Bible Devotions

Are We Against God?

Read Psalm 2

It must look silly to God looking down from heaven when all His creation off doing their own thing, forgetting who made them, ignoring His word, and rejecting His unending love.   Here in Psalm 2 we have a picture of man doing just that.  God speaks, “Why do the nations rage and people plot a vain thing”? It goes on to say the kings and rulers set themselves against the Lord and His anointed one.

When we look around today, isn’t that what’s going on now?  Our rulers are making policies removing prayer from schools, the Ten Commandments from courthouses and “In God We Trust” from our money.  These actions are modern day examples of verse 3: “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.”

Though God has every right to be angry with us, He says “Yet I have set My King on My Holy hill of Zion.  Nevertheless, I am God and I will make a way for these people to be saved.”  How gracious He is! Jesus Christ is His anointed One.  He is God’s begotten Son.  The nations are His inheritance.  The ends of the earth are His possession.  All of this is His.  He can do what He wants with it.

So what does He plan? He plans to bring the people to repentance, break them with His rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.  Have you ever felt completely broken before? That’s the place He wants you, because there we can see most clearly the grace of God.  When truth finally hits us it can feel like we’re shattered, but that’s only the beginning.

Therefore, be wise, be instructed and serve the Lord with awesome reverence.  Kiss the Son.  Come to Him.  He is the truth, the way and the life.  Blessed are those who trust Him.

Dear Lord, forgive us for plotting a vain thing.  We turn to you now in reverence, seeking your forgiveness.  Thank you for cleansing us from all unrighteousness and leading us in the way of life.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

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

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God Equips

Read Joshua 1:1-16

Is there something God has called you to do which you haven’t done yet? What are your reasons for delaying?

Joshua was faced with enormous responsibility after Moses’ death.  He was called to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land.  Goad had a plan and Joshua would play a key role.

Sensing what Joshua needed, God speaks to him in verses 2 through 9.  God reassures Joshua He is with him, the land is really theirs, and no one can stand in their way. God also reminds him that success comes from being strong and courageous to observe all that’s written in the law.  Meditating on it day and night would keep him in a good way.  Lastly, God says “I command you not to be afraid, for I am with you wherever you go.”

What a prep talk!  Straight from the Lord’s lips, Joshua receives exactly what he needs in that moment.  Whoever the Lord calls, He also equips.

In verses 10 through 16 we see Joshua getting work.  He jumped in with both feet.  He trusted the Lord.  He was strong and courageous.  He commanded the people to ready themselves, reminding them the Lord had given the land to them already.

Just as the Lord was with Joshua, He is with us, if we have trusted Jesus Christ’s work on the cross.  For all who believe on Him will not perish but have eternal life.  Jesus said, “I am with you always”.

What does God want you to do that you keep putting off?  Are you afraid to confront a loved one? Are you fearful of asking for a raise at work? Are you frustrated about your teenager’s behavior?  Are you having difficulties forgiving someone? Remember, what God leads you to do He will supply all you need to accomplish it.  Why not take God at His word?

Dear Lord, you are completely trustworthy.  You never change.  What you say, you do.  Forgive us for not believing you’re with us always.  Give us the strength and courage to observe all your word.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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

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Trouble Comes

Read Psalm 3

There is nothing like trouble to get us to look to the Lord. That’s what David did when fleeing from his own son, Absalom, who wanted David’s throne.

There are a few options when trouble comes. We could cower in fear. Fret and worry about how it will all turn out. We could try to fight off the trouble in our own strength. We could deny the trouble exists. We could turn to the Lord and trust Him to lead us and protect us.

Sometimes we might even try more than one of these options. Like David who started out in fear, yet turned to the Lord in the end. We might try handling it in our strength only to find our self exhausted and no better off, and only then turn to God for help. The point is turn to the Lord.

Trouble will come. Jesus told us there will always be tribulation, but He also said “Be of good cheer for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

How are you handling troubles?

Remember Jesus said He is with us always. In Him we can do all things because He strengthens us.

Lord, lead us to turn to you first. In you we find peace, security, and joy. Thanks for saving us from sin and leading us to eternal life in Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks author of and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

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Who Hallows Who?

Read Deuteronomy 32:44-52

Have you ever thought about what you might be missing out on because you choose not to hallow God?

Surely Moses did not think his actions would cost him a trip to the Promised Land.  He was after all chosen to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. Sadly, he allowed his emotions, his anger, his pride to strip him of that privilege.  God has many privileges we are destined for. But just like Moses, we can jeopardize those privileges by carelessness in not honoring, recognizing, acknowledging God in all we do.

Father God, who deserves all praise, Forgive our transgressions against you.  Lead us back to your path of righteousness. In Jesus’ name we come to you. Amen.

The phrase “careful to observe” is an indication of effort on our part to stay in lock step with God.  Not that we work to earn our salvation or standing before God, for that’s a gift of God.  Rather, we work to maintain a right connection with God.  All relationships require effort.  Our relationship with the Lord is no different in that respect.

Think about your human relationships.  If you never call your friend or make plans to visit them or only call when you want something, how long would they stay your friend? Probably not for very long, as you didn’t give them any time to cultivate a friendship, and when you did call it was out of selfish ambition.

God wants us to talk with Him every day, throughout the day.  He wants us to remember He is with us always.  His word tells us not to lean on our own understanding but acknowledge Him in all we do.   When we do acknowledge Him, we hallow Him as He deserves.

Lord, may you be hallowed this day and always.  In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

©Elizabeth Marks author of and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

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Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV

Freedom is obtained when we believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and allow His Spirit to reign as supreme authority over all parts of our life.  Doesn’t that sound easy?  Then why is it so difficult?

Rebellion on our part is why it’s so difficult.  Any time we put our own way ahead of God’s way is rebellion.  Thinking we know what’s best puts us on a disaster course headed for the opposite of freedom — bondage.  The funny thing is we don’t even recognize our own rebellion.

That’s why studying God’s Word is so important.  Look at what 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV says about God’s Word,  “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.”  The Bible shows us who we really are, who He is and how He has every right to rule in authority over us.  After all He made us.

Do you have any locked doors in your heart?  Those locked doors represent rebellion in our life.  The more we study God’s Word, the more He reveals places we thought were open to Him but are not.  Don’t live in rebellion any longer.  It’s time to shed God’s light on those dark places, so we can be set free.

God’s given us His Spirit with the power to enable us to be all that God’s called us to be.  “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.” 1 Corinthians 2:12 NKJV

Lord God who made us, open our eyes to the places we have not yet invited you in.  Enable us to unlock the doors to every part of our heart.  You have complete, supreme authority to rule.  Your Spirit in us gives freedom, let it flow freely through all parts of our life that we may become all you intended for us to be.  In Jesus name Amen.

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more articles, devotions and book reviews, visit today.

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Apple of His Eye

He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.  Zechariah 2:8 NJKV

What does this saying “apple of His eye” mean?  You’ve probably heard “daddy’s little girl was the apple of his eye”.  It’s a phrase used to convey how much someone loves another person.  It’s a tender, gentle, and loving phrase for saying how special a person is to the one who’s saying it.

The Lord is protective of His people, as we can see from today’s verse.  Look at how He says he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.  Reading Zechariah 2:9 we see the Lord saying “I will shake My hand against them and they shall become spoil for their servants.”  It’s like the Lord saying “Look, if anyone messes with you, they’ll have to deal with Me.”  The wrongs done to His people will be taken care of and the Lord will see to it.

I searched the Bible for other instances of this phrase and found Deuteronomy 32:9-11 NKJV; “For the LORD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance.  He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.”

In Deuteronomy we see even more evidence of how protective He is towards His people.

Look at the last part of the Deuteronomy verse; “He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.”  After God finds him in the desert, God encircled him.  Isn’t that wonderful?  Imagine you’re lost in the desert.  You’re probably exhausted from trying to find a way out.  You’re probably feeling all alone.  Your champion arrives and encircles you.  God continues.  He met him in the wilderness and instructed him.  Finally, He made him the apple of His eye.

Maybe you’ve never been the apple of someone’s eye here on earth.  We see in Deuteronomy 7:9 God is faithful to those who love Him: “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments”.  Oh Believer, if you love God you’ll keep His commandments and become the apple of God’s eye.

He knows we’re not perfect, for God comes after us in the desert wastelands when we sin.  He knows how much we need Him, so He encircles us that nothing can harm us.  He knows we can’t live this life on our own, so He lovingly instructs us on how to live a godly life.  Oh, how tender and loving He is towards us.  He has made us the apple of His eye.

Lord thank you we are your people and your inheritance. Thank you for making us “the apple of your eye”.  Your love is so deep, so wide and so high it is unending.  Thank you for your loving care for us.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more articles, devotions and book reviews, visit today.


Power to be Free

“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.” Acts 1:8 NKJV

Jesus Christ came to set us free from the power of sin and death.  He paid the penalty for our sins, so we would die to that lifestyle and learn to walk in faith with Him.  He didn’t just take care of the sin problem we had, but also He left us with His Power to ensure we could live out the new life He offered us.

John 16:13 NKJV “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth;” The Holy Spirit was given us those who believe in Jesus (1 John 3:24 NKJV).  He is our guide, our teacher and our source of power.  We can no nothing out of our sinful nature pleasing to God, but filled with the Holy Spirit we can do all things pleasing to Him (Ephesians 5:8-10 NKJV).

One of my personal favorite verses is Philippians 3:9 NLT “I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.”  It’s all about Christ.  It is Him in me causing me to be pleasing to God.  His Power in me makes me righteous before God.  His Power sets me free from sin.  His Power enables me to walk by faith.  His Power enables the fruit of the Spirit in my life.  His Power causes the abundant life to be a reality.

We have Power, that of the Holy Spirit, to will and do for the glory of God.  We are free!  So let’s tap into that Power, today.

Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for our sins and giving us your Holy Spirit to enable us to live the life you called us to.  Enable us to following the Spirit’s leading in our life.  Set us free from all that would hinder our walk with 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 articles, devotions and book reviews, visit today.

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Prove Yourself

The word of the Lord is proven; he is a shield to all who trust in Him.  Psalm 18:30 NKJV

How is the God’s Word proven to you?  For me, the Lord has proven not only His Word, but Himself to me on several occasions.

One way He proves Himself is through answered prayer.  When I was a new believer, the Lord was very generous in answering my prayers.  I kept a journal with all my prayers and all the ways God answered those prayers.  It was exactly what I personally needed to help develop faith in God.

Other ways He proves Himself is through confirmations.  If I receive a thought and believe it to be the direction God wants me to follow I wait for the confirmations before heading down that path.  It doesn’t take long, before I recognize the same thought/direction in a sermon, radio program, or something I read or even a certain situation.  Usually these confirmations come in three’s and sometimes fours!  As if God really wants to get my attention!

Can you relate?  No?  Try reading God’s Word, watching for Him to speak to you not only through the very words you read, but through the situations of your life.  Pray God opens your eyes to see Him and hear Him.  That’s a prayer He’s sure to answer!

Lord God Almighty, thank you for proving Yourself to us, even though You are God and shouldn’t need to, You choose to for our benefit.  Thank You for hearing our prayers and opening our eyes and ears to see and hear You.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more articles, devotions and book reviews, visit today.

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