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.

Children's Children

I learned to dance standing on my grandfather’s feet.

He was like Fred Astaire, handsome and talented. Grandaddy was even a member of a dance club. He was suave and debonair. I never heard Grandaddy use profanity or say an unkind word. Everyone called him “Pop.”

I modeled much of my life after him and other family members whom I admired. I was the last grandchild. All the attention had been doted on everyone who came before me, but somehow Grandaddy still had time for me. Dance recitals were a big part of my childhood. I heard how boring they were to watch, but Grandaddy always came and always complimented me.  

As a Nana now, I want to be that same cheerleader for my seven grandsons. I praise their efforts, no matter how small. As grandparents, we take them to church events and spend more time than money on them. As a historic docent, I dress them up and teach them living history.

I had an aunt who took me on historically themed trips. She had little money, so we ate picnics in hotels and visited free sites. After I grew up, I discovered a person could buy a ticket and go inside the houses at Williamsburg. I watched the marching troops and ate the warm cookies baked in a brick oven. We visited churches with frescoes and museums with no admission price.

We often forget that neighbor children, students, and family members need a hero. Our museum invites people to provide history camp scholarships. I encourage adults in our community to sponsor a child at church or school. One of my friends gave my students new school supplies every Christmas, long after theirs were well worn.  

Everybody needs someone who treats them special. A young family member or friend might benefit from our next trip. We can ask someone to attend a special event at our church. Someone might not attend a service but might join us for an outdoor concert or covered dish dinner. We may know a family we could bless with a meal.

Think of someone to whom you might give a meal, a gift card, or a night of babysitting. Bless a child…or an entire family.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

 



Don't Be Disheartened

Sometimes, people come into our lives and do everything they can to make our lives miserable.

I remember when I dealt with a group of frustrating people who constantly gossiped behind my back and did all they could to frustrate me. I was so vexed by them that, at times, I cried in anguish of spirit. Yet the Lord was my comforter and my healer—my refuge in time of need.

There will be occasions when we will face persecution from those we thought were our friends. The persecution becomes difficult to deal with, and we feel angry for being mistreated. Yet God’s love and mercy help us deal with such people. Just as Jesus forgave those who crucified Him and said they knew not what they were doing, so we should display mercy with difficult people.

Mercy triumphs over judgment, and the Lord is a God of justice. We are blessed when we wait upon Him. The Lord has a way of troubling those who hound and persecute us and returning on their heads what they have done to us.

We don’t have to be disheartened. We can rejoice in the Lord when we face persecutions, trials, tribulations, and tests. Testing builds endurance, and endurance builds patience. Remember, God blesses those who faithfully endure temptation, for afterward, they will receive the crown of life that God has prepared for those who love Him.

When others persecute you, be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Delight in His Word and put your trust and hope in Him above all else.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



A Good Name

In a way, being legally blind has been humbling and scary because I can’t see what everyone sees about me.

I’m humbled when I hear people make kind remarks about me, such as things they like about me. But it can be scary when I think that people look up to me because God still uses me even though I can’t see much. I know God uses and has used my blindness to give me a lot of influence, and I need to be careful with it.  

In God’s eyes, a good name is more than just a good reputation. A good name is the character God sees in us. Jesus’ reputation—what people thought of Him—was awful, but He had a spotless character. We can’t be perfect, but we can and should grow more and more into the image of Jesus every day.

We should consider how we think, act, and talk when no one else is around. What kinds of things do we look at when no one else is looking? God can use us and give us a good name as we live righteously before Him. He gets the glory for that and not us, although we must do our part.

Many people try to build up their ego by stomping on others to reach the top of whatever they want to do. God doesn’t want us doing that. He wants us to stay humble so He can give us a good name and so we can keep it.

Ask God to help you keep a clean heart so you can keep a good name with Him and others.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



A Lesson from Children's Faith

The prayers of small children are interesting.

Small children offer detailed petitions. They trust God to do what they pray for. They ask Him for things we adults perceive as funny and little. But their prayers come from a sincere heart, and they believe only God can solve their issue.

This is a non-starter to us adults. We measure God’s ability by the level of our needs and wants. In this way, we downplay the providence of God in little things.

As we age, we use logic when dealing with the things of God. We believe those small things we asked for as children will happen even without asking God. At times, they do, but sometimes, they don't. Sadly, if they don’t, we don't follow up with a kid’s prayer. Even when they do happen, we often don't acknowledge and thank God for answering them. We take it as an obvious thing.

Most adults think prayer concerns only the big things. This thinking kills our childlike faith. I have learned that praying for the small things builds our faith in the big things. I think this is why Christ said we must have childlike faith.  

Childlike faith helps us fulfill our kingdom obligations. It is the small encounters that encourage us for giant battles. We can learn from David, who told of how the Lord had delivered him from small things and then later, big things. As an adult, his faith was strong because of his childlike testimonies.

Trust God even in the smallest detail of your life, just as children trust their parents for anything. God is interested in every detail about you—your health, school, finances, relationships. and everything else.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Gone but Not Forgotten

They were gone, but not forgotten.

In our area of the United States, hummingbirds arrive in late March or early April and hang around until mid-October. A few weeks before their arrival, I hang three feeders for the scouts to find. Almost anywhere we are in the house, we can view the beautiful birds feeding.

Hummingbirds are diligent little creatures. Even with three feeders, I must refill the feeders every couple of days. And the birds, though small, are aggressive and territorial. One will sit atop the feeder or perch on the feeder stand, waiting, so they can run off any intruders. Their wings beat quickly, and their flight speed is amazing.

As the season wears on, the number of hummingbirds diminishes. Then, one day, they are gone. I miss their antics … their beauty. I miss them hanging in mid-air, watching me through the window or door. But I know if I hang feeders in the spring of the next year, they’ll return.

Jesus understood the sorrow His followers would feel after He left them. They had followed Him for three years, and now He was leaving for heaven. But He told them not to sorrow. They would see Him again when their eyes closed in death.

I mourn too when I think of all my loved ones who have gone on to heaven. As I get older, fewer of them are around, and I think of the time when I’ll no longer be here for my children and grandchildren. I miss sitting around with my grandparents and hearing their stories. I miss the cousins, aunts, and uncles whom death has captured.

Their examples keep me going in the right direction. I remember their love for God, how they taught their family about His love, how they shared their faith, and how they lived a consistent Christian example. They may be gone, but they are not forgotten.

Most of all, I have the example of Jesus, just as the early disciples did. His example, more than any other, prods me on in the faith journey. As He promised to return for His early followers, so He has promised to do the same for all His children.

Don’t let the death of friends and family rob you of the memories of their good examples. They may be gone, but you don’t have to forget them.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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