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.

Joyful Giving

My sister, Dorthy Qualls, gave many years of service in foreign countries in mission work.

Dot once spoke of her visit to West Africa and told how the people there gave freely and with joy even though their contributions were often small.

The act of worship through giving during church services was a beautiful event. The first pew of people on the left led out and around to the back of the congregation and down the center isle to the front, dropping their offering in the basket. Each row followed. They danced, sang, and clapped as they went. The people of Ghana, West Africa, have little to give, but during the churches’ offering time, they believe it is a time to give their praises to the Lord and whatever else they can. Often with no instruments, their clapping is synchronized and beautiful to hear and watch. The ladies’ attire of all the rich colors of the rainbow, with Gele (ge-la) head pieces to match, made the offering time a beautiful and worshipful dance before the Lord.

Young Joash, king of Judah, decided to restore the temple of the Lord. He called the priests and Levites together and instructed them to collect a prescribed tax from the people for the temple repair and restoration. We don’t know if they marched and sang, but they gave gladly to the Lord’s work. No doubt, many longed to see their temple restored and returned to its former glory.

Someone asked me about a television ministry that claimed people who gave large amounts to them would get out of debt. She said, “Larry and I want to get out of debt. Maybe we should give to them. What do you think?”

I sent up a silent prayer and then replied, “If I gave with the thought in mind that I would benefit somehow, what would be my motive for giving?”

She thought for a few seconds, and then her eyes lit up, “I knew it didn’t feel quite right, but now I see. My motive would be…give to get.”

Our gift to the Lord’s work is a gift. Give yours freely and with joy.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Jesus Is Ubiquitous

God used a single word to help me hear Him and know Him more intimately.

As I threw a quick breakfast together, I thought of a strange word: ubiquitous. I could barely pronounce it. But as I sat down to my oatmeal, I thought of the strange word again. I had never used the word, and had maybe heard it only a few times in my life.  

Leaving my oatmeal, I headed to my computer to Google the definition. Between the kitchen and my office, I forgot the word. I asked Jesus for help. For the third time, the Holy Spirit spoke the word clearly enough that even my ADHD brain retained it. I got cold chills as I read its definition: omnipresent, always with you.

Closing my eyes, I waited for the Spirit. I already knew Jesus was omnipresent, but He wanted me to really know. That night I would receive seemingly hopeless news from family.

Moses also wanted Joshua to know God would be with him as he led the Israelites into the Promised Land. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

God sent His strength ahead of the news. Jesus knew I would share my experience with the women at my Bible study—women He wanted to encourage with this truth. This same Scripture reminds me that Jesus is fully faithful in my family’s situation and also to me. 

God is always with us no matter what we are doing—or even when we feel alone. Don’t be discouraged or afraid. Talk to Him, share your heart, and listen as you read the Bible. He will give you His comfort and His wisdom.

God’s wisdom and presence are always available. Ask Him to give you ears to hear and sensitivity to feel it.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Be Still

I doubt I’m alone in occasionally feeling like a mouse on a wheel, running as fast as I can but getting nowhere.

Some nights I fall into bed exhausted with my mind still spinning. How will I get everything done? When will I find time to do it all? When futility peaks, I often realize what’s missing: time alone with God. So I draw away from everything. I slow down and listen to the quiet with God in its midst as He instructs us to do through the psalmist.

As I close my eyes, the tension slowly drains. Shoulders fall, breathing slows, and muscles relax. I lose sight of the stacks of work that cry for my attention. I no longer hear the phone’s rings and pings. The whirling world of obligations fades as I welcome God’s peace.

And I wonder why I keep forgetting to place God first. Why do I become so intent on my plans and my purposes that I fail to give God control? When will I learn to listen, whether through God’s written Word or the Holy Spirit’s gentle whisper?

The following poem came from one such experience.

No e-mail, no IM, no games.
No texting, no TV, no tweets.
No talk, no travel, no phone.
No sports, no music, no books.
No visits, no shopping, no plans.
Just stillness
and quiet
and calm.
Now I hear you, God.

Rather than asking where it all ends, why not ask where it all begins. Close your eyes and mind to the world around you. Allow God to transport you into sacred realms prepared especially for you.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Where's Nemo?

“We should name him Nemo,” I teased as we lowered our goldfish into the backyard pond. But then, there were those two cute dots on his tail.

“How about Duce?” my husband suggested.

“Perhaps Dos?” I countered.

We decided his name would be Ducy-Dos. We were happy and so was our goldfish, but that changed the day of the accident. As we cleaned the pond, Ducy-Dos tumbled into the pump housing. For weeks, I kept the pump lid off. I placed a net pond-side so I could take decisive action. After three months, I repositioned the lid.

“Don’t give up so fast,” my husband encouraged.

“He's not coming out of there,” I said.

“But we prayed ...”

My husband's words echoed in me like a soft hammer. Why hadn’t I sighted our fish the first day we prayed? Besides, I should’ve been more careful positioning the pump lid.

Then, a lightning storm and subsequent power failure occurred. When the pumps switched off, I raced to the edge of the pond to make sure they would start correctly when electricity was restored.  Listening to the thunder, I thought about Ducy-Dos. My husband’s words echoed in my heart, along with the Scripture that nothing—absolutely nothing—is impossible for a holy God.

Peter’s words echo the same sentiment. I should be able to shew forth the praises of him who hath called … [me] … out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

Ducy-Dos, if alive, was in the dark. Wasn’t I as well? I surrendered Ducy-Dos to God and trusted Him to give or to take him at His will. I was at peace even as the rain pelted me, drenching my clothing to my skin. Amazingly, when the pumps re-started, a gulp of water, air, and algae spouted skyward. Ducy-Dos landed splat into my hands, and, by reflex, I grasped onto him tightly.

“Ducy-Dos!” I cried, examining him as if he were a newborn babe. After this, we renamed our goldfish Nemo and thanked God for this unusual answer to prayer.

Never give up on something you've prayed about. God often surprises us by answering our unusual prayers.

Surrender your needs to God. Then, praise Him, even when you're experiencing the storms of life.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

What if I’m Assigned Her Feet?

I was shocked by the meeting’s “ice breaker.”

I walked into our monthly ministry meeting and was asked to have a seat in a row of chairs with two other ladies. Then the foot washing began. A slight panic filled me as I wondered whose feet I would wash. Would it be hers?

I never felt I fit in with the entire group, and no one could deny there was friction between me and her. I looked around, willing to wash so many feet, but not hers. Not long before, she had hurled hurtful, mean words at me. I could still feel the pain. As my feet were washed, God challenged my heart.

With the cross in sight, Jesus humbly served His disciples by kneeling before them and washing their feet. Then He gave them instructions to do the same. His love went past all pain. His love was stronger than the upcoming betrayal or the hurtful words that would be launched at Him as He made His way to the cross.

I had an opportunity to humbly serve another in the ministry, but my damaged heart kept me from fully serving. I was putting stipulations on whom I served. I needed God’s love to fill me, not the pain the person’s words had brought.

Imagine washing the feet of a person who has caused you pain. I had to realize my heart wasn’t the proper place for this pain. It was my responsibility to take this pain to the cross. Whether we are the ones who initiate the hurt or the ones who hold the hurt, that pain belongs at the cross. If it wasn’t for Jesus going to the cross as a humble servant, we would have no place to put our pain.

Surrender any pain you hold, so you can freely and humbly serve.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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