A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Peace & Presence

The peace we find in the presence of Christ is like crawling under a warm blanket on a cold winter’s day or feeling the soft breeze on a warm spring morning. Seeking after God is a continual process that grows us into a deep and long lasting relationship with Him. Come into His presence and find peace.

Silence, Not Always Golden

One year had passed—with only a few words spoken.

My son stopped speaking to my wife and me the day after we discovered my wife had a brain tumor. We thought he had gotten mad because I shared the news with him one day later than I did with his sister. My wife and I made numerous attempts to contact him by phone and by text. No response.

We let our son stew in his silence. It wasn’t the first time he’d gotten mad and quit talking to us. Silence seemed to be his preferred way to handle things … but his silence wasn’t golden. At least, not for us. His silence meant we didn’t get to see our grandson who was two and who was growing up not knowing who we were.

In a one-year period, we saw our son once and our grandson twice. Hello and goodbye. Nothing more. Our grandson barely acknowledged us.

One night, as I relaxed in my recliner, my phone rang and my son’s name appeared. He was calling to apologize for the way he had handled the situation. He wasn’t mad about what we had assumed. His silence came out of anger. He thought we always expected him to bring our grandson to see us.

I told him we’d love to come see them. At the time, my work schedule and theirs prevented much visiting. Now, things had changed. We made plans for them to come the following weekend to eat Sunday lunch with us. My wife and I celebrated the end of the silence .

The proverb about the merits of keeping our mouths shut rings true … most of the time. I’ve avoided a lot of trouble by remaining silent. But silence can signal various things.

Silence can express wisdom or signal trouble is brewing. In our case, silence demonstrated unforgiveness for something we didn’t know we’d done. Forgiveness broke the silence. Silence can also articulate anger, as it was with our son. Since anger has a deadly nature, expressing it normally gets us into trouble. Breaking the silence with kind words often heals the hurts. It did with our son.

Don’t let silence be your unhealthy response to a situation.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Lord Is My Shepherd

During my days in MD Anderson Cancer Center, I learned the real meaning of Psalm 23.

Many times in the darkness of night and pain, I quoted this chapter in my mind, along with many other verses. Even today, if I awake at night, I still quote this passage as a reminder that the Great Shepherd cares for His sheep all the days of their lives. I also learned the psalm has a message when we’re fighting battles and carrying burdens. Both my wife and I have experienced God’s goodness—and we are grateful.

When King David says “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,” he’s not saying only good things will happen to me. He knew as well as anyone that bad things happen to good people. He’s saying God’s goodness will follow or pursue him. No matter how difficult something seems, God works it out for good.

I memorized this psalm when I was in the first grade at South Side Elementary School in Meridian, Mississippi—thanks to Miss Virgie Upton, a Christian school teacher. As a pastor, I used it in many funerals.

The psalm is one of God’s great promises given to believers. In everything that happens to us, God works for our good—if we love God and fit into His plans (Romans 8:28). Not all things are good but rather work together for good.

No problem, pain, difficulty, or disaster in the believer’s life is beyond God using it for His purpose and plan.

Know the Lord wants to be your shepherd and tenderly care for you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Be a Source of Water

Growing up on a small farm in rural Washington State, I became familiar with our pump house and well.

Though too young to know the well depth or water purity—or even how the pump worked to get water to our house—I did notice my dad’s concerned and frustrated look when something went wrong with it.

If he could fix the problem, which he often did, he wrestled the heavy concrete lid from the top of the well and worked on it. I remember looking over the edge of the uncovered well and seeing the water shimmering far below. The presence of water was always a good thing. Fixing a pipe or pump was easier and cheaper than drilling a new well.

But imagine going to a well and finding it bone dry, and then drilling another well and finding only dry sand and dirt. For miles around, no water—not in wells or bottled in stores. Possible heat stroke or dehydration would follow. Then, on top of this, imagine a nationwide drought. In Jeremiah’s day, their drought conditions were a result of God’s judgment for rebelling against Him and forsaking His moral standards.

Israel’s waywardness and God’s judgment remind us sin is a counterfeit that never fulfills, satisfies, or quenches our desires. Having wandered that dry, barren desert, I know sin is merely an appealing mirage that abandons thirsty, fatigued, ashamed, and confused people.

The world is a desert, and sin is the drought. Many people wander about seeking relief from the heat at a refreshing oasis. They just do not know where or how to find it. They not only need a refreshing drink, they also need the source of satisfying, living water.

As followers of Jesus, the Living Water—who drink from His fountain and have a wellspring bursting forth within us—let’s be the source of refreshing, untainted water for a dry, thirsty world. Let’s not simply talk about or describe it, but let’s bring others to Christ’s overflowing well of Living Water.

Be a water source to end sin’s drought and quench its thirst.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Miracles and Science

The idea of miracles sometimes causes people to disbelieve the Bible or turn away from God. But it is possible to believe in the miraculous and in the laws of nature. Science and faith can coexist. 

Some say ancient cultures believed in miracles because they did not understand science and the laws of nature as we do today. However, when Joseph found out Mary’s pregnancy was by a miracle, he was prepared to divorce her privately, because he understood where babies came from. Something miraculous had to convince him otherwise.

When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, they were afraid, because they knew such a thing was not normal but unusual and extraordinary. They were convinced Jesus’ actions were miraculous. Ancient cultures understood the laws of nature and recognized when they were being superseded. 

Others who are skeptical of miracles believe God is capable of performing them yet will not violate His laws of nature. But the miracles of Jesus demonstrate God’s power to work within the laws of nature, accelerating or reversing their processes. The same sovereign power who made nature rules it every day. 

The miracles performed by Jesus—even the one of His own birth—are microcosms of God at work. What we see in the miraculous is God changing the speed or direction of natural processes to demonstrate His power, to bring glory to Himself and His Son, and to indicate the promise of hope that is ours if we will receive it. 

To believe in miracles is not to disbelieve in science. Rather, it is to believe in the One who formed the structure in which science exists and to understand that science is a light shining on the glories of the miraculous through which we glimpse the hand of God.

You can believe both in the laws of nature and also in the miraculous works of God who designed the framework of nature’s laws in the first place.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Deep Calls to Deep

As a child, I feared water.

I learned to swim a little later than my friends, so I often stayed in the shallow end of the pool. One time in a friend’s pool, I drifted into the deep end, panicked, and lost control. I remember when my feet could not touch bottom, and the water began to cover my head.  A panic developed in me as I was completely covered by the water. A nearby mom heard my panicked cries and jumped in to guide me back to safety. The moment was overwhelming.

The psalmist felt the same. As an adult, I see the parallels between my panicked situation and my walk with the Lord. I tend to stay in a comfort level with the Lord, to get comfortable with the feel of my walk, and to see God in a certain light and pattern. I put limitations on God that do not exist because I’m afraid of the moment when I lose control.

The Spirit leads us to places where our comfort level is taken away and where His presence overtakes our being. A place beyond our understanding and ability to comprehend. A destination where tradition and religion cannot lead. The Lord calls us to a state of intimacy—a place of trust where He takes us to a depth that overwhelms our situation.

We often put limits on God’s love, mercy, and grace because we are limited in our understanding. The Lord beckons us to a place where all limitations of His love are removed and where His grace sweeps over our lives every moment—a place of complete peace, but a place where we have no control.

We must lose complete control to find God’s peace and lay down our lives to find God’s purpose. God calls us to a deep relationship beyond our comfort level.

Be overwhelmed by God’s grace so you can find the peace you are searching for. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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