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.

Her Best Friend

She lay on her bed—her best friend beside her.

My great-grandmother lived with my paternal grandparents for as long as I can remember. I never knew my great-grandfather or why my great-grandmother came to live with my grandparents.

Since my grandmother served as my babysitter, I saw my great-grandmother almost daily. She always seemed ancient. But once, I calculated how old she would have been when I was a young boy—just a few years older than I was.

She and my grandmother loved to sit in the living room, watch game shows on television, and crochet. My great-grandmother also loved to plant and work with flowers in the yard and her bedroom. What time she wasn’t in the living room, she lay on her bed in her room.

A plain wooden chair with armrests rested at the foot of her bed—a chair that now rests in one of our bedrooms. And in that chair, I often sat—watching her crochet, listening to her stories, and watching her best friend who never left her side. Her Bible always lay just beside her on the bed or the nightstand beside her bed—another piece of furniture now beside my bed. And most proudly, I own her ragged Bible—the cover long gone, and the pages ruffled.

My great-grandmother came to mind one Christmas. I took out a small night lamp, turned it on, placed her Bible on the table in front of it, and turned the pages to Luke 2—the Christmas story.

My great-grandmother believed what the writer of Hebrews said about God’s Word. She kept it close by and always lived out its principles. I never saw or heard her violate any command of God’s Word. Her example taught me a lot.

Though aged, God’s Word is not dead. The stories still come alive when read, and the commands remain relevant. When read, God’s Word burns into our souls and becomes an instrument through which God confronts us with our spiritual needs—the most essential needs in life. But the Word doesn’t leave us hanging with no hope. It gives us the solution to our dilemmas and guidance for every life situation.

God’s Word reminds us of the most important thing: God loved us so much that He gave His Son to pay for our sins.

How can you let God’s Word become your best friend?

(photo courtesy of the author)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

A Word Fitly Spoken

The words did not fit my situation because a know-it-all spoke them. But then a wise man spoke, and his words stuck and changed me because he gave a word fitly spoken.

A fitting word is a suitable word with force if we receive it to comfort, encourage, and give us victory.

Job’s friends had a lot of words to say to him, but none were the right words and were not fitting or effective.

Fitting words fit the person, situation, and time. Such words are God-honoring and affect a change for good if they’re received.

Clothes fit or don’t fit. One size does not fit all. What fits one person may not fit another person. Likewise, words that are proper for one person and their situation may not be for another person.

What helps us have the fitting words for another person’s situation is recalling the words God used to help us when we were in a similar situation. We can still remember how fitting a friend’s advice was. A word fitly spoken is as appropriate as golden apples in a silver vase or ones framed in silver.

Words of flattery or blame are not fitting words. Fitting words are honest and sincere and get to the root of the problem. Words that address wrong and poor choices to get someone to repent and reconcile to God are also fitting—as are words that remind us of God’s forgiveness, love, mercy, and care.

Some people have a knack for always saying the wrong thing. Their intentions may be correct, but their words are unfitting. For them, whatever comes up comes out. But others are gifted to say the right word in every situation. God uses them to touch and change the lives of others.

How can you do a better job of saying the right thing at the right time?

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Work for the Eternal

Labor Day. I've always chuckled at a national holiday dedicated to work. When I was pregnant, I thought “labor day” was perfect, but as I reentered the workforce, labor just grew more intensive.

Our son is a computer IT guy. He's worked for years for an international company. He ensured his work ethic was great, and his willingness to learn was always upfront. This past spring, the company decided to downsize, so they laid off hundreds internationally. HUNDREDS. Now, my son struggles to find a job in his field of study.

He's not below taking a lesser job, but all those years of schooling and hard work seem wasted if he can't find something in his wheelhouse.

We live in a world where everyone is for themselves. Rather than working toward our eternal well-being, we struggle with the earthly. We need work. Obviously, we need wages to pay our bills and buy food, but things begin to get scary when we can't find a job. My son is searching for a physical way to provide—to be fed.

Jesus had just fed the five thousand, and the crowds were searching for Him the next day. When they found Him, Jesus saw through their desire. He told them they were there because He'd fed them, and they were looking for more food. Jesus told them they needed the bread of life—the food that would prevent them from ever being hungry again. He "fed" them truth and told them their focus should be on eternity. He reminded them that working for food that perished was futile when He offered them eternal life—well worth the work.

We know we must have necessities to survive on this earth, and though those things are essential, our eternal work is greater. In our humanness, we prioritize wrong. Of course, we need work, but we need Christ in eternity first. The hard thing is recognizing the eternal's place over the temporal.

Work hard on earth and earn a good wage, for the laborer deserves his wages. But focus on your eternal life and the work needed to draw you closer to God. When you get the order right, the physical tends to fall into place.

On this Labor Day, rejoice in your blessings, then work for the eternal.

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)


Let’s face it. We all have favorites—foods, hairstyles, entertainment, and more serious favorites that create slanted biases. Our minds categorize in terms of favorites.

I love to study, so I pursued a career as a teacher, seeking to inspire young minds to love learning and embrace education. In my mind, every high schooler I taught was destined to complete a university degree.

One year, the Lord sent me a charming, God-fearing principal who was a former PE teacher, but a man who hated academic labors. At every possible moment, he yanked our kids out of their classrooms on exciting field trips with great interaction and outdoor activity but little or no academic purpose. As a result, it became more difficult for me to meet the requirements for each class syllabus. My resistance to my boss’s spontaneous outings spotlighted our conflicting preferences.

The heart of our conflicts is often found in opposing goals, preferences, and values—favorites. Peter had been raised in a culture of law that forbade interaction with pagans. But God.

It often comes down to that, doesn’t it? In Acts 10, God commanded Peter to reach out to Gentiles and to welcome them into the Christian faith. Peter’s well-honed favoritism, his preference for all things and people Jewish, was altered by God Himself, the author of the law that had encouraged Peter’s favoritism.

God used that principal to help me re-think my well-honed favoritism and recognize and value other disciplines beyond academics.

In what areas is God challenging some of your favorite points of focus and value so He can enlarge His kingdom and prosper your faith?  

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Unloading Our Baggage

I worked at a four-star hotel in a resort area for eight years. Every day, I watched our bellhops interact with arriving and departing guests. As cars were unloaded and loaded, I saw all types and sizes of luggage. Over time, I learned how to identify the kind of traveler we hosted by glimpsing their bell cart.

Beach toys and backpacks? Young family. Plastic bags overflowing with snack food and soft drinks? Family with teens. Bottle of champagne? Empty nester getting away. Hanging wardrobe bag and laptop briefcase? Definitely all business.

I’ve often thought about what people carry during their travels through life. We can begin the trip with exactly what we need, like a solid foundation in Scripture knowledge or happy and healthy relationships with loved ones. Or we can overpack instead of trusting that God will have the proper provision at the right time.

And then there are the stops along the way where we inadvertently pick up baggage that slows down our journeys. Like residual hurt from a broken relationship, worry over what tomorrow holds, or even guilt from our missteps and mistakes. Sometimes this new baggage is more of a control issue. We may feel desperate not to be caught off guard by whatever life throws our way, so we add buffers for those just-in-case events.  

From life issues to disappointments to a need to control, Jesus understands many things burden us. But when He calls us to follow Him, He asks us to trade our burdens and our excess baggage of hurt, worry, guilt, and control for His—an easy and light burden. But more than that, it will also be precisely what we need to carry for the journey.

What is some baggage you need to unload? 

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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