A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Faith & Family

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

Lessons from the DMV

If there is anything that approaches my dread of going to the dentist, a trip to the Division of Motor Vehicles would. 

But my daughter needed to renew her license, so off we went. As we waited, I noticed one of the clerks was very friendly, funny, and engaging with his patrons. I hoped my daughter would get him when they called her number, and she did. The clerk asked her questions that helped him know her and that showed genuine interest in her. It made me think about a few things.  

Whether we are CEO of a Fortune 500 company or an employee at the DMV, we can work heartily as for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

The DMV employee exemplified this biblical principle by taking time to know individuals he would probably never see again. After my daughter’s license was renewed, he said, “I’ll see you in six years”—a nice way to end their business and make her smile. And it’s not often you leave the DMV smiling.

If taking time to build a relationship in a five-minute business transaction can have that kind of result, how much greater effect will we have if we take time to build relationships with people we see every day. What influence could we have on our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family if we were willing to invest in our relationships with them?  

Finally, I saw a man who was content with his work. No matter what God has given us to do, it is a gift from Him, and we ought to do His work with joy and enthusiasm.  We can view our work interactions as opportunities to be salt and light in a dark world. We never know who is watching us work or what the effect might be that we have on someone else because of our attitude toward our work.  

What are some ways you can improve your attitude about work?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Lighthouse

The ocean mesmerized us.

I once traveled with my young daughters to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. My brother, Ron, lived there, so my other brother, Darryl, and his family ventured with us down South. We spent hours at the beach. The kids played in the waves on child-sized rafts, buried each other in the sand, and built castles.

As much as I enjoyed the water, the climb to the top of St. Simon’s lighthouse topped my favorite’s list. We watched dolphins play in the water and got a feel for the work of the lighthouse keeper. If he didn’t light the lamp, the risk of shipwrecks increased. The pilots of the vessels depended on the light keeper to do his job. Whether he lit a wick or flipped a switch, he needed to make the top of the tower glow.

I’ve been fascinated with lighthouses for years. They grace our home in paintings, photos, and 3-D images. Their purpose reminds me of the hope I have in Jesus. Just as a lighthouse guides vessels to safe harbor, Jesus moves me through the rough waters of life and buoys me in His calm. I have to keep my eyes on Him and trust Him to guide. A ship’s captain may not know what’s ahead, but he follows the light. As a believer, I place my trust in Jesus and follow His radiance to everlasting life.

When God created light and dark, He knew we'd need someone to illuminate the way through the turmoil and pain of life. Jesus is the lighthouse who can guide us through the difficult and sorrowful times. He shines a path of hope in the darkness.

Jesus provides a safe refuge in the storms of life. Seek His light and rest in His peace.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



A Truck for All Reasons

Wow! What a deal, we thought.

Joni and I planned our next concert. We needed to transport ten eight-foot choral risers, music stands, sound equipment, and stage décor. But we always ran short of transport resources.

“Let’s pray for a big 27 x 8 foot truck with a hydraulic lift!” Joni cried in desperation.

So, we agreed in prayer, “Lord, we need a 27 x 8 foot truck with a hydraulic lift. Please meet our need. Thank you. Amen.”

At the next rehearsal, we announced our search for a truck with a hydraulic lift to transport our production equipment. 

“I don’t have a truck, but I have a Class C license. I can drive anytime,” Craig offered.

“I have a truck in our company’s boneyard. After we bought new ones, we didn’t know what to do with the old ones. With a little tune-up and a new battery, it will run. We’ll donate it,” Mark offered.

“My son is a mechanic who is also looking for the same type of truck for his Boy Scout troop to use on weekends. (We only needed the truck four times a year.) We could park it at his gas station,” volunteered Pat.

Just as we thought we had to say, “Thanks, but no thanks,” because of the high cost of insurance, the Boy Scout leader proposed that if the Boy Scouts of America accepted the truck as a donation, they could give the company a 501(c3) tax deduction. Then, as owners, the Boy Scouts would carry the insurance and allow us to use the truck as needed.

The company unloaded a truck useless to them in exchange for a tax donation. We got the free use of a truck and a driver four weekends a year, and the Boy Scouts got their truck for weekly projects.

We shortchange ourselves when we are not specific in our prayers. We can see the answer more clearly when we know what we are looking for. God can answer many prayers at once, so everyone wins.

Never forget that God is your Provider.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Signs

The fiddler crab scooted past me, its big dominant claw high in the air. A sign to other fiddlers that it was just passing through—no harm intended or trouble wanted.

The crab joined hundreds of its fellow fiddler crabs in an exodus off the beach and toward the relative safety of the swamps that lay several hundred yards behind the barrier dunes. The crab knew, without any connection to the internet or satellite television, that a hurricane was coming. Perhaps it was the beginning of a subtle drop in barometric pressure that would continue until the hurricane eye was overhead. Maybe it was the change in the rhythm of the breakers coming ashore … the heartbeat of the beach. Or it could have been the sudden disappearance of the soaring seagulls with their harsh cry, along with the accompanying absence of the sandpipers dashing in and out of the surf.

It was time for me to leave as well. My small brown Pinto station wagon was loaded with the keepsakes from our family oceanfront cottage. The knickknacks Mom didn't want to leave to the vagaries of wind and storm surge. I said goodbye to the cottage and Mr. Crab and headed inland.

Whatever sign that propelled the small crab and his kin inland, the rest of life along the beach followed suit. Even as the ominous dark clouds appeared on the southeastern horizon to embrace the setting sun, the beach emptied of the wildlife that called it home. They knew.

God's Word is full of hints, suggestions, warnings, and scenarios that point to what we call collectively the “end times.” Jesus Himself told us, “So also, when you see all these things, you know that He is near, right at the door” (Matt. 24:33 NKJ).

I don't need the Weather Channel's Jim Cantore to tell me a hurricane is coming. The beach speaks to those who listen, and so does God's Word and Spirit. And yes, I think they speak of a gathering storm.

But Jesus also said not to be afraid. To be prepared. To rest in His peace. No matter the signs or how much the next few months may rock our little boat, the peace of Jesus rides with us. The same Jesus who commanded the storm to “Peace! Be still!”

Rest in God’s peace. “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus (Rev. 22:20 ESV).

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Mending Fences

The cows were not in their allotted field.

When I investigated, I discovered several parts of the fencing ripped out or torn down by the livestock. I had erected the barrier to keep them from getting into neighboring fields or wandering onto the highway. Of course, the cows wanted greener pastures.

The next day, I located the problem and fixed it. Then I walked the entire perimeter of the field, fixing and replacing portions of the fence. I’m sure the cows enjoyed their short-lived escapade outside their boundaries.

After I finished, I sat on the back porch and admired my work as I watched the cattle test the fence. When I saw a steer touch the wire with his nose and then jump back, I knew the black hairy beasts would have a new respect for my boundaries.

This incident caused me to think about my own boundaries. How often do I maintain my fences to keep me safe from the wickedness of this world?

God’s armor is not a hot wire fence, but it does provide spiritual protection to keep us safe. When there is a breach in the armor, our hearts become susceptible to Satan’s lies and the traps he lays.

Personally, I daily need to gird my waist with truth, put on the breastplate of righteousness, shod my feet with the gospel of peace, take up the shield of faith, and put on the helmet of salvation. And I need the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. I am thankful Mom made me memorize verses. With God’s Word, I can counter Satan because it is sharper than any double-edged sword. And we should never underestimate the power of prayer.

Keep your fences mended by daily putting on the armor of God. Don’t go into battle against Satan unprotected.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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