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Tag Archives: Psalm

  • Whom Can You Invite?

    Posted on November 27, 2013 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 the joyful lyrics of the familiar 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 the holidays to be cancelled that year. There was no cheer in me, and I thought the rest of the world should follow suit and just "humbug" the whole celebration.

    Although our hearts were heavy, we tried to make the most of Christmas, especially for our children who were sad about their friends' mother's death. Over the next few months, my husband and I carried on with our normal life and tried to help our widowed friend as best we could.

    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 homeschool 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 being there for the children made us feel as if we were fulfilling the mission God had for us.

    Ever since that year, our family has become more aware of the fact that for many, Thanksgiving and Christmas aren't the most wonderful times of the year. In fact, the holidays can be 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 these months.

    A neighbor of mine had a good perspective on helping those who hurt. She once told me, "The holidays are an excuse for making someone's life better." She was right! There are people waiting to be encouraged and included during this season. 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." Thanksgiving and Christmas are not about getting. The very essence of both 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 get to show His love and character talked about in Psalm 68:5-6a, "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families ..." (NIV 1984)

    Others are welcomed at our table. 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 holiday activities as if they were part of our family. Because really, they are.

    Maybe God wants to use your family to encourage someone this year. Let's use this Thanksgiving and 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, show me who needs to be reached out to this Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Help me make someone's life richer, fuller and far less lonely. I want to be Your hands and feet. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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

    It's not too late to invite someone over for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow! Give them a call now.

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

    © 2013 by Karen Ehman. 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 Psalm

  • Giving Away Pieces of Ourselves

    Posted on November 15, 2013 by Lisa Wingate

    Lisa Wingate

    "My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret." Psalm 139:15a (ESV)

    It's a mystery the way God sends lessons ... sometimes softly, sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly. I experienced one of these lessons while leading a youth weekend at church recently.

    At an evening session, I found a middle-school girl alone in the sanctuary foyer. I sat down and asked her why she wasn't inside.

    Her answer had attitude, "Oh, it's all just fake. This whole weekend is about how to be real, how not to be 'posers,' and everybody's all friendly. But when we get back to school, those girls won't even talk to me. That's why I quit coming here."

    Her purse contents were spilled on the seat between us, a God-given thing. I reached for her cell phone and asked, "If I picked up your phone and walked off with it, what would you do?"

    She looked at me like I was daft. "I'd make you give it back. My life is in that phone!"

    Next, I took her tube of lip gloss and asked how much it cost. It was $1.50.

    "What would you do if one of those girls you're worried about walked by and took this lip gloss?"

    She quickly informed me that she would "Jump 'em."

    "Why would you bother getting in a fight over a $1.50 lip gloss?"

    Her answer was both obvious and profound, "Because it's mine. It's not theirs."

    I looked at her, this little girl-becoming-a-woman. "You're right," I told her. "This lip gloss does not belong to them. It belongs to you. And so does your faith in God. And you have to defend that with at least as much determination as you would this $1.50 lip gloss. Or better yet, your cell phone. You cannot go through life letting other people walk off with what belongs to you and God."

    As soon as those words left my mouth, I knew this wasn't a lesson just for this young woman. I too needed to hear my words. In a world where people sometimes disappoint us, it's easy to give away pieces of our faith and of ourselves. We give away pieces to people who don't even ask for them. It can be a natural reaction in a society focused on outward perfection. We do it each time we look at others and feel inferior, not as pretty, not as thin, not as ... whatever.

    It's so simple, yet so difficult to grasp the truth found in Psalm 139 that tells us God created us and knew us from the very beginning. The Bible says, "My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret" (vs. 15 ESV). We were only visible to Him as He intricately knit all the parts of our bodies together.

    Only a master artist has this ability. Much like someone who weaves together delicate fibers in a tapestry, God took the care to fashion us beautifully. Not only are we perfectly made, but we belong.

    God loves the child He created. I like to think of it this way: God Loves Our Secret Selves (G.L.O.S.S.). He has poured beauty into us, into the very parts we often feel are less-than, compared to others.

    I've been working on accepting this truth myself since then ... retaining and practicing this lesson.

    I am loved. I am okay. I am treasured.

    I am His.

    Father, I pray I will hold on to the truth that You are a wonderful Creator and made no mistakes when You formed me. Help me value Your thoughts about me more than what others say about me. Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Reflect and Respond:
    Have you given away pieces of yourself or your confidence in God to people you wouldn't allow to walk off with your lip gloss? Why?

    Take time to memorize a few Bible verses about God's ability to create marvelous and beautiful things, and how you belong to Him.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 139:14b, "Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." (ESV)

    1 John 4:4b, "... for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (RSV)

    © 2013 by Lisa Wingate. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Tyndale Publishers for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

    Click here to view our policy on 3rd party links.

    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 Psalm

  • Accepting Forgiveness

    Posted on October 30, 2013 by Wendy Pope

    Wendy Pope

    "Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit." Psalm 32:2 (NIV 1984)

    Many years were spent regretting sins from my past. These sins had hurt others and me. Day after day I would replay my decisions. Two decades later, the sting of past sin still had a hold on me.

    God had forgiven me; I'd told Him about my sin and asked Him to pardon me. So why couldn't I accept the freedom of His forgiveness?

    I wanted so badly to believe I was the person David mentions in Psalm 32:2, "Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit." Yet I struggled with accepting that God's grace could erase my sin, wiping it away as if it never happened.

    This can be a hard thing to accept for many of us. It sounds all well and good, but in reality, the weight of sin makes it difficult to believe a perfect God can forgive us.

    Yet, His Word assures us that God does not count our sin against us. So how can we live in this truth?

    The first step is to acknowledge our sin: to ourselves and to God. This opens up the door for honest conversations with the Lord and helps us stop hiding from the fear of being found out.

    The next step is to fill our hearts and minds with truth. Throughout the Bible, God teaches how an unaccepting heart can be changed and softened to accept His forgiveness. The following verses are truth from a loving God who longs to transform our lives through the grace of His forgiveness.

    My God doesn't condemn. "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1 (NIV)

    My master is grace, not sin. "For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace." Romans 6:14 (NIV 1984)

    My Savior Jesus has set me free, therefore I am free. "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36 (NIV)

    My old is gone; because of Jesus Christ I am new. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV 1984)

    Are you lugging a load of sin that God has already forgiven? Are you ready to stop living in shame, shackled by regret? Life is too short to exchange the freedom of grace for the bondage of unbelief.

    Today, allow God to wash the hurt and regret from past sins away with the transforming power of His truth. And let's pray for an accepting heart that lives in the freedom of God's grace and forgiveness.

    Dear Lord, by faith I accept Your forgiveness and refuse to be a slave to sin You've already forgiven. Today, I confess and move on! I commit to believe Your transforming truths to live fully and freely in Your grace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Reflect and Respond:
    "Do you struggle accepting God's forgiveness? Spend time talking with God and ask for help to accept His forgiveness.

    Use index cards to make several copies of the transforming truths above. Place a copy in your purse, car, Bible, desk, and other places you often go. Read them as long as it takes to experience the blessed life David speaks of in Psalm 32:2.

    Power Verses:
    Isaiah 1:18. "'Come now, let us reason together,' says the LORD. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'" (NIV 1984)

    Isaiah 43:25, "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." (NIV 1984)

    Matthew 19:26, "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" (NIV)

    © 2013 by Wendy Pope. 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 Psalm, Forgiveness

  • God’s Total Care

    Posted on October 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. Psalm 23:1

    No one lacks anything when they are cared for by the Lord who provides everything. He may not give His children all they want, but His extravagant goodness provides all they need. God’s stature as the Great Shepherd over His sheep is without comparison. No bank account can account for the One who owns all the wealth of the world. No insurance policy can cover the assurance of Him who gives eternal life to all who believe. God’s total care is comprehensive.

    We lack nothing, when we hand everything over to God. We are free when we are unshackled from our stuff. Yes, some will say we are silly, even irresponsible to see the Lord as our provider. But God’s wisdom is foolishness and far out to those who view Him as distant and impersonal. Matters of the spirit are only discerned by the Spirit, so those who have yet to taste of the Spirit’s goodness cannot see and understand His ways. The Lord’s sheep lack nothing of consequence!

    The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
    Psalm 34:10

    You are totally loved, led, protected and provided for by the Lord. He makes you feel secure and safe in His presence. As you walk through trials He is with you to comfort and encourage. Even in the face of death, His peace and rest are ever present for you to access and enjoy. When you unwisely stray toward sin, His rod and His staff gently bring you back into His faithful flock. Oh, what a good and loving Shepherd who shepherds your heart, mind and soul for His name’s sake.

    So, we seek the Lord while He may be found. We rest beside His secure shores of salvation before He has to make us to lie down. God is our personal protector and guide. The green grass of His word and the calm waters of His Spirit are ever available for our mind to be fed and for our soul and body to rest. He gives us the courage and emotional energy to face our enemies so we fear no evil. We are privileged and grateful to be with Jesus now and forever. He cares for us!

    And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for personally shepherding my life by Your goodness, mercy and love.

    Related Readings: Psalm 34:9, 84:11, 107:9; Matthew 14:17-21; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 3:20

    Post/Tweet today: We lack nothing when we hand everything over to God. #God’stotalcare

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


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

  • Battle in the Night

    Posted on October 21, 2013 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn Cowell

    "By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life." (Psalm 42:8 NIV)

    How could this have happened? What could I have done to stop it?

    One of my kids had made a decision that sent my emotions into a tailspin and another sleepless night was upon me; my mind wouldn't shut off. During the day I had managed to focus on God's promise to make all things work together for good. But as day faded into night, the struggle to trust became more than I could take.

    Many nights as I lie in bed, my mind pulls me into a downward spiral of focusing on my troubles. It's then and there that the battle is most intense. A war wages between my faith and fears.

    What if my loved one never knows Jesus?
    Will my kids make the right choices with their peers?
    What can I do for my friend who struggles with cancer?

    Even though my body is still, my thoughts are at war.

    Do you struggle in the quiet of the night? Maybe you have thoughts like these ... Nobody else has troubles. Other people are just enjoying their lives. Why is mine so hard? The battles we face are real, and rob us of joy as well as sleep.

    This is why I love King David's encouraging words in Psalm 42. During the day he allowed the Lord's love to direct him. Knowing he was loved gave him the strength to make the hard choices that were the best choices. At night he put away all the words and hard thinking and devoted himself to praising God.

    I want to do the same. When the lights are turned out, I want to choose a song of praise, arming myself with truth and worship for the only One who can carry and fix my troubles. When my mind tries to take a turn and go around that problem one more time, I want to make the choice to stop and sing (even if only in my head).

    I gave this a try the other night while stewing over my worries. It reminded me of a sign my mom has in her home: "Give me all your troubles before you go to bed. I'm going to be up anyway."—God

    Pick a song you can sing at night when trouble comes knocking and worry wants to run rampant in your heart and mind. Make your prayer a song to God and choose a song of praise to sing to Him all day long—from sunrise to late in the evening. Watch your heart go from fear to faith as you trust in the Lord.

    Dear Lord, I feel stronger in the day than in the night. Bring to mind a song of praise I can sing that will lift my thoughts and strengthen my faith in you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Remember
    When you are tired and quiet at night, you can be more susceptible to runaway emotions. You can guard your heart from fear by singing praises to your King as your mind and body find their rest.

    Reflect
    Think about what song you would choose as your song of praise.

    Respond
    Write Psalm 42:8 down, and put it next to your bed to remind you to look to the Lord as you go to sleep.

    Power Verses
    Psalm 94:18–19; Exodus 15:2

    Taken from Encouragement for Today: Devotions for Everyday Living by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst and Samantha Evilsizer and the Proverbs 31 Ministries Team. © 2013 Proverbs 31 Ministries. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.

    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 Psalm

  • Profitable Patience

    Posted on October 20, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
    Psalm 27:14

    Life is normally lived waiting. We wait in lines; a teenager waits for his or her next birthday; we wait for job promotions; we wait for news from the doctor; we wait for the next meal; we wait for our future spouse; we wait for a lawsuit to be settled; we wait for a meeting to conclude; we wait for those who have yet to keep their commitment. Every time we turn around we have an opportunity to wait. Why wait? Because most of the time, it’s what’s best and most beneficial. A vegetable gardener is a prisoner to waiting, but this an asset, not a liability. A tomato is much tastier when it is red, large, and juicy, rather than green, small, and hard. The smart gardener will wait for the vegetables to ripen, while nurturing the soil along the way and keeping the weeds out.
    There is a waiting cycle that must be completed before there is worthwhile fruit. If you didn’t have to wait, you may have been satisfied with how things had always been done. Now you have the opportunity to think differently. Maybe there are other people or resources that can contribute to your project or plan. So, when things do not go as planned, see it as an opportunity to improve the plan. Or the very thing may be to provide help to another, as waiting is a lesson in loving others in spite of themselves; even providing valued assistance during this parenthesis in your own life.
    Most importantly, learn how to wait for the Lord. What a valuable asset to wait upon. The Lord God Almighty is worth the wait. It is worth waiting for His joy because it comes to uplift you and bring a smile to your face; it is worth waiting for His peace that calms your soul and allows you to sleep at night; it is worth waiting for His wisdom that provides discernment in the middle of conflicting options; it is worth waiting for His strength that propels you through adversity and gives you confidence and perseverance for life’s journey; it is worth waiting for His hope that lifts you up and out of your despair and depression.

    People camp out to see a rock star or pay big bucks to wait and meet the President; so waiting on God should be a cinch. Waiting is being fundamentally patient with God. He is running the universe, He knows what is going on, and He knows what is best for you. He knows. He knows. He knows. You can trust Him in your waiting. Use this sabbatical-like time to get to know your heavenly Father more intimately. Use this time to love your family and others, like no other time in your life. Allow Him to mold your character so that others will comment to themselves that you are somehow different. You are different because you have been with Jesus. Waiting is not just a passage to God’s blessing, it is God’s blessing. Wait for the Lord, because He is worth the wait.
    The Bible says, “I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God” (Psalm 38:15).

    Post/Tweet: Waiting is not just a passage to God’s blessing, it is God’s blessing. #profitablepatience

    © 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 Psalm, Patience

  • Abide in Prayer

    Posted on October 16, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    He says, “Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

    Real prayer results are the result of abiding. The flesh squirms while still, but the spirit longs for stillness. It is in these protracted moments of silent prayer that saints of God see God. A rushed prayer time is like running to catch a subway, out of breath with only a blur in the background. But a person who abides in prayer breathes the clean air of Christ. They are not pushed to check their quiet time box for the day. They trust all will get done in God’s timing. Faith abides in prayer.

    Yes, the Lord fills with faith the spiritual lungs of those who sit still and breathe in His goodness.  His Holy Spirit energizes your being when you are quiet before your Heavenly Father. An eternal exchange of spiritual stamina takes place when you place yourself in the holy presence of Almighty God. You get to know Him and He affirms you as His child. His goodness and grace spills over into your heart when you are silent before Him. He blesses your soul for being still!

    Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3

    Moreover, Christ commands us to stop doing and start being. We fail to obey Jesus when we fail to stop and listen to His heart. Obedience to stop leads to faith to start. So, we enjoy our Savior in stillness and He reveals His sweet Spirit. His Spirit of love softens our heart. His Spirit of generosity opens our hands to give. His Spirit of grace gives us patience in our relationships. His Spirit of holiness keeps us pure in our motives. His Spirit of forgiveness frees us from retaliation.

    Most of all, as we abide in prayer, we know He is God. He is God our Creator who formed us in our mother’s womb, who gave us our unique looks, giftedness and personality. Because He knows us best, He knows what’s best. As we abide in prayer we know He owns us, because He bought us by the precious blood of His son Jesus. Christ is in us and we are in Christ. Since we are His servants, we want to follow our Master. We abide in prayer to know God’s heart for us.

    If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:15-17, NKJV

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, my heart yearns to abide with You in prayer. Give me the faith to be still with You.

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 4:35; 1 Kings 18:39; Isaiah 43:11; John 15:4-9; Mark 6:46

    Post/Tweet today: The Lord fills with faith the spiritual lungs of those who sit still and breathe in His goodness. #abideinprayer

    © 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 Psalm, Prayer

  • A Fruitful Family

    Posted on October 12, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord” (Psalm 128:1–4).

    The fruit from a family who fears the Lord is tasty and delicious. However, this type of fruit does not happen immediately but is cultivated over time. A fruitful wife sets the tone for the home. By God’s grace she weeds out criticism and replaces it with creativity. The home is her “pride and joy.” It is a reflection of her, as it is her nest.

    A home to the wife is like an office to the husband. Things need to be just right, or she feels violated. Indeed, be grateful for a conscientious wife who wants to express herself through the home. The fruit of a clean, decorated, and ordered home is calming. It provides an environment of stability and frees family members to focus on each other and people. A husband is free to do what he does best at work with a supportive wife at home.

    A mother’s influence spreads like a lovely vine throughout the house. No area is left untouched. The children are nurtured and encouraged by her sensitivity. When instilled from birth, the fruit from children becomes obedience to God and love for the Lord. Their heart for God grows when parents read Bible stories to them as they wait in the womb.

    The warm embrace of their little arms around your neck is the fruit of trust. The look of their kind and trusting eyes is the fruit of consistent love from mom and dad. Their bent toward love for God and people is fruit from their parents’ example of following Jesus.

    Furthermore, family fruit flourishes when the man of the house models faithfulness. A husband’s intentional effort to follow the Lord ignites faith at home. A fruitful wife has no problem submitting to a husband who submits to God. A God-fearing man is quick to confess sin to his heavenly Father and to his family. It is not uncommon for him to say, “I am sorry” or “I was wrong.” Authentic confession encourages confession in others.

    Confessed hearts are family fruit. It is probable the family will pray, read their Bible, and go to church if the leader of the home does the same. Family fruit has a direct correlation to the faithfulness of the family head. Family fruit flourishes when the man fears God. Regardless of the circumstances, he is committed to doing what God expects.

    Therefore, your home becomes a hothouse of character. The fruit threatens to burst through the glass panes for all to see. People are encouraged when they visit your hospitable home. Sinners need a safe environment, as acceptance comes from the fruit of Christ’s acceptance. Heaven’s dew and rainfall keep the fruit coming to a home submitted to Christ. Jesus says, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8). Fruit is proof of faithful families.

    Prayer: Does my character cultivate fruit that glorifies God in my family?

    Related Readings: Genesis 7:1; Proverbs 31:15; Mark 5:19; Acts 10:2

    Post/Tweet: A God-fearing man is quick to confess sin to his heavenly Father and to his family. #Godfearing

    © 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 Psalm, Family

  • Lord, I Need Your Help

    Posted on October 8, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help." (Psalm 18:6 NIV)

    One evening after an intense "discussion," my husband, J. J., told me that no matter what he did or how hard he tried, it was never enough for me. He was right. I constantly found fault with him as a husband and as a dad.

    But when he implied that I was impossible to please ... well, that sent my already-out-of-control emotions reeling. I grabbed my coat and stormed out the front door. Hot tears streamed down my cheeks as I replayed our conversation in my head.

    I was determined to figure out what J. J.'s problem was and get Jesus to fix him. So I started filing complaints against my husband in what you might call a prayer. And I finally heard myself—all the ugliness, all the anger. That's when I realized, I need help. I needed God to help me figure out how—after seven years of a happy marriage—we had gotten to this ugly place.

    Instead of just crying, I found myself crying out to God for help.

    King David was much better at this than I was that day. He had a habit of crying out to God for help when he was in distress. One Bible scholar notes that the phrase, "'In my distress' refers, most probably, not to any particular case, but rather indicates [David's] general habit of mind, that when he was in deep distress and danger he had uniformly called upon the Lord, and had found him ready to help."*

    That night, when I stopped talking and started listening, I sensed God showing me I wanted J. J. to make up for all the ways my dad had fallen short as a father to me and as a husband to my mom. Years as a child in a broken home with a broken heart had led to a significant sense of loss and deep disappointment. Yet, up to that point, I had never grieved the happily-ever-after that I longed for but didn't have.

    My unfulfilled hopes had become bitter expectations. I became controlling and critical, thinking that if I could get J. J. to be the husband and dad I wanted him to be, maybe my broken dreams could be put back together. But I was wrong. Instead of expecting my husband to make up for my losses, I needed to cry out to God with my hurts and call on Him for help.

    Are there hurts that hold you hostage? Expectations no one could really ever meet? Need some help today? I know I do. And I know God is there, waiting for us to cry out to Him.

    As I continued to process what had happened in my childhood and how it affected my marriage, I learned to ask God for help through each step of my healing journey. It took time, prayer, and courage, but God was my very present help.

    By the way, I'm crazy about my husband. And so very thankful for that day several years ago when I finally asked the Lord for help.

    Dear Lord, I need Your help, especially with _______________. Please show me where to start and be my help each step of the way. In Jesus' name, Amen.

    Remember
    Hurts from your past can hold you hostage. God is there, waiting to heal you.

    Reflect
    In what ways do you file complaints against your husband (or other loved one) in what you might call a prayer?

    Respond
    Determine if your hurts are too deep to heal without outside help. If they are, consider seeing a pastor or counselor.

    Power Verses
    Psalm 46:1; Deuteronomy 4:7

    *Albert Barnes, Barnes' Notes on the Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1983).

    Taken from Encouragement for Today: Devotions for Everyday Living by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst and Samantha Evilsizer and the Proverbs 31 Ministries Team. © 2013 Proverbs 31 Ministries. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.

    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 Psalm

  • Sacrifices of Praise

    Posted on October 3, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the LORD." Psalm 4:5 (NLT)

    I have a confession to make. After many years of walking with Jesus and seeking Him to fill me, I still struggle with unmet longings.

    Maybe you can relate. Have you ever wanted something so badly your heart ached with each thought of it? It seems like life would be so much better if you had that one thing.

    There would be more happiness.

    More contentment.

    More fulfillment.

    More satisfaction.

    More peace.

    You can envision yourself with this thing, this person, this opportunity. And all things are better. So, why doesn't God give you this longing of your heart? This longing of my heart?

    Could it be because He wants us to willingly let it go?

    Ouch.

    That's not the answer I want. Why would God let the aching desire linger and not make things happen? He could. He's certainly able. But when He doesn't, it seems unfair. Not good. Confusing.

    It's easy to get down when we're constantly let down. We hope this thing will happen ... we'll meet this right person ... we'll get this job ... we'll finally be healed ... we'll get that chance ... we'll see that family member turn his or her life around. Time and again it doesn't happen. That's when it's easy to slip.

    That's where trust steps in and reminds us we can't ever learn how to live real faith if we never need real faith.

    As an offering of trust, we must give up that which could so easily bring us down.

    Not give up as in discouraged surrender. But give up as in placing this desire in the hand of God and saying, "Either way, I will see Your answer as the good answer and walk in trust."

    I like to call these types of releases in my life sacrifices of praise, like Psalm 4:5 tells us to do: "Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the LORD."

    Lord, I sacrifice chasing this so I might more fully and with more focus chase You. I release this grip of desire. I praise You for who You are, what only You can bring, and how You will fill whatever gap this release might leave.

    Yes, I still struggle with unmet desires.

    But not as much today as I did yesterday.

    And that is good. Not easy. But good.

    Dear Lord, I want to offer You sacrifices of praise with a willing heart. Cultivate in me an attitude of obedience as I choose to trust Your plans above my desires. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What can you offer up as a sacrifice of praise to the Lord?

    Take small steps each day as you walk in obedience and give that thing up to God.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 62:8, "Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." (NIV)

    Isaiah 26:4, "Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal." (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 Psalm

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