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 Darrell Waters POSTED 12/3/2019 6:00:01 AM ON Galatians 5:5 NIV
When I was little, my mom liked watching the TV show, Dallas. Although my dad watched it with her when he wasn't working at night, he didn’t care much for the show.
One popular mini-series during the show's airing entailed J. R. getting shot. The culprit was a mystery. Like my dad, I normally didn't care for this show because it was quite boring. But for some strange reason, I eventually got in on the act, so to speak. One of my classmates at school also got caught up in it. He said, "I want to know who shot J.R. now!" Finding out took some time, but later the mystery was revealed.
Paul reminds us that living a righteous lifestyle takes patience. In our society, it’s harder than ever to be patient. We have so many quick things—such as microwaves to cook and warm food in and computers and the internet to buy things instantly online. It’s easy to want instant gratification.
Sometimes, we all have trouble with patience. This devotion-writing ministry teaches me patience. It forces me to wait as much as three months for my devotion to be published, although I don’t have to wait that long for an acceptance letter. But it’s well worth the wait to get published and to know my writing is a blessing to other people.
Unless we’re extremely brave, praying for patience is dangerous. The Bible says patience comes through tribulation.
When you pray about something, ask God to remind you to be patient.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
DEVOTION BY Aftab Hakim POSTED 11/26/2019 12:00:01 AM ON James 4:15 NCV
Sheikh Chillie was famous among children for his funny stories.
His motive was to build castles in the air by establishing great businesses in his imagination. One day, his mother asked him to sell eggs in the market. As he was on his way, he put the baskets of eggs on his head and got lost in his thoughts. He wondered what would happen if the eggs became chickens and then became hens. All the hens would lay a lot of eggs, and, with those eggs, he could go to market and sell those eggs.
As he enjoyed his thoughts, the basket of eggs fell to the ground. The eggs were ruined, and the people surrounding him laughed.
Many times, we act like this character. We get lost in our thoughts and become daydreamers. But when we come out of our imaginations, we have nothing except regret.
When daydreaming, we bring new things into our imaginations without realizing that without God we cannot attain anything. Our future is in His hands. By bringing something new into our mind without God, we try to create something on our own.
When we daydream without God, it becomes spiritual adultery where we take the role of God. James reminds us we have no assurance of tomorrow and should plan according to God’s will.
It is good to plan, but our plans will soon disappoint us if God is not in the center of those plans.
Schedule every day with the Word of the Lord in mind.
DEVOTION BY Robert L. Segress POSTED 11/19/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Matthew 6:21 KJV
The Bible college where I earned my first degree had a difficult course.
The required course entailed memorizing 300 verses that had to be quoted verbatim on tests. Since I came from a home that had a non-biblical environment. I was sure I would fail. I spent a lot of time asking God for help and writing verses on three by five cards, which I carried everywhere I went.
Certain verses seemed to be foundational and life-changing. I had been raised knowing the carpenter’s credo that no building is stronger than the foundation it rests on. I thought I must be learning what I needed, so I worked hard and got a good grade.
The years went by, and I earned several other degrees and achieved and accumulated. Surprisingly, the more I achieved, the more I lost. A loneliness and sadness set in my core, and this caused me to seek for more.
I concentrated on treating my patients, earning money, and paying everyone’s bills more than I concentrated on what I had found in those early days. God’s opinion and my relationship with Him was what healed my soul.
Moving away from the simple days when the Bible was my foundation and Jesus was my best friend, I let possessions, position, and pleasure rob me of what I needed and loved most: a simple clean relationship-oriented soul.
Repenting, or turning away from, came naturally as I confessed my sins and confusion while turning toward Jesus. I remembered what I had learned long ago: whatever we possess, possesses us.
I decided to go wholeheartedly back to the simple days when all I needed was Jesus, the Word, and my family. I developed a protective feeling against anyone who threatened my relationship with these things. I sold some things, and I discarded some relationships.
Choose to live a life that refuses to leave the simplicity that is in Christ. You’ll never be sorry.
DEVOTION BY Joyce McCullough POSTED 11/12/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Matthew 6:33-34 NIV
“These ninth grade boys are getting on my last nerve!”
I told the Christian Education Director I didn’t think I was right for the job. I had retired from teaching public high school and was doing my best to hold the attention of several hormonal teenagers during our Wednesday night Bible study on the sixth chapter of Matthew.
However, seven high school freshmen seemed to have little interest in our discussion. They expressed their boredom by checking their phones, kicking each other under the table, and passing notes.
One particular young man, whom I had already reprimanded several times for not paying attention, sighed loudly and slammed his Bible shut. This was his signal to me that it was time for class to end.
Afterward, when I expressed my concern to the CED, she asked me to give the class another try. She felt certain things would improve with time.
“You can win them over,” she cheered.
Reluctantly, I agreed to return the following week. I began class by asking if anyone could tell me what we had studied the week before. The young man whom I had reprimanded and who had seemed to be paying no attention to the lesson raised his hand.
“God’s gonna feed us and put clothes on our backs ’cause He does the same thing for the birds and for nature and stuff. With God, we don’t need to worry about nothin’. So what’s the topic for discussion tonight, Teach?” The young man sat back in his chair with a nonchalant grin.
After taking a moment to recover, I praised him for his accurate appraisal of Matthew 6 and introduced the theme of Matthew 7. Maybe I had judged these kids too quickly.
Obviously, God wanted to convince me He was in control. He would take care of my needs as well as the needs of these teenagers. They got the message, so why didn’t I?
Whenever you feel worried or inadequate or not up to the task at hand, give your concerns to God. Seek Him first, and ask Him to meet your needs. Even though you may not think He is listening, He’s hearing every word.
DEVOTION BY Diane Virginia POSTED 11/5/2019 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 37: 31b KJV
Slip ‘n slides provided swift and energetic water rides for me and my sister during childhood.
Mom sprinkled dish soap onto our favorite toy, hooked up the hose, and watched us slide. Dad swooped us up on the other side, and we’d run towards Mom, ready for another go-round. Soon, neighborhood kids joined in, moving along with us down the slippery slope.
Sliding downhill on a slip ‘n slide is easy, but trying to reverse course is difficult—and next to impossible after reaching the mid-point because momentum kicks in.
My struggle to reverse course in the spiritual realm is similar. Unlike my childhood slip ‘n slide, I can reverse course from my many mistakes by asking God daily to guide my steps.
But what if I’m past the mid-point, traveling at breakneck speed? God helps me off of the slip ‘n slide even then by holding me in His hands. Just as my dad scooped participants from the slide, positioning himself as the catcher, my heavenly Daddy rescues me at any point. No matter where I am on the slip ‘n slide of life, I can reach out to God and experience His help.
Even when I fall, my heavenly Father helps me rise. As I read my Bible, His gentle instruction becomes my refuge, and I rise again.
Whether we’re a new believer or have journeyed with God for a long time—and whether we’re on the slippery slope or have fallen—God extends forgiveness through His Son Jesus Christ.
When you find yourself on the slip ‘n slide of life, turn to God whose love is constant.