A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Peace & Presence

The peace we find in the presence of Christ is like crawling under a warm blanket on a cold winter’s day or feeling the soft breeze on a warm spring morning. Seeking after God is a continual process that grows us into a deep and long lasting relationship with Him. Come into His presence and find peace.

Teased and Taunted

I was teased and taunted as a child, sometimes for my thin arms and legs and other times because of my glasses or hand-me-down clothes.

I didn’t see it back then, but now I assume all kids are teased at one time or another. Likely, most of them are hurt by it, too, as I was. Contrary to the old saying about sticks and stones, words can hurt.

As adults, we are still vulnerable to others wishing us harm, perhaps as subjects of gossip or as victims of unjustly negative performance reviews. Since we teach our children not to resort to violence or to return the insults, we certainly can’t do so either. What can help us feel better?

Peninnah, one of the wives of Elkanah, taunted his other wife, Hannah, year after year because Hannah had no children. Hannah was so hurt that she cried and refused to eat. In desperation, Hannah went to the temple where she wept and prayed—vowing that if God gave her a son, she would offer him back to the Lord as His servant. God heard her prayer, and Hannah soon conceived Samuel. Peninnah had to cease her insults.

While God probably won’t interfere in as big a way as He did with Hannah—finally allowing her to have a son—we can turn to God when others cause us pain. We can pray for soothing and for the redemption of the taunters. We can ask for the strength to proceed without retaliating. Even just thinking of God at such a painful time reminds us of our worth in God’s eyes, regardless of the opinions of our peers.

Praying can make you feel better. Remember you have God on your side.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Let There Be Peace on Earth

One of my favorite songs from my youth, “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” comes to mind whenever I hear the phrase “peace on earth.”

God created a perfect world with perfect people. We began the undoing of creation by choice, becoming entangled in drama at every turn. Since Eve took the first bite of the forbidden fruit, people have been doomed to a chaotic existence on earth.

Every war, abusive relationship, battered child, addiction, obesity, self-mutilation, and disease began with a selfish decision: I want what I want, and I will get it at any cost.

Peace on earth begins with salvation, but it doesn't end there.

Jesus taught that life wasn’t about us. His sacrifice on the cross was for our salvation to point the way to peace. Peace on earth won’t exist until He returns to gather the faithful. He will create a new earth, then we will finally know peace.

But can we experience peace on earth today? Yes. When we receive the Holy Spirit by trusting Jesus as Savior, His peace resides in us. Through every trial or difficult circumstance we face, we can cast our anxieties on Him and draw from His well of peace, hope, mercy, love, and encouragement. Let this be the moment, now.

Because we can draw from our well of peace at any time, we can share that ladle of hope with a world in need, spreading the peace we’ve been given in our salvation.

Let the peace of Jesus Christ rule in your heart like a beacon to shine His light on the Good News.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Comfort in Discomfort

I’m not what one would call adventurous. Rather, I’m a homebody who appreciates cleanliness and comfort.

I was once challenged to step out of that zone when my husband and I were invited on an excursion to Brimstone—an ATV recreation park in east Tennessee. “You’ll love it!” we were told. “It’ll be fun,” we were promised.

As the owners of a side-by-side, we had the vehicle but needed the appropriate attire—boots, goggles, and coveralls, not to mention thermal socks and gloves. Although the forecast called for sunshine, the air would be brisk and the ground wet and muddy.

On the morning of the adventure—protected head to toe in safety gear—I giggled, “This is what I call the full armor of God!”

I did feel secure, but as I logged miles over many hours of wild terrain, I noticed a nagging pain. Having chipped my tailbone many years earlier, this unseen injury threatened to steal my joy. Despite all my efforts to dress appropriately, the old injury ached. I found comfort only in clinging tightly to the emergency handle of the ATV and holding fast to God’s promises as we bumped along that red Tennessee clay toward home.

God promises us full armor to thwart the Enemy’s schemes. Still, wounds may remain—hidden and undetected. Circumstances may cause them to surface. Perhaps we suffer physically, or maybe our discomfort is rooted in fear, insecurity, or painful memories.

God gives us many good and precious promises—each to preserve and protect us on life’s often bumpy and difficult path. Believing God won’t waste a single suffering brings purpose to pain and beauty to brokenness.

What life-preserving promises from the Bible bring you comfort? Hold tightly to them. The suffering may remain, but so will your Savior—until you’re finally home with him. That’s a promise!

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Along the Pathway of Peace

I sit with my mother on a hilltop bench, overlooking the river along miles of bluffs and trees. I look up into the night and breathe in the lighted star-cubes. Or I sense the spirit of peace in cottonwood fluff and breezes. At such times, peace is part of what God’s creative gifts offer me.

Then come moments of little peace—while attempting to quiet a classroom of yelling students. When I dislike the actions of a neighbor, or if I am in a hurry at the grocery checkout.         

How is it, I wonder, that peace and stress-free living never occur for as long as I would like? Perhaps I need to open myself more to the power of peace available to me through Jesus—and to enter the mystery of peace by recalling sacred Scripture.

For me, lasting peace comes as a gift from God. I am ready to receive peace daily. But peace is also given to me in its completeness in an eternal realm. God provides me with a foretaste of this eternal peace right now—for example, when I am brave enough to open up about my faith and receive a pouring out of peace and acceptance from someone I barely know.

The pathway of peace is both partial and complete. In part, I walk it when I am frustrated and turn within to receive God’s gift. I prepare myself for the fullness of peace in God’s eternal reign, a not-yet experience for me. As I sit in my peace garden, I pray the mystery of God’s peace in my life, now and in eternity.

When the world offers us little peace, we can open ourselves to accept God’s gift.

Ask God to provide you with His peace as a gift, now and forever. Allow Him to become a part of your pathway of peace for a stress-filled and troubled world.       

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Planning My Days

Some days things strike a chord in me more than other days.

I have a planner on my coffee table in full view every morning. During my quiet time of morning devotions, Bible study, and prayer, I often glance at the mountain of books and papers sitting there. One day, my eyes were drawn to my day planner titled 2020-Be Inspired. The year of the Coronavirus. For months on end, it affected our world, country, state, and town—hitting us right where we live and how we live.

Life is different during a pandemic. I find myself waking up in the middle of the night and praying myself back to sleep. I think of all the ones who are deep in the trenches of the Covid-19 virus. Doctors and nurses marching courageously into environments that are 100% Coronavirus infected. No guessing, as we do, if the people they encounter have been in contact with someone who has tested positive. A full-fledged life-threatening illness is present.

As I wonder what tomorrow may bring, I seek the Lord for this day. I am reminded of the verse, “The steps of a good man are ordered…” Ordered? How are my steps ordered in a time of disorder and chaos?

Be inspired. I looked that word up to remind myself of the meaning. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines inspired as “outstanding or brilliant in a way or to a degree suggestive of divine inspiration.” Who can inspire me during this time? The Lord can. The Lord orders my steps.

Some parts of the world are quiet while other parts wallow in utter chaos and despair. What should I be inspired to do? Seek and serve the Lord by serving others. The Holy Spirit will move and guide me. Guide me today and tomorrow. Guide me beyond the next twelve calendar months.

Like others, I feel nervous, fearful, and apprehensive. Yet I am filled with hope because my steps are ordered by the Lord. There is hope in uncertainty and hardship.

Ask the Lord to order your steps as you plan your day. Today is the day to offer hope to the ones around you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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