Monday, October 30, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: How to survive life's storms and hardships

Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus Through Hardships
A devotional by Heidy De La Cruz

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”—Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

I am currently reading the Bible study, “Create in Me a Heart of Wisdom” by (in)courage ministries. Week three talks about how wisdom is learned through experience. For day three, they ask for you to read the verse above and answer, “How do we not lose heart in the midst of hardships?”

My answer is: We must fix our eyes on Jesus Christ.

This is a difficult task when we are in the middle of a storm and cannot see the sunlight creeping through the dark clouds. But once the storm passes and we look back at our hardship we can clearly see that Jesus was with us the whole time. How do we remind ourselves that Jesus is with us during the storms? We can list all the previous storms of life we’ve been through and remember how Jesus helped us through them.

I want to provide encouragement today to whoever may be in the middle of a storm. Please know that you are not alone in this storm. Jesus is sitting right there with you, surrounding you, and providing comfort. You are going to overcome whatever situation you are in and you are going to be stronger. You’ll gain wisdom and will help others who may have gone through similar storms later on in life.

The Bible study reminds us that, “Wisdom is gained in suffering when we turn our eyes to look for God in our circumstances—even when we can’t seem to see Him or hear Him.” So, if you are in the middle of the storm, I challenge you to search for God. Where do you see Him in this situation? Ask Him, “What wisdom are you trying for me to gain in this season?”

I know this isn’t easy but God is always there.

Let’s Pray: Lord, You know everyone’s circumstances. You know what we need before we ask. I pray for the reader of this devotional who may be in the middle of the storm. Please provide comfort for them. Show them that You are there in the storm with them and remind them that they are not alone. Lord, help them see You. Teach them how to seek You when it feels like their circumstances are too much. You are a great God! Help us to remember when we face the storms of life that, as the Bible says, “This too shall pass.” Thank You for Your wisdom, Lord. And thank You for your comfort. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection:
“Eye of the Storm” (feat. GabeReal) by Ryan Stevenson. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Heidy De La Cruz is daughter of Christ, a wife, and a mother.

She writes poetry and encouraging spiritual blog posts.

Heidy shares her faith and life in hopes of encouraging women. She hosts the podcast, "The American Dream in The Eye of Immigrants" where immigrants share their stories about moving to the United States of America.

Heidy holds a master's degree in Healthcare Administration and bachelor's degree in Psychology. She works as a Medical Coding Specialist.

In her free time she enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, watching movies, and spending time with her husband and two kids.

Connect with Heidy:

Friday, October 27, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Love for humankind endures forever

God’s Love is Forever
A devotional by Essie Faye Taylor

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”—John 3:16 (NIV)

I am often in awe of God’s love for me. 

It is stronger than everything and anyone on earth. It is more powerful than anyone or anything under the earth or in the supernatural world. His love for me is incomprehensible, unexplainable, and inescapable. There is nothing that I can do to evade God’s love for me. He loves me just as I am, without condition. What great love!

As humans, we are flawed. We all have our imperfections. We have our faults and character flaws. Many would think that our imperfections mean that we are not worthy of love. John 3:16 declares the opposite. An omnipotent and omniscient God who created the universe and everything in it loves humanity with an everlasting love. There is nothing that we can do or say that would eradicate His eternal love for us because He is Love. The Apostle John—the one beloved by Jesus Christ—declares God’s passion for humanity. God has committed to love humanity throughout eternity. He has decided to choose us over and over again, even in times when we reject Him or when we deny His very existence. He still loves us.

In fact, God’s love moved Him to action. God loved humanity so intensely that He gave His Son to save us. When you love someone, you can’t help but to give to that person. Maybe you give your time, talent, and treasure. Or you’d give your presence, empathy, encouragement, and kindness. God’s gift of His Son (Jesus Christ) demonstrates His deep love for humankind.

The Bible says God gave His only Son. What a difference compared to what we humans would give. Some people would give only if they have enough for themselves and extra to share. God gave His only—the last that He had. In some cultures, it is said that if a man gives a woman his last bite of food, he truly loves her. God as our Heavenly Father gave His only Son to us in a grand gesture of love.

God gave His only Son to be crucified in our place in order to redeem mankind from eternal death. Instead of seeing us eternally lost because of the penalty of our sin, He sacrificed His only Son. Jesus took the judgment that we were to receive because Adam and Eve (our First Parents who were also the first humans ever created) sinned against God in the Garden of Eden. We were guilty. Jesus was innocent. Yet, He died in our place so that we could receive forgiveness and walk in right fellowship with God once again. Because of God’s love for humanity, He deemed us worth saving and sacrificed His only Son to bring us back into right fellowship with Him.

God demonstrated His love to us so that whoever believes in Him will not perish because of the penalty of sin. Instead, because of the work of Jesus on the cross all humanity can receive God’s free gift of salvation that will result in eternal life in Heaven.

Jesus saved us from the penalty of sin because of His immense love for us. What does your love for God cause you to do or refrain from doing? How does your love for God govern your everyday choices? How does your love for your friends and family guide your life choices?

Call to Action:

1. Acknowledge God’s gift of love. Don’t believe the lies of the enemy; believe that God loves you deeply. 

2. Receive God’s love and respond to it. Choose to love Him in return and live according to your love for Him. 

3. Choose to align your lifestyle with God’s standards and principles because of your love for Him. Love causes us to act in some ways and refrain from acting in other ways.

4. Share God’s love and His Gospel with others. 

5. Remember: God loves you just as you are, without condition and eternally.

Let's Pray:
Heavenly Father, I thank You for loving me and giving your Son that I might not perish but have eternal life. Thank You for assuring me of your love and forgiveness. Thank you for sending Jesus to die in my place in order to pay the price for the sin of humankind. As a result, I have the hope of spending eternity with you in your holy presence. Thank You for your ultimate sacrifice because of love. Thank You that You are Love. Help me to acknowledge your love, receive your love, and respond accordingly. Lord, help me to share Your love with others. Thank you, Father God, for hearing my prayers and answering me. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Forever” by Kari Jobe. Listen to it 

Author Bio:

Essie Taylor is an author, educator, minister, youth advocate, recording artist, podcaster, and improviser. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Rockford College. 

She is a veteran educator of Bilingual Education, English as a Second Language, and Spanish Language Acquisition with National Board Teacher Certification. She is an advocate of lifelong learning, language learning, and multiculturalism.

Essie is the CEO of KenMar Press, an author agency, and The Essie Faye Collection. Essie is the author of Finding the Love You Deserve: 30 Lessons in Self-Love & Acceptance, and Finding The Love Your Deserve: A 60-Day Healing Journal For Women of Faith.

She is deeply committed to motivating minorities, women, and youth to pursue God while chasing their dreams and carving out their life’s path. She loves God, people, and helping others.

Essie has been a Christian for nearly all of her 39 years. She was born again at 15 years old. She has been a bilingual worship leader and interpreter for 10+ years. By the grace of God, Essie helped to establish bilingual ministries at five churches in her young life. She is a survivor of domestic violence (verbal and emotional abuse) and marital abandonment in a prior marriage.

Essie is a Chicago native. She lives in Chicago with her husband Donald Taylor II.

Connect with Essie:

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: The Light of Jesus Christ Dispels Darkness

Light in the Darkness
A devotional by Tessa Huckstep

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”
–Matthew 5:14 (KJV)

In a completely dark room, the human eye is naturally drawn to any glimmer light.

Isn’t it amazing that God made our eyes to be drawn to light when we are surrounded by darkness?

Over time, our eyes may adjust to darkness. They may even become comfortable with the darkness. But a small, flickering flame immediately catches the eye when shining in the darkness. Another amazing truth about light is that the darker the space around the light, the brighter that light seems to grow.

In the Bible book of Matthew, Jesus Christ tells His disciples that they are the light of the world. I think this statement is still applicable to those of us following Jesus today. Just like His original disciples, we live in a very dark world. We worry about the economy, politics, and family issues that seem to be far too big to handle. These problems seem to take over our world and hold an oppressive shadow over us. Most days, we may feel like we are simply trying to push our way through the darkness—not stopping to think about the light we bring into the darkness.

The daily struggles and darkness we live in are sacred. Sacred struggles may seem a little unrealistic, but each of us is—or will be—going through something that surrounds us with darkness and threatens to stifle the light of Jesus we bring into the world. But I have a secret I want to share with you: No amount of darkness can destroy your light.

The light inside your soul first appeared when you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and nothing in this world has the power to destroy the light Jesus first started in your heart. 

Remember: The light inside you that you bring into the darkness is Jesus and that is how we can view our struggles as sacred.

I know life can be dark sometimes. I know it may seem like the darkness always wins and we are constantly fighting invisible battles no one else sees. But the darker our circumstances are, the brighter our light will shine. And the brighter our light shines, the more others will see Jesus in us.

While we walk through the darkness, people will be drawn to our light. Because of this light, they may draw closer to us and also because of our light, they will be able to see Jesus.

Maybe you are going through darkness that you do not understand. You may be asking God why He would put you through pointless pain. Maybe your pain and darkness is not pointless after all. Maybe God is simply using your light to draw others to Himself. Learn to trust God in the darkness and trust that He has a plan and purpose for your light.

Let’s Pray:
Dear Lord, thank You for the light You have given us to share with the world. Please help us to shine brightly in the dark world around us and draw others to Yourself. Grant us the courage to walk through the darkness with You by our side. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Go Light Your World” by Kathy Troccoli. Listen to it 

Author Bio:

Tessa Huckstep grew up in rural Illinois. She was born to Christian parents and has known Jesus Christ personally since the age of five.

Currently, Tessa is attending community college and majoring in elementary education. In the future, she plans to teach in the public school system, hoping to bring the love of God with her.

Tessa enjoys being active in her local church. She serves as a co-teacher for the two-to-five year old class where there is never a dull moment.

It is Tessa’s passion to be a girl after God’s own heart and through her studying of God’s Word, Tessa longs to draw closer to her Savior. Through her writing, she longs to take others with her on this journey of faith.

Tessa loves all things Regency, needlework, and dainty teacups of every size.

When she isn’t writing or studying for exams, she can be found in the kitchen with more flour in her hair and on the floor than in the bowl, though the mess is always half the fun!

Connect with Tessa:

Monday, October 23, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: Silence

Trusting God When He is Silent 
A devotional by Kerry Sue Teravskis

“Be still, and know that I am God!”
—Psalm 46:10 (NLT)

A good test of a deep relationship is the ability to sit in silence together for long periods of time with no one being uncomfortable or trying to fill the gap with words. There is an understanding, a comfortableness, acceptance, and trust within the confines of the moment, or moments.

Some are more naturally inclined towards silence, while others have a daily quota of words to spill and have the need to spill them. Neither is wrong, just different. It is in the learning and understanding and knowing in a relationship where true love is found.

For many years this verse in Psalm 46:10 has quieted my heart. But today it took a turn. I had looked at the first two words, the command “Be still”, and was content and challenged with them. For one who is ready to go and enjoys being busy, this command is a necessary reminder of how important it is to stop and be still. And that it is okay to do so. Even required in our walk with the Lord.

However, the verse continues, so do the commands. And know that I am God. What does it mean to know God? Can one ever truly know Him? Can He be known?

According to the Blue Letter Bible and Strong’s Concordance, to know is "yada" in Hebrew. It means to know, perceive and see, find out and discern. What is interesting is the psalmist, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, does not say, “Be still and listen.”


I will not be able to answer that fully, or even by halves, but when the obvious is not stated in Scripture, we should pause. The obvious would be: Stop, be still and listen for God has something to say. Or: Settle down and quiet yourself so you can hear God. But we are told to know God.

When you are getting to know someone new, what do you do? You spend time with her/him. You invite that person to coffee, an outing, or over for dinner. Maybe you spend time with other couples or families. You find common ground, likes, interests. Shared memories, laughter and sorrows make for a good friendship. This all takes time, however. Some friendships form quickly and a lifetime bond is formed, while others develop over time, with the intensity deepening.

Would it be any different with our Heavenly Father? No, as He is our Father, our Abba (Daddy). He wants to spend time with us and will invite us on those coffee dates, those adventures which make for great memories. It is in the process we get to know God. There can be small chat, deep conversations, and shared silence. And it is good.

Even if the silence gets a little long, He is still there. He is still enjoying our company and He is still in our lives. Let us not run, panic, or question this silence. Jumping to fear causes doubt to creep in which pushes love and assurance out. Nothing changed in the relationship between you and your Father. A span of time without words is just that—a span of time without words.

Love and acceptance are still present. Mutual desire to be together has not shifted. Shared memories intact. A settled comfort has occurred, nothing more. Let us not read into it more than we should, nor over-analyze the silence. God is here, near and enjoying you.

Are you in a time of silence with God? Are you still before Him? Are you learning to know Him more? Is it getting uncomfortable? Hold on dear one. Allow the silence of God to speak.

Be content in His Presence knowing He is content in yours.

Let’s Pray:
Father God, thank You for my relationship with You. You care about our relationship, so much so, that You will deepen it by silence, by opportunities for me to know You more. I do not want to rush them, skip over them or dismiss them in my hurry to move on with life. You are my life. In the stillness, may I know You more. Thank You for teaching me and growing me more in You. In the Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection #1: “Can Anybody Hear Me?” by Meredith Andrews. Listen to it here.

Song of Reflection #2: "Not for A Moment" by Meredith Andrews. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

As a wife and Marmee to three adult children and one brand new daughter-in-love, Kerry Sue’s life is very full. She met her husband in college and served in the mission field with him for a few years before settling down back in the United States of America to raise their family.

Kerry Sue’s family was a homeschooling family for 20 years and they enjoyed it immensely. For the last 23 years they have lived on a small farm in Northern California where they have raised many farm animals, along with growing and preserving their food. Kerry Sue’s family farm has been a great source of enjoyment and a place to host many family gatherings. She maintains an open-door policy for dear friends—old and new.

Following and serving Jesus Christ is an integral part of Kerry Sue’s life as well as her family’s.

Whether it’s singing in our church choir, teaching children or leading and lecturing at a women’s Bible study, Kerry Sue loves to demonstrate her love for Jesus by giving to Him in service. She’s been a blogger for more than eight years, a Bible study writer for two years, and a devotional writer for about one year.

Kerry Sue writes about finding God’s Sovereignty in our pain and suffering.

Connect with Kerry:

Friday, October 20, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: A life lesson on pouring out your heart to God

Take it to Jesus
A devotional by Hannah Benson

“Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”—Psalm 55:22 (ESV)

A few years ago, I went through a difficult season.

I struggled with trusting God, not because of anything He had done, but because I had falsely believed something was from Him when it was not.

When God didn’t give me that which I thought should be mine, I wrestled with anger. I tried not to be angry. But I became angry towards God, and without meaning to, pushed Him away.

I couldn’t understand why God blessed someone else. Didn’t I deserve it?

Yes, dear friend. Those were my thoughts. I see now how proud I was. If only I had realized then that my anger did not stem from simply wishing the gift was mine, but it went deeper. I believed I deserved the gift, and when God gave it to someone else who I thought less deserving, I was angry and blamed God.

Now, let me clarify. In my head, I knew God was not to blame. But it was much harder for my heart to grasp that truth. Thus began a long season of wandering in the metaphorical wilderness.

Allow me to explain. I still prayed. I wanted closeness with God. But I didn’t know how to find it anymore. I couldn’t come to Him with all of me—my brokenness, shame, grief, hopes and dreams—because I feared disappointment. Even though I wanted intimacy with Jesus Christ, my own fear of disappointment became a barrier that separated me from Him. I didn’t know how to have a close relationship with Him. This began a spiritually dry season that lasted for three years.

It didn’t end until earlier this year when I broke down in desperation and begged God for His Presence. I begged Him for closeness. When I reached the end of myself and my heart truly starved for God, He began to unravel everything in my life—removing my distractions, fears, and disappointments—until there was nothing left but Himself.

I thank God. God desires closeness with us (even more than we do). Sometimes, it takes suffering to draw us closer to God. Earlier this year, my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She matters more to me than anything else in the world. When she cancer, it was as if God was asking us, “What if I ask you to let go? Will you still believe that I am a good God?”

It was a long journey of truly surrendering the future to God and choosing before we knew the outcome to have joy regardless. I can tell you that God did not see fit to take her. She is alive and cancer-free today! But through such a deep time of suffering, our family was drawn closer to God. Veils were removed and our hearts were exposed before Him. Suffering will do that to a person.

Before Christ’s death on the cross, only the high priests could enter into the Presence of God. But when Jesus died, the curtain of the temple was torn in two (Matthew 27:51). I believe that God wants all of us, our exposed hearts.When we come before God and hide parts of ourselves from Him—our fears, disappointments, anger, etc.—it as if there is a veil that separates us from God.

Dear friend, the veil was torn when Jesus died on the cross. Why then do we create our own veil and hide from God as Adam and Eve (humankind’s first parents) did after they sinned? Remember: God wants all of us—our messiness, brokenness, shame, guilt, disappointments. It is too burdensome to carry these things on our own. It can wrap around our hearts like chains that will choke the life out of us. Instead, let us take our burdens to Jesus and lay them at His feet then leave them there, trusting Him to carry our burdens for us so we can travel lighter and be closer to Him.

Let’s Pray: Dear Father God, I am chained by all my own emotions so that I can’t feel You. There is a veil over my heart that should not be there. The veil of the temple was torn, so I could come to You and have a relationship with You when Jesus died on the cross. Please forgive me for allowing my distractions and fears to come between us. Help me to lay down my burdens at Your feet. Thank You for bearing my burdens so that I wouldn’t have to. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Take it to Jesus” by Anna Golden. Listen to it

Author Bio:

Hannah Benson is a Jesus-follower who’s passionate about sharing the love of Christ with others.

From the time she could hold a pen, she was writing. But it wasn’t until she was sixteen that she began to seriously follow God’s calling to write a novel. Hannah is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has at least four novels in the works. For the past five years, she has been involved with her local Biblical theater company. She wants to show others the love of Jesus through the creative arts.

When she’s not acting or working on her upcoming novel, you can find Hannah laughing with her siblings, cuddling her little fluffy dog, or reading books (usually historical fiction or fantasy stories). You can read more of Hannah’s writings on her blog or on her Instagram where she strives to write content that leaves others feeling encouraged.

Connect with Hannah:

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: When God meets your needs and answers prayer

Saying Yes to The Opportunities That Move God's Heart
A devotional by Sarah Cole

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”­—Ephesians 1:3-6 (NIV)

As I picked up the phone, my client Pam sounded upset.

“Sarah, do you have a minute? I’ve had a rough week. Frank is a handful, and I can't care for him anymore. I want to find him a good home but can't stand the thought of putting him in a shelter, so I wondered if you would take him. He loves you so much. I feel like such a failure, but knowing he'll go to a good home would be an enormous relief.”

For a moment, I pondered this life-changing choice. I loved Frank from day one and would give him a good life, but I couldn't deny the sacrifice of owning a second dog. Yet, God knew I wanted to adopt a Dachshund, and this was His appointed time so I accepted Pam’s offer. When I hung up the phone I was over the moon and a few days later I welcomed him home and handed Pam a care package to show my support, knowing how hard it was to say goodbye to him.

When we're at a crossroads, we can be confident when our hearts say yes to what moves the heart of God. But doing something out of obligation when our hearts aren't fully invested causes us to miss God’s best, leading to a lifetime of regret. Love is the core from which God acts, and we glorify Him when we enthusiastically accept the opportunities that He places in our path to do His work on this Earth until He returns to take His faithful followers home to Heaven.

Perfect love motivated our gracious and merciful God to say yes to humankind's original dilemma by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins on the cross at Calvary. God’s unchanging love saves us from living forever in a dark and lonely place (Matthew 13:49-50). When we accept God’s gift of salvation (John 3:16), He adopts us into His forever family so we can spend eternity in His heavenly home.

Fellow traveler, God isn’t surprised by what you're facing today. If you feel weary or defeated, keep your chin up because He already has a plan to deliver you (Psalm 50:15). Don’t be surprised if He places someone in your path today who is ready to say yes to Him by meeting your need (Philippians 4:19). Christ’s “yes” to you at the cross means He’s available now at a moment's notice. So, go to Jesus today and lay your burdens at His feet. He’s waiting to shower His extravagant love on you.

Let’s Pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for adopting me into Your forever family by rescuing me from a dark future without you. When the trials of this life test my faith and I’m too weary to take another step, help me remember that when Jesus came to save me, His “yes” at the cross means everything else I face will work out according to His plan. In Jesus’s Name, I pray, Amen.

Song of Reflection: “No Longer Slaves” by Zach Williams. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Sarah Cole’s interest in writing began in grade school when her poem was published in the local paper. As she got older, her mother’s chronic illness inspired her to design a line of greeting cards. Since then, she has written for her college newspaper and two community newspapers where she wrote restaurant reviews and articles for their “Best of” spread. 

Her experience as an administrator in the marketing field gave her the opportunity to write ads for a local business journal.

After a 20-year detour and a three-year season of adversity, God reignited her passion to write. Two divine appointments later, the short story she wrote about her father appeared in the St. Paul Almanac, and a short story about Gigi (her Cocker Spaniel) was published in Guideposts (magazine) Mysterious Ways. She believes her adversity was worth the lessons God taught her.

Since 2022, Sarah’s devotionals have been published in The Secret Place by Judson Press, as well as David C. Cook’s Devotions and The Quiet Hour. To this day, she smiles, pinches herself and gives God all the glory.

When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watching cooking shows, designing cards and mugs, and taking day trips.

Connect with Sarah:

Monday, October 16, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: God cares about every single tear you cry

Tears in a Bottle
A devotional by Angela Anderson

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”—Psalm 56:8 (NLT)

When I was a little girl, I used to enjoy spending time with my family, especially on summer vacations. One of our favorite places to visit was a town called Chincoteague in Virginia. We used to travel by car from my home state of New Jersey to Virginia and just spend time doing family activites in the area, including visiting the beach.

Although we visited other beaches, Chincoteague Beach was significant to me because this was the place where I started my first collection of seashells. Most people enjoy the beach for the water or possibly relaxing in the sun, but my objective was different.

I vividly remember walking along the beach, gathering shells that were sprinkled all over the sand. One thing I noticed was that none of the shells were the same. Even though the seashells may have been the same type of shell, there were still variations either in the hard exterior or the smooth interior of the shell. Each seashell was unique and each seashell had a story, depending on where I found it. I placed them in a bottle where I was able to admire their beauty.

My time collecting seashells at the beach and placing them in a special bottle reminds me of God, our Father in Heaven, having a special bottle that holds a collection of our tears.

God cares about us so much that He keeps track of all of our sorrows and records them in a book. Every tear we cry after a difficult situation comes our way is significant to God. Not even one tear is overlooked. Instead, He collects them all and attends to each one. Every heartache is unique and touches the heart of God. It may be the result of similar situations, but each situation is 
distinctive in its own way. God knows your story. 

Tears are a language that God understands and we can be certain that we can find healing in His loving care.

Let’s Pray: Dear God, It comforts me just to know that You are collecting my tears and recording my sorrow. There is never a moment when You are not aware of the pain that I am feeling. Thank you for Your healing touch and Your peace in the middle of my storm. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Every Single Tear” by Scott Krippayne. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Angela Anderson was born in Brooklyn (New York) and raised in New Jersey.

She started writing at an early age and realized in elementary school that it was both a strength and a passion. She continued writing through high school, college, and into adulthood.

Angela is the author of a devotional book titled Just When I Thought I Knew God, and she is currently working on another devotional book that will be introduced in 2023.

This is Angela's third year as a devotional writer for Alexis A. Goring’s “God is Love” blog. In 2021, Angela was a winner of a devotional writing contest where the entry is featured in a book published by Proverbs 31 Ministries. The book is titled, Hope When Your Heart is Heavy. The following year, another one of Angela’s devotionals was published in another publication from Proverbs 31 Ministries, called Living Unbroken.

Angela has a passion for inspiring and impacting others through her writing and speaking.

Angela is a Mom Life Coach. She empowers mothers who want to identify their God-given purpose and live it fully while taking care of their family. Angela develops mothers into mompreneurs by providing them with the necessary tools to be successful and fulfilled in life. These tools equip them to see their value, understand their importance, and reclaim their identity.

Angela has been married to the love of her life, Duane Anderson for 18 years. Together they have two sons: Thomas (age 10) and Ryan (age 5). Angela’s favorite pastime is journaling.

She treasures spending quality time with her family.

Connect with Angela:
Facebook (personal):
Facebook (Author page):

Angela offers free consultations for mothers who want to pursue their dream while taking care of their family. Schedule here:

Friday, October 13, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: Harmony

How To Live In Harmony
A devotional by Sharon Musgrove

“I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.”—1 Corinthians 1:10 NLT

The Apostle Paul wrote the above words to a church that is mirrored in our western churches today. Paul was instrumental in the formation of the Corinthian congregation, spending over a year bringing together people who were used to living self-serving, indulgent, and sinful lives. In his absence, they reverted into disunity. Like them, today’s church needs Paul’s preaching on living in harmony, as we too unravel in disagreement.

Paul begins by telling the Corinthian church how grateful he is for them and how in Jesus Christ they’ve been gifted “eloquent words” and all knowledge (1 Corinthians 1:5 NLT). But then he points out that they are using their gifts against one another by quarreling (verse11) and arguing over who is following the better leader (verse 12). Somewhere along the line the members regressed from a “we mentality” to a “me mentality.”

Does the world know we are Christians by our love for one another? Or are we better known for being argumentative? Are we using scripture and our spiritual gifts against one another in a “me first” mindset? Have we stunted the growth of the church by our divisions? Christ implores us to live in harmony.

What does it mean to live “of one mind, united in thought and purpose”? Paul’s letter to the Corinthians informs us today in this “one mind” way. Chapter by chapter the Apostle lays out truths that are applicable now.

Let’s read some of those truths found in God’s Word (The Holy Bible):

  • Jesus is the foundation of our collective, everything we bring to the church must be supported and aligned with Him (1 Corinthians 3).
  • There’s no human hierarchy. Leaders are no better than followers. We’re all following Christ’s lead (1 Corinthians 4).
  • Behaviors that do not build up others, but promote self over others, destroy the community. Normalizing these behaviors creates a cancer with the Body (1 Corinthians 5).
  • The physical body is sacred and is to be treated with respect and mutuality in relationships. (1 Corinthians 6-7).
  • We are each in various stages of maturity and need to be both mindful and respectful of the maturation process of others, giving them the same freedom to grow as God gives us (1 Corinthians 8-9).
  • When we want more than what God deems good for us, we create idols that destroy. Everything we do is to seek not our own advantage, but God’s glory (1 Corinthians 9-10).
  • Neither men nor women are made independent of one another (1 Corinthians 11).
  • God has imparted spiritual gifts on His followers, unique to the individual, but for the purpose of common good (1 Corinthians 12).
  • Love is the core of everything, revealing itself in patience and kindness, lacking in envy, pride, arrogance, or rudeness. Love does not demand its own way, nor is it irritable or resentful. It is not happy with injustice, but thrills with truth. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (1 Corinthians 13).
  • Pursue with eagerness putting your spiritual gifts to use for the edification of the community, to increase it. And in doing so, be considerate of others in an orderly and appropriate way (1 Corinthians 14).
When Paul heard of the discord within the church, he quickly addressed them with the loving heart of a Godly overseer. He told them how valuable they were, how much they meant to him, and then redirected them with instructions in these basics of harmonious living. We need to follow suit with one another, because without unity we fail to live out Christ’s calling.

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, we submit to You. We ask your forgiveness for our self-serving, indulgent, and sinful lives. Create in us a desire to live in Christian unity and to prioritize others as Christ modeled. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “If We Are The Body” by Casting Crowns. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Sharon Musgrove is a self-proclaimed sociologist. The opportunities opened to her, over the years, have led her on a fascinating journey observing human behavior.

She has a diverse background in business, fitness, and health industries. This background led her to a unique position writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both programs primarily served women in the homeless community.

Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She’s been privileged to participate in Leadership camps for maturing young women. These annual camps have a mission of encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young Maasai girls.

Identifying personally with the brokenness of the women she’s served, Sharon sees all people as needing more encouragement regardless of cultural or socioeconomic status. Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.

In her leisure time, Sharon enjoys her garden, health food, travel, and a good story. She and her husband, Jeff, divide their time between Oregon and Hawaii. They have two grown children.

Currently, Sharon is encouraging others via her inspirational blog, but prefers sharing face to face. Additionally, she is studying Christian fiction writing.

Connect with Sharon:

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: A life lesson on your worth and wanting to belong

Establishing Your Worth
A devotional by Mirachelle Canada

“...walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God...”–Colossians 1:10 (ESV)

What does worth mean to you? What makes you feel worthy? By the world’s standards the worth of something or someone is established by is value, usefulness, or importance.

What does belonging mean to you? By the world’s standards belonging occurs when we feel welcome, respected, accepted, and treated fairly.

We want support and understanding and help when we need it. This establishes self-worth. The culture of belonging means an environment that supports these three elements: connection, contribution, and confidence.

As Christians, our sense of belonging is being a part of the body of Christ. Romans 12:4-5 (ESV) says, “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”

When we lose our sense of belonging we tend to lose our sense of worth too.

So, what does Satan do to keep us from belonging? He attacks our identity, purpose, and confidence.

Ask yourself this question:
Who am I? The first thing most people answer with is their name. Your name is part of your identity. Identity gives us connection. Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV) affirms our identity in Jesus Christ with these words: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Now ask yourself: What am I? Consider your best skill (writer, teacher, contractor, manager, etc.). Your best skill provides your contribution to the world. It gives you purpose. Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) invites our skillful work forth with “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Next ask: Whose am I? The first thing to come to your mind should be God. Knowing to whom you belong gives comfort and security. Our belonging to God gives us confidence.

Who you are, what you are, and to whom you belong is wrapped up in God’s gifts of worth and belonging. But remember, we all have an enemy, and he doesn’t like who you are, what you do, or to whom you belong. This is why 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV) warns us to, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

When Satan tries to destroy who you are, he’s trying to steal your identity. When he tries to destroy what you are, he’s trying to steal your purpose. When he tries to destroy whose you are, he’s trying to steal your confidence. He wants to make you feel unworthy. But all he can do is try. He can’t make you unworthy.

When you turn things over to and open up to God, He will give you His perspective. He’s always there to remind you that you are forever “worthy” of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for your salvation. He made you and called you by name. He has a purpose and plan for you, and nothing can destroy your security in His hands.

So, whenever you feel doubt or wavery in your identity, purpose, or confidence (because you will), look again to God for His ultimately perspective of your worth because when you see fully, you’ll discover it’s not really about your worth at all. It’s about His desire to spend eternity with you.

Finally, worthy one, do as Colossians 1:10-12 (ESV) commands, and “...walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Amen!

Let’s Pray: Dear God, thank You for establishing my worth in You and giving me a place in Your heart to belong for all eternity. In you I live, and move, and having my being. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Worthy” by Elevation Worship. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Mirachelle Canada is a writer, playwright, screenwriter, and theatre director/producer. She resides in Northern Virginia with her feline Shiloh and loves hiking through Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Forest.

She earned her M.F.A. in Script & Screenwriting from Regent University and is an alumnus of Act One: Hollywood Film & Television Writing Program. Mirachelle is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers’ National Chapter and Virginia Chapter where she serves as the treasurer. She hones her writing skills through The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild and Your Novel Blueprint.

Along with her devotional contributions and occasional novelettes, she is working on her first historical fiction novel set in pre-WWII London, about an American vocal prodigy caught up in espionage, secret musical codes, and double agents disguised as friends.

Connect with Mirachelle:

Monday, October 9, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: Hope for when you are suffering and bitter

For My Welfare
A devotional by Aubrey Taylor

“Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.”—Isaiah 38:17 ESV

When we look at the opening phrase of this verse, we wonder, How can bitterness possibly be for my good? Psalm 107 answers this question beautifully. It describes four groups of people whom God delivers out of times of suffering.

It is easy to think that we are suffering because we have sinned, and the enemy of our souls is more than happy to encourage us to think that way. Take comfort! In Psalm 107, the author describes both those who suffer because they have sinned, and those who suffer though they have not sinned.

Indeed, there are those who have rebelled against God and spurned His counsel (Psalm 107:11). He allows them to be burdened with grief and heavy labor until they cry out to Him in their misery. There are also those whose suffering is a natural consequence of their foolish and sinful choices (verse 17). Yet when they cry out to God, He sends His Word and delivers them out of their distress (verse 19). Like raw gold placed in a furnace, God turns up the heat in order that the impurities might rise to the surface and be skimmed off.

In Psalm 119:67 (ESV), King David says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.” David both sinned and suffered much, but he was fully confident of God’s love for him. He knew that suffering was not meant to destroy him, but rather make him more fit for God’s use!

It is in these dark times that God prepares us to meet the needs of others. If we have never been through the depths of sorrow ourselves, can we truly relate to those whose lives are steeped in suffering? Some of us are born with the gift of mercy; others must be trained in it.

I spent years of my life in deep depression. Unfortunately many people made me feel as though it were all in my head. Others tried to express their sympathy, or bring comfort in ways that, while well intentioned, only made me more keenly aware that no one understood.

When we have walked in someone else’s shoes, we find that we go from having sympathy to having empathy. It is the difference between saying, “I’m sorry about your circumstances,” and truly bearing one another’s burdens because we have borne those things ourselves.

If you are in a time of suffering, take comfort. God wants to use it for good, both for you and for others. Cry out to Him, and don’t be afraid to ask, “Why?”

Let’s Pray: Dear Jesus, I confess that I am in a time of suffering and cannot see Your purpose just yet. I trust Your loving care for me, and even though I may not feel it, I know deep down inside that You have my best interest at heart. So today I simply ask how You might want to strengthen my relationship with You, and make me more able to show Your love to others. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Why” by Crystal Lewis. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

The only child of a single parent, Aubrey Taylor filled her younger years by creating characters and writing stories. This ended around age sixteen when music, friends and part-time jobs began to fill her time. After that came college, work, marriage, and children. 

It wasn’t until the world was beginning to come out of the COVID pandemic that God led her back to her love for writing, coupled with a passion she’d always had for history. It was time to start a new adventure! Her current long-term project is Gott Mit Uns, a German-perspective 20th century historical fiction series.

Aubrey lives in Upstate New York with her husband and three children. She’s busy keeping the home, caring for her family, doing research for and writing her books.

Aubrey enjoys music and is involved with the worship ministry at her church as well as a German choral group. She also plays gigs occasionally with friends as a singer and acoustic guitarist. After all that, she finds time to sketch, craft, and hike.

She is a lover of Jesus Christ, The Holy Bible, history, German culture, tea, and cats.

Aubrey has a special heart for those who struggle with severe anxiety, depression and PTSD.

Connect with Aubrey:

Friday, October 6, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: Hate

Allowable Hate
A devotional by Chaplain Paul Anderson

“O you who love the Lord, hate evil!” 
–Psalm 97:10 ESV

One of the most declarative statements in the Bible is this phrase in Psalm 97:10.

There are two broad categories of evil. They are natural and moral. Natural evil is like the horror of a tornado, the destruction of floods and fires, or the unpredictability of the circle of life. Moral evil is the carnage of human depravity. Car jackings, murders, abuses of all kinds typify moral evil. 

Evil is to good what darkness is to light. One is devoid of and opposed to the other. Where light shines, darkness dissipates. The presence of godly good dissolves evil.

A few years ago, I worked as the Navy Chaplain at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). My job was to facilitate dignified funerals for sailors who were being buried at ANC. One day, having completed a ceremony and returning to the Administration building to meet another family, I was distracted by evil. A man and a woman were arguing, loudly. He punched her, hard, in the face. I saw her stumble backward. I was aghast, but I had another family to attend to.

I did not want to get involved because it could become protracted or potentially more violent. Yet, as the man moved toward the woman to assault her again, my feet and legs propelled me to intervene. Upon arrival, my stern presence forced the man to dissipate his anger in other ways until police arrived.

When we are reflexively repelled by evil, that is a good sign that the love of God resides in your soul. This declaration of the Psalmist is a clear test of personal devotion, commitment, focus and mission. Love God and hate evil! Evil is easily described, but how do you quantify loving God?

This verse is a simple and definitive test. The love of God that resides in you will serve as a siren of warning. It can be like a spiritual thermometer and thermostat that signals a need to raise or lower your spiritual discipline and discernment. This verse can be like a spiritual light switch that shines clarity into our own motivations.

It is a mandate that requires a person to start their day with a fierce internal audit. Do you love God? How can you know? Test your affinity to evil. How do you align yourself with evil? Do you embrace it, flirt with it or flee from it?

Loving God, fundamentally, is to live in a state of awareness and alignment with the revealed will of God. As the alignment matures within us, it becomes affinity. The affinity leads to expectation. In time, preference, relationship, and identity are formed. The ultimate goal is congruence. We fit His will and He shapes our souls.

As we reflexively eschew, abstain from, avoid, swear off and renounce the evils that we know and can identify, we become more like our redeemer. But remember, hate the evil not the person. Compassion toward the victims of evil is commanded. If you have been victimized, seek and expect justice, but leave the vengeance to God.

Let’s Pray: Dear God, may today hold for us some metrics to test our resolve to resist any evil that surfaces in our sphere of influence. Bless us to shine when evil darkens our space. Help us to stand up and speak out against immorality and depravity. Use us to help somebody who may be overwhelmed through no fault of their own. Let us be your hands, heart, legs, feet and voice to those in need. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Chaplain Paul Anderson served for 20 years as a U.S. Navy Chaplain. Over 26 years of active duty, he was promoted through the ranks from Seaman Apprentice (E2) to his final rank as Commander (O5) in the Chaplain’s Corps.

Prior to his Naval career, Chaplain Anderson pastored in the Allegheny East and Potomac Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists. His undergraduate preparation for ministry was completed at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md.

He has subsequently earned four graduate degrees: a Master of Divinity from Andrews University in Michigan, a Master of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland and a Masters of Sacred Theology in Religion and Culture from Boston University. His Doctor of Ministry degree was conferred by Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Chaplain Anderson also completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He also holds certifications in Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Civil Mediation, Alternative Workplace Dispute Resolution, Temperament Analysis, Marriage Enrichment, Workforce Diversity, and is a certified Life Coach.

You may connect with Chaplain Anderson via email at this address,

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Plan

His Plan, Not Mine
A devotional by Casey Wayne

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

A few years ago I decided to start gardening as a new hobby.

It was meant to be something to bring me peace and a sense of accomplishment. I was excited to have something new to try and I was determined to do the research to make it a successful endeavor. To my surprise, it became a more frustrating learning experience than I expected. It quickly started to feel like every time I resolved one potential issue then something else arose. Pests, water management, pruning, etc. It started to leave my head spinning as I tried to control every detail.

By season two and three I started to realize the best thing I could do was create the best conditions I could but let go of the ultimate outcome. I couldn’t control every factor and would exhaust myself trying. To top it off, in the midst of trying to control it all I certainly wasn’t able to enjoy the parts of the garden that was successfully growing.

Even this year, I had a vision and plan for how it would go. Vegetables and wildflowers alongside fruiting bushes was my goal. My hope. My plan. In the end, it turned out different. Pests, little rain, and distractions of life changed the plan. Pivots were made and I began focusing more on the butterfly garden with its beautiful daily visitors. I had a plan, but have learned to not hold so tightly to it that I miss the beauty when plans change.

Are you like me and sometimes hold too tightly to your plans in life?

I have a tendency to be so focused on my vision and plan for my life that I become oblivious to what God has for me. Over the years, the Holy Spirit has taught me to hold my plans loosely. To prioritize giving God the space to pivot my steps, to guide my heart, and provide wisdom for my life. James 3:17 (ESV) tells us, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

There is peace and hope for the future, but we have to be willing to release our control over it and intentionally place it in the hands of our Lord and Savior.

I've learned how important it is to trust God’s faithfulness and guidance. Each day there is a choice to live in faith, trusting God’s wisdom for our lives, or to live based on the world’s wisdom. Scripture reminds us to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and not to rely on our own thoughts or feelings (Proverbs 3:5). Our sinful nature draws us into Satan’s lie that having more control will bring us more peace in our life. This is your reminder of God’s truth that a life surrendered to Father’s will brings life and an indescribable peace even in the middle of life’s storms (Philippians 4:7).

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for your faithfulness yesterday, today, and all of my tomorrows. As I release my plans and my future to You, give me peace, wisdom and discernment to guide my daily steps. I pray for the strength to wake up each morning and choose to place my hope and trust in my Lord and Savior (Jesus Christ).

In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Your Way Yahweh” Jeremy and Adrienne Camp. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Casey Wayne is a wife and mother of two children. 

She enjoys time with her family doing simple things like movie nights and cooking together.

As a devotional writer, Casey strives to share her story with relatable honesty, showing how God is faithful throughout the big and small moments of life.

She has a heart for encouraging the faith walk of other moms, praying they gain a deeper connection with our Heavenly Father.

Her family lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.

Connect with Casey:

Monday, October 2, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: When Jesus Christ became human like you and me

The Staggering Miracle of ‘Word Became Flesh’
A devotional by Jessica Brodie

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14 (NIV)

Has a phrase ever settled upon your heart because it expressed the most beautiful, poignant, tender, and inexplicable concept in just a few poetic words?

For me, that phrase is “Word became flesh.”

We find it in the Gospel of John 1:14. In the start of this chapter, John (the writer) is summarizing the entirety of the Trinity and all God did for this world and for His people. Sometimes it just makes me want to cry when I really, truly think about it.

Take a look if you will at the start of this beautiful book in the Bible. As John explains, in the beginning was the Word. The Word was God, everything! And one day, God decided His people needed something far more personal in order to understand His message. So a part of Him—His Son, Jesus Christ, part of the Word, the Trinity, part of everything that is creation and eternity—was somehow miraculously born to human flesh (John 1:1-14).

Flesh. Think about that word! Skin! Blood, muscles, saliva, hormones, and angst and joy and struggle. All the things about us as we are, walking around in these bodies, that’s what God did.

Somehow His Holy Spirit impregnated a blessed young woman named Mary. The child Jesus, part God and part human, was born into humble circumstances. He spent part of his childhood as an immigrant in Egypt because the king in Israel wanted to kill all young boys his age because they were perceived as a threat to the throne. His family tried to do what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and they raised him well, steeped in all the traditions of holy, righteous Jewish culture.

And when Jesus was a man, upon his baptism, we’re told the Holy Spirit settled upon him “as a dove” (John 1:32).

We don’t know exactly what this means. It likely doesn’t mean a literal, actual dove flew down from Heaven and sat upon Jesus’s shoulders. The phrase used is “as a” dove, meaning “much like” or “similar to.” In Matthew 3:16 (NIV), the phrase is, “He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.” A dove had great biblical significance, both a symbol and a tool signifying peace, comfort, and the fulfillment of promises. The word choice here clearly meant something special.

Then, filled with the Spirit, Jesus spent the rest of his life teaching the Gospel, caring for others, healing and driving out demons, raising some from the dead, and ultimately went it was revealed he claimed to be the son of God, the religious leaders decided that was too much—blasphemy—and they orchestrated his execution. Of course the end of the story is the best part, for as songs proclaim, death could not hold him and the grave could not keep him, and he resurrected from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of God, the Father. And he will come again one day to judge the living and the dead and bring about God’s glory, forever and ever.

Just thinking about that concept, “Word became flesh,” is incredibly personal to me. Right now I’m looking down at my own body as I write this. I’m just a person, one soul in a sea of infinite others. I’ve felt God’s hand upon my heart my whole life. I was raised to know and to love God, and while I am tremendously imperfect in so many ways, as we all are, I strive to model my Lord in my life. I read His Word (The Holy Bible) and pray. I do what I can to keep the Holy Spirit burning fiercely in my core. I try to represent the love of God in the world. That’s what we all do, we who believe and follow Jesus.

But looking down at my body now—the bones in my hand, the skin on my calf, the freckle on my arm, the steady thrum of heartbeat I feel and see pulsing at my wrist—it’s staggering to think that God, our Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, walked around the Earth, just like me. Became flesh, flesh like me.

And He died, but death was not the end.

Sometimes all the stories of God and all we read in the Bible and sing about on the radio and in church, and pray about and walk through life knowing … sometimes it can seem impersonal, like these are all mere facts. We proclaim them, and they are wonderful and magnificent facts, and they apply to us all.

But then we wake up in the morning, maybe a little sore or tired from all we’re doing in life, and the intimate and personal nature of what God did seems far away. Sometimes God himself seems far away. And while we’re told He’s never far away, that God is bigger than our feelings, still as a human being it’s difficult, because we often confuse our feelings with the truth.

But here’s the truth: God became flesh, just like you and me. He did this because He loves us and because He wanted to make a path to Heaven for those who chose Him. He knew we couldn’t do it on our own and we needed help, and so He did what He needed to do.

It’s personal, my friends. We have a personal, living Jesus, and a personal, living Holy Spirit alive in us right this moment. We are all connected, powerfully and mightily. This is God at work in the world.

Think on this a minute. Let this sink in. Marvel at this.

Consider the words of Psalm 46:10 where God says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Be still with me now in the knowledge and the gift of what God did, and what He’s still doing now. Praise Him, praise Him, for He is so good. And we are so blessed.

Let’s Pray: Lord, thank You for all You do and for how fiercely You love us. Thank You for the precious gift of Your Son. The fact that Jesus understands intimately what it means to have flesh and blood and all the things of humanity makes His sacrifice and His Way so much more personal. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Forever” by Kari Jobe. Listen to it here.

Author Bio: 

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden.

She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at

She has a weekly YouTube devotional and podcast. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and more. She’s also produced a free eBook, A God-Centered Life: 10 Faith-Based Practices When You’re Feeling Anxious, Grumpy, or Stressed.

Jessica has released an Advent devotional for those seeking true closeness with God. Find it at