A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Spirit & Body

We have two bodies as such. The physical body and our spiritual body. The Spirit is an important part of both. Giving our hearts to Christ brings that spiritual body into balance and therefore, helps us understand the ups and downs of the physical body – even accept them when others cannot.

The Beginning of the End

I looked in the casket and saw my sister who had died of cancer.

I recognized the body I viewed wasn’t really her any longer. She was in the presence of the Lord and of those who had gone before her. Once again, I realized I couldn’t stop death—but death couldn’t stop me either.

We often think of death as an end to bodily life, but death for the believer is the end of five other things.

Death is the end of time as we know it (1 Corinthians 15:53-54). We are currently creatures of time, but we have been prepared for eternity—the converse of time. We will be in the presence of the heavenly Father and beyond the dimension of time.

Death is also the end of sin (1 Corinthians 15:56). Physical death is the consequence of our disobedience (Genesis 3:19). The removal of our sinful natures will mean we no longer desire to do what displeases God. We will no longer struggle with temptation or its consequences.

Death is the end of separation from God (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Our physical death will transport us into the presence of God, from where we will never depart. While we struggle with experiencing God’s presence now because of the suffering we experience, we will see Him just as He is.

Death is the end of fear (1 John 4:18). We live in fear presently because we recognize the Creator will judge our actions. In heaven, the perfect knowledge of the Father’s love will drive away that fear.

Death also ends sadness (Revelation 21:4). Sadness is the endgame of a world gone bad and wishing for something better (Romans 8:22). But God promises to wipe away every tear from our eyes, including our regrets and pains. Complete joy and peace will flood over us.

While we know little about heaven, we can be sure our physical death marks the start of an experience unlike our present one.

Anticipate the day when you will celebrate the death of death itself.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Wisdom of Moisturizing Your Neck

I stared at my face in the mirror.

How it seems to have changed lately. I saw unmistakable lines making their home on my forehead. Mom always said to moisturize my neck, and now I see why. Crinkly skin moves with each swallow. And where did these jowls come from? My droopy face reflected that gravity was a law I could not break.

I chuckled and stepped away from the mirror. I’m not afraid of getting older. It is simply funny when it happens to you. My wizened skin now packages a spirit that has learned where true wisdom comes from.

When I was younger, I thought I had plenty of wisdom. I remember my effort to pick the perfect school for the perfect major to land the perfect job. The ideal guy to marry must be found. My skin lacked wrinkles then. I was internally driven. Not that being driven isn’t a good thing, but my focus relied on what I alone had to do to meet my goals. I didn’t see the big picture of my life as God does. I thought my wisdom was enough.

That’s why I think Job says “advanced years should teach wisdom.” Many of us think we are wise when we are young, but we don’t have enough life experience to know what we don’t know.

Although I’m still driven, I have learned to trust God with the driving direction in my life. Doing so required much practice—and I still don’t do it perfectly every time. God knows what I don’t know. In God’s infinite wisdom, He sees how it all works together. My human wisdom sees a limited view of God’s plan and my place in it.

As I age, I’ve learned we can receive far more peace trusting God’s wisdom rather than our own incomplete wisdom. We don’t have to wait for old age and wrinkles before we ask for that kind of wisdom.

Meanwhile, on my mom’s and my advice, remember to moisturize your neck. Ignoring good advice may lead to a prematurely wrinkled neck such as the one I see in the mirror.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Hope for the Dead

Everyone will experience a loved one’s death.

In my life, I have experienced a few funerals for people close to me. My father’s father passed away two years ago. My grandpa had a painful and slow death from Alzheimer’s and skin cancer. Even though we knew his death was coming, the news of his passing was hard, especially for my father. Thankfully, my grandfather knew the Lord.

However, several of my family members do not know the Lord. Countless people who deny the Lord worry about death and hold many regrets. Nonbelievers think, What will happen when I die, or, Will I ever see my dead family members again? As Christians, we have hope our relatives who have accepted Jesus will be in heaven with us.

If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. I think Paul wrote this verse because it comforts believers whose Christian relatives have died. The verse is also a wake-up call for others.

While we are alive, we must show the love of Jesus to those who need His love. Countless believers are unaware some of their relatives are not following the Lord. No believer wants to arrive at the doorsteps of heaven and have the Father ask, “What have you done for the kingdom of God?” No one wants to have the guilt of not knowing if a family member is going to heaven.

Share your faith with an unbelieving family member. Even if they reject the invitation to become a believer, you have planted a seed in their life that may one day produce fruit.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Who's Your Friend?

Nationally, people move on average twelve times during their lifetime. If the average lifespan is eighty-five, people move every seven years. I’ve relocated thirty times. I should be two hundred and forty years old.

Throughout life, we gather friends. Some stay close; others drop off when we move. When we find a close friend, we often put trust in them. But often friends disregard this honor and fail to follow through in times of our deepest need. Sometimes, we conjure a need because of some emotional response we experience. At other times, we need physical assistance to get something done. Our trust requires people to do what they say they’ll do. When they fail to show up, we can be devastated. Our countenance falls or the project doesn’t get done. We sink, maybe into depression.

Why we put such trust in someone’s promise reflects our naiveté about the human condition. Some folks extend this trust because their nature doesn’t want to believe the opposite. Then there are those who no longer extend any trust because of constant betrayal.

God, the friend who sticks closer than a brother, made a promise thousands of years ago that the Messiah would come. But what if God hadn’t fulfilled that promise? Would we have become jaded and walked away from Him? What if our sin condition prevented us from understanding the Messiah had already come?

We don’t have to wonder about God’s promise to send the Messiah. He has already come. And not only did God fulfill this great promise with Jesus, but Jesus also accepted the challenge. Jesus didn’t have to die on the cross. He had the power and the authority to remove Himself. He thought about it, but then did as His Father directed. He made a way for every human to gain dominion over evil.

Jesus is the friend who sticks closer than a brother. He arose from the pit to declare the salvation of all people. It’s a promise God continues to keep. If you have been slighted by too many friends, take a moment to consider how good and just God is. He’s as close to us as we get to Him.

Raise a holy hand and reach out to God. He’ll be there. That’s His promise.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Unangelic Angel

His little halo tilted on his head—and he scowled.

I looked up at my three-year-old son, who was supposed to be an angel in our church’s Christmas presentation. He folded his arms tightly. All the other angels acted angelically and sang sweetly. He had told me earlier he didn’t want to wear the angel wings, but I strongly insisted. I wanted to frame a picture of him in a precious angel costume.

My stomach dropped as something caught his interest. He left his place to explore the baptismal font, then lifted the top and plunged his hand in. I wanted to die of mortification. I was the parent of that child—for all the world to see.

This moment reminded me of why parents should humble themselves as children. A child shouldn’t always do what he wants. He needs help and guidance from a parent, but sometimes he strays. Following directions is difficult when you don’t want to do what a parent asks.

Parents usually know what is best for their child, but we need humility and should play the game “Follow the Leader” instead of doing what we want. A little childlike trust in our heavenly Father might be a better direction than the path we have chosen—which may not be suitable for us in the long run.

I wonder if God sometimes looks at me and says, “I am the parent of that child.” Thank goodness, we have a Father who gives us every resource we need to follow Him. And we can be confident He welcomes us when we do.

What can you do to better follow your heavenly Father’s direction?

(Photo courtesy of author.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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