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.
DEVOTION BY Susan Ellis POSTED 11/25/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Matthew 7:18 NIV
I poured out my heart to the Lord about my pain and sorrow over losing my job.
For two years, I had been ridiculed, overworked, yelled at, and given unfair and false evaluations. Finally, they pushed me out of the job I’d held for eight years. All I could hear were the Lord’s words ringing in my ears, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” One day, I said to the Lord, “Yes they did! They hated me and I hate them. I hope they get the Corona Virus and DIE.” I felt my murderous thoughts were vindicated.
After I finished my diatribe, I continued reading Matthew 7. When I came to verses 16-18, I became perplexed about the meaning. The pain in my heart kept me from understanding what God told me.
I decided to take a walk. A beautiful spring day awaited. Birds sang, bringing me to worship God. I heard Him say, “A heart that produces thistles cannot also produce figs. You cannot be My disciple if your heart is full of hate.” Suddenly, I realized the seriousness of my vengeful thoughts. Each day I refused to forgive those who had harmed me, my heart grew thistles.
These verses brought light into my soul about the condition of my Christian heart. I had demanded justice from the Lord, but justice my way.
Forgiving those who harm us is an act of mercy and lets God execute justice His way, which produces the fruit of repentance. A vengeful heart that hates cannot love at the same time or teach someone a lesson. God’s love and our demonstration of His love changes hearts and produces good fruit.
Repent from hate and forgive now to make room for love. Let God replace all the bad fruit with good fruit.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Robert L. Segress POSTED 11/18/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Psalm 37:1 NASB
A life preserver is thrown to those drowning less they sink beneath the waves. God’s Spirit gave Psalm 37 so drowning souls could grab its buoyancy.
When schemes by the evil one and his minions threaten to destroy all we hold dear, our heavenly Father wants us to have something to hold on to as we pass through seemingly impossible times.
The psalm begins with “do not fret” and “trust in the Lord.” Evildoers will wither and fade. During overwhelming times when it seems impossible that things will work out, we can rest in God and keep doing the best we can as we trust in the Lord to bring us through. Quoting and reading this psalm repeatedly will give us a life preserver.
No matter how dark it seems, we should delight in the Lord. He will give us the desires of our heart. As we rest and wait patiently for Him, He will do it. It may take a while before He frees us from oppression, but He is the only One who knows the big picture.
We should not be angry or wrathful against those who carry out wicked schemes. They will be cut off. The Lord laughs at the evil plots and threats which seem so overwhelming to us. The evil ones and their schemes will vanish like smoke. We will not be left in the power of evil plans.
Our job is to wait on the Lord’s rescue, and it will happen because we have taken refuge in Him. Overwhelming times are survived by a trusting relationship with the Good Shepherd who will protect us and bring us through dark valleys as we take refuge in Him.
When you are overwhelmed, turn to the One who can soothe and protect you.
DEVOTION BY Martin Wiles POSTED 11/11/2020 6:00:01 AM ON 2 Timothy 1:5 NLT
“Don’t you remember?”
Two years had passed since my son and his family visited our home. Finally, the ice melted. After seeing him and his family at a few other family functions, we asked him and our daughter-in-law over for Sunday lunch.
After lunch, we lounged in the living room and told stories. They told of things they had done with their boys—things we had not heard about. I thought, Why not tell him things he and I did when he was younger?
So, I told a story and then asked, “Don’t you remember?” He didn’t. I told another story, asked the same question, and got the same answer. Our daughter-in-law rolled with laughter over stories she’d never heard. Our son laughed at the stories too and over the fact he couldn’t remember the incidents.
When I finished five or six camping and hiking stories, I remarked, “You know, I didn’t remember you going with me, your sister, and your uncle that often, but I guess you went more than I imagined.”
After several more stories, he admitted he remembered only small pieces of some of them. Others, he remembered nothing at all…even after I told him.
Amazing what telling stories can do. Doing so can bring families back together and heal hard feelings. It can also relieve stress and help members remember that, yes, we did spend time together after all.
When our son and daughter-in-law left, we hugged and expressed our love for each other. We hoped it would begin a new era in our relationship. One where past hurts—imagined or real—would slip further into the recesses of our minds and good memories would fill them instead.
According to Paul, Timothy had something to remember. The faith his grandmother had passed to his mother and the faith she, in turn, delivered to him. Now, he lived out his faith in such a way that Paul and others recognized it.
I remember when my father told me of his faith and offered the same faith to me. And I recall when I did the same for my two children. I hope they, too, will pass along the offer to their children. Then, later in life when they ask, “Remember when?” their children will say, “Yes.”
What are some faith stories you can share with your loved ones?
DEVOTION BY Darrell Waters POSTED 11/4/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Psalm 6:8 KJV
A lullaby in an old movie called Baby of Mine made me cry.
The words aren't so sad, as best I can remember, but the tune is. One day, I thought of that song and cried. I had asked the Lord to give me something to cry about, but I meant lyrics that would make me cry over the lost. My pastor sometimes reminds us that although people cry over things like animals dying, they often don’t over the lost.
Instead of the Lord giving me a song about lost people dying and going to hell, He gave me a song about His worthiness as the Lamb of God, because He died on the cross and rose again for us.
Many of the psalms were written with the psalmist telling God in the first part how sad he was. Usually, by the end of the psalm, he thanked God for giving him the victory. In this psalm, the writer tells the wicked to depart from him, for God had heard his weeping. Depart from me all ye workers of iniquity for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.
I've heard of sad situations in which people have grieved themselves to death. Even if something has happened that was our fault and we can't make it right because the person we need to reconcile with is dead, we can still ask the Lord to help us get over it. We might even need to talk to a pastor or Christian counselor.
Whatever you need to do to move beyond your sorrow, do it. Move on, and ask God to give you your joy and your song back.
DEVOTION BY Ken Ebright POSTED 10/28/2020 6:00:01 AM ON 2 Corinthians 12:9 NCV
The world went through a tough time because of COVID-19.
I have a hard time listening to talk radio because it is depressing. There is little good news. All this strife led me to have a vision about driving on a curvy two-lane mountain road. I never knew what was around the next bend or what would happen.
Such is a picture of life, and, to me, it seems more real today than ever before. There have been times when I didn’t know how I was going to make it. One of the most trying times was when my mom, who was recovering from alcoholism, committed suicide. Another time was when I lost my part-time job and then my rent was increased by two-hundred dollars monthly, forcing me to move.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but God’s power will be made perfect in me. I was a messed-up kid after my mom died, but my dad re-married, and God brought my stepmom, who stepped up to change my life. Because of her, I went to treatment where I dealt with my problems. The day I lost my part-time job, I was offered a full-time position in a career-related field. Moreover, I found a new and better place to live.
God has been faithful to me in the past. In the difficult times I faced, His power and provision have always been there when I needed Him the most.
Maybe God has done something similar for you. Remembering it is good. As Christians, trusting God's goodness, power, and grace in times past can lead us to peacefully trust His provision for today. His power will be made perfect in us—in our weakness when we need Him the most.
Ask God to help you trust Him in all situations.