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.
DEVOTION BY Norma Mezoe POSTED 8/14/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Philippians 4:6 NIV
“There’s something wrong with my throat,” Mom said for the umpteenth time.
Mom was a worrier, especially about her health. Although she was a Christian, she couldn’t seem to turn her concerns over to the Lord. So I bought a small plaque, which told of how faith can overcome fear, and hung it in a prominent place in Mom’s living room so she would see it every day. She continued to fret.
Worry is difficult to let go of. Many of us realize it doesn’t do any good, but we continue to wallow in the sewers of doubt and anxiety.
Ruth also struggled with a problem. It was hard to surrender her burden to the Lord, even though she realized she needed to let it go. While walking one day with her head bowed low, she saw the words Trust Jesus written in bright-blue chalk on the sidewalk. The words caught her attention for a few minutes, but then she continued walking, her spirits and head downcast again.
At a different location, she again saw the same words written in the same blue chalk. This second emphasis was what she needed. “I will trust you, Jesus,” she declared. “Everything will be okay.” Later, her problem was solved and her trust in God deepened.
God doesn’t want us to live a life of defeat. If we allow Him to guide us, we can overcome worry. The Bible offers promises of peace and power to help us in all we encounter.
Perhaps Mom’s greatest fear was cancer, but she lived to be eighty-eight and was never afflicted with a malignancy. She missed the joy which comes from trusting God because she worried about her health and other problems.
It isn’t easy to let go of worry, especially for some people. Jesus gave words of comfort and encouragement: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you … Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV).
When you are tempted to worry, accept the peace Jesus gives instead.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Warren Johnson POSTED 8/7/2018 12:00:01 AM ON 1 Corinthians 8:12 NKJV
Hollywood represents many things to many people, but most of it is a false sense of reality.
A recent film release of a book with great meaning relative to a relationship with God blew God out of the picture and replaced Him with idols. In particular, Disney, the long-standing company founded on faith and good conscience, turned away from God.
This particular song, “Give a Little Whistle,” from the Disney movie Pinocchio, rattles in my mind. The song encourages us to give a whistle when we get into trouble and don’t know right from wrong. Or to whistle when we meet strong temptations—or begin sliding off the straight and narrow path. We can let our conscience be our guide.
Paul speaks specifically concerning idols, their place in the world, and the position they hold over people with weak consciences. Even more specifically, he’s talks of eating food dedicated to idols. The inference is that the Holy Spirit resides in us and protects us from evil.
If we, in good conscience, do something to glorify God, others will be edified and their consciences will become stronger. The reverse is also true. Do something against God, and we weaken others’ consciences.
Today’s entertainment world seeks those with weak consciences. They alone know the reasons why. The more we enjoy such tripe, the further away we slip from God. When we do so, we affect others. It’s all about choice.
God gives us choice, but we must pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s urging through our conscience to assist others to stay the course.
Make sure your conscience is in good shape.
DEVOTION BY Phyllis Freeman POSTED 7/31/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Acts 8:27 KJV
Children dawdle and dilly-dally. They become distracted.
Mom sends them on a mission: “Go wash your hands for dinner, Jacob.” But before Jacob reaches the bathroom, he notices a cartoon on television and slides onto the sofa to watch. Later, Mom will call again to remind Jacob about his main mission.
An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go,” giving explicit instructions. Philip obeyed. He started out, and on his way he saw a man in a chariot reading from the book of Isaiah. The Spirit prompted Philip to approach the eunuch and ask, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
Because Philip heard and obeyed divine guidance, the Ethiopian believed and was baptized—after Philip explained the meaning of Isaiah’s prophecy of Christ.
When I am on my way to obey, God may open other opportunities to minister.
I like to wander through department stores, seeing what is new and what is on sale (preferably 75% off). I can’t count the times I’ve started a conversation with a fellow shopper and been led to go deeper. Often, they will share a personal dilemma. I sympathize and ask if they have a church family. I let them know I’ll pray for them as the Lord reminds me. I urge them to pray about their situation too.
We are never off the clock from being available for God’s guidance. Someone may be in our path needing to know God cares. If we feel the nudge of the Spirit to visit someone, take a meal to a widow, or encourage a young person, we should do it. We never know if our simple act will lead to a deeper ministry opportunity as we keep our heart sensitive to the Spirit.
We may also ask God for divine appointments, asking for guidance to someone who needs encouragement or prayer. When I leave for a vacation or short trip, I ask God to make me a blessing to someone while I’m there. Hurting and hungry people are all around us. Many do not understand the message of the Scriptures as we do. Showing we care may give us the credibility to speak kindly of our Lord.
Don’t dawdle or dilly-dally. Be sensitive to God’s Spirit as you are on your way anywhere.
DEVOTION BY Robert L. Segress POSTED 7/24/2018 12:00:01 AM ON 2 Corinthians 7:10 NASB
I sat in my office one morning and asked the Lord what He wanted to teach me that day.
Praying Samuel’s prayer from long ago, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9), my heart relaxed and a peace that passes understanding flooded my soul.
My heart kept returning to what I had seen the previous evening with a group of church friends. We had watched the movie, I Can Only Imagine. My heart was led to repentance (or turning away from).
Repentance is at the center of an honest confession of our sins that brings forgiveness. I was being taught sorrow is within God’s will if it leads to deliverance. Righteous sorrow produces an abhorrence of the attitudes and choices we make that produce our sinful condition.
Tears came to my eyes as I identified with the star of the previous night’s movie—an abused young man who was unable to forgive his father even though his father had found salvation later in life. My wife joined me in shedding tears, although I tried to hide mine. But my sorrow turned into deliverance without regret as I finally forgave my dad.
The Lord had prepared my heart for this movie experience. The week before, I had been moved to write something that surprised me:
My Demanding Past
The past demands that we live in its experiences,
When the present is all we have been given by
The Forgiver of a repentant past,
The Creator of a new beginning that will last.
Carry the following prayer in your heart: Help me, Father, not to be like a spoiled child who accepts Your forgiveness but doesn’t share it with others. You will be blessed.
DEVOTION BY Chrissy White POSTED 7/17/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Ephesians 3:17b-19 NIV
I have a treasured video of my young son, overwhelmed in his senses while standing at the ocean’s shore.
Through the rough sound quality of a wind-whipped camera, I hear him give many emphatic descriptions. He concludes by yelling, “And then it goes straight down!” In equally matched excitement, he repeats the phrase over and over.
The apostle Paul implores us to take hold of something mentally unattainable. We are invited to know God’s love by understanding how big it is. However, our human minds can’t measure God’s love. As David, the man after God’s heart, put it, Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.
Although we cannot fathom God’s immense ocean of love, we can know it is there for us. No matter what kind of sand we’re standing on—or sinking in—God invites us to do more than gaze at His love. He beckons us to dive into it.
We don’t have to figure out how it all adds up or worry that we won’t measure up. The only thing we need to understand is that there will always be enough of God’s love for everyone. It never runs out but is bottomless. It goes straight down.
Accept God’s love that is just for you. Jump in and experience the weightlessness of it, and watch how it will hold you up. Allow the warm waters of His love to comfort you with their healing properties. You will be overtaken by His never-ceasing, always-coming-back-for-you tide.