Category Archives: Bible Devotional

God Came Today

Preschool kidsEvery Monday I do “chapel” for our church preschool. In all honesty it is not my strong suit to tell a story, no matter how brief, to a group of three and four year olds. I have, however, begun to truly enjoy my time with them. Recently something very special happened, and it really taught me a great lesson.

Our preschool director told me one of the children reported to his mother that God had come to see them last week. What the child said was both adorable and profound. I am definitely not God, but God did come to see him. God was there because the little child was looking for Him. What a marvelous thought – we see God when we look for Him. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ Children see God because they have not yet become their own God. Children do not see themselves as masters of their own destiny but rather as those that are dependent on others. They are vulnerable in so many ways. They need help, they need to believe in something and someone greater than themselves.

I learned from that child that God can be seen in the strangest places and faces. Perhaps it is well advised that we always be on our best behavior lest we shatter the faith of someone who is searching for God.

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First Things First

Abba Abraham told of a man of Scetis who was a scribe and did not eat bread. A brother came to beg him to copy a book. The old man whose spirit was engaged in contemplation, wrote, omitting some phrases and with no punctuation. The brother, taking the book and wishing to punctuate it, noticed that words were missing. So he said to the old man, ‘Abba, there are some phrases missing.’ The old man said to him, ‘Go, and practice first that which is written, then come back and I will write the rest.’

—–Sayings of the Desert

Paul August 24I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations?

—–1 Corinthians 3:2-3

In my office there are many books, some I have read, and some  I have not read. Within my collection are books that I have not read since my seminary days. Somehow I am comforted by the clutter of words that surround me and forget that a book is no good unless it is read. The Abba and Paul hit this subject head on.

If we do not use what we have, how can more be of any use to us? Most of us, like the Corinthians and the brother of the story are crying out for fullness and never use what we already possess. We have to begin our spiritual journey by applying the knowledge we possess to our pilgrimage .As we are nourished by the milk we have been given, we then push forth to a higher plain of knowledge. Our spiritual passage begins with the life messages that God has given to us and our application of them. Far too many times we get well ahead of ourselves and begin drowning in an overload of spiritual information with the false illusion that more is better. Only later we discover that we have wasted precious time for blessing by coveting more that we can apply.

Prayer

Lord help me to absorb with diligence and humility all that you have revealed to me. May I spend my days trying to grow into the Christian that you created. This day I give to you what I know and understand, and I will wait with patience for what is to come. Amen

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Storms and Faith

Mark 6:45-51

Sometimes it seems that our lives are a series of storms. We try to live with stormy marriages, stormy relationships with our children, stormy connections with extended family, stormy job situations, and stormy financial conditions. On and on, the storms rage in our lives. We find ourselves tossed about, overrun, confused and frightened. We desperately try to hold back the waves and still the vicious winds in our lives. Finally, with a sense of helplessness, we realize that we can’t control the storm.

Jesus on the WaterOne night, Jesus’ disciples found themselves at the mercy of the violent winds and churning waves of the Sea of Galilee. Just as they were about to abandon hope of controlling their small boat, they say Jesus walking on the sea toward them! Talk about confused and frightened! They thought they must be seeing a ghost! But Jesus spoke to the disciples over the roar of the storm and said, “Cheer up! I’m here, don’t be afraid.” He gave them hope, and then he stilled the storm for them!

Jesus walks on the stormy seas of our lives even today. Just as it seems we are about to be overcome by the hurt, the stress, the fear of our own personal storm, we can see Jesus as He calls out to us, “Cheer up! I’m here, don’t be afraid.” Just as He calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee for Peter and the other disciples, He will still your storm as well. Jesus is the answer to your problems – whatever they are. He still speaks to His people, cheers them, and gives them hope. He will still walk on the troubled sea of your life and rescue you from the storm.

Monica Boudreaux

PRAYER: Father – Help me depend on you when I face one of life’s storms. Thank you for your great faithfulness to me.

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Words for the Journey

the holy books ...

No one can live only on food. People need every word God has spoken.

When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven.

When you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know about it. Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you.

Don’t store up treasures on earth! Instead, store up your treasures in heaven.

Your heart will always be where your treasure is

Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself.

I tell you not to worry about your life. Can worry make you live longer?

Why do you have such little faith? Put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.

God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them.

Ask, and you will receive. Search and you will find. Knock and the door will be open for you.

Treat others, as you want them to treat you.

You can tell what they are by what they do.

I didn’t come to invite good people to be my followers. I came to invite sinners.

Anyone who gives one of my most humble followers a cup of cool water, just because that person is my follower, will surely be rewarded.

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.

Good people bring good things out of their hearts, but evil people bring evil things out of their hearts.

What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? What would you give to get back your soul?

Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you.

Everyone who is now first will be last, and everyone who is last will be first.

Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.”

If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.

I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.

Reflection – Choose one of these sayings of Christ to become your focus each day as you journey.

Monica Boudreaux

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The Visit

Luke 19:1-10

            Fifteen little boys sat on hard benches in the synagogue and tried to pay attention as the rabbi droned on from the writings of Moses.  One boy was about half the size of the others.  He hated school and he hated the other fourteen boys.  They made his life miserable.  They were unmerciful in their ridicule of him.  He was a “runt, half-pint, Pee Wee.”  They picked him up and tossed him around like a ball.  They refused to allow him on their teams; he made them lose.  While the rabbi examined the Sabbath laws with the class, Zaccheus made plans for revenge.  He fed his bitterness and anger by justifying his hate with the actions of others.  He was on the receiving end now, but one day he would get even!

The boys grew up.  Zaccheus became an adult with a child’s body.  The Roman government employed him as a tax collector – and he got even!  By collecting far too much money and pocketing the extra, Zaccheus became enormously wealthy, selfish, and lonely.

The news was that the great prophet Jesus was coming to town.  Out of curiosity, Zaccheus made his way to the road on which Jesus would travel.  He never expected such a huge crowd!  He pushed, shoved, and tried to elbow his way through the sea of humanity to no avail.  It was fun to keep little, despised Zaccheus in the back!  Totally frustrated, he spied a tree just a bit up the road and perched on a limb overhanging the route.  Here, he had a great view away from the riffraff.  Smugly, he waited for Jesus.

Try for a moment to imagine the shock Zaccheus felt when Jesus walked under the limb, looked straight into his eyes, and said, “Get out of the tree, Zaccheus.  I’m coming over to your house.”  He very nearly fell out of the tree, but he managed to climb down and hurry home to make preparations for his guest.  The crowd stood in indignant amazement at Jesus’ judgment.  Of all the homes He could have chosen to visit!  Zaccheus through the eyes of God, not through the eyes of man.

Jesus and Zaccheus talked that day.  Zaccheus opened his heart and poured out his hurt and anger.  When it was empty, Jesus made it over – new-and filled it with love only He can give.  Zaccheus recognized Jesus that day, and he was never the same.  He stopped being a “taker” and became a “giver.”  He got a stack of money and ran every step to town.  He sought out each and every person he had cheated and paid them back four times what he owed them.  He gave a lot that day.  He gave forgiveness to those fourteen school mates.  He gave the grace of Jesus to all he met. He gave his heart to Jesus, and that necessitated giving to others.

Use these contemplative days of Lent to visit with Jesus.  Empty your heart of hurt and anger and let it be filled instead with grace.  Become a “giver” not a “taker” as you journey.                                   Monica Boudreaux

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