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 Glenda Shouse POSTED 5/26/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Matthew 6:6a NKJV
Nineteen children. That’s right.
John Wesley's mother, Susanna, had a large family so she was constantly busy. When she wanted to be alone with the Lord to pray, she pulled her apron over her head. The children knew not to disturb her because she was having quiet time with her Savior. She was in her “prayer closet” as she sat in her chair.
Even if children aren’t the reason for our busyness, the enemy of our soul makes sure we stay busy with other things so we have no time left to spend with the Lord. The wicked one wants us to be tired, discouraged, or too distracted to go into our prayer closets.
Anyone can have a prayer closet—or perhaps a prayer chair as I have. One that has been in the family for years. One covered in a lovely rose pattern but with faded and worn places on the arm rests. One used by my mother and grandmother as they took time to be alone with the Lord Jesus. This chair brings many memories to mind, as does the well-used Bible lying on the table beside the chair and the worn rug where grandmother kneeled.
In our prayer closets, we can pour out our hearts to Jesus, praise Him, sing to Him, read the Word, or just listen for Him to speak to us and give us strength for the challenges of the day.
Take time each day to praise Jesus and share your concerns with Him. He will renew your strength.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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DEVOTION BY Ken Ebright POSTED 5/19/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Psalm 55:22 NCV
My rent went crazy.
When the new owner took over the apartment property, I was told they would not go crazy with the rent prices. A short time later, my new landlord informed me I would have to pay two hundred more dollars each month. Initially, I was freaked out. There was no way I could pay that.
The next Sunday morning, while sitting in the pew before church and being perplexed about my situation, I read this verse while waiting for the service to start: Give your worries to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will never let good people down. Later in the service, a Coast Guard chaplain who didn’t know what I was facing returned to his pew after taking communion and placed his hand on top of mine. It felt as if the hand of God touched me. I felt as though the Lord told me everything was going to be okay.
A few months later, I found a place for only fifty dollars more than I had been paying. My new location also let me leave my car at home and take the bus and train to work, saving me money at the gas pump, as well as wear and tear on my car.
When we go through a crisis, we need to give it to the Lord. He knows we hurt and promises to take care of us. What appeared to be a crisis for me turned into God’s provision.
Trust in Jesus every time a calamity happens.
DEVOTION BY Norma Mezoe POSTED 5/12/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Proverbs 2:6 NIV
Mom’s family did not have much money.
At one time her family lived in a corncrib because their old farmhouse was destroyed by fire, and they had no other choice for a home. Although her years in school were few, Mom had a head filled with wisdom. When she was forty-three, she made the wisest decision of her life: to become a Christian.
Since Dad was not a Christian, life was sometimes hard because of Mom’s decision. At first, he seemed okay with her choice—and even attended the evening services with her. As time passed, however, Dad turned against the minister and the church.
Mom didn’t drive and depended on Dad to take her to the worship services, which he did—grudgingly. Dad parked close to the entrance of the church, and when the services ran over, he sometimes blew the car’s horn. Despite the embarrassment and frustration, Mom never faltered in her Christian walk.
I was by Mom’s bedside when death crept into her room. As I sat, patting her arm and reading the Psalms from her little New Testament, she peacefully went to be with her Savior. Mom didn’t have years of education, fame, or fortune, but she had the wisdom to choose Christ—the only way to eternal life.
Many things about Christianity cannot be explained, which causes some people to struggle with accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. From the conception of Jesus through God’s Holy Spirit, to His birth to a virgin, to His resurrection from a cold dark tomb, and to His ascension into eternal life, the questioners don’t understand how these things can be. But these are facts of the Christian faith that cannot be reasoned by the mind or proven through research. We must, as my mother did, accept them by faith.
Have you taken a step of faith and chosen to follow Christ?
DEVOTION BY Darrell Waters POSTED 5/5/2020 6:00:01 AM ON Matthew 19:22 KJV
Of course, the real title to this devotion should be "Don't Make Money Your God."
Many years ago when I was twelve, I heard a pastor preach on not making money your god. Sometimes, he'd accidentally say "God your money" instead of saying it the right way. During the sermon, he talked about people who think only of getting a lot of money. Ouch! He was preaching to me.
Although I was only twelve, I heard the famous Publishers Clearing House Ten Million Dollar Sweepstakes advertised every day, and I was obsessed with my parents winning it. I don't know if they had signed up for it or not—or if I had begged them to do so. But sure enough, all I talked about was winning it. When that pastor asked people to raise their hand if money was their god, I was scared to raise mine because I thought everyone would think I was not saved.
The rich man in the Bible made money his god. When Jesus told him to sell all he had, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow Him, the man got sad and left.
God doesn't mind us having things; He just doesn't want things having us. It can happen to those with an average income as well as the rich. Making money our god is something we must guard against because we all can have idols. Anything that comes between us and God is an idol.
Don’t let money or anything else come between you and God.
DEVOTION BY Michelle Heed POSTED 4/28/2020 6:00:01 AM ON John 8:32 NIV
For years, I believed I was a bad cook.
I had never learned my way around the kitchen. It wasn’t until moving to Africa that I realized I needed to rip off the bad cook label. Otherwise, my husband and I would survive on rice and beans. I needed to learn to cook. Realizing that was more freeing than the label I had stuck on myself.
I also once labeled a one-year-old little boy by giving him a cute blue dress with pink bows. Matendo looked great—and wore it for the next two and a half years. As the child got taller, the dress got shorter. One day, I realized a dress wasn’t the best gift for a little boy. I asked his father why he had dressed his son in a gown for more than two years. He said, “You put it on him.”
I told Matendo’s father I had made a mistake and put a label on his child. I also set a little boy free that day by exposing the truth. Matendo dropped the gown and never looked back.
We, too, can wear labels for years: bad cook, poor student. We need a friend who is willing to get real and call a lie what it is. We might need to be that person who apologizes for handing out unhealthy labels.
Sometimes, we don’t realize how inappropriate the labels are. We get stuck in a mindset for years with no one shedding light for us. Lying labels become so common in our experience that we no longer see them as lies.
Examining the labels placed on us to see which ones belong and which ones don’t is essential. We can love ourselves enough to see if we are believing truth or lies. We do this by remembering we have been created in God’s image, asking God to speak truth to our hearts, and sharing with a trusted friend.
Learn to live in the truth, and let the truth set you free.