February 2016

Open Heart, Open Home

What does love look like- Augustine

Have you learned to be hospitable? Did your parents host friends and acquaintances for dinner? Was your home open to your peers when they needed a safe place to talk and laugh? What a legacy of love hospitality is! Are you sharing that legacy with your children?

Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers.” It’s been wisely said, “Love has hands to help others. It has feet to rush to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear sighs and sorrows.” Pray for a heart that cares, eyes that see, a soul that’s compassionate, funds to provide, resources to share, hands that open, and energy to serve. Ask God to work in you to open your heart and home.

“Help These Women”

To me “help these women” are the most embarrassing words in the Bible! That’s because two women, Euodia and Syntyche, caused such serious problems in their church that the apostle Paul had to intervene. What did he do?

Paul spoke directly to the two ladies, imploring them to be of the same mind “in the Lord,” that they keep the peace, that they live in love. Paul advised them to put aside their differences for the grander cause of the common good of the church at Philippi and the body of Christ.

Paul praised these two women. Paul recalled how they labored shoulder-to-shoulder with him for the cause of the gospel and had served with many workers for Christ.

Paul called upon others in the church to “help these women.” He encouraged their involvement in helping to solve the problem.

Peacekeeper unity harmony

My friend, pray! Pray that you won’t be the cause of any disruptions in your church and that you won’t hinder the work of the church for the cause of Christ. Ask God to help you live in unity.

God, please keep me from being a division in Your body of believers. Help me to bring unity and harmony to those around me. I want to be a peacekeeper in Your name. Amen.

Closing the Gap Between You and God

God is near

What happens when you fail to pray? You end up feeling distant from God. And that, in turn, makes you even more reluctant to pray.

No matter how distant you might feel from the Lord, God is always close by. He hasn’t changed, moved, disappeared, or lost interest in you. So close the gap. Take a simple step toward God and talk to Him. The more you do this, the more comfortable you’ll become communicating with Him. And the more you pray, the more opportunity you’ll have to ask for His help for yourself and on behalf of others. And the more you ask, the more answers and guidance you’ll receive.

No matter what your situation, God is always ready to listen!

“If God Didn’t Meet It, I Didn’t Need It”

Part of our testimony includes the fact that Jim and I were very well off financially when we became Christians. Well, it wasn’t long before Jim decided he wanted to resign from his job and attend seminary so he could go into the ministry. To do this meant we had to sell our really nice home and our second car-and move our family of four to a 900-square-foot house.

You wouldn’t believe how long the list of “Things This House Didn’t Have” was! And the biggies were a dishwasher and air-conditioning (how’s that for living in the California desert?). All I can say is it was a really good thing I was learning to pray every day.

Well, I took my “Things This House Didn’t Have” list and placed it before God in prayer every single day. I prayed right through the list, ticking off each lack on the list. And the next morning and the next I did the same thing again and again-for years!

That’s when I developed a saying that helped me through each day’s money trials. My job was to pray daily about my perceived needs. God’s job was to meet the “needs” if and when we truly needed them, to meet them in His timing and in His way. Thus my little saying was born: “If God didn’t meet it, I didn’t need it.”

Each day I faithfully laid my needs into God’s lap through prayer, and each day I was able to rise up from prayer and go about my day without another thought about our finances. They were where they needed to be-in God’s hands.

If God didn't meet it, I didn't need it

The Qualities of a Godly Man

Qualities of a Godly Man

In Ruth 3 we meet Ruth, a virtuous woman. But did you know the book of Ruth also details the qualities of a virtuous man? God’s list of virtues exhibited by Boaz’s sterling life includes:

Diligent-Boaz is described as “a man of great wealth” (Ruth 2:1), and we see him carefully and thoughtfully overseeing his property.

Friendly-Boaz greeted his workers with warmth and even welcomed a stranger named Ruth (2:4,8).

Merciful-Noticing Ruth at work, Boaz asked about her situation and acted on her behalf (2:7).

Godly-Boaz asked Jehovah to bless Ruth in return for her care for Naomi (2:12).

Encouraging-Boaz pointed out Ruth’s strong qualities and spoke of them to cheer her on (2:12; 3:11).

Generous-Boaz gave Ruth extra food even though Ruth was willing to work for it (2:15).

Kind-Naomi thanked God for the kindness He showed to her and to Ruth through Boaz (2:20).

Discreet-Boaz sent Ruth home before daylight to protect her reputation (3:14).

Faithful-Following through on his promise to Ruth, Boaz “went to court” to clear the way to marry her (4:1-12).

Are you single? Look for these qualities in the man you seek. Don’t settle for less than the best.
Are you married? Prize, praise, and pray for these qualities in your husband.
Are you a mom? Instill these qualities in your daughters and sons.

Praying for Your Husband

Is your husband a key focal point of your prayers? If so, your husband is a blessed man! To make him your special “prayer project” for life, here are a few suggestions—and cautions—to keep in mind.

Discouraged frustrated marriage

Pray without expecting instant results. God is always at work. and He doesn’t work according to your timetable. Applying this knowledge to your prayers for your husband will calm your heart.
Pray, even when you don’t feel like it. When you are discouraged or frustrated with what is or isn’t happening in your marriage, pray! God knows your heart, your dreams and desires… and your sorrows.

Pray, expecting to do battle. Hopefully your husband is praying for you, but even if he isn’t, you must embrace your role as a prayer warrior. It’s vital that you see yourself as a soldier doing battle when you pray for your beloved husband.

Pray, knowing the Holy Spirit is interceding as well. Sometimes we as wives don’t know how to pray for our husbands. When this happens you can know that the Holy Spirit knows and is making intercession on your man’s behalf (Romans 8:26).

Pray, leaving the results to God. God tells His people to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). And so you do as He asks and pray! But the real comfort in praying for your husband is leaving your requests in God’s lap, so to speak. Yes, you pray. And yes, you watch and wait for results. And yes, you may pray and watch and wait for decades. But each day-and every time you experience even a hint of anxiety or frustration-you are to lay your concerns into God’s hands to do as He wills and when He wills. “Let your requests be made known to God.” And afterward? You experience “the peace of God” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Read the above excerpt and more from Elizabeth’s latest book “15 Verses to Pray for Your Husband“.

Focusing on What Really Matters

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi said, “The quality of your life will be determined by the depth of your commitment to excellence, no matter what your chosen field.” With this in mind, here are some questions you can ask yourself as you strive to live for Christ:

  • What are the most important commitments in my life?
  • Can I honestly say I’m giving my best to those commitments?
  • How can I do better at carrying out those commitments?
  • What price am I willing to pay to make those commitments happen?

These questions will help you evaluate your priorities before God, and your answers will enable you to determine how to best spend your time and energy on the things that really matter?

Quality of life excellence Vince Lombardi

Waging Spiritual War

In football a “huddle” is used to tell players what the next play will be. Imagine such a huddle of two—a seasoned coach, the apostle Paul, and a young player, timid Timothy. Perhaps with his arm affectionately around young Timothy’s shoulders, the aged Paul tells his protégé exactly how to handle the battles he’s encountering in ministry (1 Timothy 1:18-19):

  1. Be a good soldier. Paul encouraged Timothy—and you—to “wage the good warfare” by…

    maintaining a hold on “faith”
    clinging tightly to your faith
    refusing to give in to temptation
    living out your faith with a clear conscience

  2.  

  3. Be a good sailor. Paul used the picture of a shipwreck to illustrate that you and all believers are to navigate through sin and error by having “a good conscience”- one that is guided by these forces: God’s Word, prayer, and Christian fellowship.

Huddle with God and find out the game plan. Heed His wisdom and instruction. And when you fumble or drop the ball (and you will!), God has given you the way back to His plan: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” (1 John 1:9). Accept God’s forgiveness and grace—and get back into the game!

God forgives our sin

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


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