Focusing our minds on Christ. . .studying His word, drawing tight into a relationship that is unbreakable. This is when His Spirit lives in our minds helping us keep our eyes focused only on Him.
DEVOTION BY Tom Toya POSTED 2/20/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 133:1, 3b KJV
We gathered in the house twice a month for our small group. I often led worship–simple songs to an infinite Savior. Transparency, love, and unity marked our times together. And whenever we worshipped God, His presence filled the room.
Psalm 133 speaks of the importance of fostering unity among those who follow Christ. When we love one another, God commands His blessings to us—as He did with the anointing oil that was poured on Aaron the High Priest’s head. It flowed down his beard and then down his robe.
Aaron wore a breastplate that held twelve stones. Each stone represented one of the tribes of Israel. The stones signified unity among the Israelites, and the oil represented the Holy Spirit.
The Lord wants to bless us and fill us with His Holy Spirit. He does so when we walk in love. The blessings of God come in many forms: peace, healthy relationships, strength, healing, and financial supply, to name a few. The Lord’s blessings do not deliver us from all trouble, but when He places His hand on us, He enables us to go through the trials of life with His grace and ability.
Let go of any grievances you have towards others, and choose to forgive. If you do, you will experience God’s best in all you do.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Patricia Frost POSTED 2/13/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Numbers 12:6 NIV
On our visit to a Bedouin village in the Gaza Strip, a beautiful Bedouin lady, Hana, told us about dreams she had experienced.
In one of those dreams, she saw Jesus. She asked us why Jesus, the son of Mary, would appear to her, a Muslim. My Palestinian friend, Faiza, answered, “Maybe He was preparing you for our visit. He sent us to share with you about who He is.”
We began visiting Hana’s family and sharing Bible stories. Hana and her children compared them to the same stories from the Koran, noting the details that were different. They knew that I, as a Christian, believed the Bible, not the Koran, to be the true Word of God.
After a few months, I shared a passage from Building Bridges by Fuad Elias Accad on the topic, “Does the Koran Support the Crucifixion of Jesus?” Hana listened to all the arguments in support of the crucifixion. She and her children provided details from the Jesus film, which they had seen on Palestinian television. During our discussion, Hana and her husband acknowledged that Jesus died on the cross. Hana also said she believed He died to save people from their sins.
The Bible gives many accounts of God revealing Himself to certain individuals through dreams and visions. I believe God used a dream to communicate with Hana.
It’s easy in our culture to be skeptical about the supernatural revelation of God, but God presents Himself in many ways. The Christian life is characterized by God’s power in our lives through the Holy Spirit.
Pray for God to reveal Himself to your nonbelieving friends and for you to be ready to encourage and help them understand His gospel.
DEVOTION BY Diana Battista POSTED 2/6/2019 12:00:01 AM ON 2 Chronicles 34:14 NASB
While I thrive on organization, if the Lord had not permanently affixed my head to my neck, I’d have lost it years ago.
Given the hectic pace of the world—and the myriad of distractions I face on a daily basis—I have been forced to admit I cannot keep track of everything. And once the chaos settles, I am left holding only that upon which I am most focused. I partake of or lose opportunities based on my priorities.
Whatever we don’t prioritize tends to get buried in the haystack of people, issues, and things that we concern ourselves with. And being out of sight, it no longer delivers its intended benefits.
In the days of King Josiah, Israel lost the book of God’s Law under a pile of money in the Temple. Since our culture promotes money as the means to most ends, this probably sounds like suffering we would gladly endure “for the cause.” But when the survival of Israel hinged upon the people following the terms of that Law, the situation was dire. Israel was not only stockpiling the money instead of using it to perform God’s work for which it was intended, they were also allowing this financial business to take precedence over God’s instruction for life.
Today, we live under God’s law of love—to love God with all that we are and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Yet this love often gets lost in the haystack of financial concerns. Focusing on the American dream, we sacrifice quality relationships to pursue more money for a house, college, and retirement. Or we judge the quality of our relationships on the basis of the financial gain or security they bring us. Perhaps we live and work to achieve our financial goals rather than aiming to achieve our purpose by sharing God’s love with others.
Lay all your dreams and worries at God’s feet, and recommit yourself to the lifestyle of love He intends for you.
DEVOTION BY Eryeza Kalalu POSTED 1/30/2019 12:00:01 AM ON John 15:20 NKJV
On June 3, Uganda observes a martyr’s day in memory of people who have died for their faith, especially faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Three million pilgrims attend the event. A few years after their death, the martyrs—who seemed ordinary and unpopular at the time—now influence people by the millions. People, old and young, trek hundreds of miles to honor them.
These martyrs now capture the world’s attention. Had they been esteemed highly by the killers, the martyrs would have been spared.
One historian noted that at the time of the apostles like Peter and Paul, most people respected the emperors and ridiculed the apostles. But years later, the names of the apostles have become household names while the emperors of Rome are almost forgotten.
According to Scripture, there are no ordinary followers of Jesus. Following the Lord Jesus makes great leaders of seemingly ordinary people. When Jesus called the disciples to follow Him, He also called them to a life of significance.
Like the martyrs and the apostles (most of whom also died as martyrs), no Christian is just an ordinary follower of Jesus. Non-Christians might speak lowly of believers with statements such as, “These are mere Christians,” but people’s opinion of our social status in the world should not dissuade us from walking into a Christ-ordained life of influence.
Be thankful that the Father chose you in Christ to influence others. Focus on following Him, for that is the only way to live an extraordinary life. Believe you are unique, as well as a leader of others.
DEVOTION BY Chrissy White POSTED 1/23/2019 12:00:01 AM ON 1 Peter 2:25 AMP
“They just kept walking and didn’t know they were lost,” she said.
This was the retelling of how a now-adult nurse and her brother disappeared as children, prompting a town-wide search. This dramatic story I read in the news had a happy ending, and also a second one.
Fifty years later, this nurse treated a patient who, she would learn, was the pilot that found her and her brother. Upon reacquainting themselves, he asked if she remembered the plane that had circled over her. She said yes, and spoke of how honored she was now to help him.
Peter stresses how we are chosen not only to be saved but also to bring about the continuity of service which Christ began. For you were continually wandering like (so many) sheep, but now you have come back to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.This verse gives insight on how this can be done.
Believers can come back and approach Christ as Shepherd, and He will lead in the right direction. We can also approach Him as our Guardian, and He will supply us with the tools needed to do the work.
Like the pilot, God circles over us and saves us, and we should show gratitude to Him.
Honor the Pilot of your soul by helping others.