Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Night Light for Couples - The Single Man

“Pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:10

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the single man often has a rough go of life. He is far more likely than an unmarried female to be an alcoholic, drug user, or convicted criminal. He is less responsible about his driving habits, finances, and personal appearance. (Check with your auto insurance agent, bank officer, or neighbor with college‐age sons if you doubt this statement.)

There are millions of exceptions, of course, but statistically speaking, an unmarried young man is at risk for many antisocial behaviors. Yet when he falls in love, marries, and begins to care for, protect, and support his wife, he becomes a mainstay of social order. His selfish impulses are inhibited. His sexual passions are channeled. He discovers a sense of pride in his family. He learns why, on average, a married man lives a longer and happier life than his single counterpart.

God knew what He was doing when He designed the institution of marriage. It’s a smart husband who recognizes this and lovingly cultivates his relationship with his wife.

Just between us…
  • Do you feel you changed after we married?
  • Do you ever miss being single? Why?
  • How has being married to me benefited your life?
  • How can I help you feel more joy in our marriage and pride in our family?
(husband) Dear God, thank You for Your gift to me of marriage. Thank You for my lovely spouse and for Your daily blessing on our relationship and our home. May I never take Your generosity for granted or Your holy purposes lightly. Amen.

From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

You Are His Beloved Bride

by Sheri Rose Shepherd
The LORD All-Powerful, the Holy God of Israel, rules all the earth. He is your Creator and husband and He will rescue you. — Isaiah 54:5 (CEV)
Click on the image below to watch this week's video devotional.

If you know Jesus as your Savior, then He is your Prince. You are His beloved bride and your glorious day of heavenly ever after is coming when your prince Jesus returns for you.

You are His bride-to-be. Will you be ready to meet Him face-to-face on that majestic day of His return? Are you ready for your Prince? Does the way you live your life today reflect that you are His Bride? Do you need to take the time to fall in love with once again with the One who gave His life for you? Are you ready to discover your "happily ever after”? Do you desire Him to reveal Himself to you in a very real and personal way? Is it your heart’s desire to live a passionate, purposed life? Do you need Him to set you free to live in the complete freedom He has already won for you?

If so, then I invite you to watch today's video and embrace Eternity, because your prince is coming for you!

God's Letter to You

My Eternal Bride,

I want to reveal a sacred secret to you my beloved. Although I am your God, I am also your eternal Husband. I will come soon to carry you over the threshold into eternity. My desire is to lift the veil from your eyes that you might see who you really are, My Princess, My Bride. I am the lover of your soul and I long to get close enough to give you a glimpse of my eternal love for you. If you will seek me with all your heart, I will reveal myself to you in extraordinary ways. If you will come before me and ask I will give you a new hope in your heart that will change your view of me and the world around you forever. 

Your Creator and Husband

Treasure of Truth

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him. — 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

For more about Sheri Rose's ministry, visit HisPrincess.com.

The Daily Readings for August 9, 2016

Judges 13:1-15
The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hand of the Philistines forty years. There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren, having borne no children. And the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, "Although you are barren, having borne no children, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now be careful not to drink wine or strong drink, or to eat anything unclean, for you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor is to come on his head, for the boy shall be a nazirite to God from birth. It is he who shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines." Then the woman came and told her husband, "A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like that of an angel of God, most awe-inspiring; I did not ask him where he came from, and he did not tell me his name; but he said to me, 'You shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the boy shall be a nazirite to God from birth to the day of his death.'" Then Manoah entreated the LORD, and said, "O, LORD, I pray, let the man of God whom you sent come to us again and teach us what we are to do concerning the boy who will be born." God listened to Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her. So the woman ran quickly and told her husband, "The man who came to me the other day has appeared to me." Manoah got up and followed his wife, and came to the man and said to him, "Are you the man who spoke to this woman?" And he said, "I am." Then Manoah said, "Now when your words come true, what is to be the boy's rule of life; what is he to do?" The angel of the LORD said to Manoah, "Let the woman give heed to all that I said to her. She may not eat of anything that comes from the vine. She is not to drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean thing. She is to observe everything that I commanded her." Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, "Allow us to detain you, and prepare a kid for you."

Acts 5:27-42
When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man's blood on us." But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him." When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. Then he said to them, "Fellow Israelites, consider carefully what you propose to do to these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them-- in that case you may even be found fighting against God!" They were convinced by him, and when they had called in the apostles, they had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. As they left the council, they rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah.

John 3:22-36
After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized -- John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison. Now a discussion about purification arose between John's disciples and a Jew. They came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him." John answered, "No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, 'I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.' He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease." The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God's wrath.

Morning Psalms

Psalm 97 Dominus regnavit
1   The LORD is King; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of the isles be glad.
2   Clouds and darkness are round about him, righteousness and justice are the foundations of his throne.
3   A fire goes before him and burns up his enemies on every side.
4   His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees it and is afraid.
5   The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
6   The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.
7   Confounded be all who worship carved images and delight in false gods! Bow down before him, all you gods.
8   Zion hears and is glad, and the cities of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O LORD.
9   For you are the LORD, most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
10   The LORD loves those who hate evil; he preserves the lives of his saints and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11   Light has sprung up for the righteous, and joyful gladness for those who are truehearted.
12   Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous, and give thanks to his holy Name.

Psalm 99 Dominus regnavit
  The LORD is King; let the people tremble; he is enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth shake.
2   The LORD is great in Zion; he is high above all peoples.
3   Let them confess his Name, which is great and awesome; he is the Holy One.
4   O mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
5   Proclaim the greatness of the LORD our God and fall down before his footstool; he is the Holy One.
6   Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among those who call upon his Name, they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.
7   He spoke to them out of the pillar of cloud; they kept his testimonies and the decree that he gave them.
8   O LORD our God, you answered them indeed; you were a God who forgave them, yet punished them for their evil deeds.
  Proclaim the greatness of the LORD our God and worship him upon his holy hill; for the LORD our God is the Holy One.

Psalm 100 Jubilate Deo
1   Be joyful in the LORD, all you lands; serve the LORD with gladness and come before his presence with a song.
2   Know this: The LORD himself is God; he himself has made us, and we are his; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
3   Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise; give thanks to him and call upon his Name.
4   For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his faithfulness endures from age to age.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 94 Deus ultionum
1   O LORD God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, show yourself.
2   Rise up, O Judge of the world; give the arrogant their just deserts.
3   How long shall the wicked, O LORD, how long shall the wicked triumph?
4   They bluster in their insolence; all evildoers are full of boasting.
5   They crush your people, O LORD, and afflict your chosen nation.
6   They murder the widow and the stranger and put the orphans to death.
7   Yet they say, "The LORD does not see, the God of Jacob takes no notice."
8   Consider well, you dullards among the people; when will you fools understand?
9   He that planted the ear, does he not hear? he that formed the eye, does he not see?
10   He who admonishes the nations, will he not punish? he who teaches all the world, has he no knowledge?
11   The LORD knows our human thoughts; how like a puff of wind they are.
12   Happy are they whom you instruct, O Lord! whom you teach out of your law;
13   To give them rest in evil days, until a pit is dug for the wicked.
14   For the LORD will not abandon his people, nor will he forsake his own.
15   For judgment will again be just, and all the true of heart will follow it.
16   Who rose up for me against the wicked? who took my part against the evildoers?
17   If the LORD had not come to my help, I should soon have dwelt in the land of silence.
18   As often as I said, "My foot has slipped, " your love, O LORD, upheld me.
19   When many cares fill my mind, your consolations cheer my soul.
20   Can a corrupt tribunal have any part with you, one which frames evil into law?
21   They conspire against the life of the just and condemn the innocent to death.
22   But the LORD has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my trust.
23   He will turn their wickedness back upon them and destroy them in their own malice; the LORD our God will destroy them.

Psalm 95 Venite, exultemus
1   Come, let us sing to the LORD; let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
2   Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.
3   For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4   In his hand are the caverns of the earth, and the heights of the hills are his also.
  The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands have molded the dry land.
  Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, and kneel before the LORD our Maker.
7   For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!
8   Harden not your hearts, as your forebears did in the wilderness, at Meribah, and on that day at Massah, when they tempted me.
9   They put me to the test, though they had seen my works.
10   Forty years long I detested that generation and said, This people are wayward in their hearts; they do not know my ways."
11   So I swore in my wrath, "They shall not enter into my rest."

The Forward Day by Day Meditation for August 9, 2016

From Forward Day By Day

Acts 5:38b-39a If this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them.

The high priest and the Sadducees have thrown Peter and some other apostles in jail, again. Angelic forces break them out of jail, and these fishermen start teaching in the temple, again. The temple police round them up and bring them in front of the council, again. Peter refuses to back down, again. There is no stopping these apostles.

Gamaliel, a highly respected rabbi who sits on the council, seems to understand this. He sends these apostles outside and gives a short history lesson of failed “messiahs” to the council, ending with today’s passage. His good advice reminds the council, and us, that nothing escapes God’s providence.

When we take on a new challenge, project, or program with the conviction and commitment of Peter—when we stay the course, we may eventually discover whether it is of human origin or of God. But here’s the catch: We must take on challenges and hatch plans because we are in the business of building up the kingdom. And God is in both our successes and our failures.

 Join more than a half million readers worldwide who use Forward Day by Day as a resource for daily prayer and Bible study.

His Princess Every Day - War

Devotionals for Women - Inspirational author and speaker Sheri Rose Shepherd imagines what a letter written from God to you would look like.

I have created a time for every season of life. There is a perfect time for every plan I have. Right now, a time of war is upon you. The enemy’s attacks are great. It is time for my people to put on my full armor and fight like never before. I know the battles you face will not be easy, but they will be worth fighting for. You will be fighting for your family and your children’s children. Look around; you are much needed on the battlefield. Enlist your life in my mighty spiritual army and you will not be defeated. There is nothing for you to fear--I am with you, fighting for you. You will conquer and win souls for my kingdom.

Your King Who has already won

A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace. -Ecclesiastes 3:8 (NLT)

This devotional is written by Sheri Rose Shepherd. All content copyright Sheri Rose Shepherd 2015. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Visit HisPrincess.com for devotionals, books, videos, and more from Sheri Rose Shepherd.

Chocolate For Your Soul with Sheri Rose Shepherd - A Feast For Your Soul

by Sheri Rose Shepherd

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together. Revelation 3:14

Do you feel like your life is being lived in fast-forward or that your spiritual food taste like bad fast food when you're craving a good meal? It may be that we are starving our soul and feeding our spirit artificial faith! I can remember many years of committing to anything and everything that was asked of me—and on top of that list of commitments was my own personal unrealistic list. Being still was never on my list. I was raised with a father who was a mover and motivator. Being still was looked at as lazy in my driven Jewish family. Because I did not know how to be still, I lived every day overstressed and overcommitted. Being still is not something many of us have mastered. We feel like we have too much to do to stop and spend time with God. Even those of us in ministry can become so focused on what we want to conquer for God, we forget to go to God and get refreshed. We underestimate the power of being still in His presence and dining with our Savior.

God's Letter to You

I believe if The Lord was going to write you a personal letter about battles this life brings it may read like this....

My Child,

I am knocking at the door of your heart and hoping you will dine with me. If you will open the door I will come in. I prepared a feast for you my beloved. Will you accept my invitation? I long to feed your hungry soul until you are completely satisfied. Let your prince come in and nourish your spirit, your mind and your body. I am the only one who truly can.

Your Prince & Saviour

Standing Strong Through the Storm - THE PROCESS OF PERSECUTION-4: MISTREATMENT

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him… Philippians 1:29

When the process gets to persecution (mistreatment following disinformation and discrimination), no one will do anything because, ‘You know they are bad people anyway,’” says Rev. Dr. Johan Candelin referring to his three-step process of persecution model.

Once the first steps in the process occur, mistreatment can be practiced without normal protective measures taking place. Persecution can arise from the state, the police or military, extremist organizations, paramilitary groups, anti-Christian sub-cultures and even representatives of other religious groups. The irony is that in many parts of the world, the accusations of the attackers turn the victims into the villains.

This stage is the end result and includes the “big three”: torture, imprisonment and martyrdom which are most often the examples used for persecution. A specific example would be the imprisonment of hundreds of evangelical Christians in Eritrea without formal charges—many kept in metal shipping containers.

In Iran, a Christian couple were detained and physically and psychologically tortured for four days. The authorities even threatened to lock up their four-year-old daughter in an “institution.” Twenty-eight-year-old Tina Rad from Teheran was accused of “activities against the holy religion of Islam,” because she was reading the Bible with Muslims. Her thirty-one-year-old husband, Makan Arya, was accused of having endangered national security. Both of them had only been Christians for three months. Muslim converts meet together in small groups to talk about the gospel, to grow in the Christian faith and to encourage one another. They have made a vast transition from Islam to Christianity and they have a great need of training, security and a sense of belonging. The Church tries to provide for this need and becomes the new “family.”

When they were released, the threats started. “If you don’t stop with your Jesus, next time we will charge you with apostasy,” Tina was told. In Iran, this can mean the death penalty.

Jamaa Ait Bakrim in Morocco is also serving time for his faith. Moroccan Christians and advocates question the harsh measures of the Muslim state toward a man who dared speak openly about Jesus. An outspoken Christian convert, Bakrim was sentenced to fifteen years prison for “proselytizing” and destroying “the goods of others” in 2005 after burning two defunct utility poles located in front of his private business in a small town in south Morocco.

Advocates and Moroccan Christians said, however, that the severity of his sentence in relation to his misdemeanor shows that authorities were determined to put him behind bars because he persistently spoke about his faith. “He became a Christian and didn’t keep it to himself,” said a Moroccan Christian and host for Al Hayat Television who goes only by his first name, Rachid, for security reasons. “He shared it with people around him. They will just leave him in the prison so he dies spiritually and psychologically,” said Rachid.

RESPONSE: Today I will do everything possible to represent my persecuted brothers and sisters.

PRAYER: Pray for Christians experiencing mistreatment and persecution around the world today.

Girlfriends in God - The Art of Listening

Today’s Truth

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19, NIV).

Friend to Friend

I graduated from college with a degree in elementary education. For the first two years of college, I took the basic courses in Math, English, History, and Science required for all degrees. I then began taking courses that I assumed would prepare me to teach elementary school. During my last year of school, I reached the required Student Teaching block.

The Student Teaching block was spent in an actual elementary classroom under the supervision of an experienced teacher. Mrs. Roberta McShan was my supervising teacher and a magician in the classroom. She taught third grade and soon became my role model as a teacher. I learned more about teaching in that one semester than I had learned in all of the education courses I had taken.

Every child in her classroom absolutely adored Mrs. McShan. I watched carefully and soon learned why. One of most important lessons I learned from Mrs. McShan was the importance of listening and how to make the person you are listening to feel important.

When a child came up to ask a question, Mrs. McShan stopped what she was doing and turned toward the child. She then gently placed the fingertips of her hand under the chin of the child and tilted that little face up toward hers. She looked the child in the eye and listened to every word the child said. Everyone in that classroom knew they were not to interrupt if Mrs. McShan was listening to one of their classmates.

When I pray, that is how I picture the Father responding to me. He stops … turns toward me … and listens.

Every relationship begins with listening. Listening is hard work and something we are not prone to do well.

I think that is what James had in mind in James 1:19 when he wrote the directive, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak."

I seem to read that verse backwards – slow to listen and quick to speak. I tend to use listening time as an opportunity to prepare the eloquent things I am going to say when the person speaking to me stops talking.

I know our Father loves it – absolutely loves it – when we, His children, stop in the middle of our busy lives for no other reason than the fact that we love Him and just need to talk with Him. When I pray, I picture His head turning toward me, to the sound of my voice.

He smiles, knowing that “Mary wants to talk with Me.” Yes, He is concerned with every ordinary detail of every ordinary day, but I suspect His greatest pleasure is found in the fact that we just need to talk to the One we love.

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about - unless you are willing to listen. When we listen to people, we validate them. We invite them into our lives and give them the most precious gift we posses - time. Loving your neighbor is not something you feel. It is something you do. It's the act of sacrificing your own needs and desires for the sake of someone else.

It is time for us to put away our sermons, save our advice, and simply listen to the people God has placed in our lives. Talking is sharing, but listening is caring. It’s time for us to just listen.

Let’s Pray

Father, I want to thank You for loving me. I praise You for the privilege and gift of prayer. I want to learn how to turn to You quickly and easily as I go through every moment of each day. I have to admit that I don’t fully understand how You can love me like You do, but I cherish that love and the freedom it offers me to approach the throne of grace, confident that You will hear my voice. Thank You, Lord.
In Jesus’ name,

Now It’s Your Turn

I want to encourage you to keep a journal of your journey with God. Carry it with you in your purse, briefcase or diaper bag. Write out your prayers to Him, and then record the answers when they come. From time to time, look back over your journal entries and celebrate what God has done in your life.

More from the Girlfriends

The children in my life are definitely some of my greatest teachers – especially in the area of prayer. I once heard the story of a grandpa who stopped at the door of his granddaughter’s room so he could listen to her pray. He soon realized that she was simply reciting the letters of the alphabet. When he tried to correct her, the little girl responded, “Grandpa, I don’t know exactly what to pray, so I’m just saying all the letters of the alphabet, and God can put them together for me."

If you really want to learn how to walk with God, check out Mary’s Book, 10-Day Trust Adventure. It will teach you how to walk by faith and trust God in every area of your life.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

Seeking God? Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 1311
Huntersville, NC 28070


Verse of the Day - August 09, 2016

Luke 12:6-7 (NIV) Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Read all of Luke 12