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Tag Archives: Mark

  • Desert Experience

    Posted on July 27, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
    Mark 1:12-13

    Sometimes the Holy Spirit sends you into a desert experience. The purpose of this hard time is not punishment, but purity. God wants to purify your faith and grow your dependence on Him. Naturally, the enemy does not sit still when he senses someone has escaped eternity’s cover. He does, however, miss the principle that God uses all things for His good, even your enemies. Times of trial are full of temptation from Satan, for he appeals to your pride, your physical appetite, and your spiritual vulnerability. He wants to bring you down when you are at your weakest. He sees you alone and ready for the kill. Satan smells blood, but the blood he smells is not your demise, it is your salvation. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that covers you during this crisis time in your desert of life.
    Your desert experience may involve a child who is away from God and away from home. It may be that your health is failing quickly and you are on the fast track to heaven’s gates. Your desert experience may encompass loneliness and a Lord that does not seem to answer prayer. Heaven may be silent during this time of stress and distress. Your marriage may be in the ditch and even on the way to divorce court, so be careful not to make a dumb decision during your desert time. He will carry you through. His angels are not passive to your plight, but present to minister to your needs.

    Your heavenly Father is sending reinforcements for your faith, so stay immersed in the Word of God because His word is your anchor during this troubling time. The promises of God rain down like manna during desolate desert times. Feed your soul with Scripture, and you will have strength to make it through this time of turmoil. Look to the Lord, for He cares. He is willing to make you whole and to walk with you through this desert of distress. Do not attempt to gut it out without God and people.
    Lastly, you will be stronger as a result of this faith-stretching situation. What was meant to drive you away from God will draw you closer. The Holy Spirit knows better than you what you need to become more like Jesus in your faith and deeds. This desert experience will pass, so don’t waste this pain and discomfort, but use it to go deep with the Divine. Turn the tables with trust, for your faithfulness inspires others to remain faithful. The irrigation of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness will flood your desert with new life and will be beautiful to behold. Jesus creates a paradise of character where once existed a desert of temptation.
    The Bible says, “Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:6).

    Post/Tweet: Feed your soul with Scripture, and you will have strength to make it through times of turmoil. #Scripture

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


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

  • A Gentle Touch

    Posted on July 2, 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis Whitwer

    "Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, 'I am willing; be cleansed'" Mark 1:41 (NASB)

    The labor and delivery of my second child was fast. In fact, within two hours after the first inkling of pain, I was in the hospital being prepped for delivery. The intense pain surprised and overwhelmed me. Because of the rapid progression, I had no pain relief.

    With my husband's hand squeezed in my left one, I looked into the face of the young nurse standing at my right, coaching me through the delivery. After an excruciating contraction, I asked, "Will you hold my hand?" She smiled and grabbed hold of my right hand while another wave of pain radiated through my body.

    It sounded pitiful and needy to ask someone to hold my hand, but at that moment I needed her strength.

    There have been other times I've needed to hold someone's hand. The first time I went snorkeling, I thought I was going to pass out I was hyperventilating so badly. I held my husband's hand on my left and my son's hand on my right until I could control my breathing and enjoy the incredible sights.

    Hiking up Angel's Landing in Zion National Park, I held someone's hand when I wasn't grasping on to rocks.

    I've held my mother's hand and my sisters' hands as we've walked through the pain of losing loved ones.

    There's something about physical touch that brings comfort and stability in an uncertain world. The New Testament is filled with stories of Jesus touching those around Him. He laid His hands on women who had been scorned, children who were dancing at His feet and lepers ashamed of their faces.

    In this world of virtual relationships, conversations managed via electronic devices and fear of inappropriate touch, I wonder if we are losing our physical connections to each other. And yet God designed us to need touch. In fact, it is critical to our health-both emotional and physical. Babies need touch for their brains to develop and children need touch for their emotions to develop. Experts say appropriate touch has a profound effect on the brain's programming and re-programming.

    Perhaps it's time to become more intentional about offering loving and appropriate touch to others. We all need it, but often find it's awkward to accept and offer. My immediate family is very comfortable with touch, as my children have grown up with lots of physical affection. But I have to be intentional about reaching out to others in gentle and creative ways.

    I have discovered reading the New Testament that the first believers were very affectionate with each other. In fact, at the end of Acts 20, we read that all the believers embraced and kissed Paul as he was leaving for a journey. They were also encouraged to greet each other with a holy kiss.

    While I realize not everyone is ready to be touched with such intimacy, I am challenged to bring healthy touch into my relationships in greater measure. Whether it's a hug, pat on the head, stroke on the arm, or a holy kiss, touch is needed in our society. Maybe if we brought more healthy touch into our relationships, people wouldn't be driven to seek it in inappropriate ways.

    For whatever reason, God designed us to need the physical touch of others. The next time you are at church, a family get-together or out with friends, challenge yourself to offer healthy touch to two or three people, especially those seniors in your midst. Become the person who offers a hug, rather than waiting for one.

    Dear Lord, I know You designed us to need the touch of other people. It's not always easy to admit we need someone to hold our hand, or give us a hug. Help me to be more aware of the needs of those around me and to offer gentle touch in natural ways. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Study different Scriptures where Jesus reached out and touched someone in the NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women. We've sprinkled 366 devotions, written by our team, throughout this Bible to help encourage you.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What are some reasons you refrain from offering a gentle touch to others?

    How can you emulate Jesus' care for others, as seen in Scripture?

    Power Verses:
    Matthew 19:14-15, "But Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.' And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left." (NLT)

    1 Peter 5:14, "Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ." (NIV)

    © 2013 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 Mark

  • Concerns of God

    Posted on May 29, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns. Mark 8:33

     

    What concerns God? What does the Almighty deem as the most important? The Lord is concerned that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. He accepts those who submit their will to His, but He rejects those who impose their will onto His. God is concerned with building His kingdom, not man’s kingdom. The Kingdom of Heaven begins in our hearts with love and obedience to King Jesus. A citizen of Christ’s country is concerned about promoting His fame.

     

    Moreover, our Heavenly Father is concerned with keeping His promises to His people. For example, He shows up in answered prayer to assure us that we are not alone. He is concerned for us when we fear giving a public speech. Not only does He give us insight and clarity in our preparation, He prepares the hearts of the people who hear our talk. He blesses our words of instruction and inspiration. He wants us to feel His peace, as we present His timeless principles.

     

    God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. Exodus 2:24-25

    Your Heavenly Father is also concerned about your suffering. His heart goes out to you when your heart has been broken. The Lord longs for wholeness in your body, soul and spirit. If you are detached from your true feelings, He wants to reengage you with your emotions. He wants you in touch with your feelings, so you can feel the needs of others. Your Savior Jesus meets you in your place of suffering with His sensitive comfort. He empathizes with your cry for His care.

    Furthermore, you partner with the Holy Spirit when you keep  the concerns of God in the forefront of your mind. Yes, keep Christ’s concerns your priority and your human concerns will not keep you from Christ. Jesus bluntly brands self seeking distractors as agents of the enemy. Beware of people who talk spiritual talk, but are more concerned about their own agenda, than God’s. Concern yourself with His concerns and your human concerns will fade away. Be concerned where He’s concerned!

    The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. Exodus 3:7

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, keep my concerns in line with Your concerns.

     

    Related Readings: Exodus 4:31; Luke 1:25; Acts 7:31; 1 Corinthians 7:32; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

     

    Post/Tweet today: God’s heart goes out to you when your heart has been broken. #heartbroken

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Rejection to Restoration

    Posted on May 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’. Mark 12:11

     

    What is rejected for God can be restored by God. People can reject a good person, even a godly person, only to see themselves discredited and their object of contempt reinstated. The majority may miss the right conclusion, because the facts were withheld by a jealous few. Thus, beware of someone or a group with persuasive powers, but shady motives. Make sure all the facts have been flushed out, before sides are chosen. Those whose power is threatened, threaten their foes.

     

    Jesus was rejected by the religious elite, only to be resurrected as Lord by His Heavenly Father. A few green with envy branded Jesus and His followers as power hungry political fanatics. However, heaven did not sit still in the face of these false accusations. The One whose character was assassinated and whose body was crucified became the payment for His critics' sin. We can reject Jesus as our Savior, but belief in Him is still required for a right relationship with God.

     

    So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic. Isaiah 28:16

    When we accept Christ, He brings us back to God. Our arrogant intellect rejected the existence of a personal God, but since He restored us to Himself we crave His company. Our self reliant spirit dismissed dependency on the Almighty, but now we are strengthened in Him. Our drive to accomplish ignored grace, but now having tasted God’s grace, we hunger for more. Our pride looked down on spiritual people, but now our humility compels us to look up to heaven for help!

    Therefore, be a restorer of relationships, not a rejector. Who needs your intentional investment of time so they can be brought back into your good graces? You are the Lord’s minister of reconciliation. Because Christ is the capstone of your character, you have the honor to lay His cornerstone of convictions in the life of your children and grandchildren. Invite those who have rejected Jesus to accept Him. Like a refurbished piece of furniture His restoration is beautiful!

    If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored. Job 22:3

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for receiving me into Your family of faith.

     

    Related Readings: Job 42:10; Psalm 51:12; Ephesians 2:20;  1 Peter 2:7

     

    Post/Tweet today: Make sure all the facts have been flushed out, before sides are chosen. #facts

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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


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

  • Alive and Well

    Posted on March 30, 2013 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 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 should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:10–11). 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 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 5:17). 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 do not 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 who 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: Because Christ has risen, we can rise above our circumstances, our hurt, and our fears. #resurrectionpower

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

     


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

  • God Is Working

    Posted on March 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. Mark 4:26-27

    God’s work is not rushed or rattled. He quietly gets things done. While man sleeps, the Lord neither sleeps nor slumbers. The effective work of the Holy Spirit is not bound by human efforts. Indeed, the Spirt softens the heart, so when the word of God is sown, it grows. There is a divine dynamic  taking  place that may seem delayed in its outcome. For example,   a small child who  hides hymns in his  precious heart, will result in  music to their ears as teenagers.

    We do not always understand how or where God is at work, but we can be confident that His Spirit is on the move to grow His kingdom. He is at work in your work, since you have sown  seeds of integrity; He has harvested a culture of honesty. He is at work in your single adult life: since you have sown seeds of purity, He has harvested a relationship of respect. He is at work in your finances; since you have sown seeds of generosity, He has harvested a heart of joy.

    Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. Psalm 126:6

     

    You may feel frustrated by  the lack of progress in your personal finances. If so, remain faithful in sowing seeds of wise stewardship, because God is at work growing good habits in your giving, saving and spending. Consequences from unhealthy money decisions that took years to accumulate, will take time to correct. However, the Lord is working, so surround yourself with wise money managers and loving friends who model generosity. Give your way out of worry.

     

    God is working in the hearts of friends and family who do not know Jesus. You keep sowing a life of love and one day they may love to know the Lord. As you comfort those whose hearts have been crushed, plant the seed of their need for a Savior. Tragedy makes a mind teachable to spiritual truths. Each day scatter the seed of a committed life to Christ. The Spirit will grow those around you to be more like Jesus. His quiet work never ends,  one day it brings a holy harvest.

     

    It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow. 1 Corinthians 3:7, The Message

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the courage to sow Your seed and trust You for the harvest.

    Related Readings: Psalm 62:12, 121:4; Isaiah 55:10; Mark 16:20; 1 Corinthians 9:11

    Post/Tweet today: Keep sowing a life of love and one day the lost may love to know the Lord. #lovethelost

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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


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

  • Following from Afar

    Posted on March 19, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the high priest's courtyard. He was sitting with the temple police, warming himself by the fire. The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but they could find none." Mark 14:54-55 (HCSB)

    At the back of the little country church, I clumsily thumbed through the pages of the worn pew Bible. It was Easter week and I was a senior in high school. I had given my life to Jesus just over a year prior at a youth campfire gathering and was still uncertain about the location of certain verses.

    That Good Friday, I was at a drop-in service. This wasn't a traditional service at an appointed time with a message and singing. People could stop by the church at any time to individually and quietly work their way through a devotional reading and accompanying verses.

    It was during that time of reflection that I met the Apostle Peter in the words of Scripture. Peter, who later became a bold witness for Christ, was not so valiant at the time of Jesus' betrayal and crucifixion. Although Peter claimed that even if everyone else ditched Jesus, he would remain faithful, Jesus knew the truth. The truth was that Peter would deny Christ not once, but three times in one night.

    Before Peter's denials came, something else came: a widening space between Peter and Jesus. Although Peter was a close companion of His, when Christ was suddenly arrested, Peter stopped his "right-beside-ya" stroll. Today's key verse from Mark 14:54-55 clearly states where he stood, "Peter followed Him at a distance" (HCSB).

    My teenage heart broke as those words stung my soul. They cut a bit too close. As a new believer I'd eagerly told others about Jesus. However, when I saw that my new-found faith wasn't so readily accepted by certain friends at school, I'd backed off from associating myself so publicly with Jesus. Like Peter, I was following at a distance.

    The remedy to my problem lay squarely in my hands. It was so obvious I almost missed it. The Bible.

    To walk closely with Jesus we have to walk ourselves daily through God's Word. Tethering our hearts to Scripture helps grow our friendship with Jesus. As a result, He becomes more important to us than others or their opinions of us. The more we learn about God's character, the more we fall in love with Him and the less likely we'll be to turn from Him when the crowds tempt to sway us. Or when fear of judgment or persecution comes.

    Have you been following Jesus at a distance? Walking far enough behind that you can still see Him but others don't see you right next to Him? Grab a Bible. Crack it. Get into God's Word and get His Word into you. No more lagging behind. Let's walk right beside the Lord, unashamedly, and allow others to see our desire to be near Jesus in hopes they will long to get to know Him too.

    Dear Lord, help me to follow through with my intentions of immersing myself in Your Word and then walking close with You day-by-day. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Unpack Scripture with us on a deeper level! Our team has compiled 366 of our devotions in the new Proverbs 31 Ministries' NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women.

    If you want to learn to walk more closely with Jesus, check out Karen's new book and DVD curriculum LET. IT. GO. How to Stop Running the Show & Start Walking in Faith.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Was there a time in your life when you felt you walked so closely with Jesus that others readily associated you with Him? When was it? Describe your relationship with Him.

    If over the years you feel that you have started following more from a distance, what factors do you feel contributed to this?

    What is one action step you can take to start to walk more closely to the Lord when it comes to reading, studying or memorizing the Bible? Write it out. Now, whose help can you enlist to enable you to follow through with that commitment?

    Power Verse:
    Matthew 16:24, "Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.'" (NLT)

    © 2013 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

  • God's Rubric

    Posted on January 31, 2013 by Van Walton

    Van Walton

    "Jesus called out to them, 'Come, follow me, and I will show you how...'" Mark 1:17 (NLT)

    The accusing words jumped from my computer screen, feeling like a slap in the face. A concerned mother was sharing her thoughts about her child's performance in my class, and she wasn't happy.

    I gathered my wits and reached for the rubric I had given my students. Had I mis-communicated something? No, my expectations for the project were carefully outlined.

    Rubrics are assessment guidelines used in many classrooms. They communicate the teacher's expectations for a task by listing the subject matter that should be included in the final assignment.

    That afternoon, mother, student and I met to discuss the assignment and desired outcome. With the rubric in the center of the table we agreed: it had been ignored. We decided the student would re-attempt the assignment, this time following the guidelines.

    It filled my heart with joy to watch a secure young lady walk out of my classroom with her rubric. I had no doubt she understood the expectations. Her next project would shine and her confidence would soar.

    Jesus, the greatest teacher who ever lived, also used rubrics. He never gave assignments without clearly laying out expectations. After all, any teacher's goal is the students' success. Success leads to confidence. And confident people become world changers, which is what Jesus called His followers to be.

    I'm intrigued by Jesus' teaching methods and style. His classroom moved with Him, as He used daily occurrences as lessons. Jesus challenged His students to soar by using His rubrics.

    Mark 1:17 invites us into Jesus' classroom. The Teacher's first words to His students clarify His expectations: "Come follow me." Then He says, "I will show you how ..."

    Jesus is the rubric. His life is the subject matter we study. His ways guide our daily performance leading us to spiritual success.

    In the midst of the teaching on the Beatitudes Jesus says, "Let your good deeds shine out for all to see ..." (Matthew 5:16 NLT) We know Jesus didn't simply tell what to do. He showed how to perform good deeds. He ate with sinners. He touched the sick. He spoke with outcasts.

    We hear Jesus speak for the first time in Luke 2, shortly after His parents took Him to Jerusalem. Along the route on a return trip to their hometown, Mary and Joseph realized Jesus was missing. A search found Him in the temple "sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking questions." (vs. 46b NIV) In response to His mother's scolding, Jesus explained in verse 49b, "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" (NIV)

    Here is our first rubric. As a student of Jesus, I clearly understand what is expected of me. He has shown me by His actions.

    1. Spend time in the Father's house. In other words, attend church.
    2. Sit with teachers, listening to them.
    3. Ask questions.

    God's rubric tells me exactly what to do. Jesus' life as chronicled in the Gospels is a perfect rubric for me, as I seek direction. Won't you join me this year as a student of the Teacher? Let's follow Him and let Him show us how to live.

    Dear Jesus, You offer to show me and teach me how to live. Because of Your life I can live confidently, secure that my life has worth. In Your Name, Jesus, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    What is one area in your life you need direction and clarity in?

    When we find ourselves at life's crossroads, we can be confident which direction to choose by looking to God's Word, His rubric.

    Power Verses:
    Luke 6:47, "I will show you what it's like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it." (NLT)

    John 14:26, "But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Van Walton. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Love Listens

    Posted on December 27, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Mark 9:7

     

    A heart full of love listens first to the Lord. There is a humility that remembers God created two ears and one mouth for a reason. The tongue, untempered by love, is a prime target for the tempter, Satan himself. However, love longs to listen and understand what Christ says, before making conversation. Words incubated in a heart of love have a positive affect on hearers. Love listens to Jesus before jumping to judgment. 

    We need the words of our heavenly Father to work out our wrong thinking, before we share potentially abrasive words. For example, we pause during family conflict to contemplate Christ’s teaching to be peacemakers. We become a voice of reason and patience where angry words have broken trust and erased respect. We listen to both sides and then offer solutions based on forgiveness and an ongoing process of godly counsel.

    “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” Luke 6:27

    Furthermore, listen to others even when you don’t feel you are being heard. Your patient love does not have to make its point, because listening to and understanding the other person’s viewpoint is more important. As you lovingly listen you learn, from friends and enemies alike. Your quieted spirit becomes a student of anyone you meet. Perhaps you learn kindness from a cashier or acceptance from a greeter. Love listens and learns.

    Love is slow to speak and quick to listen. It doesn’t seek to impress people with its smart and clever speech. Instead, it carries a conversation with emotional comfort and caring words. You are most comfortable in your own skin when your goal is to first listen to the Lord and then His precious children. Lovingly listen, some will invite your influence into their life. Consecrate your conversations to Christ and He will speak.

    “But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” Hebrews 1:2

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to lovingly listen to You and Your children.

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 30:20; Isaiah 55:3; Proverbs 10:19; James 1:19, 2:5

    Post/Tweet today
    : Consecrate your conversations to Christ and He will speak. #listen

    © 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 Luke, Mark, Hebrews

  • A Quiet Place To Rest

    Posted on October 31, 2012 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "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.'" Mark 6:31 (NIV)

    "I want honey in my tea! And a lemon slice too! Oh, and can I use great-grandma's teacup, pretty please? I'll be careful," my then five-year-old daughter sweetly begged.

    We were enjoying our afternoon mother-daughter ritual while her two baby brothers napped. Each day we pulled out china teacups and saucers from my collection and slowly sipped herbal tea while I read a book out loud to her.

    This afternoon, however, she was asking permission to use an heirloom piece that had been passed down through four generations in my mother's family. While I knew my baby girl was grown up enough to be careful with the antique pink and white china cradled in her little hands, something else made me deny her request. I tried explaining it to her.

    "Sweetheart, I know you'll be careful, but we can't have hot tea in that cup. It has cracks. See?"

    I showed her a few tiny, hairline fractures on the side near the handle. It wasn't cracked all the way through and could actually still hold water without leaking. However, if hot liquid were to be poured into it, the crack would give way, causing the petite cup to shatter. (Been there. Broke that!)

    There was just no way for the fractured piece to withstand the stress of a steaming beverage.

    Our emotional lives are much the same. When we do not allow time to rest and regroup from the stresses of life, we allow cracks in our spirit that make us emotionally and spiritually fragile. We keep going at break-neck speeds, rarely slowing down long enough to be refreshed.

    Today's key verse highlights the fact that even Jesus Himself found it important to get away for a while; to slow down and cease activity. He urged His disciples to get to a quiet place. In doing so they would find rest. Being alone and quiet would help keep them whole.

    In our fast-paced society we rarely get to sit in a quiet place. Televisions blare. Computers sound out webcasts. iPods and MP3s crank out music at times when we could be seeking solace.

    As a result, stress chisels away, creating tiny cracks that although barely visible to the eye, could cause us to shatter under the heat and pressures of everyday life.

    Let's purpose to take time this week to slow down, get away, and rest. To find solitude in a hushed and holy place alone with our Savior, even if only for an hour or two.

    If we make time to answer Jesus' call to go away with Him to a quiet place, we can crack-proof our spirits, making them strong and rendering us ready to handle life. A few quiet moments spent with Him can help mend cracks, renewing and making us to be vessels strong enough to be used by Him.

    Dear Lord, help me to intentionally carve out time this week to reconnect with You in a quiet spot. I know You are waiting. I want to seek Your face and find true rest. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace in Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles

    Reflect and Respond:
    Remember a time when you got away for a time of rest and quiet. What did it do for you emotionally?

    Why don't we get alone or seek a quiet place more often? List some things, people, or activities that prevent us from doing so. Now, make plans to seek a quiet time soon. Write it on your calendar and keep your appointment with God.

    Power Verse:
    Matthew 7:25, "The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn't collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. (HCSB)

    © 2012 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Mark, Karen Ehman, Rest

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