September 2016

When God Asks Us to Trust Him

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From Jim’s Heart:

When things go wrong, we usually ask, “God, why did that happen?” But if you read the Bible carefully, you’ll notice an interesting pattern: God never asks us to figure out the why behind our circumstances. Instead, He simply asks us to trust Him: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

Are you able to say with Paul, Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33)? That’s what it means to trust God—to simply place complete confidence in Him and rest in the knowledge He will take care of you, even when you don’t understand what’s going to happen.

Lord, I’m not able to figure out why some things happen. But I am able to trust You, so that’s what I’ll focus on today. Help me to be confident in You in every situation. In the difficulties and unknowns of life, remind me to simply trust You. Amen.

We offer biblical encouragement for the man in your life with A Man After God’s Own Heart – Devotional. He’ll discover great advice for …

  • Making forward progress in his spiritual growth
  • Managing your responsibilities with wisdom
  • Leading and loving his wife and children

 

Forming a Habit of Praise

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We have many reasons to give praise to God. As a believer in Jesus Christ and one who trusts in Him, you’ve been given an inheritance in Him that is sealed and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit. But you weren’t saved and blessed for your own glory. No, it was for God’s glory.

The apostle Paul formed an exceptional habit of praise that is a terrific model for you to follow.

  • In Ephesians 1:6, he praised God.
  • In verse 12, he praised Jesus Christ.
  • And in verses 13 and 14, Paul informs us that the Holy Spirit’s work will be to the praise of God’s glory.

Give God your heart response of praise. Make it a habit to praise Him. It’s one thing you will continue to do in heaven.

Lord, I’m so grateful to receive Your heavenly inheritance. I walk through my days with a heart full of praise and thanksgiving. May my life reflect how grateful I am for the blessings You’ve given—and continue to give—to me. Thank You! I praise You for my hope, my future, and my faith in You. Amen.

For more encouragement, read Windows into The Word of GodElizabeth George provides select devotional material from her New Testament studies that offer brief, inspirational messages, focus verses, and new prayers.

Seeing Your Value in Christ

 

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Maybe you won’t have an inheritance from an earthly father—but take heart! Your heavenly Father has given you a heavenly inheritance that you can count on. As you walk through your life with a sense of security, think of your Father’s gift to you and what it means.

  • Your life in Christ. When you trust in God’s Word and believe in His inheritance, you will feel compelled to respond with gratitude. Your words, actions, and heart are transformed as you live in Christ.
  • Your attachment to the world. What a relief to know that your real wealth and value is in your identity in Christ and your salvation. You don’t need the world’s version of riches. Your blessings as a child of God are your greatest treasures.
  • Your mission to others. You heard the good news and responded. Now it’s your turn to reach out to others. Do something today that shares the gospel of Christ with others.

In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will. (Ephesians 1:11) Today, give from your heavenly inheritance. Share with others what it means to receive the gifts of God’s love and grace.

Windows into The Word of God offers more wisdom and practical guidance as Elizabeth teaches how to view Scripture in a fresh way to help you see God’s promises unfold in your daily life & rest in His Word for strength.

Teen Tuesday—Stop Worrying, Start Praying

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Question: What do we worry about most? Answer: About our relationships with our parents, brothers and sisters, friends and acquaintances. And we can’t stop there! Oh no, we’ve also got to worry about relationships with our enemies, about the mean girls—and about knowing what to do and how to handle problem people.

And as if that’s not enough, we worry about what others think of us, what we look like—if we are too fat or too thin, if we are pretty enough. And don’t leave out worrying about boyfriends, dating, the future … nicely topped off with worrying about our school­work and grades, about getting up in front of others, about an upcoming social event.

 So how do you stop worrying? You start praying!

Present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, 
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Present your requests to God. Pray from your heart … and with all your heart! Pray, pray, pray! Keep nothing back, great or small. God wants to hear your every concern! So present them to Him. Leave them in the lap of the Almighty. Let Him wrap you up in the comforting truth that He cares for you and will take care of you..

Check out A Young Woman’s Guide to Prayer for help to stop worrying and start praying!

Overcoming Deep Sorrow in Trials

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Consider it all joy … when you encounter various trials.
James 1:2

What trial is causing you the deepest sorrow today? God’s joy is a gift of grace to us as we encounter hardships, tribulation, and persecution in this world. This supernatural joy, given through God’s Spirit, transcends all trying conditions of life. Your joy …

  • is not dependent on circumstances. It is based on the spiritual realities of God’s goodness, His unconditional love, and His ultimate victory over sin and darkness.
  • is not based on your efforts, accomplishments, or willpower. It is based on the truth about your relationship with the Father through His Son.
  • is not merely an emotion. It is the result of choosing to look beyond what appears to be true in your life to what is true about your life in Christ.

Your sorrowful trial may be a physical affliction, an unbelieving husband, the loss of a home or job, the deterioration of finances, the breakdown of a family, the turning away of a child. Or is your trial a difficult season as a wife or mother, daughter or daughter-in-law? Maybe it is an unknown future as you look down the road of life? Here are four things you can do right now:

  1. Identify the trial that causes you the greatest grief.
  2. Offer to God the sacrifice of your praise (Hebrews 13:15)–even if it is offered with tears.
  3. Consider that trial a joy for what God will do in your life as a result of it (James 1:2-4; Romans 5:1-5).
  4. Offer Him a sacrifice of praise!

Do you yearn for a closer walk with God? For a greater understanding of what it means to let Him live through you? For the marks of His presence in your life? A Woman’s Walk with God is an invitation to experience the joys of moment-by-moment living in the Lord’s power–and producing the fruit of the Spirit in every circumstance!

 

Where Can I Find Joy?

Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God.
Psalm 43:4

Joy in Sadness

Just as we take our empty self to God to be filled with His love, we also go to Him when we need to be filled with His true joy. You can receive it from these three sources:

  1. God Himself. God—the only source of true joy—wants to give you His joy. You need only to turn to Him to receive it. “Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God” (Psalm 43:4).
  1. God’s salvation. Isaiah wrote of his gladness: “I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10).
  1. God’s promise of eternal life. You can look forward to your future in Christ. Even in difficult times you can celebrate your future in Christ—a future that holds not death, but everlasting life with God in heaven! Psalm 16:11 describes what that future will be like in the presence of God: “In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

Clearly, the joy of the Lord is marvelously available to you 24 hours a day, every day of your life—and for all of eternity … which is yet another source!

In Finding God’s Path Through Your Trials, Elizabeth George reminds us that God won’t give you trials you cannot bear without including a way of escape. By turning to Jesus, you will find hope, joy, and meaning in your journey, no matter how bumpy it seems.

3 Reasons Why We Have Joy!

Your genuine joy—which is rooted in Christ—is a sure sign of the presence of God in your life. As a child of God, you have some great reasons to be joyful.

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Reason #1—Your joy is permanent. Because your joy is rooted in your all-loving and unchanging God, it is permanent. In John 16:22, Jesus said that “no one will take your joy away from you.”

Reason #2—Your joy is always available. Since it is rooted in your faithful and ever-present God, your joy is always available. Whatever your circumstances, you can “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4)!

Reason #3—Your joy is supernatural (1 Peter 1:8). You cannot explain why we can experience joy when nothing in our life suggests we should be joyful. You might not understand the “why,” but you can understand that God is the source of your joy.

How do these powerful reasons to be joyful change your outlook and encourage your heart today?

What God Wants to Do for You by Jim George offers many reasons we can have joy in the Lord. Click here to find out more.

A Positive Focus at Work

From Jim’s Heart—

You have a choice between two attitudes when you are on the job. You can go with an attitude of taking from your work whatever is needed for your well-being. This attitude perceives the organization and its people as existing to serve you.

Or you can go to work with the attitude that says, “What can I put into this organization or job?” This attitude seeks to make the organization better—cultivating a more ideal work environment in which others are helped to live more satisfying lives. If that is your goal, then you will bring glory to God by fulfilling the role of a Christian servant…the role to which the Lord has called you. As the apostle Paul stated simply—and directly,

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than men,
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.
It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Colossians 3:23-24).

God, occasionally I seem to think it’s all about me. Thank You for redirecting my focus. You will take care of all my needs, so today I’ll focus on what I can do for others. Amen.

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How To Leave a Godly Legacy

Being a mom is in no way an inferior or a secondary calling! No one else is called to love our children but us. And no one else can love our children like us. God calls you and me to love our God-given children. How they came to be ours doesn’t matter. The fact that they are ours means that they are to be loved. God’s high calling is five-fold. If you have children, you are to:

  1. Love them and make loving them your highest pursuit.
  2. Look to the Word of God for His guidelines for being a loving Christian mother.
  3. Look at the modeling of older Christian women as they express Christlike love to their children.
  4. Look to older Christian women to teach you the how-to’s of such love.
  5. Look for—and learn from—such women.

By God’s grace, you can leave your mark on the world by leaving behind a child who grows up to love and serve the Lord… who then also raises godly children to continue your godly legacy for generations to come. This truly would be one of our greatest blessings as a mom after God’s own heart!

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Elizabeth & Jim George


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