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 Robert L. Segress POSTED 8/11/2019 12:00:01 AM ON John 1:3 NIV
Walking with my wife and our grandson at a zoo near our house in Surprise, Arizona, I was overpowered by beauty.
Looking at the birds in the aviary, I was reminded of God. I saw birds with brilliant and diverse designs and stopped in silent awe. The Chinese pheasants were masterpieces of color, as was each species of bird surrounding them.
Standing there, I thought of a Bible verse: “All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, and another of birds” (1 Corinthians 15:39). And also, “God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth the living creatures according to its kind … each according to its kind and it was so’” (Genesis 1:24).
Later, we went to the aquarium and saw amazing fish, such as the “Discus fish,” which was so striking in all its pastel colors that our grandson stood still for several minutes.
We left the zoo thinking about the birds, the fish, and the giraffe—who stood fifteen-feet off the ground on a platform and ate out of our son’s hand. Our time together left us laughing, sharing, and blessed. The animals demonstrated Jesus’ creative love, for all things are made by Him.
The best outcome of the zoo trip was that our grandson asked Jesus to come into his heart after my wife testified to him and stressed how each person has to ask Jesus to do this. He now gives such beautiful prayers at our meals.
Talk about Jesus when you are with your children. Tell them about His love and what He has done. You will miss them someday if you are in heaven without them.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Norma Mezoe POSTED 8/4/2019 12:00:01 AM ON 1 John 3:18 NIV
Sometimes, unusual things appear in rural mailboxes.
My husband, who was a minister, left me for a woman in our congregation. I had never worked outside the home, but God opened doors only He could have opened. Within three weeks, I was employed at a nonprofit organization.
When my husband left, we were living in the church’s parsonage. The officers of the church graciously gave permission for me to continue living there until a new minister was called. All they asked was that I keep the lawn mowed. Several people from the church were kind to me and gave needed support and encouragement. I will always remember their loving acts.
One hot summery day, I came home from a stressful day at work and stopped at the large rural mailbox to pick up my mail. Inside the box, I found a fresh crisp salad, accompanied by a container of salad dressing and crackers. Marjorie, an older member, had placed the salad in the mailbox just moments before she knew I’d be home. I enjoyed the tasty food twice as much, thinking of Marjorie and her thoughtfulness.
I lived in the parsonage for eight months until the church hired their new pastor. During that period, my special friends encouraged me in various ways. Verna was my listener and let me talk out my frustrations. Johnny and Velda, a sweet older couple, supplied me with meat and fresh eggs. Johnny also kept my push lawnmower working.
We don’t have to do extravagant things for people in order to give them a blessing. Small acts of kindness, like a salad in the mailbox, bring unexpected joy to those in need of encouragement.
When God’s Spirit nudges you to be a helper, an encourager, or a blessing, obey.
DEVOTION BY Kevin Spencer POSTED 7/28/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 103:13 NLT
My grandson once pinched his finger. Nothing serious. Just a small skin squeeze, but the sudden pain startled him. He waddled over to my chair and showed me his finger. I looked at it and asked if he wanted me to kiss it to make it better. He nodded and held up his finger.
I kissed it. "There, it's all better now."
He looked at his finger, looked at me, looked back at his finger, and then said, "Opa, your kisser doesn't work."
How many times have we heard the words, "The cancer has spread,” “There's been an accident,” or “We have to make some cuts in staff?" How many times have we fallen to our knees, begging God to remove the hurt, only to feel the pain gripping our heart?
Healing takes time. My grandson was young. He would learn that with time. God's healing takes time too, but we are young. We will learn this each time a new pain interrupts our day. We will also learn God's love is long-suffering … that He longs to hug us until the pain stops. And in the end, we forget the pain but never the touch of His embrace.
I lifted my grandson and placed him in my lap. I tucked his head against my chest and looked at his finger. In a few minutes, the sniffles stopped, and he hopped down and ran off—no longer focused on the pain.
We are never closer to God than when we hurt. Cry out to Him and say, "Kiss it, Opa, and make it better."
DEVOTION BY Chrissy White POSTED 7/21/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Romans 12:2 ERV
I stood there with a silent hope that the tiny box on the counter would hold what I needed to regain my vision—or at least, enough to get me by.
A rummage under the sink had produced an old, rogue, still-packaged contact. There I stood with the thankful find—a left-eye prescription, which, I discovered, not only brought refreshment to me but completely adequate vision.
We each stand in a spiritual fog at times. We pray for solutions to problems. We wonder what we should do. We ask God to confirm callings. It’s hard to see the right path. The situation feels stagnant or even desperate.
But as God’s own, we don’t have to remain there. Paul writes the method of gaining greater revelation: “Let God change you.”
To let God change us, we must be in His presence daily. In addition to communicating with Him through prayer, a relationship that consists of reading His living Word, offering Him our sacrifice of praise, and being still to listen for Him helps us receive needed alterations and obtain the clarity we seek.
God knows your exact prescription. By keeping in contact with Him, you will experience refreshment and see your vision improve.
DEVOTION BY Denise Loock POSTED 7/14/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Zechariah 8:6 NLT
I looked at the list of prayer concerns written on the 3 x 5 card and released a sigh of frustration.
I’d been praying about some of the situations for months. Years. Decades. Why don’t I see any progress, Lord? I wondered.
Across the top of the card, I’d written Zechariah 8:6. This is what the LORD Almighty says: "All this may seem impossible to you now, a small and discouraged remnant of God’s people. But do you think this is impossible for me, the LORD Almighty?" I knew the answer to God’s question. Of course nothing is impossible for Him. He is the LORD Almighty, Jehovah Sabaoth, the Commander of Heaven’s Angel Armies. His power is unlimited. I didn’t doubt God’s ability to answer my prayers, but His delay chaffed me. The fabric of my faith had worn thin—too fragile to protect my spiritual skin from the irritation of His apparent inactivity.
So I whined a bit in my prayer that morning and admitted my discouragement: “I’m tired of praying about these things, Lord.” But even as I whispered those words, guilt pricked me. You don’t doubt His power. Why do you doubt His timing? That’s when the Holy Spirit seemed to ask, “What do you think faith is, Denise?”
I read Zechariah 8:6 again. One phrase stood out—“this may seem impossible.” What seems to be true and what is true are often opposites. The people to whom Zechariah spoke thought God had forsaken them. But He hadn’t. God asked them to trust His goodness, His wisdom, and His power by focusing on what they knew was true about Him.
He asks me to do the same thing. For some reason it’s easier for me to say, “I know He is able to fix this someday” than to say, “I know He is doing just what needs to be done today.” The first response is a wistful “maybe” faith; the second response is a confident “absolutely” faith.
God’s not indifferent to our requests. Every day He is doing just what needs to be done according to His eternal plan. Therefore, I’ve changed the way I present my prayer concerns to God. Instead of saying, “Do something about this, Lord,” I now say, “I know You love this person, Lord, and are working in his life,” or “I know You are working on the solution to this problem, Lord. Help me wait patiently, confident You have everything under control.”
Believe in God’s power, and you can wait for His timing.