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 Daniel Overdorf POSTED 9/15/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Exodus 31:13 NIV
My friend and I tried for several weeks to coordinate our calendars for a game of golf. Finally, we found an afternoon when we were both available. We talked about our jobs, families, and church responsibilities. Each of us commented on how busy we are.
“I’m not as proud of my busyness as I used to be,” he said.
“I realized not long ago that when I take time away from work I get a headache. I talked to my doctor about it. It seems I’ve never learned to rest. When I try to take time off, I feel nervous about what’s going on back at the office, about getting behind on things. It makes me physically ill.”
Life throws various stresses at us—jobs, school, family drama—making what God told the Israelites to do difficult, to observe the Sabbath. When we find a moment to relax, we can’t turn our minds off, sit still, or take a deep breath. Our inability to rest damages us physically and spiritually. Hurry jeopardizes our souls, leaving us weary and vulnerable to temptation and distracting us from the Father.
Meister Eckhart, a German philosopher from the thirteenth century, observed, “God is not found in the soul by adding anything but by subtracting.”
When we subtract hurry, distraction, and anxiousness, the fog of busyness dissipates and we see, maybe for the first time in a long time, the beauty and glory of our Lord.
In order to honor the Sabbath, we must break from work and rest, pushing the mess of life from our minds, hearts, and bodies. We focus on God—remembering and worshipping. In these moments, God is the Lord who makes us holy and molds us in the quiet.
So sit on the back deck with a glass of sweet tea. Or beside the creek with a fishing pole. Or in a quiet chapel with a Bible. Put the phone away, close the Outlook calendar, and exhale. Mediate. Reflect. Gaze upon God’s glory, and let Him cleanse your soul and fill your heart with His holiness.
Breathe in, breathe out, and be filled with God’s presence.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Onome Ogbajibrede POSTED 9/8/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Exodus 9:26 KJV
In times of national emergencies, a buffer zone is usually a safe haven for vulnerable people facing stormy blasts.
During such times, people value the importance of peace and safety. National governments have to put in place adequate measures to arrest this ugly trend as soon as possible.
Sometimes in our nation, there are instances of national emergencies or conflict, but God has kept His people far away from these unforeseen situations. Whenever there is tension in our nation, we call on God before we do the government.
National disaster had taken place in Egypt. Hail, mingled with fire, affected the lives of people, plants, and animals. Tension reigned, but God secured His own people who were in the land of Goshen. The ravaging disaster did not touch them.
God knows how to secure His people in times of crisis. He is our shield and buckler, a present help in trouble. He wants us in His camp so His defence will continuously rest on those who put their trust in Him.
To enjoy divine safety in times of emergencies, we must be a friend of God. He is a Father who values the safety of His people. He is our rock and fortress always.
Trust God to keep you and your family safe in His hand and far away from any spiritual and physical disaster.
DEVOTION BY Andrea Merrell POSTED 9/1/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 139:7-10 NLT
The three-year-old sat in the middle of the floor and covered his eyes with his chubby fingers.
“You tant fin’ me now,” he said. All of the adults laughed. The child truly thought that because he couldn’t see anyone in the room, they couldn’t see him.
But the age-old game of hide-and-seek ceases to be funny when we try it out on God. “If I can’t see you, Lord—if I’m not praying, reading your Word, holding my tongue, controlling my anger, being obedient, and worshiping You as Lord of my life—then You can’t see all my mistakes and the mess I’ve made of my life. I’ll come out of hiding when I clean up my act.”
In reality, hiding from our Creator is impossible. He knows where we are every moment. He knows our thoughts and the intent of our heart. He hears every word spoken and sees every deed—good or bad. He even keeps track of the number of hairs on our head. The psalmist tells us there is no escaping His presence. And why would we want to?
Someone once said that trying to clean up our messes before we come to God is like waiting for the bleeding to stop before we go to the hospital. Our Father sees every need and patiently waits with open arms for us to run into them. He doesn’t want us to try to hide from Him, and He certainly doesn’t hide from us. God’s game is only to seek. He pursues us with His relentless love and expects us to seek Him with our whole heart.
If you’re living in the shadows, thinking you’re not visible on God’s radar, take His hand and walk into the glorious light of His presence. He will make all things new. No more hiding.
(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and artur84.)
DEVOTION BY Kevin Spencer POSTED 8/25/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Philippians 3:12 NLT
My grandson Caleb loves to ride in the car.
Caleb embraces the journey, describing every horse, monster truck, race car, fast food place, playground, and even the bugs on the windshield as we motor along. He keeps up a running commentary as we ride, as if he could pull the wondrous outside world into the car with him. With Caleb, it is never, “Are we there yet?” Rather, it’s always, “Can’t we go somewhere else?”
I wish I could face my daily journey as a Christian as enthusiastically as Caleb’s journeys in the car. Yes, I know I’m going to heaven, but there’s much more to my daily Christian life than just waiting for that wondrous final reward.
I remember singing in church of “the sweet by and by,” but all too often I wake up grumpy to a new day faced with the hard now and now. Yet that too is part of my journey, part of my growing process. Christ is alive in my heart, longing to fill every minute of my life if I would just let Him.
Paul speaks of our Christian life as a marathon, a long-distance run. As a former long-distance runner, I should appreciate this more, but I often find myself forgetting that the endurance of each step is its own reward. I find myself merely looking ahead to my promised finish line, rather than embracing the journey that gets me there. All too often, I start the day with, “Are we there yet?”
But God is patient with me, pulling me up and helping me start again on our daily walk together. He helps me sleepily put one foot in front of the other and take that first step of the new day. He reminds me He will be there when the race ends to sweep me into His arms—but also that He is in my heart right now, helping me every step of the way. And always I hear the whisper of His voice urging me to be more like Caleb ... to embrace His journey for me with boundless enthusiasm.
Don’t let preoccupation with your destination spoil your journey.
DEVOTION BY Heidi Smith POSTED 8/18/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Luke 22:14-17a, 19a ESV
Wringing my hands, I tried to calm my fluttering stomach while my mother and I waited in the hard-cushioned chairs.
Sounds of squeaking shoes and a crying child echoed from the hall into our small room. Opening the door, the neurologist greeted us and washed his hands. He asked a few questions and examined my mom. His next sentence took our breath away: “You have Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”
Mom and I ducked into a private room and hugged as tears streamed down our faces. Thoughts swirled in my mind, and worry seized my heart. ALS is terminal. Why God? Why my mom? How can this be Your will?
On the night of His betrayal, Jesus gave thanks. He knew Judas would betray him, but Jesus requested a Passover meal with him and the other disciples anyway. Jesus knew His suffering was imminent, yet He expressed gratitude to God—two times.
By focusing on His heavenly Father and the promise of the future reward, Jesus chose joy and endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). He realized suffering was temporary, but God’s promises were eternal.
My mom passed away one year later. Even though the pain still hurts and I miss her, I’m thankful for the promise of eternal life with our heavenly Father.
When trials come or when you receive earth-shattering news, follow Jesus’s example. Give thanks and focus on your heavenly Father. Ask God to center your eyes on Him, not your circumstances.