Monday, April 25, 2011

Proverbs 22 - Riches, Honor, & Life

I'd like to take a moment to welcome you to today's post. We're blessed to have guest bloggers and devotionalists (I made that word up - what do you think?) Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles of with us today! Please welcome them with your warm comments below! Thanks for joining us, Eddie and Cindy!

"By humility and fear of the Lord
 Are riches and honor and life."
 ~Proverbs 22:4
My Wig Is Not That Big – He Said

By Christian Devotions Editor - Last updated: Friday, April 15, 2011
My Wig Is Not That Big
My Wig Is Not That Big
Jabez called out to the God of Israel: “If only You would bless me, extend my border, let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm, so that I will not cause any pain.”  And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Listen to My Wig Is Not That Big – He Said
Agnes Bojaxhiu never went to college, never married and never owned a car. Her father died when she was eight years old. Ten years later she left home and never saw her mother or sister again. When she was thirty-six she received a “call within the call.” “I was to leave and help the poor while living among them. It was an order. To fail would have been to break the faith.” Agnes wasn’t a big wig, but through her faith in a big God Mother Teresa’s work continues to extend far beyond the borders of her humble beginnings.
His mother died when he was nine years old. In 1832, he ran for state legislature and finished eighth in a field of thirteen candidates. The following year he and a partner opened a general store but the business failed. He sought to become speaker of the state legislature and lost. He applied for the job of land officer but was denied. In 1858 he missed a seat in the U.S. Senate when his party failed to win control of the state legislature. In 1860, however, he became the 16th president of the United States and God’s shepherd for a divided nation. “I am almost ready to say that this is probably true, that God wills this contest.” “This contest”—the American Civil War—cost Abraham Lincoln his life. He wasn’t a big wig, but through his obedience he united a nation and extended the borders of freedom to an enslaved people.
Four years ago the desk clerk asked if I was a minister. “If so, you get the minister’s rate.”  Though I had helped found a small ministry I didn’t consider myself a minister. I refused. The next year, she asked again. Our ministry had grown so I reluctantly agreed to accept the discount. A short time later we launched a kid’s ministry, a book publishing division, a radio show, created a web site for teens, added another radio show and began teaching and speaking. This year we’ll host a creative arts festival aimed at kids ages seven-to-seventeen. Our goal is give youth the necessary tools to change the media and our culture. My wig is not that big but I serve a big God.
What borders are you bumping against? How is God challenging you to expand your area of influence? You may not be a big wig, but the size of your hair matters less than the size of your heart. Ask for God’s blessing. Then seek ways to expand your area of influence for Him.

By Editor Cindy - Last updated: Friday, April 15, 2011
Bob the Fish
Bob the Fish
Jabez called out to the God of Israel: “If only You would bless me, extend my border, let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm, so that I will not cause any pain.”  And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10
Listen to Growing Pains – She Said
It’s a myth, but I question the validity of the science. The issue concerns Bob the fish. Folks say a fish will grow to fit its reservoir. I have to wonder if that’s a myth. When we dumped good ole’ Bob in our pond he was the size of a quarter. Now, he’s huge.
Oh, he’s not a monster fish by any means but when you consider this little fish’s size when we bought him and now he’s ten inches long and chunky (Is it okay to say chunky about a fish? I mean we’re not talking about tuna here), then I have to say Bob is an exception. Science teaches a fish’s growth is genetic. Bob will grow to the size his little DNA says and the worse I can do is stunt his growth by keeping him in a small bowl. (If you really must know, it has to do with waste in the water stunting the growth of the fish.) Still, Bob’s a big boy. He had all that space, and when you consider his original size, he’s certainly filled the area.
God must look at me like Bob the fish. He gives me this huge space to grow in Him spiritually and I stunt my growth by staying in the small bowl. There’s God and all He is, all He has…all I could ever need. Yet I hunker in one corner of my spiritual life never sticking my fins into deeper waters. That has to disappoint God. He’s given me such potential. He’s instilled His attributes and gifts so I can grow to fill His expectations of me.
Imagine being BIG in God! Getting to know Him better and better, allowing Him to stretch us and grow us, to expand our horizons. That’s why Jabez said, If only You would bless me, extend my border, let Your hand be with me…
Though there are some who will, most of us aren’t brazen enough to ask God to expand our territory. We anticipate the hardships and work that go along with an expanded vision. It’s not easy, but when we prove our worth and accept the growth God offers… wow, talk about doubling in size.
Are you happy being small in God when there is a huge reservoir you could fill? Be brave, step out. Experience growing pains. Ask God to extend your border and then bask in the blessing of abundance.

Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles are friends and cofounders of They cowrite the popular He Said, She Said devotions and host Blog Talk Radio’s Christian Devotions SPEAK UP! along with Scott McCausey. And now you can catch them each Friday evening at their new time, 6 p.m. on He Said, She Said Radio. (Call in number, 646-929-0706 ).

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