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Tag Archives: Galatians

  • Who Controls What?

    Posted on January 21, 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control." Proverbs 25:28 (NIV)

    Ask me why my attempts at losing weight haven't been successful and I can give you a list of reasons: It was a stressful summer, I hit a "golden" number on my birthday, how could I say no to the scrumptious food on vacation? And the "best" one (the one that garnered the most sympathy) - I couldn't exercise due to a minor medical procedure on my legs.

    But the bottom line is this: I lack self-control in this area of my life.

    I know what I should do. Or more accurately, I know what I should NOT do. And yet when faced with a temptation, I give in. Rather than choose a modest portion size, I justify a second helping. Or I set myself up by not anticipating my weakness and buying Little Debbie Swiss Rolls thinking I'll only eat half of one. Oh, how I deceive myself.

    The ability to control my own choices is a God-given gift. And yet it's one I misuse some times. Sadly rather than controlling myself, I choose to try to control other things. And end up losing control of myself.

    Here was God's original plan: He controls the world. We control ourselves.

    That's a great plan when you think it through objectively. God's got unlimited resources, unlimited wisdom, and unlimited power. He should be in charge of the world with that resume.

    That's not what happened though. Many generations ago, in a garden with some fruit that was off-limits, we decided we didn't like that plan. In fact, we decided it was our job to control the world. After all, we have to live in it, right? Shouldn't we make the rules? Plus, we really should make sure others stay in line too. My what a big job we have trying to corral everyone! It's exhausting.

    So the more we focus on God's job (controlling the world and other people) the less we do our job (controlling ourselves).

    I love today's Scripture verse from Proverbs 25:28, "Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control." (NIV) This gives me a mental image of an unprotected treasure. So when an enemy tries to attack, there is no defense.

    As I apply that to my life, I can see where the enemy sneaks in through my lack of self-control. Especially when I start my excuses. Whether it's excuses for over-eating, not managing my home well or over-committing myself, without self-control I'm like a bombarded city. The more I focus on what I can't control, the less I'm able to manage what I can control.

    Thankfully, God has a plan in place to help us with this issue. He sent His Holy Spirit to live in us. Galatians 5:22-24 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (NIV)

    As we start a new year, I'm taking a fresh look at what I can control and what I can't. I'm acknowledging my need of God's help, but I'm also acknowledging my responsibility. Thankfully I can release the load of trying to control others, because on most days, I'm as much as I can handle.

    Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of free-will and self control. Forgive me when I misuse those gifts. Help me to seek Your Spirit for more self control in my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Does your life feel out of control? I Used to Be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer can help bring order to your schedule and home.

    Let.It.Go. How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith by Karen Ehman

    Reflect and Respond:
    In what areas of your life do you have the least amount of self-control?

    Think through one of those areas and consider how you have misplaced your ability to control yourself with trying to control something or someone else.

    Power Verses:
    Titus 2:4-5, "Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." (NIV)

    Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer. 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 Proverbs, Galatians

  • Racial Healing

    Posted on January 19, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew or Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26–28).

     

    Christianity is colorblind. The foot of the Cross is level and acceptable for all who embrace faith in Jesus Christ. Man erects barriers, but belief in Christ tears them down. Man makes himself superior and treats others as inferior. However, our superior Savior Jesus makes humble followers of the Lord significant.

     

    Your devotion to Christ is meant to dissolve distrust toward those different from you. In fact, it is out of the beauty of diversity that your beliefs are made real. Faith untested by inclusiveness is indeed inferior. Belief in God equalizes egos and checks pride. Our Christian brand promise is love for one another, because He first loved us.

     

    No race can escape the love of God and His children. Racial healing is a result of radical inclusiveness; so invite others inside. Oneness is the outcome of devotion to Christ. The free set others free, and all become bond-servants of Christ. Those in bondage are set free to live life for the Lord and others.

     

    Men and women become one in marriage and one in their love for the Lord. Races have no reason to boast over their lineage other than it is a gift from God. He determined when and where you where born. Your life was planned ahead by Providence. Therefore, thank God for giving you the family and the life He has given you.

     

    Take responsibility for your actions, living life with gratitude and grace. Forgive freely, as Christ has forgiven you, and remove any race resentment with grace insistence. Heaven heals hearts on earth when they  are unified by faith in Christ Jesus.

     

    His passionate prayer is, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:20–21 NASB).

     

    Prayer: How can I be a facilitator of race healing by the grace of God in Christ Jesus?

     

    Related Readings: Exodus 12:48–49; Ezekiel 17:23; Matthew 23:8; Acts 10:28–47

    Post/Tweet: Christianity is colorblind and the foot of the Cross is level for all who love the Lord. #racialhealing

    © 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 John, Galatians, Healing

  • Daddy's Girl

    Posted on January 16, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." Zephaniah 3:17b (NLT)

    When my son-in-law walks through his front door, he throws his arms wide open and calls out, "Elle!"

    Two-year-old Elle races toward him in her awkward toddler run and throws herself into his embrace. He tosses her high in the air, then pulls her close, saying, "Elle, do you know how much Daddy loves you?"

    When I have the privilege of watching this scene, I always think the same thing: My beautiful granddaughter will always know she's her daddy's girl.

    A daddy's girl is loved even when she throws a tantrum and has to go to time out.

    A daddy's girl feels beautiful even when she's in need of a tissue and has spaghetti stains on her shirt.

    A daddy's girl doesn't need to search for love anywhere else, because her daddy has provided a safe and loving place in his heart.

    Maybe as you read this, you think of your own dad. Perhaps he was absent, destructive, or failed to provide a safe shelter for his girl.

    I understand that feeling.

    I met my biological dad briefly at the age of 13, again at 17, and at 40 years of age I stood beside his casket to say goodbye to a man I really didn't know.

    I will never be a daddy's girl in the sense that my granddaughter has experienced, but it doesn't mean I am exempt from a Father's love.

    In the New Testament, Abba is mentioned only three times—and is closest to our word "daddy." When Jesus used it to describe His—and our—intimate relationship with God, it offended those within earshot. They questioned how He could use a term so familiar to describe God.

    But I understand it perfectly. You see, regardless of an earthly father's love or absence, I'm still a Daddy's girl.

    And so are you.

    Our Abba Father delights and sings over us (Zephaniah 3:17). He adopts us as His own and offers a rich inheritance (Galatians 4:6-7). We walk into His waiting arms daily, and when we need correction, His love does not ebb. When we stand in front of Him with our sin-stained heart, or hold up tears for Him to dry, He remains our Abba Father.

    Maybe you've been longing to fill that empty place left by an earthly father. As a Daddy's girl, you don't have to search for love anymore, because your Abba Father has provided a safe and loving place in his heart.

    In fact, He's waiting with open arms.

    Dear Abba, I hold up the gaps left by an earthly parent, and thank You for pouring into those places until I overflow with confidence in Whose I am. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

    Reflect and Respond:
    How we identify ourselves is key to moving past a gap caused by an earthly father's lack.

    Are you willing to redefine yourself as a Daddy's girl—completely, totally, thoroughly? He's already called you His own. Today, run into your Abba's waiting arms.

    Power Verses:
    Romans 8:16, "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God." (ESV)

    Galatians 4:6-7, "You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, 'Papa! Father!' Doesn't that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you're also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance." (MSG)

    © 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 Galatians, Zephaniah

  • A Friend's Rejection

    Posted on January 14, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.” Psalm 55:12-14

     

    The worst kind of rejection may be the rejection of a friend. You expect it from an enemy, but not from a friend. It doesn’t make sense that someone you communed with around Christ would come back and crush you with rejection. Rejection integrated with religious pretense is rough. It challenges our trust in people in general, and our faith in God in particular. With a recognized foe you can see it coming, however, with a pretend friend it takes you by surprise. You feel ambushed by unauthentic living. One day you are laughing together around life’s little peculiarities and the next day you are dazed by the anger of an unstable man. It is haunting and humbling at the same time. You don’t know whether to lash back or languish in disillusionment. Friendly betrayal is frightening.

    Reproaches from those we have been intimate with cut to the quick. They know our strengths and our weaknesses. They know where we are vulnerable. They know how to exploit our struggles, taking advantage of our good will. It is like you have been emotionally naked with someone, and now you feel embarrassed because of his or her indiscretions. What happened to the person you once knew? How could you have been so deceived? It may have been a decade of deceit embedded in your marriage vows. It may have been financial fraud and embezzlement over a long period of time. It may be a hidden addiction that has all the while hijacked your relationship for their creditability.

    Our Lord Jesus of course had one for whom he trusted to the point of managing the money. He was close to Christ in proximity, but far away in faith. For Judas it was all about the cash. It was money that motivated him in the beginning, and money that was his downfall in the end. Money motivated men may be pleasant on the outside, but they are full of themselves on the inside. They set you up for their own selfish plan. We see it after the fact. It is so clear. But in the beginning we can be easily deceived. Therefore, really get to know someone before you heavily invest. In time they can be trusted.

    Lastly, avoid the temptation to reject those who have rejected you. This is our natural response. However under the influence of the Holy Spirit our right response is to forgive their failings, regardless of how radical their behavior. We are all candidates for sin, even gross sin. Without God’s grace and the accountability of a committed community of believers, we are deceivers with the best of them. The worst deceivers have been the most deceived. Paul stated well our role toward those trapped in sin, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Yes rejection by a trusted friend is fiendish and false hearted. However we are called to be forgiving and pure hearted. Do not stoop to their standards that are sub par with your Savior’s. By God’s grace rise above rejection!

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the grace to accept those from whom I feel rejected.
    Related Readings: Isaiah 33:1; Jeremiah 12:6; Matthew 27:3-4; 1 Corinthains 11:23-24

    Post/Tweet today: Rejection integrated with religious pretense is rough on relationships. #rejection

    © 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 Psalm, Galatians

  • When You Don't Have It In You

    Posted on January 9, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

    I was completely blindsided. I'd been called into a meeting at my church with another woman in leadership who had been upset with me for months. But I was just finding out about it.

    Someone told her I didn't agree with her leadership style. But that wasn't what I'd said - months before - in a meeting with several other leaders. I had been asked my opinion about a situation and shared my thoughts. It broke my heart that I was just being asked about it now, many months later.

    We both volunteered countless hours in ministry, pouring our hearts and lives into women in our church. All the while, we were on the same team and assumed we fully supported one another. But now the trust we'd built for years was unraveling.

    It was a mess. I was a mess.

    I decided I was done. I just didn't have it in me. I wasn't strong enough or resilient enough. And I was exhausted from the hurt I felt and the hurt I had caused.

    That afternoon I went home and cried. Told God I was ready to call it quits. Laying my head down on my desk, I said I couldn't do it anymore.

    But then a truth that had been buried deep in my heart surfaced: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

    And in that moment, I knew if I was willing to die to myself and completely rely on Christ in me I could experience His resurrection power in this place of depletion - where I had nothing left to give.

    There was no way around this crossroad: I could either walk away from God's calling on my life or I could allow Jesus to live HIS life through me.

    I could die to my desire to protect myself from getting hurt again and choose to tap into His power by relying on the strength of His Spirit.

    I wasn't enough ... wasn't strong enough, resilient enough, or humble enough, but Christ in me was more than enough.

    You see Jesus did not die on the cross just to get us out of hell and into heaven. He died on the cross to get Himself out of heaven and into us! That is resurrection life - and the very place where we get our enough!

    If you have been crucified with Christ, you no longer live, but Christ lives in you. The life you now live in your body, you can choose to live by faith in the Son of God, who loved you and gave Himself for you.

    I opted to rely on the Holy Spirit within me as my friend and I navigated this tough leadership situation. It wasn't easy, but it was good and it helped restore our friendship. The next time you and I find ourselves at tough relational crossroads—choosing to walk away from God's calling on our life or allowing Jesus to live HIS life through us—let's allow HIM to be our enough! For indeed He is.

    Dear Lord, You are mighty, and holy, and strong. And I thank You that Your sweet Holy Spirit is more than enough to help me die to myself and let YOU live through me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    How do we stop letting life's hurts and hardships knock us down? In her award-winning book, A Confident Heart, Renee walks with you through the process of gaining spiritual resilience and lasting God confidence! You'll discover how to live in Christ by allowing Him to live His life in you and through you!

    Reflect and Respond:
    Prepare your mind and heart for the next time relationship conflicts arise. Decide now that you will allow Christ in you - through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit - to be enough and let Him live through you in those tough situations.

    Bury this verse deep in your heart: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

    Power Verses:
    Philippians 1:21, "For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better." (NLT)

    1 Peter 5:5, "... And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." (NASB)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. 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 Galatians

  • Christ in Christmas

    Posted on December 22, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

     

    Christ in Christmas is like memorial in Memorial Day, mother in Mother’s Day, father in Father’s Day, labor in Labor Day, independence in Independence Day, and thanksgiving in Thanksgiving Day. However, in our attempt to not offend other religions and to become politically correct, we have diluted and desecrated the true meaning of Christmas.

    Indeed, Jesus is the reason for the season. He is the explanation for eternal life. He is the answer from almighty God for grace and truth incarnate. He is the beginning and the end, a bright light in the darkest darkness. He is our hope on earth as we prepare for our home in heaven.

    If Christ is not in Christmas, then churches can convert to corporate offices and missions can morph into humanitarian agencies. Christ in Christmas creates a tension for those who have yet to trust, but to us who have been saved, it is the most significant celebration.

    “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship” (Galatians 4:4–5).

    Christ in Christmas means you live for a purpose much grander than merchandise and commerce. Your children have a legacy of love for God and country, and service to others. You work as unto the Lord and give generously out of gratitude for God’s bountiful blessings.

    Christ in Christmas motivates you to live like you were dying and to die like you were living, all in a spirit of faith, hope, and love. By God’s grace you promote a Christian worldview populated by praying people and full of eternal opportunities, while on guard in Spirit-led discernment to Satan’s schemes and evil’s deceptive intentions.

    Christ in Christmas compels you to exclaim, “He was born so we would believe, He died so we would live, and He rose so we would rise!” Therefore, in humility and with pride, boldly keep Christ in Christmas. His birth is your excuse to brag about Jesus.

    The Bible says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

    Prayer: How can I keep Christ in Christmas with my church and family traditions and my everyday life and conversations?

    Related Readings: Isaiah 19:20; Malachi 3:1; Acts 2:36

    Post/Tweet: Christ in Christmas means we live for a purpose much more compelling than commerce. #Christmas

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mailwisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Luke, Galatians, Christmas

  • When You Don't Have It In You

    Posted on December 19, 2012 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

    I was completely blindsided. I'd been called into a meeting at my church with another woman in leadership who had been upset with me for months. But I was just finding out about it.

    Someone told her I didn't agree with her leadership style. But that wasn't what I'd said – months before – in a meeting with several other leaders. I had been asked my opinion about a situation and shared my thoughts. It broke my heart that I was just being asked about it now, many months later.

    We both volunteered countless hours in ministry, pouring our hearts and lives into women in our church. All the while, we were on the same team and assumed we fully supported one another. But now the trust we'd built for years was unraveling.

    It was a mess. I was a mess.

    I decided I was done. I just didn't have it in me. I wasn't strong enough or resilient enough. And I was exhausted from the hurt I felt and the hurt I had caused.

    That afternoon I went home and cried. Told God I was ready to call it quits. Laying my head down on my desk, I said I couldn't do it anymore.

    But then a truth that had been buried deep in my heart surfaced: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

    And in that moment, I knew if I was willing to die to myself and completely rely on Christ in me I could experience His resurrection power in this place of depletion – where I had nothing left to give.

    There was no way around this crossroad: I could either walk away from God's calling on my life or I could allow Jesus to live HIS life through me.

    I could die to my desire to protect myself from getting hurt again and choose to tap into His power by relying on the strength of His Spirit.

    I wasn't enough ... wasn't strong enough, resilient enough, or humble enough, but Christ in me was more than enough.

    You see Jesus did not die on the cross just to get us out of hell and into heaven. He died on the cross to get Himself out of heaven and into us! That is resurrection life – and the very place where we get our enough!

    If you have been crucified with Christ, you no longer live, but Christ lives in you. The life you now live in your body, you can choose to live by faith in the Son of God, who loved you and gave Himself for you.

    I opted to rely on the Holy Spirit within me as my friend and I navigated this tough leadership situation. It wasn't easy, but it was good and it helped restore our friendship. The next time you and I find ourselves at tough relational crossroads—choosing to walk away from God's calling on our life or allowing Jesus to live HIS life through us—let's allow HIM to be our enough! For indeed He is.

    Dear Lord, You are mighty, and holy, and strong. And I thank You that Your sweet Holy Spirit is more than enough to help me die to myself and let YOU live through me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    How do we stop letting life's hurts and hardships knock us down? In her award-winning book, A Confident Heart, Renee Swope walks with you through the process of gaining spiritual resilience and lasting God confidence! You'll discover how to live in Christ by allowing Him to live His life in you and through you!

    Reflect and Respond:
    Prepare your mind and heart for the next time relationship conflicts arise. Decide now that you will allow Christ in you – through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit - to be enough and let Him live through you in those tough situations.

    Bury this verse deep in your heart: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

    Power Verses:
    Philippians 1:21, "For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better." (NLT)

    1 Peter 5:5, "... And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (NASB)

    © 2012 by Renee Swope. 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 Galatians

  • Walk in Love

    Posted on December 6, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:2

     

    A walk in love is a walk that imitates Christ’s love. It is a journey with Jesus that stops and stoops down to assist those who have fallen into a ditch of discouragement and despair. It is a stroll with our Savior that seeks out sinners—not in condemnation, but in compassion and forgiveness. A walk in love looks for ways to bless without expecting anything in return. Like Jesus love still loves as it walks through difficulty, even death. 

    Our walk of love looks out for the poor, the widow, the orphan, the single parent, the sick and the sinner who is far from God. We are compelled by Christ to love the lowly and the outcasts of society, because we were once enemies of God in desperate need of love. We can now sing from the depths of our hearts, “Love lifted me, love lifted me!” We were stuck in sin’s pit and love lifted us up to love. Love elevates us to offer grateful love to all.

    “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

    Who do you know who needs a loving word or kind deed? Perhaps you anonymously assist in the yard work or home repair of a single parent or widow in your neighborhood. Love may lead you to quietly pay for the school tuition of a friend’s child who can’t afford to further their education. Pray for ways to creatively use your relationships and resources to bring hope and solutions to other struggling souls. Love is intentional.

    Above all, lean into the Lord’s love as the source of your service and love. Check your motivation and make sure it is for your Master’s glory and from the Spirit’s power. Do people smell your life as a perfume of praise to Jesus? Are you a pleasant aroma of grace and forgiveness? The deeper you develop your love relationship with Christ, the deeper and wider you will love others. Walk in love as a witness to your radical love for God!

    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, love me deeply so I can love others deeper.

    Related Readings: Leviticus 19:18; Psalm 21:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 Peter 1:22

    Post/Tweet today: The Lord’s love lifts us up to lift up others in love. #love

    © 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 Ephesians, John, Galatians

  • The Rip Current of People-Pleasing

    Posted on November 8, 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa Terkeurst

    "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10 (NIV)

    Bring up the phrase "people-pleasing" in a group of women and the responses are interesting. Most will quickly say they struggle with this to some degree. Those that say they don't struggle with people-pleasing eventually admit before the conversation is over that it's present in at least one of their relationships.

    People-pleasing is something we seem kind of resigned to having to deal with rather than determined to overcome.

    Why is that?

    We all want to be liked. There's nothing wrong with that. But as we travel the path toward love and acceptance let's take a look at two of the possible motivations behind people-pleasing.

    One motivation is to give love out of the kindness of our heart. In giving love we feel love. That's good.

    Another motivation is to give to others out of what we hope to get in return-love. In getting love from what we do, we feel desperate to do more to get more. That's dangerous.

    It's the second way that gets us into trouble with people-pleasing. It's not wrong to want to make others feel loved, happy, and pleased. But if we are doing it with the motivation of getting things in return, we will set ourselves up for trouble. Being in a constant state of trying to get love by doing more and more will lead to exhaustion.

    Exhaustion for the giver. Exhaustion for the taker. Exhaustion in the relationship all together.

    Ephesians 5:8-10 says, "... for at one time you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord." (ESV)

    I like the explanation of what the fruit or evidence is of us walking as children of light — doing what is good, right, and true — as we discern what is pleasing to the Lord.

    I am challenged to make this a filter for the decisions I'm making today. You see, I know I'm in the rip current of people-pleasing when I dread saying yes but feel powerless to say no.

    If I'm seeking to please the Lord, I will ask some questions before agreeing to do something for another person: Am I doing this with good motives, right intentions, and true expectations?

    Or am I doing this with:

    Fearful motives ... They might not like me if I say no.

    Skewed intentions ... If I do this for them will they be more likely to do that for me?

    Unrealistic expectations ... I just know if I give a little more, they'll affirm me and I'm desperate for their affirmation.

    Wherever we focus our attention the most will become the driving force in our lives.

    The more I focus on trying to figure out how to please people, the more of a magnified force people-pleasing will become in my life. The more I focus on trying to figure out how to please God, the more of a magnified force He will become in my life.

    My focus. My choice.

    Dear Lord, help me break away from my people-pleasing tendencies. Guide me in my daily decisions as I battle fearful motives, skewed intentions, and unrealistic expectations. I want to make You the focus, Father, so that You continue to become the magnified force in my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Do you have some relatives that make holidays challenging? Lysa TerKeurst's New York Times Bestseller, Unglued, is a wonderful book to guide you in interacting with them

    Make time to focus on the Lord through study. A great resource to help you is the Unglued DVD and Participant's Guide. Click here to pick up your copy today.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Have you experienced the cycle of doing more to get more?

    Search your heart and ask, What are my motives? Am I seeking to please people or God in this situation? You may need to place healthy boundaries in your relationships with others so that you can learn when to say "yes" and when to say "no."

    Power Verse:
    1 Thessalonians 2:4, "On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts." (NIV)

    © 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Ephesians, Galatians, Lysa TerKeurst

  • Dealing With Disappointment

    Posted on October 24, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    “Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23

     

    Everyone deals with disappointment—some more than others. These let downs vary in scope: another year of no raises at work, a friend’s forgetfulness, a lost opportunity, a teenager’s poor choices, a missed deadline, a relative’s financial woes, a boss’s oversight, an injured body or unexpected dental work. In this world troubles abound, but in Christ His peace is profound. Yes, disappointment is a fact that forces us to make appointments with Jesus. He doesn’t disappoint.

    Moreover, disappointments left unattended lead to disobedience. The hole in our heart is meant to grow our dependency on God. He brings wholeness and holiness to a lacerated soul. The Lord heals hurt feelings when we offer forgiveness. Yes, disappointment feeds selfishness when we don’t get our way. So be wise, if your frustration replaces your faith you can lose patience and respect. Allow your trust in Jesus to trump testy relationships. Adjust your expectations to His concerns.

    “My soul, wait silently for God alone,?For my expectation is from Him.” Psalm 62:5, NKJV 

    Appointments with God help us to deal with disappointment. He gives us rest when we are restless. He gives us calm when there is calamity. He gives us peace when there is chaos. He gives us trust when there is distrust. But how do we respond to those who disappoint us? We see them as our Heavenly Father sees them—sheep in need of a shepherd. Friends falter, so will we judge them from a distance or love them up close and personal? Disappointment is cause to care.

    What is your greatest disappointment? Is it you? Have you appropriated God’s forgiveness and have you forgiven yourself in Christ? Regret is like a large rock on your chest—it is a burden you are not meant to bear. By God’s grace open up to a trusted friend about your past embarrassments—even shameful behavior. Let another’s love cover your disappointment in yourself like a warm blanket on an exposed body. By faith, accept your Savior’s acceptance.

    “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, take my disappointments and grow my love and obedience to You.

    Related Readings: Job 6:20; Psalm 5:3, 22:5; John 6:60-71; 2 Corinthians 8:5; James 1:6-8

    Post/Tweet: In this world troubles abound, but in Christ His peace is profound. #peace

    Download the free Wisdom Hunters app… http://bit.ly/OVrYb9


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Psalm, Galatians, Isaiah, Disappointment

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