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Sweet Words in a Sour World

sweet words

Have you ever found yourself backtracking after saying or posting a not-so-sweet comment? “It was a joke! I didn’t really mean she’s ugly. She’s just way too sensitive.”

Grace-filled Words

You’ve heard it said that, “You cannot give away what you do not possess.” And, the Bible tells us that the words that we give away should be seasoned with grace and acceptable in God’s sight (Colossians 4:6, Psalm 19:14). After learning of these commands from God, I considered that the best words I could give away would be His words. But, I’d have to know them before I could offer His truth to others.

Giving It A Go

At this time I fretted, “I can’t memorize Scripture! It’s too hard.” Then I visited a friend’s home whose pet parrot sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” in its entirety. As I stood there amazed, I thought, “Well, if a parrot can learn ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ I can learn to memorize Scripture!”

Each of us can develop a way of remembering significant verses from God’s Word. When we’ll do this, it’ll positively impact how we think and speak.

Going From Critical to Caring

You see, our actions and words reveal our attitude. Proverbs 23:7 says that what we think in our heart, we are. Critical thoughts not only go against God’s Word, but they create actions and produce words that are oftentimes mean and harmful. That’s why it’s important to train ourselves to think loving, positive thoughts when it comes to other people. And this can be done when we meditate on Scripture.

Proverbs 31 describes a woman who opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness. We gain the wisdom and knowledge to be like this woman from God’s Word. Let’s choose to fill our mind most often with Scripture so that our speech is gracious and wise!

RESPOND

Dear Lord, help me purposefully fill my mind with knowledge from Your Word. I want my words to nurture others with grace and wisdom. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES

Order Proverbs for a Woman’s Day and you’ll receive Encouraging Words for a Woman After God’s Own Heart for FREE! Both books will give you a clear view of the right path as you follow God’s wisdom!

 REFLECT

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

Are my words nurturing and loving toward others? Am I thinking, speaking, and acting toward them as Christ would?

REMEMBER

Giving Generously

 

Generously

“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.” (Luke 6:30)

My husband, Jim, has given away our cars, our groceries, our money, his clothes, and our home to be used by others when we are away! He follows Jesus’ command to give to everyone (Luke 6:30), hoping for nothing in return (Luke 6:35). Giving generously can be difficult though, can’t it? Especially when God calls us to give in the generous way He does. He even gives to those who are unthankful and evil … and expects us to do the same (verse 35)!

I’m learning to be more generous and to care for others by giving (verse 38). One woman who truly inspired me is my friend Billie. While Jim and I lived as missionaries in Singapore, Billie and her husband came for a visit. As we shopped the port harbor and street vendors, my friend bought two of everything—and then she gifted me the second of each (batik clothes, Christmas ornaments, dinnerware) before she left! What an unexpected delight.

You and I may not give away cars, clothing, or china every day. But we can give joy to others by giving what we have generously.  Here are a few ideas:

Determine to withhold nothing—Proverbs 3:27 tells us, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” What is “in the power of your hand”? Think non-tangible items for a moment … perhaps encouragement, a note of thanks, being kind, a helpful deed, or a note of appreciation. These are just a few of the good things we can choose to share.

Become a generous soul—Give both material and non-material blessings bountifully, cheerfully, above and beyond (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)! Here’s motivation for you: “The generous soul will be made rich.” (Proverbs 11:25) Becoming a “generous soul” can be a process, but it’s worth it.

Give of yourself—Your presence alone can be a source of comfort. Don’t worry if you don’t have the right words to say or the perfect scripture to share. In many situations, your touch can bring far more comfort than words. Keep these in mind: a smile, warm ques­tion, gentle touch, tender hug, and use of a person’s name.

By God’s blessing, I’ve grown to enjoy giving. A simple way that helped me is by regularly asking God, “Who can I give to that is in need? How can I bless others with the blessings You’ve given me?” Financial giving was part of the answer, but my giving went beyond money. It touched every part of my soul and possessions. You and I have groceries in our cupboards, clothes someone else could wear, baby items a mother may need, encouraging books to edify others. By God’s grace and transforming power, He can give us open and generous hearts to meet the needs of those around us.

A Prayer to Pray
Dear Lord, thank You for Your Word that shows me how to give without holding back. Please forgive me for the times I withhold my blessings from those on need. Show me how to grow in generosity. Amen.

For More Encouragement
A Woman After God’s Own Heart helps you experience real peace and joy as you follow God in every area of your life–and become a woman after His heart. With warmth and grace, Elizabeth shares practical, scriptural insights in this helpful book on how you can pursue God’s priorities.

Reflection
Who has the Lord put in my path that I can give to today who is in need?

Remember
Give both material and non-material blessings bountifully, cheerfully, above and beyond (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)!

Teen Tuesday—The Right Way to Make Decisions

Right

Here’s something to think about: Are you making spiritual decisions…or physical decisions? For instance, someone asks you to do something and, if you feel good physically, the answer is yes! But if you don’t feel good or are tired, well, the answer is “No thank you” (while thinking No way!)

You can be thankful that God gives you example after example of Bible heroes who show you the right way to make decisions.

  • King Solomon prayed for wisdom…and rose up from prayer to become the wisest man who ever lived (1 Kings 3:5-12).
  • Nehemiah spent time praying “before the God of heaven” after hearing bad news…and rose up knowing what action to take (Nehemiah 1:4-11).
  • Queen Esther fasted three days and nights to prepare to follow God’s will in a life-threatening situation (Esther 4:16)…and rose up to boldly make her request to the king.
  • King David was a man who prayed…and became a man after God’s own heart who fulfilled God’s will (Acts 13:22).
  • The Lord Jesus sought His Father’s direction through prayer…and rose up declaring, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come” (Mark 1:35-39).

How about making a new prayer commitment? “From now on, No decision made without prayer!” This prayer principle will guide your life and help you find God’s will and make right decisions.

Drawn from Beautiful in God’s Eyes for Young Women by Elizabeth George. Surround yourself with inspiring Bible verses and encouraging guidance to discover purpose and confidence you’ve only dreamed of having with this helpful resource!

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.

Your Safeguard When Making Decisions

decisions

When you must make important decisions regarding your health, finances, marriage, family, job, your children’s education, and more, be sure you gather counsel and advice from several people you respect—people who are wise and experienced.

The wisdom contained in Proverbs 11:14 is your safeguard: “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” If you rely on yourself, your feelings, your limited knowledge, and your best friends or coworkers (who may tell you what you want to hear), you may make a decision that takes you in the wrong direction. By seeking multiple opinions, you are gathering the collective wisdom, knowledge, and experience of others.

Sit at their feet. Soak up their wisdom. God tells us the independent, ignorant, self-sufficient, proud fool will fall. And, praise Him, He promises the humble seeker of God’s will and truth will experience victory.

 

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

 

Hope for Your Dark Valleys

Hope

Have you ever traveled down, down, down into any dark valleys? Can you remember a time of foreboding or panic? Of suffering and sorrow? Of terror as darkness seemed to overshadow you as you journeyed into the unknown?

Thank God we can praise Him for what we learn about Him during such times. On the other side of darkness we know something of God’s promised presence—He was there with you. And you know something of His grace—it was sufficient for those terrifying times.

It’s true that the perilous valley is a part of life’s path. But we have hope. It’s also true that we can grasp the hand of God as we descend the frightening path into the valley of darkness. We can rest in the knowledge that He has already walked this path. And we can walk calmly with Him, remembering the words, “Yea, though I walk … .”

So walk as you suffer! And keep on walking! Have hope. Don’t pause. Do not falter. Don’t ponder. Just proceed.

Walk, knowing that as the Shepherd’s dear sheep, and with the Lord beside you, you will walk through it. It comforts the soul to know that the Good Shepherd does not take His sheep into the valley of darkness to stay—but to pass through it. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death …” (Psalm 23:4).

In Loving God With All Your Mind, Elizabeth helps women handle their emotions and discover inner peace that comes from focusing on what is true. She shares six powerful Bible truths that will help readers draw closer to God and know His joy and love.

Love Is Action

Love is something we do, not merely the words that we say. Yet acting on our love is not always easy-as a wife knows who pulls into the driveway at 5:30 p.m. followed closely by her husband! Both of them have put in a long day at the office, so…who is going to fix the meal, clean up the dishes, and do the laundry? Love means that, even when you and I are exhausted and just want to sit down and do nothing, we cook, serve, and wash.

You see, love has work to do, and love does that work-love takes action-even when doing so requires strenuous effort. Our actions-backing up our words-are the proof of our love. That is why we are called to love not with word or with tongue only, but “in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18).

Where has God placed you to show forth love by your actions? Every family member provides you with an opportunity to put on the work clothes of love and to serve. If you go daily to a job, love has work to do there as well. If you live with roommates, roll up your sleeves and challenge yourself to do the work of love. Wherever you are you are to show forth God’s love not only by words and attitudes but by your actions.

“Success” Is Achieved One Decision at a Time

How did the men and women in the Bible accomplish great things for God? There wasn’t any secret formula or bestselling book on success for them. In fact, they were ordinary people like you and me. What made them effective was their willingness to obey God—one decision at a time.

Your impact on the lives of others-your family, the people at your church, your workmates-is cultivated with each decision you make, no matter how small. It’s the little things-such as reading your Bible, praying, going to church, and standing up for your faith-that add influence to your life. The key to a powerful Christian life is to obey God one decision at a time.

Father, may this day be filled with small steps of obedience. I pray that each choice I make today-large or small-will help me influence others for good. Amen.

Serve In Spite of Your Situation

If you and I wait until conditions are perfect, we will never serve others.

For instance, God’s servant Moses had to choose to serve in spite of his situation. He was called by God to lead His people–about 2 million of them!—out of Egypt (Exodus 3:1-22). But there was just one problem-the people weren’t sure they wanted Moses to lead them anywhere! Moses’ situation was bleak.

• Moses had no credibility as a leader-he had only led sheep for 40 years.
• Moses had no authority-he came as an outsider.
• Moses had no human resources-he had only a staff.
• Moses had no help-he was later given his brother, Aaron, as an assistant.

Praise God Moses finally accepted God’s call to service. And he went on to lead God’s people out of Egypt. Then he faithfully served God for 40 more years while the Israelites wandered in the wilderness. In the end, God called Moses “my servant Moses” (Numbers 12:7). Moses’ circumstances weren’t easy, but he passed the test we all must pass: Moses served God and His people in spite of his situation.

Heaven on Earth

Would you describe what goes on in your home as “heaven on earth”? That’s quite an expression, isn’t it? Heaven…on earth! And life in your home is meant to be exactly that! The Bible uses home life and marriage as illustrations of God’s relationship with His church, with the people who follow Him. And when you live out your God-ordained roles and fulfill your God-given assignments at home others take notice and see proof of your special relationship with the Lord.

Just think! You have the privilege of presenting a picture of what heaven will be like to those around you. When you pursue with passion and purpose God’s design for a woman, a homemaker, a wife, a mom, you establish a home that reflects the order and beauty of life in heaven. An amazing opportunity, isn’t it?

I’m only human, Lord. How can I have a home and marriage that reflects Your perfect love, Your perfect peace? Show me, Lord. Please help me. I want to grow in these areas. I want to bless those in my home and point people to You. Amen.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


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