Major

DEVOTIONAL

SYBIL SMITH

2018 Smith_S.jpg
MAJOR SYBIL SMITH

I grew up in Reno Nevada.  Went to CFOT (College For Officer Training) in 1993-1995 was commissioned to Seattle White Center as Assistant Corps Officer for 1 year- then went back to CFOT with my now husband Tim from 1997-1999 being commissioned again and appointed together Corps Officers to Greeley, Colorado for 5 years.  From there we went to Anchorage Alaska with Tim as DYS and me as DCCM/DOAM & Divisional Statistician for 3 years.  From there we went as Corps Officers to Eureka, CA for 5 years.  Then back to Anchorage Alaska as Corps Officers for 4 years.  After that we came as Corps Officers to Phoenix Citadel in Arizona for 5+ years.

And now since January 2022, we are currently Divisional Secretary for Metro Phoenix and I also get the privilege of being the Retired Officer Liaison.

Praise the Lord for all those years of not just loving people and seeing them grow in the Lord, but also being blessed by those same people and growing myself because of each of them in my life.  These devotionals started after the pandemic hit, to find a way to encourage our soldiers from a distance, keeping us connected in the Lord.  I’ve just kept doing them ever since then.  I figure I’ll continue as long as the Lord gives me devotional thoughts to share.  I don’t claim to be anything other than a Christian who loves Jesus and loves the whosoever!  I’m not perfect and I’m pretty sure no one else is other than our Lord Jesus Christ.  So I share hoping that the Lord uses the mini-devotionals to help you along in your walk as He has helped me by speaking these same words to me first.

We have 4 children. Three of which are in Flagstaff; one graduated and teaching 4th-5th grade, and two still in college and all three attending the Flagstaff Corps and then our 4th child Ann who is still at home working on 5th grade.

 

I love to paint, draw, sing out loud, drink coffee with good, flavored creamer and talk to people… a lot. 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.”

John 1:1 

Sunrise-Cross-RISEN.png

His Sacrifice Makes Us Worthy

1PETER 2:24

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

 

Have you watched the “Passion” movie? Watching it was the first time I had ever cried for the brutal sacrifice that my Lord endured for me. The beatings, the insults, the journey carrying His cross and His final words, “It is finished.” All for me.. and you. 

 

For all humanity, God came in human form, to suffer and die, so that we could have a way to be forgiven once and for all.  PRAISE GOD!

 

No man, woman, or child should continue to suffer in guilt or shame because of feeling unworthy to be healed or freed from it! To be honest, NO ONE deserves anything good. 

 

It’s only because of the journey Jesus went through, starting in Gethsemane and on to Golgotha, that we were made worthy. His agony and ultimate crucifixion took the place of the consequences of our sins. We only have to believe and trust that it was for us that He suffered and died. 

 

He didn’t stay that way though! We know he rose from the dead the third day and ascended into Heaven so that He could bring us the promised Holy Spirit. A way for God to live and move among His people. Asking forgiveness from sins (when truly sorry and repentant) frees us from guilt and shame. We are free, not because of anything more than God’s amazing love for mankind, through the sacrifice of His Son. His death and resurrection brings us life! A chance to be new, to be changed, to be a light for others.

 

Not seeing your worth, even with the most grievous sins, discounts what the Lord went through to bring you the opportunity to be free and forgiven.  

 

Every person, no matter what they have done, can find forgiveness, freedom from guilt and shame, new life and eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. It’s a gift for us all because God doesn’t want one person to be lost! 

 

This moment I pray you know the forgiveness of the Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray you connect with the family of God to find joy in worship and service together with other believers.  

 

No one should suffer in sin! Let’s rejoice in the new life, given to anyone who believes, through the precious sacrificed, risen Lord!!!

Rain Storm

In The Storm, God is Still God

JOB 1:1

“In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.”

 

Job 1:1 is the introduction of Job. A faithful servant of the Lord who ended up facing storm after pounding storm that left him desolate, broken beyond comprehension, and near death.

 

There are moments in our lives when storms rush over us.  Then there are some like Job when it’s not just one storm, it’s many, one after the other. In those moments of anguish, we find ourselves wondering if God is really present; if He really sees us, hears us, cares for us.

 

I thank the Lord that He made historical records in the Bible of His faithful ones who have faced every kind of storm: war, assault, famine, loss, brutality, shame, desolation, sickness and so on. They (Job being one) faced these things and even more- but not alone. 

 

God shows He was present, He was working and moving through every moment of their grief. He was there holding them up; strengthening their resolve; using their lives to strengthen the spiritual lives of others. He was present and He was faithful. You can read their stories all throughout the Scriptures.

 

Job yelled, cried, wished his birth had never been. He questioned God, he was angry and confused. But in all that, he recognized God is still God. He recognized God does what He does and we are not to understand or to know why- but to trust. Job held on to the Lord not understanding or even having strength to. He held on because he knew God did not change just because his circumstances had. He trusted God would save. And God did. God did save and restore Job twice over in what he had before.

 

In the storm, God is still God. God is still over us. He still sees, hears, knows and is present. God is not leaving us in the storm to be defeated or to die. He is God and has the plans of the whole world in His mighty hands. Only God knows the value of a storm in our life today right now.

 

When the storm passes, we will be standing. When the storm passes we will see hope, we will find our strength. There is joy in the morning for those who hold on to the Savior in the storm.

Sunrise

I Know Because of The Holy Spirit

1 JOHN 3:23-24

“And this is His command: to believe in the Name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us.”

There have always been skeptics, deniers and those who see God’s Word as mere myth. This push in communities to encourage such thought about the Bible has increased substantially. Just today I was in an appointment and the medical channel bombarded me with myth related quotes and meditation ideas … not one quote or meditative idea was from the Word of God.

 

Throughout our culture today, truth is hard to see. But there is one proof that only we alone can discover that shatters any myth about the Word of God. It’s the precious Holy Spirit at work in our lives. 

 

Once we have chosen to follow Jesus, confessing and accepting His forgiveness of our sins and changing our heart, we will know personally, without a doubt, that it is the Truth that we follow.

Bible Text

Restored Beauty

1PETER3:3-4

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

 

The beauty of a rose is not because it looks perfect, but because we see all of it together, as one, and it’s beautiful. 

 

When you look closely you can see the imperfections, the frayed petals, the discoloration, the dead edges … but yet its beauty captures the heart of so many.

 

1 Peter 3:3-4 speaks of such beauty of those whose lives have been restored and redeemed by the Savior Jesus Christ. We are asked not to dress ourselves up to show our beauty, but rather to let the life we live in Jesus Christ show our beauty. It will be much more beautiful than the finest gold necklace we could wear or high end purse we could carry. 

 

Thank You Lord for using a rose to show us how beautiful we are, just as you created us.

Who Do You Love

Who Do You Love

DEUTERONOMY 6:4-5

Do we question God when things don’t make sense at all? Is it hard to love cranky people? Hard to keep going when nothing seems good? 

 

Our mind, heart and soul are the most vulnerable assets we possess. Much of how we think, feel and act depends on what we’re pouring ourselves into. Pouring our heart, soul and mind into our Savior Jesus Christ, out of love for Him, will help us understand the most unfair situations, love unconditionally and overcome mountainous odds. 

 

Putting that kind of love and focus (our whole self … mind, heart & soul) into anything else cannot produce such a strength for our lives.

clouds sunset.png

Always Look Up

JEREMIAH 29:10-14

“This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

 

People seem to be going in every direction except up. When we’re mad, confused or scared about something, more people are looking to each other for answers and direction than they are from the One who put this world into motion. 

 

If we want to know the response to the racial tension surrounding us, look up. If we want to know the response to this seemingly never ending pandemic, look up. If we want to know the response to the counterculture on morality, look up. 

 

God is ready to answer all our questions. He is ready to lead us by His Holy Spirit to respond in a way that will bring others alongside us. 

 

We need to stay focused on the One who knows all, sees all and is in all, and He will sustain and lead us. He will hold us up and help us to stand firm and have hope in this time of questioning. 

 

The key verse in Jeremiah 29:10-14 is verse 13. “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me WITH ALL YOUR HEART.” 

Waterfall

Quench Your Thirsty Soul

ISAIAH 35:3-4

“Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution

he will come to save you.”

 

Today we are living in a dry and thirsty land. The Living God thru Jesus Christ is our river, our reviving downpour! 

 

We don’t give up, but we trust the Lord to uphold us and to use our faith and life witness to save others who are parched and in need of a downpour in their own lives. 

 

God brings life, hope, peace, clarity, and direction; a way to come together; a way to find refreshment for the soul. 

 

Never give up, but trust in the Lord. This is part of what Isaiah 35 is saying to us.

candle.png

Light- Just for Your Path

PSALM 119:105

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

 

When it seems we can’t see where we’re going … When we feel God hasn’t answered prayer … When we don’t have any idea which way to go … Remember this: 

 

If we are a believer in Jesus Christ and we earnestly seek daily to live through His Word/the Bible, He sees, He’s answering, and He’s given us just enough light to go in the right direction. 

 

He sees what we cannot see. He knows what we do not know. To those who belong to Jesus Christ, He lets us know which way to go. It’s not a light to everything around us or what’s ahead or what’s behind … it’s just a light for our path. 

 

The question is, will we trust Him and continue on the path He’s shown us, NOT KNOWING what lies ahead? Faith is for the believer who receives their strength, fortitude and hope in Jesus Christ. 

 

If we’re hurting and don’t yet see relief, He has not allowed our pain for nothing. Sometimes our suffering is bringing others to salvation in Jesus Christ. Our faith, despite our suffering, is giving hope to others who suffer. A hope that there’s a God who sees them, and can help them through their pain, too.  

 

Don’t give up. Continue in faith. If we know we’ve veered from the path where He needs us to be, we only need to sincerely repent and get back on track. He is faithful and will lead us. 

 

Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

major sybil smith signature.png