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

Chicken Little

“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” screamed Chicken Little.

The occasion of this frantic pronouncement involved an acorn falling on the bare head of the aforementioned hen. And if we watch any of the mainstream media, we might certainly think the sky is indeed falling.

Asteroids are my personal favorite. Hardly a day goes by in my news feed without a screaming headline proclaiming that some chunk of space rock is hurtling toward earth. “Toward” is the operative word in the vast majority of these cases. Asteroids fly past us all the time. Only on the rarest of occasions does one of the random space rocks actually interact with our planet.

Yellowstone is another favorite. The supervolcano that lurks underneath the national park perpetually seems on the verge of erupting and destroying us all. If it’s not Yellowstone, then on any given slow news day, we might read “The Poles Are Thawing!” or “The Glaciers Are Shrinking,” or even “The Sea Levels Are Climbing!”

Lately, some headline-worthy events have reached out and touched us. Solar storms have pummeled earth, but, except for the odd lost satellite or two and some spectacular northern lights, they have been much ado about nothing . . . so far. And then, practically everyone on the planet knew someone whom the COVID pandemic stole from them.

The frequency of earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone rose three hundred percent above average during the summer of 2022. Since the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811–1812 are the biggest in American history, and, since we happen to live in the New Madrid Seismic Zone here in Middle Tennessee, that got my attention. The New Madrid Missouri Earthquake of 1811 was so mighty it caused the Mississippi River to run backward.

And yet, in the face of all these “the sky is falling” exhortations, Jesus tells us simply, “Do not be afraid.” In fact, the Bible repeats that simple thought over and over in thirty verses! Do not fear, do not be discouraged, do not worry, and simply trust in the Lord are repeated themes.

We can be sure we will continue to hear the sky is falling with increasing frequency, but we have the umbrella of our Lord’s promise repeatedly, stating that we should be at peace and not fear. Stand under His protection when the Chicken Little’s in your life start to squawk.

What fear do you harbor that you need to give to God?

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

 



Deep Waters

One sunny afternoon when our girls were young, our family spent some time at our friend’s house, enjoying their beautiful swimming pool.

As I stood in the shallow water chatting, my daughter Amanda inched her way out of the shallow end and headed to the deeper end of the pool. When I looked down, I saw my sweet girl’s big, brown eyes looking up at me from under the water. I will never forget that moment. I immediately reached down and pulled her to safety. Thinking about this makes my heart skip a beat. A loving parent will do anything to rescue their child from danger.

Chapter 22 of 2 Samuel is a song of praise David sang to the Lord who had delivered him from the hand of his enemies and of Saul. He felt as if waves of death swirled around him and the torrents of destruction overwhelmed him. Yet he called to the Lord. He was confident God would rescue Him.

I do not remember a time when I ran or sought refuge from a flesh-and-blood enemy who wanted to take my life. I do, however, remember times when I felt as though I would drown in pain, sorrow, and difficult circumstances. In those dark and tumultuous seasons, I shifted my focus back to God and remembered His faithfulness to me in the past. Trusting His promises, I believed He would restore my joy and put a song of praise on my lips.

When we feel as though we are sinking in the circumstances of life or the deep waters of fear, sorrow, and regret, we can have hope. As my sweet daughter did, we can look up and give our circumstances to Jesus. God will reach down and draw us out of those deep waters.

How can you let God restore you? Will you trust Him to do it?  

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Working on Relationships

I tried to tell them, but they doubted it even though it was true.

I remember trying to explain to my family how to pronounce a certain title. I tried hard to show them where they were wrong, but to this day, we would still probably disagree if I brought up the topic. I laugh when I think about it. A silly and trifling thing, but it’s a good memory.

Jude’s instruction to present and future readers about how ungodliness will become more widespread in the latter days is a source of instruction we can still apply to our walk with Christ. We are called to mediate between God and others—to use God’s Word to preach, instruct, correct, and rebuke. Although Christ has warned us not to give the sacred to dogs or pearls to pigs, we are also told to show mercy to those who doubt the truth.

Fear has a way of making us prefer a comfortable lie rather than a challenging truth. We should mercifully and lovingly help those who doubt the truth of God’s Word and inspire those who are weak in their faith.

Keep working on interacting with others and being both patient and merciful with them. Seek the word of the Lord and delight yourself in Him.

What relationships do you need to work on?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Peculiar Treasure

Precious jewelry can be created in a laboratory.

Emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds give special meaning to some. They may symbolize wealth, success, friendship, or marriage. The color alone has a special meaning. We buy birthstones to match our birth month.

After going through a controlled process, involving pressure and heat, a lab-created stone can look identical to a natural gem. I am told a jeweler has to look closely to tell the difference. We wear these precious jewels on our fingers, toes, and ears. We also like to buy them as gifts for those precious ones in our lives.

As I thought about the process a lab-created stone goes through before becoming a beautiful jewel, I thought of Christians as we endure fiery trials and temptations while God creates us in the image of Christ.

We are in God’s laboratory, being created into a distinguished jewel of His making. While there may be a little heat and pressure during the creating process brought on by trials, this only makes us shine brighter. Let’s not forget the price Jesus paid so we could be one of His own.

Because we keep God’s commandments and serve Him, He calls us His peculiar treasure above all others. Won’t you trust Him today to form you?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Generations

On July 8, 1944, twenty-two-year-old Corporal Jack Brown of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment, 4th Marine Division, was on the island of Saipan as a part of the ongoing invasion and battle to wrest that island from the Japanese army. World War II raged, and Saipan, one of the Northern Mariana Islands in the central Pacific, was the latest battlefield in the United States’ war with Japan.

The Battle on Saipan was in its closing stages, the Japanese having been pushed back to a series of caves on the flanks of Mount Marpi. Corporal Brown was leading his machine-gun squad in clearing one of these Japanese-held caves when an enemy sniper took his life.

In the ongoing confusion of battle for the cave, Brown’s dog tags and all his remaining identification were lost. When the search and recovery teams cleared the battlefield in the aftermath, Brown became an “unknown,” officially “missing in action.” His unidentified remains were labeled as “X-30”—another anonymous United States Marine who gave his life for his country.

Corporal Brown’s unidentified body traveled first to a shallow grave in Saipan, then was reinterned in 1948 at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippians. He was not, however, lost to his family.

The Virginia Beach native was remembered by succeeding generations of the Brown family. Family members handed down stories at reunions that kept the memory of “Uncle Jack” and his sacrifice alive. They hoped and prayed that someday he would come home. They even donated maternal and paternal DNA.

And then, on March 29, 2022, a miracle occurred. The anonymous remains—lost for over seventy-five years and labeled simply as X-30—were discovered to have testable DNA. And that DNA belonged to Corporal Jack Shelton Brown, USMC. For the Brown family, Uncle Jack was finally coming home. On Saturday, August 13, they laid him to rest in Virginia Beach with full military honors. Generations of Browns attended.

It has taken me decades to see how the Lord’s hand has worked in my life to bring me where I am today. And yet His plans cross centuries and millennia. All generations, the psalmist tells us.

While the Lord has graciously given us an outline of how His plans for humanity will end in glory, He has yet to reveal His ways of doing so. All I can do is live my daily life by serving Him. In truth, I fail at this as much as I succeed, but I know His love for me endures forever. And so, I keep striving to make the effort.

Is your daily walk with the Lord worthy of His enduring love and the wonderful plans He has woven for you?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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