Focusing our minds on Christ. . .studying His word, drawing tight into a relationship that is unbreakable. This is when His Spirit lives in our minds helping us keep our eyes focused only on Him.
DEVOTION BY Cindy Sproles POSTED 2/14/2018 12:00:01 AM ON 1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV
“The world is going to hell in a handbasket.” My dad walked to the television and switched the channel. “All the news wants to show you is the body count. They forget about the love laying on the battleground.”
The thick of the Vietnam War news coverage forced Dad to relive his own WWII hand-to-hand combat experiences. “Nobody looks at the sacrifice of love those boys made.” Tears filled his eyes. “Without their love, this country would be nothing.”
Paul nailed the definition of what love is and what it isn’t. Be it the love for a spouse, a child, or a friend . . . or the massive love of laying down your life for those you love. He made it clear that regardless of the talents, gifts, or possessions we have, we are nothing without love.
In other words, love is the basis of everything. God gave His son to die for us. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is. He could have left us to our sin and eternity without Him, but God wants us all in eternity. In that knowledge, He gave us Jesus, because without love, we are nothing. I give my gratitude and praise for His sacrifice.
February 14 seems to focus on the love for our spouses or significant others. Children give paper valentines with little understanding of what it means to “give love.” Help them understand what it means to freely give love.
Dad was right. We forget the love that lies dead on the battlefield.
Jesus told us there is no greater love than that of one who lays down his life for a friend. This Valentine’s Day, by all means, show love to your spouse, children, and friends. But I encourage you to send a love letter to the family of a fallen soldier. Without that kind of love, this country would be nothing.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Nnaemeka Durueke POSTED 2/7/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Genesis 46:3-4
Change in life is inevitable; it must come.
Change is said to be the only thing in this world that is constant. It is usually not easy to accept or adapt to, and we can experience change in different aspects of our life. We may change our name, our location, our business, or our mindset. Change can also mean repenting from our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us by renewing our mind.
We learn to deal with any change in life because our parents experienced change, dealt with it, and succeeded.
Abraham’s name was changed from Abram to Abraham (father of many nations) even when he had no child. God instructed him to leave his father’s house, and he did. He wasn’t afraid of the unknown.
To deal with change, we have to encourage ourselves with the Word of God and trust Him because He is faithful, just, and upright. We can plan our course, but God determines our steps. Change is not easy to accept but when it comes, face it head on and don’t depend on addictive substances to help you cope.
Do not to be afraid in the face of change. God is with you, and He will cause you to prosper. Deal with change; don’t let it deal with you.
DEVOTION BY Robert L. Segress POSTED 1/31/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Proverbs 18:1 NKJV
Six months ago, I began recovering from a massive stroke.
The attending physician said my recovery was a miracle, due to the severity of the massive clot he removed from my groin. One physician called my survival “a divine reprieve to a death sentence.” Another said, “Bob, you have experienced a miracle. I fill out death certificates all the time for each of the traumas you have experienced, and you had them all in sequence.” He referred to a month of pneumonia that had turned into “blood-spitting pneumonia,” the stroke, and then the invasive pulmonary embolisms in both lungs.
Things are quiet when your heart, lungs, and hearing stop. I experienced Psalm 23’s valley of death. Reading this psalm is quite different from experiencing the words. Mine was a wonderful, peaceful quiet I didn’t want to come back from. But Jesus had other plans—one of which was for me to testify about what is waiting for each of His sheep. Death is nothing to be afraid of. Jesus has conquered death and has gone to prepare a place for us.
If Jesus takes us through a tragedy—whether divorce, death of a loved one, or medical trauma—isolation is part of the recovery from the tragedy. But we can’t stay there. We must live with a new reality, one which must be survived with a pro-active acceptance. Otherwise, we will live grieving from the point of the tragedy in the past and not the present. Our time of recovery must be spent in the arms of Jesus.
Stepping out in faith with Jesus by coming to His open loving arms is assisted by quoting over and over what He has promised: “Come to me you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). When we cry with hopelessness and pain, we feel Him say, “It is alright my son, I cried too.”
If you isolate yourself in the land of suffering, you accept one of the devil’s schemes. Bring your broken heart to Jesus’ loving arms, and you will find the love and confidence you have lost.
DEVOTION BY Michelle Adserias POSTED 1/24/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Mark 12:43-44 NIV
“But Lord, it’s all I have!”
I didn’t say it aloud, but God clearly heard my objection. I was thirty, single, and living frugally. I knew without a doubt God wanted me to put my last ten dollars in the offering plate. It wasn’t much, but it was all I had—and payday was still a week away.
As the music played and the ushers neared, the Holy Spirit’s prompting grew stronger. With an, “Okay, Lord, I’m trusting you,” I let go of the money.
One day, Jesus and His disciples watched a poor widow drop two small coins in the treasury. Though others had given more, Jesus commended her.
God may never ask us to give our last penny, but whatever He asks, giving it cheerfully invites His blessings. The gift’s size is immaterial. He asks us to give out of obedience and faith. Then He asks us to trust Him to provide our needs—especially when giving defies all financial reason.
Two days after I gave all I had, God unexpectedly sent me three times as much—far more than I needed.
The return on our gifts won’t always be immediate or tangible, but Jesus makes this promise: “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38).
Give willingly. Give faithfully. Trust God to supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.
DEVOTION BY Bobbie Brown POSTED 1/17/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Matthew 18:15 NIV
The towering spruce reached the sky and decorated my lawn for more than eight years.
One day, I noticed a slight bend in the tree’s stance. Weeks later, the spruce no longer filled the sky but exposed its roots. I begged the tree man, “Can’t you do anything to save the tree?” His reply, “Too far gone. The roots aren’t grounded anymore. It’s dying from the inside out.” For an agreed price, my beautiful tree became firewood. Perhaps I could have acted quicker to save my tree.
The experience pushed me to question my Christian walk. Do I ignore my Christian brother or sister as they begin to lean? Or even my own tilting? I knew dealing with the tree would cost me—so I ignored it.
Evaluating choices is a daily battle. Watching an inappropriate movie or laughing at an off-colored joke. Bad decisions weaken my stance and push me further from my Christian foundation. Sometimes I’m afraid of confronting a friend or family member by saying, “Hey, you are leaning.” But there are consequences of not acting quicker. I must also accept the message of others if they tell me I’m leaning. Nourishing our souls with God’s written Word is the only way we can survive the winds of life.
Value God’s approval more than you do the world’s approval.