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.

All Things

Opening the door to greet me, the hostess smiled, but had a puzzled look on her face.

Peering into the house, I didn’t see any guests. “Were you told to be here at 2:00?” she queried. “The event starts at 3:00,” she explained.

I was mortified. How could I, a detailed and punctual person, have gotten the time wrong? Brushing aside my embarrassment, I stepped inside. We chatted as we waited for the other guests to arrive—as well as the guest of honor, J.W., a missionary friend visiting from another continent.

The doorbell rang, and the hostess left to answer the door. I heard her greet J.W. and tell her I was already there. To my surprise, J.W. responded, “God sent her!” God had indeed sent me—very early—just to help in a way no one else could.

As J.W. approached the hostess’ door, she talked with a co-worker on the field who needed legal advice. The co-worker thought J.W. might check with an attorney while in the States. J.W. told her co-worker an attorney specializing in that very area would be at the event, but there would be many guests and she didn’t know if she’d have the opportunity to speak with the attorney privately.

God had arranged for me, that attorney, to arrive early. J.W. and I had plenty of time to discuss the issue while undisturbed.

Although the Bible tells us “all things” work together for good, we often act as if we don’t believe it. Me included. My first thought on learning I was an hour early for a social event was not that God had a purpose for having me show up then and be embarrassed. But my mistake on the event’s time was exactly what He had in mind. Although I had arrived early for the party, I was right on time for the divine appointment God had for me to help this missionary.

Rather than getting embarrassed, frustrated, or angry when seemingly negative things happen, we should readjust our perspective. Let’s remain calm and look for a God-purpose in the way events unfold.

Remember, God is in control, so all things can work together for good.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Stop the Bellyaching

We all have complainers in our life.

Those who bellyache about their looks, job, church, the weather, the government, the price of gas, their kids, their friends … and just about anything else you can think of. Nobody enjoys the rantings of a Negative Nelly or Donald Downer.

What we fail to realize is God doesn’t like bellyaching either. When the children of Israel complained, it displeased the Lord. All the grumbling, murmuring, and complaining got His hackles up, and He rained fire into their midst.

Let’s face it. We all have adversity to some degree. Sometimes it’s health or financial issues. Sometimes the consequences of poor choices. Many times, it’s relationship or job related. Or it might be something we’d like to change about ourselves.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve griped, moaned, and complained about people, situations, and circumstances, some trivial and some major. A few situations (very few) were within my control, but most were not. All the complaining has ever gotten me was a case of frustration and a spirit of discontent. Not a good way to live.

Sometimes things can—and should—change. This is when our faith-based prayers come in. The Bible tells us not to worry about anything, but to pray about everything (Philippians 4:6). But when it gets right down to the heart of the matter, sometimes it simply is what it is. There are people and situations we can’t change. That’s when we, like the apostle Paul, need God’s grace to get us through.

The old song tells us to count our blessings one by one. I’ve found that when I do, adversity is swallowed up in God’s mercy and grace. When I fully realize how blessed I am and how much I have to be thankful for, my attitude changes, and it’s easy to stop the bellyaching.

Try counting your blessings. Stop your bellyaching, and put on a garment of praise. You’ll be glad you did. (And so will everyone else around you.)

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Providential Provision

I once stayed with a dear friend in the hospital as she watched her husband fight for each breath.

Her husband needed a liver transplant. In previous months, his health had deteriorated, and now doctors had admitted him to the ICU. She did not know if he would survive the night. The battle for healing lasted not one night, but years.

Through the journey, I observed my friend’s attitudes and actions with amazement. She played and sang worship songs continually, and she served her husband with joy, rarely leaving his bedside. In the struggle, God provided for their needs again and again. Despite the enormous medical bills and time off from work for months at a time, they always had enough financially. They witnessed God’s sufficiency firsthand.

God carried my friend and her husband through their wilderness experience, just as He did the Israelites. Years later, they found out they were expecting their first child.

God is alive and active. He performed miracles in the past, and He is still capable of meeting the needs of His followers today. Does this mean God is a genie, granting our wishes and desires every time we ask? No, but He loves us, and He loves giving us good gifts.

In valley seasons, we can remember how precious and valuable we are to God. He is Immanuel, God with us. We can lift our concerns to Him, knowing He has our best in mind. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and He has a plan.

When in your wilderness, trust in God’s providential provision.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



All of the French Fries

When Mark’s children were small, he took his oldest child, Caleb, to lunch at a fast food restaurant.

Without hesitation, Caleb ordered his favorite meal: chicken nuggets and French fries. Mark divided the food, giving Caleb his fries and nuggets. Then they asked God’s blessing on their meals and began to eat. Mark hadn’t ordered French fries for himself, so during the meal he asked Caleb if he could have one of his fries.

Caleb said, “No, Daddy, these are all I have.” His father assured him they could order more, but Caleb stood firm. Twice more Mark asked for one of Caleb’s French fries, but Caleb refused to comply. They finished their meal, and Mark left frieless.

Mark didn’t need his son’s permission to eat one of his fries. Mark was bigger and could have taken what he wanted. Nor were those all the French fries Caleb could have had. His father had additional money and could have ordered all the French fries Caleb wanted.

Mark asked his son for fries because he wanted Caleb’s love. He hoped Caleb would offer him a French fry because he loved him.

We can act as Caleb did. God owns all of our “French fries,” and we have them only because He gave them to us. He doesn’t need our money because there’s nothing our money can buy that He can’t provide for Himself. If He wanted our money, He is strong enough to take it, rich enough to buy more, and wise enough to make it stretch.

God wants our love. He wants us to share our last French fry because we love Him that much. And if we run out of French fries, He’ll buy us more because He loves us as no one else ever has.

God owns all the cattle, all the money, and all the French fries. Trust Him. Share with Him because you love Him. He won’t leave you hungry.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Abandoned

I was on the other side of the world, looking at a fourteen-year-old orphan.

As a last resort, the young girl had traveled with an embassy representative to the village clinic to see an American doctor. She had an incurable condition. Her parents had abandoned her as a baby and taken her to an orphanage. Maybe they could not stand to see her physical struggles. Now, years later, society considered her unadoptable and a blight.

The thought struck me that our merciful God pays close attention to the disenfranchised—the orphans, the widows, the poor. The Bible describes Him as a Father to the fatherless. He loves this teenage girl too, and doesn’t agree with our cultural idea that productivity equals value.

I also realized I once lived in this condition, hopeless and condemned to death because of my sin. God loved me before I knew it and chose to rescue me by sending Jesus to die for my sins. If that were not enough, He also ratified this redemption by adopting me into His family, even though I could have done nothing to earn it.

Not only did adoption give me a new relationship with my Father, it also gave me a new standing. As His child, He views me as someone who has worth, and I don’t have the insecurity that accompanies abandonment. I have Someone to whom I can go with my problems. Someone who will also give me an eternal inheritance.

I never saw the girl again. I pray she will get the medical help she needs, and that someone will tell her in her language about the Father above who loves her. She taught me that I have gone from hopeless and unwanted to hope-filled and treasured. Never again will I be abandoned.

Thank God that in Christ you are never abandoned.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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