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.

A Kiss from Heaven

Weariness and disillusionment settled over my spiritual battleground like thick black-powder cannon smoke.

Contending for God’s promises, remaining focused in faith, praying, fighting for footholds of sanity, and loving regardless felt elusive—like a horrible joke. War in my soul spiraled into spiritual tension so dense it manifested into a demonic weight that pressed against my body and made coming home like entering a room imploding with a thousand swirling pieces of glass. More than once, tears watered my approach to the foot of God’s throne for mercy and comfort.

But one day, God sent a stunning answer. The scene erupted like a drive-in picture screen. A surreal, towering rainbow spread wide before me like open arms. God’s arms. I wanted to run into them.

The splendor of those brilliant colors, bowing close to the heavens surrounding my home street reminded me of God’s ultimate control and power. And God, my Abba Father, heard my prayers. Not just seconds before, but before time began, He prepared an eye-popping rainbow to comfort me. He hadn’t forgotten His promises. He knew the battle going on, how ragged and exhausted I’d become. And He reached down from heaven, wrapped me in His loving embrace, and encouraged me. That is beyond good. God is beyond good. He is glorious. And He took pleasure in answering me before I cried out.

Spiritual battles will never end on this earth. But God is sure, and His answers are already in place. He enjoys moving for us before we speak.

Have you experienced God’s touch of comfort and encouragement with a sign? If not, ask God to move in that way for you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Create in Me a Clean Heart

When traveling, I often notice neglected old homeplaces.

My first thoughts are about their history. Who lived there? Did they entertain guests, have family celebrations, or make memorable moments? With a few renovations and fresh paint, I imagine what transformations it would take to restore them to their former beauty. 

God dwells within us and guides us to make needed adjustments, whether it is something we should change or fix. Some days, it might just be a nasty old attitude. David asked God to change, renew, and transform his heart. He wanted God to search him and walk through the deepest places of his soul—to revive, renew, and restore him. David realized he could not change his own heart. God was the only source of such joy and renewal.

During summer, most of us pen our to-do list. We take inventory, pull out the paintbrushes, and check off the repairs, renovations, and restorations we need to complete. Our homes bring us joy when we observe and complete projects that need mending.

When the Holy Spirit resides in our hearts, we can conquer sin and not succumb to temptation. We can live a devoted joyful Christian life and not waver in our faith.

If you feel broken or abandoned and long for renewal and restoration, ask God to cleanse and change your heart. Doing so will bring freedom to forgive, to love and serve others, and to love ourselves. When we allow God to search our hearts, He will take what's wrong and make it right.

Why not ask God to create a clean heart in you?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Attacked by the Past

The Bible provides several “stops.”

Since we never forget anything unless we experience organic damage or age-related loss of ability, memories of abuse, betrayal, and failure can reoccur.

When our memories of painful behavior happen, we often relive that experience in our emotions and picture-book memory. This is a traumatic experience if we have confessed those sins and received Christ’s satisfying payment for our sins. Additionally, this process can produce self-doubt, anger, shame, pain, and a loss of positive self-image.

The Old Testament includes several insights about memories from the past that plague a person. In today’s example. Isaiah told them to stop pondering things from their past.

If the evil one and his minions can convince us to become lost in our traumatic past, we will become valueless servants to Christ in the present. In addition to rejecting our painful past because of Jesus’ victory on the cross, we must also believe the Father is doing something new.

Approaches that help include claiming the victory of Jesus by saying, “In the name of Jesus, get away from me spirit of failure and trauma.” We can also say, “I choose to see this positive, successful memory (a chosen memory that illustrates good choices) instead of these sinful memories from the past. I refuse to ponder the things of the past.”

Hold on to who the Father has made you and remember how Jesus’ blood has washed you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Gone with the Wind

The wind is a funny thing.

We cannot see, taste, or smell the wind. With little or no wind, the weather can be sticky or foggy, the air stale or dank, or the water motionless. With too much wind, the force destroys buildings and trees in its path, a cold day is made bitter, and people shuffle to get out of it. The laws of gravity do not bind the wind; otherwise, the air aloft would not exist. We only know about the wind when we hear it blowing, see the trees and flowers bend, watch leaves and debris circle about, or look at a weather vane. Wind can come as a refreshing breeze or a devastating tornado.

The agricultural world is very attuned to the wind since it enhances pollination and plant growth. An absence of wind often signals a drought. On the other hand, too much wind prevents farmers from doing their work or damages their crops. For fishermen, the wind can signal a storm and prevent them from arriving at their destination. That is why when Jesus talked about the wind, people listened.

Jesus noted that no one could see the wind, tell where it was going, or know from where it came. With modern-day meteorology, we predict and then observe the wind’s direction and speed, yet ultimately we cannot know where any given gust has originated. Jesus was probably talking about a soothing breeze when He compared the wind to those born again and controlled by the Holy Spirit.

In Christ, we are indistinguishable externally. The quality of our lives and its impact on others shows Jesus living in us. Those governed by God manifest the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Our goal is to freshen up our world by spreading the gospel to those around us.

Ask God to make you a pleasant and fragrant breeze to those around you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Color of Scared

Fear has been my curse since childhood. My family was wonderful. Nothing horrible happened to me—no abuse or skeletons in the closet. All this to say, fear lives in the closet of my heart.

Whatever the reason, fear has always nipped at my heels. I have credited my faith with forging ahead through whatever scares me, but I certainly couldn’t do it alone.

I once had a friend who asked me to put a color to my fear and then said, “You don’t trust God if you are afraid.” If I were to put a realistic color to my fear, I would say blue. Not the soft blue of the sky, but the blackish-blue of deep scary water. That blackish-blue fear engulfed me. I carried it for a long time in my spiritual life, wondering if my friend was right. Did I not trust God? That scared me, too.

On numerous occasions, God reminded Joshua not to fear, telling him to be strong and courageous because He was with him. Obviously, Joshua was a little nervous about the plan God had hatched for him. Yet, even in his fear, Joshua’s faith helped him cling to the Father.

God wasn’t angry at Joshua for his fear. Instead, He reminded Joshua continuously that He was with him. That is the sign of a loving Father who offered a frightening task to His child and then promised to stand by him. As a result, Joshua threw his faith in the lead and believed God would do what He promised . . . and God did.

The closer we draw to God in our personal relationship, the easier it is to see and hear Him when He speaks. I allowed that well-meaning friend’s remark to “scare” me, so I asked God to speak to me about my fear.

My fear doesn’t drive me away from the Father; it drives me into the haven of His arms. God understands my fear and doesn’t punish me for being afraid. Instead, He takes me by the hand and helps me forge through. Do I think God wants me to be afraid? Absolutely not, but He uses my fear to draw me to Him.

When well-meaning souls try to fix you with good intentions and misguided spiritual advice, search the Scripture. You’ll see God understands and walks with us. He will never fail to keep His promise. Even when you might be a little scared.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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