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.

Going Where

We were in another country, getting ready to board a bus to a different city.

We had crisscrossed the bus station to find the right bus. The weather was rainy and miserable, so we were glad to board the bus. I was sure we were in the right place. I pulled out my tickets to show to the conductor, confident of his approving smile to board.

But when I handed him the tickets, his smile turned to a remonstrating glance. “Of course, you need to go to the next bus,” he said.

At a loss for words, I realized we had almost gotten on the wrong bus. How many times in my life have I made what I thought was the right decision only to find out it was wrong? During those times, it was more than confusion. A wrong mindset led me to the choice. In fact, my whole way of thinking needed transformation.

Paul noted a similar problem with his thinking. He realized one could be sincere and be sincerely wrong. He encouraged the Roman believers to transform their thinking.

Transformed thinking only occurs when we allow God’s Word to alter our perspective on life in general, as well as with specific questions we face. The Bible becomes a help desk, telling us where to go.

Since my mistake at the bus station, I have memorized parts of the Bible that address specific problems of mine. I realize the only way to correct wrong thinking is to meditate on Scripture. God’s Word has rescued me from bad decisions many times.

I finally got to the right destination, thanks to the help of someone who knew more than I did. God’s help will always lead us in the right direction.

Stop relying on your own wisdom. Be willing to ask for God’s.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Good Grief

Lun Chun-lin, 22, has a regular routine as she prepares for work.

According to a Taiwanese newspaper, after she brushes her eyelashes and fastens her flowing raven hair, she takes off for another day where she cries her heart out for someone else’s dead relatives.

Lun Chun-lin and five fellow employees are with the Filial Daughters’ Band—professional mourners hired by grieving families to wail and scream at funerals. In their culture, this is the proper way to demonstrate sorrow.

Although we might be uneasy about such dramatic responses at a funeral, doing this is a custom in some settings—and was in the ancient world. One Roman carving depicts the deceased lying on his bier with women around him—hair flowing loose while they claw at their bosoms to show their grief.

We also see an expression of grief in the biblical account of the resuscitation of Jairus’ daughter. Mark describes the Lord’s arrival at the dead child’s bedside: “When they came to the home … Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.” Jesus had to clear the room so He could concentrate on His task.

“Good grief” is a common expression, but can we really say grief—no matter how we express it—is good? After all, grieving over the loss of a loved one means sorrow, heartache, and anguish—and with no promise of relief. There is nothing good about it. And all the while, we crave comfort, reassurance, and hope.

Hope is what God promises. Paul said, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.” And with that promise, we can call grief good.

In your times of grief, cling to God’s promises.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Don't Neglect Your Spiritual Food

The conversation with my friend went something like this as she poured out her heart.

“Nothing is going right in my life anymore. I feel as if God has abandoned me.”

Without hesitation I asked, “Have you abandoned Him?” The look in her eyes tore at my heart, but I could tell my words hit their mark. I pressed on. “Are you going to church?”

“Not really. I’ve been slack.”

“Listening online?”

“N … no.”

I leaned forward and put my hand on her shoulder. “Are you doing anything at all to feed yourself spiritually?”

“Not in a very long time.” She hung her head as the tears fell.

Most of us would not dare go even a day without food, let alone weeks or months. Our body requires certain nutrients to keep it strong, healthy, and functioning as it should. But too often we forget our spirit also needs to be fed.

God’s Word is referred to as both milk and meat. Jesus calls Himself the Bread of Life. And let’s not forget the fruit of the Spirit. (That covers four spiritual food groups that give us a balanced diet.) When we hide the Word in our heart, it will not only help us not to sin against God, but it will also strengthen and empower us for daily living.

Job said, “I have treasured His words more than daily food.” When we desire the Lord more than our daily food, we will feast on His Word and spend quality time in His presence. We will seek Him first above everything else in our life that screams for attention.

God wants His children to be strong—spirit, soul, and body. Do your part. Don’t neglect your spiritual food. Make it a vital part of your day.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Recognizing Our Shortcomings

Imagine a band of aspiring adventurers.

They have a great and epic journey ahead of them. Their purpose is to slay the dragon within a mountain lair that travels deep into the heart of the earth. Within the dragon’s inner sanctum, treasure and riches have yet to be plundered. Gems, gold, silver. They’re all there. They gather all the materials needed for the initial parts of their journey—sharpening their swords, adjusting their armor, and gathering the steeds to carry all they need.

Along the way of green pastures, they march on an open trail. However, the side of the road slides downward on the left side, leaving a decent blind spot. Underneath the blind spot, a group of bandits hide, making ready to assault the caravan. When the surprise attack comes, most of their materials are robbed and half of the company is dead. They look to the left side of the road and feel foolish.

We are not supermen by any means, and if we fall short in certain circumstances, our strength is indeed too small. Regardless of what mistakes we make during conflict and of what adversity may follow, if we give way amid a challenge, it shows we need greater strength.

The Lord doesn’t want us to rely solely on our strength, for our strength is insufficient for the physical and spiritual battles we face daily. If we do anything, we should rely on the Lord as our refuge and strength. In our time of trouble, we can lean on Him.

When we attempt any sort of feat, we should seek the Lord’s counsel and consider His way of doing things. If knowledge and wisdom are strength and power, how much better we would be to rely on His strength rather than our own.

As you journey with the Lord, remember to put on the full armor of God and that the Holy Spirit is greater than those within the world.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

At Home

Christmas at home? Hardly.

Family members gathered. Christmas music played. Seasonal greenery and decorations adorned the tables. Gifts appeared for one and all. Food weighed down plates while hearts lifted with hugs and memories shared.

During that Christmas season, our family had to adjust to an unwelcome but unavoidable new normal. Dad’s medical condition required advanced care our family could no longer provide. Our hearts broke a few days earlier as we moved him into his new home. We added a few festive touches to his room and placed his Bible and favorite photo on the table by his bed. We visited regularly and shared his likes, dislikes, and idiosyncrasies with staff who provided round-the-clock care. Yet at the end of each day, we had to leave, and Dad had to stay.

No longer could he visit neighbors and tell them the story of salvation. No longer could he distribute Gideon Bibles he kept in the pockets of every coat and jacket he owned. No longer could he teach Sunday school or serve as an active deacon.

Instead, Dad waited for visits in his tiny room or the activity room with other residents. Or he maneuvered his wheelchair up and down the halls, greeting residents and workers alike with a smile and a heartfelt, “God bless you.” However, his heart longed for home.

That Christmas afternoon, we gathered to celebrate as best we could, maintaining some traditions and tweaking others to accommodate his needs. Although emotions remained raw, we tried to focus on the positives. We claimed the promise of God’s peace and presence in spite of every circumstance.

Little did we know how tightly we would cling to that assurance less than one month later. We gathered again with family and friends to thank God for Dad’s life on earth and to celebrate his move to his eternal home in heaven. As before, our hearts broke with this transition. We mourned Dad’s absence. At the same time, our hearts rejoiced that he was with the Savior he so faithfully served and that we would someday join him there.

God, our heavenly Father, has a home in heaven for all who accept his gift of grace. Are you ready to go home?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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