Bible Devotions

Have You Read yet? Don’t Wait Your Destiny Depends On It!

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wishing you a Merry CHRISTmas! Yes, I still say Merry Christmas. Hope you do too!

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More on God’s Salvation

Luke 2:25-35 NKJV

And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
29 “ Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”

33 And Joseph and His mother[h] marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

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The Christmas Story Part 3

Luke 2:15-20 NKJV

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

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The Unlikely Leader

Read Judges 4:1-16

The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord.  A woman named Deborah, a prophetess was judging Israel at the time.  Up to this point in the Bible women are mentioned only as someone’s wife or mother.  Women, such as Sarah and Rachel, are mentioned for their beauty and being lovely to behold. Women were never in an authoritative position like a judge.

So here we see a woman, Deborah, sitting as judge over Israel.  They came to her for judgment in matters they couldn’t resolve on their own.  What does this say about Deborah?

To me this indicates several things about Deborah:

  • She was a good listener.
  • She possessed wisdom.
  • She must have judged fairly.
  • She spoke truth as a prophetess.
  • She listened to God.
  • She foretold the future and it happened as she said it would.
  • She was reliable and available to the people’s needs.
  • She stepped up to fill a need.

In ancient times women were not held in high esteem.  I love this part of Scripture because it shows how God can use anyone to accomplish His purpose.  It also shows how His ways are drastically different than man’s ways.

So what do we take away and apply in our life? Perhaps it is God will use anyone with a willingness to follow Him.

Thank you, Lord for turning our ways upside.  Your ways are higher than our way.  Thank you for using the willing.  Help us to be willing to follow you no matter what may come.  In Jesus’ name 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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The Christmas Story Part 2

Luke 2:8-14 NKJV

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

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God’s Faithfulness

Read Judges 3

This chapter outlines a repeated pattern of bondage and deliverance.  There were those who had not known war.  They weren’t around when Israel fought for the Promised Land.  This was a generation who forgot or never knew all that God had done for the children of Israel.  As a result, Israel had turned away from the Lord in subtle ways.

God left five lords of Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians and the Hivites without driving them out before Israel.  God used these nations to test Israel to see whether they would obey Him or not.

So how did they do? What do we see?  Israel married the enemy and served other gods for eight years.  The Lord’s anger was hot against Israel.  Yet when Israel cried out to the Lord, He raised up a deliverer.  The Spirit of the Lord came on him. Israel experienced rest for forty years.

Israel, probably a new generation, did evil in the sight of the Lord again.  The Lord strengthened the king of Moab, who was their enemy. For eighteen years, the children of Israel were enslaved to this king.   When Israel cried out the Lord, He raised up another deliverer.  Ehud, who killed the enemy’s king, rallied Israel to kill all enemies.  Therefore, the children of Israel rested for eighty years!

As I read this, it seemed when Israel got their way it lead to enslavement by the enemy.  What is so foreign to me, is why the Lord would step in on their behalf when Israel was not following Him.  No matter Israel’s disobedience, the Lord acts when they cry out to Him.  Even though Israel chose not to follow the Lord, God still heard them when they cried out.  God moved to assist them.  What a gracious and loving God!

Notice each time of enslavement was longer.  The first period was 8 years.  The second time was 18 years.  I wonder why they didn’t call out to God sooner.  Have you ever found yourself stuck in a situation for a long time before you remembered to cry out to the Lord?

Another thing to notice is how the rest period increased each time too.  The first rest was 40 years and the second was 80 years.  Doesn’t this make you think of God’s generosity?  Each time they obeyed God’s reward is lengthened.

Did you also notice each time they headed back into service of the enemy, it was after their deliverer had died?  It’s almost as if they couldn’t stay focused on the Lord without someone leading them.  Does this ring true for you?  The good news for us is we have someone to lead us who will never die – the Holy Spirit.  Those who believe in Jesus are given the Holy Spirit who dwells into us and guides us.

Dear Lord, thank you for your faithfulness towards your chosen people even when they were not faithful.  Thank you for giving us your Holy Spirit to guide us in your truth.  Thank you that we are dependant on a human to lead us, but rather you in Spirit within us who will never leave or forsake us.  May we be obedient to your ways each day.  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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Let all that you do be done with love. 1 Corinthians 16:14

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The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

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The Christmas Story Part 1

Luke 2:1-7 NKJV

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

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