October 2016

How to Respond When We’re Insulted

 

Insulted by enemies

Jesus, the Master Teacher, instructs us about patience in relationships with problem people, even people He labels as “enemies.” He tells us to love our enemies, even when we’re insulted. He then explains how to do just that: Pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28).

What is your natural tendency when you are insulted or treated badly? It’s easy to react and treat the offender in exactly the same way you are treated. But that kind of response makes your conduct as wrong as your offender’s. That is sin upon sin, creating two wrongs.

As Christians we are not to return evil for evil, but to give a blessing instead. What Jesus wants from us is a godly response. He wants us to respond, not with a fleshly response, but to give a blessing and pray.

Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you.
Instead, pay them back with a blessing.
That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.
(1 Peter 3:9)

This is exactly what Jesus did when He prayed for His killers while dying on the very cross they had nailed Him to. Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).

This scene from the life of our suffering Savior is too sacred to leave without responding from the depths of our soul! If we really want to be like Jesus, we have to ask ourselves a hard question. Are we willing to do what we have to do to love our enemies?

In Putting On a Gentle and Quiet Spirit, Elizabeth George takes you through a thought-provoking study of Peter’s teachings on handling trials and persecutions, including:

  • Suffering for doing good.
  • Understanding the mysteries of God.
  • Fanning the flame of faith.

 

Looking for the Key to Harmony? 

Harmony with painful people

As the saying goes—where there are people, there are problems! So how can we handle the people who cause us pain so we can have harmony? How can we continue to walk by the Spirit and not succumb to the flesh when we are assaulted or annoyed by people? Thank God He gives us the fruit of patience for managing the strain of personal relationships.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;
against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22)

It’s good to realize that as Christians, you and every believer are called by God to be patient. We are to adorn ourselves with patience. Just as we dress our body every day by putting on clothes, we are to dress our spirit each morning with the godly quality of patience.

In describing the Christian life, Paul writes that we can enhance our relationships with other believers. We can also promote harmony in the church. How? By conducting our lives with patience. In other words, when we see faults in other people or are annoyed by them in any way, when we want to be irritated or be critical and lash out at them, we are to be patient instead.

Patience is definitely a key to harmony in relationships. So don’t forget when you are dressing for the day to “put on a heart of patience.” Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another (Colossians 3:12-13).

Experiencing God’s Peace studies the book of Philippians and helps you understand how to sense God’s perfect peace in every circumstance in your life. Elizabeth George’s teaching will help you discover how to:

  • Respond to the needs of others
  • Mature in Christ
  • Overcome anxiety.

How Often Do You Talk About the Lord?

Talk about the Lord

One day I paused on the patio at my church to chat with a woman I hadn’t visited with for a while. In seconds I recognized that I was in the presence of a woman whose words left me truly energized spiritually and inspired me to want to rush home, curl up with my Bible for the afternoon, and spend lots of time with the Lord.

What happened, I wondered when I walked away. As I reviewed our time together, I soon realized that this woman spoke of the Lord. Of course she spoke of other things, too—practical things. After all, it was a conversation! But somehow she blessed God with her every breath. She exalted Him and brought Him to the forefront of our discussion. It was as if He was right there with us (as indeed He was and always is)—the center of our talk—at least from her side of our discussion. Yes, she spoke out of a full heart, a heart full of Him!

And so this humbled woman (me) went home, curled up with my Bible, spent time with my Lord … and made a decision—to speak of the Lord, to begin as many sentences as possible with the words “the Lord…” or “God…” In essence, I was making a decision to put Him first. Oh, He’s first in my heart, but I want Him to be first in my talk, too!

“I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works” (Psalm 9:1). Help me share Your goodness with those I talk to, to speak of You from a heart that is full of You. Amen.

Enjoy a treasure trove of truths and applications that enable you to follow in the footsteps of Jesus with Elizabeth George’s book, A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus.

Teen Tuesday—Handling Anger

Handling Anger

Has anyone ever said you have a short fuse? God’s power and strength will help you hold back your anger and emotions. There are ways to develop your muscles of patience, to lengthen your fuse.

  • Don’t give in to venting your anger. Instead pray on the spot and ask God to give you His patience.
  • Avoid conflicts as much as possible. When things heat up, excuse yourself and walk away.
  • Don’t be the cause of an argument. Think before you speak your responses and react to others.
  • Follow Jesus’ example. First Peter 2:22-23 tells us that Jesus “‘committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats.”

God will help you respond like Jesus. When you’re injured by others or flat out annoyed by them, turn your bad temper and your hurt feelings heavenward. With God’s help you’ll have the power of patience. Memorize this verse to help you along:

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
(Proverbs 19:11)

Dear Lord, lead me away from my first response when people are slow, unfair, unjust, or unkind. I need your help to be more like Jesus. Amen.

A Young Woman After God’s Own Heart is an exciting and practical book that will help young women walk in Jesus’ footsteps by cultivating godly attitudes and conduct, following Jesus and His example with confidence, and counting on God’s strength as they grow in Christlike character.

Remember: God is Faithful

 

God is faithful

Whatever issue you’re facing today, whether it is a medical diagnosis or treatment, a physical limitation, a loss in your family, a difficult situation with a spouse or child or friend, a lack of finances … remember: God is faithful (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Unfortunately, we are forgetful people. So it helps to purposefully and willfully remember that God has never failed to be faithful. Never!

Actively remember how He has “kept” you in the past.
Remember how He has protected you and your family from times of serious harm.
And, wonder of wonders, remember how His timing has always been perfect.

At the precise moment when you seemed to be at the end of your rope, God orchestrated a deliverance, a solution, an answer to your prayer, a way of escape from a temptation, or the opening of a path through it.

Don’t forget God’s goodness and mercy and unfailing compassion. Remember, they are new every morning and fill your every day!

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:22-23)

What God Wants to do For You by Jim George shares 24 sure promises from the Bible that show just how much God loves us. Includes study questions that help readers know how they can benefit from God’s incredible promises in their everyday lives.

The Holy Spirit’s Help for You

God will help you

When God looks at your life, what does He look for? Not perfection—being a Christian doesn’t mean you don’t sin anymore. Rather, it means sin is no longer the predominant pattern of your life. And God, through His Holy Spirit, helps you.

As a Christian, you are a new creature in Christ. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17). And when you do sin, because the Holy Spirit lives in you, you are convicted and possess a desire to repent so the joy of your fellowship with God can be restored. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. (Psalm 51:12).

God never asks you to do something without providing you with the enablement to do it. With the Holy Spirit’s help, you can live as a man or woman after God’s own heart. As you yield your life fully to the Lord, the Spirit will produce fruit that is consistent with being a new creature—a child of God.

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!

 

Controlling Your Thoughts and Actions

thoughts determine actions

Do you realize that what we’re thinking about and entertaining in our mind will ultimately show up in our behavior? Here are some practices and decisions that will help you turn your thoughts heavenward.

1. Make a decision each day to seek to dwell on the Lord. Willfully think on God, on His attributes, and on portions of His Word.

2. Make sure your thoughts meet the guidelines of Philippians 4:8. A sure way to fulfill this divine ideal is to think about God, His Word, and His Son.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
(Philippians 4:8)

3. Master the great hymns of the faith. These worshipful, sacred songs of praise will bubble up from the recesses of your mind and heart throughout the day

4. Memorize scripture. Then you can dip into your reservoir of memorized verses and enjoy them over and over again. God’s Word in your heart definitely helps you to think about Him.

5. Mark out certain times each day for praising God. The psalmist’s declaration to God in Psalm 119:164, “Seven times a day I praise You.” That’s as simple as praising Him when you say “grace” three times a day with meals, once when you get up, and once when you go to bed. Then surely you can fit in two more times each day!

Loving God With All Your Mind helps women handle their emotions and discover inner peace that comes from focusing on what is true. It shares six powerful Bible truths that will help readers draw closer to God and know His joy and love.

God Is Faithful

 

god faithful trials

First Corinthians 10:13 has taught me to stop saying and thinking, “I’m not going to make it” or “I can’t do this” whenever I come up against a trial. Instead this verse has helped me learn to say and think, “I can do this because God is faithful and will see me through … if I count on Him, do my part, hang in there, and see it through!”

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.
And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
1 Corinthians 10:13

God promises no trial will ever be more than you can bear, more than you can endure by His grace and in His power. He also reveals a truth and a fact about Himself: “God is faithful.”

So you have a choice each time you bump up against a trial or temptation. You can think faulty thoughts—lies!—about how you can’t make it through. Or you can think healthy thoughts—God’s truths!—that believe and accept that He is indeed faithful, that He promises He will see you through your problem … which means you can make it through!

Your role in each trial is to remain faithful to God and follow through with faith and action. You are to love Him; to trust Him; to count on His resources; to fight against temptation; to ask Him to enable you to endure through pain, sorrow, heartache, deprivation, and life-threatening situations. And you are to resist coming up with your own solutions to your trials. When you do this, you will discover His faithful help for your every need.

A Woman’s Daily Walk with God is a devotional filled with practical wisdom and encouragement, sure to bring direction and stability to your day. These daily reminders will help you draw near to the Lord so that you find the strength, peace, and confidence you need for both the everyday moments and bigger challenges of life.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


Made with ♥ by Guild & MCP