A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible
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 April Ready POSTED 4/23/2017 12:00:01 AM ON Psalms 16:7
It happens a lot—and in the middle of the night.
I wake up and start praying for someone I know or barely know. It might be someone with a broken heart I’ve come across on Facebook or someone from my past who has hurt me. I start praying for them and immediately fall back asleep. In the morning I can barely remember what my prayers were about, but I do remember I prayed for different people at various times of the night during my twilight sleep.
As I contemplated this continuous phenomenon, I realized my spirit is always willing and continues to pray while I sleep. Psalm 16:7 says, I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
Sometimes we tend to put our needs before others’ needs when communicating with the Lord, but the Spirit knows there is much more that needs to be said. The wee hours of the morning are a wonderful time for the Holy Spirit to intervene because our minds and flesh are completely out of it.
If you sometimes wake up and a friend or family member who is in need comes to mind, your spirit may be trying to pray for that special person. We are all connected, and God is concerned for you as well as your loved ones.
Let God work through you, even in your twilight prayers.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Cindy Sproles POSTED 4/16/2017 8:53:40 AM ON Philippians 1:29 NIV
He was the strongest person I’d ever known. His demeanor was gentle. His voice firm yet tender. This man commanded a certain presence—thought-provoking and intelligent. So when He died, it was hard to take in.
I was a child when I met Him, but His ways guided me in the most simplistic way. It upset me when I heard of His brutal death, but what took my breath was how He succumbed to death. Willingly.
I’ve suffered hardships. Who hasn’t? Still, despite my trials, none can compare. Nothing in my own pain comes vaguely close to His.
Jesus. I never met Him in person. He was gone long before my birth, but His life impacted me for all eternity.
Paul talked about the sufferings of Christ and the sufferings of those who followed Him. He said more than once that hardship in Jesus was tough, but the eternal impact was more than worth it. To believe in Jesus meant, both in biblical times and in present time, that we would most likely suffer. Those same people who shunned Him, would shun us. Some might even torture and kill us. Believing in Jesus did not mean smooth sailing.
Christ was the strongest man who ever lived. He could have called down the angels to protect Him. He could have waved His hand and those who tortured Him would have dropped dead, but that was not Jesus. God incarnate, man as well, had the ability to walk away, but He didn’t. He suffered tremendously and died . . . for me, for you.
Easter holds mixed emotions for the Christian. Seeing the depictions of Jesus’ last days tears my heart out. I can’t get through the Easter season without relentless sobbing, feeling the weight of guilt because Jesus took my sin. He took our sin, and buried it in the grave. The Son of Man lived, died, and in the greatest of all feats, overcame death. He rose and lives.
Knowing Him means I may feel the brunt of the unbeliever, but it also means eternity, salvation, and forgiveness.
As you walk through the Easter season, don’t forget the depth of Jesus’ suffering or the resulting gift. Because of Him . . . we are saved.
DEVOTION BY Bonnie Lancaster-Johnson POSTED 4/9/2017 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 119:54 ESV
The conductor enters. Out of respect and anticipation, there is a hush as he raises his baton.
The concert hall is abuzz with excitement. Audience members engage in conversation. Some are calling to friends and some are whispering to the person in the next seat. Their voices blend with the random notes of the orchestral instruments tuning for the performance. Then, as the concert master rises and begins to tune all the instruments to the standard A 440, silence falls. The dissonance of sound blends to one note.
But what causes all these instruments to go out of tune? Reasons range from extremes of temperature and humidity to damage, age, or defective tuning pegs and devices.
Psalm 119 employs word, law, saying, statutes, way, commandments, path, testimonies, precepts, and judgments as names for God’s Word. In verse fifty four, David, the sweet singer of Israel, finds his song from the Word of God. In his journey and in his solitudes, he was familiar with the statutes of God. Through his words, we find that the sweetness of a melody celebrates times of blessing and can be like a cool rain during difficult times.
As children of God, we are created to be His instruments, but the seasons of life often require our re-tuning. The searing heat of a painful wilderness experience, the damage of a crushed spirit, the drought of missed blessings, or the placing of faith on the wrong foundation can all cause the song of our lives to go sour.
This world is the house of our pilgrimage. We are sojourners and tourists, not permanent residents. During this residency, God’s laws are to be our songs until we reach our true home.
The Word of God is our definitive source and authority for finding understanding—a song in all of life’s seasons. So whether we are sorting through all the voices clamoring for our attention or whether we’re sorting through the weighty noise of life’s trials, we can be still and look for the word and direction of our Lord Jesus Christ—the Master Conductor.
In your uniqueness, tune your song to His song as you continue your life’s journey.
DEVOTION BY Andrea Merrell POSTED 4/2/2017 12:00:01 AM ON 1 Peter 5:7 AMP
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been asked to do, but there was no mistaking God’s voice.
My daughter has had many hardships and near tragedies in her young thirty-something life. She’s struggled with relationships, health issues, and a bout with drugs and alcohol. A believer who loves the Lord with all her heart, she wonders sometimes why God doesn’t come immediately to her rescue.
As mothers do, I’ve had a tendency to pick up her offences over the years and take on the care of her problems. I’ve prayed for her faithfully every day since she was a baby and felt many times as if her problems were my own. I’ve found myself totally stressed out without even knowing why.
As I was driving one day—and praying for my daughter—the Lord clearly said to my spirit, “Will you release her to me?”
The question took me by surprise. He asked again. I said yes, but found myself having a hard time following through. The act of letting her go was physically painful. My heart felt as if it were being crushed under the weight of His request. Could I truly trust God to take on the responsibility of caring for her?
The moment I released my child to the One who loves her unconditionally—and has a wonderful plan and purpose for her life—a deep sense of heaviness left me, and the peace of God filled me. Yes indeed, I can trust Him to take care of my daughter, as well as everyting else in my life. My only responsibility is to love, to pray, and to be there whenever she needs me.
The cares of this life are many, but God tells us not to worry. When we do, we allow those cares to choke out the Word that has been planted in our heart. God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (everywhere present). He knows the end from the beginning and everything in between. He is concerned with everything that concerns us and is more than able to handle whatever comes our way. Nothing catches Him by surprise, and nothing is impossible for Him.
If you find yourself weighed down by the cares of this life, maybe God is saying it’s time to let go. Cast all your cares on Him, and watch what He will do in your life and in the lives of those you love.
DEVOTION BY Donna Tinsley POSTED 3/26/2017 12:00:01 AM ON Isaiah 29:23 NIV
Sometimes a parent feels like resigning.
Barbara Johnson, author of Where Does a Mother Go to Resign? is the founder of Spatula Ministries, a non-profit organization designed to "peel parents off the ceiling with a spatula of love and begin them on the road to recovery.
Before reading her book, I’d heard her speak at a retreat. The hardships and tragedies she went through broke my heart, but she used the pain of life by writing spiritual and humorous books to help others. She is an example as I write about my own experiences with children and family dysfunction.
Isaiah 29:23 is a verse I use to pray about my children. I pray they will keep God’s name holy and acknowledge Him in awe. I also hope those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding and that those who complain will accept instruction.
If you are a parent, you’ve probably felt like resigning. Of course, you love your children and they are precious to you and the Lord, but sometimes relationships with them can hurt. Like Barbara, I’ve needed to be peeled off the ceiling more than once.
It hurts when a parent tries to steer their children to help and wholeness and they don't listen. It hurts to see them in physical or mental pain and not have the resources to help them. It even hurts to back off because you know the Lord wants to help them have a stronger relationship with Him—the ultimate parent.
Yet the Bible says children are God’s best gift to us. Ultimately, they must be put into His hands of sovereignty. We can ask Him to put them on a path that He can bless instead of their own path that might lead to harm and destruction. We can also ask Him to take away the spirit of resignation that may try to overcome us. When we do these things, He sets us up to face another day without sending in that resignation letter.
When you feel like resigning, go to the throne of God where Jesus intercedes to the Father for your children.