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Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Wisdom of Depending on God

Have you lost all heart in expecting God to answer your prayers? Talk to someone who will listen.

Join us for our Daily Devotional Chat today in our Women’s Chatroom at 10:30am EDT.

Frustration and even anger can play at the edge of our hearts when it seems that God does not hear us nor rescue us in situations as we think He should.

We begin to pray less. We find our hearts have quit expecting anything from God. Trust in His goodness can melt away in the heat of our struggle and God’s silence.

Countless Christians have experienced their prayers erode to a trickle of empty words of habit or panic button prayers. Some lose faith when life’s hard circumstances make no sense and God fails to intervene as they think He should. Others simply get too busy to bother. Many experience feeling let down and disappointed by the church or other Christians and paint God with the same brush.

It’s easy to begin depending on our own best thinking when we lose heart in expecting God to answer our prayers. Trusting God, when our path in life grows muddy, is not an easy task. The mud of weariness, busyness and hurt can cause us to trip and even fall. We wonder how we will ever get up again. Faith can feel like a thread that threatens to break.

Trusting God with your life, even when it makes no sense to you, is to choose to grab hold of the pearl of wisdom. As Christian women we know the vital connection prayer is to our God, yet we can let it slip away from fingers muddy from falling. We must be deliberate in choosing to cling to it. There is great wisdom and reward in depending on our God even in the silence.

Maintaining that vital connection to God in prayer is a choice. Step by step, through the fog on our pathway, we can choose to trust that God has our best interest at heart and lean on His strength to get us through our day… or … we choose to shrug Him off with little expectation and lean wearily on our own understanding.

When we live our lives with prayer on the fringe we are really telling God that we don’t trust Him. Often with our lips we declare trust but with our lives we show that we really don’t believe He will see us through. Ask yourself the hard questions…

* Do I really trust God to have my best interest at heart?

* Do I really believe He will strengthen me today to walk where I need to walk…even in the dark and the silence?

Choose to increase your trust in God and to bring prayer into focus from the fringe of your life. These steps will help you firmly grasp that treasured pearl…and you will discover the wisdom of depending on God. Choose to TRUST.

* T - Thanks
Thank God for the things He has done in your past. Go back as far as you need to.

Begin to chart His track record in your life. Ask Him to remind you of times past when He was there for you. Then find something in your life today to be grateful for. Living thankfully is God’s will for your life.

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”(1 Thessalonians 5:18).

* R - Repent
Say you are sorry to God for intentionally allowing things in your heart and your life that you know would disappoint Him. Having a rebellious heart toward God’s ways in one area of your life can cause your prayers to hit the ceiling in other areas. Take an inward look and ask for God’s help in changing attitudes, thoughts, motives and actions that need a correction.

“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened: but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer” (Psalm 66:18 & 19).

* U - Unify

Unify broken relationships. Whether you have offended someone or have been offended, God leaves the ball in your park to seek restoration. If restoration isn’t possible give God the broken pieces and ask Him to root resentment out of your heart. Bringing peace to fractured relationships brings blessing.

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).

* S - Share
Share the journey. When times are tough and trust wears thin, find a friend to pray with you and for you. Tell someone your struggle and ask her to walk with you awhile on the road of life. Getting help in our weakness leads to healing and to power in praying.

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).

* T - Take time
Take time to spend with God. If your heart is dry set aside some time to listen to praise music and use the words of the songs as prayers from your heart. Till up the ground that has become hard from the worries of life. Learn to spend time in the presence of the Lord and find refreshing beyond what you can imagine.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:1 & 2).

Depend on God in new ways today. Trust Him… even in the silence and in the dark. The wisdom of depending on God will bring results in your life that will surprise you.

“My God, in whom I trust”… with expectation!

Questions: Do you really trust God to have your best interest at heart? Do you need to give God the broken pieces and ask Him to root resentment out of your heart? What can you do to refresh your soul?

About the Author Gail Rodgers

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, The Grandest Subject, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is not Here; He is Risen

Devotional for Women from
Time Published IconBy Darren Hewer on April 12th, 2009 at 2:00 am in

Not sure if Christ’s resurrection is good news for you personally? Talk with a mentor, confidentially.

A Discover Channel documentary boldly proclaimed that the “Lost Tomb of Jesus” had been found, including an ossuary (bone box) which purportedly contained the remains of Jesus himself. The documentary was derided by both Christian clergy and secular scholars as being misleading and deceitful, the critical conclusion being that this was not, nor was it ever, Jesus’ tomb, and rather another example of sensational journalism in order to get ratings.

As believers in God’s Word, we know that this sort of discussion is foolishness from the start. In Matthew’s gospel we read:

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earth-quake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven … The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. … So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me” (Matthew 28:1-10).

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” When the women heard this, they were “afraid yet filled with joy”. This is because, while they had knowledge of the events that had occurred, they had not yet met the risen Christ. When Jesus appeared to them for the first time in his renewed, transformed body a short time later, he said to the “Do not be afraid.”

As you reflect upon Jesus’ resurrection during this Easter period, consider his glorious re-appearing which assures us that “By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also” (1 Corinthians 6:14). In repudiation to the “Lost Tomb of Jesus”, the angel proclaims “He is not here; He is risen.” Do not be afraid, as someone who does not know Jesus personally, but instead open your heart to experience the joy that flows from a fully formed relationship with the God who lives.

Thank you Lord, that the grave is empty, You are alive and You walk with me daily. I praise Your name! Amen.

Questions: Take time to reflect on what Easter is really all about and how it has affected your life personally.

About this Author Darren Hewer

Daily audio podcast: Hear today’s daily devotional, He is not here; He is risen, read aloud, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Am – The Resurrection and The Life

Devotional for Women from

Does the fact that Christ rose from the dead make any difference to you? This Online Study will help you.

Join us for our Daily Devotional Chat today in our Women’s Chatroom at 10:30am EDT.

Has someone you love died? Then you know the feelings death detonates in your body: anger, self-pity, depression, confusion, grief, anguish.

Scripture tells of Jesus’ close friend, Lazarus, who was sick. Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, quickly sent word. “Come, Lord, and save him!” But incredibly, Jesus didn’t come. Lazarus died. The sisters entombed Lazarus and sank into grief and confusion. Where was the Lord? Jesus could’ve saved their brother! Weren’t they his closest friends? Four days later Jesus finally showed up! Martha, beside herself with grief, accused, “Jesus, if you’d been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.” John 11:1-43

Jesus quietly answered, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this” (John 11:25-26)? I don’t think Martha had a clue what He meant. Would you?

They walked to the tomb and Jesus commanded the stone sealing the entry be rolled away. Then, stunning everyone, he commanded, “Lazarus, come out!” Instantly Lazarus stood before him! Alive! Jesus ordered the grave clothes removed and mayhem followed as incredulous onlookers gawked and shouted, pushing and shoving to get a better look. Did anyone pinch Lazarus to see if this miracle was real? I would’ve.

Jesus’ name is The Resurrection and The Life. His dying is mankind’s only hope, then and now.

Resurrection in Greek means anastasis: literally a resurrection from the dead; a standing up again. Can we wrap our minds around that? Jesus promises to stand us on our feet again. Not just when we die but when we fail or sin. Faith in Him opens the door for this miracle of new life, eternal life.

Lazarus is Jesus’ ‘show and tell’ of His power to stand men up again. Jesus later demonstrated His power over His own death by rising on the third day after crucifixion. He has the authority and power to lay down his life and stand up again alive. John 10:18 He is resurrection. He is life. No other god has that power.

Jesus gives eternal life to those who believe Him. “For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that He might be the Lord of both the dead and the living” (Romans 14:9).

Jesus wakened Lazarus from death so Jesus would get glory, people would see His glory and believe, and so Lazarus would live again.

Do you know this astonishing God who raises dead folks? Who lifts us into abundant newness of life now no matter our trials and heartaches and promises a tomorrow seated next to Him in Heaven?

Ask Him if He’s real. Test Him and see if He answers. But watch out, Jesus will call your name, remove your grave clothes and stand you on your feet. Forever.

Father of Life, resurrect me from my grave and unwrap me to newness of life. I believe, help my unbelief. Thank you, amen.

Questions: Do you know this Jesus who is ”The Resurrection and The Life”? If you know Him, what difference has He made in your life?

by Petey Prater

God’s Timetable

Devotional for Women from

Does it seem to you that God is slow in answering your prayers at times?

Join us for our Daily Devotional Chat today in our Women’s Chatroom at 10:30am EDT.

Is God’s timetable too slow for you sometimes? In John 11, we read about the death of Lazarus. Mary and Martha sent word to their dear beloved friend Jesus to let him know their brother Lazarus had become very ill. They expected him to come heal their brother but he did not come and they wondered why. However, Jesus had different plans, He told the disciples, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it”. He loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus very much but stayed in Galilee teaching and healing the sick.

Two days later Jesus told his disciples that it was time to go to Judea to see Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. When they arrived, they learned that Lazarus had been dead for four days. Martha told Jesus that if he had come sooner her brother would not have died. Nevertheless, Jesus went to the grave deeply moved, asking to have the stone removed from the tomb. Martha said, “But Lord, he’s been dead four days and stinketh”. Jesus told her “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God.” Then Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out” and Lazarus came out of the tomb.

We can learn several lessons from this story. When we pray asking God for something, we get discouraged as Mary and Martha did because he does not answer immediately or on our timetable. However, think of all the people that had the opportunity to be healed and hear Jesus teach during those two days, who would not have been healed, if he had left Galilee right away. Jesus was the God’s Son and knew the Father’s plan and His timetable. It was not God’s plan to heal Lazarus. He wanted to glorify his Son by raising Lazarus from the dead. Isn’t it great that when we think God is four days late by our timetable He is still on time?

Our finite minds simply cannot grasp God’s infinite ways of answering our prayers. We have no idea how many times we have prayed and He is waiting for the proper time to answer. Sometimes God needs to work on our hearts our character or another person before he can answer our prayer.

Are you getting tired of waiting on God to answer your prayers? Are you disappointed and frustrated because God is not answering on your timetable? Does God want to develop character in your life or in the lives of those for whom you are praying before He is ready to answer? We often have to remind ourselves that God’s way and timing are perfect. He knows best!

Dear Father, I want to thank you for privilege of bringing my concerns to you. Give me patience as I wait for you to work out your plan and your timing to answer my prayers. Help me to trust you and your Word as I grow in my confidence as I wait for you to answer. In Jesus Name, Amen

Questions: Is God’s timetable too slow for you sometimes? How do you respond when God does not answer your prayers according to your plans?

About the Author Lillian Penner

Friday, April 3, 2009

Peace in a World of Turmoil

Devotional for Women from

Time Published IconBy Helen Lescheid on April 3rd, 2009 at 2:00 am

Is peace alluding you because of the turmoil in the world? We have mentors that would love to talk with you.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

When we look at the world news, our hearts tend to get frightened. So much unrest, violence, fear! Jesus predicted it would be this way. “In this world you will have trouble,” He said. “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

How can we as Christians make a difference in our world? Paul gives us some practical steps in Colossians 4:2: Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

1. Devote yourselves to prayer for your families, church leaders, and governments. Is there a friend or neighbor you could team up with for prayer on a weekly basis?

2. Being watchful–instead of looking at the problems, keep your eyes on Jesus. As long as Peter kept looking at the Lord Jesus, he walked on water. The moment he focused on the waves, he began to sink. Readjusting our focus may mean cutting back on news watching. Smile.

3. Be thankful for your blessings–for the things that are going right. Write them down in a gratitude journal. Pray them out loud in thanksgiving.

No matter what happens in the world, Jesus Christ is still the victorious One and Our Sovereign Lord. “I know that you can do all things,” says Job. “No plan of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2 ).

Remembering this, we can have the peace Jesus spoke about.

Father, I thank you that You are working out your good plan in my life and in our world.

Questions: What steps can you take to put your heart at ease about the future?

About the Author Helen Grace Lescheid

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Filled to the Brim

Devotional for Women from

Time Published IconBy Gail Rodgers on April 2nd, 2009 at 2:00 am

Can we trust the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life? This Online Bible Study will help you with some of your questions.

“Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine…” (John 2:6-9).

I love the picture painted for us in the account of Jesus’ very first miracle when He turned water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. The very story of Easter is imbedded in this telling of the miracle. The thoughtful examination of the details of this amazing miracle are brought to light by author Doug Emberley in his book “Simply Water to Wine?”

Imagine the heavy, cold stone jars, laboriously filled with water by the servants. Imagine the ceremonial washing that took place as the water from these jars was poured out in cleansing rituals as the Israelites followed the rules of the old covenant to purify themselves before God.

Then imagine the wedding goers’ astonishment as Jesus called for these jugs to be filled and then changed the contents from water to rich wine! Wine is often used as a symbol of life and of the Holy Spirit throughout Scripture. Here, at Jesus very first miracle, we see the amazing symbolism of exchanging not just one element for another, but the exchanging of something much deeper. Our own efforts to become holy and clean before our loving God are exchanged for His forgiveness. His blood is the only cleansing we need. His filling of new life, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is complete and right “to the brim”.

Yes, Jesus death bought our forgiveness at the cross and His resurrection brought us new life filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. There is no room to add our own good works to try to earn the forgiveness that Jesus brings! Anything we try to add merely pollutes and displaces His blessing of grace. No. His work alone brings the new life our hearts hunger and thirst for. He fills us to the brim as we believe and receive His gift of forgiveness and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us – right to the brim of our lives!

Lord Jesus, this Easter refresh my heart with the truth of Your sacrifice in death and with a new realization of the power that is mine through Your resurrection. Thank you that what You did is complete and “filled to the brim”; I need only believe and receive. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.

Order this little book to share the life-changing story of Easter through Jesus’ first miracle.

Questions: Who can you share the Easter story with this year? Won’t you begin praying for them right now? Make a commitment on the blog today to pray for someone you desire to come to know Jesus life giving power and forgiveness.

About the Author Gail Rodgers

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, Poured out like Water, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hold On

Women's Devotional from

Are you facing a huge crises in your life? We would love to pray for you.

Lately there has been so much chaos and crisis in our lives, that instead of moving forward, we are simply trying to hold on to God.

The Bible urges us to do just that:

“But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are His house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast” (Hebrews 3:6).

“”We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first” (Hebrews 3:14).

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess” (Hebrews 4:14).

We are instructed to hold on to our courage, to hold on to the hope we have in Christ, to hold firmly to the confidence we had when we first came to Christ and to the faith we profess.

These are good reminders, but what if I feel like I can’t hold on any longer?

Then, it is time to recall that it was God who first took hold of me. “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12b).

My survival does not depend on me; as I cling to God I remember that before I chose Him, He chose me, before I loved God, He loved me, before I held on to Him, He held me.

When darkness and evil surround us, we must consciously call to mind that God gave Jesus Christ all power and authority; in Him and through Him we find salvation, courage, hope and faith.

“[Christ] is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).

Holy God, thank you that You are the One who holds me, help me to hold on to You.

Questions: Why is Christ the only one worth holding on to? How have Scripture or prayer or fellow believers helped you to hold on to Jesus?

About the Author Suzanne Benner