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.

Astounding Forgiveness

As the truck driver maneuvered his truck into the turning lane, he glanced at traffic around him.

A young girl steered her car into the lane beside him. Watching her, he could see she didn’t know what lane she needed. She bobbed her head left, then right. She was in the wrong lane. Quickly, she pressed the car’s accelerator, slid in front of his semi, and then hit her brakes.

With no place to go, the truck driver knew he’d have to jackknife his truck if he didn’t want to kill the girl and her friends. A split second passed as he skidded toward the ditch, feeling the truck breaking and rolling. He awakened to a hospital bed and multiple injuries, some serious.

As he lay in a bed, the door opened. The young girl from the car entered. Hesitantly, she stepped forward. “I’m sorry … I’m so sorry. Can you ever forgive me?” Her tear-filled eyes begged for forgiveness.

“Honey, I forgave you as soon as you pulled in front of me. God knew I didn’t want to hurt you, so He gave me wisdom to jackknife my truck. I am glad you are alive.”

“I’m glad you’re alive too.” Stepping to the bed, she hugged him.

With serious injuries, the truck driver gave up a life he enjoyed for a young girl he didn’t know.

Jesus knows each of us by name. He loves so much that He willingly gave His life for us. But Jesus is more than just a good man. He is God and offers forgiveness for our sins. Whatever we need forgiveness for, He will forgive if we ask sincerely.

Do you need to give or to receive forgiveness?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Honor Them

At seventeen, and too young, Dad lied to join the Army.

Within months he’d found himself a gunnery sergeant leading men through hand-to-hand combat with the Japanese. Blown off a hill by a mortar and then later shot through the neck by a sniper, Dad knew his decision to serve could take his life. Still he chose to serve.

My brother, a Naval veteran, rubbed his fingers around the rough wool collar of Dad’s uniform as he began to recount what few choice memories Dad shared of his time in the Pacific Theatre. Neither of us expected such a wave of emotion. The decision to move Mom into assisted living brought the task of emptying her house contents into storage. When I reached into the far corner of the closet and pulled out Dad’s Army greens, we were taken back. Dad had survived WWII, but he couldn’t outlive cancer.

Jesus knew full well that those who chose to follow Him would also be in danger. He clearly expressed that to His disciples many times. Even in His warnings, He offered the encouragement of the promises of God. Their service…their being a servant…would not go unnoticed by the Father. God would honor them. Any one of Jesus’ inner circle could have walked away at any time, yet they chose to follow. Chose to serve. Chose a life that could easily be snuffed out because of their faith.

In a time when the service of our military men and women seems so unappreciated, these faithful servants choose to stand guard over a selfish people. Like the disciples who walked with Jesus, they understand their lives are in danger and that their service could take the life they cherish.

Choosing to follow Christ is a decision placed before us all. Our lives may not be in danger in this country due to our faith, but there are lives elsewhere who suffer the ultimate price to be His servant.

On this Memorial Day weekend, be intentional to recognize our men and women of the military. Remember also, those individuals who fight an equally hard battle to be God’s servants. Remind them their sacrifice is not wasted. Honor them for God will surely do the same.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Finding Healing and Completeness

Some people are like broken dolls who need returning to the toy factory—so brokenhearted from their mess-ups that their spirits are crushed.

For most of my life, I battled eating disorders and major depression, which made me feel like a broken doll. So broken that the toy factory probably would have tossed me aside, believing I wasn’t worth their time. Thankfully, I found healing and completeness in Christ’s mercy.

The Amplified Bible version of Psalm 34:18 uses the phrase “contrite in heart, truly sorry for their sin” to define “crushed in spirit.” When we’re truly sorry for how we’ve grieved our heavenly Father, we can experience peace—knowing He’ll do whatever it takes to make us right with Him. God understands our crushing discouragement and shame. No matter what else we’re dealing with, life is more crushing when shame and turmoil join the mix.

We can ask God to show us how He sees our sin … how He can hate our sin but still love us. We can ask Him to help us despise our sin as much as He despises it and accept His love and mercy as freely as He gives it. Rather than dwelling on the mess we’ve made, we will feel less broken if we ask God to help us make things right with those we’ve hurt with our sinful choices. And more healing will come if we pray for those who are also brokenhearted because of our choices.

Life can be hard, especially if we try to live without supportive people and without God. I can relate to the shame that comes from living in ways that dishonor God. I know how the Enemy uses shame to keep us from those we need to be around—especially those at church. Each of us has our own set of circumstances and face painful or embarrassing consequences for the choices we have made.

Regardless of how broken your situation is, go to God. Express sorrow for your sins and receive healing through His gentle and powerful nearness.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Do You Want to Be Well?

Some people project a cloud of negativity like Pigpen’s cloud of filth in the Charlie Brown cartoon.

I watched Winnie the Pooh as a kid. Whenever Winnie or any of the other characters met Eeyore, the sad-sack donkey, the donkey always complained. When anyone said “Good morning,” Eeyore responded, “If it is a good morning, which I doubt.” When he got a new tail, he said, “Sure is a cheerful color. Guess I’ll have to get used to it.”

When Jesus asked the paralytic if he wanted to be well, the man responded, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” You would think his answer would have been “YES, I want to be made well!” Instead, he made excuses for his condition, which he had suffered for thirty-eight years. His condition had become a part of his identity. He depended on it to beg alms, and I’m not sure he wanted Jesus to cure him.

We’ve all known people who are difficult to be around because they complain about their health, finances, job, family, or any number of other things. The human experience is difficult. We do suffer physical and emotional pain. Falling into self-pity and complaining is easy.

I recently read Corrie ten Boom’s classic book, The Hiding Place. The Nazis sent Corrie and her sister Betsie to a concentration camp in Ravensbruck, Germany. They lived in cramped bunks shared by up to five women. Fleas infested the barracks. The guards wouldn’t even come in. The sisters’ existence was miserable, but rather than complain, they thanked God for the fleas. The guards wouldn’t find their smuggled Bibles, and many other women heard the Bible because the women lived in such confined quarters. Tragically, Betsie died in that camp, but she died thankful.

We have a choice. We can grumble or give thanks in all circumstances. If we look for God’s grace, we will find it. The ten Boom sisters found it in a concentration camp and in the fleas that drove out the guards.

Complaining doesn’t change anything. Ask God for a grateful heart so He can use you.  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Watch the Bubbles

As my car crawled along the automated car wash track, my thoughts drifted to the past.

My husband and I often took our children through the car wash for the express purpose of playing, “Watch the Bubbles.”

“Daddy, my bubble is racing yours,” our son would say.

“Mine is turning swishy circles,” our daughter would say.

I stroked my silver-steaked hair and prayed, “God, my children are grown, so why do I still want to watch bubbles?”  

For God’s pleasure, and for ours, He creates. He invents the science behind what makes car wash bubbles fascinating to watch, but He doesn’t stop there. He creates snails with stripes and bushes with glitter dots. He makes a dove’s feathers sing as she takes flight. He fashions the honeybee’s wings to interlock like a zipper during flight. God is a masterful creator, and He wants us to enjoy His creation the way He does. But there’s more …

Father God loves His people so much He gave them the innate ability to create. He made us in His image. Only after God created humans did He say, “It is very good” (Genesis 1:31b KJV). Paul records the works we are created to accomplish with God’s empowerment, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 KJV). The Heavenly Father loves us so much He sings over us. Zechariah said, “The LORD thy God, in the midst of thee, is mighty … he will joy over thee with singing” (3:11).

If we are loved by our Creator so much that He sings over us, then we should enjoy the world He has created and praise Him for the ability He places within us to accomplish the works He has ordained us to do.

Take some time to praise God for being your heavenly Daddy who has uniquely created you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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