Bible Devotions

Confess with Humility

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Are you able to admit when you are wrong? How about confessing your part in a disagreement? Are you able to come before someone and share your flaws, problems, addictions, hang-ups, or struggles?

If you answered yes, then chances are you are on your way to be humble. If you answered no even to one of these questions you might have to deal with your pride. James 4:8 NIV says “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want God opposing me. I want his grace instead.

No one can be humble when they are full of pride. One must first empty out the pride before humility will shine. How do we empty out the pride?

Start by identifying all the ways pride shows up in your life. This may take some time. You may want to start a journal to keep track of the times you spot it. If you don’t think you have pride, ask God to help you see. Look for situations where your thoughts are constantly about you. Bingo! There’s pride. Watch for times when your feelings are hurt when no recognizes your good deed and log that down too. Yep, more pride. Listen to your words. Are they bragging or boasting about your hard work or your efforts? Now, you’re starting to see pride.

This next step helps you deal with pride appropriately. Once pride is identified, learn to confess it to God through prayer as soon as possible. This will help get rid of pride before it becomes a stronghold. Learning to pray on the spot to confess your pride when it happens also develops a lifestyle of prayer which will draw you closer to God.

The last step in this exercise is talking things over with a trusted Christian friend of the same sex as you. Sometimes lessons aren’t learned completely until they’re shared with another believer who can help you see what you might have missed. Other times the believer is there for moral support. James 5:16 NIV says “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” It’s difficult being completely honest with our self. We need the strength of other believers to encourage onward so we don’t grow weary of doing what it right.

Proverbs 28:13 NIV says “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” If we want to learn to be humble, we identify pride in our life then confess it to God and others through prayer. Openly facing our flaws and asking for God’s grace is the path towards humility. Of course, none of this is possible with out the power from Jesus Christ in us. Through Him we can do all things.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade. Author of ,, & websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.


A Message to Hear


Pastor Rick’s message this weekend was very appropriate for our day and age. The title “What Will Heal America?” is based on 2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”

Pastor Rick preaches the Word of God and makes no apologies for it. Sometimes the truth is difficult to hear, but we NEED to hear it. Not only hear it but do something about what we hear. Learn to self-assess whether the message applies to us. We can’t go on living for our self. There are consequences.  We can not deny the power of Christ in us.  We can change what is not pleasing to God.  All it takes is a willingness to draw near to God and learn from Him.  The Bible tells us we have the Holy Spirit in us and God will give us everything we need to live a godly life until He returns.  

If you didn’t get a chance to hear his message, take an hour and listen to it by clicking on Pastor Rick’s picture above. It should take to the archive of the live services. I think it will be live for a one or two weeks.

Lord thank you for men and women of God who stand for your truth and deliver your message without wavering. Open our ears to hear your Word, convict our hearts that we may do something about it. Grow us in your likeness. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade. Author of ,, & websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

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Genesis 12 – Faithful

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macho Stock.Xchng

The Lord tells Abram to leave his country, family and father’s house. In return the Lord said he would make Abram a great nation, make his name great and bless him. He also said he was blessing Abram so Abram could bless others. Along with that the Lord said anyone who curses you will be cursed. All the families of the earth will be blessed through Abram. What was Abram’s response? He departed as the Lord had spoken to him. He responded in quick obedience.

Later in the land of Canaan and Shechem, the Lord says I’m giving this land to your descendants. What was Abram’s response? He built an alter to his Lord and kept moving. He worshipped the Lord. He obeyed the Lord.

Now with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east, Abram builds another alter to the Lord and calls upon His name. What was Abram’s response? He sought the Lord’s counsel. Then he journeyed south.

Next we see Abram in Egypt during a famine. Abram fearing for his own life decides to lie about Sarai being his wife. He thought the Egyptians would kill him to take her. He starts handling things on his own rather than calling on the Lord. (See verse 10 through 16) What happened? Abram was obedient up to this point. What caused him to not trust the Lord?

But what encourages me the most is how God chose to continue using Abram, despite his lack of faith, his need to control things, his self-preservation, fear and his lying and scheming. God still worked despite Abram’s missteps.

And so it is with us. We may be obedient one time and disobedient the next, just like Abram. But God still uses us. He still works in us and through us to accomplish His great purposes.

God is not looking for the perfect. He’s looking for the faithful; those who will trust Him no matter what. But even if we do slip up and depend on our own strength once in awhile, God doesn’t leave us there. He draws us back into His care.

Lord, thank you for being willing to put up with less than perfect followers. Thank you for drawing us near time and time again. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade. She is creator of ,, and websites and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

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A More Complete Picture

Can we understand God by reading one Bible verse? Can we know Him through one devotional reading? Can we grasp His glory through one prayer? Is it possible to know Him through encounters with others?

The answer to the individual question is no, but collectively perhaps. Let me explain with an analogy.

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xmasbaby Stock.xchng

Can we taste the sweet goodness of an angel food cake by eating the ingredients one at a time? A raw egg is not so tempting. The sweet sugar might be, but the flour is plenty blain by itself. Yet when these ingredients are mixed together in the proper proportion, what a delight they become.

So it is with our relationship Jesus Christ. No one thing can reveal all there is to know about Him. No one thing can demonstrate the depth of His love for us, save for the cross. But to create a more complete understanding of God, He wants us to balance our activities. Just like having the right portions of ingredients for a cake.

In this way, we are made aware something grand. Something only God can reveal – His true nature. The Lord says in Psalm 34:8 NKJV “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”

We are designed to be together with others. We are collectively the body of Christ. He is the vine and we are the branches. Jesus tells us in John 15 we can nothing apart from Him. We can not grow on our own. Growth comes by the Holy Spirit through our connections with God and others.

Self check: Rate your self on how many times or how much effort you put into each of the following activities each month. Using a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is not much and 5 is a lot.

Bible reading/studying 1 2 3 4 5

Prayer 1 2 3 4 5

Worship 1 2 3 4 5

Serving 1 2 3 4 5

Fellowship 1 2 3 4 5

Sharing Christ with others 1 2 3 4 5

Rate your self every month. Keep a record of your results. Hopefully you will notice your numbers increasing over time as you continue diligently applying God’s Word in your life.

Lord, thank you for being there for us, showing us what you expect, giving us your Spirit and your word as well as other believers to help us grow. Give us a deeper desire for you. Draw us closer to you. Help us be diligent in our spiritual development. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade. She is creator of ,, and websites and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

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Enjoying the New Year! Hope you are too!

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What’s the big deal about Cain’s offering?

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Sparky2000 Stock.Xchng

And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? Genesis 4:3-6 NKJV

What’s the big deal about Cain’s offering? You might think he simply gave what he had. The real issue was not the offering itself, but the motive behind it.

Remember God knows our motives better than we do. Cain brought what he thought was befitting the Lord. Cain gave what he wanted to give rather than what God wanted.

How many times have we done the same thing? We think “look Lord see all these good things I’ve done for you?” But does God require all these good deeds? No. He looks for the humble and contrite heart. He longs for us to truly seek Him.

Self check: What are my real motives for the activities I choose to do?

Lord God above, forgive us for the times we, like Cain, come bringing our offering rather than humility of the heart. Help us to remember you desire our inward most beings rather than the good deeds of our hands. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has lead small group Bible studies for almost a decade. She is creator of ,, and websites and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.


Love Lord or Love Death

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Paha L from Stock.Xchng

Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the LORD; But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death.” Proverbs 8:32-36 NKJV

Those who listen, keep and hear God’s instructions will find the Lord, find life, obtain favor and will be blessed. Sounds like a great deal to me. While the opposite is to sin against the Lord, which wrongs our own soul, causes us to hate the Lord and love death instead!

Now, why would we purposely choose to wrong our own soul or cause us to hate the Lord and love death? Perhaps this devotion may help us identify areas we do exactly this without realizing it.

Let’s begin.

Who do I listen to? Many of us may say we listen to God, but do we really? Maybe you’re like me in that sometimes I find myself listening to my emotions, my unmet needs, my desires, or my wants. Others may listen to the old negative thoughts or lies that hold us back from all God wants to give us. Still others may be stuck listening to people’s advice rather than the Lords. Perhaps you listen to people’s complaints. But God says listen to Me.

Who’s ways do I keep? Who’s boundaries do we really follow? Maybe we don’t have boundaries at all. Perhaps we keep the ways to please those around us. Doing or not doing things to avoid “rocking the boat” is the way people pleasing. Maybe we keep whatever ways that met our expectations. But God says keep My ways.

Do I hear instruction? Is my heart and mind open to His instruction? If not, why? Have I departed from His word? Do we really follow His instruction? When He tells us not to steal, are we stealing? When He tells us to love our neighbor as our self are we? To hear instruction means we are willing to put into practice. In doing so, we demonstrate the hearing of instruction.

How did you do on the pop quiz? Did you discover areas you need to work on? That’s great, for now you know how to pray and seek God’s wisdom and power to change those areas to be pleasing to God.

Lord your word says those who seek you diligently will find you. Lord we long for you, we want more of you. Help us not to be frustrated by our lack of obedience but to be compelled to live for you. Lord we need your help to become the person you want us to be. We know you are with us and provide us everything we need to live a godly life until you return. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks has lead small group Bible studies for almost a decade. She is creator of ,, and websites and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

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Denial Won’t Work


Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45 NKJV

The Lord’s will is always done. Mary could have denied the message from the Lord, but she had proof in Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Mary could have denied Elizabeth’s pregnancy was a miracle. But Elizabeth knew Mary’s condition before Mary explained it. Mary could have denied she was pregnant, but only for a short time. Her growing middle would betray her denial.

No. Denial wouldn’t work. When the Lord plans something it always come to pass.

After considering all things, Mary believed the angel and Elizabeth.

What has the Lord said you have yet to believe?

  • For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 NKJV
  • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 NKJV
  • If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 NKJV
  • There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1 NKJV
  • For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5 NKJV

Believe and receive the benefits of Christ.

Lord you are a God of your word. Thank you for meaning what you say. We believe all that you have said. Help us to live like we believe it. In your precious name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.

© was created by Elizabeth Marks, author of and, to encourage you with God’s Word.

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But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Luke 1:43-44 NKJV

Even before Jesus was born, Elizabeth responds in reverence “But why is this granted to me?” She is humble before the Lord. The phrase “the mother of my Lord” says the Holy Spirit revealed to Elizabeth Mary’s extraordinary pregnancy.

Remember, Elizabeth had her own encounter with an angel. Luke 1:16-17 “And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” The angel had told Elizabeth her son, John, would be filled the Holy Spirit even before he was born. So Elizabeth’s babe leaped with joy when Mary arrived.

It is a wonderful thing to see the working of the Lord. Elizabeth and her baby both being filled with the Holy Spirit knew with the Lord was near.

What about us? Can we tell when the Lord is near? We should be able to. The Holy Spirit lives in us, as Jesus promised to those who believe Him.

Lord Jesus you deserve all reverence. For you are the Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer and the King of Kings. Thank you for your presence in us. Help us to recognize your presence and live according to what glorifies you. In your name we pray. Amen.

© was created by Elizabeth Marks, author of and, to encourage you with God’s Word.

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