April 2016

7 Steps to Wisdom

What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you.
Esther 7:2

Queen Esther learned that Haman received permission ‘to annihilate all the Jews’ (Esther 3:13). How could she persuade the king to protect the Jews? In a beautiful picture of grace, wisdom, and patience, Esther reveals how to effectively approach and persuade other people.

Step 1: Stop. Before trying to rightly handle a wrong situation, Esther paused.

Step 2: Wait. Time is a precious asset. Waiting gave Esther time to gather the facts.

Step 3: Consult. Waiting allowed time for seeking further counsel.

Step 4: Pray. Waiting also gave Esther time to fast and pray for wisdom about how to approach the king.

Step 5: Decide. Time, counsel, and prayer moved Esther to make a plan and move forward with the triumphant attitude “If I perish, I perish!”

Step 6: Act. Before she asked for what she wanted, Esther prepared a special dinner for King Ahasuerus and Haman to assess the king’s frame of mind.

Step 7: Adjust. Discerning and sensitive to the situation, Esther wisely waited and prepared a second dinner before asking her husband to save her people.

What is your next challenge? Follow Esther’s seven steps to wisdom.

Time Counsel Prayer Wisdom Esther Elizabeth-George Jim-George April Blog

God Hears Every Word

The Lord has heard your affliction.
Genesis 16:11

Hagar, tired from running through the desert, rested beside a spring of water in the wilderness, her head filled with confused thoughts. The handmaiden was pregnant with Abraham’s child, which was set up by his wife, Sarah, who now mistreated her. When Hagar cried out to God, He heard her affliction and responded by sending an angel to help. What love and grace! Hagar knew God had come to her aid. In fact, when her baby was born, the boy was named “Ishmael”, which means “God hears”.

Lord-Has-Heard-Your-Afflication Hagar Genesis-16 Elizabeth-George Jim-George April Blog

When you’re faced with life’s afflictions, cry out to God. You can pray…

Arrow prayers. On the spot and at the very second Nehemiah needed God’s help, he shot his “arrow prayer” upward to heaven. God gave him the words he needed as he asked the king for permission to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the city’s wall (Nehemiah 2:4).

Liquid prayers. The psalmist said, “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book” (Psalm 56:8 MSG). Saint Augustine called our tears “liquid prayers.”

Wordless prayers. When you don’t know what to pray or your heart is too heavy for words, the Holy Spirit helps (Romans 8:26).

Prayer is the answer to every problem because you’re talking to the God of the universe. And He cares! Trust Him and pray. Rejoice with the psalmist who says, “I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications” (Psalm 116:1).

Going Pure

Politicians, celebrities, and others talk a lot about “going green”. They want to protect the treasures of the earth. To keep the earth pure or restore it to purity. If you look up the word “pure”, you’ll discover that it means to be without stain, to be free from pollution, to be clean, innocent, and guiltless.

What You Think Determines How You Behave Elizabeth-George Jim-George April Blog

As important as the earth is, think how truly vital it is to God that you keep yourself free from stains and damage. God wants you to protect a precious possession-your purity. You already know it’s important to preserve your physical purity, but did you know your mind is where purity starts? What you think greatly determines how you behave. Make keeping your wonderful self pure and righteous for the Lord a priority.

God, when I’m tempted to give up on purity, remind me that I matter greatly to You. Keep me on my toes, Lord. Give me the strength and desire to protect my heart, mind, and body. Amen.

From Jim’s Heart – God’s Will in the Workplace

Over the years, men have often asked me how they could “know” God’s will for their career. They thought if they had the answer, they would get a much clearer perspective on their jobs and their direction in life.

I tell them God’s will regarding their work isn’t some mystical revelation they have to hunt for. Rather, it’s spelled out clearly in the Bible: “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23), and “Be obedient to those who are your masters… not… as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ” (Ephesians 6:5-6). When you see this as God’s will for your job, it will transform your attitude in the workplace-and have an incredibly positive impact on everyone around you!

God, it’s great to know that by seeking You and retaining this mind-set, I can be confident that I’m in Your will. I choose to work heartily and honor my “masters”-because I honor You, my ultimate Master. Amen.

Colossians-3-23 Gods-Will Work Elizabeth-George Jim-George April Blog

Wisdom is Always Available!

Are you experiencing any problems or trials in your life? Are you at a crossroads in your career? Could you use some direction in your relationship with your spouse, or a family member or a friend or workmate? Then you need wisdom-God’s wisdom, and there’s no need to wait even another second for it. Why? Because God has promised you wisdom. He calls out in James 1:5:

  • Your problem-If any of you lacks wisdom
  • God’s instructions-let him ask of God
  • Encouragement-who gives to all liberally and without reproach
  • God’s promise-and it will be given to him

Whatever issue or problem you are facing, you don’t have to argue, debate, make lists of possible positive and negative outcomes. You don’t have to wrestle with your views and thoughts for days or weeks on end. You don’t have to agonize or grope around in the dark, hoping to stumble upon answers through trial and error.

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Whenever you need wisdom, all you need to do is pray and ask of God… and He will respond: It will be given to you!

Representing God on the Job

At your workplace, do you see yourself as Christ’s ambassador? Being an ambassador for Christ means properly representing Him in whatever you do, including at work. You represent God as you go about doing your job.

Let Your Light Shine Elizabeth-George Jim-George Blog April

What kind of ambassador are you? Matthew 5:14-16 says, “You are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” No matter how difficult or challenging your workload or workplace environment, every day is an exciting new opportunity to give the people around you a positive representation of God and the Christian life.

God, may I represent You well at work-by humbly serving others and by performing my assigned tasks without complaint and with excellence and joy—“for I serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:24). Amen.

When You Are Tempted

If you’re alive, you’re tempted. That’s a simple fact of life. That’s why you and I need God’s self-control every minute of every day. We need His help to resist our “urges” regardless of how innocent we’d like to think they are. “No” can be a hard word to say, but it’s the key to self-discipline.

The psalmist says, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes” (Psalm 101:3). Pray over everything-your marriage, your work, your trials, your temptations. The good news is that you can claim God’s power. You can walk by His Spirit. You can win the battle!

Father, I’m so thankful You’re in my life. Help me to remember that in 1 Corinthians 10:13 You promise to not give me more than I can bear without giving me a way of escape. I praise You for this promise. Help me do my part. Amen.

Pray Over Everything Elizabeth-George Jim-George April Blog

Before You Make A Decision

As Jim and I look back, we realize we learned many times the hard way that, when we didn’t pray, or consult with each other, or seek God’s wisdom, or ask for godly advice, we just about always made bad, wrong, or lesser decisions.

Before you make a decision

So, speaking from personal experience, here is a handful of guiding principles for making decisions. These principles have become personal slogans Jim and I use to remind ourselves to pray before we make decisions.

  • No decision made without prayer (Philippians 4:6-7).
  • When in doubt, don’t (Romans 14:23).
  • Always ask “What does the Bible say?” (John 17:17).
  • Always do what you know is right (James 4:14).
  • Don’t let fear influence you (1 John 4:18).

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Elizabeth & Jim George

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