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.

Connected to the Power Source

Late one evening, my trashcan overflowed onto the floor.

I decided to take the bag out. For most, this is a simple task—although with my disability and confinement to a wheelchair, this small thing produces quite the challenge. I wedged the bag under my stiff legs and navigated the familiar route to the dumpsters, which meant going out my door to the ramp and then around the building.

On the way, I noticed my chair showed only two bars of charge. I made a mental note to plug it in when I returned to my apartment. As I dumped the trash and the cool night air brushed my face, I forgot about the charge and decided to ride around the housing complex.

All went well. I admired the beauty of the night sky—the stillness and peace exuding from a busy world now asleep. But on the way up the hill, nearing my building, my chair halted. I tried turning it on multiple times. Nothing.

I was stuck in the middle of the road. In the pitch black. Completely alone. With a dead wheelchair. As my nervous chuckles turned to sobs, I was reminded of a vital truth about our relationship with God.

Instead of waiting until we crash or run out of charge, we need to stay connected to our power source—God. Listening to sermons and fellowshipping with other believers helps, but we can’t solely rely on secondhand information.

Our God is intimate and longs for us to know Him through His Word and prayer. Even on days when we don’t feel like it, we must make connecting with Him our priority.

How do you need to clear your schedule and your heart to make room daily for God?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

To the Work

I grew up on a five-acre farm on the outskirts of a small Colorado community.       

I was raised in a family with nine siblings. My sisters and I shared everything from beds to clothes. And we shared the work.

One of my favorite early-morning chores was gathering eggs. Pushing open the creaky wooden chicken coop door always sent the hens into a cackling uproar. But I ignored their protest. Moving down the row of straw-filled wooden cubbyholes, I wrestled my hand under the warm breast of the chicken to gather her eggs.

Our parents expected us children from an early age to participate in daily chores and routines. While not always done with a cheerful attitude, we knew what was required of us. No amount of complaining exempted us from doing our part. We learned a good work ethic that has contributed to a productive life for all of us. Sunday was our only day of rest.

Paul is clear; if we don't work, we shouldn’t eat. He addresses those who are lazy and undisciplined. Instead of working, they spend time being busybodies. According to Paul, idle time leads to unhealthy habits, so he urges his readers to settle down and work to earn a living.

Paul also tells them never to tire of doing good. It may be comfortable to sit back and consider that we have done our share when we’re no longer in the workforce. But we can find a neighbor, friend, or stranger who may need a helping hand, a smile, or an encouraging word. We should never tire of doing good.

Thomas Edison said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Look for opportunities to engage in productive activity.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Our Forever Friend

“I’m innocent,” John wrote from prison. “I was framed and accused of child abuse, but I’m not guilty.”

John read an article I wrote for a national Christian magazine. Since I live in a small town of fewer than four hundred people, learning my address was not difficult.

John claimed to be a Christian, and he included pages of Scripture in his letters to impress me with his knowledge of the Bible. However, I was aware he had merely copied the Scripture from a Bible.

He longed for someone to visit him in prison. I was able to contact a caring older man who volunteered to visit John. George was a true Christian friend who went the extra mile of appearing with John for a hearing.

One day when George visited John in prison, he discovered John was in the infirmary, suffering from an overdose of drugs. All the time George had been trying to help John, John had been using drugs. How sad that he had taken advantage of someone who was an encouraging friend.

Sometimes, we’re guilty of doing the same with our forever Friend. Jesus loved us enough to die on a cross so we might have salvation. He willingly suffered the extreme pain of beatings and the humiliation of being ridiculed and spat upon. In his time of greatest need, His closest friends turned from Him. Peter denied three times that he knew Him.

Our lives should reflect Christ’s presence within us. Our Bibles should not gather dust where they lie upon a shelf. We should spend much time communicating with our Lord, and our prayers should include words of praise and honor to God, not merely a long list of requests.

Our forever Friend wants to have a personal relationship with His children. What changes can you make to help bring that about?

Take time each day to communicate with Jesus Christ.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Those Who Are Broken

“I’m such a mess,” the young woman said. “I have too many issues, and I can’t ever do anything right.”

Isn’t it funny how our human nature dictates the need to be perfect, even though perfection is something we can never attain? It might be hard to admit, but we’re all broken in one way or another. Some brokenness is more obvious than others, but the pain and the struggle remain. We all deal with fears, weaknesses, insecurities, and bad habits. Once we get a handle on one thing, another pops up to discourage us.

The truth is God created us that way. The Bible calls us earthen vessels. Simple clay pots that are cracked. Chipped. Imperfect. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need a Savior.

Brokenness comes in many forms—homes, hearts, dreams, bodies, relationships, marriages, and lives. The problem comes when we get so caught up in our issues that we are blinded to the plight of those around us. Those of us who claim to follow Christ should always be ready to offer help and hope to those who are hurting. Bob Gass writes, “God uses us to minister to one another, love one another, honor one another, and carry one another’s burdens.”

So, how do we deal with brokenness? We receive and walk in God’s grace. Gass also says, “Grace restores the heart and resolves the troubles of a tormented spirit. It is lovingkindness and forgiveness. It is the favor of God.”

As we grow in grace, we learn to see and accept ourselves for who we are. We embrace the good and surrender all those broken places to the Lord. Then we’re able to reach out and extend that same grace to others.

Remember, we’re all cracked pots, but that’s only so God’s light can shine through us.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Losing the Blessing

Being a caregiver to Gene stressed me.

Dementia crowded out reality in Gene’s mind, and it seemed he had lost the ability to reason and make the right decisions. When things didn’t go as he believed they should, he lost his temper and exploded verbally at me, saying I was eviler than the alcoholic stepfather who beat him when he was a child.

As I sat alone waiting for an appointment with my doctor, I watched a gray-haired mother pushing a wheelchair with her middle-aged son in it. She headed to the receptionist’s desk to make an appointment. The son’s hands flailed in the air. Guttural sounds poured from his mouth. He depended upon his mother. But the mother had a glowing smile that seemed to reflect inner peace. Her smile never wavered.

I thought about the work of caring for Gene who was incontinent, walked unsteadily with a walker, and took his frustration with life out on me—yet I felt the older mother’s burden was far worse than mine.

As I watched the mother, I felt the urge to tell her how her smile of grace blessed me. But I remained in my seat. Soon, the mother and son left the building. My good intentions accomplished nothing because I didn’t follow through on them.

Perhaps we’ve all been guilty of doing as I did. We may feel God’s Holy Spirit whispering to us to speak a kind word, visit a shut-in, offer a ride to church, or do some other act of kindness, but we fail to carry through.

Be willing to obey those nudges the Lord gives you and to follow through on the kindnesses He bids you do. Don’t be guilty of losing the blessing you may be to others.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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