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.

Phones and Needles

Needles often bring queasiness.  

The queasiness happens because the vagus nerve reacts and restricts oxygen to the brain. And shifting focus to something else is difficult when the nurse enters the room and aims the sharp implement at our lifeblood.

My dog is dead, my dog is dead. Doesn’t work. I wonder how many presidents I can name, working backward from present day. Not working either. That lady with the half-smile and short brown hair will soon stab my vein. Her gloved hand carries a needle so thin and so precise I can’t think of anything else. Kids are even worse. They scream bloody murder and need seven nurses to hold them down. God bless nurses and pediatricians after a full day of this.

But one day, a strange thing happened. Our two-year-old needed another shot. My wife and I entered the exam room and handed our son an iPhone. He loves a particular car game app and thinks it’s him playing it and not the demo.

Against all odds, the app numbed him more than lidocaine and was more arresting than the needle. With mouths open, we watched the needle jab our little man’s arm, but this time he didn’t so much as blink. He was playing the car game. Like a drug, like a charm, I thought. Suddenly, I didn’t know whether to thank Silicon Valley or renounce it.

Jesus gives a warning. Life gives us too much to overcome or forget—to become numb to. So we seek things to dull the pain … to help us forget bitter times. Modern technology is amazing, but we must be careful not to numb our old anxieties with new intoxicants or let the gadgets own us.

God gives a slope. Between a gentle sip of sherry and being laid out on the floor. Between occasionally checking email and being shackled to the screen. Knowing when enough is enough isn’t easy, so we have words spoken from the lover of our souls: “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down.”

Don’t let the things of life weigh you down. Make a plan of prevention.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Obedience Training

I was the proud owner of a golden retriever.

Goldie came to me as a five-month-old puppy, but as he grew into an adult dog, taking him for walks challenged me. An eighty-five-pound woman was no match for an eighty-five-pound golden retriever who decided he wanted to take her for a walk. Which end of the leash he or I was on didn’t matter.

I enrolled Goldie in a six-week dog obedience course at the local park every Wednesday evening—perfect for cool summer evenings. The first week, we learned the rudiments of leash holding and voice modulating and were assigned weekly homework that reviewed the commands and routines.

During the first week, I spent twenty minutes a day getting Goldie accustomed to the leash with me in command. The second and third week, we worked twenty minutes a day for four days. By the fourth week, Goldie only received fifteen minutes of practice for three days. At every class session, he performed perfectly. I was proud of my dog. The fifth week had only two home practice sessions, and the sixth week was the graduation test. I was sure Goldie would pass.

On graduation day, we did a practice run of all the commands. All dogs were commanded to “down and stay” while each owner took their dog through the paces. I waited with full confidence that Goldie would step up and strut his stuff.

When I commanded him to “heel,” he stayed on the ground and looked at me. I commanded with authority and pulled on the leash. He didn’t budge. What’s with this dog! I finally persuaded him to move a few feet, but then he went into the “down” position again. We failed the test. Since Goldie had limited practice obeying his master’s voice, he followed what the other dogs were doing rather than the commands of his master.

Becoming a disciple of Christ takes practice so we can learn to hear His voice and obey His commands. When a test comes, we can do what we see other Christians do—which might be right or wrong—or we can obey our Master’s voice.

Think of one way you can better train yourself to obey God’s voice. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Basking in the Sonlight

The majority of Americans are Vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that helps our cells function properly. While found in some foods, the main source is from sunlight. We simply do not spend enough time outdoors soaking up the sun’s nutrient.  

This calls to mind another deficiency: lack of Sonlight. We don’t spend enough time soaking up the Son’s light. Just as our cells react to a Vitamin D deficiency, our lives react to the deficiency of Jesus’ presence and God’s Word. Our lives can be chaotic and our daily circumstances can overwhelm us, but if we spend time soaking up Jesus, these circumstances will not be as bad as they may appear. His presence gives clarity, peace, and hope to tackle any of the day’s challenges.

Jesus is the light of the world. A walk with Him brings life. If we follow Him, He will cast out darkness from our life and shed light on what truly matters. Just like the sun, a tremendous warmth resides in the presence of the Lord. We only need to seek Him to find it.

To overcome the darkness in the world, we need our daily dose of the Son’s light. This fuels our bodies and our spirits. Read the gospels, and listen for Jesus to speak. He wants a relationship with you and wants you to walk in the light.

Determine what areas of your life need to be illuminated. Then seek out Jesus’ presence. He will radiate within your life.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Late? Wait!

I hate to be late!

The email from a church staff member said the prayer event started at 9:30 a.m. As my husband and I got ready, he mentioned that his group leader said it started at 9 a.m. We scurried, arriving about ten minutes after nine. His info was correct. The prayer event had already begun. Our groups met in separate rooms, so off my husband went.

I walked into my meeting room and looked for a seat, feeling that all eyes were on me. On top of that, I’d invited a friend, telling her 9:30 as well. My friend wasn’t familiar with the church building and would have trouble finding our room. I placed my coat and purse on a chair and, taking my phone with me, went to the lobby to wait for her.

With tears of embarrassment and annoyance threatening, I sat on a bench and asked God why He had let this happen. In a few minutes, the woman who had greeted us at the door came to see if I was okay. Trying to be pleasant, but still upset, I explained about the email with the wrong information and how it had made me feel less valued…unwanted…unimportant.

Years ago, I’d experienced an exclusion—a wound this circumstance now poked. The woman asked who sent the email, saying she hoped it had not been her since that was usually one of her duties. Not having met before, I asked her name and then she asked to see the email. I pulled it up on my phone. Sure enough, she had sent it. Her heartfelt apologies led to a conversation between us that did much to heal my wound.

We prayed together, and I told her I believed God had willed the mistake in her email. Doing so had allowed Him an opportunity to reveal an area in my heart that needed healing. And we both acquired a new friend. God had worked all things together for my good.

Maybe God is looking to heal some areas in your life too. He might even use someone’s unintentional mistake to do that.

When annoyances arise, ask God to help you recognize His will.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Learning How to Fall

I once built monkey bars for my boys.

Carter, my oldest, could hardly wait to try them out. He nervously climbed up the ladder, grabbed the first bar, and reached for the second. Then fear set in. He kicked his feet and begged for someone to catch him. We told him to calm down and relax his legs so they would hang straight down. He needed them closer to the ground so he could turn loose and fall without hurting himself.

He finally let go, but he did not fall gracefully. Instead, he landed on his arm and wanted to quit. I told him he wasn’t going to quit until he could stop being afraid of falling. After several nervous episodes and less than graceful landings, he learned to extend his legs, relax, and fall so that he landed on his feet.

Navigating life is a lot like navigating monkey bars. We will be tempted. We will fall, but we can’t be afraid of falling. Falling is where we learn humility, experience weakness, and realize we need God and the other people He places in our lives. It’s the place where we become aware of our limits, put new safeguards in place, and experience the passageway of perseverance. Often, falling is where we gain the definition for the rest of our life.

God doesn’t want us to fear the fall. Rather, He wants us not to let the fall define the course of our lives. We can get up, run the race, and try again. After a while, the falls will lessen, and we’ll make it all the way across the monkey bars.

If your fall is bigger than you can handle alone, seek help. Attend an AA or NA meeting. Join a Celebrate Recovery group. Find a counselor, church, or support group. 

Whatever you do, don’t give up. Victory awaits on the other side.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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