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 Cindy Sproles POSTED 6/16/2019 12:00:01 AM ON 1 John 3:1 NIV
The call never came.
My boys waited for the phone to ring, and, once again, their dad failed the simple task of a call. I’m not sure which made me angrier: The fact their dad lied to them or the sadness on their little faces when the phone remained silent.
No one wins in a divorce. Everyone, at some point, pays a price. My price for a failed marriage was watching my two little guys be disappointed. I had no explanation why their dad opted to ignore them. All I could do was give them a hug. “I promise. I’ll never let you down.”
My youngest stared at the floor as he walked away. He was brokenhearted, and there was nothing I could do—nothing I could give to ease his pain.
My husband leaned against the wall and eyed my son. “I need some help. Can you give me a hand?” My son nodded.
Tim picked up his stepson and gave him a bear hug. “I love ya, son,” he said, then dropped into the rocker and began to rock so hard his feet flew off the floor. It was only seconds before giggles rang through the living room and both boys were rocking with their stepdad. A simple gift. Immense love for children who were not his biologically, but ones he called his own.
Our Father in Heaven loves us so much that He pursues us. Even when we don’t feel worthy or when our hearts are breaking, His love never fails. His love for us is so immense that He calls us His children. His. Children. How amazing is that?
In the moment of his stepchild’s pain, Tim did what he could and gave what he could to show my son love. The biology brings about conception, but a real father makes the child. My boys grew into fine men, thanks to this wonderful stepdad.
The love of a good father shapes us in wonderful ways, just as the love of God shapes us eternally. Whether you have a good earthly father or not does not mean your heavenly Father turns His back. He is faithfully there.
Happy Father’s Day. May the love of the good Father fill your heart.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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DEVOTION BY Emily Akin POSTED 6/9/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Romans 8:38-39 NIV
“Place this in your front windshield,” the park ranger said, handing me a permit sticker.
I stuck it on as instructed. Later, I needed to remove it. Some came off, but one piece remained affixed. I tried window cleaner. No luck. Next, I tried a razor blade. Still, one persistent strip of glue remained. A last-ditch effort with rubbing alcohol removed every trace. The sticker lived up to its name by not letting go of the glass.
Like the sticker, God’s love clings to us no matter what our situation. We may feel unworthy, but what we think does not matter. We may mess up, but God’s love holds, sticking to us regardless of the circumstances. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Paul knew this because he endured many hardships for his faith. He was persecuted, beaten, shipwrecked, and imprisoned. Nothing—not prison walls or the considerable power of the Roman Empire—could contain his witness. While imprisoned, he wrote letters of encouragement to fellow Christians all over the known world. He told them Christ died for all and that God gave His Son because He loves us. Words that still inspire and teach Christians today.
Sometimes, I feel inadequate to describe God's love. At other times, I lack the resources or courage. Because God and His amazing love are always with me, I can overcome my misgivings. Sharing God's love is not always easy, but possible with His help.
Remember that nothing can separate you from God’s love. Then, tell others.
DEVOTION BY Andrea Merrell POSTED 6/2/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Galatians 6:5 NLT
Growing up, it became a way of life—blaming others for my mistakes.
Raised by a strict and sometimes harsh grandfather, I was expected to be perfect. You know, the child who’s seen and not heard. To avoid his anger and unfair punishment, I learned to shift the blame.
As I got older, the habit continued. I struggled with inferiority and low self-esteem, feeling as if everyone was constantly judging me—especially when I blew it. It was very difficult to admit when I was wrong or at fault … to anyone. As a result, I became an angry person.
After battling anger for years and begging God to deliver me from this emotional baggage, my life changed dramatically one day when He told me I was choosing that behavior. It had become my default. When unable to control or fix a situation, my typical response was anger. My deliverance from that ungodly behavior came when I finally accepted responsibility for my own actions and stopped blaming everyone around me.
Too many times, especially as Christians, we tend to think admitting our faults and mistakes makes us weak. Others might think there’s something wrong with us. We want to be perfect in the world’s eyes.
As I found out, nothing could be further from the truth. It takes strength and courage to admit we’re wrong. Not only that, the Bible says Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed (James 5:16 KJV). When we confess those faults (sins, shortcomings, failures, mistakes, blunders, mishaps, and faux pas), God forgives us and sets us back on the right path. We develop more compassion, even for ourselves. We’re also able to see things from a godly perspective.
One writer says, “Mistakes are natural and inevitable—and they’re just mistakes. They can be corrected. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.”
If you’ve become accustomed to shifting the blame, maybe it’s time to take responsibility for your own actions. When you do, God will set you free, pour out His forgiveness, and enable you to walk in the peace that passes human comprehension.
DEVOTION BY Kevin Spencer POSTED 5/26/2019 12:00:01 AM ON 1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT
Suddenly, I could see.
For the first time in several years, the world swam into sharp focus. It had been too long since I had had new glasses, and I had forgotten what it was like to have everything in exact and precise relief. Colors leaped out at me in the distance. Glancing at my wrist, I marveled that I could read the day and date on my watch.
I have worn glasses since the fourth grade. My eyes and my vision have been my personal thorn-in-my side all my life. From the very beginning, I hated glasses. Well, maybe not from the very beginning, but at least from the first mocking "four-eyes" that came echoing down the school hall. I yanked the glasses off and shoved them into my pocket. And for the most part, they stayed there.
As soon as I could talk Mom and Dad into them, I tried contacts. Of course, it turned out I was allergic to them. My eyes simply wouldn't tolerate them. So it was back to the glasses.
Eventually, vanity gave way to practicality, especially when I had to buy glasses myself and they became a permanent fixture on my face. They lasted a lot longer there, doing what they were supposed to do, than they did crammed into my pocket.
For too long, I treated God's Word like my glasses. I've had a Bible my whole life. But without opening it, without reading it, without studying it ... it did me as much good as those glasses did in my pocket. That Holy-Spirit-breathed Word, those life-given verses, are God's glasses for me to see His world. I have to get that Word into me ... to wear it like a pair of glasses to see my Lord and the supernatural world that is our forever home.
God gives many descriptions of His Word: a double-edged sword, a light on my path, bread, rivers of living water, and even Jesus Himself. But the description that suits me best is the Word as glasses. My glasses. My vision into my Lord's world and His way for my life.
Don't be like me and leave those glasses, His Word, stuffed and useless in your pocket. Put them on. Discover His world. See what He desires for you to see.
DEVOTION BY Rusty Lang POSTED 5/19/2019 12:00:01 AM ON John 6:40 NASB
The young man went from one frustrating job to another, from one get-rich-quick scheme to another. When confronted with his need of Jesus, his answer was “I am a spiritual man. I do not need Jesus.”
The old man referred to God as the “man in the sky” or sometimes, “the man upstairs.” He relied on being a non-active member of a denomination and his good deeds to make him eligible for heaven.
To walk through life relying on our own spirituality or concept of God is the pathway to hell. Only the Word of God, Jesus Himself, is able to bring us truth and spiritual inheritance in heaven.
To be economically rich but spiritually poor is bondage to the kingdom of darkness. Only the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ leads to a heavenly eternal life.
Many people claim to believe in God, but what god? There is only one living God–only one sovereign Lord. To pass from death to life, we must hear the words of Jesus and believe it is Father God who has sent Him to give eternal life.
The young man still denies his need of Jesus, but the old man, once confronted with the gospel truth, became a believer a few weeks before passing into heaven.
Accept Jesus today. Tomorrow may be too late to make this life-changing decision.