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.

Right-Lane Driving

Knuckles white, veins throbbing in my forehead, tension headache mounting, I merge onto the highway.

Driving in Dallas—or any metro area—offers constant challenges. Drivers rarely give the courtesy of a turn signal or allow others room to change lanes. So, who could blame me for taking every advantage of the HOV lane?

The High Occupancy Vehicle (or carpool) lane permits vehicles with two or more occupants to travel separated from the rest of the highway’s traffic. While many use the lane to drive faster—due to less congestion—the lane offers me the solace of not dealing with other drivers. Since I’m a stay-at-home dad and constantly have my three-year-old with me, I’m allowed to use this lane for all my highway driving. But too quickly I came to believe I was special because I could use this lane. My sin was privilege (pride).

Driving in the HOV lane might not be your source of pride, but we all suffer from this sin in some way. For some, it’s pride over material wealth, intelligence, attractiveness, or humility. For others, it’s pride in traits we believe make us better than the rest of humanity—or at least the people we know.

In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul addresses the sin of pride, reminding us that while we might think more of ourselves than we think of others, we all share the same identity in Christ. He encourages his readers to look to him, as they do to Christ, for their role model of behavior. Although he specifically addressed rivalries within the church, we can apply this same truth in our dealings with other people.

I’ve taken to driving only in the most frustrating lane: the right lane. This is my attempt at growing in Christ’s sanctification of me and dealing with pride. Through this, God teaches me patience, perseverance, and love for my fellow person.

Think of some steps you can take to deal with pride.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Holding on--until You Can’t

I kept my eyes glued on Jake as his dad retrieved him from the water. 

As my daughter and son-in-law started the pontoon to take my ten-year-old grandson, Jake, tubing, I leaned back in the seat, soaking up the warm sunshine. Matt drove, Hayley watched for other boats, and I watched Jake. We started from a calm inlet. Jake was on his knees and not holding on. When we entered the larger lake section, the waves picked up, causing Jake to grab the handles.

Soon, waves from several boats caused the tube to bump hard. Jake laid on his stomach. The next wave hit so hard that his feet flew higher than his head. Still, he hung on tightly, laughing as the bumpy ride sprayed him with water.

We all cheered. Then Matt turned the boat, and a large wave caused the tube to go air born. Jake was tossed into the lake. 

As I watched, Hayley asked, ‘Is he okay?” 

“He’s great.”  I answered. 

Jake bobbed in the lake—not anxious but relaxed in his life jacket and waiting for his father to rescue him.

Like Jake, the psalmist knew he could rely on God, his heavenly Father, to watch out for him. If things got bumpy, He would spot what was going on. And if real trouble came, He would rescue him.

Life carries us through bumpy waters—sometimes knocking us off our feet. But we have a spotter who watches and comes to our aid.

When uncertainties come or difficult decisions have to be made, hanging on to our faith is difficult. We want to grab hold of worry and fear, but doing so isn’t what God wants. He wants us to approach Him in prayer and rest in comfort as He comes to our aid.

Hold on to God for your safety and protection.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

A Lesson from Carl Lee

Some people would describe me as an animal lover. I live in the country, and, through the years, people have abandoned dogs and cats in front of my house. Several of those animals became permanent residents. All have been given loving care, but a few became special. They have not only been my four-legged friends, but they have also been my teachers.

Twice a day I give my dogs treats, which they look forward to with eagerness. One day as I handed them the treats, I wanted Carl Lee—one of my favorites—to look at me as I talked to him.

“Carl Lee, would you please look at me? Look at my face, not what’s in my hand.”

But his thoughts were focused only on the treats and his anticipation in receiving them. 

That’s how I am with God at times. He blesses me with so many good things, and often that’s where my focus lies. Like Carl Lee, my eyes are on God’s hands and what He’s holding out to give me. I don’t place my attention on God Himself and praise Him for who He is.

I love Carl Lee and wish he would show more love to me because of who I am, not because of the gifts I give. Even though that may never happen, I’ll continue giving him loving care—just as God will continue loving me even when I look to what He holds in His hands instead of what He offers from his heart.

God gives gifts willingly and freely because He loves us. Don’t be like Carl Lee, looking to see what He holds. Rather, look into His face and see His eyes of love.

(As told to Normal Mezoe by Ruth Q.)

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Unshakable Shepherd Boy

Giants aren’t prone to surrender, they are not typically passive, and they often seem impossible to defeat. 

But one giant met his match. Many of us remember the account of David and Goliath. The young boy defeated Goliath, and the enemies of Israel fled. Against all odds, the little shepherd slew a battle-hardened warrior. David had faith God would give him victory over the Philistine who mocked the armies of Israel. We read this account and marvel at David’s amazing faith. He trusted the Lord so much that a miracle followed. 

David’s faith was more potent than we have figured. Israel’s outlook was bleak. Goliath had taunted Israel for over a month. None of Saul’s men would face him down. Their hopes rested on the shoulders of a ruddy shepherd boy.

The Philistines laughed when David began to march toward them. Goliath, in all his pride, was insulted. David received no respect from his enemy. But the armies of Israel did not believe in David either. He had no moral support from his own people. King Saul told him he could never win. Goliath had been killing longer than David had been living. But David ran toward him anyway. David trusted God, even though the enemy ridiculed him. He trusted God, even when his own people doubted him.

David had the kind of mountain-moving, giant-slaying faith we should walk in daily—the kind of faith that sees us through any storm. We must trust and obey God in the face of adversity. And we must trust and obey Him even when our own people don’t believe in us.

Ask God to give you unshakable faith.    

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.

The Big Switch

He soared to the top of music recording charts, but one incident changed his life.

Tony Fontane was a popular American recording artist during the 1940’s and 1950’s. Born in Michigan, he was the son of a railroad worker who had converted to Christianity and moved his family to North Dakota where he operated a mission and lived in poverty. Living in poverty to do God’s work led Tony to hate religion. But he loved singing. Eventually, his passion for music led to him flourishing in the business. He even celebrated his notoriety by appearing on several television shows.

Life for Fontane changed on September 3, 1957. After finishing a television rehearsal, he headed for his California home, but never made it. Another driver ran a red light and plowed into his sports car. Rescue workers labored for several hours to extricate him. They rushed him to a hospital where he remained in a coma for thirty days.

Fontane later wrote that it was while he was in this coma that God appeared to him in a vision and gave him one more chance. And he took it. He made a big switch by turning from his atheism to Christianity and beginning a career in gospel music—refusing to sing anything else. Because William Morris Agency brought a lawsuit against him for breach of contract, Fontane lost everything. But he actually gained it all when he made the switch.

Anyone who chooses Christ gains everything as well—at least spiritually. My old things passed away at nine years of age—not totally in practice, but completely in God’s sight when He clothed me with His Son’s righteousness. He gave me a new nature with fresh wants, desires, and ambitions. Although I still face trials and temptations, I am no longer after what the world offers: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. I simply hunger to be obedient to Him . . . completely . . . even if it costs me everything.

A healthy relationship with Jesus Christ is the best way to begin a New Year. One where we love Him with our entire heart and show it through our actions, attitudes, and words. One where we involve Him in every detail of our life’s journey.

If you haven’t made the big switch, now is the best time.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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