Devotions and Inspiration

Devotions, Inspirational and Informative articles written by our Authors, Associates and Staff.

  • Triumphing Over Feelings of Inferiority

    Throughout our lives, and regardless of age, we might grapple with feelings of inferiority.

    We may even convince ourselves that we are less valuable, or of lessor importance, than others. This can be caused by unkind remarks from peers, unhealthy competitive climates, physical differences, difficulties in our relationships, and many other things.

    Feelings of inferiority can significantly influence our personalities and the way we respond to life’s challenges. As Christians, though, it’s essential to remember who we are in Christ Jesus so that these feelings of doubt don’t control us or limit our potential.

    When overwhelmed by such feelings, it helps immensely to meditate on Scripture.

    "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
    Ephesians 2:10.

    You are God’s beloved creation, one of his many masterpieces, uniquely designed to fulfill His divine purpose in your own unique fashion. And to do this, you are called to trust in His affirming presence and not walk with feelings of mistrust or inability.

    Inferiority triggers a myriad of negative consequences. It might instill a need for perfectionism, constantly driving us to unsustainable standards, leading to procrastination when we find that we ‘can’t do’ something on our own. Or it could lead to belittling the achievements of others, in attempting to accommodate our own lack of self-esteem, instead of appreciating a job well done.

    Healing from these overwhelming feelings requires focusing our perception through the lens of God’s love.

    You are loved and valued by God – so much so that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for your sins. This establishes your righteousness in Christ, nullifying any supposed sense of being ‘inferior.’

    So whenever doubtful – or maybe comparing yourself to others – consider God’s passion concerning you when He says things like:

    “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
    John 14:21
    “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”
    John 15:9
    “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me."
    John 17:23

    It’s clear from these verses that God loves us deeply. So as His children, and “co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17), we are cherished by our Heavenly Father.

    But He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, not by our own standards of what makes perfection. The fulfilling excellence that God asks of us is a perfection of ‘love.’ And that we can achieve through Jesus.

    On our own, we ‘mess up’ and God knows that. But our assurance lies in knowing that He forgives us and that we can always start again (1 John 2:1). God’s expectations for us are really pretty simple. He wants us to trust Him, follow Him, obey Him, and love one another in the way that He loves us (John 13:34).

    Still uncertain, about your worth and how God feels about you?

    Try saying this prayer:

    “Father, Thank You for making me. I am not inferior. Because You, the Master Craftsman and Creator of the universe, do not make mistakes. Please help me ward off feelings of inferiority; instead, help me to fixate on Your love for me. Let me learn to continually trust and follow You. For in You, I find my true worth and purpose. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.”

    And try to remind yourself daily that you are both ‘worthy’ and ‘cherished’ in God’s eyes. After all, you are His divine handiwork, created by Him intentionally, with loveand He doesn’t make mistakes.

    Questions to Ponder:

    • How might feelings of inferiority influence your life or relationships?

    • How can understanding and believing in God’s love help you overcome any feelings of inferiority that might crop up from time to time?

    • What Scripture might you keep close to your heart in order to reaffirm your worth as a loved child of God?

    Related Content:

    1. ‘What about where the Bible says “Be perfect … as your heavenly Father is perfect”?’
    2. Related post on this blog: Putting on the Full Armor of God (and why we need to)
    3. Video Sermon, by Charles Stanley – When We Feel Inferior
  • The Unfathomable Depths of God’s Grace

    The incarnate Jesus standing with arms open between the heavenly hosts and mankind.

    In the vast tapestry of human existence, there exists a concept that transcends our understanding and defies our attempts to simplify or reduce its complexity. It is a concept that encompasses both divine love and mercy, offering redemption to even the most wayward souls. This concept is none other than God’s grace – an overflowing favor that cannot be earned but is freely given to mankind.

    A Glimpse into Divine Mercy

    “Friend, why have you come?” These were the words spoken by Jesus to Judas Iscariot, a man whose actions would lead to his own downfall. Yet in this moment, we witness the grace of God on display – an opportunity for repentance offered even in the face of betrayal. For it is written, “God takes no delight in the death of the wicked.” (Ezekiel 33:11) This biblical truth reminds us that even in their final moments, those who call upon Him will find forgiveness.

    Understanding Perfect Holiness

    To truly appreciate grace, we must first comprehend its foundation – the perfect holiness of our Father. When Adam and Eve chose disobedience over obedience, their connection with God was severed. Since then, every generation has inherited this sinful nature which inclines us towards unrighteousness. Thus arises the need for payment; sin demands death as its penalty (Romans 6:23). But fear not! Our just and merciful God extends His grace through His Son.

    Drawing Upon Abundant Grace

    The overflow of divine favor known as grace remains ever available for us to draw upon when needed most. In times of tribulations and distresses where patience wavers (2 Corinthians 6:4), do not fail to rely on God’s boundless grace bestowed upon you through prayer. Let prayer be more than a preparatory act; it is the practice of drawing on God’s grace. Do not delay, for now is the time to seek His help and experience the miraculous power of His grace.

    Poverty Triumphant

    In our pursuit of worldly treasures, we often overlook the true richness found in poverty triumphant – possessing all things while having nothing (2 Corinthians 6:10). Pour yourself out without reserve, giving your best and trusting that God will provide abundantly. Even when we mess up and squander what He has given us, God’s love remains steadfast. In those moments where we say “but God,” blessings follow as He intervenes on our behalf.

    Conclusion:

    As children of God, let us embrace the unfathomable depths of His grace. It is not based solely on our works or merit but flows freely from a loving Father who stoops down to make us great. Though its full understanding may elude us, rest assured that this divine favor will never waver or diminish. By His grace alone have we been saved from every imaginable mistake or transgression.

    Reference List and Further Study:

    1) Ezekiel 33:11 – “Say to them: ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord,

    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked,

    but rather that they turn from their ways and live.

    Turn! Turn from your evil ways!

    Why will you die, people of Israel?'”

    2) Luke 23:42-43 (NKJV) – Then he said to Jesus,

    “Lord remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

    And Jesus said to him,

    “Assuredly I say to you today,

    you will be with Me in Paradise.”

    3) Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death,

    but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    4) Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us,

    in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    5) Genesis 50:20 – “But as for you, you meant evil against me;

    but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about

    as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

    6) Psalm 73:26 – My flesh and my heart may fail,

    but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

    7) 1 Corinthians 15:10 – But by the grace of God I am what I am,

    and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all,

    yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

  • Putting on the Full Armor of God (and why we need to)

    As believers in Christ, we are engaged in a spiritual battle

    One that requires us to be equipped with the full armor of God. Just as a soldier prepares for warfare with physical armor, we are called to put on spiritual armor to stand strong against the schemes of the enemy. In this article, we will explore the significance of spiritual armor and delve into each component:

      • The Belt of Truth
      • The Breastplate of Righteousness
      • The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace
      • The Shield of Faith
      • The Helmet of Salvation
      • The Sword of the Spirit.

    By understanding and utilizing this armor, we can confidently face the challenges and temptations that come our way, knowing that we are protected and empowered by the strength and authority of our Heavenly Father.

    The Importance of Spiritual Armor

    1.1 Recognizing the Battle

    In our journey through life, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget that we are engaged in spiritual warfare. The enemy is not always visible, but make no mistake-

    Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8b BSB

    By recognizing the battle, we can better understand the importance of equipping ourselves with the need for Spiritual Protection. Just as we wouldn’t step into a war-zone without Kevlar, we can’t expect to navigate the spiritual realm without first donning some serious protection.

    1.2 Knowing Your Enemy

    If we fail to gear-up, the devil and his demons will try even harder to steal our joy, distort our perception of truth, and sow seeds of doubt within our minds. That’s why it’s crucial for us to put on the Full Armor of God – to ensure we’re adequately protected against such attacks.

    Understanding the Components of the Armor

    2.1 The Belt of Truth: Standing Firm in God’s Word

    The belt of truth is like a sturdy foundation that holds everything together. It reminds us to stand firm in God’s Word, which is the ultimate source of truth. By knowing and embracing the truth, we can resist the lies of the enemy and remain grounded in our faith.

    2.2 The Breastplate of Righteousness: Guarding Our Hearts and Emotions

    Just as a breastplate protects vital organs, the breastplate of righteousness guards our hearts and emotions. It reminds us to live in righteousness and integrity, protecting us from the attacks that aim to corrupt our character. By wearing this armor, we can defend ourselves against negativity and temptation.

    2.3 The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace: Walking in God’s Will

    The shoes of the gospel of peace equip us for the journey ahead. They remind us to walk in peace and share the good news wherever we go. By embracing God’s will and spreading His love, we not only protect ourselves but also impact the lives of those around us.

    2.4 The Shield of Faith: Defending Against Spiritual Attacks

    In a world full of doubt and uncertainty, the shield of faith is vital for our protection. It defends us against the fiery arrows of the enemy, which come in the form of fear, doubt, and discouragement. With faith as our shield, we can confidently face any spiritual attack that comes our way.

    2.5 The Helmet of Salvation: Protecting Our Thoughts and Beliefs

    Just as a helmet protects our head, the helmet of salvation safeguards our thoughts and beliefs. It reminds us of our identity in Christ and the salvation we have received. By putting on this helmet, we can block out the lies and negative influences that try to infiltrate our minds.

    2.6 The Sword of the Spirit: The Power of God’s Word

    The sword of the Spirit is our offensive weapon. It is the power of God’s Word, which we can use to combat the lies of the enemy. By studying and meditating on Scripture, we gain wisdom, find encouragement, and effectively wield the sword to overcome any spiritual battle we face.

    Remember, putting on the full armor of God is not a one-time event but a daily practice. By staying equipped and aware of the spiritual battle, we can navigate life with confidence and stand firm against anything that comes our way. That is, so long as we make sure we’re equipped. So that we can march onward in the strength of the Lord!

    In conclusion:

    The full armor of God is not merely a metaphorical concept, but a practical and essential parts in our spiritual journey. By recognizing the battle we face, understanding the pieces of the armor, and intentionally putting them on, we can navigate through life with confidence and victory. Let us not underestimate the power of spiritual protection and the significance of standing firm in God’s truth. As we continue to grow in our faith and walk in obedience, may we always remember to clothe ourselves with the ‘full armor’ that God has provided for us. Then we can know – without doubt – that we are equipped to overcome every obstacle and live victoriously in Him.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Why is spiritual armor important?

    Spiritual armor is important because as believers, we are engaged in a spiritual battle against the forces of darkness. Without proper protection, we can become vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks and schemes. The armor equips us to withstand and overcome these challenges, ensuring that we can live a life of victory in Christ.

    2. How do I put on the full armor of God?

    Putting on the full armor of God involves intentional and daily practice. It begins with knowing and understanding each component, such as truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, and God’s Word. Then, we must actively apply these principles to our lives through prayer, studying the Scriptures, walking in obedience, and relying on the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

    3. Can I pick and choose which pieces of the armor to use?

    It is essential to put on the ‘whole’ armor of God rather than selectively choosing specific pieces. Each component of the armor works together to provide comprehensive protection against the enemy’s attacks. Neglecting any part of the armor leaves us vulnerable in those areas, so it is crucial to embrace and utilize all pieces.

    4. How does the armor of God help me in my daily life?

    The armor of God serves as a spiritual defense and empowers us to face the challenges and temptations of daily living. It helps us stand firm in our faith, guard our hearts and minds, walk in God’s will, defend against spiritual attacks, protect our thoughts and beliefs, and wield the power of God’s Word. By wearing the armor, we can experience God’s strength, guidance, and victory in every aspect of our lives.

    5. Where can I find out more about putting on the Full Armor of God?

    Read your Bible! The Apostle Paul’s teaching about the Full Armor of God is in his letter to his friends and fellow believers in the city of Ephesus. Start in Ephesians 6:10 of your Bible or you can read about it here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%206%3A10-18&version=NLT