Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Daily Devotions: Duty or Delight?, Part 6

Leslie Basham: Have you spent time today in prayer and Bible study? By doing so, you may be influencing others more than you realize. It's Monday, January 14; and you're listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

If you're a parent, you've probably observed your child copying things they've seen you do. Have they seen you develop a lifestyle of devotion to God? Today we'll hear how one woman's commitment to spend time in prayer and studying the Bible had a great impact on her children, her husband, and others. Here's Nancy continuing a series called Daily Devotions: Duty or Delight?

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I want you to meet a special friend, Tim Grissom. I first met Tim and his wife, Denise, almost twenty years ago--back before they had children; they now have four. They have become special friends in my life; God has used Tim in a significant way to impact my life. And Niecie, as she was affectionately known--through her prayers, particularly, has been one of those intercessors in my life. We all need someone like that.

As I was first getting to know Tim and Niecie, I discovered pretty quickly that she had a consistent devotional life. And that it had made such a difference in her life. Tim wrote about Niecie's devotional life from the standpoint of a husband who was impacted by a wife who set aside time each day to meet with the Lord. I've asked if he would take a few minutes to read that section to you as it appeared at the close of my book on the daily devotional life called A Place of Quiet Rest. Tim, welcome, and thanks for sharing this with us.

Tim Grissom: One of my friends sometimes teases me by reminding me that I married way over my head. I have to admit that I often wonder why God would bless me by giving me the mate that He did. My wife is kind, fun-loving, hospitable, and generous. She doesn't grumble about what we don't have and expresses genuine appreciation for what we do have. There is one thing, however, that stands head and shoulders above all her precious qualities: she walks intimately with God. I'm not referring to a kind of heavenly stupor: I mean that she simply obeys God. She listens to what He says, and then she does it. That's not to say that she doesn't struggle; but when she does, she doesn't blame her circumstances or become moody. She asks God to search her heart and she waits for His answer.

I, on the other hand, have often resisted God, languishing in stubbornness, rebellion, and pride. And I'm not fully out of their grip yet. But my life did begin to change a few years ago. Much of that change, my turning to God, came as a result of my wife's consistent, faithful example of godliness.

There is a reason for my wife being the kind of Christian that she is. One of the landmarks she points to in her life is a time when, during a week of summer youth camp, the speaker encouraged everyone to commit to read their Bible every day for one year. To her (my wife) a commitment was a commitment. If she made the promise, she was bound by her word to keep it. So when she made that commitment before God to read her Bible every day for a year, she meant business. My wife was in junior high school then.

As I write this testimony, we have been married for nearly eighteen years. And I have never known her to miss a single day in having her quiet time. Not one. I'm not saying these things to put my wife on a pedestal. My point is that taking a few minutes out of each day to meet alone with God in His Word and in prayer has formed her into a godly woman. It is her life that won me. If she had nagged me about certain things, or manipulated, or ridiculed, she would only have succeeded in driving me away from wanting to grow in Christ. Instead she lived a very real life of simple faith and devotion to Christ. And it made me thirsty for what she had.

We have children now. By God's grace, they are growing up with an understanding that having personal devotions is a normal part of the daily routine. The older ones have already begun having their own quiet time. Much like my wife's example to me, we didn't instruct or require this of our children. They simply see Mommy or Daddy reading their Bibles and praying, and they want to do the same. God's Word has been like a medicine to reduce my anger, worry, and impatience. It has acted like a map in helping our family make decisions or reroute our ill-advised plans. It has provided light to reveal snares that were sometimes hiding in the shadows. God's Word has become for us a thing we simply cannot do without.

I thank God for a youth speaker who encouraged a group of junior high campers to read their Bibles. And I thank God for a young lady who made that commitment and kept it. I can't describe what a blessing it is to be married to a woman who lives and thinks biblically. When we are discussing any issue, whether hard or not so difficult, I know I'm talking to a lady who's been with Jesus. That means a lot to this husband.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Thank you, Tim. I know that's a meaningful word to us as women to hear the impact that our time with the Lord can have on the lives of those we love. When you wrote those words, you had no way of knowing, none of us did, that just around the corner was a major change in your family; in your and Niecie's lives. Can you just take a moment and share with us what transpired really shortly after those words were written?

Tim Grissom: I wrote those words in the summer of 1997. The following summer, 1998, my wife began to experience weakness in the thumb of her right hand. Through a process of several doctor visits and examinations, she was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease in December of 1998. She lived for nearly a year and died December 13, 1999.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Those of us who knew and loved Niecie can attest to the influence of her life not only while she was living, but even since her homegoing. In fact, Tim, I think it was just last week a mutual friend was telling me how Niecie's life had influenced her and continues to do that until this day. As you think back now"¦with Niecie in heaven"¦and now you have these four children and are walking through this season of life; how would you have described on an ongoing basis the influence of your wife's walk with the Lord?

Tim Grissom: Well, the word "influence" is key. I would say that that is the major aspect of the legacy she left behind; it was the spiritual influence. When we think of Niecie, we think of a woman who walked in simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. Her life wasn't cluttered. She was busy, as most women are. But she had a simple, uncluttered faith, and that influence has been a driving motivator to me to seek the Lord especially in a season of obviously intense grief. And it was her weaknesses and her neediness that drove her to the Lord. I don't want to put her on a pedestal here. She struggled with fear. She struggled with other issues. But those things drove her to the Lord. In my neediness that's where I turn, largely due to her influence.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Was it ever hard for Niecie to carve out that time to spend with the Lord?

Tim Grissom: I remember times when she would jump out of bed at night, afraid to go to sleep because she hadn't had her quiet time. That happened on a few occasions because usually it was the first thing she did. But, like everybody, a day would get away from her sometimes. And it would almost frighten her that "oh, I almost went to sleep without having my quiet time." It's not a mechanical thing. I mean a lot of people can mechanically open their Bibles, mechanically read their Bibles, mechanically close their Bibles and say they've had a quiet time; but her quiet time wasn't complete until she'd met with the Lord.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Tim, in those last months when Niecie became quite ill, how was she able to maintain that communion with the Lord, that fellowship, that time with Him?

Tim Grissom: For several months, she was able physically to continue to hold her Bible and read it. But there came a time late in the year 1999 when her hands and arms were so limp that she couldn't even pick up her Bible. I think, Nancy, she even shared with you on one occasion that one of her frustrations about the disease was that she couldn't open her Bible any longer. So usually what would happen was that I or one of our children would open her Bible for her and lay it in her lap and when she was ready for the page to be turned we would turn it for her. The last several days of her life"¦she spent the last eleven days in the hospital"¦she couldn't sit up so we would read to her. She always knew what she wanted read to her. She had favorite portions of Scripture and those were Psalms and hymns of praise. I can honestly say she died praying. She was praying especially for two circumstances. One was for a friend of ours who was in China at the time and needed prayer for protection. But the other thing, interestingly enough, was for the launching of this radio ministry.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: She didn't live on this earth long enough to see that come about, but she was really praying for wisdom and direction about what has become the Revive Our Hearts ministry. Tim, as you think back on the years of Niecie's life before she became ill, how did her time with the Lord lay a foundation that equipped her to walk through those difficult, dark days--that valley of the shadow of death, really?

Tim Grissom: I think that Niecie early on in her life realized that she had to live every day as if it would be her last. She said in the last year of her life, "God never promised me a long life." But she really had an eternal perspective. You cannot spend time in the Word without having a heart for eternity. But eternity was on her heart for many, many years. In the last year of her life, we determined that we would not live with death as a focus, but with eternity. And there's all the difference in the world between those two things.

Leslie Basham: That's our guest, Tim Grissom, remembering how a daily devotional time affected the way his wife lived--and the way she faced death. Nancy will be back with Tim Grissom in just a minute. But we'd like to help you develop the kind of devotional life we've heard about today. Nancy has written a book called: A 30-Day Walk With God in the Psalms. If you recognize your need for a more consistent devotional life, why don't you commit to taking 30 days to go through this book? It will lead you to fresh insights from the Psalms and help you develop a habit of Bible study. To order, or for more information, you can visit our Web site, ReviveOurHearts.com. There you'll find information on the companion CD: Psalms from the Heart. Nancy reads some of her favorite Psalms on the CD set to a beautiful musical backdrop. It's a great tool to keep the Word of God in your mind throughout the day. We're asking for a suggested donation of $15 for the book and $12 for the CD. Our number is 1-800-569-5959.

Well, have you ever made an appointment with a person of influence? You probably looked forward to it with excitement or maybe nervousness. Did you know that the most influential Person in the world is eager to speak with you? We'll hear about that tomorrow. Now here's Nancy and our guest, Tim Grissom.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Tim, we have here a group of hungry-hearted women who want to be godly, who want to be influencers in the right way in our homes. I wonder if you would just pray for us, that God would work in our lives?

Tim Grissom: Father, I thank You for the legacy of Niecie's life; and, while I honor her, I want You to be exalted. You are the One who did that work, who started that work and who completed it. And, Father, I trust You to do the same for these ladies who are listening today. I pray that You would bless them with the desire to seek after You. And though it will cost them some of their time, I trust You to reward them richly for that through peace in their hearts, peace in their homes, contentment, joy; all of the things that we seek so hard after that You want to give us, but in a certain way. Thank You that Your desire is to meet with us. That's a wonderful thought. And I pray that we would be faithful to accept that invitation. In Christ's name, Amen.

Leslie Basham:  

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