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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.

Speak Up

She allowed the boys to go play with the sendoff, “Let’s just play nicely together!”

A friend’s six-year-old daughter was at an indoor play park when she came across a little girl who was upset. In comforting her, she learned some boys had called her the “dummy girl.” Not one to leave a situation unresolved, she called the boys over and asked them to have a seat. She then told them their actions hurt, and, since she was the oldest in the situation, they must listen to her,

My friend’s daughter has embraced a valuable lesson detailed in Proverbs 31: speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, as well as for the rights of the destitute. Also, to speak up and judge fairly and to defend the rights of the poor and needy. Although the other child at the park was not poor and needy, she was in need.

As Christians, our responsibility is to stand up for others who are unable to speak for themselves and to embrace those in need, cloaking them in the love and grace Jesus gives us.

My friend’s daughter did not resort to anger or fists, which is the first line of defense we often use. Instead, she spoke calmly and judged fairly. She provided grace, love, and forgiveness and was a beacon of God’s love and design for relationships.

As we traverse life, we will encounter many situations that need our voice. Situations of people in need where we may be the single person who speaks up on their behalf.

Speak up, judge fairly, and be a living example of God’s grace.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)


Have you ever been so tired you yelled for everyone to be quiet?

Maybe you’ve banged on the wall and bellowed for the party animal next door to keep it down or hollered at noisy roommates so you could study. If you’re a parent, and you’re honest, you’ve probably raised your voice a time or two, calling for quiet. 

Yelling at people is not a good idea, but when we’re tired, Jesus gets it. In His human nature, He needed silence—and rest—just like we do. Once He fell asleep in a boat, and when a storm came up that scared His friends into thinking they were about to die, He woke up and yelled at the wind and waves to knock it off.  

Jesus wasn’t afraid of the wind and waves. He created them and had authority over them. In this particular instance, He calmed a storm. At other times, He calms us during the storm. He knows our fears, cares about us, and has the power to calm the anxious thoughts of our heart and mind.

If you’re going through a rough time, look up. Ask the One who calmed the sea to intervene on your behalf and say “Quiet! Be still!” to the raging circumstances surrounding your life. He’s right there with you in the rocky boat. He’s not asleep, and He won’t let you sink.

Ask God to give you the physical, mental, and emotional peace you need during difficult times.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Trusting in Desperate Times

On May 11, 2014, a mother jumped three stories from a burning building to save her infant son.

The mother was bold, uncompromising. She had no consciousness of height, depth, or self. She didn’t care how her clothes and hair looked, or who was watching. On a normal day, fire is hot and consuming. The jump alone could have killed them. However, this fire and height were just obstacles separating this mother and child from life.

Jesus encountered a desperate woman. One who had tried everything, but nothing worked. So she went to Jesus.

What is it about desperation? We ride high on Monday but low on Tuesday. When riding high, there are things we wouldn’t say or do. People who aren’t desperate are sophisticated, safe, and self-satisfied. Yet in desperate times when we are riding low, we go the distance. We will ask for anything or go anywhere. Who has time to be classy when the building is burning?

In desperation, we empty our bank accounts, seek advice from everyone, and get worse. When we’re desperate, we’ll do anything to alleviate extreme need. Desperation kills foolish pride, cockiness, and shame. In times of desperation, no one cares about gossip. Rather, we find a sense of urgency and look for any small reason to hope. We find the characteristics God intended for us to have in the first place: the willingness to cry out and trust Him. Maybe these moments sprout up to birth such urgency.

We should always expect and be ready for affliction. Whether we are distressed or in peace, we need to live with a desperate attitude. Desperation will defy isolation, consequences, complacency, and self-centeredness. It transforms hardened hearts.

Neither should we wait for desperate times before we display a heart hungry for the Lord. Be desperate for God’s love regardless of whether you ride high or low. Seek daily and desperately the everlasting grace of the Lord.

Live every day persevering to be filled with God’s calmness, courage, and confidence.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

When God's Not Looking

When we’re looking, she’s a perfect little angel, but when we’re not…

Our six-month-old Chihuahua mix was kennel trained when we got her, so when we left the house—and at night—we put her in what she was accustomed to. She didn’t yelp, and we didn’t have to worry about her getting into trouble.

But I hate putting a dog in a kennel or on a chain, so after she reached nine months of age—and had shown herself capable of behaving when we were gone—my wife and I began leaving her out while we went on various outings. She did well. Until she turned one year old. Suddenly, her well-behaved nature while we absent from the house changed.

Her favorite misbehavior involved digging through the trash can. We put it up. Then she chewed up my wife’s box of Milk Duds. That almost equaled a federal offense. Finally, she pulled my basketful of pens and highlighters from the table beside my chair. In doing so, she broke the final straw. Back in the kennel when we left the house.

Soft heart that I am, I gave her one final chance after punishing her. We left for a short trip to Mom’s. When we returned, she had pulled trash from our large garbage can. She had exhausted her chances. She had to learn to behave whether we were looking or not.

Jonah must have thought as our dog did. When God told him to preach to people he hated, he ran, thinking God wouldn’t see his act of disobedience once he left the land of Israel. He discovered his error when God sent a large fish to swallow him. 

Our dog waits until we’re not looking to misbehave, but God is always looking. Jonah discovered leaving his homeland didn’t leave God. God is everywhere. Though the Bible doesn’t use the word, it does evidence the concept of omnipresence.

Although God always sees our behavior, He’s not sitting in heaven waiting for us to misbehave so He can squash us. He has principles, commands, and expectations, but His nature is love. He disciplines when we go astray, but that is exactly why He disciplines. His love demands He keep us on the right track so we can enjoy the best life He has to offer.

Remember, God watches over you constantly—because He loves you.

(Photo courtesy of author.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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