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.

We Can't Mess Up God's Love

We can mess up many things, but we can’t mess up God’s love.

If we make a mistake with someone we love, we can get thrown under the bus. Unfortunately, authentic love is often lacking in this sinful world. The world’s kind of love easily recalls wrongs. If we mess up, sadly, relationships can quickly dissolve.

Sometimes, we can’t find room to fix the problems or work things out, somewhat like getting fired if we make a mistake. The problem is my sinful nature, and I am no better than anyone else.

In a sinful world, having patience is difficult. When somebody hurts us, we find it challenging to be kind.  My old self wants to justify itself and rehash the sins the other person has committed. But at the same time, I don’t want to look at my sins and admit them.

That’s not how the Lord wants us to be. Although challenging, we need to love others because Jesus tells us to. We must pray for that person and their well-being, even if we never reclaim that relationship. God calls us to love and forgive others, not to hate.

What steps can you take to avoid messing up your love relationships?

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Inheritance in the Waiting

Mine wasn’t sizable, but it seemed enormous at the time, especially when I didn’t know I had an inheritance in the waiting.

I was fifteen and doing what many teens do—lying on my bed, trying to escape my parents. But when I heard the phone ring, I somehow knew why. My maternal grandfather had died. Strokes had pummeled him frequently, each one leaving him more disabled than the previous one—until he was finally bedridden. My grandmother tended to him faithfully, to her own exhaustion.

After his death, his six grandchildren received an inheritance of $1,000 each. To some, that’s a small amount—and it wouldn’t go far now—but in 1975, for a teenager, it was enormous. I eventually used it to make a down payment on a new car.

My wife and I currently have three of our four parents still living—none from which we anticipate receiving a sizable inheritance. Nor do we have any wealthy aunts or uncles to bequeath money to us. So, unless something changes, we will live until we die as we do now: modestly.

But when I die, I expect a sizable inheritance. As God’s adopted child, I own everything his Son does—and that’s everything. But I don’t possess it yet. After death, I’ll enjoy what I can only read about in his Word now. The joys of heaven are indescribable, but God’s Word hints at what I can expect.

Occasionally, a disgruntled family member will dispute a will—and the stated inheritance. As a result, the inheritance the deceased wished to leave to a relative might be diminished or even taken away. Not so with our future inheritance. It is as sure as the Word of God, which cannot be changed or overruled.

Although our salvation experience initiates when we surrender to Christ, it is not finalized until we reach heaven. God has saved us from the penalty of our sins, but how wonderful to know He’ll eventually deliver us from the presence of sin.

Do you have a spiritual inheritance in the waiting?

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Helping the Laborers

Everyone wants payment for their hard work and efforts. So, helping the laborers should come naturally . . . but sometimes doesn’t.

The season was dry. I had toiled constantly and tried hard to reap the fruits of what I had sown, but the harvest seemed delayed. I had sent submission after submission. One draft after another, with one door after another slammed in my face. I had to keep my head up, believing all I was doing was worth it.

Pursuing the publication of creative writing can often feel like a dead end. It entails a lot of delayed gratification and trusting God to provide as He sees fit. As I write devotions to honor the Lord and help people grow in their faith, I am tempted to believe my work goes unnoticed . . . that I won’t see any fruits at all.

Many people work hard to develop and nurture the body of Christ. They labor day and night in word, deed, and prayer—preaching the gospel and serving believers and non-believers. Yet, I am sure they sometimes become disheartened and believe their work is in vain.

Paul didn’t demand support for his work for the Lord, but he acknowledged that he and others had a right to receive payment for their service.

When we see someone skilled at their job or ministry—writing, preaching, singing, playing music, managing a website—we can consider supporting their efforts. We can donate to a website, share their content, follow them on social media, and comment on how much we appreciate their work. It means a lot, especially for those who labor in the Lord.

What can you do to help those who labor for the church?

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(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

God's Instrument

Little did I know I would be God’s instrument.

The Georgia Music Educators Association’s Large Group Performance Evaluation was held the second week of March at Newton High School in Covington, Georgia. The Morgan County middle and high school choruses produced magnificent, intricate melodies on the auditorium’s stage with me at the piano.

After the last piece on a Thursday afternoon, I closed my music, stood, and slipped backstage behind the curtain—anxious to head home. An urgent voice out of the darkness whispered, “Accompanist! Accompanist!”

I turned to find an anxious gentleman with a single piece of music in his hand. He pleaded, “My accompanist backed out at the last minute. Would you please play for us? We perform in one hour.”

I glanced over the copy of “Lord, Thy Servants Praise Thee” by Mozart and replied, “Certainly. I’ll meet you in the auditorium.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t have my checkbook. May I mail you a check?”

“That’s not necessary,” I replied, “It will be my gift.”

The director later admitted he recognized I was the one to help them as he watched me accompany the Morgan County High Women’s Ensemble. God led him to me and me to him.

The piano is my instrument. God coats my mind and the piano’s stretched strings with tones to bless others and point them to Him.

Every time I look down at black and white keys, I confess, “Lord, I cannot do this. Please do it through me.” I don’t understand how He meticulously deposits harmonious vibrations into His creation. It’s a mystery, and He gets all the glory.

I will be willing and available to serve in God’s kingdom as God’s instrument. I hope you will too.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Who's Out There?

We have all wondered who’s out there.

What do Chewbacca (affectionately known as Chewie), E.T. (the Extra-Terrestrial), and Yoda have in common? They’re fictional outer space heroes who spark our imagination, kindle our affection, and make us wonder who’s out there. But what do we want from them, and what is our quest? 

For thousands of years, people have gazed at dark, starry nights and wondered who and what’s out there. Meteors blazing through the earth’s atmosphere, eerie solar eclipses, shimmering curtains of aurora borealis—we are mesmerized and humbled by atmospheric phenomena we can’t control or explain. Our thirst for understanding outer space is great. So great that taxpayers spent ten billion dollars on the James Webb Space Telescope, which captures breathtaking images of far-off stars and galaxies never before seen.

Seth Shostak, an astronomer at the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), asserts that the new Webb telescope will help astronomers reach their number one goal: to discover the origin of the universe. He also believes it may reveal life in other galaxies.

That’s a mighty big job for a telescope. We may wonder how photos of far-off galaxies answer questions about history or origins. Do we cherish a collective hope that Chewie, E.T., and Yoda are out there?

Genesis is the only book that gives an accurate historical account of the beginning. In Greek, Genesis aptly means “origins.” The Hebrew translates it as “in the beginning.”

God made the sun, moon, and stars and placed them in the heavens to give light to the earth and to separate light from the darkness. This seems like a simple explanation of outer space phenomena. So simple that a child can understand it. That is the point. We don’t need to be an astrophysicist to understand God’s love for us and our origin.

Our loving Creator has revealed Himself in the Bible, and unlike Chewie, E.T., and Yoda, God is real, and we can find Him. So, as you read the Bible and pray, ask for the Holy Spirit’s help. You will discover the One true hero who loves you with everlasting love.

How can you better appreciate the Creator of the universe?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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