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 Ken Barnes POSTED 10/20/2020 6:00:01 AM ON 1 Samuel 25:25 NLT
Looking through the glass partition in the prison, I had an epiphany.
When I was a public-school teacher, I had a teacher friend who had experienced a moral failure, got fired, and was charged with a crime. While visiting him in jail—talking over a phone and looking through a window—I realized that but for the grace of God I could be where he was. Not for his particular sin necessarily, but for many others. I had been foolish and ignorant in many ways, yet forgiven by God.
As his name suggests, Nabal was a fool. He was an evil and ill-tempered man who had only one thing going for him: a gracious wife named Abigail. Nabal had returned evil for good to David. David left with his men to teach Nabal a lesson, but Abigail sprang into action and put together gracious gifts of food for David before her husband could carry out his plan.
Abigail showed respect for David and took responsibility for her husband's wrong actions by interceding for her scoundrel husband. She then gave David a reason to be gracious by suggesting that Nabal was ignorant, rather than just evil.
Our sin always carries some deception. If we understood the consequences, we would not sin. On the cross, Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." He understood the evil in His enemies’ hearts, yet He chose to dwell on their ignorance rather than their intentional actions.
Mercy always triumphs over judgment. Often there is a thin line between willful and ignorant behavior. Grace is sometimes better shown when we choose to look at people’s behavior as ignorant rather than intentional.
Abigail was the heroine in this story, and Nabal was the villain. David withheld the sword from Nabal, leaving the vengeance to God, who later took care of Nabal. Fools often tempt us to act in foolish ways. Grace intervened in David's life. When looking upon sinners like Nabal, we should remind ourselves that but for God's grace, there go we.
Ask God to help you show others the same grace He has shown you.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Bennett Schiller POSTED 10/13/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Matthew 7:13-14 NIV
My wife and I were traveling to my son’s home in another part of the state.
I had entered his address in the GPS and was following the given directions. We made good time, and the journey was pleasant with a lot of beautiful sights and sunshine along the way.
As we got closer to his town, the GPS told me to make a right turn onto a secondary road. Unsure, and a little hesitant, I made the turn. As my wife and I traveled down the road, trees on both sides shaded the road until they blocked out the sunlight. Soon, it grew darker, and my GPS went silent. We both became somewhat fearful because we didn’t know where we were or where the road might lead.
I told my wife I was going to turn around and return to the main highway because I felt sure this was the wrong way. She agreed. Once we got back to the main highway, I realized the right way was a little farther up. I had turned too soon.
Once I reached the next road and turned right, the sunlight returned, and the GPS gave me assurance we were going in the right direction. Soon, we arrived at our destination, and our son, daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren greeted us with hugs.
Getting on the wrong road and going the wrong way is easy. If we do, we need to turn around and get back on the road that leads to the Father in heaven. He waits for our arrival. In the meantime—as we travel the right road—we need to listen to God’s Word because it will keep us going the right way as we journey through life.
Are you on the right road?
DEVOTION BY Darrell Waters POSTED 10/6/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Matthew 10:31 KJV
He hadn’t sung the song since kindergarten, but he had no trouble remembering it.
Bob leads a Bible study. One Tuesday, he sang a song he had learned as a kindergartener. The seed planted in his heart years ago remained. He wasn't raised in a Christian home, but he was raised in a time when America feared God. In his early twenties, he trusted Christ as his Savior. Now, he leads a Bible study and pastors a church.
We never know who we are influencing. Peter and the other disciples were thinking of earthly things over spiritual things, so Jesus addresses their mistake.
Many who think they'll receive a big reward in heaven may not get all the rewards they anticipate. Some may wind up with nothing. But the person behind the scenes who prayed for them—or who witnessed to them—may get the reward. Another example would be the person who is on their death bed and decides to trust Christ. Their reward may be as large as that of the person who led them to Christ.
We never know if the person we lead to Christ might in turn lead thousands, even millions, more to the Lord. Many unknown faithful followers of Christ will receive great rewards in heaven.
Be faithful to God, even if no one knows you name. You might be in store for a larger reward than you can imagine.
DEVOTION BY Shanda Fulbright POSTED 9/29/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Exodus 3:2 NIV
“Lord, do you even see what I’m going through?” I asked.
I remember the day I was making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for my boys’ school lunches—a typical morning chore. As I slathered peanut butter on one slice of bread and jelly on the other, I called out to God about something weighing on my heart.
As I turned to put the sandwich into the lunch box, I noticed a plaque on the wall that read, Be still and know that I am God. I had seen the plaque every day for months, but this time the words burned into my soul. I knew God was there. That’s the day God showed me the reality of burning-bush moments.
In the hustle and bustle of life, I take for granted the burning-bush moments God uses to get my attention. Just as I went about my morning routine, making sandwiches for my boys, Moses was going about his daily business of tending sheep. One day, however, God offered him a burning-bush moment.
Burning bushes were common to shepherds tending sheep in the middle of the desert. But what caught Moses’ attention was that the fire did not consume the bush. Moses couldn’t keep walking without taking notice of this common yet uncommon sight.
God used something in Moses’ everyday life to get his attention. God also uses common things to get our attention. Loading the dishwasher, folding laundry, or making lunch. He doesn’t have to use grand gestures for us to encounter Him.
I love burning-bush moments because they provide the opportunity to see God in the mundane. And like Moses, God waits for us to respond with “Here I am.” He wants us to stop what we’re doing and see His great sight.
Don’t let the significance of the routine things pass you by. Take time to turn aside so that you can see God in the mundane. He will speak to you in your circumstances and provide burning-bush moments that will change your life.
DEVOTION BY Jennifer Stengel-Mohr POSTED 9/22/2020 6:00:01 AM ON 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV
Most people map out their route and prepare provisions ahead of time when taking a trip.
A sense of peace comes when we know we are in control of the circumstances. However, planning for every possible scenario we might encounter while traveling is impossible.
Life is the same. We may think we have it all together, but God is the One in control. Life can be chaotic, and, in order not to get lost in the twists and turns, I rely on GPS. Not the one that speaks to us in our vehicle, but the supernatural GPS of God’s Provision and Strength.
God’s Word promises He will provide all we need for the journey. Where He guides, He provides. Since God has created us and the world in which we live, following His guidance is best because He knows the way. He will bless us with all the things we need for this life and beyond.
If we rely on ourselves, we will probably be disappointed with the outcome—and find ourselves at a dead-end. Drawing closer to God helps us stay focused and gives us the strength and provision we need to have a blessed life. This, in turn, brings a true sense of peace. Our responsibility is not preparing our life route, but making sure we have the right traveling companion. With God, we will have all we need.
Put down your map and follow God’s GPS instead. God will never steer you wrong.