Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9
There was a long time debate between philosophers and psychologists about whether or not humans are born with a moral compass of “right and wrong” or if we were born with a blanks slate. Based on recent studies with babies, researchers are now able to substantiate the claim that we are born with a moral compass. Here is the study if you would like to read it http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/12/us/baby-lab-morals-ac360/index.html.
For Christians, this revelation should not be a surprise; we all our familiar with “the fall of man” story in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit. Once the disobedience occurred, they felt separated from God because they knew that they were wrong. This “feeling” of separation from God, when we disobey His word, still holds true today. We define it as guilt and shame. Those feelings often overwhelm us and we sometimes find it difficult to forgive ourselves. Like Adam and Eve, we often hide from God’s presence because we are afraid of what our Heavenly Father will say to us.
“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding”. (Proverbs 2:6)
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt,…”(James 1:5-6)
When I think of wisdom, I think of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 that we should aspire to become. This chapter provides a model of a woman’s value as well as displays the proper attitude for her to have when fulfilling responsibilities. Every woman has to have wisdom if they want to follow this example, effectively manage diverse roles and still find the time and energy for self-reflection and self-investment. This is not an easy task for most and for many, it can be overwhelming. As I reflect on this and juggle my own commitments, God is constantly teaching me that it is not about trying to be “the perfect woman,” but instead living a life that is totally yielded to Him to fulfill my calling.
While we are pursuing Proverbs 31 as women of faith, God is constantly revealing His purpose to us. During this process, we have to be careful; the journey is often plagued with the devil trying to distract us by focusing our attention on other people’s God given purpose instead of focusing on our own path. This comparison leads to feelings of inadequacy and jealousy. If wisdom is not used to recognize this, it can eventually lead to a diminished self-worth. This is not God’s plan for His daughters. Wisdom is imperative to know when we are off course, so that God can direct us in our business plans, our marriage, our relationships, our parenting, our health, our service to others, our finances, our time commitments, our appearance…..our faith journey.
Ultimately, don’t strive to be a superwoman. Strive to be a wisewoman. In this pursuit, the brighter your light will become, so that other women will want to know more about the God that you serve. Pursuing this goal will keep you on track to fulfilling God’s purpose in your life.
Prayer Starter: We ask you for wisdom to organize our life. You know all things. You know our past, present and future. Give us the tools that we need to navigate through daily obstacles. Give us fresh business ideas, bless our relationships with others, bless our marriages, bless our children and bless our health. Be honored in how we manage our finances and keep us humble, so that we desire to serve others in your name. Teach us how to let our inner beauty shine bright, so that we are not insecure regarding our outer appearance. Let faith arise and let us always declare your goodness. Amen
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalms 139:23-24
This is one of my favorite scriptures to pray because the enemy often tries to manipulate my mind through anxiety. I can get overwhelmed when I feel like I have taken on too many projects. This leads to me becoming short-tempered and sometimes my husband, my kids or anyone in close proximity have to suffer. As a result of this, guilt starts to affect me because I know that I shouldn’t have taken out my frustrations on them. This is my confession ? Can any of you identify with this as well?
When I find myself in this cycle, I pray Psalms 139:23-24. I know that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth and He never falls short. It may not be that you get easily overwhelmed, but maybe you have a short temper, a foul mouth, a hardened heart, a jealous spirit, a lying tongue….. anything that can separate you from hearing the voice of God. Things usually begin to build up and we need an outlet. We all have to be mindful to use prayer as an outlet for our frustrations and not use other means. Let’s ask God to reveal the areas in our life that need to be rebooted today.
Prayer Starter: Search our hearts. Show us every area that we have not submitted to you to change. We ask your forgiveness for holding on to things when you have been telling us to let them go. Teach us how to tune our ears to your voice, so that we do not diverge from your path of righteousness. We are your daughters and we look forward to what you will reveal to us during this time of consecration and fasting. Amen
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
As a high school teacher, I have the unique experience of being able to see the similarities of behaviors in both children and adults. One area that is always troublesome to me is when I hear teen girls say that they don’t get along with females, so they only hang with “guys.” They justify this detachment from girls because they have experienced backbiting and criticism that led to hurt feelings. Unfortunately, these same hurt feelings continue into womanhood and walls are built up because someone has spewed words of negativity.
I have also witnessed teenage girls being the perpetrators of talking about others in a negative way. After chastising them for their behavior, I always hope that they will not continue on that path of negativity. Unfortunately, many of them do not mature in that area, but eventually those same attributes follow them into adulthood.
Every day we need to be reminded that Jesus loves us. Today is no different. Satan, our adversary, never gives up on looking for strategies to attack our self-worth, so we need to be as vigilant in reminding him that we know who we are in Christ! As you play this audio/video, allow God’s word’s to penetrate your heart. Be blessed and always enjoy the good life in Christ!
Yours sister in Christ!
Stephanie R. Singleton
Does your schedule revolve around Jesus or do you try to fit Jesus into your schedule? This was a question that was presented in a recent devotional that I read. This thought provoking idea lingered in my mind for several days. I would guess that most people that consider themselves Christians, would answer that Jesus is the center of their world. Therefore, everything that they do has to revolve around Jesus right?
But let’s pause for a moment and get real with ourselves. We need to take a serious look at our calendars. What activities consume the majority of our time? If it is difficult for you to determine this, separate it into several categories. My categories would be: work, business, social outings, church events, prayer time, bible study, kid’s sports……If I placed these sections on a pie chart, I would easily be able to see what part of my life has the biggest slice of pie. This visual may surprise us if we find out that “Jesus Time” is missing in our calendars and we now have to figure out where to fit this quality time.
Christ wants us to enjoy life. Scripture says in John 10:10 that Christ came, so that we can live an abundant life. That is a life full of love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. These are the fruits of the spirit and evidence of an abundant life. How are you measuring up?
So now that you have an idea of where you spend most of your time, the second step is to ask yourself if these activities are causing you to draw closer to God or are they taking time away from you spending time with God? Is God an afterthought when you are engaged in these activities or is His presence evident?
One of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 3:6. It says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” This verse always challenges me to make sure that Christ has co-signed on my endeavors. I know that I can easily get caught up in doing things my way in order to get things accomplished. My ambition can easily get self-centered instead of remaining Christ-centered. If my calendar is mostly filled with events and activities that don’t have Christ in the mix, than I know that my life is unbalanced.
As Christians, our sole desire must be to live a life that is pleasing to God; therefore checking to see if we have “scheduling conflicts” is something that we need to do often. Seeking God first and acknowledging Him in our daily routines is the only way that we can avoid these conflicts. With His help, our lives will be full and we can all enjoy the good life in Christ!
Your sister in Christ!
Prayer Starter: Please forgive me Lord, when my priorities have not been in order. Help me to seek you first in everything that I do and show me the way to live an abundant life. Reveal to me the areas that are not in balance and that need to be shifted in order to be in alignment with your plans. You are my Father and I want to live a life that pleases you. Amen
If you are like me, it takes focus for me to organize my day. I am a mom, wife, daughter, friend, teacher, colleague, ministry leader, business owner… and the list goes on and on. On any given day, some of these roles takes precedence over the other and sometimes it is difficult to keep them balanced. But within all of these roles, Jesus always needs to be the center of our world and the focus of everything that we do. Once we get our priorities together, then we will be able to follow HIS PLANS and everything else will be in order.
We can easily get distracted and forget to put Christ ahead of everything else. Our intentions are never to neglect our first love, but when we focus on the wrong things, those areas receive the attention that should be given to Jesus. I want to share the acronym P.R.A.Y with you so that you can keep it beside your bed or use it as a screensaver to remind you to start your day off with Jesus!
Enjoy the good life in Christ!
Today, many people around the world are celebrating their love for one another. Some have been busy making plans for several weeks and others are still trying to think of creative methods to show their appreciation for those that they care about. But, in the busyness of focusing our attention on those around us, we cannot forget to show our love and appreciation for our Heavenly Father. He is the one who first loved us and the one who loves us most of all.
In celebration of today, I would like to share something that I came across entitled, “Father’s Love Letter.” It shares God’s love through scriptures and guides us to experiencing His unconditional love. I pray that this is a blessing for you and that you never forget that you are loved, that you are special and that you are worth feeling appreciated.
Your sister in Christ,
Stephanie R. Singleton
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Proverbs 17:22
With all of the woes that we experience in life, it is great to have opportunities to laugh. Anytime that we turn on the television or scroll through the pages of social media, there never appears to be any shortage of stories that tug at our hearts and remind us to pray. For this reason, laughter can be a natural anecdote that can be used to lift our spirits and heal our hearts.
In order to bring some laughter into your life today, I decided to share a couple of things that I found both humorous and pause moment worthy. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did.
Be blessed and enjoy the good life in Christ!