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.

Otters and Community

Their cute faces and funny antics make them popular with old and young alike. 

Sea otters are some of my favorite creatures. I love watching them at aquariums, floating on their backs and playing with their fellow otters. The way the mothers cuddle their young as they float is heartwarming and makes me want to hold my own children close. Otters are social, engaging in play with each other and hanging out in groups called “rafts.” They often wrap kelp around themselves to keep from drifting away. When they sleep, they hold hands or lock arms to keep each other close.

Christians also have a need for community. King Solomon wrote, A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). And the writer of Hebrews encourages us to continue meeting together so we might build each other up.

Just like otters, we need to live in community. We need the voices and encouragement of other Christians to help us stay afloat so we won’t drift away.

Grounding ourselves with Scripture through regular Bible reading or weekly Bible study with a small group keeps us from drifting. By linking with other Christians, we keep each other close. We can encourage each other and be encouraged. We learn we’re not alone in our struggles.

Many Christians drift away because they don’t get connected at their church or find a place to serve and fit in within the church community. God made us for relationship, both with Him and with others, so building strong relationships and communities of faith is important.

If you aren’t part of a Bible study or small group at your church or in your community, consider joining one. Someone may need to hear your story of faith and feel your encouragement. You may even need to hear their story.

Prepare yourself to help someone else in their faith journey. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Search for the Lord

“I can’t find my Nintendo DS game. Help me!” My daughter’s pleas filled the house.

“Where was the last place you had it?” I asked.

“My bed,” she cried. “Now it’s gone. Help me!”

“Look under the bed and move the covers and pillows around,” I instructed.

I watched her enter her room, turn around in a circle, and then proclaim, “It’s not in here.”

I shook my head in disbelief. She was upset because she wanted something she would not search for. Although she said she searched, she didn’t. She wanted the Nintendo to jump up and say “here I am.” I finally went into her room and found it under the bed, where it had fallen, proving she could have found it if she had searched.

Many people are upset with God because they believe He is not there and does not care. In His Word, He tells us to seek Him while He may be found. Seeking requires searching. Yet we enter the room and cry “where are you,” expecting Him to jump up and say “here I am.”

Although God is there, He wants us to search for Him … to consider Him a treasure worth looking for. If you have trouble seeing God in your life and circumstances, seek Him. Take out your Bible and read. Be open to talk with and  listen to other Christians who can share Christ with you personally—Christians who spend time in prayer, not just speaking to God but listening for His still, small voice.

Times in life will come when we feel as if God cannot be found, and we will ask, “Where are you?” When these times come, know He is there. Be willing to search for Him until you find Him.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Problem Solving

In frustration, he cried, “I have more questions than answers!”

As I listened to the man’s concerns, I felt I understood them. Reflecting on this later, I realized I, too, had more questions than answers. Only my situation was different.

For years, I had worn hearing aids, but lately I had not been able to hear anything out of the right ear. I feared I was losing my hearing entirely, so I made an appointment with a hearing specialist. The young lady answered my questions, tested my hearing aids, and solved my hearing problems.

After she made the adjustments, I replaced my hearing aids. For the first time in a year, I heard clearly. As tears welled up, the specialist asked, “Are you all right?” I told her I was and thanked her for her service. She told me she liked problem solving—a rare gift for someone so young.

Sometimes, we try to reason out our problems before we consult the specialist—the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is the greatest problem solver we will ever know. He brings strategies into our circumstances and answers questions we have no answers for.

After guiding my friend into some relevant Scriptures for his dilemma, he reported later that he discovered his answers.

Consult the best problem solver, the living God, for the right answers to all your questions. You will not be disappointed.

(Photo courtesy of morguefile.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Slithering to Safety

Sheer terror replaced anything I may have planned years earlier while draped over the couch, textbook in hand.

While on a dirt path, deep in the forest, I came nose-to-toe with a copperhead snake. His nose. My toe. But I was not some rank amateur. No siree. Girl Scouts and first aid courses had trained me on how to respond: Remain calm. No loud noises. No sudden moves.

So what did I do? What any self-respecting city girl would do. I panicked. I screamed. I turned and ran for my life. So much for being prepared.

God’s pleas beckon us from the pages of Scripture: Come to Me … Call upon Me … Seek Me first … Take My yoke … learn from Me … Be anxious for nothing … Give your requests to God … Fix your eyes on Jesus ….

God’s promises follow each plea: … and I will give you rest … I will answer … I will show you…and all these shall be added to you … and you will find rest for your soul … and the peace of God shall guard your hearts and minds ... so you may not grow weary or lose heart.

One day, without warning, God may call us to experience a crisis we’ve only read about or watched others experience—one that’s frightening, humiliating, devastating, shocking, overwhelming, or heart-breaking. A temporary setback or a life-changing disaster. A private struggle or a public nightmare.

We can read self-help manuals or stories of saints who’ve overcome. We can plan, prepare, and preach on “Ten Steps to Handling Adversity.” But until we face that difficult life situation head-on, we won’t know what our gut reaction will be. Will I turn to God or to self? To God or another person? To God or another source—such as alcohol, anger, seclusion, fear?

Whenever we come nose-to-toe with life’s challenges, why not respond to God’s gracious offer and run into the ever-present arms of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, our Protector, our Refuge, our Rock.

Run to the Rock, and watch your worries slither away.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Sister Mary of Jordan

Arab woman don’t normally remain single and live alone all their lives.

Sister Mary (Ukt in Arabic), however, devoted her life to full-time ministry for her Lord. When still a young woman, she began Bible studies in her home. They grew into a church and became one of the largest, most active Protestant congregations in Jordan.

Each morning and afternoon Ukt Mary led either a meeting for women or for girls in her house or in other homes in different areas of the city. On Friday mornings, a men’s prayer group met at Ukt Mary’s house. After a time of prayer, they engaged in lively discussions.

Over the years, Ukt Mary developed health problems, but she didn’t let these challenges slow her down. She continued to lead Bible studies until her death and trained women to take her place. She never feared death but looked forward to leaving this earth to be with Jesus. God forewarned her of death, so she put her affairs in order.

The morning of her death, Ukt Mary got up knowing she would meet Jesus. She even called her doctor. She had lived her whole life in anticipation of this day. She called relatives and some of her friends to invite them to come over. She was going home to Jesus.

When they gathered around her, she lay down, waved at them, and said, “Goodbye, world. I’m going to Jesus.” Just like that, she died. Her death, the ideal leave-taking of this world, was a beautiful testimony of the harmony between her and Jesus.

Don’t fear death. Rather, follow Ukt Mary’s example by looking forward with excitement and anticipation to going to your Father’s house.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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