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.

Three Digs Ya'll

“Three digs, y’all! Big water ahead!”   

Our family of seven positioned ourselves in the yellow inflatable raft, paddles in hand. Listening to our guide, Mitch, we practiced paddling in the calm waters near the landing. I was confident we’d spend a beautiful day on the Upper Pigeon River. 

But as we approached the first rapids, I wasn’t so sure. The twists and turns around the protruding rocks created doubt about our family bonding experience. I prayed for safety and still waters.

Perched in the back, Mitch’s voice carried above the raging waves. He spoke boldly and without hesitation. He knew the lay of the land and could read the conditions of the rapids and make choices to steer our craft safely. My confidence in his ability grew, as did my trust.  

Four more obstacles loomed in the big water ahead. The swirls of white water rushed across the treacherous rocks. We held our breath and paddled “three hard digs” upon Mitch’s command. Again and again, he shouted instructions on when and how to paddle. We knew his voice from our practice.

We laughed as we glided safely past the last rock. By trusting Mitch’s knowledge and acting upon his commands, we lifted our paddles together in an overhead “high-five” to celebrate.  

In life, rising tides and crashing waves interrupt our calm seas. Seeking God in the still moments equips us to hear Him during life’s obstacles. Even when God’s voice seems muffled, He communicates through His Word. Our all-knowing Guide always provides direction. We paddle by listening to His voice, obeying His commands, and lifting our high-fives of praise.

God knows what lies ahead and how to navigate your situation. With the Holy Spirit as your Guide, “Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left.”   

Whether you’re facing still or stormy waters, tune in to God’s voice.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Crazy for the Lord

Crazy has many definitions.

Rational people define crazy as someone who is mentally deranged and uses means that are apart from the normal way of reasoning.

However, one definition of crazy that stood out to me was “extremely enthusiastic.” The word fan is short for fanatic. I am a big sports fan and have been extremely enthusiastic about my team and the outcome of a game. My wife might label me crazy, but I’ve never considered myself an intense fan who borders on mental derangement due to a game’s outcome.

Perceptions about life and the Lord vary from one person to the next. We value different things and have diverse moral compasses about values. But one common ground we all have is Jesus Christ. Christians are all saved by His blood and given redemption through the cross. This is something I’m crazy about.

Because I have been set free from sin and death, I am extremely enthusiastic about telling people how much the Lord loves them. The outcome of a game will not affect my life, but the outcome of the cross touches our lives in a great way.

You have the ability to be excited about this great gift, because it never grows old or fades away.  This gift never loses its value or breaks your heart. It’s a free gift, wrapped in Jesus Christ and given in extreme love. Jesus is passionate about you. A person does not die for something they aren’t crazy about.

If the Lord is thrilled about us, we can be impassioned about Him. Don’t be afraid to be crazy for the Lord. He is crazy about you. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Conforming to Christ

“You’ve changed.”

Her tone held an accusatory bite—perhaps meant to justify the growing distance between us. Or maybe to put the blame on me. Regardless, I was devastated.

At first, the thought made me remorseful. After all, it was costing me a twenty-five-year friendship, a friendship that had survived marriages, children, and multiple moves. As I thought about it, God reminded me change is a good thing—a godly thing.

If we do what has God called us to do—imitate Christ, renew our minds, put the old self to death, and walk forward in our new life—we will change. And the people around us will notice, especially those who don’t follow Christ.

I didn't intentionally offend my friend. I quietly and respectfully lived out my faith in front of her--answering her questions and showing her a loving Savior. She walked forward without Christ; I continued with Him. When things fell apart, I tried to find out what went wrong and make amends. It didn’t work. At some point, as God changed me, my faith became her stumbling block, and she walked away.

Following Christ comes at a temporal cost, but the eternal rewards are far greater. That’s what motivated Paul to say, “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8 NASB).

Faith won’t always ruin a friendship and is often the inroad to bring a friend to faith. However, the time may come when we must choose between compromising to preserve a friendship and pursuing Christ at all costs.

Ask God for the strength to faithfully follow Him. Then watch as He slowly conforms you to the image of Christ.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Peace in Life's Storms

Another unexpected hospital admission. I had to decide whether to stay or go on a planned retreat. The decision was tough, but I felt the nudge to go.

I stood on the beach on a nice chilly January morning, reflecting on this current storm and all the other storms my family had experienced during the last two years. I needed time alone to rest without family—time to pray and seek God’s help for my loved one’s health.  

As I watched the wind blow and the waves rise and fall, I thought about the disciples who found themselves in a storm carrying waves that threatened to sink their boat. They were terrified. Jesus was in the boat with them, but He was sleeping. The disciples woke Him and asked if He cared that they would drown.

Jesus spoke to the wind: “Quiet! Be still!” Immediately, the wind died down and the sea calmed. Then Jesus asked the disciples, “Why are you so afraid, do you still have no faith?” When they saw what Jesus did, they asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and waves obey him!” 

This story brought a new sense of comfort that Jesus was in this storm with my family. I was not sure how this health storm would be resolved, but standing on the beach I felt a renewed calm and peace. I whispered a silent prayer, “Lord, open my eyes to see your armies of deliverance.”

Not long after I returned home, my loved one was discharged from the hospital. The Lord stilled another storm. In the presence of Jehovah, the waves of trouble collapse and storms subside as we trust in Him.

The storms will come and go, but God is omnipresent. He is the Prince of peace in the storms of life. Trust Him with your storm.

(Photo courtesy of author.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Jesus, Our Comfort

I remember one day when my husband distressed me. He had dementia, which made him aggressive and troublesome. Everything seemed to go wrong. My patience failed. To top things off, I forgot to turn the bathtub off, and water flooded the room.  

I settled down and prayed, “Thank you, Lord, that you are with me in all this turmoil. You are my strength and comfort.” Peace entered my spirit. I got a mop and sopped up the water. I felt the Lord helping me. The circumstances were the same, but joy flooded my soul.

Jesus knows and understands our burdens, anxieties, and weaknesses. He, too, faced all kinds of trials when He walked on earth. He wants us to turn to Him when we are overwhelmed with everyday concerns and need His peace and comfort. His presence is always near, and He is ready to help. Just saying His name pleases Him.

The next time you need the Lord’s comfort, call on Him and thank Him for all He allows in your life circumstances. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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