God provides special individuals in our lives to assist us in our spiritual growth. He will lead us to the right spiritual parents as we continue to walk closely with Him. read more
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THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP IN PINPOINTING THE PERFECT BIBLE IS TO DETERMINE WHAT YOU WANT AND NEED.
The choice is easy once you've identified your specific requirements. The following three basic questions--who, how and what--are designed to help you in choosing the appropriate Bible.
Who is the Bible for?
How will the Bible be used? read more
WE KNOW THAT BITTERNESS HINDERS OUR EFFECTIVENESS FOR GOD. BUT HOW MUCH FORGIVENESS IS ENOUGH?
Most of us have times in our lives when we are pushed to our limits with regard to forgiving others. I have vowed not to retell my story, but suffice it to say, I had never been hurt so deeply before or since.
I couldn't discuss it with my family members. But one friend from Romania was far removed from the situation, so I was able to tell him everything. read more
At times, the way seems clearly laid out for us. But at others we feel confused, unprepared and inadequate.
You've undoubtedly had the experience of ministering to someone and coming away thinking you had utterly failed. But a few days later you encountered that person again, and she told you your ministry was an answer to prayer! read more
One woman's dramatic encounter with Christ shows us that he came to deliver women from spiritual oppression.
We do not know her name. Usually we refer to her as "the woman with the issue of blood." But those words from the King James Bible seem archaic today and make her seem faceless and distant. She was a real person, and her pain was intense.
I sometimes imagine that this fragile shell of a woman was called "Mara"--the Hebrew word for bitter. Chronic sickness had disfigured her life. Yet Christ got so close to her pain that she dared to touch Him, and her healing has provided inspiration for countless sermons ever since. read more
For one thing, the preparation was longer than the journey itself. We prepared for months, checking flight times and prices and making certain all our paperwork was in order.
Some of the preparation was tedious and time-consuming. How true this is in the spiritual realm as well! In fact, the season of preparation God requires of us often drags out so long we get discouraged because we are eager to be going somewhere. read more
BECOMING ALL GOD DESIRES WILL MEAN SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION FROM THE INSIDE OUT.
Because of his keen observations of how God works in nature, scientist and educator George Washington Carver probably had as much insight into life as he had knowledge of plants. He once commented on the fact that people often assume, when they can't see anything growing above the ground, that nothing is happening beneath it.
I've often made that mistake in my own life and in the way I've assessed situations regarding other people. Because of the many challenges facing our world and the church today, we may be tempted to think that positive change is a long way off; but that may not be true for the body of Christ or for its individual members. read more
The white flag of surrender does not always convey failure. Our heavenly Father eagerly waits for the day when we surrender our hearts and minds to His cleansing and direction. read more
NEW TRENDS IN BIBLE STUDIES CATER TO THE TIME-DEPRIVED AND THE INTERNET SAVVY.
Women have long been known to be the backbone of Christian congregations in America. According to a 2000 report from Christian researcher George Barna, one out of every five Christian women--or 20 percent--belong to a small group that meets regularly for Bible study, prayer or Christian fellowship. The same statistic among men is only 13 percent.
Unfortunately, family and jobs tend to dictate how much time a woman devotes to study of the Word. As women progress through different life stages they desire Bible studies that are tailored to their interests, schedules and spiritual maturity. read more
GOD'S GRACE AND MERCY CAN COVER US AND EMPOWER US TO CHANGE, EVEN WHEN WE'VE BLOWN IT BADLY.
At this very moment, an ancient battle continues to wage between Satan, the enemy of our souls, and the daughters of Eve. Since the Garden of Eden, this enemy has been unrelenting in his attempts to shame, strip and dishonor women in order to challenge God's work in their lives.
Sadly, his most vicious offensives are often launched under the guise of religion. Nowhere in the Bible is this more evident than in the story of the woman caught in adultery. This account, found in John 8:1-12, is an incredible and telling example of the cruelty of law and religion as well as the beauty of God's mercy and love. read more
The Old and the New Testaments provide multiple examples of women who operated in the gift of prophecy. Joel tells us God's daughters will prophesy through His Spirit. read more
Make sure you understand that God will prepare you for the answer to that for which you are praying. He wants to qualify you, and the qualifications may be so rough that you tell Him to forget it.
In the Old Testament, the Israelites left Mount Sinai and walked a large circle in the wilderness before reaching Kadesh Barnea, where they sent out a spying party into the promised land. Ten of the 12 spies weren't ready for entry, and they came back with a bad report (see Num. 13:31). read more
Prayer involves more than trying to get things from God. A mature prayer life enables God to get into us, where He can heal us and move us into our destiny. read more
One of the pearls they were frequently prompted to share when I was a kid was "not to put the cart before the horse." My folks wanted me to understand that the important challenges and opportunities of life require preparation and the proper ordering of priorities. Though in themselves these rudimentary steps aren't always the most exciting or the most visible to others, the broader lessons they provide--perseverance, faithfulness and obedience--are vital to one's ultimate success.
Truthfully, as a young girl given to much dreaming (day and night), I needed this counsel more times than I can remember. It was a known fact that I harbored more than a few lofty ideas about where I'd go in life.
We've all envisioned what we believed the future held for us. And a lot of what we've imagined has come true.
But timing is everything. And therein is the source of a great deal of our frustration. Whereas God's view is eternal, ours is limited--and we feel compelled by what we perceive to be our short "life span" here on Earth to do everything now.
But lately I'm being challenged by the Spirit of the Lord to come to a new place of authentic peace in God, not because all my dreams are coming true at the rate I expected, but because I'm coming to know Him (see Is. 26:3). In fact, I'm just beginning to know that I know that He loves me and can be trusted to open opportunities for me that are the best.
This is why I'm grateful to Stormie Omartian for her ministry. Stormie calls us to do "first things first," to cultivate a relationship of devotion to the Lord through prayerful communion with Him.
It's not a new concept but one we can easily leave in the dust as we rush out the door to accomplish everything on our agendas. This performance mentality often has led me into confusion about whether to hitch the wagon behind the horse or, well, you know. read more
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