July 2016

What Do You Do When…

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…you are struggling with obeying God? When your passion for God has cooled? When you have a pile of trials and aren’t sure how to handle them? Answer: Ask God to give you His strength. And that strength will come as you…

faithfully read His Word,

faithfully hear the preaching of His Word,

faithfully listen to wise counsel from His Word, and

faithfully deal with sin in your life as revealed by the piercing light of His Word.

Can you see how God’s Word is such an important part of your life? Your willingness to obey the Lord is a key step toward experiencing God’s blessings, and it will enable you to become a man or woman God can use to make a difference.

Lord, thank You that You pour Your strength into me when I faithfully read Your Word. May I remember with every trial to turn to Your Word for direction and encouragement. Amen.

Source title: A Man After God’s Own Heart Devotional, by Jim George

Becoming More Like Jesus

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As a believer in Christ, you have the ability-and the precious privilege!-to live for Him and strive to be like Him. In other words, to pursue godliness.

Yes, you can live a godly life in and through Jesus Christ. As you cultivate a deep-seated loyalty and devotion to Christ it will affect your conduct—you will become more like Jesus. What a wonderful reality! And what a wonderful reality to share with others.

How can you become more like Jesus?

—Be on guard against letting other things keep you from God’s Word. That’s where you learn what Jesus is like.

—Jesus prayed—and so should you. That’s where you deal with sin and have the opportunity to thank Jesus for His death on the cross.

—Make it your daily goal to “walk by the Spirit.” That’s how you live Jesus and show Him to the world.

—Share the truth about Jesus with others. That’s how you point others to Jesus.

Source title: Windows into the Word of God, by Elizabeth George

Words That Make a Difference

The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

James 3:17-18

The world judges beauty by external elements: the style of a woman’s hair, the designer labels on her clothes, the monetary value of her house and car. But God’s beauty is evidenced by a woman’s words—by edifying, godly words of wisdom that bless others.

James shares eight components in the kind of speech that “is from above.”

  1. Pure words-that lack any ulterior motives or self-interest
  2. Peaceable words-that accomplish peace in your relationships with others and with God
  3. Gentle words-that extend kindness and consideration
  4. Reasonable words-that indicate a willingness to listen and yield
  5. Merciful words-that are rich in compassion and kindness.
  6. Words full of good fruits-that indicate Spirit-controlled speech
  7. Words without partiality-that are straightforward in dispensing God’s truths
  8. Words without hypocrisy-that contain no insincerity or deception or pretense
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Make the prayer of your heart to bear “the fruit of righteousness.” Pray that you will remember to speak with true wisdom that encourages others, blesses others, and brings honor to the Lord God.

Source title: Windows into the Word of God, by Elizabeth George

Teen Tuesday: You Can Always Talk to God!

In many ways prayer is like a cell phone. You can pray anytime you want, anywhere you want, for as long as you want. But unlike a cell, prayer has no fees or roaming charges. Plus you have a direct line to the God of the universe 24/7-24 hours a day, 7 days a week! How’s that for technology? Divine technology, that is! If you’re not praying-or not praying very much-or unsure about how to pray, run through this checklist:

  1. Check your relationship with God. Is there something that’s caused a barrier between you and God? If so, bow your heart and admit it to God. Ask Him to help you do whatever it takes to deal with the obstacles that stand between you and a loving, open relationship with Him—one that enables you to talk to Him about anything and everything.
  1. Check your lifestyle. What… or who… is influencing you? Are you being influenced positively for the things of God? If not, it’s out! Nothing and no one is important enough to endanger your relationship with God and your willingness to talk to Him in prayer.
  1. Check your desire. Prayer will never become a prized habit or spiritual discipline if the main ingredient-desire-is missing. You can know what to do and why to do it, but if you don’t want to do it, it won’t become real in your life.
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To grow a heart that prays, start with a choice to pray a few minutes each morning. Graduate little by little to spending more of your 24/7 talking to God. Don’t loose heart. Big things begin small.

Source title: A Young Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices, by Elizabeth George

Living with Power and Confidence

Where does God have you today? What roles and responsibilities have been given you by your Lord? And how about your dreams—and your heart’s desires? Many of these indicate God’s directions for your life.

Take some time to discover what the Bible says about your roles… and then pray about them. Why not jot down some dreams you have too? Write them down in your Bible, your prayer book, a personal journal, or a special notebook dedicated to dreaming and planning and doing as you become a woman after God’s own heart.

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God’s road to success is quite simple: As you faithfully follow Him with all your heart and are obedient to fulfill His will for you, you will be blessed. You will enjoy success. Yes, you’re human, and you will have moments when you fail, slide back, fall down, or stay in one place for a while. But as you rely on God and do what He asks of you through His Word and prayer, He will give you the desire and confidence-and power-to move on and enjoy life in Him.

Source title: Windows into the Word of God, by Elizabeth George

Do You Possess This Key to Success?

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Joshua 1:8

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I love recalling the day I stood in my driveway waving to my daughter Courtney and her children as they got ready to drive to the Navy base at Pearl Harbor. Courtney was meeting her husband to finalize their move to Hawaii. It was a beautiful day, and we’d all just witnessed a double rainbow! That incredible sight and the fact that my daughter was happily following her Navy husband as he pursued his career made me happy too. Why? Because Courtney, in her sometimes difficult roles of being a wife to a submariner and the mother of five children, chose to follow God with all her heart. That’s the key to success.

God is also asking you to follow Him wherever you are in life and in whatever you are facing. How can you be successful in following Him through the many opportunities He gives you to serve and help others? Start by reading and meditating on Joshua 1:8. God is showing you a key way to success–His kind of success!

Source title: Windows into the Word of God, by Elizabeth George

God’s Power to Accomplish Great Things

John Wesley was passionately devoted to reading the Bible. He laid hold of the Bible because His heart’s desire was to grow… and the Bible laid hold of him as well. Every year, he lifted up this prayer as a covenant to God, expressing his desire to growing in the knowledge of Christ:

O blessed Jesus… You have been pleased to give me your holy laws as the Rule of my life… subscribing to all your laws as holy, just, and good, I solemnly take them as the Rule of my words, thoughts, and actions; promising that… I will endeavor to order and govern my whole life according to your direction.

When you commit yourself to growing spiritually and following God’s Word, then, by His grace, God will enable you to fulfill all the responsibilities He gives you. Through His power, you can and will accomplish great things for Him.

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Source title: A Man After God’s Own Heart Devotional, by Jim George

Celebrating Your Freedom in Christ

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free.

Galatians 5:1

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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 for that freedom. 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 have freedom in Christ. Rejoice! Celebrate and walk in this freedom every single day!

Source title: Elizabeth George, Radio 7/4

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Elizabeth & Jim George

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