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.

Ask and You Shall Receive

I often find myself confronting a red-faced child, wondering what in the world I did to cause such upset. Their outburst concludes with a desperate plea for something I had no idea they wanted. Wasted time and energy spent being upset because they never asked.

Whether it be fear, trepidation, or pride, we have all found ourselves in a situation where we hesitated to ask for what we want or need. Being told no is often harder on our egos than not knowing at all. We are our own worst enemies, and we effectively place roadblocks in the path of God’s blessings.

Jesus reminds us of how we sell God short when we don’t ask for what we want and need. If we ask, it will be given to us. If we seek, we will find. And if we knock, the door will be opened. Our heavenly Father will give even better gifts than a parent.

Just as a parent takes joy in giving to their children, our heavenly Father does the same. We need simply to ask. The Devil fills our head and hearts with lies as he manipulates our waiting time to feel like wasted time. Satan encourages our doubts in asking and exacerbates our disappointment when we don’t receive exactly what we asked for.

Satan enjoys building roadblocks. Send him on a detour! Remind yourself God’s Word promises good gifts. If that gift is not what you’re expecting, know God has something far better in store than what you could possibly imagine.

The next time you are hesitant to ask God to fulfill a need or want, fall to your knees and do so with confidence. God promises to deliver good gifts. Be a gracious receiver clothed in trust and faithfulness. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Semi's Low Tire

Reuniting with a former student brightened my day.

A semi-tractor trailer stopped as I returned from feeding cattle. The driver had been in my classroom during his third-grade year. He provided an update on his family and his tight schedule of hauling soybeans harvested from our rural area. We chatted about one low tire on the trailer. No big deal—even though it was fully loaded. He told me he knew the other tires could carry the load.

That semi-tractor trailer bore a strong comparison with the church. Frequently, I have heard a person tell how her friends lifted her family up in prayer during a difficult time. Another person related how food was brought to their family’s home by fellow church members during a time of need. Several individuals expressed how a note of encouragement arrived exactly on the day it was most needed.

Scripture refers to the church as a body. When a body part suffers injury, the rest of the body seems to respond to ensure the body’s functions continue as normal as possible. A body remains sturdy and stalwart only as each individual part is strong and supports the other weaker body parts.

With compassionate actions, Christians should support those in their flock who are hurting. When we sense a sister or brother in Christ is struggling, they should know we are praying for them. Fellow believers should be uplifted by our sharing of Scripture and words of hope. Those who are mourning must feel the comfort of the Lord flowing from His heart through us.

Ask God to use you to raise up those who feel flattened by the circumstances of life. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Poor Stewardship

People come in two categories in the mountains of New York: those who embrace the cold and snow and those who don’t. Those who don’t tend to stay inside.

Negative numbers on the outside thermometer encourage people to turn the inside thermostat up. When they turn the dial, the heating oil company loves them more. At the same time, some people can’t afford a median-priced home, let alone a fuel bill.

Facts printed indicate ninety percent of all goods created in the world end up in the hands of Americans, who make up ten per cent of the world population. Things like skis, snowshoes, snowmobiles, and high-tech winter clothing make up a significant part of those statistics around New York. But some children still wear sneakers and a light jacket in the cold weather. Plenty of poor people still remain in the United States.

One church in New York runs a clothing giveaway and another deals with groceries. Whether it’s within our borders or anywhere around the world, Americans give—if they’re able to.

Jesus tells us we will always have the poor with us. It is up to us to determine when and how to assist them. Perhaps the American’s Christian foundation supplies the grace for us not only to know who the poor are but also to show them mercy. On the other hand, God’s grace may be missing in this age.

When the occasion arises, fill the need rather than perusing the checkbook first. Jesus says, “…whenever you wish…” but if your funds aren’t in order, wishing won’t get it done.

Place your assets under better stewardship so you can have the ability to help “whenever you wish.”

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

From His Hand

My husband and I drove to a buffet restaurant in town. Our two children in tow, we were led to our table where the waitress informed us we could “help ourselves.” As parents, we did our best to teach our children manners, but since restaurants were not a usual part of our family meal experiences, we were not prepared for our children’s actions once they realized they could take a plate and “help themselves.”

They ran greedily past the salad bar, past the servings of vegetables, past the meat-carving station, and straight to the dessert buffet. Before I could reach them, their little hands had touched dozens of cookies, cakes, and cream puffs. Their plates were piled high before I could intervene. My little daughter looked up at me with wide eyes and offered her explanation, “But I was hungry!”

I don’t remember all I told her, but I do know we helped ourselves to another plate of nourishing food before touching those desserts. I struggled to explain why things that might not always taste as delightful as a cream puff could be good for them. My children longed only for the sugary goodness meant to be partaken of sparingly only after ingesting the nutrition their growing bodies desperately needed.

Like my children with desserts, I have yearned for good from God—but not trouble. I have run toward comfort, not holiness. I would bypass the hard days that would make me strong and grow me up in the Lord. I gripe and complain at the slightest hint of a trial, questioning God when faced with pain or adversity.

God has already proven He will care for us. All that touches our lives is carefully measured and poured out from His sovereign but loving hand. We don’t have to doubt Him when the spoonful we swallow tastes strange or bitter on our tongue. His purpose and will for our lives is perfect. And at the end of our faithfully-run journey, a spread of sweet blessing awaits us.

Gladly receive whatever God sends your way. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Broken and Repurposed

We don’t have to look far to see people’s brokenness, often in our own homes.   

I had an antique stained-glass window broken during flood cleanup. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it out, so I put it away until I was ready to deal with it. At this moment, someone has cut off the sharp edges, it has been mounted on a board to protect from further damage, and an artist is writing the names of my grandchildren on it for display in the same spot it hung as a decorative window.

If you have ever cleaned up broken glass, you understand it is a hazardous task. In most cases, a person would carefully discard it, but not all shattered glass is meant to be thrown out.

Some broken things are precious to us, just as broken and shattered people are precious to God—as He showed to Jeremiah through his visit to the potter’s house.

Most broken people know they are broken—and often believe they have been so spoiled that they are of no use to God. What’s the point of even trying? We don’t have to throw them away. Condemnation has already done that and keeps them from rising up and trying again (Proverbs 24:16).

But God sees usefulness in each of us, and the gifts and purposes He gives are irrevocable. Broken or not, He will repurpose us for His glory.

An unbroken glass is beautiful and reflects light clearly, but one that is broken and repurposed reflects light in entirely different ways. The cracks and edges divert light into dissimilar places just as rocks in a stream deter water.

Perhaps you know a broken soul. Maybe it’s you. God is not finished with you. In fact, now that you are in pieces, you can become that vessel for His special purpose.

Don’t let brokenness spoil your work for God. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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