December 2016

The Blessings of God’s Word in Your Heart

God's Word

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night….”
(Joshua 1:8)

Yes, I’m another voice encouraging you to read, study, and memorize Scripture. But maybe you think, “I tried reading the Bible before. I’ve done a stint or two of Bible study. And I was in a program once where I memorized some verses. I don’t feel like doing any of this right now.”

But when you allow God’s Word to “dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16), things happen. Wonderful things! Amazing things! Even things you don’t understand and can’t understand or explain.

  • You’ll discover fresh energy, new excitement, and a different—and better—outlook on life.
  • You’ll dream of doing great things for God as you begin to understand what great things He has done for you.
  • You’ll have ideas and wonder, Now where did those come from?
  • You’ll treat people differently, treat them better.
  • You’ll find yourself embracing and tackling your ministries, work, and responsibilities with joy. —You won’t even recognize yourself!
  • Your goals will change. I guarantee it.

Bottom line? You’ll be traveling God’s road to success, tasting and partaking of His brand of achievement and contribution. Why? Because you chose to meditate on God’s Word day and night. You chose to breathe, think, ponder, relish, and live—really live!—God’s book of the law.

Learn the great truths of the Bible and make them real in your life with The 50 Most Important Teachings of the Bible. You’ll be strengthened and encouraged as you do!

How Do You Use Your Time?

Time

God tells us to use our time “not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17). This means take great care in how you live. Live responsibly and wisely. Make the most of every minute by making the best use of your time.

As you think about your days and your use of time, try on these attitudes that will help you redeem your time:

  • Your time is your life, and you’re on assignment from God.
  • God has given you a purpose. He saved you so you can serve.
  • You are God’s workmanship, created in Christ for good works (Ephesians 2:10). Therefore,
  • Don’t be reckless with your days and hours. You can’t afford to make poor choices about how you spend time.

Here’s a principle to remember: You can never kill time without injuring eternity. Seek to use your golden, God-given minutes on what really matters.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
(Ephesians 2:10)

Do you wish you could replace a life of survival with a life of meaningful accomplishment? In A Woman’s High Calling, Elizabeth helps readers to eliminate the clutter and chaos of everyday life and focus on the areas God considers truly essential! Learn more here. 

Serving on Christmas Day God’s Way

 

Serving

Christmas is right around the corner! Are you dreading all the work? All the cooking? Serving all those people? And what about all the clean up?!

Serving is a simple and noble assignment. And it is perhaps the most obvious sign of Christlike maturity. Whenever you are serving others—whether it’s Christmas Day or every other day of the year—your heartfelt, Spirit-filled service is a dazzling reflection of the heart of your Savior, the greatest servant who ever lived, the One who set the standard when He served …

  • Despite if it was convenient or not
  • Whether people deserved it or not
  • No matter if others thanked Him or not
  • With sacrificial love
  • You by giving His life as a ransom for your soul

O Lord, this Christmas give me a heart of joy so I can follow in Your steps and gladly serve others. May I serve them as I pray for them. Help me do what it takes to bless them. May I serve with the attitude of doing it unto You. And when my heart tires of serving, remind me of Yourself and Your holy hands washing the disciples’ feet! May I become Your twin in selflessly tending to the needs of others. Amen.

A Woman After God’s Own Heart helps you experience real peace and joy as you follow God in every area of your life–and become a woman after His heart. With warmth and grace, Elizabeth shares practical, scriptural insights on how you can pursue God’s priorities.

Teen Tuesday—The Best Way to Make Decisions

Decisions

Decisions. How many times have you said “Yes!” to something or someone and later wondered, “What was I thinking? Why did I do that?” Was it peer pressure? Or to please others? Maybe to be seen with a special group? Were you afraid to say, “Let me check with my parents” or “I’ll let you know tomorrow”? Did you not have the nerve to say “No”?

We’ve all been there and done that. But God comes to our rescue with examples of how others in the Bible made decisions—the right way and for the right reasons!

  • King Solomon prayed for wisdom … and rose up from prayer to become the wisest man who ever lived (1 Kings 3:5-12).
  • Nehemiah spent time praying “before the God of heaven” after hearing some very bad news … and rose up knowing exactly what action to take (Nehemiah 1:4-11).
  • Queen Esther fasted three days and nights to prepare to follow God’s will in a life-threatening situation (Esther 4:16… and rose up to do the right thing and boldly made her request to the king.
  • The Lord Jesus sought His Father’s direction as He prayed all night … and rose up and chose the twelve disciples (Luke 6:12-13).

Why not make a new prayer commitment? “From now on, No decision made without prayer!” This prayer principle will guide your life and help you find God’s will for every decision you must make. Prepare yourself each day—and before each decision—so that you, too, rise up and do what’s right and what’s wise.

In A Young Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices, Elizabeth takes teens through the step–by–step process of making decisions that are life–affirming, godly, and wise. Learn more here.

When Everyone Is Looking for You

Prioritize

Do you ever feel by the end of most days that everyone is looking for you? Maybe you even feel like this when your day is just beginning! Your husband, children, boss, parents, women’s committee, and prayer chain at church are all clamoring for a piece of you.

Well, in a small way, you are getting an idea of how Jesus may have felt on one particular day that is described in Mark 1:29-39. Here’s how Jesus’ day went after teaching in the synagogue and dealing with demons. Notice that however physically tired or drained He already was, His heart was with the people looking for Him. He was available to keep right on reaching out to them, one after another.

  • He reached out and healed Peter’s mother-in-law in the house (verse 31).
  • He reached out and healed all who were waiting outside the house (verse 32).
  • He reached out to the rest of the city as word spread that He was available to help them (verses 33-34).
  • He reached out to all Galilee after being directed through prayer to be available to those in other towns in the area (verses 35-39).

How do you decide who gets—and truly needs—your attention and care when everyone is looking for you? It’s right and it’s Christlike to be available, but you can’t go every place or minister to every need. Make sure you get clear direction for each new day. Start by praying. Like Jesus, check in with the Father for His lead. Then begin at home by being available to your family first.

Find encouragement in Elizabeth’s new devotional, One Minute with the Women of the Bible!

Putting God’s Grace to Work

 

Grace

From Jim’s Heart—

It is an understatement to say that the Christian life is not easy. In fact, you could say that it is impossible. Like so many believers before you, including people like the apostle Paul, you will experience weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecution, and difficulties.

But take heart! God promises that the grace that saved you will also keep you and provide the strength and power you need to live the Christian life. It comes through His indwelling Spirit, who will guide and empower you. No matter what your situation, you can approach God’s throne with confidence, so that you may receive mercy and find grace to help you in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Now, what part can you play in putting God’s G-R-A-C-E to work in your life?

G-ive thanks to God that you are under grace and not the law.

R-espond in love and obedience to this gift in your life.

A-sk God for wisdom to understand what His grace should mean in your life.

C-ommune with other believers in a Bible-teaching church where you can receive training in the ways of God.

E-xtend God’s grace to others by sharing the gospel, showing forgiveness, and helping them to shoulder their burdens.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect
has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace,
that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
(Hebrews 4:15-16)

Click here for your copy of What God Wants to Do for You. Jim shares 24 sure promises from the Bible that show just how much God loves us!

Welcome Tests and Trials

Tests

“You know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
(James 1:3)

When Jim and I first married, we lived on a honeymooner’s budget, which means we did most of our furniture shopping at the local flea market. One day we discovered a wonderful antique brass bed. Orangey and almost black from the oxidation of the metal, its dismantled pieces leaned against the wall of a dingy booth behind other sparkling, more desirable items. But the price was right for us.

That old bed instantly became a treasure to us. But it had to be cleaned before we could use it and be proud of it. So we hauled our find home, set it up, and Jim went to work on it to see what he could do about the discoloration.

When I checked on his progress, I felt alarmed that Jim hadn’t taken a soft cloth and polish to the brass bed. He was laboring away with steel wool and a caustic cleaner! And he rubbed, and rubbed, and rubbed. The harder he rubbed, the brighter the brass shone. It came alive and was even more outstanding than we’d dreamed!

God’s testing of us through trials has a similar effect on our faith in Him. His trials are good for us. They bring out the best in us. Tests prove what we are made of and what we’ve learned—or not learned—as Christians. And they reveal how we’ve grown—or not grown. These tests are our vigorous “rubbing” by God.

Yes, we don’t understand fully the reasons for the tests and what they accomplish. And we perceive them as negative and painful. But remember that brass bed … and how it shone after some muscle work. Welcome the tests God sends your way. That way you will shine as a trophy of His grace!

A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus is a treasure trove of truths and applications that enable you to follow Jesus and let your light glorify God.

Church Membership Matters

Church Membership

From Jim’s Heart—

Membership in the body of Christ is the greatest of all memberships, and the privileges are exceptional, both in this life and the life to come. Hebrews 10:25 tells believers: “Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

Church is important to God and His Son, Jesus. You and all fellow believers are “living stones, [and] are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5). You can demonstrate that the church is important in your life in these ways:

  • Attend faithfully—Obviously you can worship God anywhere and at any time, but worship is not just an individual experience, but a collective one as well. And as you worship God with other Christians, you also have the opportunity to develop and use your spiritual gifts.
  • Give generously—When you invest your “treasure” in God’s church and God’s people, you have a much greater “heart” interest in the well-being of others. Why? Because “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
  • Pray regularly—The apostle Paul asked others to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18). Pray regularly, not only for your family, but also for your church family, its leaders, and its ministries.
  • Serve diligently—You are following Christ’s example when you serve others. Jesus said that “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). A key reason for serving is that when you serve others, you are serving the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:24).

Pick up a copy of Jim’s NEW book, Knowing God Through Prayer. Experience a deeper intimacy with God and give new life to your prayers as you find clear direction on how to pray God’s way in all of life’s hardships and blessings.

Persevering Through Pain

1-gods-grace-elizabeth-george-jim-george

Whenever I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself or to think no one is suffering as much as I am or in the same way, I recall one of my favorite scriptures—2 Corinthians 12:10. This verse clearly teaches there will be times we’ll be persevering through different kinds of pain. It also cites the apostle Paul’s triumphant words on his own personal suffering—on his “thorn in the flesh” (verse 7).

After hearing Jesus’ promise concerning His all-sufficient grace for enduring distress, Paul announced (verse 10), “Therefore I take pleasure in …

  • Infirmities (weaknesses)
  • Reproaches (insults and ill-treatment)
  • Needs (hardships and deprivations)
  • Persecutions (torment)
  • Distresses (difficulties and times of difficulty).”

Think about it. Paul lists five different types of suffering, five different kinds of adversity. And, as Bible scholars note, the list is not complete in reference to Paul’s trials. This means we are never the only ones suffering. Suffering takes on many faces, but it is universal to humankind due to the fall of Adam in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-7).

But the good news for you and all believers is we’re not alone in persevering through pain! Because of the grace of God, you can be strong—even when suffering weakens you. Keep James’ command to “count it all joy” (1:2). And follow Paul’s example of persevering and rejoicing in the power of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Then you, too, can triumph over your ordeals. And, like Paul, you can know blessings await you on the other side of each trial.

Click here to start or end your day with Elizabeth’s NEW devotional, One Minute with the Women of the Bible. As you learn how God comforted, helped, and provided for the women in the Bible, you’ll grow more and more aware of His amazing love for you.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


Made with ♥ by Guild & MCP