A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Spirit & Trust

Trust is hard. It’s easy to say there is trust but actually taking the step – making the leap into mid-air without a visible net is the most difficult thing man can do. But with the Spirit of God our leap lands us safe in His palm.



A Brush with Death

I had no idea I would swim with crocodiles.

Fresh out of college, I headed to Central America to serve in an international school. On a break, my colleagues and I flew to Tikal—a remote area in northern Guatemala—where we climbed Mayan ruins, took shelter under the trees in a rain forest during a downpour, and spent the better part of a day cruising down a concrete water slide and splashing into the lake below.

Later, while on a boat tour of the lake, we passed a bank where crocodiles were gathered for their daily feeding—not far from where I had been swimming. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Why had no one mentioned there were crocodiles in the lake the waterslide spilled into?

When I asked our tour guide about the danger to tourists, he assured me the beasts were fed there daily so they would not bother tourists. That was the last day I swam in the lake.

Two years prior to my unintentional swim with crocodiles, I had a brush with death in the mountains of Kazakhstan. Hanging by my arms over a deep valley from the frozen bars of an antiquated ski lift—with hail raining down on my bare legs and arms—I kept counting to ten, hoping I could hang on until the earth met my feet again.

These close calls left me with a clear sense that I was on this earth for a reason—that it was no accident I had survived.

Escapes from death serve to jolt us, reminding us we have something left to do on earth. They can move us to use our time wisely and to discover and live out our callings.

Whether or not you’ve had a brush with death, you can be sure you're not still here by accident. God has a purpose for you. He wants us to count each day as a gift from His hand and to use the balance of our time intentionally

Bring God glory, help usher others into His Kingdom, and be transformed into His likeness. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Be Sure of Your Salvation

The young woman wept at the altar as I made my way to the front of the church.

She wanted to be “sure of her salvation,” she said. Raised in a Christian home, she didn’t want to take being saved for granted. We prayed together, embraced, and she thanked me. This girl was now a child of God ... without a doubt.

Later, I was questioned by a church leader because this girl was the daughter of a long-time, respected deacon, and everyone assumed she was born again. No one knew she had never accepted the Lord. Fortunately, I didn’t know her or who she was related to. But even had I known, we would have prayed regardless.

Fast forward twenty years to another church service. Again, I was praying at the altar when laughter erupted behind me. My husband was talking with one of our dearest friends—someone who had been a deacon, taught Sunday school, and had been involved in church for over twenty-five years. His wife assumed he was a Christian, as did his children and all who knew him.

He confessed that he had been pretending for all those years. He was simply going through the motions, doing what was expected of a Christian. But he was tired of the charade. That day, he made a commitment and asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior. From that day forward ... there was no doubt.

Romans tells us that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. The key word is calls. We’re not saved because we go to church or because we’ve been raised in a Christian home. Salvation is a personal, intimate experience. If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9 NIV).

My daughter once said she could no longer believe what I believed—just because. She wanted to learn about God and His Word for herself. Instead of fretting, I was ecstatic. She was finally seeking God on her own and not “riding on her parents’ coattails,” as she put it.

Be confident in what you believe. And then, never take it for granted that everyone you know has a relationship with the Lord. When He prompts you to talk to or pray with someone, don’t hesitate. Their eternity might rest in your hands.

If you can’t remember a specific time when you invited Jesus into your heart, do it again. Then you’ll know … without a doubt.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Don't Worry, He Knows

Worry is an emotion that afflicts everyone.

We worry about our children, our finances, and our health. Some of us even worry about things that may happen—such as losing a job, a spouse, or our way.

The word worry is a Germanic word which means “to strangle.” Interestingly, it was used in the late 1600s to describe the treatment of sheep when dogs or wolves attacked.

Believers are Jesus’ flock. If we’re not careful, we can allow the enemy to weigh us down with worry. The life God intended us to live is strangled because we choke on our worries and cares instead of trusting our heavenly Father.

Jesus reminds us not to worry about anything because our Father in heaven knows what we need. Our Father. Not a stranger who is indifferent to our circumstances—or a friend who would like to help but can’t. He is our loving Father who is intimately acquainted with us and keenly aware of our needs.

Worry causes many of God’s children needless friction. If we would allow this truth to permeate our hearts, we would be far less inclined to give ourselves to this choke-hold. As Christians, we have a sure remedy for worry.

Choose to turn your worries over to your heavenly Father in prayer. Lay your burdens down.   

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Reaching Canaan

A delay in God’s call does not necessarily mean He has changed His mind.

Abram, who would become Abraham the father of many nations, set out with his father, Terah, to travel to Canaan. They settled in Haran, about halfway to Canaan. The Scripture does not tell why they stopped at Haran instead of completing their journey. Some commentators suggest Terah’s age made going on impossible.

There are times where circumstances are beyond our control. Our spiritual journey is often traveled in segments that involve delay and even diversions from our intended course. The apparent disruption in our spiritual odyssey is often preparation for obtaining our inheritance from the Lord. In God’s kingdom, the shortest distance between two points is not always a straight line.

Unlike us sometimes, Abraham—after the death of his father—proceeded to Canaan. Through delay, we often lose sight of our spiritual goal. Our promised land is not just a place where we arrive on this earth or even something we do. It’s an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe.

Although our Heavenly Father uses our calling to fulfill His purposes, His calling is a means to an end, not the end itself. God is calling us to ascend the mountains of delight to discover the knowledge of the holy One. This is our Canaan land. When we arrive at the summit, it is not about being at the top but about who we find at the top.

Often when we enter the valley at the foot of the mountain, we become prosperous and comfortable. The glimmer of snow on the peak becomes less inviting. Little by little, we lose our desire to climb it. God will allow us to do this if we choose.

Remember, the view of the Lord from the valley will never be as spectacular as the one from the mountaintop. Reach your Canaan land. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Darkness and Light

Thomas Kincaid is the “Painter of Light” for sure.

Thomas Kincaid’s paintings have a magical quality. His use of yellows and whites attract the eye and hold it there. What a gift. Beyond what’s on the canvas, Kincaid injects God into his work and tells the story of the true master of light, the “light of the world.”

On deeper reflection, there is another force at play in these paintings and in life itself: the darkness. If the artist only painted with whites and yellows, the paintings would be formless and bland. But when the light is placed in the darkness, awesome things happen. The darkness is exposed. Without the light, the darkness would not be visible. And when the light is placed in the darkness, the light is magnified and emphasized. In the spiritual realm, glorified.

If our lives were only shades of yellow and white and no darkness ever entered, we wouldn’t know the power of the light. If we never felt burdens, sorrows, or pains, we wouldn’t praise the One who brings comfort.

It seems like a paradox to say those who are happy are those who mourn, but it’s true. When we are in our darkest hour, God shines the brightest. When we lose sight of all we have, we can view Him in His fullest.

The darker the night, the brighter God’s light. Mourn and He will comfort you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

 

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