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.

Trusting in Light of Eternity

I like to think I trust the Lord, but then I ask myself questions that reveal otherwise. Why hasn’t He answered my prayer yet? Why would He allow me to endure so much pain for so long?  

I’m reminded of my four-year-old son when I think of such questions. A week to him feels like an eternity. As Christmas approached one year, he was filled with angst at having to wait so long to open presents. When I said it was only a week away, he responded, “But that will take forever!”

As a parent, I have decades on him. Now that I’m older, a week passes too quickly. I knew that waiting a week wouldn’t hurt him.

“It’s good for you to learn patience,” I said.

Unfortunately, my bit of wisdom did little to ease his anxieties. He didn’t want to learn a lesson; he wanted to open his presents. Now.

We may have decades of experience with our children, but our heavenly Father has millenniums on us. When God sees the length of our suffering, He compares it in light of eternity. But unfortunately, our minds can’t grasp the comparison, just as my son couldn’t grasp the concept of a week.

When we say to God, “I’ve waited forever. When will it end?” I picture Him saying, “Hang in there. It’s not as long as you think.”

God cares deeply about our pains and sorrow and knows the joy before us if we hold on. Then, when we look back from heaven at our days on earth, we’ll understand them better. We’ll say, “Oh, now I get it, Lord.”

Until then, God won’t waste the length of our suffering or unanswered prayers. I wanted my son to learn patience, and we, too, can learn lessons from the seasons of life. The experience may be the very thing we need in the next stage of life.

Soon, our experiences will pass. We are guaranteed eternity in heaven if we remain close to God. The billions of years of joy in heaven will make our situations on earth feel like but a second.

How can you do a better job of trusting in light of eternity?

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Problems and Pearls

One day at school, my class previewed a book about oysters. A few students knew pearls came from oysters, but all were amazed at how the oyster formed them.

Pearls usually form when some parasite works itself into the oyster or other shelled sea creature. Then, out of defense, the oyster produces a fluid to coat the invader. For the next six months to seven years, the coating process continues as the pearl forms this valuable beauty.

In our lives, we face little, pesty situations. However, we also face more serious circumstances where we have allowed irritants into our lives or Satan has weaseled his way in. These trials can act like parasites, entering our bodies and making us feel bad, sick, or worse.

But how interesting that God allows the parasite in an oyster to transform into a beautiful gem. Isn’t that what God wants for us too? He wants us to bring the parasites of our lives to Him in prayer so He can shut out the harshness of the world around us, protect us, and help us heal.

We can rest in God’s arms, knowing He is our defender. When we turn to God and bask in His Word and wisdom, He will slowly soften the sting of our hurts and sorrows and provide biblical applications for our thoughts and reactions. As time passes and we continue to allow Him to be our fortress, He will strengthen us. If we remain in His glow, He will totally transform our parasites into pearls.

We can transform what Satan meant as destruction into a beautiful pearl through trial after trial. Alone, these gems are magnificent, but even more so when strung together into a necklace.

Take your problems to the Lord every day. Trust in His Word and not your own understanding. In return, you can adorn yourself with a strand of pearls that have provided you with His comfort, strength, and grace.

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

An Unsaved Zealot

Working in prisons exposes individuals to questions from inmates that take practical answers. Many questions a prison minister is asked concern how a person can be a religious zealot and still not be saved. One of these questions concerns the role of good works in salvation.

“If I am a nice person and do good things, I will earn enough good points to go to heaven” is an often-heard declaration by anyone serving in prison.

Many have asked how a person could be so zealous for God that they go on mission trips, yet remain unsaved.

We should learn how to answer those who feel good works are necessary to make it to heaven.

The Holy Spirit specifically designed Romans 10 to answer this question. This develops what Paul teaches in chapter four, that a person who does not work, but believes, has faith credited for righteousness.

A person who tries to establish their own righteousness is always doomed to fail. Only by believing in our hearts that the righteousness of Christ is the complete payment for all sin can we receive the righteousness solely found in Christ.

This righteousness changes religion into a relationship with Almighty God and relieves questioning hearts that wonder whether they have earned enough good points to buy a heaven ticket or have kept their ticket by being good enough.

Feeling saved has nothing to do with the once-for-all imputed righteousness given when baptized into Christ at salvation. Our service after salvation provides crowns, not a righteous standing before God Almighty.

Remember, as you go through life, your service doesn’t have any part in your righteous standing before God. Jesus completely took care of that on the cross.

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

Stepping Up to Serve

As a child, I attended Sunday school in the little timber church nestled amid the overhanging trees. And there I watched someone stepping up to serve.

A beautiful young lady taught my class about Jesus’ love for my friends and me. Now I reminisce on my childish, simple faith and prayers that trusted the Lord’s grace.

No one could invent the magic of our Sunday school. The teacher was a part of the church ministry and had a kind smile that blessed us all. When I read Paul’s words, I pondered how the skeptic became a true believer. And I learned devoted women were co-workers in planting churches in the ancient world.

We should emphasize more women sharing in church ministry in our post-pandemic world. We can all play our part as co-workers in faith, aiming to lead with Jesus’ example to turn skeptics into true believers. Any woman can step up to the plate, not just the same few matriarchs.

I am now a senior citizen and a reticent writer who is happy in her own company. But I must continue praying and sharing my faith in a simple way by writing.

We are all co-workers, and God has blessed each of us in diverse ways. We can keep praying for more true believers, especially women of any age. If we pray a simple faith prayer, Jesus’ love will lead us. This will enable more women and men to step up to the plate in future ministry.

What are some ways you can step up to serve?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

Change under the Frosting

“Are we ready to thaw that out?” Chad said to his wife, Lindsay, as he pointed to the foil-wrapped plastic container. For a year, it had almost filled their small freezer. “It’s been there since just after the wedding, and I’m ready to open it.”

Lindsay smiled. She knew keeping the top layer of their wedding cake was silly, but she’d heard it brought luck. However, Chad was right.

“You’re right, honey. Go ahead,” she said.

Within a few seconds, Chad had unpeeled the foil, opened the box, and moved the contents to a plate. The heavy white frosting and pink curlicues were intact. He found a knife and began to cut, then abruptly paused.

“That’s funny. I can’t do it. It won’t slice. Let’s see what’s going on.”

Chad scraped the thick frosting away and revealed a hard white surface underneath. As he poked the surface with the knife’s point, producing chips and slivers, he realized why the cake wouldn’t cut. They had stored a frosting covered, curlicue-decked block of Styrofoam for an entire year.

We often experience the same thing when we encounter an abrupt change of plans on our spiritual journey. And usually, since we created these plans without God’s input, the interruption indicates God has better plans for us. When we give God control, we realize His love and care are certain in an uncertain and changing world.

How do you react when you encounter change?  

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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