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.

Offering a Hallelujah

Offering a hallelujah isn’t always easy, especially when bad news comes on top of bad news and hopes we’ve built are crushed once again.

I remember the final day when I lost the love of my life. The days that followed included crying, praying, begging, and more crying for God to help me understand and quit hurting.

I also remember a night when I sat down after a long day at the hospital with little to no good news, and I heard a song with the word hallelujah. The song talked of wanting to see God, to be with Him. I’d never listened to the words this way before.

But how, Lord? How can I praise You and sing hallelujah when my world is falling apart? I thought.  

Perhaps we remember the first time that warm, tingly feeling flooded our bodies during worship time with Jesus. On a Sunday morning as we listened to “Amazing Grace.” We felt a closeness that only could have been Jesus. Maybe it was when something happened and God answered our prayer. Shouting “hallelujah” was easy.

But what about the times when bad things happened, prayers were unanswered, dreams were shattered, and our lives were never the same again? We struggle to feel God’s presence. How do we find the hallelujah in those times? It’s easier to cry, scream, and beg than pray and shout hallelujah.

But God hears us in those times as well. He knows us and wants us to lean on Him and call on His name. So yes, we can offer a hallelujah even in sad and terrifying times.

If you’re in a hard season, praise God. Call on Him to come alongside you. He will meet you there and carry you. Offer a hallelujah. Praise Him even when it hurts to breathe. 

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Speak Truth and Love

I have always been short . . . you know, the one placed on the front row in the class pictures who can never reach anything on the high shelves.

For me, truth is admitting I am shorter than most individuals. But sometimes, the truth is not always presented most lovingly. For example, telling someone they are fat or ugly may be accurate, but it isn’t loving. Avoiding hard statements because we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings may be loving, but sometimes, people need to hear the truth.

In Ephesians, God provides a beautiful balance between the two concepts of truth and love. Both are equally important if we want to grow in our relationship with Jesus and other believers. The church gets stronger when everyone does their part in love. 

Our relationships become authentic, purposeful, and impactful when we develop this beautiful but complex balance. We must speak the truth to others, but lovingly and honestly, so they will receive our truth. It is the balance of a scale.  

We must only look past our social media pages or the news to find how drastically we have skewed God’s balance. So many opinions fly around social media and the news that we have lost the concepts of truth and love.

God wants us to speak the truth in a loving manner that helps us grow closer to Jesus and encourages those with whom we do life. So before you click send or post or open your mouth, ask, is it true and is it loving? If the answers are yes to both, proceed.

How can you do a better job of speaking the truth?

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Clinging to the Rock

I love how God best teaches me when I’m doing the most mundane task.

This happened once as I pulled weeds. Since it had rained so much and the ground was soft, I thought it would be a good time to weed my flower bed. I say this as if I’ve ever had flowers in it. Unfortunately, I do not have a green thumb and can’t keep a succulent alive. But the Lord taught me two valuable lessons that day.

First, God does the backbreaking work of weeding in our hearts. Mine especially. Weeds of discontentment, anger, resentment, complaining, fear, worry, and unkindness. I could go on. God doesn’t leave us in our sins and watch us struggle. He is in the thick of it with us—interceding, strengthening, equipping, convicting, and changing us. He wants more for us than for us to let the world’s ways overrun our hearts. As difficult and uncomfortable as it may be, God has a masterpiece in mind, and He’s working to sanctify us until the day He calls us home.

Second, life’s storms can strengthen or weaken our roots. When the rain and winds of life rage endlessly, I can let them uproot me, or I can dig deeper and hold tighter to the solid Rock.  

When storms come your way, view them as an opportunity to cling to the Rock that is higher than you.

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

Know Your Friends

“Know thyself” is a famous saying among philosophers, but it is equally important to know your friends.

In seventh grade, I was the third best in my class, but in the eighth grade, a boy suddenly ingratiated himself in my little group of friends. We were a competitive lot. This guy gradually took my place. I didn’t study him, find his purpose for becoming my friend, or learn his agenda. But when I dropped three times over, I understood why he had joined us.

Amid the storm, the shipmaster and crew inquired about Jonah’s origin. They were minutes from death and had thrown their merchandise overboard, but the storm never ceased. So, finally, they asked Jonah about his origin and identity.

We should discover the identity of those with whom we live life. Then, when we do, we can move ahead with confidence in them.

Once, Jesus was also in a storm with His disciples. We see a unique juxtaposition between that event and Jonah’s experience. The disciples trusted Christ and each other, but Jonah’s mates didn’t trust him. We don’t have to cast lots when we know our friends.

Are you on a journey with strangers you thought were your friends? Find out about those with whom you spend time. Then pray for God to send the right people to you as friends. 

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

The Law of Sowing and Reaping

As a teacher, I once took a course to add driver’s education to my teaching certificate. We were taught never to look directly over the right or left fender because it caused over-correction. Instead, we were instructed to focus down the road, which would eliminate weaving back and forth.

Keeping our eyes on our final destination can also benefit our spiritual walk. Just as there are two types of sowing, there are also two kinds of reaping. One type leads to death, while the other leads to eternal life.

The problem is that we often view the law from a worldly perspective rather than an eternal one. We can give love and receive hate in this world. We can give, and people only continue to take. We can forgive, and the people we have forgiven continue to showcase our sins. Sowing and reaping do not always happen in real-time, but in God’s time. Sometimes, reaping does occur in this world, but often it may not until we are in heaven.

Galatians 6:9 warns us, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (NASB). Unfortunately, when we view sowing and reaping as cause and effect, we lose heart and tire of doing good if we do not reap immediately. Then we begin sowing to the flesh, which is always a downward trajectory.

You may be weary of well-doing. I’ve been there, done that. But it is always too soon to quit. God has promised that in time, we will receive our reward. Some will reap in this world while others will do so in the next, but it will be even more glorious if it is in heaven.

How can you keep discouragement away while you sow and reap?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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