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 Jamin Baldwin POSTED 8/6/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Psalms 91:2 KJV
All that hard work, stacking the firewood in a nice neat row. and now it lay on the ground. Not looking forward to the task of restacking it, I put it off for two days. Finally, deciding it was time, I marched out into the cool September evening.
Several minutes into the task, I lifted a chock of wood to find the golden feathers of my favorite hen. Sadness rushed into my heart. She’d been caught beneath the pile. Crushed. I hadn’t even finished mourning the loss of my eight-year-old hen when I saw her body quiver. Hope leapt within me. Was she alive?
Pulling off another piece of wood, I nearly laughed when I saw her pop her head up and look around. I took her from the pile and packed her home. Other than a few ruffled feathers and a slight limp, she appeared to be okay.
Minutes after releasing her from the heavy weight of the wood that lay atop her, my little golden hen limped around the yard and sang. Her song as happy as if she had never suffered under the wood pile for two long days. I imagined she kept telling herself someone would find her. And here she was singing with her feathers standing out in every direction, hobbling across the yard.
Oh, that I were more like her. When life deals me a heavy blow and the weight of the world presses on me. When I feel like giving up. And even after the struggle is over and the storm has passed, and I cannot seem to get my song back. My joy somehow robbed during the long nights as I await rescue. I feel as though I need retribution for the pain I have suffered. But I learned a powerful lesson.
We should be more like the hen in the woodpile. Letting go of the hardships we suffer. Releasing the pain that has stacked upon us unexpectedly.
Ask God to help you find your song again … even after the harshest of storms.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY John Zimmer POSTED 7/30/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Psalm 137:4 NIV
During the Coronavirus pandemic, life changed.
As we sheltered at home, our entertainment and social devices became our link to friends, churches, and the world. The internet became the conduit to a quasi fellowship of faith. We connected to one another via flat screens, microphones, and speakers.
Online worship, the new abnormal, became our link to faith-family worship. We gathered around our screens and logged in to watch and listen. Faith families (churches) transformed into a small group of friends. Churches reached out via live streaming and offered a new version of worship that required more imagination and intent than ever before. Members and non-members tuned in to a version of worship they could pause, rewind, or watch later.
Long have we proclaimed the creed that the "church is the people, not the building," yet we kept pouring our resources into brick and mortar rather than people’s souls. The virus challenged our values and stripped bare our worship rituals.
Stripping away the trappings of modern worship, we explored and implemented a new style of worship so narrowly God-centered that crowds, drums, and orchestras weren’t needed. As beautiful as the pipe organ is that resonates to our bones, we had to dig into the memories of our hearts and minds and awaken our souls to the opportunity of rediscovering worship.
This pandemic afforded us an opportunity similar to Israel's captivity in a strange land. The pandemic taunted us, asking, "How will you worship in these times?"
We must respond with hope and a loud united voice that God is sovereign and nothing separates us from His love. We must sing our songs of hope and praise from our windows and balconies. Our worship must echo in the halls of our hospitals. God's message of good news must emerge from the despair and helplessness we feel.
How will you sing the Lord's song in a strange land?
DEVOTION BY Anne Hughes POSTED 7/23/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Psalm 42:7 NIV
My husband came home with a corned beef brisket, but without potatoes to go with it—although he had seen a car in the parking lot with a trunk full of potatoes.
Our DNA makes us rise above our circumstances. Some do that by taking all they can get. Others simply adapt. There’s no such thing as life without loss so we adjust as best we can.
Did the Coronavirus take us through a winnowing? Or did nature simply impart a brutal blow? Only God knows. The good news is God is the source of our strength, hope, and endurance. God is with us. Because His Spirit lives in us through the grace of our Savior, we are never alone.
Humans have survived the Spanish flu pandemic, polio outbreaks, smallpox, hurricanes, tsunamis, 911, and countless other crises. And we still manage to deal with pregnancy, birth, broken bones, seasonal illnesses, and natural death right in the middle of other catastrophes.
During this time of quarantine and isolation, we’ve witnessed both selfishness and goodwill. The greed of some has left others in need. Yet there has also been an outpouring of empathetic love between individuals with whom we may not have otherwise connected. To those who act selfishly, we have an opportunity to forgive and give generously to demonstrate the love and mercy of Christ.
In times of trial when we’re weak, we see the strength and goodness others bring to us. This is the power of God at work in His people. Life is a complex pattern of intertwined energies that we cannot begin to fathom. God in His heaven sees it all, and every sparkling droplet of life has its place and purpose in the vast ocean of His universe.
When torrential waves rush in, hold fast to the One who commands them. Trust Him, hope in Him, watch Him, and be amazed by Him.
DEVOTION BY Norma Mezoe POSTED 7/16/2020 6:00:01 AM ON 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV
Bob met with his new pastor and poured out his heart.
Bob was a Christian, fighting to remain true to his wife and his faith, but he had been tempted to have an affair with his secretary. So far, he had not yielded. His sobbing echoed loudly throughout the quiet church. What a relief it was to share the thoughts of his tormented soul with someone who understood.
The story of Joseph’s special coat, given to him by his father, is familiar. Jacob, Joseph’s father, loved Joseph more than any of his other sons. Because Joseph was his favorite, Jacob gave him the one-of-a-kind coat. Eventually, because of burning jealousy, the older brothers sold Joseph into slavery where he became a slave to Potiphar, an official for the Egyptian king.
Joseph was a handsome young man—and Potiphar’s wife noticed. She wanted to have an affair with him, but Joseph was a godly man and rejected her advances. A word picture of the seduction scene is painted when the Bible says, “And she caught him by his garment, saying, ‘Lie with me,’ and he left his garment in her hand, and fled.” Joseph resisted temptation, but in the process, left his coat behind. His other coat.
Because Joseph obeyed God, he was thrown into prison and held there until, in God’s timing, he was released. Eventually, Joseph became second in command only to Pharaoh.
Temptation to do wrong isn’t sin, but yielding is. When we dwell on a temptation, that thought may become an action, leading to sin. But we have a High Priest who supplies all we need in times of temptation. Jesus understands every weakness we have because He experienced temptation in every way we do, yet without sinning.
When temptation knocks loudly at your door, remember Joseph and his other coat—the one he left behind to avoid sinning. Look to Jesus for help when you are tempted.
DEVOTION BY Robert L. Segress POSTED 7/9/2020 6:00:01 AM ON 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
Lying in a hospital’s isolation ward, forbidden to get out of bed, is hard.
I was in the hospital, donned with yellow socks that meant I was forbidden to get out of bed. To make sure, an emergency alarm that screamed if I tried to escape monitored me. That meant even the bathroom was verboten, an embarrassing situation indeed. After seeing if I was faster than my nurses, I learned they must have track shoes as they pounced on me. Of course, they came at me with full face masks that even covered their eyes, making them scarier.
After two days, my first vials of blood came back: one positive and one negative. The masks stayed on. Then, in the second bloodletting both came back negative, and I earned my grey socks, which meant I could get out of bed without being attacked. A great relief since that meant I could access the bathroom. I took little walks around my private room—still dizzy from the effects of dehydration and a septic getting into my bloodstream.
Four days later, I went home—unfortunately with pneumonia from the hospital stay. Seeing my General Practitioner the next day, I was surprised at how worried he appeared. He said a hospital pneumonia that is virulent and can only be treated in a hospital was making its rounds. He immediately gave me a steroid shot and several strong antibiotics and prayed for me. He is a devout Christian with verses on the walls of his office.
Since Coronavirus was still a possibility—and because I’m 80 and have compromised health—many of my family and friends doubled down in prayer for healing and wisdom. I asked my Lord for wisdom from His Word for an answer to our Coronavirus panic. He gave me today’s verse.
Whenever worry and panic overwhelms us, we can trust that our Father knows best and that Jesus will never leave or forsake us.
Ask God to take away your spirit of fear and replace it with a spirit of trust.