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Tag Archives: Matthew

  • Silver and Gold

    Posted on December 18, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11

    The Magi came with genuine gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the new born Messiah. However, this was the closest Christ would come to obtaining treasures for Himself. He arrived in the world with no economic mandate or political agenda. His goal was not to bring finances to bear as a solution to poverty or the nation’s war torn conditions. No, Jesus was born to bring the new birth of a prosperous soul, a peaceful mind and a forgiven heart. Gold was not His goal.

    We have to honestly ask ourselves, ‘Is our plan to fix the culture with financial solutions or is the Spirit’s transforming power our remedy?’ What is our role in bringing the life giving gospel of Jesus to those spiritually bankrupt? Jesus lost what was rightfully His, so He could reach the lost. He came to seek and to save the lost so they might be saved from sin, self and Satan. A global movement of God does not depend on money, but on our hearts being moved by God.

    A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1

    History describes a powerful church when it wasn’t prosperous and a powerless church when it was prosperous. Thus, we go back to the beginning of the Christian faith in the modest manager and we embrace the idea of reliance on God, not gold or government. We worship the One whose Kingdom is not of this world, who reigns over the hearts of humans. Yes, your good name is more valuable than great riches. Use your influence so seekers embrace the Christ of Christmas.

    Some think they need more stuff, but what they need is to be loved by their Lord. Your material means may be modest, but your spiritual resources are abundant. Therefore, during the season of your Savior’s birth be bold to invite others to celebrate your birthday party for Jesus. Pray for those who hijack His special day to commercialize Christ. Stay focused on a faith expression of the holiday and don’t get caught up in the influence of money and materialism. Like the early Christians, you may not have silver and gold, but you have God and He has you.

    Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. Acts 3:6

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to lean into Your power and not depend on the influence of money to solve spiritual issues.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 3:3-4; Ezekiel 34:16; Luke 19:10; John 8:58; Revelation 9:20

    Post/Tweet this today: A global movement of God does not depend on money, but on our hearts being moved by God. #silverandgold
    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Affection and Acceptance

    Posted on December 13, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:13-14

    Jesus was tender and tough. He took the time to love little children, but He was also bold to confront greed in the face of businessmen using God for personal gain. However, most of the time Jesus modeled affection toward those who could or could not reciprocate—and acceptance toward those who had experienced rejection. He graciously extended both.

    Do you daily receive the affection and acceptance of Almighty God? Have you begun to comprehend the depth and breadth of His magnificent love? Oh, what a Savior and lover of your soul! A close friend may give you the cold shoulder, but Jesus warmly embraces your cares and concerns. Perhaps a fellow Christian rejected you for your indiscretions, but Jesus accepts you despite your failures and lifts you up to walk faithfully with Him.

    “Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:10-11).

    Acceptance is a magnet for those feeling isolated and misunderstood. It is a remedy for realized or unrealized rejection. Your spouse caught up in their own concerns can communicate insensitivity and lack of intimacy. It’s when you feel this relational distance that you turn to Christ and enjoy His closeness. Only Jesus provides acceptance all the time. His approval gives you confidence to go forward by grace through faith.

    Affection is a tender touch, an empathetic ear, a compassionate conversation and a patient prayer. It looks beyond the ugliness of sin and the harshness of humanity—and engages the heart. Affection is not concerned about getting—but is consumed with giving. An affectionate heart cannot wait to love those dismissed or discounted by others.

    Who in your life needs your affection and acceptance? Does your child feel your support and sensitivity? Do you honor your distant parents with love and respect? What about friends and family who are consumed with their own concerns—do you invite them into your life to experience your family’s joy and the compassion of Christ? Reach out to those whom others have rejected and watch the Lord do a work of redeeming love.

    “Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me” (John 13:20).

    Prayer: How does Christ accept me and show His affection? Whom can I serve in the same way?

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 10:15; Acts 15:8; Romans 14:1-3; Philippians 1:8

    Post/Tweet this today: Affection is a tender touch, an empathetic ear, a compassionate conversation and a patient prayer. #affection

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

  • Earnest Simplicity

    Posted on December 10, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Freely you have received; freely give. Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. Matthew 10:8-10

    Jesus gives His disciples simple instructions with a simple strategy to simply share the gospel, heal the sick and cast out demons. He commissioned them to focus first on their own nation. The Lord encouraged an unencumbered life so His followers where free to focus on eternal life. Christ keeps it simple because He knows we are easily distracted and can drift into complex schemes that suck the life out of opportunities to give life. The gospel only needs clarity in communication, as the Spirit’s power uses this earnest simplicity to unleash heaven’s influence.

    Status, stuff, society, sin and self all move toward making matters more complex than is necessary in the Kingdom of God. Like an intricate spider web, the complexity of life can trap us in an inertia unable to respond in spontaneous service. By the time we are free to return a call or clear our calendar, the hurting person has moved on to someone who has time. The motto of earnest simplicity is ‘less is more.’ Because God has freely given to us, we are free to freely give to others. Avoid sin’s complexity so you are available to bless others with pure joy.

    Evildoers are snared by their own sin, but the righteous shout for joy and are glad. Proverbs 29:6

    Earnest simplicity does not mean we are all called to live a monastic life, but it does mean we are free from the seduction of stuff. An unencumbered life is not isolated from society, but it is free from culture’s control. A life with margin does not seek status, but it does use success as a platform to care for the unfortunate in Jesus' name. Enjoy your season of simplicity as a window for the sunbeams of the Son’s love to shine through your soul. Simplicity points to your Savior!

    Perhaps it's time to resign a role or responsibility that no longer requires your attention so you are available for impromptu interactions with hurting hearts. Sometimes it is the spur-of-the-moment ministry opportunities at your church that mean the most. Be on call for Christ and He will open doors for you to simply share the gospel with lost souls. Moreover, create margin with money, so in the moment you can freely give to those hungry for help. A little bit of immediate encouragement is the fruit of earnest simplicity. Keep it simple, so the Spirit can work in you!

    Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God. Hebrews 12:2-3, The Message

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I speak the simple gospel and simply live by faith in Your provision.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 15:16-19; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Hebrews 11:13-16; 1 Peter 1:17

    Post/Tweet this today: The Spirit’s power uses the clearly communicated gospel to unleash heaven’s influence. #earnestsimplicity

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

  • Search Carefully

    Posted on December 2, 2013 by Karen Ehman

    Karen

    "Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 'Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.'" Matthew 2:1-2 (NLT)

    Our family has a tradition we've kept running for over 20 years. Every December, we pick a night to enjoy barbecue chicken pizza and peppermint stick ice cream. Then we pile in our old tan Buick and venture off to look at the area's Christmas lights. A snow flurry is always a plus and makes the bright lights dance in the distance.

    When our kids were young, they'd each pick a story character to look for in the decorations. They'd keep a running tally of what they saw amongst the seasonal displays. Kenna might look for snowmen, Mitchell for reindeer. And Spencer loved to discover a green Grinch or two. Whoever picked the most frequently spied character won a small prize.

    Our family tradition evokes sweet memories for this mom. However, there was one troubling aspect of our yearly adventure. No matter how hard we searched, we rarely discovered a nativity display with the Christ child lying in a manger.

    Yes, secular characters brought giggles to our wide-eyed, pajama-footed children, but the main person of the holiday—the whole point of Christmas—was seldom to be found. We did locate a few homes that displayed a nativity, but we had to search diligently for them.

    As we go through December we, can easily be inundated with responsibilities. While trying our best to "get it all done," it is easy to miss the Christmas Child. We scurry and scamper to put on a big bash while practically ignoring the One whose birthday it really is.

    Let's purpose that this year we'll search for Jesus carefully and diligently just as the wise men did in Matthew 2:1-2:

    "Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 'Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.'" (NLT)

    These wise men left their daily duties, homes, and studies and went out of their way, traveling many, many miles on camelback through the dry desert, to find Jesus. Like these men, we need to break away from our routines and busyness to take time to look for the Christ Child.

    It might mean stopping in the midst of shopping to sit quietly in our car, praying that God will help us center our thoughts on Jesus more than holiday tasks. Or perhaps it will require us to put down our to-do list in order to pick up our Bible to read and absorb the account of Jesus' miraculous birth.

    However it looks, let's search carefully for the Christ Child. He's there in the middle of the hustle and bustle. When we find Him, let's not keep the wonder of His love to ourselves. We can share it. Serve others. Bless intentionally. And lift our eyes (and those of our children too) off of ourselves and on to the real reason for Christmas.

    Dear Lord, help me to intentionally seek and find You just like the wise men did. May I share the love You give with those I encounter this season. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What fond traditions do you have of Christmas as a child? How can you build new traditions today that center on Christ and teach others to do the same?

    Grab your kids or some friends and head off on an adventure of blessing. Call a homeless shelter or nursing home to ask what needs they have, whether it be coats, blankets, food, cheer, etc. Whatever you do, leave a handwritten note for the recipient that declares, "Jesus came to earth briefly to live with us so that we could go to heaven to live forever with Him. Merry Christmas!!"

    Power Verses:
    Jeremiah 29:13, "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." (ESV)

    Luke 2:11-12, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Ask Forgiveness Fast

    Posted on November 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

    Jesus describes a worshipper who has come to offer a gift to God, but has breached a relationship with a brother or a sister. This gift is unacceptable to the Lord until the one presenting the gift is reconciled to the one more valuable to God than the offering. It is inconsistent to seek reconciliation with God without first seeking reconciliation with those the Lord has placed in our life. We ask forgiveness from the one we offended on earth, before we ask forgiveness from God in heaven.

    In prayer or worship, who clouds your mind with concern over a disconnected relationship? Who does the Holy Spirit lay on your heart, who has something against you? Maybe you made an insensitive remark that hurt a friend’s heart. Or, you forgot to invite an individual to a special occasion and they felt ignored and rejected. Perhaps a business relationship went awry and you need to ask forgiveness for being greedy. Go quickly, humble yourself and ask forgiveness. The amount of time it takes to seek reconciliation is an indicator of how closely you walk with Christ.

    We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. 1 John 4:19-21

    Forgiveness cannot sit still until hearts are healed. Initiative accompanies love. Sometimes it is helpful to write out what you are feeling and how you want to express your contrite heart. You may or may not send the written correspondence, but at the very least it becomes a guide for your conversation. Moreover, make sure to own your offense by not saying, “If I have offended you.” Instead, say, “Please forgive me for hurting you. I was mad, my tone was wrong. I apologize.” Godly sorrow goes a long way toward facilitating forgiveness from the one offended.

    Yes, your efforts to reconcile may be rebuffed, but you can only give up on someone when your Savior Jesus has given up on them. Also, your restitution may be required before reconciliation will take place. Pray about ways for you to replace what your friend lost, since they felt they were being used. Like Zacchaeus (see Luke 19:8), be extremely generous in your pay back. Most of all, you honor Christ when you take the time to be His minister of reconciliation.

    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the courage and conviction to seek out those I offend and ask for their forgiveness.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 21:24; Matthew 6:14-15; Luke 23:34; 2 Corinthians 7:11; 1 John 2:9

    Post/Tweet today: The amount of time it takes to seek reconciliation is an indicator of how closely we walk with Christ. #askforgivenessfast

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

  • When Nobody Notices Your Work

    Posted on November 4, 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer

    Glynnis

    "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Matthew 6:6 (NIV)

    After finishing a big project at work, I was pretty proud of myself. Although most of my part had been behind the scenes, I hoped someone had noticed. The next few days, I checked and rechecked my emails and texts, waiting for an "atta girl" or "well done" message. But none came.

    I wasn't really bothered by the lack of acknowledgment until another person completed one small task as part of my bigger project. Then I was copied in a round of emails where that person was praised effusively.

    While I joined my thanks in the responses, my heart got a little dent in it when my name wasn't mentioned.

    The lack of notice hurt more than it should have. And over the next few weeks, my feelings got hurt with increased intensity each time my work wasn't noticed. Shoes on the floor that I picked up, dirty dishes I washed that weren't mine, the dinner I cooked after a long day. The original hurt was growing.

    When I finally broke down in tears one quiet Friday afternoon, I realized something had gotten mixed up. Somewhere over the past few months, my heart had gotten bent out of shape when I didn't receive praise from others.

    Jesus talked about this very topic in Matthew 6. He specifically taught about our motives when doing good deeds and cut right to the core issue in verse one: "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven" (Matthew 6:1 NIV). Jesus knew our hearts can get twisted. Even the right behaviors can start with wrong motives and end with harmful outcomes.

    In those days, many religious leaders made a big show of their good deeds in order to garner the respect and admiration of others. Jesus called these people "hypocrites" and taught how doing great things, like giving to the poor and praying, can go awry when motives are bent out of shape.

    Rather than leave off with a stern warning, Jesus gave them, and us, instructions on how to do right things in the right way.

    In secret.

    Verse 6 says, "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

    Jesus wasn't saying don't ever pray out loud; He was giving the key to break our desperate need for approval. According to Jesus, we receive God's approval when we fly under the radar of others and don't parade our deeds in front of them.

    While working on that big project, my time alone with God had been almost non-existent. I managed to read a few Bible verses before bed and whisper a few prayers during the day. But the truth was, I'd neglected time with God. I'd exchanged His whispers of approval for the inconsistent and unfulfilling applause from people.

    I needed to get alone with God, and quiet my desire for the world's feedback, so I could hear His voice.

    One word from God is worth more than a hundred atta-girls from others.

    The next time disappointment creeps up when I'm overlooked, or I think "Why not me?" ... I'll see it as a little warning. It's my reminder to spend time with God in secret.

    That's where I'll get the only approval my heart really needs.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for seeing what I really need and want. The approval of people never satisfies. Help me to see it as a poor substitute for Your approval – which brings me true joy and meaning. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:


    Reflect and Respond:
    Why is the approval of people often more important than God's esteem of our work?

    What is one thing you can do in secret this week to try and break the addiction to applause from others?

    Power Verse:
    Romans 8:5, "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Protect Your Family

    Posted on October 25, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.“Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” Matthew 2:13

    The Lord protects His children. He protects them from those with evil intent. He reveals the unrighteous motives of unscrupulous men and women. He protects His loved ones from temptation. But when they are tempted, He provides a way of escape. He protects His followers from themselves. He surrounds them with objective counsel. Wise ones tell them what they need to hear in love, not what they want to hear. God protects what is precious to His heart.

    There are defining moments which require the prayerful protection of our family. It may be a financial temptation to borrow too much money. This materialistic burden forces us to work too much to the neglect of our spouse and children. So, contented expectations reject detrimental desires to grow our lifestyle beyond our means. Perhaps our family needs us to radically curtail the calendar, so we are free to be a family. Yes, we get under God’s protection to rest in Him.

    May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you. Psalm 25:21

    Moreover, your integrity is an instrument of the Lord’s protection. Your good name is like a tall imposing black cast iron security gate that the enemy cannot scale, lest it is breached by your bad behavior. Your character is a thick walled citadel of Christ’s protection that rests on the hill of His help. Like money, the worth of your integrity compounds over time. It protects you from people assuming the worst, instead they assume the best. Your integrity protects your family.

    Furthermore, your Heavenly Father protects you with His love and faithfulness. The goodness of God, like a fortified castle, provides safety from unseemly souls. His love only leads you to places where He is with you. His faithfulness does not falter or default. Nations can fail to pay their debts, but the Lord God Almighty is 100% dependable. Thus, keep your family trusting in Jesus. When your family is under God’s authority they are under His protection. His grace guards your home!

    May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him. Psalm 61:7

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me into Your protection and away from my impulsive actions.

    Related Readings: Joshua 24:17; Psalm 12:5,7, 20:1, 91:14; Malachi 2:16; 2 Thessaloinians 3:3

    Post/Tweet today: Your integrity is an instrument of the Lord’s protection. Your good name is like a tall imposing security gate. #protect

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

  • Evil Intent Exposed

    Posted on October 24, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Matthew 22:17-18

    Beware of those with evil intent. Their motivation is to make others look bad so they can look good. Unscrupulous individuals seek to weaken another’s authority so they can step into the power vacuum and take control. They use flattery to gain favor from their victim. They acquire trust so they can discredit their opponent’s character. A heart with evil intent uses truth to set a trap of confusion. Thus, wisdom and discernment are required to confront confusion with clarity.

    Has another attempted to question your character? Have you answered their clever questions directly with insight from Scripture? Pray the Holy Spirit reveals the heart of God to your heart, so you righteously respond to unrighteous inquiries. Questions with evil intent are fishing for an evil reaction. But in the power of the Holy Spirit you don’t have to lower yourself to acting like your agitators. Be bold, but respectful. Be direct, but with grace and truth.

    But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44

    Furthermore, pray for those in authority who use others to do their dirty work. They indirectly infuse their influence through their subordinates who wish to avoid insubordination. Thus, we don’t shoot the messenger, but by God’s grace we grow in our compassion and empathy for their no win situation. Perhaps they are a puppet of their boss’ pride. They fear losing his or her approval or they don’t want to jeopardize their promotion, so they give in to being used. So, be like Joseph and his jailer, seek God’s favor and serve. You may gain more influence for Christ.

    Finally, guard your heart if you feel betrayed, attacked, dismissed or marginalized. Let go of hurt and be healed. Release anger and forgive. Lovingly confront critics with grace and truth. When you feel wronged, pray for the Holy Spirit to give you the right words with the right spirit. The battle is the Lord’s, so you can trust Him to deal with evil intent in His timing. Yes, trust in the Lord with all your heart, so your heart is free from fear and retaliation. He exposes evil intent.

    For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. 1 Peter 3:12

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me Your heart to lovingly confront another’s evil intent with grace and truth.

    Related Readings: 1 Samuel 12:19; Psalm 141:5; John 17:15; 2 Thessaloinians 3:2

    Post/Tweet today: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, so your heart is free from fear and retaliation. #evilintentexposed

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

  • Children Praise God

    Posted on October 23, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’”? Matthew 21:9

    The Lord calls forth praise from the lips of precious children to Him. They praise Him for they know He loves them. They praise Him because He cares for them. They praise Him for His goodness. They praise Him for His forgiveness. They praise Him for the beauty of His holiness. Their praise is pure, unsoiled by skeptics. A child has yet to be defiled by the cynical sorts Satan sends to confuse adults. Their authentic air of worship drifts a pleasing aroma into the nostrils of
    God.

    A child is positioned by their honest intentions and trusting hearts to embrace Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Thus, as parents we are responsible to encourage their growth in grace and truth. We teach them songs of praise at an early age so words of worship make their way into the depths of their moldable hearts. ‘Bless the Lord and all that is within me’ will not be soon forgotten by a son or daughter who sings this to Jesus. Yes, praise revels Christ’s salvation.

    The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; parents tell their children about your faithfulness. Isaiah 38:19

    Furthermore, make it fun for your child to praise Jesus. Play uplifting and joyful music in the car and at home. A chorus like, ‘Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe,’ is an easy phrase to recall and it reflects the heart of Christ. He says, ‘If you love me keep my commands’ (John 14:15).  A simple and appropriate way for a child to honor their parents is to obey them. Instant obedience is an indicator of a person whose praise to God is life changing.

    A family who worships together grows in grace together. Yes, there are times you wonder if all the Sunday morning ruckus is worth the physical energy and emotional stress to get your little ones to church. Absolutely yes, keep your family in a healthy, faith filled environment. Like a greenhouse grows luscious fruit and vegetables, so your child’s heart warms to God in worship. Encourage your child to praise God by your passionate praise to God. He inhabits His praises!

    But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Psalm 22:3, KJV

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your goodness, humility and mercy. May I praise with the purity of a child.

    Related Readings: Exodus 15:2; Psalm 8:2, 71:22; Luke 10:21; 1 Corinthians 1:26-29

    Post/Tweet today: Like a greenhouse grows luscious fruit and vegetables, so your child’s heart warms to God in worship. #praiseGod

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

  • Pursued by God

    Posted on October 5, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost” (Matthew 18:12–14).

    The Lord’s great love is not passive in its pursuit of people. He longs for every last, lost soul to be saved from the snares of sin, the devil’s deception, and the world’s allure. The Lord Almighty is personally engaged in engaging a human heart with heaven. Christ’s love crosses all cultures and socioeconomic levels. He is in humble, hot pursuit of those He loves. Have you yielded to the Holy Spirit’s tender wooing of your heart to God?

    Left to our own whims and desires, we are prone to wander away from the Lord. Our culture competes with our heavenly affections until we grow indifferent to eternal matters. But Jesus does not quit His traversing for our heart’s allegiance. Even during our darkest days, He is a light of hope that hovers over our head as a reminder of His love.

    “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them” (Isaiah 42:16).

    Like wandering sheep, bad things distract us, and good things attract us. When we lose our way, we have a loving Shepherd ever present to show us the way. We are never out of His sight or out of reach from His sympathetic staff. The Lord looks for us and looks out for us because He loves us unconditionally. No one is too far from the love of God.

    “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20–21).

    When Jesus found you, how did you feel? Was it forgiven, grateful, relieved, and ready for heaven? You probably felt these few emotions and many more. If you have not given in to God’s good intentions, you can come to Christ now. Turn and look to Him. He loves you as no other can love you. Heaven rejoices when the pursued are persuaded by God.

    “‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (Luke 15:6–7).

    Prayer: How is God pursuing me? How does Christ want me to respond to His compelling love?

    Related Readings: Job 19:22; Isaiah 41:2–4; Luke 19:20; John 10:3

    Post/Tweet: The Lord’s great love is not passive in its pursuit of people. He longs for every last, lost soul to be saved. #pursuedbyGod

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

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