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Tag Archives: Psalm

  • Revived By God

    Posted on August 26, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.
    Psalm 80:18-19

    A spiritual life can go unconscious for lack of belief in God, prayer to God or worship of God. Like a lifeless body on an emergency room gurney  a sudden shock of the heart is needed to revive the temporarily deceased. A revival is necessary where spiritual life once thrived, but is now  nonexistent or only emits a faint pulse. The Lord loves His children too much to leave them in a disconnected spiritual state. His breath fills a follower's lungs of faith with fresh air.

    Is your Christian life on auto pilot? Do you need a jolt from Jesus to bring your faith alive? One evidence of a revived spiritual life is the desire to turn toward the Lord and to turn away from sin. The compass of your soul is focused true north in Christ. Any deviation in direction is brought back into alignment around Almighty God’s agenda for your life. The tug of well meaning people on your time is kept in check, so you have plenty of margin to praise Jesus.

    For this is what the high and exalted One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
    “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
    to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15

    A humble and contrite heart unleashes the life of Christ in a spiritual life. So, we lowly approach holy God, who is high and lifted up and who longs to lift us up with our prayers of repentance and rejoicing. Our Heavenly Father is drawn to our desperate need for Him. He reaches out with both hands, lays them on our head and renews our mind with His truth. We call on His name, because He is worthy of our worship and because we need His face to shine on our face in faith.

    Your faith as a child was a good spiritual starting point, but it is only an appetizer to the feast of faith you have in Jesus Christ. Perhaps your appetite for God is starved and needs an intravenous line of love from the Lord Almighty to restore your spiritual life. His life gives you life. Therefore, engage the Holy Spirit with a humble spirit, and He will revive your spirit. Come before Christ with a contrite heart and He will restore the joy of your salvation. God revives!

    Then that person can pray to God and find favor with him, they will see God’s face and shout for joy; he will restore them to full well-being. Job 33:26

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, revive my spirit to follow Your Spirit, give me spiritual life through Your life.

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 30:3; Psalm 51:10-12, 85:6; Hosea 6:2; Acts 3:21; 1 Peter 5:10

    Post/Tweet today: Is your appetite for God starved? An intravenous line of His love will revive your spiritual life. #revivedbyGod

    © 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

  • Where Your Tears Go

    Posted on August 23, 2013 by Tracie Miles

    Tracie Miles

    "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." Psalm 56:8 (NLT)

    If there is one thing I'm known for, it's crying.

    When one of my little ones scraped their knee, didn't make the sports team, or were hurt by a friend's harsh words ... I cried.

    The first time my sixteen-year-old daughter pulled out of the driveway with her new license, when a boy broke her heart, and as she strolled across the stage last year in her blue graduation gown, I cried.

    So when it came time to move her into her dorm room a couple months later, I feared my tears might be uncontrollable.

    Although I was proud she was going to college, and it was time for her to spread her wings, the thought of her leaving seemed unbearable. The idea of not seeing her sweet smile every day, coupled with concern over her well-being, made my heart heavy.

    I had a flashback of tears shed many years ago as my little girl, dressed in her tiny denim skirt and purple butterfly shirt, stood waving goodbye from the door of her kindergarten room. As I turned to leave my daughter in her dorm room, my waterworks started.

    There were tears of happiness, gratitude and excitement. Tears of sadness, anxiety and motherly worry.

    A part of me wondered if I should be crying in this situation. Many mothers would be thrilled to be dropping a child off at college. Was I being selfish with my tears?

    In that moment of mixed emotions, I desperately needed God's comfort and reassurance, and I found it in Psalm 56:8.

    In Psalm 56:8, God reminds us He is intimately concerned with every aspect of our lives. God doesn't judge whether our sorrow is "valid." But because of His compassion, He catches every tear that is shed. It doesn't matter how big or small, trivial or important, the sorrow might be.

    In this Psalm, David expressed grief over his situation, which was truly dangerous. Saul wanted his own son to be king of Israel and was hunting David in order to murder him.

    This forced David to constantly be on the move as he tried to escape. David was grieved, fearful and unsure about the future. Apparently tears flowed as he poured out his feelings to God. "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book" (Psalm 56:8).

    David drew comfort in knowing that no matter what he was going through, God had great compassion on him and gathered all his precious tears in a bottle. David trusted God with his life and his future. He wasn't embarrassed about his tears, and we need not be either, even when we wish we could hold them back.

    Life challenges us. Children grow. Seasons of change bump into our normal status quo. When this happens, tears often spring up and efforts to contain them fall short.

    Dropping your child off at kindergarten, college or any grade in between can evoke a variety of anxieties and emotions. As back-to-school season approaches, let's remember God has compassion on us and our children.

    He is present with every tear shed, and we can count on Him to collect them. No matter what sorrow we face today, we can have confidence God cares.

    Dear Lord, thank You for loving my children even more than I do and for having compassion on them and me. Help me feel Your comfort and reassurance when I face new seasons of life and emotional challenges as a mother. Please tuck my babies under Your wing, guide them in their decisions and keep them safe. Amen.

    Related Resources:

    A Life That Says Welcome, Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others by Karen Ehman

    The NIV Real Life Devotional Bible for Women with 366 devotions written by the Proverbs 31 Ministries team on everyday life.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Has there ever been a time when you felt God collecting your tears?

    Consider how God has touched your heart with His promise of compassion in your life. Take a moment to acknowledge Him and thank Him.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 147:3, "He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds." (NLT)

    Psalm 91:4, "He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection." (NLT)

    © 2013 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

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


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

  • Reliable God

    Posted on August 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely. Psalm 59:9-10

    Life will let us down, people let us down, but the Lord is always reliable. What He says, He does. What He does, He does with an eye on what’s best for His children. Our great God and Creator of the universe is as reliable as the sun rising in the East and setting in the West. He is as dependable as water in the deepest oceans and snow on the highest mountain tops. The One who is the only “I Am,” was, and is, and is the One to come. Without question Christ is 100% reliable.

    Therefore, we watch for the Lord to work and answer prayer. We anticipate His grace to govern our hearts and to open doors for Him to be glorified through our lives. We look for the Almighty to bring justice to the outcasts of society. We celebrate churches who care for the poor and the needy. We pray for governments to create moral boundaries for a civil society. We lead our families to carry Christ’s legacy to the next generation. All as we watch for God’s wonderful works!

    Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God. Isaiah 50:10

    Our Savior Jesus Christ is reliable to give us strength for life’s journey. He gives physical strength to soldiers in the heat of battle. He gives emotional strength to defeat our demons of depression and sirens of self-reliance. He gives spiritual strength to traverse over mountains of disbelief and hills of doubt. God is reliable to reveal a way of escape when we feel trapped by temptation’s snare. Our ego tends to grow in the good times, but our character grows most in the difficult times. Praise Jesus for His strength never tires. He’s our ever available refreshment.

    Lastly, our Heavenly Father is our fortress. He is high above our conflict and confusion. He bids us to join Him and rest. When we enter into the gates of His fortress with thanksgiving, our thoughts are drained of anxiety and our perspective gains peace. We sleep well at night knowing our first defense is Almighty God. The fiery darts of the enemy fall harmlessly to the ground, blunted by the rock of our righteous Lord Christ. He is 100% reliable for strength and protection!

    The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for being 100% reliable in the good and bad times.

    Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 14:11; Psalm 9:9, 62:2, 71:3; 2 Corinthians 1:9; 1 John 4:16

    Post/Tweet today: Our ego tends to grow in the good times, but our character grows most in the difficult times. #reliableGod

    © 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

  • Daily Burden Bearer

    Posted on August 20, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Psalm 68:19

    Believers in Jesus have the Lord who daily bears their burdens. He is a Savior who is not crushed by back breaking circumstances. He reinforces the tentative trust of those under the weighty issues of wealth, sickness, leadership responsibilities, and becoming single again. Yes, a burden becomes too much to bear when it is managed alone. This silent suffering is soul abuse. But in Christ we have the righteous and resilient resources of heaven to persevere through pain.

    Therefore, make sure to engage the eternal grace of God to get you through temporary trials. You do not have to fake it to make it because faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master will give you the godly gumption to get through. Partner with the Holy Spirit to lift from your fleshly shoulders any feelings of doubt, false guilt or the fantasy of living a problem free life. He who lifted your sin burden at salvation remains a strong burden bearer today. God supports you daily.

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

    Just as a nurse cuddles and carries a newborn, so your Heavenly Father cradles you in His sustaining care. Any back and forth movement you may feel against your faith is the soothing rock of your comforting Savior, Christ Jesus. When He holds you close to His breast, you can rest in Him. Resist fear’s desire to pull away and flee from the palpable peace of God. A soul snuggled against the chest of deity will not be shaken. What He holds close, He keeps secure!

    Hallelujah, praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior who daily bears our burdens. We praise Him in the morning, we praise Him in the noontime and we praise Him in the evening for removing our anxieties with His loving lift of compassion. Because He is our burden bearer we are freed to help carry the burdens of those stuck in sin or beat down from life’s challenges. What a joy divine to be Jesus to someone who needs to see Jesus. Thank your Burden Bearer, Jesus Christ!

    Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
    Prayer: Heavenly Father, what a joy to know You bear my burdens daily, so I am free to help others bear theirs.

    Related Readings: Psalm 81:16; Isaiah 9:4, 10:27, 46:4; Matthew 11:28-30; 1 John 2:6

    Post/Tweet today: He [Jesus] who lifted your sin burden at salvation remains a strong burden bearer today. #dailybearsburdens

    © 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

  • The Gift of Listening

    Posted on August 20, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray." Psalm 17:6 (NLT)

    One night I heard my husband calling our dog to get her treat. He was actually trying to lure Chelsea, our thirteen-year-old dachshund, to her doggie bed. She was in her favorite chair and nothing was getting her to budge, not even the promise of a treat.

    I asked my kids if they thought Chelsea had "selective hearing" because she didn't want to go to bed or if she was going deaf. I had a feeling it was the latter.

    We reminisced and laughed about how Chelsea used to hear every little thing, from the icemaker in our kitchen to a leaf blowing outside. Then my son Andrew, who was nine at the time, looked at me with great concern. "Mom, I hope when you get old you don't go deaf like Chelsea."

    I laughingly told him it might be good if I can't hear everything when I get as old as Chelsea. She gets a lot more sleep, and she's not offended by the doggy jokes we make about her advanced age.

    My light-hearted response didn't wipe the concern off his brow, so I asked why he was afraid I wouldn't be able to hear him. He answered without hesitation, "Well, sometimes you don't hear me now. Like when you're on the computer and I ask you a question."

    Ouch! I had no idea my child thought I couldn't hear him. His answer almost sent me on a bad-mommy guilt-trip. Flashbacks popped up from times I'd heard him but hadn't listened because my focus was on someone or something else, like the computer and TV.

    Instead of defining that moment with guilt, I pulled Andrew close and told him I was sorry for not listening sometimes. I explained how me being on the computer is similar to him watching a movie. He gets so involved he doesn't hear me call him for dinner. He smiled recognizing his own "hearing loss" at times.

    Still, I didn't want that to be my excuse. So I promised him I would try to stop what I am doing when he comes to me. In my heart, I committed to look away from my computer or phone to really listen. His comment made me realize, we all long to be heard, don't we?

    Psalm 17:6 reflects our desire for God to hear us. The psalmist wrote, "I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray." It reminds me that in the same way I go to God because I want Him to listen and answer me, my child and others come to me because they want me to listen to them. When I stop what I'm doing and listen, it tells them that they, and what they have to say, are important to me.

    In our culture of constant contact through technology, it's easy for our attention to be divided and our focus to shift away from those who are in the room with us.

    Although we are physically present, often times we are mentally absent.

    That night God showed me the valuable gift we can give our children, spouses, friends, co-workers and even strangers. It's the gift of listening.

    We give it each time we stop what we're doing and turn our full attention to others when they talk to us. And, it's a gift God gives to us each time we talk to Him too!

    Lord, thank You for listening to me. Please help me be a better listener. It's easy to hear with one ear while the other is turned toward my computer, television or cell phone. I want to give the gift of listening because it communicates that I value those who want me to hear them. Make me aware and willing to push past this habit so that I can be a listener like You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    A Life That Says Welcome, Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others by Karen Ehman

    The NIV Real Life Devotional Bible for Women with 366 devotions written by the Proverbs 31 Ministries team on everyday life.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Ask God to show you throughout the day how you are doing when it comes to really listening to those you live and work with.

    Make a list of people you will give the gift of listening to this week.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 54:2, "Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth." (NIV)

    Luke 2:46, "After three days they found him [Jesus] in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. 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, Listening

  • Quiet My Soul

    Posted on August 16, 2013 by Wendy Pope

    Wendy Pope

    "But I have stilled and quieted my soul." Psalm 131:2a (NIV 1984)

    I'm a talker ... I always have been. When report cards came home, my parents never expected anything better than a C beside the word "conduct." One of my elementary school teachers politely called me "very social." Most were more blunt: "Wendy talks too much. She could learn more if she would talk less."

    Unfortunately, old habits die hard. I brought this trait of talking too much into the time I set aside each day to spend alone with God. I often fill my "quiet time" with my words ... lots and lots of words. I wonder if sometimes the Father looks to the Son and says, "I can't get a word in edge-wise with this girl! She could learn more if she would talk less."

    No, silence wasn't easy for this girl who likes to gab. Rather than waiting for God to speak to me, I wanted to tell Him what I thought would be good solutions to my problems. To-do lists ran through my head, instead of peace and quiet. It was easy to go on and on about the dusty shelves and piles of toys. But sit and listen? That felt unnatural, so I resisted and kept talking.

    I shared this uneasiness with God, knowing silence and stillness were things I needed to practice. During these times I felt God's gentle encouragement: Shhh ... be still. It's okay to be silent. You don't have to say a word.

    God was clearly trying to teach me something. His direction to be quiet was about more than resting my mouth-it was about resting my heart. I understood this when I read Psalm 131:2, "But I have stilled and quieted my soul." God wanted me to understand true rest ... His rest.

    As with anything, practice makes perfect. With great intention, I slowed my 90-mile-an-hour thoughts and parked them during my alone time with the Lord. Sometimes this required me writing out my to-do list prior to our time together. Or re-adjusting my priorities. Vacuuming was not as important as listening to God. Many times my thoughts would rev up, and I'd be talking without even realizing it! But I'd rein them back in and start over.

    My spirit felt renewed and at peace. In silence and stillness, I sensed God's direction for my day, peace for my circumstances and the soul-rest I needed.

    As we fill the reservoirs of our souls with true refreshment from God, we learn to relax as we experience real peace and rest that only comes from the silence and stillness of being with Him. We carry this refreshment with us as we face the challenges of our day.

    Do you have the gift of gab like me? Do you find it challenging to sit quietly with God? Ask Him to help you practice and enjoy silence and stillness. Your soul will find refreshing peace. God's rest is exactly what our restless souls need.

    Dear Lord, my soul is having a hard time being still. I lay down my resistance to silence and ask for your help to spend time in silence with You every day. I praise You in advance for what You are going to say to me in the silence. I thank You for the rest only You can give. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    What Happens When Young Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst and Hope TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    What keeps you from silencing your soul during quiet times with God?

    For five days spend five minutes in silence with God. Open the time of silence by repeating today's key verse, "But I have stilled and quieted my soul" (Psalm 131:2a). Keep a journal of your time with Him.

    Power Verses:
    Matthew 11:28-30, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." (MSG)

    Ecclesiastes 3:7b, "... a time to be silent and a time to speak." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Wendy Pope. 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

  • Heart Secrets

    Posted on August 12, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart? Psalm 44:20-21

    Most all followers of Jesus have harbored secrets in their hearts. Secrets of unseemly deeds done in ignorance or intentionally. Perhaps, like Peter, they walked away from a friend in their deepest hour of despair or like an illusive criminal they carried a secret crime to their grave. If these secrets are not confessed to Christ and renounced in repentant behavior they erode away peace, joy and security. A twisted countenance needs to share its secret with his Savior Jesus Christ.

    Secrets of the heart do not fly under the righteous radar of heaven. God is aware and cares about the conflicts that war within our soul. At our conversion to Christ we renounced our old way of living, but similar to the nuisance of a rebel pack of stray dogs, we are still influenced by rebellious habits that need the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. The flesh may suppress an unhealthy habit for a time, but the Lord knows real time what’s hidden. Holiness exposes secrets.

    This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. Romans 2:16

    Avoid keeping heart secrets from Almighty God (He already knows). Sacrifice on the Lord’s altar of forgiveness any past or present secret life. Rely on the Holy Spirit to align who your Heavenly Father says you are, with who you really are on the inside. Don’t keep heart secrets from those who love and respect you the most. The more transparent you are with your struggles, the more they admire you. Secrets of the heart dissolve  in the face of full disclosure.

    Moreover, heart secrets do not have to be shameful, they can be celebratory. Like Paul, some special friends of God are caught up into the third heaven of intimacy and afterward are unable to put into words their intimate moment. Their inexpressible encounter becomes a spiritual secret shared only with their Savior Jesus. As we seek to know our Lord in secret places, He sustains us in our public service for Him. Thank God for special heart secrets between just the two of you!

    I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Isaiah 45:3

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, expose my heart secrets by Your love and lead me to live in the light of Your righteousness.

    Related Readings: 1 Samuel 16:7; 2 Kings 17:9; Jeremiah 23:24; 2 Corinthians 12:1-12

    Post/Tweet today: The flesh may suppress an unhealthy habit for a time, but the Lord knows real time what’s hidden. #heartsecrets

    © 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 and was tagged with Psalm

  • Give God Guilt

    Posted on August 9, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. Psalm 38:4

    When we feel like we have come to nothing, our Lord Jesus is ready to make us into something. Guilt can cause our good deeds to grind to a halt or it can drive us to try to make up for lost time with frantic activity for God. Guilt motivated behavior is not sustainable, because like a scuba diver’s weight belt it weighs us down with sin and shame. We drift deeper into the murky waters of fear until we are unable to see the forgiveness and grace of God. Guilt overwhelms our heart.

    The blood of Jesus Christ is the only remedy for sin’s guilt. Other pseudo solutions like drugs, alcohol, sex, work and play only mess with our emotions and leave us longing for real relief. Guilt is a warning light on the dashboard of our life that flashes when we are close to losing our peace and joy. It is a protector of joy not a killer of joy. Guilt drives us to God for freedom from mental or emotional pain. Confess to Christ, release your guilt and accept His total forgiveness.

    For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. James 2:10

    Beware of those who intentionally or unintentionally attempt to put you on a guilt trip. It could be they are shifting blame to you from their irresponsible behavior. Their own shame feels the need to shame those in their path. Avoid chronic carriers of guilt, they hurt innocent bystanders who stand near their exposed emotional wounds. Guilt is like a grenade whose pin is pulled, its insensitive shrapnel injures everyone in its path. Yes, be a righteous resolver of unresolved guilt.

    Do you hold unrealistic expectations over the head of a loved one? Do you demand of others more than the Lord expects of them? If so, guilt can easily drive a wedge in between your relationships. A friend or family member bound up in their own shame and guilt need God’s grace and your gracious response. Your forgiveness frees the guilty. Once you have been freed from guilt by God’s grace, you can lead others to receive the Lord’s love. He frees the guilty!

    They will be forgiven for any of the things they did that made them guilty. Leviticus 6:7

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, free me from the guilt of my past, so I can free friends from guilt in the present.

    Related Readings: Numbers 11:14, 14:18; Ezra 9:6; Luke 11:46; Hebrews 10:22

    Post/Tweet today: Guilt is a warning light on life’s dashboard that flashes when we are close to losing our peace and joy. #guilt


    © 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, Guilt

  • Letting Go

    Posted on August 9, 2013 by Amy Carroll

    Amy Carroll

    "He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands." Psalm 78:5-7 (NIV)

    Each year I take out one memory-soaked treasure after another from the boxes containing our family's Christmas and winter decorations. There's one I anticipate unpacking more than all the others. It's a framed photograph of my two little boys in brightly colored jackets sitting on a sled surrounded by fresh snow. Their heads thrown back with delight and laughter give testament to the joy of speed and a rare North Carolina snowfall.

    It's amazing how that one picture captures the childhood of my sons. Thinking about it makes my heart ache for days gone by. I reminisce about hours of playing with blocks and little arms wrapped around my neck.

    I never wanted those toddler hugs to end, but today, my once-little-boys tower over me, their deep voices filling our home. Gone are childish giggles, Play-Doh and picture books. Those things are replaced with teenaged practical jokes, car keys and college texts. The boys have turned into young men, and they've let go of juvenile ways. Now, if only their mama could let go!

    My oldest, Anson, is getting ready to head back to college for his sophomore year, and God's Word comforts me in this challenging transition. To parents who are watching their children sprout wings of independence, God gives strong direction followed by a powerful promise.

    Strong Direction ... our job as parents is to teach.

    There are several different scriptures that command us to teach:

    "Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them" (Deut. 4:9 NIV).

    "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up" (Deut. 11:18-19 NIV).

    Followed by a promise ... as we let go, trust our children will hang on to God.

    "Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it" (Proverbs 22:6 NLT).

    Teach and then trust.

    Parenting is a divine partnership, with God as the controlling partner. Our acts of obedience to teach our kids merge powerfully with His promises to carry them through to the end.

    My husband and I have faithfully and lovingly taught God's Word to our sons. Now we are trusting God to finish the work He has begun in them. The work may not be evident immediately and there will be bumps in the road, but teaching and then trusting helps this mama's heart to let go.

    Dear Lord, help me to faithfully teach Your Word and Your ways to my children and then trust You to set their paths. I let go of control and trust Your work in them. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    Are there biblical lessons you feel you haven't yet taught your child? Make a plan to do that before they leave your home.

    Ask your older child today how you're doing in the letting go process. Discuss freedoms he would like to have and how those freedoms can be earned.

    Power Verses:
    Isaiah 44:3, "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Amy Carroll. 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

  • My Goodness

    Posted on August 6, 2013 by Sheila Mangum

    Sheila Mangum

    Sheila Mangum

    "Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." Psalm 23:6 (NIV)

    It was well into the second quarter of the high school basketball game when the senior captain of the home team showed up late.

    Just that morning his mother unexpectedly passed away from a sudden hemorrhage. She'd been in remission after a five-year fight with cervical cancer when she took the fatal turn.

    Some of the team had been at the hospital with their grieving friend. Although they had an important game that night, the guys wanted to cancel it. Brokenhearted, the senior captain encouraged the team to play.

    You can imagine everyone's surprise when this young man came out to root for his team.

    His coach asked him if he wanted to sit on the bench with his teammates.

    "No," he replied. "I want to play."

    Game rules prevented anyone not on the pre-game roster to play unless the opposing team was granted a technical foul that would give them two free throws. It was a tight game, but his coach willingly traded the points to comfort his player.

    But that is not where the compassion stopped.

    The other coach wasn't interested in the free throws. He wanted to let the brokenhearted player just play. With no penalties. This coach and the referees argued over the rules until the referees won with, "Rules will not be broken."

    So, after a brief conversation with his coach, the visiting team's senior captain took his place on the free throw line.

    Giving his coach an understanding nod, he dribbled the ball and threw it two feet. The crowd stared in wonder as the ball rolled off the court. The second free throw landed at his feet. He had purposefully missed guaranteed points.

    This gesture of sportsmanship ignited a standing ovation. Applause roared throughout the gym. The crowd witnessed a rare act of kindness birthed out of the goodness of the visiting coach and captain's hearts.

    We don't often hear about people taking hold of opportunities to demonstrate such graciousness. But every day we can see God's goodness if we simply take the time. Psalm 23:6 tells us that "Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."

    Before the brokenhearted player even arrived at the game, God's goodness followed him, ready to show up when he needed it most. Goodness tapped two coaches on the shoulders. Goodness whispered in the hearts of a group of teenagers.

    God's goodness is here for us as well. We find it in His daily care and love, especially in times of hardship. But we have to "get in the game" to see it. If we're checked out of life, not spending time in prayer, or not actively seeking to recognize God's goodness, we'll miss it. True, His goodness might not always seem as evident as a team opting out of free points in a basketball game, but God's goodness is all around us.

    Could His kindness and love be the encouraging word or hug from a friend? Perhaps it's peace that comes unexpectedly. Or maybe it's the conversation with the grocery store clerk that brought a smile to your face.

    This young man who lost his mother probably had no idea how he was going to ease the pain that surrounded him. You may be wondering that very thing as well. This is why God promises, "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18). God wants to be closer to you than the pain. One way He does this is by following you with His goodness and showing up through the hands and hearts of others.

    I cannot tell you who won the last Super Bowl. I don't know who the Major League's MVP is. There's no way I can spout off the NBA lineup. What I can tell you about is the day God's goodness followed a crushed young man into a gymnasium during a high school basketball game in Milwaukee and made His goodness known. I can tell you he played the rest of the game, scoring ten points that led to his team's victory.

    But most importantly, I can tell you that God's goodness is following you. Will you get in the game and look for it?

    Dear Lord, I praise You for Your goodness. Open my eyes that I will fully see Your marvelous ways. Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    God's goodness is following you and wants to be closer to you than the pain. Look for His goodness to show up for you.

    Who will you demonstrate God's goodness to today? How?

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 3:3, "But you are a shield around me, O LORD, you bestow glory on me and lift up my head."

    © 2013 by Sheila Mangum. 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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