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.

God's Type of Life

Since my recent valley of death experiences, I have become interested in what it means to be alive.

I have learned the Holy Spirit is the distributor of God’s gifts. He is the chosen executor of Almighty God’s will. The Father is the planner, the Son is the revealer, and the Spirit is the distributor. But having been given a gift doesn’t necessarily mean the gift will be used.

Each of God’s children is given—at the moment of their second birth—a reflection of God’s type of life. God is all powerful, He is love, and He is in control. A born-again person lives God’s type of life by yielding through prayer to Almighty God. The Spirit of God lives inside the fabric of a born-again personality and wants to take control.

This troubled world needs God’s children to radiate the divine qualities living inside of them. Each day, we live because God wants us to share His power, His love, and His sound mind. Every believer is a short-term missionary.

Hopefully, before we take our final walk through the valley of death, we will mature into what our Father gave us the day we took Jesus as our Savior. By yielding to the Spirit of God, a believer experiences what they are changed into: a new creature.

Having been zombies, or dead men walking in trespasses and sins, God’s children can now choose either to live energized by the Holy Spirit’s life, power, love, and self-control or to fall back into being controlled by their flesh.

Failing to approach God in prayer and asking for His life to flow through us will produce a counterfeit of God’s type of life. The flesh guarantees this. Our power will have the lusts of the flesh flavor, including wrath. Our love will have a rotten smell as we seek for love in all the wrong places. And self-control will have selfishness coloring its fabric. 

Pray today to be controlled by the Spirit of God and to have the power, love, and sound mind you received at your best birthday party.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Whose Report Will You Believe?

The message etched in my heart was “You’re worthless!”

“You’re just like your father—moody, no friends, no personality. You’ll never amount to anything.” Growing up, I heard these words—and others even more hurtful—over and over.

The old sticks and stones adage is bogus. Words do hurt. They go down into our innermost being like a heat-seeking missile and lodge there. Some folks don’t intend harm when they spout off hateful words. After all, hurting people hurt people. Others use words as weapons of mass destruction, planning their strategy carefully.

A well-known speaker and author told about a comment directed at him when he was young: “You’re just stupid.” He shared how those words took root and impacted his life for years.

The mean-spirited words spoken to me as a child (and even as an adult) replayed in my mind like an old 45 RPM with the needle stuck in one place. I rehearsed those comments for years until God revealed His truth and set me free. He showed me His opinion of me was the only one that counted.

Many voices speak in this world. The naysayers and critics are inevitable and unavoidable. They’ve always been there, and they always will be—just take a look at the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.

The Devil is called the accuser of the brethren and the father of lies. His biggest weapon is deceit. But we also have the voice of the Spirit, speaking words straight from the Father’s heart. Our only defense against the lies is knowing who we are in Christ and what His Word has to say about us. The question is: Whose voice are we going to listen to?

Years ago, Ron Kenoly sang a popular song entitled “Whose Report Shall You Believe?” If you’re not familiar with it, check it out online and study the powerful lyrics. And the next time negative words are hurled at you, throw up the shield of faith and ask yourself, Whose report will I choose to believe? Then tell yourself—and the enemy—I choose to believe the report of the Lord.

(Photo courtes of Free Digital Photos.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Cleaning Fingerprints

“Fingerprints all over the place.”

My oldest grandson called the dirty storm door to my attention as he and his younger brother stood looking over the back yard. Of course, he failed to mention both of them were the reason for the smudges. Since we keep them five days a week, keeping the door clean was an exercise in futility I’d almost given up on.

“Handprints are more like it.” I snickered.

“You need to clean it, Pop,” he said.

As a Type A personality like myself, my grandson can’t stand dirt—or smudges. I walked by and left the door alone. Since we were moving in a couple of weeks, I had even more reason to ignore the grimy handprints. When I decide to clean the door—probably just before we move—I won’t replace the entire door. I’ll just take out the window cleaner and clean the glass portion.

Jesus proposed a similar scenario to His disciples. They didn’t need to wash all over—just their feet. They were totally cleansed when they believed in Him and decided to be His followers. Now they merely needed a daily sponge bath.

At nine years of age, I decided to do what these early disciples did—trust Jesus as my Savior. Dad explained the gospel message of how Jesus died for my sins. I believed and invited Him into my life. In that moment, He cleansed me all over. Past, present, and future sins—of which there have been many—were washed away. The price Jesus paid on Calvary for humanity’s sins was applied to me.

But what about the daily fingerprints that come from putting my hands where they don’t belong—like my grandchildren? They won’t send me to hell, because Jesus’ blood has covered them. They will, however, interfere with my spiritual vision as the fingerprints on the door cloud the view of the backyard. Confession will clear away the smudges. My acknowledgment of my failures and sins is what Jesus referred to when He mentioned a daily foot washing.

Make confession a daily practice. Doing so is good for the soul and will keep your feet clean—and remove the smudges from the doors so interaction between you and the Savior can be open and clear.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Rest of Freedom

There was once a bird who lived in a cage. The door was left open, but the bird did not fly away because it was used to the confines of the cage. How much like this bird we are.

Jesus died to set us free, yet we do not walk out of our own cages—many of them self-created.  The price was paid for our complete freedom, yet we must take the chance and step into it.  Jesus paid the highest price so that we can.

The word indeed means to add to or strengthen a previous statement, without question, undeniably, incontestable, indisputable, and inarguable. To be “free indeed” is to be free without question. It cannot be argued, disputed, or denied.

Although we despise our bondage, it’s what we know. We understand how to manage it. Freedom can be scary if we’ve lived in bondage for years. It requires a new way of living and thinking. Our mind—the way we think—is the beginning and end of our troubles.

To walk in freedom means trusting the One who bought our freedom. But trust doesn’t always come easy. It requires trusting God enough to actually live in freedom. So often, we receive freedom but never experience the full benefits because we spend our entire lives trying not to lose that freedom. It’s similar to the difference between playing to win a game and playing not to lose a game. Only one produces true victory.

To live trying not to lose our freedom is like saying we earned it so we can somehow lose it. True freedom brings rest—a rest knowing the God who set us free is able to keep us free. We may be physically free, but if we constantly feel as if one little thing can push us over the edge, our mind is not free. As a man thinks, so is he.

Are you walking in freedom daily? Ask God to help you. Your confidence will grow, and your trust will lead you to rest in His freedom.  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Lessons from a Hot Iron

Mom taught me how to iron clothes.

Since we had no television while I was growing up, Saturday mornings usually found me ironing the pillowcases and dish towels mom had laundered, starched, and rolled up in a large plastic bag. This would keep them moist while awaiting their appointed time with the iron.

Until I was tall enough to reach the ironing board while standing, we used a combo “high chair” and stepstool with two squeaky steps. Maybe it was early onset OCD, but I grew to enjoy transforming those moist wrinkled items into dry smooth works of art.

Now that I’m grown—except for the periodic break when I take my clothes to the cleaners—I don’t mind ironing my own clothes. As a child, we didn’t have the luxury of a steam iron, so we kept the clothes moist and smoothed their wrinkles with a simple iron that had a cool handle and a hot base. But today’s new and improved models feature so many fancy knobs, buttons, and settings that it requires an instruction booklet.

One of the safety features on new irons is a cut-off mechanism when the iron is inactive. When I'm ironing, the green “in use” light is on, and the iron performs smoothly and effectively. However, when I get distracted and leave it standing inactive for a short while, the green light blinks off and the iron shuts off. This is by design so I don’t burn the house down.

As I ironed my business shirts one day, God showed me how I am like that iron when I’m supposed to be doing something for Him. While I’m active and busy, He supplies the power, energy, and enthusiasm to complete the task. When I get distracted, forget my priorities, and become discouraged, my spiritual “in use” light blinks off and I lose His power and my enthusiasm and effectiveness.

Jesus said we were to let our lights shine. God usually won’t show you the longer pathway until you are taking the steps He's already shown you. Whether He's convicted you to stop something or inspired you to start something, get busy doing it or you may be stuck for a while with your “in use” button off and your iron growing cold.

Don’t let anything or anyone keep your light for God from shining. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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