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Tag Archives: Ephesians

  • Triggers

    Posted on January 2, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." Ephesians 3:17-18 (NIV 1984)

    I was elated one day when the number on my scale dipped below the plateau weight I'd been stuck at for two weeks. I did a little happy dance and thought, "Finally, I'm making some real progress in this journey. It's going to be such a great day. I'm super motivated. Bring on the raw veggies. Nothing's gonna stop me now!"

    Too bad things didn't stay that way. Life can be unpredictable and includes many variables, kind of like math. I'm no math whiz, but I do remember there being these things called polynomials. Polynomials are algebraic expressions that include real numbers and variables.

    That's the way my food issues are—they contain real numbers and variables. I suspect yours do as well. And while we must pay attention to the real numbers by eating less and moving more, we would do well to consider the variables in our lives as well.

    Variables are those daily triggers we didn't account for but will detour even the best intentions. Triggers can be as large as the stab of loneliness from a broken relationship or the memory of a childhood trauma. Triggers can be as small as a discipline "chat" with a teen out past curfew or stumbling across fresh doughnuts in the office break room. They can prompt the thought, "Life will be better if I eat that."

    Triggers have nothing to do with physical hunger or the need for legitimate nourishment. They are lies we've thought so routinely they've become well-worn paths to careless eating. Life is not made better because we overindulge in an unhealthy choice.

    The best thing we can do in these triggered moments is to pause and ask ourselves, "Do I want to eat this right now because I need nourishment or because I'm feeling empty emotionally or spiritually?"

    If I need nourishment, I can choose a healthy option. If I'm just feeling empty, I must realize food can fill my stomach but never my soul.

    The only way to negate an emotional eating trigger is to match it with truth. The truth is this: "I'm not physically hungry right now, but I need to be filled in another way."

    The Bible tells us that we can be rooted in love, not emptiness; that we have power to choose truth; and that as we comprehend the love of Christ, we will be filled to the measure of all the fullness—not of that brownie—but of God. Let's look at Ephesians 3:17-18 together: "So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ" (Ephesians 3:17-18 NIV 1984).

    Here's the great thing about truth: it contains no variables! Truth is stable, secure and a surefire way to get me through the unpredictable moments of life.

    Take time to pause and use God's truths to challenge your triggers. And, when you're truly physically hungry, that pause will give you the moment you need to choose a healthy snack. Then you will be truly full.

    Dear Lord, please help me to battle each of my triggers today with truth. Your truth. Moment by moment. I understand that food can fill my stomach but never my soul. Only You can fill my soul, and I am thankful for that. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    This week write down what triggers determine an unhealthy pattern with your eating habits.

    Pause and use God's truths to challenge those triggers.

    Power Verse:
    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)

    © 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst. 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 Ephesians

  • When Aggravations Accumulate

    Posted on November 7, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity." Ephesians 4:26-27 (NASB)

    I opened the front door and smiled at the delivery man, "Four large pizzas, right?"

    The look on the pizza guy's face told me the teenagers in my backyard were about to be disappointed.

    "Ummm, well, actually there are only two. Let me check your ticket ... oh, yeah you're supposed to have four. Give me 20 minutes and I'll be back with the other two." I took the two he had and said, "No problem. The kids can start on these and have round two when you get back."

    As I walked into the kitchen, my husband Art gave me a funny look. "I thought you ordered four pizzas."

    "Yeah, the delivery guy forgot two but will be back in a few minutes. No big deal," I quipped with a shoulder shrug.

    Art tilted his head. "You didn't even ask for a discount or coupons?"

    "I felt bad for the guy. It's not a big deal to ask the kids to wait a few minutes," I replied with a smile.

    Remembering the way I'd reacted earlier during a little "growth opportunity" we'd had, Art said, "Wow. I'd like to receive that kind of grace."

    Ouch. His point was well made. I'd gotten aggravated with something Art had done and let him know.

    Why is it I'm so quick to give a gentle answer to a stranger but spew on those I love? Perhaps it's because of accumulated impact.

    This was the only time I'd ever seen the pizza guy. My emotions toward him were completely neutral. When he made a mistake, I was able to let it go.

    But I have a history with Art. We do life together. If I let aggravations collect, my emotions ratchet up, creating more and more tension. Then, when something happens, I find it much harder to brush off the offense and offer grace.

    Accumulated aggravations equal accumulated impact.

    Therefore, it's crucial I don't collect aggravations. I've heard many times: "Do not let the sun go down on your anger ..." (Ephesians 4:26 NASB) I know it. But honestly, sometimes I ignore it. I collect aggravations because I'm too tired to talk. Or, I don't want to deal with it. Or, I try to convince myself it's no big deal to go to bed mad.

    But when I keep reading one more verse, Ephesians 4:27, I understand why I should deal with little aggravations while they are still little. They might not stay little long. Why? Because verse 27 finishes with a strong warning, "... and do not give the devil an opportunity" (NASB)

    Yikes.

    The devil is just waiting for an opportunity. I picture him hissing, "Go to bed mad ... and give me an opportunity." That just sends shivers down my spine.

    I love my husband. I get aggravated with him. But I love him. So, I certainly don't want to open the door of opportunity for the devil to turn little aggravations into big ones.

    I put down the pizzas and kissed Art's cheek. "I love you and I'm sorry I didn't give you that kind of grace."

    To which he replied back with a big smile, "I still think we should have asked for a discount or coupons."

    Like I said, I love my husband!

    Dear Lord, I really want to follow Your example and live a life full of grace. Sometimes it is so hard to show grace to those closest to me. Help me. I don't want to give the devil any opportunities in my marriage, my relationships with my children, or in my friendships. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:


    Reflect and Respond:
    Think about the equation, accumulated aggravation = accumulated impact. Choose one relationship in your life. In what ways has allowing yourself to accumulate aggravations resulted in a lack of grace?

    What actions can you take to safeguard your relationships against the devil's attempts to create conflict and separation?

    Power Verses:
    Colossians 4:6, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." (NIV)

    1 Peter 5:8, "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. 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 Ephesians

  • Forgiveness of God

    Posted on September 14, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

    The forgiveness of God is far-reaching and without limitation to anyone who believes. He forgives the worst of sinners and the best of saints. Atheists, adulterers, murderers, liars, the hot-tempered, and the mild-mannered can all receive the free forgiveness of their heavenly Father. The good, the bad, and the ugly are all candidates for God’s grace.

    Jesus Christ’s death on the cross bought us back or redeemed us from the penalty of sin. By faith in Him we no longer have to be burdened by our own indiscretions against almighty God. All sins of omission, commission, and ignorance can be laid at the foot of the cross and left for our Lord’s pardon. Have you been freed by His forgiveness?

    Will God forgive years of religious neglect? Yes. Will God forgive a life that lives for itself alone? Yes. Will the Lord forgive divorce, irresponsible living, and laziness? Yes. Will he forgive my chronic complaining, my bad attitude, and my tendency to gossip? Are my pride in my good works and my self-sufficiency covered by Christ’s blood? Yes, God will forgive anything that is an enemy of His grace. His death gives peace.

    “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:19–20).

    Forgiveness is free to all who believe, but it came at a great cost in Christ’s death. God gave His Son for our salvation from sin. So have you personally appropriated faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? If so, since your salvation do you regularly bow to Him in confession for the cleansing of your heart? Unconfessed sin clouds clear thinking.

    Since you have believed, you are rich in God’s grace and have a robust remedy for sin. Do you take advantage of your Lord’s forgiveness? As a Christian, do you sit daily at the feet of your Savior and receive freedom through His forgiveness? At the cross you were set free from the eternal penalty of sin, and now His forgiveness frees you from the guilt of sin. Jesus said, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

    “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you” (Acts 13:38).

    Prayer: Have I trusted Jesus for the salvation of my sins? What hidden sins do I need to repent of and confess to Him?

    Related Readings: Matthew 26:28; Acts 26:17–19; Romans 6:18–22; Hebrews 9:15

    Post/Tweet: Forgiveness is free to all who believe, but it came at a great cost in Christ’s death. #Godforgives

    © 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 Forgiveness, Ephesians

  • A Different Kind of School Year

    Posted on September 5, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)

    As we get back into the routine of a new school year, I'm making a commitment: no more unglued mama mornings. I want our mornings to go better this year with less frustration, yelling, and chaos.

    This idea developed last spring when we had a string of really hard mornings.

    One day, as I pulled up to the school, the atmosphere inside the car was thick with tension. Not wanting the last words spoken to my daughter to be harsh, I tried to change the course of our conversation. "Sweetheart, I love you. I'm sorry we had a rough morning."

    "We always have rough mornings," she shot back before slamming the car door.

    Nothing quite makes a mom feel more successful than a little dialogue like that.

    As I rubbed the stabbing feeling in my chest, I thought, Something has got to change. Each day I promise myself I won't yell at the kids. But each morning something triggers me and I lose it.

    Ever been there?

    It's not like we wake up in the mood to get frustrated with our people, right? I usually wake up in a good mood. But then the stress of getting everyone ready and out the door on time makes the crazy creep in.

    This one can't find her shoes. That one needs a report printed and we have no ink. The bread for sandwiches is still at the grocery store because I forgot to buy it the day before. And to top it all off, I don't have any cash to give the kids so they can buy lunch at school.

    The whining. The complaining. The feeling that I can't ever get it together. It all escalates and sends me over the edge.

    I want this school year to be different. I want to be like Ephesians 4:22-24 describes: "made new in the attitude of my mind." The Greek word for "made new" is kaino. One of its definitions is uncommon. I want to be an uncommon calm in the midst of chaos and an example of peace for my kids. For that to happen, I came up with a plan:

    Tell the world to wait. When I wake up, my mind is like a dry sponge. What I soak up first will saturate me most deeply. If I don't want to be consumed with the stresses of my day, I must put the world on hold to soak up what will renew my mind—God's Word.

    Remember I'm managing blessings. If I want my attitude to be made new, I must keep things in perspective. While my frustrations seem big, things like lost shoes and less than perfect lunches aren't big problems. They are small aggravations that come with managing blessings.

    Let my kids own their irresponsibilities. My kids' irresponsibilities will not become my emergencies. I need to communicate my expectations so they know they're going to have to own the consequences of their choices. For example, if they wait until the last minute to print their report and the printer doesn't have any ink, they'll have to print it at school or turn it in late. Either way, I can't own this situation and let it throw me into frantic, fix-it mode. I can let the consequences of my kids' choices scream, so I don't have to.

    All of this is going to take some intentionality, and I doubt I'll do it perfectly. But I'm excited about trying. I'm excited to "put on my new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Which is another way of saying, I'm excited to have less unglued mama mornings and more peace this school year.

    Dear Lord, thank You for the grace You give. I don't want to live in the same pattern of coming unglued anymore. Help me put these principles into practice. In Jesus' Name, amen.

    Related Resources:

    Reflect and Respond:
    Which of the following action points can you put into practice?
    1. Tell the world to wait.
    2. Remember you're managing blessings.
    3. Let your kids own their irresponsibilities.

    Power Verse:
    2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. 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 Ephesians, School

  • Honor Aging Parents

    Posted on August 15, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise. Ephesians 6:2

    Aging parents are a gift from Almighty God. How many children have the opportunity to grow old with their mom and dad? Some see disease or an accident snatch away their mother or father before they become elderly. It is a blessing to support those who may have supported us over the years. To serve and honor our parents is to serve and honor Jesus. Yes, caring for them is a picture to a lost world of how our Heavenly Father cares for us. Aging parents are God’s excuse to love.

    How can we help our aging parents in a way that honors them? What if they don’t want assistance, but find themselves in a very needy situation? Build up relational equity with your mother and father before their bodies begin to break down. Don’t wait until they really slow down, before you start your service to them. Dignify the aging process by honoring them along the way. They’ll feel more comfortable as you continue your care, as mentally they are less aware.

    Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:32

    Receive whatever level of engagement your loved ones allow. You may have total access to their finances, if so seek to co-manage their money with them. They may invite you into the inner sanctuary of their soul for spiritual support, do so with humble prayers, Bible reading and church attendance, if they are able. Perhaps you join your mom and dad in their conversations with their physician. Ask questions as their advocate. Or, maybe they move in with you for a season.

    Most of all pray aggressively for your aging parents. Pray for them to feel the caring comfort of Christ in their heart and His peace in their mind. Pray for them to come to know Jesus in a personal relationship of trust in His death and resurrection for their salvation. Pray for opportunities for you to love them to the Lord and to share the gospel. Pray for yourself to patiently model the grace of God. Aging parents are not about our convenience, but their honor.

    Love is patient. 1 Corinthians 13:4

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me favor with my parents to love and honor them as You do.

    Related Readings: Malachi 1:6;  Matthew 15:5-7; Romans 13:7; 1 Timothy 5:1-2; Titus 2:2-3

    Post/Tweet today: Aging parents are not about our convenience, but their honor. #honoragingparents

    © 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 Ephesians

  • When My Happy Gets Bumped

    Posted on August 15, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:11-12 (NIV)

    Most days, I wake up fairly happy. It's not like I wake up in a mood for a party but generally I'm not grumpy when I arise. I wake up and things seem pretty good, level and fresh with possibilities. And then inevitably something will bump into my happy.

    An early morning meltdown by one of my people. It's amazing what a bad hair day can do to a teenager's attitude.

    Or a forgotten something for school. And one of my people wants their irresponsibility to suddenly become my emergency.

    Or an email from somebody who clearly gets pleasure from trying to bring others down.

    Or me misjudging the time and suddenly everything is rushed, hurried and stressful.

    Or my husband, Art, lowering the thermostat in the house to 68 degrees and I can't stop shivering until the temperature hovers closer to 72. It's amazing how much difference four degrees makes.

    Things happen. Things that bump into my happy. And suddenly I'm a little off-kilter and little less nice.

    Can you relate?

    Well, I'm learning something about a little mental perspective I need to have when things bump into my happy. In that moment, Satan is scheming to have me help him out. If he can just get me jostled to the point where I react out of anger, it's like lighting a spark near a puddle of gasoline.

    Even the smallest spark can ignite quite a fire. A fire that will spread and feel much bigger than what the situation ever should have been.

    Take the temperature discussion for example.

    It should be just a simple discussion about the thermostat. But, add a little anger and suddenly things in my brain escalate to the point where I've just about convinced myself Art is completely insensitive and couldn't care less about me.

    Is that true? Of course not. He just likes to sit in his house without sweating. Surely, we could find a compromise with the temperature or I could go put on some socks and a sweatshirt.

    Instead, when he bumps my happy, a "growth opportunity" ensues that leaves us both feeling a little burned.

    In other words, I play right into Satan's scheme and help him out. Remember, Satan's very name means one who casts something between two, causing a separation. Be it a temperature issue, tight finances, a misunderstood statement or one of the millions of little things that can bump our happy ... we have a choice.

    We can choose to play into Satan's schemes and enable his attempts to separate us from God's best.

    Or, we can choose to fight for our relationships and against Satan's divisive attempts.

    When I think about it in these terms, it helps me identify the real enemy.

    My real enemy isn't any of the people who bump my happy. My real enemy is the one who tries with all his might to get me to jump into a grumpy mood and help him tear down all that I love.

    Knowing I need a strategy against these attacks, I turn to the wisdom found in Ephesians 6:11, "Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."

    You better back up and back off Satan. I'm on to your schemes. You are my enemy, not people. And now I have a totally new game plan for when my happy gets bumped. Starting with finding just the right pair of socks and a sweatshirt to wear in the ice cave.

    Dear Lord, sometimes my happy gets bumped and my emotions get the best of me. Help me to react in a way that's honoring to You instead of reacting in a way that will fuel Satan's agenda. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst and Hope TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    What bumps into your happy and sends you off kilter?

    Could this realization that it's not just you feeling jostled, but a scheme of Satan's to separate, give you a different perspective?

    Power Verse:
    James 4:7, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. 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 Ephesians

  • Always Be Thankful

    Posted on August 13, 2013 by Family Christian

    Boyd Bailey

    Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

    Gratitude to God is the language of those who love the Lord. Because they love the Lord, they trust the Lord. Because they trust the Lord, they thank the Lord...always. Thankfulness to our Heavenly Father goes directly to His heart. Like a valuable package sent overnight express, gratitude reaches God immediately and unimpeded. The Lord longs to hear prayers of thanksgiving from His children who totally trust in Him. Yes, trust gives thanks for everything.

    Are you able, by the Holy Spirit’s power to offer thanks quickly and continually after you enter into an adverse situation? It’s much easier to thank the Lord for the good things that come our way, but its more difficult to be grateful when things seem unfair. Thus, we immediately shift our thinking to thankfulness when our flesh wants to flirt with grumbling. The quicker we close the gap from initial offense to forgiveness and thanks, the quicker we resume our walk in the Spirit.

    Settle matters quickly with your adversary. Matthew 5:25

    When your feelings are hurt, thank God for the hurt Christ went through to heal your heart. When you are passed over for a promotion, thank God for Christ’s Passover for your sin. When you see evil interrupt your world, thank God for sending His righteous son to redeem the world. When a child is disobedient, thank God for Christ Jesus who learned obedience through His suffering. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered. Hebrews 5:8

    Your capacity for thankfulness directly relates to your capacity for joy. A happy heart is a grateful heart. Ultimately find joy in Jesus and in thanksgiving to the Lord for your eternal home in heaven. Furthermore, thank God for your enemy who causes you to engage Christ in prayer for your adversary. Satan steams when he sees your praise to God in the middle of experiencing a serious problem. A mark of mature faith is an ever grateful heart. Yes, learn to thank the Lord for everything and you will grow to not need anything but Him. Trust in God always thanks God!

    I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 1 Timothy 1:12

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my trust to thank you for everything in Jesus name.

    Related Readings: 1 Chronicles 23:30 Daniel 2:23; 1Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:13

    Post/Tweet today: Learn to thank the Lord for everything and you will grow to not need anything but Him. #alwaysbethankful

    © 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 Ephesians, Thanksgiving

  • Spiritual Formation

    Posted on July 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us, 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, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment--to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. Ephesians 1:7-10

    Spiritual formation is the process of Christ conforming us into His image with the ultimate goal of perfect unity with Him. At conversion a new believer is an infant in the faith; totally needy and totally dependent. They grow from the milk of God’s word to ingesting and digesting the meat of Holy Scripture. Salvation to service is a common step in spiritual formation, but there is much more. Beyond doing for the Lord is being who we are in Christ. To be is to know Him.

    So we grow past adding on the next volunteer opportunity and take the time to get quiet before our Heavenly Father. The spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditation and contemplation become a regular part of our routine as we wrestle with God’s will. We learn to love the Lord, others and ourselves in an unselfish way. We grow to know Jesus as a friend and a lover. Humility and grace begin to govern our every thought and action as we become more like Christ. Maturity grows up.

    But when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 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 13:10-12

    Furthermore, there are days of darkness on our spiritual formation path leading to oneness with our groom, Jesus Christ. As in marriage, what is sometimes painful can be the most productive. What feels bad to the body and emotions can be good for the soul. Communication with Christ in prayer may seem suspended, but this season of silent suffering is meant to strip away all our attachments. Our lover Jesus is jealous for 100% of our affection. Spouses grow old together, looking increasingly like each other in appearance. Thus, by grace, we grow to look like Jesus.

    It is comfortable to cease growing spiritually and settle into a service mindset. However, your Father desires for you to do like Martha and to be like Mary (Luke 10:38-42). Progression in your spiritual formation requires both works and faith. It is a matter of emphasis and motivation. You are a branch in God’s garden who produces fruit because of the Gardner, the Vine and the Rain. The Father, the Son and the Spirit. You remain in Christ and the Trinity spiritually forms you into a fruit bearer. So, stay engaged in the growth process with God; you become better!

    Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use the process of spiritual formation to make me more like Jesus.

    Related Readings: Jeremiah 29:11-14; Matthew 5:6, 48, 7:13-14; Romans 7:15-16; Philippians 3:14

    Post/Tweet today: Beyond doing for the Lord is being who we are in Christ. To be is to know Him. #beinginChrist

    © 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 Ephesians

  • Stress Busters

    Posted on July 17, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. Ephesians 1:3-4

    Too blessed to be stressed is the attitude of those who keep God’s goodness top of mind. His blessings in Christ produce peace of mind, a calm heart and a secure soul. The focus of gratitude to the Lord for His favor causes Jesus followers to fall on their knees in thanksgiving and praise. There is no room for stress when the righteous stress the generous gifts of God. The blessing cup of Christ is not just half full, it is overflowing. Yes, praise to God produces indescribable peace.

    How has your Heavenly Father blessed you? Count your many blessings, name them one by one. Salvation in Jesus probably jumps to mind first. Your opportunity to work and provide for your family is a huge benefit of God’s blessing. Citizenship in a country that protects and promotes freedom of religion, speech, business and the ability to bear arms cannot be taken for granted.
    We are blessed with health, prayer support, modern medicine, education, family and friends.

    In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? I am under vows to you, O God; I will present my thank offerings to you. Psalm 56:11-12

    Fear builds stress, while trust in the Lord tears down the trusses of distrust. When we forget God’s record of faithfulness we construct structures of stress. He was faithful yesterday, He is faithful today and He will be faithful tomorrow. The goal is not for us to eliminate stress, but to let it pass through when it intrudes into our heart and mind. Like an uninvited sales person who shows up demanding attention, we may listen for a moment, but politely decline and send them away. Yes, prayerfully and courageously off load the burdensome spirit of stress.

    Glory hallelujah, your Heavenly Father has your back. He does not want you backed into a corner of confusion without hope. Lean into the Lord and let Him deflate your distress. Don’t allow another’s crisis to become your crisis. Dismiss drama and replace it with a reasoned response. Above all, praise and thank God for His spiritual blessings above and for His earthly blessings in Christ. Enjoy Him and enjoy life, liberty and love. Stress rushes to the exits of your life when the fire of your faith focuses on God’s blessings. Yes, you are too blessed to be stressed!

    Though while they live they count themselves blessed. Psalm 49:18

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I celebrate and give You praise for Your goodness and blessings.

    Related Readings: Psalm 84:4-15; 94:12, 106:3, 107:38, 112:1-2; 1 Peter 3:14, 4:14; Revelation 4:13

    Post/Tweet today: Stress rushes to the exits of your life when the fire of your faith focuses on God’s blessings. #stressbusters

    © 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 Ephesians

  • Saying Yes to God

    Posted on July 11, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel ..." Ephesians 6:19 (NIV)

    Have you ever had one of those amazing thoughts of something you want to do? Your heart beats wildly for a few minutes—or even a few days—and you think to yourself, I'm going to do this!

    But then the reasons you can't start coming. They suit up, start marching, and aim their weapons of discouragement right at your heart. In the end, that amazing thought becomes a fleeting thought.

    And you think to yourself, yeah, it was a dumb idea. Then, as quickly as the stir of passion started, it fades. Too many of us live in the depressing, washed-out shades of a thousand faded passions that might have been.

    Because we're afraid.

    We'd rather stay safe and under the radar than go big and possibly flop.

    But every now and then someone rare comes along. They would rather die than say, "I wish I would have ..." Instead, they grit their teeth, lift their raw souls to God, and scream above all the naysayers, "I will! With God, I will!"

    That's my pastor.

    I have never seen someone so willing to FEARLESSLY make known the mystery of the gospel. He walks, talks, eats, sleeps, and breathes Ephesians 6:19, "Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel ..."

    My pastor had a crazy thought fly into his brain to do an old-school revival for 12 nights in a row. A revival that wouldn't be about one church and one preacher, but would be about THE CHURCH with many preachers. One that would be all about getting the hope of Jesus to the masses.

    It was a good idea. But it was a crazy idea. What about the expense? What if it burned out the staff? Would people really show up for all 12 nights? So many questions begged the idea to just fade away.

    But my pastor didn't let it fade. He didn't let it die. He ignited it. Not because he didn't feel the pull of fear, but rather because he pressed into God and chose to be unafraid.

    This crazy thought turned into an amazing reality—a full-blown revival. Twelve straight nights. Twelve amazing messages. Twelve passionate preachers. One awe-inspiring purpose—to fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.

    My husband and I had the privilege to attend much of this revival in person. And though I'm a woman of many words, I can't possibly begin to describe what God did.

    There was an igniting of souls that happened and extended all across the globe. People came to know Jesus. People got baptized. People found hope again. And people saw what can happen when one person dares to say, "I'm going to say yes to God's wild invitation. I'm going to do this!"

    You may be thinking, my yes can't affect others like this. I don't have that kind of influence. But we cannot even begin to understand the plans God has for us. There is always a far-reaching ripple effect when a woman says yes to God. We don't have to see the spread of the influence to know it's there. The power of saying yes to God is beyond anything we could ever imagine.

    Dear Lord, thank You for the examples of great men and women You have placed in our lives. May we humble ourselves as we learn from their courage to say yes to Your call. Give me the strength and courage necessary to take that next step in Your will for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    For more encouragement on your journey of walking in obedience check out Lysa TerKeurst's new book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God Devotional, releasing August 1! Click here to pre-order your copy.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Think of an example of someone who has chosen to say yes to God no matter what the cost.

    What can you learn from their example of faith and radical obedience?

    Power Verses:
    2 Corinthians 1:20-22, "Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God's Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete." (MSG)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. 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 Ephesians

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