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Tag Archives: Isaiah

  • Unwise Argument

    Posted on July 7, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’?”    (Isaiah 45:9)

    Do not argue with the Almighty for it is unwise and unproductive. Debating Deity is a vain and proud proposition. How could you know better than God what’s best? People possess a fraction of all knowledge, He owns all knowledge. Your perspective is limited at best, His view is all encompassing. You are the created, He is the Creator. You are worshippers, He is worshipped. You pray, He answers prayer. You receive grace, He gives grace. You sin, He forgives. You are human, He is God. Mind you, God does not mind sincere dialogue that seeks understanding. Questions regarding clarity of purpose and obedience are okay with Him. However, He rejects exerting energy around arguing about obvious obedience to His commands.
    The best way to relate to God is with agreement instead of argument. Agree with Him about who you are, as He has made and gifted you uniquely. You do not need to be anyone else other than yourself. You will stay frustrated trying to fashion your life after someone else’s, so be you. Let others inspire you to become better, but do not be overwhelmed by their abilities. God may have given them a greater capacity for activities and relationships. Be who God wants you to be, and don’t argue with Him about not having the opportunities afforded to others. He knows what’s best for you. Wouldn’t you rather have time to enjoy your family than to make 30% more  income, or even to double your salary? An increase in pay or a move to another city is not worth neglecting your family.
    You may argue with God and even get your way, but there is a price to pay. Guilt, broken relationships, hurt, and anger are not worth the trouble. Maneuvering around your Maker to get something may come back to haunt you. Arguing often means you are not getting your way. Therefore, call a time out. Take a prayerful pause, and align your way with His. Arguments can be resolved with alignment of purpose. Stay true to His call on your life, take responsibility, and do not argue with God or blame others.

    You have an opportunity to deepen your faith during this time of uncertainty. Cling to your Savior for affirmation and direction. Accept the truth instead of resisting reality. God is in control, He can be trusted. He will send you the relationships and resources needed to accomplish His will. The enemy tempts, so debate the devil with God’s word, and align with the Almighty’s purpose for your life. Choose acceptance of God’s will over argument. Acceptance allows you to channel your energy toward eternal matters. Argue less and accept more. This is wise and acceptable to the Almighty. No need to argue.

    Post/Tweet: Accept the truth instead of resisting reality. God is in control. #God’scontrol

    © 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

  • But Then I Let Go

    Posted on June 10, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles." Isaiah 40:31a (NIV)

    I used to have a fear of heights. I think it has something to do with the fact that my dad held my little brother over the Grand Canyon when he was three, and I was 10. I completely panicked, thinking my brother would tumble over the side and be gone forever.

    Regardless of how it arrived, the fear was real.

    My son bought a zip lining package for two on sale so I could put a checkmark on my bucket list next to "get over fear of heights." When we arrived, I noticed several towers, zigzagging zip lines and people harnessed in a series of straps and buckles. My heart immediately went into overdrive when we were asked to climb a moderately high tower.

    The higher I climbed, the more my brain informed me that I was afraid. Yet I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Up, up, up!

    My son flew from one tower to the next with ease. Then I stepped up. The platform was tiny. One inch in front of me there was nothing between me and the ground, hundreds of feet below.

    I put my gloved hands on the zip line. Everything in me was screaming to turn around and go back to solid ground. But then I let go ...

    .... and it was exhilarating.

    I soared through the air and slid in semi-smoothly to the tower where my son fist-pumped in the air with a "Way to go, Mom!"

    I wish my fear of heights was the only challenge I've ever faced, but sometimes God asks me to do something that seems just as impossible. That happens when He leads me into the harder parts of my faith.

    That looks different for all of us, but for me it was to forgive those who had hurt me in my past. God was nudging me to soar, but in order to do that I had to let go and trust that He knew what was ahead.

    Perhaps His request goes against how we feel, or it just doesn't feel possible in the natural. But when we choose zip line faith, we learn to release or overcome things that might otherwise keep us trapped.

    Is zip line faith (going down the harder paths of obedience) easy? No, it might challenge you. It might take you way outside your comfort zone. It might even cause you to fall down a few times as you practice. But you do grow through it, sometimes in surprising ways.

    A few weeks after my zip lining experience I was in a high-rise hotel. I stepped out on to the balcony because I heard music below. Peering over the edge, I watched a wedding in process.

    And then it hit me. I wasn't afraid!

    Before I zip lined, I couldn't have stood near the edge of the balcony, and I definitely wouldn't have peered over to the scene beneath. Stepping off that ledge and soaring to the next tower helped me to overcome a fear I thought was too big to conquer.

    Maybe I'm not ready to bungee jump ... yet. But my zip line experience showed me that my fears, though valid, didn't have the power to hold me back forever.

    Whatever God is speaking into your heart today, are you willing to climb up, up, up as you follow Him into the harder (and freeing!) parts of zip line faith?

    Dear Jesus, my heart longs to soar. Thank You in advance for walking with me through the tougher parts of my faith, and for dancing in celebration with me as I climb over that mountain to soar to the other side! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible with devos from the Proverbs 31 Ministries team, including Suzie Eller.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write down the one thing you feel God is asking you to do.

    1. Does it line up with Scripture?
    2. What is your greatest fear about this assignment?
    3. What might you gain if you take a step of faith?

    Power Verses:
    Ephesians 3:16, "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being." (NIV)

    © 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

  • When Fear Paralyzes Your Faith

    Posted on June 5, 2013 by Renee Swope

    "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

    Renee Swope

    When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:1-2 (NIV)

    As I crawled in bed, fear came over me. My husband was out of town for work and I was afraid to go to sleep. Fear had become a constant companion during his nights away.

    I needed to trust God, but I didn't. I went through the motions of what I knew I should do: pray, read scriptures, and tape verses to my bedside table and bathroom mirror. But there was also a phone on my pillow, and a neighborhood directory and Bible next to the bed.

    One night I took it a step further. I put toys on the stairs to trip possible burglars, brought my children into my room to sleep with me, and moved the dresser in front of the bedroom door.

    Still fear kept me awake. I thought I was controlling my circumstances, but instead fear had taken control of me. Frustrated I still couldn't sleep, I opened the Bible and read these familiar words:

    "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze" (Isaiah 43:1-2).

    That night God showed me something I'd never seen: my fears were like flames and my efforts to protect myself were like gasoline. Every feeble attempt to ease my fears was like pouring fuel on the fire, and now fear was consuming me. Gently, the Holy Spirit reminded me that God had not given me a spirit of fear but a spirit of power and love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

    The only way I would overcome fear was by walking through it.

    I had to put away the props in which I'd placed my faith and go to bed trusting God, realizing that even if my fears came true He would be with me. Crawling out of bed, I started putting everything away. The dresser went back in place. My kids went back to their rooms and I went to sleep without my phone on the pillow.

    For me, it was like walking through the flames of fear, doing what God was calling me to do–to fear not. And you know what? I slept better than I had in weeks.

    Fear lost its power when I actively put trust in God's promises.

    To be free from fear so we can walk in faith, we have to hold on to God's truths, replacing our natural ways with the steps He offers to guide us.

    Let's ask God to show us fears that paralyze our faith and keep us from living confidently in His peace and freedom. And then let's give God a chance to come though for us as we courageously walk through our fears, holding God's hand and trusting His heart to lead, protect, and preserve us each step of the way.

    Dear Jesus, help me walk through my fears by facing them instead of being paralyzed by them. I want to take Your hand and trust Your heart with all that is within me. Give me courage today to take the first step. In Jesus' Name, amen.

    Related Resources:
    Could you use the encouragement of a friend to help you overcome your fears? In her life-changing book, A Confident Heart, Renee Swope will walk you through a powerful process of identifying and overcoming any fears and insecurities so that you can live with confidence and courage!

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    Are there fears that paralyze your faith or hinder your everyday life? Ask God to show you one step to take today to walk through a fear that keeps you from trusting God completely.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 34:4, "I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears." (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 Fear, Isaiah, Faith

  • A Grateful Nation

    Posted on May 27, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    In that day you will say: "Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.” Isaiah 12:4

    A nation born out of the womb of religious liberty has much to thank Almighty God for. We can thank Him that man's tyranny lives oceans away and we are free to worship, vote and treat our fellowman with civility and respect. “With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our fathers; you crushed the peoples and made our fathers flourish” (Psalm 44:2). He is the initiator and sustainer of our nation’s freedom; without the Lord we lose.

     

    A large lump fills our throats with the memory of men and women whose blood saturated the soil of foreign fields to preserve our freedoms. A nation like ours that encourages free enterprise, free speech, free press and free worship comes with a severe sacrifice. When was the last time you thanked the Lord for those on the front lines who risk their lives for your liberty? His blessing remains where gratitude is retained, so thank Him often.

     

    Indeed it is a country with character that positions itself for God’s blessing.  Therefore, don’t just ask God to bless America, but in addition thank Him for already blessing America. “With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD : "He is good; his love to Israel endures forever” (Ezra 3:11a). A grateful nation gives God the glory for His goodness. Out of our national appreciation the world wonders what God can do for them.

     

    So when the United States of America appreciates Almighty God we become a shining light from shore to shore, as men and women around the globe take notice of our humble dependence on Him. Jesus described the collective role of God-fearing people, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).

     

    If we extinguish our light by abandoning the faith from which we came, He will raise up other nations to take our place. However, He smiles when He sees a nation acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior; it sets a standard for those who admire our freedoms to see where they originate. Memorial Day is an opportunity to privately and publicly give God the glory and gratitude for His incredible favor and blessing on our nation.

     

    “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance” (Psalm 33:12).”

     

    Prayer: How can I lead our extended family in a sincere prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord? What are some specific freedoms I can thank God for in blessing my country?

     

    Related Readings: Psalm 102:15; Malachi 1:14; Acts 10:34-36; Revelation 15:4

    Post/Tweet today: God’s blessing remains where gratitude is retained, so thank Him often. #gratitude

    © 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

  • Space to Exhale

    Posted on May 16, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord." Isaiah 58:13-14a (NIV)

    Rest.

    That sounds so good, but it's really difficult for a girl like me. Even when my physical body is at rest, my mind rarely is.

    I feel like I'm always juggling balls in my brain. Kids' needs. Home demands. Work projects. The to-do lists never stop.

    Yet the Bible makes it very clear that we are to honor the Sabbath day and pursue rest. Literally we are to hit the pause button on life once a week and guard our need to rest. Guard it fiercely. Guard it intentionally. Guard it even if our schedules beg us to do otherwise.

    But why?

    There are honest, personal reasons we need to observe the Sabbath that will be unique for each person. There are private conversations we need to have with God. We all need to pause, to sit with God, and ask Him to reveal some things to us.

    And when I consider our key verse Isaiah 58:13-14a, something occurs to me—it's not just a day for me to give to God. It's a day God established for me. He wants to give me something if only I'll slow down enough to receive it.

    "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD."

    The Sabbath isn't merely a time to be observed; it's a time to be preserved. It's a time to rediscover our joy in the Lord.

    I need this. I want to be a preserver of this day—one who is determined to protect this day of personal preservation and rediscover the delight of God.

    The observer remembers to rest.

    The preserver rests to remember—to remember that it's all about God.

    The observer remembers to rest and pause on the Sabbath day in order to follow a rule.

    The preserver does more than follow a rule. She follows God's desire and embraces His purpose in the rest. She spends one day a week letting the fresh wind of God's rest blow through her, cleaning out all she's been taking in during the week with a purifying soul exhale.

    It's all about pausing and connecting with God without the distracting chaos of our everyday routines. For one day a week, we step out of the fray and let God direct our day according to His rhythm, not ours.

    God's rhythm preserves a space in us to hear His voice, reveals the places we're off track, and prevents us from being filled with unnecessary clutter. Quiet rest allows us to see the places where we're going our own way, the areas where we're more self-pleasing than God-pleasing, the idle words that need to be reined in. During the down time, we can deal with the mental clutter and focus on the ways of God.

    The Sabbath makes this possible.

    Taking one day for rest gives my soul the freedom it so desperately needs. Freedom to breathe. Space to breathe. Inhaling and exhaling in a gentle rhythm set by God.

    Dear Lord, space to breathe, this is what I need today. Thank You for showing me how important it is to create a place for freedom and rest. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

    Related Resources:
    For more encouragement and practical advice on creating a place to exhale in the midst of raw emotions check out Lysa TerKeurst's book Unglued.

    The accompanying Unglued Bible study will help you understand what the Bible says about better ways to react. To order your copy, click here.

    Follow us on Facebook.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Take a moment to think about your own practices for rest and reflection on the Sabbath.

    What can you do to hit "pause" and spend some time with the Lord this week? It could be taking a break from your to-do list, committing to spend some time journaling, etc.

    Power Verses:
    Hebrews 4:9-10, "There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his." (NIV)

    Psalm 62:1, "Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him." (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

  • Wait Training 101

    Posted on February 22, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "... but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

    Ever feel like God signed you up for an intense "wait training" class?

    You pray. You ask. You anticipate God's answer, but like an Internet page taking a long time to load, you must wait.

    And wait.

    And wait some more.

    I had to wait years before I became pregnant. During that time I attended baby showers while choking back tears.

    I had to wait nearly three years for our too-expensive-for-our-new-financial-situation home to sell. During that time, I pinched pennies and lost sleep.

    And I'm still waiting on many prayer requests: for a spiritually lost loved one, a family friend in ICU, a plan for my high school son's future. Waiting, waiting, waiting ...

    But just as physical weight training builds strength, so does spiritual "wait training." We are promised this in Isaiah 40:31:

    "... but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

    How can waiting renew our strength? After all, doesn't waiting seem to sap our strength as we worry and fret and drum our fingers impatiently? It's exhausting playing the "What if?" game in our minds:

    What if this doesn't work out?
    What if God's answer is "No"?
    What if the thing I fear the most actually happens ... what then?

    All of this worry-laden waiting drains rather than strengthens. How can we turn this around and actually find ourselves renewed?

    I have found that to shift my perspective in the waiting times replenishes my strength. I try not to think of those times of seemingly silence from God as waiting in the sense of sitting and anxiously anticipating a response. But as in waiting like a butler, maid or restaurant server.

    Those who "wait on the Lord"—as in serve Him, cater to Him, help Him accomplish His work; those who take His order and bring Him what He wants—they are the ones who renew their strength.

    They mount up with wings as eagles.

    They walk and do not faint.

    As we serve, we become more aware of what the One we are waiting on desires. We become alert, attentive, and in tune with His wishes. We begin to take our eyes off of our problems and fix them on the Lord instead. As we do, we get a glimpse into His heart.

    Then, instead of the wait sapping our spiritual strength, it is renewed as we seek to do the Lord's will ... to make Him famous ... to give Him glory. Even in those long, hard times of waiting for an answer, we continue to serve Him.

    Will you sign up with me for Wait Training 101?

    You'll grow stronger spiritual muscles if you do. But we must commit to this perspective: we won't just "wait on the Lord," we'll wait on Him. Trust me, the tips He leaves are out of this world!

    Dear Lord, teach me to shift my perspective during those times of waiting and doubt. May I stop fretting and worrying, and busy myself serving You instead. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    If you want to learn to stop trying to make things happen and trust God instead, check out Karen Ehman's new book and DVD curriculum LET. IT. GO. How to Stop Running the Show & Start Walking in Faith.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Name a time in your life when you had to wait on God for an answer. Rate yourself from 1 to 10 on how you did in the waiting (10 is patiently worshipping and 1 is freaking out).

    Now, think of something you are currently waiting on God for an answer. Write down two or three new actions you will take to "wait" on the Lord.

    Memorize either today's key verse, Isaiah 40:31, or one of the power verses below. During the times you are tempted to fuss and fret, quote the verses to yourself.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 40:1, "I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry." (ESV)

    Psalm 100:1-3, "Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Karen Ehman. 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 Isaiah

  • Shattered Plans

    Posted on February 3, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart.”  Job 17:11

     

    Sometimes, our plans do not go as we had hoped. In fact they are shattered. They’re obliterated in front of our very eyes. You were almost breathless when  your dismissal finally sunk in. In your shock, you could have been pushed over with a feather. Certainly plans are made to be adjusted, but this one blew up in your face. You were devastated. You had positioned your career for this one opportunity, and it failed to materialize. Even now, your emotions vacillate between bewilderment and anger toward God, and your future feels gnarled and disjointed. You feel emasculated. It doesn’t make any sense. The money was there, along with the relationships and resources that were poised for deployment. It was as if the stars were aligned. Then suddenly, your plan became irrelevant and it vanished overnight.

     

    Now you are positioned to start over. It is hard to assemble the energy to withstand another assault on your vision. It is time to give up and give in to defeat because God is still in control. He controls your plans and their successful launch. He can still be trusted going forward. Just because things have not worked out according to your timetable is no reason to quit trusting Him. Trust the Lord with a re-engineered plan that will be better than the old one. His ways are much better than your ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

     

    There is no human comprehension to what God has in store if you remain faithful to Him. Indeed, His ways (Isaiah 2:3) can be hard to understand. The cycle of digesting His will into your mind and soul is like “chewing cud,” a repetitive process that requires time and patience. The desires of your heart need validation. This is part of His plan, and this is where prayer plays a vital role. Take the broken pieces of your plan and place them at the feet of Jesus. He will take your shattered plan and piece it back together with His enhancements. A crushed plan in the hand of Christ has much more potential than your perfect plan buried in your grasp. You limit the Lord by holding on in distrust or fear.

     

    Lastly, like the expressed genius of an artist, the newly formed plan has the depth and breadth of a masterpiece. It is an original crafted by the hand of God. Therefore, do not settle for anything less than your Master’s plan. His master plan is monumental and can move mountains. Your desires may be dead, but now is the time to submit to God in a fresh and humble way. Watch in delight as He resurrects your desires to align and connect with His. He has slowed you down so your plans partner with His. See your shattered plan as a blessing, not a curse. God loves to take what is broken, lift it up, and make it whole again. Place your plans and your heart in His hands.

     

    He is the author and the finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). He is the plan provider, and He makes shattered plans better.

     

    Post/Tweet: A crushed plan in the hand of Christ has much more potential than our perfect plan buried in our grasp. #plan

     


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Job, Isaiah

  • Love Disciplines

    Posted on January 25, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24

     

    Love carefully disciplines; apathy silently ignores. Love looks for ways to instruct and improve, while busyness has no time for a tender touch of truth. Do you take the time to discipline your children? Do your offspring encounter your rebuke along with your encouragement? Because we love them, we correct their attitudes and challenge them to better behavior. Rules restrain them from reacting foolishly or in the flesh.

     

    How can our children learn to make wise decisions if we do not discipline them to love and obey God? Like a skilled artist with a warm lump of clay, our children are mold-able, and their character is pliable in Christ’s hands. We seek consistency in our own character so we have the moral authority and respect to lead them. Your children’s first impression of the Lord is their father and mother; so be an authority who reveals His love.

     

    “The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; parents tell their children about your faithfulness” (Isaiah 38:19).

     

    The branch of a tree is easily bent when it is tender; so start when they are young with yielding to Christ’s lordship. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Foolishness flees from faith and the prayerful punishment of loving parents. “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). Discipline leads to freedom.

     

    You may lament the need for respect from your son or daughter. It is your consistent concern for your children’s character growth that invites their respect. “Fathers … disciplined us and we respected them for it” (Hebrews 12:9). Moreover, loving parents honestly inquire, “How do I respond to the Lord’s discipline?” My example of growth from my heavenly Father’s discipline makes me an earthly father worth following.

     

    “For whom the Lord loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights” (Proverbs 3:12 nasb).

     

    Prayer: What area of my child’s growth requires me to be more consistent in discipline?

     

    Related Readings: Proverbs 23:13–14; 29:15–17; Hebrews 12:6–8; Ephesians 6:4

     

    Post/Tweet today: Like a warm lump of clay, our children are moldable, and their character is pliable in Christ’s hands. #children

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Proverbs, Hebrews, Isaiah, Discipline

  • Qualified for God

    Posted on January 16, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

    The Lord knows an outward appearance may or may not be an indicator of what’s in the heart. A smile on the outside can still mask a frown on the inside. An outwardly positive attitude may still wrestle with negative feelings from past hurt. A handsome man may maintain an ugly heart, while a beautiful woman can project an unattractive spirit. Good looks do not guarantee a grace filled life. God goes straight to the heart of what matters most: humility, fear of God and love.

     

    Is your heart in the hand of your heavenly Father? Like a heat seeking missile, is your heart’s desire hot for the things of God? The praise of people may lead you to think more highly of your contributions than Christ’s. So, invite the Holy Spirit to translate man’s praise into a tool to purify your heart. He will burn away impure motives and replace them with righteous ones. After all, your life is all of grace or none at all. You stay qualified for God by keeping a heart for God.

     

    “His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147:10-11

     

    The eyes of men are attracted to attractive Kings of strong stature, but the eyes of the Lord look for humble shepherds with a heart for service. Indeed, we are wise to keep our aspirations in line with Almighty God’s. We don’t obsess with our outward appearance for it fades away, but we do adorn our spirit with the grace of God for its beauty is eternal. Our heavenly Father specializes in making His children cute and adorable. The inner work of the Spirit shapes our soul for God.

     

    Therefore, select and follow leaders who are qualified by God. Avoid smooth talkers with a hard heart. Take your time at work to hire not only those who can get the job done, but who get it done with a humble hurt. Wait on marriage for the one whose heart seeks the Lord and who seeks to serve others. Ask the Lord to give you a mental and emotional diagnostic to discern a person’s spirit. Better to invest in those with ordinary abilities and looks, but with an extraordinary heart.

     

    “He [Christ] will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears.” Isaiah 11:3

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray my inner self will be beautiful in Your sight.

    Related Readings: Psalm 44:21, 139:23; Luke 16:15; 1 Peter 3:4; Revelation 2:23

     

    Post/Tweet today: We stay qualified for God by keeping a heart for God. #heart for God

    © 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, Isaiah, 1 Samuel

  • Remembering

    Posted on December 26, 2012 by Samantha Evilsizer

    Samantha Reed

    "Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old." Psalm 25:6 (NIV)

    I sometimes struggle to see how God's Word applies to me and my life. Especially when I've been waiting a long time for some prayers to be answered. For hearts of loved ones to fully turn to Jesus. For manna to rain from heaven.

    The funny thing about waiting is it can be all-consuming. It inhales my attention, chews my focus and swallows my thoughts, leaving me in a place of uncertainty and doubt. I forget God's power to fulfill my hopes for prayers answered. Its then, when I can't see how He's going to bring things to pass, I have to rely on His faithfulness in the past.

    Remembering God's faithfulness in other's lives in Scripture, reminds us of His faithfulness in our own.

    When the waters rise, you've waited long for rescue and you feel God's forgotten, remember... Genesis 8:1*: But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

    When dust and debris threaten to replace passions, dreams and callings and you feel God's forgotten, remember... Genesis 9:15: I will remember my covenant between me and you.

    When the pitter-patter of little feet is silent and you feel God's forgotten, remember... Genesis 30:22: Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive.

    When fear, worry, doubt and anxiety enslave and you feel God's forgotten, remember... Exodus 2:23a, 24a, 25b: During that long period...The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out...God heard their groaning and he remembered... and was concerned about them.

    When you can't sleep and restlessness sets in, remember... Psalm 63:6-7: On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

    When guilt consumes and you fear God will never forget your sins, remember... Isaiah 43:25: I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

    When all hope is lost, remember... Luke 24:6a-7: He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you...'The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'

    When your marriage comes back from the brink of despair, remember... Deuteronomy 8:2: Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness.

    When dreams come true and you're thriving in your calling, remember... 1 Chronicles 16:12a, 15: Remember the wonders he has done... He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations...

    Recalling these accounts in Scripture helps me remember His goodness in my own life. When I can't see how He is moving on my behalf, I choose to remember that He promises to be just as present and faithful to me and you today as He was for others in the past.

    When joy surrounds. When sorrow clobbers. When all's right in our world. When the bottom drops out. When we feel loved and cherished. When we feel abandoned and alone, let's remember... They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. (Psalm 78:35)

    Dear Lord, Your love and Your grace never fail. Please help me remember this today and always. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

    Share God's faithfulness to those in need by supporting a child through World Vision.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Remember times God has been faithful to you. Recount those out loud today.

    Focus on the everyday miracles that remind us of God's faithfulness like waking up and breathing.

    Great is thy faithfulness, O God my father
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
    As Thou hast been, Thou for ever will be
    Great is thy faithfulness, Great is thy faithfulness
    Morning by morning new mercies I see
    All I have needed thy hand hath provided
    Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.
    ~Thomas Chisolm

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 143:5, "I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done." (NIV)

    Jeremiah 31:34b, "I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (ESV)

    *All verses NIV

    © 2012 by Samantha Reed. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Psalm, Luke, Genesis, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, 1 Chronicles, Exodus

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