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

  • Music from $5

Tag Archives: Romans

  • Beautiful Baptism

    Posted on July 9, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4

     

    Baptism is beautiful to behold because it is an example of God’s great love pictured in the death and resurrection of His son Jesus. The Lord Jesus walked courageously in the shadow of death’s valley. He died, was buried and all hope seemed to die with Him. His death darkened His disciples’ faith. However, by the glory of the Father, Christ was raised from the dead, never to die again. Hope was alive, because Jesus was alive. Baptism celebrates Jesus Christ’s triumph over death!

     

    All who are spiritually dead in sin, walk in the shadow of a scary death. The valley of despair is lonely without the Lord. However, we can die to our self without having to die in our sin. When we choose by faith to crucify ourselves with Christ, we die to our old way of living and thinking. Death to self brings life from our Savior Jesus. The great exchange of our old life with Christ’s new life makes death a pass through to paradise. His resurrected life empowers our new life.

     

    I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

    Has baptism followed your spiritual comprehension and true belief in God? Yes, baptism before belief is a counterfeit claim. Thus, make sure the order of your baptismal ordinance follows your genuine faith. A baby’s baptism can be a dedication by parents to raise their child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, but it is not an illustration of the infant’s conversion. Believer’s baptism is a public and bold declaration of death to self and raised to walk in newness of life.

    Lastly, the Lord Jesus modeled for us the way of baptism. He humbled Himself in the presence of the public to pronounce His allegiance to His Heavenly Father. As He prayed, He was affirmed by Almighty God. Therefore, your baptism is a spiritual act of service that causes your Heavenly Father to smile. He is well pleased with your public profession of faith. An obedient faith that leads to baptism is an authentic faith. When immersed, God’s love immerses your soul!

    When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased. Luke 3:21-22

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for my beautiful baptism that pictures Your great grace.

    Related Readings: Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:36-38; Romans 7:6; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21

    Post/Tweet today: An obedient faith that leads to baptism is an authentic faith. #baptism

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

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

  • Too Sensitive

    Posted on July 5, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. Romans 12:3

    Pride is too sensitive. It easily gets its feelings hurt, because pride has a very high opinion of itself. Indeed, those who are overly sensitive believe they are beyond questioning or criticism. When someone asks for clarification or questions their actions, the proud move quickly to a defensive and/or attack frame of mind. Self focus causes hyper sensitive people to easily get their feelings hurt. Proud people have a protective process of projecting an image of perfection.

    Are you vulnerable and open to other opinions? Or, is your mind made up and no one can persuade you to think differently? Furthermore, how can we think soberly about ourselves? Sober mindedness is a healthy blend of humility and confidence in Christ. Humility sees even in our imperfection, we are loved by a perfect Savior. Confidence in Christ means we can be assured where He calls us, He will empower us. Humility is sensitive to the Spirit and not to self.

    My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Psalm 131:1-2

    There is a calmness that accompanies our heart when it is content and void of conceit. Our spirit is quieted under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit gives us compassionate sensitivity to other souls. The Spirit’s influence keeps us from being consumed with ourselves. We quickly admit our offenses, own them and ask others for forgiveness. We laugh with others at our goofy remarks or silly mistakes. Humility is not easily offended.

    Lastly, look to the Lord for affirmation, approval and acceptance. His nod of approval, His smile of affirmation and His hug of acceptance still your spirit. Your Heavenly Father has given you the faith to forge ahead for Him. Many will support your efforts, some will be indifferent and a few will resist. Regardless, do not take the feeling of rejection personally. Remember, like Jesus  stay focused on bringing glory to God. It is not about you, but Him. Be sensitive to the Spirit.

    You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low. 2 Samuel 22:8

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to be sensitive to Your Spirit and not to selfish desires.

    Related Readings: Psalm 101:5, 116:7; Isaiah 2:12; Romans 8:14, 12:16; Galatians 5:18

    Post/Tweet today: Humility sees even in our imperfections we are loved by a perfect Savior. #lovedbyJesus

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

  • Unlearn Untruths

    Posted on June 21, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

    God calls His children to think anew,not like they did in the past with old prejudices and skewed perspectives,but with renewed thoughts captured by Christ. Like medical science that discovers new remedies for old illnesses, the Christian mind grows under God’s influence. We love the Lord with our mind when we humbly unlearn untruths.

    The mature follower of Christ learns to unlearn beliefs that are untrue. For example, the Bible does not teach: “God helps those who help themselves.” Yet, because we hear it repeated multiple times without rebuttal, it begins to blend into our belief system. God helps those who die to themselves, and who come alive by faith in Jesus Christ. Yes, the Lord wants us to work hard, but not as a substitute for our utter dependence on Him.

    “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3).

    Another untruth that needs to be unlearned says, “If you have enough faith you will be physically healed or you will prosper materially.” Jesus can of course do either of these, but your faith does not guarantee that He will heal you (though the ultimate healing is heaven) and He will bless you financially. Some with great faith, die of disease and some filthy rich in faith live a life of poverty on earth. True faith trusts God to do His will.

    Often repeated but  wrong is: “bad people go to hell and good people go to heaven.” Saved people  go to heaven and lost people  go to hell—only belief in the blood of Jesus Christ as the payment for our sin can  gain us eternal life with God. No amount of moral acts  can justify a life before Him—it requires grace not goodness.

    “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away” (Isaiah 64:6). “But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b).

    Therefore, rid your mind of old thinking that assumes something that is not true, and replace it with Scripture’s timeless truth.  A mentor or teacher may have meant well but a sincere heart that delivers half-truths can confuse your mind and emotions. Read the Bible to validate what you believe,and have the courage and faith to unlearn untruths.

    “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

    Prayer: What belief do I currently embrace as true that does not align with Scriptural principles?

    Related Readings: Job 6:24; Psalm 119:15; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 2 Timothy 2:25-26

    Post/Tweet today: Rid your mind of thinking that assumes something untrue, and replace it with Scripture’s timeless truth. #truth

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

  • Forgive Yourself

    Posted on April 5, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

    Have you forgiven yourself? Have you really forgiven yourself? We know we have forgiven ourselves if we are free from guilt and self-condemnation. Otherwise we are stuck in the crazy cycle of re-living bad decisions that are done and cannot be changed. It is impossible to continually guilt our conscience in order to make up for past mistakes.

    When we do not release ourselves from previous indiscretions we try to make up for them by overcompensating in the present. Perhaps you neglected your child in their early years, and now as an older teenager you’ve tried to make up for your absence by enabling their poor decisions. Instead, they need to experience the consequences of bad behavior while they are with you, so they can learn and grow into responsible adults and citizens.

    Jesus tells the story of a loving father who allowed his son to hit bottom, and as a consequence the son came to realize and take  responsibility for his reality: “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you (Luke 15:17-18).

    Forgiving yourself begins by embracing the truth that your heavenly Father has forgiven you. The grace of God is in abundant supply; no one is beyond its reach. The Lord loves you unconditionally, and He forgives the objects of His love. Has the grace of God seeped deep into your soul, so you know in your heart and mind that you are set free from the guilt and shame of sin? If not, forgive yourself and trust the Lord to make up for lost time.

    “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

    When you forgive yourself, you are able to forgive others. Self-forgiveness is a key to unlocking real relationships. Authentic community with Christ and Christians comes from forgiveness from your heavenly Father, forgiveness from others, and forgiveness from yourself. What have you not released yourself from in forgiveness? Lay it at the altar of God’s grace and He will extinguish it with His eternal fire of forgiveness and love.

    “This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:38-39). When you love yourself—you forgive yourself!

    Prayer: How can I grow in my love and forgiveness of myself? How does God forgive me?

    Related Readings: Psalm 130:3-5; 2 Corinthians 6:1; Colossians 1:14; 1 John 4:7-12

    Post/Tweet today: Forgiving yourself begins by embracing the truth that your heavenly Father has forgiven you. #forgiveyourself

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • A New Pattern of Thought

    Posted on April 2, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee

    "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2 (NIV)

    It's usually very subtle. I'll think about something I want to do or sense God calling me to, and a feeling of uncertainty comes over me. Doubt whispers You can't do that. You're not good enough. Out of the blue, I'll get that awful, insecure feeling.

    Too many times in the past I've gone along. Without realizing it, I agreed with my insecurities.

    For years, I didn't tell anyone about my doubts. I figured if they knew the reasons I doubted myself, they'd notice flaws I had worked hard to hide. Honestly, I thought I was the only one who struggled with doubt.

    However, I didn't call it doubt. Maybe you don't either. Sometimes I called it worry—worry that I was going to disappoint someone, worry that I might make a mistake and get criticized for it, worry that I might start something but not be able to finish.

    Other times I'd call it fear—fear of not measuring up, fear of rejection, fear of looking prideful by thinking I could do something special for God.

    What I've realized over the years is that these feelings may end up as fear or worry, but their source is self-doubt. Looking back, I see there was a pattern in my thinking that led to the pattern of my doubting.

    As a child I thought I wasn't worth keeping. My insecurity kept me from riding the carousel at an amusement park because I doubted my dad would wait for me. In school, I thought I wasn't smart enough. I avoided great opportunities because they came with the risk of failure.

    Even as a young bride, I doubted my worth in my husband's eyes. Although he gave me no reason to fear, our newlywed memories include many arguments about trust.

    The apostle Paul challenges us in Romans 12:2 to not let our minds be conformed by the patterns of this world. This means we need to take our patterns of thought into consideration because they affect what we believe about ourselves and what we believe about God's view of us and others.

    The world's patterns of thought tell us our worth is measured by our weight or bank account, our job or spouse, by the number of our friends, or if we are able to have children. And if we do have children, the world tells us we're only good parents if our children behave 'just so.'

    Have any of these thoughts ever convinced you you're not enough or don't have what it takes to do all God's calling you to do?

    Just this week, doubt tried to convince me I couldn't handle my life. I had a sick teenager, a huge deadline to meet, several therapy appointments for my daughter and very concerning health problems with my mom.

    Remembering the wisdom in today's key verse, I paused to consider the pattern of my thoughts and knew they didn't line up with God's thoughts. For instance, in Philippians 4:13 God tells me, "... I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength" (NLT).

    I claimed God's promise by weaving it into my thoughts, knowing I could do it all if I depended on the strength God promises to give. And when I did, God transformed my heart by renewing my mind with His peace and confidence.

    It takes time to replace our patterns of thought with God's thoughts. The ways of the world—fear and worry—are powerful forces. But God's Word trumps them, always. Today, let's be intentional to lay down self-doubts and replace them with truth, remembering "... he who began a good work in [us] will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (Phil. 1:16 ESV).

    Lord, I want to have a confident heart in Christ and persevere in Your truth so that when I have done Your will, I will receive what You have promised. When doubt tells me I can't do something, I'll remember all things are possible to her who believes. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    In her life-changing book, A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises, Renee Swope will empower and equip you with new patterns of thought to help you overcome doubt, fear, and worry so you can move forward in confident assurance of all God has for your life!

    Reflect and Respond:
    What motivates you the most to be free from self-doubt?

    What would you do differently if you were free from worry and fear, and fully trusted God? Let go of unforgiveness? Volunteer more? Travel? Start a new hobby or look for a new job? Ask the Lord to help you replace self-doubt with His confidence and what your first step of freedom should be.

    Power Verse:
    Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" (NLT)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

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

  • Are You Hearing?

    Posted on February 26, 2013 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn

    "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." Romans 10:17 (NIV)

    With a very busy day ahead of me, a dark cloud of stress was hanging overhead. I had written my "to-do" list, and asked the Holy Spirit to help me hear His timeline for when I should get everything done.

    Getting ready to tackle number one on my list, I felt an impression on my heart, "Start with worshipping Me." At first I thought, I don't really have time for that. But peace came as I acknowledged I didn't have time not to worship Him.

    Setting my list aside, I turned on worship music in my living room. As I listened to scriptures woven throughout the lyrics, I saw again how His Word was exactly what I needed to start my day.

    This year, I am purposing to listen. Dictionary.com defines listen as: to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing.

    To listen, I have to be focused on hearing, purposefully and selectively, because what I hear has the power to change to me.

    Romans 10:17 says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." (ESV)

    When I hear God's Word, whether it is spoken, set to music or taught, my faith will grow. I need, then, to put myself in a place where I can hear (not just read silently) God's Word. I've begun to look for new ways to hear Scripture.

    One of those ways is reading the Bible out loud. This has a few great benefits. I stay awake (a serious consideration when it's early in the morning or late at night!). Anyone who hears me also gets to hear God's Word! And my faith is built.

    When little children first learn how to read, what does their teacher make them do? Read out loud. Why? Hearing builds comprehension; it helps us understand the material better.

    The same is true when it comes to reading God's Word. "Faith comes by hearing." Reading out loud helps build our comprehension of what Scripture is telling us, as well as our faith. This is good for us and our children!

    We can read the Bible out loud to children or better yet, have them read to us! Even if just for a small pocket of time: on the way to school, after dinner, before bed, or coming home from sports practice.

    Keep a Bible in the car, by your kitchen table, or near the TV. I once heard a great author say he grew up in a home with books everywhere. In every room, on every table, there was a book. It became a natural thing to just pick them up and see what each page held! Let's do the same with God's Word and make it easily accessible.

    Hearing God's Word is important. Let's start listening today by turning on some praise music, reading Scripture out loud and listening to sermons. Our faith will begin building quickly!

    Lord, I need to build my faith for all that You have given me in this life. Holy Spirit, whisper to me, showing me pockets of time when I can hear Your Word for myself and for my children too. Amen

    Related Resources:
    Do you need a resource to help a teen girl in your life build her faith through hearing God's Word? Lynn Cowell's new book Devotions for a Revolutionary Year - 365 Days of Jesus' Radical Love for You can help you do just that! Short devotionals, only 2-3 minutes each, can go a long way in helping her learn God's truth.

    Reflect and Respond:
    When are you currently hearing God's Word? Church services, online sermons, radio broadcasts?

    Power Verses:
    Colossians 3:16, "Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts." (NIV)

    1 Thessalonians 2:13, "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

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

  • The Good Wife

    Posted on February 5, 2013 by Sharon Glasgow

    Sharon

    "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:10 (NIV)

    Being a good wife is a lot like being a good cook.

    Any cook using the same recipe and instructions can produce a dish that tastes entirely different from another's. Why is this?

    Well, attention to detail is one characteristic that distinguishes a good cook from an average one.

    Take fried apples for example. All you need are apples, sugar, butter and cinnamon. But, not every cook prepares them the same. I cook mine on high (I want them caramelized) and I never put a lid on the pan or they get mushy. If you take the same ingredients, cook them on low with a cover, you get a dish that doesn't resemble mine at all. The same recipe produces a totally different result.

    The same is true between a good wife and an average wife. There are hundreds of recipes for being a good wife using the same few ingredients: love, respect, communication, intimacy, time, service, and prayer. Even if the recipe is followed without one ingredient omitted, the outcome can be totally different.

    If you love in proportion to what is given you, the recipe will not rise to the fullest. Our key verse, Romans 12:10, tells us to be devoted in love. The word love as used here is an unconditional one with no expectations of a return. Love with every ounce of your being and when you have given all, squeeze even more out.

    I grew up lacking an understanding of respect. I loved my husband, but didn't respect all of his ideas or his role in our family. But through reading Scripture, God showed me the importance of respecting my husband. In fact, Romans 12:10 encourages us to honor our husbands by thinking more highly of them than ourselves. This meant I had to stop thinking my way was the only way! Once I learned to listen before reacting and respect his thoughts, I find Dale is actually right most often.

    Communication is a delicate balance of listening and talking. Listen not only with your ears but with your heart. One author broke down our key verse by saying, "They should speak honorably of each other ... and discourage that evil practice of whisperings, backbitings, and innuendos; they should treat each other with honor and respect in their common conversation."* Allow nothing to hinder this vital ingredient, including interrupting, assuming, or past conversations. He needs to know you care about his every thought, goal, and burden.

    Do not neglect intimacy! The spicier you make this ingredient, the easier the other ingredients gel together into the perfect recipe.

    I'm not the perfect housekeeper, but I try my best. Serving my husband by keeping our home organized and clean, cooking meals he enjoys, and creating an atmosphere of love makes my recipe great!

    Time with him is a vital ingredient too. So, I go everywhere he goes whenever possible. When our five girls were little we would all hop in the vehicle to get gas or pick up nails from the hardware store just to be with him.

    Many nights I wake up and while he sleeps, I watch him and pray. I pray for his health, his work, and his dreams to be fulfilled. Make time each day to regularly pray for your husband, and sprinkle in prayers throughout your day as well. The Lord will be faithful to answer.

    The Good Wife Recipe is about being devoted to one another in love and honoring each other above ourselves. I've noticed that the more I put into the recipe, the more I get out of it ... and the more passionate my marriage is. The more passionate it becomes the less work it is. My desire to love becomes greater, ability to respect becomes second nature, communication becomes like-minded, intimacy is sweeter, and time with him is my desire not a duty.

    Being a good wife is a lot like being a good cook. Anyone using the same recipe and instructions can produce a marriage that is entirely different from another. The secret to The Good Wife Recipe: do not neglect one ingredient. It will be how deliberate you are with the finer details that will determine the outcome.

    Dear Lord, help me be the wife I need to be. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    Are you using all the ingredients mentioned in this devotion in your marriage?

    Everyone's taste is different. Which ingredient needs adjusting for your husband's preferences?

    Power Verse:
    Proverbs 12:4, "A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones." (NIV)

    * Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

    © 2013 by Sharon Glasgow. All rights reserved.

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

  • When Hurt Robs Us of Hope

    Posted on January 30, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee

    "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 (NIV)

    How could this be happening? She had given up so much to be with him and now this?

    My friend had left her very successful career and friends in Louisiana, uprooted her three kids and moved to North Carolina to get married and live in her new husband's hometown. And now, six years later, she answered the phone and was shocked by the confession of a woman who called to tell her that she'd been having an affair with my friend's second husband — for the past four years.

    I held her as she sobbed. And I listened as she questioned everything about her husband. Every business trip, every late night at the office, everything she thought was true that was now laced with deceit.

    Something in my soul cracked that day, and every bit of hope I ever had that I would one day get married ... it was gone. I swore that I would never, ever trust a man.

    Has there ever been a time when pain from your yesterdays or disappointments in your todays has stolen your hope? When you have been wounded, the risk of getting hurt again seems more costly, and perhaps even more likely, doesn't it?

    The things that hurt us are as varied as the lies we believe because of them:

    • Like my friend who was sexually abused by a neighbor when she was eight years old. Shame convinced her she would always be dirty and worthless.

    • Like my friend who was raped at knife point by a masked stranger the week of her college graduation. Fear held her for years in a personal prison, telling her she'd never be free.

    • Like my friend who was married and divorced multiple times. Condemnation convinced her she'd never be good enough for a man or God.

    • Like a woman I know whose mother called her names and criticized everything she did. Humiliation holds her hostage, convincing her she'll always be useless.

    • Like my friend who had an abortion when she was a teenager. Paralyzing grief and disgrace convinced her God could never use her in ministry.

    • Like my friend whose son is in prison awaiting trial as a sex offender. False blame keeps her up at night, convincing her she must have done something wrong as a mom.

    The pain of our past makes it hard to believe God's promise of hope for our future. It's easy to lose confidence in Him, in other people and especially in ourselves.

    Yet hope comes when we allow Jesus to search our hearts and bring Truth into our wounded places. Today's key verse reminds us that He wants us to "trust in Him, so that [we will] overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 15:13). And the only way that can happen is if we let Jesus pour His healing power into our lives, allowing His love to flow into our pain and cleanse the wounds from our past.

    I watched my friend's heart break into pieces in the following months, as her future and her marriage were shattered by the lies. But I also watched her come to know God and fully rely on His love for her, over time.

    I learned to trust and hope again, too. And I made a new vow — I promised myself and God that I would not allow the pain of my past to determine my future any more.

    We don't have to allow our hurts to steal our hope. Instead we can ask Jesus to help us trust Him more through them. Let's ask Him to show us what is true about who we are and what we have been through that caused us to start losing hope. And then we can ask Him to help us redefine our future — not through the filter of our past and our pain, but through the power of His hope-resurrecting promises.

    Dear Lord, You are good and have good plans for me. But sometimes, people and circumstances rob me of that truth and cast a shadow on Your goodness. Please restore my trust and hope in You. I'm leaning on all You are. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Need help working through circumstances and relationships that have left you feeling hurt, hesitant and sometimes hopeless? If so, Renee's truth-bearing book, A Confident Heart, may be just what you need.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Is there an area of your past that is holding you back from trusting God? Sit and listen for His truth and good plans for you today.

    Hope comes when we allow Jesus to search our hearts and bring Truth into our wounded places.

    Power Verses:
    Ephesians 1:18-19a, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

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

  • Be Yourself

    Posted on January 24, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.” 1 Samuel 17:38-39

    Those who are comfortable in their own skin are content in how the Lord has made them. However, those who strive to be someone they’re not end up frustrated, failing to enjoy authentic living. Saul desired to honor David by giving him his armor that worked well in past battles, but what Saul found effective was not the best plan for David. Yes, wise followers of Christ focus on what aligns with them uniquely. Therefore, those who know themselves can be themselves.

    Are you at peace in how the Lord has prepared you for the challenges you face? Do your words and mannerisms represent the true you, or are you a masquerade of another man or woman? It is ok to learn from others with a track record of integrity, but ask the Spirit to filter their ideas and actions through the grid of how God has made you. The Lord has placed you in this time and place, so be proud of who you are and where you’re from. Be who God made you.

    “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” Acts 17:26-27

    Be yourself at home and your family will feel free to be themselves. Parents and children who laugh and cry together grow closer together. Be yourself at work and pretense will feel uncomfortable in your workplace. Office politics are precluded where people are at peace in their roles and responsibilities. It is in an environment of authenticity that we feel free to be how God has made us. So you can be content in a career that is the best fit for you.

    Most of all be yourself in the company of Christ. He will not love you any more than He already does, regardless of what you accomplish or don’t accomplish. You don’t have to prove yourself to God who has already thoroughly accepted you in His son Jesus. Be yourself with your Creator and He will give you insight to be creative for His causes. Clothe yourself in the unique apparel of grace that Almighty God has just for you. He is conforming you into the image of His Son.

    “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” Romans 8:29

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the faith and courage to be who You want me to be.

     

    Related Readings: Genesis 1:27; Psalm 106:20; 1 Corinthians 15:29; 1 John 3:2

     

    Post/Tweet today: Those who are comfortable in their own skin are content in how the Lord has made them. #content

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Big Challenges

    Posted on January 11, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:36-37

    Big challenges challenge those strongest in the faith. David faced the biggest challenge of his young life when his life and liberties (economic, political, religious) were at risk. However, the Lord is larger than any hard times looming on the horizon. Heaven’s resources are more than adequate to face down earth’s formidable giants of fear or hopelessness. Challenges are Christ’s opportunity to lead us into intimacy and innovation with Him. The Lord likes a challenge.

    What big obstacle are you facing that threatens your security? Look back on God’s track record of faithfulness and take heart at His effectiveness. You may face the giant of loneliness in your home. You can feel lonelier married than single, if the one you love does not love you back. Get alone with your heavenly Father for His comforting presence. He cares. Seek out the support of a safe community with whom you can be vulnerable. Giants flee in the face of praying friends.

    “We boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.” 1 Thessalonians 1:4

    Perhaps uncontrolled anger is consistently the big challenge you face. The stress of life has led you into unhealthy habits. Alcohol is like a fuse that detonates an explosion of anger in your mind. It numbs your heart. Allow the grace of God to heal your hurting heart or you will continue to hurt others. Take your pain to the cross and crucify it where Christ died for your sins. Healing comes as you are honest with yourself, God and others. Receive God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself.

    Above all else, look into the face of your heavenly Father as you face big challenges. He will give you the wisdom to get the work done. He will give you the relationships and resources that resonate with what needs to be accomplished. He will give you the faith to keep moving forward. There is no mountain of tribulation that you cannot traverse  with  trust in the Lord. Stay on the journey with Jesus and He will see you through. Big challenges reveal your big God!

    “None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” Romans 8:37-39, The Message

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for facing down my big challenges for Christ sake.

    Related Readings: Job 16:20; Isaiah 41:10; John 16:33; 2 Peter 2:9; Revelation 3:10

    Post/Tweet today: Look into the face of your heavenly Father as you face big challenges. #trust

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

Items 31 to 40 of 83 total

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

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

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

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

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

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

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