• 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 Albums of the Month

Tag Archives: Titus

  • When a Thief Steals Your Heart

    Posted on April 23, 2014 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie

    "He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds." Titus 2:14 (NLT)

    Melissa was walking home from the bus stop and stopped to talk to the friendly neighbor who always sat in his driveway. He waved her over and invited her to follow him into his garage for a piece of candy.

    She walked into the garage an innocent, trusting girl, but she walked out broken.

    As she grew up, Melissa spent many years trying to heal herself. Over time she perfected the art of wearing a mask, while on the inside she felt unworthy of any good thing. She often wondered if she'd ever be whole.

    Perhaps, like Melissa, a thief stole a piece of your heart. You might have even wondered if God cared that it happened. God does care and to prove it, Titus 2:14 tells us Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice: "He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds."

    In this verse, the apostle Paul describes the death of Jesus as an offering. It was given for those who couldn't make it themselves. Jesus gave His life willingly and to free us from every kind of sin.

    We often give thanks for His sacrifice that removed the debt of our sin. But there is more. Jesus took our sins, but that same act freed us from the effect of others' sins upon our hearts and lives.

    Let that soak into the wounded places for a moment.

    A thief may have tried to steal away your heart, but you aren't destined to be marked by that person's sin. Hurtful touch no longer defines you, for Jesus' touch brings you from death to life. From old to new.

    Because of His sacrifice, this becomes your truth, your new legacy:

    You are beautiful, not because of what you have to give, but because of whose you are.

    You have value, not because of what someone wants from you, but because of what has always been inside of you.

    You are in the process of restoration, and you have purpose because of Christ's love.

    Healing is a transformative process, peeling away one layer at a time. That process begins as we accept that Jesus boldly walked into the den of a thief on our behalf and reclaimed what was His own. That act took the damage inflicted on your soul and carried the burden you were never intended to bear.

    And what happened to that little girl, Melissa? After years of trying to fix herself and hiding her hurt, she asked Jesus to touch the broken places. Today Melissa Taylor is a mom, a wife and a woman who finds joy in pouring out God's hope to others.

    She leads thousands of women across the world in online Bible studies through Proverbs 31 Ministries. If you were to ask Melissa who she is, she would say she doesn't see herself as a woman marked by a thief, but a woman reclaimed and restored by her Savior.

    Father, You see who I am, ready to burst forth because of Your sacrifice. Thank You for touching my heart and my thoughts in a way that is holy and restorative. Thank You for taking away the mark of others' sins upon my heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Suzie Eller’s latest book speaks to this topic of healing. Click here to order your copy of The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places.

    Visit Suzie's blog for a giveaway of her book, The Mended Heart: God's Healing for Your Broken Places. Also on her blog are an online study and the first chapter of The Mended Heart.

    Would you like to bring Suzie Eller to your church? Click here to find out more about considering Suzie as your next retreat/keynote speaker.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Read Isaiah 64:8.

    Jesus never saw a single person as too damaged or broken. How do you believe God, the One who created you, sees you? What might His vision for you be?

    Power Verses:
    Matthew 20:28, "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many." (NLT)

    Hebrews 7:25, "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them." (NIV)

    © 2014 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

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

  • The Sacred Us

    Posted on March 17, 2014 by Amy Carroll

    Amy

    "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." Titus 2:3-5 (NIV)

    She didn't know I was watching. But I was. And what she did changed my heart and marriage.

    Friends of mine told me about Deborah, a woman at our church who had decided not to speak negatively about her husband. Although I truly love my husband and think he is wonderful, he isn't perfect. So at the time, I didn't think there was much harm in occasionally complaining about him to friends and co-workers. After all, they had plenty to say about their husbands.

    But something about Deborah's commitment challenged my heart. I began to watch her and her husband for signs of a difference. I also listened carefully to see if she really stuck to her commitment. She did, and the fruits of her faithfulness were obvious.

    Deborah and John had been married far longer than I had and had three beautiful children. But they acted like they were still on their honeymoon. Their devotion was untarnished by the mistrust and bitterness caused by a critical heart and complaining lips.

    Seeing the difference in them made me much more aware when I started to "vent" or complain about my husband. I thought about how terrible I would feel if I walked into a room and heard him speaking negatively about me. So I followed Deborah's lead.

    It didn't take long before I started to see fruit in my marriage too. Lots of it! The more I spoke well of my husband, the more I thought well of him too. His virtues far overshadowed his few imperfections. Praising my husband to my friends actually grew my love for him. Plus, I never worried what might be repeated to him.

    I have come to believe strongly in the "Sacred Us." My husband and I have a bond that is stronger than the bond I have with anyone else. There are things that only the two of us share.

    Although I love to talk, I don't need to share everything going on between us with others. If there are problems, I can always pour out my heart to God, and Scripture encourages us to do that. I also have cultivated relationships with several godly, truth-telling women who love my husband as a brother in Christ as much as they love me. They will listen, offer godly counsel and tell me in a skinny minute if I'm the one who's wrong. Choose women who exemplify Titus 2:3-5 when you need to problem-solve or when you need focused prayer about a situation.

    Without ever knowing it, Deborah changed many of the marriages in our church for the better. Let's all resolve to be the "Deborah" among our friends. I want my words and actions to make that kind of difference — to strengthen my marriage bonds, to encourage others and to glorify God.

    Dear Lord, please help me control my tongue. I need Your help to praise my husband instead of criticize or complain. In times of crises or conflict, remind me to turn to You first. Bring godly women into my life who will join with me in this endeavor so that we can encourage each other. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Pay attention to the topics of discussion with your friends. How often does the conversation turn to criticism of husbands? Stop yourself when you begin to join in! Then go a step further and say something positive about your husband.

    Cultivate friendships with other women who speak positively of their husbands and hold each other gently and lovingly accountable.

    Power Verses:
    Philippians 2:14-15, "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe ..." (NIV 1984)

    Psalm 141:3, "Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips." (NIV 1984)

    © 2014 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

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

  • Le/Re - The Prefix Says it All

    Posted on February 14, 2014 by John van der Veen

    John

    Back when I was in high school, the French car company, Renault, made a very unique car. Actually, I take that back, it wasn't very unique. It was just a car. It looked similar to that of my 1978 Honda Civic. What made this car stand out, I guess, was that it was not just any old car, but the French company added a "Le" to the front of it. They made "Car" into "Le Car."

    Perhaps the people who purchased and drove Le Car felt that they were experiencing the fullest extent of French living. In all honesty, I never owned or even drove a Le Car. I thought they looked funny.

    What intrigued me most, was the prefix. I assume that Renault felt that it would stand out more with the "Le" in front of the name. The prefix said it all. It wasn't just another car. It was "Le Car."

    I am not here to really blog about Le Car, but about prefixes. If you would like to know about Le Car, go here.

    So if the prefix "Le" can change the uniqueness of a car, I wonder if there are more significant prefixes...

    Wikipedia offers the following as samples:

    • unhappy : un is a negative or antonymic prefix.
    • prefix, preview : pre is a prefix, with the sense of before
    • redo, review : re is a prefix meaning again.

    I love the "re" prefix. Not so much the prefix itself, but rather how it radically changes words.

    For instance, think of the word "new." At one time we were all new. When we were born, we were new. Now, on the other hand, we are not new. We are all getting older. We are losing our innocence. We are losing our strength. We are not new.

    BUT

    If you add the "re" in front of the word "new" something dramatic happens. What was once old becomes new again. RENEW.

    Revelation 5:21 says, "And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

    The good news is that God is renewing. Right now. He is renewing you. Sometimes you may not feel it, and some days you may even doubt it. I assure you though, He who began a work in you is faithful to complete it. You are being renewed.

    How about generating. For many of us our lives consisted of generating the wrong things. Sin. Rebellion. Angst. Hate.

    BUT

    When you add the prefix "re" in front of generating, you find a completely different meaning. REGENERATED.

    Titus 3:5 says, "He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit."

    Think of all the possibilities here:

    1. restored/restoring
    2. recreated/recreating
    3. redeemed/redeeming
    4. reconciled/reconciling
    5. reformed/reforming
    6. resurrection
    7. relearning
    8. recreating
    9. replacing
    10. revitalizing
    11. reborn

    Never forget my friends, what our Savior is doing in us. Psalm 65:5 says, "By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas."

    Live in the freedom of the prefix today. It says it all.

  • Relational Investment Plan

    Posted on January 17, 2014 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. Titus 1:4

    Relational investments compound into eternity. Yes, loving people takes time, effort and perseverance, but the dividends pay off handsomely. For example, we can regularly read a children’s bible to our little one and not see immediate character change, but hopefully over time they will accept the Scripture as God’s wisdom and love letter to them personally. Or, our efforts to encourage a friend may be frustrating, but at least they know we love them unconditionally.

    Who needs your intentional attention in this season of life? A co-worker? A relative? A neighbor?  Relational involvement is messy, so ask the Lord for His grace, patience and forgiveness to fill your soul. Go the extra third and fourth mile to serve, even if someone takes advantage of your good will. Better to take the risk to love than to hide your affections from a hurting heart. If you receive a cold shoulder for your care, keep a warm heart. Love is the best relational investment.

    A new command I [Jesus] give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34

    We love like Jesus when we share our life with people. We eat together, we travel together, we worship together, we pray together, we study the Bible together, we work together, we play together, we laugh together and we cry together. Perhaps there is someone who needs to live in our home for a defined period of time. They understand their exit strategy after six months and they agree to abide by the ground rules of mutual respect, church attendance and doing chores. Our home is an incubator for relational development. An open home opens hearts to Jesus.

    Furthermore, a solid relational investment plan requires a focus on faith. Equip another teachable soul in the tenets of trusting God. Pray with them, discuss the Bible with them, share your struggles with them and talk of the Lord’s faithfulness in your life. Or, you may facilitate a book club with a few friends, join a small group from your church or take a mission trip. Have a mutual fund of diverse friendships and you will never go relationally broke. Be grateful and give more than you receive in all relationships. Your relational investments will grow into true riches! Learn from a relational hero of mine Dan Glaze... http://bit.ly/KkUJQz

    We cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 1 Thessalonians 2:8

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, show me who I need to invest my life in with love and service for Your sake.

    Related Readings: Genesis 13:8; Luke 16:11; Acts 2:44-45; Ephesians 5:2; 1 Peter 1:22

    Post/Tweet today: Invest in a mutual fund of diverse friendships and you will never go relationally broke. #relationalinvestmentplan

    © 2014 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Feeding Your Family a Feast

    Posted on June 4, 2013 by Zoe Elmore

    Zoe

    "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children." Titus 2:3-4 (NIV)

    Mothers-in-law are often the source of unflattering jokes. But my mother-in-law, Catherine, was the furthest thing from a punch line.

    Catherine was a spiritual giant wrapped up in a tiny 4-foot-10-inch bundle of sunshine. Down-to-earth, kind, and unpretentious. She modeled the woman we are urged to be in Titus 2.

    When you entered her home you were greeted with warm hugs and the aroma of her latest creation wafting from her tiny kitchen. She was one of the best cooks I ever met. Preparing food never seemed arduous or tedious for Catherine.

    She took great pleasure in feeding her family, spending days preparing a sumptuous dinner just to have it consumed in moments. Empty plates and platters were her delight. Sending home leftovers were her bliss. Before the meal we all would bow our heads to hear her words of blessing and gratitude.

    Catherine's spiritual life was a lot like those meals. It was satisfying and full of nourishment. She poured the Word of God into our lives as easily as she filled our glasses with sweet tea.

    Toward the end of her life, she broke her wrist and needed personal care. It was my privilege to assist her with bathing and dressing each morning. After I feed her breakfast, I'd sit on the floor at her feet while she fed me from Scripture. My mother-in-law recited her favorite verses from memory and read to me from her daily devotion book. Her prayers were like honey, sweet with remembrances of God's goodness and faithfulness to her. Those prayers were infused with gratitude for His enduring strength and perfumed with her love for Jesus.

    The angels surely paused long enough to add an amen!

    I used to wonder how she managed to turn out delectable meals from her small kitchen and how she became a professional at serving up God's Word to her family.

    She told me, "Honey, it all begins on your knees. If you spend enough time with my Jesus, He will teach you everything you need to know about feeding your family."

    Not long after Catherine went to be with Jesus, I found this "recipe for life" in her belongings.

    Begin with a case of Joy
    Add a heaping spoonful of Gratitude
    Fold in a large dollop of Kindness
    Stir in a handful of Forgiveness
    Sprinkle liberally with Love and cover with Peace
    Always serve with a large side of Faith
    (Author unknown)

    Warm angel biscuits and sweet tea aren't the only things I miss about my mother-in-law. I miss the fresh servings of prayer she whispered while feeding her family and the filling scriptures she served in our conversations around her table.

    Yes, her kitchen now sits quiet and dark, but her family is feasting on her spiritual legacy of love for God and His Word.

    Dear Lord, help me to be a wife and mom who feeds her family from the kitchen and from Your Word. May I leave a legacy for those You've entrusted in my care. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Taste and see the Lord is good by reading His Word! Sit down with Proverbs 31 Ministries' devotion writing team as they serve up devotions that teach from the new NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women.

    Introduce your family to Bible stories with the fun-to-play Bible Brainstorm Game.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Try the "saltshaker encouragement" over dinner tonight. Each member of the family takes a turn at holding the saltshaker. Every other person at the table should share one thing they will pray for the person holding the saltshaker.

    Power Verses:
    1 Peter 2:2-3, "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Zoe Elmore. All rights reserved.

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

  • Mentor Young People

    Posted on January 5, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “At the window of my house I looked out through the lattice. I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment” (Proverbs 7:6–7).

     

    Most young people yearn for someone to invest time and wisdom into them. They know deep in their hearts they need help to handle heartaches. Their naïve knowledge has yet to graduate them from the school of hard knocks; so they need loving and wise instruction. Who in your circle of influence is a candidate for your caring attention? 

    It may be a son or daughter, a colleague at work, or a friend from church. God places people in our lives for a purpose. Perhaps you prayerfully pursue a mentor relationship with a teachable young person. He or she can learn from your mistakes as much or more than from your wise choices.

    Mentors are not perfect, just wiser from failure and humbled by success. Look around and ask the Lord to lead you to a young person who may be edging toward the wrong direction. Reach out to that young person. By doing so, you will have returned the favor to someone who loved you.

    Indeed, mentors take time for others because they are eternally grateful for those who took time for them. Gratitude to God is a great reason to go the extra mile with someone younger. Read books together, maybe a book a month for a year. Meet over coffee to discuss how the book challenged your thinking and changed your behavior for the better.

    A young leader can preclude problems when she is able to model the wise habits of her mentor. Always invite an older adult into your life who can educate you in the ways of God. Moreover, the mentor process is valuable to both parties. It provides accountability, encouragement, love, and obedience to Christ’s commands. Mentor young people so they follow the right path, and in turn help someone else do the same.

    The Bible says, “Encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children…. Likewise urge the young men to be sensible” (Titus 2:4, 6 nasb).

    Prayer: Who is the young person in my life to whom the Lord is leading me to invest time, wisdom, and resources?

    Related Readings: Job 32:6; Psalm 119:9; Matthew 28:20; Titus 2:1–8

    Post/Tweet: Mentors are not perfect, just wiser from failure and humbled by success. #mentor

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

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

  • Fruit of Self-Control

    Posted on September 4, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    “The fruit of the Spirit is self-control…” Galatians 5:23

     

    Self-control is the temperate fruit that blossoms on the vine of the Spirit. It uses the gasoline of grace to govern the engine of a disciple’s activity. Proper self-control is Spirit control, since the flesh can be determined and disciplined without the horsepower of the Holy Spirit. Spirit-led self-control bows to no ego—it only surrenders to Christ. It is free from the desires and whims of the flesh. The body is a good servant, but a poor master. 

    The fruit of self-control breaks unholy habits and replaces them with holy habits. It is so much more than just having a disciplined temperament—it is a mindset that is mastered by Christ’s preferences. We can’t confuse self-reliance with the Spirit’s self-control. Self- control relies on the Spirit’s energy and insight to accomplish God’s will. It is the difference between gutting out a bad circumstance without Christ or walking with Christ.

    “As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” Acts 24:25

    We don’t wait to embrace self-control when it becomes convenient—fools flounder in the meantime. Thus, start immediately and initiate self-control in your sexual thoughts and desires. Install boundaries around what you read and watch. An unbridled body is disrespected and discarded. Furthermore, control your conversations, so they do not become caustic and uncaring. Remain silent, rather that spew unkindness on another.

    Control your desires or they will control you. For example, control your weight by eating smaller portions of food. Control your sleep by going to bed earlier and rising earlier. Control your work by turning off your computer in the evenings. Control your rest by resting on Sundays. Control your time by managing a calendar. Control your money by managing a budget. When Christ controls you—you are capable of controlling your life. Self-control is the Spirit’s work, but your cooperation is required. Ultimately, God is in control.

    “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:11-13

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I surrender to Your control, so that I can apply self-control.

    Related Scriptures: Job 37:15; 1 Corinthians 7:9; 9:25-27; 2 Peter 1:6; Titus 2:5

    Post/Tweet this today: When Christ controls you—you are capable of controlling your life. #control

    Get free eBook “Infusion” by inviting 5 friends to Wisdom Hunters http://bit.ly/PEbaBJ

  • Fruit of Kindness

    Posted on August 29, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    “The fruit of the Spirit is kindness...” Galatians 5:22a

     

    For the Christian kindness comes from the Holy Spirit’s inner work of compassion that expresses itself in outward deeds. Random acts of kindness are divine encounters wrought to illustrate the kindness of God. Kindness is more than being nice; it is discerning another’s point of pain, and with Spirit led sensitivity, brings them relief. A kind action may come in the form of a gift, a word of wisdom, a verbal prayer, an introduction or an affirmation.

    Because of God’s great kindness He gave His son Jesus to save sinners and to grow saints. And for all who believe, He grants a seat to sit at His table as an adopted child of God. Yes, we are sons and daughters of the most High! What a privilege to have access to our heavenly Father’s vast resources of grace, wisdom, love, forgiveness and holiness. His kindness leads us to repentance, guides us in character growth and graduates us to heaven.

    “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:4-5

    Have you been wronged? If so, consider an act of kindness in response. Extend gentleness in the face of harshness. Give authentic affirmation to someone weighted down by disappointment. Ask how your server is doing and leave them a generous gratuity. Validate your friend’s feelings without prescribing solutions. Open your home to those who need a safe and secure environment. Kindness comes from feeling accepted. Not everyone will affirm your kindness; some will use you—so react kindly to the unkind.

    Be kind to your spouse who may be in the middle of an emotional melt down. Be kind to your child who made a foolish decision. Be kind to those whose political views are opposite of yours. Be kind to a work associate who is not pulling his or her weight. Be kind to the unkind, the handicapped, the elderly, the uneducated and the immigrant. Kindness heals and gives hope. Most of all, your kindness is an invitation to the kindness of God!

    “The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.” 2 Samuel 9:3

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for Your loving kindness toward me and use the Spirit’s kindness in my heart to bring people to You.

    Related Scriptures: Ezra 9:9; Hosea 11:3-4; Acts 4:9; 28:2; Romans 2:4; 11:22

    Post/Tweet this today:  Kindness validates a friend’s feelings without prescribing solutions. #kindness #feelings

    Get free eBook “Infusion” by inviting 5 friends to Wisdom Hunters http://bit.ly/PEbaBJ

8 Item(s)

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...