November 6, 2017

When You Are Tempted – Suzie Eller Message and Giveaway

Hey friends! Before I introduce you to my friend, Suzie Eller, I’m announcing the winner of “Living So That” from last week’s giveaway. Thank you for taking the time to share your favorite verses to pray, and how you pray them. I will be copying many into my journal … so many good ones.

WINNER of “Living So That” is Lisa S. who posted on 10/31 at 9:19 p.m. Lisa, please e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com with your full name and mailing address.

Okay, now it’s time to meet my friend and fellow Proverbs 31 Ministries author, Suzie Eller. She’s written a beautiful new devotional, “Come With Me: A Yearlong Adventure in Walking with Jesus.” After you read her post, be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy. You can find more about her devotional book by clicking here.

Incredibly Loved and Made for More

“When you are tempted, remind the enemy — and yourself — that you are incredibly loved and made for more. ~ Jesus”

We tend to think of temptation as BIG.  

When I think of temptation, I tend to think of BIG things. It’s cheating. It’s stealing something that’s not ours. It’s something news headline worthy, or at least fodder for local gossip.

Yet that’s not normally our greatest temptation. Instead, our greatest temptations come in ways that no one sees. We are tempted to discouragement. We are tempted to give up. We are tempted to look at ourselves and see a mess.

Those temptations may not be defined as BIG, but they pile up like mountains in our heart and thoughts. They get in the way of God’s best for us, and they trip us up.

Just this past week I was tempted.

No one saw it. If I wanted, I could push it down, down, down where I didn’t have to acknowledge it. Rather than be ashamed of temptation, the truth is we all struggle with it. If I pretend that I don’t, I’m lying to myself (and to you).

It started innocent enough. Richard and I were enjoying a rare night out together. He said something, and I disagreed. I pushed back, and so did he. Before we knew it, it sat between us like a boulder.

I was tempted to make him see it my way.

I was tempted to keep talking until he “got it.”

I was tempted to be angry when he didn’t.

I have to be honest. I was more than tempted. I caved in to all three of those things.

Don’t do it.

Oh, no. Not you! Not the Holy Spirit when I’m fully ready to cave in. After all, I’m right (even though he thinks he’s right).

So, I tried to compromise (because I was tempted, so more caving in).

Okay, I won’t say anything more.

I won’t try to make him see it my way. I’ll just be silent. Deafeningly silent. On the outside, we’ll look like the perfect couple enjoying a night out. Richard will reach for my hand, and I’ll hold it. I’ll nod and maybe say a word or two, but we’ll all be aware that I’m still angry. I’ll be so miserable that he’ll be miserable too.

Don’t do it.

There it was again. That invitation to take a different path. To resist temptation that seemed small, but Jesus knew had the power to create a divot in my heart (and relationship) if I chose.

Temptation isn’t reserved for a few. In Luke 4, the enemy tried to tempt Jesus. Some of the temptations were big, but others incredibly small. Jesus met each with the same response.

He faced the enemy head-on, declaring that His love for His Father was greater than a right-now temptation. He refused to be deceived by one who cared less about his Him, and more about the destruction of His soul.

Jesus understands how hard it is to be tempted. When we are tempted in any way, we are offered an invitation. We are invited to remind the enemy — and ourselves – that we are made for more.

That night I had a choice. First, to acknowledge that every temptation is BIG, when it filters into an enemy’s plan for my heart, or my marriage.

Second, to go the other direction of that temptation.

I reached for Richard’s hand, and said I was sorry.

I still felt I was “right,” but being right was less important than a right relationship with the guy I loved. He saw it one way. I saw it another. We are two different people, and that’s going to happen.

Sure, there are times we have to work through BIG conflict to find what is right for us as a family or in a relationship, but in this instance, it really was small. Even if I was right, it didn’t change anything.

However, realizing that I was made for more than a petty disagreement did change something – it changed me.

It wasn’t the first time I’ve been tempted. It won’t be the last. We all face temptation.

Whether it’s BIG or incredibly small (in the eyes of the world), we are not without help when temptation comes our way.  And if we fail – because sometimes we all do – we won’t be tempted to give up or hide, because Jesus offers all of us forgiveness and a fresh start.

Are you tempted?

Look that temptation in the eye. Remind the author of it that you are incredibly loved, and made for more.

Suzie has a free gift for you:

“13 Prayers for Come With Me”, a free PDF to encourage you to accept the invitation to follow Jesus wherever He goes. Click here to subscribe and receive the PDF in your inbox.

Leave a comment for the giveaway

We would love to hear what tempts you and the truths that help you fight temptation. Suzie will choose one name to win a copy of her new devotional “Come with Me.”

Come With Me Devotional by Suzie Eller

Suzanne Eller (Suzie) has served Proverbs 31 Ministries for 10 years. She’s an author, international speaker and Bible teacher, top 100 Christian women’s blogger, and popular media guest. She loves nothing more than watching God work in the heart of a woman.

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October 9, 2017

These Things Are Not Supposed to Be

They weren’t supposed to attend a country music festival and end up running for their lives.

He wasn’t supposed to take an anniversary trip with his beloved and end up shielding her from a bullet.

She wasn’t supposed to hug her children goodbye and end up never holding them again.

He wasn’t supposed to celebrate his 44th birthday and end up never celebrating another birthday.

She wasn’t supposed to say yes to her beloved’s proposal and never end up walking down the aisle.

She wasn’t supposed to be dancing and laughing with her best friends one minute and lying lifeless the next.

These things are not supposed to be.

I don’t have answers. I don’t have explanations.

But I know the One who does.

The One who tells me when the darkness invades my happy space … when disaster turns my life upside down … when evil oppresses me on every side … He is there.

His name is The Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9-10). The One who was, is, and forever will be (Hebrews 13:8).

The One who gives us the powerful words of a young shepherd boy named David, who in the midst his impossible, spoke words we need today.

“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out and face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you” (2 Chronicles 20:15).

Our world is a scary place. It feels as if danger and uncertainty lurk around every corner. We don’t know what each day will hold. But, we do know the One who hold our days.

We can be afraid and discouraged or we can be confident and encouraged. The choice is ours.

It matters where we fix our eyes and on whom we fix our hope.

God is our hope … our only true hope (Psalm 62:5).

Run to the One who is your strength and your shield (Psalm 28:7). The One who fights for you (Exodus 14:14). His presence will never leave you. He will never forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

The name of the Lord is a strong tower to which we can run and are safe, even in the most desperate of circumstances (Proverbs 18:10).

Whether He stills the storm or invites you in, He will be with you.

God is our Rock (Psalm 18:2). His love is steadfast (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Pray this prayer with me,

Thank You, Lord, that You are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to you, Lord,
    and you answer me from Your holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because You, O Lord, sustain me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.

Lord, I will keep my eyes fixed on You (Psalm 3:2-6). In Jesus’ name. Amen

What verse gives you comfort in times when fear and darkness press in? Share it with us today. I’d love to see this page FILLED with God’s Word we can all cling to our in our times of despair and distress.

Blessings,

April 21, 2017

Spiritual Heartburn (Living So That Giveaway)

 Will you join me for a few minutes to take a trip back in time?

Today we will join two friends, Cleopas and his companion, walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus after Christ’s death. Friends whose hearts ached with sorrow as they spoke of how the Roman authorities persecuted, tortured, and executed their teacher and friend. In the midst of their conversation, Jesus joined them, but Scripture says they didn’t recognize Him.

Let’s imagine ourselves on that same road … believers who had put all our hope in Jesus. With His death, we now feel abandoned and hopeless. Yet, unbeknownst to us, standing next to us is the risen Jesus Himself!

Jesus asked the two men what they were talking about.

Expressing deep sadness, Cleopas shared how Jesus, the mighty prophet who did amazing miracles and preached powerful messages, had been crucified. He ended with these words: “We had been hoping He was the One – you know, the One who would liberate all Israel and bring God’s promises.” Luke 24:21

Basically, they told Jesus that He had let them down. Most distressing to Jesus was their lack of faith. They spoke these words in spite of the fact that trusted friends had gone to the tomb, discovered no body, and received a message from angels that Jesus was alive.

Jesus rebuked them: “Come on men, why are you being so foolish? Why are your hearts so sluggish when it comes to believing what the prophets have been saying all along?” Luke 24:25

Jesus knew the problem lay not in their heads but in their hearts. So He then took them on another journey. This one through the Old Testament, beginning with Moses and continuing prophet by prophet, explaining the meaning of the prophets’ words and how each predicted the very things they had witnessed.

Jesus spoke God’s Word in a fresh way.

Can you imagine how wonderful it must have been to hear the words of Scripture delivered by Jesus Himself?

Upon reaching their destination, they invited Jesus to join them for dinner. He accepted. When they sat down, Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and handed it to them. Scripture says that in that instant, their eyes were suddenly opened so that they recognized Him. And a moment later, Jesus vanished! (Luke 24:31)

What changed in that moment? Before, these two men believed only part of what they had been taught growing up. They never got the big picture of Who Jesus was and was to be. They saw the King, not the servant … the crown, not the cross … the glory, not the suffering.

Listen to the words they spoke to each other after Jesus left:

Amazing! Weren’t our hearts on fire within us while He was talking to us on the road? Didn’t you feel it all coming clear as He explained the meaning of the Hebrew Scripture?” Luke 24:32 (emphasis added)

The NIV says “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us … and opened the Scriptures to us?”

Friend, they experienced spiritual heartburn! The word “burn” is from the Greek verb kaio, meaning “to set on fire.” Metaphorically, it means Jesus’ words created a hunger and passion within them they had never before experienced. His words captivated their hearts.

Jesus, the master story teller, brought what seemed simple Bible stories alive for Cleopas and his friend. As He opened the Scriptures, the puzzle pieces came together in such a powerful way that they not only listened, but something within them changed … something so profound that they immediately went to Jerusalem to share with others what they had seen and heard.
Jesus used His Word to teach, rebuke, correct and train Cleopas and his friend. Jesus’ spoken word enlightened their minds and deepened their faith. His visit empowered and equipped them for the task He called them to … sharing the good news they had just heard.

God will do the same for us. How He longs for us to open His Word so He can teach us! God is waiting to speak into our lives just as Jesus spoke into theirs. Sometimes He will teach and train, and we’ll savor it. Sometimes he will rebuke and correct, and we’ll fight it. But through it all, we’ll gain a confidence in His Word. A confidence like we’ve never had, one that will strengthen our convictions.  And as our convictions strengthen, God will use those convictions to equip us for His Kingdom work

**This devotion is taken, in part, from Chapter Two of my book,Living So That. Click here to learn more about the book or order a copy.**

GIVEAWAY

I’m thankful you spent time with me here today. I would love to hear from you. Please share a time when you have felt spiritual heartburn. I will choose one comment to receive a signed copy of my book Living So That. Stop by next week, and I’ll announce the winner.