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.

The Modern-Day Good Samaritan

A co-worker once gloated over the misfortune of a certain celebrity.

He talked as if he knew—and didn’t like—the celebrity, then laughed at himself, saying, “I’m talking as if I know __________ personally.” 

My co-worker spoke for us all.We read and see pictures of people we’ve never met and then form an opinion about them—positive or negative—as if we know them personally. We become part of the jury in the court of public opinion without ever hoping to know the hearts of these individuals whom we rail against. 

Sounds kind of like Saul of Tarsus. He probably didn’t know any followers of the Way—as the first Jewish Christians were called—but boy did he have an opinion about them. And he was about to act on that opinion. The tune to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood wasn’t exactly on his mind as he breathed out those murderous threats (Acts 9:1). 

What a stark difference from our Lord, who routinely went out of His way to reach those on the other side of the tracks. What if we dropped our verbal and emotional swords and saw those on the other side through God’s eyes? Or took a moment to pray for the celebrity or politician who made the most recent outrageous comment. How much better to ask God to touch them in their pain and draw them to Himself. Imagine how that would revolutionize not only us but our world. 

We should pray for those who make our blood pressure rise. When we do, the next time they do or say something outrageous, we will react with compassion rather than anger. Even better, we can endeavor to know someone who differs from us ethnically, religiously, and even politically.

Ask God to help you love your enemies. When you do, some of them might become your friends. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Those Fancy Restaurants

A popular area in my town is dotted with fancy restaurants.

I don’t have a lot of money—I live paycheck to paycheck. Sometimes, I would love to go to these nice restaurants. Maybe even take a date or friend to dinner. But when I looked at their menus, I discovered there was no way I could go based on my salary. I am also thankful that the company I work for orders lunch for us from a fancy pizza place in the area.

I should not be sad or jealous about not going to a nice place to eat. I should be interested in the things of God. I must remember that while those expensive things may make me happy for a time, they won't last, especially if it’s food.

Jesus offers two options. He says we can either store up treasures in heaven where they will be safe or store them on earth where moths and rust will destroy them. He says to store them in heaven.

Although I can’t afford a fancy diner or the finer things of life, I can help support a missionary in a foreign country who will bring eternal life to the lost. We need to value the things of Jesus with our money and build our treasure in heaven.

Let God help you re-evaluate what you are spending your money on.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Home Before Dark

“I’ll be home before dark, my special girls,” Grandpa said, bending to kiss the top of Grandma’s head.

My sister and I smiled as we finished our breakfast, anticipating the ice cream treat he’d promised us. We waited for Grandpa on the front porch. The squeak of the swing kept us company as Grandma sang our favorite songs. Our spirits soared as we discussed which flavor of ice cream Grandpa would bring us.

The beauty of the sunset hushed us momentarily. Darkness drifted in stealthily at first, but it was fully oppressive in its finality. Anxiety invited the what-ifs. Hadn’t Grandpa promised to be home before dark? What happened?

Tension grew as we watched Grandma force smiles through stiff lips between hurried glances at the horizon. We heard the silent message, we should worry, loudly and clearly. We no longer anticipated what Grandpa would give us. Our hearts turned to wanting to see him home safely.

Suddenly, Grandpa’s rust-red truck burst over the hill. Relief flooded us. Why the delay? I still don’t know.

The Hebrew word for wait and hope are the same. When we wait, we hope. The waiting with expectation opens our hearts to hurt. When we receive what we think is the lesser thing—or worse yet—when life is immersed in pain, it’s hardly the ice cream treat we hoped for. Doubt seeps in. Does God love us? Why the delay?

Maybe the delay is about pressing into the goodness of the Lord. To press out our desires and long for the greater thing: His presence.

Our earthly desires, the ice creams of our hearts, do not compare to the security of knowing who God is—our Father. The spiritual security of knowing we are His children, who can safely trust in His provision, is priceless.

Press in and allow your heart to turn from what you hope for to fully engage in a relationship with Your Lord.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



An Uncountable Number

Many have never heard the word googol.

Googol is a mathematical term, defined as the digital number one followed by one hundred zeroes. After it was coined by a nine-year-old boy, the word came to mean any large number.

Edward Casner, a mathematics professor at Columbia University in the early 20th century, wanted to stimulate children’s interest in math. One day, he asked his young nephews to think of a word to describe any large number. Nine-year-old Milton suggested googol, and after Professor Kasner used it in a book in 1940, the word became widely used to describe a large or uncountable number.

This same concept occurred when God promised Abram he would have not just a much-desired son but an indeterminate number of descendants. Abram’s progeny would equal the number of stars in the sky, a picturesque way of saying an uncountable number.

God probably won’t promise us that many descendants, but His assurances to us in other areas are just as reliable and dependable as they were to Abram. After all, behind that uncountable number of descendants was God’s perfect planning and provision for the Jews. In the same way, God guides and provides for us in every way, which makes His assurances as certain and sure as His character.

Trust God’s promises to you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

 



Swimming in Circles

Many of us remember the colored rocks, the coral-looking arch, and the globe-shaped bowl. Add water, and we created a goldfish world.

For many of us, our first pet was a small, bright orange fish that circled tirelessly in its clear glass home and ate as often as we fed it.

As a youngster, I enjoyed watching my submerged pet swim, patrolling its little world with an occasional race around the perimeter. Yet these easily managed pets don't get much respect. They don't learn tricks as dogs do, and their funerals are often accompanied by a flushing sound. With all this inferiority, I find one characteristic endearing about these underwater creatures: their extensive dependence upon humans. 

Other pets exercise a degree of resourcefulness in getting food or shelter. But goldfish can't forage through our neighbor's garbage, nor can they seek out any other shelter but their little sea of tranquility.

Goldfish are also verbally challenged. They can't talk to us or understand our smallest request or command. I would have loved to jump into that little bowl and introduce myself or teach my goldfish something.

What goldfish do have is a life that in many ways reflects ours. We like to think we are self-reliant and in control, but we rely heavily on forces beyond ourselves. God’s hands hold our lives. He provides our home, our world, and all that sustains us. 

And God did jump into our world to talk to us. Jesus Christ came as one of us to introduce Himself. He wanted us to know Him. He wanted us to know we aren't pets, but precious children whom He loves and cherishes.

Through worship, we celebrate a faithful God who provides for all our needs and meets us face-to-face. We press our face against the glass of our little world and see our Creator. We hear His voice through the Scriptures as He introduces Himself. As we worship, we listen and speak to Him from our heart.

Have you learned that life is more than swimming in circles? 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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