Black Spirituality Religion : Christian Devotionals

It good to be a Christian and know it, but it’s better to be a Christian and show it

In Les Miserables, Victor Hugo tells of Jean Valjean, whose only crime was the theft of a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving children. Valjean served nineteen years for this crime before being turned out penniless on the streets. Hardened and unable to find work as a former convict, Valjean finally makes his way to the home of good old bishop, who gives him supper and a bed for the night. He serves Valjean using his best silver platters and candlesticks, which Valjean recognizes as being highly valuable.

Yielding to temptation, Valjean steals the bishop’s silver plates and slips away from the bishop’s home, but is soon caught and returned by watchful police. When shown the silver plates, the bishop says to the apprehending policeman, “Why, I gave them to him.” And then turning to the thief Valjean, he adds, “And Jean, you forgot to take the candlesticks.” A shocked and eternally grateful Valjean accepts the candlesticks as more than valuable silver pieces, but as expressions of love beyond measure. The bishop’s act brought about a true repentance and changed life.

Who knows which person might be impacted by your act of kindness today? What seems little to you may be great in the eyes of a person in need of love.

From God’s Little Devotional Book, pp.73-74.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 (NRSV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach us to love as you have loved us. May we see in the eyes of others the human spirit fed and lifted anew by loving communication. Lead us by the flame of your Spirit within that we become useful instruments of your healing grace. In Christ’s will we pray, amen.



Prepared by Chaplain Rhon Carleton – Baptist East Hospital - Montgomery, AL
 
Daily Reflection and Prayer

“Success in marriage is more than finding the right person.
It’s becoming the right person.”

In Thornton Wilder’s play The Skin of Our Teeth, the Character, Mrs. Antrobus, says to her husband, “I didn’t marry you because you were perfect … I married you because you gave me a promise.”

She then takes off her ring and looks at it, saying, “That promise made up for your faults and the promise I gave you make up for mine. Two imperfect people got married, and it was the promise that made the marriage.”

In every marriage, no matter how well the two people know one another, great mysteries remain! Very often, each person comes to the marriage:
 Not fully knowing himself or herself,
 Not fully knowing about life, and
 Not fully knowing about his or her spouse.

What is unknown is far greater than what is known!

Becoming a faithful, loving spouse not only takes courage and faith, but patience and a desire to keep learning and growing. Better than the question, “What kind of spouse do I desire to have?” is the question, “What kind of spouse do I aspire to be?”

From God’s Little Devotional Book. pp.79-80.

“But thou, O man of God, … follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. I Timothy 6:11

Prayer: Lord God, you have said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner” [Genesis 2:18]. In our time, we have discovered that our spouses failed to come with a guarantee. Father, guide us gently as we seek to establish loving family relationships and thereby find our identity as a child of your own desiring. In your name I pray. Amen.

***Prepared by Chaplain Rhon Carleton – Baptist East - Mtgy, AL***
 
Clearing Up Conversion Confusion

1 John 5:10-15

God never seeks to confuse us. Rather, He expresses Himself precisely, because He desires that we truly understand His teachings and how they apply to our lives. Simply put, the Lord wants us to trust in Him with complete confidence.

We have an Enemy, however, who attempts to undermine that confidence at every turn. We've all been there--joyfully moving along through life, sure of our salvation, and then, BAM! We stumble into sin, and our feelings take over. The Devil uses our remorse and conflicting emotions to eat away at our confidence. We think, There's no way I can be saved. If I were truly saved, I would never have done such a thing. Overwhelmed by feelings of regret and shame, we find our faith coming under fire.

It is amazing how effectively our fleeting human emotions can undermine assurance in God's promises. However, we should not find it all that shocking. After all, men and women have been conditioned to let their feelings lead them through life. "If it f feels good, do it" is an all-too-common motto in today's world.

Yet, the Lord does not speak in feelings; He speaks in truth. Whenever your emotions contradict the Word of God, you can be sure that the Scriptures are reliable. For a believer, "feeling saved" is as irrelevant as a husband or wife "feeling married." You either are or you're not; your feelings do not make it so.

Have your feelings of regret stolen your confidence in God's eternal salvation? Lay your feelings before the Lord today, and embrace the certainty that only comes with His truth.

www.charlesstanleyinstitute.com
 
God Desires Your Success

July 16, 2006

1 Samuel 15:22

God wants you to be successful. This does not mean He has an automatic plan for you to become rich or famous, although either of these may be included in His ultimate design for your life.

God’s idea of success begins at the Cross where Jesus died. Success is not measured by what you do in life or what you gain financially. Your love and devotion to Jesus Christ measure your success.

In 1 Samuel 15, we read how Saul decided he would offer a sacrifice that only God’s anointed priest was commissioned to offer. Since Samuel was not present, Saul felt justified in his actions and made the sacrifice himself.

This one act of disobedience cost Saul the kingdom. Here is a lesson we need to learn if we are going to be successful. God anoints certain people to do certain things. He has placed leaders in our lives for a reason. If we want to lead, we must first learn to follow.

If you fail to submit to your God-given authority, then success from God’s perspective will be difficult to achieve.

A successful person has learned humility to the point that he no longer thinks about whether he has gained it or not.

We are called to do the will of God, but this only can be done at the feet of Christ.

www.charlesstanleyinstitute.com
 
~Dancing with God~

*Author Unknown*

When I meditated on the word GUIDANCE, I was drawn to"dance" at the end of the word. I reflected upon how doing God's will is a lot like dancing. When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn't flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky. When one person realizes this and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another. It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other. My eyes drew back to the word GUIDANCE. When I saw "G," I thought of God, followed by "u" and "i." "God, "u" and "i" dance" . God, you, and I dance.

This statement is what guidance means to me. As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life. Once again, I became willing to let God lead. My prayer for you today is that God's blessings and mercies be upon you and your family on this day and everyday. May you abide in Him as He abides in you. Dance together with God, trusting Him to lead and to guide you through each season of your life. This prayer is powerful and there is nothing attached.

If God has done anything for you in your life, please share this message with someone else, for prayer is one of the best gifts we can receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards; so let 's continue to pray for one another.

I Hope You Dance !!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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