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.

The Power of Kindness

One Monday morning, I faced a co-worker under stress.

She could choose anyone as a target to hit with her anger, but since she and I shared an office, she chose me. I sat paralyzed as words of frustration came out of her mouth. I offered help several times and talked to her about her attitude, but nothing seemed to stop her rude behavior.

This Monday, however, differed. The first thing I thought about was this verse and a sermon on kindness I had heard the day before. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. I felt compassion for her as I remembered the sermon.

During that day and the following ones, I showed kindness toward my co-worker—even though she was still under pressure and acting rudely toward others. Showing kindness requires daily prayer—which is a spiritual exercise—and engaging in spiritual warfare. But it’s worth it.

What’s interesting is that having compassion and acting in kindness toward someone else changes us. Peace takes over when we give space for the Holy Spirit to guide us. It also makes us look more like Jesus.

Make up your mind to show compassion to someone who needs to feel it.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Living Open-Handedly

One after another they came.

The men knocked on our door and asked for a drink of water. Nothing more. Just a drink of water. Dad would settle them under the shade tree and bring them a drink, a plate of food, and a few dollars.

Our home was in a modest strip of houses across the street from the railroad yard. The travelers never approached any of the other houses on our street. They came so frequently to ours that we believed our home had somehow been marked as a safe place to rest and refresh.

When railroad security tightened, the men did not stop coming. The weary travelers showed up in old trucks and asked if there was work instead of water. It was a different kind of sameness. A continuing theme.

As with the other travelers, Daddy gave these a drink, leftovers, and a few dollars, too. While they ate, he pointed them to where they might find an odd job. This strange activity continued even after he retired—and with my mom two states away. Man after man found Daddy. Helping travelers was Daddy’s gift, and that was how he used his generosity to refresh others.

My father lived a consistent lifestyle of intentional, open-handed generosity. He wanted to bless and to be blessed by his Creator. I watched Daddy fill his mornings with Bible study and his afternoons with naps for the long, hard evening's work ahead. He never went a day without opening God's Word or using his hands to repair something. He had learned to be content in whatever circumstance he found himself. Moreover, he wished the same for others.

I have spent a lifetime watching consistent Christian kindness, but it took me years to understand that Daddy’s was an existence of great contentment based on this strong biblical truth.

Why not release your grip and live open-handedly? Then watch what God will do.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Search Me

My daughter appeared and disappeared in a blink of an eye.

As a toddler, my daughter walked around the house wearing sunglasses and a hat. She thought if she covered her face and head, I could not see her. When she did not come after I called, I usually found her wearing her sunglasses and hat and playing with her dolls.

“Sweet Pea, why didn’t you answer me?” I asked.

“You no see me. I no see you,” was her reply.

Or if she did something wrong, on went the sunglasses and hat, thinking I could not see her holding the empty cup as milk spilled from the counter. When she needed some cuddles and love though, off went the magical accessories and into my lap she snuggled.

Just as I searched for my daughter and knew what she was up to, God searches for us and knows our heart. It’s a scary thought to have someone, let alone God, search us and know all of our ugly, so we hide out of shame and guilt.

People yearn for others to see them—to give witness to their story, joy, and pain. Yet the fear of intimacy and the fear of people knowing the real us keeps us from making connections … keeps us from taking off the sunglasses and hat so people can see the real us. So we go about our days with our walls up and masks on trying to be invisible.

The God of the universe knows us because we are made in His image. He knows our innermost thoughts, and He still offers grace. God designed us to be in authentic community with Him and others. He created us to be seen, but sin and lies tell us the opposite. They tell us if God searched us, He would not like what He saw. Or if He knew the real us, the one behind the glasses and hat, He would run the other way, taking His gifts of grace and forgiveness with Him. God knows our flaws and imperfections and still wants to be with us for eternity.

Let God search you so you can better know Him. Take off the sunglasses and hat so He can see the face of His child—flaws and all.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Another Blunder

The supervisor kept a record.

Early in my career, my supervisor required all trainees to follow a strict set of standards. During the review of our work, he jagged his finger at our errors and highlighted them with his red marking pen. Even with nothing said, I still heard a snarl amid the strokes of his red pen.

It seemed he documented our mistakes in a special log book for posterity. The blunder log—as we employees called it—added to the pressure we already carried. The prevention of any slip-ups was more important to our supervisor than our personal growth and success. We focused on staying clear of mistakes at the expense of our personal development.   

Unlike the supervisor, God does not tally our mistakes in a special log book or ensnare us with guilt and shame. Instead, He gives us a special measure of encouragement, offers us a new beginning, and promises to remember our sins no more. He also takes a personal interest in the vocation He calls us to fulfill.   

God is our example for caring with forgiveness and compassion—an example we ought not to ignore. He wants us to display a similar level of consideration that He has demonstrated to us. One where we boost each other and serve as a source of encouragement. To continue the good work God portions out, we all need reassurance … and for someone to pick us up after we fall.

We can thank God for not keeping a special log book of our mistakes—and also for the safe place in Him that permits us to learn from our mishaps without fear. His ongoing support gives us self-confidence to push on, especially when we find it difficult to do so on our own.

Bless those around you by not keeping a log of their blunders.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

 



Let's Get Down

I regarded my friend’s comment about her sister contemplating to marry a man who did not believe in Jesus.

Apparently, all efforts to talk her out of it were futile. After the conversation, however, it didn’t seem right to do nothing, so I decided to take it to the Lord.

A great deal of information comes to us through the people we meet and the conversations we have. Ignoring the information and doing nothing with it is easy, but great intercession can be born and great miracles seen if we take note of the things we hear and see.

When God told Abraham about His plan to see if the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah was true, Abraham could have just considered it as information. Instead, he talked to God about saving some of those people. When we go before God and present our petitions, things change.

God’s reaction to Abraham’s petition also shows that God desires for us to intercede. He is ready to listen, to grant our heart’s desires, and to grant our petitions, but we must see the urgency of the situations around us. Abraham couldn’t live with the thought of people being destroyed.

We have a God who is great and powerful and able to redeem lives if we will take the time to get down on our knees for their sake, with the confident hope in what Jesus has done for the world.

Ask God to grant you a yearning to intercede for others.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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