A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Spirit & Heart

Where your heart is, there is where your treasure lays. Our hearts guide our emotion and decisions. Unless God is the center of the heart, things are askew. Allowing the Spirit into the matters of the heart promises the faithfulness of Jesus in our lives.

Dumping the Fine Dust of Sin

While vacuuming one day, I noticed the vacuum container was full.

Being a dutiful husband, I took on the nasty task of emptying it. Dust specks danced freely as I dumped the contents into the trash. Thinking the job was done, I resumed my housework. Yet something was still wrong. It was not cleaning as deeply as I wanted.

Upon further inspection, I could see that fine dust still clogged the system. To consider the cleaning job complete by emptying the main contents and continuing to vacuum would be futile. I could go through the motions, yet truly clean nothing.

God’s Spirit used this setting to whisper a spiritual truth. It is easy to avoid or ask forgiveness for my large or readily recognizable sins. And yet the fine dust remains and continues clogging up a deeper spiritual life.

Fine dust represents those hidden, protected, excused, or ignored areas, actions, and mindsets. I may have grown so accustomed to or comfortable with them that I don’t readily see them. Close friends may be able to point out such blind spots. However, most often, such intimate scrutiny involves the searchlight of the Holy Spirit. The psalmist recognized this need by asking God to keep him from presumptuous and hidden (even pampered) sins.

When I humbly surrender and open myself before God, He reveals my fine dust. Then it becomes a matter of personal repentance and willingness to change. I must lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares me and allow God to dump my fine dust. Only in this way can I go deeper with Him on the path to Christlikeness. In addition to God’s ongoing searchlight and my willing submission to Him, there still remains my desire to honor Him in all I say and do.

Let the words of your mouth and the meditation of Your heart be acceptable in God’s sight.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

 



Shallow Waters

A new friend and I met at a local coffee shop.

She was an experienced writer, so I picked her brain.

“Just start writing. Take small, baby steps,” she offered. “You don’t have to publish a book or do anything grandiose. The Spirit will guide you in what He wants you to write.”

Only scratching the surface, I acclimated to the waters before I dived into the depths of God’s plans for my writing. I walked along the beach of His stories, stuck my toes in, and enjoyed the wonder of His words.

“No hurry, no rush,” echoed in my mind like rhythmic, gentle waves on the shore. Sometimes it felt as if a tidal wave had washed over me—full force, knocking me off my feet, dragging me away in the undertow.

Fifteen years ago, I accepted the call in my heart to become a Christian writer. Naïve and a little foolish at the time, I dove in and almost drowned. Like Moses taking matters into his own hands, I jumped the gun. Nothing happened. I was dead in the water—confused and frustrated. But my waiting time prepared me for what was ahead. 

I am encouraged that God doesn’t change. He lives in the shallows as well as in the deep. His plans and purposes are perfect and will always stand. I am His pen, His keyboard, His instrument, a speck of dust in His vast universe of time and space, sustained by amazing grace.

Make a commitment to spend time diving deeper into God’s love, His words, and His plans.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



A Woman of God

I read this verse in my Bible and wondered how I could become a woman of God. In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers, but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 

When I turned sixty years old, I included this wish in my bucket list. But first came the pre-Corona days. I re-joined my local church and made some new friends in my awesome community of God. I had worshipped there before, but my health conditions or simple inertia prevented me from participating as I should have.

Then, Covid-19 hit. Now, I make silent prayers and devotions. I am sure God understands that all humans struggle at times with things that hold us back, whether it is health or domestic situations.

I found one step to developing my soul as a woman of God was to offer a morning offering to God. I woke up, so I thanked God. The sun rose, and dawn took away the veil of darkness from my blinded eyes—the windows of my soul. I said, “Good morning, Jesus!”

A woman of God should be herself—calm and smiling and praying to be blessed by grace. But it is hard sometimes not to give in to the temptation of gossiping or giving others labels. Sometimes I think negative thoughts about others but carry on as normal. A woman can have a pretty face but an ugly heart. A woman of God will smile calmly and turn the other cheek, walking humbly in her devotion to Jesus.

But no one is a perfect Christian woman. I am sure God understands our temptations to gossip, feel envy, or assign negative labels. As the old saying says, “Loose lips sink ships.”

On such occasions, I find it best to maintain peace in my heart and home. Then I can go to bed at night, considering that a woman of God had a peaceful day and nothing happened. Peace pleases God. And I can say, “Good night, Jesus. Please bless me with Your grace.”

I am still working on being a woman of God. Are you?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Through God’s Eyes

I watch in silent horror as the glass slips through my greasy fingers and plummets to the tile floor.

All awareness ceases for a second, although the crashing awakens me. Not only my mother’s glass dish, carrying the recipe and expensive ingredients I perfected for weeks, but also my failure. Shards of glass and meatloaf sprawl all over the floor, the refrigerator, the trashcan, me, and somehow even my hair.

Why is it I can’t seem to do anything, right? I am ugly. I am dumb. I am a failure.

Whether this scene is familiar or not, we all have days (sometimes weeks or months) where our shortcomings seem magnified. Maybe we compare ourselves to the neighbor with a fancy car or sleek figure. Maybe we try to appease our parents or the world. Or maybe we are our own worst enemy, as it is with me. Regardless of the motive, we all have scripts in our mind. But we can change the narrative.

Samuel went to the house of Jesse to figure out who the anointed king would be but learned an important lesson about looking at people through God’s eyes.

Rather than an outcast, God says I am chosen. I am not too dirty or unworthy. God says I am holy. I am loved—but not contingent upon any standards. The world says I am ugly, but God says I am beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made. Science and people say I am an accident, but God has a purpose for me. I am not too broken. I am God’s masterpiece.

Rather than a shifting foundation based on the dollar amount in the bank or numbers on the scale—or even people who mean well, yet are still sinners—God is the same. Yesterday, today, and forever.

Life would be different if we thought and saw ourselves and the world the way God sees. It won’t happen overnight, although it's time to silence the Enemy and open the first page of the story He’s writing. The story of our lives.

Let God help you see yourself through His eyes.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



On Guard

My spirits soared as I cruised down the interstate on a long-anticipated weekend trip.

The year 2020 had been difficult, and I needed a break. Singing along to a CD of my favorite hymns, I relaxed and let my mind wander as I drove.

Life was good—at least until I glanced in my rearview mirror. My heart sank as blue lights flashed atop a patrol car, rapidly approaching from behind. Pulling over, I realized I was now a lawbreaker…a speeder. I had not intentionally broken the law; I was simply daydreaming and not paying attention while driving. Intentional or not, the result was the same: a hefty ticket.

Traveling the road of the Christian life often brings similar results. While there are no posted speed limits, the Bible does give expected standards for behavior. Distracted by our daily lives, we sometimes fail to pay attention to God’s laws. We do not set out to sin, but somehow we do. Inattention causes our downfall. Sin is sin whether inadvertent or intentional.

Paul instructed the Corinthian believers to be on their guard. Christians today would do well to heed his directions also. But when should we be on guard? Paul did not limit his instruction to a specific time or activity.

We must carefully observe God’s standards all the time. Without paying constant attention, we run the risk of committing sin. And the consequences of sin are far worse than receiving a speeding ticket.

Ask God to help you stay on guard.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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