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.

Missed Expectations

He’s not my type.

How often had I said that as a single adult? He’s too tall. He’s too short. He isn’t into sports. My list of criteria for a spouse was specific, and it seemed difficult to keep an open mind if a person’s attributes deviated from the list. Someone, a Christian of course, on the order of the Ken and Barbie doll fame would do.

Needless to say, expectations can be a bit unrealistic at times.

Enter the Son of God. Jesus was easy to overlook. In fact, many of the religious leaders and Jewish people did overlook Him. He couldn’t possibly be the One they waited for because He didn’t fit their criteria.

Jesus came as a baby, not a stately figure within the current ranks. His plan involved a band of twelve ordinary men, not the religious council. He succumbed to death on a cross, not exactly a military hero. This couldn’t be the anticipated deliverer or Messiah.

I understand all too well what it’s like to hold to missed expectations as I anticipated meeting my spouse. I had a game plan. First, I thought I would find my husband at a Christian college. Not there, but God did engage me in a new understanding of the whole body of Christ. Next, I figured I would meet the “one” in seminary. However, the intrigue of intellectual stimulation did not materialize into a Mrs. Degree. Not to worry. I certainly would meet my soul mate on the mission field. Instead, it was the African people who stole my heart.

I eventually opened my eyes to a man I had met twenty-five years earlier at a local church event. Much like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, I had misplaced my expectations. I kept looking ahead and missing what was right in front of me. We have now been married for eleven years.

The hymn “Open My Eyes” sets the right mindset for believers. The first verse challenges us to see the glimpses of truth God has for us. The anticipated One has come. We can stop overlooking Him and discover Him in all His glory in the inspired words of Scripture.

How can you do a better job of establishing your expectations? 

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)


I’d worked at it for the better part of thirty minutes. My arms shook, and sweat soaked me under the blaze of the Florida sun. I was weary.

The job? Taming my overgrown wax myrtle hedge. I used an electric hedge trimmer and had a long extension cord. But they were like David’s pebbles in the face of my personal Goliath. Still, my five-foot-five-inch body leaned and stretched atop a five-foot ladder, whacking away at the seven-foot hedge. I would conquer this chore.

After what felt more like hours, I shaped the scruffy shrub back into tidy, rounded lines and climbed down. Arms still vibrating from the trimmer’s power, I stared at the bush and sucked in a deep, satisfied breath. Then I looked around me. Leavings of my efforts littered the ground. I wiped my forehead and sighed—still more work.

How often do we stop in the middle of our journey and look at our lives, relationship with God and others, and think, Still more work? Tired, if not exhausted, by our efforts, we can’t help but wonder if all the labor is worth it. And the hard truth is, sometimes it isn’t.

But even if we’re doing God’s work, like serving in the church’s daycare or leading a Bible study, we can get caught up in the do more and be more of our culture. We forget striving and straining aren’t a part of God’s calling for our lives. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

The next time you feel weary, worn out, or even burned out, take a moment to chat with God. Ask Him to remind you of the work He called you to do, not what you chose. See if the two align. His answer might surprise you.

What are some ways you can avoid weariness? 

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Limping Through Life, Dancing Through Eternity

Bumps and bruises come with the territory when you’re a kid.

Although I’ve never broken a bone, I did have my share of scrapes and falls, resulting in thirty stitches on one occasion and bandages on numerous others. Sometimes, these injuries were repercussions of my foolishness, but a few were because family and friends didn’t understand the cause-and-effect issue. Silly choices where I, a little girl without a single athletic gene in her body, tried to be a gymnast, which imposed lingering neck and back problems.

When we fail to consider our actions’ consequences, danger comes along on the journey. But there are emotional and spiritual injuries that grab us as well. For me, abuse in multiple forms allowed depression and anxiety to set in, which only worsened when those issues were not examined and healed.

As a kid, I remember thinking that when I became an adult, those hurts wouldn’t matter. I discovered that being an adult didn’t change what had happened in the past. The sinful behaviors done to me and by me had long-reaching effects. Being a follower of Jesus now doesn’t change what occurred, but it does change my future.

At a time when my depression brought me to my lowest—and I wept in despair—a friend stepped in, put her arms around me, and said, “The Lord is telling me you need to hear these words: ‘I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.’”

It was as if she threw me a lifeline as the dark waters swirled. The struggle to stay afloat continued, but finally, I had something to hang on to as I pursued the healing God supplied through Christian counseling.

Years later, I remember my friend speaking those words over me, and I see how the Lord has given back to me what I lost—my joy. Back on safe ground, I may still limp through this life, but I will dance in eternity.

Have you experienced God’s healing? It’s there for you. Reach out for it, and I’ll meet you at the dance.

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Uphill Climb

Recently, God and I have been getting together frequently in the middle of the night.

Darkness is the Enemy’s territory. It is where the waves of doubt and shame threaten to stifle out all I know to be true about God. I hear the whispers, “Is God really fighting for you, or are you doing this on your own again?” Or “When is it that you will actually follow Him wholeheartedly?” So, God and I have a secret meeting while the rest of the world sleeps.

The Lord said to Joshua, "Do not fear them, because I have given them into your hand; not one of them shall stand before you." So Joshua came upon them suddenly, [surprising them] by marching [uphill] all night from Gilgal . . . There has not been a day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to (heeded) the voice of a man; for the Lord was fighting for Israel. These verses describe one of the most miraculous victories in the Bible. God made the sun stand still for twenty-four hours so the Israelites could win. I got so caught up in the miracle that I almost missed what came before it.

The Lord told Joshua, “Do not fear,” and then Joshua marched uphill all night. That intrigued me, maybe because it was dark outside—but mostly because it matched precisely how my heart felt.

Sometimes we feel as if the journey God has called us on is taking us uphill all night. Perhaps Joshua questioned himself in the darkness whenever he tripped on a branch or hit a rock. I like to think he did.

The important part is not the doubts but the response. One foot in front of the other. No turning back. Slowly stumbling uphill in the darkness. Joshua’s doubts did not stop him from moving forward. Despite the treacherous climb, his perseverance brought deliverance in a way Israel had never seen before or since.

There in the darkness, I heard a whisper: “Just because your heart is climbing uphill all night does not mean I am not fighting for you, nor does it mean that you have strayed off the path. So keep climbing because a victory awaits.”

Fellow climbers, I pass on these words to you: “Just keep climbing, for victory awaits!”

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Eyes Have It

Danger! Go!

Instantly, a dozen sparrows from around the backyard feeder headed for the trees and disappeared. They orchestrated their departure to perfection. Was a hawk lurching in the neighbor's yard? Whatever it was, they were alarmed. The predator, however, would have been hard-pressed to find the one bird he had keyed into from afar. So, as a group, they flew in perfect synchrony away from danger.

The simple display of the sparrows flying away in unison reminds us how important it is for Christians to stick together. Knowing this makes us less vulnerable. The Enemy will never miss the chance to lead us into greater isolation. 

As children of God, God has built us for community. It seems to be an innate instinct within the animal world as well. With technological advances, however, humans have created an alternative to the exhortation in Hebrews. Online church is very popular. And long after churches have reopened their doors, a significant percentage of churchgoers still choose to worship from home. 

One day as I was visiting with a woman in a small African village, I sat in silence as she carried on her daily chores. I spoke a sentence occasionally, but my grasp of the language was far from literate. I felt awkward every time I opened my mouth. Yet at the end of the visit, she told me what a lovely visit it had been because I had honored her with my physical presence.

What would happen in our churches if we had the same attitude as those in this small African village? What if, when we looked face-to-face with someone, we saw their presence as a gift?

The interaction of fellow believers promises God's presence and protection. God says that where two or three gather in His name, He is in their midst. So, whether it's a small group meeting in a home or connecting with a friend over coffee, the eyes have it. The appeal in Scripture is clear that meeting together as believers is imperative.

How can you place greater importance on meeting together with others?

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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