All posts by KBR Ministries

Where Are You Headed? Don’t Waste Your 2018!

by Sarah Lee Bryant

“The path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
(Proverbs 4:18)

Where are you headed?

Do you know? Do you have a plan? In one year from now, where do you want to be in your walk with Jesus? Do you want to be right where you are today, where you were a few years ago—or do you want to experience a completely new ground-breaking level in your personal and spiritual walk with the Lord?

The truth is, today you and I are making a hundred little choices that are determining where we will be in one year from now. Although we may not consciously think about this as we go about the day, each choice is setting the trajectory for our life.

As believers, it is important that we are always purposefully reaching forward, by God’s grace. The apostle Paul passionately wrote of his greatest desire and goal:

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 3:13-14)

The apostle knew where he was headed. He purposed with all of his heart and strength to press forward for the prize of the high calling he had in Jesus Christ. Sisters, this same purpose and goal should drive us as well:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.”
(Matthew 6:33)

Are you seeking His righteousness?

Or are you complacent with your walk with the Lord? There is no middle ground! If we are not purposefully sowing the right things in our hearts and passionately seeking the Lord, a stronger walk with Him will not “just happen”! That’s why it’s important to take a step back and evaluate what really is going into our hearts, and where we are spending the majority of our time.

What are you eating mentally? What is going into your heart? Will it bring forth everlasting life, or selfishness and worldliness? Will it challenge and advance you, or leave you more dulled to learning and growing in wisdom?

Ask yourself about…

  • The things you watch…
  • The music you listen to…
  • The social media you use…
  • The time you spend on the internet…
  • The people you like to spend time around…
  • The texts you send and receive…
  • The “comfortable place” that your thoughts resort to…
  • The books you read…

…all of these things, and many, many more, are either deepening or weakening your spiritual walk with Jesus. In this day and age, it is especially easy to fall into the trap of using media purposelessly, and I believe this is a great distraction to our walks with the Lord. We should ask, Is this helping me in my goal to grow in the Lord and to show His love to others?

Whatever is not deepening our relationship with the Lord should be not only avoided, but also replaced with far richer things: time spent with the Lord, prayer, learning, and serving others! Each day we are given is a gift to be invested for the Lord (Romans 7). Let us not take it for granted!

What we sow this year—TODAY—we will reap in the years to come.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked:
for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
(Galatians 6:7)

What an encouraging promise—we can trust the Lord to bless the spiritual seeds that we sow each day, in His perfect timing and way!

As we enter a new year, it is a wonderful time to stop and refocus on what really matters.

You might even want to dedicate the first new week of this year to seek the Lord and gain a fresh purposeful perspective on how to grow in your walk with Him. As you do this, here are some thoughts to keep in mind.

1. Spend time before the Lord in prayer.

Open the Word of God on your knees, asking the Lord to show you areas that you need to grow in Him or begin serving Him more. Pray—set aside time to really seek the heart of God and humbly receive His direction.

2. Have a humble, surrendered heart.

As you spend time with the Lord, be humble and willing to surrender your own will—things that He shows you that are hindering a close and wholehearted walk with Him. Lay aside any areas or habits that are weighing you down spiritually (Hebrews 12:1).

3. Journal.

Write down what the Lord shows you, verses that speak to or convict you, thoughts or desires that come to mind, and ideas on how you can more purposefully seek the Lord in the new year. Writing often helps us process and clarify what the Lord is teaching us.

4. Make specific goals.

Seek the Lord as to how you can more actively deepen your walk with Him. Where do you want to be spiritually in one year from now? What steps do you need to take to work toward that goal? (As my dad says, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there…it’s important to have a plan!)

For example, if you need to grow in your prayer life, begin by confessing to the Lord your failure to prioritize this more highly in your life. Ask Him for strength to grow in this area, perseverance to develop it even when it’s difficult and you fail, and for a desire to spend more time at His feet. Then you could set a time each day that you will spend a certain length of time in prayer, and make a prayer list for each day. (Starting out with specific goals and guidelines like this is helpful, but as you grow in this area, you may find them less necessary as the Holy Spirit lays things on your heart during prayer!) Read books on prayer and biographies about incredible prayer warriors from history (George Mueller and Amy Carmichael for a start). Seek wisdom and advice on this topic from older godly women, and ask someone to keep you accountable.

While the specific area(s) for growth that the Lord impresses on your heart may vary, there are key steps to take: pray, ask the Lord for strength, make specific practical goals, find examples and encouragement, and ask for accountability.

As I personally look back over 2017…

I am grateful for the many deep lessons God has taught me. One year ago, I heard a sermon that the Lord used to convict me of areas that I needed to give over to Him and to live deeper surrender and service to Him. While no one else pointed these areas out to me—the Lord impressed on my heart that if I wanted to grow in my walk with Him, then these were the steps I must take. The road to growth would require obedience and faith, and He enabled me to walk that path. I can now see how those steps of faith at the beginning of 2017 were a crucial foundation in which greater lessons of trust and growth were planted throughout the year. I can gratefully testify that His ways bring steadfast joy and security even when the outcome is unseen and unknown. Sisters, growing in your walk with Jesus may require sacrifice on your part. As you spend time before Him, He may convict you of many things, calling you to higher ground. Be obedient, and follow Him. What He has in store to teach you will be worth it. He is a good Shepherd, a faithful Father, and He has great rewards in store for those who trust in and follow Him (Psalm 37).

Today, as you stand on the threshold of a new year—will you purpose to grow and to follow Jesus upward, or are you content with a mediocre Christian walk?

In a year from now, will you look back and be disappointed with the lack of growth in your life? Will you wonder what might have been if you would have more seriously sought His face?

Do you hear the prompting of the Holy Spirit—the Lord calling you closer to Himself, through surrender and obedience? If this is the case, I challenge you to get away with the Lord on your knees. Maybe it is being more diligent in Bible study, or confessing a bad attitude or habit, or separating from an unhealthy friendship, or serving others more… Whatever it may be, may neither you nor I be content to aimlessly walk through this new year without giving Jesus Christ full control over our lives—so that we can experience the joys of what He wants to do in and through it.

So…where are you headed this new year?

May it be into a deeper walk with the Lord, always advancing, growing, learning, and serving in His Kingdom! Don’t waste this wonderful gift of 2018!

“My Today” by Amy Carmichael

All the Field of my Today
Is in shadow, passes from me;
No more can I sow in it;
No more can I grow in it
Anything of joy or sorrow;
It has passed away, away.
Lies before me my Tomorrow.
In me I hear voices say
As my field recedes in shadow:
“What seed didst thou sow in it?
What plants didst thou grow in it?
Will it bring forth joy or sorrow?”
O the field of my Today,
How wilt thou appear Tomorrow?
Holy Lord, my poor Today
Cries aloud to Thee for pardon;
Take my new field, sow in it
What Thou wilt should grow in it;
Let me not sow seeds of sorrow.
Holy Husbandman, I pray
Keep the field of my Today.
 

“And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.”
(Isaiah 45:3)

-Sarah Lee

P.S. I challenge you to memorize Proverbs 2:1-8 this month. Some other passages to study and memorize include Deuteronomy 13:4, Proverbs 1:5, Galatians 5:16, 25, Ephesians 5:2, Colossians 1:10, and I John 1:7.


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


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The Law of Kindness

by Ashley Spies

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom;
and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
(Proverbs 31:26)

The woman described in Proverbs chapter 31 is a wonderful example for all women.

In this verse, we learn that her words are full of wisdom and kindness. First let’s ask the question, “Where does wisdom come from?” We know it comes from God.

“For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”
(Proverbs 2:6)

The word “law” is the Hebrew word “torah,” which refers to the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). That put a whole new light on that verse for me. In Exodus there are chapters filled with miscellaneous laws about how the Israelites were supposed to treat one another. As I thought about it, I realized these books may not talk about kindness, but instead tell how to show kindness. Let’s look at a few examples.

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.”
(Exodus 22:1)

“And if a man borrow ought of his neighbor, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good.”
(Exodus 22:14)

In the first example, we see that if a man steals another person’s animal, that man has to give the person he stole from four or five times what he stole, depending on the animal. That’s kindness…being compassionate and caring. The second example talks about if a man borrows something, and it gets hurt or dies while the borrower is not around, the borrower will have to make it good, make it right, make restitution.

I think all the laws that God made for His people to follow about personal conduct boil down to one word: love. One of the evidences of love is showing kindness to somebody. As John 14:15 states, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.”

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
(Mark 12:30-31)

If we love God first with all of our heart, we will love our neighbor. And love fulfills the law. “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10).

As a lady, either young or old, single or married, we can all fulfill the law by loving God with all of our being, and then loving our neighbor. This will flow forth from our lips in words of kindness and love.

Here are some practical ways you can speak with the law of kindness:

  1. If you are living at home with siblings, practice being kind to them. Practice showing compassion. It doesn’t have to be anything big. If a sibling receives a good grade or accomplishes something “big” or important, encourage them, even if it doesn’t seem that important to you.
  2. Memorize God’s Word. If you have God’s words hidden in your heart, wisdom, His law, and righteous words will be able to flow out of your heart, out of your mouth, and touch those around you.  “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45).
  3. Write God’s words out on cards or paper, and put them around your house, workplace, car, or pocket. When you’re tempted to say or do something unkind, read the card and use God’s Word to battle temptation.
  4. Ask God to help you love Him first and foremost, and then love those around you.

“Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.”
(Joshua 23:11)

May we purpose to speak words of kindness, as sisters and daughters!

-Ashley Spies

In what ways do you strive to speak kindly to your siblings? 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

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Serving in the Home

by Andrea Nymeyer

“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
(Matthew 20:28)

One summer, my family and I were visiting with some friends.

During supper conversation, my sister and I chatted with the oldest daughter about our role as daughters living at home. Our friend said, “We are able to serve. That is so important.” Though it was a passing statement, I have not forgotten it.

As I watched her that day, I saw that service was not just something my friend spoke of. Rather, she exemplified a servant’s spirit. When a small child spilled his drink, she was the first to jump and clean it up; when it was time to clear the tables, she was the first to pick up a dish; when the sink began to fill with dirty dishes, she was the first to begin to wash. Over and over I watched as she saw and met the needs of everyone around her. “Truly,” I thought, “This girl has learned to serve!”

Several months later, while doing my personal devotions, my mind went back to that conversation with my friend.

I was reading in my Bible about Joseph in prison and saw an amazing thing. Genesis 40:4 says, “And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them.” Wait! Joseph was in charge! Why was he serving those over whom he had authority? This is a great insight into Joseph’s later greatness. God exalts those who have learned to serve others. Whether we are in charge of younger siblings, leading a Sunday school class, or supervising a kitchen cleaning crew, we must remember to be aware of others’ needs. A position of authority is not an occasion to exalt ourselves, but it is an opportunity to serve more people in a greater capacity. Rather than pushing our own way, we should prefer others and realize that someone else’s way of doing something may truly be better than ours (Philippians 2:3). Do not copy the mistake of King Rehoboam. He was counseled to serve his subjects, but because he refused to follow this wise counsel, he lost the very people he was to have led (1 Kings 12:7).

After discovering that Joseph served his charges, I thought of two of my favorite servants in the Bible…

Most of us probably think of Jesus as the ultimate servant, and rightly so. He served His followers and those who He was trying to reach. Jesus tirelessly fed, healed, and ministered to hundreds of people. Most of the people He served did not follow Him. They did not love Him. They came to Him to get what they could for themselves, and then they crucified Him. Jesus served them regardless. If we are ever to reach the world who is lost and dying in sin, we must be willing to serve people. We must serve those who are ungrateful and unlovely and will never return our love and service. We must remember that our goal is to lead people to Jesus, and that it will be worth it in heaven if just one comes to know Him because of our service. People will listen to someone who has helped them. In order to reach people for Christ, we must reflect His servant’s spirit.

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
(Matthew 25:40)

The story of Isaac and Rebekah is one of my favorite Bible stories. I love the fact that God so obviously orchestrated their marriage, and that He did it in such a beautiful manner. We must not miss the fact that, before Rebekah was led to her husband, she was serving her family. In fact, she would never have been found by Abraham’s servant had she not served him by watering his camels. She probably had to go to the well every day and I am sure the job became “mundane” to her, yet she was doing the mundane when God chose to bless her. Mundane jobs are just as important, if not more important, than the exciting jobs. Mundane jobs are the circumstances in which we truly learn to serve.

When a daughter sees something that needs to be done at home, she should be the first to help.

Pick up a dishcloth, wipe down a counter, fold the laundry, grab a Band-Aid, fetch supplies… Never fall prey to the thoughts that, “Someone else will do it,” or “It’s not my job.” That may be true. Someone else may pick up the slack, but why should they have to? God put each of us in our specific homes so that we can be a blessing to our families. Don’t become a leech when you should be a servant.

Serving is fulfilling. It is a joy to know that you have helped another person. It can be hard to become motivated, especially when the task is unpleasant, but after the work is accomplished, the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve been a blessing is worth the time and effort. Even if no one notices your service, remember that you serve for the Lord, and the most important thing is that He is pleased. No matter if you never receive human praise, the Lord can give fulfillment in work that is well done. Ultimately, He should get the glory no matter who notices or overlooks your service. Whether you’re in a position of authority reaching out to lost people, or simply living out your life at home, serve others in order to bring glory to the Lord. Your Savior will fill your life with joy and fulfillment as you follow His example.

-Andrea Nymeyer


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


Current Issue of KBR Magazine: Faithful Stewardship

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Loving Siblings When It’s Hard

by Sarah W.

“I don’t think it’s possible for me to have a good relationship with my siblings.”

Is this your reaction when you hear about sibling relationships?
It was mine for many years. As my younger siblings are adopted, they had behavioral problems that caused tension in our family. Yet God showed me, over time, that I couldn’t run away from the problems; in fact, He wanted me to persevere in loving my siblings. These relationships are special – so worth investing in and cultivating!

I’d like to share with you some tips I’ve learned along the way.

First, pray for your siblings (Ephesians 6:18). Your siblings have very deep needs. Prayer helps them, as well as your attitude toward them! I remember one day in particular when one sibling had been particularly troublesome. That evening during family devotions, when it was my turn to pray, I began to pray for each of my siblings by name. As I was doing this, this particular sibling started crying! He became genuinely sorry for the problems he’d caused that day. God is so faithful to work through prayer.

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance
and supplication for all saints.”
(Ephesians 6:18)

Pray for your siblings daily during your quiet time, or when you wake up in the night, or when they are having a difficult time. Colossians 1:9-12 and Ephesians 3:14-21 are passages you can pray for them.

Evaluate yourself. Do you have right relationships with God and with your parents? Are you walking humbly with the Lord, confessing your own sins (1 John 1:9)? Are you honoring your parents? Are you following Biblical commands in relating to your siblings (Ephesians 4:31)? Our siblings watch our lives, and they sense whether we are genuine or hypocritical about our walk with the Lord.

Break down walls. Is there something that you can do to remove something that is hindering your fellowship with a sibling? An unconfessed sin, a misunderstanding, a past hurt? Be willing to open the conversation with them and discuss these things, repent if needed, and express your desire to rebuild the relationship. It can be painful, but communication is so important.

Have compassion on your siblings. Learn to be sensitive to what your siblings are feeling or going through, and listen to them. My attitude towards my younger adopted sister, in particular, changed when I stopped to think about what she had gone through in the past. She experienced more pain and instability in her first three years (before coming home) than I have ever known. It took me years to realize this. Jesus Christ had incredible compassion on people during His earthly ministry, and we are His hands and feet on earth now for our siblings!

“Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.”
(Matthew 25:45)

Persevere. There will be days when you feel overwhelmed and don’t want to keep loving, keep investing, or keep trying…but don’t give up. Seek God’s strength to press on, asking for His love to share with your siblings.  There was a point when I wanted to give up and I felt like my siblings would never change, but God has worked in our relationships and they have changed so much. I am watching God work in their hearts and it’s really exciting (Galatians 6:9)!

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

Most importantly: be faithful to God.

The Lord knows you and your needs; He knows your siblings, and He has a reason for putting you together! He is using these relationships to sanctify you and give you opportunities to grow in Christ-like character – so embrace them and trust God to bring forth amazing, wonderfully impossible results – as you obey Him! It’s not always easy, but God’s grace is sufficient!

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
(Matthew 19:26)

We would like to hear your ideas for how to work through difficulties in sibling relationships. How has God answered prayer as you have prayed and persevered? Share in a comment below!

-Sarah W.

P.S. Here are more articles on sibling relationships:

Let’s Encourage Our Siblings! (April)

Showing Our Siblings Love (April Challenge)

Ways to Encourage Our Siblings (April Challenge)

 


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


Current Issue of KBR Magazine: Cultivating a Heart at Home

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How to Cultivate Humility

by Peyton H.

“Pride goeth before destruction,
and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
(Proverbs 16:18)

Have you ever had your pride taken down a notch?

I remember one specific time when my pride caused me to fall—literally. I was racing my brother to jump over some grass in our little downtown area. As I ran and jumped, I skidded across the sidewalk and skinned my knee and my hands. Laying there in the ground with skinned hands and knees, my pride was broken. What seemed a simple feat turned into a situation where I was humbled—before my brothers and before those people walking and driving by!

After this little accident, I still had lots to learn about humility…

Recently, I was thinking about humility and how it affects my own life. I decided to search the Scriptures for verses to meditate on and to pray, and I found many illustrations and verses about humility. Proverbs has a lot to say about this:

“The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom;
and before honour is humility.”
(Proverbs 15:33)

“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches,
and honour, and life.”
(Proverbs 22:4)

“A man’s pride shall bring him low:
but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
(Proverbs 29:23)

Pride will lead us to destruction. God values a humble heart—one who fears Him and exalts Him. Pride creeps in our hearts in so many ways. In my own life, there are times when I look at someone or hear about someone, and I think prideful thoughts. I think that I am better than they are because I dress more modestly, or because I read my Bible every day and they don’t. These are proud, self-righteous thoughts and I have to remind myself that we are all fallen, sinful people (Romans 3:10). Not one of us will make it to heaven without Jesus Christ.

“For the wages of sin is death;
but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
(Romans 6:23)

When we are humble, we will realize our need for Christ and His strength to do what is right each day. It brings us to our knees before the cross.

So how can I cultivate humility in my own life?

Start with Jesus. Is Jesus your Lord and Savior? Is He in control of your life? In order to be humble, you have to start by humbling yourself before your Maker and trusting in Him for salvation.

“As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.” (Psalm 55:16)

Ask the Lord to make you humble. He delights in answering the prayer of a humble heart! He may answer that prayer in a humbling way, so be prepared.

Start working on humility in your own home. Be humble with your siblings. Let them go first or let them receive acclamation from your parents. Receive rebukes and corrections humbly from others, knowing that they are for your growth and benefit.

Serve others. Do special things for others; take note of their interests and likes, and put their best interests before your own. Take time to invest in your siblings and make dinner for your mother; give of your time and meet needs around you (Matthew 25:45).

Do the lowly and unseen tasks. Serve the Lord even when no one else sees it or recognizes your sacrifice (Colossians 3:24). Taking out the trash…cleaning the floor…changing a diaper… What would it be for you?

God promises great blessings and rewards to those who are humble.

How do you strive to cultivate a heart of humility? Why do you believe humility is so important to the Lord? As a daughter, how do you serve with humility? Please share with us below!

As daughters of the King, may we realize the tremendous beauty and value of having a humble heart: one that does not seek approval or attention from others, but that lives for the pleasure of Jesus Christ alone. He promises that when we humble ourselves, He will exalt us in due time (I Peter 5:6) and give honor and life (Proverbs 22:4)!

Peyton (19) of Mississippi can be found blogging at sistersonourknees.com.


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


Current Issue of KBR Magazine: Cultivating a Heart at Home

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