Saturday, August 06, 2011

Daily Devotional Saturday 6th August

“The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:130 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God."
Romans 8:28

Upon some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for instance, that God sits in the stern-sheets of the vessel when it rocks most. He believes that an invisible hand is always on the world's tiller, and that wherever providence may drift, Jehovah steers it. That re-assuring knowledge prepares him for everything. He looks over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the billows, and he hears a voice saying, "It is I, be not afraid." He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise. He can say, "If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it." "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God." The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing. Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that he governs wisely, that he brings good out of evil, the believer's heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, "Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from thee; never came there an ill portion from thy table to any of thy children."

"Say not my soul, From whence can God relieve my care?'

Remember that Omnipotence has servants everywhere.

His method is sublime, his heart profoundly kind,

God never is before his time, and never is behind."

Evening

"Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?"
Numbers 32:6

Kindred has its obligations. The Reubenites and Gadites would have been unbrotherly if they had claimed the land which had been conquered, and had left the rest of the people to fight for their portions alone. We have received much by means of the efforts and sufferings of the saints in years gone by, and if we do not make some return to the church of Christ by giving her our best energies, we are unworthy to be enrolled in her ranks. Others are combating the errors of the age manfully, or excavating perishing ones from amid the ruins of the fall, and if we fold our hands in idleness we had need be warned, lest the curse of Meroz fall upon us. The Master of the vineyard saith, "Why stand ye here all the day idle?" What is the idler's excuse? Personal service of Jesus becomes all the more the duty of all because it is cheerfully and abundantly rendered by some. The toils of devoted missionaries and fervent ministers shame us if we sit still in indolence. Shrinking from trial is the temptation of those who are at ease in Zion: they would fain escape the cross and yet wear the crown; to them the question for this evening's meditation is very applicable. If the most precious are tried in the fire, are we to escape the crucible? If the diamond must be vexed upon the wheel, are we to be made perfect without suffering? Who hath commanded the wind to cease from blowing because our bark is on the deep? Why and wherefore should we be treated better than our Lord? The firstborn felt the rod, and why not the younger brethren? It is a cowardly pride which would choose a downy pillow and a silken couch for a soldier of the cross. Wiser far is he who, being first resigned to the divine will, groweth by the energy of grace to be pleased with it, and so learns to gather lilies at the cross foot, and, like Samson, to find honey in the lion.

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Today's reading: Psalm 68-69, Romans 8:1-21 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 68-69

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. A song.

1 May God arise, may his enemies be scattered;
may his foes flee before him.
2 May you blow them away like smoke-
as wax melts before the fire,
may the wicked perish before God.
3 But may the righteous be glad
and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.

4 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him-his name is the LORD.
5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
6 God sets the lonely in families,
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: Romans 8:1-21

Life Through the Spirit

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit....

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Manoah

[Mānō'ah] - rest or quiet. A Danitebelonging to Zorah, and father of Samson (Judg. 13; 16:31). Manoah was a godly, hospitable man and was against any alliance with the Philistines. A divine messenger brought him word of Samson's birth. We have four glimpses of this devout worshiper of Jehovah:

His remonstrance with Samson over his Philistine marriage (Judg. 14:2, 3).

His visit with Samson to Timnah ( Judg. 14:5, 6).

His presence at his son's marriage (Judg. 14:9, 10).

His death before Samson's tragic death (Judg. 16:31).

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P31Header
Glynnis Whitwer

August 5, 2011

When Good Isn't Always God's Best
Glynnis Whitwer

"Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you." Job 22:21 (NIV)

I always thought I would be a professional woman. I'd gone to college, bought the briefcase, suit and heels, and planned my future. Although I wanted children, I envisioned them complementing my life, much like a pretty piece of jewelry. Little did I know God had a completely different agenda.

In a span of four years, my husband and I had three little boys. All active.

I just about lost my mind. Seriously. I remember grocery shopping alone with them...once. Four-year-old Joshua promised he would walk next to me, which of course he didn't. So there I was, chasing Josh, with two-year-old Dylan trying to climb out of the cart to follow and baby Robbie screaming because he hated being confined. I felt like climbing over the cart, and running down the aisle screaming myself.

From that day on, I embraced bribery with no shame. If it got me through a shopping trip, I tried it.

But it wasn't just shopping that did me in. I dragged my three little boys places I saw other mothers take their children. Only their little ones sat quietly, playing nicely with small toys. My boys however, saw an adventure waiting to happen everywhere we went. If they were quiet, that meant trouble. I lost track of the number of meetings and events I left in tears, angry at what seemed like limitations on the life I thought I was supposed to have.

During those early years of parenting, I tried to regain my old life, and find the old Glynnis, but it just wasn't happening. My personal goals slammed into reality on a daily basis, leaving me frustrated and questioning what I thought was my calling.

With a college degree, wasn't I supposed to be pursuing a career? Didn't God want me to use my administrative talents in the church? Wasn't I supposed to volunteer to lead women's ministry, direct vacation Bible school, head up an outreach program and sing in the choir? If so, why couldn't I do it all anymore?

I had been going a hundred miles an hour my own way. And not once did this God-following girl stop to see if I was letting Him lead. I didn't ask for His priorities. After all, my responsibilities and choices were all "good" things. And, God had equipped me with talents to do them. But there was a problem I ignored - they weren't God's assignments for me at that time.

It took a mini earthquake in the form of a cross-country move to get my attention. With that move, God took away all those "good" things. For a time, I rebelled in my heart. I blamed my husband for taking me out of God's will as I saw it.

My life felt empty, with nothing left. When I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself, I looked up and saw there was something: a loving husband and three precious little boys.

In my determination to serve God the way I always had, I missed that He had changed my mission field. No longer was it focused outside my home. God showed me that my first line of ministry was to my husband and children. This realization rearranged my priorities and changed my relationship with God and my family.

I learned that good things aren't always my assignment. And just because I can do something doesn't mean I should. Those three little boys are now teenagers, and God added two girls to our family six years ago. He also added back in career and volunteer responsibilities that I do from home. But one thing has not changed: I must seek God's will for my life in this season...because this season isn't last season, and good isn't always God's best.

Dear Lord, thank You for loving me in spite of my stubborn and determined ways. I'm sorry for the times I've neglected to seek Your will for me. Help me to become a woman who submits her dreams and goals into Your loving hands. You have never failed to bring me joy and satisfaction when I do so. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
P31 Woman magazine

Glynnis is celebrating the release of her newest book, I Used to Be So Organized. If you'd like to order a copy,click here.

Visit Glynnis' blog for a giveaway of her latest release, I Used to Be So Organized.

When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!

Application Steps:
Is there commitment or responsibility in your life that has stopped bringing you joy, or adds stress to your primary relationships? If so, ask God if it's time to release this responsibility.

Reflections:
What fears do women have when it comes to submitting their dreams and goals to God?

What are some of the benefits to embracing the season (and inherent limitations) I am currently in?

Power Verses:
Romans 12:2, "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." (NIV)

1 Corinthians 10:23, "'I have the right to do anything,' you say - but not everything is beneficial. 'I have the right to do anything'- but not everything is constructive." (NIV)

© 2011 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

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

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August 5, 2011

The Great Adventure

Gwen Smith

Today's Truth

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:12-13).

Friend To Friend

A certain medieval monk announced he would be preaching the next Sunday evening on "The Love of God." As the shadows fell and the light faded from the cathedral windows, the congregation gathered. In the darkness of the altar, the monk lit a candle and carried it to the crucifix. First, he illuminated the crown of thorns, next, the two wounded hands, then the spear wound, and finally the two feet. In the hush that fell, he blew out the candle and left the chancel. There was nothing else to say.

God loves us perfectly. The greatest call in our lives is to love God in return. God doesn't just call us to receive His love. He also wants us to respond to it. To experience it. To be transformed and restored by it.

Have you ever read that children's book, Going on a Bear Hunt? When my kids were little we wore out the board book we owned. It's about a family who goes on an adventure together and faces obstacle after obstacle. Each time they face a new challenge, they determine that they "Can't go over it. Can't go under it. Can't go around it. They have to go through it!"

The great adventure of life is our pilgrimage to God's heart. When you place your faith in Christ, you become a child of the Heavenly Father who will never leave your side. He loves you with a stubborn love! In every case, without exception, you cannot escape, or be separated from His love. You can ignore it, doubt it, and question it. But you can't be separated from it. Not if you are His.

When the psalmist experienced trouble, he prayed, "When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul" (Psalm 94:18-19).

Has your foot slipped lately? Are you anxious or fearful about anything? The psalmist found strength and support and joy in God's love. When we lay down our fears and anxieties before the Lord, His perfect love drives the fear away and breathes joy into our souls.

Take a moment to center your heart, soul, and mind on Christ right now. Worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Adore Him. Praise Him. Pray that He will help you live the great adventure of your faith today.

Let's Pray

Holy Father, You are my greatest adventure. Your love is beyond what I can imagine or comprehend. Thank you for loving me...in spite of me. Please remove anything in my heart that keeps me from fully embracing Your love today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Now It's Your Turn

Our life song should be a love song. Many of us sing that tune regularly, but let's choose this day to turn up the volume on our love for God. I recorded the hymn below on my Unsearchable Live album. To listen to the song, visitwww.facebook.com/GwenSmithMusic. Sing along or contemplate the lyrics of this hymn as part of your response:

The Love of God

Frederick Lehman

The love of God is greater far

Than tongue or pen can ever tell;

It goes beyond the highest star,

And reaches to the lowest hell;

The guilty pair, bowed down with care,

God gave His Son to win;

His erring child He reconciled,

And pardoned from his sin.

O love of God, how rich and pure!

How measureless and strong!

It shall forevermore endure

The saints' and angels' song.

When years of time shall pass away,

And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,

When men, who here refuse to pray,

On rocks and hills and mountains call,

God's love so sure, shall still endure,

All measureless and strong;

Redeeming grace to Adam's race-

The saints' and angels' song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

And every man a scribe by trade,

To write the love of God above,

Would drain the ocean dry.

Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

Though stretched from sky to sky.

More From The Girlfriends

What came to your mind as you read today's devotion? Click over to my facebook page and tell me about it or grab your journal and write about it.

Gwen's new CD, Uncluttered, is purposed to sweep you away from life-noise and to focus your heart and mind on the one thing that matters: your relationship with Jesus Christ. We are running a great CD SPECIAL now athttp://gwensmith.net/store/specials.htm.

Seeking God?

Click here to find out more about

how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God

P.O. Box 725

Matthews, NC 28106

info@girlfriendsingod.com
www.girlfriendsingod.com

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