Shock Absorbers

March 29, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Cheri Cowell –

I grew up in Florida, not far from the beach. One of my favorite teenage memories is of the day a friend bought a dune buggy. Now most of you probably know what a dune buggy is, but for those who don’t, it has a Volkswagen chassis and a jeep body with roll bars. It is made for riding over the sand dunes – fast. And that we did.

When my friend showed up at the house to pick me and a girlfriend up, he pointed out all of the features of his new “girl.” “…and look at these babies,” he said, pointing to these huge tube-like things connected to the wheels. I later learned that those “babies” were the shock absorbers. Without the shock absorbers taking the beating for us, we wouldn’t have had as much fun as we did riding the dunes. God calls us to be His “babies,” his shock absorbers in the world.

To receive a blow and not pass it on takes great strength. God asks us to do just that. We are to absorb the blows others send our way, not in our own strength, but because of the One we are connected to. Because of our relationship to God, we can take the blows and transfer the force to Him. This is how God expects us to repay evil with good, to give to everyone who asks, especially those who don’t deserve it, and to love others as we would like to be loved…even when they aren’t so loveable.

PRAYER: Thank You God for being the shock absorber for me, transferring my sins onto Your Son so I might be free. Help me to, likewise, be Your shock absorbers so others might come to know the freedom of forgiveness.

BIBLE VERSE: “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:30-31 NIV).

Seeds of Faith

March 13, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Cheri Cowell –

In my jewelry box is a tarnished and not-very-beautiful piece of jewelry. If someone broke into my home, they wouldn’t consider this a valuable treasure. But it is to me. It is a tiny mustard seed in a tiny glass ball on an inexpensive chain. The chain is too small to fit around my neck, yet I keep it to remind me of the lesson it brought. On the day of my confirmation, my grandfather gave it to me after sharing Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed. He told me that even with a small amount of faith, I had enough faith to become all God wanted me to be. Later, in my turbulent teenage years I needed that promise. That necklace was a tangible reminder that regardless of how small my faith seemed, it was enough.

The mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds yet produces one of the largest trees in the Middle East. Like that seed, our faith is worthless unless the Father feeds it. When we come to Jesus in our alone time He feeds us. In the quiet, He can explain unspeakable things and help us to do, be, and have all He has ordained for us. In that stillness, God turns our mustard seeds into giant trees of faith.

PRAYER: I praise You, God, for the gift of faith. Help me believe that the little amount of faith I hold is enough to help me become what You have planned for me since the beginning of time. Help me to set aside time to be quiet and listen for all the things You want to show me.

BIBLE VERSE: “Again he said, ‘What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade’” (Mark 4:30-34  NIV).

Better Than A GPS

February 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Cheri Cowell –

I was only twenty when Randy and I married and moved to Orlando from Ft Pierce. Two weeks later, we began school at UCF. That first day of school Randy arrived home before me. He sat there waiting for his new bride to come through the door so he could hear all about my day. What came through the door was anything but the girl he married. I was a crying mess. Through tears, I told him about getting lost on campus, not finding anything I needed at the library, and how it took me an hour to get home because of all the traffic. I said to him, “I just want to go home.” To which he replied, “But honey, you are home.” I felt like I was in a foreign land, and in some ways, I was. I didn’t know where I was or where I was going. I was lost and confused.

How many times do we feel that way? God has an answer for our reluctant steps.

Trusting is a difficult thing for many of us. At one time, all of us were trusting, but some have had that trust betrayed. It then becomes difficult to relate to the words, “Trust God with your whole heart.” But God dangles a carrot in front of us to entice us to trust Him. He promises to direct our paths. He wants us to trust Him, so He can prove His trustworthiness. He wants us to trust Him so He can fulfill His promise. He says, “Don’t try to figure everything out, just listen for My voice and follow Me” Don’t think about it, and don’t try to reason and rationalize. Simply trust, and He will show you the way.

PRAYER God, I praise You for being trustworthy. Help me learn to trust You more fully. I am often lost in certain areas of my life, so enter into those areas and give me the direction I need.

BIBLE VERSE: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6  NIV).

The Perfect Stone

February 6, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Cheri Cowell –

Have you ever watched or participated in building a house? My husband and I own a cabin in the Tennessee mountains, a dream of ours for the first twenty years of our married life. It is on a rental program, so it isn’t like we are moving in next week, but it is still ours. We bought it while it was under construction so we saw it in its unfinished state. Then several months later we saw it in its final state with just the punch list of things to touch up. It is very gratifying to be a part of something in which you can see progress being made. Sometimes progress slows down or halts because a problem is found or something was not done right. In order for the house to stand when it is finished, it needs to be built correctly, each step of the way. God knows a lot about building a house and can show you how.

Stones were an important Old Testament symbol of God and the coming Messiah. The early church understood from this Stone the nation of Israel would rule forever, however, here the term ‘Living’ is added to remind them of the new understanding of the role of Christ the Messiah. The church is described as the new spiritual house, constructed of the living stones of believers who continue the role of priestly people declaring the wonderful works of God and offering our own lives as sacrifices.

PRAYER: God, I praise You for how You perfectly fulfill every detail of the Old Testament teachings. Thank You for being willing to be the capstone that was rejected. Help me stand as a solid rock You can build upon to further Your kingdom.

BIBLE VERSE: “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:4-5 NIV).

Incredible Grace

January 20, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Cheri Cowell –

With the temperatures climbing like they have been lately, I was reminded of a group of people from an area church who decided to take bottles of ice-cold water to people who were working outside. They thought this simple gift of love and compassion might be a chance to witness and would also be something  “Jesus would do.” Two team members set out on a Saturday with four bottles of water to give away. They were very discouraged after several hours. No one was mowing their lawn, walking their dog, or washing their cars. It was too hot.

Just when they were about to give up they drove by a laundromat and saw two women who looked a little weary from the heat. When they gave them the bottled water they discovered the women were living with their families out of a van parked out back. The two water-bottle-missionaries were able to help this family find shelter and a meal in addition to giving them water. Not the opportunity they thought their day would provide, but it would be what Jesus would do. God desires us to extend grace to the weary.

In the book of Romans, Paul encountered a lot of people who thought they were safe and secure because of their lineage, their wealth, their position in life, their deeds of charity, or their allegiance to Paul. Paul wanted to make it very clear that although the Jews were the chosen people, it wasn’t their heritage that saved them. It was God’s grace. And His grace is given freely to those who deserve it and to those who don’t. If we are to do as Jesus would do, we need to look on the needs of others as an opportunity for us to share grace, especially when those who need it don’t really deserve it.

PRAYER: Thank You, God, for the opportunities You give to share Your grace and love with those around me. Help me broaden my view of those who are in need so that all Your children might come to know Your incredible grace.

BIBLE VERSE: “’I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace” (Romans 11:4-6 NIV).

Next Page »