• ABOUT
    Did you know?
    All of our earnings go to Christian charities.
    Click to learn more about us!
  • SHOP
    View the latest sales and promotions going on now!
    When you shop, you give.
  • GIVE
    See our latest Giving Challenge.
  • GROW
    Our blog shares devotionals, interviews, contests & more—all to help you grow in your faith.

  • New Year New You - Resources for the New Year

Tag Archives: Isaiah

  • Unwrapping His Christmas Presence

    Posted on December 11, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means 'God is with us')." Isaiah 7:14b (NLT)

    Plans for the perfect Christmas danced in my head. Almost everyone from my side of the family and JJ's side would be coming to our house at some point between Christmas and New Years. We'd never hosted Christmas dinner, and I was looking forward it.

    But, somewhere in the midst of all the preparations, I got tangled up in Christmas lights and unrealistic expectations. By the time everyone got here I couldn't wait for them to leave.

    It all started when my husband and sons petitioned for blinking colored lights on the tree. We don't do colored lights on the tree. I am a "white lights" kind of girl, I insisted.

    But JJ decided our decorating decisions should be a "family activity" that year. Who was this man and why had he not brought this up in pre-marital counseling? I wondered.

    The control freak in me started to freak out. Don't get in the way of my perfect Christmas with white lights that make me and my home feel peaceful.

    I'd dreamed of this day for years and wanted to have the perfect house, perfect menu, and perfect table settings. But hope was dashed the night before guests arrived when I couldn't find festive cloth napkins and it dawned on me that I didn't have a big enough pan to cook a turkey in.

    When Christmas came, I had a house full of people but an oh-so-empty heart.

    As I walked through my living room picking up wrapping paper, I wondered why my dreams of the "perfect Christmas" hadn't come true. Many of the elements seemed to be in place: kids playing together, grandparents on the couch snoring to Christmas tunes, and grown men playing sidewalk hockey in the driveway. We'd lit Advent candles and set out the nativities. Still, something was missing.

    Trying to escape the holiday noise, I went upstairs to my bedroom. Taking a deep breath, I opened my Bible to read the Christmas story in Luke chapter 2. Slowly, I let each word remind me of that first Christmas night and God's promise that came true in Bethlehem. " ... And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger ..." (Luke 2:7 NIV).

    A cross-reference led me to Isaiah 7:14b: "The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means 'God is with us')." (NLT)

    Closing my eyes, I pictured Mary wrapping baby Jesus up. Her hands carefully folding each corner of cloth, like a precious gift. That's when I realized what had been missing. In the hustle and bustle of creating the perfect Christmas, I'd neglected to unwrap the most important gift of all, the gift of Immanuel, God with us.

    Bowing my head, I opened my hands and my heart to God's presence. I invited Jesus to bring calm to my anxious heart. To bring His perspective to my expectations and to help me enjoy the gifts of my family waiting downstairs. Simply pausing to acknowledge and thank Jesus for being with me brought peace to my heart unlike anything white lights and perfectly cooked turkey could ever bestow.

    It ended up being the perfect Christmas after all.

    Dear Lord, no matter how busy life gets or how lonely I feel this Christmas, I want to unwrap the gift of Your presence. Help me see You, hear Your voice speak to my heart, and pay attention when You lead me with Your peace and perspective. I seek Your purpose in all of my plans. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What days might be most challenging this month?

    How can you plan time on those days to soak in Jesus' perspective and peace?

    Power Verses:
    Isaiah 26:12, "Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us." (NIV)

    John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (NIV)

    © 2013 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 Isaiah, Christmas

  • Bringing Hope

    Posted on December 10, 2013 by Nicki Koziarz

    Nicki Koziarz

    "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!" Isaiah 52:7 (NLT)

    I stood in a field with two Kenyan pastors, resting after we'd traveled long distances.

    For five days we'd gone from hut to hut sharing the life-changing truth of Jesus. We prayed, listened to others, and I cried tears of disbelief over the devastating poverty.

    In our short time together these pastors taught me new definitions of boldness, courage, and passion for others to know the Lord. They would often walk 30 miles just to have the opportunity to share about Jesus with one family. Sometimes I barely even want to say hello to my 30-feet-away-neighbor who desperately needs God.

    Yes, these men were living examples of Isaiah 52:7, "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!" (NLT)

    Biblical commentaries tell us the messenger in this passage was bringing good news to the Jews who had been enslaved for a long time. The messenger could be seen as he ran on the distant hills toward the people who'd been in captivity. He came with a message of great hope and joy to tell them they were free! Free from bondage, free from despair.

    There is another message this herald was bringing to all people, including you, me, my friends in Africa, and the whole world: the good news of the coming Messiah, Jesus. That good news is about His birth and His death and resurrection. It gives us the hope that came to earth as a baby, died as a man, and rose as our Savior to offer us eternal life. It's the same news the two men trekked all around the dusty Kenyan land to share.

    For days after I returned home the passion of these pastors consumed my thoughts. And brought to life the call I have to share the Word of God—not just with people in other countries—but with those around me.

    I learned so much from my Kenyan friends. I may not walk hundreds of miles to take the good news to others, but I can drive across town to minister joy to the homeless. I can cross the street to speak with my neighbor about how Jesus can set us free from the captivity of anxiety. And I can share the peace people are looking for.

    As weeks, months, and now even years have passed since my trip to Kenya, the memory of the pastors walking mile after mile to share about the Lord stays with me. And it continues to spur me on to be intentional to go out of my way to herald the good news talked about in Isaiah 52:7.

    To whom can you bring this good news?

    Dear Lord, life is hard, but You are good. Please ignite within me a passion to share the good news of Your peace and salvation with those around me. Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Christmas is a great time to reach out to those around you. Make a list of people in your neighborhood and/or community that you will talk to about Jesus this week.

    What are some ways you can share the good news? Here are some ideas: Conversation over coffee or at a Christmas party, handwritten notes in a card, Bible verses on Facebook or Twitter.

    Power Verses:
    Luke 2:10-11, "But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.'” (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 Isaiah, Hope

  • New Normal

    Posted on December 6, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19

    New normals are a test of our trust in the Lord. They call us to get on our knees in prayer and cry out to our Heavenly Father. They are transitions we go through in life when we move into new seasons: health challenges, a job transfer, a new church or an empty nest. New normals are more difficult because it is the first time we have experienced these realities. Patience, flexibility and trust facilitate adjustment to a new situation. Adapting to change and focus on God is necessary.

    For example, a close friend may move overseas or to another part of the country. Since you are geographically divided, you now keep up by email, calls and visits. Or, if you’ve lived as a single adult for years, but are now married, you focus on the person of your dreams. Hence, friends from your past life don’t receive the same attention as your best friend, your spouse. A new normal in relationships is hard. If you try to be everyone’s friend, you risk becoming no one’s real friend.

    Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets. Luke 6:26

    Make the best of your new normal by seeing God in the middle of your circumstances. Whether adversity or euphoria, either is an opportunity to draw closer to Christ. Accept new normals as your friend not your enemy.  It is a nudge toward the Lord, not a wedge between you and the Lord. Our Savior Jesus Christ specializes in doing new things. He makes a way of hope in our wilderness of worry and streams of faith in our wasteland of fear. See your new normal as God’s new thing.

    What is your new normal? A boss who is more demanding? A child who is pushing the boundaries of their freedom? Life after divorce? Life after a loved one’s death? Financial limitations? Relational stress? Abundant resources? More opportunities than you ever imagined? Steward well what you have, so the Lord can trust you with more of His blessings. Accept your new normal as an opportunity to adopt new ways to know God. Learn how to lean into the Lord. Your new normal is the next step in following Jesus. Perceive it, believe it, receive it, embrace it.

    He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. Revelation 21:5

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, by grace and through faith, I accept my new normal as Your normal.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 48:6, 65:17; Jeremiah 31:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:4

    Post/Tweet this today: New normals are meant to be a nudge toward the Lord not a wedge between you and the Lord. #newnormals

    © 2013 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 Isaiah

  • Eternal Energy

    Posted on November 9, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:30–31).

    There is a good weary. We can be weary in the Lord’s work and not be weary of the Lord’s work. Sleep is sweet knowing we have exhausted our efforts toward the will of God. Trust and hope in the Lord send us into a real rest. We grow weary, but our fatigue is bolstered by faith. Our smile may be faint, but our heart is full of God’s grace.

    In contrast, there is an unhealthy type of weariness that strives in the power of the flesh. It is the result of misguided motives. Perhaps we become driven by the fear of people. We are preoccupied with not wanting to let someone down. Our fear of people transcends our fear of God. We default into performance-based living. It saps our energy and leaves us feeling depleted. Worry is wearisome, fear fatiguing. “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).

    Indeed, the Lord is your hope and strength. Even as you experience accomplishments, you can quickly lose faith because you have not cultivated a hopeful heart. Present practitioners of hope can extend hope to other fainthearted souls. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).

    An eagle soars somewhat effortlessly. He cannot create or direct wind, but he greatly benefits from its silent effect. He is hopeful that the wind will blow again tomorrow. But if it is boisterous or too mild, he may wait in his nest, positioned in the cleft of the rock. He experiences rest and renewal while he anticipates the energizing power of the unseen wind. In the same way, the Holy Spirit lifts those who wait to be empowered by Him.

    You can run God’s race with patient endurance, but it comes through the process of hope and renewal. Hope in God expands your capacity. You can run harder and farther in the renewed strength of the Holy Spirit. This is eternal energy that comes from God. Hope in the Lord renews your strength in your weariness. Thus, rest in God. Let the wings of your faith carry you as you wait on the wind of the Holy Spirit to empower you.

    “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).

    Prayer: Does hope in the Lord renew my strength? Do I engage with eternity’s energy?

    Related Readings: 1 Samuel 30:6; Psalm 42:5; Micah 7:7; Romans 5:5; Galatians 3:3

    Post/Tweet: We can be weary in the Lord’s work and not be weary of the Lord’s work. #eternalenergy

    © 2013 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 Isaiah

  • I Know How to Manipulate

    Posted on October 31, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)

    Just because something great happens doesn't mean it is from God. I know this is true because I know how to manipulate and make great things happen.

    Honestly, I hate that word—manipulate. It rubs something rough and grainy into the softer places of my heart.

    But there it is. And I know it. Because sometimes I do it. I manipulate.

    I know how to sell an idea.

    I know how to go the extra mile.

    I know how to strategize to make my plan seem like a wonderful strategy.

    And not that any of this is intrinsically bad. Some of these things are qualities God can certainly use in good ways.

    But what if I use these skills and talents outside God's will? To push past God's timing, God's direction, God's plan to teach me stuff in the process?

    Sometimes I think He lets us push past His better plan to experience the consequences of our headstrong attitude. Boy, do I know all about that. I've jumped headfirst into something I thought I wanted, only to find extreme stress, fear, anxiety, and an overwhelming sense of regret.

    It's great to know how to sell an idea. But it's not great to do it outside God's will.

    It's great to go the extra mile. But it's not great to do it out of a desire to secure what I want—rather than out of a desire to serve another.

    It's great to strategize and have a plan. But it's not great if that plan stretches me so I seek my desires more than God's desires.

    I am learning to not always push so hard. Or run so fast. Or allow my personal desires to overtake waiting on God.

    Recently I had the opportunity to be considered for something huge. And I knew how to secure it.

    I knew the words I could use to sell my idea. I knew I could go the extra mile with my pitch and look impressive. I knew a strategy that could be implemented and the plan to propose.

    But what I didn't know is if this was God's plan or my desire.

    If I knew for sure it was God's plan, all my efforts wouldn't be manipulation—they'd be smart. But I didn't know.

    Therefore, all my pushing and plotting were manipulation. So, I stopped, backed off, and stepped aside.

    I waited.

    And then I doubted. It was hard to watch the opportunity slip away. But I reminded myself that this was a place where my trust in God had to step in. This was one of those times a deeper faith could be found. And so I trusted in the truth of Isaiah 58:11, "The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."

    Now, I can rest in the assurance that if something is to be, it isn't up to me. It's up to God. It's not that I just sit back and don't pursue things. I do. But, I give what I can give without manipulation. And then wait for God to give what only He can give. So, if He makes it happen without all my chaotic self-effort, then I will know it is His best.

    And if it doesn't happen, I will thank Him for saving me from myself.

    Dear Lord, I am so grateful for Your everlasting love and vision for my life. Help me to embrace the fact that Your plans are greater than mine. Humble my heart in the moments when I try to maintain control so that I can fully serve You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:


    Reflect and Respond:
    Do you ever catch yourself manipulating past God's plans to secure your own desire?

    God wants you to give up your own agenda and trust in His plans for your life! Set aside some time every day to reflect on Bible verses dedicated to this particular issue. Having this daily reminder of God's sovereignty will help you to recognize when your own desires are taking precedence over His will.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 9:10, "Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." (NIV)

    Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." (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 Isaiah

  • Turn the Light On

    Posted on October 22, 2013 by Ann Spangler

    Ann Spangler

    "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn." Isaiah 60:1-3 (NIV)

    If you are a news junkie like me, you're aware of all the bad news in the world. Or maybe hard things have come your way. Either way, most of us can resonate with how the prophet Isaiah colors the earth in Isaiah 60:1-3.

    Rather than using stunning blues and greens to describe our world, Isaiah speaks of Earth's spiritual atmosphere in other terms. He says, "See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples . . ." (vs. 2a)

    Not long ago, I received a touching email. "The death of children overseas and the senseless murder of people at their place of work, have been pockmarking and spray painting over what I knew to be true of God." The young woman who wrote me went on to explain that these things and more had been "defacing the image of Christ I have in my heart."

    I was struck by the imagery she used. It made me wonder what had been marring my own view of God. In the midst of difficulties both near and far, how can I hold onto an image of God that highlights His power and goodness? So many questions come in the midst of darkness. "Why doesn't God do something?" "Why is there so much evil in the world?" And more personally, "Why doesn't God help me?"

    Isaiah didn't offer answers to these questions. Instead, he listened for God's voice and then spoke the word God gave him. He painted a picture of an earth covered in thick darkness, yet he also spoke of a light so strong it would pierce the darkness. "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you." (vs. 1).

    He spoke not so much of a happy present, but of a blessed future. Though he didn't know Jesus' name, the prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of Jesus approximately 700 years before His birth. Jesus is our answer when we wonder where God is. He's the light that dispels the darkness and shows us God's great love.

    Like Isaiah and the people he spoke to, we sometimes feel mired in gloom. There is so much darkness in the world. Fortunately, we are not left alone to stumble in the darkness. We have been given Jesus, the light by which we filter life's hardships.

    Today, let's take a few moments to move our focus from the world's problems to God. As we do, let's ask Jesus, to give us a deeper vision of who He is, praying that His character will shine like a light through us. Let's also ask for His help in seeing tragedies and bad news through His eyes, trusting that He will work all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

    As you pray, remember that darkness is nothing but the absence of light. It's a negative—a nothing. As soon as you flip the switch, the darkness vanishes. Today, ask God to turn the light on in you, so that others will see His power and come to know His goodness.

    Lord, I need a deeper vision of who You are. As I seek You, please draw me close and fill me with Your presence. Then turn the light on in me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Think about the media you expose yourself to each day. How do you feel after you listen, read, watch?

    What is one thing you could do today that would add more light to your life? Consider adding something positive to your life like more time for prayer, Scripture reading, or service.

    Power Verse:
    John 1:4-5, "In him [Christ] was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (NIV)

    Daniel 12:3, "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Ann Spangler. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Tyndale 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 Isaiah

  • Intuit God’s Heart

    Posted on October 14, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
    declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

    There is a ‘God gap’ between a natural man’s thinking and a spiritual man’s thinking. The Lord’s thoughts do not traffic on the road of unrighteousness, but on heaven’s highway of righteousness. Thus, wise are the ones who lean into the Holy Spirit to intuit God’s heart. This is a spiritual understanding that only comes by the Spirit’s discernment. To comprehend the mind of Christ is counterintuitive and countercultural. Yes, the ‘God gap’ is bridged by the Spirit’s illumination.

    Quietly and confidently the Holy Spirit searches for a humble heart to reveal the heart of Jesus. Sometimes we are like Peter before Pentecost, impetuous and fleshly in our faith. But post Pentecost, Peter was transformed by the Holy Spirit’s power. So, in our flesh we flounder in the extremes of indifference or unloving activism, but in the Spirit we are led into the Lord’s heart of love for people. Love is the baseline of belief that understands and embraces the mind of Christ.

    The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:15-16

    How do you intuit the heart of God? How do you know if you walk by the Spirit or by sight? As you abide in prayer you hear God’s heart. Silence is the preferred communication method of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps as you sit in solitude you become like one of the characters in your gospel reading. You may imagine yourself like Peter, trusting but anxious, as you walk on the water toward Jesus. In prayer you enter into Scriptural experiences and you experience God.

    Above all, you can trust the heart of God. You may not understand today why you need to obey what He says, but tomorrow He will affirm His trustworthiness. You may struggle to see good in your situation, but the Holy Spirit will give you peace to persevere. By God’s grace intuit His heart and you will rest in knowing Him, period. Know God’s heart and your service will be inspired by the Holy Spirit. Intuit God’s heart and your relationships will blossom in intimacy. His thoughts become your thoughts. His ways become your ways. Know Him to know His will.

    I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, reveal Your heart by Your Spirit, so I can walk in Your ways.

    Related Readings: Numbers 23:19; Psalm 37:4; Micah 4:12; Romans 11:33-36; Philippians 2:5

    Post/Tweet today: Quietly and confidently the Holy Spirit searches for a humble heart to reveal the heart of Jesus. #intuitGod’sheart

    © 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 Isaiah

  • A God Hug

    Posted on October 10, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. Isaiah 49:13

    A God hug is a timely gift. His hugs soothe, comfort and calm. He is never late in offering His affection or too busy to stand still and embrace His human creation. The Spirit gently caresses burdened shoulders and rubs out raw pain in the back of believers. His compassion has never failed. His mercy is fresh every day. Like a cool cream alleviates an itchy skin rash, so His balm of grace relieves a rash of worries. A God hug holds on until healing occurs. He holds on tight.

    Furthermore, a God hug does not happen on the run, but while we stand still. ‘Slow down my child,’ He says, ‘Hush, I have this,’ ‘Be still, let Me hold you.’ ‘Rest in My arms.’ So we learn to stay stationary by faith and trust the right activities will get done in the right time. When we schedule appointments to be loved by the Lord, we receive strength for the journey. Otherwise we exhaust our ability to encourage without the infusion of Christ’s courage. His hugs hearten.

    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

    Affection from the Almighty makes us attractive to those who need our compassion and care. Our hugs from Jesus compel us to hug others with unconditional love. For example, we may receive an unexpected financial blessing, so we are able to show generosity to another’s cash challenge. An insight from Scripture or a kind word from a friend could be passed on to a person who needs our encouragement. God comforts us, so we can comfort others.

    Shout for joy in praise to your Creator for His comfort and compassion. Brag on His name and extol Him for His divine affection. Like the father of the prodigal son who came home, your Father in Heaven can’t wait to embrace you in your shame, stress or success. He runs to greet you with warm acceptance, so throw yourself into His arms. Cast your cares on Christ and abandon your life to the Lord. Invite His affections to become your affections. Yes, enjoy His sweet embrace!

    I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I receive your love and affection. Thanks for your comforting hugs just when I need them.

    Related Readings: Psalm 23:4; Jeremiah 8:18; Zechariah 10:2; Nahum 1:7; Ephesians 1:3

    Post/Tweet today: God comforts us, so we can comfort others. #aGodhug

    © 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 Isaiah

  • A Word for the Weary

    Posted on September 23, 2013 by Wendy Pope

    Wendy Pope

    "The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed." Isaiah 50:4 (NIV)

    I was not a happy person.

    I was struggling in my faith and failing to be the woman God called me to be. My responses to life's hiccups were harsh. My words to loved ones were rude. My disposition toward others was judgmental.

    It was during this period in my life when I was introduced to Isaiah 50:4, "The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed" (NIV). My heart was gripped when I read the word weary. I remember thinking, I'm weary. I need sustaining.

    The sustaining part of the verse sounded soothing and comforting; however, the morning wakeup call felt obtrusive and demanding. Why couldn't I receive a sustaining word later in the day? Though I didn't want to wake up earlier, it was the only way I could spend time with God in my full schedule. And I did want my life to be different, so I thought, Why not? Things can't get any worse.

    I picked a time and a place to pray and read my Bible. The sun would rise and I would too, grumbling ... a lot! But day after day, I dragged myself out of bed, marched up the stairs, sat in the same place I called my "Jesus chair" and whined about getting out of my snuggly covers. Our morning meetings were rote and ridged, nothing like what I expected when my weary heart was first gripped by that verse in Isaiah.

    I couldn't help but wonder, Why aren't the issues in my life being resolved? When is the Lord going to fix all the people in my life? What good is this quiet time thing anyway?

    Even though I was frustrated, I was determined. So I continued to roll out of bed, put on my robe and sit in my Jesus chair with my Bible and devotion book. Little by little my heart softened. There was less complaining and more contentment. My ears began to listen like one being instructed, just like the verse in Isaiah says.

    Over time, God's Word took root in my heart, and I experienced its sustaining power. My weariness started to subside as I turned my focus from it to the presence of God. In the morning, I greeted my family with a smile and cheerful disposition. Moments of panic were now met with peaceful words. Unforeseen schedule changes were calmly resolved. If the day didn't go as planned, I could still praise.

    Are you looking for a word to sustain your weary soul? Are you desperate enough to dedicate time each day in God's Word? For me, it has to be in the morning, in my Jesus chair, before the rush of emails, carpool and work demands.

    Perhaps your Jesus chair is the front seat of your car with your Bible during your daughter's ballet class. Maybe your Jesus chair is at your desk with a devotional book as you eat lunch and pray.

    You see, it really doesn't matter where or when you meet with God, it only matters that you spend time together each day. His Word is our sustaining power. We can't live life without it!

    Pull up a Jesus chair. Grab your Bible and maybe a devotional book. Then listen like one being taught. He has much to say.

    Dear Lord, I am desperate and need a word to sustain my weary soul. I am willing to commit time in Your Word each day. Help me sit still and listen like one being taught. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Follow us on Facebook:


    Reflect and Respond:
    Pick a Jesus chair where you will spend time with Him each day.

    Write a prayer of commitment to God. Tuck the prayer in your Bible where you can pray it often.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 46:10a, "Be still I know that I am God." (NLT)

    Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Wendy Pope. 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 Isaiah

  • When You Have a Choice to Make

    Posted on August 5, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left." Isaiah 30:21 (ESV)

    According to recent statistics, I made 5,000 decisions today. Seriously?

    Well, I made a decision to get out of bed. I made a choice to put on my tennis shoes and run at 6 a.m.

    I chose peanut butter Cheerios™ over oatmeal. I decided which bills to pay. What to make for dinner. Whether to answer a phone call. Which clothes to wear. Whether the plants needed watering or if they could wait another day. I chose to fill up the small car instead of the gas-guzzler.

    I may have made more than 5,000 decisions today!

    Some of our everyday choices are random, others weighty, but many of our decisions are choice points. Choice points are seemingly insignificant decisions yet they lead us in one direction or another.

    I choose whether to react in anger, or respond with understanding to my husband.

    I choose whether or not to create drama with a friend who hurt my feelings.

    I choose time with my Heavenly Father, or push that time to another day ... again.

    I choose whether or not to say those words that cause my child pain.

    Recently I was on a mission trip and the team was exhausted after nearly six days of intense travel. We had missed a train and stood on the platform in the moonlight. It was nearing midnight and cold and wet. Our next ministry event was early in the morning.

    The coordinator walked over. "I'm so sorry," she said. "I didn't mean for it to work out this way."

    There I stood with a choice to make.

    I could share my frustration. I could explain that my sleep tank was on empty. I could say nothing, while sighing with a martyred expression. Or I could choose to override my fatigued irritation and be gracious.

    As she waited for my reply, a gentle voice softly spoke to my heart: "This is the way, walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21).

    I knew it was definitely the leading of the Holy Spirit, just as Scripture promised. Yes, I was exhausted, but I reminded myself what a privilege it was to be there. Ease and comfort were not readily available to Jesus, and losing a little sleep was nothing in comparison to anything He went through. The Holy Spirit nudged me to recognize that everyone around me was just as tired as I was. He led me in the way to respond.

    "I'm fine," I said. "In fact it's been an amazing day and I can't wait to see what God does tomorrow."

    She grabbed me and pulled me in a huge hug. "Thank you, Suz."

    I wish I could say I handle every choice I have to make that way, but sometimes I fail and gripe, nit-pick, am critical and grouchy. It's my prayer that I'll remember how much my choices matter. You see, they don't just affect me; they affect those within the vicinity of my decisions.

    In the 5,000 decisions you make today, take a moment to pause before deciding. Ask the Holy Spirit for His guidance and counsel. And choose to follow as He leads the way.

    Dear Lord, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all my choices, and it makes me cranky. Today as I make my 5000 decisions, walk with me, remind me of how my choices affect others and help me follow Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    Keep a journal this week of choice points. Note those that lead you in the wrong direction. Are there common themes?

    If you were overtired, how can you implement rest?

    If you were trying to live a packed life with your spiritual tank unfilled, will you stop and fill it up?

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 16:9, "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." (ESV)

    Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Suzie Eller. 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 Isaiah

  • Items 11 to 20 of 43 total

    Helping you find, grow, share and celebrate your faith
    Who doesn't love free shipping!? At Family Christian, you can qualify TWO ways:

    1. To your door (just $50 minimum)*

    No coupon required! Simply add $50 worth of merchandise to your cart and select the "Free Shipping" option under "Shipping Method." Easy as pie.

    * Valid on merchandise totaling $50 or more before taxes. Please keep in mind this is valid on domestic ground shipping to addresses within the U.S. only, not valid toward international delivery. Additional charges apply for express shipping. Terms subject to change without notice.

    2. To your store (no minimum order required!)*

    At checkout, select "Ship to your local Family Christian store" and enter your zip code to find our closest location. Not sure if there is a Family Christian nearby? Find your local store now.

    * Valid on select merchandise only
    Loading... Loading...