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Seeking Wisdom in Proverbs

The purpose of these proverbs is to teach people wisdom and discipline, and to help them understand wise sayings.
—Prov. 1:2, NLT

Are you looking for “ancient wisdom” with a modern application? Look no further; the book of Proverbs contains your answer! Proverbs is a unique collection of short, pithy sayings designed to impart wisdom, understanding and knowledge.

Proverbs is undoubtedly one of the most practical books in the entire Bible. Why? Because it deals with the practical, everyday issues of life. Oddly enough, little if any mention is made in the book about heaven or the afterlife. Rather, it is packed with information about living in the here and now.

Recovering From Wounds of the Church

Anne Graham Lotz discusses how being hurt by the church can feel like we are being hurt by God, and offers ways we can use these experiences to draw us closer to God rather than drive us away.

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Becoming a Generation of Fearless Women

Lisa Bevere shares her testimony of how God took her out of her comfort zone so she would be equipped to bring other women comfort. She discusses how facing our fears can make us stronger, godly women.

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Money management

Living With Your Husband's Spending Habits

In a marriage, finances are often seen as a place where you can win or lose. Many women spend a great deal of time trying to wield the upper hand in this area because they don't understand their husband's financial philosophy and don't appreciate the way he manages money.

Whether you see your husband as a cheapskate or a spendthrift, you may think it seems logical to counter his approach in order to balance him out. If you decide to beat the cheapskate by talking him into buying something or to conquer the spendthrift by nagging him into saving, your celebration is likely to be both lonely and brief.

Victory Over Temptation

How comforting it is to know that the Lord's Prayer covers every aspect of the Christian life! I have stated many times that if all we had was this small portion of the Bible as given from the lips of Jesus, we would have enough gospel to know how to be saved and how to live victoriously. This prayer includes every facet of a man's physical and spiritual life.

It's no surprise, then, that it includes the phrase "Lead us not into temptation." Jesus knew the difficulties we would face and the temptations that would lure every human being.

 

Put God's Love in Your Relationships

Everywhere we go we are in relationship with other people—at home, at work, at church. Being involved in good relationships is one of the things that makes our lives enjoyable. But in order to experience the fullest potential they have to offer, we must build them on a strong foundation.

I have discovered that the strongest foundation for good relations is love. Jesus said, “By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]” (John 13:35, AMP).

The Secret Blessing of Generosity

In Genesis 13 (Read Genesis 13), Lot chose selfishly and moved his family to the choicest land—near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, whose inhabitants sinned greatly. Abram, Lot’s uncle, generously let him go; and for his generosity, God blessed Abram and allowed him to settle his family in a safe area.

Later, God used Abram to rescue Lot from the evil cities before He destroyed them. Abram learned the blessings of being generous and following God’s plan.

We often think of giving as being limited to money or things. We need to give our time or talents to the Lord as well. The abilities the Lord has given you can be offered as a special gift.

On occasion, the most important thing we can give to help others is our time. Giving with a cheerful heart comes when we give our time, money or talents as if we were giving them directly to the Lord.

Though others may not receive these thankfully, God will add His blessing to our willingness to give.

A missionary learned this when he agreed to minister to the congregation of a poor church. Not expecting a significant offering, he nevertheless was excited to meet and talk with the people on the front porch after the service.

As he was leaving for the night, a woman approached him and handed him two $1 bills. “This is all I have but I want to give it to you so you can tell others about the love of Jesus,” she said. The missionary carries the two bills to this day to remind him of her perfect example of sacrificial giving out of a heart of love.

We never should give with the intention of gaining something in return from the Lord. We should give only as an act of love. The study note for 2 Corinthians 9:11 from the Fire Bible: Global Edition puts it this way:

“In order for us to express true generosity outwardly, our hearts must become rich in true love and compassion for others. We should always pray and ask God to give us this kind of heart for others. Giving of ourselves and our possessions results in (1) supplying the needs of those who are lacking in some way, (2) praise and thanksgiving to God (v. 12) and (3) love from those who receive our help (v. 14).”

Consider your attitude toward giving. How can you give of your (1) time; (2) talents; (3) money/resources?

Hide the Word in Your Heart memory verse: “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).


Adapted from Principles 4Life (Life Publishers International), available free of charge at lifepublishers.org.

Winning the War in Your Mind

Struggling with the voices in your mind leads to weariness. You can silence them instead with God's Word.

The time we live in is unlike any the world has ever known. I call it the "age of terror" because in this season fear has launched a massive assault on mankind. New dangers and diseases are looming on the horizon. There are major wars being fought abroad, and even on the home front, civilians feel unsafe as they go about their daily business.

But the outward threats are nothing compared to the inner turmoil with which many struggle. Warfare in both the natural and the spiritual realms is taking place on a scale the church has never experienced. Will we be overcomers, or will we be overcome?

God, Are You Really There?

When times are tough, it’s easy to feel that God has abandoned us. We must learn that His presence is a promise.

More than once during your spiritual journey, particularly when you were facing difficult circumstances, you have undoubtedly asked yourself, “How can I know God’s presence in my life?” This is the type of question that often draws a cliché and leaves the inquirer feeling somewhat guilty for having asked it. Among those clichés may be the quoting of various Scriptures such as Matthew18:20: “‘For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them’” (NKJV) or Psalm 22:3: “But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.”

The inference is that one need only gather with others to pray or sing praises to the Lord to be assured of His presence. Add Psalm100 to these verses and you will be given the key to entering His presence: Begin with thanksgiving, progress to praise and ultimately be swept through the veil, standing before Him with singing.

Wrinkle-Free Bride

Have you ever heard the expression "going to hell in a handbasket"? Doesn't it sometimes seem—at least, judging by our leaders—as if that's what the body of Christ is doing? We have high-profile charismatic preachers divorcing their wives to marry someone else, evangelical pastors falling prey to Internet pornography, mainline denominational priests sexually abusing their congregants' children and, more recently, a homosexual priest being raised up to the position of bishop. As a Christian journalist, I hear the reports—and I cringe.

But I have learned that if we focus on what we see, we can easily become discouraged. So I choose to keep my eyes on Jesus, the magnificent Bridegroom, and my heart anchored in His Word, which tells us that Christ gave Himself for the church "that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:27, NKJV, emphasis added). His plan is for us to be a glorious church—a beautiful, wrinkle-free bride.

Living Without Fear

We don't have to live in fear. God is more powerful than anything that can come at us. Joyce Meyer reminds us that fear can seem huge but our faith is bigger. 

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bible

Raise Your Shield of Faith

God thrust the sword of the Spirit in my feeble hand 20 years ago when He sent me into a young adult Sunday school class as the teacher. Apply that last word loosely. Actually, I was an idiot.

I got a brand-new Bible for my journey and I meant to keep it that way. I neglected it. Fumbled it. Dropped it. Opened it. Yawned over it. Whined over it. Cried over it. Begged God to help me with it.

Sweet Dreams?

If falling asleep is a nightmare for you, here are some tips to make the thought of going to bed less frightening.

Almighty God, who created the universe with unparalleled wisdom, also created your body to need rest. In His wisdom God made rest a foundational principle for life on Earth.

The Bible says, “On the seventh day, having finished His task, God rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from His work of creation” (Gen. 2:2–3, NLT).

The Value of a Prayer Partner

If the prayer of one righteous man avails much, just think about what the prayers of two or more righteous people will accomplish.

 Matthew 18:1-22 It has been my privilege over my fifty-plus years as a Christian to always have a prayer partner. There are so many advantages in having a prayer partner. This passage in Matthew gives two very important reasons for us to pray with others. Jesus tells us, "Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:19-20, KJV).

Getting in Touch With God

Prayer is intimate communication, not a religious formula. Here are some strategies that will help you connect with God in a powerful way.

God is calling His people to communicate better with Him and for Him—to get in touch with Him in a way that makes a difference.  It is time for the church to learn to pray adult, knowledgeable, well-informed, intelligent, strategic, Scripture-based prayers that will help bring the supernatural plans of God into earthly reality and destroy the works of the devil. Time has run out for prayers that are based on selfish needs and that reflect culture, custom and tradition.

In order to heed the call, we must first make sure we understand the basic purpose for prayer and how to effectively use it. Prayer is a supernatural tool created by God that allows natural human beings to communicate with Him in the supernatural realm. It was created for His purposes, not man’s purposes.

Grace Meets You Where You Are

It was a Saturday afternoon I'll never forget. I was 17 years old and hanging out at a friend's house when I found myself kneeling next to an old Jeep, my trembling hands clasped together as I cried out to God. It was more out of sheer exhaustion and desperation than any religious formality.

At that point I realized my life was killing me—from my very own choices. I was living from moment to moment, crisis to crisis, looking for the next experience—drinking, stealing, sex, anything—that would make me feel alive inside again. For years, I had been trying to escape from the pain of life's circumstances.

As I knelt there, alone, I didn't realize what I was doing and didn't really care. But I knew I was giving up—and that's all that mattered to God.

To Become Like Christ

Becoming sons of God is our goal. This means that we are to become like God's Son Jesus Christ. In order to do that, we must ask the questions: "What is Christ like? How does He behave toward His Father, and toward His Father's work?"

The first thing we notice about Jesus is His everlasting obedience to the Father's will. The Gospel of John says, 49 times in 49 different ways, words that mean simply that the Son can do nothing of Himself and that He does only what He sees the Father doing: "I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent me" (John 6:38, NKJV).

What To Do If Your Spouse is Unfaithful

Unfortunately, infidelity is one of the most common issues in marriage just because of the nature of our culture. Infidelity is almost glorified in the media.  But the power of prayer can mend these broken marriages.

What I Learned Through Loss

The deaths of two of our children taught us how to run to God, not away from Him when we face tragedy.

How do you think about your suffering? Have you thought about it?

Is your first response when something difficult comes into your life to do everything you can to get rid of it? To call everyone you know to pray to ask God to take it away? For most of us, it is.

In the Bible, here is how Peter told us to think about suffering: “Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like Him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want” (1 Pet. 4:1-­–2, The Message).

How Do I Learn to Like My Body?

Too many women who are believers in Jesus Christ are still unable to walk in authority and dominion. Instead they are struggling with depression, identity issues and diminished self-esteem. God has predetermined that you and I are to be conformed to the image of His Son. We must receive our true identity from Christ.

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