Encouragement for Men

Keep the Slate Clear

Forgiveness

From Jim’s Heart

Have you ever noticed that, as a man, asking for or offering forgiveness is often very difficult? It’s almost as hard as asking for directions! Why is that?

Well, I can’t answer for you, but for me, pride is often the culprit, especially in my marriage. Here’s how it goes: I say or do something stupid to Elizabeth that’s—shall I say … a little gruff? Then, instead of immediately asking for forgiveness and being done with it, my pride says, “No, I was right about what I said,” or “Well, it wasn’t that bad!”

Regardless of my wife’s response, as long as I fail to label my deed as “sin” and ask her forgiveness, there is a cloud over our relationship—all because I wasn’t humble enough to admit I was wrong.

Let me encourage you to learn to quickly admit wrong and ask for forgiveness … no matter what. Keep the slate clear and the communication line open with your wife. Forgive each other, “just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

In A Man After God’s Own Heart, you’ll discover God’s perfect design for how you can make a difference in all the key areas of your life:

  • Marriage–what it means to love, lead, and protect your wife
  • Children–the keys to training them up and shaping their hearts
  • Work–modeling integrity and diligence in the workplace

Loving Your Wife

Loving

From Jim’s Heart—

L ove your wife unconditionally. Your love cannot be cause-and-effect in nature, with an attitude of “if she does this, I’ll do that.” Love does not keep records (1 Corinthians 13:5). It gives, expecting nothing in return.

O rder your priorities. Next to your love for God, you are to love your wife. She is to be your highest human priority. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife” (Genesis 2:24). What have you done lately that would make your wife know she is your Number-One human priority?

V alue the many sterling qualities in your wife. She married you, so she definitely has a lot going for her! Praise her often, and praise her publicly. One husband said this to his wife before a whole city: “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all” (Proverbs 31:29).

E njoy the wife of your youth—sexually, physically, and as a best friend. She, and she alone, is to be the love of your life. Never let your eyes wander from her beauty (Proverbs 5:15-19). Your vow to love your wife was a covenant made with God and with her (Proverbs 2:17). So keep it!

Jim and Elizabeth share their 40-plus years of marital wisdom and experiences to help couples grow closer to each other and to God in A Couple After God’s Own Heart. Pick up your copy today to discover how you can enrich your marriage by looking at the lives of key couples in the Bible.

Comfort Your Wife

Comfort

From Jim’s Heart—

If I asked your wife to tell me when you last gave her comfort, what would she say? If you are like a lot of husbands (me included!), it’s been a long time. We men get so used to receiving tender care, especially from our wives. They’re right there whenever we need them. Anytime we’re down, or things aren’t going well at work, there they are, angels of mercy and comfort. It seems so natural for them!

But all believers are exhorted to “put on a heart of compassion” (Colossians 3:12), and that includes you and me.

How can you develop in this vital area of your Christian walk? How can you begin to give more comfort to your wife?

  • First, remember that God has demonstrated His compassion to you.
  • Next, acknowledge that the “Comforter,” the Holy Spirit, lives in you. Allow His powerful mercy to flow through you into the lives of others, starting with your sweet wife.
  • Finally, remember that God comforts us so that we may do the same (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,

who comforts us in all our affliction,
so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Take the Husband Communication Quiz to determine your current level of communication with your companion-for-life. Then, check out A Husband After God’s Own Heart to help you build a richer and deeper marriage.

 

The Joy of Praying Together

Praying

From Jim’s Heart— 

While I was an associate pastor, a couple came to my office for marriage counseling. After we pinpointed several areas of concern in their marriage that needed their attention, I asked the husband to commit the couple’s desires to the Lord. As the man finished praying, I looked up to discover that his wife was crying. She explained through her tears that this was the first time in ten years of marriage that they had prayed together as a couple!

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to strengthen your marriage. Make it a point—and a practice—to come before the Lord in prayer together as a couple. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, or formal, or take more than a few minutes. Make it as simple and easy and natural as you can for both of you.

I guarantee you will both be blessed, and it will also do wonders for your marriage. After all, what is the old saying? “The couple who prays together stays together.” Prayer together is a shared spiritual experience. It is a strong tie that binds two hearts and souls together. And imagine the mutual joy you’ll experience as you witness God’s answers to your prayers … together!

In A Couple After God’s Own Heart, discover how you can enrich your marriage by looking at the lives of key couples in the Bible.

  • Learn the essentials necessary for enjoying an exciting life together.
  • Develop better ways to communicate and make solid decisions together.
  • Realize the need to draw upon God for unity and strength in hard times.

 

 

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.

From Jim’s Heart—Prayer Tips for Leaders

 

prayer

As a leader, how can you afford not to pray? Let these principles from Nehemiah’s remarkable prayer life (found in the Book of Nehemiah) guide you to increased strength as you guide others.

  • Pray to meet the needs of others. Nehemiah’s awareness of the conditions of the people moved him to pray and to seek and find a way to help them.
  • Pray with an open mind. Be willing to be the answer to your own prayers. As Nehemiah prayed, he caught a vision that God’s purpose involved him!
  • Pray with a willing heart. Nehemiah committed himself to obeying God’s leading to use him as part of the solution.
  • Pray for the vision of others. Nehemiah could not complete God’s purpose alone. Pray for God to put the same burden on the hearts of others so they too will catch your vision.
  • Pray with persistence. Don’t give up! Nehemiah prayed for four months before he received a clear, concise response from the Lord—then pressed on with prayer until the physical city wall was completed.
  • Pray for blameless conduct. Pray as Nehemiah did about his own sinfulness. Your strength will increase if you are a clean vessel, fit for the Master’s use.
  • Pray for direction. Nehemiah prayed at every step along the journey of doing God’s will.
  • Pray and then act. Nehemiah was a master of the “arrow prayer” when immediate help was needed—and a master of “agonizing in prayer” that continued for months. Whenever God’s answer does come, move out with the strength of faith and watch as God opens doors.

 Remember, you can lead without God, but you can’t be a great leader without God.

A Leader After God’s Own Heart looks at the biblical life of Nehemiah, who provides an outstanding example of leadership you can follow. Learning from Nehemiah’s example will help you:

  • Improve your management skills.
  • Resolve conflict with confidence.
  • Turn your next crisis into an opportunity.
  • Increase your leadership abilities.

When God Asks Us to Trust Him

trust god

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

 

Seeing Your Value in Christ

 

heavenly_treasure

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.

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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Love Lived Out In You

The only way we walk in love – God’s love – is to look to Him to fill us with His love, the kind of love …

… that is an act of the will,

… that takes action rather than being content with mere words,

… that extends itself to the unlovely,

… that gives for the sake of loving, and

… that involves the sacrifice of self.

How to walk in love today:

  1. Begin loving the people God puts in your path by first loving those people at home. As the saying goes, “What you are at home is what you are!” So walk in God’s love… at home.
  2. Go to God throughout the day for a fresh supply of His love to share. At the first hint of waning love, look to the Lord of love.
  3. Remember that your assignment is to serve (Galatians 5:13).
  4. Remember Jesus, who “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

As you live out God’s love, be sure to spend time praying to the God of love. And while you are praying about living out God’s love, open yourself up to receive from Him His endless supply of life-giving, life-changing love.

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Elizabeth & Jim George


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