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.

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.)



Traveling Partners

They were homeless traveling partners—a Christian and a Satan worshipper.

“I worship Lucifer because the Bible says he was the most beautiful angel. Did you know that?” he asked me.

On this Saturday afternoon, I was dropping off warm clothes, bottled water, and Bibles to whomever I saw on the streets. I found this couple, Michael and Denise, in Washington Square—a spacious park in the midtown area of Kansas City. They said they’d been together since North Carolina.

Michael told me he was a homeless vet, and, while he chatted with me anxiously, Denise took the Bible I offered her and flipped through the pages. She read aloud her favorite verse: Hebrews 9:27.

As she finished reading, I marveled at the nature of their relationship—his beliefs so radically different from hers. There had to be some other reason why she stayed with him. Maybe being on the streets with a protector made her feel more secure. Perhaps she was lonely or scared without someone to talk to.

But what dumbfounded me was the amount of grace she must have extended to him every day. And I wondered how that grace would look for me, the do-gooder Christian out to make a difference in my city.

Solomon says being generous to the poor honors our Maker. But generosity can involve more than handouts. It also extends grace. When a man looks you straight in the eye and says he worships Satan, you can turn and walk away or you can give him his space while embodying the love and mercy of your Lord Jesus Christ.

As we walk through the world, we are representatives of Christ. Jesus said His people are lamps on a stand, giving light to all in the house. That especially includes trying moments when we are faced with beliefs, arguments, and counter positions that hope to undermine what we believe. Those are the moments when we must call on Christ’s strength to help us love others.

No matter what anyone else believes, we can extend them grace, knowing we have God’s truth. We can show generosity to others, either to people we know or to complete strangers, because Christ’s love is in our heart.

Don’t shy away from those who don’t believe as you do. Extend them grace. Christ’s love is in your heart.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



All Posts