Bible Devotions

Truth and Righteousness

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness… Ephesians 6:14 NKJV

We are able to stand by choosing to put on God’s armor. But what does that look like? Exactly how do we put on this armor we can’t see? Let’s look at each piece and see what it represents.

The first piece of armor mentioned is truth, which we are to gird our waist with. Merriam Webster dictionary states the word gird has having three definitions in the verb tense: (1) to encircle or bind, to make fast, surround (2) provide, equip (3) to prepare for action. We are called to surround our self with truth so we are equipped and prepared for action. The truth is wrapped around our waist, the center of our body providing balance.

The second piece of armor talked about in today’s verse is the breastplate of righteousness. The word breastplate has more than one meaning as well. (1) a metal plate worn as a defensive armor for the breast and (2) a vestment worn in ancient times by Jewish High Priest and set with 12 gems bearing the names of the tribes of Israel. This piece of armor has dual purpose. It is a defensive barrier protecting our heart and it is a reminder that Jesus Christ’s righteousness is our covering. We are never righteous in our self-reliance. We are only righteous through Christ’s sacrifice for us. Our righteousness comes from God alone.

So how do we put these items on? Regarding truth, we put this on by filling our minds with it and by living it out. We read God’s Word and apply its teaching. We assess our situations by its truth and respond as God would want us to. About the breastplate, we focus on Christ. Keeping our eyes fixed on Him instead of the present trouble, we are reminded we are more than conquerors in Christ. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Have you put on truth as your sturdy belt and Christ’s righteousness as your breastplate today?

Lord, thank you for your guidance for a godly life. Thank you for your sacrifice to make us holy, pure and cleansed from all unrighteousness. Help us put on your armor so we can stand against our enemy and bring glory to you when we do. 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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Evil Day

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13 NKJV

Last time we talked about how we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but many forces of wickedness. Today we see a choice we must make.

We live in the evil day. It is clear with have enemies. Watching five minutes of television may convince you. Nothing is harmless anymore. Gone are the days of “I love Lucy”, “Father knows Best”, “My Three Sons” and “Leave it to Beaver”. Television used to honor marriage and family. It was a pleasure to watch moral values and good clean fun played out before our eyes.

Sadly this isn’t true anymore. Television producers have relaxed their standards. The result is wicked, garbage filled, dishonoring to God and man programs that do little to build up marriage or family. Now, television shows are loaded with every kind of sin imaginable. There are shows, such as “Desperate Housewives” and “Sex in the City”, which are all about sex outside of marriage and adultery. There are shows about homosexuality like “Will and Grace”, “Ellen” and others. Now we even have shows about witchcraft and sorcery, “Twitches” and “Wizards of Waverly Place”. In every show selfishness and me-first thinking are prevalent. There is more senseless violence and vulgar language than ever before.

Yes, we live in the evil day. But it is also clear God goes before us to equip and enable us to withstand whatever the enemy throws at us. The choice is ours. Do we go with the evil flow of society and watch this stuff? Or do we choose to withstand by taking up the whole armor of God?

When we choose God’s side, we will be able to withstand in the evil day, having done all, to stand.

Lord, thank you for equipping us with your whole armor. Enable us to make wise choices about what we watch on television so we may guard our hearts and minds. 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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Who is our Enemy?

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 NKJV

As children of God we are in a battle against many forces. The above verse provides clues about our enemy. Let’s take a deeper look.

1. Our enemy is not human. This means we may not comprehend his actions, motives or methods. We can barely comprehend what we can see let alone what we can’t see. As he is not human, he can do things we can not even imagine.

2. Our enemy has the authority and title of a prince. The Bible refers to Satan as the prince of the air and prince of Persia. Being a prince means he has jurisdiction over a certain territory. Guess what territory he reigns over? Our world.

3. Our enemy has powers. He does not use those powers for our good either. He uses these powers to accomplish his evil plan.

4. Our enemy doesn’t act alone. He has an army of evil working towards his evil purposes. The “rulers of darkness” makes it sound like our enemy has a power hierarchy. Some members are rulers. Do you know why he needs rulers? Satan is limited. He can’t be in all places at once like God. Therefore, he has to recruit others to follow him.

5. Our enemy isn’t limited to our world alone. He has spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly realm too. Even though things may seem calm and peaceful here at times, there is a battle raging in the heavens. Daniel 10:13 reveals the Lord’s messenger was delayed twenty-one days because the prince of Persia prevented him from getting to Daniel sooner.

Now you know more about the enemy we battle. We need wisdom to discern what’s really going on in a given situation. Remember, there is always more going on than what we see with our eyes. That’s why the apostle Paul said “…we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Trust we will prevail over all evil with God’s help. For Jesus said “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). By remembering one last thought from Proverbs 28:5 NKJV “But those who seek the Lord understand all”, we will be victorious.

Lord Jesus, thank you for not leaving us helpless against our enemy. Thank you for giving us the victory over sin, death and our enemy. In you we trust. We will seek you to understand all. 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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Whole Armor of God

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11 NKJV

Here we have our first clue without God’s help we can not stand against our enemy. We need God’s armor, His protection, His security and His power and might. We must recognize we need God. Then we must act.

We choose to “put on” God’s armor. God is interested in out whole-hearted decision to trust Him. Putting on the armor is another way He is pleased because it’s a sign of our faith in Him. By faith we put on God’s armor, one piece at a time, until all pieces are in place.

This verse talks about the whole armor of God. The protection God offers is not complete unless all the pieces are engaged and used for the intended purpose. Picking only one piece of God’s protection is an offense to Him. He has given us everything we need to live godly lives. When we choose one thing and not another we put our self in God’s place, thinking we know best. No, the armor of God works best when all the pieces are used.

Why do we need this armor in the first place? God’s word is very clear, we have an enemy. This enemy is crafty, with his army of other evil doers scheming, manipulating and targeting God’s children. We need all the help we can get.

Did you see the CBS news story about the largest survey on religion in America? If not, you should take a look at this video: http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=4204240n

While America may think a spiritual salad bar is okay, it only proves to me how lost we are as a nation. Our enemy appears to be making quite the in-roads in America. Please pray for our nation to draw near to God and come to know the truth.

Lord, we need you now more than ever. Strengthen and protect us with your armor. Teach us to use each piece appropriately. Help us to pray for America and our self. Reveal yourself to the world that they may be saved. 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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Fruit of her Hands

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31:31 NKJV

Those who work deserve their pay. Proverbs 31 Woman is a wonderful example of a dedicated, responsible and loving woman. This verse describes her due.

She worked willingly and now deserves the fruit of her labor. Her works were done to benefit others, not to gather glory to her self. Therefore, praises come from her very work it self.

So remember, if you haven’t yet experienced the fruit or praise from labor done in obedience to God’s will, be patient. It will happen as surely as the sun will rise again tomorrow. Continue doing what’s right without growing weary for at the appropriate time you will reap a harvest.

Lord, help us not focus on the reward itself for doing good, but rather doing good out of love for You. May we continue in your ways all the days of our lives so your purposes will be carried out in our lives. 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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Power of His Might

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10 NKJV

This verse is one of the secrets to a Christian’s victorious life. As pastor Rick Warren’s book Purpose Drive Life says “It’s not about you”, so this verse reminds us our strength comes from God.

Paul knew this when he penned “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Paul had to learn this just like we do. Look what he says: “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” (Philippians 4:11-12)

To tap into the victorious life promised to us, we first must learn faith in God and His abilities. This is a difficult task when we are self-sufficient. Many of us don’t realize we are doing anything wrong. That’s exactly where our enemy wants us; oblivious to the truth.

For the next few days we will focus on the armor of God. By learning how to use each piece we will be victorious over Satan’s attempts to keep us from our destiny.

Lord, thank you for giving us everything we need to live a godly life until you return. Equip us with your word so we may learn faith in 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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Outside or Inside

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30 NKJV

What we focus on has great significance. If we strive for outward appearances to be perfect, we are sorely disappointed. For our hair may lay perfectly one day and not the next. Our faces may be flawless one day but blemished or wrinkled the next. New clothes are nice but they eventually fall out of style or wear out. Nothing external is permanent. It is all temporary, fading, and passing away.

But there is something that lasts. It is our very soul within. When our sole is connected rightly with God we shine. As we conduct our lives according to His will for us we are renewed inwardly by His Spirit. We are transformed into His likeness and as a result are pleasing to God.

The apostle Paul said there are some benefits to physical exercise but the real and lasting benefits come from spiritual growth. Are you focused on outward appearances or inner beauty found in a quiet and gentle spirit?

Lord help us to focus on the things that truly matter, a quiet and gentle spirit. Keep us from the temptation to strive for perfection on the outside. For your word tells us you do not look at the outward appearance but you look at the heart. May our hearts be holy and pleasing to you. 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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Favor with God and Man

Her husband also, and he praises her: “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” Proverbs 31:28-29 NKJV

Following the Lord’s leading will have its consequences. Here we see Proverbs 31 Woman receiving praise from her husband. Proverbs 3:3-4 NKJV says “Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.” This woman knew how to do just that.

If our aim is to please God, we find favor with God and as an added bonus we also receive favor from man. The priority must be God and His Kingdom first (Matthew 6:33), and then all these other things will be added. Confusing these by aiming to please man first will result in much disappointment, bitterness, resentment, anger and discouragement. Therefore, if you are experiencing these side affects you may want to revisit your priorities through prayer.

Father God above, forgive me for loosing my focus on You. Help me regain the balance of being rightly related to You and man. Enable me to seek Your will first. Break the people-pleasing tendency by helping me focus on pleasing You alone. Jesus said in Matthew 11-28:30 NKJV: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Help me bring my burdens to You. 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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Wise Tongue

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. Proverbs 31:26 NKJV

Knowing when to speak is a sign of wisdom. For even a fool can appear wise by keeping their mouth shut (Proverbs 17:28). How many times have you wished you could take back something you said? We all have said things we wished later we hadn’t. Just imagine what it would be like speaking wisdom every time you opened your mouth. We have much to learn, don’t we?

There is much said in the Bible about the tongue. Such a small body part and yet containing power to build up or tear down. Proverbs 14:1 NKJV says “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.” Oh how often the tongue is used for evil, speaking one moment praises to God and the next cursing man made in the image of God.

The apostle James compared this oxymoron to a spring, fig and olive tree, as well as a grapevine. James 3:11-12 NKJV says “Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.” The same applies to us, the children of God. Should good and evil come from our mouth? The answer is a resounding no.

Therefore it is a wise Christian who has tamed the tongue by allowing God’s word to renew their mind (Romans 12:2). How about you? As you examine your own words, what to you find? Is your mouth ruled by law of kindness?

Lord, thank you for your truth and your Spirit to carry out truth in our lives. Help us to desire you more with each passing day so your good work in us will continue. 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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Confidence in Him

She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. Proverbs 31:21 NKJV

My family loves to go skiing. As you can imagine my job is to pack everything we will need for the trip. I take this responsibility seriously for it’s a long way from home and I don’t want to be caught without something we need. I take my time planning out what each person will wear each day of the trip. I even factor in the “snow play” days where we might need an extra change of clothes for our 3 year old. Why spend all this time planning? For the peace of mind it brings. The point of this personal story is rest. My work is thorough so I can rest assured all is taken care of which brings me peace of mind.

The same is true for Proverbs 31 woman. She cares for her household’s clothing needs. She doesn’t worry about the weather, for she has made them enough clothes to keep them warm. As she is diligent with her responsibilities she can rest as well. She has thought through everything and is prepared for anything. That brings her peace of mind.

How about you? Do you fret over what could happen? Or do you plan for it to happen and prepare for it?

Lord Jesus, thank you for the righteous robe you have given each of us. Due to your sacrifice for us we are able to stand before Father God with our heads held high covered by your righteousness. Thank you for loving us enough to die for us so we might live for you. Enable us to plan for the future and rest in your love. 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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