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Tag Archives: 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

  • A Leader Worth Following

    Posted on May 27, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  John 10:11

    Some questions that humble me as a leader are; “Am I a leader worth following?” “Do I model the values of our work and home culture?” “Do I do what I ask the team to do?”  “Am I willing to give up my own interests for what’s best for everyone else?” And the question that looms largest, “Will I lay down my life for my family and friends?” For me to be a leader worth following, I will answer affirmative to these revealing questions. Mostly though, I must follow the good shepherd,Jesus.

    Jesus is the ultimate leader worth following. He is not “a,” but “the” Good Shepherd. He is good because He is God, and He grows good leaders. The good shepherd Jesus defends the sheep from aggressive enemies. Just as the shepherd David battled the lion and bear on behalf of his flock, so Jesus engages the enemy on our behalf. He sees danger coming before we do, so what may seem an unnecessary diversion may be His protection from a bad decision or bad people.

    “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12).

    A leader worth following protects his or her people. He lays down his life, his interests, and his ego for the greater good. The other centered leader also invests in her team. She spends time in mentorship. Over lunch she systematically  helps the less experienced process their pressure points. The leader is vulnerable about her own issues and how she learned from others. A safe culture invites honesty, and the opportunity for professional growth.

    Furthermore, what are some ways you can invest in the character of those who look to you as their leader? You have to be good in order to teach others how to be good. Your generosity enhances a culture of generosity. Your care creates a caring culture. Expose your team to books, trainings and conferences that challenge and grow their character and skills. Begin a weekly or monthly educational process that infuses the values of the culture throughout the enterprise. A leader worth following is out front as an example, among the team to learn, and behind in prayer.

    “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father grow me into a leader worth following. Lead me to lead like Jesus.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 14:16; 1 Corinthians 4:16-17; Philippians 3:17, 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:2

    Post/Tweet today:A leader worth following is out front as an example, among the team to learn, and behind in prayer. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Being and Doing

    Posted on May 26, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    I [Jesus] am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  John 10:9

    The Christian life is a prayerful mixture of being and doing. Some days or seasons seem like  relentless service, unsustainable without breaks for just being. Yet, daily our Lord calls us to come into His presence for comfort, and go out in His power to engage the world. We first entered the gate of God for salvation, and once saved we enter for sustenance. We go in to be with Jesus, and we go out to give Jesus. Contemplation on Christ leads us to care for Christ.

    Our Lord Jesus is our great shepherd who protects us from the enemy. He leads us beside still waters, He feeds us His green pastures in prayer and He lays down His life for His sheep. Christ provides a circle of safety we can rely on for peace and security. Since our Savior is 100% trustworthy, we need not wonder or worry. Some misfit ministers pseudo shepherd God’s flock. Don’t be led astray by their doctrinal or moral mayhem. Keep your eyes on Christ’s secure staff!

    “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord (Jeremiah 23:1).

    How can you best be and do for God?  Be who you are and do what you do best. God shows you your real self when you rest and relax in His presence. For example, His Spirit may say to your heart: I have made you to love. More specifically, He may say: Love leaders, love children or love the poor. Contemplation with Christ  clarifies your purpose for Christ. Being breaks down your biases, purifies your motives, and gives you confidence to be you. God educates you.

    Doing applies what we learn from the Lord. For instance, the Holy Spirit could enlighten us to support our spouse or friend by being patient, not frustrated with their disorganization or overcommitment. We gain influence with individuals when they feel we really know, understand,  and care for them. Being prepares our hearts to be magnanimous with those who misunderstand or mistreat us. When we go in to be with Christ prior to going out into the world, we are able to do for others what He has done for us. Being gets us to God, before we go out to serve with God.

    “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4-5).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my faith by my comings and goings with Christ. I desire to be with You, so I can do for You.

    Related Readings: Psalm 27:14; Luke 24:49; Ephesians 2:1-13; 2 Peter 1:1-11

    Post/Tweet today:Contemplation with Christ is meant to clarify our purpose for Christ. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • No, After You

    Posted on May 26, 2014 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13 (NIV)

    "I call shotgun, Mama Karen!" the strapping teen yelled as he approached my car after football practice.

    "No way, Javari! Get in the back. She's my mom, dude. I get the front!" my son Spencer hollered back, trying to jockey for the prime piece of vehicle real estate known as the front passenger seat. Then, while the two of them playfully argued over whose turn it was to ride next to me, their friend Grant quietly slipped in front, grinning with a smile of victory.

    Kids like to get their own way. So do adults. During my substitute teaching years, I spent many days getting children to take turns at recess or not cut in line at lunch. I broke up fights over seats in the library and over who was going to be captain during flag football.

    A morning commute in traffic will showcase how adults also like to get their own way and be first. Horns honk and nasty looks are exchanged as drivers vie for their spot on the road, sometimes speeding or cutting others off in the process. But how refreshing it is to meet a kind person in a traffic jam, one who waves you on and allows you to move over a lane. And when they do it with a smile, this rare gesture restores faith in the human race.

    I used to read today's key verse about laying down our lives, and thought of it as a person actually dying for another, which of course is the greatest love of all. But I have also come to think of "laying down my life" as the little choices which put others first.

    Putting others first doesn't come naturally to us. Our innate tendency is to reach for the biggest slice of pie rather than offer it to a family member. It takes a conscious effort to allow others to go before you or to let them have what you really want. This is why I have always been impressed at those who seem to do it regularly.

    My mother is one who made selfless choices, when as a single mom on a tight budget, she would wear the same threadbare coat winter after winter in order to make sure her children had warm jackets.

    I also think of Alma, whom I've known since she was the Sunday school teacher for the preschool class when my adult daughter was young. Conversations with this sweet woman are sure to revolve around you and your family. She rarely talks about herself, but instead wants to know how she can be praying for you and your loved ones. She is known by many as "the nicest woman in the world."

    Then there's the man at church who opens doors for others, helps visitors find a cup of coffee or locate a classroom, and does it all with a genuine smile. He is not an official usher. Just a kind soul.

    But I also know people who've given more. Like Andrew, my friend Tami's son. I first knew Andrew as an energetic toddler. Throughout his life he wanted to serve. To protect. To save. It was evident in his play as a child and with his future goals as a teen. Then one day, as a 19-year-old soldier, he laid down his life for his country on a battlefield far away.

    Most likely we won't ever be called to make the ultimate sacrifice, but could we vow to put others first a little more often? To intentionally look for ways to meet their needs while we put ours on hold? To, in a sense, lay down a little of our lives daily for another?

    When we do, we will be modeling Christ to a watching world as we learn to live a life that says, "No, you first."

    I'm in. Are you? If we ever meet in person someday, I'll hold the door open for you with a smile. Why, I just might even let you take the biggest piece of pie. {Maybe.}

    Dear Lord, help me to be unselfish, to intentionally look for ways to put others first in the little things in life. Maybe even in making the ultimate sacrifice if ever I'm called upon. When people look at me, I want them to see You instead. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    1 John 3:18, "Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action." (HCSB)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    In America, today is Memorial Day, the day we honor those who have given their lives in service to our country. Take time to attend a parade or ceremony in your area or join in a call to pause, pray and remember with others around the country.

    Pray about a way you can put others before yourself today. Then, go and do it.

    © 2014 by Karen Ehman. 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

  • Menial Tasks

    Posted on May 25, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.  John 13:15

    Jesus was the master of menial tasks. He was not afraid to get His hands dirty—literally. There was nothing and no one beneath Him, for He valued everyone. Jesus put Himself into the shoes of others so that He could relate to their world and serve them well. Success did not shield Him from the ordinary. His heart was all about service; He knew that service around menial tasks unlocked opportunities to influence. Jesus expects you, as a follower of His, to follow His example. “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:15).

    No level of authority exempts you from serving others. Pride or dignity may cause you to resist things such as working in a soup kitchen, tutoring an underprivileged illiterate, vacuuming the house, unloading the dishwasher, taking out the garbage, washing clothes, running errands, maintaining the house (though better stewardship may be to hire someone else!), making photo copies, or returning phone calls. Yet, when you execute these menial tasks, you reflect Christ.

    Through your service to others, you truly lead. Otherwise, people are just intimidated into producing results for fear of your hostile reprisals. How much healthier it is for family, friends, and work associates to be motivated by your service than by your threats. It may start out awkwardly; it may take time for people to get used to the sight of you helping out. But when you start managing by walking around your computer instead of hiding behind it, people will be amazed. Encourage by engaging personally with people, not just sending impersonal e-mails. At first, they may resist, wondering what’s come over you. But your willingness to roll up your sleeves will win them over. Start with a handwritten thank you note to your direct reports. Value them as your most important “customer.” Wash their feet by constantly caring for them first.

    Menial tasks can become mundane over time. They can become boring and predictable, so stay fresh and challenged. Do not be satisfied with the status quo. Challenge the system and execute in a more excellent way. If you take for granted your position or technical skills, you may become sloppy in your service and lazy in your work. Always become better at what you do. Anybody can do anything for a short period of time. But it takes stamina and character to continue mastering the menial over the long run. Take continuing education classes. Improve your speaking and writing skills by engaging a speech or writing coach.

    Use technology to enhance and accelerate the menial. Nothing, however, will ever replace your need to give personal attention to important details. The devil is in the details, so give attention to them. This keeps him from taking you hostage. Yes, delegate, but do not make the mistake and abdicate. People appreciate your thinking of the details that affect them. Your accountability to carry out the menial makes others want to do the same, so plan ahead. Serve others where they least expect you to get involved. Then it becomes infectious. So be a contagious carrier who reflects Christ. There is no task too menial for your Master. Join Him where He serves.

    Post/Tweet today: Wise leaders delegate, but they don’t make the mistake of abdicating. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Does Anybody Really Like House Rules?

    Posted on May 21, 2014 by Amy Carroll

    Amy Carroll

    "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in his love." John 15:9-10 (NIV)

    From the day I drove off with my newly printed license, my parents made the house rules clear: Any tickets or accidents would be my responsibility. All was well until my friends and I took off for the beach my senior year, and I backed into a parked car before I even caught a glimpse of the ocean.

    I cried knowing I'd have to work all summer at my minimum wage, fast-food job to pay for the damage I'd done.

    The sting of that seemingly unfair rule smarted until I became a parent, and my son scratched the side of a car on a mailbox last summer. Suddenly, from the view of a mom, the same rule I'd resisted as a teenager taught my son responsibility and care.

    Yet with God, the ultimate loving parent, we don't always understand that the same principles apply. Sometimes God's directions seem arbitrary and unfair. Especially in a culture lacking clear boundaries of right and wrong.

    We find ourselves thinking things like, Surely we should get to decide how much of the truth we tell at work, when to forgive a critical friend or the limits of our sexual behaviors. We're adults now, after all. Rules are for children, right?

    Yet, God wants to give us a new perspective on the subject of commands and obedience. His ways are often the opposite of our ways, and today's key verse, John 15:9-10, shows us that a life of obedience to God is a reward, not a punishment:

    "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in his love."

    In these verses, Jesus calls us to remain in His love, a very safe place to be, by obeying His commands.

    The word "remain" in verse 9 can also be translated "dwell" or "reside." That helps me picture God inviting us into a dwelling place with protective walls built layer by layer with His commands.

    All caring parents have house rules. And God is the most loving parent of all. He has established a beautiful place where we're invited to live with Him, protected and cherished.

    But for a woman who struggles with feeling like she has to work to earn God's love, the conditional statement "if you keep my commands" has been hard to understand. I've had to dig deeper to understand how God's love and obedience work beneficially hand-in-hand.

    Undeniably, God is love (1 John 4:16). The phrase describing God as "abounding in love" is found in Exodus, Numbers, Nehemiah, Psalm, Joel and Jonah. "His love endures forever" is repeated more than 20 times in Psalm 136 and dozens more times throughout Scripture. If God says it in His Word so many times, there's no doubt He means it! We can know for sure that God's love is always available.

    It is unchanging and always there for us, but we have a choice. We choose through the condition of obedience to remain in His love or through disobedience to walk out of its protection.

    Jesus' declaration of love feels like a warm blanket wrapped around me in a cold world. God, our heavenly Father, is drawing us into the beautiful life He created us for where His commands are simply the walls of the residence. Let's choose to move in and dwell in the presence of our Father's love.

    Lord, I choose to trust that Your rules are for my good and growth. I want to remain in Your love, and live a life of obedience to You. When I want to push against Your ways, help me to look around at the walls of Your dwelling of protection and be thankful. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    2 John 1:6, "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love." (NIV)

    Psalm 119:14-16, "I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Are there any areas of life where you're not living in obedience to God's Word? How might that leave you unprotected or hinder your growth?

    Read through John 15. How is God's care for you and His desire for your growth pictured in this chapter? Journal your response to God's deep love for you.

    © 2014 by Amy Carroll. 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

  • Wedding Celebration

    Posted on May 17, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. John 2:1-2

    A wedding is a celebration of two people committed to Christ and committed to each other. This is cause for raucous laughter and tearful gratitude. The solemn vows of the bride and groom are accented by their smiles and kisses. The parents celebrate God's goodness in all its facets. It's good to see your child embrace a spouse who will cherish and respect your "baby." It's good to see your child happy and content. And it's good to see your child make wise choices and dance with joy. It is good to see your child obedient to his or her heavenly Father.

    Weddings where Jesus is invited are the best!

    A wedding is a preamble to the constitution of marriage. It is a declaration of independence from self-interest. It is interdependence on each other and dependence on God. A wedding is costly, but not nearly as expensive as the marriage. A wedding mirrors a marriage's need for mentors, prayer support, and planning. A wedding done well is a template for marriage. You keep the fires of romance burning brightly. You plan together and communicate constantly. You spend budgeted money. You involve your family in ways that are appropriate and honoring. You keep God as the centerpiece of your life. A wedding is not a fleeting moment, but rather a memory to be relived over and over again. A wedding is a reminder of God¹s beautiful work of grace in a world full of hurt. It reinvigorates stale marriages. It staves off the pending demise of others. It affirms those who, by God's grace, have grown deeper and deeper in love since their own special day.

    Invite Jesus to your wedding. He is the ultimate wedding planner. He is interested in every detail of your public expression of faith in Him. Indeed, your public display of faith begins with your private devotion. Once you have developed a personal love relationship with Jesus, you can humbly exalt Him before friends, family, and the world. Private dedication precedes public declaration. An engaged couple who lack individual engagements of faith, is not ready for a wedding. A wedding requires much more than starry-eyed looks of love. Its prerequisite is a deep and abiding faith in God. Otherwise, the wedding becomes a big, expensive party lacking the teeth of commitment and follow through.

    A wedding without Jesus is like an orchestra without a conductor. There is a ton of potential represented by a lot of well-meaning individuals, but there is no defined direction. There is no overall harmony of the musical instruments of husband, wife, family, friends, and faith. Jesus integrates the lives of all these well-meaning players into a beautiful concert called marriage. The wedding is but a prelude of the marriage concert, but what a beautiful beginning it births. Jesus is a gracious guest always looking for ways to intercede on your behalf‹as the new couple‹and on the behalf of your guests. His model of servanthood will mark your marriage for a lifetime. Your faith in Christ is a marriage analogy, for He is the groom and you are the bride. Your wedding is a picture of the joy of your salvation. Your marriage is a lifelong consecration of that commitment. Keep inviting Jesus, the initiator of your wedding and the sustainer of your marriage.

    Post/Tweet today: A wedding mirrors a marriage¹s need for mentors, prayer support, and planning. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Unsolicited Blessings

    Posted on May 16, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    After saying this, he [Jesus] spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. "Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means "Sent"). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. John 9:6-7

    Sometimes God blesses us out of the blue. We don't see it coming, but when we encounter His goodness, we are overwhelmed with gratitude. Such was the experience of the blind man, who minding his own business, became the recipient of Christ's mercy. This feeble man of sorrows was touched by the Man of Sorrows. Our Lord does not look at a misfortunate man with contempt, but with compassion. Jesus came to save not judge, though His coming is judgment for those who stay stuck in their unbelief. God's unsolicited blessings manifest from His mercy.

    Moreover, there will always be contemporary critics who can't handle Christ's miraculous intervention. Strangely, instead of celebrating the wholeness of this man's body, the spiritually blind leaders shifted the discussion to a theological debate. Because they were not the instigators of this healing or the recipient of God's grace, they were opposed to Christ's act of mercy. We can expect the unenlightened to explain away our experience of the Lord's favor. Jealous distractors will try to demean Jesus by dismissing His divinity, but His blessings still remain.

    "Her (Elizabeth's) neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy" (Luke 1:58).

    Furthermore, when Christ calls us to obey, we obey. Though it may not seem as strange as allowing Him to smear the saliva stained mud of His mercy on our eyes with us washing it away, we will still trust and obey. Faith without obedience is without effect, but faith with obedience sees the Spirit's effect. Thus, we don't sit around and pridefully debate the origin of a man or woman's misfortune, instead we get our hands dirty in the mud of God's mercy and we lovingly serve!

    How do you regularly rejoice in God's unsolicited blessings? Perhaps over a meal with your family, each one shares how they've been surprised by joy. Or, as you engage people in every day life, make note of the Lord's favor in their lives. Pass on these nuggets of encouragement to friends and loved ones. Jesus miraculously intervenes all around you, so be aware and share. Be a steward of God's stories of faithfulness. His unsolicited blessings deserve your recognition and rejoicing!

    "Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence" (Psalm 21:6).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise you for the blessings prayed for and for the unexpected blessings.

    Related Readings: Job 33:26; 2 Kings 5:10; Isaiah 35:5; John 11:37; Hebrews 10:23

    Post/Tweet today: Faith without obedience is without effect, but faith with obedience sees the Spirit's effect. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Sense of Urgency

    Posted on May 15, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. John 9:4

    Jesus had a sense of urgency. Not a frantic pace without purpose, but a focused diligence on doing God's work. He prayerfully sought to steward each day with an eye on eternity. He did not allow criticism to distract Him in defensiveness, or praise to fuel His pride in superior thinking. Rather, Jesus knew He was on a mission from His heavenly Father. Time was a precious gift from God that deserved doing His will. Yes, our Savior had a sense of urgency around God's priorities.

    Therefore, from the moment the light of day graces our face, we prayerfully face the day. The morning dawn is the Lord's invitation to engage in His activities. Since our sending agent is Almighty God, we don't take lightly our duty. He has us on assignment as heavenly ambassadors. Thus, this sense of a divine mandate begs a question, "How can we best serve our Master Jesus while we have the energy and opportunity?" By the Holy Spirit motivating our sense of urgency.

    "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light" (Romans 13:12).

    Furthermore, our work with God in this life is preparation for our work with Him in the next life. Similar to earth before sin (the Garden of Eden), heaven involves our activity and engagement on behalf of the Lord. Our work on earth is just a warm up for our work in eternity. Yes, our brief time of service is barely a book preface, compared to the volumes yet to be written throughout the ages to come with Christ. Our sense of urgency now, sets us up for our strategic service later.

    With this in mind, how do you discern God's plan for the day? Ask the Lord how it flows out of His overall purpose for your life. Prayerfully put off the deeds of darkness, so you are free to put on the activities of the day. Put off pride and put on humility. Put off fear and put on faith. Put off procrastination and put on doing. Mentor, volunteer at a church or ministry board, sponsor a missionary, provide counseling for a struggling couple, or have coffee with a friend just to listen to them. Each day engage in a Spirit-led sense of urgency that is intentional in the things of God.

    "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'" (Acts 20:35).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me a sense of urgency that is Spirit-led, with an eye on eternity.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 55:2; John 6:27-28; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Philippians 3:12-14

    Post/Tweet today: Our work with God in this life is preparation for our work with Him in the next life. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Genuine Faith

    Posted on May 13, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Even as he spoke, many believed in him. To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples." John 8:30-31

    To believe in Jesus is much more than just to believe Jesus. Genuine faith flows from a heart transformed by the truth of God, not just inspired by an emotional desire or intellectual interest. Those whose faith is only a flash of feelings will fall away, but those who embrace Jesus as Savior and Lord are never the same. Belief in Jesus conforms us into the likeness of Jesus. Our language is kind. Our face softens. Our eyes brighten. Our attitude is hopeful. Our is spirit joyful.

    Beginning faith is like meeting an attractive person, admiring their life, maybe even dating for a while, but the relationship is far from a marriage commitment. On the other hand, authentic or saving faith is wed to Christ. It is a lifetime covenant of learning, growing and becoming one. We who believe in Jesus are the bride of Christ. It is unconditional belief and fidelity based on His divine nature. Faith in Him is foundational to our relationship of hope, love and forgiveness.

    "But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).

    In a manner similar to a man and woman who have been married for decades, so is our maturing faith in Jesus Christ. Their intimate knowledge of one another conditions them to anticipate the needs of the other. The familiarity of their individual thought processes creates space to patiently wait. The understanding of their unique communication styles causes them to frequently complete each other's sentences. As they grow older they act and look more like one another.

    Jesus is clear, "If we hold to His teachings we are really His disciples." Our faith is not perfect, but it is learning and growing. Is your life hidden in Christ? Has He captured your affections and ignited your imagination for Him? Yes, move beyond believing Him to  believing in Him! Make faith foundational by depending on Jesus for your every need. What's more, healthy Christians reproduce spiritual children, so pray your life is a channel for the Holy Spirit to convict lost souls to be born again. Our genuine faith goes to God daily to listen, learn, and be loved by Him.

    "Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son" (2 John 1:9).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my faith to be genuine and acceptable in Your sight.

    Related Readings: Psalm 17:15; Ezekiel 1:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 Peter 2:6

    Post/Tweet today: Our genuine faith goes to God daily to listen, learn, and be loved by Him. #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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