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.

Promises When the Path is Unbearable

One rainy day as I was walking the path around our land, my boots and feet got wet.

At 34 degrees, walking became a nuisance. The path is usually easy to walk, but when snow or rain falls, it becomes a test of endurance. I had just started my walk, so my options were to return home or keep going—discomfort and all. I had to pep talk myself into continuing. My default action is to always give up.

This path is similar to my life. When things are going well, I walk the journey in faith. When it gets difficult, I want to throw in the towel at the least little accumulations. I sometimes question if I have enough faith to maneuver what comes my way.

I yearn to walk securely with God in the good times and in the distressing times, as Azariah told King Asa to do. So far, I’ve failed miserably. But I’ve come to realize some things. It’s not failing if I get up and try it again—trusting God to help. God delights in me wanting to be better and to get closer to Him. Hard times are the best way to grow, and I’m never alone. God promises to be with me forever. He doesn’t pull back; I do.

When I remember who is with me, I can put my head down and journey ahead. It’s still hard and the temptation to say I can’t do it is still real. When those thoughts appear, I try to grasp five promises: God will strengthen me, I will reap a harvest of blessings when I persevere, I will be blessed, God promises life if I endure, and God will make my paths straight even if the path is muddy.

Keep walking your life path faithfully—in the midst of the hard and easy times. God’s hand extends to you all the way from the beginning to the end.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Responsible Gifting

I admit it. I am a re-gifter. And I know I am not the only one.

At our wedding shower we opened a gift from Rachel, the preacher’s daughter (who was also getting married that month). Inside was a little card that read, To: Rachel and Steve ... From: Carla and Jim.

We had a good laugh over that one, and I was happy for it. It became my favorite casserole dish (win, win). But there are some instances when gifts are not used so positively.

The Devil roams around like a roaring lion, trying to devour all of God followers. He is so dirty he'll even use the gifts and desires God places within us to use against us. In the Garden of Eden, he used Eve's desire to be like God (a noble desire) against her. He told her she would “be like God, knowing good and evil,” and that by eating the fruit she would "become wise.” He tempted her so much that in her effort to be like God she forgot God. 

Satan used Moses' love for God's people to stir up anger, which ended with Moses committing murder.

David’s passion produced many beautiful praise songs, but Satan used it to notice a lady in a tub, which David allowed to end in unholy passions.

Satan also led Joseph to brag about his prophesies, which led his brothers to sell him into slavery and Joseph to later end up in prison.

Part of our heavy responsibility is to not only use the gifts God gives us but to also tame them so they can continue to be used for the Lord and not the enemy. Even when we slip and fall (as all of these did), God's redemptive hand stays waiting to use us again—at just the right time and in just the right way.

God is the master restorer and second-chance granter. Use your gifts for Him. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Clothed with Christ

My shirt spoke volumes without my mouth ever saying a word.

I was called to pastor a small-town church. I was excited, and so was everyone else. What better way to show my pride—and for the members to show their pride over belonging to that particular church— than to order t-shirts with the church name, along with a logo or Bible verse. So we did.

When we went on mission trips, we wore our shirts. Church outings? We wore our shirts. Around town? We wore our shirts. And sometimes when we went out on the town for a night, we’d all decide to wear our shirts. Then it hit me. Our shirts were speaking words without ever saying any, and I was caught in the middle.

If I hit my finger with a hammer, I had to watch what I said. If I was in the retail store with a buggy full of items and there was only one register open, I had to monitor my words and actions. If the waiter acted as if they could care less, I had to watch how I responded. If someone told an off-color joke, should I laugh?

Whether to wear the shirts or not became a joke between my wife and I and a couple we often went out with. If we wore our shirts, we had to be on our best behavior. If we didn’t, no one would know we were Christians—unless we gave it away in some other way.

Wrong assumption. Paul says I was clothed with Christ the moment I chose to become His follower. I don’t have to wear a shirt. I wear Him. He speaks more words than a shirt ever could. And He speaks them through my actions, words, and attitudes.

I don’t have to advertise myself as a Christian with clothing or jewelry—although there’s nothing wrong with Christian symbols. When I exercise love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control, people assume there is something different about me. All are traits they’re probably not accustomed to seeing—at least not on a regular basis. Should I show the opposite of those traits, they assume I’m just a regular guy.

Remember who you are clothed with. Let Christ speak loudly everyday through your lifestyle. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Glorious Resurrection

The memory slithered across my mind once again, unwelcome and cold. I shivered as my soul slunk back from the ugly details.

The intruder held the knife, threatening violence. My friend, frozen in time, did as she was bidden. They walked into the corridor, down the stairs, and out the door. 

Evil raises its head when you least expect it. We were in a safe boarding school on the second floor and locked in for the night. All young innocent school girls. But a wooden fire ladder made access easy for the disturbed violator. He could have taken any one of us sleeping in the dormitory, but it was Mira he chose. A beautiful pale-skinned, fair-haired doll-like fifteen-year-old girl. Intelligent, gifted, sweet, and kind.

Shocked and in disbelief, we awoke to the news of the truth. Mira was dead at the hand of the predator. Numb, we entered a fear-filled silence. The question that passed across our minds was, “Why?” Why was Mira the one to die? Why did God allow such a tragedy?

The unknown always lurks around the corner. We live in a violent age, yet God’s rule prevails. The destruction of the lawless one and all evil is foretold. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8 NKJV).

Father God is not unfamiliar with suffering. His Son Jesus died a violent death at the hands of His persecutors. Yet three days later, the Holy Spirit raised Him up.

We may not get all our questions answered, but one thing is certain: we will rise again if we choose to believe in Jesus Christ. Mira’s faith was evident in her life. She often spoke of her quiet love for Jesus. Though absent from us, she is present with the Lord.

We may not be able to prevent pain and suffering, but we are able to trust the Word of God. It promises we will live to resurrection life once we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Take a step of faith today and believe.

(Name changed to protect identity.)

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Delighting in the Wait

I have learned to welcome being alone with Yahweh (GOD).

Raised by my grandmother—who was busy and whose children were already grown—I would often play by myself. I named all the flowers in the tiny garden in front of the house, created classrooms with bottles and cans, and developed commentary on every bird or lizard that skittered across my sight. I became comfortable being by myself.

Now that my life has changed and my responsibilities have multiplied, it is difficult to find those moments of solitude, but I make sure to get alone time with the Father so I can become centered and focused. The result is a refueling that makes me wonder what took me so long.

Replenishing my spiritual fuel is no longer a mechanical express stopover when I am on empty. I now step into the moment with a sense of relief and expectation. Like walking into a spa knowing I will lose myself in the aromas and the soothing massage of God’s love on my heart and mind. I go in prepared, but prepared to do and say less. I sit and wait, following the lead of the Spirit. Just thinking about His love and the opportunity to come away with Him is enough to loosen the tension knotted together by cares and anxieties. 

After a quiet time comes the adoration and appreciation for the One whose presence beckoned in the first place and for the forceful presence of His anointing to direct my praise and prayers—making intercession for others and myself. It is a lesson in love—a narrative of peace that I hear in my heart as I move back into a noisy world crowded with responsibilities. But now I am ready and full of joy and peace. I’m ready to share myself again.

Our Father never delays or disappoints us. He always shows up for those who are willing to wait without an agenda and with patience. Moses was on the mountain for six days, content to sit and wait in the cloud for instructions to build (Exodus 24:16). The apostles waited for days for the coming of the Holy Spirit’s fire. 

Find the value of waiting in His presence.

(Photo courtesy of the author.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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