Faith is a vital role in the family unit. It draws us together. Holds us tight. Binds us with the ties of God. Keeping faith in our families secures the values of Christ are embedded in our children
DEVOTION BY Kevin Spencer POSTED 3/29/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Psalm 91:5-6 NIV
When my beloved aunt passed away, Corona was still a beer, and Wu Han was a Chinese historian/intellectual whose 'purge' was one of the opening shots of China's infamous Cultural Revolution.
For various family reasons, my Aunt Marjean's memorial service was delayed for a few weeks—a few weeks in which the world turned upside down. The family asked to speak at the memorial and, I had agreed. Doing so meant a 500-mile trip from Middle Tennessee to Charlotte, NC, and back. But Marjean had been very special and influential in my life. I wanted to honor her memory. A few years had also passed since my North Carolina family had seen Caleb, the 15-year-old precious grandson my wife Charlotte and I have raised since he was two.
By the time the weekend of the service approached in mid-March of 2020, Covid-19 had escaped Central China. The world whispered the word 'pandemic.' What should we do? What we did do was pray and place the trip before our Father. And what appeared before us almost everywhere we looked in the days before we left was Psalm 91, specifically verses 3, 5, 6, and 7.
We loaded the car, and, standing on those verses almost continually in prayer, traveled to North Carolina—taking precautions along the way. We took extra care in public not to touch anything we didn't swipe with a disinfecting wipe. We kept the hugs at the service to a minimum. But most of all, we simply stood on God's promise through the Spirit to David: "Don't fear the plague; it won't touch you."
We stepped out on God's promise—in faith and with a measure of common sense—and had a wonderful visit. Oh, I managed to blubber my way through my tribute to my aunt, but I got through it. And we got back home—safe, sound, and Corona-free.
Fear and confusion abound at the present. Death stalks us in a minuscule virus, but then, as Christians, death and the world always stalk us. Thank goodness, Jesus overcame the world and holds the keys to life and death.
Don't be afraid of a little virus whispering death. You're bigger than it is. And anyway, our Lord has already kicked its butt.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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DEVOTION BY Kanda Pullara POSTED 3/22/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
The sound was like a breaking tree limb echoing through the forest.
I heard the sound in the middle of a hike when my feet hit the ground after jumping off of a log. My three teenage children rushed back to the rest of our group when I screamed. My youngest daughter later told me she thought a bear had grabbed me.
We left early from our summer vacation with friends and drove home. A call to the doctor led to an appointment that same day. I planned to wear a medical boot as I healed so I could still get around. I reviewed my full day timer and revised the rest of my summer. The doctor and his staff saw my shock during the exam when the doctor told me he needed to operate the next morning. I had shattered my ankle bones.
My husband and I returned home, and I walked upstairs in a fog, entered my prayer room, and talked with the Lord. This verse entered my thoughts: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. I could trust the Lord to show me the path, even in the midst of this painful situation. My schedule wasn’t really mine. When I released my schedule and my situation to Him, I felt the peace of knowing He loved me with His perfect love. He would carry me through this as He continued to mold me.
My surgery was successful. Friends and family members prayed for me, took care of me, and supported me. I’m usually the caretaker, but I humbled myself and received their help. I worked with a physical therapist and his team and became stronger than before.
We often think we control our schedule, but we don't. However, we can trust our schedule to the heavenly Father who directs our paths. When we acknowledge our Shepherd who loves us, He will guide us.
Humble yourself and receive God's direction, which is bigger and better than your comfort or your summer schedule.
DEVOTION BY Robert L. Segress POSTED 3/15/2020 6:00:01 AM ON John 13:23 NKJV
While teaching a Comparative Religions class during my college educator phase, I explained the difference between Bible-based Christianity and world religions. One of the easiest ways to contrast religions was to ask the students where they believed they were going when they died. Only the Christians had a solid confidence they were going to heaven without having to work to get there.
I have been asking God to teach me what Christianity is. Is it only information about Christ and the Bible, or is it a personal relationship with Christ? By studying passages in the Bible on this subject, I have been taught what I already knew, but needed more understanding about.
A few of the passages that revealed the essence of being a Christian were “Abide in Me and you will bear much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing” (John15:5), “I call you friends” (John15:15), and “Abide in my love” (John 15:10). These inspired passages make it clear that being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not primarily learning information about Him. Christianity is a personal, ongoing relationship with Jesus, and our relationship with Him is a love relationship that is illustrated by John’s feelings about His Lord.
One of the most beautiful pictures of love found in the Bible is when John needed the touch of Jesus and leaned against His bosom. Jesus’ touch healed and comforted then, and it still does today.
A believer’s studies in God’s Word should never be far away from having feelings of love for Jesus. Without the touch of Jesus, we feel lonely and parched, thirsty for living waters. The bottom line in the tally sheet for our lives will be how much time we spent in touch with Jesus, our fruitful Vine.
Desire to be touched by Jesus’ presence and kindness, and you will always have a good day.
DEVOTION BY Penny McGinnis POSTED 3/8/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Genesis 1:1-2 NIV
My husband Tim and I walked our dogs by Grant Lake on the night of the blue moon.
As I followed our dog Olive along the bank, Tim asked me something, but I couldn’t hear him. He pointed at the lake. When I turned toward the inlet, I saw a great blue heron resting on the water, occasionally dipping his head into the water for a drink or to catch minnows. This ominous bird fascinated me.
As darkness covered day, the bird blended in with the shadows. Tim motioned me to where he stood. The moonlight cut in just enough for the bird to remain in view. As we watched, the great bird spread his wings, lifted off, and flew across the lake. The wingspan looked enormous as he drifted over the lake with power and grace.
Like a great blue heron, the Holy Spirit hovered over the water as God created earth. He accompanied God, just as Jesus did from the beginning.
What a blessing to know God remains close to His people. He moves over the earth in Spirit and dwells in us. The Spirit lives in me every day. He nudges me to serve, gives me direction, comforts me when I am down, and rejoices with me when I am blessed. No matter what the day may bring, the Holy Spirit guides believers.
Spend time reading the Bible to better understand the Spirit in your life. Then, pray and ask God to help you recognize the Spirit's voice and nudges.
DEVOTION BY Rusty Lang POSTED 3/1/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Isaiah 41:13 NASV
“Can you hear it?”
My husband was restoring an old well on the few acres God had given him. Most people would have given up, as each step faced another hurdle. The cost of purchasing what was needed was not an option.
So with prayer, ingenuity, and substitutionary parts, the day came when he put the last piece of equipment into the well: a sensor to tell when the water level was low. With the help of a friend, they wired the sensor and lowered it into the bore hole. Nothing happened. They prayed some more and talked about what the problem might be.
They finally discovered the tiny apparatus was upside down. When they set the sensor the right way and put it down the bore hole again, my husband rang me and asked, “Can you hear it?” I heard the water flowing out of the well as it gurgled across the airways to me.
God told His people of old not to fear. He was with them. He still is. Sometimes, a simple adjustment to our lives will make the difference between success and failure. Listening to the Holy Spirit through prayer and counsel from those with knowledge concerning the issue is wise.
If you have something you don’t understand in your life, persevere in prayer. God is always available to help.