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.

Fall Winds

As I sit, I listen to the wind whistling by our house.

The gusty fall winds stirr up everything, and the leaves dance to the sound of their blowing. Even the branches of the trees sway in harmony as the leaves rush by our home. All the animals and birds disappear, seeking more hospitable habitats.

As Elijah waited to hear God’s voice, he did not hear it in the tornado-like winds that rushed by him. Instead, the still, small voice of God repeated to him the same question he had already heard: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah, probably like us, was attracted to the possibility of hearing God’s voice in the commotion of life. However, although God had just answered by fire from heaven, consuming not only his offering but also the altar and everything about it, Elijah still wasn’t satisfied.

Rather than waiting for the still small voice of the Holy Spirit to speak to me through the Word of God, I impatiently wait for God to do some extraordinary thing. Instead of relishing in the grace I have already been shown through the death of Jesus, I hope God will rectify all my problems with disagreeable people so they will all agree with me. Rather than being still and knowing that He is God, I stew about the next thing that is going to happen because of COVID-19 and get depressed when circumstances around me change or I run out of money.

“What are you doing here?” patiently asks God’s still, small voice. Of course, He already knows the answer, but waits for us to respond. He wants us to reply, “I am here, waiting to hear Your voice.” That reassuring voice comes to us as if He were reminding us, “Never fear; I am here.”

Stop right where you are and listen for God’s voice of direction. It probably will not come in a clap of thunder or a rush of wind, but through the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Peace Comes by Coming

“I’ve just got to find peace from all the worry I am carrying about the virus, violence, and politics,” a young desperate woman said.

When asked about what she used to find relief, she listed a litany of things: thinking positive thoughts, eating foods that would not make her guilty (such as chocolate brownies, which were an addiction), walking when she could find enough energy, driving in the country, trying not to yell at her children, practicing good hygiene. She had even begun reading self-help books and practicing yoga. She also spent a lot of time staring into space.

However, none of her interventions were working, and her neighbors wondered whether she had lost touch with reality. Her children began leaving the house, poking her, and spraying her with water. She did not know what more to do.

This young lady represents the approach most seem to use to find relief—the approach of self-effort.

Recently, I discovered the cornerstone that provides safety and relief when we are over-whelmed. As I prayed one morning, needing relief from this tumultuous world, my heart grew warm with what felt like a breath from God’s Spirit that said: “Peace from the Father comes by coming.”

Trying to understand this declaration, I was reminded that both Jesus and God’s Word tell us to go to Jesus for peace and that this peace will be one that surpasses understanding (Matthew 11:28, Philippians 4:7).

A light came on, and I realized peace comes not from doing, but from going. I felt relief as I stopped struggling and opened my heart to the Lord who loves me and wants me to rest in His love and in the victory His beloved Son accomplished on the Cross.

Peace does not come from doing but from daily going to the Father through His Son.

Go to the right place to find your peace.  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Shepherding by the Heart

I was about twelve or thirteen years old when I had my tonsils removed.

Although I slept through the procedure, I remember a visit from my pastor. I don't think I had ever seen him anywhere but behind a pulpit. He stood by my bedside and talked to me. His actions made quite an impression.

In my hospital room stood a mere man. He was not in his Sunday suit, and he spoke directly to me—not in his preaching voice. He used a gentler tone. Not that he shouted from the pulpit all the time, but his preaching voice, to me, sounded just like God's voice. Now he spoke in a less commanding voice. He also prayed and said my name (I didn't even think he knew it).

After that brief visit to the hospital, my pastor never looked the same. Not until years later did I realize that in those brief moments in the hospital, he became my spiritual shepherd. I watched him closer and listened more intently when he spoke. His ministry at my bedside made a difference in our relationship.

Words are more powerful when they come from someone who walks with us in our spiritual pilgrimage. They carry a measure of guidance that goes beyond what we hear or see through media and screens.

While leaders are not perfect, they have vowed to shepherd faith families by the power of the Holy Spirit. Understanding the shepherd-sheep relationship helps us carry the message of our faith to the heart of others.

The inspiration and knowledge gained from words are significant, but an exchange of influence and spiritual energy comes when we hear from our worship leader. Worship entails hearing God's Word from the voice of a shepherd—those who come alongside of us and speak with a voice that reflects God's heart.

Make sure you are shepherding according to God’s heart.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Message in the Mask

I had never worn a mask before Covid 19 in 2020—a date we’ll all remember.

Today, we wear masks everywhere. With the validated need to protect ourselves and others, it’s actually more disconcerting to see folks without masks.

So, what scriptural basis did I find when one lady came unmasked to help our women’s group pack Christmas shoeboxes? I was absent at a previous meeting when the group agreed it was acceptable because the lady was claustrophobic and masks fogged up her glasses. My dismay led to a troubled heart that heard the clock strike from 2 to 5 a.m. Should I confront or stay quiet?

God had a surprise for me. It wasn’t about whether my boundaries had been stomped on. For me, it was a nudge from God saying, “Sara, Sara, you are worried about many things. Sit at my feet for a while.”  

God’s agenda for me had nothing to do with facial masks and everything to do with a mask on my heart. I had been trying to cover His call to write, filling my time with lesser loves—yes, even packing gifts for needy children. I had been ignoring the signals to set apart and to “write down clearly on clay tablets (aka Word document) what I reveal to you” (Habakkuk 2:4).

I had an invisible mask. Busyness fogged up the call to use my gift and kept me from writing encouragement to my WatchWomen/Intercessors. Our focus can be so distracted that we don’t see God’s unique target for us. It may not be about our current demanding dilemma but rather a more profound personal assignment.

Think about things that might be taking you away from your calling? How does God want you to use your spiritual gift(s) to honor Him? Unmask your heart to answer God’s calling on your life.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Two Funerals at My Kitchen Table

Everything in life was different in 2020.

A year ago, I never dreamed that the death of a friend would mean sitting alone at my kitchen table, watching the recording of a funeral service. Nor would I have expected that two hours later I would be sitting at the same table, watching the live stream of a different funeral.

The two women who had died that week were different in their personalities and in their life stories, but they both loved Jesus and impacted my life. I am a better person for having known them.

Today, I am certain that both women are with Jesus in heaven—peaceful, joyful, and pain free. Although I admired and respected the two women, their lives are not what convinced me they are in heaven. My assurance can be summed up in the words of the song “Who Am I?” by Casting Crowns. Both families selected this song to be played at the services.

These two women are in heaven today because of who Jesus is and because of what He has done. He is the Son of God who died in their place on the cross. For that reason alone, they have eternal life. For that same reason, I will see them again.

Grief is hard, and it is sad when loved ones are no longer with us. As Christians, we have sorrow, but we do not “sorrow as those who have no hope.” Although funerals are sad, I also had hope in my heart as I walked away from my kitchen table.

Where do you find your hope?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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