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 Gary Flamberg POSTED 12/5/2019 6:00:01 AM ON Joel 2:28 NIV
He was a “most-likely-to-succeed” type of high school kid—handsome, popular, and a great student.
He was everything I wasn’t (at least according to me). He didn’t have to befriend me. But he did. And in so doing, he became a living example to me of Jesus—at a time when I knew next-to-nothing about Him.
My friend was a carrier of living water. Today I carry that same living water, since I now follow the same Jesus whom he served. I have the same joy, the same peace, and the same sense of purpose he had. Just thinking about it makes me want to pinch myself.
But that’s not all. As followers of the humble Nazarene, we not only carry His living water, but we also carry Him. We take Him with us wherever we go, and the more we’re in communion with Him, the more we splash Him onto the people around us.
I’ll never forget the encounter I had with a manager at work. A gruff but gregarious guy, I saw him limping one day and offered to pray for him. A few days later, he said to me, “Hey Flamberg. I don’t know who you’ve been talking to, but my leg is healed.”
A few months later, he passed away. I couldn’t help but wonder why since I had prayed for his healing. Then I thought of how my simple act of faith may have paved the way for him to receive Jesus just in the nick of time.
God’s promise to pour out His Spirit in the latter days was not meant only for the “religiously elite.” Rather, it was meant for everyone who surrenders to Him. Joel couldn’t be clearer. God will pour out His Spirit on young and old, male and female, and even all people.
And not only do we get the Spirit poured out onto us, but we also get Him poured into us. We become containers of the living water that is God’s Spirit. We are His anointed ones, sealed with His authority. We become His living tabernacle. That sure beats just being “most likely to succeed.” Even to this day, my friend would heartily agree.
Are you letting God’s Spirit flow through you to others?
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Cindy Sproles POSTED 11/28/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Colossians 3:15 NIV
There are days like today. Days when the monsters of the world step onto my heart and smash it like a bug on the concrete. Days when I am not sure I can stand on weak legs. Yet my heart says to be thankful.
Being thankful in the midst of tragedy, illness, or loss is hard. And tell me this. How exactly are we supposed to wave our arms in the air, in the midst of suffering, and shout Hallelujah?My heart screams in agony as illness grabs those I love. How in heaven’s name do I say, I am thankful?
When the doctor pinned the cancer label on my husband … and then on my best friend … saying thank you was the farthest thing from my mind.
When I cried with another friend over her son’s choices, my heart ached. It tore. We’d once suffered the bad choices of our son. I saw no thankfulness in the pain of watching my child step into the abyss without a rope. Be thankful?
Paul was bent on making the Colossians understand what it meant to walk the higher ground. Set your hearts on things above. Give up those earthly desires. Christ is all in all. He wanted the people to be better and to know greater things existed.
When Paul’s words fell upon the most important challenge—let the peace of Christ rule in your heart…be thankful—he understood what it meant to be thankful. Even as he struggled. He completely got the joy and peace offered through thankfulness. Paul knew, because he lived it. And he was thankful for every moment of every day—good or bad, easy or hard. Through that thankfulness, he received peace. The same peace we can have.
Today is hard. I’m NOT angry at God either. I’m grateful. Thankful. Believe it or not, I’m at peace in the storm. I’m not sure how. Even when I have a moment of weakness, I have peace.
Give Thanksgiving meaning this year. Don’t claim flimsy words of gratitude, but look into your heart and share your thankfulness for the truth in your faith. Hold to the promises of God.
Rejoice in every situation, and know that God holds you firmly in his palm. Be truly thankful.
DEVOTION BY Emmanuella Ellis POSTED 11/21/2019 12:00:01 AM ON John 4:35 NASB
A group of friends deliberated about how God was going to judge.
Their conversation concerned people who hadn’t heard the gospel. The friends offered different theories and Bible verses to back their claims. But I figured we don’t have the right to ask God that question when we have not bothered to share the gospel. If we are so bothered about God’s judgment, we should tell people about the truth that will set them free.
Jesus left us not only a harvest but also laborers who would work to bring people into the barn.
We have been commissioned to bring in the harvest, which will be lost forever or destroyed if we don’t gather them. The harvest is all around us and ready for reaping. Our disobedience could cost someone their soul.
If we believe in the gospel and the glorious end we are going to have, then we should eagerly tell people about God. God has left us with a harvest. We have the Holy Spirit who empowers us to be witnesses. With His power, we are capable of doing what the Lord requires.
What are you doing about the harvest?
DEVOTION BY Gary Flamberg POSTED 11/14/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Luke 24:8 NIV
My mornings are often synonymous with exaggerated emotions.
Sometimes when I wake up, I am hit with thoughts full of worry, fear, anger, and negativity. One morning, I woke up with exaggerated feelings of hopelessness. Disappointment. Feeling as if I'd let down God Himself.
I responded by speaking aloud the truth of who God is. “You are my Redeemer. You are the lover of my soul. You are my healer. You are my peace.”
The women who visited Jesus’ tomb on the first day of the week also felt hopeless. Several days before, they had watched their Lord brutally crucified. But then an angel told them Jesus had risen. Immediately, they remembered Jesus’ words—just as I did on the morning when I felt hopeless.
Why don’t I run into Jesus’ arms more often? Why do I often choose to deaden my pain by running to the fleeting comfort of this world rather than to God’s eternal Word?
We all have a part of us that wars with God and is drawn toward whatever our emotions crave: comfort food, entertainment, the twenty-four-hour news cycle.
But when we choose to remember God’s Word … when we run to Him rather than to whatever our flesh desires … we find what our soul craves. Our thoughts line up with eternal reality, and we can douse the fire that rages within us. We can rest in the comfort of God’s presence.
Remember God’s words when your emotions rage, and watch them fall back in line and in love with Him.
DEVOTION BY Norma Mezoe POSTED 11/7/2019 12:00:01 AM ON 1 Peter 4:10 NIV
On two occasions in one day, God allowed me to use the gifts He has given me.
In the afternoon, I had a phone interview for a Christian radio program. I appreciated telling how God had worked in my life during a crisis—taking a tragedy and working through it to produce good.
That evening, I gave devotions for a mother/daughter meeting. I used an article I had written about my mother and how she had held her faith despite having an illness which affected her memory.
I felt elated about using my gifts and wanted to share the good feelings with my husband. He, however, had worked a twelve-hour shift and was tired. His interest was more in a good night’s rest than in the happy events of my day. Seemingly, he had forgotten about my long-awaited interview.
As I lay in bed, listening to his sleep sounds, I felt sorry for myself. How nice it would be, I thought to myself, to have someone really interested in my writing and speaking. And the “poor me’s” came.
Then, in the form of words from a hymn, God’s Spirit reminded me why He gave me gifts. God’s favor is most important, and He always blesses the good we do.
The next evening when my husband returned from work, one of the first questions he asked was “How was the interview?” and “What questions were asked?” He did care, after all. Perhaps I just needed to surrender my need for praise and recognition.
Shamefully, I acknowledge that God gives His gifts for us to do His work. The praise belongs to Him, not me. Knowing He cares about the things I do enough to bless them should be all the praise I need. My part is doing my best.
Use your gifts and abilities for God’s glory, not your own.