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.

Waiting Well

I dreamed of being a writer.

Putting words on paper and transforming them into a story is almost life-giving for me. But I thought the day that my writing would exist anywhere else other than in my journal would never come. I never envisioned God weaving my dream into His plan for me.

Now that the wait is over, I see His goodness, but the path to get here was long. The wait was a struggle and, at times, painful. The battle to slip away and take matters into my own hands raged inside of me. After all, I thought I knew what was best for me.

Sarah, the wife of Abraham, struggled to wait well too. She wanted a son, but she never conceived. Her dreams of having a child seemed to slowly move out of reach as she aged beyond the childbearing years.

Her inpatience led her to create her own path to motherhood. Instead of trusting God in her current circumstance and waiting patiently, she took matters into her own hands. But her scheme crashed down around her and the others she included in her plan.

Thankfully, God had a grander plan. He forgave Sarah and opened her womb, and she gave birth to Isaac—a direct descendant of Jesus. Sarah did not know it at the time, but waiting for her son weaved her into the most excellent salvation story on earth.

When faced with making our dreams happen or letting God’s will reveal itself, we often struggle, especially if it appears the dream is taking forever to materialize. Sometimes, we don’t wait well. God can give us the patience we need to see the journey through. His promises are always true and trustworthy.

Trust God for His next step for you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Work at It Hard

Wherever Grandmammy made the bed, she made it well.

Bait worms were important to my grandmother. She fished for a hobby—but also to make a little money. Initially to pay for my mom’s piano lessons. She never used a rod-n-reel. Rather, she cut cane from the woods and fashioned it into poles. A large one for catfish and a small one for bream. Nor did she use fancy lures. She loved fat, juicy night crawlers. And why spend money buying them when she could raise them?

Her favorite spot to raise worms was in the middle of her back yard. The farmhouse was old, and the sink drain line didn’t empty into the septic tank, but directly into the yard. She covered the spot where the water held with two pieces of rusty tin—no doubt left over when my grandfather tore the barn down. The muddy mixture made a perfect bed for baitworms to multiply. When she got ready to head to “the River,” she simply took an old can, went to her created spot, lifted the tin, and scooped up the worms.

My grandmother’s hard work paid off. She didn’t have to purchase worms, and she caught myriads of fish, which she then sold to neighbors. Paul instructed early Christians to work hard at whatever they did, just as my grandmother did.

Work isn’t a curse, as some imagine. God didn’t tell Adam and Eve to work because they sinned. He told them to care for the garden long before their disobedience. Only the nature and intensity of work changed after their sin. They’d have to fight thorns and weeds. Their work would be toilsome. But work was God’s plan from the beginning.

Some imagine we’ll sit around on clouds doing nothing in heaven. I picture another garden, larger this time, where we’ll work for God throughout eternity. The work will be pleasant … enjoyable. Our work will have purpose. Perhaps we’ll manage large gardens in heaven … or on the new earth.

God wants our best from the work He assigns. Sloppy efforts don’t glorify Him. And they also speak poorly of our association with Him. Our work is “as unto the Lord.” Regardless of whom we work for, God’s our boss.

Whatever God gives you to do, do your best. Remember, you’re really working for Him.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Courage in an Upside-Down World

Have you seen the show that left America on the edge of its seat? 

Fans of “Stranger Things” know all about The Upside Down–a nightmare version of the world we live in, complete with monsters and mayhem. But even those who’ve never watched are familiar with a place where life is the opposite of all it should be. A place where fear closes in, and there seems to be no escape. I’ve been there.

As a child, the solemn oath, “Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye,” scared me to death. As an adult, that fear became reality. Without warning, I experienced a stroke in my eye—a treatment requiring a series of eye injections while fully awake. My options only included getting the needles or going blind. Enter panic.

This trapped feeling reminds me of the story in 2 Kings 6 where the prophet Elisha and his servant, Gehazi, were surrounded by the fiercest army and completely outnumbered and doomed—or so it appeared.

Upon Gehazi’s cry, “What shall we do?” Elisha replied, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” He continued, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Heaven’s army, greater in number and fire power, was there all along. God revealed this invisible realm and changed Gehazi’s perspective. And prayer was the key. Prayer also opened my eyes. God showed me His vision would be enough—even if mine was not—and exposed panic as the enemy’s weapon. I wasn’t about to lose that battle with all the power of heaven fighting for me. 

When we feel caught in the upside down of this fallen world, sometimes the crux of the war lies within. We need to surrender to sovereignty and pray for sight. God’s presence makes a world of difference. Gehazi recognized this.

Take courage in our God of wonders and look again. Stranger things remain to be seen.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

This Is the Way

When children are small, we want to protect and guide them.

One little child who was learning to talk kept saying what sounded like ndnt. I couldn’t figure out what she was saying. I listened carefully, but still didn’t understand.

I looked at her mother, who laughed and said, “She’s saying, ‘No don’t.’ We always tell her not to touch or to get into something. We look at her and say, ‘No, don’t.’ What you hear is her version of those two words.”

We need to read God’s words carefully and prayerfully. Sometimes when we read them, we think it is okay to do certain things. We read into His word what we think or want Him to say. Instead, God says, “No, don’t.”

Many are led astray by others who declare the word of God in their own way. Taking the words out of context causes spiritual harm. Listening to someone else’s version of God’s words can even keep us out of heaven.

One day, God will stand at the door. As He searches His book of life, He will not see some names. Those who have listened to God’s words taken out of context will be surprised when they are turned away.

God says there is a way, but severe punishment awaits those who lead others astray. Seeing God’s wondrous face, but not being allowed into heaven, will be awful. God asks us to read His Word, learn about Him, and trust His words for life.

Don’t let anyone fool you into believing the wrong words. Open your Bible, ask God’s Spirit to guide you, and let His words seep deep into your heart. That way, when you reach heaven’s door, God will say, “Come in my faithful servant”—rather than “No, don’t.”

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Milieus of Purpose

If cheese, milk, raw meat, or fish is left unrefrigerated for too long, they will mold, go rancid, or rot, due to the non-conducive surroundings.

Just as we follow care instructions on food packaging, we should also follow God’s care instructions on what we let enter our minds and hearts. After all, the heart is where our intentions flow from.

God gave the Israelites sets of rules which they were required to live by to influence people around them who held different religious beliefs. Instead, they were influenced by the surrounding cultures and broke God’s’ rules.

What we choose to ingest, spiritually or physically, will flow from us and our spirit. Continuously surrounding ourselves with gossip or negativity will produce gossip and negativity from within. However, the opposite effect can occur if we surround ourselves with encouragement, friendships that speak life, and personal time in God’s Word. Our environment breeds our character.

Ruminate on what is surrounding you and filling your life-vessel. What do you want your vessel to be overflowing with?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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