The Bouncing Spider

March 19, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Peter Lundell

Under the front eaves of my house, a spider web stretches seven feet from the roof gutter to the bushes below. At the center of this engineering marvel hunches the spider. The little bugger is about the size of my fingernail—and it bounces.

If I blow on the spider or reach close, the thing jiggles itself violently up and down. The whole web vibrates. On one hand, it seems to be a natural defense mechanism designed to scare off a predator. On the other hand, the jiggling web is more likely to catch something.

The spider doesn’t skitter away. It doesn’t hide. Even after the web was destroyed, the next day the spider was rebuilding.

This bouncing spider inspires me. Despite the fact that I am 10,000 times bigger than it is, it still defies me. And it takes a stand (or bounce). Sure, it’s acting on instinct rather than rational thought, but even that’s part of the inspiration.

I think of all the things that threaten or scare me. What threatens or scares you?

Too often we freak out because we think so much about the threat that we don’t instinctively take a stand based on who we are and what God has promised us.

He has promised to provide for us, protect us, and strengthen us. And when God’s plan really is for us to suffer, He is there with us, guiding us in His purpose.

Some of God’s greatest truths are seen in the natural world and its creatures—great or small. Take a lesson from the bouncing spider. When you feel threatened or scared, don’t skitter and hide. Take your stand (or bounce if you like). The Bible is full of promises, many of which we haven’t experienced as we could, perhaps because we’ve skittered and hid.

How might you take a stand today?

BIBLE VERSE: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
(Psalm 46:1-3 NIV).

PRAYER: “Lord, You are the foundation of my strength and courage. I commit to make my stand (and bounce if need be) on this issue: ____________________ . . . .”

Battles of the Earth and Spirit

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

By Peter Lundell –

The battles of this world often depict what goes on in the spiritual battles we cannot see.

For six months, the opposition movement in Libya has struggled against Kaddafi. For decades people in Libya endured his regime, which glorified him, benefitted the people just enough to keep most quiet, and executed those who dared oppose him. When people saw hope in the overthrow of neighboring Tunisia’s dictator, then Egypt’s, they rebelled.

Similarly, people often find hope for personal transformation when they see the victories of others.

The Libyan struggle was harder than most people expected. Early on, the Libyan rebels didn’t know how to fight, but learned as they went. NATO helped by bombing Kaddafi’s instillations, but didn’t send troops. For a long time the battle stood at a stalemate. Breakthroughs started in the unlikely corners of the mountains to the south. The war brought blood and grief, freedom and jubilation.

Similarly, unseen spiritual battles go on around us. Some are simple; others are long and agonizing. We may not know what to do, but learn as we go. God intervenes, but maybe not as much as we’d like—He makes us fight. Battles may stalemate. Breakthroughs sometimes come from unlikely places. We experience both grief and jubilation.

Some battles are disguised behind personalities and conflicts, beliefs and mindsets, maybe sicknesses or addictions, accidents or events. Some people imagine spiritual battles that really aren’t; others don’t acknowledge battles that really are.

If you or a loved one faces a spiritual battle, take heart from those rebels who didn’t give up against the oppressor of Libya. And take heart from God’s promise in 2 Thessalonians. 3:3, discussing our battles against the oppressor of the human race: “The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”

PRAYER: Lord, You are my hope and victory, even when days are dark or heavy. I choose to trust You and be faithful in my battles. Strengthen me and uphold me.

BIBLE VERSE: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV).

Cookie Cutters and Uniqueness

February 20, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Peter Lundell –

“You must Tweet. You must Facebook. You must blog. You must use this system,” went the list. Do all these things and, in my case, I would sell lots of books. Jump into the cookie-cutter solution of what worked for someone else and must now work for me. If I didn’t, I’d miss out—and I wouldn’t want that, would I?

Last time I checked, I was a full-fledged human being, not a clone.

If I’m a pastor, I must use these ten business principles and my church will grow. If I’m in business, I must use church principles and my business will be healthy. If I don’t like commuting to work, join this multi-level marketing, and I’ll make easy money.

Somebody, please show me the exit.

I’ve lived long enough to figure out that in any life endeavor, some people will make it big, most will not, and others will be in between. Results will be less than what some claim but more than what others claim. One size, or method, never fits all. And no market of any kind will equally reward every competitor.

But people never tire of telling others how one size (their own size) fits all. And there will always be a crowd that follows.

God, on the other hand, created us to be unique. I’m not saying we shouldn’t cooperate or listen to good advice. We should, instead, discern how it fits. Most people who make breakthroughs or impact others in any area of life know what to follow and what to ignore. And they do things according to the way God created them. They aren’t afraid of being unique. Unique is always different from others—otherwise it’s not unique.

How are you unique? And how has God created you to bless others in a unique way?

PRAYER: Father in heaven, open my eyes to wisdom of how I am uniquely created to serve You. Open my heart to courage for pursuing Your plan.

BIBLE VERSE: “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:6b–7 NIV).

 

 

 

You’ll Miss Your flight

January 21, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Peter Lundell –

“You’ll miss your flight,” the agent said. If she were comatose, she would have been just as helpful. Because of airlines buying other airlines, I was at the wrong terminal. I got mad at the airline, mad at the unhelpful personnel, mad that every shuttle was going to Car Rental, instead of the terminal where I needed to be.

So I selfishly asked God to delay the flight. A sympathetic driver took me to the other terminal, after a quick stop at Car Rental. I clenched my teeth through the Transportation Safety Administration lines, where of course they had only one screening line open.

The flight was delayed.

As I calmed down before boarding, the Holy Spirit prompted me. I had been tested. And I had failed the test. Still, God had been gracious to me by delaying the flight until I could arrive, but I had not lived up to my character as a follower of Jesus.

Then my connecting flight was canceled. “You’ll have to stay here overnight,” another not-so helpful agent said. I made up my mind not to fail this second test.

I smiled. “You can do better than that.” At Customer Service, another agent put me on standby for the next flight and said, “You still won’t get on. It’s a small regional jet, and we have too many people waiting. Come back afterwards.” So I selfishly asked God to let me on the flight. But this time calmly, with faith, and the added request that no one else suffer because of me.

One passenger had not shown up, but I was impossibly low—eleventh—on the standby list. I calmly waited. Even if I didn’t get on, it was okay because I was passing this character test, which had become more important to me than the flight.

Problems are temporary; character is lifelong. And little victories add up to big differences.

And as it turned out, I got on the plane, filling the one remaining spot created just for me.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are always with me. And my being with you is more important than anything I do or that happens to me. Lead me to always trust you put my character first.

BIBLE VERSE: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3 NIV).

A Life beyond Nonsense

December 23, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Peter Lundell –

On Wednesday, July 27, 2011, a giant among Christians died of old age after a tremendously fruitful life. John Stott was an unassuming English pastor and scholar who wrote fifty books, mesmerized people with his preaching, and was one of the main influencers of how evangelical leaders, missionaries, and most believers understand and act on what the Bible tells us. He embraced, taught, and led Christians worldwide. His impact infinitely surpassed his fame. And that was fine with him.

After he died, AOL news carried typical headline stories like, “Princess Kate Wears the Same Dress Twice,” “Hollywood Starlet Shows off Curves in New Bikini,” “Watch What Happens When Man Encounters Dog—Shocking!” And the only death they were interested in was that of a troubled rock star.

Yet many large newspapers had the intelligence to run articles on John Stott, describing how he led the rise of global evangelism. In God’s eyes, nothing is more important than that.

Unlike reputable news sources, the superficial “news” on many Internet and other media outlets ignores that which is substantive in favor of that which is titillating. It’s always before our eyes, and it never stops.

So it’s left to each of us to purposely look beyond the nonsense and seek what’s truly meaningful and important. What’s meaningful and important are found in eternal realities and how they affect the lives we live.

I encourage you to deliberately go against the current, all the time. When you deliberately practice ignoring nonsense and seeking substance, you may be surprised at how distinctive you become.

PRAYER: “Lord, may I not succumb to the relentless nonsense that fills this world. Give me vision to see what is truly important and eternal. I chose to live distinctively as a follower of Christ.”

BIBLE VERSE: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done” Matthew 16:24–27 NIV).

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