Encouragement for Women

Those Dreaded Words…Diet and Exercise!

When I ask a woman who’s enjoying an energetic life and ministry how she does it, I cringe every time I hear those two dreaded words—diet and exercise.

We’re told in the Bible that how we manage our body affects our ministries and the quality of our lives. The apostle Paul put it this way: “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

Steward Your Body

If your goal is a quality of life filled with quality days of serving the Lord, His people, and your family, attention to your body is key!

Father, because I want to be a good steward of the body You have given me to take care of and to serve You with, I want to pay more attention to my health. I’m going to start exercising in some way and eating more nutritious foods. Please watch over me and guard my health. I want to present my body to You as a living sacrifice—for Your use, Your service, and Your purposes. Amen.


For almost 30 years we lived in Los Angeles—a city that never sleeps. It doesn’t matter what time you are out and about, the roads, the streets, and the freeways are always packed with cars and people. This dark-to-dark scenario is repeated for millions of people in cities around the world. Whether we like it or not, or choose it or not, we are all to some degree members of the “Busyness Club”. Men, women, and even children are having less time to rest. How can anyone find any rest in this hectic life? Jesus has the answer:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28 NASB).

Jesus invited His audience—and you, too—to “Come to Me…and I will give you rest”. His summons was to come participate in the promise of rest…which only He can give. Obviously, rest is supremely important to God and is part of His plan for you. Therefore, it should be important to you to ensure that you rest your body, refresh your soul, and worship God.

There’s no reason to be “weary and heavy-laden” when you heed Christ’s call to “Come to Me”. In Him you will find relief and refreshment.

Lord, so often I am weary. Help me remember Your offer of rest—real rest. Thank you, Lord!

Making Time Count

Here’s a great end-of-the-day exercise: Evaluate your day and note what you did that wasted time—too much TV or internet? Too much texting? Too much negotiating bath and bedtime with your kids? The Bible just happens to have a checklist that shows you your priorities. Take a look at Titus 2:3-5: “Teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands” (NIV).

Make these “essentials” your priorities. Plan them into your days with intention and deliberation. You’ll be amazed at the positive changes in your use of time. And it’ll make a huge difference in what you focus on and how you spend your days.

Lord, thank You for the inspiration of knowing Your life essentials. I need a giant boost of hope and energy. Help me remember to wake up each morning excited to practice Your priorities—to make my time count!

Humility Possesses a Helpful Spirit

Humility is active cooperation, not passive resignation. Humility rolls up its sleeves and says, “Where can I help? What do you want me to do? It doesn’t matter how great or small the task, I’m here to help!”

Unfortunately we also often encounter these women:

  • The “last word” woman—isn’t willing to give encouragement or positive input, but she certainly feels free to tell you how you should have done the job.
  • The “know it all” woman—is the one who constantly interrupts her husband or friends with correct but unimportant information: “No, Harry, it wasn’t seven years ago. It was six years ago.”
  • The “I can top your day” woman—quickly blurts, “You think you had a day! Let me tell you about mine.” What she’s really saying is, “Don’t expect anything from me today.”
  • The “question everything” woman—feels it’s her God-given task to question everything she’s asked to do. Are you sure? Do you really want me to do that? Do you really think this is important?
  • The “reluctant” woman—is passive. She says she’ll help or do whatever you ask, but doesn’t quite get around to her duties and responsibilities.

Sadly, it’s easy to fall into these categories. But there’s hope, sweet hope! Peter says that if we — and all believers — will humble ourselves, God will give us His grace, His favor, His blessing, His power so we can do and be all He planned for us.

And this includes you! God wants you to succeed even more than you do. He saved you to serve Him, His people, and others, starting with your family, your church family, and your sphere of influence.

From Elizabeth’s Heart – Counting on God’s Grace and Peace

You, my friend, are a truly special woman! Do you know how I know? Because you are pursuing grace and peace by spending time in these devotions and in God’s Word. When God lives within you, His Spirit causes you to yearn for a gentle calm in your life.

Are you struggling or suffering? Are you facing a painful loss? A common response women have when they’re first asked to contemplate a “gentle and quiet spirit” is to declare, “But I can’t be like that! I can’t remain calm when there’s trouble.” This is true, if you are relying on your own strength. But when you appropriate God’s great enablers—His grace and His peace—you can achieve gentleness and calmness even during hard times. You just need to:

  • Count on God’s grace. It’s given. It’s here. It’s available.
  • Pray for God’s grace. Your awareness of God’s grace will expand when you give more things and more of you to Him.
  • Get on with life. Regardless of your struggles, it’s possible—and important—to have something positive to show for your suffering, including a greater knowledge of how much God loves you, cares for you, and provides for you.

It’s encouraging to think about God’s grace and peace. They are two of the loveliest, most restful gifts He bestows on us.

Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
1 Peter 1:2

Learning About Love

We can’t read very far in the New Testament without realizing that love is important to God. He calls us as women who love God…

  • to walk in love (Ephesians 5:2)
  • to love one another (John 15:12)
  • to love our husbands and children (Titus 2:4)
  • to love our neighbor (Matthew 22:39)
  • to love our enemies (Luke 6:27)

Scripture also teaches that “God is love” and that His Son Jesus Christ loved us and “gave Himself up for us [as] an offering.”  We also see love’s supremacy when Paul places it first on his list of the fruit of the Spirit (1 John 4:8; Ephesians 5:2; Galatians 5:22).

As a child of God, you are commanded to demonstrate the kind of love we see modeled by our heavenly Father and His Son. Jesus says very clearly, “This is My commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you” (John 15:12). And exactly how has Jesus loved you? And what does the kind of love you’re supposed to extend to people look like? You find answers to these questions when you turn to God and the Bible. After all, God is love and God is the source of all love, so it makes sense to look to His Word to learn what He says about love!

The Highest Calling

You have a calling. Did you realize that? God’s first and highest calling on your life is to Himself. So seek to draw close to Him in all ways and seek His transforming love. What’s in your heart affects your behavior, and God asks that your actions represent your relationship with Him.

The Bible says to “be reverent in behavior” (Titus 2:3). Even though that verse is addressed to older women, it wraps its arms around every woman of every age and circumstance. Why? Because it calls all of God’s women to be holy and godly. “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

Be a woman who walks with God every day. Love the Lord. Follow Him. Honor Him in the way you live. There is no greater calling.

Lord, Your calling and love bring worth and wonder to my life. My daily pursuit of Your heart and Your Word leads me to serve this high calling of Christ-like conduct. May all that I do and all that I become reflect my relationship with You.

A Masterpiece

Have you thrown in the time-management towel? Are you operating in survival mode? Many women have given up using their organizers and other plan-making methods out of frustration.

Well, I want you to give it another try. Determine to make tomorrow a better day than yesterday. Ask God for His wisdom. Just for today, create a schedule, even if it’s a “bad” one. Any schedule is better than no schedule. Scheduling is a necessity. It’s a mirror of your life. A tool for improvement. And it’s a “wand” for accomplishment.

Think about the creation of the world. God had a schedule — from before the foundation of the world. He knew exactly what He would create each day—that first and most glorious week of the history of all creation. It was a true masterpiece. And He knew He would rest on the seventh day.

How about you? How’s your masterpiece looking?

God, I will commit to scheduling my time. I will follow Your lead and create a plan for this day, this week, and maybe even beyond. Show me what it means to be faithful to good intentions and godly priorities. I want to live for you today.

God’s Songbird

Have you noticed in your church, your Bible study, your circle of Christian friends, that women who love God tend to sing? Miriam, Moses’ sister, sang when God gloriously delivered His people (Exodus 15:21).

Fanny Crosby was an American hymn writer who lived from 1820 until 1915. That’s 95 years — and Fanny Crosby spent all but six weeks of those 95 years in complete blindness. When she was six weeks old, a doctor unwittingly caused Fanny’s blindness. Yet Fanny, through the eyes of her Christian faith, saw that doctor’s apparent mistake as “no mistake of God’s.” She wrote, “I verily believe it was [God’s] intention that I should live my days in physical darkness, so as to be better prepared to sing His praises and incite others to do so.” Note the path Fanny Crosby’s life of singing in the darkness took:

  • At age 8, Fanny Crosby began writing poetry.
  • When she was 11, one of her poems was published.
  • When Fanny was 24, she published her first book of poems.
  • Throughout her life, Fanny wrote a large number of religious poems, cantatas, and many songs.
  • At the time of her death, the total number of her hymns and poems of praise to her God exceeded 8000!

Truly, Fanny Crosby was a woman who loved God and trusted in His wisdom and His ways (Romans 11:33). Rather than succumb to bitterness or resentment, self-pity or regret, Fanny sang. She became God’s songbird. Like the nightingale, she sang in the darkness… for 95 years.

Today, if you are facing what seems to be a tragedy, look up, even through your tears, and lift a song of praise to God in that darkness. Worship Him while you wander in the fog of uncertainty. And bless God despite the blindness of your incomprehension. Your song of faith gives clear tribute to the goodness and greatness of God.

The Privilege of Partnering with God

As a parent, you already want to sow seeds of God’s love and His truth into your kids’ hearts. Well, be encouraged. It’s never too early and it’s never too late to start. That’s because God’s Word does not return void, no matter when it’s sown. It always works on the heart of the hearer, and it always accomplishes God’s will.

At first pointing your children to God may be a little hard. It may feel awkward or forced to quote a Scripture, or share a proverb, or refer to a biblical principle. Whenever this happens, just determine to do what God is asking of you—speak up, no matter what. Remind yourself to be on your toes for everyday opportunities that come along as you and your children sit, walk, lie down, and rise up at home and throughout the day. And if the opportunities don’t appear to be there, create them. Even nature and the heavens declare His glory!

Please don’t underestimate the urgency of planting God’s truth in your children’s hearts and minds. No matter what the age, they need to constantly hear about God. His Word stimulates, promotes, and can bring about a love for God and a saving relationship with Him (2 Timothy 2:15).

God’s wisdom and truth provide a path for your child’s walk through life. And you, Mom and Dad, have the privilege of partnering with God to grow them into men and women after God’s own heart.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George

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