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.

Strife Busters

What would a day without strife look like?

A stream of strife pours into our lives daily. News headlines, social media rants, and reality TV scream at us 24/7. From a royal family to the family next door, worldwide discord is on the rise.

Imagine a challenging day at work. On the way home, you stop at the supermarket, spot a cashier who has no line, and direct your cart toward her. Suddenly, a woman cuts in front of you and says, “Sorry, but I’m in a hurry!” Is it possible to be slow to anger in such a situation? Easy, no, but possible with God’s help, yes.

Thankfully, we don’t have to be victims of this drama. We can defuse conflict by slowing our anger. Doing so makes us like God who is slow to anger and abounding in mercy. Since we’re called to imitate Him, it’s important not to lose our temper.

Along with being merciful to others during potentially explosive situations, we should be slow to get angry with ourselves. Many remain enraged with themselves for things God forgave them for years ago. When we hold on to self-anger and guilt, it’s as if we’re saying, “Lord, I know You forgave me, but that’s not good enough. I’m going to continue punishing myself to compensate for what I did.”

One of the most effective tools to help us be slow to get angry is forgiveness. Whenever we sense an interaction with someone is leading to strife, we should immediately set our minds to forgive them. Jesus taught us forgiveness is essential, and He modeled it Himself—even on the cross. God fully equips us to forgive and be slow to anger.

Be slow to anger so you can help minimize strife in a strife-filled world.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

God Is for Us

World War I, World War II, Desert Storm, Vietnam, the Korean War. And there are more. Wasn’t that enough? But now we wage war on ourselves?

Our world is in a mess these days. I can’t remember things being this bad since I was a child in the late 50s and early 60s. Rioting, hatred, lack of respect. Marchers holding signs that say “I’m going to hell and proud of it.” It all rates right up there with the time folks shouted, “God is dead!”

War doesn’t count the color of one’s skin. It doesn’t care what sex you are or who you think you are or want to be. War is war, and it’s waged on every person alive—not just one group. War kills innocent people. War tears and divides, and yet we wage war against ourselves. We live in a time when we are like sheep led to the slaughter—following along because it’s what the one in front of us does. We are a gullible people.

Paul tried his best to help people see we are all God’s children. All adopted by Him through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He reminded us God loves all His children. We’ve earned that status because of Jesus. So, when Paul finished out by saying, “if God is for us, who can be against us?” it shook up the hearts of the people. God is for us, not against us. Still, we do not believe Him.

This nation was built on the principles of God. The country was born from the desire to worship our God. We cannot … we simply must not … forget those who laid down their lives for this nation. Whether we approve of what the next big issue is or not, millions have stood firm in defense of our right to be who we want to be.

Give thanks and respect to those who have served this country either in the military, police, or firefighters. Emergency workers, physicians, and support staff. And finally, remember this: If God is for us, and He is, who can be against us?

As you celebrate Independence Day, remember you were not made independent on your own, but by the blood of others. Just ask Jesus, since His blood was shed for us all.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Process of Dying

I grieved as I watched my father die a slow death.

We had no idea how long his death would take, but watching him lapse into unconsciousness on a Friday led to three more agonizing days of waiting for the Lord to take him home. Finally, his breathing slowed until it stopped.

Not so with Jesus. Cruelty and hate marked His death. One of His inner twelve betrayed Him. Those who had no interest in His innocence—but only proving themselves right—put Him on trial for His life. They brutally flogged Jesus and gave Him a crown of thorns designed to inflict agony. Then they nailed Him to a cross and left Him to die from tortured asphyxiation. Thieves on either side of Him scoffed Him. And if this wasn’t enough, a centurion speared His chest to guarantee His death.

This cruelty on display could have been viewed as the lowest point in human history. Instead, God turned what people planned for evil into the greatest opportunity for grace humanity has ever witnessed. While these actions terminated Jesus’ life, He pointed out that His death was a result of God’s complete control. Jesus’ willful surrender of His earthly life on our behalf reversed the downward spiral of human history. He had not committed one sin, even while being crucified.

Because of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, my father died in peace, never wondering what would happen afterward. Dad had the hope he would see his merciful Father face-to-face. I have witnessed many deaths as a physician, and I have seen calm wash over faces time and again as they face the end. No believer in Jesus Christ need ever doubt their forgiveness or acceptance by God. Only God can transform something as dreadful as our death into a testimony of His grace toward us.

This news is too good to keep to yourself. Tell someone that death is only the beginning of new life.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Battle Is the Lord's

Startled from a slumbering sleep, I sat straight-up in bed.

Panicked breaths and fear gripped me. My mind raced with dreadful thoughts of how I could conquer this giant. Tears filled my eyes. I cried to God for help…for answers…for strength. Within moments, He reminded me of a small stone I kept tucked in my purse—given to remind me I wasn’t alone. Occasionally, I still reach in, pull out the stone, and remember how it symbolizes God’s power for me.

The strength and power of God in David were stronger than a nine-foot giant bearing armor that weighed 125 pounds and a spear that weighed seventeen pounds. David was a courageous and skilled warrior, not because he was large in stature or suited in heavy armor but because he was strong in the Lord. As a shepherd tending his father’s flock, he had killed a lion and a bear with his bare hands to protect his father’s sheep. Facing Goliath would be another opportunity to show he trusted God’s power and not his own.  

David was also a spiritual warrior with a brave and guarded mind. He didn’t let people or events distract him but kept his heart and mind focused on God. He did not let fear and doubt distract him. He could have stopped, looked at Goliath, and run back up the mountain—flying white flags of surrender and defeat—but he didn’t.

David ran toward Goliath—weapon in hand—knowing God went before him. David was a single warrior, but not alone. God’s presence surrounded him, and the Spirit of God came upon him. David selected five stones for his sling shot. The precise size and details of the stones had to be accurate to slay this giant. David released the stone and trusted God for the outcome.

When we face a giant, we don’t fight alone. God is with us, goes before us, and prepares us. God’s Word is our accurate weapon of force for battle, giving us every detail we need to stand strong and fight against our Goliaths.

Remember your battle belongs to the Lord. You are not alone.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

A Father's Love

Gladys’ father had a heart filled with love, and he showed it one Christmas Eve.

The Great Depression surged in 1929. Ten-year-old Gladys knew money was limited, but she still hoped for a present. Her hope was lost when her mother said, “Gladys, we don’t have any money, so don’t expect a gift this year.” Even though she understood, Gladys cried herself to sleep.

Sometime during the frigid night, she heard their old truck pulling out of the driveway. She wondered where her father was going. Later, she was awakened by her father who stood beside her bed. With eyes filled with love, he handed her a book and said, “Merry Christmas, honey.” Gladys realized her father had gone to the general store in their small town to purchase her sacrificial gift.

That happened over eighty-five years ago, and Gladys has received many gifts since then. But the gift she will never forget is the one from her loving father who sacrificed his time and money to show love to his child.

Gladys was blessed to have a loving father. Many of us have experienced a similar love from our fathers. However, some children have never known a father’s love. Perhaps their father abandoned them at birth and their mother struggled to provide a living. Some fathers abuse their children, verbally and physically. When the dad comes home reeking of alcohol, the children know to get out of his sight. They will never experience the love lavished on Gladys by her father.

But there is a Father who loves us unconditionally, no matter who we are or what we have done. We need not cringe in fear or hide from Him. God, our Father, loved us so much that He gave His most perfect Gift so that we might have salvation and life eternal when we accept His Son as Lord and Savior.

Have you accepted God the Father’s most precious Gift? 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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