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Tag Archives: Psalm

  • 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

  • Love Obeys

    Posted on December 26, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3

     

    Christ’s commands are not burdensome, but a blessing. Man’s expectations can be an unbearable weight of unattainable actions. Like a backpack of bricks, the rigid control of proud leaders enslaves hearts. But joy and peace are the fruit of following hard after what Jesus wants. The yoke of Christ brings freedom, security and rest. Thus, the ultimate expression of love for God is obedience to God. Genuine love gladly obeys the Lord. 

    Furthermore, our love for the Lord matures as our love for His law grows in intensity and intimacy. How can we say we love God if we remain ignorant of His Word? Our precious Bible is a manual of how to love the Lord well. He defines what makes Him feel loved: reverent worship, joyful praise, humble prayers, forgiveness, generosity to the poor, caring for widows and orphans, proclaiming the gospel and training up the faithful.

    “Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165

    Is your love for God an expression of your obedience to God? Indeed, you will be tempted to try the world’s ways and wander away from the Almighty’s path of purity. Grace is the gravel God places under your shoes of faith so you won’t stumble on Satan’s slippery path of deception. Trust gives you traction to follow Jesus. Do what Christ expects and you can expect His energy to empower your actions. Obedience pays!

    What command is Christ asking you to keep? Perhaps you need to forgive another as God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven you. A money matter may be haunting your happiness and it is time to write off the debt without writing off the debtor. Pray without ceasing, give without regrets, believe without doubting, love without conditions and forgive without expectations. Your obedience to God is an indicator of your love for God Thus, by grace, obey well. Freedom is the fruit of following Jesus. Your obedience helps others obey!

    “If you love me, keep my commands.” John 14:15

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the courage to follow the commands of Christ.

    Related Readings: Joshua 22:5; John 14:21-23; 1 John 2:3-5; Revelation 14:12

    Post/Tweet today: Grace is the gravel God places under your shoes of faith so you won’t stumble on  Satan’s slippery  path of deception. #grace

    © 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, John, 1 John

  • Remembering

    Posted on December 26, 2012 by Samantha Evilsizer

    Samantha Reed

    "Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old." Psalm 25:6 (NIV)

    I sometimes struggle to see how God's Word applies to me and my life. Especially when I've been waiting a long time for some prayers to be answered. For hearts of loved ones to fully turn to Jesus. For manna to rain from heaven.

    The funny thing about waiting is it can be all-consuming. It inhales my attention, chews my focus and swallows my thoughts, leaving me in a place of uncertainty and doubt. I forget God's power to fulfill my hopes for prayers answered. Its then, when I can't see how He's going to bring things to pass, I have to rely on His faithfulness in the past.

    Remembering God's faithfulness in other's lives in Scripture, reminds us of His faithfulness in our own.

    When the waters rise, you've waited long for rescue and you feel God's forgotten, remember... Genesis 8:1*: But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

    When dust and debris threaten to replace passions, dreams and callings and you feel God's forgotten, remember... Genesis 9:15: I will remember my covenant between me and you.

    When the pitter-patter of little feet is silent and you feel God's forgotten, remember... Genesis 30:22: Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive.

    When fear, worry, doubt and anxiety enslave and you feel God's forgotten, remember... Exodus 2:23a, 24a, 25b: During that long period...The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out...God heard their groaning and he remembered... and was concerned about them.

    When you can't sleep and restlessness sets in, remember... Psalm 63:6-7: On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

    When guilt consumes and you fear God will never forget your sins, remember... Isaiah 43:25: I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

    When all hope is lost, remember... Luke 24:6a-7: He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you...'The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'

    When your marriage comes back from the brink of despair, remember... Deuteronomy 8:2: Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness.

    When dreams come true and you're thriving in your calling, remember... 1 Chronicles 16:12a, 15: Remember the wonders he has done... He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations...

    Recalling these accounts in Scripture helps me remember His goodness in my own life. When I can't see how He is moving on my behalf, I choose to remember that He promises to be just as present and faithful to me and you today as He was for others in the past.

    When joy surrounds. When sorrow clobbers. When all's right in our world. When the bottom drops out. When we feel loved and cherished. When we feel abandoned and alone, let's remember... They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. (Psalm 78:35)

    Dear Lord, Your love and Your grace never fail. Please help me remember this today and always. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

    Share God's faithfulness to those in need by supporting a child through World Vision.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Remember times God has been faithful to you. Recount those out loud today.

    Focus on the everyday miracles that remind us of God's faithfulness like waking up and breathing.

    Great is thy faithfulness, O God my father
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
    As Thou hast been, Thou for ever will be
    Great is thy faithfulness, Great is thy faithfulness
    Morning by morning new mercies I see
    All I have needed thy hand hath provided
    Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.
    ~Thomas Chisolm

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 143:5, "I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done." (NIV)

    Jeremiah 31:34b, "I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (ESV)

    *All verses NIV

    © 2012 by Samantha Reed. All rights reserved.

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


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Psalm, Luke, Genesis, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, 1 Chronicles, Exodus

  • Giving, Not Getting

    Posted on December 24, 2012 by Karen Ehman

    Karen Ehman

    "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families ..." Psalm 68:5-6a (NIV 1984)

    "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" The loudspeaker blared out the joyful lyrics of the familiar holiday song that snowy Christmas Eve afternoon.

    Everywhere I glanced, people were searching for last-minute gift purchases, holiday baking ingredients or that one final string of twinkle lights that would make their Christmas downright Norman Rockwell perfect.

    However, as I stood in line paying for the ingredients for my assigned Cheesy Potato casserole for our family gathering, a lump formed in my throat. Soon my lips quivered and hot tears fell onto my wind-chapped cheeks.

    How can everyone be so happy? Why is the world going on as if nothing happened? My friend Julie died last night leaving behind a husband and eight children who need her. Doesn't anyone care?

    I wanted to scream. And I wanted Christmas to be cancelled that year. There was no holiday cheer in me and I thought the rest of the world should follow suit and just 'humbug' the whole celebration.

    Our family made it through that holiday. My young children, although sad about their friends' mother's death, perked up Christmas morning, eager to open their gifts. My husband and I carried on with our normal life and, over the next few months, tried to help lighten the load of our now widower friend.

    Several in our circle of friends made meals on a weekly basis. A college girl offered to clean their home. One of Julie's sons joined our home school for kindergarten a few days each week. Although we still experienced great heartache knowing our friend wasn't coming back, lightening her husband's load and cheering the children made us feel as if we were fulfilling the mission God had for us.

    Ever since that year, our family has become even more aware of the fact that for many, Christmas isn't the most wonderful time of the year. It is downright painful.

    Loneliness looms. Depressions darken. Even suicides soar. While scores of us delight in the season, drinking the sights, sounds and smells, others are numb from pain and despise the season.

    And so I'm reminded of what a sweet neighbor of mine once told me, "Christmas is an excuse for making someone's life better." She was so right! There are souls waiting to be encouraged and included at the holidays. If only we would cease our own sometimes self-focused hustle and bustle long enough to see!

    After that sad season, we've made it our mission to reach out at the holidays more than we play the commercialized "gimmee game."

    Christmas is not about getting. Its very essence is giving.

    When our family has been intentional about being Jesus' hands and feet at the holidays, He has allowed us to brighten the lives of many. We sing Christmas carols to shut-ins, decorate homes and address Christmas cards for widows, shop for the needy, bake for the brokenhearted, and often include the lonely in our normal Christmas activities as if they were part of our family.

    Because really, they are. Maybe it is your family God wants to set a lonely soul in this year.

    Let's vow this Christmas to make someone's life better, richer in love, and fuller in the comforts of knowing they are noticed and cared for.

    Dear Lord, at this time when You sent Christ to earth, may I too reach out to make someone's life richer, fuller and far less lonely. I want to be Your hands and feet. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    LET. IT. GO.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith by Karen Ehman

    Reflect and Respond:
    Gather the family. Solicit responses to the following questions, "Who do you know that might be lonely at Christmas this year? Now, what creative way could we help to combat their loneliness and make them feel loved?"

    List the action steps you will take to make these ideas a reality. Mark the calendar to ensure it happens.

    Has there ever been a holiday season where you felt gloomy or alone? Did anyone do something to make you feel loved and included?

    How can reaching out to the lonely be a reflection of God reaching down from heaven to us on that very first Christmas?

    Power Verses:
    Matthew 25:40, "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" (NIV)

    © 2012 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Man of Prayer

    Posted on December 17, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.” Luke 1:13

     

    Men who pray serve a big God. They are not confused regarding their role of depending on Christ and His role to release His wisdom. Praying men rest assured that Almighty God has got it. They take heart that the Lord Almighty, who created the heavens and the earth, can create opportunities and give guidance under the Holy Spirit’s leadership. Prayer puts a man in a position to gain knowledge of the Holy Spirit, and how to act on that knowledge. Prayer produces wisdom.

    Are your family and friends under the canopy of your prayers in Jesus’ name? Your private prayers are the first line of defense for your loved ones. Do you call them by name to the One who named mankind? Pray for your wife to feel confident in her inner beauty in Christ. Pray for your child to stand firm in his faith under the enemy’s fire. Pray for opportunities to be like Jesus and share Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

    “And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.” Colossians 4:3

    We pray as desperate men, because we are desperate for God. We pray as confident men, because our focus is on our heavenly Father. We pray weeping, when our hearts our heavy. We pray praising, when our hearts are grateful. We pray in faith, because our trust is in the Faithful One. We pray because Abraham, David, Zechariah and Jesus all prayed.

    Therefore, persevere in your prayers--especially when heaven seems silent. Keep your eyes on Jesus, He will not let you down. Pray more for the needs of others in unselfish service. Your prayers matter to God and they matter to those you mention to God. Your prayers matter to you as they mature your faith. Pray as your first priority and not your last resort. Trust the Lord as a praying man and He will trust you with His favor.

    “The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.” Psalm 6:9

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, my prayer is to be a man of prayer, for Your glory.

    Related Readings: Psalm 90:1, 109:4; Daniel 9:21; 2 Corinthians 1:11; 7:5

    Post/Tweet today: We pray as desperate men, because we are desperate for God. #prayer

    © 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, Luke, Colossians, Prayer

  • The Hardest Days — God Uses Them for Good

    Posted on December 17, 2012 by Sharon Glasgow

    Sharon Glasgow

    "You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples." Psalm 77:14 (NIV 1984)

     

    Our Christmas festivities came to a halt last year when a speeding car slammed into us at a stoplight. Presents, goodies and Christmas lists crashed to the floor. Thankfully the rescue squad and police arrived quickly and requested we go to the hospital.

    However, we were hours from home and had a million things left on our holiday to-do list. With reservation, and minimalizing the bumps and bruises, we agreed we felt fine, and the emergency crew let us leave.

    But my husband Dale really didn't feel well. By the next morning that "not right" feeling took center stage. We sensed something was seriously wrong with his heart.

    In less than one full day, we ended up calling 911 twice. Again they responded quickly, sending a rescue team to our home. My husband Dale, with me by his side, was rushed to the emergency room.

    Thankfully we weren't alone. My brother-in-law Tom followed behind the ambulance with our daughters. And our friend Todd heard what was going on and also headed to the hospital.

    While waiting in the emergency room, Todd and Tom talked about the mission Tom leads in East Africa. He explained how he was looking for resources to help put wells in place for thousands who don't have access to clean water. Todd recalled a conversation he'd had with a friend just the night before. Amazingly, she'd shared her deep desire to fund, of all things, wells in Africa.

    Without missing a beat, Todd called his friend and explained Tom's needs for the people of East Africa. This generous woman immediately gave money to dig wells that would serve 5000 people.

    While God was orchestrating the miracle of clean water, He was also performing a healing on my husband. The doctors recorded that Dale had suffered a heart attack caused by the car accident. Our family and friends prayed over him and incredibly he began to feel as good as new. The next day the diagnosis "heart attack" was wiped off Dale's chart and the doctor's released him to go home. He was healed!

    What a whirlwind of activity! In less than 24 hours we'd been in a wreck, Dale was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with a heart attack, a connection was made that provided thousands with clean water in Africa, and Dale was released from the hospital with a clean bill of health, completely healed!

    I'll be honest—those 24 hours were awfully hard to endure and totally derailed my holiday plans. I wouldn't want to go through them again. Car accidents and emergency hospital visits aren't something anyone ever wants, especially during Christmas. It's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year!

    In the moment it was incredibly difficult, yet in hindsight it all actually was wonderful. During a time of the year when we celebrate one of God's greatest miracles—the birth of Jesus—we got to witness several awe-inspiring miracles. God used the very hard circumstances we went through to display His power ... not only in that local hospital to save Dale's life, but also to people across the world, saving many lives in Africa through clean water.

    Let's be on the lookout during this holiday season to see the Lord at work. His Word promises in Psalm 77:14 that God performs miracles and shows His power. How is He doing those things in your life today?

    Dear Lord, open my eyes to what You are doing in the middle of circumstances that are outside o f my plans. Help me to keep my eyes on You and Your power over all things. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    For a fresh way to read Scripture, you might enjoy the Chronological Bible.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Have you had circumstances happen that weren't what you planned for Christmas? Have you seen God working through the hardships?

    Ask Him to show you how He will use it for good.

    PowerVerses:
    Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (NKJV)

    Exodus 15:11, "Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?" (NIV 1984)

    © 2012 by Sharon Glasgow. 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, Sharon Glasgow

  • Perseverance Pattern

    Posted on December 16, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Surely God is my help, the Lord is the one who sustains me. Psalm 54:4

     

    Our Savior sustains us by His strength. Christ causes us to carry on with His compassionate care. Our Heavenly Father is forever loving us to Himself; and then sending us forth into the fray by faith. And the Holy Spirit is our Helper (Romans 8:26). The Lord leverages our life for His longevity. His desire is for us to not give in or give up. He is a God of determination and He expects His children to do the same. Indeed, the Almighty’s aid is better than all the help of men. Heaven’s help stands ready to sustain you. It is in prayer that you perceive God’s help and persevere. Perseverance is a product of seeing your circumstances from Christ’s perspective. It produces peace and a quiet confidence (Isaiah 32:17). Indeed we have a divine champion in whom we can be confident. 

    We have no need to fret because our Heavenly Father is here to help. Sometimes the pressures at work pour over you like the constant pelting of golf ball size hail. You are bruised; beat up and unsure of yourself. The nick picking of people makes you feel like you are about to be nibbled to death by ducks. Nothing seems to be going right so you begin to conclude that you need to quit. However, don’t quit before God is done with you. His ‘will’ may be for you to persevere in your pain. The Bible teaches, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:36). Hang in there so you don’t miss out on what heaven has for you. God’s best may be yet to come. Furthermore, we persevere in our pain in order to grow our character. Paul understood this principle of perseverance. He said, “…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).

    God is our help in times of trouble. He is whom we trust. We persevere when we see Him. It is easy for our eyesight to become preoccupied with problems. Our immediate issues can overwhelm us, if we allow them that unhealthy level of influence. But the Lord would rather have us linger with Him. Replace unproductive time of worry with productive time in prayer. When you gaze on God fears fade away. The writer of Hebrews captured this confidence in the life of Moses, “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27).

    Little do we care for the defiance of our foes when we have the defense of God.
    God’s grace will sustain you. His grace is sufficient for your specific situation. You can move forward by faith. Do not allow this financial set back to keep you from going to God. He owns everything. He has what you need to make it through this transition. God is already on your side, so stay by His. You have His mammoth mercy and loving kindness to draw on in your discouragement. The help of people comes and goes, but the Lord perseveres with you, so you can persevere with Him. Your Savior, not stuff, is your sustainer. Be encouraged by heaven’s help. Remain steadfast with God. He is... with you!

    Taken from Reading #40 in the 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Psalms”... http:// bit.ly/InvUdR

    Post/Tweet this today: Our Savior sustains us by His strength. Christ causes us to carry on with His compassionate care. #care

    © 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, Romans, Hebrews, Isaiah, Perseverance

  • A Gift for Him

    Posted on December 14, 2012 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God..." Psalm 50:14a (NLT)

    I love presents. It's not about what is in the package, but unwrapping the surprise and knowing a loved one thought of me when they chose it.

    I also love giving gifts. Recently I found a very old package of baseball cards at an estate sale. They were less than five dollars, and I know they will light up my son's face when he opens his stocking on Christmas day.

    As Christmas approaches, gift giving is on our minds. We draw names. We plan out the Christmas list. Some of us get up before the sun to find incredible sales.

    But as the actual day approaches, there is one gift we can give that is meaningful.

    We can thank God.

    Long before the cross, people labored to find the perfect gift to give Him. They brought sacrifices to honor God, but in Psalm 50:14a we hear a plea: "Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God..." It is a heart plea of a God who desires an intimate relationship with His people.

    What could happen if this Christmas we offered Him exactly what is on His list?

    I believe it would shift our heart away from our stressful to-do lists to thank Him for all the miracles around us.

    God, thank You for my child who is healthy.

    Thank You for my husband who loves us all so well.

    Thank You for this hot meal prepared by hands of love.

    God, have I told You how grateful I am for the warm home and covers to sleep under at night?

    As we begin to offer our gifts of thankfulness, like layers of sparkling tissue paper, more is revealed beneath. We dig deeper to see all that we've received.

    Thank You, God, that You saw me as a young teen and showed me love.

    Thank You for that time at my son's hospital bed that You helped me make it through one more night.

    Thank You for the time I needed mercy and found it in Your presence.

    Christmas is a celebration of the ultimate gift, but family, finances, or just plain ole stress can cause this special day to dim. Offering up a gift of thankfulness has the power to give those things their rightful place as gratitude rises to the top.

    Will you join me between now and December 25th to hold up a daily gift of thanks to Him?

    Dear Lord, Christmas often gets lost in all the busyness and details, but for today I will stop and offer you a gift. I am grateful for all the good things You have given. Help me to celebrate this season with a heart of gratitude. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Stress-Lessed Living by Tracie Miles

    Reflect and Respond:
    "Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing - a grateful heart!"
    ~ George Herbert

    If gratitude doesn't come easily, begin to offer up a "sacrifice" of praise (Hebrews 13:15) daily. Let the words of your mouth convince your heart.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 50:23, "But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God." (NLT)

    © 2012 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, Christmas

  • The Slop Bucket

    Posted on December 13, 2012 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa Terkeurst

    "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." Psalm 55:22 (NIV)

    Recently I met a friend for coffee.

    This is one of the great bonuses of having my son home from college. He needs money. I need time. My daughters need activity. So he took them to an indoor fun center that is the delight to many a child.

    Not that I was feeling like I needed a break from all the family togetherness.

    But my friend needed me.

    So, we met and chatted and processed a situation I wish we didn't have to process — mean people.

    I know I should say that people aren't mean. Sometimes people just do mean things.

    And I know there are always two sides to every story. Glory be do I ever realize there are two sides. But during the holidays when "nice" is usually served up in high fashion, even the slightest meanness can seem really huge.

    And knowing that in years past, my friend had spent way too many days crying during the holidays made me sad. For her. For the people who were mean to her during this time. For the reality that we Christians can be mean sometimes. We can be sharp and cutting and too tired to find the right words.

    Not long ago, I got an email from someone who was too tired to find the right words. I still don't understand what caused her to be in such a tiff. And though I made my fingers type words back to her that were gentle and graceful, I will admit that what I really wanted to do was get in her face and tell her a thing or two. Boy did I have the perfect comeback. Because I can be mean. Just like those people who hurt my friend.

    We are all more alike than we care to admit.

    And not that I want to wax philosophical today, but here I go anyhow.

    There's a bucket inside each heart where hurts are dumped. Little hurts, big hurts, past hurts—they all get dumped into this slop bucket. We think we're fine because the hurts are contained. We think we've dealt with the hurts because they aren't rising to the surface that often. But then someone comes along and kicks that slop bucket with a mean word or two and it spills over.

    Sloshing. Spilling. Leaking. Staining. And every word we speak in response carries some of what's in our slop bucket.

    So here's the thing.

    Slop can be good if it's been turned into compassion. Some people have let Jesus touch their slop, mixing in mercy, grace, forgiveness, and a love that reaches just beyond what we're capable of on our own.

    But too many of us have let our slop bucket sit and ferment in pride, resistance, our right to be right, and bitterness that cuts off our potential to grow into the woman we're designed to become. So, instead of compassion, the harshest judgment drips out with each of our words.

    Compassion. Judgment. The reality that every girl has a slop bucket.

    These are good things to think about over coffee when you've sent your kids away to play.

    Dear Lord, You are worthy to be praised! Help me lean on You to heal all of my hurts and frustrations. I know that only You can change my slop into compassion, and for that I am grateful. Soften my heart, Lord, and continue to transform me into the woman You designed me to become. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Lysa TerKeurst's New York Times best selling book, Unglued, will help you learn how to control your emotions and reactions in any situation.

    Give the gift that keeps on giving! Your friends will thank you when you purchase an Unglued Bible Study bundle for all of you to enjoy together.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Have you been allowing God to mix love and compassion into your slop bucket?

    Write down a real life response you gave to someone while operating out of negative feelings. Underline hurtful words and replace them with helpful ones. Practice this technique several times until reacting in a positive way is more natural than reacting negatively.

    Power Verses:
    Ezekiel 36:26-27, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws." (NIV)

    © 2012 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

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