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Tag Archives: John

  • Convicted but not Condemned

    Posted on July 9, 2014 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:17 (NIV)

    Sometimes I wonder how I can go from being in such a good place with God ... feeling peaceful, loving and patient ... then something happens that sends me into an orbit of aggravation!

    It happened just the other day. Things were going well. I'd had a lovely afternoon working from home, alone. Life was peachy.

    Then school got out and my kids came home. Within 15 minutes, one of my boys did something and said something that was not so peachy. Then he did NOT do something I asked him to do, and let's just say ... I lost all my peace and patience right there in the middle of my kitchen.

    I was not happy at all. And I told my precious boy in a not-so-nice kind of way. Then, I felt guilty and like the worst mom on the planet!

    For a few minutes, I was pretty sure that was exactly how God wanted me to feel. But before I convinced myself I was the worst mom who had no business serving in ministry, I remembered a pastor sharing about the difference between conviction and condemnation.

    He explained that condemnation sweeps across our thoughts with generalized statements such as: You're such a failure. You're so hypocritical. You can never be counted on. That is the accuser. His tone is condemning, questioning and confusing. His accusations lead to guilt and shame.

    In contrast, the Holy Spirit's conviction will be specific. He will reveal a sinful action or attitude and instruct us with a solution for what we need to do to right the wrong, such as restoring a broken relationship or returning something that isn't ours. He'll give us steps we need to take to change our behaviors or attitudes.

    Instead of the lie: "You're such a failure as a [wife, mom, daughter, friend]," the Holy Spirit might say, "You were really critical the way you talked to So-and-so. You need to say you're sorry and ask for forgiveness. Then say something to build them up instead of tearing them down."

    Instead of the accusing label: "You're so hypocritical!" The Holy Spirit might say, "You judge others for gossiping, but you're doing the same thing when you talk about your neighbor at work. Apologize for what you said today, and share a few things that are positive about her."

    Instead of shaming words: "You can never be counted on!" The Holy Spirit might say, "You didn't keep your promise to go visit your mom. Call her to say you're sorry, and ask her out to lunch this weekend."

    Satan condemns us accusingly, to make us feel guilty. God convicts us lovingly, to lead our hearts to repentance.

    Conviction draws us away from destructive behavior that hinders our relationship with God and others. Jesus' goal is to bring us out of a condemning place of sin and usher us into the freedom of forgiveness with the assurance of His love.

    The next time we blow it, or lose our peace and patience right there in the middle of the kitchen or the office or 5 o'clock traffic, let's guard our hearts from condemnation and instead, listen only to God's conviction.

    Then let's follow His lead toward restoration as we live in the security of today's truth: Jesus didn't come into the world — or into our lives — to condemn us, but to rescue us with His redeeming grace.

    Lord, sometimes condemning thoughts become so familiar I don't realize how they contradict Your Word and Your ways. Please give me discernment to recognize the difference between conviction and condemnation, and courage to replace my mindset with Yours. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    John 1:14, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Condemnation focuses on the problem. Conviction offers a solution. Write down the most frequent shaming, blaming or accusing thoughts you have that make you feel condemned.

    Then, using the three contrasting examples Renee shared above, replace condemning statements with convicting, yet loving, truths the Holy Spirit might say. Be sure to offer yourself forgiveness plus a solution that reflects God's goal of restoration and His tone of grace.

    © 2014 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

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

     


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

  • When Prayer Seems Impractical

    Posted on July 8, 2014 by Leslie Ludy

    Leslie Ludy

    "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:5 (NASB)

    A busy mom of six once told me, "I'm too busy NOT to pray!" Therein lies the secret to a life that really works.

    Putting Jesus first and making prayer a priority is the key to finding the peace, strength and joy we all long for. And yet, many of us might admit we've got our thinking regarding busyness and prayer backward.

    Let's be honest. As busy women, prayer often becomes that one project we'll "get to eventually," like cleaning the cobwebs from the ceiling or writing a cookbook.

    With so many demands on our time and energy, most of us conclude the only real prayer life we can have are those short bursts of heavenly appeal (Help, Lord!) during the stressful moments of our day.

    I've been there ... many times. The busier I am, the less practical prayer seems.

    But I have come to realize when prayer seems the most unrealistic, that's when I need it the most. In fact, the "Too busy NOT to pray" principle has revolutionized my life.

    Just a few years ago, our four children were all ages 4 and under. Three were in diapers, and the typical noise level in our house rivaled the Whos in Whoville on Christmas morning. Spending quality time with Christ each day felt next to impossible.

    I reasoned, Surely Jesus understands how many important things I need to get done. He won't mind if I just whisper a few hurried prayers here and there as I'm scurrying around!

    Yet in the busyness of my days, I continued to hear Jesus' gentle whisper, inviting me to come away from my hustle and bustle and be with Him.

    So finally, I began to make room in my life for true prayer, even though it was far from convenient. I asked God to show me pockets of time during my day when I could steal away to be with Him. Such as when the children were napping or when my husband could take charge of things.

    I asked God to equip me with the discipline to get up earlier and make my time with Christ a far higher priority than temporal distractions like social media and movies.

    As I began to live by the "Too busy NOT to pray" principle, I was amazed at what happened. Suddenly, life became fruitful instead of frustrating. My responsibilities and demands didn't change. But instead of rushing around in a stressful frenzy, I had a supernatural strength to tackle my daily challenges calmly and joyfully. My defeated and overwhelmed perspective was replaced with a victorious, conquering one.

    I was learning the truth of today's key verse, "... apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5b). I have come to realize that I cannot truly thrive in any area of my life unless I'm spending purposeful time in God's presence on a regular basis.

    I still have a tendency to put tasks above prayer. But now, when I start coming up with reasons why I cannot spend quality time with Christ, I remind myself that actually, I'm too busy NOT to pray. Nothing on my task list could ever be more important than making time with Jesus. He alone has everything I need for the battles I'm called to fight.

    The busier our days are, the more important prayer is. So when prayer seems impractical, let's remember that the very best solution is to get on our knees.

    Lord, help me never forget that spending time in Your presence is what will give me strength for everything else I'm called to do. Teach me to not just fit You into my life when it's convenient, but to truly build my life around You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Luke 10:41-42a, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part ..." (NASB)

    Ephesians 6:18, "... praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints —" (NKJV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    When do you feel "too busy to pray"?

    When you make time with Christ a priority, how does it change your ability to handle life's stresses and responsibilities?

    © 2014 by Leslie Ludy. All rights reserved.

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

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


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

  • You are Never Alone

    Posted on June 24, 2014 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "Now he had to go through Samaria ... and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, 'Will you give me a drink?'" John 4:4, 6-7 (NIV)

    Alone again. That's what she must have thought as she walked alone to the well that day. No friend laughed by her side. No small fist gripped her skirt. No sister to help pass the time.

    Maybe it was better that way. Being alone was easier than hearing the condemning words and seeing the scornful looks of others. But she wasn't alone for long. She didn't know who He was and couldn't help but wonder why He was talking to her, a Samaritan woman.

    When He spoke, she heard gentleness in His voice. Kindness and humility in His simple request for a drink. In His eyes she saw acceptance, not judgment. Love, not hate.

    Many of us know her as the Samaritan woman, but I like to call her Sam. It makes her feel more like the real woman she was. A woman who struggled with hurt, rejection and loneliness.

    Today's key verse says Jesus "had to go through Samaria" (John 4:4). Yet theologians would tell us Jews considered Samaritans to be the scum of the earth and would do everything to avoid them. In fact, usually they would travel around Samaria — but not Jesus.

    He had to go through Samaria. Could it be because He knew Sam would be there?

    Typically women traveled together to the well in the cool of the day, escaping the heat of the sun since they carried heavy jars filled with water back to their homes. But Sam walked by herself during the hottest part of the day.

    Instead of avoiding the scorching sun, many believe she went to the well at noon to avoid the scorching pain of others' rejection and judgment. Sam had been married five times, and now she was living with a man who wasn't her husband.

    The weight of the water-filled jar in the heat must have been almost unbearable, but the weight of her neighbors' words, reminding her of her failed marriages, was more than she could take.

    When Jesus met her, Sam was running an errand and running from those who knew of her failures, shame and imperfections. Pursuing her with His perfect love, Jesus timed it so she would run into Him.

    He initiated conversation and asked her for the one thing she had to offer: water. It wasn't much, but it was a start.

    Sam stopped and listened. She let Him speak words of assurance and acceptance into the broken, insecure, empty places of her heart.

    In the same way Jesus intentionally pursued Sam in one of the loneliest parts of her day, He is there in the midst of your sometimes lonely, imperfect life. He is there when your disappointments and failures leave you empty and make you doubt your worth and purpose.

    He is there when you're going through the motions, aware of what needs to be done but unaware of how you're going to do it all.

    He is there during endless days filled with projects, diapers or laundry when you're wondering if you'll ever find meaning in the monotony.

    He is there when you're criticizing yourself and questioning whether you have what it takes to be a godly woman.

    He sees you. He notices all you do, and He knows what you long for. In fact, Jesus is the only One who can meet your deepest need to be known, accepted and pursued simply because of who you are.

    Today He is pursuing you with His gift of perfect love — love that is patient and kind, love that keeps no record of your wrongs, love that won't give up on you or me.

    Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, He is there. Will you take time to stop and talk to Him and then quiet your thoughts so you can listen to His voice?

    Dear Lord, thank You for pursuing me. I want to know and rely on the love You have for me and live in the security of it! When I feel afraid, insignificant or alone, help me turn to You and remember You are there! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Jeremiah 31:3b, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    How does it make you feel to knowing Jesus is pursuing you in every moment of every day? Take a minute to tell Him what assurance you need from Him today.

    © 2014 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Celebrate Life

    Posted on June 9, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    A large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead...for on account of himmany of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him. John 12:9, 11

    We can live a ‘drive thru dining’ life that rushes from one activity to the next, or we can live a ‘sit down dinner’ life that enjoys the caring company of others. It's especially meaningful to celebrate special occasions: graduations, anniversaries, birthdays (both physical and spiritual), work promotions and successful surgeries, to name a few. We celebrate life when we show our gratitude for the Lord’s blessings. We take the time to honor God for His bounteous provision and healing.

    Mary understood how to celebrate the gift of life. She took her best--her all, and gave it to Jesus. Her glee and gratitude could not be contained for her brother Lazarus was alive, raised by God. Without inhibition and in the face of fierce criticism from a family member, she lavished her love on the Lord. The death and resurrection of Lazarus became the harbinger of her symbolic anointing of Jesus for His burial. A celebration of life points to the giver of life; Jesus Christ.

    “They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness” (Psalm 145:7).

    A life lived well celebrates well. What has the Lord done in your life that invites a celebratory occasion? Perhaps you use this time to tell your story of God’s faithfulness, and as an opportunity to raise funds for a worthy charity. Recounting Christ’s blessings blesses others. Open your home to honor a friend who has been healed, or pay tribute to a new believer who has been raised to walk in newness of life in Christ. Life celebrations memorialize your heavenly Father’s favor.

    Some will scoff when we spend time and money to commemorate Christ. But their small view of God misses the point of creating unique ways to glorify God. For out of our great gratitude to the Lord, others are drawn to the Lord. Just as many believed in Jesus because of Lazarus’ testimony, so many will believe in Jesus because of our testimony. Others take notice when we celebrate our life blessed by the Lord. We anoint Jesus as our Lord when we give all we have to Jesus. Christ is our celebration. He is the reason we are rowdy with joy. Yes, celebrate when a soul is saved!

    “Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again;he was lost and is found.  So they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:23-24).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, slow me down to celebrate Your faithfulness. Use my joy to bring others to faith in Jesus.

    Related Readings: Psalm 2:11, 89:16; Isaiah 30:29; Matthew 26:18; Revelation 11:10

    Post/Tweet today: Out of our great gratitude to the Lord others are drawn to the Lord.. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Threatened by Change

    Posted on June 5, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Here is this man [Jesus] performing many signs.If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.  John 11:47-48

    Change can be our friend or our foe. It depends on our need for control. If we have to be in control, then our need for control can control us. Thus, we have the opportunity to trust Christ in exchange for our need to control. We play God when we feel like we have to be all knowing, when only the Almighty is omniscient. Frustration will follow a faith that requires a perfectly controlled environment, but peaceful is the person who embraces change and rests in Christ.

    The religious leaders were threatened by Jesus. His charisma, clear teaching and compelling character were competition to this gaggle of guys who sought to control the religious and political destiny of the nation. Yes, change is a threat to the status quo, because they feel like something better may replace their position and power. So, critics of change may create fear by promoting worst case scenarios to other insecure opponents of change. We shouldn’t be surprised if our belief in Jesus stirs up controversy. He is a threat to those who do not know Him.

    “There are six things the Lord hates... A false witnesswho pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Proverbs 6:16, 18).

    Furthermore, Christ is a change agent. He changes the motivations of the human heart. Jesus introduces a joyless heart of greed--to a joy filled heart of generosity. The Holy Spirit sensitizes a self reliant heart, with one led by listening to the Lord. Our heavenly Father takes our heart that yearns for love, and lovingly takes us into His intimate care. Our life in Christ is not an add on to our old life, or even an extreme makeover. Salvation is a start over with our faith as our foundation.

    Therefore, followers of Jesus need not be threatened by His desire for change. Similar to an effective athletic team or successful company constantly look for ways to change for the better, so we remain pliable in asking the Spirit to reveal areas of needed growth in our character. A Christian without change is sleeping with the enemy, but a Christian being changed by Christ is a threat to the enemy. What change is He calling you to not only accept, but initiate? Change wins!

    “And he said: 'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven'” (Matthew 18:3).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me not to be threatened by change, but to invite Your life changing Spirit, into my life.

    Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 6:37; Ecclesiates 8:1; Jeremiah 7:4-6;  Luke 9:29; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

    Post/Tweet today: Our life in Christ is not an add on to our old life; salvation is a start over with our faith as the foundation.  #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Divine Christ

    Posted on June 4, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. John 11:43-44

    As a warm up to His own resurrection, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. The One who called Himself the resurrection and the life, brought a dead man back to life. This seventh miracle  recorded by John is the most outrageous. Who brings a man back to life after being dead cold  in the grave for four days? Only God can do this--Christ, 100% divine in nature, transcended His natural law of death with His supernatural law of love that brings back life. Jesus is God.

    Jesus in His humanity wept bitter tears, knowing there would very soon be tears of joy. He hurts when we hurt and He rejoices when we rejoice. Hallelujah our Lord Christ cares; in the middle of our crisis His calm comfort is available and His hope is on the horizon. Our divine Christ sees with compassion a dead end job, and gives us life with fresh vision and opportunity. Natural man may seek to squelch, even kill our dreams, but our divine Christ supersedes cynical claims. What man tries to destroy by discrediting, Christ can bring back to life in a full display of His glory.

    “God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not” (Romans 4:17).

    Has something you hold dear died? A relationship that may have spiraled down into a suspicion filled scenario where neither of you trusts the other? The ability to enjoy a dear one’s company, because they have moved away or their physical functions are impaired? Whatever has died, trust Christ to bring back to life something exceedingly better. Our best and brightest imagination of what’s possible with God retreats penniless, compared to the incomprehensible riches of His grace.

    Above all, we look forward to the voice of Christ calling us forth from the dead. The final resurrection is anticipated by those dead in Christ, but is dreaded by those dead in their sin. The One who conquered death gives us the keys to escape death’s dungeon. What’s cloudy and overcast now, will be clear and sunny with Him. We may weep in the night of this life, but we will find the limitless joy of Jesus in the morning of our glorious resurrection body. In Christ, He sets aside our dingy grave clothes of sin, and robes us with His radiant robe of righteousness!

    “In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise You for the divine power of Your son Jesus Christ, who brings to life my life and love.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 26:19; John 8:58-59; Romans 6:4; Philippians 2:6; Revelation 22:12

    Post/Tweet today: Our imagination of what’s possible with God retreats penniless, compared to the incomprehensible riches of His grace.

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Emotional Jesus

    Posted on June 3, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!" John 11:33-36

    Jesus felt; He felt deeply. He felt the intense sorrow of Mary and Martha losing their brother. He felt gratitude for friends and family who came alongside to support them in their grief. His spirit was moved and troubled by the trouble those He loved were experiencing. Yes indeed, our Lord wept with those who wept, and rejoiced with those who rejoiced. He was much more than the pale, emotionless European portraits of the renaissance. Love feels deeply human needs.

    Love takes the time to be with those who hurt and mourn over loss. Love in action is emotion expressed. Friendship is a communication of affection. We are strong for the weak, when we weep with the weak. Non-emotional responses to a hurting heart only prolong the healing. Thus, we pray by the Holy Spirit to enter into emotional access with our troubled friends and family. We love by being available and use words only when necessary. Love emotionally connects.

    “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it” (Luke 19:41).

    What human condition deserves our empathy? Have we so insulated ourselves from pain that we are numb to those who silently suffer? Indeed, we are called by Christ to be intentional to comfort the comfortless. Others who grieve and wail from within need our supportive, tender compassion. So, almost stealth like: we cook a meal, sit by the bedside holding a clammy hand, cradle a crying baby in our arms, or hug a sobbing soul. Our love feels what those we love feel.

    Are your emotions whole, so you are able to wholly love another soul? If not, invite the sweet salve of Jesus’ comfort to free you to feel again. Under the Spirit’s control, freely express what you feel: anger, fear, insecurity, disappointment, grief or frustration. Feelings processed properly in prayer become helpful prescriptions for others stuck in sorrow. Learn the skills of emotional conversation, so you can help others locked up by unresolved pain. An expressive heart loves Jesus with its heart, so prayerfully speak what you feel and feel what you speak. Jesus does.

    “At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, 'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth'” (Luke 10:21).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the compassion and joy of Jesus, help me express my emotions in a healthy way.

    Related Readings: Job 16:5; Psalm 100:2; Isaiah 63:9; Luke 6:23; Hebrews 12:2; Jude 1:24

    Post/Tweet today:. Feelings processed properly in prayer become helpful prescriptions for others stuck in sorrow. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Trust and Verify

    Posted on June 2, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Jesus said to her [Martha], “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?"  John 11:25-26

    Trust Jesus first and verify His claims second. We cannot recognize the works of God until we exchange our works for belief in God. Before Jesus demonstrated His ability to resurrect the dead, He asked Martha to believe He was the resurrection and the life. Her faith preceded His power. Real trust is not expressed in a sentimental reading of a creed or the halfhearted singing of worship songs. Genuine trust embraces Jesus--the resurrected Savior, and then experiences Jesus--the resurrected Lord. In Christ, we pass from death to life to be with Him and enjoy Him.

    Have you truly trusted Jesus and verified His presence and promises in your life? Belief is like a drawbridge into the comforts of Christ’s castle. Faith is a suspension bridge between sinful man and holy God. Trust is the tunnel under a river of worry, as we follow the Holy Spirit’s leadership toward the Lord’s best. Thus, make trust your ticket to traffic with Jesus. He promises peace, hope, forgiveness, wisdom, strength, direction, love and eternal life. Verify these things.

    “Then Peter came to himself and said, 'Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches'” (Acts 12:11).

    Furthermore, we have daily opportunities to trust and verify with people. It may be a child who asks for a second, third or fourth chance. Perhaps a struggling work associate has improved his skills,and desires an opportunity to reengage with excellence. Has a friend violated a trust, but asked forgiveness and took responsibility for their immaturity? When we trust individuals we give them confidence. So, we clarify expectations (even in writing), we trust, and we check up. Yes, as we extend trust, it's easier for others to reciprocate. Trust grows healthy relationships.

    Most of all, have you totally trusted Jesus in your heart and mind? Have you sought to verify His claims in a loving personal relationship with Him? Unregenerate religion thinly cloaks a conscience still soiled from sin. But, a sensitive soul that’s been born again is transformed by a mind renewal. Once we are resurrected in Christ, by faith in Christ’s resurrection, we are positioned to observe His resurrection power. Our loving Lord can’t wait to bring back to life dead souls, dead relationships, and dead deals. Trust Him and enjoy verifying His great works!

    “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world” (John 4:42).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father give me the humility to truly trust You and to verify Your works with an obedient heart, all for Your glory.

    Related Readings: 2 Kings 5:15; Nehemiah 8:12; John 6:35; 1 Corinthians 13:12; Galatians 4:9

    Post/Tweet today:As we extend trust, it's easier for others to reciprocate. Trust grows healthy relationships. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Sickness for God’s Glory

    Posted on May 30, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.  John 11:4

    Sickness is an opportunity for God to be glorified and for observers to believe in Jesus, God’s Son. This perspective is easy to forget, because sickness is often a struggle. The physical body can be extremely demanding. It can writhe in pain, convulse from seizures, sweat from fever, ache from infection, and fatigue from fighting cancer. Some feel so badly, they are ready to go home to heaven. In the meantime, illness can be a hard, but meaningful moment for God’s glory.

    Furthermore, the Lord uses sickness to draw people to each other and to Himself. A sick child causes mom and dad to come together on their knees on behalf of their precious one. Elderly parents are an invitation for adult children to spend time together and to work together for the betterment of their parent’s quality of life. Sickness can reveal a heart of giving or a heart of taking. As we serve the sick, those who need Jesus see His love in action.

    “The strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain or trouble, but a weak and broken spirit who can raise up or bear” (Proverbs 18:14, The Amplified Bible)?

    Are you struggling with sickness? If so, seek to experience the intimacy of God’s glory in the middle of your illness. Your afflictions can be eclipsed by His glory. Similar to the stamina of a mother caring for a needy child, His glory engulfs your soul with energy to endure chronic pain. The sweet spot of His sweet Spirit provides security in your sickness. Christ’s peace guards your heart and mind to get through intense health issues. God’s glory gives you hope and healing.

    Is someone you love suffering from an illness? How can you glorify God in your love for them? Start with a simple prayer for the Holy Spirit to strengthen your sick friend by His grace and love. Share Scripture with them, such as Psalm 59:16-17 for comfort and peace. Your faith in God is a rock to those whose world is being rocked by adversity. Be available to support them by caring for their children or raising funds to pay for their medical bills. Prepared to give a reason for their hope in Him,God’s people love and serve like Jesus, glorifying Him.

    “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use my illness or the sickness of a loved one to bring glory to my Savior Jesus Christ.

    Related Readings: John 9:2-3; 2 Corinthians 3:18, 4:6; Colossians 4:6; Hebrews 1:3

    Post/Tweet today:Your faith in God is a rock to those whose world is being rocked by adversity. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • God’s Timing

    Posted on May 29, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.  John 11:5-6

    God’s timing is not always our timing. We see the immediate, He sees the long term. We feel pain and desire relief, He sees our pain and offers comfort. We pray for God to do something, He wants us to do something. We want conflict resolved, He wants our resolve to be trust in Him. We want to be an overnight success, He wants our character to grow with our success. We want financial security, He wants us to be generous with what we have. We want meaningful relationships, He wants us to initiate friendships.  We want health, He wants to glorify Himself.

    God’s timing is all about what He wants for us, not what He wants from us. Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, but He delayed His blessing. He delayed the blessing of healing for the greater glory of bringing Lazarus back from the dead. What we may perceive as the Lord’s indifference, is in reality, His loving patience and grace to provide something better. So, we may be deeply wounded by a broken wedding engagement, but in retrospect we see God’s protection.

    Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (John 11:4).

    God’s timing is all about God’s glory. The Lord’s heart is for relationships to reflect His glory. Thus, we patiently wait on a marriage partner who will bring God the most glory. Outer beauty with inner attractiveness is a catalyst for Christ’s glory. Fearful impatience can push us to settle for less than the Lord’s best. As you are waiting on direction from the Lord, be with the Lord. If Jesus feels distant, ask Him to soothe your soul. Learn how to love better by being loved better.

    If you just broke up with a long time love, perhaps you wait before you date. Take  a year off from dating and go deeper in your love relationship with your Heavenly Father. Let your heart heal. A year of intense intimacy with God is preparation for a life long marriage of joy built on Jesus. What feels like love delayed is love growing you into a mature man or woman of faith. Jesus wants to love you deeply, so you can learn to love deeply. A sentimental love of your Savior will not sustain you through suffering, but a radical love will. His timing is what’s best.

    “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the patience to wait on Your best and the humility to glorify You in the process.

    Related Readings: Psalm 115:1; Isaiah 30:18; Hosea 12:6; John 17:24; Titus 2:13; Jude 1:21

    Post/Tweet today:Fearful impatience can push us to settle for less than the Lord’s very best. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

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