Proverbs31Women: "Weekly Womens Study" Sunday thru Saturday (11-25_12-02) BIBLE TEACHINGS

 

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

SUNDAY

Hidden Potential

Tracie Miles

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!" 
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Devotion:
Christ sees your value and hidden potential. Do you?

I was challenged by this thought recently after putting my son to bed.

Every night, I receive the same request when I tuck him in. He looks at me with big, blue eyes, pokes his bottom lip out for sentimental effect, and asks for a bedtime story. Last night was no exception. As usual, I skimmed the contents of his room. Searching for an item that might plant a story idea in my head, I noticed his gray sock monkey.

Instantly, my thoughts started weaving a tale about an old gray piece of cloth that lived on a shelf in a fabric store for many years. The story easily unfolded in my imagination as my little man sat wide-eyed, intently listening to the details.

When the story ended, I kissed my son goodnight and immediately felt a gentle whisper in my spirit reminding me of the truth held in today's key verse. "You were once just like that little, old piece of fabric, but God transformed you into a new creation, too."

You see, I started the bedtime story by explaining how this dull, gray piece of fabric would sit quietly on the shelf each day, desperately longing for someone to notice him. From his place on the dusty shelf, he had a bird's eye view of all the beautiful fabrics that held so much more potential.

He admired the fabrics of vibrant orange and pink polka dots that would one day be transformed into frilly toddler dresses; the fabrics with elegant stripes that would make fine draperies for beautiful homes; the fabrics with tassels and shimmering coins dangling from their edges; and the myriad of fun fabrics, adorned with colorful cartoon characters.

But he was just a boring old piece of gray fabric.

Nothing special. Nothing elegant. Nothing valuable. Old. Outdated. Worthless.

Certainly nothing worthy of being transformed into anything new and wonderful.

One spring day, a frail elderly woman wandered into the store. The gray piece of fabric could tell she was a seamstress by the wrinkled tape measure around her neck and the rusty thimble on her finger.

As she meandered around the store, continually brushing wisps of white hair from her face, she seemed to be searching for something special. Suddenly, her eyes fell upon the little piece of gray fabric tucked shyly away in the corner.

He dared to think that maybe, just maybe, she would see potential in him.

As the woman drew closer, his heart began to race. She gently picked him up and headed towards the cash register, adding buttons, fabric scraps, and thread to her hands along the way.

When the seamstress returned home, she diligently set about her task. Gradually she transformed the piece of old gray fabric into an adorable new sock monkey, to be loved and cherished by her grandchildren. He made a difference in the hearts of children for many generations.

The little piece of gray fabric, who thought he had no purpose, was transformed into something new in the hands of the seamstress. Although he felt worthless at one time, she looked beyond what he was; beyond his old life as a scrap of fabric. She saw him as something new, and helped him discover his value and hidden potential.

After telling my son this story, God gently reminded me how I once felt much like that old piece of gray fabric sitting on the shelf. Ashamed, overlooked, unimportant, and paling in comparison to others. I didn't see how anything about me or my past — any of the old stuff — could be valuable. I felt like a scrap of leftover material.

I believe God helped my imagination soar that night while sitting on the edge of my child's bed. He helped me remember that I have been transformed by Him, and although I spent most of life not seeing my hidden potential, He always had a plan and a purpose for me.

Just like that little piece of gray fabric, which was transformed from something old into something new, we are new creations in Christ.

Remember, Christ sees your value and hidden potential. And He wants to help you see it, too.

Dear Lord, help me remember that I became a new creation when I accepted You as my Savior, and that my value is in You and You alone. Thank You for Your promise of having a plan and a purpose just for me. Help me to embrace the plans You have for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:
Ask God to help you understand your value in Him.

Reflections:
Would my life be different if I believed how valuable I am to God? If I believed that "the old has gone, the new is here"?

What hidden potential might God see in me?

Power Verses:

Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (NIV)

Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (NIV)

MONDAY

Shocked by My Own Advice
Lysa TerKeurst

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." 
Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)

Devotion:
The choice is mine. If I want to be a sold out somebody for God, I have to break away from the everybody crowd.

Today's key verses are not easy for a girl who wanted nothing more growing up than to fit in. Don't cause waves. Don't stand out. Don't stand up. Don't rock the boat of norm in anyway. Just go with the flow in the same direction as everyone else.

But somewhere along my Christian journey, going with the flow started to bother me.

Verses like the one above in Matthew 7 and Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind," started to mess with my status quo existence.

Conformed or transformed? The choice is mine. If I want to be a sold out somebody for God, I have to break away from the everybody crowd.

This is a message I shared with my son one day when he came to me scared. He admitted things had gone a little too far with his girlfriend and wanted help processing what to do. They hadn't crossed every line but enough that he knew they were headed in a dangerous direction.

We sat on the back deck and processed the situation together. We read a list of empowering Scripture verses seeking to filter every part of this situation through God's truth. In the end, he and his girlfriend came to the realization they needed to break up. It's really hard to put things in reverse after certain lines have been crossed.

I walked back into the house after that conversation with two things running through my brain. I was thrilled my son came to me to talk about such a sensitive issue. What an honor to breathe Truth into his physical struggle.

But, I was also feeling a little panicked at the realities of parenting older teenagers. And that feeling led me straight to the pantry, convinced I needed some chocolate. I deserved some chips! As I loaded my arms full of treats, I was suddenly struck by a gut wrenching question. How can I expect my son to apply Truth to his area of physical struggle but refuse to apply it to my area of physical struggle?

Ouch. I was shocked by my own advice.

If I wanted to model what it looks like to live out truth in my physical struggles, I would have to break up with unhealthy choices. God made me to consume food, but food was never supposed to consume me.

Making healthy choices with my food would have to be part of my breaking away. I would have to distance myself from my distraction if I wanted to become truly transformed.

What's your distraction? What's the one way you can start to break away from the everybody crowd?

The everybody crowd says, "if it feels good it is good." The everybody crowd says, "don't deny yourself... that's so old school." The everybody crowd says, "everybody's living it up – so should you."

Conformed or transformed? The choice is ours. If we want to be a sold out somebody for God, we have to break away from the everybody crowd.

Dear Lord, I want and need to live apart from the everybody crowd. Free me of my distractions. Remove my insecurities. Help me to follow You with my whole heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:
The choice is ours. If we want to be a sold out somebody for God, we have to break away from the everybody crowd. Look at your life and honestly determine if there is any area where you need to break away from the crowd.

Reflections:
Am I living as conformed or transformed?

Do I have any distractions right now that are keeping me from being a sold out somebody for God?

What is one way I can start to break away from the everybody crowd?

Power Verses:
Matthew 6:33, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (NIV) 

1 Peter 5:8, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (NIV)

 

 

TUESDAY

Drowning In or Drowning Out Distractions?
Karen Ehman

"I will listen to what God the LORD will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints — 
but let them not return to folly." Psalm 85:8 (NIV)

Devotion:
I am the lightest of sleepers. And being awakened at night by noises is often a disastrous recipe for exhaustion. That's why I love my white noise machine; a round, little electronic contraption that sits beside my bed. It's my nightly sanity-saver.

Before I obtained this clever contraption, I lost sleep due to a snoring spouse or midnight-snacking teenager. As a result, I was cranky and cantankerous; frazzled and fruitless. As a sleep-deprived soul, I became unproductive, easily distracted and down-right ineffective at life.

Thankfully, now my nocturnal helper ushers me quickly to la-la land (and allows me to stay there) with one of its many options: waves crashing, birds chirping, or a thunderstorm gently rolling in. The steady, constant stream of soothing sound magically drowns out any background distractions.

I have found the same to be true with our spiritual lives. If we want to focus on the importance of listening to God though prayer, Bible study and time simply sitting still before Him, we must drown out all distractions.

When our screaming schedules, messy houses, unpaid bills, or idle pastimes such as television or the Internet aren't intentionally blocked for a time, we will never reach the important stage of resting and receiving direction from God each day.

Jesus Himself was a master at drowning out distractions. A quick read through the New Testament will find Him often withdrawing to a lonely corner, getting up early to pray or locating a place of calm focus amidst a clanging throng of people.

Jesus purposed to find peace among the pandemonium.

Likewise in the Old Testament, the Psalmists often list peace, calm, and quiet as gifts given to those who earnestly seek the Lord and desire to walk in His ways.

Embedded in today's key verse is such a promise to us as well: peace to God's people. But the precursor to experiencing that peace is listening to what the Lord has to say. And for listening to occur, we have to be able to actually hear from God, focused and free from all that clamors for our attention.

So, just as I plug in my slumber device each night, we must also unplug for a time each day. Shut off the phone; the TV; the laptops and iPads. Ignore the dishes, the paperwork and the screaming schedules so we can drift off to a peaceful place where sweet Jesus is waiting — desiring for us to be still and listen long enough to actually hear Him speak to our hearts.

Drowning in so many daily distractions can keep us from hearing God's voice. Let's purpose together to drown out our distractions instead, and tune in to the life-giving Word. He is the only steady source from which we can ever find true and lasting peace.

Dear Lord, give me courage to unplug, determination to focus and patience to listen. I want to bask in Your peace and walk in Your ways. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Application Steps:
Why do we as modern-day believers not value and practice alone, silent times?

On a scale of 1 to 10, when it comes to getting unplugged, alone and free from distractions, (1 being calm and focused; 10 being completely discombobulated and distracted) where do you fall?

1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Reflections:
What are the distractions, duties and dilemmas that most clamor for my attention in my life right now?

Which of these can I simply not eliminate from my life?

Are there any that I could eliminate (responsibilities I've taken on or trivial distractions and pastimes)? As I ask God to show me what can be eliminated, I'll make bold plans to resign from those activities that are keeping me from spending time with and hearing from Him.

Power Verses:
Psalm 46:10a "Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God." (Amplified)

 

 

WEDNESDAY

Meeting Henry
Holly Good, Assistant to Lysa TerKeurst

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3 (NIV)

Devotion:
He sat across the aisle from me, talking to himself. I had boarded a plane very early one morning in TX, after a weekend women's conference where I was serving with Lysa. I casually glanced over at him and thought, "Oh boy, this will be interesting." And I closed my eyes to settle in.

After several minutes, he realized he was in the wrong seat. He jumped up, grabbed his belongings and crossed the aisle to join me. And once again, I thought, "Oh boy, here we go."

I was a bit nervous to be honest. We exchanged pleasantries and I closed my eyes again, waiting for the plane to take off. He continued to mumble to himself as he looked out his window.

Several more minutes passed. I tried to fall asleep. And then finally, deep in my heart I felt compelled to talk to my seat mate, even though there was still a part of me that begged for my eyes to remain closed; shut off in my comfort zone.

"Tell me about yourself," I reluctantly smiled.

He told me his name was Henry. Then he started asking me just as many questions as I was asking him. With every answer I gave, he would kindly respond, "Well that sounds good."

I looked around somewhat apologetically as Henry continued to dialogue with me in a very loud tone.

It was then that I profoundly felt three words rush into my mind, "This is Me."

I stopped. I pondered. I swallowed. And I blinked.

"You, Lord?" I hesitantly questioned.

"This is Me," I gently but clearly sensed again. And then, "Look at Me."

I reflected for a moment and remembered, "'...I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:40.

My perspective abruptly softened. I looked at Henry with inquisitive eyes as he chatted away. I examined every detail on his face. I noticed his scruffy beard and bushy eyebrows and I looked deep into his eyes, which he told me did not work very well.

Henry was traveling to attend his grandmother's funeral several states away. He was about to see his father, whom he hadn't had contact with in 25 years. As our conversation unfolded, I learned that Henry had been born with a birth defect called Poland Syndrome. He had a small left hand with fingers that didn't move and permanent paralysis in the upper left side of his body. He dropped out of high school several years earlier because students were not nice to him.

I listened with interest as we talked about his love of computers. I was captivated by his knowledge, and continued with a long list of questions. We happily shared my granola snack over an animated conversation as he talked and I listened.

All of my previous inhibitions had completely vanished.

The last words Henry spoke to me were, "People never talk to me like you have."

I blinked back tears as I helped him read his connecting boarding pass. I gently smiled goodbye. But my heart was sad as we got off the plane. You see, I knew how close I was to being like everyone else. So very close. And how many times in the past I was like everyone else.

I had ministered to women the entire weekend, but I was resistant to talk to the fragile soul right beside me, begging for attention.

Meeting Henry changed me that day.

Meeting Henry taught me to pray daily for eyes to see deeper, ears to listen more intently and a heart to humbly embrace new perspectives.

Open the eyes of my heart Lord. I want to see others the way You do. Because when I do, I learn.

And the more I learn, the more I am drawn closer to the One who created it all.

Who might be your Henry today?

Dear Lord, I want to know You more. Help me to see beyond my normal routine and humbly embrace those around me with a desire to learn. Please teach me Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Application Steps:
Read the short but encouraging book of Philippians in the New Testament to discover the true joy that comes from knowing Jesus Christ.

Reflections:
How did this devotion challenge you personally?

How will it challenge you to consider your reactions to those around you?

Power Verses:
Philippians 2:5, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." (NIV)

James 4:14b, "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." (NIV)

Psalm 86:11, "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." (NIV)

 

 

THURSDAY

What the Ravens Know
Marybeth Whalen

"He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call." Psalm 147:9 (NIV)

Devotion:
I watch as the bird perches aloft a swinging power line, oblivious to the current pulsing through his perch. He raises his beak and sings in the direction of the clouds above, his song more insistent than melodic.

Until I read today's verse I might've assumed that the raven was calling for his mate or trying to out sing the other birds. But with today's verse on my mind I wonder if he is not doing what all of God's creation inherently knows to do: call on their Creator for their needs.

Ravens are pretty plain as birds go. Missing the distinct markings of a bluebird or cardinal and the unique talents of the woodpecker or hummingbird, ravens strike me as being least likely to get God's attention. And yet, the Psalmist mentions this unremarkable bird in Psalm 147:9. He points out that when they call, God hears them and He provides for them.

Maybe today you are feeling unremarkable, forgotten, lacking anything special. You might be feeling plain, all black feathers in a forest full of bright plumage. Why would God answer your call? You have nothing to offer in return.

This verse assures us that God doesn't respond based on who we are or what we have to offer. He responds because we are His, plain and simple. He responds because it is in His nature to provide. Our call initiates His response. We must believe that with all our hearts and stand on that truth as we wait for that response.

I know that's easier said than done.

Perhaps you have been waiting a long time. Maybe you are feeling hopeless that your prayers will ever be answered. Or perhaps you are losing faith that He even hears.

I've been there, too. There have been times when I looked into tomorrow and saw blackness as dark as the feathers of a raven. Days when I read a verse like Psalm 147:9, and thought to myself, "Yeah, right. He might answer that bird, but He isn't answering me."

And in those times I've wondered what I needed to do to get God's attention. In John 6:28-29 the people ask Jesus what they must do to do the works God requires. They want to please God and they know Jesus holds the key as to how they can do just that. As they wait anxiously for His answer, I imagine they are expecting a laundry list of possibilities, bullet points they can jot down and refer to later.

Instead Jesus tells them that the work of God is simply to believe in the One He has sent. Jesus knew that believing is work. It is heart work. To believe in Jesus even when He seems far away or unresponsive is some of the hardest work we will have to do as we follow Him. But that is all what He asks us to do.

The ravens know that He always provides and they sing with confidence in that, no matter what their circumstances are. Oh how I want to do the same in my life. Will you join me today, singing, believing and standing on His promises as we persevere in song.

Dear Lord, today I am going to keep singing and trust that You will answer my call because I believe You love me and want the best for me. I am going to do the work that You require and trust Your provision. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Application Steps:
Today when you start to worry about the situation you're in, remember the raven confidently singing to his Creator. Then do the same. You might want to turn on some praise music and actually sing or you might want to read some Psalms or journal your own unique "song" to God. Whatever you do, keep in mind the work that is behind believing God.

Reflections:
Why did Jesus describe believing as work? Have I found it hard to believe at times?

Power Verses:
Psalm 145:16, "You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing." (NIV)

Psalm 90:14, "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." (NIV)

 

 

FRIDAY

 

Craving Connection
Renee Swope

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25 (NIV)

Devotion:
Do you ever catch yourself checking email repeatedly? One morning I checked my email as soon as I woke up. Then I made breakfast and checked it again. Had my devotional time and checked it again. Ran some errands and when I got home, checked it once more.

Now, I admit I have a thing about keeping white space in my inbox, but this was about more than managing emails.

I was going back for a reason. I sensed the Holy Spirit nudging me to pause and ask myself, "Why do you keep checking your email?"

I sat there and let my heart respond honestly. I wasn't sure if it was God or me answering, but my thoughts intertwined with His Spirit whispered: You keep coming back because your heart longs for connection with a friend.

Yet no matter how many times I checked email, it was never enough to satisfy my craving.

Somewhere in the busyness of life I had let many of my friendships reduce to quick connections via email. Over the past year my schedule had gotten so full with kids, school projects, family needs, investing time in my marriage, and new responsibilities at work that something had to give.

I didn't want it to be my family, so I asked God to help me find balance.

I had sensed Him leading me to cut back on the amount of time I spent talking on the phone, socializing with neighbors and hanging out with friends. Although I hadn't completely cut out my friendships, my face-to-face connection time with friends had been reduced to a minimum.

That morning as I sat at my computer, I realized I had not found balance. The pendulum had swung too far. Here I was checking email repeatedly, trying to fill a God-created need for relationships with a white screen and black alphabet keys.

My heart was craving more. God had revealed the source of my incessant email checking and shown me that I needed to fill the lonely place in my spirit with friends I could talk to and share life with — in person.

That day I called one of my closest friends. She happened to be available so I turned off my computer and took a break from work to spontaneously meet her at a coffee shop.

It was just what I needed: face-to-face, heart-to-heart, eye-to-eye connection and conversation.

I know friendships are not easy to build. They take time. And time is limited with lives that keep us so busy. But in this age of technology, it's important to evaluate things in our lives that create a false sense of connection like email, television, text messaging and overboard activities.

Although these things are okay in moderation, they can't substitute real-life relationships.

So what about long-distance and internet friendships? Aren't they important, too? Yes, they are. But God created us for relationships where we can see each other, hug each other and talk to each other face-to-face.

We need to pull away from our computers and televisions to intentionally carve out time for friends that are in close proximity. Times where we can meet face-to-face to share what's going on in our lives. Today's key verse instructs us not to give up meeting together to worship and encourage one another. As we see here and throughout the Bible "meeting together" is important to God.

Jesus needed face-to-face connections, too. So He surrounded Himself with intimate friends — first His Father, then His close friends John, Peter and James and then the other nine disciples.

He also had friends like Mary, Martha and Lazarus. People He spent time with sharing meals and having conversations about spiritual truths that applied to their everyday lives. Through His example we see how important it is to satisfy our craving for connections by spending face-to-face time with friends.

So, who will you connect with face-to-face this week?

Dear Lord, You created me with a need for friends. Yet, I find myself rushing through my days with little time for heart-to-heart connections. Help me to seek You first as my ultimate Friend, and then reach out to others so I can have and be a close friend. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Application Steps:
Make a list of one or two friends you enjoy being with. Call them on the phone to encourage them and set up a time to get together.

If you're not sure who to call, ask God to show you someone you can begin a friendship with. Invite them to join you for lunch or to go for a walk together this week.

Reflections:
How often do I check email or my Facebook page? Do I crave connection?

What are some steps I can take this week to develop a new friendship or strengthen an old one?

Power Verses:
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" (NIV)

"I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15b (NIV)

 

SATURDAY

The Unsaved Christian
Lysa TerKeurst

"These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men." Matthew 15:8-9 (NIV)

Devotion:
God wants us to have a relationship with Him. But what does this really mean?

Recently, I met a woman about my age at a conference where I was speaking. I don't know many details about her life but I do know she's been going to church for a long time.

And she's been serving, giving, and doing all the right church stuff.

But, something was missing.

"I never could quite put my finger on it until I heard your message," she whispered. "I never knew what it really meant to have a relationship with Jesus. But hearing you explain it, something clicked. I walked forward today. I gave my heart to Jesus."

I wondered: what part of what I shared made this profound click happen in her soul?

Of course, it was the Holy Spirit moving... but somehow in the midst of me sharing the broken places of my life, things came together in hers.

It got me thinking about us doing life together here through this daily devotion. Each day we spend a few minutes together over the internet learning how to navigate life as Jesus girls. But all that we talk about is for nothing if our hearts stay far from Jesus.

It's not about momentary motivation to make it through today.

It's not about spiffy quotes to ponder and put into practice.

It's not about relationship tactics and turnkey solutions.

It's not about bite-size pieces of peace to make life a little more manageable.

It's not about making our lives look and feel a little better.

It has to be about Jesus. And drawing our hearts into His reality. His grace. His love. His hope. His forgiveness. And most of all the free gift of salvation because of Him.

Have you ever felt like this woman who couldn't put her finger on what was missing? Have you ever felt like you bounce from one religious activity to the next, but your heart feels far from God? Sweet sister, can we chat?

God doesn't want us to have a religion. A religion is where we follow rules hoping to do life right, and serve God out of duty because we think we have to.

God wants us to have a relationship. A relationship where we follow Him. And we serve God not out of duty but out of delight because of the realization of who we are in Him.

For years, I went to church to get a little "God goodness" in my life. But it was like putting fresh paint on rotting wood. I was living just like those talked about in Isaiah 29:13, "The Lord says: 'These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.'"

I realized I didn't need to be just following the rules; I needed to be following God Himself.

I didn't need a little "God goodness" to rub off on me... I needed God to invade the deepest parts in me.

So, I knelt down in the midst of my messy, chaotic, confused life... and started a relationship with Him by simply saying yes.

Yes, I am a sinner in need of a Savior.

Yes, I acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God, sent to die on a cross and be resurrected on the third day to save me from my sins.

Yes, I want Jesus to be the Lord and Master of my life.

Yes, I am now and forever will be a forgiven and saved child of the Almighty God.

Yes, I will follow Jesus today, tomorrow, and every other day I'm blessed with on this earth.

Oh sister, let me quiet the voice of Satan screaming to resist this process. He wants to trip you up by whispering how you won't be able to live this out perfectly. Jesus has never ever asked for us to be perfect. He simply wants us perfectly surrendered. I often pray, "Oh Jesus... I am such a mess, but I am Yours. Show me... help me... forgive me... reassure me... and pour Your tender mercy upon me."

And He does.

And He always will.

My imperfections are safely tucked within the reality of His perfection.

And I simply press on by continuing to say YES moment by imperfect moment... day by imperfect day.

Dear Lord, I am such a mess, but I am Yours. Show me... help me... forgive me... reassure me... and pour Your tender mercy upon me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Application Steps:
In this devotion I stated "So, I knelt down in the midst of my messy, chaotic, confused life... and started a relationship with Him by simply saying yes." Think of simple ways you can say yes to God today. How would that look? Would that change the way you are living your life?

Reflections:
God wants us to have a relationship. A relationship where we follow Him. And we serve God not out of duty but out of delight because of the realization of who we are in Him. What does this look like? How can I serve Him today with a pure heart?

Power Verses:
Psalm 53:2, "God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God." (NIV)

Mark 7:8, "You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." (NIV)

 

 

Proverb 31 Women

http://worddevomorningsproverbs31women.blogspot.com/


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