A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Spirit & Mind

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.

Forgiving Boo Boo

I opened the back door and stopped in my tracks.

“What on earth?” came from my mouth at a rather high decibel level. It looked as if an F5 tornado had swept through our house, leaving it in shambles. Tiny pieces of paper, branches, leaves, DVD boxes, and shoes littered three rooms. Standing still and surveying the damage, I saw my ninety-pound Newfoundland, Boo Boo, sitting pretty and proud. I wanted to scream, “Look what you did!” but I couldn’t.

My heart melted, a smile crept across my face, and she ran toward me. As I stooped down to pet her, I realized how much I loved her. We had left her out of her crate to test her maturity level and discovered it was not what we had hoped for. Left on her own, she made unwise choices. This did not lessen my love for her or cause me to decide she was not worth keeping. I knew she needed more training. We would try again.

Our heavenly Father does the same with us. He is full of mercy and compassion. He may not be happy with our decisions, but He loves us enough to let us grow, make our own decisions, and hopefully learn from them.

If you, like Boo, have done something the world feels is deserving of punishment, turn it over to God and experience the grace and mercy of your heavenly Father.

(Photo courtesy of the author.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Let It Ache

Anguish. I know the feeling well. Since I was betrayed, it has been my constant companion for months. I ache for what I lost.

Betrayal hurts worse than anything else. It aches in my spirit and body, throbbing when I wake up and just before I fall asleep. The ache almost has an identity as it moans for attention and healing. My only source of strength comes from the Holy Spirit.

I am completely powerless to heal the ache. It exists and will not extinguish without supernatural intercession. Sometimes, I obsess over how to snuff the smoldering coals that fuel the ache. Some of the embers are self-inflected … anger fuels the fire.

I am in the process of forgiving this person. God convicted me that anger is wrong and urged me to let Him give me relief from anger. He will help me, even if I can’t perceive it or have any idea when the ache will stop throbbing—as the psalmist didn’t.

Searing aches can be transformed from darkness to radiance by God’s power. He is able to make something glorious from suffering, which draws me into deeper understanding of His will. He fills the anguish with healing and love. That has to sustain me for now. Suffering produces perseverance, character, and hope (Romans 5:3-4 NIV), so I am letting the ache burn rather than try to suppress it.

Painful times draw me into God’s presence far more often than happy ones. God is always present, even in anguish and desperation, and understands how deep my wounds are. He urges me to depend on His Holy Spirit to lead me moment by moment.

Turn to God in your pain. He will suffer beside you when you ache.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

It Gets Better

“Are you sure you want to clean toilets?”

My wife’s voice reverberated in my ears as I sprayed the toilet bowl cleaner into the urinal at my job. This wasn’t the place I envisioned for myself as I walked across the graduation stage at Thomas Road Baptist Church on the campus of Liberty University. Yet there I stood in the middle of the men’s room, holding a toilet bowl cleaner in one hand and a terry cloth in the other—miserable over the way life was playing out. I wondered where God’s favor was and where His promises of abundance were.

We’ve all felt our life is at a standstill at one time or another. God has called you to run your own business, but you wake up every day and ride a bus to a maintenance job where you clean windows, pull trash, and scrub toilets—barely earning enough money to pay the bills. God has deposited a seed of distinction in you, but that promise of eminence can seem far away.

Sometimes we forget God is the reason we have what we have. We forget about the blessings that come from above and focus on the things we don’t have or on the things we want because others have them. Our joy can wane when we focus on things that don’t concern God.

The enemy deceives us by making us think the place we are today is the place we’ll always be. Through prayer, I’ve discovered becoming disgruntled with the ugly days of life does no good. God is faithful to fulfill His promises. He knows the places He wants us to go, and He designates pit stops designed to improve and strengthen our character.

This season of life may feel arduous and may not be going according to plans. But God will not allow suffering needlessly. Better is the end of a thing than its beginning. My heart wasn’t into cleaning toilets, but that day standing in the men’s room I knew God’s plan was still being put into motion for my life.

Stay with the Lord. Put forth the fruit of faith, increase in the knowledge of God, and work in accordance with His glorious might. Christ is your example, and God rewards His faithful children for diligently working for Him.  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Right Frequency

A click of a switch. “Come in, base one.”  No answer. Several more times I repeated this with the same result. I could feel myself getting testy inside.

We were driving across the paddock following the rutted wheel tracks, the constant static from the two-way radio coming from between the front seats. We were out looking for stray cows which had not made the branding roundup. The scrub was thick. Hills and rocks stood in our way. We stopped to check in with the homestead base.

Then my passenger said, “Are you on the right frequency?” After checking, I switched to another setting and made contact.

We were able to get directions from base. The overhead spotters had found the errant cattle in a slight ravine on the other side of the hills. We wove our four-by-four vehicle through bushland to locate them. From there we were able to move them in the right direction. Then the riders on horseback picked them up to drive them towards home base for branding.

If we’re honest with ourselves and God, we’re sometimes disappointed in Him. A sense of false rejection, feeling unloved and unacceptable to God. We believe He has let us down for not giving us what we want in the time we expected. We become testy when our way forward becomes impeded.

Sometimes, we misunderstand His Word and His promises—believing we will never be good enough for Him. The acid of hurt and disappointment builds up and develops into anger. The pain from these misplaced feelings has to surface so we can restore our relationship with Him.

How we deal with disappointments will depend upon how secure we are in God’s love in our heart. When these negative emotions surface, we are relying on our own emotions in our soul. 

Instead, we need to listen to the voice of God in our spirit and in our heart. We need to tune into God through the right frequency. Then the way becomes clear to hear God’s voice and follow His directions for our life. 

If you’re lost or heading in the wrong direction, change frequencies so you can hear God’s voice.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Promise for Your Affliction

Staring out the window—sick child in my arms—I count the days.

Twenty two days have passed since illness struck our home and relentlessly unleashed its fury on each member of our household. And twenty two days have passed since we lived free from fevers and antibiotics. It seems this virus won’t let go.

My head throbs with the ache of countless nights without sleep, and my body aches with the remnants of the fever that refuses to break. Through it all, I’ve done my best to be the rock of stability and comfort my family’s needs. Watching layers of altostratus clouds linger like a blanket over the goldenrod field outside the window, I cry for God to bring the comfort I desperately desire.

My deepest desire is for healing from this sickness. I find myself searching the heart of God for a promise to embrace in the midst of this suffering. But which promise do I claim when the provision is slow in coming? Or when the healing doesn’t come?

Three geese pass, flying low outside the window. They cut through the clouds like a beacon sent to remind me of my three-in-one God. They remind me that the God of the Trinity is a God of relationship. When He seems slow in fulfilling His promises, when healing doesn’t come, or when provision lingers, He gives a better promise.

The better promise is the promise to never leave or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). This is the promise to which I cling in my affliction. Though the suffering may last, God promises to stick with me through it. His presence is the greatest comfort of all.

If there is a place in your life where it seems God isn’t showing up, or if you’re waiting on Him to provide, protect, heal, or redeem, a day is coming when He will fulfill each of those desires.  Until then, He promises to stick with you.

Let God’s presence be enough for you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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