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.

Don’t Crash and Burn

I was seventeen, on quarter break, and making my first flight without my parents. I was fortunate to sit by the window behind the wing, where I enjoyed the scenery.

Suddenly, a red flash caught my eye. I saw flames leaping from the engine. Initially alarmed, I thought, Oh well, this must be normal, and I’m just a scaredy-cat.

Just as I had calmed down, two flight attendants walked up the aisle, looked out the window, and simultaneously gasped. “Oh my! I wonder if the captain knows the engine is on fire,” one cried as they ran down the aisle toward the cockpit.

This was a three-engine plane. Soon after the flames died down, the plane began to wobble in the air. The intercom came on, and the pilot sounded, well, mostly calm.

“I guess you’ve noticed by now that we are experiencing a slight technical difficulty. Chicago is the closest airport, and we will land there.”

As we began the approach, the pilot announced, “The air space has been cleared for us. Don’t be alarmed; they have taken precautions to ensure our safe landing. The runway has been foamed, so we can expect a bit of a skating effect as we touch down, but your cockpit crew will do everything we can to assure our safe arrival.”

Both sides of the runway were lined with fire engines and ambulances. Sure enough, we did slide a little upon landing, but when we came safely to a stop, all the crew and passengers broke into wild applause.

This took place more than fifty years ago. But as I wrote this, I realized that was two years before I began a faith relationship with Jesus. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for God’s mercy in preserving me, allowing me to be saved by Jesus, and permitting me the privilege of participating in the faith journey of others.

If you stepped off a curb tomorrow and were hit by a bus or experienced some other disaster, what would happen to you? Do you have a relationship with Jesus? If not, today is the day to begin your journey. Don’t crash and burn.  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and A_Different_Perspective.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Axing Anxiety

“Your wife and daughter have been in a wreck.”

Frank listened to the voicemail. Anxiety crept up his throat. He and his brother had been hiking in a place with no cell phone reception. He could see he had voicemails but couldn’t listen to them. As soon as they left and reached a place where reception was possible, he dialed 86. But he wasn’t prepared for what he heard.

Two hours stretched between him and the hospital where he needed to go. All types of thoughts meandered through his mind as he drove. He attempted to place matters in God’s hands, but it didn’t seem to work. His gut wrenched, his mind raced, and his hands oozed.

Fortunately, it wasn’t as bad as he imagined. His daughter only bent her glasses, but his wife broke a foot and crushed her wrist. Frank discovered his anxiety hadn’t changed a thing. 

Peter wrote to first-century Christians who suffered miserably for their faith. He encouraged them to give their cares to God because he cared about what they faced.

Peter’s encouragement is still appropriate twenty centuries later. God cares about what happens to his children. Sure, I sometimes wonder why he allows certain things to happen if he cares so much, but that’s not for me to know. He is God; I am not. Since he is loving and kind, we can trust his heart even when we can’t see the reason behind what he does or allows.

I’ve learned being anxious won’t solve anything. Anxiety didn’t undo the wreck Frank’s daughter and wife had. It won’t undo the effects of a natural disaster nor stymie the blows of a bully. Neither will it put money in our bank accounts for monthly bills.

In fact, anxiety impairs our judgment. An anxious mind can’t make good decisions. Anxiety will lead us to unhealthy habits in an attempt to soothe our troubled feelings or to unwise decisions in an effort to undo what has been done.

Believing God cares about what we’re facing will replace the anxiety with peace. Peace that can’t be explained or understood, but peace nevertheless. When we take our needs to God, he transforms the anxiety into peace—regardless of the nature of our circumstances.

Let God teach you the art of axing anxiety.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and Sammy-Sander.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Fire Alarm

One day while at work, the fire alarm sounded.

Only three of us were in the building when it happened. I immediately evacuated the building after grabbing my things. When the fire department arrived, they discovered something on the roof had set off the sensors, which activated the alarm.

This whole incident made me think. In Revelation 20:15, the Bible says a literal lake of fire exists. I made it out of the building this time, but if someone doesn’t know Jesus as their personal Savior, they will not escape the fire. Instead, they will experience pain forever.

But God does not desire this. He wants to stretch out His hand for salvation and forgiveness. “The payment for sin is death. But God gives us the free gift of life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NCV). 

Going to the lake of fire will be an eternal death without Jesus. Once we die, there are no second chances. The only person who can give us life in heaven is Jesus Christ. “As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who calls on the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:13 NCV).

Deciding to follow Jesus is beyond urgent because we don’t know when we are going to die. The day the alarm sounded could have been a major fire. The way to get out of the eternal fire is to trust in Jesus and not get burned. If you haven’t trusted Him already, do it now.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and rgaudet17.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Train Up a Child

The Westminster Catechism has a shorter version, commonly called the Shorter Catechism, written primarily to train up a child.

Once, a US military officer was in a city in the Western world. Riots and violent gangs raged all over the city. Amid the chaos, the military officer passed a young man who appeared calm, controlled, and confident. His demeanor seemed so different from the environment around him that the officer turned and looked back at him after passing him. The officer noticed that the young man had also turned around.

The young man returned to the officer and asked, “What is the chief end of man?”

The officer said, “To know God and enjoy Him forever. I knew you were a short catechism boy.”

“And I knew you were likewise,” the young man replied.

Godly training brings about observable characteristics. Our children can shake hands and speak with respect to those much older than them. They can understand the wisdom that comes from experience, rather than considering older people old fashioned. We should teach them to use ma’am and sir when appropriate. We should teach them what the Bible says about serving so they will give an older person their seat on a bus or subway. Other essential lessons entail teaching them that the world does not revolve around them. That they can’t have everything they want when they want it without exception. That they should respect themselves as they respect others. That they should never be ashamed of their beliefs. That they are unique and should never be ashamed of what they have or don’t have.

Even with training, our children will never be perfect because parents are never perfect. Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but we must strive to curb that through instruction, discipline, and God’s grace. If we take seriously the admonition to train up a child, they will be less likely to stray from their faith as they age.

Think of ways you can train your children or grandchildren in the way they should go.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and StockSnap.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Even a Child Can Understand

“There was so much blood!”

My daughter’s words startled me. She asked for prayers as she rushed my youngest grandson to the nearest urgent care facility after a freak kitchen accident. She had made the boys a healthy protein smoothie with their small new appliance. But how quickly unexpected things can happen. A slip, a blade, a cut. Blood seemed to cover everything. It was all over the countertop—everywhere, actually—with no sign of slowing down. But our prayers were answered. Thankfully, his arm only required five stitches.

The incident reminded me that the blood of Jesus covers our sins and cleanses and purifies us. Jesus made the greatest sacrifice possible with His own blood, paying with His life to save us. Jesus paid once for us all.

No matter our sins—past, present, or future—the Bible tells us we are saved from them if we believe in Jesus. We can hand over our past and give it to Him. Jesus frees us from the power, guilt, and shame that sin has over us.

My grandchild and his two big brothers recently asked Jesus to save them. Even a child can understand we all sin, but that God loves us. God forgives us because of His great mercy and grace. I know I am freed from the bondage and burden of sin and washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.

You don’t have to carry guilt over your sin. Give it all to Jesus and receive His forgiveness.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and Bessi.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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