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.

The Melody of Practice

When cleaning out my attic, I found my flute.

My flute is a Gemeinhardt, open-holed, silver-plated with a solid silver head and B foot. I had played from elementary school to early adulthood and had memorized and performed cantatas. I practiced daily and became a fairly accomplished flutist. But after my third child, I stopped playing. I always expected to resume, so I kept the flute and all my music.

When I took out my flute again, it had tarnished some, despite the case. I wiped it down carefully, assembled the three pieces, and straightened the sections. I put my fingers over the holes and blew a steady stream across the mouthpiece, rolling it back and forth under my lip to find the sweet spot. Instead of hearing a clear, deep note, fuzzy static tripped out.

I leafed through the music—stacks of Vivaldi, Chopin, Debussy, and Bach. I realized I couldn’t read or count many of the notes, and I couldn’t remember the fingerings. I had forgotten how to play.

Whenever I’m resting or awake, my mind focuses on what it wants to remember. Whatever it values, it will rehearse, repeat, and practice.

Following Jesus, like playing an instrument, requires intentionality and repetition. I can never stop being God’s child any more than I can stop being a flutist, but I can certainly fail to perform like one. I can forget how to practice my faith and why practicing matters. I can easily assume that because I believe, I must be a good Christian.

For twenty years, I never unclasped the case that held a beautiful and valuable instrument, once so familiar to me. I always intended to perform again, but now when I have an inkling to play a simple melody, I can’t remember how.

My faith is like my flute. The melody of our faith is practice. To remain effective and influential followers of Jesus, we must all rehearse our faith consistently. We must read God’s Word, pray continually, and share His gospel. If we don’t, we will forget how to do it.

What is the melody of your faith practice?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Pass It On

“Come on. Let’s read the Christmas story so we can open presents.”

Their eyes lit up and smiles creased their faces. I’m not sure whether this came because they wanted to hear my story or because they wanted to get that part of the night over so they could open their presents. Regardless, I circled my children and grandchildren before me . . . and began.

I pulled out the old Bible that had belonged to my great-grandmother—so ragged that the cover had long since disappeared—and read from Luke 2.

Year two. I took out my grandfather’s Bible. It was in a little better shape. Once again, I flipped the aged pages to Luke 2. By now, everyone knew what story I planned to read.

Year three. I removed one of my dad’s Bibles from the bookshelf, opened it to Luke 2, and once again, read the story to my family. But this year, I did something different. I told them how Jesus was a carpenter and so was my dad—their Papa and great-Papa. When I finished, I had the oldest grandson present give a gift to his mom and uncle. Inside were wooden food trays their Papa had made. Then I gave each grandchild knives and tie tacks that had belonged to the great-Papa. I passed on something of worth to them.

The psalmist planned to pass on the story of what God had done in his life and the life of his ancestors. This included a personal relationship and God’s saving actions in their history.

Although our family heritages differ—some we may not be proud of, know of, or even want to remember—we each have one. And there is something good in them that we can pass on if we look hard enough. Even negatives can become positives with the right perspective. Our children and grandchildren need to hear the stories.

More important, is the spiritual heritage. What the psalmist planned to pass on. Hopefully, we have a rich one of those as well. But even if we don’t, we can start with ourselves and pass on ours. Our children and grandchildren need to hear what God has done in our lives. Then, they will be encouraged that He wants to do the same in theirs.

What are some ways you can pass on your heritage?

(Photo courtesy of the author.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Just Say Yes

It happened during a meeting at the church I attended.

While having an informal sharing time, an elderly member expressed a need for transportation to a doctor’s office. She spoke for an extended time about her problem, but not one person, including me, volunteered to take her. This woman had a notorious reputation for being a nonstop talker, and those attending the meeting knew this.

During the time she spoke, the quiet voice of God’s Spirit nudged me to volunteer. I knew I didn’t have an excuse not to take her. I could have rearranged my schedule, but along with the others, I remained silent. We had helped this woman before by providing transportation. Yet this time, we all hesitated because of her marathon talking.

After I went home from the meeting, I continued to feel conviction. Daily, I pray that I may be a helper, a blessing, and an encourager to those in need. This day I had been given the opportunity, but failed to take advantage of it. God reminded me of my prayers.

I determined on the next day to contact the woman and offer to take her for her appointment. Upon making that decision, I felt God’s peace. I believe God wanted to see if I was willing to help others as I had asked in my prayers, or if I was simply repeating words.

Now, when I pray about helping others, I ask God to help me to be willing. God loves a cheerful giver. This not only applies to the gift of material possessions but also to the gift of our time, energies, and abilities.

Have you ever felt the probing finger of God touching your heart as He did mine and responded with a “No”? Ask Him today to help you become more willing to reach out to others and to answer “Yes” to His calling.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

God's Got the Last Word

As the doctor left the room, he took all hopes of a good outcome with him.

Tearfully coming to grips with reality, Amelia walked across the hall to a small counseling room to make the unenviable calls to family members. She told them her son had just passed away. Soon, nurses would terminate the life-support machine, and so would end a young man's life far too soon.

Wanting to comfort her, the pastor walked with her. While searching for words of comfort in his mind, the Lord spoke to the pastor's heart. “Tell her I've got the last word.”

As Amelia made the first call, God spoke to the pastor's heart again, saying, “Tell her.” As she hung up the phone, the pastor told her, “Amelia, God's got the last word.”

Back in the hospital room, Amelia, the pastor, and a couple of others watched with broken hearts as nurses turned off the machine. Surprisingly, Tommy's heart continued to beat. Those in the room tried to comfort one another as they waited for the inevitable continuous alarm. This was one Thursday morning Amelia would never forget.

Sunday morning, the church door opened, and in walked Tommy, looking as if nothing had ever been wrong with him. Defying the odds and to the amazement of his doctors, Tommy made a full recovery. What had seemed a hopeless and inevitable death on Thursday was now three days later a perfectly healthy and vibrant life.

Tommy provided living proof that with God death is swallowed up in victory. Never again would Tommy or his mom doubt that God has the last word.

The moral of the story? Never doubt God's power. Never give up on prayer, no matter how bad your situation may appear. Someone's life may depend on it.

Remember, with people, things are impossible, but with God, all things are possible. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Perfect Coordinates

As the sun rose over the horizon, I began my day by reading God’s Word.

Two overhead lights brightened the pages of the Bible as I sat in bed reading Psalms 119. I contemplated what I was reading because God’s Word is life. Every word reflects God Himself. John said, “the Word was God.”

I glanced into the dark kitchen where a small window is surrounded by a screened-in porch. Little light entered through it. Suddenly, it happened. A brilliant light emitting rays of dazzling color in every direction zapped me. I could hardly breathe as I sat there motionless, watching fireworks dancing on the head of the kitchen water faucet.

Some people call this chance. I call it providence. I’m not capable of creating one single moment filled with God. Only God has the power to do that.

I could rationalize this experience. Scientifically speaking, the sunlight was rising at just the right angle to stream into the kitchen window at just the right angle to bounce off the kitchen faucet by the small dark window to reach me as I happened to be in the right spot at the right time. If I were sitting anywhere else on this planet, this experience would never have happened.

I know differently because I was there with the perfect Word of God, sitting in the perfect spot at exactly the perfect time when perfect light came in a perfect direction to hit the perfect spot on, of all things, the tip-top of the water faucet.

As if that weren't enough to stun me, the hymn “How Great Thou Art” softly played in the background. God made His point. He is perfect in every way. I stood in awe before the God who loves me and observed the greatest light show on earth for about five minutes. Then it disappeared because the perfect coordinates were no more.

Rationalizing denies God’s reality. We cannot change the truth. The true reality is that God loves us and wants to provide the perfect coordinates to light up our lives.

Will you seek God? Are you ready to find Him?  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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