Bible Devotions

Still Thinking About Love…

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

Love does not envy.  Here’s a test.  Can you be happy for someone when they succeed, without grumbling under your breathe?  There was a time when I was fortunate enough to have very good managers.  Every story of how my manager supported me or helped me move ahead was meet with jealousy because the person I share with never experienced such a positive management style from their managers. Love is not jealous.  Being jealous that your co-worker got a promotion and you didn’t, only shows your immaturity.

Self Check: Can you rejoice when good fortune comes your friends way?  Or do you secretly wish it happened to you?

Love is not jealous.

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Been Thinking About Love…

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

The more I read this verse and compare how well I myself live this verse, the more I understand I can not do it! This should not be discouraging but rather empowering because this verse is telling us what God does through us when we allow Him to do what He plans.

Read aloud the above verse but substitute your own name in place of “love” and “it”.  This is quite revealing!

Now read aloud the verse but place Jesus in place of “love” and “it”.  Now, it is magnificent!

If we are true believers, Jesus’ spirit lives in us.  The way of life is possible for us because He enables through us.  Our part is to humble our self, deny our flesh and follow His leading in our life.  No small task, but He provides everything we need to live this life until He returns.

Assignment for the day:  Love is Patient and Kind.  Who needs patience and kindness today?  Go practice it.

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Seven Things to Avoid Part 2

These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: Proverbs 6:16 NKJV

We looked at the first three things to avoid last time: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. Let’s look at the remaining four things to avoid.

Heart Devises

Our heart is our inmost being. If that heart devises evil or wicked things, how can the love of God in that person? Jesus taught us we will be known by our fruit. Out of the goodness of our heart, good things come forth. Likewise, out of the wickedness of our heart, wicked things come.

Self check: What comes forth from my heart?

Swift Feet

Feet swift in running to evil are definitely not a blessing. Proverbs 3 tells us in all our ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct our paths. Without acknowledging God we run towards evil automatically. It’s in our sinful nature.

Self check: Am I acknowledging the Lord in all I do?

False Witness

We looked at a lying tongue earlier. A false witness is not only about lying, but destroying someone’s character. So it is doubly evil. Lies are Satan’s pride and joy. His plans are to steal, kill and destroy. When we bear false witness against someone we are tearing them down with Satan’s tool: lies.

Self check: Is there anyone I think or say false things about?

Sowing Discord

The argumentative type is not pleasing to the Lord. Anyone who looks for ways to divide is not on the Lord’s side. Sowing discord is another tool of Satan.

Self check: Am I quick to point out differences of opinion?

Lord thank you for your word. May it be the mirror we put our lives in front of. Help us to change what needs to change by the power and authority of Jesus Christ in us. In His name we pray these things. 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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Seven Things to Avoid Part 1

These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: Proverbs 6:16 NKJV

A Proud Look

Top of the list is pride. Probably the number one reason people don’t trust God is their pride. Why? It’s because prideful people are unwilling to let God reign in their life. The proud would rather have complete control.

Behind every perfectionist, control freak, critical or judgmental person is pride. The “it’s not right unless I’m running the show” mentality will always be offensive to God. After all pride is what got Lucifer kicked out of heaven. Now he is banished from heaven and the presence of God. What did pride gain Lucifer?

Self check: Where am I still clutching to my pride?

A Lying Tongue

Let the truth be told. Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no. God is perfect and cannot lie. He is completely trustworthy and He expects His children will be too.

We can lie with our mouth by saying untrue things are true. We can lie by our silence covering up what’s really going on inside. We can lie with our actions by manipulating the situation to appear different than it is. All these are wrong. God hates falsehood of every kind. First Corinthians 13:6 says love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Satan is the father of all lies. Have you ever considered when we lie we show our allegiance to him rather than God? As Joshua said to the Israelites choose this day who you will serve. As for me and my house we choose to serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

Self check: Where am I lying to myself and others? Am I lying with my words, my silence or my actions?

Shed Innocent Blood

Most people don’t go around murdering people. But don’t think that excludes you from this part of the lesson. Jesus taught us even if we are angry against others without cause we are filled with murderous thoughts. Those thoughts are enough to condemn us to hell fire. (Matthew 5:22)

Remember that Tom Cruise movie where they knew what you were thinking? If you thought about murdering someone, they arrested you before you committed the act. Well, Jesus knows our thoughts and intentions better than we do our self. Our angry, judgmental, critical thoughts are the equivalent of murder in His book!

Self check: Am I harboring any angry, judgmental, critical or murderous thoughts?

Remember these things should be the catalyst causing us to fall on our knees. Humbly admit our weakness and call upon the grace of God. “What does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

Lord, thank you for your word and Spirit to guide us into all truth. Help us to avoid pride, lying and murderous thoughts. Teach us to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with 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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Test Yourself Part 2

Perversity is in his heart, he devises evil continually, he sows discord. Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; Suddenly he shall be broken without remedy. Proverbs 6:14-15 NKJV

The Bible points out some behavior that is worthless. Let’s continue to study it to be sure we don’t develop these negative traits our self.

Perverse Heart

Their heart is made up. They choose their way instead of God’s way. They think they know best. They stubbornly oppose what’s logical, reasonable and right. Maybe they have done this so long they don’t even realize the condition their in.

Self check: If I listen to my heart, what does it say? “I never get what I want” or “I trust God to provide”?

Devises Evil

Evil is sinfulness. Therefore this person lives a sinful life with no thought of consequences. Perhaps this person is self-absorbed and only considers what’s in it for them.

Self check: How often do I do something I know to be wrong?

Sows Discord

This person likes to argue. No matter what subject is discussed, this person will take an opposite position just to stir up conflict. They love to get people arguing or cause doubt in the minds of the weak.

Self check: How often do I drop a subject or hold my comment to avoid starting a useless argument?

The word of God is like a mirror showing us what needs to change within us. The Holy Spirit gives us the courage to face these things and the power to overcome them. Choose to walk by the Spirit, so calamity won’t come your way.

Lord, thank you for your clear word to us. Help us be brave enough to face the truth about our self. Give us the courage and power to deal with sinful behavior properly. 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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Test Yourself Part 1

A worthless person, a wicked man, walks with a perverse mouth; He winks with his eyes, he shuffles his feet, he points with his fingers; Proverbs 6:12-13 NKJV

The Bible points out some behavior that is worthless. Let’s study it to be sure we don’t develop these negative traits our self.

Perverse Mouth

The definition of perverse means to turn away from what is right or good: corrupt and to be obstinate in opposing what is right, reasonable or accepted. Someone who is perverse chooses to be that way. They stubbornly refuse to accept evidence of truth. They purposefully turn away from what is right or good. Marry perverseness with the mouth and what do we get? We get someone whose speech is corrupt, obstinate and opposing.

Self check: How many times do I do my own thing without consulting God in prayer first? Do my words more often than not oppose God’s Word?

He Winks

Picture something “shady” going on, like the boss just took a bribe and an employee witnessed the deal. Rather than blow the whistle, the employee winks his right eye, as if to say, “your secret is safe with me.”

Self check: How many times have I witnessed wrong doing without saying anything to change it?

He Shuffles

To shuffle our feet is to slowly drag our feet. Someone who does this is demonstrating movement against their will. Meaning they rally don’t want to go but feel forced to go. They don’t put their whole effort into it.

Self check: When God asks me to move, do I shuffle or drag my feet or do I spring into action?

He Points

It’s always easier to point out someone else’s flaws. Remember Jesus taught us to deal with our blank first before trying to help someone with their speck. When we are about to point out someone’s flaw, stop long enough to remember only one fingers points at them, but three fingers are pointing back at us.

Self check: Am I more likely to point out other’s flaws than deal with my own?

Lord, thank you for your clear word to us. Help us be brave enough to face the truth about our self. Give us the courage and power to deal with sinful behavior properly. 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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What Are You Waiting For?

How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep— So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man. Proverbs 6:9-11 NKJV

Are you drifting through life? Just going through the motions? Watch out. Poverty will sneak up on you and your needs will forcibly be made known.

Diligence is required to stay the course. The question is which course are we on? Are we doing our own thing? Are we following God’s plan? For some of us, it takes a crisis before we’ll stop to consider what path we’re on. Before we can get on the right path, we might need something to shake us out of apathy so we are able to see we are not on the right one.

Where are you on a scale of 1 to 5? One being sluggard, slumbering away and five being connected and attune to God. Rate your self.

What actions can you take today to draw closer to the heart of God?

Wake up O sleeper. Discover the love of God. Taste and see the Lord is good. Be diligent to find out more. Ask, and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds and to him who knocks it will be opened (Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV).

Lord Jesus, thank you for your clear instructions. We don’t know the way to go, but you do. Enable us to ask, seek and knock that we might come to know you and get on the path leading to life abundant. 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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Small yet Strong


Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8 NKJV

Let’s consider an ant’s ways. Ants are always busy. Have you ever seen an ant standing around taking in the sites? Of course you haven’t. Why are they busy? They are preparing, gathering food, building shelter or caring for their dead.

So what can we learn from the ant?

Prepared and Ready

Ants are prepared for anything. They have no fear of what’s to come because they have planned for it. We can learn from this strategy too. We prepare for eternity by giving our life to Jesus Christ. Then we don’t have to fear what comes our way either because we know we are secure in Christ.

The Gatherer

Ants always gather and carry food around. The bring food home to the colony to share. The Bible teaches us in Deuteronomy 8:3 “man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.” So we gather eternal food from the Bible. We share what we’ve learned with others so they might believe and be saved too.

Place of Shelter

Ants build their shelters so there’s always a safe place to go. We don’t build our shelter, for God Himself is our shelter. We rest in knowing He shelters us in the shadow of His wings. How do we get to His shelter? We come to Him in prayer.

Caring for the Dead

Ants take time to go back for their dead. Ever see them carrying the carcasses of their buddies? It seems so caring and responsible for them to bring the dead back to their home. We are asked to care too, by sharing what we know about Jesus with those who don’t know. In this way, those who don’t know might come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior and secure for themselves eternal life.

In summary, the ant is a seemingly small, insignificant creature yet so strong, determined, useful and responsible. What a picture of a Christian!

Are you prepared?

Lord Jesus thank you for giving us the simple picture of an ant to show us what we should be doing. Help us to follow you each day. Enable us to be prepared, to gather, to come to your shelter and to care for the spiritually dead. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. 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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Codependency is Not Healthy

So do this, my son, and deliver yourself; For you have come into the hand of your friend: Go and humble yourself; Plead with your friend. Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, and like a bird from the hand of the fowler. Proverbs 6:3-5 NKJV

Let there be nothing a friend can use against you. Nor let them have power over you. Relationships can become unhealthy when one person takes more responsibility than the other. Each should carry their own burdens and bare their own weight in the relationship. The Bible teaches in Galatians 6:4-5: “But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.” Each person is responsible for them self.

Have you ever done something for another when they really should have done it themselves? Immediately, a teenager who doesn’t do their chores comes to mind. The parent is so frustrated by the teen lack of motivation they end up doing the chores themselves, to keep the house neat and tidy. What does this teach the teen? It enables the teenage to be become irresponsible and selfishness. Not only that, but the teen believes if they wait long enough someone else will do the job. This is not good. In addition, to robbing the child of learning how to be a contributing member of a family/society, it does something to the parent too. It puts them in bondage, with the child in power over them.

It is clear from this verse we can’t let unhealthy relationships continue. We must take action. There’s an urgency we must heed. Just as we’re told in Ephesians not to let the sun go down on our anger, we are told not to sleep until this imbalance is resolved.

How do we approach the subject? We approach the other person in love with humility. Not demanding they change, but pleading with them to become better people. We need to be looking out for their best interests rather than our own. Seek forgiveness for trying to control things only they should control.

Lord Jesus you alone know what is best in every situation. Lead us by your Spirit to set our relationships in proper order. Reveal where we have taken too much responsibility and enable the other person to be responsible for them self. 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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Boundaries

My son, if you become surety for your friend, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth. Proverbs 6:1-2 NKJV

Don’t make promises you can’t keep. It’s hard enough doing all the things we say we will do. It’s even more difficult getting others to do what they said they would do. So don’t put yourself in that position. Be wise. Don’t vouch for a friend. Worry about making your words mean something.

Jesus taught us our words should mean what we say. A yes should mean yes. A no means no. When we say something we are expected to follow through with it. You can’t make someone else’s yes be yes or no be no. You can only control your own yes and no. This is what authors Cloud and Townsend called “Boundaries”. We take responsibility for our self and no one else. When we fall into the trap of speaking for someone else, we rob them of being responsible for themselves and set our self up for a fall.

Are you frustrated by behavior of others? Do you wish you could straight them out? Watch yourself. You’re walking on thin ice. If your thoughts are about controlling a people’s behavior, you have crossed the boundary of healthy behavior. Pray for them instead. Don’t just pray change them. Pray they come to know God. Also pray you can get out of the way. Allow the power of God to work in their lives by focusing on your own part. Let them deal with their part. Let it go.

Where have you answered for someone else? It’s time to stop.

Lord Jesus, thank you for your clear word. Help us to relate to one another in a healthy godly way. Teach us the boundaries of a healthy relationship. Enable us to focus on our part and let God work with the other person. Let us be wise and not snared by the words of our mouth. 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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