

  • God is Able

    Posted on May 20, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

     

    God is able. He is able to abundantly bless in all things at all times.  God is able to provide what is needed for every good work. He is able when I am unable. He is able to soften my heart when I am unable to listen.  He is able to illumine my thoughts when I am unable to understand the truth. He is able to love me when I am unable to love myself. God is able. Yes! His Spirit is able to intercede on my behalf when I am unable to pray. My Lord Jesus is ready, willing and able.

     

    God is able to supply the needs of His people through His people. He is able to make us rich in every way so we can be generous on all occasions. Thus, we have emotional, physical, spiritual and financial capacity to give to others. Yes, margin (extra) gives us space in our brain to be creative, room in our heart to be compassionate, and surplus money with which to be generous. Indeed, we have more to give to others when we steward our resources for the sake of service.

     

    Spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. Isaiah 58:10

     

    So, what are we to do when God is able, but unwilling? What if His help seems delayed or unresponsive? First, we are reassured knowing the character of our Heavenly Father is 100% trustworthy. He is good and He desires what’s best for His children. Furthermore, our will does not always align with the Lord’s will. Free will is free to chose badly. Thus, we require the Spirit’s ‘will alignment’ by renewing our mind and purifying our heart. Clarity comes from cleansing and repentance. God is able, but we may not be ready, so we remain steady in prayer.

     

    Whatever you are facing, your Heavenly Father is able to face down. In your fear He will give you faith and courage to meet your challenge with grace and commitment. In your new opportunity He will teach you the skill of listening, so you can learn to go further, faster. In your conflict He will model for you the art of peacemaking, so you can bring harmony to a hurting home. In your success, He will keep you grateful and humble through your generous giving. God is able to bless you beyond measure, so you can be a trusted pass through for His ample supply!

     

    Therefore he [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:25

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You are able to bless me to be a blessing to others.

     

    Related Readings: Daniel 3:17; Psalm 18:48; Jeremiah 1:8; Mark 1:40;  1 Corinthians 4:19

     

    Post/Tweet today: Whatever you are facing, your Heavenly Father is able to face down. In your fear He will give you faith. #faith

    © 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 2 Corinthians

  • Worldly Wisdom

    Posted on April 29, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace” 2 Corinthians 1:12.

     

    Worldly wisdom has a way of reducing heaven’s wisdom to an afterthought. After  our worldly wisdom doesn't work, we pray and seek to discern the Lord’s ways.. It’s tempting to rely on what seems to work instead of seeking  the principles to live by based on  God’s economy. Worldly wisdom is not only inferior,  it is also a competitor with God’s grace.

     

    The Lord sees the world’s wisdom as foolishness and the world sees His wisdom as foolishness. Some who embrace the wisdom of the world say there is no personal God, but God says in His wisdom that this thinking flows from  a fool. The fool says in his heart, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). Sadly, the world’s wisdom has no room for Jesus.

     

    “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:21)

     

    Worldly wisdom is flashier and sexier in its appeal—it invites pride to perch over those who have not yet achieved a superior standpoint. Ironically, the created dismisses the Creator as antiquated and out of touch. The traditional tenants of an all knowing and ever present sovereign God are silly and irrational to this irreverent system of belief. But what worldly wisdom embraces as  truly enlightened, the Lord defines as educated fools.

     

    “Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20)

     

    Therefore, do not try to outsmart your Savior Jesus Christ with intelligence void of humility and the fear of God. Academics, without an infusion of faith in Almighty God, leads down a reckless path of disconnection from Deity. However, wise is the man or woman who is full of the grace of God, and who studies truth long and hard for the glory of God.

     

    Faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God is not a leap into the dark; rather it is a step into the light. Christian belief is based on the historical fact of His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. For some the Lord’s wisdom wins out over their own and  they begin to seek out  people and places that possess His knowledge. “I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness” (Ecclesiastes 2:13).

     

    Prayer: Am I embracing and believing the wisdom of the world or Almighty God’s?

     

    Related Readings: Isaiah 29:14; Jeremiah 8:9; James 3:13-18

     

    Post/Tweet today: What worldly wisdom embraces as truly enlightened, the Lord defines as educated fools. #worldlywisdom

    © 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 2 Corinthians

  • Worldly Wisdom

    Posted on April 27, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace” (2 Corinthians 1:12).

    Worldly wisdom has a way of reducing Heaven’s wisdom to an afterthought. Using our worldly wisdom, we pray and seek to discern the Lord’s ways only after our ways do not work. It is tempting to rely on what seems to work instead of asking what the principles to live by are, based on God’s economy. Worldly wisdom is not only inferior but also competes with God’s grace.

    The Lord sees the world’s wisdom as foolishness, and the world sees His wisdom as foolishness. Some who embrace the wisdom of the world say there is no personal God, but God says in His wisdom, this thinking flows from a fool. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). Sadly, the world’s wisdom has no room for Jesus.

    “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).

    Worldly wisdom is flashier and sexier in its appeal. It invites pride to perch over those who have not yet achieved a superior standpoint. Ironically, the created dismisses the Creator as antiquated and out of touch. The traditional tenants of an all-knowing and ever-present Sovereign God are silly and irrational to this irreverent system of belief. But whomworldly wisdom embraces as the truly enlightened, the Lord defines as educated fools.

    “Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20).

    Therefore, do not try to outsmart your Savior Jesus Christ with intelligence void of humility and the fear of God. Academics, without an infusion of faith in almighty God, lead down a reckless path of disconnection from Deity. However, wise is the man or woman who is full of the grace of God and studies truth long and hard for the glory of God.

    Faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God is not a leap into the dark; rather, it is a step into the light. Christian belief is based on the historical fact of His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. For some, the Lord’s wisdom wins out over their own, and they begin to seek out those people and places that possess His knowledge. “I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness” (Ecclesiastes 2:13).

    Prayer: Am I embracing and believing the wisdom of the world or almighty God’s wisdom?

    Related Readings: Isaiah 29:14; Jeremiah 8:9; James 3:13–18

     

    Post/Tweet: Whom worldly wisdom embraces as the truly enlightened, the Lord defines as educated fools. #truewisdom

    © 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 2 Corinthians, Wisdom

  • A Fresh Start

    Posted on January 22, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view." 2 Corinthians 5:16a (NLT)

    She worries when I don't wear a coat.

    She washes her dishes before she puts them in the dishwasher.

    I never know what she's going to say, and her honesty can make me blush, laugh until I cry, or just cry.

    She's my mom, and I love her.

    Growing up, things were very different. My mom was beautiful on the outside, but broken on the inside. That brokenness made our home life chaotic and unstable with out of control rages and suicidal threats. As a child I felt unsafe. As a teen I struggled between loving her and hating her.

    When I became a believer I understood love for the first time, but it was easier to accept than to give.

    By the time I was an adult my mom had made significant changes, but the effects of a childhood laced with instability and chaos still marked my heart. I asked God for a fresh start, not just for her sake, but for my own.

    As I pored over the Scriptures, the word forgive continually leapt off the pages. God was speaking to me through His Word and giving me direction. I wasn't sure I could do it, but somehow knew freedom was on the other side.

    The word forgive has different meanings in Scripture, and one of them is kaphar. That's a Greek word meaning to purge or pitch. It originates from the Hebrew word for atonement, which means to cleanse or cover.

    Why is this meaning so important?

    By beginning the process of forgiving, I was purging or pitching the entanglements of the past in order to begin anew. This could happen regardless of whether my mom completely changed or not.

    This also allowed me to begin to see myself as a woman, rather than the child I once was. That changed my perspective from a limited view to one that included the chapters that God had always seen.

    I saw the chapters in my mom's life. She was a girl who had a baby too young, married to a man who abused her. She had always desired to be a good mom, but no one had shown her how.

    My new perspective allowed me to see the changes she was trying to make, and those already in place. This allowed me to accept the things that might never change.

    It also created new chapters in our relationship as we began to connect without the filter of the past.

    Kaphar forgiveness is a gift. It allows you to pitch the past and its entanglements, and it covers the new relationship with God's grace.

    It also helps me to appreciate the small things, like the fact that my mom will always tell me to wear a coat. She will continue to wash the dishes before she places them in the dishwasher.

    And we will continue to grow as mother and daughter.

    The kaphar gift of forgiveness offers the opportunity for new chapters in a relationship . . . and a fresh slate upon which the words can be penned.

    Dear Lord, will you help me begin the journey of forgiveness, pitching out the past to accept all that You have for me. . . and perhaps, even us, as we start fresh? In Jesus' Name, Amen.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    "In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another." Andy Stanley, Enemies of the Heart

    Do you need to forgive someone? Here are two tips to help you reframe your relationship:

    Practice the pause. Sometimes we offer a knee-jerk reaction based on the hurts of the past. Pausing allows you to think before you speak, to pray, and see the real issue instead of filtering the moment through old feelings.

    Give it time. Transformation is a process, one that unfolds layers of hurt to reveal new skin underneath. It won't always be easy, and working through that pain just might be an answer to prayer.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 103:12, "He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Suzie Eller. 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 2 Corinthians, Forgiveness

  • From Overpowered to Empowered

    Posted on January 10, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

    It was one of those days. I was driving to the airport in the pouring rain. The skies were grey. The day felt a bit gloomy. And honestly, so did I.

    There were just a lot of little things swarming my thoughts. Feelings of inadequacy stinging. "There are so many things I'm responsible for and never enough hours in the day. I do enough to keep things from sinking. But I just wonder if I'm doing anything well. I don't think I am ... doing anything well."

    The more I focused on these thoughts, the more overpowered I became. The more overpowered I became, the more withdrawn I felt.

    I pulled into the parking space and started the fight with my luggage. My suitcase has two wheels missing. And of course I keep intending to do something about this. But I don't have time. So I make do with a crazy suitcase and a crazy life and a crazy sense I should just pack my family up and move out west somewhere. Live on a ranch where we grow our own food and I cook beans in a black pot over an open flame.

    Surely that would fix everything.

    Except that I know it wouldn't.

    Because the chaos isn't from my circumstances. It's inside me.

    I boarded the plane. I stared out the window. I watched the grey clouds envelop us.

    And then the grey broke.

    Suddenly, we rose above the clouds and the sun was shining brightly. The sky was fabulously clear.

    The clouds were just a temporary covering. They didn't stop the sun from shining. They just prevented my eyes from seeing the sun. And it wasn't just the sky that appeared a little brighter. My mood did as well.

    I started to shift from feeling overpowered to empowered as I realized three things:

    Just because I feel it doesn't make it real.

    Just like I felt the sun was gone but it wasn't, I might feel like I'm not doing anything well, but it doesn't make it true. The fact that I have weaknesses doesn't make everything about me weak. I have plenty of strengths.

    All I have to do is ask a couple of my friends or my family members to help me see what I do well. I can celebrate those, and then get a plan for bettering things that need improvement. I can start by identifying one thing to improve on this month. And do a little toward making that one thing better.

    There are a lot of people who would trade their best day for my worst day.

    Yes, I have a lot to manage. And yes, sometimes things get a little foggy. But that doesn't mean I have to stay swallowed up in the grey. That means I need to get my head above the clouds and see all the many places where the sun is shining brightly in my life. So, I can start making a list of things for which I need to be thankful.

    My mind needs some space to think.

    If I always run at a breakneck pace, I'm eventually going to break. My mind is a powerful tool, capable of seeing things that can be done more efficiently and effectively if I give myself time to think. When is the last time I just sat quietly with a pen and paper and asked the Lord to help me think?

    As 2 Corinthians 12:9 teaches, God's power is made perfect in weakness. When I'm sinking in thoughts of inadequacy and plans to relocate out west, I remember that my ability is not based on what I can do. My ability and strength come from the One who can do all things. With the Lord working in me and through my weaknesses, I can feel the transformation from being overpowered to empowered taking place.

    If the clouds have been looming close lately, maybe it's time to stop. Pause. Lift your eyes to an altitude that can rearrange your attitude.

    Dear Lord, only You can provide all I need to stay the course. Please replenish me with a new attitude as I try to see above my grey clouds today. Help me to refocus my attention to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    The Unglued Bible Study will also help you understand what the Bible says about better ways to react. To order your copy click here.

    Reflect and Respond:
    1. Identify one thing to improve on this month.
    2. Make a list of five things you are thankful for.
    3. Commit 5-10 minutes today to sit quietly with a pen and paper and ask the Lord to help you think.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 34:17-18, "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. 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 2 Corinthians

  • Come And See

    Posted on January 1, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    "Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip." John 1:45-46

     

    Come and see. Come and see Jesus the Son of God. Come and see Jesus the Savior of the world. Come and see Jesus the forgiver of sins. Come and see Jesus, a best friend and servant. Come and see Jesus: teacher, student and healer. Come and see Jesus: Master, Lord and King of Kings. Come and see Jesus and be saved for evermore. Eyes of faith feast on a relationship with Jesus. 

    We have the privilege as Christ followers to invite people to come and see Jesus. When the lost encounter Christ they can see the way more clearly. By God's grace seekers can see His work of grace in our speech and in our unspoken words. They see our kindness in the face of unkindness. They see our respect when we are disrespected. They see our love when we are unloved. They see us forgive when we are rejected. Christ in us is a window into the wonders of God's grace.

    "You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts." 2 Corinthians 3:3

    Who do you know who needs to know God? Who can you invite to come and see Jesus? Indeed, you earn the right to invite by first investing in their life. You invest, then you invite. You invest in prayer and fasting for a friend to come to faith. You invest in caring for a child, so perhaps their parents might become children of God. You invest financially in a needy family, so they can receive the true riches of a relationship and fellowship with Christ.

    You appeal to a person’s intellect with Christ’s fulfillment of prophecy and then conversion to Him is sealed when they experience Jesus in their heart. Facts without faith creates knowledge unredeemed. But when you introduce others to Jesus in a loving relationship they are redeemed by Jesus. Keep your passionate fellowship with your Savior fresh and you will naturally want others to meet your best friend. You can say come and see Jesus, because you have seen Jesus!

    “You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.” Acts 22:15

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me courage to invite others to come and see Christ.

    Related Readings: Job 13:1; Isaiah 66:19; 1 Corinthians 2:9;  1 John 1:1

    Post/Tweet today: We earn the right to invite someone to Jesus by investing in their life. #invest

    © 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 2 Corinthians, Acts, John

  • Agreed Expectations

    Posted on December 29, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?”
    (Amos 3:3).

     

    Sometimes it is difficult to agree upon expectations, and in reality, we deal daily with expectation management. We are expected to do certain things at work, at home, and in friendships. We also project expectations on others. We know God expects faithfulness from us, and we have our expectations of Him, but expectations can get us into trouble.

    We can expect the wrong things Our expectations can be unclear or unrealistic or unrighteous. The same can be said of what others expect of us. At work you thought one outcome was expected while your supervisor expected something different. Even after the goals were put into writing, there were still different interpretations of the facts.

    Indeed, it is easy to corral expectations of simple tasks. I can expect or even require my children to complete their homework. This is not unreasonable. I would be an unfit parent if I did not provide some framework of expectations for my children. However, I would be an equally ineffective parent if I had expectations of my children but did not communicate them with grace and understanding. Clarifying expectations takes time.

    “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

    Furthermore, the more your trust grows in a relationship, the fewer the expectations Trust precludes the need for expectations. Trust causes many expectations to expire. When you place your total trust in God, you default to character expectations. You expect His love to be unconditional. You expect His forgiveness to be infinite. You expect to avail yourself of  His wisdom. Your expectations are character driven rather than cynically driven.

    It becomes about God’s will, not our wants. Healthy expectations revolve around God and His desires. The focus is off me but on God and others. He orchestrates the concert of life; so the goal is to discover His role for me and follow His lead. Then the motive with people becomes one of serving them in order to carry out God’s plan for their lives.

    How can you facilitate understanding God’s will for your spouse, child, or work associate? This is not always easy to discern but character-driven expectations can get to the point of their true need, and you can help meet that need. Focus on building trust in the relationship, and communication will flow more clearly and compassionately.

    Focus on fewer expectations and more on trust. Allow your expectations to begin and end with the character of God. Expect less, you will receive more. You can expect His faithfulness. Agree to expect what God expects, and allow your expectant desires to birth God’s will. “And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us” (2 Corinthians 8:5).

    Prayer: What does the Lord expect of me in the life roles He has assigned to me?

    Related Readings: Job 29:21; Psalm 5:3; Matthew 20:1–16; Philippians 1:20 

    Post/Tweet: Focus on fewer expectations and more  trust. Expect less,  you will receive more. #expectations© 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 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Amos

  • From Overpowered to Empowered

    Posted on December 20, 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

    It was one of those days. I was driving to the airport in the pouring rain. The skies were grey. The day felt a bit gloomy. And honestly, so did I.

    There were just a lot of little things swarming my thoughts. Feelings of inadequacy stinging. There are so many things I'm responsible for and never enough hours in the day. I do enough to keep things from sinking. But I just wonder if I'm doing anything well. I don't think I am – doing anything well.

    The more I focused on these thoughts, the more overpowered I became. The more overpowered I became, the more withdrawn I felt.

    I pulled into the parking space and started the fight with my luggage. My suitcase has two wheels missing. And of course I keep intending to do something about this. But I don't have time. So I make do with a crazy suitcase and a crazy life and a crazy sense I should pack my family up and move out West. Live on a ranch where we grow our own food and I cook beans in a black pot over an open flame.

    Surely that would fix everything.

    Except that I know it wouldn't.

    Because the chaos isn't from my circumstances. It's inside me.

    I boarded the plane. I stared out the window. I watched the grey clouds envelop us.

    And then the grey broke.

    Suddenly, we rose above the clouds and the sun was shining crazy bright and far wide and fabulously clear.

    The clouds were just a temporary covering. They didn't stop the sun from shining. They just prevented my eyes from seeing the sun. And it wasn't just the sky that appeared a little brighter. My mood did as well.

    I started to shift from feeling overpowered to empowered as I realized three things:

    Just because I feel it doesn't make it real.

    Just like I felt the sun was gone but it was very much still there, I might feel like I'm not doing anything well, but it doesn't make it true. The fact that I have weaknesses doesn't make everything about me weak. I have plenty of strengths.

    All I have to do is ask a couple of my friends or my family members to help me see what I do well. I can celebrate those, and then get a plan for bettering things that need improvement. I can start by identifying one thing to improve on this month. And do a little toward making that one thing better.

    There are a lot of people who would trade their best day for my worst day.

    Yes, I have a lot to manage. And yes, sometimes things get foggy. But that doesn't mean I have to stay swallowed up in the grey. That means I need to get my head above the clouds and see all the places where the sun is shining brightly in my life. I can make a list of things for which I need to be thankful.

    My mind needs some space to think.

    If I always run at a breakneck pace, I'm eventually going to break. My mind is a powerful tool, capable of seeing things that can be done more efficiently and effectively if I give myself time to think. When is the last time I just sat quietly with a pen and paper and asked the Lord to help me think?

    As 2 Corinthians 12:9 teaches, God's power is made perfect in weakness. Just when I think I'm sinking in thoughts of inadequacy and plans to relocate out West, I remember that my ability is not based on what I can do. My ability and strength come from the One who can do all things. With the Lord working in me and through my weaknesses, I can feel the transformation from being overpowered to empowered taking place.

    If the clouds have been looming close lately, maybe it's time to stop. Pause. Lift your eyes to an altitude that can rearrange your attitude.

    Dear Lord, only You can provide all I need to stay the course. Please replenish me with a new attitude as I try to see above my grey clouds today. Help me to refocus my attention to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    God gave us feelings to experience life, not destroy it! If you're feeling overpowered by your emotions during this holiday season, add Lysa TerKeurst's Unglued to your wish list.

    The accompanying Unglued Bible Study will also help you understand what the Bible says about better ways to react. To order your copy click here.

    Reflect and Respond:
    1. Identify one thing to improve on this month.
    2. Make a list of 5 things you are thankful for.
    3. Commit 5-10 minutes a day to sit quietly with a pen and paper and ask the Lord to help you think.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 34:17-18, "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (NIV)

    © 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst. 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 2 Corinthians

  • Walk By Faith

    Posted on December 3, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    "For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

     

    Eyes of faith are for this world, while eyes of sight are for eternity, where we see Jesus face to face—there faith is not necessary. Ironically, if we attempt to walk by sight we are blind to the things of God, but if we walk by faith we can fully see the ways of the Lord. On earth blindness to God breeds confusion, but eyes of faith receive vision and clarity. Thus, walk by faith and watch Him work. 

    For example: forgiving an offender (who has no remorse) seems irresponsible now, but ultimately brings peace through God's forgiveness of us. Or, if the Lord guides you to walk away from a deal, a relationship or a job, do so even if you don't completely understand why. Say no to what you see and yes to what you don't see. Your Savior Jesus has given you spiritual sight to see and act with conviction.

    "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12

    Indeed, your view or understanding is not the perception of your heavenly Father's. Like a student observing the master sculptor whose statue is only half hewn out of marble, the gifted artist has the completed masterpiece in his mind's eye, but only reveals the work as it progresses. In the same way, God knows the intricate details of your destination and He makes known to you His plan as is proper. You are a wonderful work of His sculptured grace.

    Your physical eyes grow tired and dim as time rushes by, however your spiritual eyes grow more keenly robust with age. Put on the faith colored glasses of God's grace and you will see things as He wants them to become: a faithful and fun marriage, a job with joy and fulfillment, a clear calling, children who love Jesus and good habits that replace bad. Walk by faith and experience the abundance of Christ's capacity. Let the Lord heal your lame legs of unbelief, then once again walk robustly with Him!

    “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.” Hebrews 11:7

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me daily in a faith walk with Your son Jesus.

    Related Readings: Mark 10:52; 2 Corinthians 4:18; Hebrews 11:1; 1 John 3:2

    Post/Tweet today: Eyes of faith are for this world, while eyes of sight are for eternity where we see Jesus face to face. #faith

    © 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 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Hebrews

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