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 Beth Tavalin POSTED 10/17/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 103:11 NIV
Our minds cannot understand the vastness of our world.
Scientists once believed there were more stars in the universe than grains of sand on earth’s beaches. They now believe there are ten times more stars in our night skies than grains of sand on all the beaches and deserts of the earth. And that only applies to the stars we view through a telescope. There are infinitely more stars in the universe than we can know about.
Our solar system is so vast we cannot see everything in it with the naked eye. Billions of stars reside in our small solar system. And ours is only one of billions of other solar systems, each holding its billions of stars.
Yet, as high as the heavens are above the earth, that’s how immense God’s love is for each one of us who fear (or have a reverent awe) of Him. Even more, He does not love us silently, but reaches out and shows us His love. He speaks to our hearts through a song on the radio or the words of a book. He touches us in simple things like a sunset or encouraging words from a stranger.
We have such busy lives with many distractions. God is waiting for us to stop, look heavenward, and experience His great love for us.
Make time today to look up.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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DEVOTION BY Darrell Waters POSTED 10/10/2018 12:00:01 AM ON 1 Timothy 4:12 KJV
Many words in the English language end with the suffix ship.
I don't know why this is, but I like comparing these words to the many ships we can choose to ride. And we can ride more than one at the same time, figuratively speaking of course.
Some figurative ships are friendship, courtship, sportsmanship, and worship. Many gospel songs speak of our Christian journey from earth to heaven as riding a ship.
Paul tells Timothy to let no man despise his youth, but for him to ride the example ship for other believers. We should all do this, no matter our age.
I once read a news story about two high school boys who played baseball on two opposing teams. The boy on one team, who struck out the other boy, went over and hugged him—an act of good sportsmanship. The news report said the hug was a social media sensation.
The boy who won and hugged his friend on the losing team was reared by godly parents who set an example before him. He knew what he did was the right thing to do.
Those of us who are older should set godly examples for youth so they'll want to set godly examples before others. We're all leading someone whether we know it or not, and we should strive to be a good influence. This is leadership.
Our leadership begins with fellowship with Christ at salvation. And this is the most important ship for us to board.
Make sure you board the right ships in life.
DEVOTION BY Mark Bevis POSTED 10/3/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV
I decided it was time to give them a practical lesson in grace.
My wife and I used a Bible-based curriculum to homeschool our children, which meant they learned something of the nature and character of God in every lesson.
One day, I prepared tests that would be impossible for them to pass. A few minutes after handing them out, I got feedback: a.k.a. whining about the difficulty of the questions. I told them to try their best and even allowed them to work for the answers by using their textbook. A quick show of hands at the end of class revealed that part 1 of my lesson had been successful. They knew they had failed.
I gave the tests back for review on Monday. Their fears were confirmed when they saw that each had received a failing grade. After a brief discussion, I told them I loved them very much, marked out the F with a red pen, and wrote 100 A+ on each test. I asked if it was their effort that had gotten them the 100. They answered, "No." Then I revealed that this test wasn’t about the lesson from their textbook but rather about a lesson from God's Book—specifically about God’s grace for salvation.
We then read Ephesians 2 and Romans 3 to conclude the lesson. We can never do enough to earn salvation. Thankfully, God put a plan in place to redeem us, not through our efforts but through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ—the Lamb of God sent to take away the sin of the world.
We must put aside our attempts to reach God through works and instead lay hold of His grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation. If your sins have been marked out and covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, you have been freely given a perfect score, which is the righteousness of Christ marked down in place of your failure.
Thank God daily for His amazing grace.
DEVOTION BY Emmanuella Ellis POSTED 9/26/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Exodus 2:15 NASB
Life gets rough sometimes. Everything seems great, and then before we know it, life falls apart.
I think that’s how Moses felt as he took a long trip through the desert. He was prince of Egypt, living in comfort and luxury—not a shepherd living in tents. Not only was it a different environment, it was also a life he wasn’t prepared for. He had no shepherding skills.
We sometimes find ourselves in such situations, and it’s difficult to handle it. We either complain about having to be a shepherd or give the excuse that we don’t have what it takes. Our attitude, though difficult, should be to work at whatever God places before us, all the while trusting in His wisdom. God always has a plan.
The only way Moses could know God was for him to leave Egypt. And though life seemed to have ended, the Lord had something greater planned.
We need to trust the Lord and walk that confusing path with our gaze on Jesus. He will propel us to greater heights when we’re faithful with everything He has handed us—however difficult. His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts not our thoughts. But they are always better that our ways and thoughts.
When God changes your plans, follow them faithfully.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile.)
DEVOTION BY Kathy Boyd Thompson POSTED 9/19/2018 12:00:01 AM ON 1 Timothy 2:1 NLT
“I tried to make him happy.”
My son-in-law left with two of their kids for ball practice, which gave my daughter some one-on-one time with their youngest, Luke. As the two ate dinner, Luke shared his day at daycare. At first he was filled with laughter and smiles. Then he paused, grew quiet, and began to cry. Alarmed, my daughter asked what was wrong. He related how his friend, Brody, had been sad that afternoon.
“I found his favorite toy and played with him. And the other day at school, a boy was sad because no one shared the ball with him at recess. So the next time I caught the ball, I threw it to him.”
“Luke, you did the right thing. You found a way to make the boys feel as if they had a friend. Sometimes you’ll see sadness in people, and you may not be able to fix it. That’s okay, but you can always pray for those who are sad.”
When my daughter tucked her youngest into bed that night, she listened to his bedtime prayer. Luke asked God to help those two boys not be sad anymore and to help sad people everywhere. My daughter added her own prayer that God would help Luke remain aware of those around him, tender to their needs, and willing to intervene as he is able.
Christ lived a life that demonstrated not only His holiness but also His love and concern for humanity’s needs. Paul taught Timothy the importance of prayer for others and also left a reminder for us.
Take a moment and examine your life. Ask God to help you stay alert to those around you. Pray for people to see God, help them when you can, and be thankful for any opportunities God gives you.