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.

Fear, Voices, and Insecurity

I strolled down the beach, minding my own business, when God said, “It’s time.”

Life had taken several unexpected turns. I had been separated and almost divorced; had been financially, physically, and emotionally bankrupt; and had experienced several deaths in my family, including my mom. I was on a journey of healing. God called me to emerge from the pain, to live again, and to encourage others to do the same. Ideas churned. Experiences I had so often trampled down in shame or fear burst in my mind, begging me to share them.

Other voices competed with God’s. “You’re no writer. You’re just a mom, wife, and wannabe housekeeper.” I gathered my resolve and bolstered my confidence by reading a myriad of inspirational books. I felt ready to tackle this mission. But the voices returned. “What if you’re rejected, confronted, challenged, or questioned?”

Satan used my insecurities and fears, attempting to stop God’s work. He feared the outcome of an encouraged and inspired person who no longer listened to his lies.

As I teetered on the fence, God yanked me back into His arms and sent me overwhelming affirmation through friends and strangers, making it undeniable that He had laid this path before me.

Thinking, I’m not good enough, smart enough, or the creative type, or that’s just not who I am is tempting. But who knows us better than the One who knit us together in our mother’s womb? We make it harder on ourselves by listening to the evil one’s lies.

Will we be confronted or questioned? Probably. Satan doesn’t easily give up. However, our Lord will stand firm with us and will not allow us to be overcome, but rather to overcome.

Stop listening to Satan’s deceit and get into God’s perspective. He gave you life to live and enjoy with abundance. Step up and claim His blessings.

Be bold and prayerfully step out in faith to what God is calling you to do.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Crying in a River

Recently, I talked to a friend on Facebook who lives in Africa.

My friend had posted a picture of his congregation standing in a river, crying together because their pastor had been killed the day before in a traffic accident. They did not know what to do.

I want to share what I told my friend.

“During these ‘only-God-knows-why times,’ remember our Lord is the only One who knows the big picture and what is best. You are in our thoughts and prayers; you are not alone. Our loved one has moved to a beautiful retirement home where he is filled with joy. We miss him and cry warm healing tears, which are a recovery medicine from our blessed Lord. Still, we keep looking up and pressing on in the power of God’s Spirit. Pastor O would wish this for us. We come to You right now, dear Jesus, for You have said, ‘Come to Me, you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ Thank You Lord. We place our painful heart in Your loving hands and leave it there. Amen.”

When we lose loved ones who are God’s children, we should remind ourselves that they are not lost. They are found and have made it home.

Whom do you know who is crying and needs comfort from you?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Embrace Your Season

Three bathing suits and a dress for $15.74.

Was this in the 1950s? No, it was last December off the clearance rack at JC Penney. Why so cheap? Because my treasures were out of season. They would have netted the merchant a couple of hundred dollars a few months earlier. But in early winter, shoppers line up to buy sweaters, coats, and scarfs. Bathing suits aren’t needed when temperatures are below freezing—unless you are crazy enough to do the polar plunge in the Atlantic.

At a wedding, we expect dancing and laughter. My youngest daughter, Rachel, married last month. From the flowers to the music to the colors to the venue, she did a great job of planning her special day—and it was lots of fun.

When someone dies, we expect the opposite. My husband is a pastor and has conducted many funerals. Never once has he seen dancing at a funeral. Instead, it is a time of tears, quietness, and reminiscing.

Last fall, I glanced from my office window and saw hundreds of large black birds congregating on a nearby roof. It was rather eerie. The last time I saw this many birds was when I watched the Alfred Hitchcock thriller, The Birds. The movie responsible for the terror my generation feels when we see a flock of black birds. God has built into these featured creatures when to gather for their flight south for the winter.

Seasons are important to merchants. They are even more critical to believers. We also have seasons—times for laughter and times of sorrow. And yet God created both of these seasons, each for its own purpose.

Whatever season you are in—joy, sorrow, rebuilding, or planting—remember each has its own divine purpose.

Take God along through each season of your life.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Transformative Hope

Hope is a word we use often. I hope to see you soon. I hope you get better soon. I hope things turn out all right.

We use the word hope to suggest an uncertain, yet desired, outcome. A possibility. But this is not the way God intended for us to understand the concept. The hope we have in Jesus is different from our everyday understanding of the word. The hope we have in God is far from uncertain possibilities and wishful thinking.

God is a God of hope. This hope Paul describes in his letter to the Romans is certain, definite, and unwavering. Our hope that Jesus will return, our hope of redemption, and our hope that God will keep His promises all are certain.

When we understand and believe in the certain hope we have in God, we are transformed. We have hope for daily living and for the future. God’s hope is transformative in our lives and gives us purpose and vision. God longs for us to put our complete trust in Him. Our hope in Him will not be put to shame.

Ask the God of hope to fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so your hope will overflow—not  because of your own strength, but because of the power of the Holy Spirit.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Balance

I started my collection of books about balance shortly after I married.

Surely experts could guide my pursuit to do and be everything to everyone. I confess I haven’t completed a single one of those dusty volumes. Who has time to sit down and focus on such a lofty goal when finding balance feels like a lost cause?

Every day was a balancing act of caring for my family, friends, and neighbors, cleaning the house, and performing at work. Somehow, I was supposed to squeeze in time with God and self-care. I was exhausted and overwhelmed before my day began.  

We’re often conditioned to do it all and to succeed in all we do. But if someone has a need and I focus my time and energy on them, should I berate myself at the end of the day if I end up with hotdogs for dinner and didn’t get the toilet scrubbed? The answer is a resounding no.

Such a mindset is not sustainable, and there is no way to force all things to balance. But maybe balance doesn’t exist. Maybe we should stop aiming for something unattainable and focus on what God has given us for our season. With this realization, I discovered freedom.

Life is unpredictable. On some days, we will manage crises. On other days, we need to give ourselves permission to rest and resist the urge to do and go. At other times, we’ll have time to write cards, make calls, and get that walk in.

God gives us perspective and frees us from micromanaged chaos. When we internalize that God is in control and allow Him to manage our schedule, bumps in the road change from obstacles to opportunities to love, encourage, and provide—to be the hands and feet of God. We learn compassion, love, and flexibility when we slow down and are intentional about our relationships. When our hearts seek God, He directs our attention. One day, we’ll look back and see His balance.

Focus on God, and pray for an open heart to accept what He deems important each day. Free yourself from the guilt trips. Rest well at night, knowing God is in control and will do the balancing act for you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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