January 30, 2011

Trust Devotion ~ The What-If Woman

This is a chapter from the next devotion book, Trust. It is one of the three books written by Lydia Brownback in the Godly Woman's Adornment series.

The What-If Woman

Many of us are what-if women. What-if women spend a good deal of energy and time worrying not only about what might happen and about what they should say and do, but also about what others think about what they say and do.
"What if I lose my job in the upcoming round of lay-offs?"
"What if I can't conceive?"
"I just can't get to the part next week. What if Sally never invites me again?"
Such worry about what may happen is fruitless. Think about it: our hovering over a situation cannot actually prevent the thing we are worried about from happening. The what-ifs can begin the moment we wake up and often last right on through the day. But God doesn't want us to be what-if women. What-iffing not only zaps our energy, it also indicates a lack of trust in God's wise and loving control over our affairs. He who cares to number every hair on our heads-something not even the vainest of us bothers to do - cares much more about our trusting him with the upkeep of our homes, our health, our mobility, and our relationships with other people. Since he not only cares about these things but is also able to do something about them, he wants us to leave the ordering to him.
When we trust God to run our lives, we find that we are free to enjoy him and other people-free to live and love, because He is taking care of things. We are designed to glorify God and enjoy him, not to spend our energies worrying about the details of daily life or fearing the pain of major crises. He will always supply what he knows we really need for every circumstance we face. Freedom from fear comes from believing that. It comes also from opening our hearts to embrace God's supply, even if his supply differs from what we think we need.

January 24, 2011

Purity Devotion ~ A Pure Heart

Here it is! My first purity devotion post. I will be rotating through the four different books every few days :) Thank you all for supporting these devotion posts. Enjoy!

We don't hear the word purity much today except in descriptions of cleaning agents and snow covered landscapes. We do hear the word spoken more frequently in the Christian community, but usually only as it applies to sexual purity. We have lost sight of all it means to be pure as God intended. So what does it mean? Purity is much more than moral behavior. Purity is first and foremost a matter of the heart. To be pure is to be single-minded. It is to have a single goal, a single focus, and a single purpose for ourselves and our lives. That is biblical purity, and from it springs moral behavior - the good we do with our bodies. At its core, purity is having a heart for the Lord that isn't watered down or polluted by lesser things.
The apostle James wrote, Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:8) According to James, a double-minded woman spends her passion going after what this world offers. In contrast, Jesus describes a very different sort of passion: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38). Elsewhere Jesus attaches a promise to purity: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God Matthew 5:8). To see God is to know the joy of living in close relationship with him. To see him is also to enjoy Spirit-filled, biblically guided direction and guidance for all of life. A woman who is pure in this way realizes an ever-increasing ability to rightly apply God's Word to the little day-to-day things.
Putting Christ first i the essence of purity. That is why Jesus words in the beatitude, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," are the starting point for any woman who is serious about being pure But the beatitude is not only our starting point; it is also the place to end. Jesus' words form a basis for the kind of purity that will endure for a lifetime. Viewing purity from a biblical perspective takes our understanding of what it means to be pure beyond mere outward conduct to a whole new level - a deeper level. And if we approach purity as Jesus describes it, we will discover that our battle to be pure in body, as well as in mind and spirit, comes much more easily.
We women struggle, often with little success, to master particular sins - outward displays of impurity. Perhaps that's because we have been trying to clean up our act while failing to see the impurity of our heart. What are we to do? We can't clean our own heart. besides, the extent of its dirt and sin is beyond our comprehension. A heart is made pure as Christ washes and cleans it. I once heard someone pray, "Lord wash my heart." That's a good prayer. But becoming pure in heart doesn't end with prayer. It comes as we lean on grace. It comes as we acknowledge our utter inability to become pure women and our need for Christ to make us clean and to purify us through and through. Putting Christ first takes care of everything else.

God bless you all, and may the Lord give you grace as you try to put him first :)
Abigail Prudence

January 21, 2011

Joy Devotion ~ Joy In God's Place

Hi everyone! Since I got so many requests, I have decided that I will be posting my devotions regularly! If anyone has a particular book out of the four that they would like me to post, please leave a note in the comments :D These devotions have encouraged me so much, I would like to thank my father for getting me these books, they have helped me grow in the Lord. So thanks Dad, I know you love me and love to watch me as I learn more about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I love you, thank you for taking care of me <3.

Joy in God's Place

For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place. (1 Chronicles 16:26-27)

We always-every moment, without exception-pursue what we believe will make us happy. For some it's a particular relationship. For others it's a certain home. For still others it's a career path. Whatever it is, we devote ourselves to getting it, pursuing it with all our energy and every resource we have. We are certainly free to delight in the material and relational blessings God brings us, but if we believe our happiness is dependent on them, it's because, whether we realize it or not, we don't really believe God is enough for us.
We say that God is enough, but the fact that we hover and worry and fret when our goals and hopes don't pan out proves otherwise. Jesus said "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). How do we respond when something we value is taken away? Do we cling to Christ in our sorrow or disappointment, or do we resist him and set ourselves on a determined course to prevent the loss or recapture it? Our attitude toward God in life's ups and downs is always the most honest depiction of what we really believe.
We will never ultimately find the happiness we seek in anything this world offers-even the good things-because we have been wired to find it in God alone. Joy is found only in God's "place," wherever and however he leads us deeper into his fellowship. Joy-biblical joy-is one way for us to know if we are dwelling in God's place. Godly joy springs from living in harmony with God, having a mind set on pleasing him. If that underlies our pursuits, we are in God's place.
If we insist on defining and establishing our own place, we won't find joy, nor will we ever get to where we think we want to go. James Boice wrote:

If you think you are going to get rich through a job that excludes God and a Christian witness, God will let you get close enough to the wealth to taste it but then keep it just beyond your grasp. If you think you are going to become famous in show business and are willing to leave the commands of God behind in your upward scramble to get there, God will let you get close enough to know and envy others who have made it but keep you an unknown. Do you think that God will not do this: That He is too "kind?" I tell you that God will do it, he is faithful to his nature and will not allow the one He loves to be destroyed through an adulterous infatuation with this world's idols.

God's place is first place, whether it be in our relationships, our homes, or our jobs, and he will reign there only if he reigns supreme in our hearts.
Concerning all the varied details of your life, are you dwelling in God's place or your own? Joy, or lack thereof, is a way to know. Joy is always present where God reigns supreme.

God Bless you all,
Abigail Prudence

January 17, 2011

The Joy of new Devotions!

Hello everyone! As some of you know, I just had my 16th birthday! And I wanted to share one of my gifts with you all. One of the presents I was given was the Godly Woman's Adornment Collection. It is 4 devotion books for young women, they are sweet little books that are about 100 pages long. The four books in the collection are, Joy, Contentment, Trust and Purity. The first book that I have started on is the Joy book, and I read something so beautiful that I had to share it with you all. For personal reasons this is very relevant chapter to me, so it touched my heart deeply. To any of you girls that are looking for wonderful devotion books, I highly recommend these, you can find them at Vision Forum. I am very excited about going through all of these, and if you like the devotion I am going to post today, please make a comment requesting more Joy posts! :)

Joy In Repentance

Sin brings misery. There are no exceptions. Ever. Experience has shown us all how true this is, but we continue to sin anyway because we think that somehow, someway, this time will be different. This time we will escape. This time things will go our way. This time we will be able to manipulate the circumstances to bring us the outcome we hope for. We buy into the lie again and again, but even when we turn from God, he never turns from us. He is faithful to his unfaithful people. That's why Nehemiah, the governor of Israel, told the Israelites not to be grieved.
The hearts of the people under Nehemiah had turned away from God. The bad choices they had made over a long period had led them where sin always leads - to discouragement, loss, and feeling distant from God. (sin never produces anything worthwhile in our lives.) But when the people heard God's Word, they were deeply convicted of sin. They were done with excuses. They had ignored the Lord and hurt him, and their awakened awareness of it brought grief to their hearts.
We grieve after we sin too, but there is a difference between the grief of consequences suffered and that of having hurt the Lord. Only one leads to repentance. The old saying is true: being sorry for sin means being sorry enough to quit. If we are sorry primarily because our sinful choices don't work out very well, we aren't really going to quit. We will just change our tactics.
Repentance means turning around and going the other direction. It involves an active cutting off of all that has come between us and the Lord. Feelings of grief may or may no be present, but holy action will be, and as we step out in real repentance, we will find that we do feel sorry for how our sin has driven a wedge into our relationship with God. The Israelites had reached this point, and they were weeping over what their sin had done. But it was just at this point that they were surprised by joy.
Joy is the last thing we expect when the fact of our sinfulness penetrates our hearts. We know we deserve to be miserable, and so often we are tempted to wallow in misery as a way to prove how sorry we are or to try and get back in God's favor. But God doesn't want wallowing. wallowing actually has more to do with us than with God: "Oh, Lord, my sin is so very bad. How could you love someone as bad as me?"
Instead of wallowing, godly grief embraces grace. We forget our own badness and look at God's kind heart and willingness to forgive. We look away from ourselves and toward the cross, where our badness was crucified with Christ. it is not our sin that wins the day, but God's mercy. That's why Nehemiah told the people not to be grieved. Now that they had repented and made a wholehearted commitment to turn back to the Lord, joy was theirs. They were to look away from their sin and even from their sorrow over it- away from themselves altogether - and find the joy of renewal, hope, and confident trust that would strengthen them in their way.
Are you discouraged by sin? Do you think you have forfeited joy forever because what you have done is so bad? don't linger there. Turn back to God with all your heart, and you will find that joy is right there awaiting you.

May God bless you all and may you have JOY today!
Abigail Prudence

January 12, 2011

Happy new year, and a friend's give away

Hi everyone! Sorry that it has been sooo long since I have made a post! I hope you all had an awesome new year like I did!!! We blew of a lot of mortar fireworks this year, and I was able to get some good shots, if you want to take a peek you can check out my Flickr page, http://www.flickr.com/photos/texasgal15/ Where I post all of my better photography. Wow, it has been an amazing year for me, I moved to Missouri, and now it looks as if I will be moving back down to Texas again. I wanted to tell you all about a blog give away, she is a beautiful person that has a beautiful blog, I hope you all will check it out, http://fashionandmodesty.blogspot.com/
I am excited about this new year! I have so many things that I hope to accomplish, I pray God will give me grace to do his will.

God Bless you all,
Abigail Prudence