A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Spirit & Soul

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.

How Do You Smell?

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.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



LOVE IS. . .

Love is missing these days. Kinda breaks my heart. I remember as a youngster, my mother constantly quoting Abraham Lincoln.

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

It's frightening that this seems to be the case some 154 years after Lincoln's death. Our world is spinning on frustration, anger, and entitlement. If we don't get our way, we become like little children, kicking and screaming and blaming everyone else. Worse, we become vindictive. We are, just as Lincoln predicted, destroying ourselves.

Our world appears to be teetering on the edge of loveless.

Paul knew better than anyone what a world void of love felt like. After all, he himself was somewhat loveless as he crusaded to kill Christians. When the love of Christ covered his horrible acts of sin and God called him into service, he experienced full and redemptive love. Paul pleaded for his thorn in the flesh to be removed, and though there are several theories on what his ailment was, one cannot help but wonder if he was not haunted by his past deeds. Still, in Paul’s deepest anguish of rejection and pain, he held on to the hope found in the love offered to him through Christ. Paul continually reminded those he taught that without love, we are nothing.

I could have written a sweet story about love in this devotion, but that is not what God laid on my heart. He nudged me to look past the Hallmark holiday and see a world struggling to love and be loved. I love my husband and I certainly will acknowledge him today, but honestly, the thing that weighs heavy on my heart is a world quickly slipping into “loveless.”

Begin with the love of your family. Teach your children that without love, they are nothing. Forgive in love. Encourage love over everything else. After all, Christ did just that. With a single utterance, He could have been swooped away from the clutches of death, but instead, He loved us so much that He withstood the agony and died. For. Us. All because of love.

Love with all you have and with all you are, and be a voice that is heard echoing in a world that so needs love.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Wounds or Scars

“Mommy, Mommy! God healed the ouchy on my toe!”

My five-year-old son’s excitement could not be contained as he looked at his bare foot, which showed a small scar where the cut had been.

I smiled at him, reveling in the wonder of his innocence. “Yes, God healed your cut, didn’t He?”

He suddenly became serious. “Mommy, God can heal the ouchy on the inside too.”

The profoundness of what he said reached my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I turned away so he wouldn’t see me cry. His father had just left us, and we were now a family of four. His younger sisters were one year old and three months old. The weight of responsibility pressed down on me, and the wounds inside were deep. And yet there was hope in the Lord for all of us.

Over the next year, I spent every moment I could in Scripture. I put my children to bed promptly every night so I could meet with the Lord. I read the Word, studied the Word, talked to the Lord about my deep wounds, and journaled letters to the Lord. Sometimes I simply wept, calling out to Him and giving Him my pain.

Over time, the Lord responded to my pleading heart. He changed me … healed my wounds. He enabled me to put my hope in Him. But more than that, He showed me His unfailing love in real ways.

My wounds have now become scars, just like the one on my son’s toe. They are not forgotten, but they are healed. And now those scars are a testimony of what the Lord has done.

When the wounds run deep, turn to the Lord and put your hope in His unfailing love. He will not disappoint.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



A Healing Pain

I winced as each new needle pressed into my skin.

“Try to relax. We have your best interest in mind,” my physical therapist said, sticking me again. He used a technique called dry needling that was meant to bring relief and healing to my injured hip muscles.

A few weeks before, I’d been living my dream, hiking the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail. Debilitating hip pain left me with little choice but to pause my trip indefinitely to recover. This derailment of my dream caused me to fear and question God’s care for me. Why would He let this happen?

So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you. This verse reminds us that though we may not understand the reason for our suffering, we can rest in the assurance that God will not leave us alone in our hardships.

I don’t understand all the techniques the physical therapist uses. I find them uncomfortable and painful, but trust he is good at his job and uses the uncomfortable procedures to heal me. Similarly, God allows suffering, using it to refine us and make us spiritually healthy. When His methods don’t make sense, we can choose to trust Him, remembering He’s our Creator and will not fail us.

Looking to the cross, we find a Savior who chose suffering for Himself in order to heal generations of hurting people. Fixing our gaze on a God like this will keep us from doubting His love and care when we find ourselves in the midst of affliction.

The next time you struggle through a difficult season, instead of wondering why you are suffering, stand in wonder of the Creator who cares for you and is faithful to strengthen you through every trial.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



See, Hear, Care, and Go

“Are you going? Are you going? Even if I have to sell my house, I’m going.”

Our pastor had just requested volunteers for an international mission trip. Already committed to another trip within two weeks of that one, my friend remained convinced God called her to both.

How I wish we all shared her enthusiasm for following God’s call. Most of us, however, require a bit more convincing. Like Moses, we hesitate, focusing on our limitations instead of God’s direction.

Day after day, the Israelites labored under Egyptian slave masters, undoubtedly feeling forgotten and hopeless. Nothing had changed for years. Yet God saw their misery. God heard their cries. God cared about their suffering.

The method God chose for freeing the people of Israel included Moses as both messenger and leader. The command to Moses was strong and clear: “Go. I am sending you.”

Moses faced no easy task: confronting Pharaoh, enduring the grumblings of those he helped, and overcoming his own reservations. Any one would be enough to prevent many from moving forward. In spite of Moses’ hesitation, God’s directive never wavered. Go.

That same message holds true for every believer today. God sees, hears, and cares for those held in bondage to sin and suffering. The eternal plan of redemption includes ordinary people taking the message of truth and showing others the way to the promises awaiting them. Inevitably, obstacles occur, whether resistance from the powers that be, impatience from those we serve, or fatigue and frustration. As with Moses, however, God’s command remains. Go.

Yet we never have to go in our own strength. We can lay claim to the same assurance God gave Moses. God will be with us every step of the way.   

See as God sees, hear as God hears, and care as God cares—wherever that may lead you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



All Posts