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Tag Archives: Matthew

  • Lord, Unrush Me

    Posted on September 22, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa Terkeurst

    "'But what about you?' he asked. 'Who do you say I am?' Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.'" (Matthew 16:15-16, NIV)

    Ever felt like you've set your life to the rhythm of rush? Me too.

    Sometimes it takes stepping out of the rush to see things. Recently, I went to the Holy Land. It was a trip I'd longed to take for years. But as the day to leave marched closer and closer, I wished I'd scheduled it later — another time, a time when life didn't feel so busy.

    Exhaustion gnawed deep places in my heart, demanding me to slow down. But how? I've made my decisions and now my decisions have made me. Me — this shell of a woman caught in the rush of endless demands.

    But the trip was booked, so I went. And I'm forever glad I did. In the Holy Land, busy took a break from chasing me. This trip forced me to "unrush," and I discovered I like who I am so much better when I'm not set to the wrong rhythm.

    I also learned more about Jesus. His life. His decisions. His lessons.

    And do you know what the most impactful lesson was for me personally? Jesus never rushed. He set His life to the rhythm of connection and compassion. With great intentionality Jesus stayed unrushed. This is what I want.

    This is what I was longing for but didn't know it. Like Jesus, I must unrush my pace for connection and compassion to take place.

    As I walked many of the same places Jesus walked, I was struck profoundly by this. He knew pressure. He knew stress. People pulled at Him everywhere He went. Crowds demanded sermons. Individuals begged for healing. The disciples wanted leadership. Friends wanted time with Him. The religious rulers wanted answers. There was an entire world to save with such limited time.

    Yet, He didn't rush. He talked with the woman at the well. He reached out His hand, making contact, and healed the leper. He felt the touch of the woman with the issue of blood and stopped for her. Do you see it? Connection and compassion were central to every interaction.

    And then for those with whom Jesus was the closest? That's when He was the most unrushed.

    While I was in the Holy Land, I visited the site that's recorded in Matthew 16:13-20. In the shadow of a pagan temple hustling with unspeakable acts and human sacrifices, Jesus asked His disciples just who they really thought He was. Then He pointed and said, "I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it," (NKJV). He connected truth with Peter's calling. He compassionately assured Peter that the church would prevail.

    I'm sure Peter recalled this conversation many, many times.

    It must have given him the courage to become one of the most pivotal church leaders in history. And he had this conversation to remember, because Jesus wasn't too busy to have it. When I was in Israel, I learned the Lord walked three days to get to this one spot where He made this point with Peter.

    It would seem Jesus was unrushed so He could be incredibly intentional and laser-focused on connection and compassion.

    If I were reading this right now, I would probably think, "That's great you went to the Holy Land and it helped unrush you, but I can't do that right now." I understand. So, let this truth from Jesus' life come to you.

    It's not the location that changed me.

    It was the revelation.

    Jesus didn't rush, so neither should I.

    Today, let's pray this very simple three-word prayer that we so desperately need: "Lord, unrush me."

    Father God, these three words are the echo of my soul. Lord, show me how to slow down and leave that sacred space for relationships. I want to follow Your example of staying focused on connection and compassion. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Hebrews 10:24-25, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    What do you need to do to protect and strengthen the fabric of your relationships? How can you get help to divide up your responsibilities and have healthy time with the people who matter most to you?

    Connecting with those we love is like soul food. Write down three or four people close to you who might benefit from some relational time with you in the next week. Then be intentional with a phone call, email or text message to them.

    © 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 Matthew

  • The Two Most Powerful Words

    Posted on August 14, 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa Terkeurst

    "And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'" Matthew 3:17 (NIV)

    Not too long ago, I stood at the sink trying to ease the stabbing feeling of stress. I had so much pulling at me.

    I found myself rushing my husband in conversation. Rushing my kids out the door. Rushing to the next thing and then the next. Rushing to make dinner and then rushing my people through dinner.

    I had set my life to the rhythm of rush.

    Exhaustion gnawed deep places in my heart, demanding me to slow down. But how? I've made my decisions and now my decisions have made me. Me — this shell of a woman caught in the rush of endless demands.

    Have you ever felt this same way? I suspect most of us have.

    I'm starting to realize the two most powerful words are yes and no. How I use them determines how I set my schedule.

    How I set my schedule determines how I live my life.

    How I live my life determines how I spend my soul.

    When I think about my decisions in light of spending my soul, it gives gravity to choosing more wisely. Each and every thing I say yes to sets the pace of my life.

    After all, when a woman lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, she'll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul. An overwhelmed schedule leads to an underwhelmed soul — a soul with a full calendar but no time to really engage in life.

    If you've found yourself caught in a stressful pace recently, I understand. I think so much of why my schedule gets overloaded is because I'm afraid of missing out or not measuring up.

    One quick look at social media, and it feels like everyone else is able to live at a breakneck pace with a smile. Their kids are accomplishing more than my kids. Their business pursuits seem more important than mine do. Their marriage seems more romantic. Their home is cleaner. And they even have time to invite dinner guests over to eat food from their garden. Huh?

    It's interesting to me the timing of God's words to Jesus in Matthew 3:17: "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

    At that point, Jesus hadn't yet performed miracles, led the masses or gone to the cross. Yet, God was pleased with Jesus before all of those accomplishments.

    His Father was establishing Jesus' identity before He started His activities. Jesus heard God, believed God and remained unrushed. In Christ, God has given us a new identity (Romans 6:4). But, unlike Christ, we forget.

    We fill our days and our lives with so much activity that the only way to keep up with it all is to rush. And I'm discovering that the source of much of the stress in my life is this constant need to keep up. But what if I'm chasing the wrong desire?

    Do I really want my life to look more like others? Or to look more like God's best for me?

    God's best for me means engaging with life and the people in it. God's best for me means noticing divine invitations and feeling the freedom to say yes — a Best Yes to the Lord's assignments.

    If I really want an unrushed life, I must underwhelm my schedule so God has room to overwhelm my soul.

    Today, we must stand moment-by-moment in the reality of our identity before we resume our activity. Grasp this truth and rub it in deep: "You are my daughter, whom I love; with whom I am well pleased."

    Well pleased because of who you are, not because of what you do. Well pleased because of an unfathomable, unconditional love that's not earned, but simply given.

    Dear Lord, unrush me as I set my schedule today. I want to step out of the rush so I can embrace Your best for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Romans 6:4, "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Ask yourself these questions: Do I really want my life to look more like other people's? Or to look more like God's best for me?

    Honestly assess your answer and pray that the Lord would show you how to pursue His plan.

    © 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 Matthew

  • His Eye is on the Sparrow

    Posted on August 13, 2014 by Family Christian

    Kelly Minter

    "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:25-26 (NIV)

    When I moved to Nashville years ago in pursuit of a music career, I never imagined I would land here. Here, on the Amazon River, where the day starts when the sun rises, and morning comes early.

    The complexity of the jungle sent my head spinning — the fact that all this grows and thrives without Wall Street, smartphones and us! I felt appropriately small. I couldn't get over the countless symbiotic relationships: this creature surviving off that tree, relying on that seed, transported by those birds. It was astounding how everything hung in this delicate balance, how in the beautiful and mysterious words of Colossians 1:17b, in Christ "all things hold together."

    Often I think I'm the one holding things together. I get busy with appointments, planning dinner, waiting to hear if a friend's news from the doctor is hopeful. I fall into this mentality that keeping all these plates spinning is life, while the jungle life appeared so effortless.

    The gentle and imposing stature of the jungle convicted and humbled me, as I crunched atop its brush and beneath its canopy.

    How much more, God seemed to be saying, do I care for you if I care for the birds who have no barns, the flowers who needn't spin nor toil for their splendor? In Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, He points to His custody of nature, proving if He cares for the tiniest of creatures, certainly we don't have to worry about what we're going to eat or drink or wear, because He knows our needs.

    I don't rely on this truth enough, since food, garments and shelter are readily available where I come from — at least for most people. I knew God called His people to meet the needs of the poor, to tangibly demonstrate He knows their needs and intently cares to meet them. I believed this, but what I didn't know was how personal it would feel.

    While there, I visited a village school in Chita. With about 20 children ages 3 to 10 in the room, our program included singing, a puppet show and Bible story.

    When asked if anyone would like to come up for prayer, a 4-year-old boy named Yan leaped from his chair. Yan turned back to grab his mother's wrist, dragging her forward. "We need a house," he said matter-of-factly.

    I bowed my head, realizing I'd never prayed for God to provide someone with a house before. Sure, I'd prayed with friends to "find a house," but what I meant was they'd find a good house in a solid school district with low taxes ... maybe near a swimming pool, good church and a park. I didn't actually mean find a house.

    When it was time to say good-bye to the villagers in Chita, there stood Yan alone on the shore. I hated to leave that little boy. As the wind blew across my skin and the banks thick with trees moved past us, I was lulled into reflection.

    A 4-year-old boy taught me something about dependence and prayer, and the jungle itself had also spoken. Walking through the rainforest was like walking through a cathedral.

    There was something holy about encountering creation the way the psalmist speaks of the heavens declaring God's glory, breathing out utterances that reach to the ends of the earth. Here I was, at the ends of the earth, and He was still there. And His eye was on the sparrow ... a little sparrow named Yan, and a slightly bigger sparrow named Kelly.

    Dear Heavenly Father, I proclaim You as my Provider. Worry, striving and fretting are not from You, because You care for my every need. Please give me the grace to trust You with all that's weighing on my mind and heavy on my heart. When my anxiety becomes overwhelming, give me the peace of Christ that transcends my understanding. Thank You for promising to never leave me nor forsake me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Matthew 7:7, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (NIV)

    Colossians 1:17, "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Pinpoint a present worry or concern, then meditate on the key verses of Matthew 6:25-26. What truth speaks to your current anxiety?

    We read in Colossians 1:17 that Christ holds all things together. What practical steps can you take to entrust your concerns to His Almighty care?

    © 2014 by Kelly Minter. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks David C. Cook for their sponsorship of today's devotion. Author photo compliments of Brooke Boling.

    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 Matthew

  • Our Providing Father

    Posted on July 2, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11

    Our heavenly Father is our provider. He gives us each day what we need. It is in the moment that He gives, so we can be content with His provision. Daily bread may not be as exciting as His future provision toward a big idea. However, each day He supplies one link in His caring chain that binds our hearts to His. If we take for granted His day by day care, we grow discontent or worse, demanding. Humility doesn’t assume daily bread, so it asks God in grateful dependence.

    Daily bread is a daily reminder of Who provides the most basic necessities in our lives. The air we breathe, the rain that moistens the soil and the sun that warms our faces are all life giving blessings from the Lord. We ask for daily bread, because we need the reminder of the source of our provision--the Bread of Life--Jesus. He who created a beautiful world from chaos brings beauty to our chaotic lives. Our daily bread from heaven feeds our body and satisfies our soul.

    "Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread” (Proverbs 30:8).

    Since pride struggles to ask for anything and busyness forgets to ask, how can we remember to ask our heavenly Father for His daily provision? A grateful prayer before a meal is a good beginning. Perhaps we pray with bowed heads, “Heavenly Father, I am extremely grateful for this meal You have provided for the nourishment of my body and soul. You are my generous and loving provider. Thank You in Jesus' name, amen.” Daily bread deserves daily gratitude to God.

    Our heavenly Father’s provisional daily bread may be the slightly soiled ‘hand me down’ clothes from a friend’s older child. It could be a neighbor’s used piece of furniture left on the curbside to be taken away. Or, He may provide a shiny new car or piece of jewelry. However our Father in heaven provides for our needs, even wants--we praise Him for His faithfulness. When we ask for daily bread we learn to trust Him with a little, so we are prepared to trust Him with a lot.

    “Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant” (Jonah 4:6).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I trust You for my daily bread and I am extremely grateful for Your abundant provision.

    Related Readings: Genesis 22:8, 14; 2 Kings 13:5; Psalm 65:9, 68:10; 1 Timothy 6:17; 1 Peter 4:11

    Post/Tweet today:.. When we ask for daily bread we learn to trust God with a little, so we are prepared to trust Him with a lot. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • Our Purposeful Father

    Posted on July 1, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Bring about Your kingdom. Manifest Your will here on earth, as it is manifest in heaven. Matthew 6:10, The Voice

    Almighty God is intentional in building His kingdom on earth. Unseen by the naked eye of  natural man, the Lord is at work behind the scenes facilitating spiritual outcomes. Earthly kings build their kingdoms, but ultimately it is the kingdom of heaven that reigns. So, to be on the right side of history (His Story), we align with what God is doing by prayer. We submit to His reign in our hearts, so His Kingdom comes within us before it manifests itself out to the world.

    What are the purposes of our heavenly Father? How can our lives line up with what the Lord wants? We know our heavenly Father’s major purpose is growing our love relationship with Him. He is our King who loves us, His citizens, so we can grow to love and accept His gracious governance of our lives. Our king Jesus died for us, so by His resurrection power, we die for Him. Yes, we pray for His love to rule our hearts and motivate our words and deeds.

    “Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him” (James 2:5)?

    The love of the Lord is an attractive advertisement to a lost and confused world. They see love and they wonder, 'Why?'. Why do we take the time to listen to a person’s story and enter into their life? Why do we give expertise and cash to help alleviate suffering and help create opportunities? Love is God’s greatest command, so we model for others our joyful privilege to love and be loved by the Lord. Yes, the kingdom of God is built on the love of God. God’s will is manifest on earth every time we love in Jesus' name. His kingdom of love defeats the kingdom of hate.

    Therefore, the more complete we become in Christ, the more the Kingdom of Heaven manifests itself in our lives. We usher in His dominion every time we pray for His will to be done down here, like it is up there. For example, oneness of heart with the Lord means we refrain from having to have the last word. Unity of soul with God means we are content to grow in our character above needing the praise of our peers. Alignment with the Almighty’s agenda supports the advancement of His Kingdom and the retreat of our own. We either pray our kingdom come or His Kingdom come, amen!

    “Giving joyful thanks to the Father,who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdomof the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:12-14).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray for Your Kingdom to come into my life, so Your Kingdom can be manifest in the kingdoms of this world.

    Related Readings: Luke 17:21; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 5:20; 2 Peter 1:11

    Post/Tweet today:.. Oneness of heart with the Lord’s heart means refraining from having to have the last word. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • Our Holy Father

    Posted on June 27, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name. Matthew 6:9, The Amplified Bible

    The holiness of our heavenly Father cannot be completely comprehended by the human mind. His purity burns so brightly, it lights up the eyes of our faith. The dross of our sinful deeds melts in the presence of His pure character. Just as Moses took cover in the cleft of the rock as God passed by, so we take shelter in the refuge of our Savior Jesus to be able to handle the glory of our great God. His name is above all names, not to be spoken in vain, but evoked in humble adoration.

    His Holiness--our Father in heaven, is to be feared. We surrender to our Sovereign Lord. We bow on hallowed ground in His presence. To a small degree, the respect we show those buried in a national cemetery is likened to our honor and approach of our heavenly Father in prayer. We are not rushed into rote prayers, but in reverent repentance, we first come clean in confession of our sins in the presence of perfection. We seek Him alone in worship, none other is worthy of our radical devotion.

    “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earthis full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3).

    Our heavenly Father’s holiness is not a standard, but the standard of sinless perfection. Though we will never achieve perfection in this life, His Holy Spirit continues to perfect our faith and character to become more like Christ’s. As children of the Holy One we are set apart to be holy as He is holy. However, be careful not to fall into the ‘holier than thou’ attitude trap. Sin is never comfortable in the presence of purity. We are only a channel for the Spirit to convict the hearts of those we love on behalf of Jesus. Thus, we pray for His holiness to shine through us.

    Therefore, we pray the prayer of Jesus when we keep holy the name of our heavenly Father. We are friends with Jesus and we partner with the Holy Spirit, but we are submissive children of our Father, the Most High--our great and glorious God. We bow now in individual preparation for the day after our death when we pray with all in glorious acclamation. Can you taste and see His holy aura in your reverent worship of your heavenly Father? In prayer, by faith, esteem His holy name!

    “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I bow down in the glory of Your holiness. Break my heart for what breaks Yours.

    Related Readings: Isaiah 52:13; Daniel 7:14; Acts 2:33; 1 Peter 1:15-16

    Post/Tweet today: Our heavenly Father’s holiness is not a standard, but the standard of sinless perfection. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • Our Heavenly Father

    Posted on June 26, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Your prayers, rather, should be simple, like this: Our Father in heaven, let Your name remain holy. Matthew 6:9, The Voice

    Our prayers are directed to our heavenly Father. It is out of a community of believers that we are able to confidently petition ‘our’ Father in heaven. The prayer of Jesus was inclusive of His disciples and all who would follow Him. Indeed, we do not pray only as individual followers of Christ, but as the Body of Christ. Our heavenly Father is able to commune with all who come to Him in relationship, repentance and renewal. God is an engaged Father to all who trust Him.

    Furthermore, we cry out in prayer to our loving heavenly Father. His love is what comforts our hearts and enlightens our minds. His love lingers long, as we long for His compassion and care. The love of our Lord is like the vast sea in its ability transport us like a ship from a shore of sin to a shore of salvation, from a port of pain to a port of peace, and from a harbor of hell to a harbor of heaven. Our heavenly Father loves us where we are and draws us where He is, for our good.

    “Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me” (Psalm 66:20).

    Our heavenly Father is also the giver of all wisdom. He is generous with His gifts from heaven above for what we need on earth below. Hallelujah, our Father does not leave us to flounder in confusion, but He has given us a course of action based on His character. His Spirit offers direction in a decision. He brings clarity to what’s best long term, not just what’s expedient in the short term. He discerns how to best relate in a challenging relationship. He gives forgiveness, understanding and patience to stay involved. Yes, our Father’s wisdom is counter to the culture.

    Just as any good and loving Father disciplines his children, so our heavenly Father reminds us of what’s right. When we feel the gentle correction of our Father, we are wise to change immediately and not require a more severe scenario. Yes, His discipline is meant to deter us from destructive behavior and protect us from painful outcomes. Distant dads do not care about correction, only those who are close, interested and involved. God disciplines us because He loves us. Our Father is in heaven, but He walks with us on earth. We pray to our ever faithful Father!

    “Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief” (Psalm 143:1).

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, what a joy to seek Your loving kindness and faithful love in focused prayer.

    Related Readings: Psalm 32:6, 42:8; Isaiah 55:6; Luke 11:13; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 1:17

    Post/Tweet today: Our heavenly Father loves us where we are and draws us where He is, for our good. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • When Worry is Part of Your Personality

    Posted on June 5, 2014 by Tracie Miles

    Tracie Miles

    "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

    His comment wasn't meant to be critical, but it immediately pierced my heart.

    I was explaining to my husband how worried I'd been about several situations and reciting the reasons why my worry was justified. He gently reminded me that worrying wouldn't help anything, and I quickly replied, "But I can't help it!"

    Then he said with a smile, "I know you can't. Worrying is just part of your personality."

    Deep down I knew I worried too much, especially when it came to my children's safety, their happiness and situations I couldn't control. But I didn't want to be labeled a "worrier," and I certainly didn't want to admit worrying was "part of my personality."

    Yet, if I were honest with myself, I knew it was true.

    Although I trust God and know He is in control, the human side of me often tends to worry. I'm thankful God isn't surprised by my worry, and wants to help me overcome it. Jesus even addressed this very issue when He taught His followers in what we now call the Sermon on the Mount.

    In this teaching, Jesus shared detailed instructions for how Christians should live their daily lives and how faith should shape behavior — including how to deal with worry.

    In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus specifically told His followers not to worry about food or clothes because God would provide for their needs, just as He does for the birds of the air. This promise of provision and protection applies to all areas of our lives, including help with our problems and easing our inner-most anxieties.

    Jesus knew the people of that time struggled with worry, just as we do. At times it is hard to trust God with the concerns that weigh heaviest on our hearts. Instead of trusting Him to handle what we cannot, we waste the opportunities of today worrying about the possibilities of tomorrow. God wants us to leave our problems in His hands, rather than let them become a stumbling block in our faith.

    Sometimes it takes a gentle reminder, such as my husband's innocent words, to remind me of this promise. I needed to stop holding onto my worries and quit continually reminding Jesus to be as concerned as I was. Instead, I should daily turn those worries into prayers. I have since committed to worrying less and trusting Jesus more and have experienced the freedom that comes with truly entrusting my needs to Him.

    Although we all have things in our lives that lead to worry and reasons to be concerned, what peace we can enjoy if we consciously choose to lay down each day's worries at God's feet and leave tomorrow's worries up to Him, too.

    Lord, forgive me for not trusting You with my problems and for letting my worry become a wedge in my faith. Give me the strength to put them in Your hands and avoid trying to take them back. Help me learn to trust You more and believe You are always in control of my life and the things that worry me most. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    1 Peter 5:7, "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." (NLT)

    Luke 12:29-32, "What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don't be afraid of missing out. You're my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself." (MSG)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    What worries are most heavily weighing on your heart today that you need to turn over to God?

    Have you been trying to handle everything on your own, without God's help?

    Read Matthew 6:25-34 and ask God to speak to your heart through these verses.

    © 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 Matthew

  • Getting Past the Pain of Change

    Posted on May 28, 2014 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn Cowell

    "After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light." Matthew 17:1-2 (NIV)

    I remember what it felt like to have my heart broken as a young woman. Even today, my heart feels a little pain trigger when I hear another has experienced the hurt of rejection.

    I remember the questioning: Why, God? Why not him? Why break up now?

    When God asked me to choose Him over him, my young heart obeyed, but not without a struggle. Lacking history with God, I hadn't yet experienced the blessings of obedience. So I obeyed and hoped God knew what He was doing.

    Through the breakups and broken hearts, God was moving me to a new place where He could reveal a side of Him I hadn't experienced. I had to move "out of love" with a boyfriend in order to move "in love" with Him.

    My deceived heart told me I was someone because I belonged to someone. God had a different message. He wanted to reposition me so I would know True Love.

    Jesus had to change my position to change my perspective.

    Out of His great love for me, Jesus didn't leave me in the position where I was completely dependent on another person for love. Instead, He moved me to what was a lonely place so He could change the way I saw love.

    It seems God often needs to change someone's position so they can see things in a fresh way. In today's key verse, Jesus had more to show three of the disciples, so He led them up a high mountain by themselves. A place away from others. A place not easily accessible. But a place where He would change their perspective. Here, before their very eyes Jesus' face shone like the sun, and they heard God speak: "This is my Son" (Matthew 17:5a, NIV).

    When the disciples had a change in their position, they experienced a change in their perspective on who Jesus was. It's possible their self-perspective changed as well.

    The breakup I went through as a young woman wasn't the only time God changed my position to change my perspective. Moves, job changes, places I have held in people's lives and people's hearts ... my position is constantly changing. Each change brings another opportunity for God to change my perspective. Like the disciples, I can see Him in new ways I haven't seen Him before: my Provider, my Healer, my True Love.

    Can you see an area where your position is changing? It may be in your responsibilities as a mom, a new job, at home or in your calling. In this new place, your loving Father wants to show you His perspective of who He is and what He wants to do in you and through you. Open your heart past the pain of change and ask God to change your perspective to see Him in this new place.

    Lord, often change is painful and what I want isn't always what's best for me. Soften my heart to see past this pain and to see Your heart toward me. Give me Your perspective. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Judges 6:23a, "But the LORD said to him, 'Peace! Do not be afraid.'" (NIV)

    Deuteronomy 31:6, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." (NIV)

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:

    Where is your world changing and you wish it wouldn't? Do you have a godly friend who has gone through this type of change before? Ask her to share her story with you to encourage you.

    © 2014 by Lynn Cowell. 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 Matthew

  • Emotional Unfaithfulness

    Posted on May 22, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28

    There is a constant allure for emotional connection between a woman and a man. A pure motive of care for someone other than your spouse can easily turn into emotional unfaithfulness. An emotionally needy woman at work will give signs to seeking men who are unfulfilled at home. It seems exciting and inviting, but in the end—it wrecks homes.

    This juvenile junket flies in the face of what Jesus wants and expects. Married couples are meant to fulfill their emotional needs within their marriage experience. This is why it’s imperative to process past and present pain in a healthy manner, so communication and care flourish, thus feeding each other’s emotional desires. Husbands and wives hunger for emotional wholeness with the one they have become “one flesh” with, under God’s purview.

    “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

    Is the bond with your spouse beyond superficial sex? Remember the long talks before you were married—when was the last time you processed your feelings together in meaningful conversation? It may mean holding hands, looking each other in the eyes, and apologizing for hurting his or her heart. Engaged emotions stay engaged.

    Husbands, if you are emotionally dead you will kill your marriage. Learn to loosen up and express how you feel. Yes, it is uncomfortable to be vulnerable, but this is a process that God blesses in growing your relationship with your wife. And wives, do not look for emotional support from men other than your husband. Stay focused on Christ’s comfort, seek out professional help to heal your heart—and learn how to approach your husband.

    Emotional faithfulness causes a marriage to flourish with fulfilling encounters of loving communication and care. A statement like, “I am sorry you had to experience that pain”, begins to describe your dialogue. You simply listen and enter into their hurting heart, instead of prescribing solutions and offering pep talks. Emotional fidelity finds a home in relationships that seek to understand, comfort, and offer hope and timely truth.

    Most of all—seek truth found in God’s word together. Ignorance of proven principles that build healthy marriages is a recipe for relational disaster. Invite the Holy Spirit to jointly instruct your minds and knit your humble hearts together in love and kindness. Seek out other married couples to learn from who are good models of emotional faithfulness.

    “That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father andof Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-3).

    Prayer: What relationship do I need to avoid because it is creating emotional unfaithfulness in me?

    Related Readings: Genesis 2:18a; Proverbs 15:1; 29:11; Matthew 7:1; 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

    Post/Tweet today:Emotional faithfulness can help a marriage flourish with fulfilling encounters of loving communication and care. #wisdomhunters

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.


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

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