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.

Somebody Caught the Fish

Two lousy little fish! A whole day of fishing, and all I caught was two fish.

That was little Abe’s thought as he walked toward home, kicking rocks along the way. Up ahead, he saw a large crowd gathered.

Nobody comes this far out of town, he said to himself.

As he neared the crowd, he heard people praising God. Curious, he stopped and listened. Gradually working his way through, he saw people lying all around on beds. Then a man came and touched them. Suddenly, they rose and started running and shouting. He saw folks with crippled arms, hands, feet, legs, and a host of ailments touched and made whole by this man.

Suddenly, someone said to Abe, “This man needs your fish.”     

Still unsure what was happening, Abe gave this person his fish and bread.           

If that man can fix those people’s problems by touching them, I guess Mom will understand, he thought.

Soon, the man who took the fish and loaves returned.

“Here is some of your fish and bread back,” he said, giving Abe more than Abe had given. “Enjoy your meal.”

“That can’t be mine,” Abe answered. “I didn’t have that much.”

“I know,” the man replied. “The master took your little fish and bread, blessed it, and fed this crowd. Around five thousand men, plus their families, are eating because you gave your fish and bread.”

Still not understanding it all, Abe watched as eleven of the man’s friends approached. “Where do you live, young man?” one man asked. “We’re going to carry the leftovers home for you. We need to get going before it gets dark.”

Little Abe gave what little he had to Jesus, who multiplied it and used it to bless thousands.

Are you willing to give your little part to bless others? Remember, this event happened because somebody caught the fish.

What can you give to others? 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and 822640.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Expect the Unexpected

A deer in a dove field was not what I expected.

While I didn’t grow up in the country, both sets of my grandparents had. Dove hunting was one part of country life I enjoyed. One of my cousins perched me and another cousin atop his car, spun out through a field—slinging dust and us across the hood of his car—and finally deposited us at one edge of the field. Now that his antics had stirred up everything in sight, we waited for the doves to fly across.

As I lingered, what came wasn’t doves but a cry from a cousin across the field, “Shoot him. Shoot him.”

As I shifted my eyes from the sky to the ground, I saw a large buck thrashing across the field and aiming directly at me. Although I had buckshot in my field bag, I had no time to load it. I shot birdshot, but to no avail. I was expecting doves … not a buck.

Peter’s audience, early believers, was peppered by persecution. Being a Christian in the first century was dangerous—and sometimes life-threatening. If Jesus was persecuted and killed, they shouldn’t expect any less by identifying with Him.

Expectations fill our lives. Spouses expect their spouses to love them, not leave them. Employees expect their bosses to pay them, not fire them. Children expect parents to love them, not abuse them. Landlords expect their tenants to pay them, not wreck their dwellings.

But the unexpected also dots our lives: abuse, wrecks, broken bones, life-altering events, tragedies, financial meltdowns, emotional battles, and attacks from Satan and those who represent him.

We shouldn’t be surprised by the unexpected attacks. We live in a shattered world ruled by an evil person who loves nothing more than to see us turn our backs on God and descend into the pit of bitterness and anger.

Expecting the unexpected, however, helps us respond more healthily. Trusting in a loving God, believing He is in control, and asking Him for strength to face what’s assaulting us is always the healthier approach. God allows nothing that isn’t for our ultimate good.

Think of some ways you can prepare for the unexpected. It’s just around the corner.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and Pezibear.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Taking Thoughts Captive

I recently saw a clip of the Secret Service on TV. The officers’ eyes continually scanned their surroundings, searching diligently for anything that might harm the president. Each service member flanked the nation’s leader at different points. The sooner they could identify any potential harm, the better their chances of protecting the leader.

Then I wondered what would happen if I continually scanned my thoughts to recognize when fear, resentment, or self-pity crept in. Just as Secret Service agents train rigorously, I realized this process would take work. But I also recognized the Lord would help me.

I am grateful God reminds me I need to take every thought captive. The Secret Service’s high alert position shows how persistently I need to watch for even a hint of thinking that will bring me down. The Lord will help me take every thought captive and pull it out by the roots. I can replace unhealthy thinking by repeating what Paul said.

How can you take captive those thoughts you should not think? 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and Ben_Kerckx.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Only One Said Thanks

I couldn’t help being a little perturbed.

We’d spent hundreds of dollars on Christmas gifts, mainly for family—and a good amount on the grandchildren I inherited when I married my second husband after we’d both been widowed. Within five minutes, it seemed the packages had all been ripped open by the receivers without thinking about their giver. Then, on to the next one.

Choosing my words carefully, I asked my husband later, “Does it bother you that the kids don’t say ‘thank you’?”

“Did you do it for the thank-you?” he asked.

“Well, no,” I replied, “but I want to teach them thankfulness.”

I love the children and will gladly give from my heart, but the thankless attitude of this day and age grieves me. The situation reminded me of the Ten Lepers. They asked Jesus to cleanse them. He told them to show themselves to the priest. As they went, they were healed. But only one of them returned to thank Jesus. Jesus wanted to know where the other nine were. To the one who returned, Jesus told him his faith had healed him.

During that time, leprosy had no cure, and those who contracted it were ostracized and left to die. For an example closer to home, imagine in our current culture having AIDS, cancer, or even COVID with all the symptoms, discomfort, and sometimes stigma. Then imagine being healed from the disease’s torment but not bothering to thank the one who made us whole.

In everything we do, we are encouraged to say thanks. Believers, of all people, should be grateful—not just for the big things but for the small ones too.

How can you do a better job of saying thanks?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and GingerQuip.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Under a Desk

While renovating our old farmhouse, we discovered messages scribbled on wood. They had been hidden for decades and noted measurements and the year the farmhouse was built.

Covering the old with the new, I continued the tradition by writing dates and love notes throughout the house. One day, someone may remove my walls and find unexpected messages. God tends to do the same, and we discover His messages when we least expect it.

Under a new desk in an office, I recreated the rat’s nest of cables that make a computer operate. Tugging on handles to access the nether regions of the desk space, I gasped as a drawer crashed down, making fasteners fly. The metaphor, screw loose, was not lost on me, for I am somewhat broken with a few screws loose. Struggling with greater issues than blue wire over black, I considered Paul’s admonition.

Lately, I have been anxious about everything. And petitions? Where do I start? A longstanding issue has permeated my thoughts—whether I have spent my time well or foolishly wasted it—and produced either good fruit or shriveled dates. I cannot see past the length of my nose, but the Spirit intercedes for us when we don’t know how to pray. And right there, under a desk, an unexpected message whispered to me.

I needed to look through a different lens. We can set our mark on something we do not doubt and measure. But remember the adage, “Measure twice, cut once, measure again, cut it right this time.” At times, my journal exposes truths only by the grace of God. That is the yardstick I should compare all else to.

Peace, answers, and direction often come from a place where I sought God the least but heard Him the most.

Where is your under the desk? I pray you find it.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and Nennieinszweidrei.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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