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Tag Archives: Acts

  • Cultural Christianity

    Posted on July 2, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    She [Lydia] was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. Acts 16:14-15

    Cultural Christianity has a form of godliness but no faith in Christ. There is a resemblance to righteousness, but not an authentic heart change. Because the culture may understand the tenets of Christianity, a citizen may think their birthright into that society makes them a Christian. However, understanding without conversion is just head knowledge. Familiarity does breed contempt where cultural Christianity replaces personal faith with a general "feel good" faith.

    Yes, there are those like Lydia who may even worship God but are worshiping as an unsaved sinner, not as a saint. As Paul taught, she came under conviction from the Holy Spirit to believe in and accept the resurrected Christ into her life. Her baptism was an outward confession of her inward conversion to Jesus Christ. Conversion Christianity is a person who came to the end of themselves and confessed their need for Jesus as Savior. Transformation is from the inside out.

    Assuredly, I [Jesus] say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3, NKJV

    Have you been genuinely converted to Christ? Have you humbled your heart like a little child and embraced Jesus Christ as the resurrected Lord and Savior of your life? Your individual conversion to Christ is a significant source of strength for your church, community and family. You become “salt and light” for a society in search of its soul. Preachers, lawyers, judges, students, mechanics, coaches, teachers, homemakers, executives, artists and athletes who love Jesus begin to influence friends for Jesus. Converted Christians change the culture for Christ.

    Cultural Christians blend into the culture. Converted Christians influence the culture. The apron strings of your parents' faith can not make you right with Almighty God. Your beliefs cannot be a barnacle on the cruise ship of someone else’s conversion. Personal conversion is your only qualifier for heaven after death and abundant life on earth. Cultural Christians are only an imitation of real intimacy and salvation in Jesus. Repent therefore and be converted to Christ.

    Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19, NKJV

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me out of the comfort of cultural Christianity to the transforming power of being an authentic convert of Christ.

    Related Readings: Psalm 51:13; Romans 16:6; Acts 9:1-6, 15:3; 1 Timothy 3:6

    Post/Tweet today: Your beliefs cannot be a barnacle on the cruise ship of someone else’s conversion. #personalsalvation

    © 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 Acts

  • Remain True

    Posted on May 26, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    When he [Barnabas] arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.    Acts 11:23

     

    Remain true to the Lord, for He has remained true to you. Remain true because the grace of God compels you to. Remain true, for He knows what is best for you; remain true because you know it is the right thing to do; remain true while others encourage you; remain true because your obedience encourages others; remain true with all your heart so that the Kingdom of God advances aggressively for His glory. It is easy to sign up as a Jesus follower, but follow through requires faithfulness, so remain true to your commitment to Christ. It does matter that you follow through for Him. It matters to Him, to you, to your family, and to your credibility. It matters to those you have encouraged, those you are encouraging, and those you will encourage. It matters that you remain true.

     

    Satan will try to suppress your commitment by his limited power of disease, discouragement, and discontentment. He wants you to forget God’s faithfulness and fall into his trap of temptation. He wants you to walk away from your family and follow your own selfish desires. He wants you to think you are an exception to the rule of law and accountability. He will feed your pride until you starve humility into non-existence. Jesus said, “I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me…” (Revelation 2:13a). The hand of the Lord is on those who remain true with all their hearts. However, He moves on from those who drift into hypocritical behaviors of pretending one thing and doing another. Begin by exposing any unauthentic living, and seek to reconnect with Christ and others.

     

    The grace of God creates an environment of encouragement. You can encourage others to remain true because God’s grace has been extended to you. Grace encourages faithfulness. Grace realizes there is room for mistakes but still offers opportunities to remain true. Failure and faith can coexist. Encouragers engage others on a heartfelt level. You have the opportunity to come alongside husbands and wives, friends and relatives, new and mature Christians. You can encourage them to remain true to the Lord and to each other. Encouragement extends hope rooted in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Your eternally based encouragement is not sentimental or shallow. It is a heavenly hope evidenced by answered prayer.

     

    You encourage others exponentially when you petition Christ on their behalf. Cry out to your heavenly Father and ask that He keep your teenagers true to Him. Pray for your friend’s body to be healed by the hand of God; pray for married couples to learn how to love and respect each other under the influence of the Holy Spirit; pray for your Pastor to remain true to his calling and to the One who extended his call; pray for opportunities to pray with those you are encouraging. Prayer is without exhaustion in its encouragement. Above all else, receive encouragement from the Lord and others to remain true. Then simultaneously and spontaneously extend encouragement to others to remain true with all their hearts. Remain true because there is no limit to what the Lord can do. Giving up is not for you.

     

    Post/Tweet: The hand of the Lord is on those who remain true with all their hearts. #remaintrue

    © 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 Acts

  • Wants or Wishes

    Posted on April 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian? Acts 26:28

    Wishes come from a naive delight to become something one day. I wish to be a movie star, astronaut, teacher, fireman, engineer or preacher. “I wish” originates from a romanticism that makes me feel good about going there; but a nice desire without a committed will is wishful thinking. However, my wants have a way of bending my will towards a clearly defined outcome. My will follows my wants until the goal is accomplished. Agrippa may have wished to be a Christian one day, but clearly he did not want to be converted in the moment. Wants work to engage the will.

    So, how can we move our wishes to wants? It is the motivation of our heart that makes mere wishes freely submit to the reality of wants. Moreover, it is more than just learning a principle;  we can understand a truth and still have our will unmoved. But when we encounter the Truth, the Lord Jesus Christ, He compels us to want what He wants. A close encounter with Christ moves a wishful feeling to a prayerful plan which then blends our will with God’s will.

    If anyone is willing to do His will. John 7:17, NASB

    When your heart wills to do the will of your Heavenly Father, He works with you at your place of faith. Indeed, as you worship and praise Him in the splendor of His glory, you see Him high and lifted up. Worship takes your wandering heart and brings it back home to do His bidding. The more the Lord increases in stature and the less you are concerned with your cares, Christ takes your wants and molds them into His desires. Your desires and God’s desires become one.

    So delight in the One who is the most delightful. Rest in the reassurance that your righteous God has got it, whatever “it” may mean for you. Be wise to not wish away this season of life with self pity or regret, rather see this parenthesis in time as a prayerful process, in which the Lord converts your creative ideas into His action plan. Look into the eyes of Jesus with your eyes of faith and say yes to Him. God gives you what you want, when it's what He wants for you!

    You have given him his heart’s desire, And You have not withheld the request of his lips.

    Psalm 21:2

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father make my wants and desires, Your wants and desires for me.

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 14:26;  Psalm 37:4; Matthew 16:24; Romans 10:1

     

    Post/Tweet today: Worship takes our wandering heart and brings it back home to do His bidding. #worship

    © 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 Acts

  • Eyewitness News

    Posted on April 15, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. Acts 3:15

    Eyewitness accounts are compelling evidence for truth. These first hand witnesses bring creditability with their character. They are especially trustworthy if they stick to the facts even when it costs them their life. When Jesus was arrested by foes, Peter and John were arrested by fear. However, when Jesus rose from the grave, Peter and John’s courage rose with Him. They saw, touched, talked and ate with Jesus after He came back to life. God’s power empowered them!

    Yes, we were witnesses of this idyllic resurrection power when we were born again. Once we were dead to faith, now we are alive to trust in Christ. Once we were dead to assurance of heaven, now we are alive to the security of eternal life. Once we were dead to the Son’s salvation, now we are alive to His grace. Once we were dead to our Heavenly Father’s love, now we are alive to His affection. Once we were dead to the Spirit’s help, now we are alive to His leading!

    We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4

     

    If a case for Christ’s resurrection were presented in a court of law, a thorough jury would find Jesus guilty of being raised from the dead by His Heavenly Father. The compelling proof is on the side of the plaintiff Holy God. The devil is on the defensive, as all his arguments were destroyed in one fell swoop at the resurrection of Christ. Your risen Savior Jesus, rises above the arguments and evil taunts of Satan. The empty tomb empties the enemy’s arsenal of deception. Jesus lives!

     

    You stand on the solid rock of Christ’s resurrection, as experienced in person by His disciples and 500 other followers. You base His Story on the historical fact of Him going into the grave dead and walking out of the grave alive on the third day. Furthermore, your own faith experience with Jesus is your eyewitness evidence of engaging your risen Savior. You are His channel of hope to the sick, the lost, the disabled, the rich and the poor. You are a witness!

     

    He [Jesus] was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time. 1 Corinthians 15:4-6

    Prayer: Heavenly Father thank you for raising Your Son Jesus from the dead to give me life.

    Related Readings: John 2:22; Acts 2:31; Romans 8:11; Philippians 3:10-11; Colossians 3:1

     

    Post/Tweet today: The devil is on the defensive, as all his arguments were destroyed at Christ’s resurrection. #resurrection

    © 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 Acts

  • Serve By Leading

    Posted on April 9, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. Acts 15:37-38

    Sometimes a critical circumstance requires the leader to assert influence for the good of the whole. There is no time for collaboration, since what’s best for the mission can’t be jeopardized. Good people can disagree, but the leader is responsible to do what he or she thinks is right. The risk of a failed project takes precedent over the risk of relational rejection. Hopefully there is eventual relational restoration when a leader wisely serves by saying no and clarifying the course.

    Yes, leaders lead. It is a disservice for the one in charge to not give direction when a situation is sticky. God places us in positions of authority to serve others by leading them down prayerful and productive paths. Followers look to leaders to instruct with integrity and intentionality. So, even if our ill timed decision meets the disapproval of someone we respect, we still move forward by faith. We serve by leading in doing the next right thing and trusting the Lord for His results.

    And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them. Psalm 78:72

     

    You serve by leading when you reassess a person's past failure in light of lessons they’ve learned and their current faithfulness to the task at hand. Grace gives you permission to extend a second chance, working to restore someone’s youthful indiscretion that tarnished their integrity. Perhaps you take this occasion to bring a coworker back into good standing, so they have an opportunity to prove their trustworthiness. You serve by leading when you lead a friend back into faith’s fold.

     

    Lastly, you serve by leading when you lead others into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. You lead well when the goodness of God wells up within you like the iconic geyser Old Faithful, intermittently boiling forth the refreshing fruit of the Spirit. The human heart is waiting for another human to lead them into an understanding of the Lord’s great grace. Indeed, the Spirit is interceding on behalf of unbelievers,  God will use you to introduce others to His Son Jesus.

    The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. Acts 8:34-35

    Prayer: Heavenly Father give me courage to serve by leading others to know the good news of Jesus Christ.

    Related Readings: Genesis 17:1; 1 Samuel 18:16; Isaiah 53:7; 2; Hosea 11:4; Timothy 4:11

    Post/Tweet today: Followers look to leaders to instruct them with integrity and intentionality. #leaders

    © 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 Serving, Acts

  • Open Her Heart ... and Mine

    Posted on January 28, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshiped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart and she accepted what Paul was saying." Acts 16:14 (NLT)

     

    She stood in front of me. "I wanted to go down," she said. "I just couldn't."

    Her grandmother stood nearby, silent. Hope etched her features.

    I took her hands. "It's scary sometimes to take an unfamiliar step," I said. "But we're here now. Can we pray together?"

    This woman grew up in church, but she'd taken some wrong turns in life. After years of living apart from her family, she had arrived on her grandmother's doorstep out of desperation. She came to the women's conference because someone had given her grandmother free tickets.

    Admittedly, she came for a free meal and to make her grandmother happy. She was fully prepared to leave with her stomach full and her heart empty.

    Except God saw her walk through the door.

    The words from Scripture reached past her tough exterior to land right in the tender spot of her desperate heart. While walking to an altar seemed impossible for this vulnerable woman, she hoped someone would pray with her before she left the church. Which is how she ended up in front of me.

    In return for my prayers, I received a kiss on my cheek. Wrapping her arms tightly around me, she said "I love you," with joy on her face.

    She didn't see the tears running down mine, as she turned away.

    Just as that grandmother had stood with hope for her granddaughter, I've been praying for years for a loved one. There are days hope recedes, and I find myself on my knees again, asking for a refill.

    In Acts 16, Paul met a woman named Lydia. In many ways she was different from the woman who stood in front of me that day in the church. Lydia was a seller of purple cloth, so she was financially well off. And she was a worshiper of God, likely a devout Jewish woman.

    But she was also similar to the woman at the conference, in that she hadn't yet met Jesus Christ. Two thousand years ago the Lord opened Lydia's heart. She was so changed by her new relationship with Jesus that she became one of His most devoted followers.

    God still opens hearts.

    He opened Lydia's heart to receive the truth.

    He opened my new friend's heart to receive relationship and restoration.

    He opens my heart to hope.

    Maybe, like me, you have been praying for a loved one for a long time. Perhaps there are days when it feels as if the prayers aren't working. But like carefully planted seeds, those prayers are received one by one by our Heavenly Father, until one day they poke through the ground of our loved one's heart to receive the Light.

    I will continue to pray that God opens the heart of those I love. As I wait, I will also pray that God opens my heart to receive the hope He so generously offers.

    Dear God, open my loved one's heart to receive and accept Your grace, mercy, and transforming love. But also open my heart. Today I stand on Your promises and delight in what only You can do. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    Hope: [noun] to cherish a desire with anticipation.

    When we pray for a long time without seeing an answer, do we focus on the problem or person, rather than the promise? Let's begin to cherish our desire for our loved ones as we anticipate what God is doing, unseen. How He is planting those prayers like seeds in the heart of our loved ones. Let's cherish the day those seeds will poke through hardened ground to receive nourishment and Light.

    Power Verses:
    Romans 15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (NIV)

    Romans 8:24-25, "We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don't need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don't yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)" (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 Acts

  • Come to Me

    Posted on January 27, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

     

    Sometimes, your soul needs to catch up with your body. There is a disconnect created by distractions and busyness. You are weary of life and work. This soul fatigue will follow you until it finds rest. It is relentless in reminding you what is important and necessary. The warning lights of weariness flash in the face of your faith. You are tired and troubled with nowhere to turn. This is when you can turn your eyes upon Jesus. He offers a constant invitation to come to Him. Burdens bear down on your back of responsibility like a ton of bricks, but Jesus is there to ease the pressure. Health issues assault your body like unceasing fire from the enemy, but Jesus is there to soothe the pain through prayer.

     

    Marriage confusion has the best of you and you are ready to give up, but Jesus has the answers as the supreme counselor. Work expectations have overwhelmed your ability to execute the right results, but Jesus is there to impart His wisdom and discernment. Do not let failure talk you into giving up. You can carry on with Christ. Submit to His restful invitation. Take Him at His word and yoke up with His humility and gentleness. His invitation to rest is received by faith. The yoke of Jesus gives hope and encouragement to the soul.

     

    Start by aligning your calendar with Jesus time. A partnership with Christ requires time and attention. You cannot maintain a relationship with Him without investing in Him. Jesus went to the mountain to commune with His heavenly Father, and when He came down, large crowds followed Him. Why? People follow leaders they know they can trust. When you spend time with Jesus, you build trustworthiness. You go to the mountains alone to pray, and you come back surrounded by followers. They know you have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).

     

    When others know you have been with Jesus, they are reassured that you are depending on Him for wisdom and direction. They can trust that your motives are pure and that this business or ministry is not your deal but His. You gain instruction from Him on how to execute His plan. Followers take great comfort when their leader pauses to pray and takes time to receive the Holy Spirit’s discernment over issues of vision and strategy.

     

    Therefore, slow down each day and listen to the voice of the One who created the world with a word. His words are powerful and freeing. They are comforting and convicting. The Word of God will save you from unwise decisions and free you to make wise ones (Proverbs 30:5). Organize your priorities around the priorities of Christ. Get away, and get with Him. Give your soul a break when it is strained under the barrage of activity.  Take a step back and reevaluate. This requires faith. Let others into your confidence and trust that they are agents of the Almighty. His angels surround those who fear Him. Be accountable to be alone with Almighty God. This sensitive soul-care reaps temporal and eternal rewards. A well-kept soul results in robust living. Go to Jesus for He is asking you to come. Come quickly to Christ. Your soul deserves to catch up.

     

    Post/Tweet: Sometimes, our soul needs to catch up with our body. Prayer slows us down. #prayer

     

    © 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 Proverbs, Acts, Matthew

  • Be Yourself

    Posted on January 24, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.” 1 Samuel 17:38-39

    Those who are comfortable in their own skin are content in how the Lord has made them. However, those who strive to be someone they’re not end up frustrated, failing to enjoy authentic living. Saul desired to honor David by giving him his armor that worked well in past battles, but what Saul found effective was not the best plan for David. Yes, wise followers of Christ focus on what aligns with them uniquely. Therefore, those who know themselves can be themselves.

    Are you at peace in how the Lord has prepared you for the challenges you face? Do your words and mannerisms represent the true you, or are you a masquerade of another man or woman? It is ok to learn from others with a track record of integrity, but ask the Spirit to filter their ideas and actions through the grid of how God has made you. The Lord has placed you in this time and place, so be proud of who you are and where you’re from. Be who God made you.

    “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” Acts 17:26-27

    Be yourself at home and your family will feel free to be themselves. Parents and children who laugh and cry together grow closer together. Be yourself at work and pretense will feel uncomfortable in your workplace. Office politics are precluded where people are at peace in their roles and responsibilities. It is in an environment of authenticity that we feel free to be how God has made us. So you can be content in a career that is the best fit for you.

    Most of all be yourself in the company of Christ. He will not love you any more than He already does, regardless of what you accomplish or don’t accomplish. You don’t have to prove yourself to God who has already thoroughly accepted you in His son Jesus. Be yourself with your Creator and He will give you insight to be creative for His causes. Clothe yourself in the unique apparel of grace that Almighty God has just for you. He is conforming you into the image of His Son.

    “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” Romans 8:29

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the faith and courage to be who You want me to be.

     

    Related Readings: Genesis 1:27; Psalm 106:20; 1 Corinthians 15:29; 1 John 3:2

     

    Post/Tweet today: Those who are comfortable in their own skin are content in how the Lord has made them. #content

     

    © 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 Acts, Romans, 1 Samuel

  • A Comfy Girl on Adventure

    Posted on January 11, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "They asked him to stay longer, but he declined." Acts 18:20 (NLT)

    I have a comfy throw I snuggle in when watching my favorite TV program.

    I wear faded and worn jeans at home.

    I have a pair of shoes needing to be retired, but they fit in all the right places, so I keep them handy. Just in case.

    I love comfort; yet following Christ means that God often leads me out of my comfort zone.

    Paul the apostle modeled a life far from comfort. When he wasn't in prison for preaching about Jesus, he had a packed travel schedule. He preached in Thessalonica, traveled to Berea, spoke in the synagogue in Athens, made his way to Corinth, set sail for Syria, and made a brief stop in Ephesus. At Ephesus the crowd was eager for him to stay.

    After all that travel, can you imagine how tempting that invitation must have been? It would be so easy to settle in with new friends to enjoy a respite from the unfriendly religious leaders, accusations, and fatigue of ministry.

    Instead, Paul said a simple goodbye with a promise to return one day, God willing.

    Five years ago I was invited to speak in Europe. Sounds amazing, right? It was, except for the fear that lodged right in the center of my chest as God called me away from my cozy throw and faded jeans. We were traveling to three countries and six cities in 10 days. There were language barriers to overcome. The speaking schedule was intense. And massive cultural differences had to be hurdled, especially in the area of faith.

    There were times I was far outside my comfort zone on that journey. But I also had a front row seat to watch God work.

    We witnessed the faith of moms whose families and neighbors weren't Christians light up with encouragement as we shared the Word of God. We drank thick Turkish coffee with immigrants in a refugee camp, praising and worshiping God together.

    God was powerful in our own lives as we traveled by train, plane, and car—filled to overflowing in spite of the demanding schedule as we led Bible studies in homes, spoke at conferences, and ministered one-on-one.

    Paul surely experienced this spiritual excitement on his journeys. Maybe he didn't linger in comfortable places because he had discovered the joy of walking straight into the lives of those who needed a Savior.

    Since my first trip I've returned twice more with the team. Different countries. New challenges. Each time I was reminded that faith is an adventure and God sometimes calls comfy girls away from their safe places.

    Maybe like me, you love to get comfy. It feels good to be settled. It's nice to know what to expect. But if you sense God inviting you out of your comfort zone, are you willing to go?

    When God leads us out of our comfort zones, we experience uncharted territory. We might even come to the end of ourselves.

    But we also have the privilege of being a small part of a big plan, offering our willing hearts and seeing the work only God can do.

    Dear Lord, I'm willing to step outside my comfort zone to discover Your plan, not just for me, but for those You love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

    Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    "A characteristic of our comfort zones is that they have restraints. We will only go: so far in loving; so far in serving; so far in forgiving; so far in ministering; so far in witnessing; so far in giving; so far in sacrificing; so far in supporting and encouraging each other; so far in submissiveness; so far in our struggles against the spiritual forces of wickedness." ~Mark King

    Sometimes when we read the words "go" (Mark 16:15) or "follow Me" (Mark 1:17), we might put restraints on those words, but what might happen if we begin to take those words to heart?

    Read the scriptures above today with an open heart to God's leading. What is God speaking to you?

    Power Verse:
    Luke 9:23, "Then he said to them all: 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'" (NIV 1984)

    © 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 Acts

  • 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

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