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.

Whatever

As a first-time parent, I assumed it would be smooth sailing once I survived the Terrible Twos.

But to quote a favorite response from a two year old, “No!” Along came the Turbulent Teens, complete with bad attitude and eye rolling. Although “No!” was no longer spewed at me, I was blown off by my teenaged little darling. Her standard response to my suggestions, opinions, or directives during her Turbulent Teen phase was, “Whatever.”

So I decided to fight fire with fire. I countered my daughter’s whatever with God’s whatever. Knowing that a teenage girl would love to receive clothing for her birthday, I ordered her a special t-shirt. Emblazoned on the front was the whatever language of Philippians 4:8: Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. This present was a humorous reminder about a positive use of the word. 

As God’s children, we often act like kids going through the Turbulent Teens. We roll our eyes and dismiss what He has told us to do because we know better—or so we think. But our disobedient actions are a disrespectful whatever response.

Although we are parents on earth, God is still our heavenly Father. He has directed us to concentrate on whatever is good, right, etc. Whatever is right includes showing respect and being obedient to Him. Rather than copping an attitude, as God’s Turbulent Teens, we should adjust our attitude and our focus.

Immersing ourselves in God’s Word and memorizing Philippians 4:8 are steps in the right direction. If necessary, we might even wear a t-shirt with the words from Philippians 4:8 on it. My daughter is now grown and out of the house, but I still have and wear her whatever t-shirt to remind me of what my focus needs to be.

Do whatever it takes to obey your heavenly Father and to focus on whatever things are positive and uplifting.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Jesus, Our Restitution

Restitution is restoring someone or something to its pre-sin condition.

Many times it is impossible to restore to pre-sin condition. Suppose I am walking down  the street with an ice cream cone in my hand. Someone—who is not paying attention to their surroundings—bumps into me and knocks my cone out of my hand. I am offended, suffer a loss, and have a right to demand restitution. If the one who bumped into me moves on and ignores my demand for a replacement, I am left without my ice cream.

The store clerk, who saw the incident, offers me another cone, at no charge. But I refuse the new one and continue to seek restitution from the offender. The store manager hears the commotion and offers me a double-scoop cone. I reject the new offer. I want restitution. Finally, the owner of the store offers me a triple-scoop sundae with a cherry on top. Since I insist on restitution from the offender, I have missed the restitution that came from other sources.

Paul tells us to forgive each other as Christ has forgiven us. When we forgive, we stop seeking restitution from our offenders and are open to receiving restitution from others. Jesus is our restitution. He restores us out of the riches of His grace and will also use others to restore to us.

Do not look to your offenders to be your source of restitution. Forgive them. Look to Jesus for your restitution. He can restore in greater measure than you can think or imagine.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Walk a Little Slower

She gave me a model to follow.

As we touched down, the Boeing 747 bobbed down the runway amid the flickering lights. The plane joggled to a stop. Passengers grabbed coats and bags from the overhead compartments and crammed the aisle to deplane. I continued to rummage under the front seat for a missing pink sneaker. 

My daughter and I finally exited the plane and headed for the confines of the terminal. “It’s better to walk a little slower, Daddy,” she shouted. “I don’t want to fall.” My daughter often reminded me I was leading her, and my steps were too fast. 

She’s all grown-up now and married. But I remember how she followed me everywhere, believing I was able to guide her safely through the circumstances of the day. She followed when I escorted her to school on the first day of kindergarten. She followed when I stepped into the doctor’s office for her to receive shots. And she followed when I led her to the edge of the pool for our first dip together.  

But unlike my daughter, I normally prefer to lead and direct my destiny. I even find myself talking over God, insisting that He follow me instead. Then I shamelessly plead for His help when things don’t go as planned.

In truth, we don’t entirely have the ability to control our destiny. Our knowledge and understanding are limited—and we have a sinful nature besides.

The rightful one to lead is our Maker. The same one who led Noah, and whom Noah walked with. He who holds knowledge of the past, the present, and the future events all at once. He leads us safely through our storms, our doubts, our fears, and our agonizing losses.

If we’re to become committed followers, the requisite is complete trust in God. Our obligation is to humbly follow, knowing He will steer us in the right direction. To help, God gives us His footsteps to follow and asks that we not yield to the temptation to rush ahead—alone.  

My daughter’s words, way back when, still remind me it’s better to walk slower so I don’t fall.

Let Christ set the pace for you each day.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Turbulence

“More!” A small voice giggled in the back of the plane, indicating this toddler enjoyed the turbulence as the plane flew over the Rockies.

The boy was on his way to visit his grandparents and was excited by the whole flying experience. The bumpy ride rivaled amusement park attractions. Though people chuckled, I doubt everyone had the same opinion of that bumpy ride. Many feared.

If you have flown very much, you’ve probably experienced air travel discomforts. In addition to turbulence, delays, missed connections, long waits, broken planes, security hassles, and lost luggage are common. Once, when our son flew into town, a delay caused him to miss his connecting flight and arrive hours later, smack in the middle of rush hour traffic. We were not amused.

Life is like that—a bumpy ride, full of challenges. Almost every day we encounter some sort of annoyances. We’re stuck in traffic. Someone cuts us off. We pick the slowest checkout line at the grocery store. Our schedule gets interrupted.

Sometimes the bumps are more like mountains—illnesses, financial troubles, broken relationships, and numerous serious problems, all destroying our smooth ride. Who would say “More?” Yet James tells us these everyday trials of life are God’s building blocks to make us into the person He wishes us to be.

Oswald Chambers said, “No matter how difficult something may be, I must say, ‘Lord, I am delighted to obey you in this.’”

Discovering a new way of manifesting the Son of God should make our heart beat with renewed excitement. Our steadfastness can develop a spiritual vitality in which we willingly do what the trial demands, no matter how much it hurts and as long as it gives God the opportunity to manifest the life of Jesus in us.

Be brave enough to say, “Lord, bring it on. More! Make me into the person You want me to be. Help me bring glory to You in this.”

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Set Free from Anger

Anger haunted me.

After a year of therapy for the nemesis, I realized my anger surfaced when I feared something: losing control of a friend, a family member, or a position of security and comfort.

Like many of us, Naaman had an anger problem. The prophet didn’t heal him in the way Naaman imagined he would. Naaman also had to have someone else point out his anger to him.

Others can often see us far better than we can see ourselves. Like Naaman, I wanted things done my way. I now walk in happy warmth with less headaches and more energy. I allow the Creator to be fully in charge of my life, family, possessions, and circumstances.

Pride and self-reliance kept me from surrendering to my loving Father earlier. They had to be confronted and eliminated.

I’m far from perfect, but now stand in awe of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Instead of being angry, I try to wait on God.

Surrender your all to God, and be set free from anger.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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