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.

Car Trouble

Click-click, click-click. Nothing.

One morning after Bible study, my car wouldn’t start. Navigating the mega-church halls, I asked a passing school teacher where the nearest phone was. She directed me to the school office. But when I arrived, something told me to turn around and go to the church office at the other end of the complex. Quite a hike.

I called a mechanic at my car’s dealership. A lady in the church office overheard my conversation about my dilemma. She contacted someone in the church’s facilities department and asked him to check my car before I called a tow truck. 

Soon, two men lifted my car’s hood and jiggled the battery cable. I turned the key, and the car started. One recommended a local service station to complete needed repairs, saying the repair should only cost a few dollars.

I became lost and drove in circles, looking for the suggested auto mechanic. Frustrated, I cried out, “God, I don’t dare turn this car off before it is fixed. What should I do?”

Suddenly, I thought of the local auto repair I used for all my car’s maintenance. Why didn’t I think of them first? I knew why. God wanted to give me a jewel…to reveal His presence and power in my day-to-day distracted life.

My mechanic welcomed me with open arms and fixed the battery cable in two minutes at no charge. I thanked God for leading me to the church office worker who pointed me in the right direction. She may never know how God used her.

We can lay every frustration and concern at Jesus’ feet, asking Him to let us be a blessing to others in need.

Ask God to give you a desire to help others along life’s way.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Holes in My Spiritual Sheetrock

An addition to the home, even if it is just a remodel, can be exciting. But it can also be physically demanding, emotionally draining, and spiritually enlightening.

We once made our screened porch into an enclosed sunroom. Although the screened room was enjoyable, the excessive pollen and bugs became problematic. Who can enjoy a nice breeze while seated on a covering of fine yellow dust with cobwebs under the table?

So, demolition and construction began. Out with the old and in with the new. With renewed interest and anticipation, we checked the progress daily. First the framing, then the electrical. We tucked the wiring and insulation into place and then covered it with sheetrock. We now had a room—and it looked perfect.

Next, we had to prime and paint, which the contractor agreed to let me do. Getting up close and personal with the walls, I noticed the imperfections. Here and there, small holes, gouges, and scrapes had somehow survived the spackling. From a distance, they were undetectable. But upon closer inspection—and when covered with primer—they became visible. Repairing these small deficiencies would require more work.

How similar this process compares to the Christian walk. After conversion, we begin with enthusiasm and commitment. Each day, we approach God with anticipation, excited at His new work in us. As time passes, we see the progress God has made. Then comes the temptation to step back and think, “Wow, I clean up nicely!” But upon closer inspection …

I’m grateful for the ongoing transformation of the Holy Spirit and the purifying work of God’s living Word. He sees my imperfections—even those small, invisible holes and cracks—yet continues His spackling action. As I yield to Him and allow Him to search me, He lovingly reveals those areas that need His transforming touch. It’s all a part of His overall renovation until Christ is formed in us.

Think of one way you can better let God do His transforming work in you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Hope in a New Year

“There’s no happy to it.”

The woman snapped at the clerk who wished her a Happy New Year. The clerk meant well. Who’d have thought she’d get such a negative remark from saying Happy New Year?

I turned to the young girl behind the counter. “Sweetie, it’s been a hard year for everyone.” I handed her my store card. “You keep that pretty smile. It offers hope.”

The year 2020 was tough, but it’s behind us. Now, there is hope.

I remember the movie, Ghostbusters II, when negative thoughts and frustrations were so high that it overcame a city. Bad things began to happen. It took hope—the promise of all that was good—to restore the desire of a city to pull together and be happy again.

COVID has pushed us to the brink of complete negativity. People can’t see anything positive in their future.

Christ told His disciples of His impending death. He reminded them that shortly they would not see Him. They would grieve and hurt, but later, He would return. Jesus likened their grief to the pain of a laboring mother—at the moment it was excruciating pain, but once the child was born, the pain was no longer remembered. Instead, the mother rejoiced in the birth. He later reminded them trouble would always be present, but they should not worry for He had overcome. 

In other words, hope. Things might get hard, but there is hope because Christ has overcome the world.

We cannot hide from the difficulties of the world, but we can seek hope. Hope will always exist because Jesus gave us that gift. I realize the great loss many have felt through the pandemic of 2020. Some have suffered job loss, illness, even deaths, but we cannot allow ourselves to remain stuck in hardship. Instead, we should rally together, seek joy, and grasp hold of the hope promised to us through Christ Jesus. He didn’t die in vain. He died that we might have the hope of salvation, grace, and eternal life.

Currently, we feel the sting. Remember, Jesus overcame. So will we. Stand tall, pull your shoulders back, and step into the New Year with hope on your side. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son.”

Hope then, now, and to come.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Big Sandals to Fill

I scanned the photo of Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus.

My mom wore a satin choir robe with a long piece of material draped over her head and wrapped around her shoulders—the classic “church version” of how Mary must have dressed. Joseph stood, clad in the same choir robe, a striped head piece tied by a thin rope around his brow. And me, four months old, one hand extended from the swaddling wrap that bound me tightly. Even then, the weight of portraying the infant Christ, weighed heavily. Or it could have been my diaper. I’m not sure.

Every Christmas, Mom pulled out the family album and showed me that photo, and every year, I felt the weight. Was I worthy? Am I worthy?

Mary hardly had the opportunity to be a child before God thrust the responsibility of Christ in her arms. Yet, He saw her worth and honored her. Scripture gives the abbreviated version of the birth from the gospels, and we’re left to wonder about the thoughts of a child mother giving birth alone in poor conditions. Mary and Joseph had nothing but the clothes on their backs. Then, the time came for the baby to be born…and they had everything.

Each year, I look at the photo of our church nativity and wonder that the sandals of Jesus were big sandals to fill. Could a child, a girl, or a woman like me fill them?

The birth of Christ changed everything for everyone, and by human standards, we are not worthy, but by God’s hand, we are made worthy. Whether we’ve had the role of Jesus in a play or watched the story of His birth for the zillionth time, we all inherited the sandals when we gave our hearts to Him. And they are big sandals to wear.

On this Christmas day, remember when the time came that Jesus was born. Then, know that we can never fill the sandals from His feet, but we can walk in the footprints He leaves behind. And when we turn and look at where we were and where we are now, we can rest assured that He came and that He will come again.

(Photo courtesy of author.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



A Lonely Day in December

Two days before Christmas, and I was alone.

I stared out the window. The rain fell. The house was empty, except for a small tree. I don’t even know why I put it up. Nobody would see it because nobody would come. There were no presents underneath.

Christmas was not the way it once was. No one waited at the top of the stairs to come down so I could get the perfect picture. No giggling and tearing open presents. I felt sorry for myself—and it felt good. At least for the moment.  

I glanced at the nativity set under the tree, wondering what the first Christmas must have been like. The nativity painted a pretty picture: Mary smiling down at her baby, Joseph standing near, and the shepherds kneeling and adoring.

Then I wondered if it was really like that? It might have been cold. They were in a dirty stable, not a suite in the hospital. No balloons welcomed the baby. Only the baying of the animals in the nearby stall. Dirty shepherds came mostly out of curiosity. Mary and Joseph were probably scared. They must have wondered what they were supposed to do next.

I was strangely comforted in my sadness. But then I felt guilty. What did I have to be sad about? Compared to most people in the world, I was blessed. I had a warm home to shelter me from the cold. I had food in the refrigerator, and I had water that ran freely from the tap. How could I not be grateful? Maybe I took so much for granted that I forgot how blessed I was.

In that moment of feeling sorry for myself, I contemplated the wonder of that first Christmas. Jesus came to earth for ME, and I realized I was more than blessed. Although I was alone, I was not alone. Jesus was my Christmas gift. So, I sat quietly and worshipped with praise and thanksgiving, wondering how I could have overlooked the best gift of all.

Are you alone this Christmas season? Jesus beckons and quietly calls your name. Reach out and receive the gift He offers. He will give you peace and will be with you always.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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