Read an Excerpt
Spiritual Refreshment for Women
By Rebecca Currington
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2007 Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
God has blessed every person—every single one—with some gift or ability with which to serve others and bring glory to His name. Some abilities are obvious—they shine brightly in front of everyone—but others move below the radar. They include things like the ability to pray effectively, love the unlovely, listen attentively. Ask God to open your eyes to your special abilities. They are God's blessings to you.
Do not neglect your gift.... Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.
1 Timothy 4:14–15
The Bible most often refers to human abilities as gifts because they are given in order to be given again. If you have the gift of song, God expects you to strengthen and polish that gift and use it to enrich the lives of others. If you have been given a way with children, extend that gift to every child you meet. As you use your gifts to bless others, you will be blessed most of all.CHAPTER 2
Rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains.
As human beings, we are limited in what we can provide for those we love—our resources, both material and emotional, are finite. But God has no limits. He blesses His children far beyond our comprehension. He does more than just rain down His blessings on us; He sends abundant showers of blessing in every season of our lives. You are a rich woman. Once you see all God has provided for you, you won't ever want to come in out of the rain.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
1 Peter 1:2
As you look around at God's blessings in your life, close your eyes and look inward, as well. God has also provided you with an abundance of grace and peace. Grace that allows you to be who you genuinely are and the peace of knowing that who you are is just fine with Him. Women are wonderfully emotional people, the keepers of the inner life. If your inner places are dark and empty, invite God to fill them to overflowing with His goodness.CHAPTER 3
[God] chose us in Him before the foundation of the world ... according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Ephesians 1:4–6 NKJV
You may never receive the full acceptance and approval of the people in your life. But God has already given you His approval, His acceptance. He chose you. Think about that. Almighty God chose you! No one compelled Him to. His motive wasn't pity. The Bible says He created you and pronounced His work "good." He's proud of the "you" He's made, and He is moved with love for you—just as you are.
Honor God by accepting each other, as Christ has accepted you.
Romans 15:7 CEV
Just as God has accepted you, He asks that you accept others. That doesn't mean you must accept their aberrant behaviors or keep your mouth shut when you see people doing things they shouldn't. Accepting others means appreciating that each person was created by and is loved by God. They have value for that reason. In loving Him, you must love whom He loves and accept whom He accepts. That's the only proper response to so great a Creator.CHAPTER 4
A longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
You are a fortunate woman! You live in a time when women can accomplish anything they set their minds to do. Are there still obstacles? Of course, but nothing you can't deal with. God has given you something special to do in this world. You'll know it by the longing you feel deep inside. Ask God to guide you, lending you His wisdom, grace, and strength. Then go for it. Nothing can compare with the joy of accomplishing God's will for your life.
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:3 NRSV
Whatever God has called you to accomplish in your life, He has not called you to accomplish alone. He is always there, providing you with the resources you need to get the job done. That doesn't mean you won't stumble along the way or encounter difficulties. But it does mean that you can call upon the counsel and resources of almighty God to help you. Whether you need wisdom, inspiration, confidence, strength, or just plain tenacity, you will find your answer in Him.CHAPTER 5
Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Simply defined, ambition means determination to succeed. That's a positive thing—essential, in fact, to accomplishing God's will and purpose for your life. It helps you look past the obstacles in your path—age, health, education, lack of finances, etc.—to the prize waiting on the other side. God wants you to be determined, even ambitious. He's given you that inner motivation to help you complete the task He's assigned to you. Thank Him for it!
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself.
Ambition is a positive characteristic—unless it begins to take over your life. Are you pursuing your goals—even God-given goals—at the expense of others? Out of control, ambition can cause you to do things you would never do otherwise. God expects you to couple your ambition with godliness. Only then will you truly be accomplishing His will for you. Only then will you truly fulfill the desires He has placed in your heart.CHAPTER 6
What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.
1 Peter 3:3–4 MSG
Most women care how they look. That's why they carry mirrors in their purses and purchase billions of dollars of makeup each year. There's nothing wrong with looking good on the outside as long as you remember to primp and preen your inner self, as well. God wants your beauty to be more than skin deep. He wants it to be heart deep. Work to be as fully beautiful as you were created to be.
The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
When God looks at you, He sees a beautiful woman, a temple worthy of His Spirit. He sees your virtuous life and your godly attitudes. He sees a person whose heart has been washed clean and fully submitted to His will and purpose. He sees a beauty that is often missed by others. He sees an inner beauty that transcends any physical characteristics—good or bad. God sees you as you really are.CHAPTER 7
Armor of God
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
It's a good idea for every woman to take a basic class in self-defense in order to protect herself in this predator-filled world. A wise woman will learn how to defend herself spiritually, as well. God has provided you with a full suit of armor for that purpose—truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation. Wear them everywhere you go. You do have an enemy, and he wants to take all you have. Be prepared to resist and defeat him.
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
In God's kingdom, women are called to be warriors. Alongside their Christian brothers, they are asked to battle with the forces of evil that plot to destroy human lives and keep them from knowing their Creator. This is a warfare fought in spiritual realms with an enemy we know is there but cannot see. Put on your spiritual armor and ask God to point out your battle station. And then—on to victory!CHAPTER 8
When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm and faithful.
Psalm 73:26 MSG
It's the nature of a woman to need assurance—confirmation that she is pretty enough, smart enough, pleasing enough. God wants you to know that "you are more than enough!" He is pleased with you. He wants you to be assured that He will always be there for you. You need not fear that He will grow tired of you, lose interest, and abandon you. You are precious to Him, no matter your age, your condition, your circumstances. You matter to Him.
God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.
2 Corinthians 1:21–22 MSG
The last time you bought a house or a car or applied for a loan, were you preapproved? Good feeling, isn't it? In a real sense, you have been preapproved for God's kingdom. He's given you His Word and stamped you with His eternal pledge. You belong to Him. He is fully committed to helping you become all you were created to be. You can turn your back on Him—it's true. But He will never turn His back on you.CHAPTER 9
Be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude].
Ephesians 4:23 AMP
Your attitude can substantially affect your happiness level. It's true. When your mind is assaulted every day by "stinkin' thinkin'"—things like, "I'm not good enough," "I'm not loved," "I'll never reach my dreams"— it's pretty tough to be happy. On the other hand, when you think about good things—God things—your happiness level will soar. Try it! "God loves me," "God is always by my side, watching out for me," "God has made me a winner." What a difference it will make.
Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
The key to a great attitude is to rise above your old ways of thinking and start thinking like God thinks. The Bible says we aren't capable of thinking God's actual thoughts. They are too high and holy. But you can think like God—raising your mind-sight to focus on the good, the right, the holy, helping and encouraging others, ways to express your thankfulness. An attitude is simply a response to what you see—keep your mind tuned in to the good.CHAPTER 10
He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:6 KJV
Belief is one of those things you can't see physically, but you still have it. For example, you believe a chair will hold you when you sit in it. You can't explain the physics of it, but you sit in it believing it will do what it's supposed to do. Belief in God is like that. You put your trust in Him that He will do what He said He would do. The Bible, His written word, is filled with those promises.
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."
Ever been so thirsty nothing can quench your thirst? You're desperate to find resolution. You try everything within reach. You even try substitutes, but they're just that: a substitution for the real thing. Sometimes we aren't just physically thirsty, but we have that deep-down soul-type thirst. You're seeking something in your life that will completely quench your parched soul. Jesus said that only He can satisfy that kind of thirst. He's there, no waiting. He can fill your life to overflowing.CHAPTER 11
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
If only life came with an instruction manual, you've said to yourself. Help for when you don't know what to do. The Bible is filled with stories of ordinary people who lived through struggles and triumphs, heartache and joy. Unlike the stories we see today on television, not every story has a happy ending. People saw consequences of their erroneous actions. Through it all, God shines a light for our paths today .
The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
The Bible is God's love letter to you. It isn't the sappy romance novel found in drugstores. The characters in those stories give only conditional love to each other. God's love is unconditional. From the first words in the book of Genesis, where God created the heavens and the earth, He is communicating His love to you. It's the love letter you've longed to read. Open it up and see for yourself .CHAPTER 12
Jesus said, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Weary. Burdened. Need rest. Those words read like a repeating entry in a woman's daily journal. Most women feel they've earned the right to be burdened. What else but weary could they be with all they have to do? Jesus said that He would give rest to those who are weary. He would lighten our loads. Take one burden at a time and hand it over to Him. And then rest in the peace that Jesus has our lives in the palm of His hands.
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Have you seen the size of kids' backpacks lately? Their backs sway with the weight of books, papers, and "stuff." Kids carry these packs all day on their tired shoulders. Relief comes when they drop the weighty bags at home. The burdens you carry around each day may be causing your shoulders to droop, as well. Take those worries and burdens to God. He has promised to lighten your load by adding His shoulder to yours.CHAPTER 13
Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.
Life is full of challenges. While some are short-term, others last a lifetime. What keeps you determined and motivated? Do you seek the help of others or prefer to go it alone? Take a toddler's approach to these challenges. As she ventures into walking, she takes one step at a time, with help from a steady adult or an available piece of furniture. Eventually, she walks on her own. With God's help, take life's challenges one step at a time.
Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
Hebrews 12:1–2 NKJV
Do you ever get tired of life's challenges? Do you wish you could live a carefree, predictable life? While that isn't possible, you can have a different perspective on the challenges that come your way. The Bible says we will encounter trials in this life. After all, this world is not our home; it's just a temporary residence. While we are here, though, God promised His presence, love, and comfort. He will walk beside you and give you strength to overcome whatever is in your path.CHAPTER 14
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 NASB
Your schedule fluctuates from day to day, and you have the calendar to prove it. Decades ago, life was pretty much the same every day, especially for women. Most of what we did was for others: church and big family dinners on Sundays, wash on Mondays, ironing on Tuesdays, etc. Aren't you glad you live in a time when you can experience new things every day? As you long for consistency, look to Jesus. His loving character never changes. He was, is, and will be.
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17
The monarch butterfly begins life as a lowly worm. Through the course of time, it makes itself a cocoon and eventually turns into a beautiful butterfly. Similarly, we come to Christ with the potential to be a beautiful butterfly. Through challenges and normal life events, we go through a spiritual metamorphosis and become new creatures. We are free to fly and be what God intended us to be. His intention for you is beauty and grace. Trust Him to see you through the transformation.
Excerpted from Everyday Blessings by Rebecca Currington. Copyright © 2007 Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.