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 Diana Derringer POSTED 8/13/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Hebrews 2:18 NIV
A seventh grader in my Sunday school class had an aha moment when I told the class Jesus experienced the same temptations and trials we face.
When Andi’s realization hit, I could almost see the light bulb over her head. She got it. Jesus lived with typical teenage struggles too. Granted, Jesus did not have internet access, automobiles, or smart phones. Yet the nature of His difficulties, the mental and emotional stresses, and the human desires equaled ours. Andi’s head shot up. With question marks shooting from her eyes, she asked, “You mean Jesus went through puberty?”
Although the Bible clearly tells us Jesus was tempted like the rest of us, we tend to spiritualize His life on earth. Somehow we think He was above all the nitty gritty we face. In the Bible, we read of Jesus lying in the manger, receiving gifts from wise men, and impressing religious leaders with His questions as a child. The next thing we know, He’s an adult.
While surrounded by a different time and tradition, Jesus has been there and done that. He understands and identifies with our daily dilemmas.
When we’re so physically, spiritually, and emotionally spent that our bodies quiver from exhaustion, remember Jesus felt that too. As He agonized in prayer before His crucifixion, His sweat poured like drops of blood.
If sorrow engulfs us to the point we drop in desperation and despair, remember Jesus wept when Lazarus died.
If the unfairness of others overwhelms us, never forget Jesus needed time alone after Herod beheaded John the Baptist.
Above all, when suffering hits us full force, picture Jesus on the cross, held there by our sins.
Anytime we feel alone and wonder who will understand or how we can continue, remember Jesus has already been there. He hears our cries and stands ready to walk with us. He holds us up in our lowest moments. He offers hope when life seems hopeless. And He will celebrate with us when our hardships cease.
Jesus knows. Jesus cares. With His help, you will endure.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Doug Lim POSTED 8/6/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Isaiah 30:18 NIV
The busier the day got, the more I waited.
I waited in traffic. I waited in the checkout line and gas line. I even waited to be seated at a restaurant with a “No Waiting” sign. I fell behind schedule and resented others for making me wait.
If I had remembered God was in control, I would have handled the delays much better. His plan and timing are perfect—and certainly superior to the plans I scribbled down. God offers peace through the power of His love and the promise to work things out for those who wait.
But I neglected to reflect upon God’s teachings as I stood stranded in line. I overlooked how important the virtue of patience plays. God wants patient and faithful followers. Even though staying on schedule is good, we need to trust God when delays intrude on our time. He often has a good reason for them.
God’s timing and overall purposes are always fulfilled—whether we like it or not. Instead of trying to control others and circumstances, we should trust His change in plans—no matter what happens or how long we wait.
When we remember God’s omnipotence and perfect timing, the delays are easier to bear and serve as signs to readjust our lives to His masterful plan. With the help of God’s grace, we can find patience once again—even in the midst of a world filled with fast foods, ten-second sound bites, and express lanes.
With complete trust in God, we give ourselves permission to wait for Him and to prepare for a better way—which are the moments of delay before God asks us to make a change.
Wait patiently today, so you can experience the peacefulness of God.
DEVOTION BY Ken Barnes POSTED 7/30/2019 12:00:01 AM ON 2 Corinthians 12:11 NLT
Saint Augustine once said, “In the essentials unity, in the non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.”
A crusade steering committee for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association once asked me to work with them. I had been saved in the charismatic renewal of the twentieth century, which emphasized baptism in the Holy Spirit. One of my church friends heard of my involvement with the crusade and said, “I would not be involved with them. They don’t believe in the baptism in the Holy Spirit.”
I was a young Christian, and my friend’s remark shook me. I started having reservations about my involvement with the crusade, but I continued to serve on the committee. The result was a rich learning experience.
The crusade team’s concern for the lost was honey straight out of a rock. They had forgotten more than I would ever know about evangelism. I learned I needed people who did not believe exactly as I did.
Jesus healed ten lepers, yet only one returned to give glory to God—and he was a despised foreigner.
We often miss God’s blessing because it comes through someone with whom we disagree. God uses people who aren’t just like us. While our theology is important, it shouldn’t divide us unless it involves the basics of salvation or is a clear departure from biblical truth.
A pastor once had a discussion with God about working with another church. He told the Lord, “I don’t know if I agree with everything they do.” God replied, “I don’t always agree with everything you do, yet I still work with you.”
The grateful Samaritan reminds us that a loving God is more concerned with the gratefulness in our hearts than the theological correctness in our minds.
Don’t let the nonessentials hinder your work for God.
DEVOTION BY Rusty Rabon POSTED 7/23/2019 12:00:01 AM ON 1 Corinthians 1:20 NLT
Education is the answer to every problem we have.
Or at least we might think so if we follow the current political debates or listen to the experts on talk shows. People with multiple degrees preach that education holds the solution to poverty, gang violence, and other cultural maladies.
The Greek-influenced culture of ancient Corinth treasured wisdom as the source of answers to life’s questions. Religious Jews, however, preferred sight. “Seeing is believing” was their creed and “Show me” was their motto.
To both of these approaches, the apostle Paul offered a stinging rebuke. God challenged worldly wisdom through the gospel—the good news about Jesus Christ.
Many problems defy answers. But at the root of all problems—of all pain and suffering, of all trouble and distress—is rebellion against God … sin. The only answer is the good news of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as our Savior from sin. Culture will scoff at the idea that a Jewish man’s death is the answer we need, but Christ is the power and wisdom of God.
Don’t let worldly wisdom trap you.
DEVOTION BY Onome Ogbajibrede POSTED 7/16/2019 12:00:01 AM ON 1 Chronicles 29:15 KJV
Pilgrims must be prepared at all times.
Our church once staged a drama about the return of Jesus. People waited patiently in the church for the Lord’s return, but eventually began leaving one by one as they lost hope. The pastor left to get some food and told one of the members to keep watch. The member also left. However, a prostitute refused to leave. She wanted to see this Jesus people were talking about. Suddenly, Jesus came, and she was the only one whom Christ took.
The Scriptures remind us we are strangers who should shun evil desires such as sexual immoralities, lies, and fraudulent engagements.
Satan designs sins to trap people’s souls in hell. We have to watch our conduct so our deeds will enable people to glorify God. As pilgrims, God also wants us to submit to the constituted authorities, whether governmental or religious, so we won’t have issues when Jesus returns.
God is a righteous Father who wants us to make our journeys on earth devoid of unrighteous tendencies dictated by the world. The way we do this is by focusing on Christ as the author of eternal salvation. As pilgrims, we endure until the end. Life on earth is short and full of vanity. We came into it empty and will leave it the same way.
Ask God to help you see yourself as a stranger in this world so you can behave wisely.