A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Spirit & Soul

Spirit and Soul is all about eternity. Life ever after with a God who has prepared a place in advance for us. Dig into the Word. Search out your heart. Contemplate where you will spend eternity. . .then choose to offer your life to God.

The Uninvited Guest

I heard a knock at the door and peeped out the window. There stood a stranger … baggage in tow … an uninvited guest. My mind raced with questions and confusion. Should I ignore him? Tell him to go away? Or just let him in?

Trembling and unsure, I opened the door, then tried to find the right words. But I hesitated a few seconds too long. The uninvited guest stepped inside—with all his baggage—and proceeded to make himself at home.

My guest quickly set up residence. As he unpacked his bags one by one, I realized what had brought me to this moment. The first bag contained hurt feelings I had never confronted, followed by bags full of anger and resentment. The largest bag held years of unforgiveness.

That’s when I came face-to-face with a root of bitterness. The Bible warns us about this dangerous root, calling it poisonous. It not only steals our peace, joy, and sense of well-being but also negatively affects those around us. And it’s up to us to keep this deadly poison out of our hearts.

I remembered all the times I had refused to forgive. To walk in love. To show mercy and grace. To ...

I cried out to the Lord and asked forgiveness for holding on to the past and allowing this poisonous root into my heart. Then I wept as I forgave those who had betrayed and offended me. Before I said “amen,” my guest had packed his bags and left. My peace and joy returned. And for the first time in a long time, I could truly say, “It is well with my soul.”

Beware of this uninvited guest. Don’t let him in when he comes knocking on the door of your heart.

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Secure in God’s Lap

Lightning pierced the sky like a knife on fire. Thunder shook the house. Tears ran down my cheeks as I called out to Grandma. My little sister and I ran to Grandma’s lap. She rocked us back and forth as she softly sang and whispered Scripture verses in our ears.

“Whenever I am afraid, I will put my trust in You,” she quoted from Scripture. “Don’t be afraid, girls. God is just watering all the beautiful trees and flowers. So let’s sing praises to Him and thank Him.”

As she sang “Jesus Loves Me,” our fear melted away. No one calmed our fears like Grandma. But why were we so insecure?

In 1956, the authorities rescued us from an abusive home. We dealt with extreme anxiety, abandonment issues, and many other things we didn’t understand. We were only three and five at the time of our adoption, and the memories of our older sister and brother were fading. But years later, all four of us were reunited.

I have no doubt God hand-selected our new family, complete with this wonderful Grandma who introduced me to Him. This woman offered me unconditional love. When I looked deep into her eyes, I knew I belonged. Her face glowed with God’s love.

Through her love, I learned God is Sovereign and has a better plan for my life than anything I could imagine. He wanted me to find her. Grandma’s unconditional love and forgiveness taught me how to love God and forgive others.

I still catch myself beginning to panic when storms come into my life. My insecurities still haunt me. But then I remember what Grandma used to tell me, and I find a way to get alone with God to pray and read His Word.

The wisdom and insight I learned while sitting on Grandma’s lap carried me through my teen years and into adulthood. I now pass those on to my grandchildren, hoping they will help guide generations to come.

What memories are you leaving for your children and grandchildren that will help them be secure in God’s lap?

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Jesus and the Homeless

On a cold night during my weekly street witnessing, I encountered a woman wrapped in a blanket and wearing sandals.

I asked her the question I always ask people: “What do you think of Jesus?”

She responded with a foul insult toward Jesus I won’t repeat. When people get mad at me for talking about Jesus, I have difficulty knowing what to say, so I didn’t say much.

The woman appeared to be homeless. I wondered how she had gotten into this situation. I guess she reacted as she did because she felt God had abandoned her. 

I can relate because I once felt abandoned by God. My mom committed suicide, and my dad remarried. Seventeen years later, he divorced his new wife, abandoned me, and left town.

I don’t know what happened to the woman I met, but she seemed hopeless. Perhaps everything she had tried failed.  

When we ask Jesus into our hearts, He will never abandon us. That promise doesn’t mean I will never become homeless. But I believe if I did, Jesus would help me through it. What I need is to trust Him. I know when Jesus returns, I won’t have to worry about anything.

Remember, no matter what, Jesus will never abandon you.

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

God's Remodeling Business

Our next-door neighbor decided to update and remodel his master bathroom.

He set out a strategy to do it himself and started the project in March. He demolished the wall of a coat closet to make room for a large walk-in shower with glass doors, replaced the bathroom countertop, updated the fixtures, retiled the floor, and put in a new bathtub and toilet.

But challenges plagued his project. Parts were unavailable or delayed in delivery, and the countertop was cut incorrectly for the sink size. The project was delayed because the tile for the floor was delivered late, and he had problems cutting it when it arrived. Even the toilet was delivered without all the correct parts for installation. Thankfully, fitting the new shower door was less complicated.

We all start the Christian life thinking things will get easier for us. We rejoice in our new-found forgiveness and our hope of eternal life. We understand God has a plan for us. However, we forget we are entering a project where God conforms us to His holiness. This involves getting rid of the old and putting on the new. This is often not a straight-line path but one full of twists and turns.

When things do not go the way we expect, disappointment overtakes us. We chafe at the delays in achieving the accomplishments we set for ourselves. When suffering comes, we wonder why God has allowed it. We are tempted to give up on the entire project, telling ourselves it is not worth it.

Six months later, our neighbors enjoyed a brand-new bathroom. We need to remember God is creating something new and beautiful in our lives. Our part is being willing to encounter delays and difficulties to allow Him to make us like His Son, Jesus Christ.

How can you better endure God’s remodeling business?

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

God Calls Through the Universe

Recently, I overheard a frazzled woman complain that the universe must be trying to tell her something. I’d never heard that before. But does God call through the universe? Can stars, moons, planets, comets, asteroids, space dust, and other non-living phenomena communicate with humans?

Then I remembered my pet rock collection from the 1970s. Retailers sold these plain, ordinary brown rocks separately in colorful square boxes. The cartoon illustrations on the boxes depicted the rocks with eyes and smiles. They just needed a good home. And my pre-teen friends and I bought into this pitch.

Because they marketed the rocks as pets, we treated them with special care. I covered my rock at night with a tissue so it wouldn’t get cold. It was never hungry, but I occasionally sprinkled breadcrumbs around it just in case. We brought our rocks to school and took them back home again. I don’t remember scheduling play dates for our rocks, but I wouldn’t put it past us.

Doesn’t that sound unbelievable? Oh, those clever marketers and advertisers. They elevated hard stones composed of minerals, sand, and mud to pet status, and children fell for it. To personify the universe and believe it’s sending us messages is not much different from connecting with pet rocks.

Jesus Christ, the creator of the universe, urgently invites us to come to Him. He sees, hears, and knows our every thought . . . and cares. He loved us so much that He died on the cross to save us from our sins. He invites us to give Him our burdens and worries, for He is strong enough to carry them. Jesus describes Himself as gentle and humble.

Have you been trusting in something or someone else besides Jesus? Have you heard the call to follow the creator of the universe? Pick up the Bible, and get to know the God who calls you. Your relationship with Him will last a lifetime and into eternity.  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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