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.

Imitating Jesus

What words come to mind as you read the following list: Braveheart (William Wallace), Harriet Tubman, Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa, Polycarp, the ten Boom family (Corrie, her sister, Betsy, and father), and Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Courageous? Brave? Social influencer? All of these, but I submit that a succinct descriptor of their characters is found in a single word: hero. Each of those individuals laid aside their personal welfare for the benefit of others.

Thinking of ourselves as heroes may be difficult or even impossible to imagine, especially if we take our cues from the movies. Movie heroes jump off tall buildings, crash through fiery walls, parachute out of supersonic planes, and receive multiple punches to the head without blacking out. We can’t imitate them in those ways.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”–when you already have it with you. In these verses, King Solomon of Israel provides a realistic heroic path for us to follow—something we can accomplish. If God has granted us the means and power to do good to our neighbor, we should not hold back but do it.

But what is the good Solomon refers to? That depends on our neighbor's needs. A word of encouragement, a trip to the grocery store, a visit to the hospital, prayer, a listening ear, crying or rejoicing together, a word of correction when harm is being done, an apology or forgiveness, giving our time and attention to one who can never pay us back, an invitation to a holiday meal.

When we act for our neighbor’s good, we imitate the one true hero, Jesus Christ. Think of some good things you can do for your neighbors.  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and jools_sh.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

A New Way of Thinking

Until I came to know Jesus, I had very few friends.

I was never a befriending or friendly person. I had always kept to myself and was not approachable until I learned the love of Jesus. That is when I discovered my thought processes kept me in some invisible bubble reflecting only on my insecurities, low self-esteem, and baseless fears. As I grew in my faith and relationship with Jesus, I became free from all that baggage and became friendly, loving, and inviting.

Belief occurs in a person’s spirit, but thinking happens in our souls and minds. We can believe one thing but keep thinking something completely different. What we think is what we eventually become, not what we believe. 

God knows our thoughts influence us much more than our beliefs, so in His Word, He tells us to make renewing our minds our primary goal—to have a new way of thinking, to think as He wants us to. Before encountering Jesus, a person’s thinking could not possibly align with God’s. 

Amazingly, God knows our thinking and why we think a particular way. He knows what makes us click the way we do. Things may have happened in our childhood that caused us to bend in a certain way, innocent words that were said. Or things that happened may have wedged a dent in our soul, crippling our thought processes all our lives. Our environment also shapes our thinking—inciting fears and defining our perspectives.

Once in a relationship with God, God urges us to have a new way of thinking so that He can lead and direct our lives’ paths, so we can be the best us, we can live our best lives, and we can be all He created us to be.

Let God give you a new way of thinking.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and who_made_this.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Patient Endurance

My grandson went down at the football playoffs, and my fear set in.

We jumped to our feet. My hands flew to my face as I saw him lying on the field and the managers running out to attend him.

I cringe whenever a player gets injured, no matter which team he’s on. It’s tough when it’s someone on your team. But it is tougher, even more fearful, when it’s your child or grandchild.

 “Mom, it’s okay. He’s fine,” my daughter said, trying to reassure me.

Clearly, it wasn’t. He was finished; the game was over for him. Our hearts were broken. It was a sad way to end his senior season of varsity football. He had experienced twelve years of recreation and school football and had developed physically—improving skills, strength, and stamina while enduring demanding practices. He maintained dedication and focus.

Today’s high school athletes have high hopes of earning that coveted college scholarship. But when it all goes south, we wonder why and sometimes question God.

Our spiritual walk may also have seasons of pain, loss, or suffering. Yet, I’ve learned I can endure those times through God’s strength and the Holy Spirit working in me. If we do the right thing and suffer, our patient endurance finds favor with God.

God knows our circumstances and suffering because He knows us by name. He sees the big picture. The Lord will bring about the best for us in the long run. We only need to draw close to Him and remain in His Word.

Lean on the Lord’s strength and guidance in difficult times. Through the disappointments, setbacks, and shattered dreams, keep pushing on. The Bible assures us we will experience peace and favor with God. He blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the beginning.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and Nature-Pix.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

A View from Above

Cotton-candy clouds danced beneath the small airplane—fluffy white stepping stones leading straight into heaven. Some rose hundreds of feet in the air like massive snow sculptures pointing the way. Others floated by my window on a lazy blue sky and seemed so real I could reach out and touch them. When we flew directly into one, it swallowed us, then quickly dissipated and moved out of our way.

The lush landscape beneath was broken by highways, rivers, patches of brown, and various shades of green. Housing developments and business complexes were laid out in perfect geometric fashion, as if designed by a master architect. Tiny cars crept along the roadways like a parade of ants searching for food. The higher we rose in the air, the smaller the trappings of this world appeared. The brightness of the sun reflected the majestic beauty of God’s creation, and my perspective on life shifted.

Sometimes I get so caught up in my own little world that I forget the bigger picture—the enormous, grand scheme of eternal things. Everyday life can become mundane and predictable. Problems can seem enormous and insurmountable. This is when I need to rise above the routine and get a different perspective: a view from above.

The Bible says we see only in part. God sees the big picture, painted with His eternal plan and purpose for our lives. At times He allows us a glimpse into the vastness of His kingdom and the reason for which we exist. In His loving and gentle manner, He reminds us it’s not about us but about Him. His plan. His purpose.

My walk with God is much like my flight. Just as things appeared smaller from thousands of feet in the air, the closer I draw to my Father, the smaller and more insignificant my problems become. That’s when I’m reminded that God is sovereign, and He holds my life in His hands. He is concerned about everything that concerns me. Nothing escapes His attention. Floating high above the clouds brings a sense of awe. Trusting God and walking hand in hand with Him, brings joy, peace, and an assurance that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.

Rise above your problems today by letting God give you a divine, eternal perspective.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and garten-gg.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Walk on Water

After two unsuccessful attempts at learning to swim, I decided to give it one last shot.

The first couple of times, the instructors labeled me a rock. Once in the water, I sank. Learning swimming techniques was difficult because of my inability to stay afloat. I did well with the various floatation devices, but even with the kickboard and fins, I feared as I approached the pool's deep end. This embedded fear was because of a near-drowning incident as a child. Fortunately, I still love beaches and pools and am comfortable submerging in water if I can stand above the water and touch the bottom.

My last attempt at swimming happened at the age of sixty while watching my grandchildren swimming like fish in the water. For safety reasons, I thought it best to learn to swim. Imagine how I felt taking private lessons but sharing a pool filled with toddlers and elementary school-aged children.

This time differed because I knew to pray and ask God to remove any anxiety and fear. I gave my attention to my instructor and what he taught me. This fixation was essential to remove uncomfortable or embarrassing feelings and allowed me to focus on the goal. My surroundings no longer distracted me as I learned to swim. But at the end of the session, I took my eyes off the instructor and noticed the noise and distraction from the other little swimmers.

I thought of Peter’s faith and how he walked on water if his eyes remained on Jesus. Jesus calls us to keep our eyes on Him, not our circumstances. We all face daily challenges, but learning to keep our eyes on Jesus helps us see with eyes of faith, hold to promises, press toward the goal, be immovable and steadfast, and stay in perfect peace.

When faced with what seems like an impossible situation, remember to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and pexels.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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