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

Like a Rolling Stone

Living here a bit south of the musical mecca of Nashville, we hear two songs most associated with the beautiful State of Tennessee: “Tennessee Waltz” and “Rocky Top.”

The “Rocky Top” source is evident to anyone who has tried to dig in a Tennessee ridge top. The soft limestone bedrock that lurks beneath the topsoil constantly chips off as the seasonal cycles of freezing and thawing attack the rock. The result is a constant slow-motion eruption of dinner-plate-size limestone out of the topsoil just waiting to eat your lawnmower blades and garden tillers. In fact, some say “Tennessee Waltz” refers to the annual spring dance Tennessee farmers suffer through to prepare their fields for planting.

In the twenty years we have lived here in our humble little ridge-top home in Middle Tennessee, we have certainly picked up our share of rocks. We have built walls, walkways, patios, a huge firepit, and garden borders with them. Not to mention replacing numerous lawnmower blades because of the ones we didn’t see in time.

Our Lord Jesus,while being a carpenter instead of a farmer, also had to deal with a massive rock. The fact that Jesus had been dead for three days probably didn’t help His situation. When He died on the cross and was laid in a tomb, the forces of darkness that had killed Him sealed Jesus’ tomb with guards and a large stone.

For all of Jesus’ life, angels supported Him during his trials. Now, as He took the sin of humanity upon Himself and its penalty of death, the angels (as well as God) withdrew. However, as the third day since His death on the cross dawns, Jesus—as prophesied—lives again!

Undoubtedly, Jesus could easily have removed the rock that blocked His former tomb. But He didn’t have to—an angel returned to roll the stone aside. And then sat on it. What better testimony to mankind that God has placed His glorious seal of approval on Jesus’ sacrifice?

God dealt with the rock that stood between Jesus and His glory. He can deal with the rocks in our lives just as effortlessly.

This Easter, will you let God roll away the stones in your life that stand between you and His glory?

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Count Your Blessings

A friend once told me about a Thanksgiving Day when she was in her teens. A fire had destroyed her family’s home, forcing them to live in a chicken house. Her father worked in another town and could not be home for the holiday. The meal consisted of sauerkraut and wieners. At the time, it seemed a dismal day.

The following Thanksgiving found the family again living in a home. The friend’s father was present, and the table was laden with food. Now they could enjoy the material things they had missed the previous year.

However, that year they missed a family member. A tragic accident had killed her brother. My friend speaks of the sauerkraut and wieners Thanksgiving and realizes how truly happy she and her family were.

Knowing I am a child of the King causes my heart to rejoice and to release words of thanksgiving that bubble within me. How can I not be thankful? Jesus’ death and resurrection give me a source of abundant living.

Because Jesus did not remain in a cold, darkened tomb but arose, I can also rise daily to beautiful possibilities. Each morning, I am blessed to open my eyes and ears to the sights and sounds of life. I breathe in the life-sustaining air and remember it is a gift from God.

We often complain about things we do not have. We fail to thank God for the blessings He gives us daily. Turkey and all of the trimmings may not be on our Thanksgiving table, but sauerkraut and wieners can taste like a feast when shared with loved ones and touched by God’s love.

What are some things you can thank God for?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Joy in the Despicable

Sometimes it’s hard to see. Hard to look past the things the world throws at us. Easier to comply than to fight.

Our Christian hearts grow weary as we struggle to fight against the world and its desire to force us to agree on its sinful nature. Now more than ever, finding a way to focus on Christ is important.

We can’t close our eyes to the things of this world, and, if the truth be known, we can’t battle every issue either. We are, after all, only human. Just because we cannot clearly focus on every issue does not mean we are poor Christians. It simply means we set personal boundaries and stick to them. Spend time in the Word, pray, and remember the battle is not ours to fight. God does that for us, but what is ours. . .is the command to be obedient, pray without ceasing, and be the example Christ asks.

We assume Paul is the author of Hebrews, and when he penned this letter, persecution continued. His desire to help believers stand firm and keep their eyes fixed on the Lord led to some heartfelt words: “For the joy set before him he endured the cross.” What prolific words. What joy could have possibly been reason enough for Jesus to endure the cross?

No one alive can grasp the kind of love entailed in the cross. That one man (and we call Christ a man at this point because He was flesh) would shoulder the sins of the world. Not just current sin, but sins of the past and sins of what was still to come. And He did it with “joy.” 

Imagine how difficult it was for Jesus to see. The sin of every person flashed through His mind with lightning speed. Try to take in the pain, the hurt, and the disappointment He must have felt as He took hold of this burden. Then imagine His doing so with joy. Outwardly, He was slaughtered, but inwardly He rejoiced in the success of His sacrifice. His love strengthened Him.

When you find it hard to see and hard to focus, remember that through the horrors of the cross joy emerged. Strengthen your heart. Set your example as Jesus did. Rejoice. For in the despicable shame of the cross came life.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Have a Plan

An experienced camper will have a plan, but the young campers didn’t expect torrential rains to dampen their region-wide camp fest.

As the sun began to set, arriving troops set up their campsites for the weekend. A few hundred tents dotted the acreage across the university campus. The girls looked forward to testing their new skills for primitive-style camping and cooking over the open fire. Each had packed their list of necessities.

We carefully planned activities to earn badges during this experience. I’ve always been a planner by nature, but having been a Girl Scout may have helped me learn to think and plan.

During the night, the rains came—and they kept coming. Rain dripped through the tent roofs, and puddles collected in the tents. Thankfully, our sleeping bags were on plastic tarps, and we had dug trenches around the outsides of the tents to help channel water away from us. 

We can follow the example that Jesus set when confronted by Satan in the desert. Jesus was ready to act and speak. He knew the Scripture and stood firm against the devil’s three temptations. Each time Satan tempted Him to put His desires first, Christ rebuked Satan with clear responses that aligned with God’s Word.

If we plan by studying the Scriptures and applying them to our lives, we can be ready to give the correct answers, stand firm, make decisions according to God’s will, and avoid going down the wrong path.

What Bible verses can you memorize to remember when temptation comes?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)


A wave of sneezing washed over me.

As the violent sinus convulsions repeatedly shook me, part of my mind counted how many times my poor nose exploded. When the sneezing stopped at seven, I dismissed them. A measly seven was nowhere near my personal best of thirteen in a row.

I’m allergic to cedar and ragweed. Violently allergic. Unfortunately, I live in an area of Tennessee where cedars are prolific and predominant. On the earliest maps of this area, the land hereabouts is marked as “Cedar Forest.” In the years since, it hasn’t changed much.

Ragweed is an allergy of fall, usually tormenting us between August and mid-September. Cedars, however, are unique. They pollinate in the winter, usually on the coattails of a cold front. And they pollinate together, all the cedars in a particular area simultaneously sharing love. So if you’re allergic to them, it can make for a miserable couple of weeks.

Over the decades, I’ve often prayed for relief from my allergies, especially when they are at their worst. And for years, no answer came that I was spiritually aware of. Being spiritually aware was not necessarily something in which I excelled. God has often resorted to the proverbial two-by-four upside my head to drive home a particular point.

And then I read this verse—a verse I had read a hundred times before. Except that somewhere in my mind, my editor’s eyes discarded the “most excellent Felix,” and I read, “Everywhere and in every way, we acknowledge this with profound gratitude.” And that’s when God’s two-by-four whacked me again.

God has blessed me with good genes. I have been in good health almost all my life. From the time I had my tonsils removed at five years of age, I would live another sixty years before I entered a hospital for any procedure. That was for my cataract surgery last month. Except for run-ins with the usual childhood diseases, and the very occasional cold or bout with the flu, I have never been seriously ill.

And that’s why the allergy seasons tormented me. I felt so good the rest of the year. The two weeks every winter and fall were just the valleys I had to get through to appreciate the mountain tops of my otherwise good health.

Instead of complaining to God about my sneezing, I should have been on my knees, thanking God for the excellent health I otherwise enjoyed.

What do you need to thank God for today?

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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