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 Terri Todd POSTED 5/17/2022 6:00:01 AM ON Matthew 7:16 NKJV
For eighteen months, I scrutinized the limes on my lemon tree for a glimpse of yellow.
I had been told it would take two years for the fruit to develop, and since it was the second year, I watched intently. In mid-summer, I noticed the first break-through yellow and thought I had gotten the lemon tree I wanted.
I protected the tree all summer from the backyard baseball games’ foul balls. And when the temps dropped too low, I brought it inside. Since I love this tree, I overlook its inconvenient presence.
But then my sons and I were in our schoolroom, and one decided to use the lemon tree’s pot to boost himself to a higher shelf. He didn’t realize the pot wouldn’t support his weight. It tipped over, breaking one half of the Y branch on the tree. Initially, I wanted to cry. My sweet, shocked son was brokenhearted to think he’d caused me sadness and destroyed the lemon tree. But like all C-rated aspiring horticulturists, I told him I knew just how to fix it: duct tape.
Matthew, one of Jesus’ disciples, writes an analogy about fruit and people, giving a beautiful way to see how we can determine the integrity of our character:You will know them by their fruits.
I teach my children their words matter. The tone of their voice, the intention of their heart, the actions of their hands. These things are their fruit. The products in their life that illustrate their character. It matters how we respond when we’re unguarded. And it matters what we produce in our lives. It’s our character. It’s our fruit.
After two weeks, fresh blooms appeared on the broken limbs of the lemon tree. My summer harvest of six lemons excited me, and I already had a recipe chosen for their glorious fate. The duct tape held, and my lemon curd, created from only four of the lemons, provided enough to share.
When life gives you lemons, choose what you will do with them. You will be known by your fruit.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Melissa Henderson POSTED 5/10/2022 6:00:01 AM ON Mark 5:34 NRSV
The unexpected news brought us to our knees.
A dear friend was in the hospital and in serious condition. Her diagnosis came quickly after a brief respiratory illness. She had been healthy just weeks before the diagnosis. The prognosis was not good. Family and friends gathered and waited for the latest news from doctors. We asked the Lord to provide healing if that was His will. We wanted to comfort the family. Prayer was the best path we could offer.
Tears flowed as we prayed for God’s peace for this special person and her spouse, children, and other family members. We could hear the heartbreaking sobbing coming from the hospital room. We waited, knowing that through the grief and sorrow, God was working His plan. God is with us.
Mark shares the story of a woman who had a bleeding condition for over twelve years. Her faith was strong. She knew healing would come if she could touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. She pushed through crowds to be closer to Him. Her faith was powerful, and Jesus healed her.
As we listened to the news about our dear friend, we prayed and found comfort in knowing healing would come either on this earth or in heaven.
In times of trouble, we can find assurance by going to God in prayer and seeking the peace only He can provide.
Take your troubles to the Healer.
DEVOTION BY Anne Adams POSTED 5/3/2022 6:00:01 AM ON John 3:16 NIV
Some years ago, while touring a large, restored colonial-era plantation home, our guide told us a story as we entered the family dining room.
The guide said that at mealtimes the servants would carry the food from the kitchen, which was located in a small nearby building as a safety measure in case of fire. As they did, they were instructed to whistle as they walked. When the family heard the whistling, they knew the transporting servants weren’t sampling the food on the way. They called these short paths “whistlewalks.”
I learned later that some historians doubt the story since the servants could sample the food in the kitchen. At the least, however, the story demonstrates how the family had no desire to share their best.
We don’t have to worry about God requiring whistlewalks because He shares His best with us. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. This verse gives Jesus’ description of God’s great love for His creation. A favor so great that the great Almighty creator and designer of the universe shared His best to enable people to share His divine presence, which has no restrictions and is available to all.
Although God’s gift is a timeless reality, some choose not to accept it. Perhaps they don’t believe it’s free, or maybe they think that God providing His best just isn’t logical. How sad. When we accept God’s best and put our faith in the Son, we can share in the great love that inspired the original gift.
God’s gift is given by a God who withholds nothing good from His children. Have you accepted it?
DEVOTION BY Melissa Crone POSTED 4/26/2022 6:00:01 AM ON 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
When our family reminisces about our daughter, Kristen, the topic of fearlessness usually comes up.
Had you known her, you would know that whatever she set her mind to do, she did with all her heart. Shortly after she moved to Nashville, while working as a waitress in a restaurant, a representative from the National Dance Club of Murfreesboro approached her regarding ballroom dance.
Although she had never shown interest in this before, she decided to try it. She threw herself into it, working tirelessly to learn every step as perfectly as possible. And in very high heel shoes I might add. Before we knew it, she was working as a dance instructor.
On December 15, 2017, we were invited to Nashville to see the dance club’s winter performance. When I saw Kristen, I was taken aback by her confidence and poise. As the music began, she moved effortlessly with her partner across the dance floor. As the music flowed throughout her body, she danced as though she meant every word being sung. Little did I know how important that night would become. It was a magical evening that will be seared in my memory forever. Now I envision my beautiful girl dancing before her Savior on the streets of heaven.
God tells us repeatedly in His word not to fear. He puts dreams and desires in our hearts, but so many times, we don’t experience them because we succumb to fear. We let the fear of failure and the fear of what other people may think or say about us hold us back. It has taken me fifty years to learn this lesson.
If you are anything like me—and know you have many missed opportunities in your past—make a choice not to let fear hold you back in the future. God has great plans for each of His children.
When God puts that dream in your heart, step out in faith and trust Him. Remember, His Spirit is one of power, love, and a sound mind.
DEVOTION BY Becky White POSTED 4/19/2022 6:00:01 AM ON Psalm 46:10 NIV
No, not the Miss Clairol kind of highlights gracing my ever-graying hair.
Social distancing. Quarantine. Covid-19. Mandates. Mask-rage. A new vocabulary has arisen. The reality that our reality has changed pours from every direction. Uncertainty and a sense of unease have suddenly become an ever-present guest.
Feeling the sheer weight of the trial that seems to be engulfing every area of life, I whispered a prayer for help, opened my Bible, and scanned the pages for highlighted, underlined, and note-beside-them verses. Highlights from past days and past trials with scribbled notes reminded me of all God has walked me through. Not having the mental stamina or emotional energy to search out something new, these old friends are comfort food for my soul—reminding me of His faithfulness and sovereign control of all that has grazed my life.
All these neon-yellow highlights and “amens” scrawled in red ink make me question if I still believe what I highlighted. Now. Amid such worldwide and prescription-for-fear uncertainty. Do these highlights represent the truth and a rock-solid faith to stand on, or do they reveal a shallowness that would only carry me through sunny days and desired outcomes? Has my faith been a facade or real?
Although my emotions might fluctuate with the latest news story, my faith doesn’t have to. I have a choice to make and a God to serve. Whatever the outcome, He is in control and has a purpose. In the meantime, I must find my strength in the shelter of the Most High and be about His business.
Right now, while God has your undivided attention, look back at your neon highlights or make some new ones.