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 Sherry Sharp POSTED 8/16/2017 12:00:01 AM ON 2 Corinthians 1:21:22 NIV
The job of every child under the age of ten who is traveling on vacation is to ask the question, “Are we there yet?” No training required. The question comes naturally.
When riding with my young grandchildren on long trips, they repeatedly ask, “Are we there yet?” I enjoy teasing them by saying, “Yes, we are there. We just forgot to tell you.” Of course, they groan at my answer, recognizing it is just a silly response to their silly question.
Adults may not ask such obvious questions on road trips, but as children of God traveling through life we do ask “Why does sickness, war, and evil exist?” Expecting near perfect conditions in this world is like children asking if they have arrived yet. Just as it takes time to get from here to there on road trips, it is only reasonable to expect less than perfect conditions on the way to heaven. We are not there yet.
Scripture is clear about our earthly journey. We will endure trials of all kinds, and life will eventually end in physical death. It is part of the human experience. Navigating road trips has been enhanced by GPS systems. If we follow the suggested course, it sends back information that helps us reach our destination with confidence.
As Christians—because of Jesus Christ—we have been given His GPS—God’s Holy Spirit—to help us navigate our way through this world. One day, with patience and perseverance we will reach heaven. God has guaranteed it.
Follow God’s Spirit, and arrive at God’s intended destination for you.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Christy Lindsay POSTED 8/9/2017 12:00:01 AM ON Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
No career excited me as much as the prospect of writing novels for a living.
God placed the dream of becoming a writer in my heart when I was fourteen. And He wanted me to be a Christian writer, not a famous secular novelist. During those years, I learned God’s dreams were different from mine. Much different, as it turned out.
While working on my bachelor’s degree, I convinced myself I was born to be an English professor. I decided I didn’t want children—they’d force me to put myself second.
Within six years of graduating from college, I had two children. God wanted me to be a momma. I learned the hard way God didn’t want me to be a professor either. Graduate school was a colossal disappointment.
Sometimes I resent God asking me to let my dreams die in order to live His dreams. It’s hard to silence the voice that says there’s no higher goal than making myself happy. But one of the many reasons I love God is because He doesn’t strike me down when I’m angry. He lets me vent and then gently reminds me He knows best. I’m certain obeying God holds greater blessings than chasing my own ambition.
I know God’s dreams and thoughts for me are higher than my own. The God who imagined the universe is fully capable of directing me toward my place in it.
In the end, obedience is what counts. When I stand before Jesus, I want Him to be pleased with how I used my time on earth.
Live God’s dream, not your own.
DEVOTION BY Rusty Lang POSTED 8/2/2017 12:00:01 AM ON Hebrews 10:35, 39 NASB
It felt good.
Finally, I had some time to look through my computer and do a thorough clean up. Items that were no longer needed went to the recycle bin, then off into cyberspace.
Looking through my saved photos and images, I was arrested by an image of a fishbowl full of little fish. Next to it was a larger bowl with only clear water. One fish was leaping from the crowded bowl into the clear fresh water of the larger bowl.
Many thoughts flashed through my mind. Thoughts of time to break out from the crowd. Time to look for bigger opportunities. Time to seek clear fresh water of the Holy Spirit. Time to be brave and trust God to lead me to the right place.
Sometimes we are so engrossed in where we are, we become locked in place, filling up valuable space where others might grow. We become inactive, surrounded by the influence that has grown cold towards the things of God.
Recognizing the challenge to take action, I moved when God said move—taking a leap towards a brighter future and trusting God all the way. God did not come with a safety net, scoop me up, and lift me into the new role. I had to take a step of faith. Now, I’m swimming free in a new situation.
Perhaps the place you have been has become so comfortable that you can no longer move. Maybe it’s been a long time since you took a leap of faith to new horizons. Change whatever God is asking you to change so you can move where He is calling you to go.
Step forward in faith and trust God.
DEVOTION BY Jan Willis POSTED 7/26/2017 12:00:01 AM ON Isaiah 41:10 (The Voice)
Beth, Belinda, Susan and I sang some of Daddy’s favorite hymns and songs in four-part harmony. He trained his girls to perform just as his mother had taught him and his sister to perform for Vaudeville. He played the piano and we sang even before our eyes were level with the ivory keys.
No longer able to join in with his eloquent tenor, Daddy gazed up at me from his bed, a hint of a smile on his lips. Trembling, he reached for me, and with a raspy voice whispered, "Hold my hand."
I enfolded his boney cool hand in mine. He gripped my fingers, staring at me through fear-filled, glazed eyes. I wondered what terrors flooded his heart and mind. I smiled at him and stroked the thin, pale hand that once danced across the ivory keys of the piano.
Our heavenly Father is the I Am. We can trust Him. He says we don’t need to fear or be dismayed because He is with us. He promises never to leave us. He is all-powerful and able and willing to strengthen us and hold us up.
I knew my heavenly Father could bring peace and comfort to Daddy. I drew comfort and strength in knowing God cradled Daddy in His warm embrace.
Finding assurance in another of Dad’s favorite hymns, I crooned to him as my sisters softly joined me. The words of truth blanketed Daddy, his eyes closed, and his grip loosened on my fingers. The Father’s loving presence replaced Daddy’s fears with peace. Holding God’s hand, Daddy’s spirit left his frail body and flew away to a new home on the celestial shore.
Regardless of what you’re going through, God is with you and will strengthen and help you. Place your trust in His love and faithfulness, and you will live and rest in His peace. The I Am is with you.
Allow God to hold you up with His righteous right hand and bring you peace.
DEVOTION BY Sheryl M. Baker POSTED 7/19/2017 12:00:01 AM ON Daniel 6:10 NIV
I giggled as I visualized what motorists saw as they passed my parents’ house.
I sat atop my parents’ riding lawn mower while my dad tried his best to direct me in the “way I should go.” His arm motions went one way, my steering the other. I looked like a new pilot trying to park a jet. After many stops to ask Dad for directions, I finally finished. Dad and I both smiled. It was an adventurous afternoon to say the least.
What popped into my mind while pondering my mowing escapade was the word routine. Routines are a daily part of our lives whether we realize it or not. My dad, after years of mowing his lawn, had his routine down pat. He’d learned how to mow in the shortest amount of time and maximize the best use of fuel. He’d tightened the turns, cut the gaps, and knew where he wanted to go next.
Daniel had a routine for praying. I also have routines. One is my morning quiet time with God. I read from two or three devotionals (usually in the same order), and then I go to my reading plan on my phone. Finally, I turn the computer on and read a couple of online devotions. If I’m participating in a Bible study, that lesson comes at the end.
Yet while doing my routine reading about God and Jesus, I must be careful my mind doesn’t flip to autopilot. There are many mornings my thoughts wander aimlessly and need a little coaxing to get back on track. Re-engaging my thoughts usually means re-reading the last couple of paragraphs. If I can’t refocus my direction, then my routine has become a hindrance.
Changing up the order of my morning study routine helps, but I still must be cautious of falling back into complacency and becoming comfortable with the routine.
When challenged with routine complacency, ask God to help you stay focused and engaged with Him during your study time. This will keep your routine from becoming a hindrance.