Spirit and Soul is all about eternity. Life ever after with a God who has prepared a place in advance for us. Dig into the Word. Search out your heart. Contemplate where you will spend eternity. . .then choose to offer your life to God.
DEVOTION BY Martin Wiles POSTED 3/21/2019 12:00:01 AM ON John 3:20 NLT
When the light came on, they scattered—and so did my grandmother.
Pest control companies existed in the 1970s, but Grandmammy refused to call one to deal with her roach problem. She and my grandfather didn’t want to spend money on such trivial matters. And the German cockroach wasn’t the only one invading her home. The Palmetto bug did too. A large bug more grotesque to her than the smaller one.
I watched with amazement at how she controlled her problem. When bedtime arrived, she turned out the lights and we headed for bed. But when she turned off the light switch, she didn’t move, nor did I. We stood in the dark for what seemed like forever.
Then suddenly, she turned the light switch back on. Somehow in the darkness, my grandmother had retrieved a stick broom. When light illuminated the room, roaches ran everywhere—and so did my grandmother, squashing every one she could with the broom. She repeated her actions several times before we retired to bed. I suppose she must have killed enough of them to satisfy her because she never called the exterminating company. And I don’t remember the roaches overrunning the house.
My grandmother’s roaches hated light as much as my grandmother despised them. Jesus said the same about evil. When light is around, it flees for fear of being exposed.
But evil doesn’t always run. Sometimes, it opposes in more than a secretive way. Jesus said His followers would endure persecution, even as He did. In the twenty-first century, the opposition against Christianity is increasing—in subtle and not so subtle ways.
When I choose to dabble in evil ways as a believer, the light of God’s conviction shines on me—and I don’t enjoy it. Yet God has a purpose in sending the guilt. He wants my confession so the relationship we have remains healthy. Instead of running from the light—as the cockroaches did—I need to run to God, or to others who will help me get back on track.
Staying in the light means I receive God’s guidance and wisdom for daily living, that I experience His forgiveness, that I garner encouragement, and that I live a life of abundance.
Don’t run from or oppose God’s light. He places it there for an important purpose.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Chrissy White POSTED 3/14/2019 12:00:01 AM ON 2 Corinthians 5:20 ERV
In my accounting days, my team delivered a weighty, comprehensive report daily to our upper management. It covered everything pertinent to the financial state of the organization and all that had taken place over the last twenty-four hours. The report was important, necessary, and expected.
We also sent a second report. Being smaller, it was less acknowledged yet still contained relevant information. This smaller report functioned almost as an afterthought. It didn’t even have a name. We just called it the “Other Report.” There were moments where we weren’t even sure who should be responsible for compiling this miscellaneous duty.
Paul writes as though Christ Himself is begging us to lay down our sins at His feet. However big or small, however noticeable or inconspicuous, He is ready to pick them up. In place of sin, He extends righteousness to us—a benefit we have as His children.
It is easy to acknowledge and approach God about our big sins—the ones others see, the ones we feel bad about, the ones that don’t constitute “Christian living.” But what is on our “Other Report”?
With the Holy Spirit’s help, take some time to search your heart. If there are any sinful ways in you, turn them over to God and receive a clean heart only He can create.
DEVOTION BY Marcellus George POSTED 3/7/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Revelation 2:17 NKJV
As a visiting professor in an Asian country, I asked my students to make place cards so that I could learn their names.
The problem is that many of them came from places where they did not have traditional “first” names, which made learning their names difficult. To make matters worse, I mispronounced several.
Yet, it was clear God knew their names. He did not have to ask who they were because He had chosen them before the foundation of the world to be His children. I was simply learning the names God already knew.
God never struggles with remembering our names. He knew the names of everyone who would believe in Him before He created the world. He delights in hearing His children call on His name. He has given us several different names to call Him in the Old Testament, including His covenant-keeping name, Yahweh. In the New Testament, we know God best by the name of His Son, Jesus.
In addition, God promises to give each of His children a new name in heaven that only He knows. God has the right to rename us because He has adopted us as His children. It will be a personal, intimate name that only He presently is familiar with, and it is based on our perseverance in the faith. He knows our new names and has written them in the book of life.
God knows your name and who you are. When you can’t remember someone’s name, reach out to that person and remind them God loves them by name and you want to as well.
DEVOTION BY Natalie Baker POSTED 2/28/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Roman 2:3 NIV
Jamie didn’t prepare me in advance for what I was about to see—or taste.
What I witnessed was primitive to say the least. I couldn’t bear the gunshot to the head. Poor little hog. Glad I didn’t name him. I know his family thought I was ridiculous, standing there by the trailer talking to the pig like it was my friend. Little did that poor animal know he would be tomorrow’s lunch. What had I married into? These people were still killing animals as in the old days. I won’t go into all the gory details, but I thought what happened to that pig was inhumane.
Even more disturbing were the things they ate. I would never eat liver pudding again. The next day I thought I wouldn’t be able to bear eating that poor animal, but it turned out to be some of the best barbecue I’d ever had.
Sometimes the things that seem horrible to us are not so bad. In fact, our own misjudgments and attitudes can leave us empty, as the apostle Paul mentions. We say to ourselves, “Oh, I’ll never do that,” and end up the first in line for a big helping of our foot in the mouth. To be honest, I was a little haughty in my approach. I was judging them for killing that hog, when I was being the hypocrite.
Be careful how you judge others. Worry about the speck in your own eye first.
DEVOTION BY Darrell Waters POSTED 2/21/2019 12:00:01 AM ON 2 Corinthians 2:16 KJV
When I was little, I had a seizure that came with a nauseating smell. Although I didn't have any more seizures until years later, I've occasionally had that sensation of a smell I can't describe.
I had parts of a book for a psychology class read to me while in college. The author said the sense of smell was a spiritual thing and likened it to worship. The author also said smell can't be described without comparing it to something else that has the same or a similar smell.
Paul says we are the smell of life. If we truly please God, we smell the same to other Christians. But we're also the smell of death to those who don't know Christ, or don’t want to know Him. At the end of the verse, Paul asks, "Who is sufficient for these things?" In ourselves, we aren't, but with God's help as we do our part, we can be.
It's humiliating to lose our witness for the Lord. The most embarrassing thing is what it does to God's name. We should live in such a way that unbelievers want to know what's different about us.
Although we can't be perfect, we should strive to be more like Christ so we’re not a stench in people's nostrils. Ruining our witness may turn others away from God.
Ask God to help you be a good witness for Him so you can be a blessing to others and so you won’t smell bad to those who want to know Jesus as their Savior.