A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Spirit & Body

We have two bodies as such. The physical body and our spiritual body. The Spirit is an important part of both. Giving our hearts to Christ brings that spiritual body into balance and therefore, helps us understand the ups and downs of the physical body – even accept them when others cannot.

Seed Pods

Our native frangipani tree was dying.

We planted the tree twenty years ago. A slow grower and out of its tropical comfort zone, it struggled through flood, gale force winds, hail, disease, and excessive heat. As a self-pruner, we annually observed it shedding its branches to make new growth. Each spring, new luscious green leaves and hundreds of flowers appeared. The fragrance gave us great delight.

But this last summer’s heatwave lasted two months, weakening the trunk and giving fuel to a disease which attacked and took hold. We awoke one morning to a carpet of yellow leaves on the grass—signs of rapid death to an old faithful.

My husband gathered the seed pods and researched how to grow one for the future. We learned it takes two months for a seed to germinate. During this time, it prepares for whatever the future may hold for it as a tree. Hope rose in my heart. Perhaps in time, we would once again enjoy the fragrant flowers.  It will be a blessing if our next tree inherits the strength of its parent.

When I first realized our tree was dying, a sad grief washed over my soul. Then the Lord began to show me understanding. This tree has shown us how we need to live, trusting God to see us through trials as He builds strength of character in us.

I am grateful for the length of time we enjoyed our tree. Even in death, our frangipani tree has left a legacy of perfect seeds of hope. Sometimes there are things in our lives we need to allow to die. The next spiritual season needs space and time to germinate in our hearts.

Letting go may be painful, and waiting for the next season challenging, but God is faithful. He will see you through to the next chapter of your life as you trust and obey Him.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Getting Back into the Boat

My mother was only sixty two when she died of breast cancer.

Mom’s passing left me feeling as if I had been run over by a truck. The years struggling to rebuild our relationship, the prayers, and the conversations were suddenly over. I felt as if I were locked in a room with barely enough air to breathe. I sleepwalked through months of guilt and regret for what had never been.

This seemingly insignificant verse from Matthew’s gospel held a promise for me I had overlooked until I desperately needed it. And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

I had often thought about God challenging me as He challenged Peter to get out of the boat. At other times I had been comforted knowing that just as Jesus reached out His hand to save Peter He would take my hand in the middle of a crisis.

But it was just as important for me to learn that Jesus wanted to help me back into the boat and restore calm when this storm passed. I do not know how it happened, but gradually light began shining in the dark places of my heart. I woke up to find that though I might never understand the why behind the pain, knowing God knew was enough

Sometimes we struggle to see God as more than just challenging or rescuing us. What a wonderful surprise awaits when we realize He is also delighted to help us back into the boat and calm our winds.

When the storms of life rage—and you feel as if you are drowning—get back into the boat.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



The Open Bottle That Wasn’t

For a number of years, I attended a Christian music festival in Wilmer, Minnesota.

As I returned from the concert to my home in Richfield on one Saturday night, a policeman pulled me over in the town of Atwater for unsafe passing. He told me it was illegal to pass in town. I looked up the statute written on the ticket, but it didn’t say anything about passing.

I decided to contest the ticket. I went to court, and the judge recommended I get the officer’s notes that were written on the back of the ticket. As a result, they tried to charge me with having an open bottle in my car. My mom was an alcoholic. I had decided I would never drink and had not been drinking that night. Neither had I been at an event where alcohol was served.

My attorney recommended I talk to the officer who wrote the citation. I told the officer about my mom, and he realized he had confused me with someone else. Thankfully, he had the charges dropped.

King Nebuchadnezzar tried to burn Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, but an angel of the Lord stood with them. I felt as if the officer was burning me.

In life, we will walk through fires and trials. The Lord got me through this difficulty, and He will do the same for you.

Trust God to see you through life’s trials and misunderstandings.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Stewarding the King's Treasury

Staring at my budget, I often wonder what I can do to create something out of nothing.

House maintenance seems to stay two steps ahead of raises, and if I encounter a miraculous stroke of good fortune, mishap follows—biting at its heels. I desire to steward everything God entrusts to me, but to bring order to the chaos, I need something to work with. Good intentions are not recognized as legal tender for paying bills.

Mulling this over one day, the answer hit me: stewardship is a matter of wisely allocating the resources to fulfill God’s needs—not mine. We do not steward what belongs to us but what is entrusted to us for safekeeping on behalf of the one who owns it. Every penny the Lord places under our control belongs to Him and comes with His purpose assigned to it. If we seek the Lord to know that purpose and then faithfully execute His plan, the Lord will see to the details of our personal business.

God entrusts His resources to us so that as His stewards we have everything we need to execute His good work. The bank account may not look impressive, but we steward the immeasurable resources of the King. At the same time, God uses His limitless treasury to sustain us. If we seek God’s purpose for everything we have—right down to the last cent—then we can rest assured the Lord will take care of all of our needs.

God stewards our lives. Steward His kingdom.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Transformed

"Look Grammie. Look what these cars can do!" shouted our four-year-old grandson one morning.

We loved babysitting our youngest grandson two days a week. One of his favorite playtime activities involved cars called "Transformers," which Grammie and Pa knew nothing about—until he showed us.

As we sat and played with him one morning, he dragged out his bin of special cars. We raced with a blue, yellow, and red one. We had fun racing the cars along the carpet road. All of a sudden, with just a few twists of different parts of the car, he changed his car into a Transformer Warrior. Now it was battle time.

Several months later, while reading in the book of 2 Corinthians 3:18, my mind flipped back to our Transformer play time with our grandson when the owner of the car—be it the red, yellow or blue one—could twist certain parts of the car and transform it into a Transformer Warrior.   

God is our owner when we invite Jesus into our lives. He forgives our sins and begins the process of transforming us into His image. We become a new creation. Through the twists and changes He makes in our lives, we become reflections of His love.

Over time, we realize our attitudes and thoughts have changed. Perhaps, we no longer snap back at people who irritate us, we forgive easier because Jesus has forgiven us,  or we see ourselves reflecting more of His love and grace to those we encounter.

This transformation provides us with strength to fight off the lies and snares of the devil. Our owner fits us with the spiritual armor needed to stand strong in His strength. He also molds us into warriors in His army and empowers us so that when the enemy tries to steal and destroy what God has done in us, the victory will be ours through Christ.

Let God transform you into the warrior He wants you to be.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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