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.

Garden of Growth

One summer, I tried to plant a container garden of vegetables as well as my tried-and-true herbs and flowers.

As always, the herbs produced scents and tastes as the flowers brought me smiles with their colors and beauty. But those vegetable plants looked so tired and dried up, no matter how much I watered and nurtured them. A single cucumber or tomato revealed a pitiful harvest.

I kept a journal of notes—of weather conditions and the tending I did after researching possible issues with the plants not producing. The answer came to me halfway through the summer and two vegetable plant fatalities later. I had taken shortcuts in providing the right soil conditions, the foundation of real growth.

This past year, I have hungered for more of God, intentionally soaking up more and more of His Word. Through Peter’s words, I got a taste of this hunger as my desire to know God more gave harvest in my life. I felt His presence grow closer as my “soil” rooted in a good foundation. The garden of my soul bore more than my vegetable garden did. But then I was using the best organic compost available for my growth: God’s Word.

God’s Word is the best compost for our souls.

Ask God to help you see the need for more of His Word. As you mature in your love for Him, you will feel a bounty of harvest coming. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Importance of Forgiveness

Gertrude taught me something about forgiveness.

At a young age, Gertrude’s father physically abused her. Gertrude demonstrated her forgiveness by visiting her father in a rest home over the past few years. I don’t know if Gertrude prayed for God’s help to forgive, but she forgave. On the other hand, Gertrude’s sister and a brother refused to forgive their dad. That is sad.

When anyone does something so horrible, it stays with us for the remainder of our lives. I know because the memories of my mom’s alcoholism and suicide remain with me.

Many years ago, I went to a friend’s house and talked with his wife about how I needed to forgive my mom. She, along with another friend, told me to ask the Lord to help me forgive my mom. Interestingly, in the weeks to come, other people told me the same thing.

Jesus makes it clear that we need to forgive other people, and God will help us keep His commands.

One reason it is important to forgive is that it releases us from hurt feelings that steal our peace. Unforgiveness, left to fester in our hearts, can lead to anger, illness, and depression. When someone hurts us, we need to forgive them because the Father has forgiven us.

When forgiving is difficult, ask the Lord for help. Who do you need to forgive today?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Living Water

My husband loves to hunt deer.

He loves the quietness of the woods in the early morning hours and breathing in the cool crisp morning air. What he loves, even more, is seeing that beautiful creature through the scope of his gun and hearing the BOOM as he pulls the trigger.

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. When we first read this verse, the image is that of a graceful doe or perhaps a massive buck slowly lapping the cool water from a flowing brook. As we read the verses that follow, we realize there is much more to see. In Hebrew, the words pant and long for also mean “to cry out.” The deer pants when it desperately needs water—as when it has been running from the BOOM of a hunter’s gun or has struggled through the scorching heat of a summer day.

Like the deer, the words in this passage reflect the heart of the psalmist. He is not only running from his enemies but also struggling with his doubts and fears.

We too face struggles—internal and external—that leave us panting, longing for, and crying out to the Lord. While on earth, we face financial difficulties, relational conflicts, health issues, and the loss of loved ones.

When we find ourselves in life’s trials, we can learn a valuable lesson from the psalmist. We can encourage our souls by shifting our focus to our Living Water. When we fill our hearts and mouths with praise, we find real hope. It is in His presence, as we give praise to Him, He will quench our thirst, and we will find hope that restores our souls.

If you find yourself in a situation that leaves you panting for Living Water, don’t waste another moment. Shift your focus from the struggle to Jesus. Remember His faithfulness to you, and dwell upon His character. He is merciful, gracious, loving, and kind. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Blame It on March

The warm, sunny days of February lulled me into believing that winter was behind me.

But along came March with ideas of its own. As the astrological start to spring, March is fickle and unsettled by nature. Who can predict what it will do?

Nighttime temperatures dip, and I light a fire in the fireplace while the creeping vine along the back fence sprouts white flowers. I begin my day in sweats, switch to shorts at midday, and slip into a swimsuit for a late afternoon swim. The wind howls and carries kites, flurries, and the faint scent of orange blossoms.

Life, too, has its share of unpredictability. An illness threatens. A new life begins. A move puts distance between everything familiar. Love blossoms. A life ends. The nest is empty. A virus emerges.

When life imitates March, take refuge in God who does not shift like shadows and whose love for us won’t change with the times, seasons, or circumstances. He never adjusts His ways to satisfy current trends and is not impulsive, erratic, or capricious. God will not evolve into a higher power; He is an anchor and refuge in uncertain times.

Spring winds ushered in a virus that rattled and tested everything that wasn’t securely fastened down, exposing our need for consistency and security. While we look for stability in our habits, schedules, and routines, God asks us to take the long view—reminding us that He has planted eternity in our hearts. His timeline stretches beyond this life and declares that a virus or illness won’t derail His plan for humanity, a move or empty nest won’t separate us from His love, and the unpredictability of the world or our erratic behavior won’t separate us from His promises.   

As March gains momentum, everything moves forward. Even time obeys and jumps ahead. And while March finds resolution in April, I find resolution in a God who calms my fears about navigating life’s unpredictability. I embrace this unsettled life and accept that seasons of change are part of the forecast.

Do you have the peace that comes from knowing you can respond in faith to life’s volatility—secure in the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Tantrums and Grace

Have you ever thrown a fit when talking to the Lord? I mean, mine was more like a tantrum, but who’s comparing, right?

Anyway, the few brief months (and moments) leading up to my toddler outburst had been hard—and often hurtful. My emotions were driven by my feelings and my feelings by my focus (which was on myself.) As I sat in my car, I listed the ways I had been slighted, the lack of understanding shown, the injustice done to my heart, and the exhaustion of having to take the narrow path on the high road. I was the prophet Elijah in the cave, except I was in a car. Still yet, the Lord allowed me to cry, complain, question, and be angry and self-centered—yet He didn’t let me stay there.

I remember my words as if I had spoken them yesterday: “I just want to know I am loved and that You hear me, Lord.”

Although I was still resisting what my spirit directed me to do—the kind and godly thing which goes beyond one’s self—God’s Words of life and truth began to fill my heart, one at a time. As I cried out to my Father, He patiently listened.

Soon, I felt Him lean in and love on me with His heart. I heard Him whisper, “You are mine, and I am yours. I am your rewarder when you diligently seek Me. I love you with an everlasting love. And the same love which covers a multitude of your sins is the same love which calls you to love others.”

The love of Jesus compels us to see others and to view our circumstances through Holy-Spirit-colored glasses. His tender correction tenderly toppled my tantrum, and His faithful hand of love sweetly subdued my fit.

Our Father’s love is bigger than our hurt. Bigger than our selfishness. Bigger than our complaints. Bigger than our fear. And bigger than our brokenness. So big it blows my mind.

Aren’t you thankful God doesn’t only whisper into caves to prophets—and that His fullness covers all our tantrums with grace upon grace? I know I sure am.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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