Monday, August 31, 2009

Having Trouble Sleeping?

A single mom and her little girl were getting ready for bed. The daughter, who was afraid to sleep alone, said, "Mommy, I can't sleep because I'm afraid. Does God ever sleep?"
"No, God never goes to sleep," she replied. The Bible says, "He who protects Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." (Ps. 121:4)
The daughter relaxed and said, "Well, as long as God is awake, I can go to sleep. There's no need for both of us to stay up!"

Do you have trouble sleeping? God wants to deliver us from our "sleep fears." He says, "When you lie down, you will not be afraid. When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet" (Prov. 3:24).
If your mind races with stressful thoughts, fix your full attention on the Lord. "The steadfast of mind Thou will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee" (Isa. 26:3).

If you are afraid someone might break into your house, ask God to protect you and then go to sleep. "In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for Thou alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety" (Ps. 4:8). When someone asked Alexander the Great how he could sleep so soundly in the midst of danger, he replied, "My trusted lieutenant is watching over me." If he could sleep in peace because a man was protecting him, shouldn't we trust our all-powerful God to protect us?
Keep looking up!
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Previous devotionals can be found at in the archive.

Monday, August 24, 2009

American Idols

Do you have an American idol? It won't look like those carved statues in Africa. Those are African idols. American idols are a lot more attractive than that and much harder to recognize. In fact, most Americans will deny that what they are worshipping is an idol.

An idol is anything we love more than God. And what might that be? Let's see . . . how about money? Yeah, that might be one. Do you think all those people in Las Vegas throwing dice would admit that? Or the people who buy lottery tickets?

What about football? When 80,000 people pay outrageous ticket prices and scream their heads off for their team to win, could that be considered worshipping an idol? I love to watch college football, but at one time it was one of my idols. Any hobby can easily become an idol if we let it control us. I used to get extremely depressed whenever my team lost. Then it dawned on me that it wasn't God controlling my emotions, but my idol. Clothes, music, cars, houses, movie stars, and rock stars can also be false gods that we worship.

God said, "You shall not make for yourself an idol . . . you shall not worship them or serve them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God" (Ex. 20:4-5). Whatever you worship, you will serve. Take a look at what you serve (what gets your money, time, and interest) and you will find what you worship. I hope that it's the Lord.
Keep looking up!
Previous devotionals can be found at in the archive.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dead Man Found 2 Years Later

The body of a man reported missing lay undiscovered for 2 years because police searched the wrong property. The irony was he was at home the whole time. When Walter Bellman passed away in his home in England in January 1998, a neighbor reported that he had not seen Bellman for 5 days. "We went in and searched the flat, but found nothing," said a Sussex police officer, who didn't realize they had looked in the wrong place. Two years later in January 2000, Bellman's nephew contacted police because he hadn't received a Christmas card from him in 2 years. This time the police searched the correct address and discovered his remains.

How is it possible that a person wasn't missed by anyone for two years? It was because Mr. Bellman was a loner. He chose to cut himself off from fellowship, so he had no friends. I'm sure he had his reasons. Maybe someone hurt his feelings, so he withdrew from everyone to protect himself. Perhaps he viewed relationships as a waste of his time. Whatever the reason, when he died, nobody noticed.

Loneliness can be deadly. Peter Lord has said, "The poison of non-fellowship kills so slowly you don't realize it's happening." God has created us so that we need each other. "Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another" (Heb. 10:24-25).

If you're lonely, you can solve the problem. Dale Carnegie said, "You can make more friends in 2 months by becoming interested in other people than you can in 2 years of trying to get other people interested in you." Pick up the phone and call someone. Get involved in a small group Bible study. Go help your neighbor. Do it today.
Keep looking up!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Turtle on the Fence Post

The late Alex Haley, who wrote Roots, had a unique picture on his office wall of a turtle sitting on top of a fence post. Whenever someone asked about it, Haley would say, "If you see a turtle on a fence post, you know that he had some help. Any time I start thinking, 'Wow, isn't this marvelous what I've done?' I look at that picture and remember how this turtle, me, got up on that post." (Leadership as cited in The Best of In Other Words, 1996, 135).

A turtle can't get on top of a fence post unless a hand picks it up and places it there. Likewise, we can't receive a promotion without the hand of God putting us there. He may even place us in a lower position to teach us some valuable lessons. "For not from the east, nor the west, nor from the desert comes exaltation; but God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another" (Ps. 75:6-7).

That means we shouldn't be envious of those who have received a promotion, or be the least bit upset if we've been passed over for one. Advancing to a higher position is ultimately in God's hands.
Keep looking up!
Feel free to forward this email to your friends.
Previous devotionals can be found at in the archive.