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Devotion

Sweet Slumber

Photographer Anne Geddes has made an art form out of taking pictures of sleeping babies. Her photos evoke smiles. Nothing is a better image of peace than a sleeping child.

But between naps and nighttime, caring for children is an exhausting and relentless responsibility. In their innocence and enthusiasm, children can get themselves into life-threatening situations in no time. After a hectic day of chasing, entertaining, protecting, feeding, dressing, guarding, guiding, and making peace between squabbling siblings, parents are eager for bedtime. After the toys are put away and the pajamas are put on, the sleepy toddler slows down, cuddles with mom or dad for a bedtime story, and finally falls asleep. Later, before putting themselves to bed, parents check on their children one more time to make sure all is peaceful in dreamland. The serene beauty of a sleeping child makes all the day’s frustrations worthwhile.

Scripture indicates that God’s ideal condition for His children is peace (Lev. 26:6), but too often in our immaturity we get into trouble and cause conflict. Like parents of young children, God desires for us to become weary of wrongdoing and to rest in the safety and contentment of His loving ways.

Lord, help me not to squabble and cause friction with others about unimportant matters. May I instead find rest in Your love and wisdom, and seek peace. Amen.

In His will is our peace. —Dante

By Julie Ackerman Link

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Devotion

Every day is Christmas

I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. – Luke 2:10-11 (NRSV)

Every time I visit Martha at the assisted-living facility, she asks, “Are you getting ready for Christmas?” Dementia makes her unaware of the actual date. This reality does not trouble Martha, and over the years it has ceased to trouble me.

Some have said, “Correct her. Help her understand that Christmas is months away.” For a long time, I attempted to do this, but now I see the value of expecting the birth of Jesus every day. I watch Martha’s face light up with joy when she asks, “Are you getting ready for Christmas?” Her eyes dance, and her smile changes the mood in the room. She expects Christmas to come and for Jesus to be born today or maybe tomorrow — very soon. And this brings her joy that is contagious.

In the midst of all that could attempt to defeat the message of Christmas, Martha reminds all of us around her that Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming soon. Her simple question has changed me. I now leave a nativity set on a table in my office throughout the year to help me remember the truth, “to you is born a Savior.” I give thanks for the gift of Martha’s question and for its reminder to expect Jesus to come — today and every day.

Devotion by Karen Greenwaldt (Tennessee, USA)

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Devotion

Trust the Lord

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.    (Matthew 6:33)

Dearly beloved, the Lord promises to provide for those who trust in His goodness. He comforts them, “…Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink” (Matthew 6:25).

One day, I was going through all the letters that I received that day. A particular sister wrote, “Brother, I am weeping for the past 23 years. I have absolutely no peace in this world. I have four children. We have nothing to eat. We are shedding only tears.”

“My husband is addicted to alcohol. He is doing witchcraft against me and my children. On account of that, I am losing my memory quite often. Even if I try to love him, I am unable to do it. How long can I live like this? Please pray for me.”

The Bible says, “An anxious heart weighs a man down…” (Proverbs 12:25). Worry and anxiety cause depression. Worry is a tool used by the devil to torment people. But the Lord says, “Do not worry. I will make you a special person.”

The Bible recounts, “As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.”

“She came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”(Luke 10:38-42).

Even today, you must accept Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. Leave all your burdens at His feet. Then He will transform you into a special person. The Lord Himself has said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). Seek the Lord with wholehearted devotion and yield yourself to carry out His will in this world. Then He will generously provide all you need.

Prayer:

Loving Lord Jesus,

You are good. I seek You with wholehearted devotion. I leave all my burdens at your feet. I trust in your goodness. Bear my burdens and offer comfort to my weary soul. Fill my heart with your divine peace. I yield myself to carry out your will in this world. In your generosity, provide all my needs and make me glad.

In Your matchless name I pray.

Amen.

Daily Devotion by Dr. Paul Dhinakaran