Encouragement for Life

It Takes Two to Fight

 

Fight

 

Every married woman learns sooner or later that it takes two to fight as a couple. It’s sort of like a boxing match. There are two fighters in the ring. The husband wearing blue trunks over in his corner, and the wife in pink shorts in the opposite corner. When the bell rings, two fighters are expected to come out and fight until one is beaten or knocked out or gives up or loses.

But what happens if, when the bell rings, only one fighter comes out? It’s obvious: There is no fight. There can be no fight. Why? Because it takes two to have a fight.

When a discussion gets hostile or uncomfortable or out of control, there are several things you can do to create calm. You always have the right to ask for time to think about whatever the issue is. Take time to pray about it and to search the Scriptures about it. And seek counsel about it. Be calm. Pray. Soften your voice and be gracious: “A gracious woman retains honor” (Proverbs 11:16). God will give you all the grace you need to be gracious.

 

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. Elizabeth George takes you on a journey through the 31 chapters of Proverbs, which cover the matters closest to your heart, in Proverbs for a Woman’s Day.

 

A Generous Soul

Generous

Most people and families—and maybe you too—are simply trying to stay afloat financially. That makes it hard at times to think about giving some of your hard-earned money to your church and to others. But you must realize you are not giving to others or even to a church. You are giving to God as an act of worship.

When it comes to your giving, the issue is not how much you give, but your heart attitude when you give. This is a part of what brings about God’s blessings upon you. As Proverbs 11:25 states, “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.”

As you fill your soul each day with God’s Word, your heart will overflow in a multitude of good works. Only it won’t be work! And it won’t be because you have to. And it won’t be to get something back in return. No, giving from your heart will be pure joy, motivated by pure love for God, who has given so much to you.

 

In Proverbs for a Woman’s Day, Elizabeth George takes you on a journey through the 31 chapters of Proverbs, which cover the matters closest to your heart, including how to…

  • trust in God when it’s hard
  • find fulfillment in your marriage
  • train and enjoy your children
  • conquer your bad habits
  • pursue lasting success

What Motivates You?

Motivates

From Jim’s Heart—

It has been my privilege to teach countless seminars and classes on setting lifetime goals—and achieving them. Everyone has certain people or things who are driving their life. So I ask you, What is motivating you these days? What is getting you up early every morning and keeping you up late at night? What is consuming the hours and days of your life? Is it …

A career?
The goal of financial independence?
A dream of future happiness or retirement?

These desires in and of themselves may not be wrong or evil. But what happens when you reach any of these physical or financial goals, these “earthly” prizes? Will you be satisfied? Maybe. But also maybe not.

Here’s the hard question: Are you willing to take a chance and expend your life and energies on these kinds of pursuits that, in the end, might not fulfill your deepest longings?

Friend, discipline is a good and profitable thing. You will never influence others on any level without discipline. But make sure your discipline has the right focus, the right direction. Make sure your goal is, first and foremost, seeking and following Jesus Christ: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Then, as Jesus concluded, all else will fall into place: “… and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

 

Experience true fulfillment as you take steps toward following the Apostle Paul’s example and making a difference. In Jim’s book, The Man Who Makes a Difference, you will learn how to: 

  • Let God’s power work in and through you.
  • Acquire discernment for making right decisions and choices.
  • Pursue holiness that allows God to work through you unhindered.
  • Stay faithful to God’s calling to the end.

Waiting Eagerly for the Word

Word

In the country of Taiwan, Jim and I were blessed to experience the Bible come alive. For years I had been reading Proverbs each day…which means for years I had been reading Proverbs 8:34: “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. Several days after arriving our sponsor arranged for us and our two preteen daughters to go to a local university to sit and converse with students who were learning English.

There was just one catch. These English lessons were open to anyone and everyone. Those who came did not have to be enrolled as students in the university.

At 5:30 a.m. we went into shock as we neared the gated walls of the university. Thousands of people were crammed around the school’s gates that would open at 6:00 a.m. for free English lessons. It was actually a little scary as we were escorted through the crowd and led to a special door by guards so we could set up for the lessons by six o’clock.

Truly, I was seeing a Bible verse come alive. This scene and experience was a living illustration for me. It showed what it means to value and crave wisdom. To watch daily at Wisdom’s gates and to wait at her doorposts and to listen attentively. These dear people desired to learn English so badly they put it as the first thing of the day. So they rose in the dark and journeyed to a location. They hoped to be among the limited number before the cutoff was reached. To be there before the gates closed.

This is how we should approach each day—rising early, making any and every sacrifice to read God’s Word. To listen to His wisdom, to watch and wait eagerly for every word that proceeds out of His mouth.

Start or end your day with powerful reminders of God’s work in the lives of women in the Bible and find encouragement for your own faith journey in Elizabeth George’s book, One Minute With The Women Of The Bible.

Celebrating Your Freedom in Christ

Freedom

Did your Fourth of July include a family picnic? Was it filled with children laughing and playing, and fireworks lighting up the sky? The Fourth is a holiday that provides opportunities for families and communities to be together. But its greater significance is the celebration of independence, religious freedom, and freedom from tyranny and oppression.

As a woman, a wife, a mom, and a grandmother–I’m grateful we are free. I’m thankful to be able to pray openly with my family, to read the Bible without fear of any reprisals whatsoever, to take a stand for my faith or witness to others … and pray for those who lack these freedoms.

Jesus came so we could experience freedom. Not political freedom, or even the personal freedoms we enjoy, but freedom from sin. Whatever the situation and circumstances people of the world suffer–we are free in Christ. Rejoice! Celebrate and walk in this truth every single day!

 

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. Elizabeth George takes you on a journey through the 31 chapters of Proverbs, which cover the matters closest to your heart, in Proverbs for a Woman’s Day.

Leaving the Rut of Bad Habits

Habits

As people who love the Lord, we must bluntly and daily ask ourselves if there is any area in our life where we know we are off track, out of God’s will, and have wandered off His path of righteousness. Are there any choices of disobedi­ence we are making repeatedly that are becoming unholy habits?

Here are several time-proven practices that help us to leave the rut of our bad habits. And rush to the side (and safety!) of God’s guidance:

  1. A-dmit your sin and acknowledge it as dis­obedience.
  2. A-sk for accountability from other trusted Christians.
  3. A-rm yourself adequately with prayer and with Scripture.
  4. A-ssociate with other Christians who pos­sess the habits you desire.
  5. A-bolish all stumbling-stones from your environment.
  6. A-im at walking beside the Shepherd one day at a time.
  7. A-cquaint yourself more intimately with Jesus and His righteousness.

We are blessed to have a God who loves and cares for us. He promises to lead us and guide us out of our own unprofitable ruts and into His paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:3)!

A Woman Who Reflects the Heart of Jesus a treasure trove of truths and applications that enable you to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

Think Twice Before You Lend

 

Lend

The book of Proverbs warns you and me and all readers against becoming liable for the financial obligations of others, saying, “If you become surety…” (Proverbs 6:1). This means being a cosigner—the one who is responsible for a debt if the borrower defaults.

Suppose a relative or friend wants to buy a car but needs additional money to make the loan payments. Then your friend or relative comes to you and asks you to cosign the note. What is the best way to handle this kind of request? Take time to think and pray and ask for advice. Don’t feel pressured by any kind of time limit. Take all the time you need before you make this kind of commitment. And if you are married, your spouse should be involved from the first minute.

  Consider these reasons why you should take your time and be sure before agreeing to cosign for a someone’s loan:

  • You might be helping someone buy something which is not God’s will for them to have.
  • You might be discouraging the development of your friend’s patience, faith, and trust in God to provide.
  • You may be practicing bad stewardship. Remember that Scripture instructs you to be a wise and careful steward of what you have (1 Corinthians 4:2).
  • You risk the possibility of bitterness in a close relationship, especially if that person defaults on their loan. It is better for them to be upset with you right away when you say “no” than for you to shoulder the results of a default in the future.

The biblical approach is to discern if there is a real and legitimate need. If so, it is better to give money outright, than to become surety.

 

In Proverbs for a Woman’s Day, Elizabeth George takes you on a journey through the 31 chapters of Proverbs, which cover the matters closest to your heart. 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 the Bible.

Knowing God’s Will … ABC Style

Will

How can you know God’s will? As you pray, seek to live according to what is revealed in God’s Word, and search out godly counsel, you’ll discover God’s specific will for you—your greatest treasure.

Follow these ABCs based on God’s will for Rebekah and how His will for her was revealed.

  • A – Ask God. Abraham’s servant prayed fervently and specifically about finding the right wife for Isaac.
  • B – Be faithful. Rebekah was led to the next phase of God’s will for her life while she was faithfully serving her family in the details of daily life.
  • C – Consult others. Rebekah’s father and brother were involved in counseling her and agreed to her marriage to Isaac.
  • D – Decide for yourself. Family members agreed, God’s will was evident, but Rebekah had to choose to follow God’s plan.
  • E – Execute your decision. Rather than lingering, Rebekah acted immediately and began her journey of faith … by faith!

Ask God to open your eyes and your heart to His will for you. And don’t be surprised when you discover it’s right in front of you!

Start or end your day with the powerful reminders of God’s work in the lives of women in the Bible in Elizabeth George’s book, One Minute with the Women of the Bible. You’ll find encouragement for your own faith journey

Working Together as a Couple

Couple

Because you and your spouse as “one flesh” are a team, ideally the two of you have the potential to accomplish twice as much by working together toward common goals. Like Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.”

Unfortunately, in our imperfect world maybe the two of you are not acting as one. Maybe it looks like one of you isn’t shouldering their share of the burden—or is pulling in the opposite direction, toward an opposing goal. Conflicting purposes can be counterproductive and cause you to feel like you are buried under a pile with no way out and no one to help you.

Each of you has some choices to make. You can nag, throw a tantrum, harden your heart, resent your spouse…or you can pray for the two of you to better use time so that together, you move toward fulfilling the purposes God has for you as a couple.

As a couple who wants to do all to the glory of God, get rid of negative, fleshly responses and instead, pray. When you do this, you are putting your problem in the right place—right into God’s hands. And while you are praying for your spouse, take the next step and ask God for His help for yourself—that you would become a better time manager, even an excellent one!

In 15 Verses to Pray for Your Husband by Elizabeth George, you’ll discover key Bible passages you can use as a springboard for lifting your husband up to God. Praying the Scriptures is especially powerful because you are actually praying what God desires for your spouse.

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!

 

 

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


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