Why Become a Member?

Soul Care/Family & Marriage Care

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 

-Acts 2:1-4:37

Flu Season -  

This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden

 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. —Ephesians 6:10-12

 

During the winter months, sales of vitamin C and Echinacea go up as people prepare to battle the flu. Pharmacies and doctors’ offices offer vaccinations to increase immunity to these pesky viruses. Resources for fighting the flu include making sure your immune system has a boost with extra vitamins, taking precautionary measures of flu shots, avoiding people who are sick, washing your hands, and getting plenty of rest.

 

Throughout the Bible, differences are noted between the worldly and the spiritual. There is worldly wealth versus spiritual wealth, worldly teaching versus spiritual teaching, and worldly health versus spiritual health. Ephesians Chapter 6 addresses the issue of spiritual health. The Apostle Paul urges believers to build up their spiritual immune system so they are prepared to step into spiritual battle.

 

The Bible offers resources to make sure each person is spiritually strong. What is your strategy to combat a spiritual virus? What is your plan to be spiritually healthy and not weakened by a spiritual flu?  In the same way you work to stay physically healthy, you must take steps and measures to remain spiritually healthy. Equip yourself with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer. You don’t only need one or two of these protections to keep yourself spiritually healthy. You need them all.

 

These are spiritual disciplines that can help you to become spiritually strong. You must put on the full armor of God. Some of these disciplines are solitude, prayer, obedience, Bible study, confession, generosity, serving, and worship. What are you doing to live a spiritually healthy lifestyle? How can you make sure you are staying healthy during every season of your life?

 

Don’t be surprised when spiritual battles come; be ready. For the important battle is not against the worldly forces, but the spiritual ones.

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. Make a list of spiritual disciplines that are part of your life. Is there anything missing in your armor?

 

2. Psalm 46:10 reads, “Be still and know that I am God.” Take some time today to be still before the Lord.

 

FURTHER READING:

Proverbs 3:5-6; Ephesians 6:10-19; 2 Timothy 3:16-17

This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.

More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/

Friendship: A Priceless Gift -    

 

A friend loves at all times. —Proverbs 17:17

 

Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter: whoever finds one has found a treasure. Faithful friends are beyond price: no amount can balance their worth. Faithful friends are life-saving medicine: and those who fear the Lord will find them. —Sirach 6:14-16

 

There are very few things in life as important or as wonderful as true friendship. A good friend is a treasure beyond almost anything else in life. Friendship is a priceless gift from God. Iverson Williams once wrote:

 

Friendship is a special blessing from above. It’s sharing of activities with someone who understands and cares. It’s a warm ray of sunshine that fills our hearts in times of need. It’s bringing out of beautiful things in each other that no one else looked hard enough to find. It’s the mutual trust and honesty that lets us be ourselves at all times.

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. What characteristic of friendship is described in Proverbs 17:17?

 

2. How can you deepen your friendships today? What words can you say or what actions can you take to insure your friends know you love them?

 

FURTHER READING:

2 Samuel 15:21

Jim Burns is President of HomeWord and Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family @ Azusa Pacific University. Jim speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has over 1.5 million resources in print in over 25 languages. Jim’s radio broadcast is heard on over 800 stations a day and heard around the world via podcast at HomeWord.com. 

Some of his recent books include: Faith Conversations for Families; Teenology: The Art of Raising Great Teenagers, Closer: 52 Devotions to Draw Couples Together, Confident Parenting, The Purity Code and Creating an Intimate Marriage. Jim and his wife, Cathy and their three daughters Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi live in Southern California. 

More of Jim Burns: www.homeword.com

Morning Marching Orders -   

"Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning, for in Thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk for I lift up my soul unto Thee."

In today's modern, rushing world, many of us have all we can do to get out of bed in the morning and get to work on time. Often our schedule appears to preclude the possibility of morning devotions. Yet under the old dispensation of the law it was the duty of the priestly tribe of the Levites to rise at dawn and give thanks and praise the Lord (1 Chronicles 23:30). We are not under the dispensation of the law, but as New Testament priests (1 Peter 2:5,9) we too should begin the day with God. If we do, we will have a keen sense of His presence with us throughout the busy hours that follow.

This great truth was obviously known by David. One of the most enjoyable verses to come from his pen is Psalm 143:8, "Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in Thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto Thee." In this morning prayer David made two requests: to hear the lovingkindness of God in the morning, and to know the way in which he should walk throughout the day. These two requests bear a definite relationship.

David wanted the lovingkindness of God to engage his thoughts and affections early in the morning. If other thoughts get into our hearts in the morning, we may not be able to burn them away throughout the day. Prayer and praise, reading and meditation will influence our minds for hours throughout the day. Lovingkindness is a favorite theme of David. Simply, lovingkindness is love that shows kindness. By deeds and words it is God living through us to a hurting world. That's the kind of life David wanted to live. The Lord's lovingkindness is our all-sufficient source of joy. Such joy can be sought elsewhere but found only here. It is the divine joy that sweetens every bitter experience of life and makes even those that are sweet, sweeter still. It binds every wound and is the balm for every hurt. It is little wonder that David sought such an experience early in the morning. With that kind of start, what must the rest of the day be like?

The old expression is here very applicable, "Well begun; half done." David began his day well by seeking the Lord and His lovingkindness. Half the battle of a successful day was already won. He continued to ask the Lord to show him the way he should walk throughout the day. Frequently the path we determine to be logical for our daily walk is not the path designed by God. We must keep the same close touch with Him hour after hour that we began with Him in the morning.

Speaking of his mountain-climbing experience, nineteenth century preacher George Barrell Cheever commented on this verse: "The whole valley is surrounded by ranges of regal crags, but the mountain, apparently absolutely inaccessible, is the last point which you would turn for an outlet. A side gorge that sweeps up to the glaciers and snowy pyramids flashing upon you in the opposite direction is the route that you suppose your guide is going to take. So convinced was I that the path must go in that direction that I took a shortcut, which I conceived would bring me again into the mule path at a point under the glaciers; but after scaling precipices and getting lost in a wood of firs in the valley, I was glad to rejoin my friend with the guide and to clamber on in pure ignorance and wonder."

We are tempted to walk our own way when we have no other resource. But as Christians we have a higher resource than our mind. We have the resource of the lovingkindness of God, which can be ours every morning if we but seek it. We should never attempt to walk alone throughout the day and to chart our own course when we have the ability to tap the resources of heaven in the morning and receive our marching orders for the day, marching orders that are always designed to lead to victory. How foolish it is to neglect to seek the Lord in the morning and have to walk without Him the rest of the day.


MORNING HYMN 

Thou my everlasting portion, 

More than friend or life to me; 

All along my pilgrim journey, 

Saviour, let me walk with Thee.


Devotional is used with permission from the author. It may be used solely for personal, noncommercial, and informational purposes. Republication or redistribution of this devotional is prohibited. - See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/morning-marching-orders#sthash.NN94BcM5.dpuf

Dr. Woodrow Kroll served as President and Senior Bible Teacher at Back to the Bible from 1990-2013. Author of more than 50 books, Dr. Kroll's passion is to increase Bible literacy in America by engaging people in the Bible and connecting them with the Author. His clear, incisive teaching of the Word keeps him in demand as a speaker all over the world. - See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/authors/woodrow-kroll#sthash.7Yrcap6W.dpuf

More of Dr. Woodrow Kroll: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

Live Your Truth - He Died For That Mess --       

BY ELISABETH KLEIN FISHER  

My life used to be perfect. I had the husband, the two kids, the sweet little house; I was running a ministry at a church I loved; I was writing books and speaking; I had great friends.

Then the wheels came off. Or, more accurately, the wheels had been wobbly and precarious for years and years but I actually started to acknowledge it.

And I started taking off the mask. I started telling people – first in whispers, then in shouts – my truth. That things weren’t as they seemed. That the busyness was to disguise the sadness; that the cute outfits and hair just so was to cover up what was going on deep inside of me.

Because what was going on inside was that I was an absolute mess practically every moment of every day and I was praying no one would notice and yet at the same time praying that even one person would notice and rescue me.

You see, my marriage was hard and fractured and breaking into a thousand pieces all the time and there were these little words knocking on my door – words like abuse and addiction – that were threatening to take my sweet, little life away, and so I ignored them as long as I could, bearing all my weight against the door.

I thought Jesus couldn’t – or worse yet, wouldn’t – use an emotional wreck like me, so if I hid it from the world, it were as if it weren’t true.

But here is what I’m finding, on the other side of the unraveling and unveiling…there is freedom in truth. There is healing when you let others in to help put you back together. And there is redemption when you hand over who you are to Jesus – all of who you really are – and ask for help and grace.

I have met more women in hurting marriages or who have gone through horrible divorces since beginning to speak out. That both saddens me and bolsters me up. I’m devastated at the state of some Christian marriages, and yet, I am being restored enough to reach out to others in whispers and in shouts that they’re not alone.

Jesus does not want your perfect little life. Jesus wants your mess. Jesus died for your mess. And Jesus came back to life for your mess. Give it to him. Lay it down. Ask him to help you see your truth, and begin to speak it. Ask him to heal it. Then ask him to redeem it.

That’s what he came for.

…all things work together for good to those who love God… Romans 8:28a {NKJV} 

Do you need to allow Jesus into your mess in this season? Do you believe he came and lived and loved, died and rose to life for YOUR mess?


Original Post Link Here. Shared with permission.

Motherhood is not one size fits all.

Grace for Moms is a community of moms growing together through multigenerational connection, relevant family resources and beYOUtiful grace!

Our hope is that women will feel at home at Grace for Moms – comfortable enough to share their unique story and be encouraged by others along their journey. 

This post was originally published for Grace For Moms and is used here with permission.

More of Grace For Moms: www.graceformoms.com

FaithHappenings Blogs