A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Spirit & Heart

Where your heart is, there is where your treasure lays. Our hearts guide our emotion and decisions. Unless God is the center of the heart, things are askew. Allowing the Spirit into the matters of the heart promises the faithfulness of Jesus in our lives.

Why Should God Wake You?

I often wonder why God should give me another day.

Every evening, I pray to God. Before ending my prayer, I ask God to preserve my life and grant me long life. I expect to wake up in the morning. I use the word expect, because my day is usually planned before it’s here. But then I wonder why I want God to wake me up.

I believe Paul thought through this because he knew and talked about what each choice meant to him and why he would prefer one or the other.

We know to live is Christ, but understanding what that means is challenging. Possible answers are so we can live in love and obedience to God one more day, so people can see God through our lives one more time, so we can glorify God through our planned activities for the day, or so we can tell one more person about Christ and love the people around us.

Less worthy options for waking up are so we can live our dreams, pursue our goals, enjoy the pleasures of the earth, and show the world how intelligent, famous, and wealthy we are. Deep within our hearts, we know our desire to have one more day often has little to do with living for God. We want to wake up so we can live for ourselves with a pinch of God here and there.

We are created to worship and bring pleasure to God and should wake up each morning with the intention of living as Christ would live. Our loving God desires to give us another day so we can understand His truths and experience more of Him. When we do this, we will renew our minds, appreciate God for His kindness, and live everyday more meaningfully.

Let Christ be the reason you live for each new day. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Acting on Impulse

As my wife checked out with our groceries and staples, I peered at a price tag and contemplated a decision.

I’ve always been an impatient type. Extra money stirs an itch. On this occasion, I wanted a new computer and one that was more compact. Sam’s wholesale company had one on sale. 

I ambled up to my wife with a long face. “They have one for less than two hundred dollars.”

“Well, buy it,” she replied.

I had her approval, but I hesitated. I’d never owned a Chromebook before. But impatience and desire took over. I made the purchase. Soon after, I discovered I’d acted on impulse without doing the necessary investigation. Most of what I do at school and church and with my writing requires Microsoft Word. Chromebook didn’t support it. 

Two weeks after acting on impulse, I bought another computer that suited my needs. I advertised my Chromebook on Facebook. Fortunately, it sold it quickly—and without losing money.

Esau acted on impulse too. He enjoyed hunting and had just returned from a hunting trip when he smelled the luscious stew his momma-boy brother was cooking. In haste, he traded his rights as the oldest child for a bowl of stew. Later, he hated his brother for stealing his birthright, yet he couldn’t do anything about his loss—but stew.

When I want something badly enough, rationalization comes easily—convincing myself I need this particular thing … persuading myself spending money I don’t have is acceptable. Sometimes the pressure to buy isn’t internal, but external. Other people have what I want, and they encourage me to get it also.  

I failed to do the most important thing before making my purchase: consult God. I didn’t have to get on my knees—or even close my eyes—but I could have prayed at the sales counter and asked His opinion. He can check my spirit and prick it one way or the other. Though I didn’t pray, I felt the prick—and ignored it.

Making purchases based on biblical principles is also essential. Am I spending money I don’t need to spend? Does owning this thing conflict with my testimony as a believer? Is making the purchase going to lead me into unnecessary debt?

God is more than able to give us wisdom for every purchase we make. Consult Him so you won’t act on impulse—and later regret it.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Hiding Among the Baggage

I have had times in my ministry when I should have spoken out, but didn’t. Someone else could do it better than I. Thinking silence is golden justified my quietness. But the color was a little more yellow than gold. 

At other times, God prompted me to do acts of service, but others were better able to do the task. I decided I would serve in the background and help them. Honorable in some cases, but it was not real service or humility in other cases. It was an inverted form of pride. I focused on what I could or could not do instead of what God could do through me.

Samuel was going to anoint Saul as King of Israel. Saul was “head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land,” yet he hid among the baggage. Perhaps, he felt small in his own eyes—as I have.

Samuel explained God’s plans to Saul. Saul then tested his anointing and prophesied among the prophets. His friends said, “What has happened to the son of Kish?” But upon Saul’s public revealing, they found him hiding among the baggage. 

If God says you can do it, saying you can’t is never humility, but timidity and stupidity.  Contradicting God is never smart.

If you feel small in your own eyes, remember you’re often not what you think you are—or what others think you are. You are always what God says you are. If God has called you to do something and says you can do it, don’t hide among the baggage.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

And Stuff

“We already know Jesus loves us and stuff,” my daughter shouted from the back seat.

We were on our way home from a birthday party where she had a small taste of a bounce house and was eager to get back on it. I thwarted her plans by reminding her we would be going to church the next morning rather than heading outside to bounce.

She didn’t feel church was necessary since Jesus loved her . . . and stuff. Her innocent proclamation was actually very powerful. We often allow the “and stuff” of our relationship with God to become a second thought. Although Jesus does love us, He also wants a relationship with us. He desires that we sink into His Word and fully explore the dimensions of a relationship with Him. 

While God’s love covers us, it’s the “and stuff” that carries us through the troubles of our days. His unending grace, constant presence, and perfect plans are all part of the “and stuff” that my daughter has yet to fully grasp.

As you revel over how much Jesus loves you, dive into His Word and discover just how much other stuff there is.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Encouragement for the Lonely

After investing in the life of a younger believer for almost a decade, I was hurt when she decided to turn away from the Lord and also reject my friendship.

Our journey had taken us over many hills and through numerous valleys. I was sure we’d walk through life as friends and fellow seekers of Christ. Her decision to abandon her faith and turn from our friendship was heartbreaking. I questioned whether the years of investing in her life had been a waste. The pain of losing the friendship was deep.

Most of us—like the psalmist—have experienced the desolation of a friend’s hurt. We have wrestled with the sense of feeling alone in the world. A friend turns away in betrayal, a marriage falls apart, a child leaves with no promise of returning. We find ourselves alone and misunderstood. The emptiness is devastating, and the pain of unwarranted scorn leaves us isolated and hurt.

Jesus never promised life for believers would be easy. In fact, He promised trouble for all who walk through this broken world. But there is good news. He promised He would never turn away or abandon us. He also reminded us that He had overcome the world.

Though we find ourselves alone and hurting, God never leaves us. He is the ultimate comforter, keeper, and companion. Whenever you’re feeling misunderstood, left out, or lonely, take heart. God sees your pain. He understands, and He is your defender and advocate. He will never leave you. 

Lean into God’s love. Trust Him to guide you and shine light on the path in front of you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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