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.

No Condemnation

The lady whirled around and yelled at my son.

I was at the movie theatre with my kids. My son was kicking the back of her seat. She was loud. I sat a few rows back and heard her—as did the rest of the people in the theater. If her life was anything like mine, I’ll bet she was looking forward to a couple of peaceful hours in a movie theater instead of being cooped up at home with her kids. When she got to the theater and got everyone situated, I’m sure the last thing she wanted was to deal with some kid kicking her chair.

At first, I was angry. Who does she think she is, yelling at my kid? Simultaneously, I was embarrassed. My son was annoying someone, but she had just screamed at him in a theater full of people.

Honestly, that ugly feeling of shame and condemnation washed over me too. Would all those people in the theater think I was a terrible mom because my son was kicking the back of someone’s seat? 

Moms beating up on themselves when one of their children misbehaves is common. Going down the road of self-condemnation is easy. In times like this, I need to pretend as if I’m not me and tell myself what I would tell someone else in the same situation: Everyone’s kid misbehaves at one time or another. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom.

I might even quote Romans 8:1: “Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” and remind the person Jesus died so we no longer have to live under a cloud of condemnation and shame.

If I believe that for other people, I have to believe it for myself. God doesn’t want us living under a cloud of shame. He loves us and wants us to bring our failings and embarrassing moments to Him so He can provide comfort and peace. 

Don’t live a life of shame. Give it to God. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Grace, Grace, God's Grace

Such grace as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost can give. The light of the One. Life in Him.

When reading the passage inside the pages of John, I came across a desperate individual. A woman who chose to step away from decency—not only from the Pharisees laws but also from Elohim, the great and mighty authority over Israel.

We don’t know what lured her away from the coveted acceptance that the boundaries of law and tradition provided—and it really doesn’t matter. We all slip up when we think, say, and behave in ways that offend the God of grace.

Observing the men who dragged this woman from the center of her sin, to expose her with such harsh and deadly intent, catches my breath. Makes me pause with what? Fear of such extreme authority?

They made several mistakes. Some of which were groomed inside them for years, from example, and from expectations from others and themselves. They’d not shown grace because that would have challenged their traditions. Graciousness, an unknown face among their powerful connections. They’d manipulated people’s opinions and expectations for years. This is what they knew. Now, when they came before Jesus, they tested and tried to trip Him up.

But the test backfired. All because Jesus emulated grace and love that was strange to this people—though they were the barriers of His message. His love was genuine, heartfelt, and full of authority. He wrote in the dirt, and the Pharisees still peppered Him with questions. I believe their attention stuck on their anger and motivation to stir Him.

Jesus stood and said those profound words that even some modern day sinners may recall, “Let he who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” I believe He did so to draw their attention to what He would write next. Even one stone was too great a burden for them to heft and toss in light of the truth Jesus wrote before them.

Though they walked away, probably angry and feeling like failures, He touched them with grace that provided the choice to leave—this woman, their sin, and their horrific tradition that had always been necessary. Until He who embodied grace and life walked among them. Their eyes were muddied with traditions and power-seeking, so they saw a problem and not their solution, their grace=bearing Lord. 

Be like Christ. Choose grace.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Dissolving Insecurity

I felt secure as a child because God blessed me with a loving, supportive family, but I’ve struggled with insecurity since I was a teenager.

When I was in junior high, I was promoted to a class filled with overachieving, critical teens. One girl seemed to revel in chipping away at my self-esteem. In hindsight, I think she was jealous of me—but the damage remains.

God has given me success. He blessed me with the talent to play the trumpet. In marching, concert, and jazz bands, I was a soloist from tenth through twelfth grade. People still tell me I play well in my church’s praise band. He anoints my lips to play the trumpet and honor Him with music.

God also opened the door to the Christian writing world and compels me to write. He hounds me until I get to work—then writes through me. I unlock my heart, submit my work, and let God handle the results.

Regardless of how much encouragement I receive, I still don’t believe in myself. Nor do I see myself as a gifted writer or trumpet player. I simply do what God tells me to do. God, in turn, blesses me with a sense of quiet trust when I use my talents to do the good works to which He has called me.

Daunting though it may be, approaching life without self-confidence is what God inspires me to do. He wants me to feel secure in His will—not mine—and rewards me with a deep sense of peace when I obey Him.

Obedience dissolves insecurity. The Holy Spirit takes over when we submit to God’s will for our lives. Believing I’m obeying the Holy Spirit—rather than writing and playing music to bolster my self-confidence—is essential for me.

We don’t have to believe in ourselves. We can simply trust that God is ministering through us and will use the talents He gives us to touch and encourage others who yearn for what God alone can provide: security. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

God Has No Grandchildren

“My granny is a saint,” the young man said as we chatted. I had just met him and was somewhat uncomfortable in his presence.

My granddaughter met me at Dairy Queen for our Blizzard; Jonah tagged along. “A good friend. He’s always showing up,” Amanda said. I told my husband later that I felt something wasn’t right about him following her. He called her his Bella.

Little did we know that in a few weeks he would be arrested for murder. The detective informed Amanda’s parents he had stalked her, but she was naive and didn’t realize it. The detective said the young man had many pictures of Amanda from childhood until recently on his social media page.

The night of the shooting, a small group of young people were hanging out at Jonah’s home. Someone passed around a gun. Amanda’s stalker grabbed the gun and pointed it at her. She threw up her hand and said, “Get that away from me.” He pointed it at another young man and pulled the trigger. They all saw it happen.

We didn’t know if this high school stalker really was a Christian or not.  He had a praying grandmother, but that didn’t mean he had a personal relationship with God. It doesn’t work that way.

If you had a praying grandmother you are blessed. Both Timothy’s mother and grandmother had faith in Christ. The Apostle Paul believed Timothy was a believer too. He was following in his family’s faith.

My own grandmother prayed for her seven children and no doubt for her numerous grandchildren. After she moved out of the Tennessee hollows, she didn’t miss many opportunities to be at church services. 

Though she and my mother prayed for me, I had to make a personal decision to follow Christ. Each generation, each individual, must personally come to his own commitment.

I can teach my grandchildren about God, live a godly life before them, and urge them to accept Christ as their Savior, but they don’t become Christians because Mamaw is one.

God has no grandchildren. He only has children. Even though we inherit ideas and values from our parents and grandparents, we are each responsible for our own faith in Jesus Christ. Choose to be God’s child. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Quit Choking On Conflict

If you’re a people pleaser like me, you’d probably rather eat bugs than employ confrontation as a healthy means to resolve a conflict. But sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed. 

Several things help me “cowboy up” and face a confrontation when there’s no other way out. One, I remember I’m not equipped to live in a minefield. I’m a pretty skilled dancer when it comes to tippy-toeing around difficult situations. But when I find myself feeling the pain of too many hours “en pointe,” I know it’s time to untie the laces, put on the shoes God’s issued with my full set of armor, and speak the truth in love.

Unresolved conflict casts a long shadow. It touches every area of my life. Until I confront the situation or person, I’m held prisoner by its looming presence. God never meant for me to live that way. Facing the conflict may be scary, but He has promised to be with me, strengthen me, and see me through to accomplish what He has called me to do.

Second, I remember confronting conflict is worth the risk. It’s true I need to pick my battles.  Confronting someone over an annoying habit–like popping Juicy Fruit gum—isn’t worth risking a friendship over. But a conversation about something that vexes my spirit—like the constant badmouthing of another person or the spreading of gossip—makes the risk of confrontation worthwhile.

The apostle Paul once asked, “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16). That’s a hard question, but one true friendship can endure and bounce back from.

Third, I confront conflict immediately. If I wait too long after I’ve been upset or hurt by someone to confront the issue, I have a tendency to stuff the emotions, to forget the incident, and to hope the other person wasn’t really as upset and ugly as I remember them being. The problem is, the problem won’t be any easier to deal with later.

Don’t bottle the anger, frustration, hurt, and disappointment of conflict—letting it ferment like a bottle of champagne. We all know what happens when the cork finally pops. Instead, count to ten, take a deep breath, straighten your glasses, and, as calmly and unemotionally as possible, say what needs to be said right then and there.

Don’t choke on conflict. Confront it and clear the air. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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