Trust is hard. It’s easy to say there is trust but actually taking the step – making the leap into mid-air without a visible net is the most difficult thing man can do. But with the Spirit of God our leap lands us safe in His palm.
DEVOTION BY Norma Mezoe POSTED 9/14/2021 6:00:01 AM ON 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
Judy’s heart felt as though it were splintered into hundreds of pieces.
About the time Judy thought her tears had ended, she felt fresh tears stream down her face. Her daughter, Tammy, had been ill for a long time. Although Tammy fought her health problem courageously, eventually she lost the battle.
One day seemed especially hard, and Judy prayed for assurance: “Lord, if You’re there, will you give me a hug?”
Immediately, what felt like invisible hands surrounded her in a loving embrace. Judy was given the assurance she needed that God walked with her. He would supply her needs and bring healing to her broken heart.
Some days, our hearts feel broken. A loved one dies or is in the final stages of a devastating illness. Our finances may be at an all-time low, and threats of bankruptcy appear on the horizon. A child or grandchild may be wandering away from their Christian lifestyle and entering a world of addiction.
Whatever the problem or heartache we face, God knows about it and will cover us with loving invisible hands. We may not feel His presence as strongly as Judy, but when we ask, we can have the assurance He is with us.
Sometimes, God will speak to those around us to show us His love through their encouraging words and actions. At other times, He may ask us to be the deliverer of His love and peace to others who need a special touch.
The Bible encourages us to pass along the comfort God and others give us.
Why not be the Lord’s earthly hands to bring comfort and encouragement to those in need.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Anne Adams POSTED 9/7/2021 6:00:01 AM ON Hebrews 1:1-2 NIV
We usually see the word spokesman on television news broadcasts.
When a public official or someone else makes an announcement, they will call a press conference. Reporters arrive and then the person stands in front of a bank of microphones and cameras. Often, in the case of government officials, someone interprets the message in American Sign Language. After reading the statement, the person might answer the reporters’ questions.
If the conference is broadcast and the official appears on the screen, the TV technicians add a label to identify the speaker. If it’s someone else, the label may just read, spokesman.
At other times, we may hear the term when a TV reporter from another station relates the story. If it deals with a city government issue, the reporter will give the official response, and they may say, “A spokesman for the mayor told us that …”
A spokesman is someone who represents and speaks for someone else.
God has spokesmen. At one time, as described by the writer of Hebrews, these were the prophets of the Old Testament who represented God and announced His messages to His people.
Their announcements might have been corrective, informative, or encouraging, especially when they imparted God’s promises. Many of those promises concerned how God would send a Savior—a Redeemer.
And the Lord did just that. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to be the promised Savior and Redeemer and at the same time God’s new spokesman. The new spokesman not only speaks for God but also is the message personified—exemplifying and embodying in His person all of God’s previous promises.
God’s previous spokespersons were human, but the new spokesman is God Himself. Make sure you listen to Him.
DEVOTION BY Martin Wiles POSTED 8/31/2021 6:00:01 AM ON Proverbs 22:15 NLT
He came in, slammed his books down on his desk, and huffed.
Familiar with the various moods that plague middle schoolers from day to day, I asked the young man what had upset him.
“I forgot my cell phone,” he said.
Knowing they could not use them during the day anyway, I asked him what the big deal was.
“I need to call my mom when conditioning is over this afternoon.”
Hoping to start a conversation that would cause him to use his critical thinking skills, I asked, “Well, what would you do if there were no smartphones?”
“I would have a stroke or heart attack,” he said.
I decided to try a hypothetical scenario on him. “Suppose you were driving in a secluded area, and your car broke down. You had no phone to call for help. What would you do?”
He could think of no solution. Sadly, neither could he come up with an answer for his present dilemma. In his mind, no hope existed without his smartphone. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get him to realize he could walk to the front office and use a landline to call his mom.
Realizing he could not see a way out of his problem, I gave him the answer, then told him of a time when my daughter, son, and I got in a rainy cold front while backpacking. Instead of bemoaning our situation, we took to a secondary highway and hiked until we found a house and someone who could help us.
When young, our hearts are filled with foolishness. Not only do we have a sinful nature that points us in the wrong directions—which God and others will correct with various measures of discipline—but we also lack experience.
Through parenting, grandparenting, teaching, mentoring, coaching, and in other ways, God gives us adults the responsibility and the opportunities to guide the younger generation who lack knowledge and experience. Our responsibility is to point them to God-pleasing ways and to show them examples that will guide them to God and lead them to God-honoring decisions in life.
My young student accepted my guidance, went to the office, and called his mom. Who can you guide along life’s way?
DEVOTION BY Kristy Horine POSTED 8/24/2021 6:00:01 AM ON Numbers 14:11 NKJV
I stood at the kitchen stove and watched the dark, roiling mixture rise to the rim of the silver pan.
The end product would be chocolate syrup. It’s a simple recipe I’ve used hundreds of times: combine ingredients, boil for five minutes, cool, and enjoy.
Yet every time the boiling moment comes, I feel the panic rise. Once those bubbles form, they crawl up the sides of the pan. Just when I think it’s going to boil over and I will surely burn the house down, the bubbles pop, and the mixture recedes. Then the bubbling begins again, and the rising and falling continue until the timer goes off.
Not once has the syrup boiled over, but my heart races every time. I grip the spoon, at the ready to stir like mad—although I know stirring will ruin the consistency. I tell myself out loud, “Don’t panic.”
Still, the boiling points get me—in chocolate syrup and life.
The Israelites were the same. Ten spies returned from checking out the land God had already promised. Eight of them said the milk and honey were great, but the giants were too big. Two of them reminded the people God was bigger than the giants.
Despite God’s miraculous deliverance of His chosen ones, the people panicked and decided a return to slavery was just the ticket. God decreed their carcasses would fall in the wilderness. Panic cost them the promise.
How many times have circumstances reached a few boiling points that made our hearts race? We quake at the shadows of giants in our lives. We decide panic is better than God’s promises and grab our tiny spoons to do something that makes us feel more comfortable and in control. We forgo the taste of chocolate syrup or, even better, milk and honey because of fear.
Don’t panic. See what God has done. Believe what He will do. The result is oh so sweet.
DEVOTION BY Andrea Sanborn POSTED 8/17/2021 6:00:01 AM ON 1 Corinthians 12:22 NIV
The music started, and I slid a little lower in my seat.
I have an adult son with cognitive disabilities. After sitting on the last row of the church his entire life, Ben decided to sit front and center and to imitate the drummer. Instead of taking joy in his exuberant worship, I cringed. He’s distracting everyone, I thought. I was ashamed of his joyful expressions of praise as I stewed about what other people might think.
After the worship set ended and Ben settled in for a public nap, I sat in my embarrassment, formulating an apology for the pastor. But as we rose to leave, people approached us. Some were in tears. Ben’s enthusiasm in worship had blessed them, adding to their own worship. Watching him cast off his inhibitions in the presence of the Lord had touched them deeply.
Ben can’t teach, preach, or do much of anything we might deem useful in the church, but he is indeed indispensable by being himself. His quirky, embarrassing self. His beautiful, uninhibited self.
Sometimes we feel dispensable or weak. Like we have nothing to offer the family of God because we aren’t gifted in certain ways. We might even look at the needy or annoying people as bothersome instead of seeing they possess the unfathomable dignity of a child of God.
The Scriptures don’t ask us to merely tolerate the weak. They are indispensable—a vital and necessary part of the functioning of the body of Christ. We should welcome the sinning, the foolish, and the disabled to the table of fellowship. Even save them a spot front and center. Or better yet, a spot with us.
Think about those people in your church who have disabilities, addictions, or difficult personalities. What is one thing you can do to include them in the life of the church?