A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Spirit & Body

We have two bodies as such. The physical body and our spiritual body. The Spirit is an important part of both. Giving our hearts to Christ brings that spiritual body into balance and therefore, helps us understand the ups and downs of the physical body – even accept them when others cannot.

Under the Oceans with the Storms of Life

“The pains of life are inescapable, but the virtues of love are more powerful.” The emotional, tear-jerking film, The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith, portrays a character who had to go through many hardships before reaching happiness and is a familiar portrait of what this life paints.

Given time to recollect our memories through our past pain, we would notice the details of worry the conscious mind delivers. Most people have heard, “the pursuit of happiness,” but who wants to hear, “the pursuit of pain.” 

The psalmist expresses clearly that our days should be preserved by taking each one into consideration. In so doing, we gain wisdom to apply all we learn. Our days are preserved by the memories we obtain through the passing of time. It is not only the best seasons of life that we should hold dear but also the painful moments. No one enjoys recalling painful experiences, but through them we learn from our mistakes so that the next day we live can be numbered with more purposeful intention than the day before.

Human pain can be emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual. The moments of our pain can seem like an eternity. What God sees as short-lived, the human mind sees as long-term. But those who are bought by the precious blood of the Lamb have no reason to fret. We have the greatest artist who will project the virtues of His love in these painful moments. 

God’s indescribable glory is often hidden in the storms of life which seem to drown us beneath the waters of no escape. His glory may seem like an enigma at times, but pain sheds light on it. Through pain, we understand that we seldom have control over circumstances. There is more intimacy involved in holding God’s hand during those moments. 

If God intervened miraculously every time we had pain, we wouldn’t benefit from His love. We would also miss the enlightenment of His proverbial wisdom.

Let God teach you to commune deeply with Him, even if takes pain to take you to another level of intimacy.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.) 

Mile Nineteen

The marathon race was my most accomplished physical feat. It was also my most challenging—26.2 miles from start to finish.

As a runner, I experienced the exhilaration of pushing through the desire to stop and give up and the joy of how it felt to finish the race. But the nineteenth mile was where I had to decide to finish the race or throw in the towel. I was depleted of energy, both physically and mentally. My only hope for continuing was to stay focused on the finish line. Nothing else mattered. Not the car that almost hit me or the pulled muscle that happened at mile twelve or the loneliness. Feelings of discouragement and despair threatened to overtake me.

Hoping I had not veered off course, I rounded the corner and saw the masses gathered to cheer on the runners as they crossed the finish line. The sound of silence I had experienced for miles was broken with shouts of encouragement, whistles, and clapping. At that moment, renewed strength poured over me in a way I had never experienced. I would have crawled across that beautiful finish line. 

Today, I am running another race called life. While I know it is a gift from God to journey through this world, the natural elements associated with being here can challenge the fittest among us. Sickness, broken relationships, and financial downturns are but a few of the possible potholes we might encounter along the way.

With the majority of years of living behind me, it feels like “mile nineteen”—having experienced the farewell to my life-mate of forty-six years, along with several other losses and challenges in both body and heart.

God doesn’t promise a carefree existence. Rather, He tells us we will experience trials and suffering along the way. He also says that in His Son, Jesus Christ, we have “overcome the world” (1 John 5:4-5 NIV).

Don’t be fooled by the silence that suggests you are alone or lost without hope. The victory has been won by Jesus. If you feel as if you cannot take another step, trust and know He will carry you over the finish line.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotioins.)

Design Measurements

Reading the measurements of a structure suddenly became overwhelming as my fingers flipped the pages.

God’s desire for perfection and holiness haven’t changed. If the God of the Israelites is the God of Christians—unchanging in manner and desires—we must not miss this.

As I read these verses in Ezekiel, I realized how these measurements are related to our lives. Out of the lips of God came detailed temple measurements and positions—instructions obeyed completely in putting up God’s dwelling place.

The life embedded in our bodies has been pledged to God and ceases to be molded clay and breath forming the core of our existence. It is a dwelling place for God. Since God never changes, His desire for perfection hasn’t changed. He still requires us to follow detailed measurements in this new temple. These measurements are no more in cubits but in deeds, words, motives, desires, and thoughts.

The law of the temple has and will always be holiness. The core building materials of our temple are faith, salvation, and the Holy Spirit. The temple gate should be made of love and peace along with chambers of mercy, forgiveness, and kindness. The roofing should be made of truth with blocks of humility, perseverance, and prayer. In this temple, anger is measured as highly as murder and lust as heavy as adultery.

Thinking through this, I realized God had given us these “measurements” in the Bible. I began to see how beautiful a temple He wants us to be—not by our might but by His grace. I began to have a yearning to live by His measurements, not mine or the world’s, never trying to reduce the specification to suit myself.

I wondered how this was going to be possible as I knelt before my bed with my eyes closed and uttered the words, “How can I, Lord?” But in the quietness, whispering into my heart were the words, “You have Me. Let Me build you into My desired temple one day at a time.”

Let God build you into a holy temple that will please Him. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Beautiful Conclusion

Hidden deep within the secrets of nature, our Creator reveals the keys to life.

A leaf’s life cycle reflects our own lives as the leaf breaks forth from its bud and artistically displays its beauty. The leaf is not birthed to take from the tree but to give back life to the tree that gave it its existence.  

The tree supports the leaf with nourishment so the leaf can proudly display its design to the world around it. As the season changes, the tree cuts its nourishment to the leaf—which then begins the process of death. The leaf displays the beauty of color as it fades into its conclusion of life. We begin to see a different dimension to the leaf—a beauty that captures the eye and paints the landscapes of our beautiful country.

Our life cycle follows a similar path. We are born into a loving family and live our lives giving and receiving from their support. We experience different moments which define our paths and cultivate our outward image to the world. We, too, experience death, but there is a beauty to our conclusion in this life. 

As we fade into eternity, we display a beauty hidden deep within our souls. When we die, the beauty of our lives is revealed in the ones we loved the most. The memories of past experiences come back to life, and the seeds of wisdom we planted in the people around us finally come into harvest. Words and memories that seemed empty in the moment of conception now bring forth a wonderful reflection of the life lost. 

The beauty of death for the redeemed is that we leave behind seeds of hope. Life is a cycle of memories and emotions. The most beautiful part of a leaf is its death. The most beautiful part of our lives is the memories we leave behind for our loved ones.

Nature reveals the hidden thoughts of God, exposes the beauty of our lives, and is designed by its Creator to give life and consume death. Life and death exist in the same space in nature. Death is the beautiful conclusion that gives birth to a new beginning.

Let your life be a beautiful display of God’s love as you fade into the eternal love of the Lord.  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

A Time for Everything

Those dogs of mine! They’re at it again, barking like crazy and racing along the backyard fence.

Every so often, another dog escapes from his yard and runs back and forth in the alley behind our five-foot-high wooden fence, tempting my dogs, Uber and Bear, to “Come and get me if you can.” After repeated calls, my dogs return—exhausted and limping.

“You guys are too old to run so much,” I say. (They are in their middle-teen dog years. This makes them about equal to my senior citizen age.)

But I understand. Aging hits and you can’t do what you once did. It happened to me the other night when we seniors rode the church van to attend the Brass Band concert in Silverton, Colorado. Our drive took one and a half hours between mountain heights and canyon depths. God’s creation filled me with awe, but the crumbly edges by the white lines next to the drop off into the canyon left me breathless.

The drive was worth every minute though. The rousing music of the concert became an exclamation point, matching the mountain grandeur. A stop for ice cream on the way home put a period to a super day.

By 10 p.m., I yawned and headed for bed. I woke up shivering at 3:30 a.m. I couldn’t stop shaking. After a miserable hour, I staggered to the bathroom and put on my flannel winter robe, then slept until 10 a.m. and dozed the rest of the day.

Face it, my body said. You can’t do and go as you once did. Hereafter I may have to listen to CDs from former concerts. Looks like a full day of activity may be too much for a 92-year-old lady.

So does God want me to sit around and do nothing? Well, maybe I will sit more, but if so, I’ll sit at the computer and write. Devotions, articles, and prayers can still be a part of my life. After all, God has given me these extra years, and what better way than to fill them for Him.

Don’t let age hinder your work for God.  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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