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 Chrissy White POSTED 12/11/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Romans 8:1 NKJV
As I used a self-checkout register at the store, a beep blared at me. The computer told me to check my last transaction.
Okay, I’ve been through this before, I thought to myself as I took the last scanned item out of the bag to troubleshoot. Upon doing so, I caught sight of something startling just above my head. An overhead screen showed a video of me scanning my last item and putting it into the bag, over and over. This scene continued replaying until a kind attendant came, inserted a key into the register, and set me aright. Thankfully, I was able to rescan and get on with the rest of my purchase.
Long after leaving the store, the sight of myself completing a transaction in an erroneous manner, on continuous loop, troubled me. Seeing myself on the screen was like a nagging reminder of failure hanging over my head. I couldn’t forget and move on.
I considered this as a vibrant picture of the way past mistakes or missteps can loom when we do not bring our Christian minds under check with God’s help. The video reminded me we encounter an enemy of our souls who accuses us continuously.
Paul, however, tells us no condemnation exists for believers. Jesus was not sent to condemn, but to save. He is our kind Attendant who holds the key to setting our minds aright.
Be receptive to the peace of mind God extends to you.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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DEVOTION BY Mark Bevis POSTED 12/4/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Ephesians 2:21-22 KJV
Under Construction. Seeing a sign with these words generally causes one of two emotions.
One would be excitement about new growth. The other, and probably the most prevalent, would be frustration because of the delays and the mess due to the construction.
I've often thought that there should be an Under Construction sign hanging over the entryway of every church. Not because of any physical building going on but because of the spiritual building up taking place within each person inside the building.
Since the church is not the building but rather the people, these verses remind us patience is necessary with both ourselves and those around us. In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Physical construction zones can be frustrating with their different sights and sounds, but all of this is necessary for a new structure to take shape. The same is true concerning spiritual growth. None of us are perfectly shaped Christians the moment we are saved. Salvation is the end of our old self and the beginning of our new self. We become a dwelling place for God the moment we are saved, but we must remember many delays, messes, and detours may be necessary during our growth.
Paul gave the believers in Thessalonica a good reminder when he wrote, Brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. This is a good reminder for us as well. Warning, comforting, and supporting take patience.
Turn the frustrations of ongoing construction in your life and those around you into excited anticipation for the sight of something new.
DEVOTION BY Ken Ebright POSTED 11/27/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 23:4 NCV
On the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, as I walked into the house after mowing the lawn, my mom pulled out of the driveway.
At midnight, I had a feeling something was wrong because Mom wasn’t home yet. Dad played solitaire in his basement office, which was unusual for him this time of night.
The next day I remembered a note she wrote a few weeks earlier about jumping off the Bloomington Ferry Bridge. I biked to the bridge and found her car. A week later they found her body in the Minnesota River.
Mom’s death was a dark valley in my life. I was a sad fourteen-year-old, confused teenager. I didn’t feel the Lord’s presence, but I knew He was there. Ann, a lady next door whom my mom had problems with, came over and tried to comfort me. My eighth-grade class attended the funeral. Mom’s death was around the time of my birthday. Some friends threw me a surprise birthday party. After the funeral, Mary, a neighbor down the street, brought my dad and me meals once a week.
When we go through a horrific event, we may not see or feel His presence, but the psalmist reminds us we can. I didn’t hear God’s voice, but He used other people to be there for me. Friends and neighbors were the rod and staff that comforted me.
When tragedy strikes, God’s rod and staff will be there for you.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile.)
DEVOTION BY Beth Tavalin POSTED 11/20/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 103:8 ESV
As a child, I walked the fields of our dairy farm and talked to cows.
Cows have beautiful dark eyes, are gentle creatures, and never speak a harsh word to anyone. Walking with cows brought me peace in a time that was anything but peaceful.
During those times, I talked to God too. I asked Him to remove me from the painful, unloving situation I was in. He was silent. For years. I thought He didn’t love me because of His silence.
Decades later I realized what the psalmist proclaimed: God is overwhelmingly full of love for me. He didn’t remove me from my painful situation, but He walked with me through it. He is slow to anger with my doubt and unbelief, and His love is sure, dependable, reliable, constant, and resolute. No matter how I feel, God loves me with an everlasting love that never waivers.
Often, God’s love for us is difficult to understand or receive. His vast love for us has no reason or explanation apart from recognizing He loves us because it is in His nature to do so.
Stop for a moment and ask the Lord to reveal His love for you today. Then, watch and see what He does.
DEVOTION BY Colette Boyd POSTED 11/13/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Jeremiah 10:23 NIV
Teaching psychology on a college level is something I’ve enjoyed for ten years.
One day while preparing for an upcoming course, I received the following email:
“Good evening, Colette. Currently, we’re in the process of reviewing all faculty credentials to ensure proper alignment with our current courses and facilitation requirements. Today, the General Education Dean made the determination that your master’s degree in Professional Counseling does not align with these facilitation requirements, nor have you completed a minimum of eighteen graduate hours in psychology. At this time, I’m going to have to reassign the course for the upcoming session. If interested, you can attempt to pursue an exception in order to associate you with the course through what’s called the justification process.”
My response began with, “Thanks for the information. That’s strange. I’ve taught psychology over ten years for two educational institutions, and my transcripts were reviewed on many occasions, including at hire and in preparation for accreditation visits.”
I suddenly realized I was responding the wrong way. I remembered I had been asking God for career direction. Was this God directing my steps?
I had become exhausted with consulting work. I turned to God and asked for direction, because I didn't know what steps to take in order to eliminate exhaustion. I also thought direction was only related to the exhausting aspect of my career, not other aspects. I was so glad I didn’t respond to prove my case and pursue the exception, taking responsibility for my own path. The exception would have possibly been approved, and I would’ve been on my own path opposed to the wonderful path God was orchestrating. Like Jeremiah, I knew God needed to direct my steps.
Sometimes we ask God for direction but maintain our own ideas of what the end result will be. Or we make our own plans and then realize God's plans are different and better. What we should do is ask God for direction and then wait prayerfully, patiently, and faithfully on Him. His guidance doesn't always come the way we think it should. Sometimes it's bold, sometimes subtle, and sometimes surprising—but it comes nonetheless.
You may not have the whole picture of where you are going, but God does. Trust Him.