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.

Unspoken Words

Someone made a decision that caused me to be anxious for them.

They were pleased with the decision and eager to accomplish the goal. I, full of perceived wisdom, desired to share personal insight. Yet something inside prompted me to remain silent and accept that it was best to support the individual’s decision rather than speak unsolicited, well-meaning advice. Why generate needless thoughts of anxiety? My spirit guided me with the advice I needed to follow, but my flesh longed to interfere in business that was not mine.

Ultimately, I was victorious, followed the promptings of my heart, figuratively bit my lip, and kept my mouth shut. Patience. Patience. Patience.

Why generate needless fear into the affairs of someone not asking for our insight? The best advice is to allow others to be content with the decisions they make when they do not seek our advice or if they are in no imminent danger.

No one asked me for an answer, and I imparted grace by remaining silent. I learned that I may find the support I desired to voice is not salty but an expression tinged with fear.

Let God guide you when and when not to speak.

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Walking into a New Journey

All journeys start with a leap of faith.

Imagine a group of aspiring adventurers whom a king has called to go to a distant land and overcome a wicked king who reigns over a mighty fortress. The adventurers are taken aback by their king’s request, for they don’t know how they’re going to overcome the wicked king, let alone get there.

The adventurers think about the potential ways they could fail, and fear gains a foothold in their minds. But then, one of them encourages his companions to pursue what their king has called them to do and to proceed with a leap of faith.

Yes, they endured harsh weather and sleepless nights. Attacks by bandits and goblins came by surprise, at times. Nevertheless, they persisted and, throughout all of it, became battle-hardened and succeeded in their mission.

This is somewhat like how the Lord calls us to walk with Him. He says, “Go this way,” or “Go that way.” We may not understand why or how. All we know is that He has given instruction, and we should seek them wholeheartedly.

When the Lord calls us to obey, delays and excuses should not suffice. If the Lord says go, we should walk in obedience, not allowing fear or uncertainty to dissuade us. God allows us to obey or disobey, but our faith is made stronger when we obey.

When the Lord calls you, move forward in faith.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

No Reserves, No Retreats, No Regrets

At different points in William Bordon's short life, he wrote in the back of his Bible, “No reserves, no retreats, no regrets.”

After he graduated from high school in 1904, Bordon was called to be a missionary. Although he came from a wealthy family, wealth did not possess him. Early in his life, a friend expressed that he was throwing his life away by becoming a missionary. Bordon wrote in his Bible, “No reserves.” After he graduated from Yale, he was offered lucrative positions. He penned, “No retreats.”

His missionary call narrowed to a Muslim group in China. After doing graduate work at Princeton Seminary, he left for Egypt to study Arabic before arriving in China. In Egypt, he contracted spinal meningitis and within a month was dead at age twenty-five. Before his death, under the other two notations he had made in his Bible, he wrote, “No regrets.”

Was William Borden's seemingly untimely death a waste of human life? Absolutely not. Thousands have read his story and have been encouraged in their missionary call. God never wastes any of our sorrows.

Things happen to Christians. We experience what we don't expect, and some expectations don't come to fruition. The Christian life often entails disappointments we can't understand, but God uses them for His ultimate good.

God lives in the eternal now. He makes decisions based on past, present, and future considerations. Humans remember the past imperfectly and know what is happening now—but know nothing about the future. God dwells on eternal priorities while we major on temporal ones. Our heavenly Father always knows best.

Church history is littered with people who have done great things for God yet became sullen and cynical at the end of their lives. Things happened to them that may have seemed unfair or unjust. Some ended their lives in unbelief rather than faith in God.

Will you, like William Borden, at the end of your journey, be able to say, “No reserves, no retreats, no regrets.”

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Changing Times

The notice seemed ironic.

As I stepped out of my local bank after making a deposit, I looked back at the front door and saw words emblazoned on it. Curious, I removed my pandemic-required facemask and leaned down to read them: “For security purposes, please remove all hats, hoods, backpacks, and sunglasses prior to entering the banking center.”

The notice seemed understandable, since it was designed to prevent potential bank robbers from coming into the bank wearing a disguise. As I folded my mask to put it away, I realized the irony of the notice. These days, a potential robber didn’t need to hide their identity by wearing a hood or sunglasses. Not when he could just put on the standard facemask and face no suspicions.

We regularly encounter changes, and the threat of COVID has added to the situation. Yet we know changes in situations and people are an ongoing life factor. In fact, some would say they are inevitable—except when it comes to God.

Malachi reassured his readers that God would not forget His covenant with them. Theologians call this eternal consistency God’s immutability. 

So what does this mean for us? That God’s promises and provisions are as consistent now as when they were given. They are a part of His character. And in a world where change is a constant factor, that is reassuring.

Be confident that God’s promises to you will never change.

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Leaving the Past Behind

The semi in front of me slowed down.

I also slowed down, all the while glancing in my rearview mirror to check the traffic. I became so involved in watching the road behind me that I failed to realize I was following the truck off the road. The driver had turned into a truck stop. Somewhat embarrassed, I returned to the road.

Sharon had trouble letting go of problems that resulted from her past wrong choices. As she walked one day, struggling with fears and doubts, she glanced down at the sidewalk. Written in bold blue crayon were two words, Trust Jesus. The message made her pause and ponder its meaning. After a while, she continued, but once again, anxiety invaded her thoughts. Then, for the second time, she came upon the same words. She needed this second reminder, and this time she trusted Jesus with her past burdens.

Many times, we become so preoccupied with our past that we refuse to take our thoughts from the things which lay behind: failures, broken relationships, sins committed against us, and sins committed against others.

The apostle Paul had many things in his past which could have held him back in his Christian life. But he confessed those sins and accepted God’s forgiveness.

As Paul and Sharon did, we should let go of our troubled pasts and allow God to walk with us daily. He will forgive the sins of our past, but we must accept His forgiveness and move forward.

What is holding you back from advancing in your relationship with Jesus Christ?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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