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.

Tipsy Elephants

Gripping the steel rails of our open-top truck, my teenage daughter and I bumped and bounced along the sweltering, dusty roads through the Ankegura National Game Park in Africa.

As lovers of elephants—those magnificent, gentle giants—she and I hoped we’d spot one. Our guide warned us, “Elephants in these parts are known to get drunk on fermented bananas and go on a savage rampage, crushing everything in their path.”

Sure enough, we saw trees and bushes trampled to the ground—clear, unsettling evidence of an elephant stampede. We turned a sharp corner and suddenly met them face to face, a massive pair of killer elephants. Our hearts stopped. This was no zoo, or Disneyland, or a dream where we could fashion our own ending. This was real life, and it terrified us.

In crisis times, we realize how little control we have. We cling to our faith and the One who holds the remote control of our lives in His merciful hand. God graciously steered us to safety that day, but I mulled over that experience long afterward and penned the following in my journal:

Why, Lord, does it take those heart-stopping moments to remind me of Your reign over my life—ruling as You judge best for me—Your reins on my life—holding me back, spurring me on, as You see fit—Your rain in my life—allowed for my good, to soften, shape, and cleanse. I recall times I have behaved like a stubborn, self-sufficient child, reluctant to hold her Daddy's hand—until the Giant appears—then leaping into His arms and clinging with all her might. Thank You, Father, for always being there with open arms, to protect Your little girl from gentle giants—and not-so-gentle ones—even before I know they are there.

We all face life’s giants: failure, loneliness, fear, discouragement, regret, worry, anger, doubt, guilt, temptation, resentment, jealousy. The list goes on. These seemingly unbeatable foes are intent on lurking and taunting us, bent on defeating us.

The Bible tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus. He is our light, our protector, our ever-present giant slayer.

Focus on God rather than your elephants. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Sowing Good Seeds

What we sow, we reap.

The concept of sowing and reaping means different things to different people. Preachers teach extensively on the subject. Church members take pages of notes on it. However, gospel truth is gospel truth. Spiritually, if a person plants it, they will harvest it. 

Some seeds yield a harvest sooner than others, such as negativity. The world is full of it. Plenty of fertile ground exists in which to grow counterproductive thoughts. Not long after we plant it, we reap a bumper crop of negative thoughts. Negative situations soon follow.

We can also plant anger. Someone wrongs their neighbor, and the neighbor gets angry. The anger becomes a seed planted in a heart which takes root and grows into a powerful grudge. Grudges choke out compassion. Soon, the neighbor reaps a harvest of anger and bitterness that ruins their life.

Believers should sow the good seeds of compassion and faith. When trouble comes our way, we should also step away from the habit of blaming God or others for our problems. We reap what we sow. 

Don’t blame unpleasant situations on God or others. Instead, be honest about what you planted.  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Why the Conflict?

Difficulties and conflict make us aware of our need for God and His presence.

I have learned I don’t have to be overtaken when troubles loom within and without. Instead, I can take great comfort in knowing that my heavenly Father is with me in every circumstance of life and longs to show Himself strong on my behalf. Through the process, my faith is made stronger.

The apostle Paul describes the conflict he encountered in the midst of doing God’s will. He tells of having conflicts from without and being filled with fear from within.

God uses trials and difficulties to show us the nature of His character and to strengthen our faith. We can’t grow in our faith and understanding of God’s character except through difficulty. We can study about God’s ability to give peace, but until we’re in a position of unparalleled difficulty that threatens to rob us of our peace, we will not experience the peace that surpasses all understanding. We may possess knowledge of the truth, but God desires that we know Him intimately so our faith is deepened.

If we never experience a need, we will never know God’s ability to supply all our needs according to His riches in Christ. Nor will we be able to declare with the psalmist David, We have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. Without weakness, we will be incapable of experiencing God’s all-sufficient strength.

Let your conflicts drive you closer to God, not further away. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Access to the CEO

The communication business strives for clarity.

Committees ensure words express the specific meaning of the message. You’d recognize the branding ideas of many corporations because their three-word phrases bring them instantly to mind:

“Eat Mor Chikin.”

“Fun Family Entertainment”

“Just Do It.”

Common talking skills lack the clarity these companies apply to get these exacting standards.

There have been times when I asked for the pepper but received the salt. In my mind, I had made a simple request. Not so on the other end. Do you suppose we could get the straight scoop from the corporate executive officer rather than from the janitor? In the case of the above companies, they make sure you get the same answer from anyone associated with them.

In the Old Testament, only prophets heard from God. The Hebrew people depended upon them to verbalize what God said. Abram started it, Moses built on it, and Jesus finished it. No matter how often the Jews brought sacrifices to atone for their sins, the priests made the act complete in the tabernacle where those burnt offerings were made.

When Christ was crucified, the temple veil tore in two. The Holy of Holies no longer remained sacrosanct. The priests’ hold over the Hebrew people vanished, and Jesus foreshadowed the event when he stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Jesus created the way for everyone to communicate with God. We now have the telegraph to get the Word straight from the CEO. God really is better than any committee. No higher authority on what we need to hear exists than the words given by God.

If you’re having trouble understanding anything in this life, get to the CEO. He sent His Son for the express purpose of making the Word fully comprehensible by everyone. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Are You Distracted?

Somehow, I don’t seem to be getting to my destination.

I know where I want to go, but often find myself effortlessly moving in a different direction. It happens so fast and so often it’s hardly noticeable. I usually take time to notice certain things beside the road. Before long, I am moving towards the object—and I’m not the only one.

I wondered why I move towards my desires when my original destination was towards God’s will. The answer was found in Colossians 3:2. My affections were in the driver’s seat and on earthly things. I had grown to love these things more than God and His will. Paul said the same thing in another place, “Don’t get confused, you don’t belong here on earth, don’t get too attached to it.”

My desires and needs determine what my focus in life becomes. If that shifts from Christ and His will, I will let go of God’s principles to lay hold of whatever I want and by whatever means necessary.

To glorify God, I must have a change in my affections, which will result in a shift in my attention. This is only possible by renewing my mind through constant meditation on God’s Word. Through this, I get to know His desires. It also requires intimate fellowship with Him, wherein He stirs up His desires in my heart.

When my greatest affection is for Christ, He will be my focus. Rather than letting people, objects, wealth, and other things distract me, I can let them guide me.

Don’t let anything or anyone steal your focus from God. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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