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.

Where True Beauty Lies

“I was just trying to get pretty for you.”

My wife is a beautiful brunette, but for the past several years she has been highlighting her brunette hair with blonde streaks. The last time she had her hair colored, something happened. Since we didn’t have the funds for her to get her hair colored and highlighted, she chose to have it colored … blonde.  

As the beautician applied the chemical, my wife felt a burning sensation. When she got home, she looked in the mirror and saw that her scalp in the back was red. Things got worse. She developed headaches, then a tender scalp, and finally puss pockets.  

A week after the coloring, she took a picture and sent it to our daughter-in-law, who’s a nurse. The verdict? Infection. So my wife paid a visit to the local urgent care center where the doctor prescribed an antibiotic.

When my wife called to tell me the verdict, I said, “The next time you want to get pretty for me, just stay the way you are.”

Peter told first-century women not to go overboard with outward beauty, but to care for their inner beauty. Still good advice—for men too.

I’m glad folks don’t face the world looking as they do when they first get out of bed—myself included. We wouldn’t look as we normally do, nor would we smell the same—at least not our breath. Outward grooming and good hygiene are important, but they are just that, outward.

What we do to dress up our outsides might impress others for a while—the boss, the boyfriend, the girlfriend, the wife or husband, the best friend—but it won’t last. Eventually, those we try to impress with our outward looks will see the inside through our actions and attitudes.

I’ve known some people who were gorgeous or handsome on the outside, but ugly on the inside. Their words or actions made them that way. We can’t hide forever what’s on the inside. It will color our lifestyle.

While tending to the outside is important, caring for the inside is more so. When we are in a right relationship with God, our inner beauty will shine through, and this is the light God wants others to see more than our outward appearance.

Make sure your inner beauty is the true beauty others see.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



He Will Not Let You Slip

The steps were skinny. Skinny as in . . . not even the length of your foot. I can’t tell you the times I’ve fallen because the steps were so thin. Even the dog’s feet flew out from under him. If it weren’t so bad, I’d say it was funny. That is, until . . . my son, Cameron, took a horrible fall.

It was terrible. My husband was at the top of the stairs, grabbing at him and missing. I was at the bottom, trying to catch him. Yet nothing we did could prevent his socked feet from sailing waist high into the air, his flipping twice, or his temple slamming against the banister before he hit the floor.

My heart stopped as I looked at my ten-year-old son, lying lifeless at my feet. I dialed the doctor, who immediately told me swelling could be internal. “Rouse him and get to the hospital now.”

The writer of the Psalms reminds us God is faithful. As a shepherd, he needed sure footing to prevent slips and tumbles as he cared for his sheep. Deeper yet, David understood how the Father never spiritually let him slip. Rather, He watched over him–never sleeping.

And that, friends, is comforting. Just knowing God has us. He’s always there to catch us. His presence doesn’t prevent life from happening, but it does mean, despite the trials, God never lets us slip away from Him.

No matter how my husband and I tried, we couldn’t keep Cameron’s feet from slipping. The fear we faced as he lay in the hospital was terrifying. After hours at the ER and tons of prayer, we were finally able to take our son home. He had a nasty headache, but he came out fine. We began the search for someone who could rebuild our staircase so no one else would fall–a task in and of itself.

Sometimes we can’t prevent a fall, but when we face those slip ups, it’s nice to know our Savior stands firmly beneath us to break our fall. When you feel your feet sliding, dig your heels into trust and know God is with you. He will not let you fall.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



S.H.I.F.T.

As a second-grade teacher, I teach about the four seasons. My students discuss the seasonal activities and the characteristics of each, such as warmer weather, snow, or changing leaf color. In each one, transformations occur.

In biblical terms, season is an appointed time. Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes that to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven (3:1). The seasons may change, but God's promises to us do not.

Sometimes we may be discouraged or in a dry season. However, the seasons of our life will change every time we use our faith. Galatians 6:9 says, Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Seasons involve a shift, and each time there's a shift in the atmosphere, we have to activate our faith.

I thought of an acronym for season: S.H.I.F.T., which stands for Surrender to Him in Faith Today.  We can surrender to God because our times and life affairs are in His hands. In our verse, the word times means seasons, causes, affairs, and events of our life.

God of my life is one of the names for God that focuses on His relationships with His people. He is the God of our life. We can be at peace and know He controls our future. All we have to do is activate our faith and surrender to Him in faith. 

Make the following confession: My times and my future are in God’s hands. He is the God of my life. I choose to surrender to Him in faith today. The seasons may change, but God’s promises to me will not.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



New Glasses

The eye doctor clicked the machine. “Better or worse?” Another click, another line of blurry letters. “Better or worse?” We agreed on the best option, and he wrote a prescription.

When my new glasses arrived, I looked like a bobble-head doll as I adapted to progressive bifocals. The lenses darkened outdoors—another new feature. They helped on bright days, but indoor rooms took on a dim and somber note until the glasses readjusted.

These new bells and whistles are useful, but my vision still isn't perfect. Spiritually speaking, it's often poor. I squint to understand a friend's situation, but it's clear to God's 20/20 vision. My soul's myopia blurs perspective in my own life, but God sees the complete picture.

As a child, I imagined what Father God looked like. My mental picture didn't show Him wearing glasses, but my adult imagination added them. Of course, His vision is perfect with or without glasses. The lenses are clear, not darkened. They have one feature: they're tinted red at great cost.

Paul says we see dimly now, but the moment we accept Christ's gift of salvation, our heavenly Father sees us through rose-colored glasses. That idiom for a positive viewpoint reminds me our Father is eternally optimistic about us—our future, no matter how dimly we see it, and our past, no matter how flecked with dirt. All because we said yes to Jesus who said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” John 8:12 (ESV).

Our eyes may need corrective lenses and our spiritual vision might squint at darkened glass, but when you can't see life clearly, focus on the good news proclaimed throughout Scripture. We're seen through the lens of everlasting love. Our future's so bright we need shades.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



God Is Patient

While struggling with infertility, I was anything but patient.

I wanted a baby. I did not understand why it was not happening—or why God placed such a desire in my heart yet wasn’t making my dream come true. I was frustrated and embedded in my selfish ambitions. My eyes were not turned to God, and I did not listen to His quiet voice trying to guide me. He simply wasn’t moving quickly enough.

Peter reminds us the Lord is not slow in keeping His promise as some understand slowness. Instead, He is patient, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.

God was not moving too slowly for me; He was waiting for me to listen to His calling and set my selfish desires aside. And He would have continued to wait for me.

We are often derailed by the need for instant gratification and by Satan probing us to immediate response. We dwell in our selfish ambitions and allow Satan to nurture our discontent when we really need to pull the weeds, clean the garden, and prepare our hearts for our waiting Father.

God will continue to wait as we find our way because He is a patient Father. His desires for us are beyond our imagination, and we are the ones who lose when we leave Him waiting. When impatience pierces our heart and we feel as if God is moving too slowly, we should remember He is not slow in keeping His promises, but is patiently waiting for us.    

If you find yourself thinking God is too slow, take a step back and examine your heart, your desires, and your path. As you are waiting on Him, He is waiting for you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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