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 Andrea Merrell POSTED 7/2/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Isaiah 30:21 NLT
“Well, if God is talking, there had better be a Bible in that room!”
The words were spoken in an angry, almost defiant tone. My eyes went wide as I took in the surprised faces around the table at my writers’ group.
Before I took the time to think about a response, the words tumbled out of my mouth: “I personally believe God speaks to us in many different ways—through His Word, other people, situations, books. Even movies and TV shows. But the Bible also says He speaks to us in that still, small voice.”
A couple of enthusiastic amens followed, and then we dropped the subject like a hot potato. We moved on. But the woman’s words stayed with me. How sad when we put God in such a small box that He can only speak to us through the written Word … logos. He wants us to embrace the spoken Word as well … rhema.
Jesus said His sheep hear His voice. God spoke the world into existence, and He didn’t sit back on His throne and stop talking. He desires deep, personal, intimate communion with His children.
How many times have you heard His holy whispers? Go this way, not that way. Call your daughter. Pray for your friend. Make that appointment. Don’t be afraid; I’m with you. Wait, not a wise decision. Some call it a coincidence. Others might say “something told me.” That something is a someone. A loving Father taking care of His own.
Thank God He does not leave us to fend for ourselves. He is always with us and has given us everything that relates to life and godliness, which includes the ability—and the privilege—to hear His voice. He sends His Holy Spirit to live inside us to comfort, teach, correct, and guide.
Learn to be still and quiet your mind so you can hear those holy whispers. Your Father is longing to talk to you.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Deborah Payne POSTED 6/25/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Proverbs 1:7 NIV
Our calls to the boat dock went unheeded. What seemed like an unthinkable situation happened before our eyes. Our friend dangled from the side of the boat, unable to pull himself onto the deck. He exhausted himself trying, but nothing could anchor his weight.
We later learned one important safety feature was missing from that rented pontoon: the drop down ladder. Fuming mad, tired, and embarrassed, the man had read the rental agreement which prohibited swimming from the pontoon. On previous trips, he had done the same thing. With no ladder, however, he was stuck. A lawyer by profession, our friend was humiliated.
All of us have ignored Solomon’s warning and taken shortcuts in life. Some didn't turn out so well. We later felt like fools. Our friend knew the rule … but chose to ignore it. In the end, he attached himself by rope to the front of the boat, and we pulled a humbled person to shore by putting the boat in reverse.
As believers, we often look for ways to get around God's rules. We've read the Bible, sat through Sunday sermons, and worked in the nursery at church. We may have even memorized verses. Yet, if we're honest, doing things God’s way is not always convenient.
A close friend confided in me that her husband, a policeman, often cleared their teenage son of drug charges. He never had to face the consequences of breaking the law. Today, this young men struggles to be a stable role model.
A loving and caring God has put rules in place to form safe boundaries around us. He knows what lies beyond the safety of His watchful care. For our own good, He also allows us to experience the consequences of sin. Decisions based on convenience often lead to dead ends. Letting His Son die for our sins certainly wasn’t convenient for God.
The wisdom of following God's way leads to eternal life. Why not follow His rulebook and experience eternal life?
DEVOTION BY Linda Shoaf POSTED 6/18/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Jeremiah 9:25 NLT
The bloodcurdling wail pierced the air.
We gave our two-year-old daughter frequent reminders not to climb onto cabinets, but she forgot and placed her little hand on a warm burner. The heat surprised her more than it caused injury. But the experience jogged her future memory more than my repeated warnings not to climb onto the range to reach upper cabinets.
Just as I reinforced safety lessons to my children, God has done the same with His laws. He made a covenant with Abraham and symbolized this covenant by having him circumcise all males in his family—a practice that continued throughout generations. The Jewish nation placed considerable emphasis on circumcision. The act not only sealed the covenant of grace and promises made to Abraham for Israel but also signified redemption through faith for Gentile believers.
Like actions toward many of God’s laws, the Israelites ignored their part of the promise. God sent prophets who cautioned His chosen people about emphasizing physical acts while neglecting the spiritual act of circumcising the spirit.
Generations after Abraham, Jeremiah warned of destruction because of the people’s waywardness. God promised punishment, even though they were physically circumcised. He would destroy their capital city, Jerusalem, and even His holy temple.
The Lord rebuked the nation of Judah because the wise boasted of wisdom, the powerful of their power, and the rich about their riches. He warned them to boast in God alone and to remember that the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love also brings justice and righteousness.
People haven’t changed. Neither has God. Many place wisdom, power, and riches before God. Like disobedient children, we seek what we want and encounter the risk of being burned. God will not accept religious works or secular success over acts of a righteous heart. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, pure thoughts and actions can replace meaningless physical acts of service for a heart that glorifies God.
Give God your circumcised spirit.
DEVOTION BY Michelle Heed POSTED 6/11/2020 6:00:01 AM ON 2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT
I huffed and pulled at my hair, muttering under my breath.
A neighbor’s kid was at it again: stealing things from my garbage. This time it was still-inflated birthday balloons I had thrown away in a cleaning frenzy. Next time, it might be old undies, personal documents, or an empty ketchup bottle.
Flustered, I stared at the little boy running excitedly with his treasured garbage balloons. He was skipping and laughing as if it was his birthday. All I could think was, “Where’s your boundaries, rapscallion?”
That violated feeling permeated my thinking. Then God reminded me He sees our value—and cares. What if Adonai wanted to care for a seven-year-old trash digger? How can God schedule a divine appointment with a child who was scouring the dump—and show the boy his worth? By meeting him in the dump with my thrown-away balloons, of course.
God meets trash diggers in dumps. He even orchestrated my cleaning day to be right before this boy’s trash-picking day. How kind. I knew I had a choice. I could stay in my boundary-broken anger—with my rights violated and oblivious to the care God was showing one of His struggling canaries—or I could allow God to give me eyes to see beyond the problem and to notice Him in this spectacular and annoying moment. The offense could lead me to hide, licking my wounds like a stray dog on the edge of our dump, or to do something.
God can help us see His eternal perspective through our frustrations. I want eyes to see God intervene in the life of a dumpster boy and a stressed out mom. I saw the boy’s face light up over his new-found treasure, and I smiled with him. I couldn’t be mad at such happiness. I don’t want to hold on to my rights and hurts, but rather to ask for eyes that see joy is lighter than bitterness.
When we see people going through our garbage, we don’t have to wring our hands and pull our hair. Instead, we can say, “My garbage was exposed. People can see my secret weaknesses. God give me eyes to see Your love and Your desire in this awkward moment. I know I am loved.”
Ask God to help you see His goodness in all the awkward moments that today brings.
DEVOTION BY Macy Johnson POSTED 6/4/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Psalm 145:10-12 NIV
A little bird perched on the balcony railing outside my window.
She coaxed me to stop and pay attention to her and to nature all around. She ranted for a long time. I wish I knew what she said, who she was jibber-jabbering with, and what other birds might be listening. Her chatter sounded urgent … important … but not a pleasant sound.
Suddenly, the bird stopped gabbing and preened herself under each wing. Deliberate flicks of her long beak ruffled her feathers. She shook and flapped her little wings again and again. It was quite a show. She was on stage. Then she stood still, looked around, and started singing—as if seeking a cue from a conductor.
Her song was lyrical and colorful—but not offensive or urgent like the chattering. Was she singing to God her Creator? Was she singing to the window or to the house? She probably wasn’t singing to me. I expected an audience of her peers to gather on the balcony and perch on chair backs to listen to her sweet solo. None came. Too soon, the little bird ended her song and flew away, searching for another stage.
I wondered what God’s lesson was for me in that visit from my little feathered friend. I’m surprised I noticed her. Nature bursts around me all day, and I don’t notice. Driving down the highway, I ask myself, “Who will ever see that leaf on that tree or those blades of grass?”
Nature glorifies God everywhere. I don’t ignore it on purpose, but hesitate to jerk my mind off pressing, temporal things in order to celebrate eternity.
Make an effort to pay attention to God’s glory in your natural surroundings.