• ABOUT
    Did you know?
    All of our earnings go to Christian charities.
    Click to learn more about us!
  • SHOP
    View the latest sales and promotions going on now!
    When you shop, you give.
  • GIVE
    See our latest Giving Challenge.
  • GROW
    Our blog shares devotionals, interviews, contests & more—all to help you grow in your faith.

  • $5 Deals

Tag Archives: Matthew

  • Good Listener

    Posted on August 24, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’” (Matthew 17:5).

    What does it mean to listen well? Think of those you admire as good listeners. What are some of the traits they exhibit which mark them as excellent listeners? Perhaps it is their engaging eye contact, their warm conversation, or an empathetic ear. You feel understood and valued. Good listeners affirm what you say by repeating what you say with an illustration or an example from their life. They listen to learn, affirm, and instruct.

    Those who learn good listening skills develop robust relationships. They embrace an “others first” way of thinking that places their own need to be heard down the priority list. Like a rare and exotic flower, they open themselves up in a beautiful way that invites you to smell the brilliant colors of their character. Indeed, good listeners are magnetic in the way they attract the good and the bad into their sphere of influence. If you are a good listener, be wise by investing in those who really want to change and follow after the Lord.

    “Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance” (Proverbs 1:5).

    You can be assured that the Lord listens to you and the desires of your heart. He is not preoccupied with problems or people;  you have His full attention. He is always available to hear your cry for wisdom, healing, and direction. The Almighty’s attention is focused on His children who come to Him by faith. His listening ear is near and dear.

    “But God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer” (Psalm 66:19).

    Furthermore, make it a daily habit to listen well to your heavenly Father’s heart. He sent His Son Jesus to teach us the truth about life and death, heaven and hell. We listen to the Lord Jesus because He was God speaking in the flesh. Why was the Almighty so pleased with His Son that He admonished us to listen to Him? Jesus modeled listening to His heavenly Father, so God gave Him the words to speak on His behalf. The Lord is pleased with good listeners. He gives discernment and insight into His solutions to human needs.

    So listen well by first listening well to the Lord. He will instruct and teach you in the way you should go. Once you have heard from Him, humbly listen to others,
    discern their needs, then connect them to Christ and His ways. Indeed, good listeners lead others to love God and listen to His heart. Listen well, and watch God work!

    “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8).

    Prayer: How can I be a good listener for Christ’s sake? What is God telling me to do today?

    Related Readings: Job 15:8; Proverbs 4:10; Proverbs 19:20; Ecclesiastes 7:5; James 1:19

    Post/Tweet: Good listeners lead others to love God and listen to His heart. #goodlistener

    © 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 Matthew

  • Break Bad Traditions

    Posted on August 3, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “‘Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!’ Jesus replied, ‘And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?’” (Matthew 15:2–3).

    There are good traditions and there are bad traditions. A good tradition aligns with God’s expectations and honors Him and others in the process. A bad tradition benefits man and breaks Christ’s commands. Indeed, it is wise to take an inventory of our current traditions and make sure they are grounded in God, not made up by man. Is there any habit, belief, or assumption you give credence to that may be undermining your family or faith?

    For example, a good tradition is routinely giving ten percent of our income to the Lord’s work, beginning with the local church and expanding to support ministries. However, a bad tradition is when a Christian leader tries to control the conscience of a person’s giving through guilt and intimidation. It is Spirit-led giving, not man’s manipulation, that gains the best outcome. Tried and true traditions are anchored by trust in the Lord’s control.

    You may face a colleague at work or a strong-willed person in your extended family who has his or her way of doing things. This person’s tradition worked well in the past but is inefficient in the present. How do you break bad habits of another for the good of the company or for what is best for the family? Prayer, patience, and a plan are your best change management tools.

    Prayerfully come up with alternatives that honor the old but give preference to the new. Be bold to ask challenging questions in a spirit of humility. Why are we doing it this way? Is there a better way? How can we improve the process to make the best progress? Are you called to do this? Do you have the gifts and experience required for this project?

    Good traditions enjoy God’s favor over time; bad traditions struggle to survive. What project or program needs to be taken off life support so other resources can be freed up to further the mission? Some traditional strategies suffer from fatigue and need to be put to rest. Other new ones need focused support to execute with excellence. Be honest about your spiritual life and strategic direction. Are your traditions truly from God and for God? Are you trying to change the unchangeable, or are you trusting Christ with change?

    “See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you” (Isaiah 42:9).

    “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins” (Mark 2:22).

    Prayer: What accepted traditions do I need to respectfully reject? What new traditions do I need to embrace by faith?

    Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 35:25; Micah 6:16; Mark 7:4–9; Galatians 1:14

    Post/Tweet: Good traditions enjoy God’s favor over time; bad traditions struggle to survive. #traditions

    © 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 Matthew

  • Kind But Direct

    Posted on July 29, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ Matthew 5:37, NKJV

    Love uses direct language laced in grace. There is no ambiguity with those who care about communicating clearly from a caring heart. Yes, they take the risk of hurting someone’s feelings when being forthcoming with the facts, but better to be aware and adjust now, than to remain ignorant and unmoved. Insightful questions from a compassionate heart are a respectful way to show someone the way. Indeed, kind but direct conversations grow deeper relationships.

    Yes, wise are we to receive what may feel like a rough response from a friend. Because they love us, they will not leave us to languish in unwise behavior. When we are blinded by our own ambition, greed or self righteousness, we need words from our spouse, boss or mentor that challenge our unhealthy thinking. Our ability by God’s grace to ingest another’s instruction into our mind and heart, moves us closer to Christ. Be grateful for good friends who don’t hold back.

    Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. Proverbs 12:25

    Therefore, pray and prepare your heart before you deliver a direct message to one who means so much to you and to your Master Jesus. See them like the Lord sees them: a sheep without a shepherd, a child in need of nurture and instruction, or a novice hiker in want of a guide. Take the time to tell a loved one the truth in love and one day they may thank you. Better for them to be a little offended now than to wander down a destructive path later. Love is kind, but talks direct.

    Moreover, make sure to cultivate a culture of prayer in your home and community of friends. Prayer is relational lubricant that opens the heart of those who need to hear. It gives grace and courage to those whose speech needs to be straight forward. Talk with the Lord before you talk with those who need the Lord. Better to have a little talk with Jesus, before you have a big talk with a child or coworker. Your initiative to kindly instruct another in God’s ways is a gift.

    The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction. Proverbs 16:21

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to speak kindly to those who need a gracious but direct word.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 8:33, 9:9; Jeremiah 17:7; Acts 5:40; 1 Corinthians 1:5; Titus 2:8

    Post/Tweet today: Talk with the Lord before you talk with those who need the Lord.

    © 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 Matthew

  • Disconnect to Reconnect

    Posted on July 28, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns” (Matthew 14:13).

    There are times when the crowds crowd in on me. I need relief—relief from the routine, relief from responsibilities, relief from relationships, or relief from the raw pain of losing a loved one. Jesus felt this intense emotion as John the Baptist, His friend and spiritual confidant, was brutally beheaded. The pain of severe loss led Him to be alone.

    Are you on the edge of complete exhaustion? Is your tolerance for any more trouble at the tipping point of chronic fatigue? If so, it is time to disconnect from distractions so you can reconnect to your relationship with the Lord. You preclude coming apart emotionally and physically when you come apart relationally with your Savior Jesus.

    Our private investment in solitude gives our public service sustainability. If we are always available to everyone, then we are not effective with anyone. A soul that is always exposed to the light of life is unable to discern the desperate state of hurting humanity. So we schedule time on the calendar with Christ in seclusion, and He empowers us.

    Your responsibilities will not rest while you rest, but trust the Lord to take care of any crisis that may arise. For you to disconnect from your duties means you prepare ahead of time to transition from your tasks while you are away. Do not be ensnared by your ego that always wants to be wanted. Let others learn what you know so you can go away and grow. We grow stale if we reject retreats, but we are energized when we engage them.

    When we disconnect, we trust God to get things done through others in spite of our absence. Your break from work and home is an opportunity for a colleague to step up and be blessed with a new opportunity to be stretched. Why keep all the challenging circumstances to yourself? Let go so others can gain invaluable experience. Once you have truly disconnected from your phone, enjoy your soul reconnecting with Christ!

    “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

    Prayer: What relationship or responsibility do I need to disconnect from for a season? When and where is the best place for me to reconnect with Christ?

    Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 15:4; Daniel 9:3; Acts 17:27; Hebrews 11:6

    Post/Tweet: Our private investment in solitude gives our public service sustainability. #solitude

    © 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 Matthew

  • Avoiding a Spiritual Stumble

    Posted on July 26, 2013 by Tracie Miles

    Tracie Miles

    "'Yes, come,' Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. 'Save me, Lord!' he shouted." Matthew 14:29-30 (NLT)

    The loud noise and screams suddenly coming from upstairs caused immediate panic.

    That morning my daughter had set out to run a few miles on our treadmill. Everything was going just fine until the worst happened.

    She lost her focus, then her balance, and stumbled. The treadmill violently threw her off and trapped her between the mat, the floor and the wall. She managed to wiggle free, but not before the treadmill wreaked havoc on her back, legs and arms.

    When tears dried and Band Aids had been gently placed over the raw wounds, I asked her how the accident happened. It turned out she had a lot going on besides just running. For example, a blaring television, incoming text messages (which of course needed urgent attention), a loose shoelace and fatigue in her legs.

    There were a lot of distractions that caused her to fall, and she was too weak to regain her balance. She vowed then and there to never get back on another treadmill. Ever.

    My daughter's tumble is a lot like what happens in our Christian walk. We fully intend to stay focused on Christ, but life's distractions cause us to shift our focus, stumble in our faith and leave us feeling too beaten down to get back up.

    Matthew 14:29 shows us how Peter took a tumble of sorts when he lost his focus. Peter and the disciples were caught in a terrible storm with their boat being tossed around by torrential waves. When Peter saw Jesus standing on the water, he asked to do the same thing. Let's pick up the story there: "'Yes, come,' Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. 'Save me, Lord!' he shouted" (Matt. 14:29-30).

    When waves of fear, insecurity, discouragement or stress crash around me, I stumble too. These quickly become my focus instead of fixing my eyes on Jesus. Without fail, I sink under the weight of these circumstances and fall.

    My "fall" looks like this: instead of praying, I worry about my dad's health. Rather than praising God and looking to Him for provision, I stress about paying bills. And instead of trusting He will help me complete a task at hand, I doubt if I'm able to get everything on my agenda done. All these distractions pull me down and pull my faith away from Jesus.

    Here is the amazing thing about Jesus. When Peter began sinking, he cried out for Jesus to save him. And Jesus did. Just as Jesus didn't hesitate to pull Peter out of the rough waves, He will pull you and me back too as soon as we ask.

    Life has stormy seasons. Unexpected health diagnoses', years when children decide to walk away from the Lord, rough patches in our marriage ... all cause waves of doubt, stress, worry or fear. These can cause us to stumble and fall if we only focus on them.

    The best place to fix our eyes is on Jesus. He's our peace, source of hope, and the One person we can trust will always be there for us. And when we do fall, as soon as we call out to Him, He'll pick us up.

    Dear Jesus, I confess I lose focus on You while running through the distractions of life. I have fallen many times. Help me to trust and have faith in You, and avoid letting life distract me from Your truths. Amen.

    Related Resources:

    NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women is interspersed with 366 devotions written by the Proverbs 31 Ministries team.

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

    Reflect and Respond:
    In what ways has life been distracting you, causing you to inadvertently lose focus on Christ?

    Close your eyes and visualize yourself standing in a storm looking at Jesus. Be bold and walk towards Him. Have faith that no matter how much life has caused you to get sidetracked, He is ready to reach out and pull you close once again.

    Power Verse:
    Proverbs 4:25-27, "Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don't get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil." (NLT)

    © 2013 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

  • Make Things Right

    Posted on July 16, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Matthew 5:25

    Make things right with those you have wronged or who have wronged you. If you stay engaged in a stalemate of accusations you may end up in court. Why involve civil authorities when Christ has given you a game plan for reconciliation? By faith, call an accusatory cease fire with your adversary. Take the first step to reach out and request a meeting or phone call. Better to get together with cool heads, than to separately stay mad, while matters escalate to a heated crisis.

    Humbly agree with your adversary. If they feel hurt by you, apologize for hurting their heart. If they feel misunderstood by you, say, “I’m sorry” and listen intently to what they are trying to convey. If they feel heard by you, you may not have to say a word. When you listen well you communicate love, respect and patience. Validate your accuser’s feelings and you validate them. Take responsibility for your actions and seek to be reconciled to your adversary.

    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 5:23-25

    Furthermore, a fractured relationship with someone on earth hinders our relationship with God in heaven. We cannot stay focused by faith on our Heavenly Father, when we have broken the trust of another brother or sister. Our conscience will not be clear before Christ if it is not clear before the one we’ve offended. Yes, taking the time to build a bridge of acceptance over a chasm of rejection is evidence that God has reconciled us to Himself through His son Jesus Christ.

    Sometimes as we soften our hearts, their heart softens. As we calm the tone of our words and lower the volume of our voice, our accusers might do the same. As we take a step toward them, they may take a step toward us. Therefore, don’t wait on your adversary to make the first move. Make things right by deciding not to fight. Go humble yourself and agree with them so you both win. Make things right on earth so you are qualified to make things right with God in heaven.

    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 4:20-21

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the humility and courage to listen to the one I’ve offended.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 6:1-5; 2 Corinthians 5:20; 1 John 4:12

    Post/Tweet today: Take responsibility for your actions and seek to be reconciled to your adversary.

    © 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 Matthew

  • Result of Worry

    Posted on June 10, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27

     

    The results of worry aren’t redeeming, productive, nor helpful. Worry doesn’t assist today and it only complicates tomorrow. Its ultimate sideways energy  sidetracks us from our Heavenly Father’s loving comfort. Worry is a dark alley in a loud, confused city. It's an untrodden trail off the beaten path of God’s will. Worry has a way of putting a wrench into the works of Christ. It's a subtle and not so subtle way to place our efforts ahead of God’s. Worry leads to a victim mindset.

     

    Worry can become a self fulfilling prophecy. Yes, we can work ourselves into a frantic state of self reliance, so much so that we begin to believe and live out lies. We predict the worst case scenario is imminent and then we act in ways that move us in that direction. We simmer in self pity, talking like a victim, then we become a victim. Worry whispers statements like, “What if you lose your job?”, “What if you have a disease?”, “What if he/she leaves you?” Worry’s results wreak havoc.

     

    Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

    Praise the Lord there are remedies to worry! Shifting our focus from self to our Savior is a foolproof way for faith to preempt false thinking. Self is like a jealous lover who wants to be the center of attention, but Christ alone deserves this highest status of affection. When our idols of security, money, control and comfort bow to Jesus, worry runs away rejected. Worship embraces hope as courage for the heart. Courage and hope are fraternal twins that birth in us a living faith.

    Furthermore, the Lord sustains you when you cast your cares on Him. Your humility in confessing your ongoing need for Christ leads to spiritual sustainability. Healthy soul care requires you to invite your Heavenly Father to care for your anxious heart and nervous emotions. Submission to Sovereign God precludes a position for your pride to perch. Yes, Jesus’ spoken word in Scripture soothes your soul and brings peace to your war of worry. The result of trust is peace and calm.

    Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I bow in humility to You, trusting You with my cares and concerns.

     

    Related Readings: Psalm 55:22; Proverbs 12:25; Philippians 4:6-7; Hebrews 13:5-6

     

    Post/Tweet today: Worry is sideways energy that sidetracks us from our Heavenly Father’s loving comfort. #worry

    © 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 Matthew, Worry

  • Sweating in Church

    Posted on May 23, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Matthew 6:7-8 (NIV)

    Recently, I was studying what causes people to feel spiritually frustrated. The two top reasons? Bible study and prayer. I get it.

    I clearly remember being a young girl sitting in church sweating. People around me knew what they were doing! They instantly flipped to every verse in the Bible the preacher man referenced. But not me. I was more interested in counting the spit droplets that came flying out with his punctuated words.

    I respected that man. But boy, could he get fired up and entertain this lost girl.

    Others seemed all wrapped up and excited in what this preacher man and the Bible had to say. They'd shout loud, "Uh-huhs" and "Amens!" What was I missing?

    And then there was my prayer life. Or the lack thereof. It's not that I didn't want to pray, but the whole concept of talking to God felt strange. I tried to copy the prayers of those who seemed to know they were doing more than talking to the air.

    But then my quirky self would sneak in and leave me feeling foolish for what I'd just said to God. "Dear Lord, take this food to the nourishment of my body. (Good so far.) And if you could change the molecular structure of these cheesy fries to be like carrot sticks that sure would be the bomb-diggity." (Huh?)

    Yes, I've come a long way since those days, but trust me when I say I'm still a work in progress. You could still trip me up in finding certain passages in the Bible. And I'm pretty sure you might still hear me say "bomb-diggity" in my prayers. But according to what Jesus taught in our key verse, Matthew 6:7-8, I think He's okay with that.

    "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

    For me, there are two keys to unlocking spiritual frustration with both my Bible study and my prayers:

    Sincerity — coming to God without an agenda and honestly wanting Him to teach me.

    Simplicity — talking to God as the loving Father He is.

    Why do we make it all so complicated?

    I think honest moments spent with God reading His Word, sharing our hearts, and listening for His instruction are quite perfect. No "just right" words or having to know exactly where every book in the Bible is. Just a pure heart simply and sincerely longing to know her God. Jesus might even say that's the bomb-diggity.

    Dear Lord, thank You for hearing what is on my heart in the midst of both happiness and frustration. I don't want to make my relationship with You complicated, God, so please help me to come to You with honest thoughts and prayers. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Did this devotion speak to you right where you are? If so, check out Lysa TerKeurst's book Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl for more encouragement as you deepen your relationship with God.

    Click here to follow us on our Facebook page.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Have you been feeling spiritually frustrated lately?

    Take some time today to have an honest conversation with the Lord. It may even help you to first write down what you want to pray about, reflect on it, and then lift your prayers up to Him.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 4:1, "Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer." (NIV)

    Psalm 145:18, "The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." (NIV)

    © 2013 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

  • Instant Obedience

    Posted on May 21, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. Matthew 21:28-30

     

    Instant obedience is an indicator of a heart that loves God. Someone who first says no to the Lord, but later repents and obeys, enjoys His mercy. However, someone who immediately says yes, but never follows through is a liar who misses God’s mercy. Yes, an oath of obedience to Jesus Christ is a promise requiring swift action. An honest answer of no to the Almighty can be converted to obedience, but a dishonest yes that passively disobeys is absent moral authority.

     

    Do you sometimes catch yourself agreeing just to appease an authority with no intention of follow through? Or do you measure your words and commitments with a genuine goal to get it done? Appeasement to gain harmony in the short term will only compound disappointment in the long term. It is better to be up front and experience some disapproval than to mask your true intentions until they are revealed in a dramatic disclosure. Obedience begins with transparency.

     

    For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20, NKJV

     

    Those who hide behind religious activity with no intention of authentic obedience to God will miss His blessings, even salvation. The Kingdom of Heaven is not made with hands, but is birthed in hearts that repent and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. We who brand ourselves Christians have to honestly ask which Kingdom we are building, His or ours? When we turn over control to Christ, we can rest in Him. We trust and obey for this is the gate to God’s will.

     

    Where is your Heavenly Father calling you to obey Him? Perhaps there is a relationship that needs to cease, a job that needs to change or a friend you need to forgive. Christ may be calling you overseas for a season or to a city closer to your family. Whatever and wherever the Holy Spirit is prompting your heart, don’t delay, rather instantly obey the Spirit’s leading. You may have said no, only to realize your mistake. Change your mind, swallow your pride and obey!

     

    Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. Psalm 119:67

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the wisdom to know what to do and the courage to do it.

     

    Related Readings: Jonah 3:3; John 8:52; Romans 6:17; Philippians 2:12; 1 Peter 1:22

     

    Post/Tweet today: We trust and obey for this is the gate to God’s will. #God’swill

    © 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 Matthew

  • Work in Retirement

    Posted on May 17, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    At five o’clock he went back and found still others standing around. He said, ‘Why are you standing around all day doing nothing?’ “They said, ‘Because no one hired us.’ “He told them to go to work in his vineyard. Matthew 20:5-7, The Message

     

    The spiritual age of retirement is not the same as the secular age of retirement. Retirement from God’s work comes after death, not in this life. Followers of Jesus are not idle, caught up in their own issues, rather they look for ways to work for the Lord. Maybe they greet people with a smile at church, sing in the choir, serve on the board, teach preschoolers or manage the ministry’s finances. Freedom from the shackles of secular work is to serve others, not to pamper self.

     

    Culture claims that those over age 65 live for themselves in travel, ease and pleasure. It's all about indulging the flesh and starving the spirit, or maybe tipping a charity or two. But our Lord Jesus calls us to remain engaged in His eternal agenda: evangelism, discipleship, mentoring and giving our time, talents and treasures. The gospel of Jesus Christ allows an old soul to remain young at heart. You truly learn to live when you lean into the Lord in your golden years!

     

    They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock. Psalm 92:14-15

     

    Are you in the empty nest season with an available schedule? Perhaps you host young couples in your home for a meal and Bible study. Are you doing life with those you can invest in and with those who can invest in you? If your soul idles long enough in isolation it will dry up and die. However, as you engage your energy in others, you will come alive to live another day. Perhaps you foster children, adopt, or invite your parents, who selflessly cared for you, to live with you..

     

    Lastly, keep the vineyard of your heart and mind free from the kudzu of lazy living and empty thinking. Aggressively pray for your children and grandchildren to fall deeper in love with Jesus and with each other. Daily move your body outside into the Lord’s creation. Push through deadly inertia with a lively walk. Fresh air clears your mind and lifts your gaze upward to God. Let the warm caresses of the sun facilitate onto your face the warm caresses of your Father’s son. Work for the Lord until the day comes when you go to be with the Lord. He rewards work for Him!

     

    That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:3

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, may my work for You not cease and may it be pleasing to You.

     

    Related Readings: Proverbs 11:30; Ecclesiastes 7:10; Romans 9:12; 1 Timothy 5:1-2; Titus 2:2

     

    Post/Tweet today: The spiritual age of retirement is not the same as the secular age of retirement. #God’swork

    © 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 Matthew, Retirement

Items 51 to 60 of 118 total

Helping you find, grow, share and celebrate your faith
Who doesn't love free shipping!? At Family Christian, you can qualify TWO ways:

1. To your door (just $50 minimum)*

No coupon required! Simply add $50 worth of merchandise to your cart and select the "Free Shipping" option under "Shipping Method." Easy as pie.

* Valid on merchandise totaling $50 or more before taxes. Please keep in mind this is valid on domestic ground shipping to addresses within the U.S. only, not valid toward international delivery. Additional charges apply for express shipping. Terms subject to change without notice.

2. To your store (no minimum order required!)*

At checkout, select "Ship to your local Family Christian store" and enter your zip code to find our closest location. Not sure if there is a Family Christian nearby? Find your local store now.

* Valid on select merchandise only
Loading... Loading...