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.

Clearing a Cluttered Mind

The longer I sat in traffic, the angrier I became.

When I lived in Connecticut, I traveled to work on Interstate 95 where cars were often bumper to bumper. Drivers beeped or sometimes yelled at each other because there was so much clutter. We all wanted to move along. I was annoyed and tense. Focusing on the music on the radio or capturing beautiful moments in nature was difficult because of the cluttered highway. I wanted to exit the highway but couldn’t because of the traffic. By the time I arrived at work, I was cranky and didn’t have much time to unwind. 

The thoughts in our minds can be cluttered just as traffic can. Our great moment or day can be spoiled by something that clutters our minds and takes us away from the present moment.  Negative thoughts can affect our health, sense of peace, and ability to think clearly, hijacking our joy and peace. 

Regardless of the clutter, our minds can create powerful thoughts. God knew there would be times when our minds would get cluttered. He used Paul to give us a guide to help us redirect our thinking so we can think about noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable things—good things that require positive attention.

Thinking on these things is not always an easy task. We must strive to keep our minds clear of clutter so we can hear from God and see our way clearly through circumstances that want to negatively overtake our thoughts. 

When negative thoughts rush through our mind and clutter it, we can combat them by listening to an inspirational song or quote or by taking a peace break to remind ourselves of all the good things that have happened in our lives.

Even though your mind may get cluttered, you can use God’s power to clean it out.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Small Potatoes

Could you imagine your grandmother treasure hunting in a dumpster?

Raised in the Depression era, my grandparents saved everything, lived frugally, and wasted nothing. They rented out apartments in a low-rent section of a small town. Often, when Pap called upon his tenants to collect the rent, they asked for an extension. A few even asked for loans.

If Pap had it to give, he gave. He gave them refurbished appliances when theirs broke. He gave clothes, blankets, and other goods. He was even known to give his spare cars so tenants could get to work.

When Nanny searched through the apartment’s dumpsters for valuables, she found plenty of discarded pizza boxes. It bothered them that their tenants ate expensive meals—better than they ate—but then struggled to pay bills.

One way Pap witnessed to them was through a special gift. He gave each a five-pound bag of potatoes and a lesson about financial stewardship. He said, “A pizza will last your family just one meal and costs too much. But a bag of potatoes will last an entire week for just a few dollars. You can make potatoes all different ways and never get bored. You can bake, fry, mash, and boil them and have money left in your pocket. Not so with a pizza.”

At ninety, Pap still helps people transition into affordable housing, forever modeling and teaching stewardship, sacrifice, and generosity in the Lord’s name—following this and other biblical principles.

God is able to help guide all our financial choices … to help us spend our money wisely and to give generously to others. After all, our money—and everything we have—is His anyway.

Trust God to provide for your needs and to guide you in your financial decisions.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Born to Be Adopted

“Adoption granted,” the judge said.

I looked at my wife and then at our new children. Joy filled our hearts as we smiled at those from the orphanage who had helped us.

As millions of adoptive parents testify, adopting a child is one of the greatest experiences a person can have. The lead-up to adoption is harrowing but overshadowed by the hope that one day the child will be yours.

One of the challenges while on the way home was answering our children’s question about why they were adopted. While we couldn’t answer all their questions, we assured them God had a plan for their lives, as well as for ours (Jeremiah 29:11). In God’s plan, they had been born for us to adopt.

In the same way, God births us for adoption into His family. He knows us before we are born. He was not required to adopt us, yet He chose to. And not because we were cute and cuddly—we were sinners—but because He loved us. He pictured us as we were supposed to be and knew how our lives would only make sense in relationship to Him.

Sometimes we do not like to think of ourselves as adopted by God because we think we would have been fine otherwise. We think of God more as a judge than as a father. Perhaps that is why Paul emphasizes the most intimate word for father to describe our adoptive relationship.

Don’t let anything stop you from receiving all the Father wants to give you. You have been adopted by the One who loved you before you were born.

Let your heart be filled with thankfulness to God for birthing you for adoption.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

 



Distinguishing Between the Holy and the Unholy

How much dog poop do you want in your brownies?

A father tried explaining to his children why they could not watch television shows with immoral content.

“But, Dad, they only cuss a little,” the children whined.

Instead of giving in, he enlisted their help to make brownies, intending to teach them a priceless life lesson.

“While I’m mixing the brownies, go into the backyard and collect some dog poop in this bag.”

Horrified, the kids asked why. The dad answered, “We’ll put just a little of it in the brownies to expand the mixture. After all, it’s the same color, and we’ll add so little we won’t be able to taste it at all.”

In Ezekiel’s day, God uttered a dreadful indictment against His priests. They became desensitized to the difference between the sacred and the defiled, between the pure and the immoral. In their indifference, they also failed to teach that difference to others. As God’s spiritual representatives, they no longer distinguished between right and wrong. They tolerated poop in their brownies.

As God’s followers, we are also His priests. Unfortunately, in the hustle and bustle of life, spiritual discernment erodes with the world’s desensitizing onslaught. By excusing our worldly preferences—ungodly lyrics, immoral movies, unequally-yoked associations, and sinful habits—discernment between the holy and the unholy fades.

God calls us to be a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a peculiar people who loathe the garments tainted by the world (1 Peter 2:9). Yet the slightest tolerance of immorality defiles our spiritual discernment, dims our light to a lost world, and invites God’s loving hand of discipline.

If we’ve allowed ourselves to become tainted by ungodly things, God wants us to repent and separate ourselves, inviting His purification so we can be transformed before Him in holiness. He wants to restore our spiritual discernment so we can model lifestyles untainted by the unholy and impure lifestyles we often see. God wants to lift the fog between the holy and the unholy and restore the courage to choose only the pure, unblemished deliciousness of Himself.

Make sure your brownies aren’t tainted.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



The Shape of Our Shape

Today, my daughter turns thirty-two. The shape of her shape has changed as she has aged—and so has mine.

I enjoy calculating what age my grandparents and parents were when I reached particular stages of my life. When I was young, everyone—including my parents and grandparents—seemed old. I once calculated what their age would have been when I was in middle school. My parents were in their thirties—the age my daughter now is. My grandparents seemed ancient when I was a teenager, but my grandfather would have been fifty-seven—one year younger than I am now.

The results of my calculations were sobering. It reminded me age is relative. As a middle schooler, I considered thirty old, but I don’t consider my daughter old. And though I thought my grandfather was ancient and wrinkled when I was a teen, I don’t consider myself the same now.

“Old” gets older the older I get. Now, I chuckle inside when I hear a senior adult in their eighties talk about old folks.

I can’t stop the aging process. Surgeries, creams, and muscle-toning exercises may hide the results of age from others, but my body still knows its birthday.

The Bible has little to say about physical exercise, probably because when written, almost everyone performed manual exercise. No reason to tell people about the importance of physical exercise. They received it daily. But also because a more important type of exercise exists than physical. My skin may be smooth and body toned when I’m in my eighties, but I’m likely to still die then—or before.

Physical exercise carries important weight and may help us live longer, but spiritual exercise helps us avoid spiritual death and live eternally with Christ. When I accepted Christ, my body became a temple of His Spirit. God goes with me everywhere and remains nearby for me to consult in every situation. Keeping this temple clean through godly living and thinking remains the best exercise I can do and keeps me mentally, spiritually, and emotionally fit.

Most may praise and seek after outward beauty, but God likes the inner beauty better. Pay attention to your physical shape, but pay more attention to your spiritual condition.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



All Posts