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
DEVOTION BY Emmanuella Ellis POSTED 2/17/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Matthew 25:18 NASB
I saw two kids playing. They seemed to get along well until …
When snack time came, sharing became a problem. One child had a biscuit in one hand and a cookie in the other. She was supposed to pass the biscuit to her friend but wanted both for herself. Her friend looked on almost in tears, yet that didn’t change anything.
The first child then asked for some juice, but her mum refused. She wanted to teach her daughter to share. She could only have the juice if she passed along the biscuit and had an empty hand to receive the juice.
We’re often like the kid who wouldn’t share. We gather for ourselves. We receive from the Lord—who generously gives us many opportunities and resources—but we forget that He gives so we can share with others.
I often say God didn’t make us barrels to hold the things He gives us. He made us large teapots to pour out and fill others as He keeps refilling us.
In the parable of the talents, Jesus taught that it isn’t about what we are given or how much we receive. It’s about what we do with what we have.
If we keep everything to ourselves and do nothing with it, we misuse our resources. It is interesting to find a link between the lack of investment or multiplication of resources and their misuse. The greatest use of the resources and opportunities the Lord gives us is to invest them in other’s lives. That kind of investment multiplies and lasts. We only receive more of what we use, not what we keep.
Many people do not have the resources or the opportunities to turn certain resources into great life achievements. But they do have hands to accept what we give them. We must simply be willing to give.
Decide that you will be a teapot by helping others have a nourishing and fulfilling life.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Chikita Evans POSTED 2/10/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Nehemiah 6:9 NIV
The day started out normally. The kind of day where I might have spent all day preparing to complete a project. Everything was going as planned, but suddenly all of the plans were derailed by an obstacle. I became frustrated, but then stopped and realized things could be worst.
If we can remember what God has already done, He will give us strength to press through, regardless of life’s challenges. Many times when navigating through life, our personal testimony gives us encouragement.
So do stories like that of Nehemiah. He had a heart to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and did not allow opposition to make him give up. During every step of progress, his adversaries tried to hinder his work, but he remained dedicated. At times, they were blatantly dishonest, trying to prevent Nehemiah from finishing what he started, but through much prayer, tenacity, and hard work, he completed the task.
Like Nehemiah, we have to remain focused on seeing our dreams come to pass. Whenever life becomes a little hectic and we are bombarded with things that attempt to distract us, we can always find inspiration in the Word of God. And when we know God is with us—even when we have to stop and regroup—we can press forward to fulfill His purpose for our lives.
Don’t allow distractions to keep you from trusting God to complete what He has started in your life.
DEVOTION BY Andrea Merrell POSTED 2/3/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Romans 12:1 MSG
Be still and know that I am God.
“That sounds great, Lord, but You have no idea how busy I am today.”
“I would love to spend time with You this morning, but my day is full. I have a doctor’s appointment, errands to run, a house to clean, and three baskets of laundry. Company is coming tomorrow. I can’t slow down or I’ll never make it. My to-do list is out of control.”
The truth I’ve learned is that I’ll never make it if I don’t slow down. When so many things vie for my attention, it’s crucial for me to stop and be still in God’s presence.
Being still is a learned discipline, especially for those of us who are workaholics and multi-taskers. It’s essential for the well-being of our soul. It refreshes us, revitalizes our mind and thoughts, and gives us a different perspective—a godly perspective. Being still helps us sort out what is important from what is not. It keeps our brain from getting stuck like a car in the mud—spinning and going nowhere.
Romans 12:1 (NKJV) tells us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. But how do we practically do that? The Message explains it this way: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.
God wants to be involved in every moment of our life. He cares about everything that concerns us and promises to be right there with us, giving us the strength, wisdom, and time we need to accomplish every task.
If you’re rushing around trying to keep up with all the demands on you, maybe it’s time to stop and be still.
DEVOTION BY Kevin Spencer POSTED 1/27/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
We got the news last summer.
Because of overcrowding at the county’s brand spanking new high school, officials “re-assigned” our little section of the county to the much older Central High School.
Our concern was for our 14-year-old grandson, Caleb, whom my wife Charlotte and I have raised since he was two. He will start high school next year, and we hoped he would attend the new school. Issues have plagued the older Central High over the years—the usual problems with urban high schools. We didn’t want Caleb to have any part of those.
Caleb is an A student, but his current school has its share of problems as well. Three principals in four years and severe budget restraints. Brand new teachers resigned on their first day. In one class, Caleb has had three different teachers this year alone. The school has a policy of no homework. All of this frustrates us because none of this prepares Caleb for high school or college.
We placed the situation before the Lord, asking for direction. Should we look at a private school? We couldn’t afford this, but we knew if that were God’s will, He would provide the means. That didn’t seem to be the direction we should go, so we continued to pray and worry and wait for an answer.
Three weeks later, the answer came. As an honor student, Caleb had been invited to apply for Central High School’s “Collegiate Academy.” The older Central has the only public school pre-college honors program in the state of Tennessee. As a school-within-a-school, the selected students stay together for four years and support each other while preparing for college. We had no idea such a program existed, but this was perfect for Caleb. Of course, the Lord knew, and He arranged events so Caleb could attend.
I realize now I could have saved myself a ton of worrying if I had trusted and waited on the Lord. Just another reminder that as I grow in the Lord, I need to ACT on the Word, not just READ it. I need to learn to trust in the Lord and rest in His peace.
Let God teach you how to wait in peace on Him.
DEVOTION BY Emmanuella Ellis POSTED 1/20/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Jonah 2:1 NASB
I like to sleep when I am having a bad day and when everything seems to be falling out of place.
Yet I wake up to face the situation. Sleeping doesn’t solve the problem. The struggles and challenges in life go beyond a bad day. Sometimes we feel as if we are in the middle of a storm. Weathering life’s storm requires action, which means sleeping amid the storm is not an option.
The sailors woke Jonah (Jonah 1:6), and the disciples woke Jesus (Luke 8:24). Sleeping is viewed as not acting or taking proper action. Jonah was awakened to find a solution to the problem, and Jesus was called to save the day.
When going through a situation which may seem difficult, the last thing we need to do is sleep. The situation may be bad, but we need to wake up and act.
Taking action requires doing a number of things such as seeking God’s help, as in Jonah’s case. We ask God for strength, wisdom, and guidance to deal with the situation.
Taking action entails identifying who we are in Christ and what God expects of us.
Taking action also means living out the power of God in each situation by acknowledging the authority of God.
Giving up, living in fear, or ignoring the situation is not the way to handle the issue. Salvation comes by calling on God, as well as speaking, meditating, and living out His word.
Don’t give up; wake up.