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.

I Give Up

“The worry wheel has always spun in our family,” my cousin told me.

I felt better knowing my anxiety was an inherited trait. I couldn’t do anything about it. Not that I haven’t tried writing down verses on trust, reading in the Bible about God’s unwavering love for His children, and listening to songs about God taking care of us.

But the wheel spins on. One morning I woke up with a headache and weighted down with heaviness over several situations. I’d prayed, thought through possible answers, and prayed some more. Then finally, struggling under the weight, I sat up in bed and cried out, “I give up!”

Picturing myself with hands raised in surrender, I prayed, “Dear Lord, I no longer want to be my own burden bearer. Help me remember You are the One who took that on willingly by giving Your life for me.” 

Gradually the familiar heaviness disappeared. I realized I had a choice. I could trust and let go or return to lugging my constant load of unanswerable problems once again.

God promises His trustworthiness and continual caring and wants us to exchange our tension for resting in His perfect loving care in every detail of our lives. The Israelites sat by a river singing and talking about how the Lord provided food in the desert and protection from their enemies. God had not forgotten them and He hasn’t forgotten us.

My tendency to worry probably will not disappear, but with the Lord’s help I will not forget the morning I sat up in bed and said, “I give up!” I remind myself when things get discouraging to remember the times the Lord provided and rescued.

Learn to give up on your own strengths so God can provide His.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Suspended

We held our breath. The flames were almost on him. 

Just as the raging bush fire rose up behind him, the man leapt from the rock. He reached forward to the other side of the river. For a while he seemed suspended in mid-air. We all breathed a sigh of relief when he landed on the other river bank. We knew it was a movie, but the scene was so real. His elation was evident as he moved forward with zeal and purpose out of harm’s way of the heat and flames.

The apostle Paul was suspended twice during his missionary journeys. Once for eighteen months in Ephesus, and then three years in Corinth. Both times the Lord changed Paul's strategy for making disciples. By suspending Paul, the gospel spread throughout the known world by those Paul trained.

Esther was suspended between leaving her people and becoming queen. During the time she prepared, God changed circumstances to make the way for her. Jesus was suspended between earth and heaven after His crucifixion. During this time He rose from the dead and appeared before many, confirming Him to be the only living God.

In all these biblical examples and others, God worked, His purposes went forward, and He accomplished His will.

We all go through seasons when we take leaps of faith. We feel suspended awhile before we land safely into the next adventure with God. Time and life pass by. We know we are going forward and that God is with us, but we feel suspended—that we are not going anywhere.

We will reach the other side and land safely. God is with us and is working behind the scenes to prepare the new way for us.

Faith in Jesus will see you safely to the other side.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Member of the Dad Bod Squad

My wife said the five dreaded words I have been hoping to avoid our entire marriage: “We should start working out.”

Wait . . . what? Why? What did I do to deserve this? Apparently, there is this thing where people run for fun. Yeah, I know. I had to look it up because it didn’t sound like a real thing to me either. If you run with me, you better be prepared to walk . . . a lot.

But the crazy thing was, the more I did it the better I felt, the more weight I lost, and the longer I could run without my heart feeling like it would explode.

Our body is a fined tuned machine that God created. He gave us the tools, the wisdom, and the resources to take care of ourselves physically and spiritually.

Start off by leaving the house and walking a mile. By the time you get back home, you will have walked two miles without thinking about it. Don’t worry about time, just do your best. All God wants is all we have.

I am not cut up with muscles or in great shape, but I plan on giving God all I have to give. I still have my dad bod, and I think that’s okay. It took you a while to get the body you have now, so it will take a while to get the one you want. Stay focused.

God will give you the wisdom and the resources to help you work out physical and especially spiritually.

Don’t give up. Press toward the mark. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Getting the Message Right

Strange hymn lyrics did not alter my preschool friend’s enthusiasm in the least.

Without question, he simply went along with what he thought everyone else was singing. At the top of his lungs and with a smile on his face, he sang, “Here are mice in me, warts on me.” Apparently no one noticed his words—a bit different from Isaiah’s response to God’s call in Isaiah 6:8, “Here am I. Send me.” They also differed considerably from songwriter M. W. Spencer’s lyrics, “Lord, send me.”

Years later, when someone shared this story, we had a good laugh, recalled other experiences and characters from our home church, and then moved on to other topics. However, when I had time to reconsider this experience, I realized how relevant it remained.

This innocent misunderstanding reminds us to look beyond our limited and often faulty perceptions. We often miss what God wants in our lives by relying solely on what other people say or do. By choosing an effortless path rather than seeking God’s direction, we fail to recognize countless ministry opportunities.

Instead, we should explore what the Bible teaches, what God places on our hearts, and what the needs around us are. We might also check God’s work through more mature Christians. If we seek God’s direction, we can expect an answer. It may not come when we expect it, arrive through traditional channels, or be the reply we want, but it will be the right path to take. 

In spite of my little friend’s unique twist on this old song, he did uncover one incredible truth: God sees not only our mistakes but also our potential.

Offer whatever you have and all that you are to the One who accepts you as you are and transforms you into all you can be. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



All Things New

Wyatt, my seven-year-old grandson was sitting on the couch in the living room when I came into the house. Pillows propped him up, and a fuzzy brown monkey rested in the crook of his arm. Wyatt has a severe form of cerebral palsy caused from a rare intra-uterine stroke.

I said his name. He turned his head and looked for my voice. I asked how he was feeling. He opened his mouth.

“I know you’ve been a good boy today,” I remarked.

He grinned and turned his head to the side, his long eyelashes dipping over his big blue eyes.

“The weather has been unusually warm for this time of year.”

He blinked.

“Maybe, if things were different, you might have ridden a bicycle on a day like this.”

He looked at me.

A robin sang in the maple tree outside. They’ve always been symbols of spring, a time when everything becomes new again. Flowers sprout from the earth, and leaves turn vibrant green. What has seemed dead and lifeless all winter lives again.

Just like the passing of winter carries the promise of spring, God’s Word carries a promise in Revelation 21:5 that I cling to: “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new.’”

Tears stung my eyes as I looked at my grandson’s limp hands. “This new place will be a place where all little boys will be able to run and play,” I told him.

He looked at me, and a bit of drool dribbled from his mouth. I sat down next to him and held his hand. “That includes you, Wyatt.”

He gushed a radiant smile.

Even though there are days when all I see are things Wyatt can’t do, I hold to God’s promise that He will make everything new. I look forward to the day when my grandson’s broken little body will be made new. I can’t wait to see how the touch of the Creator’s hand will give new life to his limbs and restore speech to his lips.

Only the loving God of all creation could promise to fix what is broken and make everything new again.

Let God fix whatever is broken in your life.  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.) 



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