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.

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.)



As Cold as Turkey

I knew from the moment I placed it in the freezer I would do it.

I didn’t question or reason, I just purposed to get it done. It was fertile with the potential of procrastination or disaster … ruin. Nevertheless, I surprised myself with the acceptance and set toward it. If I were to speak spiritually, I’d call it a blessing. If I wanted to speak domestically, I’d say it was something I should, at least, learn to do well. If I were to speak plainly, I’d tell you it was a frozen turkey I’d been given.

After weeks of working around the turkey in the freezer, I decided to move it to the fridge side to thaw. I researched how long it would take before I could begin the cooking. Each time I opened the fridge, I saw it waiting. Finally, the day came. I got the kitchen ready, cut my onion, preheated the oven, and proceeded to cut the plastic which stored this big gem.

I saw a glimmer … shards of ice spiking out from the heart of my bird. Still frozen. Despite my preparation and anticipation, I couldn’t cook a frozen turkey. Well, I could, but the experts say it takes longer, and creating a moist outcome is a bit trickier. Back to the fridge it went.

1 Corinthians 13 is considered the Bible’s chapter of love. In this verse, Paul muses that the greatest things, even the wow-worthy things, are all for naught if he doesn’t do them with love.

As disciples of Christ, we aim to continue the service Jesus acted out for others, and we should. However, His passion should be there also, or the outcome will practically be worthless. We can plan, prepare, announce, and intend. But in the end, it is just cold turkey—nothing that can be palatable or contribute to long-term nourishment.

Let’s consider our plates and ask, Are each of my tasks rooted in genuine love for others? Or am I piling on all I can for a sense of accomplishment and boastfulness or because of guilt?

Follow where God leads, and only do meaningful work through the spirit of His compassion.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Wrapped in Bitterness

“You’re not my sister!” she screamed at me.

She wears bitterness like a warm, fuzzy blanket. Her smile is not a smile but more like a grimace. Her laugh is not a laugh but a sneer.

I had defied my sister’s wishes in a country where the eldest sibling receives respect … regardless. Years of anger and bitterness came to a finale, and she disowned me. We haven’t spoken in years.

Family can be difficult, especially when others don’t see eye to eye or have different personalities. My older sister and I have different personalities—like oil and water, yet I’ve never stopped desiring a sisterly bond. But how do I get close to a fiery furnace and not get scorched by hot-tempered words?

Talking to someone tightly snuggled in anger and bitterness is difficult. Wisdom deflects from them like armor deflecting arrows. Arguments fly from their mouth like flocks of migrating birds darkening the sky.

Only God can reach a bitter person. Only God’s Word can advise us on how to step into the fire and not be overcome by flames. Sometimes stepping in means stepping out of the way and allowing God to take over. The only one who can pierce a blanket of bitterness is Jesus, the Power of God.

God wants us to be kind, compassionate, and gentle. Remember ... bitter people are hurting people. When bitter people are too volatile to be around, sometimes all we can do is pray and wait patiently for God to slowly unwrap that bitter blanket and cover them with His love.

Trust God to protect you as you minister to bitter people.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Angels on Duty

A dog nearly mauled my youngest son when he was four years old.

Jonah had been playing in the yard with the neighborhood kids. I poked my head out the door to check on him and noticed him standing on the other side of the yard, frozen in place. His eyes were locked on the scary neighborhood dog running right for him.

This dog was mean, and all the kids knew to stay away from it. That day, it escaped its fenced yard and headed right for my little boy. There was no time to reach him, and I was certain I would see him mauled. Then the strangest thing happened. Just as the dog prepared to pounce, it stopped dead in its tracks and ran off. Not one hair on Jonah’s head was harmed. I know an angel intervened.

God commands His angels to guard His children. Often, they will intervene to keep us from harm. I have believed this for as long as I can remember and proclaimed it countless times as I envisioned the heavenly hosts on assignment.

I have prayed this belief over my husband and children and school busses and cars. I have prayed it at the start of the day as I sent my children on their way and while lying in bed at night as I waited for them to come home.

Praying such a prayer helps us have faith that God heard us and that He's on it. His angels are there as He commands them to be. No situation can occur in our lives that hasn't been approved by Him.

Don’t let fear and worry overtake you. Trust that God has angels on duty surrounding your loved ones and intervening to keep them safe.

Hold on to God’s promise to protect you with His angels, and then let go of fear.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



What's in Your Toolbox?

Everything we do in life needs a tool.

Tools make life easier, as well as improve the quality of life. I don't know much about traditional manly tools, but I can use a hammer, a screwdriver, and pliers if I have to. I'm better when it comes to kitchen tools.

When I painted, I had dozens of brushes and several knives. Each one did something different than the others. And paint. So many types and colors, but that was just the beginning. I combined them and discovered endless possibilities. Doing so took time and experimenting to find the right effect.

No matter what we’re doing, we need the right tools to do the job right. Spiritually speaking, we need the right tools like the wise man if we want to have a strong foundation that cannot be shaken.

The first and foremost tool is the Bible. Building a strong foundation is impossible without God’s Word—the go-to instructional manual for helping build the life God wants for us. If we dig deeper into the toolbox, we find prayer, meditation, the counsel of godly people, praise, worship, and thanksgiving.

Unused tools are worthless. Using them often leads to proficiency. When I painted, it took time and experimentation to find the right combination to create a beautiful picture. The same is true spiritually. What works for one person may not for another.

Work at building a foundation that can’t be shaken.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



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