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 Patricia Van Gorder POSTED 4/8/2021 6:00:01 AM ON Psalm 141:3 NASB
On a sunny afternoon, I sat in my beach chair, enjoying the activity of a flock of seagulls that lined the water's edge.
A young man, his wife, and their young son walked across the sand. The father picked up a rock and threw it at an unsuspecting seagull that stood in the water. The gull went down instantly, flapping and struggling. The woman looked shocked, while the man laughed nervously, glancing around to see if anyone was watching. He took the little boy's hand, and the family moved on down the beach. The gull was helpless and unable to move.
I don’t believe this man really meant to hurt the bird. I think he threw the rock to show his son how the gull would fly if startled. But his thoughtless action caused pain and injury.
When I was a young mother, an acquaintance became the talk of the town. I joined in the gossip, condemning her lifestyle. Words cannot describe the devastation I felt when I learned she had taken her life. I was ashamed of the role I had played in judging her instead of reaching out to help her.
Gossip is like that rock the man threw. We throw stones and hurt people. We may not mean to harm, but our words can leave someone helpless and hurt. Some try to justify gossip by stating that they are just being truthful and honest. I did. Because we each had sons who were two years old, I justified offering my opinion about how a mother should act.
Paul admonishes us not to let unwholesome talk come out of our mouths. We are to use only words that are helpful for building others up according to their needs and that benefit those who listen.
We may think we’re not throwing stones, but our words can be destructive weapons. How will you use the “stones” of your words? To build up or to take down?
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Andrea Merrell POSTED 4/1/2021 6:00:01 AM ON Romans 12:2 NKJV
“No way. Where did you get such a crazy idea?” the woman asked.
“It’s all over the news. Not to mention Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,” the man answered. “Must be true.”
The woman shook her head. “Did you check your facts before spreading such nonsense? Maybe you need to turn off the news.”
The mind, as they say, is a terrible thing to waste. It’s a highly intelligent living computer that can be shaped and molded by what we see, hear, read, or expose ourselves to. When we continually feed it negative information, our emotional state and peace of mind are greatly affected. As Sarah Young says, “Your mind shuttles back and forth, hither and hon, weaving webs of anxious confusion.”
The noise of this world can be deafening as so many voices clamor for our attention. It can warp our thinking and cause us to live in a constant state of anxiety and fear.
But we are not called to conform to this world. The Bible says we are to renew our mind. The Passion translation puts it this way: Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think.
A change in our thinking only happens when we spend time in God’s Word, aligning our thoughts with His. When our faith, hope, and trust is in Him alone, we never have to allow current events and the world’s view to drag us down.
If your thoughts are weaving those “webs of anxious confusion,” shut out the negative voices and reprogram your thinking.
DEVOTION BY Julie Lilly POSTED 3/25/2021 6:00:01 AM ON Luke 4:18b NKJV
Oh, the miracle of a kiss on a boo-boo.
I remember being little and getting a cut on my finger. I raised that chubby finger and ran to my mom. She always knew what to do. She gently cleaned it, put on a Band-Aid, and gave it a kiss. We weren’t done until my hurt had been kissed. There was magic in that application of compassion and love. It made the pain go away.
We have all seen a toddler with a boo-boo do the same thing as I did. If the wound isn’t treated, the tiny nick can continue to hurt and bleed. Each time it is touched or bumped, the child is reminded of the pain. And an untreated wound can become infected.
People all around us have un-kissed boo-boos. They are hurt, afraid, or sad. They go through life fearful of being hurt again, looking for someone they can trust to love them and help heal their wounds.
Difficult people often behave that way because their untreated wounds still hurt. And what we chalk up to foolishness, delusion, evil, or a flawed character can be an inner child with a wound that was never cleaned and a boo-boo that was never kissed.
The heart of God is tender toward His children. His desire is that all would come and be healed. We can be God’s hands, feet, and heart to a hurting world.
Ask God to touch your eyes so you can see beyond bad behavior and discover hurting, confused, and frightened children who long to be comforted.
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Ken Ebright POSTED 3/18/2021 6:00:01 AM ON James 1:9-10 NCV
I’ve often wondered if money brings what it promises.
I once oversaw lighting for a television shopping channel. One day we were on a remote shoot at a beautiful home owned by a successful attorney. I noticed that he had at least twenty suits and twenty pairs of shoes in a large closet.
I also had a friend named Pat whose dad was a busy attorney. I had visited Pat’s house a few times and hung out in the middle of the night. What seemed strange was that it felt as if Pat were the only one home. I wondered if his parents truly cared about their relationship with him or if money and pleasure were more important.
One night after I graduated high school, I ran into Pat and my long-time friend Steve at a movie theater. We all watched the same movie. Looking back on that day, I wonder if Pat was depressed because after the movie, he asked me to drive Steve home. Two weeks later, Steve told me Pat had shot himself in the head.
As Christians, we should want to be a spiritually rich. Our focus should be on our relationship with the Lord, not our bank account.
Money and belongings are not evil, although they can interfere with our relationship with the Lord. Materialistic things won’t last, so we should be more concerned about our heavenly relationship.
Make sure you don’t put earthly belongings before the Lord.
DEVOTION BY Darrell Waters POSTED 3/11/2021 6:00:01 AM ON Genesis 50:20 KJV
The parade taught me about a revival.
I once watched a holiday parade taking place in California. During the parade, one of the announcers mentioned a street in California named Azusa Street. He said the name was an Indian word meaning skunk. In 1960, a powerful move of God touched the world and was known as the Azusa Street Revival.
When I heard that Azusa means skunk, I thought about how God came to a street named skunk and sent glory that touched the world. God took a skunk and made something beautiful which became a sweet smell to God and to millions of others worldwide.
We all go through our own personal Azusas, or skunks. Sometimes, the fault is ours, but at other times, others may be at fault. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are. If we let Him, God can and will work it out for our good as we choose to serve and love Him just as Joseph did.
Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, thrown into a pit, and then sold as a slave in Egypt. He also experienced other bad happenings.
Just as Joseph kept a sweet spirit, we can ask God to give us one every day so we can have the attitude Jesus had. One that forgives, just as Joseph and Jesus did. When we do, God will work all things for our good.
Trust God to bring good from bad in your life.