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 Carina Dick POSTED 10/18/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 145:19 NLT
My cat, Figaro, sat on the back step, peering through the wooden slats. Her golden eyes were wide with attention. Her nose twitched with interest.
As I followed her gaze, I saw a groundhog under the step. Unsure of how far the groundhog would go to protect his space, I whisked Figaro away. Once she was safe in the house, my feelings shifted to elation. The groundhog was sent by God.
One week prior to the groundhog’s appearance, my mom had seen one nearby while walking. We often walk together, but I wasn’t with her that day and was disappointed I’d missed out. Though groundhogs are native to Alaska, in my thirty-one years in the state, I had never seen one up close. So I said a prayer: Lord, please let me see that groundhog.
Though I had to wait, the groundhog eventually emerged from beneath the step. Instead of dashing into the bushes, as I feared he might, he waddled to the flower box. With leathery paws, he pulled a delphinium stalk down to his face and nibbled the blossoms. Against the backdrop of ferns and flowers, the scene was enchanting. He snacked for several minutes, then ambled away as if he hadn’t a care in the world.
Seeing a groundhog might seem mundane, but for me it was an answered prayer. God heard when I asked to see the groundhog and somehow inspired him to pay me a visit. On that warm summer day, God used nature to declare His love, affection, and attention toward me.
The Bible says God hears our voices (Psalm 116:1) and grants the desires of those who fear Him (Psalm 145:19)—even the little desires. He is a good Father, tenderly watching over us, inclining His ear to the stirrings of our hearts.
God wants to delight us and speak to us uniquely and individually. Sometimes He does that through a brilliant sunrise, sometimes through a kind word from a friend, and sometimes through something as simple as a visit from a groundhog.
Believe God cares about your desires. Ask Him for the small, but meaningful. Trust that He hears you, and then look for His answers.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Patti McLead POSTED 10/11/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
Looking over my calendar of monthly bills, I saw a huge problem.
I needed $2100 more than I had to cover bills. I had no idea how to get that many more bookings for our new Bed and Breakfast—and I needed them quickly. I prayed, but God told me, “If you want guests, you’d better get the cabins cleaned.” I laughed a little, hopped up, and loaded the cleaning supplies.
As I started on the first cabin, the phone rang. A couple booked a three-night stay. Thank you, Lord. I walked back to the cabin and went to work. Halfway through cleaning the second cabin, the phone rang again. Another booking … and then another. Just as I finished cabin number three, the phone rang yet again. Two couples, calling together, booked their stay.
I couldn’t wait to finish cleaning so I could add up the income of the new bookings. In the three hours it took me to clean the cabins, God sent $2400 in bookings for that month. He provided more than I’d asked. Then it dawned on me I had forgotten to add in groceries and gasoline. He knew more about my needs than I did and provided for them all.
After that day, I continued to talk over the books with God. I’d talk Him through our bookings calendar, and then we’d look over the bill calendar together. Each time, after I showed God my needs, I closed the books and left them with Him. Then I’d go to work to prepare my beautiful place for the guests He would send.
During those days, God taught me the truth of wise King Solomon’s words. Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight. Trusting God didn’t make sense, but doing so didn’t have to. I knew my situation was from God, Jehovah Jireh, who is my Provider.
Next time you’re going over your calendar of bills—or anything else you’re struggling with—talk with God. Tell Him what you’re up against, close the book, and turn everything over to Him.
Go to work and trust God to be your Provider.
DEVOTION BY Amy Joob POSTED 10/4/2018 12:00:01 AM ON 2 Corinthians 4:9 NLT
The scenario continued until he struck out. Over and over. Game after game.
Our son, Ashton, stepped up to home plate and held his bat high over his shoulder. He bent his knees and gripped the bat a little tighter. “Go Ashton, you got this!” I yelled from the stands. He waited. The first pitch fired across home plate. He froze in place. “Strike one!” the umpire shouted from behind the plate.
After watching this scene repeatedly, Ashton’s father stepped in. “Hey, buddy, I want to take you to the batting cages to practice. I think it will help if you get used to fast pitches coming in.”
And with that, father and son headed off to practice. After a few stints at the batting cage, Ashton stepped up to the plate. Please, Lord, let him hit the ball this time. As soon as those words rolled off my tongue, I heard the whack as bat met ball and Ashton sped to first base.
I think this is why Paul admonishes us to keep trying, even if we fail the first, second, or third time. Our loving Father will step in and give us the tools to succeed. Then we keep trying until we accomplish what we set out to do.
We often put off doing something because we are afraid of failing. Or we try once or twice, but come up short and quit. God wants us to step out, to try again, and to rest assured He will meet us where we are. He equips each of us to fulfill what He calls us to do.
Go ahead and try again. You never know. The next time you step up to bat, you might hit a home run.
DEVOTION BY Mark Brady POSTED 9/27/2018 12:00:01 AM ON 2 Corinthians 1:3-6 AMP
It happened again—an explosive temper from one I love.
I do love this person, but the pain remained. I left their presence, but I was walking wounded. I rewound the scene and played it over in my mind. Why, I don’t know. This didn’t need to happen. I sought comfort.
I turned to pizza instead of God and went to one of my favorite pizza places. Sad, I know, but I tend to turn to favorite foods for comfort. Later in the evening, God whispered, “Why didn’t you turn to me for comfort?” I searched for the truth, then replied. “It wasn’t my first thought, God. I’m so sorry! Help me make You my first thought.”
As I took my second step out of the restaurant, a gust of wind blew the box from my hand. After looking both ways to see if anyone was watching, I cleaned up the parking lot. I decided the five-second rule didn’t apply to asphalt. Then I went back in and ordered another pizza.
My turning to food first, instead of God, made for an expensive medium pizza. Lesson learned ... I hope.
Make God your first thought in tough times, not your last resort.
DEVOTION BY Sherry Sharp POSTED 9/20/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
We thought it would never get here.
Springtime finally arrived. I drove to my home in Bethany Beach. My family and I agree our house on the shores of Delaware is our favorite place. Something about looking out over the ocean, which appears to have no end, offers a sense of serenity that’s hard to find anywhere else. I feel so small by comparison in the vastness of it all, and, yet, not insignificant. All of this is a part of God’s amazing creation. In this place, getting lost in the more profound thoughts of the heart is easy for me—a hopeless romantic and dreamer.
Four years ago, my husband Richard passed away. He loved being on the shore. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel the emptiness caused by his absence. With the passing of time, the void seems to intensify. But also in time comes a sense of peace, rooted in the belief that we will see each other again. When that day arrives, our vision will be through the eyes of God’s infinite glory. No more sickness or bodies ravaged by the environment or the elements of time.
God reminded Jeremiah He had plans for him. I also believe I remain here because God is not finished with me. All power rests in His hands alone. I don’t know what the future holds, but I long to be fully committed to and excited about the gift of life God has given me.
God’s faithfulness controls the oceans. He knows every grain of sand. He also knows you and me. His power is immeasurable, and His promises are trustworthy and overflow with truth. God’s love has no end.
Starting today, trust God with your future.