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Tag Archives: Colossians

  • The Difference

    Posted on June 12, 2014 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ ..." Colossians 2:2 (NIV)

    I noticed something was different as soon as he walked in the door. Andrew, my 16-year-old son, had come home from exercising at the gym and instead of looking exhausted, a bright smile stretched across his face like a crescent moon.

    Before I could ask what was up, Andrew said, "The custodian stopped me in the hallway and told me I 'looked like a champion' after working out."

    The comment made Andrew feel great. Just knowing someone actually noticed his hard work lifting weights made him want to give the guy a hug! But that felt awkward, so he just said "thanks" and kept walking.

    "But, when I got to the exit door," Andrew went on to say, "I decided to drop my bag and run back to thank the guy for encouraging me! And it made me feel so awesome!"

    The next morning, Andrew told me he couldn't stop thinking about what had happened at the gym. He said, "From now on, any time I feel like I'm supposed to encourage someone, I'm gonna do it! Not just because of how good it will make them feel, but because of how good it makes me feel to focus on other people and not be so focused on myself all the time."

    I did everything I could to hold back the tears. Yes, I was proud of Andrew's decision, but more than anything I was captivated by the difference I saw in my boy's eyes. And with his permission, I want to share why.

    For months, we watched our outgoing, happy, encouraging kid withdraw from us and from friends. We listened as he vented deep doubts and questions about God, compounded by frustration and uncertainties about his own purpose in life.

    Overwhelming concerns had occupied every square inch of my thoughts. My greatest concern came as I watched Andrew sink into a pit of discouragement as he insulated himself with negative anger towards God, his circumstances, and consuming self-focus.

    My husband and I prayed. We wrestled with God. We talked through Andrew's questions and doubts whenever he was willing. And we loved on him as much as we knew how.

    But now, many months later, I am still amazed by the difference a few words of encouragement made. Words offered by a stranger who noticed him, encouraged him and inspired him to give away what he had received.

    In today's key verse, the Apostle Paul shares how his life's goal was that others be "encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:2-3).

    Could it be that encouragement unites our hearts in love with God and each other? Then it unlocks spiritual riches of understanding to help us grasp all that is ours in Christ?

    Just today, Andrew told me again how his heart changed that night after coming home from the gym. He said for the first time, in a long time, he felt the power and presence of God's love, which he had been shutting out for months. And in the days that followed, he started to turn back toward hope and ultimately turn toward God.

    Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of Your encouragement. Help me slow down to hear You speak words of hope into my life, reminding my heart that You see me, value me and have a purpose for me! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Colossians 2:6-7, "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:

    Think of a time when someone's words of encouragement made a difference in your life or in your faith. Ask God to show you someone to encourage today. Then pray for the words of reassurance they need, and let your life make a difference in theirs!

    © 2014 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Compelling Cross

    Posted on April 18, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:13-15

    The cross is compelling because Christ is compelling. His character is compelling by the depth of its delivery; His love is compelling by the extent of its capacity; His holiness is compelling by the respect it demands; His forgiveness is compelling by the thoroughness of its cleansing; His power is compelling by its ability to disarm the enemy and deem him powerless.

    Therefore, the cross compels Christ’s followers to be like Him. There is nothing neutral about the cross. Either it compels you or it repels you. The cross either frees you to forgive or it drives you away, stuck in a cycle of cynicism. The cross either leads you into a life of hope or it discourages you to remain in a state of fear and uncertainty. You cannot embrace the cross and self at the same time. It is not possible.

    If it were possible, it would not be advisable. "A house divided will not stand" (Luke 11:17). A heart divided will collapse under the weight of diluted loyalties. Therefore, the cross compels you to make a radical commitment to Christ. For a moment, the cross looked like man’s torture chamber. But it turned into God’s remedy for redemption. The cross is not a symbol of compassion; it is compassion. Man won the physical battle that day, but God won the spiritual one. It took physical death to triumph over the enemy in the spiritual realm. Thus, the cross gives you the power to overcome.

    Go back to the foot of the cross. This is where the love and the blood of Christ flowed down together for you. This is a rare combination that for generations has compelled millions to extend the love of God to the lost and the least. The foot of the cross is compelling because it is the location for the most leverage. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). But what about the suffering we incur as we bear His cross?

    The cross you bear is compelling (Luke 14:27). It is compelling because it reflects the sacrifice and salvation of the cross of Christ. Moreover, the cross you hold high in word and deed draws all men to Jesus (John 12:32). Christ compels all cultures, denominations, races, and socio-economic classes. His cross invites and even demands a response.

    To remain neutral is not an option. The cross either compels you to repent, or it repels you to remain in your sin. You can choose a divine destiny or one of your own making. The cross means death to self and sin, but life in Christ. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34b).

    Prayer: Am I compelled or repelled by the cross? How can I bear Christ’s cross with grace?

    Related Readings: Galatians 6:12-14; Philippians 2:8; 3:18

    Post/Tweet today: There is nothing neutral about the cross of Jesus Christ. It either compels us to repent or it repels us to reject. #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 Colossians

  • Everyday, Ordinary Glory

    Posted on April 8, 2014 by Lisa-Jo Baker

    Lisa-Jo Baker

    "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Colossians 1:17 (NIV)

    It's late. Only 9 p.m. But so late. The night shift will soon begin, and the day shift with bath times and teeth brushing battles is just winding down. With my husband Peter finally home, I slink away to steal some quiet and maybe a few moments of sleep between shifts.

    But they find me.

    They pad down the hallway, long shadows stretching around the corner and into my room before deep breaths whisper, "Mama, can we stay by you?" Then they sandwich beside me and we begin the losing battle against not speaking.

    One may as well try and hold back the tide. The day, their highs, lows and secret wishes come trickling out. First in whispers and then in bold declarations! When they grow up they will be trash truck drivers, builders, policemen, game rangers, fathers and heroes.

    Their profiles against the hall light are brave and delicate at the same time. I can feel the sand, gritty against my foot where it's escaped socks and sandboxes, now taking up residence at the foot of my bed. Someone farts, someone else burps and my retreat is now a mini-locker room experience with my growing up boys-will-be-boys boys.

    I relive snapshots of the day from their perspective and discover how someone's minuscule boo-boo looms large in their memory and how someone else likes to be the leader during walks around the block.

    Who would have thought boys giggled this much?

    And in the dark and the tired and the small, everydayness of these moments I can feel it. The weight of glory. The glorious ordinary that is God's gift to us.

    Colossians 1:15-17 speaks of the glory of God in everything: "The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

    And sandwiched between two talkative boys, I know there is no part of our everyday, wash-rinse-repeat routine of kids and laundry and life and fights and worries and play dates and kindergarten orientation and work and marriage and love and new life and bedtime snuggles, that Jesus doesn't look into it deeply and say, "That is Mine."

    In Him all things hold together. All things. This messy house and my fears and chaos and incomplete to-do lists.

    Turns out, I'm not defined by my mothering skills or my name on a business card. I'm not defined by what I accomplished today, or whether or not I lost my temper. I'm not defined by my jeans that I wish were a different size, or by my kids when they won't obey. I'm not defined by my wrinkles or tired eyes.

    I am, however, defined by the God who knows me by name ... by the God who promises that nothing I do or don't do can separate me from His love that is in Christ Jesus.

    Right where we are at the end of long days, long lists and long sleepless nights, Jesus meets us and in Him we are tenderly, patiently, lovingly held together. So we can be ready for tomorrow.

    Dear Jesus, thank You for not seeing anything boring or routine when You look at us. You don't see failure, insignificance or ordinary. But instead, You see one-of-a-kind daughters of the King. Thank You for entering into every part of our days, for delighting in all we cycle through, and for how You celebrate, grieve, counsel and comfort every step of the way. We love how You see wonder in even our most ordinary routines and how You hold us together even when we feel like we're falling apart. We love You, Jesus. Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Think about your routine today and identify something glorious that is buried in your everyday ordinary.

    What is one way you can start to remind yourself to be looking for wonder in your routine? For example, keeping a gratitude journal, setting an alarm throughout the day to stop and reflect, sharing something that each family member found special at dinnertime?

    Power Verses:
    Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (NIV)

    Acts 17:28a, "For in him we live and move and have our being." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Lisa-Jo Baker. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Tyndale House Publishers for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

    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 Colossians

  • Habits of a Woman Who Doesn't Give Up

    Posted on October 7, 2013 by Nicki Koziarz

    Nicki Koziarz

    "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." Colossians 3:23 (NLT)

    For years I've dreamed of writing a book. Not to see my name on a cover or personal benefit. Rather, I want others to see God's faithfulness. Most days I'm motivated to press on, but other days it's difficult to maintain my "oomph."

    Another rejection letter hits hard. My toes get stomped on by a hurtful comment on my blog. Or defeat attacks, making me want to quit.

    But I believe this is a God-calling. These are words He has entrusted to me. A book He's asked me to write to tell others about His goodness. And so I try to push these negatives off. Colossians 3:23 inspires me to faithfully plug away another day: "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."

    Maybe you can relate? For every step you take to fulfill your calling, something knocks you back three feet. Might I encourage you, as one who has been there—is currently there—to keep at it?

    Here are five habits I've discovered which characterize a woman who doesn't give up:

    1. She gets up each morning and follows through with her commitments, despite how she feels.

    Her feet are firmly positioned in the day's tasks. While quitting may seem like an option, she refuses to become someone others or God can't count on. Her heart understands that she must be found faithful in small steps to be trusted with big steps. "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much ..." (Luke 16:10 NIV)

    2. She approaches the Word of God with reverence.

    She opens God's Word and believes each day He has a personal message for her. She listens to sermons and teachings. Instead of automatically thinking of the friend who needs to hear that message, she knows there's something there for her. "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right." (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT)

    3. She longs for the grace of refinement rather than the grace of relief.

    She doesn't have a personal agenda to fulfill when she faces refinement. In fact, she longs for the grace of refinement, rather than the grace of relief, because she trusts how God will use this season of growth. She accepts the perspective godly people offer her in difficult situations. And she embraces the process of becoming better through her mistakes. "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life." (NLT)

    4. She chooses to invest in the world with joy.

    Though life may turn on her, she chooses not to reciprocate. Instead, she strives to be emotionally generous towards others by investing in them with joy. As a result, when darkness threatens to loom over her she can easily chase it away by giving joy. "A joyful heart is good medicine." (Proverbs 17:22a ESV)

    5. She has a spirit of unbreakable determination.

    Though she may feel a little [or a lot] bent many days, she never lets the bending break her perseverance toward the things God has assigned her. In the midst of rejection, she thrives by standing firm on this verse, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10 NIV)

    Though I don't have all these down quite yet, I'm working on them. And each day I can see progress ... in my perseverance, hope, and manuscript.

    What about you? What has God called you to do? Start by adopting one habit today and commit your work to the Lord.

    Lord, thank You for filling me with purpose, faith and determination. Help me continue to do the work You've given me. Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Have you given up on a calling God has given you? Why?

    What habit can you choose to begin today and what steps will you take to begin working for the Lord?

    Power Verses:
    Ecclesiastes 9:10, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might . . . ." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Nicki Koziarz. 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 Colossians

  • Pray Hard

    Posted on August 28, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. Colossians 4:12

    Prayer is not a passive undertaking, but an aggressive engagement with God. It is a labor of love. It is a toil of trust. It is a work of the Holy Spirit through holy intercessors. Indeed, prayer without spiritual perspiration lacks the intensity the Spirit requires. Pray in the face of fatigue and you will find God. Pray proactively as a servant of Jesus for those who are servant’s of Jesus. Pray earnestly for a friend who faces disease to be healed. Pray hardest when it’s hardest to pray.

    We can pray effectively for one another, because we are like one another. Since Epaphras was one of them, his prayers oozed with empathy and emotion. Prayer is much more than a mental interaction with the Truth, it is an intense intimacy with our Heavenly Father motivated by our compassion and fueled by faith. The gift of earnest prayer may be the most valuable asset we have to give to those we love. Who needs to know that you are really lifting them up to the Lord?

    Pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

    What is the substance of our supplications for those who need our prayers? We fervently petition our Father in Heaven for our friends and family to stand firm in the will of God. We ask Jesus to give them a righteous resolve not to waver from where He has them. Better for our loved ones to be on a stormy sea experiencing God’s will, than on a calm shore outside His will. A firm faith flushes out fear and aligns with the Almighty. Pray hard for a friend under pressure to persevere.

    Lastly, pray hard for those God brings into your life to mature in their faith and be fully assured of Christ’s faithfulness. A mature faith is not easily deceived by sin or Satan. It is on the look out for cheap imitations of intimacy that only lead to disappointment. Pray hard for leaders you know to have a humble dependence on Jesus and to rest secure in Him. You join in another’s struggle as you send forth supplications to heaven. Pray the hardest, when it is hardest to pray!

    I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Romans 15:30

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to pray hard for those who are having a hard time.

    Related Readings: Matthew 7:7; John 9:31; 2 Corinthains 1:11; James 5:17-18

    Post/Tweet today: Pray hardest when it’s hardest to pray. #prayhard

    © 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 Colossians, Prayer

  • Identity Crisis

    Posted on August 19, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:3-4

    Traumatic events like divorce or a job loss can create a crisis of identity. I previously parented with my spouse, but now I raise my child alone. As a single parent I feel angry, ill equipped and financially stressed. Before I was let go from my job I managed a team and felt respected. Post firing I struggle just to manage myself. I feel unimportant. An identity crisis is an opportunity for Christ to remind me of my identity in Him. I am significant in Him, so I am important to Him.

    What feels out of control the Lord uses to bring His child under His control. A parent's identity is challenged after a child leaves home as a young adult, just as an individual struggles for significance after retirement. If who we are is wrapped up in what we do, we are set up for disillusionment. What we do will change, but our standing in Christ remains the same. Our value isn’t measured by our role, but by the abundance of God’s grace we enjoy. Relationships are what really count.

    Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! Philippians 4:1

    Because Christ is your life, your life is complete. There is no need to strive to be someone you are not, nor is it necessary to reach back and become someone you were that was only relevant for that season of life. Yes, the value of your life increases as you increasingly align with Almighty God’s character and will for your life. An identity crisis is the Lord’s opportunity to take your integrity to another level of influence. You walk securely when integrity instructs your actions.

    Therefore, by God’s grace die to the desire to be someone other than God’s workmanship in Christ.  Rest in your relationship with Jesus and enjoy the people He brings into your life for you to bless. It is the immaterial not the material that marks your real worth. Peace of mind, purity of heart and selfless service make you attractive to be around. As you love the Lord and others well it will be well with your soul. You are Christ’s bride, your identity is defined by His last name!

    The bride belongs to the bridegroom. John 3:29
    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I rest in Your son Jesus as my life. My identity and security is in Him.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 29:23, 43:7; Psalm 45:1-17; John 17:13; Ephesians 2:10

    Post/Tweet today: Love the Lord and others well; it will be well with your soul. #identitycrisis

    © 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 Colossians

  • Rich Living

    Posted on July 30, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. (Colossians 3:16, NLT)

    Those who invite the message of Christ to dwell in their lives, learn to live life to its fullest. Like a guest who brings a generous house warming gift, so God is generous in handing out His wise instruction to humble hearts. Indeed, the Holy Spirit looks to decorate an individual’s interior with spiritual decor that displays His glory and honor.  Jesus makes things beautiful in His time. What He fills is full of His gorgeous fruit. Rich living follows a surrendered life!

    What is the message of Christ? It is the message of salvation that saves your soul. It is the message of hope that comforts your heart. It is the message of love that sustains your life. It is the message of truth that transforms your thinking. It is the message of forgiveness that wipes away wrong doing. It is the message of humility that becomes nothing, so Jesus can become everything. It is the message of the cross and resurrection that brings alive all who believe.

    Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Romans 10:17

    Yes, the message of Christ is the Lord’s megaphone to all mankind. He admonishes us to teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. We are responsible to reason together around the principles of Scripture. As wise mentors, we apprentice hungry hearts in rich living. Be intentional to instruct infant Christians and to encourage mature ones. Everyone needs advice from time to time. Who needs the investment of your time so they can grow rich in God’s ways?

    Lastly, look to the Lord in grateful praise and worship. Join with other Jesus lovers and corporately proclaim His majestic grandeur and glory. Praise Him in your prayer closet, praise Him on your prayer walk, praise Him in the car, praise Him in your pain, praise Him in your comfort, praise Him in the bad times and praise Him in the good times. As long as you have breath praise God always! By faith, rich living regularly recalibrates its focus on Jesus Christ.

    In order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:7

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the rich living I have by faith in Jesus Christ.

    Related Readings: John 1:14, 5:37-40; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Ephesians 3:6; Philippians 4:19

    Post/Tweet today: By faith, rich living regularly recalibrates its focus on Jesus Christ. #richliving

    © 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 Colossians

  • Extravagant Love

    Posted on July 24, 2013 by Sharon Glasgow

    Sharon Glasgow

    "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

    I was SO mad, I thought I would explode! The contents of that explosion would have been hazardous to anyone in my path—namely, my husband Dale!

    Anger was emanating from every pore of my being. What was he thinking? How could he not see the obvious? The more these thoughts swirled in my head, the madder I got. And he didn't seem to care about my feelings either! He just looked at me. That was it! I decided to pack up the kids and leave.

    And (the nerve of him) he didn't even ask where I was going! Apparently, the suitcases said it all. I stormed out.

    Oh, boy. Those were the days many years ago. I'm glad that was then and this is now. My husband said and did a lot of things I didn't understand. It was like we were from two different planets with totally opposite brain and emotional functions.

    All marriages will struggle at some point. Crisis in a marriage has the potential to make or break a marriage. It's tempting to harbor hurt, retaliate with spiteful words and focus on your spouse's faults. But experience has taught me those things do not add up to marital bliss.

    After being gone from Dale for 24 hours, I couldn't stand it any longer. I came home and we made up. Because this wasn't something I wanted to become a pattern, I decided to look carefully at my actions and change the way I loved my husband.

    Turns out there were things I could do differently. Through a lot of prayer and focused choices, I found there were several key things that radically changed my marriage for the better: an attitude of oneness, extravagant acts of love and turning intimacy into a flame of passion, not duty.

    I didn't always feel like doing these three things. As a matter of a fact, many days I didn't have any desire to do them. I knew I needed to draw love out of a deeper well than my own. So I kept Colossians 3:12-17 close at hand and followed it as a way to love Dale. These verses describe a sacrificial and extravagant love, showing compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

    They also encourage us to show love in the name of Jesus, which is a way to honor Him. That was my focus as I re-trained my thought pattern not to emphasize the negatives or the momentary stresses. But instead, to keep my eyes on God. It got easier, knowing that by loving my husband well, I was pleasing God.

    I've seen many struggling marriages ignite with passion when one spouse pours out extravagant love on the other. Sadly, I've also seen times when it didn't work. In those instances, we can take heart in knowing that Christ rewards us for how we live our lives wholeheartedly for Him. You may not be rewarded on earth, but you will be in heaven.

    Extravagant love can transform an ordinary marriage into an extraordinary one, induce greater love, ignite intimacy, help us live above our weaknesses and spend less time quarreling. For over twenty years, I've been putting Colossians 3 love into action in my marriage. From watching the movie my husband picks even when I don't like it, to saying "yes" instead of "I have a headache," to caring for him when he's sick, every little act of love adds up to a big reward. It blesses my husband and honors God!

    Jesus, help me love my husband extravagantly! Sharpen my marriage into a beautiful display of Your glory! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Ask the Lord for His help and for His love to overwhelm you so you can love like Colossians 3 tells us to.

    Journal what He is speaking to your heart today and continue on this course to victory.

    Power Verse:
    Colossians 3:12-14, 17, "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. ... And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Sharon Glasgow. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • How to Let Peace Rule

    Posted on March 12, 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer

    Samantha Evilsizer

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

    No more able are we to drive the rain back into the clouds by holding hands to the sky...

    Or to stretch a rainbow's colors wide by grasping its tails...

    Or to force the tides to retreat by running at the sea...

    No more capable of these feats are we, than pursing and capturing peace.

    Peace.

    That for which the world wars. Families crumble. People roam. That for which we compromise, and improvise, and televise: It's here ... if only you race after it with your time, your money, your life.

    But for all our chasing, we never lay hold of peace. Not until we reckon with nine words that beckon a stillness. A truth that causes shoulders to fall and jaws to relax. This scripture tells us there's peace a' plenty, free for all:

    "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." (Colossians 3:15a NIV)

    If we're to find peace, we must become a pupil of He who is our Peace, Jesus Christ. He who is the Word. And this bit of Word, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts," is a fine educator.

    This truth teaches us to slow down. Those two strong words, "let" and "rule" mean to "umpire" our hurried heart. So when circumstances crumble and we worriedly scramble to right them, we are taught to pause and call our heart to peace.

    How do we do this? Through intimate knowledge of He who is our Peace.

    Christ is just, as Esther's courage and Haman's defeat reflects. (Esther 7)

    Christ redeems, as Job's great loss and even greater gain assures. (Job 42:7-17)

    Christ is trustworthy, as His promised resurrection proves. (Matthew 28:1-10)

    Christ controls the storms, as calmed winds and waves attest. (Mark 4:35-41)

    It will take time to teach our hearts who Christ is and to let peace rule. Umpires don't begin careers in the World Series. Indeed, umpires go through rigorous training and schooling. They must work for years in the minor leagues before even dreaming of the majors.

    We too must set our heart and mind to learning. A good place to start is with the minors. Calling our hearts to peace when running late, dinner burns, scrapes and bruises happen, and fender benders occur. This is our practice and preparation for when the doctor calls, the pink slip is given, the papers are served, and the accusations fly.

    We call our hearts to remember and trust in He who is faithful to us in the small things, so we learn His character again and again. This gives our hearts the training needed to know He is trustworthy to us in the big things, the in-between things ... everything.

    Each call leads to another, which leads to a place of calm and rest. A place where the chase ends. And peace begins.

    Dear Lord, You are my Peace. Teach me Your ways, direct me in Your truth. Help me relax my shoulders, loosen my tense jaw, calm my hurried heart. I want to know You more and more. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    Think of a circumstance you’re currently in that you need peace. How are you going to let the peace of Christ rule?

    Memorize one verses about peace today. Call it out to your heart when trouble comes.

    Power Verses:
    Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." (NIV 1984)

    Isaiah 9:6, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Sitting at Home, Alone

    Posted on February 21, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority." Colossians 2:9-10 (NIV 1984)

    They were laughing in their matching neon pink t-shirts with the words "Bethany's Birthday Girls" printed on the front. They were going bowling after school. Then to get pizza. Then a sleep over.

    When Bethany passed out the shirts that morning I pretended to be too busy to notice. I stayed hyper focused on unpacking my book bag into my locker. And then I hurried off to my first class.

    It was clear. Bethany had made a list of her friends and I hadn't been included.

    I thought I would be. We'd gotten together before. I'd invited her to my pool party.

    "No big deal," I tried to tell myself all day. I had plans that night too.

    To sit at home. Alone. And wonder why I hadn't been chosen.

    It's been years since I watched those neon pink shirts all pile into a station wagon after school and drive away.

    But it hasn't been years since I've heard the negative inside chatter that ensued afterwards.

    "You're not liked."

    "You weren't invited."

    "You weren't chosen."

    Here's what I wish I could have told my little non-wearing pink t-shirt self back then ... and what I need to remember when those same feelings creep in today ...

    Don't put the whole of your identity into the smallness of this situation.

    Not getting a pink t-shirt that day felt like a defining moment. And maybe it was for that day. I wasn't invited to Bethany's party. And that stunk.

    But it wasn't a defining moment of my identity.

    It was a moment. And moments shift. People are fickle. People shift.

    In the moment Bethany made the list of who to invite to her party, I wasn't on the top of her mind. Not because she didn't like me, but simply because she hadn't thought about it.

    It was a small situation.

    And I can't put the whole of my identity into the smallness of this situation. Or any other for that matter.

    My pastor used a verse in his sermon recently that echoes these same thoughts, "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ" (Colossians 2:9-10).

    I have been given fullness. I am filled up by Christ. With acceptance. With love. With all the fullness of an identity that can't be shaken.

    I can place the wholeness of my identity in that reality ... and see everything else as small in comparison.

    Dear Lord, I praise You for Your faithfulness to me in every situation. I don't want to get hung up on the small things of this world. Please help me to place the wholeness of my identity in who You are and the everlasting acceptance that You provide. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    If you have a daughter or know another young woman who might need encouragement for her walk with the Lord, Lysa TerKeurst's book What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God would be a perfect gift. Click here to pre-order your copy.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What past hurt are you still processing that seemed like a defining moment in your life?

    Reflect on our key verse and power verses. Write them down in a place where you'll see them every day. This will help you remember what God says we are to Him – His beloved children who have been saved through His grace.

    Power Verses:
    Ephesians 2:4-5, "But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." (NIV)

    John 1:12-13, Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." (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 Colossians

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