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 Glenda Shouse POSTED 11/22/2020 6:00:01 AM ON 2 Timothy 1:5 NKJV
When I was young, my grandmother lived with us.
In our small house, my sister and I shared a bedroom with her. She was a wonderful woman with godly influence in our lives. One of my fondest memories was hearing her pray every night. The sound of her talking to the Lord comforted me, and I never forgot those moments.
Paul reminds Timothy about the godly influence of his grandmother and mother. They had impacted his life. What a wonderful heritage for us to live out our faith before our children and grandchildren, just as my grandmother did for me and my sister.
Sometimes, the small things make an impression on those around us, like thanking God for our meal, reading our Bible, or praying for others. These are simple things we can do daily that honor and glorify God. Our actions can be more meaningful than our words.
Even though Grandmother was a wonderful witness to me, I still had to respond to God's call in my life and accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. I finally understood Jesus had already done everything for me. All I had to do was pray, “Lord Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross for me. Forgive me of my sins, and come into my heart as my Lord and Savior.”
The gospel is simple, but the Holy Spirit must prepare our hearts to receive Jesus and to surrender to His wooing. Once we have received the gift of salvation, God wants us to share our newfound faith with others.
Thank God for the opportunities He gives you to share your faith.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Juliana Gordon POSTED 11/15/2020 6:00:01 AM ON 1 Peter 4:8 NIV
If only life’s problems could be solved with wood putty.
My husband once built me a small table. I asked him to make it quickly since others would rarely see it. He ran screws through the top rather than in some fancier way. “I’ll cover it with wood putty,” he said, which turned out to be sawdust and glue.
When we are hurt, we often want to carefully examine the offense and magnify the problem—not cover it with sawdust and glue. We skip over love, even though the Bible tells us it covers a multitude of offenses. We go straight to being mad and hurt and nursing a grudge. But we can avoid those angry feelings and reactions using three ways.
Examine ourselves emotionally. Are we in a vulnerable, already hurt, state of mind? Are we going through something unrelated to this situation that primes us for being upset? Reflecting on these questions could put the offense in perspective. We may conclude the offense normally wouldn’t have bothered us.
Look at ourselves physically. Are we tired or hungry? We laugh at those Snickers commercials about hunger making us a different person because there’s some truth to it. Consider how Elijah was able to press on after he despaired to God. God provided him with sleep and food. We shouldn’t decide to be angry or scared if we’re not feeling the best.
Review ourselves spiritually. Are we acting out of our flesh, or thinking about how God would have us respond? We can extend the same grace to others that we would want extended to us.
Sure, some big offenses can’t be worked out so simply. But many small, everyday problems—where people meant no offense and probably didn’t even realize they offended us—can. At the very least, these strategies can help us not speak so quickly and help us avoid saying words we will later regret. And most of all, they will show our love and Christ’s love to others.
Which of these ways should you try so you won’t be so easily offended?
DEVOTION BY Marcia Vogl POSTED 11/8/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Psalm 113:9 NIV
Thanksgiving 2009. I sat in church, holding my first grandson, Aidan, on my lap. Tears streamed down my face as we sang, “How Great Is Our God.” Yes, God is a faithful, generational God.
When I was twenty-nine, I had a face-off with cancer. I won the battle, but the experience left me unable to bear more children. Although we already had a son, we wanted to adopt more children to complete a family of three.
My husband and I were a mixed marriage between Chinese and Austrian. When the Vietnam War ended and many refugees came to the United States, a person involved in placing Vietnamese children knew a couple who preferred to have their child adopted into an Asian family. We were the only Asian family he knew. Of course, we would take the child. At two days old, James became ours in September 1975.
A few years later, we searched for a daughter. Asian countries stopped allowing their children to be adopted out of their native land. To find another Asian child would be difficult and take perhaps five years.
After submitting our application, we settled in for the wait. Within thirty days, we got a call to adopt a two-and-a-half-year-old Korean girl. She had been brought to the States before Korea closed its doors to foreign adoptions. The adopting mother had fallen ill and could not care for her, so she was placed up for adoption again. Since the former family had two young boys like ours, the agency thought our family would be the perfect fit. Within a week, we had a new daughter. This young girl grew up, married, and is now the mother of Aidan, the grandson who sat on my lap.
When I was twenty-nine, the joy of being a grandmother was in the distance, but I knew it could happen. The Enemy tried to steal that “grandmother’s joy” from me, but God had other plans.
Things may not work out the way we envision them, but God knows our heart’s desire and can make a way through the impossible.
Trust God through what seems like your impossible times.
DEVOTION BY Macy Johnson POSTED 11/1/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Hebrews 9:14 NIV
I was hooked up to a machine for apheresis (platelets donation) at the local Red Cross center.
Not long before, I didn’t know what a platelet was, much less that someone would want mine. Platelets are small disk-shaped bodies found in the blood of vertebraes and are also associated with clotting.
Time crept at a snail’s pace. To scratch my nose or move my arms was prohibited. I squeezed a bright-red rubber ball every five seconds so the blood could flow steadily from my left arm into the tubes of a machine before returning to my right arm.
Tensed muscles left me completely exhausted. My body tingled and shivered from the cold room and depleted calcium. After one grueling hour, the nurse asked if I could remain on the machine another hour and donate a double dose. “Your platelets are plentiful and healthy,” she added. I reluctantly complied.
Afterward, in the recovery room, I reflected on the process of giving life and hope to a medical patient whose blood could no longer produce platelets. Hopefully, mine would flow into someone else’s veins soon after I left the center.
The spiritual analogy is richer. Christ did the same for us. His Spirit cleanses and strengthens us in discomfort, blessing others through our temporary suffering. But we must allow Him to sift out the greed, selfishness, and pity-platelets in our bodies. Sometimes, we need to hook up to the machine for a longer period so we can give a double dose.
Our sacrifices can give hope to the hurting as Christ’s Spirit cleanses our hearts and purifies our lives.
Make a point to submit to God’s purification process.
DEVOTION BY Kevin Spencer POSTED 10/25/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Deuteronomy 1:13 NIV
My wife, Charlotte, and I sat at the dining room table and opened our Official Ballots from the Maury County Election Commission.
We decided to do our ballots at the same time so as not to make a mistake. We had heard absentee or mail-in ballots could be rife with hidden traps that would disqualify a voter’s ballot and cause it to be trashed and not counted. So, we carefully opened the envelopes and, together, went down the list of instructions line by line.
She and I opened each envelope, marked our ballots, signed where we were supposed to, resealed our return envelopes, and found a couple of stamps. Then, I handed our ballots to our trusted longtime mailman, and we were done.
We don't have many responsibilities as citizens of the greatest republic the world has ever known. Mostly, we just enjoy the advantages our way of government has given us. Yes, we pay taxes and occasionally have to take off work for jury duty. And if we argue vehemently over the direction our country should take every four years, that is a right our government has given us as well.
A national election is coming Tuesday, November 3, the likes of which our country has not seen since 1860. Now, I know every election cycle we hear the same hyperbole about how dire and vital that year's particular election might be. This year might live up to the billing.
During the last national election in 2016, nearly 25 million Christians did not vote. About 1 in 5 self-professed eligible Christians do not even bother to register to vote. In a world where most Christians are persecuted and oppressed by governments they cannot change, our voting habits in the United States are a travesty and a disgrace.
Jesus said in Matthew 22:21, “Therefore render to Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's, and to God the things that are God's.” We owe it to our fellow Christians around the world who live under governments that hate them for their faith, but who are powerless to change it, to exercise the most fundamental right we have as Americans.
Get out and VOTE.