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 Billie Langston POSTED 3/20/2019 12:00:01 AM ON 2 Timothy 2:3 KJV
During the funeral procession of former President George H. W. Bush, the episcopal church choir sang a favorite hymn from my youthful summer days when I attended vacation bible school.
The lyrics of the familiar hymn, “Onward Christian Soldiers,” returned instantly just as I’d sung it so many times as a child. My heart was touched and filled with memories of days gone by when I first considered the hymn as a declaration to march for Christ.
I remember returning home from vacation bible school and singing and marching to the lyrics of this nineteenth century hymn. Sometimes I would march in happiness. Other times I’d march for comfort to replace hurt feelings imposed by a classmate. But the singing and marching, when done together, gave me hope.
Paul encouraged Timothy to be strong in the grace that is found in Christ Jesus. By doing so, Timothy would entrust to faithful believers what he had learned about sharing in the suffering of everyday life. These believers patiently endured evil and hardship in their quest to follow Christ. Suffering taught them obedience, which pleased God.
As a soldier endures much to please the one who enlists him, Christian soldiers have a charge to keep on in their work for the Lord. Each of us can aspire to be good Christian soldiers by acting as Timothy instructed: be sacrificial in our work to please the Lord. endure suffering and hardship, and carry Christ’s banner of victory daily.
Thinking back to my vacation bible school days, I didn’t know it would result in my enlistment as a young Christian soldier. But it worked for me then—and it works for me now. No matter what I endure, I still sing and march to hymns and Christian music.
Every Christian has a favorite hymn or song of praise to God. If we endure for Him, we will reign with Him.
Find the inspirational song that stirs your soul, motivates you to march for Christ, and expresses your unconditional love for God in good times and bad.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Lisa Banados POSTED 3/13/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Joshua 6:27 AMP
When the Lord is with us, we shouldn’t fear where He may take us.
I used to pray that if something were in my life that took my eyes from the Lord, then I didn’t want it. I’ve seen many people who the Lord took somewhere, and they forgot who got them there.
I will never forget where I came from or whose child I am. I am a child of the most high. Fame doesn’t have to destroy, but if it isn’t handled correctly, it can do great damage.
The Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land. Joshua didn’t fall off the deep end because he had fame.
Fame can bring glory to our heavenly Father, but we have to follow every direction and instruction of the Lord to maintain the right attitude and actions that glorify Him and not ourselves.
Humility plays a large part in whether or not the Lord is able to use us to the greatest degree. Humility keeps our hearts pure before the Lord, and it keeps fame from tainting our spirits.
Whenever you receive accolades, turn the attention back to the Lord and continue to give Him all the praise and glory.
DEVOTION BY Andy Hollifield POSTED 3/6/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Joshua 23:14 KJV
Little Teddy stood in the driveway, tears streaming down his face.
Teddy’s dad had left at the first of the year but promised to take him fishing in the spring. His dad had called on a Monday and told him to be ready to go Saturday at seven in the morning. Now it was 6:55, but no sign of his dad. Had his dad lied, or was something wrong? Teddy couldn't sleep during the night because he was so excited. Just as he was about to go back inside, he heard the familiar rumble of his dad’s truck pulling into the driveway. His dad had kept his word after all.
The importance of being honest cannot be overstated. An old saying says, "A man is only as good as his word." As Joshua neared death, he reminded Israel that God had kept all His promises to them. In spite of the conflicts and their forty years in the wilderness, they were at last in the land of Canaan, which God had promised to them.
God delivers on all of His promises, but some we must wait for and pray about. There are times when situations look impossible and problems insurmountable. God proves He is trustworthy and dependable. Even in those times when we may have grown weak in our faith and discouraged, He keeps His promises.
Others should be able to count on our word. We earn a good name by being trustworthy and dependable. As in our story, it may seem a little thing not to keep our promises, but not doing so may cause hurt that can never be repaired. As godly and faithful Christians, we must be to others what God is to us.
Be as good as your word.
DEVOTION BY Lisa Banados POSTED 2/27/2019 12:00:01 AM ON 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Amp
Many times I’ve hit the panic button instead of going to the Lord in prayer.
Once, our son Jon went through some legal situations that could have gone in his favor or that could have gone a different way that would have left something hanging over his head. Additionally, his court date was on my birthday. I believed the Lord would come through for me, so I didn’t budge in my faith. Sure enough, our son found favor with the judge.
A favorable outcome doesn’t mean I won’t go through more difficulties from time to time, but what’s important is what I do with them.
Praying without ceasing is important, whether it looks as if something is going on or not. Just as the Lord has a plan for us, the enemy likes to throw wrenches. He doesn’t want anything to go smoothly but for things to be so turbulent we can hardly stand it. When we are prayed-up, the enemy can’t catch us off guard.
The Lord can alert us to things through dreams, talking with loved ones, or through nature. We just have to make sure we are listening when He speaks, and He speaks all the time. When we’re prayed up, our stream will flow through to Him. We will always be connected to Him and His direction for our life.
The enemy doesn’t want us to have any connection with the Lord. He wants our relationship with Him to be strained and for us to be frustrated because things aren’t working out—and because we don’t have answers to our questions.
If this is you, don’t focus on the questions you have or how you can get the answers you want. If the Lord wants to give you an answer, He will do it, and He will do it in His time.
The Lord is thinking about you and cares for you. Knowing this, continue to do what you know to do: pray without ceasing.
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.