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Tag Archives: Psalm

  • I Feel Forgotten

    Posted on February 18, 2013 by Tracie Miles

    Tracie Miles

    "Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me? Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion?" Psalm 77:7-9 (NLT)

    Several years ago I was drowning in a sea of difficult circumstances. With each gasping breath, God appeared farther and farther away. I prayed, but God was silent. Emotions played tricks on me, causing anxiety and fear to get the better of me. Instead of God's kindness and love, loneliness and abandonment loomed large. In my head I knew that wasn't true, but that's how I felt.

    Apparently the person who wrote Psalm 77:7-9 experienced these same doubts. It seems he was at the end of his rope, pleading for God's deliverance from hardship. He expressed his feelings, and asked why God had rejected him. Did God even care?

    He felt rejected, alone and afraid.

    Maybe you are experiencing a season of life where God seems to be a million miles away. You're wondering "why?" and questioning, like the Psalmist, if God has forgotten you.

    We all experience feelings of rejection and loneliness at times. Whether as a little girl who desperately wishes her daddy would love her, an employee who longs for the approval of her boss, or a woman who would give anything for a husband that pays attention to her. There are countless reasons to feel rejected in this broken world - but feeling forgotten by God really hurts.

    When we find ourselves feeling forgotten, we have two choices. Either turn away from God in anger and frustration. Or we can allow the words of Psalm 77:11-14 to motivate us to recognize God's sovereignty ... and continue to trust and praise Him even in the midst of our difficulties.

    Despite his heartache, the author of this Psalm remembered that God truly was his only help. Psalm 77:11-14 says, "But then I recall all you have done, O LORD; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations." (NLT)

    He recognized his own weakness, and his need for God. In the midst of his suffering, he chose to willfully and wholeheartedly ponder the Lord's goodness and praise Him.

    The Psalmist changed his attitude completely by focusing on all God has done over the years. Instead of keeping his eyes on his own circumstances and troubles, he meditated on God's ability to overcome them. He gave himself a little praise pep talk, ramping up his faith from the inside out.

    If we feel rejected, it's time to turn our focus upward instead of inward. Rather than rehearsing all the ways God hasn't changed our current circumstances, let's praise Him for the many times He has shown His faithfulness in the past. We can have a little praise pep talk of our own! God is waiting with open ears and outstretched arms, for we are too loved to ever be forgotten.

    Dear Lord, I feel forgotten and alone. Forgive me for my doubts, and reassure my heart of Your love and protection. I commit to put my hope in You, and trust and praise You in the good and the bad. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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

    The best way to remember God's faithfulness in the past is by reading Scripture that recounts it. Renew your trust by going through The NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women, featuring devotions from Proverbs 31 Ministries writers.

    Reflect and Respond:
    If you feel forgotten or abandoned by God, give yourself a praise pep talk. List three specific instances God has been faithful to you in the past.

    Remind yourself about God's goodness and how His promises are true. Spend time in His Word, looking up and memorizing one Scripture that will motivate you toward a personal revelation of faith.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 83:1, "O God, do not remain silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aloof, O God." (NIV)

    Jeremiah 29:13-14a, "'If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,' says the LORD. 'I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes.'" (NLT)

    © 2013 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Collateral Damage

    Posted on February 15, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3 (ESV)

    My house has a crack. Just over the doorframe, creeping to the ceiling. It catches my eye every time I sit on my couch in my living rom. My house isn't that old, so when I asked how this happened, the answer was, "collateral damage."

    Collateral damage is defined as damage to things that are incidental to the intended target. Who knew that the sunny rays outside could fracture the wall of my nicely air conditioned home? But it happened.

    Last year we had one of the hottest summers on record and the parched ground around the foundation strained the frame, which put pressure on the walls, and eventually a crack appeared.

    Collateral damage can also take place within our family when we've been hurt by something or someone else, no matter how long ago.

    Because a parent made you feel unworthy of love, you lash out when your child doesn't eat the meal you lovingly prepared.

    Because your trust was shattered by another, your loyal husband pays the price as his faithfulness is questioned again and again.

    Because of negative words poured over your tender heart, you struggle to believe your value to God.

    Collateral damage. All of it.

    Years ago I struggled with collateral damage. Because of my own past hurts, sometimes I lashed out, or withdrew from a loved one. Sometimes I worked way too hard to be accepted by a God who loved me right where I was.

    Psalm 147:3 promises God can fix these broken parts. As He began to heal my heart, He showed me the cracks weren't the source of the problem. My behavior, my inadequacies, even my struggle to feel grace ... these were superficial issues.

    The foundational issue was there from the time when a little girl tried hard to stay out of trouble, to make peace, and yet nothing I did worked. So I learned how to hide, how to defend myself, and a few other unhealthy behaviors along the way. Do you relate?

    By taking my eyes off the cracks and opening my heart to God, the original source of damage was in plain sight ... where it could be addressed and healed. The more I soaked those wounds in God's truth, the more I began to recognize the cracks and see them in an entirely different Light. The more He healed me.

    The fact that a child didn't eat a meal so lovingly prepared has nothing to do with a woman's value; it's just one of the many mom-things we get to tackle.

    The fact that your trust was shattered by another just makes the gift of a loyal husband that much more sweet.

    The fact that negative words were poured over your tender heart means the thousands of words etched in Scripture are that much more powerful because they redefine you, as seen and loved by your Heavenly Father.

    The crack in my living room is slated to be fixed. And next summer I'll be sure to water my foundation in the fierce heat. But as for me, my heart is bound and secure, and that foundation has become a source of collateral gifts in my marriage, with my children and grandbabies, and in my relationship with my God.

    Dear Jesus, before today I pointed out the cracks, those superficial acts and behaviors that I've tried to patch over. But today I hold up my heart. You see the foundation of my brokenness. Thank You for binding up my wounds, for healing, and for my new journey to wholeness. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    If you take your eyes off the cracks, what do you see?

    Invite God into those broken places. He's been waiting to fix the foundation of your heart for a long time.

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 4:20-22, "My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • The Day I Almost Quit

    Posted on February 13, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great." Psalm 18:35 (NIV 1984)

    I love my kids, but I haven't always liked being a mom.

    Once my boys became toddlers who wouldn't listen to me or obey consistently, I kind of panicked. Other moms appeared to know what they were doing, and I wondered why I couldn't get it right with my kids.

    Their children seemed to listen when told no. Why wouldn't my child stay in the cart at the grocery store or stop begging me when I told him we could not buy everything his little hand could touch? How come no one told me being a mom would be so hard?

    I felt like such a failure. Almost every day I compared how I felt on the inside to how other moms looked on the outside.

    I held up my feelings of inadequacy and thoughts of insecurity in contrast to moms who dressed their children in matching outfits and adorned themselves with attitudes of grace and wisdom. How in the world did they pull it off with a smile? I could barely get a shower, get my kids dressed and get us out the door before lunch.

    I just wanted to quit. One day I came home from running too many errands with two very tired, fussy kids. When I put them down for an early nap, I started looking for pink construction paper to write "I QUIT" on it so I could turn in my "pink slip" to my husband when he came home from work.

    It was just too hard, and I was tired of thinking I would never be "good enough" as a mom.

    I needed a new place to start. I started becoming the mom God created me to be, the day I was ready to quit. That afternoon I fell on my knees before God and choked out the words, "I can't do this."

    In that place of surrender, His peace came over me. His gentleness calmed my nerves. It was as if God bent down and spoke to my heart: You are right, Renee. In your strength and through your perspective, you can't do this. But with My promises, My presence and My power — all things are possible. I will help you become a great mom.

    Looking back on that day, I'm reminded of our key verse in Psalm 19:35, "You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great."

    When we acknowledge that on our own we are a mess, God rushes to our side to help us. He bends down to show us that with His grace, wisdom and guidance, we can become the mom He is calling us to be, the mom our kids need us to be, and the mom we want to be!

    Dear Lord, I need Your shield of victory to protect me from discouragement. Please extend Your right hand to sustain me; Your grace to strengthen me; and Your wisdom to lead me. Today, I want to find a new starting place with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write a letter, telling God how you feel. Be honest and open. Sharing your heart and thoughts with Him is the first step toward freedom and hope.

    As you read today's devotion, what struggles are similar to yours as a mom? Have you ever wanted to quit? What got you to that hard place and what do you need to do to rely on God's perspective instead of your own?

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 113:5-7, "Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap." (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Faith Versus Fear

    Posted on February 10, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4

     

    Fear is a formidable foe of faith. It lurks about, looking for ways to lead us into distrust of our Lord. Fear is subtle with its sneak attacks on our attitudes and bold in its frontal barrage on our beliefs. Fear always fights back, even when we extinguish it for a time with our total trust in God.  And it doesn’t let up until  we get to heaven. Fear is like fire ants.  You can eliminate their unholy mound with a baby powder-like deterrent, but they regroup and rebuild nearby.

     

    Trust in the Lord is the terminator of fear, but fear seems to recreate itself with whatever appendage of doubt is left. It grows within the next uncertain circumstance that comes our way. Fear thinks it has us in check on the chessboard of our life, but the truth is Jesus checkmated fear on the cross. Now it is up to us to appropriate His triumph by trusting in God.

     

    There are many times when we are in transition from fear to faith. It’s in the transition of trust in God that our cares co-mingle with Christ’s care. There is a holy tension that transpires in our transition into trust. It is in this dawn of trust that light gradually overcomes darkness. Faith dissolves doubts as the sun drives away the mist. Your mind may be a little murky, but you renew your thinking (Romans 12:2) with the truth that God is ever present. Your confidence may be crumbling, but you keep your eyes on your Savior. Your prayers may be clumsy, but you still cling to Christ. Your relationships may be reluctant, but you rely on the Lord. Use this transition from fear to faith to grow your mercy and compassion. Indeed, doubting can drive us to God, and it grows us into more patient and humble human beings. It strengthens our trust and makes us hold faster to heaven. Hope trusts in this transition from fear to faith.

     

    Moreover, mortal man has not made a permanent impression on the saints of God. Immortal and Almighty God is your new insignia. Embedded on the coins of your character is the faith-filled inscription, “In God I Trust.” Followers of Jesus have the eternal seal of their Savior as their newfound identity (Ephesians 4:30). Do not allow the patterns of your old life to feed any fading fears in your new one (Romans 6:6). The fears of your proud past have been replaced with faith, love, and hope in your humble here and now. Faith has banished fear.

     

    Therefore, you can continually celebrate. Praise points you to Providence. After all, it’s all about Him. This is why faith brings forth praise. When you trust, you can’t help but sing from your soul. Indeed, faith in the Lord facilitates praise and is a product of praise. It is in our praise of God that our fears fade and our faith flourishes. So praise Him, trust Him, and fear no one. No one can take from you what you have already given to Him. Faith is a fear-killer; it overcomes.

     

    Post/Tweet: Fear thinks it has us in check on the chessboard of our life, but the truth is, Jesus checkmated fear on the cross. #fear

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Psalm, Fear, Faith

  • When My Wild Heart Pushes the Boundary

    Posted on January 29, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeursts

    "LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places..." Psalm 16:5-6a (NIV)

    "Mrs. TerKeurst, your dog ran away to our house ... AGAIN."

    "Mrs. TerKeurst, I think I might have just seen your dog running down the street."

    "Mrs. TerKeurst, this is one of your neighbors. Just letting you know we're about to drop off your dog—we saw him running around our neighborhood."

    "Mrs. TerKeurst, this is the animal clinic. I believe we have your dog."

    "Mrs. TerKeurst, do you own two dogs?"

    I own three dogs. But my two outside dogs, Champ and Chelsea, are sometimes delinquent. I love them. They love me. But they love running away more. Even though we didn't have a fence, we had other systems in place to keep them safely at home!

    I can't tell you the number of sleepless nights I've had fretting over my dogs. Several times we've enlisted our friends to pray for Champ and Chelsea. But this sort of backfired on us once.

    One of our friends knew Champ had gone missing and miraculously found him in a yard miles from our home. He was amazed Champ had run so far. He pulled into the driveway, coaxed Champ into his car, and called me with breathless excitement to announce he'd found my beloved dog.

    But five minutes before my friend got to my house, Champ came home. When my friend pulled into my driveway carrying a Champ lookalike, we both about fell over. My friend had kidnapped someone else's dog—right from their front yard!

    Oh my glory be.

    It was time to do something.

    I used to think invisible fences were cruel. I couldn't stand the thought of my dog getting a shock. So, I looked into getting a regular fence. But we live in the country and installing a regular fence was simply out of the question.

    An invisible fence it would have to be. After all, a shock to keep them inside the safe boundary is a lot better than what might happen outside the boundary.

    Boundaries aren't cruel barriers meant to keep my dogs from freedom. They are protective restrictions meant to define where safe freedom can be found.

    And my dogs aren't the only ones who need to remember this lesson. I need to remember this, and apply it to the protective restrictions God has for me.

    Why? Because there's usually some sort of boundary my wild heart tries to push against.

    Have you ever found yourself rationalizing some situation in your life where you know you aren't doing what God said we should do?

    Does God really want us to love our enemies? Is it really important to not let the sun go down on my anger? Do I really need to pray and read my Bible every day? Oh, grumbling isn't so bad ... I mean everyone finds something to complain about.

    I push against the boundaries. Sometimes I even break through them. But what's waiting on the other side isn't freedom.

    Oh Lord, let my wild heart always remember ...

    Your instructions, Your boundaries, aren't cruel barriers to keep me from freedom. They are protective restrictions meant to define where safe freedom can be found.

    And Lord, if You can teach this same lesson to my dogs, my neighbors, friends and I would be ever so grateful.

    Dear Lord, thank You for the protective hand that You have placed over me. Cultivate in me an obedient heart that seeks to live in the safe freedom of Your boundaries. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Lysa TerKeurst's New York Times bestselling book, Unglued, gives a fresh perspective on how to be obedient to the Lord with your emotions, reactions, and decisions.

    Start the New Year with a dose of daily encouragement. The Unglued Devotional is an amazing resource to use as you strengthen your relationship with the Lord.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What is one thing that God has been asking you to surrender to Him?

    Any need we try to meet outside of God's perfect will is a step into a danger zone. Spend some time today reflecting on the power verses below as you surrender an issue to God that you have been rationalizing.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 119:66-67, "Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust Your commands. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your word." (NIV)

    Job 36:11, "If they obey and serve Him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • God’s Silence

    Posted on January 26, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him” (1 Samuel 28:5–6).

    Sometimes God is silent. He is silent in our prayers. He is silent in our circumstances. He is silent in our relationships, and He is silent in His Word. His silence can be deafening because it seems that His silence is ill timed. In most cases, His silence revolves around a real need you are experiencing. You may feel that God is disinterested or that He does not care. The silence of God can be an overwhelming place to occupy and still trust Him.

     

    Your predicament could be like a heavy bar bell on your chest with no spotter available to assist you. You feel all alone and unable to fix the problem or correct the issue. You do not even know where to start. You are in despair, at the tipping point of depression. Anger has clouded your reason, and heaven seems indifferent to your hurt.

     

    Or, on the other hand, you are “suffering” from success and prosperity; yet God feels distant and disconnected. You have honored Him in the process, but He has not seemed to honor you with His warm and affirming presence. What is going on?  What is God up to? What does He want you to do next for the good of His kingdom?

     

    Indeed, God’s silence is your opportunity to remain faithful, even when you are unsure of His intentions for your life. He is God and we are not; therefore, we do not have to pressure ourselves to figure out everything that is going on. Managing the big picture is in His job description, not yours; so rest in His silence. Refuse to become restless, resentful, or rebellious. But still you ask, “Why the silence?”

     

    There may be two possible reasons for God’s silence—sin or sanctification; or it may be a combination of both. When God withholds His blessing and direction for your life, it may be the direct consequence of the sin in your life. This is why regular confession and repentance of sin are critical for the follower of Christ. This is like breathing for your soul. Sin is like cotton in the ears of our heart; thus, God’s voice becomes muffled, unclear, and eventually silent. Your removal of sin clears the wax from the ears of your heart.

     

    God’s silence may be used for your sanctification. He is in the process of making you more and more like His Son Jesus Christ. This is not always fun, though it is needed to learn God’s ways and His purpose for your life. Even if He is silent, do what you know is right today, and trust Him with the next step for tomorrow. Do not let silence overwhelm you; rather, use it as a springboard to trust God’s faithfulness.

     

    “O God, whom I praise, do not remain silent” (Psalm 109:1).

     

    Prayer: What do I need to learn during my silent times with the Lord? Will I still trust Him?

    Related Readings: Psalm 83:1; Isaiah 62:1; John 12:29; 2 Peter 1:18

    Post/Tweet: God’s silence is our opportunity to remain faithful, as He is still faithful even in His silence. #faithful

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Psalm, 1 Samuel

  • Overcoming Criticism

    Posted on January 18, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” 1 Samuel 17:28

    Criticism will come to committed followers of Christ. Anyone who does anything for Jesus is vulnerable to correction, even criticism. Criticism can be caustic and unjust, flowing from another’s jealous or angry heart. Or criticism can be constructive and just, coming from another’s genuine desire for clarity and understanding. In either case, there is at least a nugget of truth that is an opportunity for character development. The humble learn wise lessons from vocalized concerns.

    In David’s case his brother did not have a category for David’s military involvement, so Eliab  angrily rebuked him as being irresponsible, naive and wicked. Some relatives will only remember us as a rebellious and/or immature teenager, instead of as adults seeking to be a man or woman of God. We are wise to not wrestle with other’s expectations that are stuck in the past. It’s not our responsibility to change a mind that is made up. Let God redeem resentment.

    “Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him.” Genesis 27:41

    Are you crushed by the critical spirit of your spouse? Has criticism at work worn you down? If so, go to your heavenly Father for help. Ask Him to examine your heart for  any unseemly motives and to enlighten your mind on  how your thinking needs to change. By God’s grace, balance being overly sensitive and shutting down any inkling of inquiry into your ideas and actions. Forgive harsh critics as having their own issues with God--He can handle their heart.

    Furthermore, protect yourself from a critical spirit. Don’t justify your negative attitude toward another because of their hurtful words. After attempting to communicate with a critic, be respectful,  then move on with how the Lord is leading you. By faith, outlast the loudest objectors and over time they will quiet down. Wisdom is proven right by its actions, so the fruit of your character becomes a commercial for Christ. Overcome criticism by faithfulness to God.

    “Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed.” Psalm 17:3

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me learn from critics and protect me from being critical.

    Related Readings: Psalm 131:1; Proverbs 15:1, 18:19; Acts 5:17-18; 1 Timothy 5:1

    Post/Tweet today: Forgive harsh critics as having their own issues with God--He can handle their heart. #criticism

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Psalm, Genesis, 1 Samuel, Criticism

  • Qualified for God

    Posted on January 16, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

    The Lord knows an outward appearance may or may not be an indicator of what’s in the heart. A smile on the outside can still mask a frown on the inside. An outwardly positive attitude may still wrestle with negative feelings from past hurt. A handsome man may maintain an ugly heart, while a beautiful woman can project an unattractive spirit. Good looks do not guarantee a grace filled life. God goes straight to the heart of what matters most: humility, fear of God and love.

     

    Is your heart in the hand of your heavenly Father? Like a heat seeking missile, is your heart’s desire hot for the things of God? The praise of people may lead you to think more highly of your contributions than Christ’s. So, invite the Holy Spirit to translate man’s praise into a tool to purify your heart. He will burn away impure motives and replace them with righteous ones. After all, your life is all of grace or none at all. You stay qualified for God by keeping a heart for God.

     

    “His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147:10-11

     

    The eyes of men are attracted to attractive Kings of strong stature, but the eyes of the Lord look for humble shepherds with a heart for service. Indeed, we are wise to keep our aspirations in line with Almighty God’s. We don’t obsess with our outward appearance for it fades away, but we do adorn our spirit with the grace of God for its beauty is eternal. Our heavenly Father specializes in making His children cute and adorable. The inner work of the Spirit shapes our soul for God.

     

    Therefore, select and follow leaders who are qualified by God. Avoid smooth talkers with a hard heart. Take your time at work to hire not only those who can get the job done, but who get it done with a humble hurt. Wait on marriage for the one whose heart seeks the Lord and who seeks to serve others. Ask the Lord to give you a mental and emotional diagnostic to discern a person’s spirit. Better to invest in those with ordinary abilities and looks, but with an extraordinary heart.

     

    “He [Christ] will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears.” Isaiah 11:3

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray my inner self will be beautiful in Your sight.

    Related Readings: Psalm 44:21, 139:23; Luke 16:15; 1 Peter 3:4; Revelation 2:23

     

    Post/Tweet today: We stay qualified for God by keeping a heart for God. #heart for God

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Psalm, Isaiah, 1 Samuel

  • A Friend's Rejection

    Posted on January 14, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.” Psalm 55:12-14

     

    The worst kind of rejection may be the rejection of a friend. You expect it from an enemy, but not from a friend. It doesn’t make sense that someone you communed with around Christ would come back and crush you with rejection. Rejection integrated with religious pretense is rough. It challenges our trust in people in general, and our faith in God in particular. With a recognized foe you can see it coming, however, with a pretend friend it takes you by surprise. You feel ambushed by unauthentic living. One day you are laughing together around life’s little peculiarities and the next day you are dazed by the anger of an unstable man. It is haunting and humbling at the same time. You don’t know whether to lash back or languish in disillusionment. Friendly betrayal is frightening.

    Reproaches from those we have been intimate with cut to the quick. They know our strengths and our weaknesses. They know where we are vulnerable. They know how to exploit our struggles, taking advantage of our good will. It is like you have been emotionally naked with someone, and now you feel embarrassed because of his or her indiscretions. What happened to the person you once knew? How could you have been so deceived? It may have been a decade of deceit embedded in your marriage vows. It may have been financial fraud and embezzlement over a long period of time. It may be a hidden addiction that has all the while hijacked your relationship for their creditability.

    Our Lord Jesus of course had one for whom he trusted to the point of managing the money. He was close to Christ in proximity, but far away in faith. For Judas it was all about the cash. It was money that motivated him in the beginning, and money that was his downfall in the end. Money motivated men may be pleasant on the outside, but they are full of themselves on the inside. They set you up for their own selfish plan. We see it after the fact. It is so clear. But in the beginning we can be easily deceived. Therefore, really get to know someone before you heavily invest. In time they can be trusted.

    Lastly, avoid the temptation to reject those who have rejected you. This is our natural response. However under the influence of the Holy Spirit our right response is to forgive their failings, regardless of how radical their behavior. We are all candidates for sin, even gross sin. Without God’s grace and the accountability of a committed community of believers, we are deceivers with the best of them. The worst deceivers have been the most deceived. Paul stated well our role toward those trapped in sin, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Yes rejection by a trusted friend is fiendish and false hearted. However we are called to be forgiving and pure hearted. Do not stoop to their standards that are sub par with your Savior’s. By God’s grace rise above rejection!

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the grace to accept those from whom I feel rejected.
    Related Readings: Isaiah 33:1; Jeremiah 12:6; Matthew 27:3-4; 1 Corinthains 11:23-24

    Post/Tweet today: Rejection integrated with religious pretense is rough on relationships. #rejection

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry
    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


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

  • Single Focus

    Posted on January 4, 2013 by Family Christian

    Boyd Bailey

    “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” Philippians 3:13

     

    Almighty God is the focus of the faithful. He is the One Thing who needs the attention from those attentive to Christ’s agenda. This focus of faith writes a beautiful script for a surrendered life--like a sharpened pencil it etches clearly, compared to the illegible scribblings of a dull point. A mind focused on what’s ahead is not encumbered with what’s behind. Single focus creates mental stamina. Indeed, focused thinking on God is not distracted by the world’s allure. 

    Is Christ the central point of your plans? Do you anticipate what lies ahead? Your single focus on your heavenly Father’s heart will embolden your heart. Belief in Jesus is the bull’s eye on the target of trust. Always shoot your arrows of action toward the Almighty’s agenda and you will accomplish His purpose for your life. Take hold of Him and He will guide you by His good light. Take hold of integrity and you will walk securely. Take hold of prayer and you’ll hear His voice.

    “Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous.” Psalm 15:1-2

    We must beware of separating the sacred from the secular. Our life and work are not silos separated from the grain of God’s goodness. Our salvation is an acorn of faith that grows into an oak tree of mature discipleship. However, the pruning of adversity is necessary to keep us growing in grace. Everything we do is meant to move us toward the Lord’s one thing: progress toward perfection in Christ. Momentary affliction is meant to move us into His deeper affections.

    Therefore, do for one what you would like to do for many. Trust God that your single focus at home and work will create quality relationships that lead to a quantity of influence for good. Like a laser, your single focus to love can clear away the cloudy cataracts from another’s eyes of fear. Like courageous military personnel, your single focus on humble service can protect you and your family from pride. Your single focus puts fear in the enemy and faith in your heart.

    “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” Psalm 27:4

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, make my focus forward on You and Your priorities.

    Related Readings: Psalm 105:4; Luke 9:62; 10:42; Acts 2:25; 2 Peter 1:10

    Post/Tweet today: A mind focused on what’s ahead is not encumbered with what’s behind. #focus

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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


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

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