I listened to my friend speak these words of faith, “Giving to God is a no-risk zone. We may think we are giving so much that it feels like a risk, but it never is.” I agreed heartily, and thought, “Yes, amen!” That day I didn’t have any worries. With a bit of humor, God chose to test my faith the very next day. I found myself holding an expensive and unexpected bill, and suddenly I wanted to remind God of all my good deeds. Surely He could have prevented this from happening. Hadn’t He noticed all the money I had given away lately? Couldn’t He have changed this for me?
I remembered the words, “Giving to God is a no-risk zone,” and gritted my teeth. I said out loud, “Hey God, you have a problem.” That was not the most reverent prayer I’ve ever prayed, but He knew what I meant. I wasn’t going to worry about it. He could work it out. I paid the bill, and tried to forget about it. About a week later my finances changed again unexpectedly, and this time it was in my favor. My problem was no longer a problem, and I felt properly humbled. God did not have to do that. It was not an emergency by any stretch.
He was reminding me that being His child means He is taking care of me, my finances, and everything else I care about.
I don’t ever need to remind Him of anything. Giving to God is truly a no-risk zone!
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. (Malachi 3:10, ESV)
Devotion by Kristi Moore
Did you hear about the Great North American Eclipse in August 2017? I know it sounds simple – the moon crossed in front of the sun – but it was a very exciting day. I avoided the tourists by staying home to experience 99% of a total eclipse. I had read that it would be a remarkable experience, but I was unprepared for how impossible it would be to capture the eclipse in words or pictures. The sun darkened slowly throughout the morning, and our automatic porch lights flicked on. The air became chilly. Birds and bugs grew quiet, confused at the signs of nighttime. Beams of sunlight passing through the trees were transformed into crescent shapes. Most amazing of all, the air around us begin to shimmer with wavy shadows as if we were underwater.
I can tell you what we saw, but I can’t possibly explain what it was like to see it. As the moon crossed in front of the sun, I had an unreasonable desire to ignore all the stern warnings about protecting my vision and stare right into the light. (I didn’t, but I thought about it!) The sun is 400 times larger than the moon, but it is also 400 times farther away from Earth. From where I stood in my driveway, they appeared to be perfectly aligned. The scale of such perfection millions of miles apart was simply unimaginable. Scientists call it a mathematical coincidence, but to me it felt like God was showing off His glory!
The universe is stunning not just because it is beautiful, but because it reveals so much about our Creator’s power.
As surely as He cares about the details of the wide open universe, he cares about the details of all the human hearts on Earth. He knows us in intimate detail, and His love is greater than we can imagine!
But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.
Job 12:7-10 ESV
Devotion by Kristi Moore
When Howard Rutledge was a little boy in Sunday School, he never imagined that the memory verses he learned would one day be vital to his survival. He grew up and became a military pilot, married, and had a family. He never renounced God, but he began to enjoy life his own way. His faith slipped away, and he stopped attending church. In 1965, his plane was shot down over Vietnam, and he began to pray for the first time in twenty years. Soon he found himself wounded and alone in an enemy prison cell.
In his book, “In the Presence of Mine Enemies,” Mr. Rutledge describes how he lived a nightmare for seven long years in captivity. Although he hadn’t been living like a Christian, suddenly his deepest craving was to find comfort in the words of Scripture. He and his fellow prisoners spent hours of every day trying to remember the Bible. They pieced together every little scrap possible, and many times those words were the only thing that made their miserable lives bearable. When he remembered the verse, “Thy word have I hid in my heart” (Psalm 119:11), he lamented that he had not memorized more of the Bible when he had the chance.
This story hurts my heart for all the people in the world today who don’t have easy and free access to the Bible. I have multiple Bibles at my fingertips any given day. I memorized many verses as a teenager. I am blessed with a constant flow of rich Bible teaching in my church.
I can say with my words that I am thankful for the Word of God, but do I truly feel a desperate need for the Bible? Do I cling to it like it is more necessary than food? What if tomorrow I only had the verses I know by heart?
Prayer: Lord, help me to recognize every single day – in the best times and the worst – that the Word of God is my greatest treasure. It is a great comfort to know that the powerful Words of God will go with me wherever I go if I carry them close to my heart.
Devotion by Kristi Moore