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.

New Shoes

In the middle of our shopping trip, we heard, “Good afternoon, shoppers. We have a special for the next 20 minutes.”

This “Blue Light Special” announcement made me happy. My daughter and I were shopping for shoes for her children. After surveying the prices, we headed for the clearance rack. Two-year-old Elianna walked to this rack, selected a pair of shoes, put them on, and zipped them up. I thought those brown shoes looked like hiking boots and not right for a little girl, but Elianna liked them and would not take them off.

The manager, who had walked to the back of the store where we were, saw boxes stacked up high, Aarao skipping in his new orange tennis shoes, Aliyah dancing with delight in her pink shoes that light up, and Elianna trying on another pair of shoes with big white bows. “Looks like everyone is getting shoes,” he said.   

After a few minutes, an announcement over the intercom interrupted our joyful scene: “Attention shoppers, we have a special for the next twenty minutes. All shoes in the store are buy-one-get-one-half-off.” The warmth of the Lord’s hand rested on us as we received His favor. We walked out with three happy children and four pairs of shoes.

God desires to show us how much He loves us by giving good gifts even when we don’t deserve them. When we step onto God’s path, He blesses us. We might question what we’ve done to deserve the blessing, but the answer is always that we did nothing but accept the gift given to us: Jesus Christ, God’s Son.

Our relationship with God puts us in position to receive all the blessings and favor of our heavenly Father. A large balance is credited to our account in the bank of heaven, waiting for us to exercise our faith to draw upon it.

Draw heavily on God’s resources. Look for His blessing and favor today and respond with thanksgiving.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



That Isn’t Fair!

Our Sunday school class was deep in discussion over a controversial subject.

The lesson concerned King David’s adulterous affair with Bathsheba, wife of Uriah. David allowed the lure of temptation to take control of his mind and his emotions as he watched Bathsheba bathing on a rooftop. He sent for her and had an illicit relationship with her. As a result, a son was born.

God sent Nathan, a prophet, to tell David the baby would die—a judgment not upon the innocent baby but upon David’s sin.

Two members of our class thought this was unfair. One complained, “Why would God permit the death of the child? He committed no sin. King David should have been punished. He was the guilty one.”

Another member firmly stated, “The baby was innocent of any wrongdoing. No one should die because of the sin of another.”

A third member of the class chimed in, “But someone did that very thing. Even though He was sinless, Jesus Christ died for our sins.”

Christ was not forced to make that sacrifice. He willingly gave His life so that we can be declared, “not guilty,” if we accept His gift of salvation. This promise is wrapped tightly in the familiar words of John 3:16: “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.”

In Psalm 51, David prayed a prayer of repentance, asking for restoration and a right relationship with God. Just as God forgave David, He will also forgive our sins. It’s hard to argue with that. That’s more than fair.

When you’re tempted to question God’s fairness, trust His love instead.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



Running Trails

“Get that animal away from me!” a fellow trail walker screamed at me.

At six months old, our golden/rottweiler mix was clearly a puppy. I pulled on her leash to calm the irate stranger. “Okay.”

Enraged, the woman turned around and moved away from me and my dog, Layla. “I have been attacked by dogs. You should keep that dog away.”

My family and I had just purchased the bouncing ball of fur from a local Mennonite family. She was the picture of friendliness. We had found her wandering near an adorable toddler boy dressed in a full, button-down white shirt, shorts, and black hat. We fell in love with her.

On the trail, I moved as fast as I could in the opposite direction from the woman. I intended to leave and not return. At the end of the path, we encountered another dog owner, crouched down with her three cocker spaniels.

She looked up. “Can he play?”

I eased up on the leash and watched Layla scamper toward one of her dogs. We talked about the weather and the recreational area. I mentioned that I’d come to explore the trail for exercise and shared my previous encounter with the other lady.

“Oh, honey, everybody brings their dogs here. Don’t mind her.” She waved her hand as if it were nothing.

I listened to the woman’s kind words that day and continued to enjoy the beautiful trail with our frisky pup. It has been three years since we first visited the park, and in that time, Layla has been trained while I’ve lost twenty-five pounds as a side benefit. It’s my peaceful place to pray and listen to the Lord.

We never know what a kind word will do for someone. It may mean the difference between a bad experience or blessings that continue in their lives for years to come.

Don’t miss an opportunity to speak a kind word to someone.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

 



In but Not of the World

Hoof clops invade the morning stillness.

I watch the buggy pass the house, and I fancy I live in another world. A world with the Amish who live without automobiles, electricity, running water, cell phones, and mirrors.

We live near a large Amish community where about 250 families have chosen to live in another world—a world without the conveniences most of us use and enjoy. They consider them worldliness, the chief evil of life. Isolating themselves from outside influences, they conserve their heritage.

I listen a long time, realizing with each clop growing fainter that I, too, live in two worlds. My ears strain to hear the last sound as the hard wheels rattle a determined tradition of an old-world order.

For a year, we have lived in two worlds: one near the Amish where we retired—living between cow pastures and corn fields—and the other with modern amenities where my husband works part time.

I realize I cannot be at home in both places. I am more at home where heart things surround me. Where the floors creak “welcome home” and memories murmur. Where days are secure, and where I long to return week after week.

There was a TV series long ago, I Led Three Lives, based on the true story of Herbert Philbrick. He was a citizen of the community, a Communist, and a counterspy for the FBI. Not even his family, his church, or his friends suspected his covert activities. For nine harrowing years, he cautiously stepped into each day, frightened.

As believers anticipating an eternal home, we can’t be fully at home in this physical world.  We long for the other world—the one we call home. For something more.

Our Amish community has found a way to live out Paul’s words. It may be difficult for the Amish to live simply, without conveniences, or it may not be. Perhaps the pull to the other world is stronger than the desires of the flesh.

Ask God to help you live well in both worlds.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)



A Bookmark Reminder from 1958

Out of desperation, I found a bookmark my father had given me in 1958.

Talking heads on television seemed to think the way to address the turmoil of the present situation was by hatefulness and negativity. Turning away into the still quiet voice of the Spirit, I reached for the books I keep next to my easy chair and found Dad’s gift.

After a lifetime of violence and sin, my father had been saved later in life and truly became “a new creature.” During lunchtime, he sat in his car in front of the union hall where he was the hard-fisted president and listened to Vernon McGee, a famous Bible teacher from long ago.

Shortly after my father’s salvation, he said, “Son, here’s a little book that has helped me a lot. Maybe you’d like to read it.” Then he handed me Sit, Walk, Stand by Watchman Nee, the father of the indigenous Christian church in China, which grew to millions of members. Watchman died in prison in 1972 from the Chinese government’s hateful imprisonment.

After a lifetime of living—and being blessed with five children and twelve grandchildren—I reached for Watchman’s booklet, a first edition printed in London in 1958. A beautiful bookmark with a picture of Jesus tending His flock on one side and the 23rd Psalm on the other fell out.

Years before, I had stood before a congregation of people and, honoring Dad’s wishes, read the Psalm. Tears ran down my face. I missed Dad so much. I guess I still do. 

I refreshed my heart with the little book Dad had given me and discovered the following:

  • First, we should sit or rest in our relationship with Christ. The Christian life doesn’t begin with walking; it begins with sitting.
     
  • Second, we should walk in love by being pro-active and walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.  
     
  • Third, we must stand by putting on the armor of God.

Take power walks each day in the power of the Spirit, who enables you to stand up under the Devil’s intimidation.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

 



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