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Tag Archives: Mark

  • My Morning Prayer

    Posted on October 20, 2014 by Wendy Blight

    Wendy Blight

    "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." Mark 1:35 (NIV)

    I've always been indescribably drawn to the private life of Jesus.

    The Jesus who was led into the wilderness.

    The Jesus who agonized over His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane.

    But the moments that interest me most are when Jesus withdrew to quiet places to pray — each prayer time a compelling picture of the Son's intimate connection with His Father.

    Mark tells us in our key verse that while it was still dark, Jesus slipped out of the house and went to a secluded place to meet with His Father. Mark doesn't tell us what morning this was. But we do know this prayer time followed a full day of healing the sick and casting out demons.

    After that kind of day, you would think Jesus might have slept in ... just for an hour or two. I would have. But not Jesus. He awakened before the sun peeked over the horizon to be refreshed and renewed for the ministry awaiting Him that day.

    Oh, how I long to know what Jesus said. How long did He pray? What did He pray? Could He audibly hear His Father's response? Were the angels with Him?

    And more practically, did His mind wander? Mine does. Sometimes I find myself praying and my mind travels to my "to do" list. Or I begin praising God but then the concerns weighing on my heart push through and usher out my praise.

    I imagine Jesus' mind didn't wander because He knew in those solitary places He was sitting in very presence of His Father. And what I forget — perhaps many of us do — is that when we pray, we too sit in the very presence of God, our Father.

    Although our eyes cannot visibly see Him, I picture Him drawing near, bending close to hear our every word. His Spirit surrounding us. His hands lifting our faces heavenward. His ears fixed on every cry of our hearts ... the praises, the confessions, the anxieties, the fears, the doubts ... He hears them all.

    Sometimes it's hard to awaken early. Hard to focus. And most of all, it's hard to fathom that the God of the universe, who holds the entire world in His hands, has time to hear our little prayers. But not only does He have the time, He calls us to come to Him. Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know" (NIV).

    So, let's band together this week for morning prayer. Each morning, find a solitary place to pray ... your own secret spot. Below, I've written a special prayer for us to open our time with God.

    Our Morning Prayer:

    Dear Lord, I don't know who or what will cross my path today. But I do know that You are my Rock and my Fortress. You are my Shield and my Strong Tower. Help me to anchor myself to You today. Teach me how to stand strong in You and choose only Your way today. Help me walk by Your truth and not my feelings.

    Help me to embrace anything that comes my way as an opportunity to see You at work and as an opportunity to point others to You.

    Thank You that You love me and nothing can ever take that away from me! Even if I fail today and fall short, You whisper Your unconditional love deep into my soul and remind me that Your mercies are new every morning.

    That truly amazes me, Lord.

    Thank You for meeting with me today. Would You wake me again tomorrow with the same sweet whisper of Your love? I can't wait to meet with You again. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Imagine the marvelous sight before God's eyes! Each morning this week, as Elohim, the God who created us, peeks over the edge of heaven, gazes across the continents, and spans the time zones, He will find His girls gathering to pray with one voice: Our morning prayer.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Jeremiah 33:3, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Write our Morning Prayer on a notecard or in a journal and pray it out loud each morning. At the end of the week, record how God has used this time to transform your heart for prayer.

    © 2014 by Wendy Blight. 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 Mark

  • Woman on a Mission

    Posted on September 2, 2014 by Liz Curtis Higgs

    Liz Curtis Higgs

    When you leap into the arms of Jesus, you never know where He'll carry you. As a new Christian, I was certain God called me to a distant mission field. Really distant: Indonesia.

    True, I'd only been a believer six months, after a wild and wooly decade as a seriously Bad Girl. I also had no husband at the time, no college degree and little knowledge about Indonesia other than where it landed on a map. Still, I knew that Christians were called to "go into all the world" (Mark 16:15, NIV). Shouldn't I go too?

    When I threw myself at a mission board, certain they'd be thrilled to take me, the director was very kind. He listened, nodded, took notes. And then he said the last thing I expected to hear: "I'm sorry, Liz. But ... no."

    My heart sank. I thought if you offered to live in a hut and eat beetles, they'd say, "Great! Sign here."

    Then he explained why I wasn't the best candidate for foreign missions: "Liz, you're already well versed in a culture most Christians know little about."

    I knew where this was going. He meant my old life. My Bad Girl life.

    His voice softened. "Do you know the story of the woman at the well? After she met Jesus, she went back to town, where everyone knew her sordid story, and she told them about Jesus. That's what you need to do."

    "You mean the people I used to hang out with?" My cheeks grew hot even thinking about it. "The people I partied with? The men I slept with? Those people?"

    I could feel Indonesia slipping away as I pictured the faces of friends I knew well — and who knew way too much about me. People as lost and confused as I'd once been. People who needed to know Jesus.

    "Never fear," the director said as he placed a gentle hand on my shoulder and escorted me to the door. "God will take care of Indonesia."

    So, I went back to Louisville and told my story. No hut, no beetles, yet a mission field for which I was already qualified, simply because I spoke their language. And because I loved them.

    Soon one coworker came to know Jesus. Then another. Then a third. Who knew?

    God knew. But He never forgot my heart for Indonesia.

    Twenty years after my no-go with the mission board, I stood in my publisher's booth at a Christian booksellers convention. The guy in charge of international rights pulled me aside and said, "Liz, please meet Yani with World Harvest."

    A tiny woman with thick, black hair looked up, her face radiant, "I am in the process of translating three of your books into my country's language."

    "Wonderful!" I beamed at her. "What country might that be?"

    She beamed back. "Indonesia."

    Oh my. To think that my words would travel there, even if I never did! Only God could manage such a thing.

    And He wasn't finished. When I shared my experience at an evangelism conference, one of the guest speakers approached me. "Liz, would you like to speak in Indonesia?"

    My heart skipped a beat. Would I?! I could barely get out the words. "W-who would my audience be?"

    "Women," she assured me, then smiled. "Missionaries."

    Lord, the tenderness of Your mercy overwhelms me. You miss nothing. You care about everything. You answer our deepest longings, according to Your perfect will and perfect timing. You know our mission fields, Lord, far better than we do. Help us serve You, wherever You send us. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    1 Thessalonians 2:8b, "Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well." (NIV)

    Ephesians 3:20-21, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Liz was eager to share the gospel with the world because God's grace had changed her life. What compels you to tell others about Jesus?

    Might someone cross your path today who needs to hear the good news?

    © 2014 by Liz Curtis Higgs. 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 Mark

  • Money’s Distraction

    Posted on June 20, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Mark 10:21

    It is easy for money to become a distraction. Just the making and management of money takes effort and focus. Indeed, money becomes a subtle master if it is not held in check. Our affections gravitate toward what we think about. If the majority of our waking moments are consumed by the thought of making more money, then we are distracted.

    Yes, we need to do our work with excellence as unto the Lord. However, if making money becomes our consuming focus, then its devotion competes with God. Billions of people wake up every day to make money, but are they making money or is money making them? If my life is consumed by money, very little is left for a life well spent.

    “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Luke 16:13).

    Time and energy for others become scarce in the wake of compulsive money making. You may think that your current obsession with making money is for the long-term purpose of autonomy. This is flawed thinking, because a follower of Jesus Christ is never totally autonomous—they are tethered by trust to the will of God. We have a built in eternal expectation in our community and to Christ that results in accountability and service.

    Yes, finances afford you options, but only options that are under the purview of God’s will. A life of unshackled leisure and self-indulgence is not a life well spent for the Lord. He may free you up to serve Him and others, but not to sit and soak. Too many options can be a distraction. So, where is the balance? How can you avoid money’s distraction?

    Stay close to Christ and let Him love you. He will love you away from money’s allurement and into heavenly investments. Let Him love you away from the seduction of possessions. Then you will want to reciprocate love to your lover. If your love quotients are met by stuff, then your affections will gravitate to the moneymaking mistress.

    When you allow money to love you, you feel a debt to materialism. Your emotions and energies feel obligated to love back. An affair with money and possessions leaves nothing for the lover of your soul. And, without an intense love relationship with your Creator, you will become sad and dissatisfied. Loving God satisfies the soul.

    Fortunately, there is a solution to money’s distraction. Let God love you—then you are compelled to love Him. Money’s distraction is derailed by a love relationship with Jesus. When you love Him wholeheartedly, there is no room for money to distract. Then give generously to whom He loves, especially the poor. Generous givers love God, not money. Eternal rewards await those who send ahead what they cannot keep.

    “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Matthew 6:19-21, NLT).

    Prayer: How can I use money as an expression of my love for the Lord and people?

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 15:10; Job 22:23-25; Luke 11:41; 1 Timothy 3:3;

    Post/Tweet today: Finances afford us options, but only options that are under the purview of God’s will. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Just Nine Doors Down

    Posted on June 18, 2014 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.'" Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)

    In the two years since we'd moved into our new neighborhood, I'd seen her on my walks. Sometimes she was rolling her trash can out to the curb. Or in her front yard watering her flowers. I'd smile and say "Hi" for a brief second.

    After all, my neighborhood is big; my life is busy. So I'd pop my headphones back in and keep walking to my house, just nine doors down.

    Awhile back, there were flashing lights, sirens and all things alarming in our neighborhood. A fire, maybe? ... I thought as I drove into my neighborhood, returning from an errand-running venture. My mama's heart raced. My 12-year-old son was home alone. Had he burnt some toast and set the smoke alarm system blaring? Or worse?

    As my car approached, I saw it was not my house, but another house nine doors down. Relief for my soul.

    And though the rescue vehicles were parked in front of my nine-doors-down neighbor's house, no fire appeared to blaze there either.

    Must have been a false alarm, I reasoned to myself.

    Two days later, I heard the awful news. No fire. No smoke. Just a terribly saddened soul.

    You see, just nine doors down, something happened in the mind of my nameless, flower-watering, smile-and-say-hello fellow human being. Something told her this life wasn't worth living anymore. And she agreed.

    Now her heart no longer beats. Her flowers still grow, but she can't water them anymore. I can still walk by her house, lost deeply in the Jesus-music blaring on my iPod. Staring straight ahead. Rushing to the next thing on my to-do list for the day.

    Nine doors down, there will be no more hand-waves. No smiles as I stroll by. And no more thoughts of, I should stop and find out her name. I haven't really met this gal yet. If I'd reached out and befriended her, would she have seen Jesus in our friendship?

    Could we have walked the neighborhood streets together? Maybe gone for coffee to get to know each other a bit? Would a glimpse of the perfect God in the life of an imperfect me perhaps beckoned her to have a relationship with Him, too? Would she have found God's purpose and peace instead of finding a way to end her emotional pain?

    God only knows.

    I am a woman who wants to love God, but so often I am too busy to really love the people He puts plainly in my path. But this love, as today's key verse declares, is more important than all the sacrifices we could make.

    I cannot beat myself up. But I can do something. So can you. We can pause, permitting God to tap us on the heart, gently interrupt us and rearrange our day.

    We can go deeper ... beyond a hurried "Hi!" to an authentic, "How are you?" When God knocks on our hearts, we can knock on their doors.

    Will you do it? Will you try? Then once you've reached out, leave the results to God. Our job is obedience. God's job is results.

    Trust me, it is AWFUL to get to know your neighbor through the tales and tears of her relatives at a memorial service. I wish I had made the time and gotten to know her personally.

    May we all respond to those taps on our hearts today and not ignore them. God just may use us as He saves a life.

    After all, remember it isn't that far of a walk ... just nine doors down.

    Dear Lord, I want to be aware of the times You tap my heart, asking me to reach out to someone. May I pay attention and respond, so they might know You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    James 4:17, "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." (NIV 1984)

    Proverbs 3:28, "Do not say to your neighbor, 'Come back tomorrow and I'll give it to you' — when you already have it with you.'" (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Was there ever a time you felt God nudging you to reach out to a neighbor, coworker or other person in your life, whom you didn't know very well? Did you? If not, how could you respond differently in the future?

    © 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 Mark

  • Quiet Rest

    Posted on June 11, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest". So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.  Mark 6:30-32

    Wise leaders lead others into rest—they find a quiet place and rest together. After extreme busyness, rest is required, as your spirit begins to rebel against the hustle and bustle of life. The joy of service for God starts to fade. People become a drain rather than a blessing. It is time to break away to a solitary place. Jesus took a break after a big event.

    If you continually push yourself, you will eventually lose all energy and perspective. A driven heart becomes a judgmental heart. You begin to look down on others because they are not pulling their weight. Your joy is replaced with jaded criticism. You feel you are the only one who is really committed. Your peers have become slackers in your mind.

    Furthermore, be careful as you may be serving out of your own strength and not the Spirit’s. It is the Holy Spirit that sustains you over the long haul. Wise leaders understand the danger of an unsustainable schedule. You begin to sacrifice relationships in reach of unrealistic goals. Indeed, God gives us goals as a guide and motivation, but do not be driven by the goal—rather be lead by the Holy Spirit.

    Otherwise, the goal can become your god. Unchecked goal setting can lead you down the path of disappointment and disillusionment. You may need to better pace yourself. Be patient. Develop the team around you and watch God work through them, way beyond your capacity. Indeed, some of your team development comes in the quiet places.

    Find a quiet spot and calendar a time today for yourself and your team. They desperately need this enrichment, both personally and professionally. Without a retreat, they may not be able to advance. Some may be on the verge of burnout or quitting, because of discouragement. Solitary places allow you and your team to recalibrate with the vision and mission of the organization. Quiet times together build camaraderie and trust.

    A retreat is an investment. By taking time to pause you are able to continue—and you continue with more effectiveness and efficiency. A quiet place is an opportunity to get on the same page with God. Your soul is refreshed and replenished. The words of the Bible leap from its pages,  lodging in the crevices of your heart and mind. A retreat is an exercise of trust that routine matters will be taken care of in your absence.

    Take a retreat for your sake and sanity—and for the morale of the team. We hear more clearly when it is quiet. Our comprehension expands. Our bodies rest. Our soul is renewed. A solitary place provides strength and stamina to finish well. Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is rest in a quiet place!

    “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15

    Prayer: When can I calendar a retreat time with my team for rest and reflection?

    Related Readings: Job 3:25-26; Psalm 37:7; John 6:37; 1 John 3:19

    Post/Tweet today: A driven heart can become a judgmental heart, if not renewed by rest. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • When God's Assignments Feel Almost Impossible

    Posted on June 9, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'" Mark 16:15 (NIV)

    I pulled into my driveway and stared at this gathering place my people call "home." And my heart whispered ...

    Lord, am I doing all of this right?

    This life You've entrusted to me, these people You've entrusted to me, this calling You've entrusted to me ... I desperately want to get it right. To live without painful regret gnawing deep within. To know that I gave it my very best. To please You. Love them. Smile more than frowning. Laugh more than I complain. See the beauty tucked within all these sacred moments of just being together and remember to whisper, Thank You.

    Thank You for all of it. The whole package deal of good and bad and highs and lows. For all that mixed together sets about a process of making me. The me that needs the tough stuff to mature me. The sad moments to soften me. The thrilling moments to invigorate me. The poignant moments to endear me. The complicated moments to challenge me. The quiet moments to unrush me.

    I need it all.

    But sometimes, in the midst of all the moments that are making me into the woman You created me to be, I get awfully tired and discouraged.

    And I find myself sitting in my driveway wondering. Staring at the culmination of thousands of decisions I've made that have brought me here. To this home. This family. This life. I made my decisions and then my decisions made me.

    I'm thankful, yes. So very thankful. But I need You to whisper reassurance into my heart that You're with me. That You see me. And that You are pleased with me. I just need to know, Lord, am I doing this right?

    Have you ever had one of those driveway discussions with God?

    Have you ever looked at your life and wondered, like I do, if you're on the right track?

    I think most of us girls think these thoughts. That's why 20 years ago, I helped start a place where we could gather and learn God's perspective on how to do life through the pages of His Word. Proverbs 31 Ministries exists because I desperately needed someone to help me connect life with God's truth. And I still do.

    So, every day my team and I gather to think through and pray over all that eventually ends up in your inbox. We're a rag-tag team of passionate, imperfect girls determined to bring God's Word front and center into your world. My deepest prayer is that as we encourage you, we're helping equip you to take that encouragement into your family and your sphere of influence.

    I think about you every time I put my fingers on the keyboard of my computer and tap, tap, tap tangled thoughts that eventually become words from my soul to yours. I see you standing in your corner of the world. Mentally I draw a circle around you representing all the people you reach and influence each day.

    Then I step back and imagine hundreds of thousands of circles of influence representing more than one million women who read our devotions on a daily basis. And I'm amazed how collectively our circles of influence cover almost the whole world.

    You, me and all the others who gather here are making a worldwide impact.

    Jesus instructed us to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation," (Mark 16:15). That seems an impossible task for someone who sits in her driveway and feels fragile and wonders all the things I sometimes wonder. Can you relate?

    But, I can reach my sphere of influence with God's Word woven in and out of my simple sentences typed in these simple devotions. And I can pray that somehow God's Word becomes a filter for your thoughts as you get these devotions each day. And then when you pass them along to friends or talk about them in your everyday conversations ... it's multiplied by almost a million.

    Together we are going into all the world with the good news! Amazing, what we can do together.

    If you find yourself wondering about life as you sit in your driveway, let me be a friend who whispers deep into your heart, "Keep going. You're doing better than you think you are. Now, let's go change the world together."

    Dear Lord, I love these honest conversations I can have with You. Thank You for equipping me to go into all the world with the good news. I want to shine as a light for You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: Psalm 96:3, "Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples." (NIV)

    © 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 Mark

  • Spiritual Receptivity

    Posted on June 1, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:9

    Spiritual receptivity is necessary for the growing follower of Christ. Jesus knew that there had to be a willingness to want to know and understand, before there could be any comprehension of His teachings. This hunger for God is an innate appetite that only He can satisfy. Even if you do not hear, you can want to hear. This is the attitude of a growing disciple of Jesus Christ. A willing heart is what the Holy Spirit infuses with insight.

    Spiritual receptivity is born out of your attitude and validated by your actions. Actions are an indicator but not an initiator of openness to the Almighty’s agenda. Have you ever grown weary working for the Lord, struggling to have a patient attitude? Yes, we all have from time to time, but it is a patient and grateful attitude that hears Christ communicate the most clearly. Gratitude for His grace, love, and forgiveness leads to hearing His voice.

    His Word lodges alive and eventually bears fruit when the ears of your heart humbly listen to the Lord with an attitude of obedience. Jesus explained the results of a spiritually receptive heart; hearing and understanding His Word, thus finding faith and healing. Indeed, the comprehension of His ways is not limited to a select few “professional Christians”. In fact, their ministry vocation can become a stumbling block to belief.

    “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them. But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it” (Matthew 13:15–17).

    Spiritual receptivity means I submit to the Holy Spirit’s prodding to preempt my pride. Instead of reacting to raw data, I wait and process with prayer so I am able to gain God’s perspective,  not being rushed by the world’s way of doing things. Spiritual receptivity sees the face of God and hears the heart of heaven.

    “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21).

    Prayer: Do I hear with a heart toward hearing from heaven? Is my heart humbled to hear from the Holy Spirit?

    Related Readings: 2 Samuel 7:22; Jeremiah 6:10; Romans 11:8; 2 Timothy 4:3

    Post/Tweet today:.  Spiritual receptivity is positioned to see the face of God and hear the heart of heaven. #wisdomhunters

    Taken from the June 1st reading in Boyd’s 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God vol. 2”

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

  • Alive and Well

    Posted on April 20, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. Mark 16:14

    Jesus Christ is alive and well. His earlier followers, taken aback by His death, initially denied His resurrection. They rejected reliable testimonies and refused to receive the truth of Christ’s rising from the dead. However, when they encountered the risen Lord He rebuked them, and then loved them. Unbelievers can loathe the Lord. Deists can deny Christ’s deity. Agnostics can be apathetic over His resurrection, but He is alive and well.

    Contemporary Christ-less cultures could care less about Christ’s resurrection, but it does not lessen His Lordship over them. Everyone will one day confront Christ, “…at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:10-11a). Easter is an excuse for Jesus followers to celebrate His resurrection, and His relevance.

    The Lord is alive and well in your heart. His resurrection resulted in Christ taking up residence in your soul and transforming your life. By faith you believed and God gave you grace upon grace. Because He has risen from the grave, He has given all who confess Him as Lord, abundant grace on earth and the promise of heaven with Him. “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:7). He is all you need.

    Lastly you can live large for the Lord, because He has triumphed over sin, sorrow, death, and hell. Easter is your eternal encouragement that He is alive and well. There will always be doubters, but don’t dwell there. Focus on the undeniable force of faith that has captured you and millions before you. Because He has risen, you can rise above your circumstances, your hurt, and your fears.

    “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33).

    Prayer: Am I a disciple that ignores His power, or one who proclaims His power?

    Related Readings: Numbers 14:11; Matthew 28:17; Acts 10:41; 1 Corinthians 15:1-58

    Post/Tweet this today: Christ’s resurrection resulted in Him taking up residence in your soul. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • Money’s Distraction

    Posted on December 31, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” He said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!     Mark 10:21-23

    It is easy for money to become a distraction. Just the making and management of money alone takes effort and focus. Yet money becomes a subtle master if it is not held in check. We love what we think about, so if the majority of our waking moments are consumed by the thought of making more money, then we are distracted. Yes, we need to do our work with excellence as unto the Lord. However, if making money becomes the consuming focus, then our devotion to the dollar competes with our devotion to God. Billions of people wake up every day to make money, but are they making money for wise use or is money using them? If a life is consumed by money, then very little is left over for a life well spent. Time and energy for others become scarce in the wake of compulsive money making.

    You may think that your current obsession with making money is for the long-term purpose of autonomy.This thinking is flawed, because the follower of Jesus Christ is never really autonomous. A wealthy believer is still tethered to God’s will, with an expectation for submission to community and Christ for accountability and service. Yes, finances afford you options, but only options that are under the aegis of God’s will. A life of unshackled leisure and self-indulgence is not on God’s radar. He may free you up to serve Him and others, but not to sit and soak. Too many options can be a distraction to God’s best. So how can you avoid money’s distraction?

    The Lord will love you away from money’s allurement for the here and now. He will love you into heavenly investments instead. Let Him love you away from the seduction of possessions. Then you will want to reciprocate with love to the One who loves you. If your love quotients are currently met by stuff, then your affections will gravitate in that direction. This is the nature of the mistress of moneymaking. When you allow money to love you, you feel a debt to money. Then, your emotions and energies feel obligated to love back. This is a subtle but effective tool in the enemy’s arsenal.

    An affair with money and possessions leaves nothing for the Lover of your soul. Without a love relationship with your Creator, you will become sad, even in the midst of more stuff than you ever dreamed. How ironic. A money lover’s ultimate experience is emptiness.

    There is a solution to money’s distraction. By faith, regularly look into the loving eyes of Jesus. Let Him love you, and you will feel led to love Him. Money’s distraction is derailed by a love relationship with Jesus. When you love Him wholeheartedly, there is no room for money to distract. It is a love issue. When you love Him, your treasure is in heaven and not on earth. You cannot love God and money at the same time. This is double-mindedness. Receive His love, and love Him, not money. Give generously, especially to the poor. Then you can enjoy your citizenship in His kingdom with community, accountability, and authentic love.

    The Bible says, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

    Prayer: Dear Lord, keep me from money’s distraction and I pray I will focus on fellowship with You.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 23:5; Luke 16:13; 1 Timothy 6:6-10

    Post/Tweet today: An affair with money and possessions leaves nothing for the Lover of your soul. #money’sdistraction

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • Money Motivated

    Posted on December 30, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. Mark 11:15-16

    Money motivation is not the best motivation; in fact it can make you down right miserable. It frustrates you and those around you because money-motivated people are never content. They have an insatiable desire for the next deal or the next opportunity to make more. An all-consuming desire for money leads you to compromise common sense and character. Ironically, your family suffers the most even when your desire is for them to enjoy the benefits money may produce. Moreover, money-motivated individuals stoop as low as using the Lord to line their pockets. Religion and church become means for cash creation. This angers God, for He is moved by righteous indignation when His bride is prostituted for worldly purposes. The church is a conduit for Christ, not a clearinghouse for economic gain. It is a house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7).

    He is greatly grieved when money becomes the driving force of any institution or individual. A church bound up in debt is destined for ineffectiveness. If the Bride of Christ is preoccupied with paying the bills, then the mission will be watered down and even ignored. Money-driven ministries miss the opportunity to trust God and wait on Him to provide in ways that exceed human capability. Businesses that are driven by bottom line performance alone contribute to an unhealthy company culture. People are willing to work somewhere for less if they know the culture has a much bigger vision than just making money. There is so much more to life and work than money (Matthew 6:25).

    Money motivation is the antithesis of mission motivation. The latter has a greater purpose in mind. The focus is on excellent work accompanied by eternal expectations. The mission is what drives you to do more, because a transcendent spark ignites within your soul. Money becomes a result, not a reason, when the mission creates a culture of care and collaboration. The mission gives you permission to say no. Enterprises and individuals are defined more by what they say no to than by what they say yes to. A well-focused team makes it a habit to defend the mission. There is a discipline in decision-making that characterizes mission-driven people and organizations. Paul said, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal…” (Philippians 3:13-14a).

    Mission is the master of money, so focus on the mission of your Master, Jesus, and you will be much more productive in the long run. Mission motivation keeps you trustworthy, effective, and blessed by God.

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, keep my heart purely motivated by Your mission and not by money.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 6:25; Philippians 3:13

    Post/Tweet today: People are willing to work somewhere for less, if they know the culture has a much bigger vision than just making money. #moneymotivated

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com


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

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