Bible Devotions

God Gave

 

Are you following the truth?  God gave us many things to help us discover the truth.  Let’s take a look at some of them. 

 

God gave us a brain.  He expects us to use it.  Isaiah 1:18 NKJV says “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool”.  Psalm 34:8 NKJV tells us to taste and see the Lord is good.

 

God gave us His word.  Psalm 68:11 says “The Lord gave the word”.  He expects us to study it and discover His truth like the Bereans did in Acts 17:11 NKJV “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”  In addition, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV tells us “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

 

God gave His Son to die for us.  Psalm 53:3 NKJV says “Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.”  Romans 6:23 NKJV says “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Through one man, Adam, sin entered mankind.  Another man, the Son of God, paid the price for our sin so we wouldn’t have to (Romans 5:12-17). John 14:6 NKJV says “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

 

God gave His Holy Spirit to those who believe in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for their sins.  First Corinthians 2:14 tell us the natural man thinks the things of God are foolishness and he can not know them for they are spiritually discerned. John 16:13 NKJV says “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.” The Spirit is given so we might know the things that have been given to us freely by God (1 Corinthians 2:12). 

 

So are you ready?  Are you ready to use your brain, receive His Word, accept His sacrifice for your sins and receive His Holy Spirit? 

 

Step into God’s glorious truth today.  Today is the day of Salvation.  If you haven’t received Jesus as your Savior, pray something like this:

 Jesus, I believe the Word of God.  I now understand I am not saved by my own goodness.  Please come into my life and make my sins as white as wool. Give me your Holy Spirit to lead me in all truth.  In your name I pray. Amen.  © Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

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Family what is it?

 

Merriam Webster’s Dictionary says family is a group of individuals living together under one head, coming from the same clan or race, and a people united by certain convictions as in a fellowship.

 

I want to call your attention to a few words in the above definition. 

 

Individuals are unique.  Each has its own personality, style, preferences, and beliefs.  God made us this way.  He loves variety.  Therefore, we are called to live at peace with everyone, as much as it depends on you (Romans 12:18).

 

One Head represents the One Authority we live under – God.  In God’s economy He planned for the husband to be head of the household, just as Jesus Christ is head of the church (Ephesians 5:25).  We are to live in submission to God, whether we are married or single. 

 

Same Clan – We are all part of the same human race.  We all have the same sinful nature.  Realizing we’re all in this life together will help us be more forgiving.  We are sinners by nature (Romans 3:23).  Even after we are born again in Christ, we may still make mistakes.  Let’s cut each other some slack by forgiving and being tender hearted towards one another.  After all God has forgiven you, how then can you withhold forgiveness to someone else?

 

United – We are united together in Christ Jesus.  Family is so important to God that He died for us to adopt us into His family (Ephesians 1:5). Jesus is the unifying entity that seals us together as a permanent family. 

 

With the above definition in mind, I’d like to say families are:

  • A place where we are loved for who we are not what we do.  We are accepted and belong.
  • A place of encouragement.  It may seem like the world is against us, but we know our family is for us.
  • A place to share our troubles without being blamed for them.

 

Sadly, this ideal isn’t the case a lot of the time.  Whether your family meets your expectations or not when you are a believer in Jesus Christ you are automatically adopted into the ideal family.  What we have today with out physical family will one day be gone.  But our spiritual family will remain together in heaven.

 

Rather than wasting precious time complaining about the dysfunction we see in our earthly family, let’s try to find common ground and practice loving one another as the Lord loves us. 

 

What are you doing to promote a godly family?  Is your love without hypocrisy?  Are you kind and affectionate, giving preference to one another? (Romans 12:9-10).

 

Remember God has a plan and purpose for you being part of your family.  He is working in you to grow you to be more Christ-like.  In the family setting, conflicts and all, He is developing godly character in us. 

 Lord, thank you for placing us in earthly families.  Help us to grow Christ-like character until you welcome us in heaven.  In Jesus’ name Amen.  

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

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The Pretenders

 “Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”” Acts 19:13 NKJV 

There is coming a time when all who claim to be Christians will be revealed for who they are not.  In today’s passage we see some itinerant Jewish exorcists knew the power in Jesus’ name.  Sadly, they didn’t believe in Jesus but rather wanted to use His power. 

 

How many of us come to Jesus for what He can do for us?  In a sense, we are no better than the exorcists.  We want a quick fix to our problems.  Maybe we want a relationship restored or our health to return or our finances to be better. 

 

Be on guard, my fellow Christian, for these impure motives.  At the last day all will be revealed.  Jesus taught in Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV ““Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

 

Jesus Christ is not interested in being used by us.  He wants a personal relationship with us.  So how’s your relationship?  Do you have one?  If not, pray a simple prayer like this one to enter into a relationship with Him:

 

Jesus, I believe you died for my sins.  As best as I know how, I ask you into my life.  In your name I pray. Amen.

 

Congratulations!  Praying straight from your heart means you are now born again.  Christ’s Holy Spirit has taken up residence in your heart.  Your relationship with Jesus will continue to grow as you continue to seek Him. 

 

Don’t be a pretender, like the exorcists.  Look what happened to them in Acts 19:15-16 NKJV “And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”  Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”

 Lord Jesus, thank you for loving us enough to die for us so we could know you and live forever with you in heaven some day.  Help us to trust in you.  In your name we pray. Amen.  © Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

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Everything for Good?

 

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NJKV

 

What an extreme idea!  God uses everything for good to those who love Him.  If everything is used for my beneficial good, then surely I will be filled with a great confidence in God working out the details. 

 

Sadly, a lot of times hurts from those we love drives us deeper in despair.  Where is the good when the harsh words are flying?  It is during those times we forget God’s promise to bring good out of everything.  When we are hurt, we just want to get out of the pain, so our focus is on fleeing.  Our focus is on the short-term gain of removing the pain. 

 

Sometimes God does great things in the short-term.  One time, God saved me from accidentally running over a mother pushing her baby’s stroller in a crosswalk, when I didn’t see them!  But most of the time, God is working on developing the fruit of the Spirit or in other words His character in us.  This is a long-term process, not short-term.

 

Think about a peach.  Does it simply pop out of the branch one day?  No.  It takes time to grow.  It starts out as a blossom, which is pollinated by a bee.  It turns into a small bud and over several weeks, as the tree provides nourishment, it grows into what we know is a peach. 

 

We are just like that peach.  We are God’s blossoms pollinated by His Word through the Holy Spirit.  When we start seeing evidence of our changed life we enter the budding phase.  With proper nourishment from the Tree of Life (God’s Word), over time we grow more like Jesus Christ. 

 

God creator of the universe, who has every day of our life written in His book before He ever made us, uses all things in our life to develop His fruit, His character in us.  Can He use my mistakes?  Absolutely He’ll help us make better choices next time.  Can He use the wrong things done to me?  You know He does when He teaches us to forgive those who hurt us and bless those you use us. Can He use my wrong motives? Sure He can, as He reveals His pure motives we learn to trust Him.  Can He use my financial burden?  Yes.  He helps us see all things come from Him.  Can He use my grieving over a death? You bet He will use it to guide our thoughts to eternity.  Can He use a toddler’s temper tantrum? No doubt He uses these to help us grow our patience.

 

It is really about how we think about all that goes on in our life.  Philippians 4:8 teaches us to keep our thoughts fixed on what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praise worthy.  We are to meditate on these things.  The tough part is most of the time things masquerade in bad situations, negative attitudes, self-centered behavior and other evil of our day.

 

The challenge to us believers is to take God at His Word, to trust some how some way He will bring good out of it.  We may not see the good right away.  It may take time, just like the peach took time to grow.  Hang in there through the tough stuff, having confidence in God’s ability to bring good from it. In the end, we know God will bring good to those who love Him. 

 

Lord thank you for bringing good out of all things.  Help us to trust in your timing.  Enable us to keep our thoughts fixed on you as you develop the fruit of the Spirit in us.  In Jesus’ name Amen.  

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

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In Your Anger Do Not Sin

But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” Acts 16:18 NKJV

 

There are two things I’d like to point out from this verse.  One Paul is human just like us and he knew who the authority was.

 

(1)    Seeing Paul annoyed really comforts me, as I become annoyed a lot.  But Paul, when annoyed, responded with Christ rather than criticism.  That makes him a great example for us.   Paul lived what he preached.  He wrote “in your angry do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26).  We see in today’s verse, Paul didn’t let his annoyance become sin.  He chose the high way instead of the human way.   He turned the matter over to Jesus.  And Jesus took care of the problem.

(2)    Paul knew in himself he had no power.  Christ has all the power and authority.  Jesus said to us “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14).  Paul took Jesus at His word and was able to do some extraordinary things.

 

We can too.  In the moment when we are annoyed, angry, hurt, lonely, grieving or in any other unpleasant state of mind, we can choose to trust Jesus.  We can pray, as Paul did, “I command you _____________ (fill in the blank with your emotion or negative thought) in the name of Jesus Christ to leave me this minute.” Watch and see how the Lord helps you in with that struggle.  It worked for Paul.  It works for me.  It will work for you too.

 

Lord thank you for your word that brings us to your truth each time we read it.  Thank you for your power and authority over all things, even our emotions.  Help us to trust you in our weakness moments.  For you are our strength.  In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

 

 

 

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

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Disobedience has a Price

 

When I was a teenager, my boyfriend had a motorcycle.  My mother always warned me not to ride on that motorcycle.  She said it was too dangerous.  But you know how teenagers can be.

 

One day when my boyfriend was working on his motorcycle in his garage, I sat on the motorcycle.  The engine was on while I was sitting on it.  When I reached my leg down to get off the motorcycle, I was shocked to find I couldn’t take my leg away.  It turns out my left calf stuck to the exhaust pipe.  So as my boyfriend and I tried to peel my leg off of the pipe, I realized I was in big trouble.  I didn’t heed my mother’s warning!

 

Mother Said

What I Did

Consequences

Don’t ride a motorcycle

Sat on the motorcycle

Burned my leg

Disappointed my mother

 

 

What lesson did I learn?  My mother was right about motorcycles been dangerous, even just sitting on them!  The burned on my leg would no doubt leave a lasting scar! 

 

Aside from the disappointment my mother must have felt, she knew what to do.  Every day we would scrub the dead skin away from the wound.  Although it was incredibly painful, after several weeks of this the wound eventually healed.  And thanks to my mom, I have no trace of the burn on my left leg.

 

As I pondered this situation from my past I started to realize there is a spiritual lesson in this.  Our spiritual growth is much like this story of disobedience.

 

God tells us what to do.  We do the opposite.  We pay the consequences.  Yet God still pursues us, works with us, and cleanses us from all on righteousness so there will be no trace of our sinful action remaining when he’s through with us.

 

Disobedience has a price.  Sometimes righting the wrong is painful.  But it’s necessary.  God calls us to persevere so our character develops.  God brings forth good, even from our disobedience.  After we have suffered a while, we begin to recognize God was right causing us to yearn for Him. Perhaps faced with their next opportunity to disobey will remember what we went through before and choose to walk in the Spirit rather than satisfy our sinful nature.

 

What has God told you to do lately?  Do you find yourself disobeying God?  Remember there are consequences to our disobedience.  Even if we disobey, God is good and will help us learn the lessons we should.

 

Lord thank you for your leading us.  Thank you that even in our disobedience you have a way of bringing good out of it.  Help us to desire you.  Enable us to obey you the first time rather than suffering the consequence for our disobedience.  If we can only learn the lesson through disobedience then so be it Lord.  In Jesus’ name Amen. 

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today

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Conflict – Take it to the Church

 

Read Acts 15.

 

When disputes arise, and we know they will, we are not left alone to solve the matter.  We all together form one body.  Therefore, when disagreements come between one another and resolution can not be seen, what’s a believer to do?

 

Paul and Barnabas are good examples.  While at Antioch, they gathered together sharing the great works of God and the open door of faith to the Gentiles.  But certain men came who taught the people couldn’t be saved unless they were circumcised.  

 

How did Paul and Barnabas handle the matter?  First, they attempted to correct the brethren on their own.  In this case, they were unsuccessful.  The Bible tells us “no small dissension and dispute” broke out between them.

 

The story does end with both parties being bitter and resentful, doing their own thing.  No, Paul and Barnabas used wisdom.  They escalated the matter to the apostles and elders of the church.  The result was a solution, agreeable to both parties.

 

The solution was to send chosen men from the church back to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.  In addition, they carried with them a letter written by the apostles and elders clarifying expected prohibitions for Gentile believers. 

 

Lastly, we see in verse thirty and thirty-one, the solution was implemented.  The people rejoiced and were encouraged in their faith. 

 

When you are having difficulties solving disputes among believers, follow the example of Paul and Barnabas.  Take the matter to the church.  Seek counsel of the elders in your church.  Then be willing to listen and do what they recommend. 

 

Lord, thank you for your wisdom.  Help us seek your counsel through apostles and elders of the church when appropriate so a well-pleasing resolution may be found to encourage us in our faith.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.  

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

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Discipleship and Fellowship

 

Do you know what discipleship is?  A disciple is someone who follows Christ.  A disciple is what we call a believer. Discipleship is helping believers follow Christ and grow their relationship with the Lord.  It goes hand in hand with fellowship.  Let’s look a couple verse that depict discipleship and fellowship. 

 Acts 14:21-23 NKJV: “And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.” 

Paul and Barnabas spent time in Lystra preaching the gospel and making many disciples.  Notice what they did:

(1)   They strengthen souls of the disciples.

(2)   They exhorted them to continue in faith.

(3)   They reminded them we will always have tribulations.

(4)   They prayed for the believers.

 

How do you strengthen someone’s soul?  You come along side them.  You share with them the wonderful works God has done that you’ve been privileged to participate in. How do you exhort someone to continue in faith?  Again you come along side of them, reminding them of God’s promise found in God’s Word.  Meeting together to read, study and apply God’s Word is how we develop our faith, instill God’s values and live a life witnessing God’s mercy and grace. 

 Acts 2:42 NKJV: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” 

The early church is our model.  In Acts 2, we see what they did when they meet together.  Similar to what we saw in Acts 14.  The continued steadfastly meaning they came together regularly.  They took initiative to stay connected.  They were dedicated to one another.  When they meet they had common goals. 

(1)   They studied God’s Word (apostle’s doctrine).

(2)   They shared God’s work in each other’s life (fellowship).

(3)   The shared communion together (breaking of bread).

(4)   The prayed together. 

 

This is what we do in small groups.  We come together to read God’s Word and pray for each other.  As we do, we strengthen each other’s faith.  Our small group acts like a safety net.  Each believer walks the tight rope of righteousness, should their feet slip, our group supports and encourages the believer and helps him/her regain their spiritual balance. 

 

Are you in a small group yet?  If not, ask God to lead you to one.  Do you’re part to join one.  Your faith will grow as you experience fellowship in the Lord.

 

Lord thank you for your word and small groups of believers to help us stay focused on you.  In Jesus’ name Amen.  

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

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Doing Our Part

 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Acts 13:2 NKJV  

Obedience to the Lord

Did you happen to notice the first part of this verse?  It was “as they ministered” which means they did stuff for the Lord.  The point is action.  There must be a “doing” to our obedience to the Lord.  James 1:22 says we must be “doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves.”    Even Jesus was obedient to the Father.  John 6:38 says “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”   So laying aside our will and choosing to follow God’s will demonstrate our obedience to Him.  But did you know this is not something we can do on our own?

 

Receiving the Holy Spirit

Jesus taught us everything of our sinful nature is worthless in John 6:63: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”  Where does the Holy Spirit come from?  He is sent to us from Christ Himself (John 16:7).  John 15:26 says “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”  How do we receive the Holy Spirit? Ephesians 1:13-14 says “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” In other words, once you believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit is given to you as a guarantee that you are saved. 

 Understanding God’s gift

First Corinthians 2:13-14 says “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  The Holy Spirit is our teacher, guiding us in all truth.  Without Him we wouldn’t understand spiritual things.  He opens our eyes and makes us realize the sin in our life, so we can fully embrace the grace given to us.  Romans 8:16 says “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Romans 5:5 says “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 8:2 says “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” First Corinthians 2:12 says “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”  All this a great news, for now we know we are able to understand the glorious riches stored up for us in Christ Jesus. 

 

Empowering our Witness

Knowing all the depth of God’s love isn’t just for our benefit.  No, it’s more about sealing our understanding and compelling us to share His glorious plan with others.  One of the things I love about God is how He equips those He calls.  Let’s review some verses about that.  Acts 1:8 says “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  See He’s giving us the power to be His witness.  Romans 8:26-27 says “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”  Even when we don’t know how to pray, He helps us through His Spirit interceding for us.   How does this empowering happen?  Romans 12:1-2 give us a clue.  It says “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  By offering our lives as living sacrifices, allowing God’s Word to change the way we think, we prove God’s will is perfect, acceptable and good.   Romans 8:5 says “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” As we learn to walk by the Spirit rather than by our natural self, we become God’s witness to the world. 

 

What do you think?  Are you ready to do what God has already shown you?  Do you understand His precious gift better?  Is the Holy Spirit compelling you to share His message with others?

 

If you answer no to any of these questions, ask God to help you see things from His perspective.  Continue reading God’s Word and the truth will be revealed as His Spirit teaches you. 

 Lord thank you for your word and your Holy Spirit.  Lead us on the pathways of life and enable us to witness to the world through an obedient life in Christ.  In Jesus’ precious name Amen.  © Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

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Do you believe in coincidence?

 

I used to until I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ.  Once I discovered God’s glorious mercy and began to understand his character, I knew there was no such thing as coincidence.  God’s word tells us He uses all things working together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes.  That means that even the bad stuff is and can be used for good, for his glorious good. 

 

I have found the more I understand God, the more I carry out his will in my life, and the easier it is to see the pattern of our enemy.  All of God’s word is true.  The Bible tells us God exists.  God makes himself known in the life of a believer.  But knowing God exists also means that other things the Bible talks about also exist.  Like Satan the father of all evil and everything against God, demons, fallen Angels and those who reject God’s grace.  I am not a demon chaser, but I have learned they are real.

 

As you step out in faith in Christ and begin to do what God has called you to do, things happen in our lives.  It seems every time I have a wonderful, fulfilling, deeply intimate time with the Lord, difficulties follows. Let me give you just a few examples. The first example is around these devotions.  There are times when I just know there is a message hidden within these words I’ve written that somebody needs to hear.  And strangely enough, I have some technical difficulty getting this message out.  Sometimes the Internet is down.  Other times my whole computer will just stop working, but when the Tech looks at it, he can’t find anything wrong with it.  Why just last week my computer was in repair, so I decided to use my husband’s computer to write the devotions of the day.  His computer starts behaving weird.  It took several minutes just to load an application, 30 seconds for more waiting for a menu option, not able to connect to the Internet, etc.  It seems like something prevents me from getting the devotion out.  That’s when I know there’s probably a message someone needs to hear.  Another example might be getting the kids ready for school and the babysitter.  On a day where I’ve had a wonderful quiet time with the Lord, the getting ready part in the morning is chaos.  My 13-year-old son won’t get up, which causes my blood pressure to rise.   My 3-year-old won’t stop screaming at the top of his lungs over the spilled milk on the floor.    The dog’s barking at the neighbor’s dog in the backyard.  Now we’re running late.  We get stuck at every street light between our house and the school!  It’s just so frustrating. 

 

Have you ever noticed strange things happen when you draw closer to the Lord?  Don’t let it get you down.  Instead choose to laugh.  After all Jesus said we’d have trials in this life but to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world.  We know how the story ends.  The enemy may try to discourage us, but we’re not fooled by his methods.  We will stand firm with God’s armor on and persevere.  When the enemy tries to attack us, we say to him, “I see what you’re trying to do.  I’m not going to play your game.  Get behind me, Satan.”  We move on. 

 

Everything happens for a reason.  Perhaps these difficulties are part of God’s plan to develop our faith, our character, or even our patience.  We can trust God knows what He’s doing, even while we’re in the midst of difficult stuff. 

 Lord thank you for already overcoming the world.  Help us to remember you are in control even during the difficult times.  Help us recognize we do have an enemy so we can be prepared by putting on your armor.  In Jesus’ name Amen.    © Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

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