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Devotions from the Beach: 100 Devotions
by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Learn More | Meet Thomas Nelson Publishers
BREAKFAST ON THE BEACH
“Come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said.
- John 21:12
Following Jesus’ death, several disciples got up early, took their fishing nets, tossed the nets in the water, and . . . nothing. Not a bite. Until a stranger onshore suggested they try fishing on the other side of the boat. Suddenly their nets were bulging, and they knew who had called to them. Jesus invited them to bring over some of their catch, then said, “Come and have some breakfast!”
It all seems so . . . normal! We create so much unnecessary hoopla. We plan, we implement, and we work hard, then we get frustrated when we get no results. Desperate and empty, we finally look to Jesus as a last resort—because we don’t recognize who He is. And sometimes all He’s asking is that we stop striving and come join Him, take part in what He’s prepared and created. The rest will come.
So declutter your mind of plans, schedules, and to-do lists. Instead, look out upon the waves, wiggle your toes in the sand, absorb the sights, smells, and sounds, and enjoy the moment for what it is. Jesus’ invitation is for you today: “Come.” For now, put aside your busyness and just be present with Him.
Lord Jesus, I just want to be still and commune with You in gratitude and love.
Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.
- 1 Corinthians 16:13
Some driftwood—formed when trees or other large chunks of wood are swept away by the sea—never returns to shore. The waterlogged wood is often consumed by tiny organisms called talitrids and gribbles. Doesn’t this sound like what happens when we are in a quandary of doubt? When we drift away from our faith, we may experience such turmoil that we feel as if we’re being eaten from the inside out. What better way for the enemy to render us useless than to have us doubt our beliefs?
We may question if we were ever faithful. We might wonder if this Christian life is really worth it. Maybe God, or one of His people, let us down and we’re angry. Or we drift because we’re distracted by our new promotion, relationship, or hobby—and we neglect our faith.
Whatever your issue, don’t drift. Stay faithful—stand firm. If you’re hurting, stay hopeful. Ask God to shed light, provide clarity. If you’re experiencing a season of blessings, don’t forget the Provider. Make your way back to shore and into His loving arms. When you do, having been purified and renewed, your “knots” smoothed, you’ll find your faith stronger than ever.
Lord, draw me closer to You. Refresh my faith so I can face anything with confidence.
TREASURES BENEATH THE SAND
“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
- Luke 12:34
Metal detecting is a curious hobby often on display at the beach. Some comb the beaches from the first peek of daylight to sunset, intent on discovering valuable treasure. It may be jewelry, old coins, or relics from sea battles or pirate ships.
Certainly Jesus taught about treasures in His parables: the lost coin (Luke 15:8–10), the treasure in the field (Matthew 13:44), and the pearl (vv. 45–46). Through these stories He is often asking if we value what God values. Do we use our resources accordingly? Are we passionate about searching for earthly rewards or heavenly ones? What are we willing to sacrifice to obtain eternal honors?
We carry a longing in our hearts that possessions cannot fulfill. Money and things are fun—they really are—but they cannot sustain our spirits. Still, we attempt to satisfy ourselves with things that are substandard and counterfeit while our spirits yearn for something much more mysterious and otherworldly.
Seeking God and His truths can be a balm to a scorched soul, bring peace to a troubled heart, and offer joy to a frazzled spirit. Let others pile up material possessions; guide your detector toward the less tangible but unspeakably more valuable prizes of spiritual comfort and wisdom.
Lord, give me a seeker’s heart to discover Your truths, and I will safeguard them as treasures in my heart.
If we admit our sins. . . . He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing.
- 1 John 1:9 MSG
Remember when, as a kid, you ran back from the beach, ravenous after a day of play? Perhaps you were headed to the car, a beach-house kitchen, or a hotel room. As you raced toward a meal, your mother called out to you, “Rinse off before you come in!”
Outdoor showers and spigots are commonplace at the beach, yet no matter how hard we try, we can never get truly clean using them. Sure, we can get a lot of sand off, but we still wind up tracking in countless gritty grains.
Whenever we meet with the Lord, whether we realize it or not, we are ravenous. Yet He does not demand that we wash off the sin we inevitably track in before we partake of time with Him. Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t require the same degree of cleanliness our mothers did. And even if He did, no matter how hard or how long we tried, we would still be wearing our sin as we approached Him.
When Jesus washes us clean with His grace and forgiveness, He fills our spirits with His. From that moment on, we are clean and satisfied, but we will need to be cleansed another time. Whenever we run to Him, He receives and rinses us, reminding us that He has taken care of it all.
Lord Jesus, whenever I come to You wearing my sin, please wash me clean.
THE STRENGTH OF SEA OATS
“Take my yoke upon you. . . . For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
- Matthew 11:29–30
Uniola paniculata—sounds like a defense weapon, doesn’t it? And it is. But you know it better as lovely, graceful, waving-in-the-wind sea oats.
Picking sea oats is against the law in some states. Why is this grass so important? Deep beneath the surface, the root system of these willowy grasses is strong and complex—the kind of strength the sand and soil need to hold them in place during a hurricane, a tropical storm, and other extreme weather conditions. Other benefits: this grass catches sand and forms dunes; by all accounts, it is immune to pests; and once established, it is very low-maintenance. It can withstand drought, and blowing sand actually stimulates its growth. And for us, as we walk to the shore, the sea oats also indicate that we’re almost to the sea.
When Jesus takes hold of our hearts, there is a similar effect. This gentle Friend builds a root system that can withstand storms and extreme weather conditions—and many of these situations actually stimulate our spiritual growth. Jesus protects and builds us, He is immune to evil, and His “yoke is easy” and His “burden . . . is light.” And as we journey on, He tenderly reminds us that we’re almost there.
Lord, the sea oats illustrate how perfectly You crafted this world and my spiritual life. I praise You for Your creation.
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