A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Spirit & Heart

Where your heart is, there is where your treasure lays. Our hearts guide our emotion and decisions. Unless God is the center of the heart, things are askew. Allowing the Spirit into the matters of the heart promises the faithfulness of Jesus in our lives.

Divine Descent

At last! There it was!

My eyes widened with delight as I grabbed the small package in my mailbox. Its diminutive size belied the wealth of information it held the key to unlock. I carried the package inside and opened it. The instructions said I was to give a saliva sample to be returned for DNA testing. While spit is not thrilling, the thought of learning the details about my heritage and finding relatives I did not know was exhilarating. Since I have a fair complexion, red hair, and freckles, I thought I was of Irish descent. But I wanted to know for sure about my roots.

Roots were important to the ancient Jews as well. They did not have the scientific ability to do DNA testing, but they kept detailed records of who begat whom. Luke 3 traces Jesus’ lineage through many generations, starting with Joseph and going back to the beginning—Father God, our Creator.

Jesus’ lineage was important because His descent confirmed Old Testament prophesies about the Messiah who was to be of royal David’s line and from the tribe of Judah. Jesus’ lineage showed His dual descent. He was born of man—to Joseph’s wife, Mary. He was also the son of the Most High God, born to a virgin whom the Holy Spirit had come over. Jesus was divine, yet He was fully human.

Physical and behavioral similarities, as well as our DNA, confirm our relationship with our ancestors. Jesus looked like His Father, God. He told His disciples that by seeing Him they had seen the Father. Jesus reflected the essence and character of God. His actions, including His miracles, proved the Father-Son connection and His divine descent.

God is also our heavenly Father. We need to honor our relationship with Him by evidencing our family connection on a daily basis through our words and deeds. If our lives are rooted in God, no DNA test will be required to establish we are His descendants.

Make it a point to reflect God’s image in you daily.

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Listen to the Spirit

I had an ache inside my chest. It was hunger.

While my wife attended a class on, “How to Know When the Holy Spirit Is Speaking to You,” she suddenly left the hiking group when she heard the Spirit whisper, “Go home and check on Bob.” When she walked into the house, she watched me have a life-ending stroke. If she had not hungered for the Spirit more than the pleasure of her hiking in our beautiful Arizona morning, I wouldn’t be here today. I know, because several of my attending physicians have told me.

My wife taught me to pay attention when the Spirit of God moves in whispers and touches hearts. When I feel the ache that feels like a hunger, I go to the Word for manna from my Lord’s hand.

Several passages have helped me walk closer to Jesus—among them, the present one. I learned Jesus is several things to each child of God. Following are the lessons I learned.  

  • Abide in Jesus as our wisdom, for the Father made Him our wisdom. He is the revelation of all God is and has for His children. When I need wisdom, I go to Jesus.
  • Abide in Jesus as our righteousness. If I want better character, I must yield to the Spirit of God to reproduce what is in Jesus. I can’t do it on my own.
  • Abide in Jesus as our sanctification. We can experience His power to make us holy in spirit, soul, and body. We can’t become more holy without Jesus.
  • Abide in Jesus as our redemption. We must live as people who are heirs of heaven’s eternal riches. We are rich kids born into wealth.

Our relationship with Jesus contains everything I need to live today and to live eternally when I graduate from life’s struggles. In heaven’s rent-free eternal retirement community, we’ll find a completeness that is presently only seen dimly.

Ask God to help you listen to His Spirit.

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Go Deep

She was a cutter.

Little scars laced her arms and torso. A tapestry of pain hewn with every slice and nick. The most difficult case I had experienced. Years of abuse and negative self-talk programmed her for pain.

“When I cut, it takes my focus off the pain inside me,” she said. I couldn’t comprehend.

Emma had endured forty-plus years of abuse. She was desperate to change and to heal, and she believed it could happen. I knew the power of God could do just that, but we had a lot of work to do.

What happened to Emma was a horrible series of conditioning since childhood. Everything lovely and innocent was taken from her. The abuser ritually repeated words designed to emotionally enslave, and she believed those words. Eventually, she felt “hopeless and unlovable.”  

Today, Emma thrives, living life to the fullest and enjoying the love of a husband, children, and grandchildren. She’s no longer plagued by the horrors of her past. It wasn’t an easy journey, but bit by bit she clawed her way out of her excruciating agony.

God’s Word cuts deep with glorious cleansing and renewing action. His Word cuts through the enemy’s lies. His Word heals, renews, and rebuilds.

We all have pain from our past. We all handle it differently: pills, alcohol, drugs, sex, theft, manipulation, deception, lies, over-shopping, over-working. The degree of pain runs the whole spectrum, as does the coping mechanisms we choose. Our pain may not be the same as Emma’s, but pain is pain. It hurts. It’s relevant.

If you are hurting or plagued by memories that send you into your own personal abyss leaving you feeling alone, hopeless, or unlovable, change is possible. God’s Word is alive and powerful and can dig deeply into your troubles and rescue you.

Go deep into God’s Word, and experience the healing you search for.

Name changed to protect privacy.

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Witness of a Coin

Witnessing for Christ does not always involve fiery, passionate pleas for conversion.

A friend of mine maintains a supply of gospel coins embossed with a decorative cross on one side and Mark 10:27 imprinted on the other. For years, he has given them to people he meets. A waitress at the local restaurant, a bagger at the grocery store, or a forlorn stranger sitting on a park bench. However God leads, he shares these coins. Quite often, his kind gesture opens opportunities to engage in discussion about spiritual matters or an offer to pray for each individual.

Jesus encouraged His followers to let His light shine through them as they interacted with people. Far from implying we should put on a spiritual show or constantly “be on our game,” doing this means demonstrating Christlikeness. We will never live perfectly on this earth, but we can live each day surrendered to His influence.

As children of God, we bear the family resemblance. We shine His light. We exhibit His love. We carry His cross. Light needs no discussion to shine. Love needs no proclamation to be seen or shared. Christ’s cross needs no burdensome obligation because His yoke is easy and His burden is light. As earthly children do not have to expend energy to look like their parents, believers shouldn’t have to make extra effort to resemble their heavenly Father.

Instead of complicating our witness or avoiding the sharing of our faith, we are wise to live each day under the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit, the expectancy of Christ’s return, and the overflow of God’s love in our hearts. To do so unleashes the energy of heaven as we become the hands and feet of Jesus.

There is no pressure to save the lost world—just the call to hear and heed our Shepherd’s voice. Scripture tells us to go and lift up Jesus. That also includes the simple act of passing out gospel coins with a message of hope.

Shine your light to others.

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Sustaining Love

My mom knows me best.

One thing I love about Mom is that she can read my thoughts simply by a facial expression. When I get home and I am too tired to hang out, she doesn’t press for details but lets me get my rest. She never holds my grumpiness against me. Even when she or I do something upsetting, she is willing to rectify it and move on. I know when I am ready to talk that she will listen with ears and arms open wide because her love for me runs deeply.

Our heavenly Father is the same. Jesus knows our heart better than anyone and still loves us. Every mistake, He forgives, and every tear, He catches in the palm of His hand. He has seen us at our worst and still reaches His arms out to guide us in every season of life.  He is the best listener we could ask for, and He knows us more intimately than we realize. No one will ever love us the same way. His love is forgiving, redeeming, thankful, unearned, powerful, and merciful—even though we are nothing but sinners.  

We need to love others the same way. Even when they are brutal, we can respond in love, just as Jesus did. Our heavenly Father longs for us to be like Him: forgiving, peaceful, and encouraging. Be a light to a dark world in the various relationships you nurture in your life. Ministry can be born in relationship.

God’s love is enough to sustain you. Rest in it.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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