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 Diane Virginia POSTED 8/11/2020 6:00:01 AM ON John 14:12 NKJV
I folded my husband’s jeans, checking the hems for frays.
Checking for frays is how I determine at a glance which are his work jeans and which are his dress jeans. As I checked, I thought how like a pair of jeans I am—frayed on the ends and less than perfect, yet usable to the great God I serve.
God is majestic in every way—perfect and glorious. In contrast, I am imperfect. But rather than feeling small, I know how usable I am because it is God’s power that enables me to do mighty works.
Jesus said those who believe in Him would do even greater works than He did because He was going to the Father. By partnering with Jesus, we tap into God’s power. God not only partners with us, He also ordains works for us to accomplish. We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
Just think of the significance. Although we are like frayed jeans, Jesus lives inside of us—the express image of the glory of God the Father—and creates us with a divine purpose.
Frays may come, as on the hems of our jeans, but we are more useful to God because we recognize our need for His indwelling power to live productive lives. We can take the limits off what we can imagine accomplishing as we work to advance His kingdom.
Think of one thing you want to accomplish with God's empowerment.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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DEVOTION BY Michelle Heed POSTED 8/4/2020 6:00:01 AM ON 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
Confession time—I slept with a hairy caterpillar.
Lately, we’ve been in the business of getting rid of caterpillars—from the toy room, the walls, and the bedroom. We’re cutting down branches and spraying repellant. We’re not remaining helpless victims but are standing our ground for health.
My reckless behavior left me with rashes and welts that painfully itched for a week. In my sleep, I took care of this problem. I attacked myself, scratching welts open. I let the poisonous caterpillar cozy up in bed with me.
Before you empathize too much, we knew we had a caterpillar invasion. We knew how horrible the results were of touching a caterpillar. We just chose to let a small thing go. After all, hairy caterpillars are cute.
Ever feel that way in life? We let a small thing go. We let down our guard, thinking a habit, a secret, or a conversation isn’t that bad. In fact, we might think it’s kind of endearing. It is true we can live with a few gray areas, but unless we clean our house and stay firm, the caterpillars (and subsequent discomfort) will come.
At the same time, we demolish the arguments that fight against God’s grace in our lives. We lead our thoughts and feelings, instead of being controlled by them. Getting rid of the caterpillars isn’t as easy as just ignoring the trouble—just as taking every thought captive isn’t that natural. But standing firm is the way to be healthy and even prevent unnecessary pain.
Will you join me in this journey of removing the things that harm you from your mind?
DEVOTION BY Rusty Lang POSTED 7/28/2020 6:00:01 AM ON 1 Peter 3:15 NASB
New people were moving in next door.
As I watched from the window, I saw a pregnant lady, a man, three vehicles unloading, a riding mower—but no animals as yet.
Over our twenty-four years of living here, we have had a succession of renting families move into the house next door. Most have been friendly and great neighbours, but no one really interested in the things of God.
Within the last six months, this new family is the third. One couple partied and did drugs most weekends, and their several dogs ran loose and frightened the neighbourhood. Then one day, the man almost ran me down in my car—not looking where he was going. It took a few hours for my heart to calm and a couple of days for me to sort out my feelings with the Lord. Once I dealt with my anger, I approached the man and quietly tried to reason with him about the dogs and the vehicle mishap. The next day, they moved out.
While praising God for our reprieve from the loud music and cars coming and going at all hours, another couple moved in. They were quiet and civil and hard workers, so we never seemed to have an opportunity to share our faith with them.
Now, as I snooped out the window at yet another new family, I heard clear direction from the Lord. I scrounged through my box of ready cards and notepaper for such an occasion as this, made a copy of the local council roster for rubbish bin pick up days, and prepared a welcome note to put in their mail box. If these were finally people who would be open to the gospel, I would be ready.
Peter tells us to be ready at all times to share our faith, but how ready am I? We should never give up praying and seeking opportunities for God to open the right door at the right time and with the right people.
Make plans to be ready to share your faith when God gives you the opportunity.
DEVOTION BY Victoria Peace Green POSTED 7/21/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Acts 8:31 NIV
I turned on my computer, but something wasn’t right.
As I sat at my computer to do research, I couldn’t see the words clearly. My document was right in front of my face, but I might well have been blind. I had forgotten to put on my new glasses. They were especially created for me to see clearer while working on my personal computer.
I remembered the Bible story of the evangelist, Phillip, who led the Ethiopian eunuch to Jesus Christ. The eunuch could not clearly understand the Word of God, so the Spirit sent Phillip to help him understand.
I suddenly thought about my computer experience. The glasses that helped me see clearly to do my work were like the Holy Spirit was to Phillip. The Spirit reminded me of God’s promise to direct my footsteps and teach me from His Word.
Because Jesus lives within me, His Word is alive and transforms me every time I open the Bible. The Holy Spirit also speaks to me every minute of each day. The Ethiopian chose to ask Phillip what God meant in the Scriptures. I, too, have a choice of listening to the Spirit or doing my own thing without wisdom from God.
If we look deeply enough, we’ll learn lessons from God in all we experience. All we have to do is ask the Spirit to help us see what God is revealing through the Bible. God has answers and clarity for our concerns.
Ask God to guide and equip you through His Word so you can handle life’s concerns.
DEVOTION BY Michelle Heed POSTED 7/14/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Leviticus 26:4 NIV
The heavens opened wide—the wet surprise causing children to run into their mother’s arms.
Dusty roads make me excited for rain. When the rainy season comes to Tanzania, flowers bloom and shouts of praise rise. Baby animals sheepishly make their entrance. Children dance to rain beating on the church roof. Sometimes, our children’s program is only dancing because no one can hear over the storm. At night, we thank the Lord for the moments we have electricity. We play card games and tell stories because the rains stop life as we know it. There’s something impractically exciting about rainy season.
With rainy season also comes a grace for Sabbath rest. Let the Lord water the soil; it’s His anyway. Ministry must wait an hour or two since everyone is hidden away from the storm. No electricity means no working at home in the dark. All that’s left is to enjoy one another and rest in the Lord’s goodness.
My first year in Tanzania, this season of rest baffled me. We have snow tires and boots in the United States. Nothing stops work there. We must control our situation, not be controlled by it. This need to achieve no matter the situation exhausts many well-meaning people and leaves little white space for relationships.
What if my electricity shortages and the culture where shops are closed in the rain allow a divine grace to slow down my otherwise controlling lifestyle? What if the rain helps me let go of control and choose Sabbath rest and trust? What if the rain helps me remember God is the One in control after all?
Rainy seasons and storms will come in our lives. In these times, we can find grace, rest, and deeper peace as we trust God’s control.
Ask God to help you experience His grace during your storms.