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.

Memories

I discovered I exhibit certain behavior when discussing finances.

I feel hurt inside and get teary-eyed. Since there was no cause for the tears, my behavior was unusual. I knew something on the subconscious level was happening. Eventually, I stopped and asked, “What is causing this?” A memory came.

When I was a young girl, I learned that I may not have been wanted because I was “another mouth to feed” and money was scarce. Thank heavens, the thought of my non-existence was opposed by one of my birth parents. So, here I am.

Just as Eve faced consequences for disobeying God, so the consequences of my knowledge have impacted me negatively my entire life—even though I wasn’t fully aware of it. I knew I experienced anxiety around the topic of finances, even when it involved another person. The lack of funds or the inability to give or contribute financially to others was equal to being unworthy or being a failure. And there is the root of it: unworthy in the eyes of those who matter.

The bad news is that I am now fifty years old, and the deeply hidden, false feeling of unworthiness has had many years to intertwine itself around my heart like a briar patch in a neglected lot. The good news is that I am much wiser about handling misguided, deeply-rooted negative thoughts. Now, my goal is to uproot this thorny invasion and cultivate a healthy, true mindset about my worth as it relates to money.

We may have bad memories in the deep, dark recesses of our mind that we are not aware of—except  for their manifestation in particular behavioral patterns. When these behavior patterns emerge, we must ask, “What is causing this?” Getting to the roots of these thorny memories helps us weed out the bad lies and cultivate the beautiful, colorful truth in its place.

Don’t let bad memories ruin your good thoughts.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Space Camp and the Judgment Seat

I watched the movie, which was based on a true story about special needs children.

The movie starred a man who had worked for years in a school for such children and wanted to treat them normally. He thought about different ways he might put dreams in their minds—dreams of fitting into society instead of being thrown away. These children had behavioral problems too. When necessary, he used disciplinary actions so the children couldn’t do as they pleased.

One day, he thought about the Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. After many setbacks, he was able to take the students there. At the end of the camp, several ordinary schools, along with two special needs schools, held a competition for awards. The Space Camp school placed third.

A surprise award was given to the person who had “the stuff." One boy—who had thought he couldn't lead—won this award based on his attitude in leadership. After officials presented him the certificate, he cut it up and gave a piece to each of his classmates.

I was reminded of the Judgment Seat of Christ. As Christians, we will stand before Christ to be rewarded or not rewarded for what we did in our Christian walk—such as serving each other in love as this boy did. One thing Christ will base our rewards on will be our attitude—whether or not our service was done for the Lord or for us. 

Ask God to prepare you to appear before the Judgment Seat by helping you to serve Him with unselfish motives.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Is Somebody Knocking?

I pressed the doorbell and waited. I hit it again. No response. I knocked. Three times—with a wait in between.

I needed to tell my friend something important. I was in the neighborhood, so I thought I'd stop by and tell her face-to-face instead of calling. Through the window, I saw the lights on, so I knocked again—louder this time. Still, no answer. The door wasn't locked, but I didn’t want to enter without an invitation. Why didn’t she come to the door? If she heard me, why didn't she answer? I tired of waiting and left. Later, she told me she was home but unaware I was at the door.

Jesus stands at the door of our hearts, waiting for us to answer. He won’t enter without our permission. Like my friend, some people just don’t realize He is there. Others hear the knock and choose not to answer. But Jesus doesn’t give up and go away as I did. He continues to knock and wait for as long as it takes to get our attention—until we invite Him in.

Perhaps you know someone who has heard the knock but not answered. Or someone who has not heard Him knocking. God wants us to reach out and encourage them to open the door so they can have the "peace which surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7).

If you haven’t opened the door for Jesus, why not do it now?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



The Hope Box

It was one of those days. A humdinger of a day.

All three of my kids caused me angst, and, as a single mom, I had nowhere to turn. I went into my bedroom and closed the door, but that was no escape from the turmoil I felt. I was overwhelmed. Tears flowed as I slumped to the floor.

I can’t do this, I thought. It’s too hard to do alone. I have failed them as a mom. My kids are lacking the strong arm of a father, and I am weary. I’m not tough enough to finish the journey. I want to give up. Let them do whatever they want because I am tired of fighting for right choices.

I sighed and looked at the bookshelf. One of my trinket boxes had the word Hope written on the side. I knew that’s what I had lost. As I stared at the box, I realized I would never have seen hope if I hadn’t sat on the floor where it was eye-level. The Lord knew exactly what I needed and led me to it.

“You’re right, Lord. I have lost my hope.” I dried my tears and opened my Bible to Isaiah 41:10. The words were a balm to my soul. I had forgotten that He is God and controls everything. I had allowed myself to focus on my circumstances, and it brought me down to a place of despair. Yet He was quick to come to my aid. He pointed me to hope, knowing the ultimate source was is in Jesus.

The Lord always strengthens me when I have nothing left. I can trust Him to give me what I need every moment of my day. And when I forget, He puts a hope box in plain sight to remind me.

When life becomes overwhelming, take a step back and see where you are looking—at your circumstances or to the Lord.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



No Fear

We romped and stomped with no fear.

Danger lurks on a farm, but my cousin and I ignored it when we were young. We played often in my grandfather’s barns. Barns where he kept farm implements, crops, and tools. Barns where snakes and wasps hid. We threw clods of dirt at wasp nests and watched as the angry insects swirled about seeking their enemy.

We mulled around in the hog pens, making spears from chinaberry trees and throwing them at the hogs. If not spears, we picked up large dirt clods and used them. Any of these hogs could have mauled us with little effort.

Occasionally, our grandfather would allow us to drive his small red tractor across the fields. I sat on the wheelbarrow while my cousin drove. I could have easily fallen off and had one of the large tires crush me. Death surely would have waited.

And we loved guns and hunting. We spent long hours in the woods by ourselves with no adult supervision. We could have accidentally shot ourselves or each other. My cousin and I enjoyed our escapades around the farm and never worried about danger. We were invincible.

Paul had no fear either, though he had reason to. Those who disagreed with his “salvation by faith alone” message hounded his steps. He was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, jailed, and bitten by a poisonous snake. Yet he didn’t fear.

Fear is a natural reaction to dangerous situations. God created the fight-or-flight mechanism in us. He expects us to use our heads and avoid known dangerous situations and people. But some danger is imperceptible and unavoidable.

God doesn’t want us living in a permanent state of fear. If we do, we’ll never go anywhere, do anything, or take any risks. Our world is a scary place, especially since numerous terrorists now circulate about. The only way to avoid crowds is to stay at home.

Just as we trust God to keep our salvation secure, we must also believe He will keep us safe. Nothing enters our lives without first passing through His perfect or permissive will. Either way, He is in control. And He promises to bring good from it all, though the good may be further down the road—and often is.

God is sovereign. Trust your life into His hands so you can live without fear.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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