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

Deliver Us from Evil

Walking is my daily exercise.

Walking about my neighborhood—praying, observing, breathing fresh air, soaking up the warmth of the sun, hearing the rain fall on my umbrella—gives me great pleasure. I love exploring laneways and sharing my faith when opportunity beckons.

One day was no different than any other. Without warning, I noticed two vicious-looking dogs leap into my right peripheral vision. They barked furiously and bounded with the speed of light toward me.

A short chain suddenly stopped one, but the other kept coming. I had no time to fear or run. I spontaneously reacted by shouting, “Stop in Jesus’ name!” and held up my hand. The dog immediately stopped and stared in disbelief—almost frothing at the mouth in rage.

As I continued my walk unscathed, I made a mental note of the long chain attached to the dog’s collar. This is how God delivers His people. We will face evil, danger, and threats in life, but trusting God to be true to His Word will bring a deep sense of safety and peace.

Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Deliver us from evil,” for He knew the Father is pleased to answer this prayer.

Know that God will deliver you from evil as you follow His instructions.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The God of New Beginnings

After the shock wore off, I thought, how will I support myself?

My husband had pastored a rural church for only ten months when he and a young mother from the congregation drove away together one Sunday night around midnight. He returned the next morning to gather his belongings and then was gone from my life forever.

I soon realized I needed a way to support myself. I had no experience working outside my home. For twenty-seven years I had been a wife, mother, and homemaker. I felt I had no qualifications for anything, but God was bringing His plans to fruition.

A woman from our former church told me about a temporary job where her daughter worked as a secretary. The job paid only minimum pay, but I felt the Lord’s leading. One major problem stood in my way. My husband had taken our only car, and I was living in the church parsonage, thirty-five miles from the job. I had no money to purchase a car. I felt stranded.

A few days before the job began, someone gave me a used car, complete with license plate and insurance. I had worked at the job only one week when the secretary got upset, quit, and recommended me to replace her. I was hired as the district secretary for a non-profit organization that assisted cancer victims.

You might say, “That could never happen to me.” But God works in many ways, and it could happen to you. He has a plan for the lives of His followers, and when we willingly give Him control, wonderful things happen.

God’s timing may not correspond with ours, but He loves His children. Like a loving father, He will open doors we thought were closed forever.

Allow the God of new beginnings to work out His plan in your life.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Fishers of Souls

When I fished years ago, my target was to know which fish to aim for and to use the correct bait to lure the catch. I joined in the fun of fishing for freshwater trout by baiting the hook with salt-water mussels. “Delicious,” said the trout, as I reeled them in. I had used the right bait.

When calling two of His disciples, Simon Peter and Andrew, to follow Him, Jesus said He would make them fishers of souls. They immediately left their nets and followed Jesus.

As I aim to live the Christian life, God commands me to set an example. This spreads my faith in Jesus Christ. I pray to become a better Christian while caring for a geriatric.

I also need to understand the qualities and nature of the people for whom I fish. I must show them the light of the gospel. God knows which fish are His and which fish I should target. If I pray and seek His wisdom and guidance, He will send me on deep soul-fishing jaunts. When I lead by example, with tolerance and patience, I use the right bait.

I get such guidance in the quiet stillness before dawn as I meditate on Jesus’ healing hands and try to see the world through spiritual eyes. All my gifts should magnify Him. I turn to my Bible, remain still, and know He is God.

Our Christian message contains the love and life of Jesus. Trust your heart to Him, and seek His wishes as you fish for souls.  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Merry Christmas, Dad

On the last day of this past October, about an hour and a half before it turned into November, my father had a few bites of ice cream, took a last look around, and said goodbye to this world. I got the call a few minutes later. He was gone.

Robert Eudean Spencer, "Bobby," and later "Bob" to his friends (my mother affectionately called him "Bobert") had been here awhile. Ninety years altogether, plus six months. He had seen a lot in all those years and been through a lot more.

At seventeen months, polio found him—the only person in Guilford County to contract the disease in 1931. The illness left his young body twisted and wracked, muscles atrophied, and little Bobby crippled for life. If that weren't enough, at seven years of age, he contracted pneumonia, which came within a whisper of taking his life.

My Dad was, to put it simply, the kindest, gentlest soul I've ever encountered. He was universally loved by all who knew him, and he had a heart for others that knew no bounds.

In all my years, I only heard my father raise his voice once. And no, amazingly, it wasn't at me, although goodness knows I gave him enough reasons to do so. With me, when I had yet again put "Be Stupid" first on my list of things to do on a particular day, Dad would simply look at me, shake his head, and say sadly, “What were you thinking?” Every time, his question cut me to my soul.

Dad loved Christmas. He loved giving. Some of my earliest memories are of him with his camera on Christmas morning, snapping pictures as my brother and I delighted at what Santa had left for us under the tree. And Dad lavished Christmas on my mother, often reducing her to tears with his knack for finding the perfect gift.

Dad will be with Mom in heaven this Christmas, and that's okay. I'll miss him, but to see all the Christmas spirit the season brings is to see him. I'm sure if I turn my head fast enough, I'll see him in the corner by the Christmas tree with his camera, waiting with that quiet smile of his to take another holiday picture.

In the same way, the Christmas we celebrate is just a picture of the incredible love God has for us. He gave us a gift in our Lord Jesus that is the most wonderful Christmas present we could imagine. A child, in swaddling clothes, in a manger, given to bring us back to Him.

Merry Christmas, Dad. I know you're having the best one yet.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Invite Him In

A few days before Thanksgiving, I snuggled in a warm quilt and wool blanket, waiting for sleep to come.

Work pressed in. As I tried to clear my mind, I realized the holiday season was upon me. The pressures of deadlines left me without the time I wanted to think about Christmas and the gifts I hoped to make for friends and family.

My life—influenced in part by the world outside (work)—dictated “no room for them in the inn.” I imagine Bethlehem was crowded and, with that, noisy. Perhaps not quite like Black Friday, but still throngs of people who did not have the essence of Christmas in mind.

In our efforts to capture how it might have been for Joseph and Mary that night in the stable, we're reminded a stable isn't quiet either. Even so, it seems the sounds of animals and nature would be more soothing than the sounds of the city.

Some people are able to withdraw into a place of silence within themselves, even when surrounded by people or noise. I wrote this piece as I sat in the entrance hallway of a busy downtown restaurant waiting for my husband to arrive.

We don't know how much waiting time Mary had before Jesus was born. Later in the story, Luke wrote that after the shepherds had come and gone, "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). That tells me she had the ability to find a place of silence within herself, because by that time she also had a newborn to tend to.

We need to nurture an ability to find silence before God amid our busy lives. My goal for this Christmas season is to make room in my heart and in my life for Him and to take time to ponder and enjoy the essence of Christmas.

Think of one specific way you can make room for Jesus in your life this year.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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