May 2017

Be a Person of Great Influence

Influence

Ananias is a classic example of a man who displayed obedience in the midst of a difficult situation. As a result, he had great influence. The details of his obedience are found right in the middle of the story of Paul’s conversion…

Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight” (Acts 9:10-12). Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name” (Acts 9:13-14).

God’s command to Ananias was, “Go” (verse 15). And Ananias had to decide—to obey, or not to obey? And the rest is history! Ananias went, and Ananias became a man of great influence because he was obedient to God.

His example teaches us to be:

  • Available to do what God asks.
  • Willing to do what must be done.
  • Prepared to obey, no matter what.
  • Expectant of the results God is seeking.

You can be another Ananias. All it takes is a desire to faithfully obey the commands of Scripture as they are presented. As you are faithful to follow God’s commands, you will have a powerful and lasting influence and impact.

In The Man Who Makes a Difference, Jim George explores how the Apostle Paul took God’s priorities for life and made them his own. The result? He had a significant impact on everyone around him … and you can, too!

 

 

Proof of God’s Love

Proof

What’s in a name? Plenty! In Bible times, names given to newborns were very significant. Through the names they bestowed, mothers and fathers passed on their expectations, their faith, and even a bit of hard-earned wisdom.

Such is the case of Leah. The lackluster Leah had the misfortune of sharing her husband, Jacob, with her stunning sister, Rachel. The Bible tells us Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah and that Leah was unloved. Both Leah and Rachel were barren for a while, but the Lord eventually opened Leah’s womb, and she conceived and bore a son.

When she held her new baby, Leah christened him “Reuben”—“See, a son!” or “Behold a son!” Leah exclaimed, “The Lord has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me” (Genesis 29:32). The name “Reuben” reveals Leah’s longing for love.

But buried deeper in the naming of her tiny boy was Leah’s joyful surprise at God’s love and compassion. “Reuben” also acknowledges God’s kindness and providence. God had noticed her trouble and looked favorably upon Leah. She treasured that thought so deeply that it was passed on to her son. To Leah, Reuben would always be proof of God’s loving care—a loving care you, too, can enjoy!

In One Minute With The Women of The Bible by Elizabeth George, you’ll learn how God comforted, helped, and provided for the women in the Bible  … and you’ll grow more and more aware of His amazing love for you.

 

Faithful … In All Things

Faithful

Faithful in the little things.
Faithful in the large things.
Faithful in all things.

These three descriptions perfectly describe Phoebe, a woman we meet in Romans 16:1-2. She is a living example of Jesus’ statement that “he who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much” (Luke 16:10).

Phoebe was not one of the leaders of any of the churches in and around Corinth. But she faithfully provided her vital service to the people where she lived and also in her ministry to the apostle Paul. Because of her faithfulness, Phoebe was given the responsibility of hand-delivering a letter—the book of Romans—to the church in Rome! Can you imagine the Bible without the book of Romans?

Are you faithful in the little things—like giving generously of your time and energy to your church? By helping others, you are providing a great service to God and His people. And who knows, one day God may ask you to provide Him with even greater service! Phoebe served faithfully in what was least…and proved faithful also in much.

A woman’s day is full of challenges and opportunities. Let the wisdom of God show you how to thrive through it all in Elizabeth George’s newest book, Proverbs for a Woman’s Day.

Teen Tuesday – The Joys of Giving

Giving

Here’s a challenge and a truth. When you decide to work on being more generous, you’ll have no trouble finding opportunities! Just to get you going down this path being a giver, try these ideas for starters:

  1. Begin at home—Your parents and siblings are first in line for your cheerfulness and help.
  1. Give to your church—Make it a point whenever you get your allowance, or some birthday money, or some cash from a babysitting or dog walking job, to give some of it the next time you’re at church. And pray as you give for those your giving will help.
  1. Keep your ear to the ground—Take time to notice people around you who are in need. Sign up to receive your church’s prayer list. Don’t let opportunities to do good to someone pass you by.
  1. Support a group or person—A few dollars a month from you can support a needy child through a worthy organization. These same dollars can actually provide water to people who are dying of thirst in other parts of the world!

(Just a thought—be sure you check with your parents about your plans to give money or assistance. Let them know how much and who will be the recipients of your giving. They can provide their wisdom and guidance, and they just might want to join you in your efforts.)

  1. Live out love—When asked what love looks like, the early church father Augustine replied,

Love has hands to help others.
It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want.
It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrow of men.
This is what love looks like.

This kind of love is truly beautiful in God’s eyes!

In Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George provides an engaging and inspirational resource for every mom who wants to lead her daughter to a godly life by example, encouragement, study, and prayer.

The Flower of Motherhood

Mother

We love to honor our mothers with roses on Mother’s Day. Today let’s honor Manoah’s wife with a single beautiful rose for her motherhood.

Known throughout the Bible as “Manoah’s wife,” another phrase can be used to describe this lovely lady: She was “Samson’s mother.” This gentle woman lived her life in the shadow of two men—her husband, Manoah, and her famous son, Samson, a judge of God’s people and the strongest man who ever lived. Being a wife and mother appears to have been enough for her happiness and fulfillment.

Aren’t you glad the Bible paints such a positive picture of parenting? From it we learn these divine truths about being a mom:

  • Children are a heritage from the Lord (Psalm 127:3).
  • The fruit of the womb is a reward (Psalm 127:3).

The Bible also gives parents sound advice for raising children. For instance …

  • Train up a child in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6).
  • Bring your children up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
  • Love your children (Titus 2:4).

If you’re a mom, your calling is a high and noble one, a momentous stewardship as God entrusts precious children—His special creations—to you! Have a blessed and happy Mother’s Day!

 

Start or end your day with the powerful reminders of God’s work in the lives of women in the Bible in One Minute with the Women of the Bible by Elizabeth George. You’ll find encouragement for your own faith journey as you learn how God has comforted, helped, and provided for these women.

Choosing Your Words Like Chocolates

Words

We always have a choice when we open our mouth! We can choose words that harm—or words that heal. Remember: You have not mastered self-control if you have not mastered what you say and don’t say.

When I think about word choices, I can’t keep from thinking about chocolate! More specifically, about a box full of chocolates. If you’re like me (and are lucky enough to ever have a box of chocolates!), you peer into that box of delicious delicacies and oh-so-slowly, oh-so-carefully select which one you will eat.

When you speak, determine that you will seek to deliver only words that are “chocolate” to another person—words that are good, sweet, special, a pick-me-up, and an energizer. Words that are comforting and wise that will minister to the person and to their individual need. As you talk with the people who cross your path, listen to their hearts as they share. Discern their needs. Then consider all of the good things you could say, and choose the perfect one to bless them.

 

Are you stressed out by your responsibilities? At a crossroads in your life? Wondering what to do about a complicated relationship? Don’t guess about the next step and hope for the best. Get a clear view of the right path as you follow God’s wisdom found in Proverbs for a Woman’s Day by Elizabeth George.

The Blessings of Fasting

Fasting

Fasting was part of the prayer life of many of the remarkable people in the Bible. Hannah, Samuel, Nehemiah, Daniel, and, of course, Jesus, fasted. The preparation and eating of food requires a significant portion of a person’s day. Therefore, fasting gives us extra time to pray and to consider and confess areas of sin. Hunger, too, reinforces a sense of repentance and reminds us of our dependence upon God.

Adding fasting to your prayer life introduces an element of further seriousness to your prayers. Too often, it’s easy to come casually to God in prayer. On some occasions, we may even have a degree of superficiality in our prayers. But when you determine to fast in conjunction with your praying, you express a desire to be more focused on God.

So, on those occasions when your heart is especially burdened, or when significant decisions need to be made, why not intensify the seriousness of your prayers by fasting?

In Knowing God Through Prayer by Jim George, experience a deeper intimacy with God and give new life to your prayers. In this new book, find clear direction on how to pray God’s way in all of life’s hardships and blessings.

 

Hope for Your Dark Valleys

Hope

Have you ever traveled down, down, down into any dark valleys? Can you remember a time of foreboding or panic? Of suffering and sorrow? Of terror as darkness seemed to overshadow you as you journeyed into the unknown?

Thank God we can praise Him for what we learn about Him during such times. On the other side of darkness we know something of God’s promised presence—He was there with you. And you know something of His grace—it was sufficient for those terrifying times.

It’s true that the perilous valley is a part of life’s path. But we have hope. It’s also true that we can grasp the hand of God as we descend the frightening path into the valley of darkness. We can rest in the knowledge that He has already walked this path. And we can walk calmly with Him, remembering the words, “Yea, though I walk … .”

So walk as you suffer! And keep on walking! Have hope. Don’t pause. Do not falter. Don’t ponder. Just proceed.

Walk, knowing that as the Shepherd’s dear sheep, and with the Lord beside you, you will walk through it. It comforts the soul to know that the Good Shepherd does not take His sheep into the valley of darkness to stay—but to pass through it. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death …” (Psalm 23:4).

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

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


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