Rise Up Shepherd

Bringing Children Into The World
Pastor Adrian Rogers

"As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:4-5

I would be afraid to bring children into this world if I did not know God. But because I know God, I am free to encourage you to have children.

Don't ever let the devil intimidate you. I've had couples ask me, "Pastor Rogers, the world is so dangerous today, do you think that we ought to have children?"

I respond with a hearty "Yes!"

God's people are the ones who ought to be bringing a godly seed into this world. What does the world need? Jesus. How are they going to hear if the light goes out?

Are you contemplating having children? Do you know someone who is? Encourage them with this devotional today.

For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.

Hindered Prayers
by Bayless Conley

1 Peter 3:7 says,

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Notice it says, "Husbands, likewise," which means, gals, you are not off the hook. The following truth applies to you as much as it does to the boys.

That truth is simply this: If there is bitterness or unforgiveness in your heart toward your spouse, your prayers will be hindered. That word hindered literally means to be cut down in the same way one would cut down a tree.

I once had this incredible tree called a cherimoya tree. One of the things about a cherimoya tree is that it is not indigenous to our country, and the insects that pollinate it do not exist here.

In order for the tree to bear fruit, I needed to pollinate it by hand with my little artist paintbrush. I would get pollen on the brush from one flower and pollinate other flowers.

Eventually the little buds I had pollinated began to turn into fruit. I was so excited! They were getting close to the time to be harvested. Then I came home one afternoon to find my whole tree hacked to pieces. Every branch and piece of fruit was in the trash. The gardener had cut my tree down!

I believe that can happen with our prayers. You can be intensely committed spiritually, searching the Scriptures, filling your heart with the Word, praying from the bottom of your heart, but if you are not honoring your spouse or you are treating them in a bad way, the devil has the authority to waltz right in and chop your prayer tree down.

Let's keep the ax out of the devil's hand by honoring and forgiving and valuing our marriage partner.

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God

Long Walk Part of Gift
Sharon Jaynes
Girlfriends In God Devotional

Today's Truth
"Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him" (Matthew 2: 1 NIV).

Friend to Friend
An African boy listened carefully as his teacher explained why Christians give presents to each other on Christmas day. "The gift is an expression of our joy over the birth of Jesus and our friendship for each other," she said.

When Christmas day came, the boy brought to the teacher a seashell of lustrous beauty. "Where did you ever find such a beautiful shell?" the teacher asked as she gently fingered the gift.

The youth told her that there was only one spot where such extraordinary shells could be found. When he named the place, a certain bay several miles away, the teacher was left speechless.

"Why...why, it's gorgeous...wonderful, but you shouldn't have gone all that way to get a gift for me."

His eyes brightening, the boy answered, "Long walk part of gift."

I just love that story. During this holiday season, I watch as people scurry about swiping those plastic cards through the credit card machines faster than a speeding bullet. And yet, God has already shown us that the most precious gifts cannot be bought or sold. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16 NIV).

The magi also knew about the joy of giving. While they gave gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Christ child, they also gave another gift ... a long walk. We don't know how far the magi traveled, but we do know that it was a distance that took months, perhaps years. Their long walk was part of the gift.

I wonder how far we are willing to go to worship Jesus ... to bring our gifts to him. I wonder how far out of the way we will go to praise him. Do we only give to Him when it is convenient or easy? Or do we give what He wants most - a portion of ourselves, our very lives.

I think the little African boy had the right idea. The real gift wasn't the shell; it was the sacrifice he had to make to give it.

Let's Pray
Dear God, thank You for the gift You gave us through Your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray that I will keep gift-giving in perspective this holiday season and give gifts from the heart rather than the pocketbook. Help me to see that a "long walk," or a portion of myself, is the greatest gift of all.

In Jesus' Name,


Now it's Your Turn
Describe a time when someone's sacrificial gift meant a lot to you.

Describe the feeling you had when you gave a portion of yourself, such as your time, to someone.

Try to imagine the teacher who received the shell. What thoughts do you think came to mind when she looked at it year after year? Do you think it was the shell itself, or the heart of the boy who gave it to her, that meant so much?

Now, imagine how God looks at our gifts we give to Him? Do you think He reflects on the gifts themselves or the heart of the child who gives it?

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

Rise Up Shepherd

This traditional American Christmas Carol is found on Neal and Leandra's "Listen To The Angels" album. The author is unknown but it is also noted as an African American Spiritual. It makes me wonder what I would be willing to leave behind to rise up and follow the Savior.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Thank you for another beautiful post!

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