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.

Heritage Remembered

They needed a refresher.

My wife and I arrived at the party hall to celebrate a family member’s golden wedding anniversary. The place was decked in gold helium balloons, sparkly gold-glittered flowers in golden vases, and gold-lined tablecloths.

Our adult children attended too. Considering their meager five years of marriage experience, it made sense in a funny way that our children would be curious about how fifty years of marriage looked.

Some of the septuagenarians attending the celebration stopped by our table for a chat. We hadn’t seen many of them in a while. We talked about the old days. They rattled off the names of family members, past and present. Our family elders believed it was important to know and share one’s heritage.

Not recognizing most of the names, our children wanted to hear more about their ancestors. In a way, they had forgotten who they were and where they had come from. We briefly revisited the personal stories of some of our relatives at the party—and also talked about their great-grandparents, whom they had never met. This strengthened their sense of identity.

This look-back reminded me of the Israelites’ return from Babylon after seventy years of captivity. When they returned to their homeland, the Israelites needed, as our children did, a refresher on who they were. Reflecting on their heritage, the Israelites rediscovered their identity as God’s chosen people.

As children of God, reflecting upon our Christian heritage often—and with gratitude—is important. We should never forget who we are and what it means to belong to God’s family. Being a member of His spiritual household affords us many gifts and a promise of eternal life. God will keep His promise to His family, as He kept His promise to the Israelites.

Invite someone to be part of Jesus Christ’s family today.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

 



Papa

He followed me home from school every day, but I never knew it.

When I was in the first grade and only six years old, the walk from school to my grandparents' house took about thirty minutes. Walking to and from school during this era wasn’t unusual. Nevertheless, I felt very grown up. What I didn’t know was my grandfather followed me at a reasonable distance to make sure I arrived home safely. It wasn’t until many years later that my mother told me this sweet story.

Today, when I close my eyes, I can see my tall Papa and his Fedora straw hat and fragrant pipe that I loved smelling when he was around. Thinking about him hiding behind trees, trying not to be seen by this six-year-old, makes me smile.

At the time, I would not have been happy knowing I was considered too young to make the walk by myself. Looking back, however, I see the wisdom exhibited by my loving grandfather to keep an eye on his grandchild. I also recognize the deep compassion he showed, not wanting to take away my sense of independence, while at the same time keeping me safe.

Many times throughout my life, my heavenly “Papa” has also been present when I didn’t know it. The times are plentiful when I chose reckless over reasonable, pride over prudence, and independence over God’s direction. Still, He never left me alone.

Seeing the bigger picture today brings tears to my eyes. Knowing the Lord gives me free will to learn and mature in my faith walk, while making sure I get home safely, is a tender reality I cherish.

God knows the way home: Jesus. Take time to thank your “Papa” God.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



God Loves Tattoos

A physical scar. Impressions branded on our souls.

Some folks live with them every day. One is visible on the outside. One is felt emotionally on the inside. Some memories we would like to forget, such as military personnel who remove their tattoos.

Ann Voskamp shares a flashback about a tragic accident involving her sister: “Memory’s surge burns deep. That staining of her blood scorches me, but less than the blister of seeing her uncovered, lying there. She had only toddled into the farm lane, wandering after a cat, and I can see the delivery truck driver sitting at the kitchen table, his head in his hands, and I remember how he sobbed that he had never seen her. But I still see her, and I cannot forget. Her body, fragile and small, crushed by a truck’s load in our farmyard, blood soaking into the thirsty, track-beaten earth.”

My scar is eight inches long and runs down my chest. My open heart surgery reminder. That operation occurred two months before I walked my daughter down the aisle. Voskamp provides hope after struggling: “That cross on my wrist where I used to self-harm, that cross keeps relentlessly suturing me together.” 

Jesus has scars from His crucifixion, and He cares about the marks left on our souls. Consider what He did to a skeptical man: “Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God’” (John 20:27-28 NIV).

One day a man, the God-man, will come to our rescue. When Jesus the warrior comes, He will reveal another mark. An eternal tattoo, if you will. “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war” (Revelation 19:11 NIV).

Don’t let what you are going through damper the hope of your future promise from the warrior on the horse.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

 



How Can We Question God?

On a Saturday morning, I heard the space shuttle had blown up on re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere. A sad day for the United States.

The good news is God created an atmosphere we cannot see, feel, or touch, allowing us to exist. That made me think about how wonderful and amazing God’s creation is. The sun, which is ninety-three million miles away from the earth, heats us. The orbit around the sun is precisely at the right distance from the sun. If we were any further away, our high temperature might be twenty degrees below zero. If we were any closer to the sun, our low temperature might be ninety degrees. 

When I marvel at God’s creation, I wonder how people can doubt that God exists. I like to talk to people on the streets about Jesus. I also like to point out the facts about how incredible God’s creation is and also share the evidence that these things could not have happened by accident. When I explain the facts, I wonder how anyone can doubt God’s existence.

God is real. His Son came to die for our sins, so we can spend eternity with him. All we have to do is ask Him into our hearts.

Turn to God and accept His free gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Texting from Heaven

“Mom, is there texting in heaven?” my seven-year old daughter asked as she munched on a snack.

Snack time tends to present the wildest questions. I wondered if she asked because I had recently been very sick. Was she thinking about mommy being in heaven? Or was this another one of those thoughts that enters her wild imagination? 

“No, there’s no texting in heaven,” I told her. “But what if there were?”

“Jesus could text to me here on earth,” she exclaimed.

Wouldn’t that be great? We could read His words, typed by His own fingers. We could even scroll back through past messages and read them over again. But we don’t need texting for that. He has already given us a beautiful love letter, composed by His own breath.

God didn’t wait for us to get to heaven to tell us how much He loves us. He breathed Scripture, and it is useful for many things—most importantly for conveying His love to us. Something we don’t have to guess about, but can read about and experience.

God’s breath spoke words of love so they would be written down forever. Because they were, we can hold His love letter in our hands even today. Sometimes, we keep love notes for generations. The Bible is God’s love letter to us—kept safely for generations because He loves us that much.

When you need reassurance of God’s love, open His love letter.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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