A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Spirit & Mind

Focusing our minds on Christ. . .studying His word, drawing tight into a relationship that is unbreakable. This is when His Spirit lives in our minds helping us keep our eyes focused only on Him.

If, but, and Why

Sometimes we pray, “Lord, if You want me . . .”

     to change jobs

     to buy this car

     to go to this school

     to teach this class

“… tell me, please. Let me know Your will. Fill me with Your peace. I want to follow You. I can’t do this without You.”

Standing at the crossroads, we need direction. Anxiety and fear fill our hearts. The unknown makes us emotionally wring our hands. We cry out to the One with all the answers. We worry. We experience angst.

Then one day, God’s peace covers us, and He provides an answer. Getting out of the boat, we walk on water because He said to. As we begin our trek, our hearts sing, “God, thank You for Your provision. For your answer.”

Taking a little skip and hop on the water, we continue. “I trust Your hand, Holy Father. Only You could do this.” Two more big steps. “I am excited to see where You lead. Your great love humbles me.”

But off to the side, we hear fear calling our name. Taking our eyes from the Lord, worry and second guesses crowd our minds. Certainty oozes from our hearts, drips from our fingertips, and weakens our knees. Did He really say what we thought He said? Maybe we imagined the call to come. “But God . . .”

All those doubts and worries, everything but Him, press down on our heads until the waterline reaches our neck. Then, before we disappear in the sea of self, we remember Him. We cry out, and He lifts us from the depths. Why did we doubt? Once again, we have eyes only for Him, but it’s too late.

Like Peter, we can let doubt keep us from walking on water with Jesus. Don’t miss what God has for you. Fasten onto His gaze and don’t look down.

What steps will help you with the ifs, buts, and whys?

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Man in the Sky

The day wasn’t unusual for the two aspiring Maasai warriors living in the bleak planes of Tanzania—a place dotted with volcanic cinder cones, thorn bushes, and acacia trees.

They awakened each day at the opening of a boma, a large circular enclosure where animals rested safely at night from predators. The first task was to take the sheep, goats, and cows beyond the horizon for water, then find suitable pastures for the day.

Afterward, with animals safe in the boma, the two squatted for friendly banter around a campfire to recount the day, sometimes punctuated by a lion encounter or rogue elephants. Since their father was away working in the tanzanite mines at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, an uncle’s watchful eye always seemed present to correct any deviant behavior.

That night, Leskary, the oldest, was unusually silent and distracted. Baraka sensed his playful spirit was gone.

“I know something terrible must have happened. Why won’t you tell me? Aren’t we best friends,” Baraka pleaded.

“If I tell you, you won’t believe me anyway,” Leskary replied, tossing some sticks into the flickering fire.

After a long pause, Leskary suddenly blurted out in a broken, trembling voice, “I was looking into the sky when a man appeared floating in the air, dressed in shining cloth. He said, ‘Follow Me, and I will always be with you.’ Then He disappeared. What shall we do?”

Baraka, pointing toward a dilapidated shed with a lone cross on the roof, replied, “Maybe we should go to church and listen to the preacher.”

Leskary shivered, thinking of the scorn and laughter Maasai men express toward women and children who attend preaching and prayer during the week. Besides, his uncle would beat them because Maasai men don’t do such things, despite the occasional begging of the women.

“What would our friends think of us?”

Are we willing to obey despite what others think? Jesus calls us to radical discipleship, and our love for Him should transcend all other human relationships. Never be ashamed to tell others about God and His Word.

Ask God to show you how to seize opportunities to tell others about Him.

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Helping the Least

I love to shop in thrift stores, but one day I found myself helping the least as I did.

While in the parking lot of the Goodwill Store, a homeless man approached me and asked me to buy his lunch, saying he had not eaten in several days and was hungry. He was tall and thin and looked tired and sad. I told him I’d be happy to buy his lunch.

We walked next door to a Sonic Drive-In and browsed the menu board for something he wanted. Moments later, a manager stepped outside to help us. We probably looked strange to him since we were not in a car.

The homeless man humbly asked for a hamburger, French fries, and soda. I paid for his meal and waited with him for his food to arrive. After several minutes, the manager returned with a tray loaded with food for the homeless man. The manager was kind and directed the homeless man to a nearby table.

The manager and the homeless man thanked me for buying the lunch. But I was the one who felt blessed to provide something for “the least of these.” It really does feel better to give than to receive.

When we think of the least, it could be a single mother who needs gas money or anyone hungry, sick, or imprisoned. Yet these are the ones Jesus said to care for.

We can help by volunteering to serve a meal at a shelter or donating money, clothing, and food to agencies that provide for the homeless. We can check in on our neighbors and the elderly in our communities and help them as needed. And we can always pray for God’s people. When we help the least, we see the face of God.

What are some ways you can help the least?

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

The Thin Line Between Life and Death

The sun was warm through the car’s sunroof, and the breeze stirred my hair. It seemed like an ideal autumn day for a drive, but the morning’s tranquility didn’t last long.

A blaring horn split the air, and an out-of-control car came around the corner, veering into our lane. My husband’s reflexes kicked in, and he swerved to avoid the careening vehicle—narrowly avoiding driving into the river that bordered the road on the right side.

My heart felt as if it would explode. I could barely catch my breath, even after we continued down the country road. I glanced at Craig. He took a ragged breath, glanced upward, and said reverently, “Thank you, Lord, for preserving us from that accident.”

How fine is the line between life and death, heaven and earth? Google tells us the double yellow line in roads is approximately fifteen inches thin.

Author Timothy Pina said, “There’s a thin line between life and death. It’s God’s grace that shows us how fragile we are.”

We understand that fragility. A pickup truck crossed the double yellow line and hit our friend’s motorcycle head-on. He spent two weeks balancing on the tightrope between heaven and earth and has a long road of recovery ahead of him.

How should we live if a thin line exists between life and death? Should we live in fear, or does another way exist? An accident, or even a near-miss, frightens us, but we don’t need to spend every moment looking over our shoulders for threats.

We can live in the Lord, having committed our lives to Him. Then we can purpose to honor Jesus with our lives, whether by life or death.

Have you contemplated living with Jesus now? Your decision will place you on one side or the other of the thin line between eternity with Him or apart from Him.

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

Protected by God's Sword

For two hours, Abel encircled our home, holding his Bible high and claiming he was protected by God’s sword.

The sky was pitch black, allowing myriad stars to put on their dazzling display. No fireworks could compare to this night sky. Streetlights did not exist in the small African village where darkness ushered in quietness.

But one evening around midnight, that quietness was disrupted. Our night watchman alerted us to suspicious noises coming from beyond the courtyard. We also knew Abel carried no weapons, so we were concerned for his safety.

We were unsettled, so we prayed. Was it possible the odds were in Abel’s favor, even though he appeared outnumbered? He knew God was on his side, so he claimed the promise of Ephesians 6:17. The Bible was his weapon. He was not defenseless.

Abel’s faith was displayed as bright as the stars shone in the heavens that night. Then at two in the morning, he let us know the commotion had passed. All was calm once again.

The next day, we learned from eyewitnesses that armed robberies had occurred on our street that night, but God spared our home. Testimony from one of the suspects indicated how the robbers seemingly froze outside our courtyard. They saw a “wall of white” extending above our five-foot fence. We believe the angels of heaven outnumbered them in response to Abel’s prayers and faith.

As missionaries, we received years of formal training, yet Abel taught us an invaluable lesson we never forgot on that night. He took God at His Word.

The resources of heaven are always at our disposal. God’s Word is listed as an essential piece of armor that protects us against the evil one. Yet simply waving it in the air like some magic ritual is not the key. Faith is. We must know what God has specifically promised and then proclaim it, aloud if possible.

God is dependable, and the outcome of any situation will serve His purposes for our lives.

Activate the Sword of the Spirit through faith today.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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