No Trick to It - A Family Devotional


You can’t expect to magically pull right choices out of thin air. Why is daily prayer and Bible reading important to making good choices?


Bible Reading of the Day: Read Jude 20-21, 24-25.

Verse of the Day: “But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20).

“Why do I have to be grounded?” Chip asked his mom.

Mom smiled patiently. “Chip, honey, you got in trouble at school. You know what the consequences are when you make a wrong choice like that.”

“I’m sorry,” he said. He hung his head. “I know you want me to make right choices, but I just can’t. I try, I really do, but I just can’t.”

Later, Chip went to play video games in the basement. After a while, Dad came down and pulled out an old trunk from the basement closet. Chip recognized the trunk; it housed Dad’s collection of magic tricks. His dad was a gospel magician who performed “magic with a message.”

“Dad,” Chip said, “you’ve promised me for a long time that someday you would show me how you do some of your tricks, so maybe I can start doing gospel magic too. Can you show me some tricks now? Please?”

Dad smiled as he hung several colorful silk handkerchiefs on the lid of the trunk. “First, you need to understand that there’s really no ‘magic’ to a ‘magic trick.’”

“There isn’t?” Chip asked.

“Nope,” Dad answered. He pulled a collapsible silk hat from the trunk. “I could never take a rabbit out of this hat,” he said, producing a stuffed rabbit from the trunk, “unless I first put the rabbit in the hat.”

“But you show the empty hat before you pull the rabbit out!” Chip protested.

Dad smiled. “Right. But there’s a little pocket inside the hat,” he said, turning it so Chip could look inside.

Chip’s face lit up as he inspected the hat. “Oh,” he said, “It’s a special hat!”

“Right,” Dad said. “You know, Son, making right choices works pretty much the same way. You can’t expect to pull right choices out of thin air, like magic. You have to ‘put the rabbit in the hat,’ so to speak.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Chip asked.

“Well, it means you have to do the preparation first, by praying and worshiping and reading your Bible every day. If you build your faith by putting those things into your life, God will help ‘pull’ right choices out of your life!”

Chip nodded. “You’re right, Dad. Will you help me?”

“You bet I will.”

TO DISCUSS: Do you ever try to pull right choices “out of thin air, like magic”? Why or why not? Why is daily prayer and Bible reading important?

TO PRAY: “Lord, we know that mature faith doesn’t come by magic. Help us to be faithful in praying and reading your Word.”

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