Shabbat Devotional by Bethany at CBN Israel

CBN Israel devotional shabbat

On the Outside Looking in

~by Bethany

“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”- Romans 8:15

Word has gotten around the neighborhood that our back door is a cat hangout. My family and I can’t help but feel compassion for the hungry and homeless neighborhood kitties. Because we have adopted several cats of our own, we have extra food to spare and willingly put out a handful for those who come looking for it. Most of the time, the cats treat us like a soup kitchen, not as a permanent residence. They are skittish when we open the door and they don’t come to eat until the door is properly shut.

There are a few who have come for a closer look into the life of a family cat. One particular kitten stood peering through the glass door, daily watching as our adopted cats played, received cuddles, were given a warm lap to sleep on and had all the food they could eat. We saw it looking in and invited it to join our family. But it just couldn’t overcome its fear. We tried to coax it, show gentleness, offer our hand, but it just wouldn’t trust us. So day after day, it stood in the cold looking into our warm, loving home.

On another occasion, after an evening meeting, a kitten who had the exact same coloring as one of our own cats, walked in the front door as people were leaving and began helping herself to a bowl of cat food. Because of how comfortable she felt in our home, we did not realize it was a stray for quite some time. When it dawned on us that this kitten was considerably smaller than our cat and was considerably dirtier, we were shocked! This kitten had no fear of us at all! She felt as if this was her home all along. When we picked her up, she purred. When we put her down, she couldn’t stand to be separated from us, so we picked her up again for an additional cuddle. As you can imagine, we felt no choice in the matter than to adopt yet another kitty. We felt as though WE were the ones being adopted!

Through these two experiences, I felt the Lord was speaking to me. You see, it takes faith and trust to be a part of the Lord’s family. Through the sacrifice of His Son, we are offered adoption into God’s kingdom. We are told we have nothing to fear because He cares for us. We are offered love, peace, eternal security, food, shelter, clothing, and all that we need! But fear keeps us on the outside looking in.

Friend, don’t let fear rule your heart. God has so much in store for you if you will only trust Him. He is a good, loving, heavenly Father who knows your needs before you ever ask. He is trustworthy, faithful, and always available to you. He is slow to anger, abounding in mercy and is the greatest caretaker you will ever know. Even if you walk through the most difficult time in life, His grace will most certainly be sufficient for you. He promises to never leave you, never forsake you, and never let you go. Today, if fear has had you in bondage and has kept you on the outside looking in, I encourage you to confess it to the Lord, ask Him for the courage to face your fears and then trust Him that you won’t face those fears alone. He will be with you and will empower you to overcome.

Father, I pray that You would set Your people free from torment and slavery to fear in the name of Yeshua. Help us Lord, to trust You, to know You, and to walk in the abundant life You offer. Do this for Your glory, Lord, and for the joy of Your people! Amen.

God bless you!


  1. REPLY
    Martha Ellen Conner says

    Beautiful devotional–so relatable for those who understand cat behavior and love them! 😊🇸🇻✡✝🙏🏻🇺🇸

    • REPLY
      Bethany says

      Martha, are you a cat lover too? Thank you for your encouraging words and all your support. We are so grateful that you are a part of our community.

  2. REPLY
    Rebekah says

    He whom the Son sets free is Free indeed!!! I love your Kittie analogy…perfect Cohen touch😌❤️

    • REPLY
      Bethany says

      Yes Lord! Make us free indeed from fear! Thank you for reading and commenting Becky. So grateful for you!

  3. REPLY
    "Aunt Kat" says

    Shalom, Bethany. Here in Kansas forty years ago we discovered CBN and The 700 Club. On one program we saw the author of a book called The Bible, the Supernatural, and the Jews. We gave it to your future father-in-law, and look what happened! God is good.

  4. REPLY
    Shirleen casey says

    I had a timid little ginger cat that slept in my carport. I would talk quietly to it every morning. Then it would disappear and be back the next morning. I love your story. Yes the timid ones on the outside need our love too.

    • REPLY
      Bethany says

      Hi Shirleen!
      Thanks for sharing your experience and for reading mine. I love when God uses creation and every day life to teach us something about Himself like He did with parables.
      It does take courage to love the people who are timid or outright reject us. But through prayer and persistant love, even the hardest hearts are softened. 🙂
      I pray that you will have great joy as you both give and receive His love.
      Bless you!

  5. REPLY
    Lissa says

    Beautiful and true!

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