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.

Prosthetic Faith

“I need to have my foot amputated.”

Tom calmly explained that his achy heel harbored a treatment-resistant bone cancer. Soon my friend endured the painful process of surgery, stump care, regaining his strength, and relearning to walk.

As Tom waited for his prosthesis, I wondered what encouragement I could offer. He and his wife trusted Christ implicitly. What could I say that would truly make a difference? I prayed for a word of knowledge from the Lord. It came from Luke 17.

Jesus warned His apostles about upcoming temptations and what to do when they came. Interestingly, the apostles didn’t ask Jesus for strength to withstand the trials. They asked Him to increase their faith.

The Greek word for “increase” (prosthesemi) means to “join together for a purpose; to lay beside or ‘annex’ something to reach a goal.” That’s exactly what Tom’s prosthetic foot would do for him: join to his leg below the knee so he could walk again. Not coincidentally, the Greek word is the root for our English word, “prosthesis.”

The apostles essentially asked Jesus to give them a prosthesis for their faith. I shared this with Tom who considered it great encouragement and used it as a conversation starter for sharing the gospel with friends and hospital staff.

For now, only God and Tom know what eternal seeds he sowed with his words. Tom went to heaven two years later.

Tom’s life reminds us to ask for “prosthetic faith.” We can’t engineer or add to our faith. We must ask God to do it for us. Nor is prosthetic faith a one-and-done type of faith. We continually need to ask God to enlarge our faith. Lay more tracks. Annex more footage. Add to what’s there so we can reach the goal of fulfilling God’s plans for us.

Dwight L. Moody said true faith was weakness leaning on God’s strength. Tom walked that out—literally. When he first learned to use his prosthesis, he was too weak to lean his full weight on it. But as his strength grew, his faith in his ability to walk again did too. Soon, he was back to taking short hikes with his wife.

As our faith grows, we will be fully persuaded that we can walk with strength and confidence the path God lays out for us.

Ask God to give you prosthetic faith.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Someone Is at the Door

“Come on buddy, wake up!” my son said as he shook his head and lightly tapped the horn at the entrance to the retirement community where he worked.

To get to the office, he just needed to stop and show identification, but that day the guard was so busy talking on his phone that he didn’t notice my son and me sitting outside. When he heard the horn, he looked up, hit the control to open the gate, and then went right back to his conversation as we drove in.

Jesus said He was the door to heaven, but He gave us the wonderful opportunity to be His doormen.

Sometimes, we in the church can be a little like the guard. A new visitor shows up on Sunday, but we are so busy that we just hurry by with a polite nod as we head out the door with our friends. We sometimes even avoid eye contact because they look a little different. In our rush, we fail to consider that maybe Jesus led them to our church so we could talk to them and lead them to Him.

Almost every day, God brings someone to our gate. Ask yourself, “What can I do to be ready to welcome others and to open the gate and let them in to see Jesus?”

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Mail Carrier

I thought it would be easy to navigate my way to the expressway from my new job. I was wrong.

The neighborhood was unfamiliar, and a few street signs were missing. The only sure landmark I had was a child’s soccer ball left in a yard. After passing the ball three times, I pulled my car to the side of the road, wiped sweat from my palms, and prayed, “God, please direct me. I want to go home.”

Suddenly, a mail carrier who was making his rounds made a U-Turn. “Ma’am, what address are you trying to find?” he asked.

“I’m looking for I-95.”

He gave directions, and I went on my way, confident I could find the expressway. But I passed through another intersection with missing street signs. Was that where I was supposed to turn? This time, I did a U-Turn, found my soccer ball landmark, and stopped. The mail carrier’s reflection appeared in my rearview mirror.

“Still looking?” he asked, pulling beside me.

I nodded, trying to hide my flushed face.

“Wait here. I have these letters to deliver, and I’ll be back.”

As promised, he returned and then led me to the highway. Sure enough, the intersection with the missing signs was where I was supposed to turn. I can still see the carrier tipping his hat as I boarded the expressway.

In each of the 176 verses of Psalm 119, the psalmist encourages us to incorporate the truths of God’s Word into everyday living.

Sometimes, navigating decisions in life is like driving with missing street signs. God understands we need help, so He provides His Word. When I commit God’s Word to memory, I can be as confident as the mail carrier who had the streets on his route memorized. I’m guessing he also knew the residents by their first names, as well as the child who owned the soccer ball. Just as the mail carrier led me to the expressway, God’s Word gives us directions that are safe and reliable.

Ask God to help you know His Word intimately so it will become your sure guide.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Unlock the New Creation

The once new creations were no more.

The deadbolts and doorknobs were in place when I moved into the duplex years ago, but the shine was gone and the metal discolored. One by one, the locks stopped working. The key either wouldn’t insert fully into the slots or was so difficult to turn that I feared the key would break.

Months passed, and eventually the key would barely insert into the slot anymore. I struggled until I slid home, and I could get into the house. Ten minutes standing in one-hundred-degree heat with the sun bearing down on me and groceries piled in plastic bags at my feet was enough. The skin on my fingers and thumb was torn, and a puncture wound from wrestling and shoving the metal key dotted my hand. Time was up. I had to replace the doorknob.

The next day, I left my home unlocked and prayed over the duplex before I drove away to work. Like other neighborhoods, crime has increased since I moved into the area. My car had been broken into, ordered items had been stolen from the doorstep and out of the mailbox, porch furniture was gone, and even my American flag had been swiped. I asked God to wrap my home with His guardian angels and to keep all evil from my belongings.

I also asked God for the ability to change the lock. I was afraid I couldn’t do it, yet it only took seven minutes to remove the old doorknob and install the new. I knew my own abilities weren’t adequate, but with God, everything is possible—even changing a doorknob.

Like my doorknobs and deadbolts, we start out shiny. But as life happens, we discolor. One day, we realize our rust covering is sin, which separates us from God. Nothing we can do or say can erase the filth we have become. Only by looking to the Son of God and by believing in His death and resurrection can we unlock the door to our salvation. Accepting His gift creates a relationship with the Almighty God. The old creation leaves. The new creation arrives.

Thank God that you are forgiven and clean because of Christ.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Dreaming of Christmas

How things have changed since that first Christmas.

Our dreams, our wishes, and our expectations have nothing to do with the actual events of that day.

When you dream about Christmas, what smells come to mind? Live Christmas trees, cookies in the oven, cinnamon and nutmeg in Wassail, turkey and dressing, hot apple pie. Yule logs burning send the aroma of sweet smoke into the air.

When you close your eyes and dream about Christmas, what do you see? Children laughing, lights on the tree, houses decorated inside and out, presents and wrapping paper, ribbons and bows, Christmas cards. And of course, snow and snowmen with mittens.

When you dream about Christmas, what do you hear? Children laughing as well as children crying from overdoing and over-stimulation. Burl Ives singing “Frosty the Snowman,” Gene Autry singing “Rudolph,” and somebody singing “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” We still hear carols, but mainly at church.

What were the aromas that met Mary that first Christmas night? Stinky bodies (many people were in Bethlehem and there were not enough bathing facilities), a stable that needed cleaning (since the inn keeper was too busy to get it done before the young couple was given their room for the night), and damp hay.

What did Mary see? Dirty animals, a young, loving but frightened husband, a bed of straw, and rags in which to wrap her beautiful newborn baby.

She heard the braying of the beasts, the noise of the people from the inn, the crying of the babe, the heartbeat of her husband, the singing of the angels, and the adoration of the shepherds.

God observed then, as He observes now. He watched as His only Son—the Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace, the Savior of the World—was born in a stable. He watches now as we celebrate. And He always smiles through His tears at our feeble attempts to make Christmas what it really is.

This year, let’s celebrate His birth—truly celebrate His birth. Let’s change our dreams, wishes, and expectations so that we have a true celebration of the birth of the Son of God.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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