A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Faith & Family

Faith is a vital role in the family unit. It draws us together. Holds us tight. Binds us with the ties of God. Keeping faith in our families secures the values of Christ are embedded in our children

Praying for Eyes to See

Some things God wants us to see are often overlooked and missed.

We once invited a married couple we’ve known for several years to church. We were concerned for the spiritual growth of the wife and had prayed many times for her strength in the Lord. At the end of the service, the unexpected and incredible happened. The husband responded to a call to invite Jesus into his heart.

The man broke down with tears in his eyes, raised his hand high, and invited Jesus into his heart. My wife and I were astonished. We were so focused on helping the wife that we had missed the one with the greatest need.

The book of Acts paints a picture of a similar situation. Peter and John were on their way to pray in the temple when they passed a paralyzed man sitting at the gate and begging for money. He lay there daily and had been passed by not one time but many times by believers. Apparently, no one said anything to him until Peter and John gave him the invitation of a lifetime.

God works in mysterious ways, and He wants to use us to tell the story. Often, we look for the right situation before we step out and share our faith. We seek God’s will but walk right by situations where He needs us to intervene. Once my wife Gail could not find her cell phone, and she was holding it in her hand.

Maybe you’ve passed by a similar situation as Peter and John. Perhaps you weren’t walking into a temple to pray, but the idea is the same. If we’re too busy and inwardly focused, we can miss those who need us the most.

Ask God to give you the eyes to see the opportunities He lays before you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Decisions, Decisions

Decisions stink. Well, some do.

Deciding to have chocolate fudge brownie ice cream over an ice cream sandwich isn’t so bad. It’s more a win-win decision, but those decisions that tax us with restless nights, worry, and fear “ain’t so much fun.”

I’ve struggled with a decision for two years, truly not knowing if God was trying to move me or if I simply struggled with fear. Fear is my weakest link. I like having a plan in place, knowing that if plan A fails, I still have plan B, and if I get a little obsessed . . . plan C.

At times my first plan has failed, but I moved seamlessly into the next with little to no worry. Still there are those pesky decisions that eat away at us. The ones we struggle to give over to the great Decision Maker. We think we’re so smart, hanging on, fretting, worrying over what God sometimes looks at as . . . minute. This doesn’t lessen the extremity of the decision we must make. God gets that, but to Him it boils down to trust.

Paul knew through the Spirit there was no need for us to worry or fret. He worked tirelessly to help people understand this newfound Christian life through Christ Jesus. He confirmed that God loves His people and when those people allow Him, He works magnificent things both spiritually and physically. Paul wanted them to understand this amazing love of God. A God who could and would work to the good when we love and trust Him.

That’s the hard part–trusting Him. We’re such an impatient people, demanding results now when in truth the growth in trust is valuable. The success in waiting is so much better than an impulsive resolution. We know in all things God works for the good. He calls us according to His will and ultimate plan with the promise to care for us, not harm us. BUT, we must trust in His timing. In His plan. In His will.

I’m a worrier. Sometimes releasing my grip on the decision is worse than the decision itself, but God has yet to let me down. Oh, He’s allowed me to walk through muck at times in order to strengthen and build me, but He has never let me down.

Loosen your grip on the decisions and let God work.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Second Time Around

One of my relatives loves amusement park rides—the more extreme the better.

A merry-go-round and Ferris wheel provide all the excitement I need. Eventually, he talked me into getting onto a roller coaster he said was “not that bad.” Right!

He laughed as I questioned our sanity and offered to hold my hand. Clutching the security bar before me in a death grip, I replied in no uncertain terms, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

For each of my concerns, he had a ready answer. However, once the ride started, all my fears became reality. As we plunged and whirled, I promised God once I escaped I would never get on that thing again. And I have not.

That experience reminds me God offers second chances. When we suffer from poor choices, God waits for us to leave our senseless path and return to Him.

Like the father of the lost son, God’s arms open wide, ready to forgive. We’re unworthy, yet God waits to shower us with the finest and host a celebration on our behalf. When we return in confession and repentance, a feast of forgiveness and acceptance awaits.

Throughout the Bible—Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage, the return of the Babylonian exiles, and countless others examples—God offers hope. God’s followers return home and rebuild their lives. We can too. However, we make the choice.

God loves us and wants the best for us. We can continue pointless spinning that takes us nowhere, or we can abandon all that for the greatest do-over we’ve ever known. 

Let God do a do-over in your life.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Friend of God

As we sang “I Am a Friend of God,” the look on her face was obvious. She wasn’t buying it. When we got to the part “He calls me friend,” she sat and crossed her arms tightly across her chest.

After church, the woman cornered me. “I don’t believe that!” she huffed.

“Believe what?” I asked, knowing full well where the conversation was headed.

“God does not want to be my friend. I’m not even sure He knows who I am.” Her words came out harsh, but the tears pooled in her eyes gave away the longing in her heart.

The Bible tells us God no longer calls us servants, but friends. Some might ask, “How can that be?” The mighty One. The sovereign Lord. Alpha and Omega. The Great I Am. King of kings and Lord of lords who reigns in majesty on high.

And yet He chooses to make His home in our hearts. To be with us 24/7. To love us, heal us, redeem us, guide us, deliver us, bless us … and to call us friend.

It’s a dichotomy. A paradox. It’s unexplainable and beyond human comprehension. But God loves each one of us so much that He numbers the hairs on our head and engraves our name on the palm of His hand. He longs for us to take His hand and walk with Him throughout our day because He treasures our time together.

In Jesus Calling, Sarah Young writes:

I AM the Creator of heaven and earth. Lord of all that is and all that will ever be. Although I AM unimaginably vast, I choose to dwell within you, permeating you with My presence. Only in the spirit realm could Someone so infinitely great live within someone so very small. Be awed by the Power and the Glory of my Spirit within you.

Worship the Lord and reverence His name, for He is high and lifted up and worthy to be praised. But don’t forget that He is as near as your breath. He is an up-close-and-personal God who desires an intimate relationship with each of His children.

God wants to hang out with you because He calls you friend. Will you let Him?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Ah-Choo!

“SNEEZE!” “Sneeze-SNEEZE!!”

Out of the blue, my spring allergies reached out and smacked me upside the head. They came early, but I supposed the warm and wet winter we had had in Middle Tennessee caused them. All the symptoms suddenly appeared: incessant sneezing, clogged sinuses, itchy red eyes. These symptoms probably came from the grass pollen I’m particularly sensitive to, as well as cedars, which are prolific here. The old maps label the area I live in as “Cedar Forest.” Oh, happy day.

I’m also allergic to the cats that live with us. I usually keep those allergies under control, but when my system goes into overdrive because of other pollen, the cat allergies become a problem as well. Just getting close to one can cause more sneezing and even rashes. I’ve learned that with the first sneeze of spring to start a vigorous hourly hand-washing routine, as well as a frequent uses of hand sanitizer. This helps keep the cat’s contribution to my misery at a manageable level.

Two days after my allergies hit, our grandson Caleb came home from school with the flu. I knew I had the Asheville Christian Writers Conference coming up in a few days. And here Caleb had probably been spreading lovely influenza viruses around the house for at least 24 to 48 hours.

That’s when it hit me. For the day or so Caleb had been contagious before his symptoms hit, God had actually protected me through my allergies. While I had fussed and moaned about the clogged sinuses and constant hand washing, those things kept me safe from the influenza virus Caleb unknowingly spread all over the house. What I had cursed, my loving Father used for good. 

In the process of protecting me, my Father had also reminded me of yet another lesson I have been slow to learn. He is always with me, always loves me, and always works for my good—even in those things and in those times when I forget to look for Him. 

Always seek God. He is eternally there—even when you're sneezing.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
 



All Posts