Devotionals

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A Winning Day

“Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? Even so run; that you may attain” (I Corinthians 9:24).

One more step to win! Enter now for the deadline! Don’t get left behind! Online chances to win fill our email this time of year. In reality, they are nothing more than heavy sales pitches that millions fall for. Few, if any, win.

Paul compares our Christian lives to races run by athletes. Each competitor hopes to win the prize. Paul reminds Christians that only one can receive the prize in such a race. Then he encourages all Christians to run the race where the prize is an incorruptible crown.

We win the day when we decide to give our lives to Christ and put Him on in baptism. Every time we wrestle against Satan and his wiles and overcome through faith, we win. When someone tries to teach another doctrine besides the truth about God and Christ, and we reject those teachings and cling to the Bible, we win.

“I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” Paul wrote in Philippians 3:14. Attaining the prize is not easy. We have to buffet our bodies. We have to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12: 1, 2). Only then can we win the race.

The real winning day is when we receive the prize. On that day we will hear Jesus say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you” (Matt. 25:34). That is the day we shall receive a crown of glory that does not fade away. May we run in the race so we can receive that prize.

Hymn: “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may we run the race with fortitude, and may we always look to You for strength and courage. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

A Cup of Hot Tea

This morning I carried my daily cup of hot tea to my computer desk and took a long sip. Its soothing warmth seemed to sink clear down to my toes, then spread through the rest of me. It reminded me of God’s love. Even the small comforts of our lives are gifts from our Father’s bountiful hand.

I can see the cup of tea. I can feel its physical warmth and comfort. On the other hand, I can’t see God’s love nor reach out and touch it. Maybe that is why sometimes a minutia of doubt creeps into my mind. Perhaps that’s why my inner soul cries out, “God, please love me and take care of me.”

Then I say to myself, “Silly you. God does love you. He sent His Son to die for you.” I think of all the times God has seen me through hard times. I remember His unseen presence in the midst of dangers and toils. A sense of His unfailing love radiates through my body, bringing calm and peace.

The theme of God’s Word is His love and kindness toward us. Our Father is the very essence of love. He loves mankind, and He loves us individually. Nothing can separate us from God’s love.

The next time life seems to be bearing down on me, I will remember that God loves me and is with me. Even though I can’t see His hand, I will reach up and take it and walk with Him through life’s troubles. My Father’s love and care will keep me until I truly walk with Him in heaven.

“Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you of much more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26).

Hymn: “Yes, for Me He Careth”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me never to doubt Your love and care for me, even when times get rough. May I always trust in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.