Faith is a vital role in the family unit. It draws us together. Holds us tight. Binds us with the ties of God. Keeping faith in our families secures the values of Christ are embedded in our children
DEVOTION BY Cindy Sproles POSTED 6/17/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 119:111 NIV
I’m used to it. Folks making fun of my accent. When you’re born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains, people are going to tease you, sometimes relentlessly, about your dialect.
Over the years, I’ve learned to roll with it. I’m proud of my mountain heritage. Nothing surpasses the mountain people: a simple life, values, and unfailing faithfulness. Knowing there are still places in the world where family and friendship take precedence over cell phones and personal agendas is comforting. People here take pride in their heritage. Founded in hard work, determination, and faith, we may not be a perfect people, but we are proud of who we are and from whence we came.
Recently, while attending a conference, I had to make a fast side trip to the restroom. It was empty (for which I was glad, since women’s restrooms tend to house lines of waiting occupants). As I readied myself to leave the stall, I heard the door open and two women laughing and joking … making fun of other conferees. What are the odds? One of those being made fun of was me. “Her accent is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”
Now, on a good day, I’d blow this off, but that day I was tired. I’d worked fourteen hours a day for three days to teach, meet, and serve conferees. That sentence was hurtful. I kept quiet until they left and then found a dear friend.
“Do I come across as stupid because of my accent? I know I tease about it, but do I come across as stupid?”
He reassured me I was not the stupid one, and it was my faithfulness and genuineness that made me approachable and loved.
The Israelites sometimes felt persecuted because of their heritage, but God was faithful to His people. Even in times of discipline, He reminded them they were His. To this day, the Jewish people cling tightly to traditions and heritage. They were not perfect, but their ties to their past gave them hope for the future.
Where you came from is part of who you are. When you were adopted into God’s household of children, you, too, gained the Father’s heritage. Share your love for God. Teach others about His faithfulness.
Your heritage in Christ is a special and amazing gift.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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DEVOTION BY Chrissy White POSTED 6/10/2018 12:00:01 AM ON John 12:32 NLT
A car floats through outer space, and it drives conviction into my heart.
A dummy by the name of Starman sits in a shiny, red convertible after being carried up by a rocket and then released to wander amongst nothingness. It’s a marketing stunt, set to gain awareness and boost sales of a practically unattainable vehicle—both by comprehension and monetary means. Although most can’t afford it, or understand it, they will hear and talk about it, marvel at it, and in some cases deny its reality.
People easily display fiction as truth. I do not excel in matters of science or technology, so I can’t make an educated guess about this event. I do know the person behind this idea is intentional and determined about getting the word out about his passion.
Thinking about this made me realize I don’t give adequate witness for my Savior. I might offer an encouraging biblical word to others occasionally. And I’m not ashamed, but I worry I can’t make others understand, that I can’t make them believe, or that they will think I’m obnoxious.
The Bible has a freeing truth: the Holy Spirit fills the gap and does the persuading. I don’t have to worry about that part.
When lifted up on the cross, Jesus established the salvation for our souls. If we lift up His name, He will put into motion whatever pull is needed to bring others into His saving grace.
Ask God to help you be more intentional about His commission to witness for Him.
DEVOTION BY Nnaemeka Durueke POSTED 6/3/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 82:6 KJV
Lana Del Rey said "being brave means knowing that when you fail, you don't fail forever."
The Psalm tells us we are gods and also children of the Most High God. This should give us courage to face and overcome the challenges of life. We can be brave and take our rightful place and blessings because Jesus Christ our Lord is seated in the heavenlies.
According to Ephesians 2:6, we are seated with Christ by virtue of our faith in Him. Where God is, we are too. Our place is far above all rulers, authorities, powers, dominions, and every name that is named—not only in this age but also in the world to come.
We can take bold steps for our Father who is the Almighty. All things are under His feet and ours—including Satan. As the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so we walk by faith in God and not by sight. We are stronger than any challenge because we have the greater one living inside of us. We can take complete charge over the affairs of our lives.
Enjoying the blessings available to us means learning to deal with the Devil. But with our heavenly position, every devil will bow to us. We can handle any challenge because we are made in God's image.
With faith, tell the mountain of obstacles in your life to move and it will obey.
DEVOTION BY Kevin Spencer POSTED 5/27/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 74:13 NLT
It was gone!
Dad’s new prized rod and reel was gone. The exact same rod he had told me to watch while he went back to the cottage on the beach behind us for a moment. Dad was surf fishing and even now had a line cast out beyond the breakers. I was six years old and had been happily building sand castles while Dad fished.
Then, astonished, I jumped to my feet. The pole holder Dad had shoved into the sand lay on its side, having been pulled out of the sand. Staring up and down the beach, I saw Dad’s fishing rod sliding down the sand toward the breaking waves. Racing after it, I snatched it up and tried to rewind the line. I couldn’t budge it. Hollering for my parents, I struggled back up the beach with the rod, fighting against whatever was pulling it out to sea. Fortunately, another fisherman close by heard me yelling and rushed to my aid, even as my parents hurried to the beach.
The fisherman took the rod out of my hands and began to wind the reel. I took off for the surf to see what Dad had caught. Following the line into the waves, I saw it disappear into the breaker building right in front of me. And then, surfing out of that wave as it began to curl was the biggest, meanest, scariest looking stingray in the world. The fishing line disappeared into his mouth, and his eyes bored into mine.
I screamed in sheer terror and raced out of the surf. Somehow I beat the wave to shore. The fisherman pulled the stingray onto the beach, where he quickly cut off the ray’s dangerous barbed tail.
Once the monster ray was harmlessly on the shore, it wasn’t nearly as big as it had been coming out of that wave. It was barely two feet. As it flopped and breathed its last, I actually felt a little sorry for it.
Most of our problems are like that. What at first glance seems overwhelming, when put into perspective, is just something else flopping on the sand. When we put our problems into perspective by giving them to the Lord, He can show us how tiny they really are in His hands.
What Leviathan can you put into God’s hands today?
DEVOTION BY Rusty Lang POSTED 5/20/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Proverbs 10:7 NASB
The whimper turned to a quiet moan of anguish.
When my future husband and I were planning to marry, we travelled to another state to meet my future in-laws. The visit progressed well until we took a sightseeing journey. After one stop, I waited until my future mother-in-law settled in the backseat before closing the door. I stepped into the front seat and was about to put my seat belt on when I heard a faint whimper behind me. I looked back and at first could not see what was wrong. Then I saw. I had closed the door on her hand.
Leaping out, I grabbed the handle and opened the door. She was a tiny person. To my horror, I saw the flattened fingers on her child-like hand. Crying out to God with an urgent silent prayer, I asked Him to heal them, and He did. Blood returned to her fingers, and her hand returned to normal. She had no more pain, and we all got back into the car and continued our tour.
Remembering the acts of righteous people brings happiness. I was more affected by the incident than my future mother-in-law. After receiving my apology, she never mentioned it again and forgave me immediately. I was so grateful when I heard there was no bruising or loss of function.
I learned two lessons from this experience: God is a healing God who waits to come to our rescue in times of need, and forgiveness clears the way for healthy relationships.
Let knowing Jesus is near to you at all times bring you great comfort.