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.
DEVOTION BY Marie Pinkham POSTED 10/21/2021 6:00:01 AM ON Matthew 9:22 MSG
Overwhelmed. Alone. Hanging by a thread. We’ve all been there a time or two.
When I lost my younger sister last year—just as the world had shut down from Covid—I felt alone in my grief. Cut off from physical contact with friends and family, I dealt with emotions difficult to process on my own. There seemed nowhere to go, and no one to turn to for help. Until I realized there is one avenue always open to me. Jesus waited for me to turn to Him so he could heal my broken heart.
The young woman Jesus encountered found herself at that point. Desperately needing answers and out of options for where to turn. The condition with which she suffered separated her from loved ones for twelve long years.
But she heard Jesus was coming through town. Her faith told her if she could grab on to a tiny thread of His robe, she would be healed. She must have been frightened to make her way through the crowd, let alone touch Him. But she took a risk, mustered up her faith, and made her way to Him. She reached out and grabbed for the fringe on the hem of His garment.
Sensing her touch, Jesus stopped. He faced her and called her “Daughter.” He acknowledged the courage it took to make her way through the crowd to Him, demonstrating her belief in His healing power.
Do you ever find yourself in this woman’s shoes? Barely hanging on, feeling like there’s no one to turn to for help? Follow her lead–dare to reach out and touch Jesus. Snag that thread on the hem of His garment.
The thin thread you’re hanging on to will lead you to the Savior who longs to say to you, “Courage. You took a risk of faith, and now you’re well.”
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Robert L. Segress POSTED 10/14/2021 6:00:01 AM ON Galatians 5:1 NASB
During the twenty-five years that I served as a licensed mental health therapist, I found few of the Christians I treated (including ministers) possessed a sense of freedom.
This failed sense of freedom contributed to their mental health problems. I confess that much of my service also lacked a freed-heart approach to life. Adherence to people’s needs, along with an overwhelming work ethic, produced a furrowed brow and a tense stomach.
Free love was a slogan some years ago, and it had promiscuousness associated with it. The description, free spirit, was associated with the hippie movement during the early part of my career. I did not want to be associated with their excesses. But what I did not understand was that without freedom ruling a life, a person is enslaved by life and their past. Christ has set us free, and God’s children must watch out for this world’s yokes of slavery.
Yet without love we are nothing. Different types and definitions of love exist—some types are righteous and free while other types enslave and addict.
Having a sense of freedom, or being a free spirit, is God’s desire. Today’s reflection verse tells God’s children they are set free to live in freedom.
Christ has freed His children from themselves, their fallen nature, and the Law. God’s entire Law is summed up in the commandment to love those around us. Love sets us free. No child of God is a free spirit without trusting, rejoicing, and sharing in what Christ has done for them as they live in love’s victory. God’s children are free-spirited love children.
Seek after a heart that is free from this world and all that is in it by abiding in your first love—the Lord Jesus Christ—and what He has done for you.
DEVOTION BY Jasmine Falls POSTED 10/7/2021 6:00:01 AM ON Psalms 18:31 KJV
A rock is a solid structure that only grows stronger with time. It can take thousands of years for a rock to change.
When I chose new flooring for my house, I chose a good grade of plywood because I wanted a solid floor—one that would last for a while. The strong pyramids of Egypt were made of limestone rock, and they stood the test of time. Builders trust construction foundations made of rock and stone because they provide a sure foundation that will last.
The psalmist compares the Lord to a rock. Moses referred to the Lord as a rock because of the mighty strength and power He demonstrated to the children of Israel when He delivered them from the mighty hand of Pharoah.
Paul compares Jesus to a rock. He says our fathers of old drank the same spiritual drink because they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them and that Rock was Christ.
Our Savior is strong and powerful like a solid rock foundation. Not only is He mighty and powerful in physical strength, but He is also tenderhearted like a newborn baby—forgiving seventy times seven.
Our God—who is strong enough to wipe us all out in a moment—wants to have a loving relationship with His sons and daughters. He’s not the bad guy.
God is a merciful, loving Savior in whom you can put all your trust.
DEVOTION BY Sara Cormany POSTED 9/30/2021 6:00:01 AM ON Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Her little nose crinkled as she peered over the counter—her big brown eyes giving her away before she could say, “Mama, I have a question.”
Smiling at the resolve in her voice, I braced myself for what would come next. With my girl, it was never just one question.
“So, you know those robin eggs? The ones under our honeysuckle? And you know how we can’t touch them because otherwise the mommy won’t come back and take care of them? Welp, I just don’t get that. How could a mommy ever leave her babies?”
I would like to say I responded with something profound, but what came forth from my sleep-deprived brain was more like a “Wah. Wah. Wah. Wah. Wah. Wah.” By the time I ran out of words, my girl looked more confused than ever.
For a moment, we sat in awkward silence. Something gave way to her hands-on-her-hips answer, “Welp, I guess there are just some things I’m not gonna get. I guess God understands for all of us.”
Then she hopped down from her counter perch and gave me a squish, her words reaching deeply into my grown-up heart. She had said it all. Sometimes this world doesn’t make sense. In the middle of pandemics, riots, and division. In the middle of pain, loss, and broken relationships. In the middle of all life’s chaos and confusion.
We are left searching, trying our best to reconcile the pain of this world with a loving and merciful God. Even in our aching and doubt, a greater story is being written for our good, for God’s purpose, and for the sake of eternity. And in every page lies this promise: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This hope is not temporary or tenuous but endures through all of life’s circumstances.
Even when it hurts. Even when it’s hard. Even when it doesn’t make sense. He purposefully understands for all of us.
We serve a God who is worthy of our trust in the most gutting circumstances. He longs to hold us, carry us, and cover us in the sufficiency of His love. But we must be willing to trust and fall into the strength of His arms.
What steps can you take to trust God in all circumstances?
DEVOTION BY Ken Barnes POSTED 9/23/2021 6:00:01 AM ON Deuteronomy 8:2 NLT
Memory is a fantastic thing.
I once connected on Facebook with an acquaintance I had not seen or even thought about for over sixty years. He mentioned us playing basketball together. Instantly, I remembered him in that context—and retrieved stored data from the recesses of my mind.
God wants us to recover information from our past to help us navigate present or future situations.
Some say the Book of Deuteronomy could be called the book of remembering. Over and over again, before he died, Moses told Israel to remember. The past is always the key to the present and future. Moses knew his people's tendency to let their hearts stray, their minds wander, and their emotions deceive them.
When trials and temptations come, and they always do, we engage them by remembering God's faithfulness in the past. When the prophet Jeremiah was afflicted, he said, "Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:21-23 NLT). Embedded in the memory of this prophet were experiences that made these statements true. In his time of need, his memory of God's faithfulness sustained him.
When the battle rages in our minds or we find ourselves sinking into the deep waters of unbelief, the path to our heart is always through our minds. We can't prevent every thought from entering our minds, but we can control that flow of information. God has etched upon our minds all those instances of His love and care for us.
Dwell on God's faithfulness in the past, and He will turn present and future perplexities into peace, as well as fear into faith.