All posts by KBR Ministries

Cultivating A Grateful Heart

by Claire E.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned,
in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

(Philippians 4:11)

This verse is used so regularly, that most of us probably overlook its true meaning.

You and I have certainly heard about being content in regards to waiting for a spouse. Contentment, really, is such an elusive idea. Webster defines it as “a resting or satisfaction of mind without disquiet…”

A resting of the mind…in what? Our culture provides many options: beauty, friends, money, reputation, the security of a good job or husband, you name it. But as Christians, our rest should be placed in the Almighty. Our Heavenly Father, our Brother, and Comforter. When we rest in God, trusting Him with all our cares and concerns, as well as our wants and desires, we will begin to recognize His hand working wonders in our lives.

“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him;
and He shall bring it to pass
.”

(Psalm 37:5)

Reflect on the last few months of your life and try to connect all the problems which you thought were impossible to solve, the string of events that worked out just right, and all the many blessings (yes, even the little ones). You should be awestruck by how His hand is at work in your life and the lives of those around you. Even if what you are going through right now seems to be hopeless, God is working out all things for the good of those that love Him. Our proper response should always be praise! 

David, the man after God’s own heart, was given the gift many times of turning a desperate situation into an opportunity to praise. And to glorify God. He cast all his difficulties at the feet of Jehovah, trusting Him with the outcome. In Psalm 40, a chapter filled with many of the woes befalling David, he writes, “I have not hid Thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation: I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth from the great congregation. Withold not Thou Thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth continually preserve me” (Psalm 40:10-11).

Praise the Lord continually.

Redemption alone is reason enough to spend a lifetime praising Him, and yet He has additionally blessed us so abundantly! I find it difficult to keep my focus centered and tend to get caught up in all the cares, worries, and messes of everyday life. One thing that has helped me to get out of this cycle is to notice the little things to praise God for. Maybe it is your little sister’s cute rosy cheeks, or the soothing sound of the rain. Maybe it is your ever-noisy little brother once again calling your attention to his new creation. We can be thankful for all these things.

Contentment and gratitude are inseparably linked.

Being grateful in all circumstances will, invariably, lead to contentment. If you are thankful for something, then you can’t be discontent with it. On the flip side, if you are truly satisfied and content, then you will praise God! A contented heart is well-expressed in the following Psalm.

“Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation. The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. His work is honorable and glorious: and His righteousness endureth for ever. He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. He hath given meat unto them that fear Him: He will ever be mindful of His covenant.”
(Psalm 111:1-5)

Sometimes, you simply have to choose gratitude. Tell yourself, “this is really not how I planned things, but this is how God, in His infinite wisdom, is choosing to put things together.” Then find something to be grateful for and write it down. Creating an ongoing list of things to praise the Lord for will remind you of your purpose – which is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. If you write down three things a day, by the end of the year you will have named over 1,000 gifts! Why don’t you try the challenge?

Sisters, as you pursue contentment through gratitude, remember that you have surrendered your life into the hands of One supremely greater than any of your plans. He alone knows your future and He alone will bring you through it! Don’t ever stop praising your Redeemer. He is so worthy!

“Saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.”
(Revelation 5:12)


Introducing KBR Ministries’ Forum Manager

We are thrilled to introduce you to KBR’s new Forum Manager, McKenna Smith. She has such a tender heart for the Lord and a passion for encouraging other young ladies to love and seek Him! She has already been a blessing to the KBR team with her willingness to gather and format articles for the KBR Forum each month, and we know she will be a tremendous blessing to you! Here’s a note from McKenna:

“What a beautiful fall day to be writing to each of you! Golden leaves are drifting down upon the grass that remains miraculously green and there’s the fresh scent of pine in the breeze. Changing seasons…aren’t they a gift? I am McKenna Smith, your sister in Christ, fellow heir of the Kingdom, and like-minded delighter in JESUS. My earthly home is in north Idaho with my family of eight. I can usually be found hiking in the great outdoors, reading aloud to younger siblings, or studying Biblical counseling. Most recently it has been my joy to be helping in the editing and managing of KBR’s online forum – for the glory of God and the edification of the saints. The Lord has richly blessed my heart through this ministry, and I am looking forward to all that He continues to do through it. I know you will be blessed by all our sisters-in-Christ who share on this forum as they join us in seeking an ever closer, deeper walk with Jesus. Getting to love and serve our heavenly Bridegroom is the most glorious calling. And it is a privilege to be traveling this road of sanctification with each of you!”


If you’re interested in writing a guest post for KBR Ministries, click here.


Current Issue of KBR Magazine: Generational Gleanings

Monthly Wallpaper and Lockscreen

Jesus: Our Singular Focus

Guestpost by Katelyn Osborn

“The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord…”
(1 Corinthians 7:34)

What a topic – staying close to Jesus during our single years.

When a friend asked if I would prayerfully consider writing this post, I realized I had not given much thought lately to how to use my single years fully for God’s glory. And since I am single, I decided I needed to spend some time learning from the Lord how this life should look. After all, we want to serve the Lord to the fullest of our ability.

In 1st Corinthians 7:34 we read, “There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” Being unmarried, we have far fewer distractions than married women have. This gives us a freedom to seek to be holy both in body and in spirit.

Being holy means to be “hallowed; consecrated or set apart to a sacred use, or to the service or worship of God.” It means to be pure, good, and freed from the bondage of sin. God has mercifully freed us through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). In our eager pursuit of His righteousness and glory, our souls will be fully satisfied. This season of life has the potential to bear fruit lasting far beyond our own lifetime! But in order to pass on a truly glorious legacy, He must be our singular focus. Our lives must be marked by loving Jesus first and laying aside every other encumbrance that would strive to take His place. 

So what does this practically look like?

Let me share with you some ways the Lord has worked on my heart to focus more on Him.

Surrendering to Jesus

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
(Romans 6:16)

Sometimes the Lord and I are in close fellowship, and I am truly delighting in His presence. But other times the Lord will bring to light an area I have held too closely in my heart. Often it may be a good thing in itself that has become the root of my joy, satisfaction, or pursuit instead of the Lord Himself. Idols must be surrendered, which requires sacrifice. This should be done immediately – not delayed. Elisabeth Elliot once said, “A whole lot of what we call ‘struggling’ is simply delayed obedience.” These delays to surrender only set us back on the road to deeper satisfaction in Christ. So let us forsake the struggle, trust in our ultimate Victor, and yield all joyfully to Him. The reward of knowing Christ far outweighs the vain idols that we are called to surrender!

· Ask the Lord if there is anything in your life that needs to be surrendered. Write it down and pray specifically for any steps the Lord wants you to take to yield it fully to Him (see Romans 6:19 and 2 John 1:6a).

Abiding in Christ

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
(John 15:4-5)

I have been learning more of what the word “abiding” means with my relationship with Jesus. Throughout the day I am learning to pray and seek Him for the little things, to give thanks for blessings, to lean on His strength through difficult situations that come up, to keep Him in the forefront of my mind. This is truly a wonderful place to be, and as a bonus, we bear fruit as we abide in Him!

We can choose to continually commune with Jesus. He is already present; He never leaves or forsakes (Hebrews 13:5). He is involved in every part of our day – great and small (Proverbs 16:33). Therefore, it is possible for us to always abide mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in His Presence.

Our Lord and Lover already knows everything about us and our desires, so we can run to Him with all the small cares that crowd our days (Psalm 139:2-3). He desires to commune with us.

· One hindrance to abiding in Christ is sin in our lives. We won’t feel like walking in the light with the Lord if we are hiding darkness. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:6-7). When you notice that you have a wrong attitude or have sinned, confess and repent of it before the Lord. As we learn to walk in His ways, we will want to be with Him.

Delighting in Jesus

The Lord has been using this word to convict me. What is my greatest delight? Whatever that is, I will be pursuing it because to love something is to pursue it. Does Jesus consume our smallest tasks and constant thoughts? Jesus warned the church of Ephesus of the calamity that losing sight of their first love brings about. Christ recognized their faithfulness in so many ways – and yet they had left their first affection (Revelation 2:2-5).

· Ask the Lord to search your heart and show you where you are placing your delight. Repent of delighting in the lesser things and seek Him to delight yourself in the only One who is worthy of praise. “But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29). So ask our faithful God to help you delight in Him!

Is Jesus Your Singular Focus?

Sisters, to delight in Christ is to love Christ. And to love Christ is to seek Christ. By God’s grace, I am learning to delight myself in Him. He alone can fulfill my deepest desires (Psalm 107:9). In Christ, I am complete (Colossians 2:9).

Please join me in delighting in and seeking Him!

Is Jesus your greatest passion? How do you cultivate a heart solely focused on Him? We’d love to hear in a comment below.


If you’re interested in writing a guest post for KBR Ministries, click here.


Current Issue of KBR Magazine: Generational Gleanings

Monthly Wallpaper and Lockscreen

Am I Trustworthy?

by Andrea Nymeyer

“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.”
(Proverbs 31:11)

Have you ever caught yourself thinking, “Why won’t they trust me?”

I sure have. Usually I’m speaking of my parents or some other authority.

When we ask, “Why won’t they trust me?” we don’t realize that we have it all backward. The true question is, “Am I trustworthy?” Dwight L. Moody said, “If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.” Instead of griping that others do not trust us, we should be caring for our character and making sure we are worthy of trust.

Proverbs 31 describes the model virtuous woman. The very first attribute of this woman is this: “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her” (Proverbs 31:11).  What is it about the Proverbs 31 woman that makes her worthy of her husband’s trust? She loves him enough to earn that trust, putting his interests before her own. Our heavenly Father sets us the most beautiful example of trustworthiness. Only because we know the character of the Lord as revealed in Scripture can we rest with such confidence in the Name of Jesus. “How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings” (Psalm 36:7). Thus our longing to be trusted is the outpouring of a desire to be more like Jesus. Trustworthiness is a valuable and essential character trait that must be cultivated diligently. How then do we become trustworthy?

My pastor preached a message several years ago with an acrostic about building and keeping trust. Following is his outline with my own Bible verses, comments, and illustrations.

T – Tell the Truth.

The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”                                                                                                     (Proverbs 12:19)

Truth is the core of the Gospel and therefore, the core of the Christian life. It is what has set us free from the clutches of sin (John 8:32). So let us not pass by or treat as trivial what is one of the most powerful testimonies of our faith. Speaking truth is yet another form of the overflow of that love we see Christ exemplifying for us. “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour; for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25). Let us hold up the truth as the light by which we walk on a daily basis so that others might trust us even in the smallest of matters. A person who does not consistently tell the truth cannot be trusted.

Every morning when my siblings and I come in from the barn, someone in our family will ask one of the younger children, “Did you wash your hands?” Often when the child responds, “Yes,” the older sibling will respond, “Are you sure?”

Why do we ask them this? Because the child is not yet trustworthy. This is expected from a five-year-old, but you and I are no longer five. We must develop a habit of telling the truth every time if we want to build our parents’ trust in us. How can we develop this habit when we have already caught ourselves speaking lies? “Think before you speak.” We should not allow a word to pass from our lips before discerning our motive for speaking.

When our hearts desire to please the Lord, our words will be a powerful testament to that desire. “Teach me Thy way, O Lord; I will walk in Thy truth: unite my heart to fear Thy name” (Psalm 86:11). 

R – Remember Your Words and Promises.

“Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.”                                                                                                                     (Proverbs 25:14)

This one really gets me. I’m an incredibly scatterbrained person, and it’s easy to prove myself untrustworthy simply because I forgot what I said ten minutes ago. If we want to be trustworthy, we must put a high priority on accomplishing the things we promise to do.

Taking the time to write things down can be extremely helpful. Prayer lists and to-do lists and lists of all sorts might be some of the most helpful tools in encouraging us to remember the promises we have made. The more faithfulness we apply in recalling commitments to mind and performing that which we have promised, the more those in our lives will feel just how loved and treasured they truly are. 

U – Understand the Challenge.

“Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?”
(Proverbs 6:28)

I know well that if I walk on hot coals from a fire, my feet will be burned. I have no trust in those coals not to burn my feet. Trustworthiness is not an easy character trait to develop. Messing up just once causes others to lose trust in me. Trust cannot be demanded; it is earned. Letting someone down repeatedly causes an even greater lack of trust.

When I do the accounting for my dad’s company, I have a reputation for making mistakes while my sister Dee rarely makes mistakes. It is not uncommon for my dad to say, “Let’s leave this project for Dee to complete.” Just as I would never trust hot coals on my feet, my family has been “burned” often enough and badly enough by my work that they do not trust me. Building trust is incredibly difficult, especially if the person has been hurt repeatedly.

Recognizing the challenge that is set before us to earn the trust of others should help us in not being impatient or angry when they may still find trusting us difficult. The way we love and serve them through the challenges will only increase our growing trustworthiness. The refining and pruning will feel that much more worth the pains as those pains also yield deeper and more fruitful relationships.

S – Stay Steady.

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.”         (Luke 16:10)

My life is not “exciting” by many standards. I live at home, do schoolwork, and help my parents. But do you know what? Trust is not built on the big and extraordinary. Trust is built on faithfulness in little things. Do I wash the dishes with a good attitude? Are my chores done without my having to be reminded? Am I attentive to my family member’s needs? Faithfulness in these seemingly small areas builds trust. These seemingly small areas are in fact treasures from heaven that have been entrusted to us. “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17a).

Sisters, we can find the beauty in the soap and water washing dishes clean, in the messy, laughing face of a little brother, and in the laundry piled high. Seeing God’s grace in everything small and mundane allows us to walk more faithfully because we are living in the light of the glorious grace of the cross and purpose of our Lord in every detail of life. By His grace, we can look forward to hearing, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:21).

T – Take the Time.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”                                                                                              (Galatians 6:9)

What if I said, “I’ve been trustworthy to my parents for a whole week! I should have earned their trust by now!” Would you think I was crazy? Yes! We know that it takes faithfulness and time to build trust – much longer than a week.

If you’ve ever tried to tame an animal, you know that one quick move of your hand can destroy the progress that you’ve made in building its trust. It takes hours and even days to gain an animal’s trust, and it takes years of faithfulness to earn the trust of a person – especially your parents who know your imperfections.

Do you need to built trust? Don’t get discouraged!

God’s loving mercy surrounds us, never leaving us alone in our efforts to follow His Son. “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). As we strive to walk faithfully, earning the trust of our parents and others in our lives, we must find ourselves abiding in the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of Thine own hands” (Psalm 138:8). He will help you to build and keep trust so that it can be said of you, too, that the heart of your authority trusts in you!

– Andrea Nymeyer

In what ways do you strive to build trust with your parents? Leave a comment below!


If you’re interested in writing a guest post for KBR Ministries, click here.


Current Issue of KBR Magazine: Faithful Stewardship

Monthly Wallpaper and Lockscreen