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.

Immediately

Call Ruth and see how she is doing.

The thought kept going through my mind. I sensed the Lord’s prompting to call an elderly woman from my church. So, I wrote her name on my to-do list. On the bottom of my to-do list. Yes, I would call Ruth, but I needed to do other things first. Eventually, evening arrived. I was tired and decided it was too late to call her. I would do it tomorrow.

When the Lord prompts me to do something, I seldom say “No.” Quite often, however, I say “Later.” But many times, later never comes.

In the gospels, Jesus called Peter and Andrew to leave their homes and their livelihood and follow Him. They did not wait until they caught a few more fish or until they said goodbye to the neighbors. They didn’t tell Jesus they would follow Him later. The Scriptures say they immediately stood up, left their nets, and followed Him.

How often I think of procrastination as a trivial thing. But the Lord who deserves our obedience also deserves immediate obedience. 

Why is it that I so often procrastinate in obeying the Lord? Often, I want to be in control of my time and priorities. I am a list maker, and I don’t like my well-orchestrated plans interrupted. I forget my time is in His hands, and that He has the right to reorder my priorities.  My response should be “Yes, Lord,” followed by immediate obedience.

Ask God to give you a surrendered will that obeys immediately.

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



He Is Joyful in Your Labor

Our phone rang not thirty minutes after two of our teenage sons loaded into the truck to run a few errands.

“I was following the boys across the river bridge, and a cigarette flew out the window and landed on my car. I thought you’d like to know.”

Very few rush to tell us good things about our children, rather it’s the opposite. If there is an issue, folks race to inform us of their misgivings forcing us to wonder if our children do anything other than rabble-rousing. Was our parenting labor in vain? A worthless effort that has only managed to produce unruly children? Of course not, but the negativity of man leans first to what is wrong rather than what is right. Perhaps this is a foothold of the evil one—a way he can instill chaos and frustration into our hearts.

John, in this letter to Gaius—a traveling companion, a fellow believer, and a respected teacher—immediately offered a compliment. He shared that he had no greater joy than to hear his children were walking in the truth. What a compliment, both for John and Gaius, to know that those they labored and invested their time into remained staunch in their beliefs in Christ.

When we labor hard on a project or even in our families, it’s nice to know others see the good. Especially when it comes to our children. The time we invest in them is valuable. The validation from others brings us joy. God is equally pleased when His children remain strong in their relationships with Him. He delights in our efforts to be the children He longs for us to be.

We knew and still know, our children are far from perfect, but it doesn’t mean they are bad men. Still, it would have been nice to have heard our friend say, “Your son is a good driver” instead. We addressed the issue, but praising them would have been so much sweeter.

When others try to stifle the joy we have in Christ by pointing out those minute failures, do not dismay. Hold strong to the purity of Christ. Remain in His Word and pray for His guidance in your understanding.

The Father is joyful at your faithful labor.

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Our Provider

When I was a little girl, my parents weren’t well-off.

I never went without, but I didn’t grow up in the lap of luxury either. One thing my mother taught me was not to worry because the Lord would provide. And He always did. No matter how tight the finances were, we always had enough.

The shepherds of David’s time cared for every need of their sheep. They provided lush pastures, cool streams of water, and protection from danger.

The heavenly Father is our Shepherd who provides for all our needs. God will liberally supply our every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Thank goodness He doesn’t do it according to our bank balance. In case we’re feeling a bit doubtful, God assures us that if we rely on Him, we will not be disappointed. He will not let us down. No matter what the need, He will provide.

We should not set our hopes on the uncertainty of possessions, but rather on God who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Our Father wants to provide for our needs and give us things purely for enjoyment. Isn’t that just like a true father?

Our Father knows what we need before we ask Him. We have no reason to worry or be anxious about food, clothing, or any other needs we may have. Instead, we should seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all those other things will be given to us.

I have carried my childhood lessons with me throughout my life, tackling the challenges of almost twenty years of marriage and raising three children on one average wage. The Lord, my Shepherd, has supported me just as He promised. I can still say, “I have all that I need.”

Are you trusting God to provide all you need?

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Treasured

For many, old stuff is just junk. Things nobody wants. But to a collector, junk is potential.

A collector stops at nearly every thrift store, rummage sale, or auction looking for just the right item to advance his collection. Perhaps he collects paintings, or jewelry, or priceless glassware. Scanning the shelves, alert for the item he seeks, his pulse quickens with excitement when he sees it. Examining the treasure, he overlooks the cracks, stains, or dust. He knows how to clean, polish, and restore. Hugging the special find, he gladly pays the purchase price, for he grasps the true value of the item.

Jesus is a collector of people. He finds us in the dust and ruts of our sin. His eyes sparkle with delight as He heals our brokenness and claims us as one of His own. Having paid the extravagant price, He redeems us with His blood. He washes us in the waters of baptism and records our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life. He sands the rough edges, removes our stains with His righteousness, and uses our scars to remind us where we’ve been and who He is to us.

Although the collector may display his priceless find in a frame, behind a glass window, or on a shelf, Jesus chooses to give us new purpose. He blesses us with gifts and talents, then surrounds us with people who need our help. In our daily devotions, He whispers an idea, the plan He has for us. He equips us for ministries large or small and sends us out into the world to share His love with others.

You are a treasure—a special delight to God. Have you heard His whisper in your heart? How will He use you today? Let Him use your feeble efforts to further His kingdom and honor Him.

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



You Are Valuable

The young woman swiped her eyes, smearing mascara across her cheeks.

“You have worth. Your life is valuable.” A kind man stretched out his hand to help her stand. He pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and gently placed it in her hand. “Things seem hard, but the Father knows your needs. Let me help you inside the shelter.”

With that, he guided the woman into the shelter and the presence of a minister. Two women joined the pastor and welcomed the young girl.

“Let’s get you cleaned up and get some food in you. Then we can figure out how best to help you.”

The young girl smiled as the man who’d freely helped her waved goodbye. “Remember, you are valuable in God’s eyes.”

The evil one seeks to tear us down mentally. We look for the physical attacks, almost expect them, but for one reason or another, our eyes are blinded to the mental attacks that rain down on us. Satan works, not from a standpoint of our strengths, for he cannot compare to them, but from our weaknesses where he needles his way into our minds. Attacking our self-confidence is easy because as humans, our mental well-being is vulnerable. We become easy targets when we question our self-worth to our Father and our friends.

Jesus seemed burdened by the worry of those He preached to in this passage. He recognized their fear. It was a tumultuous time for believers. His reassurance to the people was not a promise that things would be easy but rather a reminder of whom the people should fear, and whom they should depend upon.

Picture the gentleness of the Savior as He walked among the people. Take in His desire to calm the fear, and grasp hold of the reassurance He gave that day. What good is it to fear one who can simply take our life but do nothing else? Fear the one who can cast us into hell. Don’t worry. God knows every part of us. If He finds value in the sparrows, imagine how much more value He finds in us.

The Father loves His children, and, although we know this as believers, we tend to lose sight of how He cares for us. He doesn’t want to lose one soul. God allows us the freedom to choose to love Him. His love for us is strong and our value in His eyes is beyond our understanding.

Never question your value in God’s eyes.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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