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.

Step-By-Step Faith

One day God showed me a lovely example of how our walk of faith is gradual. Bit by bit. One tiny step at a time.

Colorful stones created a perfectly laid-out path through a beautifully manicured garden, each containing a message. Faith. Hope. Trust. Love. Perseverance. Joy. Peace. Prayer. Blessings. I followed them to the end, where the last one said Keep going, just follow Jesus.

The stones made me smile. They reminded me that walking by faith is a step-by-step process, just like taking a stroll and putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes we make the walk more difficult by rushing ahead, lagging behind, or stumbling over our own feet. At other times, we think we know the better route and take off on our own instead of depending on the Lord—especially when the path seems dark and a little ominous. That’s when we get in trouble.

Many people have a hard time with what they cannot see. But God is pleased when we put our trust in Him. He gives us His Word as a lamp to guide our feet and light our pathway. When we stay in sync with Him, He will ensure we stay on the right track and keep our balance. He will keep us from stumbling or losing our way. All it takes is a little faith—believing God will do what He says He will do.

Promises and blessings fill God’s Word like steppingstones in a garden. Receive them by faith. Take His hand and follow Him . . . step by step. He will never lead you in the wrong direction.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Sowing Scarecrows

While planting petunias on my garden patio, I watched as my grandson poked something into the dirt.

The arrival of warmer weather had called us outside to play, and we both found the pots of dirt too inviting to resist. To my surprise, he wrestled a button loose from the tattered shirt of a scarecrow adorning his pot, stuck it into the soil, and patted it firmly.

Seeing the surprised look on my face, he shouted, “Look, Nana, I’m planting scarecrows.” We laughed as he patted the dirt. At age three, he grasped the principle of sowing and reaping. Never mind that buttons aren’t seeds, and scarecrows aren’t plants. In his young mind, he understood that if you plant a scarecrow, you’ll get a scarecrow. 

Miles understood at his young age what I sometimes ignore in my older age. The laws of sowing and reaping are evident in my garden. I don’t plant lettuce seeds and expect petunias. But they are not always so clear in my everyday life. Haven’t I sown one thing expecting to reap another? Perhaps not with seeds, but with deeds—attitudes, actions, words. What about the times I’ve sown discord expecting peace? Or indulged an appetite only to find emptiness? And what about the times my closed hands expected generosity?

The laws in my garden are also at work in my life. God makes this clear when He cautions us about sowing and reaping. There was a season in my life when I valued the freedom of going my way above following God’s principles of sowing and reaping. The consequences were painful and far-reaching but taught me the importance of following God’s instruction. I now regard what I once thought was restrictive and punitive as wise counsel and guidance from my heavenly Father.

We honor God with our hearts and actions by following His principles. When we sow according to God’s Word, life takes root and flourishes as we reap the love and favor of an extravagant God. The memory of a summer sowing scarecrows with my grandson is one such blessing.

What type of things are you sowing?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The War of Opinions

The war of opinions rages in modern society.

Threats came shortly after the Supreme Court decided a football coach had the First Amendment right to pray on the field after a football game. The coach symbolized hatred for those who disagreed with the decision.

Others hated because a secular opinion said expressions of faith were not permitted when discussing the separation of church and state. Anger burned toward those who had a different view. One felt justified to act violently.

The concept of agreeing to disagree has somewhat fallen out of modern conversations. Sadly, many express their opinions like thwarted, spoiled children, which is DDT (Demand, Delay, Threaten).

An essential question is as follows: “Who or what is the trustworthy source of opinions about how we should live life?”

Modern society has accepted what many refer to as secular humanism, and this may now be the most prominent religion. True religion, however, holds opinions about sin and moral issues, including the afterlife. Human ideas come and go—no matter the level of education or a person’s position, making them not objective.

In contrast, God’s opinions are eternal and unchangeable. Jesus said heaven and earth would pass away, but His words are eternal. We need to know objective truth and have an objective quality to our lives. Healthy living come from following what God has revealed in the manual for life, the Bible. Our opinions are only valid when they agree with the sovereign Lord’s.

What steps can you take to align your opinion with God’s?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Trusting In God

Trusting in God isn’t always simple.

Life has a way of bringing us to unavoidable forks in the road—situations that require weighty decisions. At forty-one, we’ve likely made critical decisions about career, marriage, family, housing, and so on. If we’re sixty-five, we can look back and evaluate the effect of our choices over the long haul and ask the what-if questions.  

The Jerusalemites were at such a fork. They started at the imminent threat of Assyrian invasion. But instead of relying on Yahweh, their politicians allied with Egypt for help. Isaiah warned them not to rely on Egypt, but they wanted to take their chances—to make a deal with death. In reply, God likens Himself to the cornerstone of a foundation. Those who believe in Him and trust His promises don’t have to make panicky decisions.

In the 1930s, most Germans were brainwashed into trying to combine Christianity with nationalism and militarism, thereby equating patriotic sentiments with Christian truth. They exalted their racially pure nation during Hitler’s rule as God’s will for the German people.

But some in the churches resisted. They banded together and drew up the Barmen Declaration (May 29–31, 1934) which said the church’s freedom resided in Jesus Christ, who is Lord of every area of life.

Only one foundation proves reliable for us. Outside of God’s promises, no salvation exists, only destruction. To seek protection and plan without divine direction leads to vulnerability and shame—regardless of our effort and expenditure. The secret to success at life’s forks is not joining our current secular mindset but instead relying on the God who keeps His Word.

How can you live by trusting in God?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Meaning of True Love

Not everyone gets the meaning of true love.

One afternoon, while I listened to a friend whine about her husband, I got over it. She looked for problems. Any marriage is a chain of love. So, aiming to be a wise old owl, I suggested she change her complaining. Her husband had his good and bad days, as any person does.

To affirm his good days, my friend and I looked for positives. We discussed some ways she could support the man she loved. She really wanted to continue what was a good relationship—one founded on true love.

I hoped their minor niggles would soon resolve themselves and that her complaining was only a glitch in their love radar.

Christians can all wake up and thank God for loving us first. We all want peace on earth, and we can thank God our faith is alive.

Our Christianity shows us God’s steadfast love. We can show others God is real by nurturing relationships, enhancing friendships, loving pets, tending gardens, or showing kindness to strangers.

We can love because God initially loved us, and still does—feet of clay and all. With prayer, we can stop looking for problems and enhance our chain of love. God first loved us because He wanted us to be happy. That is the meaning of true love.

Have you discovered the meaning of true love?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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