Bible Devotions

What’s Blocking God’s Peace

Your peace would have been like a river. Isaiah 48:18 NKJV

God wants us to enjoy His peace.  The Bible is full of instructions on how to obtain that peace.  Being obedient to God’s Word is the key.  When we are willing to be under His all encompassing authority, His peace will be like a river in us.

Let’s take a further look at this wonderful imagery and see what more we can learn from comparing God’s peace to a river.

A river is a moving stream of water.  It doesn’t stand still, it flows. It has a starting source and it continues down a pre-determined path until it reaches its final destination.  Let’s apply this thinking to our spiritual lives.  Once we’re saved (given our life to Christ), we aren’t done.  There’s still work to do.  We have to keep moving forward in our relationship with Christ.  Jesus Christ is the source.  He is the author and finisher or our faith (Hebrews 12:2).  We are also on a pre-determined path, a course set and held by the hand of God with a final destination being heaven.  Until we reach heaven, we are being transformed into Christ’s image and His character is being developed in us.

Sometimes rivers get blocked up and there are few reasons for that.  Some are for good reasons and some are bad.  Let’s consider them and as we do, think about how it applies to us spiritually.

Dead stuff like fallen leaves, broken branches, and other loose items find its way into the river.  For a time those items don’t hinder the river.  However, when the river narrows, as all rivers do at some point, all that stuff floating in the river starts to pile up.  This doesn’t usually cause the river to cease  flowing, but it can reduce the flow of the river.

What stuff is making its way into our spiritual river? It could be unconfused sin, unwillingness to submit to God, or always wanting to know the “why” before you obey.  It also could be lack of belief, lack of trust or a build up of pride, or self-centeredness in our life.

Other times the river is blocked from a beaver settling in and making a dam.  The beaver is doing only what comes natural to him, as God designed. The beaver painstakingly takes broken branches, twigs, and other natural lumber and strategically places them in the flow of the river.  The dam acts as a river flow regulator.  Without the dam, downstream the river could overflow and cause more damage.  However, God takes care of it by sending the beavers to build their home in the river.

At times in our lives, there may be situations or circumstances that seem to be a hindrance to us.  In the end, we discover it was all part of God’s glorious plan to help us grow in our faith, our love and in our character.   It’s not  something we’d choose for our self, but we have to experience them nonetheless.

In the Old Testament, cities were walled in, meaning there was a wall going all around the city for protection against invaders.  Usually these cities were made next to a river, so the river would run under the wall and through the city providing a source of fresh water to the people living there.  When an enemy came against the city, there were times when they would cut off the water supply to the city, as a way to get the city to surrender.   How they blocked off the water, isn’t the important part.  I simply wanted you to recognize an enemy can block the flow.
How is the enemy blocking your flow today?  Our enemy, Satan, doesn’t want us growing in the Lord.  He’ll do all sorts of things to block God’s peace in our life.  Recognize the enemy exists and prepare yourself to stand against him by putting on the armor of God.  Read Ephesians 6:10-20 for details.

Let’s review our comparison of God’s peace as a river:

  • Stuff comes into the river and can reduce the flow.  The “stuff” is sin, disobedience, or wanting our way instead of God’s way.
  • Beavers make dams which regulate the flow of the river.  There are things God brings into our life to help us grow spiritually.
  • Enemies can block the river’s flow.  Our enemy, Satan, doesn’t want us growing in the Lord.  We must prepare for battle by putting on the armor of God.

How’s your   river of God’s peace flowing today?  Is the flow reduced by debris?  Is God working on growing your through trials?  Is the enemy after you?

Remember what the Psalmist penned in Psalm 27:1, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”  Jesus encouraged us with, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Next time peace seems lacking in your life, think about this analogy. Perhaps there’s something you can do about it.  For the rest, take it to God in prayer, trust Him to be with you through it and know the waters will not overwhelm you (Isaiah 43:2-3).

Lord God, thank You for making Your peace like a river available to usthrough Jesus Christ.  Help us be obedient to Your Word by the leading ofYour Holy Spirit in us. Enable us to stand against our enemy by putting onthe armor of God.  May we grow in our relationship with You more each day.In Jesus’ name Amen.
© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc.

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You Are His Witness

“You are My witnesses,” says the LORD, “and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He.” Isaiah 43:10 NKJV

How do you get to know and believe God?  For me it’s an on-going process.  First, I had to give my life to Christ and ask Him to live in me. Next, I started to read His Word and through the Holy Spirit in me, I began to understand more about God’s character.  Then, I started to rely on Him, by praying and giving Him the final outcome of situations in my life.  Over time, I trusted Him more and more.

The first step in the process is recognizing I am not god.  I am not in control, but rather out of control being bound by sin.  For some people, like me, I had to go to great depths of despair before I would turn to God. My life was falling apart due to self-inflicted sin consequences.  It’s different for every person.  My heart’s longing is for you to come to know and believe God without going to the pit of hell on earth before you turn to Him.

The second step is to get into God’s Word, which is a storehouse of proof.  It describes God’s character, His morals and values and His promises to us.  Look at what 1 John 5:13 NKJV says, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”  The more you read, the more you’ll understand God’s character.

The third step is all about trust.  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen according to Hebrews 11:1 NKJV. It is by faith that we understand the things of God.  Faith is about trusting God.  Faith is built one step at a time.  My faith was strengthened through answered  prayer.  When I was a new believer, God was especially kind and tender with me.  He graciously answered all of my prayers.  I have notebook after notebook filled with my prayers and how He answered them.  My small group, at the time, could hardly believe the instant response I seemed to get when I prayed.  But that’s what it took for me.

What about you?  Have you started the journey of knowing and believing God?  If not, what’s holding you back?
Our God is a very personal God, who wants to meet you right where you are.  He knows what you need before you even ask.  He’s anxious to come into your life and show you a different way to live.  He longs to bless you and give you an eternal life through Christ.   He’s just a prayer away:

Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins.  I know I’m a sinner and need you to save me.  Please come into my life and lead me into the abundant fulfilling life you promise in your Word.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

Maybe you’ve already given your life to Christ.  That’s wonderful,
but don’t stop there.  Dig into God’s Word, deepen your relationship.
Continue to pray and see the hand of God working in your life.  Don’t
forget to share what you know about God with others.  There are people
dying to know Him.

Father God above, You alone are King.  Thank you for putting me on the path of life.  Guide us by Your Spirit, teach us Your ways that we may know and believe You more.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc.
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When God Speaks, He Follows Through. You Can Count On It.

“And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.” Genesis 21:1 NKJV

When God speaks, we can trust He will carry out whatever it was He said He would do.  What did the Lord say He would do to Sarah?

Genesis 17:19 KJV “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.”  Did you notice the word “indeed”? It seems like it was added for extra emphasis.  It’s like God is saying this is for sure, have no doubt, this thing is really going to happen.

Genesis 18:14 KJV “Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”  No, NOTHING is too hard for God.  Not even causing a barren woman to give birth at an age over 90 years old!  This verse also tells us God’s timing is important factor to remember: “at the appointed time”.

Consider this:  Our life (past, present and future) are all mapped out in God’s blueprint, according to God’s design.  As He designed the plan He knows where everything goes.  The events of our lives are like intricate wooden puzzle pieces that only fit together when all the pieces are inserted in the proper sequence.  And only God knows the appropriate sequence to complete the puzzle.

At the appointed time…Genesis 21:2 KJV “For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.”  We see from scripture, God always does what He says He will do. It’s just from our limited view it can feel like His plan is never going to happen.

Next time you find yourself in a waiting period, continue to believe God will fulfill the vision.  The following verse I memorized during one of my waiting periods was a wonderful reminder to me and can be encouraging to you too.  Habakkuk 2:3 KJV “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”   To tarry means to delay.  The vision won’t be delayed.  It will happen right on schedule.

Lord, thank you for being a God of Your word.  When you speak you also do.  Thank you for your reliability and faithfulness to do what you say you will do.  Help us to believe you.  Increase our faith.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc.
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Be Still and Know I Am the Lord

And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre; and he sat in the tent door in the heat of day; Abraham was sitting quietly in his tent door. Genesis 18:1 NKJV

Perhaps he was meditating or praying.  We don’t know for sure. However, we do know to sit means to be fairly still and not moving around.

Notice how the Lord appeared to Abraham when he was still?  How often are we still?  Do you allow stillness into your daily routine?  It is within this stillness you can hear the Lord speaking to you.

You may find it hard to quiet yourself at first, especially when you’re not used to it.  You might find your mind racing through a mental TO DO List of all the things you need to get done.  If those thoughts plaque you when you try to have a quiet time, here’s a helpful hint:  Keep a notepad and pen close by.  Write down every distracting thought so you can deal with it later.

So with the distracting thoughts written down for later, what exactly do you do in a quiet time?  No two quiet times are the same.  Each one is different based on how God shaped the person.  By sharing what I do in my quiet time, perhaps it will give you some ideas for yours.  Please kind in mind this is not a formula to follow, it’s just an idea of what you can do in your own quiet time.

I like to journal my prayers.  As I pour out my prayers with thanksgiving, praise and worship of God Almighty, I feel my heart opening and turning towards God.  After some time of praise to God, my prayers switch to praying for others (those close to me, those who point me to Christ, those in authority, those who are in need etc) and finally I pray for the concerns on my heart at the time. What I like most about journaling my prayers is how God sometimes answers those prayers as I write them.
It’s also neat to have a record of what I prayed for and how God answered it.  It can be very encouraging to read when you find yourself spiritually low.
After journaling, I like to sit quietly and focus my thoughts on God. Thinking of what He has done for me already and remembering His promises straight from God’s Word, the Holy Bible.  Here’s a few I like to meditate on:

  • John 3:16 NKJV 16 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.
  • Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
  • Ezekiel 36:26 NKJV I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
  • Two Corinthians 5:17 NKJV 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

I read God’s Word.  It doesn’t matter really where you read.  I’ve read  through the Bible from beginning to end.  I’ve also read a New Testament  book and then read an Old Testament book, alternating back and forth.   Sometimes a few Psalms.  Other times I read Proverbs.  I’m currently reading through the whole Bible again in KJV, hence the reason for today’s verse.   The point is READ GOD’S WORD.  Read it regularly. It’s God Word to you.
I write down everything I feel the Spirit has prompted me to write. Sometimes this is a way to handle a certain situation I was facing.  Other times it’s an idea for a devotion or article to share with others.  Then again, it can be a deeper understanding of God’s character.  It also can be an  awareness of some sin in my life.  When this occurs, I repent and ask for God’s forgiveness.  The result of having a quiet time is a deeper, richer, more  fulfilling relationship with God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.   Spending this time is like developing assurance and confidence in God.  The more time you spend with Him, the more you know with certainty He is who He says He is and He does what He says He will do.  God used my quiet time to strengthen my faith and reassure me of His love for me.

Whether your prefer quiet time outside walking in nature or studying God’s Word in your den, spending time with God is how you draw closer to Him.  So when you quiet yourself and think on God, you will find Him closer than you think. As Psalm 46:10 NKJV says “10 Be still, and know that I am God;” being still and reading His Word are ways to know more of God.

Lord, I thank You for being all You say You are and for doing everything You say You will.  I thank You that You want a relationship with me and desire me to draw closer through quiet times.  Help me to prioritize my schedule to include those special moments with You.  In Jesus’ name Amen.
© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc.

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Never Too Late to Turn to God

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.” Genesis17:1 NKJV

Did you notice how old Abram was when the Lord appeared to him?  Abram was 99 years old! It’s never too late for God to appear in your life and it’s never too late to turn to God either.  As I read this verse it was as if God was speaking this to me and a pattern appeared that seemed very familiar to me – the pattern of salvation.  Allow me to explain.

God first says “I am Almighty God”.This is the first step in being saved.  I must recognize I’m not God – only HE is.  He is Almighty, the source of all power.   He is more powerful than I can even imagine. Recognizing God is Almighty puts everything in the proper perspective. Realizing He’s God and I’m not, helps me recognize my own sinfulness. When you compare yourself to God, it becomes quite clear how much we miss the mark.  Romans 3:23 NKJV “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.  Romans 6:23 NKJV “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The second step is “walk before Me”.  I must submit myself to the authority of the Lord God Almighty.  Ever notice how a very young child will behave nicely or do really cute things before their parents or other adults?  It’s because they know someone is watching.  God is saying “I’m always watching, therefore, walk before me as though you know I’m watching”.  If I know God Almighty is watching, I’m more likely to choose things that glorify Him rather than satisfy my selfish desires.
Galatians 5:16 NKJV “…Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”  Before we can walk by the Spirit, we must be born again in Christ Jesus.  Once we are born again, we become new creatures in Christ.  2  Corinthians 5:17 NKJV “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

The last step is “be blameless”.  This is the final step in God’s process and not one you can achieve on your own without completing the first two steps.  After you’ve accepted God is Almighty, your perspective is changed, and you accept what Jesus Christ did for you, the result is you are blameless before God.  When you give your life to Christ, His righteousness is laid upon you, so you are washed clean and purified from all unrighteousness.  1 Corinthians 6:11 NKJV “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

To recap what we’ve learned from today’s verse.  Here’s a quick summary:1) Recognize God is Almighty and I am sinful. 2) Walk before Him, ask for  forgiveness from Christ. 3) Become a new creation in Christ and be blameless.

Are you ready to give your life to Christ?  Pray a simple prayer like: “Jesus forgive me for living my life without you.  I know I am a sinner but you are Almighty God.  As much as I know how I give myself to you. Please come into my life and make me new.  In Jesus’ name Amen.
© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc.

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Atonement Foreshadowed

“All the people of the land shall give this offering for the prince in Israel. Then it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the New Moons, the Sabbaths, and at all the appointed seasons of the house of Israel. He shall prepare the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel.” Ezekiel 45:16-17 NKJV

I’ve heard it preached the Old Testament is full of things that point to Jesus Christ.  But honestly, I could not see that for myself at first. However, the more I read the Bible, the more God revealed to me and my spirit was convinced by God’s Spirit in me what truth really was. Hebrews 8:5 says of the priests of old “who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things”.

In today’s verse, Ezekiel 46:16-17, the Lord is giving instructions regarding the laws that govern the priests.  This verse stood out to me and I wanted to share why.   Let’s start by examining the verses piece by piece.

V16 “All the people of the land shall give this offering for the prince in Israel.”  Who was this offering for?  The prince of Israel, the priest, responsible for making atonement for the people received the offering brought by the people.   Who can make permanent atonement for sins? Jesus Christ. Hebrews 7:24 says “because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.”  Who is called the Prince of Peace?  Jesus Christ.  Who is called “priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”?  Jesus Christ.

V17 “Then is shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings ….”  Only the prince, the priest, can give the burnt offerings.  Why was only the prince able to perform this task?  God was laying out the picture of what was to come.  Only one perfect, sinless man could offer a complete atonement for sin.  Hebrew 7:27-28 says of Jesus “who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.”

V17 “at all the appointed seasons for the house of Israel.” Notice how God is a God of order.  Everything occurs at the appropriate time, the set time, the time determined by God’s clock.  At just the right time, God sent His Son (Galatians 4:4).
V17 “He shall prepare the sin offering…” Notice whose role it is to prepare the offering?  Only the prince, the priest, can do it.  In the Old Testament it was the God selected and appointed lineage of Levi, who were responsible, but remember they were only a foreshadowing of the real thing to come.  In the New Testament, we see Jesus Christ has prepared Himself as the offering, when He chose to die on the cross for us.

This is just one example of how Old Testament laws and rituals pointed to Jesus Christ’s fulfillment of them.  Read the Bible for yourself.  The more you read, the more God will show you.  Another excellent resource for understanding scriptures is to listen to Bible teaching on the radio or on the internet.  I’d like to offer three of my favorite resources:

1) Dr. J. Vernon McGee of Thru the Bible offers a radio program (FM 107.9 KWVE) called “The Bible Bus” that teaches the entire Bible verse by verse over a 5 year period.

2)      Calvary Chapel pastors are thoroughly trained to teach verse by verse as well.   Any time you have a chance to hear a Calvary preacher, by all means listen.

3)      Truth for Life Ministries with Pastor Allister Begg, offers a wonderful daily devotion on-line or sent via email.  You can also listen to his sermons on line at http://www.truthforlife.org.

I hope you enjoyed this quick study of the Word and you are able to see for yourself how it represents Jesus Christ as our High Priest forever.
Lord, thank you for your Word, the Truth and Your Spirit in us to guide us to You.  Give us a desire to read more of Your Word and to apply the lessons we learn in our lives today.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc.

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Are You Continuing Steadfastly?

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42 NKJV

As followers of Christ, we are called to continue in our faith no matter what circumstances may arise.    To do so requires discipline because it is so easy to let ourselves react from our old nature instead of by the new spirit within us.

The first church is an example to us.  In Acts we see them continuing steadfastly, which is another way of saying they were committed to a certain way of life or they conducted themselves with a certain discipline. Our faith must be handled with equal discipline if it is to flourish and bloom as God intended.

The four things the first church continued in are the same four things we should have in our lives too.  Most important was the apostles’ doctrine. In today’s language, that’s God’s Word or the Holy Bible, both old and new testaments.  This is first in the list because it is the very foundation or anchor for our new life in Christ.  I need to have the Bible with me pretty much everywhere I go.  If you work with me, you’d know that because I’ve got verses on little sticky notes stuck everywhere in my cubical.  If you’ve been in my car, you would also see a scripture reference.  In my house you’d find scripture in just about every room.
Why is that? Well to me, the Bible is like oxygen, I can only go so long without taking more in.   How often do you read your Bible?
Keeping God’s Word first takes discipline.  Here’s a few ideas to get more of God’s Word into your every day life:

  • Write down scripture references that really affect you, on sticky notes or 3×5 index cards.  Put them in places you’re sure to see them – the bathroom, the car, the desk, the refrigerator, etc.
  • Listen to Christian music at home or in your car – most times the
    lyrics are direct quotes from the Bible.
  • Sign up for email devotions.  Every day a new devotion is emailed to you without you even thinking about it.  You’ll always have God’s Word
    coming to you.
  • Bookmark a few devotional websites, like http://www.intouch.org, http://www.insight.org, http://www.rbc.org.  When you’re on the internet, make it a habit to read at least one of those site’s devotions.

The next thing the church continued in was fellowship.  A Christian can not be a lone ranger.  A Christian was meant to be connected to the body of Christ.  We are all one in Christ and are called to encourage one another through fellowship.  There are plenty of ways to fellowship with other believers.  Here’s just a few:

  • Join a small group Bible Study through your local church.  That way you’re getting fellowship and God’s Word at the same time!
  • Join an internet-based Christian forum, like http://www.christianforums.com, http://www.christianforumsite.com, http://www.crosswalk.com, http://www.christianboards.com.
  • There are literally thousands to choose from.  These forums usually have various topics to join discussion on.  I do not advise you to rely on only this form of fellowship.  However, this is a nice compliment to other forms of fellowship.
  • Start a lunch time Bible Study at your work with your co-workers.
  • Start a Christian Book Club, where all the members select a good
    Christian book to read and discuss once a month.

The third thing the church continued in was the tradition of breaking bread together.  Jesus taught us whenever we were eating bread or drinking we should be mindful of His sacrifice for us.  Every time food enters our mouth, it should be a reminder that Christ is the Bread of Life.  He is the all sustaining power that gives us life, and life eternal through His death and resurrection.   While you may celebrate what we call communion at church, I don’t think Jesus meant for it to only take place at church in the congregation.  We should consider communion something we do on regularly with our family at home, too.

Lastly, the first church continued in prayer.  Prayer is the communication vehicle that opens our hearts to God.  It’s the mechanism for praising God for all He’s done for us, conveying our thoughts or concerns and asking for God’s help.  This is definitely something we need to be doing without ceasing.  What’s so wonderful about prayer?  You can pray anytime, anywhere without constraints.  You don’t need to be in church to pray.  You don’t need a pastor to direct your prayers.  You simply pour out your heart to God and He is faithful to hear you.  Prayer is essential for Christian growth and for  developing a deep, rich and intimate relationship with our heavenly Father.

It’s easy to forget to apply these things in our lives.  But if you will discipline yourself, you will be blessed beyond what you can imagine. Dive in to God’s Word, join others who praise His Holy name, remember Christ’s sacrifice of love and never stop praying.  These are keys to a rich, fulfilling and abundant life in Christ Jesus.

Lord Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice and your Word to teach us all we need to live godly lives until you return.  Enable us to be disciplined in our faith, to be ever growing in your character by allowing your Word to renew our minds.  Continue your good work in us that one day we will stand before God holy and perfect because of you.  Thank you for your love. In Jesus name Amen.
© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc.

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Walk in Power of Holy Spirit in Us

“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.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc.

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Those Who Work Shall Eat

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.  For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.  Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 NKJV

Have you ever watched the t.v. program called “Survivor”?  They take 16 people and put them on a deserted island for 39 days to see who will endure all 39 days without being voted off or going crazy in the process. When I read today’s scripture verse, it reminded me of an episode where one young man and two young women were not pulling their own weight around camp.  They had no problem eating the food other’s had gathered or caught.  They did not help with any of the real work, like searching for wood, carrying water to camp, fishing, or gathering coconuts. All they did was sit in the little hut, snuggle together and gossip about the rest of the players on the island.

Have you ever known someone who was like that?  They are always eager to criticize, never willing to help anyone and always thinking about themselves.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t especially like being around people like that.  Do you ever feel like that?

However, Matthew 22:39 NKJV tells us to “Love your neighbor as yourself” so my attitude toward people like anything but loving. Colossians 3:23 NKJV tells us to do everything as if we’re doing to or for the Lord.  That’s great advice.  When we apply this advice, we are more willing to do anything for the Lord, even scrubbing floors, doing laundry, paying bills, going to work, or being loving towards others you don’t feel like loving.

Father, forgive us for having the wrong attitude towards people.  Help us love them as you love us.  Teach us to “work in quietness and eat our own bread”. Enable us to being willing to do all things as if they are for You. In Jesus’  name Amen.

Are you a busybody, unwilling to work?  Are you criticizing others for their lack of work? Ask Jesus to help change your attitude toward others and focus on your own walk with the Lord.
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Be The Example

But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.  For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you;  nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you,  not because we do not have  authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.

2 Thessalonians 3:6-9 NKJV

Paul was not a burden to anyone. Neither should we be.  Everyone must work, just as Paul worked.  We are responsible for ourselves.  It’s nobody else’s job. There’s plenty of NKJV scripture addressing laziness.

Proverbs 14:23
In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty.

Proverbs 19:15
Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger.

Proverbs 13:4
The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

Proverbs 15:19
The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, But the way of the upright is a highway.

We can also apply these scriptures to our spiritual walk.  If we become lazy in our relationship with Christ or rely on other’s to feed us spiritual food, we run the risk of spiritual poverty and hunger.   We must be diligent in our own study of God’s Word. As mentioned earlier we each are responsible for ourselves. This applies to our spiritual welfare as well.  What does scripture say about being wise?  It says scripture makes simple folks wise and tells us how to be wise if we listen to it.

Look at the next two NKJV scriptures:

Psalm 19:7The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;

Proverbs 8:33 Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it.

Lord, thank you for making us wise through your perfect Word.  Help us toavoid being lazy in any capacity.  Enable us to hear your instruction and be wise.  Amen.

How are you doing with your walk?  Are you relying on someone to feed you spiritual food?  Are you diligent in your quiet times and studying God’s Word?  If not, why? What’s stopping you?

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc.

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