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.

Feeling Cranky?

Sometimes, we simmer or stew over something and aren’t aware of our anger until we boil over.

I occasionally wonder why I get so angry about some things. Or why someone asks me if I got up on the wrong side of the bed. Our world is filled with electronic overstimulation, multi-tasking, and instantaneous tweets designed for an emotional response—an environment that creates many opportunities to feel cranky and lose our cool.

In my work as a pediatric physical therapist, I encourage moms with cranky and mouthy kids to turn off the screens and send their kids outside into the fresh air. Running, swinging, digging, and imaginative play are healthy and relaxing.

The believers in Colossae had plenty to be angry about: ungrateful bosses, grumpy children, and difficult relationships. Although they didn’t worry about missing a text or what someone said on social media, things were difficult. Despite the harsh conditions, Paul encouraged them to stop complaining and blaming others. His words were clear: rid yourselves of your bad mood, cranky demeanor, and filthy language.

Our bodies are made to move, and we get grumpy when they don’t. Sometimes, for a better frame of mind, we need to turn off the screens, mute the notifications, and go outside. We can walk or putter around the garden. Or just breathe deeply and ask God to reveal the reason we’re cranky. When He shows us, we should pray for His help to release that hurt or fear to Him and let it go. Before we know it, we’ll rid ourselves of our bad moods.

Do whatever it takes to rid your life of a cranky attitude.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Remember Who You Are

The accident changed my life. I had no warning. Daily, my emotions and pain mess with my strong trust in Christ, and I become overwhelmed.  

So, I decided to take my granddaughter’s advice: chill out and watch one of her favorite movies, Lion King. She was right. I needed a release—a rest from my relentless health matters. God had a message for me. In one moving scene, Mufasa, the lion king, gave his son Simba powerful advice: “Simba, always remember who you are. You are my son …” I knew I had heard a powerful comfort in this new life-altering place. And I remembered.

We might not understand why life suddenly turns into relentless storms or tosses us into chaos, leaving uncertainty at every turn. But I have found God works all things together to help us trust Him and rest in that trust.

Through Mufasa’s words, the Holy Spirit reminded me of who I am in Christ Jesus. Christ bought me with His precious redeeming blood. I am a new creation because Jesus died for my sin and rose to eternal life so I could live with Him forever.

What an inheritance. God has given me His Spirit as a guarantee of that inheritance. He will never leave me. These health challenges and discomforts will pass away when He comes again. His promises never fail. He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion on the day Jesus returns.

Jesus can’t fail us. Even though our body fails and our lives may seem to stand still, the truth stands in every promise. By living in trust moment by moment, we can know that place of peace that passes all understanding. Peace lets us rest, knowing Jesus will supply all we need for today.

Find a promise to comfort or guide you, underline it in your Bible, and ask God to direct you to it the next time you feel overwhelmed.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

When Someone Doesn't Like Us

We know when someone doesn't like us.

Not the “doesn’t like us for a good reason” doesn’t like us, but doesn't like us for what we can’t change—like the color of our eyes. Or that we possess something they don’t have.

Since I was that vulnerable little girl on the playground, running up to other kids on the first day of school to make friends, I have taken longer than most to understand this dynamic. What would I do with that person who had an insidious vibe behind that oh-so-pleasant smile? Assuming I hadn’t done anything to cause it, except for having the eye color I did, I had to learn that God allowed it. Believing this is crucial—especially if that person is a relative, co-worker, teacher, or someone I can’t walk away from.

I eventually learned not to take it personally when someone didn’t like me—but not without a crash course from God regarding one of His great commandments. With each painful experience, God taught me a lesson about tearing down idols.

Anything we put before God is an idol—especially our relationships. And if we are born an extroverted people-person like me, then this can be a slippery slope. I am blessed to have family and friends who love me for who I am. But with my temperament, I could easily get everything I need from people.

God allowed these painful moments when someone didn’t like me to send me running back to Him—where I belonged in the first place. I had the tendency to keep God a close second. His chastisement on this spiritual issue granted me great strides in keeping this commandment, not to mention what it has done for my mental health.

God has wired us for relationships, and beautiful ones at that. But if we insist on having all our needs met by our spouses, children, or acquaintances, then we might waste the opportunity to put God first when He lets that nasty, mean person come along—even that harmless little god on the playground.

When someone doesn’t like you, let it be an opportunity for God to grow you spiritually.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Better than Flowers

Sometimes, I envy the flower recipients.

My sister’s husband brings her flowers on her birthday and on Valentine’s Day and sometimes for no reason at all. My friend’s fiancé buys her beautiful cards for every occasion. A co-worker boasts that her boyfriend frequently surprises her with little gifts.

I’ve been filled with envy, and sometimes annoyance, that my husband doesn’t make those nice little gestures. He doesn’t even scribble a note for my birthday—but says I should go out and treat myself to something special. If we’re not too busy, we go out for dinner.

One day, I was late for work and dreading the morning ritual of scraping ice off my car’s windshield. I rushed into the biting snow of a Michigan winter and carefully made my way down the slippery driveway. Approaching my vehicle, I noticed my car windows were scraped clean. I jumped into my Chevy, grateful I didn’t have to spend another moment in the blustery wind. In that moment, I realized how often my husband demonstrats his love by doing little things for me—adding oil to my car, putting away the laundry, or starting dinner when I work late. I couldn’t count how many times he’d helped me with chores I disliked.

Some men make extravagant gestures and others do little practical things to show their love. I’d taken for granted all the helpful things my husband does for me. Clearing the snow from my car is better than a bouquet of flowers.

I sometimes take for granted the thousands of gifts God gives me. He provides the fragrance of lilacs in spring, the crunch of leaves underfoot in the fall, and the beauty of fresh snow on the windshield in winter. God gives me family and friends. And although I don’t deserve it, He gave me the gift of His perfect love before I was born.

Remember to thank God not only for the big things but also for the little things He gives you. 

(Photo courtesy of morguefile.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

When We Need God to Forgive…Again

When I’m feeling less than secure in my relationship with my heavenly Father, I picture Him drumming His fingers while I’m praying, wishing I’d hurry up.

In those insecure seasons, I wish I could believe God actually leans in and compassionately listens to every word—especially when I’m seeking His help to overcome a sin or bad habit that has ensnared me.

Although David wrote about physical deliverance from the murderous King Saul, God also stands ready to deliver us from our sin. We can read this verse and picture God actively rescuing us from our ensnarement—that habit we can’t seem to escape.

We all have sins that harass us. We think we have them conquered, only to discover they creep back into our life. At first, only now and then, but later, more often. After a while, we can’t help but wonder if we’re wasting God’s time with our constant “Sorrys” and “I’ll never do it agains.” We’re ashamed of acting disrespectfully to our husbands. Or regret all the nights we lose sleep by watching too much TV—especially those programs we think Jesus would avoid.

We’re desperate to make the New Year a better one, but after praying about our issue ad nauseam, we find it hard to voice a new prayer that will get God’s attention.

Despite our insecurity, we need to approach God and repent. Again. A good prayer is, “Father, I’m drowning in my sin. Hold me. Reach into my thoughts, my will, and my heart and draw out the hate (or whatever sin we’re struggling with) that’s destroying me.”

God commands us to be holy, but He isn’t shouting “Stop sinning! Be holy!” When we repent, He listens to our every word, reaches into our lives—into our messes—and pulls us out of the many waters. As often and as compassionately as we need Him to.

When you mess up, go to God. He’s always there to listen.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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