Experience an intimate connection to your heavenly Father with the Daily Wisdom for Women devotional collection. Featuring a powerful devotional reading and prayer for every day of 2016, this beautiful volume provides inspiration and encouragement for your soul. Enhance your spiritual journey with the refreshing readings—and come to know just how deeply and tenderly God loves you.
|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.30(h) x 1.00(d)|
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Daily Wisdom for Women
2016 Devotional Collection
By Barbour Publishing Inc.
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2015 Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Friday, January 1
New Year's Day
A New Beginning
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Genesis 1:1–2 NKJV
* * *
Every year in January, many people make resolutions hoping to achieve new milestones in their lives. There's nothing wrong with this practice, but too many of us attempt to start over fresh while still carrying last year's baggage. If we harbor resentment and attitudes from past failures and unrealized goals, we are in for more disappointment.
Before God created the earth, it didn't have shape or life to it. He started out with a dark, formless place. As His Spirit hovered over the waters, He created a planet full of life and substance. When He finished, a beautiful creation hung in the universe. Now it could be inhabited by life and bring glory to God.
As we begin a new year, God's Spirit, who dwells within us, can start with a blank page and create a new environment. If we allow Him to take charge, He can bring new energy and sparkle to the coming months. With God's help, let's lay aside all the disappointments, pain, and misgivings of the past year and start over fresh. Let Him set the goals that will bring glory to Him through the life we live in this new year.
* * *
Father, create in us a new beginning. Help us to forget the failures of the past and allow You to write a new resolution for our lives.
Saturday, January 2
Speak Words of Life
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
Proverbs 18:21 NLT
* * *
During a conversation with her mom, Laura expressed her frustration with appointments and doctors. The irritation she felt could be heard in the words she spoke. Instead of dropping the matter, she continued grumbling and complaining.
As she prepared dinner that evening, Laura thought about what she had said and realized she had complained and grumbled for no reason. She realized her words might cause her mom some anxious moments and have a negative effect on her decisions. Laura regretted her hastily spoken words and critical attitude. She had grumbled when she should have let the situation pass. She called her mom and apologized. Her mom didn't seem to be upset about their conversation, but Laura's earlier words could not be changed.
Words are powerful and once spoken can never be erased. The words we speak affect other people for either good or bad and, according to the writer of Proverbs, can bring death or life. The apostle James tells us in his writings that the tongue can start a big fire if we aren't careful. If we're one of those people who loves to talk and we allow ourselves to criticize or complain, we will reap unpleasant consequences. We should strive to speak life-giving words to those around us.
* * *
Father, use my tongue to speak words of life to others and bring glory to Your name.
Sunday, January 3
A New Heart
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them."
Ezekiel 36:26–27 NKJV
* * *
Sue accompanied her husband, Bill, to a follow-up appointment with the cardiologist following a heart procedure a few months earlier. The nurse checked his blood pressure and took an EKG; then the doctor came in for a visit. After talking with them for a few minutes, he said, "Everything looks great, perfect in fact. It doesn't mean the AFib won't come back, but let's continue with the medication you're taking. It's good for your heart and will help protect you." They left the doctor's office feeling good about Bill's condition.
Before we met Christ, each of us had serious heart problems. In short, we needed a heart transplant. Our hearts were sinful, self-centered, and full of carnal desires. God saw our need and provided the necessary operation. He promised us a new heart and a new spirit. He removed the heart of stone and gave us a heart of flesh, one that would respond to His touch. He placed His Spirit within us to teach us to follow His statutes. As we do, He will give us the good report we need to hear from the Great Physician who performed the surgery.
* * *
Father, give me a heart of flesh touched by Your Spirit and receptive to Your voice.
Monday, January 4
God Makes Us Beautiful
For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he will beautify the humble with salvation.
Psalm 149:4 NKJV
* * *
Standing in front of a magazine rack can be depressing if you believe everything on the covers. Women in skimpy clothes with long, flowing locks and perfect figures adorn most magazines. The article titles are just as daunting: "How to Have the Body of Your Dreams in 30 Days," "What Men Really Want in a Woman," and "Lose 10 Pounds in a Week." Their information on how to be beautiful and be the perfect woman tempts a lot of women into buying the latest issue, thinking it will solve their problems.
The world's definition of beauty is a far cry from God's. We were created in His image; made in His likeness. There's nothing wrong with trying to lose weight, buying a new dress, or getting our hair cut. We all want to look and feel our best — but not by the world's standard. Trying to measure up to others leads to disappointment and low self-esteem.
As God's children, we are made beautiful through Him. It's not a physical beauty like the world lauds. It's an inner loveliness that comes through knowing Christ. We take on a beauty the world can't understand or achieve. To those who know us and love us, we are beautiful women because of God's Spirit within us, radiating a beauty beyond human imagination.
* * *
Lord, give me an inner beauty through Your Spirit that I might bring You glory and honor. Amen.
Tuesday, January 5
Making Good Decisions
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.
Proverbs 3:5–7 NKJV
* * *
Everyone goes through tough times, and having to make important decisions during those dark days only adds to the pain and frustration. Marilyn wanted to do the right thing in regard to a failing relationship, but she worried she would make a mistake she'd regret. She went to an older Christian friend for advice. He listened and talked with her, but in the end, he said, "You need to make a decision, but only you can do it. No one can make it for you."
Marilyn knew her friend was right. She began praying earnestly about the situation, relying on God for wisdom and courage. Some days were still hard and she didn't know which direction to take, but she continued to trust God and wait for His help. When the resolution came, Marilyn knew God had intervened and worked things out for the best.
When we learn to trust the Lord and not our own limited understanding, He will direct our paths. The secret is to trust Him with all our hearts and acknowledge Him. God is personal for each of us. He wants to be included in our decisions and our daily lives. No matter what we face, He knows how to resolve it. Whatever you need, trust Him.
* * *
Father, give me Your wisdom and understanding. Help me rely on You and not myself.
Wednesday, January 6
Knowing What to Say
"The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned."
Isaiah 50:4 NKJV
* * *
Sometimes it's hard to know what to say to a friend or loved one when tragedy strikes their family. We all know the usual trite lines like "Everything will turn out for the best," or "I'm sorry for your loss." Even though these aren't bad words, they do little to comfort someone in pain.
We are limited in our ability to comfort. We can sympathize with others, but unless we have experienced what they are going through, we cannot feel the depth of their pain or how it is affecting them. It's in these times that we need God's Spirit to help us be a comforter.
Isaiah writes that the Lord gave him a tongue so he would know how to speak the right word to someone who was weary. We can apply this scripture to our own lives and ask God to give us the right word to speak to the one needing comfort. If we allow Him, God will awaken our ears to hear His voice every day. Then we can speak God's words and bring a measure of comfort to a hurting individual. When we give His word to someone, it will be the right one.
* * *
Lord, open my ears to hear Your message of hope and speak it to someone in need.
Thursday, January 7
God Has a Plan
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
* * *
Bill and Sue decided to sell their home and move to a smaller city. They agreed they would not get in a hurry. They wanted God's will for their future home. Sue prayed about the things she wanted in their new home — an older house with wood floors and moldings, room to create a home office, and space for her book collection.
They met with a real estate agent, but neither Sue nor Bill felt God leading them to buy any of the properties they viewed. Two years passed as they continued watching the market for a house. They hoped for a quick sale of their home, but no one showed any interest for months; then a young couple made an offer. Around the same time, Bill and Sue found two houses they liked, but after an inspection learned the first one had too many problems. They made an offer on their second choice. After they closed and moved in, Sue was walking through the home one day when she stopped in the middle of a room and looked around. Everything she had asked God for was in the home they had purchased. Peace settled over her as she realized God had known the location of the right house and when it would become available and had directed them according to His plan.
* * *
Father, help me realize You always have a plan for me and it will be for my best.
Friday, January 8
Get Up and Try Again
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
1 Peter 5:10 NKJV
* * *
Have you ever fallen down in your Christian walk? It doesn't mean you are no longer a Christian, but you stumbled over something in your path that caused you to lose your footing. Perhaps you didn't see the obstacle in time. It's painful to fall, and sometimes it's hard to get up and continue on. While you're lying on the ground spiritually, Satan uses this opportunity to taunt you and accuse you. "You're not really a Christian. If you were, you wouldn't have fallen. You wouldn't have made a mistake. God doesn't need people like you. He's tired of fooling with you. Why don't you just give up?"
Sound familiar? Not only does it sound familiar, but if you're not careful, you will begin to believe it. The shame and remorse you feel because of your shortcomings only add to the lie Satan has just whispered in your ear. Don't listen to any more of his lies. God is a God of grace. The key is to stand up from the place where you have fallen and allow God to restore you, strengthen you, and establish you. He is faithful to His people.
* * *
Lord, forgive my shortcomings and extend grace once more to Your servant. Give me strength to continue the race.
Saturday, January 9
Hold Your Temper
A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.
Proverbs 15:18 NIV
* * *
For the third time in a week, Jane called her Internet provider hoping for a solution to her problem. Internet service had been sporadic for several days and she hoped to reach someone who could give her some answers.
The person on the other end of the line sounded young and inexperienced, but Jane decided to give her a chance. As they discussed the problem, the technician tried several ideas to get the service working again, but to no avail. She finally offered a solution that would require Jane to pay a fee of one hundred fifty dollars. Jane felt angry the company would require a large fee in light of the fact she was already paying a monthly fee and not receiving good service. The longer they talked, the more stressed and upset she became. In spite of the frustration she voiced to the other person, the girl remained polite and helpful.
Jane felt like giving the service technician a piece of her mind, but knew it wouldn't solve anything. With God's help, she remained calm in spite of the stress she felt. They ended the call by wishing each other a good day despite the failure to resolve the situation. Even though Jane still didn't have an answer to her problem, she was glad she had not spoken in haste and made the situation worse.
* * *
Lord, keep me calm in the face of anger and trouble. Help me not to quarrel even when I feel justified in doing so.
Sunday, January 10
Dressed to the Nines
Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
Ephesians 6:11 NLT
Have you ever left your house feeling as though you had forgotten something and weren't completely ready to face the world? Maybe you left home without putting on the belt that matches the dress you're wearing or traveled to an out-of-town conference without the proper shoes. It may have been something as simple as forgetting to put on your watch or lipstick. Whatever the case may be, you feel underdressed and incomplete because of the missing item. You feel as if everyone is looking at you, which makes you feel self-conscious and keeps you from being your best on those days.
Paul wrote to the Ephesians, and to us, that it's important to put on the whole armor of God. This is our spiritual wardrobe. He lists the various pieces we should wear every day in order to stand against the devil and his tricks. We cannot afford to forget even one item. Why? Because the missing piece makes us vulnerable in that area. The enemy knows to attack us there. Each day, we must equip ourselves with the armor God has given us, from the breastplate of righteousness to the sword of the Spirit. Before you start your day, be sure you're fully dressed. Don't allow the devil to keep you from feeling confident and being at your best for God.
* * *
Lord, help me to realize the importance of wearing the armor You have provided and to never leave home without it.
Monday, January 11
Coming of Age
Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly — mere infants in Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:1 NIV
* * *
In Japan, the second Monday of January is known as Coming of Age Day. Special ceremonies are held in honor of those reaching a certain age. These ceremonies recognize both the expanded rights and increased responsibilities of new adults. All young adults who turned or will turn twenty between April 2 of the previous year and April 1 of the current year and who maintain a residence in the area are invited to attend.
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