Spirit and Soul is all about eternity. Life ever after with a God who has prepared a place in advance for us. Dig into the Word. Search out your heart. Contemplate where you will spend eternity. . .then choose to offer your life to God.
DEVOTION BY Donette Bayne POSTED 6/14/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 46:10 NIV
Standing still is hard. It means you’re not moving, and, if you’re a control freak like me, it means you’re not making something happen. Standing still means someone else is in charge.
I’ve never been good at just standing—or sitting—but sometimes that’s all I can do. When I’ve voiced every request and when I’ve banged on the doors of heaven and explained to God in excruciating detail what I want Him to do, all I can do is stand still.
This isn’t a new problem. Scripture is filled with stories of those who didn’t wait, took matters in their own hands, and messed up. So is my life … and yours.
God answers. He moves. But sometimes He doesn’t move until we stop moving. He says His thoughts are not ours, nor are His ways ours (Isaiah 55:8). His way of answering seldom looks the way we think it should. Even while we’re trying to sit or stand still, we try to direct God’s answer. But it doesn’t work.
God promises He’ll answer our prayers because He loves us. Yet that’s not the only reason. He answers our prayers in His time—and in His way—to bring glory to His name.
We control freaks forget, in our ever-failing attempts to run the world, we are not God. Or even God-ish. We aren’t in charge but need to stand still and know God is God. Occasionally, we only get that message when the problems we’re facing are so out of control we have no choice.
So stand still. Fight anxiety and panic and trust God is who He says and that He will do what He promises. Your answer is coming.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Warren Johnson POSTED 6/7/2018 12:00:01 AM ON 1 Kings 19:12 NKJV
Everyone in camp could hear it.
At summer Boy Scout camp, a loudspeaker near the parade ground blasted reveille and later broadcasted the day’s special events. Later in life, I realized loudspeakers were trying to get my attention. But most of their agendas countered the best experiences I’d had.
I served in the military in Spain where drugs were readily available. Getting caught meant years in prison. I listened to too many of those voices, but escaped unharmed. How? I’d played basketball in high school and began playing on the military base. I discovered the voices attracting me to drugs countered my real joy: round ball. I stopped listening and started playing.
Elijah wanted God to take him home because of the people’s voices. Not only did Israel drop God’s commandments, they also destroyed altars and killed all the other prophets. They wanted to kill Elijah, and he wanted out.
God presented Elijah with a great calamity in which wind broke mountain rocks, an earthquake happened, and a fire destroyed the remains. God wasn’t in any of these. After this, a still small voice told Elijah how to conquer his enemies.
God communicates in the quiet of our peace. Obtaining that quiet requires doing something different. Those loudspeakers will not rest. Every moment we don’t focus on God’s purpose for our lives exposes us to the voices. As long as we are distracted from the daily renewing of God’s grace, Satan and his minions are happy.
When we attended camp, the loudspeaker held authority. We planned a day of adventure and accomplishment by regarding the truth it broadcast. God’s still, quiet voice is not as easy to comprehend. By focusing more on the Word of God, we can expect Him to come in a quiet moment.
Let God give you direction by eliminating the loudspeakers so you can find your joy.
DEVOTION BY Diana Derringer POSTED 5/31/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Proverbs 17:6 NIV
“You’re still going up the hill, but my mom’s already gone over.”
We laughed at the little girl’s comments, but they reflected her youth-focused mindset. We often overlook the priceless worth of maturity. Preoccupied with wrinkles, gray hair, and bald spots, we fail to recognize the experience, wisdom, and genuine beauty afforded a well-lived life.
Each age comes with built-in benefits. People with more years behind them than ahead experience much during those years. By token of all they’ve learned, easily or from multiple bumps and bruises, we do well to respect them and heed their insights. I can’t imagine my life without the benefits gained from my snow-capped mentors and friends.
Notwithstanding maturity’s assets, no one but God commands all the answers—and never will. The more mature still have much to learn. Just as they are often overlooked, they may also overlook a wealth of information right before them.
Children and youth, with their enthusiasm and willingness to take risks, uncover possibilities most of us would never choose to unearth. Granted, not all those possibilities work, but neither do all of ours.
Sandwiched between those age extremes are people with time and energy who are often stretched to the limit. The demands of work, church, and community compete with personal and family responsibilities. Making a marriage work or striving to balance life as a single adult can stifle individual needs and desires.
As the older and younger generations both prioritize, juggle, and somehow survive, they remind us to focus on what matters most. Openness to the challenges and contributions of every life stage adds beauty and benefits to life. We all gain from mutual acceptance, understanding, and support.
Thank God for the gems of every age and the opportunity to learn from them all.
DEVOTION BY Tom Toya POSTED 5/24/2018 12:00:01 AM ON 2 Timothy 3:16 KJV
The conviction of Christ followers over the centuries has been that the Bible is a literal representation of the thoughts of Almighty God.
If we believe this, we must take the reading and studying of the Bible seriously. The Bible is life and food for our souls, shedding light and direction upon our path. It corrects, teaches, comforts, heals, builds faith, inspires, motivates, and fills us with the Spirit of God. We will also listen to those who preach and teach from it.
The Bible is a compilation of sixty-six books, written by authors inspired by God. The Greek meaning of the word “inspiration” is “God-breathed.” Instead of viewing the Bible as just another book, we can approach God’s Word with a sense of awe and wonder. As we apply its teachings, we will grow spiritually and become more like our Maker.
Find a translation you are comfortable with, and approach the Word of God prayerfully, asking the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal precious truths. Don’t rush, but pause and digest what you are reading, looking for one takeaway. Ask the Lord to help you put into practice a specific commandment. Look for a promise to believe and claim. Above all, enjoy your time with God.
The Bible is a great gift, filled with the breath of God. Reading and studying it will reap great and precious rewards.
If you have not developed a habit of reading the Word daily, begin with ten to fifteen minutes a day.
DEVOTION BY Heather Smith POSTED 5/17/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Psalms 119:105 NKJV
Driving with my smartphone in my lap, I realized I had reached for it several times to make sure it was still there—as if the phone could walk away.
In that moment, I acknowledged my dependence on the device and confessed, "Oh, I know God is all I need. I could live without electronics as long as I still had Him." But God wasn't done with the teaching moment. And this isn't a devotional about putting your devices ahead of God.
After exploring the idea of living without technology—and convincing myself I could handle it if necessary—I was confronted with some questions: What if I had to live without the Bible? Would I have enough of it hidden away in my heart to be satisfied? Would having John 3:16 and Psalm 23 memorized be enough to satisfy me?
The Bible is God’s method of communication to teach us about Him and to guide us. It is more accessible now than at any other time in history. Knowing I don't appreciate its availability as much as I should, I question how it would affect me if it were taken away. I imagine I would write down every verse of Scripture I know, and pray to remember more. I would probably ask everyone around me what verses they remembered as well.
Although the Lord will preserve His Word, it is good to imagine how life would change if the Bible suddenly vanished and it wasn't here to light our paths. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit can never be taken away from us and will always be our guide. I pray God will continue to speak to me through His Word and that I will treasure it.
Commit Scripture to memory, not for fear the Bible will be taken away, but to allow it to work in your life.
(Visit Christian Devotions for more devotions.)