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Tag Archives: Joshua

  • Before They Go to School ... Have This Conversation

    Posted on September 4, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    LYSA TERKEURST

    "But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve ... but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15 (NIV)

    I look around the dinner table and feel that desperate ache not uncommon to women who deeply love.

    Whether it's my own family or those who just feel like family, I want so much for them. These young people who are so full of possibility and dreams and bright futures ... they have my heart.

    Yet my heart feels fragile in the hands of these young people. They are smart. They are grounded. But they are young.

    It takes me back to me at that age.

    And that scares me.

    I remember feeling so grown up and crazy excited at the chance to be in charge of my own life. Ready for independence. Ready for love. Ready for the next chapter of my life.

    Chasing what felt good and thrilling, I quickly learned the wind blows in dangerous directions sometimes. Going with the flow led me places I didn't intend to go. And I woke up one morning ashamed of my choices, wondering how in the world I got to this place.

    How?

    I cringe thinking back on it. And I cry. Because I don't want that experience for these people I desperately love.

    So, in the midst of the laughter and casual banter, I turn the conversation at the dinner table to a word I want them to know and live.

    Pre-decide.

    Decide today who you want to be. In this moment of togetherness, surrounded by family, and saturated in love — decide.

    Decide what your answer will be when the talk turns ugly and the laughter turns mean against that girl who desperately needs you to be her friend.

    Decide what your answer will be when someone invites you to the cool party full of drinks and drugs.

    Decide what your answer will be when the boy says it's no big deal to stay the night.

    Decide what your answer will be when "friends" laugh at your Christian views and challenge you to lighten up.

    Pre-decide.

    Decide today who you are going to turn to if you do get into trouble. Remember the people at this table. Remember who truly has your best interests at heart. Remember who you are.

    Pre-decide.

    Decide today to turn around any mistakes from your past by asking for God's forgiveness and walking in His grace.

    Decide today to ignore the enemy who wants to trick you and trip you and take you out.

    Pre-decide. And only say yes to the decisions that lead you in the direction of becoming more like Christ. This is the Best Yes.

    Yes, pre-decide.

    And then we go around the table and tell what we are pre-deciding this year. And my heart feels less of that ache.

    I'm not so foolish to think this will act as a bad choice immunization. We are all susceptible. But it is a way to infuse their heart with a memory of a pre-decision.

    And with that the plates are cleared, the cookies are nothing more than crumbs, and it's time to go.

    Here are some great Bible verses to pray for our kids as they head off to school this year:

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

    • Romans 12:2
    "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will." (NIV)

    • Joshua 24:15
    "But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve ... but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." (NIV)

    • Proverbs 29:25
    "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe." (NIV)

    So, along with these Scripture verses, I whisper a few last words that are a "best yes" for them as they pack up to go ...

    Go where wisdom gathers, not where wisdom scatters.

    Make decisions today that will still be good tomorrow.

    And (insert voice cracking and tears welling up), remember how much I love you.

    Dear Lord, You are so good. Thank you for entrusting these people to me. I pray You'll guide my family in Your way as we enter a new school year. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    1 Corinthians 15:33, "Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.'" (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Which of the above Scripture verses will you pray for your child? Write it down on an index card and personalize it using your child's name. Then, put the index card where you will see it often during the day as a reminder to pray.

    © 2014 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 Joshua

  • Sometimes God Doesn't Choose the "Perfect" Girl for the Job

    Posted on June 25, 2014 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. 'Go, look over the land,' he said, 'especially Jericho.' So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there." Joshua 2:1 (NIV)

     

    I used to believe if God needed something important done, He would ask someone who had it all together. You know those women. They never yell at their kids or have an emotional meltdown in the craft store over which tie-die kit to buy. They know what they're having for dinner each night and come to Bible study with their homework done.

    If God is going to assign an important job to someone, it's going to be a woman like that. A "good church girl." Right?

    That's what I thought until I read the story of Rahab in the book of Joshua. It gave me hope that sometimes the best woman for God's job doesn't have a perfect life or a perfect faith.

    In fact, Rahab's story tells me sometimes God chooses women with rough resumes, gritty pasts and dauntless attitudes to get a hard job done. Which is why God chose Rahab when He needed a brave and bold person to protect His warriors.

    Rahab was a prostitute who lived within the walls of the city of Jericho. Jericho was a great city, except for the fact that God told the Israelites to conquer it.

    The people who lived in Jericho weren't following God, but they had heard of Him and how He helped the Israelites win many battles. When the residents of Jericho learned the Israelites were camped outside their city, they were rightly concerned.

    As part of the reconnaissance, Joshua, the leader of the Israelites, sent two spies into the city. The Bible seems to indicate they made a beeline into an unusual place of refuge: Rahab's home.

    Now why would God direct them to the house of a woman? And one who didn't have the best reputation?

    There are many reasons why God might have chosen this particular woman to help the spies. But the one that strikes the deepest chord in my heart is that other people might have underestimated Rahab's potential based on her past and present circumstances. But not God.

    Rahab had guts and grit. When the spies arrived, instead of quivering in fear, Rahab thought fast and hid them on her roof. Then she redirected the king's men, making a way of escape for the spies.

    God could have chosen someone with a perfect pedigree to help. But on that day, inside the walls of the city, facing warrior spies in danger, none were available.

    Rahab, however, was in the perfect position, with the perfect disposition, to do the most good. And God must have seen something tender in the heart of this life-hardened woman and knew He could trust her.

    I love this about God. When God looked at Rahab, He didn't see her profession or her past. He saw her potential.

    And in spite of the challenges and choices of her life, He knew there was a part of Rahab's heart that was open to Him. And Rahab did not disappoint.

    The story ends with the spies escaping and God destroying the city of Jericho and everyone in it — except for Rahab and her family.

    I'm so glad Rahab didn't send the spies away, explaining that she didn't have the best track record with men. Instead, she used her smart, quick mind to devise a plan. She used her boldness to defy the king's men. She drew from her bravery to protect her family. She risked greatly, and it paid off.

    Rahab's story tells me that although I might list all the reasons why God wouldn't use me, God prefers I take my personality, my experiences, even the parts of me that seem less-than-pleasant and give them to Him ... every part of me.

    It doesn't mean He's going to leave me as I am; God is always refining me. But in His hands, my mess has meaning.

    Have you ever stamped "disqualified" on yourself due to your personality or something in your past or present? If so, I pray Rahab's story encourages you. God has a plan, and He wants you, in all your uniqueness, to make it happen.

    Sometimes God doesn't choose the "perfect" girl for the job ... and I'm so glad He doesn't.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for looking deeper than what others see, and for seeing my potential. Please help me trust that You want me just as I am and have a plan to use me in Your kingdom. Help me to trust You and Your plan for my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    I Samuel 16:7, "But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'" (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    What good characteristics did Rahab have, based on what we can tell from her story in Joshua 2?

    Many times we disqualify ourselves based on our wrong choices, or the flaws we see in our personalities. As God looks at you through His lens of love and potential, what does He see?

    © 2014 by Glynnis Whitwer. 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 Joshua

  • Don't Miss the Ride of Your Life

    Posted on May 30, 2014 by Leah DiPascal

    Leah Dipscal

    "Haven't I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 (HCSB)

    I watched my family as they waited in line for the heart-pounding experience of riding the Griffon. We read about this roller coaster in the theme park brochure, but now it was time to put words into action.

    My sons kept looking back from the line, motioning for me to join them for the cliffhanger thrill ride. With a convincing smile, I shook my head no and pointed to my camera. My reason for not riding was to take pictures of them during each upside down loop and heart-pounding free fall.

    After their turn, my husband walked up with an exhilarating smile and said, "You missed out on an awesome ride!" As our sons shared the hair-raising moments and laughed about each other's reactions, I felt a twinge of sadness and disappointment.

    Truthfully, saying no to my family's request that day had more to do with fear and less to do with capturing family photos. I was afraid of the unknown, and when given the opportunity, I opted to stay safely away from the risk and inside the padded walls of my comfort zone.

    For years I was aware of this pattern in my life. When faced with adventurous opportunities, fear and uncertainty often held me securely within the boundaries of my comfortable space. Then I'd be disappointed that I missed out.

    I longed to be brave but instead allowed the enemy to convince me I was a coward. I dreamed about being adventurous, but compared myself to others, which left me feeling less than and discouraged.

    Then one day I came across Joshua 1:9 and the words resonated deep within me: "Haven't I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

    I'd read this verse many times before, but that time I realized being brave wasn't just a personal want-to in my life. God was commanding me to live strong and courageous.

    God originally spoke these words to Joshua (Moses' successor as leader of the Israelites) while presenting him with a new opportunity. Joshua's assignment was to lead more than two million people into a strange new land, claiming it as their promised territory.

    Now that's what I call a hair-raising experience! And way more difficult than riding a roller coaster at a theme park.

    God could have chosen someone else for this great task, but He specifically selected Joshua.

    First, there was a command: "be strong and courageous ... do not be afraid or discouraged." And it was wrapped inside a promise: "for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

    What if Joshua had allowed the unknown to keep him from saying yes to God? What if he gave insecurity and doubt permission to keep him firmly within his comfort zone?

    Joshua would have missed out on the blessings. He would have missed his calling in life. He would have missed the adventure with God.

    Is God presenting you with a new opportunity? Is He asking you to go back to school, start a new career or accept a new ministry position?

    Without God it can be scary. But with God it can be a great adventure! Just as God was with Joshua, He promises to be with us. We may not conquer nations, but with God by our sides anything is possible.

    I'm learning to be brave. To trust God more when He gives me new opportunities. I don't want to miss out on anything God has for me because of fear, doubt or insecurity.

    Will you choose to be courageous and step out of your comfort zone? Will you say yes to God and no to fear when He opens the next door of opportunity?

    What are you waiting for? The greatest ride of your life is just up ahead. So go get your seat next to God, strap into the safety of His presence and experience the adventure with Him!

    Dear Lord, You are my greatest adventure. Help me to trust and follow Your lead. When I start to feel afraid or discouraged, strengthen me so I can fulfill the assignments You've chosen for me. Thank You for always being with me wherever I go. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Psalm 32:8, "The LORD says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.'" (NLT)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    What opportunity is God presenting to you today? What is keeping you from stepping outside your comfort zone and saying yes to God?

    © 2014 by Leah DiPascal. 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 Joshua

  • How to Ruin Your Appetite for God

    Posted on February 18, 2014 by Tracie Miles

    Tracie Miles

    "Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." Joshua 1:8 (NIV)

    With the summer season just a few calendar pages away, the media is preparing to bombard us with information about new diets, exercise programs and creative ideas for healthy eating. So in light of all the buzz, I considered my own health goals for this season and wondered what changes I need to make.

    My thoughts soon wandered away from my physical health, to my spiritual health. As I pondered the junk food I need to remove from my diet and toss from my cupboards, I considered what spiritual junk food needed to go as well.

    Junk food is usually delicious in flavor, low in nutritional value, but high in fat and calories. While okay once in awhile, if I fill myself with junk food on a daily basis, I won't be hungry for nutritious food.

    In the same way junk food derails our health goals, succumbing to the temptations of spiritual junk food throws us off track and curbs our appetite for God.

    Today's key verse addresses this subject of filling ourselves with God's Word, instead of the temptations of the world. In this first chapter of Joshua, God appointed Joshua to lead the Israelites after the death of Moses. To prepare Joshua for the task, God gave him instructions and encouragement. God explained the importance of meditating on His Word to avoid temptation and sin, and the importance of keeping His commands on Joshua's lips.

    God knew the distractions and discouragements of the world could easily derail Joshua from God's chosen path. So He commanded Joshua to have a daily menu of God's truth — to meditate on the Law every day and talk about it often — so that His ways would always be fresh in Joshua's mind. In other words, God wanted Joshua to be filled with His Word, so that he would have no hunger for the temptations of the world.

    An infinite amount of spiritual junk food tickles our fingertips every day through television, movies, computers, smart phones, books, radio and more. Even though these mediums can offer good "food" as well, if we don't use spiritual discernment to selectively choose what we are consuming, we may find ourselves filled with the wrong things, and a curbed appetite for what is spiritually nutritious.

    If we aren't careful, the spiritual junk food the world offers might inadvertently become our primary source of nourishment, diminishing our appetite for God's Word and lessening our desire for healthy portions of His instruction.

    Too much junk food of any kind will weaken our bodies and our spirits. But spending time with God and keeping His Word on our lips will bring strength and health, inside and out. Might we put His words on our lips today and pray for an insatiable hunger from this day forward?

    Dear Lord, open my eyes to the spiritual junk food I have fed my heart and mind. Help me see where I need to make some changes in order to be spiritually healthier. Give me the courage and perseverance to break unhealthy habits and focus on what You know is best for me instead. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What "junk food" have I been consuming that is possibly curbing my appetite for God and His Word, and negatively impacting my relationship with Him?

    Ask yourself these three questions, and then pray over your honest answers:

    1. In what ways do I feed my heart and mind on a daily basis? (TV, radio, books, God's Word, devotions, etc.)
    2. Does my hunger for God outweigh my hunger for other "foods"?
    3. What two changes can I make in my daily life to increase my appetite for God?

    Power Verses:
    1 Peter 2:2-3, "Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness." (NLT)

    Matthew 4:4, "Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (NIV)

    © 2014 by Tracie Miles. 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 Joshua

  • The Sun Stand Still Devotional from Steven Furtick

    Posted on January 29, 2014 by Family Christian

    Steven Furtick

    The Prayer That Stopped the Sun

    Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

    “O sun, stand still over Gibeon,
    O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
    So the sun stood still,
    and the moon stopped,
    till the nation avenged itself on its enemies.
    —Joshua 10:12–13

    Today’s Bible reading: Joshua 10:1–14

    Right here on Day 1, I’m going to throw out a challenge to you: If you’re not daring to believe God for the impossible, you’re sleeping through some of the best parts of your Christian life. And further still, if the size of your vision for your life isn’t intimidating to you, there’s a good chance it’s insulting to God. You should be living by audacious faith every day. Audacity is not just for “elite Christians.” It’s intended for every believer. So today we’re beginning a spiritual  journey toward trusting God for what seems impossible. I’m thrilled to think about what it’s going to do for our lives and our world.

    A story from the life of Joshua serves as our template for audacious faith.

    The Israelites unleash a surprise attack on the Amorites, and right from the beginning the battle goes well. But as the sun sinks toward the horizon, General Joshua faces a decision. The victory isn’t complete, and once it gets dark, the rest of the Amorites will slip away. Joshua sizes up the situation and delivers one of the most gloriously unorthodox prayers in the Bible. He has the audacity to ask God to make the sun stop in the sky. To freeze time on behalf of His people.

    And God gives Joshua exactly what he asked for.

    With everything in me, I believe God still desires to make the sun stand still over the life of every believer. Obviously, not in the unique way He did for Joshua, but in ways that are equally spectacular (although not always quite as dramatic), God is perfectly willing to perform the impossible in our everyday lives. If we have the audacity to ask.

    RT God is ready to act if we will be bold enough to ask, not just for a good day or a better life, but for the impossible.
    #sunstandstill

    I tried this one time.

    My wife and I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, with seven other families. We set a goal of reaching over one thousand people in our first year of ministry. Since the average church size in America is fewer than ninety, I guess we were overshooting a bit. But we wanted to see God accomplish something so exponentially amazing that it would leave no doubt who deserved the credit.

    So we shamelessly asked God to exceed our wildest dreams. The story of our church is still being written. But here’s what I can tell you now. After seven years of ministry, our church has grown to more than twelve thousand people in regular attendance. Since our opening day, thousands of people have publicly professed faith in Christ.

    Sometimes when we consider the rate at which God has multiplied this ministry, we feel like we’re living in a warp-speed dream world. But the story is real. We are living in the middle of a move of God.

    Is there something that is seemingly impossible that you’d like to see God do through you? Maybe God has already been working in your spirit, planting a desire, sparking ideas about the much bigger things He wants to accomplish.

    There’s nothing our world needs more desperately today—in individuals, families, businesses, churches, and communities—than God’s saving, supernatural acts. And God is ready to act if we will be bold enough to ask, not just for a good day or a better life, but for the impossible and then will step forward to act in audacious faith.

    Prayer Focus: Over the next forty days, pray for God to build audacious faith within you and to show you where He wants you to apply it.


    Excerpted from Sun Stand Still Devotional by Steven Furtick Copyright © 2013 by Steven Furtick. Excerpted by permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


    This post was posted in Books and was tagged with Featured, Joshua, Steven Furtick

  • God's Got You

    Posted on August 27, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you." Joshua 1:5 (NLT)

    Two-year-old Luke stood at the edge of the pool. Yellow floaties hugged his arms. A swim diaper padded his bathing suit. Sweet little goggles made him look like a frog.

    I stood waist deep in water, my arms open wide. "Come on, buddy. You can do this."

    He edged closer and peered in, then backed away. After several steps back and forth, Luke finally sat on the edge and dipped his toes in the water. I slipped next to him, scooped him up and held him close.

    Into the water we went. "I got you, buddy. I got you," I whispered.

    He could have fought me, but he trusted instead. Over the next two hours, Luke gained courage to go farther and farther. Any time he felt frightened, he whispered under his breath, "I got you, buddy. I got you." It was his assurance that no matter how scary it felt, he was not alone.

    Sometimes knowing we aren't alone gives us the courage to press on. It's what Joshua needed when he was thrust overnight into leadership after the death of Moses. Up until that time, Joshua had served as assistant. But in his new role, Joshua led the nation of Israel, conquering the land God had promised and leading three separate conquests.

    While the Bible doesn't detail all of Joshua's emotions during this time, we read of numerous instances where God encouraged Joshua to be "strong and courageous." God must have known Joshua needed some reassurance.

    Perhaps Joshua had doubts. Perhaps his confidence waned. Maybe he even asked questions like, God, are You sure? Shouldn't You choose someone more qualified?

    God didn't dismiss Joshua's fears or shame him for having them. Instead He spoke clearly to Joshua, saying, "... I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you" (Joshua 1:5b).

    I got you, buddy. I got you.

    History shows that Joshua took steps of faith and served as a powerful, humble leader, trusting God through war, human frailty and victory.

    Maybe God has been asking you to take a leap into deeper faith, or to serve beyond what you think you are capable. He's asked you to lead. To love like Jesus.

    Perhaps you've come close, but backed away. Maybe you even dipped your toes in, reasoning that was enough.

    Questions linger. What does God see in me that I might not see yet? What if I fail? What if it's too hard or no one is on board with me? What if I don't recognize God's help and miss my opportunity?

    God is aware of your fears. And He whispers the same encouragement to you that He spoke to Joshua. He's got you.

    Not too long ago, I stood in the pool again. Luke wore his floaties. He had on his swim diaper. His cute goggles made him look like a little frog. I held open my arms, and my little guy jumped with glee into my arms.

    And this time, I didn't have to say it, because he knew it. It was ingrained on his heart.

    I got you, buddy. I got you.

    Dear Jesus, I've stood right on the edge, waiting for You to choose someone else, or naming all the reasons I'm not equipped. Today I hear Your voice and I take that step, for You are with me. In Jesus' Name, amen.

    Related Resources:

    A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart and Home to Others by Karen Ehman

    Reflect and Respond:
    Most large dreams or jobs are comprised of many smaller tasks. What is one small step you can take, beginning today?

    Why are you afraid to try? Ask the Lord to release you from that fear and to trust Him.

    Power Verses:
    Joshua 1:9, "This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (NLT)

    © 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 Joshua

  • When Helping Others Helps Us

    Posted on April 17, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

    I don't like open heights. I can't stand narrow balconies. And when driving across a bridge, you'll find me hugging the rail along the inside lane. A few years ago, our friends John and Laura tried to help me conquer this fear of heights by inviting our family to an indoor rock-climbing center. My heart raced as we entered the doors and faced the highest peak at 25 feet.

    The instructors assured me that a web of ropes and harnesses would hold me tight. Before I could say "no thank you," I was signing an injury waiver and getting strapped in.

    After a few practice rounds, I started to climb. Little by little, I went higher and higher. But I never could get past my fear of climbing to the highest peak of 25-feet. I needed something to help me overcome my anxiety and this high rock wall! Our friend's eight-year-old son Steven needed help too.

    Towards the end of the day John asked Steven if he wanted to climb to the highest peak. Steven wasn't crazy about heights either, but he loved a challenge.

    With admiration I watched as Steven started the climb with confidence. He made it to 10 feet, then 15. But as he inched past the next face of the wall, he looked down. Realizing how high he was and how far he still had to go, he insisted he couldn't do it.

    By this time, Steven's dad was consoling their very fussy 3-year-old and his mom was feeding their hungry infant daughter. My brave husband was not close by, and I quickly realized the only one standing there with a free hand to do something was me!

    Suddenly courage and strength surged through my body and I called out, "Don't give up buddy. You can do it. I'll help you!"

    In record time, I reached Steven to encourage him, reminding him of how far he'd come. I told him he could make it up to 25 feet with God's strength and that it would be worth it if he'd persevere. Remembering Joshua 1:9, I encouraged him, "Be strong and courageous Steven. Don't be afraid; God is right there with you and I am too."

    Filled with new confidence, Steven turned his eyes and his thoughts toward the reward of getting to a place he had stopped believing he could reach.

    And the same thing happened in me. The voices of my own fears were silenced by focusing on helping someone overcome theirs.

    In that moment, I realized the promises I had claimed for Steven were true for me, too. My anxiety could be overcome and my fears conquered with God's strength.

    Each day we have the same opportunity. Like God did with Joshua in Joshua 1:9, and like He does with us, we can come alongside each other in some of life's hardest challenges and highest peaks. We can remind others of this truth from God's Word too.

    Isn't it amazing that when we take our eyes off our fears, doubts, and struggles to focus on someone else's needs, we somehow forget our own? And in believing the power of God's promises for others, our confidence in His promises for us increases.

    Let's look for ways to encourage and help someone else today, knowing we may just help ourselves in the process.

    Jesus, Your words give me courage to become who You've created me to be-to go to places You're calling me to and to reach heights that seem out of my reach. Thank You for encouraging my heart. I want to pass that on to someone else today. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Give yourself {or a friend} a gift of life-changing encouragement you'll find in Renee's best-selling book, A Confident Heart. Chapter by chapter, you will learn how to conquer self-doubt by relying on and living in the security of God's promises in your most important roles and relationships.

    Reflect and Respond:
    How has someone's encouraging words or God's words of encouragement helped you do things you never thought you could?

    Encourage someone today with one of God's promises and a prayer. It could be the very thing they need to overcome doubt, discouragement and defeat.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 10:17, "You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry." (NIV)

    Psalm 56:3, "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
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    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Joshua

  • Overconfident Bully

    Posted on January 28, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “He [Goliath] said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” 1 Samuel 17:43-44

    Bullies abound. They make their shameless appearance on middle school yards, they taunt insecure teenagers and they show up to scare and intimidate coworkers. Bullies think they can strike fear and submission into victims by their sometimes imposing presence. The giant Goliath railed at David, jealous of his youth, good looks and health; he threatened and despised him. Bullies use mind games to melt their enemies. They curse with shameless arrogance and pride.

    Are you being bullied to do something, and so lack peace? Do you feel manipulated and shamed by an authority figure? If so, by God’s grace stand up to their idle threats. Call their bluff by saying no and trusting Christ with the consequences. You can expose a bullies blindside by challenging them with truth and killing them with kindness. Let the Lord fight your battle, as your actions will prove themselves right by your integrity. Bullies fall in the face of faith in God.

    “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

     

    Moreover, look out for innocent people you know who are recipients of another’s angry intimidation. Stand up for them and stand with them. Yes, pray passionately for their security to be in Christ, but also become an advocate for their cause. Bullies are threatened when their coercion is challenged by caring friends. Your courage needs to choose a side so injustice does not steal your friend’s peace and security. Protect those exposed to the enemy's idle threats.

     

    Lastly, stand up to a bully in the name of the Lord. It is not your clever words that ultimately prevail, but the power of the Holy Spirit in your spirit, speech and deeds that prevails. Christ can change another man or women’s heart in an instant. Therefore, look to the Lord to fight your battles; He has never lost! Lay your finely crafted arguments at the feet of Jesus and ask Him to persuade your foe to do what’s right. Humble courage depends on God to bring down a bully.

     

    “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father give me humble courage to stand up to those who stand against You.

     

    Related Readings: 1 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 1:21; Galatians 5:1; Ephesians 6:10

     

    Post/Tweet today: Stand up for and stand with those threatened by a bully. #protect

     

    © 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 1 Corinthians, 1 Samuel, Joshua

  • Wise Living

    Posted on January 13, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Who is wise?  He will realize these things.  Who is discerning?  He will understand them.  The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.” Hosea 14:9

     

    Wise living keeps the realization and understanding of God in the vortex of your thinking.  God awareness is a centerpiece. “What would Jesus do?” becomes a way of life.  His desires, His motivations, His thoughts, and His character become paramount in your thinking.  This leads to wise living because it is based on Christ-like living.  God’s ways are the path to wisdom.  The wisdom of God is unfathomable.  But He is willing to share it.  In fact, His preference is to shower His children with raindrops of wisdom.  He delights in imparting His game plan for living.

     

    However, it takes a regular realization on our part for the wisdom of God to penetrate our thinking.  We must become people of the book.  Joshua said it best: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8).

     

    Wise living includes the ability to discern right from wrong and good from best.  Use the Bible as your guide for wise recommendations.  Your ability to discern will grow as you mature in the faith.  You may be a pretty good judge of character, but God wants to grow you in this area.  Your discernment is a gift to your husband for protection against unwise decision-making (I Corinthians 2:14).  He may not appreciate this yet, but if he is wise, he will.  Therefore, present your insights with grace and humility. By faith, extract your overly aggressive emotion and replace it with a prayerful appeal.  Hold your suggestions with an open hand,trusting God to work on your husband in His timing.  He is accountable to God.  Sweet relief.  You don’t have to change him, but God can.

     

    What God changes stays changed.  What you change has a tendency to revert to its old way of doing things.  You see what needs to be done as clearly as the nose on your face.  Be patient.  Let your husband fail.  Plant seeds, pray, and watch the Holy Spirit turn the heart of your husband toward the right direction.  It is not about you convincing him. Rather, it is all about the Spirit of God convincing him.  If he is wise, he will seek your discernment (Proverbs 18:15).  He may have to fall on his face first.  Use your discernment as a steady-handed and skilled surgeon would a sharp scalpel.  Avoid bludgeoning him with your accurate insights.  The right timing, tone, and transparency are terrifically effective.

     

    Wise is the husband or wife who listens to their spouse.  Therefore, be humble and teachable.  Understanding and discernment will follow.  This is wise living.

     

    Post/Tweet: It is unwise to flirt with friendships that dilute growth with God. #friends

     

    © 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 1 Corinthians, Hosea, Wisdom, Joshua

  • Youthful Courage

    Posted on January 10, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.” 1 Samuel 17:34-35

     

    Courage created in youthful days is most likely appropriated in later days. David, under the authority and canopy of God’s creation, learned courage as a shepherd, the protector of the sheep. Teenagers placed in challenging situations like sports, academics and standing alone morally have an opportunity to be courageous for Christ. These early life lessons become memories of God’s faithfulness etched into their moldable minds. Courage gives confidence. 

    Be careful not to overprotect your child, so that they miss out on seeing the Lord work through their courageous acts of service. Perhaps you encourage them to get a job, so that they can learn how to be like Jesus in the workplace. Or, you allow them to attend public school, so under your prayerful support, they become salt and light to their fellow students and faculty. Better for a teenager to learn courage in your accepting home, so that you can coach them. Challenges are courage builders.

    “And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.” 1 Timothy 4:12, The Message

    Have you lost your courageous edge for Christ? What are you attempting that is risky for the Lord? Maybe He is calling you back to get a graduate degree, though its been over 20 years since your college graduation. Your moral courage can become a flood light of faith in spiritually sterile academia. Take heart and courageously keep your marriage commitment or your volunteer assignment. Setbacks are meant to bring us back to bold dependence on God. Be bold for Him!

    Ask Christ to give you the courage to overcome your fear of rejection, your fear of public speaking or your fear of death. Courage from within understands it's all about Him, not you. You risk misunderstanding and mistreatment for the sake of the gospel, but Christ was courageous for you. Remember your bold initiatives for God right after you tasted His grace for the very first time. Use the memories of your youthful courage as a conduit for boldness. Courage overcomes!

    “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me Your courage to take risks for You.

    Related Readings: 2 Samuel 7:27; 2 Chronicles 5:8; Ezra 10:4; Matthew 14:27; Acts 27:25

    Post/Tweet today: Setbacks are meant to bring us back to bold dependence on God. #courage

    © 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 1 Timothy, 1 Samuel, Joshua, Courage

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