A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

Spirit & Trust

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.

Don’t Fear

Writing has always been my dream. I love to read and can dream up many storylines. But then fear sets in. Sweaty palms, heart palpitations, and the desire to run, avoid, or do something else. It's like standing at the end of the highest diving platform, looking down at the cold blue water, and not knowing if I will sink or swim.

Fear of failure is something many people struggle with—whether childhood trauma or just the different way our brain is wired. We become overachievers and fear letting anybody down or stepping out of our comfort zone.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight. For the overachiever control freak, this verse can be terrifying. Trust God? Don’t rely on our understanding? Submit? Let God control everything? Those feelings of fear begin to creep back in. But God.

In many places in the Bible, God promises to bless and take us further than we could ever imagine when we let Him control the wheel. He promises our path will be straight but doesn’t tell us about the kind of terrain—only that He will light our steps.

So, trust Him and know that the next step, no matter how terrifying, is precisely what God asks. Jump into God’s plan because He has you and He doesn’t let His children drown. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and phmaxiestevez.)

Kingdom Perspective

A kaleidoscope is a popular childhood toy invented in 1816 by Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster. It is an optical viewer that reflects endless images from colored glass and mirrors when turned. The name is derived from the Greek meaning “beautiful form to view.”

A kaleidoscope is an optical device of light, color, and mirrors. Today, it’s used for STEM learning, toy entertainment, and fashion design. I didn’t know this as a child. I just thought seeing the multitude of bright colors and patterns was fascinating.

Jesus mimics a kaleidoscope by reflecting God’s image, character, and nature. The kaleidoscope comparison helps us form a kingdom perspective. We are the light of the world. We also color the world with the love of Jesus and mirror the image of God as we trust and obey His word.

In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul says we see the love of God as a dim reflection in a mirror. As we learn to trust God, our love grows. God created us in His image to be loved and to love. Our spiritual DNA is love.

Jesus wants us to love, seek His kingdom and righteousness first, keep His commandments, and set our minds on His plan for our lives. God wants to use us to change the world using His kingdom’s perspective.   

Ask for God’s wisdom. Pray for His will.  Believe in His way. Receive it as yours. 

You have already received God’s kingdom perspective. Trust in Jesus. Believe in God. Pray in the Spirit. Seek to glorify God.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and RyanMcQuire.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

A Case of Hardened Hearts

I wouldn’t want to show you my whole list of what angers me; it’s too long. But I’ll confess a few: drivers that ride my bumper when it’s raining and I’m already going five miles over the speed limit, people who mispronounce my name repeatedly, someone misperceiving something I’ve said or done, or discussions where I get told I’m wrong when I know good and well I’m right. Hmm, I’m detecting a theme. It’s all about me being insulted and misunderstood.

In the synagogue one day, Jesus felt and showed emotions of anger and sadness. It wasn’t because He felt disrespected or misunderstood. Instead, He sought to end a man’s suffering by restoring the man’s hand. And what kind of reaction did that raise in the observing, trying-to-catch-Jesus-in-wrong-doing religious leaders? They lacked compassion, and their focus was self-centered. Jesus saw the cause underneath their attitudes—a case of hardened hearts. Jesus was angry and sad. How different their lives could be if they opened their hearts to Him.

The good deed Jesus intended, He did, despite the critics. He didn’t retaliate, and He didn’t take responsibility for their disfavor.

The next time anger wells up in me, I am asking Jesus to help me look at whether it’s about being insulted or if it is about sadness at the hard hearts that need Him to change them.  

When you see actions stemming from hardened hearts, don’t retaliate against the critics. Continue in good deeds.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and LubosHouska.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

The Doorkeeper

Once while on a ministry trip, I visited a large cathedral in Montreal, Canada.

As I entered this huge building, I saw crutches tacked on the walls—hundreds or maybe thousands of them. They ranged from very large ones to small ones used by children. They were left there because those using them had been healed and did not need them anymore. It was an awesome sight.

This had been orchestrated over decades by a little man called Brother Andre. He was about five feet tall and could barely read or write. But what he lacked in physical stature and mental capabilities, he made up for by his love, compassion, and hospitality. His title was Doorkeeper of the Church of Notre Dame.

In the kingdom of God, it is possible to be very small but accomplish big things. God often calls the little or the ordinary to extraordinary tasks. God does this at times by helping people to do ordinary tasks in an extraordinary manner.

Brother Andre was a doorman, but he did his mundane task with unusual love and compassion, and we now see the results. It is not so important what we do for God as much as why and how we do it. Is it because we love God and want to express that in compassion for the people He has created?

The greatest person in the kingdom of God is always determined by his servant's heart.

If you consider yourself small or ordinary in your church, you may be just the kind of person for whom God is looking. He doesn’t always call the qualified, but He always qualifies the called. If you are a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord, do it for God and His glory, and you will be the greatest in the kingdom.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and cripi.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

God’s Strength in Weakness

On my first day at seminary, it took me several minutes to introduce myself. But it wasn’t because I had forgotten my name.

For twenty years, I have stuttered. I know precisely what I wish to say, but the muscles in my throat often lock up, and no words come out. My stuttering has often impacted me when introducing myself. Many people do not care that I stutter. Still, struggling to do something ninety-nine percent of people take for granted humiliates me.

Scripture does not reveal what Paul’s thorn was. It could have been a physical, mental, or spiritual hardship. But it affected Paul so much that he asked the Lord three times to remove it. 2 Corinthians 12:9–10 tells us the Lord’s answer: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”

Paul’s thorn allowed God to display His grace and power. A more startling statement may not exist in Scripture. Much of modern society rewards strengths, such as charisma and academic excellence, but looks down on weaknesses. The Lord flips that notion on its head.

I have never boasted about my stuttering. I often view it as a humiliating weakness and plead with the Lord to take it away. Yet Paul shows all Christians the proper response to our weaknesses: boast in the Lord because human weaknesses are opportunities for God to show His grace and power. When I counsel or evangelize someone haltingly, any fruit is from the Lord alone.

Don’t be ashamed of your weaknesses. Remember the Lord’s words, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and athree23.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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