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.

Are You Immunized?

One of the most unnerving trips for children—and some teens and adults—is to get routine immunizations.

The antiseptic smell, the caring but professional manner, and the cleaning swab mean the dreaded needle will soon follow. Although many put on a brave face, they want to run from that spotless room as fast as their legs will carry them. Although they fear the shot, their parents say they need it. That moment of pain prevents life-threatening illnesses.

Immunizations are important because the initial symptoms of many deadly diseases are deceptively similar to less serious problems. By the time we realize we have the disease, it may be too late.

Temptation to sin can also arise gradually, appear benign, but destroy if we don’t immunize against its threat. This progression of sin occurred in Achan’s life: “When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them” (Joshua 7:21). Achan saw, coveted, and then took.

We may also see and admire, with admiration gradually becoming much more. Thinking we deserve the happiness temptations offer, we sample them, unaware of their growing power in our lives.

Jesus’ words prompt us to immunize against such temptations by becoming so full of God’s joy, truth, and power that no room remains for temptation to take root. Sin’s lure continues to surround us, but we’re securely wrapped in God’s protection.

By keeping our immunizations up to date through daily Bible study, prayer, regular worship, friendships that hold us accountable, and service to others, we maintain our goal of good spiritual health.

Jesus’ prayer also reminds us that those influenced by our lives benefit from our preventative steps. When we give God control, people see a difference. Although this repels some, others will be drawn to the change they see and desire it for themselves. 

If you must be contagious, let it be with God’s love, not sin’s deceit.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Faithful Heart

I’m tired of attending funerals. Tired of seeing tears. Weary of seeing broken hearts. It seems this is becoming the new normal around here.

We attended our fourth funeral in two months—one a week for three weeks and one the month prior. As we walked through the receiving line, I said to my husband, “What will she do? They’re attached at the hip. I worry about her well-being now that he’s gone.”

I felt the emotion rise in my throat. These funerals were getting to me, especially since my Prince is fighting cancer. The reality of what could be our future choked me.

Our friend was comforted because she knew the love of her life was safe in God’s arms, snuggled tightly against His heart. She comforted us for the pathway she knew we were about to walk. I couldn’t utter a word. My tight lips held back a flood of tears.

I know where our Valentine’s Day will be spent. In a hospital room at Vanderbilt. I dread it. Between facing this path for Tim—not to mention all the funerals we’ve attended—my heart aches. The thoughts of celebrating a day for hearts and love, just seems … wrong.

If ever anyone could cry out to God with such passion, David could. Even at a young age, his writings prove his sensitivity and compassion toward the Lord of All. David was gifted with a gentle heart and the ability to verbalize it to God. In his trials, frustrations, and fear, he trusted his heart to God, soaking in the strength to move ahead. God never failed him, and He never fails us. He promises He is our strength. Our fortress. Our refuge. David knew this and believed.  Honestly, I know this as well.

We know God is the strength of our hearts and that His love is unending. All we have to do is reach out and grasp hold. Imagine the healthy portion of His love that awaits us.

On this Valentine’s Day, be grateful for the love of your heart. Love your husband, your children, your parents, but more so, love the strength and portion of God. His love is pure joy. It’s there for the taking … and waiting for you. Partake.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Peace like a River

It had been a frustrating morning.

According to my husband, I could do nothing right. Much of the stress related to his medical problems. Gene has Alzheimers, a disease doctors have diagnosed as irreversible.

One of the side effects of the illness is an inability to reason and think things through. I tried to explain why something he wanted wasn’t going to happen. He angrily accused me of not caring and of thinking only of myself. I heard those words many times whenever things did not go according to his wishes.

I needed to pick up our mail at the post office. I always keep a CD playing in the car, and as I turned the key in the ignition, a song played with words about promised peace—a peace as deep and wide as a river. I took a deep breath and allowed the words of the song to wash away the turmoil that  threatened to chase away the peace only God can give.

Perhaps you are also a caregiver, and, at times, your load seems heavier than you can carry. You may suffer with a debilitating illness. Perhaps your finances are at an all-time low, and the mortgage statement will soon arrive. Maybe your spouse is cheating on you and has told you they want a divorce. Possibly, your child has become an addict and hope is dim that they will admit their need for help.

Whatever the problem or heartache, God waits to give us His peace—a peace flowing like a tranquil river.

If you have never experienced God’s enduring peace, open your heart to salvation in Jesus Christ today.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Find a Need and Fill It

A pastor in Michigan didn’t judge my unsaved dad because he avoided the church services.

Reverend Thomas Grassano, Sr. and his wife shared beef tacos at Dad and Mom’s home on numerous occasions. He wanted to be Dad’s friend. Dad didn’t accept Christ under that pastor’s ministry, but the seeds of kindness eventually grew into faith.

When a hospital co-worker experienced a long-term illness, I saw her getting weaker. Even after visiting doctors, she had no answer for her illness. She began to miss work. One day, I took her a chicken pot pie and drove her to the bank at her request.

Later, I said, “Mary, I’ve talked to our Emergency Room Director, and she said if we come to the ER, she will make sure a good doctor sees you. Will you go with me?”

“Yes,” she said, “I’ll go.”

“Can I pray with you that the doctors will be able to diagnose your problem?” She agreed and we prayed.

Mary was admitted to the hospital that day, and when we had a moment alone, I said, “Mary, let’s thank God for your answer.”

Recently, she had awakened at two in the morning and in pain. “I knew you were praying for me,” Mary told me.

How did she know? I hadn’t said anything. Those who are near to the kingdom know when they encounter kingdom people. And they know whom to call on for prayer.

After two days, the doctor said, “Mary, you’re going to make it.”

People around us need someone to express God’s love to them, as did the Proverbs 31 woman. Jesus was full of compassion too. Judgment wasn’t on His mind when He encountered the woman at the well. He offered her living water.

God’s Word challenges us to recognize and meet the needs of others as we can. Mary Crowley, founder of Home Interiors, Inc., had a motto for sales success: “Find a need and fill it.” God’s work is similar.

Recognize a need, and ask God for wisdom to minister to that need.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

A Pedicure Showed Me the Way

My big toe let me know I had annoyed it.

I love the Power Pump workout class at my local YMCA. But the problem began as soon as I put my foot down for the lunge track. I ignored the pain in my big toe and concentrated on the proper movements. No luck. How annoying. It had to be the pedicure I had gotten the day before. My toenails were shorter than usual, and I had probably started an ingrown toenail. I would endure this small obstacle cutting into me.

I love the lunge track because I have decent lower body strength and can usually perform well. But getting on my knees and balancing involved cramming my sore toe into the ground for support. I really wanted to leave my friend Erin, who was right next to me, in the dust.

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? I think when Paul wrote this verse he had in mind a little healthy competition—but for the right reasons. The people he wrote to were competing about an old law and getting derailed. The old law was an obstacle to obeying the truth of Jesus. God didn’t require the Gentiles to follow the old Jewish law of circumcision. Claiming uncircumcised Gentiles weren’t part of God’s family—the obstacle—cut off some Jews in the good race they were running. They needed to fulfill the law by loving all people.

Was my possible ingrown toenail something I needed to work through? Was it an obstacle to winning my competition—an obstacle Erin knew nothing about? The truth is, Erin is much stronger than I am and more disciplined in her overall workout routine. Leaving her in the dust was a figment of my imagination. The ingrown toenail was certainly an irritant to my adequate performance, but instead of being an obstacle to my “race,” it redirected my attention to love Erin as I do myself.

Many things can cut in on us and keep us from obeying the truth. A pedicure got my attention. Though we are formed from dust, God doesn’t want us to leave others in our dust. Rather than becoming conceited and envying one another, God wants us to love our own “Erin.”

Run the good race by loving others as you do yourself.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

All Posts